Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One year when I was a kid, our family was given a festive turkey gift.  I cannot remember if it was a fruitcake or those fire-starter block thingies or those little tiny hay bales in the shape of a turkey body, but attached to this fake turkey body on the front was a red, felt turkey head with those little googly eyes that moved when you shook it.  It was quite the kitschy gift, and whenever the hind-end of the turkey was used up, I remember my Mom felt really bad about just tossing the turkey head in the trash.  It was kind of endearing...we'd all grown to enjoy his cute little expression!  So, she saved it.  Yep, just the HEAD.  HA!  And every year after that, we'd hide the turkey head in random locations around the house for the rest of the family to find because after all, you couldn't just lay this weak, limp, flat turkey head out on the counter as a "decoration!"   

Hide-The-Turkey-Head was a hilarious game mostly because many of the places we'd hide Mr. Turkey were places a normal turkey could NEVER fit.  The space was too small, or it was impossible for him to maneuver his way into that locale, but that was half the fun!  This F'ed up AWESOME tradition continued over the years, and when I moved out & got married, my Mom said, "Gwen, you need your OWN turkey head to hide.  It's tradition!"  So, she bought some red felt & crafted up one of her own original designs.

Now, Mr. Turkey Head #2 was less beautiful in many ways... apparently no googly eyes were available the day of construction, so huge, black, knobby buttons were used instead.  In addition, he had a very long neck.  This combo made our gobbler seem more awkward and simple, not to mention quite a bit DORKIER than the previous one.  But you didn't hear any complaints from Scott & I, because now we had our OWN turkey to hide, and "dorky" suited us well.  Meet Turkey #1 and Turkey #2!
Turkey #1 -- on left, Impostor Turkey #2 -- on right

A few years later, Mom decided to pare down her holiday decor, and guess who was offered the OT (Original Turkey)???  Yep, you got it!  We doubled our pleasure indeed that day.  And we've had a riot every November since, as we have our own little friendly competition version of "Where's Waldo" goin' down in The Hooligan Household.  It's great fun to see who can come up with the funniest hiding place!  I present to you a sampling of Turkey Time 2011, in no particular order.  ENJOY!
Sneaky little bastard bird

Cal paid the price early the next morning trying to put this shoe on... I had that thing
jammed clear down into the toe of his shoe!  Good times!  :)

 Due to the fact that Mr. Turkey is lacking arms, legs, and basically an entire torso, some might say he is slightly disabled... or "disabird," in fowl terms.  Here he is during his rationed time in the Special Tomato chair!

Confused and bewildered by the predator in *his* dog bed, Romeo prepares for annihilation.

You probably didn't know that in blind studies, red felt turkeys beat out Brawny 10 to 1 in absorption.  It's a proven fact.

In Cal's pillow, ready to attack.  HA!  You should've heard Cal's rant after he discovered this pesky pecker attempting to interrupt his serene night's sleep! 


Vincent Van Goghbbler

Rare, imported Dolce & Gabblana purse

What a crock!!!!!  HELP!!!!!!

I am half-ashamed and half-proud of this hiding spot, as our phallic friend could've had a better placement than mid-crotchal region in this uncomfortable shot!  Oops!  My original idea was very "Who's that Spartan in my teepee?" "It's me! It's me!" (skip to 2:48 mark for this classic line!) a la Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri in Saturday Night Live.  Epic.  Fail.  HA!

The designer "Red Head" line of "Red Wing" boots, modeled by our dear friend...

...making a break for it, ironically from our Charbroil RED grill.  HA!

"Spirit Vase" by Vernon Brejcha, one of Scott's glassblowing buddies.
I'm sure he'd be pleased to see this ol' baldy classin' up his work!

Completely oblivious to the trickery going on??? OR... paralyzed by fear of the unknown offender in her sock?!
We may NEVER know... but hope that tryptophan kicks in soon.  HA!

Romeo calls "BS!" as he patiently waits his turn to go out the doggie door.  HA!

Turd-key returns!  This is a real shitty deal here... may need to Lysol this bad boy down after this stint.

Is that Michael Felts peering out of your swimming pool?  Why YES.  Yes, it is. 

This is a re-creation of a scene circa 1994 at my parents' house late one evening as they were getting ready for bed.  My Mom had left her bedroom briefly, Scott & I snuck in, tucked in our good friend, put Mom's glasses on him, and propped up a book somehow for him to read.  Her cackles were heard several rooms away when she returned to a very similar sight that night!!!

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!  HA!!!

Turkey trots!

Say hello to Mr. Knish!  (I loooooove Ace Ventura!)

Tom plans to knock the gizzard outta Bill Gates, as many hours as he has logged online. 

Poult dancing!


Chandelier made by my hubby, Scott (again, sorry for the shameless Infinity Art Glass plug!  LOL)

Master of the corkspin serve, our scarlet friend prepares for battle.

Freezer birdned

Ludwig Van Beethurkey

Richard Pecky slightly edges out Dale Birdhardt, Jr. at the checkered flag for the win!

Two "Butt"erballs = THE END! (for now!!!)

May ALL your holiday traditions be just as awesome!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Hooligans...


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile, I would have the whole night sky in the palm of my hand." 
~Author Unknown
October 28, 2011

Twenty years ago today was our first date.  How is it possible that more of my life has been spent WITH YOU than without you?

I love you so much, Scott...
May 24, 1997

I love the way you complete my sentences before I even know what I want to say.

I love the way you call me "CAM" and I call you "CAM" all the damn time, especially in the grocery store when it is most awkward you say it suuuuuper loud & low (super bass!) to try to find me.  Yes, we're freaks.  (get your minds out of the gutters!)  (though I love that, too!  HA!)

I love that you actually play me in Abble Dabble (Scrabble) on the iPhone, & I'm sorry you chose "Capricorn" as your screen name.  (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I'll be honest, you guys, he's REALLY good at this game and has beat me like the last 3 games we have played by over 150 points each.  We're SUPER competitive, talk shit on each other constantly, and I fear we've passed that competitive gene onto our son.  YIKES!)

I love that you sleep with Claire in your arms every single night & don't sleep as well if she's not there.

I love that you and Lola regularly kick Cal's ass in ping pong.  I am pretty sure Mrs. Pocket is undefeated against Cal, yet when just you and Cal play, Cal sometimes wins?!  Polly Ann is your good luck charm.

I love that you have devoted so much time to coaching Cal's basketball teams over the years.  He really loves playing for you, and you are a fantastic coach.

I love that you help me with the dwarves at night when I'm sleep deprived and exhausted and just need my space.

I love that you have worlds of patience in situations where my fuse is short.

I love that you balance out my need to talk with your listening for as long as I need, you offer good advice, and you support me with whatever I am going through.

I love that you are The Shit Whisperer 'round the clock (so I don't have to be)!

I love that you bust your ass for our family at work so I can be home to take care of our girls.

I love our "infinity" ring tattoos.
December 18, 2009

I love the way I feel so secure and protected when you hug me...like nothing in the whole, wide world could ever take that feeling away because together we can conquer ANYTHING.

I love that we laugh over and over again, every single day!  You are the funniest person on the planet!  I love the way your mind works, and I *love* that you're a smart ass.

I love your potty mouth.  (and yes, yours might quite possibly be worse than mine...if that's possible!)

I love the way your ass looks in jeans!!!!!  Not those 1998 ancient Old Navy ones though... (HA!) but those hot Big Star jeans.  Yum!

I love that you started your own business, having never blown glass before in your entire life, and you said, "I am GOING to be good at this." You totally made that happen, babe.  You inspire me.

I love that you're such a people person.  No matter where we go, you fit right in, make everyone laugh, and we have barrels of fun together.

I love that you keep me grounded during difficult times.  You remind me that there are no accidents.  You give me hope.

I love going to movies with you and holding hands like we're 16 again.

I love that you're so crafty & can build damn near anything.  Where did you learn to do that?!

I love that you love our dogs as if they were our kids, because they SO ARE.  And it touched my heart and made me bawl & love you even more that you were man enough to cry when we lost Halley last year.  I miss her so much, our first baby...
October 30, 2009  ~  Miss Halley
Cal & Hal

I love that you always put your family first in ALL situations ~ we SO appreciate it.

I love that you are intelligent and work hard to accomplish your dreams.

I love that God blessed us with three amazing children, each of whom brings something amazing and different and PERFECT to the table.

I love that you have embraced THIS LIFE, realize the gifts we've been given, and celebrate uniqueness.


More than you will probably ever know.

Thank you for the best 20 years of my life to date.

Love ∞,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


November 5, 2011  ~  Claire & Lola
I'll be damned if this "special needs" journey isn't somethin' else.  Just when I think I've seen/heard/witnessed/experienced/etc. it all, something happens which leaves me literally speechless, and yo, you guys know THAT shit is rare.
Blue Ribbon for Embrace Sculpture at Weems International Artfest  ~  November 2011  ~  SO.  PROUD.
OK, so this past weekend, we went to Albuquerque, New Mexico for business (for my hubby... shameless plug for his amaaaaaazing blown glass HERE ~ Infinity Art Glass!!!).  We travel quite a bit each year to various fine art shows around the country for him to display and sell his art.  I've gone to this show multiple times in past years (we won't mention that fateful time maybe 3 years ago when I went & got deathly ill the last day of the show... high fever, delirious, shitting myself repeatedly (OK, I DID make it to "the head," in my defense!), completely incapacitated.  I literally SLEPT IN THE BOOTH BEHIND THE CHAIRS ALL DAY while Scott took care of selling the glass AND taking care of both dwarves while Lola was actually ill, too.  Yep, this delightful day not only marked total meltdown in the booth by Yours Truly, but it also marked the day Lola had her first seizure... which I hoped & prayed was febrile, but later learned was in fact NOT.  Dammit.  Longest parentheses explanation EVER.  Sorry 'bout that, but you KNOW I'm long-winded!).
In Daddy's bowl
But this time was different.  People in Albuquerque are so NICE.  They genuinely CARE about others there ~ it's refreshing!  OK, so day 1, we're setting up for the show, and the nicest lady (named Stacy) walks up and starts talking with me about the girls.  This is common, but every so often, someone TRULY cares, we have shared feelings/interests/situations, and we just CLICK.

Stacy and I got on a nutrition kick.  We discussed food allergies, gluten-free lifestyle, natural foods, healthy living, alternative medicine, homeopathics, chiropractic care, yadda yadda yadda, and we shared our stories, both of us diggin' what the other had to say.  After probably 20-30 minutes of chatting (while Scott worked his ass off!  HA!  Sorry, babe... LOL), she had to go, and I decided I probably SHOULD be helping, but Stacy wanted me to try some gluten-free crackers she'd fallen in love with & thought I might enjoy.  She vowed to come back by tomorrow with a sample, and I honestly didn't think she'd come, but oh... SHE SO DID.  And she not only brought a whole box for me & refused to let me pay her for them, but she brought something else with her -- yet ANOTHER gift.  Here's where it got interesting...

OK, so as Stacy left the booth after deliverin' the goods, she said, "Oh, and by the way... my Mom wanted to come by and give you something."  I'd not yet met her mother, didn't even know she was there, but was like, "Ummm, come again?  What?"  In walks Shirley, Stacy's Mom.  Apparently they had been talking about our family because she did seriously one of THE NICEST THINGS anyone has *EVER* done for me.

Yes, Shirley, a total stranger to me at this point, handed me $25 in cash & told me that she wanted me to do something nice for myself.  She wanted to hold Lola while I went down to get a chair massage that was being offered at the show.  She didn't know the cost, but she wanted to do this for me.  In true Gwen fashion, I told her I did PLENTY of nice things for myself, I DID get "time away," we had respite in place back in Kansas, we tried to get monthly massages at home, blah blah blah.  She said, "Honey, I am not leaving until you go do this.  Give me Lola, I will sit with your husband, and you are going to go get a chair massage.  Enjoy!"

Now, Shirley wasn't taking no shit from no one.  No wait, that's not right... she wasn't taking no PRISONERS!  No... she wasn't taking NO FOR AN ANSWER!!!!!  (Thank you, Tommy Boy!)  So I told her I would just go for a short time, and I'd bring her back the change.  When I got down there, it was $1/minute, so I decided I would do 15 minutes (felt guilty about that even!), and I'd take her back $10.  15 glorious minutes later, I did just that, and SHE REFUSED TO TAKE IT.  She passed back Lola to me (who was surprisingly calm & lovin' life in Shirley's arms!), said she'd be back tomorrow, and she was bringing with her another $5 so I could go again the next day for another 15 minutes.


Before she left, I thanked her, hugged her, and told her that this was seriously the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me.  I truly didn't feel worthy, but I SO appreciated it.  She looked me dead in the eye & said, "Jesus knew that I would do this for you, and that is why our paths crossed.  Jesus is in me, a part of me, He changed my life, and I am SO GLAD."  Of course, I started crying (as usual!), and I told her again how much it meant to me, this selfless gesture.  She told me to "pass it on."  I promised I would.

True to her word, Shirley came back the next day, and she was packin'.  She saw that I was busy with a customer, but she handed me some folded up money & said, "I'm going to come back & babysit again so you can go get another massage & maybe your husband can, too!"  After my customer left, I realized she hadn't just brought me $5... she slipped me a 20 spot.  Again, WTF?!

So, a few hours later when things had slowed down, Shirley came back, ordered me to go down for another 15 minute massage, and she said when I returned that Scott would also be going for 15 minutes as well!  She held Lola the whole time, who was LOVIN' HER SOME SHIRLEY!!!!!  (I personally wondered if Shirley (AKA The Dwarf Whisperer) might be interested in comin' back to the Hyatt Place around 3:00-ish am that night, but I figured that might be too awkward to ask... LOL)

Day 2 of massages was equally satisfying, but I still felt wrong taking her money... like maybe I shouldn't have used it for such a guilty pleasure.  But she insisted...

Again as we said goodbye that second day, we discussed why we were drawn together this weekend, why Jesus was such an important part of her life, why she felt compelled to do this for Scott & me.  Again, more tears (both of us), more hugs, and more gratitude.  There was just something so familiar about Shirley... something about her that felt like I'd known her for many, many years.  I'm still not able to pinpoint it, but suffice it to say, I will never forget Shirley or the precious moments I shared with her.  What a gift this weekend was...

Best boots on the planet... I want a pair!!!

Claire may or may not have been taking a dump in this picture... HA!  Observe 90-90 leg position, crouched form, arms straight out, eyes wide.  Oh yes... and all you Meet The Parents fans will totally get Scott's "poop" reference!!!

Claire ~ sitting like a lady!  One of my favorite pictures of her recently.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~ John F. Kennedy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...