Friday, July 30, 2010

Talking to people

I have a girlfriend who doesn't want people to talk to her. She knows enough people, has enough friends and wants strangers to leave her alone and not engage her in conversation. Ok, that sounds harsh and cold and she really isn't that at all. But this was the gist of a discussion we were having the other day.

She gave a few examples of places she's been sitting and waiting and expecting alone/quiet time and complete strangers just start talking to her sometimes giving her way too much information. We were laughing at some of the "confessions" strangers made to her as she was just appalled.

Some in the group acknowledged that there were days they didn't want to talk to people, that we just wanted to be left alone. I didn't. I could only go as far as saying that there are days (I even think that's stretching it. I should probably say situations not days.) that I maybe won't initiate the conversation but most of the times I'll talk to the wall if no one is around. I said pretty much if you make eye contact with me you are fair game for commentary from me.

Point if fact, this morning was a perfect example.

20 dropped me off at the office (because he keeps the car) and before getting on the elevator I went to the courier drop box to leave a package. A man was heading towards the door I was exiting, I said good morning and he answered "humph". So I held the door for him and said, "Come on, its Friday, its a sunny beautiful day and someone is holding a door open for you. What's not good about it?" He just chuckled, mumbled a thanks and went inside. I dropped off my package and went back inside.

There was a woman waiting for the elevator. I don't know her but I know she works in the building because I have seen her from afar. She looked at me and smiled and I opened with a good morning and started asking her if she has heard anything about new stores coming to fill the empty commercial space that is on the main floor of the building. We chatted about it on the ride up on the elevator. Neither of us really knew anything and that's pretty much what we talked about.

When I got to the office I had to go back down to the coffee shop to buy coffee because we were all out. On my way there I talked to a woman in the mall area complimenting her blouse which was a gorgeous color of purple (my favorite), chatted with the woman in front of me in line who was trying to pick a pastry for breakfast; I talked her into a breakfast sandwich instead. The man behind me in line asked which coffee I was buying and so we talked about the different ones; we both like the bolder coffees. Another man 2 or 3 people in front of me made a comment about how the employees remember how to make all these different drink combinations. This comment tied into the fact that there was a trainee at the coffee bar and so I joined in saying that it got to tough and that drew us into a conversation with the girl training the trainee about the system of 'calling the drinks' in a specific way that tells them what to do. I continued chatting with this man while waiting for my coffee to be ground; he was on his way to the hospital to see a new grandson born last night. Its his 4th grandchild but the others are all girls. He's a widow and lives in his daughter's converted garage so that he can help out with the kids. He drives very little staying in the neighborhood but he loves to cook and so he does that for the family almost every day which he feels is how he helps her the most.

I was back in the office by 9:15 and I started thinking about talking to people. I think I can safely say that I will talk to just about anyone. Granted none of these people are going to be my new best friends, I good there but I can honestly say enjoy engaging with people.

Friday, July 09, 2010


I am still amazed every time I watch my kids go in opposite directions. You would think I would be used to it by now as they are turning 21 and 18 this year but I'm not. Last night waiting for the announcement from LeBron of where he's going this was the scenario.

20 (Mr. party all the time, be 'where it's at', don't I look great, status conscious, old soul, personally always broke yet theoretically fiscally conservative and socially liberal and amazingly traditional) was sitting at home glued to the TV and his state of the art Blackberry checking tweets and updates yet praying that he chooses to stay in Cleveland because this is Wade County and Wade's House.

17 (Mr. love to be the center of attention, cheapskate, no labels please, plain is great, young at heart & to the core, faithful, go with the flow, class clown, personally fiscally conservative and yet theoretically fiscally and socially liberal) was at a political rally for Rick Scott, a Republican gubernatorial candidate hoping and praying that the dream team be completed in Miami with the coming of The King. His last year's model (but bought this year on the cheap) Blackberry was in his pocket as he was huddled to a friend's iPhone to watch The Decision.

Moments before the announcement:
17 finds out the news because at his rally the Heat owner's attorney is there and he got a text from the owner saying 'he's coming' and it was announced at the rally to up roaring cheers BEFORE the announcement by LeBron on TV. 20 is getting confirmation of speculation that he must be coming because this announcement is 'on Cuban time'. LOL!

The Announcement:
20, head in his hands, is furiously tapping away and communicating with friends to confirm a party that was just waiting for the announcement to be over to get started as he mumbles to himself that he can't believe this at the same time giving props to Riley for getting it done. He's moving on not happy but consoles himself with the fact that more Heat games will now be on TV so he can see them more in NY while at school. 17 is making plans to attend the whatever is happening tomorrow at The Arena or wherever because he's going to be a part of this even if he can't get to a game because the tickets were sold out earlier in the morning not that he would have bought any because they were too expensive.

Later that evening:
20 is partying with friends at someone's house waiting for it to be late enough to go to the club in SOBE. 17 is LIVE on Channel 10 with his buddies jumping up and down screaming and yelling about LeBron in the parking lot of a local restaurant on a street corner in SW Miami where they pulled over because they saw a TV truck. He's spending the night at a friend's house so they can save time in the morning by not having to come pick him up to go downtown and 'be at the arena'.

The next morning:
17 is going to the arena not that they know if anything is happening or when but they are going to hang out there and see. They have their phones and will keep updated and go wherever the whatever is happening. He's hoping that they will give out free stuff and they can some. 20 is sleeping but will get up and go to the gym and then maybe the beach. He wants a Wade County t-shirt but wants me to buy it because he's broke.

These boys just crack me up. If we wouldn't have been at the births and had photographic proof that they are both ours and therefore brothers, you wouldn't know it. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Looking forward

I am ready for October! No, that's not a misprint and yes, I know it's only the end of June and I have no plans for the 4th of July but I am ready for October!

20 is starting his 3 year of college and as you may know we go to the homecoming game each year in October. He plans on playing quite a bit this year. You would think the team was only a handful of players and him and his buddies are the future stars.

So, I booked the hotel over a month ago with points that had been accumulated. I actually booked 2 rooms because my dad and my in-laws are coming with us. Since they were coming I then told my brother and he booked a room too so this may be quite some family reunion. So, the room is free all paid for with reward points.

Yesterday, we booked the airfare. Yes, I know its early but it was the last day of a sale and so I purchased 7 round trip tickets and we are all set to get there and sleep there. All we need now is a rental car and then we'll be set to get around while we're there. The car will be reserved as soon as we've accumulated enough reward points for that too. You see hubby is working on location and he estimates the points he's accumulating should cover the rental for October. How cool is that?!

Of course, I am also watching the points accumulated on the credit cards because those can be traded in for restaurant gift cards. How awesome would it be if we actually get enough points to cover a meal for all of us.

So, I may not have plans for the 4th of July but I'm ready for October! Oh yeah, I'm ready for Labor Day too because my brother is coming down with his family and we'll head to Orlando to see Mickey with niece. It will be her first trip there and we are all excited about it.
Talk about Doing what I like and liking what I do!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Look Up (a.k.a. Don't Look Down)

My house has been a busy busy hub of activity lately. Hubby is once again on a business trip and so I am with the boys trying to get everything done. All of the must do's and wanna do's plus the relax and enjoy stuff too.

So far I think I am doing pretty good. All the things that needed to get paid have been paid, I've attended all the family functions including an impromptu visit from my dad taking us to dinner for my bday and the washing is done and all the groceries and I even went to an exercise class (more on that later) and the pool is clean. The only thing that hasn't been done are the floors which brings me to the title of this post.

I'm thinking that its ok for a bit because we should be looking up and not down, right? Work with me people, looking down is always considered a bit depressing. You're down and out and told to chin up etc. If looking down doesn't bring you down then it most certainly will if you look down while visiting my home because the floors have not been cleaned everything else has and so something had to give. I actually had a bit of time and did the bathroom floors but didn't have time for the whole house because ya know it's a bigger area and takes a block of time that I just haven't had. Everything I have done has been in spurts with a little here and a little there until it all gets done.

I don't know how the floors are even going to get done because my calendar doesn't have any white space until Friday night and who the heck I ask you wants to spend their Friday night cleaning floors? Certainly, not I but I may have to because if I don't I may not only be able to look down but I may not be able to look at myself in the mirror. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time or Energy?

Wow, time flies when you're having fun. I have been busy and yet I have been finding time on my hands and still haven't been able to get things done. The list of things to do doesn't seem to shorten at all and I know I have been doing things.

I was having this conversation with my in-laws the other day about time. FIL was joking about when he worked full time and he had so much to do he could hardly get anything done and now he's semi-retired and still doesn't have time to do things. I argued that I think it has more to do with energy than time. There are days/weeks when I feel energized and I get more things done than I do in other months just because I seem to poop out and can't get to everything because I simply don't have the energy and need to rest and therefore find I don't have the time. He thought that had something to do with it but still thinks that time is the problem.

He also says that the more you have to do the more you get done. I do agree with that because I think you tend to organize yourself better and plan better to get it all done whereas when you only have a little to do then you feel you have all the time in the world to do it and postpone it and poof you run out of time to get it done or have to scramble at the last minute and complain you didn't have enough time to do it.

Whatever the real culprit is time or energy that's why I haven't posted lately. I will try to add more things to my list so I can organize myself better and blog more. Hmmm... that really doesn't even sound right, does it? *sigh*

I know one thing I have to do in the next couple of days is get into 20's room and clean it before he gets here and brings all his stuff home which could be any day now so that its all ready for him for the summer.

I obviously also need to figure out what's going on this Sunday for Father's Day and get ready for that. Those are the 2 big things on the horizon. There's lots of little stuff and I hope to get to some of that too. Crossing my fingers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book recommendation

I haven't been commenting much on books that I have been reading. I don't know why because I have been reading. Well, maybe not in the past month or so because I was focused on graduation and the scrapbooks I was making for my son but now I can get back to the regular pace of life.

Where do you get your book recommendations from? I get them from all over. I read the NY Times Sunday book review online and go through most of the previews they offer. I an a member of GoodReads which is a site to track what you read and share this info with friends. Not that I have been updating this but my friends have and so I see what they are reading. NPR reviews many books and I also get newsletters from Book List, Books and Books (a local indie store), and a few others. So, I get a lot of info about books aside from just talking to people about books.

This past weekend I got a book recommendation that I just couldn't turn down. While at my sister-in-laws I started perusing the Scholastic catalog that schools send home in grade school. My nephew, N8, saw me going over it and came to join me and I started pointing out to him that some of these books were some that I had read as a kid, I praised books like Charlotte's Web, series like Amelia Bedelia, Cam Jansen, and Nancy Drew. In that conversation we discussed some of Matt Christopher's works which he was familiar with and I introduced him to The Hardy Boys. Then he told me about The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He has read them and enjoyed them and highly recommends them. They are all EXCELLENT. We discussed what I had read about them and he explained why he liked them and then ran away. He returned with 3 books from the series to show me the illustrations and how it actually looks like a diary because the pages are lined. He then asked me if I wanted to borrow one. I looked at that face and although my brain was saying 'seriously?' I of course, said sure which is the first one, I should read that one. The pride on his face as he handed me the book was endearing. As he watched me I read the back cover. When I finished and started to put the book away in my purse he asked Doesn't it seem interesting? I assured him it did and told him it would be the next book I read.

And so, this weekend while we drive to St. Augustine I will be reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid which although it says diary on the front cover is a journal. Do not be mistaken.

I can't wait to read it and talk to him about it. Too much fun.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All the same...

Everything is the same. I have been telling my kids this for years. If you learn how to stand in line and wait your turn for the slide in the playground then later you can stand in line at the grocery store. If you helped a teammate get up on a field of play then later you give a friend a ride to the airport. If you got stuck on a problem and asked the teacher a question then later you will ask for help. If you can translate a picture in your head to something on a piece of paper then later you can prepare presentations whether in a boardroom or the dinning room. If you had an idea and were encouraged to voice it then later you will be willing to offer new concepts in the workplace. If you sat quietly through a Sunday mass then later you can sit through a meeting or a presentation. It's all the same and for that reason it all matters.

I am convinced of this and I seriously doubt you could change my mind about it because each day that passes I see it more and more.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my nephew's (he's 13, we'll call him N13) piano recital. Because of timing restraints I was only able to go to one and not the other because they are now go to different teachers. There were going to be 11 performances. It was a small venue and all the students are truly talented.

My BIL was going to video the entire performance to later give copies to the other parents. He set up his tripod and camera coincidentally right next to where we were sitting as it was the best vantage point. My younger nephew (N8) was in the aisle seat and was warned to not kick, touch, bump etc the tripod. He also warned all of us sitting nearest that ANYthing we say will come out in the video to be gifted to all the parents.

The first student , she was maybe 8, went up and played from memory their solo. The woman sitting behind me whispered something to her neighbor, she opened the zipper on her purse removed and opened a pack of tissues. The rest of the students went up for their performances and she continued to whisper comments, removed water bottle from her purse which her neighbor had to open and made more noise than I could stand. In a short break where they had to change the piano bench for someone, I turned and reminded the woman that everything was being recorded right next to her. She just smiled at me. She was perfectly quiet when her grandson performed but not the others.

Later BIL joked with me and thanked me for making the comment because he felt awkward doing so since this person was related to him and N8 commented to me that he behaved better than she did. He hoped she'd be more respectful at his recital and wondered if she does all that at Mass. From the mouths of babes....

It's all the same people and it matters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Through the years when I have given pictures of my kids to people I write something on the back; a dedication of sorts. If I am really pressed for time I at a minimum write the date of the event of the picture and the pictured person's name on the back. Does everyone do this? I don't know. Why do I do this? I have a few reasons.
First, because that's what my momma taught me. She always had me sign the back of the picture I was giving to grandparents or aunts etc. I never asked why. Being the obedient (stop laughing!) child that I was I simply did as I was told.
Second, I have seen this on odd pictures I have come across over the years when sorting through things after my mother and grandmother passed away. The picture may say 'To my favorite Aunt from cookie' with the date or at least a year on it and then we are able to figure out who the baby is.
Third, because the pictures that have been passed down to me by previous generations that don't have anything on the back to indicate the who, why, where, or what of the picture has sometimes been unidentifiable by us who are still here trying to figure out what this is a picture of.

So, in conclusion, at a minimum I write the name and date on the back.

Now that you know all that, I can tell you this story.
As my boys are now both high school graduates and I theoretically adult men beginning their individual paths in this world, I thought it was the appropriate time for them to dedicate the pictures themselves. They are big boys and as evidenced by the diplomas they were given know who to choose words and string them together coherently and write them all by themselves. Well, let me tell you something. You would have thought that I asked for a 57 page MLA-style thesis. I pulled out the pictures with a week advance notice and told him who they were for. Nothing outrageous here just grandparents, godparents and aunt and uncle. After reminding him and being asked what to write for the umpteenth time. I said just at least put 'For my grandparents, love 17' with the date. Don't make this harder than it is, it's very simple.

I still have 2 pictures that were not handed out at our graduation lunch celebration this past weekend because he couldn't bring himself to even write his name on them. But I did notice that he gave some wallet size photos to a couple of people. So, I asked last night who he gave pictures to on Saturday. He told me 3 friends of mine. Granted, if they are friends of mine they are friends of his but what I mean is he gave pictures to 3 of my girlfriends. So, I continued to probe and was told that he thought it was nice to give them something because they were a big part of his life and a big reason he's the man he is. Yes, I got teary-eyed. But I'm still his mom so I asked if he just randomly handed them the photo and he told me that he wrote something on the back of each one. He tells me it was 'just a little thing so they would know how important they are'. And here I was all upset because the boy can't write to my godparents with love, 17. It seems the boy can write when he wants. I have no idea what he wrote on the photo for my 3 girlfriends but I know that they are probably just as touched as I am knowing that he felt they were a significant part of his life that he wanted to acknowledge them in that way.
I guess I will put the date and his name on the other 2 and hand them out at the next family gathering because really those are from me not him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cool Quote

"Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference."

- Arie Pencovici

I don't know who this Pencovici is. I tried searching him online and didn't find much other than this and a couple of other quotes but I truly like the sentiment in this particular quote. Of course, tomorrow 17 graduates from high school and I am in the mood for this type of thing.

One of my gifts to him is a book of quotes. I didn't buy it. I made it. Well, I made it in the sense that I bought a blank book and have spent the past year jotting down quotes that I liked. The thing is even he contributed a few quotes that he came across and liked. He knew I was collecting quotes I always have. It's something I have liked since I was a kid. When I graduated from high school my mother gave me a book similar to the one I did for 17. The fun part is that he gave me some quotes for the book and he doesn't know that its for him. He thinks its just something I was doing for me.

So, tomorrow will be a mixed emotion day. One of those that days that will be all good but emotionally draining even though its a happy occasion. I'm sure there will be more written about this later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gifts & Moms

This past weekend was Mother's Day. I read the best article about what a mom really wants here in our local paper.
I think that article hit the nail on the head, at least for me. I don't need you to rack your head trying to find a gift that will fit your budget. I just need to know you are living a good life. This year I got a some really good stuff.

17 bought me a Harry Connick Jr CD. It meant that he was listening and paying attention when I was giving my undivided attention to AI this past week when he was the shows mentor for the singers. I love his voice. It was very thoughtful. In addition to that he gave me the go ahead to register him (and pay for-duh!) his college orientation. Why is that a gift because it's a decision. He has been waffling for the past 2 months and he finally decided. I was thrilled with both of his gifts.

20 is away at school and so he couldn't spend the day with us and the extended family. First, he sent me a text. "Hey, mom ru up? Happy Mother's Day!" It was 11am- the middle of the morning, of course I was up. I was getting ready to head out the door for the day's activities but he's in college and still sleeps in - a nice luxury most of us don't have anymore. Once I assured him I was up he called and we chatted for about 1/2 an hour. In that conversation he gave me what I think was the real gift (other than an uninterrupted and unrushed conversation). First he made sure that I was sitting down and then he told me that it was official he had declared his major as Political Science. I was so happy and excited that he had finally picked something. Then in true mother form I started inquiring about a second major or a minor perhaps. I could hear him roll his eyes through the phone lines as he said ma, please. But we'll see. I'll keep watering that seed and see if anything pops out. Later in the day he sent me a picture via text of a bunch of mixed flowers that said what I wanted to send you but I'm a broke college student. I told him they were lovely and would last longer this way.

Later as I reflected on the day I felt all warm and fuzzy inside because what they gave me was signs that they are doing what they need to do, taking control of the next steps in their lives and making progress. It felt good and made me smile. Of course, the smile was bittersweet as the first person I wanted to share this all with was my mom and I couldn't the way I wanted to. I did walk over to a picture of us that I have and say out loud to it (her) they're doing good, huh? And I know she was smiling down on us as I was smiling at her.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Does anyone know how to perform CPR on a air conditioning unit? All I know how to do is turn it off and on and that's not working. ;)

The only room that still has a ceiling fan is 20s. Guess where I'm sleeping? I borrowed a couple of desk top fans from a friend and now the 3 of us each have one to take around the house and use as we like.

I'm waiting for the repairman to come this afternoon. I hope it's something simple. Actually, more than that I hope its something cheap because I need my air conditioning. This is NOT a luxury.

Monday, May 03, 2010


I was at the flower shop the other day ordering some flowers for a prom date of 17s and I picked up a bunch of purple tulips for moi for no reason other than they were pretty. They are beautiful. Its a small bunch, only 6 flowers. They are in a small vase at the entrance of the house. When they open up they have yellow inside which just looks fabulous.
Every single time I see them I smile. They are just so pretty to look at. I absolutely love the color of the deep purple and I love the clean lines of the tulip stem and flower. Such an easy and simple way to make me smile over and over and over again.
Thanks me!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It is said that you burn less than a calorie when you yawn. (Yes, I looked it up.) Based on how much I have been yawning today I can probably eat an entire pint of Haagen Daas pistachio ice cream.

That would be my way of saying I am really tired today for some reason and I can't even think of anything to blog about.

While typing the above 4 sentences I actually yawned 3 times. So, there ya go!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Cleaning sort of

I cleaned out my closet this weekend. Well, that's not entirely true. I took out all the clothes, sorted through it, separated a few things for donation because even if it fit me I just didn't want to wear it anymore. I sorted the remaining items and out it all back in.

I sorted it first by size. I have clothes in 4 different sizes. Then within the size I sorted summer and winter which a very subtle distinction for most of my clothes here in Miami.

Any other year this project is undertaken I would have gotten rid of anything that didn't fit. But its different now. I am actually loosing weight. Three weeks ago I started taking a prescribed appetite suppressant and its working. So, theoretically, all of the doesn't fit clothes should fit eventually. And since its sorted by size it will be easy to find something to wear as I loose weight and presumably get rid of the larger size items. At least that's the plan right now but life's a moving target so I tend to write these things in sand not concrete.

Now, I said that I have 4 sizes which is technically true but the smallest size item is kept merely for sentimental reasons and truly I never expect to fit into again. So, I really only have wardrobe in 3 sizes. Now, we need to understand that wearing most of these items will depend on loosing the weight evenly top and bottom. LOL! And I have as of yet to start doing any exercising that would help in any way. I am toying with some local classes of Tai Chi and Zoomba. I am still looking into it and haven't committed to anything. We'll see how this goes.

This week the family is getting a cantina (pre-ordered food from a local cuban restaurant) so that I don't have to cook. I will tell you its not that its hard to cook for them and not eat it because the pills are doing their job and I'm not hungry but its ticking me off. I make all this food and then I can't enjoy it because I take a couple of bites and I'm full. I acknowledge that in that state of mind I am not the most pleasant person to be around. And so this week we are going to try to minimize that by pre-ordering the food for family-sanity sake.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today is...

Thursday. Today is Thursday. Today is Thursday.

We all get a little confused sometimes and think it's one day when it's really another because some days just feel like a Tuesday and others feel like a Friday. I know this is not unique to me. The problem here is I have been doing it ALL week.

Monday I thought it was Tuesday. So much so that when I was going to the car in the morning I headed towards the curb to put the garbage can away as pick up is on Mon & Thurs. I was grabbing it when I realized that all the neighbors had their cans out because DUH, it was Monday. It didn't stop there.

Tuesday evening my son and I were discussing plans for the week, specifically Wednesday. I was asking him if he wanted me to leave his dinner in the microwave or in the fridge on Wednesday because was probably going to be out when he got home. He paused and looked me in the eye and said mom, you realize that's tomorrow. I said no, I'm talking about Wednesday. He laughed and asked me what day it was and I with a straight face told him Monday. He teased me about it all night because he thought I was joking.

The only day I knew what day it was was on Wednesday. I knew ALL day that it was Wednesday . It was a very long day. It probably had something to do with the fact that in my head I had started this week twice already.

Today I sent some emails to a girlfriend and my SIL to firm up some plans for the weekend. I ended both emails with TGIF! They each answered my emails and I continued on with my workday. Until a client called to tell me that she needed something and could I get it to her today because she wasn't going to be there tomorrow. I said sure! I won't be here either -because in my world it's Friday and I don't work on Saturday- she then commented on how great it was to have a 3-day weekend and I was confused because as far as I know there's no Monday holiday in April. I swear we sounded like an Abbot and Costello bit until I looked at the calendar and realized that today was, I mean IS Thursday. After laughing hysterically with my client, I emailed GF and SIL calling them both out on not correcting me. They were both very PC as they told me that they hadn't noticed. Of course, had it been the other way around I probably would have told them they were complete bubble heads but they are nice that way.

I still have another day to get through before this is all over. OMG, this is the longest week EVER!

Today is Thursday, today is Thursday.

Monday, April 12, 2010


This was a rough weekend for me. I did a lot of things that I won't get into now (maybe later) but the hardest thing I did this weekend was say good-bye to our family pet; our Golden Retriever, Max.

We got Max as a puppy almost 13 years ago. He ate his fair share of our belongings as a puppy and made us chase him around the neighborhood when he would run out the front door or side gate. The boys would get pulled down the block as you wondered who was walking who. Then he was old enough to live mostly outside.

A few years back he got a cyst behind his left shoulder and we had it removed. It was benign. Since then he had others and we basically ignored them as they didn't seem to bother him and the costs of removal were prohibitive. In the past year and a half. He got more of them and some of them he scratched and they burst and without getting into details I will tell you it was not easy to care for and try to heal on our own but we did. We were successful two separate times. Then another one came out in the same spot as the original and he was very fussy about it. Some days he let me clean it, others he didn't. I did what I could when he let me. Then last week I felt one in his throat.

After many phone calls, I found vet that would see him and only charge me if a procedure was done. I took him on Saturday afternoon. Without doing a biopsy we don't know if they were malignant or not but he did tell me that the one in his throat was going to obstruct his eating and swallowing. I had already noticed he wasn't eating normally and he's been 'coughing' or sort of 'clearing his throat' often apparently as a direct result of this latest cyst. His honest suggestion was to either have them surgically removed (costing more than I paid for my kids private schooling) or put him to sleep so that he not suffer. It broke my heart but I had to choose the later.

I then took him to the county facility to surrender him. It broke my heart to leave him there. I drove home in tears and had a lonely weekend without him. Throughout the rest of the weekend I would talk to him and he didn't answer and I'd realize all over again he wasn't there. I got up this morning as usual to let him out and it all hit me again. I miss him tremendously and I am so sorry I could not afford the healthcare he needed.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Have you ever bought something you will never wear or use? I don't mean have you bought something and then never worn it or used it. I mean when you were buying it you were thinking I don't think I will actually wear this but I want to wear it and so you buy it in the hopes that maybe you will. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has done this. Oh well, whatever. I did it.

I went shopping with a girlfriend for clothes. Let me start by stating that I don't normally do this. I hate clothes shopping because I am overweight and I get very frustrated which only makes me want to go home and do something I am good at - eating. You see the problem here.

So, GF and I went shopping because she has lost a ton of weight and needed new clothes desperately. I went for moral support I guess, I'm not sure. Anyway, she did very well buying some nice things that all fit her fabulously.

I started rummaging through the sale rack to see what I see. I had no intention of buying anything when I walked in with her but you never know what kind of a deal you can find if you don't look. Then I started thinking I do have my son's graduation coming up, I could get something for that. Actually, I should get something for that otherwise I am in danger of wearing the same thing I wore to the last graduation. I pulled out a few blouses (4) and went to try them on. No deal. One was too tight, constricting the girls, another too tight in the arms, and the others were just too clingy and showed way too many bulges. I went back out and kept looking. I tried on 3 more. Nothing. Then I was going through the rack with GF and the fabulous salesgirl that was helping us. No, I am NOT being sarcastic. She was totally awesome. She searched and found and suggested and explained and brought and took all kinds of things. She was great. I pull out a few more tops and GF finds this pink one. It's my size. It's even my style but it's really pink. I'm not talking pastel baby pink. I am talking they can probably locate me from the Space Station if I stand outside bright pink. I tried it on. It fit. Nice. I looked at myself in the mirror from all angles. I wasn't sure about it. GF saw it. She liked it on me said it was a beautiful blouse. It is but I don't know. I hold on to it and go look around again. I find another one that's sheer and gray tones. I try it on. It doesn't go down past my hips and has a belt which I won't wear and if I pull it up I can flip it so that the bottom pillows over and it doesn't look like a straight blouse anymore. It works.

Now I am walking around with these 2 blouses. One that fits if I wear it this way and the other one that is bright bright pink. Let it be known that once upon a time I wore all kinds of colors everyday to anywhere but that was before not now.

I bought both blouses. I hung the gray one up in the closet because I think that's the one I will wear fro graduation. Maybe. The pink one is hanging on the knob of my armoire. So I can see it and get used to it. When I look at it I can hear it saying, I am totally you - please wear me. But I don't know. Maybe I'll let it hang there like an art piece. A new decoration for my room. It's really bright and cheery.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

5 weeks!

I just finished telling you that April was nice and easy. I get home last night and do the required home things, the cooking and the picking up and sit to quietly make the birthday cards. I don't actually make the birthday cards because I get sidetracked with sorting and organizing scrap stuff that has been purchased and ordered and received and generally not put away. As I am calmly doing that my mind wanders to the multitude of projects I have going. That's when it hits me. 17 is graduating VERY soon. I stop everything and go look at a calendar. I have only 5 weekends and 2 SIS nights to do whatever I am going to do for this child's graduation. OMG! How did this get here so fast?

Much planning, much organizing needs to get done here and fast.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Here we go it's April. Tonight I will make the birthday cards for the month and pull out the supplies for the gift making for this month. There isn't took much going on this month other than getting ready for May really. Actually what I will be doing the most of is picking people up and dropping them off at airports and seaports. It seems everyone is coming and going. I have already taken hubby to the airport today. On Saturday I pick up SIL and family from the seaport. Then I will hopefully be picking up hubby from the airport and the following week MIL from the airport.

Easter didn't require any making of anything because all of the small ones were away on vacations. The youngest child at the small family gathering was 17. And although some coaxed and teased to go hide in another room while we hid eggs, he didn't budge. There was no hunt this Easter. It was still nice.

Hubby who was here for the weekend headed back to NY for another 10 days. At least that's the plan but we already know that's a moving target so we will have to wait and see. I did send him back with a Thank You card for the folks at the deli he eats at (with the exception of his birthday) for indulging me with his birthday cupcakes.

May will be a busy month as 17 is graduating. There will be awards ceremonies, graduation mass, and the big day itself, and the party that we must have to celebrate the milestone. To that end I have to finish up his scrapbook. So, I will be doing lots of that in the days to come. I really want to get it all done. So, I will be organizing those things this evening as well.

I see an evening of planning and scheduling to make sure its all done it time.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

...No luck at all

My mother had a saying, "If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." There is much evidence in my life stories supporting the notion I inherited this trait. Here's one. Enjoy!

I love celebrations. I love parties. I love a good time. Anything can become something to celebrate. So, obviously, birthdays are well worth celebrating in my book. It doesn't matter the #, they are all occasions to be marked as fait acompli! we made it another year! hooray!

I married Mr. Opposite of me (in many ways) especially in the celebrate birthdays arena. He does NOT like celebrating his birthday because he does NOT like the idea of getting old. Even more so than most people. Whatever. I was not happy with the idea that he would be by himself on his birthday with no one in NY to make a fuss for his birthday. The fact that he was probably thrilled with this prospect was of no interest to me.

I set out on a mission to have a favorite dessert secretly delivered to him. After running into difficulties at the hotel getting assistance in this endeavor I resorted to Plan B. The entire time during his stay there he has repeatedly told me of a deli he had lunch at daily. Hubby is nothing if not consistent. Over various conversations, I gleaned that it's across the street from their job site, he went every day with his co-worker who always got the soup of the day, the waitresses already knew them by name and one of them was named Anne. So, how many deli's could there be in this small town where they were working? I googled it and came up with 4 in the general vicinity of where the site was. I wasn't taking him literally when he said across the street (I should have) and I started calling until on the 3rd call I found the one with a waitress named Anne. She got on the phone and we were able to confirm the 2 men did go there every day and which one hubby was. I tell her his birthday is coming up and I wanted to do something special. She put me on with the owner. He didn't know quite what we could get for him because according to the owner hubby doesn't eat much (understatement of the year- if you look up picky eater in the dictionary, its a picture of him). We got a laugh when from Miami I was able to tell him the main meals that he orders over and over, I even got the condiments and the sides right. So, back to dessert. We settled on 4 over sized red velvet cake cupcakes that were also the owners favorites and he assured me they were aMAYZing. I tell him if they want to take a picture, sing him Happy Birthday whatever, they want to embarrass him a little. He assures me that " (they'll) do him good." Perfect.
I tell a few people about it here and of course there were the naysayers predicting he wouldn't eat there that day. Naysayer #1 being our son, 17. Whatever.
I try to get a hold of the co-worker but as I don't have his # because everyone just uses cell phones. The other drawback was I only knew his 1st name, no last name. So I start with the hotel. I called his room on 3 separate occasions, he wasn't there. I call the work office in the city he's originally from and actually make it as far as the division he works in. I tried to get to a secretary or close co-worker to get his cell # but had to leave a message which probably never got delivered and I never got a call back.
So, Bday get here. It's 12:45. I know he goes to lunch 12ish (consistent, remember) so I figure he'll get the cupcakes soon. I call to wish him a happy birthday and he tells me he just got back from lunch. I tell him I was glad I didn't interrupt work and wait...nothing. I think, SOB! he didn't eat there. So, I ask and he tells me all about going to ANOTHER deli that we had gone to when we were up there last year. I started laughing. So, you didn't go across the street. And he actually boasts - in the 2 months I've been here this is only the 3rd time I've been someplace else. I'm still laughing.
Me: Great, babe. Now I need you to go across the street and have dessert.
Him: Huh?
Me: You heard me, go across the street. Thank Anne and Ronnie and have dessert.
Him: What did you do?
Me: Never you mind. Just go.
Him: By myself?
Me: No, take whoever you had lunch with
Him: Ok, - hey co-worker, don't sit down!- I'll call you back.

MIL calls me and asks how the surprise went. I tell her the story and she starts laughing hysterically. So, did he go? He's there now I tell her.

He calls me back. The cupcakes were AMAZING!
At least there's that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hours, days, weeks...

I can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since I have posted. It seems that hour we lost while springing forward was the hour I used for blogging. I have been so busy.

20 was here for Spring Break. He is still the family Tazmanian devil. Remember, Taz, the cartoon? The whirling ball of energy. That's what the week is like when he's here. Lot's of goings and doings, it's all good. It's just lots.

A number of birthdays have gone by hubby's, BILs, and some young cousins turned 13 and 18. We all laughed when 20 said HE was getting old when told a cousin had just turned 13. He was quite shocked because in his words "she's the little girl of the family" and now she's a teenager.

I have been scrapping, and cooking, and still watching lots of movies some old and some new, and even reading again mostly magazines but at least I'm reading again.

I have been working on an expresso flan which is not coming out the way I want it to but I will keep working on it and let you know as soon as it's successful. I will get it right someday.

Today its gray and rainy outside but we had some good weather last week and over the weekend so the boys where able to enjoy the beach with their friends and BIL was able to go on his birthday boating expedition; an annual event.

I have one question to pose: Why is it that no matter how much cash I take out for the weekend it always seems to be exactly how much the boys need? If I take out only $20 then only one asks for cash. This weekend I took out $60, 17 asked for $20 for gas, then later $20 for parking at the beach and lunch, then 20 asked for $20 to be able to eat a little something at the airport. So again I end up with a Monday morning empty wallet. I tell you it doesn't matter how much I take out they seem to know and need just that much. Amazing....

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

TIME; where does it go?

Am I the only one who was oblivious to the fact that we are springing forward this weekend? i just read about it over at Second Effort. Why!? oh why? I hate the time changes. Hate. Hate. Hate. I always need more time never less time. Even when they give us the extra hour in the fall its really not enough is it?

I have some appointments tomorrow and so I decided to take the day off and see if I could squeeze in an errand to get it off the weekend list of things to do. I have no idea how necessary that was going to be in order to accomplish what I want. Now, I have to really organize my day tomorrow to try and get things done.

I'm feeling a little Mad Hatterish right now like I'm late for a very important date...and they haven't even taken the hour yet....

Monday, March 08, 2010

Movie weekend

Did you watch the Oscar's? I did. I actually popped open a bottle of bubbly (leftover from New Year's Eve) and watched the whole darn thing. Did you have any favorite dresses? Here are mine:

There were many others that looked pretty and all but those three were my absolute favorites. I also liked Kate Winslet and I thought Meryl Streep looked great as did Kathryn Bigelow.
I did not like Jennifer Lopez' dress at all and from what I have read it seems to have been all the rage but not for me. I also thought Zoe Saldana's dress with all those purple feathery ruffles on the bottom was just too much. I will giver her an A for being bold and daring but I didn't like it.
The show overall was very underwhelming not very entertaining at all. I did like the dance performance to the mix of nominated songs. I also thought it was really cool seeing the 'Brat Pack' come out together to present.
The rest was ho humm....I don't think there were any real surprises in who got what at least I wasn't surprised.
Meanwhile over the weeekend I saw Doctor Zhivago (again). It is still wonderful. I had forgotten pieces of it so I am glad I saw it again. I also saw Giant and The Philadelphia Story and Rebel Without A Cause. They were all great. I had no idea that Dennis Hopper was in Rebel Without a Cause. It's fun seeing the old movies and finding popular actors in their beginnings in Hollywood. The only one that was a repeat for me was Zhivago and it totally sucked me in again. Marvelous. Movies back then were bigger. I mean the places were characters in the movie jsut as Texas is a character in Giant. Movies just aren't made like that any more.
I also saw Julie & Julia. It was a cute movie. I liked it because I like Julia Child. Streep totally made the movie worth watching. She was Julia. I don't mean that she impersonated her I mean she WAS Julia. Hook, line and sinker.
So overall, it was a big movie weekend for me.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The System

Last Saturday when I made the truffles and the Marmalade Cake and went out to the family gathering to celebrate a birthday, I didn't do the dishes. Sunday morning I got up and made breakfast and then vegged a bit and watched a movie still not doing the dishes.
I was going to do them but Saturday I was busy and then tired and Sunday morning I wanted to be a bit lazy.
I started doing other things and one thing lead to another and well here comes dinner and I still haven't done the dishes. They were piling up. It's not like I have to do them all by hand or anything although there are quite a few things that are not dishwasher safe but the dishwasher was full and so that meant I had to empty that first. Well, you can see that this is leading to a very full kitchen sink.
I have a double sink and frankly both were full. Shameful I know but this isn't an everyday happening it was a one weekend happening. I am sure (read: I truly hope) it has happened to you. I feel obliged at this point to make note that I don't do all the dishes on a regular basis. I cook and hubby does the dishes. That's the deal. Well, as you know hubby isn't here and so I am cooking AND doing dishes. Have I mentioned I don't like doing the dishes. Not that I imagine anyone actually looks forward to doing the dishes but I really don't like doing the dishes. It may have something to do with all the tables I bused and dishes I washed in Freshman year as detention in boarding school but that's another story.
Back to the story, by Monday afternoon when 17 and I got home he actually commented, if dad were here he'd have a heart attack looking at that sink. He's got a system. That's his new nickname - the system. He's got a system for everything, he's always got to follow his system otherwise things go bonkers. The System.
I tried to explain to my loving son that there is something to say for spontaneity and creativity. That everything doesn't have to have a system to get done. Of course this was while I was doing the dishes so I am not sure the point came across very well. Regardless, the dishes got done (that night) and more meals have been made and their dishes have been done and frankly I find it all a bit boring. I like just creating the meal and walking away. It was much more satisfying.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Mean winds

I have to go to the bank. If I want to get there quickly I should probably leave the car and just let the wind carry me over there. We are under a wind advisory until late tonight. I swear if you just listen it sounds like a hurricane is coming in.

All you hear is the wind. No birds. It's kinds spooky. I can't even hear the cars just the wind. Blowing. Howling. Hurling around the corner of the office building.

I realize other parts of the country have had their weather issues of late but I can tell you that it has been an uncharacteristically long winter here. I can't remember ever going this long with the air conditioner off. I haven't had it on at home for over a month! And there have been plenty of night were 17 and I are bundling up because the house is chilly. I insist its not chilly enough for the heater. I live in SoFL people, let's be real.

Most days it has been ok but today the wind is truly severe. Stay safe everyone and be warm, where ever you are.

I think I will make soup tonight. It's just that kind of day.

Monday, March 01, 2010

I did some new baking this weekend. I made truffles with brandy. It was my first time. I coated them 3 different ways some with cocoa powder, others with crushed pistachios, and others with crushed pretzels. I chose pretzels because the person I was giving them to likes the sweet and salty combo.

The truffles were a bit involved. It's not that its technically hard to make it was just a lot of steps and working with chocolate and melting it and getting it to the right temp was a bit daunting. But know that I've done it. I have some ideas to make it easier and I will take on the task again. I already bought more chocolate.

I have 6 of each kind to hubby's aunt as her birthday present. I told her to be honest with me later and tell me which ones she liked, if any, because they were an experiment. I didn't tell her I had tried one and didn't like it.

I had some leftover and so I took them to a girls game night where I volunteered to take dessert because I wanted to make a Marmalade Cake I saw here:

The truffles were sampled there and enjoyed and I tried one again and it was good. I guess the brandy and chocolate needed to mellow. Now, I know.

The cake intrigued me the day I read about it and I had been wanting to make it and my girlfriends were the perfect guinea pigs. I really liked the way it came out. It was very simple looking but full of flavor. I totally see why she called it a marmalade cake not an olive oil cake. The olive oil is not a predominate flavor. The citrus and almonds totally steal the show.

I have one more birthday to plan for this month, hubby's, then I will start planning on the April ones which I already have some ideas for one of which requires setting up the sewing machine again. So, here we go.

Oh, I almost forgot I used my homemade vanilla in the recipes this weekend. I think it worked well. I am going to give some to a girlfriend who bakes a bit to have her try it and see what she thinks.

Other happenings:

* 17 went to a school retreat for 3 days. I have never done anything like that and I know he's been dealing with some issues that he doesn't want to talk to mom about and I was thrilled and grateful when he came home Friday raving about what a wonderful experience it was for him. He says it truly brought him closer to the classmates and teachers that were there and to God. He felt very good about things and I am so happy for him.

*20 had an accident in the weight room while he was bench pressing. The bar slipped from his hand and +200lbs fell on his chest. Miraculously, he's fine. He didn't even crack a rib. The Dr. didn't believe it when he saw the x-rays and so he ordered a scan and both came out clean. He's in pain because he has severe bruising but nothing broken. Thank goodness!

* My dog isn't doing very well. I see him more lethargic than normal and he has these growths that I won't go into detail here but they are gross to deal with and are giving off a bad odor. I think it may be time to say good-bye. I need to talk to the rest of the family about this.

* I have been watching more old movies and still have many recorded to watch. I saw 42nd Street, Broadway Melody and Golddiggers of 1935 and a documentary about Zora Neale Hurston as well as some cooking shows. I'm enjoying the old movies, surprised I know so many of the songs from the musicals but I guess I just didn't know what movies they came from.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Earworms - tag you're it.

I hadn't realized it has been a week since I last posted. Time sure does fly. I have been busy (not) watching movies and more movies and some documentaries.

Some cable channels have been showing old award winning movies in homage to the big award ceremony coming up and I have recorded as many as I can and have been watching them all. I have also seen some documentaries on PBS that have been outstanding.

Why have I had so much time to watch all this well its because hubby is away and therefore I get to play with the TV remote. We share some viewing taste but then his veers off in the sports direction and mine doesn't.

Because of this I saw a documentary about Sam Cooke and for days now I have been humming and singing his songs. You know the lines: CUUU PID drAW bAAck your bOW oo straight to my lovers heart FOR MEeeee. and his other classic: Darlin' youuuuuu send me,I know youuuuu send me, honest you do, truly you do.

So, close your eyes (after you read this) and imagine being in an elevator with 6 strangers. They are all women of assorted ages. One is on the phone, one searching for keys in her bag, another sipping a bottle of water and the others just waiting for the doors to open. I was in the back flipping through a magazine and all of a sudden I hear some of these women sing: 'at first I thought it was infatuation but ooo, it's lasted so loOOng. Now I find myself wanting to marry you and take you home' I smiled and we all sang "Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Youuuuuu send me...." and laughed! How funny is that? Have you ever passed along an earworm? As we got off the elevator laughing the youngest of the bunch asked what that was and another lady told her Sam Cooke, sweetie. Google him. Download him. It is good stuff.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mon - I mean Happy Tuesday

I know it's Tuesday. Well, my brain knows it's Tuesday but my body feels and is acting like it's Monday. It's dragging. And I worked yesterday so there is really no excuse for it. I shouldn't be dragging at all. I should be gearing up for mid-week.

It's not as if yesterday (the real Monday) was particularly stressful. It wasn't. It was perfectly normal and productive at work. Probably because we were one of only a handful of offices working. I stayed in bed an extra 5 whole minutes because I figured there wouldn't be any traffic. Indeed there was no traffic and I got to work 10 minutes early. I got a prime parking spot. Coffee was ready when I got here. I was even surprised with a piece of King Cake on my desk to enjoy with my morning cup. My dad called and was in the neighborhood so he picked me up for lunch which was lovely. I got home (again no traffic) in no time at all to no surprises and dinner with 17 was very nice. You see. Perfectly normal and nice. Hmmm...maybe that's the problem. Monday didn't act like Monday.

This morning I woke up startled. I don't know why the alarm hadn't even rung yet. I checked the time and notice that I was out of breath. I focus and take a deep breath and I think 17 overslept! Why did I think that - I don't know. So I text him as I walk to him room down the hall. Does any of this make sense? You let me know because I don't understand. He's not in his room -quick intake of breath- I hit send on the text 'RU@ school' I get a 'yea?' back and just respond 'K'. I am still standing in the hallway and I'm short of breath. I slowly go back to my room taking slow deliberate breaths and start the morning routine. I dress and get to the kitchen and decide I should have tea to relax me not coffee. I still feel off kilter. I let the dog out and turn on the TV and take my bowl of cereal and cup of tea to the table.

I get to work and everything seems fine but I still feel a bit off somehow. The phone rings, its about 9:30. I answer 'Good afternoon'. The caller laughs and tells me I'm jumping the gun a bit. HAHAHA. I transfer the call and realize I didn't take anything out for dinner and I left my lunch in the car. I get my lunch which was weekend leftovers and see Mr. Brown - you know the delivery guy- I sign for the package so he doesn't have to go up and he tells me I don't look too good and asks if I'm OK. I tell him it feels like Monday. He tells me that 2 Mondays is not good to go get some more coffee. In the ladies room I look at myself and think who's that in the mirror? I am very pale and my hair is the definition of bad hair day. What is my problem!?

To be honest the day hasn't gotten much better. I have been struggling with a thing for a client most of the day. I've got the beginnings of a headache and did I tell you I forgot to defrost something for dinner. I guess we'll have mac n cheese. And I can't even tell you how hard it has been to type this entry. My fingers are hitting the keys they want in stead of the keys that are needed to form proper words and coherent writing. I think I am going to stop now. I think when I get home I should just crawl into bed and let it all be over.
Two Mondays are not a good thing!

Note added: OMG the spell check found 15 errors! on top of all the ones I corrected along the way! Bad day. Bad bad day.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Hairy issues

I went and did something crazy. I got my hair cut. I know this is a normal regularly scheduled event for most people but I really avoid them because I am clueless when it comes to hairstyles and hair styling.

My hair style has always been 'wash and wear'. Don't get me wrong, I know how to blow dry my hair and I know how to put all those big stiff rollers and even those soft foamy rollers on and I even know how to use a curling iron. I just don't like spending all that time on my hair which is why most of my adult life post children anyway has been lived with either a barrette or a hair clip on because the other thing I don't like is my hair in my face. I can sit have someone else do it but I haven't found anyone willing to donate their time and come to my house every morning to style my hair before I go out into the world. My poor mother is turning over in her grave, I just know it.

She tried. She really did. I just think I was a hopeless case. I think it all started with the extraordinary amount of time taken to get the knots out of my long straight hair as a kid. Remember, that spray No More Tears? If we would have bought stock I'd probably be rich right now but my mother would sit there and comb it out and it took forever! At one point in my life my hair reached the bottom of my back. We only used to trim the tips 'to keep it healthy and help it grow strong'. My hair was straight as a board. Then came the big hair. Oh, for the love of Pete, my mother would wrap the rollers so tight my skull hurt and I would sit under that dryer forever! Boy was I happy when we invested in the portable one and I could at least walk around with it. I will give credit where credit is due and say that my mom could style hair! I was a brunette Farrah when she was done. The problem was and this is no lie within 20 minutes 30 if you were lucky my hair would be straight as a board again. She tried EVERYTHING. We went to umpteen salons, there was more product purchased to try to un-straighten my hair than you can imagine. I was even given a wave treatment that was supposed to last months and only lasted a few weeks. She would do all the same things to her hair and it would work perfectly but not me. Obviously, I didn't get her hair just her hips.

Then I had children. Now my hair has all kinds of movement and motion. I would need to iron it or undergo that ionic straightening treatment to flatten it out but that seems like it would be all wrong. Like maybe my mother would come haunt me for straightening it or something.
So anyway, I don't know how to handle this hair. I am clueless in managing it. So, I usually just let it grow out and pin or clip it back away from my face. Every so often I get the urge to chop it off and I do. I go with the best intentions. I look through all the books at all the cuts and styles and I don't find any that speak to me so invariably I tell the stylist to do what ever they want just not too short and not too funky. Obviously, I get something different every time. Imagine. Plus I am never really happy with it. Go figure. But whatever. It's just hair. It will grow out and I will pin it back again and have it chopped off again too. C'est la vie. Sorry mom.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

6 more

The ole groundhog say his shadow and so there will be six more weeks of winter. It really doesn't matter to me here in Miami because normally it just gets cool enough to be able to turn off the A/C but my baby, 20 is in upstate NY as you know and he will be cold for real. Pobrecito!

Plus, hubby just found out he's going on a project for 3 to 4 weeks also in NY. NY is a big state. The project could be anywhere and he is going to be about a mile away from 20! Can you believe it? What are the odds of that? I think its pretty wild.

I am going to have to do some quick cooking this weekend to send a care package with hubby for 20. Plus I am making jambalaya for the big football game on Sunday AND its my nephews birthday on Sunday and I will be scrapping all day on Saturday. OMG I am already tired from the weekend and its not here yet. I need to organize my grocery list tonight to make sure I have everything because all the cooking will be on Friday and Saturday night.

Today is also the birthday of 17s godmother. I'm going by after work to deliver her gift which is a framed senior picture of her godson and a handmade card.

During lunch I am going book shopping for the nephew who is crazed about WWII planes. I'm thinking that shouldn't be to hard to find books on. I am hoping for something about the Tuskegee (sp?) airmen. We shall see. Those are the first two birthdays of the month. This weekend I will make cards for Valentines Day and the birthdays that are later in the month. So far I am on schedule with my gift making.

Lots to do but its all good....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vanilla excitement

I am so very very excited. I ordered vanilla beans online. I have been reading reviews for a sundry of places to order from and finally picked one and placed my first order today. I am starting small I only ordered 10 beans but I'm still excited.

Why am I so excited about getting vanilla beans? Well, I'll tell you because I am going to make vanilla extract. From everything I have read it is super simple and one of those things that I have read once you do it you can't go back to store bought extract. We shall see. I hope so because if this succeeds then I will also be gifting homemade extract in the near future. How cool is that? Well, I'm excited and if your not and you see me live and in person then you may want to make a comment or two in that vein because you made well be a recipient of said extract.

I can't wait to get it and I can't wait to make it and I can't wait to try it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mailing lists

I get most of my news from online sources and with regularity sign up for newsletters from different sites. Because of that I receive precisely a bajillion emails daily from an assortment of sources and depending on my mood I read or delete them.

I could be used by someone geeky enough in a scientific study to track the selling of mailing lists. You see I may not know every newsletter I have signed up to receive but I do know which ones I didn't sign up to receive and the one from the major group representing retired people is one of the ones I did NOT sign up for and yet I am getting them with alarming frequency.

I have no phobias about getting older. I realize one should just be plain proud to get there. I do notice things around me all the time that make me think 'Boy, I am getting old' because the telltale signs are everywhere. Children who's birth you witnessed are in high school, driving and some are even in college. I even overheard one of these kids say 'in my day...' What do you mean in my day? This is your day bub! All of these things make me realize the actual number of my age but more telling than that is receiving these newsletters from this group. I mean do they think I am their target market? I'm +10 years away from their membership age. They need to back off. I already opted out and they sent me two TWO Are you sure you want out emails. Yes, I am sure. I am NOT ready for your services yet. Thank. you. very.much.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tea house

Growing up my house was a coffee house. Tea was only had when you went to a Chinese restaurant or you were sick. We drank coffee at all hours and you could always choose between American coffee brewed or instant or Cuban coffee as a shot or with warm milk making it a cafe con leche.

Since then I have had and enjoyed many teas even when healthy both at restaurants and at home but by and large I am still a coffee drinker. I have to be in the mood for tea or sick.

This weekend I was sick specifically my stomach was rebelling against me and my list of things to do. In an effort to remedy this I decided that tea must be had so I sent hubby out to buy Manzanilla. I sent him to a local American grocery store and told him he had to look for a Latin brand that said Manzanilla on it because although the knowledge is in my brain I couldn't find it while I was in the bathroom Saturday morning and didn't have the inclination to google it or call anyone for a translation at that moment. This was not a problem because we live in Miami and sometimes its easier to find something in Spanish than English anyway. He came home with a box of Chamomile with Anise tea. Perfect. This would surely cure what ails me. Over the weekend I had absolutely no coffee. I had six cups of tea over 2 days and it did sooth and calm my tummy. Today I am much better. I did have another cup of tea for breakfast instead of coffee but I think tomorrow I go back to coffee because indeed the tea has done what it needed to do and healed me. Thank goodness!

Friday, January 22, 2010


So did you hear the one about the dad who gave the boys directions to their buddy's house that took them in the opposite direction and made them loop de loop around about 10 miles? Well, that's another story but suffice it to say that if they hadn't done all that driving around the car would have made it all the way home and not died on the way back.

The boys decided to stop and pick up their dinner on the way home which worked out well for the parents who were ordering Chinese. As they sat around chatting and finishing their Honey Chicken the phone rings. If you are a parent of a driving age child you understand that means stop what you are doing until you know the call is meaningless. When you hear 'Where are you?' and 'I'll be right there.' you want to scream at the parent on the phone WTF HAPPENED WHY ARE YOU TELEPATHICALLY TELLING ME AND INSTANTANEOUSLY RESOLVING IT AT THE SAME TIME but you remain calm (read: stuck to your chair) and wait for the end of the call to quickly ask what happened. You are calmly told that the car died on the way home not too far away and that it won't start. Of course, you have more questions and want to jump in the car to their rescue your lack of mechanical knowledge notwithstanding and yet you let the men go with jumper cables in hand to fetch the car and boys because honestly how many people does it take to jump a car. This should be relatively simple and straightforward.

While they are gone the moms exchange their questions and thoughts on what may or may not have happened and may happen and decide to pick up the dinner things silently (because to say it out loud would be inviting disaster) agreeing that they need to be ready for whatever may come. So they pick up, they clean up and they sit and they chat about the day sprinkling the conversation with do you think the started the car and neither one answering or suggesting they call to check on things.

We hear car doors and men's voices and they all 4 walk through the front door the children still eating the remnants of their dinner. They need to call the car service (you know the one, first letter of the alphabet 3 times) because they left the car in the parking lot of a nearby strip shopping center. The women don't grasp all of the details because they are being told out of order but we garner that the car was moved to this new location and now it can't stay there overnight (obviously). The women need to get up and go resolve this now and the men need to relax and watch more football for a bit. More questions get asked and a new plan is hatched to save time and $. Instead of getting it towed home to then tow it again to a shop tomorrow lets get it here tonight ourselves and then tow it tomorrow. Honestly, at that point I was still unclear as to why the car didn't make it all the way when they went out but I didn't push the issue. It is what it is and now we need to deal with it.

(Picture light bulb now) Hubby remembers that he has a rope that can be used to pull the car and as he goes to find it I come to understand that hubby had to push the car with the truck to get it to where it was. I'm still confused but whatever. Now to get it out of the parking lot and to my house the women are clear that a left turn needs to be made on a busy street and are concerned that oncoming traffic may not realize that the car is being pulled and well it wouldn't' be a happy ending. So, it is decided that we will go with them to help. Hubby starts joking, "How many Cubans does it take to push a car?" As I am getting my purse, I am yelling back we are pulling not pushing. I'm thinking maybe that's why the car isn't here they don't know if they are pushing or pulling. (See title for answer)

Here's the plan: Hubby in the truck will be in front pulling the car being driven by other dad. I will drive our car behind the car with my flashers on because the car's flashers probably don't work as the battery is dead. Other mom will have flashlights and stand in the road waving them a la landing an airplane so that oncoming traffic will see the left turning caravan and stop. The children will be in the car with me and are going merely for the educational value of the experience.

Once we get to the parking lot it takes a while to get the car hooked up but it is done. As we begin to execute our plan another flashlight is added so other mom now has two and the boys are concerned about how she's going to get into my car and change their seating so she can get in the back seat without having to walk around the car. They also suggest everyone roll down their windows so we can hear each other yelling. You see how much they are learning.

We wait for the light to change, other mom is flashing the lights in the road, hubby slowly pulls the car up, out and left as I go slowly behind explaining to the boys that enough room needs to be between us so that if the rope snaps there are no injuries. Other mom hops in the back seat and we get through the intersection and home with no more surprises. As we are undoing all the ropes and parking cars and trucks, they can't get the keys out of the cars ignition because its not in park. It's in neutral and since it has no battery they can't change gears. So, after the men had washed up they are told they have to move the truck and jump the car again to get the keys out. Oh for the love of ^&%^*$. Whatever, it's done and we all sit and have some soda and let the men watch the end of their game. The teens joke that something stronger is needed that a soda and I tell them to sit an d put their feet up for a few years and wait for that one.

We chalk it up to a learning experience and give the boys some tips for future reference because these things will happen and the next day the car is towed to the shop for a new alternator and battery. It could have been worse but nevertheless gimme patience. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dots of Doing and Liking

In an effort to keep tabs on my progress with this year's theme of "Do what I like. Like what I do." I think I am going to start a weekly or so entry of a list of Dots to document the abundance of action that will abound this year. Work with me people. Here's the first list:

* I agreed to a Scrap club with some girlfriends. I'm not sure how this will work other than its once a month but I like the friends, I like scrapping and have lots to scrap so it sounds perfect. I have no idea how I am going to schlep all the stuff that I use when scrapping but I am sure that the logistics and details will sort themselves out.

* I took a nap. I realize that this sounds contradictory. I am celebrating the doing of nothing well not nothing but sleeping. What needs to be understood here is twofold. First, I rarely sleep completely and soundly through the entire night. Second, the only time I ever sleep during daylight hours is if I am sick and I am talking really sick. So, I stopped everything (paused really) and took a nap on a Sunday afternoon for a whole 35 minutes! That my friends is (in)action at its best for me.

* I made yummy side dishes for me this week that only I enjoy and let the men stick with the boring stuff I have been making for years. I made wild rice to have with chicken and roasted veggies. I made a lovely mixed greens salad with a lively lemon based dressing and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top. I made a pasta salad using whole wheat rotini and marinated artichoke hearts to take to lunch for work that was delish!

* I found my pretty stationary that I haven't used in years. I am planning on writing some letters to some family that I have lost touch with.

* I WENT to scrap club which from now on will be known as S.I.S. and had a blast. I got THREE pages done. I am so happy. I already learned some things that I must take with me next time. I also got lots of inspiration seeing the pages the others were doing.

* I tried a fruitcake and survived. Not only did I survive it was tasty. The thing is I hate fruitcake but this one was touted as the best ever and ya know what it was good. I could eat this without having to pretend to like it because it was good. I want the recipe and will gift it next holiday season.

* Had coffee with some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. It was great catching up in person because even though we email in person is great.

* I chatted with 17. Just the 2 of us caught up on an assortment of things and it was nice. He told me about the trials of prom preparations that SAC is going through and we laughed at some of their ideas and problems. It was very nice sharing time.

* I may not have liked the cold blast we got but I certainly liked curling up under the comforter straight out of the dryer. It was a stroke of genius if I do say so myself!

Here's to Doing what I like and liking what I do!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thawing and other -ings

We are warming up into the 40's and 50's and it should be back in the 80's by the weekend with some rain. I am quite satisfied. South Florida weather is back on track!

I really should have taken pictures of the frost on the car windows and us seeing our breath INdoors and us all bundled up of the sofas. It would have made for a great scrapbook page. But alas, hindsight with a warm functioning brain is 20-20.

I have been filling my calendar with things to do and yet not doing them. There are many activities and events in my local area that I want to attend and I have never been able to for a variety of reasons in the past and realized it once the event is over. So, the new strategy this year is to actually put the items on my calendar so that I know ahead of time and attend. For some reason it's still not working. I haven't gone to the book reading or the farmer's market or the art exhibit that I wanted to go too. I need to do something now to actually go to the things I calendar but I don't know what. There is another exhibit in FTL that I think is still in town. I need to check. There's also a festival this weekend in South Beach that I think would be nice. Unfortunately, there are also things like laundry and groceries that keep getting in the way. I truly need to work on this.

The other thing I need to focus on is the gift making for February birthdays. They will be here in a minute and I haven't started! So, let me calendar planning time for Friday and hopefully I will stick to it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Depp freeze

It has been so cold that I think the part of the brain the Mother Nature used to keep South Florida warm is frozen solid and not working. There were even reports of snow flurries blocks from my house. WTH!?!

Hey! Mother Nature! Yoo Hoo! Remember us? We are in SOUTH FLORIDA where it should be hot and humid. Thank. you. very. much.

Added later: Note that I was soooo cold I couldn't even spell Deep in the title LOL! I'm leaving it for effect. LOL!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Imagine 75

Today Elvis would have been 75 years old. I cannot even imagine what he would be doing in the world today so many things have changed. Would we be following Elvis on Twitter?

He was one of my moms heartthrobs as a teen and therefore we listened to a lot of his music growing up. My brother would play air guitar on his plastic baseball bat with a towel tied around his neck as a cape and I would sing back. We knew ALL the words. We even used to "perform" for family and friends when my parents had dinner parties before we had to go to bed. We always thought we were the highlight of their parties and could only imagine they were bored to tears after we left. Oh my, those were the days. LOL!

Have you ever had one of his famed fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches? I haven't. Hmm... maybe I will this weekend.

Happy Birthday to the King of Rock! I imagine there's quite a party where he is right now and mom is sure to be front and center dancing along.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I am going though and updating my calendar which is now on my phone. I have spent time entering birthdays, anniversaries, and upcoming events. I'm getting all organized and know what's coming up when and now all I have to do is refer to the calendar and make plans accordingly. It sounds simple enough but I forget to do that sometimes. If my gift giving plan has any chance of working I need to make sure I refer to it and plan, plan, plan!

I was happy to see that there is only one anniversary in January and well I think they are going to get a phone call and a card because its just way too soon. The other thing that occurred to me was maybe having them over for dinner on the weekend. That would be nice. I gotta check to see if we are all available this weekend.

I do need to look ahead to next month. As far as I know I have two birthdays. I need to start thinking about what I am going to make them. Hmmm...I think I have some good pictures of one person with different family members. I could do some sort of collage or something and frame it. That's what I will do tonight is look for pictures. Right now I am clueless for the other person. This is going to be hard.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Little things

I know we aren't supposed to sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff. We are supposed to focus on the big picture yadda yadda. But I think its the little things that we have to savor and enjoy in life. It may not be a good day (big picture) but I am sure there's moment or two in there that can make us smile (little stuff). Little things help us get through some of the big stuff.

So, with that in mind I still didn't really come up with a verb for the new year. A friend is using the phrase 'Take a chance'. I like that but it feels to risky for me when I say it out loud so its not for me. Midnight came the toasting, sipping, hugging, kissing, water throwing, grape eating, lentil eating, luggage all happened and I only had "to do things I like". Sounds lame even when I said it out loud to myself later. Like it didn't have enough focus or purpose.

Then I get to work and see my coffee mug that was given to me by another friend a couple of years ago. It says "Do what you like. Like what you do." Now, doesn't that sound purposeful?! And it has two good verbs: Do and Like. I think this is it. I also think that I unknowingly started doing it already. This is so exciting. It feels right.

I already agreed to form a Scrapclub with some girlfriends. So, we come up with meeting once a month to scrap for a few hours. I can't wait to get that rolling because there is much to scrap.

I already went grocery shopping and bought a few items that I like even though my family doesn't. I got a pomegranate, wild rice, spring mix salad greens, and buttermilk. I know it was all healthy until the buttermilk. But I like making a big breakfast on the first of the year and I wanted Buttermilk pancakes, so I made them. I also prefer mixed salad greens to plain iceberg, I also and bored to tears with white rice. So, last night I made wild rice with our regularly scheduled Sunday chicken and brought the leftovers for lunch today.

See, all those things are little things nothing earth shattering there and yet they have brought some very bright spots to my day. So, I think this year's theme is: Do what I like and like what I do.

I am very pleased with my start. Oh yeah, I even took a nap yesterday! How cool is that!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gift giving

I know, I know we just got over the big gift giving season but I have already started thinking about gift giving for the coming year.

Here's what I am thinking. I want my gifts to be mostly handmade. Yes, I know I have been fighting with the sewing machine but they don't have to all be sewn. I can hand stitch without a problem, cook, paper craft and other crafting too. The trick here, I think, is to plan ahead because it will require time to make the gifts.

There will be exceptions. I can buy books; giving book is always good. Also, I can buy handmade items made by others, its still handmade just not from my hands. Also, I like giving tickets to things like events, shows and other outings. So, maybe its not a handmade thing but its not a big box store purchase. I think that's more the idea. I don't want to give someone another shirt unless I put a design on it myself. I guess the other exception will be my kids and other little kids. My kids invariably get clothes (and they need to keep updating the wardrobe) and little kids it may be more appropriate to give toys. Oh, this is sounding like it won't work. Well, it's an idea and I am going to try it out.

We'll see how far in the year I make it.