Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Toast to the End of Another Year....

When I raise my glass tonight, it won't be just for the ringing in of the New Year. It will also be a farewell to this one.
2005 was a very good year for was also a very difficult year.

Through it all, the positive outweighed the negatives - and I think I grew into a much wiser person on many levels as a result. For me, reflecting on 2005 will always be wonderful. Despite the emotional adversity, the beauty of what I had far outshone the tarnish of what I didn't have. And I finally stopped striving for the acceptance that I may never achieve from those whom I was seeking it from. And that's a good thing.

So this is my toast to 2005:
"You gave it to me straight - as any good friend should....and I thank you for that. Thank you for being a healthy and prosperous year for my beautiful family. Here's to 2006 - may it be as good of a friend as you were."

A wise man once said: Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. (Benjamin Franklin)

If you stop growing...if you stop believing....if you stop striving...then you have stopped living. Keep the faith and stay alive for a magical new year.
But hey - what do I know? I'm just a girl....but I'm lovin' every minute of it!

Friday, December 30, 2005

...In the days of auld lang syne...

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
I don't think so.

Each and every person we've crossed paths with in one way or another is for a reason. Sometimes we know why; sometimes we don't see it right away because maybe there was a lesson to be learned from it. But whether we look back upon these people and see immediately the reason for their involvement in our lives is irrelevant; without them we'd each be a different person than who we are at this very moment. And for that reason alone - no acquaintance should ever be forgotten.

Last year I had made a small, achievable list of resolutions. I kept 4 out of 6 of them. Not too bad... This year, my list is smaller - but still important - and I'm hoping to be successful at keeping them. There's always room for improvement, isn't there?

So here, without further adieu - are my New Year's Resolutions for 2006:

1. Don't be such a slacker about laundry!
2. Be more organized about everything - not just the things I'm interested in....
3. FINALLY get my real estate license (I've taken the class - just gotta get the damn thing!)
4. Get all of my clothes tailored that need to be tailored!!!!

I don't think that New Year's is the only time of year that we can reflect upon things which we can improve about ourselves - so this is an ever changing, evolving, living/breathing list. But they're the first things I'd like to tackle for the month of January anyway!

Here's to you all....wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2006!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas: The Aftermath....

All the buildup - and it's now over. Such a shame...

I had a wonderful Christmas - maybe one of the best to date. Not because Santa was good to me (which he was!!!!), but because it was the first holiday in about 5 years that my parents were both here to celebrate with us. And we had a great dinner - and a wonderful time with my cousins who came for dessert. It was just a really great, complete day - that actually lasted until the next day, as I had company until just about midnight.

My mom and dad have left my house and are now over my sisters; my mom is leaving to go back to Florida tomorrow night - and my Dad will be back at my house until Saturday morning....and then since we arent' having any babies any time soon, I truly don't know when I'll see them again. It's such a good feeling to have a house full of people laughing and enjoying each other's company, it makes me sad to think that it could be at least a year - if not longer - that it happens again.

I had promised Cheryl that I would post my menu and I was so busy that I wasn't able here is my Holiday Dinner Menu in Review. I modified it some since my initial plan, but it still was pretty, pretty good.

First Course: Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Stuffed Scallops, Stuffed Mushrooms and Scallops Wrapped in Bacon.
Second Course: Baked Ziti and Caesar Salad
Final Course: Spiral Ham, Prime Rib, Sausage Stuffed Italian Peppers, Roasted Potatoes & Eggplant, Candied Sweet Potatoes.
Dessert: Cookies, Cakes, Chocolates

I usually do a soup as my first course - and then my seafood as a second course - and usually a vegetable with the final one. But I just had so much, I opted to leave them out. Good thing too....

Hope you all were happy, healthy....and full on Christmas Day!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas...

To all of you - my blogging buddies...
This has been a very busy time of year for me this year - far busier than usual.
So I apologize for not visiting, or keeping my thoughts updated. But I will be back in full force after this weekend.

Wishing you all snowflakes on your tongue...jinglebells in the air...and something special from Santa under your tree.
Merry Merry!

Today's Boston Globe had a photo of our store in a feature about Beacon Hill!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Am I the only one feeling incredibly overwhelmed this holiday season?
It's like I don't have room to breathe.

It's not so much that I'm disorganized, it's that it seems that there isn't any time to do things before Christmas. But I will. I just need to take a deep breath, and move forward.

Having a few days off this week will help me catch up on what I'm behind with. for the good news!
I was kindly interviewed by none other than Dale aka Kodijack "Just Takes a Minute"!

He asked me some pretty interesting questions....
You can find my responses at his spot in the world.

Hope you all still like me afterwards! :)
He held back on nothing.............

How many days 'til Christmas??

Friday, December 16, 2005

The person you are calling can not be reached...

Because her cell was annihilated today.

My SUV was at the dealership for some work this week - and so I was using a loaner vehicle. In between the ice pelting down and the wild winds - I brought it back to the dealership since they needed it, and I of course - wanted my own back. On my way home, I stopped to do some holiday gift shopping - taking advantage of the time that I had since I'm so very late on buying this year.

By this point, it was downpouring and exceptionally windy. As I was running to the store entrance, my cell phone leaped out of my pocketbook (which clearly, was not closed all the way). I heard it fall, looked back - and there it was, glistening on the ground. Just taunting the oncoming car to hit it.

I had a split second, and either I was to be hit saving it - or I was going to let it fend for itself.
Clearly - I chose not to get hit. The sacrifice was beloved phone was destroyed.

Needless to say I spent 2 hours at Verizon trying to get a new one. Seems everyone was shopping today.
And so my shopping time was gone....Poof.

But I do love my new phone....
There's an upside to everything!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Holiday Soiree: A Pictoral Review!

Some visual footnotes to my previous post!
Here are some of us La Femme Nikitas:

Are they puppies? Are they fish? Birds?
They're Turtle Doves on Crack!
(personally, I love them!)

My reaction opening my gift.....
"Wow....Meet the Barones...No, I like it - really, I do...."

They slice, they dice...they swim, they fly...They're earrings!

I love, love, love my girlfriends.They're my friends, they're my family - and without them, life would be far less colorful.
PS: The cat in this picture was NOT the victim of the pussycat massage...but that's not to say that he may not be at some time in the near future!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Turtledoves on Crack & Pussycat Massages....

No, this was not a night of Girls Gone Wild....get your mind out of the gutter, boys!

It was more like a night of "Girls Behaving Badly", with all of the practical jokes that go on behind the scenes that we tend to play on each other. I has intended on including some funny pictures to go along with this post, but clearly - some people haven't shared their pictures just yet! (If you're reading this - you know who you are - hahahaha.)

First off, let me ask a question. Who buys "Funeral Pants"? Does one go to a store specifically on a mission to buy pants to wear only to funerals? And if so - can you not wear them anywear else - say, for dinner some night? That's one for a Seinfeld episode! Imagine the laughter that erupted when one of the girls was talking about how she bought a pair of funeral pants and ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT wear them anywhere else. Ever. Oh yeah, tell that to a bunch of drunk girls...or girls on their way to getting drunk!

Ever read the book "How to Massage a Cat"? If you haven't - it's a must read. Especially aloud, with a group of friends who have the same sick distorted sense of humor that you do. And keep in mind when reading it -- two of my friends ACTUALLY DID IT. Yup, after a few drinks one night - they grabbed one of my girlfriends unsuspecting cats and followed it step, by step.....oh yeah - you gotta read this. And if you like that -- then you'll love, love love "Bitter with Baggage". And if you enjoy those two books, well then you'll fit right in at an evening with us!

Ahhh, the secret tricks...the gags....the surprises. The ornament swap was hysterical. First off - one of the girls in our group hates anything to do with shoes...minature shoes and especially ornaments of shoes. YUP. It was strategically planned that this one girl would HAVE to pick the ornament that was especially picked with her in mind. The dreaded shoe ornament...... but wait - this girl had her own trick up her sleeve and bought these ornaments that were so, well, odd looking - only I saw redeeming value in them I think! hahahaha. (Damn, I wish I had those pictures, they tell the story far better than I ever could....) They're of two turtle doves, we think! They're fuzzy, and look like they could be puppies...or fish? Or turtle doves on crack!

The gift swap was....priceless. I have to say that my gift was probably the only one that the room got real quiet and still where you could almost hear everyone thinking "is this a joke" and it wasn't. Imagine my reaction when I looked to my friends who I assumed were the "pranksters" and saw the look of sheer horror on their face when they realized it wasn't a joke. hahahaa. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit - it wasn't sheer horror but it was clear the gift wasn't a gag from them. Yup... my own fault though. I didnt' want to give any hints as to what to get me, because I thought I'm a relatively easy person to buy for - and I love when people buy things that they think I would like. I have to admit though....for a split second when I opened it, I thought "hmmmm. What about this gift jumped out and screamed "that's Rebecca!!". It was very difficult to hide my surprise, because my laughter I think gave me away... but I hope I did a good job covering it because I certainly would not want to hurt my friend's feelings. It's just funny think that you're an easy mark on your likes and dislikes. Ahhh, well. If nothing else, the laughter and enjoyment that I got after the fact about it was well worth it. And besides, it will now become an joke that some of us will get to enjoy for years to come.

And then no potluck can be complete without ....the lawn junking. Which we graciously did to our hostess.

I'm sorry there aren't any pictures to go along with the story to bring it to life....I hope you didn't feel like you were on the outside of an inside joke, or that the story didn't live up to the hype.

But then again, I've never really been quite good at telling stories or jokes.
I usually laugh so hard as I'm telling them - I never do end up getting it out quite right.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

If I was to repaint....

What color would I choose?

Today, I got a "new" sofa and wing type chair. One of my girlfriends is doing her house over again - and she had this really nice sofa set that I liked - it looked gorgeous in her house. It's a dark sage with golden sage stripe. (The chair is a coordinating type jacquard). I really like it, so instead of her donating it to Salvation Army, I took it - it's about two years old and in mint condition. But, I want to keep the pillows from my old set (which I am now donating to Salvation Army). I love, love, love the pattern of my sofa set - and I love the color scheme even more. I opted to do my living room in a two tone purple to match it and it looks awesome. BUT. While my old pillows and the new sofa look good together, I'm wondering if the purple is not dominant enough to use on my wall now. Am I going to have to go with a more neutral color? I guess I won't know for sure until I bring the set in the house tomorrow, but here's a sneak peek. I'll post a photo of the entire room when the set is in, because sometimes you just can't tell until you take it all in. And this photo is actually deceiving becuase the sofa looks brown - and the pillows look pinkish - and they're not. So, it's truly hard to tell here....

So, last night was the Holiday Potluck with us crazy girlies. What a post I have planned for that! A couple of times, I was in tears crying - I was laughing that hard.

I'm done with working around the house for this weekend. Ever since the night before the snow day I've been reorganizing, rearranging, washing, folding, cleaning, cooking. I need to put the kids down to bed early and take a bath with a nice glass of wine.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter Wonderland...

Gotta love snow days!

After a nice warm lunch of sloppy joes....we bundled up to play in the snow. This is my daughter's first real taste of snow and in true fashion of her personality - She ate it!!!

My daughter's favorite phrase is "Mmmmmm". She's a wonderful eater -which of course, I'm not complaining about! So it truly was no surprise that she tasted it first thing.

Her and my son loved playing - and despite how cold she was, she cried when it was time to come in.
Moms ruin all the fun...

For those of you wondering how the snow is hitting New England...well, initially it was a very quiet peaceful storm, leaving us with about 6 inches. But about 1.5 hours ago - right after I brought the kids in, it became a white out. High winds, and snowing much faster than previously. We're upwards of about 10 inches right now.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cold Hands.....Warm Heart

So this is the second morning I've woken up to no heat.

I think the thermostat is broken - the wiring that calls up to the boiler doesn't seem to work; I managed to get the heat to come up (fortunately), but wow - 54 degrees is not a comfortable temperature to wake up to. Never mind the fact that my little daughter's bedroom is on an outside wall which means it tends to be the coldest room in the house! Poor little chickie....

So, I leave my cold house, to go into my cold SUV to drive to work; fortunately - my heat works very quickly!

I park in Egypt (translated into "the furthest possible spot from the front door"!) and walk through the cold weather to get to work.

I come into work and SURPRISE!
We have no heat.

The good news is.....

The house will be warm when I get home; the HVAC contractor will meet me and try to figure out what is going on; and I'll have a rip roaring fire going and start making dinner which always makes me happy anyway! The kiddies will have a warm bath before bed and all will be warm and fuzzy.

And tomorrow is shaping up to potentially be a snow day!
Which is always alot of fun.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Makes my skin a little thicker.....

I'm a strong person. I know this about myself.

I've always used the tag line "Never let 'em see you sweat". The more someone tries to stick it to you - the more you smile and keep on going. After all, success is the best revenge.

But I do choose my battles carefully.

I wear rose colored glasses because I enjoy seeing the positive in situations, as opposed on focusing on the negative. Even in times when the cards are stacked against me, or when I'm in a situation that isn't necessarily the greatest. I don't know how to be any other way, it's just who I am. There have been times in my life when I have really been backed into a corner, feeling like I was fighting for my life. I know that sounds dramatic, and I don't mean it to be so...but when you have people that attack your character, your integrity....your mere existance - it's difficult to portray that type of feeling in any other way.

And the more I show that no matter how hard they try to break me down, it doesn't work....the more it drives them crazy. And I find satisfaction in that.

I know that their issues aren't mine....I know that it's their own insecurities and esteem issues that drive them to be angry and hurtful. I know that they're deflecting things that maybe their uncomfortable with about themselves onto me. I know that it isn't me personally that they have issues with - but more so what I represent.

And while I know these things, and I fight the fight - it doesn't make it hurt any less.

I don't usually buy "mainstream" artists when I'm purchasing CDs. I prefer the eclectic, indie artist that no one has ever heard of - or who is up and coming. But as I was browsing Newbury Comics last week, I bought Christina Aguilera's "Stripped" CD. I've always thought she was an amazing talent - someone who will be around for years after Britney, Mandy, and all those other pop tarts disappear. I've seen her "Behind The Music" special, and have always just really liked her in general. I always love the underdog (maybe because I can identify?), but really have always felt good about seeing this little girl find her way in the world of music. I never really passed judgement on her outwardly erotic appearance, because I think she is someone who is going to be around for a long time - and will continually evolve and grow. And she was obviously doing it in a very "you don't like me, don't look" manner. I can appreciate that persona.

I wish I bought this cd far sooner than I had. To any of you who have felt that maybe you were being held down.....wrongly persecuted for just being you....or just had someone make you feel badly about yourself. This is a collection of music that you need to listen to.

So, I'm stealing Miss Christina's words.
And this is a public letter to those of you out there who have mistreated me for your own selfish reasons.

You know who you are....

I've waited a long time for this
It feels right now
Allow me to introduce myself
I want you to come a little closer
I'd like you to get to know me a little bit better
Meet the real me

Sorry you can't define me
Sorry I break the mold

Sorry that I speak my mind
Sorry don't do what I'm told
Sorry if I don't fake it
Sorry I come too real
I will never hide what I really feel
Huh, so here it is
No hype, no gloss, no pretense
Just me

Sorry if I ain't perfect
Sorry I don't give a -what-
Sorry I ain't a diva
Sorry just know what I want
Sorry I'm not a virgin
Sorry I'm not a slut
I won't let you break me
Think what you want
To all my dreamers out there - I'm with you
All my underdogs, ha - I feel you
Lift your head high and stay strong
Keep pushin' on

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Things that make you go "hmmmm?"

Miss Cissa Fireheart has tagged me to list ten odd facts about myself. Now, recently I did this little tasker all on my own because of a children's show that inspired now, to come up with 10 more as a tag; wow, I feel pressured! Not that I don't have 10 more - because I'm positive I do. But to find interesting ones well, that is the kicker. So here for your amusement are 10 more "Ridiculous Quirks and Habits of Rebecca"....

1. I have a penchant for sharpie marker pens. For some reason, I think they make my handwriting look prettier.

2. I remember every phone number I've ever had in my life - including pager and cell phone numbers.

3. A few days before I come down with a cold, my bottom lip gets really full; so much so, that I tend to chew at it a bit because it's in the way! And then - it seems even fuller. Weird.

4. I sing while I drive. All the would think I was the next American Idol.

5. I love banana splits - dried banana chips, banana milkshakes - anything with bananas. But peel me a banana and hand it to me? No thank you.

6. I'm the only person I know who describes colors in food terms on a regular basis: Chocolate, plum, mocha, cream, buttermilk, pumpkin, etc...for some reason, when I'm describing things and their colors I get a warm fuzzy from describing them or thinking of them in terms of food.

7. I can't help gawking like a schoolgirl when a group of motorcycles ride by....that is the sound of summer, my friends.

8. I have to organize all my photographs in chronological order. It will absolutely bother me if I don't - and I'll rearrange the whole damn album if I have to so that it works.

9. I'm an absolute road rage driver when I'm alone. I love nothing more than to bust 'em on someone who is a jerk on the road. Say someone thinks I'm not driving fast enough and they ride up the rear? hahhaha, I'll slow down to 25 miles an hour....and then when they try to pass me - I speed up so they can't cut over. And then I'll smile and wave - maybe even blow them a kiss. I know - it's wrong. But I can't help it - I'm from Boston!

10. I love to work out and be completely enveloped in sweat. I mean, dripping, hair soaking wet, purple faced - can't breathe kind of sweating. If I don't completely drip - then it was a total waste of my time.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Smells like Snow...

It was cold today. Raw, damp, sting your nose kind of cold today. Something we're not accustomed to here yet, because it's been balmy and in the 60s lately. But today - it smelled like snow. If you're not from an area where you get snow, you probably are thinking "what the heck does snow smell like?" Well, I don't know if I can properly describe it for you. It's a crisp, clean and distinct smell in the air. I think the best analogy I can give for it, is something similar to when you smell clothes that have been dried in the summer air, as opposed to in the dryer. It's that fresh, crisp smell that you get when yout bite into an apple on a blustery fall day. And it's the distinct smell that when you say it out loud "wow, it smells like snow today...." if anyone is around you that is from this area - they nod their head in agreement and say something like "...yup - and my knee is aching too; it's definitely going to snow." I don't know if this is a New England scent, or just a snow scent - but it was definitely here today.

If you get the chance....visit three people on my blogroll.

Karla - one of my best, best friends - love her. She is just starting to blog and recently picked it up again after starting and then stopping due to many reasons - one she just wrote about.

Laurie - Very cool, and very funny Stranded in Suburbia chick who sounds like she's really a city girl!

Julia - Entrepreneur, with a very fun company that all you girls should check out. I own a pair of her yoga pants and Tshirt - and I recommend that all of you should own one as well. A portion of all her proceeds go to breast cancer research.

Happy weekend.... Back to drinking my glass of wine and surfing all of your blogs.

Friday, December 02, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things....

...Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens...Brown paper packages tied up with strings...These are a few of my favorite things...Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels...Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles...Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings...These are a few of my favorite things...Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes......Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes...Silver white winters that melt into springs...These are a few of my favorite things...When the dog bites...When the bee stings...When I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things...And then I don't feel so bad...

I've got the radio station on, and of course I have it on the one that is playing holiday music nonstop until Christmas. This song just came on - and it makes me feel, well - so girly. I don't know if it's the manner in which it's performed, or if it's just the pure lyrical presentation. But nothing makes me feel like I should be twirling around in a pretty dress than hearing "cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels...." Ahhh, these are the types of lyrics I wish I had been gifted enough to write!

So, in honor of the girlish mood I'm's a fun blog thing!

Your Nail Polish Color is Red

How you're unique: You have an incredible eye for style and art

Why your style rocks: You are classic and classy - and that's hot!

What this color says about you:

"I'm smart, sassy, and sexy. And I know it."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Tale of Two Girls...

We met in the 6th grade.

We were both the shortest girls in class….she was the tomboy, "Scruffy" was her nickname; and while I was very athletic, I wasn’t as outwardly boyish as she was. She was really cute – very Irish looking with blonde hair, blue eyes and lots of freckles – and already had boys interested in her. I on the other hand, was very awkward looking…long legs and arms made me appear "gangly", whereas she didn’t seem awkward in anyway at all. We both loved running; we were the fastest girls in class always taking first and second in relay races that would take place at gym time. But what really cemented our friendship was a mutual crush on the "brooding silent boy" in our class. We could commiserate on how he apparently liked another girl and seemingly paid no attention to us. It didn’t matter that within a short time, his attention focused on her – and that he liked her over me – I just really liked her. And we became the best of friends.

She was from out of state originally. And this was her first year in Massachusetts. I’ll never forget the day I learned that her Mom and Dad and Brother and Sister that I knew, were really her Aunt, Uncle and Cousins. It was the day after her Grandmother flew up from Florida without telling
anyone and tried to kidnap her on our way home from school. Her biological Dad had passed away; and her biological Mother was gone. Her mother was a dancer of the exotic type – and led a rough life of drugs and alcohol. When my friend moved to Boston, her Mother had already taken off with "some guy" and was living in the Bahamas or Virgin Islands for many years at that point. Her Grandmother had been raising her, but there were questions as to the Grandmother’s sanity – so her father’s brother brought her back to raise her with his own family, as his daughter.

There was always a sort of disconnect between her "Mom" and her, and we would talk about it many times during our growing up years. On one hand, it’s almost as if her Mom would never let her forget that she wasn’t really her daughter. But it wasn’t as obvious as that – it was more subtle. On the other hand, the disconnect had to do with her Mom wanting to see my friend do more with herself. She saw something good in her, that my friend herself didn’t see – and as a result they argued a lot.

Growing up – we were very different. In school, I was the rocker chick/cheerleader; she was the athlete. She always had the attention of boys; whereas I was "one of the guys" and I didn’t date anyone until my senior year. I always envied her body which was curvy in the right places; she always wanted my (at that time) boyish shape. It wasn’t until after high school that the dynamics in our friendship changed. I’ll never forget the day it happened. We were at the beach, and while she always wore bikinis – I hardly ever walked around in them. I’d wear the top, but always a pair of men’s boxer shorts rolled down onto my hips, over my bikini bottoms. As we walked to get a slush, out of nowhere, she said to me "I hate standing next to you, you make me feel like I’m Alpo". I didn’t know what she meant at first – and after further prodding, she came out and told me "I feel ugly next to you; I feel like no one notices me and I hate that." I thought she was kidding. She made it clear, that she wasn’t. After giving it some thought, I had said to her "I don’t choose my friends by how pretty they are; if that’s how you choose your friends – so that you stand out – then maybe you need to find new friends to make yourself feel better; but that’s not why I’m friends with you." Our friendship was never quite the same after that, although I hadn’t realized it at the time. It hadn’t changed so much on my end – but it definitely did on hers.

She had always wanted us to move in together right after high school; but we were different people, and I knew this. I told her "no", because I thought it would ruin our friendship. I know it hurt her feelings when I moved into an apartment with a girl from my work; but I cared too much about our friendship to ruin it over petty things that being roommates can do. You see, I’m Type A/Monica-ish about cooking, and cleaning, etc… She was on that other end of the spectrum. I also was not into partying all that much….she was going down an entirely different path with regards to that. Recreational drugs and drinking was a big part of her social interaction. And I didn’t want the conflict in our lifestyles and personalities to clash, and end our friendship. It seemed that while she always came to me for guidance and advice – she also resented the very reasons she asked me for advice; and she was very competitive with me on many levels. I didn’t realize it so much at the time, probably because of my age. But in retrospect, I saw it.

I was always in long term relationships….she wasn’t. She was always looking for someone to love her as much as she loved them; but it never happened. It broke my heart to see her heart broken so many times by boys -and eventually men- who took advantage of her wanting them to love her. She often talked about having a baby just so she’d have someone to love her back. Her mother never made any effort to find her or keep in touch; and we eventually found out that she died living a wild lifestyle without ever seeing her daughter past the age of 9. My friend often felt maybe she wasn’t deserving of being loved. Maybe she wasn’t that good. Maybe she was destined to be like her mother, and flit through life partying and being wild – doomed to have a tragic ending. I always encouraged her to see the good within her; she was bright – she was pretty – and she would find the right person. And on top of that – she didn’t need another person to validate her place in life. Maybe, she needed to change her persona a little? Not be quite so wild…I encouraged her to start her own business, channel her energy into something positive that would make her feel good about herself.

I’m a nurturer. I tend to "mother" my friends. And I mothered her quite a bit, and not unnecessarily so. In our 20s, she was far more free spirited and riskier than when she was a kid –hitchhiking, or meeting strange guys and just taking off. She often did this while we were on vacation in another state. That was just not for me, and many a night I stayed up worrying about "would she find the hotel…did she take a chance on the wrong person this time? Would she make it back at all?"

We did end up living together for a short time, when my relationship prior to my husband ended. And we had a great time…I was glad we were older rather than younger, I was a little more willing to be less compulsive about tidiness – and she was a bit tidier, after being on her own for the past 8 years. She was still living a lifestyle that was not conducive to her finding a good partner, or to herself in general. And yes, I still mothered her. About 8 months later, I met my husband, and of course – fell in love. She was in a troubled relationship, and just when I started to date my husband, she got a little irritated that I wasn’t going to be so readily accessible anymore; and she moved out. I saw her once, a month later….and that was the last I heard of her. I reached out - sent cards, called. But she never reciprocated. I ran into her, about 3 years later at a local bar…she was 8 months pregnant, and with some friends. I don’t recall much of the conversation – I just remember that it was brief, and we didn’t make any effort to say "We’ll keep in touch". I do remember that she was sitting with a group of girls she became friendly with while we lived together, and partied with a lot – and I remember thinking "some things never change…."

My phone rang yesterday…and there was a tired, bitter voice on the other end of it. I didn’t recognize the number or the voice; and when I asked who it was, they said "an old friend…". And then, it hit me. It was her. I expressed my excitement at her call; she said she was surprised that I was so receptive because the last time I saw her – she was rude to me. Truly – I hadn’t noticed. She was always very moody – and so I probably just chalked it up to her being in a bad way; or uncomfortable being pregnant. We had small talk for about a half hour – catching up on all that had gone on over the past 8 years. And then, after feeling comfortable that I wasn't shunning her - she opened up and told me that she’s in an unhappy marriage. She’s married to a person who does not like her wild ways; and she’s not willing to change them. She’s got two small children, and a husband that loves her. And yet she says she’s still not happy. She no longer talks to the only family I’ve ever known her to have….her Mom and her still can’t see eye to eye - and so she has cut ties. She’s pretty much alone at the moment, and it seems that she’s reached out to me; I’m guessing because I’m probably the last thing of "home" that she would have if we reconnect.

In the middle of our conversation, I expressed that I was so sad that she wasn’t in a good place; I had truly hoped that she would be. And when I asked if she was okay, she started to cry. She said it was very difficult for her to call me because she knows I’m relatively successful and doing well. She’d heard about the wine shop, and that I was married with children. But she said she always knew I’d do well. She got a little defensive, and said she wasn’t asking me for help because she didn’t want it. (I certainly can’t fix her marriage, or pay her bills!) She said she was angry with me about things from when we were kids – and that I mothered her too much. She needed to grow and make a life and mistakes on her own, and that was why she stayed away.

She said that she always felt that I was prettier and smarter, and not only did she resent that – but she resented the fact that I gave her so much encouragement and support, that she believed that she was pretty and smart as well; when in reality, she didn’t truly feel that way about herself. I told her that I never judged her, and I never compared myself to her; and I only wanted good things for her which is why I tried to help her see her true value – and she admitted that it was all her own insecurity…..she was comparing herself to me on many levels, all the time - and felt that she just couldn’t measure up.

What could I say to that?

I steered the call to an end, because I realized in a brief second that nothing I do, or say is going to repair the friendship. I am who I am, just as she is who she is. I can’t not try to fix her problems if she comes to me for advice; and I can’t be ashamed of where I am today because she isn’t feeling good about herself. I left it off by saying I loved her, I’ll always be her friend – and that there is no shame in reaching out to someone, if it makes you feel better.

She stopped crying, and said this was a good call, this was what she needed. She said she’d like to stay in touch.

You know what though….it wasn’t what I needed. Not that I wouldn’t love to be close with her again – not that I wouldn’t love to try to help her out. But how do you get someone to not resent you for being who you are?You can’t. And people don’t suddenly change and stop feeling a certain way. I was up all night after our call. I couldn't stop hearing her words over and over again.

And I came to the conclusion that I can’t fix her…I have a family now - and not that my friends aren't important, because they are - my family comes first. And honestly? I think she'd only resent me for it anyway.

I can't win for losing. And this is one friend, that I think I may have to let go of.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pensive thoughts today...

Yesterday I received a very interesting phone really affected me.
It was from an old friend; one that I haven't spoken to in about 8 years.
Remember my post from a few weeks back about friends, and the categories in life within which they fall?

This used to be an "A" friend.
Who I don't think can ever work her way back up...

The conversation kept me up last night...I couldn't stop thinking about it.
What can you do, when you know you can't help someone, because they have to help themselves.....

Monday, November 28, 2005

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Tonight, we did our traditional decorating of the tree. Hot chocolate, holiday music, snacks...lots of "oohs and ahhhs" as my son saw ornaments that he did not remember from last year - as of course, he's only 4. My daughter unfortunately was not with us when we finished - she was in bed, but of course - every night is an official "lighting", so I can't wait to capture her expression tomorrow when we turn on the lights. And while the tree was up when she went to bed, she's going to love all the colors and "fluffy" ornaments that are on there now. There's nothing better than living vicariously through your children....

Photographs don't do a tree any justice when it's lit...but I thought I'd share the finished product anyway! From older ornaments made by my mom when I was a child (including my teddy bear angel topper, which I hadn't straightened out prior to taking this picture...oops!), to new Victorian and "fou fou" ornaments, to ornaments given to us over the years from close friends, to ornaments made by our son - our tree is a reflection of who we are. To me, it says "home".

Tomorrow - the caterpillar will become a butterfly because the house will not only be completely decorated inside - but the outside will be lit as well.

And aching back can relax!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The metamorphosis has begun....

The transition from autumn to winter began at our house today. Down came the harvest decorations, and in their place went all of the winter accessories. I don't do holiday decor outside, because I keep everything up until spring; so I keep it all holiday netural. But the indoor decor says "Christmas".

I say the transition "began" because we haven't completed the passing of the torch on seasons until the tree has been decorated, and every Santa Claus from around the world has been strategically positioned. From the holly berry garland on the mantle, to the single candle in each all has "it's place". We're going to do our tree-trimming tradition late Monday afternoon, into the evening. As this is my daughter's first Christmas outside of being an infant, it's important that we have the tree decorated prior to the rest of the house. We need to capture that moment of wonder when we turn on the tree for years to come.

I'm already planning my holiday menu...and I'm just torn on what to do for the main course. This is the one holiday that I do a formal meal; even when I host other holidays, while it's sit down - it's not to the extent of Christmas. This is the one dinner I like to go all out... everything is extra pretty and fancy - and I like the meal to match in it's elegance.

Lots of ideas floating around in my head, but need to find something....decadent.

I'm off to go make ornaments with my son...I got this fun stained glass ornament kit. He's all excited, and this is the first year we'll have his homemade ornaments on the tree. This is the stuff memories are made of....

Friday, November 25, 2005

"Don't you just love a bargain"...

No, I did not attempt the Christmas Tree Shop today. Although I could be a walking informercial for them and every other store that I love. When I like something, I can't hide my enjoyment. And I have to touch everything... From ornaments to clothing, I'm all about the look and the feel. I'm alot of fun to shop with - at least my aunt thinks so! She came with me today, and we got quite a bit accomplished. We have my nephews birthday party on Sunday, so of course - we had to get him presents. And she bought Christmas gifts for my daughter and my niece. I didn't buy any holiday gifts for anyone yet. That's a one-day extravaganza, and I just can't bring myself to do it yet. That's a fun, "playing hookie from work" kind of day. Coming soon....

I did, however - go to Michael's Crafts. Where I got these 4ft pre-lit entranceway trees! I can't wait to put them on my front porch - I've always wanted them, and they're normally $69.99. Can you say $29.99? I was giddy walking out of the store. There are few things in life that can me me feel "high". Getting a score of a bargain - that is one of them.

I love, love, love this time of year....
May all your days be merry and bright!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

For a limited time only...

Are you as full as I am at the moment?
Must be all the tryptophan in the turkey....
Or maybe it's just that I ate alot. Naaaaah. I'll blame it on the turkey.

I wanted to share a quick peek of the kids with you.
Not the greatest picture of my daughter, but it's really difficult to get a 16 month old to sit still.
Actually, that's the beginning of another post I have coming regarding traditional photography over digital.

But I digress...

So here they are, for a limited time I will be pulling this post relatively quickly as you parents out there can surely understand.


My son & my daughter...they make it all worth while!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tag, I'm it!

First off - before any fun - I just want to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe Thankgsiving. Enjoy, celebrate and cherish the time spent with your family and friends...

It's been some time since I've been tagged! And I'm always happy to share...Thanks Jerry!

Rules are as follows :
Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump everyone up one place; then add your blog to the #5 spot.
Breazy 2. Blither 3. Lily4. Jerry 5. Rebecca
Next select 5 friends:
1. Clew 2. Glitter 3. Dale 4. Big White Hat 5. The TaTas Girl

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, I was in a relationship that was destined to fail; getting myself emotionally/psychologically ready to leave...and contemplating moving to Los Angeles.

What were you doing 1 year ago ?
Last year I was getting ready to have Thanksgiving at my house! My mom came in from Florida, and we had all of my side of the family over for dinner, as well as an open house for dessert. It was my daughter's first Thanksgiving.... and our first year with a fake tree. The first year our little family of 4 was complete and together.

5 snacks you enjoy :
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Cool Ranch Doritos, Peanut Butter Pretzels, Potato Chips, Jalapeno & Cheddar dip

5 songs to which you know all the lyrics :

Aaaah. So many, what to choose. Buffalo Stance, You Give Love a Bad Name, More than Words, Bomwiddabom, Innocent Man

5 things you would do if you were a millionare :
Take care of our extended family; hire a financial advisor; donate to charity; buy Red Sox season tickets behind home plate; move (not necessarily in this exact order, by the way...)

5 bad habits :
Cracking my gum (I annoy myself sometimes), wicked lazy about laundry (you know it's bad when I use "wicked"), I'm an aggressive driver, I'm overly sarcastic at times, I tend to talk too loudly when I'm on the phone

5 things you like doing : (Mom hat is not on here!)
Eating cheap chinese food with a glass of wine; going to concerts; working out; driving in my car and singing; cooking

5 things you would never wear again :
Hmmm. I don't really have any of these...

5 favorite toys :
My computer and that's about it. I don't have any toys, although someday....I'd like for us to have a Harley. And a boat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How Appropo...

You Are Pumpkin Pie

You're the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality
Those who like you are looking

for something (someone!) special

As I was browsing blogthings looking for something cute, I took this - and since I ended up being THE ultimate Thanksgiving dessert - I figured I'd post it!
My Thanksgiving this year is going to be at my Mother in Laws. I was supposed to be bringing candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie - but I got a call yesterday saying that one of my sister in law's is planning on doing all the baking, so not to bring the pie. But I really wanted to make one! Well, that's okay. One less thing for me to have to do I suppose. See, there's a silver lining in every cloud. (God, I love my rose colored glasses! Feel free to borrow them at any time!)
So much to be thankful for this year, as every doesn't matter where you spend the day, who cooks what; the most important thing is that you cherish those around you who matter.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Before I was a "mom"...

I was talking with my son Saturday night as I was tucking him into bed, and we had a serious talk. We do alot of serious talking at bedtime; it seems that's when we both tend to get pensive and have these intimate "Mother & Son" conversations. It started this time, because when I hugged him I said "you know, I love you and your sister so much - words can't describe it. It's like my heart is outside of my chest and it's sooooo big that I can't even see the sides of it to wrap my arms around it. That's how much I love you. Does that make sense?" And he says "yes, it means it's the biggest love in the world". Then he said, "When I have kids, I don't want you to be their Grandma, I want you to only be my Mom." And I laughed, and said "well, I have to be their Grandma, wouldn't I be a great Grandma?" to which he replied, "yes, but if you're their Grandma, that would mean that you would be old...and that means you'll be gone someday. I don't want you to ever be gone - and I want you to always be young like this and just be my Mom". I didn't even know what to say....My son is what most would say is an "old soul". He's kind, sensitive and exceptionally in tune with those around him. I'm so very much looking forward to seeing how my daughter is, because she reminds me alot of how he was as a baby. Maybe she won't be similar....maybe she will be. But I'm truly looking forward to finding out, and cherishing her thoughts and special "Mommy & Me" moments as I do with my son.

This is something I received over email last night, and thought it was fitting for today's post. Especially at the end.
You may have already seen it.....Enjoy.

Before I was a Mom, I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing. I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted And never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday. Before I was a Mom, I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom, I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,I had never been pooped on... Spit up on...Chewed on...
Peed on... Or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom,I had complete control of myself:
my thoughts, my body, and my mind.

Before I was a Mom, I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew something so small could affect my life so much.I never knew that I could love someone so much.

I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom,I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every ten minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth... The joy... The love...
The heartache...The wonderfulment...
Or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Great Olympia...

Last night, I watched the Mr. Olympia competition. I've never been attracted to big muscle head kind of guys; that look just doesn't do it for me. And while I can appreciate some of the amazing physiques that some people are genetically blessed with, I never was drawn towards that type of crowd. Similar to LA, Boston has always had a big body building community, and many girls - especially on the north shore - loved being associated with them. Not this girl. I think it's a very vain, narcissistic "sport", and on top of that - the damage that it does to their bodies, in my opinion - far outweighs the goal that very few of them ever achieve. Even the elite Mr Olympia only wins $25,000; he probably spends almost double that just on "product" to look that way. (My husband used to bodybuild. I'm always thankful that he stopped before I met him. He's a boxer, so he's in great shape anyway, and he trains hard; but he's not a "musclehead".) You can always tell the ones who use growth hormones...their chins look oddly long. Think Jay Leno. I often wonder if it hurts them to have their jaw bones grow at this older age in life. Most of these guys who compete in these competitions look far older than their age, are often balding...and just look so weak despite their mass because they deplete so much water to rip up for the competition. I can't imagine what they look like when they're in their down time mode.

But, there are some who are as I said - genetically blessed with a certain build that they don't need growth hormones; while they use other products to bulk up. they look relatively "normal" despite their size. There is one such person who I really, really like. Not only did he look relatively normal during the competition - I've seen pictures of him when he's not in this Olympia mode - and he looks great. Handsome. Beautiful even. His wedding photo of he & his wife is stunning ( I mean, they're both stunning!). He is by far, the most gorgeous body builder, narcissistic muscle head I've ever seen. (Have I eaten enough of my words here???) His body, I could do without...but that face.....

Meet Mr. Olympia's 4th place contestant, Gunter Schlierkamp. To me - just seeing him alone was worth watching the competition.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My "Other Half"...

I met my husband the summer of 1996, on my sister's 21st birthday. We went on our first date two weeks later; he moved in 2 weeks after that. We were serious from the start...but I knew he was "the one" shortly after we started seeing each other. He always called me "honey", and I never - ever - called anyone that before. It just wasn't me - I never felt like I could be that way. With my just came naturally. We married in 1999.

My husband and I are complete opposites in many ways. That is a great thing, because we balance each other out in different areas. I'm very even keeled and laid back - which helps him out, as he' s a worrier. I'm not very good with budgeting - he's amazingly meticulous with bills, tracking interest - and just math in general. We're a great team, because we're the other half of a whole. Because of this, we've been able to buy and sell real estate and work towards hopefully securing our future. With our store, I handle the "business" aspect of things: acquisition, financing, lawyers, PR, advertising. He handles the other "business": the ordering, the bill paying, selection of inventory, the personnel. We're both the business, as a whole.

My husband came from a less than
ideal upbringing. It was a very hard one - it makes me feel very sad to think of how it was for him when he was young. He never let it hold him didn't define him. He's one of the most generous, kindhearted people I've ever met - sometimes to a fault. And I think he uses the disadvantages he had as a child work as an advantage to him as an adult. There's nothing that makes me happier than seeing him with our children. Sitting on the recliner with them....or reading our son a bed time story. Those things, above all - make me fall in love with him over again. It isn't the gifts he might give me, or anything like that. Those are nice and I love them....but - there's nothing like seeing a man be a "Dad". That, is sexy.

I love that he calls me "Dolly". I love that he doesn't complain about my idiosyncrasies. I love that he still thinks I'm a "hottie". I love that he works so very hard so that we can have a good life and so that our children will hopefully have all of the things in life that he didn't have. I love his wit, his shyness, his sharp judge of character.

I just love him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Imperfection is fun!

My children watch Noggin, and there are a variety of musical songs that play throughout their programming. I hear them and they often stick with me. For days at a time. They're really quite good actually -and they're positive and self esteem type building songs - which I love. One of the songs is called "I'm not Perfect".

"I'm not I'm not. I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got. I do my very best, I do my very best, I do my very best each day...but I'm not perfect. And I know you love me that way..."

As I was laying in bed last night, hearing the song in my inspired me to list some of my own quirks. We all have them - those idiosyncrasies that make us each who we are. So, sit back and enjoy as I list some of my hangups and habits that can only be described quirky, bizzare, anal - and sometimes just downright annoying.

No - I don't have OCD, or anything like that. hahhaa. I just am particular about things.
And there are far more than I've listed here...but this is enough for today.
Hey - if you can't laugh at yourself - who can you laugh at?

1. I chew ice cubes for fun. They're delicious. (As you're cringing, I have to tell you - I have no cavities, so this isn't an issue for me!)
2. I eat my food on my plate in order. I usually start with the starch, move to the vegetables and then finish with the beef/chicken/fish. I don't mush it all together, and I can't take "a little of this and a little of that" on my fork at once. I try, but I like to really enjoy each thing I'm eating individually.
3. I'm nuts about windexing my kitchen table. Truly.
4. You must drink wine out of a wine glass at my house. No mugs allowed!!!! Mugs are for coffee and hot cocoa. (MOM!)
5. My radio stations are programmed by genre. I can't have my music all mish mashed. That's just wrong!
6. Speaking of which, my cd's are organized by genre, and then alphabetically. Oh - and of course, by genre alphabetically overall.
7. I can't wear a shirt tucked in. Ever. That's like nails across a chalkboard for me.
8. I can not sleep barefoot. My feet get cold and I wake up. I always sleep with socks.
9. I hate being barefoot in general. I need to have a shoe or something on my foot. I never understood how people can walk barefoot on hot pavement.
10. I whistle. Alot. I don't even when I do it. I'll get a song stuck in my head - and I'll be whistling it all day long. It's weird because it gives the impression of being very happy. People will always say something witty like "wow, you're really happy huh?", or "Whistle while you work...". Not that I'm not very happy because I am. But, I just don't think about being happy while I do it -nor is it why I'm whistling. I'm whistling because I've been cursed with a song that's been stuck in my head, like "I'm not Perfect".

See how it all comes full circle? :)
Think about your little idiosyncrasies today, and have a good laugh - on you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Life is just too short...

Over the past week I learned about a feud that has recently erupted in my family - between my father, my aunt (his sister), and my grandmother (his mother). My parents live in western Florida, my aunt in Central - my grandma in Southern. My Grandma's condo was at Ground Zero basically for Hurricane Wilma, and so she stayed at her brother's house in a safer location; still Southern Florida, but not quite so in the mix of it all. Once things calmed down a bit and it was safe for my Grandma to go back home - my Dad offered to drive to help her get re-situated.

My dad's side of the family is very strongminded and emotionally strong in general. The women tend to be very much the ones to control the situations. However, my dad has that trait as well. (As does his daughter!) So sometimes, when a group of very strong personality types get together you'll have conflict, right? Well, needless to say this is true in my family. But..... (and there's always a "but", and in this case - there are many!)

Altercations don't happen often within the extended family. My Dad's side of the family moved away from Boston when I was 10. We were no longer involved in their "day to day" lives - nor them in ours. We only saw my dad's side of the family every 3-5 years, and so when you see your immediate family so infrequently, it's like a holiday celebration when you do fnally get together; and so any grievances that you may have with them don't get mentioned - because who wants to waste time on that? You want to enjoy the time you have, so you let it go. One would think that there wouldn't be things to even be upset over, but believe me - it happens.

My Papa passed away just under three years ago now; my Grandma was with him for I think 57 years or something to that effect. She handled it exceptionally well...maybe too well, some might say. Her brother is dying as we speak -and he's the closest person to her aside from my Papa. So she's sort of reliving my Papa's passing again. My Aunt's husband literally dropped dead less than a year ago, entirely unexpectedly - after 40 years of them being together. And on top of all this - my Grandma is coming home to a water damaged apartment where all that she has left of her life with my Papa has been damaged. Not ruined fortunately...but damaged. She has got to be feeling a little overwhelmed, right?

So my Dad is there helping her, and tensions are already running high obviously. It seems that my Grandma had a "meltdown", and unloaded 20 some-odd years worth of anger, frustrations, dissapointments right onto my Dad. Being cut from the same cloth as her - he gave it right back. Was it stuff that was silly, some of it? Sure. Did some of it have valididty? Absolutely. But unfortunately, when you don't interact with your family on a daily basis for that period of time, you don't have the luxury of addressing small things at the moment - and so it builds and builds...and then WHAM. And the recipient is standing there thinking "where the heck did this come from?". My aunt - jumped on the bandwagon with my Grandmother and agreed with her on certain issues. So, my Dad, absolutely livid about it all - drove home in the middle of the night. Which, I don't begrudge him for. He obviously was angry and hurt. He did attempt to talk with her a few days later and it was civil - but my Grandma, while very warm to me - I guess isn't that warm as a "mom" type, and I guess my Dad was less than satisfied with her reaction. AND......He feels that he's been verbally abused and doesn't need to put up with it. So he's all set with her...he's not talking with her anymore. While my Grandma may not be a warm person, I do know that she is a very proper person; I hardly doubt he was "abused". That is being rather extreme. My Dad isn't always the warmest person either...he tries, but struggles with it. All the more reason for him to maybe try and understand her reactions?

My advice to my Dad is this: Take one for the team. Both women have been through dramatic changes and devastating losses. Maybe, this was Grandma's way of dealing with everything, and unfortunately - he was in the line of fire. It happens. And besides - if you can't unload on your family, who can you unload on? Chalk it up to a bad day - she's your mom, and elderly - give her a pass and let it go. Understand the motivation of what caused her to feel like unloading, and respect that. Stop thinking "poor me, my feelings are hurt", because truly - it probably wasn't truly about you in the big scheme of things. It was a release in general. You were just the closest target.

My dad insists no - he's done with her. (Hmmmm. Stubborn. Bullheaded. Strong willed. He can't see the parallel here?!??!)

So if you're reading this Dad: Life is just too short to waste your time on stupid things like hurt feelings when it comes to a silly arguement once in 20 years, and when it's your mother. Sometimes, you just got to let it go. And it's not as if no one has never lashed out irrationally before. We all have. So cut Grandma some slack. Besides - you moved away from your family too. And you know what - you just never know - you might find youself having a similar conversation with one of your daughters some day. Life can be funny like that......

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Monday, good to me"

It's an absolutely beautiful day here today. It's almost 70 degrees, and I'm thinking it's waaaaay too nice to be at work today! But....I'm here.

The weekend was relaxing, and yet - I still didn't manage to accomplish the reorganizing of my closet! But that's okay - it will get done; I started it - just haven't finished. I managed to watch "Saving Private Ryan" one and a half times this weekend. Half way on Friday -- fully on Saturday. I love that movie. I had an uncle that was there in France; we were never, ever, ever allowed to ask him about his military experience. It was a taboo topic. He passed away prior to that movie coming out, but after seeing it - I got a small taste as to why he was not at all open to talking about his history.

And while I've got some ideas on things I want to post throughout the week, I don't really have much to say for today, other than I'm very happy the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is a week away! This is my favorite time of the year - and I'm so very thankful that my core little family of 4 is happy, healthy and together. No matter the size of family is- whether it's 2, or 25 - so long as you're happy and healthy, it's all good.

Have a wonderful day.........

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Quiet,'s Saturday

Our store is a generally busy one, but we definitively have a busy season. It usually picks up a bit in October - but gets very busy from Thanksgiving through New Years. This year, it seems that it picked up in September, which is a great thing for business...but means my husband has to work long hours and 6 days a week. He works 7 days a week anyway - but I mean he has to be there physically for 6. Some days during the week, say a Monday - he might be able to leave early; but that's about it. It's not all that terrible - I mean, it's a short time to have to sacrifice, but the kids and I miss being able to hang out with him. We get a little spoiled because the summer is such a slow time, he can come and go as he pleases.

Today, the kiddies and I went to the mall and walked around for a bit - had some Chinese food which is my son's absolute favorite. I had planned to browse Christmas Tree Shop, but....since I picked him up a game he really wanted at the mall, his motivation was to go home. Not such a bad thing - I got to clean the house and relax. Yes, I do find cleaning the house relaxing. Almost therapeutic. My aunt came over and visited with us for a while...I got the kiddies dinner, a bath - and shortly it will be bedtime.

My husband will make it home just in time to read our son a story for bed....I've got steak marinating in the fridge with some salad and roasted potatoes. And - I'm nursing a headache. I am so looking forward to just hanging out with him, having dinner - a glass of wine - and watching a little television.

I think we both can use a little quiet time tonight.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ask not what your country can do for you...

Growing up, Veteran's Day was a holiday. A full blown one, which meant everything was shopping, not even most gas stations were open. There were parades, memorials and tributes made to those who have fought - and continue to fight - to keep the stars and stripes forever.

Today it seems to be nothing more than a shopping day...or a day off from work. And even that trend seems to be disappearing, as most people I know are at work today. I was one of the shoppers - food shopping with my daughter. I did not see one parade, nor did I see many people at the cemetaries I drove by - something that in years previous would hold up traffic; there would be a line to get in and place flowers or flags at the graves of our soldiers who have passed. What a sad statement that is...and I'm not exactly sure why.

No matter where you stand politically, and regardless of how your views may be towards our current administration - today is a day where we should remember and say "thank you" to those who risk their lives every day as their job. Our military is a free one - people join by choice. And we should honor and respect that choice, as well as be thankful that there are people like them around who fight these wars and risk their own that we don't have to.

Other countries aren't so lucky to have a volunteer military...Other countries aren't so lucky about alot of things. And while we're quick to cast stones and talk about how "embarrasing it is to be American at this time", we should probably take a step back and remember that fact. It wasn't so long ago that we had a draft. People argue over who "dodged" and who didn't still today. Be proud and supportive of your troops, especially in today's world. Respect their choices. Because they are fighting in honor of the very principle that allows you to voice discontent and unhappiness within our own government. Our freedom is something that we take for granted.

`Freedom has a taste to those who fight and die for it that the protected will never know' written by an American soldier on a Hanoi wall.

If nothing else, just pay a moment of tribute.
This is what you can do for your country.