Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old...Ring in the new.....

The end of this year happened so quickly. It seemed as if Thanksgiving arrived, and immediately afterwards was Christmas. I'm not sure why this year the holidays seemed so rushed; maybe it's because even the "higher being" in the sky wants to see this year come to an end and so he/she (whatever you want to think) has sped things up a little in an effort to make that happen.

As always, tonight at the stroke of midnight - I will raise my glass and say a toast to the year that's leaving us, and warmly welcome the new one. 2008 was a difficult year for many; I'm fortunate to be able to say that I was able to stay relatively unscathed by much of the turmoil that has touched so many. At the same time, it is always best to look back on even the most difficult of times and know that they happened for a reason; even if we can't always see it at that very moment.

So my toast for the farewell of this year and the start of the new is simple, and yet appropo:
"Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last. "

You never know what cards you will be dealt, and nothing lasts forever. So enjoy every moment of it. No matter what happens, or what you may be going through - take a moment to relish in what you do have. Because so long as you are alive, breathing and with those you love -- you can over come anything, no matter how difficult -- and that is what matters the most.

Happy New Year....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Have a cupcake, Cupcake!

Today, my son had two playdates -- one this a.m. at a friend's house -- and one this afternoon at our house.

So where does that leave little Princess Petunia?

Well, first she came with me for my hair cut - and was very, very well behaved.
I was impressed.

Then we came home, played Bella Dancerella Pop Star - and made cupcakes with her new Cupcake Maker, courtesy of Auntie Nikki.

Truthfully, making home made cupcakes with grown up stuff tastes far better -- but this makes her feel super grown up and special. She got an Easy Bake Oven from Santa but hasn't had the chance to use it yet. Santa didn't tell Mommy that it requires a BRIGHT light bulb as opposed to the soft white that we've all grown accustomed to buying. Maybe tomorrow we'll tackle that one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Note to self...

I've been trying to give some thought as to what my resolutions for this upcoming year are going to be. I generally do a pretty decent job of sticking to them once they've been made, so I'm looking for what I really need and/or want to do this year that's realistic, as well as striving towards change.

In doing so, I remembered a note that I've had up in my work for a few years now but with always having it up - it has become wallpaper in the background of my life. So when I noticed it this morning, I thought today was as good a day as any to share it publicly again as it falls right in line with the thought of resolutions.

So listen up all you girls out there, because if you're anything like I am - then these are geared towards you!

1. Try to be more of an imperfectionist. (Boy, could I really take heed to that one!)

2. Acceptance is the key to thinner peace. (Embrace who you are. It's true. Sort of like being single and wanting to meet someone. Until you accept and love yourself and your situation -- how can anyone else love you?)

3. Your brain is always your best outfit. (Amen to that sistah! Can't stress that one enough!)

4. Must dress better in personal fantasies. (Um, not many clothes are involved in mine, outside of a #33 Red Sox Jersey on a particular someone who needs to be re-signed....but maybe those aren't the personal fantasies being referred to here???)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Holiday Afterglow....

So the long awaited Turducken.....was well worth the wait.
This was one of the nicest dinners, and overall Christmas days in general.

Everything came out perfect. Nothing was rushed, the company was wonderful....

And Santa was good to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

There'll be much mistletoeing, and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near; it's the most wonderful time of the year....!

I finished all of my wrapping last night.
Well almost all of it.
I have only a few more gifts left to buy today - but those will be easy enough to get done.

The snow over the weekend sort of threw my whole schedule off; I should've been in work yesterday and off today....but having it reversed has sort of got me feeling behind the 8 ball, so to speak.

I'm don't think I'm really behind schedule....I'm just feeling like I am.
(This is when I really miss yoga. It just keeps me so stressfree and centered.)

Today, after I leave work I'll be finishing the above mentioned shopping, and then the cooking will begin! My Turducken is thawing (and smells delish, might I add....), my pasta is already done. I made my candied sweet potatoes yesterday (though I may make a second batch tonight!) The ham is marinating (the trick to not ever having a dry ham!). Today I'll make my stuffed peppers, roasted potatoes w/ eggplant, and stuffed scallops. I'll put the leaf in the table, bring down the extra chairs, takeout the dishes and tablecloth -- get everything ready for setup on Christmas Eve.

I think come tomorrow afternoon, I'll be able to breathe a little easier.

As anxious as I feel -- I'm quite excited. I love Christmas -- I love having dinner -- and though I'm a neurotic crazy girl about wanting it all perfect, it doesn't matter in the end. I just love having everyone together, eating and having fun.

That is what it's all about anyway....the perfection of it all doesn't lie in the menu, or the table arrangement. It's not about the gifts. It is entirely about the enjoyment of being together and most of all -- the laughter and excitement in the eyes of the children.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Interesting change of times....

As I was out this a.m. attempting to reshovel my walkway (again....), I couldn't complete it because it was windy and bitter, biting cold. Far colder than it's been the whole weekend.
That's when the deja vu kicked in.

The stinging in my nose instantly reminded me of being little and walking to school.
I walked to school, every day of my whole educational career. We had no buses...and parents didn't drive kids. We just walked.

And we didn't live close by either.

My junior high was entirely on the other side of town, approximately 3.5 miles from my house. And in zero (often sub zero back then, we had lots of cold weather - much more so than we do now!) degree weather, we didn't bat an eye at getting bundled up and venturing out.

Yet I wouldn't dream of having my kids walk in this weather! And with a hint of a cold? Absolutely not!

It's a funny comparison because my generation of parents didn't love us any less -- or worry any less than we do today; but we definitely had to "tough it out" a little more than today's generation does.

So as I drive my son to school for his delayed opening, and have my daughter home with me because she's got a cold and I wouldn't dream of having her really sick on Christmas or out at recess in this weather - the brisk air and windchill really encapsulates the dichotomy of generations for me today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tagged by the letter..."G".

So, my good friend from "Along the Broken Road" (Dawn) had a post where you have to pick a letter (or have one assigned to you!) and write 10 words that you love, which begin with the letter.

Since I'm far too irritated with Boras & Co., to post my thoughts on the Texas Massacre of last night - I figured I'd do my Saturday survey a day early. Since she hasn't gotten back to me on assigning a letter, I picked a random one.

Besides, it's a snowy night here in Boston, I'm sitting by the fire w/ the family, sipping on a good glass of Riesling -- my creative juices might be flowing a bit at the moment. Let's hope so anyway... G is a really difficult letter!

1. Graciousness. It's a quality that I hope I have - and one that I'm hoping to pass onto my children. There are few things more annoying than someone who isn't gracious.

2. Gentle. I love everything about the word gentle. It's soft, it rolls of the tongue nicely. A gentle person is a kind person -- and again, that is a trait I'm hoping to instill in my children.

3. Goblets. Everyone should own a beautiful pair of wine goblets.

4. Glorious. The word glorious just makes me feel happy. Spectacular even! It's brilliant and sunshine, and.... beauty.

5. Gumbo. Goat cheese. Grapes. Garlic. Grilled cheese sandwiches! (You know I'm all about the food!)

6. Gemini. My son is a Gemini -- my best friend is one, and I have yet to meet a nicer astrological sign, truth be told.

7. Grammar. I'm a fiend about grammar. I deplore the use of poor grammar and really have to hold myself back from correcting others!

8. Gorgeous. One of my favorite adjectives. I think I like it best when it's not used towards people, but more so to describe the environment.

9. Gemelli. I love, love, love gemelli pasta. One of my all time favorites to use and toss with shrimp and veggies with olive oil. It's just the perfect choice.

10. "G". My husband. Technically, his name would really be an "E" but he'd kill me for putting that in writing -- so G it is! He'd probably be upset if I put my other nickname for him in print as well, so...let's just keep at he's my most favorite G word!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday.....

1. Last night I took my daughter to see the Nutcracker. It was my first time seeing it as well -- at least performed by the Boston Ballet. It was wonderful! The Opera House is beautiful, and intimate; we were in great seats in the 8th row so she was able to see everything clearly -- and I was so proud of her. She made it to the intermission, when she told me "I'm tired, I don't want to miss the end but I'm sleepy". She's only 4, and it was a 7:30 show - so she did wonderfully. When I get home, I'll modify this post to show pictures of us before we left and at the Opera House. This is definitely a new "Mommy and Me" tradition - though next year, it will be a matinee -- and a dinner in Chinatown afterwards!

2. I did not get a surgery date today; dissapointing to say the least. My MRI looks good, despite the fact that my knee is locked somewhere between 10 - 15 degrees from normal. Of course, the MRI was taken two months ago; a flap could be out of place now, whereas it wasn't so much then. He gave me a cortisone shot to see if that takes the discomfort away (not sure how it couldn't?!?) but to conclusively rule that it's a knee issue and nothing else, such as a pinched nerve. I've had a pinched nerve before, this is most not definitely that - but I suppose with my MRI looking okay, he needs to be sure before scoping. I get that. The shot itself didn't hurt, the after effect is bizarre --and the weirdest thing is that I got an instant headache and kind of groggy feeling. I'm still fuzzy, actually. I don't know why, must be a coincidence. Or -- maybe it's because I never take anything, ever -- my body is just reacting that way. Anyone ever have a cortisone shot and want to lend insight? Feel free!

3. Facebook is unbelievably addictive! Tonight, after the kids are asleep - my mission is to get cracking on the wrapping! Seems like lately I've been ensconsed in sending holiday cheers, virtual drinks and gifts online. I love it, it's a fun place -- and I'm in touch with alot of people I haven't been in touch with in years and who I want to be in touch with. Some people are friend "collectors" -- everyone they've ever said "hi" to is on their list. For me, I prefer to keep it to those I genuinely like and want to be in touch with.

4. News on the Varitek front is exceptionally quiet. I'm reposting but modifying my thoughts from earlier this week on the subject:

What is up with Tex & Tek? Both guys are free agents. Both share the same birthday date. Both went to Georgia Tech - where both were All American. Both are Boras boys. Both have similar nicknames. But the million dollar question is: will both end up in a Red Sox uniform this year?

The rumors started this week that Boston offered 8 yrs/$200M to Texeira; those have been firming up in substance as more agencies are reporting similar items, and John Henry publicly stated this morning that 10 years for Texeira is out of the question.

Rumors about Varitek have been swirling since before the season even ended -- but it's been rather quiet in the last few days as to what the future is for the Captain. It's looking like it's going to be once again be a holiday game time decision, and hopefully one that will make this girl very happy. (Santa, I've been really very good....!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa baby....

Santa visited this girl early. Last night, actually.
I got a new digital camera!!

Like it? I love, love, LOVE it. Can not wait to take pictures with it this holiday! It's fun to use, with both a touch screen and a stylus pen; I can draw on them - do in camera editing -- the possibilities are endless!!

The best part is that the shutter is so fast, that I will no longer have bad photos of my daughter who is literally like trying to catch a moving target!

Also, no more "deer in the headlights" photos, as with the very disappointing shot of moi with Jason, from the Beckett Bowl. (If you'd like a laugh, search my archives around the Sept. time frame of '07 for that little photograph; it was really was such a horrible shot of this girl. Not for him though, he looked great! But of course the thought through my mind was "Oh God, will the flash ever go off?!?) The next time I have an opportunity to have a photo taken with him, there will be no excuse for it not to be spectacular. Though it won't matter because he'll be too busy looking lovingly into my eyes... (Okay, maybe not. Sigh. Sometimes my silliness gets the best of me...!)

My last camera I've had for over 5 years now - so this was definitely a good investment, and I can't say "thank you" enough.

"Santa cutie, hurry down the chimney tonight..."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"A merry Christmas, Bob!" said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back.

1. It’s rather surprising to me when I see the date to realize Christmas is about 10 days away. I know that the economy is struggling, but it's interesting because the malls and shopping plazas don't seem any less full. Despite the material aspect of Christmas, aren't there other more basic things to be happy about? I suppose that for many, those very basic things are being compromised - and maybe that is why there seems to be less of a holiday spirit everywhere. It's completely justifiable, and rather disheartening. This is the one time of year that I love because no matter what - everything seems happy and shiny and bright.

2. The Turducken has been ordered and is on it's way! If I've said it once, I've said it a million times -- I love to cook. I'm so excited to make this, and I've been researching different kinds of gravy to make with it. I think it's going to be delicious. Anyone ever have one? What did you think...feel free to share your culinary experiences w/ le dinde bourrée du canard bourré du poulet, otherwise known as the Turducken.

3. What is up with Tex & Tek? Both guys are free agents. Both share the same birthday date. Both went to Georgia Tech - where both were All American. Both are Boras boys. Both have similar nicknames. But the million dollar question is: will both end up in a Red Sox uniform this year?

The rumors started yesterday afternoon here that Boston offered 8 yrs/$200M to Texeira; those have been firming up in substance as more agencies are reporting similar but a little more vague reports this morning. Rumors about Varitek have been swirling since before the season even ended -- but it's been rather quiet in the last few days as to what the future is for the Captain. It's looking like it's going to be once again be a holiday game time decision, and hopefully one that will make this girl very happy. (Santa, I've been really very good....!)

4. Is DLowe back in the mix again....? Though I'm still a firm believer that the Red Sox aren't overly interested in bringing him back -- I would love to see that happen, personally. I've always been a supporter of Derek Lowe, and was not really happy to have seen him traded. It seems as if New York isn't overly interested in him at the moment either, so if that's the case and the price is right - maybe the Sox would rethink about the advantages of his presence. I have to say, if we end up signing Jason, Texeira, and Derek Lowe -- this girl will be very, very, very happy with the offseason.

(Sorry Dawn, I know you're all about Mike Lowell....)

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a Partridge in a Pear Tree....

I have to say I'm feeling pretty good about this year's gift giving.

While we all are downscaling the amount of gifts we're giving this year -- as well as the amount of people we're giving to -- I have to say, I’m happy with the kinds of gifts I'm purchasing.
For example, G is incredibly difficult to buy for. What do you get the person who has everything? And yet.....I think I've done okay. I don't feel I picked things just to get something - which is often how I end up feeling
(Especially last year after we agreed not to buy for one another and yet....there I was, rushing to make up for having stuck to my end of the bargain better than he had!)
I think the gifts I thought of are fun, and things he'll enjoy and get good use out of.

Same with the kids; this year, I think the gifts they're getting are ones that they really wanted and will use. It's funny, they write to Santa to express their wishes but somehow those ideas get lost in the sensory overload of walking into a toy store that can get to even the best of parents.
(Raising hand, guiltily.)

So this week, is when I need to get wrapping. I haven't started yet, which isn't a good thing - but I think I'm going to do a lot of gift bag wrapping for things that aren't for the kids in an effort to make life easier. Seriously, I'm beginning to think they're the best invention ever.

I need to get focused on my holiday meal as well. I've decided to take out one of the courses this year -- the soup. I just can't think of a soup that excites me enough to make it - that would go well with my meal, other than a Sweet Potato bisque. It's just not exciting me at the moment....but who knows, that could change.

So the holiday menu at the "I'm just a girl" house this year will be as follows:

Shrimp Cocktail
Stuffed Scallops
Stuffed Italian Peppers
Caesar Salad
Spiral Ham
Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes w/ Pecans and Marshmellow

I do believe that's the menu. Sides are subject to change, but the bulk of it is set in stone....

What will be on your holiday table?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Game Over....

According to reports last night, Casey Anthony needed to be sedated after learning that a bag of bones containing a small child was located near her home.

I bet she did.

Interesting to compare how she had little to no reaction when a bag containing bones was found three weeks ago; of course, that is because she knew that wasn't her daughter. She knew where she had left that little girl - and that river, wasn't the location.

I am holding out hope that the state will bring the death penalty back on the table. It seems that reports from law enforcement are suggesting that a piece of duct tape was placed around the mouth of the child that was found.

Tape around a mouth means "Shut up. Be quiet." Tape around the mouth means that she could've potentially drugged her with chloroform to sedate her, then taped her to keep her quiet should she wake up. An accident by an irresponsible, foolish mother. But then, the question would be posed...why not remove the tape to try to resuscitate the child if she's unresponsive? Accidental death? I think not...

No, this evidence of tape clearly shows malice and forethought. Combined with Google searches she made that corroborate all the evidence found thus far, the case is clearly a Murder in the First Degree that would warrant the death penalty.

When I heard the news, I had such a mix of emotions; immediate sadness because even though I knew she was gone, it's difficult not to hold out a shred of hope. Though this was the news I had been longing for so that she could be at rest - my heart was very heavy. Excitement came next because I just could not believe the fact that this baby was found so close to home, and curiosity had me wondering why she wasn't found sooner - though it was abundantly evident that it had to do with the water levels. Finally anger and hostility settled in, this little girl being so "close to home" all this time... with duct tape around her mouth. Casey Anthony had a shred of truth in all of her lies, didn't she....

Again, my heart goes out to the Anthony family as a whole because this is a devastating situation that no family should ever have to go through; I just hope now they can see the situation for what it is, and unfortuantely embrace the fact that their daughter not only killed her beautiful, innocent daughter -- but destroyed their entire family.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It can't even be called sensationalism...just plain ol' fluff...!

I am utterly disgusted and disappointed at the pitter patter soft shoe interview Larry King hosted last night with George & Cindy Anthony.

I wanted challenging questions; I wanted nothing left hanging with a sense of question. I wanted answers.

There were no hard questions about the odor in the car, which - according to some sources - still smells today, some 6 months later.
No questions about the hair that was found.

(I'm sorry, but the forensic evidence substantiated that there was a dead Anthony that was in that trunk. And if it's none of them......well, you can do the math.)

There was no concern or questions about the God awful Google searches that almost unequivocally lines up with every bit of evidence that has been found.

No questions about the lies. The endless amounts of lies that were told, and have been proven to be lies by their daughter over and over again.

As George Anthony teared up on many occasions during the show last night, my heart broke for him - because he knows the truth. He knows it in his heart and that poor man is being forced into choosing his daughter over his grand-daughter.

No questions about the changing of their own stories.

It was a disgrace of an interview, and I'm almost sorry I watched it.

The only reason why I'm not sorry, is because I got to see Cindy stumble and search for words to try to justify what must sound as incredibly unbelievable and vague excuses for why this is happening - even to her own ears.
She knows the truth.

(By the way, the truth about Caylee's father is that the Marine out in CA is the one who is the father. Now that more photos are released of Caylee as an's almost impossible not to see the resemblence.)

And while as a Mother, I can't imagine what she's going through right now -- as a human being, I can't accept the path she's chosen to take.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wonders for Wednesday....

1. So last night's physical therapy session on my knee was très douloureux; I did have some help in trying to forget the discomfort in the immediate return home, where a Redbones chicken & ribs combo was waiting for me in the oven! G stopped on the way home and picked up some of the best comfort Southern food in MA - and this girl hasn't had any in years! It die for. Seriously, good stuff if you have the chance to go anytime; I have yet to taste better. So if you know of any - hit me up and let me know about it. I swear, I better have this knee surgery soon because not being able to work off all these extra calories is driving me insane!! The 18th can't come soon enough.....

2. The offseason for baseball Is truly one of my favorite times of year. I'm really disappointed that CC Sabathia went to the Yankees; I had hoped to have landed him last year, but now the Evil Empire has tied him up for 6 years. Well, in some instances - going to NY can be a curse. So many "great" ball players have landed there the last few years, just to dud out. Sorry CC -- but I’m sort of hoping it happens to you too.

I don't know what's going to happen with Jonathan Papelbon's outlook on the future now that KRod has landed a mega contract; Jonathan was running off at the mouth last year about it before it should've ever been on the radar -- so, this girl thinks it's not going to be easy to keep him when the time comes. I mean listen, he's "the bomb" but seriously - I digress back to my many posts about sometimes it shouldn't just be all about the money. Isn't there something to be said about work environment, gratification and respect? Why split hairs over a few dollars...?

And finally, the thought I've been pondering for the last few weeks does Youk feel about playing third?

3. I've got my company luncheon today. This is our "holiday party". Seriously? So, I get to leave in a few minutes to go eat a not so great meal (albeit free) with people I don't really know that well. Doesn't that sound fun! Truth of the matter is, I'll be happy and outgoing and chit chat with everyone, but seriously -- I'd rather have a bonus and no lunch. Or....a dinner holiday party! It's been years since I've worked for a company that does a holiday party. Again, it is still awkward because you don't know half the people from the company since we're all dispersed - so I probably wouldn't even go -- but the thought sure would be nice!

Tomorrow is the office holiday party, which will be a little bit more fun. At least I've gotten to know these people a little bit! And, it's in a conference room across the street so I don't have to travel far either.

4. Speaking of tomorrow -- it's the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll! If you're in town, or are planning to be in town -- it's a really fun event for the whole family. The neighborhood businesses serve refreshments and spread cheer as the tree lighting takes place, Santa visits - carolers stroll Charles Street, and I do believe there will be horse drawn carriage rides. (At least there used to be!). Check it out if you can!

5. I've decided to give freelance writing a try....I'll let you know how it works out. I've gotten a few bites, and there's one wine site I'm going to be contributing to - so once I have a few reviews out there, I'll be sure to share.

Off to lunch!
Au Revoir....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


So, this girl is definitely digging the recent merge of Sirius Radio & XM.

But what I'm not happy about, is that Sirius has done nothing in the way of contacting us users to let us know what the changes are. One would think a new channel guide - at a minimum - is something that we could've had sent to us.

But no. I've not received a thing. So, I've been figuring it out myself; well - at least channels 1 through 31. I don't often go further than that unless I get a song alert for Country. They put Country way down in the 60's and it's a pain surfing down there. So, I have certain artists and songs on alert and when I get one - I click over.

Here's what I'm really liking thus far.... I love that the early numbered channels (4-9) are now the originally XM based channels. There's a 40's music channel, which is one of my favorites. I love, love, love music of the 40s. I'm also finding that the other generationally based channels are playing a better selection than they used to, which is why I'm really enjoying them now. I used to truthfully, just blow by them because they sort of played the same things over and over. It's definitely much more eclectic now.

The heavy metal/indie rock channels are better now too! There's more of them and a better variety, which I'm really liking.

The most important thing of all is that they kept "The Coffee House", channel 30 -- all acoustic station. I think I'd have to rethink my subscription options if they changed that one. I haven't had the chance to check out if there are any new New Age/Celtic or Classical channels, but I will.

What this girl really wants to know though....will I get MLB now too?? I have the NFL channels, but seriously -- I want my MLB!!!

(Enter Sting, softly singing in the background...."I want my MLB....")

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Getting ready for the holidays....

Today we had a holiday party with some of our cousins, and it was a really nice time. The best part was that I got to hand out some holiday cards as opposed to mailing them! I finally finished addressing them all so, they are ready to go out the door.

I love sending holiday cards -- and I love receiving them as well. I sort of regret that I didn't take the kids to a studio to get them done, but I'll do Easter shots of them instead I suppose. But getting everyone's Christmas cards is so fun because each year I cut them and put them on magnetic frames on my fridge, so each year they're updated and I can see how all the kids have grown.

I still exchange cards with kids from high school who I talk to relatively frequently, but we've been sending cards for years. I think I love getting those the most.

Have you gotten your cards ready to go yet?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Strings of streetlights, even stop lights, blink a bright red and green....

Tonight is this year's debut of the annual tradition of viewing the Christmas lights with the "I'm just a girl" kids!

Once a week, during the month of December - I take the kids out and about after dinner and we visit different neighborhoods and towns viewing the light displays.

They get dressed in their cozy clothes (a.k.a pajamas), and we make a stop at Dunkins for hot cocoa & munchkins - and they get to sit back, relax, listen to Christmas music and "ooh" and "ah" at the lights.

I love it too, because it's a great way to wind down the week -- and who doesn't love Christmas lights?!?!

No "bah-humbugs" allowed in this girl's world. There's enough crankiness all year long to go around; for just a few weeks I want to be able to enjoy the happiness, excitement and pretty decorations that make us forget, even if for only a moment -- all the ugly things that exist in this world.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So this whole knee injury is irritating me a bit.....

Both literally - and figuratively.

Physical therapy has been working, I definitely have better mobility and my knee straightens better but still locks and won't completely straighten. And it's still so sore to the touch in some places.

The therapist toggles back and forth between it being a torn meniscus, a strained meniscus, a bone bruise, and luxation of my patella - which he said he can feel a rub in my knee which goes with the meniscus, but also - the luxation when I use the bike.

All I know is -- I want it fixed. PT is doing good things as far as mobility but the discomfort -- so not close to going away. It keeps me up at night often because I can't sleep on my sides - the knees pressing together is uncomfortable. I can't lay on my back for long because my leg doesn't lay completely flat -- and if I lay on my stomach, the pressure on my knee face down is bothersome as well.

My follow up with the ortho is on the 18th, and I'm pretty sure that the therapist is going to recommend at minimum a scoping to see what's going on in there if this doesn't let up.

At this point, I'm good with that. Because it's entirely interfering in my life.

I miss yoga....sigh.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Things that you go "hmmmm?"

Note to the folks at the Advertising for Dunkin Donuts: if your audience has to really analyze and think about the "gimmick" -- it's not a good one.

When I got my cup of "high maintenance but keeping it real" coffee this morning, all I could see was that "holidays" was misspelled as "HOLIDDAYS". (Please see the photo. And if you can't see the photo - then clearly something isn't working right and I'll have to upload it again when I get home. Or, go buy a cup yourself and see!) Yes, I get that the one "D" was colored pink - but seriously, the whole play on acronyms fell blind on my eyes. Truly, all that occured to me was "A typo?? Who the hell did the QC and proofing for this cup?"

Note to the absolute horror of a human being who set an 8 week old kitten on fire in Springfield: I hope you die a horrible, painful death. And a long one too. No, nothing quick and easy for you. I'd say here what I'd like to see done to you, but I wouldn't want anyone to be shocked at the sadistic thoughts that can go through a girl's head when something so heinous is done to an innocent creature.

Note to parents of small children: The movie Bolt is by far the best movie for kids I've seen in years. You must take your own to see it in 3-D which is just fabulous, the best animation I've ever seen - and the story was really, really good! The casting was perfect (outside of Miley Cyrus whom I don't love...) and it was really very funny. Not in that fresh "adult" way that alot of movies are done in now - but just very funny for everyone. My kids laughed -- they cried, and at the end, my 7 year old said he wants to buy the DVD when it comes out. It is definitely a "must see".

Note to rude coworkers: When a "friend" comes in after having a bad hair tragedy (not me, a friend of mine) -- you don't laugh at her!! That is rude, ignorant -- and truthfully, given the stories I've heard about you -- you are in no position to laugh at anyone, about anything.

A note to Theo, Larry, & Mr. Henry: All I want for Christmas is Jason Varitek signed...Paul Byrd at middle relief (or a few good people for that role)...and yes, a really great bat in the cleanup spot.

While I've waffled on Mark Teixeira these last few weeks (because truthfully - I don't know that I love Youk at third. Mike Lowell, great player and great guy - but I'm not emotionally attached to him; it's the Youk factor I've got issues with) the truth of the matter is - we need a big bat, and a young one at that. He sort of fits the bill. So, I might be okay with that decision if it's made -- I'm just still struggling with Youk at third.

And finally, a note to Santa: (Well, probably my first of many this year!) On that whole Jason Varitek thing... him under my tree as well might not be so bad either. But if leaves Boston, you are going to owe me. Bigtime...!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Me + Food = Happiness.

I love Whole Foods.

I am right now, eating the most delicious French onion soup I have ever had.
But before I settled on le le potage français d'oignon, of course I had to see, smell and (loud sound of air sucking in here) taste things!

First thing I tried: Polenta Pistachio Bread with Jalapeno.
Oh. My. God.
If you like jalapeno (I do! I do!) then you'll love this because the burn is just on the end of the bite. And true to it's style of spice - it lingers just a bit. I'm not a big butter person, however with a touch of sweet butter to counteract the spice this is just delicious. I don't even like bread really and I'd have bought it.

Next up: Salmon Something or Other. (Code for "I can't remember the name of it!")
It was cooking on the stovetop and smelled fabulous.
It was almost like a bouillabaisse or cioppino; tomato based, with a little salt & pepper, garlic, basil and cilantro. Very light -- and really quite good. I wouldn't think to put salmon in a tomato base and surprisingly -- it worked. I almost got that instead of the French Onion, but eh - a little too heavy for lunch time I think.

Off to the cheese counter -- my favorite place in the whole store.
And they were sampling, my very favorite cheese in the whole entire world: Pavano Robusto.
It has a consistency similar to Gouda - but it is nutty and yummy like a nicely aged Parmigiano Reggiano, which is another favorite of mine. "Cheese, glorious lucious and scrumptious". (Remember that commercial, all you thirty-somethings + out there?)

And then finally, to the fresh fruits, where I picked up a lovely container of icy cold, fresh pineapple (which I have now moved onto, as I write this...).

I don't know why food makes me feel so good, even when I'm just walking through a supermarket and looking without buying anything; other than it really is true that it just is the littlest things in life that can make me happy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Because you had a bad day, you're taking one down, you sing a sad song just to turn it around...

Yup. It's a Monday.....

So, I stop to get gas this a.m. on my commute. The full serve was $2.39 (seriously?!?) but the self serve across the street was $1.73. Clearly, the choice of self serve was an obvious one, rain or otherwise. A woman pulled in ahead of me, and instead of pulling up to the pump to let me behind her -- she stopped. (If you ask me, that's pretty ignorant; especially since she knew I was behind her, I let her in ahead of me.) The other pumps were full, so I went around her to back up to the pump. Where I promptly misjudged and scraped right against the cement pole. Lovely addition to my already battered and bruised back end.

As this happened, a car on the other side has left - so I pull around into that spot. When I get out, a man in a van in front of me saw me examine the damage and since I noticed him watching I felt obligated to say "ugh. just add it to the rest of the damage..." and then when he chuckled, I said, "I think it's rather ignorant that she didn't pull up to the front pump" to which he replied, "it is ignorant, I hate when people do that" - but alas, it's not entirely her fault that it happened, and I felt bad so I said "well, even still that doesn't make up for my lack of driving skill...".

Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at, right?

Off I go to work, when one of my friends texts me to ask how traffic on 128 is. So, as she and I are going back and forth, a State Trooper whom I didn't notice two lanes over from me - suddenly puts on his lights and sirens. As I turn to look, he's looking at me and coming into my lane. So I think "oh sh!t. Bagged for texting and driving....I deserve it." So I pull into the breakdown lane, where he goes behind me. Suddenly, his siren changes to that annoying "hey dumbass get out of my way" squawking sound. I look in my rearview and he's waving me out of the lane -- and flies up the breakdown lane with sirens blaring to who knows where. Here I was being honest and guilty, and he wasn't even looking for me!

And then finally as I turn onto the road that leads to work, someone slams their brakes in front of me - my purse goes flying and all the contents fall out everywhere.

If it's true that things come in threes - then my Monday should be done for now.
But if not....then I don't even want to think about my commute home!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How lovely are your branches...

So, it's not a fabulous photo since I took it with my cell phone, but here is l'arbre de Noël ~ 2008.

Of course, I completely forgot how much the cats love love love the ribbon and ornaments. I've had to redo the ribbon at the bottom twice already.

Well, cats have to enjoy the holiday season too, right?

I'm usually very particular about how the tree gets done, certain colors first, then specific decorative ornaments go on -- I have it all down to a science. However...

One of the best things of having children is that they almost force you to leave that kind of neuroticism out of doing things like this; by their mere exuberance and excitement you have no choice but to have fun and not make it a project of perfection.

Sure, I was caught saying "no, put that down!", "no - not that one yet!", "wait! wait until I put the hook through..please listen!." but the truth of the matter is that we ended up putting the ornaments on completely in no particular fashion or order -- and I didn't even really notice until I was done. I said to my aunt "hmmm. I almost forgot about these ornaments, and they're my favorite!". They're the ones I generally put on first, but this year....they were added last.

There were only two bulb casualties -- and they were my fault -- the kids were surprisingly gentle without even giving much though to it.

It was a great day.... I made beef stew, pumpkin bread, reese's brownies (which sound better than they actually were, I didn't love them); and my aunt brought over turkey salad and chocolate chip cookies, and we just sort of hung out - listened to music and ate by the glow of the tree.

Of course, with two kids all sorts of excited and running around....and of course, the curious cats.

The beginning of the holiday season has officially begun in this girl's house....

Friday, November 28, 2008

China & Platinum

Tonight is my 20th year high school reunion.
Again, I reiterate -- I'm so not old enough to be having a 20 year mark of anything!
But, the truth of the matter is -- I am.

China and Platinum are the elements that are representative of what you would give to someone who's having their 20th anniversary.

Sure, we aren't married to our classmates in the literal sense; but we are bonded with them in the pages of our lives. We will forever be known as the "graduating class of 1988". We have a history of memories that while was for only a short moment in time -- it was an important one.

I haven't really changed all that much from high school; I don't think anyone who I haven't seen or run into is going to say "wow, you look so different!" or anything like that. I was always pretty driven and ambitious, and I was really friendly with everyone so it's not like I was shy or didn't socialize. I was drama club/cheerleader/rocker chick. I was also sports girl -- not in the playing aspect, but in the stats aspect. I used to have a group of guy friends that would wait in homeroom for me to come in so they could quiz me on stats and standings of teams in the NHL and NBA.

Truthfully, I think the biggest thing is that people may have expected me to have left and gone to LA. A few years after high school someone said to me (and I can't remember who they are, how sad is that? ) "I'm glad you're doing well, I'm just surprised you're still here. I really thought you were going to be on Broadway or television by now...".

In the class will, (which it would be really fun if they read tonight!) I was left "my own television show", "my name in lights", "a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame", and fun things like that.

Which just goes to show that the career aspirations we had when we were 16, 17, 18 and even into our 20s often don't get to come to fruition; whether we held ourselves back and didnt pursue what we could have -- or luck just didn't go the way some needed it to. And then there are some who went to school and got degrees in what they thought they wanted, only to opt to do something entirely different.

Life is a funny thing. While I'm not where I may have thought I'd be 20 years ago -- I am happy with where I am today. Life is good.

I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the people I was friends with so long ago, and see what kind of grown ups they've turned out to be as well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A moment to give thanks....

Today is for me - the official beginning of the holiday season. From now unil New Year's, I often reflect and look back on the past year, as well as my life in general. It's a time to take stock in who we are, where we are -- and think about what we want to change or maintain for the following years to come.

It's a time to appreciate our family and friends, and realize that life is too short and too precious to waste time on anger, hostility or resentment.

"Peace is not to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work; It means to be in the midst of those things, and be calm in your heart."

I wish Peace for you this Thanksgiving, and always.

And without further adieu, here is my abbreviated list of what I'm thankful for this holiday season...

1. My children and my family. My life would be empty without them....

2. The health and well being of those I love and care about. In the end, nothing is ever as important as that.

3. I'm thankful for being born with a positive outlook on life. It's not having rose colored glasses on, it's being pragmatic yet optimistic. I'd much rather be that way, than pragmatic and cynical.

4. I'm thankful to be in a situation financially that I am not in panic mode during this economic crisis. Though that's not really a luck situation as much as it is an orchestrated life style that we to stick with and maintain.

4a. I'm thankful to be gainfully employed, despite my lack of enthusiasm for the position at this time. Better to be employed than not!

5. I'm thankful the second store fell through a few months ago. The adage of "everything happens for a reason, even if you don't see the reason right away..." is so true. To be building a store and carrying a lease during renovations right now would not allow me to have the above mentioned #4 on my list. Retail ready is the way the second location needs to go...and thankfully, "someone else was watching over" and agreed.

6. I do not care what any one says, but Leonard Padilla is literally the only person who refuses to give up on ensuring that Caylee Anthony's mother pays dearly for her deeds. Thanks to him, I do believe that Caylee Anthony - or some aspect of identifying material relating to her - will be found. It seems as if that poor little girl's family has thrown her to the wayside and all have done nothing but interfere with the possibilities of bringing her home. Though I don't blog about it often, she is on my mind many times a day. Little innocent baby, I just want her story to end with justice. And I assure you, when that happens I will be entirely thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And it's hard to hold a candle, in the cold November rain....

Today is most definitely a day to be in warm comfy clothes, eating all the wrong foods -- and watching movies -- as aptly put by one of my friends today.

Funny thing. Here at the base, our buildings are maintained by a contract that I believe is facilitated by Good Will. So there are some wonderfully nice people who are in the building from time to time, as well as some...special folks. Who are still nice, but they're just more colorful.

We have a guy here today, who I refer to as "Snoop Dogg". I love the real Snoop - and clearly so does this gentleman. Truthfully he does resemble him a little bit, despite being probably about 8 inches shorter. ( He also tends to wear so much cologne that you can smell him coming down the hall a mile away. I wouldn't mind if it was a soft, powdery cologne but it's like Drakkar on Overdrive! I literally have to hold my breath when he's in our immediate area. Poor guy...clearly hygiene is high on his list, but someone should really let him know he doesn't need to bathe in the spray. But I digress....) This morning as I walk up to the building, he's outside rapping loudly to himself. Violent, angry rap. So I smile and say "Good Morning" and he snaps into submissive mode and whispers "Good Morning" in this mousy little voice that is striking contrast to the voice he was just rapping in. Think Mike Tyson suddenly turning into Rob Zombie. Ah yes, these are the little tidbits that make life at work interesting...

So I am a guest at this upcoming Thanksgiving Day dinner. Candied sweet potatoes and Colorful Cauliflower are my items. Well, hopefully colorful cauliflower. Sometimes you can find cauliflower in purples and oranges -- and while they taste the same as plain old white -- it's more fun to eat and definitely prettier on the dish. I steam it and season with a hint of salt and honey. The kids love it -- but my kids are pretty cool about vegetables in general. I can't think of a vegetable outside of cooked carrots that they don't like.

I'm also bringing a dessert, which I will not mention here because if anyone I will be dining with is reading this, I don't want to let the cat out of the bag. It's not going to be home made, but it looked so delicious I can resist buying it. I just hope I can still get one tomorrow....though given the weather, I'm thinking it's not going to be high on everyone's list this year.

And if that isn't too big of a clue, then clearly you and I just aren't tracking!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Mash Up!

1. Yesterday's Patriot's game was unflipping believable. I couldn't pull myself away - and literally, you almost weren't able to because at one point it almost seemed as if whomever had possession was scoring. The defense clearly needs more work -- as do the safeties. Seriously, I think I hit harder than Brendan Merriweather -- which is disappointing because I'd really hoped he'd be a good follow on for when and if the time came for Rodney Harrison to retire. Not sure he's developing to be "that guy". And I'm sorry, I get that John Lynch is "old" but I'm thinking that experience and tenacity is needed in that position.

Matt Cassell -- wow. I (like many others) certainly am needing to be eating my words of the last few months. Clearly, players improve when given the ability to play -- but I don't know that anyone expected this. Is he Brady-like? No, I don't think so - but he is definitely coming into his own. See what happens when the expectations are low -- often you get surprised. It really shows you a person's character and fortitude when they are perceived as the underdog, are aware of that fact -- and then exceed all expectations. And on a chick note: he's cuter than Tom was in the beginning. Just think of the supermodels he's going to be getting once he gets his makeover...!

Final Patriots thought: Bill Belichick is an amazing coach. All you naysayers and cynics from last season who had nothing but negativity and jeers towards this team, that man and all their accomplishments -- hmmm. You think they're cheating now? Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! (As Alex & Rob like to say....!)

2. Sometimes, you just like what you like. Last week, I mentioned a song I love by Alter Bridge titled "Metalingus". Well today, I heard a song that is entirely in a different vein -- it's soft, acoustic and really melodic. I had no idea who it was performed by, but I felt as if I knew who was singing it - there was something familiar about the voice. Get this: it's called "Watch Over You" by none other than................ my boys Alter Bridge! Must. Buy. The CD.

3. Last night, the nicest thing happened. My daughter and I were having our sushi date and sitting behind us was a man eating dinner alone. I only know this because when his food came over, it smelled so good that I had to turn around to see what he got. That was when I noticed he was eating alone. Anyway, at the end of our dinner - my daughter was laughing and noticeably looking at this man. So I asked what she was laughing at and she came across the table and whispered into my ear "that man is making funny faces at me and making me laugh". So I turned around and he said "she's adorable, she's been entertaining me". So I thanked him and said that she can certainly be quite funny. So she and I finish eating...and he must've left. The waitresses came over to give me my bill and told me that my "friend" paid the tab. I said, "friend? I don't have any friends here.....?" when they told me the man behind me paid. I saw him up at the counter and said "oh, he shouldn't have done that!"....but he left before I could thank him and I wasn't about to leave my daughter at the table. But I know he heard my reaction because he looked back at us.

What's interesting is that my first thought was "Wow, how unbelievably thoughtful and kind". My second thought was "is he some crazy guy who'd be waiting for us in the parking lot". See how society has changed us from taking random acts of kindness at face value and reading into some sort of underlying bad motive?

But I brushed that secondary reaction away and stuck with my original gut feeling of "What a really nice guy. Such a kind thing to do...."

So where ever you are...whomever you are....thank you.
It was appreciated!

4. Jason, Jason -- where for art thou Jason..... please don't make me wait until Christmas Eve to determine whether I'll be happy or in mourning this upcoming season. "Rumor" has it a one year deal was offered, which rather surprises me considering I think we all thought that he's looking for better longevity, and probably not wanting to have to continually renegotiate as a one year deal would imply he'd need to do. All I can say is this, if our good Captain is in need of some career counseling advice, this girl is more than willing to lend an ear and offer kind words of advice!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My daughter's holiday dress...

I love Burlington Coat Factory.

Love, love, LOVE it.

This dress: $30 at Dillards.

Which, is not a bad price at all.

$14.99 at Burlington Coat Factory.

Unfortunately, there weren't any sweaters or shirts for boys in red or green; but there was a button down in the perfect shade of gold that matches the gold circles! There also was a sage one that matched the sage circles as well - but he picked, and gold it was. With a nice pair of brown courdoroys -- they will match each other and look beautiful on Christmas Eve.

We do visiting on the Eve -- but we stay home on the day -- so I dont make them get dressed up in anything other than maybe sweats that are red and green so as to be festive. Besides, I'm cooking all day and don't get to be dressed up either so I'd feel hypocritical making them get dressed up.

I have to say, I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving being over so that I can focus on Christmas.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sometimes the best laid plans...

Often end up with a kink.
So, no sitter available for tonight, and while G would normally be home by 6:30 - he has to work tonight and tomorrow day. And my sitter options are otherwise booked. So clearly - unless something changes, no Trifecta Dinner tonight. I'm holding off on cancelling, just incase...

What I find so frustrating, is that whenever I want or need to go somewhere - I need to have a sitter. G, on the other hand - can come and go as he pleases without ever giving it a second thought. Of course when I mention this, he says "well we have a store - so that comes with the territory." (Excuse of convenience if you ask me.) Yeah, I get that. But every time?!? If you have staff that you cant rely on if someone suddenly takes the weekend off (like this weekend) then you need to get better help. Or if they stand around and watch you lift boxes when you clearly are suffering with a bad back -- they're a waste of time and money. Nuff said.

This led me to think of how else I am to spend the night since I will be home alone. Maybe, I'll bake cookies. I got a great email that has like 100 different cookie recipies, and me with my Kitchen Aid all alone..?

So here's a fun cookie survey I thought I'd post for my Saturday Survey.
If you use it - let me know!

01. What is your favorite store bought cookie? I'd have to say probably Oreos. Mint Oreos are really addictive.
02. What is your favorite home made cookie? Those shortbread thumbprint cookies with jelly in the middle. I remember in Home Ec we made two dozen of them. I ate them all. I LOVE those.
03. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Tagalongs!
04. What is your favorite mini cookie (like animal crackers, teddy grahams, etc.)? Eh, I'm all set with those. Frosted Animal crackers hold my attention for a second and that's about it.
05. Do you consider Fig Newtons a cookie? Absolutely. I love how they get all muddy and stick to the roof of my mouth. It's a cookie you have to work at and you can't rush them.
06. Do you bake cookies often? Not as often as I should.. but pretty regularly.
07. Do you give cookies as gifts? No. I'm not much of a baker...
08. Do you buy cookies at the Mall? No. That never appeals to me. G can't resist them though.
09. Do you dip Oreos in milk? Eww. No. I remember being little and my parents trying to teach me to do it but I never really cared for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday always comes too late..But Friday never hesitates...!

For a short week -- it felt really long. Today I met Susan for a sushi lunch which was such a great way to end the week! And I'm openly envious because she's going to Wrentham tomorrow, and I can't wait to go myself and get a jump on my holiday shopping. Thinking of taking one day during the week in the next week or so.... (but not the day after Thanksgiving, unfortunately.) if anyone of you girlfriends who read along are game, let me know.

The plan for tomorrow was initially about getting the kiddies pictures taken for the holiday cards. But since the week was a little skewed, I didn't get the chance to buy them their holiday outfits yet -- and so I'm not going to have them take their pictures at the studio. Fluidity and flexibility are key in a Mom's world. I'm going to try something different this year. Tomorrow, the kids are going to get their hair cuts, and then I'm going to pick out their outfits -- and we're going to take their photos at home. I've got some pretty decorations I think I can use for backgrounds and props -- and so Mom is going to be photographer extraordinaire. "Le Studio du Supergoddess", if you will.

I can order all my prints through Snapfish that way -- and oh by the way -- photo card orders placed by 23 November are only one cent for the first 20 ordered. I am so all over that!

Saturday night is going to be the "Trifecta Reunion". Myself, and two of my girlfriends are getting together for dinner and drinks at the fabulous Mexican restaurant that we love -- which happens to have a second location right down the street from my friend Michelle. She just moved into a new place one town over which is fabulous because even though we don't work together any longer, we live close enough to still be able to visit without it being a big strategic affair. And our other friend Taryn, is a North Shore kinda gal too - so we're all close by. We haven't had the chance to hang out since the three of us don't work together any longer. I changed jobs, Michelle changed jobs...and Taryn is still there. We had planned for last weekend, but with G's back all messed up and Taryn's husband being sick as well -- we rescheduled.

Sunday, is probably going to be a relaxing, of course. But I think we'll just hang in and relax that day because that night -- it's the previously mentioned WWE Survivor Series and it just so happens that G is feeling well enough to go; so my daughter and I are going to have a little girl's night. I thought it would be fun for her and I to do something special, maybe go out to eat or see a movie together, just the two of us.

I am ready to let the weekend begin.

So this is the thought that I'll leave off with today....
"Leave worries and anxieties behind, for they add nothing to your life. Be at peace, and you will feel fullness of your power within".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"You think you know me...."

(The beginning of Alter Bridge by Metalingus. One of my favorite songs. It's also the theme song for "Edge".)

So here's a statement I never thought I'd ever make:
I think I like WWE.

I know, crazy isn't it? While I can't find myself getting enthralled with the story lines -- the music alone is enough to reel me in.

My son loves wrestling. At the tender age of 7 1/2 he knows all about the history of the league (and it's predecessors), the storylines, characters real names, entrance songs (both new and old) -- you name it, he knows it. He has every video game for Xbox and Xbox 360 that has been released for wrestling. And I have to admit -- it's pretty darn fun! You can coordinate everything about a wrestler that you create...and in the newer versions, they even announce the name you make for them as they enter the ring.

You know he made a girl wrestler named "Rebecca".

Truthfully, when G introduced wrestling to him -- I thought he was far too young to be watching it; I think that some of the content with the ladies is a bit too adult for him -- however, Mom doesn't get to win all battles. He gets that it isn't "real", and that these are athletes who play characters (sorry if I'm ruining the mystique for anyone! ) -- but we've also explained to him that they're all very hardworking and talented athletes who put their lives at risk each time they perform. Enjoy this form of entertainment or not -- these people are definitely physical and athletic.

G has a friend who's father is a very important person in the WWE world, and who has been kind enough to get tickets for my son on occasion. This Sunday, there is a big series that is going to be in town and my son will be going. G is supposed to take him, but with his back..... if he's not better in time, then I'll just have to do it.

And interestingly enough, this girl surprisingly finds herself wishing that he just doesn’t feel up to going....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh, Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning

So the last 24 hours or so have been interesting to say the least.

Seems that G has a pinched nerve in his back. Potentially caused by a herniated disc - the Xrays looked okay, no odd spacing or thinning which is a good thing; but only a CT or MRI will truly show whether the disc is herniated or not. Truthfully, even if it is - surgery isn't generally an option anyway.

But he can barely walk, and is really uncomfortable.
How did this happen, you ask?

Well. It's like this.....

Friday night, I get a call. It goes something like this:

G: Hey, whats going on?
Me: Nothing, where are you - at J's?

G: At the store buying sneakers. I'm going to play football with some of the guys.
Me: Um, you're going to what? You know you have a bad back, right? That's just stupid. No football.
G: Stop, I'll be fine. They're calling me out, calling me old -- I'll be fine.
Me: (Clearly irritated) You are old. This is your busy season, don't be a dumbass.
G: Get outta here, it's just a quick game of flag football - I'll call you later.
Hangs up.
Me: (Insert a string of expletives HERE.)

And, sure enough. By Sunday - he couldn't walk.
Monday he waited hours upon hours to be seen by the ER, only to leave unseen.
Yesterday, we went - which is how we were able to determine it wasn't anything more critical.
And that brings us to today.

I wasn't able to get him into see my acupuncturist before Monday, she had a death in the family. But his sister got him into see another one who I've heard of - and whom is very well thought of from what I hear from those who've been to see him. So hopefully, this course of therapy will help some.

Poor guy, for whatever reason - pain medicines don't work on him. Muscle relaxers don't affect him like they affect everyone else -- I've never seen anything like it in my life. Whether it's at the dentist, or at the hospital -- the iv sedation they give him never works. He's always awake, lucid - and feels everything.

Well, the upside to that is -- he won't turn into Jeff Conaway -- he can't get high!
(God forbid! Little "Celebrity Rehab w/ Dr. Drew Pinsky" joke in there.)

I just hope it clears up for him quickly. For his sake....and mine!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock, rock, rock, rock...Rock n Roll High School....

So my 20th high school reunion is quickly approaching.
(You know, the one I bowed out of helping to plan.)

It's funny because there's only about 100 people going, out of a class of 320. And it's mostly girls from what I can see from the RSVP list....which is rather interesting.

It is way over priced (I'm thinking due to the poor turnout), which is what's going to make going with a few girlfriends much more palatable. Who wants to spend $150.00 on a night that their spouse isn't going to know anyone or have a good time? Especially in this economy! Which is probably the mindset behind why a.) only a handful of people are going, and b.) an even smaller handful within that are bringing their spouses.

And since the price of the ticket is so high -- this girl will not be buying anything new to wear!

But that's okay - I don't really feel the need to go out of my way to impress anyone. I truly haven't changed all that much from high school - and I don't have anything to prove to anyone, so to speak.

There are a lot of girls going who have changed quite a bit -- and I mean that in a positive way, and so I'm sure they're anxious to "strut their stuff". I'm excited for them! It's always great to see people gain acceptance and confidence; let's be honest, for many people no matter how many years out of school they are - it will always feel like "high school" to them without that validation.

So my friend Robyn and I will be driving together -- and them we've planned on sitting with about 10 other girls, some of whom I've run into over the years because we live near each other - and some I haven't seen since graduation and I can't wait to see them and catch up.

(Now I can't get the Bon Jovi song "Never say Goodbye" out of my head. Senior year in my Filmmaking & TV Media class, as a project we had to script and direct a video -- and I chose this song. It was set around a 20th year high school reunion. Not super creative, but hey - no one else thought of it! I was so proud of that project...)

I just don't feel old enough to be having a 20 year reunion.
I swear, when I look in the mirror I think I'm only a kid.

A very busy, tired, and multi-tasked kid -- but a kid, none the less.
It blows my mind to think that I've been out of school that long.

Anyone else been to their respective reunions?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Survey!

Okay, so my personal pity party from yesterday is over. It's a brand new day - and truthfully, it's good to have a job even if you're not happy with it. I think my incense about it lies in the fact that I see so many people try to get out of doing more than they have to with their jobs, and here I am, looking to do as much as I possibly can! It will all work out in the end.

Any how, generally I try not to post on a Saturday unless it's a survey. And since the kiddies and I went food shopping today - I though this would be the perfect survey for me to post. Let me know if you use it, I'd love to see your answers!

Bon Appetit!

1. Favorite milk? I don't drink milk, truth be told. I use skim in my coffee. Both kids have lactose issues to a certain extent so my son drinks Soy and my daughter drinks Rice.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook this season? Pot Roast, Stuffed Cabbage, Spaghetti and Meatballs. (That was easy)!

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? Salt -- and tabasco pepper

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? ooh, that's a tough one. I haven't really had a huge disaster. Oh wait - one Christmas, I ordered Muscovy Ducks from Harry & David - and they were supposed to be smoked and fully cooked, I just needed to warm them. And they were raw. That was fun to serve...not.

5. Favorite pickled item? LOVE marinated mushrooms. Home made sour tomatoes and stuffed cherry peppers are a close second.

6. How do you organize your recipes? By course.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? I'd love to have a disposal but since I'm on septic, trash it is.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)? Sushi, pineapple, pad thai. I could sustain quite nicely with those three.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? So many. My mom making home made spaghetti sauce (she didn't make it as frequently as I do so that was a real treat.) My dad's dropped eggs on toast. And of course -- tuna fish dip. I've blogged often about these childhood memories.

10. Favorite ice cream? I don't eat real ice cream often, but Kimballs Farms is the best - hands down.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? My Kitchen Aid. I don't use it too terribly often, but just looking at it makes me happy. I really want the pasta attachment.

12. Spice/herb you would die without? Garlic.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? The one my parents made for me. It's about 12 years old or so now and it's my favorite.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Raspberry

15. Favorite recipe to serve to an omni (I would've used the word "uber" here, but hey, I didn't make this one up) friend? Why I'd cook their favorite, of course...!

16. Do you eat tofu? I never thought I would, but I do. And it's delicious!!!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? Oh, dinner - without a doubt.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? My breads, juices, a bread maker, and the rice milk.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Frozen veggies, pork chops, chicken breast

20. What's on your grocery list? WAY too much to list here!

21. Favorite grocery store? Whole Foods. But I so don't do my food order there. I'm a Market Basket kinda girl. Who can afford to feed a family at Whole Foods?!

22. Name a recipe you'd love to try, but haven't yet. Just about anything in my Food and Wine magazines.

23. Food blog you read the most. I don't read food blogs. What, is that a bad thing?

24. Favorite chocolate? Since I'm not a big chocolate kinda girl, I've become quite accustomed to organic dark chocolate, 70% at minimum. It tastes wonderful and doesn't entice you to overindulge. Plus, it's good for you!

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? Define extravagant...? It's not like I buy caviar or anything. Maybe it was buying 10 lobsters three weeks ago. But at $3.99/lb, is that truly extravagant? I'd venture to guess not...

26. What vegetables do you enjoy most? I love, love, love vegetables. Cooked, raw, whatever. I love roasting my veggies too. Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Eggplant, Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower. The only vegetable that's truly off limits for me is peas.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down....

So, yesterday wasn't one of my happier days.
I know, in today's economy - we should all be thankful for being employed. That being said -- yesterday was a day that reality smacked me right in the face.
And I had it validated this morning, which in some way - is very helpful and allows for me to feel that I'm not imagining the situation.

I have never, ever been the type of person to say "that isn't my job". But today I am going to publicly make the statement.
(And let me preface this with the caveat that to any of my fellow blogging friends who are in a different job position than I am - please don't be offended by the following statement. If this is your job, it's a lovely job, but unfortunately -- not my career path or background.)

I am not a file clerk.
I am not a file clerk!!!

This morning, when the office was quiet -- a co worker of mine whom I've known since my first office here on base, and we are now working together again - sat me down and asked me why the heck I was in this job, and that it was steps backwards for me. (Thank you! Vindication!!).

Unfortunately, the way the position was described to me was very different from what it was. It was Requirements, and Project Management. They were "desperately seeking" someone with strong program management skills -- even quizzing me about how I lifecycle a project from beginning to end. It was high visibility, and politically charged. Had they been honest during the interview process, yes I would've declined. But they knew that....and had been struggling to fill the position (I now learn) and I am. Rerouting an email or two, scanning a few documents -- and oh yes, filing.

Who even does paper filing any longer? They should all be electronic. But no, I have to file documents from 1999 - 2008.

Yeah... found that little tidbit out yesterday. When it was suggested I go through each file one by one (thousands of them?!?) to determine what should stay and what can be shredded, I had to hold myself back from saying, "you can't be serious, right?". Again, no offense to anyone reading --- I work with people who are file clerks, and that is their job. They know this - it's their job title and they interviewed with that understanding. I am not a file clerk, nor did I expect to be one.

I understand that it's often a crap shoot and you don't know what you're going to truly end up with when you interview for a job, but I am utterly, utterly disappointed. It's a dead end clerk position for which I am severely overpaid for. Oh, and get this - the person who I report to knows this. I supervised his staff in my last job!! He knows I'm not right for this job. But contracting is a dirty business...

Should I laugh and enjoy the down time and collect the check? I suppose. But I am not happy about it. To add insult to injury, if the people here perceive me as being that, how will I ever be able to prove that I'm not supposed to be in this kind of a job?!? That limits my opportunities in this organization. And truth be told, I'm embarrassed. Because I know how the construct of this organization is, and I'm now perceived as a very junior person - and even worse in my mind -- as the office "fluff".

(Insert really loud F-bomb HERE.)

Thoughts, suggestions, kind words, laughter.....all are welcome, and much needed today.