Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things.....

The school season is rapidly approaching.

Tonight, is Parent Orientation for Princess Petunia's Kindergarten. The 31st is the Parent/Teacher/Student Orientation for my son's class. September 1st is his first day of school; September 2d is my daughter's Teacher/Student Orientation -- and then her first day is the 8th of September.

In our town, there are seperate Kindergartens; by that, I mean the schools as a whole are a Kindergarten. Then, they have elementary schools -- 1-3rd grades. The 4th-5th are Intermediate schools; 6-8 is the Middle School -- and then you have the high school. While it can be a logistical nightmare when you have children in different schools, I really like the layout and structure of it all. They separate the age groups so that children of like ages are together and yet not with groups too young or too old to be truly "peers". Even the release times are different so as not to conflict. (Again, logistically for a working parent - a potential nightmare, but yet somehow, it all works out in the end.)

When I was little, we were in the more traditional K-6. Some schools are still that way, or they're K-8 and I suppose that's okay but I'm happy with the kids being in different schools. In some ways for siblings that's kind of nice too -- they each have their own space.

So this weekend I've got some school supply shopping to do (not much, truly their lists are quite small which surprised me!) and at a minimum I'd like to get a new shirt for my son to wear his first day. My daughter already has a few new things to start with so I have some choices for her first day. I'm sure the weather, while it may be cooler - will still be warm, and their schools have no air conditioning so even on cool days it's so very warm in there.

September 1st will be bittersweet....happy to see them go back and continue their education, but yet sad to see them go; yet another indication that they're growing up and becoming little people. While it's something we all long for our children, and want to see them be happy and successful in life -- at the same time -- we wish we could keep them small, and safe and sheltered with us forever.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stewie: Oh my God... It has finally happened, he has become so massive that he collapsed into himself like a neutron star.

Dear Jonathan Papelbon: Shut up and sit down. Better yet, zip it and perform. Try to get out of an inning in under 30 pitches, could you?

Here's the thing - maybe we're spoiled because we saw him at a point in his career where he was amazing. Maybe he was just so good back then, that we're being fooled because now he's just outstanding, which by earlier comparison - looks average.

Listen, he's made no bones that he's all about the Benjamin's and may not necessarily be with the Sox in the future -- so why would he be so concerned about the acquisiton of Wagner? The less than sincere back pedaling that was aired all day and night yesterday was laughable. The truth of the matter is that closers are a different breed; they're like fighter pilots -- crazy, edgy, out of their mind. Pitching wins games, wins championships. Any addition to the staff in any measure is a good one; self preservation, self promotion and all the selfishness should be to the side. There's no "I" in team -- didn't he learn that in Little League? (For the record, I can't think he's all too thrilled with Theo coming out and saying that he's not the "sharpest knife in the drawer".)

Dear Dunkin Donuts: I don't miss you at all. Not even a bit. So little do I miss your terrible tasting coffee -- that I don't even drink coffee during the day on the weekends unless I brew it in my Keurig. (I don't typically travel near a Starbucks on the weekends. Even though I do live in a town that has one, it's on the other side of town and truly -- I don't mind if I don't have one.) I am free from the frustration of wasting my money and though I've already professed my relief -- I felt it worthy to mention it once again.

Dear Wrentham Outlets: You -- I miss dearly. I'm so sorry I have yet to visit you during my "sort of unemployed" period of building the new store. I thought for sure I'd get to; but finances are tight right now and truly -- I can't do it just yet. But I will visit soon....oh yes. I will visit...soon.

Dear Employee at the Store: No offensive, we love you - but please, please -- when a celebrity comes in to shop, please do not announce to everyone in there that there is a celebrity in their midst. Truly, no one likes to feel like they are the center of attention unwittingly -- even, Hollywood celebrities. Trust me. People walk around discreetly and plain for a reason; so as not to attract attention to themselves. Oh, and for the record -- make sure their order is correct. Okay? Yes? Thanks......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You had a bad had a bad day.

Yup. That would be this girl.

(First off, let me preface this post by stating that I'm writing this from inside the new shop. Yesterday Verizon came in and set up FIOS for TV/internet and phone; everything was tested except for internet so I brought my laptop with me to test it before I go home today, and it is Suh-weet. Uber fast.)

So this a.m. -- first thing, trying to get out the door - my battery is dead. Seems that one of my darling kiddies didn't shut their door all the way (Princess Petunia, not to name names....) and since I hadn't used my vehicle since Saturday afternoon - I didn't realize this until, well.... you guessed it - after G left for work. So, being resourceful (and not having AAA), I called a tow company who came down and charged my truck for me. My sitter was nice enough to loan me her car during the wait so I could meet my 9am interview this morning.

If that wasn't a chaotic enough start, I called my girlfriend to see if she wanted to meet me for a quick sushi lunch. As I'm pulling into the lot, there's some debris or something in the road which causes a loud "BANG" and I feel like I've hit a horse or something. I pull into the parking lot and look at my tire to see while there isn't a hole per se -- there's a chunk of rubber missing and my rim is hacked up - I truly can't drive on it any longer. Fortunately there's a Midas right next store so I stop in and figure I'll have the tire replaced while I eat. Mmmmm,yeah. Not happening - they don't carry Michelin tires. So, I figure - okay, I'll buy a new one at the place he recommends one town over. But before I leave, I ask him to put on my spare - and save us a few bucks for now; yeah, that's not happening either. The spare - is flat. (Feel like yelling out "WTF"? God knows I did.)

So, off I went and got a new tire - $250 later.

Tonight we have our planning board meeting and seriously, it has got to go far better than the day has so far.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I don't know about anyone else, but this girl is tired!

Who's happy it's Friday?
(she asks, raising her hand saying "I am! I am!")
Holla that, Sunshine.

And it's a Red Sox/Yankees meeting in the steamy city. If I wasn't so broke building the store, I'd be all over catching a game this weekend - but that's okay. Some other time....

(Rumor has it that Jason will be catching Saturday & Sunday, so I'll be looking forward to those games even more than tonight's matchup.)

Tonight we're taking the kids out for a later dinner (hello sushi!) and then off to the new store to check out the lighting that was installed; 80% of it is up and so I want to see how it illuminates at night. Let me tell you, there's some serious heat that's being thrown off all that lighting. It was hot in there today while the electricians were testing the circuits. Even for just a few minutes, in a room with no air conditioning, those 75 watt halogen bad boys kicked the temperature up a few notches. I plan on rearranging the placement and positioning of the lights tonight so that should be fun. I was dying to do it all day but couldn't get in the way too much of everyone. Hopefully G will have patience while I'm on the ladder.

What is this weekend holding in the cards? Truthfully, I don't know yet! I guess it's a "wait and see" with the weather. Tomorrow, being "Mommy and Me" day - if it's raining I'm sure I can find something interesting for us to do, even if it's just staying home and making homemade meatballs and sauce. In some ways, I hope it's pouring -- we've been running around alot so a lazy cooking day sounds fabulous right about now. Sunday, believe it or not - I don't think we have plans yet either....? But rest assured something fun will come out of the weekend.

Whatever you're doing -- enjoy!
Spend time with those you love, have fun -- and laugh your heart out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If you're in need of a good laugh....

I've been in a reading drought of sorts.
Ever since reading "The Kite Runner", I've yet to find a book that will hold my interest. Even "Memoirs of a Geisha" (which has been fabulous thus far) hasn't been able to reel me in to completion.

But I'm in the midst of a book right now that is truly nothing more than humor. It's not even a story, it's just a series of absolutely inane and hysterical satirical humor. You have got to get yourself a copy of it, because when I tell you I laughed out loud reading some of these pages - I'm not kidding. Literally, out loud laughing. It's so funny, that you almost need to read it aloud to someone else just to share it.

"Letters from a Nut" by Ted L. Nancy.

I'm not going to say another thing about it.
You have just got to get it and read it for yourself.

Let me know if you do, would you? Because if you tell me that you didn't laugh your flipping ass off, I'd be shocked.

Seriously.... a riot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Be still, my beating heart...!

Imagine my surprise, when I opened my inbox today to see I had an email from none other than: Jason Varitek.

Well, rest easy out there in blogosphere. It's truly just spam.
Sort of.

(Now, though I knew it wasn't really from him - I have to say my initial reaction was a loud "huh?!?" aloud, wondering to myself "what the heck?!?!" and swiftly followed by "and what in the world would he be wanting to talk to me about? Does he need wine?!?!")

It's from Celebrities for Charities; and since I'd been to the Celebrity Putt Putt before, my name must be on a mailing list. Actually, I know I'm on a list because I typically disregard their emails receive with other athletes names on them as a lure to open the message. I should've known better - but this was the first time I had seen one from Jason and it was kind of funny.

Silly spam mail.
Where will the madness end?

Footnote: Speaking of silliness....tomorrow's post is going to be about a book I'm reading, that is absolutely hysterical. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Better late....than never!

It's really a sin that we finally get summer at the end of August when all the kids have to go back to school. Although....if I think back to when I was a young lass, summer started waaaaay back in June, and lasted straight through August when on September 1st it seemed the chill found it's way back into the air.

I remember wearing dresses with knee socks on my first day each year, and I still vividly remember some of my walks to school. I remember walking from my house and waving at my mother who would stand in the window; I remember the smell of the air. It's that smell that always reminds me of the first day of school, the first real crisp crunch of Autumn.

Yesterday, we had a "daycation" and took the kids to Water Country. Seriously, how can anyone not love that place? Sure, it costs a fortune to get in the door - but it's just a complete blast. And in this heat - truly nothing beats it. I love, love, love it there. I'm not a slide kinda girl - but there are so many pools that there is no way you can't have fun.

Today, I'm a little high. Seriously. I was at the new store almost all day, in the heat with no AC might I add -- and the fumes from the sealant of the flooring. Insta-head-dull-ache. I think I need to clear my sinuses or something because I swear I can still smell it.

And now, it's the end of the day and I'm beyond exhausted. My days are far fuller and busier now than they have been in a long time and I'm thorougly tired when my head hits the pillow. Some is stress, some is chaos, some is just mindweariness - but it's all good.

Now if only the Sox can just get it together.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just some thoughts for a gorgeous Saturday....

Open your eyes to the beauty around you; Open your mind to the wonders of life; open your heart to those who love you; and always be true to yourself.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving…. creates love.

I would rather be a superb meteor... every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not merely to exist.

Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have -- is when they take a bite out of you.

Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for... Happiness is something you design.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow....there'll be sun.

This girl is in heaven right now.
I just came back from meeting with my cheese distributor, and all I can say is "oh my."
I had no idea that I was going to get a box full of cheese to enjoy at my leisure! And I was good about only accepting samples of cheese that I've never really tried, rather than just my favorites, though I have to say - that was a difficult thing to pass up.

So, how does chocolate covered goat cheese sound?
Sounds pretty flipping delicious to me!

Since I've been remiss about blogging this week (sort of giving you an indication of the type of week I've had) let's recap, shall we?

1. How's about those Patriots?? Last night's game was awesome to watch -- Tom Brady looked great, and I'm really excited about the young and new prospects on the team like Julian Edelman and the back up QB who while not exactly "new" is new to us. It was definitely a much better pre-season showing than last years, and while that's only one game it was an encouraging sign of what could be quite the promising season.

2. What's going on with the Boys of Summer? I'm really liking this acquisition of Victor Martinez because of all the flexibility he offers in being able to have him as a utility player of sorts. (And of course, Jason is still a very active participant behind the plate. Thank you, thank you, thank you!) I'm not really digging Youk in the field, but eh - you do what you have to do. There's a Wild Card to win and I'm really hoping that the pitching and hitting finally synch so we can think about October baseball. Maybe I'm being a bit premature to say that we'd even have to worry about it, but I'm not entirely convinced and secure with our starting pitching even this late in the season.

3. The store is moving along nicely now. Sure we're still a bit overbudget but it's all going to work out in the end. It's all going to come together at once too I think; I've been interviewing people and have found some nice additions for the staff - and of course there's the above mentioned excitement in the cheese department -- so I'm feeling a little better than I did last week.

4. It's hard to believe summer is already almost over. The weather is just finally being consistent and these poor kids have to start thinking about soon in a few short weeks! My Princess Petunia will be going to Kindergarten and I just can't believe it. It's amazing how life moves so quickly; I'm really happy for her, she's excited and ready to learn. We've been working on addition and subtraction and she can already do basic math which I think will help her out a bit. She's trying hard to read and is so excited to learn; it's interesting to see the dynamic between her and her brother, she tries so hard to keep up with him and not being able to read frustrates her. But give my little firecracker time and I'm positive she'll be reading in no time. But for now, her number one goal is to be my chief cheese taster this evening. She's like her Mom, and is all about the formaggio.

5. Busy and beautiful weekend ahead for this girl. Family reunion tomorrow, Tomato and Corn Festival at our favorite farm on Sunday, and hopefully a trip to our favorite beach on Monday. Today, I only worked a half day so the kiddies and I are off to a local farm to visit the animals, play on the playground and have a nice cup of ice cream before heading home for a visit with one of my girlfriends this evening.

Oh, and of course -- a little cheese tasting.
Have a fabulous weekend, whatever you may be doing!

Friday, August 07, 2009

I think I've developed a new acronym....

Stressed beyond all recognition.

Well, I'm not that bad... but I'm pretty stressed.

Let's see. These aren't in any particular order of significance, just listing them off.

1. The build out of the store being over budget. There's a little thing called "stocking it up" that's a huge issue and weighing heavily on my mind. Our minds, I should say. I'm not the money person in this gig, G is. But I am cognizant of it all which is just as important. While I don't pay the bills and balance the budget, I am aware of the cost and spending. I think that's the most difficult thing I wrestled with in regards to leaving my job. It was a necessary evil -- I just couldn't do it all in one place, at one time.

Building a store from the ground up sure costs less than buying existing, but the true cost is clearly an intangible when you have construction involved. And that my friends, is a very scary thing.

2. My mom and her Cancer diagnosis (or lack thereof?). Her not being in MA and my trying to coordinate a second opinon for her courtesy of a friend of mine who works in Oncology in MGH -- and is being exceptionally generous in assisting and expediting an appointment for her; and of course my hoping that my mother doesn't change her mind about coming up for this much needed re-evaluation. Of course, also wondering if her PT that is scheduled for next week will come out okay. Who knows if the poision they're feeding her is stalling the poison growing inside....

3. Then there's the general feeling of abandoning my family financially that I'm struggling with. I haven't given leaving my job a second thought -- I've been far too busy working and I love love love my new commute. (Hello, 11 minutes!) But not having medical insurance yet is weighing heavily on my mind, as well as hoping we make the scheduled opening date as anticipated because we need to open the doors! Every day the doors are closed are days we're losing money. I am getting the kids covered Tuesday and G and I can wait on coverage for another month when we can afford to do the whole family plan - but the guilt I feel about not providing stability and security is terrible. I mean, my salary pretty much was for the benefits and the child care; but that's a huge steady. And I feel like I'm just not pulling my weight. I know that I truly am, but it's still heavy on my mind.

4. Then of course there's the Red Sox. Truly, I'm praying they're at least getting a split this series with NY because I just don't see our pitching pulling us out of this otherwise. I personally think Tampa has our number this season, and I don't know that we have the pitching endurance to carry us through. Oh, and for the record - I could care less about the Ortiz "revelation". Truly, after Manny - the shock and awe factor is gone in my mind regarding anyone else. Just my humble opinion. It's disappointing; especially for young kids who look up to him. But to me, it doesn't tarnish my opinion of him any as a player. At least not at this juncture.

But, despite it all - the sun is still shining or at least I've got a good haze going on. Nothing in life is easy - and we knew it would be a difficult 6 weeks or so prior to opening.

I'm just wishing it was a little less stressful.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Morning Coffee....

It seems that I have officially gone over to the dark side.
I have left my Dunkin' Donuts dismay and disasters in the past and have officially become a Starbucks kinda girl, full time.

Traditionally I was a Dunkin's faithful with my cuppa joe each day. But once the franchise changed their coffee and switched to flavor shots, it has been a flavorless fiasco since. It became an exception to get a good cup of coffee from there, rather than the rule. At Starbucks, I'd typically get an indulgence of sorts -- a peppermint mocha, or white chocolate mocha -- but their traditional coffee was always too acidic for my liking.

However, my tastes have changed. And after wasting $1.90 each time at Dunks on a bad cup of coffee, it has become rather pleasurable to spend an additional .20 on a great cup of coffee that consistently tastes good every time. AND the staff is always pleasant and friendly no matter where I shop at, rather than at the "other place" where I always seem to be a burden to whomever I'm ordering from. Oh - and the Clover - is fabulous. I can drink a far deeper and darker roast with the Clover method than I typically would; it is a reverse French press and takes all the acidity out of the brew. It's outstanding, truly.

So, my Hazelnut Cafe Americana with room ('bucks talk for not over filling) is delicious and hits the spot every morning without fail.


(Insert great 1934 music HERE. Go ahead, take a listen -you know you want to!)

Monday, August 03, 2009

C'mon get happy...!

So, there's enough stress going around here to knock anyone off their feet.
I'm used to projects I handle being on time, ahead of schedule and under budget.

Mmmkay....not this one.
Slipping on time, overruns on budget.

Can you say "WTF"??

Everyone thinks we're loaded because of the name of the store, but the truth is - we're doing this on a shoe string budget.
Good thing I went back to yoga last week.

That being said, time to think about happy things.

(No, not the acquisition of Victor Martinez who while has been phenomenal -- is still not the Captain. Can't we figure out a way to make him DH and let Jason catch??? C'mon, make a girl happy....)

My kiddies.
My artististes extraordinaire.

We went to Plaster Fun Time this weekend where they both had a blast and so I thought I'd share their creations (and while I might be biased, I dare say their beautiful faces).

This is what makes all the stress seem inconsequential, if even for only a short time.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

It's those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer....

And around these parts, it seems like we can't get enough of them. Seriously, I'm so all set with rain. And to emphasize that point, the kiddies and I are spending the afternoon at my girlfriend's pool; my daughter is spending the night with her - which is a fun thing for both her and us! Tonight while she's having a camp out with my girlfriend, we're going to take my son someplace and we'll have a little one and one time with him. My girlfriend says she wants to take my son another weekend, and when she does, we'll have a little one on one time with my daughter. She's really so good to my kiddies.

So, in honor of the lovely leisurely Saturday we're going to have -- I'm kicking it "I'm Just A Girl" old school and posting my Saturday survey.

1. Are you taller than your mom?
No, I'm the shortest in the family at 5'1. (I prefer to say I'm "petite".)

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
I love, love, love Sharpies. They make my handwriting look pretty.

3. Look at your planner for October 14, what are you doing?
I'm not booked out that far. Ask me about September 14th and that's a different story.

4. What color are your toenails usually?
"Its a Doozy says Suzi" or "Suzi says Da". Today they're "Midnight in Moscow". Clearly, I love the Russian Collection from OPI

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
I highlighted some items on an invoice two days ago.

6. What color are the curtains in your bedroom?
I dont have curtains. Sure it's lousy at 6 a.m. but I love a bright room. Throw the blankets over your head, and truly - if I'm that tired, nothing's waking me up.

7. What color are the seats in your car?
Tan leather

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
Yes, little Miss Meritage (often called Bordeaux) at the store. She's black and white.

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
An envelope

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?
No, but I wish I did. I always wanted to go on a dude ranch in Jackson Hole.

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
I haven't used an ATM in years -- who needs to when you have Debit accessibility.

12. Who is the last baby that you held?
I think it was my nephew Jacob.

13. Can you spell well?
Exceptionally well, truth be told. (though I'm not spell checking, so I hope there aren't typos in this!)

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?
Eh, it's okay. A little too much sugar to make my mouth feel clean.

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
Same one that I'm driving now.

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators?
Seriously?!?! Don't you know I'm from Boston!?!?

17. Last time you went to Six Flags?
Never. I am so not an amusement park kind of girl.

18. Favorite lunching place
Any place that has fantastic sushi.

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow?
A picture my daughter drew with a highlighter this a.m.

20. Last person you gave a business card?
Hmm. I think it might have been the ABCC inspector.

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
My sitter.

22. Closest framed picture to you?
Princess Petunia's Pre-K shot.

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?

24. Have you ever been to the moon?
Seriously?? Seriously.

25. How many emails do you get in your inbox daily (excluding spam)?
Maybe 4-5 legitimate ones on an average day; depends on if I'm working on a particular project though, there could be more.

26. Last time you received flowers?
One of my girlfriends gave me a pretty planted gerber daisy at the brunch I threw this spring.

28. Do you play air guitar?

29. Has anyone ever proposed to you?
But of course... G.

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
If it's at Dunkins - it's a medium hazelnut/coconut, skim milk and 3 splenda. If it's Starbucks, it's a Hazelnut Cafe Americana with room. Or, it's a Clover brew.

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?
No, unfortunately. I give them as gifts, but have yet to ever receive one myself.

32. What is/was your high school's mascot
A blue and gold lion.

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
When don't I use one???

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?
I don't have a burning desire to do so... but I think I could pick it up easily.

36. what color are the blinds in your living room?
Off white pleated blinds.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
About the Victor Martinez acquisition by the Sox.

39. What was the last pageant you attended?
The one I was in, back in what - 1988.

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
The place that brought the 12 pizzas for Princess Petunia's birthday party.

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
Queens don't need crowns to flaunt their royalty.

42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Paperwork for the bank.

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
No, and truly - it sounds disgusting!

44. Are you ticklish?

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
This past 4th of July

46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
My first, last and only was about 6 years ago? I was less than impressed.

47. Who is the last person that left you a message & you actually returned?

48. Last time you parked under a carport?

49. Do you have a black dog?

50. Can you give one reason why David Caruso is allowed to keep acting?
Seriously? I'd rather know why Speidi is such a phenom and why they keep showing up in the magazines.

51. Are you an aunt or uncle?
Yes, I'm an auntie.

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
I think everyone has beautiful eyes. They're the windows to the soul.