Thursday, July 29, 2010

Land that I love...

So, I don't get to blog surf much - but when I do, one of my very first stops is to Suldog. He's over there in the Guest List, and you should check him out if you haven't already. Anyway, last night I had a few minutes to surf and he had this great post about 100 things he loves about America. Fun, right?

I felt compelled to play along, natch.

Some are specific, some are more vague - and while some may not be American exclusive per se - they're still on my list. Let's play, shall we...? I have to be honest, I can't come up with 100 for tonight, but I can do 50 anyway.
(By the way, if you do a list - please feel free to share yours with me!)

1. Apple Pie. Though not my personal first choice of pie - it is pretty darn spectacular if made right, particularly with a little caramel melted in. Just sayin'...
2. Baseball. Really, need I say more?
3. The freedom to say what we want, sing what we want, write what we want and protest when we choose to.
4. Our Government. Listen, it's not perfect - but it's ours. Besides, I can say things about my dysfunctional family members, but God help the other person who calls my family dysfunctional. You hear me clucking big chicken?
5. The generosity of the American people. It's seemingly never ending, isn't it?
6. Our hard-ass reputation. I'm sorry, other countries might dislike us (bla, bla, whine whine) - but who do they come running to when they're in trouble. I don't think it's France.... just sayin'.
7. We drive on the RIGHT side of the road.
8. English. Listen - I love, love, love foreign languages - but let's be honest, English is just easier to understand. There's nothing gutteral, it doesn't take fancy tongue movements, there's nothing muffled about it.
9. Hollywood. Really, there's nothing like the allure of the beautiful people.
10. NYC. Is there a city other than Boston that's more fun than NYC?
11. Boston. Beacause this is where it all begin.... we are the history, the tradition, the guts and the glory. We are the heart & sould of America. Because I "love that dirty water"....

12. Elvis. Sure, England had the Beatles - but we had the King.
13. The American Dream. This is the land of opportunity. It's all yours if you just apply yourself and try. You don't get nothing for nothing... but you can have it all if you work hard.
14. The American Spirit. Oh yes, there is such a thing. And it is inherent within us all. "Live free or die" is more than a state motto - it's a mindset.
15. Southern Cooking. Truly - does it get any better than fried chicken, grits, collard greens and sweet potato pie? Um, I don't think so...!
16. Key West. Does this really need explaining?
17. TV Culture. From Fonzie, to The Jeffersons - The Brady Bunch to Seinfeld and everything in between - our television culture rocks. Sure it bombs from time to time as well, but seriously - we've had some great tv.
18. FoodTV. Speaking of TV, we've got some kickin' master chefs to show us how it's done.
19. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Thank God for that little creation.
20. Doritos. Second best creation on Earth.
21. Stupid Celebrities. Seriously, you've gotta love them. Especially with fabulous soundbites like "Crack is whack!".
22. Patriotic Songs. We have tons of them! And they're all really pretty great; I don't know about anyone else, but I still get a little faklempt post 9-11 at times listening to them.
23. Sept 11th. Yes, it was horrible and tragic -- but we own it. It's ours, and I've chosen to embrace it. It's our day to mourn the losses, and celebrate the fact that we will never, ever, ever allow something like that to happen to us again. Own the tragedy - and take the power away from the beast. Yippie ki-yay Mo'Fo. Just sayin'...
24. BBQ. From Missouri, to Texas -- we've got the best BBQ foods around!
25. Folk music. Peter Paul & Mary, Joanie Mitchell, Joan Collins, Joan Baez...the list goes on and on from the more traditional to newer contemporary folk-ish. It's one of my personal favorite genres, and it doesn't get more Americana than that.
26. Doo Wop Diners. Maybe there are some elsewhere, but I'm thinking that's a little gem that's probably all ours.
27. McDonalds & Burger King. Sure - it's bad for us, but seriously - it still tastes pretty darn good even though we pay for it later after we eat it. And those two bad boys certainly have taken over the world...

28. Cheesy Reality TV. Okay - we may not have created it, but wow - we've certainly done well with it. Jersey Shore is living proof that only in America are people happy being famous for being idiots.
29. Friends. I know I said Television Culture earlier - but where else does a TV show create a hair style that rocked the world like the "Rachel" did? And so many mannerisms that we've all embraced? Friends is truly a standout.
Bold30. Seinfeld. Seriously needs no explanation and just goes with the above.
31. Dollar Stores. How cool are they in a pinch sometimes? Truly, fun for a Mom with two young children. Where else can a parent give their child a pick of two things, come out without spending a ton of money - and have the kids feel like Kings & Queens?
32. Fantastic Stand Up Comedians. Call me crazy, but I've yet to see anyone funny from another country. Throw a name out there if I'm wrong.
33. Twitter. Love it for business use - and you got it, created right here in the USA.
34. Superman. The strongest man on Earth, who's all about Truth, Justice and the American Way. He's from another planet who happened to land in good ol' Kansas. Does it get any better than that?
35. Great ethnic neighborhoods. Little Italy, Little Chinatown, Koreatown, The French Quarter, etc... because we are America, we've got these great little neighborhood sections in all of our major cities to allow us to embrace not only what might be our own heritages - but other people's as well.
36. Boxing. I don't know if it started here in America, but it definitely is part of our roots with immigration.
37. New England Boiled Dinner. Thank you to the Irish Immigrants for introducing us to the Corn Beef & Cabbage feast.
38. Square Dancing, Line Dancing and the like. Remember when everyone square danced? I didn't - but my parents did! And I loved, loved, loved the skirts. So twirly and fun!
39. The 4th of July. It's all red, white & blue - and all about us!
40. The ball drop on New Years Eve. Sure, that might not be inherently ours -but the world watches ours!
41. Budweiser. Not my personal favorite - but it's definitely a warm, fuzzy American product. Or well, it used to be - before a Belgian company bought it.
42. American Airlines. Definitely one of my favorite airlines.
43. Cabot, Jasper Hills, Cowgirl Creamery. We have some freakin' delicious cheeses, just to name a few!
44. Starbucks. Probably not the best coffee in the world in comparison to some other countries, but for "fast food" coffee -- it's pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.
45. Christmas Tree Shops. I just love a bargain -- don't you?
46. Yankee Candle. The best smelling candles ever.... !!!
47. The Pledge of Allegiance. I love it the way it is - in it's original form. We are one Nation, under God (I don't care what you name your God - it's still a God), indivisible (when push comes to shove), with Liberty & Justice for all.
48. The Stars & Stripes. Forever....
49. The Statue of Liberty, and all that she stands for. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
50. The Declaration of Independence. "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness"....

You know you're getting old when....

You suddenly have acid reflux -- when you've never, ever - ever - had it before.
(And just what causes it, anyway???)

You no longer can have anything less than 7 hours sleep.
(Where did the days go of working on practically fumes?)

Sure, there are probably more signs - but for now, these are the only ones that are making sure they rear their ugly little heads just to reinforce the fact that in a few short months, I will be departing my Thirty-Somethings.

I may not be happy about it. But I will hold my head up high.

So long as I don't have this reflux thing going on. Truly, it's a pain in my.... throat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I care not so much what I am in the opinion of others as what I am in my own...

The only real failure in life is the failure to try.

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.

There is no swagger as danerous as over-confidence. Embrace humility.

Life is like a game of cards. Reliability is the ace, industry the king, politeness the queen, thrift the jack. Commonsense is playing to best advantage the cards you draw. And every day, as the game proceeds, you will find the ace, king, queen, jack in your hand and opportunity to use them.

Once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, then you develop some confidence.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'd be safe and warm, if I was in LA....

Eh, who needs LA when you have New England?

It was an absolutely picture perfect summer day today.
We've been spoiled this year, we've literally had a gorgeous season - but today, it was perfection. So much so, that after work, we took the kids on a jaunt to the beach.

It felt so great to walk along the coast, with the wind blowing and the sun was low tide and so there were tons of hermit crabs, and clams and periwinkles everywhere. It's so very fun to check out the tide pools and see the whole little worlds floating around in them.

There are few things better than a gorgeous day, the summer sun, the salt air -- and a kickin' Bloody Mary with dinner.

Definitely a great way to begin the week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Days are here again....

I love Fridays.
Who doesn't, right?

But today's a really nice one. I'm totally digging the rain; the kids and I are on the sofa right now, watching "The Tooth Fairy" in front of a fire (yes, it's gorgeously tropical still, but they wanted a fire and it just looks like a good fireplace kind of night!) while they have a nice hot cocoa, and this girl - a glass of wine. (Dinner: Marinated pork loin, salad w/ lettuce fresh from the garden, and corn with fresh basil. Can't wait - the house smells delicious!)

I got a text from a good friend of mine who also happens to be the best yoga teacher in the world. Truly - the best. Around these parts anyway! I don't get to go to her studio that often anymore because of my work hours, but I'll be going tomorrow morning. (Yay!) I was supposed to go tonight, but it didn't work out - and, she's going to come to the new studio that I go to on Tuesday with me, which is so very cool. I just love her, and have truly missed her - so to get to see her again is a great thing, despite the fact that it didn't go as I'd planned for today.

I'm really quite fortunate. I mean, I've got a beautiful family - but in addition to that, I'm surrounded by good people; I've got friends who are just genuinely good people.

And that's just one of the many reasons why I'm loving Friday today; it's a good day to reflect upon the week, and life in general.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There is nothing like using fresh herbs when you cook.

I mean, dried herbs are a necessity in the house -but they don't nearly represent as well as fresh.

And fresh from the supermarket is definitely better; but nothing, and I mean nothing comes close to the fabulous taste of herbs freshly picked from your own garden, or herb planter.

Tonight, I'm making a very simple chop suey; but to add the fresh basil and golden oregano truly just makes it come to life.

And it really tastes like summer... !

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

People are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully...

Have you ever known anyone who really believes it's "all about them"?

Have you ever known people who were so insecure about themselves, they genuinely can't like anyone else?

Have you ever known people who don't like certain personality traits of their own, so they reflect them onto other people without any true rationale or basis for the accusation?

Jealousy. Resentment. Insecurity. Negativity.
All wasted emotions.
Who has time for it? And more importantly - ugh, the energy?!?!

Life is too short - and truly, if you can't be happy in your own skin then you can't be happy with anyone else.

I much prefer to subscribe to the Ghandi perspective: "Be the change you want to see in the world". I am not perfect, but I'm okay with not having to be either. And so long as I am a good person, then that's one step in the right direction. I rather like being a work in progress - there's so much to learn in life.

At the same time, I'm not easily influenced by others; I believe in who I am as a person, and so I don't need to be validated by someone else's approval; I'm usually pretty good about not judging others until they've given me a reason to make a decision about who they are as a person. I know that not everyone else is like that - and it can be a struggle sometimes.

Life isn't easy. We all won't always get along; and we all won't always like each other's points of views. But we all need to respect one another, when we're feeling good about ourselves -- and when we're having moments of insecurity.

We are in control of our own destiny - and there is no one else responsible for our own successeses or mistakes in life -- than ourselves.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's your birthday....Happy Birthday....

Six years ago today, Princess Petunia arrived.
And it was literally 6 years - today. Meaning, it was a Monday that she was born.

I'd been in labor all day the day previous; contractions were 7 minutes apart consistently - but nothing incredibly uncomfortable. I spent the day at a girlfriends' house for a bbq/potluck, and stayed off my feet most of the day.

Around 2am I woke up, because I had a dream that I was giving birth. Those contractions were now back labor and much more intense; still 7 minutes apart, but definitely more substantial. I actually drove myself to the hospital at 3:30am, because our son was sleeping and I didn't want to wake him up so I told G I'd call. I thought for sure since I was 5 weeks early, they'd keep my contractions at bay.

By 5:45, they were 2 minutes apart and my doctor said "How quickly can G get here, because we're taking her now". Now?!?! Now. I'd had complications that required me to have a C section and it could have been rather traumatic had nature taken it's course and natural style birthing took place, so when I tell you my doctor didn't wait - I'm not kidding. They were already under way in trying to get to her by the time G arrived in the operating room in scrubs.

She was born at 9:04 a.m., and I was out of the operating room by 11. Being a preemie, she was decent size and initally they thought she might need to go to neonatal; but the neonatologist initially told me no, she was 5lb 7 oz and well within normal weight. But due to the Csection, they changed their mind because she had fluid in her lungs - so off to neonatal she went. I got to see her afterwards, but didn't get to hold her in my arms until after 9pm that night when she was able to come out and come in my room.
She's had a twinkle in her eye since the day she was's still there, and she's full of sugar and spice -- and a whole lot of sass. She's fiesty and spunky...but sensitive and thoughtful. She's got an incredible amount of wittiness for someone so young, and loves to laugh.
(that's her on the left!)
Happy Birthday, Princess Petunia.
I always have been, and always will be "Overjoyed" with you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Hang onto your husbands girls...."

(Quote from Nicole Kidman's character in "Practical Magic" as she walked into her hometown's PTA meeting that her sister was sponsoring...cute movie with some great lines.)

So, I interrupt my weekend to post this letter:

Dear Women at the Pool Club today -
I don't want your husbands. Not sure if you noticed, but I'm clearly pushing the envelope on 30's- no spring chicken here; obviously married - did you not see the ring that was gleaming brightly in the sun? I practically blinded myself at times today! A mother of two kids - and was not really dressed in a revealing manner that would have prompted you to continually stare me down all day today. (Code for "I don't own a bikini, I'm in surf shorts and a tank for God's sake!) It was rather awkward at times, seeing as I was alone with no one to talk to when the kids were off doing their own thing, and I couldn't help but notice your glares as I had to look in your direction from time to time.

Yeah, thanks for that. Good times.
Aren't we women supposed to stick together? Ah, well - I guess you didn't get that memo.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Making your way in the world today, takes everything you got....

Say it with me....
"Ahhh. It's Friday...."

I am really looking forward to my day with the kids tomorrow. I have not a clue what we'll do; but I do know that Princess Petunia's birthday party is Sunday, and it's not quite the all out soiree I usually do --- so I'm well ahead of schedule with supplies and being ready. I'm actually pretty much done. I'm having it at my mother in law's because she has a pool - and so I go very minimal with both guests and food so as not to inconvenience her much. When it's at my home, it's an event -- a full blown affair, complete with a hundred guests and food that's cooking until the wee hours of the night. But this time it will be easy -- pizza, salad, fruit salad, pasta salad and cake. Besides, Princess Petunia's birthday is notoriously and insanely hot - and not always condusive for eating a heavy meal. So it's all good...

She decided at the last minute to switch from a "Littlest Pet Shop" party to a Scooby Doo party. So we went to the party store tonight to pick out all our supplies, and she had so much fun. It should be a good time - and as always pictures will follow.

However you plan on spending your weekend, I hope it is filled with love and laughter - surrounded by those who mean the most to you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7 things I hate about you....

Well, actually 10.
So, I figured I'd do a Top 10 for this week - and I've decided it's going to be personality traits that are crazy annoying. Something different for a change, right?

Of course there may be more than 10 -- and these aren't in any ranking order -- but they're the list for today. Feel free to add any of yours that I may have left out!

1. Arrogance: Truly, if you really think you're all that...God love you. You're probably the only one who does.

2. Mean Spirited: Seriously, isn't life too short to be hurtful towards someone else? If you don't like someone, that's cool - but you don't have to add insult to injury by being callous. Next time, think before you speak, and think about how you might feel if someone was mean to you. (Oh, and for the record, the ol' "I wouldn't care" excuse, is pure BS. No one is ice cold. No one....)

4. Ignorance: I'm not talking one level of ignorance -- I mean all levels. Prejudice is ignorant; inconsideration of others -- ignorant.

5. Self Importance: Listen, if you consistenly tell me how important you are -- chances are, you really aren't that important. Because if you were, you wouldn't have to continually point it out.

6. Entitlement: Really?! Because you shouldn't have to work, and work hard to get ahead in life? But yet everyone else does... hmm. Let me tell you, we all start at the bottom and work our way up. Sometimes, we even get knocked down - and have to start all over again. No one just hands you anything in life my get nothing for nothing.

7. Jealousy: If you're that busy worrying about what someone else has, or someone else does with their life, then clearly you're not living your own. Like I said, life is too short. Find happiness in yourself, and be grounded in your own successes -- and you won't even think about anyone else. And when you do - you will be happy for them, not unhappy.

8. Manipulating: Let me break it down for you -- you can't always get what you want. Life isn't Burger King, you can't always have it your way. So trying to guilt others so that you can have the gain you want - is a little bit of all of the above numbers. I have one word for that: ewww.

9. Rude: Again, this rather encapsulates all of the above characteristics. It's like the "F" word; it can apply on so many levels.

10 Antagonistic: Riddle me this Batman -- if a person knows that someone doesn't like something -- why would they do it? For an example, if someone doesn't like the sound of nails across a chalkboard - theres always that one person that will make sure that they drag their nails across just to see the reaction of the person who hates it. Why? What's the fun in that? Are you their friend? This, I just never understand.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New York, New York big city of dreams.....

Can I just tell you -- I love, love, love NYC.
I love everything about it.
The grittiness, the hustle and bustle -- the fact that anyone and anything goes. I love the glamour, I love the lack of glamour at times. I love the ethnicity and reality of it all.

That being said, we saw Fences on Saturday.

Front row... hello Denzel & crew.

They were practically spitting on us, literally. He's a fabulously talented actor - and Viola Davis, in my opinion - stole the show. Of course her role was probably the most emotional of them all, and believe me - the show, was full of emotions. Laughter, surprise, was all there. A-mazing. Probably the best theatrical performance we've seen. That being said, the downside to that, is that every other play we see will have some big old shoes to fill. Huge.

We stayed at the W - which, is trendy and fun -- but a tad too contemporary for this girl's taste. I prefer something a little more traditional and luxurious; however, their bed was amazingly comfortable. The room was great size and the view was pretty nice.

Dinner at the Bluefin, meh...Service, not so great. Food - really great. Reasonably priced too. But again, the style of the restaurant was a bit too contemporary for my taste; I don't love cafeteria style setup, or sterile seating. But that's just this girl's opinon. The seafood and sushi though - off the hook.

Seriously -- just so much fun.
And I can't wait to go back.

Friday, July 09, 2010

In New York..concrete jungle where dreams are made of - there's nothing you can't do

Tomorrow's the day!
G & I are attending "Fences" with Denzel Washington for his last evening performance of the run.

I've run into a few people who have seen it and they have been raving about it, so I'm really excited.

Well deserved, long overdue and it should hopefully be alot of fun.
Despite the predicted rain for tomorrow....

There's nothing wrong with walking along the streets and neighborhoods of Manhattan with an umbrella and a cup of coffee with the one you love.

I'd do it anyday.. in a New York minute.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

God bless the beasts and the children....

Yet another missing child case that absolutely disturbs me.
This time, Kyron Horman.

Mind you, there is no proof that his step mother was involved - but unfortunately, there's no evidence to prove otherwise.

What I don't understand, is how one person can be so hurtful to another - much less a young, and incredibly innocent child. And why? What purpose does it serve?

The horror of the atrocities played upon the young and small who can't defend themselves - is appalling; even worse, at the hands of those whom they would naturally trust - their very parents or guardians.

And they unfortunately seem to be happening more and more these days....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Lyrically speaking, of course....

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes
Yeah, you PMS like a bitch -- I would know
And you always think, always speak cryptically
I should know that you're no good for me

'Cause you're hot and you're cold
You're yes and you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down

You're wrong when it's right
You're black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

You, you don't really wanna stay, no
But you, you don't really wanna go, oh

'Cause you're hot and you're cold ...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Won’t you step into the freezer, tease her with a tweezer....

Okay, so given the fact that it was so oppressive today - one wouldn't expect to hear me say I'm freezing; but I am!

Central air all day long in work, in and out of the walk in cooler to restock and organize - just to come home to central air in freeze. Sure, it could be worse - I could have no air conditioning, and I wouldn't be happy then either.

It's just that once I get a chill, until I shower - I can't shake the chill. That's what happens when you have low blood pressure, and low body weight. There are worse issues to have, true...but still, I am loving this weather! I can hang out in this all day long, preferably with a pool nearby.

We wait all winter long for weather like this....and then when we get it - we complain.
Us New Englanders are just never satisfied, are we?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bork, Bork, Bork!

I wish I'd gone to culinary school.
Had I known that there was such a thing when I was a child - I might have pursued it. At the same time, I didn't really know how much I love to cook, until I was a quasi adult. When I moved out, I loved cooking. I wasn't really "allowed" in the kitchen as a child; sure, I was able to lick the bowl when making brownies or cake with my Mom, but actually having the freedom to cook in the kitchen alone was not a liberty given to me.

I remember my first culinary experience; I tried to make my mother breakfast in bed for either her birthday or mother's day -- and I fried some eggs. I was young - maybe 8, and unfortunately, the eggs were rotten. The whole house stunk from the smell; not my fault of course, but seriously -- after that effort I was completely forbidden from using the stove. I don't recall us ever having eggs go bad after that either, interestingly enough.

Anyway, cooking is something that definitely became a fascination of mine after the age of 18. And while I may not be an Iron Chef -- I certainly love to come up with my own creations and play with different recipe ideas.

This weekend, I made home made clam chowder that rocked - as well as spiral ham (that doesn't take much effort, outside of the glazes I make on my own);I also made a pretty yummy pasta tossed with chicken sausage, fresh herbs and lemon. and truly - there are few things I do that make me as happy as cooking for my family or friends.

Cooking and eating is purely social for me; if I lived alone, my life would be filled with Rice Krispies. But fortunately, I have a life full of people to cook for -- and if I had the time to attend Johnson and Wales at this juncture in my life, trust me when I tell you - I would.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean...

What is the 4th of July all about.... aside from the obvious day of celebrating with barbecues, good friends and family?

It is the day that we celebrate our Declaration of Independence. The day that we reaffirm that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

America the Beautiful. America the Free. America the Brave.

All countries have their beauty and their charm; it will always be fun to visit other places, embrace other cultures and admire other's histories. But there is something special and sacred about being an American and having the passion that is inherent within us to stand up and fight for what we believe in. Whether we're defending as a nation on a global scale -- protecting the environment and nature -- or protecting our loved ones, on our own personal level.

The spirit and fire to be strong, independent and free to try anything and aspire to achieve anything in life is what makes us unique; it's what makes us Americans - and I for one am proud to be from forward thinking and strong willed stock, same as the originators of this amazing country.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

We are not a perfect nation; we are not perfect people - and our government is far from perfection. But we do not give up, we will always perservere -- and we will always keep reaching for improvements.

Friday, July 02, 2010

If I go crazy then would you still call me Superman....

Last night I was supposed to go to the Celebrity Putt Putt run by none other than the Captain. Unfortunately, I did not attend.

(I wonder how well he was able to do mini golf given the latest diagnosis?)

Who knew that his Kryptonite would be a foul ball.

Such a disappointment, not only for the Sox and the Nation - but for him as well.
This was such a great opportunity for him to be able to get some good play in regular rotation.

Needless to say - this girl is very, very sad to not have him in the lineup at all this summer.

Very, very sad indeed.....