Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend in New England....

We are so fortunate, living in New England.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was thinking about how the change of seasons - puts us in a great mood. We're always happy for the first snow, and the crisp tingle in the air. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without it. While I'm sure Christmas in Honolulu is amazing - there's something about the snap of the cold air, frost on the windows and a roaring fireplace that makes a person feel warm and fuzzy for the holiday season.

Then of course, there's the snap of Spring. The sun stays out longer, it's brighter and happier - and even though it's often raining and damp - it's not snowing....and that makes us long for the flowers to bloom. There's always the clamor to see the first crocus or daffodil pop up - sometimes through the leftover bits of snow that haven't quite melted....

Once summer hits - it's usually full speed ahead -- though we've been known to have some duds of a summertime. But typically, weekends like the one we just experienced can't help but make even those who have troubles in their heart - feel lighter in spirit. You can't help but smile and feel good when the sun is baking and the air is warm.

When the first sting of cool air comes and the leaves turn vibrant colors of orange, red and gold - we are blessed with the most gorgeous of all seasons, which is Autumn. I think we are so very fortunate to have warm days, cool nights and full foliage color all around us.

We're spoiled because no one season stays around too long for us to become bored or jaded by it. We always have a change of season to revitalize, renenergize and soothe our souls. We have smells in the air to remind us of sporting seasons, holidays, the first day of school - or the last day of summer.

I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Though I may sometimes long for different locations, I would never - could never - live anyplace else.

Boston, you're my home.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hi, my name is Rebecca.....

....and I'm completely, entirely and wholeheartedly addicted to my Shark steam floor cleaner.

(Well, I suppose there are worse things one could have an unnatural obsession with.)

Friday, May 27, 2011


Hazelnut creme candle. Bliss Vanilla Bergamot Body Scrub. Fresh mint. Lavendar vanilla cream. Soft socks and fuzzy pants. Wild boar with orange, garlic, crushed red pepper & honey. Simple salad. Crisp white wine. Quiet conversation with little people. Happy & content.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God bless the beasts and the children.....

The defense attorneys for Casey Anthony should be horribly ashamed of themselves.
I don't know how they sleep at night.

Their latest efforts to place the blame on anyone BUT their client - is apalling to say the least.

Do they forget that they said that there IS a Zenaida Gonzalez that stole little Caylee? Do they forget that they tried to frame Ray Kronk, the person who found Caylee? And now they're trying to blame Casey's father for the murder?!

Do they forget that she partied for over a month before admitting her daughter was "kidnapped"? Do they forget that she told multiple lies about her whereabouts, how Caylee was "kidnapped", her employment....do they forget that during that month she lied to her parents, saying she and Caylee were together? Do they forget that she stole money from her friends to party during that time? "La Vita Dolce" - the sweet life - was the phrase tattooed while her daughter lay dead in a field.

Do they forget that it was cholorform - not chlorine - that was residiual on that beautiful baby's remains? Chloroform - which was googled on Casey's computer for home made recipes on how to make it - and use it.

The circumstantial evidence goes on, and on and on....

All I know is that justice best be served....and I hope it's served cold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Todays originally scheduled post has been cancelled due to....

G saw this happen right before his eyes.

He called me right after it happened, said it was the most horrifying, disturbing thing he'd ever seen. Just horrible.

You can actually see our Boston store in the background, but fortunately G was already gone for the day so he was able to avoid the reporters. We have cameras on the outside of our building but they don't show the street so the accident itself didn't get captured.

What a terrible thing to happen; and shows just how life can change in the blink of an eye. So be sure to hug those you love tonight just a little tighter.

Woman pinned under runaway car on Beacon Hill: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Always my favorite...

Tonight is the first of the finale episodes for American Idol. Though it's amazing to see how talented everyone is each year - my favorite still is, and always will be Kelly Clarkson. There has yet to be anyone who comes close to her, in my opinon.

I still have yet to see her in concert. But I will...oh yes, I will.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday....

So last night I appropriately ended the night with a high end, high alcohol Chardonnay.

It was my son's 10th birthday, and we took 10 friends to Canobie Lake Park. It was a fantastic day - no lines, no waiting because it was chilly and overcast, but truly - those are the best days to go because you get no lines and no waiting. The kids went on everything multiple times, everyone got along which I was afraid might be a challenge because there's only one of my son - and of course, everyone was wanting to pair off and ride with him on rides - but it all worked out. All the kids got along great and despite a few hiccups here and there it was a really great day. But definitely exhausting....(and expensive, might I add.)

I can't believe T is 10 years old. Double digits. A decade. Officially a "tween". And Princess Petunia, well.... soon to be 7, going on 15. Where does the time go?

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sitting in the morning sun...I'll be sitting when the evening comes.

I'm sitting here on my back deck for the first time in years..... having a cup of coffee, watching the pollen float around me as well as the kids playing basketball in the driveway.

I don't have a patio set anymore; I used to have one of those plastic green sets that we all see everywhere - it was a "temporary" one until we got a nice one. But, G gave it away, and I never bought that nice one - because we don't really have much of a backyard so to sit on the deck for us - wasn't a huge deal. Well, to G it isn't - but it is to me. I love sitting outside and relaxing like this. I keep saying I'm going to get another set, and yet.....here I sit on a kitchen chair.

It's still nice though.

Part of the reasoning behind why we want so badly to have a nice backyard that's private, with an area that I can sit out and watch the kids play in. I've come to the conclusion that there are some things in a new house that I won't compromise on - and outdoor living space is one of them. I really, really, really want a screenroom or sunporch. And I never really noticed how many homes actually have one - until we started looking. So whether we buy existing, or build - I see outdoor living spaces in our future.

We did look at a house that we loved; it wasn't the perfect layout but it didn't matter - it was a fantastic whole picture. A little too high priced for what it is though....so we'll have to lay in wait and see if they lower the price. We could make an offer, but I don't know how motivated they are at the moment. Plus - it would be a relocation effort which is a bigger move in general. Our goal is to stay local...and so we're looking into the possibility of building.

The good thing is, we are moving for the right reasons - and not because we have to. And if it takes a little while for us to find the right fit - so be it. And yes, in case you're wondering.....the house we love, love, love that we had under agreement fell through. It's been a frustrating few weeks.

But that's okay....everything happens for a reason, and we will find a good fit that we will love coming home to, playing and living in.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Music that changed my life...for different reasons, different seasons.

The very first time I heard of Linda Eder was 4th of July 2000. I was watching the Boston Pops by myself - and she taking the stage. That night, I forever became a fan of hers - and very specifically - this song. When I say it moved me watching her sing, I'm not exaggerating. To this day, I still feel that the last 60 seconds of the song is one of most beautiful endings, ever. I hope you enjoy it too.

Ahh, the lovely Miss Edie Brickell - her fabulous lyrics and hippie like style changed this metal loving girl forever. While I always was a fan 60s and 70s folk as well - this song in particular came out at the right time to prove that flower power didn't have to be a thing of the past. The theme became a mantra that I still hang onto today. What I am is what I am -- are you what you are, or what....?

Another 80's classic - and one of my most favorite bands, the Cult - had a song that caught my ear and my heart. This song stands out for me because while I always was in admiration of good lyrical arrangement, this one in particular drew me in because of it's tragedy. Not just about the death of the star of the song - but the tragic way the song tells the story. So much raw emotion comes through, and you can't help but feel it.

We hear the National Anthem thousands of times over our lifetime - by a variety of artists. But no one artist has ever sung it so effortless, beautifully and with such emotion as Miss Whitney Houston at the Superbowl 1991. To this day it gives me goosebumps when I hear it and feel oh-so proud to be American.

And finally....while there are dozens of other songs that I could share with you all that forever impacted my life, I will leave you with this one. This is the acoustic version of the original that I'd heard - but it restored my faith in the fact that there is truly talent out there, who can put out a cd - and have every single song be absolutely amazing. From beginning to end. And that...is a gift.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bits and Pieces....Odds & Ends....

1. The Number 1 Search Engine Phrase that leads lurkers to this blog is: Elizabeth Reaser forehead. Seriously...! Crazy, right? On my logs, I get at least 5 people a day who "secret squirrel" read and they get here via that phrase -- and Google leads them to this post, which is the very first one on the list! I guess that's a big "high five" for my blog being that high on a Google return list - but so very sad for Ms. Reaser to know how many people are googling about her hairline! I mean sure, I wrote a post about it - but I'm a bit surprised at how fixated people are with it, in retrospect.....

2. Interjection, shows excitement or emotion.... So, here's a little something I wonder. Why is it that when a person is upset about something, they'll often attack someone else - and someone who's supposed to be on the same "team", so to speak? Does it really make them feel that much better to try to be mean to someone else just because they're angry about something? I mean, to be crass or hurtful - snide and condescending - does it feel that good afterwards? Because I can't speak for anyone else, but when I say something out of anger - it doesn't make me feel good. Not even a little...

3. It might not be such a bad idea to have a license to be a parent. So, the latest to come out of the world of craziness is the mother who injected her daughter with Botox so she can win beauty contests. Someone please....take that child away. To question whether that is child abuse is almost as obscene as the act itself -- damn straight it's child abuse. Never mind illegal....the mom isn't a doctor. The horror to think of what could happen if an injection went awry....and even worse - where is this girl's family!?! Someone please take her away...far, far, away.

4. And finally.... Do you know where you're going to. Do you like the things in life are showing you? Where are you going to...do you know?

Final Thought: "Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact.."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teach your children well....

"Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.”
- Alvin Price

"Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
-Robert A. Heinlein

“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.”
- Haim Ginott

"The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent.”
- Frank Pittman

You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back. ~William D. Tammeus

In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time. ~Author Unknown

"Let your eyes light up when your children are around. Laugh more. Tell them how empty and quiet it is when they’re not there. Enjoy the things they bring to your life. Attend their activities, not as if they were compulsory for parents, but throw yourself into their lives."

--Valerie Bell

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th..and then some

Today I chaperoned Princess Petunia's field trip to Ipswich River Conservation.
She announced before we left that it was Friday the 13th, which meant that clearly everything was going to go wrong today. Actually, she hit the nail on the head - sort of.

Our bus driver got lost! So funny, we're sitting at the back of the bus - and I notice that we're in Wenham. Wenham?!?! I go to the Wildlife Sanctuary with the kids a couple of times a year - and I know it's in Topsfield right after the Fairgrounds; so I ask the teacher why the driver is going all the way up 128 into Wenham. Well....

Turns out there is an Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary "area" in South Hamilton, which coincidentally enough - has the same exact street address! Who would think that there would be two, and both 86 Perkins Road - but in two different cities?? Crazy, right? So... we turned around, all of us who had GPS in our phones guided the driver to the right location - and though we were 1 1/2 hours late - we still had a great time.

This girl, who's never had allergies before -- left there today with swollen eyes and a borderline migraine. Crazy pollen levels, and I am glad to be home where it is allergen free inside. If I had any inclination that I'd react that way, I'd have pre-empted with Benedryl.

It's been a relatively stressful week - new house issues. The house we want fell through; then could be back - and now we're waiting to hear. In the meantime we're looking at houses in other communities which I have very torn feelings about. They're areas I'd always loved to live in... cozy little North Shore communities with outstanding school systems which at this point is going to be key in picking a new home; but I'm so, so distressed about moving the kids in general. I know they'll be fine - and they'll adjust perfectly fine. But I just can't help feeling a little guilty over it. I remember how I felt just moving across the city as a kid...

The ideal situation would be for this house we love to come through.... but I just don't know. They've flipped and flopped so much now - and we really just need clarity at this point to know if we're in -- or we're out. We don't need to sell in order to buy at this point - and we've laid that on the table, so now it's time for them to determine: are they selling - or not. I know they love their home, but really - I'm all set with being up in the air. They can pick the closing date - and if it's the end of the summer, so be it. But make up your mind, please.

I'm thinking maybe a hot shower and a nice glass of wine might be the perfect way for me to unwind from the week and to stop thinking about real estate. Just stop...

However you spend your weekend, I hope it's filled with laughter and love.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

That's it - it's official.

I'm absolutely and completely addicted to Sons of Anarchy.

I just finished Season 3 -- great ending, solid season and I can't wait for Season 4. What's going to really be the downside to it, is that I'll have to wait a whole week in between episodes!

It's really hard when you've been spoiled by Netflix and Amazon on Demand.

Anyone have any other great show recommendations that I can watch multiple episodes at once?

Monday, May 09, 2011

This sort of sums up my day today....

Peter: Well, I'm gettin' something really special too. And by special I don't mean special like that Kleinaman boy down the street. More special like... like Special K, the cereal. Hey, what do they do with the regular K? And for that matter, what ever happend to K. Ballard? You know, if you said mallard and you had a cold, it would sound like ballard.

Brian: Do you listen to yourself when you talk?

Peter: I drift in and out.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Stewie: ... "what do you say to that broccoli ... stop mocking me ..."

So, anyone else really really craving salt?
Last night, I ate a whole bowl of home made guacamole by myself.
As if I never saw food before.

Tonight -- I got the kids subs for dinner as a treat.
I couldn't help but to eat all the hot peppers that my son didn't want to eat.
I posted previously about it -- something about Italian subs, is like crack. I can't resist it.
(Just to clarify, no - I have never tried crack, but if it calls to you like an Italian sub calls to me - oh my, I feel your pain.)

Speaking of calling to me... there is this fabulous little consignment shop that opened up across the street from the store a few weeks ago. This store is going to be a downfall for me, I think. I have never shopped at a consignnment store; actually, this is not entirely true. When I was little, my Mom used to take me to this consignment store where I grew up - and I would pick out jeans there (think Jordache, Calvin Klein) because my parents couldn't afford to buy me them from the department stores. I was so incredibly skinny that even back then, they didn't fit me -- I always ended up in spandex pants (otherwise known today as yoga pants.) I had no hips when I was little - I was barely a size 0. I had to wear boys jeans for the most part. After having children, well...those womanly curves made their appearance! But I digress...

So today, I bought a gorgeous Michael Kors gold trenchcoat - it's stunning. (Trust me, the photos on the link do it no justice.) I wanted it for a wedding I attended last Sunday, but I told myself if it was there this week again - I'd buy it. And there it was, calling my name... for under $50. I don't have a dress coat that isn't for winter - so it wasn't an incredibly frivolous buy. (yes, I think angels might have sung a bit as I walked out of the store. Just sayin'...)

Anyway, it's Friday - and I have a brand new crush on a Chardonnay. It's Curley Reserve, Oak Knoll Napa Chardonnay, and oh my.... it's a pretty one. Clearly with a high alcohol content because just a glass and this girl is a little tipsy. Not an inexpensive Chardonnay either I might add, but definitely the perfect choice to wrap this week up.

It's Mother's Day weekend....a fabulous and yet, just a little painful time for this girl. Mother's Day this year is the one year anniversary of my mother's passing. I'm running a 3.5 mile race that day - and I think that's a great way to celebrate the day. I miss my mother more than anyone could ever know...but I try not to dwell on that. Just focus on the happiness of the present.

And a little more Chardonnay....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

To cook - or not too cook. That is the question...

You know what's really funny?

I have a store that's loaded with gourmet goodies....and yet I never can decide what to make for dinner.

It's funny, when I worked in an office I'd know by mid-day what my dinner would be and I'd have it all planned out. But now....not so much.

It's difficult too because G is pretty fussy; he never used to be, but...he has a sensitive stomach and so that makes it challenging at times. So like tonight for an example - I could make a fajita dinner with salad for us, but he won't eat it. I suggested wild boar....no. He is not a big steak tip person, and doesn't love lemon pepper chicken either - and I have these fabulous lemon pepper chicken breasts here at the store. He doesn't love pasta.... and I'm not about to make three different meals tonight, so we must all agree on one.

See my dilemma?

I'd be good with a lovely old fashioned meat loaf...but I don't know if that's going to rock his world today either.

So part of me thinks it should be a take out kind of night....we shall see how it all pans out.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Autism speaks....more so now that in years gone by.

I have a nephew who is Autistic.
To be specific, he is on the spectrum - "highly functioning with Asperger like traits".

These days, who doesn't know someone who has a child with Autism?

It seems that in the past 10 to 12 years, there has been a surge in diagnosis of children who have Autistic related conditions of some sort - and they fortunately - aren't always as severe of a case, or rather they are more atypical than what they were say even 20 years ago.

Why is that?
I have my own theory on it --and it's not something I've yet seen discussed anywhere, lest not publicly.

I'd always believed that Autism is a genetic disorder, similar to Fragile X Syndrome - and I still think that in a percentage of cases, this is still true. There is a risk of siblings being born with autism, and typically seen more so in males. But I think there is more to this than meets the eye with regards to the huge increase and range of the spectrum that is being seen in the more recent times.

I also don't agree with the immunization theory; unfortunately, I think that is something that parents who are challenged by coming to grip with the diagnosis hang on to. It's very difficult to accept that your child isn't "perfect" or "normal" by everyone else's standards, so it's easier to blame something for that. I understand and can respect that, but don't necessarily subscribe to the theory.

I also don't agree with Miss Jenny McCarthy's suggestion that Autism can be "cured" with food. Either a person is autistic - or they aren't. Any child with a diet filled with sugar or unhealthy food is going to exhibit poor behavior; a child with a disability is no different. It's always a good decision as a parent to feed your children the best possible foods, balanced and nutritious - and you will definitely see a difference in their attention spans, hyperactivity, weight, and overall highs and lows in personality. But I don't believe that alone can eliminate a legitimate condition though it certainly doesn't hurt, and aids in the big picture. But I digress....

What I'd like to know, is if a study has been done on the parents of Autistic children - and the medicines they've taken over the years/months/weeks, prior to - and during - pregnancy. In this same 10 - 15 year span, the pharmeceutical companies have taken over the world, and most prevalently in regards to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines. In these days, it seems that everyone is on some semblence of mood altering medication; why wouldn't anyone think that there may be a possibility of that impacting an unborn child. How would anyone know whether it had impacts or not, however many years or months prior to conception? How long does it stay in a person's system; what if they took them early in a pregnancy prior to confirmation of being pregnant? Does it impact a man's sperm, as other drugs such as steroids can?

I can tell you this much: I personally know more than 4 people with children diagnosed on the Autistic spectrum....and I know first hand that they all have taken some form of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant prior to pregnancy.

Is it any coincidence that Autistic children often have anxiety, depression, obssessive compulsive and bi-polar disorders that go hand in hand with Autism? I don't think so. If a person took a mood altering drug prior to pregnancy, it certainly makes sense to me that the unborn may suffer damage from that. But that's just my humble opinion - and certainly there is no scientific proof to back that up.

Then again, would there be any? Is that something that the pharmeceutical companies would want out? Think of all the potential drugs that might not get used....so they win two fold. They diagnose the mood altering meds for the adults -- and then they get the children. It's win-win for them.

(Wait, I did say I wasn't a conspiracy theorist, didn't I?)

What do you think? Do you know anyone who has children on the Spectrum? Have you ever thought about what causes it? I'd love to know other opinions that are out there.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The devil you know...versus the one you don't.

I awoke this morning to the news of our arch nemesis' death at the hands of our military.
I wonder if I'm alone in feeling....anti-climatic about it.
Almost as if it's come a tad too late.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's gone.

Though I have to say, I'm not quite sure why they weren't able to do this a long time ago. But I'm not in the inner circles of our government, so I don't have insight as to why he wasn't killed sooner. Though I've never considered myself a conspiracy theorist - I have always believed that he was being kept alive for a reason - and that our government was not killing him for reasons unbeknownst to us.

(Dear Mr. Leader of Pakistan: Um, you're kidding me, right?)

And since we're on the topic of conspiracy theories, truthfully -- I'm shocked we have no photographs of said dead terrorist. I mean, we literally watched Saddam Hussein's death - and photographs of his corpse were circulated immediately. And yet....we have nothing of our dearly departed Bin Laden. Weird, right? Something about this just doesn't feel right....

I'm not saying he isn't dead; I'm just saying that maybe it didn't happen quite the way or at the time we were informed.

It was amazing to watch NYC celebrate....they deserve that, they need it -- they were devasted beyond anything that we can comprehend.

But to see the college kids in Boston "partying" until 3am about it sort of made me scratch my head a bit. The average college student was 10 years old at the time of the tragedy. I'm not really sure about the actual emotion of the news versus the wanting to celebrate something....jump onto some sort of bandwagon -- or as one student quipped on tv, not wanting to "miss the best party of the year". Hmmm. Not exactly my emotion about it, but - okay.

So here's the thing. Were we better off with a weak, sickly, poorly funded and not as well "staffed" Al Quieda with Osama in charge; someone who has hidden in the shadows for years and once a year like TuPac Shakur seemingly comes out with a new "tape" for us to see and prove he's still around. Or are we better off now with a potentially angry and possibly now hungry-- leader that we have yet to see if he has the ability to recruit other angry people for the cause.

I just don't know.