Sunday, December 30, 2012

This is the dawning of the age of....the cell phone?

So, I finally caved and got my son a cell phone for a Christmas gift.

It seems to be the current hot gift for the 6th grade culture, or so it seems because in a matter of minutes after opening Christmas presents, our phone was ringing with different kids calling to say "hey, I got a new phone!" and the boys were cheerfully talking and texting within minutes.

I've always been adamant that he doesn't need a phone; it seems kids have had them since 3rd grade - but I refused to give into the concept of just because "Jimmy has a phone" then my kids need them as well.  Like I explained to my son, not only do we have a perfectly good house phone that he never uses, but he has his XBox Live account where he communicates with everyone plus - he's always with an adult.  It's either myself or G, or his friends and their parents. 

Until.....middle school.

Yup, it seems middle school just assumes that either parents don't work - or all kids have a phone.  Because my son has been going to after school activities that seem to get cancelled on a whim - and then he's on the school bus going home, an hour early!  I wouldn't mind, except that my house is at the very end of a mile long street - and it's wooded.  (Yes, it's a mile long - I've clocked it while I ran it.)  We have some businesses in areas near by and so often there are people that walk on their lunch break all the way down our street because of the distance -and so while my son is on the younger side of appearances, the last thing I want is for him to be alone.

So, after a string of cancelled activities and my panicking to get someone to meet him at the bus stop, I decided that it was time.

While I could've gotten him a smartphone - or even a basic flip phone, with unlimited minutes on my plan, I figure since I've been strong armed into doing this and he's not the most responsible of kids - let's start with a basic Tracphone and pay as we go.  Make him earn the minutes he has, and actually take care of his phone.  We all know kids lose their things but at least this way, it's not a major investment loss if it suddenly disappears. (Just a loss of investment in his time, with all those contacts he suddenly has.)

Where did the time go that my baby has a cell phone..?
In only 5 years he'll be 17.
Next big thing - a car??  Driving???
I am SO not ready for that.....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lyrically speaking....

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don't care?
It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?
Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?
It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss and the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee, calling me sugar
You called me sugar
Have you ever wished for an endless night
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself
Will it ever get better than tonight?

Friday, December 14, 2012

One of the worst days...ever

Saddened.  Disgusted.  Heartbroken.  Shocked.  Horrified.  Devastated.

Heaven gained 27 angels today.

God bless the families in Newtown CT.
Our hearts and prayers are with you all.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Darkly dreaming Dexter....

I'm sorry - but did anyone watch the episode of Dexter from this week?
Oh. My. God.
Oh my God!

I was stunned at the previous for the finale.

I love, love, love this show.  If anyone out there remembers, the finale from three or four seaasons ago was probably the best finale of any season in television ever seen.  Seasons following have been okay -  last season had promise but didn't really live up to the potential; truly it seemed like the writers had changed so it was a little more contrived than usual.  But this season - back to being off the hook.

At the end of the episode my jaw was literally hanging open and my hands were to my mouth and I was saying aloud "oh my God...."

I'm serious; if you don't watch this show - please, add the boxed set collection to your Christmas list.
It's a MUST see.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All is calm....all is bright

It's quiet in the house tonight.

That's because last night was a late one, with the Patriots game and all.  Somehow, it went from my kids going to bed early to get a good night's sleep and my son only being allowed to watch the first quarter - to him staying up 'til halftime; me saying "time for bed" and G saying "you can watch it in your room...". 

Game ends at what, 11: 40?  At 11:25 I go in his room expecting to find a sleeping boy and appalled that he's awake and command the tv be turned off. (Did I mention he has to get up at 6:30?  Really, what was G thinking?!?)  But then....

Princess Petunia is suffering from growing pains in her legs.  And she's whining...not crying but cranky and whining.  Which makes a very tired mom, very cranky herself..... but down the stairs I go, to get an ice pack and a towel to put on her legs.

And then finally after a little bit of yelling and grumpiness.... the house fell quiet and everyone slept.

Tonight is the polar are up in their rooms early, in bed watching tv before "lights out".  G is downstairs in the ManCave watching tv and I'm here in the den with a glass of wine, online shopping and well, blogging.

I like these quiet nights...they don't happen very often.

Monday, December 10, 2012

If I could turn back time....

Home made dresses, everyone gathered together
The smell of onions and potatoes frying in the pan, cool sour cream...
My favorite tuna dip.
Candles to be opened
Family and friends...grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles

Sunday, December 09, 2012

For the love of our animals....

It's been quite the week in the "I'm just a girl" household with regards to pets.

We have two domestic rats who are just adorable.  I love, love, love them.  They're clean, and super friendly and crazy affectionate.  They just want their food - and their hugs.  When you hold them, they snuggle up and sort of purr (called buxing or bruxing) like a cat.  One of my rats, likes to just fall asleep when I hold him.  Cute right? 

Well, Princess Petunia and I were at PETCO purchasing some supplies when as we were checking out there was a tank that had a sign next to it that said "Think adoption first.  Free to a good home".  Inside was a huge rat...and one that looks exactly like our adorable Pop Tart - sort of like a cow, white with brown spots.  So I asked what his story was, why he was up for adoption - and held him.  You could tell he was well loved at one point - because while he didn't know us, he was shy but not squirmy or aggressive.  And the poor thing was at the store for 3 weeks already! So I looked at my daughter and said "well, we're a good home..!"  and so I told the clerk we'd take him.  My daughter named him Albert, to which I added "Fat Albert" (a little homage to Bill Cosby and my younger days...) and off we went.  Such a good choice - he's absolutely sweet.  Even sweeter than my other two, he just loves to be cuddled.  He clearly was an only rat as he's just now starting to learn social cues and is good sharing the cage with one - but when we put the three together with food, he's not sure why they're so into taking his food away, the hoarders that they can be.   So now we have three, and I just love my little boys...they're like sunshine on a rainy day.

The next day, the kids had a half day and so I took them for lunch and to the shelter.  (We always visit the shelter and as you may remember we just lost our little Twinkle two weeks ago or so.  As much as she was standoffish, she still was one of my furkids and I miss her.  As does the kids -and possibly even more so, our other cat Spike.  He was crying for her every morning, and was so sad...he just moped, and barely ate.  Heartbreaking...)  Well, we looked at all the animals and kittens and cats - and I was adamant that we "werent' getting one today".  G and I had talked about surprising them on Christmas morning, though we hadn't really worked out all the details just yet.  But he happened to call me as we were looking at a litter of babies that were just released for adoption and gave the ok for the kids to pick out a kitten if there was one that would fit our family.  (Code for the opposite of Twinkle:  affectionate, loving and not skittish.)

....And we did just that.  While the kids both fell in love with the brown tiger striped runt of the litter -after playing with her, they realized that it was her bigger sister that was really the perfect fit.  All black, with big yellow eyes and a pretty little face - Jingle Bell Rock (as Princess Petunia named her) was adopted and brought home with us.

She loves the kids...loves her new big brother Spike (he's a big ol' Maine Coon) and likes but is not completely sure about Auntie Brandy (16 yr old Jack Russell) only because Auntie can be cranky at times - but she's a complete snuggle bunny.  Sleeps with Princess Petunia on her pillow, and will sit with anyone who wants to hold her.

It's fun having a baby in the house again.....

Friday, December 07, 2012

My latest Housewife BFF...

We all know that I love Mrs. Heather Dubrow of the OC. 
As well as Heather Thomson of NYC.
I've also been a fan of Kyle Richards of Beverly Hills.
The connection between the 3 - they're pretty darn real.  True to themselves, down to Earth and someone I could find myself being friends with.  A little money doesn't hurt anyone and clearly they haven't seemed to lost too much of themselves with it all.

But my newest "BFF" is Yolanda Frost of the latest season of RHOBH.
Aside from the fact that I adore her husband and had the pleasure of sharing a flight to NYC seated next to him - and we discussed no music, just wine and wine country. (Truth be told, I didn't tell him that I knew who he was, I thought it best to just let that be...)

She is appearing to be one classy woman.
From the way she lovingly but professionally treats her staff (what girl wouldn't love a house full of staff?!? Though truthfully, I'm so used to doing things myself I wouldn't know how to let people do it all for me, but I might figure out a way to get used to it...), to the gorgeous way she has her table decorated and details for entertaining -- to the OCD way she has her refrigerator.  My God, if I was capable of having my home that way - you can bet your money that is how I would have it.

Those are the superficial things, I know - but she certainly just comes across as being very respectful and warm, loving and genuine.  I hope that future episodes show that my thoughts about her are correct.

(By the way, I love love love that their dining room table is wide enough for two head chairs so that she and her husband can sit next to each other at dinner.  Love it!)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Bring us some figgy pudding...

I've already started planning my holiday menu.
I "think" I may have it all set, minus a few details.

As I've mentioned before, this is the one dinner that I really like to get very formal with multiple courses and we really take our time and dine.  Usually, I start with personal shrimp cocktail for everyone - but this time, I'm going to do something different and start with sorbet.  I know typically sorbet is used before the main course as a palate freshener however...since we will be having so much wine, will sorbet actually really do anything outside of ruin the wine?  Exactly.  So that's why I'm thinking of starting with it....

Then we'll have stuffed scallops, bacon wrapped shrimp - and a soup that I have yet to decide on.  Typically I make Lobster Bisque every other year (last year was Vichyssoise) but I think I'm going to pass on that this year.  I may have the traditional Creamy Artichoke Soup make a reappearance.  (I made it a few years back with Goose and it was outstanding, if I do say so myself!).

Then, we'll have our pasta course - Lobster Ravioli's with Vodka Sauce garnished with freshly shredded lobster tails.  Simple salad to go with it.

Finally, the main course.  I always serve ham and one other main course - and that other main course has had me rather perplexed.  I've done Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon the last two years, and I would've chosen Turducken except where I just did Thanksgiving I'm a little turkey'd out.  So this year I think I'm going to make Duck Breast L'Orange.  Boneless, skinless and yummy. 

The sides of sausage stuffed peppers, roasted potatoes and asparagus are the perfect accompaniments to just about any meal.

So this is why when I say Thanksgiving is my least favorite food holiday - I mean it.  I love turkey, and it's all good for a warm and cozy Sunday afternoon.  But to me, holidays are special and magical...not just the fact that it's one of the few times that everyone from immediate to extended family sits together around a table and laughs - but also because something a little special and different than the norm, is shared as well.  I'm all for comfortable and familiar, but there's something to be said about interesting and different.  

It's all matter how you serve it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scents and smells...warm, cozy, soft, fuzzy

This is such a fun time of year, scentwise.
This is what I'm crushing on for making my home smelling cozy, homey and warm.
(I am only going to be able to smell them for a few hours longer...this cold that has crept upon me is taking over my sinuses  VERY quickly!)


What scents do you like to make you feel merry & bright?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Silly, quirky, fun little quizzes....

You Are Grateful and Forgiving
You're good at bringing people together. You are a connector.
You often help others with their problems. You offer practical and workable solutions.

You believe that each day is precious, and you spend your times as best as you can.
It hurts your heart to hold grudges. You rather forgive, forget, and move on.

You Are Logical
You've got a lot of flair and creativity, but you temper it with organization.
You have an eye for innovation, and you're always inventing totally new ways of doing things.

You see the big picture, and while you delight in details, you don't get hung up on them.
You get bored by routine easily. You need to be around similarly open minded people in order to thrive.

Your Green Eyes Say You're Creative and Unique
You are seen as artistic and perceptive. People are delighted by your original ideas.
You don't let other people see all the hard work you do to be creative. You make it seem effortless.

You are very ambitious and at times ruthless. You are determined to get what you want.
You will step over someone to get to the top, but you're so charming that no one will notice!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Joy...Sudden Sadness...Brightness and Light.

Dinner for 27 went off with minimal hitches.

The dining room looked gorgeous....I'd show photos except my IPhone for some reason refuses to send me my photos from my phone any longer and I can't quite figure out why.

The meal was delicious; the turkey's white meat was a tad dry which disappointed me, but I think it's because there was quite a lag between the time it was done to the time we ate.  Not a huge deal - but I had some help in the kitchen and I think it just got a little too...distracted.  No worries though, it was a good time with good food, family and lots of laughs.  A lot of cleanup afterwards, I won't lie - it sure felt great to lay in bed at the end of the night!

The rest of the weekend was a little traumatic.  One of my two cats, Twinkle (remember earlier posts from a few years back "Twinkle little cat"...) had to be put to sleep.  I did not see it coming.  She'd been to the vet over the last month for what they thought was an issue with a UTI - turns out the poor thing was in kidney failure, either due to genetic disease or kidney cancer.  I brought her to the vet on Saturday morning because she was no where near herself - and we got the awful news that evening at 5pm.  (This photo I took of her, ironically enough - the Tuesday prior to her passing. She was fine - I no way so this coming.  SO very sad..)  I've never had to put a pet down before, the ones I've always had, died on their own.  So this was so very new to me - and to prepare my children was gutwrenching.  They were devastated and so was I, but I was so very proud of them and they way they handled the situation overall.  We were with her when she was set free, and we will have her ashes in a few days.   My poor little Twinkle toes.....

Later that day, G went out to buy our new faux Christmas tree.  I requested a 7.5 one - at the largest, 9.5ft.  Mmkay, he came home with a 12ft tree!
I took this picture I put the ribbon around it in a beautiful peacock blue.  The best part about the tree - is that decorating it put smiles on the kids faces once again.  They were really, so very sad that they didn't even want to do the tree.  Fortunately that changed once they saw the monstrosity of it! (Again, I'd show you a photo but the silly IPhone is not cooperating with me today.)

And then we had our outside decorated as well, so last night we were looking very shiny and bright.

All in all, the weekend was exhausting and exciting, emotional and nothing short of busy. 
I wouldn't want it any other way.
(Well, minus the sadness of course...!)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"This is our last dance..this is ourselves..under perssure."

This is what I keep telling myself.

So while this holiday isn't nearly as stressful as last Thanksgiving (I was moving last year..this year, fortunately, I am not.), it still is quite anxiety ridden from a business perspective.   And, I am hosting for 25 this year. 

While we all know I love to entertain, it's been a little stressful getting to this point because as I'd mentioned previously we did a little home re-design; it came out gorgeous.  I hope to post pictures at some point but truthfully, right now I think the photos don't do nearly the justice of showing just how beautiful it looks.  I really am quite pleased with the feel of the room.  My den that was formerly my dining room is very warm and cozy now too, but definitely needs curtains.  I will order those before posting photos for sure.

So, Thanksgiving is my least favorite food holiday.  It's just well, so...typical.  To me, holidays should be about special things that you don't often get to indulge in, that evoke fantastic memories for years to come.  Who doesn't love turkey dinners on rainy Sundays watching football?? But, turkey it must be.

I ordered my turkey fresh, and I will be picking it up tomorrow.  I'll brine it, and then I stuff it the night before with oranges, apples, garlic & onions.  I season it up, and then cover it with bacon.  The fruit just adds a little citrus to the gravy and helps keep the bird moist; the bacon, well that needs no explanation right?  Delicious goodness to the gravy and completely yummy to eat off the top half way through cooking.  And the smell....seriously, who doesn't love bacon? 

I'm making Squash soup, Mashed potatoes, Homemade String Bean Casserole (we're not talking cream of mushroom soup, I mean fresh beans and home made cream sauce.  To die for...) Corn and Asparagus.  My mother in law is making gnocchi's and meatballs and her awesome sausage stuffing -and I'll make a salad.   Everyone else brings dessert because this girl will not have time.  I do have a fresh apple pie that I froze but other than that - forget about it.

Did I mention I'm working from 8am to 10pm the night previous?  Um, yes...Tuesday night I'll be cooking up a storm before bed so that I don't have to think about anything until Thursday morning.  Fortunately, my mother in law graciously insisted on setting my tables so I'm happy to take her up on it.

So the dinner isn't stressing me out.  It's the feeling that I'm not going to have all that a person could ever want or need for Thanksgiving when they walk through my doors.

And then worrying that they won't come....and oh my, the bills....
It's all good.  It's all good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's like "baby, baby,, baby, baby, oh...."

I think I may have won the Cool Mom of the Year Award this weekend.
I'd post lots of videos but my Iphone for some reason is not sending them out properly, so you'll just have to visualize.

I surprised Princess Petunia with tickets to see Justin Bieber.  It was a game time decision, I bought tickets that day, and got 20th row floor.  I'd have loved to have gotten her closer but they were all gone.  Technically the tickets said 13th row floor, but with the section in front of us being 8 rows deep - well, there you go.  I'd have paid for the 3rd row in front of the stage but they were gone before I got the chance to type in my American Express digits.  

So, I told my daughter that we had tickets to a very fancy restaurant that you need reservations to get into.  She insisted on wearing a dress, even though I insisted that leggings and boots would be fine; as we were driving up to the Garden, people were coming up to the car trying to sell Tshirts and she says to me "Mom, you should buy a shirt from that homeless man...." and so I laugh and say no.  As we pull into the parking lot and walk into the Garden she says "Oh, I've been here for WWE and Princesses on Ice" and I say "of course!  Well, they opened a new restaurant here..."  Naturally there are girls everywhere wearing Justin Bieber shirts, carrying signs, etc...and I'm thinking she's got to know now.   So I said, "hmm. I wonder why everyone's all Justin Biebered out?" and she shrugs and says "that's weird isnt' it?".  So I say, "Maybe it's a Justin Bieber themed restaurant?" to which she smiles.  And then I whisper "..or maybe I'm bringing you to the Justin Bieber concert..?"  and then it all clicked for her.  Excited??  To say the least!

We had so much fun, I have cute videos of her dancing and singing - and truth be told, it was a great show.  It's hard not to have Bieber Fever or be a "Belieber" when you see him perform.  He's a crazy talented kid...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I miss them, and they're not even gone....

I'll tell you, this being a Mom business is not easy.

My son, now 11 (really, 11 1/2 if we're being technical) is growing up so quickly.  He's just so "cool".  He still holds my hand when we're walking which is still fun for me, and he's immature in many ways, don't get me wrong; but he's just so grown up in the respect that I'm slowly no longer staying the sun in his sky.

The days of running out to see me when he hears me come home...gone.  There's no real lilt in his voice when I call his name and he's more of a casual "oh, hi" kind of tone.  I miss the days of chocolate chip kisses and big hugs and smiles when I walk in a room.  The infectious giggle when I said something silly...

While he still loves to hang out with me, he sulks and mopes at times now - which he never used to do.  I sometimes feel the need to remind him that he's 11 not 17 and that he can't have all the freedoms that he would like.  Besides, responsibility has to show a bit more before I can even think about allowing him certain freedoms he might enjoy.

Tonight after he ate dinner he went upstairs to his room to watch his IPad and I grabbed him and asked for a hug, which of course he obliged - but when I told him I missed him, he laughed.  He said "I'm right here.." and I told him that he doesn't see how he's growing up because he's in it - but that I miss him being happy to see me and the smile in his voice when he realized I was home..

It's wonderful and sad and bittersweet all rolled up into one.

I think I'm going to have a tougher time with my little ones growing up than I had thought I would....

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

Today is a day to celebrate and embrace the basic right that Americans are born with - and others die for.  We may not all agree on what or who we think is best for this country - but we all have the basic right of freedom to choose born to us. Embrace it, celebrate it - and VOTE.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Things that make you go "hmmm?"

1.  This is 2012, not 1912.  How long has NYC and NJ been without electricity and gas?  8 days now? And without gasoline, which of course makes it impossible to run generators...I'm sorry, but I find this disgusting.  We are not talking rural areas that are tough to get to, nor are we talking about something that couldn't simply be handled with an executive order to allow companies from outside of each state to temporarily allow deliveries of gasoline across state lines.  I get that there are taxes and tarriffs involved -- but basically it all boils down to politics.  And this is not a time for that.  This is about humanity and kindess in a time of need. 
   1a.  I'm so all set with the election to be over.  I'm so sick and tired of the rheoteric and commercials and endless amounts of "I'm Elizabeth Warren" or "I'm Mitt Romney" or whoever the hell is or isn't running and they've "approved these messages".  It's been the ugliest political sparring that I've seen in a long time.  And truthfully - none of them really did anything to swing me - and I was a swing voter.  Do I stay with President Obama, who while a nice guy - has been rather ineffective and in someways fiscally irresponsible?  Or do I take a chance on Mitt "Flip flop" Romney, who did okay things in office here in MA but is a complete loose cannon at times because I don't really know what he truly stands for.  I think this girl is going to check the "Libertarian" section of the ballot.  Because staying with the devil you know versus the one you don't - may not be a choice I'm really sure on making truth be told.
   1b.  As a result of the fundraiser on television this weekend that heightend this girls's awareness of the depth of the tragedy, as local news was not sharing as much as they should've - I'm hosting a fundraiser at my store for the hurricane victims. Every little bit counts...

2.  Speaking of politics....hows Questions 2 & 3 on the local MA ballot striking anyone?  Do most people even know that they're on there?  Legal Euthanisia for dignified end of life....and Legal Medical Marijuana.   This girl is supporting legal euthanisia but sorry my recreational pot smoking friends - I can't support the marijuana bill, at least no the way it's worded.  Sure, I know it's inconvenient that it's illegal to buy a dime bag - but read the bill.  I just don't think, as a mother - I can support this option.  Before I had kids, I felt differently -and I am not a smoker.  But as a parent of 2 children, and children who may have a genetic predisposition to struggle with addiction because of family histories - I staunchly oppose making it legal.  Maybe this makes me prudish - maybe it makes me prudent.  Either way, I'm all set with that and I hope that people take the time to really read the bill as it's being presented. 

3.  If you aren't registered to vote - than you don't get an opinion.  I love all these people who voice their opinions and are very boisterous about them, and they aren't even registered to vote!  Shut up sit down and keep your thoughts to yourself, because you can't play if you don't pay.  Your opinion does not matter if you don't register it.  So please, don't waste this girls time.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

For no mere mortal can resist...the evil of the Thriller

The kids were so excited yesterday, they could barely stand it.  It took all they had to wait until I got home so I could help them get ready and all costumed up.

We trick or treat at my aunt's house, in the town we used to live in - because she lives in a neighborhood that is Halloween Central.  Thickly and densely settled, each neighbor tries to out do the other in decorations, so much so that one house had a large screen projection and a DJ!  Others had haunted houses set up, some had people dressed in costume like statues to slowly move and scare the kids, in a fun way of course.  It was the first time that we have spent Halloween in our new home (we're coming up on our one year anniversary after Thanksgiving this year!  My how time flies...) and so we were pleasantly surprised to see kids come and trick or treat at our house!  We've never had kids come by, so it was fun to see just how many kids are in the neighborhood between our street and the next two - that we never get to see! So we left the bowl of candy on our porch next to the jack-o-lanterns and off we went.

Princess Petunia was a Vampire Queen.....My son was Billy The Puppet from "Saw" fame.
I was Batgirl, and G was...well, tired husband.  He had a fabulous Frankenstein get up but he wasn't able to get out of his store early enough to get his costume and come with us, so he met us there.  Better late than not at all! 

Hope you all had a happy Halloween filled with candy, love and ghoulish laughter!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rock you like a hurricane...

You know you're a New Englander when you're in the midst of a hurricane, and you're sitting on one of your decks, watching the trees blow in the breeze and instead of worrying about them falling on your house - you're excited at the thought of them falling into the woods - with a glass of wine in your hand, and wishing you were at the beach to watch the waves.  Just sayin'....

So we made it out of Sandy unscathed, fortunately.
I have one casualty - my outdoor gazebo that was on my deck did not survive.  Those 80+MPH winds tore that bad boy down.  Truth be told, it's not as strong as the one I had in my last house so I wasn't shocked.  But other than that - we got off scot free, which is fantastic considering my house is literally carved into the forest.

My town however, not so much.  3700 without power - thankfully, we were not one of them.
Storms make me want to cook, even more so than usual.  So we feasted on banana pancakes for breakfast, Shrimp, Clam & Corn Chowder and crab cakes for lunch; tuna burgers for dinner.

My heart goes out to the people who live in my 2d favorite city - Manhattan.  From what I hear everything from 40th down is a disaster. does NYC go through all these devastating events and pull through each and every time?  I always think "how will they get through this?" and yet....they do.

I couldn't help but think of Atlantic City as well; when G and I went to Barbra Streisand a few weeks back, we were sitting with the owner of the Boardwalk Casino & Hotel who was a great guy and fun to talk with. I can't help but think that he is beside himself at the moment.  We've had floods in our Beacon Hill store and there was one that we thought was going to do us in - fortunately, we survived; I couldn't imagine damage the magnitude of what the Boardwalk is suffering from.

(Seriously, it's downpouring right now - the most rain we've had in days since we barely got any yesterday - and wait, is that thunder I'm hearing?  Really?? )

Uh-oh.  That means this girl needs to run out and save the jack-o-lanterns the kiddies made before they become water bowls!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Who doesn't love Salem at Halloween time?

Don't get me wrong, I love Salem year 'round.
But it is so much fun in October.

Even though we had no rain today and lots of sun - there was a beautiful upside down prism in the sky!

My son's friend came along and got into the fun! (My son is the zombie... who clearly attacked his friend and his sister - or so he'd like you to think!)
And of course, there's myself and my Vampire Princess Zombie victim.

The man in the background is the monster artist extraordinaire.  Funny, I didn't notice the faux wound in his forehead at the time, and yet now - it jumps out at me. 
I guess "when in Rome.." it all blended in!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thoughts of design....

So this dining room is the look that inspired the transformation of my dining room's color palette.  While the initial impulse was to go with traditional velvet/crimson red - this is much more my taste.
And since we couldn't find this exact wall paper anywhere - we came up with something similar but not quite as dark.  Keeping in mind the photographs really do no justice to the wallpaper. It looks almost baby blue here, but trust me - it's not.  Below is a gorgeous metallic silver Anna French Wallcovering in "Japonica".  Very Chinoiserie-esque.
While I tend to prefer more traditional, masculine light fixtures with a mix of antiqued feel and crystal - my designer (who is also my MIL) said "absolutely all crystal".  It's going to look beautiful, as my dining room has 2 walls of pretty atrium windows and french doors to the outside,  so I have an abundance of natural light which should really just shimmer off the chandelier. 
The sconces above my fireplace match as well.
And while my dining room set is a bit more traditional with a darker wood structure and cream seats, we're adding silver parsons chairs to the heads of the table to mix it up a bit.
And then lots of greens! 
There's nothing I love more in a room than green plants, topiaries, grasses and of course - flowers.
We're trying to find artwork or prints for the room as well, but we haven't found anything just yet.
And this to be done by Thanksgiving....well, that's the goal anyway!
We shall see!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend wrap up...the food, the friends the fun.

Overall, this weekend was really nice.

Saturday, I had some girls over for a Sunless Tanning Soiree.  My sister has started a sunless airbrush tanning business where she travels to you - rather than you going to her.  So to get her jumpstarted, I had a few girls over for some fun in the faux sun and of course - food and wine.  It was such a good time!  Just a small, intimate gathering and it was alot of fun.  It's been a long time since I've had some good girl time, and it was well worth it.

Sunday, was but of course - Patriots Football Sunday.  Which translates into relaxing and eating food.  It's my favorite day of the week to cook.  It was an easy day actually...leftover calzones and then I made Artichoke & Marscapone raviolis with a pink sauce - complete with home made pumpkin pie.  I love, love, love pumpkin pie.  I do think, I may have to do an encore presentation of dessert next weekend for the London game.  But next week, I'm thinking it's chili & fajitas for the meal du jour...

The next big event at the "I'm just a girl" household is Thanksgiving.  As of now 27 people will be gracing my dinner table, which is partly why we are redesigning our dining room.  Actually, we've flipped our den to our dining room - and vice versa.  Which of course means we have electrical work going on to swap the chandelier, and had to have wainscoting placed in the room - and now, it's the design aspect.  I want all silver chinoiserie and crystal - but to find the right pattern is where we're at right now....ah, the fun of prepping for the holiday.  Two turkeys at a minimum, and I'd like to get a little creative on my menu.  I'm thinking Squash & Apple soup (which I'm making for dinner right now actually....) as a course.  But we shall see.... To be truthful, while Autumn is my favorite season, Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday meal. 

Because this all about Christmas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Totally Random...totally.

So, I burned my bottom lip badly.
Really badly.
How did I do that, you ask?
Well... I have two words for you my friends:  Cherry Tomato.

I made a really delicious roasted chicken dish on Sunday and I added fresh cherry tomatoes while it was cooking.  I thought I had pierced them all prior to cooking so that they'd ooze and make the sauces all juicy.  Well, clearly I missed one and my fork didn't really pierce it enough so when I bit down....OUCH.  I have never, ever burned my lip before.  I almost look like I've been punched in the lip.  Thank God for good lip gloss that can distract from it.  But yikes does it hurt at times.  Even a good bottle of wine can't take the discomfort from it...

I helped Princess Petunia with her math homework tonight.  Funny, she's in third grade and had a minor stumbling block in the same arena as my Son did in 3rd grade:  Regrouping, aka Cancelling & Borrowing.  I had made him a "cheat sheet" to reference on how to remember to do it while he was in school so he wouldn't feel embarrassed asking for help; he needed it for about a day until it really clicked.  Petunia, picked it up immediately.  Both kids are pretty great in math, which is something that I never really have been good at.  Truth be told, I was afraid of it -- it's something that doesn't come natural to me and so it intimidated me abit.  Especially since when I was younger there was still that stigma that "girls aren't good in math...." and so my teachers may have perpetuated that a bit which didn't make me feel any better about my shortcoming.  So, I avoided it most of my life when I could.  Hard to believe that I'm in retail where it's ALL about numbers.  And yet the funny thing is - I get it now.  It's not so scary or intimidating, it's pretty much straight forward.  I guess I really have grown up....

Friday is my 3 year anniversary of the store opening.  I can hardly believe it's been that long already.   It seems like only yesterday I was planning and waiting and hoping and planning... I've got a huge celebratory tasting happening on Thursday, to say "thank you" to my customers.  I'm hoping for a good turnout; the weather looks promising and while there are a lot of other events going on in town that night - I'm cautiously optomistic that free wine and food will inspire good attendance. 

I can't believe the Dalai Lama was in Medford today and I didn't know about it!!  See what happens when you're off your yoga mat for far too long.  I'm hopeful I'll get back to it soon... but I wouldn't say I'm optomistic...not even cautiously.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

People who need people...are the luckiest people, in the world...

So, you may have noticed I hadn't blogged since last Wednesday.
That's because I could barely conceal my excitement about where I was last night, and I don't like to post online when I'm not going to be in my neck of the woods, you know what I mean?

G and I flew to NYC, roomed at the Four Seasons - and had front row tickets to see the one, the only....Ms. Barbra Streisand.

(insert sound of angels choiring here....)

It was a last minute decision actually; we were toying with going to Atlantic City or Newport....possibly even seeing WarHorse open in Boston.  But we had been eyeing the tickets all week and sure enough...they came down as the show got closer and we couldn't resist.

She wasn't just good - she was AMAZING.

Yes, you could tell at times she was just getting over being sick - but it was nothing short of just added character.  She sounded almost exactly like her recordings.  I've never seen someone so immensely talented and so natural and effortless at singing.  She is nothing short of a living legend.  And we are so priveleged to have been there to witness up close and personal - concert #84 of her career.

She bas always seemed to me, to be a beautiful person - both inside and out.  Yes, I have always thought she was so pretty, though unconventionally so.  Her personality just makes her that much more beautiful and she was nothing short of that last night.

It was a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary...a little bit of jetsetting and shopping....a night with probably our most favorite singer of all time (short of Elvis who my husband is enamored with - me, not so much...) and a little bit of pampering for us both.

So it's the laughter....we will remember...when we remember....the way we were.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You learn something new every day....

So, here's a little somethin'somethin' I learned today.

Coca Cola - is available in a Spanish version.
Complete with a glass bottle, and instead of high fructose corn syrup - it has real sugar.
Oh, and it's sold in the Latino section of a supermarket, rather than in the regular tonic section.
Who knew?

One of my sales reps lives in a more urban city and he mentioned that he stumbled upon it this weekend.  So he bought it....and he said it's absolutely freaking delicious.  Sort of like Coca Cola from years past.

(This girl, has never been a tonic drinker - so I don't really know, but I've got to think that anything made with real sugar instead of the other stuff, has got to be good.)

Interestingly enough, they also have a Kosher Coca Cola, complete with a yellow cap - symbolizing the Star of David.  Seriously?  Seriously.

Because what in a bottle of Coke would need to have special preparation in order for it to be kosher?

Now if that's not a little meshugna, I don't know what is...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

There is love....

Thirteen years ago was a little warmer out, a beautiful day for an oceanside
 (or technically, bayside) wedding.

We may be a little older, and we may have two little people that have entered our lives since that day - but we're still kids at heart.

Happy Anniversary to Us.

Friday, October 05, 2012

“You can seek the advice of others, surround yourself with trusted advisers, but in the end, the decision is always yours, and yours alone. And when it’s time to act, and you’re all alone, with your back against the wall, the only voice that matters is the one in your head. The one telling you what you probably already knew. The one that’s almost always right.”

Boy am I glad it's Friday.

As I sit here drinking my Pinot Noir (Carmel Road, incase anyone was wondering....) I'm finally feeling relatively caught up given the week I've had.  Even yesterday I had a hard time realizing it was Thursday; it's like being in a vaccum when you're in a hospital it seems.

Given my many rants about child abuse and murder of children, you can imagine I was beyond excited to hear that Thomas Mortimer is going to have life in prison without chance of parole.  I won't link to his story because truthfully it was one of the most gruesome and sickening I've heard of in some time and I don't want to burden anyone who is blissfully ignorant with the details.  Just trust me when I tell you he's a monster - and I'm thrilled that he did not try to plea insanity or some other invalid defense.

Bobby Valentine .... gone from the Red Sox.  Ah yes, well this girl felt the "kiss of death" was when the Red Sox ownership went on and on to dispel the rumors that they were going to fire him and insist that the love affair they have with him would extend into his second contract year.  Doth protest too loudly it seems.... poor guy.  While I wasn't a fan, you still have to feel badly for someone who clearly was almost set up to fail.

This weekend I have my niece and nephew over for a sleepover for a night!  They're arriving tomorrow morning and it looks like the weather will cooperate enough for us to go pumpkin picking at a local farm - which of course means pumpkin carving is on the agenda! How fun, right? They'll get to take their pumpkins home, but for one night I'll have 4 pumpkins on my front porch instead of the regular 2. I'll have to take pictures to share....

However you spend your weekend, I hope it's filled with laughter and love...and hopefully pumpkin pie and cider donuts and maybe a good bottle of wine (or two..or three...just sayin'...!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Oh what a night...or two, or three

This morning, my son and I will be checking out of what was an unexpected stay at the hospital.
It's been a crazy couple of days.

Friday night, the 4 of us went out for dinner....we all ordered something different: Sushi for Princess Petunia and myself, Pad Thai for G and General Gau's chicken for my son.

On the way home, he says to me "mom, I feel nauseous..." Funny thing is - I did too.  So I told him he was probably just a little carsick from the ride, he'd feel better if he went in and laid down.  I thought for sure my stomach was going to bother me, but while it felt odd....nothing ever came of it.  We all went to bed early.

At 5 a.m. my son comes in the room, high fever, headache and ready to throw up.  So clearly, I tell him he's got a stomach bug and let's get some Tylenol/Motrin in his system and some rest.  That will do the trick.  Not so much.... without getting into all the details, by Sunday morning I knew this wasn't just a stomach bug.  I couldn't get his fever to break...he was too lethargic, and he had abdominal pain.  I call the pediatrician and off to the ER we go....

We spend a good part of the day there, because he has signs of appendecitis.  But after a bag of IV and some antinausea medicine, he feels better so they send us home.  Two hours later, the symptoms return with a vengence.  By 9pm that night, his stomach pain is worse than it was that morning and you can imagine, I'm now thinking that his appendix might rupture and that would be a nightmare.  So back to the ER we go.

The doctors examine him, and now they're really convinced it's his appendix and we're talking about potential surgery.  So they put him on IV, antinausea medicine and prep him for a CT Scan.  In case anyone has never had an abdominal CT, they make you drink this liquid in 4 cups - one cup every 40 minutes.  So in pain, exhausted, uncomfortable and nauseous my poor son tries to choke it down.  By 3a.m. they fortunately decided that he had enough in his system to have the CT performed and off we go.  Excited that we're nearing the end, but frightened that surgery was around the corner...

At 5:30 a.m.  they come in to tell me that we're being admitted; his CT came back showing that it is not appendicitis -  but colitis.  Not ulcerative colitis - but a colitis attack, due to infection.  The doctor said they were shocked, he had every single clinical symptom of needing his appendix out but the CT showed otherwise.  Such incredible relief that my little guy didn't need surgery.  He was nervous, I was nervous - G and Princess Petunia were wrecks. 

6:30 a.m. yesterday we were finally admitted to a room - and we are awaiting discharge later this morning.  We can't wait to go home....

Few things are scarier than when your child is sick...and it's not the normal run-of-the-mill type of illness.  I don't know what would've happened if I didn't bring him back to the ER; maybe nothing...but I didn't want to take that chance. 

We were both up for over 36 hours...and I spent two nights away from home, but it's all a part of being Mom. (there's an "S" on my chest hidden under my clothes.  All of us who are a good Mom have one, it's like being in a secret club!)  But I certainly hope to not have too many more nights like this in my future!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Isn't it ironic...dontcha think?

double standard:
dou·ble stan·darddou·ble stan·dards Plural

NOUN 1. standard applied unfairly: a principle, rule, or expectation that is applied unfairly to different groups, one group usually being condemned for the slightest offense while the other is treated far more leniently

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts...

1.  SO glad the state of MA is appealing the sex change for convicted felon "Michelle" Kosilek.  Listen, I'm all for transgender modification; but I draw the line when that person is a murderer living out a life sentence and expects it for free on the taxpayer's dime.  I don't think that the personal well being and psychological comfort of a person who commits a heinous act and is being punished for it - is quite as important as it is for those who lead good, healthy and productive lives as members of society.  Why can't this person use their personal funds for the surgery?  Why should the state pay for it?  It's not medically necessary...there are lots of homosexual and transgender people who don't have surgery and seem to be just fine.  Maybe it's harsh - but this girl feels that sure, you got your due process - and you lost your case so now you're in jail.  You don't get to have "rights" like people who abide and follow the law do.  So I'm sorry you don't feel like a man...dress like a woman and deal with it.  My hard working money shouldn't go to sustain your fragile psyche.  It should go to more important people, like the men and women who wear a uniform to protect the world from people such as yourself.  If we're going to fund anything - let it be for causes of good for the better of society.
      1a.  Please please please - don't allow Charles Jaynes the opportunity to change his name.   I'm sorry my friend - being Wiccan isn't the same as being Muslim.  There is no incentive or initiative to be called something other than your birthname.   You should wear the scarlet letter that is your name legally for as long as you walk this Earth.  You should never be able to hide from the ugliness of the crime you committed.  (And for those of you who don't know whom this awful person is - Google the name "Jeffrey Curley".  And be prepared for a good cry.....)

2.  Clearly, you can say you graduated from just about one is going to check!  So, the debaucle known as the Jamaica Plain Drug Lab - has shown that you can lie and say you graduated from just about any college - and no one is going to ask for the transcript to back it up.  It just makes you wonder how many "professionals" are out there, doing jobs that maybe they really aren't qualified for..?

3.  Three times is a charm... So, the saying goes "when it rains - it pours".  We have 3 different locations courting us for opening a new store.  How's that for interesting?  If I wasn't such a control freak, I'd be open to the idea of someone franchising the stores and having variations of our theme all over the country - with us there to open them all. (Hello you hear me knocking??).  But I'm not quite ready to kick back and let someone else be the face and presence at a store with our reputation.  So for now, we're looking at what we can build and run ourselves.  Two different spaces in the lovely town we live in that has a quaint little walking downtown; one in the downtown Boston/ Back Bay area.  Maybe even another in a city adjacent to Boston proper - but honestly, that doesn't thrill me much.

4.  NYC here I come!  Yes, it's true.  G and I are heading back to the Big Apple soon to celebrate our annivesary.  We almost bought front row tickets to see Barbra Streisand, complete with VIP afterparty/meet & greet.  Sure, the amount we'd have spent would've been like remodeling one of our bathrooms, but c'mon -it's Barbra.  Truthfully, I'd have spent it to see her...but we aren't going.  We are instead going to just paint the town red.  So, I need a new pair of fabulous boots - a fantastic dress and a fun new mascara to crush on.  (C'mon, I'm a minimalist - it's all about the amazing mascara and lip gloss.)  Recommendations... anyone??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It isn't easy....

Really being considerate of others feelings - not just your own.
Egos have no place in a family. We're all in it together.
Speak to each other as you would have each other speak to you.
Preaching falls on deaf ears. Don't talk about it - do it.
Each of us have feelings, take care with them -- and don't be harsh.
Children are not adults, and shouldn't be spoken to as such.
Treat each other with kindness and love.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just a little mindless fun....

You Crave Honesty
You are a very real person. You tell it like it is, and you try to see every situation clearly.
Your life may not be perfect, but you try to make it as perfect as you can. And to do that, you need to own up to everything!

People may be overwhelmed by your honesty at first, but they appreciate your candor over time.
You don't hide who you are, and who you are is pretty darn great because of it!

You Are a Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Compared to most people, you are very disciplined and restrained.
You aren't easily tempted, and you never go overboard. Moderation is key for you.

You are lighthearted and easy going. You don't have a lot of baggage... very little weighs you down.
You are pretty sweet, but you're also quite spunky. You are naturally complex.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The things we do for love....

It's been a rough 24 hours in the I'm Just A Girl household.

I'm trying to relax a bit (trying being the operative word, as the kiddies are verbally jousting in the background right now. Bedtime can't come soon enough, trust me...) with a glass o 2006 Brunello, waiting to have my pot roast and Patriots game.  Sure, a Brunello is a big bottle for a quiet night, but hey, that's just how I roll.

It all started yesterday morning when I went to feed the rat-a-tat-tats.  Flake, our little Albino rat felt awfully light... crazy light.  And while he jumped up to see me, he was acting like an old man as I gave him his morning food.  Now, I noticed that recently Snake our portly rat was hoarding food - but had no idea to what extent.  So, given Flake's weak stature and light weight in such a dramatic period of time, I made an appointment to take our little furry friend to the Veterinarian.

Turns out he had something called Maloclussion - where his little jaw doesn't align properly and so his teeth don't naturally grind down well on their own, and they need a little assistance.  If not treated properly, it can lead to....starvation, abcesses, infections, etc.  I had no clue!  We're new rat owners, the pet store certainly didn't tell us what to look for, and while I've read on the internet much about them - outside of the day prior, he didn't seem to not be eating.  Actually, he seemed to be eating fine - albeit slowly. Until yesterday...

So off to the vet we go, where she shows us his teeth and he became progressively more lethargic as we were awaiting our appointment; so by the time she saw him she was afraid that he literally wouldn't survive having his teeth cut down.  (A common practice in rabbits, guinea pigs and occasionally - rats.  I had no clue!! How guilty was I feeling...?!?!?)  But fortunately he survived and out he came, full of fluids and antibiotics - with a cautious optomism from the vet suggesting if he could survive the night then there was a good chance he'd make it further.

We kept a watchful eye on him all night. Lots of holding and snuggling to keep his body temperature up, as well as a lamp over his cage.  We ended up buying a seperate cage for him so that his buddy Snake wouldn't eat his food; but at 1:15 I couldn't sleep.  Princess Petunia had crawled into our bed it seems, and so I snuck out and checked on my little Flakey.  He was alive, but clearly not doing well.  I held him for about 20 minutes, wrapped in a blanket and talked to him...telling him how much we love him, how sorry I I hope he knows he was loved.  I put him back to his bed, and went to my own.  G woke up, and I whispered to him "I don't think he's going to make it"....when all of a sudden Princess Petunia sits up and says "what?!?!?!".   She starts to cry....and you can only imagine the heartbreak.

I ask her if she wants to go up and see him, and so up we go.  We walk in, and he lifts his little head to us....take a few breaths, she tells him she loves him - and then he gasps - and is gone.  She bursts into tears - and you guessed it - we're up all night from that point on.

Funeral arrangements were made this morning.  In a shoebox, wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by soft fluffy fill - we dug the ground and buried him.  My son, Princess Petunia and I each said something about him we loved, and then we said a prayer - and placed rocks and wooden crosses on his little tombstone.   Somber times...somber times indeed.

But how do little people rebound?

They buy another rat.  This time... we're smarter, wiser.  We ask how old he is, and we inspect his teeth before taking him home.  Now we know what to look for.  This one is younger and and white.  They named him Pop Tart; his original name was Shake but it became too confusing with Flake, so.... Pop Tart it is.

It's amazing how unconditional love can come in the tiniest of forms....even in the form of a gentle, loving rat.  These little creatures want nothing but love - but they give more than they'll ever know.  They teach the little people who care for them a sense of responsibility, a respect for a creature so dependent upon their time and attention - and a love that is different from a dog or a cat.  It's a nurturing love that's almost parental; and it is an often bittersweet, but invalueable gift that they will hopefully carry with them for the rest of their lives.

(And now, she sips the Brunello.....)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Joyeaux Anniversaire...

I'm very fortunate and blessed.
In my 42 years on this Earth, I've been able to experience so many wonderful things that life has to offer.

I've had my share of difficulties as well; but without those, how can we ever truly appreciate the often simple, but beautiful moments that life has to offer? 

Your journey in life is what you make of it; if you perceive the obstacles that life throws you as roadblocks, then they will be.  If you perceive them as challenges to overcome, then you will find a way to circumvent them, and leave them in your rear view mirror.  There is no luck in this life -it's perception and attitude. 

One of the most challenging obstacles I've encountered to date - is the acceptance of others.  I don't mean in the prejudicial way; I mean in the respect that we all have our own crosses to bear and decisions to make, and while we may not agree with the decisions of others - we have to accept them.  My mother's passing was the final step in that process; prior to that, I'd released my personal responsibility of trying to "fix" people and solve all their problems.  But when it came to final life decisions of someone so close to me -- I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't accept a choice that to me seemed so irrational and fearful.   So to have finally embraced her decisions and accept that it was her journey - not mine - is one of the greatest lessons I've had to learn in my adult life.

See, even when a Mother is gone...she's still teaching you.

I'm more than likely half way through my life as of today - and that's if I'm fortunate to live to be 84.
I'm still full of happiness and hope, excitement and pride.

I'm so proud of who I am, where I've been - and where I'm going.  I'm a Mom, a Wife, A Sister, A Daughter, A Friend.  I hope to be a Grandmother someday.  I'm hopeful that there are less difficult times and only beautiful ones in my future; I don't need to learn more lessons - I've learned enough to this point and I hope to only have to reflect upon them in the future as I guide my children through their way in life.

Happy Birthday to me.... and I hope to have many more returns.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Post concert memory....

This wasn't from last night - though she did sing this.
She's breathtakingly perfect in her vocals.
In a word....amazing.
She brought tears to our eyes during many songs.... hearing her in person, is truly a gift.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

...cause in Vienna, we were poetry....

I am so excited!
Tonight, I'm going to see Linda Eder!

My aunt got tickets for us, it's going to be a birthday celebration of sorts.  It was supposed to be her, myself and my sister - but my sister is sick, so my aunts friend will be joining us instead. 

Front row, natch. 
(We all know how I'm a ticket snob... I know, I know, it's silly - but if I'm going to go somewhere, I want to have the best seats in the house! I don't indulge in much in life, so when it comes to a good show - damn straight I want the best seats in the house.  And fortunately, my aunt is the same way....imagine the money we'll have to kick out if Ms. Streisand was to tour again....?)

Drinks, Show, Apps.  Fun!
So that just leaves one question....what's a girl to wear?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pardon my shock, disbelief and lack of understanding...

The recent attacks in Libya & Egypt are horrible. 

But am I really expected to believe that this all was generated as a result of a spoof movie that made a mockery of the Prophet Muhammed?

I'm sorry, but do these very fundamentalists not mock Catholicism, Judiasim and every other religion not their own?  Do they not blasphemize and defame our figures of religion? 

Have they not seen the movie Borat???
(Okay, so that's a joke - but the statements above it are not....)

Here's the deal, my little Islamic fundamentalist friends:
I get and even understand you being all bent about a movie that mocks your religious beliefs.  It's crude and disrespectful; however just because a movie was made in America doesn't mean that you attack the American government because it was made here!  Surely you can't be that stupid to not understand the difference.  (And people wonder why we think that other countries act like savages....)

Are you that angry about the Western culture that you use any excuse to wage war in the name of your God; because here's the difference my friends - when we come after you, it's because of unjust treatment or retaliation for terrorism.  We don't just do it because you offended our God - because let's be honest - who doesn't poke fun at religions?

It's time for ya'll to put your big boy shoulders on and let it roll....not everyone embraces your religion or understands it.  But that is never a good enough excuse to wage acts of war, ever. (and yes, this girl believes that assasinating American officials in any capacity be it sniper, tank or mob - is an act of war....)

Stop being hypocrites; smarten up, toughen up and grow up.

I truly don't understand how anyone thinks that the United States will ever be able to have a peaceful roadmap with most of the Middle East. 

How do you work rationally with the complete and total irrational?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The world has changed...never was the day the world stood still.

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Where did you graduate again? The University of "Duhhhh...?" - Stewie Griffin

It looks like we've got an election coming up folks.

I don't pay much attention to either of the National Conventions; to me it's all a lot of rah rah sis boom bah rhetoric to rally the bases and try to generate swing votes.  I'm all about the debates.  Think of it as you want to fill up on the appetizers, or do you want to get right down to the meat and potatoes? 

So, that being said - while I'm a registered Independent, I've often found myself leaning towards Libertarian.  Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, smaller government. There are some who I'd really love to vote for, but sometimes they are so far "out there" - they're too extremist for me as well!  So while I did watch about 8 minutes of the Republican convention - I couldn't really tolerate much of it this time around.  They're just so far to the right on so many issues, I had a challenging time watching.  The Democratic one, held my attention a little longer; who doesn't love Bill Clinton?  And whether I agree with the stances on some issues, and not so much on others - the Democratic speeches just make you feel good.  (Although Deval Patrick's speech was a classic study in irony; if only he was as good of a Governor as he is public speaker. Um, Mr. Fraud, Waste & Abuse.   But he's lobbying for a cabinet position anyway, no?  Lobbying...hmm, interesting choice of words.  I've gotten into many a debate over the past few weeks about lobbying.  Because really - every one has someone in their back pocket in politics, no?  But I digress....)

So, I took a few Political quizzes for funsies to see where I fall.  Granted, the questions are a little bated and not incredibly specific so I have to answer as closely to what I believe in as possible.  But here are my results.  I find it interesting that I always seem to fall middle of the road.  But that's what an Independent truly is, no?

Test 1:  You are a Moderate.  If you’re a registered member of the GOP, some would call you a RINO – a Republican in name only! You believe in moderation in matters of gun control, government spending, drug laws, same-gender marriage, abortion and public spending. In most issues, you’re middle of the road … but still you’re not all that comfortable with somebody calling you a “liberal.”

Test 2:  Right Centrist: There's a chance that you're a libertarian.  You value the freedom to be able to do what you want with your money, and you have some value for the personal liberties of others, but you won't take those freedoms to the extreme. You may disagree with the full legalization of prostitution, or perhaps the legalization of drugs, but for the most part you're a live-and-let-live kind of person. So long as people don't try and take your money.

Test 3:  Libertarian. 
Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 80%
According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is...

Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

Friday, September 07, 2012

It is a is the Diva Dash....

So when was the last time you remember reading that I've actually exerted any physical activity in the form of exercise?  Months, right?

Well, I'm heading to the Diva Dash tomorrow with one of sisters in law, and one of our cousins.  They're younger than me, and in great shape - they did Tough Mudder earlier this year, of which I'm still "not worthy" to be in their presence.  That is an amazing race.  I wish I'd participated but I knew I wasn't in the right conditioning....I am pre-registered for next year.  But I digress....

Anyway, tomorrow is this mini-obstance course-race sort of thing and as I was saying I'm older and haven't worked out in months.  Oh, right - my work out regiment has been eating and drinking!  I'm the heaviest I've been without having the excuse of "having just had a child"... fortunately I do some activity, since heavy lifting is what I do best at work.  I can throw a case of beer like nobodies business!!  Not quite the same, but you know what I mean; at least I have some semblence of strength, just not endurance.

So this oughta be fun!
Eh, who cares.  The worst that can happen is that it takes me a while.
Pictures to follow, complete with home made tutus on.....

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I'm just a girl style!

Today was the first day back for my kiddies - and the first time that they actually leave at different times.  Even when they were in different schools before we moved, we all left at the same time or I'd drop both kids off; this time, my son gets on the bus at 6:45 whereas Princess Petunia isn't at school until 8:10.  Middle school for one...3rd grade for the other.

Needless to say, 5:30 came awfully quick this morning - and the shots of my son were taken at 6:15.
I'm surprised neither one of us look like we're sleeping....though we do look sleepy!

First day went off without a hitch...happy, excited, a little nervous - but all was good. 
Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life...

(Kicking it back old school with a little Aldo Nova... totally dating myself, but hey - what's a girl to do when she can't get a rocking 80's hit out of her head?)

So it's Labor Day weekend.  I'm not exactly ready to say goodbye to summer and yet....I still found myself buying seasonal decor and changing my Summer flag to my Autumn one.  The mornings and evenings are cool and crisp even though the days are still really warm.  A true tip off that the season is changing:  the yellow jackets are in full force.  It's like they know that they're going to die soon so they're frenzied and aggressive.  Typically that happens in mid-September, early October.  Since we've been so warm since March, clearly they're all sorts of freaked out and today they were in rare form.

I'm going to miss this summer.  I'll fondly look back on it as the first summer I was able to take a good amount of time off from work and just relax with the kiddies.  Next summer, I plan on taking more, possibly even 4 days a week during the month of July.  June and August require a little more hands on, but July - should be smooth sailing. Unless we open a third store, which while part of me is really excited to do, another part of me could care less about it.  I'd be just as happy opening a small gourmet shop next door to our Boston store.  It will require far less buildout, less capital, less time and will still be profitable.  But we shall see what the future holds......

I'm in my sun room at the moment, with a nice glass of Haut Medoc and listening the surprising quiet of the house.  My two nephews are over for the night, and while it's not quite bedtime yet - to have 4 children under the age of 11 in the house and no real loud voices - well, it's almost suspicious!  Actually, it's really nice to hear all the laughter.  Their bedtime is coming up real soon though and I'm sure it's going to take some time to get them acclaimated to sleeping in "KidTown...."  We'll see just how long the quiet lasts...

So life is quiet and good for this girl on Labor Day weekend.  I hope yours is as well.... enjoy the final kiss of the summer sun, and I hope you are surrounded by love and laughter.