Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My baby takes the morning train....

My son, who is my oldest - has never been away from home for more than a night.  Neither of my kids have actually. Sleepovers at a friends, or their Nana or cousin's house - are few and far between, and a luxury.

But next week he's going on a field trip with his school - for three whole nights!
He'll be perfectly fine....he's not the homesick type, and he's really looking forward to it, which is awesome.  I'm so excited for him.

I'm not nervous, I'm just..... I don't even know what to call it.
He's never been away from me for more than one night.

I think I'm going to have withdrawls.
Crazy, right???

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good times, bad times....

So the day has come that the Captain is retiring.

I've been avoiding most televison coverage regarding it, until of course his press conference takes place.

It's truly bittersweet....and of course we all knew this day would come.

I'm really happy for him though.... he seems so happy.  He has a beautiful new wife (whom I really like alot, what little I know of her), is expecting a new baby girl, and is ready to start a new chapter in life.  How can we not be happy about that?!?

Selfishly, I hope that he stays on in some semblence of coaching capacity with the team.  That would be perfect.

And if not, well - if he's ever looking for something to do, I know of a good wine shop that would be happy to take him on.

Just sayin'....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back to life...back to reality

To finish up the school vacation week, we took the kiddies to North Conway and spent time at Adventure Suites.  We really loved it there, outside of the fact that the bed was really not comfortable.  But it's a themed place and not exactly a 5 star hotel, so we took it in stride.  But the location is awesome and the service was great and the whole concept was just so much fun, we're already planning our return trip.

What's not to love about North Conway and Cranmore Mountain, right?

Best part of the hotel, was the water.  Yup, sounds crazy I know - but they served water with fresh cucumbers cut into it, and never have I tasted something so refreshing in all my life.  This girl will be serving it all summer long poolside, because truly - it was delicious and so fresh tasting.  I'm addicted to it....can't stop thinking about it.

Speaking of addictions, rumor has it that I'll be hitting the yoga mat once again starting this week.  I hope so anyway....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love is a many splendored thing....

Love is.....

my heart bursting with pride watching my son play basketball each week.
hearing my daughter's unstoppable giggle.
the smell of my husband's clothes when I fold them as they come out of the dryer.
looking forward to the end of the day.
counting the days until a night away.
not remembering what life was like before little people...and not really wanting to.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Double your pleasure, double your fun....

(No, I'm not chewing doublemint gum.)
But, I am doing two posts in one day - something I haven't done in years.  Years!

So much to say, and I want to get it out before I forget it all tomorrow.  Because yes my friends, once you're in your 40's, the memory starts to go.  Things that seem burning with importance at 2 in the afternoon, are lost by 5.  Truly, this girl has too much going on to retain....

First off - postscript to my post from this am.  So, I'm at work and G is home with the kiddies having a rather large football game.  Long story short - one of my SIL's went on my son's IPAD and discovered rather inappropriate website searches.  How I missed it, is beyond me because I'm pretty diligent about that stuff. (OMG, the timing is INSANE given my post from this morning, right?!?!)  I actually had Google safe search on, but not as strict as I have it on the PCs.  It seems the IPAD requires an event stricter level than the PC version - plus I run a firewall on the computers to restrict keywords, something the IPAD doesn't allow.  But, the good news is - all inappopriate materials are completely gone and life can go back to normal. 

(Dear God, I think I already forgot my second thought that I was going to post about.  Seriously?!)

Oh well.  It couldn't have been too important.....

I'm gonna beat you down....

I have a few extra moments this morning before I get in the shower, so I quickly popped onto Facebook to post something on the store page about a tasting we're having this weekend.  But the first comment on my home page is from my sister who I see is calling a woman out because of a comment she read online, on a news channel about two girls fighting on YouTube.  It took place in the city my sister lives in which is unfortunately known for things far worse than two girls fighting - but it was once again, another not so great story to make the news.  Anyway, the reason she was calling the woman out was because the woman used a term of "hoodrats" and "ghetto" to describe the city and the girls who made this video. 

While I get why my sister got upset at the terms used...I think she missed the point of the comment.  The crux of the statement was because once again, a negative story came out about the city and it makes the city and it's residents look bad.  It's a generalization and stereotyping statement, which yes - is wrong - but unfortunately the way this woman reacted is probably the way most people who hear the story react.

My reaction to the story isn't to the woman who made the comment - but to the children.

I've written about this before, and I'll do it many times over.  Why is it that there is the unquenched thirst for "popularity" over the internet?  Why do children feel the need to do ugly things to other people in order to gain acceptance.  Fighting, bullying, and bad behaviour - sure that's nothing new.  It's been going on for centuries; we're a savage society, it's in our blood.  But the desire to publicly hurt others, to me is mindblowing, especially in young children. 

In an age when television isn't celebrity, it's reality - the perception of what is socially acceptable behaviour is blurred with what was always considered horribly inacceptable behaviour.  When children have access to have Snooki as a role model, or watch Teenage Mom - or my beloved Family Guy -- how are they to take what their parents are trying to teach them seriously? 

Yes, there are ways to try to prevent their access; but it's almost impossible now.  Even my own children have access to things that I cringe at; and there are times when I throw my hands in the air in disgust because I have lost the control.   For an example, you reward the kids with a televison in their bedroom and allow for basic cable.  DVDs get old (and expensive!), so you want them to be able to watch some of their favorite shows in bed before bedtime, or when they're sick.  But on basic cable - there are no parental controls.  You can't block by age rating or show like you can on a television that has a cable box.  So how do you prevent curious minds from clicking through channels and watching shows that are clearly not meant for kids???  You can't.  Unless you hover over their rooms and eavesdrop the whole time.  And there are times I've done that, believe me.  But that isn't always an option.  So what can you do?  You can take the cable out of the room.... But is that really fair either?

It's a tough job as a parent.  It's a constant balance of trying to not shelter, but not overexpose either.  We're not their friends, we're their role models.  And I think that there needs to be some serious work done in bringing the kids of today out of the internet/social networking/immediate gratification world, and bring them back to basics of social interactions and respect - to both themselves, and each other.

There's negative aspects to the internet, as well as many endless positive aspects.  But I do think that there's an age for certain exposures, and at a minium - a certain maturity level.  It has to start from the home -- and children need to understand that they don't need to be accepted on the world wide platform of social networking.  They don't need to bully, or be cruel to feel good.

They need to just accept who they are and feel good in their own skin....and then the social acceptance will be there.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thinking of you...

Sometimes when I look at my hands, I don't see mine -- I see my mother's.

It's weird, because I don't look like she did - but yet I have similar traits.  My voice sometimes sounds like hers, my mannerisms resemble hers at times, I even have some of her habits....and what's so funny is that it's happening more so now that I'm getting older, rather than when I was younger.  It's like I'm becoming her in a way, and yet it's been almost two years since she passed.

Most days, I don't think of her at all.  Sounds odd I know, but since my parents moved away years before my mother actually passed - I adjusted to not seeing her on a regular basis, sometimes as little as once a year.  I think it bothered me more when my parents moved because they eliminated the option of seeing them, by choice; as opposed to death - where there are no choices. I always have believed that children move away from home to spread their wings, but parents are home.  So when parents move away, there is no more "home" to go back to, which can be rather unsettling.  I guess for me it hit home more than it would for most, possibly because I'm one of the only people I know who's parents weren't divorced.  In retrospect I guess most of my peers growing up dealt with the loss of their one secure home if their parents divorced.  I'd never really thought of it that way before now, actually.

I'm not a huge fan of hot chocolate, but my mother was.  And truly, the only times I really remember enjoying hot chocolate was when she made it for me after playing outside on a snowy day.  As an adult, she would always try new brands to get me to jump on the hot cocoa wagon, and it never worked....until she found these Land o' Lakes packages of flavored hot cocoa. Hazelnut, Raspberry, Mint - you name it.  Sure enough - I loved them. 

As a result, anytime it was my birthday, or Christmas - she'd always include a few of those packages in with my gift because it just wasn't something I'd think to shop for at the supermarket.  Needless to say, it's been years since I'd had any of it.  My parents moved away 10 years ago, and truly, I couldn't find it anywhere, even when I did look for it.

Last week when I was food shopping, something jumped out at me....and there they were.  Land o' Lakes hot chocolate packets, in all sorts of flavors.  I bought two of them.

Maybe it's because I watched Whitney Houston's funeral last night which was sad, despite the fact that she more than likely brought on her own demise.  Maybe it's because I was doing laundry and remembered that the shirt I was folding she gave to me.  Or maybe it's just because I miss her, period.

But today, I'm drinking my hot chocolate....and thinking of my Mom.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It takes a very steady hand....

I've always known my Princess Petunia was artistic.  I've even posted before how she has the gift of making something out of nothing.  But that gift isn't just with her hands; it's also with her eyes. 

I've often said that I wished I had the eye to take a good photograph. I can identify a good photograph, but when I take a picture, I never am able to really capture a moment.  If I do, it's accidental I assure you.  But she can take a picture of a plate of food and seriously - it's beautiful. 

I'm openly envious, and I hope as she gets older she realizes the gift she has and nurtures it.
Because, she really is talented.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is a many splendored thing...

Love is a family dinner.
Love is cupcakes after, frosted by little hands.
Love is working on homework problems that are frustrating for the adults just as much as the ones learning it.
Love is patience, and kindness.
Love is tolerance, and understanding.
Love is home made cards, gifts picked with care.
Love is home.
And home is where ever your heart may be.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cleaning house....

Both at home -- and at work.

When you have 5 bathrooms -- there's sometimes alot of cleaning to do!  Truthfully, all 5 don't get used all the time, but I did have to clcean up after quite the extended stay of a family member who had their own private bathroom.  Let me tell you - not looking forward to having to do that chore again.

Changes in staffing that are welcome and truly needed.  It's a new year, time for a fresh approach and with people who hopefully get the big picture.  I'm so fortunate, I have always had great staff and these are all people who truly want to be there because with the exception of one or two - this is a second job for them.  At the same time, there were a couple of people who just either didn't know what direction they were going in - or didn't really get the retail concept.  And that's okay too because they're nice people, but I can't just have people there because they are nice.  It's a business and needs to be treated as such.  And so a little housecleaning has been done, so to speak.

I feel good.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Warm and fuzzy ,soft and cozy...

I'm sitting in front of a roaring fire, with a glass of Pinot Noir in one hand - and Princess Petunia by my other, whilst we're snuggled in a blanket watching television as I type this. 
(Let me clarify, she is watching television; I am patiently awaiting the show to end so that she and I can have our "American Idol:Hollywood Week" catch up session on DVR.  I promise each week not to watch so that she and I can catch up together on Friday here I sit and wait.)

It's funny how the fire evokes such a feeling of home for me.  I never had a fireplace growing up, so I'm not exactly sure why; maybe it's just a concept of what I always felt home should be like?  Or maybe, it's because it reminds of me of my aunt's house, which always was like a second home to me when I was little.  I used to love to sit in front of her fireplace, especially on Thanksgiving....I even remember one particular time when I fell asleep in front of it one random time when I was having a sleepover. 

The snap. crackle and hiss of the fire - which has a smell much more subtle than a bonfire in the yard -- is one of the simplest pleasures in life that make me the happiest.

Along with sitting beside my Princess Petunia, of course....

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Beautiful things....pretty things....favorite things

A good 10 year Tawny Port.  Any Kelly Clarkson song.  Lemon Verbana soap.  Almond butter cream.  Lavendar Vanilla softener.  Hot sauce with a really good kick.  French country decor.  Homemade coconut marshmallows. Organic cotton yoga shirts.  A deep, dark purple black nail color.  Chairs wrapped with tulle.  Hydrangeas.  Laughter, friendship and love.

Monday, February 06, 2012

It's been such a long time....

How about that Superbowl, eh?

Honestly - it wasn't that bad of a game.  I mean, it was actually a good game - both teams played well, and truthfully, the Patriots didn't even have a Superbowl caliber team this year, and yet....there they were.  Unfortunately, they just didn't seal the deal.  They had many lost opportunities right up to the last minute, because truthfully, they could've scored a touchdown if they had just 20 more seconds.  But alas, it wasn't meant to be....

Life is on it's way to settling down to normal, and that my friends is a good thing.

I've missed blogging. I've been running a "I'm just a girl" hotel of sorts for the last few months and so that's sort of been taking up my time at night when I might otherwise throw a thought or two out in the blogosphere.

Actually, it's afforded me the opportunity to really get caught up on my guilty television watching - and some not so guilty television.  While I'm all up to date on MobWives & Beverly Hills Housewives, I'm also loving other shows like Kitchen Cousins, Vanilla Ice Project (yes, that Vanilla Ice.  He's kind of there on the show as an accessory, but the house projects are fantastic!) and I'm also really enjoying Auction Kings.

But I miss blogging -- and I miss that other people have stopped blogging.  It seems that Facebook has replaced the blog and that is quite sad. Blogging is creativity, it is artistic, it is journalistic.  It can be simple and plain, or gripping and raw.  It can be a journal, or just a rambling of thoughts.  But it's better than 140 characters and certainly better than a simple statement of three sentences that other people comment on for the mere sake of having nothing better to do.

Blogs are thoughts and rants and raves - and hopefully they shed insight into those who write them.  And I think it's rather sad that it's being pushed aside for the immediate gratification and social circle of a website that garners, steals, and sells our personal information.

I'll be back...