Monday, June 26, 2006

Room with a View

I don't want to knock the hotel we're staying at... It's quite lovely really. However, our first morning in the room I threw the curtains open to find this. A lovely vacant lot complete with a pile of old tires, a few tarps and several drums... Don't EVEN want to know what's in 'em.

The other item we found gracing 'our' vacant lot view was a shopping cart. Funny thing is, the shopping cart seemed to breed over night and the next day there were 3 shopping carts taking up residence. Maybe there's a shopping cart convention of sorts taking place in Garden Grove that I'm unaware of.

So while we may not be particularly fond of the view, we're enjoying the ever changing dynamics of the site. And if the view isn't really what we hoped for we can always keep the curtains closed.
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Good Morning from So. Cal.

It's been a VERY busy few days...I've finally found a few moments to collect my thoughts!

Random thoughts:

Flying from coast to coast is a long a grueling process... From start to finish (our home to the hotel in GardenGrove, Ca.) it took us 12 hrs. give or take 10 min.

Jet lag SUCKS!

When you're trying to find your hotel late at night from your sisters house...
1. Don't wait 'til you're really, REALLY tired.
2. Don't try to read directions and drive.
3. Just because the left turn signal turns green you should under NO circumstances assume that it's time for you to enter the intersection if you're planning to go straight!
4. Don't assume that just because you ALMOST had an accident that you should've added that extra $9 a day insurance on the rental car... Be content in your decision that the company was just trying to rip you off.
5. You can convince your son that NOW you are fully awake and alert and NO you don't have to go back to your sisters house and sleep on the floor.

Nice hotels don't ALWAYS have glorious views.

Holding your sisters baby for the first time is HEAVEN!

Discovering that your incredibly beautiful 20 yr. old niece has the same sense of humor as you, will make you wish she didn't have to work so much during your visit.

Watching your 16 yr. old son enjoy making his 4 yr. old cousin giggle is an incredibly joyful experience.

Getting a picture of your niece snuggled up in the arms of your son while they're watching tv together makes your heart swell to enormous proportions.

Seeing your dad after many years... Greeting him with a hug so tight that it makes your arms ache... Can make every moment of anxiety and uncertainty leading up to the event disappear in an instant!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Into the heavens... A thought or two before we fly!

Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.
- Jules Feiffer

We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.
- Anton Chekhov

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not as desirable, as ones hat keeps blowing off.
- Woody Allen
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I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane....

Boarding Passes - Check!
Rental Car Confirmation - Check!
Hotel Confirmation - Check!
Nerves - Um, I'm working on that.

Last night I had one of THOSE dreams... You know the type?... STRESS dreams! OH, how I LOVE the stress dreams (I'm being facetious of course!) In my dream it's 3:35 pm and I haven't even begun packing for my son or myself and we were supposed to leave for the airport at 3:00! So I'm racing around trying to think about what I need to pack and I'm so frazzled I can't focus on a single item... I can't even find the suitcases. Eventually my brain checked out of the dream because clearly I wasn't making ANY headway. The dream did however leave the lingering gift of butterflies that trail from the pit of my stomach all the way to the base of my throat... Breakfast anyone? Even a walk in the suffocating mid-atlantic humidity couldn't abate the flutters.

So my mission this morning is to get packin'... I think once I get into the rhythm of the task I'll feel much better... If I traveled more often I really don't think this would be such a big deal.

btw: Our hotel room has free internet so with my sons laptop in tow I should be able to keep blogging while I'm away... I'm sure there'll be many stories to tell.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

When I walk alone...

A lot of mornings I walk with my neighbor which I enjoy... But I also love the mornings when I walk alone.

When I walk alone it's just me alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I work through problems... Other times I think about my next decorating project and a lot of times I think about what I'm going to write in my next blog post (viola!)

Today as I walked the new construction site, my mind churned up familiar thoughts as I looked at the beautiful new homes being erected...
I wonder to myself -
Is the house anxious to welcome it's first family? (And yes, I'm just crazy enough to give an inanimate object like a house, thoughts and feelings.)
Will the family or couple who move into this beautiful new home be happy here?
Will they treat it with loving care or take it for granted?
Will the home be filled with celebrations... Babies, Birthdays, BBQ's and Anniversaries?
Will the people that live there be friendly types who will spend time outside waving and chatting with neighbors or will they be so caught up in the business of getting to and from work that they won't have time to enjoy LIVING in their lovely home and neighborhood?
Will the home be filled with Love and become what I like to think of as a 'Smiling House'?
Will the home be full of anger, tension & strife, resulting in a 'Sad House'?
Will it be a 'transient' home? Never having a tenant stay in it long enough to allow for a sense of stability and wholeness?
And yes, I DO believe a house has feelings... Something my daughter would prefer I didn't share because she thinks it means her mom's a bit 'loopy'.

While I'm walking I also think about the men building these homes. The laborers are mostly Latino. I'm greatly aware of how hard the work must be. Now that the heat of summer is bearing down I grow concerned that they're drinking enough and not getting over heated. I worry about how hot a roof must get on a 90 degree day while it's being covered with tar-paper and shingles. Mostly, I wonder what they must think about the home their building. I wonder if they give a second thought to the fact that they may be building someones dream? I also wonder if they look at the sheer size of these homes and consider them ostentatious... If the people who eventually live in this house, will take for granted all that they are fortunate enough to possess?

There are a lot of things to think about... When I walk alone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


My daughter is afraid of rides... Oh, she likes riding a bike, riding in the car, riding on a boat (specifically a cruise ship!) but she doesn't like any type of ride that makes her "stomach hurt"... Carnival Rides (excluding Carnival Cruise lines), bumpy rides, roller coaster rides, you name it... They simply make her nauseous.

When she was younger we signed her up for gymnastics because, well... Partly because she was spinning cartwheels all over the place but mostly because I felt guilty that we hadn't signed either of our kids up for any 'Sports' activities. We were the 'black sheep' of the neighborhood. While other parents were driving their kids all over town... To soccer, baseball, swimming, basketball, track, dance... etc, etc, etc. The Blystone kids quite simply, played in the yard... My son building unique contraptions and my daughter collecting critters from the nearby woods.... The lack of participation in organized sports wasn't because we were cheap... Our kids were just never that interested. SO, when I got the flyer for Gymnastics I asked my daughter if she'd like to try it and YES... She said she did!!! I would finally be one of those mom's that rush around town at dinner time getting my kid to her sports activity. Why? Why, should I be so excited about this intrusion on my routine? Why, because I just wanted to seem, and I wanted my kids to seem more normal to my friends.

Thus began 8 weeks of Gymnastics. My daughter had the leotard (she looked so cute!) and she was walking the balance beam and perfecting her cartwheels! But by week 4 I began to notice that she wasn't getting excited about going to class... She in fact started acting quite aprehensive about Gymnastics. So I asked her what the problem was... "Mom, it's the Penny Drop... It makes my tummy hurt!"... "The Penny Drop? What the heck is that?" I said. Turns out the 'Penny Drop' is a move on the parallel bars where you hang on the the top bar with your legs spread apart and feet on the bottom bar, then you reach down between your legs with both hands and flip off the bar... Or something like that... It's been years, I reallly can't remember too well. I only know that each week my daughter was getting less and less excited about gymnastics.

My husband and I try our best to teach our kids the lessons that we find important... One of them being, when you start something you should see it to completion... That's why my daughter ended up finishing out the entire 8 week Gymnastics session. Was she proud to have earned her little patch? Not in the least, because receiving a patch for something she didn't enjoy was insconsequential to her.

So back to my daughters weak constitution for tummy turning activities... Yesterday she went out on our friends boat and was told she just HAD to try 'Tubing'... She told us later, "I knew, I just knew, I wasn't going to like it... That it was going to make my stomach hurt... And it DID!" "So why did you do it then?" we asked. "Because my friend wouldn't stop bugging me and I knew she'd be mad if I didn't try it!"

This is where my emotions become quite mixed. I'm proud of her for trying something that she was obviously uncomfortable about doing... On the other hand, her reason for doing it seems all wrong. I KNOW my daughters friend would never convince her to do something dangerous or harmful (Her friend is much too responsible for that)... But, I also want my daughter to stand up for herself and not feel she has to conform to what others might expect of her... In essence I don't want her to be like her mom who thought it was important to sign her daughter up for an organized sport so she'd appear more normal to the other moms in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Here's one HAPPY Dog!

Here's what living with the Blystone family can reduce you to!

pictures by, S. Blystone
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My Taste-Buds All Grown Up...

I came to the realization yesterday that I've finally aquired a taste for 'Healthy Food'.

Maybe it's a result of the diagnosis of diabetes last year but I'm really starting to enjoy, even crave foods I would've stuck my nose up at in the past. Namely, 'Spinach Salad'... I made myself one for lunch yesterday and frankly, all I can think about is what will I combine with my 'Spinach Salad' today? I should explain that I've ALWAYS been a die-hard 'Ice-Burg Lettuce' fan and even that didn't fully satisfy me. Salad was always something that went ALONG with a meal... But NOW, Ooohh give me Spinach!

This is the recipe for my delicious spinach salad:
1/2 bag of fresh baby spinach leaves - (I've learned not to sniff them because they don't really smell very good. - Don't ask what would make me want to sniff salad leaves.)
1/4 cup of diced red onion - (Another thing I'm not terribly fond of but once you mix it in with the rest of the salad it adds to the overall flavor.)
1 or 2 Tablespoons of (get this!) Goat Cheese - (ME, actually LIKE 'Goat Cheese' when did that happen? This is another item you don't really want to sniff... And I'm not really sure yet how to tell if it's gone bad or not... But once again, it adds that kick of flavor to the salad. Go easy on it though... It's strong stuff!)
A Handfull of Red Seedless Grapes (the sweeter, the better!)
A Generous splash of 'Wishbone Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette Dressing' (This is the secret ingredient that makes all the other flavors harmonize with eachother.)
1 Warm Breaded Chicken Filet - (Better known as a Chicken Finger - They sell them in the deli section at our grocery store... My son got some for lunch and couldn't eat them all so I snatched one for my salad and MAN, was that ever the crowning glory!... Also NOT the healthiest part of the salad... Hey, old habits die hard.)

So there you have it! Heaven in a salad bowl... While indulging in this wonderful taste treat the rest of the family looks at me like I've lost my mind... But that's just because their tastes buds haven't grown up yet!

Monday, June 19, 2006

The New School

I was reading a blog recently which talked about ADD and kids having to sit behind desks all day at school... And not long ago my husband and I discussed an article he read in the Washington Post regarding the topic of 'Recess' and how area schools, in an effort to raise test scores plan to cut recess time to 1/2 hr. a day... Some of the schools wish to make this 1/2 hr. recess a 'Structured Playtime'???????

As I am sure EVERYONE is aware, Kids are filled with boundless amounts of energy... They need to move around, explore and are endlessly curious. Why then does ANYONE think it's a good idea to make kids sit behind a desk for (what's an average school day now?) 6-7 hours at a time and imagine that by doing so they'll be desiring to learn ANYTHING?

My son had a pretty rough year in 4th grade. He was diagnosed ADHD without the 'hyperactivity' quotient (which made no sense to us... Isn't that just ADD?) His teachers said he "lacked focus"... Which was odd because he passed tests without a problem? We'd meet with the teachers and with our son sitting right there they'd say, "He's not putting forth any effort!"... Frankly, our son was bored stiff! He was always inquisitive and bright but his teachers were beating him down. One of the best examples of his boredom was when he came home from school one day very excited because his class was preparing to study 'Electricity'... My son had been fascinated by all things electronic since he was old enough to push a button, and THAT was before he could walk. He LOVED electronic toys not because he could play with them but because he could take them apart and see how they worked. So I was thrilled to see he was enthused about something related to school. A week later though he came home dejected telling us the unit was complete and the culmination of the 'Electricity Unit' was wiring a battery to a small bulb and thus making the bulb light up... He'd been doing that since he was 3... He did get a bit of satisfaction helping others in his class but THAT was the one time he got excited about school.

There were other circumstances that led to my sons experience in 4th grade to being known as 'The No Good,Very Bad,Year' so that's when we decided we had to do something different, there HAD to be something else. That's when we found 'The New School'... A liberty based school where kids have the opportunity to learn anything they want, in their own time. During my sons first week at TNS he spent a day in a boat on the 'Chesapeake Bay' learning how to use a GPS system... At the end of the first week one of the staff members said, "He's AMAZING... What a Great kid!"... A far cry from the comments his 4th grade teachers had made.

Both of my kids attend 'The New School' now and have for several years. I can't find the words to adequately express what this place has done for my kids. They are growing up to be responsible, articulate, expressive and artistic young adults. My son is a 'whiz-bang' programmer who continues to amaze us and the staff at the school with his abilities. My daughter whose main focus is art and animals continues to grow as an artist and study quite literally, everything she can get her hands on. I wish every kid stuck behind a desk with only a 1/2 hr. of structured recess could be so lucky!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day...

While I am one to milk a holiday in my honor for all it's worth my husband is quite the opposite. He's adopted the same ideals as his mom when it comes to both Mother's Day & Father's Day... That ideal is, Why should there be one special day in honor of your Mother or your Father... Why shouldn't they be celebrated EVERY day!

I quite agree with my Mother-in-laws way of thinking, which came about as she witnessed countless times through the years, the sons who would visit their mother to bring her flowers and take her out to lunch 'Just' because it was Mother's Day... Why didn't they do special things like that for their mothers any of the other 364 days out of the year. So this is the concept she raised her kids on.

Yes, I CAN and DO understand this way of thinking... However, if there's even ONE EXTRA day out of the year that I can get out of cooking and go out to eat... Then I'm darn well gonna celebrate that day for all it's worth!... And GIFTS, gifts are nice too!

Like I said before when it comes to Father's Day my husbands feelings are quite different from mine... "You want to send me golfing today just to make it special? Why don't you send me golfing EVERY day!" Hey, I WOULD do that, but as I like to tell my kids... "If EVERY day was Christmas it just wouldn't be fun anymore!"... My husband might disagree with that when it comes to golf... because no matter how good or bad he may be playing, it all comes down to the fact that it's GOLF and NOTHING is better than GOLF!!!

So here we are, Father's Day... Just another day. My husband is reading, I'm blogging and the kids are involved in their various artistic endeavors. We're headed off to a BBQ at our friends house later which will add a 'special' flavor to the day... But for now, everyone is happy and relaxing so I guess there really isn't much more a guy like my husband could ask for... Happy Every Day, Honey!
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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Crunch Fat Burning Dance Exercising...

This morning instead of my regular routine of walking a couple of miles I decided to work out to my NEW DVD 'Crunch - Fat Burning Retro Dance Party'... Just typing the title makes me feel like I've burned a few more calories. I should also come clean and tell you that the DVD isn't that NEW. I bought it a few months ago... But as with anything I do related to exercise, I have to ease my way into it. So what I do is this... I purchase the video and then I let it sit on the shelf for a time while I consider the difficulty factor and ponder my reasoning for buying the damn thing in the first place. Eventually I get around to actually popping the video into the player and thus confirm the fact that I should have saved my money.

I'm not completely rythmless... When I DO dance I imagine that I don't look half bad or stand out from the other people on the dance floor (of course Elaine on 'Seinfeld' might have thought the same thing.) My problem really seems to be with structured dances... Line dances and the like... Such as 'The Electric Slide'... I'm so lame when it comes to getting the moves down... Everybody goes right, I inevitably go left... The only part of the 'Electric Slide' I ever seem to be on cue for is the forward and backward shimmy... Much to the dismay of the people either side of me on the dance floor, my lack of moves and timing don't keep me from going out there to once again, give it the old college try... Makes you want to invite me to your next wedding or mitzvah party doesn't it?

So, imagine how easy the 'Electric Slide' is to most of you out there and then imagine someone like me working out to an entire dance video! Believe me, I'm a one woman comedy routine with an audience of one. Because just imagining how goofy I must look gets me laughing every time. I'm not sure how many calories one can burn just bouncing around out of step to a DVD but the belly jiggling up and down with gut wrenching laughter
has to be doing something remotely aerobic... Right?

No wonder I'm so exhausted...

You're a Dove!

A fan of olives and the United Nations, you'd love to teach the
world to sing in perfect harmony. You like stretching your legs at major events,
and have done your best to ward off floods when the waters have risen. All this
running around leaves you exhausted, and it often seems you can never quite get
the peace you so dearly crave. You really like to take showers.

Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Just the right amount of 'Quirkiness'...

Your Quirk Factor: 42%
You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!


My friend L recently asked me why I seem so stressed...

In 9 days I'm going to be seeing my dad for the first time in 8 or 9 years, I've been pondering how long its been and I really can't remember. I talk to my dad roughly twice a year on the phone and I wrote him a letter not too long ago expressing the sorrow I felt about having spent so little time together throughout our lives. Now I've got the opportunity to see him and I'm frightened.

Afraid of him, No... Afraid I'll be hurt because we won't be able to find a way to communicate with eachother on a level that I envision, Yes. I have a nasty habit of building up expectations. Yearning for relationships that I read about in Hallmark cards... Do those really exist? They do in my immediate family between my husband, myself and our kids. However, because I can't seem to make that type of connection with my own parents I feel that it's because of me. Don't get me wrong... The rational thinking adult side of me says, "It's your parents Marge, they just didn't get it... They were lacking the tools it takes to be 'good' parents." Then that little 5 yr. old girl inside of me doesn't say anything... She simply paints a picture of herself in my head... In that picture she simply stands there with tears in her eyes and her head lowered just wishing there was someone there to make her feel loved. The only way I seem to be able to make that pain a little less crushing is to give that love to my own children.

So the fact is that I'm stressed over expectations. I don't want to have any but I can't seem to keep myself from NOT thinking about them. I had expectations before seeing my mother for the first time in 10 yrs. when she came out to visit last October and that was the most disasterous 4 days I've ever spent. It's one thing when your mother looks at you with venom in her eyes and says, "I wish I'd never met your father!... You know what that means don't you?... You would've never been born!" (they divorced when I was 3.) It's quite another thing when you find out that she said the same thing to your best friend behind your back. That's something that never registered on my level of expectations.

I'm stressed because I just don't think I can go through being hurt like that again... And especially not by my dad.

Monday, June 12, 2006

How big of a dork am I?

I see this blog as a way to exercise my communication skills... become a better writer... broaden my vocabulary.

Today I was quoted in the newspaper from an interview I gave at the LPGA yesterday...
Margie Blystone, also of __________, made the trip to the course along with her family. "It's a gorgeous day, and to see people that we normally see on television up close and watch them play, it's really awesome." she said. "Getting up there and smiling at them and waving and clapping for them is really cool."

So much for my communication skills... Now the roughly 47 people who read the county paper must think that Margie Blystone is a 15 yr. old dork who hangs out at the mall while she should be doing her English homework. Ever since I read the article this morning I keep reworking what I should have said. I want a reprint and I'd like it to read - Margie Blystone, also of _________, made the trip to the course along with her family. "What a spectacular day to watch some of the best players in the field." she said. "It's a privilege to see these women live and cheer them on."

If only I could take a Do-Over.

LPG 'yeAh'

Yesterday was FAMILY day!

In an effort to expand the kids horizons we went to Havre de Grace, (pronounce it however you like but I think it sounds like 'have ruh day grahz') Maryland to see the LPGA Tournament.

Ladies, if you've never been on a golf course before let me tell you that they are perhaps the most beautiful places on earth. Picture if you will... Rolling green hills and valleys... Gently babbling brooks... Flowers, Ponds, Trees, Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies. All this beauty and the main focus is hitting a little white ball with a metal stick and trying to get into a small hole hundreds of yards away. Somehow though, when you're in the midst of the excitement of a tournament... With a group of championship players, who are ALL women... You just can't help being drawn into the excitement. Golf?... Exciting??? Well, ya... It kinda' is. Then there were all the tv cameras, booms and microphones to add to the thrill of it all... And a blimp. I was drooling over all of the digital cameras the press carried around (my son and I noted that they were mostly Nikon & Canon)... The size of the lenses these guys use are unbelievably huge! I could only imagine that some of them were over compensating for something they were lacking somewhere else.

My husband has always been working the angle of getting our daughter into golf. He thinks if 'Tiger Woods' dad could do it than so can he. He thinks she's a better mark then our son because she's so darned competitive (hmmm? Wonder where she got that from?) So yesterdays tournament was an exercise in coersion... "Look there honey, isn't it nice?...You could be on beautiful courses like this all of the time!"..."You've already got a great swing and I could caddy for you!"... "Do you know how many turtle tanks you could buy with the money these girls make?" (that one got her attention.)

Truth is, if my daughter did make the grade to become a professional golfer the commentary would sound something like this... "Miss Blystone is addressing the ball for a birdie putt... If she makes this shot she wins the title and.... Uh, just a moment... Miss Blystone is walking off the green... uh, where is she going? I don't believe it folks but Blystone just walked into the creek and snatched up a giant bullfrog which she is now carrying back to show her caddy... Never in the history of golf have we ever witnessed anything quite like this!"

Maybe my husband should look into the 'Frog Jumping Competition' circuit... Because I think her expertise can take her really far there... I just don't think the money is near as good and I doubt she'd need a caddy.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


After a diagnosis last year of Type 2 Diabetes I've been pretty diligent about getting myself into shape. I've lost roughly 45 lbs, but think I have about 25 more to go.

It's so much fun trying on clothes (especially pants!) that are 3 to 4 sizes smaller than I was a year and a half ago... So yesterday my daughter and I did a little clothes shopping. While I tried on one outfit I was lamenting the inevitable roll of excess skin that very unattractively oozes over the top of my jeans and therefore buckles up in the shirt that lays over them... Picture if you will, the 'Michelin Man'... If I slouch, which I normally do when I'm not thinking about how I look... the roll is especially unsightly. So, while I'm trying things on I look in the mirror and stand tall and pose and make a pouty look with my face (like an over-paid runway model)... Then I follow up with the slouch pose so I'll get a feel for how the outfit really looks on me.

So there I was in the dressing room with my daughter yesterday... Posing and Slouching, Posing and Slouching and bemoaning the fact that I still look fat... When my daughter said, "Mom I think you look Great! In fact I'm worried you're going to get too thin and not be 'squishy' anymore!" Then she threw her arms around me right there in the dressing room and started hugging me and said, "Because I love the feeling of your squishiness!"

So here's the problem... How do I become HOT looking for my husband or more importantly... Myself! Yet keep that 'squishiness'? Because as horrible as it sounds being 'squishy' has its real advantages.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Belated Mother's Day

For Mother's Day my daughter gave me a card with a certificate that said, "Good for a day spent with your daughter shopping and going out to lunch." I asked her at the time if that meant I'd get to shop at all of MY favorite stores? She said, "Well not ALL of them, we have to go to my favorite stores too!" Then I asked her if it meant SHE was buying lunch? She replied, "Of course not, I don't have any money!"

So today, since we finally have a free Saturday... My daughter is taking me shopping so we can find her some summer clothes and we're going to her favorite restaurant for lunch (Bertucci's), where I'll be treating... Because hey, it's my belated Mother's Day gift.

It may sound like I'm complaining but I have to be honest... I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Storm's a Brewin'

Yesterday the powers that be conspired against me. I tried to get online to blog twice in the afternoon only to find that the network was running so interminably slow that my lack of patience led me to tasks that I really should be focusing on.

After dinner I decided to try again and my daughter came running downstairs to tell me I had to "Come look at the clouds!!!" It was evident that we were in for one heck of a lightning storm and having just read the article in this months 'Readers Digest' I wasn't going to take any chances with being on my computer.

The situation however, led to some really great photographs of the turmoil in the skies.
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Whining for $$$

I used to watch Nick & Jessica on MTV and get a laugh or two at Jessica's expense over "Chicken of the Sea" and "Oh my Ga!" It also made me feel so much more superior than the superstar because I could do my own laundry and keep my closet clean.

Watching newlyweds try and work out their issues for the world is like slowing for a car wreck... You're just curious as to what sort of damage has been incurred. I've been married for almost 23 yrs. but I can recall those first few years together and the struggles we went through to establish our separate identities and still be a couple.

So who was shocked when Nick & Jessica broke up?... Certainly NOT ME! Nobody could stand the kind of scrutiny they endured during their first two years as husband and wife.


If I have to listen to Nick Lachey consistently whine over my radio while he sings 'What's left of me'... I'm going to break the steering wheel by repeatedly bashing my head into it - This while I fumble for the knob to change the station as quickly as possible. This morning I woke to the radio playing his song and I knew I had to write a commentary. Here he is raking in the bucks while he sobs about losing love... For Chrissake Nick... Why don't you just grow a pair!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

More Cake.... *sigh*

I'm going to be heading out to California in YIKES, less than 3 weeks. Initially I was hoping to drop another 10 pounds so I could, you know, impress the relatives with my incredibly svelte physique! Lately though there've been too many family gatherings that have involved really good food! If I were to measure my willpower on a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest... I'd have to say it ranks about .005! I mean c'mon who can say no to a big slab of cake from Costco with all that thick sweet icing?... It's just asking for me to consume more than one piece. Then to add insult to injury our cousin says, "Please take some of this home, we can't eat it all!" To which I reply "NO, No I can't have it in the house!" So what does she do? She turns to my son and says, "Do you want to take some of this cake for later?"... And you know what the little traitor said? "SURE!"... Now who do you think ended up eating that piece of cake? That's right, ME! My son forgot all about the delicious confection sitting in the fridge the next day so I scarfed it and I enjoyed every morsel. When I was done licking every smattering of icing off of the plate and fork, I found myself wishing that I had asked for more cake! I'm never going to lose 10 pounds with that kind of resolve.

Worry Free on 6/6/06

I've been hearing reports that pregnant women everywhere are freaking out about giving birth tomorrow. There seems to be a growing paranoia that someone will be procreating the devils spawn. Perhaps it's the end of the world? Who knows, maybe... just maybe, the 'Anti-Christ' will step forward and finally make himself known. Believe me, I've met the 'Anti-Christ' and she's a woman! She can be one nasty B**** to live with but I left home a week before I turned 18 and that's when her powers began to diminish... But enough about evil step-mothers and back to the day of the devil.

Pretty much the only thing I fear tomorrow is the movie 'The Omen' and since I have absolutely no plans to go and see it, I'm not too worried. Give me a good romantic comedy any day but ask me to join you in seeing ANY movie featuring Satan, Jason, Elm Street or Pauly Shore and I'll beat a path in the opposite direction of the theatre.

The only modern day 'Scary' movie I've been brave enough to sit through is 'The 6th Sense'... Actually it's one of my all time favorite movies. Yes, there are certain points in the movie I STILL need to close my eyes, (even though I've seen it about 6 times) but Haley Joel Osmet had me longing to throw my arms around him and tell him I believed him because I could see the 'dead people' too... Well, at least the ones that showed up when I forgot to close my eyes.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The slippery slope into Insanity...

This is our dog Anastasia... We just call her Anna! I used to think that Anna was on a slow boat to 'Loony Town' but now I'm under the impression she's headed there via bullet train. Allow me to explain:

Anna is a pound puppy... We picked her up at the SPCA when she was roughly 10 months old. She'd been classified 'A Runner'... I imagined she'd bolted on her previous owners one time too many and that's how she ended up 'doing time'. Anna has been a member of our family for about 6 yrs. now and we love her dearly. She's had some 'quirky' habits from the beginning... For one, she's afraid of the dark so we must always be certain to leave a light on for her. Otherwise we'll find her panting, shaking and drooling... Sometimes her own tail can 'freak her out' and she'll race in circles trying to get it to lay quietly and just leave her alone... Her very worst fear however, is loud noises... Specifically ANYTHING that is or could be mistaken for a Thunder Storm. When this particular form of terror hits there's not much we can do for Anna but close her up in a windowless room until the storm or noise has passed and she senses that it's gone forever... At that point we need to be ready with a mop to sop up the pool of drool she's created. I feel so sorry for her when she gets like this. It used to be that I would sit and pet her and try to calm her with soothing words but that method just seemed to feed her neurosis.

In the past year I think Anna's fears have intensified. For some reason she's adopted a fear of my Mother-In-Laws backyard. She used to love to run around the fenced enclosure with such glee (our yard is not fenced so if she's outside at home she's always on a leash... Remember, she's a runner.) but now she needs to be bribed to go outside and will only do so if one of us goes out with her. If the weather is particularly hot, cold, windy or wet we'll duck back into the house and she'll immedately run to the door shaking and panting, having been left alone with the imaginary ghosts that haunt her.

During our stay at my Mother-In-Laws this weekend there had been a thunderstorm in the area while we were out at dinner. We came back to the house and let Anna up from the basement only to have her run into the room tracking solid black pawprints all over the carpet. My husband immediately grabbed her before the entire room was marked with black polka dots... That's when we found that her entire left side was several shades of grey and verigated black. It seems that Anna had gotten so freaked out by the storm that she tried to fit her body into the smallest space possible and that was behind the furnace in Mom's basement. Even after an outdoor bath the next day Anna remains grey as a wolf... Only on her left side of course. I think it was a mixture of the soot and the drool that combined to make a rather impervious hair dye.

Today during our 2 hr. drive back from Virginia Anna stood on the bench seat in the back of the van vibrating and drooling. On our trip down a few days ago she rested comfortably during the trip. I worry that her paranoia is getting worse. I used to give her anxiety pills prescribed by the vet for things like thunderstorms and car trips, but the things she feared would pass before Anna would allow the pills to take effect. Her anxiety seems to over-ride her body's ability to accept medication. I fear one day she's going to shake herself into heart failure. I wish I knew a 'Dog Whisperer' that could talk, uh... I mean Whisper some sense into the head of this poor beast... Because my sentiments of "It's okay Anna."... "Just lay down Anna." and the old standby of "Oh for God sakes would you just knock it off!"... don't seem to be helping.
Anna BEFORE she turned half grey.
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Friday, June 02, 2006

Consider it Blogged!

Today my husband was fixing a lamp for his Mom. He was disassembling the thing piece by piece and having a tough time getting the wires loose. I couldn't understand why he didn't just throw it away and buy a new lamp. "Nobody fixes things like lamps anymore." I said, "They just go out and buy a new one." He replied, "Well if that's the case then why do they still sell lamp parts?" I told him that "Very few stores still sell lamp parts."

He continued to struggle with removing the old wire and the housing for the lamp and eventually looked up at me and said, "I'm just doing this so you'll have something to blog about!" Well if that's the case dear, consider it blogged!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A New Point of View

Yesterday I attended a funeral at 'Arlington National Cemetary'... It was a humbling and profound experience. I've been to 'Arlington' on several occassions, always as a tourist, anticipating a day of sightseeing. Don't get me wrong, I've always approached 'Arlington' with the reverence and solemninity that it deserves... Today however, I was privy to a whole new point of view.

It's a completely different feeling to pull up to the front gate at 'Arlington' rather than head straight for the tourist parking lot. It was quite surreal to walk into the administration building and be escorted to an elegantly appointed waiting room. Within the room was a flat panel television on the wall airing a live feed of the guard protecting the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier'... A few years ago I watched a PBS show about 'Arlington'. It went into great detail about the strict code that is followed by the servicemen who guard the 'Unknowns'... A family member shared with us yesterday that not long ago during 'Hurricane Rita' (?), the winds were gusting upwards of 65 mph and for the safety of the guards they were going to pull them from the duty of protecting the 'Unknowns Tomb'... Appearantly the guards refused to step down and weathered the storm to protect their fallen brothers. I find it hard to imagine that kind of stoicism... But then I can't even fathom the bravery it must take to march into battle knowing you may have to give your life or take the life of another.

The service was beautiful... Filled with the symbols of honor and tradition. The 6 pall-bearers in full dress blues, carried the coffin up the hill to its final resting place with amazing precision. There was a 21 gun salute along with an officer playing Taps on bugle. The flag, carefully draped over the coffin was held aloft by the 6 officers throughout the short service and then carefully folded with the care and respect I wish everyone would show for that great symbol of our nation. It was then reverantly handed to our cousin along with condolences from the head officer. The feeling of pride for my country and for those who serve her so honorably is one I will remember every time I visit Arlington. My thanks goes out to those caretakers of our fallen heroes and the grace with which they so admirably serve them.