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Friday, December 30, 2011

Creature of Habit

For those of you who know me, you would probably agree that I'm a creature of habit.

I do the same things, in the same way, every day.  I'm not sure if this is a regimented behavior from my childhood or just me.  You could really clock me most days.  I wake up, do my business, set up my coffee, feed the cats, grab my coffee, grab my computer, hit my spot on the couch in the living room watching my DVR'ed shows at 5 am with my laptop, blogging.  At 7 am, I wake the girlies - get them dressed & fed, unload the dishwasher & hit the shower.  I could go on - but why bore you with my redundant behaviors.

I like consistency.  I hate change.  I could eat a ham sandwich every day for lunch and be Ok with it.  I like nice things, but I prefer simple.  Is that bad?  I hate complications - but will deal with them if I need to, and rather well.

My behaviors are those I know that I can control in this little life of mine - no upheaval, please.

This may sound really boring...  Friends... would you call me boring??  lol

I actually believe this is just another small part of my daily psychosis that keeps my little planet from exploding all over the place.  There's enough crap I actually NEED to deal with - so the things I get to control get to stay within my power.

My husband used to tease me that I was an easy mark for anyone who would want to rob me.  I wouldn't try it though, because I have good aim...  Just sayin'

This is my sanity - and this insanity is what keeps me sane.  Scary, huh...  And you thought I had issues before!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

After Christmas Returns...

So here we are after Christmas, with returns of things that don't fit or we don't like.

Cece and I set out bright and early.  Well, Ok - 10:30ish not too bright & early - Momma's tired!  Hit the bank & then hit the stores.  Returns were incredibly easy (yayy) and the store remarkably uncrowded.  I knew what I wanted so I went from rack to rack looking for an incredible bargain (eh) and grabbed about $200 worth of stuff in 10 minutes.  I think that was pretty good, considering I didn't hit the shoe department.

Then it was my daughter's turn.  Seriously, in less than 5 minutes this kid had $80 worth of clothes in her hot little hands.  Yes, like mother like daughter - BUT her gift card was for $25.  She's lucky mommy was in a giving mood & shared.  :)

After she found her stuff, I again scoured the racks for a sparkly top for New Years Eve.  Ciarra had long lost her patience with MY shopping now that she was done (and SHE had her sparkly top).  I found a top, and even though it was a size small - I deemed it able to be squozen into!  Whoopie!!

Then we went the ever dreaded Walmart... Not by choice - by gift card.  Straight to the toy department and it was barren.  Sorry kid, we're outtie!

All in all, not a bad day out.

2 hours out
Less than $60 spent out of pocket
No crowds of psychotic shoppers


Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Things where "they belong"....

So, while I've been home over the past few days, I've had the "luxury" of having most of my family home as well.

During this time I've been in marathon present wrapping mode, still in holy crap laundry mode (Kyle's room was not nearly as clean as he'd said) cooking mode & having everyone home at the same time.  I do much better without everyone underfoot, but I manage.

Soooo... During this time of my massive chaos - my dearly beloved was looking for the hash browns, which he could not find in the refrigerator.

The comedian, Rita Rudner, had a bit about men looking for things & how if it didn't drop out of the sky and into their arms - it was missing.  Same bit with the refrigerator.  The mighty staring contest, as if the milk would move out of his way - intimidated.

So there I was, vacuuming & "Honeyyyyy, I can't find the potatoes... Where are they?"  In the refrigerator, I say.... "I can't fiiinnnnndddd them."  So of course, I go to the refrigerator, open the door & look past the dozen eggs & grab the package of shredded potatoes ... Here ya go.  Sheesh.

Now of course I mumble under my breath as I walk away - because that could have been done in a second without my assistance - and in response to my mutter I hear... "well if they were where they belonged......"   Screeeeeech.... (that's me stopping in my tracks & shooting off the LOOK)

At that, I defiantly look to the not one, not two, but three pair of HIS shoes in the living room.  Then to the 2 boxes of Christmas lights in the living room next to my sofa (that didn't go up) - over to my dining room where the other 5 boxes lay - because, ya know the lights need to warm up to 70 degrees before they go up...  Ok, so we're busy - they didn't go up... no fault there - but the lights didn't need to stay in my dining room & living room.  Oh - but wait... there's more.  His sister's sewing machine & sewing kit on the floor in the dining room.  2 sweatshirts on dining room chairs and random paperwork on my dining room table.  I'll stop there - because there is more.

Um, wanna re-think that "where they belong" line, dear?

Thankfully, the clutter was promptly removed (since I called him out) but I fully expect him to not be able to find something else.  It's just the way it is.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from me!

I may be a little lax in posting over the next few days due to the holidays & visiting family.

I love this time of year and all the joy it brings.

Wishing you and your families a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed & Happy New Year!

Thank you for your continued loyalty!

Here's to 2012~

Peace, Love & Joy to all :)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Screw Top Wine...

So I've been hearing this rumor that screw top wine is going to be the new norm in wines...

Um excuse me..  I don't know about you, but to me - nothing screams cheap or "kindly escort me to the water chamber so that I may continually worship the porcelain god" louder than screw top wine.  Especially screw top red wine!

I mean, screw top wine was fine when I was a rebellious teenager and it was incredibly naughty and wild to share a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Blossom wine, or even the dreaded and terrible Thunderbird.  Talk about a projectile vomiting incident.  Sheesh!  At least we had an excuse to purchase cheap wine - all we could scrape together was $5 or $6 dollars between the lot of us.

Now you may call me a wine-o.  I call me mom.  Touch my red and I will hit you over the head with the empty bottle!  They don't call it Mommy Juice for nothing.

There is a natural progression in wine taste - cheap screw top (teens), jug wine (20's), box wine (20/30's), White Zinfandel (20/30's) & then the foray into reds - usually beginning with Merlot then tip toeing through to the next red.  I know that I'm being a little general here - but I've lived it & see it.  I actually think it's very funny.  Especially knowing that my very good, sweet and wonderful friend is still currently emptying a box of wine left behind by her 20'something cousin.  :)   Seriously, am I not on the right track??

I don't care what the "trend" says.  I don't care what the guy at the liquor store says.  I will avoid the screw top wines like the plague & enjoy my lovely Tuscan Mountain wines, which are corked.  'But that's just me...

Thank you for reading my blog!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

There's nothing like forever friends...

I am truly blessed to have some really awesome girl friends, and no offense to my girlies, because you know I just love you to death - but there's nothing like forever friends.

I think to some degree you could all nod you heads and think yup, she's right and there will be no offense taken.

We all have that one, or if we're really lucky two friends that we've had for longer than we can even remember & if we took the time to calculate years it would just get down right depressing!  The friends who know entirely too much & you know that the dirt you've got stored up on each other could partially fill an ocean.  Those are the forever friends I'm speaking of.

Lynne and I have been friends since the 8th grade.  She and I constantly joke back and forth that we could never get into a huge fight & stop being friends because we know too much about each other.  She is the forever friend I know I could tell anything and her jaw wouldn't totally hit the ground.  She may say, "Jennifer, what the hell is wrong with you?" and get away with calling me Jennifer in a tone only a pissed off mother would use.  She would also laugh it off with me & it would just blow by like the breeze.  I love that.

It's not that my other girlies would judge me, but there's something special about someone you've had almost your whole life. Someone who's known all the stupid crap you've done - all the really bad stuff (and sometimes has been part and party to same) and loves you anyway.  No judgement, no back stabbing - just in it with each other.  Lynne is my go to girl, and I know I'm hers.  We are here for each other always.  Even for the really stupid stuff.

In all our years as friends, we've never had a knock down drag out fight.  Yeah, we've pissed each other off - but we've never stopped speaking because of it.  I've said things, she's said things - and we get over it.  Done and forgotten.  We know how important our friendship is and nothing is worth losing it over.

I'd love to say that we have never, ever lost touch.  The fact is that she went her way for a while & I went mine - then we met back in the middle again.

We may not see each other every day - or even once a month (which needs to change) but we talk all the time and are totally involved with what's going on in each other's lives.  And, from time to time - we act like jealous lovers if the other hangs out with another friend too long, lol.  And NO, Lynne - it's not always me, lol.

I think this is important for us women.  Having our girlfriends, but also having our touch stone(s) who know us through and through.  The good, the bad & the psychotic....

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Acting on emotion...

I don't know about you, but I know that I personally have made some of my absolute worst decisions while acting solely on emotion.

I'm a very "in the moment" type of person.  I fly by the seat of my pants.  If it's good, I enjoy the ride.  If it's not, I look for the happy boat - or any way I can find to make the bad feeling go away.  I'd love to say that I've outgrown this as I've aged & matured.  Partially, yes - I have learned to think first before diving into a really big decisions, but mostly I look for ways to escape the ick.

I think about this quite often, as I am an example (eek) for my baby girl & other little ones who come through my house.  How good an example is it to teach to lead with your heart?  While the heart feels & wants what it wants - it is sooo often very, very wrong.  The paths it leads you down are often filled with more heartache.

When I was younger, my two worst decisions were based on loss and the emotion attached to it.  I lost my dad - mistake #1.  If my "mistake" reads this by any chance, nothing personal.  If that's even possible.
Big mistake #2 came after I learned that the person that I was absolutely head over heels with - well I'm not going to expand on that.  Let's just say I don't handle rejection well.  It's all good, because those "mistakes" were lessons that gave me more in ways that I never expected.  My mistakes led way to blessings.

Of course, my heart leads me around by the nose - but I'm a love bug.

I fully believe that you should always follow your heart to a certain point & suck up all the love.  I mean, how great is the Love High?  Like any other high, the head does need to take control and throw on the brakes.

I'm in a good place in my life.  A great place actually.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything.  This life is based on a foundation of love & of course God.  It's also based on not only listening to my heart, but checking in with my brain and God to keep me on the right course.

Emotion will always play a huge part in my life.  I am an emotional being.  I am a tad psychotic female at times - but I'll also give you anything you need at a mere say so.  I will yell at you for hurting my feelings, but I will also hold and comfort you when your heart breaks.  Yes, as a woman - I am a total emotional being who will always act on emotion.  I guess that's fine too.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Meetings with friends from "back in the day"....

I've said before that regardless of how much information is out all over the place, I do just love Facebook!

It has truly awarded me with the re-kindling of some really great friendships from when I was younger.  Life does get in the way & we can't always be in touch with EVERYONE - until Facebook!

I've been so blessed to connect with old friends, and it's like we've never skipped a beat!

Several years ago, nope - not telling how many...  Our group of neighborhood friends was invited to our friend Elina's birthday party.  We were all preparing to go when we found out... No Boys Allowed!!  There were about 5 guys that usually hung out in our group of friends on a fairly regular basis.  My brother & step brother, Kelly's brothers and another boy down the street.  Elina's parents were strict Italian.  No boys meant no boys...  Got it, no boys.

The boys were already invited by the birthday girl.  How could we pull this off??

What to do, what to do??  Our devious little teenaged minds went into full gear & we decided to give the birthday girl a surprise!  With my parent's permission, we all went up to my room and dressed the boys up as girls!  We gave the boys my sweaters & bras - did their hair & put make up on them.  Voila, girls!  It was hysterical and they looked great, though they made some pathetically homely girls, lol.

Sadly, the photographic evidence is currently missing.  Guys, if you're reading this... the potential of these pictures hitting the internet may still exist...

In any case, we all walked down to Elina's house, nicely greeted her parents & strolled right into the party without a hitch.  It worked!!  We went in and had a really fun time - at one point, the boys all started ripping off their "bras" and putting their T-shirts on.  It was a memory never to be forgotten.

I got to share this memory again with Elina when she & I met for lunch a few months ago.

When we saw each other we hugged & cried - but once we sat and started talking, it was as if the 20+ years in between just melted away.

It really is just amazing, that no matter how much time passes - the heart will always remember & stay as full as it was 20, Ok maybe 30 years later.

So to Elina & the rest of my friends Facebook has blessed me with again...  I love you all & I'm happy to have had you in my life!

I wish you a day full of love and good friends!

Thank you for reading my blog!!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ugh, my kids are such slobs!

This is not a secret.  Most people are full witness to this. 

How many parents are nodding their heads right now thinking yup, that sounds like mine too.

Here's my scenario...  The short one will run through the front door, kick off her shoes where she stands, drop her back pack & her coat - leaving a full trail to the bathroom, where she of course won't flush!  Then she'll strip naked in her bedroom & put on new clothes head to toe.  The school clothes will remain on the floor.  She will then tear through the house to the kitchen - ripping apart her lunch box in search of un-eaten snacks.  Papers will fall to the floor, as will crumbs.  Then she will run to the toy drawers.

AH, STOP!!  Mind you, she's only been home for 5 minutes.

Then there's my daughter.  Equally a human tornado, though not as bad.

I'm a bit of a neat freak.  I like things to be WHERE THEY BELONG.  This is definitely something that I am working on.  Stop at the front door, take off your coat, hang it in the closet.  You wouldn't think this should be such a big deal, right?  Ok, I'll give the short one the fact that she can't actually reach to hang her coat up, but make an attempt please!  It makes me crazy to see shoes in the living room & coats draped over my couch. I can deal with the back packs - because they need to do homework, but this is my living room.  Put your flippin' shoes in your room!

My son is the same way - his room was never clean.  I don't get it.  It's not that I don't teach them.

You can ask yourself a million times, why they don't get it?  Someone once told me that you need to tell a child something 40,000 times before they actually hear your voice in their head.  Holy crap!  Can I do this all in one day?  Well at least there is hope.

Now, I'm not dogging my kids here - I love them from the tip of their heads to the tip of their toes.  Especially now that one has officially left my nest, I realize how quickly it goes by.

There's a country song that says, "you're gonna miss this."  It is hard to believe, in the moment - that you will miss cleaning up that little trail of clothes & crumbs.

It may be annoying to clean up the little messes over and over again, but the fact is - I will miss the little people when they grow and leave.  Not just my own, but all that come through from chickadees to my children's friends.  They grow so quickly.

Now I look at my boy's empty, clean room & then I look at the trail of shoes and clothes & crumbs and I smile.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The view from inside the dog house...

A few weeks back I vented about how my husband totally insulted my blogging...

I promised I'd let y'all know how that went.

First, he read that particular blog.  Then he check out my stats.  His initial reply was - "well of course you're at almost 4000.  You write about me & every one wants to hear what you're going to say about me."

Uh, really??  Nice ego... Go back and re-read the OTHER blogs sweetie cakes...  You are not always the star of the show.   So he browsed through.

Now I know that he doesn't really READ my blogs through unless I want him to be aware of something, or if he's directly involved (which explains his self involved attitude).  This time, he actually LOOKed at the stats, read through some of the blogs & then formed a real opinion.

Speechless.. he said, "Wow, that's great."  Not just because he wanted out of the dog house, but because he actually is supportive.

As for me, I'm really just a big talker... there's no dog house.  I can't be bothered with the fighting, grudge holding nonsense.  I get pissed off in the moment.  I say what I have to say & then I'm done.

So yeah, no real dog house for the Wag-o-nater.  Just an education & added appreciation of his wife.

Sometimes it's just necessary to grow.

As an aside, I'm currently working toward 5000 reads - so thank you!!  I love you all & am in humble appreciation of you continued support!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, December 12, 2011

This couch ain't big enough for the two of us....

So I'm up REALLY early every day.

Intentionally - I like to have quiet time while I caffeinate.  Sometimes I watch the shows that I DVR from the night before, but mostly - I like my quiet time.

And from down the hall comes the "Bouncing Chickadee".  It's like Ringling Brothers, I swear!  Boing,Boing, Boing, Twirl, Twirl & BOUNCE right on top of me.

Admittedly, for the first 30 seconds I'm loving the love - but after that, when she climbs up into my lap & kicks over my lap top and my kitty and I can no longer reach my coffee - I've lost that lovin' feeling.

Mind you... MY couch - my sacred spot, is the love seat.  It's in the exact perfect position, with my end table and lamp - view out the front window & television if I choose.  It's small.  I'm usually curled up under my Snuggie® with my kitty & laptop.  Sounds so warm & cozy doesn't it??

I write this now - because my once warm & cozy feet are now cold without my Snuggie®.  My comfy area on my love seat has been invaded by the short one - who has taken up not only my Snuggie®, but 3/4 of the love seat.  One leg across my lap, the other jamming into my leg trying to push me further into the arm of the love seat.  Really?  It's 6:30 am on Sunday morning.

Listen kid, this couch ain't big enough for the two of us....  Beat it!

Can ya relate?

Thank you for reading my blog!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Givers & Takers...

In all relationships, there are givers & there are takers.

Being the oldest child of 3, I was largely responsible for taking care of my younger brothers and making sure they stayed out of trouble.

This started from the time I was about 7 years old and continued through my teens.  I was so used to taking care of someone, I continued to do so well into my adult life.

This "co-dependent" behavior was most likely the cause of the many failed relationships I'd had in my life - rolling right across the board from friendships, to family, to love relationships.  I was always wanting to give all to the other person & take care of their every need.  So much so that I neglected my own needs.  With a few exceptions, I continually chose people who were in some way "needy".  Someone to take care of, but didn't know how (or want to) take care of me.

At some point, the giving got old & I became resentful.  My fault, really...  I invited the situation.
This continued on for years and years.  I was so good at taking care of myself and doing for myself that I never really wanted anyone to take care of me.

Any time someone offered me their help, I politely thanked them & declined.  Even when I really did need help - I never called upon anyone for help.  However if anyone needed me, I was there in seconds.  Doing all I could to make sure everyone was happy.

Fortunately, as I've aged and matured - I've realized that I can't do it all.
I do need to be able to depend upon someone else every once in a while & that's Ok.  It's actually good to have someone take care of me if I need it.

I do still have the perpetual need to save the world, but that's just who I am.  I'm a giver, and that's Ok.  I like to see people happy - but I like to be happy too, so I've learned to not only give - but to take too :)

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A heart is not complete until it has been broken...

Ahhh, heartbreak....

No one is immune.  The toughest of the tough.  The strongest of the strong.  The bravest of the brave. They've all had their hearts broken from time to time.  Who hasn't?

Whether it be the loss of your true love, a death of a family member, a beloved pet, or even someone just leaving your life for whatever reason...  As long as there is love, heartbreak in inevitable.

I've suffered my fair share of heartbreak in my life; many deaths, lost loves & people just moving on.  The pain is the same, an ache is an ache.  It dulls some over time, but it still hurts.

Has it ever been in my best interest to shut myself down and not love - absolutely NOT!  I cherish every ounce of love I've ever had in my life.  Love is as much for you as it is for the other person.
It IS better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

How can you get the full feeling of the highest of the high - unless you also experience the lowest of the low.  No joy without sorrow.  It really IS all good!

During this holiday season, show someone they are loved - especially if you know they are alone or struggling in any way.  It's amazing what a small act of kindness can do to brighten someone's day.

Sometimes it's as simple as a smile.  :)

Thank you for reading my blog!


 Hearts will never be practical, until they are made unbreakable... ~Wizard of Oz

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dang Women Drivers!

Yep, that's right - I'm one of 'em!

My always husband goes on and on about how he's such a superior driver ... yeah, yeah, yeah.... whatever...

I believe that I'm a good driver.  Not to temp the fates, but I haven't caused any accidents.  I'm a responsible & careful driver.  I don't text while I'm driving and I'm always hands free if I use my phone  I always pay attention to all that's around me and I keep everyone safe.  Yes - I have a lead foot, but I've always been able to get by.  Nuff said, lol.

I do have to admit, I have a little curse attached to my driving.  Things find my windshield...  Almost every vehicle I've owned has had it's windshield attacked while I've been driving.  Scares the crap out of me when some projectile comes flying toward my windshield & crack...  Ugh!

I can't be held responsible for that, though...

Other than that - I do Ok.  Sometimes I hit things, and I can't always back into my driveway properly (unless, of course I've hit something and need to hide it from the hubby, lol)  I'm not making such a great case for us women drivers, am I??

Well, who cares - I can back in and out without hitting anything (unless I'm parking in a garage, where I rip off side view mirrors, but that's another story.)

Yeah - so I may not be the worlds best back'er upper, and maybe I don't always see things & hit them...  But when it really comes down to it - I don't hit anything major - like a person or another car.  But that's me...  I've got so much going on at the same time that silly stuff just happens. Yeah - I've driven over the corner of my husband's precious lawn several times...  I hit curbs sometimes, but like I said never hit a person or another car.

Look at the statistics - most accidents involve men.  Most speeding tickets, men.  So phooey....

Yeah, I'm one of those women drivers...but go easy on us, please.

We can't always be as perfect as you :)

Have a happy day!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Things coming from where you don't expect them...

Thank you!

We all expect, or at least hope, that the people closest to us will be our biggest fans.  That in itself is a huge gift, but when it comes from where you least expect it - it's even more wonderful!

I wish I could know, or see exactly who comes to my site regularly, but I'd like to thank a few random groups for your support....

Russia!!!  Thanks guys!!  You guys rock and are right behind the United States, where I reside & most of my audience comes to the site from.

How could I forget my Canadians?  Aye!!  With my Germans right behind!!  Love you guys!!

My aged 45-54 male readers!!  Thanks guys!!  You are 14% of my monthly readership!  This makes me smile big!!  I know that not every male on the planet says, Hey - Let's hear what Jenn has to say before starting my day.  :)  It means a lot that you continue to come back & support me!!  I know who a few of you are, so thank you guys!

My high school class mate from across the pond & also venturing into Spain xxoo

I can't leave anyone out, these are the stats directly from the site!!  Thank you all, I love you all!!!

United States
United Kingdom

There are also many other visits from other countries that don't show in the stats - I'm not leaving you out -- the site is!!  Thank you Denmark, Netherlands, Japan, China, Taiwan & the many others that continue to come back without being properly counted on the site....  Almost 4500 & still going!!!

Life is good!  Simple as that :)

Thank you for your continued support!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do...

Getting through the teenage years with my son was not an easy task!

I've said numerous times - he really made me earn my mommy stripes!

Having not been a stellar teen myself, I guess this is my payback.  My son, however - not as good at getting away with things as his momma was....  I told him, "Boy, don't you realize that I've been there, done that AND I never got caught???  I know your tricks before you try to pull them on me."  I've needed to proved myself on this a few times over...

He once snuck out his bedroom window in the middle of the night to hang out with his friends...  Psst, really?  I did that & got back in without waking anyone from the second floor when I was that age.  So what did mommy do??  I went right into his room & locked his bedroom window, causing him to HAVE to ring the doorbell to get back in when he came home.  SNAGGED!

He tried to drink & smoke with his buddies...  Again...I know what it smells like.  I know how drunk kids act...  Really??  Do you really think that's going to fly by me without notice??

He finally got used to the fact that he wasn't going to be able to blow things by me so easily.  Some things I let happen, just because he needed to learn on his own - but for the most part he knew what I expected & wouldn't tolerate.  It never stopped him from trying - but that's a teenager for ya!

I've always been really honest with my son.  Maybe a good thing, maybe not... Only time will tell.  I do know for sure that if he ever has a major problem, he'll never be afraid to come to me.  He may expect me to be Saint Mom, but he knows that I'm not & that's Ok.  We are ALL a work in progress.

I reflect back on these things now, as my boy is getting ready to move on to the next phase of his life.  In a matter of less than a few weeks, he will be leaving for boot camp for the U.S. Navy.

No more peeking in while he's sleeping, just to watch him sleep.  He's a big boy now & I am so incredibly proud.

It will be hard for me to have that missing spot at the dinner table, but I know that I've done the best I can pushing him to be all that he can be & I know he's got so much more!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yes you CAN!

Remember that exercise guru, Tony Little from the 80's?  "You can DO IT!"

Yes, you CAN do it!!  I don't accept the words, "I can't" from my kids!  As far as I'm concerned I can't means I won't.  Try!

Of course, they don't appreciate this.  They're looking for me to step in and do it for them, but ya know what - NO!  I'll show you, I'll guide you & I'll help you - but I'm not going to do it for you!  You may not be the world's best, but I'll betcha that you'll learn!  Who knows - maybe you WILL be the world's best!

I've said many times before, I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.  No one went out of their way to make my life easier or do things for me & I'm quite alright with that.  All of that is what made me who I am today.  I won't just sit there & watch my kids struggle or get too upset before I step in - but I also won't let them succumb to the "do it for me".

Nope, it wasn't easy & yup - I could very well have been one of those who fell through the cracks - but I want-- and as long as I want, I keep going until I get.  That means I can & I will, so I try and I try.

Believe me, I was no poster child or shining example of how to be or what to do when I was growing up.  I was not always on the best path & I almost never chose the right road - but that's Ok.  I'm here now.

I'll admit, doing it wrong took me probably an extra 10 years or so extra to get where I am now.  I'm in no position to preach the don't do it - I definitely go by the do as I say, not as I do and follow the right path.
Yeah - I may have made it through the crap... but as I said, the road was a lot rockier & there was a lot more crap to wade through.

There is so much truth to the statement, "Once you hit rock bottom, there's only one place to look...UP!"

So yes you can!  Everyone can!!  It may not be the best or world's greatest, but who cares!  You CAN!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Knowing who your friends are...

Having been incredibly naive most of my life - at one point in time, I called everyone a friend...

As said in prior posts, my old boss, Andy, set me straight on that years ago.  Everyone is an acquaintance until they've earned "FRIEND".

I've learned to not get so emotionally involved & to just sit back, watch & listen.  This practice has done me incredibly well, and saved me from hurt feelings from time to time.

Maybe I'm confused because I don't play the game.  I genuinely don't have ulterior motives & I'm not interested in stepping on someone face to get to the next "higher" place in society.  I can't be bothered with the competitive nonsense.  I am who I am - like me or not.  If you're going to "choose up" in friendships because someone else seems to be more of something, or have more of something and you think you can shine in a different light - well go have fun with that.  Clearly I've misjudged the situation.

I've learned that some people, no matter how much you trust them & think they are your friend - will shred you down to nothing to another friend the second you turn your back.  Especially women!

This can be incredibly hurtful - especially in situations where you really think you can trust someone - and then you find out that they've teamed up in tearing you down - or speak badly, or make fun of you. Really??  Are we 12??

Yeah, I've had this happen. I may not say anything, but I'm very aware of what goes on around me.  Learning experience.

I've always been of the opinion that girlfriends need to stick together and have each other's back.  All the time, not just when we need something.  Maybe that's just me and my sense of loyalty.  When it comes to my friends, no one tears them down around me.  At least not with me opening my mouth in their defense.

Life is hard!  We need to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Everyone has stuff - some more than others and not every day is going to be sparkling and fantastic.

I've both been victim of "false friends" and I've seen some of my friends be torn down.  It's so sad.  What's really to be gained by pretending?

Personally, I'm happy with me and I know who my real friends are and those who are just going through the motions.  It really is Ok - everyone needs to now where they stand.

If you feel like you're standing alone - come on over!  The more the merrier!  I may not be the richest, prettiest or have the most to offer - but I know friendship is a two way street.

I also know who my girlies are & they will always pick me up when I'm down & vice versa!  And you know who you are :)

Have a wonderful and happy day full of peace and love!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Go pick on someone your own size!

As long as I do this, I don't think I'll ever completely get the hang of this & get a full grasp on what some of these little kids have endured.

With my own kids, I know what their basic imprint is & what their life experience has been to date - at least inside our home.  Other kids, it's a whole new ball game.

I'm generally very soft spoken & gentle with the kids.  I'm tough - well strict, but they always know that they're loved.  Don't get me wrong - I'm by no means mommy of the year.  I totally lose my cool from time to time & raise my voice.  That totally gets their attention, at least it gets my kids' attention.  They snap right to attention & know I mean business.  With this little one - not so much.

She's a really sweet & good little girl, but this kid has been through more than I can understand or relate to.  Some of her stuff, I get.  As I'd said in the past - I didn't have a stellar home life growing up - but I also wasn't physically abused.  At least not that I acknowledge.

I'm not a hitter.  I don't feel it necessary.  Like I said, I'm pretty strict - tough & tender.  I was a single mom to my son for a long time & I had to be both mom & dad - it just carried forward.  It's what works for me.  Raising my voice, if I needed to, had always been enough.

Now with this little one, I'm pretty shell shocked for lack of a better term.  She has melt downs daily, sometimes many times a day.  Nothing I can't handle, really - been there, done that - but it's tiresome.  This morning it was about her hair.  I braided one side of her head & wanted to clip it back to make a pretty hair style & she flipped out.  No trigger - she just flipped.  I remained calm & gently told her to go sit on her bed until she calmed down & started to lead her to the room.  She threw herself onto the floor & looked at me with fear in her eyes screaming as if she were waiting for a beating.  Holy crap!
The only thing I could think of to do was to walk away & let her scream it out.

After she was done, she came to me and hugged me.  We talked about what happened.  I wanted to be very sure that she understood that neither I or anyone else in our house would ever hurt her.
How do you get used to that kind of thing? 

Abuse is something I still can't wrap my head around - especially when you're looking at this little person who is just so beautiful and good & just wants to be loved.

All kids can be a total pain in the butt!  That's their job, but beating them into submission?  I'll never understand that.  It makes me sad and upset to see someone so little expect to be abused, because that's what she's used to.

It's hard, in this day and age, to be aware of things.  Some things are blatant and we still miss them.  Most of the time we want to mind our own business.  What's the right thing to do?  I'm surely still learning.

"I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier..." ~Whitney Houston - Greatest Love of All

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pet Peeve of the day...

There's truly nothing that annoys me more than what I call "What time is it, is that a clock on the wall?" type of question....

WHY, if you CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY know the answer to a question, would you continue to ask it?  Are you expecting a different answer??

I get it with kids.  Kids are seeking perpetual attention and will ask you three seconds after someone else asks what's for dinner, "Are we having spaghetti for dinner?"

I could really roll with the sarcasm on that - but I remember I'm dealing with children & respond correctly.

This feeling also goes for that contemptible question... What have you been doing all day??

Well shucks, honey.  It's a darn good thing you came home when you did.  Had you been here 10 minutes earlier, you'd have caught all of the magic fairies cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house and chasing the children around while my personal masseuse was packing up his belongings before you got here & giving me exactly 10 minutes to look busy...

Oh my gosh....

Mind you, I work outside of the home AND still continue to do "my" house "duties".  That question "what have you been doing all day?"  sounds more like - Why is your lazy butt still planted on the couch?  I clearly don't have my slippers & paper in hand yet or dinner in front of me.

I'm pretty sure that stay at home moms feel the same way.  Trust me - staying home, not easy!  You could clean your floors & dust every square inch of a room and within seconds small children will have spewed Cheerios, milk, juice & any toy that has a million little pieces EVERYWHERE - and then you need to clean it up again.  So when Daddy comes home & sees the mess everywhere - it's only because Mommy got sick of cleaning the same mess 5 times & just let it ride...

I am, of course, exaggerating some (but just some) for effect.  My husband does appreciate what I do around here and vice versa.  Every once in a while (like today) he spews ridiculousness like how he's ALWAYS been the one to do the grocery shopping sets me off & opens the current can of whoop ass that I am currently unleashing in my blog.

So in case you haven't noticed - and you are a male reading this... "What have you been doing all day?" - NOT the question you want to ask if you want to keep a smiling wife.

Remember, just because you don't actually see it happening - doesn't mean it's not being done :)

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why can't we all just get along?

Our family camps.  In a camper, of course...  My tenting days are longggg over...

When we first got our camper, we had friends who also camped regularly.  They also had small children, so camping together was easy & fun.  The kids did their thing, we did our thing & everyone was happy.

They've since SOLD THEIR CAMPER on us (had to throw that in there), but we've forgiven them and love them anyway.  They were also foster parents, who had the opportunity to adopt their precious little angels.

One specific camping trip, it rained and we weren't as prepared as we ought to be.  Heather and I set out, with her littlest in tow - in the middle of bumble butt nowhere, to find a Walmart where we could buy an E-Z Up.

So here we are traipsing through Walmart, with her little guy in the cart.  Killing time, really.  She went in one direction and I went in the other with her little guy.  Suddenly, I noticed that I was getting really ugly looks from some of the other patrons.  I couldn't figure out what was going on...  I mean yeah, we were camping - but I did shower.  I ignored it and moved on.  WTH?

When I found Heather, I mentioned to her that people were giving me dirty looks - were my boobs hanging out, was I dirty, did I smell??  What??  Then she told me she gets that all the time.  I still didn't get it right away, then it hit me... people were giving me dirty looks because I was a white woman pushing around a black baby.  REALLY people???  REALLY???  I was horrified!  He's the most beautiful, kind heart and loving little boy you'd ever met.  You can't help but fall in love with this kid!  I couldn't get over it!
I could be mistaken - but I thought we were in the millennium not 1960 anything...  I can't believe that people are still so ignorant and hateful.  Especially when a child is involved!

So, being the perpetual ball buster that I am, I did the only thing that I could think of to give them something more to look at & talk about...  I grabbed Heather's arm and pretended to be her wife.  I put my head on her shoulder & looked at her with love eyes.  We chatted on & talked about what a blessing our son was to be sure those ignorant people got a good ear full!  It really was entirely too much & overly cheesy - no one acts like that - but these ignorant folks certainly took the bait.  I swear I wanted to give them the one finger salute, I was so annoyed - but why stoop to their level.

I hope no one is offended by my candor.  If you've been reading long enough, you should expect blunt from me.

What I'm trying to say here is that people are people.  It doesn't matter what size, shape, color, religion, sexual preference, whatever!  It's about acceptance!

As I've said before, please allow me to turn that little mirror of judgement around so you could see yourself better...

Can't we all just get along??

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Bully, Bully - Go Away!

Dedicated to all those who have been bullied, or pushed around in any way...

I've never been one to push people around, well - except maybe my little brothers growing up - but that was a pecking order issue :)  I've always tried to be a person who didn't let others get pushed around.

What's with the idea of control that makes some individuals need to make others smaller to make themselves bigger?  Why hurt another person? What could possibly be gained?  I don't get it.

Once upon a time, I was in a relationship where I wasn't treated properly.  Bullied for lack of full disclosure.  I'm a strong minded individual - but it's amazing how someone could really tear you down and make you believe that you're less.  Even someone as strong minded as I am was sucked in and dragged down.

It took a lot to get myself back to a place where I knew I was good again, and at that time my line became "I'm sorry you're feeling small today, but you're not taking me with you."

I was able to get out of that mess, but I still question how I was able to be pulled down to that level.  It's also one of the biggest reasons I don't like to see others hurt, bullied or treated less.  No one deserves it & once you get sucked in - it's a downward spiral.

Don't let anyone drag you down!  Everyone has worth.  Everyone has good within them.  No one deserves to be torn down.

The most powerful words that I've ever heard to save yourself from any type of negative situation...

"If you're strong enough to stay, you're strong enough to go."

I wish you peace.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

More lawn references... (I can't awlays be witty, lol)

For any of you who may be truly concerned about the information I post on my blogs, thank you - you're sweet.  I know this is the "world wide web" the internet, the information highway & nothing is private, secret or confidential - it's all out there for the world to see...

That said, yeah - my husband does occasionally read my blog and sees all I have to say.  I have nothing to hide.

We all have a past, present - hopes and dreams & he is aware of them all.  No secrets - no lies.  It's what works best.  I'm also not smart (or energetic) enough to keep up with the secrets & lies game even if I wanted to play!  It's more trouble than it's worth, if ya ask me!

I am lucky to be able to say that I married my best friend.  We talk. Yeah - maybe some details are only meant for the girls (he doesn't want to hear it anyway, lol) but it's out there long before it's out here.

This is important to me.

I truly believe that when you work to build a life with someone, it needs to mean something.  It's important and you give it all to build it stronger, there's nothing worth tearing it down.

Marriage is hard.  Every relationship in life has it's ups and downs, and at some point the other individual in the relationship is going to do something to piss you off!  Heck - even the dog pees on the rug sometimes out of spite.  That doesn't mean you go out and get a new dog.  You clean it up!

Nothing is perfect all the time, every day.  There will always be bumps in the road.  Lord knows that every day of our life isn't always filled with sunshine & flowers.  We've been through a lot, but it's the plowing forward up and through the tough stuff that helps to build things stronger.  Not starting all over again!

The grass may look greener on the other side, it always does.  You may want to roll around in that other grass - but I assure you, that grass will get matted down and unattractive from time to time too.  Then when you look really close - there will be weeds & crab grass!

So quit looking at your neighbor's lawn!  There's more in there than you even want to know about!

Fertilize the lawn you worked for.  Care for it and cut back the dead stuff so the new stuff can grow up strong and healthy.

It's way easier & more satisfying to just roll up your sleeves & put a little work into what you've neglected than having to start over with a pile of dirt & seed.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dancing to the beat of a different drummer

I am not normal!

There I said it.  Whew, that's a relief!  What is "normal" anyway??  Isn't it relative??

I definitely have different ways of thinking and saying things that sometimes make people shake their head, or laugh with an "Ohhh, Jenn."

I will state flat out - I am a believer.  I believe in the power of God and I believe that He has a master plan for me and I believe that He sent His son Jesus Christ to save me from my sins.  I believe that the only way to the Father is through the Son.  I believe in the Bible & what it teaches.

I also believe in ghosts.  Well, spirits left behind.  I believe this very specifically because when I was younger, my dad's house was seriously haunted.  To this, I have several witnesses.  I loved my dad and all, but if I was going to his house for the weekend - I was taking friends with me so I didn't have to sleep in my room alone!  (please feel free to chime in, you know who you are) It was seriously creepy!  I don't understand it, but I believe it.

Because I believe in God, the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, I also believe in Heaven.  However, I believe that I will need to wait on line before I can get in.  I know I'm going, I just think the Big Guy is going to have quite a lot to say to me.  There will be others with less to account for, and others with more - but this is my mental picture.  Sort of like the waiting room in the movie Beatlejuice, but absolutely incredible.  It's OK if I need to wait on line - because not only is time relative, but I KNOW there's dancing in Heaven!  I love to dance!!  I'm quite sure that while I'm on line, I will be dancing with the angels & best of all I'll get to speak directly with God.  I believe it all to be wonderful.

Both of these things, I've gotten the head shake & the words "that's not Biblical" and yes, I know - but this is a way better line of thinking than others.  I also think that even God shakes His head & laughs.  After all - He is fully responsible for my sense of humor.  Thank you Big Guy, You rock!  :)

I do also believe that when I do get my chance to come face to face with the Almighty, that I will drop to my knees and be in total awe.

He has given me a lot to be thankful for & one of them is that I am NOT at all normal!

And I am thankful for all of you...

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Jersey - Winter in October (yuck)

I know that snow in October is not so unusual for some of you in other areas of the country or world.

Here in New Jersey we do not, ever, expect a major snow storm in October. Especially not one that dumps over 19" of very wet, heavy snow!  January, of course.  December, Ok.  November, rarely.  But October NEVER!

For me, it's incredibly unwelcome!
I've made my opinion on snow very clear a few posts back.  As great a lodge bunny as I make, I don't ski, I don't like winter sports & I don't like to be cold.  Kinda stinks when you live within a 20 minute drive to about 4 ski areas (that I can think of off the top of my head).  Gimme my beach, sun & frosty beverage!

The children were in absolute awe over the big chunky flakes that kept falling.  They were absolutely joyous on the thought of building snowmen & trudging around in the cold wet stuff.

Me?  I watched the high winds blow & the snow fall while watching the power lines sway.  The heavy chunks of snow weighed them down and then fell off in large blobs.  At the same time I counted power surges and kept my fingers crossed that power would remain.  Thankfully it did.

This was no average snow storm.  19" of heavy, wet snow and high winds, while leaves are still on the trees led way to downed trees, large branches and downed power lines.  Over 500 thousand homes in New Jersey are still without power since Saturday.  Over 300 thousand in Connecticut & over 200 thousand in New York - still without power, five days later.  Comparably - some say it's worse than the recent Hurricane Irene that blew through just a few short months ago.

Luckily, and thank You Lord - we were spared much damage.  I, for sure, lost my very pretty Red Maple out front (at the peak of it's beauty) and our daughter's swing set was victim to a rather large tree branch - but we kept power & heat.  Many of my friends remain in the dark (and cold).

We Jersey folk aren't wimps by any stretch of the imagination.  We can hang with the best of 'em - but we're definitely being tested!

To my local friends in the dark - if you need me, let me know.  (For one of my friend, who will know exactly who she is when she reads this,  No fishing!  Just spit it out.  I don't catch on - lol)

In all seriousness, my house is your house - what's mine is yours - if you need, let me know.

Here's to a speedy end of this early winter & the white stuff!

Stay warm!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing is perfect... and that's Ok

I saw a positing on Facebook a few weeks back, which was very funny....

It went something like "Ahhh Facebook - the place where everything is wonderful, everyone's spouse and children are perfect and the world is a beautiful place."

I totally get the humor in that - because it is true, but that's really not such a bad thing!

I believe that anyone could talk themselves into anything if you say it enough.  Seriously - what better therapy?  There's enough crap in the world trying to drag you down - so why not focus on the positive?  Yeah, your husband could totally piss you off and you could want to trip him as he walks by & you could piss & moan and complain about it - or you could say how absolutely wonderful your husband is.  Which will snap you out of it quicker??  See??  Not so bad!

Nothing is perfect - not on this planet anyway.  How could you ever appreciate the best of the best without experiencing the worst of the worst?

If you're going through hell - you may as well talk about how delicious your chocolate ice cream cone is.  After all, doesn't chocolate make everything better anyway??

Thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bye, bye for now sandals & flip flops :(

Well, tonight is the long awaited Halloween party of the year (adults only) and I've been "ordered to rest" by my husband since I've been under the weather all week.

Of course, being the stubborn, rebellious female I am... I realized - I need to switch over my shoes!

Sadly, the thermostat has dipped below 60 (boo hiss) my summertime fun officially over & sandal season shall be switched to boot season.

First, I might add - I had a shoe casualty on my cruise...  Sad, sad day - my very favorite pair of strappy dress sandals snapped - and I was told that I may shoe shop!  Woo hoo - I've actually been given PERMISSION to shoe shop.

So this morning, whilst resting with my computer on my lap I ordered 3 pairs of boots and a replacement pair of strappy sandals!!  I am now off to move my pretty, pretty sandals up to the top of my closet and my boots etc to the lower level & make room for their new friends!

Yeah, I'm still not quite feeling up to par (still working on it) but  I ask...what better therapy than retail therapy??

Enjoy your day & thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, October 21, 2011

All I have to do is dream, dream, dream....

Wow, I've had some incredibly bizarre dreams lately!

For the few months prior to and the few weeks after my birthday, I've been in both melt down and nostalgia mode.  Good in some ways, not so much in others.  My thoughts and memories have definitely incorporated themselves into my dreams.

This past week alone, I've had 3 memory dreams (with an extra added dose of bizarre) and one very cool dream about my brother and dads.  My dreams are always very vivid & I remember quite a bit of them.  So much so that when I wake, I'm not quite sure if it was real.  I can become overly emotional and maybe a little sad - but afterward I embraced my dream as a gift.

Sometimes they are so wonderful that I try to go back to sleep to pick up where I left off.

How awesome is it that you can go to sleep and frolic with childhood friends, lost loves & those who have passed on.  I awoke with a smile several mornings in a row.  It was hard to shake the cobwebs out & realize that it really was just a dream - or the gift of someone always being in your heart, on your mind & deep in the recesses of your mind - only to re-appear during R.E.M.

To the stars of my twilight, thank you for your appearances...I miss you in my waking, but I know...

Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunburn tips, from the locals...

Of course, no matter where I go away from Jersey I get a "you're not from around here, are ya?"

This time, sunburn was my glaring abnormality.  Yeah, there were probably others. (no comments from the peanut gallery) This is the only I'm absolutely sure of!

Unlike my husband, who tans just by sitting under a reading lamp, I am a fair skinned woman of Dutch / German decent.  I burn.  I could put on sunblock 75 & still burn (fry)...  It is what it is.  AND with my medication, I'm not supposed to be in the sun.  So yeah, I looked like a lobster after floating on my raft in the Caribbean.

So here I am back in Cocoa Beach - on line in Walgreens with ice cream for my family & I get the "you're not from around here, are ya?"  At first the woman, very politely said - your accent sounds like your from New York (ahhhhhhhhhhh)  Nope, Jersey...  then she gave me the tip I'd never ever received before!


No, not because I was scratching at my head or flaking on people, lol.  Dandruff shampoo helps your skin to not peel when you get a sun burn!!  I never thought of that - it prevents flaking & peeling and I might add, it was quite soothing.

The brand she specifically recommended was Neutrogena T-Sal - which I purchased when I got home.

I'm happy to report, my sunburn has turned into a pretty golden tan.  I didn't flake or peel AND the "sal" portion of the T-Sal is salicylate (ingredient in aspirin) which took any pain away.

So I share with you all this nugget of wisdom I learned.

Thank you to the lovely woman on line at Walgreens in Cocoa Beach!!

As always, thank you all for reading my blog!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sailing, Sailing over the ocean blue.......

Can I just say ... I love cruising!

Since we arrived in Florida during a tropical storm, our first day on the ship was in port - followed by a very rough day at sea.  That said there were a lot of eh hem... sick folks.

Not us!  We got up, showered (that was an interesting experience), threw on our little wrist bands and ate breakfast.  Immediately following breakfast, a Margarita.  I throw this out at the risk of getting a good ribbing from friends & family - however, nothing makes potential sea sick go away like a Margarita.  Not sure if it's the tequila or salt...  Oh who am I kidding, of course it was the tequila.

We cruised on the Disney Dream.  Beautiful ship!

Before any of my fellow "adults" think, silly wabbit - Disney's for kids - can I just tell you that you can go the entire cruise without seeing the "giant mouse" - and you can see him & his friends every day if you want also.  Since our CeCe girl was with us, we had to see the giant mouse and his cronies several times - but I'm secretly 12, so that was fine by me.
There are plenty of child free zones & plenty of places where the kids actually want to be away from parents... Really!  And the food... AMAZING!!  Everything was clean, my drink was never empty & everyone was happy!

What more could you ask for?

So now it's back to reality...  Still land sick - that only means one thing to me....  Time to plan my next cruise!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thinking of yourself less than others....

I don't know why people continue to amaze me...

It's prior to 6 am on a weekday morning at Orlando International Airport.  I, of course, need to use the ladies room.  From my stall I hear a woman with a southern accent absolutely berating the Spanish cleaning woman in the bathroom.

The woman began speaking loudly, as if the woman not understanding English made her deaf, and I hear, "don't you understand - there are cockroaches flying around out in the open area landing on me and my food - what are you going to do about it?"  She went on with - "what do you mean you don't understand cockroach?  It's nasty that cockroaches are flying around while I'm eating."

I'm thinking...  Cockroaches fly and land on people??

As if this poor cleaning lady had the authority (or desire) to allow this rude woman to be free of flying insects... and the woman continued on & on, ending with - "I'm a good Christian woman - I deserve better than this...."

Really???  Because she sounded much more like a spoiled brat to me...

Part of me wanted to find this woman and call her out for calling herself a "good Christian woman" after the way she berated that poor woman, but I do know that would make me no better - the best I could do is smile to the poor cleaning lady and say thank you.

All I could think about was "Do unto others as you'd have done to you."

A little kindness goes a long way, and rude and ignorant generally go hand in hand.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Searching for Jeannie's Bottle.... found surfers

Just back from vacay (now you had to know I was going to blog about vacay)

Both before and after our trip, I scheduled a stay in Cocoa Beach.

Day #1 - not stellar.
We arrived in Orlando during...da da da...Tropical Storm Whatever. Holy rain & wind - made Jersey's weather look fabulous.

We went immediately to the hotel, which was very cool.
Sheraton Four Points Cocoa
They have a GIANT indoor "fish tank" for lack of a better term, with sharks & all kind of sea creatures.  They also have their own surf shop.

We then braved the weather on foot and hit the Ron Jon Surf Shop.  Totally wind blown & soaked.  Unbeknownst to us - Cocoa is a big surfing area.

Even in the rain, Cocoa Beach is a very cool area.  We didn't really get to enjoy it until after our cruise.

Thursday we spent the day exploring Cocoa Beach.  We walked the beach & watched the surfers. They all looked very gnarly, lol.  (gnarley is akin to rad - a late-1980s - early-1990s term, meaning "exceptional", or "cool")

We hung out at the Sunset Grill watched the manatee & dolphins, then set off in search of Jeannie's bottle...  The little town map they give you is very misleading....  We DID NOT find Jeannie's bottle (crap) but I did find I Dream of Jeannie Lane!

The street is locate in Lori Wilson Park, which is beautiful!  The beaches were very clean and uncrowded (but then again, it's October)  The one thing that freaked me out was the fact that raccoons were EVERYWHERE!  Now, here in Jersey - if a raccoon is out during the day - that screams rabies.  Apparently not there.  They were out in droves - packs of 6 or more.  I felt that eerie feeling as if I were in the Alford Hitchcock movie the Birds. I was waiting to be attacked - so we got heck outta of there & hit the beach in a different direction.

After walking all day, I was ready to just sit back & relax with a few tropical drinks.  I was denied Jeannie's bottle, so I had to settle for a margarita in monkey head coconut -  better than nothing I suppose - but will a giant monkey pop out & clean my house and call me Master (or will I be Mistress, hmmmm)???

Stay tuned for further adventures....

Thank you for reading my blog!!


Friday, October 14, 2011

"Cultural" differences....


1. Of or relating to the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a society.
2. Of or relating to the arts and to intellectual achievements.

You may not know this, but my husband is Costa Rican...

Well, he was born there & came here at 3 months old.  Technically, he's American (though a naturalized citizen), but he is bi-lingual & bi-cultural, which is very cool.

I guess I never paid much attention to that kind of stuff when I was younger, and no matter what our decent is - most of us here in America are American and our traditions are more native to our geographical areas and not as much to our heritage.

I'm of Dutch & German decent.  Growing up, my mother wasn't a fabulous even close to being a good cook (sorry, mom).  My grandfather, "Pop Pop", was Dutch.  He used to go to the Dutch bakery, which still exists:
To Boonstra's (home made ice cream shop owned by Dutchies), and also Dunkin' Donuts, to show his "Americanization", every Sunday and then come to see us.  When I went to visit Pop Pop, he taught me to cook "good Dutch food" & when I went to visit my mother's parents, my grandmother (a fantastic cook) taught me how to cook German foods.
But I digress....

My husband's heritage is Hispanic - Costa Rican all the way.  He learned to speak English in school & was only allowed to speak Spanish in the household.  They had traditional family values.

When I first met my husband's family, it was really very shocking to me.  It was New Years Eve & we stopped off at his parent's house to get something & he said he wanted me to meet his family.  Little did I know that they were ALL there!  Easily 25 people - aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, in-laws - OMG!  And then he left me alone - with all of them.  Talk about being a nervous wreck (baptism by fire, perhaps??)  Looking back now, it's kind of funny - because I love each and every one of them.
That was something I was definitely NOT used to & where our cultural differences come into play.

I had this dis-functional little existence.  Divorced family, which became a blended family once my mother remarried.  Step siblings, who always seemed to get more.  We never ate together, we never watched TV together, we never even sat around talking - we all just co-existed.  Sort of sad, really.

Back to my husband's family, the Spanish version of the Cleaver's.  Happily married parents, church going, kind wonderful people who loved each other & others.  Extended family gathering together just to see each other.  Dad is in charge (or thinks he is) & mom takes care of everyone.  She cooks for an army (and really good, I might add)  She loves everyone and is just happy just to have her family around.  I love that!

I know that there are plenty of families who have similar situations - but for me - cultural doesn't necessarily define heritage - but family traits & values.

I strive to give my own family unit the traditional family values that my husband grew up with;  the example of faith, love & togetherness.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I forget...

Ok, so not only do I have the getting older thing against me - but I've also got what's called "Lupus Fog"

Can I just say - NOT AT ALL appreciating God's sense of humor on this one...

I've accepted several of the bumpy roads in my life & just chalked it up to my own stupidity and for purposes of God's entertainment (you're welcome big Guy), but this forgetting - not so much fun.

I can't even say how many times I will walk into a room for something specific and sit there looking around, la la la - turn around and forget about it and then remember a half hour later & go through the exact same process.

This happens with everything - keys, appointments - you name it!

Luckily I haven't forgotten any kids anywhere & I'm still spot on at work - but I dread the day when my boss asks me for the monthly financials and I completely go blank.  Let's just hope that day doesn't come, shall we??

Now where was I?

A while back I heard an old skit on one of the comedy stations; Father Guido Sarducci, from Saturday Night Live!  Anyone remember him??  In any case, he had a skit about when you go to Heaven, the first thing you see there is a box with your name on it.  That box contains everything you've ever lost (or put in that special place so you don't lose it) while here on earth.  I have been obsessively scanning the internet for a clip, but can't find it anywhere - ANYWAY..

How awesome would THAT be & how fun is that to look forward to??  While waiting on line to get into Heaven's gates - you get your box of stuff you lost.

I'm wondering if I would even be able to carry  my box??  I guess it's going to have wheels on it.

Now I forget, what's this blog about?

Thank you for reading my blog anyway :)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Longing for a small town feeling...

I've lived in Jersey my whole life - with a few random, short term exceptions.

Jersey isn't New York City - but the entire New York/New Jersey/Metropolitan area is just so big, so much.  So many people, so much information - sometimes so overwhelming.

A few months ago, I started listening to a country station, owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications - Hot Country B95 out of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  (Clear Channel also owns and operates my favorite Tri-State Area rock station Q104.3 )  Yeah, I don't know exactly how I found it - but I love it!

Now that I've plugged my favorite radio stations, you're welcome :)  The point of my blog...

In listening to my Wisconsin station, I'm constantly smiling at the whole "small town feel".  I love hearing the things local folks say on the station and note that it's sounds so much nicer than it does here.  Nothing against where I live - because I'm a Jersey girl to the bone.  I just love the non-complicated way things seem someplace else.  I love to hear on that station from the woman who saw a man in the tavern in his bathrobe & pajamas.  I love that they call it the tavern & not the bar.  Every day I hear something different & just smile.  I love the whole seeming simplicity of the "not so many people/not so crowded" areas and I wonder - where can I get that?

I  moved as far north in Jersey as I could get without being too far from work, but far enough from people - but you still can't escape the busyness - the crowds - the traffic.

I long for simplicity....  And if it weren't so darn cold out there in the mid-west - I'd actually consider that an escape.  However, here I am in Jersey - longing for that small town feeling - but loving the convenience of everything being right here.  So here I am, here I'll stay.

Thank you to my friends over at B95; Mike McKay, Donuts & Bobby Tripp (sorry if I've left anyone out - these are the only shows I listen to)  Thank you for making this big world a little smaller & making this big ol area of the country have a small town feeling - even if it's just virtually through my computer.  Now if I could only get it beyond this blonde head that your weather doesn't affect me in the slightest, all would be well :)

Thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Testosterone Man, in a sea of estrogen....

My poor husband...

Completely, hopelessly surrounded by women of all ages, sizes & species...

The cat is even a girl!

It's all good when he first gets home.  All the girlies swarm him with hugs & kisses - BUT THEN...we want to talk.  All of us - usually consecutively.

Personally, I know when to shut up.  If he comes home with a scowl on his face, I know stay away, far far away.  I cook dinner & be gone with myself until he's human again.

Not the girls - they barrage him with daddy, look at my lip gloss.  Daddy, look at my nails.  Daddy, look at the new shoes mommy bought me, daddy, daddy, daddy.  Then my baby girl - who has no concept of what the "Readers Digest" version of a story is (even I tell her to get on with it) - will launch into her fun filled day with every single possible detail and color.  I very clearly see my husband's eyes glaze over and he drifts off somewhere in time between Bike week & some other manly event that doesn't have any (little) girlie stuff anywhere.  Then he'll drift back and... Oh my gosh, she's still talking, lol...

I could save him, but nah - I've got to cook dinner some time...

Kyle is barely home anymore.  In a few more weeks he'll be off to boot camp & soon there will be no additional testosterone to spread around all the fluffy things in our house.  Just lip gloss - everywhere...  Oh and nail polish & perfume & bubble bath & pretty pretty poofs.

It is very funny, really.  You see my husband is a big, bald, tattooed biker dude, left to carrying around our daughter's very pink Hannah Montana purse.

Again, poor guy!  All that testosterone floating around in this mighty sea of estrogen.

All I have to say is "Ahoy Matey"!

I guess it could be worse.

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Who's you Daddy??? Um, not YOU...

Now that I've got your attention, I hate to break it to you - but this post is going in a whole different direction.  :)

I know, I know - I tricked you.  Sorry, lol..

I'm just really annoyed & need to vent about women having their children call the man they are dating "Daddy" - especially after only a few months.

No offense to the guys who actually deserve the title, but I can't imagine that if you are a stand up guy that you'd want someone else's child calling you Daddy unless you know you're going to stick around...

Before anyone gets all defensive on me, I was a child of a mom who dated a lot AND I was also a divorced, dating, single mom once upon a time.  So I feel very entitled to vent on this!

Way to REALLY screw a kid up!

Once again - let me remind you - this post isn't directed at anyone specifically, so if you're feeling like I'm pointing the finger at you directly or this hits home in some way - take note, because you are about to be schooled!

I'm not good at holding my thoughts and feelings in, and when I'm about ready to blow - there's no stopping me.  I'm not standing in a place of judgement, but I AM definitely stating my (very strong) thoughts and opinions & you may not like what I have to say.

So I have this little chickadee...  Who has had several "daddies".  She always talks about when this one was her daddy and when that one was her daddy - I had to interject.  Wrong or right, I told this little girl that just because mommy has a new boyfriend - that doesn't make him her "daddy".  Especially since one of her "daddies" is her abuser.  How horrific!

Again, way to really screw a kid up!

I very clearly explained to her that biologically, we only get one mommy and one daddy.  The job of a mommy and daddy is to love, protect and teach their little person.  The end.

Not every biological can carry through their end of the bargain.  That's why there are adoptive parents, foster parents (including family) & step parents.  That is also why there are foster kids & messed up kids who grow into messed up adults!  I'm definitely one of them.  (mother, if you're reading - click the little x button now)

I consider myself to be a good parent.  I was both a divorced single mom at one time, and the product of divorced parents.

As the product of divorced parents, it was definitely not cool for me to have known mommy's "friends" AND I remember all of them, some not in a good way.  Luckily my mother never made me call anyone beside my own father "daddy".  However, her open dating is something that definitely screwed with my head when I was a kid.  It was also the reason that I kept my son far away from anyone I was dating.  He was a kid.  He was MY baby and MY responsibility and he already had a father.  He may not have been father of the year, but I wasn't looking for a new daddy for my son.  My marriage didn't work out - my bad, not his!

Yeah, I dated - but both my husband and the other person that I dated will attest to the fact that my son was never anywhere around.  I did my best to keep my personal life & my son separate.  My husband didn't get to meet my son for several months, and only after my dad cleared him.  Then there was STILL minimal interaction for quite a long time!  I didn't want any confusion on my son's part, especially since the only time my son briefly/accidentally met someone I dated (prior to my husband), he called him "daddy" out of confusion.  I nipped that in the bud immediately & that was the last time the two laid eyes on each other.  It was a good thing, because he was not the person I married.

Kids don't know any better.  They just want their world to be warm & fuzzy - happy & secure where everyone smiles & hugs each other.

To some of you women, I just want to smack you upside the back of the head & say WAKE UP!

Your beautiful little baby didn't ask to be here - you brought him/her here...  When you became a mommy - you became #2.  All your little wants and needs - SECONDARY....  The kids come first.

Wow, that sucks, huh???  How's that for a reality check??  The world no longer revolving around you, but someone else!

That's parenting - them first - you a very distant second...

If this hit a chord with someone - GOOD!

You are the person responsible for giving your little person the sense of security and self respect that will carry them through life.

They should look at you as a model of how they should be - not how they shouldn't be.

Your choice.

I pray that you don't screw it up!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cruising 101... Counting down!

My first cruise was truly an amazing and interesting experience.

Firstly, I had no idea if I would get seasick or not.  With that in mind, I went to see my doctor and got a prescription for that little patch that goes behind your ear.

I highly recommend that if your are going to cruise & this is something you are planning on purchasing - READ THE SIDE EFFECTS!

It's not nearly as fun to get that little "loss of vision" side effect while on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean at a Martini Tasting!  Talk about confusion!  It's hard enough learning how to walk on a moving ship, never mind doing it after a few cocktails without proper vision!

Luckily my husband read the side effects (after the fact), I took the patch off & started to regain proper vision within a few hours, but whew - what an experience that was!!

Also, maybe you won't actually BE seasick!  I don't get motion sickness.  I was still on the ship when I took the patch off & nada - nothing, not even a little queasy, but I didn't know in advance.  It's good to be prepared in the event of rough seas.  May I suggest those handy dandy little wrist bands instead or even Dramamine.  Yeah the bands mess up your tan, but would you rather spend time worshiping the porcelain god, or enjoying vacay??  Yeah - that's what I thought.  It's not like you can get a tan inside your cabin anyway!  :)

Also, I strongly recommend pre-purchasing your on board ship credit.  There is nothing like having the reality of vacation coming to an end smack you in the face harder than the sign & sail bill....  Eek!  Especially if you like to have a few cocktails.  Think NYC prices when you're ordering your little drinkie poo's...  They're like $8 a pop, no joke!

If you like to enjoy a glass of wine, or a cocktail here & there - check the alcohol policy on the cruise line.  Some lines let you bring your own alcohol (usually just wine) in your carry on.

Oh, and WATER!!  Order water to your cabin BEFORE you leave for your cruise.  Many cruises have all the free soft drinks you want - but water is $$.  If you pre-order your water to your cabin, it's cheaper.  There is usually someone coming around when you get on board to take orders, but really who wants to be bothered with more paperwork...

If you can get a cabin with a veranda - DO IT!!  There is nothing like watching the ocean any time you please.  Yeah, it's more expensive - but heck - you've already thrown down a mint for the cruise anyway - what's a few extra bucks!  You only live once!

We are planning to set sail once again & I'm ready!

Caribbean, massages on the beach, sun, sand & being waited on hand and foot...  I can't wait!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Aging, kicking and screaming all the way...

At this writing, I'm exactly 10 days from sliding down the middle of my imaginary teeter totter of life & beginning my rapid descent toward the next decade of my life...

I don't like it!  Not even a little bit, not even at all!  I guess that 46 is a prettier number than 45, but yuck!  What happened to 26?  Or 36?  I blinked!

Mostly, I've taken the aging process gracefully.  I like things simple, so I've never delved into the whole Botox, plastic surgery bit that seems so popular.  I'm not into all of that.  I'm me, love me as I am or not at all.

I do believe that I have entered mid-life crisis mode.  I am not always loving what is looking back at me in the mirror and feeling a bit ho hum. Who the heck is that older chick looking back at me?  The hot little 30-something now looks frumpty dumpty to me.  Boo!

Don't get me wrong, as appealing as it may sound to rewind the hands of time & redo the things I've done, knowing what I know now...  I'd still take back my old choices - because I'm quite sure I'd just make different mistakes that may not lead me to where I am today.  Today is good!

20's no thanks - for sure!  Reckless & wild - that was me.  30's a little better, but not quite there.

Now, in my 40's - I've accepted that this is who I am.  I'm ok with me.  Vanity surely kicks me when I'm down, but I know that I'm special and unique.  (Just like everyone else, lol)

My kids are getting bigger by the second - I'm getting older and greyer, but I'm me.

Working on telling Mrs. Frumpty Dumpty to relax and embrace the coming years and find a new "hot".

Yep, youth is truly wasted on the young.  I may be kicking and screaming all the way down my teeter totter, but I'm looking forward to the next phase of my life.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflecting back to September 11, 2001

It's one of those times in history where you remember exactly where you were, what you were doing...

I was working at Arrow Group Industries at the time.  At around 9 am our mail guy, Gene, came over to my desk and said - "Hey, did you hear that a plane just crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center?"  I tried to pull the news up on my computer & then it came over the radio that another plane had crashed into the second tower.  A half an hour later, another plane hit the Pentagon - then the crash in Pennsylvania.  I can remember people in the office frantically calling friends and family to be sure they were safe.  The office was very somber and chaotic at the same time - no work got done.  Everyone had the news up on their computers - the radio in the office got louder & we all sat there just listening.  I reflected back to the Trade Center bombing in 1993 - and now those same towers were gone.  It was all so surreal.

I wonder if this is how it felt to folks back when J.F.K. was shot.

It seemed like the world stopped.  I can remember feeling so scared.  My (step) dad was home (he lived with us) I wanted to get to him because he was sick, I wanted to get Kyle from school & I wanted Wag to be home.  I wanted to be safe in my little cocoon with my family.  We were living in the apartment across the street from Big John's at the time.  I remember us all on the sectional in front of the TV just watching the horror show over and over in disbelief.

It's hard to believe that was 10 years ago already.

On this 10th anniversary, please remember those who lost their lives.  Not only the first victims - but all of the first responders who selflessly put their own lives on the line to rescue others.  All of the random heroes who just went in to help whoever they could just because, and please always remember our United States service people who risk their lives every day defending OUR freedom!

God Bless America!

Thank you for reading my blog!