Thursday, March 31, 2011

Midnight Lacrosse Laundry

Long story that was list in cyberspace just moments ago.

Serioiusly? Not kidding. About 11pm,  T.J. came into the family room and says……"Oh, mom…could you just toss all of my lacrosse pads and stuff into the dryer….now…tonight? Dad says if you just put them in the dryer with a couple of towels they will be o.k."

 When these words come out of your child's mouth…."Oh mom, could you just.." RUN! RUN FAST and don't look back! These words are never followed by…
1. give me a hug?
2.  take more time to sit and chat with me more often?
3. sit down while I do that for you.
4. put your money away, I'll pay for it.
5. let me finish my homework? Please!
6.  let me clean my room now?
7. let me walk the dogs?
8. Put down that kitty litter, I'll clean up after the kitties.
9. hand me that vacuum?
10. let me mow the lawn?

Oh mom, could you just…….never has an easy ending!

It reminds me of my friend's dad, Joe O.
A long time ago, he taught us that these words usually come with a bad ending. Here they are:

It has always rung true. Over the years, it seems that Joe O. knew what he was talking about.
"By the way, …":
1. You're fired
2. We have to talk
3. I want to break up

I think that's enough. You get the point. Whenever Biff and I here these words come from anyone's mouth, we laugh. We know what's coming.

And as an old friend said to her boss after being reprimanded for something insignificant,
"By the way… have lipstick on your teeth!" 

What Fun!

Listing lots of new merchandise ini my e-bay store today. I get so excited to post things that I know my customers will love. I can't list my finds fast enough! This photo is J. Crew Madras. What fun!

If you like, take a peek at the store! I'll be adding new auction items all night...and all weekend....since the weather people are still calling for snow. I'll be listing the spring & summer merchandise that we're all hoping to wear....this year...we can only hope!

Daffodils and The"Snow Event"

Really. The T.V. weatherman just called today's weather a "snow event"....really. Really? "Snow event" I've heard everything.

Memories Of Earlier Days

The enthusiastic little voices caught my attention this morning long after Grace and T.J. had slowly, deliberately stepped onto their rumbling bus. The sweet sounds of the playful brother and sister eagerly awaiting their school bus brought back sweet memories. Bittersweet. These days are special too....just different.

Really? You've Got To Be Kidding.

Wednesday Woes. "Precipitation" is what my mobile "The Weather Channel" has in our hourly weather prediction for the day. I remind myself...we do live in New England.

The good news is,,,,despite the challenge of getting Grace and T.J. up and out the door, we've done it! Team work? Kind of. At least AFTER the part where I was able to get them to stand up. Once they're standing, it's all down hill from there. Unless they miss the bus.

Unlike the bus drivers of previous years, this woman waits for no one. We have always lived a life of well timed bus routines. Like clockwork..the bus...and us. On the rare occasion, we were running a minute behind, the bus driver would sit for a case. But no more. Running out the door...arms flailing, running, doing a sprint, the long jump, even screaming or summer salts...the conscientious driver glides by. Bye bye, that is.

Today, they made it without gymnastic pole vaulting. Phew. I was sure to be the scapegoat if we were one topsider short of catching the bus driver on a mission. Biff was already off on "vacation" as he merrily drove off toward the morning sunrise, whistling while he worked....ALONE in the car with his XM Radio, I had Grace and T.J. critiqueing my warnings. "WHAT? 2 MINUTES, you're supposed to give us more notice than that!.....Are you kidding me? 2 minutes?" T.J. spouted as he gathered his backpack and lunch while simultaneously pushing on his sneakers. Grace scrambled alongside...agreeing with her brother that I had failed them.

Oh well, at least our dueling teenagers could agree on something! As I review our children's cohesive manner in which they found fault with my meager attempts at warnings, it warmed my heart to have them in agreement. As T.J. said earlier, "Are you kidding me?" I'm happy to see them agree on anything these days!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daisy's Favorite Crunchy Snacks

Not the delicasy Fitz found!

Oh Happy Day!

What a gorgeous day. What a delight to be at the beach as the weather warms up. What a joy to be at the beach with wind that doesn't have sand whipping me into a bad Elizabeth Arden Red Door facial experience.

It's lovely to be at the beach as the weather gets warmer. The days with the dogs playing in the water, getting wet, shaking themselves dry...all over me.... jumping in the car with wet sand frozen solid in the hair, defrosting all over the mats of the car, as the heat begins blowing throughout the wet dog scented car. In. case you had any question...I'm referring to me...just kidding...not me...the dogs.

In the middle of winter, the wet dogs, the smelly, puddled up, sandy car doesn't bother me. Now that the dogs are swimming and drying off in the sun before the car ride, I am grateful.

Whether the car windows are open or closed, rain, snow, sleet, hail or sun...Grace and T.J. will blame the dogs for our clean car status....due to paw prints.

Now it's the little things that make me happy. No frozen fingers, no frozen toes, no runny nose....things are looking up. That makes me happy.

My only concern in the warmer weather....things like the dead fish head Fitzy attempted to take home today.

Beach Playdate

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Puppy Peanut Butter Playdate!

Daisy visiting with Ranger, her handsome beau. They've frolicked together since their puppy days. They each celebrated their 9th birthday within the last week and they've both been on puppy love since they met!

They Say It's Only Puppy Love"

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's a Wrap

My eBay store has kept me busy as a bee. It's so much fun to sell. Having my own store is a dream I've had since I set up our basement as a store at age 5 when I invited all of the kids in the neighborhood to shop.

The sea shell necklaces were stunning highlighted on display high atop the ping pong table. Here in my eBay store, it's less about display and more about packing and shipping. I'm working on that. Originally I wrapped each package like a gift with pretty ribbons and colorful wrapping paper. I thought it would be nice for the buyer to open a little wrapped gift. My friends suggested a simpler method with a more no-frills wrapping. It works. But I still believe presentation is everything.

Selling is something I love...on eBay or face to face. It always amazes me how interesting people are. Even from afar.

Like our kids, I began by selling lemonade and girl scout cookies. T.J.and Grace are delighted when their things sell on eBay. As teens, money is a wonderful motivator. Listing, pricing, selling and shipping are all good learning tools.

Grace has come a long way. When she was almost 5 years old, she sold string cheese to the neighbors for a dollar a stick. Interesting choice of merchandise. Still, the cheese sold well. In 4th grade, Grace created a frenzy on the playground selling 25 cent paper clip bracelets. The testimonial advertising worked! 4th grade girls love trendy fads...especially when the supply and demand create the bigger buzz. Grace had to enlist friends to help sell when the supply was less than the demand.

Shortly after the business growth, the assistant principal had to shut down the shop. Shopping on the playground became too much like Macy's on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

As for T.J., he loves selling on eBay. He's more of a barter man and he drives a hard bargain. In preschool, he bartered his used Jeff Gordon #24 racecar for another boy's new Jeff Gordon #24 racecar. Now, that's a gift! T.J. always had a right if recision was a 24 hour case either child had buyer's remorse at bedtime.

It's all in the family. Quite the sales force. Who knew?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kindergarten Kids

1. Who won't share
2. Who wants to be liked by everyone
3. Who won't obey the rules
4. The whiney one
5. The bully/teaser
6. The roughneck
7. The tattletale
8. The sneaky one
9. The loner
10. The loud, bossy one

Kindergarten characters: 1. The kid who won't share 2. The kid who teases 3. The kid who wants everyone to like him 4. The shy kid 5. The grabby kid who wants all of the toys to himself 6. The whiner 7. The line leader 8. The mean one 9. The kid who dodges the bullet so innocent get blamed 10. The crybaby And they're all here. Some must have played well with others. Others, not so much.

Women's Apprentice Team

Star Jones, lawyer and ex-cohost of ABC's "The View"
Dionne Warwick, singer
Marley Marlin, award winning actress
MiMi, one of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta
LaToya Jackson, Singer? or just the sister of Michael
Some woman named Hope?

This is not a cohesive group...

Men's Apprentice Team

Wild dynamic! Random "stars?" include Meatloaf musician
Little John, rapper
Jose Conseca, baseball player
Gary Busey, actor
"Richard" claim to fame...Winner of "Survivor"???
A country western singer
one more

Kindergarten dynamic .....

MY TV Night

It all started with the first season of The Amazing Race on CBS. Our family started watching the show together. Slowly, my family faded away. It became "mom's show." Showers, last minute homework, even facebook distracted the others.

The flat sceen TV became mine. The family room became mine. Mine, mine...all mine! That doesn't happen too often.

It's just something about the people...the dynamics, the challenges and the commitment of the couples to WIN. With the Amazing Race, I get to travel and live vicariously as they dash through airports, eat outrageous foods, maneuver through foreign cities despite language barriers while strategically playing the game to win. Add to that the mix of personalities, the ability to play well with others....or not....and the overall group dynamic!!! I don't get out much.

For's heaven. The people, the personalities, the's every team I've ever worked with....banking, merchandising, families or kindergarten ....even PTO groups! The personalities are the same...only the situation has changed.

The people that have me mesmorized are the same people who make Biff crazy! To Biff, it's stressful and it's hell...the same differences we have with I Love Lucy. Heaven for me. Hell for Biff

The Apprentice with "The Donald" is next. Depending on the teams, Biff may join me in my group dynamic observation.

It's all the same as kindergarten...we repeat it again and again. Those rules still apply... in life! I do believe who we were then is who we are now.

As my good friend Kate said, when we were discussing preschool selection, " I have 4 girls, they've gone to a variety of pre-schools and they all had to learn their ABC's over again kindergarten!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Now We're Cooking!

Well, watching a cooking show at least. It's a great afternoon. T.J. and I are sitting in the family room...with dogs and cats, watching p.b.s. cooking shows and chatting. T.J. was up and out early for some high school lacrosse. Biff is out doing some clean up volunteering after the lacrosse event with some other high school parents. T.J. is impatiently waiting for Biff to return.

Sometimes I get the feeling that when I find a perfectly wonderful way to lay back, intentionally, not attempting to accomplish one more thing in or around the house......our children seem to have an urgent and pressing matter that can only be satisfied by parental support. Why? Because as much as things change, things will always be the same.

Oh well. The cooking shows are over. The garden show has begun....and NOW Biff is home. He's the only one who can handle the T.J. request. Phew!

Skinnydipping Birthday Girl!

What birthday girl doesn't love a beach birthday?

Birthday at the Beach!

Happy Birthday Daisy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Girl Needs Her Beauty Sleep

Beauty sleep before the big day tomorrow! We're just trying on the party hats. Accessories have always been a priority for Daisy. Only the best for our birthday girl and only the snazziest accessories will do!

We had to try on her party hat. Tomorrow we'll have some real partying with happy paws, tail wagging and ear flapping fun! We all LOVE Daisy!


No coughing here. Well, at least Fitz has no cough and her breath is minty fresh.

It only took a moment. Fitzy ate them before I knew they were there.

I live like a presidential secret service agent.... constantly scanning and surveying the areas in which we walk. Groceries are at risk if left in the car. Dinners, snacks, drinks, coffee in to-go cups, candies are all up for grabs. I live on guard...always. Except for the times I think I'm today.

T.J. had to have a ride to a practise today. Daisy and Fitz were in the very back of the car. As T.J. got his gear out of the back of the car he asked,"Mom. What's the deal with Fitzy's leash?"

I couldn't begin to explain. I was just glad that T.J. didn't ask for a cough drop.

Follow Your Nose

Literally.One of Fitzy's greatest retriever qualities again, NOT. That cute snoot gets her in so much trouble. That nose gets all of us in trouble too! Daisy too!

Some of the places her nose has taken her.....

1. She's invited herself into each of the neighbors houses
2. She ran through one of the neighbors' cars just as the kids got out.....vacuumed up every cheerio and cracker in the one door and out the other ....the family stood, in shock, as they watched.
2. Ran off while we were walking the trails in the woods to a retired couple's house to check out their garbage pails. The O'Toole's gave her doggie treats and called me to pick her up. They saw her everytime we let Fitz off the leash in the was the treats! She is no longer let off the leash...ever.
3. She literally crashed a senior citizens' cocktail party at the beach. She wiped out the Cheetos and chip baskets. I cried and offered to replace the food. I was not received well either. Very unpleasant for all but Fitz.
4. She ran through a neighbors yard. The screaming kids were scooped up just as Fitz enthusiastically approached their Easter baskets.
5. Ran to another neighbor and ransacked their garbage pails in the garage, did loops around their house, their dog, the grandparents while we attempted to lasso her. .
6. While walking near the beach, she Houdini-ed off her leash and held a darling older man hostage at his own barbeque grill. Kind man.

There are many more stories but they are beginning to blur together....

I'm not sure that's a good sign. Good thing she's cute....people always assume it was her first offense.

I left Fitz in the back of the car for a couple of

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I picked T.J up from school today. When we walked in the door, I passed by my quilted pink bag. T.J. called me back. He asked me to go out the door and walk in again...slowly. There was Boo!........ Peekaboo! Boo!.......he has definitely lived up to his name!

Trying New Things

Change is good. Change keeps us energized. It's scary too. Depending on the change Painting a room is terrifying for some of us while for others the thinking is ...It's only a can of paint, it can always be repainted!

No matter what kind of can be a challenge for us to move forward. Some of us like to dive right into the pool while others ease in a little at a time.

Me? Sometimes I jump right in and sometimes I over-think the possibilities and I'm afraid.

"The swing" photo above is from this afternoon. This morning, "The swing" below was taken this morning. I'm so happy that the snow has melted! I love the change of seasons....Spring is newness and change and rebirth! That's exciting!

Try something new....

Just Tell God Your Plans

If you want to make Him laugh. Snow. I was thinking of pansies. They are o.k. to put out in our planters...they say IF we cover them at night. Not now. Not planning to do this for awhile. Tell God to hold the laughter ....I'm just not ready to tuck in my plants at night. They'll probably call to me for a glass of water.

Say This 3 Times Fast

Snow boat. Snow boat. Snow boat

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Beach Best


Wet Pause for Fitz

Pause. It's not often that Fitz slows down...after her dip with Daisy she seems to be considering more water play. I love to see them play at the beach....even though they take most of the sand home with us.

Splashing Through The Snow

Daisy took a quick dip today. So happy.

Double Trouble

Cozy kitties sleepy ...while it SNOWS today. Snow surprise.

Hello. My name is....

Earlier today I had some stops to make...places to go...people to see....and a nametag to wear.

After my people and places and nametags...there were more things to do. Walk the dogs and more random stops.

When I stopped to say hello to a friendly neighbor....we chatted about the snow, the dogs and happy color...that's when Lisa informed me that there was something in my hair..."Hello. My Name is...." crumpled and stuck. THAT'S where it went!

Can You Spare A Square?

Stranded. If I didn't know better, I would be. But I plan for this. It's the little things. Is a mom the ONLY ONE to think about others....leaving others high and dry? Well maybe that wasn't the best choice of words....

But really.....another poor choice of words. Leaving a paper trail....sorry.

Not only does the paper need to be replaced...I'm proud that someone remembered the proper way to place the roll so it will unroll properly....wait a minute..... I think it was me. I know they'll learn...eventually.  One roll at a time.

Beach Days Will Come Again

Walking The Trails

Daisy always happy to stay by leash. Fitzy always "at the end of her rope"....if only she wouldn't run off to the nearest garbage can, dumpster or toddler with Cheerios.

Trail Mix

Remember "Highlights For Children" in the dentist office? Can you find 2 Golden Retrievers in this picture?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

#7. Makes me laugh...The plastic owl that had everyone calling us about "the rare owl in your tree"

#8. Makes me happy....Sounds of sailboat mast chimes.

#9. Makes me happy....Bunnies in the garden.

#10. Makes me happy... Daisy playing in the yard, teasing Fitz.

#1. Makes me happy....daylillies to follow.

#2. Makes me happy... Swing in the spring.

#3. Makes me happy....Textures & colors.

#4. Makes me happy...Natural stone path.

#5. Makes me happy...Magical colored stones.

#6. Makes me happy...Found bricks washed up on the beach.