Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Entry

TV Time!


What a great gathering to celebrate the wedding excitement. The hostess is from Scotland and shared so many stories of time living in London while Diana was there. Great to see so many friends at the early hour...some popped in before work, after the kids were on the bus or out walking the dogs.

So many laughs. We all. were wondering why we needed a royal wedding to take time for local friends. We decided it was like our old playgroup days minus our kids! Why can't moms have "playgroups"???????

Early Morning Royal Wedding Breakfast

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wedding Bells!

Alarm bells. Wedding bells.I hope I wake up when the alarm goes off. When i announced the hour of my early morning wake-up plans, my children rolled their eyes. Although Grace said she would join me IF she could take the day off from school. Tempting as it may have been, I knew her heart wasn't in it and she was just using me and taking advantage of royalty. Nope. This early morning wedding is a solo invite...better for me. I wont be distracted!

Biff defended my temporary insanity as I pulled out my sparkly wedding headband for the occasion. After all, I should dress up just a little, don't you think? It wouldn't seem right to spend the day with royalty and not do something a bit special...I'll skip my wedding shoes. They're for our anniversary. I might try those sweet curlers during the guest arrivals. Ooh! My pearls! What's a wedding without pearls? I do have something white to wear with my tiara...no, I mean headband! I loved our wedding day...how could I be anything but enthusiastic for this couple? Sure, they have a few more tiaras and castles and butlers and ladies in waiting (mine are Daisy and Fitzy) and a horse drawn carriage....but I wish them only goodness and love and babies and fun and family and happiness together...deeply in love as best, best friends. We are blessed. I hope, at the end of their days...no matter what their stress or chaos or life may be....I hope they laugh like we do!

Sorry. Wait. Tonight that's not happening for me and Biff. Sadly, we won't be laughing as we fade off to dreamland tonight. I'm sleeping on the couch. In the family room. He kissed me good night and walked upstairs....I've got to be here for the wedding warm-up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m....then to a little royal coffee at 6! I hope I can sleep with all of the excitement!

Royal Wedding Frenzy!!!

So much hype about the royals, Williamson and Kate, London, Balmoral, THE wedding dress, Diana....it's all such fun! Really, no matter how high-fillutin the royal family is, why oh why can't we get that queen a nicer handbag? All we keep hearing about os Kate's dress..what on earth will the queen carry as a handbag? She has diamonds and an awesome collection of tiaras...why wont anyone give her a nice handbag. May I see something in a really royal style please? I'm begging! Won't someone poke at the pink elephant handbag in Buckingham Palace? Please sir, I want some more...handbags!

Getting Married In The Morning

Ding Don't the bells are gonna chime! So exciting to see another royal wedding! Having oodles of fun with friends...on facebook, with friends and TV!

Rough Stuff

Daisy loving it!

April Downpour

Wild!

Wind! Waves! And dogs! Fitz ran off like the wind today...well, more like...escaped, broke loose, hit the road.One minute Daisy was surfing in with a retrieved stick, Fitz would swim to Daisy...and they swam back to shore together. In an instant, I saw that look in her eye! Poof! She was gone!

Thankfully, a town worker with a giant lawn mower had his airplane like motor running...which stopped Fitzy in her tracks. Daisy had her under control when I caught up. The lawn mower fella looked a bit befuddled by the scene! He may never know that he saved the day!

Green!

Green! Finally green! Walking the dogs with wind and a fine mist was delightful since I was dressed for the elements. I love when that happens!

Yawn

Did Boo fall asleep while reading my blog? Oh no! Could my life be that boring? Really? Maybe this blog needs to be more fun. Really...if the cat can't stop himself from nodding off...couldn't keep himself awake....a cat sleeps most of the day...and he couldn't even make it through my blog post. WAKE UP! Are you asleep too?

Yawn

Did Boo fall asleep while reading my blog? Oh no! Could my life be that boring? Really? Maybe this blog needs to be more fun. Really...if the cat can't stop himself from nodding off...couldn't keep himself awake....a cat sleeps most of the day...and he couldn't even make it through my blog post. WAKE UP! Are you asleep too?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

These Just In!

Daily Daffodils

Forsythia Forever

Rhododendrons Popped Today!

Tulips Today!

Out To Lunch

And out for lunch! 3 girlfriends. We go out to celebrate each of our birthdays. The birthday girl gets to pick the place. Somewhere fun, casual and always different and a teeny bit more upscale than a yogurt or PBJ on the run. We are hardly the ladies who lunch!

It always makes us laugh when the bill arrives. 2 of us treat the birthday girl. Believe me, it isn't calculator worthy... although we have no beverage stronger than lemonade, when the 2 treaters start calculating the split plus tip and who owes who how much... since one of us had exact change for the tip while the other had no more change ...only a debit card.....we look like AND the birthday girl patiently fiddles with her wedding rings and reviews her manicure, nail by nail....by nail, we find ourselves giddy with a slight hysteria over the confusion...well aware that we look terrifically tipsy...which makes us create a bigger scene. Basically, its the irreverent nervous church laughter....magnified

Sometimes the birthday girl offers up her wallet just to get the whole painful process overwith....perhaps hoping to be home by dinnertime.

Once the bill has been paid, the treaters begin the silly debate of which treater owes the other the simple sum, what bills we put on the waiter's little brown plastic tray, how much change came back on the tray, amount to tip the server... sometimes we have distractedly dismissed the birthday girl with pained looks on our faces, an air kiss and a quick wave to free her from the birthday hostage situation.....and the birthday girl, having aged over the process....runs off into the distance like a frightened cartoon character!

Ironically, one of the "girls" is a doctor, one a nurse and one was a mortgage broker in another life!

Ironically, of all the ""birthday girl" lunches we've shared, some of our greatest memories are of the bill being tallied!

Ironically, we have become "those women" who will continue to call themselves "the girls" well beyond the "certain age" years. We spend far too much time hunched over the table with eyes squinted, glasses perched at the tip of our noses, whispering nervously, nodding our heads, leafing through our wallets while truly believing we are not, will not, could not ever become "one of those women who quibble over a bill!"

After all these years watching "those women," I realize they haven't been arguing about who ate the steak and who had the grilled cheese...it's a luncheon ritual that has been going on since women carried a coin purse...it's not the money...it's time well spent with friends!

When was the last time that you had lunch with the girls? Call a friend ....do lunch! You go girl!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waiting

It's midnight. Do you know where your animals are?

WAITING for Daisy, who's WAITING for Jinx. Daisy let out the bark...the "let me out to get Jinx" bark. One woof. One abbreviated woof. That's it. She's out.

It's a lovely mild night. That's why we're still WAITING for Jinx.

Daisy's sitting quietly outside. WAITING. WAITING. WAITING.

Then I hear the call of the wild. One abbreviated woof. That's when it's time for me to jump. They're WAITING. Looking. LOOKING! I can see Jinx's white teeth in the dark. Now they're ready. Phew! I'm tired. I opened the door and they trotted in side by side. Jinx got his midnight snack. Daisy is looking at me. LOOKING at me. She's WAITING for me.

WAIT a minute. She's tiptoe(paw)ing up the stairs. Hey! WAIT a minute. WAIT for me! Now Fitzy is snoring.

I'm finally going upstairs too. It's taken so long to round up the critters that Biff will probably be snoring too.

"Mom, Where's My Jersey?"

All moms know that tone....the tone of voice used by our children when they call out our name. That name may be THE most important job title in the world, "MOM" but when it precedes the word/s "where are my..." or "have you seen..", it's usually an indication that we have our work cut out for us.

It all started last night just as I settled into my favorite comfy chair with my cup of tea. Ahhhhhh.

In an instant, my ahhhh was interrupted by that tone with my title. It was as if I heard the siren of the emergency broadcast system on television.

That's when the mania began! After an exhausting search with much re-tracing T.J.'s steps and sidesteps, we turned up with nothing. NO lacrosse jersey for today's game. Clean laundry stacks. No.
Washing machine. No.
Dryer. No.
Lacrosse Duffle. No.
Car. No.
Under bed. No.
Closet. No.
on and on and not kidding...on.

Nothing. Every. Single. Place. We. Checked. Nothing. Nowhere. No how.

Before T.J. left for school this morning, I heard that tone with my title. If T.J. didn't have his Jersey by this afternoon's game, the coach wouldn't let him play. Talk about pressure.

I hunted some more. Biff too. I hunted and raced against the clock. Nothing. Zero. Zip. I got a phone call. Later, a text. Urgent. From T.J. Where is it?

I talked to another team player's mom. We brainstormed. She gave me more intuitive mom suggestions. Nothing. I kept looking as we spoke. Then, I screamed...I FOUND IT! HERE IT IS! I scared my friend. We hung up our phones. I called T.J. , left a message on his cell and texted him with the news.

I flew out the door with his jersey and drove off to the game, miles away. My phone rang. I kept driving. It rang again. I drove on. My curiosity made me pull over. There was a text from T.J....Don't bring my jersey. What? WHAT?

Just then, Biff called. He told me that T.J.didn't want me to bring the shirt. T.J. told Biff that moms shouldn't be bringing kids' equipment etc. for them . It's high school. Kids have to take responsibility for their own stuff!

Ironic. I met. Biff at the away game. Our son had to sit out on the sidelines today...while his jersey sat in the car.

Love Is In The Air

or in the woods...at the beach...by the side of the road...in the driveway ...we have love to give and we're blessed to have people who love us....it's always a good thing to have little reminders.

Just A Moment

Sometimes it's all we need...a mom moment. I had to take a few minutes to rest...it wasn't passing out, I swear! I just had a little sugar crash.

Maybe it was after the Hershey's kisses...someone must have added some to the candy dish when i wasn't looking..really. I was really trying to control.it. A sugar hangover? No way...not me....I don't have a problem.

Sure I had a little too much. OK..maybe it's true. Maybe I just had too much. Maybe I just had one too many...I wasn't even sloppy. My words weren't slurring. No stumbling. No one told me I made a fool of myself. Phew! They didn't notice the strings from the wrappers or the foil. I didn't even consider driving.

I don't do it during the day. I don't sneak around. It's all out for everyone to share. I can't help it if no one else dipped into the stash. It all happened so fast...

Thats it....that was my last one. I'm never doing that again...I never want to feel like this again. I never want to feel out of control. Oh no! The kids noticed all of the tin foil wrappers in the garbage. They know. Kids always know. That's the worst...now they'll be rolling their eyes behind my back...not the regular teenage eye rolling...the kind they do because they're ashamed to see their mom like that...especially in front of friends or some family...again.

That's it. No more sugar hangovers. Maybe I hit bottom. maybe I just got tired of being sick and tired. I've been living in denial. I have to change.....if I can't do it for myself...I have to do it for them.

A new day. I can begin today. Just say no. Maybe I'll be a good example! Maybe they'll see that I can still have lots of fun without a candy dish in my hand! I'm doing it...one day at a time!

They have meetings everywhere.There must be one listed in the phonebook. What if people recognize me at a meeting...wait...if they're at a meeting too, that must mean they understand how hard it is to stop. oh thank goodness I'm not alone! It's all good!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. AMEN!

One Day at a Time....

There's hope for all...one day at a time!

One Hershey's kiss at a time!
One....cigarette....
one...glass of wine...
one beer....
one .......anything.....

To thine own self be true!

Dedicated to so many family and friends who have shared so honestly about their challenges and gifts and joys...in recovery...sobriety...and showing others, by example, how much better life is today.

Also dedicated to my friends and family ....who have not yet realized how much pain, shame and sadness they've caused their families and friends or coworkers. To those who are struggling with their own truth ... we love them and pray for them always...to be freed from the anguish they live with each day.

And to the many friends and family who just couldn't do it...one day at a time. We love them so much...and they loved us...

Another Red

Monday, April 25, 2011

Buds

Yes. It's true. Buds and bits of greens are just beginning to pop. Spring has been teasing us...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eco-friendly Easter Baskets


After all of our Easter Bunny visits over the years, I gave up buying new Easter baskets...I'm doing reduce/ re-use/recycle this year! Even the Easter Bunny brings too much STUFF! Easter baskets were from the family room...for organizing STUFF! How nice it will be to put them back where they belong....you know how organized we are....I hope I remember where they came from

Speaking of organization....I prepared the Easter baskets last week. I had bought all of the goodies except the coveted chocolate bunnies...hollow. I was waiting to find the family favorite. Waiting. I had to keep all of the goodies on a high shelf in the garage...unlike the old days...pre-Fitzy!

You know the rest of the story...no bunnies. UNTIL this afternoon...CVS was open...everything Easter on sale!!! YES! We had just been rollerblading at the beach...at least we had some exercise before the chocolate bunnies!

Morning Moments


When Jinx is feeling the love, he jumps up on our back and shoulders. It's something he's always done. Animals bring life to our home...the only one missing this morning was a real live Easter Bunny!

Side By Side

Golden Morning

Really Sweet

Love Them

Happy Easter!

Hugs and kisses on Easter morning! This morning was quiet and peaceful outside with my coffee....and the menagerie. Daisy, Fitz and I were soaking up some sunshine, Jinx joined the coffee klatch. Looking at all of the buds and new life was very moving on Easter Sunday. Rebirth. The gift of life. Precious life!
I realized the animals were living in their own world...very peacefully.A beautifully symbiotic world!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Family Photos

I just stumbled upon my grandmother's scrapbook. I wish that the photographs could speak to me. This picture seems to be the family picking blueberries. What lovely family times they had. I recognize some of of grandma's family..brothers, sisters and friends. I wish I could ask my grandma and my mom about their lives...day to day life, special travels, events and friends. If you're blessed enough to have family still with you, ask now...everything you've wondered about. Ask now...you'll be happy you did.

Eggs and Bunnies and Memories



Decorating Easter eggs is one of my favorite memories of Easter. We have had so much fun over the years. Even though Grace and T.J. are older now, we still have fun decorating the eggs. We like to get the  traditional Paas Egg Decorating kit and lose the stickers enclosed.  The whole family joins in and we come up with some crazy eggs....
Tie dye eggs...You could have guessed that!  
Stripes. 
Monogrammed, using a crayon first so the dye won't take on the wax.
Polka dots
Rasta colors

No matter how crazy the eggs get, it's fun for us all to be together with a common goal. Creativity creates peace in our home. Everyone has style.

My mom loved to dye Easter eggs when she visited for Easter. I think of her whenever I see the Paas Easter Egg Kit. She loved it. Her preference was solid pastels. After they were colored, she got her bunnies in a row and put the eggs in all of her crystal candlesticks. Mom loved decorating for the seasons....at Easter, I'm thinking pink candles.I'm happy that our memories are sweet.

Mom loved to come with Easter Baskets for the kids. She loved to watch them hunt for eggs and jellybeans She was delighted to see them dressed in their Easter finest. Going to church with them added a new dimension to prayer. Easter Baskets, eggs, bunnies and enthusiasm. That's how I think of mom at Easter.



What Easter Bonnet Will You Be Wearing?

As the song goes......

Never saw you look quite so pretty before
Never saw you dressed quite so lovely what's more
I could hardly wait to keep our date this lovely Easter morning
And my heart beat fast as I came through the door
For

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade

I'll be all in clover and when they look you over
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade

On the Avenue
Fifth Avenue
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're
In the rotogravure

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter parade








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Generic Easter Families


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    I did.  I used the loud voice. The desperate mother voice.
     
    We stand on the sidelines. Parents. Moms and dads. We all have someone we love playing out on the field. We all  love and care deeply for each of our children. We stand watching our team...through the good, the bad and the ugly. Players in the game, players on the sidelines, on the field...defense, offense, goalies, middies.... penalties, players down, time outs, goals, missed goals. 
     
    As we stand on the sidelines, we all have one thing in common....we love our boys and we want them to play their best and win the game. Each of us knows how much they have invested in the game...the practices, the training, the years of dedication.  We also know our own boy. We know how desperately they want to win. We know that this has been a tough year for these guys. They have new players, a new coach  and they've had disappointments. They keep working. The team plays well. Sadly, we have seen their opponents play better...or luckier...or.....
     
    So, on the sidelines, we want them to win...not just for the win but for the spirit of each boy who works so hard. We know our boy. We know how hard he will take it if the team doesn't win. We know what happens on the ride home...the disappointment of his own plays, disappointment of the team, feeling bad that the team has disappointed the coach....overall misery for all.
     
    We know our boys. We feel their pain. They are big guys now....taller, stronger, tougher. They play hard. They do their best. To us, they are still our little guys. They may have deeper voices. They may have bigger, smellier feet. They may get sweatier. The may yell louder. Their lacrosse sticks are longer. But, they are our boys. We know them better than anyone. We know their ups, their downs and their in betweens. We remember how they played as toddlers, we remember their time-outs and we remember their tantrums. We see all of this as they play on the field. We see it in their faces when they get a penalty and when they miss a goal..We know that they still like peanut butter and jelly, only on whole wheat.

    Moms and dads care. Moms and dads get excited as we watch the games. Some may shout out plays or yell to the ref. while others, like me, cheer for our team. I call out their names! I shout out the name of  the team! The other moms and dads do the same. Sometimes I  do my loudest whistle. I yell DEFENSE! YOU GOT IT! YOU CAN DO IT!  and more. So do the other moms. We stomp our feet on the grass. We turn away. We shout some more. 

    Almost every one of us have heard those words...before the game, during the game or after the game. We may even hear our kids beg of us in their sleep. Their view of their world. T.J. can only hear my voice out on the field. Mike's mom only hears her voice. Grace heard only one thing at her last game...it was when I called her name for another player....same uniform...same ponytail...same pink goggles and a random happy color stick. No matter where, when or how....they do not want to be different. They want to fit it.. They do not want embarrassment. It's all about them. Life. Their life. The way they see it. The teenage struggle.throughout time. They think it is only their struggle.
     
    Still on the sidelines, we talk about our families.We compare our kids stories from school. We laugh. We see them miss a goal and we cringe. We root some more and try to will their ball into the net. We scream. We pout. We talk amongst ourselves. We talk about our boys. We talk about school. We compare stories. We talk about the royal wedding. 
     
    Parents on the sidelines....it's a connection like no other. We know the boys play on the same team. We know they are friendly We have known many of them for years...if only at the sidelines and Stop and Shop or a second grade field trip to the farm. We know how they play. We know where they live. We know their siblings. We know there will always be superstars. We know there will be kids who struggle. We know there are some who do it because there older brothers or sisters play.We know the parents who live through their kids. We know there are players who give it their all. We know which players lose their temper.We know which players hog the ball.

    T.J was on his way  back out to the field. He ran towards our gaggle of parents who had been cheering our hearts out. He ran towards me..I smiled the smile of a proud mom...I wanted to give him support....by giving him that motherly nod of approval. .He continued towards me like a football player en route to a touchdown....he had his helmet on...he had his mouthpiece in....he had his stick in his hands... like a weapon? He looked fierce!
     
    No, he looked fiercely at me....he spewed through his mouthpiece, "DO NOT CHEER! STOP".....and he was gone. Out on the field. In the game..Did I mention that he had eye black on his cheeks.... that somehow it looked like war paint?
     
    We continued our chatter on the sidelines. We laughed at our teenagers'  rules. They really believe that we should listen to their rules. We call out the wrong names. We cheer at the wrong time.We cheer too loud. We take pictures. We call out the name of the town when we should call out the name of the school. We don't know the game.We just don't get it. I continued cheering. I stopped the whistles. I still cheered. The other moms and I felt as superstitious. Just like players in the big league....and our boys have superstitions.... .we thought when we cheered they got the goals. Maybe? Either way, we know they need us.
     


    Friday, April 22, 2011

    One More Time

    Grace's masterpiece for Earth Day. Thanks to Starbucks, I had a free Earth Day coffee because I brought in my travel mug.

    I guess I should thank my Cake Boss for this groovy cake. Oh wait. Grace and T.J don't like when I use that word. Groovy. Groovy. Groovy. Groovy. Groovy. Groovy. Nee-ner-nee-ner- nee-ner!