Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Should Auld Acquaintance..........

To leave the old with a burst of song;
To recall the right and forgive the wrong;
To forget the things that bind you fast
To the vain regret of the year that's past.
To have the strength to let go your hold
Of the not worthwhile of the days grown old.
To dare go forth with a purpose true
To the unknown tasks of the year that's new.
To help your brother along the road,
To help when needed and lift his load.
To add your gift to the world's good cheer
Is to have and wish a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

If New Year's Eve...

is only 2 days away, could baseball season be far behind?
Well, yes, I guess it is still a way off, but it's still on my mind.
For the last 2 years, the LSH & I have gone to Mets Spring Training. I already was pretty much decided that we would skip it this year, maybe make it an every other year thing. If I had any doubts about my decision, the powers that be of the WBC, World Baseball Classic, have helped me feel good about my decision.
Why in the world is it held during our Spring Training? As of right now, only one Met, my boy, David Wright, is officially playing. Now, I'm sure DW is thrilled to have the chance to wear the Team USA jersey and play for his country and I'm happy for him. However, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Pedro Feliciano have made it known that they want to play for Puerto Rico, Johann Santana and Francisco Rodriguez want to play for Venezuela and Jose Reyes for the Dominican Republic and if any of those countries doesn't invite them, they are plain crazy. That means the Mets will be without 2 starting pitchers (including their ace), one reliever, the first and third basemen and the shortstop for at least part, if not all, of spring training.
The Mets are probably going to tell Santana to sit this one out, as he's rehabbing from surgery. But I'm really surprised that nothing was said to David. Is it really worth taking the chance of injury to play in this competition? David is an all-out competitor and I don't expect him to really rein it in here. I'll be holding my breath every time he takes the field.
On another note...One of my co-workers and fellow Mets fan, learned that the NJ Sportswriter's Association is holding an awards ceremony at the end of next month to honor some professional athletes who are either from NJ or play for a NJ area (that includes NY :) team. It just so happens that my boy, David, is being presented with the Sports Humanitarian of the Year award due to his dedication and charitable efforts through the David Wright Foundation. Anyway, the banquet hall it's being held at isn't very far from us (in fact, my wedding reception for my first marriage was there!) and the price isn't too bad as these things go. So we've been trying to get a group together to go. Now, this is just the type of thing that falls into my "Que Sera Sera" beliefs (see post from Dec 28). If you have ever tried to get a group together to do ANYTHING, you know exactly how it goes. When the plan is first mentioned, EVERYBODY is enthusiastic and climbs right on board....until the time comes to "show me the money." And then, the group starts falling apart like the Jets 2008 season (alright, I know some of you are thinking I could have said the METS season, but, hey, get your own blog!) So, as we understand that tables will be assigned, we made the deadline for payment tomorrow. So, we shall see tomorrow who will be joining us for some witty repartee and lots of laughs. I know the LSH has promised to escort me, no matter what happens. Thanks, sweetie. You're the best!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunrise - Sunset Meme

Just found this great site to share your sunrise/sunset photos. Here's my contribution - a couple of sunsets I took during our recent Caribbean cruise:

Que Sera, Sera

My brother called us on Christmas Eve Eve to wish us a Merry Christmas; we're seeing my family this Saturday. I don't remember why this came up but, suddenly he asks "You ARE having your party Memorial Day weekend?" Now, he & Joan have a lot of friends, but I didn't think their social calendar booked up so quickly. I let him know that it was WAY too early for me to even think about it.
I tend to live my life following the mantra of AA - One day at a time. Thinking much beyond tomorrow just doesn't work well for me; it usually just stresses me out. It doesn't matter whether the future holds something to look forward to, like a vacation or something not so great, like a colonoscopy.
Bobby Burns said "The best laid schemes o' mice an men, gang aft agley," or, if you're not from Scotland "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." Another interpretation is "When man makes plans, God laughs." Now, I admit, most of the plans I've made throughout my life have gone off as planned. But I've learned to try not to stress about things beyond my control. So, if I must make plans, I'll do it and move on.
The pretty lady above (10 points if you remember her; you'll also be giving your approximate age away) sang a song "Que Sera Sera" which pretty much sums up my outlook on life:

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

And, yes, Tom, we will probably have our annual Memorial Day party this year (God willing).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quick Rant

Stopped at the local grocery today to pick up a few things and what do I see? The aisle that just 2 days ago was filled with Christmas stuff is now filled with.............


Belated Christmas Wishes!

Wanted to leave a brief "Merry Christmas" here on Wed, but I wound up coming home from work early and going straight to bed. One of my little chronic ailments decided to rear its ugly head on Christmas Eve.
Gratefully, I woke up feeling much better Christmas morning.
The LSH gave me a Zune. I know I'm a little late coming to the party on these things, but here I am. I had no idea these things do so much. I'm going to have to have one of my young nieces come over and show me what to do.
We do a secret Santa with all the adults in Mike's family. Names are drawn on Thanksgiving. You can either go in as a individual or as a couple; Mike & I always do the couple thing. Then the sis-in-law who oversees all this asks everyone to send her their wishlist and she will get it to their Secret Santa.
Mike & I didn't submit a wishlist, so a few days before Christmas, our Secret Santa called desperately looking for some idea of what she should get us. Mike was on the phone with her and he's asking me what we want; I shrugged my shoulders because I really couldn't think of anything. I finally said to tell her to take whatever she was going to spend and donate it to one of our favorite charities.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm as materialistic as any red-blooded American. But, the things I would have on my wishlist, my Secret Santa couldn't afford. For instance,

- a new car (with no car payments). My car is almost 8 years old. I love my car (dubbed the "Putt-Putt" by the LSH) and it's been very reliable so far, but it's showing its age (much like its owner). We've been trying to only have one car payment at a time. So we have about 2 1/2 more years left on Mike's car; once his is paid off, then it's my turn. So far, this plan has worked. Hope it continues.
- a new, larger house (with no mortgage payments). Again, we are very fortunate that we own (along with the bank) our own home. It's small, but big enough for the LSH, the dog and me. But it's old. Over the years, previous owners have changed and updated it, so it's actually kind of cute. It's a very casual house. Being as we live at The Shore, we have a beach theme pretty much throughout.
So now I'm going to sound very greedy, but I've never had a brand new house. So, if I were to make a true wishlist, a new house (preferably with a wrap-around porch) would be on it.

So, you can see I am not altruistic at all. I just thought donating to a charity would be better than just going out and buying something for the sake of buying. As it turned out, Secret Santa went to the charity's website to donate and they've taken down the area where you used to be able to donate online. I don't quite understand why. So, she got us a gift card for the restaurant where we were married.
That was thoughtful and we will definitely be using it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's To The Ladies Who Lunch

This time of year sometimes makes me melancholy, remembering old friends and the good times we had. I have a few friends I've been friends with since kindergarten and grammar school. In fact, I still see the girl who taught me how to tie my shoes in kindergarten. But the friends I've been thinking of are the ones who played a part in my life for awhile, a few years maybe and then, for whatever reason, drifted away.
You never know when or where you're going to make a friend, in school, moving to a new city/neighborhood, or at work. I've been at the company I work for for 5 years. There are about 150-200 people at this location. I know most of them, but only a few I would describe as friends. A few I've become friends with simply because we usually have lunch around the same time and just started sitting together. We're a diverse, little group - various ages, backgrounds, religions, and interests. I was writing out Christmas cards to them this past weekend and got an idea to write a little poem about us.

The Lunch Bunch

Monday-Friday ‘round 1PM
Six ladies gather
And I’m one of them.

As you can figure, it’s time for lunch.
That’s why I call them
The (Company) Lunch Bunch.

There’s Rita
Who always has needles in hand
You should see gifts she knits,
They’re really quite grand.

Then there’s Henny
Who joins in the talk
But it’s usually after
She goes for her walk.

Camille is another
Who sits at our table.
Sometimes she can’t make it
But comes if she’s able.

Kathleen’s into gardens
It’s her earthly delight.
She’s also an expert
On Frank Lloyd Wright.

Blonde, blue-eyed Karen
Has a reputation for fun,
She adores the man in her life
James, her lovable son.

A bit about me.
Winter’s tough for a reason,
I’m not really happy
‘til it’s baseball season.

So that’s a glimpse
Of the (Company) Lunch Bunch.
If you’re free around one,
Come join us for lunch.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

As Luck Would Have It......

I gave myself a surprise Christmas gift yesterday.
I was going crazy yesterday looking for something. I never did find what I was looking for, but I came upon a giftcard for a wonderful spa in the area. The card had no date or amount on it, so I called them. It turned out the card had expired 2 days earlier, but they extended for me until 6/09. Now that's a business that understands good customer service.
So now I can finally confess to my father-in-law that I never got to use it because I misplaced it. He had asked me what I had spent it on and I told him I had a wonderful massage; I hated to fib (alright, lie), but I didn't want to let him know he wasted $100 on me because of my own carelessness.
So, thanks, Pop. Your Christmas gift from 2 years ago, is still bringing pleasure!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Very Random Thoughts

* If the rock group, Styx, opened for the Rolling Stones, they could call it "The Styx & Stones Tour."
* Speaking of Styx, one of my favorite songs of theirs was "Babe" until I recently heard someone on the radio talking about it and now, when I hear it, the first image that pops into my mind is a talking pig.
* When I'm copied on an email at work, please, if you're just responding to the sender to say thank you, don't hit the stupid "Reply to All" button! I get enough useless email at work as it is. When I got back from my week's vacation a few weeks ago, I had, no lie, 765 emails. Before I opened any, I read the subject lines and was able to delete enough to bring the total I had to open to 234.
* If I weren't married, I wouldn't be able to wear most of my necklaces and bracelets, as well as any dress I own with a zipper in the back.
* How come, if someone has birthday balloons in their cubicle at work, there's always at least one person who asks "So,is it your birthday?"
* Why did it take so long for OJ Simpson to go to jail?
* How come men, as long as they know their size, never have to be concerned if something will fit and the clothes in my closet have a range of 4 sizes and all of them fit?
* Flying home from our cruise a few weeks ago and listening to the flight attendant explain what to do if an emergency arises, I thought "why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?"
* And finally,if a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pamper Yourself

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got a bit carried away in the spa on the cruise.
I bought some of the products they used on me. I particularly love this. The minute I open the bottle and get a whiff, I'm instantly transported back to the islands. Great to use on your feet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Timing Is Everything

At least, that's what some people say. Unfortunately, my timing was a bit off last night when I posted my rants about the Mets ticket program. Right after I sent it, I heard on the 11PM news that Fred Wilpon, the owner of the Mets, was one of the victims of scam artist extraordinaire, Bernard Madoff, who swindled what looks like could be billions of dollars from investors, some of which were non-profit charities.
It was mentioned on the news that Mr. Wilpon had already been asked if he would have to sell the Mets, to which he, at least at this point, emphatically said no.
I'm still not happy about the ticket plans; but, when you put it in perspective, it's not really a big deal.
I need to learn that when I get riled up about something, I should, if possible, let 24 hours pass and then revisit it. Usually things don't look so bad then.
One thing I won't change my mind about - I hope Madoff goes to prison for whatever life he has left and then, rots in hell!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Will I See Citifield This Year??

I thought I had gotten over this last month, but a conversation at work today brought my disappointment back and I need to vent my anger and disappointment with the Mets organization and the 2009 ticket plans. If you're not an avid baseball fan, you may as well skip this post because there is no way you will understand the way a long time fan feels.
The only partial plans being offered for the 09 season are 40 games and 15 games. Prior to the plans being announced, we were considering a Sunday plan. However, the "Sunday" plan is just 10 Sunday games and 5 WEEKDAY games. Hey, I wanted a weekend plan because I (like alot of other fans) work during the week. What am I going to do with weekday games? The best you can do is try to sell them, but then, the onus falls on you to try and unload them and recover some of your expense. On top of this, no playoff tickets guarantee; not even a pre-sale password. Post season rights are the main reason to pay for all these games anyway, otherwise there is no point in renewing as you can just pick the number and dates of the games convenient for you, not picked by them.
From reading various Mets online sites and speaking with many fans, there are a lot of very unhappy fans. I know a few couples who have been either season or partial ticket holders for over 10 years who are passing this year. As it is, the new stadium has over 10,000 less seats than Shea to make room for more deluxe boxes for corporations and the well-heeled. These tkt plans were developed when the business economy was still pretty good; we can only hope that they have a problem selling
the pkgs. and put together some better offerings. Hell, they'll be lucky if Citibank doesn't sell their naming rights to the stadium before it even opens to recoup some of their mortgage/investment losses.
I wonder what the cost would be to take the Citifield name off of everything and start from scratch re-marketing the whole thing?
Can you tell I'm just a wee bit bitter?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bah! Humbug!

I started and almost finished my Christmas shopping today. I've just counted and I was in 11 different stores today and bought something in each one. In not ONE of these stores, was I wished "Happy Holidays", let alone "Merry Christmas". Did I miss something? Was there a universal decision by all the retailers to direct their employees to not acknowledge the season this year? I remember last year, there was a definite backlash against saying "Happy Holidays" and many people greeted others with "Merry Christmas". I have non-Christian friends and none of them get offended if they're greeted with a Merry Christmas.
I know the retailers are hurting this year, just as most of us are. But does that mean their employees have to stop acknowledging the season?

On another note, I arrived at a children's store at 6PM and one of the salesgirls was locking the door. I couldn't believe it. 10 days before Christmas and you're closing at 6PM? Retailers are supposedly hurting big time and you're turning customers away?

I was in a Hallmark store, buying Christmas cards (of course). For years at this time of year, I have seen these cards that say "To My Secret Pal". Can anybody explain to me what that's about? Who are these secret pals? Could I have one and not know about them because it's a secret?
Another sign of the times, I noticed cards that said "Merry Christmas To My Mother (or Father) and Your Significant Other." I guess that's better than saying "and to your live-in lover, concubine, or gold-digging girlfriend."


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Come Sail Away

Here's a few pix from our cruise:

Cozumel. That's our ship, the Pearl, in the background.

Sunset taken from our cabin balcony.

This is the pool area at night.

Therapy pool in the spa, where I indulged myself often and spent too much money!

This is the amazing way you can play Wii. The screen is 2 stories tall! Note the size of the people playing.

We bowled a couple of games on board. (No, I'm not telling you what I scored!)

This is our cabin.
Not really. It's part of one of the clubs on board called Bliss. Here are a few more pix from there:

That's my LSH tackling the rock-climbing wall. He succeeded making it to the top of the most difficult wall. My hero!

One of the kids'pools.

Pool area with bandstand. I can just hear the island music as I sip another pina colada. Ah!

My sentiments exactly (at least during that week.)

Family pool. They also have an adults' only pool which I loved, along with 4 hot tubs poolside.

Here we are parasailing. This was my second time, but it was just as thrilling as the first time.

Part of the sports deck.

These anti-bacterial soap dispensers are found ALL over the ship. The cruise lines are desperately afraid of passengers catching any germs that could be contagious. Passengers are instructed that if they come down with anything while on board to stay in their cabin and report it to the doctor. There are also crew standing in various places around the ship with spray bottles of soap. You cannot enter any restaurant until the maitre'd sees you wash your hands. I have to admit, at my first day back to work when I stepped off the elevator, I had my hands extended waiting for someone to give me a spritz!

And finally, I'll close with the first thing I look for upon arrival to any warm weather climates:

We're already saving our pennies for our next cruise!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Dolphin Experience

I can cross another thing off my "Bucket List"; We got to swim with the dolphins in Cozumel. I had booked this a few months ago and while we were waiting for our transportation, I said to the LSH "There's something I didn't mention about this Dolphin encounter. It's actually swimming with the MIAMI dolphins." Well, I thought it was funny.
This experience was better than I even imagined. This was more than just standing in 3 feet of water and petting them. The dolphin master taught us some signs and we would swim out individually and give a sign and she (our dolphin's name was Eva) would follow. For instance, she would swim behind you, turn and, when she got in front of you, she would roll over on her belly and you would grab her two fins and she would pull you in to shore. My favorite was the boogie board. You swim out on a boogie board, straighten your legs and flex your feet; she comes up behind and pushes you into shore. And these dolphins are fast! I actually was hydroplaning on the board. They are such beautiful, intelligent creatures. This video will give you an idea of what it was like.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm A Believer

I was going to blog about some of our experiences on the cruise, but I'm putting that
off for another day.
Did you ever have a dream that was so real that, for the first few moments you're awake, you think it really happened? I had one last night.
A little background. My mother passed away 39 years ago when I was a young girl. She had cancer and had been suffering from it for 7 years. With all her hospital stays, surgeries and treatments, it was hard for her to be the mom she wanted to be. This is something I only came to realize as I got older.
Well, in last night's dream, she "appeared" to me. I've forgotten parts of the dream, but I remember being in a room and feeling a presence. I asked "who's there" and got no verbal answer. Then I asked if it was my mom and if it was, pick up a shoe that was on the floor. The shoe lifted off the floor and hung in the air, so I knew it was my mom. I was, obviously, very emotional. Somehow, my mom, although I couldn't hear her speak, was able to convey that every year, at Christmas time, God selects certain souls to return to earth to be with their loved ones and that, finally, she got the call. But she would only be here until Christmas. I remember being so excited and couldn't wait to share my life with her.
Then I woke up and, in a few seconds, realized it was a dream. But, maybe it wasn't?
For the next couple of weeks until Christmas, I'm going to believe that my mom is right here beside me and share some of the things that have happened in my life, particularly the times I wished she had been there.
What a great Christmas season this is going to be!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back To Reality (& Winter)

You know, sometimes you return from a trip and say "It was a great vacation, but it's good to be home." Well, you're not hearing that sentence from me. Other than being happy to see my dog, I'm not really happy to be home.
We returned from our cruise last night to bitter cold and a dusting of snow on the ground, bringing us back to the real world rather abruptly.
But we had a WONDERFUL time. The NCL Pearl
is a fabulous ship. It has made me a fan of cruising again. This was probably the most relaxing vacation I've ever had. Not that we didn't do things - we went parasailing, swam with the dolphins, gambled in the casino, went to the shows, went bowling (yes, there are 4 alleys on the ship).
There are 12 restaurants; we had dinner in five of them (we went to the Italian place & the steakhouse twice). They were all wonderful; you wouldn't know you were on a ship
unless you glanced out a window.
The ports were in Honduras and Belize, Cozumel and the cruiseline's private island. But, this was the first cruise I've experienced where I really just wanted to stay on the ship and chill.
There's so much to tell and I'll be blogging more about the cruise as the week progresses.
Meanwhile, it's back to work tomorrow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bon Voyage - Hopefully??

Last night I was filling out the pre-registration online that the cruise asks for and asked the LSH for his passport#. He retrieves his passport and notices that it expired over a year ago. They used to accept expired passports as proof of citizenship, but no more. The other acceptable proof is a birth certificate issued by the state. His birth certificate was issued by the Board of Health of the city he was born in.
Called the cruise line's "customer service" this AM and the girl was pretty much clueless. Her reply was "MAYBE his birth certificate would be okay, but if it isn't too much of a hassle, MAYBE he should get a state issued one. Oh, and bring your expired passport too. MAYBE that will help."
So, right now, the LSH is on his way to Trenton to hopefully get the birth certificate. Thank you, Governor Corzine, for making the state employees work today. However, I called the dept that issues BCs and no one answered. Just praying that someone is there to help.
So, if you don't hear from me for the next week, that means everything worked out.

MEN. You can't live with them; you can't kill them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I'll see you when I return from vacation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Age Is Just A Number (Yeah, Right)

One thing I know for sure, whoever said "Age is just a number" was under 30. (Actually, it's a quote from Bernard Baruch and I think he was over 30 when he said it. But, for my purposes, we'll ignore that fact right now). I used to say this all the time and, for the most part, it worked. Until recently, when my body responded "Ya wanna bet?" and started reminding me every day just how old me and my body really are.
And I'm quite surprised how this aging process is affecting me. Let's just say, I'm not aging gracefully.
And the reminders that I'm older are everywhere. The first time I was called "m'aam" (by a cashier at the supermarket), I honestly thought she was joking. But, looking at her, I realized I AM a m'aam to her.
Yesterday, I had an appointment and was waiting in the outer room and picked up a People magazine, which at one time, was my bible, and I realized that I didn't know most of the people in the magazine. (It also made me think, why are some of these people famous? When did just showing up make you famous? Paris H, Perez H, Sheila Tequila? Nicole Ritchie (at least I know who her father is).
What scares me even more is that I'm sounding more & more like my parents sounded when I was young.
Over the summer, I was grocery shopping and passed two young teen boys packing out the shelf. One boy told the other that he really was getting into Joe Cocker. Well, I was flabbergasted. How did this kid get into one of the music icons of MY generation? The other boy asked him who Joe Cocker was. The boy's answer???
He's the guy who sings the theme song on "The Wonder Years." Ouch.
Watching American Idol last season which, believe it or not, was the first season I had ever watched it, they did a couple of weeks singing Beatles songs. I was totally amazed how most of them weren't familiar with any of the songs.
Do you know what baby boomers are? They're the generation that grew old, but never grew up. And, I guess that pretty much sums up the way I feel.
So, let me end with a little Maxine philosophy:

Ladies, don't think of it as a hot flash, think of it as a


Monday, November 24, 2008

What A Doll

On my way home from work tonight, I stopped by Toys R Us. Not a store I spend much time in normally, so I took some time to browse. I was immediately drawn to the huge Barbie section.
I loved my Barbie. I had a black patent leather carrying case that held my Barbie and many of her outfits, so I could take her with me everywhere. I can't imagine the number of hours I spent, alone and with girlfriends, playing with her.
At that time, there was only one Barbie and you could buy all different costumes for her. Now I see, you have to buy a whole new Barbie. And what is going on? All the Barbies I saw (and there were plenty) had names like "Rock & Roll Barbie", "Princess Barbie" "Model Barbie" "Beach Barbie," anyway, I think you catch my drift. What happened to the "Career Barbie" or "Teacher Barbie" or "Doctor Barbie?" Hell, even the 2 Ken dolls I saw were "Rock Star Ken" and "Beach Bum Ken" (my description). It looks like Barbie and Ken have decided to go on the dole and spend the rest of their lives partying. I did see a "Barbie For President" doll, but she was wearing a skimpy red, white and blue outfit, just what you expect the first woman president to wear. I checked out a few Barbie websites to see all the different Barbies. The one that freaked me out the most was "Medusa Barbie."
Some of the Barbies released this year are "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie," "Juicy Couture Barbie" and the aboved mentioned Medusa. I understand a lot of these dolls are made for collectors and not really for kids to play with.
It seems that the "working for a living" Barbies are "vintage", which in Barbie World is pre-1980. There you can find Barbie as nurse, astronaut, student teacher, an AA stewardess.
After I finished Barbie World, I went into the next aisle and what did I find there (again in the girls' section) play pots & pans, vacuums, kitchen appliances, brooms, again, I'm sure you know where I'm coming from. I really thought a lot of this stereotyping had disappeared, but I'm very wrong. Of course, the boys' sections were filled with trucks, dinosaurs and army men. It reminded me of a commercial when I was quite young. It was for a toy dashboard with steering wheel and front window with working wipers; not even a full car. It was marketed for boys and I remember telling my mom I wanted one, but she explained it wasn't a toy for girls. I remember thinking that the boys get all the good toys.
Anyway, if there are any Barbie fans out there who want to set me straight, please do. I'd like to think that Barbie can be beautiful, fun, have lots of friends and also can show little girls that they can also be smart.
PS I HAD to use the Lucy/Ethel Barbies on top. Now there's an example of 2 bright, funny successful women!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dog Daze

I realized, just recently, that I have had at least one dog living with me for over 25 years! When I was a little girl, I always wanted an Old English Sheepdog, but my parents said that they were too big and too much work. So, when I left home to make my way in the world, one of the first things I acquired was my first OES, Patrick. We had 14 1/2 fun, goofy years. About 6 months before he passed, I went shopping at the local Petsmart and a shelter that rescued dogs from the pound was there with an array of cats and dogs hoping to be adopted. We had recently returned from Paris and, all around the city, I saw people walking a particular breed of dog that I couldn't identify. I also saw a few of these type dogs prancing down the "Rues" all alone and looking like they owned the city.
Well, imagine my shock when I discovered one of these dogs waiting to be adopted. So besides coming home with the dog food I went to buy, I also brought home a French Briard named Chloe. She was a great, very stubborn, beautiful princess. But I still missed my OES, so a few months later, I brought home a 7 week old OES puppy named Bailey. Chloe was in charge; whatever Chloe did, Bailey did. She actually taught him to relieve himself outside. To this day, he has never lifted his leg on a tree, just squats like the girls. If Chloe didn't feel like eating, Bailey wouldn't eat. He really looked up to her and she treated him like he was her annoying little brother.
Chloe left us on Christmas Eve 2005, so it's just been the B and us for the last 3 years. My boy is getting old; he's 12 !/2 right now and has major problems with his hips. We have mostly wood floors, with a few area rugs, and he can't get up on his own on the bare floors, so we have to give him a boostie. But besides that, he is still a happy-go-lucky sheepdog.
Now my dilemma. Whenever we've gone away, we have always boarded the dogs in a kennel. Friends and family were a bit intimidated by two big dogs. Last time Bailey was boarded (when we went to Spring Training last March), no one was around to help him up when he needed and he got in the habit of urinating while he was laying down. I was concerned that once he got home, he would continue that, but, thank God, he didn't.
But now, we're leaving for our cruise next week and I don't want to put him there again, So this past week, we've been interviewing professional pet sitters. I'm a bit reluctant to give my keys to a stranger and let them have total access to my house.

I didn't get to finish this post last night and, since then, my doggie sitting dilemma has been solved. Our 20 year old niece, Ryan, is going to stay with the boy for the week. She gets to stay here by herself and get a taste of independence and I can relax on my cruise, knowing Bailey is in good hands. A win-win situation.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bon Voyage - Almost!

I've been reading my blogs from this past week and God! Have I been a crabby bitch! So let me move on to something a bit more positive.
The LSH & I are going on a cruise in a few weeks. We've both been on numerous cruises, but never together. He's a big fan of cruising, while my enthusiasm for them has waned through the years. It seemed the larger the ships got, the less I enjoyed them. Sometimes bigger isn't better! Having to choose which dinner seating you wanted, early or late, was, to me, a choice between bad and worse. Early seating (5PM) meant you had to be back to clean up for dinner at 4 and have your dinner rushed so they could get you out in order to clean up and get the late seating in at 8PM. If you had that seating, you usually missed out on the shows and you're not hungry for the midnight buffet, which normally are spectacular.
The assigned seating never worked for me either. What are the odds that you're going to be compatible with the people that you have been assigned to sit with for the entire cruise? It can become terribly uncomfortable when, after the initial small talk, you realize you have nothing in common and wonder how the hell you're going to sit with these folks through 7 excruciating dinners. Once, my ex and I lucked out and sat with 2 very fun-loving sisters and their husbands. We hung out with them for the entire week and had a great time. But, for me, that was the exception.
Also, as I got older, the less I enjoyed having to bring semi-formal clothing for the Captain's dinner and what-not. I think I've become a simpler person as I've "matured."
Eventually, I found the cruise that worked for me. We went on 2 sailings with Windstar Cruises. I got totally spoiled and thought I would never go on any other cruise line again.
However, situations change, and although the LSH would love to sail the Windstar, it's a bit beyond our pocketbook now. So, knowing how much he wanted to go on a cruise, I did some research and came up with NCL which promises no assigned dinner seatings or companions. Eat when you want, when you want in a number of different restaurants. I've read good and bad reviews of this concept, so we'll just have to find out for ourselves. We're sailing on the Pearl. Among the unique amenities it has are a bowling alley and a WII with a 2 story screen. We were also able to find an itinerary that stopped at places neither one of us has been to - Ports of call: Miami; Roatan; Belize City; Cozumel; Great Stirrup Cay and we splurged and got an outside cabin with a private veranda. We've already booked our shore excursions. I'm particularly looking forward to this one. We're also going to do some parasailing and hopefully, relax, reconnect and forget about the real world for awhile.
I'm glad I decided to post this today. Now I'm psyched again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

Christmas is, as they say, around the corner and I have to be honest, as I've gotten older, I really dread this season. I know I sound like an old humbug, but I just hate what it has become. If I had small children, I know it would be totally different. But here's what it's come to be in my life:
I have a couple of brothers and a niece and nephew on my side. My brothers & I stopped exchanging years ago, when each of my brothers gave each other a gift card for the same restaurant for the same dollar amount. Instead we make sure we get together for a nice dinner during the holiday season. That works just fine for me.
On the other hand, my husband, who is younger than me (yes, I'm a cougar, me & Demi & Goldie & Susan Sarandon). He has 9 brothers and sisters, most of whom are married with 14 kids among them, ranging in age from 3-20. Every Christmas we all get together at one of the sis in laws and every child gets a gift from every aunt/uncle. And every year, I get less and less enjoyment from this. It typically goes like this: the kids can't open the presents until my sis-in-law gives the okay and then it's mayhem. They go plowing thru the gifts looking for the ones with their names on them, ripping one open, taking a quick glance and throwing it down to see what else is there with their name on it. And from all this, we get one thank you card from one of the nieces. I can remember a few years ago, I saw one of my nieces received a Game Boy & I remembered she had gotten one for her birthday a few months earlier. I mentioned that to her and her response was "Yeah, but that was the "old" Game Boy; this is the latest one."
The Christmas after Katrina, I asked the LSH his opinion about suggesting to the family that we take whatever money we normally spend on the nieces/nephews and donate it as a family to the Red Cross. I thought it would be a good lesson for the kids. But he didn't think that suggestion should come from us as we don't have kids.
This year, I contacted the in-laws who I thought would be the most open to a suggestion and asked them what did they think about perhaps just having a Secret Santa for the kids where one family buys for one child or buys a gift for that family. And they were all in for it. However, this group consisted of the sis-in-laws who married into the family. Today was a family get-together and the gift subject came up and we were shot down.
There was a time I enjoyed shopping for Christmas, buying that perfect gift and watching the look on the recipient's face when they opened it. I'm tired of giving gifts simply because I have to.
I'm seriously considering making a donation to a charity in the name of each of the families and be done with it. The LSH is not too thrilled with that idea. But, not to sound corny, but isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

Friday, November 14, 2008


Over the last month or so, due to having day-to-day medical issues, I haven't always looked my best. My issues are chronic. Some days I'm fine, others I'm not. I just never know. But people usually can tell just by looking at me if I'm having a good day or not.
Well, one day this week, I was feeling pretty damn good. I was having a good hair day, took the time to "put on my face" and had on a new outfit that I love, to work. Walking towards my building, I had a little spring in my step, the first time in awhile. You know how it is, when you feel you're looking good, you just exude confidence.
I met a co-worker at the elevator and I said "Good Morning", she acknowledged me also and I saw her do a little double take. I assumed it was because, for a change, I was looking more like my old self. However, what she says is "Are you feeling alright? You just don't look well." Excuse me? This is about as good as it gets! Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. On top of that, later that morning, another co-worker I saw in the hall said pretty much the same thing. And to top it off, the LSH stopped by at lunch and asked me if I was feeling okay.
Ok, I forgive the LSH. He knows about my problems and was just showing concern. But, really, don't tell someone they don't look well if you don't even know if they're ill. Because, you can be pretty certain that if they were okay before, they're definitely not feeling well now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What A Night

I've been sick (again) the last couple of days, so I haven't felt like writing.
But, Wednesday night, I took my aching body and. along with the LSH, caught the train for the 75 minute ride into Penn Station and made our way over to the Hard Rock Cafe to attend the "Do the Wright Thing" Charity Gala for the David Wright Foundation. David Wright, for those not into baseball, is the 25 year old third baseman for the Mets who established his foundation when he first made it to the Bigs at the tender age of 21. He also owns a large piece of the maternal part of my heart.
I am sad to say though, that, basically, the night was a huge disappointment.
Now, I realize that a charity relies on its corporate donors for the bulk of their donations. And, once in awhile, they have to schmooze them and let them have a night hanging out and having pix taken with sports celebrities. But, as far as I'm concerned, they should just have a private event and don't invite me by opening it up to the public and then making me feel like I'm not a part of it.
It reminded me of the old cruise lines, where they had First Class and steerage. At one point, I was trying to find my way back from the ladies' room and got lost. I passed a room with people in it and, thinking that it was the room where I had came from, walked in. I got one foot passed the door and some guy says "Hey, do you belong here?" I had no idea what he meant so I answered "Yes, I believe so." He then informs me that this was for VIPs only. I wanted to say "well, some people who know me think I'm pretty important" but I didn't think of that till later (as usual).
The only time we saw David was for about 15 minutes on stage during the auction. (On a side note, Carolina Bermudez of Z-100 was the hostess and auctioneer. I have never been a big fan of her radio personality, but she kicked butt calling that auction. Kudos to Carolina!
We left immediately after David Cook's performance. Other posts I've read today said that most people left then too. Those that stuck around were hoping that, now that the place had emptied out, that David would come out and mingle for a bit. But, it didn't happen.
Now, I'm not blaming David for any of this. For most of David's young, adult life, he's been a VIP, but I hope he hasn't forgotten what it's like not to be.
I attended another Foundation event about 2 years ago. It was smaller and there was no VIP section and David wasn't surrounded by handlers and security. He mingled with everyone and everyone had a moment with him. I pray he hasn't gotten so "big" that those days are a thing of the past.
But, despite my disappointment, my maternal feelings for the boy are still intact.
I hope they raised a ton of money, which really was the point of the whole evening, and that he keeps up all his good work for charity. I'll still support the Foundation and send a check every now and then when I'm feeling flush.
See you at Citifield.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiffany Blue

I had a wonderful surprise when I got to work this morning. On my desk was the famous Tiffany blue bag. Inside was the famous Tiffany blue box. It seems that, because I'm celebrating my 5th anniversary with my company, they gave me a $250 gift card to Tiffany's. Now, I realize $250 isn't going to get me much (and as the LSH said, it's probably going to cost me more than $250 to get something I like), but it was a great surprise. It reminded me of something I haven't thought of for years.
Many, many moons ago, when my gfs and I were young, swinging singles, we went into Tiffany's to have a look around. I said I just HAD to have something from Tiffany's. I looked around for a saleswoman with a friendly face who hopefully wouldn't look down their nose at poor little me and asked her "What's the least expensive item you sell?" She said with a smile on her face "A silver whistle charm". It cost all of $28. So, I had to get it. Believe me, even that $28 was a splurge for me. She also told me that I sure wasn't the first person to ask that question. In fact, the silver whistle was a huge seller. The sad thing is I have no idea what happened to it. As I said, I hadn't thought of that whistle for years. It would be cool if they still sold it, but I doubt that they do (and, even if they did) I probably couldn't afford it!
When I was searching for a picture of the Tiffany bag online, I came upon this:

Would you believe that's a cake? The description is:"covered in tiffany blue fondant and has indented edges to add more realism to the cake. Inside the bag is white cake with raspberry chambord filling."
I have no idea who these folks are, but I have to give them a shout-out. Looks like they're in Jersey:
Makes me want to get married again just so I can order a cake! If anyone reading this orders a cake from them, make sure you tell them that you read about them here! (Maybe they'll give me a free cake!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What Should I Wear?

That is the age-old question every woman asks themselves any number of times during the year. And the answer to that gets more difficult with each passing year.
When I was a younger version of my self, you could find me in the Juniors department. A bit later, I graduated to "Misses", but still could wear just about anything. However, there comes a time when those clothes aren't quite right anymore. I came to this realization a few years ago in the dressing room of one of my favorite stores. My body had changed, but my fashion mindset hadn't caught up yet and I found myself trying on clothes that, in the day, would have looked great, but, unfortunately, now made me look foolish. Let me explain that I haven't gained a ton of weight; it's just that it redistributed itself around my body (and not to my advantage). It seemed to happen overnight, but I know that wasn't the case.
One of the things that disturbs me is seeing a woman wearing age inappropriate clothes. I worked with a beautiful woman who was definitely trying to hold on to her youth, wearing short, short dresses/skirts, and little, babydoll blouses that did nothing for her and distracted from her pretty face.
Why don't men have this problem? Most department stores divide the women's clothing into 4 areas - juniors, misses, womens and petite. My husband is confused by that. He doesn't understand that he should NEVER buy me anything from the Women's section.
There are some things I won't give up - jeans and t-shirts, to name a couple.
So, time goes on and things don't change. I'm attending a special event this week. Now what should I wear?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Not Worthy

I received a very nice surprise yesterday; I was a recipient of the Superior Scribbler Award! Thanks so much to the sweet Preppy In The City for passing this award on to me. Ohh, now I'm feeling the pressure. Gotta get out my thesaurus and brush up on my grammar!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Link me for giving it to you.
3. Link the originating post here
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients

And now, in no particular order, are my picks for the Superior Scribbler Award (drum roll please):

1. Metsgrrl One Girl. One Team. One City. If you only read one of her posts, check out her post of 9/28. Even if you're not a baseball fan, if you have any heart at all, by the time you finish reading, you'll have tears in your eyes.
2. Metstradamus The Musings & Prophecies of Metstradamus The After Dinner Mint to your Mets Experience He never fails to make me laugh.

Ok, just so you don't get the impression I'm one-dimensional:

3. Sam Peeps - She'll be very surprised because I've never left a comment on her site. But I guess this is a good way to let her know I'm a fan.
4. Surviving NJ A Jersey Girl Survives Daily LifeNJ You don't have to live in Jersey to relate to what Deb has to say.
5. Hot Flash Central Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Crabbiness Lots of laughs from that great, old girl Maxine. You know who she is. Just check it out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Do Your Duty

It's Election Day Eve. Looking forward to the end of all the campaign ads. I hate all the negative ads. I'm also sick of all the unsolicited emails I've been receiving from friends. I finally had to ask one of my friends to cease and desist with the emails. After awhile, I started to get offended by them, even if they were supporting my candidate. Sending these emails implies to me that I'm not bright enough to make up my own mind and they have to show me "the light."
Two things I never discuss with anyone is religion and politics. You are NEVER going to change anyone's mind regarding these two subjects.
Don't take the right to vote for granted. I don't care who you vote for - just make sure you vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another Reason Why I Despise The Phils & Their Fans

I didn't hear it for myself as, no way in hell, would I watch the Phil's World Series celebration, but I understand Chase Utley let the "F" word fly when he was thanking the fans, knowing he was being broadcast on live TV. I believe he said "We're the World "F"ing Champs."
I am not a prude. I have heard this word; I have used this word. But, for an athlete to use this kind of language during a public appearance, is disgusting, to say the least.
But, what bothers me even more, were some of the comments I read from people who were there:

Fans at Citizens Bank Park generally were unfazed.

"They hear worse stuff in school," said Ivette Centeno, 44, of Northeast Philadelphia, there with her two children and two grandchildren.(uh did you catch that - 44 years old with 2 GRANDCHILDREN) "As a parent, we can explain that it was just excitement, and that we don't want them to say that."

Malik Muhammad, 29, of West Philadelphia, there with his daughter, Tia, 6, and Tia's mother, Tamika Taylor, 28, called the remark "surprising, but I can't say it disturbed us."

"It's understandable. It's an emotional time for him and for the city. We cheered him. We understood. . . . That's how much love we have for this team."

Perhaps the day's best line came from Steve Reinhardt, 17, an 11th grader from Atco, Camden County, at Citizens Bank Park with his brother, Dane, 12, and their father, Ray, 44, a printer.

"I thought it was awesome," Steve Reinhardt said. "It got the loudest applause of the day."

What the hell is going on in this world when parents aren't "disturbed" by this type of behavior in front of their children? And, for the record, I'm tired of people saying, because I have no kids of my own, that I have no right to criticize parents. Hey, I've never been President of the US; does that mean I have no right to criticize him?

How can anyone condone what he said? Oh, I forgot. They're Phillie fans. That explains alot.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Daily Grind


After being out most of last week, it was more difficult than usual to get up and go to work today. My job isn't very exciting by most people's standards (including mine). I'm a Customer Service Supervisor. The company I work for manufactures what is normally described as "barrier protection products." (Yawn). There are a few different divisions; I'm a CS supervisor for 2 divisions, one that manufactures surgical and exam gloves and the other division is our condom division. Our customers here are various retail chains, like CVS, Walmart and the "adult entertainment" industry. Every time I tell someone that, they always laugh, either because they think it's funny or they get uncomfortable. I've spoken to my share of porn actresses who are looking to buy condoms in bulk because their producers have stopped supplying them. Lining the walls of one of our foyers are copies of various condom ads. I currently have a poster in my office (ok, how best to describe this) it shows a young lady just from the top of her thighs to just below her breasts; she is only wearing underwear; she has her thumb stuck in the front of her panties pulling them slightly down and holding a packaged condom in her hands. The tag line is "Here's Your Ticket To Ride." We have a joke that it's impossible to be charged with sexual harassment because you can just say you were talking business. A few months ago, we received an email from our CEO that had a video attached of an ad we were airing in markets outside the US, ie. France, Australia, with his suggestion that we all check it out. Well, you could tell who was watching it by the gales of laughter and the repeated "Oh My Gods" that were heard around the office. I've attached it here for your viewing. First, please keep in mind that they are much more open about sex in most other countries. Americans are considered quite prudish by the rest of the world.
1. Don't watch this at work unless you have a very liberal workplace. Remember, they can check what you've been watching at any time.
2. If you're watching at home, please make sure the kiddies aren't around unless you're prepared to begin your child's sex education today.
3. Make sure your audio is on. I think it adds to the whole experience. Those of you in the NY area - You will never be able to watch the Shop-Rite Can-Can sale commercials ever again and not think of sex,instead of the great price on canned peas.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Supporting The Economy

After hearing over and over on the news how bad the economy is, I felt it was my patriotic duty to help, so I went shopping!! I went a little overboard, but what the hell. I rationalized that I had a rough week, so I deserved it.
So, I'm calling on my fellow Americans to do their patriotic duty and shop, shop, shop!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Church of Baseball

While officially it's still baseball season (although my season ended 9/28), I thought I would write about baseball in my life. A good part of the reason I refer to Mike as my LSH (long-suffering husband) is due to baseball.

I grew up with 2 older brothers and a dad who loved baseball. Oldest brother was huge Yankee fan (although, he switched loyalties when he met his 2nd wife and now is a Red Sox fan; said he hated Steinbrenner. Who doesn't)? My other brother was, and is forever, a Dodger fan. Even when Walter O'Malley broke a million hearts moving the team to LA, my bro never waivered. That's loyalty. I decided that the Mets would be MY team.

When the Mets won the '69 World Series, I won $10 from a guy I went to school with. He wasn't a very gracious loser; he paid me with a 1000 pennies in an old, dirty gym sock.

I continued to follow my team through the 80's. However, in the 90's, I admit, I lost my way and turned my back on The Church of Baseball, all baseball, not just the Mets. All I can say is that life got in the way, so to speak.
In the spring of 05, I was flipping channels and came upon a Mets game. For whatever reason, I started to watch and by the time the game was over, I was hooked once again. Now, I always like to have one player on the team that I particularly watch and root for and I don't make this decision lightly. I continued to watch several more games to get to know the team. The only things I learned about the players were whatever Gary, Keith and Ron would say. When I made my decision, I called my brother (the Dodger fan) to announce my selection.

ME: Well, I made my pick.
BRO: Oh, I can't wait.
ME: I have chosen (drumroll please) David Wright.

BRO: Oh, surprise, surprise. You and 1/2 the females in NY.

ME: What are you talking about?
BRO: Oh, c'mon. You only picked him because "ooh, he's soooooooo cute."

ME: I've never really looked closely at him. Honest. I chose him because he's just starting his career, so it will be fun to follow him from the beginning. At GK&R say he and Reyes are the Mets' future, so I assume he's gonna be around NY for awhile.
Well, needless to say, my brother never believed me. But, once we hung up, my curiosity was definitely aroused and I went to the computer. Needless to say, I was VERY pleased with my choice. I loved his background and he definitely wasn't hard on the eyes.

However, I must make one thing clear. As I'm old enough to be his mom, my interest in him is STRICTLY maternal. Honest.

How does this relate to the LSH? We met during my self-imposed exile from baseball, so he had no idea of my "baseball past." He was never a baseball fan, to begin with. You can imagine his surprise when he discovered that baseball had become my passion once again. He has been a real trouper, from going to spring training with me twice, attending I don't know how many games both at Shea and away, even making signs for me. I actually believe he likes baseball now, although he won't admit it. I've even caught him reading the sports page.

One cute story - not far from Tradition Field, there's an ice cream/convenience store called Mets Mart, I think. We passed there and the LSH said very innocently - "Do you want me to stop there? You could ask for a "David" cone." I burst out laughing. He had no idea what he had said. Of course, I've had to tell this story to friends and family and they never let him forget it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm In a Jersey State of Mind

Being from Jersey comes with its own stereotypes - one of which is that we pronounce "Jersey" as "Joisey." In my entire life, I have never heard anyone from Jersey pronounce it "Joisey" except as a joke.
Once, when I was flying back to NJ from Southern California, the woman sitting next to me and I started a conversation. She asked me if I was going to NYC after we arrived at EWR. I said no, I was headed down the shore. She said she knew then that I was from NJ; no one anywhere else refers to being at the beach as "down the shore."
Anyway, below are some things that anyone from Jersey can relate to. Thanks to for this great list:

You Know You're from NJ If....

1. You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges."
2. You know that it's called "Great Adventure", not Six Flags.
3. A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter.
4. You have known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.
5. Have eaten at a Diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3 a.m.
6. At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen and know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from.
7. Know what a "jug handle" is.
8. Know that WaWa is a convenience store.
9. Know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey there's "The Shore". And you don't go "to the shore", you go "down the Shore". And when you are there, you're not "at the shore", you are "down the Shore".
10. Even your school cafeteria made good Italian subs. And it's a Sub, not a submarine sandwich or worse yet, a hoagie, a hero, or a grinder.
11. You know how to properly navigate a Circle.
12. You knew that the above sentence had to do with driving.
13. You know that this is the only "New" state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (like, try .Mexico . . . Yor . . . .,...Hampshire - doesn't work, does it?)
14.. You don't think "What exit" is very funny.
15. You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little "different".
16. You know that no respectable New Jerseyan goes to Princeton - that's for out-of-staters.
17. The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or local bar.
18. You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.
19. You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.
20. Every year, you had a least one kid in your class named Tony, Joey, or Johnny.
21. You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.
22. You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall.
23. You know that people from North Jersey go to Seaside Heights, and people from Central Jersey go to Belmar and people from South Jersey go to Wildwood. It can be no other way.
24. You were not raised in New Jersey. You were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.
25. You don't consider Newark or Camden to actually be part of the state.
26. You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamburger's and Orbach's.
27. You've had a Boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries and/or Boardwalk sausage with peopers and onions and a fresh squezzed lemonade.
28. You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.
29. When you say you're going to Englishtown you mean you're going to the flea market, not the town.
And finally...
30. You NEVER, NEVER pump your own gas. (we're not allowed to).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Sickness and In Health

I never planned on letting 4 days go by between blogs, but I have a good excuse. I had an unplanned trip to the ER on Tuesday afternoon and just was released today. (Have you ever been transported to the hospital by ambulance? If not, give it a try, especially if you like to make a grand entrance; arriving by ambulance gets you much more immediate attention than just walking in on your own power, no matter how much you're moaning. Being wheeled in on a stretcher surrounded by a few EMTs/paramedics is so much more dramatic). Anyway, after being poked, prodded, x-rayed, cat-scanned, and ultra-sounded, it was determined that my problem probably can be controlled by medication. I was very pleased with that decision, as the word "surgery" had come up more than a few times during my stay.

How your partner handles your illnesses can tell you alot about them. For those of you who may be thinking of marriage, get yourself sick for a few days, even better, get hospitalized (nothing serious, please) and watch how your partner behaves. When I say get hospitalized, vanity surgery, ie. facelift, implants, etc. doesn't count. Must be something you didn't want.

I was married to my ex when I was diagnosed with breast cancer the second time. Let me tell you, if I wasn't thinking of leaving him before that, this experience helped me make up my mind. I'll just give you one example of something a loving partner SHOULDN'T do. I initially was in the hospital for almost two weeks (had some complications) and my husband had never spoken once to the doctor directly. The doctor kept telling me that he was available any time if my ex had any questions. Well, Sunday afternoon the ex was there as well as my bro and sis-in-law. My ex's Sunday ritual was to do the NY Times crossword puzzle, so he was doing the puzzle when the doctor stopped in. The doctor asked my husband if he had any questions, and the ex replied: "Yeah, what's a 9 letter word for enemy?" You'd think he was joking, but he wasn't. The doctor laughed weakly and asked if he had any other questions, which he didn't. I actually can laugh about this now, but it's obviously a moment I'll never forget.

This was my first hospitalization since I've been married to the LSH. It was a totally different experience. He stayed with me, except when I sent him home to take care of the dog. Believe me, it can be torture just sitting bedside and waiting. He was with me during every test. At least, I could fall asleep. But he never complained and was constantly fixing up my bed, making sure I was comfortable. He also brought me a pic of my baby, my sheepdog, Bailey, to watch over me.

So, observe your SO next time you're sick, even if you're just home in bed with a bad cold. How they respond/act is very telling.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend End

Sunday night, just washed my hair, have the ALCS final game on. Go Rays!

I don't know what in the world got into me today, but I was motivated to do some major cleaning around the house today. Very unlike me. I actually steam cleaned all the floors!
LSH was out all day learning how to be a boat handler for the EMS. He's the captain of one of our town's First Aid Squads and the dive team is in need of handlers, so, good guy that he is, he took a class today.
Just 2 weeks ago, he spent his Saturday heading up the EMS command for an annual charity fundraiser, Timmy's Tour de Shore. People raise money by biking from Sandy Hook to, I think Long Branch. The event is in honor of a young boy who died a few years ago from a brain tumor and the money goes to childhood cancer research.
Anyway, yesterday I did my share of trying to help our economy by going shopping. I splurged and bought boots; they normally were $250, on sale for $150. What true bargain shopper could resist that? I was proud I saved $100. Of course, LSH says I could have saved $150 if I hadn't bought the boots in the first place. Men! They have no clue what's important in life.
Another work week looms ahead. Hope it's drama- free for all!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pink Ribbon

I know we're already 1/2 way through October and it would be hard to find someone who doesn't know that it's Breast Cancer Awareness month. I think the Susan G. Komen organization and others have done a phenomenal job spreading the word and becoming one of the top charities in the world.
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, obviously this cause is near and dear to my heart. There are a few websites I'd like to tell you about that I particularly like. The first one is the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon Shop. Breast Cancer has touched the lives of so many - it seems that everyone knows someone with breast cancer. By wearing merchandise, you are helping to spread the word and increase awareness about breast cancer. You are showing those you know with breast cancer that you care. You are also helping to support breast cancer research, because a portion of the proceeds from every item is donated to breast cancer organizations.
This next site is so cool. It's a virtual walk to raise funds for Stage IV breast cancer patients. Please check it out and if you want to join me, my team is called "Kathy's Crew." The website will explain it all. It costs as little as $5 to join and the only thing you need to exercise are your fingers. Please check it out: Gal to Gal Virtual Walk. You guys are invited too!!
And, last, but not least, ladies:


It can save your life. It did for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008


It's Friday night and I'm beat, as usual. There's GOT to be a better way! God, when I was young and single, Friday night was the night to go clubbing and dancing with my friends. Now, it's a good night if I'm still up at 10PM. Especially now that there's no more baseball to watch. (I know that there are still a few teams playing, but I don't get any enjoyment watching them. I'm a National League fan all the way, but I'm going to be rooting either for Tampa or Boston to sweep the Phils; hope it's Tampa).
To any of my family and friends who have tried to leave a comment, but were blocked, I apologize. I had the blog accidentally set up to only allow comments from other bloggers on this site. It's fixed now, so I hope you're still stopping by and feel free to comment anytime.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sleepy Time Gal

I haven't been feeling up to par for energy at all, just very, very tired. So the doctor sent me for a sleep study at the local hospital Tuesday night.

The hospital had sent me a brochure, telling about what to expect and saying the bedrooms were especially decorated to make you feel like home and not in a hospital. I don't know about you, but putting a bedspread on a hospital bed didn't make me feel at home. The best thing about the room was that it had a nice flat screen tv.

Got there, put my pjs on and spent 45 minutes while the technician applied all these electrodes on my head, face, chest and ankles. Then added these two belts above and over my abdomen. Now, these all had wires that were inserted into this box which had a cable which was inserted into another box which transmitted information to a computer. Trying to sleep without getting tangled up in all these wires is not the easiest thing to do. Then, as usual, I woke up around 2AM to use the bathroom. I had to call the technician to unhook me from all these monitoring devices just so I could go.

It was a very strange experience. I mean, here I am in my sleepwear, sittiing on the bed, all alone with the male and he's putting these things all over my body. There weren't any other hospital staff around. I mean, when I go to most male doctors now, they normally make sure there is another female in the room to protect themselves from being accused of improprieties and here I am with this strange man in a bedroom setting and no one else around.

I haven't heard about if, and what, they found. I doubt very much. I was very happy to be home in my own bed last night.

Let's Try This One More Time

Hopefully, the Blog Gods will be good to me and let me send this one.

Monday was our 7th wedding anniversary. I admit Mike isn't my first husband, but he IS my favorite. Normally when I refer to Mike in emails and sometimes in introductions, I refer to him as my LSH, meaning "long suffering husband." You'll probably get to understand why I call him that as I tell more in future blogs.

We had reservations at 7PM at the place where we were married. It's a great restaurant on the Navesink River called the Salt Creek Grille. We were married outside at 5PM and Mother Nature rewarded us with an amazing sunset.

Now LSH isn't normally the type to pace around looking at his watch if I'm running a little late, but he was very hyper this night. He kept saying "but our reservations are for 7PM; we're gonna be late." I replied that it was Monday night and there would be plenty of tables. Then I added "You're acting like we're meeting people." We walked into the restaurant and I spot our best man, Dave, & his wife, Patty, who we don't get to see very often. After some hugs, I jokingly said "What, you didn't invite Candy (my best friend and maid of honor)? Just as I finished my sentence, who walks in the door but Candy! What a great surprise. At the table, there was a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers for me and 2 smaller ones for Patty & Candy. We drank champagne, ate too much and had a lot of laughs. We topped off our meal with the SCG's famous Chocolate Souffle. I overindulged that night, but it was worth it.

I found out that Mike had contacted them in August to make sure they would be available. Isn't he the best?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Not Happy Right Now

I just spent 45 minutes writing a post and when I pressed the publish button, I got a error message and it doesn't look like it got saved, although I had saved it.

How often does this happen????

So this is my post for Wednesday, just to let anyone who might be reading this, that I haven't abandoned my blog already.

As Scarlett O'Hara said "After all, tomorrow IS another day."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jersey Girl

As you can see, my blog title is "Forever A Jersey Girl."
I was raised and I live in Jersey (true, I was born in Rockville Centre, NY and lived in Valley Stream for awhile, but we moved when I was 4, so I don't think it counts).'s definition of girl is:

1. a female child, from birth to full growth. I pass the test on this one.

2. a young, immature woman, esp. formerly, an unmarried one. Well, I've definitely been called immature, but I' m married and young wouldn't be the first word people would use to describe me.

3. a daughter: My wife and I have two girls. Ok here, I am someone's daughter.

I guess the issue might be with definition #2. Physically, my body is not young. I'm old enough to have a Jersey girl myself (hell, I'm old enough to have a Jersey granddaughter!) But, I tell myself, being a Jersey girl is a state of mind.

Now, why would I care about this? After all, being considered a Jersey girl often doesn't warrant a lot of respect.

"What's the difference between trash and a Jersey girl?"

At least trash gets picked up once in awhile.

Now you might think I'd take offense to that "joke." But, actually, my reaction is completely the opposite. I want to say "thank you" to the genius who thought that one up. I mean, what do you think of if guy says "Yeah, I "picked up" this babe last night." You're thinking "wow, he got lucky and she's a tramp." So, I take no offense to this joke at all.

How many other states are famous for their girls? (Okay, California, but that's a whole other subject). Would Tom Waits write a song about Illinois or Missouri girls? Just doesn't have the same panache, so to speak.
Where I get in trouble with my fellow Jersey girls is my strict geographical qualifier to be a true Jersey girl. You MUST live in a coastal NJ county from Monmouth south. Going "down the shore" to the rental you share in Belmar with a few dozen people (most of whom you don't even know) & hanging at Bar A or The Osprey (is that even there anymore?) does not make you a Jersey girl. My sisters in North Jersy will fight me on this, but Jersey girl is synonymous with the beach. Just visiting doesn't count.

So, here's to all Jersey Girls, whatever age you may be. See you on the boardwalk.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Under Construction

Okay. I'm a little nervous. I've never done this before. Blog, I mean. As you can see, I haven't finished setting up my page; I haven't finished completing all my personal info. I don't know how you do half the things you need to do on a blog, like show links to websites, post pix, and what the heck is a favicon?
Writing a blog is like talking to yourself (which I do all the time; yes, out loud). You're saying things that you think and feel, but no one is really listening. But, so what? I feel better for saying it.
I've been looking at a lot of the other blogs and I don't see how I'm going to compete. So, if by some chance, someone is out there taking the time to read this, please bear with me. This may not turn out to be the prettiest blog on the internet, but it's all mine.