Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 10 Things I Stressed Over for Christmas this Year (seriously)

10. Will G-dog try to eat the glass ball ornaments?
9. Will G-dog drink all the water from the tree?
8. Does that ribbon match that paper?
7. Does that tag match the ribbon and the paper?
6. Will person1 notice that their gift has no ribbon but person2 has elaborate ribbon?
5. Do I need to get a gift for that person?
4. How do I wrap a gift card?
3. How will I remain awake at work after not getting home till 1am from Lottery Yarn?
2. Is there enough cheese for the cheese plate?
1. Is there enough wine, period?

Turns out there was enough wine and cheese and I have the pants to prove it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Frightened for My Life

Target 2 days before Christmas will do that to you. Today I walked out of Target and SPECIFICALLY used the crosswalk to get to the parking lot because I didn't want to step in front of any car without imaginary protection. I was walking out, some people were walking in but when I got past the middle of the crosswalk, a lady on her cell phone HONKED AT ME. I stopped, because you know that probably just pissed her off more and just looked at her (ok, I probably had a nasty look on my face too). She had the audacity to stop her car in the middle of the crosswalk, roll down her window and give me what for.


I told her that it was a crosswalk and that in PA you STOP for pedestrians in the crosswalks AND there was a sign in the middle of said crosswalk telling you just that. She told me, "I know that!" Then I said, 'Then why did you honk at me?!" She told me, "Shut the f*ck up and watch your mouth."

I gave her a little airy, fairy wave and told her to just go away.

I was afraid she was going to follow me to my car though and to be honest, while I could have kicked her patootie, I am so tired with holiday stuff I probably would have let her pummel me into soup so I could make P wrap all the presents and I could get some rest.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: Winter Memories

It's interesting to me that I have seasonal affective disorder considering that all my childhood winter memories are good ones. We always had good snows and at least 4 or 5 snow days. There were tunnels to build, angels to make and hills to sled. I do remember one particular day where the full on wonder and beauty of a perfect snow enveloped a certain child.

I could not have been more than 9 or 10. When I was that age there was still room for childlike wonder. I remember my snow suit was navy blue. My jacket may have been as well but I do remember it had a hood. I was alone, no L or T for some reason and I went out in to a new fallen snow. I always loved the quiet of the snow. I still am not exactly sure what it is about snow that creates that quiet stillness. I walked out the back door into the yard. The tire swing had snow on the top and on the inside of the bottom. I walked past it, noticing it but not touching it. It was so still and seemed frozen and not at the same time. I walked into the 'big' woods through the arching branches of the long gone lilacs. I walked to the stream. We always liked stepping in the stream in the winter when we had boots on. There was something magical about it being so cold out but still able to step in the freezing cold water without fear of frostbite and let it run past you. I still don't know what it is. I stood in the stream for a bit and then followed the deer path a ways deeper into the woods.

In the other seasons this area is teaming with life be it two or four footed or insect variety but when it snowed, even the birds and squirrels put away their chatter for awhile. I walked to a clearing that you would not have noticed in the other seasons but now in winter, with all the leaves gone, there was a circle of twig bushes and small trees creating an almost walled enclosure. I went in and laid in the snow. I was warm in my snowgear and I stared at the sky. As I lay there, I began to see everything in a clear and sharp light; the color of the twigs against the silvery grayness of the sky, the shadow of the snow drifts against the sparkling white of the light exposed areas. I could hear the stream along the stones and the branches rub against each other. Slowly, it started to snow again. I watched the flakes curl down and settle with the rest of the whiteness. There was no wind, no breeze and they just floated where they pleased. I felt like I was a part of it all, not just a spectator.

I am not sure how long I stayed but eventually the magic was broken by the thought that it was snowing again and maybe I should go inside. I have always remembered this time as one of the best moments in my life. It was what I think it would have been like to be inside a snow globe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Retail Customer in My Store (Update)

Dear Retail Customer in My Store:

I realize that you have a lot to get done for the holidays. That basket o' stuff in your hand will surely help our store's bottom line. What will not help our bottom line is the damaged merchandise that met it's death at the hands of your child. I am thinking glass ornaments and 3 year old children do not mix. What do you think?


PS. BTW, no honey, you can't carry off those Juicy sweatpants.

Dear "Daddy"
If you call me 'condescending' and then don't have the stones to post anyway but anonymously, I seriously suggest you don't come back. If you think I cared about a stupid glass ornament, you missed the point entirely and are not smart enough to read my blog. If you actually ever worked in retail you would see the parents that come in on their cell phone, not paying any attention to what their child is doing while making merchandise unsellable. It isn't about the $ it's about the respect for things that do not belong to them. If I had seen your child I would have told her it was ok and not to worry about it, as I have done before. If she was tearing around the store and you allowed the behaviour, all you would have gotten from me was a disgusted look. This is my blog and I am allowed to vent here, just like parents do about their kids and idiots like me that 'just don't get it' because we don't have kids. My advice, lighten the eff up or your kids will be as uptight as you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Run, Don't Walk: Three Cups of Tea

I am starting a new series called "Run, Don't Walk." It will contain info about things that your should do or read or just experience as soon as possible.

I have a category on my Goodreads list called, "Life Changing" for books that truly impact my life. Now those of you that read "My Island" posts know that I don't take labeling lightly. I have around 100 books on my list at Goodreads (that's just the ones I remember to add) but there are only a few that make it into my Life Changing category. The book "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin just became one of them.

"Three Cups of Tea" talks about the journey of Greg Mortenson, a mountain climber who made it his mission to build schools for the children of remote Pakistan and Afghanistan. He started out by building one for a village that welcomed him with open arms after he almost died coming down from a failed attempt at climbing K2. He pledged to come back and build them a school. Greg was not a wealthy man. He basically lived in his car while trying to raise the money to keep his promise. He did fulfill it though and what happened after that goes into an amazing journey that will change your mind about how important education is in every part of the world.

What was most interesting to me about this story was the fact that in the very beginning it was about fulfilling one promise. What it turned into was a new way of promoting peace in a very difficult place and a very difficult time. The basic premise is that education is the key to peace. The people Greg met in his time in Pakistan and Afghanistan taught him that the Muslims that live there are not the Muslims of our nightmares. These people do not hate us and want to see us all dead. They are a people fiercely loyal to their family, friends, their way of life and... in the education of their children, boys AND girls. They believe that education will change their lives and give them an alternative to the violence that has become a part of many lives in those two countries...

and it has.

This book made me believe in humanity again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Were YOU Doing at 2am This Morning?

G-Dog: *making smacking sounds with dry mouth*

Me: Go drink your water if you are thirsty.

G-Dog: I'm not thirsty. Oh, hey you're up. I think I need to go outside.

Me: No. It's 2am and you don't have to go out. You just want to see if the skunk is still outside.

G-Dog: No I don't. *pout, pout...licking face of human* I really have to go.

Me: That makes no sense. You went at 11pm and you always sleep till 7am and when we do go on our morning walk you wait FOREVER to pee and then do it at intervals. Makes me think you aren't exactly crossing your legs.

G-Dog: No, I really gotta go. You know if you had gotten up when I first asked you we would be done by now and you could have been asleep. *more licking and wagging of tail*

Me: FINE! But you are drinking a little water when you come back in. That lip smacking is keeping me up.

G-Dog: Ok, no problem.

Me: *Get up, put on robe. Walk to the kitchen.*

G-Dog: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are the best! *much excitement and smiling*

Me: *Get leash and put on. Walk outside.*

G-Dog: *ZING! as she darts for the neighbors lawn obviously after something*

Me: HEY! What are you doing. You said you had to pee and that you weren't going to go after the skunk. What the hell! I am in my bathrobe and a tee shirt. I don't have time for this crap.

G-Dog: It wasn't a skunk. It was Orange Kitty.

Me: You are not allowed to chase Orange Kitty. You know that! What about peeing!?

G-Dog: Ok, ok. Let me find a good spot *sniffing and walking in circles*

Me: I don't care about a 'good' spot just effing PEE!

G-Dog: jeez, ok, ok. *relieving herself* See I TOLD you I had to go!

Me: You did not, you just CHOSE to go now to save face.

G-Dog: I had to save face? Who is the one in a tee shirt, robe and no shoes outside at 2am?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Economizing via the Liquor Cabinet

So the economy is bad. Yeah, we get it. Right now we are debating whether or not we will need to get rid of one of the cars due to the lovely economy. We have been cutting back for so long, my knives are dum bum...

Tonight, I felt the need for a drink while we approached the subject yet again. P agreed seeing as how I fly into fits of rage when we have the $ talks. It was then I saw there were only 3 beers in the fridge and they weren't particularly good ones and then I realized, we might have to cut back on beer too (my wine budget had been cut about two months ago). I looked at P and then looked at our liquor cabinet. Ok, it's a shelf not a cabinet, whatever. We have a TON of liquor; Jack Daniels, rum, gin, bad vodka, a decent scotch. "Saved!" I thought. Then I really thought. "I really don't know what to do with this stuff."

Don't get me wrong, I like me a good gin and tonic but that is not a difficult mix. I also like my vodka martinis but it HAS to be Grey Goose ($$) with gooooood olives. I don't know how to do anything with rum other than a frozen drink. I have had Jack but only with Coke. If I mixed scotch with anything my uncle would sense it, show up at my house and smack me in the head. So internet, in the spirit of true economizing, give me some suggestions on easy stuff I can mix at the end of a day of watching the markets fight it out all day so that I can briefly forget that I may be forced to share a car with P, ride to work with him and quit Lottery Yarn.

BTW, I am drinking a Jack and Ginger Ale at the moment. Seems to be doing the job.

Edit: Please understand...I am not doing the drinking now...I was doing it last night when I wrote the post. I scheduled it for 7:00am this morning. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ah Memories...All Girl Passion not like that

Now I realize this is an odd time to be discussing "The Passion of Christ" but a few people I went to grade school with brought back a memory I thought I had successfully burned.

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile know that I am a recovering Catholic. What I am not sure you know is that for 8 yeas I attended an all girls, private Catholic school...wait for it...located in the 'Motherhouse' of a certain type of nun. I am not kidding about the Motherhouse part. That is what it was called. It definitely contributed to my spiritual status as a 'recovering' Catholic. Anyway, we had one very crazy nun (most of them were a little off but this one was a piece of work). She decided that we should start doing a Passion Play every spring around Easter. This woman was really nuts, she was an 'artist' and OCD at the same time. She had such a problem with clutter that when the kids made her birthday and feastday cards she literally looked at them and then tore them in half to throw them away, many times in front of said kids. If a child gave her a gift she would have that child give it to another person.

So, think about it, all girls ages 10-12 in a play that called for 90% adult male parts. It was like the opposite of a drag show. All the male parts had to wear fake beards. They stuck the life-like beards on with this nasty glue that smelled like bad fish. So you have about 80 girls, all struggling with preteen-ness and bad skin and you make them dress up like men and wear BEARDS! Nice. I think that this might be the one case where my parents don't have pics because I would not have been caught dead with proof later in life that I had to dress up like an apostle...with a flippin beard.

The only part that made is somewhat bearable was that since many us were wearing bathrobes with pockets, we could slip our walkmans into them, cover the headphones with the head coverings and listen to music when we wanted. My friend Rachel and I did just that and listened to WHAM! while we were waiting to start the play. For some reason, the nuns never picked up on what we were doing.

The play was just insane. The crazy nun took the script directly from one of the gospels (it was like 2-3 hours long) and we actually had the whole Crucifixion played out. The actual nailing took place behind the curtains but we actually had 3 girls on crosses. Seriously. Think on that for a sec.

I try not to.

And people wonder why when I was in 8th grade I told people I would never send my child to that school.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: G-Dog and the Brownies

This is a blatent re-post but a good one. ;)

This is how my weekend without internet started. I walk in the door to let G-dog out at around noon Friday and notice a bottle of vegetable oil on the rug in the living room oil spots on the sisel rug and the cap next to the bottle AND a bitten but not eaten box of brownie mix on the floor under the dining table.

Me: (calling out) G-dog!, (waiting) G-dog!

G-dog: (Comes out of bedroom, sleepily blinking eyes and wagging tail) Dude, I was sleeping. What's up.

Me: What did you do?!

G-dog: Well I ate the treats you left for me. The one you hid under the pillow was hard to find. Relaxed a bit, got bored with moose, rabbit, squirrel, et al and went into the kitchen to find something to do. I went in to the room I'm not supposed to and decided to make brownies.

Me: Brownies.

G-dog: Yeah. So I got the brownie mix out and then realized I needed vegetable oil so I went and got that. Then I realized the oil was in a plastic bottle and you know how much I like plastic bottles.

Me: Uh-huh

G-dog: So it started innocently enough, I was working on getting the cap off then I bit the bottle and it felt so good I continued. Then I tasted the oil and decided, ick! So I dropped it on the floor and nosed it around a few times, trying to get the oil out and eventually I went back to the brownie box and realized that I needed eggs AND water too. Well I had water in my bowl but the eggs are in the fridge and I couldn't reach them so I abandoned the whole brownie idea and went back to the bedroom and took a nap.

Me: So you do realize that you can't have brownies. They are chocolate and not good for you.

G-dog: Really!? Huh. Well I guess it's a good thing I didn't make them then.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wishing for a Happy Post

Whew! I took a few days off. I hope you don't mind but between work and work and Thanksgiving, I took a bit of time to lounge about in bed with my addiction...books.

I needed to get lost in someone else's life for awhile because the stuff that has been happening here is really making it hard to make it through the day with out meds (remember I stopped those 6 months ago...rethinking that whole decision). Between the Kmart, WalMart and Mumbai violence I am really losing my faith in humanity. Then, I read an article today on CNN about a dog that was beaten with a hammer in an Atlanta park and left to die. It about pushed me over the edge.

Trying to focus on the positive is like when you are cooking spaghetti and you use a spoon to try to lift a couple noodles out to test it. They all fall off and you keep trying to get one and then when you finally do, you end up dropping it on the floor because it burned your mouth or your finger. It's so frustrating and then add the anger and sadness on top of that and you have a meltdown.

So far I have been able to avoid meltdowns only by fate. I will be close to the edge and then I'll see the story about the nanny that saved the toddler from the soldiers in Mumbai or I'll hear "Christmas Time is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas. What I find remarkable is how something so small as a song or even a few notes from a song can bring me back from the edge. Even this blog helps. As write, I see the pattern I fall into and even though I haven't figured out a way to fix it, I can at least see it. I guess that means I should be writing more instead of taking days off. ;)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, It Certainly Was

WalMart Employee Trampled to Death

What has our society come to when a piece of electronics is worth more than a human life?

I don't do Black Friday. The only time you would have seen me at the mall for that day is if Lottery Yarn had me scheduled to do so. I don't comprehend the frenzied competition to get the best price on an item that will most likely be obsolete in 3 months. The thing I really don't understand is why, after a day in which we were to be giving thanks for the things we have in our life why anyone would go to extremes to shop with the attitude that this throng of people had. Someone actually said "I've been on line since yesterday morning!" as to why they would not leave the store when asked to because of the death. There were other variations on that phrase as well.

I know that not everyone is like this and I also know that with the economy the way it is, people wanted to get deals on things. Things. Things to have, things to give. Things to show how much we love a person. Wait. What? In order to show our love for someone we must get things that might be out of out budget that might cause suffering the rest of the year because we had to give an expensive THING or many expensive things for someone? No. Just no. I don't care if it's "for the kids" or if it's "a special year" or "it's for mom/dad' or "they really want it". No. It's not worth it. If our minds have deteriorated so badly that we can't find more creative ways to show we care, something needs to be done. My suggestion, make something for someone you care about. Maybe it won't be your only gift to that person but make it the one you put all your heart and soul into. The giftee, if they have a good heart, they will know and all other gifts will pale by comparison. It's a tradition I would like to begin in my small family. I'll let you know what I decide to do for the people on my list after the holidays (I'd tell you now but they read my blog). So give it some thought. Even if you don't think you are creative, find fun old picture of someone you love and frame it or write a short history of someone and creatively bind it. DO something instead of BUYING something and see how good it feels.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jumping In

Ok. I know I wrote about ho Thanksgiving is getting run over but becuase:
1. Work is uber busy
b. I still have my Thanksgiving food to make
3. I need a blog topic that I can write about during my lunch break...

Here we go.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. I cannot do the artificial ones. No fresh scent.
3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December
4. When do you take the tree down? Depends when the needles are falling without being touched. ;)
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes! LOVE
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Snoopy Sno Cone Maker
7. Hardest person to buy for? Father in Law
8. Easiest person to buy for? Sister
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I don't out mine out anymore.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? It has been SO long since I got cards out. I am so bad at it.
11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A bottle of nasty perfume
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone
13. When do you start shopping forChristmas? after Thanksgiving but NOT Black Friday.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Never.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peanut Brittle (I make it)
16. Lights on the tree? Yes tons!
17. Favorite Christmas song? Soundtrack from Peanuts
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Bow
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning. Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People with no kind spirit.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Our tree is a hodge podge and I like it that way.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime Rib or Rack of Lamb
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I seriously don't know!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Cozy Window

It snowed here this morning. It was one of those pretty dustings that doesn't cause the roads to get too bad and touched everything with a sugar coating of the white stuff.
I took this pic out of my car window on the way to work this morning. The window just had a cozy look to it and I thought it was interesting that the greens on the left had a coating of snow but the ones on the right didn't. If I had my way, I would be at home looking out of a window like this one watching the snow fall with a cup of tea. Hopefully I will get that chance to do that sometime this winter. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the little bit we got today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: Holiday Lost

This is under the "something that bothered me this week" category.

I love the holidays in the fall and winter. I love them ALL, meaning not just the traditional ones but the interesting ones like Day of the Dead and Winter Solstice. Celebrating is fun and I think they should all receive their due. This year though I feel like a very important holiday is getting the bum rush from the need for retail stores to sell, sell, sell.

Thanksgiving it seems has been forgotten in many ways or at least that is the impression that I have gotten since about Halloween. I have seen and heard thousands of Christmas commercials but no one seems to excited for Thanksgiving. I got the sneaking suspicion that this was the case way back in late summer when the fall decorations were not selling so well but the minute the Christmas trees went up and the sparkle came out, the ornaments were flying out the door. Forgotten were the cute accent plates, platters and table setting ware for Thanksgiving. The turkey salt and pepper shakers went on sale early along with the the turkey place card holders.

I also began to notice that almost no one (except maybe Williams Sonoma) was really advertising for Thanksgiving. It was already all about Christmas. The decorations were up in stores as well as on homes. I became disturbed, not because I was surprised. I mean ads for Christmas have been coming earlier and earlier every year. I AM upset because it seems like this year, more than ever, we have to be thankful for what we DO have.

Being in the financial industry, actually see how this crisis is hitting people other than me. Many of us have worked so hard to save and to have so much of it seemingly disappear, is extremely difficult. I just think that right now, it is so important for us all to concentrate on what we have, right now with family and friends, not about what want to get for Christmas or how much we can spend on gifts. We need the emotional support of our loved ones, staring us in the face so we can get through the next however long a time it takes to feel better about our situations. So please, if you can, wait on the Christmas decorations and concentrate on giving thanks for what we have this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Island: Standby Passenger Off to the Island

If you are new to my blog you can catch up on My Island here. If you want to read more about it, click on the "My Island" label at the end of the post.

This is how the Stand-by/Inhabitants list stands:


Jamie Lynn Spears

Elizabeth Hasselbeck

On the island:

Ann Coulter

Rick Santorum (escaped and captured)

Brittany Spears

Amy Winehouse

Lindsay Lohan

First lets start off with a removal from Stand-by. Jamie Lynn has managed to stay out of my face for awhile now. If she remains quiet and non-stupid, she can live her life among the general population. I don't see her as a threat to young girls at the moment. If she starts throwing herself and her child into the media, then we'll revisit her. Use your time wisely little girl.

Update on escapee Rick Santorum: Rick managed to somehow squeeze himself into an empty crate that was picked up via helicopter (no one who is not sent to the island has to lay foot on it) after one of the food drops and escape. There had been a secret message encoded in a letter that was supposedly from his wife but was actually from Rupret Murdoch asking Rick to be on a panel of politicians on election night on Fox news (I realize that Fox is conservative but having this idiot on may have pushed some Republicans to become Independents). Rick was captured as he was leaving the studios and transported back to the island where he will remain in the stocks until after the swearing in of Barak Obama.

Now for the big news. I have decided to move Elisabeth Hasselbeck to My Island. I had her on stand-by for a long time because although I don't agree with her views, I don't watch The View enough to get a feel for her. Those ladies are pretty tough and getting words in edgewise looks very difficult. I figured that maybe she would grow out of her petulant nature. We all deserve that chance (hell, I'd probably be on my own island if I didn't grow some sense). Well, on the advice of a fellow blogger, at Different is Always Good, I decided to take a deeper look at Liz. I watched a good deal of You Tube videos, did some reading and I realized why she irks me so, she has no idea what she is talking about. Here is a woman who has all the means to do good research into her views and ideals and how to back them up and she doesn't do it. She just comes across as, "I am right because I think I am and here's some crap I read on a conservative website." This bothers me. I have many opinions on many topics. Do I address them all in public? No. Why? Because I feel there are some subjects which I don't have enough knowledge to accurately illustrate my point. Liz has no such filter, has had enough time to develop one and made no strides to do so. She is on a daily show with intelligent women and she is coming across as the opposite, not as in opposite of Democrat but opposite of a savvy intelligent woman. You can see it in the way she talks and in her body language. She is not comfortable with the topics or her stance on those topics. The only thing keeping her on that show is the fact that she has a different opinion than the other ladies. They need a conservative person on there to keep a certain audience.
So Liz, enjoy your flight. I am sure you will find lots to talk about with Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum. I almost feel bad for you having to meet someone that will change your mind about your party...too late. Maybe you can keep Rick company while he is doing his time in the stocks. Amy, Britney and LiLo are sure to annoy the hell out of you but I think that you might find you have more in common with them than you thought. I eventually see you guys as a version of "Friends" but living in a cave or hut made of banana fronds instead of a NY apartment.
On the island:
Ann Coulter
Rick Santorum (escaped and captured)
Brittany Spears
Amy Winehouse
Lindsay Lohan
Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Latest From T in Japan

Hope you have been enjoying my brother's updates from Japan. I am LOVING them b/c I wonder if my Dad's trips (he traveled constantly) were like this. :) Here is the latest. :)

Ok, I have no phone, will explain later. I'll keep the updates going from where I left off... We made it down from the mountain I was talking about two days ago, barely. While we were up there, I decided to try out my new found lung capacity and decided it would be a good idea to sprint up a mountain that was about 1km away. My lungs worked fine but my legs now hate me! When we returned to the refinery, there was media all around taking pictures of our equipment etc. We later found out this made us famous! We were in the newspaper, tv, etc. That night we ended our tour of Akita with yet more drunken karaoke. There was some convention at the hotel so the place was packed and we were taking requests from the crowd, everything from "Iron Man" to Elvis love ballads (They LOVE Elvis).Flash forward to the next morning.... almost died several times on our way to the airport due to our driver (I have many pictures). Once we arrived we realized that there was no way we could carry all of our luggage and fire gear around Japan so we had to find some way to send it back. Easy right? WRONG! Apparently they don't understand "I pay you ship my shit back to America!" We ended up giving our fire gear to the rental car place to ship back COD to the office (most likely about $1,000!) We made our flight, barely. Some of us parted ways at Haneda airport to head home and my co-worker Hank and I headed to Tokyo. We arrive in tokyo where I unpack and realize there's no room for me to walk bc the room is so tiny (most Tokyo hotels are). We head to the underground for lunch with our agent who is helping us map out places we should check out. I had the absolute BEST SUSHI and Shashime ever! There is no way any place in the states even comes close! We had eel, tuna, octopus, saki (of course) and plenty of other goodies. It was absolutely amazing and will now make USA sushi taste like a garbage can! BAD NIGHT!: We went to Roppongi last night. Awesome place, tons of people, lots of things to do, etc. but also very dangerous on the wallet! We started off in a basement bar and had 4 beers, which cost 50$ (Tokyo is very expensive, we walked by a Porcshe/Audi dealership and a regular Porsche Cayman was over 7 million yen, or $700,000 US!). Ok, move on to us trying to find a new place to drink. We found a club that was 5,000 yen all you could drink happy hour. We thought this was a pretty good deal. In Tokyo every club has women that sit with you and chit chat, etc. all of a sudden a bottle of Moet Rose shows up and I get a bad feeling! I fake a phone call to a "client" and tell Hank (my co-worker) we have to go. I go to cash out and the bill is almost $700 US for 3 beers a piece and a bottle of champagne! OH SHIT! At least my company can't tell what is was for since the receipt is in Japanese! So they try to keep us there with free shots, etc. but I refuse so I get taken up 2 floors with a large Nigerian man (scary) where I cash out and we run outta that place. I'm not angry/worried about the money, I'm PISSED I got taken. However, at least I was smart enough to catch it before it got really out of hand! We walk around some more, take a cab back to our hotel and walk the Ginza shopping district (NEVER come here for anything but electronics! Any brand name costs AT LEAST 3 to 4 times what it would in the states!) I go to bed more intoxicated than I have been in several years.....then I get the following call early am...."Tim, it's Hank... remember our gear bags we had shipped back to the states? I left a part in there that we need to install when we go to Sakeide.""Oh Fuck"Hank is now on a bus back to Haneda airport where he will fly North to Akita to meet our bags (which luckily haven't shipped yet) grab this part, and come back to Tokyo! He'll be back at about 9pm tonight. Crazy.So this brings us to current.... I'm in my room about to grab a shower and head to Akihabara (Electronics capital of the world) to check out technology that we won't see in the states for years to come! We're headed south tomorrow on the bullet train and I don't know what the internet situation will be like there but I'll text.Sorry this update isn't as creative as the text ones were... feel free to edit to facilitate fb humor/enjoyment.... I love what you did with the other ones and people seemed to enjoy them =) talk to you soon. Love ya'!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Tune in Tokyo

I so did not want to use this title but I could not come up with a better one. My brother is on the far right and right now he is in Japan this week doing his sales/marketing thing. Here are the texts he has been sending me.

T: i'm ripped on saki in a karaoke bar! My boss and i just stripped down to our boxers and sung baba o'reilly and our japanese agent won't stop repeating the phrase ''pancake fucker!'' for some reason:-)

T: About to show japan how this round eye geishan rocks to europe! Final count down baby! Its about to happen!

T: Update: we ran into yakuza last night, which should have been the scariest part of the trip. However, what scares me more is our 70 year old driver. Though he is a dead ringer for old blue eyes at the karaoke bar, he cant drive for SHIT!

Me: OMG!! I would have been hiding on the floor of the flippin car! At 70 you probably have the bwts driver around. Also, he is probably much older than he says...or looks.

T: We're eating lunch at some mountain temple so now i have to go pray to the god of whoever's temple this is that we get back down alive! More to come...

Me: You had better be taking advantage of the sushi. Show the gods respect. You know how it is, when in Rome. You also better be taking pictures.

T: I'm taking advantage of everything! Yes, plenty of pics and videos.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Writers Wordshop Thursday: Haiku

Tree on Morning Walk

Strip'ed of your coat
Reveals the abandoned homes
Left for warmer climes

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finally Saw...


I know. I am an idiot. I am not a movie person. That movie just raised so many emotions in me though. P thought that Vanessa was too controlling and that is why her husband (can't remember his name) was the way he was. He didn't see it. He didn't see how Vanessa WAS the Mom. She was the Mom Juno never had and it clicked with her. That is why she still gave her the baby.
That movie and what it meant grabbed my ovaries and would not let go. I knew. I knew because I can be a mother. I get it. I get what it takes and maybe I am still not sure that I have what it takes, but I get it.

Update: I had some wine last night that may have led to this epiphany

A Surprise on my Sickie Day

Oh Boy! What could it be? It's all the way from Texas!

It's my winnings from Rhea at Texas Word Tangle

She sent me a wok and her Jambalaya mix! All I had to do was shower her with :) As soon as I get over this cold, I am making that Jambalaya. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Kitchen...I Has It

For those of you that have read my post from a couple weeks ago, I had a rough time while P and the contractor Steve worked on my kitchen. After over two weeks (yes, I know, those of you that had new kitchens done, it takes lots longer than that, this was not a redo nor was I allowed to plan for this) it is done to the point where I have it back. Before and After pics in the slide show at the bottom. Click on it to see better.

My kitchen is my domain. I cook, research recipes, eat and live here. It is warm and cozy in the cold weather. It is hot in the summer but I still love it. I love my new counter level stainless steel table (IKEA! Yes Ikea!). I love the floor (will take some upkeep though, little nervous about that). The only things left to replace are the ceiling fan and the fridge. We have the fridge picked out, French Door LG (that actually fits our little kitchen) and we are looking at fans b/c the ceiling is pretty low. I spent some quality time with Julia (Child) and some tea on Sunday before my Lottery Yarn shift. Lovely. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crackberry Friday: The Fam

Oddly enough, out of all these people, I am the only one in the US. BTW. They don't know how to not look at a flash for a pic and the red eye fix was not doing any good.

I have had a headache for 2 days which is why I have not posted. Today while I was walking G-dog one of the neighbors said, 'Isn't it beautiful out?' It took all my self-control to not say, 'No, it's f-ing fall and should not be going up to 74 degrees along with humidity, the pressure going up and down like an f-ing yo-yo squishing my brain into the frontal left side of my eye socket.'

I merely said, "Yes, it feels like spring."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy, Relieved, Excited for Our Future

I have never been so proud to be an American as I am today. This truly is a turn in the right (correct) direction. I am excited for our country to get working on fixing the ills of the past 8 years. We will be able to fix the broken systems that support America and we'll be able to mend our foreign policy. America will again be the true leader in the free world once again. Other countries will look upon us with respect for our democracy, rather than disgust for our arrogance.

It is going to take a lot of work. More work than can be accomplished in just four years since over the past 8 years a heck of a lot of damage was done. It can be done, though. I have hope and joy for the future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I just lost any respect (albeit I had little) I had for Fox news...For their election reporting...they have Rick Santorum on talking about Liz Dole screwing up her campaign in NC. I have NO idea how he escaped My Island.

Funk That!

I have been in a funk. It happens every year and every year I try to be more prepared but it always smacks me in the head. It's not just the anniversary of my Dad's death, it's also the less sunlight. Did you know that the sun set here at 4:56pm yesterday?! That is insane. Poor G-dog can't get the the dog park during the week anymore. I hate that. Also, I STILL don't have my kitchen back so the cooking I do to make myself feel better...not going so well. I have about zero counter space right now.


I needed a clean slate. I needed to wake up in the morning, looking forward to the day and plow through it. I did that yesterday and it felt WONDERFUL! My brain started firing it's synapses again and ideas for the holidays began to take shape. It was a relief. Just needed to post it and see it myself. Kinda like a reminder that things do come around. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Things to Do...

Due to technical issues I was not able to post this until today.

1. Go to work...ok call in sick to work because of migraine because dog threw up on the bed in the middle of the night.

2. Make sure I have enough Halloween candy.

3. Get cool 'fire' cauldron out for decoration.

4. Have lunch with Dad.

I hope I didn't freak you out or anything. Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death. I wrote a poem about it for Writer's Workshop a couple weeks ago. In that poem I mentioned the idea of celebrating "Dia de Los Muertos" because my Dad was a fan of Latin Culture. Seeing as this anniversary occurs the day before Dia de Los Muertos I celebrated is today with him.

It was a gorgeous day. The cemetary looks like a golf course, rolling hills beautiful trees and the only thing you can see that would cue you into the actual use of the land is the vases that are on most in ground plaques. I got a Wawa hoagie, bottle of water and Reeces Peanut Butter Cups (which he liked very much). I also brought flowers. (You'll notice in the pic, there is a Phillies flag. I am not sure who put it there but it was with a rose as well. I think it must have been my brother becuase he was born about 2 months after the last time the Phillies won the World Series.) So I sat on my yoga mat next to his resting place and enjoyed the silence, the blue sky, sounds of the birds and the peace I felt from knowing that beautiful place was where he rested.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: A Glassy Tale

Now this is different.

After someone partakes of my fluid, I am usually placed on a circular, stone object. Today I seem to be next to a foot, overlooking what appears to be a deep crevice. I cannot see very far. I am not sure whether it is the scent emanating from the foot or just my poor depth perception (I am curved you know) as to why I cannot see the next level. I wonder if the foot is aware of the state of affairs or if it remembers I am here. If it doesn't remember I am here, there may be a problem.

Usually, I sit awaiting orders in that enclosed cabinet thingy. While there I hear the rumors of others like me who have never returned to the home base. I hear strange tales of having 'extras' on hand in the event of a tragedy on the stone patio. Then there is a frightening tale of a long whip like object that comes out of nowhere, slapping us to the floor with ferocious might. Some have returned to tell the tale but refuse to give commentary on those who didn't make it. They say, recycling was in their future. They say the word 'recycling' with such a shuddering horror that I don't dare ask more questions.

Ack! The foot touched me! I am slightly closer to that drop. Also, that nasty thing touched the rim. Who is going to partake of me now? Ooof! What was that clinking noise? Oh, ice melting. it sounds so loud at times, echoing in here the way it does. Wait, the sound seems to have stirred the foot and a hand appears, pushing me away from the drop. Whew! I was beginning to seriously condensate. If I am not on the round stone the female with the pretty painted toes will start making loud noises and...

whaaaat...IS...that? There is a jingling sound, like the olive picks in the cocktail shaker.



It has taken everything in it's path and I am next, oh smelly foot SAVE ME, SAVE ME!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bad Wife

I wish I was talking about anyone else but me. P has been working on the kitchen. The paint is done and then last night he started on the floors. It is all coming together but I have been NO help at all.

You see, there are a few things that I asked him to do BEFORE the painting began. The walls in the kitchen are not in great shape. Sections needed to be slightly repaired before more paint went on the walls. We spoke about it extensively many times before painting began. What did he do? Paint over the sections that needed to be repaired instead of fixing them. Does it look good? No. Did we get into a blow out over it? Yes. I can't even get into the nuances of the fight here because they were so moronic (on his side) I almost collapsed on the floor in a 3 year old fit. Actually, I might have, the rage was quite blinding. Bottom line, he didn't feel like doing it so it didn't get done. I am still not over it.

My problem is, from outside the kitchen, the paint and the flooring that is being worked on now, looks really good. Let me repeat, from outside the kitchen. Who spends lots of time in the kitchen? Me. It's my place. P has the family room with his huge tv, extensive stereo gear and XBox. I have the kitchen with it's warmth, good scents and cookbooks. So now, I am torn daily between rage that he didn't care enough about my area (BTW, I also cook for him on an almost daily basis, where?) and guilt that I don't appreciate the fact he is doing this.

I feel like crawling UNDER the bed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

RANT: Philly Fan and Proud of It

There was an article by a lazy journalist in the St. Petersberg Times today that really made me angry. I wasn't really angry about the fact that he was complaining about Philadelphia sports fans. Everyone complains about the few bad apples they either 'hear' about or read about. What I can't take is lying and sloppy journalism. Basically what Romano did was take something EVERY sports writer outside Philadelphia writes about and try, poorly at that, to rehash it because their team is behind in the World Series.

"Children were cursed at, and one 9-year-old boy had beer poured on him."
- Do you know how much beers ARE at Citizens Bank Park? $7.50. I don't think there was any wasting of alcohol. There might have been spillage when big plays were made but no, I am sorry, that was not going to happen.

"A Rays family member stayed locked in a bathroom stall because, he said, Phillies fans were banging on the walls and threatening him."
- The family members of the Ray were sitting in a specific section of the ball park with more security and additional ushers to handle problems. No, I don't think this happened either.

"In a game that did not begin until after 10 p.m., giving fans more booze time"
-Beer sales were stopped after the 4th inning so that the vendors were not open any more time that usual.

"Does this sort of thing happen at other stadiums? Without a doubt. And I'm sure it has happened on occasion at Tropicana Field, too. But no city has the reputation of Philadelphia."
- Glass houses, even those with domes break. If you are going to berate us SOLELY on reputation, you are a POOR journalist.

"Team officials were reluctant to talk about the situation for fear of stirring up more hostility."
- If ANY of this had truth to it, it would have been on the news here in Philly (because you know we love to hear about what we do to other fans and the media LOVES to report it) AND in Tampa.

The worst one of all that CAN be proven a lie.
"Really, the biggest part is the families, if we could do something about that. Throwing mustard packs at my granddaughter is not very cool. The other part, I'm good with."
- There are NO mustard packs at CBP. None, period. They have the kegs o' mustard that you need to use to put on your food out by the vendors. Even the vendors outside the stadium don't use them very much.

When you need to stoop this low, to quote unnamed sources, take all hersay and print it and BLATANTLY make up lies, you are FINISHED as a journalist and might as well change careers to writing bad fiction.

On the other hand, those that STILL call us brutal and Neanderthals; I am proud to be from Philly. I am proud that we have the fans that we have. Santa has remained unscathed for YEARS. LET IT GO!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Evil Pumpkin

This is a mere 10 steps from my desk. It calls to me but no one else can hear. When you open it's top, it is noisy so everyone can hear you.
The plastic spoon only holds 3 at a time and all can hear as you futilely try to get as many as possible on the spoon at once, the corn clicking against the cheap plastic and echoing in the glass. Until, finally in your desperate need for sugar (at about 2pm daily) you snatch it off the desk and pour the corn syrup and honey goodness into your hand (trying to avoid the 'chocolate' ones b/c they suck and trying to get the last pumpkin one) and run back to your desk where your tea and warm chair remind you that you are only human and THAT is an evil pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things I Learned While Watching VH1 Tonight

1. Harp beer and candy corn actually goes pretty well together.
2. Gary Busey and Jeff Conway BOTH on Celebrity Rehab this season. SERIOUSLY!?


My brain is totally jammed today. I can't think of what to blog or what to make for dinner. I am avoiding chicken b/c I might be roasting one tomorrow from my CSA but I don't know if it will come frozen in which case I can't cook it tomorrow. I am a freak. My brain stopped working because I cannot figure out what to make for dinner. This video describes how my brain feels.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Island: A New Inhabitant

For those of you that are new to this blog, I have a virtual island. No, you really don't want to go there. Why? I send people there that I think really don't have a purpose in life other than to annoy me and others. Here is a link to the first post I did about it in case you have any questions.
Here is what the population looks like right now:

Flying Stand-by:
Jamie Lynn Spears
Elizabeth Hasselback

On the island:
Ann Coulter
Rick Santorum
Brittany Spears
Amy Winehouse
Lindsay Lohan

Today I was checking out CNN as I do often during the day. I usually don't check out the videos while I am at work...not because I am at work but because my phone sometimes interferes with the speakers and it annoys me. I usually keep them off. Today, however, I came across this headline, "Soldier Threatened Over Lawn". I was intrigued. I turned on my speakers, sat through a commercial (aren't those annoying?) and watched as the story unfolded. I will embed the video at the end of the post but I know that sometimes, like me, you can't watch a video. Short story, there is a soldier in Kennewick, WA who bought a home in an area that has a homeowners association. When he bought the home he was required to landscape it. Right before he was due to leave for active duty, his landscaper skipped town. The developer of the area, also the president and sole member of the homeowners association, a 'man' named Chick Edwards, said to a local paper " I really don't give a (expletive) who he is or what his problem is." Basically, he wanted to sue the soldier for not landscaping his property. This soldier has a pregnant wife and young son staying back east with family while her husband is on active duty overseas. Some very nice people got together and landscaped his property so that Mr. Edwards would stop harrassing the family. There is more in the video and in the link to the article I provided.

So today, I am adding Mr. Chick Edwards to my island. He is a supercilious 'man' (yeah I am using quotes because I think he is trying to make up for something in that department by being a bully) who obviously cares more about the view than this country. He really serves no purpose for the general population of the world and we would be best served if he joined the people on the island. I am sure that he and Rick would be able to get along. They are just both so into themselves they can't see the light of day. I think the other women would ignore this 'man' becuase well, he's really not a man.

I took out the video b/c it was causing loading problems on the blog. If you'd like to see it, go to CNN and search 'Soldier threatened over lawn'.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Google: Fun With Keywords

Someone who did a search with this phrase:

"passive aggressive husbands that murder"

visited my blog.

Now I am slightly frightened because P is extrememly passive aggressive and I have always assumed that he would drive ME to murder. Now I am seeing I might be wrong. eeek!

Otherwise Google Analytics is fun!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crackberry Friday: A Tranquil Setting

Isn't this pretty? This is the Schuylkill (SKOO-kil) River. It is one of two rivers that flow through the Philadelphia area. This section happens to be next to my office building in a town called West Conshohocken (go ahead and try to say it). This is where we stand when we are chased out of the buiding by fire drills.
Have you heard of Boat House Row in Philadelphia? If you've ever watched a game with the Eagles in it they show that section of the river where the boathouses are outlined in lights. You know you've seen it. This river is part of the same one.
I took this pic with my handy Crackberry because I loved how the water was reflecting the trees. This river is almost always this peaceful. Even when it the current is swift it still just flows. I should really go out more and take advantage of this scene.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Writers Workshop Thursday: What do you love to create?

The thing I love to create instills peace, harmony and balance. The thing I like to create has restorative properties like nothing else I know. It is a creative process as well. There are so many things that are born out of my favorite creative process that it has to be the most wonderful thing in the world.

What I like to create is:


I wrote it small because I realize that it is difficult to understand. It is also sometimes viewed in an ugly way as 'controlling' or 'freakishly detail oriented' or 'a prescription for mutiny'. You'd think that if I like to create order in my life that I am a germ o phobe or maybe one of those people whose homes always look perfect and smell of fresh linen.


If only, you see I have a husband and a dog (do you know how many times I had to type the word 'god' before I typed dog? 3, weird) and they are orderless, with out order, rhyme or reason almost 100% of the time. I have to threaten bodily harm to the XBox or the DVR recorded soccer games to get P to actually not ruin what I have cleaned.

When I have created order my body relaxes and I look around the room (not the house because there is no way in hell our whole house would look nice at once) with a sense of accomplishment. I can see the reasons that I like our home. My mind calms down and I can see the fun creative and decorative things I'd like to try. When my home is in disarray, all I can think about it cleaning it. It taps me on the shoulder (or slaps me in the back of the head depending on how bad it is) when I am trying to read or cook saying "I'm messy and I look like crap. If you won't fix me I'll make you miserable." Oh, and it does. I will trip over P's soccer team jersey carrier, I'll kick the door on G-dog's crate and scratch myself in the process, I'll track dead leaves into the house. It just keeps getting worse.

When I have cleaned and all is in order, the house brightens and the birds chirp and a choir of angels sings...of course this is all in my head so maybe I am crazy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to a Very Special Blogger!

Yea!!!!! Today is Jen's birthday over at Buried with Children some one who loves her lots (also in the picture) informed her bloggy friends of her special day. As you can see from this pic, she already celebrates a lot of birthdays in her family, 3 at the same time!
I love reading her blog because she always makes me laugh. I think my favorite post is this one. Hearing the kids laugh and seeing them so happy playing with their Dad with a simple game. It made me laugh when I wasn't watching it. :)
So I wish you, Jen, the happiest of birthdays and hope you have an absolutely wonderful day! Maybe you can go to the spa.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogathon --- Etes Vous Pret? Parte!

Translation - Are you ready? Go! That used to be what the starter would say at the beginning of a rowing race.

I am saying are you ready for some bloggy good fun? GO to The Secret is in The Sauce or SITS for short. They are having a blogathon and giving away prizes every hour! SITS is a place to meet and read about bloggers. The hosts Tiffany and Heather, two bloggers that I began reading when I started blogging. They started a site that is kind of a meet and greet for bloggers. If you register with them, they will feature you blog at some point! That is the BEST day! You get SOOOO many visitors and comments and new friends.

For the blogathon I am to introduce you to some of my fave bloggers.

Live. Love. Eat - someone who loves food like I do

Canidid Carrie - she is just the biggest hearted person you will ever meet

A French Fatum - she is living the life in France and totally deserves it

Buried with Children - Jen totally rocks with her triplets and oldest boy

American in Norway - Tree-sa ;) just LOVE her and her stories about life in a beautiful place

BS5 Calls This a Controversal... (ha ha! sucked you in)
...I'll just call it loaded. ;)

If you could kill someone and get away with it, would you? this is a public blog, ;)

Have you ever felt you may go mad? Yes

If you were the opposite sex, would you have sex with yourself? Yes but not now. I need to lose a couple pounds. ;)

Have you ever pretended to like something to make yourself feel cool? Yes, smoking cigarettes.

How long would you last under interrogation? If they were only hurting me, long. If they tried to hurt someone I care about or an animal, not long at all.

Have you ever knowingly forwarded a spam email? No.

How often do you use the word C**t? NEVER. I have seriously never used it because I hate it so much.

Have you been head over heels in love yet? Yes

If it was your choice, would you unfreeze Walt Disney?No. I think he had his time and now others are expanding on his good ideas. I am glad they are not expanding on the bad ones.

Do you believe in fashion? I believe that simple clothes that are well chosen will always be classy. I decided to use the same response at BS5 b/c I think he said it so well and I totally agree.

If the world was to end and you had the power to save only one friend, who would it be? My husband, he's my friend.

Did you have to think about the last question? No.

Is Chi real? Yes, very real.

Do you actually hate anyone? Yes. The list is short and I am not proud of it but I do feel hate. I wish I could turn it into indifference but I am not sure if that is better or worse. Non e of them are the people I have sent to my island. I think you need to actually know a person to hate them.

If Frogs did turn into people when you kiss them, would you go looking for one? No, happy with my current frog.

Do you have an alternative explanation for death? "That's all she wrote."

Did you like 'Sunscreen' by Baz Lurman? Yes. It is a little cheezy but also very true.

If you could be a Transformer, who would it be? Ga! I don't remember them well enough. :(

Imagine you lived in the Star Wars universe in your underground house on a small desert planet looking after your nephew, but you had all the knowledge of all the Star Wars movies. A Stormtrooper comes knocking on your dome and asks you if you've seen 2 droids and an irritating young boy.....what would you do? Send them in the direction of the Sand People and hope for the best.

Multiple Choice. You get to punch someone, it has to be one of them..1. George Bush, 2. Lenny Henry, 3. Jesus, 4. Stephen Hawking, 5. Gary Coleman......who would it be? George Bush the younger, no doubt. I'd have to lean over to hit Gary.

I am not going to tag anyone but if you would like to do this one, I'd beinterested in reading your answers. You can even just do it in the comments if you'd like.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dennis the Manatee

Below you will find a video of a manatee that found its way into Sesuit Harbor on the Cape. He was not well and I like to think that he went to the Cape to live out his days. There were some people that thought that "rescuing" him and taking him back to Florida was the way to go and sadly he did not make it.
I know those people thought they had his best interest at heart (for the most part). It broke my heart though because if I wanted to go to the Cape to live out my last days, I would hope that my friends and family would respect that.
Take a look at the video if you have a moment. After the talking guy there is a couple minutes of 'Dennis' the manatee swimming around my most favoritest harbor in the world, Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis to some relaxing music that sounds like it was composed just for him.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Meme: I need to share 6 secrets or 6 things you may not know about me.

My apologies to Kristen at La Dolce Vida for my late response...

1. I like The Andy Griffith Show reruns.

2. I had a southern accent when I lived in NC and for a short time after. This is why I don't make fun of Madonna for taking on the UK accent. I understand. It just happens sometimes.

3. I occasionally stalk people on FB when I am bored.

4. I have not cleaned my engagement ring/wedding ring in months.

5. I am watching the stock ticker and cheering and booing.

6. I cried last night while watching CSI

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Award!

Sarah Mae over at A Warm Cup of Coffee gave me this award on Friday. I have to tell you that she truly reminds me of that warm and comforting feeling you get from a warm cup of coffee. We don't always have the same point of view but I know when I visit her blog, I'll come away with provoking thoughts and happy that I visited. :)
The fun part about this award is, it comes with a questionnaire. Here goes:
1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? I do! I have a group of girlfriends from high school. We are very close but I have also added many friends over the years that I consider family (yeah, I'm talking about you French Fatum).

2. What do you value most about your friends? That we are all different people, have different opinions but love each other to the ends of the earth.

3. Are your friends your sounding boards? My husband is my first sounding board really. Then it's a tie between friends and my mom.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends? Dinner out!

Now I get to pass this award along to four of my bloggy friends. Are you ready? Here's to you!
Mama Dawg at Two Dogs Running
Sue at As Cape Cod Turns
Kristen at La Dolce Vita

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crackberry Friday: Farm Share Week 1

First, let me say, please check out my earlier post today for an explanation of my poem. I know there were a few of you that were interested.

Second, I promise that Crackberry Friday will not only be pics of veggies. I was just very excited this week for my fall farm share to begin that I had to take a pic of my haul. If you have been reading my blog, you know how much I love food and cooking.
This was my haul
7 Tomatoes grown by Green Valley Organics
1 head Boc Choi grown by Scarecrow Hill Organics
2 sweet dumpling squash grown by Hillside Organics
1 bag (1/2 lb) wildfire baby lettuce mix grown by Elm Tree Organics
1 bag (1/2 lb) arugula grown by Farmdale Organics
3 special zucchini (some of the ones I could choose from were round!)
1 celeriac
1 bunch Swiss chard (not in pic 'cause I ate it)
I have been looking up fall veggie recipes for 2 weeks in anticipation of my farm share beginning. I have heard mixed reviews of chard so I decided that since P had hockey and would not be eating with me, this was the night to give it a try. I found a recipe for sauteed chard with garlic, right up my alley. As I was preparing the chard, I found myself excited at the prospect of trying something brand new. I chopped up the stalks and then rolled up the leaves and cut them into 1/2 inch wide strips. The recipe didn't call for it but I cooked the stalks too, just sauteing them longer than the leaves. I reheated my pasta and added the chard to it. I was in heaven! The chard was so good and the pesto pasta was perfect to round out the meal along with a bottle of red wine, of course. This was a excellent way to start my fall farm share. :) I am so excited to cook so many new things!

Explaination of My Poem Below

When the fall days ripen into an orange haze, That beautiful color that seems to hang in the 'gloaming' of a fall twilight
When the shop windows fill with leaves and candles and webs All the fall and Halloween decorations
I think back to a time where we still laugh and wish
For full pillowcases We used to use our pillowcases for trick or treating when I was little

When the streets hush early, In our neighborhood it seems like dinner happens earlier on Halloween so that the kids can eat and then get ready for trick or treating.
When the first tiny children step out as something other than themselves The younger kids get out earlier and are dressed up in a costume
I tie the ribbon in a foolish way ‘round my head to hide I like to dress up a little to hand out candy. I always wanted one of those cool masquerade masks. Ya know?
My face and maybe tears Might be a little sad seeing kids with their Mom and/or Dad.

When the lights bob down the way, Parents and kids carrying flashlights and glow lights to light the way
When the laughter and joy fills the streets Kids happy and excited.
I’ll ponder the delicious fragility of this travesty of the day My Father died on October 31st, 2003
That celebrates the thin veil between this world and the next. On Halloween it is said that the veil between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest.

When the sun rises tomorrow, November 1st
When the stone warms to my touch and the grass is scented My Father's grave is in a beautiful cemetery with rolling grass and his grave stone is stone and a plaque set in the soil, flat on the ground.
I’ll take my cakes to your resting place November 1st is Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. In Mexico, families go to the graves of their family members who have passed to invite them to join the living family in a celebration of their life. People bring food and drink and basically picnic in the cemeteries with their ancestors. They make Day of the Dead bread or cakes to take with them.
And share them with you. I plan on upholding this tradition because I think it is lovely and my Dad was a great lover of Latin culture.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Writes Workshop Thursday: Ode to Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos

When the fall days ripen into an orange haze,
When the shop windows fill with leaves and candles and webs
I think back to a time where we still laugh and wish
For full pillowcases

When the streets hush early,
When the first tiny children step out as something other than themselves
I tie the ribbon in a foolish way ‘round my head to hide
My face and maybe tears

When the lights bob down the way,
When the laughter and joy fills the streets
I’ll ponder the delicious fragility of this travesty of the day
That celebrates the thin veil between this world and the next.

When the sun rises tomorrow,
When the stone warms to my touch and the grass is scented
I’ll take my cakes to your resting place
And share them with you.

I am happy to explain this poem if you are interested or you can hazard guesses. I have not written poetry in a very long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Mama Kat!

Update: I will explain it in tommorrow's post, ok?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Wow. 200 Posts. This is how many posts I have in calories.

This is sad to me because I like me some butter. That pat is a poor excuse for the number of posts I have had.

This is a little better. Cheetos are always good and it looks like a fairly good amount.

Pics courtesy of

Ok, I am stalling. Truth is, I am not exactly sure what to talk about in my 200th post. I though about tackling an important topic like this election year or going green but nothing was really grabbing me about those topics today. I thought that maybe I'd talk about some huge significant moment in my life but I didn't want to get too heavy on you. I got so concerned with what I shouldn't write that I got stressed out and couldn't think of what to write about at all. Then it hit me...I'll write about bloggers block!

Bloggers block it more serious that mere writers block because we have SOOO many modes of communication at our fingertips that if we can;t come up with SOMETHING to blog there is MUST be something wrong. What do I do when this happens to me? I get a cup of tea. Now if I am at the office, it's easy. There is a Keruig machine to do it for me and I add honey. No big deal. If I am at home, there is boiling and steeping (or is it seeping) involved. I usually let it stee..see...soak for about 5 minutes (yes dear Suburbia and BS5, I know how to make a cuppa w/o a teabag). Then I strain and add honey but I have to wait for the honey to melt its way off the spoon so I don't have to take the spoon with me. Hits me in the nose when I am trying to drink. Now I can relax and think about what to write.

Well, heck I just wrote about making a cup of tea, the meaning of life cannot be far away. While I am sipping I'll check my email, Facebook, CNN and local news to see if anything captures my attention. Since lately it has all been economic stuff (deal with that at work don't want to blog about it) or the election (mind already made up and loathing the other side) there is not much I can find

WAIT! Is that a story about a woman giving birth in a tree. Oh, no wait. Page wasn't loading correctly, captions now straightened out. Seems there are too many bears in trees in areas that are being overdeveloped in Jersey. Shocker. Not much to see here. Same stuff different day.

This is what I am worried about. Writing about the same stuff everyday. I also worry about writing things that will cause my followers to drop off my list. There is a lot in me that is just waiting to come out but I haven't put it out there yet because I was cultivating my garden of bloggy friends. Now I realize. I was hiding again. So 200 to me means that I will not be hiding anymore. I will continue to post stuff like you have been seeing but I will also be posting things that might be opinionated and/or controversial. I promise to get my facts straight before I rant if you promise to stick around. Is that a deal?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

That Kind of a Day

Update: I have to do this in update form...Please visit me tomorrow. Tomorrow is a special day for me...200 posts. :)

I just went into the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror, I realized that I forgot to put on ANY make up. My face is naked.

I look every single day of 36 years old right now. It's a good thing we don't have clients coming in because I would scare them something silly. Heck, at least they might forget about that whole economy crisis thing though.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Stuff

There is a roast in the oven roasting.
There is a heather gray long sleeved tee shirt cuddling.
There is a glass of red wine dwindling with a cheese plate in need of more crackers.

This is my idea of a perfect fall evening. It is supposed to go down into the 40's tonight and I planned well. I got a roast, there are potatoes roasting as well. There is fresh local broccoli ready to be steamed and 2 more bottles of wine just in case this one goes. The only thing missing is dessert and I am trying to decide between baked apples and No Pudge Brownies.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Football Saturday: Injury and Irritation

Update: Egads my grammer was terrible! I fixed a glaring error and hope that you forgive me.

So not only did we lose, I rolled my ankle during the first drive. It didn't end up hurting until later. I am ok. Ibuprofen, ice and a nap seems to have made it so I can limp around. When I got home, I couldn't put weight on it at all.

Anyway, what really sucks is that we should have beat this team we had 2 really bad calls against us. What was worse was it was because the ref clearly did not know the rules well enough and it has to do with what constituted a 'girl-play' (play where a woman is involved, either has to catch, qb or run the ball forward). I then was asked to sub in a game because a team did not have the required number of women to play (you have to have at least 3 out of 8 on the field at all times). Anyway, they didn't utilize their women correctly, rendering them useless and making them window dressing for their team. It makes me so angry when this happens because I am good. The women I play with are good AND the purpose of co-ed play means that you work as a whole team. I am looking forward to playing against this team because we will pick them apart if they play this way.

These are the teams I love to beat because they are so unaware that women can be athletic. For awhile we had a team that was mostly women and a full time woman quarterback. It made me so angry when other teams and even refs sometimes would act like we were doing something wrong. It totally threw the other teams off their game and we won a championship one season (and were undefeated) and made it to the semi's or the finals for several seasons. It was always such a good feeling to beat a team that looked down on us. Also, you've seen my pic. Were were not a manly looking crew. We were good looking women who just happened to be able to kick ass at football. :)

Now some of us still play, some have moved on because we don't have the time to play on more than one team anymore. Some of us are married, some are mothers. We all are football players.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I was out yesterday due to some sort of raging sore throat so I am not prepared with my picture. We'll see if I can come up with something interesting from my surroundings.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Writers Workshop Thusday: Hiding

Do you remember the movie, The Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Well if you were to over dramatize my life and toss in a couple funny wedding scenes, you'd have me.

There were times in my life I didn't hide who I really was inside from a male. When I was 6 years old and the boy who lived across the street from my Grandmother kissed me behind a rock while we were playing hide and seek was the first. The others came later as revelations.

For most of my life I hid who I was in relationships. For most of that time, I don't even think I realized I was doing it. I just thought that I was learning about that person and sharing their experiences. In high school it was all very innocent. Guys were interested in getting to the next base. Pretty easy to figure out. There was one exception and maybe I'll write about him someday. As high school went on though, I started to get lost in the boys I was dating. This boy liked soccer, ok, I was going to be interested in it. That boy liked the drums, ok, I will start listening to percussion music. Like I mentioned earlier, it started innocently enough.

As I moved on to college, my unease with my chosen major should have been an indicator that I was not really sure who I was or who I wanted to be. I dated, I latched on and threw myself in to what others wanted me to like whether they knew it or not. Does that make sense? With B it was the pharma industry and heavy metal and detailing cars. Whenever I hear something really hard I still get nostalgic for the Mad Monk in Wilmington, NC and a bit of head banging. Don't get me wrong I learned many things that would help me in life the biggest of all being this was the relationship that finally opened my eyes to the hiding.

For the longest time I could not figure out why I was always so worried he was going to break up with me. We were together for 4 years yet I was frantic. Ok, my intuition told me that he probably cheated on me and I DID find out that was true but that is not the point (I just like to point it out). It didn't hit me until I cheated on him with another person what the problem was. I was afraid the B would figure out that I wasn't the person he wanted because...I wasn't sure who I was. I was so hidden, I didn't even know myself. It had gotten so scary and things had gotten so out of hand that I was miserable. I hated me, I hated feeling like I wasn't good enough. I turned to someone else.

Unfortunately, what started out as me being me with someone for the first time since I was six eventually deteriorated into me turning myself inside out again. Only this time, this person was completely and utterly innocent of it. If I had not shown such an enthusiasm for hockey, he would have been ok with it. If I had not been crazy about venison, he would have still wanted me in his life. The problem was, I didn't know what to do other than mold myself into someone else for the other person. Of course that relationship ended as did others that followed it for the same reason and I still didn't realize it.

When P and I got together, it was after I got out of an abusive relationship. I was stripped bare and was still working out how to build myself back up. I was working on it from scratch because well, I wasn't sure where to start. As I built myself up, I guess he saw me, really saw me and liked me then loved me. I love him for that.

I can honestly say that at 35 I have done a 180 from them person I was in my teens and twenties (I know you are supposed to be BUT this is very different). Not all of it is good (just ask my Mom) but it is all ME. I am still figuring it out at 36 but I am making sure that I am not hiding ME from anyone anymore.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pilfering an Idea...

Ok, I am tired and coming down with a cold and have nothing really interesting to say today. I need to save it up for my Thursday Writers Workshop. So here's a meme that Cherlyn did today.

What are your initials?


What is your favorite thing to wear?

Scrubs pilfered from a hospital I did work in and heavy tee shirt.

Last thing you ate?

Tomato bisque soup

Name one thing that scares you:

Not finding my 'thing;'

I say Shotgun, you say:


Who was the last person in your bed?


What were you doing at 7:00am?

slapping snooze button

Last person you hugged?


Does anyone you know want to date you?

Nah, I am married.

When was your last encounter with the police?

I was a tad upset with one blocking the area where I needed to park for football a couple weeks ago.

Have you ever driven without a license?


The last place you went out to dinner?

Talula's Table :)

Do you like your name?

It's a little boring. (Sorry Mom)

What time of the day is it?


Who/What made you angry today​?

The fact I had to get out of bed made me angry.

Baseball or Football?


Do you want anyone?

take the 5th

Do you like birds?

Yes, but not when they are hunting in my front yard.

Favorite holiday?

I am in the process of figuring that out.

Do you download music​?

Yes but not very recently

Do you care if your socks are dirty​?


Opinion of Chinese symbol tattoos?

Nah. I'd go for something in elvish though.

What are you doing tonight?


Do you like to cuddle?


Do you love anyone?

Sure, many people.

Whose bed did you sleep in last night​?​​


Have you ever bungee jumped?

No but I might.

Have you ever gone whitewater rafting?

Yes. Ages ago.

Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you?


How many pets do you have?


Have you met a real redneck?

I dated one

How is the weather right now?

Eh. I wish it was a bit dryer.

What are you listening to right now?

Classical music.

What is your current favorite song?

I don't have one at the moment. My iPod is temporarily down.

What was the last movie you watched?

In the theater? - Sex and the City, On Cable - Marie Antoinette

Do you wear contacts?


Where was the last place you went besides your house​?

Lottery Yarn

What are you wearing?

Khaki's and a black shirt.

What's one thing you've learned this year?

Sales Job = on the job drinking

What do you usually order from Starbucks?

Right now, Non fat pumpkin spice latte. Usually, Non fat, sugar free vanilla latte

Ever had someone sing to you?


Have you ever fired a gun:


Are you missing someone?

Especially now

Favorite TV show?

Right now, Life

What do you have an obsession with?

Food, but in a healthy way. ;)

Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb?

Not in awhile

Who ??

When I had short hair, Princess Di

Who would you like to see right now?

The person I miss

Ever had a near death experience?

I don't think so.

Are you afraid of falling in love?


Have you ever been caught doing​ something you weren't supposed to?

My brother caught me an a high school bf in the basement...nuff said

Has anyone you were really close to passed away recently?

Not recently

Our Lady Peace or Nickelback​?


What's something that really bugs you?


Do you like Michael Jackson?

Not now. Refuse to listen to his music

Taco Bell or Burger King?

Neither, seriously.

Next time you will kiss someone?


Favorite baseball team?

Phillies if I have to pick.

Ever call a 1-900 phone number​?

Not on purpose.

Nipple or Nose rings?

Nipple rings on guys are cool. I like nose rings on girls if they are small.

What's the longest time you've gone without sleep​?​​​​​

36 hours

Last time you went bowling?

Probably like 4 years ago

Where is the weirdest place you have slept​?

A car.

Who was your last phone call?

A client

What does your last received text message say?

"I quit smoking!" It was from my brother. :)

What's the closest orange object to you?

The hangup button on my phone.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Rarest Reservation: Talula's Table

Conde Nast: Portfolio "The country's hardest-to-get reservation isn't in New York or Los Angeles. Call Talula's Table, in Pennsylvania horse country, to dine in 2009." It's a great article go ahead and read it.

Ok, I am seriously not bragging. I am just trying to drive home how amazing this place is. I was there when they first opened and were not yet serving dinner. I was there when they were in Philly in their restaurant Django. Now I finally was able to see what everyone was talking about when it came to their new dinner style.

What Talula's Table (owned by married couple Brian Sikora and Aimee Olexy) does is create 2 meals a night one for a table of up to 12 and one for a table of 4, 6 days a week. The table for 12 is called "The Farmhouse Table" It is out in the main part of what during the day is their gourmet market. The table for 4 is in the inner sanctum, the kitchen, hence, The Kitchen Table. Someday I'd love to have a big party of 12 but Friday night, I was in heaven in the kitchen.

We were greeted by Aimee when we arrived as if we were coming for dinner in a friend's home. She led us back to the kitchen and our table. The four of us had half the large butcher block table that is usually used for making what you see in the market. Brian is the head chef and had a little prep area going on his end of the table and was able to talk with us between courses and also during the meal. He, Aimee and the other staff explained each course and kept up with our wine selections (that is to say, made sure nary a glass was empty). Now if you are not a foodie and you are bored with food descriptions, skip to the end (I'll start in bold so you can see it). We had eight courses and sitting to my left is the menu for the evening which I am going to transcribe here. I apologize for not getting more pics. We were so focused on the food we forgot. :(

First Course
Eastern Shore Scallop in the Shell, Scallop and Coral Emulsion and Caviar - If a gun was put to my head to pick my favorite course this might have been it. The scallops were unbelievably fresh, perfectly seared. The Coral emulsion was prepared with the coral from the scallops and the seawater they still had in the shell. It gave an unbelievable depth to the flavor. He also added fresh enoki mushrooms (the restaurant is located in the heart of the mushroom capital of the country). Any other mushroom would have over powered the flavor but the enoki was so delicate, it just added to the layers.

Second Course
Summersweet Corn and Crab Souffle, Annalees Herbs and Cherokee Tomato Syrup - We still have fresh corn here believe it or not, and you could tell in this course. I am a fan of interesting sweet corn dishes since another restaurant introduced me to all the possibilities. This was the best souffle I have ever had. I literally watched them pull it out of the oven, piping hot. The smell was your first indication that it was going to be amazing. The 'syrup' had the consistency of homemade catsup but was sweeter and richer. We took the little spoon the syrup was placed in and put it into the heart of the souffle, unleashing more of the heavenly aroma. The combination of fresh crab, corn, paprika and tomatoes was truly an incredible experience.

Third Course
Handmade Orecchiette, Birchrun Veal Meatballs, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Blanquette, Veal Glazed Sweetbreads - Before anyone gets on my case about the veal. I already know. I would not have eaten is but it is from a local farm that does none of the inhumane things we all know happen to baby cows. I am not promoting veal. I am glad to say that the owners of this establishment pride themselves on using organic and humanely harvested meats and produce. We spoke extensively about it at our meal. So, this dish I actually have a picture of as well. Anyway, the meatballs were presented on the plate along with the tiniest and most tasty brussel sprouts you have ever had in your life. Their flavor coupled with the veal and sweet breads (not going into that either, bring on the mad cow) were an inspired choice. Also included were Parmesan crisps that did something wonderful to the veal sauce that accompanied the meat. An interesting addition was the handmade orecchette. This was the perfect pasta to add to this dish. They had a heft somewhere between gnocchi and shells but had more flavor than I have ever tasted in any pasta. It was a good thing there were only a few to the plate because that was all that was needed.

Fourth Course
Alaskan Halibut, Our Chard, Pomme de Terre, Braised Smoked Bacon and Sherry Red Pepper Essence - I am ruined for halibut. I don't think I can have it anywhere else. The texture was perfect and it was the perfect vehicle for the pomme de terre and the red pepper. Now that I am doing a CSA I am looking forward to the chard I am sure to get as long as I can cook it the way they did. It had the familiar texture of spinach but more so if that makes sense. The bacon was this tiny piece but because of the braising and smoking process the flavor that it lended the dish floated over all the parts, enhancing the whole experience rather than taking over.

Fifth Course Tender Guinea Hen, Dr. Martin Lima Bean Terrine, Natural Hen Sauce - This was the first time I had the experience of having anything cooked sous vide (the practice of cooking food at low temperatures in vacuum-packed plastic bags). I had read about it but had not come across it. Now, I want to learn it. It imparted a flavor and a tenderness that you can get nowhere else. The natural hen sauce was essentially drippings from a roasted hen. The Terrine was like nothing I'd had before. Ham and diced lima beans absolutely wonderful. The 'Doc Martin' limas were local and now I need to find them. I hated lima beans as kid (the kind from cans). My association is much different now.

Sixth Course
Chester County Lamb Finished Three Ways and Vegetables Provencal - Lamb is one of my favorite things. I wrote a post about being torn about seeing their cute fuzzy faces on a daily basis and imagining them with rosemary and lemon. This blew me away. The three ways were, tenderloin, rolled shank and (you must pardon me, I had several glasses of wine and although in my memory I can still taste the third way, I cannot remember the name. Feel free to snap my butt with a wet napkin). The vegetables were presented inside a cup made from the end of a zucchini. Again, these were local sheep, grass finished. There is a difference.
Seventh Course
Little Stinkers, Fig Toast, Apple Fennel Jam and Goldenrod Honey - Again, presented with much wine I cannot remember the names of the cheeses. I have an email out to the owners to find out. If you are interested, email me. What I can tell you is that they were all deliciously smelly and paired with the items you see above. I loved each and every one.

Eighth Course
Chocolate Torte, Cashew butter, Roasted Apricots, Coulis and Salted Cashews - Now I have mentioned before on this blog that I do not believe in chocolate and fruit together. I make one exception, the roasted apricot coulis that accompanied this tort. It truly added a wonderful flavor to the dish. The cashew butter was actually more of a brittle and was in the middle of the torte. It was perfect for this though because it broke as soon as your fork hit that layer, allowing you to get all the layers in one bite without ruining the layers that were left.

We had coffee and they brought out truffles for us as well. Along with the check, they gave each of us pretzel bread. This was truly an amazing evening. Although I mentioned at the top that I look forward to someday sitting at The Farmhouse Table, I am torn. With my love of cooking and chefs (and Brian was not hard to look at, let me tell you) being in the kitchen and being able to chat with them about the food we were eating and their position on the local food movement and raising a family in the restaurant business was truly part of what made that meal so memorable. We left, full, happy and feeling like we'd had a meal at a friend's uber professional chef-friend's home but their home none the less.