Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Song is for You, Filled with Gratitude

Tonight my 28 year old daughter is having dinner with my first love.

It is a long story but here is a short version:

I met Todd in 1987. We dated for about 4 years. He taught me so many things about love. Have you ever known someone that made you feel like you were kindred spirits? That was us. Sometimes we would even know what the other was thinking. It was amazing.

But my insecurities and my past held me back from going to that next level with him and I know that I made the right choice, but it was painful. Very painful. Painful for me and for my children who were very attached to him.

I think our biggest problem was that we both were 'follower-type' people. There was no one strong 'leader ' and we both were just lost, not knowing how to get through the smallest of difficulties and not having a healthy frame of reference to guide us though.

Anyway, Todd found a wonderful wife and now has a beautiful, happy family.

I struggled for many years making mistakes and trying to fill the emptiness in my life that was left behind.

And all the time I thanked God that Todd was put in my path to teach me about love, to teach me to delve into the little things in life because they are the most important...to laugh, frequently from the depths of my being.

I honestly don't think that I would be here today, loving my husband, loving my life, and loving God if it wasn't for Todd.

This life is but a blink of the eye and I know that one day, when this earthly life is over, we all will be fellowshipping together again - without all the baggage, mistakes, insecurities and hurts.

updated: Jen called me after the dinner to say basically the same thing I just posted. "Mom, I learned about love from Todd, he taught me things that made me the person I am today. He taught me art, appreciation for little things, he was such a great influence in my life".

Do you have someone in your past that changed your life for the better?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Next I'll be Taking Geritol

Pookie just came home from school. She's been at her mother's all week and now her and her brother spend this week at home with us.

As she most often does when she first gets home here she went to the cabinet where we keep the goodies.

"Hello Lucky Charms", she exclaims.

And then she pours herself a big bowl and adds milk. Organic Milk.

"I guess the organicness of the milk cancels out the unhealthiness of the colored marshmallows", she says matter-of-factly as she sits down and eats her after-school snack.

That's just one of the reasons I love her, you can never argue with her rationale.

My husband and I went to open school night at her school last night.

I haven't been to one of those since 1996 when my children were in high school. And back then my children had about 2,000 children in each grade.

Here, 4 local towns join together for middle school totalling 350 per grade.

I learned many things last night.

Did you know that students can get their text books on a disk? What is that all about? What happened to the heavy text books that they had to schlep back and forth each day?

When my kids forgot something from school their punishment was to bring home the entire contents of their desk for a week.....it always worked. That's not going to work these days.

And what is with those Smart Boards? They do look like a lot of fun, but who gets to clean the chalkboard erasers these days? That used to be such an honor in my day.

Reading that last sentence makes me feel really, really old.

But the most amazing difference between 1996 and now is the fact that you can track your child's school work, homework, projects and grades online everyday. You can even give your kids quizzes on the things they've learned that week.

My head, it was a'spinnin' last night.

I've got a lot of catching up to do if I'm going to keep up with these Whippersnappers. (there I go again)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Magically Delicious, I Don't Think So

This past Saturday my husband insisted on going shopping with me at the Commissary.

Not actually insisted. Actually, not even close. But lets say he came with me because he was available and we didn't have any children with us. And I was going anyway. His eyes did roll when I told him that it was our next stop after Home Depot. We were at Home Depot at the time.

So he came with me.

It's really not considered kidnapping when you're married, is it?

It was the first time in his 25 years of service in the Armed Forces that he has been to the Commissary. I have been shopping there since I received my military ID because the prices and the men in uniform make the shopping an experience to be remembered.

Sometimes I get weak in the knees from all the low prices.

Or that could be because of all the Navy men. *swoons*

I will confess that I have always had a thing for men in uniform. I think my husband should come home in his once in awhile, but it's never happened in the whole two months that we've been married.

But I digress.

So we walk into the commissary and immediately Capt (my husband) goes nuts.


One of the first things he eyes is the breakfast cereal. He grabs a box of Lucky Charms, reads the price and throws it in the cart. "A dollar fifty for cereal? Wow, you can't beat that!", he says as he proceeds to fill the cart up with various other popular sugar-filled cereal.

Now, here's the strange part:

In all the years I have known Capt and his children I have never, ever seen any of them eat breakfast cereal.

When Pookie, age 13, wakes up on a school day she usually has two pieces french toast. Maybe once a week she will have a ham and cheese omelet.

When The Boy, age 11, wakes up on a school day, he ALWAYS has pancakes, made from scratch (as in butter milk, eggs, flour, etc.) along with yogurt, fresh fruit, four pieces of raisin bread toast with cream cheese, instant oatmeal with peaches and sometimes a breakfast sausage and more.

And just in case you have an image of a rather plump child - you are mistaken. The Boy is thin.

(If you have a child on ADHD meds, you understand.) The next time he will eat anything substantial will be right before bed.

On the weekends I make even bigger breakfasts for them. I don't eat a big breakfast, usually I eat oatmeal.

So, as you see, there isn't room for breakfast cereal in the schedule. And they have never asked for any.

But now we have 6 boxes of sugary and marshmallowy cereal in the cabinet above the stove, each for $1.50.

And I doubt that it will ever get eaten.

But, my husband is excited about what a bargain we got.

In the interest of actually saving money, which is the whole idea, of course, I will go alone from now on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

How it all went....

I just got back from my 'date' with Peggy. Her and her family just moved from NY last month. She had so many questions about this little town. I've only lived here 9 months, but since I work in the center of town, I was able to explain some.

This town is so different than NY......it is quaint, down-to-earth , friendly and just plain lovely in so many ways.....and so not on the pulse of fashion and trends. And if you need to purchase something from a store, plan on at least an hour adventure because there is nothing close by. Nothing.

But if you are into coyotes, deer, beaver, hawks, chipmunks, heron, bear, AND LOTS OF MICE, then you are living in the right place.

We met for lunch at a local restaurant, a restaurant where George Washington once ate at, and didn't stop talking until I took out my cellphone and realized that it was 2:30pm! Peggy had to be home at 2:20 to get her teenage daughter off the bus. (Her backpack is very heavy and she has to walk 1/2 mile from the bus stop uphill to her house.)

And for someone from NY, where everything you want is a few steps away, that's a long way!

I really enjoyed our lunch and I hope that the next time we get together it will be as easy as today was.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


For me, blogging has been a great way to meet friends. Although, I've yet to have the opportunity to actually meet one of them face-to-face, I've had the pleasure of speaking to a few over the phone. And, of course, e-mail. And some via AIM.

I've meet some wonderful friends by blogging and reading blogs...friends who care, pray for me and my family, are supportive through the tough times and those who laugh at my silliness.

It's been a great outlet for me to vent and share the struggles of my life and the lives of my family.

There are times when I don't put a lot of effort into blogging and there are times when I do.

I'm not one of the 'popular blogs' - you know, the ones that get a whole lot of traffic, the ones that get invited on all expense paid visits to far away countries to 'live blog'....the ones that....well you know.

And that's okay with me. I've never been one of the popular people.

Even when I run into someone from high school I'm hardly remembered.

But college, well, I was big in college. I was 30 years old when I went to college, though I looked like I was 20. I had confidence in myself, I had to, I was raising 3 children as a single mom. I was so into being the best student possible that I made a name for myself and my professors knew me.

Anyway, I've been living in my new house, in this new state, since January. That's 9 months now.

And this is a very, very small town. And it has been difficult to adjust after living in fast-paced New York. And just going to get something from the local store is an hour adventure. And getting a hero from a deli, well, you just can't do that here. Pastrami on rye is just not done here.

I hope you are all sitting down for this one:

Fashion and fine dining is no big deal here either. And I love fashion and fine dining.

The women are very friendly and very busy getting their children to and from sports events.

And, well, I haven't made a 'best friend' yet.

But I think that's about to change because a few days ago I briefly met someone, Peggy.

Peggy moved to this town last month from NY. She's all about NY. She's having trouble adjusting to this small town, although, like me, she loves it here. She has twins, a boy and girl, just like me.

We are getting together for lunch on Monday and I'm so excited. I just hope, hope, hope that we are not sitting there uncomfortably, not knowing what to say.

My goodness, I feel like I'm going on a date.

I guess in a way I am.

And I'm a bit nervous.

I'm just hoping that it all turns out okay, because I could use a real live friend lives who here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Build a Better Mouse Trap and the World will Beat It's Way to Your Door.

I HATE mice.

There I said it.

They have hearts, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears.....things that normal bugs and insects just don't have.

Lions and tigers have hearts, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears and you don't see them breaking into your house sneaking around, scampering across your kitchen floor while you let out a blood-curdling scream which causes your loved ones to run to you expecting to see that you just accidentally cut a limb off- do you?

Because I live in a wetland area, white-footed deer mice enter the neighborhood houses around this time of the year to settle in for the cold winter.

Last year we hired a mouse expert to get rid of them.

For $300 he threw packets of poison in the attic and basement. He then proceeded to give us extensive medical and nutritional advice in a very low Southern accent for over an hour. If anything it was entertaining. And expensive. And unsolicited.

And when the mice died, they died in the walls, which smelled awful.

This year I'm taking a different, less expensive route....with plain old, run-of-the-mill, mouse traps.

One down.

Let this be a warning to all mice, Yew Nork Babe's got her game on!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This post is written on behalf of my sister.

A few weeks ago her 3 year old foster son, the child she was about to adopt the following Monday, lit a small fire in her kitchen while she was using the bathroom. At the time, her foster son was watching TV in the livingroom and she did not think it would be a problem if she closed the bathroom door for a quick few minutes.

When she got out of the bathroom, he was still sitting on the couch, so she felt good that all was well. Unfortunately she found out a little later on that he had gone into the kitchen and quickly lit something and threw it in a drawer.

This could have happened to anybody.

The agency immediately took her son away. She is heartbroken. This child has been in her care since he was 4 months old. He was a crack baby. She spend most of his baby years rocking him as he painfully withdrew from the drugs his birthmother so carelessly put into his body as he was being formed.

He has behavioral problems, but he also is the exact opposite - he is the most loving, kind, playful, adorable, cute as a button boy you'd ever want to meet.

He is a part of her family and ours. Now he is somewhere, we don't know. He just celebrated his 4th birthday without her, without his friends, without anyone familiar to him.

And she's heartbroken. It is going to take at least a year for her to fight to get him back. The agency is saying that she should not have left him out of her sight for those few minutes. She is a single mom and has an older daughter that she adopted.

What she wants is for a family to adopt him now, so that he wouldn't be shuffled around from foster home to foster home.

If anyone knows of a family that would love a beautiful boy, please contact me at:


Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Life Updated:

Firstly, My husband can breathe now. We are all done with the plague and the plague is all done with us.

Secondly, I went to visit my parents in South Carolina recently for a family reunion of sorts....all of us children got together. (Except one brother.)

My mom took up a strange hobby when she retired, she shoots pistols. She also packs one in her purse which is kind of scary.

While I was there, my sister was telling me a funny story about when she and my mother went to a shooting range recently and the manager of the range was showing my sister how to shoot. He left them both alone together in the same cubby to shoot at the targets.

During that time my mom had an itch on her back so she reached under her shirt and scratched it.

Later on the manager came back to check on them and panicked. He apologized over and over again to them saying, "I'm so sorry, nothing like this ever happened before." My sister and mother were confused. He was about to call an ambulance when my sister looked at my mom's back and saw a perfectly round blood stain spreading. It looked like she had been shot, when in fact, she just scratched open a scab. They all got a good laugh.

During the visit I got to see my little nieces from Colorado, my baby brother's children. It was so wonderful to see them, I don't get to see them too often. Whenever I go to Colorado I find if very difficult to breathe. That and the fact that I don't possess the funds I used to so I can't just travel across the country whenever I'd like.

My youngest niece, age 4, looks and acts exactly like me. In fact, when I was younger I used to suck on my left index finger upside down. She does the same thing! You wouldn't think that something like that passes on through genes, right? Weird. Looking at her was like looking at a mirror 46 years ago.

So my family and I went to sit by the ocean one day. I really miss the ocean now that I live in Northern Connecticut. It was so relaxing and beautiful.

My littlest niece (the clone of me) got a little sunburn. When we got back to my parent's condo my mom said she had something to help sooth the burn. She slathered on some cream and my niece started complaining about it. When my sister-in-law looked closely at the bottle of cream my mom used she quickly washed it off. My mom had put on hair remover. Ouch! She won't have to worry about any unsightly back hair for awhile.

Lastly, my daughter and her fiance came to visit this weekend and she helped fix my header and give me a new look. Yeah!

Finally, Yew Nork Babe has her head back.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He can't breathe

Yesterday I attempted to work a full day at the Court, but I only lasted 3 hours. This plague is very clingy...it won't let go.

I've shared it with my husband and he's been in bed for 2 days repeating the same phrase over and over again, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe". While I was at work yesterday he e-mailed me "Dear Wife, I can't breathe", just so I'd remember that he can't breathe.

I'm going to make another batch of my Famous Matzoh Ball Soup this afternoon.

Here's the recipe if you'd like. It's a secret recipe from my Jewish Mother's Aunt Rose, so shhhhhh:

2 chicken breasts, bone intact
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 heart of celery
4 carrots
3/4 cup of fresh parsley, stems removed
enough chicken broth to cover chicken and a few inches more- or use water and chicken bouillon (Knorrs bouillon is the best)
black pepper to taste
Matzoh meal

Put everything in the pot and boil, turn to simmer for one hour then remove the chicken, take it off the bone and put the chicken back in the pot.

Keep the soup simmering while the matzoh balls are being made. The recipe for matzoh balls is always on the package and if you can find the kind that is just matzoh meal and not matzoh ball mix it tastes better.

And just in case you can't find Matzoh Meal in your local store, you may take some dry macaroni, put it in a ziploc bag and break it up in little and big pieces and add that.


I have to go check on my poor husband now....I hear him mumbling something about not being able to breathe.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I have the plague. And I'm under the influence of Heavy Duty Over the Counter Drugs....for grown ups! Usually, I take a children's dose of something and I'm knocked unconscious for 12 hours straight. I tried that this time but the plague just laughed and said,"Yeah right". So out came the big stuff, along with the hallucinations. The last thing I remember last night was Michael Phelps teaching me to swim the breast-stroke.

This plague started on Friday with a sore throat of epic proportions. A fever followed that had me hot and freezing cold at the same time. My husband said that last night the neighbors knocked on our door asking me to stop the snoring already....he kids.

I've been in bed for two days straight.

Even my famous 'Matzoh Ball Soup That Cures All' hasn't worked.

There is no way I can make it to work today, so I'm staying home.

Hopefully, I can reunite with Michael Phelps so he can show me some more swimming pointers or he'll introduce me to his mom.....I'm going back to bed now.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Today if my Father-in-Law's 71st Birthday.....Happy Birthday Dad.

My husband and I have written and sent out all of our wedding thank you notes weeks ago, yet there is one more to write, my father-in-law's. Every time I start to write it, I don't even know where begin. He has been so generous, so helpful, so supportive, always there when we need him, always praying for us and making us laugh.

There aren't any proper words to use in writing the note that even come close to how grateful we are for him - and all he's done for our wedding.

All I have so far is 'Dear Dad'.......

So the card sits on my dresser and stares at me, daring me to finish.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day ReCap

To celebrate Labor Day, we decided to rent a canoe and paddle around Lake Pocotopaug, East Hampton, CT. The lake is pronounced 'poke-a-tee-pog' and, like all good lakes, has a few Indian legends behind it.

As we got closer to the lake I noticed white caps, which indicated that it was too windy outside for a canoe ride. I wasn't about to be all involved with a tipped over canoe, especially after just reading 'The Shack'.

So my husband suggested watching the boaters put their boats in the lake. "How uninteresting", I thought. But the kids seemed okay with that.

We sat at the boat docking beach and watched.

And yes, it was very entertaining, I imagine more so due to the wind factor.

I've never had the pleasure of having to un-hook a boat from a boat-trailer....or try to back up a truck with a trailor attached into a lake, but yes indeed they do make for funny scenes to watch.

How did you spend your Labor Day?