November 25, 2011

everyday is a gift

Its pretty hard to explain all that happened on Thanksgiving, my guess is it's pretty much the same as you all did at your houses.

Food, more food, wine, beer, desert, more food, coffee then tons of laughs singing, music and I am so full I'm about to burst.

Then we got up today and started it all over again, that is in between naps.

So I thought I'd just share some pictures of us yesterday. It was a small group of us only fifteen at my brothers and sister in law's house. Her side was here, her mom, dad, brother and his family, their three kids and me mom and my husband and one dog.

Here was the star of our day, mr. twenty two pound turkey was very delicious!

The grown up table, my sister in law does such a nice job doesn't she?

I love the whole autumn color theme it is just so warm and inviting.

The dining room table has a great spread of hors devours, we do it every year, we say we're not going to eat before dinner then we stuff our faces on stuffed mushrooms and other yummy things before dinner.

All the Grandparents, my mom and my sister in law's parents having a chat with my sister in law over some snacks before dinner in the living room.

Suzie arriving for the day! She is my sister in law's mother and one the very nicest people I have ever met in my life. She is a wonderful mother and grandmother and the most devoted wife.

These are my lovely niece (from right to left) Alex, Sydney and Julia.

This is my sister in law Denise and her Dad Nick who was celebrating his birthday this Thanksgiving with all of us family. Although you may not see it Nick is in a wheel chair because of the advanced stages of MS for which he has suffered for over forty years.

I told you there was beer! This is my brother Gerard and my niece Alex being silly.

There ya go! Here's the birthday granddad with most of his grandchildren ( Samantha and Christian are missing but there in spirit we know ) with his birthday cake aglow enjoying the love.

Alex took a half day on Wednesday and Aunt Jen picked her up at school and we did some baking. This is one of our creations. Alex decorated this pumpkin pie with these beautiful letters and leaves made out of pie crust.

The table is starting to fill in this picture, here we see Nick Denise's brother , his wife Joanne there son, Nick and Mom Sue and a bit of my niece Syd on the end. I swear you'd think we were wino's because I'm counting seven bottles of wine on the table, jeez!

I don't know about your grandma's but ours do shots! How cool is that?

Then there was singing...our childhood friend Lisa stopped by for some tequila and song.

This is me and my godson Gerard catching a hug on the couch before everyone arrived.

My mom, Sydney and my husband in the den doing a bit of bonding before the madness.

The littlest Nick, ya think? And his godmother Denise posing for the camera.

So that was our Thanksgiving;  part two is tonight staring.....the cousins, the Aunts and one Uncle who are coming over to my brother and sister in laws for a cocktails a little bite to eat at about seven so I gotta go....

November 17, 2011

decorating, shopping and packing oh my!

I'm going to NY for Thanksgiving and after that a weeks vacation so there's a ton of stuff to be done before or there won't be time when I get back.

Needless to say.....

My house is currently littered with boxes of Christmas decorations, crazy right? I have never in my life put up Christmas decorations before the tenth of December. Doing it before Thanksgiving is something department stores do! There getting out of hand by the way have you noticed? Christmas was up before Halloween this year in some stores, really they need to get a grip.

We did last minute thing today like refilling our prescriptions; you know your getting old when that's on your to do list before a trip. Gift card for the cat sitter, cat food so our roommates get fed while we're gone, extension cords for decorating- they seem to disappear like socks in the dryer in this house, and buying sun tan lotion for our Barbados trip. I will not even go into how much I need this vacation after the long summer I had with my leg wound. 

But we do what we have to do and I'm running out of days before I leave to be with my New York family on Tuesday. Of course there are sacrifices, I can't spend Thanksgiving with my children, but work schedules don't allow that anyway.

And my Godson and nieces are expecting my for some good ole fashioned baking! Isn't it great when kids enjoy the simple pleasures?

There will be pies, pumpkin, and most likely apple and pumpkin roll and on Thanksgiving Day home made rolls. These rolls from scratch only take and hour and are yummy. Believe me when I tell you, roll making is  an art form here in the south.   I got the recipe below from my friend Susan whose family has been here in the south forever. They've simplified another family recipe so that it's easier for those days when you're in a rush or you just would rather be with your loved ones and not in the kitchen.

Why not try it out this Thanksgiving? They have never failed for me!


2 pkg of yeast
1 tbsp sugar to 4 tbsp (depending on the level of sweetness you like, I like the least amount)
1 1/2 c. milk (warm)
1/4 c. butter, melted
4 c. flour 
1tsp. salt 

In a large mixing bowl, add yeast and sugar to warm milk, to dissolve yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients together to the milk mixture along with the melted butter. Mix well. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes in a warm place. Form 24 rolls, each the size of an egg ( you can make them bigger if you want).Place them on a greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

I'll be checking in after Tuesday and thru Friday and might squeeze in one more post by Thanksgiving  but I'll  be taking a break from blogging while I'm in Barbados, ya think!

So, just in case I don't get another chance to say it, I hope everyone of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving;  may it be filled with Gods blessings, bounties of food and wine and plenty of togetherness with those you love.

Gotta go pack!

November 16, 2011

love letter- love of my nights

This week for Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Work Shop I picked the prompt in which I have to write a love letter to an inanimate object.

So here goes....


Love of my nights.

I love your softness.

The way you feel against my skin.

You caress my face as I breathe in your freshness.

The pain I feel when you're not near is physical.

We're a perfect fit.

I cannot imagine getting thru a single night without you....

How I long to wrap my arms around you as I drift off to sleep.

I hurt without you.

I ache without you.

Especially my back and neck!

My dear soft lovely pillow.

November 15, 2011

was the attitude included with my order for no charge?

I place on the internet back on October 5th.

Here's the story...

Back in October, I ordered compression stockings for my mothers "kankles." Kankles for those of you who are not familiar with the term are-very swollen ankles

The order was two items one pair of compression knee highs and a single toe-less compression anklet .

Two weeks later I received 1/2 of the order, the anklet,  but the knee highs were on back order so began the wait.

The other day I called and inquired as to where the other half of my order was, he checked, apologized for the six week delay and said they'd be mailed to me by the end of the week.

Well needless to say I had to call back today......

Now here's how I imagine my conversation with customer service should have gone in a perfect world!

Me, "h i my name is Jen my order number is blah blah blah I was wondering if you can assist me with my order?"

Worker lady, " sure what can I help you with?"

Me, " I called last week and was told that the item that I order that was on back order would be on it's  way soon. I'm afraid there was a problem with the order."

Worker Lady, " What was the problem?"

Me, " My order was for two things, you sent me the same thing twice, and the other thing I never got at all."

Worker Lady, " Now that won't do will it! Let's fix that. I see they  did send you a duplicate by mistake. Now we'll get you your correct order as soon as possible along with an envelope to return the other item for return. Sorry for the mix up and the delay.

Me, " Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

Worker Lady. " Can I help you with anything else?"

Me, " No thanks for you help"

Then we hang up.....

This is the part where I've already waited six weeks for a back order then they sent me a duplicate item.  Then to add insult they try to blame it on me! So this is how the conversation really went!

Me, "hi my name is Jen my order number is blah blah blah I was wondering if you can assist me with my order?"

Worker lady, " order number?"

Me, " I called last week and was told that a back ordered item would be on it's way soon. I'm afraid there was a problem with that order."

Worker Lady with a sigh, " Whhhat was the problem?"

Me, " My order was for two things, you sent me the same thing (anklet) twice , and  I never got the knee socks."

Snotty Worker Lady, "When you called last week and we spoke you asked that it be sent so we did."

Me, " I'm sorry you must be mistaken because I know we've never spoken, in fact last week when I called I spoke to a man.

Snotty Worker Lady, " Uhh...what I meant was...according to the notes I'm looking at, when you called and spoke to the man (said dripping with sarcasm at this point)  it says that you requested that the item be sent.

Me pissed off, " Since you were not a party to that conversation, I inquired about the status of my order that I've been waiting six weeks for. Why would I want you to send me an item I already have, that makes no sense at all!"

Snotty Worker Lady, You requested the we.....

Me pissed off,  "Can you  just please send me the knee socks to complete my order?" "That's what I wanted last time that's what I want now."

Very Snotty Worker Lady, " With a return envelope to return that duplicate item."

Then she hung up on me!

Am I the only one who deals with this?

November 14, 2011

make me laugh monday- we'll sleep anywhere!

Today I'm linking up with my friend Kristen at a little something for me for her Make Me Laugh Monday Meme.

If you have a funny photo(s) link up and share it!

With our traveling to NY for Thanksgiving and then going directly on our vacation to Barbados. When I return I'm having a dinner party so the house needs to be ready. So we decided to decorate for Christmas early this year- really early. The nativity on the table amongst a bunch of other decorations and I went off to do some decorating around the house.

This is what I found when I returned to the room!

My cat Linus, comfortable with about 1/4 of his large cat body squeezed into the manger; snoozing!

Apparently my cat's will sleep anywhere. My husband went into the downstairs bathroom the other day. He was saying that he kept on feeling as if someone was watching him when he was doing his business. We're empty nester's who could it be??

This is what we found; or I should say who we found! This is Cheetah, he decided to make a bed out of the hammered metal bin that I keep my hand towels in next to the sink. He's apparently stealthy (notice how he blends) not to mention how he's a tiny bit curious about peoples potty habits!

Do you have pets and do they do funny things too?

November 12, 2011

Give -be charitable

My husbands club had a dinner the other night. They usually have one every month but then in November, the men bring their wives, it's sort of a pre holiday get together before things get to hectic. It really is a nice opportunity to catch up with some of my friends and to see some others that I hardly get to see but for this dinner.

Usually a portion of the dinner ( because his club is a community organization ) is dedicated to hearing guest speaker give a presentation. It might be a local politician, our Sheriff or and educator speaking about what is going on within our community.

This time the guest speaker was the Christmas Mother. She is the representative of a private foundation who brings attention to the needs in our community, with emphasis on the kids at Christmastime. There are  funds, toys, food and clothing for local families that need to be gathered and distributed and she goes about our community and puts a voice to this situation.This particular Christmas Mother happens to be my friend and neighbor and it was no surprise that this Christmas with the economy as it is there are many in need.

I have never kept it a secret that for many years before the accident I worked with the poor so their cause is something close to my heart; enough to mention on my blog. But I don't want to come across as preachie for when it comes down to it we can only do what we can afford or what's truly in our hearts.

There are many kids who will not get Christmas if not for the charity of others because they belong to low income ( poor ) families. There is also another type of family who is has difficulties this season, they're called the working poor, they have almost enough to squeak by but not enough to provide extra's like Christmas for their kids. 

We've tried to teach our children the importance of charity, it is part of how we practice our faith. Are you doing something special in your community this Christmas for the less fortunate? How about at your place of worship? 

Have you been touched by the generosity of others and want to share it with us?

I hope you'll consider giving this Christmas, I know I will be!

If you do you'll be surly blessed. 


November 11, 2011

fessing up friday

Fessing up isn't all that hard to do. I'll be doing it most every Friday on this blog. 

This week I'm fessing up to:

1 .I'm fessing up to forgetting to vote for the first time in my life on this election day.

2. I'm fessing up to cancelling attending our regular ladies dinner this Friday night, no reason, just not feeling it!

3. I'm fessing up to watching way to much TV when my husband was away on his trip. Can anyone say Burn Notice marathon?

4 .I'm fessing up to going to bed really early while my husband was gone so I could hog the whole bed!

5. I'm fessing up to the fact that we don't recycle regularly in our house, we're responsible for transporting our own garbage to the dump we kinda do it when the mood strikes. I know, terrible!

6. I'm fessing up serious outrage at the adults that turn a blind eye to abuse of children.

7. My husband gave permission for someone to hunt on our land. I'm fessing up; hate it!

If you need to unburden yourself, just fess up in the form of a comment.

someone else's worst day

I hate when this happens.

It breaks my heart and turns my inside out every time.

Then I get transported back to the day; a day I'd rather not remember.

My husband ran out to the grocery store for a few things earlier.

And Mom always has a list.

He called from the store to explain he'd be late returning home.

There was a serious accident on the Interstate; multiple fatalities.

A pick-up rear ended a log truck and was then rear ended by a bus filled with college kids.

Med flights were transporting the injured to MCV.

The college kids were being cared for by the local fire department personnel at the fire station.

There are a lot of very scared kids in that station.

I can imagine that their parents are crazy with worry.

And the poor people in the pick-up.

They didn't survive.

We know their loved ones will soon be visited by State Troopers.

That's how it happened with us with our kids accident.

The knock on the door to tell you the news.

And a perfectly ordinary day ends.

That moment never forgotten.

The worst day ever.

November 9, 2011

I used to dream

I'm linking up with Shell at Things I can't say for her PYHO meme.

When the kids were young I used to dream of the day when the house would be quiet and I could be alone with my husband.

Then the kids grew and we became empty nesters.

We enjoy the time we have alone together.

The dinners, the shopping, the vacations, the last minute weekends away and the privacy.

The stimulating conversation that doesn't center around the kids, we sacrificed a lot to get to this place.

But the grass is always greener.

Isn't it?

I started to wonder.

What it would be like to spend some time by myself, maybe just a few days.

I know I would never do something so daring as vacation alone but.....

What would I do?

If I were truly alone for a day or two.

Would I stay in bed all day, read a great book, take a long bath, lunch with my gal pals?

My husband decided to take a last minute trip with our son yesterday.

And what have I done?

My house is spotless!

And how have I done?

I'm taking my Mom to dinner tonight.

I'm lonely.

And I used to dream!

November 7, 2011

Sex-ed, Is that what they're calling it?

Pushing thru the milestones but not rushing thru them I entered my teen years bright eyed and without a clue of what was going on with boys. My discussions of sexuality with my Mom went as far as her handing me a bag with some sanitary napkins in them and we reviewed some booklets the school nurse gave us after the basic sex- ed offered in our local public school system.

 It wasn't until I was older, grown in fact that I realized just how innocent I really was and just how little I really knew; but was it enough?  I ask myself this as I ponder the facts laid out in the article I just read about the proposed sex-ed programs for NY city schools- the link is below.

I could only imagine in my mind now if a  form came home and my dear mother was asked to sign it giving permission for me as a teenage child to be exposed to sexual information such as, how to find a store to buy condoms, sexual positions, type of sex that don't include intercourse or subjects such as mutual masturbation.

Clearly things have changed for kids since I was a teen. The decisions  on what tell kids and who is telling them today must be daunting. I am so grateful that I am not raising my kids now. I can only imagine that we would be having open discussions with our children since there is no substitute for the love, guidance and wisdom of parents.

When I think back to what it was like "back then" I surly know  my mother would have had a heart attack if  she had know I was being exposed to such graphic information as a teen! But that was another time and things have changed dramatically since then. Clearly our children must be given some type of instruction about sex and sexually transmitted diseases. But I have to wonder; who really thinks making it more graphic makes it better or makes our children safer? I for one don't.

Parents certainly are the best judges of their children's needs and can best protect their families cultural and religious sensibilities. I admit that basic sex ed in schools has it's merits and always has, but when it borders on porn then it's gone to far.

New York City School's are currently implementing a sex ed program, read about it here at The Blaze. Just look at photograph with the article, the children's faces are priceless.

Did your experience as a child  help form what you did or plan to do with your kids when educating them about sex?

November 6, 2011

make me laugh monday- butt really??

Kristen over at a little something for me is doing her Make Me Laugh Monday Meme today, as always I'm happy to participate and hope you'll stop by for a visit. 

These lovely ladies are my mother Mary and my aunt Gen, they're celebrating their 80th birthday in this picture. This was not your average every day party. I was a riot! Not the call the police type of riot but the laugh riot kind of riot.
Read on....

We the children, Gen's kids Mickey, Pat and little Genevieve, Paul , Gerard and myself, Jen gave them a party, about 100 of our friends and family attended.

This is my Aunt and my cousins.

 Mom , my brothers Paul and Gerard and me, Jen.

As I was gathering pictures for the party to display of their lives I found this picture of a woman at the beach, my mother, my Dad and all my Aunts and Uncles spent tons of time when they were younger. The picture showed a women  bending over and all you could see was her butt.

 I will say it was (either Mom or Aunt Gen , I'm not telling!). It came to me that it would be REALLY funny if we did something at the party with the picture so I had it made into a poster and my brother printed these words on it.....



Our guests examined the picture of the bending woman in the picture trying to decide 50+ years later whether it was Mary or Gen's good side. They giggled, they howled with laughter, twisted and turned they critiqued their figures in attempt to decide who it was, anything to get an edge.  Then each person filled out one entry for the gift basket choosing either the Mary or Gen basket. 

This is my cousin Mickey guiding the guests thru the butt selection process, note my cousin Pat off to the side with the "Gen"  butt basket.

My husband took care of the prize for the winning guest, it was a gag of course, it was a basket of "Tired old ass cream", "Ass kisser lip balm", and "Tired old ass soak".

By the way, the bathing beauty bending over in the picture was my Mom Mary.
Butt of course.....

November 5, 2011

Thanksgiving plans & a peek at the past

I received my yearly nosy cousin e-mail today from Kathleen, who is obviously my....cousin. duh! She sends it out every year to friends and family to find out where we'll all be for Thanksgiving. She loves to know what we'll be eating and who we'll be eating it with,  because she loves us and because ...she's nosy!

We ( my husband, my mom and me)  are taking a road trip to NY to my brother and sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what we'll be eating there this Thanksgiving but I know it's gonna be great. My brother is some cook!

I have Thanksgiving at my house usually every other year- sometimes more!  Here's a few pictures that I dug up from a few years ago that I thought I'd share. I know I have tons more from other Thanksgiving's but to keep it simple I've decided to stick with showing you one year.

1.Matthew and his Aunt Denise nieces Sydney, Alex and my granddaughter Jillian in the leaves
3. Matthew and my godson's Gerard modeling their butts 4. Me (Jen) and my brother Gerard getting ready to carve the turkey.

1. Me (Jen) and my son Matthew on the phone. 2. Mom ( Mary ) and my niece Alex having a hug. 3 Matthew and little Gerard playing Frisbee in the driveway. 4 Bill and our niece Alex enjoying the day out on the deck.

So my friends, in honor of my dear cousin Kathleen I going to ask because I'm nosy too, it runs in the family! What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you staying home and cooking or are you going out? What special people will you be spending your holiday with this year?