July 26, 2012

Destination vacation...

I am counting the days until we leave for our yearly summer family vacation.  Bill, Mom, me and Matthew, my brother Gerard his wife Denise and their three kids, Sydney, Alex and little Gerard are the usual attendees. This year we'll be celebrating Matthew's 30th birthday, and it will be just shy of Sydney's Sweet 16th so there is much to celebrate. And then there's the relaxing!

Oh did I mention where we're going? Our destination is Cape Charles Virginia, a small historic town on the Chesapeake.This is our first time in this town so we're very excited!

From what I understand it is a nice little historic area with some beautiful homes, shops and some very good little restaurants. There's a dock for fishing and we all know (as least it's know here in Virginia) that The Chesapeake has wonderful  source for  fresh seafood. You can also be sure there will be crabbing and fishing included in our activities; followed closely by cooking and eating. Oh did I mention the Clam Festival! I love clams!!

I have amassed a large pile of stuff that to bring so that our vacation will be as comfortable as possible in our rental home. Playing cards, puzzles, Pictionary for a few giggles. A new I-Pod player for the beach so that we can all fight over whose I-Pod has the best music on it! There will be singing and dancing of course. Don't you just want to pull up a beach blanket next to us? Oh darn you won't believe it! I forgot to pack the beach blanket. Then there's the beach chairs, umbrella and cooler for the adult beverages, beach towels, spray suntan lotions and bug-spray galore, even those dumb ear drops since someone always gets an earache when swimming. The beach looks very nice for a bay beach don't ya think?


Did I mention my list is endless? Lots of soaps-hand -dish-clothes-shower, cleaners,garbage bags and foil, paper products, condiments, and the basic things like coffee-tea and the like. Fresh clean blankets for everyone's beds. Am I the only one who just think it's a bit gross to sleep with a blank that might have been slept on by some stranger? That's why I hate hotels. We get linen/towel service with the house which is great, but the blankets or comforters that come with the house will get folded up and put in a drawer. Are they clean? Kinda gives me the creeps just thinking about it.  


So we're off on Saturday in the late morning since it only takes about three hours for us to get there. It will be considerably longer for my brother and family (probably twice as long) to get there from NY. But it's worth it; we always have such a good time on our vacations. We'll probably meet up and grab a late lunch at a local Pub since the check in is at 4pm. After that a quick stop at the Realtor office to pick up the key and packet for the house then we'll get to see actually see what the house looks like since all we've seen is pictures.Usually once we get all our stuff in the house and everyone know's where they're sleeping and the beds are made, everyone will head to the beach and Denise and I will go to the store for the groceries. 

I will be taking my  new camera and using it as much as possible. And from what I understand there is internet in the house however I don't know if I'll be posting on the blog or not. What it really comes down to is how much free time I have to myself. Seriously with eight other people in the house it's not likely with all that distraction. It might just have to wait until I come home to fill you in on how our vacay was. We'll see! 

July 25, 2012

wordless wednesday- how time flies

How Time Flies
Tick-tick-tick the clock moves
Sixty times and it’s a minute
A little while and it’s another hour
And soon dusk approaches
Night, then a new day
Few hours ago
Now termed yesterday
And before you know it
The year is gone
Sweet memories
Flashing through the mind
Like it happened 
Few seconds past
But lo
That was some years back
How seconds turn minutes
Minutes turn hours
Hours turn days
Days turn weeks
Weeks turn months
And you have a year
Oh how time flies 
Stewart Gideon

When I met him Billy was three when I married his father he was four, now he's 35.
(ok maybe not so wordless!)

Bill with our granddaughters Jillian and Ava (pink)
And yes I did make him that cake all by myself!

July 24, 2012

if this bigot neighbor was yours?

My husband and I own a house in Florida. We rarely go there because Mom's not comfortable there and it's a pretty good ride, about 11 hours. The house is secure and taken care of, paid for, insured and we have a gardener that comes bi-monthly and does all that needs to be done.

Despite that are quite familiar with many of the neighbors since my husbands Uncle was the original owner and we have in the past spent quite a bit of time down there. Originally the next door neighbor and then his son did our lawn but that turned bad, the son was having drinking and drug parties so we had him arrested. Needless to say the parents were not pleased with us, go figure!

The neighbors on the other side are a mother and daughter. The Mom is in her eighties, daughter in her sixties and they are lovely women. The son/brother was a professional gardener so he gladly took over from the criminal we had used previously. What a nice guy and he did a great job but recently he retired and moved away so they arranged for a new gardener both for the Mom/daughter and for us. Very nice thing for them to do don't you think?

With everything arranged we spoke to our new guy, amounts and payment arrangements were made, and we were pleased with the easy transition.

That was until we heard from "the neighbor."

She and her husband waited until he did the lawn twice and then called. Bill answered the phone and she carried on like my grass was a golden pond. The guy must be using a dull blade, he isn't spending enough time, he's not as good as the old guy, we're being taken to the cleaners blah blah blah.....

Then of course because any normal person couldn't be that interested in someone else's grass unless they were a weed or an ant she said..."my husband would be happy to do it." the plot thickens.....

But I couldn't help as I was listening to my husbands reactions to her part of the conversation that it had to be more. And I'm pretty good with my gut.

And of course it was.

Then she said " that old ni**er (sorry I hate that word, because it's a hate word ) isn't doing a good job." Our new gardener happens to be an African American male.

My husband God bless his is a polite man, he listened told her he'd check into it and thanked her. I'm not sure what I would have done in this situation. 

I have to say I'm inclined to call her back and say something. Firstly I checked with the next door neighbor and she's pleased as punch with the new gardener who she also uses. The whole your gardener is doing a crappy job is a fabrication. Was the phone call  because she needed the money or was it something deeper was there a racial motive?

I know we've had experiences in our family that just made my blood boil where action was necessary. My daughter who is white has browsed in a store freely while the kids slept in the van with their father who is African American. When she came out and went into the store to see the item that she intended to buy the manager told him there was no browsing allowed!  

Some people are of the belief that it doesn't pay to speak up to a person like this about their attitudes, actions and the language they use. In the case of my neighbor; do you believe that she is what she is and she's not likely to change? (she's in her 50's)  Am I wasting my time if I talk to her about how her offensive her words were to me? 

I would be inclined to do so if I thought I wasn't wasting my breath.
I would be interested in your opinions on this situation. 

July 20, 2012

what a pain!

It's been more years than I can count that I have been on medication for migraines. I really hate having to take them too! When I went for my biannual checkup last week my neurologist and I discussed my general health and headache history. Then actually decreased one of my migraine medications by 25%. I cannot tell you how happy I am about this.

What I did find out was this... I've been getting a lot of nighttime headaches and when I told him my migraine meds weren't working on those headaches, he's diagnosed them (night time headaches on the right back of my head) as something other than migraines.(my migraines are right front face eye area always) Needless to say I was shocked. I just thought my migraines had changed somehow! Self diagnosis is probably not a good idea folks, leave it to the people who make the big bucks...

He believes I have a bit of arthritis in my neck (ugh!) and it's causing my occipital nerve on the right side of my head to be inflamed and irritated. Makes sense really since I've used countless pillows in the past few months and we've changed our mattress and I can't get comfortable; lots of sleepless nights rolling around. Frankly I never thought my neck was responsible for those headache, although it does hurt when I lay down. I thought those nighttime headaches were all migraines. NOT!

The fix for now thank goodness wasn't too horrible and God willing will last as long as humanly possible, months hopefully. He took a reasonably large needle filled with medication (steroid) and shot it multiple times right into the nerve and surrounding area. Talk about a painful process, OUCH! It's called an occipital nerve block. Numbs the nerve, blocks the pain- that's after it stops hurting!! 

I'm sleeping like a baby, with the help of that shot, a low dose of muscle relaxer and some daily neck and back stretching exercises. Before that, I was just a bit of a pain in the neck..hehe!

I'm told similar therapies are available in the spine and I know people who have gotten injections in their knees and shoulders. Does anyone have any experience with this? Just wondering how you responded.

July 18, 2012

wordless wednesday - do you have a favorite color?

    Mine is red!                                                                                                       

July 17, 2012

Oh so fabulous!

OK people first let me say ....

I have received so many amazing and loving comments to my last post I am truly blessed to call you all my friends. You really are all fabulous, and if you didn't know it before I'm telling you now.

Which brings me to the topic of my post today.

My friend Mare over at adventures in the ballpark gave me this fabulous blog ribbon before I took my bit of a break. Now it's time to pass it on to some of my friends, that's not to say that you're all not fab but I have a limit of five!

The fabulous blog ribbon must be shared, which I'm happy to do although sometimes I wonder if there's anything you don't already know about me!! Open book and all..... 

Name five things I've experienced in my life that were fabulous. 
My top five:

  1. Holding my children for the first time after giving birth.
  2. Falling in love.
  3. Walking on the beach after a rain; somehow that just never gets old.
  4. Walking into my house the first time and knowing it was "the one".
  5. When my entire family gets together,mom, siblings, nieces, nephews, kids, aunts, uncles, cousins.. for a gathering; this is always fabulous!

List five things I hate:

  1. Racists and bigots 
  2. light beer
  3. people who talk on their cell phones in restaurants and check out lines
  4. gossip and gossipers
  5. weeds in my garden

Five things I love:
  1. my family, including pets
  2. gardening, especially my tomatoes when they haven't been roasted in constant 100 + degree weather.
  3. the beach, yippee vacation is a week from next Saturday!
  4. fresh sheets after a nice shower at the end of a long day.
  5. my friends 
Pass the award to five other bloggers (and leave a comment on their blog, so they know they are a recipient.)

  1. My friend Pamela writes a wonderful and enlightening blog about death called  The death writer. Since death is a natural process it's treated as such and spoken about openly and honestly on her blog. I think you will find it is a wonderful blog full of touching stories.
  2. My friend Kenya is a writer and has published a book about her son Christopher called The Christopher Chronicles, he's an adorable child who says the cutest things which is the topic of the book. She's open honest and writes from the heart on her blog Here's the thing...
  3. Melissa is one of my dear friends in blog land and writes a wonderful blog called Mame musings where she writes primarily about her family and her adorable twin children Drew and Emily. Melissa is a wonderful person, strong and funny with a strong faith, she's a sweetheart.
  4. I've just met a new blogger recently and she has a huge heart and a wonderful blog. She does so many things in her community to make it a better place and she uses her blog to inspire others to do the same. Her name is also Jennifer and her blog is called Another jennifer; cute right?  Did I mention she's a talented writer? So..if you are going to BlogHer '12 don't forget to sign up for her workshop which is a Grammar Clinic- check her blog for details.
  5. And last but never least in my sweet and funny friend from Chicago Gina who writes the blog Does anyone care what i write. I owe her a BIG get well since during my absence she's had an accident that's left her out of commission and a bit down and a tiny bit strung out on coffee. I know this doesn't come close but i hope this ribbon makes you smile my friend :) Hugs!
Enjoy friends, you are fabulous!
And thanks so much Mare, your super-fabulous for being so kind. I appreciate it!

July 8, 2012

Catching up

Things have been crazy around here! If you haven't noticed I've been missing for a while...

First my anti virus software went on the fritz ( don't ask how that happens since it just stopped working ) It took me two or three days to get them to fix it, all sorts of strangers remotely accessing my computer.

Then the sad parts... The anniversary of the accident was July 3rd. It's hard to believe Gretchen and Eric, our children have been gone six years.....But it helps when the family is together, when our friends show their love and support. And they did in many ways...

Matthew was here for a week. Billy was here with our granddaughters for 10 days and Heather and her husband and our grandsons were in and out. Not to mention, the phone, e-mails, flowers, cards, visits from friends and invitations to spend time with friends who care about us and the children when they were alive.

Blogging really wasn't in me. Sorry. I really missed you all. That is the truth.

Then there was the heat and the storms.... Some days it was 108 most days 104-102. And then the electricity went out due to a storm in the surrounding area. Going without  A.C with such high temperatures was difficult for my Mom whose elderly.

Needless to say that was a long three days, running our generator which runs our whole house but isn't strong enough to run our central  AC. Lots of fans and lots of water. I might add thank goodness my friends Becky and Buzzy's down the block have a lovely pool and pool house because we spent many many hours there. Mom wouldn't budge and go to Heather's or to my friends although invited she stuck it out here with us. We watched her like a hawk, made sure she drank plenty of water. Plopped her down in front of and under a fan for cooling.

All the kids are now returned to their own homes for now, as is Mom. Funny how when the kids were growing up I could sleep thru anything, now the slightest noise wakes me up. Finally last night I got my first full nights sleep in about two weeks now I have an empty house again and its just Bill and I.

In my next post I'll be sharing something Fabulous that was given to me by my friend Mare over at adventures in the ballpark before I took my little break from blogging. I know you just want to come back and see what it is don't ya??