Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things!

by EBJ

Here is a classic video from Art Linkletter. He asks questions, and the kid's responses are priceless!

Can you share something that was from the mouth of a babe?

Monday, June 29, 2009


by Iteach

Writing blogs for the nest have always been fun for me, however for the first time ever I have writer's block. I have a lot of random thoughts, but I can't see to formulate a paragraph on any certain topic. My head keeps jumping from thought to thought like a pinball. So then I thought, why don't I write down all my thoughts and you can pick anyone of them to respond too. I think it is an easy way out, but it may be fun. Now, remember these are just thoughts and my head has been very busy lately. Here we go...........

-My grandpa has been on two dates in the past week. He is in his late eighties and my grandma just passed away in Jan. My mom and her sister are beside themselves. I wonder if I should buy him condoms for his birthday?

- Why do my cramps hurt more as I get older?

- Should I start buying organic food or is it all hype?

- Another factory is closing down in our town, will the economy ever turn around.

- I really need to get off the computer and clean.

- I think tomorrow I should start another diet.

- My neighbor keeps telling me to buy gold for an
investment. Is he right?

Okay, I could go on, but it is time to cook dinner. So feel free to respond to any of my random thoughts. Oh, and BTW what should I cook for dinner? :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh The Joys of Summer!

by Shirley

I told you it was only a few days away and now it's here. Yeah! There's so much to do..let's have fun! What shall we do first? Maybe a walk in the woods. That's sure to result in either poison oak, poison ivy, lime disease or a run in with a skunk. There's nothing like a nice long cool bath in tomato juice to end a perfect summer day. Oh the joys of Summer!

I know, let have a picnic. I'll start cooking the chicken pieces, then I'll boil the eggs for sandwiches, devil eggs and salad. After that I'll make a chocolate cake, cookies and maybe some brownies (just regular ones...after all kids will be there). I'll have to pick up some ice for the cooler. I better pick up a cooler too. By the time we load everything in the car we should be off by suppertime tomorrow! Yeah a picnic! There's nothing like sitting on the ground, swatting blackflies, horseflies and any other flies that pass (and let's not leave out the wasps and bees) by on a hot sticky summer day eating potato salad and chicken that the ants have already feasted on. Oh the joys of Summer!

Lets talk about those nice hot, sticky, sweltering days of summer where just reading a book can make you sweat buckets. Sticking to the furniture is always fun too. Oh and we can't forget the second and third degree burns you get from your car seats. Then hubby comes home and wants you to turn the oven on and make him a five course meal. That results in hubby getting an unexpected swim in the pool, after which he decides take out is a much better idea. He's so thoughtful! Oh the joys of Summer!

We have been for a walk in the woods, had a picnic and watched hubby swim. I think it's time for the beach!! Lets load everything in the car (and I do mean everything!). Beach balls (which will blow away or get busted), towels, blanket, extra clothes, extra sandals, water toys (which will blow away or get busted), snacks and juice (we love feeding the ants!), lawn chairs, hats, sunscreen (waterproof for children and adults), swimsuits (shorts and a t-shirt for me thank you very much) and lets see...oh yeah, lots of screaming, energized kids. Those sweet loving kids will probably want to and will bring half the beach home with them and you will spend the day cleaning sand out of every corner of your car and house. Oh the joys of Summer! We do have Fall to look forward to! Have a nice Summer!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The passing of two....

It is so true to life when your day starts out as normal as any other, and then as the day ticks by occurrences change the course of it. From the early AM yesterday, I read that Farrah Fawcett was gravely ill and her passing would come quickly. I thought back and remembered all the times I sat in front of the TV watching Charlie Angels, and admiring her beauty, and of course her beautiful hair. What sticks out the most is the poster of her in the red bathing suit, I was in awe of this amazing beautiful girl from Texas. To me she was a star, and I was hooked. Speaking of smells yesterday, I was reminded of the perfume "Charlie" I wore it all the time. Her passing is very sad, I think mostly because of the struggle she went thru to stay alive, she tried so very hard, but in the end, it was not meant to be. She is truly with angels now, just where she was once long ago.

Video chosen by Shirley, commercial aired in the 70's

As my day continues with the thought of her. I get breaking news from CNN via e-mail, I had to read it twice. I immediately surfed the web for more information. The tabloid website's had confirmed that Michael Jackson had passed, but the news sites did not. So I was holding out, refreshing like a mad women, hoping there was a chance. I actually for a minute had a thought that it might be a ploy as his tour was to start soon, and I thought this might be his way of backing out. However once CNN confirmed it, I knew it to be true. Again, flashback, this time to Tiger Beat and Teen, all the pages filled with the Jackson Five. Me at "Creations" the night club I use to frequent, dancing to "Beat It" and "Thriller". And then of course Michael Jackson as a young boy singing "ABC" oh my, its so clear in my mind. He did have a very strange life, but that was his choosing. He never did seem happy to me as the years went on, sad all the time. He began to live as a recluse, bringing his children with him. Those three children we all saw with masks on, what will they be when they grow? Can they actually live a standard life? Have they been marked by their fathers idiosyncrasies? So very many questions, so few answers. I guess as it always does, time will tell. I do hope he is finally at peace with himself, as it seems he struggled with who he was, which ultimately I think was his demise.

Sandie said it best as we corresponded thru e-mail:

"So very sad, and it's always unbelievable when someone larger than life passes away".

So very true...

Video chosen by Shirley, MJ preformed this song in 1987

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jergens Original Scent

by Lynnd

A few weeks ago I was flying through the store doing my weekly grossry shopping and I passed the lotions aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a display for Jergens lotions. One in particular caught my eye as it said Jergens Original Scent. I thought to myself could it be the same formulation from when I was a kid? I did not have time to stop but thought I will check it out next week when I go shopping. Why did this stop me? Call it a scent memory.

Over the years I would occasionally catch the scent of Jergens lotion when I would pass someone. I know that scent! It takes me back to being 4 or 5 years old. My brain flashes to an image of the basement of an old house that my Aunt and Uncle lived in when I was a kid. Then it flashes to a dresser, I can see the top cluttered with various items and in the center is a bottle of Jergens lotion. It has a black top and a curvaceous white bottle with black lettering. This is a grown up ladies thing like make up and hair pins. We were not allowed to play with these things except with supervision and only on dreamy dress up days or Halloween.

I think about my cousins and their Mom and my Mom how it seemed like all of the females in my family used Jergens lotion. My cousin Diane and I would feel so lucky if our Mom’s would get a little too much out of the bottle on to the palms of their hands, they would call us over and have us hold out our hands so they could share the excess with us. This was so special almost like putting on makeup. Then the scent would be with us all day.

I have bought bottles of Jergens in the past but they just did not smell the same and I would always be disappointed. I went back the following week and opened the bottle for a sniff. There is was that clean sweet scent that I remembered from my childhood. It is hard to describe the emotions I felt but it was a cross between sadness and comfort. It kept pushing my brain trying to make memories come forward that I have worked so hard to block out, so well in fact the flashes I have are the ones I described above. My Mother wore this lotion and I think I associate it with her, but I am not sure or maybe my mind plays tricks on me. There is so little I remember about her that it is so hard to be sure. I do have flashes of the house we lived in when she passed away but I don’t know if it is the scent, as they are the same flashes I have when I think about her dying. The living room, the first color TV and the vinyl turquoise colored recliner that my Dad bought especially for her when she got so sick.

I stood in the aisle and read the bottle. Jergens Original Scent, Cherry and Almond. So that is the secret of the heavenly smell. I grabbed it and put it reverently in my cart. As I packed my carry all for the trip down to the family reunion, I put the bottle of Jergens on top. Sunday I woke up and took my shower in preparation of seeing the family, got out and smoothed the lotion on my legs and arms, back and hands and felt a sense of calm and comfort. It seemed to me that just maybe Mom was there with me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

About Jonathan Livingston Seagull

by Just_Lin

Recently, our dear Carol wrote a blog about going to the Jersey shore and she showed us a flip video which included scenes of a seagull drinking out of the pool. Some of us had rather uncomplimentary things to say about seagulls but I kept thinking, "But what about Jonathan Livingston Seagull?"

Most of you, if not all, are probably familiar with the book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach and with the movie with the score written and sung by Neil Diamond. It's been decades since I read the book or saw the movie but it is a classic that covers many themes, including a spiritual aspect . It is about a seagull who is striving to be more than just another seagull scavenging for food like the rest of his flock. He wants to be the very best he can be and he follows his heart and listens to his own inner voice even though it makes him different from the others. His pursuits to learn how to fly like other types of birds fly, gets him ostracized and kicked out of his flock. He continues to strive for higher and higher levels of learning, even at risk of his own peril, but he perseveres in time, he transcends earthly bounds and achieves a higher level of consciousness. He then strives for wisdom, pure love and how to forgive. He understands that the greatest thing he can do is pass on what he has learned to others that seek knowledge. So, in an act of self-sacrifice, he returns to earth to share all he has learned.

The Neil Diamond songs included in the movie are "Dear Father", "Be", "Lonely Looking Sky", and "Skybird". I love all of these songs and am lucky to have seen them all performed in person.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

~ George Not Included ~

by Tina~in_ut

I think George Clooney could sell anything. Here he is in an Italian commercial for the Fiat Idea. Who really cares about the car?!!!! I'm with her. If I found George in my car, you bet I'd lock the doors so he couldn't get away!! And then I'd drive off with him! (and then I'd wake up!) :D

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm thinking we can all use a laugh...

by Maureen

What do you call a sheep with no legs?
A cloud

What do cows do for entertainment?
They rent moovies !

What does a fish say when it runs into a wall?

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is it naked or homeless ?

How do you stop a fish from smelling?
Cut its nose off

What do you call a fish with no eye ?

What is invisible and smells like carrots?
Rabbit farts.

Why was the Energizer Bunny arrested?
He was charged with battery.

What do you call two Mexicans playing basketball?
Juan on Juan.

Why do guerillas have big nostrils?
Cuz they got big fingers!!!!!!!!!

What's the difference between a woman with PMS and a Pitt Bull?


You know you've had too much cawfee if...

- Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
- You ski uphill.
- You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
- You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
- You lick your coffeepot clean.
- You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there.
- Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
- You chew on other people's fingernails.
- Your T-shirt says, "Decaffeinated coffee is the devil's blend."
- You can type sixty words per minute ... with your feet.
- You can jump-start your car without cables.
- You don't need a hammer to pound nails.
- Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low."
- You don't sweat, you percolate.
- You buy 1/2 & 1/2 by the barrel.
- You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug.
- You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.
- You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
- You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
- People get dizzy just watching you.
- You've worn the finish off your coffee table.
- The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
- Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
- Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.
- Instant coffee takes too long.
- When someone says. "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop."
- You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can.
- You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer.
- You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
- You can thread a sewing machine, while it's running.
- You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
- You short out motion detectors.
- You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
- Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
- You think being called a "drip" is a compliment.
- You don't tan, you roast.
- You can't even remember your second cup.
- You help your dog chase its tail.

Hope these made you LOL, or at least smile ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

My dad and I, July, 1984

It seems I have shared a lot with all of you about my family, as my life is my family. So when I blog, it is only natural for me to write about them. It may be a old saying but I truly believe it, they "complete me". I guess it all starts out with my parents with the upbringing I received I was always surrounded by family.

When I look back at many, many years ago, I remember spending time with my grandfather (my dads father) and remember him being so cold. Now it could have been a language barrier as his English was not so good, he came thru Ellis Island only speaking Italian, so his English was self taught. What he spoke is what we call "broken English" which is really, English broken into somewhat Italian. So it is odd to me that my dad was the complete opposite.

See, my dad is warm and caring, and very much bigger than life. He was born in Newark, NJ in 1924. He lived a very simple life, but as he says he was always fulfilled. He lived in a flat with his family which I believe had about 4 rooms total, they were as many family's were, very squeezed in. But it seems they did not mind. He had to work at a very young age so school was not a priority, he only completed to the 5th grade, and began working odd jobs to bring home money. His spelling and reading are not up to par, because of his lack of schooling. He was drafted into World War 2, and spent 4 years in the army as a mechanic, working on the jet fighters. He can surly tell some stories, and we all listen intently with awe. My dad's first real job was as a tailor in a large factory, but that did not last long as my grandfather had opened a restaurant and needed my dad's help. So he became a chef @ Mamma Lucia's Italian Restaurant and later became the owner. We all worked there, yes including me, the restaurant provided a good life for us all and we lived very comfortable because of my dad's long hours and hard work. He did all this without the greatest of reading and writing skills, but he was determined. Every summer he would rent a house at the Jersey Shore for the entire month of August I would stay in the house with extended family, as my parents would have to go up North to work at the restaurant, they would make the drive several times during the month, however never staying longer than a week. And who could forgot the trips to Disneyworld, there were many, he would take all of us, including cousins. The memories I have of all of these great times, is because of him.

When the time came for my dream to become a reality, it was my dad that gave me my dream, his generosity allowed me to be a business owner, he believed in my dream, and gave to me freely. The gratitude for his kindness is overwhelming.

My dad and Vincent, May, 2009

His aging has definitely gotten the best of him and he surly is not the same. I find myself doing most things for him, sometimes with annoyance (as he can be very stubborn) but yet sometimes with gratitude. I now see that he looks for me to come home, or calls me at work in the middle of the day to tell me something, this something can be very minor, which can totally wait till I get home, but he feels the need to tell me asap. I listen as best I can, and try to remember the difference in him as the years past. I believe I was destined to take care of him, I believe it was in the cards. When my brother was born, my mother had decided she did not want anymore children as childbirth was to hard (my brother was 10lbs at birth). She shared this with my grandmother (her mother) and my grandmothers reply was "Sarah, you can't just have one child, you must have at least two, as if one is not my your side the other one will be" so yes, it was in the cards, my grandmother knew, she planned out my destiny without truly knowing how life would be for us.

There comes a time in life, where role reversal begins. This is the time it has begun. And as my dad took care of me, I shall do the same. I just hope I can do as good as a job as he did.

Happy Fathers Day Dad, I love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ah the sights and sounds spring!


There's nothing quite like it when you finally open your windows from the long cold winter months and let the warm breeze of spring blow through. The dust that has settled for months in unseen places comes alive in a cloud that swirls around and covers everything you have just dusted. *sigh* Ah the sights of Spring!

Now that your windows are open you begin to get use to the new sounds you hear. All the birds seem to get up at about the same time...5 am. How delightful to hear them squawking back and forth at that ungodly hour. Oh and lets not forget the lovely woodpecker pecking out a home for his wonderful the tree across the street. Ah the sounds of Spring!

Looking out the window you can see all the beautiful flowers growing. The leaves are once again covering the trees. The grass is being trimmed. Wonderful fragrances fill the air (cough, sneeze and wipe eyes). All of this brings on yet another joyous spring pleasure...bugs. Spiders, black flies, mosquitoes, ants and a whole host of others too numerous to mention. When you aren't redusting your furniture you're swatting those lovely creatures till there's nothing left but a memory. Oh, and isn't it fun when you go outside and are immediately swarmed by several dozen families of black flies or mosquitoes or if you're really lucky both. Nothing better than swelling up and scratching from various bug bites. Ain't nature grand? Ah the sights of Spring!

Lying in bed listening to the sounds of a spring night. The chirping of yet more bugs. The squealing of tires. The revving of newly modified engines. Oh, and we can't forget the lovely boom boom booming of music (music??) as the local young people finally come out of their winter cocoons and share with everyone within a six block radius. Ah the sounds of Spring! And Summer is just a few days away...can't wait!

Friday, June 19, 2009

~ "Real Housewives of New Jersey" ~

by Tina~in_ut

On Sunday, I was sitting in my bed minding my own business and playing on Facebook. I was enjoying the quiet after two birthday sleepovers. All of a sudden, here come the daughter and the husband to watch a marathon of The Real Housewives of New Jersey! I can't stand shows like that. They are obnoxious and I refused to pay any attention. I kept my eyes on my laptop. But Hell!!!! By show number two, I had a favorite housewife and couldn't wait to see the next show. Although their lives are completely unreal, some of them are totally likable and I didn't mind checking out their houses. By the time I got to the last show, I couldn't wait for the season finale on Tuesday night. I made sure that the show taped in my bedroom and my daughter made sure it taped in the family room. We didn't want to miss it. Man oh man......they didn't disappoint! I couldn't stop laughing. Sweet Teresa lost it completely. Caroline let Danielle have it.......and Danielle...ugh! That silly show has me hooked. I can't wait for the next season!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


by Maureen

Each day at work I am a part of the care process of many people that can't care for themselves. Not directly, but on the fringe, as support to the clinical staff. I work tirelessly to assure that the clinicians have authorizations from the various insurance companies to make the visits that are so needed by the patients. We are not a profit seeking agency, but we do want to break even so insurance payments are vital to our survival. As the economy falters, it is even more important to provide the best care we can with shrinking resources. So I find that part of the job to be rewarding.

I also work with the clinical staff to get the patients the supplies they need to improve their health status. Mostly it is wound care supplies that I have to order on behalf of the patients. Again, with shrinking resources it is imperative that we order carefully but still provide the items needed to promote healing. We can not provide and endless amount of the supplies, just enough to get them thru until their orders arrive. Most commercial insurance companies will require the patient to make a co-pay. It is going to become more frequent that the patient can not afford that co-pay. What bothers me is that with commercial insurance (not Medicare or Medicaid) the patient makes a premium payment each month for their coverage. Why in the heck do they have to pay for the supplies they need to survive?

Last Monday I ordered wound care supplies for what the nurses described as a lovely man. He is 83 and lives in a very wealthy community. On Tuesday the supply company called me to say they could not ship his order because he had a co-pay of $9.56 and the lovely old gentleman did not have the co-pay. Yes, $9.56. He told the company he would call back when he gets a credit card number to use. I told his nurse and she suggested the company call the gentleman's son, who is also listed as his emergency contact. So they did. On Thursday the nurse arrived at the house to find no supplies. She did the best she could to dress his wound with the supplies she had on hand. Not the dressing the Doctor ordered, but the best she could provide. I called the supply company and they said they called the patient and his son and still no one called back with the co-pay...they still would not ship. I then decided to call the son myself. I got his voice mail and left a message. I told him how imperative it is for his dad to have the proper prescribed wound care in order to heal fully and quickly. I didn't come right out and ask him to pay it, but I tried to impart my Jewish guilt on the son and pleaded with him to "intercede" on his dad's behalf. I left him my number, and the supply company's number to call. Did he call you? He sure as hell hasn't called me back.

Today, Monday, the nurse arrived at his home and there were still NO SUPPLIES. WTF?? The nurse anticipated this and brought supplies from her home to help this man. Supplies paid for out of her pocket. I called the supply company and was determined that if nobody called and paid the co-pay, I was going to do it. Thankfully, I didn't have to as someone called this morning and paid the co-pay. The supplies will arrive tomorrow.

As a child who cared for her so many of you do, can you imagine not providing ANYTHING that your parent needed to survive? How can a son be so cavalier about his father's health? For crying out loud he had multiple phone calls asking for his help. I know those of you caring for an aging or ill parent would do without to be sure your parent has his / her needs met...without even blinking.

Why didn't this man have $9? Has his son blocked his funds? Did he take away his credit cards...maybe to protect him? If so, then why didn't the son step up to the plate and take care of it at the first call? Is this man being neglected? Do we need to involve Adult Protective Services? So many questions.

I read so many cases that break my heart. I can't imagine actually meeting or seeing these people in person without crying my eyes out. I give so much respect to the people that go into these homes...often the only visits some get...and care for them as if they were their own parents. I complain about their "diva-ness", but they deserve to be recognized for the good they do.

And so do all of you caring for your elderly loved ones.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Its a Show-Off!

NJ Housewives....what a mess, I can't believe these women agreed to doing this show, you have to wonder (beside the money) what they get out of it. I guess that's it, the money and then the quick and short fame they will get from it. Franklin Lakes (where most of them live) is a upscale town, with homes of a million or more, you have to wonder how they face their neighbors. Teresa's new home is in Montville, which is another upscale town. The communion I went to a couple of weeks ago was in Montville, the homes there are again a million or more. Montville is such a quiet peaceful town, just like Franklin Lakes, the stir that this show is making, must have these towns in a buzz.. They certainly can't be proud, can they?

As I watch this show, I just shake my head at these Italian Jersey Girls, because I know for fact its all true. Jersey Girls need to put on a show, their house has to better then the others, their hair, jewelry, husbands etc. all have to be noticed and better than the rest. The big hair, french manicures, boobies all come with being a Jersey Girl. And all that I have mentioned are fake, just as they are.

The restaurant that served as the "fight sight" is 15 minutes from where I live, I can't even believe they allowed that to go on there. But then again, the restaurant gets exposure as well, so in the end they benefit to.

I am so different from the Jersey Girls portrayed, and thank goodness for that. Yes I am a Jersey Girl, but so not fake. I am real and proud of it. However on a side note, I can be loud at times and have been know to
throw a punch or two.. lol

Geez, this show gets my irritation level to the highest!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free "Junk" with Purchase?

Hooray! Free gift with purchase, how exciting. We have all gotten them, and it really does feel like you have just won the lottery. Free gift with purchase, Happy Dance! When they hand it to you, truth be told we are giddy!

But Wait. Once outside and on further review, what the heck do I do with this free gift with purchase. Surly I can think of something, its so cute, and my gosh its free. As I drive home I think of all the things I can do with it, I am telling ya the excitement is quite overwhelming. The thoughts are all over the place, maybe in the bathroom it will look nice, or the spare room, oh I know, a tote, It can be used as a tote. Perfect!

Well, not really liking the color orange, and a tote, who the heck carries a square kinda hat box thingy as a tote?

Oh, I know I can put my paper weight in it, see I knew I would find a use for it. But why would I want to put a paper weight in this thing?

There has to be a use for it somewhere?
But I can't seem to find one, so I think I will just chuck it, such a disappointment, my free gift with purchase, gone with a flash!

Oh no, it does not even fit in the garbage can, so now I really have to find a use for it. It should really be called "Free Junk with Purchase".

I have to think, give me minute.......maybe two.....

Got it! Well its better than nothing! Unless someone has a better idea, I am certainly open to options.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Continuing Education

by Iteach

This whole week I will be at the Summer Agriculture Institute. I am very excited about it and I wanted to share what I will be doing with you. Most of the week I will be at farms!

Monday- I will learn about wind turbine and local food efforts.

Tuesday- We will be going to a hogg farm and then a factory that makes feed for animals.

Wednesday- We will go to Holland & Sons, Inc (tractors). Then to the John Deere Historic Site and finally go to Crundwell Quarter Horses.

Thursday - We will travel to Rare Earth, I have no idea what that is. Then in the afternoon we go to Coneflower Farms and Tiskilwa Farms Alpacas, LLC.

Friday-We have to present a project in front of our peers.

In the state of Illinois I have to take so many classes every five years in order to be recertified. I'm so excited about this Institute that I think I would have taken it anyway! So that made me think about other classes that I have always wanted to take, but never have follow through with it.

I would love to take the following classes that have nothing to do with my recertification.

cake decorating (even though I think I would be kicked out for
eating all the frosting)

ballroom dancing


Every kind of history class you could think of just for the fun of it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

32 Flavors (and we're not talking Baskins and Robbins!!!)

Chosen by Vig

I was listening to Ani DiFranco last night, who's music I don't know that well but the songs that I do know blow me away. She is a true poet and metaphor magician. I was inspired by her songs to write a my Myspace status update about the music and musician I was listening to. Carol picked up on this and suggested Ani for a blog. A fabulous idea I thought and as '"32 Flavors" is probably one of her most recognizable songs and one of my favourites, that would be my choice of songs. To me it says that we are all unique, have many levels to us, show to people what we want them to see and that we don't need to change for anyone else. The last one a lesson I'm still learning! Have a listen - what do you think?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Am I Crazy, or is Everyone Else?"

by Bonacci

One job I’ve done is to provide ground support for car rallies. Europe is big on these, which are events where people with lots of money meet then drive to a destination via checkpoints, for no good reason at all. I’m told the inspiration for them was a movie called Cannonball Run, but I’ve never seen the movie so I don’t know. The routes are planned and permission is given by the countries where the cars will be driving. Ground support means we ride along in some ho-hum vehicle and make ourselves available to solve any problems that might come up. Once in a while we get to ride in the nice cars. Just for fun.

The year I’m writing about started in London. I’m always hired by several people so I work for 4 or 5 teams. Our first checkpoint was the Frankfurt airport in Germany, where the cars and people would be flown to the next checkpoint. Each car was given GPS devices called Co-Pilots, which provided real-time updates on each device’s position. The world could log in to the internet and track any rally car they wanted to.

Everything was wonderful. Our Co-Pilots seemed to know exactly how to get us to the euro tunnel, aka the Chunnel, so we relaxed. The Co-Pilot got us to the loading station that would take us under the English Channel and into France. Then Something Happened. There was a problem with one of the two Porsches in our group. It was brand-spanking new, bought in the U.S. and shipped to England where it cleared customs with no problem. France didn’t agree. A “gentleman” I’ve since named FiFi LePew looked at the car and said one word: “NO!”, and waved us away. There was something wrong with the license plate. Some expert Europeans told us stupid Americans what we needed to do. Buy tape and crayons. Since I was the “technical advisor” for the group, we did. We figured we had nothing to lose when the license plate looked like something a 3 year-old would make. Back to the euro tunnel.

It is an entirely unfortunate coincidence that FiFi LePew was still on duty when we tried to get access to the euro tunnel the 2nd time. He turned the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen on a person and informed us we’d insulted not only him, but all of France. We were taken to a room and presented with documents (in French) that we were told we had to sign or be arrested. I couldn’t translate the entire document, but could tell that we were basically agreeing that 1) we were bad, 2) we’d attempted to commit a crime against France and 3) we wouldn’t try to enter France with contraband (e.g. a brand new Porsche).

Plan B. A ferry from a place called Harwich to another place called Cuxhaven. Now if you know me, you know not to trust me to navigate anywhere, even if the path is lit with flashing arrows. I will get lost. It’s a fact. Disorientation is contagious and can be passed from human to machine, which is why our GPS unit directed us to one of the seediest areas of England. We were on a street with speed bumps in low-profile cars. This means you have to pretty much stop in order to keep from bottoming out when you go over each speed bump. Then we saw people. Not nice people, but a group of gangster-looking people coming our way. In the middle of the night, part of a caravan consisting of 5 ridiculously expensive cars, lost and unarmed except for a spoon. We had sports cars, we could outrun them. VROOOMMM! SPEEDBUMP! ERRRRCH! Thump-thump. VROOOMMM! SPEEDBUMP! ERRRRCH! Thump-thump. To Hell with it. VROOOMMM! THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK THWACK.

Harwich: The ferry to Cuxhaven. Cuxhaven happens to be in Germany. We went to check in for the ferry crossing and were taken to a little room by a man wearing a distinctly military uniform. German Homeland Security, actually. This was one of those times when you’re sure what’s happening to you is just a bad dream. Little FiFi LePew had put an alert out on us. Not us really. The damn car. We were told sternly that we were bad (we already learned this in France) and that if we tried to leave GB with contraband (the damn car), we would be considered a threat to national security. Clearly, the new Porsche was staying in England. We all got pretty stamps on our passports saying we’d been detained by Homeland Security. They should have just wrapped turbans around our heads and strapped fake dynamite to us. It would have been less trouble.

Without going into details, we got a legal, non-contraband car, drove the Porsche to a dealer’s lot in England, which unwillingly took care of the car after we threw the keys into the showroom and left for the ferry again. We finally made it to Germany!

40 hours after our first attempt to leave London, we arrived at the Frankfurt airport in Germany. Checkpoint 1. We all boarded a passenger plane and left the cars (about 120 of them) to be loaded by the rally ground crew onto a cargo plane. I was asleep before we left the ground. We landed in Istanbul and were taken to a hotel. Our cars were supposed to be unloaded at a nearby airfield while the rally drivers had a party. I bathed, slept, then caught a ride to the airfield to check out the equipment in the cars I was responsible for. I had a PDA and was texting to anyone who happened to be out there.

3:12 a.m. Sitting on a bench waiting for the cars. It’s cold.

3:39 a.m. Where are the cars? Some dog’s laying on my feet. Feels kinda warm.

4:23 a.m. Left foot’s asleep. Afraid to move the dog. What happened to the cars?

4:59 a.m. Still no cars. Dog finally left. Am I in the right place?

5:40 a.m. Feel like an idiot. Waiting for imaginary cars.

6:17 a.m. Gotta pee. Pls send a ride. Still no cars.

6:48 a.m. Headed back. No F-ing cars! WTF??

I don’t know much about Turkey but they’re amazing magicians. They managed to disappear an entire plane full of 120 cars. Poof! Gone! It’s not like the pilot’s going to pull over to the side of the sky for a nap. How do you lose an entire plane??? It took 10 hours to find it. In Greece.

After Greece it became clear that the new governments of some countries weren’t ready for the likes of us, so everyone respectfully withdrew. No sense wreaking havoc on countries recovering from war. Each time I work something like this, I walk away thinking I’ve now seen everything. I’m always wrong. This all took place over the course of about 3 days. It used to take me 3 years to do this much. I see the same zest for life here at the nest. You all aren’t just living, you’re living out loud.

So there you have it. And if I ever see FiFi LePew again with his nasal French disdain, I want to tell him to stick his finger up his nose so his brains don’t fall out.

As for that pretty stamp from German Homeland Security on my passport, it’s given me a new experience. Full body cavity searches. I’ve gotten to where I just drop ‘em and spread ‘em. A real travel treat.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Purpose, as in Life!

The struggle of life continues for us daily, there is no rule book, its just us flying by the seat of our pants trying to figure out what our next move is. Our decisions are ours, whether they are right or wrong, we must stand by them. As hard as it might seem, there is always one who has it harder, we must remember that and tell ourselves that daily. Our loved ones surround us, sometimes giving us relief, sometimes giving us heartache, but they are there, always and forever. Its the connection that keeps us real, it holds us up even tho we feel down. We must continue it has to be done we can do it even tho at times we don't think we can, its in the purpose. Life is a funny thing it does not stop, it goes and goes, somewhat like the energizer bunny, no stopping it. Hold on, be determined, its just life, make it real. There is a purpose I promise, it might not be clear now, but it will surface.

As I type this it is pouring rain, the raindrops hit the window I hear them, it continues, there is no stopping it now its to fast and furious, but in time it will stop the sun will shine and the yellow will appear, it always does.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


His name is Ralph, he entered my office about 18 months ago, asking for help as he wanted to travel to San Diego. He came in asking for my business partner (Sal), as I told him to have a seat at Sal's desk, I noticed he looked down when he spoke and gave me no eye contact. He explained to Sal that he went to another agency closer to his home, but they were unwilling to help him, he found our agency in the phone book, and so it began, Ralph became our client. As I listened to the conversation between the two of them, It became more clear, that Ralph might me slightly mentally challenged. I e-mailed Sal with my thoughts, and his were the same.

Within the time frame of booking this trip, he told Sal that his mother had passed recently and left him about 180 thousand dollars. He knew the money was not going to last forever as he did not work, so he was thinking of relocating, and San Diego was a place he always wanted to live. Now that his mom had passed he had no one in NJ close to him, except for a father who he explained was uncaring. Sal booked his trip, Ralph paid cash, and on his way he went.

During a wintry snow filled day, Ralph walks into my office, again asking for Sal. When I explained that Sal would not be in because of the weather, he told me he would come back the next day. I asked how he got to my office, he told me he walked. His walk had to take a hour, as he does not live my by office. He then explained that he does not drive, so he has to walk everywhere. I started a conversation with him, so he would feel more comfortable with me, and to my surprise it worked, he started to talk to me, but still not looking me in the eye. It seems San Diego did not work out for him so he wanted to try Phoenix, AZ. I tried with all my might to explain by moving, it would not change his situation, that the money will run out no matter where he went. I told him he should start looking here in NJ for someplace less expensive to live, so the money would last longer. My words meant nothing, as they did not sink in, the eye contact was not there, his mind off in another direction. He left that day without booking the trip, he did come back the next day and booked the trip with Sal to AZ.

As months went by, he booked two more trips to two different states, always booking with Sal. When he came in to book these trips, I always took the time to chat with him again trying to explain, that he should be worrying about finding a new place in NJ that moving to another State does not make his problems go away. My words again, were invisible, I felt helpless.

The other day Ralph called my office wanting to speak with me. As I picked up the phone, Ralph simply said to me, "I am hungry" my heart dropped, as my words came back to me, and I knew the money was gone. I told him I would give him money for food, I could not do it all the time, but I could help him when I can. I told him to come tomorrow, he said he was to hungry, he did not like the hunger pains, so he would walk over today.

As I think back on all this, I am conflicted on why Ralph turned out as he did, as he is capable of working a small job. Or he could have certainly went on permanent disability so the State could help me. But I am drawn back to his mother, was she overprotected? Did she not let him grow? Did she keep him close and take too good care of him? I don't have the answer, I truly don't know. What I do know is that he will be evicted from his apartment soon as he has not paid the rent in two months. I also know I tried contacting the city for him, for housing, but he refused my help. So I have to let it go, I can't control it, I again feel helpless. I can only hope that he will be ok, that perhaps there is angel watching over him to protect me. And I do know one more thing, if he calls me again, and tells me he is hungry, I will give him money so he can feel fulfilled even if its just for a day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Boys

by Iteach

Have you ever seen a child have a melt down at a store? The kind that makes your eyes open wide and you whisper under your breath, thank goodness it is not my child. When I was in my 20's I use to see this and think "When I become a mom my child won't do that". After all I'm a teacher, I'm good with children. Also, I have done a lot of babysitting and I was a proud Aunt. That is exactly what I kept telling myself and I believed it.

Then at 32 I had my first child and I was totally prepared. I couldn't wait to share all my knowledge from teaching and babysitting with this beautiful baby boy Philip. The first year was smooth. He was a very happy , active, and a gorgeous baby. Therefore, at 12 months we said lets have another one since we are so good at this and we did rather quickly. Well, after 12 months we started to notice many changes with our bundle of joy.

He was crawling and walking at the right milestones that the baby books all predicted. So that was good news. However, I noticed he was like a pinball. He was very active, so active that he didn't make much eye contact. Always on the go like a car motor. Also, he didn't talk, climbing my kitchen cabinets were more important to him. I had my hands full and I was having another one real soon. I kept promising my hubby that the next baby would be calm and I believed it.

After baby boy number two was born, Matthew, I knew it was time to talk to the doctor about Philip's lack of speech and behavior. He became that child that screams in stores. Our doctor had the same concerns as I did and we set up an appointment with Early Childhood Specialists. Three specialists came to my house to observe Master Philip. They were very friendly women and helped ease my anxiety. The next week we met again for all the results from the battery of tests that they performed on him. The results were developmentally delayed with speech & language delays. I totally agreed with their assessment, but it was still very hard to hear. After the meeting I went to McDonalds and order three large orders of fries. I was crying and eating them at the same time. I was thinking about my options-go into denial which is easy to do or face the music. As you can guess I faced the music full force.

For a whole year we saw three specialists every week. A developmental therapist, speech & language therapist and an occupational therapist. We had drive to Freeport which is 40 minutes to receive these services, but it was worth it. I started to notice differences with him and that was a relief. He still wasn't developmentally ready , but at least he was making progress.

At the age of three we had him tested for the special ed. pre-school. Of course he qualified and I was very pleased with the services he would be getting at the pre-school. However, I must admit, at times I felt a little ashamed. People would ask me where does your son go to pre-school and I would say Wallace. Everyone in the town knows that Wallace is for special ed. children. I hated saying that word "Wallace". I just wanted people to see what a fun loving child he was and that he was getting the best help.

He continued to thrive at Wallace, but he still just wasn't where he should be developmentally. After another evaluation we decided to put him on ADHD medicine to see if that would help slow him down. It was a very hard decision and scary. Thankfully, it helped a lot. All of sudden he started talking in complete sentences. He was starting to count and learn his colors. It was amazing what he was accomplishing. It helped enough for the school to drop his developmentally delayed label. He still has articulation problems with his speech, but his vocabulary is huge.

Did the magic pill solve everything? Heavens, no! We still do intervention with a therapist every week. He goes to a social worker to work on how to pull himself together when he feels out of sync. We were always in constant contact with his kindergarten teacher who was fabulous. Academically, he ended kindergarten right on average. We did enroll him in summer school to help with transitions since that has always been difficult for him.

Did Matthew follow Philip's footsteps? He sure did! There went my theory that the second one is calmer. LOL

Sometimes I feel so alone with all what I have been through with my boys. I really don't have girlfriends in town that had many obstacles with their toddlers. However, whenever I see a child in aisle seven on the ground screaming in front of his frantic parents, I just smile to myself. Nope, I'm not alone. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Four Girls

by Dianne_in_Denver

I have a two part story to share with all of you. The first part is showing how things have changed for the children in today's world and the second part is just a cute story of four little girls talking.

My two granddaughters and two friends were waiting for a mom to pick them up from school. They went to the end of the playground by the curb to look for the mom and a man was there taking pictures. These girls were scared to death as they had just been warned that someone at a nearby school was taking pictures of little children. They ran back to the school just in time for the mother to pick them up. My daughter was there also and they rode around looking for this person that "was taking their pictures." After a long search, the girls started screaming and were very scared as they saw the man. The moms stopped and asked him if he had seen anyone taking pictures. He said he was there taking pictures of a car that was being sold and he noticed the girls and how they were running away. He showed the adults the pictures to assure them it was only a picture or two of a car with a for sale sign in it. The girls learned to NOT leave the school even for a second. They all went over to my daughters and sat outside on the trampoline to "have a talk."

Now comes the second part of this story as told to me by my 10 year old granddaughter: Of the four girls, one of them has bad asthma, another one is just back to school after heart surgery and then my youngest granddaughter and the oldest. They decided that IF this ever happened again the girl with the asthma would head up the run, the heart patient second and my little 8 yr old third with Kayla, the oldest, being last. Their reasoning was, if the one with asthma had an attack, Kayla would be able to have the others put that child on her back to carry her to safety. The same thought if something happened to the heart patient or my youngest as she is small. Now you have to know that Kayla is not a very big girl herself but since she is the OLDEST (and the fastest runner) she is pretty sure she would be able to save them. I asked her, "What if something happened to both of the sick girls?" She felt she could carry one and they could try and drag the other one. I also asked, "What if the person tried to catch one of them and he could only reach the last one?" Kayla said I was just worried because it would be her and the other mothers would worry if their child was last.

Yes, these girls had it all figured out---just in case---it ever happened again. It was frightening for them, but the innocence of children "figuring it out" made me smile.....that my granddaughter thinks she can save them and that all four of them --had a plan!! Oh what a different world we live in!

Monday, June 8, 2009

~ DNA TEST?? ~

by Tina~in_ut

(you may have to turn your volume up for this one.....I had to listen to it twice before I really heard what she says!)

This is the type of person I get to talk to every day at work. With the internet so easy to use, most of the people who call reservations now are people who have some kind of problem or are just inept. I don't mind talking to the travel agents who call, because I can commiserate with them about the inept person they are calling for. Some days these people drive me crazy, and other days I just have to laugh! It used to bother me when people called for the International baggage policy because they were traveling to Hawaii. Now I just ask them which country they are flying from!!! Oh....or when they want to fly from Omaha, Nebraska to Macon, Georgia and they only want a non-stop flight! Who in the hell flies non-stop between those two cities? Call a charter, honey!

The other day, I had a doozy of a passenger call. Actually, it made me very nervous at first. When someone calls and they mention the word disabled, we have to be very careful of what we say and what we ask of them. The girl was traveling with her son and infant daughter. After a couple of minutes I found out that her mother was conferenced in on the call. They both explained to me that they were traveling the next day and the infant would need oxygen. We need 48 hrs notice for oxygen requests. The passenger cannot bring their own. For safety reasons, we have to provide it. Also, they were traveling on SkyWest, one of our Connection Carriers, and they do not allow oxygen on their planes. It would have to be a mainline plane. Well, only SkyWest planes fly to Long Beach, so I explained that they would have to travel to either Orange County or LAX. Of course, they didn't want to have to pay to change their tickets (it was going to cost them another $170 each). AND they thought it was ridiculous that they had to pay $100 each direction for the oxygen. They made the reservations a month ago and were just now telling us about the oxygen. In the end, they got off the phone without changing their reservation. I talked to my boss about the call afterward and he said, "Well, now that they have told us that the infant needs oxygen, they are going to have to get a letter from their doctor stating that she doesn't if they decide to fly without it." (the infant has epilepsy and if she has a seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes, she'd stop breathing and would need oxygen) So I called the passenger back. What I didn't know was that the phone number in the reservation was the mother's. I called and was informed ever so rudely that she had just called Southwest and they allow a person to take their Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) on board at no fee and that she and her family are never flying our airline again. I lost it! much as I could lose it! I politely informed her that I, and every other representative that she had talked to, had given her the correct information for what she asked. Not once had she asked us about a POC. She asked for oxygen. They are completely different things and I also informed her that she needed to decide which she needed and that she is more than welcome to use a POC on board our airline at no charge. She got off the phone still thinking that the whole thing was our fault. They just figured an airline would have oxygen on board in case of an emergency! Well duh.....we do! But not for individuals!!!! It's for the whole frickin' plane!!!!!

My co-worker had another winner. He arrived at the West Palm Beach airport with his family 45 minutes before his flight and we would not let him check-in. He somehow thought that 45 minutes was enough time to check-in for an International flight. Actually, he thought this because he was flying to Atlanta first and then connecting to a flight to South Africa. I don't understand how he thought we were going to input his passport information for all four, check to see if they required a Visa, check him in for his flight and tag his bags and get them on the aircraft when he would have barely made Domestic check-in time! My poor co-worker was stuck on the phone with him for over an hour listening to him complain and trying to find him a flight out the next day. He also didn't want to pay for the change and argued about that. Once everything was finished and he was set for the next day, he wanted to know how much we were going to compensate him for his time. ALL OF US WERE STUNNED!!!!! People have stopped taking ownership for their own mistakes. Of course he didn't get any compensation from us! Well, the next day, my co-worker looked up the reservation to check something she had forgotten about with the infant that was also traveling, and right there before her eyes, all the passengers had been compensated $200 each for their trouble by someone in another office! It just goes to show you, if you try long enough, you're bound to find someone to give you what you want!

I realize that these are extreme examples of the calls I get, but dang me.....I really wish there was a test given that people had to pass before they were allowed to leave the country and represent the U.S.A.~

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Don't Worry "Bout Me"

Chosen by Mek

Alan Jackson wrote “Sissy’s Song” about a family friend and co-worker that died an early death. He sang it at her funeral with no intention of this ever being on an album. It is a very soothing and heartwarming song and I wanted to share it with everyone. Because a year ago today, one of my best friends in the whole wide world was taken from this earth. Her life was cut short by a person that chose to drink and drive.

Every time I hear this song – I think of Chris – I can, literally, hear her saying “don’t worry ‘bout me”………. Well, I miss her more than ever and more than anyone will ever know.

So, today, let’s all remember loved ones that we have loved and lost. I hope everyone has an excellent day!!

Enjoy the song.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

~ D-Day ~

by Tina~in_ut

President Reagan gave this moving speech at the 40th Anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc. Today marks the 65th Anniversary of that momentous day in history. As his predecessors have so eloquently done before him, President Obama, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Britain's Prince Charles, will have the honor of addressing those servicemen still with us today and/or their families. And what an honor it is.

Sadly, there is much controversy behind the scenes......or splashed across the front page, in some cases. Britain's government only pays to transport the servicemen on major anniversaries up to the 60th anniversary. I don't know if they ever relented on that one. Britain's Prime Minister was not going to attend at all. That is, until President Obama announced that he would be attending......much to the chagrin of the French President, who seemed to want the U.S. President to himself. Finally, as late as this week, no one from the British Royal Family had been invited to attend. Prince Charles decided on Monday that he would be attending after pressure from the White House forced France to issue an invitation. I don't understand why all this political jockeying has to happen when the point is to honor our soldiers.

There have also been many comments made about President Obama speaking today. Quite a few have been negative, as if he has a lot to live up to and will not deliver. "He's young and there is no way he can possibly understand the importance of this day." I would probably have agreed, but after researching and reading many articles myself, I don't know how anyone, young or old, could not appreciate what our servicemen have done for our country and for the world. I look forward to hearing what our President has to say today. I'm sure it will be appropriate and eloquent. And thank you to all those who have served our country and continue to do so.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dirty Jers?

Just a little snippet of my life at the Jersey Shore, the house I stay @ is not on the beach, its on the bay, so that lovely (I say that jokingly) water you see is the bay where all the boats come thru. Once the boats ride out to the open bay, they eventually get to the Atlantic Ocean, once there the boat speeds up and sails the coast. So fun! I have been on many boats in my lifetime and the rush from the quiet bay to the rough ocean is amazing.

Most of the houses you see are summer homes for people, so it was kinda quiet. Most Jerseyans don't go down to their summer homes (for the entire summer) till the kids are out of school, which is not till the end of June. I am sure I will be back to the house again in the midst of the Summer and will certainly try to take more vid.

The name of this blog will be mentioned in the vid, I had no idea about this "phrase" till one of the Italian Stallions shared it with me.

And I thought my state was know as the "garden state". HA!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

You gotta move!

My pretty pink contract, with a beanie baby on it
so you don't see all
the personal info,
Ya know, I gotta keep some things to myself!

I have been addicted to my computer and the people that live in it for sometime now, the addiction has been a good one, so enjoyable, and so very fun. However thru out this addiction I forgot something so very important, it is a simply 4 letter word, but yet so forgettable. I forgot to "move", it totally slipped my mind. I don't even think I thought of it. But the day game when the thought popped in my mind, pop.. pop, like a balloon being popped.

On one of my shopping Saturday's at the mall, my leisurely stroll thru the stores starting to take a toll on me, I found myself getting tired, my ankles began to hurt with every stride, my legs started to throb. I was so shocked that I felt this way, I began to worry. I kept this worry to myself as down deep I knew what it was, the shame I felt for letting myself down was growing with each day. I absolutely had to do something, but what? My thoughts continued. Should I diet? Should I walk? Should I buy a treadmill? Should I just stay as is? Should I join a gym? "What was the last thing I just typed"? A gym? Never!!!!

Out of all the questions I asked myself, the last question came true, I did it, I joined a gym. But how you ask (even if you did not ask, I am still gonna tell ya). My neighbor, with all her kindness and patience allowed me to join at my speed. The first step was asking her "you go to the gym on Franklin Ave, right" and that was it, the conversation began, and the thought was put into place. But wait, I don't have sneakers, so off to many stores I went with my patient SSO. One hour turned to two, two turned to three, by the fourth hour I found the pair that was right for me or maybe I just settled as the stress was overwhelming and the patient SSO was no longer as patient as he once was!

My four hour search, produced these Ryka Sneakers, cute dontcha think ?

It was on a Tuesday, I got a txt from my neighbor "did you get sneakers" "yes" I replied, her reply "when you are ready, let me know" my last reply "k". I was stunned she remembered, and added no pressure, just left it up to me. With all the leverage I could mustard, I walked into the gym and was met by a very young tanned muscular man with abs of steel, once my stare drifted off of him I focused on the task at hand. I told him I wanted to join, however there was one condition, no monthly payments, take it all upfront now, or I don't join. The next evening my neighbor came with me, showed me the ropes and so it began.

Sneakers, check!
Water, check!
Towel, check!
Gym clothes, check!
Membership scan card, check!
Socks, check!
Deodorant, check!
Ipod, uncheck, don't have one yet, but will be getting one soon!

Each weeknight, the treadmill and I have a date, we are starting slow as we have to get to know each other better, but slow is good cause then it will last longer. On my second visit, as I walk on my trusty new date, the treadmill, I hear my name being called, as I look up and clear the sweat, I see a old acquaintance, 10 minutes later another calls my name, and on it goes. It seems I am home, who would have thought!

As I leave the gym on my third visit, someone stops me and says "I love your sneakers" and I think to myself, "Ha, I guess it was worth the four hour search"

This date of mine has to continue, I have to make it continue. For my well being I must move.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

~ Killing a Killer ~

by Tina~in_ut

It was very upsetting to hear of the murder of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. He was one of the few doctor's who still performed late-term abortions in our country. He was ushering at his church when a gunman came in and shot him. He was a husband, father, and grandfather. I don't understand how and why this had to happen.

As someone who is completely and utterly against abortion/killing an innocent child, I find that I am dumbfounded at people who are in agreement with me, yet are for the death penalty or are okay with someone taking this man's life. Killing is killing, no matter what form it takes. One is not better than another. One is not worse than another. Each can be avoided. In the case of abortion, in my opinion, the woman's choice was whether or not to have sex in the first place. I realize that those FOR abortion bring up the case of rape, but abortion in the case of rape/incest only happens 1% of the time and that can also be taken care of before conception in the emergency room of a hospital. Killing this man in cold blood will not stop what he was doing at his clinic, either. Someone else will just take over.

We are all put on this earth to live together. We all have differing views, but we need to respect each others views. I'm not someone who goes and pickets or goes to rally's. It's okay if you do. It's just not my thing. I prefer to pray about our differences. (I have a friend at work who knows this and it drives her crazy because I do it in front of her!) In the end, I believe we all answer to God and He is the final judge.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Birdie ( no, not our Birdee) watching

by Goldie

I have discovered a new passion. Identifying birds I see. I even bought a book “Birds of Wisconsin” to better help me. Now, for years I have been smart enough to identify Robins, Cardinals and yellow finch (flying Lemon’s as my dad called them). The usual mundane sort of bird that you see on a daily or at least a regular basis. But something happened a few years ago to change that for me.

We were driving in MN through the woods of a resort we were at. Suddenly, I screamed at Mr. Goldie to ‘STOP THE CAR”. “LOOK!!!!!!! DO YOU SEE THAT?” It was a pterodactyl burrowing into the tree. OMG, I had never seen anything like it! He says to me “look at what, the woodpecker?” “Woodpecker? That is no woodpecker- LOOK AT THE SIZE OF IT!”. He looks again and informs me it is indeed a woodpecker. “Looks just like Woody Woodpecker doesn’t it?” Then he asks me “you didn’t think that was just a cartoon did you?”. Ummmm, yes. Hell, in southern Wisconsin our woodpeckers are only the size of Robins. Who knew? Apparently he did, and got a good laugh about my astonishment and awe that Woody Woodpecker was indeed modeled after a real bird (which is apparently still thriving and putting the fear of God into insects living in Minnesota).

Since that time, I have looked up birds and have been so happy when I can identify the names or see birds I had not ever seen before. Lots of new ones around the ponds we walk Pepper, and in our own back yard or at the camper.

Now we all know that birds are hatched. So finding bird eggs is exciting for me too. I have found robin eggs and sparrow eggs, etc. I always wonder when I see the shell if the bird hatched and lived or if it fell from the tree or was gotten by some varmint. I mostly wonder what kind of bird it would have been.

A few weeks ago we were walking Pepper when I spotted it! An egg I had no clue about. Hidden slightly under a pine, in the grass by the sidewalk we were on. I thrust the dogs leash into Mr. Goldie’s hand and told him to keep her away. I leaned down and peered intently at my treasure. It was slightly mud splattered from the recent rain and was a faded reddish color with and almost iridescent inside. I gently picked it up and examined it. I had never seen a red egg, and while one end appeared to be broken through, it was almost intact.

I was so excited about my find. I was going to carry it home and look it up. At this point Mr. Goldie’s attention was back to me (he had been picking up dog poop) and he asked to see it. I ever so gently placed it in his palm and admonished him to be careful. Don’t break it!!

After several seconds of looking at my little birdie egg, I asked him if he knew what kind of bird it had come from. His lip quivered and I gave him the evil eye. “WHAT?” ( I am not liking the way his lip is quivering even harder) when he bursts out laughing!! “WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU LAUGHING ABOUT?” I demanded to know. He gently hands back my egg and looks me in the eye and says “Goldie, that is from the elusive Christmas bird”. He cracks himself up again when he sees my face and reaction as it sinks in. My prized treasure was a broken Christmas light!

Oh well, if laughter is the best medicine, then Mr. Goldie is going to live a long time thanks to all the ‘medicine’ I provide for him!

I for one shall continue my blissful search for new birdies. Never mind the entertainment it provides him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekly Cleaning List Poem...

by Maureen

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'

He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work..

I didn't mean to 'click.'

But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site.
That I got SO way into.
I was into it all night.

Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.