Friday, July 30, 2010

Playing with Emily

Hubby and I absolutely love it when we have Emily over to our house for a visit. We take out all the toys and things we have for her to play with and let her go to town. She was interested in colors being mixed together, so I dug out one of my favorite books from preschool teaching days and we had a cuddle while I read it to her. She's got such a beautiful face.....full of expression and a joi de vivre. We played some play-dough together.....a favorite activity at Memere and Pepere's house.
Pepere got into the act. He was allowed, by Emily, to play with the green play-dough.
And Memere got to use the pink.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Walk Against Cancer

In honor of my Mom, who passed away in January after a long battle with cancer, my family and friends will be joining me in the Making Strides Against Cancer Walkathon in October. As you can see from two years ago, we had a dedicated group of walkers who truly loved my Mom. Last year, although we all collected money, the weather was typhoon-ish, and my Mom was too sick to walk. A few dedicated grand-daughters walked in the horrible weather in her honor. As you can see, my Mom was a trooper. Right up until the end, she fought and struggled and didn't want to let the disease beat her.

This year, we have to the walk for her. And we want to make it worthwhile. If you can find it in your hear to donate even $1 I would appreciate it so very much. Just click on

I WANT TO DONATE

and make your donation today. You won't regret it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Folk Festival

Hubby and I attended the Lowell Folk Festival yesterday. This is a huge annual weekend event. There is a lot of music. Not so much with the "Folk" though. We saw a belly dancer. We heard a bluegrass/jazz band from Texas that was very, very good. We saw a hip-hop group. We heard a Chinese band that sounded like a cat screaming. We heard some reggae. We went to see some friends play, and of course the place was behind schedule.....so we got to hear a young rock band first. Even our friends, who played accoustic guitars, were what I'd call "Folk Rock". Bottom line.....it was a wonderful day....hot and sunny. There were tons of tents with food, crafts, and junk for sale. We walked from one end of downtown Lowell to the other, enjoying the sights and smells and sounds. And then we spent about 45 minutes trying to find where we parked our car.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I am the mother of the Groom to Be!!

My second son, Nick, proposed to his girlfriend Kelly last night. I'm so excited and happy for them! They've been going out for about three years, living together for two. And boy, did Nick do it right! He got three dozen roses and set them up in the hallway of their condo, interspersed with candles. He said it was very romantic, although a bit unsafe as he set off the smoke detector! Luckily, it was before Kelly came home and he was able to present her with this romantic sight:
Three dozen roses for his bride-to-be, and a beautiful diamond engagement ring.
Congrats to my wonderful son and my wonderful future daughter-in-law!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Still so Hot

Yep...another heat wave for New England. It's so hard to believe last summer was cold and rainy. We've had nothing but heat this summer. Today we ended out going to Winnekinni Castle in Haverhill, MA to see the "Eve Rising Music Festival." It was the first year of what they're hoping will be an annual thing. All the musicians were women, and there was some serious talent there. They also had all kinds of booths with food, raffles, crafts, etc. It was very nice, and I think if they do it again next year it could get even bigger. ******************* The good news is....I think our car will finally get its inspection sticker. We have a rejection sticker on there now - we had to have $500 worth of work done to make the "check engine" light go out, and then had to drive it for 100 miles to make sure the light wouldn't go back on. We surpassed the 100 miles today and the light is off, so I'll swing by the garage in the morning and ask them to slap a sticker on that puppy. ******************* My uncle is here from Arizona, and he and my Dad are trying to find something to do tomorrow. They were originally planning on going to Boston, but it's going to be much too hot. I think they want something indoors, air-conditioned, and little walking. Any ideas? ******************* I'm almost afraid to go to work tomorrow. My mistakes at work last week caught up to me and I got written up on Friday for "carelessness". The mistakes I made cost the company some money. Now I'm going to be a complete wreck every time I have to do a money product. The good thing is......I'm not the kind of person that keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. I think I've developed some strategies to keep myself from making those same mistakes again. I'm sure, however, that I will figure out how to make some new mistakes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Time for Mom

Today we had my Mom's funeral mass. When she died in January, she and my father had set up with the funeral home exactly what they wanted to do upon their deaths. They had said they wanted no muss, no fuss. They wanted to be cremated....a short, one-hour viewing, and that was it. No wakes, no big church service and no burial. My Dad had second thought as time went on, and decided he'd like to have a memorial mass said. So he contacted the church my parents sometimes attended and they were kind enough to set it all up. It was a little different having the service so long after my mom's death. But it was good. It gave everyone a chance to get together as a family and say thanks for having my Mom in our lives. My sister and my brother Steve and I were too chicken to try and deliver the eulogy. I just knew I'd get up there and blubber like a baby. But my brother John stepped up to the plate. And he delivered a very touching eulogy. He talked about how.....to an outsider.....it would seem that my Mom was an "ordinary" person. She was born to an ordinary family, went to school, got married, had kids, cared for her family.......and that was it. But to anyone who knew her, she was actually quite extra-ordinary. Because she loved....and was loved by.....everyone she met. She was funny, outgoing, loving, helpful, kind.....the list goes on and on. And we are all better people for having known her. I was thankful that John said the things he did. Because they were the exact things I wanted to say.....but couldn't. He said the words for all of us.....and I'm very grateful. The nice thing about today was that my Dad had a cookout afterwards. We all got together and ate and talked and laughed. We enjoyed our day the way my mother would have loved. And that was our tribute to her.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tidbits

* Is it totally, nastilly wrong to feel so happy that the PITA in my office got a bad review? * I'm so happy that we've now gone TWO days in our office without an error! Can we make it three? * I had my son over tonight for his 30th birthday. How can I have a son who's 30 when I'm only 29? * Today would have been my mother's 72nd birthday. Her birthday didn't hit me as hard as Mother's Day did. Thank God. Although I did think of her and miss her all day. I hope she's in heaven singing and dancing for her birthday with her five sisters. * Hubby is well over his surgery and back to his happy, healthy self. Thank God. * I've given up on trying to get money out of the State of New Jersey. They've denied our claim....twice.....citing the fact that they had no prior knowledge of the uncovered sewer hole, and therefore are not responsible. At this point, I'd have to file in small claims court....in New Jersey. I'm thinking it's not worth it to drive into New Jersey (aka "The Armpit of America") just to try to claim $250. Although winning would taste sweet. * We just spent $500 on the aforementioned car to have it pass inspection. And there was nothing wrong with it. It ran fine. But the "check engine" light was on, and they have to do whatever they have to do to make it go off and stay off. And that cost $500.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'd like to make it through ONE day!

Yes...I'd like to make it through ONE day....just ONE day....at work without getting in trouble or messing something up! So last week I sold someone 11K worth of traveler's checks. Problem is....I only actually gave her 9K worth of traveler's checks. Now....you'd think she would have noticed she was 2K short. But....noooooooo....not only did she not count her checks....I didn't count her checks after she signed them. Yep...my boss had to drive 30 miles round trip to bring her the checks I forgot to give her. And then.........someone came in and bought Disney tickets, which we load onto a blank card via the computer. I loaded one ticket incorrectly. When she came back to give me the bad ticket and get a new one....I loaded the new one wrong too. Now I'm to the point where I'm afraid to do anything without checking 100 times to make sure it's right. We went through a few days of letting the customer take the signed credit card receipt....which we kind of need to retrieve the money from their account. Now I'm super-hyper-vigilant about getting the signed receipt. I suppose I'm going to have to be super-hyper-vigilant about everything I do now. My problem seems to be that I feel like I have to get stuff done quickly so the customer doesn't have to wait. Because I hate waiting....I figure everyone else feels the same way. But what I have to realize is that if the clerk is waiting on ME.....it's okay! So I have to understand that the person in front of me came in for a service, and they'd rather have it done right than quickly. My goal tomorrow will be NO ERRORS! Let's see how that goes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A lovely Sunday

Another hot and sunny day in New England. Unbelievable. The weather so far this summer has been the exact opposite of the two or three previous summers. It's nice to have the beautiful weather, but sad to see everyone's lawns so brown.
We wanted to get out and about today.....but no canoeing for a few weeks with Hubby unable to lift more than ten pounds.
So we took a ride up to Newburyport. We walked along the boardwalk and looked at the harbor.

We walked all around the downtown, which is a lot of fun because it's all brick walkways and little stores and artists' galleries. We stopped and got an ice cream cone.

And we went to the "junk shop". AKA the "Oldies Marketplace".

It's kind of a mixture antiques and junk. I had seen some old Golden Books last time I was there, so we went back and I bought a couple of them. Hubby found an old tool for $3.

It was beautiful along the waterfront with a hint of a breeze. A perfect summer Sunday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

500th Post

This is my 500th Post. Imagine that. I started it about 2 1/2 years ago...when my grandbaby Emily was only four or five months old. She'll be three on August 3. So much has happened in those 2 1/2 years. Emily has changed immeasurably. My oldest child celebrated his 30th Birthday. I celebrated my 50th. I started a new job.....a new career really. I lost my dear sweet mother. Hubby and I went on inumerable vacations. All documented here on the blog with pictures and descriptions. I exclaimed to the world my pride in my daughter Jamie's exploits on the football field. But mostly, I kept a running log on my life. The ups, the downs. The good times and bad. Fun at home and annoyances at work. It's great to be able to look back and read some of the things that happened in the past couple years. Thank you to all who read this.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Better than planned

It's so amazing to me when something goes better than planned. I'm so used to things going awry, or not working out, or being a big fat pain in the ass (see previous post titles "Why does there have to be so many people?") that I'm amazed when things work out well. Hubby had to go for some minor day surgery. It was scheduled for 2:30pm. He was supposed to be at the hospital at 12:30 for pre-op stuff. Now, I know how these things usually go. I've sat with parents while waiting for other parents to have their surgery. It's hours and hours and hours of sitting and waiting for the doc who's behind schedule, for the lab, for the x-rays, etc, etc. This time, we got a call the night before that his surgery had been moved up two hours. Now the plan was for the surgery to be at 12:30 and we had to be there at 10:30. Wow....I liked that! We arrived at the hospital promptly at 10:30, and they took Hubby and I in for the pre-op questioning right away. We went back in the waiting room for about 5 minutes when they called him to go in and get put into a hospital gown. By 11:20 they were wheeling him down to surgery. They had told me the surgery would take about an hour. I figured the surgery still wouldn't start until 12:30 .....that they came and took him at 11:20 but that he'd have to do all kinds of other stuff before the surgery started. I was prepared not to hear from the doctor until at least 1:30, and in my mind, was determined not to panic until at least 2-2:30. The doctor called (on my cell phone!) at 12:30 to say the surgery was over!!! I had to wait one more hour before I could go see him in recovery, and we were out of there before 3:00. Pretty good for a procedure that wasn't even supposed to start until 2:30! Hubby is doing great, relaxing on the couch and insisting I need to wait on him hand and foot. I think he's doing fine!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Emily "Paints Fingers"

Today we went over to Doug and Kara's for a little visit and some lunch. The minute we walked in the door, Emily asked if we could "Paint Fingers". Apparently, Daddy told her that as soon as Memere and Pepere got here, she could finger paint.

video

A couple of laughs from her: Instead of squirting the paint on the paper, I was goofing around like I was going to put the paint on her hand, or on Pepere's hand.....and she told me in no uncertain terms that the paint belongs, "on the paper, Memere!!" (and in her head was probably..."you idiot!"

We were playing with her fire station, and I was picking up all her little people, dressed in their outfits as doctors, farmers, etc., and pretending they were asking if they could be a firefighter too. Of course, I was being obnoxious.....as in: "Can I be a firefighter too, huh? Can I? Huh, huh, please please please!!!!???" And she'd say, "no, you a farmer" or "you a doctor". Finally, when I picked up another toy person to annoy her some more, she said, "This is one who's going to be quiet!!"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why does there have to be so many people???

Caution: RANT AHEAD Hubby and I decided to take our canoe and go to Pawtuckaway State Park today. We all know what that entails: Find the bathing suit. Locate the beach towels. Pack a bag with those items, plus books, reading glasses, newpaper, etc. Run to the grocery store to get BBQ supplies. Pack drinks, cups, plates, napkins, spatula, etc. Pack cooler with ice, food, etc. 2 hours later, it's time to leave. In our case, we have to make a side-trip to my brother's house (which, of course, is in the opposite direction to where we want to go) to pick up our canoe. The State Park is almost an hour from our home. A few miles before we got there was this sign: Pawtuckaway BEACH CLOSED. WHAHHHHHHHHHT????? We pondered the reason as we continued towards the park. Maybe the water is bad. Maybe they don't have the funding to staff it. Maybe we can still go in and canoe if we don't use the beach. When we got there, we found out the truth. It was FULL! And it had been full since 8:15 am. The State Trooper who was guarding the entrance said they opened at 7:15 am and were full by 8:15 am. And here comes the rant: Why can't I do the things I want to do, when I want to do them? Why does there have to be so many people?? I can't go to the beach in the summertime, unless I want to wait in miles-long lines to pay tolls, get into the beach, and then get out of the beach. And that's if I can find a parking space. I can't go to the opening of a movie, unless I want to wait in line for hours for tickets. I can't go to a concert, because I can't even get tickets. I tried. And the website crashed before I could even get into it. Because there were too many people. I can't go to a major league ball game, because the tickets are too expensive, cause too many people want to go. I can't drive around in my own town on a Saturday, because the traffic is horrendous. Even the backroads are busy, because everyone knows there are too many people on the main roads. I can't go grocery shopping at my local grocery store without planning and plotting to either go very late or very early. If I go at a regular time, I can't find a parking space, and I have to wait in line forever at the cashier. I think you get my drift. By the way......we did go canoeing......at a smaller lake, with no beach for a cookout. We canoed and swam (illegally, at a closed YMCA camp, because the main beach was FULL!) and then came home and had our BBQ in our backyard. It was a nice day, and we had a nice canoe and swim......but I'm still not happy with the amount of people in the world. What are we going to do about it, people??

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireworks and Beatlejuice

In my hometown of Methuen, MA, they had their Fourth of July celebration tonight. Last year they didn't have a celebration, as they were short of cash. This year they found the bucks and it was spectacular. The weather was perfect....sunny, warm but not hot....and definitely not freezing as it's been in other years. There were balloons and ice cream trucks and kids running around with glow necklaces. I brought a big, brown grocery bag full of home-made popcorn....reminiscent of my mother who used to do that very same thing whenever we went to the drive-in. Every year, they have the band Beatlejuice play a concert. Beatlejuice plays, as you can imagine, nothing but Beatles music. They played for almost four hours. And of course, since it's the Beatles, every song is a toe-tapping hit that you can't help singing along to. As the music plays, the skies get darker, the crowd gets bigger, and the anticipation grows. Finally, the fireworks begin and they are coordinated to music, which I love. I just lay back, listened to the music, watched the spectacular display and thought about how lucky I am to live in this country, where the sky lights up with fireworks and not bombs....where kids can run around and play and eat ice cream and popcorn until they're sick...then go home and be tucked into a nice comfortable bed. God Bless America.