Monday, August 28, 2006

High Maintenance Part II

Thanks for coming over from SST's. I was asking you about women being emotionally high maintenance...
I have to tell you that I do think that women in general are high maintenance (HM) emotionally. For the most part if a woman tells you she's not, she either lying or in denial. I do believe that as a woman ages she becomes somewhat less HM. She knows what she wants in her life, she is more patient, wiser and confident. Many younger ladies think that they should have their man's complete attention at all times or they think something is wrong or feel abandoned. That's insecurity talking. As a woman matures she is much more secure in who she is and doesn't demand that it be all about her all the time. On the same note, we don't want it to be all about you all the time. Yes, I know that women are hard to figure out but if you take the time and at least try I guarantee it's worth it. There are times when we expect you to be a mind reader and to know instinctively what to do. That's because we seem to be able to do that and we think you should too. Women are more nurturing then men, no surprise there but, now don't laugh, if you get in touch with your feminine side and think like a woman you might be surprised at the results. Here are a few tips.
1. Treat your woman with respect, ask her opinion about things. She has her own ideas and would like to be treated like she has a brain. Don't belittle her thoughts, she's an equal to you.

2. We don't mind a take charge kind of guy but don't make all the decisions. Make her part of the decision process. Don't be the master and commander all the time, consult with her. I'm not saying give into her all the time and let her run the show. That gets old too. We don't want to be in charge all the time.

3. We like to feel important to you, not like your world will end if we aren't with you every second but we like to know that our presence is enjoyed and you're glad we're with you.
We like your attention, we really do. We want to feel like you think we are the best looking lady in the room. If you've just met a woman and want to get to know her, keep your eyes on her. Don't be talking but looking over her shoulder to see what else is out there. In some relationships once you've been together you can check out others. As for me, I don't have a problem with that, go ahead and look but I know who you're going home with. If your girlfriend or wife doesn't like that, don't do it. It will save you a hassle later.

4. Most women like to be treated like a lady. Open doors for them and let them enter first. If in a crowd, reach out and take their hand, make them feel safe. This lets them know you're thinking about them. Don't just plow on through and wonder where she went.

5. Introduce us to people that come up to you that you know but we don't. There is nothing worse than standing there listening to you chat it up, ignoring us.

6. Let's face it, women are more emotional than men. When we have a bad day we may be bitchy. Ask what's wrong, sometimes we want to be left alone but here comes the tricky part. Sometimes we don't mean that! I suggest giving it one more try if she says that. If she still wants to be alone, leave her alone. If you suspect it may be something you did, go ahead and ask her. But, be prepared. That can go two ways, she may let you have it both barrels or may tell you that you should KNOW already. Can't help you much there.

Women love kind and caring men, take the time to try and figure her out. Treat her repectfully, ask her what she thinks about things, make her feel safe and secure. Don't try and make her jealous, treat her like she matters to you. If you at least do some of these things it will be worth the work. Hopefully she will treat you the same way.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I love dogs. I'm not sure how anyone can't. I'm allergic to cats but wouldn't have one if I could. A dog is loyal. A dog doesn't care how you look. A dog loves you unconditionally. Dogs are very intuitive. They seem to know when you're happy and will be happy right along with you. They know when you're sad and will try and comfort you. When you don't feel good, a dog is right with you, keeping you company in bed. In a bad mood?You can count on your dog to still want to be with you. Get mad at your dog or yell at them and they don't hold a grudge, its forgotten in a few minutes. They protect you and make you feel safe. Hhhhmmmm, I just noticed that they have a lot of qualities that you would love in a man. I think they should be refered to as woman's best friend.
This is our dog Cody. You've seen him before in a previous post where I explained how we came to get him. I've had a dogs in my life since I was 9 years old. Every dog I have seems to be my favorite.

Lucky for him and me, he's not into chewing shoes!

This was during our last camping trip. We had never taken him before. He absolutly loved it. Notice that happy look on his face.

Cody is a true member of the family and has to be where ever we are. I don't understand why some people have a dog and leave them tied outside all the time. What kind of life is that for a dog? They should be involved with the family. I will draw the line at dogs going everywhere with you though. It's rather ridiculous seeing a dog carried around in stores and even worse on your lap when you're driving. One quick stop and that dog is crushed between you and the steering wheel not to mention if you have to make a defensive driving maneuver, you've got a dog in the way!

Cody is a beautiful dog don't you think?

He loves his tennis ball. We figure he has some kind of bird dog in his DNA. He has what is called a dry mouth and a soft bite. Bird dogs have a dryer mouth so the bird feathers don't stick and a soft bite so they don't crush the bird when they get it for their hunting master.

Our previous dog was a border collie named Shelby. Now if you played ball with her (and she wanted to constantly) that ball would be soaked in minutes. Border collies are working dogs, they have an inbred instinct to herd animals, mostly sheep and cattle. We got her when the kids were little and she always tried to herd our youngest. She never let him make a move with out being right there at his feet. He had holes in his shirts and sometimes bruises on his arms where she would try and direct him. These dogs herd by giving little nips, never enough to break the skin but enough to let you know who's boss. We were never able to totally break her of that.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Off to School

Tomorrow we take number one son back to college. This is the third year of doing that and it is still so bittersweet for me. I hear many people say they can't wait for their kids to go back to college but I don't feel that way. I like having him home. He is a fun kid, a smart kid, a kid that you can have a conversation with whether it be about politics, current events or just about life. He has always been the serious type, worked hard, disciplined and had high expectations for himself. I keep refering to him as a kid but he's not a kid. He will turn 20 on Sept. 15. The years have just flown by. When he was just a few days old I worried that someday he will go to kindergarten, maybe have to go to war and maybe marry someone that didn't like me and would make him move 3,000 miles away. Sean thought I was crazy but mothers think this way. When he is at home I have a little more control, I know where he is most times and when he comes home late at night he has to wake me to tell me he's home. When he's away I know nothing about what he's doing. I have learned to accept that and maybe not knowing is better. It is hard to see your child grow into an adult, to not be the most important person in their life anymore and to let go. But is also nice to see what a kind and responsible adult they've grown into. He told me yesterday that he doesn't think I'll miss him when he's gone and I was sort of hurt by that. How could he think I wouldn't? I do know that he appreciates us and is greatful for what we have provided for him but I don't think he knows how much we love him. When I was a teenager I loved my parents but gave them a lot of grief. I never thought too much about their love for me. It wasn't until I moved out of the house at age 19 that I started to appreciate them more. I don't think a child understands the depth of a parents love until they have a child of their own. Then they realize how much they love that child and that they would die for that child. It then dawns on them that, wow, my parents must feel the same way about me. That's how it was for me. I tell my children every day that I love them (something I don't remember as a kid). Spend time with your children, get to know them, be as involved in their life as much as you can. It won't be long before they're off to college and on their way to adulthood. I tell them all the time, you're never too old to hug and kiss your mother. If you have the chance to do so, tell your mother you love her, don't wait for her to say those words to you, I guarantee, it will be music to her ears.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sean and I had a wonderful vacation a few weeks back so we're going to return to our spot for 4 days. This time we won't be alone though. Both sons are coming with us as well as for the first time, our dog Cody. We leave tomorrow. Today is it pouring out. I hope the weather is better up there. Camping in the rain is fun for about 5-6 hours. Especially with a big, wet dog. You're stuck in the camper but play games, read or take a nap listening to the tinkling of the rain. Then it gets old. My sister and her husband and kids will be on the site next to us. We can always swap kids for a while. But in any weather it will be fun. We haven't had both of our kids with us on a camping trip for a few years. Number one son was working and needing the money the past few summers so he stayed home alone. Which I'm sure was a better vacation than being with mom and dad. The last time he went with us he was 16. And miserable. Imagine, having to go on vacation with your parents and leave your friends behind for a week. It is so horrible, all you can do is skulk around, roll your eyes and look like life as you know it is over. (Okay, I was that age once and was the same way, that was the only thing that stopped me from killing him) Fast forward a few years. Now he has two years of college under his belt and 2 summers of working full time. "You have no idea how having to be at work at 6:30 am disrupts your social life." A quote directly from him. I didn't remind him that at one time I got an infant and 4 year old up and ready in the morning, dropped them off at two different daycares and had to be at work by 7:30. Now he is very excited about going on vacation. With working he didn't have much time for himself and being in school he thinks is easier. (his words) Welcome to the real world kid! Number two son has had a friend come with him the past several years. This year his two best friends are out of the country. One in Japan, one in Barbados visiting his grandmother. Poor kid, his friends are globetrotting and he gets stuck going on a camping vacation with his parents. After all it's only right, he is 16!

One of the few things I don't care for about camping.
Below, beautiful work of nature during the day.

At night, hidious, scary, gross home of this creature

A red headed woodpecker in the garden.

This Brown-eyed Susan looks like it's waving.

Monday, August 14, 2006


While having a conversation with a friend the question was posed; where is your favorite place you've visited? That was a hard question for me to answer because each trip was different so it would be hard to choose. I've been to Hawaii and loved it. Very beautiful with flowers everywhere. Just driving down the road you would see people's mailboxes covered with climbing orchids. At first the colors were overwhelming. When I got home, it looked so drab comparably. While the only other country I've been to is Canada, visiting 5 provinces, I've visited 13 states in the union. I gave it more thought when I went to bed and decided if someone said you can return to a place you've been to, right now it would be New York City. There is so much history there.We've been twice. I have always wanted to go there but felt somewhat intimidated by it. It's expensive, big, not safe, unfriendly, you know its rep. After 9/11 I knew I had to go there. It took a while but got there for the first time in Dec.04 for our wedding anniversary.

It was wonderful. Yes, it was exspensive and big but I never felt unsafe and found that the natives were very friendly and helpful. It was the other tourists that were rude. We went again in the following spring on a Boy Scout trip and my sister came with me. We had a blast except for one scary bus ride. The Chrysler Building is top left.

If you are a Saturday Night Live watcher you may recognize this
chandelier. While this one is in Grand Central Terminal they have
a replica of one on the set during the opening monolog.
Jackie Kennedy Onasis headed a campaign to restore the terminal
to its former splender and she succeeded. It's beautiful.

Below is Cartier (a jewelry store) dressed up for the holidays.
Notice the tiara over the entrance.

This is the Hershey's candy store in Times Square.

The Staten Island Ferry,
one of several free things in NYC

Below is Rockefeller Center,
down in front of the tree is the skating rink.

The Empire State Building

The Statue of Liberty. She is HUGE!
Time Square. This area has been cleaned up considerably. No more strip joints and adult book stores. There is a Toys R Us store here that has a ferris wheel in it and a full size Wookie made
completely of Legos. Some say that Times Square has been "Disney-fied" I don't know but it is more family friendly. I enjoyed it.
I suppose if you live or work in NYC it looses it's glam pretty fast when you don't see it through a tourist's eye. Of course there are parts that I didn't see, the poor sections and crime riddled areas but what I saw I just loved.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My name is Summer and I'm a...

I thought I'd write about something personal to me. Six months ago I was diagnosed as a diabetic. I hadn't felt great in a while, just wasn't myself. It seemed like I constantly didn't feel well. I finally went to the doctor, had some tests and the results came back Type 2 diabetes. I really didn't have many classic symptoms except I was tired all the time especially after eating. Oh and I had to pee a lot. A lot. I was very upset about it and went into denial. In my mind I thought that I really couldn't have it because I didn't feel like I did.
Then I was really pissed about it, I thought why me? Not that I want anyone to have diabtetes but how come me? I have enough going on with other things. Why is my body betraying me again? Now I have to test my blood all the time, buy all the crap that goes along with that.
Next I was depressed about it. I thought about how this disease will take some years off of my life. It's hard to deal with watching what I eat , having to change the way I eat, giving up everything I love to eat. What kind of life is that? I'm limited to 30 grams of carbs per meal. And if you don't know, that's not much especially if you're a carb eater like yours truly. I am not a sweet person but a salty, crunchy person. I can pass up cookies, ice cream, cake etc. but I do love Mallo Cups. (I have a secret admirer at school who periodically leaves me some in my mailbox. I haven't figured out who it is and who knows I love them.) Some people eat to live and others love to eat. I fall into the second catagory. Life as I knew it was over. I didn't want anyone to know I had it, I was ashamed and thought I brought it on myself. Boy was I feeling sorry for myself.
Well I think I have finally come to terms with it and accepted that I have it. I went to a 9 hour diabetes class and learned how to manage it and take charge of it. There is no history of it in my family but I did have gestational diabetes with my youngest son and that made me predisposed to getting Type 2 later in life. So okay, I do have to stick my finger and check my blood sugar. I do have to watch what I eat but I can still eat what I like, just in moderation. I can have a Mallo Cup, just not 4 at a time. It's not about never having sugar but watching your carbs and eating the right kind of carbs. I thought about what I would rather have other than diabetes. What if I could give up my eye sight or my hearing or sense of smell to not have it. Well I love to see the beauty in the world, my children, husband, flowers, the blue sky, the beach, a goldfinch at the feeder or read a book. But if I couldn't hear I would miss hearing the laughter of a child (my favorite sounds; a baby laughing, a far off whistle from a soccer or football game in the fall, the birds singing, the word mommy) I wouldn't hear the bubbles from a can of soda or when my son comes home at 2 am and whispers, "mom I'm home". If I couldn't smell I would miss the scent of a baby or puppy (they smell sooo good), the smell of rain coming, the damp, salty, fishy smell of the beach, the crispness of a sunny winter day. They say that your sense of smell brings forth the most memories. Once in a small town called Niagara on the Lake in Canada ,Sean and I walked by a very small restuarant and a delicious smell was eminating from it. It smelled exactly like my grandmother's house when she cooked us roast beef for dinner when I was a kid. I stopped right on the sidewalk and hurt with the pain of missing her. I have never smelled that smell since. So would I give any of those up so I wouldn't have diabetes? Nope. Being a diabetic is something that I have accepted, can control and have realized that I could have something worse like leprosy or mad cow.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Today's topic: cyclists, bicyclists specifically. There have been numerous letters to the editor in our local newspaper from cyclists lamenting the fact that vehicle drivers do not share the road with them. On and on they go about how they have every right to be on the road, people are rude to them, drive too close to them, tailgate them, blind them with their highbeams, the list goes on. My take on the whole thing is this; when was the last time you saw a person on a bike obeying the traffic laws just as they are supposed to. They have to follow the same laws that a driver of a car does. This means that they can not go through stop signs or red lights. They have to stop. They must ride with traffic, not against it. They must use hand signals to tell others what move they are planning to do. Don't get me wrong, I have seen some doing those things. But the majority don't. There are plenty of bad drivers out there that you need to be aware of.

Yes, sometimes it seems like we are tailgating you and I'll tell you why. You need to ride as close to the white line on the side of the road as you can. Not in the middle so we can't get around you due to oncoming traffic. Yes you get blinded sometimes with headlights but maybe its because you're on the wrong side of the road, wearing dark clothes and no reflectors or light. Wjen I'm turning right onto a road I don't need to see you come whizzing by me on the right to go through an intersection. Cars cannot pass on the right. Use your heads people. While I am a good driver and never assume I know what a pedestrian or biker will do, I know that there are lots of assholes out there driving that aren't paying attention, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, shaving. Hell, I even saw someone reading a book while driving on the xway! Its just a matter of time before someone hits you. I hope it is not me.

I write about this because once this summer we saw a tragedy and the other night were almost part of one. We came upon an accident with a bike and a car. The vehicle was turning right on to the entrance ramp of the xway and hit a bicylclist. I don't know whose fault it was, we happened upon the aftermath with the twisted, broken bike in the road and police investigating. The car won that collision, the young man, age 21, was killed. The other night on a 4 lane road a kid, maybe 16, riding a bike that was too small for him, no helmet and a frosty from Wendy's in one hand, cut across two lanes and without the quick reflexes of Sean, we would have hit him. After slamming on the breaks we came to a dead stop right behind him. This young man just went on his merry way leaving us with heart palpatations and almost being rear ended in the process. I only hope he learned a lesson that night when his life had to have flashed before his eyes but I don't think he did. A bicylclist will never come out on top with an altercation with a car.

So if you want the respect you feel you should get and to feel safe on the road when riding a bike, please take the time to learn the traffic laws, ride smart and don't play games. Don't assume that we see you, sometimes we don't.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Fish Story

More from our vacation.
We spent a lot of time fishing last week. I really don't care what I catch, big or little, Bluegill, Sunfish, Perch or even Rock Bass but Sean only likes the big ones. He doesn't like the "squeakers" as he calls them to waste his time. I've been fishing since I was a kid and with three girls our dad was pretty busy putting on worms and taking off fish. When you're the oldest, you wait for everything while the younger ones get taken care of first. Hence I started doing it myself. I won't do it when the fish swallows the hook though and I hate it when the fish ends up being seagull food.

One of the many pan fish I caught, this one was just a baby.
As I said I can bait my own hook and take off my own fish but Sean volunteered to
be to take care of the worm part, after all as he says, he is the master baiter.

This perch I caught while Sean was getting something from the car. It's pretty big as far as perch go. I took a picture of it because he wouldn't believe me if I told him how big it was. :)
We always catch and release.

One night I didn't bring my pole when we went fishing, I was reading a good book but Sean was just bringing up the dreaded squeakers so I took his pole for a while. Low and behold, look what I pulled in; a "just legal" Bass! It even broke water while I was reeling it in. He was so jealous and his mission was to catch one bigger than mine. Did he succeed? No. I must be a better hooker than him. Notice my swollen knee, it has been six weeks since I have walked without limping. I swear for awhile all I needed was a hunchback and I could pass for Quasimoto. It is getting better v e r y s l o w l y.

Here is one of Sean's cutest catches. An infant Perch. Yes Sean, I will tell the nice people that do read this blog that you did catch some bigger fish.

But none bigger than my Bass ;)

I'll leave you with another beautiful sunset.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reality Bites

We're back from our vacation and had a wonderful time. Sean and I didn't drive each other crazy as I feared and I could have stayed another week. The weather was great, very hot but there was always a breeze coming off the river. As I mentioned before, we went to the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River. Why is it called the 1000 Islands you ask? Or maybe you didn't but I'll tell you anyway. 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age these islands were formed. In total there are 1,865 islands. The difference between an island and a shoal is this; to be classified as an island it must be above water 365 days a year and support at least one tree. The St. Lawrence River was discovered on 8/10/1535 by Jacques Cartier. Most of the homes on the islands are summer homes but some brave people live there year round and get to the mainland by snowmobile in the winter. You can attend church services on the water in your boat in Half Moon Bay. What I love about the river is you can see the ships that travel through out the Great Lakes from our campsite. While sailing through the 1000 Islands they must have a river pilot on board to steer through the islands and stay in the channel. Yes, some islands have been bumped into by ships and some have run aground when they strayed from the channel but for the most part they just cruise on through. As many years as I have been going there, I never get tired of see those ships. Here are just a few of the ones we saw.

Every day ended with a beautiful sunset.