Tuesday, October 31, 2006


We have abundance of squirrels in our neighborhood. With the woods next to our house we get all kinds of woodland creatures in the yard. Rabbits, skunks, raccoons, white tail deer, fox, wild turkey and the evil squirrel. They torment our dog from up in the trees, they eat at our bird feeder and dig holes to bury nuts in the garden. I sort of have a love - hate relationship with them.

Today I was driving to school and was going slowly down the road, about 20 mph. While I am normally a fast driver this particular road is a route that many kids use to walk to school. So while I was driving I see on the side of the road a squirrel. This squirrel was sitting up on his hind legs waiting for me to go by. I'm getting closer and I swear it made eye contact with me. Ok, it has me in it's sights and it will stay put. Well no, it didn't. At the last minute right as I got up to it the silly thing ran out in front of me and I hit it. I'm thinking that this squirrel had a death wish and committed suicide with me as the accomplice.

On this same road I once had a cat run out and go under my truck. There were some kids that were chasing after the poor thing. Since you never know what a child will do I am almost at a stop while they are running near the street. Next thing I know the cat has run under my truck and won't come out. I have to get out and coax it out. After 3 or 4 minutes I get it to come out so I can continue on my way.

I think I need to find a different route to work.

Friday, October 27, 2006


I love many types of music. Mostly music from the 60's, 70's and 80's. From Andy William's "Moon River" to Aerosmith to Led Zepplin and who can resist KC and the Sunshine Band or Freddie Mercury of Queen. While I like a smooth vice I enjoy a raspy voice a la Janice Joplin, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, I really love southern rock and roll. I find that when I am upset, mad or sad I need to have that type LOUD. I wish I could download songs on the blog but I'm not computer friendly.

What inspired this post is that today I feel like "I've been tied to the whipping post" which is a great Allman Brothers tune. I just feel like life is kicking me in the ass. I am dealing with the emotional news of 3 people in my life dealing with life threatening illness. One is terminal. This all has happened within weeks of each other. I feel overwhelmed. What is making this so hard is that I'm usually a strong person. I'm not feeling strong now. I'm on the edge, ready to cry at a moments notice. I'm working on getting my shit together so I can help my friends. I feel guilty that I'm feeling sorry for myself when they are the ones suffering. My heart is hurting for them and there is nothing I can do for them. My young friend with the heart trouble has been flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and I'm not able to support our friends at this time because of location. We did shop for her tonight and will mail her a care package. It's been a long time since I was a 16 year old girl, I don't know what she would enjoy. We ended up getting her a journal, colored pens, drawing paper, colored pencils, an electronic game called 20 Questions, some notecards and stamps. We got her parents a gift card to Olive Garden so they can eat something besides hospital cafeteria food. Well I'm a mess right now but will be strong soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just Rambling Today

I know I've mentioned it before but I don't understand what the fuss is about autumn. People love it. I dislike it. I don't like having to wear a coat (so I don't, sometimes not in winter either). You have to fire up the furnace and that dries out your skin. I don't like the dreary sky, the rain and the wind blowing wet leaves around. Your dog tracks in mud and leaves into the house. Right now we're past peek leaf color so things are turning brown and dying.I find it depressing. Plus our house is next to the woods so we get a lot of leaves which = lots of raking.

I'm not a total whiner, there are a few things I do like about fall. I can wear black tights again. They make my legs look shaplier and thinner. It gets dark earlier and I can get in my jammies sooner and not feel lazy. Dark outside = jammies on. Sometimes I put them on when I get home from school in the late afternoon. Why not if I'm in for the rest of the day and evening. I also like the smell of fall.

Speaking of smells...Your sense of smell is the most powerful sense you have. It brings back memories more than any other sense. I did some reseach on that several years ago. Sean and I were on a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque town in Canada and we were walking by a small restaurant. Suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. The aroma eminating from this restaurant smelled exactly like my grandparent's house when we would go over for Sunday dinner and she would make a roast. I hadn't smelled that smell in over 30 years. I have cooked that same meal over the years as has my mother but it never smelled like my grandma's for some reason. I couldn't move from that spot and was almost in tears at the memory. Sean thought something was wrong. I have never smelled that smell again since then.

I found out that smell memories are stored in the hippocampus area of the brain and can be strongly triggered. I also discovered that smells can linger in your nose once the smell is gone. That explains why when my kids were in diapers I would swear I could smell stinky diapers when I was at work or away from them. The smell was stuck in my nose. The things you remember...

A nice fall day. Did you ever notice that the sky on a sunny fall
day seems to be much bluer than in the spring and summer?
I don't know why. Maybe because its cooler and not hot, humid
and hazy.

Bittersweet at a farm market

These photo's are from a fossil hunting field trip that our class
took on a fine fall day. It poured the entire time, the site was
flooded and the mud...By the end of the trip my jeans were
wet up past the knees and I had picked up countless kids that
slipped. It was an adventure. I don't know if this student had
any fossils in those rocks but I made him put the dead snake
back. Told him maybe in a million years another student will
find it fossilized here. He didn't fall for that.

My last ramble for the day is that I hate blogger. Have the time it eats my post and I can't retype it just the way I had it or it won't download photos or publishes the post any way it wants regardless of how you had it on the page. I guess that is what you get for free!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Today was a rotten day. I found out a friend of almost 15 years is again fighting cancer. This time it looks like she will not win. It's not curable but is treatable. What does that mean? Will treat you until it kills you? I am mad. She is a gentle and kind woman, a perfect first grade teacher. She has kicked cancer's ass three previous times but...

I also found out today that some friends of the family's daughter may need a heart transplant. We've gone on vacation together and taken care of each other's children. A virus has attacked her heart, if this last treatment does not work, she will need a heart transplant. She is 16 years old. Until grade 5 she and my number 2 son would have sleep overs at each other's house. That has since stopped but they see each other everyday. They met each other in the above teacher's first grade class.

I found out today when I had my nails done that Holly, the Vietnamese woman that I go to has had a curse put on her by the nanny she fired. I know this sounds funny but who am I to judge what she believes in. She is not sleeping and has lost 10 pounds on her size zero frame. This is serious enough for her to be travelling to Vietnam next week to try and have it removed.

As Monday's go, this one sucked. I will ask you to say a prayer for these friends of mine. They all need them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My nest is half empty. Number one son is away, a junior in college. His career choice requires 6 years of college. Number two son is a junior in high school. Soon we will begin the college search again. Some parents enjoy that part. I do not. I find it stressful. Mostly because I know we can't afford their dream schools. #1 son's first choice was a 40,000 per year university with stiff competition. He applied and was accepted. We couldn't send him. He's happy with his second choice and likes the university he attends. It has a well known and successful nursing program. In less than two years our baby will be away at school, then the nest will empty of chicks but mom, dad and the dog will still be feathering it. I've been told not to fret over it, they always seem to come home to roost for a while after college. The rub is that by then you like having your house to yourself with your own schedule. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I can't dance. Now you might think it would be because of my bad knees but no, I've never really been able to dance. I have no rythm. I'm rythmically challenged. I can slow dance but always want to lead.

I do enjoy seeing others dance so I've been in my glory watching "So You Think You Can dance" and "Dancing with the Stars". I will even watch professional ballroom dancing competitions on PBS.

That being said, what has prompted this post is Emmitt Smith. Emmitt exudes cool. He is sauve, competititve, dedicated, light on his feet and charming. So very charming.
Not to mention, nice to look at.

I did some research on him and found he is the NFL's all time leading rusher, holds 4 rushing titles and is a three time Superbowl winner. I'm sure he had some great moves on the football field but I'm loving his moves on the dance floor.

Sexy? You bet! But wait, there's more. Emmitt attended the University of Florida for 3 years before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1990. He made a promise to his mother that he would graduate from college and during the NFL off seasons he went back to University of Florida and graduated in 1996 with a degree in Public Relations.

One thing I really love is that he is a dedicated family man. While his practice time for Dancing with the Stars is in LA, he flies home several times during the week to spend time with his wife Pat and their 4 children.

He is involved in charity work also, being one of the founding members of "Open Door Foundation" helping to change the lives of young people.

A man's smile is the first thing I check out and Emmitt does indeed have a nice one but the rest of him ain't bad either.

Sean says he has washboard abs too, they're just under a few loads of laundry.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I have a thing for rocks. There is something about them that makes me want to look at them, collect them and find something to do with them. This rock is one I found that I call the happy rock. Doesn't it look like it's smiling? Sean and the boys think it looks like Jabba the Hut from Star Wars. It has a nice spot in my garden where I can see it. We have many larger versions of this type of rock lining the backyard and down the side next to the woods. They're interesting shapes with holes and crators in them. I don't really know if they're igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary but I call them dinosaur rocks because they look like they came from the cretateous era.

On the beaches of Cape Cod I spend hours walking and looking at the beautiful stones that wash up on the beach. When the kids were little they would carry their backpacks with their towels in them. They wondered why when we left the beach the packs were so much heavier than when they arrived. Finally they figured out that I had put the stones I'd collected in them. I know, what kind of mother loads up the kids. Well, I did. I had to carry chairs, umbrella, beach toys and the cooler. Well, not really, Sean carried most of the stuff. :)

When anyone I know is going out of the country I ask them to bring me back a pretty rock. My nephew told me there are no pretty rocks in Iraq so I didn't get one from there. That's okay, I'd rather he kept his head up.

When we first moved into our house 23 years ago an older lady came down and introduced herself to me. Mrs. R as I came to call her, was a widow with no children of her own. Turns out she loved rocks too. She was originally from Nova Scotia and told me that everytime she went home she would bring back rocks with her. The custom agents would tease her about smuggling pieces of Canada out of the country. Mrs. R had one special rock that she loved. Eventually she had to go into a nursing home but she wanted me to keep that rock. She knew I understood. She passed away several years ago and I couldn't keep that rock. I took it to the funeral home and asked would they please put that rock in with her. I wanted her to have a piece of her homeland with her forever. I loved her and sometime will tell you about her.

So do I have rocks in my head? I don't know. I don't really know what it is about them that I like.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What a World

Let me say up front that this is not about male bashing. That said...why are many men so violent? Why are they so angry about life and carry that anger for years? I don't get it. Another rash of school shootings in the news really got me wondering that. Three in the past week, all done by males, two of them long past school age. And why did two of them specifically target girls? You send your children off to school thinking that they're in a safe place for a few hours and shit like this happens. In my school, elementary grades K-5 we now practice lock down procedures. Yes, lock downs in case of an intruder. When I was in grade school many years ago we practiced air raid drills. We either went into the hallway away from the windows or under our desk. The difference being it never happened for real, we were never bombed. Today these kids practice that procedure knowing that yes, it has happened to other school children. I worry for them and all the children yet to come. What kind of world will they grow up in?