Monday, January 29, 2007

Look! Up in the Sky!

When I went to work this morning the snow was sparkling and there was this big, glowing, yellow orb in the sky. It hurt my eyes and I had to squint. It was some sort of ball of fire.

Oh yeah, it must have been the sun. I had forgotten what it looked like since we haven't seen it for weeks.

I hope it was sunny wherever you were.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I happened upon an article that said that the new fashion for men is leggings.

What?! Leggings?!

Is there any self respecting man out there that would actually wear these things? Can you imagine taking anyone serious while wearing them? How can this guy keep a straight face struttin his stuff on the catwalk?

Please, don't let this become a trend.

Maybe it's just me that doesn't get it. It's not like I live in a back woods little town. I live in the 3rd largest city in my state and can honestly say if I saw a professional dressed like that he might as well have a big S on his forehead for Sucker.

The only men that should be in tights are these guys. If you've never seen "Robin Hood, Men in Tights", head down to Blockbuster right now. Very funny take on the Robin Hood story. You won't be sorry.

As for me, I prefer my men casual in jeans and t-shirt, that can be sexy. Although I love a man in a suit and tie. Sean wears a suit maybe once a year for a wedding or funeral. If he only knew how much I love it, he'd wear one tonight. ;)

Friday, January 26, 2007

What is that you may wonder. Perhaps it is the horn of a unicorn. Or the tusk of a narwahl.

No, it's 5 foot icicles hanging from our gutter. It is freaking cold here. I hate it.

I can't wait for spring and summer when I can sit out on the patio and watch the hummingbirds.

On top of this cold weather, we had to go and buy a new washing machine. Not something I enjoy spending money on. Sort of like when you have to buy tires for your car. Just no satisfaction in it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby, it's COLD outside

Here at the 43rd parallel it's COLD. While living in the northern United States we're used to snow and cold, but so far this season we've been spoiled by not really having winter yet. Until now. It has been very mild for what we consider winter. In December the temperature averaged about 20 degrees above normal. In the month of January the average high is 31. It has been struggling to get up to 20. Yesterday our high was 11 degrees.

As many regions of the country experienced ice storms the last week, we did also. Thank goodness not as severe as some areas. I feel for those people. We had a huge one some years back and our neighborhood was out of electricity for 11 days. Eleven days without heat. We have a gas furnace but it needs electricity for the electronic ignition. The water heater is gas fired so we would rotate turns taking hot showers and all would come into the bathroom and bask in the warmth of the steam. Hotels were out of power as well. Plus they were housing the crews that came from around the country to help restore service. Eventually power was restoredto our town library and we would hang out there in front of the gas fireplace. You could tell the people that didn't have their power back yet. We all walked around with a glazed look in our eyes wearing layers of clothes and wouldn't take our coats off. We slept all in one bed, (the boys were 4 and 1 year old) wearing sweat pants and shirts, 2 pair of socks, hats, mittens and with 4 blankets Once you warmed your spot up, you didn't move for the night. The coldest the house got inside was 40 degrees. I have a new appreciation and respect for people in third world countries that live in those conditions for entire winters.

These photos were taken Monday and are still coated in ice today with a layer of snow on them now. It looks like a crazy Martha Stewart came around and frosted the trees and shrubs. It is actually very pretty.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Potty Talk

This isn't about the potty talk you may think. It's more like potty etiquette. As you may or may not know, I am the only female in a male household with husband Sean, number one son age 20 and number two son age 16. Even our dog Cody is male. At last count he has 5 of these squeeky footballs around the house. The other day I woke up with one next to my pillow.

Back to the etiquette. I'm not one of those females that rant and rave about the seat being left up. I don't care. I have to look before I sit anyway because our big dog, the aforementioned Cody, likes to drink out of the toilet. Yes, I know, eeeeewwwww, but that's the way it is here. We have tried leaving bowls of water for him but he prefers the more sophisticated taste of toilet water. The problem with that is that when he gets a drink he gets water all over the seat. Nothing worse than sitting on a wet seat. Even if it is just water. If I get up in the middle of the night I still look for a wet seat so I will notice if the seat is up or down.

My beef with the bathroom is the toilet paper, which will know be refered to as TP. Men, do you not know we ladies use TP everytime we use the bathroom. I realize that you don't but we do. The men in my life are aware of this fact because I can be very vocal about it. That means when you do take care of business that needs TP and you happen to use up the roll, please be kind and replace it with a new roll. This is all we ask.

As for me, I'm not picky about whether the paper comes off the top or from the back. I'll change it to the way I like. I don't even care if you're too lazy to put it in the holder as long as you get one out. It is so easy at my house as we have a drawer right next to toilette (it sounds better in French). I ask that if you use the last roll from the drawer, please go under the sink and get more. It's most inconvienent when you don't. There's nothing worse than when you've done bubbles and there is no paper.

What the hell are bubbles you may be wondering. When son number one was being potty trained, the first time he stood up and peed he saw that it made bubbles in the water. He was so excited that everytime he had to go, he said he had to do bubbles. So 17 years later we still call it that. It sounds so much nicer than, "I have to take a piss" don't you agree?

This isn't something I would normally share with other people but if I can educate just one man, then it was worth it. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I planned on writing about President Bush's plan to send even more troops to Iraq but it is too depressing. We just keep getting deeper and deeper. Men and women keep dieing. It's sad...

Last night I watched Primetime Live and they had a story about the world's smallest people. They have a type of dwarfism called Primordial Dwarfism. From the time of conception these babies do not grow normally in stature, hense the name "primordial" meaning from the beginning. The babies are perfectly formed unlike other types of dwarfism. Primordial is the most severe type and it is estimated that there only about 100 people with it in the world.

Primetime profiled a little girl named Kenadie-Jourdin Bromley. She was born Feb. 13, 2003 and weighed just 2 lbs 8oz. Kenadie isn't expected to grow beyond 30 inches tall. She will be 4 years old next month and now weighs 10 lbs. There is a website about her and I encourage you to check it out.

Kenadie has found a way into my heart. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind since I saw her. My son thinks she is "kind of weird looking" but I think she is beautiful. That must be the mother in me. There is something about the look of wonder on her face, her smile. She looks like a little pixie. Kenadie has loving parents and a younger brother. I'd post some pictures of her but they're copyrighted and they ask that they not be downloaded so I'll respect their wishes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Have a Dilemma

When we go on vacation I have to be near the water. While the mountains are beautiful I must be at the water or it doesn't seem like a vacation. For at least 20 years we have gone on vacation to North Truro, Massachusetts. It's located on Cape Cod which is a peninsula shaped like a bent arm sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean. North Truro is on the outer side of the "wrist" We've always camped together with my sister's family, my parents and friends. Some years we've had as many as 7 families together. My father would put together a miniature golf course back in the pine trees. We would draw partners and have an annual golf tournament called The Flamingo Open. We spent many hours on the beach with the children digging holes, making sand castles, playing in the waves. We would boil lobsters at camp and play games at night. My parents enjoyed watching their children and grandchildren.

I love a nice beach. I love the water, the crashing waves, the seagulls, looking for seashells and pretty stones. I like to go early and have breakfast on the beach. I've been to beaches in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia in Canada. Maine and Massachusetts in the U.S. All of these are cold water beaches. I've been to tropical beaches in Florida, St. Thomas, Bermuda, The Bahamas and Hawaii. Different beaches around the world have different kinds of sand.

On Cape Cod the sand is brown, tan and white and very coarse. You can see the indivual grains very easily. It looks like what it is; tiny, tiny stones. The shore line has usually has a path of larger stones that you have to walk over to get into the water. These are the stones I like to look at. When they're dry they look dull and drab but when wet they look like jewels. The different colors are beautiful. In North Truro the beaches are pure and pristine, part of the National Seashore and has strict regulations. There are no hotels or houses built on the beach. You can't climb the sand dunes because they don't want them eroded by people as the wind and water do enough of it.

The sand on Prince Edward Island in Canada is red. P.E.I. was formed millions of years ago on sedimentary bedrock of soft, red sandtone. This creates rich, red soil that has rust in it. Trust me when I tell you it doesn't wash out of clothes very well. On the beach we dug for clams. I'd never had clams so I tried these. No mater how much we washed them they were still crunchy with sand inside of them. I will never eat another clam.

We went to Bermuda on our honeymoon and visited Elbow Beach in Hamilton. This beach has pink sand. It is made up from pulverized remains of invertebrates such as coral, clams and other sea life. What puts the pink in the sand are forams, an animal that lives on the underside of the coral. When they die they have a red skeleton. As they drop to the sea floor they're crushed by pounding waves and washed up as sand.

I've been to a black sand beach in Hawaii on the island of Maui. As lava from the volcano quickly cooled in the water it shattered into glassy fragments that were eventually crushed into sand. Today the sand comes from the erosion of the black lava rocks that make up the island. I'll say that the black sand beach is very strange. I wasn't crazy about it plus it was very coarse.

The sand I've experienced in Florida is like white sugar, some are as fine as powdered sugar. This again comes from the sea life that has been crushed over time. While I love Cape Cod, the lure of the tropical beach is strong and since I've only experienced it a few times, they tend to be my favorite kind of beach. White sand, turquoise and aqua water and palm trees are so foreign to me and seem exotic.

Sean and I will celebrate our 25 wedding anniversary in December of this year. We've always planned on going on a nice trip to celebrate it. We thought we would go to Hawaii but that's out of the question. Too much money. We're trying to save money for this trip but it's hard. With two kids and one in college, money is tight.

Here's my dilemma. My parents want my family and my sister's family to all rent a house together this summer on Cape Cod. It has to sleep at least 10 people so we're talking a big house. Several thousand dollars. It will also be my parents 50th wedding anniversary this summer. Cape Cod is not cheap, as a matter of fact it's very expensive. We can't afford to go to Cape Cod and go on our anniversary trip to a nice relaxing, warm, tropical beach next February. I don't know what to do. Go to Cape Cod and celebrate my parents or go on our own trip and celebrate us. What should I do??

By the way, Sean says I am waaaay too wordy on this blog and no one will read it. Oh well I tell him.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Can You Be A Hero?

What is a hero? Webster's New World Dictionary defines it as; any man admired for his courage, nobility or exploits. Also; any man admired for his qualities or achievements and rearded as an ideal or model.

Can anyone be a hero? Of course they can. Do you need any special talents to be a hero? No, you don't need any. Does one wake up in the morning and say, "I think I'll be a hero today." I don't think so. But everyone can be a hero to someone.

You can be the quiet hero. The adult that mentors a youngster, showing them the way to become a productive member of society. I think that good parents are heros. It takes a lot to raise a child today. Love. Discipline. Patience. Sacrifice. The parent working several jobs for his/her family. Grandparents raising their grandchildren. Teachers that take the time to build a child's self esteem.

Then you have your public heros. Firefighters, police officers, EMT's, soldiers, doctors, nurses. These are the people you think of first when you think hero.

Atheletes can fall into the hero catagory. I don't really think of them that way. Sure they are an asset to their team. Maybe they scored the winning touch down or winning goal but I don't think that those kinds of feats affects other's lives. Now an athelete that gives his time to charities, that's another story. To do something good with your name is a great thing whether it be starting your own foundation or visiting sick children. You're a hero if you do that. I say put your money where your mouth is.

Then there are your bigger than life heros. I want to talk about 2 recent events of the past week and one from 25 years ago. The first being Wesley Autrey. He is the man that jumped down on to the subway tracks to save the life of another man. With a train coming! What was he thinking? Or was he not thinking? I could be wrong but my guess is that he didn't think. He reacted to a fellow human in danger. His two young children were on the subway platform with him. He had to leave them alone while performing this heroic act. What if his rescue had not been successful? His children would be without their father. That's why I think he reacted in the moment. Let's face it, if heros thought it through everytime, they wouldn't do it. Would you be able to do it? If it were to save my children, I would do whatever it took, whatever the risk. I would give my life for theirs. But in the case of someone I didn't know? I guess I don't know if I would until I'm put in that situation. I'd like to think I had the guts to save another person. Mr Autrey is a Navy veteran. Could that have had something to do with it? Mr. Autery has been showered with publicity as well as gifts such as a week long trip to Disney World, $10,000. from Donald Trump, a scholarship for his children, a Bronze medallion, New York City's highest award for civic achievement from Mayor Bloomberg and he gets to ride the subway for free for one year. He certainly deserves all of these accolades. Thank goodness for men like Wesley Autrey.

Two days later, best friends,Julio Gonzalez and Pedro Nevarez were walking down the sidewalk, again in New York City, and heard a child (3 years old) calling for help. Imagine looking upward and seeing a child dangling 4 stories up. The child let go and was caught by Mr. Gonzalez after bouncing off Nevarez. Talk about being in the right place at the right place. There was a gardian angel with those three people that day.

Twenty five years ago this month, Florida Air flight 90 took off from Washington D.C. in a severe snowstorm. The Boeing 737 could not gain altitude and clipped the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River. It crashed through the 1" thick ice on the river. Helicopters were despatched to participate in the rescue. Meanwhile, watching from the bridge was a 28 year old office worker named Lenny Skutnik. He saw a woman floundering in the water and realized she could wait no longer for a life line. Lenny then took off his coat and boots and without any thought to his own life, plunged into the frigid water, swam to her and brought her to safety. He later was quoted as saying, "I just couldn't stand there and do nothing to help." Mr. Skutnik was later awarded with the U.S. Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving medal and the Carnegie Hero Fund Medal. He attended the State of the Union address with First Lady Nancy Reagan. Another hero from the crash was Arland D. Williams Jr. He was on the doomed plane and still attached to it. He repeatedly handed off the life line from the helicopter to others to be rescued. That day 5 people were saved, 78 died including Williams when the plane sunk and took him with it.

"There are many kinds of heros in life, male and female. Everyone and anyone can be one." Summer

"Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody and to that person whatever he says has an enhanced value." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
Andrew Jackson

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's 2007

It's the first day of 2007 and it's grey and dreary as it tends to be in this part of the world. I think I will stay in my jammies all day today. I swear I have to move some place where the sun shines on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be tropical or even warm. Ok, warm would be nice, I would be happy with temps in the 60's during the winter. But sunshine is my ultimate goal. I just watched the Rose Parade and now I want to move to Pasadena. I swear if Sean had a job that wasn't sooo specialized and he could find the same line of work somewhere else, we'd be out of here. I'd like to go and visit my parents in Florida for a week this winter but Number 2 needs to take Driver Ed. in school this spring and it costs us $385. for the class.

I do think that 2007 will be a good year if only for the silly fact that I like odd numbers. When asked to pick one, I always go odd and always pick tails in a coin toss. My house number is odd but my phone number with area code has 7 even numbers in it. I was born on an even day in an even year. But I'm not into numerology. I just like odd numbers for some strange reason. I'm not sure why I just wrote that, it cannot be interesting to anyone but me.

Back to 2007 (I'm not into making resolutions; I just can't seem to keep them and that's discouraging to me.) but this is what I'm looking forward to. In no particular order, here's my list. SPRING. I know winter just started but I miss my garden and seeing things grow. Helping my students get through the rest of 5th grade. Working in special education has its ups and downs but there is nothing more satisfying than getting through to a student that's struggling. Helping a friend through tough times. Enjoying my family and friends. A trip back to the 1000 Islands in NY. Improving my health, I swear my body feels 90 years old somedays. At least my mind feels 25.

My wish for you is that 2007 will be the best year yet of your life. Free from sadness, fear, prejudice and stupidity.