Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Official

A big weekend here at graduation central. The day started out with a few raindrops during picture taking and turned into a deluge on the way to the ceremony. I thought the day was lost but when we walked upon completion of graduation the sun was shining.

Here's the man of the hour with me out in the backyard.
We're lucky to be able to get the Eastman Theater for graduation. The inside is beautiful, here's the ceiling and chandelier. The theater was built with money from George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak.
Cam and his friend who had the heart transplant almost 2 years ago. She had us very worried but today she's healthy and will be attending nursing school at the University of Pittsburgh. They've been friends since kindergarten and had sleep overs at each other's houses until 6th grade.

Another friend since kindergarten. He was a speaker at graduation. Both of them have a quirky personality, right down to their choice of footwear. This is such an exciting time in their lives. While Cam just graduated 2 days ago, already he's overnight at his college orientation. The house is so quiet without him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I like the color green. I have green eyes. For some reason I don't have any green clothes. Green reminds me of nature. Four leaf clovers, mold, grass, leaves; all things I used to think of when someone talked about green. Today "green" has taken on a whole new meaning. Everyday you see more and more manufacturers touting their products and services as green. Honestly I'm starting to overdose on it. Everyone is jumping on the green bandwagon to sell more of their stuff. Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for saving the environment. I recycle my cans, glass jars and bottles, plastics and newspapers. I don't litter and I've been known to pick up other peoples litter while walking. But this whole green movement has taken over.
You can buy green dog products, cleaning products, clothes, you can have a green wedding complete with your organic dinner served on dishes washed with biodegradable soap.
You can also have a green funeral. The green funeral got me thinking so I did some research. You can buy a plain pine casket that has no plastics in it or toxic glue.You can be planted in a biodegradable casket with no embalming, cement vaults or laminated casket. Nothing between you and the dirt but a cardboard box. If you still want to end your earthly career in style you can do it in a fair trade bamboo casket with an unbleached cotton lining. As for me, while I don't think I really fear death, I'm not ready to die anytime soon. I don't want a long painful death and most of all I don't want to go in the ground at all. Yes, I know I will be dead but it's cold and damp underground, there are bugs and I just don't want to rot away. Ugh. I can't even bare to bury my dogs ashes. She's resting in my dresser drawer. No, I'm going to be using fossil fuel to heat up the furnace to 1400 - 1800 degrees, then release dioxin, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen chloride and other bad things into the atmosphere. Just make sure I'm really dead. Then I'm going to have my ashes divided into 4 parts. One goes in the St. Lawrence River at Keewaydin State Park, one part goes in the Atlantic Ocean at Coast Guard beach in Truro on Cape Cod and the remaining is split between my two kids so they can enjoy me forever on their mantle. Just kidding boys. I'm not sure how I got from being annoyed at how green is no longer just a color to discussing my swansong but that's how my mind works.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Party Part One and Deux

The party went well. It poured for part one of it but we (family & friends) huddled under the tents and ate, drank and made merry. By the time we were ready for the cake the sun came out. Here's the man of the hour. The graduation cap on the cake was on my cake when I graduated in 1976, was on his older brother's 4 years ago and now his. The Snoopy was on both boy's kindergarten cakes. I wonder if my someday future daughters in law will put them on their kids cake? Will I be here to see that?
Part two of the party was when Cam's friends arrived as well as some of Kevin's. My dad cooked burgers for all of them. Actually he cooked several different times as they arrived at all different times. After grandpa left hubby took over the grill and cooked a few times. A friend of ours works for the local brewery and he got us 3 cases of free beer. But I ended up going for a beer run later in the evening. While no high school grads were drinking, the college graduates were. I told Kev that no one leaves our house driving. All but one got a ride home and I woke up to find him on our couch.

The kids had a campfire and make s'mores. You've heard of people trying to out do each other drinking shots; well these kids were trying to out do each other stuffing marshmallows in their mouth then saying "chubby bunny". Geez, kids today :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008


This is such a busy time of the year for many people what with kid's spring sports, getting out of school, graduations, weddings, dance recitals and mother's and father's day. I've been swamped with myself with all of the above except a wedding. Kevin graduated from college in May so big weekend, then party. Now we're helping him to find an apartment in New York City where he will be moving. He's got the job, the roommate but no place to live. I told him he should be like Tom Hanks in The Terminal but he can go from one on call room to another on each floor in the hospital.
Cameron graduates next Saturday from high school but we're having his party today. I've spent hours going through 12 years of photos to make a tri-fold cardboard display of his school years. I managed to find the first day of school photos and other school events for every year but 6th and 7th grade. I'm pretty sure he went to school then I just can't find any photographic evidence of it. This year with so many other things going on we had his party catered. I can't cook for 57 people. I've been cleaning the house but as you can see I've taken a break. Hell, no one will be here for 6 hours yet. I am the most unorganized cleaner. I start in one room, find something that needs to be put away, take it there, look around and start cleaning in that room. So I have several rooms in the process at the same time. It all gets done but I need to change and do one room at a time. Like that will happen.
So back to the dust bunnies for me. I sure hope the weather cooperates today, it's kind of iffy. My house seems like it hardly holds the four adults and 75 lb dog that lives here let alone all those partiers.
One thing that I dislike about blogger is no matter how hard I try it sometimes will not publish in paragraphs, just one huge blurb. ggrrr
Edit: Cameron's party starts at 3:00, it was a beautiful sunny day until about 10 minutes ago at 2:10, now it's pouring rain. But I won't complain any longer, this is just a little blip on the radar compaired to what people in other parts of our country have been dealing with.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monsters Inc.

As you may or may not know, my oldest son is moving to New York City on August 1. He has a RN job at New York Presbyterian Columbia in one of their cardiac care units. I got him one of these backpacks from my younger son's high school senior bash. He has decided to call it his disaster bag. This is the conversation that followed. I asked him what exactly is a disaster bag. His response; "well mom, did you ever notice in the movies that NYC is always getting attacked by monsters? The stay-puffed marshmallow man in Ghostbusters, Aliens in Men in Black, I Am Legend had zombies, the monster from Cloverfield, more aliens from War of the Worlds, The Happening had mutant trees and wind,even more aliens in Independence Day and you can't forget Godzilla or that giant ape, King Kong. Then you've got your natural disasters like the storm in The Day After Tomorrow and the asteroid that obliterated NYC in Deep Impact. I have to be ready to go in case of an evacuation." Well being a nurse I said, wouldn't you stay behind and look after all the people hurt by the monster du jour? Hell no, it's every man for himself! says my compassionate young son.

I then asked him what he'll have in his disaster bag. He replied that he'll have a change of clothes and socks, a compass, water distillation pills, first aid kit, knife, maps, protein and energy bars, wind resistant lighter, flashlight, batteries and bungee cords. Hey, being an Eagle Scout pays off.

In the end we know he doesn't have to worry about monsters but I guess it's a good thing to have a disaster bag anyway. I then told him one thing he better have in NYC is condoms. I don't want to know any details Kevin but I just read that 1 in 4 people in New York City have herpes!
PS. We went to see The Happening at the movies on opening night. I can only say this; "if you feel you must spend $8.50 of your hard earned money on this movie, don't bother, just send it to me. It was a stinker" Click on the link in the above post to see the trailer for the movie. Every thing you need to see is in the trailer. This movie is rated R for rotten, retarded, ridiculous and really really bad.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. While being a dad isn't always easy, it certainly is important whether your children live with you or not. Have a fantastic day!

Here's me and my dad. I get most of my traits from him. I look like him, take after him health wise, drive like him (although he didn't teach me, mom did) and our personalities are very similar. We can both be opinionated. When I was a teenager we rarely saw eye to eye. He thought I was always cracking wise when I didn't agree with him. He is also very kind and loving. Happy Father's Day dad!!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm feeling my age...

...Yes, I am no longer a spring chicken. That was proven to me this past weekend. My youngest son is a senior in high school and every year we have what's called The Senior Bash. The Bash is a combination senior banquet and lock in at the University of Rochester. The kids leave from the high school at 5 pm Saturday, have the banquet then on to the athletic center at 10 pm. Now they're locked in until 5 am Sunday morning.

January starts the planning of this thing when the students are given some choices for themes. They each vote for the one they want and this year the winning theme was Las Vegas. A girlfriend and I were the co-chairs of the door prize committee and our goal was to procure a prize for every student attending plus set up at the bash and work the table. All night. We were there from about 4:30 pm Saturday til 5:00 am Sunday morning. I was up for all most 24 hours. Once I could do an all nighter no problem. Ha...I'm still recovering from this one several days later.

The decorating committee did a great job. This was the sign that greeted the kids when they walked in as well as Elvis belting out Viva Las Vegas.
The food area was called Caesar's Place and each table had centerpieces made to look like fountains. To eat there was pizza, wings, subs, salads, fruit, cookies, brownies plus water, soda, milk, coffee and energy drinks. At about 3 am there were bagels with cream cheese and donuts. No body went hungry.
Each student had their senior picture turned into a laminated 8x10 playing card. Cam's is just under the "You look a little flushed" sign.

We had plenty of things to keep them busy all night including bingo, soccer, tennis, squash, swimming, basketball, Texas hold 'em tournament, blackjack, board games etc. For door prizes we had restaurant, bowling, rock climbing, oil changes, mini golf and salon gift certificates as well as gas and Target cards. Nalgene is located in our town and they donated 200
backbacks worth about 17k. We must have been pretty persuasive. It was a long six months and a lot of work. Now it's done and I can cross one more thing off of my to do list.
I am so feeling my age...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More Walking

Expanding on my post about walking to school, I do have a favorite walking day. You may think it's Friday and while Friday is my favorite day of the week as I'm all about anticipation, it's not my favorite day to walk to school. That would be garbage day. You could say I'm a garbologist studying garbology. You can learn a lot about a household by looking at their garbage. Now I don't actually look in their garbage cans, I do check out their recycling bins. For instance that's how I found that one family was expecting a baby and when said baby arrived. There must have been a baby shower because at the curb were boxes from a car seat, a swing and a travel crib. A few weeks later I started to see empty can of formula in the bin and eventually baby food jars. Another family drinks a lot of wine, every week there are multiple bottles and empty wine boxes.
A certain household must have a bunch of kids. In their recycle bin are at least 3 - 4 plastic gallon milk jugs as well as orange juice containers and cereal boxes. One family recycles their empty beer cans and bottles but doesn't return them to the store for the 5 cent refund per each. In New York state any beer, wine cooler or any drink with carbonation such a soda has a 5 cent deposit on them. When you return the empties to the store you get your deposit back. I personally hate that job. When the empties start taking over the garage then I return them.
There's a highbrow household that subscribes to The New York Times as well as The Wall Street Journal but never has any cans, bottles or cardboard recycles along with that. So really, how smart are they?

All of this observation is done by my eyes only. I don't pick through the trash but I will cop to the fact that I once picked up a big fat issue of Modern Bride still in the plastic wrapper that someone had put out. I perused the latest wedding fashion. I figured they already had their wedding or maybe the engagement was broken. After perusing the latest wedding finery I realized the wedding industry is much different than when I was married over 25 years ago.

What would you find in my garbage? Empty Poland Spring water bottles and Diet Lipton ice tea bottles. One gallon milk jug per week. Some tuna, soup and veggie cans. Maybe a french onion dip container. The daily newspaper which I don't have time to read everyday, Time magazine for the current events people in my house and Star magazine for the ones that want the fluff.

Monday, June 02, 2008


The past several weeks I've been walking to school (I live about 1 mile away) because I've been letting my high school senior son drive my Honda to school. Each evening we discuss whether I'm walking or not. Sometimes I've got a lot to take in and don't want to lug it but most days I let him drive. One morning I'm searching for my keys, can't find them anywhere. I call hubby because he has a habit of using them and not hanging them up afterwards. He doesn't have them. Now I'm late for school. Maybe I left them in the door or in the car. I open the door to the garage car! Hence the reason for my missing keys. Now I'm already late, have to walk to school and I'm not happy. I call my son on his cell thinking I'm going to be leaving a message and he answers. I ask "why are you answering your phone during school?" He responds, "I'm in a free period." Well the flood gates opened and I let him have it with both barrels about him having my car without asking. I think I scared the crap out of him because I never yell at him. He never gives me a reason to until today. My throat hurt when I was done with him. I can guarantee that this will never happen again.

Clematis in our backyard.

I enjoy walking to school. At that hour (8:15) it's very peaceful. I live in an old neighborhood with tree lined streets, small houses and small yards. No McMansions here. I think about what I have to do during the day, listen to the birds singing and admire people's flower gardens.

Our Japanese maple tree in the front yard.

Most days I meet the same dogs going for their morning walk. They get some pets from me and get some dog kisses and nuzzles from my four legged friends. It's a win win situation. Grace is an Old English Sheepdog and very sweet. For a big dog she has a rather high bark.

Then I see Wally the wiener dog, another cutie and sometimes the lovable mutt Max is out. Also along the way there is a Rhodesian Ridgeback but I cross the street when I see him coming. He's a powerful dog and well trained but the first time I came upon him he lunged and jumped on me almost knocking me over. It took all of his owner's might to pull him off. She was very apologetic and said he must have smelled my dog on me. Okay, once was enough, I steer clear of him. This breed of dog once hunted lions in Africa so they're tough. I know this particular dog has never hunted lions but he's not going to hunt me.