Thursday, July 31, 2008


Dara Torres. Have you seen this woman? At age 41 she will be swimming in her fifth Olympics! I hope she does well for herself and on behalf of all of us "older" women. Imagine competing with all those sweet young things. The average age on the US swim team is 22 years old. What strikes me about her is her body. OMG. I've never seen abs like that on a woman except body builders and they look like men. Many female swimmers have huge shoulders and arms. Torres just looks very toned.

While Torres doesn't have any curves or softness to her body, look at those muscles!

I've enjoyed the Olympics since I was a kid, the winter games more than the summer ones. In 1972 I saved all the newspaper articles about the Munich tragedy. In school one of my sons took a sports lit class and he brought them in to share. I also saved newspapers and magazines from 1980 when the men's hockey team won the gold medal. I'm a geek like that I guess. Big events; I save the newspaper. I come by it honestly though, my great grandmother saved the paper when the Titanic sank. Today it's very brittle and fragile.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Party's Over

My four day birthday extravaganza has come to an end.

Day one: some pampering with a spa pedicure

Day two: lunch with 2 girlfriends at a restaurant on Lake Ontario

Day three: my actual birthday and a lunch cruise on Canandaigua Lake with the men in my life. Dinner at my parents house that evening, stuffed pork chops and twice baked potatoes.

Day four: a party at my sister's house.

My 50th birthday tiara. My niece will wear it for her 13th in November then my younger sister will don it in two years for her 50th. Finally three years after that my youngest sister will wear it for hers. Yes, I'm the oldest of three sisters. I must say that my forehead is not that wrinkly, it's just the way I'm looking at the camera!
It's been very hectic here at my house. Kevin went to NYC with his future roommate to look for an apartment. It came down to the wire but they found a place in Queens.
Now, here comes the stressful part. This is what he needs.

1,125 for his half of security deposit
1,125 half of the broker fee
1,125 half of August's rent
$3,375 due August 1

Plus he has to have money for living expenses for the month of August since he doesn't start working until Aug. 11. The kid has 75 bucks to his name right now. Oy vey. We have to clean out every account we have plus go into some of Cam's college money. Kevin will be paying us back but slowly at first. I think I need a second job.

I knew he was moving but this just seemed to sneak up on us. He'll be out of the house, it won't be like he's away at school and will be home on the many breaks that he seemed to have. He 'll be out on his own, starting his life as an adult. As a parent this is what you prepare your children for, to be independent and an asset to society. He's worth every penny.

Flower pictures today from my garden. Flowers are one of my favorite things in life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How Old Are You?

What is your age? I've decided that it's just a number, not a reflection of who I am. You know that saying "you're as young as you feel"? While I believe that to be true I think by feel it means emtionally not physically. This body of mine, well it feels it's age. To keep it the finely tuned machine that it is I have to take metformin, lipitor, zoloft and 81 mg of asprin each morning. Periodically I have to get shots of antiinlamitory under my kneecaps but that's it. Ten years ago I had an MRI on my knees. My orthopedist told me I had the knees of an 80 year old. I'm afraid to know how old they are now.I took the Real Age test and came right in at my age. I would have liked to come in younger but I'm happy that it didn't come in older. Some days my bod feels great, no aches or pains and then others I swear I feel like I'm about 90.
I've reached a point in my life where I don't care what others think of me. I'm at an age where I know myself and am comfortable with myself. My self confidence is better than it ever was. Men, even young men will still check me out. I haven't become invisable yet.To quote one of my favorite friends, "you still got it goin on".
Me at age 2
But your age is all in your head. It's how your mind feels. In my mind I still feel like I'm 25 although I'm wiser than I was at that age. I'd like to think that I'm somewhat with it. I don't know if I'd pass muster with Stacy and Clinton but I don't think I'm going to show up on What Not to Wear although I'd love the NYC shopping spree. I wear my hair in a style. I wear heels. I wear sylish jeans, not mom jeans. I'm not frumpy, in my mind anyway. I see many women in my age group and it seems like now that they've reached this age they can stop putting in the effort.
I know how to converse with younger people and respect their opinions. I try and stay up on current events in the news and sports. Some people that think when they reach a certain age they can start acting old saying things like, "I can't do that, I'm old" or bemoaning all their ailments. When you do that your mind becomes old.

There are some things that I do show my age with. Music is one of them. I listen to stuff from the 60's, 70's and 80's and not much more current than those decades. I'm technology challenged. I want my electronics simple and easy. I don't need tons of fancy features. I can blog but that's about it on the computer. Get me in word doing anything other than straight typing and I'm lost. Hubby has to tell me how to download pictures from the camera to the computer every single time. I don't have a cell phone.
Cam and I on my 40th birthday, one of my favorite pictures.

I look back to when I was a young mother. Well maybe not so young, I had Kevin when I was 28 and Cameron when I was a few months shy of 32. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do it again. How did I ever get a 4 yr old and 6 month old up in the morning, dressed, fed, out the door to two different daycares and be to work by 7:30 am??!! (Hubby went to work early and he picked them up.)There were days when it seemed like I said "no" all day long. At night I'd look at them sleeping and feel like the worse mom ever. Then the times they said "no" to everything I said. Potty training,the tantrums and getting them to stay in bed at night. I enjoyed almost every minute of it but I'm tired just thinking about it now. Of course I wouldn't trade thoses times for anything. Now I love watching others parent their little ones. I get my little kid fix working in kindergarten. It keeps me young.

It's hard to believe that someday I will be the matriarch of our family but I hope not for a long time. Both of my parents are still living and in decent health.
So Happy 50th Birthday to me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today is the big day! My son Kevin has to travel to Buffalo to take the NCLEX test which is the RN licensing test. There were no openings available in our city soon enough to take it here. To work in a NYC hospital you must have your license where as other hospitals you can work as a graduate nurse for 90 days without it. Since his job at New York Presbyterian Columbia starts August 11 he needs that license ASAP.
He has been studying hard for it and I'm sure he'll do fine. The test is taken on a computer and you have to answer a minimum of 75 questions. For the RN test you can answer up to 265, for LPN 205 questions. The computer automatically scores the test and once you have answered enough questions to pass or fail it shuts down. Unfortunately it doesn't tell you if you passed or failed. Kevin will have 6 hours to complete the test. When he passes I can finally put my RN charm on my charm bracelet. Send him all your good vibes today!!!!

We bought him this!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stoned, and not in a good way.

Today's post, not so pleasant.

Every country, culture and religion have their own customs, traditions, laws and punishments that are as old as time. Some are interesting, some strange and some are barbaric.

I read the newspaper everyday plus online as well. In today's paper there was story about story Iran. Seems that 8 women and 1 man have been sentenced to death by stoning. I realize in our country (United States for my worldly visitors) some of the states have the death penalty. I really don't know if I'm for it or against it. That's a topic for another day.

But back to Iran. I was appalled at this. The article went on to say that the criminals are buried standing in a hole , then people throw stones at them until they are dead. Their crime? Adultery. I had to learn more about this practice that seems so unbelievable. A truck load of stones and rocks are brought in. The victim's hands are tied behind their back, they're placed in a white shroud and are buried. Men up to their chest, women up to their neck. People form a circle around them and begin to throw the stones. They are palm sized stones and the idea is to not kill them immediately but torture them and make them suffer. Who are these people that do this? Can anyone join in? What does this say about their humanity? What fellow human being would want to participate? Turns out sometimes the husband can. Sometimes the husband and children are forced to watch. If you somehow manage to escape and get out of the circle you are set free. Unless you're a woman. Then they drag you back to start again or if you're lucky, they shoot you. It seems like there is little chance to escape but notice that the men have more of a chance if they can get their arms free. The brutality is astounding.
Stoning is a barbaric punishment and this atrocious tradition takes place in some countries in Africa, the mutilation of young girl's and woman genitals. Please click the links to educate yourself on this horrible topic.
I have been a victim of sexual harassment in my time with both words and unwanted touching. It's not a good feeling but this pales in comparison to how women in these countries are treated. At the tender age of 18 in 1976 I went to work full time at our gas and electric utility company. Let's say that women were definitely the minority there. I still remember my mother's words to me, "be prepared, it's a man's world out there."

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Today marks the 39th anniversary of the first lunar landing. I remember exactly where I was when it happened. We were on vacation at a cottage on the St. Lawrence River and I was 10 years old. Someone had brought a small black and white television and all were gathered around it holding our breath. During my elementary school years when something the teachers deemed important the school would gather in the cafeteria and a big television would be brought in for us to watch it unfold. What I remember mostly seeing was the splashdown and recovery of space capsules. ( Evidently our principal was a baseball fan though because we got to watch the final games of the world series. Baseball was played at night at very few parks.) Many important events in history are debated by conspiracy theorists and this was one of them. Think Roswell and the JFK assignation.
Do you remember years ago a train call the
Freedom Train? This train pulled by 3 refurbished steam engines traveled the country with displays of American history aboard. You walked through the cars and looked at the different historical items. In 1976, the year of our country's bicentennial, the year I graduated from high school, the train came to my town and I went to take a look. I loved it and went through twice. What I remember most of all was seeing an actual moon rock. I've never doubted that we went to the moon several times but there are people out there that believe that it was all a hoax. Check out this website, it has lots of information and you can make up your own mind what to believe.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

At the Movies

Movies are a great escape especially in the summertime when it's hot and steamy outside. When hubby and are were going out and first married we would do movie night. The premise of the cineplex was relatively new. We would study the playing times and see which ones worked out so we could see a second flick after the first. We figured we were already inside why not see a double feature. An acquaintance once told me I was stealing from the theater. Hhhhmmmmm. I didn't feel too bad about it, I figured the money they made off us from the concession stand made up for it. Right or wrong, we did it. One night we saw Rain Man, Leviathan and 20 years later I can't remember the third film. I do remember my ass was sore from sitting so long. We haven't done that in many, many years but with the price of admission maybe it's time to try again.

The last movie we saw was Mongol. It was pretty good despite having subtitles. While it seemed like they did a lot of talking there'd only be 4 words to read so I wondered if maybe it lost something in the translation. I did some research on Genghis Khan and what little there is jived with the movie. I don't want to see the latest Batman movie. When I first saw a picture of Heath Ledger as the Joker about 8 months ago I knew I wouldn't be seeing it. He looks positively creepy and scary.E online had has an article about the 10 creepiest movie bad guys. Read it here. They left number 10 blank to fill in your choice. My pick wouldn't be an adult character but a kid. Macaulay Culkin's character from his movie The Good Son. That kid freaked me out so much I never thought I'd like to see a child killed in a movie but I'm glad this character was. What's your idea on the creepiest movie character??

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Why would a magazine reportedly pay 11 million for the first pictures of Brad and Angie's twin babies? That's outrageous. The couple says that the money they're paid will be given to charity but still. Are people really that interested in seeing pictures of them? I wouldn't pay for the magazine and I doubt I'll even look at it in the checkout line. I feel sorry for the children growing up in that circus of a family. They will never have a moment of peace.
That's all I've got today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Friday

There is an annoying traffic light that I encounter about 20 times a week. It's not at an intersection but at the entrance to a plaza. In this plaza is the grocery store that seems like I frequent constantly. Almost every time I go somewhere I have to drive by said plaza and 90% of the time I hit the light red. Here's the annoying part. On my frequent trips to the grocery store, when I'm leaving said plaza I hit the light red. Now what are the odds of that. No matter which way I'm going I get the light red. It's not fair.

If you don't want to or can't take the time to have flowers in your garden for heaven's sake don't put fake ones in it. Don't have a flower garden at all. No matter how "real" these flowers look, take it from me, it looks tacky.

I love Brazil nuts. They're the hardest ones to crack and get the nut out whole.

Today I actually saw a driver using hand signals when he turned!!!

There is a senior citizens complex right near my house and I often go for walks over there. Today I met a nice old guy named Bill, age 80. He chatted me up for almost 30 minutes. Maybe it was my cleavage.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Going, Going, Gone!

I just read on line that Abu Dhabi Investment Council, an investment group from the Middle East has purchased Prudential's 75% share of the Chrysler Building in New York City for a cool 800 million. That's over 10 million per floor. Several months ago a group from Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar bought the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue in NYC for 2.8 million. I felt the first twinge of "no, that can't be true!" then I felt my blood pressure rise when I read this quote. " Many of the oil-rich nations in the Middle East who (are) flush with capital from their oil profit are targeting or looking at our trophy real estate assets." said Dan Fasulo a property analyst at Real Capital Analytics.
I'm not sure why this is upsetting me, after all the Japanese bought Rockefeller Center but this feels like a slap in the face. We're gouged with the cost of oil at about $140.00 per barrel then with the money they've made from us they turn around and buy pieces of our country.
I know I sound like I'm xenophobic but I'm not. It's not that I have a fear or hate of foreigners, I just don't like the thought of so many of our country's assets being owned by foreigners. Does that make me zenophobic??

Monday, July 07, 2008


SchadenfreudeWikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source Schadenfreude (ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏ̯də ) is a German word meaning 'pleasure from misfortune'. It has been borrowed by the English language and is sometimes also used as a loanword by other languages.

I'm not a coffee drinker. My husband wishes I was because he likes to have coffee after dinner. I just want to clean up and move on or if in a restaurant, get the check and get out. However I don't mind going for coffee once in a while if I can get a diet Coke. Our town once had several cute little coffee spots but they were pushed out of business by Starbucks moving in.

I'm one that would rather visit the homegrown type of establishment. We had a chain of large hardware stores that were original to this area and owned locally for years. Home Depot arrived but didn't really hurt their business. Then Lowe's joined them and after a few years they just couldn't compete and turned out the lights. Across from one of our gigantic malls was a nice wooded area. Some developer came in, cut down all the trees, displaced all sorts of wildlife and built a plaza with Office Max, K Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods and a few small shops. Did we really need those stores at that location. I don't understand building new buildings when there are others that are vacant. Anyway, in my own little way I protest it. I will not go and shop at any of those stores. Well I did go to Dick's once or twice but that's it.

I do feel bad for the people that Starbucks employeed in the 600 stores they're closing but I don't know what Starbucks was thinking by putting shops in such close proximity to one another. One our Target stores has one in it. Starbucks seems so expensive to me, maybe because I wouldn't pay 50 cents for a cup of coffee. Is the coffee really that good? Maybe people just like walking around with a Starbucks cup so others can say oooooohhh, he went to Starbucks.

So I suppose I'm feeling a little bit of schadenfreude for the high
mucky mucks of Starbucks but not the little people that will lose their jobs. How many job openings can there be for a barista?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

5th of July

We had an enjoyable 4th of July, hope you did too. Our town did a wonderful job with the fireworks as usual. The show lasted 30 minutes and the finale was breathtaking with the noise and color explosions. I only have 2 complaints, let's call them observations, that's sounds nicer.

First up; why do people bring their dogs to crowded events? There were mobs of people at the park and here come people with dogs. You have to be careful not to trip over the animals or their leashes. Then of course some people don't clean up when their little darling goes poo along the way. This can't be fun for the dogs especially when the fireworks actually start. I've never had a dog that wasn't nervous hearing the booming even from a distance. We have an annual arts festival here, one of the largest in the country and I see dogs here also. It's always a scorching hot weekend jammed packed with humanity and again, here come people with their dog. The poor things, the pavement is scorching, their tongues are hanging out, they can't be happy. Wouldn't it be better to leave them home snoozing in the shade of a tree? Even strollers with little kids I'm amazed at. It's no fun being dragged along to a sweltering event, at eye level with whatever things people are carrying in their hands not to mention cigarettes. Please leave them home with a babysitter or let daddy take care of them. Don't get me started on people that say, "oh, their father is babysitting them today" oh no he's not. He's doing his part as a responsible parent, taking care of a child he took part in creating.

Second; people on scooters. This is going to sound really mean but I can't help it. Here goes... If you can only get around by scooter, please don't go to these kinds of events. It's too crowded and I've never met a polite scooter user. They just plow through and heavens, you better get out of their way because they have the right of way in their mind anyway. I honestly feel bad for people on scooters most of the time but geez, accept the fact that there are some places that you just cannot go. Everyone has a right to be there but use common sense. Stay on the fringes, not in the heart of the shoulder to shoulder crowd. One woman's scooter had headlights and taillights on it and a freaking horn which she used. I know I shouldn't be so hard on them and hey, maybe someday I'll have to join their ranks with my bum knees (please, I hope not) but I'm going to try and remember I can't do everything. Now here's my feelings about people that use those mart-carts at the grocery store. This is just my observation but 95% of the time these people weigh over 350 pounds. Of course it must be hard to walk but if they walked it might help keep them more mobile and maybe help to loose some poundage.

Reading this back it sounds like I'm uber-bitchy today but really, I'm not. I happen to be a dog lover, a baby lover and an old person lover. Just putting my opinion out there like a Leo does and if you saw yourself in this post and were upset well...

Yes, I'm a Leo and all that goes with it. More about that later.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 232nd Birthday

Happy 4th of July! My favorite holiday and I'll tell you why. I love my country. While I don't agree with everything our presidents do (especially the lame duck we have now but that's another post) I like to think they want to do the best they can for the people of America. I'm proud to live in America and hate the fact our reputation has been besmirched in many parts of the world. While our country has many woes with the price of gasoline, food, health care and economy, America is still a great country to live in. Do I think we can take better care of our own? Yes, I sure do. when a natural disaster occurs in the world we're ready to lend a hand with people and money but why aren't we using that same money to cure some of our own ills we have here such as poverty? Ok enough of that.

We can be thankful we are what we are today due to the colonists and patriots who rose up against the British.The Revolutionary War paved the way to the independence and freedoms we enjoy today. I find this time period fascinating and admire the spunk and courage it took to bring about this young nation. There were ordinary citizens that contributed to the war effort like Paul Revere. He was a silversmith in Boston but helped to develop the intelligence and alarm system that eventually warned that the British were on the march from Boston to Lexington.

A farmer named George Washington eventually became the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Benjamin Franklin, the inventor of so many time saving inovations went on to sign Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris and the U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, the principle author of the Declaration of Independence and future president. These are but a few of the many founding fathers of the United States who had the foresight to make this one of the greatest nations in the world.

Are we perfect? Far from it, we stick our nose in other countries business too much and I get tired of our military being put in situations that maybe we shouldn't be through no fault of their own.

We all have our own opinions about this country, these are mine. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I fly my flag everyday, lit at night, does that make me patriotic? I know the words to many patriotic songs, does that make me patriotic? I looked up the definition of patriotic in several dictionaries. Here they are. devoted love, support and defense of one's country, national loyalty.

American Heritage Dictionary: love of and devotion to one's country.

Merriam Webster Dictionary: same as above.

Cambridge Dictionary: When you love your country and are proud of it.

So there you have it, I guess I'm patriotic.

I'll leave you with the words and music by Woody Guthrie.

click HERE

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rocks, hey, got any rocks?

I have a love affair with rocks and stones and yes I know it's strange. I don't know why I love rocks, I just do. It started many years ago while walking on the beaches of Cape Cod. I noticed that when the stones along the shoreline were dry they were very nondescript but when wet they were beautiful colors. Green, purple, red, gold, silver, white, gray all different shades.

Now in my yard I have not stones but rocks and boulders. I've run out of room to put more. In the part of town I live in there are big rocks just waiting to be unearthed. When our house was being built many were dug up and carted away but the builder kept some and put them along the back of the yard. The original homeowners didn't do much with the backyard, only planted grass about a third of the way back.

When I found these rocks overgrown with weeds, I had to have them as part of the yard.
These rocks, well, they belonged to my neighbor but their house was foreclosed on and vacant for a while. The rocks were calling to me and needed to be in my yard where they would be loved.
This is in our backyard and the garden. I, me, alone, all by myself, picked these rocks out of the dirt in a subdivision being built about 5 miles from us. I made lots of trips carting these home and broke lots of fingernails. Once home I had to wash the dirt off which in turn made a muddy mess in the grass. Then just little old me built the rock wall.

About 10 years ago the gas main had to be replaced on our street. Of course that meant digging it up plus new sidewalks. Guess what they found? More boulders! At the time both my husband and I worked for the gas and electric company and knew the crew. I talked the guys into placing 12 of the rocks along the property line on the side.
I don't know what kind of rocks these are. They have holes and tunnels in them and look prehistoric to me. I call them dinosaur rocks. I've planted hens and chickens in some of the holes.
Not all of them are boulders. Some are smaller. This rock has several monikers. Depending on who you're asking it's called the Jabba the Hut rock, I call it the happy rock. Can you see the smiling face. Come on, look harder!
Look closely at this rock in the garden. Do you see anything?


My 10 yr old nephew calls this rock the toad mansion.

I once had an elderly neighbor that I looked after. She was from Nova Scotia and used to go back to visit quite frequently. She also loved rocks and would always bring some home with her. The custom agents would kid her and ask if she was smuggling Canada into the states one rock at a time. When she went into a nursing home she gave me her most favorite and prettiest rock as she knew we were kindred spirits. When she died I knew that that rock had to be with her. By now you must think I have rocks in my head but I took it to the funeral home and asked that it be placed with her. The funeral director told me that wasn't the strangest request he's ever had.