Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Your Reputation

There are some things in life that no matter how much you matured you can't escape. Once you have a reputation, no matter how you've changed that will stick, people will always go back to it. If you ruin it, it's so very hard to repair. Growing up I will admit that I was a Diva. After all I am a first born. I wanted things my way, when I wanted it. I knew how to make a fuss. Can it be said that I was a difficult child? Yes, maybe so. How about strong willed? That too. Out spoken? Yep.
But if asked to point out some of my finer qualities, I am also kind, loyal, responsible and generous. I like to take care of people. I consider myself a leader. If you're into all that astrology stuff my sign is Leo and I am a true Leo almost to a tee. The only thing I'm not like as a Leo is that I don't enjoy the spotlight, I prefer to remain in the background and I don't go around tooting my own horn. But I will just this one time...
Take my job for instance, I'm well liked, loved even. Teachers try to have me assigned to their classrooms. I have a way with children and often work with the most difficult kids. I manage to build a relationship with them and get more results where many other have failed. Even their parents are surprised. I have a big envelope of cards and notes from my principal, teachers, parents and students pointing out my good qualities as well as thanking me. Someday someone will find my envelope and see how much I meant to others. I subscribe to the thought; don't let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.
I have a natural ability to make people feel good about themselves, I don't know how I do it, it just happens.
My mother-in-law once told me that she knows when she receives a gift from me it will be perfect. That comes from listening and observing. I have posses those skills as well as a good sense of intuition and am good at reading between the lines.
I don't call people and tell them when I do something good or make someone feel better. I don't post about it. I'm not a me, me, me person. I'm not a bragger about myself but will brag til the cows come home about my kids.
So enough of this about me, back to my original topic. All these years later I've grown and matured into a pretty decent adult in my opinion but if I state my mind or viewpoint within my own family I'm immediately reminded of how I was as a teenager. Whenever there's strife in my family it somehow gets turned into my fault. If there's a disagreement between my sisters you can bet that one in particular will make me responsible for it. Oh those family dynamics but that's for another post.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Are you ready for some football??

It's still summertime but football fans around the country are gearing up for the season. It's time for training camp. I'm not really a football fan, although I was for a time in high school. For four years I went to every home and away football game. My school was a powerhouse and was state champion most of those years. Even though I don't live in the South where they live and die high school and college football my school was a big deal. My parents went to every game and took me and my girlfriends. Here's my confession; I hardly paid attention to the game. I was too busy talking and when we did pay attention to the game it was to look at the boys. To this day I don't know the rules of the game very well and when I watch I'm just looking at the guys. That being said, I live about 1.5 miles away from the college where the Buffalo Bills have their training camp and it started on Saturday along with the media frenzy that follows Terrell Owens.

Now I know very little about him other than his propensity for trouble.
What those troubles are I don't know.

How can someone with a smile this friendly be trouble? I hope he's the much needed shot in the arm that the Bills need to be successful this season.

And if he wore this on the field, I'd be watching for sure!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday...

to all my fellow Leos born on this date!

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's a hard knock life...

I've said this before, being a parent can be a tough job. When they're little and dependant on you for everything it's hard but most of the problems are small potatoes. I've found that the older they get, the bigger the problems. Take for instance my oldest son...

He graduated in 2008, passed his NCLEX exam and is now a Registered Nurse. He then moved to New York City for a job in a Manhattan hospital. He moved there with nothing. He had to come up with his share of the first month's rent, security deposit and broker fee. Not only did he not have money for that, he had no money to live on until he got his first paycheck about a month after moving. This is where we came in. We loaned him all we had available, about $4,000. He's made monthly payments to us repay us. I would have loved to say, no problem, don't worry about the money but our bank accounts were wiped out. He's been there almost one year and is 3/4 of the way paid up.

Unfortunately he and his roommate, a friend since 6th grade are amicably parting ways. This means a new apartment search with more money up front for rent and fees. Trust me, it's not cheap living in New York City. He's paying us back every month, his student loans every month not to mention living expenses and $200. per month for parking. He's thinking about selling his car. This time we're not helping him with his move, financially or physically. He's on his own.

Now on top of all this he took his car into Sears because the muffler was very loud and he needs an inspection. They called him to say the repairs to the exhaust system would be $1,100! WTF? They stated he needed a whole new exhaust system plus a new catalytic converter and o2 sensors. He in turn called us in a tizzy. We told him go pick it up , don't let them touch anything and take it to another garage for a second look.

He did so and this garage said the only thing he could see "wrong"with the catalytic converter was that it had some rust on it like 99.9% of all cars out there. He needed a new pipe on the muffler, some minor adjustments and some brake work that Sears hadn't even gotten to. The guy even buffed out a big scratch and pushed out a dent he had on the car. All this plus the inspection for $675. Sears should be ashamed of themselves. They've probably screwed over many car owners. I will never buy anything from Sears again.

Where this whole post is going is that at sometime in your child's life you have to let them go, let them be a real grown-up and experience the adversities of life. I can't tell you how hard that is as a parent. I want to shelter him and help him out. We did tell him that we would call the remaining balance on the loan a wash, consider it part of his graduation gift. What did he say? His reply was, "not going to happen, I am paying that back." Money will be extra tight for him for several months but he understands that the time has come for him to accept what life throws at him and not depend on mom and dad.

I love him.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unconditional Love

If you love dogs...
If you believe in redemtion...
Click here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Global Warming??

Where is this thing called global warming?
It sure isn't here in my part of the world.
In the month of June the mercury hit 80 degrees twice and 22 days into July we've had one day when the temperature reached 80!! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I enjoy the temperatures between 70-75 degrees. I'm more of a sunshine gal and don't mind cool weather as long as the sun is shining. The average July temperature for Rochester NY is 81. So far this summer the average temp is 73.2 Perfect for me but the heat lovers and pool owners are suffering.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Randomosity (is that a word?)

I had an idea for a post in the middle of the night but I didn't get up and write it down so now I've forgotten it. So my dear few and far between readers, today you just get random thoughts and some pictures from my trusty camera.
My birthday is coming up and early in July there's a big event called the Corn Hill Arts Festival. My sisters, mom and I go and many times my mom will buy my birthday gift there. This year was no different. I saw this, it's a cut glass wine decanter turned into a hummingbird feeder. I had to have it. So 35.00 later, Happy early Birthday to me. Is that a lot for it? Maybe, but I liked it and knew it would add to my garden. Plus my idea of a birthday present for people is to get them something they wouldn't buy for themselves. And I wouldn't have spent the $$ on it.
See this? This hummingbird feeder came from Lowe's and was only six bucks.
Guess which feeder my little pickle comes to? I call him that because when he sits in the dogwood tree he looks like a little gerkin. If you guessed the el cheapo feeder you'd be right!

Coneflower in my garden.

Queen Anne's Lace not in my garden but on the side of the road.

I don't know why this was flying over my house, maybe on it's way to Fort Drum.

From my backyard looking into my neighbor's backyard. There's something she likes to snack on over there but whatever it is I hope it stays there. While she's beautiful I don't want her eating my plants.

Lake Ontario facing west.
Looks like rain coming my way.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is it made of cheese?

Where were you 40 years ago today?

I apologize if this offends anybodies sensibilities but with all due respect I think it's hilarious.

Click the link enlarge and read.
Tell me that's not funny.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How can that happen??!!

I wasn't into photography before I had my children but as soon as they came along I was never without the camera. Now I'm a picture taker and that can be a curse at times. This was true especially before digital cameras. Sometimes you have to take many pictures of your subject to get one good shot. That meant lots of developing at the drug store and I always ordered doubles. That also meant lots of pictures to go through and put in albums. Which I didn't keep up with.
One day when I put the baby down for a nap I decided today was the day I would go through all those pictures, sort them into 2 categories; keep for album/ give to relatives and toss in the trash. I had pictures and envelopes of pictures all over the place but finally finished the sorting. Three month old Cam was awake so I gathered up the pics for the garbage, put them in a bag and out they went into the can. I left the others to sort for another day.
Flash forward to a few days later, I'm ready to tackle the remaining pile of pics. As I'm doing this and starting Cameron's album I'm wondering why I'm not seeing his first pictures, the ones in the delivery room and homecoming. (None of the business end of the delivery though) I'm starting to get frantic because those are very special pictures to me. They're no where to be found. I searched high and low, nothing. It finally dawned on me I must have put them in the wrong pile during the original sort. They'd gone out to the garbage can. Okay, deep breath, go out to the garage and dig them out. Oh shit! The garbage was picked up yesterday! I was devastated. My newborn baby pictures were in a landfill somewhere. I called hubby at work hysterical and the poor guy, there was nothing he could say or do to make me feel better. How could I be so freaking STUPID???? I went from being so angry at myself to crying over those lost images for weeks. Between the pictures that my parents and sisters took while visiting us in hospital I was able to get copies of a few newborn photos but no delivery room or homecoming pictures. If there was a contest for idiot or half-wit or moron of the year in 1990 I would've nominated myself and surely been the winner, hands down.
Thank goodness I'm no longer the holder of that title. NASA has surpassed me in the stupidity department.

Some genius at NASA has taped over the video of the moon landing. Wouldn't you think that the video tapes of that historic event would be stored someplace safe like a vault or at least be labeled "Lunar Landing! Do not tape over!" I used to tape my soap opera, All My Children everyday and many times it got taped over it by accident so I guess I can see how it can happen but seriously, the first moon landing. Luckily they were able to get copies from a TV network and Australia and they're being restored by Hollywood wizards. Taping over the first moon landing, that's just plain stupid. I'm no longer Twit of the Year, that honor goes to some dope at NASA.

(I found this picture of the moon on the net, I think it looks like an exotic melon just picked from the vine. Photo by steiner62 )

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is age relative?

I read this story on Yahoo today, the world's oldest mother has died. After living with and taking care of her own mother who died at age 101, Maria Del Carmen Bousada decided she wanted to have a baby. She traveled to the United States to a fertility clinic in Los Angles and lied to them about her age telling them she was 55 years old. No proof of age was required and they got her pregnant. How old was she really? She birthed those twin boys at age 66. Ms. Bousada died at age 68 and the boys are just two and a half years old. She stated that she wanted children but the time was never right. After her mother died she decided that was the time.
I am all for technology helping couples that can't conceive to become pregnant. There is nothing worse in the world than wanting a baby and not being able to have one. I speak from experience here. To have that need to love, care and nurture a child and not be able to so is devastating. I was lucky enough to have a happy ending to my story and have 2 wonderful boys that I give thanks for everyday. I know there are people out there that say if God wanted you to have a baby you would but I don't believe that. Whether it be through adoption or science I am all for doing what it takes to become a mother. Except in this case.
Women were designed to stop being fertile after a certain age for a reason. The chances of medical problems and danger to mom and and baby is huge but just the age difference between mother and child is reason enough not to do it. Parenthood is an exhausting, endless, vacationless job. You need to be up for the challenge. If Bousard had lived, when her boys were 18 she'd be 84! Now I realize these boys will never regret being born. I'm sure they are loved and have people in their lives that will care for them. My thought is that there needs to be a cut off point with medical intervention. The clinic she used did have a cut off of age 55 but even that's high. My opinion, the age should be 50 tops and then there should be other guidelines such as does she already have children.
When I had my second child, he and I almost died. Seriously. It was an awful ordeal for for us and the rest of our families. I'll spare you the medical details. When I talked to my doctor about a third child he asked me if I was happy with my boys and did I love them? Of course! I replied. He then told me yes, your medical issues would most likely occur again only worse, I'd be that much older than the last time and was the risk worth it? What convinced me was when he told me that it's a terrible thing to lose a baby but its even worse when you lose the mother especially when she has little children at home that need her. That was the end of me wanting another child, it was a real wake up call.
Once upon a time women got married young and had their children young. My mom had three kids under age five by the time she was 25 years old. Along came the women's movement and more women began concentrating on their careers, marrying later or delaying the start of a family. I had my kids at age 28 and 32. Today it's not unusual to see women in their 40's having their first baby. If you hear your biological click ticking, don't wait until you're 55 or 66 to start working on it.
I'm sure that Maria Del Carmen Bousada never dreamed that she'd die so soon after her children were born and I do feel bad for her and the boys. At least they will know how much their mother loved them and wanted them even if they're without her now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

NYC Part Two

As you know, NYC is a melting pot of all different races, languages, cultures, young, old, sane, crazy, fashionistas and fashion challenged. All seem to coexist and do their own thing without anyone bothering or judging them. At least it seemed that way to me. There were many pictures I wanted to take of different people but couldn't manage do it surreptitiously.

Take these boots for instance. I thought they were cool. Had I been 30 years younger I may have worn them myself. I fall somewhere between the skull and crossbone boots and the old lady shoes next to him. I took this pic while pretending to take a picture of my son.

My youngest son has his own unique sense of fashion. He bought these Nike shoes in the East Village, maybe the West Village, perhaps Greenwich Village, I don't know, we were in all of those villages as well as Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, Times Square, Midtown, Upper East Side, Harlem and Washington Heights. The island of Manhattan is only about 23 square miles big but I swear we walked more than that over the few days we were there.

Nurse Jackie is a series on Showtime and here it is on a larger than life billboard in Times Square. I like the catch phrase for the show.

This little bar on the corner is used for filming bar scenes for the show and it just happens to be a block down from my son's apartment in Astoria, Queens. I can tell he's turning into a real New Yorker because he hates film crews in the city. Traffic is always tied up when they're around.

One thing that amazes me about NYC is the amount of restaurants there. There are some chains like TGIF's and Ruby Tuesdays to name just a few but for the most part they are independently owned little ones. How do people find them? I don't know how they stay in business but they do. We went toa little one (and I mean little, maybe eight small round tables and maybe the size of my living room and kitchen combined) called
Las Ramblas, serving Spanish fare tapas style. Above is our plate of muscles. I'm not a shell fish lover except for scallops and crab but these were delish and the sangria was oh, so good too!

After gorging ourselves at Las Ramblas we went to Magnolia's Bakery. It was made famous by a little show called Sex in the City and also featured in a Saturday Night Live short called Lazy Sunday. Yummy cupcakes but sticker shock. A three bite cupcake=three bucks.

Whenever I'm down in the city I ask my son to take us to his hospital but he never wants to. It's a long subway ride on three different trains; 50 minutes and that's if they're running on time. This time he took us. Here he is up on his floor. He's a cardiac RN in the cath lab and works nights 7 PM - 7 AM.
His hosptial, New York Presbyterian Columbia, ranked sixth in the nation for heart health. His goal is to become a nurse practioner which requires another two years of schooling to get his masters. The hospital will pay for that at Columbia University but for every 10 grand they pay, you must work at the hospital for one year. Hmmm, a masters degree from an Ivy League university doesn't come cheap, he'd have to work there for eight more years. I don't think NYC is in his plans for that long.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New York City Day One 4th of July

This first pic is out of order, it was taken on Monday, our last full day there. We were sitting on the steps of the New York Public Library when we saw this filming going by. We didn't know what it was for at the time but I do now...
I saw a promo on TV last night for a 20/20 show airing Friday called "Who Killed GM?" While in NYC we went on a boat cruise in the Hudson River to view the fireworks. It got off to a rocky start for me. First, some back story. I'm in charge of the safety patrol in my elementary school and at the end of the year I get a small stipend for doing it. I used that money to treat us all to this fireworks show. When we got on our boat there were NO seats left outside and we had to sit under the top roof. I was so disappointed, how could we see the fireworks now?? I may have dropped the F bomb once or twice but eventually got over it. Turns out we got out on the bow for the show and it was wonderful.

People, people everywhere, as far as the eye could see. This is along side the USS Intrepid which is now a museum.

Security was tight out on the Hudson River.

I always think of the Coast Guard as a rescue type role, never with guns.

There was a strong police presence everywhere. These helicopters are two of a low flying formation of four that patrolled up and down the river.

Our boat's sister. There were lots of tour boats on the water along with rich people on their million dollar yachts but surprisingly no average folk boats to be seen. There was a DJ on board and he played tunes from all different decades. I liked the disco the best. We even had some pole dancers on board.

Not that kind of pole dancer, get your mind out of the gutter. These kids had so much fun dancing around for hours. I wondered if they'd be awake by the time the fireworks started.

A fire boat putting on a show.
Is it getting dark yet? We've been on this boat for hours.

Looking up the Hudson River at the George Washington Bridge. It was there where US Airways flight 1549 landed several months ago and our boat was about where the passengers were plucked off the wings.

FINALLY, three and one half hours later the fireworks started!

It was hard to get a good shot of them since I had to keep the camera very still for a few seconds while bobbing on the water. Sorry it's the best I could do.

They were truly AWESOME and went off for a solid 25 minutes and not just one or two at a time but 8,9,10 at a time continuously. The only thing they didn't have were the big boomers. Maybe too much echoing off the building?

After the show waiting for the traffic jam of boats at the pier to clear out.

The kids. That's the Empire State Building between them.
I'm so happy we did this.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 233rd Birthday!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mark Sanford Part Duex

I know I've already voiced my opinion about S.C. Governor Mark Sanford but he just keeps digging himself a deeper and deeper hole. I understand that everyone has to make the best decision they can for themselves and family but if his wife Jenny keeps him around it will be a miracle. The humiliation she continues suffer at his hands keeps getting worse and worse.

"In emotional interviews with the AP over two days, he said he would die "knowing that I had met my soul mate."

"This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford said. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day."

During more than three hours of interviews over two days at his Statehouse office, Sanford said he is trying to fall back in love with his wife, Jenny, even as he grapples with his deep feelings for Chapur.
Also said;
I have been doing a lot of soul searching on that front. What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built from there.
Now I don't know a lot about the bible but I'm pretty sure David must have been involved in some sort of sex scandal.

He can quote the bible and scripture all he wants but he's a hypocrite. He voted to impeach Bill Clinton then turns around and so publicly disgraces himself and family. How heartbreaking for his wife.
What an asshole.