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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Monday, November 30, 2009

One down, nine to go...

So I have 10 toes. If one's broken, and it's only my right pinkie toe, I don't really need it anyway, right? I have nine more! In fact, my sister said they could amputate it and I'd never even miss it!

Jack's Aunt Anna died last Monday. Because of the holiday and traveling issues (a lot of her family had to come from Texas), they delayed the wake and funeral to Friday and Saturday. My first thought was that although we'll miss her and it's terribly sad that she died, and sadder still that it's over a holiday that her family has to deal with this loss, she's finally with Uncle Nat and maybe, just maybe, she's not so cranky anymore. She's been one unhappy camper for the last eight or nine years, ever since her husband died. She missed him something fierce. So now, even though we've lost her, she's back with Uncle Nat and she's finally happy again.

Anyway, the wake was Friday night. We went to the lake and came home early to shower and get ready to go and pay our respects. That night I asked Jack to wake me at 7am so I'd have time to shower and get ready for the 8:30am service at the funeral home without rushing. I overslept. I'd like to blame Jack and say that he didn't wake me after the alarm went off (which I ignored 'cause it went off at our usual 5:50am and he shut it off), but he says he woke me and I said, "Okay, just another minute" and proceeded to sleep another 20 minutes or so.

I got up and when I realized how late it was I started scrambling and somehow I was taking a step forward with my right foot at the same time that I was pulling the bedroom door closed toward me. OW! I went right to my knees!

But being the trooper I am, I powered on and showered, dressed and drove to the funeral home. We went in separate cars 'cause Jack wasn't going to go to the repast after the cemetary service, and I was. By the time he changed his mind and we were en route in two cars to the repast, I was realizing that my shoe was feeling a bit tight. I sat down at the restaurant, ate a good meal, socialized with the cousins, and when we were leaving around 2:30 or 3:00, I decided it would be a pretty darned good idea to visit the Immedicenter and have them look at my toe.

I'd always hoped to hear "Congratulations, it's a girl!" rather than "Congratulations, you have a broken toe!"

But after three x-rays, it was confirmed. I broke my toe. And as I'm sure we all know, you can't do anything for a broken pinkie toe but buddy tape it to its neighbor and hope for the best. So I'm taped, and she did give me a very attractive black boot to wear for two to three weeks. I'm stylin' now!!!

Anyway, other than that, Thanksgiving was nice. Mom was home but spent the day with my sister at said sister's boyfriend's house. Just to play with her head, I told her we were all waiting dessert for her, and why didn't she ask C or T to drive her to my SIL's house? After a VERY brief moment of silence, she said she knew I was pulling her leg and she moved on... Well, I thought it was funny!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday - lots of family, food and fun, and (private joke to come!) I sure hope your oven worked and your pies remained intact!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey Day, in advance!!!

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, primarily because to me, it's the start of "The" holiday season! Here's how it goes:

  1. Thanksgiving - November 20-something
  2. My birthday - December 18
  3. Christmas Eve - December 24
  4. Christmas Day - December 25
  5. New Year's Eve - December 31
  6. New Year's Day - January 1

I start at Thanksgiving weekend - writing out Christmas cards and decorating the house. And it really doesn't ever stop until it's time to take the decorations down on Valentine's Day. (Just kidding, although some years my fake tree has stayed up for quite a long time into January simply because of time constraints...)

I'm almost never in a bad mood in December - how can I be? I love the cold, I love snow, and I love Santa! And December has all three, most of the time! This year the weather has been a bit strange - it was almost 60 degrees the other day - who knows whether we'll get some winter weather or not this year - I hope we do - but I'm afraid Santa might be wearing Bermuda shorts as he comes down our street this Christmas Eve!

Well, gotta run - time to start the cooking!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I apologize in advance.

I'm sorry.

I'm just not a Twilight/New Moon fan (sorry, Miss Hope!).

I haven't seen the first movie, won't see the second. I'll probably watch them when they hit TV or someone I know lends me the video, just to see what all the hoopla is.

I read the first book. And I read the second book.

And I just wasn't thrilled.

Here's why (and I really do have real reasons!!!):

These books were written for teenage girls. While I admit that Stephanie Meyer did a great job of putting Bella's typical teenage angst into words, I have a BIG, HUGE, MONSTROUS problem with how much of this appeared in the books:
  • "I'm not pretty enough for Edward."
  • "I'm not smart enough for Edward."
  • "He's so much better than me."
  • "He's so much more handsome than I am pretty."
  • "He could never like me."
  • "I have nothing to offer Edward."
  • "Why would he like me?"
  • and on and on, ad nauseum.

Again, teenage girls feel this way on their own. I didn't see enough of the epiphany in the books, the times that Bella realized that yes, damn it, she IS good enough to date Edward! He's pale and sickly looking, for crying out loud! (Sorry, I digress!)

I would rather Ms. Meyer addressed Bella's insecurities but made the thrust of the story how she realized that yes, indeedy, she WAS good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, for Edward. That she had BUCKETLOADS to offer, that any young teenage vampire (or normal human) male would be lucky, honored to be her beau!

Bottom line, I just wish there was a little more emphasis on helping teen girls NOT feel so inferior or not good enough, instead of overwhelming the reader with her inferior status!

Yea, I get it, I know how the stories end. But it takes 4 LOOOOOONG books to get there, and quite honestly, speaking as a HUGE Harlequin romance fan who really believes in the happy ending, I like stronger girl characters in my stories, not such wimpy ones.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm officially overwhelmed!

I'm taking three online Xmas scrapping classes - and I can only scrap on the weekends! I will try my darndest to keep on top of the photos and the journaling and the note-taking and list-making, and hopefully I'll be able to have a finished product at the end of the season (or, let's face it) at the beginning of the next season!

Spent all weekend in the hospital with my husband's 93-year-old aunt. Aunt Fanny literally looks like she's in her late 60s or early 70s. My girlfriend has a theory that being cranky keeps you young!! She's been falling a lot and refusing to use a scooter or a wheelchair - why? Because in her youth she made fun of people in wheelchairs (according to the rest of the family) and now doesn't want to be on the receiving end of what she dished out years ago! If you can't take it...

There's also some tension in the family among some relatives of the husband - I think it will all shake out in the end and resolve itself, but suffice to say that some people should just butt out of other people's business!!! 'Nough said!

My niece C is 8 weeks along and her due date is June 28th. How exciting!!! I think I'll have to do some baby shopping this weekend!!! Or even tonight before we see her, if I can squeeze it in...

Monday, November 09, 2009

One photo I owe you...

Blackberry Mint Tea, poured over ice.

I have nothing else to say but, "MMM, GOOD!"

We ate in Alexandria at the Jamieson Grill in the Westin on Courthouse Square.

I did everything but lick the plate.

I had the Salt and Pepper Calamari for an appetizer. Now keep in mind that (1) I don't eat the tentacles, and (2) I only eat it fried with spicy sauce for dipping. They delivered a platter that looked a bit light in color, and I was worried it wouldn't be cooked all the way through (to me there's nothing worse than under - or over - cooked calamari). My God, I wished I hadn't offered to share with my boss and my client! It was SO delicious, tender, served with smoked salt (for dipping) and green peppercorn aioli. I chowed down and ate it all. Except, I admit, the one tentacle they included on the platter...

Then for lunch I had the Jamieson Crab Cake Sandwich: a "crispy crab cake , old bay aioli, buttery brioche roll." It was too small. Not in real life, just for my appetite once I tasted it! It was the perfect size for lunch if you wanted to be full but not feel guilty for overeating. But it was so delicious that I wanted it to be twice the size!

And the star of the show, as pictured above, Blackberry Mint Tea, sold under the heading "Healthful Tonics and Teas." It was served hot, steeping over a pitcher of ice, with a glass of ice and a shot of simple syrup to sweeten it, if you so desired. I didn't personally find it necessary to sweeten the tea (I had it both ways, with and without the syrup), but then again, I'm an "unsweetened iced tea" sort of gal. I SO regretted not bringing my camera; I really wanted a picture of the way they served it, on a bamboo tray... Thank goodness Andi, my client, apparently never leaves home without her camera so she shot it and forwarded it to me this weekend! (And check out the teabag! Instead of a boring 'ole tag, it's a silk bag with a fabric tea leaf on the end!)

It takes so little to make me happy: food, drink, good company...

More later this week!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm going to be an aunt!!!

My niece C on hubby's side just announced she's pregnant!

YAY! She's newly pregnant; her doctor hasn't even seen her yet. He said to wait until she's at least 9 weeks pregnant. I think she said the online calendar/calculator put her due date somewhere around June 26th-ish so she's, what, minutes pregnant??!! But we're happy for her, that's for sure! Nervous for her, but happy! She had to immediately go and get the swine flu shot which scared everyone, but it's definitely recommended for moms-to-be. She catches colds so easily - with a headache on Tuesday she couldn't even take an Advil...

Already asked her if I could be called "Cioci" by her baby, instead of Great Aunt Krys (which, thankfully, C knocked right out - "you'd NEVER be Great Aunt anything, Krys!") and she agreed. Thanks, C!!! I have such great warm memories of MY Cioci Eliza and I still get a special flutter in my heart when my sister's kids call me Cioci - a new baby to call me Cioci?!?!? Yes, please!!!

My sister-in-law is thinking about what she wants the baby to call her - she does NOT want to be "grandma." AT.ALL. Personally, I like "grandma" but still want to be Babci if my stepdaughter ever gets pregnant. Babci is grandma in Polish - no idea what Jack would want to be called... he's still getting used to "his" baby being engaged - a grandbaby? We can't even conceive of that right now, in our house! (Well, HE can't!!!)

So swamped at work that I haven't had time to post any photos; I know I owe you a few... Will get to it when I can (maybe this weekend???)...

Monday, November 02, 2009

In A.C....

We're here in Atlantic City for a credit union seminar. Jack has some meetings scheduled for today - one this morning, another after lunch. We're at Harrah's, in the Waterfront Tower, and the rooms are quite nice. I'll take some photos and download them later this week, if time allows.
Forgot to take any photos in Alexandria last week, but had a beautiful mini-suite at the Sheraton in Old Town. My meetings went quite well, better than expected, actually. Although we didn't spend hours and hours at each, I think we came up with some good marketing ideas, ideas that if we really do implement them, will help some of my key accounts to build their business. And in this BO economy, I'll take whatever comes my way!

Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays. We were home Saturday night, but between the neighborhood we live in and the fact that our lights were off, we didn't have any trick-or-treaters. We had some candy ready, but will be donating it to the local food pantry at Thanksgiving, along with some other canned goods... I don't even remember liking Halloween all that much as a child. I guess I did, my mom never said I hated it or anything, but I can't even remember any costumes I wore... The holiday just never really stood out in my mind.

That said, I DO remember eating candy so I KNOW I went trick-or-treating, but my more vivid memories are of going to the circle on Route 23 in Riverdale (the circle is not there anymore) and buying a bag or a basket or a bushel of fresh-picked apples with my mom and dad, and sisters, once they came along. I can still smell the apples, and see their shiny red skins...

Happy Belated Halloween to all my ghoul-loving friends and family! Reving myself up for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!

P.S. Send congratulations to my sister P - she just got herself a NEW red Honda Element! She SO deserves it! (I'm just sorry she had to be in a car accident to get it! Thank God she's okay, but poor Percy (may her 1990 Civic rest in peace!) was totaled!