About Me

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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It really isn't that bad...

There's this blog I read called because I said so, written by the VERY talented Dawn Meehan.  Dawn is mom to 6, recently divorced, and on her own with apparently no help from her ex...  6 kids - I can't imagine it - but one thing that comes across in her writing is that she had a great attitude about it all...  No matter how bad it gets, and it can get pretty bad, she loves her kids and values her kids and the life they have together.  The proof is in her writing - take 2 minutes and read this one blog entry...

It's all in how you look at things...  Thanks, Dawn, for reminding me that as bad it might appear now, at this minute, you can always choose to see the silver lining...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mom's Home!!!

You probably didn't notice, but a couple of posts ago, I was talking about Jack going to shovel out Mrs. D's house and Mom's, too, and how I asked her to give him some lunch...  Such a casual mention of MOM BEING HOME!

She got in on Tuesday evening, at 4:38pm.  I went to pick her up and the announcement board said her train was arriving on Track 1.  So I went to Track 1.  And I waited on Track 1.

Then she called me and said it was too cold on the platform so she was waiting in the Waiting Room.  Mom was home.  And Mom wasn't where she was supposed to be so things got back to normal really fast.  I started yelling at her that I was IN the Waiting Room and she wasn't there, where was she, the train hasn't even come in yet...

The train came in on Track 2.  Mom was in the Waiting Room.  On Track 2.

So although I was waiting with camera-in-hand on Track 1, I put it away quickly and ran down the stairs then up the escalator to get Mom from Track 2.  And I never took a photo of her arrival!

But I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad she's home!

Of course, it can't be without some sort of trauma:  her luggage didn't come in with her.  In fact, her luggage didn't come in until yesterday, Friday, 3 days later!  We picked it all up this morning at Penn Station in Newark.

Last night we had Christmas with Mom.  She came for dinner, which has traditionally been a full turkey dinner, but this year, with the snow and people's schedules, and all the rushing around we all had to do, I picked up two pizzas from Costco and someone sent us tamales.  MMMMMMM, they were yummy!!!  So it was a bit of a pot luck dinner, and Sister C brought some candy for dessert...

And I didn't take any photos of Xmas in January, either.  (For someone committing to taking more photos, I'm not doing so well!)

Today we picked Mom up to go get her luggage and stopped at the Lyndhurst Shop-Rite for breakfast, so I took a photo of her there, wearing her new hat and scarf that Santa brought her from C last night...  (It's not the Rat Hat!!!  Private family joke, sorry!)

And tonight we had a 19th b'day party for my niece, who made me swear not to post any videos or photos on Facebook or on YouTube, but since she knows nothing about this blog, and the only people who read this blog will never rat me out to her, here's a photo of my gorgeous niece and nephew!!!  (The photo seems a bit grainy - I'll have to check my camera battery...)

Well, that's it for now...  Once I get caught up on my scrapping projects, I'll post some photos...  I'm doing three of them at once, one quite actively, and two, well, not so much...

FOCUS - My One Little Word

I'm taking an online class from Ali Edwards called One Little Word.

We had to choose a word to be "our word" for 2011.

I thought about "create," "try," "faith," "healthy," and so many more.  Then I realized what they all had in common was that what I wanted to do was "focus" on my creativity, on my faith, on trying to whatever, on eating more healthily and working out a little more...

So I chose "focus."  It sort of covers it all.

So I treated myself to a necklace from Lisa Leonard, personalized with my One Little Word.  Here's a photo:

It's going to be my anchor, my reminder, my touchstone...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We've Almost Broken a Snow Record...

The view of the Hudson River from my office window, yesterday, during the morning snow "shower"
I tried to get a close-up of the ice in the Hudson
Another view of the snow shower that dropped about 2-3" on Hoboken, BEFORE the actual storm that was scheduled to dump 5-8" 6-12" 9-15" of snow on us in the evening
Here's what it looked like out my front door this morning - we got well over the 15" that was the high of the prediction.  Jack went outside to shovel a little over 7am, and at 9:30 he had 1/2 the driveway and his car shoveled out, the front steps, and our sidewalk and driveway apron.  He left to go to Mrs. D's house, and to my mom's.  I called Mom and asked her to just hand him a cup of soup or a chicken leg or something when he eventually gets there 'cause all he ate today is a banana.  A banana.  ONE banana.  He wouldn't even come in and have a bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal before he left, or pack a cheese sandwich.  When he was leaving he said, "See you around 3 o'clock."
This is the view looking down the street (the one above was looking up the street).  The sun is out which makes it LOOK beautiful, but J said the snow is REALLY heavy.  He's not 30 anymore - I'm a little worried, but he's in good health...
 Here's the view looking at the front windshield of my car, and my neighbor's yard.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold and snow...

We drove up to the lake house to check out the snow and the cold...  I was up there last Saturday and had to climb through the snow that was there then in my sneakers and couldn't find a snow shovel.  That's 'cause it's not where it was all summer long, in the first floor shower where we stood it to let the snow melt last winter!  (Don't judge me - we don't use that shower since we added the second floor and the shower curtain stays closed...)  It turns out that sometime in the fall Jack decided to put it where it belongs - in the shed in the backyard.  Where the snow was even deeper...


Went inside the house and checked our weather station.  It was so cold the LED read-out was dim.  But it was visible enough to show that the temperature inside was  49 degrees and outside it was 26 degrees.

Then I ran to the thermostat to check the heaters, to be sure that the heat was working the way it was supposed to, and it was.  We have the heat set to 46 degrees, warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing.  It's amazing how warm 46 degrees can feel when it's in single digits outside first thing in the morning!

I walked out on the deck and yes, the lake is officially frozen.  Out on the lake there was a tent for one of the ice fishermen, and another one had a deck chair, an ATV and a grill.  We were too busy (and frankly, it was too darn cold!!) to take a walk on the lake but we'll  probably do it next weekend, if it's just a tiny bit warmer.  The wind is cold to begin with, but when it blows across the frozen lake - DANG!  It's just too darn cold!!!

Here's what the front of the house looked like from the front door - I really do love snow!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Last Week's Crop

On January 15 I spent the day at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Rockaway, scrapping away with the Scrap Addicts Unlimited Meet Up group.  Not, perhaps, my most productive day, but I did catch up on E's baby album, worked a bit on my picture files on the computer, and started a couple of other pages.

Last month my friend E spent the day with me; this month I was on my own, but had a great time with my scrapping friends!  Here's a view of the room, from my seat at the back.  I was the last table in the middle, at the back end of the room.  You can see there was another double row of tables against the windows, one behind me, and than against the wall you can't see (outside the right side of the photo) was a single row of vendor tables. 

This is Bea.  She's a scrapping friend I met through the Morris County Scrapbooking and Cardmaking Meetup Group that M and D started years ago.  Thet's the first group I joined, and it's a wonderful group of ladies I'm proud to call friends of mine.  Bea lives in Mendham Park and has an absolutely GORGEOUS home.  She hosted a few scrapping meet ups at her house a few years ago, before she lived in remodeling hell while her kitchen and family room were gutted and redone.  (Personally the original was awesome, and I haven't seen the new and improved version, but I'm sure it's stunning!)

And here are a couple of the pages I started.  The one with Mom will eventually get framed.  The one with my gorgeous daughter?  That one will wind up in my family book.  Took that photo at the Kindergarten graduation she ran last year at the after-school program.  We're so proud of her - she did a great job!

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February's scrapping day is the 12th, so I'm not sure yet if I'll be there - our long weekend is the weekend after so perhaps we won't celebrate St. Valentine's Day the weekend it actually happens; maybe we'll do something the following weekend. 

Of course, I have to schedule my 1st colonoscopy soon; perhaps that 3-day weekend would be a good choice...  IF the doctor's working that weekend...  (See what happens when you turn 50?!?)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cocktail dresses

Cocktail dresses
Cocktail dresses by krys72599 Ideas for an April wedding at the beach

Looking for a dress for a wedding in Mexico in April - want something a bit more summery/floral, but at least I started looking!  Now, if only I could count on losing the weight, toning the arms and legs, and finding the perfect dress...

The wedding is at 5:45, with the reception on the beach immediately following.  So I know I won't go with the sequins - a bit too heavy for the beach - but I liked the dress so I included it in my set of photos... perhaps for another occasion...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Photos from this past week...

I was sick for a couple of days - here's me (with and without glasses, AND without having put a comb through my hair for two days!) - not my best look, for sure!

Still trying to find the right color for the hallway and the living room.  Did GREAT with the dining room; hoping I make as good a decision for the next project!  After pulling paint chips from both Lowe's and Home Depot, I grabbed this Martha Stewart brochure and started looking at a rainbow of colors!!!  No luck yet!

Had lunch last Friday with WASCP staff at the Hudson Tavern in town.  The food was pretty good.  Wouldn't mind some of their buffalo wings right about now...

St. Valentine's Church, in Bloomfield, NJ - our parish, since we rejoined in 1995-ish.  Glad I was able to take a shot before Mass, and before too many people saw me with my camera!

One of our usual nights out, en route home from Home Depot, we stopped for a quick burger.  I was already sick, hence the two straws.  Usually we just share...

Spent last week setting up my Project Life, from Becky Higgins.  It comes with all you need to keep track of your year on a week by week basis.  I'm going to give it the ole' college try!

And while I don't have a photo for this, take heed:  do NOT mix up black pepper and cinnamon when making tuna fish salad.  My  husband did, and, well, ewwwww....

Monday the 17th

So I've lost 10 pounds since the beginning of December.  That's a nice start, but I have a way to go.  I'd LOVE to lose another 10 to 15 by the time I go to Mexico in April for my nephew's wedding.  We're going to Cabo.  Yes, Cabo.  Where the stars go to play.  Not that I will see any stars, I'm sure, but it would be nice if I could buy some new clothes for the trip, specifically a new bathing suit.  I have several, one of which I actually wear, but the one will be a bit loose on me, if I can keep this weight off, so I'm going to start shopping once the spring and summer clothes come out...

I have a few sundresses that will be great for the dinners and the breakfasts, and I do need some non-junky shorts and tops for in between.  And of course I need a "dress for the wedding."  So with the help of WW's new Points Plus Program, I'm going to do this.

I have chosen a word for the year:  FOCUS.

I need to FOCUS on weight loss, on saving money, on taking more photos, on being a better all around person, on eating more healthy homemade meals (aside from the weight loss benefits, I/we have some bad habits - we eat out a lot).  I bought myself a necklace to wear every day that includes the word "FOCUS" on it - I'll post a picture of it here when it arrives, along with a link to the supplier.  It's going to be my anchor, a WW thing that I think and hope might work for the rest of my life, not just my weight loss...

We're on our way out the door to Lowe's - PLEASE keep your fingers crossed that I can find a color to paint my hallway and living room - hubby is getting a bit impatient with me.  I know I want a taupe, some sort of taupe, but I don't want the hallway to be too dark so I'm a bit afraid - the ones I like are on the darker side, rather than the lighter side.  I picked one several years ago that's on the wall now:  compared to the white ceiling, it definitely had some color.  UNTIL we painted all the walls with it and it just looks like, well, another shade of white.

I need to FOCUS on paint chips today...

Friday, January 07, 2011

R.I.P., Rich S. 08/30/88 - 01/03/11

22 is just too damn young.  It makes me mad that the world has lost such a sweet, gentle young man.

I went to the wake yesterday.  I knew it would be difficult.  But I feel almost like I've been trained to "do" wakes, I've had to go to so many of them, and I wanted to say goodbye to Rich. 

But this one was REALLY hard.  Hard because he looked - well, he looked even younger than his 22 years. 

And he looked, well, he looked like Rich.  And that made it that much harder yet.  He had that little stubble  going on, that little smirk on his lips, his hair spiked up in disarray.  He was wearing a white t-shirt, just showing under the unbuttoned top button of his black and grey and white striped dress shirt.  I knelt there by the casket, just waiting to see him take a breath.  I couldn't believe he was gone.

I spent several minutes talking with his mom, who I'd never met before.  Something unrelated to his health happened while he was in the hospital that has her and the rest of the family reeling, something I'm not at liberty to discuss here, but after she talked about that and got it off her chest, she talked about Rich.  How she knew that that situation I referred to very vaguely back there happened because he would give anyone the shirt off his back.  She knew what a genuinely nice person her son was.  She works in a laundry.  Rich would pop in and visit with her and if he saw someone struggling with a large load of laundry, either coming into or out of the building, he'd run to help them with it.  My sister said he always offered to take out the garbage, and 7 out of 10 times she'd have to tell him, "Rich, it's not anywhere near full yet!"  He carried in her grocery bags from the car, while my nephew, her son, watched.  [Edited 01/10/11:  While this doesn't take away from the kind  of young man Rich was, my sister said I'm mistaking him for another young man...  Sorry about that!  I remember being there and watching someone carry in groceries for her, but apparently it wasn't Rich...  It was another of J's friends.]  He bought my mother, my niece's grandmother, a dozen red roses for her birthday this past summer.  He hung a shower curtain in my mom's house 'cause she was too short to reach, then went downstairs and vacuumed her whole entire first floor for her.

His birthday was August 30th.  The same day as my nephew's, his former best friend's.  (My nephew had a bit of an issue with his sister dating his friend and they were a bit estranged - well, J was estranged from Rich.  Rich was still J's friend!)  My sister's boyfriend's son's birthday is the same day, too - we all celebrated the boys' three birthdays together this past August.  I even got Rich and J almost matching T-shirts!

We couldn't have picked a better 1st serious boyfriend for A.  No fake I.D.s, no drinking or drugs, a heart of gold...  His mom said Rich was really, really, really serious about A.  Like possible future serious.  But college for A got in the way - as it should, don't get the wrong idea.  A left for college and as I predicted, she started to pull away from Rich.  But they were still friendly enough to be texting the week before Rich died.  I know she's having a real hard time with this, as you'd expect.  It's horrible when someone dies who's your peer, your age, and even worse, a close friend.  And when you're young, you don't have much experience with loss.  Most of the time, anyway...

Rich, you were in my life for a relatively short period of time, but you will always be remembered.

This guy gets it!

From Shelf Awareness, Friday, January 7, 2011

"Late in the day on Tuesday, a couple came into the store. After browsing a bit, the wife approached the desk. Her husband, she explained, is a voracious reader. So, she got him a Kindle for Christmas. He tried it and didn't like it. So, she returned the Kindle and was at Battenkill Books to apply the same amount of money to a gift certificate for her husband. It made my day!"

--Connie Brooks, owner of Battenkill Books, Cambridge, N.Y.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Why My E-Reader Will Never Replace My Bookshelf, by Amy Preiser, shelterpop

Another article I enjoyed about e-books vs. print books.  There are points to be made on both sides, but it comes down to emotion.
She admits to the benefits of the e-book but will never give up her bookshelf.
Me, either.
I like the geekiness of thee-reader; I'm a techno-dork when no one's looking.
But I won't give up print books either; they will always be my 1st choice, forever and ever, amen.


Resolutions for the New Year

It would be silly to list all the things I plan to do that I will wind up not doing, so rather than THAT lengthy post, here's the short list of things I truly HOPE to be able to do this year:

1) Be a better wife, mother, sister, aunt, in-law, friend, employee
2) Stick to WW (or at least follow the plan more closely than I have been!)
3) Invite my faith into more of my life than just Sundays - not that it's not there - I just want it to be more front and center!
4) And for that silly, frivolous resolution TOTALLY related to #2 above, find an AWESOME dress for the wedding we're attending in Cabo in April!!!

Monday, January 03, 2011

It's a sad, sad day...

Asking for prayers for my niece, whose ex-boyfriend passed away suddenly today, at the young age of 21 or 22.  We don't have any details yet, but I know she's taking it pretty hard.  She's old enough now, at 18, for it to really hurt...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

December Daily 2010 - ALMOST

Here are photos of pages from my December Daily book, inspired by Ali Edwards' annual project.  I don't have near the talent she does but I'm LOVING that I have a start to finish record of December 2010!  Yea, sure, I have to go and fill in two spreads, but the rest of it is D.O.N.E.  That's "done" to you and me!!!

Sorry about the 17th - I took the photo in portrait rather than landscape and am having trouble rotating it in Blogger...  I'll keep trying, and if I figure it out, I'll remove this advance apology!!!

If you want to see the photos a bit larger, you can click on the individual pictures...

A few more photos...

Thought I'd treat you to a few more pictures of my beautiful great niece.  Isn't she the cutest??? 

We got 25" of snow here at my house.  Here's a picture of the lake, frozen over, and they only got 8"-11", depending on the person who measured.  LESS THAN 1/2 AS MUCH, only 42 miles away!!!  We expected [J] to have to dig a path to the front door of the lake house, like last year, but uh-uh!  We just hopped out and walked on in!