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

Friday, June 29, 2012

50 Shades of You're Kidding Me!!!

Okay, I've read them.  All three of them.  On my Kindle.  [So not only did I hate the books, I hated the reading experience, too, but I'm not here to harp on the Kindle - if you're reading my blog, you already know how I feel about books vs. e-books.]

Do you know how I feel about the latest go-round of "Mommy Porn"???  Do you want to know?

I was raised in a good Roman Catholic family, no nudity, no drugs, no sex and rock and roll (at least not until I went to college!  Rock and roll, Mom!  I'm talking about rock and roll!).

But I'm not a prude.  I'm a baby boomer, too young to have been a feminist warrior, but old enough to have seen a WHOLE bunch of changes in the way women have been and are being treated in this big world.  I can accept that what goes on in your room is your business, not mine, as long as there are no children being hurt.

My very first job interview out of college with with L-hman Brothers (pick a vowel, any vowel, but especially an "e"!) and I didn't get the job because I was young and probably going to get pregnant soon and leave them in the lurch.  I wasn't savvy enough to call him on his comments, but I was quick enough to ask why the person they were replacing had left:  sure enough, she had gotten pregnant.  It was an entry level office position and I explained that despite my College Degree and my obvious Overqualification for the Job, I also had College Loans that had to be paid off so I was really looking to start working right away and I promised I wouldn't get pregant for several years.  No dice, no job.  Of course, it was an easy promise:  hubby-to-be wouldn't be in the picture for 8 more years...

But nowhere, not ever, in all my 50 years, has ANY man asked me to be submissive to him in any way.  Not in a job, not in a marriage, not in a relationship, and not in a sexual relationship.  And I RESENT the "heroine" (and I use THAT term loosely!) being presented as a 22-year-old college graduate who actually STRUGGLES with the decision:  should I sign that contract, agreeing to be his sexual toy to do with whatever he wants, whether it hurts me or not?  Should I agree to call him "Sir" and never, ever look him in the eye when we're in his playroom?  Should I really agree to KNEEL before him, waiting for him to deign to mistreat me, looking only at his SHOES?!?!


It's 2012, people!  I am SO offended by the whole idea that a young girl today would even CONSIDER this!  And not because the sex bothered me.  I read sexy romances all the time.  It's a writing style that sometimes adds to the story and sometimes IS all there is in the story.  Again, whatever floats your boat if it's not illegal is your business. 

You've already heard my rants about Twilight, I'm sure, how a series of books targeted at tweens should NOT, in my humble opinion, include a 16-year-old main character who struggles with how UNworthy she is to be with the hero:  "I'm too fat/skinny, not smart/pretty enough; he's so much handsomer and smarter than me..."  BLEGGGHHH.  I get it:  I know tween girls, the target audience, struggle with self-esteem.  I know that they would feel some connection with a main character who feels not quite good enough, but she should overcome, she should shake off the self-esteem issues, learn and believe that she IS GOOD ENOUGH IF NOT BETTER than that sparkly vampire!  Ugh.

Okay, 'nough ranting. 

I read 50 Shades of Gray, #1, #2, and #3.  I despised the girl, the main character, throughout the whole book.  Believe it or not, by the end of book 3, I actually came to like Christian Gray, self-admitted "50 shades of f-cked up" hero that he is, because HIS character developed.  He learned from his feelings and his relationship that love is more important than sex, that love and caring and a relationship don't need the bells and whistles, the shock and awe of his Dominant/Submissive scenario.  He grew up, folks, but I never felt like she did.

THAT'S what I disliked most about the books.  Oops, someone has to borrow my soapbox now...  Later!

Monday, June 25, 2012


I've been back to the gym twice, last week.

I've attended two yoga classes.

J and I have gone on three neighborhood walks.  The first one was not long, just around our 3 blocks.  The second one was about 5 blocks, just one block over for a different view.  THEN we walked from our house to Alwood Road, down that mother of a hill (!), back to our street, and up to our house, a grand total of about 2.14 miles.  Anyone that lives in our area knows the Allwood Road hill - I really did walk up it once, and thought I was going to die, so downhill on foot is all I'll even consider at my advanced age...

Then we slacked off all weekend, and putzed around on the rowboat on Saturday, tanning ourselves and relaxing.  We drove home, showered, then we walked around the old car show at Whiskey Cafe for 2 hours.  Boy, do I love that!  I really don't need to do it every day, but it's a lot of fun every week or two.  The music is great, straight out of the 50s, and the cars are awesome.  J laughs at me because I get mad when there's a car there from the late 70s, early 80s, because "How can a car manufactured when I learned how to drive be a classic???"  "Because that's way more than 25 years ago, Krys!"

And today I had a salad for lunch.  I actually bought too much; I couldn't finish it even after picking at it at my desk for 2 hours!  I'm going to try to move more and eat well, to use the name of an online health class I'm signed up for but not actively participating in right now!  But I'm going to try to play catch up over the next couple of weeks.  I guess I found my mojo!

Yesterday we went to our family picnic at C&A's house in Caldwell.  I'll post pictures in a day or two; I only took a couple with my phone.  They have an old Tudor-style home with a beautiful pool in the backyard.  It's a steep lot, so you walk downstairs to the pool...  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a picture on Saturday...  They had the obligatory hot dogs and cheeseburgers, sausage and peppers, penne and broccoli, ziti, sesame chicken, green bean salad, two different pasta salads, and a bowl of AH-YIVS, or olives unless you're my 2-year-old niece...  Mmm, I like olives!  For dessert, each family had to bring something:  peach cobbler, pineapple upside down cake, chocolate balls (don't ask: they were crushed and moist oreo balls covered in milk chocolate!), watermelon, cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, sugar wafers, chocolate cherry cake, sugar cookies, chocolate marble cake, and some other things I didn't even look at...

We were sitting there chatting, the aunts and cousins and me, and niece C came up with a "project" for J.  Apparently someone noticed that when you were standing in the pool and you used the metal handrail, you felt a tingling/electrical current!  I stepped into the pool, with one leg, held onto that same rail, and felt nothing.  But they shut off the breaker to everything at the pool, and an electrician will be summoned tout de suite!

I'm a bit of a braggart when it comes to my baby grand-niece, in case you hadn't noticed, but I found out from her mommy that when her daddy went to the dentist the other day, the hygienist told him how much I bragged about little E!  I hope her daddy didn't think I was stealing his thunder!  She's just so adorable and I love her so much!  If DSD M has a baby, I'm going to be in major trouble!  I'll be sharing that grand-baby with the world!!!!  You'll probably get sick of hearing about him/her!!

This morning we had one of the WORST thunderstorms we've had in a long time.  I got soaked just running out to the car, decided en route to the train station there was no way I was standing on an open platform in that storm, and drove myself to work.  So that will be another week paying daily rates; you save on a week, but not enough to buy the week's pass for 4 days...  Next week I'll be able to take advantage of the monthly pass.  When I got to work, my clothes were still wet from getting in the car, but by mid-morning, after freezing in the A/C for a couple of hours, I was dry again.  It's a good thing I keep a fleece shawl in my office...  I was huddling under that for 2 hours or so!

My sister in that western state had a bit of a scare this morning.  A Rottweiler that was loose wherever she was walking her dogs attacked them.  Her Samoyed Miko was actually hurt, but thank goodness, it wasn't too serious.   A HUGER thank goodness it didn't attack HER!  She's waiting now to speak with Animal Control, and I hope she pursues the owner paying for the emergency room costs.  With the town involved, I would hope it would be easier to get some money from them!  I'm not a particularly lawsuit-happy citizen, but when someone is responsible for damage to your property or a family member, they have to pay!  Somehow...

I went to Kohl's yesterday and bought three summer blouses, spent $60 and got $10 back in Kohl's cash, so I'll have a bit more shopping to do next week!  Here are the blouses I bought: 
in white:
the blue floral:
in blue:

I'm wearing the white blouse today, with a pair of khaki cargo capris.  I wore the blue floral top yesterday for the picnic with a pair of short white capris made out of a linen-y type fabric with drawstring details at the knees.  And I can't wait to wear the other crinkle blue top!

Well, my blogging break is over so I'd better get back to work!

Friday, June 22, 2012


By now you've probably all heard the story about Karen Klein, the bus matron in Greece, NY, who was bullied and abused by a group of middleschoolers on the school bus a few days ago.

I watched the 10 minute video.  I was physically sick about 3 minutes into it, and crying soon after that.   I had to force myself to watch the whole thing, and I know a lot of people who were unable to do so.

But bullying is important to me.  Or should I say, ANTI-bullying is important to me.  I always said when I retired I wanted to do something with a literacy foundation or a library or something like that.  But I think I've found a new cause.

I'm not linking to the video here, it's that disturbing to me.  If you want to see it, it's easy enough to find.  I donated to Indiegogo, to the vacation fund someone started for her.  I'm happy to see it's more of a retirement fund at this point:  at this exact moment in time, it's at $466,201.  The goal was $5000.

I'd like to thank everyone who donated:  you don't know me, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for finding a few dollars to share with this woman.  She's 68 years old, still working to make ends meet.  That measly $15,000 she makes as a bus matron helps, I'm sure, but there's not enough money in the world that she should have to take that abuse from a handful of monster children. 

And yes, I blame the parents.

Sure, kids + a pack mentality = trouble, = cruel kids.  We all have heard it before:  kids are cruel.  But you know what?  I know a boatload of them who are NOT.  My sisters and I are not.  My kids are not.  My cousin and his kids are not.  My family members are not.  My neighborhood children are not.  The majority of the kids I've met volunteering in a local school for the past 7 years are not. 

Sure, there are a few.  But they're squashed down the minute we hear anything remotely cruel:  "Apologize to XYZ, we don't talk that way in this classroom."  "You owe so-and-so an apology - that was mean and we don't behave like that."  And then we talk about whatever issue it was that caused the cruelty:  someone is short, different, blonde, poor, foreign, etc., etc.  And 99 times out of a hundred, the kids learn tolerance and acceptance and kindness.

These little monsters who behaved so terribly on that bus were not taught to respect their elders.  If they had been, pack mentality or not, they would not have done what they did.  You've seen it:  if a child is uncomfortable with what's going on, they shut down, back away, or simply don't participate.  They might not have the strength to stand against the bullies, but they don't play along.  These kids enjoyed it.  It was FUN to call her "fat a$$," or "stupid" or "sweaty" or comment that she probably doesn't have a family because they all killed themselved to get away from her.  Oh yea, you mother-trucker?  Did you happen to hear later, after you opened your cruel little mouth, that Karen lost a son to suicide years ago?   Feel better now?

A father of one of those boys went to apologize to her.  At least that's what I saw on Anderson Cooper's AC360.  Where was his son???  I didn't see HIM there apologizing!   [If he was there and the clip didn't show it, I apologize.]  And when AC asked Karen if she accepted the boys' apologies, she said she hadn't gotten any yet.  Statements read by Anderson Cooper??  Really?  THAT is supposed to make me believe you feel some remorse, you little animals??

I am HORRIFIED at their behavior.  They have not ever suffered any serious consequences for bad behavior; I'd be willing to bet that same $50 I donated to Karen that they haven't.  I'm supposed to believe they've never behaved this way before?  Really? 

Guess what, I'm not that stupid.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox and ending my rant now - but I vow now and forever to fight bullying wherever I see it.  It's always been something I stand against, and I am comfortable saying I fight it when I see it, but this situation has simply strengthened my resolve.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Surprise! I'm not thin!

So several months ago I found the wild and wily ways of a brunette bombshell.  Yesterday Meg posted a post (?) entitled "perfect bodies, cellulite, and a little rebellion."

Thank you, Meg.  Thank you for doing what you do so well - writing what I'm thinking, even though you don't know me and I don't know you.  You captured it to perfection: 

"i don't have a perfect body.

i have cellulite; i will always have cellulite....

my body isn't perfect. i have cellulite and fleshy hips and more moles than a person can count....

but holy hell if i don't love this body of mine....

and certainly there are mornings i wish i knew what it was to be blond with thinner hips and perkier boobs....

i lost years of my life to wanting to lose weight.

and then, not too terribely long ago, i realized that the desire to change my body was the least interesting thing about me.

(that desire is in fact the least interesting thing about every woman i know).

you see, i think to love our bodies in a world or a society or whatever-you-want-to-call-it that tells us we shouldn't is a powerful act of rebellion--an even greater act of love.

i want to know what it is to live to in a world, where we, as women, say enough. enough of this nonsense. and okay, so we're not there yet, i know that. but at least let me add my voice to my betters and my peers who have gone before me and said, there's more to life than this, and so i love my body just as it is."

The thing is, I'm 51.  51-and-a-half, yesterday, to be exact.  And Meg?  She's NOT 51.  She's MUCH younger.  And she's come to this epiphany so much earlier in her life, and that's the AWESOME part of it - she'll have a much happier, more balanced life because of it. 

It took me a LONG time to realize I'm not my body.  Sure, I could lose few pounds.  Can't we all?  I could probably lose 20-30 and still be completely healthy, not too skinny, and just fine. 

But if I don't?


You know what people need to realize?  That our husbands love us.  The us we are now, not the us we'll be in 30 pounds.  Our families and friends love us, the us we are now, not the us we'll be in 30 pounds.  And we have to learn to love us, the us we are now, not the us we'll be in 30 pounds.  They love and we need to learn to love the PEOPLE we are, not the weight we are.

And I'm getting there.  Yes, I'm still a WW member, I still hope to lose a few pounds sooner rather than later.  But I am SO DARNED PROUD that I went for a walk with my husband yesterday, only a 1/2 mile walk around our neighborhood, but we went for a walk.  THEN I went to the gym.  The gym I'm paying for each month but not using.  And I went inside!!!  I didn't just drive by on the way to Dunkin' Donuts for a Lite Iced Caramel Latte.  And I rode the stationary bike, I rode it for 4-and-a-half miles!  Okay, 10 minutes at no incline, 10 minutes at a incline of 2, and 10 minutes at no incline again.  But I rode it.

Slow and steady does the job.  Eventually I'll be back at a steeper incline, at a faster rate (although I'll always be walking, not running).  And eventually I'll even use the machines to work my upper body, those spaghetti arms (they're floppy like cooked spaghetti, NOT thin and firm like uncooked spaghetti!)...

But you know what?  I'll never be skinny.  I'll never be a size zero.  (Which, btw, as long as we're talking here, IS.NOT.A.REAL.SIZE.  It was invented a few years ago, and as far as I'm concerned, just means I'm really wearing a 10 or 12, NOT a 12 or 14!  It forced me to add 2 more sizes onto my "real" size.  Tell me THAT doesn't suck the big one!)

And that's okay.  It's okay not to be pin-thin.  It's okay to have a bit of a big butt, a stomach that's not quite as flat as I'd like it to be (and btw, Dr. K., NOT cool to tell me I can't blame my tummy on those fibroids I'm sporting!  I've used that excuse for a while and no one called me on it!), boobs that aren't quite as perky as I'd like them to be (hubby says they're perfect for my body!  So there!), flabby arms and thighs...  It's okay.

Meg, LOVE your blog, and thanks for putting it all out there, that it's okay to have cellulite, and that the greatest achievement we could hope for would be to love our bodies as they are, not to lose those 30 pounds!  If only all of us could see it your way!!!

Monday, June 04, 2012

$24 for 8 different meals!

I'm a huge fan of John and Sherry at Young House Love and Young House Life.

They live in Richmond, VA, and these past couple of weekends they've been going to local events.  This weekend was the Broad Appetit street fair where you could sample the specialties from some 60 local restaurants:  $3 per sample plate; I guess it's like an outdoor tapas restaurant!

For $24 they had a wonderful selection of food, including what I'm sure would have been my favorites, seared scallops and shrimp and quinoa.  Take a look!


Friday, June 01, 2012

Why my blog is subtitled "it's not much, but it's all I've got!!!"

Two or three jobs ago, I was working for a privately owned company.  I could spend hours and hours and many, many blog pages telling you about the characters who worked there.  [If I was ever interested in writing a book...  my goodness, it would be a bestseller for sure!] 

There was a day when there was a very severe snowstorm, so severe, in fact, that 40' tractor trailers were spinning out on the road in front of our office.  When I saw that, I left early to go home.

Early = 4pm.

Instead of 5pm.

I'm not talking about noon, or immediately after I got to work, people!  I'm talking 4pm.

I was called into the vice president's office the next day; he also happened to share the same last name as the owner of the company.  He was the owner's son.  I was called in and he sat there, behind his desk, and told me that he had spoken to F, the owner's secretary, and he told me SHE was authorizing the payroll department to dock my pay an hour for leaving early the day before.

I was a salaried employee.

To this day, I can feel the heat rise in my face, burning my ears.  But rather than tell him to F off, I very calmly, although my voice was shaking, told him he could do whatever he wanted.  He could okay the paycut, but "I had a life, it wasn't much, but it was the only one I had," and I wasn't risking it to stay another hour at work during a snowstorm when tractor trailers were spinning their wheels in front of the building...  I reminded him that I was salaried, that when I worked extra hours or didn't take a lunch, I was NOT compensated, and that I'd be happy to change over to an hourly employee if he or F would prefer to pay me for the hours I worked.

He knew he was wrong.  He knew F was wrong.  He simply placated me, though, saying he understood my position but it really wasn't fair to pay me for time I wasn't working.

I reminded him again of the definition of a salaried employee, excused myself, and went back to my office where I didn't do a lick of work for the rest of the day (but got paid as if I did), created all sorts of new and anatomically impossible curse words, and complained to all in the vicinity about F, who thought the boss' money was hers to manage because...  Oops, I'm not going there...

Suffice it to say that I was NOT docked an hour.  He decided he had a pair and stood up to the secretary. 

But I never forgot my comeback:  "I have a life, M.  It may not be much to you, but it's all I've got!"

And I thought it summarized my blog rather well.  I will never have hundreds or thousands of readers, but I have you guys and while I might never be the most interesting blog you read, you'll be reading what really goes on in my little ole' life, no holds barred.  Admittedly it's rather boring most of the time.  We don't travel a lot.  We are not fighters.  We don't do anything real exciting most of the time.  It's usually just breakfast, work, lunch, work, dinner, tv, sleep.  And then start all over.

But I'm really happy in my life.  I have family and friends who love me.  I have a job I like (even though I'm playing the lottery and hope to win and retire early!).  I read a lot, watch TV and scrap, and that occupies my free time.  We are blessed enough to have a vacation home which is why we don't go away very much.  I live in a safe and boring neighborhood, but we like it.  It reminds us of when we grew up, when we knew all the neighbors and the neighbors knew us.

My stories aren't edge-of-your-seat-exciting, but they're my stories, and they're my real life.  Not much, maybe, but it's all I've got!!!

I don't want to KILL them, exactly...

... especially since I do have one.  Admittedly I have tried reading on my Kindle Fire, but as my dear readers know, I'm not particularly enthralled.  Perhaps I would have liked it better if the e-reader I got was readable in the sun, but I knew it wasn't when I got it so I can't make that the reason I hate it.  Because I don't really hate it; I just don't like it for reading books.  No new news there...

I am a HUGE fan of the Hay Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye, I believe the town is called...  It's a small town on the Wales border.  It hasn't been around for hundreds of years, the festival, I mean, but it's made a great name for itself.  I was sorry to run across this article today where a few booksellers are calling for a ban on Kindles at the Festival.

A)  I H.A.T.E. that 5 of the 30 or so book indies in the town have closed over the past year.
B)  Apple's iBookstore has signed on as a Festival partner for the Hay Literary Festival 2012.  If you were so anti e-reader or e-books, you should have said no to Apple.
C)  I really do believe that anything that makes people read, and enjoy reading, can't be all bad (Kindles, Goosebumps books, Sweet Valley High books, etc., etc.).
D)  Someone in the article mentioned that people attending the Festival are buying books in all formats, including the not-available-in-e-reader-format rare, second-hand books. 

THEY'RE READING, PEOPLE!  How bad can it be???

Just give us the option to read REAL books, don't take them away!  That's all I ask!!!