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

Thursday, May 23, 2013


On Monday Moore, OK, was obliterated by an F5 tornado that "touched down" for 40 minutes.

40 minutes.  F5. 

I can't conceive of that violence being on the ground for 40 minutes.  (It will never be an EF5 in my mind - I'm too old to change now.)

The images are horrific.  Tornado?  Massive destruction?  Implosion?  There aren't any words to describe the devastation.  When someone says "it's like a war zone," yes, yes, it is...

24 people died.  Including, I believe, 9 children, 2 of whom were babies.  At least that's the last I heard.  Entire schools were demolished.  This morning there was a video taken during the storm.  At first it was completely black, with someone screaming in the background.  Then there was light, daylight, seen through walls that were no longer there.  A water fountain attached to a cinder block wall with the rest of the school surrounding it gone.  Children walking around, totally disoriented.

[I am stunned that I am writing a post using words like "obliterated," "violence," "horrific," "destruction," "devastation," "war zone."]

There were heart-warming images, too.  The older woman finding her dog on camera, crawling out from under the rubble.  The black puppy sitting, just sitting, waiting to be rescued.  Just sitting above the body of his deceased owner.  (I heard a story later that it might not have been his owner.  Either way, they found that person because the puppy wouldn't move.)  A neighbor running, full out, to the damaged school to see if the little boy who lived next door, his special little pal, was okay.  Their hug, once they saw each other, the way the little boy just jumped into the man's arms.  The woman whose neighbor helped find jewelry that belonged to the woman's grandmother in the remains of what was her house.

The stories, OMG, the stories.  The mother who covered her baby with her body and was killed saving her own child.  The man who held onto his daughter by her hair, refusing to let the wind take her.  The 22 people who sheltered in a bank vault and survived.

Interviews with Hurricane Sandy survivors show people saying that this tornado was worse than "what we went through."  Certainly it was, for some of us - I lost some food, was a bit cold for a few days.  But people on Breezy Point or the NJ shore, for instance, lost everything.  Those words I mentioned above?  They apply to the loss of homes on Breezy Point and the Shore during Hurricane Sandy.  But those victims were interviewed yesterday and they said the suffering from this tornado?  It was worse.  "We lost a lot.  Many homes were damaged.  But nothing like the all-out destruction of Moore, OK."

Amazing.  Simply amazing.  It restores my faith in mankind, that even those people who have every right to feel sorry for themselves can recognize that others are worse off, can sympathize, empathize, can help, can recognize the scale of the destruction...

I'm making a donation to the Red Cross.  Are you?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RIP Zach Sobiech

This wonderful young man died Monday after a bout with cancer.  He learned in 18 short years what I sincerely hope I learn in my lifetime, that we need to live life to the fullest, with joy and love and an appreciation for all we've been given.

Rest in peace, Zach Sobiech.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New Floor Update

I realized when I was responding to a post on Young House Love that I'd never posted a photo of the new floor at the lake house.  So how could I point them to a photo if I never posted one?  So here you go, photos of before, during and after.  And yes, hubby did much of this with a bum arm, prior to surgery...

Keep in mind we only took these photos for ourselves, not for publication, so don't count on any white balancing, cleaning up of clutter in the background, or consistent points of view...


I'll have to take photos this weekend when we tear out the kitchen island that is at the opposite end of the room in this last photo, to your left if you're standing where I was when I took the photo.  The floor will be extended into the kitchen then all the new cabinets and appliances will be installed.  Then I'll have to take some more photos!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Miami, Part 1

I got to Miami Sunday night, to the hotel at about 9:35. Asked the front desk dude if there was a restaurant open at that hour and he assured me that, yes, there was. Would I like him to make a reservation for me for, say, twenty minutes from now?  For some tapas and a glass of wine, perhaps?

Sure, I responded, as long as I could wear my pajamas to the restaurant.

Okay, so that wasn't the best picture to put in his head 'cause he VERY quickly suggested room service.

I called room service and they said it was a hour wait, but since I had no plans to go anywhere or do anything other than plop in front of the TV, that was fine. 

I ordered my chicken enchiladas and a large coke. Proof positive I didn't really read the menu very carefully?  It was delivered in 20 minutes (I picked the right thing!) and I took a huge bite.

It was FULL of jalapeƱos!  Thought I'd be a Tums customer for sure that night but it didn't bother me at all!  Of course the "large" coke was one of those new small bottles, the ones you can drink 10 of if you're not in NYC (Mr. Bloomberg is not my friend!).  I was still thirsty when I was finished but at least I wasn't hungry anymore!

More Miami excitement to come in the next installment!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday Is Mother's Day

I know you're all going to say, "MY mom is the best," but the only other two people on this planet who are allowed to say this are my sisters!

Our mom IS the best.  THE best.  The BEST.  THE BEST.

My mom hasn't had an easy life.  Let's just recap it (very briefly):

She was born in Poland.

She left Poland at the start of WWII to go to Siberia.

She left Siberia, traveled through Iran and Iraq, and left for Africa from the port of Pahlavi.

Went to East Africa, Mombasa, to be exact.  She was then relocated by train and trucks to Nairobi, then to camp in Koja, Kenya.

They were relocated again, to Masindi in Western Uganda, and then to England by way of Egypt.  She traveled by boat, went through the Suez Canal, through the Mediterranean Sea, throught the Strait of Gibraltar, and up to Liverpool, England.

She lived near Newton Abbot in Devonshire (now Devon), in England.  She attended high school and college in England, then relocated again.  She traveled by boat on the second Mauretania in 1952, to New York City, and eventually to NJ, where she met Daddy and the rest is MY history...

She is without a doubt the strongest woman I know.  She has survived WWII, living in camps an surviving on potatoes, the loss of her home, the deaths of her sister, parents and husband.  She has struggled with many surgeries, survived bladder cancer, suffered much physical pain, with not one complaint.

I have always said that if I could be half the woman she is, half the mother she is, I'd consider myself a total success.

Mommy, thank you.  Thanks for teaching me right from wrong.  Thanks for showing me what a good, strong, loving marriage is.  Thanks for showing me, by example, what a good, strong, loving woman is.

You are an incredible mom, and am proud of you.  I love you. 

And that awesome news you just gave me?  That you're cancer-free again? 


Lip Sync-Off with John Krasinski

Found this on Stephanie Howell's blog.  Thanks, Stephanie!  Laughed until I cried!!!

Cleveland Horror

On Monday, May 6, three women were rescued from 10 years in captivity in a house in Cleveland.  Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were kidnapped by Ariel Castro in the 2000s, kept in the basement and later in separate rooms in the house, tied up and chained.

He raped them, impregnated them, starved and punched them to force miscarriages, for all but one child from one of the women, Amanda Berry.

He's on suicide watch.  I have mixed feelings.  He deserves the death penalty but suicide seems an easy way out for him.  Perhaps life in prison where he'll most likely be murdered?

I don't think it's right to wish him death, but I can't help but think of the 10 years, MORE than 10 years, these girls and their families have been suffering.  His obvious mental illness is no excuse for what he did.  It might explain it, but it doesn't excuse it.

And his two brothers, in and out of that house all the time over the past ten years?  They knew nothing?  So far police have released them and not charged them.  And his mom, living two blocks away?  Really?  No idea?

THIS is why I always want to know my sisters or my mom or my daughter or my son or my husband is home safe, at school safe, wherever they are.  THIS is why I have no problem "checking in" with my mom so she knows I'm home, safe and sound.  THIS really could happen to just about anyone, anytime, anywhere.  There are a lot of crazy people in this world, just walking around, appearing normal...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Random Bits

Some random photos from the past month... I haven't been here, so I thought, not all of you are on Instagram so these little pieces of my rather boring life, well, you haven't been bored by them yet!
So here you go...
I got my hair cut.  It looked so silky and full of movement and body.  It has not looked like this since the day the stylist did it.  I love the randomness of the colors, I like the chunkiness...  Too bad I'll never see it this way again.


The lake is looking rather beautiful...   The water is up, the sun was out...  Was.  It rained all day today.  Three inches of rain overnight and into this morning...

Every child in the school made a get well card for hubby.  700+ cards arrived in a box.  I cried reading some of them.  The kids were told to just tell Mr. S. what they missed about him, or wish him well, or just write "Get Well Soon."  Some of them really took the instructions to heart.  Once kid wrote "You're like a grandfather to me!"  Another wrote, "You've been a part of my life as long as I can remember, since I was a baby."  Another wrote about how he's taught her grandma, and her mom, and her older brother, and "Now you're teaching me!"  Several mentioned that they missed him at the front door, saying, "Good Morning!"  And many of them quoted his "It's another day in Paradise" line.  Balled my eyes out, I did...

My first attempt at sushi.  Yes, I'm 52.  And proud that I've been right all along.  Not a fan of sushi.  Now I can say, "Been there, done that, won't do it again."

This little stuffed whatever it is has been propped on this cubicle wall for over a month.  I must have walked past it 200 times before I noticed the backside, courtesy of our digital manager...  Laughed out loud...

Bought this knob plate and key on Open Sky.  I've had it for about three or four years.  Finally found a place to put it, in the upstairs bathroom.  I toss my damp face cloth on it - love the look of it...

I'm really going to try to write more regularly, but today I only had time for a couple of photos and a couple of lines...