Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Get Out On The Highway

When K became eligible to make her driving test around Thanksgiving, we called and got a date of January 9th. This was no good for K because she wanted her license NOW or at least before Christmas. I'm pretty sure she wanted it so badly so she could drive and get me a special Christmas present all by herself. (Yes, that was sarcasm)

Because K has a very persuasive nature about her, she had me calling all over the state of MA to get her a December appointment. I wound up getting one for last Friday. In Southbridge. 2 1/2 hours away. At 9AM.

We left the house at 6 and got to Southbridge right on time. Nerves were a jangling. We watched some other 16 year olds go out for their tests. One came back sitting in the back seat. We figured something had to have gone very wrong on that drive. It was our turn, the man stood outside and went through all the light checks and hand signals. He, then, asked for K to secure the ebrake and rev the engine to make sure the ebrake worked.

She tried.

And tried.

And tried again and each time the car jumped forward a little. The man said, "I am sorry, I cannot get in the car with you if your ebrake is not working. Call this number and you should get in for next week."

Well, then came the tears and the disbelief. We drove to a parking lot for 20 minutes where it was pretty much my fault that she did not get her license. Then she yanked with 2 hands on the brake and asked (ok, told) me to try it again. I did and the car did not move. We did it 3 more times and the ebrake worked. K decided we were going back and demanding another try. (Side note: confrontation like this makes me want to vomit. I never send food back to the kitchen at a restaurant. I would rather deal with the situation and brush it off rather than try to change it. No, I am not very proud of this trait in me, but it's me and I own it.)

So, we turned around and went back and asked for another try. And the Christmas miracle of it all, was the guy gave it to us because he realized that we had driven a long way to get there. He got in the car and my nervous girl drove around Southbridge with a very patient man going 15 mph.

But she passed! And the world was right again and I even got a big hug (from her, not the man).

Drive safely, baby!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Today I have a 15 year old whom I still call "cookie".

She swims, she's funny and she's a great friend.

She's smart, she's sarcastic and she's beautiful (on the inside and out).

Her year as a 14 year old was trying (to say the least) because of situations out of her control.

She is one of the strongest people I know.

She has a great laugh.

I am truly blessed to have her as my daughter.

Happy Birthday Cookie!! I love you xoxo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad

I love that Throwback Thursday landed on my Dad's birthday this year! Why? Well, because I have the cutest picture of him, that's why!!!

Here he is on the left with my Uncle Dick on the right.

Couldn't you just squeeze those little cheeks?

Happy Birthday Dad!
I sure am glad!
Let me shoot you a clue,
it's because I love you!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lunch at CBI

The Chatham Bars Inn, one of Cape Cod's most prestigious resorts, welcomed the elementary school to lunch today. Not just any lunch, but a Thanksgiving feast!! They have been doing this for so many years (seriously, it's been more than 10), but I do not know how or when it started exactly. All I know is that my girls loved CBI day,  EXCEPT that they did not have ketchup on the tables. Anyhoo, the kids get all dressed up and it's a big (read BIG deal). So big of a deal, that the teachers make sure everyone feels special and if a parent doesn't have the means of dressing their child up, the teachers have spare "fancy" clothes for all the kids.

K, B and their cousins one Thanksgiving CBI day.

I love this picture so much, it is hanging in my house.

Today was a bright and shiny day. Many parents were there to greet the kids as they got off the buses and to take pictures. The parents are allowed into the main dining room only until the kids get served. I could have sold my roll to any kid at the table for $20. A lot of the kids don't like it when their turkey touches their mashed potatoes and their green beans. They were fascinated by the "balls" of butter and the fancy (linen) napkins.

Toward the end of their meal, as in after everyone eats their ice-cream with rainbow sprinkles, they sing a few Thanksgiving songs to the staff. Adorable.

Hopefully, some day the kids will realize how lucky they are and that is not the norm at most elementary schools.

Thanks CBI!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Here Comes Turkey Day, Here Comes Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

This strikes many emotions in people.

Joy being with your family.

Anxiety being with your family.

And, yes, every emotion in between.

I love my family and am lucky enough to live near many of them. Actually right across the street from my sister, brother in law and niece.

My brother sent me the funniest Thanksgiving link I have seen in awhile. I do not condone drinking this much, but some of the reasons for drinking are pretty funny. So, have a sip of soda or water if you do not like to drink. Or have another piece of pie. Just realize that probably more than half of these things happen at your dinner.

#13 and #14 are the funniest and the main reason why I wear yoga pants to Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sick, But Still Learning

I have been home sick today. It's more of an overwhelming feeling of malaise so I have no energy whatsoever. If you know me, this is not a common feeling for me. I am doing stuff all the time. The most I have done today is sleep and lay on the couch and stare at the computer. All the while thinking of the things I should be doing with a rare day at home by myself. I am pretty sure God is giving me a message to slow the heck down and take a day for myself.

So, not to have nothing to show for my day, I learned a few things while watching TV. I watched a lot of news and some talk shows and the Millionaire show.

*I learned that koalas have chlamydia. What? Seriously the question on the Millionaire show was something along the lines of "What animal did One Direction recently come in contact with that they wished they didn't once they found out that most of this population has chlamydia?" I guess those cute little eucalyptus crunching fur balls really get around.

*I learned that Americans buy around 60 million boxes of stuffing around Thanksgiving time. The Chew filled me in on this while making 3 or 4 different kinds of their own.

It's no secret; I don't like stuffing.

*The last thing I learned was there is a newish type of massage in the Asian world.

Snake massages.

No, that does not mean you massage a snake. It means that the masseuse drapes snakes (like boa constrictors) on top of your naked body. I will be having nightmares about this. I can not even imagine spending money to have snakes draped on me. They keep 1 or 2 people in the room to make sure the snakes do not strangle you. That's encouraging, right? And relaxing. If you really want to see what a snake massage looks like go here. But be warned. Ick.

I think the creators of Indiana Jones could have changed the story line and had the chick enjoy being in a pyramid or cave (seriously, it's been awhile) with all those snakes. America could have been first with snake massages. There's something we could be proud of....not.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Frag'n Friday

Another edition of emtying my brain out...

Half-Past Kissin' Time

*I failed NaBloPoMa. I tried. I really really tried, but I missed posting yesterday. Yeah, it had something to do with wine, tears and brain overload. Not necessarily in that particular order. I am still going to try to post every day for the rest of November, though.

*It feels good to get back to writing. I even started writing my Christmas letter the other day. Don't let me put you all to shame....

*There were some fabulous news stories I found on FB tonight.

-One was about the SF batkid. Make A Wish is the best non-profit. My nephew was able to take a cruise through Alaska with them and our good friend Brad was able to go to Normandy last fall.

-Also, the Tufts lacrosse team signed a 7 year old who is battling cancer to their team this year. Such a cute story and so glad that many college teams are "adopting" these kids.

-I love the MBTA tweets of the week. The MBTA is Boston's t system. It's funny what people tweet about and BostInno puts together the best top 10 MBTA tweets of the week on Friday.

*Of course I have a Kindergarten comment. Today, my little buddy J was talking about Toys R'Us. He calls it, "Toys and Us".

*I have taken a few senior pictures this fall, but nothing compares to taking them today. I took a friend of mine's son. He has some special needs and was adorable. I think I got a few that do him justice. All I know is he kept wondering why K wasn't there with me. (She is best friends with his sister).

*K is in a play this weekend at her High School. The play is a reading type play about how women have affected and fought for peace since 1916. It was fascinating to go back in history and learn of these brave and powerful women.

*K has to do a report for History class and she drew Black Friday as a topic. We both thought it had to do with the day after Thanksgiving shopping which we both love. Hmmm, we were very wrong.

*It seems weird to not include a picture in my Friday Fragments (or any post for that matter). Just for you I have included one of B and my snap chats. I much prefer texting my friends because I don't necessarily like looking at pictures of myself 100 times a day, but I like being included in hers.

Yes, she is much better at it than I am :)

*Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kindergarten=Keep Your Ears Open

Overheard in Kindergarten today:

"Is the penthouse open for free play?"
(we have a loft in the classroom)

Teacher holding up a picture of a Native American, "Does anyone know who this is?"
Kids, "An Indian".
Teacher, "OK, I am looking for another word also."
One child, "Chinese".

"Can you open my banana?"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today is 11-12-13!! Pretty cool, right?

And it snowed!

Yes, already.

I did not mind. I like snow and it looked so pretty with the colorful leaves we still have on the trees (and ground. Oh, do we have them on the ground.) The kids at school were crazy and all they wanted to do was head outside. Secretly, so did I. I was able to get a few shots on my way to pick up B from school.

Looks like I should have brought my geranium in last night. Ooops.

Don't feel too bad for me yet. It is suppose to be back in the 50's in a few days.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Random Things For A Monday

Busy day today and I cannot decide which topic to write about (just under the wire).

First, let me thank all the Veterans today!!! And every day!! This includes my Dad and my Uncle Dick to say the least.

Secondly, I was in a toy aisle today and saw the following..

Remember about 10 years ago when Barbie was on the hot seat for having an abnormal figure? What the heck is going on now!!!???

And third, to go a little with the animal theme, K and I went to the mall tonight and as we were browsing around PacSun, I noticed an abundance of shirts with cats on them. Really? Why?

And it might snow tomorrow. Seriously, it's like the world is having "that time of the month".

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hockey Is Life (At Least It Felt Like It Today)

I spent the better part of 5 hours watching hockey today. One of the boys and his hockey team played at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI before a Providence Bruins game. It was pretty cool being able to watch him on semi-pro ice. The team did not exactly play up to par, but we cheered them on anyway!!

The Providence Bruins took the ice and we knew it was going to be a blood bath from the beginning. First fight was in the 2nd minute of the game. One guy had to leave and get stitches.

There was lots of pushing and shoving and elbows flying, but the real fight did not come until the 3rd period. That's when all the players on the ice started fighting. Even the goalies started fighting. It was ridiculous. There were gloves, helmets and sticks all over the ice. The announcer started playing fighting music, the fans started cheering and the 3 refs just watched. 

Yard sale, anyone?

It's definitely going to take a little getting use to. 

What I truly enjoyed were the little kids that played in between the periods. They had to have been between 5-7 years old. They would skate, fall down, get back up, fall, move as a group toward the puck. Totally adorable. 

B's already threatening to stop swimming and start playing hockey. Now if she only knew how to skate...

Photo creds to B

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Potty Training Was A Long Time Ago

I might have mentioned yesterday that my niece was in potty training hell (I mean boot camp). I showed you the nice picture of her cozy bathroom and all the treats and distractions that she had in there. B and I went over tonight (all the way across the street, I know, it was tough) to see how things were going. B got to play with Kermit and baby Kermit. 

We got to see R's Doc McStuffin's undies. We showed her our undies, too. That did not convince her (and probably scared her) to pee in the potty. The girl has the willpower of a, hmm, I don't know, what has a lot of willpower? A mule can be stubborn, but is that considered willpower? Whatever has a lot of willpower, she has it multiplied by 10.

 She did amuse us by running laps around the house and playing peek-a-boo in her tunnel. Tunnels are funny when they are upright with a 3 year old in them.

Do you have any words of advice and/or encouragement for my sister? She is probably on her 3rd (10th) glass of wine right now and dreading tomorrow.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Frag'n Friday

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I love Fridays because I can be completely random....

*A friend of mine just posted on Facebook that she was going to a restaurant by herself for dinner. This is one thing that amazes me. I have a hard time going out and eating my myself. Let me rephrase that, it paralyzes me to think of going out to eat by myself. And yes, I have done it, but only for breakfast or lunch, never dinner. Are you ok with going out alone?

*My sister and my niece started potty boot camp today (you know, for my niece, not my sister. She's been trained for awhile now). The diaper fairy came last night and took away all the diapers.

And left the bathroom set up, I guess. Who else has the choice of 2 potties, reading material, stickers and toys in the bathroom?

*I cannot tell you how happy, happy, happy I am that we have a 3 day weekend this weekend. Please thank a veteran. I know I will!!

*Found this on my frenemy, Pinterest, the other day and really liked it.

*One month in the new house and it is getting almost put together. I am hoping to take advantage of some time this weekend to hang some pictures and change some sheets. I know, I know, big goals, but I have got to start somewhere!

*Movie rental suggestion for the weekend? Watch The Heat. It is so flippin' funny!!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Transfor-Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday, Transformation Tuesday, there are so many "days" out there thanks to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  I am combining the first 2 days mentioned. I found this picture of me from the late 70's and I am going to go with the guess that I am around 11?  Please admire the nicely chopped hair in a straight line.

This is the throwback:

I got my hair cut (OK, and maybe colored) today. (Hi Kelly!!) I laughed when I looked in the mirror and thought of this picture. 

The transformation:

Sort of similar haircuts, right? I am going to have to say, though, that I like today's a little bit better.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kids: You've Got To Love Them

Remember that show: Kids Say The Funniest Things? Well, as a teacher in the lower grades, I hear A LOT of stuff. Seriously, when I taught Kindergarten years ago, one kid told me that he and his parents had to leave dinner early to pick up a friend of his dad's in jail. I later found out that the dad was a lawyer, but the kid's story telling needed some work.

Today, a child told me that his Grandpa always asks him if he is a "smart fellah or a fart smellah". So after I laughed (um, hysterically), I had to tell him that fart was not a good word to say at school.

One child had to do a particular test where analogies were asked.
Can is to aluminum as glass is to ___________.
She answered, "man". The test giver gave her a look like "what?" And she went on to explain that daddy's drink beer in glass bottles. Ugh, why do 5 year olds have to know this already.

My niece, R, is a hot ticket. She has me laughing (and her mom pulling her hair out) constantly. It's fun being the aunt and it's even more fun living across the street from them. For instance tonight, I went over for a quick visit. R was making a mess, I mean she had a whole story going on on the kitchen floor and she kept bringing in new items to add. This is how I found her...

It's not good enough to kneel at the side of the box, it's much better to dive in head first.

At least I get to laugh every day. I hope I never lose the fact that little kids are amusing. They definitely keep me young (ish).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Where Do I Write?

Sometimes when you are writing every day, you need a little boost. Thankfully there is a list on BlogHer that gives you some prompts when you have nothing "kosher" to write about. Today's prompt is: Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog posts?

I actually had thought about showing you where I write at some point because I find it interesting to think of all the places people write. Remember when you were in school and to write something both feet had to be on the floor and you had to be sitting up straight? When I took typing in high school, I had to have a similar posture. As I am writing this I am snuggled into a chair next to the fire place. There is no posture working for me right now and yet I am still accomplishing. Take that typing teacher who's name I have forgotten.

Usually, when a kid is not on it, I am on my desktop because it has all my pictures and stuff on it and things I need around it. This is the one room in the house that is the messiest because when we moved anything we didn't know what to do with, landed in this room. I have been working on it each weekend for a few hours and it is getting somewhere just not where I want it to be quickly enough. I can tell you that there is always paper and pens available near my computer. Even though I love typing, I still like to write things down. Believe it or not, I still keep an agenda book in my purse and we have a huge family calender on the wall. I love pens and different fonts and cannot satisfy my urge to doodle, write ect. while typing.

I usually have pictures of the girls and fun things around my desk so I have something happy to look at when I stare out in space. My desk chair needs lots of help however. It started to rip, so B duct taped the seat and now that is even coming up. I usually put down a pillow so I don't stick to it.

There you have it. Now you know and can see where all the magic is made. Maybe I will introduce you to the kitchen next so you can see where all the magic desserts are made.

Monday, November 4, 2013

3 Cute Kids

We are throwing my dad a birthday party in a few weeks. He has never wanted a party since his 40th birthday. My mom threw him a wake and everyone came in black. Someone brought him a rubber tree as a present with condoms on it. This is the thing one remembers when one was 7 or so.

This party is going to be a bit more upbeat. We have been looking at old pictures to create some sort of a "this is your life" situation. The pictures have been hysterical for the most part. Then there are pictures like this that make me a little bit nostalgic.

This is my brother Tom, my sister Karen and me in front of our summer house in Ogunquit, Maine. I am guessing 4, 5, 10. Why are my brother and sister in their pjs? I do remember loving that owl shirt. This was our house before we added on my bedroom downstairs and way before the field behind us was filled with houses. We would play Capture the Flag on that field with the whole neighborhood. In our yard, we would play Kick the Can.

I love that we have similar haircuts. That my sister looks like the most outgoing out of all of us and still is. And that I look like I would rather crawl under a rock than have to be the focus of a picture. My parents trained us well, however, and whenever we saw the camera come out, we smiled and posed. I am sure that there will be a few more pictures along these lines.

I can't resist, we were awfully cute.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Who's Our There Reading This?

You never know who reads your blog.

One day, a man friend said to me at the gas station while I was pumping gas, "Sue, I really like your blog." You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so surprised that this big burly guy read my blog. Then I came to find out that some of the police dept and fire dept read my blog. ("Hi guys!") Then, one day, a couple of K's friends came over and said, "Sue, we really like your blog. You should write about us." Gee, it's like I am famous. Or not, but a girl can dream.

So today, I want to highlight a few of K's friends. The bunch of them went on "adventures" this summer. That's what they called them anyway. I am pretty sure that most "adventures" were to Wendy's. I even have a Wendy's eat-in tray to prove it. 

They are upstanding guys. K went to the prom with one of them. They are seniors this year, which means that we will all miss them next year. They drop in, they pick up K at random times and they help when you need it.

The girls and I recently moved into a house with my boyfriend and his children. We needed help with a   refrigerator. K was at work, so I called, "her boys" and asked if they could help at all. They dropped whatever they were doing to help out and rocked the whole moving thing. Seriously, they made the refrigerator look like it was toy Styrofoam. I guess that's something that they could fall back on if the whole college thing doesn't work out.

So, "boys" here is your post. I will be happy to write many more posts about you, but you have to come actually hang out with me for a day. Or, since I told you I would take your senior pictures, there is sure to be a good post in that.

The good news for the rest of us is that there are some good kids in today's society that you can count on!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Goggles Are Good For Many Reasons

I am thinking that my family had something going way back when. You know how it is cool to wear goggles after you win the world series and celebrate in the locker room? God forbid you get any champagne in those pretty eyes of yours. 

Well, evidently, my brother had it going on at our holiday meals. 

Here is a picture of him eating Christmas dinner at the "kids table" with my sister. I am not sure that they were shooting champagne at each other, but I do know that when my sister really laughs at something, you never know what is going to come flying out. Good thinking, Tommy!!

Speaking of champagne and world series celebrations.....(I am from Boston, of course I had to tie this in to my post). The Red Sox had a rolling parade through Boston today that ended up in the Charles River. They use the duck boats for these parades and my sister's sister-in-law or my brother-in-law's sister, however you want to look at this, once drove the duck boats for a living. Somehow, she wrangled her way into driving one today and I saw her from the comfort of my couch. I am almost famous because I know her, I am pretty sure.

I stole this picture off of her Facebook page because I love it. She and her friend/band mate Tad (who drove one of the other duck boats) got their picture taken with THE COP. So awesome.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween: Past and Present

Halloween has come a long way since I was little. We, for the most part, would go to KMart and buy a costume in a box: mask included. We would shove our puffy ski jackets underneath the plastic to stay warm (9 times out of 10 it was cold). Sometimes my mom would get creative or I outgrew the box costumes and I would wind up as a raisin (with a worm coming out of me?) or a cleaning woman. Who knew that the cleaning woman would become a self fulfilling prophecy. I am always picking something up or wiping something down.

At our elementary school, now, we have a parade. The children are not allowed to collect candy on this downtown walk, but we all parade around anyway. Yes, I was a giraffe. No box costume for me. This was B's Halloween costume from last year that we ordered from a sketchy website and it arrived stuffed in a sketchy envelope. The costume rocks though because it's COMFY. And if it wasn't close to 60 degrees yesterday, I would have easily been able to fit my winter coat under it.

And yes, giraffes do rock bright pink sneakers.....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pinterest is My Frenemy

First let me say, "I've missed you".  Seriously, I have. It's been weird taking this long of a break from my blog-baby. There is a bunch of stuff going on in my life that I am not sure I can write about yet.  Most of it good, don't worry :)

I did sign up to do nanammoalslepo or something like that which means that I have agreed to write EVERY SINGLE DAY OF NOVEMBER. I think it's like giving myself a kick in the ass. I am game if you promise to leave me a comment every once in awhile so I know that I still have followers.

Because I am an overachiever, I have decided to start a day early!

Halloween in an elementary school is not as hyped as it once once because there are lots of rules.  No weapons with costumes, baked goods needing to come from a store, not your kitchen and you can't randomly hand out candy. That being said, there were some extremely creative parents this year and I totally blame Pinterest. Where else would they have come up with this stuff?

How cute and simple is this? Little clementine pumpkins!

Earlier this week, one kindergartner asked me to peel her clementine and her dad had drawn a jack-o-lantern face on the skin. Hysterical AND easy!!

In the pre-school today, one mom made mini jack-o-lantern fruit bowls out of orange peels. Seriously, how long did it take to get the oranges out of the skin without it ripping??

In 3rd grade, a mom who is an artist, (and in my opinion should be in the cookie business) made these cookies for the students to take home. See, you cannot eat homemade treats in the elementary school, but if you take them home, you can let your parents decide if you can eat them.

Then, as I wandered through a 1st grade room today, I ran into these little mice. Bananas on sticks, rolled in coconut with raisin and chocolate chip accouterments.

Obviously, I need to step it up a notch and look at my Pinterest account more often. I can't wait to see what they(heehee, I) come up with in December!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Maine: The Way Life Should Be

Um, excuse me.... I am looking for the month of August...has anyone seen it?

Well, I know where the past 5 days went. We took an interesting combined family/friend/old friends vacation to Maine. In a nutshell, I just spent the last 4 days with 3 teenage boys and my teenage daughter. And another almost teenage boy. And of course, my boy friend.

Let's just say my nose has been attacked by smells of dirty feet and farts.

My ears have been attacked by the f bomb and a few other statements I overheard, but probably shouldn't have.

My sight has been compromised by watching teens twerk anywhere they could.

What did I learn?

1. B and I were smart to go to Freeport a day ahead and meet up for a girls day with my roommate from college and her girls. We shopped, ate and talked and talked.

2. Old friends are priceless. We met up with our boy crowd Saturday morning in Wells and headed to Ogunquit for the day. We parked at "Grandma's" house. She was the neighborhood grandma in our summer neighborhood and at a spry 96 year old, she still is. We went to the beach with my sister and our friend Jill and little R. We also went with one of the boys we used to play with every single day of the summer and his family. Yes, somehow we tend to grow up, but the ease and joy of hanging out together just like the old days lives on.

3. Meeting my "boyfriend's" family is not as scary as I made it out in my mind to be. I felt like a teenager again being brought around to meet the family :) I think I passed the test so far.

4. B is a good sport and up for anything.

5. When you joke with the kids and tell them to "be gangsta like" and you think the little sign they are making is hearts, it's not.

6. Making new memories in old places is the greatest gift.

I put boyfriend in quotes, because it seems like such a funny word for older (um, more mature) people. Manfriend just doesn't have the same ring.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Crazy, That's Why I Love Them

My cousin got married last weekend in the Catskills in New York or EBF as some of us referred to it. It was a beautiful wedding, well thought out, lovely reception and a picturesque setting for photos. While my camera captured some beautiful moments,

it also captured the flavor of my family.

You need more proof? Sure.

Now that I look at these, I am realizing the common thread is B. She is a ham. And she loves the camera.

Congratulations Allycia and Matt. And Matt, maybe you should have spent a little more time with us before you married into this crazy family.

We do definitely have a lot of love and fun to offer!