Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daughter time

Up in Ohio spending time with my daughter.

It's been wonderful to do girlie lamps.....buying a dress or two.

We've also started planning for her wedding which will be set for next summer sometime.

She originally wanted to get married in Puerto Rico but we spent the weekend online looking at estates in the Hamptons in New York. Estates usually have 10-15 bedrooms in big houses on big lots. Instead of renting two smaller houses....we are looking at a happy group of 25 friends and relatives in one big least I hope it would be happy.

One of the houses we looked at.....and was our first choice is being sold.....and we are warming up to an older home close to the beach. Still for such an important gives us an excuse to visit the beach and Long Island for a short stint this spring in order to check the facilities out.

Tomorrow she wants to show me some rings she is looking at.....and then we'll spend some time looking at properties again.

This evening....she introduced me to the HBO series....Tru Blood.....I was hesistant to watch it....because vampires scare me....but after the third episode in a row....I decided to leave and return to my hotel room because I would have remained glued to the couch till the wee hours of the morning watching episode after episode.

I love her cat Drama.....he's 16 pounds of sass....kind of a feline bulldog. I distinctly heard him say....."three episodes is enough Gina" tonight.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Eye-popping weather again

Found this guy in a pet store I was visiting with my daughter in Ohio.

Sort of my reaction too when I saw the snow and ice closing down her
city here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Even the dogs are famous in Nashville

On the road again.

Stopped for some caffeine.

Celebrity pup waiting for its owner I guess.

Now if he pulled out a guitar....I would have been totally impressed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Facebook you friend your clergyman and other puzzling questions...

Okay....I'm cruising Facebook ....and see a notification.

A friend of mine has "friended" our clergyman.

Wow clergyman has just joined Facebook?

This made me pause.....are you supposed to friend your rabbi, pastor, priest or imam?

If you don't....are you....not kosher/righteous/catholic/holy or just plain rude?

What if you're not always good or post pictures which proffer anatomical parts of your body not suited for the monthly bulletin?

Is he my friend friend? or just a friend? or just someone I'm friendly with?

Would it be weird if he saw my post from last night....touting my fresh clean sheets and blankets on my bed ?

I'm not embarrassed to have blankets or clean sheets ...but still....there's something a bit odd about my clergyman knowing I'm just plain human....just like it would be odd if he posted that he was happy he had clean sheets and blankets before bed time. My clergyman sleeps? with blankets and sheets? (and even his wife!)

So I haven't friended him ....yet...yet?

And I'm waiting to see who does and who doesn't.

Perhaps he joined up to keep in touch with congregants that have moved away....friends he had....fellow scholars....not the folks he sees every week.

Well at least there are some things on Facebook I'm not confused about.....

so so wrong....

we all need some breathing space.....even from our moms .....or in some cases....especially from our moms.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My party hat......

I hosted a post-Mardi Gras party at my house on had to wear/create/make an appropriate hat.

Here's my creation:

Good girl on one side...............

Bad girl on the other side..............

And yes....this meant sawing off two party girls rubber legs.....and lashing them together back to back....then during the party if I felt good ...I could wear the hat facing one way....and if I felt naughty....I could wear the hat the other way.
. Iphone contained pictures of the girls playing that I DIDN'T TAKE.....

Like this one.....with the girls doing their splits before their legs were sacrificed for the hat decor.......
and this one.....
hmmmmm best not post this one......
just think of the type of poses two girls can be placed in....
yeah....those type of poses
and of course....hub proclaims his innocence.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My chocolate is talking to me or get your tin foil hats on!

Bite-sized pieces of Dove Milk chocolate are talking to me....actually not talking...... but making suggestions to me.

I've been eating two pieces of Dove Chocolate almost every day....a habit I developed while up in Chicago this summer.

Dove bars ...vanilla ice cream bars coated with a thick smooth milk chocolate...were dreamed up by a guy in Chicago... named Leo...for his kids. The bars were very successful...grew into a big business in Chi town...which lead the Mars company to "swallow" up the Dove business about 15 years ago.

So a little daily dose of Dove is a logical part of celebrating my hometown AND providing my female neurons with whatever it is that makes chocolate a necessity in a woman's life.

The other day, just before tossing a foil wrapper into the garbage....I noticed something

Writing on the wrapper?

I plucked the crumpled foil out of the garbage and flattened it on the kitchen counter.

The inside of the wrapper had a white circle and a message: Close out the world for just a moment.

I fished around for the other wrapper and discovered: Smile when you want to, cry when you need to, laugh whenever possible.


How long has Dove chocolate been sending me messages?

I poked around Dove's website and discovered they've been sending quotes out for twelve years! Holy shit ...that's a long time.

I immediately unwrapped more candy (of course....just for research purposes) and found:

Give of yourself to someone who needs you.

Let your mind unwind.

Be an optimist.

I felt confident I'd find only a couple of messages....but to my surprise a wide variety of touchy- feely sayings filled my bag.

I rechecked the Dove website and found there are a couple of lists. A "Classic" list, with general positive thoughts:

" A good love is delicious because you can never get enough"

"Buy yourself flowers."

And a pink wrapper/Susan G. Komen message list with inspirational messages such as:

"Be the cure"

and "Educate someone about breast cancer".

Obviously Dove chocolate (and maybe chocolate in general) is a bit gender oriented because I can't see my hub buying flowers for himself or being "the first to hit the dance floor" after eating a piece of chocolate....hell...he could consume a whole bottle of bourbon and never think of hitting the dance floor ...except to prostrate himself until his blood alcohol level returns to normal.

Alas....a little more Googling into Dove messages....brought ominous news.

There's a dark side to Dove (and I'm not talking dark chocolate).

Some folks think the messages are "New Age" and hence dangerous.

Here's a quote from one blog:

"The anti-Christian Messages continue, full of empty Promises. There are no kudos here.
Should Christians stop buying Dove candy and encourage the manufacturer, Mars, to clean up its Dove wrappers? This is one candy I find not so sweet."

There were also a few complaints about one quote...."Temptation is in is even better."

People were shocked at the "evil advice." question is...if you're a religious person...of whatever faith....Christian, Muslim, Jew.....are you really going to be swayed by a quote on a chocolate wrapper?'s faith should be sturdier than a piece of foil?

I suppose if you're really Anti-Dove messages could make a tin foil hat to protect yourself from the advice and then eat the chocolates.

Everyone knows.....tin foil hats....stop subversive messages from entering the fact...all messages are blocked ....whether they are from aliens or candy companies.

I bet if you strip the foil wrappers from all the candies in the could make a fairly decent hat....and then nothing would sink in.....but rich chocolaty goodness.

Bye bye " Think without limits" or "Act on your dreams."

A happy family blocking subversive messages
Finally.....a word of caution for those seeking tin foil protection.
Tin foil hats have been shown to be effective in blocking undesirable thoughts from entering your consciousness.
Tin foil thongs, however, appear to attract undesirables...especially men with BBQ fetishes.

Is something on the grill?

Guess on that note.....I'll "Close my eyes and relax" ......and "Be a little naughty with my nice."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bet-Tav-Shin....or OY...I'm in Hebrew Class....

Okay....I can read one word.... but I do know 5 consonants and two vowels.

Hey.....You have to begin someplace.

I've started Hebrew class a couple of weeks ago and am dutifully doing my homework tonight for Sunday morning's class.

Our two angelic teachers are trying to mold the brains of 8 adults who don't know a shin from a koof or a resh from a nun.

But we all know by now: Lamed, Mem, Bet,Tav and Shin.

There's 22 consonants to learn and no vowels. Well not vowels as we know them....more like a system of dashes and dots which when placed next to a you know how to pronounce the word.

We are going very slow......because this is a two pronged system.

First you have to learn Hebrew script and sounds....and then finally after you sound out a Hebrew eventually have to learn what it English.

When you study a language like French or go directly from recognizing the letters and saying a bon what the meaning of bon jour is in English....good day.

Hebrew is more like....what the heck do those lines and dashes mean.....oh...okay....I can sound out this word.....and now .....what the heck does that mean?

Needless to say....I'm going to be in class for a while but I figure it's good for me....reading from left to right and then reading from right to left has got to keep some neurons fit and trim.

Tonight I cut out flashcards so if I have stupid down time ...I can pull them out and study.

I probably should check if there's a "learn Hebrew" app for the IPhone.

I must's kind of exciting/ tackle the script and see letters in vowels in ...what previously looked like a jumbled set of lines and dashes. It gives me hope ...this is possible to learn.

To show you how it's done....let me break down the one and only Hebrew word I know now.

First of all..... find the letter on the right that looks like a harp... that letter stands for an S sound and the dash under it means an A sound so.....the first thing you have is SHA

The middle letter is a B sound and the "T" under it means another A sound so you have BAH

The last letter on the left is a T you put them all together and you get:


which comes together as........ Shabbat

which means.....the Sabbath.......Your day of rest.

Isn't that cool?????

Friday, February 12, 2010


I have watched this day arrive as if it was an approaching storm on the horizon.

The dread....the sense of danger .......even some fear.

One year ago father had a massive stroke.

In 74 days he would be 67 days mother would be dead.

I remember the time leading up to the almost perfect detail.

The uneasy anxious feeling I had when I woke up.

Arriving late at work.

Norm, one of the employees, dropping by my office to say, "Your husband is trying to find you."

I remember how the news of my dad's stroke sounded new but very old.

The fear that something catastrophic would happen to one of my parent's has been sitting inside me and waiting for years.

I remember walking into the book store's office and saying to a flat voice. "My father's had a stroke....I have to leave."

I tidied my desk and straightened my chair, knowing I would never sit there again to work.

The plane ride, the calls to people, the messages to the kids....and then the hospital.

Quiet and dark....close to midnight.....the ICU doors swinging open to my fate.

Where is he? Where is he?



Dad. Dad.

I'm here.

I grabbed his hand and kissed him on the forehead.

His eyes opened. His eyebrows arched in surprise. His blue eyes had a bit of twinkle.

Dad. Dad. Dad.

He tried to speak but couldn't. He pulled my hand to his lips and kissed me.

For 74 days we would do this over and over again.

Dad. Dad....I would plead.....and he would grab my hand and kiss me.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Not your normal southern landscape

This is a rare view out my kitchen window.......

and the snow hasn't all.....

it may be a drop in the bucket in comparison to the East Coast....Snowmeggedon

but this amount of snow is a big deal for us.....

the weathermen completely missed this storm.....

so most of city didn't have a chance to rush to the grocery store for BREAD AND MILK..... a southern tradition.....which begins as soon as the "S" word forms on the weathermen's lips

it's not known what happens to southerners without BREAD AND MILK for 24 hours.....

but I'm sure it ain't pretty.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

My first hair bump....

I couldn't help myself....
as soon as I got the Sarah Palin bump on my head.....
I started winking.....

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Getting ready for a "To Do" with a "Do"

Man...I'm a little nervous....I'm attending a big function tonight....and I'm wearing the proverbial "little black dress."

I decided to do something different and I'm heading off in a few minutes to the hair salon....for a "Do." I'm going to have them put my hair up.

I am embarrassed to admit this...but I'm also going to ask them to give me a little bit of a Sarah Palin "bump" (as in hair bump....caused by teasing) ....yikes.

I hope I don't see Russian from my back yard when I come home.

While gathering my purse etc.....I took a break and read the NY Times online and saw an article about the new Louis Vitton purses that just came out.

They're made from garbage bags? (really)

And they cost $2000.00

Nope .....your eyes didn't play a trick on you.

Two thousand dollars.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

They done him wrong....

One of the most difficult challenges I face in my having a developmentally disabled son.

I have cried till my eyes were swollen shut....and felt ready to explode into tiny pieces because my psyche filled with so much pain and despair for the trouble and suffering he goes through...and for his obvious yearning to be just a regular guy.

Why him? Why him? The question can beat like a drum in your head....yet there's never an answer.

When he was little.....I've fought for him like a mother tiger at times....against systems and bureaucracies that wouldn't treat him fairly or give him a chance....and at other times I've closed my eyes and looked away because I just couldn't handle dealing with one more problem or situation.

Things have quieted down now that he is a young man ....although he has numerous challenges ...he drives a car (a little) and held a full time job working in food service for part of a big company here in town.

He was very proud of being employed and like buying his own DVD's or splurging on a huge bag of chips and soda...which Mom and Dad wouldn't buy for him. The job gave him an enormous sense of pride and self-esteem.

This fall he was fired from that job. We didn't know he was in trouble.....he was so proud that he worked for this big name company in town...he hid his counseling records. Two or three weeks after he was terminated we discovered he wasn't "let go because they were laying people off" but because of poor job performance.

Then the big organization that he worked organization which prides itself on Christian compassion....checked off a box on a he would be denied unemployment compensation. They checked the box "misconduct" and so he is entitled to no monetary help during this time and must look for future employment with this label applied to him.

By definition, misconduct, in a legal sense, means someone intentionally, willfully and with indifference to consequences does something that would harm their employer best interest in the workplace.

Applying this to my son is the equivalent of saying a one-legged man gets fired from his job because he didn't walk quick enough. Yes....maybe the one legged-man didn't do a good job because speed was needed....but do you say this man willfully and intentionally didn't walk quick enough? or do you say there's a preponderance of evidence that he couldn't physically walk quickly....because he was missing a leg....and there's good reason to believe that's why he didn't perform well in speed-walking....because he couldn't versus he stood there and thought hmmmm ....I'll walk slowly.

My son may have made mistakes at work.....but it wasn't intentional and premeditated.......especially when I can present a face sheet with about 14 different areas of developmental problems.

So hub and I went for to a hearing challenge the term misconduct...and present the case that underlying physical and mental problems were part of the reason he didn't do well in his job.....and he did not fit the label of being intentionally negligent...his actions were not premedidated....he like the one-legged man....had limitations...and that was a significant part of why he didn't perform well. We weren't asking for his job back....just the removal of the label and small unemployment compensation.

Three minutes into the meeting.... I looked at my hub.....and shook my head.....obviously our case was totally out maneuvered by savvy corporate human resource people.

My husband and I aren't disability lawyers ... and we got screwed. When I got home...I doubled checked a few things the human resource person said...and it was wrong...but I didn't know enough to challenge it. I don't even have to wait for the was obvious. The full weight of this big corporation was going to make sure a very small unemployment payment to my son would be withheld and the label remained firmly in place thus hindering his employment in the future.

It just broke my heart ...for the thousandth time.

And one person from the corporation lied......someone I previously admired......she look down at her hands, was asked a question....and didn't tell the truth. My mouth dropped open and I looked her straight in the eyes when she looked up.....she turned ten shades of red but she did not recant.

Truth can be totally outfoxed by people who have an agenda.

My hub said ...let it go. We can see if we can find another job for him....and we will be more savvy this time and make sure they can't pull the rug from under him.'s just not right ..and that's what nags at me. And if the company can do this to people...with a support system in place.....what happens when it's done to someone with no back up and resources?

So tomorrow I will call and talk to a savvy person at a help center.....

I will appeal......

I do not want to do this....but in all honestly....I can not not do this.

Monday, February 01, 2010

One of those evenings....

It was one of those evenings when my psyche hit the wall.

Where I sat down in a comfy chair....piled on a couple of blankets...and just dithered aimlessly on the net....checking Facebook...reading the NY Times...just clicking on stories and stuff with no real purpose. to-do list is now twice as long...and I'm going to have to focus on it.

I admit that once in a while....I get a little's like my guard goes down...and all kinds of things nibble at me....will my parent's house close or will the deal fall through? is something seriously wrong with my tummy or is it a nothing? will I get a chance to write down and organize all the papers and things I brought from my parent's house?

The last anxiety....will I remember and be a proper historian is making me real anxious lately........sometimes I feel like a human time me there are two generation of parents...and two sets of grandparents...and because I am an only child from a small family......their memories are all inside my head....if I don't write them down soon....their lives...their memories could be lost.

I never realized it was such a responsibility....yet I've noticed not every family seems to worry about whether or not those memories are lost....but I do....I'm worried I won't have time or something will happen to me and those stories won't get written...then my children and their children....won't ever know where about the people they are from.

Perhaps it's an anxiety only a writer worries about....not that I am such a good writer....but I know stories and I know lose and I know how death wipes the slate clean....and if you don't record the stories someplace.....they're gone...and permanently.

You can copy a birth certificate or some immigration paper and put it in your file to tell document the facts about a member of your family.....but if you don't write down memories...if you don't write down how they laughed or what they loved....the most important part of them is gone.