Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tristan & Isolde

I've always had a fascination with the Arthurian Legends. So much so that I took a literature course in college all about it. I've got several books on my shelf that I have not touched in years. Now there is a movie coming out, Tristan & Isolde. It was probably one of my favorite legends when I studied it in school. Yes, I am a girl and yes, I am a hopeless romantic! Despite that, I'm not a huge chick flick kinda gal. I almost never seek them out in the movie theatres, but might catch them on HBO or occasionally pay-per-view. But this one I think I will go to the movies to see. Something to look forward to!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

It's 3AM, Go Back to Bed--PLEASE!

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner with my parents yesterday. Even though we'll see them at my in-laws house later today, we exchanged gifts with them. Steven spent much of the afternoon as he did the first Christmas we were together, with his nose buried in a Calvin & Hobbes book, only this time, it's the full treasury box set. It weighs a ton and my dad was convinced he'd give himself a hernia carrying it into the house. Not something you'd want to drop on your foot or the cat for sure!

After working in the kitchen for most of the day, putting on a nice grilled beef tenderloins, Paula Deen's Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes and asparagus dinner (with Christmas cookies for dessert), and just generally getting the house ready for Christmas, I was totally exhausted last night. I was in bed by 8:30 PM. I read a mystery novel for a bit and then conked out by 9:00 PM!

Then I was awoken at 3:00 AM to the sounds of a certain small person, "Oh my goodness! Santa's been! Mummy! Daddy! Wake up! Santa's been here and you should see all the presents under the tree and our stockings have stuff in them!!!!" I love my boy, but not so much at 3:00 AM out of a dead sleep. We convinced him to go back to bed and get some more sleep. That lasted for 2 hours. At 5:00 AM he started in on his stocking and we again told him to go back to bed--PLEASE! There was no escaping his excitement at 7:00 AM.

So we've opened all of our presents, I have made Monkey Bread for our Christmas morning treat and now both Steven & J are assembling their Ferrari F1 Lego sets (yes, they each got one--gotta love boys!). I'm sitting here debating a third cup of tea. Being woken every couple of hours through the night is taking it's toll on me this morning. I'm also anxious to get my iPod from my in-laws, as Steven bought me the iPod camera attachment, so I'll be able to back up our vacation pictures when we go to Aruba. Wah-hoo!

We'll pop around to my in-laws house with cake, shrimp stuffed potatoes and cookies this afternoon. Can't wait to see our sweet little niece, who was kind enough to bring her mommy & daddy up from New Jersey with her this morning!

Merry Christmas friends!

PS: I should add that Steven went to the scrapbook store in Grafton and got me several things that I didn't have and are way cool. What a good boy he is.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Life Dreams

Last night I was watching the History Channel about Stonehenge. I am so glad that Steven & I went there in 1998. It got me thinking about Life Dreams. That was a dream fulfilled. I'm pretty impressed with that by 36 I have fulfilled a number of life dreams. I have

- Walked around the stones of Stonehenge
- Ridden in a hot air balloon (twice!)
- Climbed the pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico (easier said than done)
- Swam with dolphins (that dream is partially fulfilled, I want to do that one again)
- Seen Faberge Easter eggs

I still have a number of other life dreams to fulfill, among them are:

- See the pyramids of Giza
- Tour St. Petersburg, Russia
- Take a train ride across the U.S.
- Learn to speak Russian

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Tagged!

Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Hot chocolate--Land O Lakes makes one called Chocolate Supreme. Good stuff!

Does Santa wrap the presents or just set them under the tree? Santa wraps his presents in paper with Santa Claus' on them. Non-Santa presents are wrapped in non-Santa wrap.

Colored or white lights on the tree/house? Colored, white is BORING!

Do you hang mistletoe? No, I always worry the cat will get it and eat it. She's not that bright after all.

When do you decorate? Normally Thanksgiving weekend, but this year I didn't get to it until last week.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Beef tenderloin with twice baked potatoes.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? We almost always spent Christmas on the Cape with my Nana & Grandad. Sometimes my Aunt Val-Val and cousin Susie would be there. One year it was 72 degrees (highly unusual for Massachusetts in December), so my aunt & I walked down to the beach. We sang Christmas carols off key, collected shells and umm, "borrowed" an evergreen branch from one of Nana's neighbors. We put it in a pot of soil, hung the shells and put tinsel on it. Then I had it in my bedroom to decorate my room down the Cape.

How and when did you learn the truth about Santa? No clue.

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? Steve & I usually open one, a DVD and watch that together.

What kind of cookies do you set out for Santa on Christmas Eve? My spritz cookies.

Snow! Love it or hate it? I hate the mess it makes, but to look at it makes me happy.

Can you ice skate? I haven't in years, but I used to when I was a little kid.

Do you remember your favorite gift? My gold Celtic cross that my parents gave me the Christmas that I was pregnant w/ DS. Mummy designed it for both my dad and I.

What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with our families.

What’s your favorite holiday dessert? My homemade cookies.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Spending time with our families.

What type of tree? Live of course!

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Both honestly!

What is your favorite Christmas Carol? "Silent Night"

Candy Canes, YUCK or YUM? The first few licks, YUM. After that, YUCK.

Now I tag Stephanie and Karen.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Light a Candle for Meghan


It's been almost a year since Meghan Agnes Beck left our circle of friends that is like family to us. Next Sunday, December 11th, there will be a candle lighting ceremony to honor those children who have been called home to Heaven. Please join me from 7-8PM and light a candle for this little angel.

For more information on Meghan's story, please visit Meghan's Hope.

God bless you and yours this holiday season.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bono Here I Come!!!!!!


OH-MA-GAWD! I'm going to U2 on Sunday. We had only one General Admission ticket for the show. Originally this year I was supposed to see them in May with Steven, but then I got really sick and couldn't go. So instead of 1 spare ticket, we had 2 for that show. He swapped them for our October tickets. Somehow he ended up with a single ticket for the upcoming show and he even offered to let me go on my own. My problem is I have panic attacks in crowds of people. If Steven is with me, then I can reach over for him or have him talk me down. The thought of a concert by myself is an impossibility right now. So I said, "No dear. You go. I'll stay home." Well gosh darn it all if our friend Paul didn't discover he had a spare general admission ticket for the same show! So about 72 hours from now I'll be standing on the floor of the Bank North Garden being showered with red and silver confetti as the first few notes of "City of Blinding Lights" whips the crowd into a frenzy. And this time, I'm bringing my camera!!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thankful


As Thanksgiving draws to a close, I want to share what I am thankful for with the world.

I am thankful for....

...my husband
...my son
...my parents
...my other parents (a/k/a my in-laws)
...my sister-in-law, her husband and their daughter
...my cousins, aunts and uncle
...my dear friends

These were taken today. The first one is my little niece & I. The second was the cousins.




Friday, November 18, 2005

I've Been Tagged

Edited on Saturday morning as I see Amanda tagged me as well. Amanda, mine's in threes, hope that's okay.

My friend Sarah tagged me:


3 names you go by:
1. Jenn
2. Mummy

3. Jemmy


3 parts of your heritage
1. English
2. Irish

3. That's it, I am those 2 things only.


3 things that scare you
1. Being out on the open water
2. Bees

3. Heights


3 Everyday essentials
1. Tea
2. Digestive biscuit w/ my tea
3. Time on my computer while drinking my first cup of tea

3 things you are wearing right now
1. Slippers
2. LL Bean black knit pants (1 of about 1/2 dozen pairs)
3. Socks from the Sock Shop in England

3 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)
1. U2
2. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

3. Brian Setzer Orchestra

3 favorite songs (at the moment)
1. Sometimes You Can't Make it On your Own - U2
2. Pon de Replay - Rhiannon

3. Fever - Peggy Lee


3 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex)
1. Eyes
2. Voice

3. Hands


3 of your favorite hobbies
1. Scrapbooking
2. Rubber Stamping

3. Collecting vintage View-Masters and VM reels


3 places you want to go on vacation
1. Walt Disney World
2. England

3. St. Petersburg, Russia


3 things you want to do before you die
1. Go to St. Petersburg, Russia and be able to converse in Russian
2. Swim with dolphins again and as often as possible

3. Kiss my husband at the top of the Eiffel Tower

3 things you are thinking about now
1. Getting DS on the school bus
2. Going to DS's school this afternoon to volunteer for a party
3. Going out with DH on a date tonight

3 stores you shop at
1. Borders Books
2. A Time for Memories in Grafton
3. Target

I tag Jenny next.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Matrix


Okay, so I realize that I am like 6 years late in seeing the first of these movies in one sitting. I've long been a Keanu Reeves fan, yet I've never had the will to sit and watch them (probably because I've always managed to walk in on a DVD or TV showing at a gross part and I can't handle gross). But lordy, is the gorgeous Mr. Reeves a hottie in these movies (other than all the plugs and stuff all over his body, especially down his spine).

Last weekend Steve suggested we watch The Matrix. Sounds good. Oh my goodness! I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see Matrix Reloaded, the problem was it was 11:00PM and time for bed. So Tuesday night we watched Reloaded. I'm really hoping there is no Thursday Night Football tonight so we can watch Matrix Revolutions.

Hello, my name is Jenn and I am a Keanu Reeves addict.

So who gets your knickers in a twist?

Monday, November 07, 2005

I Don't Hate Monday (At Least Today I Don't)

It's Monday and it's not so bad. Yes, being woken at 4:30 AM by my five-year-old who had had a bad dream and wanted to curl up with us wasn't exactly a great way to start the day, but at least we both fell asleep. Granted, having both paper grocery bags rip open as I put them in the car, is annoying but at least the groceries fell into the car and not under it.

The sun is shining. I've got my errands done. I've almost got the house all straightened out after a weekend of no housework. I got a bunch of pages scrapped over the last couple of days. I've got a crop to look forward to on Saturday at one of my favorite scrapbooking stores.

Yeah, I don't hate Mondays.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Borders Books


We have a Borders bookstore just a five minute drive up the road. That is just a dangerous thing, especially when you've got a 20% off coupon. I stopped in yesterday to pick up the Better Homes & Garden Photography magazine that I had seen the other day when I had no cash on me. Then I started wandering the cookbook section. That's always a dangerous thing for me. Someday when I have a big kitchen with a built-in bookcase for cookbooks, all of my cookbooks can be in one place. One of my favorite cookbook authors is Paula Deen. I love watching her shows on the Food Network. So yesterday a copy of The Lady & Sons, Too! had to come home with me. I've got a copy of her first one, The Lady & Sons and use it all the time. What I love about her recipes is none of them are overly complicated like a Martha Stewart recipe can be, there aren't a ton of exotic ingredients either and the end results always look magnificent and earn rave reviews. She's got a magazine coming out this month and I cannot wait to get my hot little hands on it, I may even have to get a subscription.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Friendship

Today has been "one of those days". You know the kind of day. The kind of day that has some highs and lows. And no matter what the high, the low just sucks the life right out of you and you feel like you can do nothing right. That's the kind of day I had today.

My high was the fact that I submitted a picture to our local CBS affiliate's web site and they used it. Actually, I had submitted 3 of them and they chose my favorite. Even better.

The low is a friendship that is crumbling away. Nothing I do or say is right with this person. I am constantly trying to be supportive and everything I have to offer is misinterpreted or is the wrong thing all together (unbeknownst to me). I will be the first to say, I don't even begin to know what she's going through. But I try to be supportive or give her something else to talk about and it's not right either. So I will back away and hope that our friendship bonds were strong enough to begin with that they will survive. I'm feeling so shitty about all this, that I sat here and had a good cry. Usually that helps, but tonight it doesn't.

This on the heels of a friend going through a painful marital separation who has told all of her friends she needs time alone. I can respect that, but this is the same person who said to me when I was at the lowest of my depression last year that you need to lean on friends during such times.

So in the last 2 weeks I've felt like I lost 2 friends. Today my outlook is Life Sucks.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Snow Before Halloween

Yes, we had a smattering of snow yesterday. Unfortunately, none of my pictures came out as it never snowed heavy enough for my camera to pick up the flakes coming down.

The damp weather curtailed Steven's time down at Thompson Speedway yesterday, but the weather is cooperating today and off he went with our Canon 20D, a little cooler packed with food and his spectating racing gear. This is the last regular event of the season before the winter break. Suffice to say, he's excited about going. He's got a number of friends who also attend and they usually all hang out together watching the various racing events. It's what he loves to do and he's always very sad when the season ends and April always seems so far away for him.

Gratitudes for Sunday, October 30th:
- Steven gets to spend his time down at Thompson today
- J's utter delight at the old box of Legos we gave him this morning
- The shining sun today
- My family and my friends
- The smell of autumn being such a wonderful smell

Friday, October 28, 2005

Gratitudes for Friday 10/28/2005

part of my daily blog entry will be gratitudes. Feel free to add your own in the comment section.

Today I am grateful for:

- J's fever finally breaking in the middle of the night
- Mum bringing me a loaf of warm bread from the market to have sliced & buttered with my tea
- Steven for telling me we are stronger than we've ever been in the face of a huge marital breakup of friends of ours
- SIL & BIL's best friends, Jules and Michael who are getting married tonight
- Sudoku puzzles that help me wind my day down and I'm convinced help me fall asleep better
- That no one was hurt when a sinkhole opened up on a street near us

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

And it's you when I look in the mirror
And it's you that makes it hard to let go
Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it
The best you can do is to fake it
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

I've seen U2 twenty times now. Yes, I am still going on about the U2 concert, over two weeks later I am still on about it. Their song, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb has been haunting me since the show. The show itself, other than being bloody brilliant was a very emotional one for me on several levels. First we were able to get into the Ellipse just after the lights went down. Suffice to say I spent "City of Blinding Lights" bawling my eyes out, partially due to emotion and mostly due to adrenaline. We settled in and then Bono started talking about his father, who died a few years back. Then he launched into "Sometimes". He stood a mere few feet away from me on the Ellipse ramp, his emotion in the song was raw, he was so into the the words and emotions as he sang. It hit me like Big Papi hitting a homerun for my beloved Red Sox. Tears started coursing down my face and I found myself thinking back to six years ago this month. I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant and then devastated when I miscarried at the beginning of Week 8. Now granted, ten days after my miscarriage, I found out that I was still pregnant and J is our miracle. But I found myself missing our lost son or daughter. And my aunt Val-Val. She died just after I turned 19. That's a whole other blog entry for another day. My child and my aunt pervaded my soul like the song did. I felt their presence in my heart so heavily that night. I know that Val-Val was there to greet my child when he or she made her way to Heaven. Ironically, J was born on Val-Val's birthday, as Nana had said he would. I can't help but think that things happen for a reason. The song hit me so hard and has haunted me every day since. At first, I was sad; but now think that a song like that has so many meanings for so many people. What a blessing something like that is. To be able to reach so many people and so many emotions through a song. Yes, music is truly a blessing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thoughts and Prayers

Today my thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Taunton, Massachusetts. Currently the whole downtown area is closed down, schools are closed and 2,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes. This in response to a dam that has the potential of failure. I've got the news on and the engineer who works for the private owner of the dam has said some pressure has been relieved because of an increase in the flow of water. Please keep the town of Taunton in your thoughts and prayers today that everyone, from citizens to National Guardsmen to city officials will be safe.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Lovely Weekend

Saturday was spent with friends at an all day crop. I got there a little before 10AM in the POURING RAIN, unloaded all my gear with thanks to my friend Paula and her trusty umbrella. Sat my butt in a chair and continued to work on our Disney album from last year's trip. I say album, but when all is said and done, it will actually be 3 albums, one album for every 2 days. Yes, truly sad and pathetic. but it is all important to us, so that's that! By the time I left the crop, just before 9PM, I thought there was something wrong with my vision. What were those twinkly things and that big round bright thing in the sky? I remember seeing something about stars and the moon, on that show Cosmos I think a long time ago. Sidenote: Set my Tivo to record the rebroadcasts of Cosmos!.

Sunday was an odd day in that it vascillated between clear, bright and sunny to dark, cloudy and threatening rain. And the wind was blowing between those two something fierce. We took a little road trip over to A Time for Memories in Grafton to replace my copy of Simple Scrapbooks magazine that had been soaked with milk by accident a few nights ago. And was I ever excited when they told me my Designing with 2006 calendar had come in. Woo-hoo!

The rest of Sunday was low key and involved a home cooked meal, some end of weekend tidying up of the chaos a family of three can create and then a good night's sleep.

Today the weather is still quite lovely and it is wonderful to have windows open all over the house. I had the motivation to clean out the hall closet. Old expired medicines, empty packages, etc. tossed out. Reorganized the rest of it. I love a project like that. It gets worse before it gets better, but when done, you just keep going back to look at what you accomplished.

Today is also our 13th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it two weeks ago the night we went out to see U2. So tonight we'll celebrate with J as well as Steve's folks at our favorite Japanese restaurant here in town.

One final thing, Steven found a picture from the U2 concert and managed to find us in the picture. He labeled us and the band.


Yes, we were inside the Ellipse and yes, we were that close. The ramp just to the right of us is where Bono stood quite a few times that evening, just a mere 3 feet away from us. Suffice to say life was really good that night!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Local Scrapbook Stores

My cousin, Susie, lives in upper New York state. We get to see each other two, maybe three (if we're lucky), times a year. About a month and a half ago, we planned for her to come out and visit us for an overnight visit.

Like me, she is a scrapbooker and stamper. For some time she's been trying to turn her guest bedroom into a multi-purpose room; keep it as a guest bedroom, but also turn it into a space for scrapping and stamping so she can have easy access to her supplies and take advantage of being able to leave things out to steal a few minutes scrapping. She went to her local scrapbook store and looked at storage options. One thing she came up with was the Cropper Hopper Paper Tote and Cart. I've got one of these totes sitting on my floor. Admittedly more often than not, I pile project boxes on top of it, thus negating it's usability. We got talking about the Tote and Cart. She asked me if I had either and I said just the tote. She then suggested that she could give me the cart for my Christmas present this year if I wanted one. I jumped at the offer. Susie went back to her local scrapbook store and ordered one tote for her and two carts, one for each of us. This was back on September 10th. She was told, it would be in within 10 business days. She called on September 28th (more than 10 business days later) and was told, "Oh that didn't get ordered yet. We'll order it and put a rush on it." The day before her trip out, she called again and was told, "It's on order." She told them that didn't do her a lot of good for the recipient of one of the carts since she was travelling out of state to deliver it during a family visit. This morning she stopped in the store and was told that the owner was not available for at least a week and she handles all that. So my cousin asked if she could cancel the order because after 30 days of being brushed off, she felt it had never been ordered. Amazingly her money was instantly refunded. The woman working snapped at her, "I need to see your frequent buyer card." Now understandably, she shouldn't get the purchasing punches for something she's gotten refunded. The sensible thing would be to count off the punches, pull out a new card and punch for everything she had on the card except the tote & cart purchases. Nope, the employee ripped up the card and told my cousin to have a nice day in a snotty tone. So, my cousin went across the road to Michael's, bought one cart and tote for a lot less money. She said she went in not knowing if they even carried these products, found a helpful staff member who showed her what she wanted, offered to take it up to the register so she wouldn't have to carry it around while she shopped and pleasantly checked her out. She'll go online to order a cart for me and have it direct shipped to me.

Now another twist showing the disparity that some scrapbook stores do or don't get customer service. When Susie was here last week, we naturally hit the store near me. They keep their customer purchase cards on file. They remembered her from a visit well over a year ago, asked her if she had a card. Her reply, "No, I let Jennifer have it written on her card." So they asked her if she wanted to have a card for this visit, again my cousin said no thanks put it on Jennifer's card. Of course, when we went back the next morning for something she "had to" have they said the same thing, but were happy to put it on my card. This is my "home" store and they are good people there. They were happy to do whatever the customer wanted.

I am a firm believer in supporting the little guy. I hate Michael's and Wal-Mart because of their predatory business practices. My Michael's is horrible and I avoid it like the plague. As a result of attitude and mucking about, the store that my cousin tried to shop with has lost all her business. I just don't get it that they aren't bending over backwards in the fight against giant corporations like Michael's and Wally-World.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Today has been one of those days and that day started at 3:30 in the morning when we thought a wild animal had gotten into the house. A strange sound woke me up out of a dead sleep, who then woke Steven up out of a dead sleep. So we got J up and then we headed into our bedroom, closing the door to keep everyone in the bedroom and anything outside out of the bedroom. Steve got up at regular time with a big flashlight and investigated the basement, nothing there. Must have been something outside that we heard. Great! Then I can't get the TV setup to work in the living room. Not the end of the world that J has no TV, but aggravating nonetheless. Then I talk to Mum and her car is dead and she's waiting for AAA to come tow her car. This means me going and picking her up and us following the tow truck to the dealership. Not earth shattering, just aggravating and not how we planned to spend our day off from school. Oh and it's pouring down rain something fierce, which precludes doing something outside like going to the playground.

If' you've read my kvetch this far, thank you. It's Monday and like the Boomtown Rats, I hate Mondays.

Stupid Monday

AGGGGH!!! I give up.
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