Monday, August 28, 2006

Finally!


It's taken 8 months, 3 karate tests (should have been 4) and LOTS of sore muscles, but I FINALLY broke a board during Saturday's karate test for my yellow belt! Sensei had me start back at the beginning of board break testing, Hammer Fist Vertical strike. It took 3 times, but that third time was a charm and I did it! I doubt that I will have any more problems with that again!

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Quilt!


Last Friday I picked up my finished quilt. My first quilt (and most likely, not my last!).

What started out as this was magically transformed into this:







Suffice to say I am thrilled that I could make a nice quilt.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

It's Awful to Say, But Thank Goodness....

Last Friday there was an incredible thunder & lightning storm here in central Massachusetts. After it passed my parents called to say they were okay, but a tree in their next door neighbor's house was hit by lightning and they went out of their chairs when they heard it. The problem was it was a 90' tree and could fall on either it's owners house or my parents. Dad spoke with his neighbor and the neighbor said not only were they dealing with that, but all the electronics in their house had blown out when the lightning struck and their TV set had blown up. Yikes! But he promised he'd have the tree taken out. This morning Mum & Dad noticed that a tree company was over giving it all a once over for an estimate. This afternoon, a wind struck up and my parents heard another loud noise. They looked out the window to see most of the tree had fallen on the neighbor's roofline and most of his back deck.

Naturally, being curious creatures, we rushed right over. I couldn't help but stand there and think, "Thank goodness the wind was not blowing towards my parents house, otherwise it could have been their master bedroom anihilated by that pine tree." Then we talked with the neighbors parents who are visiting from Canada. She said another half an hour and her son would have been out on the deck grilling up their dinner. Instead, they were looking to get take-out for the night.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And Now For The Utterly Inane

J spent the last 2 weeks taking daily swim lessons at the local YMCA. It's a half hour long class and since I'm not a member, I can't go walk the track or on the treadmill. Thus I am forced to sit in the lobby and listen to the inane chatter around me. If there was ever something that would send me over the edge to start binge drinking it might be if I had to spend more than a half hour sitting there listening the most ridiculous of conversations and observing the sociology class that is a typical soccer/swim mom and her offspring.

There is so much fodder in my brain on this, I may have to select just my favorites and reserve the rest for another time.

Musing #1: It doesn't matter how sing-songy you make your voice towards your darling little cherub as they are beating another child over the head. They aren't going to listen to you if you make it sound like Mary Poppins singing "A Spoonful of Sugar". Trust me, they will continue to bludgeon their playmate.

Musing #2: After dropping off your child at the swimming pool, you are supposed to exit the area via one of the locker rooms, not the emergency exit with the sign telling you exit via the emergency exit. Ergo, you have NO RIGHT to complain that the chlorine has corroded the metal door and that you'll get rust smears on your white pants as you butt your way out the door to herd your other children out of the pool area.

Musing #3: The lifeguard is really serious when he tells you to stop your child while they are running around the pool area, despite the numerous signs that clearly state in large red letters, "NO RUNNING!"

Musing #4: The whole lobby does not need to hear how you and your diet buddy are doing eating 2 ounces of chicken, a quarter of a potato and a HUMONGOUS salad for dinner and then wonder why half an hour later you are starving and wanting to eat all the ice cream treats you bought for the kids. And further more, it is amazing how a grown woman can make herself look utterly ridiculous wearing a cropped Hello Kitty shirt with her hair in two on-top-of-the-head pony tails and her yoga pants because "she's going to go work out on the treadmill for two hours" while her kids are in the Child Watch.

All that said, I'm off to the YMCA to sign J up for day camp for a week next month. The one saving grace, I can drop him at 9AM and leave the facility until 4PM. The inane is avoidable.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Thank you to all of our American servicemen and servicewomen, whether you are stationed abroad or here at home. You are all wonderful, valuable people. Thank you for loving your country enough to protect it. God Bless you all for protecting our independence.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The UPS Man is My New Best Friend

Today was just one of those great days to see Big Brown pull up outside Casa de Owen. Not only did he have my Stampin' Up! 2006-2007 Catalog & Idea Books, but also my SU order for my June hostess club and the books that I ordered. Suffice to say, it was a good day and I gave the UPS guy the biggest smile he'd seen today (he said so!). Now I'm in that post-catalog-review haze. My brain is swirling with ideas. I'm trying to figure out what I want to order on Saturday when I can place an order. Oh such a dilemma to have (and Steve & J will be off getting J a haircut, so I'll have the house to myself when I place my order!!!)!!!!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Aghast

My in-laws keep their boat in a boatyard in Tiverton, RI during the winter. It's taken out of the water and shrink wrapped for the winter, then put back in the water for the spring. Once it goes in the water, they keep it at that marina for a couple of weeks for repairs, cleaning, etc. Once the nice weather comes, they cross the Narragansett Bay to their home marina in Wickford. This year, they were in a slip next to a sailboat named Free Spirit. Aboard were four people, three Englishmen and a young woman we would find out was from Newport, RI. Jonathan had fun talking with Molly and Jack (one of the younger men). The spent time talking with him and told him about their world trip that would continue as the better weather arrived. That was early May. This past Friday we had the noon news on when we heard about a sailboat that had left Newport only days before was being searched for by the Coast Guard. Steven & I looked at each other and said, "Naw. It couldn't be those people." Sadly it has turned out to be the very ones. Jonathan told us after we left that day back in May, that he had a crush on Molly because she was pretty and nice.

Apparently the Free Spirit was caught up in the stormy waters that Tropical Depression Alberto had created in the Atlantic Ocean, as it came north. The captain called his step-daughter on the satellite phone to say they needed help. That was Wednesday and the search began with U.S. and Canadian coast guards. This afternoon, the rescue search was called off after no sign of the Free Spirit or her crew.

We're aghast at the realization that we met these people, spent an afternoon chatting with them and now they are all gone at Mother Nature's hands.

Rest in peace
Molly Finn, 19
Jack Bielecki, 19
Jacek Bielecki, 56
Richard White, 34

Your families and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

An ACK! And a mea culpa!!!!

As my dear friend Kathy just pointed out to me, I have forgotten my favorite Irishman! So he gets a blog entry all his own. Please forgive me U2 frontman!

BONO

I am a bad, bad party girl.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Fantasy Men

There are too many of them to be on my "List" a la Friends, but here's my list (in the only fair way I can think of, so no one man is slighted over another, alphabetically) of gorgeous men that I wouldn't throw out of bed for eating crackers:

  • Christian Bale
  • Benjamin Bratt
  • Don Cheadle
  • Sean Connery
  • John Cusack
  • Patrick Dempsey
  • Johnny Depp
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jesse L. Martin
  • Matthew McConnaghey
  • Brad Pitt
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Rick Springfield
  • Patrick Stewart
  • Jason Thompson
  • Chow Yun-Fat

Monday Musings

  • School is almost out.
  • The once sunny day is clouding up.
  • I'm getting through all the laundry.
  • I saw an awesome picture of Brad Pitt today.
  • Tomorrow night I'm going to the movies with my friend Trish to see X-Men 3 (again).
  • We saw Cars at the movies yesterday (go see it!).
  • We had a wonderful rib dinner at a friend's house last night with ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
  • Another week and I'll be back at my karate classes.
  • Sudoku rules!
  • Five album covers at Goldstamp to be embossed.
  • Bottles of Prima flowers lined up on my shelves make me happy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Fireflies

I like children. And sometimes I don't like them so much. Imagine my surprise as I volunteered every week in J's kindergarten class this school year, that I love being a part of the teaching system. With budget cutbacks, there is not enough in the budget to cover assistant teachers every day. So they have relied more heavily than ever on volunteers. I've truly loved working with these 19 children. As the school year comes to a close, I'm realizing that experience is about to end. I've got one more day in the classroom with them and that's it. I'm feeling a bit sad about that. They are all wonderful little kids, each different in their own way. Some I will cross paths with in the new school, but most I won't. I hope the Fireflies all enjoy their future school experiences as much as I've enjoyed this year.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Life is for the Living

This weekend was a crazy one, yet despite the pressures to put on a kindergarten and a separate family/friends birthday party, it was all good.

My friend Kim spent the weekend with us because of family circumstances. Kim is the one whose daughter, Meggie died 18 months ago. Despite it, Kim is a tower of strength. She is now a child safety advocate and is trying to get a bill passed in the U.S. House (
H.R. 1861 The Katie Elise and Meghan Agnes Act). Her outlook on daily living is so different from what it once was, understandably so. We spent much of our time laughing and giggling about silly things, but we also talked about Meggie. Kim shared things with me about the day Meggie died that I never asked about, but was always curious. Kim also spent time talking with my son, who turned 6 on Sunday. He was only 4-1/2 when Meggie died and he's never truly understood what it means when a friend dies. They apparently had a really good talk about it all. Saturday night after a long day of birthday parties and he was in bed, we talked about Meggie and all that has happened as a result. Kim told me every detail of that horrible day in their lives. I sat and cried as she spoke. At one point she asked me if it was too hard for me to hear and I said no. It was hard, but I needed to hear it. As her friend and as a mother, I needed to understand her pain.

Before we went to bed in the early morning hours we hugged one last time. She is one of my oldest friends and we've both had our ups and downs with our relationship--as can be the case with any friendship. What a blessing that some twenty-three years, marriages, children, the death of one of those children, we are still together. What a gift life is that we can enjoy it together. Life truly is for the living through happiness and sadness.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Woozy, woozy

That's how I feel right now. Woozy, woozy. Cold medicine is a wonderful thing when you have a cold. It may not take care of your symptoms, but heck, you don't care any more. I'm off to Never Neverland!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Scrappin' the Day Away!

Now just imagine my title set to Chubby Checker's "Twistin' the Night Away!" song and you've now got the soundtrack of my day. I did actually do some domestic stuff like clean the kitchen and run a load of laundry (just not the two other loads waiting in the que). I love days like this when ideas just flow! I've got a bunch of pages done and cannot wait for my Mum to stop in tomorrow so I can show her what my day produced! It's the simple things in life that amuse me. Sad, but true.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rain, rain go away!

I think it is safe to say WE ARE ALL SICK OF THIS BLOODY RAIN. I feel bad for the school teachers who are cooped up with the kids with no outdoor recess because of it. Suffice to say, I'm not totally looking forward to volunteering today because they are all going to be insane little kids today. I just know it.

I feel bad for Mama Robin in the tree next to our door. She spends most of her time with her wings spread out over the nest trying to keep her 4 babies dry. Not an easy job, but then again, what mother's job is? Rather than flying off the nest when we go out, she just looks at us as though to say, "Can't you please do something about this?" Suffice to say on Sunday anytime we crossed the threshold, we told her what a good mama she was and wished her a Happy Mother's Day. A little crazy, but that's what the rain does to you after this long (it's either that or grow gills).

Peace, love and sunshine (eventually) to you all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Five Things

I've seen this on several blogs and it looked fun:

5 things:

In my fridge
1. Mum's mince beef to have for lunch tomorrow
2. Simply Smart Milk
3. Stop & Shop yogurt
4. Beer, most of which is Steve's, 2 bottles are for me to have shandy's
5. Leftovers that really need to be quarantined

In my closet (office)
1. Secret stash of NASCAR little cars for J
2. Several antique View-Master viewers
3. Two Spirograph sets that I won off Ebay
4. Tote bags & purses (too many to admit to)
5. My mumm's antique Singer sewing machine that I will use to make my quilt

In my purse
1. Sudoku book
2. Wallet
3. My life, I mean my iPaq
4. My Ipod (what is with my I-gadgets man?)
5. Epinephrine pen in case I am stung by a bee

In my car
1. Ipod adapter
2. Pack of tissues
3. Pump bottle of hand sanitizer
4. Two afghans
5. An emergency hammer

On my TiVo
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. E/R
3. General Hospital
4. Top Chef
5. Tonight's series finale of The West Wing (that I cried through the whole hour)

Off to the land of Nod now. Happy Mothers Day (well, for the next 24 minutes anyway) to all the Mothers in my life.

Peace out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

First Quilt Project

Like I don't have enough to do what with scrapbooking, running my Stampin' Up! business and being a SAHM, I've decided to try my hand at quilting.

Last Saturday, I was waiting to meet my friends Kathy & Deb at Right at Home Scrapbooking. There is a quilt shop in the same plaza, called Quilter's Stash. There was a pretty pink, white & green quilt in the window that caught my eye. Now I will admit, I've gone in before to browse. They almost always have an exhibition of quilts in the back room that I love to ogle. But this little quilt drew me in. It was downhill from there. I bought the pattern book, and a bundle of fat quarters. After studying the pattern book, I decided to go ahead and do it. Here is the pattern:


Monday I went to a local quilt shop and bought 2 more fat quarters, border and backing fabrics, as well as the tools necessary to make a quilt. Aren't these colors great?


The large piece of the yellow fabric will be the backing and the dark purple will provide the infrastructure borders and quilt borders.

Yup, I need another project don't I?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hot Chocolate in April

I'm sitting here waiting for Steve to get back from fetching his parents from the airport. They've been in Florida visiting friends for the last 10 days. The weather today was so lovely, but now it feels chilly. The thermometer says it's 35 and I am sitting here sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. It's making me sleepy and I'm thinking Steve will be treated to trying to fall asleep while I snore for a change (it's usually the other way around). But there is just something wonderful about sipping hot chocolate late at night. It just relaxes me and gives me that chocolate fix that I've been trying to dodge all day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Springtime in New England

I love spring. I love it for so many reasons, not the least of which is the smell of the air. While the chilly temperatures are trying to dissuade me that it is not spring, it really is the second day of spring. A glance out my kitchen window, just now, revealed 23 robins digging for worms in the backyard. My next door neighbors daffodils and crocus are starting to bloom (sadly, mine are not--but that may be because Steven mowed them last year). With a bit of luck later today I'll pop up to the botanic garden to see what spring has yielded there.

I love spring.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Ecclectic Ipod

For those of you who don't know my mummy, she is a technophobe. Slowly we are bringing her--kicking and screaming--into the 21st century (she recently bought a digital camera). But bless her heart, she's willing to at least look at the latest gizmo I had to have, sometimes she'll even go so far as to hold it and try it out. This was the case the other day with my Ipod. I got it for Christmas from my in-laws. Bless there hearts, they don't know how these things work, but they are willing to buy them for us "kids" when they ask us what we want for Christmas.

So I have a 30GB Video Ipod. I love my Ipod. I love being able to sit through waiting times at appointments listening to music I want to hear, rather than lame elevator music hosted by a DJ who sounds like he/she has had way too many Valium to start their day. I love being able to do my grocery shopping with my Ipod keeping me company for much the same reason except now I don't have to hear, "Deli, you have a phone call on Line 4. Dairy, please meet accept delivery at the rear door." Anyway, I digress (I know I do that often, so sue me).

Mum was checking out my Ipod and her response after learning how to browse through it was, "My, you do have ecclectic musical tastes." Yup.

Here is a sample of the musical offerings of my Ipod:

  • Chopin
  • Beastie Boys
  • Metallica
  • U2 (lots of U2, including the last 2 concerts I attended)
  • Sarah Maclachlan
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Prince
  • Beatles
  • Led Zepplin
  • Brian Setzer
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Elvis
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Cowboy Troy (just that chicken song, see Amanda, I've expanded my horizons to country)
  • John Kirby
  • Eminem
  • Georges Bizet
  • Beethoven
  • Don McLean
  • Tribe (a now defunct, but amazing band from Boston)
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Gregorian monks chanting
  • John Coltrane
  • Norah Jones
  • Loreena McKennitt
  • Madeleine Peyroux
  • The Cure
  • Pink Floyd
  • MC Hammer
  • Paul McCartney
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Blind Boys of Alabama
  • LL Cool J
  • Tito Puente
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Duran Duran
  • Etta James
  • White Stripes
  • Morris Day & The Time
  • Isley Brothers
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Tommy Dorsey
  • Ivor Novello
  • Sha-Na-Na
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Toni Basil
  • George Thorogood
  • Mozart (I LOVE Mozart--as said by Gary Oldham in "The Professional")
  • The Animals
  • John Williams (boy can that man do a soundtrack justice)
  • Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • David Bowie
  • Will Smith
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Mel Torme
  • Al Green
  • Ministry
  • Johnny Mathis
  • Sly & The Family Stone
Yes, weird and ecclectic. Light on the country, just that one song because it's one of the few that doesn't make me crazy.

Bad, Bad Blogger!

I've been a bad blogger of late. Life has gotten away from me. I've not returned phone calls, forgotten to reply to emails and sadly, neglected my blog.

So our plans for the weekend to go to New Jersey for our little Sophia's 1st birthday were squashed by J having a very upset tummy on top of his double ear infection. We figured in the end, that the parents of the nearly half a dozen under 6-month-old babies would not thank us if he infected their little ones. Besides, while the Merritt Parkway has a good number of rest stops, I'm sure none of them would have been handy when J needed one "right now!". So we chilled out at home. Such a shame too, as I was feeling rather sassy with my L'Oreal Color Expert Cinnamon Stick hair color & highlights and was looking forward to being in the company of other adults.

One of my favorite movies is on right now, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. My mum took me to see this in high school and it to this day, some twenty-plus odd years later, it still makes me smile and wish I had the courage to ditch school with the finesse that Ferris did. I was a good girl, I never ditched school. Lord I was patheticly good.

That's all for now. The Cosmopolitan that I had is making me nice & sleepy. Love and peace to you all!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Aruba


The reason we were all in Aruba together was to celebrate my mother-in-law, Candy's, 60th birthday. She is the kind of lady that it is impossible to buy anything for, so we agreed with Steven's sister and her husband that we would all take Mom out for a really nice dinner and that Mom was not allowed to pay! Easier said than done. When the check came, Mom tried to get it before we did. Nice try, but this is our treat!




We had taken them to Ruinas del Mar at the Hyatt hotel. The pool and surrounding gardens area are just gorgeous.













The weather was not the best all week and we only had one really nice sunset to photograph. So here are a couple of different views of that lovely evening.















Like I said, our birthday girl is a hard person to buy anything for. My father-in-law, David, arranged for a nice surprise. The national newspapers of Aruba love to do human interest stories. So David arranged for The News to come and interview the whole family. This is a picture of all of us that was on the front page of the paper. Back row, left to right, Me, Steven, David, brother-in-law Pablo. Front row, Jonathan, Candy, sister-in-law (Steven's only and younger sister) Sue who is holding her daughter Sophia.






Grandpa and Jonathan early one morning. Both of them were early risers while the rest of us were lay-abouts!











Grammy bought Jonathan this very cool t-shirt. Indoors it is just a black & white shirt. Once exposed to the UV outside, it turns fun colors. So here is our little scurvy dog pirate. We had brought his pirate eye patch with us, but he had forgotten to bring it outside with us when we took this picture of him!
















Footprints: Mine, Jonathan & Steven












On the Monday, we abandoned the family to go out exploring on our own. Here we are at the California Lighthouse. After that, we drove out to where the Natural Bridge used to be before it collapsed.














We were also fascinated as we drove out to the Natural Bridge that there were little rocks stacked on the ones that Mother Nature had left behind. So I made Steven stop so Jonathan and I could find our own rocks to stack.






One of the things that we worked on while on vacation was teaching our 11-month-old niece, Sophia the concept of SO BIG! She looked at us like we were insane early in the week, but by mid-week she had it down pat. The day after this photo was taken she was looking around, noticing that no one was paying attention to her. So she threw her hands up in the air and of course, several of us responded with "Sophia is SO BIG!" I'm wondering who got trained with this accomplishment.









Here we are, somewhere under the rainbow.













Our little sweet pea!















Me and a Tree Nymph butterfly. This freshly hatched little lady was placed on my hand by Anna from
The Butterfly Farm. She took her very first flight off my fingers after Anna was kind enough to take "our" photo.











Jonathan took advantage of a sleeping Daddy to store his toys so that Sophia wouldn't get them while they were on the floor.








The last time we were in Aruba, the lizards, geckos and iguanas totally freaked me out. This time I approached them with a photographers eye. Steven teased me that I finally embraced my inner iguana. Either way, this guy was way cool.








Like sands through the hourglass, these were the days of my life for a whole week.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Quick Update

Will write more in depth this week--and post the much promised Aruba pictures--but for those who are awaiting my karate test news:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just Plugging Along

Lots of stuff going on lately. Trying to get caught up--still--from vacation. Steve is under my gun to finish editing photos. Really, I promise they will get posted here before J graduates college! I think I finally got all the laundry put away from vacation. Oy vey, my boys go through clothes worse than any girl I know.

Karate. J passed his Orange Minor Stripe belt test on Monday. I am testing for my Orange belt this coming Saturday. If I wasn't nervous enough, I found out in class the other night that I have to break a board--with my hand--holy crap Batman! I'm trying to be very Zen about it. I've been sitting with my Ipod listening to the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack and meditating, picturing myself breaking the board. No problem!

J also finally got elevated from being an Eel to a Stingray for swim lessons. He's been an Eel for ages. But the time spent swimming in the pool and ocean on vacation really paid off and his endurance is there to elevate him. He's very proud of that.

What else? My rubber stamping class for the town's continuing education department never got more than 1 registration, so that was a bust for this time around. We're going to try again later in the spring and I have been brainstorming how to promote the program more. But my Stampin' Up! business has been going really well and there is the potential for this to be my best quarter ever!

In general, tides are turning and shifting for the better as far as life in Casa Owen. It just seems like things are much brighter and a tad easier. Guess the addage, "Everything happens for a reason," is really true and what doesn't kill you definitely makes you stronger.

I'm just plugging along and very happy about that! Peace out.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yeah, I'm officially freaking out

My last post showed me in my karate gi with my beginners white belt. Now I started this session a couple of weeks in, so I figured I would not be testing next week since I didn't complete the full course. Tonight was J's first night back and he was given his testing paper. So I ask Sensei what is the fee for J's test and he replies that it is $35. He sees me with my checkbook then adds, "But you need to write the check to include your test fee for next week." Gulp! What? "I'm testing?" I ask innocently. "Of course you are." "But Sensei, I wasn't here for the full session." "Yes you were, between class and working with the kids during J's class, you're ready." I'm ready. Yeah, I'm officially freaking out and will be practicing Taikyoku Shodan repeatedly every day between now and the 18th (with the exception of the 11th when I'm cropping with my girls up in NH). If I pass my test, I will earn my first color belt, orange. If J passes his test, he will earn his orange minor stripe--yes, he will still rank higher than I will. Oh good grief! Give me strength!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mighty Warrior, Hear Me Kiai!


Some of you have wanted to see me in my karate gi. Your wish is my command. Here I am in two poses. The first is Jodan Age Uke. This is a rising block position. The second image is Oi Zuki, which is a lunge punch. Since being on vacation, I'm itching to get back to class. Yesterday should have been my first day back, but J's got a nasty Swimmers Ear Infection from being such an Aruban Water Rat in the pool and the ocean. Will post some of my vacation photos later!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Road to Hell is Just Down Those Stairs

There is an old saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." When Steven travels, I always try to line up a project to keep me busy and make some sort of dent in the house somehow. My intention for this week was to buy a couple more of the Rubbermaid shelving units, set the up in "his" side of the basement and move some of the junk over there that clogs our basement. I had even intended to buy some clear boxes and sort stuff in the basement to sell on Ebay. I will be the first to say I have several hobbies that have fallen by the wayside or have changed direction on, that the casualties of are in the basement (rubberstamps that I don't want to use any more, cross stitch patterns, boxes of DMC floss, etc. ). I would love to arrange them in such a way that I could easily access them and perhaps arrange a packaging area in. When I go to ship a box, I rummage several different areas of the basement then haul it up here. I would also like to have a good sort out of Christmas decorations and make sure that everything I reallly want to use every year is in one place, not four places. I know somewhere "down there" I have ornaments that haven't graced our Christmas tree in well over 5 years that I would have loved to have put up this past Christmas. I intended to make a pile of stuff to go in a yard sale this year.

Did I do any of that this week? Of course I didn't! Between being sore from my first couple of karate lessons and the basement being bloody cold from the single digit temperatures, I did not want to spend any more time down there than necessary to throw a load of laundry in the washer. So I will look forward to this project as it warms up downstairs and Steven heads west again sometime soon!

Until then, my basement is what hell must look like!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Playing Four

My friend, Stephanie, tagged me this morning:

Four Jobs You've Had In Your Life:
1. Office manager for a construction company
2. Sales girl for a sporting goods shop
3. Human resources recruiter
4. Human resources benefits administrator


Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. X-Men 2
2. A Walk in the Clouds
3. Dogma
4. Legends of the Fall


Four Places That You Have Lived:
1. Northboro, MA
2. Westboro, MA
3. Worcester, MA
4. Shrewsbury, MA


Four Tv Shows That You Watch:
1. E/R
2. General Hospital
3. The Apprentice
4. Real World/Road Rules Challenges


Four Places You Have Been On Vacation
1. England
2. Ottowa, Canada
3. Disney World
4. Aruba


Four Websites You Visit Daily
1. Lucky Stars Cattery (the kitten cam is awesome to watch!)
2. Two Peas
3. Various friends blogs
4. Stampin' Up consultants site


Four Favorite Foods
1. Chocolate
2. Nacho chips w/ queso
3. Thai food
4. My mummy's mince w/ minute rice and canned peas


Four Places That You Would Rather Be Right Now
1. London
2. Cape Cod
3. Colorado
4. Anywhere with Keanu Reeves! LOL!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Karate Mom

J has been taking karate lessons for almost 3 months now. I have sat and watched each of his classes with interest. Now, as you can see from my profile picture, I am not exactly the picture of slim & petite health. I am a believer in the real woman have curves philosophy, unfortunately my curves are not in the best places. So earlier this week I asked Sensei if it was feasible to take his adult class or was I too big? He said that I could do it, as long as I listen to my body and take it's cues for slowing down so I don't injure myself. My next question was, do they make a gi in my size? Yes, no problem. He then suggested that I attend an adult class to observe. I did that this morning, by the way "observe" means actually participate in the class. OH MY GOODNESS! My muscles are screaming right now. Stiffness is setting in a bit. I'm eating my lunch right now and some Advil are in my future. However, I did ask Sensei to get a gi for me and that I would be back on Monday for class.

I am --- Karate Mom! Hear me kiai!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Confessions of a Media Junkie

I am a self-confessed media junkie. I love TV, music, movies, magazines and books.

My Tivo gets a daily workout that puts my husband's Tivo to shame. And yes, His and Her Tivo's create marital harmony that knows few bounds!

It's not often that I get out to the movies, I think in 2005 I only saw 4 movies in the movie theatre, which is up from the 2 I had seen in 2004. Thank goodness Directv offers pay-per-view. I can just rent it, watch it when I want and not have to worry about getting it back to the video store. The only video store around here is Satan's Playground, um I mean Blockbuster. I have loathed them for years since they are owned but an ultra-right-wing conservative Christian organization. Don't get me wrong, I am probably more right than left-winged, but The Man has no right to make my viewing decisions in what versions of videos I can rent. If I want to rent an unrated, director's cut that is my decision, not that of some holier than thou nutter.

Magazines, I am a sucker for a good scrapbooking magazine. If I'm in line at the supermarket and see a women's magazine touting organizational helps & hints, inevitably it ends up in my cart. I've got a basket down by the side of my chair in the living room full of magazines (and catalogs) that I've yet to pour through. I think a few of them will have to go in my suitcase on vacation with me.

And what can I say about books. I have had a love affair with reading all my life. My two bookshelves in my office are chock-a-block full of books, most of which have been read, some of which haven't. The other night as I sorted out scrapbooking supplies I cleared enough space in front of one of my shelves that I sat down on the floor and had a sort out of books. I have about 15 unread books beckoning me to choose them next. Again, a couple of those will end up in my suitcase for vacation. And let's not even go down the cookbook road. Two shelves bursting with various types of cookbooks. I really ought to, you know, cook with them.

Finally, music. How did I ever survive before I got my iPod Video? I only got it for Christmas, but I have used it so much. It's wonderful. I can listen to virtually anything I want in the car now. I'm not limited to my CD wallet or the pitiful FM offerings. If I want to listen to Sheila E one minute and the Andrews Sisters the next, there is no stopping me. While I'm sitting in J's karate class, I can watch a U2 video or show my hairdresser pictures of our sweet little niece at Christmas.

My name is Jenn and I am a Media Junkie. Thank goodness!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rest In Peace Velly


Mercedes E. 1925-2005

This lovely lady was my brother-in-law, Pablo's grandmother. Pablo's family came from Argentina and while she could speak some English, Velly was never comfortable speaking it. Velly is actually pronounced "Welly" short for abuela, the Spanish word for grandmother. Apparently when Pablo was little, he couldn't manage the word abuela and it came out Velly. The name stuck.

I first met his grandmother at my sister-in-law's bridal shower at a SoHo restaurant a month before their wedding. In came this sweet smiling lady, she took my face in both her hands and told me in broken English how I am the mother of a beautiful little boy whom her grandson adores, how I made Pablo & Sue a beautiful family album and how lovely I was. This was particularly poignant to me as my own grandmother, Nana had passed away 3 weeks earlier. So I stood there with tears in my eyes as this woman I never met before welcomed me to be a part of her family when Sue & Pablo got married. She insisted that we call her Velly "like the rest of my grandchildren." Who was I to argue with her?

After that I only saw her a couple of times, at Sue & Pablo's wedding weekend and at Sue's baby shower, where I took this photo of dear Velly. My Spanish is rudimentary at best, but I would try my hardest to converse with her in her native tongue. Thankfully she was a forgiving woman when I mangled her language.

Pablo & Sue were on their way to Long Island on New Years Eve with baby Sophia, and their friends when they decided to stop by her apartment to check on her. When she didn't answer the door, Pablo's friend went in first. He was like a grandson to her and had a feeling that Pablo would be finding her. He covered her up and then told my dear brother-in-law. As you can imagine Pablo's heart is broken. He and Velly were very close and when she was ill a year and a half ago he made all of her important decisions for her care.

Vaya con Dios Velly. Es sido encantador instruido usted.
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