Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, Tickle MY Ivories

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I totally love those socks! I must say, he was just fabulous, simply fabulous! What a charming man, that Harry.

He opened up with "Come by Me" and it was sooooo good! I was just moving and singing in my seat. What a blast. If you haven't seen Harry - GO. See. Harry!!!

His set design was very N'Orleans style, with street lamps and dark lighting, along with low- hanging ceiling fans; just three, which barely ran. I'm guessing the background picture was of the French Quarter, perhaps one of his favorite buildings.

His band, who were just as get-down-and-boogie in the Louisiana way as you can get, were all dressed in black suit and tie; as was Harry. He joked and complained about his high-heeled shoes, and co-miserated with us gals. What a down-home guy.

He played songs I've heard and a few I'd hadn't. But I so enjoyed him. Frank just enjoyed ME enjoying him. That's not to say he didn't enjoy the show.

When he sang the old Hank Williams, "Jambalaya," I jumped out of my seat!! My father used to sing that when I was a little girl, so naturally I had to sing along with Harry, too. It was so much fun. That was by far, the calmest crowd I've ever seen, I must say.

I would see him again if he comes back. Oh, and guess what is coming back? The Phantom! And Frank is working on our tickets. This time we will be taking the kids. And next year, Evita is coming!!! I wonder if they can get Antonio to play that part? Hmm..........

Thursday, April 26, 2007

And the Mother-of-the-Year-Award Goes To..........(child whispering second edition)

Well, Me! No thanks to the 14 year old that currently resides under the roof. Please allow me to explain.

Let it first be stated, that on several occassions, too many actually, I have said this: "You will recieve ONE wake-up call and after that, you are on your own. The big, yellow vehicle which arrives at our door at 6:40, via our tax dollars will wait for 30 seconds. You get two trips from the red vehicle parked in the driveway; after that, you walk."

Today, was the "after that." At 5:40, Cinderfreakingrisa recieved her wake-up call. I didn't see her again until approximately 8:00 when Nick and I were eating breakfast.

Now, I must rewind to Friday. Friday was the banquet for Winter Drumline. As banquets go, this was an event for parents and the kids alike. Or. so. we. thought. On Thursday, while I was at the desk doing some uh work, I noticed the paperwork, minus the permission slip. I figured that Frank must have taken care of it. He also had noticed it, and thought the same. Thankfully, I asked him about it; and we both realized why it was missing - Marisa had taken it.

So I called her down to the office and asked her about it. Her explanation was this: " I didn't think you guys would want to go, so I just handed it in."

Naturally, the Mom in me is hurt; the growl in Frank is pissed. It's just the way we react. Now, there are still two other parents who have yet to be invited; her father and step-mother, and she has taken it upon herself to uninvite them as well. already. Naturally, she sees no wrong in her actions, as is her way.

My next statement is this, "I'm sure we can still go and just purchase our tickets at the door." Because, afterall, I do want to go. I am the supportive kind of parent. For the past two, maybe three years, I was unable to be a part of their concerts and events because of my illness. I was in and out of the hospital. Or recovering from being on the meds from being IN the hospital, and too sick to attend. So now that I am finally getting somewhat healthy, I want to be there!!

Her response to my statement was this: "NO, you can't! You can't just show up and buy tickets, Mom!" She clearly didn't want me there. It was more than obvious. And Frank let her have it. Thank you, Frank.

Now, this was on her father's weekend, which is Fri - Sun; and I drop the kids off at 5:30. I didn't know what time the banquet was, as she had taken the paperwork. She knew! As we were pulling up to her Dad's, pulling. up. to. her. Dad's, she says to me, "why don't you just drop me off?"

At that point, I would gladly drop her off, alone in a field nearby....... and make sure she arrived safely to her Dad's. But NO WAY IN THE WORLD was I taking her to the banquet and just dropping her off, as she suggested. The nerve of her even asking, well, she wasn't even asking really as much as suggesing.

Anyway, as I'm just starting my way up the road from her Dad's, he calls my cell, furious with ME! ME! Because I didn't drop her off! Are you kidding me?? Because the banquet starts in, get this, five minutes!! oh yeah.

So I try to fill him in with all of the details, but he is, rightly pissed, because he has dinner ready, on the table, and has company. I suggest he not take her. Hey, I wouldn't. But that's just me, because you know what, after what she pulled, it pretty much served her right. She didn't want any of us there in the first place. She has now put everyone in an uproar, which she care less about. He decides to take her. I definitely would have made her wait until I had eaten my hot dinner at least.

On Sunday, she comes home; not with an apology mind you. Oh no, not her. Those are rare if ever. She had a lousy attitude, which she blamed on her sister. I told her to leave it at her Father's house, because I didn't want it here. I say the same to Frank when he comes home from work with it. Don't bring it home, please.

She just sits and sulks and mopes with this rotten attitude, refuses to let it go. It just festers and gets worse as the night goes on. She brings it to dinner. Christina helped me to get dinner ready, set the table, clear the table; her attitude was bright and helpful. No snotty, brattiness. If she had been bratty at her Dad's, she left it there. I told Marisa to fill the d/w and we were going to bring Lexi home. So when she was done, she wanted to go walk with her friend, I said yes.

We get home, pick up Nick and Chrissy, go to Dunky D and get some goodies. Oh, did I mention we didn't get any for Marisa. Well, I didn't THINK SHE'D WANT ANY!!!!

Naturally, she didn't get that lesson.

So this am, when she woke up late, and I still hadn't recieved the proper apology, and I won't go into detail about the hand-written bickering I DID get, I informed her that she inded must walk to school today. To which she started to sulk.

Ahem, my award please....

Guess who just WON TICKETS TO SEE HARRY CONICK JR TONIGHT??? MMMMMMEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! I won. I can't wait. I can't believe I'm going to see Harry live! I need to go shower! I'm freaking out. What am I going to wear? I gootta go.

It's 5:30, and I need to get ready to see Harry, but I have a migraine! Can you freaking stand it?! Go figure

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our Money Pit

Aahhh, home; the very idea of it makes one reflect on memories of sheer bliss. Happiness. Comfort. The smell of basil, garlic and meatballs; good sauce cooking on Sunday. Cherry-flavored pipe tobacco. Those are the smells I remember growing up around my Grandparents.

I remember the smell of Pine Sol; oh how I hate that smell. My mother would clean on Saturdays, like a maniac. No, more like the Tazmanian Devil. Pine Sol was her weapon of choice. It burned our eyes - she used it everywhere. She preferred we would get out of her way, way out of her way. "Go play in traffic!" She would lovingly yell at us as she'd show us to the door.

Two years ago, we lost our family room to a flood. I lost more than a family room, I lost sanity and tranquility. I lost orderly, cleanliness and lack of neatness.

I lost the ability to work, because of Migraine (not the flood), I am no longer able to multi-task, organize, and clean like I used to. My home has become almost as much of jumbled mess as my mind; almost. It's easier to to pick apart the house, room-by-room. I am learning to focus. But it is NOT easy. I still find myself trying to multi-task, and I get lost.

I did finish the bathroom, finally, and it is beautiful. The family room, that is mostly finished. It's painted, carpeted; the furniture is in place. I have the curtains purchased, but not hung. I missed my family room when we lost it two years ago in the flood. The kids have missed it, too. It's nice that they can retreat to it again. It will be even nicer that Philip will have a place to rest his head when he comes home. This is where he will find solace. This is the place he calls home.

On Saturday, we had a man come to measure an area for a privacy door for Philip, just at the bottom of the stairs. Nothing big, a folding door. While he was here, I asked him to look at the door leading to the back yard, which is in desperate need of replacement, which he did.

Now, just prior to his arrival, I had been up on the deck, which is quite large, about 16x30 FEET, and about 10 or so feet up above a concrete slab. Anyway, I noticed a few of the boards were oddly loose next to the house. Now the boards aren't really boards, as much as they are the composite material. Are you hearing, "Houston, we have a problem!"??

So I go wake up Frank. "Frank, we have a problem on the deck."

Ok, the guy just came in from working 3am to oh, what 9, and wanted a few hours, which I gave him - all of the hours he asked for. Probably not the way to wake him up; however, it did get his attention. Right! Now I'm seeing the potential for a major problem on the deck, but he's asking for another half hour of sleep. Are you kidding me???

See, here's the thing, I am an alarmist. And, the man of the house - er, the fixer of things. Things that need to be hung and put together-kind-of-thing. Or we call someone. Which is seriously, between the two of us, not a big deal. I'm ok with it, he's ok with it.

He is also better with the um, female things. Seriously. He can so totally hang out with my girlfriends, and "get it." And I totally don't care and think it's fun! As a matter of fact, when Menopause blows into town this summer - and I mean the musical, not the hormonal episode, I'm going with a gaggle of girls, he is serving wine and dessert at home. And he can't wait. Neither can I.

Back to Saturday. Apparently, the deck thing, bothered him. He woke up. The door man came soon after. Now, I was busy doing something so Frank brought the guy to the deck to show him the boards; and he immediately went down below saying, "this is NOT good, not good at all."

Nope, he wasn't kidding. What was supposed to be a simple installation of two doors; has turned into words like, "backhoe," and "collapse" and "danger" "insurance company" or "small construction equipment." I started to feel my knees begin to buckle, and I felt faint, as I mentally watched my children falling to their deaths as he told us how unsafe the deck was. I wanted to run and puke.

Apparently, all of this here snow on the deck

And this. Has caused our deck, which was improperly installed; to move away from the house by almost two inches in some areas. Some 10 feet up, mind you. Oh, and that's not all! Yeah, there's more, so much much more. Hence, the title. Oh, but please, let me take this little commercial break and take a pic of my pretty new bathroom makeover, because it is pretty, if I must say so MY freaking SELF. Thank you Judy for your painting. I can't paint anymore. But I did decorate.

The bathroom is sort of this color. Previously, it screamed this color! Yes, I like this better, too. Under the chocolate brown sheer is my very neatly organized closet. Hmmm, why didn't I get that? The room is taken up mostly by Nick's pool, I mean the jacuzzi.

It's too big to even get in the picture. It can fit like three people. At least two adults. And comfortably. It's too big for me to relax in, cause I'm too short, I just go under. My feet have nothing to touch to keep my head above the water. I've used brown and white for accents. So this is what you see when standing at the door.

The umm, office. It takes two shower curtains to decorate the pool/tub.

Now back to our regularly blogged blog: The Money Pit problem! And oh what a problem it is summing up to be. First he said not to allow anyone on the deck, because, "It could collapse at any time now!" That didn't sound good. That is where I was picturing blood and guts and brain matter splattering everwhere, from my children, onto the concrete below, that we were standing on. Under. the. deck. in. quesion. RIGHT of falling in collapse AT ANY TIME! Hey, bring it on. ok? OK!

Then he says, (you know it just gets better), I think you should call your insurance company, you have serious problems here. You're going to need to get a backhoe here to push this deck up to the house OR dismantle it completely. Hmmmmm, CHA-CHING!!! Let's see, now, back hoe, OR dismantle our wee little deck.

It was at that moment, the cartoon world took over in my backyard. Toontown became real, it was just something so unbelievably beautiful and scary at the same time. I looked at Frank, and seriously, at this point, after I heard the words "collapse" and "backhoe" there just wasn't much more I was hearing but something from the teacher in Peanut's comics. And suddenly Frank's eyes started to roll, like he was getting ill, you know? But they were turning green-like, $$$ these, and they just started to roll and roll in his head. And then steam started to blow out his ears. And funny, I was the only one who noticed it.

Anyway, the man decided to go get some lumber and make some trusses to stabilize the deck where it was pulling away. Thankfully, we were smart enough three years ago, to have someone do that in the middle of the deck; which is what saved us from having it completely collapse. We still need to have the concrete dug and the beams buried four feet, but this will keep us safe on the deck until we do. It's just fortunate we had someone who knew enough to look out for our safety; and we have the good Lord on our side. I am just thankful, so very thankful, that noone was hurt.

Apparently, whoever installed the deck, did so by nailing the main support beam, rather than bolting it into the house. Idiot. Unfortunately, we are finding a lot of the problems he had done on the house, and fixing them. Hopefully, we will find them before anyone gets hurt by them. What a cost they are to find. That's the price of home-ownership. I still love this grand house. Even if it is a money pit, it's our money pit.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Hey, I'm being interviewed here! By Jeff, you know, Jeff right? View From the Cloud? Just go check his site out, he's pretty funny. No, wait.... he interviewed me!!

Yes, and I can interview you just for the asking. I know, it's so cool, but first these are the questions he picked for me. He says it's harder than it looks and I haven't yet tried to answer, so here goes.

1. When was the first time you knew you had an official migraine? Hmm, "official" meaning diagnosed? That would be 15 years ago; but looking back on my history, they now see I've had them pretty much since early childhood. Casually starting at age 4, with car-sickness/motion-sickness and working it's ugly head into the headache phase.

2. Whose idea was it to get a snake in the first place, and when did you get it? Definitely NOT mine! The first snake, Hyrup, is Philip's. He just decided to come home with him one day, shortly before he enlisted in the Marine's. The kids instantly fell in love with it. I gradually accostumed to him. He is now a part of the family.

3. How and when did you and Frank first meet? Probably 15 years ago in church.

4. How do communicate with Philip and how often? He tries to call once every week or two weeks, but that's not always possible. So his Dad has a Myspace account to keep in contact with him on an almost daily basis. This way he sees pictures of him and his brothers on the hummers and some of the things they are doing, and able to post. He has mostly female friends on his network. No surprise there.

5. Who is your favorite writer or poet? Maya Angelou! I love Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts, too.

That wasn't too hard. Thanks, Jeff! Now, I'm going outside for some beautiful sun and warm air. Going to go walk the beast. Have a beautiful day! Oh, here are the directions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Thursday, April 19, 2007



This is a disclaimer to any and all family and friends, and friends of friends and family; THERE IS NO LONGER ROOM AT THE INN. NO VACANCY. ALL ROOMS ARE FULL. NO STABLES. NO CRATES, PENS, CAGES, TANKS, BOXES, NO PET BEDS OF ANY KIND ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS DAY FORWARD. SERIOUSLY!!!!! NO, SERIOUSLY, AND I MEAN IT. WHY??? WELL, this pretty much says it all. This is NOT Hyrup. This is Pancakes. (tell me about it! strange enough that I have to foster the things, I did not name them, ok!!) nuff said there. right - Pancakes and Hyrup. the snakes. Can you stand it? Aren't they sweet? HA! get it?

So, before boy number 3, Philip's good buddy, left Monday night; he gives me his weepy-eyes and sad story bout how he would just LOVE ME to watch his snake for him while he's gone. I cannot say, "no." What is my problem with that little two-letter word? It has such power over me. Not so much really, as the animals do. So now we have 2 snakes, 2 fish, 2 cats (snake bait), and 1 dumb dog. 3 kids. We are totally out numbered. Let's not forget that Rockhead is still waiting for his little princess to go into heat so he can get his! And Frank is holding out for a pup on that; hmmm...... I just keep reminding him of the yummy sound he makes when licks his jewels over and OVER AND OVER again, non-stop, which makes Frank growl and yell and want to um harm the dog physically. Again, I do not want another ball-licking, poo-dropping, insane idiot. Albeit, I love my dog, but he is plenty to deal with.
Just look at the size of his head!!! Trust me, there is nothing in there. Nothing. It is completely solid. Like a brick. And just as heavy. When we sit in the livingroom, he rests his head on the coffee table because it's too heavy. I will get a pic of that for you. He is sweet though. Idiot.
No more pets. No more foster pets. Each of the kids has something of petdom in their rooms. Nicholas gave up the fish to Christina yesterday since she has the "beach theme" going on in her room and she was the only one without a pet. Now, he and Marisa each have a snake. So, 2 out of 3 of my children living under my roof essentially have a "pet" living in their rooms that could strangle them to death. Hmmmm, reassuring for a great nights sleep for me! Maybe I should consider going back to iguanas! I mean, the only thing I had to deal with then was a little bite or salmonella, maybe a tail-whipping. What am I thinking!!! I'm DONE!!! DONE DONE DONE!!! NO MORE. no more nomorenomorenomore. NO M O R E.
On a brighter, more normal note, the sun IS shining here. Talk to me!! Oh yeah. AND it's supposed to hit 60 today. Color me happy. OOOOOH and I actually got a clean bill of health yesterday. Amazing. The skeptic in me is waiting for the bomb to drop as today is my least favorite and scariest day of the year. don't know why, but this day has forever been etched in my brain as a day of doom. I'm not a supersticious person and I will walk under ladders to make other people crazy. I don't read my horoscope, or things like that. But, April 19th, for whatever reason, don't know why, scares me. I'm not going to stay indoors because of it. Or avoid life. I will say this, because it was weird, Nicholas woke up, came down to me and the very first words out of his little mouth were these, "something bad is going tohappen today." Which freaked me out, then I happened to look at the calander and whammo. today! Yeah, so with that, I'm going to go shop for my pretty new bathroom. take my boy to lunch.
Have a beautiful day ya'll.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It Just Keeps Getting Better.........NOT!!!

Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to Heart Disease Mortality

Information from Industry
An Effective Treatment Option for Migraine Prevention Lives are interrupted and negatively impacted by migraines. Learn more about how migraine prevention may make a difference.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Apr 09 - Data from a new study point to a possible association between migraine with aura and an increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality in women.
"There is substantial evidence that migraine may increase the relative risk of stroke, but the relationship between migraine and coronary heart disease (CHD) is less clear," Dr. Jie Jin Wang and colleagues from the University of Sydney, Australia, write in the April issue of Cephalalgia. "A number of previous studies have suggested an association between migraine and chest pain, but not CHD."
The Women's Health Study recently reported that migraine with aura, but not migraine without aura, was associated with an increased risk of CHD events in women. In the present study, the investigators sought to clarify the issue in a population-based cohort of 2331 Australians ranging in age from 49 to 97 years.
Overall, 233 women and 69 men reported a history of any migraine. Of these, 119 (11.3%) women and 44 (6.5%) men gave a history of migraine with aura, and 114 (10.8%) women and 25 (3.7%) men gave a history of migraine without aura.
The subjects were followed for a mean of 6 years. During that time, 30 women (2.8%) and 30 men (4.4%) died from CHD-related causes. A history of migraine with aura was associated with a non-significant two-fold increased risk of CHD death in women (age-adjusted relative risk 2.2, p = 0.11). The association remained after further adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors.
No CHD deaths were observed in men with a history of migraine.
"If confirmed in other populations, these findings imply that there may be biological links between migraine and systemic cardiovascular disease," Dr. Wang's team concludes. "The nature of any such links are unknown, but may involve pro-coagulable states or a generalized vascular disorder."

Do I dare ask; what next?? Too late. It's already out there. Of course it's vascular! Ok, but cardiovascular? Come on!

I think I'm being badly affected by, well, duh migraines; yeah. But also the major lack of SUN that just refuses to shine over here in the north east where we are experiencing vast aMOUNTS OF GLOBAL WARMING SO BAD THAT THE GAS PRICES HAVE RISEN AGAIN!!! AGH AGHH AGHHHHHH!!!!!! Even though my bathroom is starting to look pretty with it's new color of almost like this, robin's egg blue, the fumes are killing me. And the fumes from the rug that was installed yesterday. Pretty (ha) stinky.

And what is wrong with people today? That someone would just wake up, and go off and kill 32 people. It makes absolutely no sense at all. And I'm complaining about a migraine from paint fumes. Oh, and lack of sun. Those poor people will probably never sleep well again, or be able to look at strangers the same way. Life sometimes makes no sense when you are left to survive.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spring Nor'Beaster

These are the hyacinths that are being covered by the new falling snow. The snow that is coming in from the coast line. The snow, that is mixed with sleet, and is quite heavy. It is gritty, like sand. It has completely covered the primroses that came up lastweek.

See how it is weighing down the branches of my little tree! All I ask is this - WHERE IS MY GLOBAL WARMING?? WHY DON'T I SEE SIGNS OF GLOBAL WARMING?? It has been anything BUT warm here. We have only grey skies, no sunshine. I believe "global warming" is nothing but a political stunt used for votes. Look at my poor little tree.

This is Bosco in his Hawaiin get up. I'm thinking of sending it in to Stuff on My Cat. He doesn't mind the costume, and he actually looks pretty good in it. Can you make out the coconut bra? Nala doesn't like this costume, makes her look fat. I think I'll get a better pic, maybe with him sleeping or lounging with an umbrella drink or something. a better pose. One without me in the background.

Look how cute he is when he sleeps. Here he is with his tail over his nose to keep warm. I have got to get a pic of him trying to fit himself into the cat tree. He is too big, but he does try to get in, anyway, it's pretty funny. nala just looks at him in her ever evil way like, "what an idiot," then she just hisses at him and he sweetly meows at her and tries to make friends; then she attacks him. Evil little thing. Look how sweet he is.

I took the girls to get their hair cut on Friday, which is always difficult. I wish I had taken my camera. I had my neice with me, Kaila. She was an absolute blast and I can't wait to have her again. She is the same age as Christina, and only a little bigger than Nicholas - and there was absolutely NO fighting all weekend! All 4 kids got along great. They laughed, they played games! It was great. It was wonderful. Well, Marisa had already decided to go for a real cute funky cut. short and choppy. For Chris, I had decided, hers needed some much needed cutting. She, on the other hand, thought she was only getting about an inch off. not so much. There was a lot of poochie-lip and red face crying and Kaila was being very funny trying to make her laugh. She was cracking me up. In the end, the cut was great, she now loves it. Both girls have donated to Locks-of-Love, everything is great.

The bummer of the whole weekend was this: another death, this time one of the girls' classmates. An 11-year old boy, and very sudden. This was a complete shock, I'm sure to his family, but also to the kids.

So yesterday, I took Chris, Kaila, and two other girls to the wake; and it was just awful! But I do believe it was good for the girls, as they needed both closure and understanding. We met their teacher at the door, as well as a few of the other staff; and I was happy to hear there would be staff on hand for much needed counseling and support when they return tomorrow. (after the snowday). I suppose the snowday will give them some extra time to adjust.

When we were driving from the funeral home, they were all talking about going back to school and seeing his empty desk and locker. That is where they will feel the reality. The shock of his absence.

On a brighter note, Philip called and he will be home in five weeks! We are currently finishing up our family room, as I type this. The rug guys should be here any minute now to finish installing it. Then I can move the furniture back in and clean it, oh joy! I just hope it's not wet from all of the stupid snow! UGH!!!! The lady who is painting the bathroom called to cancel until tomorrow because of the weather, which I totally understand. And gives me some extra time to prep some of it anyway. It's exciting to get this stuff done. We've been waiting a long time. Little by little, something gets done. The money pit takes up more cash. But it's so worth it. I love this house.

I can't wait for Philip to get back home. He's bringing two of his buddies with him from Iraq, from his platoon. We have met them on his Myspace account, so we feel like we know them. But I can't wait to meet them, and hug them, feed them, share my home with them. Allow them to feel at home here. Watch them beat up on Nick with Phil and make him cry and giggle. I can't wait! This is Philip, that is a colored contac

Friday, April 06, 2007

When a Friend Dies

Tuesday, at the age of 49, a very dear of mine died. At the age of 49!! What do you say, rather what am I supposed to say to his wife and his boys? I was at a complete loss lastnight when I was with them. A loss for words. They, on the other hand, are at a different feeling or place of loss. They have lost husband, father, best friend, soul mate, lover, teacher, consoler.

How can I ever say or do enough to ever console any one of them in any way? He was so young. I look in the faces of his boys and I see him. Yesterday, she didn't know how she would get through today - the wake. And, no doubt, it will be hard. She is a very strong woman, much stronger than she knows or believes.

49! I guess I'm still not over the shock. And when I have to face him later today, it is going to hit me. I'm not even sure what will hit me. My mortality. My children's. Franks. It's funny how death puts life into perspective.

I can't stop thinking of her. I just want to hold her and tell her it will be ok; but I don't know for sure if it will be. I do know, she will be ok. Her boys lover her very much. The four of them, together, will get through this.