Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Year, About This Time

Remember the ice storm that hit the Northeast last year?

Our friend and business asssociate Stephen had stayed with TK and I the night before. The three of us listened to the wind howl outside and the ice come down as we sipped wine and talked about everything and nothing.

As we said our goodnights and Stephen headed to the guest room I can only imagine he spent the night in much the same way as TK and I, and many others in the area, did - listening to the trees coming down around us.

We woke in the morning to no power and Stephen standing in the middle of our family room with a big grin on his face. He had just returned from a walk down our driveway where he snapped the pictures below.



Close to 20 trees came down on our property that night, the most significant ones being the four or five laying across our driveway and blocking our path.

Our neighbor came right over with a chain saw and cut away enough to get us out of our own driveway. Schools were closed, most of the town didn't have power and friends began calling to find out who was staying where for the night.

The atmosphere at the Hilton that night was festive - the kids all swam in the pool and some thoughtful architect put a half wall of glass between the lounge and the pool area so that we could watch the kids while socializing. Our friend Lisa was staying there as well, along with her daughter and several hundred other people. TK, Ziggy and I shared a room and stayed up half the night giggling. Well, Ziggy and I giggled. TK shook his head and probably told us to go to sleep. Moose met us for dinner and then went to a friend's house to sleep and shower, avoiding the chaos of the hotel.

Everywhere we went people were friendly, playing the "How long have you been without power?" game, comparing stories on house and car damage as little people in footie pajamas padded down the hallway, shrieking with laughter as they passed.

We were without power two or three days, I can't remember now. What I do remember was how something that could have pushed us apart as we argued over what to do and grumbled about the inefficiencies of our town to resolve the power failure instead actually brought us closer together.

W
e were thankful that we had neighbors to help us, a warm and dry place to sleep, hot showers in the morning, friends and family to spend time with and a home to return to.

When I found these pictures on my laptop it reminded me that it shouldn't take an act of God to thank God for what you have.

As much fun as we had last year, I'm thankful that when I woke up this morning my family was there. I'm thankful that the power was on and my shower was hot. And as much as I'd like to see Stephen smiling at me from the middle of the familiy room, I'm thankful that instead of listening to trees come down last night as I lay in bed the only thing I heard was Moose looking for a midnight snack in the kitchen.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Who am I to judge?

Sometimes I can be a bitch. A very judgmental bitch.

Batman asked me the other night why I was so quiet. So I spilled it.

I got into an argument with my sister (the Diva) and it had been bothering me all day. He asked which one (he's still trying to remember the names of my many siblings). When I told him the story he said he saw my point, but wasn't it a little to late for the situation to change now? He was right. But I still got on my soap box, pointed out how foolish I thought she was being and yeah I might have even thrown in that I thought she was selfish too. Nice sister I am huh?

Then Batman asked me a question that I had not asked myself. Would I judge my friends the way I judged my sister? Would I have made them feel bad about their choices? The answer was no.

I love my friends and I hate to see anyone make mistakes in life. I hate to see people I care about falter, stumble or get into situations that they could have avoided if they had just taken a different route. But with my family, when I see my baby sister stumble, when I see her fall it is a different kind of feeling. With family, you want to protect them. You want to help, offer words of wisdom, beg them to learn from your mistakes. And with family, more often then not...it never comes out that way at all.

So I judged her. I made her feel worse for a situation that had spun out of control. I pointed out her flawed plan, I told her how I would have handled the situation. I told her she was selfish. Like most people who are backed into a corner, she got defensive. The conversation escalated into an argument. I never raised my voice, but the damage was done.

The good news is that we are sisters and we love each other. We've both let the moment go and have moved on. But I've been reminded that I am not put on this earth to judge people. I'm not perfect, I've made mistakes in my life. I'm older by 12 years, so I've learned from my mistakes. I have to let her learn from hers too.

Although I tease her and call her a Diva, I love her and am thankful to have her for a sister. Life is shorter than we realize. In a blink of an eye it passes you by. We only have this lifetime to treat the people we love with respect, kindness, patience and understanding.

In this situation, I am the one who faltered.





Thursday, November 19, 2009

One of Those Days...

Today was one of those days.

It was good.

It was bad.

It was good again.

You get the idea. It will definitely take a few weeks before I figure out if the actual outcome of Wednesday, November 18th was a good day or a bad day.

Woke up next to my husband, who I had been cuddling with. Good.

Husband forgot to reset alarm clock before he left for the airport. Bad.

Woke up anyway because my body told me to. Good.

Ran out of milk for the Rugrats. Bad.

Got the car sort of defrosted before the Rugrats and I drove Ziggy to school. Good.

Forgot how much work it was getting Rugrats ready to leave the house in the morning, so left 15 minutes late. Bad.

No traffic, made it on time. Good.

Took rugrats for visit with foster mom they had lived with since January, Rugrats seemed very unsettled by visit. Bad.

My other BFF, my soulmate Trixie, was coming over for lunch and to meet the Rugrats for the first time. Good.

Trixie found a lump yesterday, followed by a series of mammograms and ultrasounds this morning and there appears to be reason for concern. Bad. Very very bad.

Biopsy is scheduled for next week and I am going with her. Good.

My soulmate might have cancer. So bad I can't write it without crying.

I didn't cry while she was here. Good.

I just don't know what I'm going to do while we're waiting to find out. Bad.

TK listened to me cry and offered to come home from his trip, because he is the best husband in the whole world. Good.

An employee that was problematic sent an email that said "I quit" and walked out. Both good and bad but more good and in the grand scheme of things, who cares???

Had a great dinner with Ziggy and Rugrats, followed my wonderful, sweet, beautiful Ziggy giving the Rugrats a bath and helping me put them to bed. Good.

The dog ate pizza off the table today, is allergic to wheat so will probably be up all night either barking, barfing or worse. Bad.

Rugrats are almost asleep, Ziggy and I are going to snuggle and watch a movie and the day is almost over. Good.

If Trixie doesn't have cancer but just lumpy boobs - then the day will go down in history as one of the best days in my entire life.

I will remember it as a day when I was reminded, in a very huge way, how my life rocks. How important family is, whether they are born to you, like Moose and Ziggy, brought to you, like TK and Trixie, or given to you, like the Rugrats.

My life has been blessed and I will thank God for it every day for the rest of my life, no matter what the outcome.

But if Trixie has cancer...

Oh God, please don't let Trixie have cancer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Empty Nest

When my niece Jessica was born she weighed in at about 9lbs. Her mother blames me for this - I used to work at Dunkin Donuts and I was her supplier of blueberry crumb cake donuts. Jess was a chubby little cherub with big cheeks and lots of rolls. But, she was my beautify baby girl. I love all my nieces and nephews but this child always had a special place in my heart. She was always my "favorite". I used to call her Jessie Moo (Moo is Greek for the word "my", and put after the person's name instead of before). As a toddler she lost most of her baby chubbiness but gained a whole lot of attitude. She was so funny with her little "miss thing" tude. She was cute and it worked for her. When she was 4 years old, we lost her father (my brother) in a tragic car accident.

Her mother and I (I'll call her K) have always remained very close friends. Years later K got married to a great guy. I feel very fortunate to have her as my friend, and to have been able to be a big part of Jessica's life as she grew up. Jessica's teen years were rough, she went through that whole Goth phase, she used to have dolls heads hanging in her room and she wore nothing but black. She was a rebellious teen and gave her mother a run for her money, things were not always easy for them.

Jessica is now 23. She is beautiful. She has full lips, almond shaped eyes and a smile that could light up a room. When I look at her I see my brother and it warms my heart. She has grown into a responsible young adult and I'm very proud of the young woman she has become. The troublesome years are far behind her and she has a bright future ahead. I still call her Jessie Moo from time to time. She tries to be serious and says "don't call me that"...but she always smiles when she says it. It's our thing, she pretends she doesn't like it but we both know it's my term of endearment for her.

Last month she decided to get her own apartment. Her mother confided in me that she was a little freaked out about it. She'd miss having her around, she'd worry about her. The house would seem quiet without her. The empty nest syndrome. She knew it was bound to happen eventually, but wasn't prepare for eventually to come so soon. K helped her get her new apartment ready, she went shopping and bought all those little incidentals that one needs when moving into a new place and in a few weeks Jess had moved out.

Ironically they are even closer than they were before. Jess calls her mom every day, she invites her over to dinner or to watch a movie. They go out to breakfast on the weekends. She laughed when she told me "I see her more now than when she lived here". I think Jess is feeling the empty nest syndrome too.

All of this has made me realize once again that time goes by too quickly. In the blink of an eye, your child went from a new born to moving out on their own. The people we love the most can be there one minute and gone the next. It reminds me never to take friends and family for granted. To let the little arguments go, to forgive. To cherish them always. To appreciate them and not to forget to let them know that your world is a better place because they are in it.

I think about that chubby little girl with major attitude who is all grown up now. I'm thankful for her mother who has been a wonderful friend to me, but more importantly a great mother to the child that I couldn't love any more than if she were my own. I know my brother is looking down from heaven and smiling at his baby girl.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Plan B

Today I'm a Type A with a Plan B.

The original goal was to have my synopsis and first 75 pages to the agent-in-waiting last week. Following the South Carolina's Writer's Workshop, I had three weeks to accomplish this goal.

Plan A, as it were.

Ordinarily I thrive on deadline. Love, love, love time frames, deadlines, due dates - anything with an end date, hey count me in.

However.

P
lan A did not have a "due by" it had a "due after". Agent-in-waiting said, and I quote, "Please send to me after..." Not on. Not before. But after.

So technically, I am still on time. And today, one week later, is still after. Conversely, January 2012 is also after. Which begs the question - how after is after?

Yeah, not a question I'll be asking the agent-in-waiting. Let's just assume she meant immediately after. Near future after. Within this year of our Lord two thousand and nine after.

So Plan B.

Plan B is a self-imposed deadline. It's the only way.

I need it.

I crave it.

Must. Have. Deadline.

Like water to a plant (it seems they need it desperately, I've experimented in my own garden and tested the theory), I cannot thrive without a definitive, heart-pounding, stress-causing absolute must-have-in-hand-by date.

With everything else going on in my life (grown up time with TK, job-that-pays-the-bills, condo shopping with Moose, two new little Rugrats, and well, Ziggy is 13, need I say more?), there is not even a slim chance that I will get this done if I am left to my own devices with a "send to me after" date.

So.

My new official Plan B deadline is, drumroll please... Saturday.

Why am I telling you this?

Several reasons.

First -don't bother me with unimportant crap. And I mean that in the most loving way. Really. Call me if your cat died. Or if your car died. Not sure if you should call me?

Ask yourself this first - do I actually have anything to say? Or ask? Or offer? If your answer is no then stop dialing and go away. If your answer is maybe, stop vacillating and make a decision. Yes or no. If the answer is yes, hit that #1 and send (because I should always be speed dial #1). If it's no, well reread this paragraph.

Second - Feel free to taunt me. But please do it at respectable intervals, not incessantly throughout the day. And via email whenever possible. Suggestions for taunting include "Hey how's that synopsis coming? Done yet? Are you? Are you? Are you?" or "Did you fix that major character flaw yet or is your main character still as interesting as dishwater?" Or impress me with your own, carefully thought out taunts.

Third - Give me a break. I am lost in Elmo's World and could use the company on occasion. Come by for coffee (Call first. Duh). Bring intelligent conversation with you. Talk about things that don't involved poop, Sesame Street or um, poop.

Before you get all "How do I know what to do and when?" on me - relax.

I'm not talking to you.

I'm talking to the other people.

The ones that don't ask that question.

The ones that get me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Four Letter Words, second in a series


Steph in the City nailed it with her comment a few weeks ago (check out her blog) The next four letter word in the series is...
HOME

It sounds good.

It is good.

Not all words are created equal. Some sound horrible but mean something wonderful.


For example - Doreen's cakes are awesome, especially her coconut mango cake. Delicious, sweet and moist. Eek!

See what I mean? One of those words that means something good but just saying it is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Moist. Yuck. Sorry coconut mango cake, don't make me say it again.

But home.

Now there's a word that sounds so good even if you didn't know what it meant well, just saying it makes me feel better. Like sinking into a cushy chair. Ahhhhhh. Home.

Dorothy had it right. Not only did she wearing a pair of shoes that totally rocked Oz, they also had that magic power that took her to the one place we all want to be.

Yeah, home.

Home is where the heart is. Not Home is where the cool plasma tv hangs.

Home on The Range. Yes home. Not House-I-Live-in on the Range.

Home Alone. Excellent movie.

Home Run. Woooo!!! But only when we're talking Red Sox.

Home Depot. I adore that place.

What's the first website you go to when you boot up? That's right, your home page.

So what makes a home? Four walls? A roof? Running water?

I'm pretty sure my office has all of those things but I sure don't call it home.

I love where I live. And as houses go, it's an incredible structure of glass, wood, metal and other things that I know nothing about (but pretty sure I could find out about at Home Depot).

But a house is not a home until you fill it. With people, not stuff. Whether it's one of you, two of you, four, six or eleven it doesn't matter.

My definition of home?

Home is where my people are.

TK, Moose, Ziggy, three furry friends and soon, two ankle biters.

I just can't think of a better four letter word.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is Miley Cyrus the new Lindsay Lohan?

Little darling gone trampy rocker?

Maybe.

I have to admit, I may have missed something. I thought Miley was still sixteen.

A teenager.

A minor.

A role model.

Hannah Montana.

Disney.

Yeah. But um, no.

When Miley performed Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" I realized I may have missed something.

Ziggy tried to warn me.

"I like her music mom, but I really don't like her."

Huh?

"Well, I like her music. But Miley's a slut."

Oh. But we already have tickets so...

I can't say for sure but if I took a peek back stage it's very possible both Britney Spears and Madonna were on her costume staff. And perhaps gave the girl a few pointers on dance moves too.

Black leather short-short body suit thingy for opening act. Black spandex and mesh short-short body suit while she dance/grinded with a young man a la Madonna. I forget what she was wearing when she sat on a Harley that flew on tethers over the crowd but it was short short something or other.

Hey I'm not her mother but I am a mother who paid the premium price for the tickets. Considering the average age of her fans is somewhere between 6 and 16, you'd think there would be some sort of disclaimer.

Concert Warning: Strobe lights used during show. Excessive noise levels in stadium. Hoochie clothes worn and inappropriate dancing by trampy performer.

A little pre-show warning may have prevented a stadium filled with little girls, dressed in spangly shiny Hannah Montana-esque attire, from getting lock-jaw while their mouths hung open.

And don't even get me started on her opening act, Metro Station. Brother Cyrus screamed, jumped and flipped his guitar around, channeling Axel Rose while lifting his shirt to wipe his nose, exposing more of his tattoo-riddled body.

Yeah, family entertainment at it's finest.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Concept vs Reality

Sometimes reality just can't be covered in chocolate.

But it's so much better.

You have the concept of reality.

Maybe you've had the concept for a long time. You know the concept. Intimately. It's familiar and comfortable, like oh I don't know, less like a pair of shoes and more like that oversized sweatshirt you wear to bed when you're out of sorts.

You wrap it around you. It envelopes you and just knowing it's there, you feel better.

And it's ok, that concept.

It's great, actually. It's something you should do, something you will do.

You're confident in the concept. You puff out your chest and you walk with a swagger. There's not a doubt in your mind. You're all like "Yeah, concept, it's me and you, baby. We're solid."

And then reality comes along. Faster than you expected, barreling at you with such force that you lose your breath.

Blam!

Oh hello, reality.

Wasn't quite expecting you so soon.

May I offer you some chocolate?

Wow.

Today, concept becomes reality for me. For us, actually.

Today we are going to change our lives and the lives of everyone around us. And the lives of two people we've never met but whose faces we've seen and whose life stories we've become as familiar with as our own.

In a few short hours, we are going to meet two little darlings whose concept is going to become our reality.

A reality sweeter than any chocolate you could ever dream of.

A reality bigger and scarier than the concept ever was or could be.

I can't imagine my life without Moose and Ziggy. They have made me who I am and they are what I live for.

Loving my children and knowing that there are other children out there that need love... well. Yeah.

Reality is here.

And it smells an awful lot like dirty diapers.

I can't wait.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Facebook, oh Facebook... again

In light of the retarded recent changes to Facebook, I thought I'd repost this classic. Because some things never change...

Dear Facebook,

We have to talk.

You're not the same as you were when we first met. You've changed.

In the beginning I will admit I was a bit reluctant, but my friends insisted I give you a chance and so I did. At first we had so much fun didn't we? We'd spend hours together. You wanted to know everything about me, how old I was, where I lived, what I did for work, where I went to high school, who my other friends were...you even encouraged me to share my pictures with you. The more time I spent with you, the more I got to know you and the more I liked you.

You even helped me reconnect with old friends, and I thought that I was so lucky to have you.

But lately, you've changed.

At first the changes were subtle. I don't know why, but you changed your whole look. I didn't say anything because hey, sometimes we all feel the need for a little make-over from time to time. Who am I to judge?

But now, you're moving things around without asking me and frankly I just think that's rude. You don't do the same things you used to do for me anymore. What brought this on? Why do you have to make it so difficult for me to see my friend's status updates all at once? I used to love that about you and with no regard to my opinion you just stopped showing them to me. What have I done to deserve this?

I know you have insecurity issues, but how many times do I have to tell you that I am not leaving you for Twitter? I have no profile there. You can check, although I'm sure you already have. But even if I were to have a profile there, we had no commitments. This was supposed to be casual fun, remember? Yes I know you think I have a commitment phobia, but this isn't about me, it's about you - so let's try to stay focused.

And seriously FB, the stalking emails have got to stop. At first I looked forward to your notification emails, but 20-30 a day? It's really getting out of control. It's a distraction for me at work, I do have a job you know.

I have to be honest with you, my friends have noticed the change in you as well. They are starting to resent you too. I hear them talk and it hurts.

I'm not saying I want to break-up, but I miss the way things used to be. All I'm asking is that you stop worrying about what Twitter is doing, stop being so insecure (it's really kind of a turn-off) and stop changing.

Just be you.~ Doreen

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I got nothin

I sort of borrowed this idea from LiLa. They are two sisters who blog (and recently sold their book). I found them from another awesome blogger Little Ms. J. Thanks LMJ, I'm kinda addicted now!

Ok, so here we go, top four reason why I can't think of anything to blog about.

Batman called me this morning because he missed me. There was a moment where we talked about our future... after we hung up I spent the morning jumping ahead a year from now and imagining living together in happy bliss. Yeah I'm a chick, it's what we do. Don't judge.

I am thinking about Sharon and TK. I'm very excited for them and can't wait to talk to her later today.

I had a project due at 8:00 AM, didn't finish it on time and am now anticipating the fall out.

Once I finally finished the project at, I spent the rest of the morning reading LiLa's blog. Funny funny girls!

So that's it, like I said... I've got nothin - but I've just posted links to two great blogs that if you're not following you should!

So what are you waiting for?

Go, go read them. Now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Years... and no one got hurt!

That's a direct quote from my husband... it's what he put on our calendar for today, our second anniversary.

Gotta love him.

And hey, here's an interesting fact - we share our anniversary with the movie "Say Anything". Maybe TK will stand outside my window with a boombox over his head?

One year ago our first anniversary was spent wandering the West Coast - from fireside massages at the Carmel Valley Ranch to cocktails at the Ritz Half Moon Bay to dinner with friends in San Francisco's Chinatown to a private wine tasting at the Ledson Winery in Sonoma.

No, not all in one day.







Two years ago today we married on the island of Nevis in the West Indies. Six days on the island with a small group of friends and family.Bonfires on the beach and days spent lounging by the pool all led up to the most romantic wedding I could've ever imagined. Six more days in St Kitts after waving goodbye to the friends and family. Bliss.










How can you top that?

Year Two.

The Big um, Two.

Doesn't sound like much. Two. Which is nothing compared to how long some of our friends have been married but for us - wow.

The fact that we are even married - to each other no less - still amazes me.

When TK asked if I wanted to return to Nevis for our second anniversary, or if we should run to St Thomas for a few days or maybe go to NYC where he proposed for a weekend getaway well, I did my thing. I jumped online, researching hotels and packages and flights and dates...

Then I thought about it.

We are spending the day, and night, playing tourist in our own backyard. Something I've been wanting to do all year. We've never been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. Or walked the Freedom Trail. Or had a drink while listening to the music that plays 365 nights a year at Wally's Jazz Cafe.

I can't wait. It's the perfect day spent with my favorite person.

Happy Second Anniversary baby. Thank you for the past two years - looking forward to at least two more!