Remember These?

25 Jul

 

Last February, Facebook celebrated a big birthday.  As a way of saying Thank You to the millions of people who use Facebook on a daily basis, they gave each of us a short – one minute – personal birthday video.  A photo montage of highlights from our lives – starting from the anniversary of your FB join date.  The perfect minute, set to the perfect music.  They did it so tastefully.

I watched mine over and over again when it first came out.  Then the excitement faded a bit and like a beloved childhood toy, it sat dusty on a shelf.  Unwatched, but readily available for those days when you felt reminiscent.  Or in need of a little pick-me-up.

And, I do reach for mine.  I reach for it on days when I need a reminder of just how blessed I am.   It’s a constant reminder of just how much I have been given in my life and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by an amazing family and dear friends.

Are you on Facebook?  Do you remember the day you received your birthday video?  When was the last time you dusted it off and watched it?

Today is a good day to take a moment to sit back, take a short breather, and be grateful for the many blessings that surround you every single day.

social-media-like

Move over Hallmark, there’s a new card in town.

18 Jul

Have you noticed those funny little ecards that are all over social media sites?  You’d have to have been living in an isolated cave not to know exactly what I’m talking about.  They’re everywhere!

I started taking notice of them about a year or so ago.  But in truth, they came onto the scene in 2007 – (I googled it!!)  They have their own Facebook page with well over 1 million Likes.

They’re brilliant!  And witty!  And quite honestly – completely truthful and accurate.  They say in one line, what most of us try to stammer out in a long-winded, beating around the bush, run on sentence.

I like to email them to Clark sometimes.  They easily convey, what I can’t seem to get across to him.  Like this one….

boss

 


 

 

There’s many advantages to sending eCards.  They’re free.  They’re delivered automatically to our electronic devices & received immediately with a few clicks of the mouse.  There’s no limit to the audience in which you can send them to.

The Weight Loss Friend

losing weight

 The BS’r

busy

 The Selfie Abuser

selfie

The Grammar Nazi

grammar

 The Screener

nottextingme

 The Facebook Creeper

creeper

The Employer

Employer

The Fraud

Fraud

The Gym Member

Gym1

The Interupter

interuppter

And finally – The Online Addict….

online

Oh Canada!!

15 Jul

 canadian_maple_leaf

It was 3:30 a.m. – I was sound asleep, exhausted from the long, extended weekend getaway that my Hubs and I had decided to go on.  Somewhere in my dream an alarm clock was going off.  Loudly.  An overly annoying, blaring noise – over and over again.  Disturbing my sleep.

Finally realizing it was not a dream, I came out of my fog, rolled over and hit the button that turned off the rude invasion.  My eyes opened slowly.  Confusion clouded my brain.  Where was I?  Oh, in Canada.  It was an unGodly hour and we had to get up to catch the first flight out – back to the U.S.

At 3:30 a.m.?  Yes!  It was Clark’s way.  First flight out.  Always.  I had grown accustomed to it and actually kind of liked getting on the road early now.

The 4th of July fell on a Friday this year.  That meant extra time to celebrate our country’s Independence.  A long weekend – plus a few days tagged on to the beginning and the end.  It was the American way!!  Take a one day celebration and turn it into an extended, 5+ day mini vacation.  U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

happy-4th-of-july-2012-fireworks-flag-usa

And so, we did.  But all good things come to an end and our vaca was over and it was time to hit the road and head back to reality.

As we arrived to the airport, I noticed the huge crowds and quickly realized that everyone had the same idea.  Get away for an extended holiday and catch the early flight home.  YIKES.

The Montreal Airport was a mob scene!  People pushing and shoving.  Confusion.  I would soon find out that it was the calm before the storm.

lines

Fast forward 4 hours…….

 


 

Our flight was cancelled due to…well, who really knew why.  It’s like a huge, top-secret dealio that the airport officials keep from you until the last moment.  And even then, the cynic in me tells me that half the time, the story you get is BS.

 flights-cancelled

 

Long lines at the re-ticketing booth formed quickly.  We were, oh, about 200th in line.  And, the line was moving at a snail’s pace.  Seriously – How long does it take to re-issue a new ticket on a flight that is NOT cancelled??

Every now and then, while standing in the worlds slowest and longest line, I’d sneak a peek at Clark to see if the vein in his neck was popping out.  The one that pops out when he is about ready to explode.  It was.  I would look away again and pretend I did not notice.  It was like sitting on a time bomb.  If we did not get service quickly, it was going to get ugly.

Somewhere in front of us, there was an irate woman dressed in some kind of tropical get-up with a matching festive hat, screaming about missing her connecting flight to Aruba.  Sorry lady, you aren’t getting to Aruba today. 

There was a small, determined,  Japanese woman who came out of nowhere and had marched to the front of the mile long line, talking in her foreign tongue, waving her ticket in front of the agents face.  The agent kindly told her to go to the back of the line.  She continued to frantically wave her ticket.  He continued to tell her to wait her turn.  He finally won out.  She turned around and headed back.  Sort of.  She went about halfway back and hid behind a large pole and made an attempt every once in a while to rush the desk again – only to get the same response.  Wait your turn.

 hiding2

 

During all the chaos, and after about 2 hours of waiting in the line that never budged, Clark, with neck vein bulging,  overheard an agent saying he was going to open another desk down the hallway.  He turned to me frantically and told me to get a head start, head the agent off and be first in line.

A good plan of attack!!  I hurried down the hall, dragging my heavy, overstuffed, carry on luggage in tow, and beat the agent to his post.  Hurray!!  First in line!  I noticed others had followed me.  The agent rounded the corner and was a bit surprised that we were all standing there waiting for him.  Tickets in hand and hope in our eyes.

Clark joined me in line, did some fancy talking and before you knew it, we had two seats on a connecting flight home and a handful of food vouchers!  Food always calmed Clark’s nerves.  I peaked at his neck vein.  Yup, calm again.

While waiting for our newly, rescheduled flight,  Clark and I spent time in the Maple Leaf Club.  This is the private club.  (I use the term loosely – it’s really a glorified waiting room.)  It’s for frequent travelers to sit in while waiting for their flights.  I looked around the room.  It was filled with other passengers whose flights were also cancelled or delayed.

One benefit of the Maple Leaf Club is that you get free food and beverages while you wait.  Like any other venue where food is included, people were swarming around it.   As the server would bring out more carts with some new offerings on it, the crowd would all get up at once and stampede over & pile their plates high with whatever it was.  Then, they’d slowly saunter back over to where they had been sitting – waiting for the next wave of food items to pounce on.  It was amusing and annoying all at once.

BuffetLine

 

At 4 p.m, – 12 hours after our ordeal started – We were still sitting in the club.  I started to get antsy.  The food was now boring me.  We had seen new faces come and go.  The crowd had completely turned over.

There was an Amish man sitting a few seats from me.  He was wearing a black hat that was flat on top with a big, wide brim around it. He had a full length black beard and long chin length ringlets hanging down on either side of his head.   As I looked at him, I knew that I would never have made it in this life as an Amish person because, well, ringlets.

There was a very thin, very fashionable french (Canadian-french) lady, sitting a few seats opposite the Amish man, eating a carrot stick. I was tired and needed a shower and was getting annoyed.  I wanted to scream at her…oh go out on a limb and eat a cheese cube why don’t you!!

cheesecube

My eyes traveled around the room and settled on Clark who was sitting across from me. His brow was furrowed. (what now?)  He looked up at me, informing me that our original, non-stop 6a.m. flight home, which had been delayed & then cancelled & re-booked, was once again delayed.  Ohhhh Canada! – Oh brother!!  Would we ever get home?

We would.  And eventually we did.  Almost 18 hours later, three cities and two airports. We made it back home. What had originally started out as a 2 hour non-stop flight home, had turned into an 18 hour ordeal.  But, we got home.  Safely.  It never felt better to walk in to our home than that night.  Exhausted from the long weekend and the travel day home.

I must say, traveling with Clark is always one great big adventure.  We travel often and on the fly.  Never really knowing where we will end up.  But we always have a great time.  Canada was lovely and we had a blast!  I’d take a day of nightmarish travel in exchange for a trip with Clark any-old-time!!  Bring it on!

What we need now, is a vacation from our vacation!

 

vacation

 

 

What’s in a Tag?

2 Jul

tag_istock

Lately, I have spent a bit of time revamping my blog.  A new title.  A new domain.  A little tweaking here and there.  In the end, it pretty much looks like it did to begin with.  I guess I liked it just the way it was.

As I went through the process of making a few small changes, I discovered that the tags that we attach at the end of our stories, magically get organized into an invisible filing system.  When you hover your mouse over any of the tags, and then right click with your mouse, all stories within the same category appear.  Wallah!  Just like magic!  I love this newly found feature.  For someone as innately unorganized as myself, it is like having your very own secretary.

After discovering this feature, I found myself clicking & opening different tags from all the blogs I have written over the past year or so.  I was curious to see what I had unconsciously written about most.

I discovered that there was a small common sub-theme sprinkled throughout most of my posts.  Sometimes in a small way, sometimes big. I kept seeing it mentioned over and over again.  My Mom.

I paused when I noticed this.  A warm, sweet feeling flooded my heart.  Followed by a mixture of emotions.  Happiness, love and then sadness.  That feeling of void because she was not with us anymore.  One day, just like that, without any notice or forewarning, she was taken from us.

We used to talk on the phone several times a week.  If it was in the morning, we’d sit and chat, always laughing together. Though miles apart from each other, on those mornings we’d go through a pot of coffee together.  Or if it was in the afternoon or evening, wine.

She always mentioned my blog.  Commenting on what she liked about a certain post.  About what made her laugh.  Or cry.  If too much time went by between posts, she’d ask when I was going to write next.  She said the first thing she did each morning was look to see if there was an email notifying her of a ‘New Blog post from Margber’ - She said it would make her day if there was a new post.  That she got excited and looked forward each day to reading my blog – but was let down if there was nothing new.    I never really knew if that was true or if it was just a tall tale to her daughter – a way of conveying a mother’s love.

I tossed around the idea of making a tribute post to her for her birthday.  It was two days ago.  She would have turned 79. I wanted to honor her in some small way.  But the words never came.  So I let the moment pass, silently honoring her special day.  Missing her so incredibly much.  Offering up a vow to give anything for one more cup of coffee together and long, drawn out phone conversation.  It had been so long since I had heard her voice.

After the bittersweet feelings of this discovery started to subside, I thought about her with a smile in my heart.  It made sense to me that her name was peppered throughout my writing and continues to be.  She was a major influence of mine in regards to following my muse.  Thank You, Mom!

She was such a positive role model in my life.  Recently, more-so than ever, I’ve noticed that I am becoming more like her each day.  Oh, I know my kids and hubby have kidded me about this for years, but it was not until the past few months that I truly became aware of just how much I AM my Mother.  Not so much in little ways anymore, but in big, wonderful ways.  I  embrace this fact each time I catch myself doing something or saying something that she would have said.   My actions so often mirror actions of hers that are branded on my heart.  Years ago this would have made me cringe.  Today?  It secretly pleases me.  I think of it as God’s way of keeping our loved ones spirit alive and present in our everyday Lives.  Thank You, God! 

My mom’s passing still seems so surreal to me.  In a way, I think it always will.  Mainly because she still feels so present in my life – through my actions & in my words and through my writing.  Stumbling upon those tags and their path that led me back to my mom, was a cherished gift.  Re-reading some of my posts about her was like stumbling upon a treasure of gold.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I Love You.

  the-beautiful-heart

 

 

Goodbye Fliphone

30 Jun

evolution

 

Imagine my shock last week when my sweet sister emailed me to tell me that she had finally admitted that perhaps text’g is here to stay and that she went out and got a smart phone!!  Hurray - Goodbye Fliphone!!

Ok, truthfully, her Hubs gave her a brand new, shiny smart phone for her birthday.  Way to go Brother-In-Law!!  I was both excited to get her email telling me this Fab news – and also very confused at receiving an email rather than a catching wind of it through a text.  C’mon sis, get texting!! 

I thought back to when I first started texting.  It was awkward and slow.  It took some time for my colossal, mammoth fingers to get used to typing on the miniature keypad.  The only person I really had to text was my Hubs & Kids. Sorry, Fam!!  It took me some time to figure out my way around auto correct.  My texts were filled with typos (due to mammoth fingers) and I’m sure some people thought I had no idea how to spell or what I was even trying to say.

 

 

 

Ellen1

 

 

Ok, so I will give her a break because she is new to this.  Before she knows it, she will be all wrapped up in social media and ignoring the real world just like the rest of us.  Happy birthday, Sister!!

 

 


 

Pitfalls of Texting

 

1 – Texts can be easily ignored

MjAxMi04ZTVhODhjY2U5OTIzM2Jk

2- Miscommunication

somewhat-skeptical-laughing-out-flirting-ecard-someecards

3- Rudeness in some circumstances

texting

4- Used to avoid talking to People

howyoufeel

5 – Can’t be sure who you’re talking to

boyfriend

6 – Could cause friction in friendships

nottextingme

 


What was your first experience with smart phones and the world of txt’g?

 

Bon Appétit

20 Jun

Did you know that there is literally a different food or beverage honored on just about every day of the year?

Wait. What?

You may be asking yourself – Why does the U.S. need all of these National Food Days?  Who decided that on January 14th it was National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day?  Why on February 8th do we salute Peach Melba?  (Excuse me, but what is Peach Melba??)  I mean, sure, french fries deserve the accolades, but don’t pretend anyone’s actually dying to celebrate national raisins.

Today is National Dry Martini Day.  Hip Hip Hooray!!!  OK, not true,  Yesterday was martini day.  However, I have decided to celebrate yesterday’s day, today…well, because martini’s.

martini-gospel

I know this fun (martini) food fact because I couldn’t sleep last night and was up at 2:30 a.m. browsing Google for some new cocktail recipes and stumbled upon this website – BoozeMenus - which lead me to check that fact out on the AMERICAN FOOD HOLIDAYS site – and they said it was true.  This is good news because A) I like food holidays and B) I like martini’s.  Since the national food days calendar includes fun cocktails and interesting beverages, it’s a win – win!

MjAxMy1lZDRlNDA0N2M1NGQxZTc0

After finally calming down from my initial joy in finding out that it was the day to celebrate the dry martini, I started skimming through the list of celebrated foods that have their own self appointed day.  I was surprised – no, shocked!! – to see the names of some of the odd selections that made the cut.  The list not only included celebrated foods, but also tossed in a few activities -

May 6 – No Diet Day (Love this one!!)

no-diet-day-2011-2-220x300

August 31 – Eat Outside Day.

buttercup01

A national holiday technically needs to be recognized by Congress, and though I hate to disappoint, I have to let you all know that these National Food Days are not officially recognized holidays. Shocking, I know.

If you could nominate one of your favorite foods to be celebrated nationally, which would it be?  Which will you be celebrating this year?  Confused by all the National Food Holidays that just seem to pop-up out of thin air? America makes sure each acclaimed food holds its rightful place on the calendar. Celebrate your favorite foods this year by using this handy guide!!  You’re Welcome!!

- American FoodHolidays -

 

original_Bon_Appetit

 

Being Margaret

13 Jun

change[1]

Hello People!  Finally, after months and months of trying to resolve the issue of losing my domain, (oopsie-daisey!) I’ve taken the plunge & registered a brand new, shiny domain!!  And no, you’re not seeing things.  I’ve also revamped my site a wee little bit with a new, updated, fresh title!!

I had been thinking about changing my site title for a very long time.  Changing it from ‘Twenty Thirteen’ to, well, anything else.

A few months ago I went through an exhausting ordeal while attempting to renew my domain.  It was stolen right out from under me!! – and is currently being held for some ridiculously large amount of ransom by an evil domain shark!! (I may or may not have felt forced to temporarily turn to the bottle during this ordeal – devastating!!) There’s an entire racket built around snatching expired domains from current owners and selling them back at exorbitant prices. (my previous domain is now valued at over $1000. – ridiculous!!)  It’s a sad situation that many unsuspecting people fall prey to out of laziness, procrastination or in my case, simply by being caught up in the system.  This article explains how the entire process works.  Bookmark it!  No, first set your domains and upgrades to Auto-renew (which I THOUGHT mine WERE set on) and then do yourself a favor and read this article. 

Fast forward 4 months.  Like so many devastating situations in life, there was a hidden, silver lining.  The loss of my domain forced me to step out of my old, familiar, blogging comfort zone and take a good, deep look at the branding of my blog and the direction in which I wanted to head towards in the future.  (I know, deep!!)

After much obsession thought and discussion with my friends, spouse, kids, neighbors, friendly checkout lady at the grocery store, – pretty much anyone I could corner – I realized a small revamp was in order.  I had put much thought into leaving my original title behind.  It was restricting and limiting.  It did not really point to the purpose behind my blog.  It did not give my readers a clear vision of what my blog was about.  In short, it had to go.  (whoa, I surprised myself!  Being as fickle as I am, who knew that a title change would be in order because I’d still be blogging a year after I began?!?!)

It was a decision that I did not take lightly.  I thought about it for months.  I weighed all of the pros and cons and finally decided that it was a step in the right direction.  I was moving away from my lost domain and taking control!  (Evil Domain Sharks!!)  Still, it’s a change.  And, a big one.  Anyone who knows me personally knows I am just a teeny tiny itsy bitty uncomfortable with change.  When it comes down to it, aren’t we all?

But I forged through my fear and today I introduce to you my new title – Being Margaret!! –  Hey! That’s me!..Hurray!!!  That’s right,  I’ve taken the leap – it’s goodbye to Twenty Thirteen and hello to Being Margaret.  I’m excited for this new chapter.  I’m thrilled that I was able to not only arrive at a solution that worked in my favor, but also, that I was able to outsmart the evil Domain Sharks!!  AHA!  Take that, you evil doers!

Change is inevitable.  It’s never easy.  Often it pulls on our heartstrings.  We try to stop it because we like our comfort zone.  But also, because it signifies the beginning of the end of something.  Of moving on.  We like staying put right where we are.  We are not ready to say goodbye.  Or to say so long for now.  We like keeping things just the way they are, comfortable and familiar.

So as you all mull over my new site title and become familiar with it, I will leave you with one of my VERY FAVORITE quotes about change and about endings.  As for me, I get a shiny new star for outsmarting the evil domain sharks.  Hmmmm, Being Margaret – I like it!!!

 

There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we want to or not, everything eventually ends. Last day of summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend. But endings are inevitable, Leaves fall, you close the book. You say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. Today we say goodbye to everything that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. We’re moving on. But just because we’re leaving, and that hurts, there’s some people who are so much a part of us, they’ll be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground. Our North Star. And the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us … always.”

change-1

How to become a seasoned traveler

8 Jun

perfect-girl

Hey!  It’s Summertime!!!   Time to take to the highways and sky-ways for travel.  Here are a few helpful tips on becoming a seasoned traveler.  You’re Welcome!

 


 Helpful Hints

 

  • Dramatically roll eyes when your fun friend suggests taking a weekend trip together while out having cocktails

  • Order another round of drinks

  • Jump on board

  • Discuss possible destinations with fun friend

  • Start small – possibly a road-trip to a neighboring state.

  • Pay the high tab from cocktails you’ve been having while discussing fun road-trip and decide to pin down destination soon.

  • Ignore work, chores, spouse, kids so you can obsess all week about where to go on fun girlfriends road trip

  • Decide a weekend is not long enough

  • Extend weekend trip to an extended long weekend road-trip.

  • Call fun friend at work to discuss extended long weekend road-trip details.

  • Scrap the idea of road-trip.  Decide to fly across the country

  • Look for good airfare

  • Pay exorbitant price for airfare

  • Book earliest flight of the day as not to miss a single minute of fun get-away.

  • Look for good hotel deal in a small, reasonably priced hotel.

  • Book a suite at a swanky hotel

  • Get disgusted at lack of weekend getaway outfits.

  • Go shopping for new wardrobe.

  • Sneak new wardrobe into house when hubby is away at work

  • Feel guilty

  • Hide new wardrobe in back of spare bedroom closet.

  • Call fun friend to discuss new weekend wardrobe

  • Get excited

  • Brilliantly decide to extend weekend road-trip to a week-long get away.  Hurray!

  • Go shopping for more clothes

  • Start obsessing about weather for fun girlfriend’s trip

  • Go shopping for comfy vacation walking shoes

  • Buy three pairs

  • Call fun friend and tell her about new, comfy walking shoes.

  • Check out vacation destination weather again

  • Worry about possible rain

  • Screw the rain.  Who cares!

  • Go shopping for new rain slicker and travel umbrella

  • Call fun friend and discuss new purchases.  And, weather.

  • Lug old suitcase up 2 weeks before trip and set it in corner of bedroom

  • Decide old suitcase is not good for fun getaway

  • Go shopping for new weekender bag

  • Call fun friend and tell her about new luggage

  • Check on vacation weather again

  • Start laying out clothes for fun girls getaway.

  • Call fun friend to ask what she is packing.

  • Over-pack

  • Unzip suitcase extender for extra room

  • Take a few things out of suitcase that you decide you don’t need.

  • Re-zip overstuffed suitcase

  • Have fun friend stay with you the night before leaving on fun friends getaway.

  • Check out vacation weather with fun friend.

  • Ask hubby to drive you to airport in the morning.

  • Worry about possible, heavy traffic on the way to airport.  And, the weather.

  • Set alarm clock for 3am to avoid being late for first flight out

  • Lug overstuffed, heavy suitcase down the stairs and out to waiting car.

  • Arrive at airport 2 hours early for first flight because there was no traffic.

  • Board airplane.

  • Get situated in seat and worry about who will be sitting with you in third open seat.

  • Avoid eye contact with boarding passengers

  • Pray for someone skinny.

  • Cough and pretend to have massive head cold as boarding passengers check out open seat.

  • Turn to fun friend in excitement as seat remains open.

  • Talk about weather at destination

  • Talk about all the fun you will have

  • Order a Bloody Mary from Flight attendant

  • Talk about how this will be the BEST TRIP EVER.

  • Land at destination.

  • Lug overstuffed suitcase out to cab

  • Wait in massively long cab line

  • Load heavy suitcase into trunk of cab

  • Swerve away from Airport and Off You Go!!

  • Arrive at Swanky Hotel.

  • Check into room.

  • Drop off luggage

  • HURRAY!   Have a GREAT fun friend getaway!!

travel2

 

 

A Bite of the Big Apple

5 Jun

 

i-love-ny2

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to NYC a time or two. Actually, Clark and I go there whenever our schedules permit. We both absolutely love that city.  It’s big and bustling and has an energy like no other place I know of.  I have wanted to take my sister there for a long time.   I’ve brought up the topic to her more than once.  I would beg and plead. “It will be fun!” “You’ll love it!!” Then one day, just like that, she agreed! Whoa! I was shocked! My heart flipped over! I could feel my NYC Tourist adrenaline start to surge through my veins. She agreed!! Hallelujah!!!

So after months of planning and what would become daily emails and phone calls, off we went. We were New York Bound! Big Apple, here we come!

We stepped off the plane in NYC – with suitcases in tow, we grabbed the first cab we could. Hurray! We were on our way to our fancy Big Apple Hotel!! The cab driver was like an Indy car racer! How exciting!! Swerving in and out of heavy traffic. Honking his horn at anyone who got in his way. I LOVED it! My sister, mouth gaping open, was holding on for dear life. I assured her we were safe and that after a few days, she’d get used to the fast pace of the big city. Did I mention that she is from a small town in Indiana?

When we got to our hotel, we were excited that our room was ready for us. (We took the first plane out and arrived at 8am – didn’t want to waste a single New York Minute!) We headed straight up to drop off our luggage.  We had decided to book a suite. And boy was it ever sweet! It was fabulous and big and the definition of luxury! It was situated in a corner room on a high floor. It was probably bigger than most NYC apartments. We had a great view of the city. And skyline. This was living!! It had 2 bathrooms and plush bathrobes and an amazing mini bar (with equally amazing prices!!) We reluctantly made a pact not to touch anything in it regardless of how tempted we got.  That was settled!  We changed and off we went. The Big Apple!!

????????????????????????????????????????

And so it went – Our days were packed. We got up at the crack of dawn and would fall in bed exhausted well after midnight each day. I took her everywhere a first time New York Visitor would want to go. We stood atop of the Empire State Building and went to the Top of the Rock. We visited the 911 Memorial & Museum and took the ferry out to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We went to the ABC & NBC studios and made our way through mobs of people in Times Square. We visited The Ed Sullivan Theater where David Letterman tapes his show. Every day, we walked past Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall which our hotel was situated between.  We explored Central Park and the Upper West Side (My Fav!) – as well as Midtown and Downtown. We traveled by subway everywhere we went. Or walked. And walked. And walked. We went to Grand Central Station and shopped on 5th Avenue. We went to Plays and had late night dinners. We spent Friday night in Little Italy and Soho.

The day before we left, we decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh Yay!! So exciting!! And Fun!! This historic bridge was massive. And Beautiful. And the doorway onto the island of Manhattan from Brooklyn. And it was crowded. Yikes! ridiculously so.

We found our way to the foot of the bridge and started to embark up the ancient, wooden slats that made up the narrow walking path used to cross the bridge.  It was probably about 10 – 15 feet wide. There was a white stripe (or was it yellow?) painted down the center of it which made it even narrower. We were surrounded by thousands of people who also were walking the bridge. And, riding there bikes over it. WHAT?? Whoa!. Half of it was for walking and we shared the other half with bikers who were riding over it at dangerous, high speeds. At first I was a bit uneasy with the way the bikes would so closely whizz past us. But then, you forgot about them as you got caught up in the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen. You were walking across this amazing structure and you could see views of the NYC skyline that you’d only seen before in books or on television. It was magnificent! And breathtaking.

IMG_2651

I had my camera and was taking 100’s of pictures. I spotted a group of guys doing maintenance on the Bridge. They had climbed up the thick, metal wires that helped to suspend the structure. They were up several hundred feet over the water. There were lots of people taking pictures of these guys. The photographer in me wanted to get that shot!  I turned to focus on one of the men and BAM! Before I knew it, I was knocked off my feet and laying face down on the Brooklyn Bridge.

‘OMG..what just happened?’

I was a bit dazed. I looked up and saw my sister standing over me. Mouth gaping open. With a stunned look on her face. And then I heard a loud, snarly voice swearing at me. “What the F***…this is the bike lane you idiot”

Hmmph. How Rude!! I looked around and got up quickly. I could see a bike laying on its side. It’s rude rider knocked off to the ground. (Dear God, had I caused that?) In my excitement to get a good shot, my foot had accidentally crossed over the white line and caused a collision. (The rude bike rider was not very forgiving.)  I stood there in my touristy red shirt, camera hanging crookedly around my neck and scuffed up knee and kept apologizing over and over again. She just kept rudely snarling at me. It was one of those humiliating times where you hope nobody noticed. But you know they all did.

The embarrassing moment passed and we parted ways, I kept telling my sister how terrible I felt. She kept saying.. “Oh, nobody was paying attn.” I knew she was lying but somehow her words made me feel better.

I never did get the shot. But I did get this shot….

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How can you write about a ‘FAB! NYC Vacation’ in one itty-bitty blog post? It’s an impossible task!

My sister and I had the time of our life! We ate. We drank. We went without sleep. We walked all over that huge, beautiful city with that touristy, deer in the headlight look. And, loved every minute of it!! More than once, I caught my sister out of the corner of my eye with her mouth gaping open. Just staring in wonderment and awe.

Like all vacations, it went too fast.  But we have such GREAT memories!

Take a look….

 

 

 

Sister’s FAB NYC Vaca!!!

3 Jun

We’reeee Backkkkkkk……

 Sisters

 

I was overwhelmed when I returned home from our FABULOUS SISTER’S NYC VACATION to find as many comments and posts to Twenty-Thirteen asking for details and a follow-up to our Super-Duper-Awesome get-away!!  Wow! Thanks, People!

thank-you

 

I need to sort through all of the glorious, memorable details and collect my scattered, exhausted thoughts first.  As a teaser, I can tell you that there was an unfortunate incident that left me flattened (not to mention, embarrassed!!) atop of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Oh My!!  My sister looked on, mouth gaping open……

Well, you will just have to be patient.  Stay Tuned!!

There’s no place like home…  There’s no place like home…

giphy

 

 

 

 

Friday Feature

30 May

Something Worth Sharing

 

When faced with insurmountable hardship, sometimes the only solution is to have a little fun.

 Watch and soak in the unconditional love!!  :)

 

via

NYC or Bust

20 May

 

greetingsnyc

New York City!!  Planning a long weekend to NYC is no easy task.  Add to that the fact that you are heading off on this shindig with your sister and the task becomes an event.

I’ve always recognized the fact that the time leading up to a long weekend getaway or vacation is often just as exciting, if not more, than the actual vacation itself.  The spark is set off when the idea is first discussed ~ which is usually over cocktails or while already in the midst of a vacation!! WHOOOP!!!

I approached my sister with the idea of a weekend away in NYC.  It was long overdue.  We had never gone away together before.  Shame on us!!  We were in our 50’s.  Was this something that we seriously had never scratched off of our bucket list??  Time restraints, hectic schedules and of course, our kids, had always prevented us from just picking up and taking off for the weekend.  Well that was about to change.  NYC, here we come!!

two months before trip…..

Me:  What do you think about a trip to NYC?

Nancy:  When?

Me:  Soon, before summer and craziness.

Nancy:  I’m in!

 

Well,  that almost seemed too easy.   After many phone-calls back and forth and daily emails, we finally found ONE weekend that worked.  One weekend in the entire summer!  The dates were set.  We would go for a long weekend, Thurs – Sun.  And So, the excitement began.

6 weeks before trip….

 airplane

Me:  How do you feel about an early flight?

Nancy:  How early?

Me:  6am. That way we don’t lose the entire first day

Nancy:  I’m In!!

 

Alrighty then!!!  Flight booked.

Next up – Hotel accommodations.  Before I was married, I would stay in any old flea bag motel.  The Red Roof in on the corner was fine with me.  No room service?…No problem!  Carry my own luggage to my room?  No biggie!

Then I got married.  Clark had a different take on hotels than I did.  He liked top end accommodations. And so, I discovered Luxury Hotels. How did I ever travel before without those cushy robes and matching slippers?  The valets, the concierge service, the large marble bathrooms &  tubs.. (Thanks Clark!!)  And a Hotel Snob was born!!

 

Me:  Nancy, hotels are a bit pricey in NYC.

Nancy:  That’s fine. You’re the cruise director!!  Make all the plans and consider me along for the ride.

 

This was too good to be true!  She was, like, the best travel partner ever!!  And so, the hotel was booked.  A beautiful spot one block from the West entrance to Central Park. We were in the middle of the action!

We started planning our days out.  Since Nancy had never been to NYC before, the list of things to do were endless.  Even to seasoned travelers who had been to this huge, bustling city many times, there were endless possibilities of things to do and see.  I planned to take her to see all the usual touristy spots – Top of the Rock, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Little Italy, SoHo, Chelsea, The Dakota, Washington Park, Wall Stree.

We bought tickets for the theater – two plays!  We had a day planned to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge (Just like Miranda & Steve did in Sex in the City!!) We bought tickets for the 9-11 Memorial which was opening to the public the week we planned on being there – Oh What great timing!!!

But wait.  We had too much to do and so little time.  I didn’t even know if we HAD enough time to do everything on our list.  I looked over our list of activities and decided there was not one single item I could delete.  Soooooo…..

 

Me:  Nancy, what do you think about going an extra few days?

Nancy:  Will we be able to change our plane reservations and get the extra days in the hotel?

Me:  Surrreee, why not??!!  (fingers crossed)

Nancy:  OK, I’m in!  But I won’t tell my hubby just yet,  I’ll spring it on him later.

Me:  Good thinking! (I would follow suit!!)

Nancy:  Oh, by the way…I went shopping on my lunch today and bought an outfit to wear on the plane!!  SO EXCITED!!

Me: O0Oh!!  Maybe I need a new outfit, too!!

 

And so, we tweaked our hotel and air reservations and the excitement began to build even more.  Our weekend away, that started off as two days, was now almost a full week!!  WHOOOP!!

The emails began to come at a rapid rate.  There was not a day that went by where we did not talk to each other or email at least 1000 times.  OK, I exaggerate.  But it was a lot!!  And the content of the emails changed.  We were now talking about the shopping we were doing in preparation for our trip.  And Nancy had started to add cute little clip art pictures to her emails.  It was all getting very fancy!!  It was all so exciting!

What had happened to me so many times before, was happening again.  I was in the pre-vaca mode. The mode where you are giddy!!  And all a flutter.  And almost more excited than when you are actually ON the vaca!!  It’s one of the highlights of going away.  Planning and looking forward to and discussing…every.last.detail.

I looked forward to waking up to Nancy’s emails every morning.  They were very lighthearted and made me chuckle.

 3 weeks before trip…

Nancy: Hellllooooooo – I went shopping (power shopping) on my lunch hour today. Went over to Sears because Hubby buys occasionally from there for auto stuff and small yard / tools etc.  When he buys we get “shop your way rewards” points.
We had enough points built up (he doesn’t know it, he never sees the emails) so I thought I needed a new, smaller wallet for N.Y. adventure. I got a new wallet for FREE.

moving

two weeks before trip…

Nancy:  My list of what I am packing is attached. I looked online to see about baggage sizes. Carry on’s 22” x 17” x 9” plus one free which could fit under seat in front of you.  So I will be taking one carry-on plus one tote (it will look nice) of some sort.

one week later….

Nancy:  Went shopping on my lunch.  My old luggage just won’t work.  Bought new, larger suitcase.  Also bought new tote.  SO EXCITED!! CAN’T WAIT!!

Ten days before our trip….

Nancy:  GETTING SO EXCITED!!!  I was going through my closet last night and definitely need to back pedal on my list of items I want to take……I would need an entire trunk if I took all I wanted to take.  I do like the idea of maxi dresses with sweater or shrug to wear to plays.  Think I will go shopping!!

Nancy:  I have bought so many things that I have not shown to Hubby yet.  Will need to sneak them to your house.

One week before trip….

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Nancy:  I am SOO excited…..I cannot wait.  I went shopping again yesterday.  I cleaned out dresser drawer yesterday and now have it filled with stuff I bought to take.  I have also started to put outfits together….I have enough to stay away for three weeks.  OH, I think I am rambling. …talk to you soon.

1/2 hour later…

Nancy:  Forgot to tell you earlier…….I also bought another pair of shoes yesterday.  I think I will need a trunk for our short vacation.

 

7 days before trip….

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Nancy:  Ohhh, I’m SO EXCITED!!!  ok, For Cash – I am planning on bringing 20’s only and not 50’s. Already thought about trying to spend too large of bills. (OH, I might have to buy a thicker wallet) I will have my credit card with me. And there is always a Chase Bank near by if I need to stop and get more $$$$$$$. Will bring extra for you “just in case”.

15 minutes later…

Nancy:  I will bring drivers license (duh!!) and I always have health I.D. and my State I.D. with me, but neither of them have pictures. Will I need I.D. with picture? Of course, I also have my AARP card…..giving away age secrets.

 

Nancy:  I can hardly sleep anymore.  I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!

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A long overdue and exciting girls/sisters weekend week away  – To Be Continued…..

 

Meet The Hawks

14 May

Wednesday Feature

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Whether you’re a seasoned, hardcore hockey fan or you’ve jumped on the playoff’s bandwagon, how could you not get caught up in the excitement of Playoff Hockey?  It’s one of my favorite times of the year.  Ranking right up there with Christmas.  And, summer vacations.  I Love this team!!

Getting to know the Chicago Blackhawks

When did you first truly feel like an adult?

11 May

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I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day while I was driving into the city.  It’s an interactive station.  It’s hip and fun.  They play all the newest songs.  And some oldies.

I’ve listened to this station for years.  Probably 20 or more.  On this particular morning, the DJ asked his listening audience when it was that they truly felt like an adult.  Did they remember the moment in time?  There were a lot of predictable answers.

When I got married…

After the birth of my first child…

When I was diagnosed with….

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Driving down the freeway towards my destination, I lost myself in thought as the soft sounds of the radio continued playing in the background.  When was it that I truly felt like an adult for the first time…

I had been through so much in the past 2 years.  My life had changed so drastically.  A diagnosis of Cancer.  Surgeries.  Radiation.  Moving my husbands parents across the country ~ back home here.  He and I had gone from the role of adult children to caregivers.  The loss of my Father-in-Law.  The loss of my beloved Mother.

The sting of my Mom’s death was still fresh. The wound still deep.

I went back to my hometown a few weeks ago.  Back to the place where I was raised.  Where I had grown up.  The Midwestern town that had shaped me into the adult I am today.  I needed to go back and go through my Mom’s house one last time.  We had put it on the market shortly after her death.  It had sold in a matter of weeks.  I brought a friend along with me for moral support.  The same friend who had helped me through some very dark days after my Mom’s immediate death.  And I met with my sweet sister, Nancy, there that day, too.

I did not know how I would react to the necessity of this final act of letting go.  Her home was the last materialistic and tangible object remaining of her time with us in this life.  And now, that too, would soon become just a sweet memory.

As I worked together with my sister and dear friend to clear out what was left of her belongings, I thought to myself how odd and somewhat sad it is that we accumulate all of these materialistic things during our lifetime.  Treasures to us.  But to others, just objects.  Often, objects of no interest to those left behind after a loved one dies.  And at the end of your life, it’s as if you just open up your front door, walk out  on your life.   All of your things are just left behind.

I came across things that I had not seen in years.  Things that would bring out a sudden laugh or chuckle.  Things that made me smile ~ each one stirring a treasured memory.  I found myself laughing more than crying that day.  And, I knew my mom would be laughing right beside me.  She was lighthearted.  And fun.  And always found the humor in any situation.  I inherited that from her.  Her take on life was also mine.  Her sense of humor I shared, too.  Thank You, Mom!! 

I thought back upon my deep love for my Mom throughout that entire day.   When did our relationship change from mother-daughter to a true, deep friendship?  I could not pinpoint the time, but I knew there was most definitely a metamorphosis that had taken place.  We truly were friends.  We enjoyed each others company and shared so many moments together that two girlfriends would share.  Hour long phone calls.  Often as long as 2+ hours.  We traveled together.  A lot.  And during those travels we became closer and closer.  We saw things for the first time together and were in awe as we traveled and our eyes were opened to new experiences.  Italy.  France.  Spain.  Parts of the USA as well.  She became close to my children.  They formed close bonds with her.  So much so, that they would travel by themselves to see her and spend time with her.  All treasured memories now, locked up in my heart.

As we finished our task that day and were walking out, I turned back one last time and looked around at what had once been her home. When did I truly first feel like an adult?  I never felt more adult than I did in that moment.  I was left behind here on Earth while my Mother, who I love more than words can describe, had gone home to be with my Dad in Heaven.

My Love for my Mom and Dad is deep rooted in my heart and soul.  Forever.

Tomorrow is Mother’s day.  I am going to be celebrating my Mom and smiling at the memory of her inner beauty, over-abundance of unconditional love, our deep friendship, and her selfless gift of being the best role model I could have ever asked for.

I miss her so, so, so much.  I’m sure she is smiling down on me right now from her new home in Heaven.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I Love You.

the-beautiful-heart

 

You told Jimmy Kimmel, what?

10 May

Jimmy Kimmel Asks Moms, ‘What’s the Most Shocking Thing Your Kids Don’t Know About You?’

Happy Mother’s Day!!

In honor of Mother’s Day, Jimmy Kimmel hit the streets of Los Angeles to ask moms, “Whats the most shocking thing your kids don’t know about you?” Some of the answers range from boring, to “what the…” to just plain hilarious.  Watch the video above to see some of the best responses.

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For more fun posts like this one, treat yourself to Keitochan Says
Photo/Source: buzzfeed

Does mom really want that?

9 May

Mothers-Day

It’s a rainy day.  No, a STORMY day.  It’s raining so hard outside that I can barely see out my windows.  The wind is howling.   The trees are bent in half.  There are warnings scrolling across the bottom of my television screen telling us that there is a severe storm warning going on.  NO JOKE!

Well, that settles it.  I can not possibly go out in this mess to the gym.  Hurray!!  A Valid excuse for NOT exercising!  What a great day!!

I have had a bit of writers block lately.  It hits me off and on.  For all different reasons.  And then just like that, I get inspired.  The source of my inspiration this morning? A blustery, severe thunderstorm outside my window.  Now if I don’t lose my power I’ll be all set!!

With storms blowing just outside my front door and Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start putting a little thought into how to make mom’s day special for her.  It’s reallllly not so hard to please mom.  We moms are happy when someone else cooks for us AND cleans up.  We are happy as can be when surrounded by those we love.  That means you… who we have birthed and raised.

It really is that easy.  We don’t need fancy, expensive gifts.  In fact, the gift of your company is the best present everrr!  We don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on us.   And, here’s a little secret.  There is most definitely a little list of gift ideas you probably should avoid.  To help you out, I’ve compiled a few of those things for you here.

 

 

What Not To Get Mom.

1. appliances

…We love getting them!!!!….at our wedding showers.

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2. generic mug

This gift screams – “I didn’t want to put any thought into your present this year….”

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3.  last minute gift

Honey, we’ll be right back…….

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4. coupon booklet (easily confused with last-minute gift)

Really?  And here we thought those were just your chores.

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5. health club membership

“No honey, those jeans don’t make you look fat!”

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6. dinner to YOUR favorite restaurant

The world’s best buffet is generally not our favorite fine dining spot.

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7. certificate

What can I say – FAIL

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So speaking for moms everywhere ~ Do not get caught up in the commercialism of the day.   The gifts are lovely.  However, just spending the day with you is the best gift of all!!  Not to worry tho, if you are guilty of giving these gifts in the past, Mom still loves you.  And, the good news is, you can redeem yourself because Mother’s Day comes around every year.

 

And if all else fails………

margrita

Easter

19 Apr

 

* reblogged from my own blog – One of my very early posts.  My style of writing has changed a bit, but the message is timeless.

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Happy Easter!!

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I sit in my kitchen early in the morning drinking coffee before anyone else in the household wakes up. It has always been my style. It has always been my favorite part of the day. The house is quiet. It is the calm before the storm. Raising three active boys, I knew it was only a matter of time before the storm came. Each day. And it usually did. Not in a bad way. But, in an active, chaotic way. I loved every part of it. Bring it on!

Today, tho the habit is deeply rooted and I still wake up early, the chaos is mostly gone. My children have grown. One married. One graduated from college and working. One living away from home at college. It’s mostly just Bruce and I these days. I think back on Easters past and how exciting this holiday used to be for our family.

Stay up late to fill Easter baskets. Hide them in the house. Get up early in the morning to three little boys racing from room to room trying to find their loot.

Then church. It was always a battle to try to calm everyone down. The prior weeks leading up to the big day, I would go out and shop for new outfits for each of them. When they were young, the outfits were always coordinating. They usually included suspenders and knee socks. Something they cringe at now. As they got older, they each developed their own sense of style. I still felt the maternal need to get them new duds for the holiday. So, I did.

Half the time on the way to church, a brawl would break out for some reason or another. There they would be in their new clothes, sitting strategically in our mini van to ensure the least damage to their appearance by the time we made our 10 minute drive to our destination. They knew how to push each others buttons. Inevitably, the buttons would be pushed. I would get stressed out. Clark would threaten to pull the car over.

We always made it to church in one piece. We would plant forced smiles on our faces so that nobody would know that 5 minutes earlier world war III was breaking out in our car. It was not until years later that I found out that most of our friends had that very similar experience on their ride to church. It was not unique to us. It was normal. It was the American way!

After church, the boys would find their friends in the church gym while the adults would gather and have coffee and talk for a little while. I loved this part of church. I still do. Time to catch up with everyone. This group of people end up being your church family. In a way, every Sunday after church felt like a mini family holiday or gathering. You are not born into each others lives. You find each other. Bonds form. A family by choice.

I was raised catholic. Irish catholic. That is a strong combo. Irish blood runs deep and loyal. Both of my parents worked at Notre Dame and because of this, we had the special perk of being able to attend Notre Dame at a deeply discounted price. You paid for room and board. The education was free. My friends think that for this reason, it was ironic that I ended up at a small, private, expensive protestant college.

I frequently tell my friends that I know it was not ironic, but rather, Divine Intervention. God knew exactly what he was doing when he plucked me out of my environment and plopped me down in the middle of Hope College. There, I met Bruce who I ended up marrying. There I found my true faith. A deep faith by today’s standards. Maybe it was the freedom that you experience while in College or maybe it was my age, but it was then that I realized that faith is a choice. You choose to be a believer or not. You realize that in the end, we are all worshiping the same God. We are just going down different roads and paths in our journeys.

Many Easter’s later, as a mom of three boys ~~ and now a beautiful daughter in law ~~ I think back fondly of all of those Easter mornings. The wild beginning, the chaos of trying to calm everyone to get ready for church, coming home to our big feast. I Love family holidays. I love being all together. It is my favorite thing in the world. We sit down for meals, sometimes for hours. I Look around my table and know how truly blessed I am. I have a beautiful, healthy family. My boys are the best of friends. They all love Bruce’s wife, Lauren. She fits in perfectly. They look up to their father with such respect and love. Today they might even admit that, yes, he did know what he was talking about most of the time when lecturing and giving advice.

So, however you choose to spend your day tomorrow, whether you choose to celebrate privately, with a family of choice or the family you were born into, on this day before Easter, may you all feel the special blessing that family brings to your life and of Easters past and present. And may you feel the deep meaning of the sacrifice given up for you through the cross. Happy Easter!!

happyEaster

it’s all in the name

11 Apr

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Branding.

What’s all the fuss lately?  I seem to run across article after article referring to “branding yourself.”

I started my blog casually. I saw my handsome hubs, Clark, doing something witty one day and just decided to write it down for all the world to read!

OK, not true.

The real story ~ I was prompted a bit by my dear friend, Bonnie, to write.  Well, prompted a lot.  Come to think of it, she was borderline abusive about it.  But I digress.  Sweet Bonnie encouraged me to write.  She saw something in my stories.  Thought I had a gift and should be using it rather than letting it sit stagnant.  So, I wrote.

Who in the world would have ever thought it would have turned into this little obsession of mine a year later?  There’s so much to think about.  Who knew?   You don’t just sit down and toss out some thoughts onto your keyboard and hit “post.”  You start to live and breathe it.  (Yes, I know, never end a sentence with a preposition)

Creating a brand means essentially to think of some cohesive core values that represent you and your blog.

Branding.  You must start off with a catchy title!

Huh?  How about Twenty Thirteen!  Hmmm.  Not so catchy, but hey!!… that was the year I started!  So there’s that.  It will be self-explanatory years from now!  People will identify that I have been blogging since wayyyy bacckkk thennnn!

To-blog-or-not-to-blog_943_426068_0_14072635_500I certainly do not take myself too seriously when writing a post. So why in the world do I want to work on creating a brand for myself that speaks to my audience?

Well, I guess because the longer you blog the more you become obsessed with it.  You slowly start to want to build an audience.  Blogging grabs a hold of you and all you can do is think about is your next post.  I constantly have blog material going through my head.  I can be out do anything, with anyone, and think to myself (and often out loud… ) “oh, that’s great blog material!!” It becomes your mantra.  And part of your daily routine.  Especially when you find humor in simple, ordinary events that happen on any given day.

Face it people!… you are just one huge, humorous blog post waiting to happen.

So, as I often do, I have caved in to the pressure.  *shame*   I have decided to create a fab, new title for my blog!!

Will this create an identity crisis between myself and my readers?  Will they still recognize my blog if the old “twenty thirteen” is replaced by something shiny and  brand new?

Or, Is it actually really necessary to change my title?  I havvveee become a bit fond of it.  Even tho it is a bit vague and generic.  It just feels like….mine.  It feels like home.

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Hey, wait just a minute.  Maybe I AM home!  Maybe Twenty Thirteen IS my identity and my brand.  It does feel comfy like an old sweatshirt.  And, people have already become wildly fascinated with it.  OK, I exaggerate.  But they DO know it’s my blog title.  : )

So, maybe all the fuss about creating a catchy title and developing your brand is just hot air. Maybe, with time, you DO develop a brand simply by being consistent with posts, writing good, solid content and taking care of your site on a day-to-day basis.  Perhaps your brand evolves into something spectacular all by itself just by being yourself and blogging your little heart out.

 

Hmmm, I must give this more thought.  Is it too late in the game to change my title?  Is it even necessary now that I have been blogging for a year?  Do you all know what you are coming to read when you visit my page?  Do you feel you have a handle on branding?   Do you feel you’ve branded your site well and has it served you in a positive way?

Thoughts?

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The Taxi

10 Apr

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Life moves on.

I’ve always used that statement flippantly.  An off the cuff phrase.  It has an entire new meaning to me now.  It’s deep and meaningful and a statement that is intertwined with healing and moving forward.

It’s Thursday.  That means I’m on my way to meet my very dear friend Jeri for coffee.  She’s the kind of friend anyone would be lucky to have.  Always happy.  Always smiling.  She makes me laugh.  When she walks into a room there is an energetic force that enters with her.  Everyone loves her.  I’m happy because we’ve set up a standing weekly date on Thursdays to get together to meet for coffee.  Or manicures.  Or lunch in the city.  Or just so we can talk.  And lately, I’ve been doing all the talking.  And Jeri listens.

It’s been an emotional few months.  The loss of my Mom hit me hard.  It hit all of us hard – my siblings, my kids, my nieces and nephews.  It also left a mark on my Aunts and Uncles and, well, pretty much anyone who knew her.  She was lively and young at heart and fun.  She laughed a lot.  And made you laugh.  She was someone you loved spending time with.

It’s an emotional process learning how to say goodbye to someone you love.  It’s hard to move on because there is a daily sadness that washes over you.

And Guilt.  You feel guilty just for going about your daily routine.  I guess because somewhere down deep that means that you are starting to face that fact that this cherished person is really gone.  But you don’t want to acknowledge it because that means that it really happened and that it’s not just a dream.  A bad dream that you are waiting to wake up from.  You want to hang on to every last piece of this person for as long as you can.

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There is a recurring dream that I have often.  I’ve experienced the same one repeatedly – over and over for years.  It comes to me at night when my mind is supposed to be shut down and relaxed.

I dream that I’m back at school again.  I’ve returned there in my dreams for years.  It’s never as I remember.  It’s always in a different town and with a different group of people from my life, past and present.  But, the theme is constant.  I can not remember the last time I went to class.  I can’t find my classroom or my locker.  When I finally do find my locker, I can’t remember the combination.

Somewhere towards the end – and always right before I wake up – I realize that everybody is graduating and moving on except me.

I haven’t had this recurring dream recently.   No.  It has been replaced by a different dream.  One that does not come to me at night, but one that is on my mind throughout the day.  Everyday.

I’m driving in a taxi with my mom.  I don’t know where we are but it’s in some big city.  We are riding along and suddenly the taxi pulls up to the curb and stops.  My mom turns to me, smiles and gives me a hug, opens the door and then steps out.  The taxi pulls away from the curb again.  But, I’m still in it.  I turn to look out the back window and can see my mom standing on the corner where she had gotten out.  She gets smaller and smaller until she is out of view. I can not see her anymore.  And then, she is gone.

I’m moving forward and going on with my life and she is not with me anymore.

Every now and then you get to the point where things start to make sense again.  Your routine as you once knew it feels somewhat back to normal.  Then the sadness washes over you again.  It can be set off by any small thing.  A song.  A picture.  An upcoming holiday.  A dream you have at night.  A thought during the day.

So, you surround yourself with your support system.  You spouse.  Your kids.  Your dear friends. Thursday’s with Jeri.

It’s a process.  One day at a time.

Life moves on.

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Feeling Fifty in Fifty

8 Apr

Nothing says to you “I feel old” faster than a few innocent comments from young men.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Young Men: “Woah, Mrs B.  Did you MAKE that Chex Party Mix?”

Me:  “I did”

Young Men:  “We’ve never knew you could make it homemade!”

Me: “It’s a recipe from the olden days.”

Young Men: “Woah!”

 

 

Slow-Cooker-Homemade-Chex-Mix-Recipe

 

 

 

 

-written in response to DPchallenge

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