Monday, May 29, 2006

It's Time!

I began this post on Saturday with the intention of finishing it up tonight. Little did I know then how apropos it would turn out to be at the end of this holiday weekend! What I anticipated as being a rather tiresome weekend turned out to be a really shitty weekend. Way too much drama.

We celebrated the two birthdays that take place every year over this holiday weekend. My friend Lori turned 30 and my daughter Allison turned 22. Lori got an exquisite diamond necklace and a very sweet card from her adoring husband... which was probably the highlight of the weekend. We also celebrated the completion of my son Matt's Masters Degree in computer engineering. He is now off to Virginia to work for Lockheed Martin. I guess I won't see him again until I can get a chance to go up there for a visit.

I had two hours to think on my way home from the weekend and came to some conclusions about my life...
  • Typically the people you should be able to trust the most are the ones that are the most likely to betray that trust
  • The only person that you can really trust in this life is yourself... because when the chips are down, you are the one that has to pull things back together... no one else is going to help you
  • Too many people in this world think of themselves first and you can't change that
  • People who have made a habit of lying will continue to do so
  • Any faults or imperfections that you have will be routinely pointed out to you
  • Families can be close or they can be scattered, but neither has any relevance to how they treat each other
  • People who say they love each other do mistreat each other
Sounds pretty dreary, I know, but that is the way it is. Mostly, at the end of this weekend, I am more determined than ever to never again be a cross between a doormat and a punching bag. I am not going to be overly concerned about saying what I really think. I will stand up for myself, and I don't give a

who doesn't like it. I have had too many years of being humiliated by my husband and other family members, and betrayed by friends. I have just been too stupid and naive for my own good.

I have decided that men will not corner the market on going through second childhoods. I think that it is about time for me to let loose a bit. My kids are raised and grown, I am unattached and I intend to do some things that I have not had the chance to do before. Now admit it... it sounds like a great plan, doesn't it!?!?

Sometime soon I will be in my own place and on my own. I think it will be a relief. I know it will be a relief. I can get on an airplane and go someplace without having to get permission or listen to how it costs too much money. I can eat what I want, when I want, and where I want. If I want to splurge on something, it will be my choice and my money. I will probably do some really stupid but fun things. I think that I need to do some of this to finally grow up. Yup, it's time.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Coming Soon... It's Time!

Have A Great Weekend!

Have Fun, Celebrate, and Be Safe...
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wise Advice As Hurricane Season Approaches Once Again...

Old Arab Proverb...

In God
But tie your camel.

Yup, it looks like another busy season. It is doubtful that this season will be as crazy as the last one, but definitely above average for activity. We are already watching the tropics. Personally, I have already decided that when I retire, I will want to move to another state. The main question, however, is what mode of disaster do I prefer? I can eliminate the earthquake states easily... and probably the states that have ice storms. Floods? Well, they can happen in most states... so I won't move near a river, lake or any other large body of water. Tornados... well I will probably want to avoid tornado alley, but tornados can happen in many states. Fires are a possibility anywhere.

Hmmm... maybe I just need to invest in a bomb shelter in high ground within an earthquake free zone and equip it with generators and a years supply of provisions. Or I could stay in Florida in a less vulnerable area... since there is no area in Florida immune to hurricane damage... and prepare for the inevitable. Hmmm. Okay. I guess that settles it. I'll tie up my camel wherever I am.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Still The Second Mouse?

I have been thinking lately about the many changes that I have been through this past year as well as pondering how my life will be changing over the next year. It is all a bit surprising and unreal to me right now. With this in mind, I have decided to bring back one of my very first (2/05) posts...

The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese

For most of my life I have been a person that is hesitant to stick my neck out and be first at almost anything. I am usually very cautious. I have always viewed this as a flaw in my personality. Recently, however, I have come to view this "flaw" as a bit of a blessing.

I remember that growing up I watched what my older sister did to get in trouble, and I made sure that I never made the same mistake. She did not date that much in high school (actually, I didn't either), but it always seemed that when she did there was a problem. I watched her get in trouble and grounded for coming in late from a date. I watched her get in really BIG trouble for getting caught necking with her date in his car in front of our house. So, I made sure that I never came home late from a date or participated in necking with my dates in front of our house. I probably did far more forbidden things than she ever did at that age. I just made sure that I didn't make that same mistakes. I was always home on time. Anything that I didn't want my parents to know about I made sure they couldn't find out. I didn't get caught. I'm sure that they had some suspicions about what I was doing... after all they had to go through the teenage years as well... but there was never a confrontation about my behavior. My older sister got the trap. I watched her get caught and then I got the cheese.

Think about it. If I can learn from others mistakes, doesn't that make my life easier? It is a lot easier to build something if you have watched someone else do it first. Maybe they mess up and it falls apart. Then I stand a better chance of getting it right if I can figure out where they went wrong. There is still plenty of room for serendipitous discoveries.

It is always fun to taste a different type of cheese, but it is nice to know that someone else has tried it and liked it first. Then, I can make sure that it does not have too much of a bite. Growing up, I was the second of two girls in my family. My older sister always got to try the cheese before me. That was probably a good thing for me. My life has always been calmer. It shows how placement in the family has an impact on personality development. It shows why being the second mouse suits me. It is familiar. It is comfortable.

Now, once in awhile, more and more often as I get older, I do stick my neck out... verrryyy carefully... and taste some new cheeses on my own. I think that is because I now have a better idea of what mouse traps look like and how to avoid them. I trust my own judgment and have faith that God has better things in mind for me than my neck in a nasty mouse trap. So, sometimes, I buy the wrong stupid grout cleaner. It is not the end of the world. My grout still got clean!

Sometimes I am the first mouse and I still get the cheese! :o)

So I am wondering... am I still the second mouse or have I ventured totally into first mouse territory?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Aaaahhhhh... New England In The Spring!

Well it has taken a while for me to get myself together enough to redo this post... somehow I kept losing either the pictures or text, and then I just gave up for a couple of days! I have no pictures to share with you from Boston. Sigh. My camera was not working... actually, to be more accurate, the rechargable batteries were not working. By the time I got batteries for my camera, it was time to head for Hartford. Hopefully, I will be able to get some pictures from some generous person who will share his pictures so I can post them at a later time.

Boston was terrific! It was rainy when I arrived the first day which put a bit of a damper on sightseeing, but we were still able to do a bit and go out for a nice lobster dinner near the aquarium. Thursday I did a bit of recuperating from back problems due to lifting luggage around. I always overpack and this trip was no exception. So, I slept in, did some reading and then we went out to a wonderful restaurant at the Copely called the Oak Room. The dinner was scrumptious... and we polished off a very good bottle of wine! Friday night we met up with my son, Jason and his girlfriend, Sheila, and imbibed a bit to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Saturday, Jason, Sheila and I headed for Hartford in Jason's car. He actually lives in a small town called Old Wethersfield. Yes, I do have pictures...

Jason's abode in Old Wethersfield

Plaque on Jason's home

Jason and Sheila in Jason's livingroom...
Sheila is a former Miss Connecticut... cute, smart and a real sweetheart!

back yard with new plants

more bushes and a new addtion to the patio out back... you can tell where Jason has redone the bricks and where he has yet to straighten them out!

Some more new bushes... notice the rework on the brick patio!

side yard

Cemetery behind Jason's house...
the photos don't show how vivid the colors actually are...

Neighborhood view...

another neighborhood view

Some of Jason's artwork

My first night in Hartford, Jason took Sheila and I to some of his favorite hangouts...
these drinks were yummy!

Breakfast at O'Rourkes... a wonderful Irish diner with the best breakfast!

Posing in front of the odd sculpture next to O'Rourkes Diner in Hartford

St. John's Catholic church... Mother church of the Diocese...
just happens top be across the street from O'Rourkes!

Elizabeth Park in Hartford

Jason not quite tiptoeing through the tulips...

funky trees

Posing under the trained funky trees

These trellises are not filled out yet and the rose bushes are still quite barren...
however, in about a month this will look quite spectacular!

This Gazebo is in the center where all of the trellises meet...
it too will be covered in flowering vines fairly soon!

These trees were in bloom everywhere!


I couldn't resist taking a picture of this cute elderly couple smelling the lilacs!

Sunday afternoon after Elizabeth Park, we toured the Mark Twain house at Nook Farm. Nook Farm was a community of the "movers and shakers" of the time. Harriet Beecher Stowe (who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin) also had a house there as you will see in the pictures below. There is a museum there that we toured before taking the tour of the house. I wish I could have taken pictures inside the house, but it was not allowed.

Harriet Beecher Stowe house

Jason heading towards the Museum entrance

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) House in Hartford (Nook Farm)

Mark Twain's House
The famous bed that Sam and his wife slept in backwards
is in this house which has 19 rooms and 17 fireplaces!

This was a fabulous tour... if you are ever in Hartford, it is worth taking the time for the tour!

I had such a wonderful trip! It was so much fun to spend time with my son and his girlfriend. This was the first time that I have been able to visit Jason in his own place since he graduated from college! It was nice to be able to go when I did... kind of an early Mother's Day for me. I hope to go again sometime... as long as Jason has the room and the time! I'm thinking that the fall trees would be quite spectacular to see!