Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me?...

Yes, it's my b'day so what am I doing, buying Alexa shoes with MY birthday discount! How do I get talked into these things?!? Here are Alexa's Toms and the comfortable 'spotchy' Danskos that I liked but Alexa - not much!

PS-not included were the Uggs she got also! Me, I got nutin' except lunch at Pizza Plant - live the white pizza!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Techno Aha! Moment...

Sharon, my boss mentioned that someone showed her how to blog from her phone so I had to figure it out. Success! I'm posting from my phone from bed! How cool is this?! Here is Abby patiently waiting for the lights to go out so she can take up all the space on the bed. Good night all, gosh I love technology!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thelma and Louise, Part II...

If only we looked like Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon! Anyway, we're in the land of the Mouse and Harry Potter! I'm so excited, really looking forward to the Universal visit. We started out strong, driving from the airport directly to Disney's Hollywood Studios. I had missed the Rockin Roller Coaster on my last visit and I was anxious to try a new coaster. I really like coasters that are enclosed in buildings and in the dark. (What I can't see makes me less nervous...) Needless to say it was a great coaster and I could have easily gone on again, right away, but we had more to see and more to do. Barb's theory that the park would not be as crowded was spot on. Still there were more people than I had thought there would be, especially on Friday and Saturday.

The HEAT was my enemy the entire trip and I've decided if I ever get to go back to Disney and Universal it will absolutely be in the cooler months, that is if they have cooler months in Florida, do they?

We hit the Indiana Jones stunt show. We are such nerds! As we watch the beginning of the show that replicates the opening scene of the movie where Indy approaches the artifact he is planning on liberating from it's booby trap fiflled altar, both Barbara and I are imitating Harrison Ford's movements (same as the stunt man). We shake our shoulders, wiggle our fingers, measure out the sand, gingerly guestimate the weight in our little leather pouch and quickly tip the pouch and pick up the statue... Then we look at each other and laugh. We have spent way too much time watching this movie over and over again! Two minds that think alike! (great minds at that!)

We also went on the Star Wars ride and caught a "training" session of young Jedi warriors that was rudely interupted by none other than Darth Vader himself! The kids had done their training when Vader appeared with his Storm Troopers. Their instructor asked for a young Jedi to challenge Vader and defend the class -- no one stepped up! Where are the future Luke Skywalkers?!? Finally a hand went up and a young girl stepped forward. Yay girl power!! She used the moves she was taught and fought off Vader!

 Dad managed to get his Jedi daughter fighting off the Dark Lord! (too cute!)
We checked out several more rides and shows and decide to head out to the hotel several hours later to check in and get some food for the weekend . Tomorrow Harry Potter!!!!!

As Indy says to Marion, "It's not the years, it's the mileage.." Needless to say we were not the first ones at the park opening the exhibits. We tried, but 11:00 was our start time. Barb had warned me it was a bit of a walk to the HP exhibit, she wasn't kidding. We walked through...

 The lake area that separates the formal entrance to the park from the shopping and eating area of Universal. Jimmy Buffett's Margueritaville held my attention - can we say Pina Colada (later)...
 We also had to deal with the weather. It always rains in Florida, at least once a day.
 Past the shopping, over the lake, through the jungle/Mayan/Arabian village...
 Through Dr. Suess's world (so cute, especially if you had little ones). Past the Cat in the Hat...

Past some of the most creative interpretations of Suess's world
and finally, finally - Hogsmeade!

Bubble, bubble toil and trouble, something wicked this way comes!
I think I gave Barb a big sweaty hug! I was so excited. Hogwarts rises out of nowhere (it seems) and the village of Hogsmeade looks just like the movies!
The village was wonderful! Although I would have loved it if they could have replicated Gringotts Bank. For those of you who remember, it was very wobbly and Tower of Pisa looking to the max. How cool would that have been!
The ride itself is in Hogwarts Castle. It's a combination video images, props and holographic filmed introductions by Harry, Ron and Hermonie. You get strapped in and you're off! It's hard to describe. It's almost a combination motion simulator, roller coaster, action video - very cool, I loved, loved, loved, it!
In the village they had various shops that you could walk through that sold merchandise, like Honeydukes - the perfect place to buy your Jumping Chocolate Frogs and Berties Every Flavored Beans.
They also had several store fronts that were just that. Inside this window was a Quidditch set. All the various pieces were there except the golden snitch. I wonder where it got off to?!?!
Here we are with our Butterbeers and the castle in the background! Next up, Thelma and Louises' wild ride!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

50 is the new 30 - NOT!!! Part I

I'm back from my trip to Orlando with my BFF and her family. What a weekend! We got off the plane and drove directly to DisneyWorld and hopped on the Rockin Roller Coaster. Talk about not wasting time! But I digress...

Barbara and I last visited DisneyWorld together approximately 23 years ago. Her Tom was just a baby and Barbara had a medical conference to attend in Orlando at one of the hotels just outside the park in what used to be Buena Vista Village. We flew from our separate homes, hooked up in Pittsburgh and then flew the rest of the way together.

We had a plan. I had one of those guide books that told you the best times and routes to make optimum use of your day and Disney. Well, we opened the park and we closed the park. We mapped out the quickest way to Space Mountain, our go-to ride and we ran when the gates opened so we wouldn't have to wait in line (this is pre Express Pass).  We did all the rides, ate at the German restaurant in Epcot, had drinks served to us in the lobby of the Grand Floridian while we listened to Gershwin being played on a baby grand piano and had our pictures taken with Mickey Mouse! It was wonderful!! However, we were spry 30 somethings back then.

Flash forward to today. We ain't 30 anymore! We're not even 50 anymore! We are creeping inexorably to the big 6-0 and I gotta tella, it's not the years it's the mileage...

We felt no need to open the parks or to close them. We purposely went AFTER school started so we wouldn't be swamped with kids and lines. For the most part this worked out just fine. But they got us in other ways, how do I say this...we're OLD!!

Barb had issues with rides that simulated motion, spun, or threw you around (what's left?) I had issues with the heat. I was game for any ride, except Tower of Terror (I hate drop rides), but I was willing to cowgirl up if Barb wanted to ride it (we didn't). The heat, the heat, the H-E-A-T!!! killed me! My body swelled up like a blow fish. My thick ankles got thicker, my totally straight hair got straighter, my hot flashes got hotter!! Barbara broke her ankle more than several years ago and she still has issues with it and we had to watch the walking. Basically, if the rides didn't kill us, our bodies took their best shot...
This is the entrance to Universal and Hogsmeade of the Harry Potter world. I loved it! I'm a big Harry Potter fan and the village, Hogwarts, the rides were phenomenal!! We ended up doing the ride twice.

I've got lots more photos and a few silly stories but I'm saving them for my next post. For today I want to wish my BFF, Barbara a very happy birthday! We both have birthdays this month, Barb in the front end and me on the back end. This trip was a birthday trip and half with my best friend! Thank you Barbara and Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's a Dog's Life...

I'm going on a little trip next weekend with my BFF, Barbara to the land of the Mouse and Harry Potter!! I'm sooo... excited! So while I'm gone and to avoid posting anything annoying about my daughter I thought I'd post this Friday Funnies from the Inky Antics Blog. This post was several months ago but it made me laugh since I have the cocker spaniel (and rug) to prove it!

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

Toy Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Rottweiler: Make me.

Shih-tzu: Puh-leeze, dah-ling. I have servants to take care of that...

Lab: Oh, me, me!!! Pleeeeeeze let ME change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?

Malamute: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.

Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, checked to make sure I haven't missed any, and made just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Doberman Pinscher: While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch.

Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I've got a terrible hangover.

Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there!

Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?

Australian Shepherd: First I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?

Schnauzer: Bark bark bark. Mom, the lightbulb is out...bark bark bark bark...MOM! I said the lightbulb is out! Bark bark bark bark bark...MOM!!! WHAT PART OF THAT DIDN'T YOU HEAR? I MEAN HELLO????

Hound: ZZZZZzzzz.   Love you Abigail...

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Mom from M.O.A.M....

As a child of the sixties one of my favorite TV shows was 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' I just loved David McCallum! Illya Kuryakin, so cute, so brooding, so yum! (I can't bear to watch him in NCIS as 'Ducky' - spoils all my fantasies).

Moving forward. Alexa has spent her summer in summer school, not because of her grades, but because she wants to get a leg up on next year. Intense Global History has been the subject every night ending today with her Regents exam. The district didn't even give us a days rest. We got the paperwork for the fall when we got home today.

Alexa and I are known for our battles over what I'm willing to pay for and what I'm not. The beginning of the school year brings around several oldie but goodies like the yearbook. Lex will be a sophomore this fall at East High School. All her friends from middle school sans one, go to South High School. Lex has made new friends at East but hasn't really gotten to the BFF stage yet. Last year she wanted the yearbook. Of course, I said, "No!" She didn't know anyone, yearbooks are for seniors and I wasn't paying the ridiculous price they charge. Fast forward today - a Yearbook notice was included in packet for the rock bottom price of $87!! Seriously, seriously - $87! for a book she has no connection with? she's only a sophomore. But wait she says, "I'll have my picture in the yearbook! I'll be in the tennis team photo (planning to tryout for the tennis team). I'll be in a club photo! I don't know which one but I'll be in one because I have to join a dumb club so it looks good on my college applications! ALL the kids get their picture in the yearbook! It's really big and if I don't get one how can I sign other peoples books?!"

Berner High School Yearbook - Wisanda
$87!! I'm still stuck on that. I bought my own senior yearbook, and I wanted the yearbook of the class that graduated ahead of me because I knew so many kids in that class and I bought that one myself also. So my advice and instruction to Alexa was, "I'll gladly pay for your senior yearbook when the time comes. If you want any other ones, you pay for it...". Needless to say that went over like a lead balloon.

I even had the temerity to suggest she might "earn" the money to buy a yearbook. This suggestion was met with, "How? You already make me do my own laundry. None of my friends mothers make them do their own laundry!"

There, it's out there, I, Alexa's mother MAKE her do her OWN laundry. I used to be M.O.M. - Mean Old Mom, but now I've reached a new low, or high depending on how you look at it. I'm now M.O.A.M - Mean Old Annoying Mom. Do I get a cute sidekick or partner like Illya? Nope, I only get M.O.A.D - Mean Old Annoying Dad - who also thinks she should buy any yearbook that is not her own graduation year.

So here we are, M.O.A.P - Mean Old Annoying Parents!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Multitasking 101

Ah, summer; slow lazy days, sleeping in, school's out...


Welcome to the new summer!  This summer is going to be anything but! Let's start with slow lazy days. Where, as they wizz by? We've already had our first heat wave and as you all know, I hate the heat...AC for me!
Yes, that's my confused, deer in the headlights goofy face. I'm juggling:
1. My husband's work and summer travel schedule (the state of Washington for a week and Vietnam(whoa!) in August.
2. My work schedule* - usual days plus filling in where needed for others vacationing or CHA.
3. My mother-in-law's schedule - which is sparce, but I must make room every week for her weekly supermarket/Walgreens shopping and hair appt. Suitable angst over this as her original stylist has retired and at 81 almost 82, she's "too old to change" - this woman was too old to change at 25. I think she was born old...
4. The dog's schedule - yes, we must work Abby into the groomer more often as it is hot and with her coat she needs more clipping and grooming.
5. Last, but never least - my daughter. She will get a whole paragraph (or two to herself!)

The one good thing about Norman being away is that I actually get to drive my own car! Norm takes our car to work everyday so I never get to drive it. Even on weekends I end up using my MIL's car so he doesn't have to squeeze into her little compact. This also makes items 2-4 easier as I don't have to share MIL's car. I also get to do the garbage, let Abby out and all the fun little things he does. However, I draw the line at mowing the lawn. Definitely not in my job description.

Work is never a hardship, except when trying to get anyone in my family to remember I do work, yes, it's a REAL job, and no I don't get to play at work or skip days when it conflicts with someone elses schedule, i.e., MIL and Alexa.

Case in point: The Bend Over Backwards Theory
Everyone assumes that because I don't have a 'Real' job (Alexa's words) I can pick and choose when I work - NOT! I bend over backwards to be able to have everyone else not have their schedules upended almost always at the expense of my own!

Now if only I could really do this, but those days are gone!

Alexa's summer vacation from school - NOT! My beautiful, intelligent daughter decided she wanted to take a class this summer so she would not have to do it next year. Her grades are stellar and we really can not fault her initiative. However, gone are sleeping in mornings. She needs to be in class, in her seat by 7:30 a.m. ACKKK!! The good news is Bagel Jay's drive up window is open that early...

Alexa needs to be picked up at 11:11 - not 11:15 - 11:11!! (Grinding my teeth here...) Since MIL can't get herself up and out of the house much before 11:30 anyway, you'd think that would be OK, nope, I go to work at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays and when I have to cover for someone, I need to be in at 10:00 (insert more grinding here...)

Then there is Alexa's travel schedule. She's going to Atlanta next weekend starting on Thursday, missing a day of school (MAJOR panic here). She looses a point off her average for every missed day of summer school. There are NO exceptions, none, nada, zip, zero! Did I mention that Thursday is the day I work, yeah. I'll miss work time again next week!

The only thing that doesn't conflict (knock on wood) is Alexa's tennis lessons, or High School Tennis drills. I get to drive her and a friend there every Thursday afternoon - thankfully AFTER I get home from work.

Then there is her 'going back to school' schedule. Every health form imaginable needs to be filled out and sent into school. Appointments for physicals, dental exams, braces (due to be removed - Yay! - conflicts with tennis tryouts - Boo!) also must be navigated.

This is all way too much like work! I used to get paid to do this for other people! Where's my check! how about a bonus! Well, I guess what they say is true...

Anyone got a pina colada handy? It's got to be five o'clock somewhere...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Laundry as Rabbits...

I will never be known for my sterling housekeeping abilities. Let's be honest, my husband is friendlier with the vacumm cleaner than I am. That said, I am a regular in the laundry room although, not as often as my daughter would like.  "Mom! when are you going to do laundry? I need: _________________ !!"(fill in the blank). As badly as I may spoil my daughter, I refuse to be a total slave to her, especially to her clothes.

Alexa's clothes multiply like rabbits! I used to ask her for her laundry. It would fill up a laundry basket or two. I'd do those clothes and the baskets would fill up again. I'd do the laundry and Alexa would complain that I didn't wash: _______________(fill in the blank)!

Therefore, about two years ago I introduced her to the wonders of the washing machine! I know, mean, mean, MEAN! mom! Now, no more worries! No more complaints! No more, "Mom! what did you do with: ________________?"(fill in the blank).  This week I relapsed. I made the mistake of starting to do some of Alexa's laundry and just like the bunnies that live in our backyard it started to multiply...

 Under this pile is MY clothes - at least everything is clean!
 Pile 2 - I got to finish off several loads so that Alexa could go to bed...*
15 Cami's are to the left and under this yellow/green/turquoise top is about 12+ tees and tops

These are Alexa's white 'delicates'...I figured I was done. I'd run out of places to stack her folded clothes and it was 1:00 in the morning, then I turned around and look what I found - more baby bunnies to wash!
I swear, if that child every says she has nothing to wear...

*I sent her to bed because the next day was the first day of summer school and she had to be to school by 7:30 a.m.!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Dress, the Shoes, the Test, the Drama...

We had a very interesting weekend a week or so ago. Alexa was approached along with about 300 other girls by a Barbizon rep. This led to her going to 'modeling' classes one weekend a month for 6 months with the culmination a competition in Boston in front of about 20 representatives from various modeling and talent agencies. One of the requirements for this event was that Alexa needed a dress/outfit in either white, khaki or teal...really, seriously?? We scoured the mall(s) for a dress and finally found one - on a poster, yeah, I know, not real wearable. We ended up ordering the dress in the only size available - a size one up from what Alexa wears (it doesn't help that she wears a size 0 or XXS). The dress had to be altered in 48 hours time and it wasn't ready until the morning we had to leave.

Next came shoes. Would the black or nude heels she already had do, noooooo. New shoes were required. Where were the cute white platform sandals? Where were cute white summer shoes? NO WHERE!! We finally found a pair of open toed white pumps...

And we're off - for a 7 hour drive from Buffalo to Boston (Framingham to be exact). On the way there we noticed Alexa is very quiet, not her norm. After her two hour nap, we look back and she's reading her history text book. We had planned to stay until Monday because the event wouldn't be over until about 5 in the evening and a seven hour drive home seemed a bit much. We also wanted to take Lex into Boston and show her around and check out the first home Norm and I had after we married. Every time we mentioned going into the city we were met with, "I have to study!" which meant she had to read the entire textbook and take notes!

We got to the hotel around 8:30 p.m. had a bite to eat and retired to our room so Alex could study. She was up early the next morning. Norm had breakfast and drop-off duty and rather than sit around all day we decided to drive to Marblehead. We drove up, had a clam roll on the water, drove back...to the DRAMA!

When we suggested we drive into the city Alexa had a meltdown. She had only read 5 chapters! she had to study!  She didn't want to eat, she felt guilty we weren't going into the city. Her friend, who was also in the competition wasn't concerned at all about studying, did we want her to fail?!? We calmed her down, decided to leave her alone, told her to order from room service if she got hungry. We beat a hasty retreat to the Natick Mall and wandered around for two hours. I texted her and asked if she had eaten, "no" did she want to go out with us for something to eat,"yes"...

We picked her up, and ended up at Friday's for dinner with a textbook appetizer and no desert :(
Back to room where Norm and I were not willing to give up the Celtic-Heat final, or the Yankee game so Alexa could have SILENCE! I took the comforter off the bed along with a few pillows and set Alexa up in the bathroom tub!

The next morning she had to be down in the ballroom area at 6:45! I got wake up duty and helped her get all her stuff together for the runway and commercial competition. We had to pack up our room and check out before 10:00 which was when we were allowed into the ballroom for the competition.

Here is her runway walk.

She had two call backs, we left Boston at 5:30. Alexa studied all the way home, with a book light when it got dark and we got home at 12:30 Monday morning. Alexa was up early, studying and was at school at 11:00 a.m. for her exam. One of the agencies that gave her a call back wants to see her this week so we'll see how it goes.

Oh, and she got a 97 on her history test :) Do we love this girl, you betcha!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My New Anthem...

I've had a few anthems or words to live by in my time. My original was "Life's a Bitch and Then You Die". Then there was the ever popular "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong". I mellowed out a bit with "It's Always Something" (thank you Gilda Radner), but I've got a new favorite which is even more zen-like.

"What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger"

Kelly Clarkson was kind enough to perform a song in honor of it! Kelly is talking about romance and those self-centered scummy guys out there, my events are little more elaborate than a two-timing boyfriend. I won't go into details but to give you an example right before we moved to Buffalo, in a six-month period my Dad died, my dog died and my mother-in-law moved in...sounds like a bad country song, I know.

I'm what you'd call an optimistic pessimist. The glass may be half full, but watch out what's in it - you never know,...I like to think the best will happen, but I expect the worst. Times are much better now and I usually find myself shaking my head and muttering this phrase under my breath when dealing with Alexa (or the mother-in-law) but I love this song and find myself bopping in the car when it comes on the radio. 

So if you see me driving around Amherst bobbing up and down and doing the Cabbage Patch at stop signs and traffic lights, you know what's on the radio.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Anybody Home?...

What year is it? Oh, yeah, we're still in 2012, but it's been a while. I was reminded of that fact today by a customer who came into the store and told me how she missed my blog entries. I hung my head and mumbled some nonsense and offered up the most feeble excuse. Truth be told, my brain is turning into mush. I should already know this because my daughter manages to remind me of the fact whenever she can.

I've commiserated with several other mothers of teen aged daughters and it turns out I'm not alone in my early onset senility. When Alexa turned 12-13 I discovered I knew nothing, absolutely nothing. I had no life experience I was born 50 something years old and had no knowledge of what came before my daughter's 12th birthday and no life experience, period.

Fast forward to 2012. I'm slipping in my daughter's advancing age. Today I not only know nothing (is that a double negative?) but I'm now losing whatever minimal grasp of intelligence I had previously been given credit for. Now I'm just plain stupid. I can no longer grasp the most simple concepts like why one mascara is SOOO much better than another or why a $160 dollar PINK tennis racket is a Venus Williams quality compared to the $120 yellow racket (the equivalent to a Regis Philbin throw-away).

I've discovered I don't know how to read ANYTHING having to due with with my daughter and my memory retention of where she purchased every item of clothing (including date, time of day and mall location) is sadly lacking.

But even worse than all of my brain drain is my unconscionable habit of daring to ask her, every day, "How was school today? Anything new going on?" OMG! you would think I asked Obama for the secret codes to NORAD (or Joan Rivers how many plastic surgeries she's had). I know, WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Which brings me back to my lack of posting. I get tons of ideas, the first sentence of posting possibility will form and then - poof! I try to form the second sentence and like a puff of smoke the entire idea, inspiration is gone. It's like a train that goes into a tunnel and isn't seen again until 'Ghost Busters' does it's ghost train episode. My little witticisms trail away to nothingness. These brief bursts of inspiration turn to dust and I'm left wordless. Therefore, no posting...

Do you think Alexa may be on to something?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Long Time No See...

I'm back! I hadn't been feeling the inspiration to post and didn't have any earth shattering news to catch you all up on so - no posts. However, I have been hitting the keys for BSS a lot doing the newsletter, class descriptions for the website and the BSS blog. The scary part is that I thought I was pretty tech savy but this newer technology is passing me by in leaps and bounds. This doesn't even count my lousy typing skills! If there is typo, link error, date goof - I'll make it. Worst of all I seem to have a natural talent for it! I don't even have to try had to screw up. It just comes naturally...

I do have some photos to share of a visit Norm and I made to the Buffalo Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago for the local Orchid show. I love orchids. I have the darndest time keeping them alive, but I love'm. See what you think...

These first two are cattlyeas. You see these orchids in corsages alot. I love the color of the second one. It's the new background on my phone.

These three are phalenopsis. They are also popular in bridal bouquets and arrangements. Our local Wegman's sells them and I have a small collection I'm in the process of probably killing right now. However black my thumb is, these are still a good choice for the home grower. I had never seen a blue one before so we were really intrigued with the one above. My husband is even getting into orchids. Hopefully his thumb is greener than mine!

This last one is a phaphopedlium or 'lady slipper' orchid. I really like these too. They can be grown indoors also but need a little more temperature control.

I've got my semi-annual scrapbook retreat coming up the end of the month and I'm looking forward to seeing all my girly-girls and having a great weekend of food, drink and fun. Until then I'll try and post more now that my computer is back amoung the living and when my brain isn't farting.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I've got a New Obsession...

I don't spend enough time on the computer? Between email, Facebook, the blogs I read on a regular basis, doing the banking, game playing, getting my news on CNN - I had a few minutes to spare.  I knew about Pinterest from friends and was determined not to get sucked in. Well, scratch that!

I think I have about nine boards set up and I can spend way too much time re-pinning. Now I need to figure out how to pin my own photos or images.

If you want to take a look I'll put a link here but let me warn you - you may not be able to stop...