Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Man and his Dog...

One nice thing among the many nice things about my husband is that he doesn't read my blog unless I ask him to. I get out if the shower this morning and this is what I find, Norm and Abby sleeping in, butt to butt! Alexa insisted Abby wear her sweater for a Christmas picture - pink argyle, what else!

Not to waste Alexa's efforts

Our girls!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Throwback Memories...

I opened Facebook the other day and found this...

Yikes! Yes that's me with my friend Steven Anderson at our senior prom. Most of the comments from Steven's friends were about how my dress matched the curtains in the background and how they think their parents had the same curtains!  Steven lives in Florida today and is a very successful salon owner,  fashion stylist and makeup consultant for HSN. 

As you can see I'm as tall as Steven, maybe a little taller. I love being tall, don't get me wrong. but those were the days of big hair, curls and fancy updos for proms. I was very self-conscious about my height and I spent the day at the beauty parlor in town getting my straight hair to curl under the watchful eyes of Steven's little sisters without adding any poofiness up top. I also wore flat shoes, no heels for this girl! The dress? There were very few dress stores at that time where you could find "formal" dresses. We ended up at a bridal salon in Roosevelt Field and this was the only dress that was long enough. Believe me, orange is not my favorite color. 

It was an interesting night fraught with teen drama and angst. Our friend Arthur wanted to go to the prom with another friend of ours, Vivian. Vivian was, shall we say, reluctant. It took several months of cajoling, note writing, impassioned phone calls and whatever to get all parties on board. Steve's uncle had a town car and was going to be our "chauffeured" limousine ride to the prom. He was late, very late. Steven was pulling his hair out (he did and still does, have very nice hair), Arthur was having a nervous breakdown and Vivian and I, convinced we were never going to make it to the prom sat down in Mrs. Anderson's living room and watched the Met's game.  It was the closest to Flushing Meadows we were going to get, we thought.

Steve's uncle finally showed up, girlfriend in tow and we were off. Now I have to say I have very few memories of the prom itself, but I do remember Steven's uncle and girlfriend coming in a few hours later and crashing the prom…We did breakfast after the prom at a friends house, slept at the beach the next morning and by evening both Steven and I were looking for new "dates". Steven, I still love ya! Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Got Snow?

We do. I enjoy living in Buffalo albeit the suburbs of Amherst. It snows, big deal! To me it's one of the best things about living here. I don't like driving in it though. The past two years we've bitten the snow bullet. I even got a rebate back from our plowing service so we've been a little spoiled. This week we had our first major snow. Not a blizzard but enough to make it interesting. 

Tonight we attended an open house at Norman's boss's house. I don't do well at these types of parties. I'm not a party person. I have a hard time making small talk and I can't remember names and faces to save my life.  I think name tags should be mandatory at all social functions ( and if they could come with a warning note to tell me if I've met the person before and where or if they are well known and important to my husband or Medaille that would be very good too). 

The drive into the city wasn't too bad and the snow made everything so pretty and sparkly. The drive home was not as nice but doable. I'm a bad, bad backseat driver. I want to break earlier, slow down, you name it, so I've decided to just close my eyes. And chant to myself, "Norm is a good driver, Norm is a good driver, Norm is a good driver, over and over". It works quite well...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Withdrawal...

I started a blog post on the BSS blog last week whinning about technology. Now, don't get me wrong, I love technology. I can't wait until we create transporter technology like in 'Star Trek' and better yet, the Auto Chef from the J.D. Robb 'in Death' series. Scramble my atoms and scramble my eggs for breakfast - works fo me!

What I'm whinning about is how ridiculously reliant we've, OK, I, have become on technology. We all get a little glimpse of what it is like when our power goes out during a storm and we go to watch TV, oops can't do that, OK, I'll read a book, oops can't do that in the dark. I'll make a cup of tea; can't do that on an electric stove. OK, I'll surf the web, I've got wireless! Nope, computer battery is dead and I can't charge it. You all get the idea.

No, I'm whinning about the 24 hours I barely survived when one of our store's customers accidently picked up my iPhone thinking it was hers. I get this bizarre call from my MIL wondering why I would leave my pocketbook out so that someone could take it home with them by mistake. Yes I know, I said phone, but as my 83(in 3 days) old MIL likes to remind us all, "I'm getting old!" A very nice customer, shopping along with two other ladies and a new baby they were watching after took my phone by misake. When she discovered she had the wrong phone, she called the house, my MIL who got the message confused and I thought the customer would be bringing the phone back to the store first thing on Saturday. Long story short, after nashing my teeth, losing my temper (in private, at myself), growling at everyone, I got the story straight, and my phone back.

What's all the fuss you say? Who did I have to call that was so important that I couldn't have used anothe phone? NOBODY! I needed my calendar to prove to my MIL that she didn't have a dentist appt. this week. I needed to check my contacts for the number for the plumber that we might need if the rain didn't stop.  I needed my text feature to contact my daughter after her tennis match, my e-mail to ontact my husband in Chicago (because he doesn't know how to use his text feature, or just plain forgets to check it). I needed my Google Maps to find my way home and I'm still playing Million Second Quiz hoping Ryan Seacrest will call.

I've also come to realize I am no longer the tech guru in the house.  My daughter has vastly surpassed me and I don't like it! I am not handing over my pocket protector gracefully. Alexa upgraded my phone to the iOS7 operating system. I barely, according to Alexa, knew how to use my phone before the update.  Now I've got a whole new technology to learn and I'm not sure which will be obsolete quicker me or the update!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It Begins Again...

...or as I've been known to call it, "the most wonderful time if the year!" My daughter is beginning her junior year in high school and she has carved out a very challenging academic program. She also made the school's tennis team!

If she makes it through this year with the same grades she is used to, I'm not worried about her ability to handle a college curriculum. However, as we all know, the first day is not about the books and classes, it's about the fashion!

Abby is looking on and not thrilled that not only is Dad leaving for the day, but sister is too! We also know fashion includes the new Vera collection in a backpack this year, vs. the tote she's used in the past with matching accessories. 

Happy school year to all us students and moms alike!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's Done!!! (Well at least I'm done with it...)

Alexa's room is finally done! We had the great reveal, the girlfriends over to put their stamp of approval on it and it's been christened with it's first sleepover. Here are the final photos.

I made the window curtains, the curtains to the stage closets, covered the vanity stool with pink fabric and made the French bulletin board. Alexa did ALL the painting, including the closet and Norm provided the heavy lifting, wallet included. Next year Alexa will be lucky to get a $10 gift card to Tim Horton's..,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Just Call Me Norm..,

Abrams, that is. The construction zone continues. Paris, er, Alexa has decided her closet must be as nice as her room. I spent most of last week wielding hammer, screw driver and drill. I put together the cube unit along the back wall and Alexa assembled he shoe rack. Here is the first version:  

Alexa actually did do alot of work in the room. She picked out this chandelier decal.  It's hard to see but there are little rhinestones on the dangly things.

After my furniture construction and moving duties I retired for the day and left Akexa to her own perfections. I was called back to add shelves, mount a cork board that was later changed to a magnetic wipe board (painted coordinating green with rhinestones in the corners for that touch of glitter and of course, a mirror.

Here is the final version sans doors. Next the whole room gets cleaned up, final decorations get put in place (I get to hang her French bulletin board and cover her vanity stool with matching fabric. By next weekend the room could be finished! Only four months after we started!

Don't look at that lady taking pictures in the mirror!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer's Here and so am I...

Yes, summer is here, whooppee - I'm not a summer devotee. Heat, sun and Donna don't mix. I do love my air conditioning though and my house has central.

We've had a few busy months, here are some highlights and lowlights from the past three months:

  • Alexa finished the 10th grade with a 98+ average. Very proud! Her summer plans include but are not exclusive to - an internship, volunteering, tennis lessons, driving lessons and a trip to Denver.
  • Norm finished the 2013 academic year with a promotion to Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Joyce is...Joyce, what can I say (nothing more if I want to keep my stress levels down)
  • Abby is Joyce new favorite 'person' in the house
  • Alexa's room is STILL not finished, argh!!! Did I mention she's a perfectionist...and my stress levels?
  • My aunt Caroline passed away late last month. My mom's sister and one of the sweetest, strongest woman I've known. She will be missed.
  • Got re-interested in family ancestry while visiting with my family at my aunt's funeral. Discovered I have a relative that goes back to the civil war. Unfortunately, he deserted - twice.
  • Alexa still isn't driving, yeah!!
  • I'm still driving her everywhere, boo!
That's the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg called my summer. Stay cool, have fun and enjoy your summer.

P.S. - I've been stuck on level 65 of Candy Crush for two weeks! Argh!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Almost there...

Alexa worked diligently the week she had off from school painting every nook and cranny of her room. Then she spent a few days in Rochester attending a FBLA conference/ competition and I had the last minute, bright idea of surprising her and getting her floors redone.

Her bed came on Saturday and we're still working on finishing up two pieces of furniture and getting everything back in place. She has some wall art to put up and I made curtains out of a matching shower curtain that I still have to put up. Next comes a French memo board I have to finish. By time Lex's room is totally finished she'll be leaving for college!

Home Goods has become a new go to place for this room's decorations. Lex needs LOTS of storage, big surprise.This cute little drawer and basket set will probably have hair stuff in it.

These boxes nest inside each other and have a cute bow features and magnetic clasps.

Here is the French Memo Board. The board itself is done and tonigt I'm putting on the ribbon and the buttons.

These are the curtains, finished, but I still have to put up the brackets. Hope to have that done tomorrow!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pretty and She Paints..,

In moment of weakness some years back, I promised Alexa that we would re-do her room when she got to high school. The one thing my daughter NEVER forgets is a promise of any kind that results in a gift. Fast forward to this year, her 16th and sophomore, and she's called in the promise.

Going with the pink, black, and white with a touch if green color scheme, Alexa has started painting. She did all the caulking of the nail holes including the sanding. Then she taped around the molding and has been painting the molding yesterday and today (with a break to go out lunch at Chipoltle with her friends). The samples you see on the wall include the pink and green she wants to use. I'm staying out of the way and she's doing a great job so far.

As you can see the rest of us have to live around her! All her furniture, save her bed, has been moved into the bedroom landing and the living room. Alexa is spending her nights sleeping in my craft room. The dog has been tethered downstairs in the family room so there is no chance of her getting into Alexa's room and I'm in charge of getting a hold of an electrian to remove the ancient intercom in her room that is spoiling her esthetic.

I'll post the 'after' photos once our DivaVinci is done!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Red Robin...

Having not much to do other than worry the past week, I decided to price and look for a used car to replace the one totalled. I found a cute 2010 red Toyota Corolla at a local dealership and we went over the weekend to take a look see. The scary part besides the fact that we were not planning on buying a car is that it was really easy to do and we have Alexa driving it to look forward to.

Lex turns 16 in about two weeks. She is looking forward to driving. Now this is a child that can't drive a bumper car, has no idea how to get to anywhere, and her idea of prime selling points when looking for a car is what color it is and how many cup holders it has.

Norm did the test drive with me as co-pilot and Lex in the back. When we pulled back into the dealership Alexa got behind the wheel to "see how it felt". She is so tiny the seat had to moved way forward and up! Then she looked down at the pedals and said, "Which one makes it go?" I swear, I'm not getting into a car with her until she's 35!

We ended up buying the car and will pick it up once I can see again, read - get my new glasses, about 10 days. I've never had a car of my own and Norm and I have never been a two car family so this will be a really new experience for all of us.The car will be used by me, Joyce and eventually (at 35 I'm hoping) Alexa, but I'm sure it will be referred to as "Mom's" car. Me, I think it will be my little Red Robin.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Perfect Example...

My Blog title - What Was I Thinking...Life Happens while we are making other plans. That is a perfect example of my week. I am currently sitting in the recliner in the family room, uncomforatably as I write this. It was to be a no biggie week.Working at the store, ferrying Alexa around,in short, being at her beck and call and looking forward to Sharon's postings from CHA. I was planning on taking down the tree and other holiday decorations and cleaning up my room which has become loaded with stuff since the holidays. In short, same old same old, until Monday night.

The Other Plans: My mother-in-law hadn't had time to run her errands and hadn't been out of the house a lot so we planned that I would take her to her stores and we'd go out to dinner together. We were leaving Tops and heading home. As I pulled out of the parking lot on to Maple I was hit broadside by another car. I never saw it coming. I looked and never saw it coming. I thought I saw cars only in the distance and had plenty of time and I never saw it coming. Gruesome part short, pinned in car, couldn't move, had to be cut out of car and taken to ECMC. Good news - MIL only had facial contusions (where we think  my elbow connected with her face) and was able to walk away. Me, not so lucky. I spent three days in the hospital while they decided whether I needed any kind of surgery. NONE - YAY!!! and sent me home with a walker and a Physical Therapy appointment. My bottom line, health wise, is that I have some small breaks in the bones at the edges of my spine, nothing that needs treatment for and will heal on it's own, and a small tear/break of tendon and muscle with bone attached in my upper femur. Again, painful but nothing that needs treatment for except to heal on it/s own.

I can walk with a little assistance from the walker - just a little shaky when I first stand up, but sitting is a b*tch! Laying down is a b*tch! I have a black and blue bruise the size of Manhattan island on my left hip and butt. Thankfully and I say that with all sincerity and greatfullness; that is the worst. My only other complaint is that my glasses flew off during the crash and we couldn't find them. We think they landed on the ground when the firemen finally got me out of the car. Oh, and the car, totalled...

So I may be writing a bit more as my movements are a little restricted, although what I'm going to write about eludes me at the moment.  Just remember - Life happens when we're making other plans. This week, I'm thankfully, a living example.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Another year over another begun. I've never been a big fan of New Year's Eve celebrations. My mother-in-law calls me an old fuddy duddy, but I've never really gotten the point. I'm lousy with resolutions. I have the stick-to-it-ness of a knockoff post-it note. It's only taken me a half hour to write these first two sentences! So 2013, where to begin.

I'm not looking forward to more gray hair. I have a daughter who is turning 16 this year, in a little over a month to be exact. She is planning her 16th birthday party. She'd like us to rent a large suite in a downtown hotel (with an indoor pool, of course) so she can have a sleep over with 14 friends, at last count. Her father and I are not looking forward to this idea. Luckily, she is also considering dinner at Bravo with the same group of 14 girls. We are allowed to come, but we won't be allowed in the room. We have to eat in the main dining area. I'm not looking forward to the gray hair a 16 year old will bring.

Alexa is looking forward to her first smartphone - an iPhone to be exact. She is "the only one of my friends without a smartphone!" I'm looking forward to an increased cell phone bill. Alexa is also looking forward to getting her learner's permit and gasp, driving. I'm looking forward to cringing as she learns how to drive, uping my anxiety medication and my hair turning grayer than it already is. Lex will also be completing her sophomore year in high school, beginning her junior year and starting the search for colleges. I'm looking to sleepless nights, wondering how we're going to pay for college and more gray hair.

My husband is looking forward to the beginning of the baseball season as illustrated by his nightly watching of  the MLB network and our Christmas day Ken Burns Baseball marathon - all 10 innings plus updated extra innings, a good 10 + hours of baseball. By the way, pitchers and catchers report on February 14. I bet they don't have gray hair...

I have more things I'm not looking forward to - versus what I am looking forward to. I'm not looking forward to my hair getting grayer. I'm not looking forward to turning 60. It is a very sobering number. It is an old number. It's a number that fits the year 2013 very well. I'm superstitious about numbers. I'm not comfortable with odd numbers to begin with, but 2013 is just tempting fate as far as I'm concerned. 60 means I may have to break down and finally join AARP. They've been sending me membership info for over five years now and I think I'm going to have to finally succumb.

Lastly, I'm not looking forward to more senior moments. I'm having way too many already. I can't remember anything. I'll think of something then say it again two minutes later.  I'm also not looking forward to my hair getting grayer...