Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
First, on 9/11, and it really was perfection that something so great happened on that day in New York, Derek Jeter got his 2722 hit, placing him at the #1 spot as the all-time career highest Yankee hitter. With Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth behind him respectively.
Amazing company to say the least; Jeter is truly a living legend himself.
Then, FOOTBALL! Opening day for the Jets and Giants! Wooohooo!
And, they both win!!! Yippee! There were happy faces all around our house!
Pumpkin stopped hating me as a mean mommy about two hours after I posted on Saturday. After all, dinner came under discussion, and she couldn't possibly miss out on that! lol
My diet is going well so far. I am happy to report that since getting my scale last week, I have lost 6 pounds. :-)
I know it won't continue at that pace, but I am proud. I have been walking every day that is not raining also. It's all good.
Unfortunately, for the last two days my left elbow has been screaming loudly. If only I was like the tin man and could just oil it and have it done with. :::sigh:::
You would think with the exercise I have added it would be a weight bearing body part, but no. Rheumaoid Arthritis never makes sense or makes it easy! LOL
The only problem I have had since starting walking is my middle toe on my left foot that is beginning to turn in funky ways starts to spasm. It happens at strange random times, too.
Again, RA makes no sense! LOL And, did I mention RA Sucks! LOL
Yes, I think I have said that before...
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Libby knows that daddy is not home so she can get away with this during the day today. I don't fret because it is leather and the hair blows right off.
Makes you jealous to look at her doesn't it?
So, my title 'Love Game' is not going to be about some twisted singles club hook-up like Lady GaGa sings about.
No, it is about life with an almost teen. My sweet daughter, Pumpkin, who is 12 1/2. Sigh.
Yesterday, I was the best mommy in the whole world. She couldn't sit close enough to me. We played UNO, we watched tv together, and since Hubby is gone, she insisted on sleeping with me.
I informed her that I would wake her at 10am so she could get up, relax, do breakfast etc, before starting her weekly chore. Cleaning the bathroom.
This morning I decided to be nice and let Pumpkin sleep in until 11am. After all, it was the stressful first week of school. A small kindness seemed in order.
As they say, 'No good deed goes unpunished.'
Pumpkin got up and ate breakfast and then I thought headed to the bathroom to start her chore, as I headed to the computer. Imagine my surprise a half hour later when I found that she was perched on the laptop in the family room instead. I asked her if she was on break. Oh no, the chore had not even been started.
Needless to say, I was NOT amused and sent her immediately to do the chore. NOW.
Thus, my new status as the most horrible mother in the whole world.
I am now being grumbled at and avoided.
What a difference a day makes!
Yes, life with (almost) teens are full of fun.
Like nailing Jello to a tree.
Well, this horrible mom has to go now. It keeps you busy causing teen misery! LOL
Or maybe I will join the dog!
Friday, September 11, 2009
The end of the innocence.
That is what September 11, 2001 is for me.
Prior to 9/11, just about every other major country has had major acts of terrorism on their soil, whether it was hijacking, suicide back pack bombers, or bombs against infrastructure, like an embassy or hotel. It is a way of life in some places, and in others, not so common, but a definite part of their reality.
We, as North Americans, believed we were isolated from major acts of terrorism. Even after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center we were willing to believe that it was a fluke, never to be attempted again. After all, it failed, right?
Yes, it did fail, but the failure wasn't so much theirs as it was ours.
It should have been a huge wake up call. We should have known it was just a matter of time before they succeeded, and in a big way.
Our airport security has never been where it should be, if only back in 1993 we decided to take it seriously, like Israel. If only in 1993 we started to more carefully track student visas and be sure that the students were actually attending college. If only in 1993 we had extensive backgrounds and security checks done on non-citizens trying to apply for pilots licenses.
If only... Yes, it is easier to 'if only' now, because hindsight is twenty-twenty. Instead, now, even 5 years later, we are still scrambling to catch up to where our national security should be.
September 11, 2001 was a gorgeous Tuesday, following several days just as gorgeous. I woke hubby up like I do every morning and he said he was going to sleep in as he had a sinus headache. I got the kids off to school. I returned to hubby getting out of the shower and I tried to convince him to stay home and blow off the day, but hubby said no and left about 8:25 to head into NYC in his company jeep.
I got Hammer up and settled into breakfast and his school work. I remember I went to the computer and was reading a homeschooling message board, checking out some new ideas for the new school year.
The phone rang, and it was about 8:50 am. It was my cousin K and she told me, 'Turn on the tv, NOW. A plane hit one the Trade Centers. Where is your hubby?' I told her he was probably just going through the tunnel because of his late start and then I told her I would call her back.
I called Hubby, and before I asked him where he was and if he knew that a plane hit the Trade Centers. He told me he was out of the tunnel and almost to his office, traffic was unusually light, and then he said, 'I was on the helix, (a raised loop into the Lincoln Tunnel) and I saw the plane hit the Trade Center!' He thought it looked small, but wasn't sure.
I immediately asked him about our friend John, and he said he wasn't sure which tower his office was in, but he would be at the office soon, so, Jay would know. Jay and my hubby had been working together for almost 5 years at this point, and John was Jay's best friend since kindergarten, and John married Jay's sister.
I remember hanging up with my hubby, my eyes never leaving the tv screen and the Today show and sitting down on the ottoman, kind of shocked, but relieved that hubby was okay and in Midtown. My mom called and I just told her fast that hubby was fine and in the office not to worry.
Then, it happened. Right before my eyes, the second plane slammed into the other tower! We didn't see the plane hit, but you saw the explosion, it was unbelievable! I was confused... I just kept staring, open mouthed and numb at the tv.
It was as if time stood still. I couldn't move, I don't remember who said it but one of the newscasters said it was terrorism. They were putting NYC on lockdown, and there may be more planes, and more targets in NYC.
I grabbed the phone and called my hubby. I used my cell phone radio function because calling the cell wouldn't work. He knew about the second plane and that it was terrorism, they had radios on at his office. He told me no one could get a hold of John, and Jay was really upset.
I told him to get out now and fast and head up through the Bronx and to Westchester, and to come over the Tappan Zee Bridge. That was staying open at this time. He told me they (he and Jay) were already heading for the elevator. He was going to drop Jay off at his sister's house and then get home to me.
I had to take a minute to get myself together as I had Hammer home with me. With that, the door from my garage opened and my mom walked in. I was so happy to see her and we just hugged for a minute and I told her about Hubby and Jay and John and that he was trying to get out via the Tappan Zee.
We both sat down in front of the television in my living room and just stared in a complete state of shock and numbness. Then, the plane hit the Pentagon. That is when panic truly started to set in. I called hubby and told him and again, he knew. We said our 'I love you's' and hung up.
I remember thinking that it couldn't get any worse... or at least that was my hope. It was horrific to watch. People jumping out of the buildings, the Pentagon rent open and the injured spilling out. It was Dante's Inferno in NYC and DC! And, how many more planes? I remember at this point there was talk of about 6 or 8 still in the air.
Next, the news started to talk about pieces of the tower falling, and the concern over a collapse, but from what was being said, the fear seemed to be about just the floors above the plane crash. Awful enough, that is for sure.
No one, least of all my mom and I, were ready for what we saw next.
The South Tower started started to collapse, and it just crumbled and crumbled down. It was horrific and surreal and completely mind numbing. The people, the moms, dads, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends of thousands, gone. The rescue workers, the people just escaping the nightmare within the buildings, gone.
We watched as more firemen run into the still standing North Tower to help evacuate quicker before its inevitable collapse. It was almost a half hour later, but it seemed like just a few minutes. The devastation was just as shocking and horrifying the second time.
I remember feeling so helpless.
I ran out of the house and went to get the kids out of school. My hubby had suggested it, but now, I needed them here, home with me. I remember getting to my Fuzzy's school and seeing other moms with tear streaked faces. It was so strangely quiet, too. I remember seeing a teacher crying in the hall. I found out that her brother made it out of the Trades and home, thank God. Two boys wouldn't be that lucky, their dad was an accountant for the Port Authority. Next I picked up Pumpkin at pre-k and even the toddlers were more subdued than normal. It was if even they could sense something had gone terribly wrong in the world.
I remember getting the kids home and settled into the family room with television and lunch. I remember remarking to my mom that 'in the family room it's Nickolodeon, and in the living room it's a nightmare.'
Except that we couldn't just wake up.
By the time my hubby dropped Jay off at his sister's, we knew things were not looking good, but we were very hopeful. John worked for Silverstein Properties, the owner of the complex, and he was involved with helping to evacuate. That was all that was known for sure at that time.
Hubby pulled into our driveway at 2:45 pm. As you can imagine, anyone in a car was trying to get out the way my hubby did, and the roads were choked with people trying to get to family members all over the NY-NJ area.
He got out of the car and I ran to him and we just held each other. I had held it together up until that point, but that is when the tears just started. I don't think they stopped for the next five or six days.
Unfortunately, running outside we found out something else too. Not only could we see the smoke from the towers looking to the east, but we could smell the smell, too. It was horrible. I still smell it in my nightmares.
I was lucky. My hubby came home. Hubby had an appointment on Thursday morning with John at the Trade Centers to discuss some possible door work. If Thursday was the day of the attack, I would not have been so lucky.
John was 6 foot 7 inches tall and pretty wide, too. He died that day, trying to help evacuate and rescue people. Thanks to his great height, and the fact that he was well known to many that survived, his family has been able to piece together much of his actions prior to the collapse.
I know that this has gotten way too long, and I am sorry. Just a bit more, I promise.
I knew coping with 9/11 was going to be very difficult, and that this tragedy would always be a part of our lives, but I have to say, I didn't realize in the beginning just how hard it was going to be.
Watching my hubby go back to work the first day was awful. I had to learn to cope, and it wasn't easy. I wasn't ready to be 'rah rah let's show 'em how we keep on going!' I just wanted my hubby home with me, and screw ever setting foot in NYC ever again!!!
It is still hard. I know that life goes on, and that is a blessed and wonderful thing, but, it is still hard. It is hard because NYC is still, and will always be, a HUGE target. Due to my hubby's job, he is in and around every possible target in the city, on any given day. The UN, the museums, Grand Central, Penn Station, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, you name it, and he might be there.
My coping is an ongoing process. I do go into the city for my rheumatologist, because they are the best, and we have gone in for some family stuff, too. Life does, indeed, go on.
It is still heart wrenching just to look at the skyline. It is all wrong now. It is missing the Towers, the exclamation points, at the end of the glorious sentence that is the Manhattan skyline.
Now, without punctuation, it is the end of the innocence.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The summer, frankly, went too quick for me this year. It didn't feel like summer at all until August, and then *poof* over - in the blink of an eye! I actually love the time with the kids with no schedule and just relaxing.
1. Fuzzy. That although he was much like the kitty in the picture above, and was full of nerves, Fuzzy is now happy with high school and seems to be enjoying the new experience and the teachers and the work. Yay!
2. Pumpkin. As always, just a bundle of happy at the thought of starting a new year and after starting it - she still is a bundle of happy! Yay!
3. Friends. Thanks for the prayers and support this week!
4. Hubby. No one pisses me off quite like you. No one loves me better, either. Feh. It's all good, hon. lol
5. Farkle. Thank you for taking my mind off worrying about Fuzzy during his first day at high school. I like being in first place out of my friend's scores too.
6. Books. How I love you all!!!! Thanks also to you for helping me keep my stress levels under control this week!
I am VERY VERY behind on blog reading!!! I am sooooo sorry! I will catch up soon!
I am happy to report that in spite of the increased stress this week, I stuck to my diet and stayed under my calorie goal each and every day! Yay!
Monday, September 7, 2009
This is for my cousin Karol!
I was able to see my friend Fred on Friday night! We had a really nice visit. Talked about his dad. Caught up on life and health issues. But, most importantly we laughed and hugged. Very nice.
Yikes! I sound so needy!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
So, the time has come for me to reflect on the many blessings in my life!
1. Coffee. Hey, some weeks it isn't on the list at all, or near the top. This week - well, it has earned its place. Not a lot of good sleep happening.
2. Friends. So many to thank in so many ways... you know who you are... online, in person, via the phone, via the email. You all rock. Thanks for your support this week.
3. Kids. At least they are healthy and normal enough to bicker with each other! LOL They are wonderful kids, and I have been blessed with the honor of being their mom. I am thankful for that, always.
4. Hubby. You make me laugh, you make me nuts, but you always make me happy that you are there at the end of the day, good or bad. Thank you.
5. My parents. I am so blessed that they share my life on a daily basis. They have helped make what seemed impossible to cope with manageable, and help me keep my sanity on a daily basis.
6. Libby. My sweet puppy. We just had a nice talk which ended in me giving her a some belly rubs. :-)
7. The weather. Yesterday, before dinner, Uncle K, Hubby, Fuzzy and Pumpkin all played some basketball. I sat in the shade and watched. It was a lot of fun. Lots of laughs, trash talk and silliness. Pumpkin claims she was born with a disability that prevents her from doing a lay-up. I told her lack of skill is NOT a disability... hard work can cure it. LOL
8. Orientation. Yesterday, Fuzzy had his high school orientation. He went reluctantly but came out with a great attitude and a new found excitement for the new year that begins on Wednesday! Yay!
Can I ask everyone to pray that there will not be a health insurance glitch this week? Heaven knows most insurance companies would be glad to dodge covering me with the Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, and brain tumor. Ack. We do need some kind of insurance reform... don't have the answer as to what... but something... thank you.
I hope that this entry finds you all with a joy in your hearts and a song on your lips!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Yesterday, I had to run Hammer and his gal pal to the mall for lunch and window shopping. After I dropped them off and as I tried to drink my coffee in peace, Fuzzy lamented how horrible his summer was and basically how it was all 'my fault'. And, Pumpkin was in a horrible mood because our insurance change (for the third and last time this year!) meant cancelling her eye doc appointment because the cards didn't arrive on time. Oh yes, also my fault.
Thank heavens that Hammer called for me to pick him up after barely an hour.
Now here is where it gets really fun.
I get a text. I am driving, but happen to be stopped at a light a mere two blocks from our street. First text is Pumpkin, basically telling me that Fuzzy is accusing her of hitting him which she did not do and they are fighting. As I am reading this text, the phone buzzes with a text from Fuzzy who says that Pumpkin hit him and that she won't leave apologize or admit it.
No, they are not ages 6 and 8. No, they are not 8 and 10. THEY ARE 12 and 14! ARE THEY KIDDING ME???? They were better behaved at the younger ages. Unfreakingbelievable.
This was the straw that put me over the edge. I did not answer the aforementioned texts. I drove to the mall, picked up Hammer and gal pal and began to drive back.
Buzz buzz. I have a text (that I read at the same red light just almost home now) from Pumpkin that says she is going to be the 'bigger person' and has left the family room and gone to the play room (spare bedroom) far from Fuzzy. Uh huh.
I arrive home 5 minutes later. I say nothing to either child about the texts.
They are eerily quiet. Why? Because they know that when mommy has been pushed over the edge SHE gets eerily quiet. They are in 'tip toe around Mom' mode.
Ding Ding. Pumpkin's lunch is ready to come out of the toaster oven! AND, who shows up and kindly offers to help so she doesn't burn herself? Yes, you got it in one, Fuzzy. They go to eat now back in the same room together.
I make my lunch. I eat my lunch.
Now, I make my move. I walk into the family room and announce to them that they are to 'pause' their tv show. They exchange knowing looks of 'uh oh... here it comes...'
And, it did. I will spare you all the gory details, but let's just say that I don't think I will get anymore texts like the ones I did yesterday anytime soon.
Attitudes properly fine tuned, we went back to our regularly scheduled programming of a nice day for all.
Pumpkin remembered how lucky she is that her dad has a job and health insurance and eyeglass coverage, albeit a little late with the cards. Fuzzy remembered how he was doing EXACTLY what he wanted to do all summer, playing WOW, just hanging out, and that he had multiple chances to go to the pool, mall, friends houses, and movies that he turned down, and that he should be grateful for all he does in fact have and did.
Yes, much better.
Kids... teens... ack. Better Missie?
I have one friend that has known me since kindergarten thru thick and thin. (literally) Happy and sad. Young and old. Stupid and smart. In love and out, up and down. Sick and well.
My friend Fred. We met at 4 1/2! We turned 5 one week apart from each other, and all the birthdays since. And, yes, dang it, I am the older one.
10 years ago, at 58, Fred's dad almost died. 6 months of hell, in the hospital and out, and finally, he emerged - determined to live his life to the fullest each day. I was so relieved.
He had ten amazing years more of living life to the very fullest.
Fred's dad died on Friday the 28th, and today, at the church, I said my final goodbye.
Big Fred was like a second dad to me, the family like a second family. I spent many, many days and nights at Fred's house, just a few blocks from mine. Many nights at their country home, a place I loved to visit. Many dinners, and lunches and breakfasts and yummy late nite treats. His sister's were like sisters I never had. We laughed and fought and were silly together. Our dads served on the town's 'auxiliary' police together, our moms were class moms together.
Sure, life gets in the way, and you grow your own family around you with marriage - hubby and kids. My Fred moved to AZ, but the affection, the love it doesn't ever change. It doesn't get less, in fact it grows greater as you watch your own kids and realize just how precious all that shared time together is in one's life. The gift of sharing your childhood dreams and fears and love. I was an only child, Fred, my brother, I didn't have.
So, I helped my friend, my brother, say goodbye to his dad. I said goodbye to his dad. I know it isn't really goodbye - I know that he lives forever on in my memories and in my heart, and in the hearts and memories of his wife, his son, his daughters, his grandchildren and in all those that loved him.
So hard to do, letting go. You can't help but look around you and think of the mortality of those close to you. My mom and dad. I truly can't imagine how hard it must be, and yet I got an unwelcome glimpse this week.
This week I had to see just how awful and hard and impossible it will be.
Yet, Fred will go on. They will all go on. Circle of life and all that... and someday, in the face of my own loss and grief I will go on too.