Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th...never forget

What do I write that hasn't been said yet? 

The year 2001 was by and far one of the most challenging years I have ever experienced.  In January, during my twenty-seventh week of pregnancy, I almost lost my then twenty-nine year old husband to illness.  In May, my beautiful daughter Angelina was born, bringing all the joys and challenges of a new baby.  My mother was in her final months of her long battle with cancer.  Life was crazy to say the least.

And then the towers fell...changing everything and everyone forever.  It was our generation's Pearl Harbor.

September 11th was like any other day.  Matthew had just begun fifth grade.  Angelina was a happy three month old.  Felix was working as a car salesman.  Our life was about as back to "normal" as we get.  I was a nursery school assistant teacher with my friends Dean and Debbie.  It was a normal day.  I keep using that word normal.  It was a perfect, cloudless late summer day.  The one's that you live for after a muggy summer.  It was perfectly...normal.

Dean had left the building for a few minutes before school started at nine.  He came back in, shocked, trying to explain to us what happened without alarming the kids.  At first we thought it was an accident, maybe a small plane went off course and hit the North Tower.  Then on live television, the South Tower was hit, and we knew it was no accident.  The Pentagon was hit and then the plane crashed in Pennsylvania.  At that point, all I could do was hold my daughter, wait for my son to be let out of school, and pray nothing more would happen to our nation.

I called Felix.  He saw it as it happened.  He told me to go home for lunch, but to call him first.  He didn't want me to watch it for the first time alone.  I got home, went into my bedroom called Fee and turned on the TV.  I watched in horror as they replayed the events of the morning.  I placed my hand on the screen and sobbed.  I cried in fear.  I cried for the people who went to work, never to go home again.  I cried for us.  I cried...because that was all I could do.

And now ten years have passed.  I lost my mother that December.  My daughter was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in October and had surgery the following April.  She's now a happy, healthy fifth grader.  My nursery schooler's are in high school.  We have healed.  We have moved on.  Every September 11th we remember the lives lost and how our lives changed.  I could write pages on this...but I won't.  I only ask you this my friends...

Never forget.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Cometh...

It's Sunday morning, 9:20am.  Irene has made landfall in NYC at 9am.  She is now a tropical storm.  I'm not relaxing just yet.  We aren't supposed to peak out for another hour or two.  Her wind speed is only 65 mph, but I'm getting big wind gusts!  I hope I can write and post this before the power goes out.  It's flickered three times in the last half hour. Now it went off and on twice.  Yeesh.  So far my poor sunflowers are the only victims of the rain and wind.  I figured as much.

Before Irene:

And this morning:

SIGH.  It happens every time I plant them.  So far that big branch is all that's fallen.  I'm cautiously optimistic the rest of my trees will stay rooted in the ground.

My husband works for a local university in the security department.  He's been there since 2pm yesterday and won't be home until 11 tonight.  He wanted to come home last night, but I told him to stay put.  I'd rather he have one night of discomfort than getting hurt. 

Going to wrap this! Be safe!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weather Geeks Unite!

What the hell!

We had an earthquake today.  We had mountains of snow this winter.  Blasting heat, frigid cold.  An EF-3 tornado just north of us.  And now Irene, which hopefully, will be a bunch of media hype and will tra-la-la out to sea.  The way the weather has been this year? We're probably going to get a direct hit.

The weather geek in me is excited...the homeowner?  Not so much.

My trees that give me shade in the summer and color (and bags and bags and bags of leaves) in the fall, suddenly look menacing.  I see my wires down and my car squished.  I'm a planner...I'd rather be over prepared and look silly, then to be unprepared and panic.  Sue me, I'm a worrywart like my mom.  It's genetic.  It's in my DNA.

I follow every conceivable weather thing on Twitter.  I don't follow hacks.  I follow the Weather Channel, Jim Cantore (♥), NWS Taunton, MA, Skywarn and Geoff Fox.  I respect the hell out of these guys.  They don't hype.  There are no wild "!!!" like some local meteorologists around here.  They call it as they see it.  If they're concerned, you know damn well I'll be watching closely.

I was eighteen when Hurricane Gloria hit in 1985.  I thought it was the coolest thing.  We had no power, the damage and trees down were awesome!  We took pictures, we were in awe of Mother Nature's wrath.  Now I own a house and a car.  I'm a mom.  My geekiness has to be tempered so I don't scare my daughter.  My son just gave her his "Idiots Guide to the Weather" by Dr. Mel Goldstein (So sorry that he retired today.  I've met him...really nice guy!) and told her to read it.  My theory has always been "You won't be so afraid if you understand it."  But, I have to allievate her fears and answer her questions.  And I need to protect them as well.

And if Jim Cantore shows up in Connecticut?  I'm outta here (once I get his autograph!)!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stop the presses!

I met someone new today.

His name is Jim Shelton.  He's a writer for our local newspaper, the New Haven Register.  He's been there twenty-eight years!  Way back when there were no Internet...or computers for that matter!  Articles were typed on one of these (for you young 'uns who've never seen one)...

He's doing a piece on moving...and all the "fun" that goes along with moving your crap from point A to point B.  We talked for a half hour.  Probably the easiest half hour of chatting I've done with someone new.  I told him about the time I moved from Cheshire to New Haven when Matt was a baby.  How my brother Jim and his buddy Attila threw my mattress out my second floor bedroom window because "It was easier to do it that way." And how they took a dance break on the roof of the U-Haul when C&C Music Factory came on the radio!  Then he video interviewed me for the website...and I didn't sound like a goober!

We talked about writing and how blogging is the way to go now.  There's no way to get into a newspaper without a bachelor's degree.  But what really bothers me is the fact people aren't reading or buying newspapers anymore!  We get instant news on Yahoo or Twitter. We have it coming right to our iPhones and Blackberries.  Who wants to read what happened the next day? 

Here's where newspapers totally rock over iPhones...
  • Can you potty train your puppy on an iPhone?
  • Can your cat lay on it in such a way, that no matter what you're trying to read, you can't?
  • Can you walk up to someone intently reading an article and knock it out of their hands?
  • Can you start a blazing fire with one?
  • Does an iPhone have that "rustle" (wait, there must be an app for that)?
You get my point.  And what about guys like Jim who do this for a living?  Stop buying newspapers and his job is gone...along with a few thousand other people. 

Pick up a newspaper the next time you hit Dunkin' Donuts on your way to work.  Put your smart phone away and support the local guys.  I know they'd appreciate it.

And thanks Jim for the words of encouragement (told ya I'd put you in my blog!!).  :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life with Puppy

I'm tired!

This is day two with Miss Delilah Rose.  She is adorable.  And so loving.  The gang at The Animal Haven did a great job socializing her.  That, and I think she is happy and secure here with us!

We got her yesterday.  She did remarkably well for her first day.  She was cute with our black lab Melky.  She'd run up to him...then run back to the safety of my lap!  She did that most of the day.  Her ears were always up and alert.  When she was awake!

She has two speeds...


...and asleep.

She got a lot ballsier with Melky today.  She stole his favorite stuffed moose!  He did not take kindly to that...and promptly stole it back!  A new game was started.  Until she was napping tonight, and he brought it over and dropped it on my belly next to her! ♥

Her birthday is April 15, 2011.  She's an Aries.  I found her horoscope!

Sign of The Ram
Ruling Planet - Mars
Most Desirable Qualities - Loyalty and Trust
Talent - Heart breaker; forgets past failures
PhysicalCharacteristics - Active and energetic, prone to headaches and sun stroke
Lucky Day - Tuesday
Most Harmonious Signs - Sagittarius, Leo
ME FIRST! That's You! Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac; the sign of a born leader. Your natural vitality drives you to be the "lead dog" and to stay the "lead dog.".
You need space and lots of it and a variety of people in your life, so you are destined to disappear often. Remember, Houdini was an Arian, and you have learned his secrets well..
You are quick to learn, proud and ambitious and because of these traits you will be able to endear yourself to almost everyone in almost every situation. But those around you should never doubt who holds the leash in this family for you consider yourself to be completely in charge at all times. In fact, you are sure you know not only what is best for you, but also what is best for your master! In spite of this tug of war, or perhaps because of it, you are a loyal and trusted companion..
Your heart is easily moved although you don't show it quite so intensely. You are apt to be quite spoiled because the opposite sex lavishes you with attentions. Happy conditions surrounding your home base make not only for family unity, but make for unusual love opportunities as well. Enjoy yourself for this year will be bright and glorious for you!.
.You fall in love at first sight and first sight will mean a sweetheart on every corner. Left alone in these situations (even momentarily) could result in an unexpected litter of LookaLikaMe's. According to the stars, however, your best mate would be one born under the sign of Libra. .
.A creature of habit (and I do mean habit) those around you will find you have little tolerance for re-arranging things in life. You expect your walk promptly at the same time every day, dinner promptly on time and you expect your favorite chair to remain where you like it and you will not forgive being boarded (ever)! Transgressions may cause you to disappear and cause great worry at home. Work on being less stubborn and more flexible (if only you could!).
We'll be checking back on this as she grows up!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Is it hot enough for you?"

No...not really.  Let's make it an even 120 degrees with a dew point of 137 then it'll be hot enough for me!

What's with the extremes in weather?  Everyone remembers our winter. don't?  Let me refresh your memories...

There's not a whole lot of difference in what we had in January except some shoveling.  Seriously, nobody wants to go outside.  Hell, it's too hot to do anything outside, short of running to your air conditioned car that is.  At 2:40pm, the temperature is 92, dew point is is 75 and it feels like it's 102.

This is no fun.  I feel bad for the rest of the country that's been dealing with this crap for weeks.  Yuck!  Bring back the '80's!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

♫ Birthday boy! ♫

Today my boytoy husband Felix turned 40. 

I didn't get him a card, buy him a gift or throw him a party per his request.  I will, however, make today's blog post about him.  I think that's fair, don't you?

I met Felix sixteen years ago in a galaxy far, far away (aka...our twenties).  I was a struggling single mom of a four year old and had pretty much given up on the opposite sex.  I decided to place a personal ad since I had two options for dating...1) Home Depot (my job) or 2) nothing.  I told the guy what I was looking for.  He wrote me one and put it in the paper.  I crossed my fingers.

Fast forward two weeks.  Fee leaves me a message.  Very soft spoken.  He said he was twenty-four.  I was almost twenty-nine.  Five years younger?  He was a kid!  But, I had a teddy bear named Felix and Hurricane Felix was bopping around the Atlantic.  I took that as a sign and called him late on a Saturday night.

We talked.  And talked and talked and talked.  We were up most of the night.  We talked every night for hours after that.  We decided to meet up at Home Depot after I got out of work.  My theory was if he liked me at my worst, the best would blow him away.

In a nutshell?  We fell in love three weeks after we met.  We offically lived together ten months later (even though each time he came over more and more of his stuff stayed!).  He proposed October 20, 1996.  We were married October 31, 1997.

I have never met anyone like Felix.  He was the youngest of anyone I had dated...but the most grown up of all of them, go figure.  And he was is adorable.  I still love his blue eyes and the way he crinkles his nose at me.

I almost lost him to diverticulitis, he almost lost me to depression.  We have been through the long battle and eventual death of my mom to cancer, our little girl's open heart surgery and a miscarriage.  We went through unemployment and some shitty jobs.  Money's been tight.  It hasn't been an easy road.  We've struggled.

But...we have a lot of fun together.  We don't do date nights, we do breakfast.  We still hold hands.  We hug everyday.  We always say I love you...and mean it.  We have dumb jokes only we get.  We laugh constantly.  I get him.  He gets me.  He is truly my best friend and soulmate.  I have no idea what I would do without him in my life.

So Fee...happy 40th birthday.  I hope we have many more birthdays to uncelebrate together.  You came to me at a time in my life when I needed you, and it didn't scare you away.  I love you more then you could ever know.  Thank you for being the wonderful husband and father that you are!  ♥ I love you!! ♥