PARASAILING WAS FUN!!!

I WONDER WHAT'S NEXT? ZIP LINING MAYBE???



Monday, March 30, 2009

Spin Cycle: Time


As soon as I saw the topic for this week, several old songs popped into my head.

This is going to be a stroll down memory lane! I give you 3 songs with a "Timely" theme! Enjoy!

Summertime by The Jamies (1958)





Time of the Season by The Zombies (1969)






Time Is On My Side by The Rolling Stones (1965)





OK, who, besides me, has Summertime stuck in their heads?

If you want to join in the Spin Cycle, head on over and visit Jen at Sprite's Keeper and the rules are right at this link! Then read everyone else's spins! The topic changes weekly and the links are right on her site!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

In honor of my 100th Post, 100 boring facts.


1. I'm the 4th child out of 8 kids and 3rd daughter of Marty and Regina.

2. I was raised Catholic, but I'm more of a lapsed Catholic now.

3. Even though I don't go to church any more, my Catholicism is still very strong in me.

4. If I stopped coloring my hair, it would probably be snow white (or close to it).

5. I don't plan on doing that any time soon.

6. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. (Irish Catholic, can you tell?)

7. My oldest sibling is a nun.

8. Three of us have gotten divorced.

9. I have 3 children, a girl, a boy and a female Dennis the Menace.

10. I was married for 23 years.

11. I'm happily divorced now.

12. My baby will be heading off to college in August.

13. I'm REALLY looking forward to Empty Nest Syndrome.

14. In August, it will be the first time in 29 years that I will have lived by myself.

15. My oldest child, Gina has her degree in Theatre, but she now works in radio.

16. I miss seeing her perform... a lot!

17. Her little sister, Danielle will be following suit when she goes to college in August.

18. I love seeing my girls perform!

19. My son, Tim turned 21 on St. Patrick's Day.

20. He looks just like his father.

21. I don't hold that against him.

22. I'm completely left-handed.

23. I used to be a hairdresser.

24. I've travelled to Germany, Austria, Mexico, changed planes in England (does that count?) and visited 5 islands in the Caribbean.

25. I've never driven further west than Pittsburgh, PA.

26. I've only driven as far north as Springfield, MA and as far south as Ft. Bragg, NC.

27. I need to see more of this great country.

28. I quit smoking on December 31, 1991.

29. I haven't touched a cigarette since.

30. I got my driver's license the day before my 28th birthday.

31. I love junk food.

32. It shows.

33. Three of my 4 brothers were Marines, one of them for 20 years.

34. My 4th brother is gay.

35. My family REALLY identifies with our Irish heritage, even though we've been in the US since before the Civil War.

36. I was very nearly a coal miner's daughter.

37. I'm REALLY glad my dad came to Philly when he married my mom after WWII.

38. My boyfriend, John is very weird.

39. I might marry him one day.

40. He's being very patient.

41. I've worked for TGI Fridays for 6 years.

42. I still like my job.

43. I LOVE John Wayne movies.

44. I'm a closet Charmed fan.

45. I secretly like Elvis Presley movies too (don't tell anyone)

46. I like to go to NYC to see musicals.

47. I've seen 9 shows on Broadway.

48. I've only seen 4 shows in Philadelphia and 1 in Wilmington, DE.

49. I love LOST!

50. I was never a pet lover.

51. I have 3 cats now, Cameron, Mason and Java.

52. Am I turning into a cat lady???

53. I think I'm addicted to the Internet.

54. I like to play games on pogo.com.

55. I've cooked, actually cooked, only about 10 times last year.

56. I thought I'd be sad when my oldest child didn't move home after college, but I'm not.

57. I hope her brother and sister follow suit. :)

58. I do the New York Times Sunday Crossword in ink and once did the entire puzzle with no help from a dictionary.

59. I can't whistle any more but I used to be able to. (I think it quit when I quit smoking)

60. I wish I could go on a cruise with my friend, Tina every year.

61. I went to my first concert when I was 34 years old and pregnant with my last baby. We saw Paul McCartney at Philly's Vet Stadium.

62. I don't miss my ex-in-laws at all!

63. Margaritas are my favorite drink.

64. Captain Morgan and Diet Coke with lime is a real close 2nd!

65. Green is my favorite color with red a close second.

66. I met Rita Moreno when she came into my restaurant in 2002.

67. She ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread and a glass of milk.

68. Ted Kennedy Jr. came into our restaurant too.

69. Since I'm name dropping, Michael Constantine (Gus from my Big Fat Greek Wedding) was a regular customer of ours.

70. He lives in Reading, PA with his sister.

71. Our restaurant was called Whispering Springs and it was in Kutztown, PA.

72. We had a ghost named Suzannah Levan Kemp.

73. I may have seen her, fleetingly, a few times.

74. We closed the restaurant on January 1, 2003.

75. I don't miss that place one little bit.

76. I have a friend, Margie who has been my friend for 47 years.

77. We've been friends since first grade!

78. I like finding new followers on Blogger.

79. I wish I could retire.

80. I think I'll have to work until I'm dead.

81. Unless John wins the Powerball lottery.

82. I think I want to move to a warmer climate in a few years.

83. I'm really beginning to hate snow and cold weather!

84. My favorite movie of all time is The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

85. My favorite suspense movie is The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment.

86. My favorite chick flick is Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo.

87. My favorite silly movie is Drop Dead Fred with Phoebe Cates and Rik Mayall. LOL!!!

88. When I was a senior in high school, I nearly joined the Army.

89. I went to hairdressing school instead.

90. I never went to college.

91. Have I mentioned that I really love John Russo.. a lot?

92. I'm excited to become a grandmother some day... but I can wait, GINA!! LOL

93. I may or may not get married again.

94. That revelation surprised me, because all I wanted 4 years ago was to get married again.

95. If I had joined the Army after high school, John and I would have gone through basic training at the same time.

96. I wish I had met him 30+ years ago.

97. I most likely have diabetes.

98. I'm avoiding going to the doctor because my health insurance sucks.

99. I love driving my Pontiac Vibe.

100. I told you this would be boring. Glad I'm finished!

Friday, March 27, 2009

You know, I just can't win

Just when I think things are looking up, financially, something has to happen to knock me right back down.

I made a deal with one of my creditors to make monthly payments and get rid of this debt. When this is paid off, I only have one more to go. THEN, I can pay off the hospital bill when I cut my hand last summer and went to he hospital to get stitches. Had I known that my deductible had to be paid before any of the hospital bill could be covered, I'd have gotten a few butterfly bandages and lived with a thicker scar on my palm, no big deal. but now I have a $1600 ER bill to pay and that doesn't include the man who stitched me up! GRRR!!!!!!

I came home today and paid a few small bills. And just now I realized I didn't see the deduction for the creditor that was supposed to come out today. So now there isn't enough in my account to cover that friggin' bill!! AND my stupid worthless $400 health insurance payment will be coming out of the account in less than a week.

I also have an $1800 car insurance bill due in a month. I can probably get my ex to give me half of the kids share of the insurance since they never bother to give me any money towards it.

This is all normal stuff. The thing that just set this off is my son came home for a day or so from school, and, as always, he brought a bunch of laundry home. This is fine because he almost always does his laundry himself. He asked me if I'd help him because his friends wanted to take him out tonight to celebrate his turning 21 last week. So I had a load in the washer and a load in the dryer. My daughter, Dani came home and ran downstairs to get something of hers out of the dryer, which of course they weren't there. So she went to turn the dryer back on, and it just hummed. The drum isn't turning. The fucking dryer is fucking broken!

I really don't need this aggravation and added expense. I hate it that I have to scrounge all the time. These are the days when I really hate my lousy cheating bastard ex-husband, who is sitting in his nice little townhouse in NJ with is $125,000+ salary and his fat-ass slut home-wrecking, husband-stealing wife's nice big salary, living his little "more active lifestyle" life and I'm struggling just to get the bills paid.

OK, I know I'm just trying to blow off steam here, but I sure do wish a little windfall could head my way. I don't need a lot. A measily $500,000 would get me out of debt, pay off my kids' college loans, pay for the youngest one's way through college and maybe allow me to take a little trip to relax for a bit. Unfortunately, the only way that's going to happen is if my ex would kick the bucket. but I don't think he's willing to do that for me. Selfish bastard.

A Truly Frightening Video

Someone sent this video to me this morning. It is Abdullah Fahd Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Nafisi giving a speech to a group of Arabs. It is several minutes long, but even if you watch the first minute or so, you can see why it really shook me up this morning! I'm not sure when this speech was made.

Beneath the video is this: Anyone (like Barack Obama) entertaining ideas of western democracies establishing friendly relations with the radicals of the Islamic world should watch this video.While watching the inflammatory rhetoric of the speaker, remember that this is not a Jihadists from Iran but a professor from Kuwait - a country with every reason to be grateful to the USA for liberating it from the tyranny of Saddam Husseins invasion.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spin Cycle: Quirks: Denny

Jen, over at Sprite's Keeper has a really cool weekly meme, with a theme! If you want to learn about Spin Cycle, go on over and check her out and then read what everyone else is spinning! So this one is mine!

I've been wracking my brain all week, trying to come up with some good quirkiness of mine. And for the life of me, I can't seems to think of any! I'm sure my daughter will be happy to chime in here with all my quirks!



But I do work with a man who is so full of quirks that he just makes everyone laugh and shake their heads. His name is Denny and he's a server, like me, at the place I work. Denny is very very friendly and everyone knows Denny! Denny is always laughing, always friendly. He is a 46 year old gay man, who still lives with his mother. These are just some of his quirks! (like still living with mom at 46 isn't quirky!)

*When Denny walks in the door to work, he announces Good Morning! no matter what time of day it is. He has to hang up his coat, get a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette.

*He goes absolutely crazy if the coffee/soda area is not just so! There must be styrofoam cups, lids, creamer, regular coffee, iced tea.

*He gets all worked up if we are out of any particular food item and will gripe about it all night.

*If you ask how he is, Denny will bless himself and say 60/40! (and he's not even Catholic!)

*Whenever he puts any order into the computer, he yells "You're In!" when he sends the order to the kitchen.

*Denny must have the areas he's working in filled with the things he might need (extra printer paper, to go boxes and bags, staples, straws, napkins.) And it doesn't matter that these things are not supposed to be in this area!

*If we make changes about where supplies are kept, and we do from time to time, he just goes nuts!

*He HAS to play Canasta online every night before going to bed, while watching the Golden Girls.

And these are just the quirks about WORK!! I can't imagine what he's like at home!!! I'm surprised his mom hasn't shot him yet!

I wish I could remember more because there is so much that Denny does and it just cracks us all up!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Five Question Game

I was reading Pseudo's post today and thought I'd play along! She got it from Laura at Under The Sheets. So I'm going to link up with her post!



The Five Questions Are:

1) What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Coffee definitely gets me out of bed. I don't need to set an alarm since I don't have to be at work until 11am. I sleep with my TV on (a habit I got into when my husband left and I wasn't sleeping well at all.) I usually wake up to Charmed. I generally leave TNT on... usually good stuff to drift back to sleep with.

2) What scares you and how often do you think about it?

I used to be afraid of dying and leaving my kids. Of course, I still don't want that, but they are mostly grown and on their own, so I don't worry in that respect. I worry about John and his recurring bouts of cancer. We just found each other less than 3 years ago and I don't want him to die. He promised me 30 years with an option to renew. Plus, he owes me a trip to Alaska!
I worry about what I will live on as I get older. I have no retirement money set aside.

3) How important is making a home to you? For example do you like a home to meditate in, cook good food or have people over?

When my family was all together, my home was my most important thing. We had home-cooked dinner at least 5 nights a week and ate as a family. My ex-husband destroyed all that when he left. I rarely cook any more. My daughter, Gina is out of college, in a home of her own and making a good life for herself. My son, Tim is in his 3rd year of college, living off campus in a house with 3 other guys. He plans to go to grad school and who knows where that will be. The chances of him moving back here are slim. My youngest daughter, Dani is graduating high school this year and will be going to school in western PA. She's rarely home when I am. I'm not sure what the next 4 years will bring, in regards to Dani.
So, for now, my home is a place where I can relax, where my kids are always welcome to come to. I'd like for it to be a place where John and I can live together peacefully, but the animosity between him and my youngest make that impossible. So, for now, we live separately. I hate to say it but I'm biding my time until we can make that happen. My biggest wish is they'd at least tolerate each other for my sake.

4) Where in the world would you like to travel to next?

Ah, so many places! I want to cruise to Alaska and tour the interior! I want to go to Hawaii, and Ireland and Greece and the Caribbean and the western US. I'd love to travel to as many of our states as possible. John wants to travel the West via train, through the Rockies and the Grand Canyon. I want to go to Canada. I'm not a big fan of seeing the Middle East. I think I' d like to see more of Europe. I'm also not sure of Asia.

5) (Just for fun...) *What's your favorite Anti Aging Skin Product?

Oh, I have all kinds of products. I use Oil of Olay. I have Clinique stuff and Neutrogena stuff. My daughter works part-time at Ulta and she hooks me up with stuff every now and then. (I often forget to use the night time creams)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Why are moms so quick to bring our kids to see a doctor when they are not feeling well, but think we can doctor ourselves? That's me. And I finally bit the bullet and called for an appointment today to see a doc for 2 reasons.

1) The cough, cold that I cannot get rid of. It's been 2 weeks. The folks at work will be walking around with sterile masks on soon if I don't see a doctor.

2) I'm finally admitting that I do, indeed, have diabetes. I've been pretending to control high blood sugar with diet and exercise. HA! Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby and no exercise is NOT controlling the blood sugar.

Update on the doc appointment: I have bronchitis. Big surprise there! I should have learned by now. Every time I get a cold, it becomes bronchitis. I'm lucky it isn't pneumonia! So I'm now taking Mucinex 1200 mg (mega doses) and Azithromycin (Z-pak) antibiotic. I'll be good as new in no time!
I'm also getting a whole slew of blood tests done and I have to go back in 2 weeks for a complete physical. So we'll get to the bottom of the diabetes/blood pressure/cholesterol/thyroid/anemia thing.

Speaking of doctors... why are my doctors moving to other parts of the country/world on me? I really liked Dr. F and a few years ago, he moved to NC where his insurance wouldn't bankrupt him before he got his medical school loans paid off. And now I find that Dr. R (who I found quite amusing) has moved to Canada! So now I'll be seeing a third doctor and it's a woman. I sure hope it isn't the woman they sent me to in between Dr. F and Dr. R because I didn't like her at all!
YAY! My new doctor is NOT Dr. H, although she still practices there. My new doctor is Dr. Z, from Russia and she's very pretty and sounds quite knowledgable.


Finally a good reason for being at the poverty level! My daughter got her reward letter from the college of her choice and she has received just shy of $12,000 in federal loans and grants! And she hasn't heard from the state grant people yet! She'll hear from them in May. Her college tuition will be less than her high school tuition! Her father is happy since he gets to pay that bill.
Is it bad that I've had my 100th post ready to go for 2 weeks now? I thought it would take me longer to get it done but it's finished and ready for publication!

Am I the only one in Bloggiland to NOT have a Wii and being abused by the girl in Wii Fit? Wait... maybe that's a good thing!

Why is the president on TV tonight, interrupting my Tuesday night viewing pleasure? Hopefully, he'll be done with the blah, blah, blah and I can see who got kicked off Dancing With The Stars and The Biggest Loser. You know, important issues. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Shape of Things

Irish Gumbo had a great story this morning about how brilliant his daughter is, and it reminded me of something that happened about 23 years ago when my oldest child, Gina was a mere 2 years old. (and I bet Gina remembers this too!)

We had just moved to NJ several months before, into a new development. We were one of the first families in, so there was lots of construction going on all around us.

For a while, in the evenings, Gina and her dad would take a walk around the neighborhood, while I cleaned up from dinner or was preparing dinner. And on these little walks, they would find piles of stone and puddles of water and they'd toss the stones into the water. This became a daily ritual.

(I need to back track just a bit here) Gina had one of those Tupperware toys that all kids had... the ball with the shapes and you'd put the shape into the correct opening of the ball. So I taught Gina the names of all those shapes. This kid was so smart! She remembered the names of all those shapes, and there are 10 of them! (she could also say all her ABCs by 18 months and not only say them but could identify any given letter of the alphabet... but that's a story for another day)

OK, so back to the stones. So there is Gina and her dad tossing the stones into the puddle, and she picks one up and says, "Look Daddy! A trapezoid!" He was so shocked! He came rushing home to tell me that Gina knew this! He had no idea I had been teaching her the names of the shapes. Is my kid brilliant or what!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Got Nothin'

I've been trying to post every day, or as close to every day as I can.

Not today, though.

Today, I have nothing to talk about.

So, I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow I'll be heading to John's for the weekend, after work.

Maybe I'll have something to talk about when I get home late Sunday night.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Five in Five! Amayzing Mayzie!!

Janie at Sounding Forth did this meme and it looked like fun. So I thought I'd try it! You're supposed to take your fifth picture from your fifth folder and post it.

Here's mine:


Dani, as Mayzie, sitting on her egg

This is my youngest daughter, Danielle. Last year, her high school did Seussical the Musical and she played Mayzie La Bird, the bird who wanted to party and she convinces Horton, the elephant to sit on her egg. It was a fun show and she did a great job as Mayzie!

In April, they're doing Into The Woods and Dani will be playing Little Red Riding Hood (with Atittude!) This will be her final high school performance. Then it's on to college and hopefully, more shows to be cast in! (she's majoring in theatre)

Want to play? Go to your pix, and post the fifth picture from your fifth folder. Let
Janie know if you do this and she'll give you some linky love!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, My Leprechaun!

It's so hard to believe 21 years have passed since I gave birth to my very own leprechaun.

Timothy Gabriel Poletti (I know.. Italian last name... trust me, this kid is Irish!) came into this world at 12:33 pm on St. Patrick's Day 1988, all 9 lbs. 8 oz. of him. He was a funny little boy, wanted to grow up "to be clever" and a regular guy, like his Dad. And I think he is!

Now he's 21 years old, a Junior in college, a Fraternity brother, a typical middle child... my only boy, my only lefty, my only blonde child. Tim was the shortest kid in school from Kindergarten up until 9th grade in high school. He started sophomore year around 6' tall and is now probably 6'2"or 6'3" but skinny as a rail! Tim was the kid who made honors... sometimes, if he bothered to try. Yet he pulled a 4.0 all last year. If he continues to do this well, he'll graduate Summa Cum Laude next year! And he plans to continue his studies and get his master's degree.

Tim was always a dreamer when he was a kid. He was the one I worried about, getting in with the wrong crowd or get taken advantage of. I called him my Space Cadet, but he's not, at least, not any more! He's proven to me that he can take care of himself and I think he'll find his own way in the world and do a damned good job doing it!

So Happy Birthday Tim!! SlĂ inte'!

The Orange and The Green

In honor of St. Patricks' Day, for those of you conceived in a "mixed" marriage, I give you this little ditty.




Just in case you want to sing along or have a bit of trouble understanding the brogue, here are the lyrics:


CHORUS:
Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen. My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

My father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he. My mother was a Catholic girl, from county Cork was she. They were married in two churches, lived happily enough, Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.

Baptized by Father Riley, I was rushed away by car, To be made a little Orangeman, my father's shining star. I was christened "David Anthony," but still, inspite of that, To me father, I was Willie, while my mother called me Pat.

With Mother every Sunday, to Mass I'd proudly stroll. Then after that, the Orange lodge would try to save my soul. For both sides tried to claim me, but i was smart because I'd play the flute or play the harp, depending where I was.

Now when I'd sing those rebel songs, much to me mother's joy, Me father would jump up and say, "Look here would you me boy. That's quite enough of that lot", he'd then toss me a coin And he'd have me sing the Orange Flute or the Heros of The Boyne

One day me Ma's relations came round to visit me. Just as my father's kinfolk were all sitting down to tea. We tried to smooth things over, but they all began to fight. And me, being strictly neutral, I bashed everyone in sight.

My parents never could agree about my type of school. My learning was all done at home, that's why I'm such a fool. They've both passed on, God rest 'em, but left me caught between That awful color problem of the Orange and the Green.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Way is this allergies!


I honestly thought the crap I've been feeling was my allergies kicking in. There's no way in hell this is allergies. I do believe I am down with a full-fledged kick-my-ass cold.


Of course, I haven't been to a doctor. What's he going to say? Yup! You have a cold! $100 please. So I've been taking it easy, taking meds, drinking lots of fluids, getting lots of rest.


I called out of work yesterday (Saturday). I sent my boss a text message early yesterday morning: Dave, This is Joanie. I feel like shit. I'm staying home. Greg said he would be shift leader. His response? K. I love my boss.


Then I high-tailed it out of my house and went to John's. I did this for 2 reasons.
1) I'd get rest at John's.

2) my ex was coming to the house to see our teenager (visitation day) and I didn't feel like looking at his face.


My daughter thought I was at work. She didn't notice I was wearing a sweat suit and not my uniform. If I had stayed home, I'd have been harassed into taking her shopping for prom clothes and/or shoes. And she knows how to push my buttons and make me do things for her just to shut her the fuck up.


Not to get into a long, drawn out drama, on Friday later afternoon/early evening, even though I feel awful and have a fever, I take her to a couple of places and the choices are crap. I feel lousy, she's pissed and crying (can you say DRAMA QUEEN?) and we go home. She spends the evening designing her first 2 tattooes.


So I skip out early on Saturday morning and Daddy comes and takes her to the exact store she wants to go in Philly for a prom dress and forks out $300 plus $50 for necklace and earrings. She didn't want to go with Dad, but she's glad she did now because this dress is gorgeous!


I got to John's and he promptly makes me get settled in bed and he's fussing over me and getting me tissues and water and making me tea. (have I told you how much I love this man?)

He even told me if I wanted to watch a movie or two, I should pick out a chick flick!!! He then went to the store and picked up soup and hot take out dinner and veggies and fruit and more dayquil/nyquil for me.


I got lots of rest, drank plenty of tea and water (which explains why I got up SIX TIMES to pee during the night!), took my meds, had some dinner, watched tv and saw the movie All Of Me. Just a nice easy night of relaxing and taking it easy.


I woke up this morning, my aches are gone, my fever is gone. I'm still coughing and wheezing a bit but not like the past couple of days. I'm still getting a lot of rest and I might even take tomorrow off too. I don't really want to be coughing all over everyone and I'm sure they don't want me coughing all over them either.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Prayers for Braja and Jahnu

I copied and pasted this from Lisa's site, I Didn't Get The Message It's a great idea for everyone to say a prayer for Braja and her hubby and the driver of the cab who were in the accident yesterday.
I was thinking, the power of the computer age is amazing. I'm not sure who actually found out about the accident but it sure didn't take long for the word to make it's way around the world.


These are Lisa's words:
As most of you have heard by now, our friend (icon), Braja, her husband and driver were in a horrific car accident.

Braja has been a friend to us all. She made you feel like you were her best buddy no matter how long she's known you. That takes a kind heart and generous spirit.

I know we're all doing this, but let's keep her, her husband and driver in our thoughts.

To that effect, I'm proposing that on Saturday, 3/14 at 12 noon we have a world-blog moment of silent prayer (no matter where you live) when the sun is highest in the sky and shining upon us all. Just like Braja.

Please post this on your site so all your followers will join in. We are a powerful group and Braja will feel it all the way in India.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lemonade Stand Award!!


This must be the week to hand out awards! I received this terrific award from none other than Peudo at Pseudonymous High School Teacher! I love this one! When life hands you lemons you make……

Like any award, this one comes with rules and they are as follows:

Post the logo on your blog.

Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude. (ok, I did 7)

Link to the nominees within your blog post.


Notify the recipients of the award by commenting on their blog.


Share the love and link back to the person from whom you received your award.


So, without further ado, I'd love to pass this on to:


Maureen at Penny, the Baby Girl


Queenie at I'll Get There... Eventually


Jill at Jill Jill Bo Bill


Janie at Sounding Forth


Mary Ellen (aka ME) at Adopting M.E.


Gina at My Inner Monoblog


Cat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow To Let In Crazytown


These women make me laugh, they lift my spirits, and they encourage me daily. They are strong (and some are strong-willed) and they amazed me with their inner strength.

Thank you , ladies!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

cough cough cough cough

Well, the temperatures in Pennsylvania have risen somewhat. I like that it's a bit warmer. What I don't like is it has triggered my allergies and it's kicking my ass!!!!
All day yesterday, I felt like I had a lump of ick stuck in my throat and I kept coughing, trying to get something to come up. As the night went on, it almost felt like I was coming down with something, but it was only in my throat and upper chest. Then it dawned on me... ALLERGIES!

Oh I do hate this time of year because of allergies. I don't get the "itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing" allergies. I get the "something is in my throat" allergies and it gets REALLY annoying really quickly. My throat feel sort of scratchy and I'm coughing a lot. This is just great because I'm a waitress and I'm handling food and drinks all day. Now, when I approach a table, I have to say, "Hi! My name is Joan! I don't have a cold, these are allergies! I swear! Our soup today is..." I'm taking Claritin every 12 hours instead of 24 to try to get the meds to do their job. In the meantime, I have a bit of medicine head which would be cool if I could just sit here and zone for the next 2 months. But that ain't happening.

Two years ago, I thought I had the flu. I had coughing, swollen glands, chills, body aches, fever, and I was miserable. I lost 3 days of work and finally broke down and went to the doctor (hey! I'm a mom! We take our kids to the doctor and self-medicate ourselves unless we're dying) The doctor says, "You know, I don't think this is the flu. I think it's allergies. Take Claritin and of this doesn't help call me back." So I do what the doctor ordered. Within 3 hours, my fever was gone, my chills were gone, my voice came back, my glands receded. I felt like a new woman! And I was pissed that I lost 3 days of wages because I thought I had the flu!

The real fun will begin when I lose my voice because I always do. It's a rule. I'll lose my voice for a week. The first time it happened, I made up an index card that read:


HI!! MY NAME IS JOAN!
I HAVE LARYNGITIS!
THE SOUP TODAY IS NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER!
WE ALSO HAVE FRIENCH ONION
AND BROCCOLI CHEDDAR.
OUR DRINK SPECIAL IS
ULTIMATE LONG ISLAND ICED TEA!

My guests got a kick out of it, and I got good sympathy tips! The hardest part was trying to get a cook's attention if no one else was in the kitchen to talk for me.

My kids think it's great when I lose my voice, especially if they piss me off and my voice gets really high-pitched and squeaky. The brats.

I guess I better get my index card ready. cough cough! cough cough!

Update: I really really feel like crap! My ribs hurt from coughing, my chest is tight. I'm getting a headache from all the coughing too. I just switched over to Advil Allergy Sinus. If I don't see or feel a change, I'm calling the doc tomorrow. God, I hate this!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sisterhood Award


Liz over at Eternal Lizdom gave me this award and I really really like it! Thanks so much, Liz!


First, share memories or thoughts of childhood or adulthood sister-friends. Funny, sad, whatever.


My friend, Tina who became my friend when I went to Curves. Over time, we have become like best friends. I credit Tina with saving my life! She was really there for me when my marriage fell apart and I was careening down a slippery slope. She dragged my sorry ass out of the house for dinner or lunch and/or movies. Anything to get me to stop being a hermit. And she talked me into going on the best cruise I ever went on!! She's the one who got me laughing again... I laughed so much on that cruise, like I hadn't done in years and years. I literally wet my pants! And she's a damn good masseuse!


Margie, who has been my friend for 47 years! We have been friends since 1st grade! We knew we were friends in grade school but didn't know exactly how long until I found our first grade class picture and Margie is sitting right beside me! We were in each other's weddings (I met my ex through her husband), we had kids together, she was there when my mom and dad died. We don't see each other too often any more but we're still the best of friends!


Nicole, who I work with. I am Nicole's work mom. We confide in each other about things we'd never tell anyone else. I knew she was pregnant before anyone except her own mom (even before the baby's daddy!).


Kathy, who I met when our boys went through school together. She helped my two daughters when they were preparing for college auditions (you need to audition for college if you want to be a theatre major). We do girls night out, but not as often as we should.


Sue, who used to be my sister-in-law. We are both divorced from brothers and she is the Founder of The Poletti First Wives Club. (and frankly I don't care that their real last name is up there because it's no longer our last name!) Sue and I raised our girls together (they were born 4 months apart) and we had lots of good times. I missed her when she split from her ex. We still see each other from time to time and talk more often on the phone.


Second, pass the award on to however many bloggers you'd like to share this with- but make sure you share this award specifically with bloggers that you feel a kinship with. Bloggers you learn from or feel that you teach, bloggers you've connected with in a really familiar and friendly way.

So I'd like to pass this terrific award on to

Pseudo at Pseudonymous High School Teacher

Candy at Candy's Daily Dandy

Amy at The 4th Frog Blog

Vodka Mom at I Need A Martini Mom

because Vodka Mom wants to kill my ex if she ever gets that chance and is most like my own sister, Jeanne. Candy and I seem to be living parallel lives (except she has dogs and I have cats) and Amy and Pseudo because I just really feel an affinity with them!

Totally Awkward Tuesday: The Birth Control Story

Today is Totally Awkward Tuesday! The lovely Tova Darling is the host of Totally Awkward Tuesday! If you want to join and post your own very funny story, check it out on Tova's Blog!

I wanted my daughter to put her own version of this story since it concerns her, but she says she didn't find it very awkward. So you're just getting my side of the story! LOL

When my daughter, Gina was a freshman in college, she had a steady boyfriend who was a junior at the same college, and he was a theatre major, like her. So they were spending a lot of time together. My husband and I were talking one night about whether we thought Gina should be taking birth control, because we didn't want her getting pregnant and possibly ruining any chance of her having an acting career. So we decided I'd go and talk to her about it.

So I call Gina up and invite her to go to breakfast with me. I drive to her school (she was only about 40 minutes from home) and we go to the local diner for breakfast. At the time, Gina didn't have her license, so she was pretty much a captive audience.

I start off with, "Your dad and I were talking..." And we were wondering if maybe it wasn't time for you to go on the pill. Now I don't know if you are sexually active, and if you're NOT sexually active, this is NOT permission for you to have sex! But if you want to go on the pill, we're ok with it." Whew! Got that out!

Gina is sitting there with what looked like stunned silence to me, so I just kept on talking! We're just being realistic. Your dad was 17 when he lost his virginity and I was 19. We figure it's better to be safe than sorry. We just want you to be safe. blah, blah, blah blah blah blah!

I can't remember everything I said. I just remember Gina not saying a word! So I just kept yammering on! Now silly me thinks my little girl went off to college a virgin. HA! I discovered (I think at a later date, but maybe it was that day) to my complete shock that it was her high school boyfriend in her senior year who was her first! Frankly, I didn't think he had it in him to do that! LOL

So, anyway, more yadda yadda, yadda from me, and Gina is still not giving up any information. Then it was time to take her back to school because she had a class. I told her if she wanted to start taking the pill, I'd make an appointment for her with a gyn doc.

So we drive back to school, and I pull up in front of the building where her next class is. She gets out of the car, and before she closed the door, she says, "You know that THING we were talking about? Yeah, I think I want to do that." And I say, "Oh, I didn't really want to know that, did I?" And she said, "No, but you started it." And with that, she closed the door and walked into her class!

I did make that appointment and took her to the lady doctor at my doctor's office. Then a few weeks later, she and that guy broke up!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spin Cycle: Survivor: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

I am the survivor of a divorce I never saw coming. I was, I thought, happily married for 23 years. We were going to grow old together. But I was so wrong. Looking back, I can now see all the signs that things weren't going well. He criticized my driving, if I didn't do laundry often enough, small things that I ignored. This could become very very long but here is a synopsis.

I discovered my husband of 23 years was having an affair with a woman in his office. She lived 5 minutes from the office so they would go there for "lunch", thus leaving him available to come home at night for dinner. He started staying in NJ one night a week to get all his NJ accounts done in 2 days times. (we lived in PA... I still do) I helped him... I bought the things he needed for his shaving kit.

I didn't discover anything until December 5, 2004. When I found her phone number and confronted him, which he denied. Later that weekend, I checked it again (you know that nagging feeling that something's not right?) and found he changed her name to a man's name. He changed it again but I found that one too. The man was too stupid not to leave his cell phone where I could get my hands on it. I told him I'd have all her info in a matter of days. I did. Inside 24 hours, I had her name, address, phone number and directions to her house. She's lucky I didn't get her SS#.

I did everything I could to save my marriage. I even took the blame for his cheating. It took me the better part of a year of therapy to realize that I wasn't at fault.

Anyway, he finally left on Jan 24, 2005, to "live with his brother, Ken, to figure all this out." I later learned he had been living with "her" just about from the beginning. Greg had no intention of trying to save our marriage. But I honestly thought he'd "come to his senses" and come home. I found out on Easter Sunday 2005 that they were together (he was coming home every other weekend but sleeping on the sofa... a BIG problem for me). That day nearly killed me.

In order for me to get into that bed every night, by myself, I started drinking... a lot. Every night, for about 3 months, I'd drink a magnum bottle of wine or 1/2 a fifth of rum and get drunk enough to go to sleep. I have no idea how I was able to go to work or function at all. I nearly lost my job because every time I saw a couple in their 40s or 50s holding hands I'd start to cry and have to get sent home (I'm a waitress). Thank God my boss had been through this himself and was VERY understanding. I was so completely devastated by all this that I honestly thought I would die without this man in my life! (how stupid is THAT?) My brother told me that this would be the hardest thing I'd ever go through, and he's right. This was harder than my parents' dying. It actually would have been easier to cope had my husband died.

I'd find myself doing things like driving down the highway in our town at 80MPH thinking, "if I got into an accident, he'd realize he still loves me and come home." THANK GOD I never had an accident! See? I was doing stupid things.

After about 3 months, I FINALLY realized that I was slowly killing myself and stopped drinking altogether for a year or more. (I can have a glass of wine or a drink or 2 now and I'm fine). After a while, I realized that I was laughing sometimes and having a good time with friends or co-workers. I was finally coming out of the terrible depression I was in!

It took 3 years of therapy, 2 years of anti-depressants and meeting a terrific man who I met about 2 years after my separation and today I'm great!!!

And Greg? He married that slut and when their marriage breaks up, I'm throwing a party! I always hoped he'd realize the error of his ways and beg me to let him come home... just so I can tell him to go F himself. He travels a lot for his job. I'm so tempted to call her up and ask her, "When Greg is away in VT on business, who do you think he's sleeping with?" But I don't. I just hope it nags at her mind though.

So what keeps me fighting is I make sure John knows every single day that I love him, and he tells me. It's something that I didn't hear for the last 20 years of my marriage. And I make sure I mean it each and every time I say it or show it.

Ah, Spring!!


It's 65 degrees fahrenheit in Pottstown, PA today (that's 18.3 degrees celsius to everyone else in the world) and I saw my first robin. Spring is coming!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

John's newest cancer update

OK, I just typed an entire long entry and I just lost the whole fucking thing. I am so pissed!!!!!!! This is a shorter version.

John saw the Lymphoma specialist at the Perlman Center at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital today. He had all his CDs of his CT scans and PET scans. Dr. Swaab's office sent all his medial records (his file is at least 9 inches thick!)

Some background: In June 2007, John was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma of his neck, chest, left side near his spleen, a mass on his liver and a mass on his spine. He underwent 7 treatments of chemotherapy, 3 weeks apart for 6 months. After 2 treatments, the mass on his spine was gone. After 7 treatments (April 2008), he was declared in remission. Fast forward 6 months, to October 2008. CT scan and PET scan show the cancer is back, on his spleen. In January 2009, they remove the spleen, scans show the cancer is gone again.

John's regular oncologist wanted a second opinion about the chances of the cancer coming back again. This new doctor (I don't know her name yet) said this type of cancer likes to come back repeatedly. Not good. They've decided to keep a closer eye on John, and check him every 3 months instead of 6 months. There was some talk of harvesting John's stem cells to be put back inside him at some point in the future. I don't understand that but I'm sure I'll learn!

John's doing ok mentally, emotionally. Not great but he's dealing with it. I'm ok, I guess. I put on a good face for him. I let my fears show here. No fancy colors tonight... I'm at Burger King online because I didn't pay my bill again and I have no internet until this weekend when I can put enough money in the bank to pay the fucking bill. I"ll be back here tomorrow. Ciao!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Surprise Visitor

I woke up this morning to find my son's car parked in the street outside of my house. He does this from time to time. He shows up at home with no advanced warning. I guess he's on "spring break" HA! With snow covering everything! There are often times I never even see him while he's here. He wakes up after I leave for work and is gone when I get home.

I came downstairs one morning to find a girl asleep on the sofa. It was his ex-girlfriend. At least she wasn't asleep upstairs! Another time, I saw a boy asleep on the sofa and thought it was Tim. I was in a t-shirt and undies.... and guess what? It wasn't Tim! It was his friend, Bobby! And I didn't know it until I stepped out of the room with the computer and Bobby sat up! YIKES!!! Sorry Bobby! No way should you EVER be subjected to this body, scantily clad, especially when you first wake up!

I did peek in and Tim was alone in his room. And I'll be going to John's overnight, so chances are, I won't see him at all today. That just means his sister will be fighting with him and I don't have to listen to it. Oh trust me... she'll find something to bitch about at him. She always does... and it gives ME a break from it!

And yes, I'm fairly certain Tim is drunk in this picture. He's a college student and a Frat brother! Of course he's drunk in this picture! And in 2 weeks he'll be legal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Very First Totally Awkward Tuesday!

Yes, I am a Totally Awkward Tuesday virgin. But that is all changing today because today I have a VERY awkward story to tell. And my daughter just might vouch for it's authenticity.

This story takes place way back in April of 1995. That was the time when my daughter, Gina and I were bridesmaids in my youngest brother, Jimmy's wedding. Actually the wedding should have taken place in 1992, but Jimmy was, well... that's a story for another day.

My brother, Jimmy was getting married and his fiance', Laura asked me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding. At the time I was 39 years old, way too old to be a bridesmaid in anyone's wedding but I agreed (that's not the awkward part). My older daughter, Gina was originally asked to be flower girl but since the wedding got postponed for 3 years, she ended up being a junior bridesmaid. Her dress, which originally was meant be floor length was now tea length because she hit a few growth spurts, as kids do when they age from 8 to 11. (this isn't the awkward part either)

Laura wanted our dresses to be made by private seamstresses, since I was living in PA and her sisters were living in CT and MA. The wedding was to take place in Springfield, MA. Laura picked out Laura Ashley patterns with Laura Ashley print material. Now, I am not a slender young woman. I was (and still am) a round, short middle aged mother of 3. The print and the pattern were so not appropriate for me! But I agreed to be in the wedding and as all bridesmaids do, I sucked it up and got a local seamstress to make my gown. Actually, now that I think about it, our dresses were tea length, not floor length.

To be fair, the woman was a professional seamstress and she did a lovely job on the dress. It fit like a glove.... on a fat lady. She thought it would be best if I wore one of those one-piece bra/girdle contraptions to make me look smooth all the way down my torso. I hadn't worn a girdle since I was in high school way back in the early 70's when my mother made me wear one (I think she was trying to ensure my virginity stayed in tact... have you ever tried to get one of those damned things OFF?? Impossible!!) But I digress....

So I bought a bra/girdle contraption and it did make my dress look smoother on me! This... thing has 3 snaps or hooks in the crotch that you have to undo and resnap/rehook closed again.




You know how, when you're in a wedding, you might get nervous? And when you get nervous you have to pee... a lot? Well, that was me. And I tried to pee and get that damned contraption hooked back up, but every time I reached back to grab it, I'd lose the front part. I'd get the front part in my hand and lose the fucking back part.

What's a girl to do? (here comes the awkward part) Well, she enlists the help of her 11 year old daughter to help her! Poor Gina had to go into the bathroom with me every time I had to go and rehook my crotch!!! She didn't want to do it. But I forced her, probably with threats through gritted teeth. I really felt bad for her, but what was I to do? If I let the damned thing stay unhooked, it would have rolled itself like a scroll right up my body! So Gina was my "dresser" for the that entire day! The kid deserves a medal! Really!

The first thing I did when I got back to PA was to throw the damned thing out! And it probably cost $40 or more back then! I also threw the dress out too. Like I was EVER going to wear that thing again! I did save Gina's dress and I think Danielle wore in on Easter one year.

Thanks to Ann at Ann's Rants for telling me I should post this story on Totally Awkward Tuesday! The lovely Tovah Darling is the host of Totally Awkward Tuesday! If you want to join and post your own very funny story, check it out on Tova's Blog!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Do you see dead people? I do... in my dreams

I'm totally stealing an idea I got from Vodka Mom.


There have been times throughout my life and the lives of those around me when in our dreams, or even in our waking states, our loved ones (and others) who have passed on before us have shown themselves to us. These are some of the stories.


My brother's wife, Pam, passed away in May 1995 from a cerebral hemorrhage. She was only 37 years old. In 1988 and again in 1991, she lost babies at birth. My brother had a tough time dealing with all this, but he had 2 other small children and an older daughter from a previous marriage and he had to get on with his life for his kids' sakes. One day, about a year after Pam passed away, Michael had a "waking dream". He swears he was awake when Pam appeared to him, dressed in a long white dress, sitting in a big rattan fan chair. On each knee she was holding a baby. She told Michael she was fine and she was taking care of MJ and Alex and he should get on with his life.


My mother appeared to my daughter in her room shortly after her death in 1999. Gina told me "Mama Gigi was in my room last night." I told Gina she was probably dreaming. Gina swears she was awake and my mother was playing with her hair. She told my mother to stop and mom went away. I don't know if my mom ever appeared to her again.


My mother-in-law and father-in-law have both been gone for many years (my MIL in 1971 and and my FIL in 1976). I never knew them. The summer of 1996 we went to Sea Isle City, NJ for a week for vacation. One afternoon, my then husband, Greg went back to the house with my daughter, Dani (could have been Gina... I can't remember for sure) for lunch. As he was waiting to cross the street, a woman rode past them on a bike. The woman looked at our daughter, looked at Greg, smiled and nodded as if giving her approval. He swears it was his mother.



My in-laws came to me in a dream some years ago. In the dream, they wanted to meet our kids, so they got permission to come down from heaven and spend the day with us. It didn't seem at all strange to me (but what does seem strange in a dream? everything makes perfect sense in the dream state)



I do dream about my mother and father, always separately in dreams. I have no details of the dreams I had, but I remember dreaming about them from time to time. My mother is always old and my father is always much younger. (my dad passed in 1980 and my mom in 1999)

My ex-husband and I owned a restaurant in Kutztown, PA from August 1997 to December 2002. The building was built in 1740 with an addition added on in the 1800s. The building is said to be haunted by Suzanna Levan Kemp. Suzanna was born in that house, lived there her entire life and died in the house. Her husband, George Kemp purchased the house from her father, Daniel Levan. The place was run as an Inn for generations. John Adams spent the night (this is documented) as well as Martha Washington (allegedly).


There were lots of weird things going on as we were doing renovations on the place prior to opening. My daughter, Gina swears she could smell lavender when she was upstairs reading (the building was musty from being closed up, so the smell of flowers would be odd). We had things moved from one room to another while we were gone from the building. Too many weird things happened to talk about in detail or this blog would be so long! Things settled down once we opened. One waitress, Dawn, swears Suzanna was standing outside the upstairs bathroom one day (but Dawn was a drunk and a liar so we never believed her LOL). But there were often times, I'd come out of the kitchen and walk down the hall past this one small room, aptly named the Suzanna Room and I swear I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a woman in a long blue dress standing in front of the fireplace. When I'd go back to check, the room would be empty.

There were a few times I had to spend the night at the restaurant (we had a sofa upstairs in the office for such emergencies) because of impending snowstorms, when I wouldn't be able to get there in the morning. I do admit, I was a bit freaked out each time, afraid Suzanna would make an appearance and I'd drop dead in horror, but thankfully she never did (maybe she knew this and didn't want company for all eternity). To settle my nerves, I'd get lock the place up tight, get ready for bed (usually in a sweatsuit), make a big blenderful of margaritas, grab a yummy dessert out of the fridge and watch tv in the bar until I was "medicated" enough to get some sleep.

So, does anyone have an good ghost stories to tell?