Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quick - I Need A Pumpkin!

Tonight, at around 8:00 p.m., (as she's getting ready for bed) Vicki tells me that she needs a pumpkin for school tomorrow. What she really means is she needs a scary jack-o-lantern for a contest at school tomorrow. Well, the one she carved on Sunday is way to big and heavy to bring to school. So, I carved my small one.

I had no time to print a pattern, as I do not have a working printer at home, so I Googled the mask from the movie Scream, and did it freehand. I don't think it looks exactly like the mask, but it looks pretty good. Hope she wins something for it! I'm very sleepy now.

Sorry about the picture quality...the batteries in my camera are nearly dead!

A Sense of Humor About Blogging

My friend Kathleen sent me this today, among other non-pc demotivational pictures that I will not post here. But this one caught my eye, and had me laughing until I cried. It just struck me as hysterical.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Our Son Eric

Our son, Eric called us last night from Korea - where he's stationed in the USAF. It was great to hear from him, as we hadn't in a while.

Eric sounded a little down on the phone. I'm thinking that maybe he's a little homesick, missing his wife (who is also stationed in Korea, but at a different base), and just generally tired. He's in an unfamiliar country, and as I understand it, there's really not much to do off-base there. He's planning a trip to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Japan, but that won't be until February.

Since I know he reads my blog (even though he doesn't leave comments), I thought I would share some of my favorite memories of him, and remind him just how much we love him and how damned proud we are that he's our son.

Eric was a bit klutzy when he was growing up, so a lot of memories I have are of injuries. Like the time I told him, "Eric, I'm opening the freezer door, DO NOT walk this way for a minute." (we had to tell him things like that or he'd walk right into it.) Well, about two seconds after I said that, Eric walked into the freezer door like it wasn't even there! The handle got him on the nose, and I think he got a black eye from it. There was another time when he was playing in the woods with his brother and a bunch of neighborhood kids at night, and Eric was the one to run into the rusty 55-gallon drum that nobody knew was there. I believe he still has a scar on his stomach from that.

But my memories of Eric growing up are not all injury-related. I can remember going to car shows, the Worcester Nationals in Massachusetts, for example. We'd pack-up the kids and go for the day, and Eric loved T-buckets. He pointed out every single T-bucket in the show. For those of you who don't know what a T-bucket is, here's an example:

We would have to take a picture of every single T-bucket at the show, and the show was huge. It took us all day to see what we could and we never did see the whole thing.

Another of my favorite memories of Eric is when he called us on September 1st, 2005, and said, "We're going to get married, and we want you and Dad to be witnesses." He was 20 years old. I calmly explained to him that I thought he might be a bit young to get married, and why the rush, etc., etc. Then he calmly explained to me that he loved Toshia, and they were going to get married anyway, but if they didn't get married now, the Air Force could not guarantee that they would be stationed together again. He explained all this to me so calmly, and in such detail; I almost couldn't believe I was talking to Eric. Eric, who usually gets so excited, and maybe a little heated when having to explain himself. I knew he had his mind made up, and I could either go with the flow, or miss out on a wonderful event. Needless to say, I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world.

It's funny that when Eric was a teen, his Dad would try to get him to work in the garage with him, and Eric was not having it. He hated working in the garage. Daryl would tell me, "It's like pulling teeth getting that kid into the garage." It's funny, because now Eric is a mechanic in the Air Force, and doing very well. This makes Daryl extremely proud.

Eric has grown into a proud young man, and he is loyal to his friends and family, sometimes to a fault. When he was stationed in Tucson, he came to stay with us in Phoenix, every chance he got. We went Salt River Tubing a few times, he took Vicki to California and Sea World. He took me food shopping at the base commissary in Glendale when money was tight. We were lucky that he was stationed so close to us. He spent holdiays with us, and we were able to visit him in Tucson, too. He is perhaps, one of the most compassionate and caring individuals I know.

We love you very much, Eric, and we're proud as hell of the way you've defeated your demons, and of the man you've become. Keep your chin up, you'll be visiting Rex and Deja in no time, and then it's on to England! We can't wait to visit you there.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Vacation

Vicki and I visited family and friends in Massachusetts. Remember my last blog regarding this trip? Here is the list of things I was going to do:

  • Have some clam chowda - we ate a lot of chowda!

  • Enjoy the cool weather - not so much! The avg temp during our visit: 75, but still cooler than Phx!

  • Can you say G & S Pizza??? - We almost missed out on this, but alas, we made it!

  • Visit with D's fam - Saw Dad, that was interesting. He didn't know who I was for the 1st 15 minutes I was there!

  • Visit Dad's grave - Not as sad this time.

  • Lunch with my Cyndi-girl - Ended up being coffee, but it was great to see her!

  • Breath in the cool sea air on Cape Cod - more satisfying than I remembered!

  • Take lots of blog-worthy pics - See below

  • Meet my new great nephew - Little baby Jason is a little doll!

  • Lunch with my favorite Brit, Bev - changed plans to dinner - what a great night!

  • Enjoy the company of my Mom and sisters - can't get enough; I wish they would come visit me!

  • Eat some great food, and probably gain 5 lbs! - Yeah, 3 lbs to be exact! SlimFast to the rescue!!

Oh, yeah...I had Dunkin Donuts coffee every flippin' day! It was wonderful!

So, we had a wonderful trip. Here are some pics to enjoy:

If you're ever in Buzzard's Bay, have the chowda at Lindsey's!

Friday night: closing the bar with Savina - again!

Vicki at G&S Pizza

My sweet baby Jason!

Dinner with my favorite Brit

Vicki on the rock in my sister's back yard

Going over the Bourne Bridge - Cape Cod, MA

I was trying to get a picture of the 'Cape Cod' shaped bushes, but figured it was still a good pic...do you know what a rotary is?

Somebody put windchimes in the tree near my Dad's grave...it's an Air Force eagle.

My crazy sisters trying on Halloween costumes!

Vicki and my sister Gayle in front of her house.

Vicki, Amanda and Stevie, my niece and nephew.

These are pics of the field across the street from my Mom's old house. I used to explore those woods for hours as a kid! I was standing on the sledding hill to take these pics.

I took Vicki to Frothingham Park (in my home town) to play one day. I forgot just how pretty that park is.

Hope you enjoyed my vacation pictorial! Next trip will be for our 10th anniversary, but we're still undecided on our plans.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Best!

Vicki and I got back into Phoenix after midnight last night. Our flights were delayed, etc, etc. Not the best night. But, the silver lining was found in the ladies' room near baggage claim in Terminal 3 at Sky Harbor: The Dyson Automatic Hand Dryer! It actually acknowledged my hands and dryed them quickly! Here are the pics:

I was thinking of all my blogger friends who have trouble in this area, so I had to take the pictures! I hope you all find a Dyson hand dryer soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

I just got some GREAT news from my son Rex and his wife Deja in Japan: we're going to be grandparents AGAIN on June 21st!!! Congratulations, Rex & Deja! You two will be wonderful parents! We're so happy for you! I can't wait to go to Okinawa to meet my little grandbaby!!!! YAY!

Ultrasound Pictures

I have received the ultrasound pictures of my grandchild from Samantha. I am going to wait to post them until I find out if it's a granddaughter or a grandson, though. Sam's appointment for that ultrasound is in a few weeks. Let's hope Little Baby Nerys isn't feeling bashful that day!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ever Watched 'That 70's Show'?

My son Eric, who is currently stationed in Korea had the opportunity to meet Wilmer Valderrama, who played Fez on That 70's Show. Now we've all had our brush with celebrities, but did you get a picture of it???

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Short Story

My dear hubby has asked me to post one of his short stories. He's got quite a following locally, and is waiting to hear if a few of his fictional pieces will be published. I hope you enjoy the story. Dawn broke swiftly and silently over the top of the mesa, as the fluorescent multi-hued rays illuminated the plateau. A lone figure astride his iron mount coalesced into view. A gentle warm breeze floated up the side of the mountain and enveloped the rider. As the breeze wrapped itself around the rider's shoulders, it whispered in his ear, "Bring him home". The rider nodded and placed the bike in gear and proceeded down the path. The rider was aware of the honor that had been bestowed upon him by his boss. Not many received this honor; only those who, in actions and deeds, had stayed true to the concept of brotherhood. It had been some while since the rider had been on this stretch of road and yet, his familiarity had not abated even a tiny bit. He cracked open the throttle and felt the bike surge ahead. He smiled as the wind cascaded over his body and through his hair. He inhaled the sweet aroma of the desert flowers, which were in full bloom. The bike's sound came alive in his ears. He heard the drumming of the tires on the pavement, and the whine of the primary chain, the resonance of the V-twin as it echoed through the canyon walls. To him it sounded just like summer thunder. The ride only lasted a short while when the turn he needed to make came up ahead. He crossed onto the gravel driveway; the bike was silent as he coasted up to the front door of the house. The rider dismounted and strode up to the door and silently entered. He passed down the long hallway to the back of the residence and opened a door at the end. He walked up to the left side of the bed and placed his hand on the man's shoulder that was lying there. Gently he patted the man's shoulder as he whispered, "It's time to go". The man stirred awake and clarity came into his eyes. He glanced over at the woman laying beside him and for a brief moment, there was sadness in his face. A young man in his prime sat up and raised himself off of the bed, glancing back at the old weathered body he had just left. The rider observed all this and thought back to when it had been his time. The rider he had known as "Kingpin" had come for him years earlier. And he remembered when "Julie" had come for his Beloved. Only the truly chosen Friend that became brother or sister were afforded the right to escort the newly arrived to his family waiting on this side of the veil. The rider glanced at the still sleeping form of the lady sleeping in the bed and understood the trials ahead for her, whether it is days, weeks or years. To her, time will seem to slow to infinity until it is her time to go. And to those family and friends she knows, her time will seem way too short. When two souls truly find each other, the wait to be reunited feels like an eternity. The rider walked over to her side and whispered in her ear "Patience, it will only be a short while." The sleeping form did not stir, but seemed to relax with a deep sigh. The young man understood that time in this realm had no meaning, but still, it will seem to be forever until they are together again. The rider spoke to the young man before him and called him by name. "A-Rod my brother, it has been far too long". To which A-rod replied, "Yes, it has, D." With one glance back at the room, they walked down the hallway and out of the house. In the driveway sat the rider's bike and just beyond it there appeared a new bike. A-Rod understood this to be the boss' bike that was placed at his disposal for the ride out. The choice was his; there were two paths ahead: one leads straight to home the other kept you on this plane until your spouse's time. The rider's mission was to escort him on whichever path was chosen. A-Rod walked over to the bike and threw a leg over and with a twinkle in his eye said, "I guess the old adage is true... He really does ride a Panhead." He fired it up, and with that they both lit out on down the path.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday Shout-Out To My Niece Jen!

I am so proud of you, Jen. You went from my annoying little niece who used to drive me nuts to a successful attorney in DC! (I still suspect your Mom brought home the wrong baby from the hospital - nobody in our family is that smart or motivated!) Just kidding! We love you, Jen, and hope you have a wonderful birthday! One more year and it will be a big one!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My Fabulous Life

I created this slideshow to show just how truly blessed I am to have such a wonderful family and incredible friends, new and old. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Upcoming Trip To Boston

I am so excited that I'm flying to Boston to visit with the fam! Here are some of the things I'm going to do while there:
  • Have some clam chowda
  • Enjoy the cool weather
  • Can you say G & S Pizza???
  • Visit with D's fam
  • Visit Dad's grave
  • Lunch with my Cyndi-girl
  • Breath in the cool sea air on Cape Cod
  • Take lots of blog-worthy pics
  • Meet my new great nephew
  • Lunch with my favorite Brit, Bev
  • Enjoy the company of my Mom and sisters
  • Eat some great food, and probably gain 5 lbs!

I'm going to be really busy, but I'm excited to see family and friends. I'm also excited about eating all the great food there! Woo-hoo!!!

Update: How could I have forgotten...DUNKIN DONUTS COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's a Dunk's on every friggin' corner back there! ;o)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

This One Got My Attention

Today's required reading should be entitled, US Feds Extort Dishwasher. I know, he's here illegally. And I agree, he shouldn't be here illegally. But the guy worked hard (earning $5.50/hr) and actually saved $59K, which is more than most Americans do. How long would it take any one of us to save up $59K when we're making minimum wage? I think maybe they should have taken the taxes and applicable fees, given him the rest, and sent him home. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a little hot on the issue of illegal immigration (not just Mexicans, either). But I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with government extortion!!!!! It happens every day - to legal citizens! OK, OK, I'm not going to get on my soapbox today. Just wanted to point out that article. Poor guy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Peoria Recycles

The City of Peoria has finally started it's recycling program. We just got our recycling bins dropped off today. The first pickup will be next Tuesday. I can hardly wait!

Since the bin was brand new, we decided to start recycling today! We can recycle kids, right?

Monday, October 1, 2007

When Hair Color Goes Wrong...

This weekend I had to color my hair, as my age was beginning to show. I had never used Garnier Nutrisse before, but I thought the shade "Light Natural Brown" sounded and looked good. Not so much.

Light Natural Brown turned into Light Natural Disaster! Everyone seems to like it, it's just really dark. When I took the towel off my head, I thought I was looking at someone else! Then I thought to myself, "Hair always looks a lot darker when it's wet, so it should be fine after I dry it." This was a very optimistic thought. It is no lighter when it's dry!

I'm going to let it ride for now, because I'm scheduling a trip back east to visit family this month, and I don't want to over-process my hair. I'm hoping that many motorcycle rides in the Arizona sun will tone this down a little bit before I leave!

The upside is, at least the gray is gone!!!