Friday, September 30, 2005

Everything is Relative

Everything is relative.  I am sure that most of you know that.

I have had a bad week, but it sure could be worse.  That is the thing that pushes me along, and makes me get through it all.  And, today is a better day than yesterday.

My hubby and I were discussing this last night.  I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to cry a bit on his shoulder. 

Fuzzy, our 10 year old, was asleep in our bed so I snuggled into the day bed in our playroom with my hubby.  My hubby joked that it felt like we were having a "conjugal visit" like up in the mansions up in Newport, Rhode Island, where Mr. Astor and Mr. Vanderbilt had separate bedrooms from their wives.  Hubby said, "It's like we are rich like them!"

After we stopped chuckling at the thought, I said to him, "You know, we are rich, much richer than most."  My tears dried up and I decided to list all our riches as we lay there holding each other.

We have each other.  After more than 15 years together and close to 14 of marriage, we are still each other's best friend.  We still love being with each other and laugh and smile and hold hands together.  Not a lot of couples still feel that way after all that time.

We have three incredible children.  Each one unique, but each one very bright, very caring, and full of desire to learn and to love.  We must be doing something right.

We have our health, in relative terms.  My hubby is healthy, a bit overweight, a bit of arthritis from old sports injuries, and a bit of borderline blood pressure, but no cancer, no heart problems, nothing major. 

I do have some health issues that are chronic and long lasting, but no cancer and no heart problems.  I'll deal with what I have, it could always be worse.  Truly, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are not the worst things out there.

My hubby has a great job and provides for our family very well.  We have to juggle, but who doesn't?  There could always be more - but there could be less too, we have been there, and it isn't fun. 

We have my parents here with us.  I cannot even begin to put a value on all their help and love.  Just being here, the kids get so much from having their grandparents in their lives every day.  They help us with the kids, they help me with cooking, cleaning and managing a big home for seven.  They are priceless riches.

We have lots of family and friends who love us and care for us.  Our kids also reap the benefits of lots of friends and a great community. 

The bottom line, we have God in our lives and He is good.  He has blessed us with many riches, many rewards, and much love.

I am grateful, very much so, for all our riches.  My hubby is too.  Thank you, God, for everything.

I kissed hubby goodnight, and left him to snore in the play room and I climbed back into my big, comfy king-size bed with my son.  He was snoring too.

Life is good.  Really, really good.

Be well,

Jodi, Guest Journal Editor Picked ME!!!!

Jodi, from Looking beyond the Cracked Window..., has been picked as the AOL Guest Journal Editor for the week! 

Congratulations to Jodi, she has an amazing journal (actually, several) and she is an amazing writer, mom and J-land friend.

The big surprise for me is that in her journal entry today, as Guest Editor, she picks six journals to recommend to the AOL readers, and Jodi picked ME!

I am so honored and grateful! 

Please visit this entry and check out all of Jodi's picks of the week!

Oh MY! Who? Me?? For Real? Get out!

Thanks again, Jodi.  I am glad that we found each other out here in J-land!

Now, you - go above!

Be well,


Thursday, September 29, 2005

CarnivAOL VI

In case you were lost like me... here is the CarnivAOL for this week, done by Artloner!

Click the link and then click to enter and you are there!



Luck Reversal

I need someone who knows how to reverse bad luck! 

So, anyone out there reading this, please send prayers, hexes, candle lighting, whatever - my way!  My family and I need it!

Before I fill you in with my latest personal mishap, let me give you the laundry list of family misfortune.

Clothes dryer broke.  Dryer fixed, washer machine breaks after first load.  Buy new washer, turns out dryer not fixed, still broken.  Dog gets tail infection and ear infection.  Dog now throwing up due to the antibiotics for the last three days.  Eldest son gets virus throws up all day Monday.  Middle son gets charley horse/pulled calf muscle, misses football game.  Daughter falls twice at school and once at home between Monday and Wednesday, knees a mess.

Meanwhile, I had my Remicade and have been trying to recuperate from that and get back into the swing of things.

Last night, was Fuzzy's Back to School Night and although, I was still feeling a little shaky and off, I went to the evening.  Hubby dropped me at the front door and the plan was we would meet in the gym.

My friend and two of my favorite teachers are outside.  Yay, time for a quick reunion and chit chat.

We are chatting and catching up and then - BAM.

The next thing you know this man was walking by and somehow caught my foot with his and my ankles being messed up, turned over, I lost my balance and I ended up on the ground.  I fell onto my butt and hard and slightly toward my left side.  I didn't know it was coming and never even got my hands out to break my fall.

The idiot barely checked to see if I was alright, but thankfully, the 2 teachers and my friend got me up.  I was embarrassed of course,and then went inside to find hubby, once I assured everyone I was okay.

I was not okay.

My back began hurting immediately.  Somehow, I made it through the evening but my headache also got worse.  I am very sore today, I feel like I was in a car accident!  UGH!

I am so frustrated that something this stupid can throw my whole body into a tizzy, but here I am.

Trying to rest...trying to smile anyway!

I know these are all silly things, but they add up, and it just seems like for the last several days if not for bad luck there would be no luck here at all!

Be well,


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Remicade Today (my hospital IV infusion for my Rhematoid Arthritis)

Hello my dear J-Land friends!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone leaving comments in my journal, and particularly on yesterdays entry, Double XX Syndrome!

I noticed that I have quite a few new readers and I am so happy about that, I will come to visit your journals soon!

Today, I was at the hospital in NYC for my Remicade.  For those who aren't familiar with it, Remicade is a medicine for my Rheumatoid Arthritis.  The medicine is given via an intravenous infusion.  It works by suppressing a specific comenent of my immune system that is involved in the inflammation response of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It has also been proven to slow down and even halt the damage to the joints from the disease, which is very important if I want to continue typing and walking! 

Last month, I had the beginnings of a reaction to the medicine.  This was my first visit since then and I have a new protocol to receive the medication.  They are giving me a double dose of Benedryl, via mouth, and Solumedrol, an IV dose of steroids, dampen any reaction.  They also gave me my Remicade very, slowly.  All went well, reaction wise.  Yay!

My veins are another story.  They were particularly persnickety today, and I now have the beginnings of three terrible bruises and my IV arm hurt like crazy.  Oh well.

The infusion makes me tired and gives me a bit of headache for about 48 hours, but then after that, I start to feel better and better.  It has proven to be the best treatment option for me so far.

I also visited with my rheumatologist before the Remicade and we went over my labs.  My lupus still seems to be in a remission, which is very good news.  She ordered a new panel of blood tests for this month, doing a few extra.  She does the whole kit and kaboodle like this about every 4 months to keep a close watch on everything.  Next month, it will go back to just the usual set. LOL

I will be laying low and may not get to visit as many journals as I would like to, or answer comments directly for a day or two, that is why I wanted to post this entry!

So many new journalers have stopped by and I don't want them to think I am ignoring them!  Thank you and please, keep coming!  You all help me through!

Be well,


Monday, September 26, 2005

The Double XX Syndrome

Some of you may guess that this is about us females, since we have 2 X chromosomes, and males have XY.

And, yes, it is about us women, starting with little girls and their sibling interactions with brothers.

I know all of you with a two or more kids have heard these phrases:

"It was an accident!"

"I didn't mean to hit him/her/it!"

"It's not my fault!"

And so many more. 

Recently, at a BBQ at our friend's house, we all got chatting about the kids after an incident of sibling unrest.  My hubby and I have 2 boys and a girl, and they each have an older girl and younger boy. 

We started laughing about these phrases we all hear and then our friend, A, mentioned how his daughter always gives back at least two times what she gets back to her brother.  Our other friends and myself, indeed confirmed that this is the truth; the girls tend to pay back double.

I have been thinking about this for a while since that BBQ, and I have noticed that my little Pumpkin Muffin really does feel compelled to cause at least double the injury inflicted on her, in retribution, back to her brothers.

A recent hit in the arm from a brother, was retaliated in kind, and followed up with a swift kick in the shins for good measure.  If a brother loses a book of hers, then she will purposely "lose" two of theirs.  Lord help you if you draw blood, because my sweet little girl has fangs!

I have definitely found that it is case of "One good turn deserves two others" in the brother/sister relationship wheel.

But, that isn't all.  Once a tussle has happened the boys forget as soon as the incident is over.  They quickly get distracted by video games or tv.  They just move on, and will be ready to laugh and play like it never occurred.

Not my dear Pumpkin Muffin.  She will not let it go.  She will brood on it.  If she feels that sufficient pain was not dealt out to the offending brother, she will lie in wait like an operative for the CIA.  She will smile and draw them into a false sense of security, that she has, indeed, forgiven and forgotten.  Poor misguided boys, that is when she strikes and wields the death blow.  Now, it is over, because SHE says it is.

Interestingly, my hubby seems to think that this behavior is consistent with that of women in a dating relationship or marriage.  After freezing him out for a sufficient amount of time after making such a statement, I asked him if that is true, and he was raised with sisters, why didn't he learn from those experiences as a child?  He had no answer to that.  Humph.

I think that he didn't learn because the pattern of the Double XX Syndrome was not pointed out to him so he could become aware and thus, possibly change his behavior accordingly.  My hubby readily agreed.  (smart man)

I am going to try to help my sons from repeating their father's mistake.  They have already noticed the Double XX Syndrome in their sister.  I have nodded my head and so has my hubby and told them that they need to make note and get used to it. 

After all, these young men will someday be dating and even getting married.  I owe it to their future wives to help them understand us women better, don't I?

Be well,


Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Sunday Seven from Charley

Of the movies in your current DVD or VHS collection, name seven (in no particular order) that you have watched enough times to make your friends suspect that there might be something wrong with you but that you can't imagine not watching again.

I just borrowed this from over at Charley's journal which you all should check out here:  Courage , who gets it from the creator Patrick, here: Patrick's Place

My seven would be as follows:

1)     Harry Potter (all three, so far)
2)     Gladiator
3)     Moonstruck
4)     Casablanca
5)     Perfect Storm
6)     Twister
7)      Jurassic Park (one is my favorite, 3 next, then 2) 

I have a lot more I love but I won't bore you all.  I love movies.  Almost as much as I love books! 

Be well,



Wide World of Sports

From the Football corner...

My entry is in Jets green, however, it didn't help them just now, there touchdown was just overturned on review.  Damn.  They did just tie the game 20-20, though. <sigh>

The Jets have not been stellar today.  Frustrating.  The defense has been on fire, the offense...barely a spark. 

Yesterday, we had Fuzzy's football game, his team lost 26-6, however, Fuzzy had a fabulous game.  He was so "there".  Really played wonderfully, he has a natural affinity for the game and it is really fun to watch him and scream at the team.

My voice is a bit lost today from the screaming.  Most of these kids have never played ball before this year, as there  has been no program for anyone younger than 5th grade.  It really shows when they play these games.  All the other teams have programs from Mighty Mite age, kindergarten. 

Doesn't matter though, they are having fun and they are improving!  They were not shut out and this was an "A" game! 

Now, for a little Baseball...

The Yankees and Bosox are tied for first place in the AL East!  Watching today's Yankee game has been a heart attack maker at times!  I love it when it is this exciting.  The entire season is probably going to come down to the Yanks and Sox, head to head.  They do have to play Baltimore first, but I am not too worried about them.  LOL

WOW!  You couldn't write an end to a season better in fiction.

Back to football for a moment, the Giants are on tonite at 8pm, however, hubby and I will be in attendance at another professional sports game, previously unmentioned

Can you guess?

Hockey!!!!   YAY!  It was my personal birthday gift to my hubby for his 40th.  We love hockey, we love the NJ Devils, and last year, there was no hockey, thanks to their stooooopid (hear Ren & Stimpy voice) strike!

Tonight is a pre-season game against the NY Islanders.  Always a good one, pre-season or otherwise.  The tickets were on sale, so I got absolute center ice, on the line, upper tier, but only the 12th row, which is pretty darn good!

We are going to have dinner there together, too.  A really nice birthday date night! 

We may even get home early enough to see a snap or two of the Giants game.  Yipppeeee!!!

Of course, tomorrow Fuzzy has another game, so just in case I didn't get enough football, there is more!  LOL

Be well,

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Autism Article, Great Read for Everyone

My son, Hammer, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autistic spectrum.  I know there are a few other journalers out there who have children or know children on the autistic spectrum. 

Please read this even if you don't think you do know anyone with autism, you may be surprised to find that you do!



Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

By Ellen Notbohm
South Florida Parenting

Some days it seems the only predictable thing about it is the
unpredictability. The only consistent attribute, the inconsistency.
There is little argument on any level but that autism is baffling, even
to those who spend their lives around it.

The child who lives with autism may look "normal," but his or her
behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult. Today, the citadel
of autism, once thought an "incurable" disorder, is cracking around the
foundation. Every day, individuals with autism show us they can
overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition's
most challenging aspects. Equipping those around our children with a
simple understanding of autism's most basic elements has a tremendous
effect on the children's journey towards productive, independent
adulthood. Autism is an extremely complex disorder, but we can distill
it to three critical components: sensory processing difficulties,
speech/language delays and impairments, and whole child/social
interaction issues.

Here are 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.

1. I am a child with autism. I am not "autistic." My autism is one
aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you
a person with thoughts, feelings and many talents, or are you just fat
(overweight), myopic (wear glasses) or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good
at sports)?

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. This means the ordinary
sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday life that you may
not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in
which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or
belligerent to you, but I am really just trying to defend myself. A
"simple" trip to the grocery store may be hell for me. My hearing may be
hyperacute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms
today's special. Muzak whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep
and cough. A coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches,
babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can't
filter all the input, and I'm in overload! My sense of smell may be
highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn't quite fresh, the
guy standing next to us hasn't showered today, the deli is handing out
sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper,
they're mopping up pickles on Aisle 3 with ammonia. ... I can't sort it
all out, I'm too nauseous.

Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense to become
overstimulated. The fluorescent light is too bright. It makes the room
pulsate and hurts my eyes. Sometimes the pulsating light bounces off
everything and distorts what I am seeing. The space seems to be
constantly changing. There's glare from windows, moving fans on the
ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion, too many items for me to be
able to focus - and I may compensate with tunnel vision. All this
affects my vestibular sense, and now I can't even tell where my body is
in space. I may stumble, bump into things, or simply lay down to try and

3. Please remember to distinguish between won't (I choose not to) and
can't (I'm not able to). Receptive and expressive language are both
difficult for me. It isn't that I don't listen to instructions. It's
that I can't understand you. When you call to me from across the room,
this is what I hear: "*&^%$#@, Billy. #$%^*&^%$&*" Instead, come speak
directly to me in plain words: "Please put your book in your desk,
Billy. It's time to go to lunch." This tells me what you want me to do
and what is going to happen next. Now it's much easier for me to comply.

4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally. It's very
confusing for me when you say, "Hold your horses, cowboy!" when what you
really mean is "Please stop running." Don't tell me something is a
"piece of cake" when there is no dessert in sight and what you really
mean is, "This will be easy for you to do." When you say, "It's pouring
cats and dogs," I see pets coming out of a pitcher. Please just tell me,
"It's raining very hard." Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres and
sarcasm are lost on me.

5. Be patient with my limited vocabulary. It's hard for me to tell you
what I need when I don't know the words to describe my feelings. I may
be hungry, frustrated, frightened or confused, but right now those words
are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language,
withdrawal, agitation, or other signs that something is wrong.

There's a flip side to this: I may sound like a little professor or a
movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my
developmental age. These are messages I have memorized from the world
around me to compensate for my language deficits, because I know I am
expected to respond when spoken to. They may come from books, television
or the speech of other people. It's called echolalia. I don't
necessarily understand the context or the terminology I'm using, I just
know it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.

6. Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented.
Show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be
prepared to show me many times. Lots of patient repetition helps me

A visual schedule is extremely helpful as I move through my day. Like
your day planner, it relieves me of the stress of having to remember
what comes next, makes for smooth transitions between activities, and
helps me manage my time and meet your expectations. Here's a great web
site for learning more about visual schedules

7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do. Like
any other human, I can't learn in an environment where I'm constantly
made to feel that I'm not good enough or that I need fixing. Trying
anything new when I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however
constructive, becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and
you'll find them. There's more than one right way to do most things.

8. Help me with social interactions. It may look like I don't want to
play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes it's just that
I simply don't know how to start a conversation or enter a play
situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them
at kickball or shooting baskets, I may be delighted to be included.

9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. This is termed "the
antecedent." Meltdowns, blowups, tantrums or whatever you want to call
them are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur
because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can
figure out why my meltdowns occur, they can be prevented.

10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. Banish
thoughts such as, "If he would just ..." and "Why can't she ... ?" You
didn't fulfill every last expectation your parents had for you, and you
wouldn't like being constantly reminded of it. I didn't choose to have
autism. Remember that it's happening to me, not you. Without your
support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim. With
your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might
think. I promise you I'm worth it.

It all comes down to three words: Patience. Patience. Patience.

Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability.
Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has
given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation, but have you
noticed I don't lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates, or pass
judgment on other people?

You are my foundation. Think through some of those societal rules, and
if they don't make sense for me, let them go. Be my advocate, be my
friend, and we'll see just how far I can go.

I probably won't be the next Michael Jordan, but with my attention to
fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next
Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.

They had autism too.

Freelance writer and consultant Ellen Notbohm is a columnist for
Autism/Asperger's Digest and co-author of 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching
and Raising Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (Future Horizons).
She favors "common sense" approaches to raising her sons with autism and
AD/HD. She lives in Oregon.

I've been Tagged

This is what you get to do!

(Btw, Thanks Deb over at:  Frosty Thoughts

1)             Go into your journal archives.
2)             Find your 23rd posting.
3)             Go to the 5th sentence of that post.
4)             Re-post the text of that sentence, with a little explanation.
5)             Tag 5 other people to do the same.


 "So, at 5:45 pm, off we went...I got to first on my first at bat."  

This was from my journal entry in June about the Parents vs. Cub Scouts Kickball Game.  It was the sentence before I explained how I wiped out face first and scraped my entire right leg from the knee to the ankle!  LOL  

Here is September and I still have scar marks on my leg!!! :-D

It was worth it, my son was so happy I played!  

So, I tag:  

1)  Susan (ha, now Deb and I both did it)  

2)  Hadon (hadonfield77)  

3)  Michael (madman Adhd)  

4)  Celeste (gdirenoe)  

5)  Luanne (thebaabee)  

C'mon everyone, let's have some fun!   

Be well,

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Vivi Awards - AOL Journal Awards

Patrick, of Patricks Place fame, has started AOL Journal Awards!

Very cool, so please visit the link below for all the details!!

This will be lots of fun and the more people that participate the better it will be!

So, go click below and then start keeping track of all the great journals you love!

Weekend Assignment #78

Mr. Scalzi's W/end Assgn. #78

Weekend Assignment #78: You are preparing to evacuate your house due to an upcoming threat. You have already packed up all your essential items, people and pets. You have room for three non-essential items. What are they?

Remember, you already have your essentials: food, medicines, water, clothes, and all the people (including the furry ones) who live with you. "Non-essentials" are things you don't need but would like to have, and can include momentos, books, jewelry, objects of sentimental value, and so on and so forth.

Extra Credit: Have you ever been evacuated?

This is a tough question, especially knowing that so many people are going through the horror of evacuation right now down in Texas, thanks to darn Hurricane Rita.

However, I have been thinking about this since yesterday.

1)     My digital camera.  I would click away constantly to document the entire scene, the entire storm, the entire evacuation. 

2)     I would take all my jewelry that was given to me by my hubby, and especially those items handed down from my grandma and great aunt.

3)     I would also take as many pictures and mementos from my childhood, my wedding, my kids lives, etc.  These are things that money cannot replace, and are so special to me now and I know will grow in their value to me as my kids grow up.

If I could add a fourth completely frivolous item it would be the laptop because baby, I am an internet addict!  LOL

Extra credit:  No, I have never been evacuated, thank the Lord above.

Prayers going out to everyone facing Hurricane Rita and its effects.

Be well,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Welcome Autumn

Welcome Autumn!

My favorite time of year!

For the last two weeks the temperatures here have been running at least 10 degrees above normal.  That stinks.  This summer was insufferably hot, breaking all kinds of records for the month of August, and I am really ready for it to move on.

Today, though, was gorgeous.  The temp did still go higher than normal at 82, but there was virtually no humidity and a lovely, almost crisp breeze.  This humidless weather is supposed to stick around for a while and the weather man is promising some days in the mid to low 70's which is normal for now.  Thank goodness.

I love the fall air as the temperature begins to dip into the 60's.  It has this fresh, crispness to it that just invigorates my being.  The colors of the trees and leaves, the pallette of yellows, reds, oranges and browns, that are so earthy and so grounding to my soul. 

I just want to hug everyone a little bit tighter and a little bit longer.  I love to snuggle under a blanket with the kids and hubby at this time of year.

My joints and body doesn't usually hurt as much during this season either, always a bonus.  The same in Spring.  Too hot, no good, too cold, no good.  Fall and Spring are just right for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.  I think many of my fellow sufferers would agree.

It is also the season of my birthday, my mom's birthday, my engagement and my wedding anniversary.  I love the little celebrations that come with those days.

I also love the feeling of anticipation for the big holidays as autumn grows late.  Thanksgiving first, a revelry for all that is autumn, bountiful and good.  A time to embrace your family and give thanks.

Afterward, each day you can feel the crescendo of excitement build bringing us towardChristmas and the New Year.  The kids start to wiggle in their seats more, dream more, ask for more, hug more and kiss more.  It is magical and wonderous.  Christmas time is for giving and for family and friends and home and hearth and our traditions.  My favorite time of year, my favorite month.

I know that most people see Spring as the season of renewal, but for me, it is Autumn.  The colors, the air, the personal celebrations, the Holidays, it is my own personal time of rejuvenation.

Be well,



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pondering Me

I am in a wistful, thoughtful mood today.

Hadon, whose journal you can visit here,

The Hadonfield Myers Experience

has been doing essays on "The Courage to be Yourself".

Thought provoking stuff, I suggest you read them if you have not had a good, long, hard look at yourself lately.

Hadon talks about reaching your true potential, being all who you truly are and want or wanted to be. 

I have to say, that in my life I feel fulfilled.  I truly enjoy being a stay at home mom in ways I never thought I would.  I also think that everything happens for a reason and there was actually a point in my life when I thought I would be a physicist.  Now, I am homeschooling my son who loves physics, and at 13 understands it on levels that I cannot even come close to getting!

I like the person I am.  I think I am a good person.  I think I am optimistic and hopeful 95% of the time!  I have my 5% of down times, dark times, but they do not last long.  They are usually linked to my frustration with my disease or sometimes with my frustration of my husband not getting my disease, (LOL), but they do pass quickly.

I still have dreams, too.  I enjoy my writing and would like to write a column for a newspaper and someday publish a book.  I have not pushed for these goals yet, because they are secondary to parenting, and right now, the kids get close to all of me. 

I wouldn't change that, though.  I enjoy being their mom first.  I enjoy being here, home with them, all the time.  I enjoy being the house on the block where the kids come to play.  I really like it. 

One of my son Fuzzy's friends often tells me, "You are always smiling and happy, I like that!"  I like that, too.

What you read, and see about me, is what you get.  No false airs, no false pretenses.  Kids aside, my hubby will say that I am too nice, too caring, too cheery, too trusting, too naive, too forgiving.  Maybe that is true. 

I really don't know how to be any other way.

Sometimes, something happens to shake that, to make me think that I should be different.  Harder, more wary, more cynical about people and life.

But, I really don't know how to be any other way than who I am and that would not be me.

Be well,





Monday, September 19, 2005

Football Musings

I have always loved football. 

I remember watching with my dad when I was about 3 or 4 pointing to the players on our black and white tv and asking him, "Are we rooting for the players in the white shirts or the gray shirts, Daddy?"

Yes, my love affair with the game started very young.

I was the only girl in high school that guys knew, "got it".  They could talk about the Giants or Jet game and know and that I understood. 

I watched my high schools football games with great interest.

I drove on the weekends with my parents and my best friend, sister of my heart, Kathy, 45 minutes to my little cousin's football games!  We watched him as a mite, a pee-wee, a junior and a senior, right on up the league.

I turned my Kathy from a football hater into a football-loving, Giants fanatic fan in about 2 years!  It was wonderful!  Phil Simms, ex-quarterback of the Giants came to her work and she damn near passed out with excitement!  I consider her conversion to fan one of my stellar achievements!

Enter my hubby into my life.  An avid Giant fan.  Yay!  We went to a game our first football season together and have tried to continue that tradition whenever we can.

Enter kids, we have always had football on the tv since they were little and they all root for the Giants and Jets!  We are a two team household, as my dad loves the Jets, but liked the Giants, too, and hubby is all GIANTS, but can tolerate the Jets.

I was so thrilled when Fuzzy decided to play football.  I mean, I was really, really over-joyed.  I get to be the football mom!  YAY! 

My mom friends were all, "Oh Dawn, aren't you worried?"

No, not at all.  I really didn't fear him getting hurt.  I know he can, but we know people whose kids have broken things playing soccer and they have almost no pads.  We have added to the minimum pads required, and Fuzzy is very well protected.

Hubby is also on the field as a coach.  It is the only was Fuzzy would play, daddy had to coach and daddy, of course, obliged as he has and does with all the sports the kids have played.  I know that hubby is there to be sure that my Fuzzy will be watched for any problems and there to help him if needed.

So, there we were yesterday in the bleachers.  My parents, Hammer, Pumpkin and myself.  I could barely sit still because I was so excited.  My baby is about to play his first football game!

As he took the field for the first play of the game, my heart was pounding and I was smiling so much that my face still hurts today! 

And, he only played half the game!  lol

I felt like my son was in the Olympics, I wanted to shout out to everyone, that's my SON, after every play.  I kept myself fairly subdued to the outside world, though.  I didn't embarass myself.

However, I am looking forward to the first home game which is October 2nd...then we can go really nuts in the stands!  Hammer wants to paint himself in the team colors....hmmm, not many moms do that, but maybe...

I honestly think I may be enjoying this a little too much!

Be well,

Ps.  My sons team lost 22-0.  I don't care!  It was still great!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Lights from 9/11 Retouched

I worked on these pics some, now you can see the beams of light.

Be well,

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hubby's Birthday

I first put this entry in my Poetry Journal, (Touch of Empathy) now I share it with you all here as his birthday is arriving in a few short days:                

             Happy 40th Birthday to my Hubby

We started together at 24, heading to what we thought was a landmark age at 25. We were both fed up with being alone and single and found what we were looking for in each other. Companion, friend, soul mate.

We have blossomed together, both of us have grown out the constraints of our youth.

Adversity does that, they say. It drives you together or tears you apart. Here we are, still together, in spite of earlier predictions.

I knew you were the most giving, loving man that God could ever bring to me but I fell in love with you ten times more when you held our first born. Three times you have held our newborns, before me even, and each time I saw the dad in you come more and more alive.

You are an amazing dad, so fulfilled and happy with each and every facet of that role and its demands, that it gleams from within you. Everyone we know sees it. You are the dad that others want to be, and wish they had for their own. The Coach, the parents fight to get you, the kids clamor to be near you, listen to you, play with you, learn from you.

Illness brings more adversity into our lives and yet you still step up and open up more. You have not shied away from your role as caretaker when you have had to do it. Partner at my side, and sometimes holding me up through it all.

My heart keeps growing with more love for you, just when I think I couldn’t love you any more. And certainly, no less. We left our singlehood together, those partying days, hand in hand and faced our unknown future.

We held each other through the baby making and trials and tribulations of becoming new parents again and againand again. Our babies are no more. We have three fabulous young people, one at the cutting edge of the teen years and two more not far behind. Two young men and a young lady. They are our pride and joy, and raising them through the rest of our unknown future will be my privilege with you, still hand in hand.

Forty isn’t old, but it does represent another change for us in our lives. High school years are soon to begin, college never far from any of our minds. They are blessedly smart and learned kids, they thirst for knowledge and to succeed and most of all to make us proud.

I hope we make them proud.

Thank you for being the wonderful man that you have always been, that you are today, and that you will be tomorrow. Thank you, for the honor of taking my hand and walking with me through life.

Happy 40th Birthday, dear Husband.

Monday, September 12, 2005

CarnivAOL V

It's here!  The fifth edition of CarnivAOL.

Please go check it out!!!

Even better than that... make a submission to the next edition!  Instructions are to submit are at the journal, but this month are a little different so please read to the end of today's entry!

CarnivAOL is a great way to highlight your journal entries, old and new, that you want a bigger audience to read! 

Join in the fun!!

Be well,

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Beams of Light

If you look real close at the center of this picture, you can see the beam of light in the sky from the World Trade Center Memorial this evening in NYC.

(you can see it better on the angle or if you enlargen it)

The picture was taken from in front of my house.

Be well,

J-Land Remembers

I found this on another journal, and had to share it.

J-Land Remembers...

Thanks The StupidSheet Guy ~~ this is great.

Spread it and the like.

Be well,


Today is a day of sad reflection.  This is my Memorial.

Everything changed 9/11/01. 

There are so many out there who will read this and think that I am being overly dramatic.  There are many who just don't get it.

I have spoken before about this tragedy and how it has touched my life.  There are many who have been hit with an anvil as opposed to the hammer I have been hit with, and many who have just had this brush by them.

The most important thing is to Never Forget.

The picture that I have above is the NYC skyline, now.  This picture was taken on Memorial Day 2005. 

Those of us who have the blessing to gaze upon the skyline of NYC feel the loss always.  Our skyline is not the same.  The Towers are missing.  Now, there is a void, an empty spot at the right side of the picture. 

That void is felt by us in the Tri-State area, all the time.  Every day.  I think of 9/11 every morning when my hubby kisses me good-bye and heads into the city.

My hubby thinks of it as he sits in the bus, on the helix, that is the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel and gazes over to the city. 

The void is there.  The loss of our friend is there.  The loss of the thousands is there.  The loss of our innocence.  The loss of feeling safe. 

Terrorism was something that happened over there - in the Middle East, sometimes Europe, prior to 9/11. 

Now, it is forever here at my doorstep. 

I embrace that.  I will never forget.  I never want anyone to forget.  The horror, the pain, the loss, it binds us all as Americans. 

Today, I reflect on the past four years.  I do not think we have come very far.  I do not think we are safer today than we were then. 

I know we are more aware.  Maybe, that will make the difference in future.  I know we are still a target, and I will never be so naive as to think an attack will not happen again.  Now, I know the question is just "when" not "if".

I pray for all of humanity.  I pray for my country.  I pray for our soldiers, and police and firemen.  I pray for families and friends.  I pray for my children's future.

I pray for tolerance and acceptance, because those are the two things that will save us all from the horrors of terrorism and war and hate.

May we find a way to live in peace and love.

Be well,

Friday, September 9, 2005

Ability to Sleep

My husband has the most amazing ability to sleep. 

I am jealous.  I admit it.  I cannot sleep well, and require many specifications just to toss and turn the way I do.

I need darkeness, quiet, my sound machine (with auto shut-off), covers to be just so, pillows to be just so, no body parts hurting (ha), and preferably, no one in bed with me snoring.

But, enough about me and my lack of sleep, good or otherwise.

My hubby can sleep anywhere.  He sleeps on any couch, and in any chair, in any position.  Lights could be blaring at him, but if he closes his eyes, it's over.  Snoresville.

He sleeps on buses and trains and subways all over NYC.  I don't know how often he has missed stops because he wouldn't want to admit that to me.  However, he has overslept and gone 2 towns and about 5 miles past home on the evening bus and I had to go pick him up!  It actually took him a while to even figure out where he was so I would be able to find him!

Hubby can even sleep standing up in the shower!  Yes, it's true.   Our son, Hammer, rarely slept when he was a baby.  My hubby had to get up and into the shower by 5:30 am and then out the door by 6 am to not be late.

Some nights, my hubby would be up already, no problem.  Other nights, he would have done his shift earlier and be in a deep sleep when the alarm would buzz.

One morning, after sending him into the shower, I woke again at 6 am to still hear the water running.  I ran into the bathroom and pulled back the curtain to find my hubby leaning against the wall, sound asleep.  Thank the Lord the water was not hitting him in the open mouth, I think he would have drowned!

Sleeping that heavy and that well also means that my hubby tends to wake up disoriented at times.  Most often that just requires some yelling and shaking to get him to the point where he can function and help with whatever situation has arisen, such as attending a sick child or cleaning up vomit while I attend the sick child or something similar.

During the baby years, things were more interesting.  I still worked full time after both the boys, so we tried to take turns with waking kids.  One night, after demanding and kicking him out of the bed to get the baby and do bottle duty, he finally bolted from the bed and as I watched, he passed the baby's room and ran into the kitchen.  The next thing I heard was the oven door open and slam and I was yelling what are you doing???  He ran back to me and said "Where's the baby?".  Uh, how about the crib?

Nowadays, the confusion isn't so blatant, but it is still there.  Our daughter will sometimes have a bad dream and come downstairs looking for him.  She likes daddy to lay down with her in our playroom on the daybed.  I will try to get him up and say she is there and wants him and he will say, "Who?"  I will repeat and on more than one occasion been told that he doesn't know anyone by that name.

I usually follow up with a punch in the arm and yelling more sharply and eventually it works!  lol

If I could bottle whatever it is that my hubby has that allows him to sleep like this, I would be a wealthy woman. 

More importantly, I would also be able to sleep better and not be such an insomniac!  Oh well!

Be well,

7 Things...I got officially tagged!

Dawn tagged me, Paul tried to tag me after the fact in an email but I escaped!  So here we go!  Visit Dawn too!

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1.  Visit Paris and see the Louvre
2.  Get my 3 kids through college
3.  See my kids married
4.  Hold Grandchildren and spoil them
5.  Write a book and get published
6.  Write a column for a newspaper
7.  Visit every state in the United States (only 41 left)

Seven Things I Can Do:
1.  Love unconditionally
2.  Be a good mom
3.  Be a good wife
4.  Be a good daughter
5.  Be a good friend
6.  help others
7.  write

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1.  Give up
2.  Allow my children to be hurt or to suffer
3.  Stop talking :-D
4.  Stop reading
5.  Stop learning
6.  Stop making new friends
7.  Stop being emotional and caring too much

Seven Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex:
1.  Being able to make me laugh
2.  Being able to laugh at himself
3.  Being a good friend
4.  Kind eyes
5.  Strong hands
6.  Big, wide shoulders

7.  Soft lips

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1.  I love you
2.  Did you hear what I just said?
3.  Yes, hubby, I did tell you that.
4.  Duh!
5.  Libby, come here! and Libby, stop that! (to the yellow lab forever misbehaving)
6.  "Wolf down the non-believer!"  (From Ed, Edd, and Eddy cartoon)
7.  Yes dear, you have such a terrible life. (sarcastic to kids when they are whining)

Seven Celebrity Crushes:
1.  Brad Pitt from the Ocean's 11 movies
2.  Pierce Brosnan, (Bond)
3.  Sean Connery (I have this Bond thing)
4.  Mark Harmon, from NCIS
5.  Jason, from General Hospital - damn, he is hot!
6.  Christian Bale, the new Batman
7.  Warrick, from CSI original

I am going to be nice and not tag anyone else, but I would like Dwayne and Dude, Susan, Deb and Betty to give it a whirl!

Be well,


Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Despondent Yankee Fan

Everyone knows about the trip to the water park.  It was really great, full of great memories I will cherish. 

Unfortunately, with RA (or Lupus), you pay for that one day of fun. 

The physical activity, although not intense, was enough.  I did this awkward 2 armed-back stroke thing while sitting in the tube on the lazy river.  I was trying to avoid water hazards.  The result was very sore chest muscles, just under my breasts and at the sternum.  It has felt a lot like costochondritis which is an inflammation of the chest wall at the sternum, who knows, I probably did cause it to become inflammed.  Either way, hurts like hell, especially on any deep breaths.

Hubby sometimes gets free tickets to sports events.  Our kids are huge Yankee fans and he was able to get 4 free tickets and free parking (very important if you know NYC at all) for today.  We have known about this game since the end of July.

Pumpkin Muffin didn't want to go to the game, which we knew in advance.  She went to the last one and fell asleep near the end.  It is just too long for her and still feels that way. 

It was supposed to be me, hubby and the 2 boys.  I have really been looking forward to this game.  I love going to any sports event in person.  The thrill of being there in person, getting caught up with the crowd cheering, you can't beat that euporia!  Even so-so fans get carried away at live games.

Especially, when the seats are great.  These seats are primo!  Just to the right of first base, lower level, box seats, about 7 rows up.  Just high enough to see.  Close enough to be in the action and absolutely in foul territory.  Very exciting, great location, for those who do not know baseball.

I am not going.

A friend of the boy's is going instead.

Why? Because I am still suffering from the water park.  Going to a live game and having to walk so much to and from the parking lot and up and down stairs to and from seats would be a physical expense that I cannot pay. 

Not if I want to have a good weekend coming up.

Tomorrow night is my dinner and movie club.  I really want to go, I enjoy going out with the girls and getting to have grown-up intelligent conversation.  Saturday is full of sports things with the kids and Saturday night we are going to a barbecue and swim party. 

As it is on Sunday I will be exhausted. 

I don't have enough spoons.  Remember the spoon theory?

If not, please read it here: Spoons

Only so many spoons to use in a day, in a week.  RA severely limits those.  I need them for other things this weekend.  I used a whole bunch at the water park and getting up early with the kids again for school.

The Yankees will play without me.  The boys have both said they really wished I could go and will miss me.  They will have lots of fun with their friend and their dad.

I am sad and disappointed but listening to my body.  It isn't the first time and won't be the last time that I will miss out due to my disease.

I will watch it on tv, with my feet up, relaxing. 

I guess that is the way it is meant to be.

Be well,


Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Back to School Today

It's here!  Back to school has finally arrived.

The kids look adorable don't they?  Where does the time go?

So many things are going through my mind today. 

I can't help but be full of questions much like theirs.  What is the teacher like?  Will the homework start right away today?  How much homework will be normal?  Will they be able to keep up?  Will they make new friends?  Will they learn lots of new and wonderful things?

Then there are all the introspective questions.  Have I prepared them well?  Are they ready for the new challenges they will face this year?  Am I doing a good job homeschooling?  Did I get enough new materials for Hammer?  Should I push him to the next level of texts now?

Mostly, I am just full of wishes for all three of the kids. 

I wish for them to continue to love learning.  I wish for them to still come to mom to fix their problems.  I wish them love and happiness and new adventures.  I wish them a world full of hope.

I can't wait for Fuzzy and Pumpkin Muffin to come home and share with me all the details of their beginning! 

After all, Hammer and I are off to a great start together!

Be well,


Monday, September 5, 2005

End of Summer

Cracker Barrel was awesome, as always, on Saturday night!  I should let you know that it is a big treat for us because the nearest one is about 45 minutes from here!  It is our favorite place to stop when we are on vacation!!   ;-D

Yesterday, we went to a fairly local water park!  Only an hour away.  It was loads of fun!  The kids loved it!  The most enjoyable part and where we spent most of the time was on Blackbeard's River.  You know, one of those sit in the tube and float in the current things.  It was nice!

Only I don't just float.  I have to maneuver to avoid the 2 waterfalls because I do not want to get completely drenched over the head. 

So, today I am sore from backstroking in a tube away from water hazards! 

I am on cloud 9 though because Fuzzy and I went on one of the big water slides together.  The stairs up to the top of the thing almost gave me heart failure, but I made it!

The ride was worth it!  We were in a double tube together.  The ride itself was half covered and the uncovered at the bottom.  It was wicked fast and you felt like every turn you were going to flip over, but we didn't!  We screamed the whole way.

The reason I am on cloud 9 is because Fuzzy told me that was the very best part of the whole day.  :-D

That makes every achey and sore body part well worth it all today.

Things are very hectic around here with all the last minute back to school stuff that has to get done!!  Wednesday is the big day! 

I apologize to everyone for not reading journals, I will catch up, I promise!

Be well,


Saturday, September 3, 2005


This is it!  The last weekend before school starts!  Time is dragging me into the next phase of the year whether I want to be there or not!

New teachers, new responsibilities for the kids...the new harrowing schedule we have to get used to all over again.

Tonight, we are going to Cracker Barrel for dinner, yum!  I can't wait!

More later....


Be well,



Thursday, September 1, 2005

CarnivAOL - GO read it!!!

 "This week's edition of CarnivAOL is here. Ring the bells. Spread the word. Edition four includes a number of repeat participants, as well as several first time   This week's edition of CarnivAOL is here. Ring the bells. Spread the word. Edition four includes a number of repeat participants, as well as several first timers. Thanks to all for your submissions. I list them here, in alphabetical order (by screen name), for your reading pleasure. Why alphabetical order? Why the hell not? Stop asking silly questions, and get to the entries!"

     This is the opening paragraph of CarnivAol, Written by Paul Little, a really nice guy with lots of his own journals too! 

Here's the link:

Be well,