Monday, August 28, 2006

Ahhh, Home Again!

I'm back!!!  As good as one's vacation feels, it is always nice to return home! 

Unfortunately, our yellow lab, Libby, had a rough time without us, but that will wait for my next entry.

Wildwood Crest was wonderful.  We had perfect weather, dry and sunny in the mid 80's.  Rarely a cloud in the sky!  See...

This was from the balcony of our hotel room!  That pole and little bit of brown in the lower left corner is the very beginning of the world famous boardwalk. 

The kids and Hubby and I did some kite flying on the beach which is always fun.  All of us relaxed and swam in the pool every day.  The water was heavenly, like the weather!  We walked on the beach, but no one swam in the ocean.  There was some jelly fish, and one was enough to put my kids off!  LOL

Fuzzy went bicycling on the 7 mile boardwalk/beach bike path circuit every morning with my dad.  Pumpkin Muffin rode in a go-kart for the first time and had a blast with her grandpa.  She needed him to reach the pedals!

Hammer celebrated his birthday several times, once in Wildwood, once in Cape May and once in Atlantic City! 

Here is a picture of the three of them after dinner in Atlantic City.

As you can see, they were in the sun getting tanner!  We spent about 4 hours in Atlantic City at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.  There were parts of the floor where the kids could watch my mom and I play on the slot machines.  They kids really loved that!  My mom treated me to the gambling.... and I lost!  Thanks anyhow, Mom!  My mom won though, she is so lucky, and shared all her winnings with the kids.

The sunsets are always amazing down the shore.  Every year we go to Sunset Beach in Cape May, this year was the first time we stayed for the famous sunset.  It is the southern most tip of New Jersey, and the only place where you can see the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean, in NJ.

I met 3 women who were visiting from Seattle.  They told me that the sunset rivaled the ones they saw in the Florida Keys on their last vacation!

This picture was from the car on the way....

This picture is at Sunset Beach at sunset. 

Hubby, Fuzzy and Pumpkin are in the center of the shimmer...

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do.

I will probably be sharing some more of the sunsets, since I took so many pictures!

be well,

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vacation a Go-Go

Next week, I will be vacationing in beautiful Wildwood Crest, New Jersey!

The Wildwoods are an island resort area at the most southern tip of NJ, just before Cape May. 

The boardwalk, or the 'World Famous Wildwood Boardwalk' as quoted on numerous sites has more rides than DisneyWorld.  It is 3 miles long and has 3 huge piers with rides.  During the day on weekends in August, there is a craft fair from 12-4pm, I can't wait!

The whole resort island is completely geared to families.  I went to Wildwood with my family every year from ages 3 to 16.  I have gone with my parents, husband, and various amount of kids since 1994, about 8 times total.  Last year, we skipped Wildwood for the cruise.  The kids missed it and have been begging to get back there, so here we go!

The boardwalk has a famous shuttle train that goes up and down the boardwalk so you can avoid walking the whole thing!  It is called the tram car, and instead of a horn it has a recording that says 'Watch the Tram Car, please' over and over and over!!! 

On our boardwalk night, we will ride the tram all the way to the end and then start a leisurely walk back, eating junk, playing games and riding a few rides. 

Here is a picture...

In the mornings, from 8am until 11am, the tram car doesn't run and the boardwalk is open for bike rides!  My dad and Fuzzy will ride every morning, and then bring back coffee for my mom, Hubby and I, around 9:30am. 

Then we get up for breakfast downstairs in the cafe, and head out to the pool or beach.  The hotel we stay at has a great pool area, and we are on the beach, so we just walk about 30 feet, and start down to the ocean.  It is so convenient that you can go back and forth between them all you want!

The beach at Wildwood is amazing.  The sand extends for at least 150 yards before the water!  The sand is also compact and very fine, so it is easy to walk on.  Our hotel put in a rubber walkway to the tide line, making it easy for families with strollers or those of us with arthritis!  lol

Here is another picture...

Every morning we see the dolphins swim by.  It is amazing.  The water is so clear and clean.  Not like the Carribean, but really nice for the northeastern seaboard.

Hubby will fly kites with the kids, and play wiffle ball and football.  We will all spend lots of time walking the waters edge looking for shells and checking out the sea life trapped in tidal pools.  Two years ago a baby sand shark was caught in the tidal pool until the high tide returned!

Every night we will go out to dinner at one of our many favorite restaurants!  The seafood is fabulous; I can't wait to have lobster tails there...they are so good!  My parents, hubby, the kids and myself, all have the ones we 'must visit'! 

Our favorite place to go when we first arrive is called Duffer's.  It is an old fashioned Victorian ice cream parlor and restaurant!  The food is great, but the atmosphere is better.  They have a train going around overhead, a bear on a tightwire (from the 30's), and a player piano.  Connecting to the restaurant is a gift shop, arcade and mini-golf. 

Oh yes, there will be lots and lots of mini-golf played next week at many different and varied courses!

One night, my parents will probably let Hubby and I have dinner alone.  That is always nice, too.

It will be my eldest son's birthday while we are there.  Hammer is turning 14!  Oh my, where did the time go?  This kids keep getting older and I know that means I am, but I don't feel it!  I can't be old enough to have a 14 year old can I?  lol

Here is a website for you Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce , it is a good place to see some pictures and plan a vacation!

be well,



Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Update: Orencia

My doctor's office got my insurance approval!  Yay!

Tomorrow's IV of Orencia is a go!  Yay!

No flare for me!  Yay!

Thank goodness, our vacation is next week!

To my newer readers.... you might want to check out the link in my 'All About Me' section that is 100 things about me! 

be well,

Summer Daze

I just love that sign and picture above!

Today we were going to go to the town pool, but it rained and it is now cloudy and gray out.

Pumpkin has a friend over.  They are doing lanyards.

Fuzzy has called a friend, and is now being annoying while waiting for a call back. 

Hammer is cranky today, and has decided to go out on the porch to read. 

And, me?  I am trying not to kill my son, Fuzzy, who just can't stop himself from being obnoxious today!! 

Our town has construction going on at both schools.  At the middle school where both Pumpkin and Fuzzy will be going come September, the construction is very behind.

They have already hinted that the opening will be delayed.  The inside track seems to think it will be at least the middle or end of September before it will be ready.  Officially, they are admitting the delay will be from Wednesday, 9/6 until Monday, 9/11. 

It will be what it will be...

Pumpkin is very sad because she can't wait for school to start... Fuzzy isn't that sad, but he knows that vacation days will be lost if they start late, so he is torn between more summer and less vacation in the spring!  Hammer is homeschooled with me, so his school starts on time either way, although having the other two home will be distracting.

Ahhh... thank goodness.  Fuzzy's friend called and will be here soon!  Yay!

Tomorrow is supposed to be my infusion.  I just found out that my doctors office didn't finish getting the approval from my insurance.  I may have to move the infusion and that means I will probably end up in pain and in a flare.  I am not happy.  The secretary is now working feverishly to get done today what should have already been done. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

be well,

PS... To those who asked, I will probably teach my kids to drive in much the same way I learned.  It worked.  I am very grateful now for my father insisting on the methods he did! 



My Basic Philosophy

A friend sent this to me in email, it is my basic philosophy on life and so, I am sharing it here.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

That about says it all, to me.

be well,


Sunday, August 13, 2006

See the USA in your Chevrolet... Weekend Assignment #124

Weekend Assignment #124: Learning to Drive

Fasten your seatbelts because this week's Weekend Assignment (suggested by BeYankee) puts you behind the wheel:

Your Weekend Assignment #124: How did you learn how to drive? How many tries did it take?  What was the first car that you bought?

Extra credit: Got a picture of that first car?

Learning to drive... ahhh the memories... the laughter... the tears... the skids...

My dad taught me how to drive.

Let me preface that by telling you that he was taught to drive by a girlfriend's dad that was a crusty NYC cab driver.

This NYC cabbie felt you needed to experience everything that may hit you when driving, and therefore deliberately put the car into skids unexpectedly for my dad, and made him learn to parallel park under extreme conditions as well.

Therefore, I learned to drive in much the same way, thus the tears... and the skids. 

I am grateful that my dad did only induce the skids in a parking lot full of ice and snow when I was expecting them.  Thanks to my dad I can handle a skid and it probably has saved me from a fender bender or two or three over the years.

Thanks, Dad.

I am now grateful that my dad taught me to parallel park in the rain and on the streets with real cars in a local city.  I was not so grateful then.  All my friends dads used broom sticks and buckets.  They still can't parallel park, but I can, anywhere, anytime.  

Thank you, Dad.

I passed my drivers license test on the morning of my 17th birthday with a perfect score, on the first try!

Thanks, Dad!

My first car was a gold 1970 Chevy Cutlass Supreme.  She was a 2-door coupe and was very fast!  The speedometer went to 180 mph!  I did open her up once on Route 80 and got just over 100 mph and she got smoother as she got faster.... scared the heck out of me!  lol  I only drove that fast that once.

I don't have a picture available that I can put in my journal... I wish I did!  I only kept her for 10 months because my Cutlass was a gas guzzler and I had to drive 15 miles to college and back 4 days a week. 

I went from 8 cylinders of muscle car to a 4 cylinder toy hatchback, but I had money to spend on going out with friends instead of just gas, so it was worth it!

Thanks for reminding me, John Scalzi!  This was fun!

be well,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

One of those things...

Ok J-Land... lots of you did this out there... now I am!

Anyone else want to do it?  Just copy and paste and change to your answers.

I Am  a mom! 

I Want  my kids to grow up happy and healthy! 

I Have  a wonderful hubby and parents! 

I Wish  Kathy lived closer.  Much closer. 

I Hate  intolerant, judgemental people.

I Fear  harm befalling my kids.

I Hear  my kids playing all day... the best sound in the world.

I Search  for the ruby in a mountain of rocks.  (Meatloaf) 

I Wonder  about what lies in the future for myself and family! 

I Regret  having to work when Hammer and Fuzzy were babies.

I Love  Life with my family!

I Ache  when my kids hurt, especially at the expense of mean children. 

I Always  have a book nearby! ;-D

I Usually  am a happy, smiley person!!!  

I Am Not  ready to go until I have my coffee!

I Dance  around the house with my kids, in the car, with my hubby... whenever I can!

I Sing  mostly in the car with kids or hubby or both!

I Never  want to live without a computer ever again!  

I Rarely  get alone time, but, that's okay!  Someday I will and I won't like it.

I Cry  whenever the mood strikes me!  lol

I Am  hoping to write something and get published! 

I'm Confused  occasionally!

I Need  to go on vacation!  (and, I will, soon! Yay!)

I Should  exercise more.  I know, everyone says that, but it is true!

Well, that was fun!  Your turn, if you haven't done it yet!

be well,

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The Night I Knew...

Although, Maxine is right... I am going to tell you all a love story!

The night I knew I was going to marry my Hubby was the night of our second date.

Betty reminded me of this in a recent entry about her hubby and she going to a restaurant they frequented 26 years ago, when dating.

Hubby and I had gone out first on Wedesday, 5/30/90, for a lovely movie and then some drinks afterward.  Nice date, and I was looking forward to the next.  He kissed me on the cheek and asked me out for Saturday night, I said yes.

I bought a new outfit.  A melon colored knit skirt with a matching short sleeved sweater top.  I wore low soft brown pumps with bare legs.   (He is six three, and I am five five, the heel height was for comfort.)  I looked good.

Hubby wore a hawaiian shirt and nice jeans.  It was a beautiful warm, breezy June 2nd night.

We went to a seafood and steak place called Eric's.  I had the broiled lobster tail and he had a giant steak.  I fed him his first taste of lobster off my fork, and he has been eating it since!

The talk was nice and flirty, he was very sweet and complimentary.  I suggested going mini golfing next, he said, 'You look to gorgeous to waste on mini-golf!'.  I remember smiling from head to toe.  We decided to go to for after dinner drinks at a restaurant he knew that was on NJ side of the Hudson River; we could sit outside and admire one of the most expensive views in the world, the Manhattan Skyline.

As we exited Eric's, I stumbled on the last step and Hubby caught me in his arms, I looked up to thank him and he kissed me.  Our first 'real' kiss, it was soft at first, then a little more intense.  Made my knees go weak!  I will never forget it! 

We couldn't get a table outside at Shanghai Red's but a waitress did bring him and I drinks.  The music was nice, the view incredible, the weather perfect, and it was very romantic.  We slow danced to a couple of songs, and we kissed some more while we talked. 

The sun set and the stars began to twinkle over Manhattan, I said to Hubby, 'Let's make a wish!' as he stood behind me, holding me.  He said, 'No need, I already have what I want in my arms.'  Yes, enough to make a girl melt.  And, I did!

After a while we went to another club called Boomers that played 50's and 60's music.  We laughed, talked and kissed some more and about 2 am, I thought we were headed out to take me home.

Hubby turned to me in the car and said, 'I can't let this incredible night end yet; I know a place to get a great cappuccino.'

And, he did.  Cafe Roma was wonderful.  A perfect little romantic cafe in a local 'Little Italy' type area.  It was open all night long, and rumored to have a back room card game.  All I know is that the capuccino and the amazing pastries they had were served by the sweetest husband and wife, and they clucked over us that night and many more, going on and on about 'amore'!

Finally, near 4 am, Hubby brought me home.  He walked me to the door and gave me a wonderful sweet kiss.  We had made plans to spend the day at the zoo, and he was picking me up in 8 hours at noon.  He told me, they would be the longest 8 hours of the day for him.

I came in on cloud nine from my date.  My mom got up and asked me how it went.

I told her, 'Perfect.  I am going to marry him.'

And, 17 and 1/2 months later, 11/9/91, I did!

There is more I wanted to add.  The restaurant Eric's is now called the Elmwood Barn, and we do still go there.  I still trip on the last step, it is off from the others.

Although, Hubby and I were engaged at Shanghai Red's five months later (10/26/90) and even celebrated our first wedding anniversary there, the restaurant burned down.  There is a new restaurant there, and it too, overlooks Manhattan, but it is nothing like the place of our memories.

be well,




I hope the graphic works on the auto fill coffee cup above! 

Dianna (see side bar for link) sent it to me!  She is an angel and understand that in my addicted state to coffee that this cup would be a dream come true!!!

Any how, OUCH!  I burned my finger while making a frozen pizza in the toaster oven for my son.  OUCH!

It is my right thumb and thankfully is not stunting my typing ability but...


So, finally after suffering with the stinging for a while I realized I had something that may help.  I spray the kids all the time with Bactine for cuts and it does say 'and minor burns' on the label so...

I did it.

It works!  The benzocaine did numb it a bit and the worst of the stinging seems to be over!  I can't believe how many times I have needlessly suffered the annoying sting of a minor burn!

Like a paper cut, minor burns can be really ouchie! 

I hope I have done the public a service by sharing this.  lol ;-D

be well,

Friday, August 4, 2006

Summer Television Confessions

Hello J-Land!

The picture above is me in the mornings! 

Now, I know some of you thought I was the kinda cute, chubby, blonde in the picture at left, but the truth is revealed.

I awaken as a coffee guzzling alien.  Just ask my kids.

Moving on to the subject of my entry.

Summer television sucks.  We all know it.  Some may be too polite to say it, but I am not.  It sucks.  There, I said it again, even.

It isn't an excuse for watching bad tv... but, it does lead to my confession.

I watch reality tv trash all summer long.

There really is nothing else to watch!  We have Tivo, so I never miss any good program during the regular season because it is automatically recorded and Hubby and I watch as time allows!

The first show that got me is now in its seventh season, thus the name, 'Big Brother 7'.  I have to say, it is truly a guilty pleasure.  Bizarre things happen to people trapped in a limited amount of space with no access to the outside world at all.  No tv, no radio, no newspapers.  No one but each other to speak with.

I love it!  A subtitle to the show could be 'What happens to good looking twenty & thirty somethings when stranded together', but I would be wrong.  There is always at least one or maybe even two forty-ish players and they may not be good looking!  <gasp>

A newer guilty pleasure has been 'Last Comic Standing'.  This is season 4, but hubby and I have only caught three of them.

This year is by far the best year.  The front runner in the competition is also my favorite comedian yet.  His name is Josh Blue.  Josh is very unique, he has Cerebral Palsy and it is a part of his act.  The thing is he makes you think and laugh along with him but never by putting himself down or being degrading in any way.  Josh said he wanted to do the show to bring awareness to CP and disabilities in general and that most disabled people are just 'regular guys and gals'.  He proves that ten-fold, while also showing that he is more than just a regular guy... he is pretty darn amazing!!!

The last show that I have been addicted to this summer is 'So You Think You Can Dance'.  The best part of this show is that Hubby and I have watched this all along with the kids!  The show exposes the kids to all kinds of dance styles and really helps to broaden their horizons!  It has been so much fun cheering on our favorites throughout the season.  The grand finale is next week, and we will probably be arguing about who should win until then!

I just realized that there is actually one more reality show....

NY YANKEE GAMES!!!!  Woohoo!!!  Go Captain Jeter and lead your guys all the way!!!

Okay... that is it.

My name is Dawn, and I am a junk reality tv addict.

I can't wait for the new fall season to start!

be well,

ps... The whole family are also educational tv addicts and we are getting our fill of Discovery Channel, History Channel, The Learning Channel, Nat'l Geographic Channel and Animal Planet!!!

This week is Shark Week - season 12... don't miss it! 

Journal Editor Joe Explains it Well

Followup on Some of Your New AOL Strategy/Free Plan Questions

Clicky Clicky above....

be well,

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Non Believers... Click my link below...

AOL Announcement -- Frequently Asked Questions

Click above and all will be revealed... if not, call the 800 # !!!!

be well,

AOL Free??? No Way? WAY!!!!

Really!!!  It is FREE!!!

Well, okay, if you don't use dial-up!!!  I don't, I have broadband from my cable company!

So, I read the letters from the president of AOL and I read the Frequently Asked Questions. 

It said to call and gave a number.

I was online, reading emails during the 40 minute wait for the live AOL billing representative to take my call.

After apologizing for the wait, which was also noted on the recording, she confirmed that - YES, IT IS FREE!!! 

No more $15 per month!!!  I wouldn't have those 10 hours of dial-up as a back up anymore, but I have never used them since going broadband, and I think I will be able to continue to live without them.

I stayed online the whole time, and not one thing has changed on my AOL accounts.  Each screen name got a note from the rep that helped me, and each screen name is totally functional!!

So, I just wanted to share that little bit of sunshine with all of you! 

So, if you don't have dial-up, call them and see if you can go FREE!!!!  They won't just do it... you must call!!!

But, hey, it is worth it!

be well,


Wednesday, August 2, 2006

What Day Is It?

My buddy, Bruno, from  Brunos' Blusterings left me this comment this morning!
Comment from: bruno64056rs
"Come on, Dawn! It's been 3, going on 4, days since your last entry! Whattsa matter, ya' gettin' old and cranky, and just don't give a rip---like ME?!

Nothin' better than a cheap-shot to start, or end, the day!!!"
Yes, Bruno, you are right!  And, it was just the kick in the arse I needed to get me back to my journal! 
Yes, sometimes I am old, cranky and sometimes don't give a rip but that isn't it. 
I am flaring.  For those of you, who don't know what that means, a flare is when your disease, Rheumtoid Arthritis, in my case, rears its ugly head and gives you a big ole' smack down!
The last few weeks have been hectic and my body is telling me to slow down.  Also, the heat wreaks havoc with the disease, too.  It doesn't mix well with my medicines, either.
So, I am sore, tired, and in more pain than usual.  My hands, wrists, elbows, feet and ankles are swollen.  The worst part is that while awake and doing stuff, I can cope, but when I got to lay down to sleep, the hell begins. 
Everything pain and throb feels worse without the busy world buzzing around to distract me.  You would think that once youfall asleep it ends right?  Wrong.
I wake up after maybe 2 or 3 hours and I am stiff and in worse pain.  Sometimes, I get up and walk around and that is enough.
Sometimes, I just lay there for another hour or so until my mind can finally just shut down from exhaustion. 
Sometimes, I just grab a book and read for a bit until the exhaustion sets in again.
The best sleep I get is usually in the morning after Hubby leaves and before the kids start the ritual of waking me up every 30 minutes to let me sleep late.  I am usually so completely exhausted by then that my brain finally is able to just let me pass out.
So, that has been my last few days. 

Yesterday, was 100 degrees and today is supposed to be higher as is tomorrow.  The humidity makes it feel about 15 degrees higher, according to the weather people, and I believe them.
It is awful!
If you are in this heat wave, remember to drink a lot of water or Gatorade type stuff, and to stay as shaded and air conditioned as much as you can.
My Hubby just spent the entire morning on a roof on Lexington Avenue in NYC because the crew working on a roof door couldn't figure out how to do the job properly.  He was there for 5 hours and is hot and cranky.  I can't blame him.  That had to suck.
My thoughts are with anyone else struggling to work through this heat.
be well,