Friday, November 30, 2012


Head on over and see what everyone has been up to this week!

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hockey Tournament and Zachary's surgery are all done!
Now I can move on with Christmas.
Zachary hung up our Christmas lights.
This weekend I am decorating the inside of our home.
Hubby doesn't know it yet, but he is getting a tree this weekend.  We always get a live tree.  Hubby always gets one too tall and ends up cutting part of the tree off.  
Have I mentioned how much I love my guy?!?!
We finally got our first estimate for our siding, gutter, garage door and light repairs that happened during Hurricane Sandy.   I'm waiting for a few more before we make a final decision.
I don't mind waiting, there are so many other people who need repairs more urgently than I.
Zachary is back to school.
Nothing exciting happened this week.
Wait… I take that back...
During Wednesday night hockey game Brandon scored a top shelf goal from the blue line.  
If you don't get hockey lingo… just trust me… that's a good thing!
**That's right! I'm a proud Mama!**
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Outpatient Surgery for Zachary

Zachary had an operation on Black Friday.  He was born with a deviated septum.  The doctor thinks when Zachary was born his nose broke in the birth canal.  The wall between his nasal passages was displaced, which caused nose bleeds, snoring and allergies.

When he was 10 years old Todd and I took him to an Otolaryngologist, who recommended that we wait until Zachary was older and stopped the majority of his growing.   I am glad we did wait.  A 10 year old boy would not understand nor know how to react to so much pain this surgery caused.

Prior to surgery the nurse came in and asked all kinds of questions. Zachary is quiet and answers her very softly.  I can tell he is nervous.  I am worried for him, but try to be strong and not let him see how twisted up my stomach is.
Zachary has never done well around needles or blood. So when the nurse put in his IV in, I thought he was going to pass out.  He looked white as a ghost.  He told me he was hot and light headed.
I explained to him that it was his anxiety making him feel like that. Told him to relax and it would pass.
By the time the nurse came back and gave him his 'hat' he was feeling better.
They wheeled him out and I felt lost.
I know it's only a minor operation.
Logically I knew he'd be okay.
He is my baby.
I wanted to cry.
I didn't.
I went to the waiting room… and waited.
Two hours later I was able to see him.
He was so HIGH!
It was a funny sight to see.
The nurses who were attending him couldn't stop laughing.
You would have thought Zach won the lottery when the nurse handed him a soda and jello!
By the time we got home the pain medication wore off.
Zachary has been down for the count for 6 days. 
He has been sleeping on a recliner because he cannot lay flat.
He has watched all the seasons of "King of Queens" and "The Big Bang Theory".
 He may go back to school tomorrow.  It all depends how he feels when he wakes up.  
The worst is over and every day he gets a better.
I am just glad to see him smile again.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament


Thanksgiving weekend is always a busy one for us.  Since 2007 Brandon has participated in a Thanksgiving Tournament.  ~ That means a lot of hockey crammed into weekend! ~ This is the first year that the tournament wasn't on home ice.  We had to travel to Hatfield, PA - which isn't too bad. It was a little over an hour away.  ~ The boys are at an age where the testosterone is flaring.  There was a lot of smack talk and even one fight.  ~ I am proud that my son keeps his temper in check. I am not naive enough to think he isn't running his mouth with smart @** comments.

I wish you could experience the thrill of the game, the smell of the ice and hearing the "Ooooh and Ahhhs'" from the crowd. 

 I wish I could explain that I do not condone violence and yet I get a giddy seeing the hits and checks of the game.   

I wish you knew the pride I feel while watching my son make a good play (and yep, even the bad ones).


I wish you could have seen the smile on my son's face as they placed the 1st place medal around his neck.

Congratulations Baby!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for; family, friends, good health, a happy home... I am reminded with our economy and Hurricane Sandy, how many people are struggling right now to provide for their families, let alone a traditional Thanksgiving feast that is apart of the holiday. If you know of a charity or shelter, such as the Salvation Army or Red Cross, please take the time to help out or donate items. 

As I said, I have so much to be thankful for and one thing I am grateful for are my amazing blogging friends. Each and every one of you has touched me and given a true gift of friendship in many different ways! Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Ever melt a pair of jumper cables?

I know what you are thinking.
What? How can you melt jumper cables??

Oh my friends, I assure you it can be done!

Let me tell you a story…..

For the last few months we have been teaching our son, Zachary to drive an automatic car. 
However, the car he will be driving is manual.

Todd thought it would be a good idea to take Zachary to a parking lot with the intention of teaching him how to drive a stick shift.

Zachary's car has been sitting, not being used since the beginning of the summer.  So when it would not start today, Todd didn't think anything of it and he asked the neighbor for a jump.

Todd and Zachary went on their merry way.

Upon Zachary's first try, he stalls the car.  If you don't know about stick shift, stalling it is not uncommon, especially while learning how to drive it.
Problem though ~ the car would not re-start.
The guys called me to come "jump" the car, thinking the battery had died. Again.

We had no luck.  So Todd and I drove to Pepboys to purchase a new battery.
$100.00 and 40 minutes later…..

Todd showed Zachary how to install a new battery.
we tried to start the car.
No luck!

Considering we are not mechanics, we thought "maybe we should try to jump the car again". 
Not our finest moment.

This time both cars spark when Todd puts the jumper cables on the clamps.
Then both cars begin to smoke and catch on fire!

Apparently if you do not match the positive and negatives, this is what a car will do.


We called in the calvary.
Our friend found a fuse that was loose and Viola!
**Car started like a charm**

I think Zachary learned a valuable lesson and will never mix up the + and - signs while jumping a car.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surviving the holidays - Dysfunctional Style

Photo Credit

Dysfunctional OCD Mom, Tipsy Dad, Racist Grandpa and Over Critical Grandmom drive you crazy on a normal day? Trying to put them all in one room during a holiday!

You can spend years and good money in therapy.. within 15 minutes of a holiday reunion, you are right back to square one.

Your confidence and patience go right out the window when your 30 year old sister throws a temper tantrum or your nephew tells inappropriate dirty jokes at the dinner table.

So What To Do??

First: Give up the expectation that families are perfect and the holiday is going to be perfect.  Be prepared to accept them for who they are.  This doesn't give them license to misbehave.  In fact, if you calmly talk about what you expect from them, they may surprise you and change their behavior.

Second:  Are there certain relatives that you cannot tolerate?  If you have to spend the holiday among the intolerable, create a plan.  Decide if you are spending one, maybe two hours with them.  Decide if it is worth putting yourself in that situation.

***Or you could always get a friend to call you 1/2 way through the event with a disastrous event that you have to go attend to.

Third: Have you been deeply hurt by your family? Still searching for kindness from your mother, approval from your father?  But no matter how hard you try, you cannot please them.  STOP! You will never be able to control their thoughts or feelings.  Don't waste your energy trying to make them something they will never be!

Fourth and most important: After a holiday reunion, call a friend who totally 'gets' you and decompress!  You need to get the frustration out. Talk, talk, talk.

**It is always refreshing to mimic your dysfunctional family members to your friends.  Laughter, after all, is the best medicine.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Tribute to Poppop on Veterans Day

In 1923
American troops left Germany after WWI.
Ottowa Senators swept Edm Eskimos to win the Stanley Cup.
Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers anywhere. 
Lou Gehrig hits the first of his 493 home runs.
Disney company was founded.
My grandfather was born.
Frank Edward (on the left) was the eldest of 9 children.
In 1942
German U-boats begin harassing the US East Coast.
Japanese sub fires on oil refinery in California.
2 black players: Jackie Robinson & Nate Moreland requests tryouts with White Sox.
Toronto Maple leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.
Gasoline rationed in the East Coast.
Anne Frank begins her diary.
My grandparents were married.

February 3, 1943
Shoe rationing begins.
Germany surrenders in Stalingrad.
Joe DeMaggio enlists.
The day my grandfather left for duty

December 22, 1945
Rationing of auto tires end.
Microwave oven patented.
Congress officially recognizes The Pledge of Allegiance.
My grandfather returns home after proudly serving in the Navy during WWII in the Solomon Island.

My grandparents had two daughters: Nancy and Shirley.
In addition to 5 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren at the time of his passing.
My grandfather was a self-employed carpenter his whole life, and also worked last at a hospital in the maintenance department for 23 years until his retirement in 1988.
April 16, 2008
Bill Gates retires from Microsoft to focus on charity work.
Michael Phelps wins 8 Gold Medals.
My grandfather passed away.
and was laid to rest at St. Vincent UCC
where he served at as a deacon, elder and consistory member.
The postlude at his funeral was "Anchors Aweigh".
I am proud of my grandfather for not only serving his country, but for all the good he spread throughout his life. He believed in people. He never smoked or took a drink. He believed in discipline and hard work, that if stick to something long enough it will pay off.  

He was my father figure.  There was no safer place than in his lap.  He would tell me to put onions in my socks to ward off illness.  His eyes were bright blue, always showing kindness.  He carried a hammer wherever he went and was always tinkered with something to keep himself busy.
Poppop may be gone, but he is still in my heart.  


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chanticleer Gardens

Located in the Main Line of Pennsylvania.
Photo Credit: Todd Miller
During the early 20th century upper class society would move to the country to beat the heat from Philadelphia, PA.  This ruin is a picture of a former summer home to the Rosengarten family.  This wealthy pharmaceutical family sold their business to Merck and Company in the 1920's.  
The estate has beautiful gardens and is open to the public to enjoy.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

This week I've been getting quotes and estimates for the siding damage to my home during Hurricane Sandy.

My neighbors shutter was taken off by the wind and hurled into the side of our house.  It's amazing what a hole in the siding it caused.  Just by a vinyl shutter!

Minor damage was from other debris. 

Our damage is nothing compared to what the majority of east coast residence are going through.
My Blogger Friend Hilary from Feeling Beachie has been evacuated from her home. She is staying with her husband's brother, but he suffered flood damage too.

Please keep my friends and other hurricane victims in your prayers.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grocery Shopping Apps

Almost every grocery store advertises in local papers, with weekly specials and coupons.  So many people just throw away the coupons for various reasons.  Some don't have the time, some do not like the clutter, some cut them out but forget to use them.  What ever your reason, there is still hope for you.

We live in a tech-savvy world that has an app for everything!  Even grocery shopping!
These are the three apps I use on my iPhone to help keep me organized and save money.

The Coupon Sherpa App helps you sort through categories to find online coupons that can be scanned right from your phone.  This free app even lets you create lists where you can tag your favorite stores.

The Grocery Gadget is a simple app that lets your create a grocery list. Your list is divided by category so it makes shopping that much more easier.  It can even calculate sales tax and track coupons.

Redlaser is a comparison shopper app that allows you to scan products, thru the bar code, to find out which products are cheaper. It will produce a list of similar items that are less expensive.

picture were taken from my iPhone.

Happy Savings!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Hero

Who is my Hero?  That's an easy one.

My husband is my hero. 

He is my saving grace everyday.  We knew each other for quite a few years before we began dating.  Prior to dating, I was in a dark place and he was the light that showed me I could be loved.  To have someone in my life who loves me so much inspires me to want to be a better person.  I am truly blessed.

I admire:
How quickly he can change a negative attribute into a positive.
The right choices he makes are consistently and without a fleeting thought of the wrong choices as an option.
How he is tenderly moved by the suffering of another.
How his sympathy turns into empathy.
He is a great teacher not only in a classroom, but also to our sons and even myself.
How he shows the way by example to our children with patience, kindness and love.
And most of all his unwavering love for me.
And so much more.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I took a good look in the mirror. I saw a 44 year old woman with signs of aging.  I have age spots beginning to spread, wrinkles around my eyes (when did they show up) and my neck is beginning to grow a gobbler (just in time for Thanksgiving). I cursed the wicked demon, better known as Metabolism.  I used to love Metabolism when it provided me with all the energy I needed.   Once I turned 30, Metabolism showed it's true colors and abandoned me.  Extra weight around my middle grew.  Here I am now in my 40's beginning to stress! 

How do I retain looking young??  How can I protect myself skin from further aging??
In a frenzy I began researching online about anti-aging tips ...that do not include drastic medical procedures… ** I'm not that bad yet!**

Most popular tip was Exercise because it releases endorphins that help our mind feel young.  
~My mind? Why can't the endorphins help my butt look young?

Water came in second.  Drinking water can reduce wrinkles and give you back that youthful glow.  
~Sorry Diet Pepsi.  Looks like you are being replaced with Dasani. 

Nutrition is important if you want to keep healthy skin.  The antioxidants from our diet help not only with our skin, but our other bodily organs.  
~I love sugar, chocolate and other sweets.  I was always able to eat anyway I wanted when I was younger.  It isn't like that anymore.  I began cutting out the cookies and crackers and noticed I lost a few pounds.  

De-stress! Taking time for yourself can be as easy as a quiet bath or getting a pedicure.  You can always be more elaborate and take a trip to somewhere you always wanted to go.
~This one I can handle!

Daily cleansing routine is something important to have. I use Clinique's cleaner, toner, mask and moisturizer. The mask I used twice a week to help hydrate my skin, draw out the oil in my skin and reduce pore size.  I'm sure there are other products out there that are just as good.  Clinique is my personal preference.  
~One tip I found recommended using Retinol after your wash your skin but prior to moisturizer or make up.  I am looking into this product because it is supposed to help reduce facial blemishes and a sagging neck.  

Makeup doesn't have to be heavy, light and natural is the best. Never pull down or be too rough with your skin: gravity doesn't need any help! Only apply just what you need. Your skin will be able to breath better.
~Plus makeup hides my wake-up-scary-face!

I figure 50% of aging is going to happen no matter what I do. It's all apart of getting older aging gracefully. The other 50% I can control, and since I am a control freak I know I can do this part well!

Stay Healthy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Birthday Girl

Todd's parents brought me a cake.
My favorite ~ Chocolate AND Purple!
My husband gave me my present a day early. Here is the note he left explaining why.
My present was a new Nikon Camera!
Kathy from West Family Adventures did a shout out on her blog about my bday. 
How cool was that!
You are the sweetest Kathy!
My BFF and her family took me and two of my boys out to dinner.
They were forced happy to celebrate their Mommy's birthday.
Instead of listing all my presents, I decided to do a video clip.
Be patient with me, it's the first time I've ever done this.
It seems to take awhile to load, so I am crossing my fingers that it works. :-D

I had a wonderful birthday.  Thank you to those who made it that great!  And -WOW- thank you to the number of FB Bday wishes posted.
I am lucky to be surrounded by so much love!