Thursday, December 31, 2009

So it's New Year's Eve-

and I am sitting here with a bag of Wavy Lay's and drowning my sorrows in French Onion dip rather than the liquid happiness I have come to know and love over the years.

No, I am not an alcoholic. But I do like my social occasion drinks, and the New Year is a social occasion worthy of one, or two, or several. However, since I am now MIDDLE AGED, anything stiffer than a Diet Coke causes me to go into migraine alert. I've had nightmares of myself confined to a dark room with a cloth over my head, hand clutching my bottle of Fioricets, and moaning in agony. And that, my readers, is why I don't drink anymore.

I used to laugh at my mom and grandmom when we'd head up to Canada for the weekend and they'd let me, a 16 year old girl, loose in a discotheque full of hormone raged young Frenchmen. My mom and grandmom would head to the bar with me, and buy a bottle of Molson to share, asking the bartender for two glasses. As soon as the cap was off, I swear they acted like drunken fools just by inhaling the scent, without their lips ever touching the glass. I'd send them up to their room (the hotel was upstairs) and I would dance and drink until 3 am. And then go to Mike's for pizza with friends before staggering upstairs to my room. Sometimes an eager Frenchman would want to "help" me get to my room, but the moment I got upstairs and near the door good ole Gram would open the door and yank me inside while swearing at my admirer in French. Ah, the good old days of my youth. And now, I have trouble keeping down a good Margarita. I think I've become my mother. And I have already told the kids if I act stupid to lock me in the bathroom and throw away the key.

Less than an hour here on the East Coast until the ball drops and people go nuts in Times Square. It's hard to believe that #10YearsAgo (as I posted on twitter earlier) I was partying it up in RI with my buddy Nancy while dancing bachata and merengue in Horizontes and the Tropicana. So I am forcing myself to stay up and watch the ball drop... and then I can say "Happy New Year, here's to 2010!" before my head hits the pillow and I fall fast asleep.

2009 has come and gone, it has been a year of challenges, surprises and heartbreak. The world has changed very much in this past decade, and I worry about the future for my children and grandchildren. And I wonder what the future will bring, while trying to have hope and think positive thoughts. In the meantime, I wish all of you a very healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year-Happy 2010 everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Heard from hubby!

After a hectic day of work I managed to sit my butt down for a few seconds and go through coupons before heading out the door to go grocery shopping. As I was checking out deals in the flyer and matching up coupons my house phone rang. Deja, who had been playing her DS answered and her face just beamed with happiness. "Mama, it's papa calling!" and she was so darn excited to hand me the phone she forgot to say hi.

Hubby managed to FINALLY get a hold of me he said, and I couldn't imagine what was up with that, since I do have a cell phone but he called me on the house phone. (apparently calling a landline is cheaper) Then he actually scolded me because he's been trying to call me for a few days and I never answer my phone at work. Lol, these past few days I have been on the phone with so many clients and the LAST place I expected him to call me was at work. But he did, and now I know what all those hangups were these past few days, but you'd think he'd at least leave a message!

You know, I think he called me at work because I told him that I was taking a vacation while HE was on vacation, and that I'd be someplace warm, sitting near a pool having cute little cabana boys bringing me frozen drinks. By calling me at work, he is checking up to make sure that I haven't abandoned my post as domestic goddess and run for the hills in search of a Sex on the Beach. Sigh...but that sounds SO good right now-

Anyways, all is well right now and apparently he misses us. He's been keeping busy building houses with his brother and visiting other relatives while he enjoys nice 75 degree temperatures. I told him I was NOT happy with the 20 below we had last night and that the 3 day rain/snow/ice storm that is coming Fri, Sat and Sun did not have me jumping for joy. But I am glad to know that he is well and keeping busy. Plus I got a nice $10 off my birthday dinner coupon today from Margarita's Mexican Restaurant... (nachos here I come!) so I am taking it as a sign that frozen drinks are in my future, even if the snow is flying outside. ;)

Now I need to spend some time putting groceries away, I can faintly hear the sound of the little leprechaun from Lucky Charms calling me... shhh, don't tell the kids but I bought the Lucky Charms for ME! (and I hid it too!) Have a great night everyone and a SUPER NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another day on the merry go round of life...

And yet another snowstorm on the way... this time they're calling for one of EPIC proportions... and lasting three days to boot. Just what I wanted-to ring in the New Year shoveling snow. Tonight it is chilly, well, freezing actually. Supposedly going to get to 20 below, I've got a comforter in hand, and am seriously thinking of making a hot toddy. Nothing like one of those to warm up your veins and get the blood pumping.

Right now my possessed cat is sleeping, I say possessed because that cat has been running through the house for days now, chasing imaginary string or something. I left some paperwork on my bed this morning and came home at 1 to work on it, and my cat had it strewn all over the bed! Believe it or not there was a fly in the house today. Icy cold outdoors and one lone, solitary fly came from who knows where and was buzzing around my bathroom. I have never seen a fly this late in the year, and I knew better than to tell my mom. I knew it would get her started.

And I did. And she did. See, my mom HATES flies. When my dad was alive he loved to have the windows open. And naturally flies would come in. My mom would spend the better part of the afternoon getting some exercise chasing them around the house with a fly swatter. My possessed cat Stubby even lived with my dad, and if I tell him to "Get the bibit" (French slang for bug) he starts searching walls, ceilings and windows looking for insects.

My dad knew how much my mom hated those flies. And he loved to aggravate the hell out of her. I secretly think he liked watching her run around the house all afternoon swatting flies. It gave him time to watch CNN in peace and swear loudly whenever former President Bush would come on-while chain smoking his cigarettes that would ultimately cost him his life.

When he got sick, Mom would tell him if he ever came back and was re-incarnated, never to come back as a fly because he would be a DEAD fly. When he died on Valentine's Day it was hard on all of us, but more so on my mom. Not long thereafter she began telling me the stories: she'd seen a fly land on the shelf in the grocery store just as she was reaching down to get her soda pop, she was planting flowers for Memorial Day and a fly sat on the headstone teasing her, flies started appearing on her window screens and in her car, etc... so naturally when I told her that a fly had shown up in this cold weather and was on the bathroom wall she figured it was my dad who'd come to wish us a Merry Christmas.

When I came home from work my son told me about the fly, and how he'd hit it dead on-and it didn't die. We tried coaxing Stubby into going after it, but he just raised his head and looked at us, he'd had a hard afternoon messing up all my papers and was exhausted. I guess it could have been my dad coming by to say hello for the holidays-but he won't be sticking around for the New Year. My son finally hit the target this evening, and he's gone on to that big strip of fly paper in the sky.

Goodnight Guy, we love you and miss you where ever you are :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

They Dropped A Bomb On Me!

Okay, I just have to fess up. I mean, I have known it for a couple weeks now, but have not wanted to face it. I am pretty much in a state of shock, disbelief, and have to admit I was praying for it not to be true.

Usually the news of a pregnancy is a wonderful thing. Congratulations are in order and it's an exciting time. When my son's girlfriend got pregnant at 13, had a baby at fourteen, and recently turned 15 this past Fall, I watched two sweet young kids give up the most precious time of their lives to become teen parents. My son just turned 17 in December, and while they should be at school functions, dances, the movies-whatever, they are home taking care of a child.

The girlfriend comes from a very messed up home. Case in point: she was 14, in labor, and her mother left her 15 minutes after I got there to go drink at home. Mom never came back, and I ended up being the one to hold her hand while coaxing her through contractions because my son was a nervous wreck who spent more time in the bathroom puking than in the labor and delivery room. Her older siblings were all removed from the State and from what I assumed, once she quit school in 6th grade she was also headed in that direction. But for whatever reason, they kept her there.

The State knows that she lives with us. They have come in, investigated, and determined all was fine. After the trauma of childbirth was over, things began to get back to normal. And they of course resumed their sex life. I can't say I expected them to stop now that they had a child. But I did discuss prevention and birth control with them. I even called the State trying to help her set up a post partum appointment-and in the meantime she assured me that she was going on the pill since she didn't need to have parental permission to get her birth control pills at the local clinic. The unfortunate thing is that my hands were tied: while the State and everyone knows that she lives with me, her benefits go to her mother because she is a minor. The local Medicaid office understood the situation, but without her mother signing a paper allowing me to make appointments and such, I was shit out of luck. And for her mother, there was no signing anything that might take away any part of her food stamps or welfare benefits.

I knew that the pill was not going to work. Because that is supposedly how she got pregnant the first time. Her mother said she had stopped taking them because "they made her sick." When I questioned her mother as to WHY she would not put her sexually active teen daughter on another form of birth control she just shrugged her shoulders and walked off. Let me explain by saying that my son and this girl have been together on and off for the past four years or so. Her life has not been an easy one and I don't blame her completely, I understand that given the family life she had she was searching for love, but in all the wrong places-and making a baby with someone is not the right way to go about it. She is still just a child herself.

Awhile back she told me that she wanted to go on Mirena, and had mentioned it at one of her appointments. They told her in order to do so, her mother would have to come in and sign some paperwork. Her mother refused to get up off her drunken @$$ to do it, even though she can manage to walk to the store for her 12 pack daily in sleet, snow or ice.

So then, the inevitable happened. They dropped a bomb on me. A second time. They both called me down to the bathroom and my trembling son began explaining what I did not want to hear. How she had missed her period that month and that the pregnancy test that she bought came back positive. Twice. He knew by the look on my face that I was not happy. Their baby is 6 months old now, and they can barely care for him. They yell, fight and are constantly stressed by him. And now, another one was on the way.

I have a feeling that I'll be getting another social services visit soon enough. I've already asked the school to help out, and please get this kid a case worker who can coordinate her medical care and other things she needs to do-because my hands are tied and without her mother's signature I am unable to do anything. It sounds cruel, but I know that she NEEDS this. And it might mean she is removed from the home. But without the state or court involved, I have no rights whatsoever. And she could be spitting out kids every year until she turns 18, and that is not something I could handle. My son knows he failed on his part as well. He knows he should have used protection. But he thought that it couldn't happen so soon after having a baby, and it was only a couple of times. I'm disappointed in both of them, and they know it.

In the meantime, we wait and see what happens. I've always wanted to have grandchildren, but I first wanted my own children to be grown up. And if history repeats itself, Jose and I may be raising babies way into our fifties. Lucky for me he has been understanding about the whole thing-I don't know if I would be if the tables were turned.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a wonderful day with family and friends. Enjoy the great company, food and conversation. My little grandson is 6 months old, and had his holiday photos taken-here's one to share with all my readers.

Here the holidays have been a bit lonely-we'd always visit my dad and my grandmother however they are no longer with us this year. May they rest in peace, and I know in my heart even if we can't see them, that they will always be with us in spirit.

My husband called me yesterday morning, but I was at work. He said to my son that he'd call back, but no call ever came. I'm not worried, I know that the phone lines must be jammed trying to call out from Guatemala. Every year we call his family and we have to try several times as the calls often get dropped or it is just dead air and no dial tone or ringing. Hopefully I will hear from him later today or over the weekend when the call volume isn't so crazy. (I tried to call his mother's house, but there was no answer yesterday, my guess is that they are all celebrating at his brother's new house down the road-and I don't have the brother's new cell number to call).

On another note, my crazy neighbors across the road had a wild Christmas Eve. I was in bed sound asleep at 2 am when my son came running downstairs and told me there was a huge commotion going on across the street. Sure enough, the sounds of yelling and fighting broke the Yuletide silence. At first, I thought the idiots were fighting over Christmas gifts, since their last knock down-drag all altercation was over a cigarette-but apparently one of the young "men" who lived downstairs wanted to hit one the young "lady" who lived upstairs and her brother and stepfather decided to defend her honor. (um, I wonder if they know the couple in question has been sleeping together for months now, lol)

Considering they were all partying together, and there was alcohol and an assortment of other holiday treats available this was bound to happen. The fighting had come out into the street in front of the house and rocks were being thrown, some sort of a metal pole was involved and within minutes police had surrounded the area and called an ambulance. Apparently the young man who wanted to hit the girl ended up having his top lip ripped off-he could be heard screaming "It hurts!" in the back of the ambulance before they carted his sorry @$$ off to the hospital for stitches. This morning, he was sore, and apparently pissed because he couldn't smoke a cigarette. The brother was a bit bruised, but fared much better than the stepfather. He was transferred to the bigger hospital about an hour away so they could reattach his top lip and move his nose back to its correct spot after it was mashed to a pulp and pushed to the side of his face. Yup, Emergency Surgery on Christmas Eve/Day, just my cup of tea. Apparently because he was bigger than the others, and they were just a bit intimidated by his size, he had the pleasure of meeting the metal pole a few times. Ahh, another holiday in the 'hood.

For now it is quiet... there is peace and harmony. The presents have been opened, and Santa has visited all the good little boys and girls. Those that were naughty, well, they're recovering nicely from what I've been told. I'm sure the painkillers are helping as well. After all, a swift recovery is very important-New Year's Eve is about a week away!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When a Stranger Calls...

It started out like a bad teen really did. Hubby was at work, and the rest of us were fast asleep after watching SyFy monster movies (albeit last night's was pretty stupid, but oh well). Actually, the kids were watching a different movie than I was, something on HBO about some disturbed teenager that goes around killing people. I could tell it was a creepy movie by the adrenaline in Tiffany's voice as she quickly described the "awesome" movie they were watching when she came downstairs to go to the bathroom. But, they refused to CHANGE THE CHANNEL. So there they sat, getting freaked out before going to bed.

Even before the stupid movie ended, I had struggled to stay awake, at least to watch the ending of the movie. But the Sand Man had other plans for me, and I drifted off while enjoying the huge waterbed all to myself. I was actually in the middle of a good dream, I can recall it having something to do with winning the lottery and being photographed holding that huge check with a big smile on my face... Before I had a chance to continue the dream and spend that lottery money, I could hear a phone ringing in the distance. My cell phone had been taken by hubby who needed it for work... so I guessed correctly when I figured out that it was the house cordless phone that the kids had taken upstairs earlier.

The phone rang and rang, and I wondered who was calling. I strained my neck to check out the time on the clock sitting on my headboard and it was shortly before midnight... I'd probably been asleep a little under an hour. I thought it might have been my husband, or my mother, but usually they wouldn't call unless it was an WAS late, after all. Then I thought perhaps it was Tiffany's mom, calling because she'd had too many beers and wanted to talk. But I figured since she'd been drinking all day, she was probably passed out by that time. Or it could have been some lonely person, their mind riddled with drugs and alcohol hoping for a late night booty call.

I heard my son sleepily say into the phone: "Hello..." and then silence. He then threw the phone at his girlfriend Tiffany who yelled at him to "Watch it!" and after listening a few minutes herself began asking who it was, what did they want, etc... By then, I was wide awake and in mom alert mode. As I was heading towards the bedroom door Tiffany came running downstairs with my son holding the baby close behind her. By then, they'd become loud and excited...and very scared. I asked them what had happened and they told me that some woman had called screaming bloody murder. Literally. She said there was so much blood, and it hurt, and to please HELP her. The kids tried to get her name and address but to no avail. After screaming for a bit more and realizing that she had the wrong number she hung up. The kids came running downstairs completely freaked out. They thought she was being murdered. Or worse. Was hiding from a killer in a closet. Or was in labor. Calmly, I told Tiffany to dial *69 and she did, getting the phone number. She then tried to call back, and there was no answer.

My son was trembling and proceeded to lock all the doors in the house AND turn the lights on. There was no way he was going to sleep with the lights off. I just knew it would be a long night... Tiffany called the police dept. and told them of the call, giving them the number we'd traced by *69. They told her they'd send someone out to check on it... my son was convinced we'd see a murder in the newspaper today, and that he'd received the call from the person being murdered asking for help.

Hubby came home around three am. To a house full of lights, the TV on, and me semi-awake after just telling the kids to go back upstairs and go to bed. No, they could NOT sleep with me. Even if my bed was comfortable. I sleepily explained to hubby what had happened and fell asleep almost immediately. So did the kids...

This morning Demetrio was up bright and early checking the internet and newspaper. Nothing. He told Tiffany to call the number this morning to see what happened. And she did. And she said a man answered. She didn't say anything, just listened for a moment and then hung up. And then told me that he sounded like he was extremely hung over.

I still wonder what happened-if she was drunk, on drugs, had cut herself, etc... We will probably never know. But at least we tried, and I was impressed that the kids thought enough to call the police dept. thinking someone was in trouble. Even if it was a false alarm, the next time it happens it might not be. In the meantime, I will be keeping the phone downstairs with me...and hoping it doesn't ring again in the middle of the night anytime soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy 17th Birthday Demetrio!

Today my son Demetrio is 17. It's amazing how time flies and how quickly he went from holding mommy's hand to independent, grown up (well, at least SOME of the time!) teen dad.

Yes, he's a dad. His son Demetrio Jr. is 6 months now. He and his on and off girlfriend thought that by having a baby, things would get easier. Sadly, they now realize that there is a lot of responsibility on them as teen parents. No more hanging out with their friends, sleepless nights, spending money they get for themselves on diapers instead of the latest electronic gizmo, and spending their last buck on a jar of baby food because they ran out.

I wish I could say that my dreams of watching my son graduate, play sports and do all sorts of wonderful things with his life would come true. Instead, my firstborn has substance abuse issues, is barely passing school, and has anxiety, ADHD and other mental health issues. His girlfriend pretty much has the same issues going on for herself at 15. It's hard enough being a parent when you have your shit together, and even harder when you don't. That's why they live with me. Now, instead of dreams and aspirations for his future, we take it day by day. Each day can be a bit of a struggle, or it can be a huge accomplishment.

I struggled with this a long, long time. And after family therapy finally realized that I didn't fail as a parent. I read all the books, did all the counseling, and tried to lay down the law. And then I watched him fall. And I wanted to pick him up by the hand and tell him it would be alright, but I didn't. Now, THAT was hard. But it had to be done. He's come a long way since then, perhaps he has learned from his mistakes now. And with his son, I only hope that he continues to set a good example.

I'm proud of him and of the progress he has made. Sad because of all we have gone through as a family to get him to where he is now. And hopeful that one day he will look back on these past few years and realize how extremely difficult it had been at times, while continuing to grow into a mature adult and successful young man.

Happy 17th birthday my son, may your day be blessed with good wishes, positive thoughts and lots of love and support from friends and family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Maine Winter is (s) NO (w) place for me!

sigh... it's winter in Maine. I still can't believe that just a few months ago I took this photo down by the coast when I could see the ground (now it's covered in that WHITE stuff, ugh!) and it was warmer... today we actually had a heat wave, with temperatures in the 30's. But tonight, it's back to cold temps, black ice and watching the oil in my tank dwindle down to nothing in the next couple of days.

I hate winter, I really do. I used to love it as a kid, making snow angels and playing with friends-we loved to make snow forts and have huge snowball fights. And the sliding was awesome, I can still remember the blue saucer I had that took me down the hill at lightning speed-and ending up at the traffic jam at the bottom amid a myriad of boots, mittens and tangled little bodies. Back then it was FUN to crash into your friends (or foes!) at the bottom of the hill and take them out just as they were struggling to get up from the icy pathway made by the sleds of all shapes and sizes. And when it rained and froze over, watch out, glare ice!

I used to love catching snowflakes on my tongue and gaze in wonder at their beauty as they fell from the dreary, overcast skies. Now I gaze at them and curse (not so silently, by the way) about how I am going to have to drive in this #$&*#%^* crap! And albeit as hard as I tried, I never could find two snowflakes that were alike... now, they all look the same to (as I shovel them from the walkway)

My mind, (and arthritic obese body as well) yearn for the sun, warmth, and pleasant temperatures of another place. The only slush I want to see is the Vodka Slush I will be drinking as I gaze upon palm trees gently blowing in the breeze. Winter in Maine is no fun... and then after, we have Mud Season. Around Mid May things start to pick up again, and the warmer breezes and smell of Spring finally hit us full force. Sure, we may have a day or two in March that will act as a teaser; with 70 degree temperatures and full sunshine. But the next day, Old Man Winter returns and gives us the classic Nor'Easter with a foot of snow and blizzard conditions.

Right now I am hating my husband. His passport came and he heads off to Guatemala (where it is SUMMER by the way) for about 3 weeks. I have to stay here, hold down the fort, and work. My teen son doesn't know how to operate the snow blower and I have visions of him blowing snow all over the yard next door. I am hoping for good weather and no snow, but in Maine, in the middle of winter, I know I am shit out of luck on that one.

Maybe, just maybe-I can send my wish to Santa. Tell him to take it easy on the snow and ice until hubby gets back. Stock up on groceries in the meantime... and know that Papa John's will still deliver even if I won't venture past my front porch. And I will bake, and play Yahtzee, and blog, and watch scary movies... and read a few good books-as I settle down and deal with winter here in Maine. After all, watching the snow fall can be long as you're not driving in it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's snowing and I need a laugh today!

my co-worker Judy sent me this email joke and thought I'd share it with the rest of you! I can definitely think of a few categories that I fall into, lol!

What Religion is a Bra?

A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy's and shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, 'I'd like to buy a bra for my wife...'

'What type of bra?' asked the clerk.

'Type?' inquires the man, 'There's more than one type?'

'Look around,' said the saleslady, as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, color and material imaginable.

'Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only four types of bras to choose.'

Relieved, the man asked about the types.

The saleslady replied:
'There are the Catholic, the Salvation Army, the Presbyterian, and the Baptist types. Which one would you prefer?'

Now totally befuddled, the man asked about the differences between them.

The Saleslady responded, 'It is all really quite simple... '

The Catholic type supports the masses.
The Salvation Army type lifts the fallen,
The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright, and
The Baptist makes mountains out of mole hills.

Have you ever wondered why A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, G, and H are the letters used to define bra sizes?
If you have wondered why, but couldn't figure out what the letters stood for, it is about time you became informed!

(A} Almost Boobs....
{B} Barely there.
{C} Can't Complain!
{D} Dang!
{DD} Double dang!
{E} Enormous!
{F} Fake.
{G} Get a Reduction.
{H} Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hmm, Where's that Passport...

Hubby wanted to go home to visit his mom and siblings this year in Guatemala. Because of my work schedule, I couldn't take the time off, but I told him he could go. I purchased his ticket months ago for December 23rd, so he would arrive in time to surprise his mother. He hasn't been home for a good old fashioned Guatemalan Christmas since he left there about 15 years ago...he usually goes down for Easter which is also a pretty big holiday too. Plus I wanted him to take photos of the posadas and other decorations they have along with eat some yummy tamales for me too...

He went to the Guatemalan consulate to renew his passport (he has to get a Guatemalan passport since he is only a permanent resident here) and they took his money WAY back at the end of September, and still nothing. I had read online that there was some sort of a problem with the passport company that handles processing for Guatemalans here in the US, and that due to delay they would not get passports before Christmas, but he didn't believe me. Well, I think he is now starting to. To make it worse, he can't find his receipt or even REMEMBER if they gave him one.

So now I am faced with having to call Continental and cancel his non-refundable ticket and find out what other options are out there for us. I can say that if we can reschedule it for the late Spring early Summer we can all go, and they will get our business and a couple of more tickets purchased as well-if they are willing to work with me on this issue.

In the meantime, hubby is bummed because he won't be eating mama's tamales this holiday. And asking a gringa like me to make tamales is like asking a French chef to make French fries, lol. It just ain't gonna happen. Heck, I can't even make him a decent tortilla. But I can buy him a Big Mac... (knowing our luck I will cancel the flight and the next day the passport will show up!)

To make matters worse, he rolled his truck this past weekend during our first real snowstorm. He was tired and combined with the wet, icy and snowy road conditions and perhaps a bit of liquid happiness as well, he managed to total it. Serves him right, I told him he should have just slept on the couch at his friends house that evening but he insisted he wanted to come home to go to bed. He'd worked the night before and left early Sat. morning to help his friend move all day, afterwards the guys got together and had some food and a few beers... the snow that had been falling began to fall even harder, and according to the news there were more than 1500 accidents that night. That is a whole heck of a lot of cars going off the road... lucky for him, he was going slowly and didn't get hurt. But maybe next time he will think about doing something stupid. No beers, no driving when tired and staying put in a snowstorm if the road conditions are hazardous.

Tonight he has gone to work in my car...and I have threatened him with an early grave if he so much as puts a dent in it. Wouldn't you know we have had some snow, just enough to grease up the roads and give it a bit of black ice too...

No passport, and now no vehicle... guess he should have listened to the wife!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Update on missing Swiffer Wet Jet goodies...

Now, I wasn't going to mention any vendor names or anything because I know it truly was not her fault why I did not get my product. Like I mentioned in my earlier post a couple of days ago, it most likely was either ripped off at the post office OR due to the enormous volume of mail at this time of year, came open during shipping and the products fell out. My guess is probably that it came out due to shipping...

I had first heard about MooCowMomma's Etsy shop through some bloggy giveaways that she was having. I am trying to be more green as far as household goodies go, and although I didn't win her giveaway, I did keep her in my list of Etsy favorites so I could go back and purchase some Swiffer Wet Jet pads for my mop at a later date. I loved her cute designs and placed my order...but as you all know-just the envelope arrived.

I emailed Barb and told her what had happened. Of course, she was concerned and after a few emails back and forth I sent her a photo of the package with the sticker from USPS saying it was received without contents and opened when it arrived at my zip code. One of my worries was that she would think I was trying to get something for nothing.. I have seen stories and read about people like that on Ebay, refunding sites etc... and know that as a vendor she also can only do what she can to rectify the situation. Of course, I let her know I would order again once my finances (two kids birthdays and Christmas are not good for someone who gets paid biweekly and only has 2 checks in Dec.!) were back in order and also would be willing to pay extra for shipping insurance as well. See, I REALLY want my chile pepper sweepers, lol!

I went back to work and forgot about it, and was surprised to see another email from her when I came back home. And that email made my day...and also proved to me that MooCowMomma cares-I am very impressed by the level of customer service Barb has for her customers. She told me that she would send me a NEW set, and they'd be shipped out on a few days. Well, let me tell you that was a HUGE surprise and something I never imagined would happen. But it did, and that is why I am letting you all know. Because I will definitely be shopping again at her Etsy shop for more sweepers and other products she carries as well. Thanks Barb, I appreciate your great customer service and communication with me in regards to this issue. Check out her website folks, you might find something for yourself or for a friend as well.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On The Mend...

I can finally say that I am starting to feel like myself. This past week I shivered, trembled, puked, coughed, gagged, sweat, sneezed, cried and just plain felt like crap. With a capital C that is.

I have allergies to dust and cat dander. Which is why I should NOT have FOUR cats nor put off dusting for more than a week. Summer isn't that bad, as the windows are open and the fresh air comes in. Winters can be brutal, with my forced hot air heat ducts blowing dust, fur, dander and Lord knows what else up into the house. The air is dry, and nosebleeds are common. A new humidifier is on the wish list-but until then, I deal with the scratchy throat, dry eyes and general miserable feeling daily.

Tuesday began like any other day, I blew my nose a few times, sneezed and got up and got ready for work. Usually for the first few hours my sinuses have to adjust to getting up and being in a different environment, so I will sneeze and sniffle and blow my nose for the first few hours until my nose gets it. Then I am fine for the rest of the day.

Tuesday I went home for lunch, and started to get the sniffles. Well, I really didn't think much of it, and continued back to work. During the afternoon the sniffles became postnasal drip, and a sore throat accompanied by a general feeling of feeling like shit. I knew I was in for something good-because by the end of the day I had every possible muscle aching (even ones I didn't know I had!) and just wanted to curl up in a ball and lie down.

Once I got home, I did exactly just that. But I couldn't sleep, the drip, the aches and the headache and fever kept me awake and miserable. I began to curse not so silently as I lie there, pissed because there would be no turkey dinner and no Black Friday shopping. I knew I was down and out for the count... and not bouncing back anytime soon.

Around 4 am I called my supervisor and left a message, saying I wouldn't be in. Thankfully, a few hours later I finally fell asleep-which is around the time that I normally get up to go to work. I took my temperature several times during the day, and got regular readings of 101-102. My mother wanted me to go to the ER, that was the LAST place I wanted to go if my immune system was already weakened.

Turkey Day came and went, as did Black Friday. Both days I spent huddled in my bed, with a wet facecloth over my eyes, trying to get some sleep. I did get up from time to time, when I couldn't breathe, and managed to read some blogs and enter some giveaways. But I just wasn't feeling it... and probably made tons of entry errors as I halfheartedly tried to get back to normal. Hubby, bless his heart, braved the BF crowds and went to Walmart to get me the $18 microwave. I always like to have a spare, so this will wait in a closet someplace until my present one dies.

Today I feel better-at least I can function although I still feel lazy and wiped out. The fever has gone away, and I am left with a bit of a dry, hacking cough. But I can live with that. I am not sure what I had--a virus, the seasonal flu or even H1N1. I can tell you it was much worse than the common cold, due to the fever and tremendous body aches. And I will probably feel wiped out for another week or so as my body begins its recovery.

I can only hope your holiday was better than mine... so far no one else has gotten ill, although my son did have a 24 hr virus which was quite a bit different from what I felt. (and knowing him, was probably more focused on his eating 3 different holiday meals with obscene amounts of hot sauce...I think his stomach said "Enough!" and refused to cooperate until he rid himself of some of that food, lol) In the meantime, the turkey is waiting until NEXT weekend, when we'll be celebrating Deja's birthday!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Watch your mail!!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some Eco-Friendly Swiffer Wet Jet reusable pads from Etsy and waited for them to arrive. I've been sicker than a dog with either H1N1 or the regular flu since Wednesday afternoon, so I missed out on turkey, Black Friday and of course all the fun that goes along with that stuff.

I got the message from the Etsy seller that my package was shipped and although I have been pretty darn weak, I was going to bribe a teenager into mopping the kitchen floor once my pads arrived. Plus they were in a cute pattern that I had picked out, and I was so looking forward to getting my cute pads AND helping the environment as well by not using the throw away ones.

Man, was I bummed today when I got the envelope from hubby. It was flatter than a pancake and the USPS had put a sticker with checkmarks on the front saying: Received Unsealed and Received Without Contents. Apparently, someone at the postage facility decided they liked my sweeper pads and thought they'd make a good gift for the wife or mother in law...

Of course, I emailed the poor vendor to let her know. I don't blame her for anything, and the package wasn't slit in any way. She did use just the gummed sticky strip from the mailer, and no reinforcement tape so perhaps it actually did come out with shipping and the post office isn't to blame either. These things just happen due to this time of year and all the cards, mail and packages that are going out. I didn't insure my package, and I doubt she did either-I just wanted her to be aware that they didn't arrive. I will probably order more after the holidays-with kids birthdays and Christmas I doubt I will have funds to order much before then. Hubby, bless him, felt so bad he gave me 5 bucks and asked me to see if I could find another one on Etsy because I was so worked up. Amazingly I did find a set of 2 from another vendor, and free shipping to boot... for $5. (and that is probably due to the sales going on for Cyber Monday and Black Friday) But I still want my other ones too!!! Sigh... those, like all good things, will have to wait.

But just make sure when shipping out packages to use plenty of tape, especially this time of year as the volume of packages shipped goes up tremendously. (and the thieves are out as well, if not in the PO then perhaps in your neighborhood following the mail truck and taking your packages if you aren't home) The contents of my package were about $14 or so-not huge, but not something I can afford to replace immediately either.

So the kitchen floor awaits, sticky, grubby and totally nasty. I did manage to get a teenager to sweep it, which is a good thing considering the ones that live in my house have a hard time keeping their own room clean. Hubby has volunteered to mop the floor tomorrow, but it is not his idea of a weekend of rest since he cleans floors for a living lol. Plus all those nasty chemicals, while they will clean the floor, they won't be healthy for kids or cats. (and believe me, he uses the STRONG stuff meant for industrial cleaning!)

So don't forget people, watch your holiday mail, contact people to make sure it gets to its destination, and be sure to be good about packaging due to the heavy mail volume at this time of year. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday-or at least much better than mine, which was mostly spent in bed shivering with a fever of 101-102!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Fun at Build a Bear

This past weekend we went to the Build a Bear Workshop in the Bangor Mall and had fun making Deja's latest friend, Snow Angel. Deja had saved up her allowance money and got her cute little friend a very nice sparkly angel outfit and some matching white shoes...

It was fun for me because we had gotten an awesome coupon for any $12.00 animal for free or $12 off a larger animal. Deja fell in love with the cute little dog that was already $12 so her new furry friend was free-and she used her money she'd saved up to buy the clothing.

Build a Bear is lots of fun, and lots of kids were having fun making their animals, buying additional clothing and interacting with the elves hidden throughout the store. (Deja got a little pamphlet that had a black dot, you swiped the black dot over a spot on the elf and they talked to you)

When we got back home she continued to have fun by going online and registering her animal and playing in Build a Bearville, which kept her busy for several hours. I can't believe how much fun it was for me as a mom to watch her make her stuffed animal...geez, I wish we'd had this when I was a kid! Hmmm, wonder if anyone would say anything to see a forty something mom making her OWN stuffed animal... (guess I can always say it's for the kids!)

Also, my little grandson decided to visit me again and smile for the camera as he sat in his walker. It's too funny, because he goes everywhere, mostly backwards right now--but is determined to find a way to get what he wants... so it looks like I really need to baby proof the house now! He will be 6 months already on Dec. 5th, time sure flies!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Blessed Event has started!

Check out my sidebar for the Blessed Event going on at Happily Domestic. If you have a little one or know of someone who does, there will be $1,000 in prizes to win! Her first giveaway is a Kolcraft Bassinet--what a way to kick off this event!

Head on over and check out the ways you can get extra entries too, but hurry-you need to do it by November 30th! See you there and GOOD LUCK!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grandma got to babysit!

This weekend the kids went to see 2012 so I was home babysitting... it was lots of fun and Deja and I had a great time watching our SciFi movie with the little guy next to us. (unfortunately the heavy rains caused our Dish network to go out several times during the best parts of the movie!)

Now I really wanted to watch 2012 this weekend myself, but hubby was working and so my son and his girlfriend took a desperately needed date night and got some time to themselves to act like...well teenagers. (since in effect they still ARE teenagers at 15 and 16 years old!) Being a parent is hard enough, being a teen parent is even harder.

I managed to get some time in to several craft fairs earlier in the day and succeeded in getting the cats drunk on catnip filled goodies, as Stubby plainly shows in the photo above. For those wondering, Stubby's tail is not cropped, he is an American Bobtail from what I have been told. The kitchen floor was very messy, I was all out of Swiffer wetjet liquid and sweepers. Oh well-mopping floors is not something I like to do, so I was willing to let it go this weekend :) And with all the spilled catnip, it probably was a good thing anyways.

I made the kids promise not to tell me about 2012. I didn't want to spoil the surprise. They came home around midnight and were clearly pumped up from the movie...and they began to tell me all guessed it! I will still see the movie, however maybe now I can wait until it comes out on video if hubby and I can't make it to the movies this weekend.

Work has been super busy, and today was a classic Monday. But we all made it through the day even though it was very exhausting. Not to mention that my darn car didn't start at lunchtime since my alternator had died. It just wasn't my day! This will be my fourth stupid alternator with a LIFETIME GUARANTEE from AutoZone. They are insistent that it is something in my car that is causing the alternators to go bad, but we took it to the dealership and they looked at it, put it on their diagnostic machine and said it was the alternator. So tomorrow I gear up for another fight with them as they try to get out of replacing it for the fifth time in a little over a year. Wish me luck!

I may not get the chance to blog again until the weekend. But wishing you all a great week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Two Soccer Nuts

Just thought I would share a photo of my two soccer fans... Deja loves to sit down with daddy and watch the game-back in Sept. she went to her first LIVE game and here she is enjoying herself at Gillette Stadium in MA with dad. Now to take her to that first concert.... she's been asking to go to one so am looking for a good one to take her to. In July she went to a Fishercats and Seadogs baseball game... and now she is asking to go to NASCAR races too...sigh... now if only the tickets were free or grew on trees, lol!

Hubby is Sick... tests being done.

Hubby is sick.... I just don't know how sick yet. For the past week he's had a swollen area in his left inguinal groin area. Ok, so I was thinking hernia. No big deal, people get them all the time. And he does lift heavy stuff and machinery in his line of work from time to time.

So being the wife I am, I scolded him and told him that if it didn't go away he'd have to go to the doctors. And then I waited about a week, it grew bigger, and I called the doc to make an appointment.

So we went to the doctor yesterday and of course it was a newbie. (we go to a place where we have residents working for a couple of years under the regular doctors.) He examines him and then goes out to get the regular doc. The regular doc comes in and feels around and then they both leave the room to "talk." By then, I am squirming a little uncomfortably in my seat.

Newbie doc #1 comes in and tells us it is not a hernia. Um, that much I figured out by the way they were acting. Then he says we needed to go to the hospital-that same day after we left our appointment with him-to get blood work and a CAT Scan done. Having lost my dad this past Feb. to a 5cm mass in his lung I knew what they were thinking.

So I call in to work for the rest of the day, knowing I most likely will be at the hospital. We go to Preregistration and he gets his blood work done and we head to the Radiography area. As we are walking, the lady from registration comes running to us and gives us a paper saying to take it to the Radiography Dept. with us. I glance down at the paper and it says, "Patient has a 3cm mass in left inguinal canal not consistent with a hernia." Uh-oh. And the doctor wanted the results the same day, not a week or so down the line like a normal scan would go.

So we head to Radiography who doesn't even know we are coming. They are super busy, but the nice girl who does the CAT scans tells us hubby has to drink that yucky white stuff and come back in a little over an hour. So we head home and lucky for him his buddy Mario is outside working on a car so while he is drinking that nasty substance he has someone to talk to, not to mention laughing at him because of the faces he makes while drinking it. I of course being my paranoid self hop on the computer and start researching things out. Some explanations of what he has going on are not serious, some are. It gives me a little hope knowing this could just be an infection and that he will be fine when he gets some antibiotics.

So we head back to the hospital and I go with him for the CAT scan. That goes just fine, but we don't leave till a little after three. And of course we are both starving, so head to Wendy's so he can eat. Around 5 pm before the doctor office closes I call and leave a message with the receptionist telling her I am waiting for a call. The doctor doesn't call me until around 6:30, apologizing because it took the radiologist longer than anticipated to read the film. He then goes on to tell me all blood work is fine, and that he was calling in hubby a Z-pack to take beginning today. He explains that the Scan showed enlarged lymph nodes, one bigger than the others and a few that are also a little big. He is going to need a follow up appointment in a week he says, and then irregardless of taking the Z-pack we are going to schedule a biopsy. So now we wait.... he starts the Z-pack today and then a biopsy is going to be in the not too distant future.

I seriously hope it is just an infection. Or something weird going on in his body that goes away and is nothing to worry about. I'm headed to work now, to take my mind off things. I tend to dwell on them too much. I will post again with an update as I know what's going on...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Lately life has been so busy it only seems like I have time to blog on the weekends... It is funny how there are never enough hours in the day to do what you NEED to do-and by the time you do them, you are too darn pooped to do the things you WANT to do!

I still can't believe we have snow on the ground here. Earlier this week it snowed and although it has melted quite a bit it still lingers on the sides of the roads and in the yards. Yesterday my son, his girlfriend and Deja played out in the yard making snowmen. I came home from lunch to find two huge snowmen in front of where I park my car. This being a family blog and all, I did not take any photos when I saw that my teen son made his snowman "truly a man" in that he made him anatomically correct. I saw him waiting in his window with a big smile as I pulled into the yard and saw what he had done. (lucky for him, his sister did NOT) Said appendage was promptly removed and I threatened to turn my son into a Eunich if he so much as attempted building another anatomically correct snowman again. Unfortunately for me, the lady next door had let her daughter out into the yard and her daughter saw something she probably shouldn't have. These people are kind of funny in some ways, and I thought for sure she would flip a lid. But since she lets her 2 year old son run around the yard buck naked in the summertime in the middle of the hood I am sure his 4 year old sister knew exactly what she was looking at. But at least she didn't complain to me... which was a relief. Nothing against anatomically correct snowmen of course, but my son made the stupid thing look like it combined a few Viagra with some Extenz lol (hubby smiled when he saw it... he thought it was a hoot. And I am sure Fedex and UPS and the mailman who all showed up that day enjoyed it as well.)

So I am off to do laundry, and then work some OT tomorrow. Hubby is off in RI buying me some chiles rellenos, tamales and other Guatemalan foods bless his heart. Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

NovaSure, Post Op Experience

It's been a about 6 weeks or so that I had my NovaSure surgery, and I really don't know what to think. The doctor who did it told me to expect some leaking and stuff (eww! I know, TMI) for 4-6 weeks and I would know how my periods would turn out in about 3 months.

I have to admit, I was excited. I had heard of others who had heavy periods who now have nothing at all. Or if they do, the results are minimal and they can live with it. So I have endured the past 6 weeks of light spotting, and the watery leaking with panty liners and low flow pads. I figured after having my uterine walls burned off and a D & C to boot that inside is just one big ole wound that needs to heal. I've seen my kids get cuts and scrapes, and seen how they leak at times onto the Bandaids, so figured well, that is what my uterus is doing right now.

My period was pretty regular at about every 3 weeks or so... it would always come a week earlier than the month before so I could effectively plan for Aunt Flo's visit. Now, that system is a bit screwed up. I have to admit I was surprised on Halloween to have a backache and the low, dull pain in my lower back and abdomen that announces her arrival every month. I was foolish enough to honestly believe that I could get a reprieve and that she would never grace my doorstep again... or at least MY uterus lol... (with a 7 yr. old daughter, I know she will be waiting in the wings somewhere until the time is right.)

Sure enough, she made her appearance known yesterday. I've gone from panty liners to the heavier pads I wore pre-surgery. I know I am not filling them up as quickly as before, but it is still surprising to have a period this early into the game. Especially when everything had been cleaned out. I have this feeling that it is still early, give it time-and my periods will be right back to where I was prior to my surgery. I'm obviously disappointed and hope that I'm wrong of course, but given what has happened so far I am drawing my own conclusions.

So I am going to wait the full 3 months and see what happens when my body finally regulates itself. And look for good deals on pads at the stores in the meantime, lol. Because for some reason-I don't think Aunt Flo has stopped her monthly visits with me yet!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Giveaways around the Blogosphere

Head on over to Shop Annie's before November 29th to win a Brugo Mug! If you win, I will be jealous, because I love the Jazz collection's bright colors!

Keeper of the Home currently has a great giveaway going on through Nov. 3rd where you can enter to win a Memento keychain or earrings!

If you love cooking, check out Mommys A Waitress. You can win a prize pack from Callisons (1 PACKAGE OF THE SEASONED HICKORY BBQ MEDUIM SKEWERS AND 1 BOTTLE OF THE 3.7 OZ GARLIC HERB SEASONED SALTS)but be sure to get in that entry before Nov. 22nd!

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Well, the rain held off a little bit and we were able to hit some awesome houses before heading home with the bags full of candy!

(which will be inspected by dear old Mom lol)

Here is a cool skull outside a house on Military Ave in Fairfield, ME. And on High St. in Waterville, ME I never thought Jason or Freddy Kreuger would make an appearance either. Tiffany was a little nervous being thisclose to Jason, but she overcame her fear when she realized he wasn't real... And of course, this trio of long dead rockers...I seriously doubt they were waiting to climb the Stairway to Heaven!

Trick or Treat!

Thanks to Lana from BonVivant Baskets, Deja was the lucky winner of an adorable Halloween goblet with plenty of goodies inside! She has lots of other fun items too, so be sure to check her site out-plenty of gifts for those friends and family both near and far!

I am currently waiting for the kids to get ready... a lovely photo of my teen son showing off his ghoulish makeup! And of course Nurse Deja checking to see if Brujita the cat has a heartbeat. (Hmmm, Brujita's eyes are glowing rather strangely in the photo, perhaps since her name means Little Witch in Spanish she has turned into a creature of the night...)

Hubby is on his way home, and it is getting darker outside. The only thing that stinks is the weather is a bit dreary... but I am hoping to get some great pics for the blog if the weather cooperates. Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Concert Pics Pepe Aguilar 10-17-09

Pepe Aguilar concert 10-17-09

It was a week ago that I attended this concert... but it feels like yesterday. At this time last week, I was flying out of San Jose, CA after a whirlwind trip provided to me by Mexican music artist Pepe Aguilar.

A couple of weeks ago Pepe was having a contest to name his logo-since he has now branched out into having a line of shoes and clothing. I took a look at his logo and immediately thought of a Toro, a bull-a strong, magnificent animal that plays an important part of Latino culture. I almost didn't enter, figuring my odds weren't going to be that good. I was surprised to get the call a day later telling me I was a finalist. They said they'd let me know in about an hour and I waited patiently to hear what was going on. I eagerly watched Pepe's Facebook page, Twitter page and home page hoping to get some news.

A little while later, I saw that a woman in Chile had been declared the winner. It seems that we both had come up with the SAME NAME but she had entered it before I did. I was happy for her and surprised that I had come SO close to winning. Then, Pepe posted a video on Twitter stating that the winner did not have the documents to travel to the US and thus couldn't go to the concert that Saturday since it was only a few days away. Such drama! I received a phone call shortly afterward where I was told I was the winner... and I was so excited I could barely hear him talking! Of course, my husband wasn't home and I couldn't wait to tell him-but you know how it goes, whenever you really need to reach someone the phone is busy or their cell phone is off. In his case, the battery was dead.

The days went by and by Thursday afternoon and no paperwork I was starting to get nervous. I really didn't want to bother anyone and so I had to endure my husband telling me that someone was playing a joke on me, and that it wasn't going to happen. But me, well I had faith that it would. At the end of work around 4:30 pm I texted the phone number that had called me asking if it was really true, and did I win because I hadn't heard anything. I'd seen on Pepe's Twitter that he had been sick with a bad cold during the week, so thought maybe because he was sick he was going to cancel his concert. A short while later I got a call from Hazel, who works in his US office, telling me that I did indeed win and she was making the arrangements as we spoke. Throughout the evening, Hazel called me several times giving me updates on hotel, air, and other info. I really was impressed with the dedication and friendliness of Pepe's staff-they went out of their way to ensure that everything was perfect.

The next day I was flying out and since Hazel had sent me the information via the computer, I rushed in to work that morning to print out the information. I couldn't believe that a cab was picking me up at my home that morning to take me to the airport since I live about 80 miles away from the local jetport. But the cab did pick hubby and I up and we headed on to the airport, ready for our first trip to California and our first Latin concert. It was funny, because Pepe wasn't sure I was a fan of his...but if he could only see the music I have on my iPod and Zune he'd know that I listen to music in Spanish and I couldn't tell you what today's hottest pop tunes in English are if you asked me. And I have several of his songs in my iTunes library-I listen to the music, but as far as singing along, well, that is another story, lol! (ok, ok, maybe in the shower or when swinging the broom around doing housework)

We got to the Portland, ME airport and as we were eating breakfast got a call from US Airways canceling all our flights and rescheduling them for later times due to air traffic in Philadelphia. So our 7 pm arrival in San Jose was looking more like 10 pm which was kind of a bummer since we'd wanted to eat dinner in the restaurant that evening. (In addition to airfare, hotel and concert tickets with backstage passes Pepe was also covering meals eaten in the hotel) After a LONG flight with 2 stops, we were both exhausted and I can say that I was quickly getting over any fear of flying that I had. An Executive Car picked us up in the San Jose airport and took us to our hotel, it was so cool to see a driver having my name on a card waiting for me when I got to the airport. We got to the Hotel De Anza downtown and were impressed with the quality and beautiful interior. Check In was a breeze and since it was past restaurant hours the clerk informed us of a Raid Our Pantry option where you take your room key and get access to a room that has milk, coffee, juices and a make your own sandwich bar where you can use meat, veggies, cheese and lots of other goodies to combine to your liking. We made our sandwiches, got some milk, cookies and fruit cups and headed upstairs to eat before we headed to bed.

I honestly never felt my head hit the pillow, the bed was so darn comfy! I woke up kind of early the next morning and decided since we were still so pooped that we'd call room service for breakfast. The breakfast was huge and delicious! I had wanted to do something but we were kind of restricted to the downtown area so wasn't sure what to do before the concert. I was kind of interested in the flea market but hubby wanted to sleep some more. (He'd worked the night before and only slept for a couple hours before getting on the plane) A short while later, I got a call from a member of Pepe's staff asking how we were doing and telling us to get out and see the area. He offered some great advice... throw some water on hubby to wake him up and get up to San Francisco to see the Bay and eat some seafood. Well, I didn't have to throw water on him, and he did seem pretty excited about renting a car. So off we went, in search of a rental car. The hotel desk was excellent for helping us, and before long we were in a rental car with a GPS and heading towards San Francisco.

The drive up to SF was nice, and the weather was perfect-warm, but not humid and sunny, just how you expect California to be. We crossed the Bay bridge and boy, is it long and huge! The view though is spectacular and I really didn't expect California to be as hilly as it is with homes built into hillsides and canyons and all, so I was pretty shocked to see some houses perched pretty precariously on the hillsides. Especially since they have earthquakes there... Hubby assured me that Guatemala is pretty much the same, as his own family lives in a home built onto the side of a mountain and has huge poles in the ground supporting its weight in the back. Me, well I guess I am used to flat land even though Maine has lots of hills, and some mountains too. We ended up visiting the Embarcadero downtown area and I noticed a cross section of every type of person there... the families walking around together, the tourists, the wealthy and the poor...and the homeless. We ended up eating at a nice restaurant on their outside patio so we could enjoy the view. Hubby got to try a Dungeness crab, which is native to the Pacific Northwest and he really liked it. I had a Kobe beef burger, very tasty and it was the biggest burger I'd ever seen!

Heading back towards San Jose, Pepe's staff called us again and he seemed pleased when we told him we'd taken his advice and checked out the SF area. We got to the hotel and had time for quick showers and then headed to the venue where I went to the will call window and found out they had no record of me in the system... After a few phone calls back and forth to Pepe's crew, we had tickets in hand and headed inside. I was pretty impressed with the HP Pavilion and their workers, everyone was very polite and helped us to find our seats no problem. Hubby was happy because we were on the floor center section and the stage was within easy viewing. Rene, a member of Pepe's staff came out and visited with us a bit and he was so nice! He told us he'd bring us our wristbands later in the show and that we'd head toward the backstage area about 15 minutes after Pepe got done the show.

The show was awesome! And I really didn't want to see it end, even they say all good things must come to an end. The next performer Marco Antonio Solis was coming out shortly so we headed towards the backstage area, only to have security tell us that Pepe had gone up to the penthouse and wasn't expecting any visitors. Someone must have checked, because Rene came rushing out to get us and we were able to walk by everyone and headed into Pepe's dressing room to meet him. Now, I have to admit I was as nervous as hell. I imagine that is how people get when they meet my brother Andy Lee, from Circle II Circle. But to me, heck, that is my brother not some guitar god. I knew Pepe could speak English and I was unsure, do I talk in English, Spanish or both... We took some promo pics and even though I wish I could have been photoshopped at least 100 pounds lighter, I went along with it. Pepe was super friendly, and very easy going. I really was at a loss for words and quite nervous. But very glad that I met him, because I know that he really cares about his fans and loves to interact with them, particularly on Twitter. He's really down to earth and the kind of guy you could have a great time hanging out with.

The next day, after a super concert we headed back to the airport bright and early. It was a crazy day in the airports, as plenty of people were on standby due to the nasty weather back East. We arrived home in Maine around 11:30 pm to snow and rain...ugh. What a change from the bright, warm California weather we'd just left!
Our taxi was waiting to take us home, and we are glad that we didn't have to drive because we both fell asleep in the cab! Once we got home, we jumped into the waterbed and didn't wake up until noon on Monday. It was a great experience, and I would definitely do it all over again. Thanks so much to Pepe Aguilar and his staff, Hazel, Rene and Julian for making the arrangements, showing us such great hospitality and for giving us a trip to remember for many, many years to come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back from California and Exhausted!

OMG, the trip was wonderful! I am most likely going to write more about it this weekend... when I have the chance since work is super busy and I am suffering from jet lag. We got in Friday the 16th at 10 pm instead of the 7 pm due to US Airways calling me to tell me they changed the flights. Then on the way home, the airports were filled with standbys and very harried United attendants looking to fly people home. I had a hard time with the time difference-and slept until at least noon on Monday. Even as I write this a day later I keep nodding off at the computer lol.

Here's a nice pic of hubby in San Francisco near the Embarcadero downtown area. It is so nice, and the weather was lovely too. We ate at some fancy restaurant and he tried (and succeeded in) eating a whole Dungeness crab with pasta... We don't have those here in Maine, and I really wanted him to try something that was native to the Pacific Northwest area. Me...well I ate a Kobe beef burger and it was the hugest thing I have ever seen! I couldn't even finish it all. The Bay Area was gorgeous and I am glad that we rented a car for a few hours on Saturday before the concert. I'd never been to the Pacific coast before, and figured this might be my only chance! The Bay Bridge is huge and I am so glad I wasn't driving on it :) And I am also glad we didn't have any earthquakes while I was in California, since I was on the 8th floor of the hotel. (See, that is what I get for watching too many disaster movies on SyFy!) The worst part... coming back to Maine and it was snowing!!!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jetting off in a few hours...

OMG, I can't believe it! Pepe Aguilar's office has sent a taxi for me to pick me up at the airport at 8:30 in the morning. AND bring me back home when we get back Sunday night around 11:30 pm. I was totally shocked... because I live about an hour and a half away from the jetport and I thought sure I was going to be driving down to the airport with hubby before the flight. Then when we get to our destination there is going to be a car and driver waiting for me-holding up a card with my name on it...

I've been up WAY too late, doing laundry and making sure the house and the kids can survive without me for the weekend. I've also been checking out the hotel I will be staying at and looking at all the yummy Italian food I can eat while I am there. Ok, ok, I know it won't do wonders for my waistline but maybe I can diet afterwards. lol. I am so tired though, my body is weary from too much housework and my post surgery blahs. (Actually, even though I had surgery I probably should be taking the iron pills for my anemia-THAT is probably the problem!)

I called hubby at work tonight and told him about the cab that is picking us up at home in the morning. You could have heard a pin drop. He was truly shocked, and knowing how he will be so tired after getting home at 3 am tomorrow I know he will appreciate the ride! The sad thing is that Pepe is sick with a cold, and I certainly hope he gets better because I know that being sick and having to perform in front of thousands of people cannot be fun at all. So I definitely wish him a swift recovery and lots of rest!

So everyone, I am leaving the cold 30 degree temperatures of Maine for warmer weather in Cali. As long as there are no earthquakes while I am there I will be fine, lol. I will be traumatized enough as it is just by having 2 layovers and having to take off and land 3x each way! Phew, I am terrified of flying so guess I had better bring a good book to read to keep me busy! (hubby loves flying, I cry whenever we hit some turbulence!) Keep checking back in the next few days, I can't wait to tell you all about my concert in California experience! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some Good News...

As I sit here writing I am nervous, excited and waiting for things to sink in. Living in a bilingual multicultural household, I have always been a fan of Latin music, movies and yes, even the novelas! (and to share a secret with you, hubby watches those soap operas with me! shhh, don't tell him I told you!)

With my hubby Jose AND my ex-hubby both being Guatemalans, I was constantly listening to Spanish TV-we got DirecTV way back in the day when the dishes were almost a thousand dollars just so my ex could watch shows in Spanish! Unfortunately, he got the dish in the divorce :( But I got a new hubby and Dish Network to go along with him :) and it's been about 12 years now, and we are still watching TV together... As I write this, he is watching music videos on BandaMax and at lunchtime I can catch him watching La Tormenta, one of the current novelas he is interested in. The only thing that is irritating is watching cute, skinny young things with enhanced breasts dance around in bikinis during his morning DesControl show. Lately though, they have shown some muscular Papis so I have been paying MUCH more attention!

Anyways, I happened to see a sweepstakes posted for Pepe Aguilar (a Mexican artist I listen to) to name his new Signature Collection logo. I almost didn't make it, and I entered at the last minute. To me, the logo looked like the horns of a bull, and since a bull is a strong, noble animal and also plays a very important part of Latino culture, I thought it was only fitting. Plus, a logo really has to have a short name and be easy for people to remember. So I suggested (el) Toro. I really wanted just the word Toro, but because of my Spanish grammar and the fact that a gringa like me didn't want to seem stupid I added the El which is the equivalent of THE, so "the bull" was my choice, even though Toro alone sounded much better.

I got a call on my cell last night from a number I wasn't familiar with, and it was a gentleman telling me I was a finalist for the sweepstakes and asking me where I lived, if I could get time off from work, etc... I was so shocked, because I have always wanted to go to a concert by a major Latin American artist, and I know hubby would LOVE it! I waited and waited and watched the results being posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages. Apparently there was a person from Chile (it was open worldwide) who suggested the same name as I did, but before I did. Great minds think alike :) What was very, very unfortunate is the fact that she did not have the necessary travel documents to make a quick trip here to the States for the concert. While I am very happy that I won, I feel so bad for her because I know that this was indeed a dream come true for her as well. So, Katherinne Scarlet Rioseco Vera-congratulations to you too, as the true winner in this sweepstakes. And thank you for your kind words congratulating me as well.

I am anxiously awaiting paperwork since I am supposed to fly out on Friday sometime for the concert Saturday night at 8 pm in San Jose, CA. However, according to Twitter and Facebook, Pepe is pretty sick with a bad cold right now. I am hoping that he will be well enough to perform-in his line of work being sick is not fun :( So get well Pepe because I can't wait to meet you on Saturday night!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In a creative funk...

Lately I have been super tired, cranky and just plain wiped out after my surgery on the 23rd. I had planned on bouncing right back no problem, and to still feel yucky after a simple day surgery really is unacceptable to me. But I guess, since Nova Sure plays havoc with my uterus, hormones and all things PMS I figure it is to be expected.

Blogging just hasn't been a huge priority for me lately. And while I am a workaholic if I can be, given the opportunity, I just haven't felt the need to push myself as much as I should. I still feel as though I am in a fog, and just not really with it.

Maybe it's just my turn to be lazy. And to sit around and do completely nothing. Lord only knows how long ago that was. Maybe I need to take something to give me a bit more energy... or maybe my body is getting ready for winter mode where I tend to hibernate anyways due to the colder weather.

I cannot help but feel guilty for not WANTING to do anything-it is a complete lack of motivation here. Thing is, I am not really depressed. Sure, I lost my dad and my grandmother this year but I try not to dwell on it. The holidays will be difficult, especially with hubby going to visit his family in Guatemala this year. But I will still have a good holiday, and when hubby comes back we can celebrate Christmas, New Years, our anniversary and my birthday all rolled into one.

I did get some great news today, which I will post tomorrow-but it involves a quick trip, concert all the way across the country and a plane ride.... I'm nervous, but excited too.

So, off to relax a bit before heading to bed. It's still raining here and I am hoping the soothing sound of rain hitting the metal roof and my air conditioner (which hubby needs to take out soon!) will lull me off to dreamland. Pleasant dreams and good night everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Heading South this weekend...

Nope, not to Florida---though I wouldn't mind some sunshine after today's rain and cooler temperatures. Saturday night I am heading to Rhode Island yet again for the long holiday weekend.

Hubby has to bring a Toyota truck down to his sister's house and I need to follow him in my car so he will have a ride back on Monday. And I also have to get the charger for my laptop, which I conveniently left in the hotel room on the 26th when I was visiting for a Seattle Sounders vs. New England Revolution MLS game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. I am an EventChaser (to sign up yourself, look on my sidebar and fill out the easy on site application) which means I can get FREE tickets to events. It was a blast, and I loved going back to Gillette because that place is HUGE now. You can read the review HERE and even see a picture of me in the process, lol. Thanks so much to EventChaser and for the great tickets and fun!

I am so far behind on everything, I need to stop at the Apple Store in Providence to get another charger for my iPod touch. Seems my teenager borrowed it awhile ago, and now he can't find the charger and left me the dead iPod touch... I have been searching for 3 weeks at least for it, and finally he fesses up to the fact that he "might have" thrown it out mistakenly! And here I am needing to write up two reviews and the machine went dead on me halfway through checking the applications. So obviously I can't write a review on something I haven't had a chance to review completely. Work was terrible today as well...lots of difficult stuff to deal with and try to figure out-one of those days when you really need to use your brain for sure! (SO glad it is a long weekend coming up!) So everyone, if I don't write again before the weekend, have a good LONG weekend with friends and family, do something special or just stay home and relax...but whatever you do, wishing you a great weekend! (oh and if you are thinking of going to Gillette Stadium sometime and want the low down on my visit there, be sure to check out my review above!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zooni ConFEETi 3D Socks Review

Awhile back I had visited the Zooniwear site and saw the gorgeous selection of hats they have for little ones. As moms, we all like to have our little ones look cute and Zooniwear certainly helps with that!

Being a kid is all about having fun, and Zooniwear lets your kids have fun with fashion. When I was offered the chance to review a pair of their new 3D line of ConFEETi socks for my little grandson, I definitely knew I would be getting something fun.

The packaging was cute and I can say it was fun opening up the package to check out the cute little puppy socks I received inside. I was thrilled I got the puppy socks, because they were my absolute favorite.

I was impressed with the quality and thickness of the socks-not to mention that the cute little 3D design in the front was adorable. My little grandson is about 4 months old right now, and very into his feet. When we put these on, he immediately wanted to touch them and check things out. I will say that they were a little big for him right now, so we are waiting for his feet to grow into them some more. I have never seen 3D socks before, so this definitely was something new for this old Grandma!

I really like the fact that Zooniwear focuses on fashion AND fun. And 3D socks are definitely in the FUN category! Right now my little grandson doesn't wear shoes too much, mostly heavy socks-so these will be great when he has his feet grow a little bit. I couldn't try them on with shoes because they were a bit too big and the only thing I would like to see when they fit his feet correctly is that the 3D design in the front won't interfere with his shoes at all. I honestly think that they are high enough up not to, and that when he wears shoes the 3D doggie face will actually be above where the shoes begin. But since his feet are a bit too tiny right now, I can't tell if there will be a problem.

Thanks so much to Zooniwear and Parent Reviewers for letting me review the cute ConFEETi 3D socks! My little grandson, who is busy checking out his new socks also says thanks!

Friday Surprise Visitor

The weekend excitement has already begun... as I write this I am waiting for the wildlife rehabilitation guy to come and get a ruffled grouse from my shed.

Jose was working on his Toyota project and he came into the house about an hour ago, excitedly telling me in Spanish that he had something for me to see. I threw on my shoes and peeked inside the shed and heard what I thought was chirping.

Sure enough, this brownish-reddish bird about the size of a hen had waddled into my shed and was now pooping all over the place. I'd never seen anything like it, but a quick internet search showed me images of a grouse-and since they are native to Maine, I figured that is what I had staring back at me.

Jose explained that the bird just happened to waddle right past him and into the shed like nothing bothered him. Considering I have four cats (one only goes outdoors) and the neighborhood is full of cats, mean kids and pit bulls I knew this bird wasn't going to go far if we let him loose again. I firmly told my hubby that we would not EAT this bird, and not to even THINK about making a nice meal out of it. (I think if hubby would have been in Guatemala that poor bird would have found his way into a pot of stew quicker than it took me to shut the shed door.)

I then decided I was going to call a local wildlife rehabilitation center, and lucky for me the guy answered. He is currently finishing up his chores and then coming to get this little grouse before someone decides to hurt him. A few weeks ago, there was a very drugged up man (now called Bird Man by the neighborhood residents) who apparently decided he was going to eat a live pigeon in front of everyone. And he began doing so...much to the disgust and horror of everyone watching. The police were called and they began following him, but couldn't arrest him they said unless the bird DIED. Hello, he was EATING the bird alive in front of them and they wouldn't arrest his ass---something is definitely messed up there. So considering Bird Man still lives in the neighborhood, it is a Friday night and only the Good Lord knows what Bird Man has been doing all day (crack, pot, meth, pills, alcohol, it could be any of a combination of all!) I am bound and determined to save our little friend from Bird Man.

Update: It is now almost 8:30 pm and the man from the Wildlife Care Center showed up and went into my shed and got the grouse... jokingly he said to hubby that it would make a fine lunch. I thought hubby was going to kill I guess he figured I would be giving HIS lunch away but then the man explained that he'd check it out and then bring it to the woods someplace to release it if all is well. The wildlife center is out in the woods, so he will probably release it out that way. My daughter is not very happy, she figured she'd be getting a photo opp with the bird when all was said and done, but the bird ended up in the guy's arms not moving at all so he didn't need to go into a cage. I did manage to snap a quick pick though, before he was placed in the pet carrier in the back of their truck... so here is a pic of my Friday night guest visitor. Have a great weekend everyone!