Monday, May 31, 2010


I had a strange night last night... We were up WAY past our bed time and when we got into bed around 2:30 AM I couldn't sleep. If you looked between the slats of the blinds in just the right way the light from the alarm system looked like two glowing robot eyes staring back at me. When I would close my eyes and open them again the room was filled with foggy circles above my head. Maybe the spirits came to visit us last night?

Lily and I had a snuggle fest and watched LOST again last night. Since they all died I figured this was a good post for Memorial Day... ;-) I wasn't paying perfect attention when it aired the first time so I got a little more this time. I'm still confused about a lot of things but I always was and kind of accepted that and I think I'll just leave it that way. I guess we're all just lost souls in between life and death... looking for the next thing. That may simplify it a little too much but that's what I'll take from it. I'm sad for Ben and wish he would have gone in there with everyone instead of staying outside. No one wants to feel like they don't deserve something. Lily was especially happy when Vincent came running over at the end...she watched the whole scene. And I did like how it went full circle - with Jack opening his eyes to see Vincent in the first show and closing them with the dog next to him in the last.

So HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! For the second time in my life I'm not making it to the cemetery on a holiday. Just can't do it today. I hope you all can forgive me. ;-) Here's a photo from when Lily was just a pup...
I can only think of one thing when I look at this picture...

Sunday, May 30, 2010



HOME is where the heart is...
HOME sweet HOME...
It's good to be HOME...
There's no place like HOME...

To me, there really is no place like home. I don't care where I go or if I've been away for two days or two weeks - I always want to go HOME. Home is comfort... Home is where your family is.... Home is safe and secure. Home is where memories live... I may complain about bathrooms that need fixed and yard work that needs done but I also go from room to room and smile at what I see. I was away from home for less than 48 hours and from the minute I left I was thinking about going back. Home is also a puppy circling around and getting settled in her bed... Home is a sigh - which I made when I walked in a little while ago. More on sighs some other day...

What do you think about when you think about HOME and the things and the people that live in it? I was thinking about this on my way here... Could you leave your home and everything in it... just taking a few things (and your puppy, of course!) and never look back???

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I really don't have anything to say tonight.

I did like this post I read today (though I hate Coldplay)... You can read it here if you like.

Friday, May 28, 2010



Everything in life I share except, of course, my teddy bear.

Paul has been around the block. I'm not 100% sure how old he is and I think he likes it that way... He's traveled all over the country... and Canada. Stayed in cabins and five-star hotels. He used to pack his own suitcase complete with change of clothes, accessories, swim suits... He used to be a cross dresser of sorts back in the day; He had some pretty feminine outfits and scarves. Where, oh where, is that suitcase???

My mother and I were always going to write books about all his adventures - kind of like I was going to do with RoseBud... They both would have had some good stories to tell. ;-)

Paul would be one of the top things I would rescue if the house was on fire. He is one of the few things that is completely off limits with Lily though she tries to take him away whenever she gets a chance. There are some things a girl has to keep all to herself. And Paul is one of them. ;-)


I've been trying to think of all my COMFORT foods... Glo and I went out awhile ago and I can't remember what I ordered but it was something that didn't quite go with mashed potatoes because when I ordered a side of them the waitress looked at me kind of funny and said, "it's your lunch!?!?" They definitely are my go-to food of choice.

Anyway, what brings you comfort and what comfort foods would you want as your last meal?

I would want:
Pork chops and applesauce (made by me)
Baked chicken, mashed potatoes and corn (made by my mother)
A baby reuben from Bado's
White pizza from Azzeria
A cheese steak from North Carolina and CC Peppers and Bubba's and while we're at it Mineo's
Daddy's Cuccaro, Pan e mal and General Tso's chicken
The stuffed rigatoni from that place in Williamsburg
Crispy cornflake french toast from Wolfgang Puck's
An almond torte from Prandtl's
One of those little pig cakes from Naa's
Cinnamon ice cream from King's
Iced tea from the Cheesecake Factory

... and I think I would make some rice krispie treats which I rarely ever have unless we are in Florida and they are in the shape of Mickey Mouse... I still have the pot that I made them in 30+ years ago. I can see myself sitting up on the kitchen counter right next to the stove - stirring away. I never could get rid of that pot for that reason...

OK, now I'm thinking about Jiffy Pop popcorn... and Spaghetti O's (NO meatballs)... Kraft macaroni and Cheese in the blue box... We didn't have much junk food when I was little - my grandmother always lived with us so she was always cooking and then my dad took over but I do remember those things and those strange foil tv dinners with the little dessert in them. I remember getting those on Saturday nights some times as a treat! ;-)

My mother had a few things she would make... the chicken (above) and a beef stew and beef-a-roni... I will always remember her draining the macaroni and screaming and laughing because she forgot to put the colander in the sink and it all went down the drain! I obviously got my cooking skills from my Dad and my friends on the Food Network. ;-)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I ♥♥♥ FOOD

Totally fell off the wagon today...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Harry Lauder is getting a little unruly.

Every time I go out the front door he scares me and I think he's going to start moving like the tree lady in Animal Kingdom!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010



My favorite season was ALWAYS the Fall until I started to "hate the Fall..." I was thinking that Spring could be my new favorite with the magical spring awakening concept and the smells of (poisonous) fertilizer and (carcinogenic) grills that, for some reason, I kind of like. Now that all the Spring flowers have come and gone, though, I'm not so sure. Summer is kind of too hot... Winter is kind of too cold... I think that pretty much cancels out the whole year. A lot to look forward to, huh?

I've been watching a couple different couples move into their new houses on different streets around us. They've been busy cleaning up and clearing out... starting all the yard work and making their houses their own. It reminded me of this picture of the result of one of the first yard work days at Dixon House.

Yep. I think I'm starting to hate the Spring, too. ;-(

Since it's the 25th (of May) and the Christmas Tree is still up ~ I thought I'd add this Snow Pig photo I found in the old house album. Merry Christmas!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm taking this e-class and there was a journal prompt exercise over the weekend about favorite songs... Which songs (quickly, off the top of your head) wouldn't you mind listening to (and why) if you were stuck in a car and couldn't turn off the radio? Or turn it down I guess - which they didn't talk about... Which I know from experience when Tara picked me up from school one year and we had the car filled to the brim and couldn't get to the radio and had to listen to the soundtrack from Beaches for three hours... I think we could have turned it down then but never really thought about it. LOL

Anyway, top 25 songs I wouldn't care about listening to over and over (though I cheated a little because I have a couple from the same artist.) I left the whys out of this post... This list totally cracks me up because it's so all over the place...

{After the top 5 - the rest in no particular order.}

1. (Stevie Wonder's) As performed by the Fire Choir
2. 32 Flavors - Ani DiFranco
3. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
4. True Faith & Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
5. #41 - DMB
6. Get Here - Oleta Adams
7. Back That Azz Up - Juvenile
8. Eh Cumpari - Julius Larosa
9. Numb/Encore - Jay Z & Linkin Parks
10. Video - India.Arie
11. You Are My Sunshine & Ladybug Picnic- Elizabeth Mitchell
12. Fast Car- Tracy Chapman
13. (Des'ree's) You Gotta Be performed by Patti Austin
14. Bless The Broken Road & My Wish- Rascal Flatts
15. Tapestry of Nations from WDW Millennium Celebration album
16. Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone & Lovely Day - Bill Withers
17. Got To Be Real - Cheryl Lynn
18. All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
19. (Sting's) Fields of Gold performed by Eva Cassidy
20. September - Earth, Wind & Fire
21. She's a Bad Mama Jama - Carl Carlton
22. Ain't No Stoppin Us Now - Luther Vandross
23. This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
24. A Tale from La Nouba - Cirque du Soleil
25. Best of My Love - The Emotions

I intentionally left out the cast recording of Rent and Britney and Nsync and the Laguna Beach songs. LOL! After I came up with the list I looked through the zillion cds we have and realized I could have gone for ever... I forgot about The Commodores Brick House and Jean-Luc Ponty's New Country and You'll Never Find from Lou Rawls and I Want You Back from The Jackson 5... I could go on and on. ;-) I also rediscovered an album I haven't thought of in a very, very long time. I played it while I was cleaning this morning and even though it made me sleepy and want to get back in bed... I forgot how much I loved it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010



Ok - I'll admit I'm a little weird. When I took this picture I thought about my psych days and Carl Jung's concept of the shadow self. "That which we think we are not..." How you project onto others what you really are. Like pro-life people that pass judgement but bomb abortion clinics... what makes them any different for killing??? I'll leave the Jungian concept for someone else to cover though. ;-)

I'd rather talk about this shadow story... I was reading about the Vietnamese legend of the Lady of Nam Xuong. She was pregnant and her husband was sent off to war. She had the baby and raised the boy by herself for three years. The boy was always scared at night and would cry for his father. The mother would get up, light the oil lamp and try to console him. When the husband returned from battle the wife went to the market to buy an offering for the ancestral altar to celebrate his homecoming. The father asked the boy why he didn't call him Papa. The boy said "you're not my Papa - my Papa comes every night and my Mama cries with him and talks to him... when she sits down he sits down. When she lies down, he lies down."

When the husband heard this he thought she was unfaithful and would not talk to her or look at her. He would not let her kneel at the altar because he thought she betrayed him and the ancestors. He would go and get drunk and not come home for days. Finally she couldn't take it any longer and jumped in the river and killed herself.

When the husband heard the wife had died, he came back to care for the boy. That night he lit the lamp and the boy said "Mister, Papa came home - he's here!" and pointed to the shadow on the wall.

That was the truth of the child - his father came home every night and the mother would talk to him and let the boy talk to him so he wasn't sad but the father had the wrong perception and thought the wife was unfaithful. He did not ask her who this "man" was that would come every night and she did not approach him and ask why he was treating her so badly.

It's really all about misperceptions... and miscommunication.

The Shadow knows the truth... but do you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Apparently the vendors at the Little Flea don't enjoy the rain as much as we do so better luck next time for us. We did however have a really good time at Dozen Bake Shop - maybe too good. Between eating and laughing and getting caught in the rain it was a day to remember...

Some randomness along the way...

Just so it wasn't a complete wash out we decided to continue our day in the Strip. We did the regulars... Wholey's and Penn Mac... Mancini's and Sunseris... Feinbergs and the pottery place, Mahla & Co. and the kitchen store... Fort Pitt candy and Enrico Biscotti... the little junky street vendors, lunch at Roland's... Though next time we'll go back to Frankie's! ;-) All in all it was a pretty good albeit pretty wet day.

Word to the wise:

Friday, May 21, 2010



Denise loved that song.

I remember her playing it at school and screaming it in her loud voice. I can still picture her head bobbing around behind a bunch of K-Triangle-P brothers singing "... you - you got what I need - but you say he's just a friend..." I remember the shoes she would only wear to fraternity parties because the floors were so sticky...

Forever young... I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever, forever, forever...

I remember that song being played at her funeral too. She died almost 6 years ago. She was 33. I think this was the first picture of the three of us as college roommates at Cedarbrook - August 1990... Who would have thought (14 years after it was taken) she'd be gone?

Long Live Sister Wompa!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've been going down memory lane (pun intended) because I'm trying to stay away from the kitchen since this is my breakfast, lunch and dinner for today:

why I got up at 6 am and made the day longer I'll never know..

I figured I should stay upstairs and get back to organizing the 30,000 pictures of RoseBud and came across this one of her in the rear view mirror...she was a "Traveling Dog!" I realized that some of the best times of my life were in the car... though one of the worst was in there too. ;-(

I remember the trips to Wildwood leaving early to "beat the heat" and my dad asking what was in the cooler before we got off our street and all of us starting to eat chipped ham sandwiches before we even got the ticket to get on the Turnpike...

We've been known to add on 3-4 hours to a trip because we like to STOP along the way. That annoys some people because they just want to get there. Like THERE is so much better than where they are now. I always thought that was weird.

If we didn't stop along the way we'd miss things like seeing little bears in the woods:

or the really dangerous bears like this one:

we'd never see signs like this:

or this:

most people would drive right by a little teeny sign that brought you here:

and never bother to stop at something they pass by all the time:

I would like to load the Lil Bud in the car right now, take my lemonade and just start driving... but the only place on my mind is a place we ran into coming home from some place else:

Sounds good right about now!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


"I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man who had no feet." ~ Indian Proverb

My acupuncturist has been telling me about this woman for awhile and suggested now would be a good time to see her. I went today. She did reflexology and some energy work and guided meditation. This was more than a spa reflexology appointment. Dorit is a Kabbalist and studied in Tel Aviv and practices real chinese mind-body therapeutic reflexology. I've had the other and there is no comparison. It really was amazing and I don't say that about a lot of things!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010



I had Glee on tonight and they did this. Whenever I hear that song it always puts a smile on my face. I will FOREVER change those words to "... and he's talking with Davey - who's still at Penn Statey... and probably will be for life."

Monday, May 17, 2010


I had to wake the sleeping pup this morning and force her out of bed.

She wasn't very happy about it...

and tried to convince me to come back to bed.

I'm starting to think I should have taken her up on her offer.
We came in from our walk and she curled up in the kitchen... I think it's going to be a lazy day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010



I don't really have a good picture for this so these flowers will have to do. They can be symbolic for my obsessive flower doodling disorder! Anyway, I finally got my 50 mm lens out and attached it to my camera today (with a little help from David.) I've had this lens for a couple years but was always afraid to try it out. It's a little different. More of a photojournalism lens - used in portrait photography and street photography when you want to get up close and personal. It gives the normal angle of the human eye. I'm glad I took the zoom lens off today and am getting a different perspective. I'm looking forward to playing around with this one and will probably have to for awhile because I'm not sure I can actually change back to my normal lens myself. ;-) I wonder if I'll see anything differently? And if I'll like what I see...

Saturday, May 15, 2010



I DON'T like that vacuum cleaner!

Friday, May 14, 2010



My naturopathic doctor recommended I start a month long Spring Cleanse/Detox... It's going ok - I'm on the smoothie phase now. I am pretty good around the kitchen if I do say so myself - but last night I had to google, of all things, HOW TO MAKE ICE!?!?! Seriously, who has a hard time making ice? I always forget if it's hot or cold water???

In case you are interested - here's how:
Use filtered water. Boil it and let it cool. After it is cool, boil the water again. The double boiling eliminates dissolved air in the water and decomposes minerals which will make it crystal clear.

Needless to say, my ice was a little cloudy. ;-)

Here's my first smoothie - besides it tasting like a Creamsicle fell in the sand and I picked it up and blended it with some berries - it was delicious.

Thursday, May 13, 2010



When I was young I always wanted to be a veterinarian and a gymnast and a nurse. And I remember a time when I wanted to be a concert violinist, a fashion designer and a professional ice skater. None of those things even seem remotely appealing to me now but I can see how they were back then. ;-)

I have a sign in my craft room that says WHAT WOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO DO IF YOU COULD NOT FAIL? I think that's probably one of my biggest concerns - not succeeding in what I do... Because I'm a perfectionist and because I don't want people to be disappointed in me. Not that anyone ever would be. ;-)

But how do you get started?

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." ~ Lao Tzu

I was reading an art book (when am I not reading one?!?) and it talked about just that... "taking a single step is the key to getting to a new place. One step. Not some painful scary leap over an abyss, not something in the far distance or in the vast unforeseen future whenever you're finally ready. You take the step... NOW." Not when you get a new computer, or better paint or a bigger studio. You can come up with a huge list of things to stop you and it leads you down a dead-end road... You have to make the step. "The ethereal steps are in our thinking: the next step is talking out loud, and the real steps are in our actions." You can think about writing a book forever and talk about it for years. But until you sit down to write the first word and commit yourself to the process, it's not going to materialize on it's own.

It's funny though because the one thing that holds me back (and a lot of other people too, I would think) is the one thing that you have total control over. You can't just sit around and wait for something to happen. You have to make it happen. And why not start making that happen today???

I tried to resist but I can't so I'll put it out there... NO DAY BUT TODAY.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


don't let your life pass you by... weep not for the memories.

This goes along with the "...remember moments..." post from last week. My Dad got this quote in a sappy email awhile ago and (annoyingly) went around saying it for awhile. ;-) When I saw the print I got it for him.

What will you remember forever?
What moments took your breath away?
Your first day of school? The keys to your first car? Your high school graduation? The day your parents dropped you off at college? Your wedding? Walking in the front door of your first house? The birth of your kids? The death of your parents?

I can't help but think of this now: "In diapers - report cards - in spoke wheels - in speeding tickets - in contracts - dollars - in funerals - in births..." I swear - I'm really considering writing a book called My life according to RENT! ♥ LOL

As I've said before, I'm on a bit of a mission to document my life. Just remember and be remembered. I love it (besides the scanning!) and wish I could do it 24 hours a day. A couple times I think I actually did! It's really just a personal project but I can't help but think - every time I go through a box or crop a picture or write the "story..."
Who is really going to care about this besides me???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I thought about this when I took the picture of the Christmas tree the other day... Remember the Secret Santa Shop at Kaufmann's? I used to love going there and "shopping" for the perfect gift. I think I liked getting things for other people more than my own gifts. I bought my Dad's "superbowl ring" there and he still has it in his jewelry box today. I know I bought enough wreath and christmas tree pins for a lifetime of lapels for my grandmother's coats. In the long run they were probably worth more to her than anything good. Even back then I remember wrapping my gifts just so and making sure they were just what I thought the other person wanted. I like to think that I'm still like that today. Actually, I know that I am! This picture cracks me up because it's just the perfect amount of me being "nervous" and "excited" for my Grandma to be opening up her gifts and I think I still make that face today. ;-) {click to enlarge}

Monday, May 10, 2010


you other mothers can't deny...

Every morning there's a group of moms (and one dad) that all walk up the street on their way to school. They always stop at our neighbors pond and the stragglers kind of hang out in our yard. They're kind of loud - both the parents and the kids. Sometimes I hear the kids say - "this is Lily's house" so it seems Lily has made her mark in the neighborhood just as RoseBud did! Anyway, there's one little boy that is constantly saying MAMA - like the whole way up the street... I've been getting up early recently but if I sleep in (like I did today) I usually wake up to that. I've never heard that word spoken TO me but sometimes when I walk into the room and the half asleep pup looks up and WAGS her tail - I think I can ALMOST hear it.

Love the (Lily) Bud. ♥

Sunday, May 9, 2010



Me and my Mother. Maid of the Mist - Niagara Falls, Canada

All of the mothers in my life are gone now - my own, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers... Needless to say, Mother's Day isn't one of my favorite holidays... I thought this year would be different. I thought I'd be trying to squeeze my belly into a cute little dress today while I was getting ready to go to brunch. That didn't work out how I thought. Instead, I'm right where I have been (actually worse, I guess.) Still...

A MOM WANNABE - poem by Alison Kathleen Whitney

I want to be a Mom. But I can't. Instead, I am a Mom Wannabe.

I want to procreate. I want to conceive a child, naturally, with my
husband, in the privacy of our home, in the spirit of love and passion,
in the way God intended. But I can't.

I want to discover that my period is several days late. I want to buy a
pregnancy test and pee on a stick. I want to see a + sign. I want to cry
tears of joy for the news we'd discovered. But I can't. Instead, I cry
tears of pain at random, for no reason and with no warning.

I want to experience morning sickness. I want my hormones to go haywire. I want the "pregnant glow." I want to have my husband talk to my belly. But I can't. Instead, I try not to look pregnant. I don't buy clearance clothes for next year, "just in case". I try to keep my emotions from going haywire.

I want to take prenatal vitamins. I want to eat for two. I want to schedule my first doctor's visit. I want to sit in the waiting room with other pregnant women and know that I am one of them. But I can't. Instead, I wonder if those pregnant women ever had problems conceiving. I think how cute they look as they waddle with their big bellies. I smile at babies that are not mine. I ache from loving someone I've never met.

I want to hear the doctor say "You're Pregnant. Your progress is right on schedule." But I can't. I want to surprise my parents with a new grandchild. I want to tell my friends and family our good news. I want my life to change overnight. I want to read "What to Expect When You're Expecting." But I can't. Instead, I have no news to tell. I realize my life hasn't changed in years. I read "When Empty Arms become a Heavy Burden".

I want to monitor the progress. I want to see ultrasounds. I want to hear the heartbeat. I want to watch our baby grow. I want to feel the kicks, but I can't. I want to decorate the nursery. I want to childproof our home. I want to shop for adorable, soft, tiny outfits. I want to shop at Gymboree. I want to save money for the baby's future. Instead, I imagine a crib in an empty room down the hall. I avoid baby stores in the mall. We spend our money on doctor's appointments, tests and high-tech procedures. We spend our money on a dream. We are left with an empty bank account. We are left with empty arms.

I want to share the experience with my pregnant friends. I want to compare symptoms. I want to be the guest of honor at a baby shower. But I can't. Instead, I watch my friends get pregnant quickly. I watch their bellies grow, attend their showers, see their pictures and try to be a good friend. I watch their lives change and our friendships change in front of my eyes.

I want my belly to drop. I want my water to break. I want contractions. I want an epidural. I want my husband by my side and my family in the waiting room. I want the pushing. I want the pain. I want to hear the cry. But I can't. Instead, I feel a different pain. I hear my own cry. Yes, I even hear the cry of my husband which hurts more than I had ever imagined.

I want to hold our baby in my arms, with tears of joy streaming down our faces. I want to experience the miracle of birth, thinking "We did it," but knowing that God did it. But I can't. Instead, I hold my husband in my arms with tears of sorrow streaming down our faces and wondering what God's plan is for us and why we have to go through this.

I want to pray that one extra special blessing be added to my life. And I do. I pray my 1000th unanswered prayer to God and hope this time He answers. I pray for the miracle of life that only God can give. I pray that someday soon He will give it to us.

I want to be a mom, but I can't. Instead, I am right where God wants me to be: thankful for our blessings, searching out His will, basking in His grace, trusting in His perfect plan, praying for a change in status... From a mom wannabe, to the mom I WANT to be.

Me and Mummy: I remember my mother sitting on the kitchen floor playing jacks and playing with my Barbies and baby dolls. I liked my stuffed animals better than the dolls. ;-) She was always having fun (I didn't take after her too much with that, I guess!) This is one of my favorite pictures of us. Circa 1976-1977, I think. It's in Kennywood on The Whip - she loved that ride!

Me and Mum: I remember any time we would have an event at her house (dinner, holiday, etc...) she always said she never had to tell me what to do - I just jumped in and helped and she knew it would be just like she wanted it. A lot of what I "do" when it comes to parties and things like that, I learned from her.

Me and Little Munaw: (My Dad's Mom...) I remember going down the house with all my cousins and all the fun we had down there together. There was always lots of food on the table and lots of love around it. I can still see her sitting on the porch and taking money out of her cleavage and giving me a little something. I think I got my love of leopard from her. ;-)

Me and Grandma: (My Mom's Mom...) She lived with us from the day I was born. She would hide under the dining room table during thunderstorms because it reminded her of an earthquake in Italy when she was little - she told me the ground opened up and her pet pigs on the farm fell into the ground. I wonder if that's why I like pigs so much? ;-) She would watch me on Saturday nights when my parents went out and sing and talk to me in Italian.

I miss you guys... Happy Mother's Day to all the moms (and mom wannabes) out there. ♥♥♥