Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School-The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Have you ever seen that Staples Commercial with the father dancing through the store to the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"? The kids look miserable and he is riding the cart back and forth with unbridled joy over the fact that his kids are going back to school! I love that guy! I love that commercial! I love that the kids are going back to school. Now before you call DHS and say I'm a bad mommy, let me make one thing clear....I love summer vacation. Michaela comes home, we have lots of family fun, we roast marshmallows and catch fireflies....quite frankly, we are a goddamn Norman Rockwell Painting. But my mid August, I am ready to get back to reality to be honest. I am a girl who needs structure, and schedules and organization...I thrive on it. The summer vacation is a little too loosy goosey for me. We don't have to set the alarm clocks because their's no "late bell" to worry about. We don't have to plan our time to the minute because there are no school board meetings, or play practice, or homework to worry about. Now, that's fine for a while, but right now...I am ready to bring back the freaking structure.
During the school year, I feel disciplined and controlled, operating a in a closed loop system. Same schedule every day with very little distortion. During the summer, we are like a bunch of gypsies, having way to much fun, without a care in the world for bedtimes, schedules etc. So I say, stop the madness! Get these kids back to school. They start next Wednesday. We have all our school supplies and we are ready. And although I didn't dance through the store with unbridled joy while we shopped....I could certainly identify with the feeling.
Welcome Back to School Kids! It's gonna be a great year!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation.....All I Ever Wanted!

I went back to work today after 10 days of about shell shock. Why is it that leaving for vacation and coming back are so stressful? It's crazy, you spend a whole week before getting ready, making sure everything is completed so you don't leave anyone else with too much work while you are gone, then you get back and have to catch up on everything that didn't get done. Oy! Oh well, it was definitely worth it. The Parker's had a "Staycation" this year. We did several day trips in Maine, spent one weekend in NH at my folks and one weekend in New York visiting relatives and seeing some sights. Overall, it was a great time. Not really relaxing, but a great time nonetheless.
I think the highlight was definitely this last weekend in New York. We left Friday morning and took the Ferry from Bridgeport Connecticut to Port Jefferson Long Island. We then drove to my cousin Christy's house in Merrick. Of course at 5:00 PM on a Friday afternoon on Long Island, that meant 1.25 hours to go 32 miles. Fun! We hadn't been off the boat for 10 minutes before Mark, predictably said, "with all this traffic, why would anyone live here." Of course, I predictably answered, "because you can get good pizza, chinese food and bagels here and you can't get them in other places." He always looks at me kinda funny when I give him that response.
Anyway, off to Christy and Kevin's for lots of wine and of course, the aforementioned chinese food (the best egg rolls ever!). Saturday was a spectacular day. We spent the entire day at my Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike's house on the water in South Amityville. Glorious! Swimming, boating, wave running, all the joys that a house on the ocean can bring. But the highlight had to be on Saturday evening as we sat around the crab shack (their outdoor bar) and had copious cocktails while listening to some of the most random selections of music from my crazy cousin Michael's IPOD. Where else can you hear the Ting Tings, followed by Neil Diamond, followed by Gordon Lightfoot? I never ever thought I would see my dad singing along to "That's not my name!" Beautiful. It really is amazing how with our families, we get together so seldom, but when we do, it's always a hoot! Tons of fun.
Sunday morning came, and with a heavy head from the previous night's cocktails, the Parker's ventured to New York City. We found out several things on this trip to NYC. First, Bloomberg is really letting the city go to pot. It was much dirtier then we recalled from our previous visits which was really disappointing. We also learned that the Central Park Zoo is really cool, but also pretty stinky, especially the rainforest. We learned that the Penguins of Madagascar don't really solve problems and there isn't one name Rico (pity.). We learned that the economy is still thriving at FAO Schwarz and Toys R Us in Times Square where the Legos were flying off the shelves. We even visited the Barbie Palace at ToysRUs, where we purchased what we have dubbed "curiously gay Ken" because of his skinny jeans and mildly homosexual t-shirt. You can't find these toys in Maine folks!
After dinner at Sofia's on Sunday night, Mark took Matty back to the hotel and the girls and I had the highlight of our trip, we visited the newest Times Square attraction, POP TARTS World! An entire 3000 square foot store devoted to, you guessed it, Pop Tarts! This place was freaking fantastic. The girls went to the counter and ordered warmed pop tarts while I visited the Varietizer and procured a mixed variety of pop tarts. You go to a computer screen and pick your selection of flavors. Then a huge mechanical arm, pulls down your pop tarts and boxes them lovingly. It's like something out of Willie Wonka for crying out loud. They only cost three times what you would pay for pop tarts in the grocery store, but who the hell cares right? How often do you get to Pop Tarts World? I left with a bag full of Pop Tart's Gear and a much lighter wallet, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
On Monday, the party was over. We took Michaela to the airport for her trip back to Oklahoma for the school year. But, to be honest, I was so happy that our last week with her was spent together, as a family, having fun. We had tons of laughs, a lot of great food, good times with family and we had plenty of time to hug, cuddle and say I love you. In our busy crazy lives, that doesn't happen so often, so it really was the perfect vacation. And though we will miss Michaela, Thanksgiving is only 12 weeks away. I am thinking that we should take that week as vacation too, because Parker Family Vacations are so much fun!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Nana Chronicles Part I.

I have been thinking a lot about my Nana lately. Not quite sure why, but I find her in my thoughts very often. Now, there are a few of you who read this blog who knew Nana when she was alive, so I probably don't need to say anything else, but for the folks who never met her, I will likely need to elaborate on the woman that was "Nana Baby." Yes, she was my grandmother, maternal grandmother and probably one of the best individuals who ever walked this earth. She lived with us for most of my formative years in an "in law apartment" in our house. I always say I owe alot of my confidence and sense of humor from my dad, my determination and my sense of style from my mom, my tenacity from the fact that I was tortured by Jerry, Michael, Billy & Dennis for most of my early years. I really believe the rest of who I am and HOW I am, comes from Nana.
She was the first person I saw when I walked through the door from school in the afternoon and she was usually frying something in a cast iron pan, something unhealthy, something that her doctor had probably forbid her to eat, that she had somehow convinced herself that he had said that it was ok. "Oh, my cardiologist says I can have all the bacon I want." Uh huh--ok Nana right! She made the best potato omelet ever created, and I still make it to this day. It's one of Michaela's favorite. (see, I am passing Nana's legacy on to the next generation).
She was famous for her chocolate chip cookies and her baked clams. You knew Nana made them because her eyesight wasn't that great, so there was usually a little bit of butter wrapper that you might find as you dug into your eleventh baked clam. Everything she cooked, she showed me how to make it. I am sure that's where my love of cooking and food came from. It's probably also where my current large ASS comes from too. But that's ok, I wouldn't trade that legacy for anything.
Now, Nana and I had something special. We were kindred spirits, ya know. We liked nothing better than when the Miss Universe, Miss America or Miss USA pageant was on t.v. once a year. We would make a shitload of horsdouvres and park ourselves in front of the tv. She had me record the scores in a notebook so we could make our predictions for the top ten, top five etc. Nana, if she were still alive, would have LOVED American Idol and Dancing with the Stars! She was so ahead of her time. God, just writing that right now, makes me miss her like hell.
Nana could bullshit with the best of them. But she really couldn't bullshit me. For the last several years of her life, she was quite sick. Congestive heart failure was the culprit on many occasions, probably from all that bacon she was "allowed" to have. The Bedford EMS service were at our house on so many occasions, bringing Nana to the emergency room, we knew all the guys by name. Whenever Nana got sick, she would hem and haw about going to the ER, probably because she was afraid that she would never come home. She would put it off as long as she could, telling us she was ok and just needed to lay down for a bit. Sure enough, 2 hours later, when she was gurgling like crazy, she would finally consent to go to the hospital.
I remember one time when my parents were away, and Nana got sick. She was sitting there, having one of her usual episodes of breathlessness, trying to convince my brother and I that she was fine and she wasn't going to the hospital. Jerry, sat there for a while trying to reason with her. Me, I grabbed the old "Life Alert" panic button around her neck and hit the button and said "Nana, you are going!" OOOOOh was she pissed at me. I think she didn't speak to me for a few weeks after that. (nana could hold a grudge). But, I didn't care, because at least she was still around to be pissed. The alternative for me, was just too grim.
Fortunately, Nana was quite resilient and she pressed on. Through my formative high school years, when she passed judgment on every single one of my friends and when she tried to convince Jerry that if he got caught with beer, we would lose the house. (where the hell did she get this stuff?)
God, I have so many memories, that explains why this is only part I of my Nana Chronicles. Like I said, I have been thinking about her so much lately. I wonder if she would be proud of me (of course she would) but would she also judge me harshly for my overburdened, crazy life. She would have loved Mark and she would have come up with some fun nickname for him. She would think Matty was a "little devil" and Kayleigh and Michaela would be her "little bits." Oh, if only they could have known her. The good news is, Arlene gets more like her every day, so there's hope there. And I say that as the highest compliment in the world to my Mom.
Stay tuned friends.....more Nana stories are sure to follow.
Egads! Isn't that odd?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The Parkers have gone Organic.....much to my family's chagrin. That's right, no more cheez doodles or oreos for this crowd. I think I am going to have a mutiny on my hands soon, but I am forging ahead because I feel it's for the greater good. As you know, I read that book, the Omnivore's Dilemma and it was all downhill from there. For the past month, we have been about 80% organic with a few contraband items still filling our pantry shelves, but I am happy to say, I have successfully expunged most of the offending items now and pretty much everything we have is free of pesticides and preservatives. So, are we starving on this twig and berry diet. That's a Hell No! So far this week we have had grass fed beef and wild caught shrimp with fingerling potatoes, grilled local pork chops with fresh broccoli, chicken fajitas with jasmine rice and tonight we had lobster and pasta with garlic butter. The Organic life is tasty, but, alas......expensive.
Now you know I am married to a wonderful man who is, rather cheap. So, you can imagine what is running through his head when I come home with my bounty of foodstuff from Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck, as it's sometimes referred). I can see the numbers in his head "kaching, kaching!" as I unload fresh asparagus and free range chicken. Yikes! Now, I agree it's more expensive, but I think it's worth it. Since I ditched the processed food, I am already seeing an improvement in my psoriasis and I seem to have a little more energy. Now that might be psychosomatic, but really there's gotta be some benefit to eliminating all those additives *I hope! In an effort to be thrifty, I joined a CSA, because if you do the math, it's much cheaper to buy veggies that way since Organic veggies are so expensive at the Grocery Store (longer food chain too). That seemed to help Marker to breathe a little easier. Although I think I see his eye twitch occasionally when he sees all the Whole Foods bags. Tonight I heard him shout, "Did you really pay $4.00 for Bread Crumbs." Ok, so it's gonna be an uphill battle. Between the lack of pop tarts and white bread in the house to the increased grocery bill, the transition may be tough. But I am committed! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother's Day

So, Mother's Day is this weekend. I like this holiday (but then again, haven't we established I like all holidays). I love to celebrate motherhood. Of course, that makes sense, I am, after all, a "Mama." I love being a Mama...although about 30 minutes ago when every room I went into, my children followed, I wished for a few minutes peace..I really do love it. I am fortunate that my kiddos are so diverse in age. Michaela, being 15, is really growing up and we have these adult conversations that are sarcastic and judgmental and hilarious. Kayleigh at ten, is really just coming into her own with confidence and humor. Sure, she's a bit dramatic, but generally, she's a freaking hoot. Even when she's being a total goofball, which I of course enjoy as well. And Matty, well what can I say? He's my favorite, most annoying, star wars loving cuddle bug. I have already shared with many of you the hours of my life that I have lost discussing the finer points of the Clone Wars and the differences between Jengo Fett and Boba Fett. But I really wouldn't trade those conversations for anything. I know someday, they won't be that interested in chatting with me for hours on end and then what? Oh right, perhaps then, Mark and I will be able to have an uninterrupted conversation with....wait for it....EACH OTHER. Jeez, what the hell will we talk about? Perhaps now, when we have something to chat about, we should hold back and save it for when we're old. Oh, who am I kidding, I can't remember what I was supposed to tell him after dinner, forget about 15 years from now. That's right...15 years until Matty turns 21 years old. Doesn't that seem like forever? But, you know what? It's gonna fly by. And before you know it, they will be all grown up. And I will be sitting her on the Tuesday before Mother's Day hoping for a visit or a call or a card from the three amigos. So, this mother's day I am milking it Baby! We are going to Portland for the day and I am going to be showered with love from my kiddos. I sure am one of the most blessed people on the planet. Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mommies! Enjoy the day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Soldiers, God and the Fear of Flying

Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE to fly. I am not a good flyer at all. I have always hated the whole deal, closed tight spaces--claustrophobia sets in; the whole take off thing--I am deathly afraid of heights; and don't even get me started about the turbulence, air rage, tiny seats and uppity stewardesses (sorry, flight attendants). The whole thing sucks! Now normally, I need to have a few drinks to get me through a flight, and even then, I am jumpy and nervous through the whole affair.
So, on Wednesday, I had to visit a client in Charlotte NC. I flew out of Bangor to Philadelphia then Philly to Charlotte. Since I was flying out of Bangor, that meant a very small plane (20 seats)....ugh! When I got to Bangor Airport to check in, I found out that the flight was delayed by about an hour due to "weather" nice. Faced with the prospect of 3 hours in the airport, I headed for the cocktail lounge to have a libation to take the edge off. While sitting there, I ran into some old pals from my days at MBNA and as luck would have it, they were also on my flight so now I had company for my 3 hour wait. We chatted and laughed and had a few glasses of wine, it was a great way to pass the time.
Did I mention the airport was filled with US Army soldiers. Apparently, Bangor Airport is a huge thoroughfare for soldiers deploying or returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. So, while we were there, a planeload of Kids (19- 21 yr olds) coming back from an 18 month tour in Iraq arrived. It was an amazing experience to be standing there when they got off the plane. Some kissed the ground, happy to be back on American soil. Some immediately called their families, some ran outside for a cigarette. I talked to some girls in the bathroom who said they had been on a plane for almost 24 hours and that they were so glad to be home so they could wash their hair with hot water. This to them was a luxury. The Troop Greeter team was there too....delivering messages to the kids from their family and helping others reach their loved ones. What a neat experience.

OK, so what does one have to do with the other? Well, after this experience (and a couple glasses of wine) I had an epiphany. I said to myself, "Jill, your such a wimp. Your life is so easy yet you get all jammed up by flight delays, and your stupid self absorbed fear of flying---SUCK IT UP" (what can I say, my inner voice is a bit bitchy) I got on the plane a short time later and for the first time in my life, I looked out the window during takeoff. Instead of freaking out, I thought about how blessed I am and how beautiful the world below is. I gave my fear to god and thanked him for blessing me with the wisdom to know that I am a total jackass about flying. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't scared...I was just at peace. During the next 2 days, I had 3 more flights and the peace remained. No fear, just the realization that God will call me home when he's ready for me and if it happens to be while I am on an airplane, so be it. I flew back into Bangor on Thursday night on the same small plane in extremely windy conditions. It was a bumpy approach to say the least. But I was cool as a cucumber....chatting with the "flight attendant" Robert (we're on a first name basis now) not even thinking about the horrible turbulence. I let the fear go....and flying was a hell of a lot more fun.

I am heading to Vegas on Monday night. Flying out of Boston on jet blue. And I will be calm, cool and collected. And if not, there's always the "in flight beverage service."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day....A Sickness

I am a romance junkie. Love hearts, flowers, kisses, all things romantic. My husband, Mark, well he is.....a guy. Therefore, he is not a romance junkie. To add insult to injury, he is extraordinarily practical, so the whole Valentine's Day allure completely escapes him. Thus, the Parker's have a conundrum. Every year, around February 1st, we both start to get antsy. He sweats it out, knowing he will have to do something for V-Day, but not really wanting to, not because he doesn't love me, just because it's not how he is wired. Meanwhile, I am ready to freebase on romance. I picture beautiful roses and candlelit dinner and well, you can guess what else. So, since the two of us are on such different planes, this is clearly a recipe for disaster. So here we sit, on Valentine's day, with all this pressure. (mostly caused by me). This year, Mark sent me beautiful flowers to my office on Friday. A lovely gesture that made my day. Today, I planned a nice dinner, hoping we could put Matty to bed early and have a little grown up time....and a lot of wine! Alas, my husband absently invited a friend of ours over for dinner. Once this friend remembered it was Valentine's day (clearly they have no issues at their house) he politely declined. But, this brought up the whole V-Day issue again. I had told him several times about the dinner, yet he forgot. Even when our friend asked what I was making and I said Steak and Lobster, Mark was still saying to him, "Oh come over, it's gonna be good." Giving the fact that I was planning this for Valentine's day, no thought whatsover.
Now, here's the real problem. I get upset, but end up feeling so stupid because I have become "crazy valentine lady" whose husband bought her flowers and loves her and she's still not happy. What the hell is wrong with me? Maybe I watch too many movies or hallmark card commercials. I don't know. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Incomplete Sentences

My son is 6 years old.
That means, for the last several years, I have been unable to complete a sentence.
Every time, I try to say something remotely meaningful to my husband, he interrupts me.
I am always three quarters of the way through the sentence and he says, "um, mumma?" I usually say, "hold on sweetie, I am talking." I continue on, trying to complete my thought, which believe me is a challenge to my brain anyway. Three more words come out of my mouth and here he comes again "um mumma." (now he's a bit more insistent) To which, I say, "let me finish what I am telling daddy." Three more words and now he's downright pushy, "Mumma!" Finally, I say, "what Matthew?" His response......"Enzo has more snowtrooper legos than I do and the ATT Walker" (whatever the hell that is)

If he wasn't so stinkin cute, I would tell him that maybe he should move to Enzo's house since the Legos are clearly superior to ours and then he could drive his mom crazy for a while. But then, I remember I love him. Which is a good thing, because if I didn't, I would have sold him to strangers long before now.
So, for now, I long for the day when I can complete a thought uninterrupted. Oh what a joyous day that will be. I am thinking I should be good around 2020.
Now if this post doesn't get me that mother of the year award, nothing will.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I am on the train, on my way back from a trip to Boston with my pal Lisa. What a lovely time.
We shopped, we spa'd, we ate, we drank and we walked. All without worry about little feet keeping up and with nary a whine from anyone asking for chocolate milk. Last night, as aI sat at the hotel bar having a nightcap (at 9:00 PM) while I waited for Lisa to return from yet another trip to JCrew (what can I say, she had to get the pants in blue too) I was chatting with some people visiting boston for the "lumber products" convention. They were from Baltimore and had to extend their trip to Boston for a few days due to the blizzard in the Mid Atlantic region. I thought it was interesting that there were so many "wood people" in one place. One guy actually introduced himself by saying, "I'm Ted, I'm in Wood." Wow. I forget how many possible careers there are out there.
Lisa and I were fascinated that the hotel was also home to the "Black Nurses Conference" We were going to try to crash the cocktail hour, but we thought we might be obvious since we are neither nurses nor are That got us wondering. Is there a"White Nurses Conference?" Wouldn't there be an uproar over that? Oh well, whatever.
As we traveled from one end of Boston to the other, we frequented several taxis. Why do all taxis (or taxi drivers) smell vaguely of moroccan spices and BO? And who are they talking to on that bluetooth? Osama Bin Laden? Could be.
Last night, we had dinner with an old and dear friend of mine from high school. We went to the North End and ate fabulous prosciutto, and shrimp and bistecca alla fiorentina. Our main main Franco at La Dolce Vita treated us like Rock it. Top that with the Champagne and Pedicures at Melt and you have the makings of a perfect girls getaway. Meeting the "Wood People" was really just a bonus.
So now, I am on the train, heading back to reality. I am sure my hubby and kids will be thrilled to see me and I will cook them something yummy for dinnner and cuddle with Matty tonight. And this little getaway will hold me for awhile. In about 3 or 4 months, I will get the itch again. The stress will build and I will need a little "Jilly Time" The good news is, I have any number of like minded pals I can call and we can escape.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sumo Pantyhose...."Baby, that's so not hot"

Ya know what women love? Let me tell you what we love. We love when our husband says something to acknowledge our perceived beauty, sexiness, brains, ability to play scrabble, cooking prowess etc. That's what really melts our butter. You see, we normally plow through life at top speed, with barely a moment to comb our hair and put on lipstick so when our beloved hubby notices something special about us, it just makes us all warm and fuzzy inside.
And if the comment happens to indicate that we are hot, sexy, smokin, beautiful or reasonable facsimile? Forget it, you just made our day. The problem is, 99 minutes out of every hundred, we are the furthest thing from hot, sexy or smokin. Instead, we are "Mom making chocolate milk", or "wife balancing the checkbook", or "silly blogging wife who loves to read her own blather." And believe me friends, there ain't nothing hot about that.
So, because life gets in the way of our "inner hotness" those comments from our hubbies are often few and far between. And all too often, just as we are on the cusp of sexy, we quickly downshift back to reality and blow the whole moment.
Take this morning for example. My fabulous husband is dressed and ready to head out to work. I am sitting on the bed putting on a pair of pantyhose while he is pacing back and forth looking for his wallet, keys, phone, to do list, or any combination of the three. As I lean over to put on the pantyhose, he gets a cleavage shot and makes a comment like, "that's a nice cleavage shot babe, thanka that was hot." (that's all it takes, it really wasn't even a compliment, but we take what we can get). So I am feeling all aglow in my hotness and then I stand up and do, what can only be described as the "sumo move" to pull up my pantyhose. (every woman reading this knows exactly the move I am talking about) And my husband then says....."okay baby, don't ever do that in front of me again, because that was so not hot!" And so it was gone. For one moment I was channeling my inner J-Lo and the next thing you know, I am channeling Akebono. Definitely not hot!
Lesson learned ladies, lesson learned.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My problem with the Disney Channel (and Nickelodeon)

Because I have children of a certain age, I get to watch a disproportionate amount of "thoughtful childrens programming." Most of this high quality entertainment is delivered to us thanks to the good people at the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Now let me first go on record by saying I LOVE PHINEAS AND FERB! I don't want anyone to think that it's about the network's themselves, because I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants as much as the next guy. In fact, I find Plankton downright compelling. The cartoons, I find somewhat entertaining, although I'd like to see Timmy Turner cast off the edge of tall building someday. Where I really struggle is with the "live action" sitcom type shows on these two channels.
The other day, I was subjected to the Suite Life of Zack and Cody Marathon. There's several hours of my life I will never get back. It's pure drech! Put that together with Corey in the House, Zeke & Luther, and that total Teen Nightmare Hannah Montana and you certainly have a Circle of Scavullo Hell that I don't ever want to visit. Even ICARLY gets on my nerves (although I do think Freddy is kinda cute and Spencer is somewhat endearing). But, let's face it, these shows are inane, ingratiating and have no socially redeeming value. The bottom line is they all have the same premises which go against everything I believe in.
1. All adults are apparent morons who can't find their way out of a paper bag.
2. All pre-teen and teenage children are smart, sassy and glib and can outsmart any adult at any time.
3. School and work are merely the downtime between fun times at the beach, at the smoothie shop, making the webshow or performing for millions onstage.
4. People don't work, they just sit around their amazing homes and apartments saying clever things and waiting for new, fabulous things to happen.
5. It's better to mislead people rather than telling the truth. One must hatch elaborate plots and ruse's in order to ensure you get what you want. After all, it worked so well for Jack Tripper on Three's Company, why not for Zach & Cody as they fool Moseby one more time. UGH!

This is a great lesson for our kids. I can't wait til my daughter comes home and says she wants have her own webshow. And I certainly won't supervise her while she's transmitting god knows what to thousands of people around the country. Of course not.
But what' s a parent to do? Ban Hannah and Zach and Cody completely? That would give this gaggle of morons too much credit. If I were to decree that these shows were forbidden at my house that would give them too much weight and make them all the more compelling. Therefore, I am taking a much more subversive and subtle approach. I just criticize the hell out of them when they are on the box. Often, my kids will argue with me, most vehemently, but hopefully I am making a little bit of a point. Jeez, how far we've come. I don't think my dad ever had to comment on the "krofts super show" or "Sigmund the Sea Monster>" I suppose that's mean we've evolved right. I don't know, you decide. In the meantime, you can find me watching Phineas and Ferb, one of the best shows on TV. That Doofenshmirtz just kills me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My ego's writing checks my body can't cash!

I am over-committed. There, I said it. I have too many commitments. I was reviewing my calendar today and realized that I am completely overscheduled. OK, let's start with the fact that I work full what one could only describe as a "time compelling" position. That's a nice way of saying it isn't a 40 hour a week deal. Now add to that the fact that I currently serve on not one, but two non profit boards. One for my kids school and the other for the Boys and Girls Clubs. Oh and did I mention that I am on the Steering Committee for the Annual St. John's Bazaar? And let's not forget the Boys and Girls club annual campaign committee. Well sure, that's plenty...but ya doesn't end there. There's also the spaghetti lunches and school open houses that I just can't say no to.....need cookies for the christmas fair, I'm your gal........Help with the set up for the Annual Steak and Burger I am.
Now it's not all philanthropy, there's also a lot of good healthy fun in there too.....a bunch of moms are headed to a cottage for a weekend getaway? I'll be there with my famous martinis and a batch of banana bread. A great friend wants to get away to Boston for a few days of shopping...bring it on.....I'll make the Amtrak reservation. Someone needs to go to Vegas for a business conference at work....???? Oh I guess I'll go, if I have to.
But, the bottom line is, I'm pooped. At some point, I am going to have to jump off the merry go round. I'm thinking probably around the year 2020. In the meantime, who's up for Bunco on Friday night? I sure am!
They make medication for this don't they?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

B90X---Serious Bible Reading

I think I have blogged before about my desire to invest more in the spiritual side of my life. In the past twelve months, I have been much more committed to my spirtuality and I am making my church and prayer a much a bigger part of my life. Now, I know some of you are saying, "jeez this woman is a walking contradiction!" And, indeed folks I am to some degree. I love a good party, I am an assertive confident gal who loves a good off color joke and has been known to use the F word on occasion (perhaps too many occasions) but deep down, I love my god and he loves me. To some of you it may seem hard to believe, but I spend a good deal of my time praying.
So, to that end, I have decided to read the bible....from cover to cover....the whole 90 days. Why? Because I can. Because I should. Because I am drawn to it for some reason. I have been a sometimes practicing, sometimes lapsed Catholic (currently practicing) for 40 years and I have never really read the bible. Sure, I know some passages, like those ones that they always read at weddings and the ones about Christ's birth and the Crucifixion, but I have the feeling that I have missed alot of chapters. Who the heck was Hebbekuk? How in heaven's name did the sons of Cain and Abel live for 850 years. What's a cubit. These are questions I have and perhaps they will be answered...perhaps not.
So, I found this B90X plan which is a program to read the bible in 90 days. A facebook friend turned me onto it. So, you guys know me...I say "No time like the present" and I started reading in earnest.
And this really is a "Good Book" It's got everything magic, love, betrayal, vengeance, all of it...and that's just the first chapter. Sounds like a page turner...Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekends were made for Michelob...

Remember that commercial? What the hell happened to Michelob? I don't know anyone who drinks Michelob anymore. Sure, there are plenty of girls who drink Mich Ultra to keep their carbs down (note to those girls, it's not the Mich Ultra that will make you fat, it's the big plate of Nachos that you have with it). But seriously, where is regular old Michelob? While we're at it, how bout these beers?
Old Milwaukee --I guess it really did get better than this
Schaeffer--The one beer to have when your having more than one
Busch--Why does "head for the mountains of Busch" seem so inappropriate now.
Miller- "When it's time to relax, one beer stands clear, beer after beer" Again, encouraging binge drinking...feels wrong.
Milwaukees Best and Meister Brau--these beers were so cheap they couldn't afford a slogan or a commercial.

Thinking back on wine too, remember when people's idea of fine wine was Carlo Rossi? If you really wanted to impress people at the holidays you broke out the Almaden or some Pink Catawba. There was a solid decade in the 90's where most of my wine consumption came out of a Franzia box. (me likey the box o wine)
But now, it appears our tastes have matured. Now, my fridge is usually stocked with Heineken and Corona. I rarely drink wine that comes in bottles bigger than 750 ml....except for my favorite Pinot Grigio from Cavit. Does that mean I'm a snob? No it means that as I matured, I realized that booze didn't have to taste like crap. When you are going through your jeans looking for quarters to buy some beer, Heineken is out of the question...the 12 pack of Meister Brau Kinkers is the way to go.

Since I am feeling a bit nostalgic may be I'll pick up some Franzia for next week's Jet's-Colts game.....or perhaps a six pack of Michelob. I think I'll throw on some leggings, a big sweater and a banana clip too...what the hell. Whose coming over?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wii Fit!

We got a Wii for Christmas. For the kids. I then went out and bought Wii Fit. My "Wii Fit Age" according to the Wii balance board is....wait for it.....61 years old! Huh? Just because I can't do the center of balance games properly...oh and the fact that I am pushing maximum density. Well, let me tell ya, you get smacked in the face with a Wii Fit age of 61 my friends and there's a sure fire motivator. Since I stepped on the Wii two weeks ago, and had this dose of reality, I have lost 6.5 pounds. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that I have been sick and had no appetite, but still progress is progress.
Also, I think a major motivator was the impact my weight had on my Mii (that's the little Wii character you make for yourself) When I first signed on two weeks ago, I selected my Mii hair color, eye color etc. to make my own personal Wii character. I named it "Mama" since that's what they call me round here. Anywho, "Mama" was an adorable little Mii in her white workout pants and blu cropped workout top. Then, it happened. I stepped on the balance board for the first time so the Wii could record my weight and BMI. And guess what happened to little "Mama"? Just guess. Yup, she blew up like a balloon. All of a sudden, the cute little Mii was busting out of her adorable workout gear.
What a blow to the ego. If it didn't look so freaking funny, it might really be tragic. But, alas, I am resilient (or in denial, you decide). So, since then, my portions are smaller, I am taking the stairs more and I spend 30 minutes a night doing Rhythm Kung Fu to help my situation and hopefully bring my "Mama" back into proportion. Hopefully, god willing, I can get that Wii Fit age down too......61 years old.....Sweet Jesus! That's kooky.
wish me luck.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The long slog from Christmas to Spring has begun. This is such a funky time of year. Nothing much to look forward to, no big holidays, birthdays, events coming up, it's just time to hunker down and get through the winter! And when you live in Maine, the winter is long....and boring....and cold. Typically, during this time of year I try to start planning a trip somewhere for me and the hubby so we have something to look forward to. But this year, Marker and I are on the "Beans & Rice, Rice and Beans" plan so we can accomplish some fairly lofty financial goals this year so that means no Bed and Breakfast getaway for the Parkers anytime soon....pity.
So, I guess I will have to focus on planning some fun stuff close to home. Maybe this weekend I will clean my that's living!
I do have one business trip coming up....I am heading to Vegas in March for a conference. I am trying to convince my best pal Carrie to go with me. But, being in a similar financial situation as me, she is hedging. That being said, I think I can wear her down. I have some airline miles lying around that would probably be enough to get her out there and then after that it would just be me, her, slot machines and the 2.99 buffet. I think it sounds marvelous don't you? Now I just need to convince her of that. Wish me luck!
So anyway, that's something to look forward to. In the meantime, I have to get busy planning exciting winter activities, like rearranging the linen closet...good times.
Stay warm kids!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the Train!

Michaela and I are currently on the downeaster train to Boston. We boarded in Portland about an hour ago and we are about halfway there. I must say, train travel is really underrated. This is a great way to go. Big spacious seats in coach class, a cafe car that serves toasted bagels, a friendly conductor who stops at every seat and offers boston information and directions. The airlines could take a lesson. Of course, I also heard Amtrak makes no money, so maybe they don't have the right financial strategy. However, as far as travel to boston, I am sold on the Downeaster. This is fantastic! I sit here blogging and sipping a cup of Green Mountain coffee watching the snow covered scenery out the window. Lovely.
Well, there's a blizzard headed to Maine. It should hit tonight and could make my return trip a bit hairy. The good news is, I am a "go with the flow" kinda gal. I brought a pair of clean underwear and my toothbrush just in case I get stuck somewhere. (isn't that clever of me?)
So for now we will just amble along the railway to Boston, hoping that Michaela's flight is going to take off. If not, there's always Copley Plaza shopping :-)!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Day One

I have decided to do nothing today. That's right, you heard me....absolutely nothing. I love New Years Day because it always symbolizes a new beginning, a fresh start, the opportunity to right last year's wrongs. So, I feel I should lounge, relax and contemplate 2009 today and plan for 2010 through quiet meditation and sleep. Perhaps I will throw in a bit of PC Solitaire and a few games of word twist just to challenge my cranium a bit. Yes, this is a good idea. A day of pure relaxation.
Now, my motivation for doing this is not merely spiritual and esoteric. It's also because my liver and kidneys are currently working overtime to process the copious amounts of wine and champagne I imbibed with my pals last night as we rang in the new decade. I have, what the layman call, a hangover. And at 40 years old, hangovers hurt. Way more than they did at 20. So I think it's best to allow my tender organs recover. I must pull a Gloria Swanson and "take to my bed" for the day. I hope to rise around 5:00 ish and have some noodle soup or something. Then, around 7 tonight, I think a long soak in the tub might be in order with the most recent copy of people magazine.
Yes, 2010 is shaping up to be a fantastic year!

God bless you all this the first of a glorious new year!