Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, I'm the "middle child" and would never want it differently!

"Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted." - NOT TRUE
"Three kids triangulate sibling relationships, with one child at any given point feeling like the odd man out from the chumminess of the other two"

OK...enough already. I'm a firm believer people have to be responsible for their own actions and NOT blame others for any shortcomings... I've heard so many times "oh, so you're the middle child" - and for lack of not knowing any better and really sounding ignorant, I just shrug and go along with their ridiculous comment...I really never researched what "middle child syndrome is"....

I just don't believe, or fall in the category that "Thus many middle children grow up with a more relaxed attitude towards life than their older siblings; though they have to compete for family attention against the milestones set by the oldest, and growing up in their shadow. Middle children have to try a little harder to “be heard” or get noticed. The middle child usually has to fight harder for the attention of their parents and therefore crave the family spotlight. They may feel that they do not get as much praise as the older children for simple firsts like tying a shoe or riding a bike. Those things just become expected." AGAIN...NOT TRUE!

So, do I praise my parents or mother (Mom was a sudden widow at 41 years old) for me not feeling this way? I guess I should. Having grown up the "middle child" of three girls was a blessing to me. I was the one that shared the bedroom with my eldest or youngest, I "think" I liked it this way, I honestly can't remember. In reflecting on other families who I know their "middle" child, I can't put them in the same category as the common "middle child syndrome" either! I've been thinking (and worrying)...did we screw up having just one child? I had to read up on "only child" syndrome... well, there is much controversy on that as well... although they say it may be an advantage...whatever it is... my son (unless by a miracle that would put me on the front page of the "Daily News") will stay an only child...and if I'm to be blamed later in life.... oh well...maybe someday he'll "Blog" and say it's not true as well...sort of "hope so"!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes... life is good

I really don't have favorite clothes... I prefer some over others; I'm not really loyal to any brand and actually - I don't like to shop, especially for myself. BUT...I find myself really admiring the "Life is Good" brand - When I'm in Ramsey Outdoor Store with my husband, or any outdoor store with Phil - I love to gravitate to the "Life is Good" section ...I think their logo is fun, colors are muted and cool, fabric is very soft and their sayings are just adorable and very clever! Of course they (like other brands) have gone rampid with everything from dog accessories, tire covers, dishes, frisbees and the list goes on...for me, I just love the tee shirts and baseball caps.... and have to agree that "life is good"!

It's Pancake Day!

Today in Ireland (and British Isles) is "Pancake Tuesday". Women celebrate by running in a marked race while carrying a frying pan containing a pancake. The winner, on crossing the line, must toss her pancake and she is then greeted by the traditional kiss of peace. It's commonly referred to here as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Marti Gras... The faithful entered into Lent, refraining from eating eggs and all dairy products, using up the meat and dairy in the house made for delicious pancakes (which was traditionally restricted all during the 46 days of Lent). Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season began.
I find the entire Lenten season fascinating. From the customs of balls, parades at carnival celebrations in New Orleans and Rio de Janiero where eating, drinking and dancing is the custom - and how it all leads into Holy Week where the customs are so different all over the world. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. I crazy or does it seems like we JUST celebrated Christmas yesterday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I do LOVE the Oscars...

And I find myself so excited when they are coming up... it was more exciting for me this year because I actually saw two of the movies "Slum Dog..." and "The Writer". And I LOVED them both.
Do you remember when "The Wizard of Oz", "The Sound of Music", "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer" and many more classic movies used to be on TV only once a year? We all knew the date, it was a family event - if you missed it, you had to wait until the following year when it was featured again. Maybe that's why the Oscars and other award events are so exciting....they are ONLY on once a year. Well, so is the Super Bowl.... but that just doesn't do it for me. "To each his own" Our accessibility of watching anything at anytime is a convenience, but it does take away from that great anticipation we used to share. Something our kids just can't relate to.
It sort of falls in the category of seeing a digital picture the second you take the picture... "instant gratification". That's a topic for another blog...."instant gratification"
But, I'm actually happy to be tired from watching the Oscars... and Hugh Jackman - you were just terrific!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

If I WAS to join a fan club...

It would definitely be a David Letterman Fan Club.... I assume they exist...but seriously - I think I'm too old to start joining a fan club! I find it increasingly more difficult to stay up until 11:30, but if I do... I never fall asleep once I'm "tuned in". My least favorite part of his show are his "top 10"... but I have my own!

10. He doesn't exploit his son or private's kept private, but we can all tell how much he loves his son Harry, who is named after his own father.

9. He's a quiet philanthropist.

8. He's loyal, original, and just VERY funny.

7. During the last writers strike, David paid his staff their salaries out of his own pocket. Jon Stewart (another favorite) followed.

6. He truly loves his mother Dorothy, she's fun for him to "poke" at ~ but you can tell she's been his rock.

5. He's a proud crazy Liberal. Most (or many) in the media are...but don't come out as openly about it!

4. I look for those stupid white socks every show... I understand he wears a new pair every show.

3. My favorite episode was when Senator McCain admitted to screwing up when he lied to David about skipping his show...weeks after bailing on him to do a different interview!

2. Before his quintuple heart bypass surgery (Jan. 2000), he had not missed a day due to illness in his 18 years of late-night.

1. And the newest trivial bit of fun information is ... Phil's Uncle's daughter (from his first marriage) is David Letterman's "assistant" on the show... he's been fly fishing with David at his ranch in Montana.... (I hate name droppers....but it did make our Thanksgiving dinner conversation very fun).... and we've been told we can get tickets whenever we want. Stephanie is often referred to as "Smitty," "Monty," "Gunter," and "Dutch.", most recently David calls her "Vicky"... and David Letterman paid for her to go to law school - another reason I like him!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today, while at a convention in Atlantic City... I was so inspired when I noticed a new vendor table ... "Donate Life" A relatively new "not-for-profit" organization who's goal is to bring awareness to the vast majority who are not registered donors.
Did you know that:

  • Nearly 93,000 men, women and children are currently waiting for life-saving transplants
  • Every 12 minutes another name is added to the National Transplant Waiting List
  • An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplants
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to be a donor through registering to be donors through their state registry or motor vehicle department (DMV).
    I didn't!
    Kidneys are the most common organ donated by living donors. Other organs that can be donated include a lobe of a lung, partial liver, pancreas or intestine. Donated tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients, and even save lives.
    So, finding a cause that "grabbed me" I spent a significant amount of time learning about "Donate Life" and what we need to do to spread awareness. I remember standing with my son when he was getting his licence at the DMV and he was totally not aware of the choice he had about being an organ donor... if I was not with him I sense he may not have registered to be an organ donor.... he, like most 17 year olds do not understand the significance and what an important decision this is.... I sense it's never been discussed and they are not aware (getting OUT of the DMV with their licence in hand is all they are focusing on.... remember being 17)???
    Apparently "Donate Life" is now making visits to high schools to bring awareness to students so they are prepared and know what an impact they can make by thinking of this choice of being a donor before they are in the DMV.

If you are interested in learning more about "Donate Life" please visit their website at: where you can also register through your state to be a donor! I'll be proudly wearing this lapel pin and a new bright lime green wrist band...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some Presidents' Day Trivia...

Washington's Birthday is the official name designated to what many of us know as Presidents' Day. In 1968, legislation was put in place to simplify yearly calendars and give federal employees some fixed 3-day weekends. The act started in 1971 shifting the observation of Washington's Birthday to the third Monday in February instead of on the 22nd. And although this holiday is still officially known as Washington's Birthday, it has become popularly known as Presidents' Day. This now makes the third Monday in February a day for honoring both Washington and Lincoln. Personally for me... this year Presidents' Day has more significance than ever, an new president, a new administration and a new found hope for America and the world!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Perfect Valentine's Day...

A beautiful bunch of RED tulips ... a card (that has not been written in yet...yes, it's blank, but after so many years, that's even OK)... and take out from a favorite restaurant with a bottle of extra nice wine... and to top it off - our son and his girlfriend were here with us! Simple but it accomplished everything this holiday needed to accomplish ~ forever grateful!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Who invented the word "foodie"???

I love to cook. BUT...I do not consider myself a "foodie" (which I've been referred to frequently) ... who invented that word anyway? ~ it's just way too simple minded sounding. I find myself interested in every aspect of food... the menu.... where you bought it... how you cook it.... what cookbook it was in.... would you cook it again, etc... My sister and a very good friend said that I often come across "snooty"... and I was actually a little insulted - I guess when I'm at their homes for an event, or they bring something to my house I'll automatically ask "did you make that".... I don't find that insulting...they do! OH well...sorry - what I really want to know is ... it looks great - and if you did cook it.... "how did you make it".... this is because I'm interested - I'm NOT judging anyone who does not want to cook something and prefers to buy it...honestly, good for them - it makes their lives easier! Being married to an accomplished pastry chef who graduated first in his class from the CIA is wonderful.... and NO he does not cook at home - he's currently in a bakery all day, it's the LAST thing he wants to do. We love to dine...but we are realistic on where we go and what we expect. We love diners, and when at a diner expect "diner food". We also love fine restaurants and enjoy fun pubs...
Maybe I can blame the food network for my obsession with cooking... it's on 24/7 (well, that's not true, they are off the air at 4 AM until 7 AM)...
The title "foodie" is the new term for what people used to refer to as a "gourmet"... is to be interested in food as much as eating it. If we are interested in food, and love to go to a speciality shop for 1 ingredient or will experiment to make something "just a little better".... it's just what makes us tick! Don't confuse a food lover....or "foodie" as a snob who is judgemental. Now, to set the record straight... I drink a cup of instant coffee every morning... I hate to drag out my food processor or kitchen aid, I don't like recipes with more than 6-8 ingredients.... oh, and my husband and I both had gastric bypass.... so how can anyone call me a "foodie"... maybe I should stop talking so much about food....well that is until I get my "dream" job of working on the food network...for now working at Williams Sonoma will just have to satisfy that!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lipstick Personality Test!!

OK.... so now is the time to have some fun
and see if your lipstick reveals the REAL you!!!
1. You challenge rules, but you also respect them. You're not one to have an affair. Good follower. You like some attention, but not a lot of it. You prefer to have a schedule. When you color your hair, it's so that it's more dramatic.
2. You're easy going and are a real romantic. You have a lot of endurance, likable and balanced in all you do. You're likely to keep a relationship going, even if you're not that happy because you like having someone. You're generous to the point of being taken for granted many times.
3. You're very opinionated to the degree of full-forced passion! You tend to be impatient. You're not a big fan of schedules either. Your selective about your friends, but very loyal to those you do have. You're loaded with energy and very outgoing.
4. You're creative and very lusty. You like attention. You have a lot of strength and you fall in love too fast.
5. You're loyal, lovable and devoted. You're not a big party person, but like to party with just a few people. You're more of a home-orientated person, but needs contact with others either via the phone, letters or computer.
6. You're a direct person. You don't beat around the bush at all! You also have a lot of will power and can't be tempted easily. You're very concerned about your appearance and sometimes you get too flashy!
7. You remember details! No one fools you. You're also one to never refuse a challenge and have more courage than most people.
8. You love love! You go out of your way to get attention and have a big ego. You love sex and are pretty open to try new things. You love to travel, but not too far. You're also good at maintaining a sense of mystery about yourself. lipstick is a TRUE # angle (I've looked at a few).
What does yours say about you??? Is it true???

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bobby Flay and I have something in common!!!

One of my favorite shows to watch is the TV Food Network, I "secretly" want to be a star on that show... or maybe I just admire the chefs like they are bigger stars than they really are? I have my favorites - Ina Garten in "Barefoot Contessa" and Giada De Laurentis in "Every Day Italian" are my all time favorites.
But this morning, I realized that Bobby Flay and I had something in common... (imagine that). He talked about his first cooking memory....and it's mine as well:
Making chocolate pudding on top of the stove!
How fascinated I was when it began to "thicken" and make big fat bubbles.... how hard it was to have to put into the fridge and wait for it to cool... it was a "favorite" family desert. My one grandmother used to always have it ready for us when we went to visit her.
My love for cooking goes way back....and I can't say it was from spending hours in the kitchen with my mother or grandmothers, or any family members. You see, the Irish made sure you were well fed, and holidays were always special...but there are absolutely NO gourmet genes to be found. My one Uncle married someone very Italian, going to their house and having her sauce or as she would say "gravy" and eggplant was such a treat.
So.... back to the My*T*Fine Pudding... as it turns out, it's one of my son's favorite deserts as well, not the instant, the one that forms the skin on it. So just coming from the grocery store (a Sunday ritual).... I actually bought a few boxes (to have in my pantry) and it will still fascinate me when it starts to thicken....and it will still be hard to have to put it in the refrigerator and wait for it to cool.... now I just have to wait for my son to come home from college to cook it and enjoy it .... and well, that's another story - waiting for your kid to come home from college!

Friday, February 6, 2009

TODAY is National Wear Red Day!

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women?
Stroke is the #3 cause of death in women!
Know the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, and seek medical attention promptly. Heart disease in women does claim many lives each and every year but the disease can be manageable and preventable. Women need to study and learn as much as they can. They need to be educated. Not many women know that they have such a high probability of getting the disease. All women need to know that they have a greater risk of getting the disease than men. By understanding and knowing this, women will have a step up on this horrible disease and, maybe one day, heart disease in women will be a thing of the past.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our Cherished Reading Group!

Everyone should give themselves the gift of belonging to a "reading group"

Okay... it was January of 2005 when I had to have a "different" New Year's Resolution... and starting ANOTHER failed diet was not an option (and I knew I was in the lineup for gastric bypass).... so I did what I wanted to do for a long time .... I branched out of my "comfort zone" and started a "book group". Both of my sisters already belonged to a group, I was envious and told that their "groups"... (I just can't call it a club) were "full" and since they had been "invited" they could not ask if I could join (hmm, imagine that, being "disked" by your sisters) ~ So, I decided if I'm to initiate this, I'm asking women who I find "opinionated, honest and fun," and people throughout the years I've enjoyed to "talk" to ~ more than on a "superficial level". We started small, just 4 of us, and within a year we were a "full fledged" group of 7 women. We LOVE each other and all cherish our gatherings.... we try and meet every 6 weeks, we rotate, have a fun menu of appetizers and deserts... (and of course vino)... and our "steadfast" rule is like Vegas.... "what's discussed in our reading group.... stays in our reading group" - and trust me, we are NOT tacky and do not thrive on gossip.... We do our share of talking about our kids...but it's time to reflect amongst ourselves... lots of laughs (LOTS)... some tears and mostly unconditional support where you NEVER feel judged and everyone accepts everyone for whom they are!
So....if you belong to a reading group... I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.... and if you have not yet joined a reading group... I encourage you to start one.... there is much interest out there... small detail I forgot to mention.... we DO TRY and talk about the book we selected......."well, sometimes that is"

Monday, February 2, 2009

February means Valentine's Day....'s February...officially the time when the stores are inundating us for Valentine's Day. I'd like to say I don't care about Valentine's Day...but honestly, there is a little bit about it that I do look forward to... (besides my favorite color being red) ....just a simple reminder that it's a special day that makes it out of the ordinary!
Honestly, when it's Valentine's Day or Easter and just a small gift is given and received I say to myself... "this is how Christmas should be"!
So...I'll admit that I do drop hints.... "NO Candy"....or just "maybe a couple chocolate covered strawberries".... "NO jewelry", I have more "heart" jewelry than I could EVER possibly wear! "ABSOLUTELY NO ROSES"...OMG, what a rip off, and they are NOT a favorite of mine.... Yes, to a simple bunch of tulips I do cherish .... but there is something about those cheap little pastel candy hearts that bring back the oldest of memories.... Do you have a "favorite"???

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Super Bowl is for the Super Markets!!

THE Super Bowl.... let's be it really about the game? I just came from the grocery store, you would think we were going to have a blizzard.... Super Bowl Mania. Lets face it - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!!!
I'm all for a good reason or actually "no" reason to have a party. Is there any such a thing as "healthy" Super Bowl food? I could hardly get my cart down the isle they sell nachos in! For us Northeasterners... not as exciting as last year Giants vs Patriots... Both my husband and son are football fans.... if only there were truly NO MORE games after today!