Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Love That RED!

Bono started Red, a campaign that combined consumerism and altruism. Since then, consumers have generated more than $22 million to fight H.I.V. and AIDS in Rwanda
RED... well known to my family and friends that it's my favorite color... Pink is a close second favorite, especially "winter pink"... I think that Red being labeled as my favorite color is because my birthday is over Memorial Day Weekend...when red, white and blue take over the stores! Just my guess. Inevitably, when my family chooses a color for me - it's usually red. My first car - red. Our favorite car - was red too. Favorite holiday: Christmas - love those red velvet bows!
I had to look into what colors mean... found this interesting, and pretty accurate.

I LOVE this Red Barn against the white snow... (winter, favorite season)!

Red: The color of strength, health, and vitality, Red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive—or someone who would like to be! It goes with an ambitious nature but those who choose it can be abrupt at times, determined to get all they can out of life, quick to judge people and take sides. Red people are usually optimistic and can’t stand monotony; they are rather restless and not at all introspective, so they may be unaware of their own shortcomings. They find it hard to be objective and may blame others for any mishaps. Quiet people with a preference for red may feel the need for the warmth, strength and life-giving qualities of the color, or they blanket their true feelings under a sober exterior. Red is usually chosen by people with open and uncomplicated natures, with a zest for life.

I LOVE a Christmas Red Velvet Bow on Greens!

In case you're interested in reading about your "favorite" color...here is a link:


Monday, June 29, 2009


Gene and John - John's High School Graduation - June, 2009
Gene and John - John's Confirmation - May, 2005

Gene and John, (aka Wise Man and Shepard) - Christmas, 1995

These pictures warm my heart.... It's Gene's only male cousin, they are very close and go out of their way to be there for one another... Gene was John's Confirmation sponsor. May their bond always continue! John is my Godson, one of the most loyal, honest, extremely bright, fair, great kids I know... I'm happy to have him in our life and to have shared his recent eagle scout ceremony and high school graduation. John is off to Villanova in the Fall... we'll miss him - but so happy for him!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday...Featured Favorite Humanitarian # 9

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, worked first as a nurse where she learned first-hand of the health and social problems of too many pregnancies. Margaret Sanger spent time in jail to fight for sex education, and for distributing contraceptive information and contraceptives. Margaret Sanger lived long enough to see the practice of birth control declared a constitutional right (for married couples) in 1965.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Who's Patty Duke?

Patty Duke and that famous flip!

Farrah Fawcett and that famous hair and smile!

Last evening, a very candid response from my 22 year old niece made me feel old, then her next response to another statement, made me feel VERY old. Having a terrible "hair day"... I mentioned it and said "I have this Patty Duke flip going on"... She said "who's Patty Duke". Later, this same evening I mentioned it was not a good day in Hollywood loosing both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. She said "who's Farah Fawcett". Now, I'm referring to a very savvy, smart and well informed lady! Patty Duke, I could live with... Farrah Fawcett? I thought everyone knew who she was! Of course she knew who Michael Jackson was!
The world will miss Americas most famous "Charlie's Angel" and the all time most famous Pop Star...as I continue to feel very old...may they rest in peace..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Mom, was that really necessary"

Funny...well, sort of. My 20 year old "Superman" fan... was not too happy about my previous post. "Mom, was that really necessary" I re-read it...seems OK to me! I guess some kids just HATE when their parents say ANYTHING about them... Sorry, but it's still sweet to me!
Maybe some day I'll learn to be quiet???

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SUPERMAN... is very alive in our house!!!

Superman is still HUGE to my 20 year old...seriously. A few years ago, as a grown young adult, he seriously asked me if I had a choice of being Superman or Batman, which would I choose? I realized he was serious... and I probably gave a response "I'm not sure, why - who would you choose"?He proceeded to give me a full blown reason on why he would choose Superman over Batman... Recent birthday's have consisted of rare collectors posters, comics and other memorabilia, not to mention the numerous sweatshirts and tee shirts. Halloween... for the last umpteen years...yes, Superman, an adult costume - this year he was very clever and looked like Clark Kent, with his Superman costume underneath...even to the detail of black horn rim glasses, slicked his hair back - he looked like a carbon...
We're fans on all the run-offs too - "Smallville" "Lois and Clark..." the original TV shows, cartoons, etc.
When Christopher Reeve had his accident then passed, he was devastated and felt like he personally lost a hero. His friends and family are all aware of his passion for Superman... he loves it, proud of it and happy to tell you every and any little detail about any movie, show, etc. Why is this on my mind? Tonight he just came "flyin" into the house wearing one of his favorite tee shirts "mild mannered reporter" with black glasses on the front... this shirt is 5 years old...he still loves it!
And...there is something about his passion and spirit that I love too!!!

Summer Solstice!

To some...summer is all downhill after June 21. June 21 is called the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and simultaneously the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Last night, at 9 PM when it was just starting to become dusk, it reminded me of my childhood summers, when neighborhood kids were all out together every night and it seemed it never got dark. I've been told that I'm a little strange, because unlike most, I prefer the winter solstice when it is darkest on December, 21. I can't fully explain it, but there is something about the winter, dark nights and candles burning that make me feel very comforted in my home, best when everyone is home together (and that seems to be a myth now, nice to think about but in reality, a rarity). I was up and out this morning at 5:00 AM, it was starting to get light out... I do prefer light in the mornings though and find getting up at 6:30 AM when it's still dark to be difficult. Without the tilt of the earth's axis, we would have no seasons. I'm grateful for all of our seasons, I've always preferred winter, but the change is important... it's a good reason for my "weeds" to grow!
Enjoy these long summer evenings... summer is officially here - if only this summer the sun would finally appear and stay out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rowing...Crew...My NEW Adventure!

A 2 man scull, under the Tappan Zee Bridge!

I'm a true novice. Rowing on a crew team is ALWAYS something I wanted to do... I feel so lucky to have found a club that will fit into my schedule... Weekdays, you have to be at the launch at 5:30 AM... we row until 7:00 AM... the other adults on the team also work... we're all "in the same boat together". The Hudson River is beautiful... but much larger than I expected...and wider. I found out that you don't have life jackets in the sculls... and they are very tippy... so the rule is you are to be a good enough swimmer to be able to swim to shore - in your clothes! It makes me pay attention...the thought of going in the water is horrifying... I'm shocked at how much concentration it takes - TRUE, team work.
I'm not going to say too much, as I'm famous for "good intentions" - but for now...and being sore from using muscles I never knew existed - I'm excited to be doing this...it's a sport I never had the opportunity to try and always admired. Having been "nursing" a herniated disc in my back is my only concern...but I won't know it until I give it a true "go"!
It's a beautiful and serene setting to be on the water so early...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Reflection...

My Dad... George Downey (taken before I was born)

Phil and Gene, June 2009

Gene with Gerry (my step dad) in Florida

Happy Father's Day... Having lost my dad at 12, this has never been one of my favorite holidays. Having been blessed with a step dad since college, it has given this holiday a new meaning. To my son, and all the kids...he's been a wonderful Grandfather! Having seen my husband, who is a wonderful dad - makes this holiday come full circle! Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's ~ a great day to enjoy your family!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saturday...Featured Favorite Humanitarian # 8

Eunice Kennedy Shriver
It’s fitting to take a look at the woman who founded the Special Olympics in 1968. A long-time advocate for better schools, programs, and acceptance for the mentally-challenged, Shriver started Camp Shriver, a camp for mentally-disabled children, at her family’s Maryland estate in 1962. She taught the campers to swim in the family pool and organized other sports activities.
Camp Shriver, now a collection of more than 300 camps, led to the creation of the Special Olympics in 1968. The first games were held in Chicago with 1000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 26 US states and Canada, competing in athletics, floor hockey and aquatics.
Today, the Special Olympics programs serve 2.25 million people in 160 countries. The games include 30 summer and winter sports.

Thank you Eunice Shriver ~ you are a true humanitarian!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Would YOU Do??

Today's torrential rain did not defer my husband from his weekly fly fishing trip to Pennsylvania... While walking over 2 miles into the deep woods and following a favorite stream, he was blessed to come face to face with this!

What did he do? Stared him out... the bear ran away and he continued deep into the woods and stream and kept fishing... alone...in the woods - well, with a bear (or a few)... last week I heard about a mother and her 2 cubs... Do you think I'm anxious to go back there???

Rain, Rain...GO AWAY

Enough is Enough...
It's June... my memories of June are sweating in a classroom in school...waiting for summer to begin! I feel like I'm back in Ireland... cold, rainy and everything is so GREEN. But... the sun would be very nice! I'm trying to make the best of it... but just heard the forecast and there does not seem to be a day without a rain cloud in sight... sigh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NJ Phenomenon... "The Real Housewives of NJ"!

I'm late in catching the NJ Phenomenon. "The Real Housewives of NJ" I had to find out what channel Bravo TV was... 44 - and tune in. It's ALL the talk ... and having lived in the same town for many years and having a sister who still lives there, I've heard her reflect on this show and finally had to find it. OMG, entertaining, sort of - does it reflect the families in Franklin Lakes? I don't think so. It's "new money" spending it out of control (cash, of course) and incredibly vindictive to each other... I'll admit, I honestly don't know all that much about them, but I had to watch a few episodes to know what people (primarily women) are talking about. So, to many of my friends who used to live in this area... if you've not watched it, it's entertaining and check it out. I don't know if my mother has seen it... NOT really promoting it to her (my folks no longer live in Franklin Lakes, Mom would loath this show) Fun to see: The Market Basket, Oakland Diner, Varka etc. This reality TV show is a little too close to home (physically only)... Will I watch more of it... yeah, probably!
on a side bar ~ could this blog be ANY more distant than my following blog: Peaceful. ???

Monday, June 15, 2009


Called "The Stretch" in PA... (taken from my cell phone)
I spent the afternoon with Phil fly fishing... well, he fished - I watched, read and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings. I've realized I don't have to fish to love the atmosphere of a running river in the woods. I could do without the bugs...but that is what makes fly fishing successful... a fly fisherman tries to "match the hatch" with their own made flies!
At some point I'll give in and cast a few myself... it's Phil's dream to have me out in the stream with him - this means he'll go out and purchase ALL OF THE GEAR for me, which seems excessive - he'll do ANYTHING to have me enjoy it, including taking the fish off the fly. I'm NOT a girly/girl - but something about fish and the everlasting smell seem to "skeeve me out".
But...it's so peaceful and serene. We were the only ones in a 200 acre stretch of river yesterday - but when he told me I was sitting where a mother bear and her 2 cubs were recently, it put a new twist on feeling "so alone"... the wild turkeys, coyotes, boxer turtles and deer I can accept... the bear - not so sure. I'm married to a "A Grizzly Adam"... a true environmentalist who could survive in the woods... So nice to have such a passion.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Flag Day!

Flag Day
When : Always June 14th
Flag Day, is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation.....one nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.
As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag today and every day with pride!
Properly Display Our Flag
There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:
The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land ,and "half mast" on a ship.
When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.
Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for
retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see.Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, attend the ceremony. Who Knew All This? Not me... Flag Day is also my Wedding Anniversary and many people remember our anniversary because it's Flag Day!!! (info found on Google Search)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Making An Effort!


\ˈe-fərt, -ˌfȯrt\
1 : conscious exertion of power : hard work 2 : a serious attempt : try 3 : something produced by exertion or trying

Making an effort...it's one of my favorite qualities in people. It stands out significantly. I try and remind myself to consistently acknowledge people who "make an effort"... it comes in all shapes and sizes. When people give up personal "wants" or go out of their way to visit, and don't let their schedule change their initial intention I like to consider it one of the most selfless acts they can do. It's so easy to call and cancel a plan, we're all busy and EVERYONE can come up with a reason (or good sounding reason) on WHY THEY HAVE TO CANCEL. A few instances have stood out to me when friends have gone beyond the norm...just so they don't disappoint. I had a small surprise party for my husband once, my dear friend who then lived in NYC called me earlier that night and said the heat in their car was not working and it was not safe to drive their car in January without heat. She was right, it was not a good idea - I was disappointed, but I accepted it - the party went on... There was a knock on the door, it was she and her husband, she rented a car and made the party... a small act of kindness that showed an "effort" that I'll never forget! Family are "expected" to make an effort, and we usually do, especially a parent - we expect their unconditional love and effort. We shouldn't though. I have a favorite cousin (I call my Aunt) by marriage that has been ill and had some misfortunate accidents, it's haunting me I've not been to see her, I'm making it happen soon - a little effort on my end is all it will take. Last night 8-10 coworkers from my old company had planned to get together in the city, I met most of them 2 years ago. The effort on my end was minimal, traffic (that's expected) - but one friend drove up from DC just to see us all... I was so appreciative - a huge effort on her end, 2 small children at home too.
So...my message is, I have to remind myself that "making an effort" sometimes has to be conscious, I never want to be someone labeled as the person who "never shows up" or typically disappoints - I will always remember when people go "out of their way"... it's huge to me!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Saturday... Featured Favorite Humanitarian # 7

Oprah Winfrey

"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eagle Scout in the Family!

My Sister Ellen, John and brother-in-law Bob

John getting his new neckerchief from an Eagle Scout

Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony. It is something everyone should attend, at least once. It was extra special for me because my only nephew, Godson and all around great kid was made an Eagle Scout recently. I'm not sure who was more proud, John or his parents. My sister is never demanding, but missing this ceremony was "not an option".
The work that goes into being an Eagle Scout is amazing - it forces elder teens to have great leadership and follower ship qualities. Noting you're an Eagle Scout is something you always do, grown men still list it on their resumes... Besides the dignitaries that attended, what was most impressive to me was watching the younger boy scouts who are looking up to them and knowing it is their turn as they work towards this rank. Only 2% of boys that enter into scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout... It was a very proud moment for our family, and his parents who were sweating it out until his 18th birthday when your Eagle Scout project has to be completed! Congratulations John...a proud memory I'll never forget!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fun to go away...Nice to come back home!

Susan, Phil, Gene and Kelsey
Governor's Mansion, Williamsburg, VA

It's ALWAYS great to pack to go away... especially if everyone is exploring the same place for the first time. I like to make road trips fun too. We had a great time, everyone should experience Colonial Williamsburg, it's a tourist trap...but done very tastefully - or as my son said "primitive"! I love the hardest decision to be "where should we eat tonight"... and of course lots of golf, tennis, racquetball, exercise room, hot tub and beautiful surroundings were nice combined with a "history lesson". BUT... it's always nice to come back home! Besides missing our dog (who was in GREAT hands)... it's just important to come back to reality!
Besides...I missed my blog!