Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It's Important to Laugh at Yourself

How I know that I do indeed need these hearing aids:

-I find out that I've been calling one of Will's friends moms "Elaine."  She is also the room mom for their class.  I got a notice home from school about the end-of-year class gift and wondered "Who the hell is Eileen??"

-Last week on the bus stop the kids and another mom were oohing and ahhing over an animal swimming in the reservoir across the street.  I looked around, scanning for the dog swimming.  I couldn't find it.  Oh my goodness.....is the dog ok?  Dogs are good swimmers, right?  I HOPE I DIDN'T JUST WITNESS A DOGGIE DROWNING.  Yeah......it was a duck, not a dog.  You can imagine the bewildered looks I got when I voiced my concern.  Guess who ran out of the house without her hearing aids?

How I know that I'm old:

-When relaying the first example to Brian, I finished with "Elaine and Eileen are pretty similar, you know.  Even hearing folks make that mistake."  Hearing folks.  Sheesh.  Come to think of it, I've also started referring to going shopping as "heading to the Walmart."  It's a downward slide from here, my friends!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wanna Get Away?

It's a tradition of ours to go to Pennsylvania to visit Brian's family for Memorial Day Weekend.  In our seventeen years together, we only ever missed it once.  (Brian went away with some friends for golf in SC)  This year, we decided last-minute to stay home, since we're going down twice in June.  The idea of not driving 200+ miles one way for a weekend, with kids and gas prices etc etc, it sounded like a good idea.  And it was!  We didn't do much of anything on Saturday, and it was a nice change of pace with how BUSY things have been lately.  We cleaned, we chilled.  I got tomatoes planted, as well as zucchini, green beans and cucumbers.  All was well.  We took the kids back to Six Flags on Sunday and had a VERY chilly day at the waterpark.  A pretty good weekend.

Yeah. All good things eventually must end.  Sean brought me my cellphone on Monday morning at 7:20am to tell me that it had been ringing.  ("It sounds like a haunted house, Mom!"  It's actually theme music from the Harry Potter movie)  Lo and behold, it's the answering service at work.  Their main location had a flood and they didn't have access to all of their phones and needed to have everyone forward their lines to their main number.  Yawwwnnnn.....throwing on some clothes to go to the office.  Finished in 20 minutes then went home to get a "better" start to the day."  Only to have my cell ring again at 1:20 and it's the on-call maintenance guy.  Now there's a flood IN MY OFFICE from the toilet in the apartment above.  Having just made lunch, I said I'd be there in 20 minutes to check out the damage.  Holy crap, the damage.  Ceiling tiles destroyed, and everything on top of my filing cabinet was trash:  My framed photos of the boys, invoices, work orders.....gone, gone, gone.  I'm more frustrated about the work order reports than the photos...I have copies and more frames at home.  Those reports take forever to write up!

I spent a big chunk of the rest of the day hoping that there wouldn't be a third call.  And there wasn't.  I can't decide though....was it better that we were home so I could go over right away instead of walking into this horror show first thing Tuesday morning?  I think so....but I'm looking forward to being away at this time next year!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In the Blink of an Eye

20 years since I graduated from high school.  Wow.  20 YEARS.

I can't type that in any way that makes it look less scary.  Twenty years.....such a long time but really, it goes by quick.  I graduated from a small-ish high school that was actually knocked down last year because they built a new one.  High school, like for lots of people, wasn't easy.  I wasn't popular but I had friends.  Good friends, considering how many of them I'm still friends with today.  I got made fun of for being timid, wearing glasses and having a name different than all of the Jennifers and Jessicas of my day.  (That would be today's Emmas, Hayleys or Nevaehs, or whatever is the flavor of the year)  Today I'm a bit outspoken, sarcastic (in a good way) and I think, occasionally funny.  I'm also forgiving....twenty years is a long time to hold a grudge for someone who teased you.  My friend Jen said something profound a few years ago...One shouldn't hold people to who they were in high school because it says nothing about the person that they've become today."  Those years are hell for everyone, even if at the time it doesn't seem like it.  

Thinking back to all of that, you might think that I'd hesitate when I got the invite on Facebook.  NOPE.  I was ready to go, I wanted to see all of these people and how they turned out.  Always the sociologist, I wanted to see if they stayed the same and show that I'm not the same person that I was 20 years ago.  I bought a ticket as soon as I could, I bought two tickets, one for me and one for my friend who ended up not making it from Illinois due to family commitment, so Hubby was my plus one.  And I'm so glad I went, because I ended up having a really good time!

Apparently, 20 years is the magic number where there's, to quote Mary J. Blige, "No More Drama."  People couldn't be more welcoming or nicer.  It's a time for friends to come together, to share the experience of growing up together.    It was great to see familiar faces, talk about fun times and basically let it all hang out.  For a little while, I even forgot that I was at a high school function.  I don't know, maybe it's my bittersweet nostalgia kicking in because my parents are selling their house in the town I grew up in after 31 years of living there.  Either way, I'm glad it was a nice time. 

Note:  I didn't even worry about Brian not having fun for two reasons:  people came up to him a couple of times and said "Hey I know who you are!  You're Mr. Ginny!"  He found that pretty funny, he's used to being called Will and Sean's Dad but not Mr. Ginny.  One person even said "I love the pictures that your wife posts of your food on Facebook, you must be a great cook."  (I wish I knew who said that!)  Also, it turns out that if you put two submariners in a crowded room, they will find each other and trade Navy stories from their enlistments.  :)


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Just You Wait...

Conversation in the car on the way home from school tonight...Will and I were talking about our neighbor who's his age.  We'll call him Jimmy.  Jimmy is allowed to do things like watch R - rated movies, drink Mountain Dew by the liter and stay up til the cows come home.  We all had a "Jimmy" in our circles growing up, right? 

Will mentioned that Jimmy ' s seen the movie "Titanic" and is obsessed with it.  Will knows the story from the Magic Tree House books and wanted to know why he's not allowed to see it.  I said, "first of all, it's too old for you.  And you're a pretty sensitive guy, more sensitive than Jimmy.  (Yeah Mom, way more sensitive!)  I said that it was a sad story and he'd likely cry. I also mentioned that there's a questionable scene.  Of course he asked me what, and I told him that there was a love story put in the movie to make it more exciting to viewers.  (Anyone my age or a little younger knows about the scene where Jack is drawing a nude Rose, right!)

Then....Will informs me that Jimmy told him that there's a naked lady in the movie.  "Ummm.. yes, there is, I confirm."  And the best....."How does the naked lady make it more exciting then??  Unless she's running around naked, screaming that she needs to get dressed before getting in the lifeboat??"

That would certainly make it more entertaining.  As for the excitement...talk to me in a couple of years. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Postcards from the Past

Years ago, I was obsessed with collecting postcards.  What??  I thought that they were cool.  I would buy them for myself if I traveled, get people to send them, I even would get old ones at museums and estate sales.  I hadn't seen the cards in years, but with Will having a "culture box" school project on France due this week, I cracked it open for inspiration.

Observations....

1.  Man, most of them are from all over New England.  I also have a lot from Alaska and for some reason, Cleveland?

2.  Not a single French postcard in the bunch.  Dang!

3.  I still have a postcard from Salve Regina "congratulating" me on my HS graduation and looking forward to seeing me in June 1995 for orientation.  Relic of a bygone era...I'm sure that thry do that by email now. 

4.  The funniest one was a postcard that I filled out myself, trying to win tickets for a U2 concert in a drawing.  Clearly I never sent it...but a drawing by postcard!!!  :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Brownie Lesson

Usually food posts go on my food blog, Blue Plate Special.    This is a little more than that.



These are not just brownies.  They're a lesson in cause-and-effect, and chemistry.

Will came home from school a few weeks ago, telling us about an assignment.  He had to write a recipe for something, and he'd written one for brownies.  And he wanted to take the recipe to the next level...he wanted to make them with Dad.  Dad is the primary (I am hardly even the secondary!) baker of the household.  So they made it a Wednesday "Guys Night" project while I was at knitting group.

The first step is to melt butter for fifteen minutes.  Hmmmmm, even I as the "secondary baker" know that if you melt butter for 15 minutes, you aren't going to have butter anymore.  You are going to have a scorched mess and a sad kid whose brownies have already taken a death blow in the very first step.  So with a little tweaking (i.e. more cocoa, balance of ingredients) a pan of brownies materialized.

Surprisingly, they weren't too bad.  Not the fudge-y, chocolate treat you usually have, but they rose in the pan and had some chocolate flavor.  And my little scientist wants to keep tweaking the recipe, until it is worthy of The Notebook.  The Notebook is a small notebook that I received as a shower gift, in it we copy any recipes that we really, really liked.  We put a lot in it the first five years of marriage, now we're a bit more discriminate on what goes into the all-important Notebook.  What Will doesn't know, though,  is that his recipe is already Notebook-worthy.  Just not in the way that he thinks, but in terms of preciousness.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Six Flags!

We were looking for something fun to do with the boys this past weekend since Monday was a holiday and (GASP) Daddy had the day off!  I haven't been out to Six Flags since right before it was Six Flags, so that was.....17 years ago?  (I'm suddenly fighting off the urge to sob uncontrollably.)

Monday's weather looked nasty from the news, so we opted for a beautiful sunny Sunday instead.  After a breakfast at Cracker Barrel we drove out to the park, expecting crowds.  There weren't any!  There was only one ride that had a wait, and everything else was just a couple of minutes.  Sean and I won superhero capes while playing carnival games, we ate junk food like french fries and funnel cakes and even had ice cream for lunch.  Basically, it was the kind of day that little boys dream about.  No arguments, no fussing, and the only crying was when Sean wasn't tall enough for two of the rides.  (Which is understandable.)  We ended up having such a great day, we upgraded our tickets to season passes!  Can't wait to go a few more times and next time, we can experience their waterpark.  Looking forward to making memories.