Sunday, July 31, 2011

You can't make this stuff up......Part II

                                                             Hubby and I attended a rock concert Friday night with Instigator (see Green Acres Post) and his girlfriend. The show was part of a free summer concert series, that is promoted as being on the waterfront, when in actuality the shows are held down the road from the water in a glorified parking lot. But as the headliners were a band we've enjoyed seeing in the past, we were excited to attend. Let me preface this by saying that the headlining band put on a good show, however we had no idea that a majority of the evening's entertainment would actually take place in the the crowd. As you probably know, I like to people watch and come up with characters based on them......The stories I could come up with based on the "characters" at this show would fill a bookcase.
          The concert actually featured a couple of other bands, so the show itself began at 5pm and went until 11pm. Mind you, that means the serving of beverages also starts at 5pm and ends at 11pm. We arrived at the show right as the main band was taking the stage and it was immediately clear that the beverages had been flowing steadily (a little too much for some.) We made our way through the packed house and within seconds my friend was body checked into me by a large gentleman who seemed to have possibly overindulged in beverages, which clearly impaired his ability to see her. Shortly after that,we watched him trip over a metal barricade, which I believe he may have also tried to argue with. We decided to keep walking, hoping to find a section with a little more breathing room and ironically found that the only spot (where you were not being jostled/run into/stepped on/crashed into) was in front of the beverage area. From this spot we had a clear view of much of the crowd and what a view it was. 
           Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep! We interrupt this blog post for a very special Public Service Announcement. As I stated earlier the band is a Rock Band and they play loud music which sometimes contains adult content. So to the young woman I observed rocking your baby to the sweet strains of the bands cover of Gimme Shelter, as lovely as the song is - it is NOT a lullaby. Your baby's poor little ears are going to be ruined before they reach the age of 1! So not cool. And to all the other parent's who were there with babies (and by baby I mean any child under the age of 5 which I saw waaaayyyy too many of), perhaps you were not aware that this concert was not exactly a family friendly affair. But to the man with his (I'm guessing) 3 year old son on his shoulders; watching him bounce up and down and scream like crazy to Control, was so many kinds of wrong, I can't even begin to explain. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post. 


           So, as I was saying, the people watching was very entertaining. I must say the clothing choices were extremely original. People choose to express themselves in such creative ways. Although it did seem that shirts and shoes (!) were optional, there were some standout costumes outfits that deserve an award. Without further ado.......
  • Gentleman whose T-shirt swore at me not once, not twice, but three times (there may have even been some sign language on it.)
  • Larry The Cable Guy's twin brother - The Confederate army called and would like their flag suspenders back.        
  • Lady wearing flowing, green evening gown with silver, sequined, LARGE, purse - obviously you were on your way to a prom and got lost. Hope you at least got to dance. 
  • Gentleman artfully balancing a cigarette, can of beer and a blow up PINK guitar...your manliness was....well....there are no words to describe it.
  • Shirtless dude (I know there were a lot of you so calm down) dancing in front of the beer truck, holding 4 beers at once. The ladies with you were lucky girls and so clearly impressed by the skills you were demonstrating.
  • All the men/women displaying farrrrr too much skin - The saying "left nothing to the imagination" was invented with you in mind.
  • Honorable mention - Goes to all those men/women who believed that 
    • a.) an overabundance of alcohol beverages made them more attractive.
    • b.) overabundance of alcohol beverages made the person they were flirting with more attractive.

      Thank you to all who participated in the voting - we'll have some lovely party gifts for our winners.....  As I've said before.....You can't make this stuff up!          

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Keep it down will ya??

        My dream job goes a little something like commute to work, sitting at my computer for a good eight hours, trying to make some semblance of the ideas/thoughts/stories floating around in my head. I could work uninterrupted for hours on end. Even if I'm just throwing the ideas onto the page, at least they are out there, instead of running rampant in my mind, where they can literally wander forever. At least on paper they can't be lost and I can go back to them whenever and work on making something cohesive out of them. 

         I don't have that dream job.......yet. What I do have are small increments of time during which I try to cram these ideas onto paper or a computer screen. It's not easy or in any way ideal. Truth be told, it actually makes me a little crazy sometimes. See, things keep happening in my head no matter the time of day or what I'm doing. The characters keep talking, plot lines keep developing and they won't wait for a more "convenient" time. I do my best to tell them all to pipe down while I'm at work, but outside of that all bets are off. During the other hours of the day I keep a notebook with me and I'm always jotting things down, again to get them out of my head so they'll leave me alone. 

       Pulling out a notebook isn't always the most convenient idea however. For instance, on the back of a jet ski is not a good place for writing. Neither is dinner with friends, walking, running, Church or the dentist chair. As I've said before the ideas don't really care whether you have something else going on. They want to be heard and they are mighty darn persistent. So sometimes I give in and just listen for awhile to see what they have to say (and hopefully remember it all by the time I can write it down.)  

      Alright, I confess; there are times when I may completely zone out in the middle of something. If I do it while I am with you, I apologize. But until I have my dream job there's nothing I can do about it.....wonder what Mega Millions is up to now....

 ~ Adrienne

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photo Contest Reminder......

Hi All -

Just a reminder that the voting for the photo contest begins today.

To vote - click on the SITS Pic Challenge Icon at the top right of this page (in the sidebar - looks like a camera) and it will take you to their website.  Scroll down to where the pictures are listed in numerical order (mine is #5).
There will be a star above the picture saying VOTE. Click on the star to register your vote. 

Thank you!!!

~ Adrienne

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thankful, Grateful, Appreciative....Call it What You Want......Just Be It!!

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.  ~Alphonse Karr

            I had the opportunity to attend a writing conference a few month's back. The guest speaker during dinner was a well known author who has enjoyed some success in the world of writing. When I say success, picture Oprah's book club and #1 on the New York Times best seller's list with her first novel. As she began her speech to us that night, she spoke of a recent string of bad luck she and her family had been facing. When I say bad luck, think back to Job. Have a picture in your mind? Let's just say she gave him a run for his money. Every time you thought she was done with her list of bad things she would say "And then things got worse." So now I know what you're thinking. Jeez, what a depressing talk that must have been, and I'll admit there were tears running down my face by the end....but they were tears of laughter. 
          Her story was filled with humor, joy and an amazing gratitude for what was good in her life and honey I gotta tell ya, at that point there wasn't much. She was grateful for her friends, family, people wanting to come hear her speak, and the fact that she had more stories in her to tell. I walked away feeling completely uplifted by her outlook on life. I'm always humbled by people who focus on the good and never the bad. 
        One of my biggest pet peeves is people who habitually complain about their lives but in reality have nothing to complain about. The service was bad, traffic is awful, the weather is too hot, too cold, someone ate my porridge...okay, you get the picture. I'll be the first to admit that I've done it - we all have but if you can force yourself to stop and look around, you can always find something to be grateful for. I remember reading an article once on blessing your troubles. An example of this was being thankful for the bill you receive when your car needs to be fixed. The idea being that it meant you were lucky enough to have a car. Bless your heat bill, because it meant you had a warm house to live in. You get the idea.....

        A few years ago a good friend gave me a small notebook to use as a gratitude journal. Each day you write down 5 things for which to be thankful for. Some days what I write may be dramatic (We bought a house!) to the very simple (We went for ice cream on a hot day), but the point is, even on the hardest of days, there is always something to be found. I notice that the more days in a row I write something, the better my life seems. When things in life seem bad I go back and read over old entries and it’s amazing how quickly my perspective can change. Give it a try and see if you don't find the same thing.....and the next time you're tempted to complain about the thorns of life, take a deep breath and focus on the roses. 

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. - Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"I Am Marie Barone...."

       My mother in law uttered those words to me on the phone one day. 
I said "Hello" and she said "I"

      My mother in law (MIL) never watched "Everybody loves Raymond" during it's actual run on TV. She instead came across it in reruns, a full season in a couple of days, which is probably not the best way to view Marie Barone. All those obnoxious behaviors and the put downs cleverly aimed at her daughter in law. Once a week, pretty funny. A couple of episodes a day for a couple of weeks? A little too much Marie.
        Let's get something straight. My MIL is NOT MARIE BARONE. If she was, I wouldn't be laughing and writing about this in a post. Instead I would probably be in therapy somewhere. That being said my MIL, after watching all these episodes featuring Marie at her finest, felt the need to call up and confess her similarity and apologize, a lot. It got so bad she would call up to tell us about the latest episode she watched and what horrible thing Marie had done. She was horrified by the behavior but at the same time, incredibly entertained by it. Once Hubby made the mistake of answering the phone and she immediately went into convulsions trying to tell the latest escapade. Hubby, not being aware so much of his Mom's new obsession with the show, didn't catch the beginning of her story. He was horrified at the story she told, especially when he believed it to be something his mother had done to his wife. He was about to go into heart attack mode when he finally got the real story. 
       All that being said (and again I LOVE my MIL) she's had her Marie like moments:

  • MIL likes to give her opinion on lots of things and for the most part it's fine. But there are days when you may not feel completely like taking said advice. During one such occasion, MIL (who is very aware of this quirk she possesses) put her hands over her ears and said "La la la la....I can't hear you!" Which of course sent us into hysterics. It's now every one's catch phrase when they don't want to hear something. 
  • Hubby and I stopped to visit his parent's one evening after dinner at a restaurant. Not feeling well from something I ate, MIL offered me some Maalox. Me -"Ugghhh why does this medicine taste funny?" MIL - "Mmm I don't know. Let me see the bottle. Oh, mmmm, it expired in 2002" (it was currently 2004 if I remember right. I could write a whole other blog on MIL's love for all things expired.) Had I not known better, I might have thought she was trying to do away with daughter in law.
  • Whenever MIL stops at our house she likes to putter around with things, especially in flower beds, gardens, etc. She has a bit of nervous energy that prevents her from sitting still. So, she often will dead head my flower bed for me. Which would be fine would she take the dead flowers with her to the trash. But oh no.....picture this. Woman bent over in your flower bed, dead heading and flinging said flowers behind her, all over your lawn. When I pointed this adorable quirk out to her she said "You'll eventually just grind them up in the lawnmower so it's no big deal." I always know when she's been over as there are dead flower heads covering my lawn. Gives her away every time....
  • And our favorite moment, the Great Pumpkin Caper - The first year hubby and I were in our house I was sooo excited to have a little front porch that I could put pumpkins out on. We went all out in corn stalks, and pumpkins of various sizes. Because it looked so nice we decided to leave it out through most of November (reminder to those who think pumpkins are only for Halloween - they are great Thanksgiving decorations as well.....I'm just saying.) Anyway, MIL became concerned that others in the neighborhood had removed their pumpkins after Halloween while we continued to display ours. She was so concerned in fact that she decided to stop by during the day when no one was home to confiscate said pumpkins. The pumpkins still looked extremely healthy, however they had become a tad soft. So therefore when Marie, err, I mean MIL tried to pick them up, they broke apart all over the steps. So now she's really stuck. Now she becomes concerned that I may be upset about this. So instead of just throwing them into our trash bin and being done with it, she decides to put them in the trunk of her car. That way if we are really angry she can just give them back to us.....oh how her mind works. She called her sister to confess, before contacting us. Her sister's only response, "Oh dear, you're going to cause a divorce." Now, I'll admit I was a little miffed over this but once again we turned it into a running joke as now whenever we see a house with pumpkins out past Halloween, we ask if she'd like us to pull over so she can inform the occupants of their faux pas.

But for all of these things that she thinks make her Marie Barone, there are so many others that show she is not. 

  • The time I came down with a horrrrriiiibbblle stomach flu and Hubby was out of town for work. She showed up at my door (with no concern for her health) bearing Gatorade, bananas, Popsicles, chicken broth, and saltine crackers. Ditto when I became sick on a family cruise and she got them to open the infirmary after hours to make sure I was taken care of as soon as possible.
  • She makes a gift basket up for every holiday for my cats including sending oyster crackers through the mail for Daisy (one of her loves...) 

  • She will drop whatever is going on in her life at the moment to help family, friends, neighbors, etc with whatever they need.
  • She raised Hubby to be the extremely caring, loving person that he is and I'm so lucky to be her DIL...
Oh, and just in case you think she's joking about the Marie Barone references......did I mention we live about 15 houses from his parents????


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Testimonial Tuesdays......

     Something new here folks.....gather around. 
Everyone here? Okay good....

Now, I love trying out new products but I HATE spending my money on something that does not live up to the hype. I don't care that 9 out of 10 doctors recommend the many people I actually know would recommend the product?

     So in honor of the first Testimonial Tuesday - my first item selected will be......Potato Chips! Normally I do not eat chips.....uhhh let me rephrase that....I don't have chips regularly on hand in my home. The reason for this is that Hubby and I have a weakness when it comes to chips. If we know there is a bag open in the house they call to us like......ummmm.....Mmm? What? Sorry, did someone say something? I couldn't hear you as there's a bag of open chips in the kitchen and they were talking to me....So where was I?
     Oh right, potato chips. As I said Hubby and I do not buy them often because of said weakness, especially when it comes to Salt and Vinegar potato chips. We've tried many kinds but just recently we found two different brands that are going to cause a lot of relapses around here....

The first is Dirty Potato Chips
    I tried a small bag of these from the vending machine at work and could not stop raving about them. I bought a bag for hubby to try and let's just say that the bag didn't live long. There are a few lonely souls left but they're the ones that keep talking to me.....what? Oh that still wasn't you talking huh?

   Well, anyway, if you live for the tang of the vinegar taste then these are for you. They are the thickest, crispiest chips I've ever tasted and if your tongue doesn't hurt when you're done...well maybe you're not human.

          The other brand is Route 11 Potato Chips
We tried them after our jet ski lunch the other day and maybe part of it had to do with us being starving.....but all I can say is wow! If you are a saltaholic like me.....these are for you. 

NOTE - Do not eat without large bottle of water with you. Also, please check with your doctor first as I can't be held responsible if you don't handle sodium well....that's all I'm saying.

Interesting article on how/where they are made, for all you travel buffs who like to make some stops off the beaten path - From Albermarle Magazine.

   So now you've heard from me....I'd love to hear from you. Anything new you've tried lately that made you want to say "You gotta try this!" Come and share with the rest of the class.....and remember if you show up with some chips make sure you have enough for everyone. :)

~ Adrienne

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Opposites Attract???

Hubby and I went jet skiing for a couple of glorious hours on Lake Ontario today. Our trip went something like this: 
    We started off on a yearly ritual that includes, a very slow putt putt in order to ensure I had time to get used to the motion of the machine, spray of water in my face and remembering when to lean. Then, when I am more comfortable, Hubby opens the throttle and I bury my face into his back. Just when I am positive we are about to go airborne, he backs off and and resumes our leisurely ride. When it's time to go, he drops me off at the dock before heading back out for some breakneck speed and hair pin turns. He has the time of his life, while I watch and cheer from the deck. 
       I realized today that this scene is somewhat of a metaphor for our life. You see Hubby and I are a textbook example of the cliche "Opposites Attract." 
  • He is about speed and daring (to quote a line from one of his favorite movies Top Gun - "You're not gonna be happy until you're going mach 2 with your hair on fire." or "I feel the need, the need for speed.") Airplanes, jet skis, boats, motorcycles, roller coasters, you name it, he loves it.
  • I don't like motorcycles (thankfully his was gone before I came along), and am deathly afraid of roller coasters,or anything that makes me feel out of control. I'm still getting over the time he accidentally got me to go on Test Track at Epcot. 
  • I love the lake and ocean but, since I can't see the bottom of either of them, I'm not going in, plain and simple. I learned to swim in a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks, (Sylvia Lake for all my childhood friends) back before an active imagination developed into something that can only imagine the worst. Hubby on the other hand could possibly be part fish. Lake, pond, ocean, pool; not picky. 
  • When it comes to the love of his life, flying  (2nd love - I hope) I do very well as the co-pilot, as long as you don't need me to have my eyes open on take off......or landing. 
  • When it comes to the social aspect of things he gives new meaning to "social butterfly." He can make friends with anyone.....ordering a pizza, bank teller, Dell customer service rep, the list goes on. I get hives at the thought of calling to schedule a doctor's appointment. Once, 2 hours from home, at a rest stop on the NY State thruway - he ran into 5 people that he knew.....5! When we have game night with our friends, he revels in making everyone laugh until they are crying. I am more than willing to be his audience. 
  • I love going to the movies and reading. He'll read anything....that involves an airplane. Going to the movies is a reason to make him sit still....not good. He is still recovering from me black mailing him into going to see Black Swan with me. Hey, it was my birthday and I needed revenge for the Test Track of Terror.
  • He loves cereal, I hate it. He's a morning matter the hour. Try talking to me before 8am and see how far you get......

         Honestly, there are probably more things we do not have in common than the things we do. You're probably thinking "Wow, how are they still together?" Honestly? Right now, (6 years and 10 months into it) we're about as happy as we can get. (Ask me again in 10......crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that I have the same answer for you.) 
         All seriousness aside......for all of our major differences in hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc; we have never tried to change one another. We accept each other for who they are and we support the things that matter to each other. When we were first married, Hubby wanted to go back to school to get his license to become a flight instructor. I said "Go for it," and supported both of us financially while he did it. Recently, when I got more serious about writing and told him about a writing conference I wanted to attend for the weekend in another state, he said "I don't care how much it is, sign up and do it." When I wanted to expand my photography hobby and expressed interest in a new, more advanced camera, it appeared as a birthday present. When he has a rare day off and wants to go flying or hang out at the airport with his friends, I tell him to go and to have fun. I know that if he's happy, I'll be happy and vice versa. 
        We also don't push each other to be something we're not. Not once since we met has he ever said to me "I wish you would get in the lake with me rather than sit on the dock reading." Likewise, I have never said "Just once will you please sit and hang out with me?" Now, don't think that we don't do anything together, because we do spend a lot of time together and we get along great when we do. We just enjoy the time we have apart from each other because we know the other will be waiting for us and we know we'll have something new to share with each other when we do.
        We're each others biggest supporters and champions. I was the first to cheer when he got that instructor's license and if (when I hope) I publish a book I'll know he'll buy the first copy......
        We see eye to eye on the important things - trust, our love of family and friends (and our pets!), faith and an insane sense of humor.

Now.....who says opposites don't attract??? 

We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.
- Agnes Repplier

Friday, July 8, 2011

Calling all photo and pet lovers!

In my long list of ambitions, photography runs a close 2nd.

My animals are often my (unwilling) subjects, which fits perfectly with a contest I've entered.

Please see the information in the side bar regarding the contest and voting.......

Thank you!!!

PS - Voting begins on July 25th and ends on August 4th.

Kim in his usual pose when I bring out the camera.

Is there any cat who does not love an empty box?

Just added this one of Daisy. Couldn't resist as nothing says "Stop taking my picture" like a paw over your lens.. :)

Daisy  relaxing in a lap - her favorite place to be.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Speed of Life........




“I've heard that it's possible to grow up - I've just never met anyone who's actually done it. Without parents to defy, we break the rules we make for ourselves. We throw tantrums when things don't go our way, we whisper secrets with our best friends in the dark, we look for comfort where we can find it, and we hope - against all logic, against all experience. Like children, we never give up hope...” ~ Meredith Grey - Grey's Anatomy


       When I was a little girl the most pressing items of my day were what kind of sandwich to have for lunch, being allowed to watch a TV show, or what book to take out of the library. Recently a number of things have happened that have been sharp reminders that I am no longer that little girl. It doesn't matter what these things are. If you ask anyone who knows what I'm talking about, they would have a million different examples that could fit the bill. They're the things that bring us up short, make us catch our breath, and throw us completely for a loop. The things that make you view yourself in the mirror and say "When did I become the adult?" 
      When we're young, we spend so much time wishing to be older, to make all of our own decisions, be completely on our own. What we neglected to realize is that these decisions would be so much more difficult than baloney or PB & J; that being on your own sometimes means just that. You have to take the good with the bad of being an adult. We have to accept that there will be mistakes made, disappointments from others (and ourselves), illness, and even death. I'm 36 years old and I cannot change that. I can't reverse direction or time; none of us can. There is no way to prevent any of it from happening. The only way to prevent it is to stop living completely. So for now I will not wish the train to stop, only to slow down, for the scenery to go by slower, and for all passengers to stay on the journey with me.

"Stop This Train" - John Mayer

No I'm not color blind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but...
I just can't sleep on this tonight
Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly won't someone stop this train

Don't know how else to say it, don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

See once in a while when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

Singing stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take this speed it's moving in
I know I can't
Cause now I see I'll never stop this train

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Small reminders of what today is all about......Happy Independence Day!

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
~Elmer Davis

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.  ~Louis D. Brandeis

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.  ~Author Unknown

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin