Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chandeliers of Hope

When I was in the third grade we went out to a local tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. It was cold and dark and it seems like it was snowing, but I'm not sure about that now. Memories start melding into one another when you hit a certain age.  I have to ask someone else who was there if they remember it the same way I do. We went out to the middle of the tree farm and my mom saw this little tree, and she said that was the one she wanted. We all said it was too small and went on looking a little longer until we ended up back at that little tree where my mother told us one more time, that's it, that's the one I want. My father said Dear, that tree is too small, but my mom wouldn't budge and so my dad took the ax and he cut it down.

We got home and  put it in the stand and my mom looked at the tree and said it was too small. Then she started crying a little. I was a kid so I thought, why is she crying, it's just a tree. But I'm an adult now and I would venture to guess my mom wasn't crying about that little tree. It's not really my place to tell you all about my mom's life, but suffice it to say, she suffered great loss in her early years and the holidays have a funny way of making every loss and heartache come around and smack you in the face. I wonder if she was feeling it at that moment she looked at that tiny Christmas tree. To her credit, our holidays were filled with tremendous joy and love and fun and laughter and I've been chasing that kind of Christmas around for years now. I get glimpses of it with my own kids, but the big high, the absolute care free days of those childhood Christmas times are a little out of reach.

People come here to laugh (I think) and I'm sorry for having disappointed you. I shouldn't be writing right now. I should come back when I feel sunny and happy, which could possibly be tomorrow, but who knows, probably not.  I told a dear friend  that I  get anxious this time of year, that sometimes I just want to skip over it, and she said, hey me too, do you like spring, let's just pretend it's spring, and so I did for a little while. But you can only do that for so long. Trees come up and lights go on and holiday songs are playing everywhere and you would have to be a complete idiot to not notice that, hey, it's the happiest time of the year! So be happy!

I went for a long bike ride today. Halfway through I started bawling my eyes out. I was riding down Lakeshore Drive crying and wiping my snot on my sleeve, but I kept on riding. It's hard to ride a bike and cry at the same time. It's impressive really. And funny and stupid, too. I started doing that thing you do when you're sad and life's gotten the best of you. I thought of the starving people in Africa and of the people who had no one to go home to and no one to eat dinner with, but that didn't cheer me up all, imagine that.Why do we think other people's misery will make us feel better about our own? It's warped, isn't it? But what I thought about mostly, what brought about the tidal wave of tears, was that someone close to me is going through tremendous heartache and I can't do a thing to ease that person's suffering and I started to cry so hard I couldn't see anymore.

It's Christmas and you came here to get some holiday laughs but I'm not giving you any. I can give you hope though. Well, I can't, but God can and I'm kind of grateful Christmas is rolling around right now because as my sister commented to me, if there's one time of year you believe something good will happen, this is it. Something good will happen and there will be light. I know it. Everyday from now until Christmas morning a little miracle will happen that will give me hope that everything will be okay. Maggie will smile at Santa or she'll dance around the Christmas tree downtown and sing. Jane will help me make Christmas cookies and Kate will make sparkly paper snowflakes, huge ones that look perfect. Anthony  will string the lights around the tree in clumps and we'll laugh at his craziness and Greg will come through the door and ask if anyone wants to go for a walk to see the lights and Leo will charge at him and probably knock over the tree in the process. My sister will send me a perfectly worded email or text me the sweetest little picture of her Advent Wreath and I'll see it there, I'll see hope and happiness and peace and I'll be thankful for all the people who made me believe it, for the people in my life who gave me a Christmas miracle when I needed it most.

Up above, candles on air flicker
Oh, they flicker and they float
And I'm up here holdin' on
To all those chandeliers of hope - Coldplay

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Season

Here's something I wrote back in the winter of 2010. It seems like way more than two years has past. Anyway, in lieu of being original and ambitious, I've decided to give you this recycled post because it's all I can manage at the moment. Also, the original comments are here. If you commented two years ago, please feel free to comment again! Have a happy Advent everyone.

Here's what the beginning of the season looks like for us...

We get really excited about the wreath, go to look for it in the attic and realize it's lost again. Someone (it could be me) complains that our house is a mess and disorganized and then threatens to throw out everything in the attic. Someone else walks in with the Advent wreath and says,"were you looking for this?" I look for candles and can't find any. I run to the store hoping that  I will be able to find pink and purple candles. I believe this is the year the store will have stocked enough of these. But alas, there are no pink or purple candles to be found within a 20 mile radius of the town where I live. I make a mental note to not wait until the first day of Advent to buy candles next year. I get white candles instead and tell the kids it really doesn't matter and Jesus would not be upset, but this doesn't make anyone feel better and there is still the belief that Jesus would be upset, at which point I get upset and beg my children to go with the flow a little more because I am their mom and if they don't learn to do that while living with me they are going to be miserable. I get super crafty and tie pink and purple ribbon around the candles and then someone starts to worry that the ribbon is going to catch fire.

I look through my Advent schedule and get out the appropriate readings, at which point all of my children who know how to read descend on me and start arguing about doing the readings. I say something reassuring like, "See, this is actually something Jesus would be upset with." Then I read the readings and tell them I will continue doing that all through Advent if they all scream like that again. We finish and I ask if anyone has anything they want to say. We all look at each other like a bunch of mutes and I start to wish we were one of those families that felt free and easy talking about their thoughts on God. We end with an "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" and I almost start to cry because nothing sounds sweeter to me than the sound of my kids saying these two prayers together. And the fact that Maggie can almost recite them on her own this year just about breaks my heart in two, in the best kind of way of course.

I have set my standards low this year for the Advent Season. I simply want to light the wreath every night, read our meditations, have a few minutes of quiet and not argue about who gets to blow the candle out, and really should anyone else but the three year old be allowed to do this? Should there even be the slightest argument?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The final word on Buster

The Bastards win. Don't they always? I've tried my hardest to keep Buster alive but after spending way too many hours obsessing over this, he has to be put down. I spoke to more than one person involved in rescue, people who spend all their time placing dogs and worrying about dogs and acting like dogs are human beings and every response was the same. No one would feel safe placing him. It turns out a dog who bites the daughter of the owner is not a hot commodity. The consensus was that Buster could possibly do this again and it would be irresponsible to let him out there.

So the dog who couldn't be taken down after getting plowed into by a car going twenty five miles an hour will be going away due to his own stupidity and really, it's fitting. It was always Buster's stupidity that we knew would do him in. And yes, I am mad at the little mother trucker right now. He had a good thing going here and he blew it and now I have to listen to Maggie say at least twenty times a day, can we go see Buster yet? Being mad makes it much easier on me because the madder I get, the less likely I am to burst into tears.

Why yes, I have cried over this. How can this be? Believe me, I've faced worse things in my life. Logic would tell you that if you've had to say goodbye forever to a person, saying goodbye forever to a dog would be a piece of cake and yet here I am, crying like a great big buffoon, doing things like taking off in my car or locking myself in my room so no one sees me shedding tears over a dog. But I admit, I never wanted to be one of those people who, with every new sadness, turned into a colder, harder version of myself, and clearly if the past few days are any indication, there's no fear of that happening.

Buster came into our home when Maggie was about a week old. He ran away more times than I can count on all ten fingers and toes. We chased him through the streets of Mount Dora; I pushed children out of moving vehicles just so they could grab him; we had neighbors chase with us and if they weren't chasing they were cheering us on to go get him, pointing out the direction he had taken that day. He scared the UPS man so much that he no longer left things at our door, he would just yell to us, "it's in the driveway." When friends would come over for tea and a chat Buster would find a way to insinuate himself into the activities, usually by placing himself directly on people's laps and not moving until they got up (Julie? Does this sound familiar?)

Oh of course, of course, he was just a dog, I get it, I really do, but when you say goodbye to a dog you start thinking about all the other stuff that occurred during the time he was with you and it can just choke you right up. Five and half years is a little bit of a stretch wherein all sorts of things have happened to you and your loved ones and you realize, yet again, that life just keeps moving on and sometimes that feels good and sometimes it just plain sucks.

We'll miss you Buster.  Thanks for listening, you guys. Now excuse me while I go shed another tear or two.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I must laugh so I don't get too sad

What a difference a day makes. I was feeling lighted hearted when I wrote my previous dog post, but things have certainly changed, haven't they? Buster bit Maggie last night and she had to get some stitches and we had to say goodbye to our dog of five and half years.

He really was a sweet dog. Yes, he ran away once or twice or hundred times and even got hit head on by a car once, but he survived and we took it as proof that he was Wonder Dog. We believed he would live for a  long time and that he would be with us for at least ten more years. I loved walking with him. He kept up with me and could walk forever. He would look up at me every once in awhile like, yep, me and you are pretty kick ass with our walking pace, aren't we? He would lay next to my side of the bed every night and any time I put my sneakers on he assumed I was taking him with me and if I happened not to, I would feel guilty. Did I spend some serious time complaining about how many times he ran away or the mess he would make with the garbage? Of course, but that was because I just figured he would be around forever and now that he isn't, I'm a bit sad.

Lines have been drawn in the sand. We seem to have broken up into two camps over here. Here's a completely unbiased version of what's happening. On one side we have the Cold Hearted Bastards
(the CHB) who believe Buster should be put down. He bit a five year old, our five year old, and he needs to go away permanently. And on the other side we have what I'll simply refer to as the Angels of Light (the AOL). To maintain journalistic integrity I can't tell you which side I'm on. The AOL believe that although Buster did bite our favorite five year old, he is a dog and as such he has a pack mentality which kicked into gear last night. He was trying to be the leader. The Angels believe that if given to the right home where no children live, he could live out the rest of his dog life without bothering anyone, because never before has he been aggressive to Maggie.

The Bastards are implying that perhaps the Angels simply don't love Maggie enough if they want Buster to be kept alive, because yeah, it's not like any member of the AOL carried Maggie in her womb and breast fed her and spent the past five and half years taking care of her. Anyway, the AOL are quite upset that Buster bit Maggie, but they believe in second chances and even though they know he cannot come back here ever again, they want him to go somewhere he will be loved. It should be noted that the victim in all of this still loves Buster and was crushed when she was told ( by our chicken murdering neighbors) that he would not be returning.

One member of the Angels has taken a turn for the worse in regards to her feelings for Leo, because even though Leo wasn't involved in the incident and wasn't even the room when it happened, this particular person believes maybe Buster was just jealous Leo was brought into the family and biting Maggie was his way of acting that out. And she also consider herself extremely loyal so she just feels bad liking Leo too much now. A member of the opposing side wise cracked about how this kind of  twisted loyalty is exactly how Nazi Germany was so successful, I guess implying that this Angel would have made a great Nazi. The Angel had to remind the Bastard that given the chance, he would probably replace his love for his Angel (which is how she now wishes to be addressed by him) just as easily as he seems to have replaced his love for Buster and he would probably do so with a slender golden haired hussy just to match his new dog. It's all so hand to forehead frightening I can barely stand to think about it all!

On a more serious note, Miss Maggie is doing amazingly well. She was a trooper in the ER and didn't shed a single tear. She wowed the doctor and nurse with her vocabulary and speaking skills and at some point they found out she was homeschooled and mistakenly thought it was this fact that was giving Maggie her sophisticated edge. I decided to let them keep on believing that instead of telling them the truth, which is just that Maggie watches a lot of movies that were meant for bigger people ( please, nothing R rated, just things like Phantom of the Opera). She had such a smashing time at the ER and liked everyone there so much that the second she woke up today she asked if she could back again to visit, but first she had to go outside and show off her stitches. Later on this afternoon, after rehashing all of the previous day's events and Maggie's cuteness and good attitude throughout it all, we agreed that regardless of any feelings we had about Buster's fate, Maggie is a keeper.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Did you fools really think I was going to talk about that? I'll do whatever it takes to up my readership though and I knew someone out there would be lured in by that title.

Well here's an update on our new dog, Leo. He is highly irritating. Greg keeps trying to trick me into finding his behavior cute by calling Leo a puppy, because he's only eleven months old and technically that still qualifies him as such. But he is fully grown and he doesn't look like a puppy at all ( kind of like Anthony is fully grown and doesn't look like a pre-teen. The similarities between Anthony and Leo are endless) . He is a complete nuisance but as soon as Greg tells me he's only a puppy I think, oh, that's right, I can't get mad at a puppy, that would be like getting mad at a baby. Yesterday I caught him with his paws up on the kitchen counter and his face in a jar of peanut butter. He looked at me like," yeah, whatever be-atch, I'm a puppy, just try and get mad at me."

And so it's begun. I am one of those people who tells really boring dog stories and when your face glazes over with complete disinterest I don't even care. I just keep rambling on and on, because omg! Leo is the cutest dog ever, don't you think so too?! Yes, I will send out Christmas cards, for the first time in fourteen years, but not because I really care about wishing you a Merry Christmas. I need a reason to put antlers and a scarf on my puppy and Christmas is ready made for that. I'll do a Christmas letter too and I'll  make it so it looks like Leo wrote it! Here's what it would say if Leo did write it...

Hey everybody!

It's Leo. I've just been adopted by a new and really dumb family. They let me rip up paper bags and books and shoes and toys all day long. Sometimes I like to go into the bathroom and grab the toilet paper and then let it trail through the house. The mom gets a little mad but then she laughs and says something about how it reminds her of her son when he was a toddler. (She compares me to her son when he was a toddler an awful lot and I'm starting to think this kid must have been a real handful.) I take all their socks and hide them out in the backyard and under couch cushions and then I watch the mom wander around all day trying to find them and sometimes she looks at me like she wants to hit me over the head, but then the man comes in and tricks her into thinking I'm just a whittle puppy and I can't help it and she calms right down. This guy has her wrapped right around his finger. He tells her all kinds of lies, like that she makes the best toast and eggs ever, just to get out of doing things himself. I think she has what you humans call low self esteem, so if you just give her one little compliment she eats it right up! Anyway, I like to jump all over people and hump blankets. That one gets me into trouble, but not too much because I am just a puppy after all. I've been enjoying my walks. The lady just likes to take me out and show me off, because she thinks everyone will find me as cute as she does and mostly people do because let's face it, I'm a golden retriever. The mom keeps calling me the Jon Hamm of dogs. She makes sure not to do it in front of the dad though. And the son thinks it's funny to call me a son of bitch and he tells the mom, "well, technically he is a son of a bitch so it's not like I'm cussing, mom!" I've noticed that the males in this family like to use the word "technically" a lot and the mom sometimes has a hard time getting control of those two. Anyway, I really like it here because everyone thinks I'm cute and lets me do whatever I want. The only thing that bugs me is that they have this older dog, Buster, who must have been considered a bad dog before they got me, but now that I'm here tearing everything up all day long the mom occasionally looks at me and tells me she can't believe it, I'm so bad I'm making Buster look good! But she's always smiling when she says it. She's a real sucker. Well, that's about it from me. I hope to stay here for a really long time!

So anyway, that's what it would say if Leo wrote it. That's all folks. And admit it, this was much better for your mood than having to read nonsense about the election.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Anthony is turning twelve tomorrow! In his honor here are twelve things about him

1) Easy birth, easy baby - that all changed right around the time he turned two and started doing things like stuffing  wash clothes in the bathroom sink, turning the water on and causing a minor flood that ended up leaking through to the basement. I honestly think this is a pretty common two year old boy thing to do.

2) When he went to preschool he fell head over heels for a girl named Kate and asked her to marry him. He told her she could wait to give an answer until they were older, but she decided to answer him right then and there. On a good note, she was the smartest, most well behaved child in the class, so at least he picked a good person to rebuff his proposal.

3) He was diagnosed with diabetes a few months before his fourth birthday and cried exactly once when I had to start giving him multiple daily shots.

4) At some point in the second grade he got mad at some kids  because they were being hypocrites, so he called them pharisees. I bet that really got them but good!

5) He tries to call my sister at least a hundred times a week. It usually has to do with asking her to buy him something. She seems unfazed by him. He loves her for more than her gift giving though.

6) He wants to be at least six foot four and if he turns out not be to that tall he will consider this a great failure.

7) He's never met a fruit or vegetable he's liked. One time when we were at the drive thru of some fast food restaurant he yelled out to the woman at the window that he wanted a burger BUT NO CABBAGE! He meant no lettuce, but whatever, it was funny and we still like to tease him about it.

8) He likes "retro" things and asks kids his age if they like retro things and if they say no, he writes them off.

9) I watched a documentary a few weeks ago called Half the Sky about the abusive treatment women in third world countries have to endure everyday and he sat there and watched the whole thing with me  (without me asking him to) and looked like he was going to cry through much of it.

10) Yesterday he told his sister Jane that she was going to make an awesome mother and he meant it.

11) He is bossy. Maybe even bossier than my husband. Greg tells me this will serve him well. Of course a bossy person would say something like that.

12) Happiest memory with him? There are many, but the one that makes me want to cry when I think about it is when he was in preschool and his sisters were in elementary school, so I had some hours during the day when it was just me and him. We would ride our bike to Target and he would talk the whole time about how all the beautiful things in nature came from God. And he would try and whistle while he was riding. He remembers those rides too and counts them among his favorite, proving that yes, it is all worth it - the kids will remember and appreciate all those times when you were just with them and listening to them and not doing much of anything at all except enjoying the world around you.

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

When I was... ( a post about my sister)

There's this thing called NaBloPoMo, which stand for National Blog Posting Month and it's held every November and guess what you do during NaBloMoFo, or whatever it's called.  You post everyday. Yeah, I know I pretended like I was going to do that back in May, but this time I really am going to do it. Yes, I am aware that I missed the first day, but I'm making this happen for the rest of the month.

When I was younger, maybe seven or eight, my sister would make me come and sit on the bathtub when she used the toilet because she would get bored and she needed someone there with her to make it more interesting and even though I really wasn't a very interesting seven or eight year old I would oblige like a good little sister. Younger sisters just do what they are told. Always and forever. If you are a younger sister you will most likely marry a bossy man because you are comfortable with bossiness. It's all you know.  Although I must tell you, one time I met a woman who told me she was the older sister, but she acted like the younger sister and this turned my world upside down! I had no idea it was possible for the older sister to be bossed around. By the time this whole idea was presented to me I was much too old to try it out for myself, but I guess every once in awhile it could work.

When I was a teenager I fell deeply, madly in love with Bruce Springsteen. My sister did as well and we learned all the lines to Rosalita and we would scream them at the top of our lungs. And those lyrics carried us through many a good time and couple of horrendously crappy ones.

When I was in college I got myself into a  bit of trouble. It was less than a crack addiction but more than lip picking problem. Anyway,  I moved away from home for a short time and my sister came and saw me every weekend and never once judged me for my foolishness. She acted like everything was fine and dandy and never asked me any questions that would have made me uncomfortable. She even skipped going home for Thanksgiving that year so she could be with me.

When I moved away from Albany it was my sister I had the hardest time telling and even though she probably would rather I stayed there, she was kind enough to not make me feel awful for moving a thousand miles away. She found the perfect balance between telling me she would miss us, but Florida wasn't so far away and it would be fine, we would still see each other. And for all the times we've gone back to New York it's been my sister's (and her husband's) generosity that has allowed us to do that. (In fairness to my mom, she paid for me to go back once too. My goodness, I am a pathetic freeloader!)

When I loaded up the credit card with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt and finally told my husband about it, he looked at me and asked, "does your sister know" and when I said no, he told me to call her at once, so I did, and of course she just sat there and listened to me and then she said something about how at least I hadn't murdered anyone, but she also kindly pointed out that I should probably stop doing things like this.

My point is, I kind of like my sister a lot and I miss her very much, but she lives far away and so in order to make it through my life without her being just around the corner I pretend she is just around the corner. It helps me. I think, oh gee, my sister, who lives just around the corner, hasn't been around much. I wonder where she is, I hope she gets a chance to come over for lunch soon. And then a year or two passes and I have my sister over for lunch and I laugh until I can't breath and then we say goodbye to each other and I fall into a state of sulkiness and rue the day I agreed to move to Florida and then I get over it and go right back to pretending she lives just around the corner. It all works perfectly fine and I will go on this way until I move closer to my sister or die. Leave me alone. Let me be. This works fine for me.

And this concludes my first day of NaBloPoMoFo.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rambler post

I honestly do want to start writing again, so here, let me just get a few thoughts out, just to get the ball rolling. I hope to be back very soon.

Politics anyone? Oh don't worry. My political discussions are always fun and rarely political.

There was a rumor going around that this guy named Paul Ryan was cute. I kept seeing comments pop up here and there about his hotness and so I googled him hoping to get a big slice of Hamm, Jon Hamm that is, but instead I got, well I got Paul Ryan. Now ladies, we can do better than this. He looks all kinds of dopey and silly and I just can't abide drooling over this sort of man. This is the kind of look that makes me long for the pictures of Obama with that cigarette hanging out of his mouth. 

I suppose I shouldn't make fun of a person's looks but Paul Ryan is a man after all and if there is one thing I know about men, they don't care how unattractive you say they are, they will find a way to try and convince you and everyone else that you're lying and if that fails they'll just say you're a lesbian, so my point is, Paul Ryan won't be shedding any tears over my comments about his goofy face. 

My favorite thing about this election season is listening to people everywhere say that this is the most important election ever. Because all those other elections were so stupid and dumb and what a bunch of losers we were even bothering to vote in those! I feel like such a fool! I have many more thoughts about this election and politics in general, but  I realize I know so little about much of it and I'm not nearly arrogant enough or boring enough to blabber on any longer.

So we're getting another dog, because if there is one thing this 1400 square foot, packed to the gills house needs it's another dog. Greg came home and showed all the kids a picture of a golden retriever who is in need of a new and loving home. A golden retriever is the dog equivalent of Jon Hamm. You simply can't say no to it. One look and you're a goner! I mean it would have been much easier if he had come home with the dog equivalent of Paul Ryan, something like a drooling, dopey basset hound, but no, this dog is gorgeous, house trained, a graduate of obedience school, which means he knows how to fetch a ball. Buster is going to be so jealous. We throw things for Buster to fetch and he just looks at us and goes back to licking himself. I wonder if that's what Paul Ryan does when people try and play fetch with him. The dog's name is Leo. I like that name. Will I spend the next ten years regretting this, yelling about all the extra dog hair and dog smells, telling Greg what a jerk he is for having shown the kids an actual picture of an actual dog thereby making it impossible for me to say no to him and the kids? Yes, obviously I'll regret it, but my life isn't complete without a strong dose of regret thrown in every now and again and unlike past regret which typically ended with me berating myself and my mistakes, I will be turning my anger and ill feelings onto the person who was foolish enough to show my children a photograph of such a handsome dog in the first place. When I write it out like that I realize that I am evolving! My anger is being directed at others. I'm certain this is what my old therapist would have called growth!

I'm heading out for a little bike ride now. I've finally embraced my compulsive behavior. I have given up any illusion of expanding my workouts to include anything other than riding my bike. I spent a good amount of time trying to talk myself into doing something else. Running, yoga, weight lifting, pilates. Yes, I would pretend that I was going widen my horizons in the exercise arena, but why? I love riding. I love it so much and I want everyone else to love it just as much as I do, but not so much that people are out in droves crowding up my roads. I like my privacy. Go ahead and ride but just stay away from me. Last weekend all the suckers who have to work all week were out in full force taking up space on my beautiful Lake County roads and it was so annoying.

Kate and me are going  to see another Avett Brothers concert this week. Seeing the Avett Brothers in concert is like being in church. The crowd is a mix of old and young and people seem really content to be there except for a couple of buffoons talking through the whole thing, just like real church. You know someone dragged those people in and they don't want to be there and you try really hard not to think rotten thoughts. If you're in church you pass over those people when it's time for peace ( you need to make it clear  that you have no feelings of love toward them) and if you're at a concert you tell your daughter if the talking doesn't stop she needs to push you into the people so they will be forced to move. Anyway, it's all church like and wonderful and you leave both places feeling quite refreshed, elated, wanting to go back for more and you kind of want everyone in the world to have that same experience.

On top of seeing the Avett Brothers this week, my sister will be here. Oh the excitement is almost too much to  contain. It's like Christmas in October. The countdown has begun. Maybe I'll take a picture of my sister and post it on here!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, August 31, 2012

I can be your hero, lady

I've been riding my bike like mad over here and as a result my legs are slowly morphing into tree trunks. My muscles keep getting shorter and fatter and the next time you see me there's a good chance my legs will be approximately  three inches in length. Despite this fact I refuse to stop riding my bike and switch up my workouts. I happen to love riding more than just about anything else so not even short, stubby legs will deter me.

It's still quite warm every morning when I leave for my rides but even so, I am starting to panic about the cooler weather. Every year I take a few weeks off when it gets cold and chilly and I don't want to do that this year so I think I'll be prepared  and buy cold weather gear and suck it up and go out no matter how low the temperature gets. I just want to avoid that hideous look I get on my face when bitter winds are whipping me right in the face. You  know the one. Lips pursed, eyes squinting, tears streaming down my cheeks as I try not to scream out cuss words. The combination of my three inch legs and that look on my face sounds pretty sexy, doesn't it? Greg is one lucky guy!

This morning I left right around 6:10 and the moon was still out and shining over Lake Gertude and Lake Dora. Perfect riding weather. As I was finishing up my Lakeshore Drive portion of my ride, I pulled over at a stop sign to take a quick water break and an older woman pulled up alongside me in her gorgeous, shiny Mercedes. I thought, "oh, geez, she's gonna be a do gooder and ask if I need money," because yes, I still look like a homeless person when I ride. By the way, I would have taken something if she gave it to me. I'm not above that at all. Instead, she rolled down her window and said she would rather be riding her bike than heading off to work. I said, "yeah, sucks being you, you rich bitch." No, I didn't say that. But that would have been funny, right? Actually what I said was something about how yes, I'm quite glad I get a chance to ride everyday in the early morning hours, but really, don't be too jealous, I have four kids at home depending on me to educate and feed them and they almost never leave me alone.

It seems she really didn't want to go to work because she then told me how sad she was to hear about Lance Armstrong basically admitting he was a cheater, which come on lady, how naive are you, professional athletes these days are all cheaters, get over it. She asked who we could look up to now, where are all the biking heroes, and then I pointed at myself and smiled. Really, I will be your biking hero, lady. You can even sponsor me and buy me a new bike if you want.

I saw Lance Armstrong on Oprah once. He seemed to be concerned that some people may not realize how amazing he was so he spent a good portion of the interview reminding everyone. Anyway, now that he's no longer the biking world's hero ( although I'm pretty sure most people don't care about the cheating thing) I'm willing to step in. 

My life is pretty heroic. Every night I go to bed after a hard day (no need to elaborate on that one, just trust me, it's very hard!), only to be woken at 2 a.m. by my husband's snoring, at which point I go out to the couch and kick Buster off so I can catch some more sleep and then I wake at 5:30 am and make my toast and  coffee and proceed to ride my bike for a couple of hours for no other reason than it makes me happy. And now that I'm going to be riding in cold weather for the two weeks out of the year that it actually gets cold in Florida, I'm even more heroic. Go ahead and be dazzled. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer 2012

Summer vacation. It's almost over. Here's a list of summer things. It's a boring list, really. But it will make you feel better about your own summer, so that's good for you.

1) Ate at the new vegan/ raw food restaurant in town. Food was terrific. The explosive inner turmoil (not of the existential kind) I felt within ten minutes of leaving the restaurant was not terrific. Thankfully I'm not shy about expressing my discomfort to anyone within earshot, so my incessant wailing and complaining for the twenty fours hours it took for the ridiculous amount of fiber to move through my body made things more delightful for me (and my loved ones).

2) Travelled with the kids to North Carolina to see Kate play in her all star tournament. It was exciting, except for the part where I had some kind of infection and felt like garbage and was coughing like a woman who smokes two packs a day. Not sure I've ever missed Greg so much in my life. The games were some of the best I've seen though. Aside from taking Kate to see the Avett Brothers last February, I'm not sure I've ever been this excited for her.

3) Volunteered at vacation bible school and thoroughly enjoyed it. No, I really did. Someone is reading this and thinking I'm being sarcastic. Even I was shocked when I found myself looking forward to going in to see the kids everyday.

4) Drove Jane to a very lucrative babysitting gig for two weeks in which she made a lot of money. Suddenly found myself jealous of my teenage daughter's financial status.

5) Rode my bike for countless hours and still managed to stay fat, but I am not bitter about this. Not a single bit.

6) Celebrated Jane's sixteenth birthday. Had explosive inner turmoil ( of the existential kind). I do not like the way time is moving forward without asking me what I think. I suddenly find myself almost bursting into tears when I see young moms carrying their babies or walking with their little toddlers. I have become a hideous middle aged cliche. The woman grasping at straws to keep things just as they always were.

7) Recently started going back to daily Mass. Not because I feel like it though. Truthfully, I most often don't feel like it. But I go anyway. And am never sorry when I leave.

8) Cut Maggie's hair because she began talking about her "rat's nest"  as though it were an appendage. It had become part of her and when I cut it off she told us it felt weird without it there. She became convinced that mice lived in her hair during her sleeping hours and when I told her no, that wasn't true, she cried and said it was true, she could feel them sleeping in there and they would leave every morning. Now that the rat's nest is gone I have no idea where the mice are sleeping. And yes, I did comb her hair, but no matter what we did the rat's nest would appear again and again and again. She has a cute bob now and it will stay like that until she is at least ten and can comb her own hair.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I've been busy and haven't had time to write and also, I've just been lazy with the writing and ALSO, no one seemed to notice I wasn't writing so I thought forget them, if they aren't even going to fawn all over me and beg me to write, they can kiss my behind. But now I have a free moment so I'm writing. Commence fawning because this post is going to be so fantastic, so mind blowing, you won't know what to do when it's all over. And then you will start begging for posts for sure.

Here comes a train of thought post -

Kate's life (and ours) has been hijacked by softball and All Stars. I signed her up to play All Stars way back in May and she was quite upset with me because I didn't ask her permission first, to which I could only respond, "yeah, whatever Kate, you'll thank me when this is over," and guess who won MVP for the All Star season - Kate! ( even though I should have won it as sitting in the parking lot for two hours every night while watching the girls practice for a full month was completely exhausting) Anyway, I got to hang that over her head and tell her she had me to thank for the MVP award as her father is a total pushover and when the kids say they don't want to do something he listens to them and so he never would have signed her up to play softball without asking her first. This is the thing about parenting - you must never listen to your kids. They really don't know what's best for them. Your only job is to get them to bend to your will in every circumstance until they resemble you exactly. Well, not exactly -  they need to be more perfect version of you, because you kind of suck and are lazy and never would have played softball in a million years in high school because you were a pathetic athlete and student and human being and you'll be damned if your kids are going to turn out like you!

Anyway, where was I? Yes, Kate won MVP, but for some strange reason her coach gave it to her mid way through All Star season before they even had moved onto to "States". Last night, after a somewhat blah performance on her part I wanted to yell out to her, "Hey, Katherine ( that's what I call her when I'm less than impressed with her) stop resting on your laurels!" She would have laughed but the parents would have thought I was cruel and I have spent the past six weeks trying to pretend I'm a real sweety pie ( if they're giving out an MVP award for phoniness I would win, hands down). She had a great game this afternoon, as did all of her team mates. They play again tonight and in between games she called me and I could hear the smile on her face. If they win two more games they will go to North Carolina and even though she knows the chances of that happening are slim to none, just the thought of it, just the possibility, has her beaming and I wanted to cry when I heard her voice.

As for the other children, Jane will be sixteen in two weeks. Sixteen! I feel like I was just laying in the  hospital  ambulance giving birth to her. No, it really, really feels like it was yesterday. Oh my, I'm gonna start crying right now. I can remember every single about that day, from my Nana getting ready to make peppers and onions, to my dad telling us to please hurry and get in the car because I was pretty sure I was in labor but I was taking my sweet time getting my bag, because if I wasn't in labor and I got all the way to the hospital I was going to feel like a real jerk. And I remember not being able to get in touch with my sister, the same sister who called me every single morning for four straight weeks to ask if I was in labor and then when I finally went into labor she was a MIA! But alas, I had Jane in the ambulance on the side of the New York State Thruway and they brought me to the hospital and I could hear this crazy lady outside my room and it was my sister, she had been at a friend's house and she just knew that was going to happen, she knew I was going to have the baby before she could get a chance to come to the hospital and boss me around one more time before I became a mother.

She went out and got Greg hamburgers from McDonalds because he was starving and they put cheese on the burgers and Greg, ever the food critic said, "this is why I hate McDonalds, they can't get anything right." Then he complained of a headache and had the nurse check his blood pressure and I did a large, huge, tremendous eye roll and made a comment about how I was pretty sure I was the one who just gave birth, without drugs, in an ambulance, on the side of a highway and you, you are seriously doing this now? Someone reminded me becoming a father can be quite overwhelming, cut the guy some slack, but no, my mother and Nana did not raise me to cut any husband any slack, so no slack was given now or ever and I can report that is the secret to a happy marriage. Don't cut slack!! Of course the happiness may be one sided, but please, do you have any idea how hard it would be to make both people in the marriage happy? I do believe it's never been done, so just go ahead and be the happy one.

Anyhow, Jane is at friend's house for a sleep over. A friend who is eighteen! Eighteen! Do you know what eighteen year old people do? I do, because I used to be one, but as some of you may know, I was an ass (mother and father, I'm just kidding, I was a complete angel)  and Jane is not at all that way, nor are her friends. I did have to tell them of my expectations though, which embarrassed Jane - like I care! I did tell her if I could not reach her by phone I would come looking for her and I would drive around her friend's house and I would scream and yell and carry on and she looked at her friend and said, "yeah, my mom will do that." And then she said, "that's why I love you though mommy." She still calls me mommy and Greg, daddy, and she still acts like a little kid sometimes, but now and again I get a glimpse of the person she's going to be someday and I smile. And thank God. I then I go back to praying. I pray a lot these days. Teens are not nearly as awful as they've been made out to be but they are exhausting and if you aren't praying through it I have no idea how you do it. Hours and hours of bike riding have gone into me pouring out my thoughts to God and Mary. To my closest friends who hear all my worries, just be thankful I pray because you have no idea how much worse it could be if I didn't!

This is so long and boring and not at all the kind of post that will have you fawning, but my kids will like it, so that's good enough for me. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bird Update

The month is almost over, so let's just go ahead and call it over for good because writing everyday is  stupid and I'm sorry I ever came up with this idea.

How about a bird update?

The birds are named Charlie and Marge, after my MIL and FIL. Anthony named them. He likes to tell everyone he would have  preferred being named Charlie.

The two birds may possibly mate! Isn't that fantastic? We can have little baby birds. But if they love and care about each other too much their bird babies will have defects. Yes, this is true. Wouldn't it be awful if the same applied to humans?

They haven't made much noise since that first day. They sing in the morning though and it sounds cute.

OMG, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I like the birds. It's kind of cute how they snuggle up with each other. My feelings must remain secret from my children. 

Anthony walks up and down our street with the birds on his shoulder. Our neighbors probably look and point out the window and say things like, "What is that weird Hacic boy up to now? They're such a curious family. And loud, too. Did you see the mom running over the garbage cans again and getting out and throwing them across the lawn like a lunatic. She seems a little off." 

We had to go to Trimble Park today just so Anthony could show the birds to his friends. He couldn't show them the birds at our home. He had to make plans to meet at the park and then show up with the birds in the van because it was going to blow everyone's mind to open that van door and come out with a birdcage. Fortunately the ten and under set is blown away by just about everything and there was excitement galore. Anthony's really in his wheelhouse with these kids. They find him fascinating and so knowledgeable. It's quite entertaining for me to see.

I'm tired and the bags under my eyes are growing by the second. Goodnight all.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I know why the caged bird doesn't sing - but it sure does squawk

It's hard for me to write on a Saturday but I will try.

My husband went out and bought Anthony two birds. And then I went ballistic. I mean I got out of the shower before I was even fully rinsed because I heard the commotion and someone yelling about birds and I thought to myself, this just can't be, my husband couldn't have possibly bought two birds, that's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. So I started screaming from the shower, "did I hear someone say you bought birds? This better be a joke!!" But Greg yelled some nonsense about how he actually rescued them. From the pet shop? Yes, from the pet shop.

What ensued afterward was a ten minute yelling fest between me, Greg, the kids and the birds. These birds make noise. It's not enough that we have four loud and opinionated kids. Greg wasn't comfortable with that. He had to go out and get parakeets. And these dumb birds squawk. They don't know how to talk yet, so they make an irritating high pitched hissing sound. It's as enchanting as you would imagine.

I think it's mean to keep birds in cages. Nothing anyone tells me is going to make me think otherwise. Birds need to be free and flying around. But Anthony was crushed when I suggested these birds go back to the pet shop so here they are, in our house. Whatever. I've given up. If you see me wandering around 441 with my suitcase, just pick me up and deposit safely to my front yard.

I guess I can go look at the birds everyday and we can talk about how trapped we all feel, them in their tiny cage and me in my tiny house of chaos. I can teach them curse words. Between the birds doing all my cursing,  and my love of texting, I'll never again have to speak words. I will write blog posts and text people and have my birds curse for me. I suppose I can learn to live with that.

And for my dearest, be grateful I love the Avett Brothers as much as I do. They always come through with lyrics that make me love you, even when I can't stand you! :)
Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.  
The Avett Brothers

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I promise you that I've been trying to write everyday. During the one hour a day I allow myself to sit and write  nothing is coming to me. Sometimes when I'm not writing I think of things I could write about later when I have time, but that hasn't happened either. I won't be so bold and arrogant as to say I have writer's block because that implies I'm a writer, but I will say this; I can't think of anything to say and it's actually making me want to cry. No, it really is. It's maddening to go and do something and not be able to do it. I'm a total lame ass saying I would write everyday and then not coming through with the promise. That'll teach you to take me seriously! The Avett Brothers can sum it up for me perfectly... 

Shame, boatloads of shame
Day after day
More of the same
Blame, please lift it off
Please take it off
Please make it stop

Hopefully I'll make it through this pitiful little episode. Maybe I should just go and do something foolish and irresponsible and then I'll have something to write about. Yes, that seems like a wonderful solution. In the meantime, thanks, capicola farts,  for putting up with me and my empty promises.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Here are some boring thoughts I can bore you with so I can fulfill my one a day post obligation

You know what's fun to do? Next time you get one of those credit card offers in the mail, open it up and read it to your spouse like you're reading a love letter. It's entertaining. You don't even need to change the words because if done right it really will sound like someone sent you a love letter. Here, go ahead and try it with a letter I just received yesterday.

Dear Annmarie Hacic, Where did you go Annmarie? We miss you and to prove it we're going to lower your interest rate, but first you have to come back. Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers. Do you want to live the life you've been dreaming about? All you have to do to start making that happen is call 1-800-888-8888 and someone will be ready to assist you in getting back the life you deserve to be living. 

I think we can all agree that the level of sincerity in this letter is hard to beat. I got this very letter yesterday and read it to Greg as though I was reading a letter from a long lost love and sure enough, it was amusing. How do I know? Because I saw Greg crack a grin. In real people terms, that counts as twenty minutes of on your knees belly laughter. On top of the grin he told me to stop it. See, he was worried he was going to start laughing really hard and then I would have proof that he finds me funny. Just try it though because it really is fun.

Only one person picked up on a glaring mistake I made a few posts back. I wrote "illicit" when I meant "elicit." I'm assuming the anonymous commenter who picked up on it was my father. Just watch. He'll leave another comment here referring to himself in the third person in which he will address whether or not he was the one to notice the mistake. I'm actually glad he pointed it out. I need to go back and edit the post, but I didn't really want to do that because then his comment won't make any sense. After I was made aware of what I did I wondered if I was going to become one of those people who starts writing half when I really mean have. Like, "I half to go to the store." 

I sent the children on a bike ride for forty minutes. Sometimes people ask if I feel like my kids are missing anything by not being in school and usually the only thing I can come up with is gym class. Not the actual physical activity, because they get plenty of that, but what they are missing is the mean gym teacher who yells at them and acts like an idiot and tells them they'll get fat and flabby arms if they don't move. Jane had a teacher do that to her in the third grade, so I went down to the school and told the PE teacher she would have to apologize to my daughter. And then I told the gym teacher that someday we would all be sitting around our Thanksgiving table telling tales of long ago and my daughter would say, "hey, remember that really mean gym teacher who told me I was going to get fat and flabby arms and mommy went in to the school and made her apologize to me?" I probably didn't need to say that to the teacher, but sometimes people need to think about what they've done and that's where I come in and help. So anyway, I decided to become the mean gym teacher and made my kids do some sit ups and push ups and go ride their bikes. Also, I would like to point out that I move constantly and I still have fat and flabby arms so the gym teacher was completely incorrect in her assessment of what creates fat and flabby arms. 

That's all I've got for today. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


I missed two days of posting, but I have a good excuse. I was tired. After staying up for much of the night on Friday walking in the Relay for Life and eating ridiculous amounts of junk food while doing it, I crashed and slept all day on Saturday. I felt like I had a hangover minus all the humiliating tales that go along with that. As for yesterday, it was Sunday, otherwise known as The Lord's Day to the most holy among us, and as I'm sure you have surmised by all of my writings, I am most holy, so I simply couldn't post as it would have felt wrong to put forth any kind of effort on anything that wasn't related to lounging around my house with bible in hand.

Writing everyday is killing me. I have a shortage of time and things to say. This is currently the only thing on my mind...

I'm trying convince my husband that texting should replace all other forms of communication between us. Here's a list proving why it's good.

I can't yell in a text ( although I can still yell while I am texting, he just can't hear it)
I can't eye roll in a text ( see above)
I can't interrupt in a text ( see above)
I can't act disinterested in what he is saying in a text ( see above)
I can't talk for too long in a text - this is completely true. I can't. Texting is difficult and exhausting work.

Although it took me awhile to catch onto to the whole computer craze, I fell in love when I discovered emailing could eliminate all need for face to face communication with just about everyone. But it does take a certain amount of time and requires some level of skill with grammar, unless I am emailing my sister, in which case I never bother with periods or capitalization, but she's the only person I try and pull this off with.

Then texting came along and as with anything new in which I'm not familiar with or good at, I found it foolish and said only the ignorant and young would use it. That was until last summer when I got a better phone with a good keypad and discovered that texting is far superior to emailing and most definately better than talking to people in person. It's short and sweet and with cutesy symbols like :) or the more sly ;) you always seem excited about life! And for the time pressed person like me who spends her days researching important topics ranging from, "how to double brew your coffee"  to "does drinking white tea eliminate wrinkles," I need a way to communicate with people that involves not really communicating with people. Texting is it for me.

The only thing quicker and easier and possibly ready to replace texting is grunting. There really are only a few sounds we need to make to let people no how we're feeling. "UGH!" Or "eh." Or "yay!"  You have disgust, indifference and excitement right there. If there are more human emotions than those I certainly don't know of any. With any luck, all of my attempts at not talking to people will soon result in my inability to form a coherent sentence and grunting will become my only way of communicating, which really should make my husband and kids happy and that really is my only goal in life.

Happy grunting capicola farts!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


"Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact."
George Eliot

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Right after Greg and I got married I found myself unemployed and feeling distressed over the situation. Truth be told,  the distress started on our honeymoon. As Greg lay on the sandy beaches of Hilton Head trying to enjoy our honeymoon,  I lay on the sandy beaches and worried endlessly about what I was going to do for work when we returned to Rochester. At that time my excessive worry caused me to suffer such  severe stomach aches that the need to remain always close to a bathroom was of utmost importance. It was a fun week at the beach.

I made it through the honeymoon (and isn't that a sentimental way to refer to what should have been a carefree time) and immediately upon returning home began looking for jobs. Most of the time I would show up to interviews and realize one minute into it that I had no idea what the helk the potential employer was talking about, but I would nod and smile and hope for the best.  Many of the  jobs required a background in sales, something I'm not quite cut out for. My sales pitch is something along the lines of, "hey, I wouldn't buy it either." It seems honest and refreshing, but has yet to catch on. 

I'm getting ahead of myself. Before I could go on all those interviews I first had to go to an employment agency. Back in the early 90's it seemed the only way to get a job was to have someone else get it for you. Maybe this is still the way people do it. I'm a dinosaur and admit to having no idea how one would go about getting a job today (unless it involves becoming an adult newspaper carrier). At the end of my meeting with the agency, the woman asked if I had an interview suit ready because she was sure she was going to be able to get me in to see some people quickly. I did what I always do when I'm nervous and afraid to tell the truth. I lied. Not only did I lie but I described the suit for her. I can't explain it. I guess I was just hoping to see what she thought of the pretend suit. 

When I returned home Greg was waiting for me so he could head over to school. We had one car so we were constantly arranging our schedules accordingly. And of course, as soon as he left in the car, the phone rang and the woman from the agency shared with me the wonderful news that I had a job interview that very afternoon. Good thing I had that suit all ready!

This was before cell phones, which meant I had no way to let Greg know I needed the car back so I could go shopping. Panic set in. Oh, but then it hit me; I had a bike and a bike is just as good as a car. Crisis averted!I wrote a note for Greg, just in case he came home, and then I left. And two minutes into my bike trip it started raining out. It started raining hard and I started crying and cursing my stupidity and the fact that I hadn't just dropped Greg off at school that day, and why, oh why, had I lied, and what would the sales people at the store say when I strolled in sopping wet to buy a suit? It was a long, wet, self loathing filled bike ride.

But I made it to the mall and found a suit rather quickly and I still remember what it looked like. It was this sort of beigy tweed thing and the skirt came to my knees and  fit perfect. Clothes always seemed to fit well back in the easy breezy days of non-stop bathroom runs. Oh those were the days. When the saleswoman was ringing me up I told her I had to ride my bike back home in the pouring rain, so could she please make sure to wrap that suit up well, as I had an interview soon and I thought it would be better if the suit wasn't covered in mud. She was definitely cut out for sales because she acted like my predicament was something she encountered ten times a day.

As I was riding my bike back home in the pouring ran, congratulating myself on my luck at having found a real suit that was a pretty close match to my pretend suit, Greg pulled up in our car. He was laughing at me, but in a good way, in a  way that says, you know, I'm really glad I married you because if you're willing to do this for a job you probably won't get, I can only imagine what you'll do for things you really care about. He didn't say all that stuff, but he did let me know how impressed he was with my determination, which made  not getting that job a little easier to swallow.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day One of daily postings

I'm never as close to realizing how little I have to write about more than when I say I will write everyday. I'm breaking out in a sweat over here. I just looked at the clock and see that it is 8:50. I was sure something wonderful and exciting would happen to me today. I got cocky and over confident and put minimal effort into creating anything useful for blog fodder. What to do, what to do?

I went to the library today and checked out some books and even managed to snag some free magazines at the front entrance. I always high five the kids when this happens. The latent criminal in me feels like I'm getting away with something when I grab those freebies (even if I have just paid off twenty five dollars in library fines). But it's the small things that get me through and create happiness for me.

I went to the library back in February and ended up getting yelled at by the construction crew. It seems that while I was on the phone talking to a friend (and bragging about the terrific parking spot I just got), I had unwittingly pulled into an area that was about to be paved over. I only discovered that after two construction workers came running after me with those big orange construction cones yelling and carrying on about getting off the lot. The wise guy in me wanted to tell them the cones work better when they're on the ground where they can serve as cute little devices that prevent people from freely driving to and fro, but I could tell these weren't the kind of people who would appreciate my jokes so I just pretended to be nervous and upset, which  made them nervous, because if there is one thing men don't want to see, it's a grown woman cry. They changed their tone and asked nicely that I please move my vehicle.

After that embarrassment I stayed away from the library for quite some time, hence the twenty five dollars worth of fines today. Yes, it is true you can renew your books on line but I seem to be physically and mentally incapable of doing this. It's like something deep inside me craves building up fines and living on the edge, taking it to the limit, waiting for them to send notices saying the bill will go to collections if it's not taken care of and soon. That's the only point at which I get a little frightened and decide to return my books.

But no more. My books will never be returned late again. No more irresponsible behavior. I mean it. Incidentally this is the same thing I used to tell myself in college when I acted in a foolish manner on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Never again, not me, that's all folks, you can look away because Ann Marie is done with this nonsense. Eventually that took and I did indeed stop the idiocy at college, and that is all the proof I need that I should never give up on my wonderful self. I will conquer my library issues.

By the way, I checked out a terrific book today called The Worst Hard Time and although it sounds like the author is trying to brag about how bad his life is, it's actually "the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl." It's an amazing book. I'm reading it and so are the kids and if you play your cards right it will be returned to the library in the next several months and you can read it.

First post down, so many more to go. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Random thoughts

Last week I wrote two posts and I thought, yes, this is going to be a priority, I love writing and I'm going to make it happen. But then I forgot all about that and spent countless hours on my ipod wasting all sorts of time looking up important things like, "Does being a bitch make you a better wife?" Don't judge! I was doing research for an upcoming project. Anyway, before you know it I convinced myself that I simply didn't have time to write everyday. It's amazing the things I can talk myself in and out of.

So guess what? Now I'm back on the once a day posting band wagon. Just for the next month, which technically doesn't start until Tuesday, but what can I say, I'm an over achiever. The bad news is that on most days I will have nothing to say, but I said I would write everyday and I always do what I say, so you will have to suffer through some drivel here and there. Just wait a second and you'll see what I mean...

The laundromat is becoming my favorite place once again. It lost some of its appeal in the winter months when all of the interesting people seemed to be away. There would be days when I went and nobody showed up and the only person to talk to was myself. It was lonely and boring and I was left with nothing to do but wash and fold laundry. Things began picking up recently when a woman came in and started asking me about how many kids and husbands I've had. Just one I told her; well, one husband, but four kids. And then she asked me about my husband and I told her what I could and according to her I really hit the jackpot. I made a mental note to stop making Greg out to be so great. I prefer to illicit sympathy, so next time, no talking about the fact that he's managed to hold onto the same job for seven years, something people truly shouldn't be impressed by, but you never can account for what will knock a person's socks off.

I was reading This Old House Magazine ( which I stole from the laundromat, but I'll bring it back, I promise) and here's the most useless tip for men I've ever seen published  - seal the bathtub before Mother's Day to ensure mom gets a warm bath with no water leaks. Yes, nothing tells me I'm loved and appreciated more than having my husband put sealant on the tub. Truth be told,  I'm not a bath girl, so who knows, this may be a good piece of advice. If I ever did take a bath I would need to bleach the tub first, then cover my body in bleach and then put on underwear before getting into the tub, because that is just the kind of person I am. At that point one of my kids would be banging on the door wondering and worrying about why I was taking a bath in the first place, something they've never known me to do, and I would give up, go lay on my bed and stare at the ceiling saying things like, "don't anyone come in here and bug me, I'm contemplating stuff, " something they've known me to do quite often.

Today I was reminded why I started homeschooling my kids in the first place. No need to tell you all why, it's really not that interesting, but I will say this - when you lose sight of the reason you started doing something in the first place you face a slippery slope of doubt, confusion and frustration and no good can come out of it, so the best thing to do is keep it all inside and wait until you are about to explode and hope someone posts something on facebook that hits you exactly where you need it to and then get back to doing what you knew was right to begin with, which is basically to  keep the spark alive in the kids. Of course there's more to it than that, but that is the general jist.

Several close friends had children who received their First Communion today. It was a beautiful moment. If you believe fully and completely in the Eucharist  there is nothing better to see than someone receiving it for the first time. I love being Catholic and am grateful God kept me where I need to be to. I love being able to go to Mass everyday if I want. I love the prayers, the liturgy, the routine. I love Mary and the rosary and hearing Maggie say the Hail Mary. Years ago I would have recoiled at the thought of expressing any of that. It would have been repulsive. Who goes around talking like that? Weirdos! But, alas, I have become a weirdo and I'm okay with that.

Must go to bed now before I hit the point of no return. Rest up my capicola farts, it's going to be a tediously long month of daily posting.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hey there, capicola farts

Blogger changed all of its settings. I found this highly irritating, as I hate when things change without anyone consulting me first. And then there was the problem of trying to compose a new post on a site that suddenly looked completely different. I'm not bright, so I got confused and walked away from the computer in an annoyed state. Then I got bored and came back to the computer. That's how most of my days go.

I'm glad I came back, too, because I ended up accidentally finding a statistics page in which I learned all kinds of interesting things about my site. Some of the things I already knew, like no one is really reading my blog, but other things were enlightening. For example, two people came here after searching for "capicola farts" and another two came searching for "herpes."

The herpes thing I completely understood. I wrote a post about Anthony asking me about that very topic, so if someone typed that word into their computer my site might possibly come up. It's the capicola fart people who have me intrigued. First of all, I think it's awesome that typing those two words into your computer will take you to my site and secondly, who exactly wants to know about capicola farts? If you are the capicola fart people, let me just tell you that carrying around Gas-X will help any problems you are having in that area. I pop those little tablets all day long and now I never have to worry about the accidental fart, which as we know is cute when you are four, but completely humiliating when you enter adulthood. Then it goes back to being cute when you are like 80, but that's a long way off for me.

Oh, I also learned that 191 people viewed my "please endure the picture post" post. I wrote it awhile back when we got back from our road trip to NY and Vermont. Most of my other posts have about 20 page views. If I was smart I would start posting picture posts all the time, because obviously people like looking at pictures. I suppose it's easier to look at pictures than it is to read, but I like writing and also, I don't want to let the capicola fart people down.

Sometimes I write things that possibly lead people to think I have no intelligent thoughts in my head. This post would be a good example of such writing, but the truth is I do have thoughts that border on, if not fully intelligent, at least not completely idiotic. I had something happen to me yesterday in which I realized I'm probably not taken seriously even when I am being serious and so I had the notion that I was going to turn my blog into a serious, thought provoking site in which people would pour over every word I say while they were wearing their smart glasses. But then I got on here and decided writing about capicola farts may possibly brighten someone's day and to me, that's just a better deal.

Goodbye my adoring capicola farts. Yes, that is what I am going to start calling my readers. Don't be insulted. I use the word with all the love in my heart.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tooth Fairy madness

What to write, what to write? Unnamed people have demanded I write a new post but I have nothing to say. How about an update?

Maggie had a tooth pulled yesterday. If you've been in a five mile radius of me this week you know all about this because I can't stop talking about it. When I learned she had a mouth full of cavities I felt as though I had crossed the line from mildly irresponsible parent to full on neglectful idiot who never should have had children. I mean really, I almost stuck a carton of cigarettes and six pack of beer under her pillow instead the standard dollar coins we usually leave when the tooth fairy comes.

Speaking of which, I'm not even sure how she knew about the tooth fairy seeing as I have never once talked about her to Maggie and I'm pretty sure I've forbidden the older kids from mentioning this menacing creature. And yes, this is a wonderful way to handle all of the things in life you decide you don't like dealing with; refuse to address it and it will go away, except for in this case it didn't work.

Someone outside the family must have gotten to Maggie because the first thing she said when I showed her the pulled tooth was, "now the tooth fairy will come!" Whoever enlightened her also laid it on thick enough that Maggie thought she was getting some huge present left behind, something like a doll or a Hello Kitty stuffed animal. Ugh! People. They are so annoying. I mean it could have been a little child who informed her in which case I should show some mercy, but no, in this instance kids are just as annoying as adults.

Sure enough I woke this morning and left for my walk and right around mile two I remembered that I forgot to leave money under Maggie's pillow. Then I spent the rest of the walk just praying she wouldn't wake because I knew she would be heart broken and the thought of that was making me nervous.

That's really why I hate things like the tooth fairy. It's just one more opportunity to let your kids down. You have your first kid and you can't wait for that first tooth to fall out because it's so exciting and cute for them to see that money, but then it keeps happening again and again, on top of which you have more kids and it seems like every twenty minutes someone is losing a tooth and you keep forgetting to leave money under the pillow.

I know this is a common happening around houses across America because everyone talks about it. How many times has one of the kids woken without the money and you have to do the whole, "are you sure, let me check, you probably didn't check good enough," speech while you trick your kid and slip the quarters under the pillow. It's just so stupid and I really thought we escaped this foolishness with Maggie.

This morning I made it back in plenty of time to correct my forgetfulness. She was still sound asleep, so I stuck two gold dollar coins under her pillow and then went outside for my iced coffee. About an hour later she ran out to me, fully dressed, with a huge smile on her face screaming about that money and yes, I did start crying over how cute it all was. And that's parenthood. Just as you are on the verge of becoming the most hideously cynical person alive one of the kids comes in and saves the day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ten things with many things within those things

A friend told me today that writers write, which means I am technically not a writer as I haven't written in quite some time. I haven't known what to write, but fortunately I got lucky today because Julie tagged me so here goes.

Ten random facts about me

1) I used to spend hours and hours reading Vogue in the library when I was a teen. I wanted to move to NYC and become a fashion designer.

2) I didn't really want to go to college.

3) It took me a year and half longer to graduate than it should have, mostly because of number two. I mean number two on this list, not number two as in I had a pooping problem ( although that is also true).

3) Once I got my head on straight I was good student and loved college. I even made the Dean's List. ( But I did continue to almost poop my pants on a regular basis.)

4) I think talking about poop is kind of funny.

5) At some point in my late teens I wondered if I ever would get married or even if I wanted to. The whole thing seemed really unlikely.

6) I put hot sauce on everything, including pizza and mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Very tasty. You should try it, especially the mashed potatoes one.

7) I hate walking into a crowded room all by myself.

8) Although I have many friends, I consider myself a loner and am quite nervous in large groups, even if I know everyone. This tends to make me babble and make incessantly sarcastic and dumb comments.

9) I'm most comfortable around my family, both the one I was born into and the one I now live with.

10) I am enjoying becoming older and wiser, but I am not enjoying looking older and wiser.

Nine things I do everyday -

1) Wake before the sun comes up. This is a must.

2) Drink a glass of iced coffee, unless it is cold out, then it's espresso.

3) Say my prayers, read my daily readings.

4) Walk my dog

5) Check emails

6) Shower

7) Tell my husband and kids I love them.

8) Read

9) Nap for 15 minutes

Eight things that annoy me -

1) People who drive too slow in the left hand lane

2) Snapping your gum

3) The sound of my kids typing on the computer. I am sound sensitive.

4) Whiny children, especially, but not limited to, my own.

5) Cellulite - just my own.

6) People who don't exercise or eat right and still manage to look good. Rude!

7) People who think poor people deserve it because they are lazy.

8) Waiting in line behind someone who is in the ten item or less line even though the person has about twenty items and then writes out a check.

Seven fears or phobias -

1) Getting lost in a dark and deserted forest in a snowstorm. That's really why we moved to Florida.

2) Snakes

3) Getting attacked by a pit bull

4) Getting hit by a car while I'm riding my bike

5) Being stuck in an enclosed space

6) Farting loudly in public

7) Hotel sheets

Six songs I am addicted to - all by The Avett Brothers.

1) Colorshow

2) I killed Sally's Lover

3) Kick Drum Heart

4 ) Laundry Room

5) Murder in the City

6) The Ballad of Love and Hate

Five things I can't live without

1) The Eucharist

2) Sacrament of Reconciliation

3) My family - (husband, kids, siblings and parents)

4) My friends

5) Humor

Four things I will never forget

1) The birth of each of my children

2) The first time I saw Greg. He was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of The Tasmanian Devil eating a peace sign. Very funny.

4) The time my sister and I got in a fight in the parking lot of IHOP. I remember it because we never get in fights, so it felt very weird.

5) Greg, me and Jane going on vacation to Myrtle Beach with my sister, her husband and their two oldest kids. Yes, this is the same vacation where we got in the IHOP fight, but the week that ensued has provided us years and years of laughter. As a matter of fact, if my sister is reading this she is laughing right now thinking about it.

Three Words I can't go a day without saying

1) Thank you ( I know it's two but come on!)

2) NO!

3) Quiet!

Two things I wish I could do

1) Lose the rest of this five year old baby weight!

2) See my sister more

One person I trust

Cheesy but true - God

But if I have to pick an actual person who I see all the time then it's Greg.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The thoughts I am currently having

Sometimes I try to write but I can't think of anything to say so I stare at the blank screen and start daydreaming and then I get up and walk away. That just happened, the part about me staring at the blank screen, except for instead of walking away from the computer just now I decided to go back and read all my old posts for fun, just to see exactly what Ann Marie Hacic has to say about all manner of things.

Now what I am about to say is going to sound beyond egotistical, although I admit I am not quite sure what constitutes beyond egotistical, but anyway here goes - get ready to roll your eyes... I enjoyed what I read and I kind of amused myself just now and I thought to myself, well now, you are quite entertaining to read. I hardly ever read what I write. I typically write something and hit publish quickly. If I go back and read what I write I know I will just ask myself, "do people REALLY need to read this?" or, "do PEOPLE really need to read this?", or "do people really NEED to read this?" No matter how many variations of that question I ask myself, the answer to it will always be no, so I never read what I write more than once and that's just to make sure everything is somewhat coherent.

Anyway, I can ask myself if people need to read this now and say why yes, they most certainly do because it is so entertaining and brilliant that I almost owe it to you all to write as much as possible. Do you know that I am joking? Because I am. So you can stop looking at the screen and saying things like, "you ain't all that and a bag of chips, Ann Marie."

Does anyone remember me writing about the dark shadow that is appearing above my upper lip? I wrote about it once because it was causing me distress. I must have deleted that post when I was having some sort of nervous breakdown wherein I believed people should not be reading this garbage. That was before I got real full of myself though, so no worries, I will never delete again and you can rest assured that me talking about the dark shadow that is appearing above my upper lip will be here forever and ever.

I went online and discovered that this shadow is most likely caused by a hormonal imbalance and this shocked me as I have no other symptoms related to hormonal imbalance. Just ask my kids and husband. They can relay to you how happy and balanced I am at all times. Anyway, the dark shadow ( which sounds so glamorous, but trust me, it is not) is quite humiliating and causes me a huge amount of embarrassment. Please refrain from leaving comments in which you tell me you've never noticed, because I will know you are lying and I will never trust you again and I'm not kidding.

The worst part about "the dark shadow" is that it is now taking on an Adolf Hitler look. It is so troublesome that I have decided I may never leave the house again, or if I do I may put a Hello Kitty bandage on that part of my face, which I know will be so much less distracting than the dark shadow itself.

Now I have to break here and tell you that I am currently sober. I know someone is reading this and feeling a need to call my husband and work out some sort of intervention, but don't bother. I am sober, albeit not completely lucid and rational and the reason for that is due to my daughters leaving their room in such a state that I can only describe it as a toxic waste dump and the fumes from the room have gotten to me a little. My mother is coming soon and so I decided to go in there and see what was happening, try to work out the sleeping situation and I suddenly realized we need to move out of this house immediately, or I need to clean their room. The latter option seemed slightly more realistic.

I know some smart ass is sitting there thinking, why not have the girls clean it, and I will tell you that me trusting the girls to clean their room has led to this disaster in the first place. The truth is, I have pretty great kids. They love me and each other and they don't complain about having to spend large amounts of time with me and their father, they don't talk back and act like those snotty little teens you see on TV, and they mostly get along and if I can clean their room for them and try and come up with some sort of organizational plan I will do it. Someday they will have children and they will call me and complain about the little pigs and I will remind them that they were blessed with a kind and gentle mother who spent huge amounts of time doing them favors, like cleaning their bedroom, so they need to shut up now and go be good mothers.

Now my mother and me have never had such talks as I was a perfect child who never made a mess so I can't call her and ask her what to do because all she will say is, "Ann Marie, you were a saint, right from the time you were born, and I have no advice for you." My biggest regret in life is that I never caused my mother any stress and now I have no one to go back and talk to when my own kids cause me heartache.

Anyway, where do I go now? Do I talk about the dark shadow and how I'm turning into an older, much more hideous version of myself, or do I talk about my kids and their inability to keep a clean room? Well neither topic is interesting and that leaves me with nothing to say but this - I am getting old and my kids are slobs and my mother is coming and I have no choice but to blare the itunes and put my nose to the grindstone and clean the mess and then go on and on to everyone who listen about what a fantastic mom I am.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tires and soaps and doctors

I went to get new tires for my van on Friday and ended up spending close to five hours in the auto shop. It turns out there were many more things wrong with my van than it just needing new tires. What kinds of things? I have no idea, because when the nice man came over to sit down and tell me the bad news, all I heard was blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah. I tried hard to feign interest. While he was rambling on and on, I was only thinking about how I wished he would just stop talking so I could tell him to call my husband, who happens to find car talk much more satisfying than I do.

As it turns out, being there for as long as I was proved to delightful. I got to catch up on my daytime soaps, which I haven't watched in more than two decades. Rest assured, people are still sleeping with people they shouldn't be sleeping with and babies are still being born to mothers who have kept the pregnancy hidden from even the closest of friends, and no one is really sure who the father is, but it certainly is not the man living with the mother of the baby. Unfortunately no one came back to life while I was watching. That was sad for me as I always love to see a person come back to life after having died in something like a fiery plane crash. It gives me hope that if I ever die like that I may somehow come back to life.

On top of watching disturbingly good looking people overact, I got to watch the Dr. Oz show. Do you know who he is? He's that hopelessly hairy doctor Oprah forced on us several years ago. He likes to talk about bowel movements. Not only does he like to talk about them, he encourages you to go look at yours and discuss it with your doctor. It's all so interesting and educational. He also does programs in which he lovingly spreads fear into our lives by stating, with one hundred percent accuracy, that apple juice contains dangerous levels of arsenic. Hearing that kind of news doesn't bother me though, as I only allow my kids to drink beverages containing alcohol.

On Friday, Dr.Oz was talking about how to lose weight successfully and keep it off. It was almost like I was destined to have something horrible happen to my car, just so I could be present to see this show. Dr. Oz conducted an experiment on this particular episode in which he allowed three women who were on diets the luxury of cheating for one day. They actually received, at their front door, a box in which Dr Oz left a note telling them he was allowing them to cheat. (Knowing his love of all things poop I really was worried that when they opened the box it would contain fecal matter.) Anyway, as you can imagine, getting permission from the one and only Dr. Oz to go ahead and cheat on their diets was thrilling for the women.

The next segment showed said ladies indulging in levels of gluttony that proved to be so disgusting that I promised myself whenever I was about to be a glutton, which is typically everyday between noon and five PM, I would think of these women. The only thing worse than seeing them eat like this was that Dr Oz. kept calling their cheat day, "Faturday." He assured them that they would be allowed to cheat once a week ( that's where his clever name of Faturday came from) , but he was going to show them how to do it properly. See, he really does have all the answers! He used the word Faturday so much and I was so repulsed by it that I am thinking of crossing out all the days of the week on my calendar and calling everyday Faturday, as I truly believe it may make me want to spot eating forever.

Long story short I was so bored and annoyed with Dr. Oz that I went outside and walked up and down Route 19 for several minutes and contemplated throwing myself into traffic just so I would never again have to hear or see the hairy beast that is Dr. Oz. Then I reminded myself that life is not a soap opera and if I did get struck by a car and die I may truly be dead forever, so I went back in and sat down and read The Orlando Sentinel. That just made me want to go run back out into traffic again. Really, how hard can it be to publish a well written and interesting newspaper? Apparently very hard. I am much too tired to complain any further so I'm just going to shut up for now. Happy Faturday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life. As simple as I want it.

My fans have requested a new post. Okay, it was only my sister, but she holds a lot of power over me so I caved in and will try to come up with something.

The truth is that my life is humming along a rather boring pace and I have nothing much to blog about. Before you feel sorry for me and my dull life, realize that I work hard to keep things as calm and simple as possible. When I say boring and dull I don't mean that we are doing nothing, I just mean that nothing we are doing is interesting to other people. We wake, we pray, we eat, we do school, we talk, we have lunch, we do a little more school. I take kids to the library or to friend's houses or downtown or wherever. Neighborhood kids come over, ask if we have any snacks, I make something, listen for the thanks, rest on the couch, get up. Make dinner and eat dinner and walk the dog and go to bed.

In between, children leave scooters in the driveway, I run them over, ( the scooter, not the kids), ruin my bumper, empty threats are made, apologies are given and accepted. Laundry piles up, laundry gets done, dishes pile up, dishes get done, I ride my bike, buy some songs on itunes, go to the beach, read to Maggie, clean toilets, pull hair from drains and throw it at the wall and laugh. Wonder if I should leave it there. Who will notice? Only me. I clean it up.

Go to church, leave feeling refreshed. Ten minutes later we are all arguing in the car and I'm asking if anyone listened to anything. Silence, but only for a minute. We go for family bike rides and forget Maggie's helmet and shoes and Greg takes care of it, again. We're off on our way. We go to the park and the beach and for walks. We talk. We laugh. We eat. We yell. We say we're sorry.

I check in bedrooms and see piles of messes and am told to stop saying we belong on Hoarders. But we do belong there. I empty the fridge, I clean the fridge, I wonder why no one throws out empty containers and I leave some in there just for fun, just so I can say "see, how do you like it?" And they never like it.

Friends come over for lunch, children play, cry when they have to leave, we assure the little one she will see her friends again and very soon. I take a walk with a close friend. We laugh till we can't breath. We talk about our kids and school and life. I get in my car and am happy. Realize it's late and dark and I may run out of gas on the way home. Panic. Make it to the station, promise I will never do that again. But I will.

Think about my sister. Miss my sister. Send my sister an email telling her I will buy a new phone this week so I can call her. I said this last week, too. And the week before. Assure her I have nothing exciting to tell her anyway.( Write this post to prove my point. )

Take Buster for a walk at night. Warm and quiet and peaceful. Almost start to cry over the embarrassment of riches that is my life. Try to remind myself not to take it for granted. Dull, boring, quiet, whatever you want to call it, I'll take it as long as I'm given it. I've been blessed and I know it.