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Showing posts from 2012

My Christmas Party

My Christmas party is tomorrow night.  The good news is I do not need a bigger house to hold the twenty guests  that originally accepted my invitation.  One by one most of them contacted me with mainly weak excuses on why they wouldn't be able to make it.  This is the problem with having few real friends and many acquaintances.  Real friends show up and acquaintances say they will, but if they are presented with a better offer will almost always opt out.
My guest list went from twenty to six in a matter of a week.  I also have six who are still on standby probably waiting to see if they get a better offer.  I'm sure it sounds like I'm angry by the result, but I'm really not.  I'm just telling it like it is.  I moved here eight years ago, well into adulthood.  When you move to a foreign country at any stage, it is always hard to find friends, but when you do it at a time in life when friendships are already formed and social circles are well defined, it makes it ev…

Nightmares

After watching the horror of what happened in CT all weekend, I kept my son home from school on Monday.  It just felt better having him here with me.  He's been having trouble sleeping and even though I made the decision to keep him home well before he woke up with a nightmare Sunday night, I told myself he needed the extra day off to get some extra rest.  The truth was I just wanted him close by.  I wasn't ready to drop him off and watch him walk out of sight.
Over the weekend he woke up at least once a night crying and asking me to stay with him.  On Sunday, he called me in and said, 'I can't sleep, Mommy.  Please stay next to me.'  After I finally got him back to sleep, I said to my husband, 'I hope he didn't catch any of it on TV'.
We made every effort to turn it off any time any mention of it came on when he was in the room, but when it first happened, he was there as we saw the children being brought out of the school.  As soon as I realized what…

Struggling

I guess all I have to do to get myself to go back to blogging on a regular basis is to say I'm not going to do it for a while.
I'm in the process of trying to write a book.  I am n page 42.  The problem is that I have been on page 42 for the last two weeks.  I'm going through yet another bout of writers block.  I'm struggling with self-doubt.  I feel like I'm no good and I've lost momentum.  I feel disconnected from the story and I'm struggling with finding a way back to it.  I've thought about reading what I've wrote so far, but I know it's awful (a first draft isn't supposed to be great) and I fear it will only make it worse.  I start the day thinking I'll write and then do all I can to avoid doing it.
Part of the problem is that my writing course is over and now I feel lost.  I feel like without the course, I will have no way to learn the craft.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  The thing is, you either have it or you don't an…

Yesterday's events in Connecticut

Yesterday, twenty children got up, got dressed for school, had breakfast and probably searched the house for an elf before they kissed their parents good-bye for the last time. I watched the news in horror as the details unfolded.  I cried countless times thinking of those children and their loved ones and my heart broke more every time the body count went up.
Today I have heard some stories of the teachers and school employees who tried to protect the students.  Some were successful and some weren't, but all of them were heroes.
As a class mother to my son's kindergarten class (UK- reception), this really hits home for me.  I spend one full day a week in the school with 30 wonderful children and some really great teachers and teacher's aids.  I can't imagine someone coming in and ending lives.  It's a horrific event and I find it terrifying.  Since moving to the UK, my heart has always been in the US and I've wanted nothing more than to move back, but after wh…

The Holiday Season

I'm sorry it's been so long.  It's not a good time of year for me.  I get homesick when the holidays come and get quiet.  It's not like I sit around depressed - I just get quiet.  This year I've been making an effort to not let it get to me.  I invited friends over for Thanksgiving and made a huge dinner and next weekend, I'm having a Christmas party.  It was a bit of a last minute plan so I didn't expect so many people to accept the invitation, but somehow I'm supposed to find a way to fit 20 people in my house.  English houses just don't have rooms big enough to fit a lot of people so the party will end up spread around the house.  I'm looking forward to it though.  It might be just what I need to lift my spirits enough to get through the holidays...
Anyway, I hope by the time the holidays are over, I'll get back to blogging on a regular basis.  Until then, thanks for checking in and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for t…

Gone With The Wind

I had to share an excerpt of our projects in my writing class today.  I hate reading my own work and hate even more, reading it aloud.  I did it though and it went really well.  After reading it, we were given feedback from the teacher as well as the class.  All of mine was positive which made me feel really good about it.  As I haven't been very proactive on my blog lately (because I've been concentrating on my book) I've decoded to share the same except with you as well...


It was the beginning of July.  My mother had just gotten central air conditioning and she liked it cold.  What made it worse was that my room was in the basement and because it was underground, it felt at least ten degrees colder than it did upstairs.   I laid in my bed shivering with the phone under the duvet wearing my thermal pajamas. ‘Come on Eve, just come to the party’ Tess pleaded. ‘You know my mother hates that you call me Eve.  She says my name is Eva and my friends have just renamed me without …

Angry Birds, Tablets & Kindle

My 4 year old son is obsessed with Angry Birds.  Last Christmas, my husband bought me a tablet PC.  Soon after, my son started playing with it.  At first I was showing him all of the educational apps I could find, but he watched me download and started downloading things himself.  I had to take my card number off of Google Play because he started buying games as well (yes, he's four!).  Somehow, he discovered Angry Birds and he's become obsessed with it!
He has an Angry Birds lunch box and wants the toys for Christmas.  Last week, was the much anticipated release of Angry Birds Star Wars.  He couldn't wait to get home from school to download it.  I'm not sure if I should be proud of his skill level or ashamed.  I never wanted to be the kind of parent that lets their four year old become obsessed with computer games, but he goes to school full time now and when he gets home, I just want to let him relax and have fun in any way he chooses.  School is hard work.  He's…

My latest doctor appointment

I saw my GP yesterday and was told that the lumps on my knuckles are not due to my arthritis, but cysts that have formed and they will go away with time.  It's just my sort of luck to have odd things like this happen, but I am so unbelievably relieved to hear that my arthritis is not getting to the point of disfiguring my hands! He didn't say what caused the cysts or maybe he did and through my relief, I just didn't hear him.
When I spoke to him on the phone, he warned me that depending on what he thought when he saw me  he may have to give me a steroid injection.  I try to avoid steroids at all costs.  Every time I've had them as treatment, I've gained an average of a pound a day.  The most I've gained is 20 lbs in a month!  It's awful when it happens and it's the sort of weight that is really hard to get back off!  Luckily, after examining my hands, he decided the steroid treatment was unnecessary.
As for my painful, stiff knee is a whole other thing…

Loss

The book I'm trying to write is partially about a dear friend of mine who died when I was young.  He was in a car accident, suffered a head injury that caused brain damage and later died as a result of his injuries.  He was recovering well before then and his death came as quite a shock.  Before his passing, the two of us spent a great deal of time together and a portion of what I'm writing, tells our story.
I've written quite a bit about the time period, other events and people, but up until today, I have avoided writing about him.  It's hard to capture someone you've lost and you've tried to avoid thinking too much about.
Grief is a odd thing.  When we lose someone, we don't want to forget them, but remembering them is too painful.  We put them away in a box, carry them with us close to our hearts, but rarely allow ourselves to re-open that box.  As a result, the memories fade and we lose little bits of the person as each year passes.
I've forgotten…

Been Writing

I've been getting a lot of writing done this week.  I seemed to have passed through my barrier for now.  It's coming along - slowly, but it's definitely coming along.
I saw a documentary that followed the author Ian Rankin for a year as he wrote his latest novel.  It was really inspiring.  It taught me so much about the the creative process, first drafts, second drafts and beyond.  After writing thirty books, he still struggles, still has times he thinks his story is no good and still gets changes from his editor.  I can't say enough how wonderful it was to get such insight into a successful author!
I'm more than halfway through my writing class.  The experience has been good, but I wish there was more actual writing in the class instead of just discussing concepts.  I haven't submitted anything to the teacher to be reviewed (she doesn't teach that way) and I really would love the feedback.  It looks like I will have to find a course next semester that wil…

Heading for a brick wall

I am fighting a flare up of my arthritis.  It's like heading for a brick wall with no breaks.  It's coming, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.  I'm trying not to let it get me down, but it's so hard.  The fatigue really gets to me and I also see signs of my condition changing for the worst.  Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge.
I have developed lumps in the joints of a few fingers (my left thumb being the worst) & my left knee. They are stiff and painful.  Last night, my knee felt hot with the pain.  This is is all new and it's terrifying.  I now have a bad knee, thumb, hip, shoulder and an inflamed eye to add to my bad back, neck and several other painful joints. I know this is how it gets every winter.  I don't know why I find it a shock to the system every time.
My mother in law has deformed hands due to arthritis.  I had her feel the lumps in my knuckles and asked her if that's how it started for her.  She gave me a sad lo…

What I've recently learned

Here's what I've recently learned -

- Even though my best friend is thousands of miles away, life without her would be intolerable.- It's possible to mourn the loss of someone you haven't seen in over ten years.- Everyone sees past events differently.  What might mean the world to you, can easily be forgotten by others that also experienced it.- I'm not a great writer (although I plan to keep trying to become one).- No matter how old I get, I am always going to come across women who don't like me for reasons that have nothing to do with the person I am.- Some things I never learn - no matter how old I get. - Sharing a history with someone does not create ties that bind. - I am an expert at beating a dead horse.- There are extraordinary & generous people in the world.- Being far away when trouble hits is just as hard as being there to witness it.- It never ceases to amaze me that my husband truly loves me for who I am. - You don't need more than a few rea…

More on the wake of Hurricane Sandy

I finally got to talk to my best friend over the weekend.  I was such a wreck waiting for word.  Her and her family are okay although  her thirteen year old son lost a school friend to the storm.  The girl's house torn from it's foundation with the surge of rushing water.  Her father is still missing and her mother has just woken up from a coma.  It's said that although they were in an evacuation zone, they stayed because their house was looted during hurricane Irene.
There are stories like this in so many areas of NY and NJ.  So many areas have been hit so hard and it's just surreal to see so much destruction to places I know so well.
I have a friend who has been on the go since the storm hit helping victims of the storm.  She has collected donations of food, diapers, formula, cloths and bedding for those who are in need.  She has gone out to help people recover what is left of their houses and so much more.  She has had so much tragedy in her life (she lost her husba…

The wake of Hurricane Sandy

I'm so heartbroken to see the destruction that hurricane Sandy has left in it's wake.  It's awful to see the places of my youth and the place I still think of as my home in such devastation. The Jersey shore is in wreckage and parts of it will never be restored to be what it was in so many of my precious memories.
I have heard from most of my loved ones and know they are safe. Most have been lucky to have minimal damage, but there are so many who have lost so much. I am seeing on the news that there are houses on fire right now on the Jersey shore.  It's just unbelievable.
I am still waiting to hear from my best friend who lives in NY.  Parts of her area have been destroyed and I am hoping that it’s due to the loss of phone lines and power that is keeping her from letting me know that her and her family are okay.  It’s morning here and knowing it will be hours before the sun comes up on the east coast is enough to make me crazy. All I can do is wait and try not to let…

Beside myself

I had to spend my morning trying not to watch the news knowing because of the time difference, it would be many hours before I could call my loved ones back home (in NJ & NY).  To help pass the time, I took my son to the movies and started making calls on the walk home.  I spoke to my parents, sister and a few friends getting confirmation of my family's safety and most of my friends.  I still can't reach my best friend who lives in Staten Island, NY.  I've been trying to call her once and hour every hour for the last five hours, but still haven't reached her.  Every hour that goes by makes me more and more anxious and I am beside myself with worry.  I spoke to her yesterday.  She was supposed to be evacuated, but chose to stay.  I tried to talk her into going, but couldn't change her mind.  I made her promise she'd call first thing in the morning, but it didn't happen.  Large portions of Staten Island have been devastated by the hurricane and I can'…

I show up

I volunteer as class mom at my son's school every week.  I usually do it on Tuesday, but I was sick on this week and went on Thursday instead.  My son has two teachers.  They both have babies at home so they split the week.  I've never been there with the teacher that was there on Thursday.  The Tuesday teacher is always really happy to have me.  She gives me loads to do and makes me feel welcome from the minute I arrive, but with the teacher this week, it was a much different experience.
When I arrived, she told me she didn't have anything for me to do.  I said, 'Oh, Sarah always puts me right to work.'  She replied dryly by saying, 'I'm sure she does.' and she walked away to start the class.  I stood to the side and watched her teach.  The other teacher had a much different teaching style.  She was warm and sweet (firm when she needed to be, but sweet).  This teacher was very different.  She was more firm than sweet and expected a lot from very small …

A Revelation

After eight years of marriage, my husband is finally realizing I'm a shit housewife.  I've been telling him for years that I never signed up for being a housewife.  Don't get me wrong, I keep a clean house and when I cook, I cook damned good, but being a housewife was never something I ever wanted to be.  I never learned to iron (not well anyway), I do the laundry, but tend to forget to take it from the bottom floor to the 3rd floor where the bedrooms are.  My husband often runs out of underwear and has to go downstairs commando to get them.  I am constantly telling him, 'If you see that you're running short, tell me and I'll make sure you have some or here's a novel idea, go do it yourself.  You are a grown man.'  I say this tongue in cheek of course.  Which is usually followed by a smile and a reply like, 'It's a good thing you're good in bed.'  I always  tell him, 'I know Babe, I definitely know my strengths and I think you'd …

My driving theory test

I woke up this morning with a full on flu - achy, sweaty and as they say in England, full of cold (which just means having a terrible cold).  I've not been feeling well since Friday, but this morning it was bad.  I had my appointment to take my written driving exam this morning that I already paid for.  I really didn't want to go and didn't feel ready.  My flu didn't help, but as I paid for it and would have to pay again to reschedule, I decided to suck it up and go.  I am so glad I did because I passed despite it all!  Woo-hoo!
I've taken two driving lessons with my instructor and have to be honest - it's awful!  I feel completely incapable of driving here! Wrong side of the car and wrong side of the road really screws with your head.  It feel impossible to judge anything on the left side of the car!  My instructor grabbed the wheel a few times on both lessons.  Every turn I take, I have to tell myself over and over again -'Stay to the left.  Stay to the l…

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I spent the last few hours taking a trip down memory lane - literally.  Well actually, virtually.  I read in a book on writing memoirs that said a trick to bringing back memories is to draw a map of a place where the events took place.  It gave me the idea to look on Google Maps at various places.  My husband sat with me and navigated as I tried to visualize things and drum up the memories to find what I needed. I looked at a hospital where I spent a great deal of time with a friend before he died.  I think saw what I was looking for there, but couldn't zoom in close enough to know for sure.  It helped a lot though because I did start to remember more.  I have a real mental block where he is concerned.
I looked for the houses various people lived in at that time.  I could only remember so much and zoom in so close so I'm not sure we actually found the right places or houses. I looked at a park I spent a lot of time in.  Actually, I looked at the back of a park I spent a lot of…

Removed Posts

I've taken some posts down today.  It's come to my attention that some things shouldn't be out for the world to see.  We all have a story, but what is sometimes overlooked is that our story also is a part of someone else's story and we're only telling one side - as we see it.  Our perception may skewed by time or emotion or inaccurate assumptions that were never actually backed up with any facts and may lack integrity and in turn may paint an inaccurate picture. With this in mind, I need to be fair to all of the people that share my story because what they say and how they feel does matter.

A Twenty Year Old Loss

I cried this morning.  I sobbed out of nowhere in the middle of my kitchen when I went down to make coffee.  I had a one sided argument with someone via email yesterday and this morning, I thought about something I said to them and completely broke down over a 20 year old loss.
I won't go too far into it, but when I was very young, my best friend died and at the time, I tried so hard to be strong through it, that I never really grieved.  I told myself I was so blessed to have had my time with him that I didn't really allow the grieving process. I went through another loss at the same time.  A much different loss, but a terrible one all the same.  Again, I tried to be strong and forgiving and just got on with it.  Not long after, forgiveness gave way to anger and that was how I dealt with that loss. It's amazing how you could desperately love someone and yet still be so angry with them. Later - much later (far too late), forgiveness eased it's way back, but again, I…

The big bad wolf

I just had to have a real difficult talk with my son.  I guess I should start from the beginning - I was class mom at my son's school this week (he's 4 and just started school in September).  I'll be doing it all day every Tuesday from now on.  Those teachers need so much help! This week was my first week.  For the most part, it was a great experience.  I got to see how the teacher teaches and what my son is learning.  I got to see what he gets up to when he's not at home and meet his little friends.  I got to work with a bunch of the kids as well; helping them with learning to write, with arts and crafts and phonics.  It was a really rewarding and lovely day.  My son LOVED it.  When the teacher introduced me to the other kids as his mom, he beamed with pride!
The part that left me feeling really unsettled was that the kids leave the classroom unattended to go to the bathroom when ever they need or want to.  I witnessed kids say they were going to the bathroom, but wal…

Writer's block is gone - for now

My writer's block is gone for the time being.  My homework for my writer's block was to write the opening paragraph for my book (which I've chosen to be my class project as well).  I was panicked when she said it because I wasn't sure how to start my book.  I knew I wanted a story line that wen back and forth between present and past, but had no idea what the present story line would be.  I still don't, but I wrote an opening scene the minute I got home. In about five minutes.  It just came to me.  I may change it a hundred times over, but it's a start. Phew!
I'd love to sit here and write an update on all I've been up to in the last week, but I have five minutes before I have to go pick up my son from school.  I think my taxi is here now...

Thank You BrokerFish.com

I've just been informed that the good people at BrokerFish.com have chosen my blog as one of their favorite travel blogs of 2012! How cool!

My Favorite Author

I have had 'readers block' for the last month.  I also am having trouble writing again.  What better way is there to inspire you to write than to read, right?  I just can't seem to stick to anything.  I had to read Fifty Shades of  Grey for book club this month.  I got 375 pages in (only because it was for book club) before I gave up, but that's another blog post...
Readers block happens from time to time and usually, I turn to Jonathan Tropper (my favorite author)  knowing that I will cured of my readers block with the very first page.  Here's my problem - I only have one Jonathan Tropper that I haven't read.  Once I read it, there will be no more until his latest book comes out in paperback (due to my arthritis, I don't read hard cover books).  I don't like the thought of no more unread Johnathan Tropper books left on my shelf.  It gives me an unsettled feeling.
Last week, Jonathan Tropper had a book signing right next door to my home town.  I get ema…

Feeling Better

Just to give a quick update, I'm feeling a lot better.  The eye drops have helped a lot!  It feels 100% better and almost looks normal as well.  I have to do the eye drops for another week and go back to the eye doctor this week, but I am feeling better.
My shoulder is still not 100 %.  I'm going to try to start working out again this week.  Fingers crossed, it will be fine as long as I take it easy.

My first UK Driving Lesson

I just got home from having my first UK driving lesson.  If you know me, you may be wondering why I'd need a lesson when I've been driving half my life, but driving is very different here and we figured it would be the best way to get me test ready.  I actually thought I would just need a few lessons, but was definitely off with my estimate.
With my first right hand turn, I ended up driving on the wrong side of the road!  Not a great start right?  The good news is that my instructor told me it would happen.  She said it's happened with every American driver she's taken on.  She said when you start driving you go directly into auto pilot and just do it.  I thought, no way, I've been living here 8 years.  There's no way I'm going to do it.  The worst part was that I didn't even realize I did it!  She had to tell me!  By the 3rd time, I wanted to pull over and declare myself unfit to drive.  By the 4th right hand turn, I finally got the hang of it.  It'…

Iritis

I'm having a flare-up of Iritis which is an eye condition (inflation of the iris) that is common with Ankylosing Spondilitis (which I suffer from).  I've been told if I ever saw signs of it, I should go straight to the hospital.  It's been 2 weeks.  I've been in denial. A friend told me yesterday that it looked pretty bad and by the end of the day, I was in a lot of pain.  I went to the ER and was told to go home  and see my GP because he would give me the same referral  to go to the eye doctors in the hospital as the ER doc would (Being sent away sounds worse than it was.  The last thing I wanted to do was spend another night in the ER by myself).
I called my doctor today and he got me in to the eye specialist.  They gave me some eye drops to treat it, but said it may take a couple of weeks to clear.  On top of the Iriris, I also have Anterior Uveitis (inflation of the eye) - I look soo pretty!
I haven't been spending a great deal of time in front of the computer…

The Dark Season

I was supposed to have my first UK driving lesson today, but had to cancel because I had to have a cortisone shot in my shoulder this morning and it's killing me!  The good news is that the doctor says I can start working out again on Monday! I've had a bad shoulder for years and once or twice a year have to have injections that usually do the trick.  If I could have it in all my joints, I'd do it in a heart beat - the day of pain would be totally worth the months of relief I'd have.  Unfortunately,  the doctor says it's not recommend for my arthritis.
It's been raining nearly every day for the last 4 weeks.  It makes me feel like I'm 80 when we have weather like this.  It's also depressing.  It's too early in the season for the dark grey weather.  It doesn't usually happen until November.  The sky goes dark and  grey from November to about March in this part of England (maybe all of England, but I can't speak for the whole country).  It doe…

Love Songs

I've spent a good portion of the last couple of days listening to 80's love songs to try to bring on some memories to help with a chapter of my book.  It was an idea that was suggested in my writing class. What a weird experience it's been.  I researched by going to the billboard archives and looking at the top hits for the years I was interested in and then went to youtube to listen to the songs.  Today I downloaded some mp3s and listened to them while I cleaned the house.
It's funny what we forget and what we choose to remember.  It's also amazing what music does to bring you to a time and place you long forgot.  Today I listened to 'Right Here Waiting' by Richard Marx for the first time in many, many years.  It's one of those songs you know from the first few notes and I've always chose to turn it off as soon as I heard those notes.  Not today.  Today, I listened to it at least 3 times just trying to channel some ghost from the past.  I can't…

Moroccan Chicken

This recipe has moved to my new food blog.  Click here to be redirected.

Saturday

Uncertain

I've been going over the outline of my book that I'm trying to write (but may be re-thinking) with various people.  I've told stories and rehashed events that I haven't thought about in years.  It's exhausting.
I woke up this morning before anyone else was up.  I'm usually in too much pain to lay there, but this morning I was tired and laid there listening to the rain.  I swear I had a flashback that was right out of the movies.  I was so deep in thought that I actually jumped when my son called my name.  It was like being woken from a dream. 
It's all weighing on me and a part of me wants to forget the whole thing.  Maybe I should write something totally fictional.  The thing is that I've always wanted to do this.  It's just that re-hashing things may change my feelings on people or events I made peace with a long time ago.  It's leaving me feeling unsettled.  I'm hoping if I just drive on and get through this part, it will get easier.  I d…

Changes to come...

With taking this writing course, hopefully in the coming weeks and months, you'll be seeing changes in my writing and my entries.  I hope to be posting short stories and other pieces that I've been wanting to write, but haven't because I have long forgotten the writer I once was, but let life get in the way.
Here's the hard part - I'm going to have to start reading my own writing.  I never do.  I hardly even check for typos.  With this blog, I write it, send it our there and never look at it again.  It's hard for me to read and I almost never do.  I don't even let my husband read it in front of me.  It makes me feel exposed and vulnerable.  I'm going to have to start editing my work.  Maybe not just yet, but soon.  I just hope I like what I see.

The Red Maple Tree

Outside the house I grew up in, there was a little red maple tree.  I watched it grow from something tiny to a big beautiful tree and when I think about it, I can't help, but think about how much that tree witnessed in my life and the lives of my siblings.  It watched us take our first steps, form our first friendships, have our first kisses, leave for dances, come home with our hearts broken and watch us leave to start our lives outside that house.
It watched us as children as we rolled down the hill in the yard, learned to ride our bikes, climb trees, twirl and dance, sing and cry.  It watched girls tell secrets, boys that teased and lessons learned.  It witnessed laughter and tears, cartwheels and falls, friendships come and go and my father as he left.  It witnessed loss, love, anger, joy and despair.
It watched on those nights as boys came to my bedroom window, stood in wait when I left with them and kept me company when I wished they'd come, but never did.  It witness…

My first writing class

Now that Ethan is in school, I have time to do things I've wanted to do, but haven't had the opportunity as a full time mom.  I enrolled in a writing course and the first class was this morning.  I have had both writer's & readers block for weeks now.  Every blog entry has been forced and uninspired because I need to try to write every day, but what do you say when you have nothing to say? 
My class was fantastic.  It was inspiring.  We had a free writing session at the end of the class.  The teacher gave us a sentence to write at the top of the page, set a timer for 5 minutes and we had to just write what ever that sentence made us write.  I was worried that I'd sit there, pen in hand with nothing to say, but I found just putting the pen to paper was inspiring enough.  I started thinking I'd go in one direction and ended up somewhere else entirely.  I just did it.  I didn't over think it - I just wrote.  The end result was writing about a red maple tree th…

The 80's Night

My friend that had the 80's party over the weekend, read my blog and called me a miserable sod (she's apparently English).  She said I should write a retraction because I ended up having a such a good time.
I am writing my retraction or should I say I am apologising for complaining about having to take part in the fancy dress thing and the 80s throw back party.  It is true, I had a really great time and although I was highly uncomfortable having to dress as I did in my youth, it was amazing how easily it came once I got going.



I changed my costume form the lace and denim look (that I was never a big fan of) and went for a more every day 80's look (it's me in the pink with the big hair). It came back to me in no time.  I started with the brightly colored, sparkling makeup which isn't easy to see in the photos (a look I swore I'd never wear again) and as soon as I put the under eye liner on (a look I haven't had since about 1988), the hair was shockingly easy…

The 80's?? Really??

I have to go to a birthday party tonight.  It's a themed party.  The English love a good theme.  They dress up in costumes a lot (they call it 'fancy dress')  For eight years, I have been able to avoid the whole fancy dress thing, but tonight I can't avoid it!  Tonight's theme is the 80's!  Of all things  I have to dress like I did as a teenager! Crap, I just aged myself!  Anyway, I have a tiny denim skirt, some footless stockings, stilettos and a black lace accented shirt to wear.  My hair will be bigger than it's been in years and so will my earrings.  I'm not at all looking forward to it.  What's really scary is that a few of the party guests were born in the 80s and seem to be mixing up 80's clothes with 70's clothes because they are too young to know better!  This makes me feel old.  What will make me feel older is seeing my self dressed like I would of a million years ago. I'll feel ridiculous and to add insult to injury, we don…

The Wise Old Owl

Yesterday on the way home from picking Ethan up from school, I found a little green die in his book bag.  I took it out, showed it to him, and asked him where he got it.  He said, ‘I got it at school.  I liked it and wanted to take it home.’ I said, ‘But it’s not yours to take, Sweetheart.’  He looked worried.  I explained that its wrong to take things that aren’t yours.  Telling him, ‘Its called stealing and stealing is wrong.  You’re not in trouble this time, but if it happens again, you’ll be in big trouble’.  He said he was sorry, I told him it was okay, but he’d have to give it back in the morning and explain to Daddy what happened when he got home (just to reinforce that it wasn’t a good thing to do).  He asked if he could play with it when he got home, and as much as I wanted to let him, I said no.
That night, I had him tell his Dad what happened.  He explained that he liked it and wanted to keep it so he put it in his bag to take home.  He asked me to get it so he could show …

Just Move

I've been in a real funk for nearly a week.  I've had ups and downs with it, but Ethan starting school has definitely thrown me for a loop.  I'm on day two of my first full week without him.  He goes to school from 9-3 every day from now on and yesterday, I sat around and did absolutely nothing (except feel a bit sorry for myself and wonder how I'd find my purpose if I'm not a full time mom anymore).
I haven't had a good workout since Thursday, but forced myself to do it this morning and can't stress enough how much better I feel.  I have to say, if you're feeling low, just move.  Do something - anything that gets you moving.  If you workout - do it and I promise you'll feel better once you do.  If you don't like to workout - go for a walk.  If it's raining, drive to the mall or a shopping center and window shop, but move.  Get up and do something.  Take the dog for a walk, clean the house, dance in your living room - dance while you clean. …

Potato Leek Soup

This recipe has moved to my new food blog.  Click here to be redirected.

Top 10 Reasons I'm A Crappy Mom

I got the idea for this blog while reading a post on a blog called Life With Levi where a heated discussion on Facebook caused a tongue in cheek debate with another Mom about who the worst Mom was. 
Every Mom is their own worst critic (well sometimes it's your mom or your mother in-law).  We all want to be the perfect Mom.  We want to do everything right so our children grow up happy, well adjusted and good, but nobody is perfect.  Here is my Crappy Mom List...

10) Sometimes when my son wakes up in the middle of the night and calls me into his room, I take my pillow and snuggle up with him for the rest of the night so I don't have to stay up and try to get him to go back to sleep on his own. The reason for this is because I just want to go back to sleep, don't want to be woken up multiple times and I like to snuggle up with him occasionally.

9) I don't give him any independence - I am a worrier and I'm not capable of letting him learn by getting hurt.  I am not…

A New Friend

Last week, Emma (one of the girls from book club) invited me to her house for coffee.  We've talked a bit at book club and have always gotten along, but have never spent any time together outside of book club.  I thought I'd be there for a couple of hours in the morning, but ended up staying until nearly 3:00.  We talked all day about anything and everything.  By the time I left, we both knew details about each other's lives that most people can go years in a friendship and never know find out.
I spoke of things I don't normally ever talk about.  I found myself saying things out loud I couldn't believe I was saying. Our conversation just flowed.  We both discussed difficult emotional things.  We both shared things that in a normal conversation would never come up.  There are proabably only two or three people in the world (one of them being my husband) that know such intimate details of my life.
This sort of thing happened to me only one other time.  It was during …

Writer's Block compounded by Reader's Block

I haven't written even a paragraph of my book in over a week.  The wind has been taken from my sails and I just can't get my momentium back.  I'm feeling a disconnect from part of my inspiration for the book as of late and I'm finding it hard to get back to a good place with it.  I've tried to find some resolve, but to no avail.  The problem is, I know if I don't get my inspiration back, the writing will suffer, the story will be flat and lack emotion so until I can get back to that place, I know I won't write.
I am also going through 'readers block'. Every book I pick up seems boring, I’ve made it to page ten or twenty of about a dozen books.  I pick up a book and can't concentrate.  I read a page and find myself going back over it because I stopped paying attention half way down. This happens every once in a while when either I've read too many books in a row or after I've read a book I loved.  It's hard to move on to the next b…

Ribollita

This recipe has moved to my new food blog.  Click here to be redirected.

Friday!

It's Friday!  I have gotten through my first week with Ethan in school full time.  On his first full day (the day I had been dreading), I walked him to his class, took him by the hand to go with him to hung up his jacket and put his bags in his cubby hole.  I took a step toward the door and he pulled me back.  I looked down at him and realized he wanted to go in without me.  I was overcome with both pride and disappointment.  He wanted to do it without me.  I gave him a kiss goodbye and he walked in without looking back.
My husband and I watched from the window as he put his things away and joined the other children who were sitting on the floor with storybooks.  He found his favorite friend from pre-school (a little girl named Faith who he has told me he is going to marry), pat her on the shoulder and she made a space for him next to her.  He happily sat down and I thought to myself, 'Is this it?  Am I going to spend more time on the outside looking in than being an active pa…

Keeping Busy

I've acyually been too busy to blog the last couple of days.  I've been doing everything I can to not let myself spend a minute thinking about Ethan going to school.  Tomorrow is my first day alone so I'll definately blog in the morning.  I wish I at least had a good recipe to share, but tonight's dinner was not a success.  I've been enjoying coming up with my own recipes, but they can't all be good!

Mommy & Ethan's Special Day in Photos...

I don't have time to blog right now so I thought I'd show how our Mommy & Ethan's Special Day went in photos (our last day together before he started big boy school today). Sorry about the qulaity.  They were taken with mt phone.
I will say that after dropping him off at school this morning I didn't even make it to the car before I started sobbing!  I was wondering when I'd finally cry!