The 80's?? Really??

Friday, September 28, 2012
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't have babysitter so I have to go by myself in a taxi, looking like a 80's throw back! I may have too much to drink - note to self: Disable email on your phone before you leave.  You already wished him a happy birthday...

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The Wise Old Owl

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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 my husband.  I got it out of his bag and as I took it to him, I couldn’t help but find his fascination with this tiny item, precious and I just wanted to hug him and let him keep it.  He showed it to his dad and again asked if he could play with it.  My husband said no, reinforced that it’s wrong to take things that aren’t yours and told him it wasn’t his to play with.  The disappointment on his little face nearly broke my heart.
This morning, I took him to his teacher and had him give it back.  She asked, ‘Did you take this home by accident?’  I said no, he did it on purpose and he shouldn’t have.  Then, I thought better of it.  I realized what she was doing and quickly corrected myself saying, ‘Well since he didn’t know it was wrong I guess it was by accident, but he promised he wouldn’t do it again’.  She thanked him for his honestly and told him that today, he was going to be the ‘Wise Old Owl’ for the day.  She told him he was such a good boy yesterday and made such a good decision to return the die, he earned the title.
My son has come home every day from school telling me how much he wished he could be the ‘Wise Old Owl’.  It’s an honor given to the child who behaves the best or improves the most that day.  He kept telling me, ‘I’m just never good enough, Mommy!’  I kept telling him, ‘I’m sure everyone gets a chance, Baby.  You’ll get yours.’ He would say, ‘I’ve tried so hard.’  When he got the news that he would finally get to be the Wise Old Owl, (2 weeks is a lifetime for a child and he’s waited 2 whole weeks), his face lit up like I’ve never seen it before!  My heart swelled with love and pride (his teacher did tell me yesterday how well he had done) and wished I could stay to see him seated in his wise old owl chair, but I had to leave.
Just now, I ordered him a pair of green dice from Amazon to reward him for being the wise old owl.  I can’t wait to see his face when he gets them!

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Just Move

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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.  Maybe you are going through a rough time and your feeling sorry for yourself or maybe you have every reason for feeling sorry for yourself - what ever it is, if you're feeling low - if you're able,  move and tell yourself - this too shall pass.

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Potato Leek Soup

Monday, September 24, 2012



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


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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 the kind of person that can watch from a distance when he climbs a tree.  I have to be standing under the tree.  I won't let him leave my sight for a second when we're out, I only just stopped going in with him into soft-play areas, I don't let him go into a men's room to use the bathroom on his own and make him come in the ladies room with me.  I don't allow him to go on play dates without me and don't have a babysitter because we don't have family around and I trust no-one.  I lock the doors when I take a shower so he can't go outside and won't open the door to strangers.  I've actually told him never to answer the door without me because it could be the big bad wolf!

8) Very often, I make him a separate meal because he's a finicky eater and I want him to eat and can't let him go hungry. 

7) I'm mean and don't let him eat junk food.  My son is allowed two very small junk food type items a day.  I don't eat it so why should he?  He just asked for potato chips for his school lunch because everyone else has them and I ended up buying the low fat kind because it felt better to do.  My husband just allowed him chocolate breakfast cereal and I told my son so many times that it was unhealthy that he stopped eating it.

6) I shout too much.  My son has the attention span of a gnat.  He seems to completely ignore me and makes me feel like he doesn’t listen to a word I say.  I'm not patient enough and have days where I feel like I never stop shouting at him.

5) He's not afraid of me - My husband and I have chose to be parents that don't hit and because he's not afraid of us, he sometimes has the upper hand because he knows the worst punishment isn't so bad.

4) I occasionally make empty threats.  Not always but often enough, I will say things like, 'If you do that one more time, we are leaving!' even though I have every intention to finish my shopping, eat the meal I've ordered or I just paid a lot of money to get into a place and want my money's worth.  That being said, I have walked out of places because I said I would.  This leaves my son with a 50/50 chance that he can behave badly and not get punished for it.

3) I never taught him to wipe his own behind.  I have a problem with germs and think that 4 years old is too young to learn to be mindful about where the poop winds up!  He also gets a rash if it's not wiped well enough that sometimes cracks and bleeds and so it needs to be done thoroughly.  I didn't know they wouldn't offer assistance at school and now my son has to learn fast how to do it on his own without me to help him!

2) I don't force affection.  If my son's grandparents or anyone else asks for a hug or kiss goodbye and he won't do it, I never force him to.  I think a child's affection should be a natural thing and I can't be the person who stands there sternly and forces a kid to hug or kiss someone he just doesn't want to.

And the #1 reason I am a crappy Mom is...

1) I still have a monitor in his room.  He's 4 and I still have a baby monitor in his room.  He sleeps on the top floor of a 3 story house and I like to be able to hear him if he needs me.  I have a monitor I carry around with me after he's gone to bed.  I haven't stopped because A) I'm neurotic and B) he's never felt the need to leave his bed at night so I've never been woken up by a small child starring at me and Mommy and Daddy have never had our playtime interrupted.

The truth of the matter is that I know I am not actually a crappy mom, but I know there are things I do as a mom that a lot of other people would not agree with.  There are a lot more things I do that are not on that list that people don't agree with like the fact that I coddle him.  I don't like to see him cry and more times than not, I hug him and talk to him about what he's upset about.  I spoil him too.  He's not surrounded by family and friends because we live so far from them and he has no siblings, so I over compensate and he wants for nothing.  I tell him I love him a million times a day, give 100s of hugs and kisses and always apologise if I've upset him or hurt his feelings (just because I'm his mother doesn't mean his feelings don't matter).  I'm the best mom I can be.  My son is loved and well taken care of.  Nobody is perfect and I'm far from it, but I have a great kid who is sweet, kind, well behaved and happy.  Every time I think I may not being doing a good job at parenting, he lets me know in some small way that I am.

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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 a trip home about three years ago.  I met with an old friend from high school.  We re-connected on facebook and before that trip, we haden't seen eachother in about 15 years.  I can't even say that in the past we were terribly close, but one day we had a day like I had with Emma the other day and ever since, we've been really close friends.  We talk on the phone, communicate through email and facebook on a regular basis.  We both say we can't explain how it happened, but out of nowhere, after just one afternoon we became instant very close friends.  I feel like that's what happened with Emma.
Over the weekend Emma had me and some other girls over for drinks which was another really great night and we've decided to make our coffee morning a regular weekly thing. Just weeks ago, I was blogging about how miserable I was with my social life here in England and now this - All I can say is what a difference a day can make!

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Writer's Block compounded by Reader's Block

Saturday, September 22, 2012
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 because I want that connection; I want to know the charaters and not have to start fresh with new ones.  I read a book like that recently (When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde), but this feeling has been compounded by the fact that I read a book I hated directly after it (We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver, which I wouldn't have done if I didn't have to read it for book club).
When this happens, my television watching increases and breaking out of the cycle seems hopeless and I satrt thinking, 'If only I could find that one book that will take me out of this', as I throw yet another barely started book onto the the stack of barely started books stitting on the coffee table. They can be perfectly good books that I could end up loving at another point, but when I have reader's block, I just can't get into them. 
I'm getting fed up with watching crap TV when my son is in bed and being stuck with children's programs when he's home.  I am in desprate need of a good book and hope I find one soon!

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Ribollita

Friday, September 21, 2012

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

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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 participant?' We walked away hand in hand back to the car and I didn't make it off school grounds before the tears started to flow.  I put my sun glasses on to hide it from the other parents and my husband pulled me close and told me it would be fine.
It took me a while to say anything.  I just kept crying and couldn't find the words.  I kept thinking to myself that I have been demoted to part time Mom.  He would now spend more time (while awake) at school than he would at home.  Every day I will have to pass him on to someone else.  I have to pass him to people who don't love him or know him the way I do and could never take care of him like I do or watch him as closely.  I am passing him off to people who have 29 other kids to look after and I am brokenhearted.  I now know why so many mothers I know have a baby after their kids start school.  If only I were younger...
The rest of the day was spent with my husband.  I dressed up for him and he went to our favorite Thai restaurant for a Dim Sum lunch that was fantastic.  I even had a glass of wine with lunch which is something I've probably done maybe 3 times in my life, but it felt right and acceptable that day.  That was the first full day my husband and I have had together in years and we had a really good day.
When we picked up Ethan, he charged out of the class and nearly knocked me over running into my arms.  I can't say it didn't make me feel great!
That night, he asked me to sleep with him and he's asked every night since (of course I have  declined).  He's really holding on to me and asking for our nightly cuddle time to last longer and longer.  The other night, he said 'Mommy, we'll never grow apart will we?' I said, 'Of course not Baby, we have something special.' He hugged me tight and said, 'I love you so, so much!'  I think he's feeling it too, but he's being brave and doing it on his own.  I'm so proud of him.  I know this is right for him and although, I'm feeling better than I was, this is really hard for me and my least favorite part of parenthood so far.

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Keeping Busy

Thursday, September 20, 2012
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!

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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! 








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Our last day

Monday, September 17, 2012
Tomorrow is my last full day with Ethan before he starts going to school full time.  Wednesday will be his first day going from 8:50AM-3:00PM.  It's such a long day for such a small child.  He's loving school so far, but I'm not sure how he's going to feel about going all day 5 days a week.
Today was my 2nd morning on my own without him and I couldn't believe how happy I was to see him walk out of that classroom!  I really missed him and that was with him being gone just a few hours.  I'm having trouble sleeping and it seems like every little thing bothers me a lot more than it should.  I am slowly unravelling.  I'm fighting back the tears as I write this.  I just don't want him to go!
I am doing my best to not let him know how I'm feeling, but I think he's way to smart for that because every day I pick him up, he asks. 'So how did you do without me today, Mommy? You weren't very sad were you?'  I always tell him, No, Baby, I was fine.  No need to worry about me, but I missed you!'
Tomorrow I'm taking him to the book store to get a new dinosaur book and then we're going to go out to lunch together, followed by some ice cream.  I told him we'll spend the whole day together.  I'm looking forward to it except for the fact that he wants to learn how to take the bus.  I on the other hand, could go the rest of my life without stepping on a bus and be just fine with it!  Lets hope I can talk him out of it!

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Creepy!

I got the creepiest email this morning from some perv that read my blog, liked my pictures and wanted to offer me a bit of fun!  I know it's the chance you take when you have a blog, but I'm still skeeved out!  I often think I should make this blog private so that readers have to have a user name and password, but I don't know how I feel about doing that.  It's something I'm seriously considering.  Thoughts?  Speak now or forever hold your peace...

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We Need to Talk About Kevin By Lionel Shriver

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Synopsis:  Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him off the rails.

My Thoughts: It's been a really long time since I hated a book, but I hated this book.  Okay, it was thought provoking and well written and gave us a hell of a lot to talk about at book club, but I hated it all the same.  The book was bleak.  It was dark and disturbing and lacked even the slightest bit of emotion.  The killings were unnecessarily brutal and the anti-americanism infuriated me.




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Cheaters Meatballs & Pasta





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


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Sad News

Saturday, September 15, 2012
This morning I went on Facebook and saw messages that were all being sent to a Facebook friend of mine.  They said things like, 'I'll miss you' and 'I don't know what I'll do without you' and then I saw the words 'Rest in peace'.  What a way to find out someone you know died!
I went to her wall and saw a huge number of memorial messages and then below them, I saw her own last posts and status updates.  It was eerie looking at her last days and hours.  She had no idea.  She died suddenly of a suspected heart attack.  She was 33 years old. I haven't seen her in a couple of years I didn't know her well, but I still cried as I looked at her wall.  This is what she wrote on her bio page - "Don't be a Liar, it wears down your soul. Love slowly, never settle, always be happy and surround yourself with good people. You can't change what has already happened but you can change what will happen. Most of all, always just smile."
She was close with a dear friend of mine.  I can't tell you how much loss my friend has had - too much for one person.  She was a widow at 32 years old.  Her mother died shortly thereafter and this year she lost two close friends (who have died young) and her beloved dog . My heart is breaking for her.  I hate that she has to go through this again and I hate that I can't be there with her as she goes through it.



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Eggplant Parmesan


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

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Printer Friendly Version of Recipes

I know I should have been doing it all along, but I've added a link to all of my recipes for a printer friendly version.  I will have one on every recipe I add from now on.

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Seagulls!

Friday, September 14, 2012
 Here is the downside to living on the water – Seagulls.  Seagulls wake me up at  all hours of the night.  They squawk and shriek all night long.  I used to think that birds slept at night, but now I know that seagulls do not. 
We sleep with the windows open.  I like to feel the night air on me, so even in the wintertime, they are always at least cracked.  This means that all night long I hear the sounds of the harbor. 
I hear the cables on the sailboats swaying in the wind and making an almost constant chime as they knock against the masts. I hear the water lap against the harbor side and the boats.  I hear the wind in its many forms (a light breeze, a whipping bluster, howls and whistles).  These are the soothing sounds of the harbor, but there are other sounds that can wake you up with a jolt: dogs barking as people walk their dogs on the path below your house all hours of the night. Drunk and rowdy people walking home from the many restaurants and bars that are just a 5-minute walk away, the thunderous sound of the swans taking flight (I can write a whole entry on the swans alone) and the seagulls!  The seagulls are the worst (unless you count the sound of the cat that fell in the harbor one dark, awful night that we couldn’t find to save from drowning).
The seagulls not only shriek and squawk, but they sound like they also fight and squabble.  They taunt, tease and bicker all night long until it finally turns into a full-blown clash that can last far too long! 
I keep ear plugs next to my bed at all times.  I am a light sleeper and more times than not, if I am awoken in the night, it’s a struggle to get back to sleep (if I’m even able to).  This morning the seagulls woke me up at 5:00AM.  I laid there until 6:00 when I gave up on getting back to sleep. 
So here I sit on my couch with only the sound of the keys as I type and those soothing sound of the harbor that are always there in the background (the seagulls appear to have gone to sleep), with a cat on each side of me, a cup of coffee next to me and a book I’ve been meaning to start. Why does this always happen on the days that my son sleeps in?

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Stuffed Peppers

Thursday, September 13, 2012

All of my recipes have moved to my new food blog. Click here to be redirected. 


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Morning One

Today was my first morning on my own while Ethan is at school.  It's not really my first day.  He's been in nursery school 2-3 mornings a week since the age of two, so today isn't too hard for me.  Next week will be and I think the impending heartache of what's to come has me a bit out of sorts.
After dropping him off, the first thing I wanted to do was go buy a pack of cigarettes.  I really wanted to, but I didn't.  I came home, cleaned the breakfast mess up and worked out for 45 minutes instead of chain smoking like I wanted to.  Now I only have 45 minutes to until I have to leave pick him up.  By the time I finish this and shower, morning one will be over.
After today, he doesn’t go back to school until Monday for another half day.  he will have Tuesday off and starts full time on Wednesday.  I'm hoping my husband will be able to swing a day off that day.  It would be nice to soften the blow with an entire morning and afternoon with my husband to do what ever we please.
Okay, I have wasted enough time.  If I don't end it here, I'll be late leaving on the first day I'm on my own.  That wouldn't be the best start!



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Shrimp Scampi

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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


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First Day of Kindergarten

Ethan had his first day of Kindergarten today.  It was only a few hours, but he had a great time and can't wait to start with full days.  He says he's just worried about me.  When I picked him up he said, 'How did you do without me, Mommy?' I told him, 'Daddy took me out, so I didn't have to be by myself.' He asked, 'So you held up OK then?'  He's so cute and way too smart!  That kid doesn't miss a thing!  I did do well.  I didn't even cry, but you can bet I'll be crying next week when he has his first full day!





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First Day of School Tomorrow

Monday, September 10, 2012
My son's first day of Kindergarten (UK -reception year) is tomorrow.  I am doing everything I can to keep myself together. I've had a lot on my mind lately anyway and this has the definite potential to tip me over the emotional edge.  He only has a half day for two days this week.  On the 19th, he starts full time from 9-3:00.  Starting on the 19th, I will be alone all day for 5 days a week for the first time since my son was born.  Let me tell you, I do not have a big enough social life for this! My husband seems to think I will finally let myself cry my eyes out when on the first day, I am done with my workout, cleaned the house from top to bottom and still have hours to kill before it's time to pick up my son.
They had a meet & greet, Q&A session today with his teachers (he has 2 teachers & one teacher’s aide).  They were really great. The last time Ethan was there, he was in a classroom that had dinosaurs in it and he’s been really excited about having dinosaurs at school.  When I told them that, they sent the aide to go find some dinosaurs to set up a dino section in the classroom.  That was a really nice touch for me and made me feel like he’ll be well looked after.
People keep asking me, 'What are you going to do with yourself once he's in school?' The answer:  I don't know.  I'll be in great shape because I'll be able to get longer workouts in, my house will be the cleanest around, oh and I'm going to take a writing course.  It's one morning a week so it won't fill my days, but it's something I've wanted to do for a really long time.
I'm sure I'm not the only mother in the world who is asking herself, 'What now?' as her child starts school, but I do feel lost.  I keep hoping that my workout regime is going to make me so strong, I’ll be impervious to flare ups and can go back to work, but I know it’s doubtful.  I’m about to start a new chapter of my life.  A chapter I’m not sure I’m really ready for.  I know Ethan is ready.  He’s really excited, but I am really heart broken and I’m dreading next week.

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Unresolved

I looked up the word ‘unresolved’ today.  This is what I found…

Unresolved: Not having been solved or concluded – Unsettled, Up in the air, Unfinished.

What do you do if something is left unresolved and there is no way to resolve it?  When something is left unresolved, does it stay with you like something that’s impossible to cross off a list of things to do?  You can ignore it, throw the list away, or even burry it, but will knowing that one item that’s still undone always be there in your subconscious like a hole you just can’t fill?

If something is unresolved, but impossible to resolve, what are you left with?  Regret?  Is that it?  If something is impossible to resolve, is it just regret?

Regret:  Feeling sadness about something that has transpired, Sadness about something you have done – Remorse, Sorrow, To grieve over.

Greif: The cause of intense deep, and profound sorrow, especially a specific event or situation – sorrow, heartache, angst.

I Just can't escape the word sorrow.  Maybe I need to get rid of my dictionary.  It’s just nor giving me the answers I’m looking for.  Maybe that's just the thing -

Unresolved: Not having been solved or concluded – Unsettled, Up in the air, Unfinished.

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Random Shots...

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Since becoming a Mom, my love for photography has had to take a back seat (unless you count the hundreds of photos I've taken of my son!).  I have a child that never sits still for very long so finding the time to set up a shot is almost impossible when he's around!  He's getting older though and I've been able to capture a few over the last several months that I just thought I'd share - just keep in mind that there isn't a shot here (besides the lightening that I stood for ages waiting to shoot just right), that wouldn't have been improved if I had the time to take it rather than having to do it quick before chasing a small child...

















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Old Wounds

Thursday, September 6, 2012
When I have a lot on my mind I clean.  It's a control thing.  There's not a lot you can control in life, but you sure can control how clean your house is.  I cleaned a lot today.  I also was listening to an audio book while I cleaned to try to avoid thinking too much about what's been on my mind.  I can't say how many times I realized I had no idea how long I wasn't listening because my mind wondered and I'd have to go back and try to find my place. 
I sat down with the book to read it in book form and did the same thing.  I wasn't at all thinking about what I was reading.  I've given up for the day.  I just have a lot on my mind.  I have for the last couple of days.
This writing thing is hard.  It opens old wounds.  I apparently have unresolved issues that I didn't realize were unresolved.  Maybe some things never are.  I have friend that have told me writing it will be therapeutic.  It will help me make peace with my past.  Only time will tell.  So far it's a bit much and I'm feeling emotionally drained.  It's a Thursday night and I have a glass of wine next to me...

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The view out my window...


Here is the biggest perk to be living where we live.  I get views like this every day - right outside my window.  This is the view from my kitchen, living room & bedroom. 
We don't have family around to babysit so my husband and I don't get to go out.  It a definate downside to being here on our own like we are, but with views like this, after our son goes to bed, we can just go sit on our deck  with a bottle of wine and we get an instant date.

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Chicken & Saffron Risotto

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


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




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Getting my UK Driver's License


After eight long years of living in the UK, I am FINALLY getting my Driver's License and looking to buy a car (insert the choir singing Hallelujah here)! I can't tell you how much I wish I had looked into getting my driver's license in this country when I first got here.  I just found out that if I would have applied for it within the first 12 months, I could have just used my NJ driver's license to get my UK License without question or hassle, but because I didn’t, I am treated like a new driver which means I have to start with a learner’s permit and I have to take a written and driving test.  The learner’s permit costs £50.00.  You apply for it and after 3 or 4 weeks, they send you a learner’s permit and ‘L plate’ which is a big red L that you have to stick on your car to practice driving (with a licensed driver) until you pass your test!  How humiliating!
I didn’t know it takes so long to get your permit, so when Ethan starts school,  I won’t have my license for the first few weeks (or until I pass the tests), I will have to take a taxi to pick him up every day which will cost about £50 a week!  Not much I can do about it now, but oh how I wish I looked into it when we first moved here!  At least I would have had a license all this time!
When we first moved here, we didn't think we were staying very long and because I didn't work, the expense of having a 2nd car wasn't a necessity (gas prices in the UK are extraordinary). I was also quite intimidated by the whole wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car thing (don't get me started on roundabouts) so in the beginning, I was ok with not driving here. Then I realized not having a car was like being a kid again and allowed very little freedom.
For eight years, I have been walking almost everywhere I go.  It was worse before Ethan was born because I had to walk no matter what the weather was.  If I had to be somewhere and it was raining sideways outside, I got wet.  It actually rains sideways more here more than it rains down and when that happens, forget about an umbrella.  In my first few years here, I threw away A LOT of umbrellas.  I used to say that the UK is where umbrellas go to die.  It was the most infuriating thing when all you wanted to do was not get wet and after taking one step forward, your umbrella was inside out and snapped into bits!  I once had a temper tantrum right there in the middle of the street, yelling and smashing the umbrella on the pavement before throwing it away and stomping off into the rain!
After Ethan was born, I started taking taxis in bad weather because you can’t take a baby or small child out in the rain.  This kept me dry, but it is a big expense in the rainy seasons.
Ethan’s starts school next week and the school is too far to walk or take a taxi every day.  It finally make more sense to have a car than not to!



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A reoccurring dream...


Creative Writing Exercise 2.1
The writing topic today was:  Have you ever had a reoccurring dream?  Describe it…
In my late teens, I started having a reoccurring dream that lasted years.  I dreamt I was hanging off the side of a cliff with my boyfriend (at the time) laying on the ground above me, holding me by the hand and attempting to pull me up.  I would scream and beg for him to help me, he’d be struggling, trying desperately to pull me up, and then suddenly, something in his face would change.  He would become calm, look me directly in the face with the saddest eyes and say, ‘I’m sorry; I love you’ as he let go, dropping me to my certain death.  I would always wake up as I fell with him watching me from above.
I should point out that this boyfriend never laid a hand on me.  The meaning of the dream had nothing to do with violence incase that’s what you think when you read it.  What was the dream really about?  I’m no expert, but I’d say that I thought he loved me, but may have had some trust and abandonment issues.
I feel like I should say more, but I really don’t have anything more to say on the topic.  I just hope writing about it doesn’t cause me to start having the dream all over again.


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The hands of time

Monday, September 3, 2012
I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred workout program for the last few weeks.  I started it a couple of weeks before I went into the hospital, but had a good two weeks off before starting over.  Jillian Michaels is apparently from the biggest looser, but I've never seen the show so can't say it was what inspired me to buy the DVD.  I was looking for shorter workout DVDs and liked her 3, 2, 1 program (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs - broken into circuits).  I have to say, it's one hell of a workout.
I suffer from both Fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondylitis; one affects the musicals and the other the joints and both make it challenging to start any workout routine.  I have to be really careful not to do anything that is high impact or I could end up unable to walk later in the day.  I have to listen close to what my body tells me and alter things as I go.  When I first started this system, my knees were killing me.  I had to give it up for a good week to recover and figure out a way to alter the workout not only avoid injury, but also make sure I'd get enough out of it.  I ended up bringing my laptop into the room that I have my elliptical machine in so I could jump on that when she was doing jumping jacks or any other high impact cardio moves (which are really hard on my back) and when she did lunges, I started doing leg extensions standing on one foot.  Level one of her DVD, took me 2 weeks to do (instead of the one week that's intended).  I knew it was ok to move on when I strong enough to keep up with the pushups and had enough time to assess any pain I was having.  Once I knew I wasn't causing a flare up, I moved on.
I started level 2 last week.  Wow, it's hard!  The good news for me was that a lot of the moves are low impact (or had a variation that was) so I had to improvise a lot less, but it's a much more advanced workout and it's really hard for me to keep up with.  A lot of the moves require you to use your own body weight (there a lot of plank poses used for both strength and abs).  Again, I know it will take me at least 2 weeks to move on to level three, but I'm still feeling really good about all I have achieved.
I'm also seeing big changes in my body - exciting changes.  This morning, I noticed that the pushups and plank moves are paying off because I have a natural cleavage & shape (without a bra) that I don't remember ever having before (either that or I didn't know enough to appreciate it while I did).  I also see lovely curves forming in my arms that haven't been there in years (I used to have a trainer and once upon a time had really nice definition in my arms).  Best of all, I see shape forming in my abs, that I feared would never form again!  I haven't had the courage to check out my bottom half yet (God, I miss my ass!  I had a great ass!), but I'm pretty certain my husband will let me know when those changes take effect.  I've already caught him checking me out a few times in the last few months and it's given me such a feeling of  accomplishment!  He's even mentioned the word 'hot' a few times!  I thought 'hot' was well and truly gone and I mourned its passing. 
Over the summer, while wearing a two piece bathing suit in my parent's pool (I wouldn't venture out in public in a two piece just yet), my mother told me I looked good ('making real progress' as she put it)!  Anyone who knows my mother knows that she does not hand out compliments unless they are genuine.  She doesn’t blow smoke up anyone's back side!  When I was fat, she let me know it.  She actually cried, saying things like "What happened to my beautiful daughter?"... Talk about a confidence crusher!
In the last four years, I have lost 50+ pounds (yes, I got VERY big with my pregnancy, but admittedly, I lost most of it a couple of years ago).  This year's birthday was a milestone birthday and I decided that I wasn't going down without a fight. I want a few more years of sexy. I want to catch my husband checking me out when I get out of the shower.  I don't want my days of stilettos and skinny jeans to be over.  I know I can't stop the hands of time, but I sure can try to slow them down a little!


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English Grammar

Sunday, September 2, 2012
I bought an English Grammar book that I've been reading all day.  I can't tell you how many times I write something and think to myself, 'That's not right or wonder if I used the right punctuation or add a dash when I'm unsure on the correct punctuation.  I just wanted to learn to do things the right way.  I've been keeping this blog for years now and after reading this book, I can't imagine how many errors my entries are riddled with!
I leaned today that I've been spelling' Breathe' as Breath for all of my life!  That's one of those things that spell check would never catch because it's actually spelled correctly; I've just been using the wrong word all this time without knowing that I was spelling it wrong! That drives me crazy!  There were a lot of those sorts of errors that I've found and I ended up putting the book down because it was making me feel stupid!
I actually searched this whole blog for the instances of spelling breathe as breath.  In all these years, there were about 6 or 7 corrections I had to make and it drives me nuts knowing it was ever there!  I have a feeling this book will bring on a lot of editing of this blog!



UPDATE: I wrote this post with my 4 year old son in the room.  He was jumping from my seat on one sofa to another sofa near by.  As you could imagine, it was quite distracting.  I finished the post, published it and went to make dinner.  I came back to find that I had published the post as 'Egnlish Grammar'! How embarrassing!
 




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