Christmas Crazy – Bring it on!

Well, my Spidey/Santa-sensors are tingling, which can only mean that 1) I’ve nearly overdosed on chocolate and goodies BEFORE even getting to the big event, 2) I’ve started to write this blog post 20 minutes before we have to leave for Mass and a birthday celebration of Baby J. with 700 of my closest friends (and I’m not ready), and 3) it’s only two hours until we arrive at my parents for Christmas Eve dinner — they will be playing the parts of Frank and Estelle Costanza tonight. The airing of grievances may also be involved.

Yes, it’s Christmas Eve folks! I hope you all have a minute to read this wonderful Christmas Manners Quiz from today’s New York Times…and

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!


A pre-Christmas poem

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house,

Susan was crabby and acting like a louse.

She should have been happy, filled with spirit and joy,

But she felt tired and sniffly with feelings of oy!

She decided to stop! and take stock of her days,

Only to realize with wonder the err of her ways.

After all…

Band concerts were finished and cards in the mail,

No letter included? So sorry, oh, well.

Baking kits delivered to 20 deserving families –

Now, that’s the kind of giving that makes Susan’s heart happy.

Tomorrow, a family birthday dinner; Friday night, shopping.

Tonight, a taekwondo test –

Watch out, stupid shoppers! Susan knows knife-hand chopping!

Actually, things are pretty good at this busy time of year

When you keep it in perspective and remember those we hold dear.

The End (…of this poem and my career as a poet.)

Preparing for the great flood

T-Rex has grown into a goofy tween — a very tall, skinny, goofy tween. He’s shot up at least 2 inches since late summer (when I bought him new jeans, naturally) and now his jeans are so very short. Over the weekend he said, “Mom, Drama Girl says my pants are too short.” I replied, “Yes. They are.” He didn’t believe me.

Son, when you see a large band of white sock between where your sneaks start and your pants end, your pants are too short.

We’re having a really hard time finding jeans in a boy’s size in long length, so we might have to either move up two sizes and cinch his waist with a rope or try a super skinny-small men’s size. If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

Otherwise, I can take comfort knowing T-Rex will be prepared for high waters.

iSmart and falling apart

I grew up thinking that, if I routinely took my car in to get the oil changed and tires rotated, my car could last forever. Or if not forever, for a very, very long time without any hassle.

It did not take too many years as a car owner to realize that WHOA! Mayhem and foolishness abound in cars! Factory-installed tires suck after 20,000 miles, check engine lights don’t go off when they’re supposed to, strange noises start, and, sadly, I even had the transmission fail in a legendary, all-hail-the-Subaru before its 5th birthday.

I should’ve known better, especially after catching a few broadcasts of Car Talk on the radio!

I don’t know why, then, I thought about my body in the same way:  get a flu shot, floss your teeth, go for check-ups, follow the doc’s orders (usually), eat (mostly) right (most of the time), and VOILA! My body will keep humming along for decades to come. No muss, no fuss.

Er, not so much. While nothing is seriously wrong, thankfully, I’ve spent the last six weeks juggling appointments for MRIs, X-rays, an overnight sleep study and PT with the rest of life.

Turns out 1) my wonky, wobbly knee issue, which cropped up 6 months ago, is due to “significant arthritic changes,” bone spurs, cartilage and such stuff that I imagined only was of concern to anyone over the age of 60.

And, 2) my home sleep study revealed I have mild, maybe mild to moderate, sleep apnea, which would explain why I don’t feel rested when I do get 7-8 hours of sleep. It isn’t good sleep; it’s bad!

I’m doing physical therapy for my knee, which has taken away the discomfort and is strengthening muscles that have gone kapooey in the last few years. I’m also lining up a CPAP to wear at night. Tres sexy! However, I’m excited – yes, excited – to start using any sleep appliance that may take the years off my face and bloodshot from my eyes.

I’ll stop before delving more into my aches and pains, which is only a step or two from graduating to the “death and dying report” that I get whenever I visit my 80+-year-old mother-in-law. Suffice it to say, I’m striving to be like my vehicles:  a little scratched and dinged on the outside, but generally working ok on the inside.

On a separate note, I graduated to a smartphone in October, months after writing about it. Hard to believe! However, I’ve only downloaded a solitaire and flashlight app. (I know, me so crazy.) What do you recommend for free fun?


Take notice, say “thanks.”


A neighbor and his daughter knocked on our door last week, asking if they could speak to Joe. She needed to complete a school assignment in preparation of Veterans Day:  find a veteran to ask a few questions about his or her service to our country.

At first they didn’t know who to go to…but then she remembered seeing my husband wearing one of his many Navy t-shirts, jackets and sweatshirts. It was her idea to approach him. Like most vets I’ve met, he isn’t looking for any attention, and is humble about his experiences, but he was happy to oblige.

I’m the type of person who often notices, but doesn’t say anything. A 12-year old made me think twice about that.

To the veterans I know (and those I don’t), Thanks.

“Repurposing” the junk

I recently subscribed to this blog, Funky Junk Interiors, because Joe and I are trying our hand(s) at turning antiques and flea market finds into cool home decor and furniture that we can sell one day (versus into more stuff taking up space in our basement). More on this later.

Anyway, the blog is a great source of creative decorating ideas and projects. What I didn’t expect to read today was this inspiring post. If you could use a pick-me-up, or know someone who could, take a moment to read and share it.

Peace out.

Corporate America, this one’s for you

Have you ever worked in corporate America…or do you know someone who has? Then you probably have heard of a little cartoon called Dilbert. I admit I’ve taped a lot of Scott Adams’ strips on the door and walls of my office over the years.

Read how “Dilbert” practically wrote itself in today’s Harvard Business Review blog post. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.

(Funny thing is I had an idea a few years ago for a column pairing corporate nonsense and parenting advice. I may have to do it!)

Happy Friday!