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!


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!


Hotel Hipsta How I Miss Ya

I traveled to NYC on business this week to attend an industry roundtable/seminar. It was a great opportunity to meet colleagues in the same line of work in our industry, to share ideas and to simply get back to the Big Apple. (I convinced myself of this last part as I waited through a 2-hour delay followed by a roller coaster-esque landing into LaGuardia caused by the storm that moved from home due east to…NYC. Bam!)

The dinner and meeting were held in the Meatpacking District – once a neighborhood of drug addicts and prostitutes, now a place where you can walk down the street at night from your luxury hotel to Ted Baker to buy a $200 tie.

And, oh, how my hotel oozed hip, sophisticated, urban-cool!

I totally overlooked it when I first arrived – I was late for dinner and a little woozy from the plane landing /ACCELERATE BRAKE ACCELERATE BRAKE technique the driver used to get me there. So, it wasn’t until I came back from dinner that I saw the photograph on the wall of my room. It was like one of those fragrance or fashion ads I imagine I’d find in Vogue, if I cared enough about fragrances or fashion to read Vogue. Hipster skinny dude smiling seductively at a woman straddling the armrest of a sofa or something. Her back was to the camera, but I’m pretty sure she was smiling (seductively) back at him and not at all concerned that her top was falling off her shoulder, or that she forgot to put pants on that morning.

So there was that.

Then, I saw the tiny bottles of energy drinks on the nightstand, but not the Five Hour Energy obnoxious-rainbow-color kind you see all over the place. These sported restrained, high-end labels and, if memory serves, coconut flavoring.

Then, I noticed the extras left in the bathroom for me:  a package containing an orange thong (sadly, size Small and even sadder, priced at $22) and a rubber ducky personal massager with the command, “Get Wet”.

This got me thinking:

  1. Does every guest at a luxury hipster hotel get these?
  2. Do men get orange g-strings while women get thongs? Are other colors and styles available?
  3. Do most women (or men) buying the orange thong care that their dollars are helping low income women, as was promised on the packaging?
  4. Did I really look that bad when I checked in that the slickster at the reception desk felt compelled to call in the RELAX. DON’T DO IT. SWAT team to drop these goodies on my counter?

Don’t get me wrong:  I like ducks and photography and new underwear as much as the next girl, although orange isn’t my best color.  (And, no, I didn’t purchase anything. Are you kidding me? I can barely get an expense report approved without some glitch in the system when I buy coffee at the airport.) I wasn’t offended; I just found it all very amusing. The hotel was nice, but seemed to be trying a little too hard. The bed was comfie, which, frankly, was hip enough for me.