Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

This was a really good weekend for us here in the tiny fortress known as Robtopia. On Saturday Rob and I got up bright and early and went to Home Depot. We got a much needed umbrella for our table and a few plants which were put in right away. On Sunday around noon my childhood best friend, Debbie, came with her new friend who was really a great guy. Debbie is an ideal guest to have. To be honest, there are not many people who I want here on a three day holiday. I am always behind on things that need doing. Debbie is the perfect hostess and guest. She walked in with many things, including lunch. We had grilled chicken, potato salad and the most delicious green salad. After lunch we went riding in Don's convertable and showed him where we used to live as teens, our school, etc. We also went to the mall to help her select some furniture for her new home. After that we went for margaritas and some snacks to Chilis. We returned home and Rob prepared a sumptious feast of veal picatta, fresh baked bread and asparagus. We played a board game called Truth or Crap which was really funny. Our good friends and neighbors from across the street came over to meet them and stayed for awhile.
This morning we were up at 6 a.m. (it got incredibly hot here later.) We had waffles for breakfast then headed off to Home Depot. Debbie had bought me a gorgeous hydrangea and we made a small flower garden area for it. I put a few tomatoes plants in there as well and some stands with a few hanging planters. We also picked up some arborvites to put in front of my fence and give us a bit more privacy. The yard was really spruced up with the improvements. After the yardwork and showers, we played badminton. It is a severe handicap when you have such short limbs as I do. We had a cook out and after watching a tennis match they took off.
It was just a great weekend, relaxing and accomplishing quite a bit. It just went way too fast and it was the first time since I can remember that I had three days off work in a row. It's really hot out there but the home is looking better all the time and even Debbie remarked how nice it is to have such great neighbors as we do. I feel truly blessed.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Stand Up for what you believe in

I can't really think of a title for this entry. It's my bedtime and I am dog tired.
I have been working really hard both around the house and at my job. I have bought and planted some spring flowers.

This weekend I am so looking forward to a three day weekend having worked the past two weekends. My friend and her beau are coming and I am excited at the prospect of having the house guests. Have our menus planned and some activities. Been a long time since we have had weekend guests. With me working the weekends with the husband are usually kept for ourselves.

I am not blogging nearly as much as usual for several reasons. Things in my life seem the same day to day for the most part. I am watching more television than I have in years. Idol was very exciting this season and I am glad that Taylor won. The top eight at least were winners in my eyes. I really enjoyed getting to know them on some level. I have also enjoyed watching HOUSE a great show on Fox if you haven't seen it and BONES. Much of my viewing has been on Fox network these past few months.

My life has quieted down a bit. I am enjoying many of my coworkers and helped to organize a birthday party for one the other day. A receptionist who often felt unappreciated received the royal treatment. I love seeing people feel appreciated.

Time for bed. I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and is able to catch up on all the things that they needed done. Thank you to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a land where we can enjoy our freedoms. In my own small neighborhood there is a battle going on over whether one neighbor can burn his chminea. I am fighting for the rights of the neighbor to do so. I will have to make a court appearance on June 6 and perhaps miss work to do it but I will always take a stand for what I feel to be the rights of others. Peace out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'ts a rainy day in the neighborhood....inside and out.......

Have I mentioned how much I detest fighting? This past week or so in my neighborhood has been a cross to bear. There are two families who have outdoor fire pit/chiminea devices. Both of their properties adjoin the yard of a man who is confrontational. This man ordered both families to stop using their devices. He went to the Board of Health who did not think it was a town nuisance but advised him that he could file complaints of them as a personal nuisance.
This is what I find so distasteful about the whole situation. The man has children. He is trying to claim that smoke puts his daughters at health risk. He just stopped smoking recently and exposed them for years to second hand smoke. NOW he is claiming they have allergies. The pollen count has been the highest in twenty years but his windows are wide open. All the warnings tell you not to open them this time of year. If his windows were shut the children wouldn't be exposed to pollen OR smoke. Incidently I have allergies and asthma and I sit next to the fire with no problem because it's clean wood. I recently heard that he was complaining about the SMELL of burning wood from a fireplace hundreds of yards away. Apparently, it is my belief, that he does not like the smell of burning wood. There are many smells I do not care for but others using PineSol as their cleaner is hardly a legal nuisance. I remember one day when I accidentally breathed it in from neighbor's garbage and coughed for twenty minutes. At one point does someone else's right not to like something entitle them to stop others from enjoying their home and property?
About a week ago I was sitting next to the chiminea which had been used earlier but now was no longer burning. Mr. Confrontational came up to the fence and began to verbally assault the other neighbor. FOUR times it was pointed out to him that it was not lit but he would not stop. He was asked to leave but stated he would stand there all night because he could.
Most neighbors where I live strongly feel that Mr. Confrontational is in the wrong. Still, they are hesitant to become involved. This frustrates me greatly. I actually think of the Holocaust. You may think that's a drastic comparison but I ask, at one point does someone step up to the plate and say THIS IS WRONG. For me it was last Friday. I sat down and wrote him a letter. I told him that he should ponder the golden rule.I also told him that what I witnessed was harassment and that I would testify to it if the need arose. I asked him to keep peace in the neighborhood and stop his behavior. I just learned that he went down and filed complaints this morning. Looks like all the people who didn't want to be involved will be drug into court as witnesses. Perhaps that is when this man will finally understand that he stands alone. It's tough taking a stand for what you believe in. One neighbor felt that I might cause problems between who his kids played with. I guess it's a possibility but as long as my brain is still functioning I will never sit in silence and watch another person be harassed. Even though I know I did the right thing I had trouble sleeping last night. You can lead a horse to the water (of brotherhood) but you can't make him drink. I am deeply concerned for his children.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The good n the bad

This week I have been more places, done more things, had less sleep than I can remember. I am actually leading a hectic lifestyle now and managing that. It feels good! My son's birthday went well with me getting him a cel phone. He is frugal and had not spent the money himnself. He seemed to really like it and I arrived at his apartment about 5 on his birthday with the cel phone, a vegetable lasagna and a cake. We had dinner and I straightened up a lot before I came home.
Yesterday one of Rob's coworker's husbands had some major heart surgery. This poor man had two major heart attacks several years ago and has never been able to work since then. He went for a stress test and his heart stopped. They rushed him from that hospital to the hospital where I had my heart surgery. They discovered he had an anneurism and some more blockages. Yesterday they repaired all the problems and thankfully he is doing well. This man's poor wife works both a full time job, a part time job and has two teenage children. I don't know how she does it. I called her at the hospital and told her that we would bring her dinner that evening. I worked, ran to the store, got the ingredients, came home and made my old and wonderful receipe for macaroni and cheese and made brownies for them. She gave me detailed directions but I decided to mapquest it instead. Not realizing that she lived just across the border with a different address. Went to the correct street but wrong town. Thank God for cel phones. We got the right address and arrived only a few minutes late. They were so appreciative. I have learned the hard way when things like this happen don't call people and ask if there is anything you can do. They are too embarassed to tell you WHAT to do. Ask may I do so and so? I find that although people have family and friends who call to ask how people are, few do anything really helpful. This way they will have dinner for a few nights.
This afternoon we are going to visit my childhood best friend. She lives outside of Philly on what's called the "Main Line". This is the train line with the stops. The further outside you live, the more expensive it is. I am excited to see the townhouse she just got. She recently left an emotionally abusive husband and is going to start over. I am so relieved that she got herself out of that situation.
My son just called me. An early morning call usually means trouble. The landlord of his apartment has never liked him. He has some bicycles with motors on them. The landlord told him if he does not remove them by Monday he will evict him. He carries them on a bike carrier on his car and it seems the other neighbors don't like it.
I have told him he needs to rent a storage unit to keep them in. He wants to fill my garage up and I told him no. There is all my stuff in there and it's cramped now. I don't want to be falling over these bikes and motors. Besides the cat has his things in there. I love my son but I want him to understand that he has to find solutions for these things without it becoming MY problem. My garage in my old house was destroyed by things he did. I told him when I moved here that he would not be able to do that. I have things of his stored here already and he needs to think about these things before accumulating things and wanting someone else to take care of them. Although I know I am doing the right thing, I feel a twinge of guilt for not giving him an easy out. I know from the School of Hard Knocks parenting that the easy way out is usually the poorest long term option for the child. Yikes my son is over thirty when do I get to stop having to be an active parent? I am ready for retirement.
Well time to go see what the animals are up to. My lucky husband is sleeping in. We had a late night at the neighbors. It's sunny and gorgeous outside. A wonderful day is to come.......I hope. :)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Celebration

Tomorrow I will be too busy to make this entry so I am making it tonight. Tomorrow is a huge day for celebrating. My only child, my son Tom is having a birthday. Now, please bear in mind I was VERY young when I had him. I was in fact a teenager (true).
Although I always celebrated his birthdays with joy, once he was diagnosed with leukemia and given only a 30% chance of being alive for the next five years, his birthdays took on a new meaning. At first we dared to hope. AS time went on, it became more and more of a celebration and we anticipated many more to come.
On my son's 16th birthday he was the picture of health. That summer he became increasing tired, weak and ill. The actual diagnosis was made Sept. 4th, 1990. He had childhood leukemia, acute. We had a short time to make some dramatic reversal of his bone marrow or he would not survive the next thrity days. Now, another fifteen birthdays have passed, Tomorrow he will be 32 years old. My baby. Sheesh!
Thank you God for another birthday with my baby who has become a handsome, caring, and kind soul. He is taking a sick day off work and I am only working until the early afternoon then I will go over and make him dinner and take him a birthday cake. Ahhh, friends, life is indeed good.

Monday, May 01, 2006

MY DEVILS!!!!!!!

Back in 1990 my son had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. I kept trying to find things that would bring him an escape from dealing with it. One of my friend's friends, Sandy offered us tickets to go see the Devils play. A word about Sandy, she is UNIQUE. While her husband could offer her diamonds and furs, she asked for season tickets to the Devils hockey games. I had never been to a game but had seen a few games on TV when there was nothing else on.
My son was excited and off we went. The seats were killer, only 9 rows behind the goal. Excitement was incredible and within twenty minutes we were hooked. That year Martin Brodeur I believe made his first appearance. Throughout that year and the next Sandy often gave us her tickets. We had a great time. We got souvenirs. From then on I became a fan.
When I met a Bruins fan I sensed trouble. I just knew though that if Rob SAW the Devils play he would be pulled in. This year, in the Fall I was finally able to take him to a game. I mean he's only been in Jersey for FIVE years. I have made him a promise. If we come into a landfall I will buy season tickets. He's hooked just like I am now and I am elated that once again they are in the playoff. These guys are just kicking ass and taking names. OH my Devils I just feel that this may be another Stanley cup year for you. ((((((((((((((((Devils)))))))))))))))) you make me proud of New Jersey. Thank you Brodeur, Gomez, Elias and all the others for all the wonderful moments watching you talented guys has brought me and the important men in my life.