Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Family is important because it places you. It gives you heritage and lineage and a history to stem yourself from. And although it teaches you what you were born into it does not teach you what you were born to be.
It may allow you to learn what you don’t want to be……….
We all have people in our family that we would prefer to think of as acquaintances. People that you would cross the street so as not to talk to or be seen talking to. We get to an age (usually around 15) when we start making decisions in our lives. Who are our friends? What do I want to do when I leave school? Who influences me? Who do I look up to? It’s also a time, unfortunately, when we turn our backs on family. A lot of that is to do with the fact that up until that age your parents drag you to all the family functions and to visit aunts/uncles etc. when you come to an age where you are making choices for yourself you feel that you would rather spend time with your friends and start to spend less time with family. Next thing you know your cousins have kids, and you don’t know their names and you only see family at weddings and funerals.
I’ve been thinking of this recently because I just found out that my cousin, Joanne, has a 10 year old daughter that has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor! Wow! I used to spend time with Joanne, at dance class from what I remember, and now she has a daughter that I didn’t even know existed. I don’t even know this little girl’s name. How sad. How can you lose track of your own family? An excuse for me could be that I live so far away – but that is no excuse! Not in this day of technology. Not that I want to be involved, per se, in what my family is up to – but I should at least know what the branches of the trees are doing!
My mom just told me that this little girl made it through an 8 hour operation but started hemorrhaging so they couldn’t remove the whole tumor (size of golf ball). A biopsy was made so I guess they will wait til they get the results (in about 10 days) to see what their next step is.
Choices are made in life. How they affect your life is something that needs to be seen. You may feel you have made bad decisions but you don’t know what your life would have been like otherwise (good or bad). Never hesitate to correct a wrong. If you feel that you can. It’s never too late – until it’s too late!
You decide what your life will look like. Will it be thick with family, and friends - that are your family of choice? Or thin with acquaintances that give you nothing in return?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
2. Australian meat pie
3. Pampered Chef chicken Ring "Thing"
4. Shrimp Pilau.
Woo Hoo! My culinary skills are really taking flight! I think the risotto was a tribute to my friend (he doesn't know it) Gordon Ramsey! Every week on Hell's Kitchen they're making risotto and I was inspired! You should try it cos if I can make it - anyone can :)
Heat 7 cups of Chicken stock
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in saucepan and saute 1 onion (diced) for about 20 mins (over medium heat) - just til golden brown. Take off the heat and add 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar. Put aside
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in Large Skillet/ frying pan (medium heat). Add 1 1/2 cups of uncooked risotto rice and stir to combine and heat for 2 mins. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine (cooking wine). Lower heat to medium low and start to add chicken broth 1 cup at a time. keep stirring until this cup is absorbed. Once it is absorbed add another cup and so on and so forth until all 7 cups of stock are gone. You need to stir continuously and it takes about 20 mins.
Add the onion mix and take pan off the heat. salt and pepper to taste (but don't add too much salt).
You can eat it like that or you could add some cooked chicken and some parmasan cheese on top to serve.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We need to pay for cable all year round. they should have to provide us with entertainment all year round! We've stopping using Tivo/DVR and I've still seen all the re-runs they are showing now - I don't get it :( The BBC is getting their feet held to the fire right now because most of their news is focused on Southern England even though the whole country needs to pay the same amount to watch TV. What do the people in Yorkshire care about what's going on in London? We should do the same here!
Or maybe I should find something else to do instead of sitting in front of the TV........
My family are coming from Scotland next week for a visit and I can't wait to see them! And Scott (whom I've mentioned before) is leaving for India in 2 days!!!!!!! What an exciting time :) It never fails to amaze me how people travel these days. When I was growing up the furthest we got was an RV park near the beach (in Scotland or Northern England). But those were fun times! 4 kids and our parents squished into a 2 bedroom RV for a week or 2. We didn't even know who Walt Disney was back then! I don't remember the details of those vacations too well - I only have some photos of us smiling - so we must have been having a great time! Right? Why is it so hard to remember the past? The bad times usually make an impact and can be conjured up at any time (unwanted), but the good times are harder to bring forward. It's just a vague feeling of happiness without the details. I heard of a woman recently that can remember every detail of every day since she was 13 years old. She was on the Today Show not long ago and she could pick any day in her life and tell you exactly what happened, what she was wearing etc. (she had it documented in a journal to verify). She said it was like a movie reel constantly running in her head recording what was going on around her. Now that would be a pain! I'm not sure that would be better than not remembering anything - but can't there be somewhere in between? I don't want to go nuts - I just want to relive the fun moments in life.
I think that I need to be more present in the present. More aware of my life as it passes so as not to miss the good parts as they go. More appreciative of what I have and whomever is in my life at the moment instead of it just washing over me (like a TV show).
Sunday, June 15, 2008
In the society that we live in you just don't know how people will react to you butting into their life. We've lost all sense of community. It's every man for himself and to heck with everyone else.
It brings to mind the video recently of the 78 year old man that was hit by 2 cars while trying to cross the road (to see video click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t4wWGH51-A). So many people just kept driving by. A guy in a motor scooter came by and circled him and went on his merry way. I'm sure one of the people on the sidewalk called 911 but no-one stopped traffic to make sure he wasn't hit again. No-one went over to comfort him and let him know he wasn't alone. I heard that the main excuse was, it was 5pm and they were on their home from work or had to pick their children up from day-care and if they were late by helping someone else - their children would be left alone.
Where are we going? How are we evolving? As a people? as a community? Should we automatically feel fear when a car we don't recognize or a group of people we don't know enters our community? Or should we be tolerant of everyone until they prove themselves unworthy? We live in a very diverse World. So many religions and beliefs. So many different ways of life. What's normal for me may not me normal to you. Should you fear me because I think differently from you? I am from the mindset of, as long as you are not doing any harm to me or mine, I have no problem with you.
The polygamists in Texas have been in the news recently. They have their own way of life and belief system but why should I care? They have nothing to do with me. I bet if one of "theirs" had been hit by that car they sure wouldn't have stood around looking on. They would have gotten involved!
We all live with a "handicap" in one way or another. A fear of something that stops us from doing what we want. But it's always "handy" to be able to pass the blame to someone or something else.
On another note - today is Father's Day. A day to make an effort to spend some happy time with the fathers in our lives. A sad day for me and many others that no longer have their father in their lives. Although he is no longer with us physically my dad will aways be in my heart and I hope that one day I will be able to erase the guilt I carry with me, for myself and my sister.
Today - this is my handicap.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It was nice to be in a movie theatre with my husband though . Why is it that when you go to the movies early to get a good seat, right as the lights go down a group of noisy eaters come in a sit right behind you (kicking your seat) and another group comes in a sit right in front of you ( so you can't put your feet up)?? There are all these empty seats all around but they end up right in your face.
Talking about The Crappening, we went to visit John and Tracey the other night. Well John cos Tracey was still at work. Baby Lola was taking a nap but woke up just as we got there. I ran up to her room to get her and when I opened the door - POW! The smell of Poopy diaper was in the air. Now those that know me well will not believe the next part........ Without hesitation I picked her up and put her on her changing table. I deftly kept her busy while whipping off that (dry heave) diaper. WOW - how does someone so little and so cute make such a smell?????? I am proud to say that I changed that diaper and got her dressed before anyone else even knew what was going on! That is a huge achievment for me :D Maybe I can be promoted to baby sitter soon. I've earned my "Brownie" merit badge.
Talking about merit badges........... I am in awe of the weather that is trudging through the Mid-West. How much more can they take? My heart goes out to those families that lost their sons in the boy scout camp this week, and bravo to those that had the wherewithall to take care of those that were hurt.
With us being in the beginning of Hurricane Season I guess it's a good lesson to "Be Prepared"!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In the news today....... A 7 year old Romanian boy has been taken into care due to the fact that he is 220 lbs!!!!!! He is from a low income family and lives on bread and lard . Hopefully he will be put on a proper diet and exercise plan but when he gets sent back to his family - what will he do then? Can you imagine a 220 lb 7 yr old !!!! It's so sad :( you can only image the state his arteries are in. I really should get myself an exercise plan. I keep threatening to get on my treadmill everyday after work but I can't seem to get into a schedule :(
I had a conversation today about the movie "The Bucket List" I haven't seen it yet but I know it's about 2 old guys that make a list of things to do before they die. What do I want to do before I die? I know there is a ton of places I want to go to but what do I want to do? I would love to eat in a Gordon Ramsey restaurant with Gordon Ramsey! I love him :) He's Scottish you know! I would love to climb the bridge in Sydney Harbor (Australia) http://www.bridgeclimb.com/, I'm not sure what else. Do you have a list?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We've had so much rain these past few days and the thunder is driving my poor dog insane. He sapends most of his time in the closet covered in clothes and pillows etc. He won't come out for anything even an hour after the storm has passed. I often wonder what he went through in that puppy farm. All puppy farms should be distroyed. Please, if you're looking for a new dog - go to the pound and get one - PLEASE do not get a pure bred from a store or a breeder. Did you know that pure breds and in-bred (I'm sure you do). this only means that any problems that breed of dog has (hip displatia etc) is compounded as it's bred over and over again. whereas a mix breed can help fix those problems. There are so many abandoned dogs out there (and cats) .... the new law in Palm Beach is great! Everyone MUST neuter or spay their animal unless you are a registered breeder. Hopefully this will cut down on the issue.
So there have a few bizarre items in the news recently. There was a man that was on a skydiving plane (just to watch) that jumped out without a parachute. He died. Seemingly he had been asking his co-workers about the best way to die even asking if it would be best to skydive without a parachute! Jason thinks that you would have a heart attack before you hit - but I don't agree. Do you remember the Australian guy that jumped and his parachute didn't open. He landed in a bush and survivied!!!! If your heart would give out then he would have been dead. That's my argument anyway.
I also read yesterday that a car was found on a bridge over the Hudson River and on the hood (in the dust) was written "Suicide is Painless". No-one has seen the owner of the car since. It is presumed he jumped. The owner was just sentenced to some long prison time for "stealing" $300 million (he was some kind of trader). So I think he's made it look like he's jumped but NO WAY! He's hiding out somewhere, I bet. The resuce team for that are said that of the 30 or so suicides off that bridge they have found every body except one. so the chances are the truth will "Surface" (get it?).
In Britain they are trying to make the law stronger for minors caught with knives. The knife crime in britain has been outrageous recently and if the culprit is 18 or under they just get a slap on the wrist. IN Scotland however, they have had stronger laws for a while and those culprits would get jail time. The new Prime Minister of Briatain is Scottish so he is trying to improve the country in areas he can. That's right! Let the Scots lead the way!
Oh by the way, I've been checking on Adrian (http://baldyblog.freshblogs.co.uk) my inspiration. He's really not doing well at all. His energy level is down to nothing, as he's not creating enough red blood cells. He's having a hard time doing everyday things, like getting out of bed. But he hasn't stopped fighting! His campaign made it to the House of Parliment today!!!!!! I would love to see something pass on time before he dies. Have you looked into becoome a bone marrow donor yet? Check here http://www.marrow.org/ for info. I am checking into whether I can be tested or not. I cannot give blood (in US) as I lived in Britain prior to 1986. They are still scared of Mad Cow's Disease as there is no way to test for it. I'll let you know what I find out.
Love you all
Monday, June 9, 2008
1. Could I ever be that selfish?
2. What was going through his mind at the end?
3. How do you live with yourself if you're one of the survivors?
Many of you know that it was Carnival Cruise Lines that brought me to the U.S. of A. and I'd like to share the story of my exit from this fine company!
I had worked with Carnival for about 5 years. I started at 20 and was supposed to only spend 9 months. But being young and crazy (and thinking I know what's best at such a young age) I fell in love and got married to an American. How sweet it was. Living on the high seas, partying all night, working for pennies! A dream come true! The one down side of working for any cruise line is the Mandatory life boat drill that takes place at the beginning of every sailing. It's supposed to be to familiarize the passengers (or cone heads as we called them!) with where they should go in case of an emergency. The truth of the matter is they were all too drunk on Rum Punch to even notice what was going on around them! Anyway, as an employee we are all assigned "stations" to direct these passengers in the right direction. It's tiresome and pointless ( as I'm sure you can all attest to if you've ever seen those videos of ship emergency's) - it's every man for himself at that point. Every 3 months the Coast Guard comes on board and test the crew on their knowledge of the evacuation process etc. This always took place at your home port (Miami, San Juan etc). From about 8am - 12 noon we all stood outside with our life jackets on sweating to death and passing out with hunger (you probably didn't eat breakfast because you were hung over from the night before). Now this might surprise you, as you know my aversion to water (can't swim) but I became a certified seaman! It didn't do me any favors but I would be one of the people the Coast Guard would pick on. Part of the training was practising lowering the Life Boats into the water (while the ship was docked). The Life Boats are generally 12 -14 storeys up and they can be manually lowered by 2 people on a pulley system. This is where I would get bemused...... they would tell crew members, like myself, to get in the life boat so that we could teach the newbie (who didn't speak much English) how to lower the boat. There have been several accidents during this process where one person let the rope go quicker than the other and the boat fell into the water from quite a ways up, hurting everyone inside! So I got to thinking. Why do I need to be in that boat while they practise? it makes no difference what's so ever if the boat is empty or full. they still need to learn the pulley system.
So one day as we were gearing up for ANOTHER Coast Guard drill I decided I would not get in that life boat. I decided to hide in the loo! Unfortunately the Captain got to hear about it.........Everyone knew I had violated some rule and i was "in for it". The first sign there was trouble was when the Captain paged my boss, "casino manager to the bridge". all eyes fell on me. He wasn't the nicest guy and if you were called up to see him it was like facing a mafia boss when you didn't complete a hit! so up she went - I hid in the lunch room acting all blase! After a while my manager came looking for me to tell me I had to go down in the boat by myself or get off the ship! I was devastated!!!!!!!!!! It was April. I couldn't get shipped off to Scotland in April! I only had summer clothes. Upon hearing my dilemma my manager said "Oh no. They only get you as far as Miami. After that you're on your own!" "Hmmm Miami" I thought - I can deal with that! So off I went to my cabin to pack up my belongings. When you live on a ship for so many years you accumulate many creature comforts (TV, VCR, Stereo not to mention clothes). I had to pack everything onto a hand cart and get it off the ship. Oh did I mention we were in Mexico at the time? The captain made me get off the ship (well if I had gone down on the boat he wouldn't have made me but still...) in Cozumel, Mexico. I dragged everything off the gangway while he stood on the bridge watching me.
I made it back to Miami with my dignity intact and a fabulous life ahead of me. You don't realize who trapped you are in a situation until it changes so abruptly!
I have been through many situations since then but still remember those days fondly. but it brings me back to my initial question.....
Could I ever be that selfish?
What if something tragic had happened while I was "supposed" to help people abandon ship? Would instict kick in? Could I put others before me? I really don't think so.
Could you? Have you ever wondered?
My heart goes out to his family and friends and I honor him and his actions.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Anyway, I digress. We bought this house because we want to use the backyard. We like privacy. So after all these months I am trying to get things together so we can eat out there, relax out there, just be out there. However, my fabulous husband feels that he is the only one that should do anything to our house. He's painted it (inside and out) he decides what goes on the walls, he wants to do all the handy work (but never seems to find the time). This leads to me feel like I'm a visitor in my own home sometimes. Luckily we have the same taste. So, I have taken charge! I want the patio to be mine. My creation! My ideas! Something that I can say to people "I did that". So staining and sealing furniture have kept me busy recently. It's coming along and I can't wait to post some photos of it when it's done.
Meanwhile, my nephew Scott is heading to the Himalayas in less than 2 weeks. He won a place in a group of people going there to help build a refuge for needy women in the region. He's 16 and this will be the 1st time he's been away from home (alone) for that length of time. I am so proud of him. This is a huge endeavour and I believe it will be the making of him. Traveling has become so second natue for most of us but how many of us can say they have gone to India? His group will fly into the area but will then hike and camp their way up the Himalayas to their base camp. Out of the 2 week trip he'll actually only be building for 4 days - the rest will be travel! I think he will be so happy to see his own bed when he gets home but the memories of this trip will be with him forever. Good Luck Scott! I'll make sure to update you on his news when he gets home! (p.s. Scott is the good looking one on the right!).
Ciao for now!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
So gas prices are not going down anytime soon. I paid $4.09 a gallon (regular) last night :( so I thought I would share some tips to save on gas. You may have heard some of these before but it's good to remind yourself.
1. Don't take off from the light too fast! - You burn the most fuel at those points of your journey
2. Try to stay at around 65 miles per hour - for every 5 mpr over 65 you are spending approx 20 cents more per gallon!!!!! and lets face it - it's not going to get you there MUCH faster
3. Fill up at night - gas expands with the heat during the day so you are actually getting much less gas for your money
4. Fill up on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - prices go up on the weekend as it's used more
5. Check the air in your tires - if the tires are not at the correct pressure there's some kind of drag and your car doesn't perform to it's best. Not sure of the terms as I'm just a girl!
6. Price look low? - Some gas stations are offering a lower price if you pay in cash. Before you pump your gas check to see if there are any special offers posted to pay cash. I know it's a pain to actually go inside - that's why we all use credit/debit but if it's going to save you 6 cents a gallon it might be worth it!
I would tell you all to car pool or ride your bike more but come on who's kidding who????? I know that ain't happening! This is going to gone for some time to come so let's all try to save a little money!
p.s. - I know we are lucky in America - there are a lot of places with MUCH higher prices but you all have options like public transportation (bus, train, subway etc) so stop your bitching! If I could take the bus I would - it would save me a bunch!
p.p.s. if you know of other tips pass them along
See you all tomorrow!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Day 2: I was getting ready for bed last night. Jason was out and I was home alone. It was about 11:15pm and I started hearing a car honk it's horn. I thought it was from the TV so ignored it for the first few times, then got curious and looked outside. Most of you have not seen my house but it's suffice to say it's dark out there at night! At the end of the driveway I saw a car start to back out on to the street. I called J and asked if he knew who it could be but he didn't. While I kept him on the phone I decided to walk down at see who it was that was making so much noise at that time of night (in my PJs no less!). It was a cab! The driver (who I discovered later was called Roger) asked me to pay the fair for the guy that he just dropped off. I told him that no-one was dropped off at this house and he had made a mistake. He told me that indeed he had dropped of a tall, skinny guy who said he was going to the house to ask his wife for the fare and he watched this guy walk up to my door! Oh My God I thought.... while I was heading down to speak to this guy some "tall, skinny guy" was in my house! J had been on the phone all this time and at this point informed me that I should call the police and that he was on his way home. Now, I'm known as quite outgoing but when it comes to the police I've discovered i'm very conservative. I called the local police dept and was told I was not in their juristiction and I needed to call the sheriff dept. I got their # and called them and after going through several automated prompts I got to speak to someone who then transfered me to someone else! When I eventually got the right person on the phone I tried to explain that there was someone on my property and that I was home alone. I was told they were right around the corner and would be there quickly. 30 minutes went by with no sign of a cop, or the intruder! just me and Roger (the cabbie) standing in the dark at the end of my driveway (me in my PJs!). So now here comes J (got there before the cops!) and he and his buddy John (who came to help) think they can hunt this guy down! they're in the bushes with sticks and flash lights hollering for the guy to show himself. The cabbie by this time has decided he was wasting his time and wants to leave. He gives me all his info cos there's still no sign of the cops. We're confused. where are they?
Well it turns out if you don't call 911 (like your husband tells you to) the cops have other things to do. So now we make another call - this time to 911. While on the call another call comes in to 911 with the same description of the guy we gave (clothing, height etc) from another house on my street! Suddenly there's 3 cop cars zooming down the road to our house. The pull up (unceremoniously) and ask who are you? where is your husband? Where is the machete? Oh I might have missed that bit out..... Jason had told the cops that if he found the guy on our property 1st he would not hesitate to use a machete on him! So we told the nice policeman that there was no machete and he told us to stay where we were and he would be back. It turns out one of my neighbors has a STALKER! this guy has been warned before but he was soooooo out of his head he didn't know what he was doing or which house his stalkee lived in! He'd been dropped off at the wrong house! Now it's 1 am and I'm exhausted but we needed to finish up with the report. When we asked if this guy had any kind of background we were told "oh yeah! Drug abuse, alcohol abuse and he's a registered transvestite!" I didn't know they could tell people this stuff! So now we have a case # in case this guy shows up again. At least I know he's not looking to steal my clothes - he's much taller than me :)
So the moral of the story is........
1. When you need help - call 911!
2. Be careful what you get caught doing because people like to share your most intimate secrets!
3. Get to know your neighbors (and your neighbors crazy acquaintances) so you know what to expect in the wee hours of the morning.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Anyway, All that aside why have I started a blog? I don't have anything to share (in particular) but still I feel like I want to share. Life is a funny thing. With high highs and low lows. The world is in a mess right now and I don't think I know anyone that's not being affected by it in some way. And the funniest thing about that is that EVERYONE is pretending to be doing fine. Is there ever going to be an end? I know there is - as all things have a beginning, a middle and an end.....but I hope people are not holding out for the BIG ELECTION because that is a joke. I haven't heard anyone say how they will solve this gas issue or the mortgage issue. If you've heard anything please let me know so that I can have SOME hope. Keeping your spirits up is exhausting but if you let yourself dwell in the sadness it's enough to put you over the edge. Now this is is sounding depressing but for anyone that knows me knows one thing.... I'm a straight talker. There's no beating around the bush with me. Not all my blogs will be political or depressing so stick around. I'm just going to talk.