Friday, December 28, 2007

We've been forked!


Do you remember how, over the summer, I mentioned how bored the kids are around here? Well, this is the new trend... practical jokes. Tonight, we were forked.

Honestly, I find it funny. No harm done, right? I might just leave it until New Year's Eve... although maybe that isn't what they were looking for. Is it as much fun, if the person you are pranking thinks it's funny? Isn't it more funny if everyone freaks out and runs around screaming, like chickens with their heads cut off???
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The view from the Top


Here's a buena vista for y'all -- a beautiful view from our hike today.

The hike was very peaceful, extremely quiet -- especially with no kids along! No birds to be heard, either; I guess they've flown away for the winter. Mostly all you could hear was our feet crunching through snow and gravel.

The only really embarassing part was that at the ONLY POINT during the whole trail where we saw another person -- obviously the kind of guy who was out in the woods for the peace and quiet and to get away from the real world -- and wouldn't you know it, but my cell phone rings? The kids wanted to know where we were and what time we'd be home. I felt so rude. I can just imagine what that guy was thinking.
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AT hike


Frank and I went on a short hike along the Appalachian Trail today. Here we are pretty near our furthest point -- we stopped for lunch and then turned around a few minutes later. It was a short hike, because we started late in the day, but it was quite nice. I REALLY need the exercise!
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Christmas Holiday

It's been a very nice holiday so far. I'm busy trying to jam in everything possible on the week I have off. Looking at January and February, with so few days off, it looks very bleak.

I love my new job - I've been there 6 months now -- but I do really miss being home. Even more so, I miss being home alone. Even this break is not quite the same because the whole family is here with me.

Nothing I can do but make the best of it.

So I've been sleeping late and renting movies on pay-per-view late at night, listening to a lot of music, and stuff like that. Yesterday, Frank and I went to a winery. We've decided to try to make wine a hobby. Unfortunately, it's not a cheap hobby, so I'm not sure that will really work. Sure, the wine tasting was free at the winery. But we ended up buying four bottles of wine. I can't keep doing that.

And we are joining the health club together. I've been a member since August, but now we're adding him and the kids to the membership.

And today we are supposed to be going on a hike.

Ahh, togetherness.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have a very Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is ready, because the holidays are officially here!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!


I just took this picture last night, really to send to Mrs. T., but then I decided to post it for all of you. This will from hereon be known as the official Christmas picture for 2007. However, you won't be getting one in a card. I do plan on sending out cards -- but no, I haven't done them yet. Oh, I STARTED them, but actually MAILING anything is a completely different story.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Anonymity. (Did I spell that correctly?)

I am not very anonymous on this blog. Everyone who reads it pretty much knows who I am. After all, it's "Keep in Touch..." -- it's supposed to be for my friends and family, not for pointed remarks or sarcasm or gossip or things of that nature. It's open to be read by people who I know or people who I don't know, and I want it to be an honorable place.

I was reading NJ Online about the Hockey fight the boys were in. That is a bulletin board about woodbridge, and about things going on in Woodbridge. It is supposedly completely anonymous. HOWEVER. I did NOT ever post there.

I have this bad feeling that people might think that because I blog, I'm liable to blog on that site. I must say, I believe that if I posted on that bulletin board, it would be a bad thing. Maybe not bad for everyone, but bad for me. So this is my statement right here. I don't have a problem with posting about things. And I believe in free speech. But I don't necessarily it's productive to have ANONYMOUS free speech, because it tends to devolve into name calling and shit slinging.

If I ever post on that board, I will be completely identifiable.


Quote of the week
"To the question of your life you are the answer, and to the problems of your life you are the solution." – Unknown

This is the quote of the week on a blog by Netizen 101, also known as Vincent. His blog can be found atTHIS WONDER-FUL LIFE
and I really think that you all should take a look. I'm always wondering about the meaning of life, and so is he. He's very thoughtful and interesting to read. His recent post is about happiness; read down through some of his older posts as well, and you'll find some very philosophical ideas. So go visit him and say Hi from me!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday Evenings

It's hard to get motivated on a Sunday Evening. So instead of doing any of the thousand things I should be doing, I'm sitting here playing on the computer. I surfed all over, from Free Rice to Post Secret to everyone's blogs. I don't even feel all that motivated to post on my own blog. I'm sitting around in a rather hazy contentment, having had a lovely holiday party to attend last night, and then another party (for a cousin's first birthday) in the afternoon today. And the time keeps flowing away from me, and I'm sure I'll be sorry I haven't done more with my weekend than I did. But it's COLD upstairs where the laundry is, and I don't feel like it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007



The leaves are gone in one fell swoop!
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The Before Picture


Yesterday's wind storm was mighty ferocious. All of the pretty leaves blew away in one blast of air. This is the before picture. I took it Sunday. (I still haven't taken the after picture, but I'll post it later.)
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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Getting Ready


Today was supposed to be a busy day... I was supposed to give a speech this morning, and then I was supposed to have a few members of my family over for dinner.

But the snow kinda stopped both of those things from happening today. It isn't overly snowy, but there was the threat of ice and sleet. So the Make A Wish meeting was cancelled and Mom decided not to risk the trip from the Poconos.

So that leaves me with a pretty free day. I'm having fun getting ready for Christmas. How 'bout you?
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The easiest way to make a charitable donation EVER.

So we visited the hospital and saw Frankie's old tutor, and she told us about this web site. I researched it a little, and it really seems to be true. If you play this vocabulary game -- actually pretty good for any age, and fun if you are like me and enjoy words -- they donate 20 grains of rice to poor people for every word you get correct. You really should check it out. It's at -- click on the link (the freerice words, not the picture) and give it a shot.
I "beasted out" at the game, (as the kids would say,) averaging about a 43, peaking at about level 46. Frankie held his own at about 29. Let us know how you do!


I'm not feeling that good today, and yet I'm afraid to take a day off work. It's partially just that I'm too tired. It's partly that I miss being home and having the freedom that I used to have. It's partly just hearing bad news about things -- although none of the bad news really directly affects me, it does affect my mood.

So basically, blah.

At least it isn't Wednesday. The week is more than 1/2 over.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A retraction is clearly in order.


I looked out the window this morning and realized that I was totally premature when I called the peak leaf day last week. I thought that with the rain, all of the beautiful leaves would be falling soon after that day. I was so wrong. And I have to admit it.

This is the view through my kitchen window. Have you ever seen such beautiful leaves?

Yes, I know I have too many knick-knacks. The bottle doesn't actually have any wine in it, it is just a pretty color so I kept it. I have jelly jars in the window too -- but it's fake jelly, actually candles. I love the way they look when the light shines through them.

So Happy Fall, Y'all.
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Out the front door

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Women in Art

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You have to watch it. I was amazed.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas is breathing down the back of my neck.

I hate that feeling.

I'm not feeling that well today, I'm fighting a cold.

But I had a really nice weekend, and I saw several friends that I hadn't seen or hung out with in a while. I also went to a pleasant gathering with a few new people from my new job. I even tried something new -- Thai food -- which really is too spicy for me, thanks for asking. (I'm not the most bland person I know, but I guess I'm pretty close. I didn't order anything overly spicy -- it didn't actually say chili or curry, it had bell peppers and not spicy peppers -- but I couldn't eat it anyway. I enjoyed the new experience, anyway.) And I spent a few hours doing a food drive with the Boy Scouts, so that was something to feel good about.

All in all, a good weekend. But right now, I'm sitting here with a bit of a tickle in my throat and I'm getting a little uneasy about things like Christmas shopping and decorating and writing cards and baking cookies and cooking and planning and

I think I'm going to go lay down.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Peak Leaf Day in Iselin

In spite of the rain, and two weeks later than last year, I hereby pronounce today to be Peak Leaf day in Iselin!!!
The rain makes the sky a bit drabber, so the leaves might not pop out as nicely, but I really think if you look carefully at the trees you'll realize they don't get any better than this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back to Work (using trickery to wake up!)

It's silly, but it seems to be working.

After that lovely week off work, I'm back to the daily grind.

Starting at 7 is pretty painful. On the other hand, with the time change, my body is still kinda used to getting up even earlier.

So I set my alarm clock to ring 1/2 hour before it was ringing. I'm getting up at 5 now instead of 5:30.

You would think that an hour and a half would be enough time to get ready for work, but it wasn't. I was about 5 minutes late everyday, and I haven't had to scrape my car windows yet. So now I wake up at 5, but since the time change, it doesn't feel that bad. But the only way I can make myself get up that early, is by tricking myself into thinking it's the same time I WAS getting up. I always fall for that kind of trick in the morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day


Our troop was in the parade downtown in Woodbridge. We looked pretty good!
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Work or Play?
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Free Time

We're just finishing up the week off. Every November, the schools in our town close for a whole week. Many schools in New Jersey close up for this week. It's like a bonus vacation -- better than Christmas or Spring break because there is no major holiday attached, so no major holiday pressure or commitments.

We spent part of the week traveling, a bit of the seek straightening up the house, and most of the week "recreating" in one way or another.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the meaning of life. What is it all about? What makes life meaningful? Is it living in the daily, mundane tasks, with serenity? Is it excitement and fun, with travel and partying? Should I spend more time working or cleaning? Should Frank and I make more of an effort to be social? We seem to become less and less social with every year that goes by. Also, as the kids are getting older, I worry both that I spend too much time and energy on the kids and that I don't spend enough time and energy on the kids.

Sometimes I feel left out, out of the loop, like life is passing me by.

Sometimes I think about the harsh and brutal lives of primitive cultures -- like cavemen -- and I wonder, has the meaning of life changed over time? How amazing is it that our lives are made so much simpler and easier and longer by all of the things that technology and education has brought us? And how can I complain about my life?

I ran a few errands yesterday. I had to pick up bread and pick up the dry cleaning.

In the quickie mart, I said Hello to the three guys who are ALWAYS there. They are there at 6AM and they are there at 11 PM. They are there every single day of the week, and have been ever since they bought the store.

Then, at the dry cleaners, I said hello to the same lovely ladies who have been helping me for as long as I can remember. They sit at their sewing machines, working on alterations, and listening to a Christian radio station talk about God. They have been sitting there everytime I have walked in for at least the last 20 years.

I wonder if they have time to worry about the meaning of life? Or maybe they have already found it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It was a beautiful day in New Jersey


A perfect day for hiking, climbing and shooting!
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Venturing event...


Today, Nick and I went on our first Venturing activity -- a day trip to a camp in Northern New Jersey. The Venturing crew was allowed to shoot rifles and shotguns, and learned how to rock climb on rocks, not on a wall built to simulate rock climbing.

Nick just joined venturing. So far, I think he really likes it. I'm not surprised. It is a part of Boy Scouting, but it is different. It is more flexible, less oriented towards earning badges. It is more about doing the kind of adventurous stuff that the kids really want to do. Not to mention that it is only for the older kids -- 14 and up -- and girls are also invited. That has to help.

Nick declined to shoot; I don't think it is something he really is interested in too much. I shot the shotgun, though, and I think I hit the clay target. Well, maybe it was the other kid who was shooting who actually hit it.

Nick did make it up the mountain, and then repelled down. I decided against climbing. Just getting up to the cliff was hard enough... the cliff was located up a pretty steep hill. I had to skitch and slide down on my butt. I was a little petrified. Just a little.

Everyone had a great time. I think Venturing is going to be a really great opportunity...
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

College Shopping

It is lovely in Massachusetts right now, which is where we went for the last few days, shopping for colleges. It is really early so there was no pressure to decide. We went to see one really big college (Northeastern University) and one really small college (Franklin Olin College of Engineering.)

Both have great, and I mean GREAT, programs, as far as I can see. Frankie would be lucky to go to either school. He'd be lucky to get into Northeastern because it costs way more than we can afford, and about 30,000 people apply and only 3,800 get in every year... and he'd be lucky to get into Olin because the kids that go there are even smarter than he is -- the average GPA for new freshmen is 4.0, and the average SAT scores are something like 2200.

He couldn't decide which one he would like more. He might not go to either. But it was an interesting place to start looking.

We were going to look at MIT, too, but decided not to because it was raining and we didn't feel like taking a tour in the rain. Besides that, he knows he does NOT want to go to MIT. Too much pressure, I guess. So why go look at it in the rain? We were going to go look just for the sake of looking at it -- kinda the same way you go to a museum or something.

Nick was dragged around to look at the colleges too. Maybe he'll have a better idea what he wants to do when it is his turn to decide. Or maybe not.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I miss Halloween

I miss having my kids little. There is a toy commercial out there with little blonde boys riding on a tonka truck. Reminds me so totally of Nick at age 1, scooting around on the little tykes race car. Makes me want to have another baby. Which is precisely why I had that operation all those years ago -- so I couldn't go back in a moment of weakness and have another baby on an impulse. When you're done, you're done, and you just have to accept it.

Yesterday, as soon as we got home from his blood test, Frankie was back out again with the car... he really feels like a big deal, I guess, being able to drive when and where he wants to. Nick had to wait for me to give him a ride to trick or treat with his friends. But it's not like they needed me to trick or treat with!

I didn't go to the Halloween parade at school, either. I barely got dressed up -- I dressed normally for work, and then wore my witchy shirt with just a regular pair of jeans, not even a hat or funky makeup, when I got home. How lame is that? And I didn't make gingerbread -- I couldn't find it in shoprite, for some reason -- and I didn't buy (or make) a pineapple upside down cake. Which is one of my personal traditions. Even though I am the only one who would be eating it. Which is why I didn't try too hard.

I only saw one group of trick-or-treaters -- but it was a good group; a bunch of my kiddies from aftercare stopped at our house. They looked adorable!

On the good side, I had a nice evening with my husband, and we went out for a good dinner with wine. And I finished off a book -- the Pilot's Wife, which was really interesting. So it was a good day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time flies when you are having fun!

The days are going by so fast that I'm getting dizzy! I could swear to you, it was Sunday only two days ago, not a whole week ago, and now it's Sunday again.

I thought I would post yesterday but I was in an organizing mood instead. Now that I'm working I don't have the leisure time I used to have. I used to be able to clean the house for a while, (OK, well, maybe just straighten, not actually clean) and then have plenty of time to play.

Now my life is rolling so quickly because it seems like all I have is a few minutes in between working, cooking, and laundry, before I have to go to bed again. And those extra few minutes -- which most people would probably use cleaning -- I prefer to surf the web, or lately read. Oh yeah, I also have time to go to scouts most weeks -- and I have been keeping up with a few tv shows. But HEY! I need to have SOME fun, don't I???

So what HASN't been happening around here is straightening or cleaning the house, and the "stuff" has been getting pretty deep. So yesterday I started cleaning, and so I didn't post.

Now, after you've been reading this whole thing, you're probably thinking to yourself -- who cares?

I know. It's really boring. I barely care myself. But I was about to drown in "stuff", so it's a good thing. Even if it is boring.

It would be more interesting if I could post a before and after picture, but I would be embarassed to have you see how bad it was. And for those of you who have been here before, you've gotta know that if it would embarass ME, it's BADDD!!!!

Anyway, I'll try to post something more interesting later. But right now, I feel like throwing more stuff away. And I've gotta act on that while I still feel the urge!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I like the moon


I don't know why. In the last few years, I've felt more of a relation to the moon.

My grandmother was Mohawk Iroquois.

My Grandmother decided... for some reason, now gone to the grave with her... that my indian name was going to be "Full Moon." I always disliked this as an indian name. It seemed too random. My Indian name was supposed to be meaningful, and Full Moon seemed to be not too meaningful. It seems like something picked at a moment's notice when my mother (being not an indian, but interested in her baby's heritage,) would have asked for an Indian name.

I never asked my Grandmother WHY my name was "full moon."

Anyway -- I'm more into the full moon lately, and I appreciate my name more now than I did when I was a child.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cooking Demonstration


Cousin Joan, my Godmother, demonstrated cooking techniques from the old days.
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Uncle Glen


Uncle Glen had his artifacts at the museum to demonstrate Mohawk (and a little Mic Mac) culture.
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Winter Moon

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October Beach Weather


It was a beautiful day yesterday, so we headed down to Point Pleasant. The surf was really pounding! It was nice and warm, although no one went swimming -- it wasn't THAT warm. I'm looking forward to fall, but a little more summer doesn't really hurt...
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

I guess I'm used to it.

I must be used to waking up at 5:30 now, even though it never FEELS like I'm used to it. Because this morning, even though I had three really large glasses of wine last night and felt groggy as anything, and even though I hadn't gotten to bed until sometime after 1:00 AM, and even though it was still dark, and even though my alarm clock wasn't on, I still sat bolt up right in bed at 5:30. Thinking I had to get up and go downstairs.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Still in the middle of a funk.

I'm still in the middle of a funky mood, but that's not to say that I'm actually depressed. Just funky.

I've decided that even though I THOUGHT the ages of the 50's would be the hardest, I was wrong. I'm entitled to be wrong, aren't I? Anyway, it seems that the 40's are a lot harder than I expected. Being 43 sucks. I thought middle age would be fine, but being 50, would be "old," which would be hard.

Being 40 turns out to be much more difficult because it isn't young anymore. But really, I don't feel old yet. But I am. I am old enough to be the parent of someone who is actually already an adult. I remember being 17, like Frankie is now. I was an adult. At least, I thought I was. Frankie is already an adult. Maybe not 100 % sensible, but certainly an adult.

I didn't count on being old before I actually FELT old. But I am and I do.

So here' s hoping that at age 50 I'll already be past all this bull shit, old enough to know better, young enough not to care... for real.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Hump Day

As everyone knows, Wednesday is the hump day of the week. And that makes Wednesday Morning the absolute worst part of the week because it's an up hill climb over the hump.

So now it's Wednesday at noon. Is that the peak of the week, because it's all down hill from here? Doesn't feel like it. Still feels like a hump to me.

Who was the guy eternally condemned to push a boulder up hill, only to have it roll back down when he reached the top -- was that Sisyphus or something? I'll have to google that later.

Happy hump day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Into the Wild -- the book...

I just finished reading "Into the Wild", a non-fictional story. I read the book because I saw the movie, and I saw the movie because Eddie Vedder did the sound track. It all comes back to Pearl Jam, right? Actually, though, I am really glad I read the book, and it has nothing to do with Pearl Jam.

The sound track is great. I've had it on heavy rotation for a few weeks already. It's not so much "hard" rock as other Pearl Jam stuff is. It's rather haunting and melodic or something.

The movie was great too. It had some beautiful, amazing cinematography, gorgeous scenery. It isn't getting any screen time near my house, or I would go see it again. It isn't the kind of thing that most people want to go see for light entertainment. Not a lot of dialog, not the "shoot 'em up" kind of action, although I would say there was a lot of action... Not the happily ever after kind of ending that you would like, because it was TRUE. What you got was a true to life ending.

I couldn't imagine what the book was going to be like, because the movie was so visual. There was a very strong underlining meaning, but I really didn't understand how what I saw (and heard) was going to be worded in a book.

In spite of the fact that I heard the sound track and THEN saw the movie, and THEN read the book, the book really did come first. I wish I had read the book first. There was a lot of philosophy in the book that came across in the movie, but in a simplified way. I got so much more out of the book. I can't wait to see the movie again!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Using blurry photos


Whenever I get a photo that I really like, except for the fact that it is really blurry, I like to play with it in Picasa so I can make it look funky. Why trash a perfectly good photo, when I can make it look like I meant for that to happen?

I like this one better now than I did when I took it. Sometimes I'm into a slightly psychedelic look.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where is AUTUMN?

Yup, I'm still stressing, in case anyone is wondering. (see previous post.)

Anyways... I wanted to write SOMETHING, so usually when you don't know what ELSE to talk about, the weather is a safe topic.

It's October 11th and it's still kinda hot out. What's with the weather? I'm ready for fall already!

The trees around here are still mostly green. All of my plants -- even the weeds -- look chewed up by bugs. I'd like a few crisp fall days now, thank you very much! Then I can start to get into a halloween frame of mind.

I should pull out the halloween decorations. But it still feels like September.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Everything on the Internet is an OPEN BOOK.

I sometimes have these vaguely paranoid feelings. Everyone dislikes me, they are laughing at me behind my back, they are talking about me. These feelings are very hormonal, I think. (And about half the time, I think they are accurate. Everyone really is laughing at me. The other half, I figure no one is really interested enough in my problems and what I am doing, because they are too worried about themselves. Both halves are probably correct.)

Sometimes, I am worried about things going on in my life that I don't know how to control. The things I am worried about go around and around in my mind, and I can't think about much else. I tend to be a very boring conversationalist when this is happening.

Sometimes, because of the stress and the paranoid feelings creeping over me, I want to write a ton of stuff here about what I'm worried about -- or what I did -- or didn't do -- to get some feedback from someone who will tell me I'm NOT an idiot, or I'm right to be stressed out, or whatever. And I really enjoy writing on the blog, and I would love to unload a whole lot of stress here on the web. Have I got STORIES for YOU!

BUT... BUT... BUT... I have to keep remembering that here on the internet everything is public record. And I really don't want to write anything that will be inappropriate and linked to my name for ever. Or anything that will let all of YOU people know why I am an idiot, so you can laugh at me too. Or bore you to tears with MY problems, when I know everyone has their own problems.

And I don't want to complain or stress about my kids, because then THEY might read it and stress themselves.

So some days, I have a lot to say, but I can't really post it. But since it's all I can think about, I can't really post anything else, either.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I thought I needed a photo here.


So even though it's not a full moon tonight, I'm posting this one.
I need to take more photos tomorrow,I think. If the camera battery isn't dead.
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