Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween....







From our house to yours!!!


The 8th Year

As Halloween approached, I found myself excited about it. Last year we had such a great night. But his friend P had other plans and my attempts to create a stand in weren't successful.

Oh well, not to worry. This year we had Gypsy to provide comic relief and I thought that Cooper was going to dress up to coordinate with her.

She was a hot dog.


The plan was for Cooper to be ketchup.
So great!! Funny, creative and best of all....age appropriate.

I could hold my head high with my child dressing up as ketchup.

Except that's not what happened.

8 year old boys change their minds....and when you couple that with a trip to the costume store accompanied by your dad.....

Well, things go downhill fast.

I got the following text from Jon-

Him- Hey, how much is too much to pay for a Halloween costume?
Me- It depends....what is it?
Him- We have 2 options. Either a giant tootsie roll or Jason from Friday the 13th
Me- I don't care how much the tootsie roll costs. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Oddly, there was no response to that text.
Imagine my dismay when my sweet, sweet child comes home and can hardly wait to show me his costume.....


And when he was all suited up....


I was so shaken that I couldn't even focus.
I tried to pull myself together....


He was sooo excited.
I had a few choice words for Jon who said,
"Come on, it's Halloween- it's ok to be scary"

I'm not bought in....
But he sure was excited to hit the streets!


Here's hoping that nothing too scary turns up on your doorstep tonight!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is the boy who waited at the dock....

And the boat that he was waiting for.

This is the Captain, who gets up every morning at 1am to drive the boat (and has for more than 40 years).

This is the crabber who empties the pots and follows the Captain's orders

So that they bring in a good catch- the result of working 350 crab pots.

And these are ours!

We stayed on the dock and listened to them talk about their work, and explain how they did it and tell stories and laugh and give each other a hard time.

And this little kid hung on to every word.

It's fascinating.

And after a little cleaning....

They are nothing short of a teeny slice of heaven.


There's something quite satisfying about knowing where your food comes from- in getting it from the source, and enjoying it with people you love.

Yup, a teeny slice of heaven!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Verizon Update.....

I'm not sure who I'm's not like I have tons of people flocking to my blog on any given day (which is totally fine)...but I have just GOT to get this off my chest. And maybe I'll feel better at that point.

If you've not read part 1 and part 2, you can find them here.

So, I call back. Hopeful that perhaps I'll be able to find SOMEONE who can answer my question and end this madness.

I maneuver through the crazy maze of choices and finally reach Amanda.
She seems pleasant and more importantly confident.

I explain to her that my hope is for her to answer the question that 7 of her co-workers have not been able to.

She assures me that she's hoping the same thing and asks me for the 8th time for my account number and verifies that I will authorize her to look at my account.

(why do they do that?? is there a chance that someone who is answering the phone shouldn't be privy to that detail? that is after all why i'm calling- ABOUT MY ACCOUNT).

I digress.

Amanda says she can absolutely help me- and has another rep from the eCenter jump on the line with us. Hello Sandra. (I'm feeling positive because at least I haven't been transferred).

Sandra gets my information correct for my new on-line account, resets my password and confirms that indeed Maria did update my e-mail address "about an hour ago".

Now that I can access my new account, I will be able to set up my direct billing.

Sandra drops off and it's me and Amanda.
She tells me that I should be all set for the new account and that for my old account that I'll need to call my Bank and have them stop the draft payments.

This seems odd since my bill absolutely says "To Discontinue Automatic Bill Payment, you must call Verizon".

Amanda- that seems strange that you would tell me to call you for you to say call your Bank, don't you think??

She agrees but assures me that my old account is closed, it has a zero balance and there is no reason for Verizon to debit my account anymore and that with a few quick clicks I can set up my new bill pay for my new account and all will be well with the world.

Ok, at this point I'm weak. I decide that I'm basically in ok shape and I'm willing to move on. I decide to ask Amanda whether I can talk to her supervisor to tell her that Amanda was able to help me with my issue in 15 minutes, without transferring me anywhere and that 7 of her other employees could not.

So, I get transferred to Julie, Amanda's boss (I'm highly aware that Julie could simply be the girl sitting next to Amanda and this is all a racket but someone is going to hear my complaint GOSH DARN IT).

Hello Julie- you are the 9th person that I have spoken to in the last 90 minutes.
Yes, that's terrible....blah, blah, blah.

However, Amanda was courteous, confident and was able to answer my questions within 15 minutes. So, Amanda deserves a pat on the back and everyone else should be taken out back and fired.

Sorry Mrs. R, Maria, Mrs. T, Shabeeb, Darryl, LaRon and Vernon.

So, end of story???
Nope, no such luck.

I call my Bank and guess what?
Yup, you guessed it- they have no control over the Verizon payment. Verizon debits my account directly each month and I'll need to call them and ask them to stop.


Has anyone else been driven this close to the edge by the person on the other end of the phone in what should be a very simple question??????

I've said a prayer for you....please say one for me.



You can read about the 1st part of my saga here-

Because Maria isn't in billing, she couldn't help me with my bill pay set up.
So she transferred me to Mrs. T. She's in the Financial Department.

Mrs. T said she could only help with online billing that was established. Since I had one account that was established, and one that wasn't, I needed to go to another rep. I begged her not to transfer me, but she did.

To the BILLING Department....
Here I spoke with Shabeeb. He said that he was in DSL billing, and since I had a FIOS account, he couldn't help me. He'd need to send me to someone else.

If you're counting, we're up to 5 reps.

Enter Darryl. I have high hopes.
Darryl is able to provide me with a critical piece of information- my old account number HOWEVER, although he's in the FIOS department, he's not in BILLING.

Yup- rep #6
Hello LaRon. He's in customer service billing. LaRon tries to get me to upgrade my account, which as you may surmise nearly sent me over the edge AGAIN. He cannot help me because he's actually customer service and NOT BILLING.

Is Verizon trying to make me lose my mind?? I've now been on the phone for almost an hour. And have rec'd minimal help. I have a distinct feeling that the Verizon gods are laughing hysterically at this ping pong game that they've been playing with me today.

LaRon transfers me to Vernon. During the transfer I hear random voices and people talking and I'm really not sure whether these were hallucinations or if LaRon thought he put me on hold but didn't.

Anyway- now I'm talking to Vernon. Well, I'm TRYING to talk to Vernon except he cannot hear me and I cannot hear him and I am literally YELLING into my phone and I feel like a total moron so I tell him my story and he says.....


"Let me get you to Billing"


I tell Vernon that I cannot hear him and that I'm going to have to end the call.
At that point, I have been on the phone with them for 1 hour, 8 minutes and 47 seconds.

I want to poke me eyes out.


I am on hold right now with the folks at Verizon.
I called them at around 10:01. It's now 10:47 and I have still not solved my problem.

I HAVE however spoken to 5 people.
And I'm on HOLD, waiting for the 6th.

Wow, you say- you must have some big issues.....
Actually, I really don't think that I do. Apparently Verizon doesn't agree because they have all transferred me to ANOTHER account rep.

1st, Mrs. R. A lovely woman who listened to my questions, told me that she couldn't help and would gladly send me to the right person....but before she did, she wondered why we had given up our cable service???

Well Mrs. R- quite frankly because it cost $100/month and we think that's ridiculous and so we turned it off. We're trying to spend more quality time as a family and we're going to do better things with our money.

Then she told me about a great deal that they were running that would give us cable for $20 and a free DVR for a year.


I regained composure and kindly explained that this was really frustrating to hear because only 1 month ago when we called to turn off our cable, nobody seemed to give one hoot about our concern with the high cost of cable. We had no offers of dramatically reduced service or free anything.

And so, we made a HUGE life change and are now sort of used to the no cable thing. So, no- I'm not interested in going back.

So I was transferred to Maria. In the eCenter.
From the start, I was not impressed with Maria's customer service skills, but at this point its still early so I'm game.
Maria was able to solve a mystery for me in that I haven't been able to access my online account and I can't figure out why. Evidently, it was tied to an old e-mail account. Ahhhhh- got it. Ok, can you update my e-mail account??

Great, thanks Maria.
My next question is about my automatic billing. I need to set up my new bill pay and cancel my old one.

Simple? NO?
It's now 11:13 and I have now spoken to 7 people and I am STILL NOT DONE.

More coming-

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for....

calls from the dermatologist with a clean bill of health
better days
little boys who make me laugh
husbands who make the BEST cheeseburgers
wounds that heal
free on-line budget websites
the phillies....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ever have one of those days???


When this completely escapes you?

The kind of day when all you want to do is eat an entire birthday cake layered high with butter cream frosting???

The kind of day that makes you think that the only possible way to make yourself feel better is to go out and spend a bunch of money???

And then you snap back into reality because you're supposed to be not eating carbs and your bank account is crying?

I had one of those today.
So, after being talked off the ledge by a sweet friend, I decided to try and visit my happy place....

I re-arranged some shelves.
No cost, no calories.
I was desperate!

Before (sort of- I had already taken some things down prior to my pic)




I accomplished something that made me happy.
I feel good about it.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better....I don't have many more shelves!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could it be???

It's over....


The 2010 Fall Ball season has come to a close.

I had so many favorite moments...the fact that he walked onto the field for the 1st practice and wasn't a bit nervous, how excited he was to get his uniform, getting dressed for his 1st game, realizing how much he LOVES being the catcher.....



(I love his finger in this one- he wiggled it all the time when he was waiting for the pitch)

Seeing him hit the ball for the 1st time....and the ultimate- the grand slam home run.

We couldn't have asked for a better coach, a sweeter bunch of kids, or a more perfect experience.

And shockingly, I'm sort of sad that it's over.


The boys were sad too- the coach gave them each a ball and they took turns signing each others. It was nothing short of adorable. Cooper loved it.

But more shocking than the fact that I'm sad for it to end is the fact that I may have turned a corner.

One that I'm almost ashamed to admit.

Tonight I sat on the sofa with Cooper and watched the Phillies- oh my word.

Come on PHILLY!!!!!!!!!!! WIN!

(and just in case you're wondering how that happened...we didn't watch on cable.... Jon has rigged rabbit ears to our tv so that we can get 8 channels for FREE!!!).

Stop the madness at our house- please.

Sunday, October 10, 2010



Happy 10/10/10!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


my parents came down specifically to see cooper play today.
5 hours of bumper to bumper traffic.

they would have driven for days to see him do nothing but sit on a bench.
they're the best kind of grandparents possible.

and that little kid??

he hit a real live grand slam homerun.
do you know what a grand slam is??
i didn't.
(you know, because i hate baseball- remember).

according to wikipedia, in the sport of baseball, a grand slam is a home run hit with all the bases occupied by baserunners, thereby scoring four runs—the most possible on a single play.


aren't they the cutest things....

they couldn't have been more excited. for cooper or for the team.
it was a moment that will live all of us.

i'm SO glad they got to see it.

i'm so glad we all got to see it.
a homerun, a dream come true, a forever memory, a confidence builder, a game changer, a little hug from God.

it doesn't get much better.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


1 horribly large mole from my face
1 gigantic wart from the bottom of my foot
2 smallish moles on my chest
1 teeny spot on my leg that I didn't even know existed

My foot is killing me, my face is bleeding, and this may be way too much information....

I am thankful for a visit to the dermatologist today.
I'm thankful for a push to take care of myself from someone who may never realize how glad I am that she had a part in my bravery.
I'm thankful for the feeling of accomplishment that I have today because I've checked this off my list and that I took a step to be mature about my health.
I'm thankful that my pain is temporary.
I'm thankful that I finally got rid of something that's plagued me for years.
I'm thankful that my hubs sent me a message saying how proud of me he was today.
I'm thankful for my child, who cautiously peeked at my wounds and asked with wide eyes, "did it hurt momma? are you ok?"
I'll be thankful if one person reading this nods because they've been where I am or they're going to be soon....

I am thankful.

Monday, October 4, 2010

he's a funny one-

On Saturday, Jon and I had the following text exchange-

Me- Hey, do we have an electric drill?
Him- No
Me- Really? I thought we had all sorts of electric power tools in the house
Him- Everything switched to battery operated in 2002 We got rid of the electric drill then
Me- Well for heavens sake. Do we have a BATTERY OPERATED DRILL???
Him- No
Him- I have it with me in the truck
Him- What are the odds that you'd need a battery operated drill this weekend? About as good as me needing a bra
Me- Nice. I've called George- I'm going to borrow his.
Him- Be careful

I'll give it the guy- he's funny.
And he's right- when was the last time I picked up a power tool?

I was pretty proud of myself...the shelves and cabinet pulls turned out just great.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the reveal

I did a pretty good job on my list this time, although that stack of magazines is still begging to be read.

In preparation for the big "redo", I took some before shots of our laundry room. Sadly, I can't find the real befores, so these were taken as back up, and once the room was almost empty.


There used to be a rod for hanging clothes in that space on the left. And underneath the rod was plenty of clutter.


The room is pretty small and although our back door is there, we never use it.

I started with a tarp and white paint to freshen the cabinets. I also removed the old cabinet pulls and replaced them with some spiffy new ones.




And after 2 trips to L0wes, a consult with a delightful associate named Bernard and some borrowed power tools.....


Is it just me, or does that Nude Beach sign really stick out? I gave it to Jon a few years ago for our anniversary and it's been in a closet ever since. It's a reminder of an adventure from our honeymoon in Greece- one that's burned into our memories & that we cannot possibly forget. As the sign suggests, we went to a nude beach (when in Rome.....). It was really a beautiful beach and there were very few people there (maybe that should have been a sign). That was fine with us and so we chose a place that was a respectable distance away from other people. Long story short, there is someone in Germany who has a lovely picture of he and his girlfriend wearing all of their clothes & standing on a beach in Greece.
That photo was taken by my sweet (and very naked) hubs.

I digress...(although I'm still laughing!)

Here's the other side of the room-


The color is Laura Ashley's Apple 4 and it's a departure from the rest of the colors in our home. That said, I'm happy with the way it turned out. It's clean and fresh and I think the room will be really functional. I purged a ton of stuff which felt fantastic and was able to get organized in a place that I seem to spend way too much time in.

Today was no different....

I did my 1st load of laundry in the new space just minutes after this dirty little face appeared at the top of the basement steps.


He removed the clothes that he'd worn since Friday and settled into the family room with a nice cold glass of milk and a dose of M0trin. Seems the poor kid took a fall and has a sprained ankle. Eeek. It's 3 times as big as it usually is.

And just like that, it's back to reality!
Never a dull moment-

Updated- I'm linking this post to a "color challenge" at Funky Junk Interiors. Fab things happening over there with color!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


This weekend is one of my favorites....Indian Gu!des. That means that I've got almost a full 48 hours to myself while my boys are off doing things like fishing, shooting & living it up in the woods.

I'm pretty sure I've got the better end of this deal.

If you gave me a choice of staying home alone this weekend or spending the weekend in a place that looks like this.....

I'd pick home alone.

I dream about this weekend....and I plan, and re-plan and make a list of a million things that I want to do.

Usually 12 of them happen. I tend to get a little crazy with my lists, see here & here. Last time I didn't have a list...just one big goal.

Big goals are nice, but I'm really more of a list kinda gal.

The list-

Eat whatever I want (because Monday begins my much needed ban on carbs)
Read a stack of magazines that have been piling up for months (or years)
Catch up on the TV that I've missed (since we have no cable I can watch them via the internet)
Remove every single item from the laundry room
Paint the laundry room
Purge the laundry room contents
Add shelving to the laundry room
Thoughtfully replace the laundry room contents
Straighten up the clutter in the living room
Take the dog on 2 walks per day

We'll see what happens!!