30 May 2008

A New Trajectory

Well - Here is my effort for the fourth part of this story... If you have no idea what I am talking about you may click here to see all the parts of the yet-to-be-named story...

"Ma'am?" The tall stranger stood in front of Rebecca obviously confused by the bewildered look on her face. Rebecca felt almost betrayed - who was this man and why had Garrett not come himself? "Ma'am? The window?" He asked again. "Oh! Oh please - I am so sorry - right this way..." and she lead him down the hall to the pantry.

She waited in the kitchen while he worked. A little angry - a little confused - a little bit interested in who this man was - so tall, handsome in a rugged works-too-hard sort of way. She noticed he limped and wondered what the story was there... How is it possible that Garrett would still be angry with her? Isn't 20 years enough time to get over it? Rebecca sipped her green tea while her mind raced.

"You have any enemies, Ma'am?" came the question from the pantry. Rebecca thought this to be an especially odd thing to ask someone one wasn't even properly introduced to. "No - no I don't think so... I'm sorry - I don't think I even know your name?" "Name's Vince" he said extending his right hand after brushing it off on his jeans. "Well Vince, pleased to meet you." When she shook his hand she felt it to be almost familiar, comforting - which actually startled her. "What is with the brick?" She asked noticing the piece of brick in his left hand. "That's what I have been trying to tell you, Ma'am - I found this brick in your pantry. Seems that window was broken on purpose." Rebecca shook this notion off - "Oh no, Vince - I am sure that brick was just there. I bought this house as a fixer-upper and there are several bricks in the basement, on the porch and even a few in the pantry. I am sure this one just..." "Nope." Vince stated simply and with confidence. "Nope?" questioned Rebecca. "What I mean is this brick was thrown. I can tell by the chip off this here corner" He showed her a piece had been broken off, then he mumbled something about trajectory and an matching nick in the window sill and dropped the brick into her outstretched hand.

For a few moments she looked from the brick in her hand to the window and then to Vince. She pondered what he was saying - someone threw a brick through her window. But more than that she wondered why a man who fixes windows talks like that - about things like "trajectory". "Well, Vince" she began "Thank you for being so observant, but I don't have any enemies that I know of. I am sure it was just some kids - probably a dare of some kind."

"Just the same, Ma'am. You should think about getting a flood light installed out back with a motion sensor." Vince interrupted. "Yes - that is a great idea" Rebecca started to think it all a scam and then she remembered the gum-cracking girl who was so insistent to save her money the evening before. "I will have to look into that - but the house needs to be completely rewired - old tube and knob wiring they tell me."

"I can help with that if you like" Vince offered. Rebecca gave him a look that questioned how this could be since he fixed glass and was not an electrician. "I am a certified master electrician - military trained - served in the Gulf War".

Rebecca was reminded of something she had heard once from a movie - about ogres and layers... not that Vince was an ogre, although he was certainly an ominous presence - but the Gulf War likely explained the limp...

"Well Vince - I think we may be able to make a deal - but there is one condition: You must stop calling me Ma'am - please - just call me Rebecca". "Rebecca" he said with a smirk. "Sure - no problem. Let me come back later this afternoon to work up a quote." Vince offered is hand and Rebecca shook it again - wondering what the smirk was for.

29 May 2008

Lightbulb Moment!

"One of the most important skills a father or mother can teach a girl is how t ask for more. Most women did not learn this lesson as children. Instead of asking for more, they indirectly ask for more by giving more and hoping someone will give back to them withouth their having to ask. This inability to ask directly prevents them from getting what they want in life and in their relationships."
from Children are from Heaven by John Gray PhD.

Oh.My.Gosh. I have read this book in spurts but not in order since before William was born. I love this book. My mother gave it to me and I just think it offers tremendous parenting advice. I never expected to receive any insight at all into myself. Lo and behold - there it is! In a nutshell! I am very much that person - I can advocate tirelessly for my son, make phone calls to get refunds for poor service on behalf of my husband - but heaven forbid I ask for anything for myself. This would explain why I have not received a raise in over eight years. This would explain a lot about me. The trick now, of course, is now that I know better I must do better.

I think I headed down that path yesterday when I called my boss and let him know my letter of resignation was on its way. He expressed that he was not surprised and did actually seem a little sad. But the important thing is that I made the call. I finally, after years of being taken for granted and being taken advantage of and never asking for a bloody thing - I finally did the right thing for myself. In spite of my heart pounding in my ears and my hands shaking profusely as I dialed the phone. I did it. I have to tell you - I feel very brave.

I resolve to be better at asking for what I need and for what I want. I will work on this.

26 May 2008

Alea iacta est

(tr: Latin: "The die has been cast")

Actually - not so much - not yet anyway. But in fewer than 48 hours I will have reached a personal "point of no return". I will offer my two weeks notice and resignation to the company I have worked for for the last dozen years. I will shut the door, close the chapter and move forward without having any real way of knowing how it will all turn out.

But - it is important that I do this. Important for me to finally stand up for myself. To let them know that it is not okay to threaten and cheapen people - particularly me. I need to allow myself the summer to heal and then dust myself off in the fall and begin again. This time maybe I will get it right. I will do something that makes my heart happy - that means something - that will be appreciated and valued. Maybe I will head back to college to get my certification - maybe I will end up teaching children with special needs. But what I know for sure is that I will wake up in the morning and fr the first time - maybe EVER - I will be proud of what I am doing. I believe I will like it and will be good at it - I will be relaxed and happy - and just the idea of this thrills me.

But first - I must get from here to there. I am pereseverating now - worrying whether they will tell me to hit the road immediately or shortly thereafter or torture me for the final two weeks. No matter. Three weeks from now - it will all be behind me.

25 May 2008

Wait and See...

This week's prompt from Weekend Wordsmith is: Waiting... here is my spin on waiting...
(If you are looking for the third installment of Rebecca's saga, you can find that here)

Wait and See

Learn to appreciate the gifts
Of waiting -
Sweet anticipation,

Nothing is required of us
Other than to wait patiently.
Without tapping fingers,
Rolling eyes...

Wait and see -
Embrace the opportunity to pause.

Birthday gift was a HUGE success...

Or so I am told... His mom said he loved it and will get a ton of use out of it - I thought I would share it here with you...

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Special thanks to Ron for helping me spray on the blackboard finish... and to the "little bird" who pointed me in the right direction!

24 May 2008

Chewing Gum and Wrinkled Skirt

Don't blame me - I had a hard time coming up with a title for this chapter. And an even harder time coming up with a picture - obviously. This is part three of Rebecca's saga. You can read part two here. Part one is linked from there... I couldn't honestly link this with Weekend Wordsmith this week - but I expect to have something for that maybe tomorrow. I'd love to have your feedback, folks! Thanks so much for reading!

Chewing Gum and Wrinkled Skirt

Rebecca explained about the broken window through the cracking gum on the other end of the line. She wondered why no one ever taught this girl that young ladies don't chew gum, especially not so loudly. What was that little poem Sister Rose-Michelle used to share with the class? "A gum chewing girl and a cud chewing cow are the same. But there is a difference somehow - I know! It's a look of intelligence on the face of the cow."

"We can come tomorrow" said the young girl. Rebecca requested same day service as indicated in the ad. "Uhm - it's just a broken pantry window, right?" asked the girl. "Yes" Rebecca replied. "Look - I can send someone out there for ya this evening but it is gonna cost ya like double 'cause it's like night. Just put some plastic or plywood on it and I can have someone out there sometime tomorrow". More cracking gum. This caught Rebecca off-guard as she was used to people LOOKING for an opportunity to charge double. "Oh - okay" was her timid response. "That will be fine - thank you." She gave her name and address before hanging up the phone.

The next morning, while she waited she remembered something Garrett had once said to her - that she made her own trouble. That she over-thought and over-analyzed everything and that THAT was the cause of most of her trouble. Some days Rebecca thought he may have had a point. But sometimes - like with this window, trouble just found her.

She wondered what he would look like. She pictured his strong hands and forearms and smiled herself when she pictured his warm friendly smile and remembered how safe she always felt with his arms wrapped around her. It was probably because she was lost in these sweet reminiscent thoughts that she hadn't heard the incessant knocking on the door. The doorbell being, of course, still broken.

"Uhm - hello?" The voice startled her. "Glass?" "Oh! Yes! Come on in!" She jumped up and tried in vain to smooth wrinkles from her cotton skirt. It was no accident that her hair was washed first thing that morning or that she smelled like lillies of the valley. In spite of these extra efforts - she had had to dig through boxes to find something legitimately pretty but not overdone and and never did find that iron. So - it was off to the door in a wrinkled skirt...

They met in the hallway - eyes locked - and even though Rebecca felt her heart jump when she saw him she was not sure if it was because she was taken with him or if it was because she was surprised that the man standing in her hall was not Garrett Lewsinski at all.

Cute Idea...

If I must say so myself! William is going to a birthday party tomorrow for a classmate. I thought it would be cute to make him some bookplates since he has four siblings - I figure he would like to have something to identify his books - he is a reader, I am told... So I went to the Avery Website and found a handy little label designer! I selected 5164/6164 and used some of their clip art (which isn't fantastic - but it is okay) and tweaked the font - and voila! a sheet of custom bookplates for an eight-year old!

Oh - and no. This isn't the ONLY thing we are giving this child in case you are wondering. I am told that he likes to play school with his sister so I am going to buy him some school supplies and stickers and stuff like that... I think he will love it!

21 May 2008

I predict...

I predict that as gas prices rise we shall see an increase in accidents involving cyclists. Reason being that people are morons. Folks, if you haven't been on a bike since you were ten, please for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE brush up on bike-safety. LEARN to ride on the correct side of the road, relearn the hand signals (not THOSE hand signals) wear a helmet even if you are over 17...

Watch and see - accidents with bicycles... on the rise... call me psychic.

19 May 2008

Stupid Question.

So - the thing about being in an accident, even one that is not your fault, is the ridiculous amount of paperwork that one must fill out. Last week I was hounded by esuance - the other party's insurance company. I understand it is their job - they have a procedure to follow, things they must do to complete their file. I get it.

But seriously... What exactly is it they want me to respond when they ask me "What could you have done to avoid the accident?" Uhm - hello? Are you freaking serious? Do you not have a copy of the accident report? Did you not notice that your insured TOLD the police that she was looking at her GPS and didn't notice that traffic light? What could I have done? You mean besides stay the heck home? Well - perhaps if I had a magic gold watch I could have stopped time. Maybe if my crystal ball hadn't been in the shop I could have gone home a different way or chose a different place to order from. Oh! Or MAYBE I could just hop into my time machine that I have in the basement and undo the whole thing. I don't know... what is the correct answer? Maybe they should give me multiple choice.

17 May 2008

Happy Birthday Sweet Son of Mine

Almost didn't get this in today = had a super busy day... Eight years ago our sweet baby son was born. I never thought for a minute that I would make it as a mom. Turns out I was wrong. Doesn't hurt that I was blessed with the best boy ever!

As it goes in the book: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." From Love You, Forever by Robert Munsch

Glass Omen

Due in part to my own curiosity about what will happen with Rebecca and also in part to the encouragement of my readers, I have decided to go a little further with my tale of the woman who must begin again in her century old house. Because I have no idea where I am going with this story (perhaps I better think about a rough outline or I shall find myself rambling on and on) I used Bonnie's prompt at Weekend Wordsmith for direction in this next chapter. (If you need or want to read the first chapter "Salve for her Soul" you can read that here.)

Without further adieu I offer you "Glass Omen"

"At least the flower beds look decent" Rebecca thought. The kitchen was a sunny yellow with white cabinets and old, hand embroidered cafe curtains. The porcelain coated sink was chipped and the floor was a cheap linoleum that had certainly seen better days. She poured a glass of iced green tea and sat for a moment at the kitchen table to glance at the list.

"One down - and eighty seven to go. Give or take." There was a time when this to-do list would have overwhelmed her. She thought about the condo that she and Rick had shared with their daughter. Everything about that place was perfect from the manicured lawn to the polite doorman with polished brass buttons on his crisp navy blue uniform. Rick chose the condo - he liked order and could never have lived in a house like this one. For a while he even had her believing that a home should be modern, clean and simple - that an old home would drain their resources. They would never be finished working on it. Thinking about it now, Rebecca figured that was part of the charm. That the house was as much of a work in progress as she was.

The draft was more noticeable now. At first she thought she had imagined it. She walked back in to the pantry and saw the shards of glass on the floor. "Damn it" she thought to herself. "How did I not see that before?" The rain had come in from last night's storm and puddles formed on the floor. Rebecca realized that the floor was now a priority and more than just an aesthetic nightmare. Of course the glass would have to be replaced straight away.

She went back to the kitchen and unwrapped the brand new phone book. Flipping through to "Glass" her eyes fell right away to the simple ad in the corner. It promised same day service and free estimates but that was not what had caught her attention. It was the name: Garrett Glass.

She thought about the last time she has seen Garrett Lewsinski. He had wonderfully soft dark brown eyes and wavy brown hair. He was always a little off-center, but that was what she had liked about him. They had been great friends, he being her greatest confidant. In the end, that was what had torn them apart. "I can't afford to be your friend, Becca. " he announced one hot summer evening. "I can't listen to you talk about the guys you go out with and wipe your tears and tell you jokes to cheer you up anymore." This revelation stunned her. She couldn't say anything - a lump formed in her throat and even though she wanted to cry out to him as he drove away in that god-forsaken 1971 Toyota Pickup the words never formed. She just let him go.

"That was so long ago - maybe 20 years... surely by now he won't even remember me. Maybe Garrett Glass isn't even his!" she thought. Still, Rebecca decided to call a different number. It rang and rang and rang... no answer. A second number was simply busy. After deciding it was an omen - that she was meant to call Garrett Glass her fingers tentatively dialed the number. What would she say? On the third ring, through the distinct sound of cracking gum she heard a girl's voice "Garrett Glass, can I help you?"

Partial Dentures and MRI's

Okay - so here is something I have been wondering,..

What if someone who has a partial denture is taken to the emergency room and is not conscious. Suppose this is a younger person - maybe not someone anyone would expect to have a denture... suppose someone decides this person needs an MRI. Will anyone think to check for a dental appliance? If not, what happens to that person in the MRI? Will the denture rip right through their jaw?

Sad isn't it? The things I think of when my mind is left to wander.

14 May 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the MOON??

So - I stumbled upon this little nugget and am just beside myself...

Mounting mirrors on the Moon and using them to signal across space could let ET know we Earthlings are here.

Ever since radio broadcasts began we've been trumpeting our presence to nearby parts of the galaxy, so far without reply. To improve the chances of being found, Shawn Domagal-Goldman and Jacob Haqq-Misra of Pennsylvania State University in State College reckon we should cover half of the Moon with mirrors.

When angled to catch the Sun's rays, the mirrors would increase the amount of light the Earth-moon system reflects by 20%, they say, more than enough to catch the eye of a vigilant alien astronomer. Domagal-Goldman proposes using a code of prime number flashes - just as aliens used to get in touch in Carl Sagan's book Contact. This will ensure the flashes aren't mistaken for natural variations in brightness.

From New Scientist Space

I guess what upsets me about this is, why would we even entertain the notion of trying (to such an extreme measure no less) to communicate with other life forms on other planets when we can't even get our poop in a group right here on earth?? How can we even HOPE to build a relationship with "aliens" when we don't understand our fellow humans? What if we took a quarter of that money and resources and spent it on something other than a war and really applied ourselves to taking care of our own? Wouldn't that be money better spent?

I sure hope this is just some dumb pipe dream of some goofball mad-scientist and not something anyone is seriously entertaining!

Caption This 2nd Ed.

So, my super readers... have a go at this one...

13 May 2008

Parachute Games

Did you play parachute games when you were in grade school?? I thought everyone did. Last night I found out that my dear husband never played parachute games as a child. This just floored me! Parachute games were the highlight of phys ed in grade school - at least for me!

I just bought 2 smaller, 6 foot parachutes so that I can use them for the end of the year party at William's school and also for the kids to play with at Karate Camp... I am so excited! I can't wait to get them!

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Just wanted to wish all my bloggy friends a Happy Mothers Day! We are enjoying a relaxing day at home today - looking forward to the Survivor Finale tonight. Off to get ice cream treats in a few moments... Have a great day all!

10 May 2008

Salve for Her Soul

Well - I have to say that I am surprised at this entry. When I first saw this picture at the Weekend Wordsmith I thought, "What on EARTH am I going to write about THAT." And then, all of a sudden a story sort of started in my head... so I share with you...

Salve for Her Soul

The beautiful crisp day stretched out before her like an empty canvas - full of hope and possibility. She saw her to-do list unfold before her, realizing that on some level she knew it would be like this. You can't buy a century-old house without inheriting a laundry list of things that need attention.

She lay there for a few moments to consider how she came to be alone in this old house with too much work for one person. The accident seemed like a dream at first. Very hazy - drizzly sequences ending abruptly at the cemetery. Her tiny daughter was suddenly gone, leaving Rick and her with just each other. Each of them felt more alone when they were together - missing her in very different ways. Their marriage couldn't withstand the loss and they simply walked away. It wasn't ugly. It was actually just sad.

And so she found herself back where she started. What was that she always said - about not ever going back? Not putting your foot in the same river twice? And yet, she was almost drawn here - finding comfort in the familiar hills and slower pace.

"Time enough to sleep when you are dead!" She could hear her mother's words in her head. Rebecca knew she was right - it was time to get up. Her feet hit the ground and headed straight for the gardening clogs. She bounced down the stairs tying her hair back in a red bandana - the mulch won't get spread on it's own! Work is a salve for an aching soul... maybe that was why she chose this old house after-all.

To be continued??


Someone waved to me!!! I waved to a fellow Nissan Murano driver in South Jersey and she.waved.back!!!!

I will win them all over - one by one!


09 May 2008

Soap Opera Flowers

I like the soaps. I watched General Hospital for yeasr and now I watch Days of Our Lives. So shoot me. They are entertaining most of the time and I like to watch the fashions. One thing I have always noticed when watching the soaps are that no one ever EVER gets just a single red rose (regardless of how "elegant" that may be - when they send flowers on a soap the arrangements are HUGE! Outrageous.

Today, for mother's day, I received Soap Opera Flowers for the first time in my life. They are beautiful and extravagant and I am totally blown away!

Thanks, Baby! I truly love them - and you of course!

08 May 2008

Just one question.

Can anyone explain to me why granola is so darn expensive? Is there a magic ingredient in there that makes somebody think it is okay to charge like $7 for a small bag of this stuff?? Anyone know?

07 May 2008

Caption this (First Ed.)

So I found this funny picture and wanted to see what me clever readers could come up with for captions... Anyone want to have a go at it??

06 May 2008


This week's poetry stretch at the Miss Rumphius Effect asks us to draw our inspiration from this photo. (This photograph was taken by lijojohnson and is protected under a Creative Commons license.). I was talking with someone this week about what great teachers children are - these two lead me to my poem this week:


I watch a lesson being learned.
Tiny hands mastering the sand -
Creating a camelot - a bold fortress.
Proud smiles - a magnum opus!

But I know what is coming.
Slowly the water encroaches
Camelot is in danger.
He doesn't seem to notice.

A wave engulfs the tiny kingdom.
But the tiny master does not cry.
"I can make a new one!" he exclaims.
His sanguinity is my lesson learned.

04 May 2008

Take the Hint

This week's prompt from the Weekend Wordsmith is Torrential Rain. I like the idea that sometimes you have to learn to just chill and go with the flow... this piece (I don't think it is really a poem but I don't know WHAT it is excactly...) looks at torrential rain as the opportunity to step back and relax - take yourself out of the game. It works metaphorically as well, don't you think?

Take the Hint

When it rains, it pours.
Nature reminds us that we don't control everything.
Stop and enjoy it for what it is.
You can't just keep driving, you can't see.
Umbrellas are useless - so walking is not really possible.
Seek shelter and wait it out.

Notice the lacy curtain and rhythmic cadence.
Realize that you are being asked to stop and enjoy the show.
Don't be upset.
Sit .
Try to relax.

Soon enough it will be time to return to your regularly scheduled program.
You can go back to being in a hurry - being frazzled...
Plenty of time for that.
For now - be still.
Enjoy the show.

03 May 2008

Okay Blogger - WTH??

I have been trying for three days to change my template - just because I get bored. I can't do it - I get an error - it takes away all my lists - It annoys me to tears! THEN I added my list back and it disappeared AGAIN - had to recreate it a second time this morning... Blogger - you are officially on notice. I am SO outta here if things don't start going right.

So - we are all going to have to realize that this template is here to stay... And by "all" I mean "me". grrrr.

02 May 2008

What happens when a vw girl finds herself driving - well - anything else.

Okay - those of us who are vw people know that we wave to each other - I know Jeep people also do this. Apparently Nissan drivers... not so much. I am either going to start a new trend or people are going to continue to think I have lost my mind. Sorry Nissan Murano owners of South Jersey but I'm wavin' atcha!

Don't be a turd. Get on board. Wave back! Humor me.

Please bear with me...

I am working on my blog a bit - will have to redo my list of links etc when I have finished... Pinkie swear!

01 May 2008

Grace Lin Interview

I don't know if I ever blogged this and I am not sure why I didn't so I shall mention it now - in March I went in to my son's classroom on the last day before spring break. I read a wonderful book, played a little game and taught them how to make an Origami dog and swan - they loved it! The book I read was Lissy's Friends and it is just delightful! The author, Grace Lin, has a blog and is featured in an interview on jama rattigan's alphabet soup... you can enter to win an autographed copy of her book Year of the Rat! Sorry - but I hope I win - I know a special young lady who will be awarded her black belt in June - I would love to give this to her! Anyway - check it out - have a look at some of Grace Lin's work and by all means - enter the contest!

---> UPDATE: I just knew I had posted about this before... Found it! Here it is!

That's a BAD thing - right?

Today, we received word that the CFO of our company has given his resignation. Next Friday will be his last day. From everything I have read - this is a very bad sign. He has been there for 13 years - one year more than I. He is SERIOUSLY the only one there who has ANY clue how a company is supposed to be run. Suffice it to say - they are REALLY going to miss him. I would be too - 'cept - I am jumping ship too! Godspeed, my friend! I know you will do well wherever you go!