Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Know Marriage Changes People....But This is Ridiculous

I realize that people change after they get married. A once considerate boyfriend now leaves you to open the car door on your own. A once sweet smelling, dressed up girlfriend wears sweats as her daily uniform. Yes, things change after the I Do's are exhanged. But something is just WRONG with my family. I've had my clues, but I could just never quite put my finger on what was going on.

Here are Tommy and Melissa during the dating days of their relationship. They are both normal, good-looking people.

This was Melissa's 19th birthday. I don't know if it's a pivotal birthday, or what, but already you can see the moodiness in her eyes. She's not as excited as I would be if I had cake in front of me.

Alright, the BIG clue here are his eyes. Those are the eyes of a psycho. I should have forbid him anymore time with my daughter. He's practically laughing at me WHILE drinking a glass of milk. Couldn't Batman's Joker do the same thing, and that dude was BAD..........

Okay, here we go.....both are dressed incognito....I realized you think it's because of the weather, but these two dressed like this for a year or more. You could no longer tell which one was Melissa, and which one was Tommy.

Tommy came over for Christmas Eve, and he didn't even want us to call him by his given name. He insisted on calling himself Santa. We went along with it, because by then, we were worried about his mental instability, and we didn't want a scene.

Oh, but Miss Cassidy knew something wasn't right. She just kept crying and saying "Where is Tommy Ming-Ming."

Well, Tommy Ming-Ming came to the door last night with his bride, Melissa. Apparently they have found persona's that finally suit them. Off came the glasses, big jackets, and Santa suit. What was left, is disturbing at best.

He is very proud of himself. He strutted, proud as a peacock around the livingroom. He seems to have come into his own........

Now Melissa, I believe, is just going along with the whole thing. I believe in being submissive to your husband, but you don't have to take it that far. She's a little too girly to pull off the man thing, but I'm afraid Tommy may be too girly to pull off the man thing too.

Happily ever after. I don't think this is the end to the changes they will have in their marriage. But thankfully, HE carried HER over the threshold on their wedding day.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anatomy of a Beard

Bill has taken some time off from the larger home improvement projects that need to be done an order to sell our home. After hearing the housing stats for re-sells in our county, we figured, what's the hurry.

However Bill is not one to sit around and do nothing. He spent almost 27 years being a busy cop, and he's spent 7 months being a busy retiree....even if the majority of that time has been spent policing my day.

One day he decided to do something he couldn't do while being a policeman, and I don't mean drink a beer during the day. He decided to grow a beard. I didn't think it was a good idea since his hair only has a little gray at the temples, but his
5 o'clock shadow looks like there is frost on the pumpkin. But some things you just have to find out for yourself.

Here is the beard when it was first coming in. To tell you he grew the whole thing in less than a week would probably be an exaggeration, but he did have a full moustache in the 10th grade.

Okay so here was the beard in all it's glory. You can see I'm already using past tense on the facial hair. While teaching one day, I noticed he looked just like President Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran. All he needed was a zipped up Peters jacket. Later that week we were down on Solomon's Island, Maryland when I took this pic. He thought it was my picture taking, so he asked me to take another one.

Nope, it wasn't me. He was going for "Professor Rush" and was getting "May Be a Terrorist" or worse "This Man is a Grandfather, for sure."

He decided to shave it off, but since he'd taken a whole week to grow it, he was reluctant to shave it all at once. Here he was trying for a look to go along with the Harley he wants (drools over) one day. I went along with it. Perhaps I'd like to be someone's old lady....perhaps not.

Back on Solomon's Island the following week. All the facial hair is gone. Shaving is once again, a daily activity. Time to start that next home improvement project.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Autumn - Season of Death

This year Autumn has not been very kind, or pretty. Other than pretty hot. If I'd kept the pool clean, I could still have been floating around in it for most of this season. The leaves have been very slow to change. they stayed lush and green for most of the season and now are falling to the ground, mostly brown.

I've heard people say they love the Fall because of the beautiful, colorful leaves, crisp clean air, and cooler temperatures. Then I've heard of others who hate the Autumn time because it just symbolizes dying and death. This year I'm falling into the second category of people. I'm sad, and I don't even personally know some of these people.

A young Marine from Waldorf, died October 27th, from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan. According to reports, he was caught in a blast from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on October 20th. That cost this 19 year old Lance Corporal both of his legs. A week later in Germany, complications from his injuries cost him his life. He was a 2009 graduate of my son's highschool. His first day of ROTC he told his instructor "I can't wait to be a Marine." This young man realized his dream, and died living it. He died far too young...sacrificing his life for the security of his country. Regardless of feelings about Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. involvement in those countries, this young Marine died a hero. I'm so sad for his family and friends.

Three young contract workers were hired to cut the grass on the median strip down the hill from my house. A young, 24 year old driver who worked nights, fell asleep at the wheel of his car. By the time he woke up, two of those workers were dead. One was thrown into the middle of the road. A driver, an ordinary citizen, stayed with the injured worker and comforted him during his last few minutes on this earth. Then the surviving worker came over and placed his jacket over the dead man so people couldn't gawk at him. The young man who fell asleep was so shaken he was taken to the hospital. His life is forever changed. The families of the dead men will forever feel their loss, and the surviving worker will wrestle with the age old question "Why was I spared?"

The mother of a woman I went to church with for years died last week. She was a sweet woman, who never failed to tell me I reminded her of someone she knew. I'm not sure she knew my real name, but she used to stare at me and when we talked, she'd always tell me the same thing. I hope that person I reminded her of was a nice one.

Finally, my best friend's mom is dying. It's been a stressful summer and Fall, but it now looks like her passing is imminent. She is 88 years old, and prior to her current illness, she could have passed for someone in her 60's. She's lived the last few years with my friend and her family since the passing of her husband.
I pray that her passing will be peaceful and comfortable. Death is rarely either of those things, which is why I pray for them.

Death is a part of life This is just a small example of the different deaths people experience. All ages, young, old, expected, and unexpected. Tomorrow may be your turn. None of us is promised a long life, or a peaceful death. It is appointed to man once to die...

May Winter bring a time of family and rest................

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Kid Turns Four Years Old...........

Of course, the Kid I'm referring to is Cassidy. Today is her fourth birthday. I can hardly believe that this beautiful young lady, who less than a year ago was sticking her tongue out at me and calling me Lady, is now a little sweetheart who calls me Grandma. I'd also like to add that when she says "Grandma" it is with some measure of enthusiasm and delight. Yes, a small gift each time you see them doesn't hurt one little bit.

On October 27, 2006, at 10:16pm, my little angel was born. She was wearing this little pout on her lips when she arrived. I knew right then we were looking at a high maintenance female.

This pic is a little blurry, but I was having trouble with corrupted files as I tried to download pics. Here, she was learning to sit-up. Notice Neela the cat in the background. She was pretty confident in herself at this point because Cassidy couldn't stand up yet. Once Miss Cassidy was walking, Miss Neela was hiding.

Cassidy on the swings at the park. Remember I told you she was high maintenance? When you would hold Cassidy as a baby on your hip, she would never help you by hanging on. The swings were no different. She was not interested in moving her legs and keeping the momentum herself.'s you standing behind her pushing...forever. I even tried to entice her with swinging on her belly, just for laughs, but she would never take the bait.

Miss Princess as she turned 2 years old. She has been so much fun to be with. Except when leaving parks, play areas, or McDonald's. Other than that, she's such a little angel.

Cassidy two months before she turned 4 years old. No picture ever taken captures her personality better. She is sweet, loving, affectionate, and smart. She is also perpetually bored with the adult world. Life is about moving, doing, and going!!! She has no time for adults who want to talk, sit down, or heavens forbid, read for a moment or two. She's always ready for a party, but please, don't talk on the phone...unless it's to her. High maintenance............:) I love you Cassidy!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Going to Die from Lack of Sleep or Too Much Sleep

Well, I am a life long insomniac. From as far back as I can remember, I have lain upon my bed awake, while the world around me slumbers and dreams. I know this to be a fact, because I used to smoke cigarettes while hanging out of my bedroom window, and the world was asleep. Except for the one time I saw the imprint of my father's face on the screen in the next room. I did a good imitation of deep sleep when he came in my room a few minutes later.

The years I had babies were not as traumatic for me as they were for "normal" sleepers. I was awake anyway, why not feed the baby? When my daughter was in the hospital ER all night long one time, I sat upright in my chair with my eyes as wide as an owl's all night long while the nurses and doctors struggled to stay awake.

One time I stayed up for 72 hours straight. That however, ended with me having a conversation on the front porch with someone who "was NOT there" and I knew it. Not good.

So, I spent a decade working with a doctor to get my insomnia under control. It is medically documented that too little sleep has many health repercussions. I've finally gotten to the point that I can sleep with the rest of the world, and I can even sleep after the rest of the world has arisen, commuted to work, and made it to their lunch break. What can I say, I have alot of sleep to catch up on. So imagine my pain when I read this from Dr. Mercola's sleep article:


Dr. Mercola states:

Increase your risk of cardiovascular disease – One recent study found that sleeping fewer than five hours a day more than doubles your risk of being diagnosed with angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.

But sleeping more than seven hours also increased the risk of cardiovascular disease; more than nine hours of sleep resulted in a 50 percent increase in risk.


I live in a family where cardiovascular disease will probably kill you, at a young age. I learned a long time ago that poor sleep, or not sleeping at all, was detrimental to your health. Now I find out that sleeping too much is just as bad.

Has anyone told Sophia Loren? She goes to bed at like 5:00pm. She says sleeping is her most favorite thing in the world. She tries to get 12 hours a night. Now I'm no expert, but isn't she in her 70's??????

My father died at 56 years old. I didn't see him sleep very often. Ms. Loren sleeps alot and is in her 70's.....I think I'll go to bed now. I'll see you at the crack of noon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Doing New Things.....

Since turning 50 years old, I've been trying to do some things that are new, or if not new, more difficult, to exercise my brain. I read that to ward off Alzheimer's disease you should challenge your brain. I'm not really into competition, so that will be a challenge, in and of itself. Come to think of it, can the brain, the most complex of all organs, which will never be truly understood, be challenged by me??? Apparently not.

I decided to try to knit cables. It didn't really seem to be that difficult. You just slip onto a cable needle X number of stitches, knit the same X number, then slip the stitches back onto your left needle and knit them. How hard could that be?

As usual, in my zealous state one cool, autumn night, I ordered $130 in yarn off the internet. Waiting anxiously for my order to arrive, I studied both books and youtube learning how to knit the perfect cables. I mentioned, rather casually, to my daughter Julie (known as the human knitting machine from an earlier post) that I was going to try my hand at knitting cables. When my ordered arrived, I dropped everything, and began knitting a cable scarf. Perhaps I would knit one for each of my sisters for Christmas!

Either everyone conspired to fool me into the simplicity of knitting cables, or I am too far gone to learn a new skill. I would show you a pic, but I have unravelled everything I've knitted in a fit of rage. I tried both the "S" cable and the "Basket-Weave" cable. I tried four different weights of yarn and three different needle sizes. I've knitted six inches of "scarf" about a dozen times.

Julie, of course, in a few days time, knitted up a really keen cable knit blanket she will be gifting this Christmas. I love her, I really do. After all, she is my daughter.....don't her accomplishments mean I've accomplished something? Even if it is only bringing her safely into this knit...and make it look easy.

I'm now trying a chevron stitch. A 2nd grader could do it, but for me it's a challenge. It's all about the challenge.... :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Maryland Wine Festival

On Saturday morning Susan, Bill, Billy and I piled into the car and headed for Hollywood.....Maryland, that is. We attended the Maryland Wine Festival held at the Sotterley Plantation. It was such a beautiful day...the temperature was perfect at 75 degrees, the skies were blue, and the wine was flowing. Here is a little background on Sotterley Plantation:

"Older than Mount Vernon, older than Monticello, older than the nation itself, Sotterley Plantation stands majestically on the banks of the Patuxent River. It is the only remaining Tidewater Plantation in Maryland that is open to the public with a full range of visitor activities and educational programs. Sotterley's significant architecture features the early 18th-century Mansion, a rare original slave cabin, and a full array of outbuildings set amidst 95 acres of rolling fields, gardens, and riverfront". (cited from the History section on the Sotterley Plantation website)

Some of Maryland's finest wineries were represented at this festival. Each winery was set up under their own tent. You were given a glass when you arrived, and then you just stepped up to the challenge of how many wines can you taste in one afternoon. At least that's how I understood it. I'm competitive like that.

This is Sotterley Plantation, at least part of it. It sits on absolutely gorgeous land the rolls down to the Patuxent River.

Susan and I at the beginning of our wine adventure. Like a kid in a candy store, there were so many different wines to try, I didn't even know where to start.

Here is an example of what the tents looked like. Susan and I are in front of the Fiore winery tent. They made some of the best cabernet franc I've ever tasted.

A nice pic of Bill and I. By this point in the day, I was really in love with him. :)

I don't actually remember having this pic taken, neither does Susan. I think we were clowning around and Bill snapped a photo. I do believe, however, we left shortly after this.

So for the cultured among us, a wine festival is a great place to meet new people and sample some fine wines. For the rest of us, it's a great day, made a whole lot better because of wine.