11.30.2009

Happy almost Birthday to me...nah let's just skip it

I am not one of those people that remind everyone their birthday is coming up in a month, then a week and then daily for the next week till the big day. I never have been. I don’t think I ever will be. The “strange” thing in my family is that there are many of us that share the same birthday. I know weird, huh?



My father, myself, 3 cousins and a very dear friend of mine all share the same birthday, December 1st. The joke was that I was born on my dad’s birthday so I was his birthday gift. LOL The funny thing was my dad was always the one to let everyone know his birthday. It was more of a joke than anything, but it was funny. Although we shared the same birthday most of our birthday celebrations were geared around him. Not to say I didn’t have any birthday parties for me, but the majority of them seemed to be more for him. I remember a few of my “parties” but they were when I was a child. I have never had one as an adult, which is fine.


So my father passed away 5/11/08 after a very long illness. Last year my birthday was a bit difficult so I really expected thought or hoped it get easier each year. Well, this year seems worse. Is it just me? Will it get any better? I don’t expect the pain of missing my dad to go away completely, but I guess I thought it would start to get a little easier as time goes on.


Happy almost my birthday… and it so doesn’t seem like my birthday. It doesn’t feel like it is my birthday, or even close to my birthday. It feels like it is just another day, nothing special that is for sure. In fact I think I will just stop “marking” birthday anyway… I mean what good is it anyway.... except to mark that you have gotten another year older. And let’s face it what fun can that be, another year older?


Ok... I am well, I will be (12/1) 38 freaking years old. I never thought of that as OLD…but I tell you I sure the hell feel old. I mean I guess if I was healthy I wouldn’t feel old but with the way I have been feeling and having such bad flare days lately, I really have been feeling OLD.


So no more almost birthdays or birthdays for me... what for??? But hey, we can always celebrate your birthdays, because I love to do that!!  I am good at that!  I can decorate and bake and plan things for other people really well!! 

11.28.2009

Wishlists

Wish lists are funny things. I can remember when I was little making lists. They were always difficult for me. I was the one that always worried about the price of what everything cost. I always wanted everyone else to do a wish list but never wanted to do one myself. I have always been that way and still am. If I did finally do a wish list I always tried to make sure I had plenty of choices on there in all of the price ranges so no one would have a problem. That seemed to always worry me. I know you would think a young child wouldn't really think of those things, but I did and still do.



It has always been hard for me to come up with a list of things that I want or wish for and then put them "out there" for any and every one. It seems that the older I get the harder it is for me too.


I always wanted my parents to do a wish list for Christmas time. It was always pretty easy to shop for mom, but dad was a bit trickier at least for me anyway. So I would always beg them to make a list. They would of course. Funny the older they got, the more dad got into it. LOL He always made such extravagant lists more to tease me than anything. So that got me started on adding extravagant items to my lists as well. The really weird thing was on the offshot I would get them. That always floored me. I never expected those gifts, it was always nice to get them but I always felt like it was too much.

I will say that one thing I have always enjoyed is getting cards. I LOVE cards. I like e-cards, but the real hard copy ones that you get by snail mail are the best in the whole wide world. I know that sounds funny but so true. I love sending cards too. It is great to write something nice inside them, decorate the card and envelope with stickers or stamping and fill the card with confetti. I think cards are great any time of year, but for some reason for my birthday (12-1) I really love getting cards. Did I mention I LOVE cards? I have always loved getting cards, it says so much. I love buying cards and making them. Ok... I better stop now... because I can feel me getting off the subject (wish lists) and I see that I could very easily write an entire blog on cards! YIKES!

I thought I would tell you my wish list for this year. Since my birthday (12-1) and Christmas are pretty close to each other I have always just made one and it served its purpose. Here goes:


• Cards - Did I mention I love them? Especially the ones sent via snail mail
• Wii and the Wii fit (this is my extravagant gift)
• silver cross and chain
• Gummy bears (I love gummy bears!!!)
• CD’s(Trace Adkins, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw)
• An hour massage at my home
• 5 qt stand mixer(extravagant gift)
• Silver ring
• Amber ring
• Book- The Lonely Patient
• Book - Keep working girlfriend
• Book - The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Word
• Health – this is always first on my list. I wish there were no illnesses or pain in the world but I especially wish, hope and pray that my mom could be healed completely. I seriously would give my right arm for that. (I know this is something that can’t be given to me, but since it is a “wish” list I always seem to include as if one year it will actually be granted!)
• I would like to have my health back as well, but I would gladly give it all up if it would guarantee my mom to be healthy and pain free again.
• A beautiful healthy baby girl (this is not what I would call an extravagant gift but something I know no one can give me, but since it is a “wish” list I do put it on there)


I have read many different people’s lists this year already and they are nice lists. Some wanting world peace, some wanting to have more family time, others want domestic items and then there are the ones that want it all!! I get those lists… I have never been one to want, want,want.


What do you think about wish lists? What is on your wish lists? I would love to see what is on your list. If you are interested please grab the mclinky and let me know.


11.18.2009

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY ~ according to Daisy the Curly Cat

I am not sure if anyone has found this blog or not, but I love it. It of course is for the animal lovers, specifically the cat lovers. Anyway she has a Wordless Wednesday that she does and when I was showing it to my mom, she was "Like and why haven't you posted any pictures of your son??" Son meaning, Chip. So although this is suppose to be a wordless wednesday... let's just face it... I hardly every "not" talk! LMAO






Chip


Tee-Tee

11.17.2009

Mom is home - Yeah!! Yippee!! Woo-hoo

In case you weren't aware my Mom has been sick and in the hospital.  She was rushed in on Wed the 11th and I was finally able to bring her home last night, the 16th.  She was in there longer then what was planned, but anyone that knows my mom knows that is how it works for her.  It seems that if she goes in for overnight observation it turns into a week or longer.  That is why she HATES going to the hospital.  Course then again I am not so sure anyone likes going to the hospital.  Well...I guess there might be someone out there, oh wait...actually there is this one lady who is a friend of my mom's BFF, and she does like going to the hospital now that I think of it.  I know strange but true. 

So mom is home and not yet out of the woods.  I was thinking that I could have gone back and done the "diary" entries for days 3-6, but decided against it.  Truthfully I just don't have the time right now.  I am not saying some "funny" things didn't happen while she was in the hospital because trust me there were a few of those times, that really made me stop and think and , "these are healthcare professionals?".

For instance my mom needed to have a new IV as the first one was done by the paramedics and no one really likes those.  In case you didn't know.  Here goes:

Nurse: Oh geesh, we are going to have to take this IV out and do a new one.  I am not going to have time, my shift is ending.  I will tell my charge nurse and make sure either she does this or the next shift does it.

The charge nurse arrives and immediately asks if she can put it in the  hand.  Anyone that has been around this kind of stuff knows that is one of the most painful places to put an IV.  Mom actually spoke up and told her no. I was so shocked, if I would have been standing I know I would have fallen over.  Mom does not speak up for herself.  The saying in the family goes, she taught me to do that because she couldn't. 

Charge nurse:  So can I put the IV in your hand?
Mom: No

Charge nurse:  I don't see any good veins and if I dont' see any I don't want to poke you. (At this time she is poking and fishing 2 times on mom's left arm(gee that doesn't seem to bother her))

The charge nurse leaves and tells the nurse that she is unable to get an IV in and that they should take her off of all of the IV's. The nurse tells her that she was not going to do that because she could lose her license and that is not what the doctor wanted.  They were outside of my mom's room and speaking in a regular tone, so it wasn't like I was listening in on a private conversation or anything.  The charge nurse throws her hands up and says well you figure something out, I don't know what to do with her.  My thought process is, That was the freaking CHARGE NURSE?  Excuse me, but how do you get to be a CHARGE NURSE??  Obviously it doesn't take much!!  I mean I am just saying.

Nurse#2: Hi! Can I try and put an IV in you?
Mom: Yes
Nurse#2:  If I can't find a vein in your arm, can I use your hand?
Mom: No
Nurse#2:  Why won't you let us use the hand?
Mom:  It hurts and as it is, as I am sure you can see, I am pretty well bruised up on both of my arms, so if you could please try your best to find a spot on either arm I would appreciate it.

What a surprise...nurse #2 found a spot on her right arm, not on the hand.  Imagine that??? I would just like to note...did anyone notice that I did NOT say a word during that??? I know it is not often, but it does happen. 

I could also tell you about the time that I was there and I asked for a clean gown and towels and for her bed to be changed.  The nurse(different nurse) brought me the linens and told me to go ahead and change them.  WRONG!!!  Let me just say I set his little ass straight quicker than he ever imagined, I am positive of that.  I reminded him that I am a visitor and that while I am taking care of my mother and doing part of his job, I am not there to do the beddings.  Whether it was his job or a CNA's job he better figure out who's job  it was and get it taken care of by the time I was done bathing my mom.  I reminded him that I was helping him out by doing what I was doing, had he forgotten?  Had he forgotten that he was at work? OMG!! I could not believe when he brought the beddings and told me here you go you can change the beddings.  He is lucky my mom was there because I did not want to upset her. Can you believe that?  UGH!!!

Anyway mom is home.  She is still weak so that is good for me.  She is someone who doesn't like to sit around so normally this is something hard for her to do.  Normally I would have to practically chain her down to make her sit/lay down.  Right now she doesn't really have the energy to do much of anything.  It will come back to her soon enough.  She lost over 15 lbs.  yeah!!   It is always a good feeling when you lose weight. 

So for now, I am the full-time caregiver.  She hates it but oh well live with it for now.  I haven't really cooked cooked, ya know what I mean?  I have cooked for us, but like really quick and easy meals nothing big.  Well that has been since Dad passed (5/11/08).  Yesterday and today I cooked and baked.  It was so nice.  I forgot how much I enjoyed cooking and baking.  On top of that I didn't kill either one of us with my cooking either! 
Made chicken soft tacos yesterday (nothing extravagent about that), and tonight I made chicken and mashed potatoes, rolls and brownies and ice cream for dessert.  Not too bad...we both enjoyed it.  Guess that is all that counts, right?  

I should probably be doing a million other things, at least that is the way I feel...but she has dozed off and I have slipped away to check email and read some blogs and write one too.  Truthfully, I have missed writing for the last couple of days. 

11.12.2009

Day 2

11/12/09



Guess I am doing a diary of an entry for a blog this time, hell you never know what you will get from me. As far as family goes it is basically just me and mom. I mean don't get me wrong there are other relatives just no one that is logistically close by. So I am with mom and she is feeling pretty crappy (forgive the pun on the words). She was made to drink this Go Lightly so that she would empty out and be clear for her colonoscopy . They were finally able to do the procedure late this afternoon. It just so happens that a friend of ours, Marc who works at the hospital stopped by as they were taking her. He sat and we shot the shit for awhile. That was nice to have a distraction. He is so sweet and funny and is such a great storyteller! I told him I was going to write about him!! I told him about my blogs name - My mouth overloaded my ass he laughed at it and knew that it fit me rather well; you see we both are sarcastic and have the same sick type of humor!! His response to my comment is "insert foot chew thoroughly" - let me tell you, I love it!! Come on its funny right?? He has many stories and is filled with knowledge.

Before I go too far, I have to tell you about a conversation that occurred with a nurse shortly after we arrived at Kaiser.  This was the nurse doing the intake.

Nurse: What level of pain can you tolerate?
(Me and Mom are both giving each other looks, like WTF??!!)
Me: I said What? Are you serious??
Nurse: Oh yes, What level of pain can you tolerate?
Me: I completely understood you, I just can't fucking believe you asked her that!
Mom: Ummm...I guess I can handle about an 8 or 9.
Me: Wait a minute, she is in the hospital and way sick and in a shitload of pain and you are asking her what freakin' level of pain she can tolerate?  I have never in all of my life heard anyone ask that.  I have heard nurses ask what level of pain are you at now? but never what you asked. 
Nurse:  Oh yeah.  (Huge smile on her face)(I did everything in my power not to wipe that smile off of her face  :)  ) What level of pain are you at now?
Mom: 9
Me: So when is she getting pain medicine?  What is she getting? What is your pain tolerance?
Nurse: What?
Me: What is the level of pain you can tolerate? 
Nurse:  Ummm why?
Me:  I was just curious because my bet is you can't tolerate the level of pain that my mom can, or the length of it.  Am I right?
Nurse: (long pause)Yes you are right.  I don't like pain.
Me: Good... remember that... no one likes pain and  no one should have to be in pain, especially while in a hospital where there are tons of ways to alleviate pain. So let's make sure she is pain free while she is here. OK?? 
Nurse: I will do my best.
Me: Good... I am glad we agreed on this.

Shortly after the nurse returns with 4mg of morphine.  She tells my mom that if she does not have relief within an hour to let her know and she will order dilantin (which is the pain med that was given to her at the first hospital. It is stronger than morphine and works fast!).  Nurses normally do not tell a patient something like this, but she did.  Mom said the morphine worked well enough.  See mom is not one to complain or "rock the boat", not like me.  I am her advocate.  I don't always let my mouth overload my ass, see she is there and needs these people to care for her, and I am not there 24/7 so you have to way your battles and your wars and decide what and when you are going to say anything.  Mom said it did reduce the pain significantly so I left it at that.

Her colonoscopy is done and she is back. She is able to eat - liquids only, but she is able to eat. She is pretty exhausted. I would love to know the results but no doctors have called or been in. I hate that. You see they will be in at the crack of dawn tomorrow when mom is still out of it and won't remember and at that time I don't function. I use to; in fact I still remember those days. Mornings are especially rough and tough for me and especially with the way I have been feeling lately... I just don't see me being anywhere at crack of dawn, ya know?? This is the time when I feel as if I am not taking as good as care of her as I should be or could be. Because of my illnesses that limit me it prohibits me from doing all that I want to do for her. It is at this time when people make the comments that seem to get me the most. I know for the most part they don't mean anything hurtful...but because I am so emotional, it hits me, especially hard. They call the house in the am and are surprised I am still there and not at the hospital with mom, or they say you let her get sick again huh?, or my all time favorite is, your sleeping? And it is either 8am or after midnight and when I answer yes, they are surprised and shocked. I know I actually sleep shame on me.

Rumor has it that she might be able to come home tomorrow.  I know better not to get my hopes up, because anytime mom has ever gone into the hospital it always ends up a much longer visit then first anticipated (unfortunately).  Everyone's prayers are helping, we both can feel the energy, thoughts and love.  We appreciate it and are ever so thankful for all of them.

So it is coming up on 8pm and mom is snoring pretty good, although I know as soon as I am to leave she would wake! Murphy's Law!! I still need to drive home (30 min) and feed the animals, medicate them, spend time with them, check messages, emails, respond/reply, tidy up the house, let Tee-Tee out, get stuff ready for the next day, oh...I will need to eat something and get to bed too. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, apparently to most people but it takes me longer to do these things now (it sucks totally). I have decided to wait until the new nurse comes in and introduces herself and then I will leave...it is always hard to leave mom, no matter what hospital, or how sick or what type of illness. Hug your loved ones...and don't forget to tell them you love them. There is no time like the present.

Love you

Another trip to ER

11/11/09
Another trip to the ER with mom; this is something I should be use to, but in reality I don't know if anyone ever gets used to this- you know trips to the ER. My mom has been sick on and off most of my life (since I was 11), so I have been to the ER many times. In fact the joke is that our local hospital is my mom’s home away from home and that at one time I was there so much (b/c of one of my mom’s many long visits) many of the times I was mistaken for an employee!! Both of those statements are true. The emergency guys actually remember me - now that scares me! They don't come for me, they come for my mom. I always have a smart ass comment for everything, I mean I gotta keep things light, right? Hell if I don't who the hell is?? It is just me and something that I do. Guess you could call it one of my coping mechanisms...hey if it works what does it matter??!!




Like I said another trip to the hospital... I could probably give you more pointers or tips then you could imagine. I don't like hospitals but they don't scare me. I definitely know my way around them, it doesn't seem to matter if it is my first time at that hospital or not.


-make sure you have the INS card for the person that is being taken to ER


-if at all possible I suggest that you already have a med list printed up of what they take prescription and non prescription and if you can also include any allergies and any surgeries they have had, this I promise will be more helpful than you can ever imagine
-take note as you are walking to the patients’ room, for the bathroom, the nurses’ station, the room marked "employees only". That is a room that you may use more than any other room. I know it sounds funny, but this is the room where they keep the ice machine, water, and refrigerator. There are going to be times when your nurse or aide are nowhere to be found and the patient needs water or ice... This is when you take it upon yourself to ever so nicely walk in there as if you’ve done it daily and get your patient what he/she needs. You’re not only helping the staff but helping the patient. Knowing where the bathroom is comes in handy as some places are big sticklers about letting visitors use the patients bathrooms.  As for the nurses station if you know where that is at, you can at least have an idea where they are hanging out at.  Some hospitals it seems that is where they "hide".  LOL  Some places not so much.


-always bring extras -you don't know how long you are going to be there. Bring something to do, read, write,play, but something. Also you never know how the temperature is going to be, I tend to wear layers and make sure I have a sweater/jacket. Oh yeah and don't forget something to eat and drink- you will need that for sure!  At least a bottle of water and granola bar or bag of cookies or a fruit, but it will come in handy.


I could go on with my tips but I'm not going to. As my mom is laying here in ER she seems to be waking up a bit...she was given some pain meds and this time they worked and quickly (which is nice for a change). Now it is time for me to be with her 100% and to dote on her. Hold her hand, rub her head, whatever that makes her pain ease and might make her the least bit more comfortable until the next test or we find out what is wrong this time.

11.07.2009

Where are all the real men??

Real men....cowboys...manly men...gentlemen...someone like our dads...Do you know what type of man I am talking about? Sure you do. I am sure at one time or another you have come across at least one in your lifetime. My father was one of them and I have even dated a few in the past. However, it does seem that you see them less and less. What is up with that? Has the species died off? Are they all married? Are they all gay and married? Are they all priests and that is why we don't see them around anymore? Hey that just might be the answer... it just came to me as I was saying it...Hmmm will make a note of that one and keep that in mind for later.  I wonder if these types of men are even being produced anymore, that very well could be a good reason for the shortage. I am not saying that there are not any out there; because I know they are out there…I just would like to know where in the hell they are!!


To me a “real man” would consist of the following attributes:

• Sensitive, Caring, Compassionate, Kind, Warm, Understanding, Communicative, Hardworking, Good listener
• Manners (please, thank you, excuse me,)
• Open doors (includes car doors)
• Pull out your chair
• Kill bugs while doing it quickly and not tormenting the woman
• Compliment the person you are with
• Doing most of the driving
• Being able to fix/repair things inside/outside of the home and if unable to do so, be 100% ok to pay for someone else to do it
• Carry the bags. Should bring in the groceries, carry the bags when out, luggage, etc and shouldn’t have to be asked to do so
Never, ever make you have sex…because then that is exactly what it is, SEX not love
• Know that there is a difference between loving someone and being IN love with someone
• Know that there is a difference between having sex and making love
• Not afraid to show /express feelings and emotions
• Ability to be empathetic and sympathetic
• Animals and children like him and he likes them
• He knows how to give and take

So there is my “list” of what I think makes a manly man, real man, cowboy, a gentleman. I could probably go on and on and list many little details but I think this really encompasses it for the most part.

My dad pretty much fit this description. Now, don’t get me wrong, he was by no means perfect, but he did have just about all of the above. I have dated a few guys that have had a few of the qualities that I mentioned above but never several.

I really think it has a lot to do with the way children are raised now days. (Don’t worry I won’t get started on that topic, I could be here all damn week!!). It is so different from when my parents were growing up. There was usually a mom at home and family meals every night (we did that when I was growing up), the T.V. programs were totally different, there were no video games and most of the time families spent a lot of time together. You just don’t see that much anymore. I am not pointing any fingers nor am I getting on that soap box, because like I said I would be here for the week just on that subject!

So what characteristics would you put in your list?? Would you take any off of my list? I would love to hear your ideas on this topic.

For everyone out there that is still looking for a “real man”, I wish you the best of luck in finding “that one”. I am trying not to give up, however it is difficult at times… but I keep telling myself there still have to be a few out there right? Oh...God, I hope he hasn’t joined the priesthood yet!!!

HELP!!! I can't stop eating!!!

I can't quite figure this out but I literally can't stop eating. I know I know this is NOT good. I have gone over my meds and there is nothing new. In fact I am not even on my prednisone so that should help with the NOT eating. Most of my meds are suppose to make me lose weight... for some reason they do the opposite for me. I know I am lucky. ha ha There hasn't been anything stressful going on lately...I mean I totally have a stress free life like everyone else out there (can you detect the sarcasm??). But truthfully there has not been anything new that is upsetting or life changing that would make me want to eat myself out of house and home.



But for the last few days I feel like I can't eat enough. I have always said the Pepsi is my "drug of choice". I can't seem to get enough of that. Normally I am not one to drink several a day but I have been. NOT GOOD. Normally I can control my portions... hell I sure can't do that now... it is like I have no control or willpower and I just keep eating and more and more. It seems to be more sweets then anything but I still eat well at my meals.


Where is this coming from?  The weather change?  The time change?

Usually if I were to have something sweet, I would have a bite size candy and that would be fine, now I want the whole bag and I do a pretty good job of taking care of that too. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorites, normally 1-3 would be plenty for me - lately I have to hold myself back from polishing the package off. That is horrible...yet it all tastes ohhhhhhhhhh soooo very yummy in my tummy!!


I have no idea where this hunger is coming from? Any ideas or suggestions? You do know that as I am writing this I am having a nice ice cold glass of Pepsi and chocolate chip cookies!! I have already eaten my dinner and had previous desserts. What is wrong with me???? Somehow I am not worried about that like I normally would be... it just tastes so damn good I haven't really thought about anything else! Is that horrible? Is that wrong of me?

I will be back... and I am sure when I am I will still be eating and drinking...but God only knows what I will be stuffing in my face by that time. I do know it will be something very yummy in my tummy though!!

11.06.2009

New York New York

New York 6/17 – 6/23/09



I always said I wanted to make it to NY and I wanted to do the following:


• See a Broadway show (check I got to see 2 – Tony & Tina’s Wedding and Rock of Ages)


• See Times Square (check)


• Ride a NY subway (check)


• See Grand Central Station (check)


• Go into Saks Fifth Ave (check – I even got a make-over!)


• See Empire State Building (check)


• See Central Park (check)


• Ride in a NY cab (check)


And not only did I get to do that but I did so much more. It was an awesome trip. Grazia Bueti was my tour guide and hostess. She had always told me that if I were to come to NY, I had to stay with her. We had worked together at BMG, but at different locations, so we never met face to face. However, we had spoken and written to each other so often we both felt like we knew each other. She invited me to stay in her beautiful home in the country of Dutchess County with her, her Mom (Gina) and her sister (Polsia). A wonderful, loving Italian family. I could not have asked for a better place to stay or have a better tour guide.


My adventure began on Wed. night when I arrived at JFK airport. They were both sweet enough to meet me at baggage claim. I won’t tell you that the 2 of them were so busy with a soap star sighting that neither of them saw me come down the ramp until I walked up on them! I thought I would add this picture as it shows my HUGE suitcase for future reference. We then took a cab ($45+toll & tip) to the “city” and dropped my suitcase off at Polsia’s office. Just to go upstairs to her office and drop off my bag after hours mind you, I had to show a picture ID, pose for a picture, sign in and promise to give them my first born child! Geesh Ny’ers!! We walked across the street to Jack’s which is a very nice little place. We had a great dinner and I actually managed to steal the check and pay for the entire thing. The only reason I mention this, is I think this was one of three times while I was in NY that I was able to pay for a meal. Grazia didn’t want me to pay for anything. It seemed we were always “fighting” over the bills.  But in a good way. I tell you those stubborn Italian New Yorkers!! Ha ha OK so now we walk back to Polsia’s office and get my luggage. The only reason I am going into such detail is because it became a joke. The night Grazia almost killed me! They are so used to the “city” and running from train to subway to shuttle to cab to running around and carrying a ton of shit with them it is nothing to them… well not to this California girl!! We have to walk to the subway. Actually it isn’t that far but with a 52lb suitcase anything is far, right? If you are not familiar, you go down several steps to catch the subway and then once you are down there you still may have to go up and down more and walk how far. Grazia says we only walked a ½ block to the subway (I swear it felt like 100), then we took the subway and had to come out and go upstairs and walk to the parking garage. I think she said that was only 2-3 small blocks, again it felt like I walked to NY from LA! However, Grazia being the great friend, good hostess that she is insisted on helping me carry the suitcase (from hell). Still it was crazy. By the time we got to the garage, I think I could have laid down there and not even cared. My whole body was shaking so much, pain was like I had not experienced in a long while, sweat was too gross to even mention, oh and it started raining on us on our way to the parking garage! Unlike in CA, all garages are valet. They brought the car down, they got in, I think I crawled in and then we drove to the house. I was praying that by the time we would get to the house I would be able to move. Because I knew at that point, if I would have had to get out of that car in an emergency, there was no way in hell I would have been able to do it. So as Grazia tells the story – This is the night she almost killed me!!!


The funny part is on the drive home I called my mom to tell her that we made it ok and are in the car driving home. She could tell by the way I sounded that I had had it! So I tried to explain to her how we took a cab – walked – ate – walked – took a subway – oh yeah! (I am all excited about this part). We took a subway already and I have already been through Queens, Yonkers, Harlem, and Brooklyn. Before I could finish I think my mom was ready to have a heart attack! She was like what!!! OMG!! I kept trying to explain to her that there were 3 of us together and we were all ok and blah, blah, blah, blah – but she was so worried. I mean I get it, but being here and seeing how it is – it is a little funny. You have to admit, right?


I tried to take as many pictures as possible. I don’t think I took enough. Grazia NEVER wanted her picture taken. I knew she was like that to begin with, but it was so like pulling teeth every time! She was always willing to take a picture of me – sometimes it felt weird always having a picture of me, ya know? Sometimes I would be so exhausted and in so much pain I knew I was not going to look decent in the picture. I wasn’t hoping for great or good, just decent, you know so the camera wouldn’t break! I walked more than I have probably in the last 2 years. At times I thought OMG – What the hell am I doing to myself? This is supposed to be a vacation not a torture camp! And by that I mean – I literally had to push myself to get up, stay awake and keep moving and keep walking. Trust me there were 3 times that I seriously thought I might have to forego or cancel the plans because I was just in so much pain and was so exhausted I did not know how I was going to do it. Then I was afraid that if I did do it, I might not be able to make thru the whole event and then what? It is not like California where you just hop in your car and go home. NOPE – you gotta walk it to a subway or cab it to a subway. Thank GOD for prednisone, pain pills and provigil. If it weren’t for those I am just about positive I would not have done as well as I did do. Thinking about it, it still surprises me. Grazia said on one of the days that we walked over 20 blocks!!!! To most people that would be nothing. For me when I was healthy, it would have been nothing, I mean heck, when I lived in Glendale, I use to walk to the Glendale Galleria and it was at least that far there if not more and then I would walk all around the place and then back home! We did have to stop and take rests for me so I did tend to slow Grazia down.

I reached out to many BMG’ers to see if we could get together and meet. Some were able to, and to those I truly am grateful. Jenn Press, Brenda Crawley and Jackie Post, you guys were great to take time out of your hectic schedules to have lunch and dinner with me and Grazia. More on this later. I had a good time at everything that we did – whether it was shopping, eating, sightseeing, commuting or being at her home with the familia!

We were fortunate enough to be able to get together with Jackie Post twice while I was there. Thursday night we met at Balthazar's (in SOHO) for dinner and drinks. It was great. Of course I ended up having a slight “run in” with a nice little NY’er. Ha ha Here it is my real first night in NY and I come across a drunk NY’er… what a surprise, eh? It was funny really, after all is said and done. I mean Grazia and I are at the bar waiting for Jackie to get there. The place was crowded like no other. There were 3 men on my right side and a couple on my left side. I was sitting on a stool at the bar, because I cannot stand for long and Grazia being the great friend she is made sure I had a seat.  The 3 guys were pretty well on their way to no land of return if you get what I mean. The couple on my other side, well it was hard to tell if they were “really” together or just together, ya know? So before you know it one of the 3 amigos decides he is interested in the chic next to me. Which would have been fine, if he wouldn’t have draped his drunken old ass across me. I mean seriously? We couldn’t eve reach our drinks, let alone hear each other talk now. So after a short while, I smile (no seriously, I did), and I looked at the 2 of them and asked them if they would like to trade seats with me. They looked at me as if I was speaking another freaking language and said no, we are fine. I know I had to have a look of shock. I was like, funny, I am not. I said look guys I don’t mind you talking and all, but you are practically, no you are draped over me and I can’t even get to my freaking drink and I can barely sit on the stool because you are so draped across me and practically leaning on me. He tells me he is just fine. OMG!!! I was fuming. The lady turned and looked at us and smiled as if she was thanking us. He sat back on his seat and went back to talking with his 2 buddies. Jackie arrived and we told her what happened. She couldn’t believe it. Then all of a sudden he asks her if she minds him talking to her and she says very loudly no one can tell me who I can talk to. I just started laughing. Jackie and I were like what Fuck Faces!! So we finally got seated at a booth. This drunken old fart proceeds to come on to just about any 2 legged female that walked by him and even continued to oogle us!! UGH!! Grazia asked our waiter about him. Our waiter said, yeah, some older men with a lot of money come in here so they can pick up young good looking women... I replied with yeah he is not doing too well, now is he!!


On Monday night we met Jackie for dinner at Virgil's for BBQ. The dinner was good. However, the bathroom was on the 2nd floor (it seems usually it is on the 3rd floor) and they were playing great music!! You know – COUNTRY Baby!! I would have liked to sit up there and maybe hear some good music but instead we had to sit downstairs with all the loud noise. I am not complaining b/c all in all; I really enjoyed the company and conversation!


Can someone please tell me why NY has 3 story restaurants? I mean you enter on the 1st floor and have to wait there, then if you need the bathroom that is on the 3rd floor and if you are going to get seated that is on the 2nd floor. I mean is there really any logic to any of this? You all know a man (and not a bright one) came up with this idea. I mean who in their right might would put all of the damn bathrooms on the frickin 3rd floor? Let me tell you when ya got to go, ya gotta go. And not all of these places have escalators let alone a damn elevator! I came to find out that NY is not a very handicap friendly place in the US. Has anyone noticed this?? Come on anyone? Oh and since we are on the topics of bathrooms…can someone please tell me why NY places do NOT stock their bathrooms with toilet seat covers? I came across 3 places the entire time I was in NY – JFK airport, Grazia’s office and the 3rd place I can’t remember for the life of me, and I should considering I just about jumped for joy! Seriously, why in God’s name would there not be toilet seat covers? That is just so wrong on so many levels!!!


Monday lunch we had planned to meet Brenda Crawley and Jenn Press from BMG. Oh yeah, Claude Lewin was suppose to go too, but I guess someone else more important came along. Is that rude or what? Humph!! LOL So we met at Burger Heaven on 49nd St. It was so nice to finally meet the faces behind the voices / emails that I worked with for so many years. I felt like I already knew them. It was only an hour lunch and it went by so darn fast. I am so glad that they were able to fit me into their schedule. As you will be able to see from the pictures, the waiter has no camera experience at all!!

I got to see St. Patrick's Cathedral I was in awe, I have to admit. You hear about it and see pictures but it is so different when you are there, inside. It brought tears to my eyes and chills to my skin. They say if it is the first time in a church you should make a wish. You can bet your bottom dollar, I made a wish. I also lit a candle and said a prayer for all of my loved ones.


Grand Central Station is HUGE! I know I know I was in shock yet again. It is like a city inside that place. I mean seriously. I have seen it on TV. and have heard about it, but now I was here, actually here, inside this historical place. There are several levels – trains & subways and restaurants and newsstands and show shines and shops and markets and you name it, it is there!! I couldn’t believe all what was in there.


We went to the Metro Museum Now this was an interesting visit. Grazia will probably never have another museum visit like this again, that is unless we go together to another museum! So we arrive at the Met Museum at 4pm and find out that it closes at 5pm sharp! That means we have an hour to see this HUGE museum, we know that isn’t going to happen. So we decide that we will see the Egypt part and then fit in whatever else. So off we go…that is until we come across a tomb. This tomb is huge and strangely enough happens to be just sitting in the room. It is not behind glass or roped off or anything. I say to Grazia, check this out; you would think they would have this protected? Maybe it isn’t real? I mean (as we look around) everything else is behind glass or roped off – (so here I go, in my usual self) I lay my hand on this huge tomb (see attached pic) and say you have to feel this, wow! I still can’t believe this is out in the open and we can touch it. Yes you know it... that is right... at that very moment, a security in a loud BOOMING voice says “DON’T TOUCH THE EXHIBITS”. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and then say well why isn’t it protected then. So she gave us a look like we were 3 or something. So we move onto the next room and there were 3 guards in that room and they were watching us like hawks. One even literally followed me the entire time in that room. So... I almost got us thrown out of the Met Museum. OOPs!!


I had originally said to Grazia that I wanted to see Empire State Building ; I mean what is a trip to NYC without that right? So after talking to many people, everyone seemed to think I would like the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock ) much better. Thank goodness we listened. It was AMAZING! We went up 70 floors in this elevator that flies up there. We had great weather. We lucked out yet another time. You could see everything. I got to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, Ernst & Young building, Empire State Building and the Hudson and so many other well known buildings that I can’t even remember the names of. Grazia… please help me out here.  So another story to go with this one, because you know I have one. We are waiting in line to take the elevator down to earth (level 1 that is). There is this nice handsome gentleman working there who tells us when we can get into the elevator. Of course we start chatting about where to eat and what are the best places and blah blah blah and before you know it (I swear to GOD on this one), He asked Grazia to marry him. I wanted to take a picture of the 2 of them. But NO, we all know how she does NOT like, ok HATES having her picture taken. I think the made an adorable couple. She seemed to believe he was a bit young, not that young, my goodness!! Here I go on vacation and she gets the damn marriage proposal… what is wrong with that picture? LOL

Little Italy is too small! I learned while I was there that Chinatown is taking over Little Italy. Little Italy is only about 2 blocks, I think. I couldn’t believe all of the “Roccos” and “Brunos” are letting this happen. I mean NY is filled with Italians, have you noticed? Grazia, her friend Jenn (from college) and I went to a few places together. We went to Positano's for lunch. It was the BEST Chicken Parm I have ever had in my life. We also had fried mozzarella, none of us had ever had it prepared this way, but it was very good and light. It was actually a piece of mozzarella sandwiched between 2 pieces of bread. It was very light. Still very good. I could go on and on about how yummy the food was but I won’t because I will just make everyone HUNGRY!! HA HA Then we walked around the corner to Ferrara's for dessert. It was so hard to decide on something. I chose the trio sample (├ęclair-cream puff-napoleon); it was so yummy in my tummy!! We stuffed ourselves silly. We then bought pastries for Sunday family dinner at home. I bought 4 chocolate covered strawberries. So good! No complaints.

China town was interesting. It reminded me of Chinatown in Ca – a little bit of downtown LA. They have lots of places to eat, shop and etc and they are all cramped in such teeny tiny places. The big things in Chinatown are the imitation designer bags. You can get them really cheap. Some have stores, some have where you have to go into a back room, and some have them in a car. The ones without a store are doing this without a seller’s permit and it is therefore illegal, so they are always looking for the police. They also have a lot of their fruits and veggies and herbs and fish (fried-dried-fresh-frozen and stinky!). One place even sold live frogs for $3!

Times Square is big! We walked all of it thought, so I guess it is not too big, right, especially if I can walk it? Ha ha To see all of the huge signs lit up and all of the mass herds of people walking around it kind of gets you at first or it did me. With all of the street vendors, musicians, shows on the street, it kind of reminded me of our W. Hollywood. Some of the stores are colossal. Toys R Us is 4 stories and with a working Ferris wheel inside. Grazia wouldn’t go on it with me.  I even cried but she still wouldn’t give in. ha ha We went into FAO Schwartz, Toys R US, M&M store and Hershey store. I have to let everyone out there know that FAO has the BEST and I mean the BEST Gummy Bears I have ever tasted. Yummy!! All of these places were huge, except the Hershey store (strange, but true). It was amazing, did I say that already?

Hilton in Times Square – We stayed in the city on separate nights. On the nights that we had tickets to see shows. Grazia figured it would be so much easier than having to commute on those days, and she was right. I think she enjoyed herself as well. At least I sure hope she did!



Tony and Tina's Wedding was like a dinner cruise. We were supposed to be the guests to the wedding. It was a big Italian wedding; Grazia was surely related to this family! It was very funny no doubt about that. The bride’s brother, Joey was gay and he did an excellent job at his part. Joey ended up liking on e of the male guests at our table and all bets were off! This gentleman was married and he and his wife were really good sports. Joey was always trying to get this guy and get him to dance with him, that of which he did succeed a few times.


After the show, we went to a bar that Jackie Post suggested, Faces and Names or as Grazia liked to call it, Places and Faces. I will probably always tease her about that one! The place had a great atmosphere and nice people. It was within a block or so of the hotel so we could have easily crawled to the hotel if necessary. Don’t worry it wasn’t… we drug Grazia, we wouldn’t let her crawl! Kidding! Ok... so there are tons of people of Face book and Grazia is one of the few people that are still not on Face book. She says she doesn’t have time, I say once she tried it, she would be addicted and that is what she is afraid of! Anyway, we are in the bar talking and I ask the bartender to take some pictures of us, for memories, I mean this is my trip, right? Well, there is this young kid that is sitting about 3 barstools down from us (he barely looked old enough to drive let alone drink) and we are chatting about face book and how you tag a photo and other things, well Jenn and I are giving him the eye to not explain all of this to Grazia. Then Grazia asks him what he does for living. So he pauses, takes a deep breath in, and decides to tell us what he does as if he has been doing it for the last 40 yrs of his life when in reality it might have only be a year tops because the boy is only 22 yrs old. It was really funny to listen to him tell us about his “career” and all. I know that may sound horrible, and maybe because we were all a little tipsy but it sure was funny as hell at the time!!


Rock of Ages was a great musical. Grazia had picked this one and I had never heard of it. She kept saying Constantine is in it. I was like who? She says you know from American Idol. Ok – truth be told, I don’t watch that damn show. When I worked I found out everything from everyone in the office. The show was great. Here we are in NY and the setting for the show is Sunset Blvd and The Bourbon Room! I thought that was pretty funny. It was all about the 80’s and 90’s music, so that was really right up our alley! It was a very action packed, lively musical. Grazia was worried if I was going to like it or not, I would’ve had to have been a total dud not to like it.


Ground Zero gave me chills. It was raining the day we went. I don’t know why I note this; because it rained just about every day I was in NY! They are doing a lot of building there and have almost too many chain link fences up to even see anything or get a decent photo. There is just something about being there and knowing what happened.


Central Park Zoo is cute. I had no idea it was that small. I wanted to see Central Park. I saw it from Top of the Rock and from inside. The weather was decent while we were there, luckily. A cute little story or course. So we are at the Polar Bears and I am reading about them. It says that Ida is only allowed 7,000-11,000 calories a day since she gains weight so easily. Doesn’t that figure, us women always get the raw end of the deal. It goes on to state that Gus is allowed 24,000 calories a day. And without missing a beat Grazia says she is coming back as make polar bear in her next life. I don’t think we laughed any harder than we did then. It was hilarious!!


This blog took longer then I wanted to get published because I kept trying to get all of the pictures inserted within the text where they should be, well after tons of trying, I decided to give up if I was ever going to get it published at all. So you will see all of the pictures at the end in a slideshow... I hope that it will be as good as I imagined!!


Before I go, I have to say Thank you to Jackie Post for setting up the Balthazar get together. That meant a lot to me. For taking the time to hang with us on 2 separate occasions. I want to Thank Brenda Crawley and Jenn Press for taking time out of their busy work day to have lunch with us, and so that we could finally meet face to face.


Most of all I know that I cannot thank Grazia and her family enough for allowing me to stay at their beautiful home in the country. We had only worked together, and had never met face to face, but it seemed like we got along like long time pals. She is a true friend. She is what you call “good peeps”.  Thank Miss Grazia for spoiling me the entire time I was in NY. You made it so wonderful.


I hope you enjoy reading about NY as much as I did visiting it.

11.05.2009

Confessions of Me. . . I still don't believe I am doing this...

So I am new to this SITS site.  So far I LOVE it.  I am learning some really great things and seeing great layouts and well, I could go on.  Anyway, they have a "feature blogger" everyday.  Wednesday was Karen's day (Lucky Duck). Her blog today was about confessions about yourself.  She invited everyone to write something and link it up to her site.  I had planned on doing this much earlier in the day, you  know actually on Wednesday.  However, as usual my day started later than I would have liked and I moved much slower than normal, and here I am at 1am trying to do this.  :)

Confessions of me...I am assuming this will be just between you and me(right?) Good!... I was hoping you would say that, because I really don't think I want EVERYONE to know these.  Ya know what I mean??

  1. I have always been one of those people that like to have everything in its place, like everything just "right" and am crazy clean.  However, my father passed away (5/11/08) and those things don't seem to bother me quite as much and that does bother me.  I hate not being so organized like I had been. I am still a clean freak, but not such the organized freak I had been.
  2. I hope/pray/wish/dream to have a child someday.  However, deep down inside, I don't think I am ever going to be blessed.  That breaks my heart.
  3. My mom and I don't look anything like each other and I have always secretly wanted to have a mom that I look like.  You know the kind that you see a mom and daughter and you know they are related?  I know it sounds strange but its true.
  4. I have a few auto-immune diseases and some others issues as well.  I feel like I should be out there out doing something to raise awareness or raise money or something and yet I do nothing.  It really bothers me but I still do nothing. 
  5. I hate when I see spelling errors.  Yes I am one of those people that wonder why people don't always use spell check on computers.  I am one of those people that when reading something on hard copy want to always circle the misspelled words. (Just so you know, I don't but it takes a lot of restraint!) 
  6. I don't have patience for stupidy.  I know that may sound harsh but it is what it is. 
  7. Oh.. and since we are on that.. what happened to common sense?? You can't teach someone common sense and God help the people that don't have it.  I am finding out the older I get the more people out there that just don't have it.  I seriously worry about them.. I mean how do they make it through life. 
  8. I love donuts and I am talking about the bakery fresh kind.  I love them so much... they know me by name there. But they are so good and they are nice people there anyway. 
Ok.. enough about me... I have really never liked talking about me.  I am not one of those people that can go on a date and talk about myself and not know when to shut up.  So NOT me.  I am not one to blow my own horn (beep beep)!!

Thank you Karen for this interesting topic! 

11.02.2009

Massage is just what the doctor ordered

I had originally contacted my massage therapist in hopes of being able to get a massage sometime this week. It has been awhile and I so needed it. Well if anyone read my previous post, I fell out of a jacuzzi so as I am sure you can imagine I am sore as shit!!! It just so happened that I was able to get a massage booked for Monday @ 3pm.


After my fall I have been really sore. I have scratches and bruises where I didn't even know and my body is sore in spots that I would have swore barely touched the cement!


So today Pj arrived with her massage table, rocks and all of her "tools"(big long sigh). First it was great to see her. She is a bubbly person and very positive but has this energy that is so healing and warm that it seems to take over the room in such a calming and loving way. She is a great massage therapist.  



 She is great at what she does.  She is able to do massages at her home studio or at your own home.  That is what got me. You mean I don't have to drive somewhere ???!!! Wow!  It might be a few dollars more, but SO WORTH THE $$$!!  The first time she massaged me I thought it was great...but it each time it just gets better and better.  No she did not aske me to write nor have I even told her I was going to write this.  She seems to always use the perfect amount of pressure, the perfect amount of lotion (you know so you are not so covered with lotion you are slimy!!), always has the right music and is on time.  I am thrilled that I found her.  PJ does several different types of massages and also does reflexology. 

My mom has had several sessions with her for reflexology and she says it is like none other that she has had.  Not only does she work on your feet, but she also works on your hands and head.  I have never seen or heard of that...but mom sure does love it. The great thing about that, is my mom can be set up on her bed, all comfy and cozy and PJ comes to her, in her comfort zone and just seems to enhance all of it.  That is wha I call true talent.

After my massage, I swear this is the best one I have ever had;  I feel so relaxed and like jell-o.  I so didn't think I was going to get online...but I knew I had to write about this massage experience and about PJ.  So please don't just sit there and read about this be all jealous, reach out to her.  And if by some chance you are not fortunate to live in this area, do some research and find a good one in your area.  Trust me, your body and mind will thank you.  I know mine does!!!

http://www.massagebypj.com/

Happy Halloweenie

It is that time of the year when you get to see all of the little ones dressed up. To me that is the best part of Halloween. Last year at this time, I had my godson, Jacob who had just turned a year old. I got him dressed (Lion) and ready and took him trick or treatin'! To this date I think that was the best Halloween yet! Sure, I have been to parties, but this took the cake.


Jacob (Lion)- Halloween 2008
 He loves looking at himself (Can you tell?) and I thought this was such a great shot!


This year, Sammy wanted to be a Snow Princess.  She is 8 years old and pretty smart for her age.  She was really excited about it.  She wanted me to fix her hair and make-up.  Unfortunately I was not feeling well this Halloween, but Sammy wanted me to come over, and I just couldn't say no to her.  I came over and had wanted to curl her whole head in spiral curls.  I think it was Murphy's Law - her hair was NOT co-operating. UGH!! I think I was more upset than she was!!   So I curled it under, and she was thrilled.  :)  I brought sparkly stuff and put it in her hair and on her face.  Then I had white make-up and I drew snowflakes on her face.  Now... anyone that knows me, knows I have no drawing ability at all.   On top of that it just so happens that my shakes were horrible.  So hear I was trying to draw (which is not something I can do anyway!) and my hands were shaking like crazy!  Believe it or not, I did it.  I surprised myself!  She was thrilled.  She wanted 1 large snowflake on one cheek and small ones on the other.  She seemed happy with the final product...which is really all that matters. :)

It ended up that her BFF, Mary Jo and her were going to go Trick or Treating together. This, I think made it even better.  Mary Jo was a kitty.  She looked adorable (of course). 



Mary Jo (Kitty) and Sammy (Snow Princess) - getting ready to go Trick or Treatin'



Sammy as a most adorable Snow Princess.  I thought I had taken a more close up picture of her so her "snowflakes" would be more visible, but I guess not.  My pictures came out a bit blurry due to my shakes.  UGH!!








The fireplace outside by the jacuzzi

After she left, Dan surprised me with a relaxing moment in the jacuzzi. It was really nice. He had prepared a nice fire in the backyard, had candles and drinks ready for us. Sounds good right? Oh noo... not for me, that would have been way too easy! I went to get out of the jacuzzi and leave it to me, but don't I slip and fall!!! I pummeled down the side of the jacuzzi and landed on hard cement. He tried to grab me but he didn't really make it in time. Cement is hard...and hurtful,in case you were curious. I knew this would hurt if I was a healthy person, but I was oh so afraid of what this would end up doing to me since I am not the healthiest person in the world. I ended up breaking 3 nails, getting a few scratches on my feet, scratching the hell all the way down the right side of my back and another scratch on the front of my left shoulder, and several bruises. The best part of this??? I have a strange bruise on my neck and it looks just like a hickey!! NICE!! I hate hickeys... I can't believe I got a bruise there and of course that one looks the darkest to me. Probably because the others are easily covered up and this one is right out in the open. Needless to say...I took some pain pills and prayed, wished and thought positive thoughts and anything else I could do in hopes I wouldn't be struck with pain to the point I couldn't move.

It is the next day and I am still not moving well.  More bruises are showing up.  I have scheduled a massage for Monday... (big sigh)...

However, even though I just about killed myself (lol) I still had a great Halloween... another one that will be remembered for years to come!! I hope you all did too!!