Monday, May 31, 2010

When Will We Ever Learn

Far too many have given, and continue to give, their lives for our freedom.

They are at peace and have their eternal reward. Pray for those who loved them and are left behind to suffer.

Pray for our world that someday no mother will lose her child to war.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Roses: One Week Later

This is the end of their first bloom of the year. There won't be more until the end of the summer.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments after my last post!!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010


When I first bought my own house ten years ago, I was so overjoyed I practically danced instead of walked every day.

One of the first things I did was look for a climbing rose bush. I wanted one that had big, fat, pale pink cabbage roses. I wanted one that would have a scent. I wanted it to be old fashioned and beautiful. I would cut it's blooms to crowd into a vase on my nightstand and they would infuse my room with their perfume.

I found what I wanted at our local nursery. And the name was perfect: Eden. Corny, I know, but that is how I felt about my sweet little house. I dug a hole in a sunny spot against the fence on the edge of my patio and planted it myself. I was so happy I actually cried.

Things have changed a lot in ten years. The job I loved is gone, the entire department eliminated in New Jersey and relocated to another state. My girls have grown up and have moved out, leaving me with four bedrooms and three bathrooms to myself and a basketball hoop that now has a branch of the maple tree starting to grow into it. Friendships have grown and others have vanished. MS has made it impossible to take care of my home anymore by myself, never mind dig a hole and plant a shrub.

And my climbing rose? It towers over 8 feet high now and spreads about four feet to either side. One thing that will never change is the joy I feel every time it blooms. Every time I fill a vase with it's flowers. When I no longer live here and it is blooming for someone else, some of me will still be there where my happy tears fell as I planted it. And I will hold fast the memory of falling asleep enveloped in it's scent.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Newest Etsy Item

Do some of your siblings inexplicably not speak to you? On the rare occasions they do, do they talk to you as though you were the village idiot, despite the fact you have multiple degrees? Do you not get invited to family get-togethers?

Embrace your Reject status and wear a badge of honor: The Black Sheep Pin.

My shop: Stitches Through Time

Pin: 10.00
Shipping: Included
Showing them how you feel: Priceless

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Etsy Give Away

A fellow Etsy artisan is holding a giveaway of one of my quilted hanging hearts at her blog,

She also has a great shop featuring lavender themed items, you can find them here. Really lovely things!

Stop by my shop when you have a chance, I have a wide assortment of handmade items at reasonable prices. Thanks!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Photo - What Day IS It, Anyway?!?!

Forget the whole Photo Friday thing. It will be Photo Friday if I'm lucky and all my synapses are firing and I actually remember it IS Friday. Otherwise it will just be.

At any rate, these are my wonderful children, in 1992 and today. I think they are all gorgeous, but I am biased. They have grown up to be incredibly funny, interesting people that I am so proud of. I am so lucky.

Thanks you guys, for years of joy and laughter. Who knows where the time goes?

Sandy Denny (1947 - 1978) wrote it and sang it before Judy Collins. Such a loss of an amazing talent.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Superbright? No Home Ec for You!

I am following Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court with interest. I think it is especially significant that she is reported to be pragmatic and open minded. Partisanship is the lethal logjam in our political system.

However in an article in today’s New York Times, there is an incredibly obnoxious quote from one of her former classmates at Hunter College High School that really got up my nose:

“There was no driver’s ed, there was no home economics, you didn’t learn to type,” said Jennifer Raab, the president of Hunter College, who attended the high school a few years ahead of Ms. Kagan, who graduated in 1977. “You were reading great books, and you were going to college. You were going to lead, you were going to give back.”

Excuse me?

So to be a leader as a female you don’t type, you don’t drive and you don’t know how to cook?!?! Because you are too busy reading great books and thinking lofty thoughts? And doing those homey, girly things precluded going to college?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

This from a college president?!?! Do you actually know any women?!? Oh Jennifer, your vision is so limited.

I have read great books while nursing a baby and cooking dinner at the same time. I have thought great thoughts while typing and driving (not at the same time). I went to college. And nursing school. And graduate school. I have been a leader in the business world and in private life. I have given back in ways that I choose not to talk about, because I believe crowing about them diminishes them. I have raised four human beings who will do much good in this world. Including one who may just be a Supreme Court Justice himself one day. So I don’t have to be, to borrow a phrase from my fellow blogger J.D. (An aside, President Raab’s biography on the Hunter College page states she worked for two of the nation’s most prestigious law firms; my son works for one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, Morgan Lewis. And I am not above being an obnoxious jerk about it either. )

The Times describes Hunter College High School as “a school of ultrabright girls.” Ultrabright and ultradeficient in life skills apparently.

I feel pity for a woman who sneers at other women who choose a different path and utilize different skills then she does. President Raab’s statement reeks of condescension and derision and is alarming coming from an educator. Perhaps it was taken out of context and I am doing an Emily Litella and I will have to end with a smiling “Nevermind.” But somehow I don’t think so.

Elena Kagan may be an outstanding choice for the Supreme Court. I wish her nothing but good things. But I have more respect for the accomplishments of women like me, anonymous single mothers who work multiple jobs while juggling a million responsibilities. Elena Kagan has only had to be responsible for herself for 50 years. Yet it is held out as an example of her single-minded brilliance that she would forget to turn her car off when she got out of it at night. I find that dead scary.

Thank God she never had children.

So Jennifer, I have to say, from a superbright but apparently underachieving woman, your implied values are truly disappointing. I hope yours are not a reflection of Ms. Kagan’s standards.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo Non-Friday - Mother's Day

I miss Photo Friday so often I should just call it Photo Whenever.

Because today is Mother's Day, I have posted a picture of my mother and myself, 1956. This picture was taken outside our apartment building on West 179th Street in the Bronx. My mother is 23 years old and is expecting my brother. I am about 20 months old.

Happy Mother's Day Mom.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Day at the Park

Thursday I set foot for the first time ever onto an auto racetrack. Well, not the actual track, but the park it is in. I drove down from my home on the central Jersey Shore to the south west part of the state, where my cousin was photographing the race cars.

New Jersey is a small state. I have done a lot of traveling and I like to drive. But with the exception of the Steve part (oh, and a very nice woman I met and chatted with), my day was fraught with…fraughtness.

To keep things in proportion, because I always look on the bright side (hang on a second while anyone who knows me laughs their ass off), I will first list the good things that happened:

1) I found a pair of favorite earrings that I thought I had lost.
2) I got to see Steve.
3) I didn’t die.

Ok, that’s enough fairness and balance.

Here’s the rest of the day:

1) My dad was going to come with me, but he called to cancel because he didn’t feel good. So I started out the day worrying about him.
2) Due to steroids and MS and my broken shoulder and inactivity (Ok, ok, OK!!! Due to ice cream and steroids and MS and my broken shoulder and inactivity. Sheesh. A girl can’t get a break.) I have grown to the size of a small planet and none of my clothes fit me. So after worrying about my dad came wanting to put my head in the oven.
3) I couldn’t find one of my pink sandals and made such a mess looking for it I couldn’t close my closet door. So after worrying about my dad and wanting to put my head in the oven I was disgusted with myself for not being more organized.
4) The massive gauzy shirt I finally wore was a little too low cut in the front, so I had to strategically add a few stitches as to not terrorize anyone.
5) Because of all the previous, I got a late, panting, frantic start.
6) Ten minutes into my trip, my ‘Check Engine’ light went on and my internal ‘Massive Anxiety’ light went on with it. Neither light went off for the rest of the day.
7) I had printed out the directions, but without my father to read them, I was having a hard time following them. Actually, I couldn’t drive and follow them at all. But I know New Jersey!! I’ll get there no problem. (Once again, hang on a second for peals of laughter.)
8) I HATE being late, but knew after an hour I would be. Anxiety rising.
9) I HATE being late, but after two hours I already was. Anxiety rising more.
10) I HATE being late, but after two and a half hours I was even more late. Red alert.
11) I was lost.
12) Called Steve. I told him I was about fifteen minutes away. I actually did not know where I was.
13) Stopped and asked for directions. I really WAS fifteen minutes away. Or I would have been if I didn’t make another wrong turn.
14) After a half an hour Steve called. I was practically in tears. I was on track, finally, but I was still fifteen minutes away. I felt like I was in one of those horrible nightmares where no matter how hard you try, you can’t get where you’re going. Oh, wait!! I WAS in one of those horrible nightmares where no matter how hard you try, you can’t get where you’re going.
15) To distract myself, I started thinking about my witty response to an online article about Jessica Simpson’s disgusting claim that she only brushed her teeth three times a week. heh heh heh I crack myself up. Then realized I had forgotten to brush my own teeth.
16) Finally got to the track. I almost wept with relief. It had taken me over three hours.
17) Met a lovely lady who has MS and has been doing this race for 24 years, raising funds for MS research. As we were chatting, the stitches I had put in my blouse unraveled, leaving me with an alarming amount of cleavage showing. It was incredibly windy and the air kept ballooning up the blouse, causing me to have to tug at it non-stop in order to (semi-successfully) maintain some semblance of modesty.
18) Because I was so late, we were only able to spend about an hour together before Steve had to get going on the next leg of the trip, to Ohio.
19) I was so hungry after I said goodbye to him I could have chewed off one of my legs. I was in the middle of Lower Nowhere, NJ. The landscape was like this: woods, woods, trailer park, woods, trailer park, woods, Ike’s Crab House. Whoa! Sound of screeching brakes. It was like a mirage. I knew Mary Kate would be home that night, so to be on the safe side I ended up ordering $70 worth of food. After devouring a crab cake sandwich like a rabid wolverine and driving all the way home with a car reeking of seafood, I couldn’t even look at what I bought without gagging.
20) The trip back was much quicker, except for the two hours I was lost and driving in circles. I almost dropped onto my knees to kiss the driveway when I finally got home. I had left the house eight hours earlier.

Phew. I’m exhausted just remembering it. But it was so great to see my dear cousin that I would go through all of this again in a second. Honest.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Not That I’m Bitter

It has already been two months since I was laid off. Time flies when you are consumed by worry and anxiety and rejection.

The fact that the layoffs were due to an epic level of mismanagement is especially enraging disheartening. Some people with a lesser character might consider a slow, painful, perhaps fiery, death too good for the people responsible. I, however, choose the high road. You know, the road above where you actually get to watch them die.

ha ha ha

Oh, relax, I’m just kidding.

As a business professional and a former executive, I wouldn’t dream of criticizing my former employer, no matter how well deserved. And whoa boy, it is well deserved. Really well deserved. Really, really, really well…I guess you get the point.

I can tell you a story though. This is a completely mythical tale. Uh huh, it is. (You can’t see it, but my head is nodding.)

Once upon a time, a company dwelled in a tall tower. This company was managed by people called Blockheads. Panic driven, incompetent, fear based blockheads.

One day the Blockheads said “Let’s get some contracts that will pay us millions of dollars by promising some dupes, I mean companies, the moon.” They clapped their hands and cheered because they were going to get millions of dollars. Even though what they promised was impossible to deliver.

The Biggest Blockhead realized “Uh oh. We don’t have anyone to do the work we just promised!”

“Uh oh!” cried the other Blockheads.

So they scurried and hired many people, some sight unseen, because the minimum requirement for the work was breathing.

These New People were smart. They asked for policies and procedures. “Oh, we don’t have any.” said the Blockheads. They asked for a training manual. “Oh, we don’t have one.” said the Blockheads. They asked for a training program. “Oh, we don’t have that either.”

“But how will we learn the job?” they cried.

“Teach each other.” was the response. And the Blockheads disappeared into a conference room and would not be disturbed.

The New People tried to do the work as best as they could, as they needed jobs. But much of it didn’t make any sense. And each week the Biggest Blockhead told them to do something different from the week before. And he would call them names when they didn’t get the moon, like ‘lazy’.

The Biggest Blockhead’s management style was screaming, yelling, cursing, and throwing things in the office against walls. It is believed he was a model for Mussolini. He perpetually yelled this: “I HAVE AN MBA!”, while thumping his chest. The New People guessed that he was attempting to intimidate them with his intellectual accomplishments, but they all laughed at him behind his back. They believed MBA actually meant “Maniacal Bullying Ass” not Master’s in Business Administration. Because no one with an actual MBA could run a company down so thoroughly or be so bad at management. He routinely sent out e-mails criticizing the New People. These were so long, so confusing and so rambling that everyone had the same response upon getting to the end of one of these manifestos: “Asshole.”

Other Management Blockheads wore about a half dozen hats each, none of them very well. And they switched hats constantly, so often the New People sometimes didn’t know who they reported to from one week to the next. The New People couldn’t get answers to questions or they would get conflicting answers to questions. There was no IT staff and no Human Resources. The Blockheads were having trouble with cash flow, furloughing workers every week in order to meet payroll.

Eventually, the companies the Biggest Blockhead had promised the moon to wanted to know where it was. His response was to yell more at the New People, who were already running frantically like hamsters in a wheel, all of them doing something a little different because no one had ever really told them exactly what to do. The Biggest Blockhead was panicking because the people he promised the moon to were catching on and ending their contracts.

There soon were only two contracts left. Four others had been ended when the companies didn’t get the moon as promised.

Now the New People were scared too, because if these contracts went, so did their jobs. And it was proving impossible to get the moon.

Finally, one of the last two companies ended their contract. They actually had discovered that they had an in house department trying to get the moon and they didn’t have to pay the Blockheads anymore. They were Blockheads too!! But that was it for many of the New People, even though they had worked hard and done everything they were supposed to. Even though they had actually chipped off pieces of the moon! They were laid off. Over the phone. And they were told, I swear someone really said this, “It’s not personal, its business.”

Unfortunately, as we all know, it is very personal to the person they lay off.

So, to this day, the Blockheads are still trying to catch the moon for their last client, threatening and generally abusing the New People who are left.

The moral of the story is…beware of Blockheads.

The End


One Lap of America Gets Going

The race started registration on Friday, moving from South Bend, Indiana to Wisconsin and today in Iowa.

While I sadly am too mentally deficient to still figure out how the whole thing works, it seems like it is a great opportunity to see the country.

Here is the link:

One Lap of America

I know this is a big deal for car enthusiasts, not people like me who barely notice what they’re driving unless it doesn’t go.

But it is also a big deal because of my cousin Steve, one of the official event photographers, displaying the bumper sticker to raise MS awareness.

Go Steve! And thank you!!


Saturday, May 1, 2010


It's May 1. Farewell to April showers (which I actually like), hello to a new spring layout.

Happy Spring. :)