Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

As we live our lives, we all move toward the same point. The one great equalizer.


Some die old, some die young and some somewhere in the middle. But one plain and simple point is, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Yesterday, around 4 pm, My grandmother made it halfway to the final destination. She had a stroke and is now in a coma. The prognosis is not good.

At 84 years old, it’s safe to say that she led a long and full life. She had 5 kids, was an Air Force wife for many many years, criss-crossing across the country and over to Europe several times.

I remember going to the Thruway with her as a kid. She would meet a friend for coffee and they would pass a small bottle under the table to pour into their Styrofoam cups.  She would put her finger to her lips, indicating that I should keep it a secret. I had no idea why I should but I did anyway.

She had a tiny little baseball bat in her car. According to her, it was for beating up bad guys. At that moment, to me, she was a super hero. Because to me, as a  little kid, only super heroes beat up bad guys.

My most powerful and fondest memories of her took place in her kitchen.

I can see her now, singing to her “Grandma Music” (big band, 40’s type stuff), rolling out pie crust or cinnamon rolls on her kitchen table.  Or putting waffles in the toaster for us or serving my grandfather coffee from her percolator.

Even more recently, I can see her sitting at that very same table in my own kitchen cuddling with Perry as an infant.

Grandma had often to urged me to go back to school. She was always telling me that I was to smart not too. We’ll see what the future hold in that department.

She also kept asking when Tom and I were going to make it legal and have a real wedding. While I understand where she was coming from, I stand by my  belief that a wedding doesn’t make a marriage. Love, trust and a commitment (legally binding or not) from both people makes a marriage. I think she understood because she stopped asking after I told her how I felt. At the very least she respected my feelings.

She also asked me cyber stalk my cousin a few times a year. Just to check up on her and her mom and sister. I obliged every time. It was her wish that my cousin and I would reconnect.

Wish granted, Grandma.

It may have taken your soul leaving this earth and I may have made an ass out of myself on the phone ( I hate phones) but you got your wish.

While my grandma was not without her faults, I loved her and cared about her.

I will miss her.


May you fly with golden wings, dance on light feet, sing with the angels and openly drink spiked coffee.

I love you


A Love Letter

Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dear Township,

Thank you for your stellar road maintenance. Since early June, I have had only 3 flat tires either while driving on or immediately after driving on your very recently graded roads.

I would also like to commend you on your ability to fix but not really fix a road.  You know the one I’m talking about. But if your not sure let me refresh your memory.

When I moved up here in 2005, R Road was riddled with potholes and the 90 degree curve was only big enough for one car. unless the second car wanted to drive over a 12 inch drop off into the very sharp rocks. Year after year it got worse.  I used to joke that you were waiting for it to turn back to dirt.

Well the joke was on me and it was good one guys.

Last year you regraded the road and took up what little ashphalt was left and packed some loose stone to the blind curve to add an extra 3 inches on one side.


Fast forward to this year and our brand new road crew. We had a lot of rain and a couple of roads washed out, either in part or whole. R road (the one that used to be paved) was partially washed away on either side leaving almost enough room for one vehicle up most of the road.

You guys were on it like stink on shit. Within a couple weeks, You had kinda smoothed it out leaving only shallow ditches filled with large sharp boulders.

How do I know they’re sharp? Just ask my right rear tire. Some people enjoy playing “chicken” with larger vehicles who are already in the narrowest part.

I do not but that just seems to be me.

Do you know what I do enjoy? How you just can’t seem to get out of my fast enough when I unknowingly roll up on your work.


I’m just tooting along on your handiwork when, BAM! Out of nowhere, there you guys are. And rather than make me wait an extra minute or so to let you get completely out of the road, you wave me over a giant pile of sharp rocks.

Just ask my left rear tire about that one.

And now, thanks to your hard work, those same sharp rocks are spread all over the road.

Just ask my left front tire and my three kids who had to sit in a hot truck with no a/c while I changed my tire.

Thanks for all your hard work and effort to keep our dusty dirt roads functioning.

Love ,

Me and She Who Must Not Be Named

Hey, Where’s Perry?

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

We are huge fans of Phineas & Ferb here in Pandoras Box. So big in fact that during my eleventythousandth month pregnant, I decide that I was going to name my 3rd and final child Perry.

Yes, I named my kid after a teal cartoon platypus. My inspiration came during this episode…………

I know.  Slighty genius, slightly crazy.

One of the added bonuses of being named after a cartoon character is having your own, ready made catch phrase. One that I never tire of saying.

So, in case you were wondering this is where Perry is………………..



Oh, there you are Perry.

Ready to kick ass.

Little Boxes

Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Life has been kind of quiet around here lately. Nothing to really write about. Until Thursday, that is.

Last Thursday Amanda turned 5. She’s a big girl now, getting ready for kindergarten. She also is starting to look like a teenager. All she needs is a cell phone ( and her PHD so she can kiss boys) and she is good  to go.  This happens way too fast.

Do you know what else happens fast?

Tornado weather.

Yep, we got some of that Thursday night. No warning either.

I didn’t check the weather on the computer and no warnings came on the TV. Tom and I stood on the back porch and watched a wall of white come at us over the valley.

My backyard

Imagine this disappearing behind a white wall. Rapidly.

As I watched it my nervousness grew. I’m not a fan of storms, not here anyway. My first two winters here left me shaken, almost literally. It took less than 5 minutes for what turn out to be gale force winds and torrential rain to descend upon us.

My nervousness turned into outright fear. I couldn’t even hear myself yell to Tom that maybe we should seek better shelter.

A trailer is the last place I wanted to be right then.

Tom took off in search of something, not saying a word. Kieran and Amanda came running out to me, saying that they were scared.  Unable to get Toms attention, I grabbed all three kids and took off for the neighbors as best as I could. They live about 75 yards away but they had a basement.

Out of nowhere, Tom runs up and grabs Amanda who had fallen next to me and heads for the truck. I drag Kieran and carry Perry there as well.

Between the rain and my fogged up windows, I can’t see a thing but I am desperate to get away. I am crazed by my need to protect my family. I just had to get them to the other side of the hill. I hoped that whatever fresh Hell had descended on us wouldn’t have enough steam to get up and over to the other side.

My hope was answered.  After finally buckling the kids into their seats and climbing to the front, Tom spoke. Words came out of his mouth.

That would have been helpful a few minutes prior.

He was saying things I could not understand. The wind had died down and the rain had slowed and we had reached the other side of the hill.

Still I drove.

I asked him to clean my glasses and complaining that I could not see a thing out of the foggy windshield. I was concerned that the road had washed away completely.

It was already have gone from so called “April showers” and have yet to be repair.

And Tom was still talking, but louder now.  I kept driving and shaking my head “NO”. I had to get to a basement. My in-laws have a basement, drunk of  a father in law be damned. I can handle him. I can’t handle what ever that just was.

Now Tom is yelling. I yell back. The kids are whining “Where are we going” and “I’m cold”.

And then it hits me. Tom is telling me the storm has stopped. I can turn around and go back.

Go Back!? Is he MAD!?  I learned a long time ago that wind like that can last for hours if not days at Pandora’s Box. I spent a lot of time walking around Walmart when Amanda was a baby because I was too scared of the wind at home.

But I stopped, pull the stroller cupholder that I was sitting out from under me, waited and went back. I was fully expecting to drive back into Hell.  I thought that at the least, Pandora’s Box would be tipped over and yard toys would be scattered around my landlords  acreage.

I was shocked. The rain had stopped completely now. I could clearly see the trailer standing upright and intact. Even stranger, not a single toy, rain boot or bike and moved. Only my stroller had tipped over and a few boxes on the back porch had blown to the other side of the porch.

I was still unsettled and so were the kids. Understandable so. I immediately set to work finding a corded phone and called my mom. She knew about the storm coming. She had know since 3 that afternoon.

And while Tom was busy trying to figure out how to wake up in the morning for work with out power for his alarm clock. I decided that we weren’t staying there that night. I was on edge, the kids were terrified and mom told me the storms were going to go on through the night.

No Fucking Thank You.

So I packed. With three tired and freaked out kids in the truck and a grumbly Tom in his car, we went to my moms.

Our journey should have taken us 45 minutes at the most. It took more than an hour. A tree had fallen across the road and onto power lines close to the end of our trip. That caused us to double back and take a back road that I had only learned of the night before.

I learned the next day that that was not the only line down. There were hundreds across the county like that. We weren’t suppose to have power back until late Saturday, early Sunday.

Thankfully, a lot of people busted there butts and we got power back on late Friday night and we returned home on Saturday.

That was the scariest thing I have ever been through in my life. Worse than being shot at or seeing 2 pink lines in a dipstick.

And I am still scared. Thunderstorms rolled past us a couple hours ago. I laid in bed counting the time between the lighting and the thunder, shaking like a leaf.

I couldn’t take it so I got up and checked the weather. I watched the radar map a few dozen time, watching the projected path and intensity of the storm. Once my fears were soothed, I wanted to cry.

No one should be afraid to live in their home. No mom should have worry about here house being picked up and torn in half in the middle of the night.

My desire to move is coming dangerously close to desperation. I don’t make good choices when I am desperate. Bad choices like finding employment in fetish porn or selling pot. I bet they both pay well.

And I look good in big sunglasses and sexy hair and I already drink my coffee through a straw. And I have a really big bathtub.

I think I’ll become a “small business owner”. I should have a brick and steel reinforced house in no time.

Duct Tape and Gorillas

Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

In honor of April’s Fool’s Day, I would like to tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, My mother thought that she could get one over on me. We had a great relationship ( still do, actually). We were always laughing and joking and having Light-saber fights in the car.  We just brought out the goofiness in each other I guess. As a 16 year old I thought it was AWESOME.

Except the time I sat on her head and gave her a black eye.  She was telling people that I beat her up.  That was a little less awesome.


For some bizare reason, Mom thought she was slick. She was going to pull a little stunt on me while I was sleeping.  I’m a heavy sleeper so it should have been easy peasy.

Not so much.

I awake to an unusual noise. It was not the typical running an jumping of the children up stairs at 5 am. No. This was more like a fabric ripping sound. I thought the little heathens were ripping up the floor boards.

It took me a few seconds to realize that it was coming from my door.

I sprang into action, grabbed my bat and ripped my door open ready to swing. On the other side was my 5 foot tall mother bent over attempting to duct tape my door shut.

Needless to say I was in shock. So was she. Like I said, I’m a heavy sleeper and it was a t the crack ass of dawn.

We laughed about it and crawled back to our own beds. Her to sleep, me to plan.

She had taken our games to a whole ‘nother level and I was ready to meet the challenge. It was all a matter of opportunity.

Opportunity knocked a few months later in the fall.  Mom and I were taking a little trip to New Hampshire to explore the area surrounding a hospital she had been in. Since we were in New Jersey, that meant an early wake up call. Very early. I had a master plan.

I had clear packing tape, scissors, time and the memory of what woke me up all those months ago. That was all I needed.

I woke up at 3 am and began cutting strips of tape. I must have cut about 50 of them and gently tacked them around my room. Then, taking a couple of strips at a time, I made a grid across my moms door. I swear I had never been so quiet in my life. Nor have I been since.

Once my web had been built, I waited.

Like a spider.

Like a trying so hard not to laugh I may pee myself spider.

Then, just as I was about to doze off, I heard Mom heading for her door.  I popped up and stood on the other side. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

The door opened.

She paused.

I thought she had seen all the shiny tape in front of her. I was wrong. She was just getting her bearings because she walked straight into my trap causing her glasses to get stuck to it.

I was laughing so hard I was hyperventilating.

It got worse when my groggy, now glassesless mother reached out and started to feel the force field that was blocking her path to the coffee pot.

I thought I was going to die of hysterics. That is, if Mom didn’t kill me first. And considering that she was doing a pretty good Ms. Hannigan impression from behind her cage, my death seemed pretty imminent either way.

But, the brave soul that I am, I released her and gave her the coffee that I had waiting. That coffee may have saved my life. I am forever grateful to that delicious, magical liquid.

That morning effectively ended our pranking days. Except the one that my mom has been warning me about since that day. She’s given me clues to it and always follows up with “Expect it when you least expect it”.

And how does one NOT expect a gorilla with balloons, peanuts and strings.

I’m still waiting, mom.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

My 30th birthday was last week.

I know. RIGHT. I am so awesome.

Tomorrow I get my birthday present. And while there are quite a few thing on my Wishlist, I asked for one thing and one thing alone.

A trip home. By myself.

And would you be shocked that Tom has given me this gift that I so desperately want and need.

Yeah, me too. But I got it anyway.

Tomorrow, sometime before noon, I will depart on my journey to civilization. I have done virtually nothing to prepare for this trip. I washed my “going out” jeans and activated a 4 year old prepaid cell phone. That’s it.

There are tons of stuff I could be doing right now-

  • Running the dishwasher
  • putting away 2 weeks worth of laundry
  • trying to fix my mirror in the cold, dark, scary *insert banjos* night
  • cleaning the kitchen floor
  • labeling the entire house so Tom knows where everything is
  • Printing out a map just in case we have another incident like last year
  • packing a bag for an overnight stay
  • taking a shower


  • I ran across Hell’s Half Acre to go grocery shopping with my sister in displacement, Amy and had a blast acting like I was still 19.
  • Went to Mc Donald’s twice and Taco Bell once
  • Got the kids sugary cereal to eat for breakfast tomorrow ( Hello Cupcake Fruity Pebbles!)
  • Drank Jack and sweet tea while talking on the phone with Kel, The Awesomest. (Who I will see tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Toss M&M’s in the air so my kids could find them all weekend long ( are we seeing a pattern)
  • Tried to fix the mirror in the cold shiny daylight but needed a Wobbler.
  • got a shoulder rub from Tom we the kids almost sent me to the looney bin for the umpteenth time
  • buckled and unbuckled the kids 30 bizzilon times (just once is a work out)
  • drove around with Amy looking at and discussing houses in my new dream neighbor hood (my house was sold by the way)
  • Jumped on the opportunity for a potty break for coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts where the very sweet guys made my coffee perfect and got guilted by my 4 year old. (the girl is good but needs some work)
  • activated my 4 year old prepay cell phone ( I feel so modern)
  • Told my kids “NO” as many time and in as many ways as inhumanly possible

And I am exhausted just typing all of that. And I have a big day tomorrow. I’ll just have to trust that Tom will be as awesome as always and not to forget to feed or diaper. Like I did the other day.

P.S.-Just in case you wanted to know, Perry is not potty trained.

P.P.S.-That was more of a reminder for me than you.

What You Wish For

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time, I wanted to live in the middle of no where. No thing for miles but wilderness.  I wanted to get away from the crush of people moving to northern tip of  New Jersey.

I remember thinking ” How wonderful the solitude would be.”

I needed it at the time, I guess.  I had gone into my most intense social shutdown to date and had to “reboot”. Not that I was every really good at being an outgoing and friendly person. It was a lot of work for me and I have never been good at the work thing either.

But anyway….

I got what I wanted. I am surrounded by miles and miles of farms and fields and trees. And mud.

Yes. Mud.

It’s everywhere. The roads are mud. My driveway is mud. My yard is mud. Hell I even found some in Kierans bed the other night.

Yes, I am sure it was mud.

When I go out, I always look like I don’t do laundry. The bottom of my jeans get muddy walking to the truck. I get a nice healthy schmear on my thigh climbing in the truck to buckle up the kids. Then, of course,  at least one little “angel” puts a foot print on my chest, stomach and/or back. Whatever is handy I guess.  And let’s not forget that some how I get my butt dirty sliding out of the truck.

I tried jumping out. Have you ever jumped into mud from 2 feet in the air? It does not end well.

Once I get home from my excursion (because when you live 20 miles from anything that’s what it is). I have to do the whole thing over again getting bodies out of the truck.

Then we all track my into the house. And I have to say that the only smart thing my landlord has ever done was choose carpet the color of a light and sweet coffee. Or in my case, the color of dried mud.

My kids love the mud. It’s squishy and wet and tastes delicious. Kids should play in the mud. Preferably without eating it.

But I on the other hand, do not. I like being clean. And not having to add to my already endless pile of laundry.

That means more trips, through the mud, to the dryer in the shed. Creating more laundry.

And I want to wear heels again. Not just any heels but something like these

There is a name for this type of shoe

Which is the reason for this entire post.