Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Our Way Back......

The North Carolina part of our vacation is done. We're checking out this morning, having gotten up early to contend with the 10am checkout. (Don't want a $200 fee!!) I'll fill you all in about it another time. Now we'll be starting a drive back up to Pennsylvania to visit with Brian's parents for the weekend. and on Sunday we'll get to see Aunt Beth and her family!! :) Have a good weekend, everyone. Wonder how long the drive will take today?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Arrival: Outer Banks

Well, we have made it to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for our vacation! We started driving yesterday and stayed the night in Pennsylvania with Grandmom and Grandpop! It took us about ten hours with traffic to get from PA to North Carolina. Needless to say, we were all very happy to get out of the car upon our arrival!! Will did very well in the car though, not a lot of peeps from the backseat. If anyone knows who invented the car DVD player, I would like to meet him/her so I can shake their hand!! Brian and I got so tired of the road we got a little goofy. Brian thought we had passed a Tim Horton's, which is a Canadian donut shop. Only he called it "Tim Burton's," who is the director of a bunch of creepy movies, like "The Nightmare before Christmas," "Edward Scissorhands" and his latest "Sweeney Todd." So hmmm....that would be a different kind of donut shop altogether! :)

Now that we're here, all that's on the to-do list is to RELAX and MAKE SOME MEMORIES! Hope everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book #2, The New Classics Challenge

Nickel and Dimed, On (not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Enrenreich....

Boy, this was a fast read! That's the quickest I've finished a book in a very long time.

This one is about a journalist that has an experiment: she works minimum-wage jobs and tries to secure housing and live only on the money that she earns. She does this "experiment" for about a month at a time in three different states: she is a waitress in Florida, a housemaid in Maine and a Wal-Mart employee in Minnesota. There were some rules that she set, for example, she always had a car, and she wouldn't be willing to live in a shelter or the car. She attacks each job with vigor, believing "If you're going to do something, do it well!" In the end, she concludes that she doesn't know how people do it, living on the salary of a minimum-wage job. She learns that, in fact, most people have at least two of these types of jobs, if not more, to make ends meet.

This "experiment" was done in 1998-1999. The assignment is meant to be a real eye-opener for the reader. I, however, wasn't surprised or shocked by a lot of it, because at the time of this experiment I was living this experiment. I had three roommates (one was my fiancee) and we split the rent four ways. We also had to pay for all of the utilites in our central New Hampshire home, including oil heat. While the other three roommates were in the Navy (which is not high paying) I was a civilian and worked two low-wage jobs: I worked at a credit union in Electronic Banking during the day for $9.00/hour, and I worked at the Customer Service Desk at the local mall on evenings and weekends for $7.00/hour. These were truly the best jobs I could find in the area pay-wise, and they were easily 40 minutes from my home! Similar to the author, I applied to every job I could find and easily sent out twenty copies of my resume. For the first six weeks of living there, I was unemployed. That's when I took the job at the mall, dispatching security, selling gift cards, renting strollers and basically trying to avoid the wrath of Management! I also had no health insurance and an old Toyota with its share of sorrows. I was sick so often, that my fiancee and I joked about getting married early, in secret, so I could have Navy benefits such as health insurance.

Luckily though, I knew that my time in New Hampshire was limited to about a year, when my fiancee's Naval contract was up and we were getting married and moving out of the area. But I met plenty of people who were in this kind of life for the long haul, with similar stories that the author discovered. I've seen a lot of the "beating down" from Management to the Employee as Ms. Ehrenreich discusses, though not to the degree of Walmart! I can honestly say that it is not a part of my life that I would like to repeat, that it's very tough to live that way. But when you don't have a choice, you do what you have to do.

One final note: it would be interesting to see what this kind of experiment would be like today, with the economy what it is. I imagine that the results would be more severe, especially with the cost of housing.

Next Book: "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. The only copy I was able to locate in the local library system was in Spanish. I'm adventurous and always looking to improve my Spanish, but it would be a lot easier with an English copy to fall back on! So I ordered it from for $.75!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Book--New Classics Book Challenge

One Down, five to go!

My first book for the New Classics Book Challenge is The Liar's Club by Mary Karr. It is a memoir, mostly of the author's tumultous childhood. It is an incredibly strong tale, for Ms. Karr and her sister have been through a lot. Set mostly in the early sixties, the two sisters are struggling to make it through childhood with two alcoholic parents, their dying, crazy grandmother, being the toughest kids in the neighborhood and their Mother's "nervous" condition. It's the kind of book that makes you thankful for your own "normal" upbringing! Through all of the problems in their lives, Mary and her sister Lecia truly love their parents and are very close. It's a beautifully written book, with a large secret entwined with the passing of the pages.

Next up: "Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America" by Barbara Enrenreich.

Lots of Playtime

Having dinner with Ella Rose

Trying to sneak up on a resting Daddy

Yay! I built the tower and then I knocked it down!

It's been a great couple of days. Will's had plenty of playtime! On Thursday night, we had people over for dinner, and my friend Joyelle brought her daughter, Ella. She was very affectionate with Will, kept grabbing him and trying to give him a kiss. She loved Joey too, and would chase him around the house. Ella and Will had dinner together, grilled cheese sandwiches and milk. They sat at a little table and kept switching and drinking/eating each other's sandwiches and milk. It was the most I'd seen Will eat in a while, he's been pretty picky lately. He just kept exclaiming "YUM YUM YUM!!!"

On Friday Will stayed home with Mommy and in the afternoon we headed to my friend Rochelle's house to play with her and her son, Toby. Toby is five months older than Will, and they have played together many times. They had a great time playing in Toby's kitchen, eating bananas, yelling up to the "Cat" up the stairs, and finally, chasing each other and squealing. That was the best part, seeing the two of them really interact. :)
Saturday we had a very special treat: Mommy took Will to his first movie! One of the local movie theatres was showing Diego episodes, and it was only $6 for me and free for Will. The volume was unnecessarily high, but my little Diego fan was totally enraptured by his idol on the big screen! One funny thing to point out is that Will is not quite heavy enough to sit in his own seat at the movies. I put him in a seat, but it wouldn't fold down enough for him to be able to sit properly! So he watched the movie from my lap, which was fine. Later on, we finally were able to get some time to play outside! The weather has been so crappy lately with all this rain. But we got a good 45 minutes outside drawing with chalk and trying to ride our tricycle.
We head off on vacation on Friday. It's a big one this year: we're going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina! Our biggest vacation as a family thus far, and my parents are coming as well. I started making our packing list yesterday, and it's mind-boggling! I can't wait to see Will playing on the beach by our resort!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vacuuming in Pearls and Heels....

I read a little blurb in a magazine recently that was too good not to share. The magazine got the info from So Moms, put up and have a good ol' giggle:

"Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Iconic TV Moms"

--Donna Reed won an Oscar for playing a prostitute in From Here to Eternity, in 1953.

--Lucille Ball's son, Desi Arnaz, Jur, was born on January 19, 1953, the same day as fictional Little Ricky, her son on I Love Lucy.

--June Cleaver was famous for doing housework in heels and pearls on Leave it To Beaver. But Barbara Billingsley, the actress to played her, later said it had little to do with June's image. She wore pearls to hide shadows on her neck and heels to remain taller than her growing TV sons.

--During the third season of The Cosby Show, actress Phylicia Rashad was pregnant. To conceal this fact, producers raised the counters on the kitchen set and cut a hole in the bed so that her torso would appear level. (At least they tried to hide it. Debra Messing was pregnant on Will and Grace and the pregnancy wasn't written into the show. All they did was dress her in black, and her widening midsection and different appearance was totally ignored, like it didn't even exist. You totally could tell.)

--Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie on Dallas, was only nine years older than Larry Hagman, who played her son.

My Other (Better) Half

Brian's proposal, May 1999

Epcot, April 2005

Brian's Birthday Celebration. Rochester, NH September 1999

Chris and Jenny's wedding, September 2004

Lincoln Woods, June 2008

Another little survey taken from A Splash of Sunshine...

YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! Write all about your significant other.

What is his name? Brian

Who eats more? I'd say it's about the same, though he eats a whole lot faster!

Who said, “I love you” first? I did, and it was the most awkward thing of my life! He didn't say it back until the next day.

Who is taller? Brian is, although I'm sure no one finds that surprising :)

Who drives most when you are together? We share it for the most part

Who’s more sensitive? Me, by a long shot!!

Who does the laundry? For the most part, me. Sometimes he'll throw in a load while I'm at work though, and he'll carry the sorted baskets down to the basement for me.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do.....but if we're sleeping somewhere and the bed is against the wall, he has to take the wall side. I cannot sleep next to a wall, it freaks me out and will keep me awake.

Who pays the bills? I used to, and he has since taken over to give me a break. It should never be one partner that does it all the time.

Who cooks more? I do, because of his work schedule. But he's a pretty kick-butt cook.

Who is more stubborn? We actually argue over who's more stubborn....but I still say it's him!

Who is the first to admit they are wrong? Hmmmm......usually me. But Brian will admit to it, he's not THAT stubborn.

Who has more siblings? He grew up in a family of three boys, I have one brother.

Who wears the pants? We each take a leg.

What do you like to do together? We used to like going out, but not so much anymore. Mostly we're homebodies. We like to play outside as a family though, and go for walks. One thing that we like to do but don't have a chance to do as much anymore is catch live theatre shows.

Guilty Pleasures? He likes to bake from scratch, and remodel our house. He's happiest with his tape measure and a pencil and notebook, planning his next project. He's also an avid Philadelphia Flyers fan and tries to watch as many games as possible during the hockey season.

How did you meet? This is the embarrassing part.....April 16, 1998 at a seedy downtown nightclub in Providence, RI. We had our first date the next weekend. It was more like a marathon date...meeting back at the club and dancing until 2AM, then breakfast at Bickford's. Then we went our separate ways....I got home at 5:30am! Couple of hours of sleep....then he came over at lunchtime and stayed till midnight. We've been together pretty much ever since....except for his Naval Deployment for 3 1/2 months my senior year of college.

Who kissed first? We laugh even today that we really don't know the answer to this question.

Who proposed? He did, on May 14, 1999 at my college commencement ball.

His best features & qualities? He's got a great sense of humor, he's patient, loving, kind, giving and fair. He's also a fantastic, dedicated father.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Meme

Thanks, Karen!

My name is.​.​.Ginny

I love.​.​.​ the fact that our Outer Banks vacation is coming up!

Last night​ I.​.​.​vegged with my husband on the couch, watching the Olympics

My ex.​.​.​ is married and lives in Virginia. I wish him well.

When I sing.​.​.​dogs bark. I kid only slightly...I can't carry a tune in a bucket!

My last kiss.​.​.​.​ was from Hubby when he went to get our son at daycare

I belie​ve in.​.​.​ loyalty, politeness and clothes that fit and look good!

I am feeli​ng.​.​.pretty good these days!

I'm tired​ of.​.​.​ all of this New England rain! This has got to be one of the wettest summers I have ever experienced, if not THE wettest!

I plan on.​.​.​ spending as much time playing with Bubby now, 'cause he won't be this young forever!

One day I will.​.​.​ figure out how someday I will perfect the perfect "juggling" act.

Last time I swam was.​.​. at my parent's cottage in Connecticut.

If I could​ go back in time,​ I would​.​.​. have gotten to know my grandparents better.

Last time I laugh​ed was.​.​.​ today, though I can't for the life of me remember what I was laughing at.

Best frien​d(​s)​.​.​.​ are rare. When you find a friend that can be made into a best, hold onto it!

I find mysel​f.​.​.​ killing time too often.

My life.​.​.​ is organized chaos. Sometimes I really take on too much, but I love the way things are going.

This summe​r.​.​. has a fork in it. Bring on the fall!!!! (It's my favorite, after all)

Last time I cried​ was becau​se.​.​.​ I had a fever over the weekend. Will brought home a great bug from the daycare, and he finished with it sooner than I did. I always cry when I have a fever, it's like an automatic reaction that I cannot control.

Life is.​.​.​ short.

Favor​ite color​ is.​.​.​ blues and purples

My job is.​.​. looking up, after a slow year! I'm about to become busier than I have ever been and I'm really going to like it!

I am.​.​. many things

Truth​ is.​.​.​ not always the best policy. Sometimes a little white lie is a good thing

My overu​sed sayin​g is.​.​.​ "Come on!"

My last misse​d call was.​.​.​ Pete, while I was at work yesterday

My best featu​re.​.​.​ I'm a very generous person. Or in toddler terms..."I'm a good sharer." :)

The thing​ I hate about​ mysel​f.​.​.​ I have a hefty guilt complex. I can feel guilty about something 20 years ago!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sew Fun

I am a great procrastinator. I can make ANYTHING go on forever and not get anything done on it.

Right now my best record is five years. I received a sewing machine as a Christmas present five years ago. A Christmas present that *I* asked for! I picked a nightshirt pattern for my first project, and I spent an afternoon with my mom, who is a great seamstress, cutting out the fabric and getting it pinned together. That's it, that's where I stalled. Upon cleaning out my basement about a month ago, I found the pinned pieces in a plastic bag, anticipating the day that I would sew them together. Guess what---that nightshirt isn't even in a size that I wear anymore!

So it's time. It's time that I find a new sewing project and do it. I'm envious of anyone that knows how to sew, and I just know I can do it! I just need to take the time to do it. It's time to try a new hobby. I have the book, I have the I just need to put it all together.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


We had a very successful fundraiser for Blackstone Valley WomenAid lst night at Pizzeria Uno's! I'm not sure what the final tally was, but a lot of people came to "eat for the cause!" Thanks to all of my friends and co-workers who joined us! It was cool to know so many people at the restaurant at one time. Brian always teases me about knowing someone everywhere I go, but this brings it to a whole new level!!

Blackstone Valley WomenAid's motto is "Keeping Families Healthy and in their Homes." For anyone who doesn't know what WomenAid is, here is a short overview: WomenAid is a group of women who provide short-term financial assistance for people in need. In order to qualify for assistance, you must have a verifier request the money. Basically, the program is for people who don't qualify for bigger financial help programs, and just need a small boost. Some examples of things that we would fund: a security deposit for a family coming out of a shelter and moving into an apartment, a single mom needs her car repaired in order to work and take her kids to school, a family without health insurance needs a prescription for antibiotics for their child but can't afford them. These are just a few examples. Our Blackstone Valley chapter is just getting off the ground, we hope to be able to start giving grants by the end of the year. The three of us are really excited about getting closer to our goals!

For more information, you can go to our website here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mrs. Fix-It

As many of my "readers" know, I am a Property Manager. What is a Property Manager, you say? Well, really, it's a jack-of-all-trades kind of job. I'm a book-keeper, receptionist, mediator, party planner, lunch-server, auditor, cleaner, HUD manual quoter, meanie enforcer rolled into one. Most PM's will agree and maybe even add more titles to that. I've been doing it for seven years and I rarely get bored. Anyway....a woman came to the office yesterday because her key wouldn't turn in her apartment door lock. She had been carrying wicker furniture into the building and got up to the apartment and the key wouldn't work in the door. Before I could go with her to look at it (our maintenance person was an hour away at a training) she said that she had one more wicker chair to bring up from her car. Mind you, this is the senior housing that I work at. I walked outside with her to get the chair, expecting that it would be me to carry it up. (Add furniture-mover to the title list!) We get to the car, and she swings the chair up on her shoulders and starts walking to the building. Then she turns to me, and says the most profound thing: "I'm certainly glad that my mother and father taught me to do things for myself!"

Well, that is one statement I absolutely have to agree with! My mother and father too, taught me how to do things for myself. I'm fiercly independent, and it was really cool to see a senior this way too. I'm not afraid to try to do things myself (though I know when to ask for help when it's something I can't handle, there's a difference.) I've never been afraid to just jump in and be Mrs. Fix-It. I have my own set of tools, and no, they don't consist of a high heeled shoe and a butter knife. :) I knew how to do my own laundry and pump my own gas at an early age, when some kids in college had no idea. I'll think nothing of going down to the utility box in the basement to flip a switch if the circuit is overloaded. I know how to turn a toilet off if it starts to overflow, work a fire extinguisher if necessary or unclog a drain. Shoot, I've even changed my own car tire! In a skirt! (This was before I had AAA!)

Most of these skills come from being a "just in case" overplanner. I have tools and a first aid in my car "just in case." Special cleaning solution in the basement "just in case" our dog gets skunked a third time! And I know how to drive a stickshift. You know, "just in case." I carry a notebook in my purse, glovebox and work bag. You know why, I don't need to tell you. And on the days that "Mom Brain" evades, I keep one of Will's bathtub crayons in the shower in case I think of something I don't want to forget and I can scribble it on the tub wall.

Some people may find my overplanning and Ms. Fix-It as an endearing, yet annoying quality. But hey, don't knock it. Having a plan and knowing how to fix minor things yourself is a good skill to have and is a nice way to live. :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Birthday Surprise

Jenny and me, posing with our boys

Jenny holding Will last November

First, I want to wish Jenny a very happy birthday!!!! Happy 30th, hope it was everything you wished for!
Jenny's husband, Chris, had a surprise get-together for Jenny's 30th yesterday at their house in Northern MA. it was a successful surprise....she kind of knew something was going on but didn't know exactly what. We had a fantastic time! The rain held off for the most part, but since it's been a pretty unpredictable summer weather-wise, the party was inside.
Chris and Jenny used to live four miles away from us, but they moved a couple of years ago and we really miss hanging out with them. Especially now that we have the little ones. I got a big kick out of Will playing with their son Ethan, and another little boy their age named Mikey. The three of them were running around and playing with toys, and then alternating between being totally fixated on "Cars" and going through a nylon "baby tunnel" in the living room! Thanks for having us over on your special day, and we hope to see you guys soon. :)