Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take Time to Truly Enjoy the Gifts of Each Day

At this time of the year, with the holidays upon us, we tend to become more aware of the people around us. We show more compassion, give more to charity, share a smile with  strangers while out shopping. What if our daily perception was as keen throughout the year as it is during the adrenaline driven holiday season?

This experiment was in January 2007, but for those that missed it, please consider the daily joys we may allow to pass us by in our hurry to rush through life.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alias: YellowJacket

At three years old, Bryan was mesmerized by the first generation transformers. Optimus Prime, of course, was his favorite. We still have the original Hasbro Optimus Prime. His dad and I would sit back and watch-listen to Bryan as he sat three feet away from the TV while the VHS movie played. He recited each line word for word, every line, every character, and he delivered with different voices to indicate the different characters.

In the past few years, as the new Transformer movies came out, I'd be reminded of the little boy sitting for hours watching the cartoon version.

A new movie is in production. They have been filming in Chicago, LA, and recently Washington DC. This Fox News footage shows, unscripted, a Washington DC police car crashing into "Bumblebee" (a 2010 Camaro) during the shoot.

There was confusion during a police call to respond to an incident and the officer blew through an intersection that was set up and in production.

Optimus Prime, the semi-truck you see first, makes it through the intersection but when Bumblebee arrived, so did the Washington DC police SUV. That's when you see the front of Bumblebee annihilated!

Can you imagine my surprise when I heard "Bumblebee" was being shipped "someplace" in metro-Detroit for repairs? Can you imagine my disappointment when I heard (from my boss) that there will be no photos taken what-so-ever as part of the agreement? Can you imagine how hard it would be for someone like me, a blogger, the mother of an original transformer worshiper, not to be able to blog or post photos about this?

I suppose I could just post about the 1969 GTO used in the movie Striptease staring Demi Moore that was restored "someplace" in metro-Detroit, but that's old news.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Hate When This Happens!

I am so mad I just have to vent.

You are NOT going to believe what happened.

I had been working all night on Caitlin's baby shower.

Wrapping gifts. Wrapping the prizes. Getting all my baking things together to make cupcakes with Sandi tomorrow.

Side note: Oh f*ck, after work I went to buy some neat flowering plants for centerpieces I saw a week ago ... GONE!

But I have a worse dilemma than that...

So I'm getting all the things together I need to bring and then... UGH... so DAMN MAD!

You know those chocolate covered raisins? The pretty shiny ones?

Well, I was putting them with the things I need to take Sunday and then it happened!

The LID FELL OFF... ALL THE WAY OFF .... and worse ....

The safety seal just came undone! Peeled back all by itself! Imagine that!

When I tried to fold it back down and put the lid on, those darn chocolate covered raisins fell into my hand! TWICE !!!!

What could I do? I can't serve them to guests after they fell into my hand ... so I ate them.

Ugh, I know you'd be mad too!

Thanks for letting me vent. ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Girls Just Wanna ... Let the Dogs Out

Madonna, Margie, Me, Cyndi, Marie

I'm quite certain as each of us girls were getting ready for a mid-week get together, Cyndi Lauper's song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was humming through our heads.

This morning, I woke up still smirking at the six middle-age women hitting Big Fish to see Big Will and the 360 Band, only now the song "Who Let the Dogs Out?" is running through my mind.

Over the years we've all enjoyed our local live bands. There is nothing like live music to dance to. Unfortunately, many clubs have submitted to having DJ's. I guess when we find a great dance band, our zealous excitement kicks in. (Ahem, to say the least!)

Big Will and the 360 Band
is just what this metro-Detroit area needs. Not only are they an extremely entertaining band, individually and collectively they have a plethora of background experiences that have brought them to this point.

So who DID let the dogs out? I'm thinking being a Wednesday, a smaller crowd, one or seventy-eleven glasses of wine, an awesome band, and fun women getting together ... well, there 'ya have it.

What happened at Big Fish, stays at Big Fish! *Kinda, join us next girls night out and I'm sure you'll have fun too.

Big Will & Sandi

"Luuvvv yaaaaa Wiiiill"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BIG WILL ... and my rambling descriptions.

Tonight is Girls Night Out

My sisters Sandi and Margie are meeting with our cousin Cyndi and girlfriends Marie and Madonna. Not THAT Madonna ... our friend had the name first ... well not really first, we all know who had it first, but our Madonna had it before the Madonna we all love to not love but secretly love.

A couple weeks ago we all met for a night out and saw a band we'd never heard before. Big Will and the 360 Degrees Band. Except, Big Will isn't BIG. He's big in talent, but he's not big in his size. The sound is big and the talent all the musicians have is BIG and the fun was BIG, but again Will is not BIG. Will was big. You can go here to read his story and get a shot of inspiration.

In keeping with my big rambling theme, I really want to say tonight is more than a girls night out or enjoying good music and dancing. It's about BIGGER things.

The bigger things are really "the smaller things." Being together to share a laugh, a hug, a funny "ya had to be there" moment. Taking time to stop in our daily routine to enjoy the moments that can't be replaced or made up at a later date. Making the time just to be together to create new memories and laugh over some old ones.

So tonight's BIG Will and the 360 Degree Band will be the entertainment for our night of fun and celebration of the moments we share in our "girls night out."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guys Eyes and Dolls Balls

I was listening to the morning show DJ's debating over the silliness of "Car Lashes".

Carlashes, yes, eye lashes women are putting on their car headlights. You can also add a strip of "crystal eyeliner "to jazz them up.

Now the female DJ was pro-car lashes and thought they were "cute" and a way to make a girls car ... girly.

The male DJ's were not having any of it. They thought it was ridiculous and a waste of money. The guys were definately anti-car lashes.

I really would like them to weigh in on their thoughts of some of the testosterone things guys put on their vehicles.

Monday, August 30, 2010


"Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old"

If you follow me on FaceBook, you may already know I am excited about becoming a "Nana".

I decided being called Grandma was not as whimsical or gingerbread scented as Nana. "Grandma" reeks of Vick's vapor rub, bright red nail polish, and perfume that enters the room before Grandma herself and stays long after she leaves.

I just found out 2 weeks ago that my first grandchild is a girl. The damage she has done to my checkbook already ... warms my heart.

I'll update as much as her mommy and daddy give me permission to.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A New Butterfly

I didn't really know her.

I know the young man that loves her. He is my nephew.

They've been friends since their early teens. That friendship grew into a young love. A love with promise and hope. A love that nourished dreams for future possibilities.

Possibilities ended with an auto accident last Friday. Although she was taken away from him on that day, the memories and time he spend with her will live forever.

She only had 21 years here on Earth, but her energy lives on and will be felt for eternity.

Matt, you are young and I am so sorry you are experiencing such a tragic pain. Rejoice in your memories and feel blessed to have shared the love you two had together. Keep a special place in your heart for her.

You are young and you have many friends and family that will help you in the coming days to once again see all the possibilities your future holds for you. I love you Matt.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly." ~Richard Bach

I will think of her every time I see a butterfly.

*She had just changed her FaceBook profile photo the day before to the one of her above ... I find it hauntingly beautiful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Save the Boobies!

Saturday, 05.22.2010, downtown Detroit was PINK.

Comerica Park was the starting point for the 19th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Detroit. Although I didn't run the race, I joined my PINK posse of sisters (in every way) to walk with thousands of others, united, to raise money and awareness of Breast Cancer.

I couldn't help but to feel good among all the strangers supporters joined with a common thread. Celebrate Life, Love, and Hope. Always hope, ( it DOES float you know) hope for a cure to this awful disease.

Sunday was [insert fake shocked look here] a day of relaxing and fishing on Lake St. Clair from the early fog covered morning until the early evening sunset. Don and I both caught fish, but mostly caught a lot of long anticipated sunshine. Let the summer begin!

With Memorial Day coming ... 3 days off work ... I see fishing in the near future!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh Yes We Did!

The weather prediction called for thunder storms. After seeing what has happened in Tennessee, I knew there was no whining about the weather here.

Another boat! We're weren't the only kooks!

Just in case the storms did come, we decided to go out this morning ... this morning being 10:00 AM, so for morning fishing, we were late. The skies were gray and the wind was up, but the temperature was comfortable.

Actually we did go out for a quick first fishing trip this past Friday. I caught my first Muskie. He put up a good fight, but I have to admit it was a baby. It was about 30" and weighed about 6 pounds. I took a picture with my phone camera, but it didn't save.

Today, my new pole, "The Green Goddess" ... yes I name my poles, remember "PINK"? (may she rest in peace) caught a Rock Bass, Pumpkin Seed (looked like an orange Blue Gill to me), and a White Bass. Nothing we'd keep, but fun to reel in. Don caught three Rock Bass.

"The Green Goddess"

We only stayed out a couple hours because the storms were heading our way.

So the beginning of our summer has started!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time to catch up ...

March is flying by. My days are filled with endless to do lists that must be taking fertility drugs because they keep multiplying. At the end of the night, instead of crossing off things on the list, I'm adding to the "carry-over-to-the-next-day" list.

Caitlin finished her first semester and was so excited she got an A on her final in her pharmacy class. She's been working hard at school while also working two jobs. I'm proud of you Cait!

Cait out celebrating her "A" with a friend.

I was surprised on my birthday last Thursday, with a dinner party Don had at MacRays. What a freaky feeling to walk into a room and be totally surprised. I had no clue.

Both our immediate families were there. It was so nice, and very special. Thank you to everyone .. I can't put into words how much that meant to me.

Don got his boat (our fishing boat) out of storage and over to his friend who will overhaul the motor. It should be ready for a day fishing by the time the warm weather is more consistent. I'm looking forward to trying out the new telescopic fishing pole Don bought me for my birthday.

Here's a few pics from the party.

Showing Cait how to crack into crab legs

Piggin 'out on endless crab legs

Me, Sandi, & Bryan

Bailey & Casey are Don's nieces, with Caitlin

Cheers, and thank you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March: In like a lion with a mighty ROAR

Welcome March! [with my arms wide open] I'm so sick of cold, snow, early sunsets and waking up in the dark.

Atta' girl Cait, get those winter frustrations out!

This is the month I start to prepare for spring and summer. I'm getting my hair done after work, and along with a trim, I'll be adding blond highlights. A few here and there with each appointment and by June my hair should have that natural [coughBScough] sun-kissed look.

I'll start with the controversial fake-bake a tan this week too. I still cover my face, but I decided fat with a little color is better than fish-belly-white fat! Speaking of fat ... dang, I HAVE to get this gain nipped in the bud. Between the vacations, holidays and Don's fabulous cooking, I've been fighting an uphill battle.

No travel plans for this month, but a few ideas already brewing. We really would like to check out a few more places to move to. U.S. Virgin Islands will probably be our next stop. St. Croix? St. Thomas? St. John? Other than a day cruise stopover, have you spent some time there? Any experiences to share? My son has a friend that just moved to St. Croix and he's planning a trip to visit her and check it out for himself.

When people talk to Don and I about our desire to relocate to a tropical destination, our kids are always a concern. We each have 2 children, Don has Tyler 22 and Cheyne 20 ... I have Bryan 24 and Caitlin 21. We know hands down, wherever we move to, they all will be happy to join us or visit at the very least. And we'll be happy if they do.

So March, bring it ... hurry through and escort April in ASAP!

Bryan & Caitlin
Cheyne & Tyler

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Noodle Drop Time! *gasp*

Noodle Dropping is in the quirky trivial BS category, v.s. Brain Dumping ... which is more a therapeutic cleansing of my brain. Just thought I'd explain the difference ;)

Things that rolled around my noodle recently that made me smirk, chuckle, scratch mah head thinking WTF? ... or made me do some soul searching:

Am I a bad mother because I woke up to the sound of my son barfing and thought, 'Shit, I'm going to have to clear the snow off my car this morning." *gasp* ... But just for a split second!

The joy of wearing my favorite jeans again was overshadowed by the knowledge I haven't worn them in over a year because they were too BIG *gasp* ... I started my dieting again.

After working with a guy for over 13 years, I just found out his ex-wife is a childhood friend of mine *gasp* ... She wants to friend me on FB, which links to this blog, where not-so-nice posts of said co-worker have been published!

Cabo San Lucus and The Keys Florida are so yesterday *gasp* ... Don and I are talking about our next plan, hopefully a permanent 70'+ temps 12 months out of the year!

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
~Mae West~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Key to Florida

Key West Florida

Without a doubt, a little piece of paradise. Hemingway was definitely on to something.

We spent the rest of our vacation in the Keys, splitting our time between Marathon and Key West.

Although the weather was cool by Florida's standard, we preferred the 60's temps to the single digit, freezing snow storm that hit back home in Michigan.

Our first fishing trip was with the crew at Sea Dog. It was cool and windy, but the sun was out. We tried free line fishing but with 5 others on board, plus the wind, the lines tangled too easily. After changing to drop fishing the fun began. The variety of fish caught was awesome. Three kinds of snapper, a shark, a king mackerel, some grouper, and a couple yucky remoras. We kept snapper and mackerel for a fresh fish dinner that night.

Mullet Snapper
(without his buddy Joe Dirt)

Such a great place, Key West. We went shopping on Duval Street and stopped at Hog's Breath Saloon for drinks and a snack. My favorite places were Schooner Wharf Bar and Irish Kevin's Bar. The live music was the best. We enjoyed checking out the streets off the beaten paths of the touristy area. Don and I agreed it would be easy to spend the rest of our days there.

We stayed at a hotel on Key Colony Beach. The one day it was slightly warm, Don enjoyed soaking in the rays while I sipped Bloody Mary's at the bar.

Don with his Kindle

I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan from NY, sweetest little boy.

Later that evening we met Clyde, Barbara, and their daughter Carrie at the Cabana Breeze Club. Great fun with new friends from Canada.

Barbara and Carrie

Cocktails and laughs were non-stop. We'll never really know if Jimmy, another we met that night, with his new fiance Carmen, is really about to marry CarMAN. All in quiet jest between us 5, we poked fun at the unknown. I hope we're wrong ... Jimmy is a big biker guy, the idea of CarMAN just doesn't fit.

Don, Clyde, Jimmy
The Three Amigos

Our final day was spent fishing. This time we went out with Capt. Michael of Robbie's on Islamorada. We were drop fishing in 140' deep waters. I caught a tile fish (?? ?) released and several blue runners that we released. Don, once again, caught our dinner. Two snapper and two porgi.

Manny, at The Hungry Tarpon, prepared them to perfection.

Too short of time, we both agree we have to go back.


Don and I just returned from a fantastic 9 day trip to Florida.

Well, make that 7 days ... the first and last days were travel days and airports suck.

Come to think of it make that 5 days ... two days were spent in Miami and only one was fun because Tyler and her friend Allison came from Naples to hang out with us.

We flew into Miami, but the Keys were our destination. Since the Miami boat show was going on, we decided to stay a couple days to check it out and spend time with Tyler. I've never been to the show or Miami. Don has worked there several times in the past.

If you live in Miami or enjoy visiting there, forgive my opinion please. [smirk]

I'll start with the boat show. I PASS. Too many floating mansions that look like a big pain in the butt! The only thing missing was Thurston Howell, III and Lovey!

*note the helicopter on upper right,
I couldn't fit the whole boat in the frame!

South Beach Miami, eh, I'll say it was okay, but probably because Don, Tyler, Allison, and I just walked the main streets window shopping and stopping for lunch. I did appreciate the older hotels and their architect. I took a lot of photos so no need for me to go back. [again, smirk]

My real gripe? Let me start by saying, being from Detroit, Motor City, cars and crime ... Miami you win! I have never feared for my life on the road as much as I did trying to get around this city. Do people take a course in how to be rude while driving? Does my turning on a turn signal indicate time for you to speed up so I can't change lanes or make a turn? Every frickin' time? It got to be a joke. I'm probably considered an aggressive driver but Geez Louise, I felt like I was playing Highway Russian Roulette.

In Detroit, they may shoot at you while driving down the expressway but by golly, turn on your signal, they'll let you in and won't run you off the road.

Buh-bye Miami expressways.

Nope, it's not a place I'll be in any hurry to visit again ... Miami can be Yourami!

I'll post more about our trip ... the rest, good times ... for the most part ;)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday!

Saints? Colts?

I always root for the underdog.

Saints 31 Colts 17



I realize I haven't posted about our trip to Cabo San Lucas from last December. That darn FaceBook makes it easy to be lazy. I posted a few updates and tons of photos from our trip while we were there.

The Arch at Lands End

With every intention to write about Cabo ... our trip to the Florida Keys in a few days has taken over my brain. Nooooooo, we aren't traveling snobs. Don and I have worked hard at building our "vacation money" account and for sure, we play hard to spend it!

Here are a few pics from Cabo. If you've "friended" me on FaceBook, there are several albums of photos. We went early December with my sister Sandi and her husband Gary. We loved it and had a great time. The weather was perfect!

Sunrise just before fishing.

Pelicans chasing our fishing boat
for the bait we were feeding them.

Don, Sandi, Gary, 5 minutes after we arrived at our hotel,
our non-stop cocktail hours began.

Gary & Sandi at "The Office" ...

... where Nancy discovers tequila.

The "fishie" I caught.
20 pound Dorado (Mahi-Mahi)

...and after, mmmmm!

New resort, golf course, marina.
Don & Gary golfed here.
Bill Gates & Tiger Woods keep their yachts here.

Slims, the smallest bar evah!

And now, I have to go pack for The Keys and pray that we get out of town before the predicted snow hits!