Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Return of Game Night

When my children were very young, we would have Family Funday Sunday. We would have a big breakfast, rent a movie, or play a game. It was a way to just be together and be silly. Life moves on, the kids have moved away some across state lines and I miss those days of being with them on a regular basis.
I have found a way to continue family game night.  Thank you, Steve Jobs!  For having the vision to open our worlds to new ways of communicating!

I happened to stumble upon this idea and it slowly developed into something I look forward to every Saturday night.  It started, when I  began watching a TV show on the BBC channel called The Graham Norton show.  I love this show.  It is very spirited.  All the guests come out and they are interview together.  I think this is a much better way to do the interviews.  It is more relaxed and the the language is more freer.

Graham Norton is an Irish comedian with a English talk show.  He asks outrageous questions and loves to be silly.  It is light hearted.  I was thrilled to find out that he was coming out with a game show.   It is called What Would You Rather Do?
The game show asks extreme questions such as "would you rather get shot in the knee or eat dog food for a year?"  Awful, sometimes cringe worthy, but mostly humorous scenarios. At least, my type of humor.  I laughed so much that I decided to text the questions to the kids. I did use judgement on some questions.  Moms do not need to know certain things.

I didn't realize I was starting something until they started to text back.  I just figured they would get a laugh for my ridiculousness. They had crazy answers which made me laugh even harder.  The 30 minutes flew by. I felt a little sad that it was over so quickly.  I wanted to keep it going.

I decided to do it the following weekend and so forth. Come to find out the kids also enjoy doing this as much as I do.   I found a way to keep a family game night courtesy of the technological advances we have in this day an age.  If only for a half hour, we are doing something together even though we are far way from each other to just be silly.

Thankful Abbie

Friday, January 20, 2012

One Lucky Chick

We are expecting a little dicey weather this weekend.  Bill is off  for a few days so we will be staying in and I will be cooking comfort food.  The kind that sticks to your ribs, while watching TV, and hanging out with the hubby,

I ordered a cord of wood.  The first time for this season.  It has been mild until recently and to keep fuel bills down we will be using the firewood for heat.

I love everything about my fireplace.  The crackling sounds, the flickering of the fire as it dancing between the pieces of wood, and I love the roar it makes when the fire really gets going.  I like to get it so hot that Bill has to put on shorts because it is so friggin hot.

Bill came off from working third shift or the graveyard shift.  They were delivering early in the  morning. I had asked him if that was okay.  He thought it would be best if they did it as soon as possible.  He didn't want to do this in the weather we will be expecting. Bill was barely home from work when they arrived.

The truck dropped the cord of wood on our driveway. Bill got started on stacking the wood.  It may not seem like much but when you are just getting off work this makes for a long day.  Bill told me he took his time.

He had company.  Lando was very happy to join in on the activity.  He got to enjoy the smells that the wood brought with it.  Bill was very impressed with Lando.   He was expecting to go chasing Lando around the block. Lando likes to chase things and wander off.   In fact, Lando stayed close by and Bill was able to concentrate at the task at hand. 

It took him all morning but he completed the job.  Bill piled it beautifully and Lando looks so proud. 

I wonder if Lando plans to play fetch with the wood?
What a man!  He works 12 hours, stacks a cord of wood, and then when I come home I am greeted with this...
I am a lucky chick!  I get to snuggle with my love by the fire while recovering from my cold.  I am already feeling better. Its going to be a great weekend!

Toasty Abbie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Icky Poo

Being a grown up has its perks.  I can stay up late.  I can drive my own car which I paid for.    I can go to a bar and order a tasty Cosmo.  But it also has its cons. 

I am sick.  I have been sick for the past week.  This is when I wish I wasn't a grown up. I wish a was little girl again.  When I was a child if I became sick, I would go to my mom and she would touch my head and tell me I could stay home from school.  She would tell me  go back to bed.  My mom would bring me toast and chocolate milk in bed.  I would be able to watch tv and doze off, if I felt tired.  She would bring me an extra blanket, if I was still cold.

She would check in on me and give me my medicine.  I hated this part because back then the medicine tasted nasty.  Kids today have it made.  The medicine tastes like candy.  I never had trouble giving it to the kids when they were little.  Tylenol has cherry and grape flavors.  I could have used this when I was a kid.  The worst was the cough medicine.  Come to think of it Robitussin still tastes nasty.

Being a grown up, I have to give myself the cough medicine and I swear they are making the print smaller on the bottle. Which is not good when I can't read it on a good day.  My eyes hurt so trying to focus was a little tough. After throwing that bad boy back and wanting to gag, I got ready for work.  

No one to tell me "oh Hun, don't go in you should stay home from work."  Bill takes good care of me when he is around but he is working the night shift this past week.  We are like two ships in the night.  I leave before he comes home and I come home and he is ready to leave for work. It doesn't happen all the time but I needed some TLC earlier this week.  Even if he was around to say this to me, I would have still gone in to work.  I am a big girl.

All I need is good medicine and hot tea and I am good to go.  I am after all a grown up,  but times like this I miss my mommy.

Getting Better Abbie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I know that we are almost half way through the month of January. But I couldn't let this go without putting it in print.

2011 was one hell of a year.  Talk about a roller coaster.  I have had extreme highs and extremes lows.  I have been ready to say goodbye to 2011 for quite awhile.

I don't want to call this my new years resolution. I may not stick with it, if I did.  I want to do things differently in the new year. 

The Year of Change. 

This will be my mantra.  I have made a list which I hope to follow.

Control my temper. (not that I am violent) but I have to remember people make mistakes we are all human

Have more fun.  (Try new things, get out of my comfort zone)

Gain more patience. (not be so hard on myself or be a perfectionist)

Improve communication with my family.  (Not give my opinion right away)
Enjoy the company of all my grandchildren.  (All of them will be closer in distance this year.)

Blog more (just in case I lose my marbles from spending too much time with the grandkids) <just kidding>

Read more ( broaden my mind - be more open to new ideas)

Find Peace

and if it is possible, adore this man more.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Being Smoked

Bill and I went dancing on New Year's Eve. I got a new dress and a pair of shoes. I went to the hairdressers and cut my hair. I got a mani and pedi. I was so excited. it was Bill's idea to go dancing. We had never gone out dancing before and I love to dance.

The party was being held at a dance studio. We will be taking dance lessons. Bill and I did took lessons years ago and it was his decision to take it up again. I am up for learning all styles of dance. Waltz, foxtrot, and salsa.

The studio had a buffet dinner and we grabbed a couple of drinks. My Cosmo was out of a box and Bill had a soda. Dinner was pleasant. We had a little bit of everything. The bruschetta was tasty. I didn't care for the meatballs. I enjoyed the turkey and the sausage and peppers would have been a little better had it more sausage. They must know love chocolate because they had double chocolate cookies and chocolates. Yum.

We went to our little table.  It was close to the stage and it turned out to be a vantage point. The people who would be joining the party were a slightly older crowd. Bill and I are at an odd age. We are too old for the younger crowd and slightly younger for the older crowd. Though in a few years, we will fit right in with the silver foxes.

Age was checked at the door, when the music started. The couples got on the dance floor. It looked like we were in the last weeks of Dancing with the Stars. The way they moved and took over the floor. Bill and I were frozen to our chairs looking at everyone.

The waltz was very popular with the crowd.  I sat mesmerized by the beauty.  If the ladies had gowns, they would have looked like they were floating on air.  The men were straight and commanding.

We had just taken an introductory lesson for the fox trot.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I just assumed that we could also free dance.  That was so not the case.  We sat at our little table and watched the show. 

We looked at each other and said we should have taken lessons earlier.  Live and learn.

 New dancing student Abbie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Little Habit

Bill and I love a bakery called Crumbs.  It sells huge cupcakes.  I had first heard from them by the Howard stern show.  I have been a listener of his show for over 25 years.  

They would have cupcake Wednesdays.  Artie Lange, when he was still on the show, would on break get his cupcakes and eat it on air.  Howard would ask what he was eating.  Artie loved to eat and would describe what he had in from of him.   They would talk about the different kinds of cupcakes Crumbs would make and bring in the office.  They even named two after Artie and Gary "baba booey".

In NYC, they have many Crumbs bakery.  We usually go by Bryant's Park location.  We grab two and headed over to the park to sit and eat.  I chose a Devil's food cake and Bill ordered Double Chocolate Brownie.

They have an ice rink at Bryant Park. I love how the city changes the park to adapt to the different seasons.   Bryant Park was packed with people.  Sprinkled through the park are little kiosks filled with people selling their wares.  On this chilly day,  I could smell the coffee that was being made.  Did it smell good!!

I didn't feel bad in eating this gooey yumminess.  As much walking as I did, I deserved to treat myself.  I did drink water so it is not totally bad.

Chubby Little Devil Abbie

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Date in NYC

We walked around NYC.  I think NYC is so pretty around the holidays.
Bill and I have our rituals. One of them, we have to see the tree.

The tree stands in front of the ice rink.  On this day, there was a fundraiser going on during the ice skating session.  Men were dressed up as little old ladies.  It was a kick in the head to see them with their 5 O'clock shadow.

Bill and I went to Rockefeller Center when we were dating.  It was early in our dating when I discovered my love for this city. I had never gone ice skating before and we happened upon it during one of our walks.  Most New Yorkers don't do the tourist thing unless someone from out of town comes to visit.

Bill was living in Delaware at the time and there is not much to do in Queens, where I lived, so to Manhattan we went.  We did all the tourist things.  Time square, World Trade Center, and the Empire state building.   We would dine on pizza and then go to different restaurants for dinner.  We did some serious walking.  This girl was looking very good back in the day.  Stylish but not practical. I did not dress for the weather.

On one of these walks, we went  to Radio City Music Hall.  I told him about the tree.  Bill wanted to see the famous Christmas tree.  It was beautiful and freezing. We noticed that there was a line to ice skate.  I asked him if he wanted to try it out.  I was game and he said sure.  We waited in line.  If you have ever been to NY during winter, the winds can whip and it feels like it goes right through you.

I had a pretty jacket and just one layer of clothing.  I could handle it on a normal day but standing in line for over an hour without walking, I started to freeze.  I stood closer and closer to Bill.  We had only done the hand holding up until that point.  We weren't at that stage where I felt comfortable to hug him to get some heat. 

I was very shy.  Extreme conditions dictated that when Bill asked if I was cold that he would warm me up with a hug, I jumped at the chance.  He was warm and he felt so good. 

We snuggled and waited our turn out in the rink.  We spoke with another couple in line. Joking on how freakin cold it was in line. It helped pass the time and I would cling to Bill but not necesarily for the heat anymore. There was an easiness between us. It was like a wall was torn down.  We joked and hugged and then it was time to skate.  It turned out to be a great night. 

We fit. It was the best feeling in the world. I felt like I had found my other half.  It would be awhile later, when I truly believed I found the one. 

It is in visiting NYC that I rekindle that feeling of the early dates that Bill and I had and how magical this city became for me.

Star-Crossed Abbie

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just Dance

I went to Toys R Us to pick up a video game.  I had been seening the commercial for the longest time.  I am one of those people that can be influenced by commercials. The video game is called Just Dance Summer. 

It seemed like family fun and a way to burn some calories.  After breakfast on Christmas morning, we opened our presents.  Everyone oohed and ahhed.  Of course, after I got my fill of shooting people with my cool Nerf gun, I told everyone to go downstairs.

I moved furniture and popped in the video.  Followed by the obligatory moaning and groaning, they were game.  I had the camera and video camera charged and ready to go.  I wanted to capture as many moments as I could. 

The grandkids danced with the adults in this tiny space and we had a ball.  After a couple of sessions, I took a turn.  My poor heart.  I was sweating but having a ball.

Bill and I took a turn and it was the great time and I looked the worst.  In my mind, I think I can dance but seeing the video in replay I am a hot mess.  Like the saying goes, dance like no one is watching because I did just that and it was hysterical.  The faces I was making was too much. 

I tried not to laugh too much so I wouldn't break anyone's ear drum.   But I couldn't help it, it was the best, seeing my kids and grandkids having so much fun.

 Bill and I had a great Christmas morning.

Dancing machine Abbie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Havana in New York

I am going to NY on a regular basis, since my father had his health scare (nightmare).  I try to do different things when I come.  I don't want coming to New York with dread.  I love this city and always want to remember it fondly.  I arrived early on this particular visit and I called my parents to let them know I was on my way.

They didn't answer the phone. I tried calling for over an hour with no luck.  I guessed that they were out since my dad is feeling better. I decided to explore.  It would give me a chance to enjoy a walk through the city.

I picked the busiest day in NY to visit.  I felt safe surrounded by so many people.  I love the mass of people.  All different kinds of people.   I kind of fall into a NY mode, pushing my way through the mob in my three inch heels no less.  I walked towards
Times Square. 

This is the closest I have ever been to the NY Eve's ball. 

Most New Yorkers don't do tourist things so I never came to these areas.  It was not until I met my husband that I started to look at all the things that NY had to offer. 

Times Square was very busy on this chilly night. the crowds were in full force.  Hoping to get good deals on the After Christmas sales.  There were street performers -  two Statue of Liberty people  on stilts waiting to get their picture taken with tourists in the plaza  area.  Mickey and Minne Mouse were in front of GMA getting their picture taken with children.

I even saw Santa on his motorcycle.  I guess since his job was done for the year he was looking for extra cash.  There is a recession that even effects the North Pole.

It was a brisk night and I was looking for a warm place with good food.  I could kill some time until I could get a hold of my parents and figure out where I was going to rest my weary head for the night, if I didn't get a hold of them.  

I was going to T.G.I.Fridays when I saw the pub that Bill, his cousins, and I went to during the summer.  I was heading in that direction when I came upon another restaurant.  It is called Havana's.

I glazed over the menu they had posted outside on the stand.  I decided to go in and chance it.  It smelled good that my tummy started to rumble.  Party of one.  The hostess said I could sit at the bar but the seat was right off the bar.  It looked sad and lonely.  I no problem sitting at the bar but I don't want to feel isolated.

The restaurant was very busy.  I decided not to look at the menu until I got to the table and  I sat in the waiting area and enjoyed the ambiance.

I was taken to the middle of the place against the wall and I was able to see most to the restaurant  the bar was huge and stocked very well with tequila and rum. 

I was debating have a drink but I wanted to have a clear head, if I didn't have a place to go. The service was a little slow but my server was very friendly.    I ordered an empanada for an appetizer and for dinner I ordered ropa vieja,  a beef dish with rice. 

It was delicious.  I am not to crazy about the way the rice is presented.  But it hit the spot.   The dish had fried sweet potato fries it was crisp and light.

While I was waiting for my second soda, I was watching the server make a sangria for another table.  She had it in a little tray and explained what each ingredient was and poured the ice and stirred.

At the tables around me, customers seemed to be satisfied with their meals.  I'll have to bring Bill with me next time.  He would enjoy the whole scene.

I finally got a hold of my parents.  They were sleeping and didn't hear the phone ring.  After I got the check, I was leaving to the Cuban beat.  Happy to have stumbled upon this little treasure.

Satisfied Diner Abbie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wedding Planner- Part Two

After the shock that I was gaining a daughter in law, I got on the phone and called my daughter, Donna Marie. She was working and I had her speaker phone.  Her reaction that her baby brother was getting married.  Just like her mom -  OMG !!  Are you serious?  Over and over again.  We all laughed.  Donna Marie was speaking in a normal tone but she said she would be jumping up and down and reacting wildly, if she wasn't at work. 

When I was able to speak, I told her we were going to dinner and she needed to come by so we can discuss it more and start planning it out.    The dress needed to be bought and the details needed to be arranged.  S started to laugh and asked if she needed to be involved, after all she is the one getting married.  She was planning for a simple service,  Justice of the Peace.  I told her like the movie "Our family Wedding", the family has the wedding and the couple have the marriage.
Hell! My son is getting married and if this is what he wants, damn it, it will look somewhat decent!!

We went shopping and Bill took Sean and got him an outfit and Donna Marie and I took S for her dress.  She tried on a few outfits.   Many outfits!! 

I had so much fun.  I was picking all sorts of dresses.  S didn't want a gown but a simple white dress.  We compromised.  We found one we all liked.  We also found her the cutest shoes.  Very high heels.   The girl was not used to them. 

I know we were a flurry spinning around her.  Making S's head spin.  S was slowing getting into it the more we spoke about it.  I guess she wasn't expecting much, if anything. 

I did ask first about her color preference as far as the arrangements were concerned. I didn't totally take over.  The couple picked their cake and flowers.They already had their rings picked out.  I arranged for the food.  I wish I had more time and more money.

I only had a week and that week was flying by fast.  Bill did the invitations.  Short notice, especially since it was the summer. People always have plans.  I was hoping for the best.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Present

I was watching Bones one day and it was an episode that had Bones and Booth playing with a Nerf gun.  I never had one.  The boys did when they were younger and they had a ball.  They would play with their dad and I had to be "go outside with that".  I was the party pooper.  I did enjoyed watching  them play and having the best time but outside.

When I saw the episode, I said to Bill we should get it .  It looked like so much fun.  He totally agreed. 

While we were Christmas shopping, we went to Toys r Us and they had a great sale on Nerf guns.   I was trying to find the one that was used in the episode.  It was the kind with the round bullets and a huge cartridge for continuous shooting ability.  I didn't see it.  I wasn't there for me anyway and proceeded to get on the longest line in the world with the presents we got for the grandkids.

Christmas morning comes and Bill surprises me with a present.  We normally don't exchange gifts so that way we have more to spend on our family.  Inside my gift bag, my first Nerf gun.  It is a Maverick.
I would like to think if myself as a maverick. (NOT)

I loaded that bad boy up and started shooting the family in front of my grandkids.   Great role model!!  I shot everyone. Not the babies of course! 

It may have been more fun if someone else had a gun but not by much!! : )

Lock and Loaded Abbie