Monday, March 31, 2008

March Sweatness

Here my little list of sweat inducers for the month of March:

Changing from a PC to an Apple

College visits

Zipping my jeans

Trying to find my lost sweatpants

Going to a 2.0 in reading glasses


Fabio (it was his birthday)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Colonel

My mother died six years ago, and in these last eight months, her three siblings have passed away. We are all in Florida this weekend to pay homage to my mother's oldest brother, my Uncle Y, who died last week. Uncle Y was always a force to be reckoned with...and he and his brother Bill (I am named after my Uncle Bill!), were fixtures in our family. As a result, I feel absolutely no wind in my sails right now.

Uncle Y was a career army officer with a brilliant mind. He loved his family and his country. And while I make no secret of my sorrow over those lost in warfare, I am also immensely proud of my family's dedication to military service. I can trace my family's military roots from the Revolutionary War to each and every war this country has since endured. Uncle Y embodied that spirit that I honor and that I am thankful for not only as an American, but, more importantly, as his niece. Below is a small part of his legacy which was detailed in his obituary.

....Y Y began a long military career when he joined the Army on July 4, l944. After Infantry Basic, he graduated from OCS as a 2nd Lt. and served in the occupation force in Germany. In January l947, he rushed home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Bettye Virginia Lee, of Spartanburg, SC, and to attend Vanderbilt University on a football scholarship. Graduating in January 1951, he was immediately called back to active duty for the Korean Conflict. He later attended Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS; Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA; and Army War College, Carlisle, PA. In Vietnam, he commanded the 2/l6 Battalion of the famed "Big Red One" Division. Y Y always considered one of the highest honors anyone could attain "was to be given command of his fellow soldiers in combat." He was awarded numerous medals and badges for service in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, including: the Bronze Star for Valor with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Legion of Merit with Cluster, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, ROK Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge, Airborne, Ranger, General Staff Badges, and many other air and service medals and badges. After his retirement as head of the Ranger Training Command, Fort Benning, GA, Y Y made St. Petersburg his home.

I did not even know of all these accomplishments...he was always just my Uncle Y, and he loved us all. Unconditionally. I always cherished our visits to their beautiful place in Florida, and Fort Benning before that. Nor will I ever forget his debates with my mother. There were many. One time over cocktails, and with utter, smirking vindication, he read aloud to my mother from his newspaper:

Uncle Y (positively giddy): Listen here Betty Ann, "The days of the white wine sippin', Volvo drivin', white, southern liberal are drawing to an end."

Betty Ann (puffing up and a little red in the face): YY, they don't know what they're talking about...blah, blah, blabbity blah...blah, blah, blah

Uncle Y: (not hearing a word she said, because he was laughing too hard) 

His love for us all was genuine and unconditional.

God Bless you Uncle Y, and I hope to have the honor of seeing you again down the road...

Love, Lauren

PS:  Internets, please try to thank a serviceperson when you see one. I have been known to go up and hug complete strangers wearing their fatigues in an airport. Because they need it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weather Report

I guess because we had no real winter this year, we are not going to have spring. High for today? 40 with wind from the north at 20 mph.
I sure hope this doesn't have any effect on my noontime flight to Florida.

It will be 82 there this afternoon.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm Fixin' to Start... get ready to do our taxes. Looks like another extension year. Are there any drugs out there to help this procrastination syndrome that has taken over my entire being?

I think I will invent some tax-meds to help me finish, and here are some names I think I might be trademarking:

  • Tax Refundiagra (wouldn't this be nice?)

  • Dependentrozac (I really need this one soon)

  • Write Offisone (asthmagirl nod)

  • Charity Deductionium AD (overfloweth...)

  • Deadlinepi (is there a cure?)

  • Interest Earnedopium (wishful thinking)

  • Capital Gainslax (ditto)
Any more ideas out there? As you can see, I am using my time ever so wisely...


UPDATE: Well, it's 4:30 here, and so far, I have cleaned my desk to a spit-shine. I have also whipped up a killer pot of rice 'n beans, and I downloaded a bunch of great new songs; the new Counting Crows is the best--FYI! I am also happy to announce that every single bath mat in this house is clean and fluffy. Taxes? Haven't even opened the folder. And cocktail hour is fast-approaching here on a very grey Friday...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Good News...

I'd better figure out how to lose this menopot.  I'm off for my cardio activity of the day.

My receipt from last month.  A Big Mac and a small Diet Coke.  Then, I read this little ditty online... gives me "pause to think."

Bulging belly now could mean dementia later

Carrying a spare tire in your 40s may raise your risk of Alzheimer's

Image: Measuring stomach fat
Getty Images stock
The risk of dementia nearly doubled in people who are a healthy weight, but had a bulging waist, a study found.

                                 By Steve Mitchell
MSNBC contributor

People with a bulging waistline in mid-life could face a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s in the senior years, a new study shows.

Previous research has shown that having an apple-shaped body increases the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, but this is the first time it has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

In the study, which was published Wednesday by the journal Neurology, people who were both obese and had a large belly were three times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in later years than those of normal weight and belly size. The risk of dementia nearly doubled in those who were a healthy weight but still had a bulging waist, suggesting that fat accumulated around the midline is particularly unhealthy for the brain.


After reading this yesterday, I immediately went on Dr. Oz's 9 pounds of fruit and raw vegetable fiber cure.  I think I have fiber-poisoning.  Will be back later.  Maybe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I just want everyone to know that I am not a crappy card player.  I just get crappy cards.
Seven points ain't gonna get you very far.

PS: Please note all the bowls of food and dips in the upper portion of this picture.

Another Evening of Bridge

While I will not again bore you kind folks with the details of the calorie consumption during last night's bridge extravaganza, I will say that it is warm enough for me to walk outside today!  I have made a commitment to myself to do an hour of cardio six days per week.  I have discovered with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, that this is the amount of exercise I have to do just to maintain my newly middle-aged form.  I still haven't figured out how to get rid of the excess poundage.  But I digress.

We played at Miss C's house last night.  A beautiful spot, and Martha used to live across the street!  Playing at Miss C's also meant that I got to visit with Dora's fiance, Louie.

And here is Louie with his Mommy, and Dora's future mother-in-law, Miss C.  Thank you Miss C. for entertaining us so beautifully.  Even though I lost.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help Wanted

Iraq War:
5 Years,
4,000 American Sons and Daughters Lost.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Mom Factor

On Good Morning America this morning, they had a little feature about the mothers of the three remaining candidates for President. One thing they all appear to have had in common is their high expectations for their children.
  • Barack's mother Stanley (her father wanted a boy) instilled in him the belief that there is always something more out there.
  • Mrs. McCain (yes, she's still kicking!) was travelling in France recently, and when she was told she was too old to rent a car to tour the country, she just bought one instead.
  • Mrs. Rodham, abandoned by her parents at an early age, made up for it with caring for her own children. But, when daughter Hillary wanted to come home after only two weeks at Wellesley, she wouldn't hear of it. She knew what her girl could accomplish.

Luckily, my two have set their sights high as well. It's a good thing because I have set mine high too in this vicarious life I live!
I have my new college flip-flops all ready to go.
Any other Pi Phi's out there?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Wishes

I am very blessed to be able to work with the incredible group of talent that is the flower ministry in my church.

We worked like crazy yesterday to move from the solemn season of Lent into the joy that is Easter.



The picture above is the Lady Chapel which is adjacent to the altar. Each year, we are treated to a garden like the one in Gethsemane, on the base of the Mount of Olives, which reminds us of our abundance and blessings. My picture does not begin to do this place justice. I wish everyone could see this. These are called Blizzard Roses.

They are exquisite in person, too.

St. Paul's on the Green
One special place...
I wish you and yours a blessed Spring Season of renewal and love.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Small Talk

Bird, Augie and I got to spend some quality time together yesterday in a doctor's office where we gathered for a checkup. What follows are snippets of what I heard them discussing. The players: Bird and Augie (my 16 y-o twins); Goose - yours truly; Faj - what Augie calls his father.

Augie: Goose, goose?!
Mental Mama: (eyebrows raised)?
Augie: Faj and Bird were talking about college and what she wants to do when she gets out. When she told him about maybe working in Washington, he told her to make sure she stays conservative! (Puffed up imitation voice): "Just don't stray to the left, now."
Bird (snickering): I just think it's easier to play along rather than hurt his feelings.
Augie (with conviction): You know, you should just come out to him. Tell him you're a Democrat.
Mental Mama: (giggles aplenty)
Birdy: (shrugs and smiles)

--Fast forward a few minutes

Augie (thumbing through a 5 month old People magazine): Goose, what is the doctor going to talk to us about?
Mental Mama: I don't know, why don't we wait and see.
Augie (putting magazine down): If he says the word "genitals" I'm gonna have to put my head down. When they used to say it in Health Class, it made me dizzy.
Mental Mama: ~~~

Friday, March 21, 2008

Like Spoons Through a Garbage Disposal

So are the days of our lives...

Random thoughts at 2:48 am:

When do these weird waking times cease?

When will all this dreadful puffiness from my latest visit to the dermatologist subside?

Does my sleeping dog sound like she has apnea?

Are there clinics for dogs with sleep apnea?

When will our local nursery start getting plants?

Were J-Lo's twins really a natural occurrence?

How much does silver go for nowadays?

Where is my Advil PM?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Travels with a Baby Bird

Last week, my Baby Bird and I went driving all over tarnation looking at schools she (we) might want to attend. By the way, what in tarnation does tarnation mean? I think it means all the paved roads. Tar Nation; get it? But I digress. We were really in Virginia. Since Virginia is one state I haven't attempted to study in yet, I think I will really like it there once we get all settled in. I'm working on Augie now, so we can all be close, but he really likes Pennsylvania.
Anyway, believe it or not, my Bird is not a morning bird. Have you ever heard of such nonsense from a sixteen-year-old? She does her best to humor me, but I can see right through her. So basically, I entertain myself with a variety of soliloquies about the beautiful blooming trees we pass (they were gorgeous, and one reason I love Virginia is that spring seems to come nice and early). Other times I have to entertain myself are when she is listening to her i-pod. I generally sing opera arias then. This picture is a garden at a sorority house in Williamsburg. Can't you just see us there?

So, we fast forward to last night. I have this dream I want to analyze:

I wake up in my bed to the sound of chirping baby birds. I have a potted evergreen tree near a large window that a bird has nested in, and her eggs have hatched overnight. I hurriedly open the window so the mother can go get food for her screaming babies. She returns, feeds them, and repeats this many times. Finally, I go downstairs to tell Squazz all about our new family members.

Then I immediately begin to worry about how we are going to make sure that they can fledge safely from their cozy home.

All our babies have to fledge. It seems to be weighing heavily on this Mama's mind these days. Godspeed to all our baby birds.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

T is for Too Much Information

Is it just me, or are we too much in-the-know of our politicians' sexual habits? As I sit here in the wilds of puritan New England, the stories get saucier by the minute. And where I come from, there are certain things we don't talk about.

A little recap:

Two weeks ago, New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer is busted amid reports of a $4300/event hooker and he resigns with the requisite stoic wife at his side. It was not a one-time deal apparently. Imagine that.

The new Governor, David Paterson starts cleaning out his closet about an hour after his swearing in on Monday. Apparently both he and his wife hit a rough patch a while back, and they strayed. But they seem to have worked things out. At least that's what they say.

Then, we hear more sordid tales about the ex-Governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey (he resigned recently after admitting that he was gay and that he gave his male lover a cushy state job). He and his then-wife Dina are now in the middle of a nasty divorce. Surprise! And it now seems that they were involved in three-way sexual encounters with their driver before they were married. The minute details of these trysts have been splashed in the papers for two days. Up until now, her whole story has been all about her betrayal and how he duped her into marrying him, but now it appears (allegedly) that she was well aware of Jimmy Boy's preferences before they even married,

Then on a low-key Tuesday afternoon, we hear that New York's new Governor Paterson had not one, but many affairs. As did his wife. That closet they are cleaning out is quite a roomy one, isn't it?

Now, here in Connecticut, our former Governor John Rowland did time in prison for corruption and tax fraud. We will leave it to speculation about his sexual activities both in the slammer and out. He's out now and working hard in Waterbury. If any of you know anything about Connecticut, you will get a laugh out of that one.

Kind of makes ol' Bill Clinton look a little tame, no? Also kind of makes me almost need a glass of wine and a smoke after I read the paper these days. And I don't even smoke. But seriously, all of these people have children. My heart aches when I think of the damage done to the innocent players in all these dramas. It really makes me wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to serve as an elected official.

And then you have Obama. I don't care what your politics might be, you have to admit he gave each and every one of us something to think about yesterday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

With a Spring in Our Step

There's definitely a hint of spring around here. Annie, Jules and I can just feel it, and while we are at it, we wanted to share some of our spring shoes.
They make us so happy.
Shoe show and tell.
Guess which shoe belongs to which cocktail cornerite.
Doncha love a cute shoe?

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day O'Meme

So there's this new meme floating around out there, and I have decided to play along today. The rules:

1) You must post the rules on your post before you answer the questions. check

2) You need to list one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name use your maiden name instead. check

3) When you are finished with your answers, you tag one person for each letter of your name. nope

L My lilies have sprouted!

I I have no idea how to load my i-pod. Bird and Augie have to put my songs on for me. I don't know what I'm going to do when they skeedaddle off to college. Oh yeah, I forgot. I am going to go too.

L The heck with that sassy water. I am seriously thinking about Liposuction. I hate this menopot business. Seriously.

L I am a total Lifetime TV nerd. As a matter of fact, it is on right now.

I I do not like store-bought ice cream. Not to worry, though, I get plenty of calories elsewhere.

A There has been no one to rival Audrey Hepburn. Ever.

N I grew up hating this middle name. Now I love it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

And Away They Go

Yup. That's my 6'3" baby boy in a pink windbreaker.

And his sister is wearing her driving tiara.

Out for a little fun and frivolity on a Saturday night.

We are going to have us some fun in college, guys!

I can't wait.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ides of March

Happy Birthday Fabio!
He's 49. Time is definitely marching on.

Sometimes We Need a Little Music Therapy

Silly Saturday fun.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Apologies to William Blake (and Keats)

Ode to My Menopot
Belly, belly in broad daylight.
In my jeans oh so tight.
Who dare defy thy gravity?
My butt, my thighs, my abs and me.
The above gals are not anyone I know. Unfortunately. They seem like they might be a fun addition to Cocktail Corner.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says "How's my driving-call 1-800-***-."
Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
So what if I don't actually have ten. You want to make something out of it?

I am on a college road trip this week with my baby bird. The list could be much longer after our experiences on the road together, but I'll spare you. You can thank me later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Dear AARP, I am only 48. Knock it off. Thank you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Babysitters' Club

This is Jules' niece Bella (aka Lil' Miss Magic). One of our favorite activities is getting her to spit at her food. Then we laugh at her. We do this over and over while we sip our wine. We like to babysit, so please pass along our refined and wonderful credentials.
It's a wonder our own kids ever got where they are.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dogs Are Good People

They are not fickle.

They are always happy to see you.

They can stay in the present.

They don't talk back.

They don't criticize.

Your Sunday Lesson

Every Sunday Father Donovan, a preacher at a small church in the little town of Juniper, MO, tried to make the Bible accessible to his congregation through his sermons. On this particular Sunday, Father Donovan proclaimed, "If you ever feel adrift in the sea of life, just turn to the Bible for guidance. All life's experiences are immortalized in the good book, and it will help you find your way to shore."

After church Mrs. Francis approached the preacher and said, "Father Donovan, I don't think every life experience is in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible have I ever read about PMS." Father Donovan had never heard such a comment, so that night he sifted through the Bible to see if Mrs. Francis was right.

Next Sunday Father Donovan pulled Mrs. Francis aside after church and said, "I wasn't wrong last Sunday when I said that every life experience is mentioned in the Bible." "Okay, Father. Where does it say anything about PMS?" Father Donovan opened up his Bible and showed her a passage that read: "And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Bethlehem."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thought for the day

Of all the things I've lost, it's my mind I miss the most.
Big night in Cocktail Corner. Must rest now.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Theme Song

Flea asked all her readers about their favorite songs, and I could think of none other than Petula Clark's Downtown. I have a vivid memory of sitting beside my mother's stereo credenza (remember those things???), practicing tying my keds, and listening to this song. It makes me smile inside and out. And when she came home, and I demonstrated my bow-tying proficiency, my beautiful mother sat back on the sofa and clapped her hands. The next day, she brought me a "Hi, Heidi!" doll. It came in a little red carrying case and had three outfits! I'll never forget that. Do you have a theme song?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chonda Pierce for President

Menopause Parking...Why Didn't I Think of This?

I like this lady. Lots.

Just Wondering

      • Does a tummy-tuck really hurt?
      • Why does Rachael Ray still have a show?
      • Does Dr. Oz really know everything?
      • Or does Oprah?
      • How many calories do you burn having a hot flash?
      • Why do dogs bark at nothing?
      • Do you think a Hawaii Chair is worth it?
      • Is all this sagging business really the result of gravity?
      • Why can't I learn to fold a fitted sheet properly?
      • Can we just go ahead and classify wine as a fruit serving?
      • When are my bangs going to grow back?

      Wednesday, March 5, 2008

      Show and Tell: 1.50 - 2.00

      I suppose I could open a store. But I need all of these stationed around the house and car to survive. Ah, the middle years....Gotta love it.

      Cocktails of Cabo

      We loved every minute. Did I mention that I want to go back?

      Tuesday, March 4, 2008

      Wonder What Their Mental Pause Years Will Bring...

      Moms Allegedly Brawl at Chuck E. Cheese
      Posted: 2008-03-04 15:15:38
      Filed Under:
      Crime News

      NATICK, Mass. (March 3) - A child's birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant was cut short after a fight broke out between two mothers. Natick police said the mom of the 9-year-old birthday boy apparently became enraged because the other woman's son was "hogging" an arcade game.Sgt. Paul Thompson said Catherine Aliaga, 38, and Tarsha Williams, 33, both of Boston, would be summoned into court to answer charges of simple assault and battery stemming from the scuffle.Thompson told the MetroWest Daily News that police received a number of 911 calls about the fight Saturday night.He said what started as a birthday celebration turned into a "birthday melee."
      Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

      Villa Amanda

      Hola Villa Amanda!

      Rosario our housekeeper and Rodrigo our concierge. They were the absolute best. Ever. In my next life, I am going to have a concierge.

      Mental pausing toes.

      Squazz and I "won" this villa at a charity auction last fall.

      You should all be happy that I only posted these two 'wave' shots. I took around 300 pictures of the surf. All of these pics were taken from our terrace overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

      I can't wait to go back.

      Monday, March 3, 2008

      Call Me Ishmael

      Or don't. Your choice. I understand your reluctance. Thar she blows.
      Dolphins. Everywhere. Urp.

      Squazz, Mav and Chief each caught a nice little fishy. I think the three combined specimens weighed a total of five pounds. Manly men. We ate out that night.

      Self Explanatory

      My new personal logo and apology for everything naughty I've ever done or will do. The end.