Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution Request

I need some ideas for resolutions that I won't keep can live by. All I can come up with is that 2010 will be a year of no more water retention. Or itching. Anybody?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"A Candle in the Wind"

Remember the fan that blows all your well-placed and organized papers away? It is very real. And I was pointedly reminded the day after we greeted our Sunday here with such a tragic loss. Sending up prayers for my friends the Rochlin's. And everybody else who mourns or weeps or grieves this day. We will say goodbye to Charley this morning.

On a cold, breezy Monday afternoon in Westport, friends and family of the late Charles "Charley" Rochlin filtered through the same Meeker Road residence where the 24-year-old native was raised and returned to when he wasn't serving his country overseas as a U.S. Marine. Seated together around the kitchen island were Rochlin's three younger sisters -- Taylor, 9, Kendall, 12, and Brittany, 21. Slouched in their stools, the three girls said little; their necks glimmered from the personalized diamond pendants their older brother had given to each of them on Christmas morning, less than 48 hours before he was killed in a Sunday morning car accident on Greens Farm Road. Rochlin was traveling in a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his childhood friend Matthew Packer, 25, of Westport, when wet and foggy conditions forced the vehicle off the roadway and into a tree at about 2:45 a.m. on Sunday. The collision, which produced severe damage to the passenger side of the vehicle, killed Rochlin and sent Packer to Norwalk Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Westport police said. Rochlin's parents described their son on Monday as a family-oriented young man, honored to serve his country as a Marine and happy to live life as an American. "My Charley was dedicated to his family," said his stepmother, Lucretia Rochlin. "A huge, huge part of his life were his three sisters. They adored him; Charley was their hero." So much in fact that when the young Marine returned home in September after a seven-month tour in Iraq, the youngest of the three brought her brother to Coleytown Elementary School for show-and-tell, Lucretia Rochlin said. Whether it was answering questions for a room full of elementary school children or helping his blind, 91-year-old great-grandmother navigate the house, Charley Rochlin had a way of relating to different personalities, she said. "He loved to help people, he was the least selfish person you would ever meet," Lucretia Rochlin said. Born in Westport on Sept. 14, 1985, Charley Rochlin played competitive sports since childhood, taking home junior golf championships and numerous pee-wee hockey trophies, said his father, Scott Rochlin. He attended Fairfield College Preparatory School for three years and played varsity ice hockey, helping lead the Jesuits to two state championship titles, Scott Rochlin said. He went on to graduate from Staples High School before spending a year at Norwalk Community College and another three years at the University of Colorado. In March of 2008, he sat his parents down and announced his intentions to act on his dream of becoming a U.S. Marine, his father said. The family was proud of his intentions and supportive every step of the way, Scott Rochlin said. "I was obviously nervous what with everything that was happening," he said. "Those seven months he was away (on tour in Iraq) I can tell you I got very little sleep." Rochlin had only recently returned home for Christmas break and was scheduled to ship off in early January for a second tour, this time in Afghanistan, his father said. Scott Rochlin awoke Sunday morning expecting to celebrate his own birthday with his wife and children. Instead, there was no celebration; Charley Rochlin was gone. "I was really looking forward to spending my birthday with (Charley)," Scott Rochlin said. "We never quite got there." The funeral will be held on Dec. 30 at 9 a.m. at Saint Luke Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North, Westport. Interment with full military honors will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main St., Westport. The accident is still under investigation and the Westport Police Department is requesting that anyone who may have witnessed or has information about the accident call the police department at (203) 341-6000.

Hour Staff Writer

Tuesday Text: Parentexting

I am usually very good at managing my expectations.
After Augie took his extended vacation at school after his exams,
I was more than thrilled to have him home.
For about an hour.
Now I pretty much spend my time parentexting.™
Isn't that a good word?
And my boy is such a chatter box.
And The Bird?
Pretty much the same.
They've been in Vermont since Saturday.
They'll be back for New Year's black eyed peas.
Then back to Vermont they go.
I think I'll go get a new hole punch so I can have something to do....
And isn't this last question what every mother wants to read?
As she is getting ready for bed?

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today's Aquarius Horoscope:
Dec 28, 2009

Someone has just turned on the fan, and papers are flying everywhere, dear Aquarius. The pace of things is picking up, and you are scrambling to pick up the pieces. Stay in close communication with others today, for this will be your saving grace. You may require the assistance of others to help fetch the stack of important documents that has blown across the room. Keep a close eye on things so you don't loose your place in the game.

Just when you get everything in order. Poof. It can be gone in an instant. And learning to ask for help from others and to then receive it is one of life's most important lessons. This reminder comes across my desk this morning as a gift from the Universe. And I think we can all use it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Finery

Pretty Birds.
Prettiest Bird.
And her fancy brother....
Merry Makers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848

Music: Irby (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

Tuesday Text on a Wednesday...

Sorry for the delay.
I know you were on the edge of your seat waiting for this.
It's just so riveting.
In a nutshell, my beloved son stayed at school
for two more days after his exams.

And I think they are doing a fine job of educating me...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Winter's Eve

Sunday, December 20, 2009
Compo Beach, Westport, Connecticut.
The day after the storm where we got about a foot of snow.
It's very festive, isn't it?
Those cannons mark the spot where 2000 British soldiers landed.
They ended up losing that war.
I know this because I don't have a British accent.
Sunday evening.
Compline at St. Paul's on the Green.

In the early Christian church, monastic desert communities continued the Jewish practice of prayer at principal hours of the day. The evening service symbolized the light of Christ in the darkness of the world. Compline is taken from the Latin word completorium meaning “completion of the day.” At St. Paul's, Compline is sung in the church, lit by hundreds of candles as incense burns before an icon and chant soars through the arches of the nave.

Compline is sung every Sunday evening at 9 PM and lasts twenty minutes. In addition to Gregorian chant, at least one motet is sung each week.

I wish everybody could come to this with me.

It's a wonderful way to finish a busy day.

And last night, we also celebrated to Winter Solstice.
This makes me especially happy.
That's because after today, the days start getting longer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Hope your Saturday was successful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Self Explanatory

Country Girl gave me this tea towel when she visited recently.
It's an uncannily astute observation of what I thought was my own little secret.
It may now be one of my favorite sayings. Ever.
Over the past two years, I have made many friends in here.
I never knew how much fun having a blog would be...
That I've been able to meet so many of you is even better.
I hope that trend continues in 2010 as well.
Do you have as much fun blogging as I do?
Have a safe weekend, my friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This-n-That Thursday: Holiday Style

Twas the week before Christmas,
And all through the blogosphere land,
Mental P's friends were bragging cheering,
Because they had everything in hand.

And yet Mental P. sat, day after day,
In her baggy sweatpants,
Just itching away.

The children were returning,
From their first college foray.
They were excited to have,
Their traditional holiday.

And yet Mental P. sat, day after day,
In her baggy sweatpants,
Just itching away.

And in the cold break of dawn,
The seventeenth of December,
Mental P. woke with a yawn.
And began to remember.

Today is the deadline,
For her list crafted with care.
So Mental P. will be scurrying,
Everywhere and on a tear.

And by the time Metal P. sits down tonight?
She will deserve that bucket glass of wine...
She might not look or smell just right,
But she will have salvaged Christmas 2009.

To do today:
Get asthma shots
Do Christmas cards
Bake a rum cake for Squazz
Make chicken soup for Augie
Get acupuncture treatment for eczema
An indoor tree?
Last day for online shopping--must start shopping
Get groceries for hungry college students
Go get Augie at the train.
Finish shopping
Wrap presents
Go to CVS when there is no wrapping paper

What's on your list?
Does anyone want to come help?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Decor and the Empty Nest

A few years ago, I ordered an artificial Christmas tree from a reputable catalog.
It wasn't inexpensive, so I thought I was getting a good one.
I was wrong.
Think Charlie Brown's tree, but fake.
At least it came pre-lit.
And in its own storage bag.
That's a good thing, right?
So, right before Augie went back to school after Thanksgiving,
I had him bring our Christmas tree up from the basement.
He dutifully placed it in the living room window.
And he left.
The tree sat in the living room for three weeks.
Waiting to be adorned.
But Squazz and I had a moment of genius:
Let's just move it outside!
No decorations needed.
That way we are able to continue to relax in our child-free way.
And we can see it every time we drive down the road.
It's quite festive.
Don't you think?
Wonder if the kids will notice there is no tree in the house...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Text: A Tale of Two Teens

Isn't it every mother's dream to get a message like this?
He may as well have said that they have real jail cells in Philadelphia.
A man cold, college style:
And then we have this one....
I truly believe my daughter was both
Thomas Jefferson and Audrey Hepburn in former lives.

But the one thing my babies have in common?
A knack for avoiding their mother.
Please notice how one-sided most of my conversations seem to be....
And the funny thing is, it doesn't bother me.
I'll take whatevs whatever I can get;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Fuzziness


Monday, Dec 14, 2009
Your thoughts are dreamy, fantastic, and faraway right now. Your imagination and intuition is heightened, which benefits any creative or artistic work you may do. However, your practical reasoning ability and your ability to focus on the here and now are diminished. Your judgment regarding concrete matters is a bit fuzzy at this time, so you may wish to delay making important decisions.

get yours

Speaking of fuzzy...

Is it my heightened imagination,
or is that an awfully large waxing place?
Who knew there was that much fuzz in Westport?
And since I am not supposed to make any important decisions today.
I'll let you decide.
Wax or no wax?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Hi. I'm Dora.
And I'm famous all over the Internets.
At my Aunt Daryl's blog. And my Aunt Kate's place.
Now if I could just get my humans to get rid of this stupid collar.
My life would be perfect.
Well, maybe a nice biscuit, too.
And a nap.
Yes, then my life would be perfect.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Memory

I have lots of Christmas Memories.
I should, too, because I've had about 29 of them.
Work with me.
When I was 5, I got my first bike.
A purple Huffy.
Monkey bars.
Banana seat.
And those sparkly streamers on the grips.
The only thing I had to do was learn to ride this bad boy.
Enter my stepfather.
He would run behind me, holding me up as I barely stayed upright.
"Are you there Tyler?"
I repeated my mantra while I wobbled along.
Every time, I would hear his panting reassurance "Yes."
"Are you there?"
Huff, huff, cough, huff, wheeze. "Yes"
And one day?
He was at the top of the hill.
I had done it!
And when I realized I had sailed down this path on my own,
I fell over.
But I knew I could do it.
Patience, perseverance, hard work, praise and satisfaction.
Life's lessons all wrapped up in a purple bicycle.
And that was the best gift.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This-n-That Thursday

This week's new annoyances symptoms of my advancing years:
  • Cannot see the buttons on the phone
  • Cannot hear anything except screaming children in restaurants
  • Raging dyslexia
  • Overnight eyelash loss
  • A need to talk to the people on television
  • A need to talk to myself
  • Overnight goatee
  • A need to scream at the lead story on the news at 6
  • Everything itches
  • Everything is especially itchy between 2 and 5 AM
I wonder what next week will bring....What's itching you?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last Weekend

Annie, MPM, Daryl, Kate (photo credit)

Today's Aquarius Horoscope:
Dec 09, 2009

You have always been independent, dear Aquarius. You tend to act on your own, and you don't trust outside help. Over the last few weeks, however, you have managed to find people who have accepted you the way you are. It is as if you have found a refuge where you can escape reality. But you will find that if you open your heart to others, you will find additional places of refuge.

get yours

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Text

After Thanksgiving, The Bird went back to Virginia in a horrible storm.
I was sick with worry the whole flight time.
I was watching the status online, and it disappeared.
Yes, disappeared.
But I recovered.
I think.
How much does one tip a cab?

Monday, December 7, 2009


Remembering December 7, 1941.
And yesterday, Annie and I went to a fundraiser
A foundation that brings WWII Veterans to see their memorial
in Washington DC. 1600 WWII Veterans die each day.
So time is of the essence.
We thanked our heroes.
We were proud to be in their company.
And we made Christmas cards.
To send our troops.

It was a magical evening.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Morning

When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with the enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God. For, as all right-thinking people were aware, lightning is sent by God to punish impiety or some other grave sin—the virtuous are never struck by lightning. Therefore if God wants to strike any one, Benjamin Franklin [and his lightening-rod] ought not to defeat His design; indeed, to do so is helping criminals to escape. But God was equal to the occasion, if we are to believe the eminent Dr. Price, one of the leading divines of Boston. Lightning having been rendered ineffectual by the 'iron points invented by the sagacious Dr. Franklin,' Massachusetts was shaken by earthquakes, which Dr. Price perceived to be due to God's wrath at the 'iron points.' In a sermon on the subject he said,' In Boston are more erected than elsewhere in New England, and Boston seems to be more dreadfully shaken. Oh! there is no getting out of the mighty hand of God.' Apparently, however, Providence gave up all hope of curing Boston of its wickedness, for, though lightning-rods became more and more common, earthquakes in Massachusetts have remained rare.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


And tonight?

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Must-See

It'll do your soul good.
I promise.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This-n-That Thursday

Things I don't care about:
  • Tiger Woods' private life.
  • What club Tiger's wife may or may not have used to beat the tar out of him.
  • How much money tabloids pay people to dish.
  • Gloria Allred.
  • The terms of the Woods' pre-nuptual agreement.
Things I DO care about:
  • All our sons and daughters fighting wars on the other side of this planet.
  • All those who are unemployed or underemployed.
  • All the want and hunger in this country.
  • Finding a cure for cancer.
  • The health and well-being of all those I hold dear.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Food for Thought

800 pounds of non-perishable food.
All collected at a cocktail party.
And donated to the local shelter.
Think about it.