Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bird is A.F.K. Once Again

I will be Away From Keyboard again for a couple of weeks. I am having carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand on the 1st of October. Bear with me....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September Sisters

When there are eight kids in one family the chances of sharing a birth month are pretty good. This is the case in my family. One sister and brother share April, two brothers share May and two sisters and I share September. Our oldest sister has January all to herself.

While I was in Indiana visiting family and friends, my family threw a birthday party for my two September Sisters and I. We had B-B-Q'd brisket, ribs and chicken with all the trimmings like cornbread muffins, baked beans, cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. DELICIOUS!!

After dinner we had birthday cake and ice cream. My sister Cindy had ordered a cake with an old picture of my two sisters and I on it. We thought it would be fun to sit behind the cake in the same order we were sitting when the old picture was taken.

Aside from hairstyle changes and different eye wear, I believe time has been very good to us.

When we finished the excellent birthday cake and ice cream, we cleared the table and began a rousing card game of 1 to 10. It is a very fun game as well as competitive. It is a bit like Euchre in the fact that you try to make your tricks. It was great to play with my mom, sisters, brothers, a niece and nephew. My mom, when she wasn't playing and my youngest brother, who did not play at all, had as much fun watching as we did playing.

Gifts and cards were given as part of the day's festivities. I received many lovely cards and gifts and want to say thanks again everyone!

Sharing my birth month with my two September Sisters is just one of the good things that comes from being one of eight as kids, we had all the birthday cake we could handle when September rolled around.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This year my birth date could be written as 09/09/09. Did this have any cosmic significance? What would the numerologist have to say about this? Was this an extra-special birthday only because of the numbers?

It was extra-special but not due to the triple '0-nines". It was extra-special because I was able to share it with my parents, two of my sisters and a brother-in-law.

My sister Kit and I spent the day walking around the town I grew up in. I could hardly recognize some of it. Thank God for street signs (and Kit), for I might have gotten lost, as many of the old landmarks were gone and new ones in their places. I was very pleased with the new changes to my old hometown. There were beautiful shops, flowers, statues and fountains. I even got used to all of the roundabouts peppered throughout my old stomping grounds.

My high school. Very different from when I attended it years ago.

Kit and I walked about town until we got hungry for lunch. We decided to have lunch at a restaurant that is now inside the old library we used to visit when we were very young. We both opted for the delicious club sandwiches.

It was interesting to go back inside the old library. Of course it seemed smaller to us. Some of the same wood structures were still inside. We went to the basement where the children's section used to be and where we would go for story time years ago; it is now the bar area. We ate upstairs and inside. I thought of my younger self while eating and knowing she would think it was naughty to eat in the library and speak above a whisper and even laugh out loud with your sister more than once.

In our walking before and after lunch we saw things that we thought were picture worthy. Being in the Art and Design District we were inspired to snap away. We saw an old church we did not know existed (we never got too far off of the main drags in our younger days). It was an interesting building and my sister and I soooo wanted to go inside of it.

Kit took me to a different shopping area in town, an open mall full of great shops. I was able to shop and buy The Colonel's birthday present at Sur La Table. Kit took me to Eddie Bauer (Oh how I love their things) and bought me something for my birthday. Thanks Kit, love you!

We looked at the time and realized we had better start heading back to Mom and Dad's. Our little sister Jennifer and her husband Jim were coming over for pizza. The pizza (and cookies, not birthday cake) were delicious and it was great to see Jennifer and Jim.

I had an extra-special birthday and would be inclined to think that the numbers 09/09/09 had nothing to do with it. It was all due to the fact that I was able to spend the day with my some of my family members. Thanks again Kit for the fun filled day!

Birthdays are to Chanukah as...

(Chanukah is a Jewish holiday that spans eight days. Giving a gift on each day of the holiday is a modern day practice.)

This year has been unusual for the birthdays in my family. Unusual in the fact that no one has celebrated their birthday at home this year so far. Spud was in St. Petersburg when he turned 16 and Yam turned 18 at Disney World. I was in Indiana visiting family and friends for my "40-something" birthday. We will have to see where The Colonel celebrates his birthday next month.

Since I was going to be gone for my birthday this year The Colonel gave me my present early. Twelve days later I went to my in-laws and had a birthday lunch and opened more presents from them and my Darling Sister-In-Law. Three days after that I opened my presents from Yam and Spud as well as a couple more from The Colonel.

Three days later (and one day before my actual birthday) I was on a plane heading for Indiana for a surprise visit to my parent's house. Early that evening my sisters, Cindy and Kit as well as myself, went into town to pick up our dinner order we called in to Applebee's (it turns out we called the wrong one, so we had to re-order at curbside at this Applebee's. Our waitress promised us she would call the other restaurant for us and straighten every thing out). While waiting for our re-order there was a car next to us and the people getting back inside were carrying a birthday cake. I think my sister Kit commented that I had just flown in from Florida and tomorrow would be my birthday. The young lady cut me a piece of the cake and handed it through the window saying, "Have a blessed birthday". That was very kind of her and the cake was very moist and delicious. I split it between my two sisters and myself. Our Applebee's order came out soon after. Before heading back to my parents we stopped to pick up an ice cream birthday cake for dessert. Dinner was delicious and so was the cake once we were able to cut through it. It was frozen nearly solid and we could not wait for it to thaw properly before tasting it.

The next day was my birthday and my sister Kit took me out shopping. My old hometown was so changed. We walked around a town I could scarcely recognize. It was beautiful with many flowers, shops and fountains. We had such a fun, full day I will need a separate blog just to elaborate upon it.

Two days before I was scheduled to fly back to Florida there was another birthday celebration, this time for my sisters Kit and Jennifer and myself. All September babies. That was a fun day and one that needs its own blog to be covered properly. I also need to dedicate a separate blog for the day I spent with my dear friend Kim and the birthday gift I received that day.

When I did arrive back in Florida I had more birthday cards to open. My mother had sent my card here, thinking I would be in Florida on my birthday and not in Indiana surprising her and my dad. I also had a card to open from my Aunt Barbara.

So, by my count I had about eight separate days of birthday celebrations and/or gifts received just like Chanukah...and I am not even Jewish.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Back Home Again in Indiana..."

The old saying goes..."You can never go back home again"...I beg to differ...partially. I understand what is behind the old saying in respect to how one has changed (physically, intellectually and emotionally) since moving away, so home does not feel like the home of one's youth. Things are smaller, like bedrooms, bathrooms and yards. One's relationship to their parents is changed. Adult relating to adult now, but one can still visit the childhood home and still feel like they have never moved away. It is all in the people who still live in and around the old homestead. It is the seamless picking-up-where-you-left-off-ness that makes this so.

I recently returned from a two week trip back to my childhood home. I went as a surprise for my parents and boy were they surprised. Kudos have to go out to my sisters and brothers for not leaking information about my surprise trip home. For those who grew up in a large family like I did, you know that keeping secrets can sometimes be difficult (the old grapevine effect). Thanks guys!

After my flight touched ground and I grabbed my suitcase off of the revolving conveyor belt, I headed for the car rental counter. The car I rented had Kentucky plates. I made my way to my parents' house and as I drove up the driveway my mother and two of my sisters were in the yard. My mom asked my sisters, "Who is that? We don't know anyone from Kentucky!" I pulled the car to a stop and slowly opened the door and stepped out. My mom's jaw dropped in disbelief and then closed as she broke out with a huge smile.

My dad was taking a nap when I arrived, so I had to wait to surprise him when he woke up. He woke up not too long after my arrival. He made his way out to the side porch with me secretly tagging behind him. My dad sat down on the bench as I hovered near his left side. He finally looked up and literally did a double-take and then cracked a big smile.

The two weeks back home flew by...again another old saying..."Time flies when you are having fun"...I agree with that one...totally. It was great seeing my family and friends, plus now I have lots of fodder for future blogs.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bird A.F.K.

Bird is Away From Keyboard for two weeks. Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Bittersweet Reunion

Yam is home from college for the long Labor Day weekend. It is a bittersweet reunion.

The sweet part is having her home; seeing and talking to her about her college experiences so far. She likes her classes and professors (bonus) and she has met people and made many new friends and they have participated in fun campus activities together.

One bitter part of the visit is the news Yam brought with her. One of her newly found friends died the day before she came home.

Kelly was wheelchair bound. I am not sure what her ailment was. Her mother moved down with her (she did not live in Kelly's dorm room. Kelly had a single room) to be near and help out when needed. Dad and a sibling were left behind in Michigan. Kelly became dehydrated so was put into the hospital where she died of liver failure.

This is the first time Yam has experienced this; the death of a friend. I have never experienced it. A similar event in my young life was the death of a girl I went to school with. We attended grades 1 through 12 together, yet we were never friends. She died in a car crash shortly after our graduation from high school. I remember hearing of her death. It was shocking to think some one I knew and was my age died. Only old people died.

I could not empathize with Yam's situation, but I could sympathize. Another bitter aspect of Yam's visit was my inability to hold her and comfort her as fully as I wanted to because of my fear of passing along the nasty cold germs.

I am going to throw caution to the wind, hug and kiss her as much as she needs and send plenty of cold meds and dietary supplements with her when she goes back to college.

New School Year + Students = Cold season

One aspect of the new school year I never look forward to is the bringing home of germs. It seems to be inevitable.

Spud started coughing soon after the NJROTC picnic. My immediate thought was the H1N1 virus. No, just a bad cold thank God.

Spud soon becomes like "Typhoid Mary" and spreads his newly acquired germs around the homestead despite all efforts not to do so. There was plenty of hand-washing, coughing and sneezing into facial tissues and elbows, but to no avail.

I soon exhibit a little cough, which then morphs into a full-blown cold. Three days later The Colonel gets the cough. He rarely gets sick, so this cold is hitting him hard. He never naps, says they are for babies (I love a good nap), but he did take one the other day. Like I say, it is hitting him hard.

Most colds last seven to ten days. We are taking extra dietary supplements like Echinacea, Goldenseal and vitamin C in hopes that they will help shorten the duration of our afflictions. I sure hope that it works. I have places to go and people to see.

I have laid in supplies of cold and flu meds, dietary supplements and Kleenex. My arsenal will hopefully hold off any more illnesses that try to make it over the wall. The school year has just started and we still have the snowbirds to worry about. They always bring germs down with them. They typically come down in October and leave in March.

Sure hope I have enough supplies.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nicknames Revisited

I have been reading the blogs of others ever since I started my own. They are interesting, noteworthy, odd, funny, pretty, and some make you shake your head.

One thing I have noticed on many blogs is the use of nicknames. Many bloggers use them in place of the names of their family members and friends. I like that. I think from now on I will do the same.

In one of my earlier blogs I wrote about the nicknames my family members have or have given to one another. My daughter's nickname is Yam and my son's is Spud. I will be using these nicknames for my progeny and refer to my hero-husband as The Colonel.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mach: The Speed of Sound

If these first three weeks of school are any indication of what lies ahead, this year will be gone before we know it. As parents of a Junior, we were reminded at the school's open house, that our student will have much to do this year. PSAT, ACT, college visits, etc. Can you say Mach?

In addition to all of the academic requirements that must be fulfilled, there are the school activities to attend...Mach 1!

Last weekend was the annual NJROTC picnic. It is held at the beginning of the school year as a way of introducing new cadets and their parents to NJROTC and a way for the new and old cadets to get to know one another.

There are always plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs at these picnics as well as chips and ice cold drinks.

The cadets can play volleyball, basketball, football, toss a Frisbee or get into the water and play "Chicken".

One of the annual traditions of the NJROTC picnic is an egg toss. The cadets line up on the beach across from their partners and when the CO (Commanding Officer) gives the word, they begin tossing their eggs. I do not know which team won this year, but I do know they all had a great time.

It rained for a bit shortly after the egg toss, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the cadets or stop them from having fun.

If this picnic is any indication of what lies ahead for the cadets, they'll have a great year as they work and play together as a unit.

I just hope this year does not fly by at Mach 2.