Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Mess With Me!

I love this falcon. She lives on top of the building where my son works and there is a camera up there that watches her. At first glance she looks like she is suffering from PMS or caffeine deprivation but then one sees the second photo and understands the emotions that this falcon is feeling. She is protecting her babies. I feel this way whenever any person wrongs any of my loved ones. Of course I also have looked this way when I try to talk to a customer service representative on the phone BUT I never get to talk to a 'real' person - I just keep getting told to press 'one' if I want... how frustrating. Okay, so I probably looked like this when I found out one of my children had a huge party at my home when I had gone away for a weekend. And I know I looked like this when a former student told me to 'shove it up my ass' when I asked him to stop running in the halls. I am sure he wished he was dealing with this falcon instead of me as I chased him to the Principal's office. As I get older I am trying to live more like a dove but I do take comfort in knowing that the falcon protector is a part of who I am.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Life happens. And often we have no control over what cards are dealt us. I have been working on the 37 day challenge. Click here if you are interested in living a complaint free, whine free, criticism free life which is the basic challenge of the 37 day site. It is easy to smile, skip, whistle, wink, hug, giggle, kiss, and look at the world through rose colored lens when you wake up to a sunny morning with a warm breeze blowing through your window. How can I not feel perky when my thinning hair lays perfect on my head and I don't have to do a fancy comb over to cover my scalp which loves to shine through some days. I am walking on sunshine when I can fit into my 'skinny jeans' without having to lay on the bed, sucking in and praying I don't catch any skin in the zipper. Life is easy when I know that the whole day is mine to do as I please - the calendar is empty. I feel strong and empowered when I go to the gym and I can run the entire three miles on the treadmill without having to stop to empty my bladder. I have no problem following the 37 day challenge on those days.

Then life happens. And that is when the real challenge begins. Worries and concerns begin to mount and come flying at me in all directions. Elderly parents, broken hearts, death, cyclones, earthquakes, rising prices, people starving, the stress continues... I work hard to maintain a judgement free zone, to be positive, non-complaining, no whining. No pity parties in this house. Right. I feel like I am losing this challenge - I have no magic tricks to help me get out of this funk. Or do I?

As I start to hyperventilate from all the stress, I look around at my world and count my many blessings. I see the beautiful faces, emotions and colors of my world and I start to relax. Breath. I become mindful of the moment and I can feel the tension leaving my neck. I do count my blessings and I appreciate the 'little things'. I understand that often the 'little things' are the 'big things'. And I stop beating myself up over the fact that I had a grouchy day, or two, and I complained and I whined. I forgive myself and accept the fact that I am human. And for this I am thankful. Let the challenge continue!


Friday, May 16, 2008


I recently made an appointment with my gynecologist for my annual check-up. My doctor is a 'he' although at one point in my life I swore I would never allow some male to be in charge of my health care. I think I came to that conclusion after giving birth to my third child. He was born on the floor of the hospital after I got into a fight with my 'male' obstetrician but that is another story.

My current doctor was referred to me by a friend roughly five years ago. She told me he was a good listener (are you sure he is male?) and easy on the eyes. I like the idea of having a doctor who was going to listen to me since I always have lots to say and good looking would be a bonus.

Well, my friend was correct. Dr. S is a handsome listener. Every year, once a year, I go to visit and we have great conversations about my health. He is interested in my life - asks me about the kids, my husband and any recent adventures I have had. We discuss menopause, cholesterol, weight, exercise, breast health, heart health...the list goes on. I always bring a list of questions/concerns I might have plus anything else that pops into my head while sitting there.

He is quite patient with me since I can be a bit neurotic at times. He refuses to let me check my cholesterol levels every six months. He thinks I should train to run the Boston Marathon and tells me not to worry about my knees. He assures me that I am not pregnant - just menopausal and no, he doesn't think I need to take a pregnancy test.

When I had my annual visit with Dr. S three years ago I was in the midst of emotional chaos. I was pre-menopausal, PMSing and preparing for the fact that our 'baby' was getting ready to leave home for college. My husband and I would be experiencing the empty nest syndrome. My primary job for the past twenty something years had been being mom - a job I cherished. What was I going to do now?

I laid on the exam table, paper cloth covering my knees, as Dr. S prepared to do the Pap Exam. I squinched up my eyes, scowling, grimacing. Dr. S asks me if I am okay. "Yes," I reply, "I just hate this part. It hurts."

" Debbie, I haven't done anything yet. Please relax." I tell him that is easy for him to say and that a female doctor would not talk to me like that. He just shakes his head. The cold metal thing is inserted so I can be scraped out. I curl my toes up tightly. I start babbling to distract myself. I tell Dr. S that my baby is leaving for college, what am I to do. I have given the best years of my life to caring , loving, playing, encouraging, hugging, talking, teaching, loving unconditionally - now what? The babble continues. I think a tear runs down my cheek. I don't know how to cook for two. Who will watch the Celtics games with me? Who will help me take care of our dog? Who will help me decorate the house at the holidays? Who will I lay awake and worry about at 2:00 AM?

Dr. S., in a matter of fact tone, says, " Yeah, you probably should just lay down and die. Sounds like life is over for you."

Excuse me. What? I sat up, paper cover falling off, almost. How dare you tell me to lay down and die! What the heck. I am not a quitter. I have a lot of life left in me. I have only just begun to live. I cherish each day. I stood up on the exam table and raised my fist to the skies. I am woman. Hear me roar.

Okay, so I didn't stand up on the exam table - thank goodness. I am still living down the giving birth on the hospital floor incident. But I did start to think differently about life after kids. I am actually taking care of my needs and interests- for the first time in a long time. I actually had to explore and discover what my interests were at the age of fifty. I am taking more risks - in a healthy way. I am developing and strengthening friendships. I am thoroughly enjoying my marriage to my wonderful husband of thirty years. I am experiencing personal freedom. I love sitting back and watching the roads my children choose to explore. I still worry about them - I always will and I will always love them ~ forever.

But I am having fun. And I guess when I go to visit Dr. S this year I will make sure that I thank him for the wake-up call which allowed me to discover and explore this next chapter of my life. I have never felt healthier ! And I can't wait to tell him about my trip to India, the sixty mile breast cancer walk I participated in, my volunteer work, the red ribbon I won at the Fair and the dance classes I am about to begin...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Originally uploaded by Paul Keleher

Just a Quickie!

I am working on a longer, more thoughtful blog for tomorrow, hopefully but just wanted to pass on a few thoughts for all of my loyal readers ;0

First - today, May 15th, many Dunkin' Donuts are handing out free iced coffee (160z.), any flavor, made just the way YOU like it. FREE! I only had to wait in line for tenish minutes but it was worth it. Summer must be almost here if it is iced coffee season.

Secondly ~ for all those music lovers out there check out It is a unique free radio station - you choose the songs/artists which play. Great concept - I have had a great day as I create MY stations. Dance to the Music!

Third ~ I LOVE the Boston Celtics! and I am looking for tickets to the Championship Game - let me know if you know somebody who knows somebody - thanks.

Enjoy the day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sad Truth.

A mother can only be as happy as her unhappiest child. (Not sure of orginal author but I heard it said on 'Law and Order' ~ and it is the first time in a long time that I heard something on TV which made me pause and reflect - and then agree.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Simple truth.

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~ Tenneva Jordan

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Those Little Puckers !

I have spent this past week visiting my parents at their home in an 55+ adult community in the sunny south. It has been a week of catching up on family news, sharing of memories and reconnecting. It has also been the week in which I exposed my legs, arms and face to the sunshine after many months of being covered in layers of clothing. My very pale skin was responsible for blinding many a person as I walked down the streets wearing shorts and short sleeved tops.

The first day I put on my shorts I noticed that something was wrong with my legs, specifically my thighs. I have these little puckery pockets all over my thighs! They resemble cottage cheese and they jiggle as I walk. These cottage cheese puckers weren't there when I covered my thighs up for the long months of winter. I can't even imagine what these puckers looked like as I ran around on the tennis court attempting to hit the tennis ball this past week. Cottage cheese puckers in motion - gross. How did this happen? I began to reflect on life during the past cold winter months which seemed to last forever this year.

Okay, so maybe I became rather sluglike in the cold winter months. I had to make a choice - cuddle up in front of the fire with my husband or put on my gym clothes, get in the freezing cold car, drive on slippery roads to the gym and get on the treadmill and sweat. I chose the cuddling every time. I also have a fantastically comfy chair and a half in which I love to curl up, covered with a blanket and then I read the night away. I often have a mug of hot cocoa with a little shot of butterscotch schnapps or a mug of hot buttered rum. Heavenly. I also cook a lot of comfort foods in the winter. We don't eat too many salads in the winter months but lots of chowders or chili served with slabs of cornbread. And don't forget the holidays. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas... I eat my way from one holiday to the next. Delicious!

Then there was my birthday celebration. I decided that I wanted to have banana splits as my birthday dinner. Scoops of ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles and yes, there was a banana on the bottom of it all. Did I mention the scrumptious cake that my sister bought for my birthday - sinfully yummy chocolate raspberry truffle with the most incredible frosting - excuse me for a minute, I am drooling as I write about it.

Okay, maybe I do know where my cottage cheese thigh puckers came from. Now I must deal with them because they are making me gag every time I look down. I have stepped up my level of exercise. I am being a more mindful eater - smaller portions and healthier choices. I will take control of my thighs and I will defeat these little puckers. So if you see me running down the road, as I prepare to run a half marathon this autumn, just keep your eyes on the road - and avoid the puckers! And once I conquer this battle, I will take on the chicken flaps!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I Challenge You to Join Me!

Yesterday while blog hopping, I came across a blog which made me stop in my tracks. I wanted to curl up in a big comfy chair with my laptop, I do wish it were softer, and read all of the posts that had ever been written by the blogger, Patti Digh. The site is called 37 days and can be reached at: Basically the premise is what would you do if you found out you only had 37 days left to live? How would you live your life? I invite you to visit the blog to discover the history behind the idea and to take time to reflect about your own life. I have been doing a great deal of reflecting lately - and it has been a healthy exercise.

Somehow a challenge was started by one of the readers of Patti's blog back in October of 2007. All you have to do is go for 37 days "being complaint-free, criticism-free, whine-free, and gossip-free". I have seen many challenges on blogs but I think this is my favorite one yet. The best part is that every day is a new day. Each day is day one. I can do it. How about joining me? Let me know if you are up to the task - just think about it ~ days full of positive talk, smiles, and laughter! How hard can this be? Let's start...NOW!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Loss of Innocence

Once a week I volunteer at a local organization which provides after school daycare for girls. I currently am running a book group with eight girls who range in age from 7 to 9 years old. We are reading 'Pippi Longstocking' which is a favorite of mine. Pippi is a strong, independent female character who loves a good adventure.

Each week we read a chapter together and then do an activity revolving around the book. We keep a journal, we made cookies just like Pippi did and we have lively book discussions. A couple of weeks ago we started making paper dolls, one of Pippi and one of ourselves. I brought in orange yarn, lots of colorful fabric, glue, markers and crayons - all the necessary materials. The girls worked diligently on their dolls and were very involved.

One girl, Lisa, came over to show me her Pippi doll. "Look at this, Debbie. Pippi is 3-D." I am confused. I look at the doll. I look at Lisa. "I'm confused. What do you mean that Pippi is 3-D?" She sticks Pippi in my face. "Debbie, look closer. Pippi has a bra and boobs." What! I try to be quick on my feet since I have 16 eyeballs staring at me, waiting. "Hmm... gee... I have been reading this book with all of you and I know we read about Pippi's red hair, her mismatched clothing and her huge shoes and she is nine years old - do you think she has to be wearing a bra yet?" We then discussed Pippi and her breasts, or lack of, since the girls agreed that Pippi probably didn't need to be wearing a bra yet since the pictures in the book don't show her having developed breasts. This is the first time in all the years I've read Pippi that I had to discuss Pippi's anatomy. I took a deep breath and watched as the girls continued working.

What the heck is Maria drawing on her paper doll? Is that a black lace bra, panties and a garter belt? Oh, I am in over my head. I can feel a headache coming on. I sit down next to Maria and quietly ask her about her doll. "This is me," she proudly announces and holds the doll out for me to see, up close and personal. "Don't I look pretty," she asks me. Silence. This book group has taken a turn for the worse or maybe I should say that our society has truly taken more than a few bad turns.

I took Maria aside so we could talk privately. I explained to her that these dolls were going to be hung up on a bulletin board for all to see and that it would not be appropriate for her doll to be dressed only in underwear. She pouted, "I like this outfit." I knew I had to proceed carefully since I knew nothing of this child's home life. We discussed Britney Spears and Paris Hilton - and Maria knew lots about these 'superstars' ~too much. We discussed appropriate ways to dress and behave ~ and how TV isn't real too often. At the end Maria agreed to put clothes on her doll ~ and she happily colored and glued and designed a dress out of the penguin material I had brought with me. She giggled and laughed with the other girls and for a few moments she once again behaved as a nine year old should behave.

I changed the girls' names in this post so I could protect their identity but I am afraid that it might be too late. Pippi has lost her innocence. And so have they.
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