The Moment When…

There are so many of these moments in all of our lives and I thought I would cover my top 20. This is not a new practice, but an enlightening one.
Here we go.

1. The moment when I realized I reached adulthood: 

Married at 18. Pregnant at 19. Delivered my first child 2 weeks prior to my 20th birthday. She had a horrible birth defect  and I became a mother, nurse, best friend and an instant adult.

2.  The moment when I understood the generation gap was getting wider:

Millennial’s and their right of passage has become their right of entitlement.  The easy way. No work ethic. Everyone gets a trophy and I began to write letters to editors. Good grief.

3.  The moment when I cried for hours:

August 22nd 2012 when I left my only son at Albany University. I don’t cry anymore. There are medicines for that you know.

4.  The moment when I knew I was pretty lucky:

1983. I avoided a head-on collision by turning right under a semi going 40 and lived. AMC Gremlins are my secret love.

5.  The moment when I knew my father loved me:

That same day of the accident when he saw me and then he saw the destroyed car.

6.  The moment when I thought I had lost everything:

My oldest child slipped into the beyond three times before they were able to revive her. The Hackensack Intensive team brought her back to me.

7.  The moment when I accepted my past:

Easily the worst realization of abuse by no less than four men and two cheaters. I’m not bitter anymore. I also won’t ever forget. 

8.  The moment when my first dog died:

His name was Doxie and he was my dog growing up. Nobody else’s. Just mine. At the end of his life he could not see and stayed on my bed waiting for me.

9.  The moment when I had that big “aha”  moment:

Slightly long termed-history here.  What my actual “aha” is will remain with me.

10.  The moment when I could do a cart wheel:


11.  The moment when I loved to listen to music in the car:

1982 through ….ahhh..2010

12.  The moment when I felt old for the first time:

in 2010, when I could no longer concentrate with music playing while I drove.

13.  The moment when I lost my virginity:

You wish you knew that

14.  The moment when I batted in a home run:

Last summer. With the best of friends.

15.  The moment when I had too much to consume and I was carried to bed:

January 7, 2015. I still got it… well not so much but I pretended to with the best of friends.

16.  The moment when I really loved my body:

1980. Had the greatest Florida tan when I moved to Philly for the summer. It’s been a constant battle ever since.

17.  The moment when I played football with playing cards:

1976. Kicked my brothers ass and he hated every minute. Then we played electronic football with the little felt football that you meticulously put into the plastic kicker …bzzzz. Greatest game ever invented.

Football 1976
18.  The moment when I turned 30

Got a tattoo, a belly ring and finally, my voice. I wouldn’t be quiet any longer.

19.  The moment when I watched the greatest of all time shows, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

We all did. The best weekend show and family time. 

20.  The moment when I got fired from a job:

The only time. It helped me learn.

What are yours?? Continue reading

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Nobody wins in situations like this past weekend at Daytona. Kurt Busch was suspended for possible domestic abuse that finally hit my beloved sport. Unthinkable. I’m quite sure the timing of the courts ruling and subsequent suspension was directed right at this weekend and also pretty sure that Kurt has a serious anger problem. His brother, Kyle, almost left a permanent mark on an inside wall during a horrific accident.  It would leave him broken, some fans cheering and NASCAR scrambling twice in just that many days to address controversy.

Qualifying changes were unsettling and twitter ran amuck with a trending “Im in Daytona and have a helmet”.

That was superb by the way.

The truck race thrilled the spectators that came, which were unfortunately sparce.  I just don’t get that. The truck races are by far the most action packed two hours lead by great drivers turning absolute mayhem into a science, usually ending in an upside down finish where mayhem returns. The only thing better would be to watch them all race supercharged minivans.

Popular drivers were sent to the back of the field for the 500 and early exits of serious contenders left some fans dejected. As I sat inside Hall of Fame Suite 404, I sighed. This would be the last race for the backstretch. The seating was sold to Phoenix and in 2016 Daytona Rising would be complete. They are going to call it the first autoracing stadium. Nothing about that seemed good or appealing, just more expensive and less sentimental.

Then the day brightened and the race got interesting with back to back exits of Ford machines including Brad Kaselowski.  The cautions brought  three wide racing and the new fever that there could be a checker that would be just nuts. Strategy and poor lane choices would keep us all on edge and the bets on Danica’s finishing spot were getting heated. Jokes about Denny Hamlin and the Busch brothers flew out of every mouth and the day was looking up.

Then it happened. The race ended and Joey Logano won in a Green / White / Checker finish that only Joey fans loved. Jeff Gordon, who is retiring after this season was wrecked in the final seconds after a great day and Dale, Jr finished a tremendous third, which is still never good enough for his fans. Why doesn’t he just use a tiny piece of his fender?  Because he is not his father, who I still miss.

Then began the complainers on every social media platform. Kyle was in surgery and Kurt’s final appeal was denied sending him to an announcers booth near you. Nobody seemed happy. 

Except Logano who was there at the right time and won his first Daytona 500… and me because I was there to be a part of it all. One more plus? No tornado warnings and Jeff Gordon looked stout. His last year might just be fantastic. The Thunderclap of cars and the upgrade that all tracks will have to do, more soft walls, was encouraging. It’s all about perspective. This from a Tony fan whose car almost came in dead last.

My daughter met a legend and spent time talking about their courtship and we met great new fans who shared the passion for racing as we did.  We signed our names on the finish line and Dee found out that she loved photography.


Not one of us shared a favorite driver in our suite and only one person cheered for Joey when he won but we all had a great weekend together.

Thank you Leonard Wood and Wood Brothers Racing for making our day and for every driver who made us stand up, chew our finger nails and make our hearts skip a beat.

Life is about perspective. Through change, the good and the bad, I have made memories with my family. That’s all that really matters.


The rest is just the unwanted vegetable on the plate of our childhood.

Get well Kyle.  I can’t believe I just wrote that.

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Brain Food

Sound asleep

Sound asleep

Insomnia is a nice way to say, you just cant sleep at all. Not ever.  I’ve been suffering for years with the lack of sleep and tonight is no different than most other than I did fall asleep rather fast in the beginning, which is sometimes the bane of my existence.  Tonight, my brain just decided to wake up at 3 am or so and not let me go back to sleep.  It seems that it doesn’t like to just rest.  Instead it thinks, worries and daydreams like a well oiled and self centered calculator.  Here is some of what my brain was thinking about last night:

The Shining.  I had just finished reading the book a mere six hours ago.  Jealousy of the writing skill that had me turning page by page to get to the end.  Coffee.  Decaf coffee.  I’ve been avoiding all caffeine in the past almost three years and now I worry that when I order it at a restaurant, they serve me leaded because they are out or they are too lazy to get me the unleaded pot.  Bastards.  I really should head downstairs to grab a cup.  Hell, I’m up already.  No, no.  The whole idea is to try to fall back asleep because tomorrow is a very busy day.  Getting up will just mean my brain will have free will and I will start laundry or turn on The Hallmark Channel.  (another story for another time) I will need to be focused tomorrow at work.  Three days until several deadlines loom and preparations are a must.

Lets try starting a dream.  Its hard to do that with a dog in-between your legs and a CPAP machine chugging away just a few feet from you (the hubbys).  Wait.  There is a mattress on the floor by the fireplace from the snow storm the night before.  Snow storm.  Hahahahha.  Sorry. I just had a little chuckle.  The fire needs stoking anyway and a few logs, so ok, lets get up.  My brain giggles back at me in the quiet darkness.

After addressing the heat issue, I suddenly had a craving to cough.  A dry throat. The worst kind of cough in the middle of the night.  I don’t want to wake my husband because he will worry that I’m not sleeping, insist that since we are both “up” lets have a few intimate moments.  In my house that means he will fall deeper into sleep after and I will lay there watching his breathing, slowly cursing sex and all that surrounds my husband’s very accommodating brain.  So, I get up gently and head to the bathroom to have a drink of water.  While I’m in there, I decide its a good time to expel the  trays of all of the unused and expired medicines that seem to multiply like rabbits in the closet.  I should mount a close circuit camera in there.  I’ve always been a firm believer that expired drugs don’t work as well.  I found some Dulcolax.  Take two.  Expired May, 2012.  Grab the rest of the glass of water and head back to the mattress.  I giggle again thinking of the movie, You’ve Got Mail and Tom Hanks and Greg Kinnear’s reference to “go to the mattresses” .  Now you need to see that movie again, don’t you. I would watch The Godfather first, so you actually get the reference.  Then, Meg Ryan’s dismay will be even cuter.

So now its oh, 4 am.  My brain is thinking about my weight, the super bowl party that we are having this weekend and our upcoming trip to the land of the mouse, Mickey World. Insert the comedy shot of Wally World here.  I stop my brain’s change of topic, adjust my seatbelt only to realize that I cant ride most of the rides now at the parks and think deeply about what else I can do.  Maybe I can find hidden Mickeys.  I sit up, look at the cabinet across the room and there it is.  The Hidden Mickey book.  My new Disney friend.  Grab the phone.  There is a Hidden Mickey app.  I’m golden.  My brain suddenly laughs so hard I can hear it and I push out a shhhhh from my dry lips.  Where is my lip balm?  Am I addicted to balm?  Wax? Bees are great producers of my addiction.

I picture myself in the Overlook Hotel, 1970 and the clock strikes midnight and the party really begins. Back on the snow-bed I go.  Let me text my cousin in DC and let her know I’m thinking of her right that minute.  I know it wont do much good, but maybe she will know tomorrow morning that I love her.  If her phones goes off and she reads my text now, we could chat or she could call me.  No response.  My brain kicks into overdrive and realizes that my cousins  food list isn’t quite finished yet, so I open Amazon.  Its all downhill from there.  Amazon Prime Pantry is going, notifications are hitting my screen and I had a random thought that I hadn’t played Trivia Crack in almost two days.  Open App.  Play seven games and start three new ones.  I have no lives left and nobody is playing to hit me back.  Why aren’t people up now to play with me for Christ’s sake?

I look at the clock.  448 am.  Purchase some random headbands that I don’t need, but are cute and lay my head back onto the mattress.  Not a peep from my husband nor the two dogs who have now decided the mattress was the place to be.  They are too cute to move.  I have no blanket but refuse to get up again and just squeeze myself between the four legged children and think.  Think.  Think.  I think about the ability to stop thinking.  I grab my journal and write down the next book I need to purchase and without a second thought, grab my phone and, hit that wonderful icon “Amazon” and place the order for :

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  How ironic I think out loud.  My brain just smiles a wicked toothy smile.

By the way, this is not a self help book but the sequel to The Shining which I have to read soon.  Could Danny really be a 25 year old version of Jack?  Check the clock. 521 am.  I hear footsteps and a door not so quietly shut.  What the heck is Darien doing up?  Click.  Door shut.  Feet padding across the soft carpet back to her room.  I wonder if she just checked her messages?  I’ve got to sleep.  I text a note to my husband not to wake me tomorrow that I couldn’t sleep and finally lay my head down onto the pillow.  Exactly one hour later, I feel an arm around me, pushing her way into my snow-bed and grab my hand.  Its 615 am and my daily ritual of a ten minute snuggle has started.  I’m exhausted, cold and very happy at the moment.

When Darien gets up and kisses me , I ask her to tell daddy to cover me up after he gets out of bed, add wood to the fire and keep it quiet.  She whispers ok and back to sleep I head.

Its funny that its now 12 pm the next day. I’m at the office working and trying desperately to focus and think.  My brain laughs loudly and thanks me for all of the brain food I gave it last night.  It is full and satiated and will now take a nap.

You just have to be kidding. FYI: the Dulcolax worked just fine.


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The Crossroads of Squash

Its January again and that same feeling comes through my mind.  Write.  To be honest, I have been.  A new style called journaling.  I’ve penned two stories and thousands of thoughts, however private this past year.  There came a time last January where I met my greatest fear and because of it, I jot down everything.

Have you ever felt that you are a sinking ship in the middle of an ocean in time where there are no shores, paddles, water or food, yet you seem to survive only to feel invisible walls creeping in.  I felt that way.  At least I think I did.  I really don’t remember now.  I would have to look in that journal.  That journal.  I carry it everywhere now for purpose and faith in my notes that I will certainly need in the future.  Why you are wondering?

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving of 2013, I fell.  I had a seizure.  Or was it the reverse?  I was exhausted and all I really remember from that night is a very sore head.  I had a brain bleed from the fall.  Or was it from the seizures?  EEG’s were arranged and many visits to CT, MRI and my newest doctors who saved me.  The walls were heavy to keep apart, like a surreal dream in Divergent or a time warp inside of my squash telling me to run, but I couldn’t.

By January,  2014 I was in complete liver failure, had iron poisoning and was in the middle of troubleshooting all of my genetic health history.  It was then that the walls were crushing me.  I was an epileptic.  Adult onset full blown out of this world brain malfunction girl.  There went my car, my independence and my sanity.  As a frequent flyer on the Topamax train for years for migraines, my seizures were kept at bay.  Like an ever filling bucket, the water that clouded my mind overflowed and I was no longer able to stop my seizures from coming.  Topamax and Mercaptapurine (6mp) were killing my liver after the increase to stop the seizures.

On to Keppra and Nortryptoline, off of hormonal therapy to stop bleeding.  No more aspirin, late nights, driving or missing any doses of anything.  Well, lets just say its just not that easy.  I hit a wall, a block.  My crossroad in life.  Take care of me?  What?  Hard to imagine that over the past two years I had lost 50 plus pounds and felt healthier than ever.  Ran two 5k’s and working out daily to get to be a “Spartan”.  The one thing I couldn’t manage was compliance.  In a neuropathic dictionary, it means doing what you are supposed to do every day without fail, excuse or change.  I had a hard time doing that.  A missed dose of meds here, lack of sleep there and shhhhhh…..I drove when I had to.  I also had seizures.

I couldn’t concentrate, work long hours and I could sleep all day.  Ten pounds heavier now in 2015, I have decided to do the work.  To be compliant. Here is a list of dos:

*Get this ten pounds back off

*Take my medications with me everywhere

*Get my sleep

*Drive again (six months with no seizures will be July)

I have finally let people into my life as dearest, deepest friends.  People that I can trust, have fun with and enjoy life with.  That’s probably why I am once again sharing a very personal story in my blog.  Why I agreed to a billion dollar outdoor fireplace budget and studied the fine art of mixing Fireball with anything I can find.  Just today, I found a new recipe.  These friends have now seen me at my worst, even worse than my worst and still love me.

Here is the real crossroad.  To admit that I cant be who I was.  To grow older.  To learn how to adjust and just be happy.  To know that most concerts are out of bounds and I can never ride another roller coaster.  I have to have a solid ten hours and I am limited.  That’s the hardest part of all of this.  I’ve spent my entire adult life telling my oldest daughter that she can do anything.  Well, I was giving her dreams and aspirations that I now wonder was even good advice.  (lets be honest here, she can do anything)

All I want to do is have some fun, relax and feel good.  I will let you know how that goes.  2015 will be full of adventures, I’m quite sure.  I’ve signed up for a mudderella and challenged myself to read 20 books, 2 of which are done already.

What’s so strange about my crossroads is that its not the only one going on around here. Parents have been lost, children are getting older and people my age are dying.  Hitting their walls head-on, so-to-speak.  How do you take care of “you” when there are so many others that need someone?  How can you be there for family and friends when you cant get out of bed that day?   How do you look into the eyes of your children and just not cry when you wake up and realize they have seen you seize and THEY are helpless too.

One open eyelid at a time.  One train ticket instead of a drive to see your cousin.  One time that you actually remember a friends birthday and that one time (or two or three) when you let loose with the rest of the crazy train and do the “sandwich” .   Forget about dog hair, dishes and dents in your head from doing what our family now calls “the fish” and just be happy.

In the wisest words of my half-normal brain:  Do some yoga, ride a bike, work your ass off when you can and the rest will just be that unwanted vegetable on your plate of childhood.


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This gallery contains 1 photo.

It wasn’t a time for the weak.  Films still used actors and extras.  However they had to be willing to die.  The graphics were real and no enhancements would be needed by an editing room.  When the bombs hit and … Continue reading

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Computer Animation 1 – Television Show Poster

For me, its a great concept. Created by an artist learning his craft. I might have some words for this in my short story section in the future.

By the way, the creator is my son, a sophomore at Alfred State – DMA major. His blog is worth a peek and a follow!

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Dancing with Heart

First Rehearsal of her first solo Ballroom Dance. For once in my life I had no words.  For those that know Jordan, this is a dream coming true.  For those that don’t know her, here is a glimpse of what makes her extraordinary.

Her heart.

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