Monday, October 30, 2006

Your Eyes Are Not Deceiving You

A Journey Into The Past has under-gone an intensive face-lift. With all the changes I have experienced in my life over the last two years, I decided to celebrate my one year Blog anniversary with a new look. Enjoy!!

Just Another Monday

For starters, my elderly neighbor next door was on VACATION and not laying dead in his locked-up house which is a really good thing because the local police NEVER did come out to check on him. I guess "dead bodies" in houses is just not a priority around here. Maybe if it had been a cat caught in a tree, I would have gotten a better response.

It's Monday. (in case you did not know) It is also the first day in weeks that the High Winds have died down to a crisp fall breeze. Sometime today I will need to inspect my gardens to see how the Fall Mums survived. I am sure they are covered in debris. I lost one of four hanging flower pots off the front porch and from what Bill told me our front screen door is bent beyond repair. The season of Fall really flew in with a bang this year. At least we did not have any fallen trees like a lot of other folks around here. Nothing worse then waking up to a tree falling on your house or car. But then again we all should be grateful. At least we are not battling "wild fires" like those folks in California.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why We Pay Taxes

We have an elderly neighbor who lives right next door who I generally see everyday getting in and out of his car, fiddling around in his yard or he comes over just to converse. Though we have not lived here very long, we got to know this gentleman well enough to know that he lives alone, never married and has no immediate family as to check up on him. Our neighbor is in his eighties and from what I have noticed of him, he is very independent. So when I noticed that his mail and daily newspapers remained on his front doorstep for the last four days, I became a little concerned and mentioned it to Bill. I also noticed that what I thought was his car remained parked in the same space this entire time. What to do?

Bill went over to his house and knocked on his door, checked to see if his front or back door was open then knocked on another neighbor's door who has lived here much longer than us to verify if that car parked across the street was indeed his. It was.

Where was our neighbor? And where did he go without his car? Is he in the hospital? I have been home this week and have not seen or heard any emergency vehicle that may have come to his door. We could break into his house but we would be arrested for "breaking and entering". My fear is that he died in his own house or has been hurt and is unable to contact help. So, Bill called our local police department and asked them if they could check on this elderly gentleman.

That was four hours ago and still there is no sign of anyone in law enforcement at this man's house. What really bothers me about this situation is "we live in the safest neighborhood in the city with the lowest crime rate". So where are the police? Why is it taking so long for them to get here? This could mean the difference between life & death for this man if he was hurt and in need of medical care. Is it not their job to protect its citizens? If we could get in that house, we would check ourselves.

This is our tax money being well spent. This is the kind of country we live in today. The hell with the very young and the very old for they have the least amount of Civil Rights. This being said, I want to take this opportunity to say that my older brother Michael was once a Philadelphia Police Officer who later became a Detective before he retired two years ago and if he was the one to receive such a call, he would have been at this man's house in a heart-beat.

If he still lived here and not in Knoxville, TN., I would have called him for his advice and help in this matter. And I have no doubt, he would have made a few calls and someone would have been here by now.

I can only hope our dear neighbor is away on some exotic fun trip and not dead or dying in his own home.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Coloring My World

Shaun takes his coloring very seriously as he carefully tries to stay within the lines and mixes his colors well while Nikolas does not take his coloring seriously at all. As a matter-of-fact, if given an opportunity, Nikolas will color on just about anything within his reach. So at Mom Mom's house coloring books and crayons are restricted to one cabinet and used only at the kitchen table. When we go out to eat, we go to places that are "kid friendly" and provide the little ones with coloring sheets and crayons to keep them occupied while waiting for their meal. A busy child is not a cranky child. And that is the way, I like them.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Introducing Puggles

Congrats To Don & Linda

Don & Linda at their October 13th wedding Standing on the Left is Don's daughter. The other two girls are Linda's daughters Ashley (center) and Michele (right). The little boy is Linda's grandson Michael, daughter Michele's son.
Bill & I
James & Melissa
Dr. Delvecchio & husband. Dr. D as we called her worked closely with us for many years at the hospital before she retired two years ago. She had a reputation for being a fabulous surgeon. We just thought of her as a wonderful friend. They shared our table at the wedding.
Sylvia & Mike
If you check out this picture closely, you will see this guy attempting "god knows what" on the back of Michele's dress.
I loved the design of Linda's dress and the beautiful way her hair was done up so when she sat at the table behind us, I had the perfect opportunity to capture both the back of her dress and hair.
Cutting that magical wedding cake while overhearing Linda saying to Don the entire time, "Do not mush it in my face".

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Empowering Women

I spend a great deal of time either in the very early morning hours or the very late ones writing my own stories and reading the stories of others. Listed below are the blogs I enjoy reading. They are written by women for women and I generally can relate one or more of their stories to my own life. Some of these women I just read their stories because I find them amazing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Final Destination "Arlington Cemetery"

So if you bring kids, please duct-tape their mouths, tie their hands at their wrists, chain their feet at the ankles and lead them with a leash. Now, as a fellow cemetery tour-guide and historical cemetery explorer, I have never seen a sign like the one above and I seriously do not mean any disrespect to those who have fallen while protecting our freedom. But did they need to add that second line. Because I got to be honest with you, though I kept Shaun off the head-stones I did allow him to walk on the grass. Hell, I even allowed him to roll down the lawn. I am sure there is a special place in hell for the lawn-walking folks just like me. If it were Laurel Hill, he would be climbing across the head-stones and up on the mausoleums.
As in any cemetery, the size of your head-stone reflects the amount of wealth you had while alive. Arlington is no exception.

Tomb of the unknown soldier, a most serene place.
A marine guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Shaun taking in the scenery which was amazing.
Exceptional architectural work in the cemetery as seen here.
The graves of President John F Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis and two of their babies that died, a daughter in 1957 and a son in 1963.
The view from the Kennedy graves. Though the cemetery is located just across the bridge in Virginia, you can see downtown Washington DC.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There Is A Story About These Feet

If you have not noticed by the photograph, Shaun spent the entire drive (all 3 hours of it) torturing Bill with his feet. If he was not kicking the back of his chair, he was putting his feet up on the head-rest behind Bill's head. It made for an interesting trip and of course I did not make things any better by laughing at Shaun's antics the entire time that is until he decided to take off those sneakers then my laughter turned into a sound much like a cat with its tail caught in the door.


And I cannot emphasize the word STINK enough.

Between the gagging and pleading for him to put his shoes back on and the stench of old sour milk throughout the car, I did not care what the temperature was outside nor did I care we were going 65 miles an hour on highway 95, the window came down. As a matter of fact, I was tempted to throw his feet out the car window but with my luck a cop would see me and we would be pulled over for littering and be fined until the cop realized that what I actually threw out the window was a five year old's stinky feet then I would be arrested for polluting the environment. However, in my defense, if I gave a whiff of those feet to the cop, he may have been so disgusted by them that he may have actually let me go with nothing more then a warning not to do it again.

Truly, this kid did take a bath that morning and I made sure he put on a clean pair of socks. (otherwise he would put on yesterday's socks) Shaun is not picky about "how clean his socks are", he is only picky about how they feel . If they feel damp or have a tag in them then he is nothing short of a homicidal maniac.

Too make a long smelly story short, I threaten him with "odor-eaters" if he did not put those shoes back on. Fearing what an "odor-eater" actually was, he complied and we spent the rest of the trip in relatively "fresh air".

He continued, however, to kick Bill's chair. Glad he was not sitting behind me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Too Much Time On My Hands

"Too Much Time On My Hands", I think there is a song out there with this title. Ok I admit it, I threw housework to the side on this very damp very rainy day and planted my ass on the sofa (which reclines nicely) in the Family Room and turned on the soaps. You know those multi-drama shows based on REAL LIFE. These same shows that if you miss a month you can still follow what is going on. Sure I could have vacuumed the Living Room or loaded up the dishwasher. But I JUST DID NOT FEEL LIKE It. I could have planted a few Spring bulbs. But, hell, it was raining and everyone knows I melt in the rain. I could have paid the bills on-line. But, hey, I did that yesterday. So after browsing through the book "Mermaids, Monasteries, Cherokees and Custer" that is based on the stories behind how Philadelphia got its Street names, I threw that book aside and turned on that magical thing called a "television".

And this is the story line I subjected myself too.......

Elizabeth is married to Lucky but slept with Jason and now she is pregnant. Of course she has no idea who the father of her unborn child is because naturally she slept with both men within the same day. Lucky slept with Maxie and now she is pregnant. Lou Lou who is Lucky's sister slept with Maxie's sister's boyfriend (whatever his name is) and she was pregnant but ended her pregnancy in abortion. Why did all these women get pregnant in an era where there is numerous ways to prevent such a thing? Not to mention all that talk about "Safe Sex". A company made defected condoms.....Yup, that is the entire story line.

We all know these shows are mindless entertainment. But this show got me thinking. What if I applied this story line to my family. Let's see how REAL LIFE it could be. .

Marianne is married to Ron but slept with Bill and now is pregnant. Of course she has no idea who the father of her unborn child is because naturally she slept with both men within the same day. Ron slept with Pat and now she is pregnant. Fran who is Ron's sister slept with Pat's sister's boyfriend (whatever his name is) and she is pregnant but ended her pregnancy in abortion. Oh and what company was responsible for making those "defected condoms"? Who else but Gallagher Brothers....

Let's just say if real life was even remotely close to what they show on television, we would all be hiding in the corner of our very dark closets popping pills and drinking tequila.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How About A Little Break

Lately I have swamped my readers with many pictures from Washington DC and if you are a lover of history you probably enjoyed viewing the sights. However, if this is not your usual thing then you probably have been bored beyond tears and for those in this latter group I thought I should take a small break from those photographs and update you all on my wedding preparations.

First of all, planning a wedding in two months is not an easy task but with the generous help from my daughter-in-law Trish, my sister Marianne, her daughter Chrissy and my mother, I seem to be making some headway in getting all those details covered.

Bill and I picked out a lovely but old 1732 Inn located in Lafayette Hills just NorthWest of the city and a mere hop and skip from my house. The wedding will be small with mostly family and a few close friends. We rented out the main dining area of this Inn that includes a very large real wood burning fireplace where the vows will be said. The room is small and very cozy and especially will be intimate with an evening ceremony in a candle lit atmosphere.

My sister Marianne and my daughter-in-law Trish will stand for me. Bill's brother Kenny will stand for him. But I also included my two sons in the wedding by having Shaun walk with his wife, then their sons Shaun and Nikolas will follow. Marianne will then walk out followed by me and my youngest son Joseph. If by some miracle, Josh is present, he will accompanied Marianne. Everyone will be seated with the exception of all the above.

Following with tradition, both my mother and Bill's mother will light the unity candles to represent each of our families.

I have my dress, shoes, purse and shawl all in Ivory. Bill has his new suit.

Invitations have been sent out. A second set of invitations will go out at the end of the week. We invited 75 people including tons of children. Most of the children are from my side of the family. But we love children and this celebration would not be a celebration without them. My parents were blessed with many grandchildren and hopefully they will all be in attendance this day.

I picked the menu for the buffet. Mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Three cheese ravioli, lump crab cakes and chicken breast in a lemon butter sauce. There will be veggies and cheeses and roasted potatoes and last but not least a dessert table. Our wedding cake will be cut and sent home with the guests. For the little ones under six years of age, there will be chicken tenders and french fries and their own personal chocolate ice cream.

Trish and Shaun arranged for the DJ. Trish ordered the guest favors for the adults but I still need to order them for the children. Marianne ordered the unity candles and holders and they are gorgeous in that very Victorian motif. Chrissy is lending me her cake topper, card box and knife and most importantly the pearl bracelet left to her by my grandmother which I will be truly honored to wear. Mom went with me to meet with the event coordinator and choose seating arrangements. Mom has even offered to buy the flowers which I just started looking at today. I am thinking of going with fall colored roses.

We still need to pick out our wedding cake but I know what I want it to be. I am going for a raspberry swirl pound cake with butter cream icing decorated in Ivory colored roses. I just purchased the bridal party gifts today and I am very pleased with my selections. I hope they are too.

Then there is the question of a honeymoon and it is in this area we find ourselves having the most difficult time. We have come up with four places and must chose one soon. We are investigating the following destinations; Aspen, CO., Laguna Beach, CA., Stowe, VT., or Key West, FL. Then we even thought about just staying home and going to a Bed & Breakfast for a few nights then coming back and taking Shaun & Nikolas to the Great Wolf Lodge for Nikolas's second birthday Nov 30th. What I do not want to do at this time is travel outside the country because frankly I do not think it is too safe with all this nonsense going on over in Iraq and now North Korea. The last thing I need is to get stuck in another country because of foreign instabilities.

So anyway, here is my wedding update and I hope you enjoyed the change from the sight-seeing photo tours you have been subjected too.

Oh yes, there will be more of those coming. I still have two more from that Washington DC trip before I show the Linvilla Orchard Kindergarten School Trip then my friend Linda's wedding photos but I promise they should not be to to long.

Other Washington DC Monuments & Buildings

Jefferson Monument
Lincoln Memorial
White House
Gallery of Art
National Archives (every genealogist's dream)
Capitol Building
Washington Monument
The new familar sight all around town, blocked streets & barriers.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Reasons Why I Avoid Friday The 13th Like The Plague

1. Having the responsibility to snap the wedding pictures of your friend but getting stuck in traffic on the way and arriving with a second to spare. In the meantime, the only thought while en-route to the wedding is "Oh MY God, We Will Never Make It and Linda Will Not Have Photographs Of What Is Probably The Most Important Day Of Her Life".

2. Rushing to get out the car and placing a large hole in your panty- hose.

3. Trying to hide the hole in your panty-hose and making it worse.

4. Literally throwing Bill and his camera out of the car and leaving to find a drug-store in the area to replace the panty-hose.

5. Getting six blocks from the wedding hall and realizing you have "No Cash" because at the last minute, you changed your "Gold handbag" for the matching "Black handbag" and never placed your wallet inside it.

6. Returning to the hall at the height of the ceremony and seeing Bill standing outside instead of being inside snapping those pictures.

7. Having Bill tell you that his camera was "Dead as A Door-Nail" and I upon leaving in a rush to buy "un-bought" panty hose left the second camera in the car.

Conclusion to all this;

1. I screamed like a hyena being cooked alive over a hot open flame in an outside fireplace.

2. I missed part of the ceremony of my friend.

3. Spent the entire evening wearing stockings with a hole in them.

Future Thought;

1. Never to attend a Friday the 13th wedding again and if another one of my friends even thinks about choosing that "Black Fairy" day to wed, take a stick and beat it over their head until they change their mind. (Hope you are listening Melissa)

Oh And Another Thing;

1. Take an extra pair of panty-hose to your own wedding in case you get a hole.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Friday The 13th Wedding

Tonight Linda and Don will be married at the Black Lake Room. Whereas I am known to avoid all things on a Friday the 13th for fear of the "bad-luck fairy" these two believe a Friday the 13th wedding will be Good Luck.

Second Stop "National Gallery Of Art Sculpture Garden"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shaun's Definition Of Super Heros

Shaun "Pop Pop, my super powers are throwing fire and ice" (as he extends his hand palm up to prove his point)

Bill "Oh really. What do you think my super powers are?"

Shaun "singing"

Bill "What is Nikolas's super powers?"

Shaun "pooping"

First Stop "Air & Space Museum"