Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Playlist

Hark! Today is the first day of summer. Here are some songs on my summer playlist:

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) - Bruce Springsteen
Around the Way Girl - Ladies Love Cool James
Baba O'Reilly - The Who
Beechwood 4-5789 - The Marvelettes
The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen

Centerfield - John Fogerty
Cruisin' - Smokey Robinson
Cry to Me - Solomon Burke
Farewell My Summer Love - Michael Jackson
Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin
Girls in their Summer Clothes - Bruce Springsteen
Go All the Way - Eric Carmen
Groovin' - The Young Rascals
Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac
Hey Jude - Wilson Pickett version
I'm No Angel - The Gregg Allman Band
Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
Into the Night - Benny Mardones
It's All Right - The Impressions
Jungle Love - Steve Miller Band
Keep on Lovin' You - REO Speedwagon
Keeping the Faith - Billy Joel
Lido Shuffle - Boz Scaggs
Make Me Lose Control - Eric Carmen
Maria - Blondie
Mary's Place - Bruce Springsteen
Me & Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Me & My Girlfriend - JayZ & Beyonce
Mercedes Boy - Pebbles
My Old School - Steely Dan
Mystery - Indigo Girls
Night Moves - Bob Seger
Nightswimming - REM
Oh Darling - Supertramp
On My Own - Patti LaBelle
On the Darkside - John Cafferty
On the Way to Cape May - Al Alberts
Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Great White
Patriot - Pearl Jam
Raspberry Beret - Prince
Read My Mind - The Killers
Rock-n-Roll Girls - John Fogerty
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Shama Lama Ding Dong - Otis Day and the Knights
She's a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones
Sherry Darling - Bruce Springsteen
Sloop John B - The Beach Boys
Stone in Love - Journey
Strawberry Wine - Deanna Carter
Sugar, We're Goin' Down - Fall Out Boy
Sugar Magnolia - Grateful Dead
Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley
Take it to the Limit - The Eagles
Take me to the Pilot - Elton John
This is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Untouchable Face - Ani Difranco
Visions of Paradise - Mick Jagger
Wildwood Days - Bobby Rydell
You Send Me - Sam Cooke
You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth - Meat Loaf
You Wear it Well - Rod Stewart
You Wreck Me - Tom Petty

Peace out.

Isn't She Lovely

When I was born,  Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder was popular. It was written for Stevie's daughter, and it always makes my mom think of me. We danced to it at my wedding. It also makes me think of her.

Today my mom is 56. She's at peace in her life, she strives to be her best self daily, and she has strong belief in the power of positive thought. It's a good time to be her, especially since her and Rich just put a salt water cement pool in, which she refers to as a healing ocean oasis (HOO).

As she often says, thoughts are things. From her I've learned to put good ones out there as much as I can. She also always reminds me to be grateful for every little thing. She's very different from the mom I had growing up to the person she is now. She's slowed down a bit to smell the roses, she's more serene and tries not to sweat the small stuff.

It's interesting how your relationship with your parents changes as you grow older. The're not just your parents - they are people, just like you, with strengths and weaknesses. They are not perfect, and if they were good parents, they taught you that you weren't expected to be either.

My mom is wonderfully eccentric and has the nickname Loopy to match. She wears a hair mane she still has from the 1980s. She drinks asti spumante and likes to toast. She busts out in spontaneous cheers she remembers from her high school days. You could say she's a bit of a character. 

Hair mane, clutching wine glass, Down on the Redskin Reservation cheer
She tweets. She can twirl a fire baton. She loves babies and is a great mom mom to Colin and Riley. She loves "her songs." She never wants to run out of anything, and she always has a lot of food and drink at parties - I get it from her. She loves to take sleeping pictures of people.

Mom & Kit Kat D, Sleeping at her 50th birthday shore weekend
If she could, my mom would never leave her house - she is happy and content there. She'd also love for all of her chickens to live on that street. She brings my dogs bones and cut up hotdogs when she visits them. She always gets an updo for weddings. She is not comfortable being a passenger in the car with any of her children.

At Tiffany's wedding, with two of my favorite people at mine
My mom is a good cook and an excellent baker. I'd rather eat something she bakes than anything from a store. She's Durham Deli's number one customer. She's a wonderful hostess and is the only person I've ever seen bring a lace tablecloth to a tailgate.

My mom putting a lace tablecloth on a card table at the Manchester U game in 2003
-We are all God's children.
-I'm hellbent for election.
- <curse> Pardon my french.
-I light you all every day.
-Eating like I'm going to the chair.
-Just shoot me.
-JMJ (Jesus, Mary and Joseph)
-Don't go to the bathroom alone (she says this when you're going out, not when you're at home)
-Beware of chloroform
-I haven't ___________ since Hector was a pup (to imply a long time).
-Whatever you say you are.
-Be-you-tee-ful for beautiful
-Ween for wine
-GFY (the nice way to say go .... yourself)

My mother carried three children over nine pounds, and none of us look like her. I have her mannerisms and her nasal voice, but that's all. She raised me to be a strong woman, confident in myself, self-sufficient, and sure that I could do anything I set out to do.

When I think of my mom, I think of love, peace signs, white lights, perfume, Adidas outfits, light, hair manes, candles, flowers, and baked goods.

It's not easy to write about your parents. They knew you when you were just a wish, they see you in all of your phases, they love you through it, whatever it is. I talk to my mom every day. When I thought about writing something for her birthday, nothing came. It's too hard to put something down without thinking you're forgetting something huge, that you won't say what you really mean and will miss the mark. Then I thought hello, she's my mom. Someone who has a scent I would know anywhere. In the end it's not the big things that paint a picture of who someone is. It's the little quirks and scraps of information piled up over the years. Those little details are what I love the most. It's a privilege to know the small things about someone.

Happy birthday mom. I love you.

p.s. Happy birthday to my cousin Ashley, my mom's birthday friend.

p.p.s. Good luck today Gwen! I'm thinking of you

p p infinity s: make this: http://lemonchiffoncake.blogspot.com/2012/06/donna-giblins-artichoke-chicken.html

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dad is great, brings me chocolate cake

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, 
he believed in me.
~Jim Valvano

Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there, especially

My dad

My step dad

My father-in-law

One of my favorites:

For those of you who lost your dads, I know he's shining love down on you today.

I hope your Sunday is a fun day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wherever you go, go with all your heart - Confucious

Tonight my youngest brother graduates from high school. When he was born, I was suffering through senior year calculus in that same high school and daydreaming about being free from whatever it is you learn in calculus. My uncle, a teacher at the school, called me out into the hall to tell me Sean was born. I was 17. Now he is 17, and leaving high school. Excuse me while I have a where did the time go moment.

Congrats to my cousin Courtney, who is also graduating from Neshaminy tonight

In hindsight, high school graduation is like standing at the precipice of the Grand Canyon and peering down into the abyss, thinking, "How do I navigate down there without killing myself? Am I strong enough to make it back up?" Of course I wasn't thinking this the night I graduated  in June 1995. I was thinking about what color comforter I wanted for my dorm room at the University of Delaware, if my precisely curled under bangs would hold up under the rain that was supposed to arrive later in the evening, and going to get something to eat at Houlihan's with my friends when graduation was over. I thought of anything besides leaving the familiar in August.

It is clear the future holds great opportunities.  It also holds pitfalls.  The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock.  
~Woody Allen, "My Speech to the Graduates," Side Effects, 1980

High school graduation brings enormous change - every day for 13 years you got up and you went to school, and you had a lot of safety nets. College is an abrupt on your own experience - the courses are harder, the professors don't give a crap about your excuses, everyone has a hangover and yours is not the worst, and you must sail your own ship.

Excellence is not a skill.  It is an attitude.  
~Ralph Marston

Sean is heading to Villanova in the fall to study business and play soccer on a scholarship. He's smart and has taken honors and AP classes throughout high school. He's committed: four to five times a week he heads to North Jersey after a full day of school to practice and travels around the country throughout the year to play soccer with the Red Bull Academy.  He was kicking a soccer ball around as soon as he could walk, and it shows on the field. I was away at college during most of his baby years, but I  never remember him playing with anything besides a soccer ball.

He has many hidden talents, like imitating accents and killing it on stage in the drama club, which I saw him do twice this year. Once in a play, which is hard enough, then once at Improv night, which I can't even imagine thinking quickly enough or being brave enough to do.

As you can see, Sean with all of his talents and accolades is a source of much pride for me and  my family.

But the thing I am most proud of is not an award he's received or the induction into the National Honor Society or the scholarship he's worked hard to get. The thing about my brother that I admire most is that he is kind. He thinks of others and their needs and feelings; and that's not very common in a 17 year old male. It's one of the most selfish times in our lives as humans. He is a good person with a good heart and that is what I'm most proud of today, the day of his high school graduation.

From a little boy with blond curls and tiny sambas to a grown up with adult aspirations and a great sense of humor and self...congratulations, Sean. I love you.

As  Neshaminy recedes in your rearview, I know you will continue to learn and grow and kick ass on the field at Villanova. And I know you will continue to be kind and humble and excellent in whatever you decide to do, in this new chapter of your life and beyond.

There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises."  
Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning.
  ~ Orrin Hatch

Congratulations class of 2012 - be a positive force in the world, in whatever way you can. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

the weekend that was - Grandmom's Cape May Weekend edition

Cape May Weekend for Grandmom's 80th
We stayed at the Mt. Vernon, which is beach front and has a great sun deck


Day off on Friday for me. MFD worked in his mobile office.


Friday afternoon beach walk

Lighthouse, with sea spray

Hotdog lunch on the beach. You can't beat it. 


Grandmom's personalized 80th birthday glass.
Thank you Patti Stevens at Shades of Orange in Syracuse, NY!


When I win the Powerball, I will buy this house. 
Since I am here and not there, I did not win the Powerball Saturday.

Purple trim, plenty of parking, lovely landscape, fenced in yard for the dogs...
AND a pink hammock on the porch. 
 I prefer shoremet to gourmet any day: awesome stromboli on a paper plate, wine in a plastic glass, eaten at a plastic table on a deck overlooking the ocean with my family. 


Family field trip to the life boat


A gorgeous sunset


A stroll into town: shops, Kohr Bros ice cream, salt water taffy, gas lights


Checking out the lighthouse at night, a low hanging blood red moon viewed over the ocean, 
stargazing on the beach, and alien discussions


Pics on the beach by Lil of LMS Photography

Kim Schultz spotty burn for me, and allover shrimpiness for MFD = need more sunscreen


Beautiful beach day #2


A school of fish very close to shore and dolphins a little further out

MFD got up close and personal with it

Dinner for 11 at the Lobster House

Damn backlight


Grandmom loved looking out at all the boats and keeping an eye on the 
shark contest at the marina during dinner


Gorgeous Sunset #2


Drinks and music on the deck. And UFOs...at least for those of us who were drinking the red wine.

There's a rainbow in my cup. And a UFO in the sky.

Ambled down to The Rusty Nail with Stephen & MFD...
We saw the worst band in the history of bands.
They sang Jessie's Girl as a ballad. Poorly.


Cone shenanigans in jorts.

I put this cone at the door of my aunt & uncle's room then laughed like a loon for 10 minutes.

Cousin breakfast


I am a Cape May convert - I've been to Cape May many times, but this is the first time I've stayed there, and I loved it. Gorgeous gardens, houses with amazing detail, quiet, nice beaches, good restaurants and shopping. More please.


Beautiful beach day #3 - I call this one Relentless Sun.


A four hour nap at home after being enthusiastically greeted by my Gus and Geege


Admiring the new plant MFD picked up at Lowe's on Sunday afternoon


Chinese food feast, Trading Places, and Mad Men

the weekend that was

I had a fabulous weekend celebrating my Grandmom and watching her have such a lovely time. Gorgeous weather, family, good food, relaxation, drinks, sunsets...just a fabulous time. Thank you Carol and Dad for organizing a wonderful trip.

Now...Monday. Let's get this done.

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