Three Celebrations

In the last week and a half, I’ve had three birthday celebrations. One, on my birthday, was just me and the hubbinator, the second one was pizza at our house, and lastly my aunt who was in town provided my Granny recipe for sloppy Joes, corn on the cob, and rootbeer popsicles.

When the hubbinator jokes about celebrating his birthday all week or month long, this must be what he’s talking about.

There’s nothing better than celebrating with family and friends. Although my aunt did give me a special gift of old family photos and documents including my grandfather’s citizenship application (including his alias from when he worked as a merchant marine to cure his TB), his birth/baptismal certificate (written in Polish), and a certificate for him to work on radios from the 1920s. Such awesome gifts!

Which got me thinking about other birthday gifts.

I remember turning 5 and receiving a gold bicycle. Which a few weeks later I left out in the driveway and my dad ran over the training wheels.

I remember turning 11 and spending the summer with my grandparents going to bingo and eating yummy Maryland tomatoes, and my Aunt (the same one above) gave me a jar of Vlasic dill pickle halves all for me. Food. It’s how we show love:D

I remember turning 20 and my boyfriend gave me flowers, a gold necklace, and a day at the waterpark. After we married, the hubbinator learned to give me rose bushes to plant, no jewelry (that took a lot longer), and trips to lakes, rivers, and more waterparks:D

There are so many days in between but the best are always spent with family and friends. And having those are the best gifts of all.

Until next time.

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The Gross Post

If you have a weak stomach or a sensitive gag reflex, you may wish to skip this post. It started late Wednesday night. That queasy, dizzy feeling in the pit of the stomach that makes you afraid to burp for fear it turns into a full-on technicolor yawn.

I thought perhaps stress had done its dirty work. I can handle my neck going out of alignment. My big tip off was walking like a drunk sailor who’d just receive shore leave after 6 months at sea.

But no.

This time the universe had something special in store for me. I was gifted with swimmer’s ear in not one but both ears. Lovely thing ears. They’re quite useful for holding up the glasses. And yet the tiny bones inside are connected with the brain and the stomach. Such power to be instilled in tiny ear flaps. But I digress.

I knew what it was when swallowing hurt. I usually get ahead of it early in the game, but this year I slipped until it was too late. I would love to blame the stubborn gene that had me waiting an extra day and a half before going to the clinic for something strong.

During that time I fell back on the standard Rent-A-Food that we all eat when we know it isn’t going to be around long. Popsicles are always good, water, chicken soup, apple juice, toast, crackers, etc. We all have our lists. And excluded from that are the foods we love to eat and don’t want ruined as we worship to the porcelain god and heave over our offering.

Three days into treatment and I’m still not a hundred percent. There are no quick movements, but at least my world nows moves along with everyone else’s.

Until next time.

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Friday Funny—Groaners

Thanks to my friend Hugh I am sharing these really, bad politically incorrect jokes with you. Enjoy!

Nineteen Newfoundlanders
go to the cinema.  The ticket lady asks “Why so many of you?”

Buddy replies, “The film said 18 or over.”

My daughter asked me for a pet spider for her birthday, so I went to our local pet shop and they were $70.  Forget it, I thought, I can get one cheaper off the web.

I was at an A.T.M.yesterday. A little old lady asked if I could check her
balance, so I pushed her over.

Statistically, six out of seven dwarfs are not Happy.

My neighbor knocked on my door at 2:30 a m.
Can you believe that! 2:30 a m ?
Luckily for him I was still up playing my bagpipes.

I was explaining to my wife last night that when you die you get
reincarnated but must come back as a different creature.
She said she would like to come back as a cow.
I said “You’re obviously not listening.”

The wife was counting all the nickels and dimes out on the kitchen table
when she suddenly got very angry and started shouting and crying for no
I thought to myself, “She’s going through the change.”

My girlfriend thinks that I’m a stalker.  Well,
she’s not exactly my girlfriend yet.

An East Indian fellow has moved in next door.
He has traveled the world, has swum with sharks, has
wrestled bears and climbed the highest mountain.
It came as no surprise to learn his name was Bindair

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We who are about to read salute libraries

I have no doubt I inherited by love of reading from both my parents. But I’m just as positive that libraries had something to do with it as well.

First, is the smell of libraries. Any bibliophiles knows that smell—paper and ink are the scent of adventure and the font of knowledge.

All you need is a library card. And I’ve had one since I was 8. I was limited to the number of books I could check out, and every week I checked out exactly that number.

Libraries have been around since civilizations began. Not surprising as to advance you have to have someplace where information can be shared. But not all libraries were free and open to the public.

Benjamin Franklin started a subscription library in the 1700s. And for fans of regency romances, we all know about subscription libraries in England. Those involved the customers paying a fee to check out books, essentially limiting the patrons to those wealthy enough to spare the change.

And then there is my favorite: Public libraries.

In truth, we all pay for these through our taxes and in the early days with support from the wealthy who needed an educated workforce. And in true democratic fashion, everyone can enter and check out a book if you live within the tax paying area.

Furthermore, public libraries have been around since before the American Revolution. Some cites as far back  at 1713. Certainly Thomas Paine’s Common Sense wouldn’t added tinder to the fire of freedom if few had been able to read.

I currently have 3 library cards—the city were I live, the county where I live, and the city where I work. My alumni dues also mean I can check out books from the University where I graduated. I have used all three to acquire research books. And each of them smell the same and cause my pulse to quicken with excitement.

I no longer browse the stacks searching for titles that catch my eye as I did not to long ago. Instead, I have books that I want shipped to my local branch and am notified by email when they are ready.

Libraries are better than amazon and easier on my wallet. And thanks to the foresight of librarians, they’ve expanded into movies and music. They’ve added computers for job searches and public use and meeting rooms where knowledge can be shared to inspire tomorrow’s innovators.

Until next time.

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It’s Time to Celebrate

The Christmas VillageAt work, because I have no radio, I bring my iPad and a small bluetooth speaker to listen to music while I work. Some days, I play the most recent purchases until I no longer need to listen to them obsessively. Other days, I play my writing playlist.

And on that list are Christmas songs.

Twice this last week, my boss has entered my lab to hear Christmas carols playing. In July. He doesn’t understand. Sure, I listen to them as part of a psychological program to fool my body into thinking it’s not 115 outside. But the bigger reason is the music makes me happy.

Of course, I don’t just limit myself to carols. I also watch the movies I have on DVD. Sadly, Netflix isn’t with the program and removes the line-up of holiday themed movies from my feed at exactly the time I am prepared to watch them. Bad Netflix. Thankfully, there is a search feature.

This year, I’ve upped my exposure as I’m writing the last Dugan book set around, you guessed it, the holidays. My publisher likes this time of year too, as the ebook is currently on sale at amazon for $2.99.

Until next time!

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The Blame Game

You would think that when all of your children are grown, there would be some level of responsibility taken for actions that occur in the house. Truly, I thought the days of not me were gone.

I did not factor in the presence of cats in the house.

On the bathroom vanity, there are two small tubes. One is moisturizer; the other is a travel size toothpaste from the dentist office. Both go missing from time to time. One ended up down the hall and under the dining room table. The other ended up under the shower mat-which is never fun to step on something in the dark that squishes.

My preferred explanation would be ghosts.

Alas it is the cats. And while I would like to blame it on the stripedty one:


Just because I wear prison stripes doesn’t make me a thief.

I know it is my daughter’s cat who has kleptomania tendencies. When my oldest lived with us, we’d find batteries, chapstick, unused tampons, and candy in a dragon hoard under the table. I guess, she thinks we Humans are too stupid to find these things ourselves.

Either way, I must now train myself to put the little things into drawers or risk having to clean things up in the morning.

Until next time!


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The gift of mail

I love email. It is a way to stay connected with family. Three of my sisters are great at writing long emails detailing the adventures in their lives and includes pictures. My other sister and I send the occasional one line response, just to let them know we are alive. Or because our  mom reminds us of our manners:P

And of course at work, email helps me to avoid talking to people:D.

But there’s something special about receiving an actual letter in the mail. It’s so unexpected and rare. In fact, my parents sent a postcard from France to thank me for watching their dog. They arrived home before the card arrived. Which just made it all the more awesome.

And then there’s the other mail. The ones in brightly colored envelopes that bring cards, or evil advertisements masquerading as cards.

Which leads us to a couple days ago. I check the mail when I arrived home hoping that my children didn’t beat me to it and I discovered this:


It was a homemade Christmas card (in July). No name. No signature. Just good wishes. It made me happy. Which is why I’ll be cuing the Mission Impossible music and passing it along to someone else in the next few days. May it be a bright start or a nice ending to their day.

Until next time.

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