Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Website Want Wednesday

I want this shirt!

I love it so much, it's actually on my wishlist:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Caregiving Talk

So last night, I thought I would end up in a meeting, but I was home and caught the Caregiving.Com "talk show." I was so excited to actually be able to listen in. Denise was asking "What do you know about dementia that the World doesn't?" I was just listening, but after hearing G-J talk, I was inspired to call as well. Why not, right?

I tried to keep it light, I tried to be optimistic. I focused on the wonderful party we had recently and not all the other stuff that's had me down. These ladies are so sweet, they seem so together and so, I don't know, determined to make it all work. That's really inspiring. I was so excited to make an attempt at being a part of that...

Listen to internet radio with Denise Brown on Blog Talk Radio

Happy 30th Anniversary

Today marks my parents' 30th wedding anniversary.

30 years ago, my parents got married on their farm in South Jersey (not far from where we are now, actually) with lots of friends and family around. They had the ceremony and celebration there. They were happy, you can see it.

This exciting anniversary is not something my mom was really looking forward to quite the same as "normal" couples would. My dad's condition makes him essentially emotionally absent all together. These days he spends a lot of time in his room, maybe some time outside wandering and he doesn't talk much unless you prompt him with questions. It's just so sad, especially since he was such a caring guy...

Anyway, a few months ago while trying to figure out what we could do for our mom, my sister suggested we throw a party for my mom to help her celebrate ... a surprise party!

We put together invitations quickly - I had some good photos scanned and we put words together for the invitations. We put together lists of people to invite to the party and another list: a list of people we'd ask to send cards. The card list was mostly for people that were a distance away or we weren't sure if they could make it to the party. Then, our aunt, my mom's sister, was nice enough to print all the invites out for us.

Aside from some glitches, which I'm just going to not acknowledge here, I've got to say the whole day was a huge success thanks to some very helpful family members, a lot of family friends and a little bit of fate too, I think :) I think my mom was definitely surprised, the food people brought (the party was a potluck) was all so delicious and everyone seemed a have such a good time.

The people that came were just so nice and so helpful. Everyone was excited and sitting around. There were some really good stories going around too, of my parents, the day they were married (there were several people there that had been at their wedding, including my mom's maid of honor and our friends from Florida) and some great stories about my dad.

Speaking of him, I say fate (or luck) because my dad was just remarkably like his old self. It was incredible! We had lined the driveway to surprise my parents when they got home (figuring the cars in the driveway would be a give away if not lol) and my dad got out, smiling and started shaking hands and hugging people. It was nuts!!

And it didn't stop there! Dad barely bothered with food, which we had arranged so that there would be a distance away so we'd be able to catch him trying to sneak any food. He was even good about all the coolers filled with soda and water all over the yard. You'd never know we need to keep the fridge, cabinets and anything remotely edible (including dog treats) locked away. Dad didn't even hide in his room, instead he spent several hours playing bocce ball and then several hours sitting around with friends while they talked.

It was such a nice day and now, it's the 19th, their actual anniversary (we celebrated early since it was a surprise party)...

Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
Thank you for being such a great example together for so many years.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night... And we were headed out to take Muppy to her first puppy training class. Oh my!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I like sweaters and this is a cute photo.
So, I'm randomly adding it to the blog :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade

MSNBC is currently airing all their footage from the morning of 9/11/01. It is still unbelievable that it happened at all, let alone that it has already been a whole decade. 

Like many, I can tell you where I was - I was a senior in highschool in homeroom and my douchebag home room teacher (he really was. Serious neapolitan complex) wouldn't let us turn on the news to see what was going on. So, I quickly rushed off to my next class - something in the chorus room. Maybe theater appreciation? I don't know. I was in that room quite a lot. We watched it the whole time there. We watched the second plane hit and went through the motions of "This isn't some awful accident
. This is being done on purpose." Serita was in that class/room with me and she was so upset over family she had never the trade centers. I think I was mostly in shock. I still am just re-watching the video from 10 years ago today and still am. As news continued that day in 2001, we all became concerned for more bad things ... was Philly going to be hit? What about nuclear plants? There's one right in Salem! And I guess I didn't really know I was holding my breath either until it all rushed out of me when the towers actually began to collapse. Ugh!

In the days to come, more sad news... when I was a super young swimmer, we had a great program on our team where some of the older swimmers helped the younger ones. My "helper" had been Nicole and she was just about the sweetest girl you can imagine! She's super nice, friendly, had a great smile and just a wonderful personality. Her brother was a lot like her. I had only met him a handful of times (he wasn't a swimmer), but there was something special about him, like Nicole. You just couldn't meet them and not be totally overwhelmed with their goodness. 

Unfortunately, as it turned out, Nick had been in the second tower that day and that just made it so much more real - the loss of such an amazingly wonderful person (all those people) that I had met and all the things they must have gone through that terrifying morning. To this day, an annual event is held in his memory. There's information on the Nicky Brandemarti Golf Tournament here.

On a last note, I'll add this - I was at one of Bruce Springsteen's opening shows in Jersey (right outside of NYC) in 2002 after releasing his most recent CD. The parking lot had been filled with flags on cars and posters referencing 9/11. This song and the audience that day ... To this day, it is absolutely one of the most spiritual events I have ever experienced. Here's Bruce Springsteen singing "The Rising":

There's a deep sadness and loss that even a decade hasn't completely healed and will not be forgotten. So sad...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Want

For serious!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I hope any kids I have are at least half this cool: After the 'Cane


Friday, September 2, 2011

Got word that tests seem to show that my dad's ridiculous weight loss is NOT cancer. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that...