Memorial Day is a time to pray for all the soldiers who have passed away

These markers are placed in remembrance for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. How often do people walk by without looking at the name of the soldier thinking it is someone from so long ago they are not so relevant….. well this is not always the case. My parents fought for this corner street stone to remember my brother (and my father always planted flowers there). A small but critical conflict in Grenada in 1983 where Rangers were deployed to secure the island and ultimately extract the medical students studying there.

1983…. it wasn’t that long ago..I was in high school…it was a conflict that is often overlooked with little recognition but to those that were along side my brother, it seems like just yesterday and a moment in time that should not be forgotten. These men are so amazing and humble they are a completely different breed and deserve all of our thanks, every day; far more than the very few holidays we afford them in ‘remembrance of their duties’.

There was only a handful of soldiers who died that day and more wounded.

Always remember those that have fallen and their families who tried to move forward with a piece of their heart missing.

Tis better to have loved and lost… I call B.S.

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote: “Tis better to have loved and lost. Than never to have loved at all…”

I call total B.S. on this. If you do not have the ability to know what you don’t know, in this case, feel what you haven’t felt before, than how can it be as bad as having your heart and soul ripped out, stomped on and then lit on fire? It can’t, plain and simple.

It is very similar to the dolts that say ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ – it doesn’t buy it, but it is required to obtain it i.e. travel, parties, etc. Only people with money say this because they want the poorer people to feel better about not having any money.

Just like falling in love, those that are still in love wave the Tennyson crap-flag about,to make us brokenhearted dolts feel better. Well it doesn’t so shut up. 

The price of no vacations

I have not been ‘inspired’ to write anything these last many months as they have been tumultuous and heartbreaking; a fractured nose complete with concussion, the passing of my father (leaving me an orphan), my 9 year relationship dissolved, and facing the holidays for the first time without parents.

It is time to heal, push forward and grasp the limited time I have here – so no more sadness, time for the vacation updates….

It is no surprise to any one who knows me that I love to travel. I am proud to say that I am not a ‘tourist’ but rather a ‘traveler’ blending in with the locals as best I can by researching the area and culture, food and fun. The latest and greatest was a 10-day Christmas extravaGANZA to Paris with Goose.

We had both been to Paris before, me with my parents just out of high school and she with her high school french class, but this trip together was amazing.

 

We did hit the hot spots, Eiffel Tower (where we had our Christmas dinner complete with an out of this world bottle of Champagne! Merry Christmas to us!) Arc d’Triumph, and Notre Dame (where I lost my phone on the bus and had to spend half the afternoon tracking it down and explaining that the case that holds the phone says “don’t touch my phone” could be considered ironic…let’s ask Alanis…)

     

The Louvre was a bit disappointing as it was overcrowded with pushy souvenir sales people. They are hard to ignore and completely take away from the magic that surrounded us. We also walked to the Moulin Rouge – did not attend a performance as there was much more interesting things to do, see, and eat!

           

YUM – Charcuterie at Le Chat Noir – made a meal of it! and dessert oh my!

          

Have to get the selfies in – in front of Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame.      

Simply an amazing trip to add to the collection of travels and adventures we have had together… and always more to come, much more.

So to get to the title of this post – the price of no vacations — it is the stolen memories… the laughs, the adventures, the awkward conversations in broken languages, the bond created during the fantastic experience… this is the price of no vacations because it never happened.

No Alanis, that is NOT what ironic means

To point out the irony of this photo;

it is taped to the white board at work. Yes. Taped. = IRONIC

Which leads me to the Alanis M song Ironic because it just drives me batsh*t there is not one example of irony in the whole damn song. I really like the song…so I have a huge internal struggle every time I listen to it.

**An old man turned ninety-eight, he won the lottery and died the next day… (not ironic just extremely bad timing and hey, he was ninety-eight for crying out loud!)

**It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay…(this just outright sucks and can be considered alcohol abuse because flies are gross and you have to toss the wine no matter how badly you want to drink it)

**It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late…(there is a theme that runs throughout this song focusing on bad timing and this is just the second of many that points it out)

**It’s like rain on your wedding day… (you may think bad timing, but I will chalk it up to omen)

**It’s a free ride when you have already paid… (again, timing. I want to give it another category, but really I can’t its all timing)

**It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take…(ok, this is clearly not ironic but you didn’t take the advice for many different reasons; first and foremost, you may be thick headed and just stuck to your guns, nothing wrong with having some conviction, Alanis!)

And on and on we go. you know the song… dude waits his whole life to take a trip on an airplane and it crashes (pure bad luck, not ironic), traffic jam when you are already late (theme = bad timing), no-smoking sign on your cigarette break (um, are you too damn lazy to move to another spot? The sign won’t follow you around you know…)

Anyway, my photo shows what ‘ironic’ actually means. It’s not timing or bad luck.

Ironic is having a sign that is taped to a white board that states you are not allowed to tape anything to the white board. THAT is IRONIC Alanis. Fit THAT into your earwig song!

Talent(less) Show

When work brings up the idea of having a talent show, I immediately think – I have no talent! I can’t even do the Molly Ringwald (Breakfast Club) hands-free lipstick trick! (and I actually had the nerve to judge how lame that was and NOW look at me, ugh).

So what does that leave? Sing? Not unless you want the neighborhood dogs to as my back-up (maybe the barking Christmas carol dogs are still available). Dance? Um, no. I already am convalescing from a concussion and fractured nose and that happened with me tripping over my own shadow a few weekends ago so I can’t afford more time out of work… I can’t throw my voice nor do I want to stick my hand up some puppet’s butt for a few laughs (and I don’t cook a turkey for the same weird reason)… I am not double jointed (although that always sounded so cool) and I am running out of ideas.

I need suggestions and pronto!

Throwing caution into the wind when all I wanted was a damn snack

We now live in a day and age where even without allergies, you can still play Russian Roulette with a simple snack and warning labels are never a good sign.

Very very rarely do I ever actually ‘snack’ and when I do, its typically old school on the stove popcorn in a pan shacking it back and forth so it doesn’t burn… but I digress.

I wanted to change things up one night this week and bought an impulse snack because it was covered in blue cheese and jalapeño flavoring (insert Simpson drool here). Briefly looking at the package it stated no gmo, gluten free, blah blah… whatever… just give me the extra blue cheese and jalapeño, now! I mean please…ahem..

Listed on the bag, above the ingredients in very large print was a word I had not seen before: the Konjac yam. Directly underneath this unknown substance was a strongly worded phrase: Consumption of 6 oz of water per serving is recommended. Huh.

First thought in my head, “how damn hot are these things where water is recommended per serving?” (even though I know never to drink water with extremely spicy foods, you are supposed to drink milk, bread, crackers, etc. to soak up the spice, so relax people, it’s just the first thing I thought of)

So after eating my share of the snack (because my pie-hole love blue cheese and jalapeño without a second thought) I start the internet search for this mysterious ingredient only to find that not only are the side effects in big bold letters consist of BLOCKAGES OF ESOPHAGUS, THROAT OR INTESTINE, but went on to state that due to the health risk of eating this ingredient, it is banned in Canada and Australia.  Yowza!

Less of an importance, yet something that still concerning and should still be addressed was the ‘gastrointestinal distress including diarrhea and flatulence’ side effect (damn it mouth! ok how many of these things did I just eat?).

Glad I wasn’t on a hot date; lack of breathing and diarrhea/flatulence is not the sexiest look for anyone.

Consider this a P.S.A. and now you know.

Daily Post: Snacks

19 Things your mom did back in the day or ‘how I survived my childhood’

Let’s be nostalgic for a few minutes shall we? Mom.me originally posted this list of 19 items that instantly brought me back to my childhood (good, bad, or indifferent)…

  1. Ride in a car without a seat belt. Yup. The shoulder strap keeping you from slamming your head against the glove compartment was mom’s arm that instantly stretched across the car not unlike the Stretch Armstrong toy. No matter how large the vehicle was, mom’s arm shot across you shoulder to shoulder.
  2. Style your hair with her spit. Yup. She had every ‘dippity do’ and extra strong Aquanet eating the ozone but her spit to keep my bangs out of my eyes was good enough for me.
  3. Put coke in my lunch box. Nope. We were not the high fa-luting type to afford Coke and didn’t have soda in the house until I was much older. We had powered milk; just add water (while the milk dust fills your nasal cavity and lungs). On special occasions we had Zarex syrup. A school lunchtime drink was using the dime in the foil in the lunchbox or mitten to pay for the 4 oz container of milk that, when finally opened, lunch period was over. The milk struggle was real.
  4. Send you to the store for bread. More like a pack of butts from the corner market. Society now frowns on the 8 yr old walking in alone and purchasing Virginia Slims.
  5. Tell you to walk to your friends house. Yup. Your friend list extended as far as you could walk-before the streetlights came on of course. For me, my shifty brothers stole a bike for me, painted it another color, and my ‘neighborhood of friends’ instantly expanded a few more streets away.
  6. Meet your date when they picked you up. Yup. The nervous sweating was not about actually going on the date, it was the 100 questions that he would be asked without even setting a foot in the door.
  7. Send you to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar. Yup. If you switch sugar with egg its right on the money. Lots of baking from scratch went on and to keep the household fed, the last of something was used the day before payday and the neighbors always helped each other.
  8. Talk to your neighbors. Yup. Not only talked to them but we were encouraged to visit. Hmmm maybe this was my mother’s way of giving herself some alone time under the guise of ‘saying hello to’ that old neighbor who could never remember who you were to begin with.
  9. Let you walk near a glass table. Well this one is not really fair we didn’t own one. I can say, however, that we did have a coffee table that I slammed my head on while I toddled around like a drunken sailor. She was kind enough to share that story with me later in life.
  10. Not answer the phone when away from their kids.Yup. How many times would I call to get permission to eat over my friends house and curiously no one would pick up the damn rotary phone. I know she is there! its dinnertime and she is cooking. WTH.
  11. Go to the pool without sunscreen. Yup. Sunscreen? Try lather up with baby oil to get that dark shiney glow! and not the pool but walk to the lake (another thing kids wouldn’t do these days; a two mile hike alone).
  12. Let the neighborhood teenager babysit. Nope. I had no need. On the very rare occasion my parents left the house, I had the pleasure of one or two of my three older brothers to beat me um, make sure I was quiet and put to bed on time. I may have been safer with Son of Sam.
  13. Let you eat your Halloween candy as soon as you came home. Yes and no. Although I was allotted my share of the booty, the parents had first dibs on everything dumped on the floor. I like to think of it as the ‘vig’ – house gets their cut right? Mom was big on Squirrels and Mary Janes – two things to completely rip your teeth out of your head. Mom was living on the edge.
  14. Leave you in the car while she ran in real quick. Well, here is the thing about this one. My mom learned the hard way to never do that again. She ‘ran into the store real quick’ only to return and find her daughter screaming blue murder because she decided to put her finger on the hot coiled cigarette lighter. The skin quickly bubbled up and to much of my surprise, I didn’t lose any feeling in the tip of that finger. Lesson learned mom, right?
  15. Let your friends pierce your ears. Nope. We went to Cherry and Webb were I chickened out in the seat and my mom had her’s done instead. So not a completely wasted trip.
  16. Let you sit behind the wheel of the car and pretend you were driving. Yup. We felt all grown up sitting in their lap and ‘steering’. Brittany Spears can attest to the harsh reality that this is a big ‘no no’ these days.
  17. Ride your bike without a helmet. Yup. Not only did I not have a helmet I was self taught and wrist guards would probably have been more helpful. I do have to throw out there that where I live, flipping your bike over and using the pedals to spin the wheels and pretend you were an ice cream sales person was reality. It is surprising to hear that some kids never did that. Brienne F. –  I am looking in your direction.
  18. Let you use a pair of scissors on your own. I cannot truthfully answer this. I can only remember using the rounded scissors growing up. Maybe we didn’t have any real scissors as it was too much of a temptation for my mother bringing up those three boys. I, of course, was a saint.
  19. Buy you candy cigarettes. Yup. Smoke’em if you got’em. Although I will admit actually inhaling the candy cigarette and choking on all the powder that is used to create the ‘smoke’. Whoops. Blow out not in. I needed the remedial class on smoking candy cigs apparently.

And there you have it. Have more that you want to share? Please do. It’s nice to know of other people’s childhood horror.

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair