Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fortune Cookies


Last week we ate dinner at my grandmother’s house.  We ordered Chinese food. We always eat it family style and have a little bit of everything.  At the end of each meal, there are always fortune cookies.  Personally, I don’t like the taste of them, but I still take one each week so that I can get my fortune.  I love when they actually mean something to me.  My grandma can’t read them herself so we always read her the fortune.

The cookie she chose this time had a fortune that made us laugh, “Read a novel and learn more about life.” Her 100 year old eyes cannot see well enough to read anymore but also, at her age, I think she’s learned a lot more about life than any of us and more than many of us could even find in a book.

We love her stories, we love spending time with her and hearing her stories.  Sometimes they are even better than a novel!

National Puppy Day

resuce pet

I had no idea until I read about it on Facebook, but today is “National Puppy Day.” A day created to raise awareness for adopting a dog from a shelter rather than from a breeder.  I have nothing against breeders.  Growing up, all of our dogs were purebreds and bought from breeders around the country.  Fortunately, from what I remember, these were not dogs that lived in cages but in homes and on farms.  Dogs that came from reputable breeders.

Ever since we adopted Emmy Lou, a shih tzu, from a shelter two years ago, I have seen pet adoption very differently. Emmy Lou was rescued from a puppy mill, she lived in a cage her entire life doing nothing but breeding puppies. THAT is not what a breeder is.  That, is a factory and that needs to stop.

There are thousands of puppy mills in our country. Pet stores that sell puppies are the number one reason that so many puppy mills exist today.  Puppy mills treat their dogs like commodities.  They live in small, crowded cages. We were told that Emmy Lou had never left her cage. She lived there her entire life and since there are no proper records for her, they don’t know how long that was, although they estimated her to be about nine years old when we got her.  No one expected her to walk on a leash or socialize with others.

They were wrong. She has adapted so well to our family.  Within days of getting her, she was walking on a leash and fitting right in with our family.

She wasn’t a puppy, but her story has made me so much more aware of pet adoption and how many pets need homes.  Not just puppies but older dogs too.  You still need to do your research, but if you are looking for a dog, consider rescuing.

We have a welcome mat at our front door that reads, “A shelter dog rescued this family.”  We never even thought we would have a dog and now, I could not imagine our lives without her in it.


We Celebrate it All

let's celebrate

St. Patrick’s Day came a few days late this year.  We waited for my aunt and uncle to return from their months long retreat to St. Martin so that we could all celebrate together like always.  My mom’s favorite holiday meal has been passed down to me. It is not a hard meal to prepare, it just takes a long time to make.  My house is too small for twenty-five guests so I cooked it all at my dad’s today and all of us met there this evening to eat.

Twenty pounds of corned beef, ten pounds of potatoes and three huge heads of cabbage.  It took three huge pots and two crock pots to get it all done but it was a success.  Irish Soda and rye breads on the side as well made it perfect.

My brother brought the Italian pastries, in honor of St. Joseph’s Day and our cousin Jason brought a cake that read, “Happy Secretaries Day.”  It has become his tradition to come with a cake celebrating “the wrong holiday” to our holiday celebrations.  Now we all look forward to seeing which one we will celebrate at each meal.  Our next big feast is in two weeks when we celebrate Easter. I wonder what that one will say!  Since it falls during Passover, I assume it will have to be an ice cream cake.  No grains for the Jewish side of the family.

Like I said….”We celebrate it all” in this family.  That’s what makes it so much fun.

Stretching His Wings

time steve jobs

DJ and my dad have always had a close relationship.  My dad was a huge help with his child care when he was very young and they did everything together.  Sports are their common bond.  My dad has season tickets to the New York Giants and the New Jersey Devils which allows DJ the opportunity to get to many games! Lots more than we ever went to when we were kids.

As we get closer to DJ graduating and leaving for college, I have noticed him pulling away more from my dad which I know is causing some friction.  He is much more social with friends and sports as well, but we are more open to this, whereas my dad doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to spend as much time with him.  Perhaps it is a generational “thing.”  My dad was pretty strict and rigid with rules, curfews and where and when we could go when we were growing up.  Dave’s parents were not.  Dave and I have sort of met in the middle as parents, giving DJ the chance to have his independence as long as he proves to us that he is being responsible. So far, he has 🙂 DJ has never been a rebellious child.  He’s our easy one!

We are actually happy that he has become more social and independent. I was worried about this for awhile – thinking it might be difficult when he went off to college.  This doesn’t worry me anymore.  Perhaps this is why he is not rebelling with us in the way I am noticing him act out with my dad.

When he leaves for college in the Fall, I am going to be weepy, I am going to miss him, but I also know that he is going there ready and prepared socially and this makes me feel confident that he will do fine. For my dad, it will be like he is losing his best friend.  He is already asking him how often he will come home for games and how far he plans on going away.

I get angry at DJ when I hear the tone in his voice when he speaks to my dad on occasions but at the same time I understand because my dad did the same thing to me.  He cares deeply for his family.  It is the most important thing in the world to him.  He allowed me to go away to college and I did great. I flourished. It was my first time away from home and I needed that independence to create the person I am today.  I am happy to see DJ doing the same thing….even earlier than I did.

DJ will come home and visit.  New Jersey might not be where he winds up though and I am prepared for that. Our family is a bit of an oddity in this regard, all of us living within ten miles of one another.

We cannot foresee the future.  What ever happens, will happen for a reason.

Medwings vs Bitewings

charity hockey game

Tonight, despite the snow, we will be heading out for a charity hockey game.

New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, battle it out on the ice in the 3rd annual Medwings vs. Bitewings ice hockey game on March 20th at the Prudential Center in Newark at 8 p.m.

The match is a fundraiser for the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation, which helps families who are struggling with a child’s illness from cancer. The suggested donation is $5 at the door.

Tonight will be the 3rd time that the aspiring doctors and dentists have faced off on the ice.  The first game, in 2013, raised nearly $7,500 for NJ families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Last year, they raised close to $15,000 for the SeanHanna foundation in support of pediatric cancer patients and their families. Tonight, our friend Joe will be on the ice as we cheer on the Medwings.  Joe has close ties to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation, after battling childhood cancer as an infant.

At the time of this post over $12,500 has been raised and at the end of the night, no matter who wins or loses, it will be a success.


where is spring

It is almost here! My favorite season of them all! SPRING! It arrives tomorrow at 6:45pm.  Only a few hours after another snow storm hits our area.

This one is predicted to drop between 3-6 inches. I am hoping the forecasters are wrong with this one.  We have had enough of this winter and I am ready for it to be over.

bring on spring



Our dog Emmy Lou is afraid of the vacuum.  Petrified in fact.  So much that it makes us wonder if it brings up bad memories from her years in the puppy mill.  We have to work our vacuum schedule around her walking schedule because if she even sees it coming, she begins to shake and run skittishly in circles around the living room. This means that sometimes, vacuuming goes to the wayside.  Never too long, but until the dust builds up enough to make me crazy.  I don’t know how our home generates so much of it but dust makes me crazy.  You would think I was a clean freak…. I am probably the farthest thing from that. I know our house is old, and that we have been shut up inside all winter without being able to open windows to get some fresh air.  I total understand where the phrase, Spring Cleaning comes from. If we could just get some Spring-like days, we might be able to undertake it!

Friday is the first day of Spring and we are expecting SNOW! It can’t be much longer for real Spring weather to arrive.  Can it?