Friday, December 20, 2013

Renovations Days Before Christmas, WHAT!!!!!!!

Christmas is days away and I have been crazy enough to do home repairs during this already stressful holiday time.  Certainly it was nothing that I planned but I had been trying to get this contractor to come and do renovations since August.  He kept putting me off with one excuse or another.  Why would I wait you ask???  Well I had used him many times before and I knew once he got here he would do a great job so I waited and waited.  When I got a call 2 weeks ago that he could start on December 12.  I was totally irritated but my thoughts were that if I said no he would put me off even longer so I agreed and  instead of a decorated Christmas tree  I have my contractors buckets and junk piled up.

Day 1

Day 8
Maybe I should just hang some lights on the buckets and call it a tree

Mary Ann

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Past

As I look at my window from my upstate NY home this morning and see the bleak sky,  I know that some bad weather may be coming our way.   Snow and ice are just part of living in the great Northeast.  In my older years I can't say that I love the cold and the bad weather but I am lucky enough, at this point in my life to be able to stay home, if the weather is bad.

When I was little and growing up in Queens we had very few big snow storms but when we did wow, they were doozies.   It would take days  for the plows to get to our street.  The snow would block cars in, no school and snowball fights in the two foot snow covered road, with no worries of cars coming down our city block. When the plow finally did come through, it would bring a collective moan from all the neighbor kids that the fun was over and it was back to school.

During the winter my dad would take us often into NYC to go ice skating at the Wollman Ring in Central Park.  I would feel so small skating beneath the tall skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Afterwards my dad who had been patiently waiting  for us to finish would  take my sister and I for a nice steamy cup of hot chocolate at a diner along the way home.

Although I have not been ice skating for over 20 years I was inspired to create this skating ornament that brought back sweet memories of gliding on the ice in Central Park.

Mary Ann

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Is Coming Fast, No Stopping It.

All I can say is Wow.  This year has flown by.  I have been super busy with  creating new things, promoting my Etsy shop and everyday life.  Last year around this time is when I started my blog.  I honestly had no idea what I was doing.  I went into it with a wing and a prayer but I limped along and did OK.  After my A to Z blogging challenge in April I kind of fizzled out.  I was really exhausted to think of something to write everyday but with that said I think I am going to do it again in 2014.  I know crazy!!!!!

So I decided to repeat my very first post.  Its still applies today since I have been listening to those awesome Christmas tunes and putting up my Christmas tree.  This is the one that made me realize that I really enjoyed writing.

So my Christmas season has begun.  I was excited and could not wait to decorate my Christmas tree.  So it was time to trek up to my attic to retrieve the ornaments.  I could see the ornament box way at the back in the far left corner of the attic.  I made my way tripping over my daughters Barbie Dream House from 1980 and my sons old Tonka truck, which he made me swear to never get rid of, cursing the entire time feeling all my Christmas spirit dissolving with every step.  I finally made my way to the box and dragged it down two flights of stairs to my family room.  .
There the box sat all tattered and dusty next to the pre-lit Christmas tree whose lights had failed me. Yikes this season was already not looking good.   From a distance I could hear the garbage truck coming and for a fleeting second I thought I should just chuck the tree and the ornaments and let them intermingle with all the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers from miles around. 
Still in a bad mood I ripped open the box with a vengeance sending the cats running for cover.  As the flaps of the box opened and I look inside I feel the light of memories pouring from the contents.
As I wrap my hand around a Batman ornament, I remember buying it for my son when he was three and how he has been hanging it on my tree every year for the over 30 Christmases.  I see the faux stained glass angel that my daughter painted at my kitchen table so many years ago.  The glittery teacup ornament that my friend Chris bought me one year after telling her how I had wanted it but thought it was too extravagant to buy for myself with money being so tight.  The friendship tree that my friend Eleanor gave me one year. As I hold it in my hand I think of her kindness and how I value the times that we have spent together.  I see the bits and pieces of foam and paper that make up the ornaments that my grandchildren have made for me and how I lovingly hang them on my tree year after year.  Each ornament brings back memories of such happy times in my life.  My good mood has returned and so has my Christmas spirit.

Mary Ann

Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Busy Party Time Week

So for our family from Oct to the end of the year is celebration after celebration.

It all starts the beginning of Oct with my brother-in-laws birthday followed in a few days by my sisters birthday.  Last Sat we celebrated my grandsons birthday at a bounce party place.  Lots of crazy kids but they were all having a blast.

Jack waiting for the cake and present opening

Jack and his friends riding a train
This past weekend was Jack's sister Lily's birthday.  This one was at a local orchard in upstate NY.  It turned out to be a perfect fall day and one of the best kids parties that I have ever gone to.  

View of the Mohawk river from the orchard

Lily and her friends visiting the animals

Birthday doings inside
Yesterday was the finale of the party week and it was a trip to Build A Bear to use that birthday gift card.

Jack and Lily's picks
Well more birthday fun to come.  My other grandsons birthday is next week, my daughter is the end of November, Thanksgiving, other granddaughters birthday and then Christmas.  

Wow exhausting thinking about it but looking forward to spending more time with my favorite people.

Mary Ann

Monday, October 21, 2013

Its Been Awhile

Well its been a few months since I last blogged.  Its just been a super busy few months and quite honestly with all that was going blogging was at the bottom of of list, but now I am back and feel ready to go.

One of the things that has kept me extremely busy after my August Round Lake Craft Fair was the flood of orders that came in for my Paper Purses.  Yikes I could not believe their popularity.  I have made hundreds of them in the past few months for showers, parties and events.

One events that I had an order for was a banquet for a organization called the Women's Fund  The organization goal is the improve the lives of women and girls to serve as a voice and advocate for other women.  The theme this year was the Power of the Purse.  My paper purses went perfectly with their theme.

Below is a sampling of some of the ones that I have made from my orders for parties and events.

I actually love making them and each one is different.

This was just for one order.

Oh well that's all for now.  Gotta to get back to my paper purse creating.

Mary Ann

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Round Lake NY Craft Fair Countdown

Two weeks from today at this very moment I will be packing up and leaving to set up my Craft Fair booth at the Round Lake NY Arts and Crafts Festival. which is listed on the official I Love NY website.  Its all outside so I am am hoping for no rain and not too hot.

I have been making lists and more lists to make sure I have everything in order.  Its all very daunting since we have never done one this big before.  We are hoping for the best but if we just break even I would be happy. I know that sounds like really low expectations but better low and be excited when we sell out then high and sell nothing.  The best part for me is that I am doing it with my daughter so it makes me happy to be able to spend some time together for two days.  YIKES two whole days of selling outside in hopefully really nice weather.

Round Lake, NY is more then just a craft fair.  The village of Round Lake began in 1867 as a summer camp meeting locale for groups of Methodists.  If you have ever been to Martha Vineyard there is a similar community and history in Oak Bluff.  They were both started by the same group of people. The first visitors lived in tents and by 1868 more permanent structures where erected.

A pipe Ferris Tracker organ built in 1847, the oldest and largest three manual organ in existence reside in the Round Lake auditorium and is still used today for musical programs.

Round Lake auditorium
By 1960  the interest in the Methodist camp was declining and in 1969 the village of Round Lake became incorporated and remains a sweet unique town with  gingerbread houses lining the small narrow streets of Round Lake.

Many houses are very close together. Built on the same site as the original tents in 1867.

One of the pretty Victorians that you can find at Round Lake, NY

This ones for sale.  Any takers????

Cannot get enough gingerbread houses in Round Lake.

Round Lake
So if you happen to be in or around the area of Saratoga, NY for the races or other fun on Aug 17 and 18 its a hop, skip, and a jump to get to Round Lake for the craft fair of over 100 juried artists and the added bonus is that you also get to visit a piece of upstate New York history.  The town of Round Lake.

Mary Ann

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Memory Jolt

Its hot hot hot in upstate NY.  I personally hate the heat.  Makes me irritable and anxious.  So I have been spending some time doing a lot of nothing, since its just way to hot to exert any energy doing anything. So  I was looking around on Etsy and I came across some vintage McCalls patterns from 1960. 

In the sixties and seventies my mom worked for McCalls and she drew the front of the patterns as well as the pattern detail on the back from home.  As I looked at the pattern I could see that it was my moms.  Her style of drawing and the memory of her sitting at her desk in the basement under a huge overhead light creating the pattern images came flooding back to me.

I remembered that my mom would  travel into NYC from our home in Queens each Monday to pick up her work for the week and return her completed sketches  from the previous week.  In the summer it was always fun to go into the city with her and be part of the hustle a bustle of the McCalls office.  We would always do lunch afterwards going to Chock Full Of Nuts where we would sit at the counter and at the end our meal we would each get the most delicious crispy donuts. 

It may be way too hot outside but my heart feels the warmth of memories with my mom.

Mary Ann

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Etsy Shop Promoting Wow, Exhausting And Confusing

On November 7, of last year I opened my Etsy shop. When I started it I had no idea what I was doing and and 8 months later I am not sure if I know much more.  Before I started, in the fairy tale world in my brain I saw people clamoring to buy my things.  It stressed me to think about how I would ever keep up.  I read tons of online information so I could get ready for the onslaught of buyers that I knew were coming my way. I bought boxes, tissue paper, bubble wrap and padded envelopes in bulk.  I wanted to be ready to send out my items seconds after the purchase was made.

November 26 was my first purchase.  OMG I was elated. This is it, I hit the big time. Let the buying frenzy begin.   So it was only for $10.00 but it was a start and I was sure I was on my way to greatness.  After all I was selling stuff that no other living soul had ever created.  They were my designs. Who wouldn't love them? I was sure that at some point Angelina Jolie or Mariah Carey would be logging onto my site, love everything so much they would buy something and pass my Etsy store onto Cher and Demi.   Yeah right!!!!!!

So my next purchase was on Nov 30 another $10.00 whoo hoo.  I was raking in the dough.  Well not really if you count Etsy's percentage, shipping and paying to have my items seen more in searches on Etsy.  So I was actually loosing money but I was having fun, wasn't I?

I continued to have a few sales here and there but no one was rushing to clean me out.  So now its been awhile and my expectations have diminished.  No more dreams of having my pictures used on HGTV, no more fantasies of seeing one of my necklaces on Barbara Walters as she sits with Whoopie on the View but I still plug away hoping upon hope that my sales will pick up.

Just recently I joined a few teams on Etsy.  I have learned that being on a team helps you promote your Etsy store by promoting others, they in turn promote you.  One team Christmas in July team (CIJ) is running a campaign now until July 21.  They recently had a CIJ Duo Blitz where I had  to make three treasury's (a group of items from other Etsy stores from the CSI team) and in turn a fellow team member would add my item to theirs.  Others will see them and bingo tons of sales.  Hmmmmm, not so much.

From joining the teams my site has had lots of viewing.  In just the last few days I have had 315 views and 153 favorites.  Before joining the teams my numbers were a fraction of that.  The word on the street is that the favorites get you the exposure you need to sell.  So I am hopeful that thing will pick up.

So if you have a second come join the fun on Facebook  and Etsy by searching CIJ or Christmas in July.

It just all seems like tons of work but I guess it will be worth it when I make my first million.

Mary Ann

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tribute To Good Friends

Monthly, seven of us who have worked together try and connect for dinner.  Sometimes only five can make it or three and often no one since we all live really busy lives, but last night was special.  Our friend Nita just got a new great job offer and all seven of us rallied to celebrate Nita's great success.

I have known Pat, Chris, Pam and Eleanor  for over twenty years, working with them at previous companies. Patty and Nita I have known  for about twelve years. The one thing we all have in common is that we lived the hell of many system conversions.  For those of who have never been involved in a company system conversion it requires long exhausting hours of meeting and testing and more testing and then retesting, always trying to race to the go live date.  You either get really close to each other through it all or hate each other.  We have been lucky enough to really like each other and stayed friends even after the conversion horror.

Pat is the drama queen of the group.  She always has an issue. She has fallen numerous times, thankfully never getting really hurt,  She ran over her glasses with her car.  Lost her skirt in a car wash (how does that happen?) and went on vacation got her sandal caught in her gas pedal and drove into a convenient store taking out the ATM machine but thankfully no humans.  YIKES!!!!  Now whenever any of us hear of a similar news story we check to make sure she was nowhere in the vicinity at the time.

Chris she is my Reality TV friend.  We both love similar shows and can laugh and laugh over really not much of anything.  She is silly and goofy and fun but through it all,  I always know she is there for me and I hope she knows that I am also there for her.

Pam I met forever ago.  She was so young just starting out, trying to juggle work and motherhood.  She is still trying to juggle both worlds.  She is a great co worker, smart and reliable and a great dedicated mom.  She makes it work.  I am so proud of how far she has come and all her accomplishment.  Pam and I have had tons of fun traveling together on business a number of times.  I once offered to carry her pocketbook for her and then I left it somewhere.  We eventually found it and thankfully she has not held my stupidity against me.  Now that's a friend.

Eleanor is the sweetest, dearest. person that I have ever met.  She is good and kind and always has a positive attitude. In all the years that I have known her I have rarely seen her angry or upset.  I often kid her that her always, looking for a silver lining attitude gets on my nerves, but the fact is, that just being around her makes me a better person.

Patty is a great friend to all.  She is so caring to everyone she knows.  Always going out of her way to help others.  She is a wonderful daughter, sister, and aunt to her two nephews never missing any of their games.  She is there to cheer them on, always.  Patty does the same for all of us she cheers us on and inspires us.

Nita the lady of the hour.  Nita is a hard worker who even when she is knee deep in her own hell she will come to your aid without being asked.  She is smart and kind and knowledgeable and a great mother, daughter, sister and friend.  I wish her much success on her next stage in life.

From left to right standing,  Eleanor, Nita, Pam, seated. me, Chris, Pat, Patty

Each one of these ladies are very special to me and I am so lucky to be able to call them my friends

Mary Ann

Monday, July 1, 2013

On A Purse Frenzy

Wow the weather here in upstate NY is rough today  Looks like cloudy, hot, humid and chance all week of rain.  Honestly for me sometimes the rain gives me a break to stay inside and create new things for our upcoming Round Lake Craft Fair.

I had so much fun designing and producing my purse key chains  I decided to do some gift tags inspired by my new favorite thing purses.  I cut out some oval tags using my cricut machine and enhanced them with purses that I also cut from cricut.  I enhanced them with some other colors, a little embellishment and bingo my tags have arrived.

Set of four purse tags

My biggest challenge when I make things is picking the colors

They look cute on this gift bag.
Mary Ann

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nice Start To The Week

Well its Monday again.  Wow!  it comes quickly and I am very excited and lucky to be guest posting on A to Z Challenge blog today.

Click here to go over and visit and see what I had to say about fitting into the blogging world.

Another great start to this week is how far I have gotten with the key chains.  I am designing them for the  Round Lake Arts and Craft Festival that I will be participating in August.  Since I am a huge lover of purses, I was inspired by all the fabulous purses there are to choose from, hence my purse inspired key chains.   I use Swarovski crystals  beads, chains, and ribbons to enhance my mini purses.

Some blue tones

Reds and greens with an added pair of sunglasses to some.

Pinks and purples and black with yellow trim
I like to make each one unique since I hate to do the same thing over and over.  Purses are not the only design that I have done.  I will leave some others to show for another day.

Mary Ann

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Hole Lot Of Something, Hopefully Nothing

Sometimes a hole in things could be a good thing.  Like a doughnut hole. or a hole in one in golf, or getting the hole in the side pocket in billiards.  Hmmmm but a hole in the side of your house can never ever be a good thing.

My story starts one day not long ago when I found a small piece of my siding laying on my front lawn.  It had been really windy so I assumed it has blown off of my house.  I walked around circling a few times but could not see where it belonged anywhere.  So I put it to the side hoping that its rightful place would be found soon.  So last week I had a contractor come to give me some estimates on a few things I needed done.  I remembered the piece of siding and asked him if he could locate where it went.  With his eagle contractor eyes he located the place where it belonged way up in a corner of one of my dormers along with a perfectly round hole.  I immediately called an exterminator to try and determine the origin of the hole. Hoping that it was just a fluke.

Well after few seconds of dangling on the steep side of my house he determined that it was a hole could have been  made by a squirrel.  Whoo hoo actually it was more like Boo Hoo.  I hate woodland creatures,  I am a city girl.  I especially do not like woodland creatures that may or may not be living in my home, above my head.  I have to say I have never seen nor heard anything that would make me think that I had any issues except the hole.  Which I am told is a good thing.  Not the hole, but that I have heard nothing.

So he is coming back today to put on a swinging door on my house hole that will let the little critters out but not let them back in.  Hopefully there are no disabled, old or senile woodland creatures in the bunch who cannot find their way out of the house hole.  

Your cute but stay out of my house hole

Mary Ann

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gearing Up

Got some good news on Friday that our items were approved through a jury process for the 2013 Round Lake Arts and Crafts Festival in Round Lake, NY.  Its a two day event Sat. August 17 and 18.  Its track season in Saratoga, NY, which is only a few miles up the road, so I am hoping for good weather and a good turnout.  Since my daughter and I are relatively new to the whole craft fair thing we are planning our space to try and draw buyers in.  Our first craft fair experience was not so good since we honestly had no idea what were were doing.  Our booth set up instead of drawing people in kept them away, I think.  We just had too much stuff crammed into one space.

This is how not to set up your booth, way too busy and we sat in the front because there was no other room for us inside.  We probably scared people away.

 So this time we are brainstorming ideas and colors.

Since one of the things that I do is design and make jewelry I have been rolling around ideas how to showcase them.  Our spot at the Round Lake Craft Festival is much larger then this one so we will have some room to spread out but that also means we need to make sure its eye catching from a distance.

This is what I came up with early this morning.  Its only in the planning stage so we will see how it progresses.

I stated by drawing a sketch of what I wanted to do.

I thought if I could cut heads out of heavy cardboard, paint each in a coordinating color and them attach them to each other.  Each head would display one of my necklaces and then on the table below would have more of my jewelry.

I even created a cardboard head that I could use as the template.  It needs a bit of refining but the size is exactly what I was looking for.

Because of my obsessive personality I will need to take a trip to Michaels in a bit to get my supplies.  If it turns out the way I am thinking it should, I will share.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Saying Goodbye To Miss Kitty

Well I have blogged before about my odd cat Kitty.  She had a really sad start to her life but in the last year or so she seemed to be coming around.  Well yesterday when I woke up Kitty was nowhere to be found.  This was totally unusual because Kitty really only lived in a few rooms.  After a thorough search of her usual spots I ventured downstairs and found that my poor girl had died during the night and there she laid in the basement, a place that she normally would never ever go to.

I was devastated and sad in addition to being really scared that I would have to get her to the vet to be cremated.  I am really not good with anything dead not even a mouse or bird that I may find outside but I knew I had to do it. So after the initial shock, I carefully got Kitty into a box lined with her blanket and took her to the vet and where I said my final goodbye.

I am still feeling her loss this morning.  She would always get excited when I opened the blinds in the morning and immediately demand a pet to start her day.  I miss her doing her crazy laps around the kitchen when it was time to eat.  I will even miss her hogging my blankets in bed on a cold winters night.

I will never know what caused her death but I am hopeful that the years that she spent with me were happy ones.  I know they were for me.

I will miss you Kitty

Mary Ann

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back In The Swing Of Things (I Hope)

So I have been away from blogging for two weeks.  I think the back to back month long challenges really did me in, along with trying to do some updates and decorating to my house.  I have mentioned before that my husband has Parkinson Disease and at some point we will have to move to a one floor house.  Right now our bedroom is upstairs.  I have to say I will not miss the stairs either since my laundry is in the basement and there is lots of stair climbing for me on wash day.  So I am trying to take it room by room.

I started with our forth bedroom which before had really bad old stripped wallpaper.  I decided it would make a perfect office space. I did not take any before pictures so you will just have to take my word for it that it was really, really ugly.  Pulling off that awful paper was my first step and it was a bear.

When I was done I decided to go with a textured paint which had not done before but had seen it in a few open houses that I had been to recently.  I used Valspar paint in a gray color call Beachstone.  Applying it was worse then ripping off the wallpaper.  You could not roll over it at all because it would take off the texture that you just rolled on.  Its a small room and it took two gallons of paint.  I hated every minute of it but when it was done I do like the way it came out.

Its a bit hard to capture the texture on camera but you can see it a bit in the middle. The gray is a  bluer then I had wanted but that is kind of what happens when you pick a paint color. Its not always what it seems on the paint chip.

I also decided to paint an old desk of my sons yellow using Valspar Tea Room Yellow.  The stool is a grey plaid and I was excited to find it on clearance in Target.  Love a bargain.

Still need to get some curtains, a chairs and accessorize but the worst is over and I will soon be on to the next room.

Yikes I am really too old for this.

Mary Ann

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Childhood Memory

Today we have to talk about a childhood memory but honestly I have tons going on today.  I had my aluminum siding pressure washed yesterday and today it looks about 100 times worse then it did before I had it washed.  I have a call into the guy who did it and hopefully in my lifetime he will call me back.  NEVER, EVER A DULL MOMENT.

So I am just repeating a childhood memory that I have already blogged about.  Sorry for those who have already read it before.

 I was brought up in Queens, NY which is a stones throw away from New York City.   On special occasions, as a family, we would trek into the city.  Some of those special occasions for my sister and I were going into the city with my parents to attend live TV kids shows.  For whatever reason my mom must have thought my sister and I deserved to be seen on TV because she would get tickets for all the local NYC TV shows.  We were on Romper Room, Wonderama, Little Rascals with Officer Joe Bolton and my favorite appearance for my sister and I was Kartoon Klub.

Kartoon Klub was a local live TV show that was on everyday.  The host was Ted Steele who at one time was a very famous band leader.  For the hour preceding the Kartoon Klub, Ted hosted a live American Bandstand type show and when it was over it went right into him hosting Kartoon Klub, a kids show.  Now poor Ted must have done something very wrong in the universe because he was stuck with a bunch of teenagers for an hour and then he was thrust into a world of screaming kids for an additional hour.  I was so little but I remember how cranky he was.  The only time he smiled was when the camera was on him.

Just before the American Bandstand type show was over my sister and I and about fifteen other kids were led into a large studio with bleachers that faced a big screen.  I was so little and my mom that day had put my blond hair in a huge array of banana curls.  Very stylish at the time, I guess.  They sat me right in the middle of the bleachers telling me to make room for Mr.Steele.  From a distance I could see the teens dancing to the last song of the teen show.  Ted Steele came toward us as his first show ended looking none to happy to have to spend the next hour with us.  He climbed up into the bleacher and sat right next to me saying nothing to any of us kids.  I heard one of the guys yell, "we are on in 10 second,  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 ,4, 3, 2, 1" and pointed to Ted.  Ted immediately went from grumpy to Mr Happy.    He started to explain who the shows sponsors were, one of which was a Baby Ruth candy bar.  He announces "every kid loves a Baby Ruth bar and all the kids here will get one to take home with them".   Now, little did poor Ted Steele know but I had some issues with eating nuts of any kind and was forbidden to eat them.  So as he was talking I tugged on his suit jacket, he did not respond, I tugged again and again.  He finally looked down at me not looking very happy and I said "excuse me but I can't eat  this candy bar".  He says "well little girl save it for later" and starts talking to the camera again.  That answer obviously was not good enough for me because I continued to tug away at his jacket.  He finally looks down at me again and with gritted teeth he says "yes little girl" and I quickly tell him that I can't even eat it when I get home because it has nuts in it and it will make me constipated.  Now remember this was live TV and none of this could be edited.  The entire staff was horrified, constipated was not a word that was said on TV back then.  My poor mother and father sat in the green room watching mortified as the other parents let out a collective gasp at my bold, bathroom, problem, confession.

Not sure if poor Ted was ever the same after that. My potty talk may have been the straw that broke Ted Steel's back because not long after that the show went off the air.

Mary Ann

Friday, May 17, 2013

Picture Day

OK so for today we are supposed to post our favorite picture of ourselves and why.  Well I have no favorite picture of me.  I hate to have my picture taken.  In the generations to come my great great grandchildren will have to wonder what I looked like because there will be so very little trace of my existence.

So I did find this one which was taken last year.  A friend and I went to see the Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo at a local venue.  We paid extra for a meet and greet which we thought would be a reading to hang with our dead relatives but instead it was stand and pose for a picture with her.   So this stinking picture cost about double the price of the actual tickets.  YIKES SUCKER!!!!!!!!!

My friend, Theresa not doing a reading, and me.

This picture of me on the right is about as rare as the Hope Diamond although I am a bit taller, but not by much.  The sad part of it, is that when I posted this picture on facebook, friends from long ago said that I had not changed a bit.  Wow I had not idea I looked this bad in high school.  No wonder I did't get any dates.

Can't wait to see what humiliation is in store for us tomorrow during this lousy blog everyday in May debacle :).

Mary Ann

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

Today I need to list ten things that make me happy.  Hmmmm well I know for sure that my kids and grandkids make me happy.  If I listed those individually that would be a quick eight but that seems way too easy.  So here goes.

Family - There are so many ups and downs along the way with families but when all is said and done the most happiness in my life comes from them.

Friends - Talking, laughing and visiting with friends.

Pets - I have had lots of pets in my life, dogs and cats and they never fail to give me unconditional love.

Home - My home to me is my haven and sanctuary.

Reality TV - OK this is showing my shallow side.  I love to watch competition  type reality shows like Survivor and Amazing Race among many others.  I love TV in general it totally makes me happy.

Sunny bright days with a warm breeze - Nothing like the sun to make me smile and breath easy.

Food - Love, love, love food.  So I sound a bit food addicted but I am.  I love food.  Give me a bowl of pasta and a cupcake and I happy.  Sad but true.

Mowed grass -Watching the guys I hire to mow my grass.  Its makes me happy that I don't have to do it.

Creating something new- When I think of a design and turns out just like I envisioned it. Celebration time.

A babies smile - Not much needs to be say about this.  A babies smile makes everyone happy.

Mary Ann

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Sorry, So Sorry Please Accept My Apology

Ok, so I am still plugging along on this challenge on day 13.  YIKES and I wanted to quit day one.  For today we need to issue a public apology.  So here goes.

To my daughter.
I am so sorry that I never got you a stinking Barbie Dream House.  It was just too big to fit into our apartment back then and it was lots of money that we did not have.

To my son
Sorry that I ever bought you that Bee Bee gun.  I know all the boys had one and I succumbed to the pressure but you used it irresponsibly and it goes down as one of the worst decisions that I have ever made as a parent.

To my dad
Sorry that I stole that .75 cents from your dresser when I was twelve.  Its all I needed to get into the movies with my friends that day and its kind of your fault because you told me that I could go if I could come up with the money.

To my mom
Sorry that I really hated everything that you ever sewed for me but you would always made the dresses way too long and in awful prints that I hated.  You got back at me though when you cut my bangs way too short and crooked .  Wow did it take a long time for me to look normal again.

To Reggie, Jake, Al, Ollie and Tanya, my cat and dog kids
Sorry that I had to put you down when it was your time  You all seemed to be suffering so I needed to make the really hard decision to say goodbye.  Still miss you all.

Lastly I am sorry for always saying I'm sorry when it wasn't even my fault.  Its my Catholic, Italian, guilt that kicks in. I can't help it, its in my DNA.

Mary Ann

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Missing Growing Up In Queens

Today's May challenge task is to write about something that I miss.  It could be a person, a thing, a place or a time of your life.  Well what I miss is growing up in Queens, NY.   When I look back on that time it was full of fun, happiness and love.

I miss walking to school each day with mom holding my hand and my sister running up in front of us.  I miss coming home from school and smelling the aroma's of my mom's awesome cooking. I miss summers on 65th Street in Middle Village were my sister and I would leave the house after breakfast to play with friends, stop back for lunch and then be out again until dinner.  On really hot days we would sit on each others front stoops reading piles of comic books that we had already read over and over before.  Sometimes we would pool together our pennies and make our way down to the corner candy store where as a group we would pick out a new Archie comic book rush back home and take turns reading it. On not so hot days my sister and I would  roller skate up and down the hill having to quickly move to the side when a car came.   In the evening after dinner all the kids on the street boys and girls alike would congregate and play endless hours of Red Rover or Hide and Seek while the grown ups would sit outside and talk until it was time to call us all in for bed.

65th St looking down the hill my house was on the left.
I miss the huge snowstorms that we would sometimes get that closed schools and we could play in the street that was covered in feet of snow without worry of cars, before the plows came through.

Snowstorms in Queens, more fun for kids then adults.
I miss trick or treating when we could go without parents because there was no threat of people trying to harm us.  After we would all go to a Halloween party in the Stark family basement where we would bob for apples and the lights were turned off while scary stories were read.

I miss Christmas's when I still believed in Santa Claus and woke up to all the presents under the tree.  I miss the big holiday meal that followed, including my grandparents, aunts and cousins.

Mostly I miss my mother who has now been gone for many years.  Time moves on and now have raised my own children and I watch as they raise their children and hope that their memories of childhood were as happy as mine were.

Mary Ann