Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zingers And Other Snack Cakes

Love me a snack cake.  Love me any kind of cake, but I have always gravitated to the Drake line of snack cakes.  Devil Dog, Coffee Cakes or a Ring Ding or two or three. I would never ever eat a fruit pie, sounds too healthy to me.

 Zingers or  Twinkies have never been my favorites until Hostess went defunct and then of course I was wanting what I can't have.  I went on a  Hostess snack cake hunt and what I found was shocking.  Of course you can get anything for a price and boy were these pricey.  So the same box of Zingers and Twinkies that I could have gotten six months ago for $2.99 were now available almost 10x that price. YIKES!!!!!

Zingers - 12 pack - $23.33

Twinkies - 10 pack - $29.88

Hostess Cupcakes - $27.77

Now the word on the street is the Hostess brand has been bought by another company. The new company will produce Hostess product under the name The New Hostess brand and will start to produce Twinkies and Ho Ho by the end of May. So I guess I will have to wait for my fill of Zingers and Twinkies until then.

Well this was the last of the letters for the A to Z challenge.  I am happy and at the same time sad  that its over.  So until next year.

Zee End
Mary Ann 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Y Words Of Things I Can't Do

There are few thing in my life that I think that I am excellent at.

Sleeping- I am a great sleeper unless my husbands wakes me up during the night and then I am just an angry non-sleeper

Watching TV -  I could win contests with my TV watching skills.

Eating - Give me a bowl of pasta or a big juicy burger with waffle fries and a box of cupcakes. Hmmmm I am a happy girl.

But there are many other things that I am really bad at and since today is the letter Y in the A to Z challenge I will write about the bad Y things that I can't do.

Yodeling -  When my sister and I were little we would do our best to yodel but with no success.  Years later yodeling is still not a skill that I have mastered.

Yoga - From what I have read yoga is a great way to exercise but I can barely get off of a chair, so the thought of twisting my sad body into a pretzel like position, YIKES!!!!! is not something that I care to try.

Yo-Yoing -  Most if us have had a yo yo growing up.  I can do a straight up and down yo yo with no problem but I have never been able to go beyond that doing tricks like Walk The Dog or The Cradle.

We are all great at some things but really bad at others.  Maybe next year that can be my A to Z theme.  Letters that start words that I am really bad at.  Wow! I think it could work.  At least I would never run out of material.

One more to go
Mary Ann

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Xmas My Favorite Time Of The Year

I love everything about Xmas.  The lights, the music, giving presents and just being with my family.  When I was a kid my Christmases were always great.  We did not have much money but my dad would always take a second job around the holidays so that he could give us a great Christmas.  My sister and I would wake up Christmas morning and there were tons of surprises under the tree.

Since I had more time last year I decided to make some ornaments using my layered cardstock technique.

 Since I love a vintage look I decided to do some vintage inspired ornaments.

These were my first attempt at ornaments and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they came out.

I then went on to try my hand at some others . For this sewing one I added buttons and thread and made a needle out of of a ornament hook.

Xmas is all about baking so to this one I added some cute tiny cookie cutters that I found at a craft store.  Using my layered paper technique it gives my ornaments a 3D effect.

 There are always lots of presents at Christmas time so why not hang some from the tree.
 Each present is embellished with ribbon and mistletoe.

Because they are layered cardstock they are very light to hang from the tree and indestructible at the hands of little grandchildren.

I have made many more and was lucky enough to sell some on Etsy.  I loved making them and look forward to making more for next Christmas for family and friends.

Merry Xmas
Mary Ann

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Wear My Heart On My Sleeve.

I am a crier.  Not a sniffler, but an out and out full on blubber kind of crier.  On an average I must cry at least three times a day.  Shocking I know.  I cry at people's sad stories, at movies, at books, I even cry at commercials.  I cry when people win on a game show or if I see other people crying.  I cannot seem to stop myself.  It comes on like a shot out of nowhere.

 Last week I was watching Splash on TV.  Now this has to be one of the worst shows that has ever been made.  It's so called stars, more like has been's, every week have to do a new dive.  Louie Anderson was one of the drivers.  He is a comedian that was around about 100 years ago.  He now weights over 400 lbs. He did this backwards dive from a 16 feet diving platform successfully.  When he goes in front of the judges he looks like a very large drowned  bee in his yellow and black stripped wet suit so this should make me laugh, not cry but when Louie saw the replay of his drive he started to cry.  OMG I could not help it there they were tears running down my cheeks just because he was crying.
Louie looking like a 400 lb  bee before he took the plunge.
So I will continue to cry watching Dancing with the Stars when they have, best year of  their life dance week.

Andy Dick kissing his daughter after he dedicated his dance to her.
 I will certainly be crying when someone wins big on Wheel of Fortune.  

Pat ,Vanna, and a big winner
I will continue to cry over every Hallmark movie that was ever made.

Part of Hallmark Love Saga, yes I cried.

And of course I will continue to cry on Survivor family reunion week 

When Jeff Probst says your families are here, I am a goner.
Well you may be saying I need to get a life.  Well maybe I do, but I will see find something to cry about because I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Doing The Victory Dance

I few days ago I wrote about my sink leaking and causing havoc to the floor and my life.  Living without water in your kitchen is painful.  No water for dishes or dishwasher.  I had to do it all in my bathroom sink which was annoying and it kind of made me a little, or maybe a lot sick to my stomach.  Bathrooms and clean dishes do not go. YUCK!!!!!

The plumber was supposed to come today but he called  yesterday afternoon and said he had some time, could he come over.  That was the start of my victory dance I was so excited to get it done.  I had gotten his name from Angie's List so I was hoping for the best.  He fixed the leak and put in a new sink and facet and it turned out he was awesome.  Really nice guy who looked and talked like Columbo minus the trench coat and the best part no plumbers crack in sight.

So I woke up this morning able to fill my coffee pot and rinse my dishes.  Really sick and sad how a new sink, facets and water can make my day.

This is me doing the victory dance.  Well maybe not me, but me doing the victory dance if I was 40 years younger.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unlikely Couples

My husband and I do not agree on much.  He has a weird way at looking at the world that often drives me nuts.  He will always look at the negative in a situation, I try and look for the positive. I like to laugh and joke and he rarely thinks things that I say or do are funny and will laugh at things in a movie or on TV that I do not think are funny.  He likes the heat really high in the winter and the air conditioning really high in the summer even when its not that hot.  I don't get that.  I never like to be hot so I like the heat down in the winter and I love windows open as much as possible in the nice weather.  I only want the air conditioning on if its super hot.  Even though we have been married for a long time, I guess in lots of ways we are an unlikely couple.  That got me thinking about other unlikely couples out there and  started looking around.

Well apparently in the 1980, Tom Cruise and Cher were an item.  She even supposedly lived with him for awhile.  I guess I slept through that one because, I did not know that.

Lisa Minnelli and David Gest had an elaborate wedding but the marriage didn't last.  He accused her of beating him and giving him herpes.  Its a shocker that they did not stay together after that, sounds like a match made in heaven.

Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett  OK what was she thinking. She married him after only knowing him for three weeks.

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson this is the ultimate unlikely couple.  I have heard her in interviews say that they had a normal marriage.  Lie detector please!!!  Sorry I do not believe it for a second.

None of these unlikely couples could  make it work, so why am I still with my unlikely husband?Hmmmmmmm, not sure I'll have to think about that one  :).

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Traipsing Along

This morning I feel like I am traipsing through the A to Z challenge.  In the beginning had I felt exciting about writing something everyday but this week I feel like A to Z is kicking my butt.  Maybe its the weather that is  getting me down.  Yesterday was sunny but most days lately have been cloudy and still pretty chilly. Today more clouds and rainy tomorrow.

OK enough of my Negative Nellie attitude.  Yesterday I was on a quest to find cardstock paper that had a chevron pattern.  The chevron pattern is extremely popular and I wanted to make some things that would fit in with this big trend.  I am personally not a fan.  I am more of a straight line kind of girl but you have to give the people what they want, so chevron it is.

This is the paper I was able to get.  The colors are pretty bright but from what I have read the borderline neon is also a trend for spring.

I will eventually make some jewelry with it but for now I am going to use it for some key chains that I recently designed.

I made this one as a test.   Since I layer cardstock I worried that it would disintegrate over time from taking it in and out of my purse but I finished it with a durable outdoor coating and it's been holding up extremely well.  My test is a success so I will make more, using my almost neon colored chevron paper.

Crazy Kitty and Priscilla
So this picture has nothing to do with anything that I wrote about today but Crazy Kitty has taken a new step  in her life, she is hanging with her once hated step sister Priscilla.  Can't wait to see whats's next for Crazy Kitty.

Mary Ann

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Old Saying

We hear them everyday.  We even say them ourselves all the time.  I know I do.  How often have I said when things get rough.  "Well everything happens for a reason"  I generally use it to keep me sane when I honestly don't get some of the horrors that go on around us daily.  .

Another one I say all the time is "It always happens in three's"  As I am writing this I am listening to my washing machine make a horrible churning noise and a leak under my kitchen sink has ruined my laminate floor.  OK so I am wondering what the third thing will be.  And if the third thing turns into a forth, does the forth start a new cycle of three's so I can look forward to two more things.  YIKES this could be really bad.

"Bite the bullet"  is one that we are all doing these days with our rough economy. We sometimes envy those people who are "Born with a silver spoon in their mouth" and go through life without a money care in the world.  Nice but not realistic for me anyway.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"  that certainly true for me when I give up sweets. I know they are bad for me but boy do I love them even more when they have been gone for awhile.  Yes I am shallow but I love my cupcakes.

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch"  Wow I do this one all the time.  I am a thinker and a worrier.  I am always anticipating an outcome bad or good before it happens.  I try not too but I cannot seem to stop my mind from going to the future.

So today I am going to try and "Keep my chin up" and "Let sleeping dogs lie" while I "Let well enough alone".  I guess we'll see how that goes since "Seeing is believing".

Can you think of any that you use all the time.

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Ripped Jeans And Other Fashion Trends, I Just Don"t Get

Ripped jeans have been around for a really long time.  They were even popular for the free spirit type when I was  young.  Back then you would buy jeans shiny and new and then you would work on them to look old and ratty.  Now you can buy them already old and ratty with strategically placed rips and holes for a nice hefty price tag.  I did not get it then and I don't get it now, but maybe its just me.

Stylish pants with holes, not my cup of tea.

A  hair trend that I am seeing is the ombre look where your hair starts as one shade at the top of your head and then changes colors along the way.  I have to say I do like in a ombre textile, but not so much in  hair.  Even more dramatic is the, "I think you need a dye job look".  This is when your dark roots are left and the rest of your hair is dyed a light color.  Nicki Minaj has it on American Idol and I saw a shampoo commercial with Hiedi Klum with the same look. YIKES!  sorry for all of you out there that may have one of these looks.  I don't get it, but maybe its just me.

Big dark roots, where's the Lady Clairol?

The next trend that I am going to mention is one that I did not even know was a trend.  More often then I liked, I would see people, mostly women out prancing around in their pajama bottoms.  I have seen them in department and grocery stores, waiting for buses and at the movies. The bottoms are mostly brightly colored with Minnie Mouse or Smurfs or Snowmen, very festive.  In my mind I was thinking that these people were just too lazy to get dressed, but crazy me that is not the case.  This seems to be part of a trend called the Pajama Movement.  I was watching an early morning New York City talk show a few weeks ago  and they mentioned how comfortable it was to go out to dinner in pajama bottoms.  WHAT!!!! who knew.  I don't get it, but maybe its just me.

Go right from bed to a gala event who knew?

I'm sure I could go on and on.  Is there any trend that you don't get?

Mary Ann

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quiet Please!!!!!

I AM LOUD!!! .  Even when I think I am whispering everyone around me can hear the secret.  Along with my very loud voice is an even louder laugh.  When I hear something funny I just cannot restrain myself and I just belt one out.

I am that obnoxious person in the room that is disturbing your nice quiet meal at a restaurant.  I am the one in back of you laughing loudly at the movies, the one that you want to turn around and throw your super sized Pepsi at. In addition to my laughing and talking loudly I am an emotional loud crier.  So in that same movie if the scene goes from funny to sad you will hear me sobbing.

Its not like I want to be disrespectful to others.  Honestly I try. I start out with a lower tone but as the conversation continues or something funny is said, before I even know its happening my voice escalates and  out it comes.  I guess I have been yelling. screaming, laughing and crying loudly for so long I am not sure how to keep it down a notch or two or ten.

So to to all those people out there that happen to be stuck in  elevator or restaurant with me I apologize in advance I am just really loud.

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Popcorn And Clowns Bad Combo

My first encounter with the circus was when I was about 7, my mother and dad were taking my sister and I to The Ringling Brothers circus for the first time.  It was at the old Madison Square Gardens in NYC (I am giving away my age on this one).  We were extremely excited.  As an extra treat before the circus, we were going to eat out which we rarely did, since money was so tight.  Both my mother and dad ordered pork.  I have no memory of what my sister and I had.  So we finished our meal and off to the circus we went.  Our seats were so high up and I remember how scared I was looking down onto the circus arena from where we sat.  We had all just gotten comfortable when my mother became violently ill, she got up and went racing down the steep stairs in search of the nearest bathroom.  Not long after my father also became ill.  Because of the circumstances my sister and I were left alone for most of the afternoon as my mother and father ran to the bathroom. Thankfully no one walked away with us.  Needless to say there was no good memories about that day.

Years later my husband and I took my daughter to the circus at new Madison Square Garden and for four hours (I had forgotten how long it was) she complained.  Well you guessed it she hated it and so did we.  Then along came my son. When he was five he begged to go to the circus.  By this time we had moved to upstate NY and it was playing at the Glens Falls Civic Center.  YIKES the last thing I wanted to do go to another horrible four hours of circus hell but I knew he deserved to have the experience at least once.  I decided it would be fun for just the two of us to go, so I picked him up after school and we went to a circus matinee.  Remembering my childhood nose bleed seats, I was able to get us tickets in the second row right in the middle of all the circus action.

My son unlike my daughter loved every aspect of the event. I was seeing the circus in a whole new light and  was thinking, wow, not as bad as I thought.  The first two hours flew by.  At the intermission we decided to get a snack.  I had come directly from work to pick him up and had not eaten much all day and was starving.  My son got some cotton candy and I got a giant tub of popcorn.  We returned to our seats just as the circus parade was getting starting.  Each act walks around the arena and they stop along the way and wave at the crowd.  I was not paying any attention to what was going on because I was woofing down my popcorn like I had not eaten in a week.  All of a sudden I hear everyone around me laughing hysterically. As a huge foam cookie came flying at me, I peeked up over my giant tub of popcorn and see a clown directly in front of me mimicking me eating popcorn but in an extremely exaggerated way.  My son could not stop laughing and I was totally embarrassed  shrinking down in my seat as far as I could.  I stayed that way for the next two hours.  That really was the end to my circus not so fun.  I will be fine with never, ever, going to the circus again.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Ode To TV Shows Gone By

I love TV way too much, but this is nothing new.  My parents never limited my sister and my TV viewing so we watched and watched and watched.  So here I am today still watching.  A number of shows which I loved have been gone forever but I still think of them with great fondness.

Here Comes The Bride -  It ran from 1968-1970 about mail order brides embarking on Seattle in the 1860's.  Playing brothers looking for a wife's were David Soul who later went on the Starsky and Hutch, Peter Brown who I have never seen again in anything and a big heartthrob of the time singer Bobby Sherman.  In my memory this was a great show but recently they played it on TV Land and boy was it cheesy.

Here Come The Brides

Battle of the Network Stars  In my book this was one of my all time favorites.  It was a competitions between stars form ABC, CBS, and NBC and aired on and off from 1976 to 1988. In 2003 they tried to bring it back but no one except maybe me, was interested in watching.  Some of the greats that appeared on it were Penny Marshall (Laverne and Shirley) Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back Kotter) Cheryl Ladd (Charlie's Angels) Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At A Time) and many, many more.

Battle of the Network Stars

The Mole  This reality based show aired for five seasons between 2001 to 2008. The first two seasons it was hosted by Anderson Cooper, The third season he was replaced by Ahmad Rashad.  The forth and  fifth seasons were a celebrity Mole format.  The premise was extremely complex but in a nutshell contestants work as a group to add money to a pot that only one of them will eventually win.  Among the contestants is one person who has been designated "The Mole" by the producers and is tasked with sabotaging the group's money making efforts. At the end of each episode, the contestants take a quiz and the one who knows the least about the mole gets eliminated.  Everyone knows that there is a mole but they do not know who the mole is.  The US was not the only country to air The Mole.  The format was licensed to run in over 40 different counties.  Sounds kind of boring but boy did I love this one.

One of these ordinary people was The Mole

Celebrity Mole
Well I could go on and on about my favorite TV shows and who knows maybe I will, we have 11 more letters to go.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for A Little Something About Nothing

Before I started this challenge I made a list of A through Z making notes beside each letter outlining the topic that I would write about.  Well for N I had nothing, zero. zilch.   I have been racking my brain for days and still nothing.  So I decided to write about the N words that I thought of, but didn't write about.

Negligee -  So I thought it may be cute to write about women and buying negligee's but because I am more of a flannel, Playtex Cross Your Heart kind of girl I was just not inspired.

Nigel Lythgoe - He produces American Idol and a judge of So You Think You Can Dance but honestly who really cares about him.

Nutmeg - Spice that I am sure many of the food blogs will be about today but I have never used it, not once.

Nashville - Its a city, a movie and a TV show but I have never been there nor have I ever watched the movie or the TV show.

Negative Nelly - What my daughter called me when I complained about not having an N word.

So, as you can see, this is really about nothing and hopefully tomorrow I will have something.

Mary Ann

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Mothers Day Bling

Doing the A to Z Blogger Challenge has been kicking my butt.  click here to see what its all about  The suggestion of the A to Z group before I started was to get the blogs done early.  Well I really tried but it just did not happen for me.  So I have been scrambling.  Which means I am leaving my other things by the wayside like designing and crafting.  Well since it was a day off from the challenge yesterday I decided to work on some ideas that I had rolling around it my head and thought it was a great opportunity to combine my A to Z Challenge  M word with my Mothers Day creations.

Since Mothers Day is right around the corner I wanted to do some things that would appeal to people who were looking for something specific for Mom's.  I really make lots of different things combining heavy card stock paper with all kinds of materials.  I stumbled upon some acrylic shapes in Michael's a few months back, buying them on a whim, not really knowing how I would use them.  Many of my ideas hit me in the middle of the night. (see my earlier post about my husband being and insomniac) I am up anyway so I think of things to write about or design.  During one of these nights I remembered the acrylic shapes and a design started to formulate, so yesterday I set some time aside to put my plan into action.

These are the Mom pendants, I have made so far.  The backing of all three is heavy card stock that I layered  and then applied a protective coating which makes them very strong.  I glued an acrylic shape to each, first lining them with a coordinating card stock. I added Mom and embellished them with some Swarovski crystal bling, finishing them with silver bails and chains.

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Look Alike's, Quest For Spotting The Rich And Famous

So my husband is one of those people who always thinks someone looks like someone else.  He will be watching a commercial and from two rooms away will call me. "Mary Ann is this Julia Roberts?" I glance at the TV and see a woman who looks nothing like Julia Roberts and why would he think that she would be in a commercial calming that she is less embarrassed about being incontinent since using Depends.

He could be watching a ballgame and the camera will pan the bleachers. "Mary Ann quick come here. look who's at the game isn't that Nelson Mandela?"  Well since he was in a hospital about million miles away yesterday I am thinking that he would not be at a Met game in Queens NY.

 We will be in a store and he will say, I just saw a guy who looks like Stephan King.  He will drag me up and down the aisle stalking the poor guy so I can see if in fact by some crazy chance it is Stephan King.  When we finally find him, to me, he looked more like Larry King and nothing like Stephan.

So in 2009 the movie Place Beyond The Pines was being filmed in upstate NY a few miles from where I live.
On the news every night they talked about star sighting.  So this particular day we had gone to an early appointment  and my husband wanted to get some breakfast at Denny's.  As we were being seated I saw a group of people to my left but paid little attention to who they were.  I sat in the booth with my back to them.  My husband sat facing the group.  Throughout the meal my husband kept glancing over at the group and saying  "one of those guys over there looks familiar", I paid no attention and told him to stop starring and thought OH NO HERE WE GO AGAIN..  I never even made and attempt to turn around.  After the large group left the waitress came over and asked if we got to see him?  Him, whose him???  Well Ray Liotta was sitting right over there she said.  So for once my husband did see the real deal but for whatever reason he could not place him.  OMG  Who would think that Ray Liotta would be eating breakfast at Denny's on a weekday.

So I guess from now on when my husband says he just saw Pamela Sue Anderson in aisle 6 at the grocery store it just might be her but then again, hmmmmm probably not.

Mary Ann

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is The Story Of Crazy Kitty

Crazy Kitty the cat came to us when she was 4 years old, she had been abandoned by her owner. She had never been sprayed and she had a horrible case of ear mites.  I had her fixed and got her healthy.  My intent was to find her a home since I already had two cats.  I was very lucky to find someone who was willing to take her and I breathed a sigh of relief as I drove away Kitty free that day.  It was short lived because 24 hours later they wanted her out of their house ASAP.  Apparently Kitty had bitten her new owners and would not come out from under the bed.  Poor Kitty was a bit of an odd ball and I was not sure if I would be able to find her another home, so I kept her.  YIKES, what was I thinking?

For the first 5 years with us, Crazy Kitty lived in a room.  No matter what I would do she would not leave that room.  A number of times I would carry her out to other places in the house and she would end up being so scared that she would throw up or pee on me. Not pretty!  She ate, slept, and pooped all in the same room.  She would come as far as the door and then would run back to the safety of her fleece bed.

Then one day out of the blue Crazy Kitty just came out of the room into the kitchen.  I was shocked and excited thinking she was finally coming around,  but no matter what I did she would only go as far as the kitchen.  So for another few years Kitty slept in a corner on a kitchen chair on her fleece bed until one day when I wanted to paint the kitchen,  I  moved her chair and bed into the living room.  She decided she liked the living room so she started sleeping on a chair in the living room on her fleece bed.

Crazy Kitty is now 13 and has lived with us for 9 years. Kitty's world had expanded over time and she was now going from living room to kitchen to her old room and back but she still would not venture beyond those few rooms.  Well 6 months ago I woke up in the middle of the night and found Kitty laying next to me sharing my pillow. Crazy Kitty had decided it was time to move from the living room to our upstairs bedroom and since it took her 9 years to get there she must have been exhausted and needed a little nap.  Kitty sleeps with me every night now thankfully not on my pillow but curled up next to me.

Poor Crazy Kitty's one ear is deformed from her untreated ear mites.
Life with Kitty has had its ups and down and at this point I am not sure who is crazier me or her.

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Johnny The Anti-Santa

The Christmas my daughter was a year old, my brother-in-law Johnny decided he wanted to play Santa.  I was not that keen on the idea since I had taken my daughter to see Santa at the mall the week before and she would not go anywhere near him. She was petrified just at sight of him.  Johnny said he had already bought the Santa suit and really wanted to start a yearly tradition.  He got my mother on board and between the two of them they wore me down, so I reluctantly agreed.

Christmas morning, early, my daughter and I were sitting under the tree when we heard the first sounds of Santa.  It started with the jingling of bells, followed with lots of HO HO HO's and then an indescribable sound like glass cracking.  The glass cracking sound got louder as it got closer and the HO HO HO's and the bells seemed to fade into the background.  Johnny rounded the corner into the living room covered from head to toe wearing something that looked like a giant red garbage bag.  My daughter screamed in horror at the sight of this loud, plastic Santa, that had just invaded the room.  He sat down lowering her onto his lap. As her tiny body clashed with his plastic garbage bag body the glass breaking sound loudly erupted,  she screamed louder wanting no part of him.  Needless to say, the Christmas tradition of the Red Plastic Bag Santa ended that day.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Married To An Insomniac

I am person who loves to sleep.  I was the odd child who would ask their parents if they could go to bed.  Weird!  So how lucky is it that a sleeper like myself would marry an insomniac?  Very unlucky I would say.  I first learned of Insomniac Ken on our honeymoon.  We were stuck in a small space and he would sit up and watch TV for hours in the middle of the night.  I was in first married, starry eyed love, so I was not bothered at all with his pacing and grumbling all night long.

With that said it makes sense that Insomniac Ken would father, Insomniac Son.   Insomniac Son would keep me up for hours each night for years.  Funny that Insomniac Ken found deep sleep during those years.  Never waking up while Insomniac Son had me walking the floor every night.  To make matters worse I am an early riser so when Insomniac Ken finally falls asleep at 3:00 AM he is not interested in getting started with his day until hours after I do.

Well years have passed and Insomniac Son has married and moved on to stay up all night in his own house.  I unfortunately am still stuck with Insomniac Ken who continues to walk the hallways nightly grumbling, humming, and turning on lights.  Most nights I can sleep through it but some nights his insomniac ramblings keep me up.  And so that's how life with an insomniac goes.

Old photo of Insomniac Ken and Insomniac Son getting a few Zzz's in, probably so they could stay up all night.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hotel, Haven or Pitri Dish of Germs?


I leave for vacation happy to be on my way.  Look forward to trying new things, visiting new places and eating good food.  All is good until I enter the hotel room.  My body seizes up, I feel like I cannot breath and I get light headed.  Visually the room looks perfectly fine.  Curtains and bedding match and a nice big TV sitting on dust free furniture. The perfectly vacuumed rug has no stains  Beautiful coordinating chair with an ottoman.  Bathroom shiny and bright.  One would think that I would be OK and could relax but its what lurks behind the picture perfect room that scares the heck out of me.

In my mind I look at the perfect bedding and think about strangers doing who know what on it.  I see that nice comfy chair that may have been sat on by someones big hairy bare butt.  YIKES!!! my toes are curling just thinking about it.  I look down and see the hidden germs in the carpet.  The bathroom is the worst for me
even though the towels look fresh and clean to the naked eye, there is no amount of bleach that can wash away the hundreds of other people who have used them.

So I revere all the people who have come before me who can sit on the bedding with abandonment or friends who can go on vacation and stay at below par accommodations and not care about the sticky substance on the curtains

I will continue to work on my hotel phobia and hopeful, one day, I too, can embrace life among the germs of a hotel room.

Mary Ann

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Growing Up After Abuse

Today I am departing from my usually light banter and writing about my friend Riley.  Riley was born a beautiful, perfectly healthy, baby girl.  I worked with her dad Brad and very often he would bring Riley into the office. I always looked forward to her visits. She was such a special baby with tons of personality always very social and smiled very easily.  At two she was so used to coming by for visits she would prance around without any trepidation.  She was talking up a storm by then and would make me smile with her cute little baby conversations.

Riley prior to March 27, 2007

On March 27, 2007 I remember being told that Brad had to leave because he had gotten a call that Riley had been found in her crib by her daycare provider, unresponsive. She was being air lifted to Albany Medical Center.  OMG I was sick thinking of Brad and his wife Lisa and Riley, poor Riley what had happened?  As the days progressed the pieces to what happened to Riley were exposed.  Riley had been assaulted by her daycare provider.  The very person that Lisa and Brad had left Riley with to protect her each day from harm had turned on Riley in a fit of rage.  Riley's condition was serious she had suffered a traumatic brain injury at the hands of this monster.

Riley was not expected to survive even though she made it through that first surgery.  If she survived at all she would never, ever be the same.  Riley fought hard to stay alive with  Brad and Lisa at her side day and night.  They prayed for her survival no matter what, they just wanted their sweet Riley to live.

Riley did survive, but life for Brad, Lisa and Riley has changed forever.  Since that horrific day in 2007 Riley has not walked, fed herself or sat up without assistance.  She is legally blind and takes daily doses of seizure medicine.  Riley is a fighter and is making progress with her eating and potty training and just the other day Lisa Brad and Riley celebrated her taking a few steps on the treadmill.   Riley has endured more hardships during her short time on earth then most people endure in their entire life but through it all  her big bright happy smile lights up a room and touches all that come in contact with her.

Riley is growing by leaps and bonds so transporting her and her wheelchair in a traditional vehicle gets harder and harder each day.  As part of National Mobility Awareness Month, Riley has been entered into a contest to get her a van that would be wheelchair accessible but she needs votes.

I am hoping that all my fellow A to Z challenge bloggers will take time each day to vote and forward this to anyone and everyone that you are in contact with so that  Riley and her family can get the van that will help make their lives just a little bit easier.

Please take a few minutes to vote and play it forward to help Riley.  Thank you

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fig Newtons

For my F word  Fig Newton kept popping into my head so why not, I went with it.

The Fig Newton was invented in 1891 and have been Nabisco's third best selling product with sales of more then a billion bars a year. .WOW!!!!  Since their invention there have been many additions to the product line besides the popular fig variety, including strawberry, raspberry and mixed fruit.  The newest Newton products are the Newton Fruit Crisp and Newton Thins.  There is even a National Fig Newton Day on Jan. 16.  WHO KNEW!!!!!!!

So who the heck is eating all those Fig Newtons.  I can honestly say that I have not bought a Fig Newton since hmmm......NEVER.   I think back at all my millions of grocery trips and I can't even remember seeing one box of Fig Newtons in anybody's cart.  I see plenty of Chips Ahoy's, Oreo's, and even a few Lorna Doone's but never one Fig Newton in sight.
I think my dislike of a Fig Newton began back in my childhood.  My mom loved to bake so she rarely bought any boxed cookies except for Fig Newtons. When she had no time to make us her delectable chocolate chip or melt in your mouth butter cookies we were offered a Fig Newton.  What a let down.  It was either a Fig Newton or nothing.

OK so it must be the a nutritional value of a Fig Newton that draw people in.

Two Fig Newtons serving size is 110 calories, dietary fiber of 1.0 and fat of 2.0.

Three Chips Ahoys serving size is 160 calories, dietary fiber of 0.7 and fat of 8.0.

Per serving Chips Ahoy is higher but your getting one more cookie.

If you break it down to eating only two, better tasting, Chips Ahoy's its only 106 calories and fat content is under 5.0.  Even with the additional fat content, hands down I would always pick a Chips Ahoy over a Fig Newton.

Bye By Hydrox

So when cookies such as the Hydrox (like an Oreo) and Marshmallo Sandwich cookies (Mallows) have gone to the big cookie heaven in the sky, the Fig Newtons remain a favorite, to whom I do not know.

 Any Fig Newton lovers out there?
Mary Ann