Category Archives: Thoughts

Flip-Flops at a Wedding

Last Friday, Dave and I attended a wedding of  a teacher of Hayleys that she had in the past.  The service was beautiful, as was the bride and the groom looked handsome in his Military Dress Uniform.

The reception followed.  It was at a Yacht Club and the room the reception was in was beautifully decorated.  Before the bride, groom and wedding party arrived, the DJ called out that in the front of  his stand were bins of flip-flops for the women once their feet started to hurt from the heels they were wearing.  It was such a surprise, I had never seen this before.  All the girls were ooing and ahhing and running to the front.

The bride and her bridal party had bought flip-flops in various sizes and decorated them all with glitter, sparkles, foam, felt flowers and shapes, as well as ribbon.  Every pair was different.  At the top of the page is two of the girls from our table showing off their flip-flops.  The flip-flops were a delightful surprise.  Most of the women and girls who took a pair were already putting them on ready to dance the night away.

Once the music started, the dance floor was flooded with women and girls wearing their custom flip-flops.  All their feet were sparkling and shining underneath the lights.  I thought the flip-flops were a surprising and welcome addition to the reception.

I picked up a pair to show to two young women in the family to maybe give them ideas?????    😉



Every home has flashlights, some more than others.  I came across 6 today in the cabinet above my kitchen desk.  I needed one to look under the hutch in the kitchen to try and find a pill I had dropped.  First, I took out a small blue flashlight, didn’t work, then I took out a large red flashlight, didn’t work etc. etc.  All 4 flashlights had batteries in them but they wouldn’t go on.  Why does this always happen?  

 Next I went in search of batteries.  I was able to find many AA and AAA  but no C batteries.   I got to thinking about it and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I bought C batteries.  I am always stocked up on the A’s because heaven forbid a remote control stops working in this house.  Everyone would be foaming at the mouth if they couldn’t continue to channel surf.  Also, I think we have been guilty of buying a new flashlight any time one doesn’t work.

 I layed all the flashlights on the kitchen table and went in search of others.  I wanted to see how many flashlights do we actually have in the house and do they work.  I continued on in the kitchen with the search, green cabinet drawer – 1 flashlight and 2 small white plug ins, one by the sink and one on the center island, all non-working.  I looked through rooms I felt might have a flashlight or two.  I found 1 in my bedstand drawer, non-working and 2 in the garage, non-working.  When I opened one of the garage flashlights, the batteries had corroded, who knows how long they were in the flashlight.

I sat in the kitchen with my 10 flashlights splayed out on the table. Only 1 in the group when I played around with it, gave me a very feeble light.  I got rid of all the batteries plus the corroded flashlight immediately.  I wrote down C batteries on my shopping list so I could get all those flashlights up and working again.

I am still perplexed.  Why doesn’t flashlights work, why are the batteries always drained especially since the flashlights go mostly unused. Growing up it was the same thing.  My parents had all kinds of flashlights but none of them worked.  When a power outtage occured, my parents would first scramble for the flashlights, find them dead, then scrambled for those candles we are also supposed to have in case of an emergency.  Couldn’t find them.  Basically it resulted with all of us sitting in the dark.

I bought new batteries, replenished the flashlights and even gathered together some used candles and put them in a kitchen drawer.  We will be prepared the next time there is a power outtage or if we need to look for something in a dark place. 

I am sure over time we will accumulate more flashlights, when one doesn’t work, forget testing the batteries, just buy a new one!

Autism and it’s Oddities

There is never a dull moment in this house.  Having 2 children with Autism brings us lots of surprises, both good and bad.  I just have to share two things I found once Hunter and Hayley went to school today.

I was busy straightening up the house before I went to the gym, because the cleaning people were coming.  Once finished, I decided to have a fat-free english muffin with sugarless jam for breakfast.  When I opened the cabinet to get the english muffins, I jumped back startled because this is what I found………

Yes, headless Barbie bodies and their heads.  Except for Ken.  For whatever reason, Hayley had a problem with Ken on Sunday and threw his head into the dirt in the backyard and buried it.  Hayley has a tendency to set items up and hide them in various places in the house.  She often hides the Barbies to surprise me because she must know I had “issues” with dolls when I was little.  They were creepy and I felt they would move at night….(another blog).  Anyway,  I always find this disturbing when I find hidden Barbies and also the fact that Hayley enjoys playing with them in this condition.

Hunter doesn’t really hide things like Hayley, but he often has “set-ups”.  It is not uncommon to walk into a room and find a menagerie of stuffed animals, sitting on all the Dining Room chairs, set up on the fireplace mantle, on the second floor of the Library peeking through the spindles etc.   Last night we put Hunter to bed and went back downstairs to watch a little tv.  After a while we decided to go to bed.  Now, outside my bedroom is a floor to ceiling window that gives a nice view of the neighborhood.  Hunter loves to sit in front of this window when he is waiting for someone to come over.  He can see way down the street.  As I approached this window, this is what I found….

Yup, Pikachu and company.  Hunter must have gotten up after we went downstairs to set-up the Pokemon group.  I didn’t get to ask him about it this morning because we were in a rush for the bus, but I will when he gets home. I am sure he will have an unusual story to tell me like he always does.

I have to laugh at these things and enjoy them.  There are so many difficulties with Autism and I tend to get lost in them.  But, when Hunter and Hayley come up with some of these oddities, I embrace them and know not all is bad.

Now if someone could tell me why a child would prefer her Barbies headless, please let me know 🙂

OOPS! Gym update from last week – 4/14

I really don’t know where this past week has gone.  It has been a rough and tumble week, all kinds of things going on for good and for insane.  Hunter and Hayley have certainly been keeping me on my toes.

Anyway, the week preceding the gym went very well.  In addition to going to the gym, I continued walking on my treadmill at home.  I watched what I ate and felt pretty good.  When I got to the gym on Thursday, Jess said “we” needed to take it to another level.  This means more weight on the machines and a more intense workout.  Wow, I felt like I was training for a triathalon!  Whether it was lower body or upper body, she kept piling on weights and I thought I was going to die.  By  the time I got to the last reps, my limbs were literally shaking, I didn’t think I would finish. I was dripping in sweat and felt muscles that I didn’t even know I had.   Now it was time for the weigh in.  I marched into the room with the scale figuring “oh I bet I lost 3lbs”.   Jess set the scale to what I weighed last week, I got on……..O lbs lost.  I was shocked, it couldn’t be! I had been consistently loosing EVERY week!  Once I calmed down, Jess explained to me that yes, I had been loosing consistently but there will be times I  will not lose anything.  She told me not to give up and not to go home and binge or anything like that, just keep doing what I have been doing and I will continue to lose weight.

I have been fine since then. I have watched what I consumed and was able to do my treadmill twice.  I am unable to go to the gym this week which has me a little nervous.  I am leaving for Florida today and will be back on Saturday.  Although the trip isn’t primarily for pleasure, I can do some damage while I visit with Katie at night  🙂  Hopefully she will hold me accountable!! I plan on taking a walk on the beach each day and am looking forward to doing that.

Who know what this next week will bring but I plan on giving it my best shot.  Losing 30 lbs. is tremendous for me and I don’t want to blow it.  I am confident that once I get back on my regular schedule the pounds will continue to “melt” off 🙂


di Chiarro, Joe Cartoon

I have been doing so well with my diet and exercise program.  I am proud of the 22 lbs. I have lost so far.  Today though, I almost went off the wagon.  I am an emotional eater.  It doesn’t matter if I am happy, sad, stressed, mad, etc……I will eat.  As I have said before, the medication I have been on for depression has greatly helped me in controlling my eating and emotions.

Today was an exception.  We have an extremely serious issue going on in our family since last week that I am not at liberty to talk about.  I think I have been running on adrenaline up until today.  Once I got Hunter and Hayley on their buses I went into the house and fell apart. I cried for 20 minutes straight.  I haven’t cried much in over a month but the floodgates opened today.

Last night Dave and I made one of our favorite pink sauces that goes over Portobello ravioli.  I had eaten very carefully yesterday in order to partake in this favorite meal.  I did well and did not over eat at dinner.  I was happy to not have to deprive my self of this dish and the fun Dave and I have together making it.  Dave took the leftover ravioli to work with him today yet we were still  left with a good amount of the delicious sauce.

When I was crying I kept thinking about how I would love to take leftover pasta that was made for the kids last night, and pour the sauce all over it and stuff myself.  Once the last tear dried I did the right thing and had my oatmeal like I do every morning.  I then went downstairs and did some weight training on my own and walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes.  I now was safe for a while and felt better.

A phone call came in at lunch time pertaining to our problem.  Once off the phone, I immediately walked to the refrigerator, had the pasta container in one hand and the sauce container in the other.  I felt like I had the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other……DO IT……DON’T DO IT………  I was torn but, am proud to say that I did not succumb to the pasta and sauce.  I put it back into the refrigerator walked away and ate an apple and then made a salad as it was lunch time.  I cannot say how much better I felt in making this decision to not eat the pasta.  If I did eat it I would have thought “oh I blew it anyway, who cares”.  I decided that the weight I have lost thus far, definitely has made me feel and look better and to give in to temptation is simply not worth it.

The rest of the day has gone very well and I know I am in no danger whatsover of losing the battle today. I feel strong………

The Writing Room…

As I have said in previous blogs, my son Kevin’s old room has been transformed into a guest bedroom/my writing room.  I LOVE it in here.  It is so nice and quiet on this end of the house. There is a bathroom next to this room and I can shut and lock a door that separates me from the rest of the house.  It is like I am in another world.  Even if others are in the house, I can barely hear anything.
Now mind you, I CANNOT be in this room if Hayley is home, her Autism does not allow this.  Oh she would probably love for me to be this far away from her.  It would enable Hayley to spray water all over the kitchen, dump all the soap she could find, rub cream all over her body and in her hair, raid the food cabinets and refrigerator, get the picture?

When I say others, this really means Craig and his multiple friends.  His friend Andrew has been living here for months which has been good for Craig.  But, Craig has many more friends that may as well move in because they are here so much.  Hence,  the peace and quiet I crave.

Back to the room itself.  We bought an antique dining room table that is called a “slide table”.  On either end there is a leaf that sets directly under the main table.  If you want the table to expand to 90 inches, the leaves slide out and push up to extend the table size.  We put the table in front of double windows that looks out on a beautiful view.  We live on a mountain so our house is high up.  I can look down on my other neighbors properties and in the winter I can see the tennis center and bank all the way down on Route 31. 


For years, various people said I should write a book because of all the unbelievable things our family has been through.  We have experienced, good, bad, mediocre and not so great things over the years.  I don’t know if I am capable of writing a book.  Last year Hunter, Hayley and I went to Florida over Easter break to visit Katie and Bill.  One night we all went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants “The Surf”.  While there, the topic of me writing a book came up.  I told Katie and Bill I didn’t know if I could do this.  They suggested I start writing stories of each event rather than an ongoing book.  It was a good idea, yet I know how limited my time is and of course didn’t follow through. This past December while visiting Florida once again, Katie said she and Bill were going to blog and why don’t I consider it.  I did and thought at least a blog isn’t formal, yet I can write short stories  on it.  I have been plugging along slowly but surely.

Since Kevin and Devon (my son and his girlfriend) knew of the possibility of me writing of a book of short stories, for Christmas they gave me a big box full of goodies.  They copied and framed six various pictures of the family and wrapped them, gave me a beautiful leather journal to write my story thoughts in, an ink and quill writing set, and finally a small water feature to put on my desk to sooth my mind and let me think.


 I brought up a chair, put nice yellow comfy pads on it and added a blue cashmere wrap in case I got chilly.  There is a bed in the room for when I want to take a nap in the afternoon (NOT)!  Pencils, pens, paper and not to forget……my computer.  I have enjoyed writing, it is like a stress reliever.  Whether the blogs are read or not, the writing is therapeutic for me. I just have to squeeze writing in when the kids are at school or occupied.

I type on my laptop, so this is on the desk as well.  I do need a printer/scanner there as well, but this will come in time.  The first day I sat down at my laptop in my special room, I knew I had to pick the “perfect” screen saver.  I did, and as I sat there I thought “it doesn’t get better than this”! 



Jersey Shore




I did it.  A little irrational but I couldn’t help myself. 

 I can’t remember the last time I wore a dress, really, I can’t remember.  I used to love to wear dresses but as the weight grew and I tried to wear a size appropriate dress, I decided I looked more like a balloon. So at that point I started wearing stretchy waist band pants and shorts. This is a HUGE mistake,  they are so comfortable you think you aren’t gaining weight because the waistband expands naturally with your real waist. At the Gym today, my trainor Jess said “you are going to do sit ups today” I looked around to see if she was talking to someone else.  I don’t do sit ups I told her, I just am not that bendable.  She assured me that there was an easy way and she was right!  Jess brought over to me one of those big exercise balls, showed me how to sit on it and start leaning back while rolling forward.  Once my shoulders hit the ball I had to stop there.  Legs are out bended at the knees in front of me, hands behind my head…….and……crunch forward like the on the floor sit ups.  It was so easy and painless.  She had me do 3 sets of 12 and I really felt good. Jess told me there are many other exercises that can be done with the various size exercise balls.

Anyway, I was looking on and came across a summer dress which was so pretty.  I thought, forget it, will never happen.  But then I thought why not? An idea formed.  Why don’t I buy this dress in a size 12 (my goal, I am not going to be unrealistic and think I will ever be a size 4 which seems to be every woman dieter’s goal), and hang it on the door of my closet so I have to look at it every day.   What a motivator!  It just came today and it is even prettier than in the picture.  I put it on a hanger, ran up to my room, and hung it on my closet door where it is proudly displayed.

Hopefully I will be going to Paris in July to visit Bill and Katie and not be one of the many fat Americans.  I can be chic and thin like a French woman (maybe chic and thin is pushing it), or just plain healthy and in good shape.  I long to walk the streets of Paris in this dress, or tour le Louvre, or sit at a tiny cafe.  Maybe I just want to look and feel good for myself this summer.  I know I also want to look good for Dave too!  Which ever the case, I AM motivated to move forward on my road to healthier living.