Sunday, June 28, 2009

Personal Space, Much?

I'm a nurse. I've accepted the fact that there are more than a bajillion germs lurking on just about every square inch of public surface. I carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in just about every purse/tote/clutch that I own. I wash my hands constantly- so much that "dry, winter skin" is a year-round issue for my hands. I also understand that I don't live in a bubble and I cannot expect everyone on earth to be as thoughtful and antiseptic as I am. Bummer.

Enter: The germy, cough-y, sneezy petri dish of a gentleman who stood behind me in line at CVS this weekend. Who clearly didn't have a clue as to the meaning of "personal space." Much less how to respect someone else's.

Not only could I feel the spittle landing on the back of my neck with each warm, snotty, phlegmy breath he took, but I swear I could almost feel the itchy fibers of his wool sweater vest on the backs of my bare arms.

Have I totally creeped you out? Apologies. But seriously, what was this guy thinking? What did I do? I simply stepped out of line and turned my "I just have to run into CVS for some Tums" trip into a "I'll take those Tums and let's just take a gander down the pretty hair product aisle because you know I'm a huge sucker for fancy packaging and the newest spray/moose/gel/creme product that's come out onto the market" trip. You know, with a side of "Do you happen to carry any Haz-Mat suits in a size 2?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems...

Our plans for the weekend?

That's right.. We're goin' to see Kenny.
For the fourth year in a row.
And I couldn't be more excited.

Here's to a Saturday full of sun,
sand (yes, that's right, you read sand),
short shorts and cowboy boots,
and a whole lotta margaritas.

wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Suburbia Has My Heart.

So our rented house might be just a few years shy of a century old. Our deck might be rotted in spots and in need of something a little more rugged than a neighborhood hardware-store-loaned power washing. The stucco siding might be flaking off and our basement seeps water at the slightest hint of rainfall.

There's no central air and the furnace is as old as our 92 year-old neighbor. We pay almost as much, if not more, for monthly rent than our friends with brand new 3 and 4 bedroom houses. Our kitchen countertop is made of fake butcher block (but it's a long way from the laminate countertops of apartments past).

Our landscaping is a far cry from anything you'd see on HGTV, but with a little weedkiller and a lot of patience, we've managed to do wonders with the little trees and bushes we've got.

Our house may be a rental and it may be falling a part, but for the first time in four years of apartment-living, we have our own fenced in yard, stairs to climb and multiple floors and rooms just ripe for our living in. We're living in a super cute college town, within walking distance of a downtown area chock full of restaurants and boutiques, mouth watering French bakeries and homemade Italian gelato shops.

Our yard gives Hubs and I a taste of what it's like to have to mow every. single. weekend. And shovel in arctic conditions. And seed and re-seed when it seems as if the local robins only like to eat the grass seed from our yard.

But secretly? I love this house. I love our little slice of suburbia. I love our little disheveled yard.

Just last night, I sat out in our yard with Sully, surrounded by citronella candles, relaxing on an old quilt, while we listened to a guy and his guitar put on a live concert in the park across the street. I listened to his beautiful voice as I watched handfuls of little kids dancing and running around the field. I watched parents mingle, many holding red Solo cups and imagined the conversations they were having.. Little Johnnie's last day of 1st grade, the plans for Little Jane's first birthday party. Who's summering where and who's husband just bought the new boat thats sitting in the lot across the street.

This is the town where Hubs and I went to college. Where we met, where we fell in love and where our roots first took anchor. Its where I learned how to be a nurse. Where I found my calling in Oncology. It's where I met my bridesmaids and my soul sisters. This town is full of memories. Just like our house.

Remember that time I cried because we couldn't fit our bureau upstairs and we had to put it in the kitchen? Or the time I almost got knocked out by the ceiling fan in our bedroom because I jumped up on the bed to get a closer look at the mammoth stinkbug invading my closet? I cried then too.. But those tears quickly turned to laughter once you came running as I explained the THUMP and the undecipherable screaming that ensued. Remember when we had to donate our perfectly good microfiber couch to Goodwill when it wouldn't fit in the living room? And we had to sit on the aerobed to watch TV?

I know how much you hate this house.

But I love this stupid, old, frustrating, falling-apart house.

Because home is where the heart is. And my heart is here.

Giveaway Alert!

If you haven't been reading Vanessa's blog, you should start!
Vanessa is a friend of mine from high school, married to the love of her life and mother to a darling baby boy (no, seriously, he's the absolute cutest!), and as a new little family they've begun the journey to adopt a child from Russia.
She loves horses, has a weakness for brownies
and is hosting a fabulous giveaway!
Go check out her blog!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.

these pictures were taken by
our wonderful dog-walker, S,
who will be leaving us shortly
to begin her new, full-time job..

S, "Goober" and I will miss you dearly!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sicky. Sick. Sick.

Shel Silverstien. What a genius. To this day, I can recall almost every single poem, word for word, written in his collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends. And to this day, his poems make me smile from ear to ear and yes, even laugh out loud. Hands down, one of my absolute favorites? I Cannot Go To School Today.

"I cannot go to school today"

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

"I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.

I'm going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,I've counted sixteen chicken pox.
And there's one more - that's seventeen,

And don't you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,

It might be the instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I'm sure that my left leg is broke.

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button's caving in.
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,

My 'pendix pains each time it rains.

My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...

What? What's that?

What's that you say?

You say today is .............. Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

A printout of this poem sat taped to the glass medicine cabinet that hung on the wall of Nurse's Office in my grade school. You know, the medicine cabinet that held all of the important things, like cotton swabs, tongue depressers, lollipops and stickers. I used to stand in front of that cabinet and read this poem every time I found myself in front of the school nurse. Let's just say I was a regular. (Damn asthma). Well, today made me think of this poem. Why? Because today, I wish I could've gone to the school nurse.

I was lovingly and graciously sent home from work this morning.. but, but, but I woke up feeling fine!.. after breaking out into a cold and clammy sweat and staking claim on the floor of the nearest staff bathroom. Just imagine the most pathetic scene: kneeling on the gross, dirty floor of a hospital bathroom, covered with grody, stiff hospital blankets, clutching a useless, scratchy hospital pillow to my chest as I bargained with my upset tummy, "i will give you anything you want, if you please dont make me throw up!" Let's just say my upset tummy won that round. Blech.

I do want to say how much I love nurses though. Especially my co-workers. What other friends offer you anti-emetics and to stick an IV in your arm and hang IV fluids at the first sign of nausea and dehydration? They're truly the best friends to have, my friends. And I do have the most wonderful co-workers.

Who sent me home with a hopital pink throw-up basin. Which may or may not be sitting next to my bed.

Ugh.. If one of you could make the room stop spinning, that would be fabulous. I'm lucky I can type with my eyes half-closed. Ehhh...Talk about out of commission... Back to the fetal position...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lexus, You've Done It Again.

Meet the newest baby in the M household.
That's right, my RX 350.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Hubs: You are so spoiled. You now have everything you could possibly want.
Me: [huge dopey grin on face] Yep. Well, except a camera.
Hubs: [laughing] I'm going to punch you. Even with all of these people around here.

post-signing a trillion papers

Hubs: You and I? We're going to have a finances meeting later.
Me: With coffee and donuts?
Hubs: Sure. And a boardroom table, too.

I will never forget my first car-buying experience which consisted of six hours in a Mazda dealership while I badgered my father about why Hubs [pre Hubs] hadn't yet proposed. Unbeknownst to me, Hubs had taken my father out weeks before to ask for my hand. It was a very long, very emotionally charged six hours. But I walked away with my first big-girl car.

And now, I'll always remember all of the homework, the research and what seemed like the endless comparison charts Hubs had me look into before test driving a trillion (ok, three) different SUVs before settling on my "grown-up" car.

Dad.. Hubs.. you guys are the best.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Real Housewives Of New Jersey :: Prom Style.

Have I fallen off the blogging wagon this week, or what? Whew. I feel like each day consists of punching in at work, punching out at work, walking the dog and hittin' the hay. Hard. Everything else in the middle is a complete blur! In lieu of this week's Wordless Wednesday post, how about a Thursday Picture Post of my brother and a famous RHoNJ daughter at prom?

My brother, the ladies man, escorted two lovely ladies to prom this year.
(their prom, not his). See anyone you might recognize?
Yep. Jackie's daughter, Ashley, from the Real Housewives of New Jersey,
asked my darling little brother to prom!
Don't they look fabulous?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mr. Cooper. I Heart You. In a Major Way.


Hubs and I went to see The Hangover this weekend at the constant urging of my brother who, immediately upon seeing it, texted me saying "you have to go see it. it's epic." Let's remember he's 17. And loved the movie "The Anchorman." (The only movie I have ever walked out on).

Needless to say, I always take his cinematic suggestions with a grain of salt. However, when I began to see/hear all of the buzz surrounding the movie, I knew I had to go see it. Plus, it boasts Bradley Cooper. And for no other reason than to stare at him for 96 minutes? Sure, I'll go!

It. was. hilarious. Do I think it's going to have a cult following a la Wedding Crashers? Maybe not. But I've already found myself spouting off a few key lines:

"Would you please put some pants on? I feel weird asking you twice."

"Is this hotel beeper friendly? ...'Cuz I'm not getting a sig on my pager."

"Is that a purse?' "No, it's a satchel. Indiana Jones has one!"

"I look like a nerdy hillbilly!"

And Mr. Cooper? I adore you. I've adored you since first laying eyes on you in 2001 in the movie Wet Hot American Summer. And then there was Wedding Crashers. And Failure to Launch. And Yes Man. And even though you were a total douchebag in He's Just Not That Into You, what with your cheating on your wife and your smoking behind her back and all, your hotness alone could almost have you forgiven. Something about those baby blues... Swoon.

If you haven't already seen this movie.. GO! NOW! DO IT!

Disclaimer: Bradley Cooper's got nothin' on Hubs and his baby blues.. Double swoon.

Volvo XC 90? Epic Disappointment.

Dear 2008 Volvo XC90,

I see you everywhere. Aside from the Range Rover Sport, you are the next Main Line mobile. Women decked out in shiny baubles from head to toe drive you, what appears to be effortlessly, from grocery store, to salon, to soccer field. Just today I watched from the deck as seven of you drove by within the hour. I will admit, I have been drooling over you for quite some time, especially in Ice White or Black Sapphire.

But not anymore. Driving you was a huge disappointment. Honestly, I was shocked and appalled. I expected a much smoother ride. I did not imagine it would feel as if I were driving around in a truck. Granted, you have nice torque, but for the love of all things holy, it felt as if I was driving around 8 or 10 tons. And where's all of your shiny gadgets? I had recently come off of test driving a 2009 Toyota Highlander and that baby was fully loaded! I mean, seriously. You couldn't even have an automatic back hatch? Puh-lease.

And let's not even discuss your snotty salesman. Steve over at Toyota? Way cooler. Or the fact that you were covered in dog hair. That "Bob" the salesman kept referring to as "must have been the Bichon." Weird.

Thank you for crushing my dreams of ever owning an XC-90 (unless it's the new 2010 which unfortunately costs about as much as the downpayment on a future house),

Ashley Paige

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fingers Crossed...

...that sometime within the next few weeks, we'll be the proud new owners

of this shiny, pretty lil' thing

Haven't you learned anything from reading my blog? I know, I know. This wasn't on the list of "potential new cars for the M household" that I blogged about a couple of months ago. Rarely can I ever make up my mind about anything and always am I changing my mind on what I want next... Seriously, Hubs, I don't know how you do it.. Put up with me, that is! But I love you for every bit of it. So, there it is.. The Volvo XC90. But.. maybe in white? Or black.. Decisions, decisions.. Plans to test drive this weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday with Words. Lot's of 'Em!

How to get an 80lbs. Sheepie
to sit still for the papparazzi:

beg and plead.

Try the "i'm going to lightly squeeze your neck" maneuver.
You know, just shy of the death grip.

Break out the aforementioned death grip.
Does not always make for a Happy Sheepie.
Almost always results in a disgusted "i've already had enough of this" Sheepie.

As long as you get Sheepie kisses, it's OK.

Whew, much better.
Just breaking a little bit of a sweat..

Chillaxin' on the deck.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

His and Hers.

Initially, I had begun writing this post to share a picture
of something that happens to brighten my day, no matter what the day brings.

Cue bedroom nightstand
with beautiful peonies and gerbera daisies.

Despite the occasional eye-roll, I am so thankful that Hubs lets my inner Martha (as in Stewart) shine, by allowing me free reign to fill almost every room in our house with a vase full of fresh flowers. In my book, a room is not fully decorated unless it boasts a pretty blossom (or two! or ten!)

There's seems to be something in the air that's making for a hellish work week for everyone lately, no matter where you work, and throughout the unneccessarily chaotic and overwhelming day today, I kept thinking about these flowers, especially the magenta peonies and couldn't help but smile.

After snapping a few photos of my nightstand, I noticed that Hubs' nightstand looks drastically different than mine. As in, desolate, drab, rather monochrome and lonely- different. It's well, a guy's nightstand!

You don't quite follow? Here's a few more pictures of my nightstand:

Yankee candle Beach Walk (adore the relaxing scent and bonus points for matching the theme of the Master Bedroom), the mandatory vase full of fresh flowers, coral/seashell frame of "The Married Ones" and a starfish trinket box that holds the jewelry I wear on a daily basis.

And now, the Mr.'s nightstand:

Portable DVD player for those lonely nights sans Hubs where all I want to do is curl up in a ball and watch movies in bed (Hubs is anti-television in the bedroom, a story for a whole other post!), a nickel and chrome monogrammed Catch-All for Hub's watch, money clip, loose change and whatever else the boy manages to collect in his pockets, another picture of "The Married Ones" and lastly, a handcrafted coconut shell crab from our Hawaiin Honeymoon.

Now do you see what I mean? Such a guy's nightstand!

You know, shy of the neon beer sign and bottle koozie (which he may or may not have stashed in that top drawer!)

I will admit, I imagine I would grow a little curious if Hubs started demanding that his nightstand be decorated with fresh flowers and candles and whatnot. Hehe!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our Green Thumb.

Remember this post? It's the one about the time Hubs and I went to Home Depot and spent an exorbitant amount of money on flowers while Hubs threatened my entire flower-deserving-future on my ability to keep said flowers alive?
Well, I would like to take this post to introduce you to our "deckgarden."
I would also like to give myself a tiny pat on the back. Why? I happened only to kill a single hanging basket of miniature impatients and to this day, cannot figure out how, since I swear up and down I watered them every other day.

bog boy tomatoes, hot peppers,
dill, oregano and rosemary and hot pink geraniums

strawberries, a creepy-crawly purple plant,
bsail and curly parsley

Mmmm.. Strawberry smoothies..

Peppermint and Spearmint for a summer's worth of Mojitos

Hubs says the secret is in the mixing of potting soil and topsoil. I think it has a little to do with the 2 teaspoons of miracle grow plant food I mix with each gallon of water I lug out onto the deck every Sunday morning. In a leaky pitcher, I might add. Hubs, you think we can spring for a watering can now? You know, one of those cute ones I pointed out a HomeGoods last weekend? I'm just saying...

The first round of fresh tomato, basil and mozz is on me this summer..

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Disparities of Hubs and Wifey.

Growing up, I always had dessert after dinner. It was one of the perks of clearing your plate and finishing whatever vegetable managed to sneak its way next to your pork chop/chicken/filet. And more times than not, dessert was synonymous with ice cream. A big giant cereal bowl filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream topped with Hershey's chocolate syrup. Mmm. Delish.

Growing up, for Hubs, was a little different. A typical post-dinner dessert often consisted of fresh sourdough bread heaped with natural peanut butter. Don't get me wrong, this, too, is delish, however it's not the first thing I yearn for after dinner. Even, 26 years later.

Needless to say, I've been dying to try the tiny homemade ice cream shop down around the corner ever since I first discovered it almost four weeks ago. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I finally managed to coerce Hubs to take me for ice cream. I'm sure it had something to do with my seductive wifely ways, or the fact that I promised him we could stop by the beer store on the way home.

And thus, I've decided that not only can the world be divided into two types of people, dog people and cat people, but I've also discovered that the world can be further broken down into two additional and distinct groups of people.. Sugar cone people and Cake cone people.

Hubs is a sugar cone kinda guy. I loathe sugar cones, much like I detest the waffle cone. It's too.. serious. I, however, drool at the thought of a fresh cake cone. It makes me think of my childhood. Plus, it's undoubtedly the better cone.

So, who's side are you on anyways? Are you a sugar cone lover? Or a cake cone lover? Let's jsut say, I think it explains a lot...

Happy Weekend!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Unintentional Blog Post Rant.

I am stressed.
Work this week has gotten the best of me.
I am behind on laundry, food shopping and blogging.
Shame on me.

I just received my fourth and final installation of my Loan Repayment monies through the hospital that I work for. I was pleasantly surprised as I logged into our bank account so that I could begin the biweekly jostling of finances. My hopes for one of these:

were suddenly dashed as I knew there would be no convincing Hubs to let me "skim" some of the money intended for my student loans to instead purchase the Canon EOS 40D. Pictures of Turks and Caicos just won't be the same using my much loved, but not loved as much Canon Powershot.

Welp. Why does my husband have to be so financially smart and savvy?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Remember This.

At first, starting this blog was just a new, fun thing to "do" that I was half coerced into writing by a good friend. I Myspace'd (and quickly tired of it), I Facebooked (which I will wholly admit to continue doing, only to [stalk] share photos with friends and when I was told I should "blog," blogging seemed like "the next best thing."

Now, it's become so much more than that. It's become a creative outlet; a template to not only share needs, wants, thoughts and ideas, but also a place I can come to gossip and vent without always having to bore Hubs or talk his poor husbandly ear off. I mean, do I really think he cares about Britney's latest comeback? Or how American Idol was a total bust this year? How about the darling seersucker dress I've been drooling over, waiting for it to go on sale? I doubt it. Although, I do sincerely appreciate his humoring me.

For me, blogging has become almost a necessity. A fabulously wonderful venue in which I can swap Hubs/Puppy/Marriage/Life stories with the best of 'em. And even if I'm not writing daily, I'm addicted to reading the so many great blogs out there.

Now, I can't believe I hadn't started blogging sooner. I've come to realize that there's so much going on in my life that I want to remember- and unfortunately, it's so easy to get caught up in the day to day routines that sometimes the little things often go unnoticed or underappreciated. I'm hoping this blog will help me remember some of those little things. The funny things Hubs says. The ridiculous things I do. How much we grow as a couple. How much we change not only ourselves, but the world around us. I blog to remember.

For instance, this past weekend I was back home in Reality TV Town, New Jersey when my brother asked if I'd wanted to take a ride with him. My brother is 17 years old (um, when did that happen?) and spends his 17-year-old-free-time much like I did. I know you can remember those days, you know, back when you were cool, back when when you would spend every free second of summer driving around town with the latest homemade mix tape blasting and your friends in tow. It's the same for him. Only his iPod hooks directly up to his car and he no longer has to dexterously record songs off of the radio but uses Itunes and Rhapsody to download an entire mix CD in less than 2 minutes.

My brother has had his license for a little over six months now and I had yet to let him drive me around. Since when is my brother old enough to drive a car? And stick? I gew up with this kid. He's definitely not coordinated enough to talk and shift gears at the same time. After making him promise he wouldn't get us killed, I helped him remove the soft top from our Dad's Jeep and climbed into the passenger seat. "Woobs," as he's been affectionately referred to since the ripe age of 3, immediately turns on the CD of the moment, a mix of guido-techno-thumping and Lil' Wayne's electronically enhanced musing, and so begins our joyride.

I had a blast. Dancing like fools and driving around our hometown brought me back to my high school days, those days when your shoulders were weightless, your horizon limitless and you had few cares in the world. And what made it even better? My brother treated me to Dairy Queen. My little brother, without a second guess, offered to buy me ice cream. And after we ordered, he took out his wallet without hesitation and even tipped the kid behind the counter. My brother, the tipper! I was so touched and it was such a small gesture that made my day.

Granted, as soon as we got home, I paid for my ice cream when I handed Woobs some extra gas money.. but nonetheless, it has become one of my favorite moments. And I don't want to forget it.

Thanks Woobs, for the chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles. For the laugh out loud moments and remembering to come to a full stop at every stop sign. And for hanging out with your much less cool, although much wiser, older sister. You're the best.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mondays, You Suck.

Dear Mondays,

You suck. It has been decided, due to your immense suck-age, you should be stricken from the work week.

Ashley Paige

Dear Over Jovial Patient,

Thank you for repeatedly referring to my ponytail as "scraggly" and "scruffy." I cannot help it that my hair can barely be brought back into a high pony without a few whispy stragglers fighting to stake their claim on top of my head. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with finding your chemotherapy orders and placing them in pharmacy in a timely fashion, to worry about my appearance. Having only met for the first time today, you and I do not have that kind of rapport in which we can make fun of each other.

Promising to use a little extra hairspray next time,
Ashley Paige

Dear Oblivious 1986 Dodge Neon Driver,

Thank you for paying no attention to the Interstate whatsoever while maintaining less than the posted speed limit and practically sideswiping my vehicle in an attempt to perfom some sort of kamikaze lane switch while chatting away on your cell phone. Oh, what's that? You couldn't see me? Maybe that's because the duct tape you were using to adhere you side mirror to your door was obscuring your view.

With utmost disdain for your craptastic driving skills,
Ashley Paige

Dear Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday,

You'd better be on your best behavior this week. Or else I may be reduced to a tantrum-throwing, excess wine-drinking lunatic.

All my love,
Ashley Paige
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