This I Know
I know I still want to write. There is a lot to say about what I’ve been thinking, but I don’t know how to say it or where to start.
I know I miss my friends. I know what they are up to for the most part, but I miss them physically. We’ve lost family. We’ve lost beloved furkids. We’ve lost mutual friends. I think we need to hug each other. We need to laugh together. We need to reconnect with our silly selves.
I know that I am kicking ass at this whole Grandmom gig. Logan is 4 and goes to preschool twice a week. Soon it will be full time. I’ll miss the time I spend with him. He loves Legos, wrestling, and video games. We go to the library and I can sit and read while he plays with other kids and plays learning games on the computer. It’s great. My grandbaby Claire is two and a half. She is also going to be a big sister this summer. She is beautiful. She is imaginative, artistic, musical, and vocal. She has had very little “baby talk”. She loves Flyers hockey and Union soccer and goes to a few of the games with her daddy. She comes over here and greets me with such an enthusiastic “Hi Mom-Mom!!” and she gives great hugs.
I know that the hubby and I can survive each other for long periods of time alone. We drove across the country to see the Grand Canyon, Garden of the Gods and visited family in New Mexico. He wants to do it again and I am not afraid to do it again! This year will be 36 years of marriage. I think we’ve been quite successful.
I know that my parents won’t be here forever. Dad had throat cancer. It was terrifying. He came through like a champ and is now cancer-free (knock wood) but the thought of losing him was so hard for me. Mom is still Mom. Our relationship is changing and I don’t like that. I will just say that I am probably as much to blame for that as she is. We are too much alike. *sigh*
I know it’s raining outside and the dampness is making me achy. I am so fucking cranky right now that I don’t know what to do with myself.
I know Logan is waiting to cuddle and watch a video.
I know it’s time to turn off the laptop.
You May Know…..
You may know that I spend time with Logan.
You may not know that I spend every Friday with him. I get so excited about Friday’s arrival that sometimes I can’t sleep on Thursday night or else I wake up far too early. Each week I take my coupons along to clip, a crossword or two from the Sunday papers, or my kindle. Quite often I bring them home again, untouched. He is almost rolling over, almost teething. He definitely laughs and talks to me. He anticipates “3” as in “1-2- THREE!” He is a bright sun in my week.
You may know that I just celebrated a birthday.
You may not know that it was my fiftieth. I spent time with friends which is always a great time. I was taken out to dinner with my kids, husband and best friend and her husband. It was better than any of us had anticipated. It has been far too long since we have included the bestie and her hubs in an intimate celebration. I’m glad they were invited!
You may know that I have missed Babygirl since she returned to school.
You may not know just how much I missed her. I didn’t even realize it until I saw her when she came home on Friday. For once, I didn’t break the hug first. I breathed in the smell of her hair and her scalp…something I haven’t done in years. I found myself just watching her when she wasn’t looking. I stopped whatever I was doing if I could hear her voice talking to her dad or brother….not listening to the conversation, just to the sound of her voice, her laughter.
You may know that I haven’t been here.
You may not know that I have thought about writing a post, but I am actually quite happy. I tend to post when I am experience a high or a low. I have been quite content with my life. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids. I enjoyed a few days here and there with my husband. I even enjoyed going to the dentist…after far too long since the last visit!
You may know that I miss hearing from you guys.
If you don’t know…..I’m telling you now.
Prison Bucket List
Among the various things on my “bucket list” were two things: Visit a truly haunted place, and go to a decent house of horrors.
Hubs hates blood and gore. He’s not a fan of haunted houses at Halloween. And most of all, he has no belief whatsoever in the paranormal. As I get older, I was coming to the realization that most of my friends echo his feelings. I’ve been told haunted houses are “for kids” and that “we’re too old for that kind of thing”. Babygirl hates being scared. Son1 prefers to go with Jazzy or his other ‘friends-with-kids’. Son2? He’s too fucking cool to be seen with his mom at a scare house.
And so….I got a message on Facebook from my girl Teri. A friend of hers is visiting from Florida (where he is a scenery designer at Universal Studios horror houses.) One of the things he wanted to do was to visit Eastern State Penitentiary. Immediately, Teri thought of me and invited me to go with them.
Oh..my…God!!! I barely took a breath before I messaged her that YES! Of course I wanted to go!!
Eastern State is a truly haunted prison. It has been featured on several paranormal shows and many unexplained occurrences have been documented there. However, every Halloween season, it is turned into Terror Behind the Walls. Whether it is it’s notoriety as a haunted place or the fact that it is in the city, no one ever wanted to go. I was so excited about this that I found myself counting down the days, and hours, until I would be there. Before I fell asleep at night, I imagined what it would be like. I imagined a contact outside of the realm of ‘spooking’. Would I possibly feel a cold blast of air? Would I see a dark, unexplained shape? I got chills…anticipation? fear? Both!
Teri parked a distance away where we go on the ‘Ghost Shuttle’, a tourist trolley car run by the event. We were treated to a story told by a guy dressed in costume. This was an opportunity lost. This guy must have had ADD because his story was not scary, spooky, or even coherent. He went off on too many tangents. Why not have one scripted story of ghost, ghouls or unexplained noises? This could have turned on the imagination before ever getting to the main course! If not a ghost story, then perhaps a story about the Prison’s history, that would tie in with the areas of the tour that we would be exposed to. Like I said, an opportunity lost.
We pulled up at the Prison and joined our friends, signed our ‘release form’ and got in line. Several characters roamed about setting the stage for creeps and chills. The wait to get into the prison itself was kind of long, but it actually went pretty quickly. The characters creeped us out, there were tv monitors showing paranormal videos of the prison, and there was just the curiosity of looking at a building with such a heinous history.
Inside the prison, we were treated to the standard ‘scare house’ fare. Strobe lights, creeps that stared or followed you, the ones who stole up behind us to softly blow on our necks. There was the infirmary with its mad doctors, the intake with its sadistic guards, and the cells themselves. I was particularly happy with the 3D portion. Looking down at my feet, it was as if my legs went into the floor! But again, there were opportunities lost. Why not have a dummy operation on the hospital table? Why not a gore covered ‘doctor’?
Of course, it all ends with a Gift Shop. It was not overly big, and the selection was small but very cool. And the prices? Pretty decent.
I have to say that it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped but it was very good overall. I didn’t have any otherworldly experiences. I do , however, plan on going back during the daytime to take the more historical tour, in which cameras are allowed, and you get to see the closed off cells, like that occupied by Al Capone during his incarceration. The cool thing is that we were given coupons for a discount on the return tickets.
Speaking of tickets….There was a fee for an “Exit Pass” . We had parked at a designated parking lot. In order to get onto the shuttle back to the lot, we needed an exit pass. This was used to get off the lot with the car! I confess that I did see it listed when I purchased my ticket online. But what if someone missed that? What if they had run out money? Now THAT is a scary thought!
Will I go back for the scare house? YES. It was a fun time. Will I go back for the day tour? DEFINITELY!
So I got a two-fer off my bucket list. A truly haunted place, and a cool scare house.
This is not a paid review for Eastern State Penitentiary…..Although it would be cool if it was!!
Saying Goodbye is Hard
This past weekend I spent time with a great friend and her husband.
Susan has been my friend since high school. She is Son2’s godmother. We’ve been to functions with each other’s families and friends. She was the one I thought would never get married. She always said that she didn’t want kids of her own, even though she doted on her nieces, nephews and godchildren. She surprised nearly everyone who knows her when, after six months, she married a guy she met in a bar.
We had a chance to meet Tom at Son2’s graduation party in 2004. He was a tall bruiser of a guy who looked even taller beside Susan’s five foot body. He was an ex-Marine who still worked out and wore the “high and tight”. This guy was damn good looking! He was a cop, a very large, imposing cop. Eventually, life got in the way of visits. It was difficult, between work schedules, kids and family obligations to carve out time for simply ‘hanging out’. Phone calls filled the void….calls that lasted hours, even though each of us hated talking on the phone.
Our New Year’s call brought tragic news.
Tom has brain cancer and was given three to six months to live.
We tried all summer to make time. When we had time, they didn’t. When we had time, Tom wasn’t up to it. It was so hard. Finally the stars aligned this weekend. I was a bit nervous when I considered the fact that “three to six” was nearly up. Hubs said that no matter what came up, we were going to the mountains to see them.
Friday night we drove up to the Poconos to their home and it seemed like no time had passed. This was the longest time that Hubs had spent with Tom. They were like two peas in a pod. They had a great time together. I don’t remember ever seeing Hubs so freaking chatty! They talked about politics and sports and work. Susan and I caught up as women always do. We caught up on each other’s families, looking at pictures and non-stop laughter and reminiscing. The difference was Tom. He seemed several inches shorter. He legs stuck out of his shorts as spindly little twigs. His face was bloated by steroids. But his laugh was still robust. His mind sharp as a tack. He was embarrassed by the body that has betrayed him.
Susan has always been the most laid back, no worries type of person. The Susan I spent time with, was anxious, jumpy. She made sure Tom took his meds. She got nervous when Tom nearly tripped over the dog, thinking it was his balance. We had stayed up quite late on Friday night, and Tom napped late Saturday afternoon. Susan checked on him several times. She had been told that when the end was near, Tom would sleep more and more.
This is what my friend’s life has become. It was NORMAL to nap when we had stayed up. It was NORMAL to trip over a huge German shepherd. Instead each event has become a ‘symptom.’
We celebrated Saturday. It was Tom’s “death day”. It was the official day that the doctor’s claimed he would never see. We celebrated by bar hopping and watching the Phillies game. Susan gave him a gift….a banjo. He has said frequently that he wanted to learn how to play. She found a guy at their local VFW who will teach Tom to play. The joy on his face was beautiful to behold.
Saying goodbye was so hard. Will we be able to see him again before things get bad? I truly hope to. All I know is that when the end comes, we will drop everything to hold Susan up when she needs us.
As I looked through the archives to see if I had any new insights into 9/11, I noticed two things. One, my insights haven’t changed. Two, I always seem to be down with a major allergy flareup.
This year is no different.
First off, after a lot of the storms blew through here, we had some yard work to do. No damage to the house, thank God, but lots of debris strewn through the yard. Son2 was doing gutter work, Hubs was handling the bigger branches and I was on rake duty. After about half an hour, with three quarters of the yard done, I was suddenly tired. Like SUDDENLY. My legs were shaky, my arms were too. I wanted to drop the rake. Afraid that it was my back, I stopped doing everything and went into the house to lie down.
After awhile, I felt normal again and took a shower, a few ibuprophen and then relaxed for the rest of the night.
The next day, my arms and legs still felt tired. I got up got dressed and moved to the couch….
where I stayed for the next three days.
Yep, three days. I called the doctor and he told me to stay put and just keep taking the ibuprophen and sleep. Apparently this is something that is happening in this area. Nothing to pinpoint, it just goes away in a couple of days. But in the meantime, every joint in my body hurt. My muscles felt clenched and even my jaw felt like I was constantly grinding my teeth. It was the worst, but thankfully, it passed.
Only for me to get hit with allergies. The rains have kicked up the mold in the yard and now I have the sneezing, runny nose and sore throat. I am on day four and my Zyrtec has done a bang up job on drying up the faucet known as ‘nose’.
I need a day or two on a beach with friends, and love, and drinks…..
Oh, yeah! I’m heading to North Carolina for BlondeBlogger’s wedding! I’ll be seeing Poppy, Bubblewench and others!! So see that sentence up there about the day or two on the beach? I”M GOIN’!!
Summer is such a lazy time. The heat slows things down to a slow crawl and my head is no exception. There is no inspiration these days. Life is good. Things are moving along but there is nothing truly blog-worthy. I’ve been dating my husband, seeing movies, spending time alone and such.
However, August is upon me and with it comes a full calendar. The baby shower for Son1 and Shenanigans is coming this weekend, as well as a party/event that involves my beloved Philadelphia Union. Saturday will be long but worth a post or two. Immediately following that, I’ll be headed off to the beach for a much anticipated week. Beyond that, we will be preparing for Babygirl to head off to college again.
Two big events are also looming on that horizon. One is the wedding of my dear ‘twin’. She is marrying a friend from grade school whom she met at one of our mini-reunions. I am very excited and happy for both of them. The other is the wedding of BlondeBlogger. I will be travelling to North Carolina for the ceremony and am taking Hubs. Once more, this will be blog worthy.
And so, I just wanted to let y’all know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am just trying to stay chill in all of this weather from hell. I hope you all are cool as well.
Until next time……
Thinking of you Dawg. Your friends haven’t forgotten……
Three bloggers walk into a bar….
Three bloggers walk into a bar…..
Wait, let’s try this again….
A bouncer, a mullet-wearing trucker, and an Aryan brother…..
No. This is not the opening of a joke so maybe I should start at the beginning……
After leaving the city of Pittsburgh, Bubblewench and I made our way to Cincinnati, where we picked the third of our little travelling group, Sybil Law. We chilled out with Sybil overnight (which included a small corner bar, a trip out the door – withholding name to avoid embarrassment *bw*-and a rough night of “omg, I shouldn’t have had so much to drink”) The following day we went to visit MattMan (you can read about it here)
Due to the fact that MattMan passed out fell asleep, we called it an early night there, but ended up at the bar across the parking lot from our dive lovely accommodations. We walked in and immediately, Sybil was beset by a tatted up douchenozzle a patron of the establishment. We outside for a smoke (and to get away from him) but he followed us outside. Sybil made sure to say “I’m married” but he heard “I’m ready to jump on your dick” He actually thought that the key to her panties was “I am an Aryan brother”. That’s all she needed to hear. Suddenly the ‘bitch’ was unleashed. She proceeded to tell him the many ways that his beliefs were wrong. This argument continued for the remainder of the night. (Interspersed with “If you weren’t so cute, I’d hit you” and “You look like you wanna kick me in the balls”) Of course they were followed by Bubba the huge bouncer. He made sure that SonnyBoy kept his distance.
In the meantime, BW made friends with the bartender who promptly started hooking us up with lemondrops. (OMG!!) And me? Gary, the mullet-wearing trucker had taken a shine to me and not so subtly reminded me that “what happens on the road, stays on the road” DUDE! Are you fucking kidding me??? I could have been on the road for 10 years of celibacy and I STILL wouldn’t have looked at you twice!!! (But I did let him buy me a drink.)
We decided we’d had enough and went to our room. We laughed and agreed that we couldn’t wait to head back to Cincinnati.
Yeah, she’s hurtin’ but we all were. But it’s my blog and I choose not to show you my
“hurt face” hahaha
Date With Becky
Once upon a time, I had a date with a girl. Her name was Becky (aka Hellohahanarf) She had a smile that lit up the room and a laugh that bubbled up from her toes. For the chance to be with her for just one night, I traveled across the state of Pennsylvania to the city of Pittsburgh. The things that Miss Becky showed me changed the way I look at churches, beer, and lego people.
Bubblewench and I drove for a whole day. That particular day began with rain….it was the tail end of the tornado storms that had raged through the midwest at the end of April.
Riders on the Storm *
We arrived at our hotel which also happened to be where the NRA were holding their convention. (“Are you here for the gun show?” “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…!”) The hotel room was awesome but we barely had time to check in before the phone call came for us to cross the parking lot and join Becky at her job. She showed us where she works her magic by day:
Apparently her job is high stress because she makes sure that the office is stocked with clear fluids.
She took us through the building and introduced all of the suckers hard working employees who were still there past 4pm on a Friday afternoon. She even showed us the desk where all the important work gets done:
After our tour, we freshened up and Becky came to get us. She took us to the place that all good girls should go – to Church. This place was incredible and the hummus was huminahuminagood! Becky even got a motorboat in church! Then we met up with her friend Young William and his friend Alfredo. We had tons of laughs and headed to the Hofbrauhaus where the crowd was kinda young.
The highlight of the night for me, however, was the trip to see the skyline. The view was amazing.
One thing we noticed, is that Pittsburgh is full of easily found businesses. We saw the “Food Store” “The Deli” “the Italian Bread Place” and even ate in “Eggs R Us” (and for some reason, the pictures of that great diner are missing)
Let me tell you, if you are ever in Pittsburgh, hook up with Becky. She loves her hometown and is chock-full of interesting trivia that you won’t get on any other type of guided tour. She made me and Bubblewench feel like VIP visitors to her town. I wish we had had more time to stay and visit, but she crammed so much into the few hours we spent with her. I can’t wait to visit again.
Thanks Becky. You’re the best Becky in Beckyland!!
*Be sure to click to see the videos!
I wanted to post something, but I was at a loss for words. (WHAT ? ME?) But as I wandered through the blogosphere, I found that MattMan’s girl, Schmoop had done a better job than I could have. Therefore, here is my gift to you.
PS. Yes, I drank some Wild Irish Rose…..I have no esophagus left after the burning…..