Monday, October 24, 2011

Forgive me, Blogland…

For I have sinned. It has been 17 days since my last post.

I don’t even know where to begin. I simply don’t know how to summarize all that has gone on in the last 2 weeks.  I was in CT for 11 of the 17 days. I put 1,100 miles on the rental car – yes averaging 100 miles per day.  We were constantly partying (be it friends, family or family & friends) as we counted down the days to my sister’s wedding with a rehersal dinner, a bachelorette party, final dress fittings, the night before sleepover with my sister, 2 of our good friends and I. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends. I had a baby shower to go to. I worked 34 hours in 3 1/2 days at Country Kids.  I consumed more than a little too much alcohol. I laughed a lot. I cried a little – happy tears of course. I spent time bundled in warm clothes around a bonfire and fully clothed in a sauna.  I made a pact with a good friend that makes my unknown future look a little more tolerable.  I texted one person over 800 times.  Every text made me smile, made my heart flutter (that covered a slight ache).  The thin silver lining turned into the blue sky, the rainbow and the pot of the gold at the end.  I fought the urge to miss my flight this morning heading back to the Sunshine State.  I fought the urge to cry as I sat on the plane as I thought of everything that I was leaving behind.  I cursed myself for being smart and resigning the lease for my apartment in FL for another 9 months before this trip.  I know if I didn’t sign that lease I would have come back to FL simply to pack up my life and head back to CT.  At least this way I miss the terrible cold that is winter in CT.

It’s taken me about 2 hours to put that together.  The more I think about this, the more I think I am over blogging…..  I’m just sayin…. 
That’s all I’m writing for now. I might be back… and apparently part of me might not want to do this anymore.

This may just be it…
~Beth

Friday, October 7, 2011

So What?!?!

so what if I’ve been on a crash diet of yogurt, chicken broth, brown rice, fruits and veggies for the past three days and today caved because I went past a Dunkin Donuts and saw the “Pumpkin is back” sign. 

so what if three days of hard work was wasted when I pulled through the drive-thru and ordered a pumpkin donut and an unsweetened iced tea and killed the donut before I even turned onto Logan (approximately 3 minutes driving time)…

let me tell you when you’re normally a carb freak and you go protein-less (ultimately) and brown rice rather than whole wheat or veggie pasta you can lose yourself in the cravings!!

So what?!?! It was DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact, this girl may head there tomorrow too… cheating 24 hours then it’s back to the grind…

after all I’m trying to maintain at this point, not lose as my dress has already been altered! So 3 days of good eating + 1 extremely delicious pumpkin donut = A-OK in my book =)

Seriously though, so what?!
Happy Fall!
~BETH

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To–Do & To-Want

I’m sitting in my living room.  The lights are off, the only light is from a flame on a Harvest Blend candle that dances in the breeze caused by my cranked down central air.  I’m trying to replicate New England’s fall as I bundle myself up in fleece pajama pants and a hooded sweatshirt.  It’s kind of working outside of the knowledge of palm trees outside of my apartment and the damp bathing suits hanging in the bathroom, wet armies on the kitchen counter.  If I don’t think too much I can almost smell fall. 

I’m sitting in my living room, in my giant bean bag chair that, besides facebook, Blogger and Pinterest, is my ultimate anti-productivity.  I swear this chair is a black hole for me.  Once I fall into it I have to remain here for at least an hour.  I’m contractually obligated ... or so it seems.  I’ve spent the night writing my first checklist of the many things to do in the next week.  It includes
- add to/fix revise speech/toast
- work on Mike’s vows
- empty memory card & charge batteries
- start packing
- wear in new shoes so they’re comfortable for the wedding night
- make playlist on iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) for the rehersal dinner
- make list of pictures Stina wants on wedding day
- figure out bachelorette party
- return books to library before leaving
- clean apartment
- figure out what I’m getting Michelle for her shower gift

I laugh reading that.  I think I’ll do my speech, Mike’s vows and the list of pictures on the plane. Secretly I know I won’t because Grey’s Anatomy is on while I’m in the air. Thank you, JetBlue! Start packing? With a week left in Florida? Ha! I have a week and a couple of hours before I have to worry about this one! Can’t do much about the bachelorette party from here – that’ll have to wait (till when? Oh the day of, of course!). Clean my apartment ::scans room – shrugs shoulders:: it’s not dirty but it could use a little tidying up.  Another day.  So tomorrow is going to include making a playlist while emptying my memory card wearing new high heals and cleaning my apartment.  It should be a good day!

Tomorrow is lining up to be busy outside of my cleaning and computing in high heels.  I’m going to check out a new apartment. I may or may not be moving.  The new apartment is two bedrooms, two bathrooms.  The extra space would be nice – but it’s also just more room to make a mess in.  I’m pretty fond of my apartment but I’m not gonna lie, if this new apartment has some sort of porch/patio/lania it’s sianara Bermuda Island, Hello... crap I can’t remember the name of the new place.  But what’s in a name?! It’s all about the outdoor space.  But moving is also a pain and I’ve done more than my share of moving so I’ll have to love, love, LOVE this new place to uproot.  I can’t believe I have been here 6 months already, that my lease is almost up and that I’m debating moving.  Time flies when you’re lounging at the beach or by the pool! On top of apartment hunting, I have to do something that is going to break my heart.  I’m broke. It’s official. My savings count has dwindled to mere dollars not even in the double digits. I have so much coming up that I need to pay for that I have no choice but to sell a gold bracelet that was my grandmother’s to have enough money to make it through this insanity.  I have had the bracelet in my purse for awhile now debating it wondering if I just live off of yogurt and pasta if I’ll have enough money to make my car payment and get my hair, nails and make-up done for my sister’s wedding.  I keep thinking about how much it sucks to give up something that was my grandmother’s, that I remember picking out in Macy’s with my parents for my grandmother, just to make it through one week.  That the money is just going to be gone with nothing much to show for it – and the bracelet will be gone too.  It breaks my heart but I just don’t think I have a choice anymore right now. The good thing is that my grandmother had the tiniest wrist ever and we had to resize the bracelet. With the extra length we had a heart shaped pendant made. I’m not selling that. She wore the bracelet more often than the necklace and the heart is small but it’s something to hang on to.  It just breaks my heart.  I guess my grandmother would want me to be able to be an active part of Christina’s wedding so ultimately she’s giving me the gift of being able to participate. I know she’s not only with me because of the bracelet in my jewelry box.  She’s forever in my heart, more in the intangible things than the tangible.

Like her recipe for candied apples – holy amazing! I need to make these ASAP – especially with the exceptionally great honeycrisp apples that Target has been providing me with.  It’d be like heaven in a bowl!  Grandma would put –never exact measurements by eye and to taste – white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and red hots in a cored apple in the oven –or microwave but the oven is sooo much better- and cook it until the inside was mush.  Let me tell you – heaven in a bowl doesn’t quite do it justice!


Ten Secrets. Nine Loves. Eight Fears. Seven Wants. Six Places. Five Foods. Four Books. Three Films. Two Songs. One Photo of Yourself.

Seven wants.
-friends and a life in Naples. I enjoy the quite that Naples provides – sometimes.  But I just wish there would be some noise and activity occasionally.

-this silver lining to become my blue sky, my deep sigh, my reason to smile, to strive for more. I don’t even know too much about this yet. I have to head back to CT to figure all this out.  I will let you know when I know.

-a new car. Of course a tangible item had to hit the list sometime.  I LOVE my Toyota Corolla Sport that I have now, but it’s pushing 80,000 miles (in 4 years!).  Lyla’s family recently moved and I now have to drive past a Toyota dealership to get to their house.  I find myself taking my eyes off the road for uncomfortably long stretches of time craning my neck to see what cars they have on the lot.  I really want a RAV4 or a Highlander. The Highlander is my preference but it’s kind of a beast and semi-unnecessary. 

-a baby. a family of my own. Does this count as something tangible?  Seriously though I feel as though a good portion of my heart is missing, that I’m so blah right now because I’m missing what I want most from this life.  My body aches to house and grow a baby.  At night I long for arms to hold me.  I’m ready for the next step.

-a better lens for my cameraI find myself constantly changing lenses and even upon changing them cannot accomplish what I want.

-to publish one of my novels. I’m still working on (still lovingly dubbed) Novel Nine.  But I have 8 finished novels. I would love to begin the process of getting one published. I’m terrified of being criticized though so instead my roughs remain on my external hard drive, a copy burnt onto discs hidden in – wait, just hidden! Some day world, look out! I’ll get there.. hopefully!

-furniture. Again, hello materialistic tangible things that once I get I will instantly turn to want something new, different, bigger, better.  I, in my 27 years of life, have never owned a bedroom set.  I always had the mix and match dresser with the hand me down bed frame and a build it yourself cheap wood desk and bookshelf.  I want real furniture – a bedroom set and a living room set.  It’ll happen soon.

-And one for good luck?  I want to go to CMA Fest in Nashville next year.  It was tradition with my sister for a few years. Somehow life took over and we somehow lost that tradition.  I miss it.  We were getting familiar with the area.  We knew the goings on of the concert and could manipulate our way back stage a couple of times – or at least into the gold member circle.  Yeah, I miss those days! It’ll happen!


I’m pretty sure I’m back in full swing blogging mode.  I found myself thinking about it all day today – and I’m thinking that’s a good thing!! Of course I’m back into it now when I have a to-do list that’s growing faster than I can check things off…  What else is new though?  And I’m not too worried everything always manages to get done somehow or another!
Happy Hump Day, World!
~Beth

Monday, October 3, 2011

Silence Explained

First off, and most importantly, the GIVEAWAY!
It feels like forever ago that I agreed to do a give away for MyMemories – what? It has been?!  Yeah, I suppose your right!  MyMemories is by far the most fantastic digital scrapbooking program EVER!  I’m not just saying that for brownie points from MyMemories, I’m saying it cause it’s true! It’s easy to use.  There are a million free packages of papers and embellishments on their page.  It’s by far the best program on my computer right now! 
I’m working on a project right now (when I get a spare minute – keep reading to find out just how hard those spare minutes are to find!) of making a cookbook with all family recipes as well as other personal favorites I have found in my travels.  I am going to get at least one recipe from every family member and combine it into a snazzy little book and then print one out for everyone as a Christmas gift.  Look at this program go! It’s making Scrooge think of Christmas in September , right October – time is FLYING!

I will be doing a giveaway once I attract a couple of interested readers/commenters at least.  One winner will receive a digital copy of the MyMemories Suite V2.0 and let me be the one to tell you, you WANT this!  I’ve also been given a promo code that is good for $10.00 off your purchase of the program if you aren’t lucky enough to win it this time around – and once you buy the product you will receive a $10.00 credit in the MyMemories.com store.
The promo code is: STMMMS21526
Do yourself a favor and at the very least browse in their store, watch their video, check them out on facebook or at least check out the pages I posted awhile back of the cookbook I’m working on.  I can guarantee you will not be sorry!


It’s no secret that silence has overtaken my blog!
Sometimes silence is needed, appreciated, longed for and more than welcome. Other times silence is heavy, deafening with too many questions left lingering unanswered.  My silence here started as the appreciated kind, the needed and wanted.  I set up a guestroom for this houseguest and it has turned into a welcome extended stay.  Life has been chaotic, unnerving, gut wrenching (no, literally!) in every other aspect of my life that the silence here was embraced.  I occasionally opened a blank document in LiveWriter.  I’d come up with a title, have a general idea of something to say, type a few lines before shaking my head no and closing out of the program and walking away from my computer.  Even now I have the strongest urge to close out of this and just go pick up a book… I will fight, type away and hit the publish button regardless of how I feel about it.

Recently I’ve resided in a place emotionally that, in all honesty, is better off not shared.  I never quite recovered completely from my last trip to Connecticut where I spent a night corralled in the woods with one friend while my sister gave me crap about the tension I was causing.  I hit a ‘better’ point but I was pretty low so anything was better.  My head is a murky mess of ‘what if’ and ‘shouldn’t I’.  I can’t help but think that life at twenty-seven is supposed to be something bigger and better than this.  It doesn’t help that my sister’s wedding is fast approaching and I’m knee deep in to-do lists and IOUs (not really but my account is hitting that point) trying to get everything done and keep everyone happy.  My goal with moving to Florida was to do more for myself, to be selfish and figure out what I want from this life.  Instead it has turned into doing everything for everyone else with the added stress, chaos and confusion from doing it from 1,400 miles away.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister, my family, everyone I have ever helped, but the distance was supposed to take the burden off of me.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Now I get to-do lists followed by guilt trips about how much easier it would be if I didn’t move the length of the country away. My mother told me I shouldn’t have moved before my sister’s wedding.  I asked her if I was supposed to put my life on hold because of her wedding to which my mom responded “yes, because that’s what sisters do for each other”.  Last I knew sisters supported each other’s decisions if it is what is going to make them happy, not be the most convenient during wedding planning.  So my ‘life’ has been put on the back burner … again. I’m beginning to think that’s just what my life was meant to be – second best to everyone else’s. I’m a mere footnote in someone everyone else’s happiness.
I digress. 
So besides to-do lists a mile long, bank accounts crying as I book another round trip flight to CT, pay for dresses, hair and make-up, rehersal dinners and bachelorette parties, writing speeches and my brother-in-law’s vows, I was also diagnosed with a peptic ulcer three weeks ago.  Ulcers equal no fun, I don’t know if you knew.  I have lived on yogurt and green veggies (a few other things are making it back into the diet just now) for three weeks.  Any time I ventured away from my very strict diet I paid for it … severely.  I spent full days in bed near tears, unable to get comfortable, to sleep or get out of bed to take Tylenol PM (that I became co-dependent on for awhile there) so I could escape the pain of it all. 

Overall, physically, mentally, emotionally I have just been in a bad place.  I don’t know if ignoring my blog helped or hurt the situation but it’s the path I chose.  I’m not better yet.  I don’t think I will be until after my sister’s wedding is over.  Why? Because my ex is in the wedding party and he took my heart down a bad road the last time I was around him.  Because everything my sisters have makes me realize all I’m lacking.  Because when I’m around my family I can’t forget that my parents never really wanted me and don’t hesitate saying that around me.  Because I’m going to be re-submerged into a life where every breath I take is for someone else and getting nothing but grief and heartache in return.  Because worry, stress and overexerting myself is only going to aggravate my stomach’s fragile condition. 


Ten Secrets. Nine Loves. Eight Fears. Seven Wants. Six Places. Five Foods. Four Books. Three Films. Two Songs. One Photo of Yourself.

eight fears.
8) Spiders, moths, bugs, anything that has more than two legs. And things that don’t have legs and can move on land (snakes!)

7) health- mine, my sisters, my family, my friends.. I feel like there are things brewing on all fronts (well, two at least)

6) that I will never be good enough for the people around me

5) that I will never be good enough for myself

4) recently, the dark. I’ve started leaving the living room light on in my 700 sq ft apartment. It lights the entire place up

3) failure

2) that this is all life is and ever will be

1) ending up alone and never having kids (they go hand in hand)


Despite all this negativity here there is at least one positive thing in the works.  I’ll let you know more when I know more, but I’ll tell you this much –this news is definitely this storm clouds silver lining! My hope and often what gets me up and out of bed.  It’s very early stages, a lot of strings and a lot of potential for happiness or heartache… right now though – it’s something that is mine, for me, about me!

I hope this breaks the silence. I hope tomorrow night as I’m lounging in my small, silent apartment I will kick my houseguest out claiming he’s overstayed his welcome.  I hope I’ll clean the last of the remnants from my pity party for two – me and my silence.  Yes, the silence was needed, embraced and relished in but it’s time to step back up to the plate and take another swing at this being truly, genuinely happy…
A brief picture summary of where I want to be right now-
no more excusesfind ur passioni want to move forward
Pretty good plan, no?!

For now – and hopefully for just a night or two -
Good Night
~BETH

Friday, September 23, 2011

And Again

I’m failing miserably at blogging recently.  I’m failing at taking pictures, at getting things crossed off my to-do list, of keeping my apartment clean, of doing laundry start to finish in the same day (who am I kidding? That never happens!).  I know procrastination is the name of my game. It always has been and it quite possibly always will be, but it’s been pretty severe recently.

I started a 10 day challenge weeks ago and only did day one/day ten technically.  Here’s day 9.
Ten Secrets. Nine Loves. Eight Fears. Seven Wants. Six Places. Five Foods. Four Books. Three Films. Two Songs. One Photo of Yourself.

In no specific order"

9- I love writing. I lose all sense of reality and sense of myself and “live” experiences I may never have had otherwise.

8- I love reading for the same reason.

7- My favorite series of books is the “In Death” series by Nora Roberts as JD Robb.  No really, you need to read them!

6- Ice cream... pretty much any flavor, any meal of the day any time of the year.

5- Babies – lots and lots of babies! I can’t wait to have kids of my own.DSC_0217Picture 529

4- Hanging out with friends, doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing as long as I’m with my friends it’s sure to be an amazing time.
  DSC_0276DSC_0035DSC_0005DSCN0545

3- I love my family – really I do!  Living 1,400 miles away only makes me love them more. 33 on the beachall of usfam2never a bad daypromseriouslywedding girlsHPIM1758

2- I LOVE MY NEPHEW!!! He’s the best thing that has happened to our family since.. well, ever!! das babylukers2mema lovinheartbreakersighDSC_0334DSC_8011DSC_8014

1- I love the beach, gulf coast sunsets, pools in every back yard, 3 hours to Disney World. I think that translates to I love Florida- more specifically Naples!
DSC_0983DSC_0966


I have yet another flight booked back to CT.  That makes 4 times since May.  Semi crazy, no?
This time is lining up to be just as busy as the first three.
It all starts with a drive across the Alley to Ft. Lauderdale Airport at 4pm for a flight that leaves at 8 landing in Westchester Airport by 11:30.  My sister will pick me up, I’ll spend the night at her house, hang out for awhile there before heading to Brookfield where I need to bake two apple pies and two loves of pumpkin bread and cook some sort of main dish with my mother while watching my nephew.  Then we need to head to Thomaston to help my sister set up for the rehearsal dinner at her house before I need to drive back to Brookfield to pick my father up to then meet everyone at the church before heading back to Thomaston for dinner.  After that I am going to hang out with TJ and Mich (if all goes according to plan). And that’s just day one. Day two includes a surprise bachelorette party for my sister at Cadillac Ranch – line dancing yay!! (no sarcasm! I’m so incredibly serious! I haven’t been there in years and cannot wait!) I’ll be working at the daycare of course while I’m up there preparing for the insanity that is Country Kids Halloween.  I need to make an appearance at Widows, meet up with the Wallingford crew, I have drinks with another ‘friend’ (yes there’s quotes – they’re good quotes! I like those quotes!) all before a wedding on Friday, city *being New York City of course – that’s the only ‘city’ up north unlike Naples being considered a city in Florida!* Saturday and a baby shower Sunday to hop back on a plane Monday. Another jam packed, fun filled weekend in the north east! Oh and I forgot – apple picking at Blue Jay Orchards (real apple cider – they don’t know how to make it down here! I’m so psyched that I get to be in CT for fall! I’m missing the change of seasons a little. I’m so confused thinking that it’s still July with our 90 something degree temperatures!

Fun times ahead! Now I just need to stop procrastinating – get shoes and a flight back to Florida, pay off my dress and save up money for hair, nails, makeup and all that good stuff! Insanity ensues indeed!! =)

I’m looking forward to it!! (And looking forward to hitting the beach in late October to unwind after all that!)
~Beth

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pretty Certain

My mother hates when I say this. I always say it sarcastically when I’m sick or tired or overwhelmed.  Hell, I pretty much just say it. And you can bet your ass I’m gonna say it again!

I THINK I’M DYING!

Don’t laugh! Don’t think I’m over exaggerating. Hear me out before you go passing judgment please! My brain feels about six times the size of my skull. My eyes feel like they’re going to pop out of my head because my brain is too big (imagine that guy with no hair in the play-doh kit that you put play-doh in and make him have hair – brains popping out of my eye holes and all), my stomach is flipping again, still. Every part of me aches like I participated in 10 tough mudder competitions today.  Seriously – I think I’m dying.  I have been in bed since 9 o’clock and if that doesn’t say something I don’t know what will get my point across.  Seeing as I’ve been lying in bed in a dark, cold room for pushing 3 hours and still sleep has yet to come, I’m taking some Tylenol PM and passing out – because that’s got to be better than dying right?

Some point in my life I’ll just feel right again, right??? 
Hope you’re having a better night than me!!
~Beth

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Preview

I am thoroughly convinced that I did something personally to piss Blogger and/Windows Live Writer (what I use to write my posts – SO much better than just Blogger – look into it – it’s amazing – drag and drop, crop, edit and resize photos easily, change fonts, easy peasy lemon squeezy!! Check it out here)  But right – did something that pissed off Blogger and/or Live Writer and in one weekend I have lost a post, posted a post that did not post and .. well, that’s it, but isn’t that enough?!?! I posted this last night

I’m not saying this because I feel contractually obligated (there’s no contract!!) but MyMemories is AMAZING!! I am in love with this program! Here is a preview of what I’m working on!

pie-001pie-002

Obviously this is only two pages of a book that is going to be pretty long and involved. For years I have been collecting family recipes, recipes off the back of graham cracker boxes and the latest, recipes from Pinterest (only the most amazing website in the world)!  I have a folder full of scraps of paper with scribbles of ‘pinch of and dash of’ recipes from family and the backs of cardboard boxes. It’s about time I did something with them! So now I’m combining - organizing according to season, putting it creatively – nicely – in a book that I will print out for the family and share as Christmas gifts! Very nice right?! AND it’s only September and I have put active effort into my Christmas gifts! This program works miracles!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

*upcoming* GIVEAWAY

(I had some extremely elaborate post with a whole lot more than just the giveaway – but Blogger felt it shouldn’t be posted I guess because I hit the publish button and it poofed into thin air! Way to be, Blogger! Way to be! I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the post that got lost in thin air!)

I have never caved on product review and giveaway offers before for many reasons.  I wasn’t worried about attracting readers to my blog as this is primarily for me.  Blogging simply acts as a way to write electronically that is accessible to me anywhere.  I also have never been given the opportunity to review and giveaway a product that interested me, that I felt I could genuinely like. 

That opportunity has come now and I couldn’t be more excited about it! This week I was contacted by MyMemories to download their product (MyMemories Suite v2 scrapbook software), play around with it and review it to then give away a copy, not to mention a promocode (coming soon) for the rest of my readers.  This program is truly amazing!! This program seriously makes scrapbooking insanely easy!  The website also offers paper packages, amazing embellishments, templates and free downloads.  I will be giving away a copy of the MyMemories Suite v2 scrapbook software within the next 10 days (an $80 value!). And the promocode that will be posted as soon as I have it will give you $10.00 of the purchase of the software which will then come with a $10.00 coupon for free downloads from www.mymemories.com.  It’s a win/win situation for everyone! What more could you possibly ask for? 

Of course I agreed to my first giveaway/product review mere days before being diagnosed with a peptic ulcer, which is a little like dying, I’m not going to lie! The mere thought of food is nauseating still after almost a week of being on medication.  I’m so hungry I’m lightheaded but know that lightheaded is way better than dry heaving.  I have a headache that closely resembles a migraine but isn’t quite as debilitating.  It’s all so *sarcastically* wonderful!

All that being said, I’m not exactly sure when the giveaway is going to actually happen – within the next week to 10 days if all goes well, as I am putting together an example of what you can do with the scrapbooking program and website by MyMemories.  I’ll give you a hint – a small one – it’s helping me tackle my Christmas gifts now – yes in September from the ultimate Scrooge! Bonus? I think so!
Check out the MyMemories Blog @ www.mymemoriesblog.com
And also their YouTube video-

Make sure to keep checking back to enter for your chance to win!!
~Beth

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beth Schaffer, M.D.

OK – I’m convinced.  I need letters after my name.  M.D. might be {more than} over the top but maybe “Beth Schaffer, I.C.D.W.M.O.P.B.A.W.T.L.T.Y.A.O.A.T.W.M.L.S.Y.P.” 
(stands for “I can’t deal with my own problems but am willing to listen to yours and offer advice that  will most likely solve your problems.") I can see why that might not catch on but is so entirely accurate on how people perceive me and approach me. 
My sister has been calling non-stop, now granted I am her sister and her maid of honor, but I mean daily “Do I have to invite…”  “How should I…” “What song…”. 
At the pool yesterday some woman was telling me her life story and her daughter’s life story and asking what I thought she should do. Do I have a sign on my back cause really, I know your life story but not your name!
Four weeks ago I started babysitting Monday through Thursday for a 20 month old from 5:30 to 8.  Her mom and I have become fast friends and I thoroughly enjoy talking/hanging out every night after she gets home. Last night she came home crying. She’s sick and worked a long day.  Her husband wasn’t coming right home and there was still a lot to do around the house.  Ultimately she broke down and told me that she and her husband are in a bad spot and she doesn’t see things getting better.  We talked and I helped with cleaning up from dinner and giving Jayden a bath and stayed well after she (Jayden – not her mom) was asleep talking.  She apologized for the verbal vomit but said (and I quote) “You just seem like someone I can talk to.”  I feel like that’s my sign – that the world feels like I’m just someone they can all talk to. I don’t mind at all. I actually quite enjoy talking and helping people.  It’s just strange that everyone I ever meet feels this way about me… that they can just talk to me.  I won’t complain – just wish I could figure out what about me exactly makes me “that person”!
I really wish, at least, that I made the salary that a person with letters after their name makes!


I don’t know if you know this but I’ll tell you just incase cause I think everyone should know -
SICK SUCKS!! Big time!  I ate 5 Ritz crackers and a cup of chicken broth today and it made me feel like I wanted to crawl out of my skin.  I keep telling everyone it’s like dying backwards … I don’t know exactly what that means – but it sounds painful (people have comeback with ‘you mean it feels like being born’ but no it doesn’t feel like that at all cause I’m assuming you feel pretty good those first few days after being born).  My insides are on fire. I’m starving but when I even think of food I dry heave so when it’s actually in front of me I run away with my hand pressed over my mouth taking as few breaths as possible until I can’t smell it anymore.  It’s all wonderful.  I’m taking Pepcid every 4-6 hours, TUMS every 4-6 minutes and chugging water like it’s my job in hopes to aid in the healing process. Really – sick sucks!

Of course right before I was diagnosed I agreed to do my first product review and eventual giveaway on my blog.  I’ve been working avidly on it – but my avid now is not quite up to my feeling good avid.  I’m working on it though!  It’s truly amazing! Check back tomorrow (if all goes according to plan!) for a more informative post!!! 

~Beth

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As it Turns Out

Remember here (about the 5th paragraph down) I mentioned I was sick – not the achoo kind but the “if-I-didn’t-know-better-I’d-think-I-was-pregnant” sick.  Well, apparently, as it turns out when you’re starving but there mere thought of consuming food makes you nauseous there’s a pretty good chance you have a stomach ulcer. 

And I really do think being run over by a monster truck parade would in fact be an improvement…

What causes them?  An unbalanced pH in your stomach – by foods you eat or more what I’m thinking caused mine is worry.  I never was much of a worrier but this is changing in my old age and my living 1,400 miles away from everyone I know and love.  Plus I’m not stop worrying about dresses, brown shoes, hair, plane tickets… there’s a lot of worrying going on right now.  It’s making it’s presence known and honestly, it’s already overstayed its welcome.  I can’t eat anything besides yogurt and green veggies. Everything else seems like it’s out to destroy me from the inside out. 

I just want to be better now…
~Beth

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Steel in Us

The Steel In Us
by Diane Morrisey   Published 09-12-2001
We'll go forward from this moment. It's my job to have something to say.
before
They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
2
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
22
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.
10
Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family. A family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop culture minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent though -- peace-loving and compassionate.
3
We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
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Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that many or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.
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In pain, yes. We're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock.
7
We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst act of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world.
6
You have bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
12
But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force.
1
When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go any length in the pursuit of justice.
I tell you without fear of contradiction, I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recriminating and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.
2
The Steel In Us, you see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day the family's bickering is put on hold.
As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
9
So I ask again: what was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.
But you're about to learn.

(pictures from here and here)


My sister found this article in some Chicago newspaper (if my memory serves me right) September 12, 2001.  We passed it along via e-mail and AOL.  Every year for ten years now I have reposted this very same article on the latest and greatest means of social media – AOL, e-mail, MySpace, Facebook and this year Blogger.  This article shook me – spoke volumes – found a way to voice every thought and feeling I had but didn’t know how to explain.

**I’ll be back later with more – I thought I could multi-task watching the memorial service and write – but I can’t…**

I was 17, about a week into my senior year of high school.
September 11, 2001 started normally – the struggle to get up and out of bed, to get dressed, to get out of the house looking somewhat dressed and actually drive to school instead of driving aimlessly skipping my first period (which was the school’s second period but seniors have privileges).  I walked into my DECA/Marketing class as the bell rang, sat in my seat, propped my head up in my hand and prepared myself to ‘listen’ to Mr. Hunyadi rambling off one of the ten stories he told repeatedly day after day, year after year.  I doodled and daydreamed – too cool for school and on top of the world (a slight case of senioritis!). The bell rang and I sprang from my seat.  My next class was meeting in the library which was just a short walk away so I excitedly ran from the room to find my friends in the crowded halls.  We hung out next to my friend’s lockers talking and laughing – oblivious and unaware of what was going on in planes that were possibly flying right over us at that very minute.
The next bell rang and we went our separate ways. Jackie, Jenn, Cassie and I walked together to the library and no sooner had we sat down and started working on our project that we were there to work on Mr. Javillionare told Mr. Geason what had happened.  Mr. Geason (our English teacher) told us to stop what we were doing – that there was something on the news he felt we should be watching. He turned the big screen TV that was in the corner of the library on and we immediately stopped talking.  We stared in disbelief.  We watched smoke billowing from the North tower of the World Trade Center just 70 miles from where we sat. Our principal, Mr. Boules, announced over the loud speaker, “The North tower of the World Trade Center is on fire.  We don’t know too much right now. For now we will remain in classes. I will let you know when we know more.” He chose his words carefully, keeping his statement simple.  Being so close to NYC a lot of students parents worked in the city, even some in the World Trade Center. 
It was surreal standing there mere minutes after talking and laughing with my friends.  It was terrifying to think what the people inside that building were experiencing.  Suddenly the South Tower was on fire – we saw the plane hit the second tower on live TV.  Everyone gasped. Hands slapped over gaping mouths.  Breath was held. My friends and I draped our arms over each other’s shoulders and fought tears.  The silence was deafening – broken again by the principal over the PA system, “A plane has just been flown into the second tower.  Teachers, the TVs are on in the library and the cafeteria. Please feel free to bring your students in to watch the news.”
I looked around and realized that only a handful of students and teachers not in my English class were in the library with us.  If I had any other class, if we weren’t scheduled to be in the library that day to work on our project I wouldn’t have witnessed the second tower being hit.  I realized we were of few students in our school that had seen it from the beginning. 
We stood speechless staring at the TV as other classes poured into the library, it got overly crowded – standing space was limited but we all edged a little closer to each other, grateful for the company of others on this day, at this trying time.  The principal announced each major even over the PA system “A plane has crashed into the Pentagon.” “A hijacked plane has crashed in a field just outside of Pittsburgh.” “The South Tower has collapsed.” “The North Tower has collapsed.”  It was all so surreal. 
At 8:30 that morning, everything was blissfully normal. It was a clear, bright blue skied, slight breeze, perfect weathered day.  By 11:02 our planes had been used as weapons against us, our financial center was devastated – in a “Nuclear Winter”, cell phones wouldn’t work because too many people were trying to use them. We were instructed not to use our phones to free up signal for those in need as we shared towers with NYC.  And when attacks stopped happening, when the FAA banned all flights anywhere in the US, the superintendent said we could go home.  Those who could drive could leave as soon as their student ID pictures were taken (it was the beginning of the year tradition) and other students would be bussed home around 1:00.  My friends and I streamlined to the auditorium being of the first to get our pictures taken before heading to our frequented hangout a mere coast down a hill from the high school – Whalen Pond.  We hung out, solemn in comparison to our normal upbeat and laughing trying to figure out what to do with ourselves next.  I don’t remember who said it – I think it was our friend Ghetto (Anthony) who said, “We should go donate blood".  A brilliant idea indeed!  We went to a church right up the road who constantly hosted blood drives for the American Red Cross and donated blood.  We all felt great about it knowing that we were contributing somehow – that there was a good chance our blood could possibly be pumping into a victim that very same day. 
After that we went our separate ways.  It was nearing our normal dismissal time from school and we all had after school jobs we needed to get ready for.  I drove home, passing the high school, my windows down in my Ford Escort and the radio up perhaps a little too loud trying to push reality out of my head even if it was only for the 5 minute drive.  And then this song came on – and I couldn’t help but think how appropriate it was… to seconds later realize it had already been ‘remixed’ with clips of the broadcasts throughout the day.

I pulled into my driveway to see my sister’s cars both there and I knew my mom and dad weren’t working either.  I was never so grateful to see a full house. I ran in and sat with my family watching the video footage of the destruction along the East coast for awhile before getting ready for work.
At work the halls were quiet. A lot of parents had picked their kids up early and understandably so. The normal chatter and laughter from kids was nonexistent and was replaced with am radio – the whole building listening to the same station.  The TV in the office playing the same footage over and over.  I took some of the babies outside, after all it was a gorgeous late summer tinged with the smell of fall. It was a perfect day that left me hoping that the morning was all a bad dream. That a little over the hour away from where I stood it wasn’t really hell on Earth. It was eerily quiet – with an airport not far away both to the East and West of us planes were always flying pretty low around us.  Normally there were at least two planes an hour flying low but that day there was nothing but silence. Nothing but a clear blue sky overhead. 
I went home after work and the TV was still blaring – still replaying the gut wrenching videos from earlier that morning.  Not even twelve hours later and I knew precisely when to flinch. “That puff of smoke and then the plane crashes into the second one”. Eerie, surreal, unbelievable… nauseating.  I had to walk away then. I simply couldn’t watch it anymore. I couldn’t think of people still alive in the rubble. I couldn’t think of what the search and rescue crews were finding.  I needed to be ignorant for awhile.  I went into my room and put a Friends rerun on, again grateful for ‘familiar faces’ and humor… but then there was one of Friends typical NY skyline views between scenes and my stomach flipped.  “They’re not there anymore. I’ll never walk by and look up again even though Erica always told me not to because that made me look like a tourist.” I was no tourist. My family, friends and I frequented the city. I walked past those towers hundreds of time – but every time I walked by them I always looked up.  It was dizzying, amazing what humans could do, beautiful and breathtaking.
esb tt
(we were all sorts of hot – I don’t know how accurate this is but the back of the picture says 9-11-94 – who knew what 7 years from that day could hold)

Every September 11, I watch the memorial service or record it if I have to be somewhere.  On the one year anniversary I was at Country Kids with 13 babies and 3 other women working with me.  We were listening to the radio and participated in the moment of silence – and in that minute all the babies even fell silent.  It was beautiful… and creepy.  There was a huge storm in Connecticut and New York that day with treacherous winds and driving rains.  A lot of the area was without power.  A blue sky day would have been too hard to take that day – God knew it. So He gave us rain, showed us His fury.  It was only fitting.
That day changed me as I am sure it changed every person in America.  It made us realized that threat was ever present. That in the middle of a clear blue perfect day things could go wrong.  It made us realize that even with our strength and our security measures things still could happen. It was humbling and eye opening.  It made you appreciate the things you had – your job, your family, your house.  The things that we take for granted without even realizing it.
field of flags3field of flags

In memory of all who have fallen and in honor of those who risk their lives and well-being for our freedom and safety – I will NEVER forget! ~*~9-11-01~*~
field of flags4
(photos by me – Field of Flags in Kent, CT – August 2010)

field of flags2

Hug those you love a little tighter tonight.
Thank whomever you believe in for what you have – as well as our soldiers.
I cannot believe it has been 10 years already.
1921
We will always remember! God Bless! I <3 NYC!

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