Sunday, December 31, 2006


The Pedal to the Metal
This year has absolutely rushed by. Never has a year slipped into oblivion so quickly as this one. Looking back on my entries I can not fathom that one particular entry was made a year ago! It can't be so! I recall vividly sitting in my car with the CD blaring so loud the car was rocking. I can feel the heat of a excruciating heat wave this past summer suffocating me. How is it that 365 days have turned into such a blur of color, emotion, disappointment, redemption, journeys and a brief chapter in my history?

January 2006......I was dreaming of Jamaica. The first month of the year was over before it began. I was given a new sales trainee to take with me and show him the ropes for a week. I was thrown into memories of The Boy of yesteryear that I was given to train and ultimately corrupted. I came face to face with the realization that I live in the past. snowed and was cold and I dreamed of Jamaica.

March came in like a lion!! and found me celebrating another birthday and another St. Patricks Day. This year it was spent in Cleveland with my sister Omega and two other friends. We went to the Agora and were late for the Saw Doctors!
They played and played and afterwards Leo came into the bar and I.....well, I already revealed what a fool I can be. Had the proof in a picture on the cell phone, but somehow in between the ride home in our Limo with our new found best friend, Les and the drinks afterwards at the Marriott, the photo got deleted from the cell phone! Joe and family along with the newest member, Tinkerbelle, participated in the Louisville St. Patrick's day parade. A blast. I completed two legs of the triple Crown of Running, the 5k & 10K. My birthday is in this month and I finally bit the bullet and sprung the cash for a Nikon D-50. Then she went out like a lion.

April found me looking forward to traveling to Louisville and completing the Triple Crown with a 10 mile run. I did finish it, but it was not pretty. With the Kentucky Derby Festival was on the horizon and my daughter and I attended the Cherokee Triangle Arts Fair. Spring finally arrived in Indiana, (I was concerned).

May was jam packed with a million things! But for brevity's sake, Bridget and I went to Florida to spend a week with my best pal from college. It was fabulous fun. We went to the Tropical Heatwave and the Saw Doc's were performing!! Also went to Louisville for the Memorial week-end and stumbled upon BeatleMania on the Belvedere!

Then is was summer and June....Bridget was engaged!! And they decided to get married in August! Holy Smoke. I had a moment of absolute joy helping her find a wedding dress. The perfect one. That is all June besides a dreary trip to Dayton that was rainy and cold! How could I forget the annual trek to Tennessee and the family gathering of all the siblings and their off-spring. Fireworks and food, the much anticipated Treasure Hunt, boat rides and tubing, hot fun in the summertime!

July was a blur. 4th of July, the Three Rivers Festival, trip to Kentucky to visit the folks, tried a detox diet that had tremendous results but is not for weenies. And Bridget called off her engagement, broke up with S. and took up with C. I have not recovered because I love S. Bridget entered into a downward spiral that she still has not come out of. Kids....I use to be one, so I just pray it ends soon.

August!!! Once again, The Dublin Irish Festival! And the Saw Doctors...again! Three times in one year. Unbelievable. Joe rode his motorcycle over to spend Saturday with me at the festival, as I was abandoned by everyone else. Omega chose the Loolapaloosa in Chicago over me! Damn her!! I got a ticket at an intersection that had been set up as a trap all summer. Damn ME!! So I bought a new car for good measure.

Then it was Autumn....and September. Joe and I go on a cruise to the Bahama's.. I went to court for my ticket and in a fit of defiance decided to fight it! Stay tuned for February! My Mom had a birthday which demanded another family gathering. Suddenly it is ....

October In another fit of some sort, I decide to end my AOL journal which I have been plugging away at for three years. I just had to learn to let go. Halloween came and went. October came and went.

November, my Dad celebrates his 87th Birthday. Thanksgiving finds me traveling back to Kentucky to spent it with my family. Even though it was just a few weeks ago, I don't recall anything spectacular about November. It did not snow, as it did last year.

December and the holidays! Realize that if I am going to have a tree it must be artificial. And guess what? It's a good thing! Travel again to Kentucky for the holidays and have the best Christmas ever. Not only me, but my nine year old is an excerpt from her thank you letter to me....

(writing about last year)..."That was a good Christmas...........But not nearly as good as this one."

I realize that 2006 had a terrific first half, and then something happened to me. I believe I have taken Bridget's break-up (down?) much harder than I should. I think I am depressed about the implications it has forced on me from her. I am blue about several things and realize that I have to do something to alter the path I have chosen to walk the past five or six months.

Nothing like a new year to serve a wake up call.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I know you think I have been neglecting you. I feel you think I have been paying too much attention to the BLOG. I would plead with you to understand, to realize that it is only you who realizes my secrets. It is only you that I bear my soul. You carry the truth.

I miss the feel of the pen on the paper.

If I were one who made New Year's resolutions. If I were one who did not have dismal results from the best intentions. I do not want you to fall in step with "loosing weight" and "being a better person" and (gag) being a better employee.

I will not bull-shit you.

You, Diary, know who I am.

Only you.

You who know how to read between the lines. Since I was about nine or ten.

I look at the dates of my last entry. Three weeks ago. Gosh. I did not enter the night last week when I went outside into the back yard and looked towards the West and waited for the Space Shuttle to show itself. It was coming from the Southwest.

I gyrate towards the south.

I have never found my .... bearings in the North.

I looked towards the SW and there you were. You blasted suddenly ( and I do mean once you were not there and in the next breath, there you were) into sight. You were brilliant. It looked as if two triangles were joined together. Later I remembered that you were to be viewed moments after you and the Space Station disengaged.

For several minutes I watched you streak across the heavens. It was a brilliant night. It was barely dusk, the east it was black , and into darkness you plunged. I was spell bound. I lifted my head to the skies until you disappeared into the North east.

How backwards everything is up the North.

And surprising (in case you are reading, and you know who you are, though I doubt you read).

Joe gave me the greatest Christmas present. A Sirius Radio!!!

Last summer I was in Tennessee enjoying the annual family four day gathering. My sister Omega has been given this satellite radio by her husband, the King. We were sitting on the back of the house, listening to the music. (I was unaware it was satellite) Another song began and I stopped talking and listened. It was Bob Dylan's "Mozambique". It had been a long time since I had heard that song! The memories...the memories. Why has no other radio station ever played that song?

Because it's not satellite.

Now I have satellite.

When I set it up, I faced the antenna towards the North. The sound was terrific for about 10 minutes and then breaking sound. I was so angry! I was yanking the cradle, the antenna and moving everything about. Then it dawned one me. I am trying to face the North! Hell I live in the north! Face that antenna straight up!

By God, it worked!

I love my husband.


Enough. (hahahhahahah)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


(Old Tradition of All Grandkids having Photo Taken wearing Santa Hats)

When our family gathered for the Thanksgiving celebration, my sister Kitty suggested that we give our parents a unique Christmas gift this year. It was her brilliant idea that each of us write about a family memory and present it to Mom and Dad at Christmas. Afterwards, Kit would make a scrapbook that included each one.

It was not quite what I expected. Yet the result was nothing less than astounding. The essays, the memories, the love letters were equally moving and magical. From the youngest age seven, to me the oldest (I will never tell) each one was a touching and often funny singular perspective on life as a member of our clan. Childhood memories intertwined with those more recent and those of the in-laws and their observations.

We put the written pages in the middle of the family room and mixed them up. Then each of us choose one and read it aloud. Then we made Mom and Dad guess who wrote it.

I have several favorites. My niece absolutely blew us away with her creativity.

"One in a magical Kingdom in far away Tennessee lived a King with his Fair Queen....". It was simply brilliant as well as fun and entertaining.

Her mother wrote a sweet and poignant piece about a Christmas angel that her family had on the top of the tree for as long as she could remember. They nicknamed the heavenly plastic being "Grace".

Imagine her surprise when she first entered our household for Christmas so long ago and there on top of our tree was a replica of Grace.

She knew she had found the right family.

I loved that.

She even had pictures!!

My brother Pat read his own (sudden case of shyness over took one of the children) and finished it with this sign off "Pat Pat the Water Rat". I almost burst out in tears remembering my Dad singing that when Pat was very young and it was almost impossible to get him to come out of the swimming pool. I had not heard it nor thought about it in a long long time.

Obviously it was a huge success and my sister deserves all the credit. It is assumed, with out discussion, that this will become a family tradition for every year to follow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Once again, have absolutely nothing to write about, so I am just going to let my fingers do the talking........

I thought I was not going to have a Christmas tree this year. My husband, the big Grinch, put his foot down and said he did not want to have a live tree and then six months afterwards of needles mysteriously appearing and stabbing him while he unsuspectingly walks around the house bare foot. Being the brooder that I can be at times, at first I brooded and felt bad, then I set out and looked for a fake tree. I found a beautiful one at Home Depot and when I went back Saturday to purchase it, it had been marked down!!

I'm much more in the festive mood now that I have my tree up. And it was so easy. Even though the package was missing several sizes, somehow I made it work! I was able to place the tree closer to the wall by eliminating branches. It was cool.

I have noticed that with the Hubs schedule coinciding with my schedule for the past several months we are spending a lot of time with each other and even after nine years I marvel at our differences. How did we ever get together????

First, we fight about Netflix. I though I was going to have a nice cozy week-end night when I could cuddle up on the couch with a soft quilt, the tree glowing in the corner, and an egg nog in my hand and watch an old Katherine Hepburn movie called "Summertime".

But nnnnnnoooooooooooo.

Old Mr. Grinch went and changed the queue and what I pulled from the mail box was not the romantic movie I wanted, but Feast of Death: James Elroy.

Holy Methelusa.

I love to read. But reading is a very solitary activity. So I take my book, (EAT,PRAY,LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert)and sit in the living room while he is channel surfing and watching his NetFlix monopoly. I can't read and listen to his constant chatter about this or that on the TV. Crazy stuff, like do I remember who was the ultimate bad guy in HEAT? When do I first remember seeing Angelina Jolie? Why did'nt someone tell him Thelma and Louise was more than just a Chick Flick?

I can only read a page or two in an hour.

And when I put the book away, all is very quiet and if I try to say anything, its "Shush".

Holy Methtlusa.

If you have not already, please go check out the Carnival being held at The Bestest Blog of All Time!

P.S. Sorry for all the spelling errors, I am at the public library and the spell check is blocked.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


For this weeks Sunday Scribblings..........

I'm sitting on the back patio of my Aunts home in Houston Texas.

I'm alone, scared and pregnant. I am determined to have my baby despite the fact Mike does not want to get married. I have moved 1,200 miles away from home. It is early March. Instead of the frost lingering on the near dead ground and the purple crocus teasing us with the hope of spring, it is pleasantly warm and the air is perfumed with gardenia.

The future is as uncertain as the sex of the child I am carrying.

I'm confused, overwhelmed with doubt, sad and slightly bewildered with the surroundings and the path I have chosen.

Being with child has not seemed possible. I am three months pregnant and not showing. There has been no morning sickness. It is as if it is a big mistake.

My hands are folded over my stomach.

I feel her.

At the time I did not know it was a her.

Something was fluttering inside me.

There it was again!

I was astonished. All the self-doubt and confusion lifted.

Five months of anticipation began.

Monday, December 11, 2006


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Besides the handful of girls in my class, I also had friends outside that sadistic little circle. I had the Girl Scouts! And I got to be the star dancing the Irish Jig!

I am the little one on the left, Brenda-Kay is on the right and Dottie is the tall Amazon in the middle.

Dottie was in the class before us in school which meant she was more worldly and sophisticated than us.

She danced a mean Irish Jig.

I loved it that she would invite me to parties and sleep overs at her house. Our parents were friends. That meant we were thrown together and we better like it.

Like it or not, the sleep overs were groovy. We would listen to our LP's and 45's and teach each other all the new dance steps. We were a regular mini-American Bandstand sweating it out to the Twist, the Jerk, the unbelievable fun Monkey, Pony, the Swim, and my favorite the Skate. Not to forget the Hitchhiker.

I first heard Mr Tambourine Man performed by the Bryds in Dotties kitchen late one night from the huge radio station out of Chicago that you only received late at night.....and on a bounce. It always faded out at the best parts.

I smoke my first cigarette with Dottie when I was twelve. We slipped them out of her mothers cigarette case. Tareytons. The taste worth fighting for.

We climbed up in the tree house and took our very first drags. Nothing was ever quite the same from that moment on.

I was a bonafide bad girl now.

And Dottie the bad influence.

St. Paddy Day is March 16th this Year


Guess who is coming to the States this March??? The Saw Doc's e-mailed me earlier today!!


Thanks for your email.

The good news is that The Saw Doctors will return to the USA in March 2007.
The following dates are now confirmed with a couple more to follow in the
next couple of days. They play Cleveland on March 16, i.e. the day before St.
Patrick's Day.

March 8 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere

March 9 Northampton, MA Calvin Theatre

March 10 New York, NY Nokia Theatre

March 15 Boston, MA The Roxy

March 16 Cleveland, OH House of Blues

March 17 Chicago, ILL The Vic Theatre

At the moment I am not sure about the Tropical Heatwave in Tampa - my advice
to you would be to keep a check on the website in the coming couple of weeks.
We will be updating all the information shortly and any more confirmed USA
dates will be listed on the website

I'm so there.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


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Imagine a little girl, driven from the bosom of her family and forced to go to school! Actually, I think I was looking forward to it. My mother too. So much so that she sent me a day early for that first day!! How she could have gotten the day wrong? The public schools started a day ahead of the Catholic School, so maybe my Mom just assumed since the bus was coming, I belonged on it. Finally one kid out of the house!!

I remember that first day of school, hanging out with the Nuns, taking all the chalk erasers outside and beating them silly. Then making the long walk home.

The next real first day I got to meet all the kids in my class for the first time. I thought that my one day jump ahead of everyone would make me the Teachers pet, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Every nun and teacher chose Brenda Kay (the angelic looking child next to me, I am receiving First Communion) as their favorite. Every single one of them.

And so did we, the Original Girl Posse.

Someplace somewhere there must be written and explained the mysteries of the Theory of Three. For seven long years I lived the highs and lows of this phenomenon.

Everyone wanted Brenda Kay as their best friend. We wanted an exclusive arrangement. Brenda was drunk with this power and played us against each other for almost the entire time I attended Grammar School.

First she would be friends with Missy (The angelic blonde in the second row, she had on gold shoes while the rest of us had white flats). Being exclusive friends meant everyone else was shut out, the outsider (me) would have to hang out with Twin (in the second row behind me) and Cynthia (the freckled face charmer unfocused on receiving the flesh and blood of Christ, but looking good for the camera).

By being totally shut out, I mean totally. They would not acknowledge your presence nor look at you. If you spoke they would look at each other and say, "Did you hear something?" and then laugh wickedly and run away to the swing sets and leave you seething.

Gaining back into the position of the Best Friend was a tricky business. First you had to be acknowledged again. This could be achieved with a special gift, such as a cookie or a cupcake from your lunch. Other times, it meant handing over a precious pencil sharpener or mechanical pencil (I can still feel in my hand this red mechanical pencil that was three beads and highly coveted)or Holy Cards that were particularly fancy.

When it was your turn as the Selected one you got to play the cruel game of shutting out Missy, banishing her to play with Twin and Cynthia.

I swear to God, this went on for years and years.

Cynthia left after second grade, her family moved away. She was replaced with Freida, a country girl with 10 brothers and sisters!

We could never play together peacefully and there was always a foot race for the swings, a shoving match to see who got to sit by who on the Merry-go-Round, and much jockeying for position at the picnic tables for the lunch hour.

Don't even get me started when Brenda Kay decided she liked boys better than girls!

Brenda Kay left the Catholic Grammar School right before seventh grade.

The drama left with her. She was always the smartest girl in the class, now that was up for grabs. She always had her pick of the boys, now they were despondent and entirely icky again. No more playing Beatles and Monkees on the front porch.

Everything calmed down to a normalcy that was foreign to those left behind. Our Star had been removed and it was dark without her.

Ah, Brenda Kay, you shaped every single female companionship I have had since.

At times, this was not a good thing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


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Woman Posse

One of my favorite blogger friends, Paul, suggested I do another series based on all the hints of "much more to the story" on a previous entry. Well, I might do that one later. I have been turning the phrase Woman Posse over and over in my head since I wrote those words last week.

And an idea was born. An idea for a series (which I love so much!!).

Look at the above picture. That was a birthday party in progress, I'm not certain who's birthday it is, but that is really not the point. The point is......LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOYS!!

Three of them are my brothers. The one showing his dramatic bro "T". The fat baby in the upper left corner in my Mom's arms, my littlest bro "P". Next to the belly showing show-off is the oldest brother, "N". The rest are family friends and neighbors.

At this point I have no sisters.

I do have ...... (now here it becomes a little complicated. I want to use real names, but I think maybe I should not. After all, I am using real photographs and that is exposing the guilty enough)....Twin.

I use "Twin" because we looked so much alike as children that at times when I look at an old photo and it takes me awhile to determine if it is me or her.

I am in the foreground holding Twin's sisters hand. Twin is behind us.

Same haircut! What the hell, did our mothers confer and decide the best thing to do was make all off us look exactly alike??

Anyway, this is my new series....All my gal pals because I needed them badly living with a bunch of brothers.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I sat straight up in bed and shouted, "MOM!"

I was startled. I never do things like that, shouting in my sleep. A glance at the clock told me it was 5:45am, plenty of time left to sleep in.

It stayed with me all day, that feeling of trying to reach my Mom. I only had to pick up the phone and call, which I knew I would do in the evening, for our weekly chat.

Being 300 miles away may as well be 3 thousand at times.

Something in me was avoiding the call. I finally made it.

They had a difficult time waking up Dad in the morning. He was very weak, could not pull himself up. His blood pressure was somewhere in the 40's. Later I learned his pulse was a scary 42. He was in the wheel chair all day. They could not make it to church. The Angel, Jeannie (the nurses aide that Mom found several years ago) called all day long to check on Dad.

I realize that one day I will wake up thinking that this day will be like all the others. I'll get ready for work, go to work, I'll carry on with tasks the day demands. And then the cell phone will ring. I know it will be my sister Kitty, I'll not understand anything she is saying because she is crying.

Then that normal day will change into the day that everything changes.

Its been over three years ago Dad suffered from congenital heart failure and we almost lost him. It was almost six weeks before we were able to bring him home. He went to a re-hab hospital to regain strength and learn how to walk with a walker, pull himself up out of bed, feed himself etc. etc. All those basic things that we take for granted become a small miracle when practiced by someone who was so close to death.

Then very soon after he came home he had a stoke. The time spent in the hospital are worse than anything imaginable. But he managed to come home again and one of the ER room physicians suggested that a new drug just released to treat Alzheimer's be given to Dad.

It was like a miracle. It breathed new life into Dad.

Several months after that, again on a Sunday, his blood pressure dropped so low that he could not be waken up. The ambulance was called and once again he was admitted into the hospital for observation.

It was then that the Wicked Nurse gave us a piece of advice, do not call the ambulance any more when he begins to go. It's his time, she was trying to tell us, and it is their profession to cheat the inevitable if they can, but our family must make a decision about the quality of his life.

I wanted to get in her face and tell her that if it was her Father she would feel differently.

Years later, I have forgiven her for her bluntness. Because I have a better understanding now.

They did not call the ambulance this Sunday. And he bounced back.

I am not prepared. I think I am, but I am not.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


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Another week-end approaches so it is time for another Sunday Scribblings!

The lift off is this phrase....."In the last hour..."

I immediately envisioned the last hour before any vacation I am about to embark upon. I have no idea why this pushed its way out the waiting room of my thought factory into the audition stage, but it did and it got the job!

In the last hour before the last vacation, I was at the computer trying to print out our boarding passes to the Ship. The site kept blocking me and I was crying. My tears were dripping on the key board. Earlier that week I had tired to print them out and the ink cartridge failed. Failed might be too kind a word, the ink cartridge died. Maybe you only have one chance to print the e-ticket and that is it!

Joe was becoming annoyed at the delay, after all we still had to drive to Chicago to catch our flight. He reasoned that we had our passports, the cruise was paid for, we would get on the Ship!

In the last hour before Bridget and I were to go to Florida several years ago we drove to Louisville and my brother-in-law was going to drive us to the airport and save us the cost of long term parking.

We arrived early and parked the car in the back alley (if you know Louisville, you know all about back alleys) At the time they were doing some landscaping to the back yard and Bridget and I tried the back door and found it locked. We set up on the back porch waiting for B-I-L to wake up (it was very early, like 5am) and chauffeur us. A lot of time passed and I became worried and tried the door again. Still locked. I decided to try the front door and then and only then did I realize we were at the wrong house!!! We hustled over next door and got in right away to find a very concerned B-I-L waiting for us with coffee!

It took while for Joe and my relationship to advance to the point where we were comfortable to travel together to family functions. After two year and a half years, we went to Colorado for a family wedding (I have a big extended Irish-Catholic family). When all was over and it was time to go home back to Kentucky, the morning of the flight Joe was up and wanted to go to the airport. He did not want to miss the plane!

I spent five hours waiting to fly out of Denver.

That was only the beginning. Ever since then I have come to realize that Joe likes to be at the airport in time...(early)... for the flight. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time in airports.

The funniest and worst time, was when we got there at 1am only to find out the airport in Chicago (international) is locked up till 5am! WTF!!!!

It's International!!!

I had to sleep on some ugly hard plastic seats waiting for Air Jamaica to open.

Before flying out to Ireland we spent many of the last hour's pretuning in the International terminal with my sister and above mentioned B-I-L and their two young children. Their flight to Shannon left before ours to Dublin.

Young five year old Brendan walked away from us in his red and white Hawaiian shirt (easier to see among the masses)turned and waved good-bye, "SEE YOU IN IRELAND" he yelled!

I am very fond of that last hour before the take-off.