Monthly Archives: March 2012

$$ Dreaming Big $$

Have you got yours yet?  No, I’m not talking about tickets to the Hunger Games.  I’m talking Mega Millions, baby.  Tonight could be the night this country’s largest every lottery jackpot is paid out.  As of yesterday, the jackpot stood at $540 million—or a measly $389 million if you pick the cash option.  Either way, it will be history making and life changing for the winner or winners.

I’m not a regular lottery player.  Occasionally, I’ll pick up some scratch off tickets as gifts for the hard to buy for uncle, cousin, or my husband.  But, I’m only willing to throw away $10 on the lotto when the jackpot reaches a ridiculous level.   After all, the odds of winning are about one in 175 million.  I’m not sure, but I think the odds might be even less if you actually know someone who’s won the lottery, which I do.  A close college friend.  Of course, another close friend from college was struck by lightning which just goes to show we were probability busters. 🙂

The ten dollars I spent on tickets isn’t too much of a waste, though.  It has provided my daughter and me with endless entertainment spending our imaginary cha-ching.  My 14-year-old isn’t too greedy.  She just wants to buy a $13 million horse farm and, maybe, to hire someone to clean her room. She’ll clean her own stall, thank you.

What would I do with all that cash?  Well, I’m pretty keen on my daughter’s plan for the room cleaner.  Except I’d like him or her to clean the whole house.  Every day.  In fact, I’d probably have multiple houses that need cleaning.  And I’d travel.  All over.  My friends would have to come, too, so I’d have someone to hang out with.  I’d also probably buy a really nice car.   And, someone to drive me in the dark.

The best part of having all that money would be giving it away.  I know some children in Haiti who’d get first dibs. A nursing home in Maryland would be next.  The Interstitial Cystitis Association would never have to pander to Congress for research funding.  It would be a full-time job just donating the money to worthy causes.  Hmm…probably have to hire someone for that.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Your worst date…ever… LOL!!

We’ve all had them.  We may be all settled in and comfy now…

but once upon a time we weren’t.  And there are many many ways for a date to go terrrrrrribly wrong.  Sometimes it’s the situation–the location-

…the ambiance.


Sometimes it’s the guy.


Sometimes it may all LOOK good,

but it’s that creep factor that worms under your skin telling you that maybe you need to accidentally get that phone call.


LOL — mine was when I was 17.  I’ll tell you mine when you tell me yours… 🙂



Coming Down from Vacation

Went to Colorado for spring break with the family and I’ll tell you, vacation really unplugs me.  So far out of my routine, my mind disconnects and I lose track of the flow for everyday life.  A good thing, I know (unless you have 100 things going on that need attention!).

But we can all use a break and what better place than the Colorado Rockies?  Especially this time of year.  Blue skies, warm temps, not much snow (but who noticed?).  There was plenty enough on the ski runs!

I have a girlfriend who invites the family and I out every year to stay with her for a week and while we don’t always make it, we do enjoy the years we can.  After all, this is the woman responsible for introducing me to my husband.  Back in our younger day, we were on spring break, took a ski trip and spotted the handsome devil in a bar in Vail (not the advisable place to meet one’s future spouse, but suffice it say, 16 years and 2 kids later we’re doing just fine).

So we have somewhat of a soft spot for this location.  And now that the kids love it (and my girlfriend, her dog, her sense of fun and spirit of adventure…), we all enjoy the trip!  But alas, reality hits and the vacation ends and it’s time to return to the daily business of living.  And now it’s time for me to move back into the “zone” and prepare for spring. I have vegetables to plant (and harvest — my sweet onions are nearly ready!), a WIP to finalize and prepare for May release, a blog hop to launch—and then of course there’s summer break to look forward.  Hello beach, here I come!

Life is good.  How about you?  What do you do to unwind? Do you find it difficult to plug back in?

Life After School

Well, I never thought I’d see the day on the near horizon.  My son is graduating high school and my daughter is leaving middle school behind.  Just as Dylan walks out the educational door after thirteen years, Allessandra enters four years of high school in preparation for college.

I think they’re both happy they’ll never be in the same school at the same time, but I’ll miss dropping one off and then the other, every morning, no matter how boring it seems sometimes.  I think what makes this so hard is that you know your kids have to go to grammar school, middle school, then high school.  But after that?  There’s no telling.

So, I’m going through the fear for my son’s future coupled with the excitement for my daughter’s new school life.  Both are scary.  I want him to discover what he wants to do with his life and I don’t want her to grow up too fast during those four years of high school.

She’ll be stepping into her teen years and preparing for college.  He’s not so sure about college and his chances of landing a decent job without college are slim.  What to do?  All we can do is guide them but there comes a time when they have to make the decision.  He’s on the fence about college.  Does he want to study for four long years, coming out the other side without the promise of a job either?

Times are so different.  I know, my age is showing.  But when I went to college there was no doubt I would claim the prize of a job on the other side.  For both of them, who knows?

And the worrying continues.  It never ends.

The Gift of Sight

My mother has macular degeneration, a medical condition which results in the loss of vision at the center of the eye. Eventually it spreads outward and causes blindness. This condition makes it difficult or impossible for her to recognize faces and read the newspaper. Although she still has enough peripheral vision to allow her to perform the daily activities in her life, there are many other limitations.

She cannot drive, nor can she check her grocery bill to ensure the charges are correct. If she uses magnification, she can read the headlines in the newspaper, but she is unable to read the tiny print in the article. Needless to say, when my dad was alive, we would often find him at the kitchen counter with her, reading the ingredients of a recipe out loud, and helping her get the right measurement in the cup. Gosh, they made such a cute couple, the memory makes me smile. 🙂

During mom’s annual visit to the eye specialist, she asked him if removal of cataracts would help her vision. The doctor thought it might and immediately set up an appointment with another doctor to have the procedure done.

As the day of the surgery approached, my mother started to get nervous. She’d heard that cataract surgery could worsen the macular condition. Since she already had one eye on the verge of being declared legally blind, and the doctor was going to start with her good eye, she feared she could come out of the procedure not being able to see at all.

The surgery was performed on March 16th, the day of her 84th birthday. Mom left the hospital with cloudy vision, then fretted for the rest of the day that the cloudiness would remain, leaving her worse off than she was before. The next morning, we went to the doctor for a checkup and he reassured us that the cloudiness would pass.

That afternoon, as we prepared food for a small family gathering to celebrate her birthday, mom asked me to read the wrapping on a package of ham because she wanted to know if it was smoked. As I silently scanned the label, she started to read the ingredients out loud.

It was a miracle. She read the package ingredients, the numbers and words around the stove dials, then brought out the cookbook to see if she could read it, too. And she could. She immediately called her sister to share the good news. When I called her the next day, she had been sitting on the couch with her magnifying glass, reading the articles in the local paper.

I never would have expected the removal of a cataract to give my mom the gift of sight, but it did. Now she can’t wait to have her other eye done.

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? If so, please pass this story along.

For more information on macular degeneration, click here.

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