day to day rambling...

Real and not always exciting adventures in life.

Location: Maryland
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

High of 90...

Last Thursday the local kids got out of school for the summer. With the temperature already at 90 and the humidity high, I can truly say that summer has arrived in Maryland.

I think about when I was a kid and how that last few days of school were a total waste. We did nothing, learned nothing new and only daydreamed about the summer weeks that lay ahead. When school finally got out you spent most of your days outside. I can remember staying outside from the time I woke up until I went to bed. I remember the hot, humid nights spent laying in my own sweat, because we had no air conditioning. I remember one of the greatest joys of summer was to run through a lawn sprinkler. It was a simpler time.

Now as I drive down the street in the middle of summer. I barely see any kids outside. I wonder what they could be doing, but then I already know. They are plopped down in front of their televisions, watching TV or playing video games. It is no wonder that obesity is on the rise in America.

I do have a tendency to stay inside during the hottest part of the day and then go out in the evening. This is nice for a few reasons. First, it is not so stinking hot that I feel like I am going to melt. Second, Sophia's best playmate is home from day care. Third, some other adults are home and it gives me somebody to talk to. Sophia loves this time of the day. She wishes that her playmate could come and stay with us during the day so that they could be together all of the time.

We sometimes take walks in the evening. I would say half of the time it is Bob, Sophia, Sophia's buddy, Nicholas and me. We walk to the Snowball stand that is about a half a mile away and then come home. I have found joy recently in sugar-free Bahama Mama snowballs. The other night it had literally started to get dark by the time we left our house. This was fine though, because it was very cool and the moon was out. Sophia and her friend were holding hands in the double stroller and talking. It was so fun to watch them together. By the way, Sophia's best friend is a boy. Bob jokes that he is going to have to keep his eye on him.

I hope that our kids will look back on this someday and think that it was a fun time in their life. I don't have memories like this with my parents, so I want to make sure that my kids do.

I am sorry for the delay in posting. I know that I should post more often, but what can I say I am a slacker. I try to get around to read everybody else's blogs, but then have little time to post to my own. I actually started this post several days ago, but did not get a chance to come back to it until today. Hopefully, I can get my act together and write more frequently.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I have to clean my house. It is a huge mess. I hardly let anybody in, because it is such a mess. This is a source of shame for me, but I am just not good at keeping things neat and organized. I don't know why I can't keep things neat. If it weren't for Bob, half the time the laundry would not get done. I need one of those clean sweep sort of shows to come to my house. They would be so horrified!!!

We are dog sitting for our neighbors next week, so I want to get things in order for our canine visitor. We are going to love having him here for a while. We miss having a dog around. Jake (the dog we are watching) is a black lab and like all labs I have ever met, he just wants to love and be loved. He is good with kids (he has a few of his own), so I know that my kids will be fine with him. He has never really been around cats, so it will be interesting to see how he likes ours. Neal (the only pet we have right now) loves dogs, so he will make it easy for Jake.

I have to get everything done by Saturday, because we have a party to go to for a friend's two boys. She has one birthday party for both of them. Sophia will have a ball, she loves these two kids. Then on Sunday, which is Father's Day, we are going to church early and then we are going to go camping overnight at Catoctin Mountain Park. I just wanted to get away for a day with the kids. Camping is fun and relatively inexpensive. Catoctin Park is home to Camp David, the presidential retreat (it is NOT open to the public) so you can imagine how pretty it is there. There are many nice trails to hike in the park and also in Cunningham Falls State Park, which is the state park that is adjacent to Catoctin. In the state park there is a lake for swimming and boating, there are playgrounds and also a hike to waterfall.

Bob and I have been going to these parks for as long as we have been together (which is 17 years now) and we have always had fun. We tent camp and there is a wonderful camping area that mostly caters to tent campers. It is gorgeous. It is very quiet and has a stream running along one side and every camp sight is wooded. Also, the spots are not right on top of one another. I am really looking forward to the diversion. I know that Bob and the kids will have fun, too.

I thought it would be nice to spend Father's Day as a family. I will make Bob's favorite foods to make it a little more special for him. We usually spend the day with Bob's parents, but this year they are taking Bob's Grandfather to a Dinner Theatre. We will miss spending the time with them, but will still enjoy ourselves.

I love doing these sort of things with the kids. I like cuddling next to Sophia in the tent. At least for little while anyway, because she is a wiggler. She loves going on adventures and camping is the perfect place for a kid to go out and discover that there is a big world beyond the boundaries of their homes. I did not really camp as a kid. I think I only did it once or twice with girl scouts and I was miserable. I think it was because I did not have the cool sleeping bags and things. I used my Dad's army sleeping bag and kids laughed at me. Kids can be so awful. Now I have all the cool camping stuff, so nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.

Have a good day!

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I go to church every week and for the most part I consider myself a Catholic. In light of the allegations of sexual abuse in the Church over the last decade or so, there are certain things that you have to do in order to volunteer with kids in our Archdiocese. So last night I had to go to something that is called STAND Training. This is a class that helps you recognize signs of abuse and what to do if you suspect that a child is being abused.

While I sat there watching a video, I started to think about my own life and the abuse that I endured when I was younger. I was in the 6th grade and he was my art teacher and it went on for more than a year. He also attended the same church that I did. I never told anybody until I had moved away from where I grew up and had graduated from high school. I was a really wild teenager, maybe it was because I had this horrible secret to deal with and it was a way to hide the truth. In many ways I feel shame over what happened and to this day I still think I must have done something to deserve it.

I was in counseling for a little while. It helped some. I deal with depression from time to time and I think that this is one of the reasons. It makes me wonder what direction my life would have taken had I not had to deal with this during puberty. It definitely makes you think about sex and sexual conduct in a very warped manner. I tend to be angry when I think about how my young life was taken away from me. I also wish that I could have seen my abuser in jail, but by the time I was ready to deal with things he was dead. I am sure that I was not the only girl he abused. I have a hard time dealing with my hatred towards this man and I also feel bad for thinking that I hope that he rots in hell. I can honestly say I would very much have a problem forgiving this person.

I know now more than ever that I need to protect my own kids and others from this horrible plague on our society. According to what they told us last night, one in four people has suffered some kind of sexual abuse. That is so hard to believe. It also makes me realize that I am not alone. To think of a child suffering like I did makes me feel absolutely horrible.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007


Pets can break your heart. I know this from personal experience. It really has been rough over the last few weeks. I still think about Vinny's soft face and I miss him. I miss his sad eyes and the way he used to lay at my feet. Sometimes nothing can compare to the love of a dog. A dog will love you unconditionally, if you just let him. It makes me sad to think about him not being around any more.

I feel sort of depressed right now. About ten days ago, our cat, Tristan, got out of the house. He is a rather portly fourteen year old yellow tabby. I found Tristan when he was just about ten weeks old at my in-laws house. I heard him crying and after about 20 minutes of calling and luring him with a bowl of milk he was mine. As soon as I caught him and held him to my chest, he started to knead his paws, I knew that I had to keep him. Over the years we have had our ups and downs. There were a few years where when I would call his name he would literally turn his head the other direction. He always loved Bob more than me, but I was okay with that. That being said, I miss him terribly. We have tried to catch him, alerted our neighbors and posted signs around the neighborhood. There were a few nights when he did come home, but he would not let us catch him. As of today, he has not been back for about four to five days. I have been checking the local Humane Society and plan to call the local paper tomorrow to post a listing on the missing pet ads.

Growing up we never had inside dogs and since they were not inside they were never really like family dogs. The first dog that I really felt a family closeness to was our Katie who passed away last year. She was probably the best dog that we will ever have, but maybe I am biased. I did have a pet cat that we got when I was in the 5th grade. She was a long-hair calico named Samantha. She lived to be about 19. My mom had her remains cremated so that I could bury her with my other pets. I cried like a baby when my mom told me she had died, but at least I had closure. With Tristan, we may never know if something happens to him. I just want to cry.

That leaves us with just one cat. He is another yellow tabby named Neal. It is hard to believe that he is all we have right now. Since December of 2003, we have lost one dog to cancer, one dog to old age, another dog to raisins, a cat to a blocked urinary tract and now Tristan to the outside world. I know that there is still hope for him, but as each day without seeing him passes, I start to give up more hope that he will return. Maybe he wants to spend the rest of his life the way his life started, outside and away from people. With cats one never knows what they are thinking. I just pray that he is not scared or hungry.

I wonder at times why I put myself through this nonsense with pets, but then I think about all the times when I have been sad and my dog was right there by my side. When my grandmother died in 2000, I can remember being comforted by a big fuzzy face. When I have been sick, it was my dogs and cats who were always by my side to support me. When I was pregnant with Sophia, Siggy used to listen to my belly like he knew that there was a baby in there and he became so gentle. Bob has always been here too, but something in the way a pet just wants to love you, helps you to forget about your troubles just for a while.

With all of this said, I am just going to say a little prayer to St. Anthony to help me find my lost cat.

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me the return of my cat, Tristan. The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the saint of Miracles.

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.


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