Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why Sandy is Obama's and Bloomberg's Katrina (and not in a good way)

Ok peeps... this chick is gonna let it rip!  I have sat by during this political season with not much to share about it.  There is a back story explanation for that, however this is not the time.  I just can't keep it  in any longer... this chick's 'bout ready to loose her shit!  I read headline after headline... Hurricane Sandy Seals Election for Obama. You know what I say?  I say it is time for a little history lesson.

Now, you might know that New Orleans holds a special place in my heart.  My husband and I spent 10 days there, leaving about a week before Katrina hit.  When we were getting ready to return home, we heard about a big storm churning in the Gulf.  Now, when we were there we spent a lot of time at the Convention Center.  I can not even begin to tell you how I felt when I saw the footage of people starving there, dying there, elderly people lined up along the wall seaming like they were just in line waiting to die.  The stories of the rapes, the missing children.  The footage of the Convention Center effected me the most.  I had occupied that same space.  I had sat in the same place where I was then watching on TV people dying from lack of food, water and medical care.  My heart broke for the city I had just fell head over heals in love with.  When was someone going to help them? How could it take so long?  The heat, dehydration...what a senseless way to loose life in our great nation.  You would think New Orleans was a third world county.

Here we are 7 years later and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  We don't have the heat of New Orleans, but the cold is coming and another potential storm next week.  I am blessed, we lost power for 3 days, no real damage to speak of.  Not like our neighbors to the south in New York and New Jersey.

That leads me to our history lesson of the day...

On Monday 8/29/05 Katrina hits land.  On Monday 10/29/12 Sandy hits land.

On Wednesday 8/31/05 Bush flies over New Orleans to survey damage(I am not defending this, just stating the facts). On Wednesday 10/31/12 Obama visits areas hit by Sandy.

On Thursday 9/1/05 Mayor Nagin pleads for help, his 'desperate SOS'. On Thursday 11/1/12 residents of Staten Island make desperate pleas for help, for food  and for water.

On Friday 9/2/05 the National Guard convoy of food and aid reaches New Orleans.  On Friday 11/2/12 the National Guard reaches Staten Island with food and water for the first time since the storm.  All the while, Bloomberg continues to plan for the New York Marathon to step off from Staten Island on Sunday 11/4/12. Though the Mayor feels it would be good to give people something to cheer for, he does an about face and cancels the race.

By Saturday 9/3/05 both the Convention Center and the Superdome have been fully evacuated.

Now, all I know was the feeling I had in the days following Katrina.  What was taking so long to get help to these people?  Now granted, Bush did not handle the press or himself well during that time, but reviewing the time line, it is strikingly similar, and yet Obama is a hero?  New York and New Jersey are nowhere out of the woods when you look at the immediate needs of people.  New Orleans did have the heat, but NY and NJ have the cold.  How many elderly people do you think are in apartments right now in NYC.  No heat in dropping temperatures, no power, no running water, running out of food.  What about all of the pets left behind? Dying of thirst and hunger shut up in apartments that there owners thought they would be back to in a day or two?  All the while, it is suggested that a marathon should be run.  Should the runners have waved as they jogged on by to the starving dying people who live in one of the greatest cities in the civilized world?  How nice it would be to have 30,000 runners converge on Staten Island, stepping on the damaged remnants of the belongings of the people who lost everything? All of the resources directed away from recovery and saving people to focus on this frivolous activity in a city that can not afford frivolity at this time.

I am also going to point out another pattern, one that I call the Vegas pattern.  Now I am not even going to get into Libya except to say that Obama took off to campaign in Vegas shortly after our 4 American citizens were murdered in Libya, one being our ambassador.  Now, cut to this week and where does Obama jet off to again following his brief photo op? Yes, Vegas baby.  Then, to add insult to injury, Obama is on the stump telling his supporters that they should take 'revenge' and that voting is the best revenge.  The only thing I can say to that is, NY and NJ should take some of their own revenge out when they vote for being left high and dry in one of the worst disasters in our history by the current city, state and federal administrations.  However, the sad fact of the matter is that so many won't have power back by then, they will be lucky to have gas to get anywhere and it seems almost impossible that polling places will be able to open in the hardest hit areas. Let's face it, their main priority is survival, not voting.

All I am left to say is...

Shame, shame shame on Obama and Bloomberg and I hope there is a similar song about them because just as Bush deserved this song, they deserve a song just like this of their very own...

Now, in the immortal words of Forest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

not my finest moment, or day for that matter...

oh curse you. the lack of sleep.  the hormones.  maybe even the moon.  all's I know is today was the culmination of some of my worst moments. really there may have been a number of contributing factors  but I take full responsibility for my actions however less than stellar they have been.
(Oak Alley in LA.  I took this picture on 8/2/05 just days before Katrina. The calm before the storm. 
I thought it was appropriate.)

so, cut to this morning 5:45am, on about 4 hours of sleep.  husband home this morning, he usually isn't so the morning can get a little dicey when he is added to the mix.  I ask him to put the bagel down in the toaster for me, no time for me to sit and eat... have to eat in the car.  I come down ready to leave. bagel is all wrapped up nice.  awwwe I think nice husband, fixed me up right this a.m.  I had no time to make a coffee, bagel would have to do.  off to my 15 year old's new school for a meeting, I bite into the bagel and should have known this was the day to turn around and just call it a day.  Bagel is dry, not a speck of anything on it! oh yum, NOT! I don't even have coffee to help choke it down.

I get to school, go to the office to sign in and believe that it is friday the 13th, clue number two that I should have called it a day. meeting goes well I must say... now on to work.

Email from sister in-law inquiring about train tickets we purchased to go to PA in December for a wedding.  I am suspicious that sister-in-law #1 and #2 are going to try to pawn my MIL off on us for the trip.  I give my husband a heads up. he assures me they wouldn't do that.  he says SIL #2 knows it is her turn to take MIL since we just took her on a 7 day cruise and 5 days to Vero beach.  I however am still suspicious of SIL #1 and #2.

Get to the work parking garage.  They are remodeling...very confusing to get around the changes in traffic flow.  Garage guy starts to yell at me.  How the eff can I hear him yelling at me from in his truck?  He is beeping the horn, waving his hands.  I literally loose it and yell "What!!!!" in a manner that anyone who heard it would be waiting for my head to spin and green slime projectile vomit to be expelled out of my eyes, ears and mouth.  I am embarrassed.  I park there everyday.  It is where my parking pass is issued.  fuck, I am going to have to see this guy everyday now...

In the office, follow up email from my SIL #1, prying info on our trail itinerary. I am not happy, I respond in a cryptic manner but she is not letting up.

I ask co-worker about a meeting on Monday.  Said co-worker has a very HIGH opinion of herself and her importance in her job. I put up with her and make nice on a regular basis.  today however, she decided that she needed to point out to me how very important she is and I got a serious SMACK DOWN.  I am still smarting from it. She pointed out to me how many fewer files I have than she does in a not very nice way.  Well than, on all days there was a guy in my office who thought he was having a heart attack.  First responders took him to the ER.  Well low and behold little Miss Bitch slap came and asked me why I didn't tell her they took heart attack guy out.  I explained that I knew she was very busy and didn't want to bother her.  Well she didn't like that. I may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but when you get a bitch slap like I did from her, I'm not exactly going to run to her and tell her all of the office news.  So then she plants herself in my cubicle...blah blah blah she keeps going on about trivial crap.  Meanwhile more emails from SIL #1.  Well bitch slap woman decides she needs to apologize, why I don't know and clearly she doesn't know me well enough to know that she could serve a sorry up on piece of your best anything and I will accept however I will NEVER forget.  People who turn on you once, will turn on you again.  HOWEVER, given my fragile(pronounce fargillee like in A Christmas Story) she kept going on that she was sorry and the more she said I began to feel the tears.  I can't effing believe it!! I never get emotional at work and here I go.  There was no blubbering but all the same the tears were there.  I would like to act all cool, but I thought she was a friend and I should have known better.  Anywho should have considered hanging it up at that point.

Now SIL #1 is still emailing me for specifics on our trip.  What is making me angry about this is that they know our position that it is SIL #2's turn to deal with traveling with the MIL however it appears that they are going to book her on the same train as us, this 78 year old very confused woman and then let us know we are responsible for her.  I swear I am about ready to loose my shit on this one! She is the same MIL who sent $25,000 to the Dominican Republic for the lottery she allegedly won.  The thing that kills me is that rather than step up to the plate and take their turn they would rather jeopardize our relationship. I finally do the unthinkable.  I told SIL #2 a different route from the one that we are really taking and told my husband he needs to call his sisters and get this shit straightened out.

Cut to my evening where I needed to welcome 85 scouts to the cub scout program this year.  I am dealing with nit picky leaders who seem to forget at times that the program is about the kids.  I can't even get into it but after 2 and 1/2 hours of sign ups, fundraising kick off and teaching them all how to make survival bracelets I was done!

But really I am not done as my oldest son is three towns over playing Magic the Gathering until 11pm at a card shop.  The town he was in is not the greatest.  he is supposed to call me 30 minutes prior to getting out.  I am driving there thinking everything is fine and that I will have some time to read before they are done. I get txt from him while I am 20 minutes away that they have been waiting outside and the store was closed than I get 'LOL' from him so I don't know what is going on but I am still trying to drive and get there with all of this going on.  They get in the car and he starts.  He can't understand what my problem is.  My big problem is that I was responsible for someone else's kid and if the reverse happened to me I would have been very PO'ed!

I finally get home 8 minutes before the end of this shitty day. Granted I am grateful for all of the things I am lucky enough to complain about but it just feels so good to put it out there.  Now maybe I can sleep.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hot Chicks in the Country...keeping them cool

Ok...I will admit it.  I sing to my chickens. Especially in this hot weather.  When no one is looking, I have been known to make up my own lyrics to songs.  I am not proud.  Some are good, some not so much.

As of late, it is hot... when it is hot one song comes to mind.  I don't know why and again I am not proud...I make up my own words and sing it to my chickens.  They are pretty indifferent at this point to my singing.

Anywho...I digress.  It is going to be hot here tomorrow, in the mid 90's. We have 40 Cornish Roasters ready to go to the butcher on Sunday. One more hot day to get them through.  Our hens are not as bothered by the heat but our meat birds are another story.  They are just not able to with stand the heat.

Last year, some of you may recall the sad day for our coop when we lost 5 chickens in the heat.  There are some very simple things you can do to keep your chickens cool.

#1 We have a tin roof on our coop.  We run a sprinkler all day in the heat.  It lowers the temp in there and really keeps it cooler. We also have 5 fans.  Yes it may sound like a lot, but they are needed. We have 2 in the windows and 3 stationed to keep the air moving.  Putting frozen blocks in the waters helps too and with the fans blowing around the waters, cool air radiates off the waters and circulates.

#2 See the lawn mower? Fresh cut grass in piles for our hens is a favorite and seems to be cooling for them. We also give them lots of fruits and veggies including watermelon and cucumbers.  These keep up with hydration.

#3 We give the meat birds a water supplement. Either broiler booster or quick chick from McMurry's Hatchery.  I found a recipe for a home made solution I plan to try.  I will let you know. These supplements have the little extra the birds need in the stress of the heat. I will also give some to my hens.

#4 Lastly we are ready for emergency response. We have the three buckets ready by the coop in the event that any of the birds need cooling.  A bird can die so quickly from heat and be saved from the heat just as quick.  If you have a bird in distress, dip them in water to cool them down.  You will be amazed how quickly they will respond and recover.  There is more detail in this post about cooling your chickens and keeping them safe while doing so.

Stay cool...all you hot chicks!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

If you had the chance to change your fate would you?

My 10 year old son and I will be going to see Brave today.
He is an archer.  We spend Saturday mornings at archery lessons.(where I am right now)
Ever since the preview of Brave started showing we have planned
to go to see it. Just me and him. I think he has a crush on Merida,
I know she is a cartoon character, but he seems a little smitten.

The big line in the movie has got me thinking of my life...
"If you had the chance to change your fate would you?"
Well, I did.
Let me preface this by saying I hate reading about people who made that big leap. Hated their job and took all kinds of risks to pursue their dream. Oprah's magazine is good for that kind of stuff hence, I do not buy her magazine.  When I read these stories that are supposed to inspire me, I am anything but inspired.  A personality defect? Perhaps. It isn't that I'm not happy for these people, but I can't help but the hell did they plan on paying their mortgage or feeding their kids while chasing their dream?

I am an insurance adjuster and enjoy all of the glory that comes with it(can you hear the sarcasm?)
When I was a kid I never said,"If I could only grow up to be an insurance adjuster."(see the stars in my young eyes...can you hear the 10 year old me sigh in contentment?)
Granted I never dreamed of doing this, but here I am...almost 20 years later.
It hasn't been all bad. I have done a lot of different things, I have worked in special investigations and do a lot of litigation work on injury claims, it can be interesting.
My first 14 years I worked for a great company that wanted to see its people grow and advance and I did just that, but it took a toll. I had 2 young kids and was working on the road handling high exposure claims on really bad accidents.  The injuries were either fatal or serious and it really started to take wear on me.
I hopped of the career track and for the past 5 years I worked for a company that allowed me to work from home full time.  Sounds great ehh?
Maybe with the right company, but not this one. It was a company managed by fear. Everyone else looking to cover their butt. It was stress and worry, worry and stress. I do not respond well to fear, most people surprisingly don't. There was also no career path.  I went from an environment that was collaborative and focused on advancing it's people to the extreme opposite. 
Was it bad enough to give up working from home? You betcha!
Things do happen for a reason(one thing was my kids are 5 years older now) and there were enough things that happened that I came across a job posting at another company.  It was definitely a step up and for the first time in a long time I was looking to do something completely out of my comfort zone.  Would they give me the chance?
Well they did and in what seems to have been a whirlwind, here I am.
I have changed my fate.
Yes, I am still in insurance but I am learning again for the first time in a long time.  I have a supervisor who is mentoring me to bring me up to the next level. I have a manager that sees the value in my experience and actually expresses that!
I guess the purpose of all of this is that to change your fate, it doesn't need to be as extreme as you might think. For most of my 5 miserable years with my former company I would think,
 "What is wrong with me?"
 But I learned, it wasn't me, I was stuck in a broken system. 
I had to find the faith that there are other systems out there that are not broken. I didn't need to start over in a different field or throw away my financial security to chase a dream. 

I guess all I am trying to say is, see the signs and have some faith. If you are unhappy, you can change your fate. It may not be extreme enough to end up on the pages of Oprah, but who reads that magazine anyways?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day...

to me! (and you too!)
some cheese and crackers and my favorite wine~ Apothic Red.
If you like red wine, try it!
It is a blend and just so yummy!
I am totally let my 10 year old sit next to me and eat Oreo's for dinner. 
I have some Ben and Jerry's half baked froyo for later to
enjoy with my latest obsession~ Downton Abbey.
I made brunch for my mom and MIL this morning so
the afternoon and evening have been my time.
I like time better than most gifts though I would never
 turn my nose up at a little sparkle or something from Coach.
My husband tried to give me a 'present' this morning but
I told him there is no re-gifting on Mother's Day.

P.S. I am so giving my two notice tomorrow! Yippppppeeeee! This is
almost turning into a 'Friend's Don't Let Friend's Blog Bluzzed' post.
Before it does, I am out of here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

chick interrupted...

if there is anyone still out there taking the occasional gander at my blog, thank you. 
Life was has been just crazy. It has run the gamut from despair to elation and everything in between.  out of all of the crazy, has come some wonderful life changing things.  I do not think any of it would have been possible without a little Divine intervention for which I am so grateful.

Unhappiness with my job situation has turned into a new job for me. A very exciting opportunity.  My dream job (if there is such a thing when one works in the insurance industry) more money, great opportunities for learning and growth.

Illness for my dad turned into him finally being diagnosed properly for his ongoing health problems that have plagued him for the past 4 years.

Young love has transformed my 14 year old to 'boyfriend' to a nice(ish) girl.  Boy has this been a learning experience.

Dissatisfaction with our public school has prompted us to find better options for our boys though this is still much in flux.

on Monday I will give my notice to my current employer.  I am so happy to be able to put that chapter to a close though I will miss very much some good friends who have been an incredible source of support on this new journey.

we are anxiously awaiting a letter of acceptance(hopefully) for a school we have just fallen in love with for our 14 year old.

we are giddy with excitement over a chick shipment due to arrive a week from Monday. 

Life has resumed.
Life is good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

a piece of cake...for 200 people

I needed a lot of this...
 and a bunch of this...

The girls had been laying up a storm, good thing since I needed about 20 eggs for the cake.
Everyone always wants to know what my secret recipe is for my Chocolate cake.  It isn't such a big secret...
I use the Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' Chocolate Cake recipe.  I do tweak it a little, but this is one of the best cakes I have ever made. It bakes nice and level, is dense and very moist.

After all the baking was done it was time to get down to decorating.  This cake was for the Cub Scout Banquet for the boys who were crossing over to become Boy Scouts.
I put a crumb coat on it and carved the trail to go up the mountain.
Here it is frosted and I put chocolate chip cookie crumbs down for the mountain trail.
Fondant canoe for the water.
Setting up camp on the top with fire, marshmallows and sleeping bag.
adding some of the water
adding trees, grass and rocks along the trail.
everything was edible except for the string for the fish, the bridge
and the sticks for the marshmallows. 

It was a great celebration for the boys and everyone loved the cake
(which made all of the hours I put into it worth while)
Next year my youngest crosses over and the cake will need
to be just that much more special..
time to get planning...


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blue and Gold

It is that time of year again for me.  It is Blue and Gold time aka banquet for
Cub Scouts and the boys moving up to Boy Scouts. 
I am a Cubmaster of our pack, yes it has taken me a few years to say
'I am a Cubmaster' with a
straight face.  My friends totally bust me for it,
but hey someone had to do it and I was tired of
it being done sub par.

We have a HUGE pack.  There are 84 boys and organizing 84 boys and families can be exhausting.
Thankfully we have a really good team in place that works really hard, but when things go bad
everyone always looks to the leadership.  So much to do to get ready but my big job is the cake. 
We have about 200 people in attendance so that is a lot of cake.

Last year I had a clear vision and was happy how I executed it.  I had just gotten back from vacation and had 2 days to put it together.  On top of that my MIL was here and y'all know how that can put me over the edge.

This is what I made last year:

It was all chocolate. I smelled like chocolate cake for days.  I couldn't get the smell out of my hair. 
I need to start baking tomorrow night.  I have so much to do, with just a sketch and 'kind of a vision' for the cake for this year.  I am nervous...

Monday, February 6, 2012

the welcome wagon

I remember when I was a kid my friend moved to a quaint New Hampshire town.
I had gone to stay with them for a few weeks right after their move and what do you know?
The welcome wagon showed up.  It was the first and last encounter I ever had with a welcome wagon.  I remember my friend's mother giving some, shall we say "nonfactual information" to said welcome wagoner.  You know, to give appearances that they were keeping up with the Jones.  Truth be told they had moved from a very small house in MA to a much bigger one in NH and did not have furniture to fill it up.
She made up a story about all the 'things' that they were waiting to arrive from MA. 
My friend and I giggled around the corner as we new that this was not true.
I will admit it, kids can be real tools and we were. 
Now that I am grown, the lady from the welcome wagon who visited my friend's mother
seemed more like trying to get the low down on the family than
actually welcoming them to the town,
but anywho I can be a little jaded at times....
I have my own welcome wagon.
Every time they see any human activity they gather and welcome.  
Some act happy to see us.
Some squawk like they have something to take up with the landlord,
but most of all they want to know what is in it for them...
some old bread, or other yummy kitchen scraps.  
No pretense and I love them for it.

I did partake in some post game misery.  I didn't shower, I'm not exactly sure when the last time I brushed my teeth and I have eaten more chips and cookies today than I care to truthfully disclose. 

I am dedicating this year to my year of health.  Last week I learned of a woman who was 5 years older than me and dropped dead from a heart attack.  I have to get my shit together here people.  I have to get and feel healthy.  I am going to take a shower and brush my teeth now, detox from cookies and chocolate tomorrow and develop my plan.  I am so happy I have picked this week as a I will be making a chocolate cake big enough to feed 200 people frosted with my delish butter cream frosting.  I can do this...I will keep you posted.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

No yo soy fiesta...

I am no party... I am sad.
My Patriots lost.  And when I say they lost, I mean they lost. No bad calls, just bad plays and missed opportunities.
I will not dwell... I am a New Englander.  We roll with it and deal. 

This is my Super Bowl as I wish to remember it:

- I wore my Gronkowski shirt all day and loved it!
- My 9 year old actually watched some of the game with us.
- My mom, dad and sister joined us for a pregame feast of steaks, roasted potatoes and blue cheese wedge salads.
- My sister made hoodie cup cakes. They looked so good and tasted so good too.

- The Doritos commercial with the dog with the note "You didn't see nuthin" was my favorite. Though the "Here we go" Bud and the Ferris Bueller commercials ran a close second.
- I will not be a hater, Madonna rocked the half time show!
- The Patriots lost because they lost. The safety, Welker's missed reception, 57 seconds left and 2 incomplete passes.  WTF you can't win with that.

It was a fun season.  I love the Patriots and watching all of the games.  Truth be told, unless my Pat's are in the super bowl I don't watch it, could really care less about it.  Until next year boys!

I have a good buzz...time for nun nights and to dream happy thoughts...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

t'was the night before the super bowl...

When all through the house, not an electronic was buzzing not even the TV.

The penalty flags were snug with all of the other party favors,
With the hopes of touchdowns buzzing in the air.
The jerseys were hung in the closet with care...
with visions of game day that is on its' way.

With a quick stop to the stadium to enjoy the excitement of the day...
Now Brady, now Gronk, now Welker and Light! 
Now Hernadez, now Wilfork, now Woodhead and Faulk!
Now Chung, now Green-Ellis, now Branch and even Ochocinco ! 
Bring that title home, Patriots' Nation is waiting!

Where on earth....

has this chick been?

Things have been busy...

We attended the Northeast Poultry Congress Show in Springfield, MA on January 26th.  Chicken stuff like this is usually reserved for just Pappa Chick and I, however we decided to make it a family day so I also dragged my husband and my 14 year old. I did have to bribe my 14 year old with the promise of Chicken and Dumplins at Cracker Barrel on the way home.

Let me just say, there were A LOT of chickens in da house! My little Pappa Chick wanted to go up and down every row of poultry.  Now I enjoy chickens just as much as the next chick, however I also have a very short attention span.

Being the bad mother that I am and seeing my husband and 14 year old's eyes completely glazed over.  I tried to move things along. I told PC that some of the rows were closed for judging and we had to skip them.

There were some really nice chickens...

there were these cuties, I just love any buff chicken.

Then the traditional Reds...  
and who doesn't just love a prize winning turkey?

This chick has also been cheering for the AFC champion Patriots.  Go Pats! In honor of the AFC game and the party we had, I tried my hand at a little chalk art(mind you on a good day I can't draw a stick figure)

I was pretty happy how it came out and super excited to be able to leave it up for a
couple more weeks while we await the SUPER BOWL!

Being the Cub Scout mom that I am, there was scouting involved as well.  Our Cub Scout pack always has a museum 'camp in' every January.  This year we camp in at Old Sturbridge Village. We had 84 scouts and parents attend.  We slept in different areas throughout there educational building. 
The educational building is a really fun building. 
They have all different areas for hands on activities from
cooking on an open hearth to weaving, games of the day, printing and art. 

We explored the village in the dark by candle light. 

The boys made cookies for their evening snack. 

Lights out for the boys was 10pm and then the staff let us use their lounge for a late night trivial pursuit game.

It has been a busy few weeks in my neck of the woods.  Hope things have been good in yours'.

Go Pats!