Friday, December 17, 2010

Getting Settled

We’ve been here just under a month and I’m still getting used to the fact I can go out and buy food at any time of the day or night. And the shelves aren’t empty and if they do run out of something, they’ll restock it in a few days, not a week or month or never! It’s crazy. It’s freezing here so I am now the proud owner of two new winter coats (my previous one was a show pony, not a work horse) and have lost many a glove all ready. I am truly my father’s daughter. My mom used to threaten to make him wear mittens on a string and really, that would be the economical choice for me.

I’m happy to say this year feels like Christmas. When you’re in a place where the coldest it gets is 60-something and there’s no snow, it doesn’t feel very Christmas-y. Also, the Portuguese decorate a little different and with the streets being so narrow, it’s not easy to drive around to see the decorations like it is in the U.S. So walking into stores here and seeing tons of d├ęcor and trees and all the snow is amazing. It’s overwhelming (but apparently any store that isn’t a shoebox is overwhelming to me), and part of me thinks it’s a bit decadent with all the toys and things to buy. I’m reeling myself in which is made easier by the fact we are basically starting all over. Our things we stored in South Dakota are not here yet (and I’ve been warned most might be broken based on other people’s experiences) and our stuff we had in Portugal is still there and not expected to get here for three months. So we didn’t even have a trash can, a pot or pan, or even a cup to our names. So we’re starting from scratch.

I’m excited that we found a place to live. It had a lot of what we were looking for (fireplace, gourmet kitchen, nice office space, first floor master and laundry) and oddly the walls are the exact color I had planned to paint. My only complaint…who am I kidding? Complaints, plural, have been the plumbing issue, my lack of love for the stove, and the lack of lighting. The great room gets so dark at night. I need a visit from the lamp fairy.

There’s still so much to do and get ready, so no trips planned. I’m a little disappointed by that, but someone I live with is happy to stay home. I’m just happy to not have to get on anymore planes, pack, or worry about whether or not the food plane made it in or not. To me, that's a dream come true.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This time I'm getting interviewed!

Writer Claudette Young was gracious enough to interview me on her fabulous blog. Check out the piece here:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Illegal Adoption

I'm really not sure why I still remember this, but today, September first, is both my Cabbage Patch Kids' birthdays. So happy birthday Sandra Kate & Amanda Nicole wherever you are, which, knowing my mother (your fake grandma) you're both probably in a landfill somewhere. So sorry, what can I say? I don't even think your adoption was legal.

I still remember getting Amanda (formerly Paula Geraldine) for Christmas and my mother was trying to get me to name her Amanda Stacey Selby (Selby for actor David Selby from "Falcon Crest" so her initials would be A.S.S. Great parenting. Two years later, Sandra Kate arrived and she was a World Traveler from the Netherlands. Gotta love the foreign adoptions. My mother told my grandpa to bring his camera over to take her passport photo. It was so frustrating because I wanted her passport to look exactly like the one on the box (with just her face) and he kept getting a pic of her propped up on a chair and you know airport security would not allow her to get on a plane with that passport.

I was never big into baby dolls, I was more a Barbie kind of girl, but it was fun to dress them up and have Cabbage Patch Sleepovers. Who would have thought the little sweatsuits my mother bought for them would have predicted where I went to college?

So happy birthday Amanda Nicole and Sandra Kate. I hope you found happiness and that your illegal adoption will not follow me should I be nominated for the Supreme Court one day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Remembering Carolyn and John

I first heard about Carolyn Bessette back in high school where I was obsessed with fashion and spent more time pouring over magazines than my school books. I was in sociology class when I first saw a picture of her at a dinner with John F. Kennedy Jr. I had, like every other female with a pulse, thought he was adorable since he tamed his huge hair. I remember going to New York in 1997 and telling my sister we had to save our film when we went to Central Park in case John was playing football there. I literally took the camera from her and said, "Take all the pictures you want when we get more film, for now, get your priorities straight."

When I first heard the news in 1999 that their plane was missing I felt sick. I felt worse when they found the wreckage. But what shocked me in the days that followed was the way Carolyn's name was smeared in the press. They blamed her for a late take-off, for possibly using her phone while in flight, and accused her of everything under the son. This was a woman who shunned the spotlight even when every magazine on the planet wanted her on the cover. Now she was being torn apart on the tabloid covers. It was disgusting.

I had always admired Carolyn's style and I admit I bought things she had. The many black dresses that I bought because they were replicas of hers, the brown Calving Klein pants, the camel skirts, etc. And, yes, that is why back in 1999, I dyed my very dark brown hair blond for the first time. Sure my first attempt was more Jennifer Lopez than Carolyn, but by the end of the summer I had Carolyn blond...and a lot less money in my bank account due to the constant root touch-ups. But she was my fashion icon and if you look at any picture of her today, her clothes and makeup do not look like they were from eleven years ago, but as if she could have been photographed yesterday.

I live right on the Atlantic Ocean right now, although since I'm in Portugal I am on the other side of the coast. For the last three years being here, I have thought about the three of them on this day and the fact they passed away in the ocean and said a little prayer. Normally celebrity deaths are sad, but then the feelings pass, but with this tragedy, it was harder to let go of somehow. Rest in Peace John, Carolyn, and Lauren.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seraphine DVD Review:

Check out my review on this French film about a cleaning woman who went on to become a famous artist.

Seraphine DVD Review:

Five Minutes of Heaven DVD Review:

Check out my review!

Five Minutes of Heaven DVD Review:

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Night of Long Knives (Hannah Vogel) by Rebecca Cantrell Books Review:

Check out my review!

A Night of Long Knives (Hannah Vogel) by Rebecca Cantrell Books Review:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remembering a great man who meant a lot to me

A few years ago, I got an assignment to cover a school anniversary and I chose to write about the priest who made that school a success. Father Bush was not just the priest who baptized me, but who helped teach me about God and how to be a good person (stop laughing, I have my moments). He retired when I was little, but still came around the school and church and we frequently ran into him in town. He always acted as if I was just the person he had wanted to see. When he died, a different newspaper didn't exactly do a great job in summing up his life. To be honest, that particular paper had a knack for less than stellar pieces on those who had just passed away. So writing about him was my way of paying tribute to him--the tribute he deserved years ago. Oddly, I wrote the article in the early spring in 2007, but they decided to hold on to it because they were running graduation stories. It was then that I realized the anniversary of his death was coming up on the very day the paper would come out, so publishing it that May worked out perfectly. I've included the link so you can read the story yourself if you run your mouse across the title at" Holy Family parishioners remember Father Bush at the bottom.

Holy Family parishioners remember Father Bush

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub Books Review:

Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub Books Review:

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Thursday, April 15, 2010


Check out my interview (where I'm the one being interviewed for a change!) at The Gift: A Blog for Caretakers of Sensational Children from Lily Wolf Words.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's Fool

April Fools' Day has never been one of my favorites. Maybe it's because I don't enjoy pranks or perhaps it's deeper than that. I have a feeling my mom might have a little something to do with my fear of this day. It started when I was a little girl and my mom was pregnant. She called me into the living room and told me we should play an April Fools' Day joke on my dad. Her joke? She told me pregnant women faint a lot and it's no big deal, so run outside and tell dad that she passed out and she'll lie on the floor when he comes in. So like an obedient little idiot, I ran outside and told my father, who was innocently cutting the grass, that my mom was now sprawled out on the floor. He ran in (who knew my dad could sprint like that?) to find her on the floor. As he panicked, she began laughing. To his credit, he laughed it off, but looking back on it....yeah, not so funny.

Then there was the time when I was in fifth grade. My mother came into my room and told me she just heard my crush, George Michael got married and did I know who Karyn White was? That was his new bride. I recall sitting straight up in bed about to cry. Then she said, “April Fools!” and preceded to tell my that when I was at school, shen went through all my music to find a female singer that was the right age and who I would of course know about, but someone not so hugely popular that I would think that my mom would be aware of to really seal the deal. “I knew if I picked someone too popular you might think I was making it up, but Karyn was perfect!” Looking back on it, maybe she should have gone with her plan B, which was to tell me George had come out in a TV interview, since back then, his sexuality was more of a question mark. Had she gone that route, she might have saved me from tears and therapy years later.

So this year, I plan not to deceive nor be deceived. So if you have a great idea for a prank, leave me out of it. And I have Caller ID, so if my mom calls, I may or may not be picking up until it is safely April 2nd. I will not be April's fool again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Award!

Marjolein from Marjolein Book blog ( just gave me the One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks so much, Marjolein! I'll be looking for other blogs to give it to soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Best of 2009: Books Books Review:

Best of 2009: Books Books Review:

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Be DVD Review:

How to Be DVD Review:

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