Monday, November 24, 2008

Holland Loving Angels...Can you please help????

Hi guys...I know I haven't written here in forever, and am not sure anyone is even going to read this. Life has gotten very hectic and my DH has lost his job. I have taken on more of a second job and well there are only so many hours in a day. That is neither here nor there...this post is asking again for help for the kids at my school.

There are over 700 children at my school, most under poverty level. Each year we provide a little Christmas for kids who would not get anything at all. Please if you can (and I understand if you can't) please help us out. We will take anything from a Matchbox car to a Barbie doll...anything crayons, coloring books, games any toys. We would also love, glove, mittens hats, scarves, socks...ect. Teachers each year adopt a family or child, this year that has already happened and we have over 30 families which at this moment we can not help. Last year people who donated through here and the LODGE helped 35 families celebrate Christmas.

Here is how the "Angels" started Christine our speech therapist was working with a 5th grade student 9 years ago. The little girl told her she had never owned a Barbie doll in her life. She went on to tell Christine how her family did not have enough money so she had never recieved any Christmas presents. That year the little girl recieved 4 beautiful Barbie dolls and some clothes. At that point the Holland Loving Angels were born. Each year the amount of families has increased.

Please if you can help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated and you can know you made a child's Christmas that much better.

Please send any donations to:

John P Holland School
c/o Gloria Caruso
85 Olney St.
Dorchester, MA 02121

I thank you and Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Holiday season!

Items that needed
hot wheels
super hero figures
art supplies
play dough
really anything you think a kid would like....
The Rules:1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading).
3. List 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
Random things about me:
1. I love Disney and anything to do with it!
2. I love the theater.
3. My kids are my life!
4. I have taught computers, special ed and regular ed in the 22 years I have been teaching.
5. I love seafood.
6. My red Mitzubishi Spyder convertible is my dream car!
Yikes - tag 6 people!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you can????

Ok, todays post is about my friend Pat. She is the other computer teacher in my school. She is a year younger than I am, and has two beautiful little girls who are 4 & 8 years old. They are Daddy's girls because he was a stay at home Dad. He did taxes and everything was great. For the last year Pat has been planning her DH's surprise 50th birthday party with the girls in Disney. They have a reservation at 1900 Park Faire for 40 Believe it or not they actually booked it for her. Everything was running smoothly. Points were bought for the DVC stay, people put in hotels, reservations made for dinner...everything. The girls were all excited. End of August all of our worse nightmare happened. Her husband went to work, then came home, laid on the couch and fell asleep. He passed away during the night. My friend Pat found him in the morning. I can't imagine what hell that must have been.

Anyway, they have decided to go to Disney. The birthday party has turned into a dinner to see his side of the family, and to have the girls be around friends and family who had already planed on going. 

So, I ask if anyone who reads this knows anyone at Disney...a character, a manager, anyone who can sprinkle some of those Million Years dreams, or Pixie dust their way PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!! They have their hotel, airfare and tickets. What I am looking for is special moments for them that will make this not a sad visit to the Happiest place on earth. I ant them to have special memories of this trip. If anyone can help please contact me.

My email is

thank you

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A moment of prayer...

I am the praying type. I am not one to flaunt it or brag about it. To me religion is kind of personal, and I just don't really fit anywhere. I was brought up Catholic and I do believe in God, and most of the teaching I was brought up with. I just believe that the institution is now as corrupt as everything else, but not the teachings or the beliefs. I am not sure God or Jesus would like the Church today. Well, back to prayer....

The last month and a half has brought a lot of people I care about death or illness to people they love.

My friend Jenna lost her grandmother who brought her up after her mom died when Jenna was 12.

My friend Marie has a grand niece who is just months old and is struggling for her little life, and last I heard had gone into cardiac arrest.

My friend Judy lost a close family friend who died across the street from where she was working and she didn't even know it.

My friend Pat, lost her husband when he died in his sleep. He was going to turn 50 this Oct. and I had helped her plan a little of his surprise party in WDW. He left behind two beautiful daughters ages 5 and 8. I can not even begin to tell you how heart wrenching this particular funeral was and how images still haunt me.

At work two teachers have family members in hospice, and another one lost her husband as school ended to cancer.

It has been a hard summer of going to funerals and wakes. I ask if you are reading this if you could please say a silent prayer for the people mentioned above. All could use the support and prayers of even strangers. 

So, today...hug those you love. Tell them you love them and how much they mean to you, because you never know when they will be taken away. Live life like it will be your last day and have no regrets. Life is to be treasured and lived not to be agonized and made sour.

To those of you reading this who are my friends, thank you for your friendship and love. You guys always know how to put a smile on my face, even when you are considered only "internet freaks" You know I love yas! To those of you who read this and I do not know...say hi and maybe we will get to know each other.

God Bless...and please say that prayer.
hugs and love,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The branding...or paint my numbers on my ankle!

Guest bloggist Judy. My commentary in red.

The day began like any other day…..well, maybe not…..

Friday morning, a day off from folding t-shirts and sweatshirts, yippee!!

Apparently there was an email from Vanessa offering to fill in for the tattoo guy because she watched LA Ink in honor of the big event! Vanessa said that it’s just like paint by numbers and easy to color within the lines, so how hard could it really be?? I’m thinking that wasn’t the kind of support that was needed, and left a small hint of doubt in the mind of the one to be “inked”. That would be the day where either of these two Bozo's came near my ankle with whatever torture tool the guy used to paint on my ankle.

I arrived bearing gifts…..breakfast of steak and eggs! A last meal so-to-speak. Even the condemned are allowed their last meal so I thought, what the heck?? I knew that her favorites were the steak tips from Roche Bros. so I stopped off and picked up some knowing that I could get a lot of mileage out of the “last meal” idea. What I didn’t think of is what happened if nerves got the better of her, and the yummy breakfast didn’t sit well?? I have an iron clad stomach, as proof being my Pooh Sized figure...Yummy breakfast, even if it was my last as a non branded woman!

The morning passed fairly quickly, and the closer we got to “ink time” the more I could see the nerves coming to the surface. In an effort to keep her mind off of what was to come, we took Wrigley for a really long walk. He seemed to enjoy himself, but the more we talked I could hear the nerves creeping in. Nerves? You mean terror!!!

We were supposed to be at the Tattoo Parlor at noon for the “inking” or “branding” as it had been called. I did the driving because I honestly don’t think she could have done it, the closer we got the more the nervous “knee bouncing” became pronounced. Vanessa was supposed to meet us there for additional moral support, or as I like to refer to it, Comic Relief!!

We met with Taylor, the “artist” and discussed size and placement of the design. Much to Glo’s dismay, the design she chose couldn’t be as small as she had hoped. I could see panic setting in because she worried about just how it would look on her ankle. I heard these questions in rapid fire.. “Now what do I do?? Where do I put it?? I don’t want to change designs!” Taylor wanted it to be 3 inches!! Was he crazy? I have little stubby legs, lets not forget how tall I am!!!!

Well, ok…there’s options….shoulder blade (but keep in mind, formal dresses….it will show). You could do the small of your back (Ahem, I think they call those “Tramp Stamps”) and besides, YOU can’t see it back there!! Isn’t the purpose of having this so YOU can see it??

Ok, so ankle it is, just grin and bear it. Taylor said it shouldn’t take more than an hour, how bad could it be?? I'll tell you how bad %#*#*&^*#&^)#(#&#&%#!!!!!

Vanessa said we should have a leather strap for her to bite down on when it got bad, unfortunately none of us had a leather strap handy, so Vanessa offered her leather boat shoe and I offered my Mickey Mouse keychain ‘cause it has about an inch of leather attaching the charm to the keyring. I don’t understand why Glo didn’t take us up on either of those options!!With friends like you two who needs enemies!!!

the template

Now for the paint by numbers, coloring within the lines. Taylor made a template of the design and applied it to the area to be “inked”. It left an outline on the skin so we knew where it would be, but the fun would be seeing the colors go on. Glo was a real trouper through it all. She had a few moments of pretty decent pain and asked for a short break between colors. Taylor said that it would be better to just work through the pain, and so she agreed. There were a couple of times where Glo came to an almost sitting position in reaction to an area that he was working on, but for the most part, I have to say she was GREAT! He is lucky I had my other leg wrapped around the thing I was lying on and didn't kick his head off a couple of times... Boy that hurt!

It was really interesting to see all the colors take shape, and in just about an hour, it was done!! All in all, not a bad hour spent, Glo has a great tattoo, Vanessa served as comic relief, and I rewarded the “inkee” with a treat of a Dairy Queen Blizzard for being so well behaved and not kicking poor Taylor with her free foot when he hit a spot that hurt! Ice cream..Yummy!! Kicking Taylor in the head....well could have been satisfying at times but would have resulted in a not so nice tattoo.

Just like any other day off….a paint by numbers design on an ankle, many good laughs with friends, AND Dairy Queen to boot….who could ask for more?? J

The final product!

Yes, it is 100% real!!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The last day of the All Star vacation....

The All Star Game 2008

First I want to congratulate my dear friends CC and Jimmy on the birth of her first grandchild! God bless her! That makes my second friend my age with a grandchild...thanks for making me feel ;)

Ok, this was the only day of our trip without a hotel catastrophe. We woke up showered, had breakfast and off we went into the city. We decided since we were leaving after the ball game to head to CT, we would drive into the city, and take public transportation to the game. We parked at the Marriott Marque for $58 a steal in NYC and off we went. We visited with my BIL and niece for a little bit, then walked around Time Square. Some how a new lens for my camera made its way into my I walked into one of those NYC electronic stores and asked to look at it, t hen the bartering commenced. It suddenly went from $499 to $200, and all I had said was that I was planning on looking around first before I bought something. I probably could have gotten it even cheaper had I held out, but I wanted it. Judy just sat there smirking at me. Thanks Judy :)

We went and watched the All Star red carpet parade which took place down 6th Ave in Manhattan. They actually throw a huge red carpet down the middle of the Street and drive Chevy trucks down the middle with the players and their families in the back. It was quite entertaining to hear the roar of boo's come down 6th Ave as a Red Sox or Mets player approached. I have to say though that Judy, Katerina and I wore our Red Sox Jerseys everyday and until today we had no problems. People were downright nice! It was very hot and Katerina and I decided to find some shade under a tree while the tall one in our group took some of the pictures below at the parade. It is nice to travel with people that don't complain every two seconds about things that can not be controlled. After we met super secret hotel man and his wife at their hotel(Where else but at a Sheraton) for that all important All Star Game ticket exchange. It was nice to see him again, as always and he looked great as did Anne. We got our tickets and off we went!

Hank Aaron


We ate at Planet Hollywood. I am a tipper, I was once a waitress in another lifetime, so I tip well, but this waitress was horrible. Hardly served us, never asked if we wanted more drinks and seemed pissed off to even serve us, so she got 10%, and she was lucky.  Katerina found the Jonas Brother hand prints and it made her day! (I remember those days, only for me it was Sean Cassidy or Donny Osmond) As we left the restaurant we encountered naked cowboy. A Time Square institution he was there in all his glory. Ok so he does wear a Speedo, and he was probably real "hot" in his day, but now he has leathery looking skin that even I can see with my old age eyesight from across the street.  He could have used a shower that day too...Katerina was fascinated that he was allowed to play a guitar like that in public...Who is this kid? She can't be

After all that we headed to Yankee Stadium. We had directions from the doorman at my BIL's place and off we went. We were about to get off the train to make a connection to Yankee Stadium when a woman tells us to stay on the train and she would tell us when to get off. Judy in her quick wit asks the lady if she was going to give us "special" directions because we were Red Sox fans, and we all laugh. Ok, but in the back of my mind I am thinking of all the stories I have heard about Yankees and Red Sox fans, we are going to come out somewhere horrible in the Bronx...But I was so wrong she got us right to the stadium without switching trains or anything!!!

Our tickets were split so Judy sat with Randall on one side of the stadium and Katerina and I sat on the other. We kept trying to spot each other from across the stadium and finally did it. Poor Judy missed the Village People doing Y.M.C.A as she was walking to her seat before the festivities started. Are the Village people still the same ones from when I was in high school, or do they get replaced, cuz these guys could still move. In the 6th inning Judy was able to come sit with us since there were open seats!

The game was incredible. The longest in All Star history, thank goodness it ended when it did because there were no more pitchers for either side to play. Since the game counts as the winning team's league get home field advantage for the World Series. The game needs a clear winner. We left in the 11th inning because we needed to get back into the city. Having the Stealth bomber fly over your head at an incredibly slow speed was something. You wonder how that thing works. The ceremonies started with Sheryl Crow singing the National Anthem, and then out came the largest assembly of MLB Hall of famers ever in one place. Legends like Hank Aaron, and Rollie Fingers...real baseball players who played for the game and not money! Sorry Manny that means YOU!!!! Josh Groban sang God Bless America in the 7th (it was sung again in the 14th). One of the pictures below are of the snipers on the roof of the stadium, they were there every game. It was a game to remember and I couldn't have shared it with better people. 

Our one bad incident came during the game. There were some guys sitting a few rows ahead of us that clearly had had to much to drink. In about the 7th inning one of them got up to scream something and fell over the four rows in front of him taking out the people who were just so happened to be sitting there. A few minutes later he said something to his girlfriend and she threw his beer at him. The police escorted him out of the park, but not before he informed his other buddies that he was their ride so they had to leave. They weren't that drunk yet and common sense prevailed and they stayed as he was escorted out. Well his buddies were jerks and every time a Red Sox fan went left their seat they had plenty to say to them. I got up three times two of them with Katerina, and they made some comments. I chose to ignore them twice on the third time I told them what they could do to themselves. As we were leaving he made another crude comment and I gave him the finger so Katerina could not see. I got down to where the policeman was standing and told him someone was going to beat the crap out of the guy if he didn't shut I was talking he made another comment and right there in front of the policeman I flipped him the one finger salute. He was told to shut up and sit down by the cop then or he was leaving. I hope the dirtbag got escorted out eventually.

New Yankee Stadium

On the way back to Time Square the train was packed. A poor young girl stepped in with a baby and so I stood up and gave her my seat. A nice gentleman saw me do that and offered me his seat. The baby was named Elliot and was fascinated with Katerina and her hair. What a cutie, though what he and his mom were doing out at 1am baffles the mind! At about 1:35 or so we got to Time Square and watched a half inning of the game on the jumbotron there with a group who was out there watching. NYC is such an incredible city!

We got our stuff from the doorman at BIL's place, got our car and off we went to Stamford CT where out hotel for the night was. We hit construction on 95N on the NJ/CT border and didn't get to our hotel til after 3 am!!!! Did I tell you we had to drive home and get to work by 1 pm?  We didn't make it by 1pm, more like 2 pm but it helps to have the boss in the car with you :)

I can not stress enough how much fun we had. We never stopped laughing or moving. Poor Katerina and her wake up calls in the morning will give her I am already working on St. Louis next year and can't wait for Anahiem in 2010!!!

If you have had problems with this page loading on you could you let me know if it is working better now. Thanks!!!

Next adventure....guess who has a tattoo??????? Stay tuned for a special guest blogger! Can you guess who got a tattoo?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day two....who says all firemen are created equally

We got home the night before about 9pm and ordered room service. Nothing like getting a wheeled table brought to your room with pretty linens and silverware, even for sandwiches and desert. We all fell asleep almost instantly....

Then at the bright and early hour of 6:30 am the hotel fire alarm went off. I have never seen my daughter go from deep sleep to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. I swear she went from lying in bed to standing at the foot of the bed without her feet ever touching anything. Poor kid was so scared. I sleep in a huge t-shirt and could not go down that way, so I went to the bathroom and got pants on, as well as used the facilities. When I came back out, Judy was hugging her she was so afraid that we were going to die. We went down the stairs, and exited out the front of the building with everyone else. Of course it started to rain while we were out there. The range in age of firemen ranged from just out of high school looking to one older man that had to be extremely close to retirement age, who you knew had seen more than he wanted to. Squidly if you are reading this you are still my hot fireman!  2 hours later they let us into the hotel, but there was no power (Try going to the bathroom in a hotel without, and we finally left at 11:30 am to go into the city! The fire had been electrical but fire trucks from four different NJ towns responded to the call. Every hotel guest got a free continental breakfast that morning, and vouchers for a free full breakfast the next day.

Of we went into the city, again.  This time we took the bus into the city. We drove our car to a nearby stop and waited for the bus. We didn't trust "Fred" to get us there for less than the national debt, so we risked NJ transit and NYC transit. Fred had his own vacation under the seat of the car for a few days! I won't even talk about the NYC transit. How people can squeeze themselves in those tin can subways, day after day. I will never know. Just the people in NYC should keep the Ban Roll-on and Speedstick companies in business. Instead of hand sanitizer they should have people raise their arms as they go through the turnstiles...eeek! Not to mention that sardines have more room in their tin cans than transit riders, and all this for a mere $1.50 a ride, a bargain at half he price. We took the train to Ground Zero. The place still gives me the chills. We visited the fire station across from the buildings, and I am going to include some pictures, but it is still heart wrenching. Hard to put into words what you feel looking into that space. We also went shopping at Modell's and got lots of All Star stuff. Just what we needed more stuff right? Yup, more stuff :)

What is left of the original outside structure of the Fire Station next to Ground Zero

Ground Zero
Memorial in Fire Station next to Ground Zero.

We braved the subway again, and rode it to Time Square. We ate at the ESPN ZONE where even the women's bathroom had TV's in the John. We found some of the All STar Statues I mentioned somewhere before ( tough being old and forgetful) and here are a few. They are now up for auction on the site starting at 5K. The Red Sox one was going for 8K we never got to see it as it was hidden far away from the center of

Off We went again after visiting with my inlaws who live in the only residential building in Time Square over the M&M store. Time to get on the D train to Yankee Stadium, and got there in good time.

Off to our seats in right field this time between first base and the foul pole!! We had a great view of Hamilton and his 28 record breaking home-runs! It was a beautiful night with lots of fun, great time with my daughter and Judy. The pictures below say it all. I was hoarse by the time I got back to the room!

We left the stadium in the last round because it was after 12 am and we had to take a train to the city and the last bus out to NJ was at 1 am. We made it with only 10 minutes to spare to the bus terminal. We get on the bus and get to thinking, and we don't exactly know which stop is ours. The stops are on streets and we didn't know the area so quick thinking Judy remembered that we parked before the stop in this direction and after a while just started looking for her car. Luckily we saw it and got off at the right stop. We get back to the room and the room is a mess. It was never done up and there was an small incident that resulted in $50 being taken off our bill.

Even with all the stuff going on this was the best time ever!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A trip to remember!

What can I all my friends who are your hearts out! It was awesome with all the adventures and all!  It all started last Saturday. Phil dropped Katerina off at Cuffy's right before we left. We all climbed into Judy's Escape and off we went. We stopped for a not so quick meal at Friendly's in CT and then drove to our hotel in Stamford, CT for the night. We stayed at a Hilton so you would think it would be ok...right? NO!!! We got there and there were no rooms with double beds (which is what we had requested) so they promised us a cot. We waited, and a half hour later no cot (DID I mention it was 11:30 pm?) So, I called down to the front desk where they proceed to tell me there aren't any left and that they were going to move us to another room. Now it is 12 am and I have a very sleepy 12 year old, and crazy red head and me the hot headed Cuban with steam coming out of her ears....We are told that they are moving us to the 8th floor (but we were on the club floor :(  now we weren't), because we were now getting a room with a queen bed and a queen sleeper sofa. We walk in and it is the same room we had upstairs, there was NO SOFA!!! I adjust my glasses, but no still not there, so I go down to the front desk. Steam coming out of my eyes and flaring nose...Never cross a tired, grumpy, Cuban! I get down there and I ask the girl why I was given the same room I just had, and now I don't even have club privileges? It is now after 12:30am and I am ranting and raving when miraculously a double room appears! WOW, just what we had asked for over and hour ago! We are now on the 2nd floor...steerage here we come! We did get a free breakfast, free valet parking and a free $4 bottle of water (because at 1 am there was no soda in the vending machines). Judy and I had fun and exciting ways of waking up Katerina in the morning when she was sleeping to late for us....this particular morning it was having two grown woman jumping on her bed :) Yes, we are cruel! We got our free breakfast, even if we did have to track poor Antonio to get it...We checked out of the Hilton and we were off to Fanfest in NYC!!! We won't even talk about "FRED" the good for nothing male navigational system in cahoots with the NYC toll authorities! We proved "Fred" is male...he never gets the right directions or the most direct route. I had a few choice words for him. He kept making sure we paid the maximum amount of All an adventure though!

Fanfest was fun. We made a contribution to a children's organization and got fast passes to one...yes one activity. We got two passes we could use to cut to the front of a line. Judy and Katerina used it to do the virtual batting cages! Katerina went up against Schilling and Judy broke the cage! Ok, she didn' malfunctioned. First she kept getting the wrong pitcher. Then she got Randy Johnson for one pitch and hit the ball! Finally she got Wakefield and hit him too! She did better than most of the guys we watched!! Then we walked around, had our pictures taken catching balls over the wall...or in a baseball card! Then we went to the baseball marketplace...lots of fun!

After a while off we went to Yankee Stadium! To all you Yankee fans, I have to say it was something being at the park, knowing it was coming down. It isn't a Fenway Park but it was cool! You guys definitely have the best popcorn containers! Loved the atmosphere....I have tons of pictures I will add to this as soon as my DH brings me the cord to download them off my camera! We watched most of the the Futures game and the Celebs vs. the oldtimers game. We had a good time! We had some great seats and we never encountered anyone bugging us about being in head to toe Red Sox stuff! Anything Mets or Red Sox was booed by fans but they were very nice to us for the most part (I say that cuz the last day my middle finger and a yankees fan had an incident). Got back to the hotel around 9pm our only early night of the trip and had room service! More to come later tonight!!! Best things we brought on the trip Sprintzer bottles Judy bought us at BJ's so good when it is hot as hell up in the nose bleed seats!

Randall my friend if you are reading this you ROCK!!!!!! Katerina and Judy you guys are fun companions!

COming up....A fire alarm at 6 am....more crazy Cuban front desk antics (my name is on the Hilton hit list)...."Fred the GPS" gets the boot, and the Stealth bomber and snipers!!!! Keep on reading for more ALL STAR WEEKEND FUN!!!!