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November 2007

Saying "I love you," means never having to drive in Jersey.

I love my car - a Kia Sedona in a lovely shade of suburban sprawl - and spend a whole lot of my time, sitting in it.


Especially, this week, driving back-and-forth, while visiting my aunt in the hospital - thank you for your prayers and good wishes, they worked! - while she recuperates from diabetic shock, kidney failure, something some other hospital screwed up in her stomach, last time, oh...and...A HEART ATTACK!?!?

Man, the woman can fight!

Needless to say, the family has a long road ahead of them - the doctors have given Theresa about a year - and traveling down the shore (or, up the parkway) got me thinking.  A dangerous habit to get into, I know, for someone so, you know, dorky.

What is up with all the rudeness?

I mean, thank goodness Garth (not his real name) was driving, the other night - man, it was foggy - I had BOTH my hands free to let people know just how I felt.

Especially, you - WOMAN, driving the white SUV close enough for me to read your lips - kiss my rear fender!

[sits on hands for fear of poking an eye out]

Let me tell you, it's a battle and I'm seriously reconsidering my position on the alarming rash of Hummers I've seen riding around our quiet little county, lately, and perhaps painting Bertha (she's my car) a lovely shade of suburban assault!


Why, yes, I've always named my cars - it empowers me to have another female on my side and I also believe it improves my driving skills exponentially, okay - and, honestly, would you mess with a woman named Bertha?

[shrugs shoulders]

Needless to say, keeping up with our crazy schedule, AND one of the kids getting sick, AND the dog eating the last of the cinnamon buns - also taking into consideration, the ridiculous amount of time I've spent, driving and/or sitting on my hands, this week - my nerves are shot.

So, Garth (not his real name) sent me an email, this morning - one of the ONLY times we get to, you know, talk to each other, sort of - and I thought I'd share it with my online friends, and perhaps offer a better understanding of why I have a problem using the moniker "stay-at-home" mom - an oxymoron, at best - when I spend most of my time, on the road, with Bertha.

[blows bangs out of eyes and backs it down a notch]

Anyway, I guess you have to live in New Jersey - especially, the central, or northern sections  closer to NYC - to know.

But, this is funny, even if you don't.

How To Survive a Day in New Jersey

1. First, you must learn how to pronounce Newark....It is New-erk, not New-ark.

(Actually, it's pronounced 'NORK'.)

2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 a.m. to noon. The evening rush
hour is from noon to 7:00 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday

3. The minimum acceptable speed on the turnpike is 85 mph. On the
Garden State Parkway it's 105 or 110. Anything less is considered

4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jersey has its own
version of traffic rules. For example, cars/trucks with the loudest
muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires
go second. However, in Monmouth County , SUV-driving, cell
phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended,
cussed out, and possibly shot.

6. Never honk at anyone. EVER. It's another offense that can get you shot.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of Jersey .
Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment during the
middle of the night to make the next day's driving a bit "more

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks, dogs,
cats, barrels, cones, celebs, rubber-neckers, shredded tires,
cell-phoners, deer and other road kill and other drivers trying to, you know, hit 'em.

9. Mapquest does not work here -- none of the roads are where they say
they are or go where they say they do. And all the Turnpike EZ pass
lanes are moved each night once again to make your ride more exciting.

10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the
shoulder immediately to let them know it has been 'accidentally

11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65mph
zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be 'flipped off'
accordingly. If you return the flip, you'll be shot.

12. Do not try to estimate travel time -- just leave Monday afternoon
for Tuesday appointments, by noon Thursday for Friday, and right after
church on Sunday for anything on Monday morning.

There, I feel MUCH better - now that YOU know, I love you - don't you?

Have a great weekend!

If anyone needs me, I'll be at the high school volunteering in the kitchen for the kids' soccer banquet.


I'm scheduled in to be there at 7:30 a.m. SHARP - yes, I am one of THOSE moms, too - but, it's close enough to walk and I do NOT have to drive!

Stay-at-home mom, my rear bumper!

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Thursday Thirteen #4: It's The Little Things That Does A Momma Good!


Garth (not his real name) and I met on a blind date - his oldest sister and I were friends and  he only agreed to take me out (ONCE) on a dare - 2 months later, he proposed, I accepted and my father jumped Garth (not his real name) and nearly consummated the union, himself, right their in the middle of the living room!

"Cheese and rice, I thought I was NEVER going to get rid of her!"


Clearly, my parents were extremely happy - hell, my last boyfriend was a hockey player...10 years older and about 5 inches shorter than me...and used Elmer's glue as hair mouse - and everyone in the family pretty much knew that my parents liked Garth (not his real name) more than, you know, me.

17 years, 4 kids, 4 cats, and 1 sock-eating doofus-type dog later, my parents insist that I should start taking better care of Garth (not his real name) as the man is about as worn out am and they swear that he gets NO respect!

"Are you kidding me!?!?"

Okay, it's not like I don't know Garth (not his real name) feels a bit tied down at the moment - and not in a fun sort of way, either - I mean, I lived with the man long enough to know am NOT the easy woman to live with.

Hey, I'm Hungarian - not to mention, a Gemini and the female half of fraternal twins - we ARE an emotional lot and Garth (not his real name) knew this from, like, right after he asked my father for his permission to marry me.

"Someone help me get Daddy off of Garth (not his real name) please!"

After 17 years, 4 kids....etc...etc...I can honestly say that - although, we're both starting to show a little mileage and several weeks go by before we even get a chance to, you know, squeeze in a tune up  - there are certain things about daddy, that mommy knows best.



13 Words of Association for Garth (not his real name)

1.  Kisser:  luscious, suckable full lips such that Angelina Jolie would be, like, "Niiiiiiice!"

2.  Looker:  his eyes are a beautiful shade of green and sort of like the color of the ocean, after a storm.

3.  Humor:  slightly nutty, a bit Eddy Izzard-ish with a hint of Steven Wright.

4.  Coffeemaker:  a perfect pot every time and hands it to me, in the shower, every morning!

5.  Bugger:   kills spiders and other creepy crawlies, DEAD.

6.  Psychic Reader:  Knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'em, knows when to walk away, and knows when to RUN!

7.  Healer:  I couldn't have gotten through this week, without him!

8.  Believer:  balances work, play and a full plate of very cold pasta carbonara with the greatest of ease.

9.  Giver:  donated $$ to Thing Two's girl scout bowl-a-thon, and walks around with holey shoes, because he is Father Christmas.

10. Dapper:  the man can work a suit!

11. Tougher:  than most men (even some women...who shall NOT be named...but, 9 of whom happen to work in his office) I know.

12. Whiskers:  hence, his blog-alias....Garth.

13. Fodder:  makes for great blog.

It's things like these - little miscellaneous words of association that either rhyme, or end in "er" - that does a momma good ;o)

[Disclaimer:  the order in which items appear may change according to, and in keeping in line with, the author's mood.]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Whose Plate Is It, Anyway?



Ours is perhaps the only house where playing with one's food is terribly encouraged and taken to a MUCH higher level, I think - especially, when flaunted in the face of absolute suckage - can you guess whose plate this is?


Is it Thing One?


The Boy?


Thing Two, perhaps?


Or, was it this little devil?

Either way, rest assured that no one was harmed and that none of the animals (of the four-legged kind) were fed directly from the table and that burping, sneezing and random acts of flatulence - not to mention, various other forms of expelling one's bodily functions and there ARE many, trust me - were kept at a minimum during the filming of last night's dinner.

We're not total heathens, you know!

But, do NOT try this at home, I am a professional and have been laughing at the face of etiquette since 1993!

Sooooo....whose plate is it, anyway?

[Edited to add:  Dana, you hit the beefy on the head, it was Mini-me and you'd be surprised she can be, with a piece of London broil.  Garth (not his real name) and I refer to her as, "our little carnivore!"  Kate, not this day....but, thanks for playing along, anyway!]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Monday Mommy Tip: Let It Go!

Last week, I spoke of how much I used to hate Mondays and that - after years of taking quiet little moments for granted - it's taken me some time to learn how to stop, drop and breath.

Today is NOT one of those times.

My Aunt Theresa - my mother's only sister - has been suffering with diabetes ever since she gave birth to her second child at 20.

Theresa is also my Godmother, but has always treated me like a younger sister - she was 12 when I was born - and has been my mentor and one of my best friends for, well, ever since I can remember.

You see, Theresa and I have a lot in common - in more ways than one and some too painful to mention - and having been raised in a similar fashion, we both couldn't wait to turn 18 and Theresa is the one who helped me develop my...ahem...rebellious streak.

We shared secrets and our clothes, I was her full-time babysitter and she got me into the hottest bars - sorry, Mom! - and when I got married, I was very honored to learn that she was more than happy to be my Matron of Honor.

Then, I grew up.

Garth (not his real name) and I both worked very long hours on Wall Street (yes, NYC) and once we saved up enough to buy a house and then started having children of our own, we sort of lost touch.

Oh, Theresa and I called each other and saw the families on holidays and such, but we both longed for  each other...of who we were...back in the day.

Today, Garth (not his real name) got home early - a few minutes ago, in fact - to tell me that my parents had called to let him know Theresa is in the hospital, AGAIN.

Her kidneys are failing - no biggie, just one more thing on a long list of suckage dealt to one of the strongest women I know -  but, this time, she's refusing treatment and my parents thought it best if that I wasn't home alone.

Actually, my cousin had to take the phone from my mother and fill Garth (not his real name) in on the details, so that he could "break the news" to me.

"How could she do this to her family and give up so easily?"

Garth thinks she's being selfish.  I, however, believe the opposite to be true and think it would be too much to ask that, you know, she hang around any longer.

Theresa is 10 years younger than my mother and (at 55) she looks at least 20 years older than that!  Suckage will do that to a person.  Most of our family and friends know that Theresa is a survivor.  But, it seems that I am the only one in the family who does NOT expect, or even want her to fight, anymore and just let the poor woman go and give up, already!

"How could we ask her NOT to?"

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, or how in the world my mother and I are ever going to live without her  - not to mention, how in the hell we're going to tell the children that, of their favorite people in the whole wide world IS probably going to die - for today, I've decided to just...let it go.

I mean, she IS still with us and the hubs and I are leaving for the hospital, as soon as the kids get home from school, today.

Sometimes, life sucks - SHIT, I'm so pissed right now - and people around us are hurting and there's just nothing we can do about it.  Except, perhaps ask God that he, you know, step in, at anytime, really, if he feels like it and QUICKLY!

Nope, today is NOT a good day.

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

TGIBF: Stop, look and listen to how I really DO sound like Julie McCoy!

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone and it's funny, you know - not like ha-ha funny, but a weird sort of aha - it just hit me that, even though I'm glad that the week is finally over, it's been really, really quiet.

Shhh, just listen for a minute.


This is The Boy - after finding the courage to "volunteer" to dance in front of a whole bunch of, you know, people - this is what a sigh of relief, looks like.


This is Mini-me - after admitting that I was indeed her mom, REALLY - this is what accepting independence, looks like.


These are my girls - each very different from the other - this is what feeling a genuine sense of pride, looks like.

But, I was thinking.


A dangerous habit for someone with a limited amount of usable cerebral space available, already, I know.

[shrugs shoulders]

It's about time I admitted to myself (as well as the rest of the Internets) that, even though I may grumble at the calendar and growl about how crazy-busy our lives can, you know, get.

[bites lower lip]

I really do enjoy playing the role, there's so many to choose from, really, but I guess the best way to describe my current position with the family, at the moment, is...uh...wait...okay, I got it...a plucky cruise director.

Especially, when it seems that there isn't a day that something does NOT go wrong and I'm just trying to make believe that it's, you know, all right.

A motherly version of Love Boat's Julie McCoy, if you will, except - instead of regaling romantic and funny adventures - we're dealing with episodes and story lines that...well, if you're a parent...then, you know.


One minute, life is sweet and then...BOOM...the pipes break and a person can't even flush a toilet without having a backup plan, literally.

[cue:  Julie McCoy]

"Your table is ready, captain and there will be 13 joining you for dinner, tomorrow."

I was filling my husband in about our Thanksgiving plans and - after 17 years of marriage - he IS very well aware of the fact that, you know, I'm the one in charge.

"Okay, just remember to tell me what to do, what to wear and what NOT to say."

I know how it sounds - though, both my father and father-in-law happily admit having freely given up their manhood a long time ago - honestly, I don't believe that these men have ever really learned how to deal with all the noise.

I am so done with running back and forth - between this house, and that house - that I've decided to have Thanksgiving here.

All the time.

[collective sigh of...UGH!]

It's just easier, you know?

"Don't worry, nothing new to report at the moment, just sit back and listen."

As most families (I hope!) we all have our little issues and interacting during the holidays can get a little, you know, sticky.

"Well, I'm sorry to hear you feel that!...did I mention that my water broke and that The Boy got up and danced?"

Well, that got the room quiet.

"Yes, I even kept the two oldest girls home from school to watch!"

Funny - yes, like in haha - how FAR people's mind can wonder.

"Yes...hahahah...really and they even took pictures."

Suffice it to say, my family has grown accustomed to ways and everyone pretty much forgot about...well...everything else.


Mini-me and The Boy got a chance to decorate the tree.


Putting on all the pretties they collected, or made in school, over the years.


Sharing a quiet moment with the captain and then, they were invited over to my parent's house for a sleep-over for a couple of days....SWEET!

Of course, I never DID get a chance to show the relatives the other pictures - you know, sharing in those quiet little moments - and I guess they figure we could probably use some downtime and that pretty much explains why the older girls and I don't have any the moment.

[phone rings]

Until now.

"Attention everyone, there's been a slight change of plans...since, the captain has left for work early this morning and is no longer on board...all remaining passengers are invited to prepare for lunch on the Lido Deck!"

Time to put it in neutral - on the ONE day I really didn't plan on getting dressed, in the first place - 'cause I told my family that we will be home for the holidays and now EVERYBODY knows it!

Black Friday, indeed - you guys ain't got nothing on me - so, if you're not doing anything constructive, want to come over and help hide the laundry?

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Wordless Wednesday: Caution, I'm A Mom On The Edge!


I told you - didn't I - you can't possibly plan for everything.  Like, the water main breaking right, smack, dab in the front of your house on THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!


No matter, help is here and for that I am extremely thankful.


As should my kids' 1st and 3rd grade classmates - we've got NO water, I swear - friendship feasts aside, I'm going to be one stinky mommy, for real.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

[WW hosted by:  5 Minutes for Mom]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

U-Rock My Socks: Linky Love Bytes


Jenna has been a long-time blogging friend and, whenever I visit Family Living; Hatfield Style, her strength and perseverance never ceases to amaze me.

Jenna's about to give birth, too - seriously, like probably right about now - and, with Jenna's help, her adorable son, Nick (he's two and she's tired) is going to make a terrific big brother!

The love she feels for her family shines through her writing and for this - and much, much more - I'm sending her a love byte.  Thanks for being such a good blogging friend!

Jenna, u-rock my socks!


Looking for more Linky Love Bytes?


[Edited to add: Feel free to join in at anytime, we're here every Tuesday, try the veal!  The Queen of the Dorks thanks you, Mister Linky!]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.