Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cash Only

There is nothing I love more than a visual pun. Unless, of course, you add some music in. Then I am just entertained beyond belief.

This sign wins for my favorite of the year. It was on the door of a lovely little coffee shop in Tarrytown, right next to the Tarrytown Music Hall.

As if this were not the double delight of music and graphics for me, it went right over the top with its name… Coffee Labs Roasters. Check out their logo.

That’s right, THAT kind of Lab. The whole place has a Lab theme. Check out the toilet paper holder.

Of course they support sustainability, are Rainforest Alliance Certified and Bird Friendly (I know, bird friendly Labs sound like a bit of a stretch).

You have to love the tagline: Grown Globally. Roasted Locally. I want to marry this coffee place. Or at least sleep with it!

If you are ever in Tarrytown, check them out. Oh, and their coffee is good too.


Filed under carry a camera, music, restaurants

Time to Cry Tuesday – On Getting Happy

This was posted on Facebook today. The best part is that it was posted by a condom company. I know, all sorts of jokes brewing on that one.

I love Sir Richard’s, they are a condom company with a conscience. For every Sir Richard’s condom you purchase, you contribute one to a developing country. They are sort of the Tom’s of condoms.

Back to happiness. There are plenty of things to be happy about; equally as many to make you sad. The key here is what makes you happy on the inside? As a natural state. Maybe Warhol was right… the key is your willingness to get happy.

About nothing.

Sort of lifts the burden of misery, no?


Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays

Dock Shoes

So, you are invited to eat at a dockside waterfront restaurant. You look in your closet and think, ‘These will be the perfect shoes to wear for such an evening.’

I guess if you are smoking crack, maybe!

What the hell? This young woman – she could not have been more than 21 – was wearing these babies with a skin tight micro mini white lace number. Sort of like hooker-not-so-chic. These gave tacky a whole knew meaning. The peace sign anklet has me a little confused. It surely did not go with the rest of the outfit.

We never did get the chance to see her walk on the deck in these. I am hoping her date had a good grip on her arm.



Filed under absurdities

The Graduation Post 2 – Zen and the Art of Letting Go

Here is the second of the graduation posts. How different to graduate your youngest child, this is when YOUR life changes the most. Timely as he is leaving for the summer today after only 3 weeks home… the longest amount of  time he has been here in 2 years. Hey, we raise them to grow up, kiddies. THIS is the good stuff. 

There are times in your life when you simply have to let it go. When you are a parent – and a control freak to boot – letting go is not the easiest thing to do.

But I know better. Time marches on and either we march along with it or we get trampled. Ok, so maybe I feel some boots on my back right about now. And I know I am not alone.

So, to all of you who are trying to march into step with the graduation class of 2010, here it is: the Time to Cry Tuesday post about graduating your youngest child.

The other day, during the 4-hour end of school/pre-camp errand, Danny and I found ourselves in the bookstore and I came across Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenanceby Robert M. Pirsig. This 1974 novel was one of my most favorites back in the day – whenever the hell ‘the day’ was. Maybe High School, or college. I like to recommend some quality books to my kids in between the trash so I suggested that he read this. After being rejected by over 121 publishers it went on to sell over 4 million copies and was translated into 27 languages.

I suppose I was not alone in my love for this book.

While he browsed, I stopped at the Starbucks to try to alleviate the sleep-deprived haze I found myself in that is all too familiar this time of year. I began to refresh my memory by reading the back of the book. Up until this moment I had done a damn good job of holding it together. He is ready. He is excited. He is moving on to the next chapter of his life with the confidence and unbridled passion that only a young man of almost 18 could have.

I was good, I tell you, until I read this:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination about how we live… and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better… an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of love and fear – growth, discovery and acceptance – that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions…

And that was when it happened. I broke. There in the Starbucks while ordering the grande iced latte (not even half caff, for G-d sake) I could not breathe. What if I had not imparted enough to him? Could I have done more? Could I have ‘lived better’ by example? Why did I never take a motorcycle trip cross country with him when he was younger ? (ok, that one is a stretch) Wait, I need a do over! I am sure there is some colossal parenting task I did not achieve well enough. Seriously, it went too fast, how could he make it without me?

And then I looked across the store.  And there he was, with that scruffy almost-beard and that ultra-confident, but in no way cocky little swagger that he has. And I realized the only wisdom that was not realized was my own:

The Art of Letting Go.

My friends, the road is long. And then it ends(ish). But as we who havegraduated the siblings before these kids know, being a parent is a life-long job. And this stage is in many ways more fun than any of them. They are the people we grew from babies.

Their own people. And with any luck they will take care of US when we are old. (which may be sooner than I think if I don’t get some sleep soon)

To my boy, may we always have days like these past few weeks we have shared. Thanks for humoring me through them. And for making me so very proud to be your mom.

I love you. Now go and be all you can be.

And be careful.


Filed under danny, family

The Famous Graduation Post 1 – This is Not a Dress Rehearal

I have decided to make this an annual post at graduation time of year. I wrote this before I was a blogger. It was an email I sent to those who had been parenting with me since preschool. It was written on the morning of my daughter’s HS graduation. It still makes me cry. Funny how she is now a COLLEGE grad, one year out and has been living home, soon to move on to her own apartment. THAT will be some post… the final launch.

This is not a dress rehearsal…

or watch the temp when you decide to iron the graduation gown.

6AM on the day that my first child graduates high school.

how can this be, she was just a curly-headed little whirling dervish whose door i had to hold shut as she was throwing her ever famous brand of temper tantrums. that same door with the loose latch from all the times she slammed it for effect when she stormed into her room in her tweens. you know the one, who at five years old marched into nuerosurgery to ‘get her neck fixed’ and never once asked ‘why me?’.

who was that radiant young woman that walked out of the house wednesday morning with her car packed and her keys in hand saying, “don’t worry mom, i have the garmin GPS, i don’t need a map!”

well i think, perhaps, i need a map today. someone tell me how to navigate this road. we surely have had enough practice. we graduate them ad nauseum – from the 4’s, kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade – the most graduated generation of all times. you would think we would get used to it. but this year’s cap does not have flourescent orange and green finger paint decorating it. this kid has actually grown up! how dare she. does she not know that my bravado this year has all been an act. of course i could not be ready for her to be the competant, independent, grab-the-world-by-the-balls person i worked so hard to raise. does she not know i was only kidding!! wisconsin?!! that is halfway across the country!

i digress – back to the gown and the iron. being a working mom i always look for ways to overcompensate and make sure that i am doing the mom thing as well as the work thing. so, of course, they both are never really quite up to the standard i expect. somewhere in the 4-page green directions for graduation (you know the one, where the assistant principal gives them a 10 bullet list for how to enjoy graduation and prom, 9 of which stress not drinking or doing drugs) there was mention of taking the gown out of the bag and ironing it. at midnight i was the mom who would just hang it up. at 6AM i decided no daughter of mine will graduate with a wrinkled gown!

so why is it, exactly, that they make these things out of the same material as basketball shimmer shorts?!

no, you will not be able to notice my daughter by the big brown iron mark on the back of her white gown. but if you look close, you may notice that on the front left shoulder the fabric is, how should i put it, a tad ‘melted’.

as jana would say, ‘it’s FINE’. as my parents would say, i did it ‘the Amy way’.

a huge thank you to the jana who has become one of my favorite people on earth to spend time with. surely the one that knows me the best, and loves me anyway. sometimes it seems that she is raising me. i think her humor and radiant smile will get me through this one. levity has always been her strong point.

love and congrats to all of you who have been in the parenting trenches with me the past 18 years. for some of you it is your first, others, your last. it is never easy to watch them go. but then again, we could all use a rest. and as my mommy mentors tell me, they come home, stay out all night, sleep late and bring lots of laundry.

let the games begin!


Filed under communities, family, Jana, parenting

Disco Sushi

This is how my lobster roll came to the table tonight. For 12 bucks you can’t beat that kind of dinner theatre.

1 Comment

Filed under food, restaurants

Babushka Lip Gloss and The Impulse Buy

I found these at the counter at Bed Bath and Beyond. They were sitting at the checkout in the coveted impulse buy spot by the cash register. This is the spot where they put those items that you just can’t resist. Or… this item.

I am convinced that the buyer saw these and told their assistant, “oh, these are kind of kitch, order 10”, meaning pieces and the assistant accidentally ordered 10 cases. That is when the impulse buy spot becomes the we are desperate to move these babies spot.

When I was in HS I worked at a drug store chain and this exact thing happened with a crazy product called Top Coverage. Check it out.

Yes, kiddies, this product claims to be the hair loss concealer that ‘erases bald spots’. Top Coverage is easy to use: just spray on the thinning area, bald spot will disappear instantly. You can choose black, brown, light brown or gray to match your hair color.

Or not.

In actuality it is spray paint for your bald spot. I think it probably worked better for the comb over guys.

After many laughs at the 6 cases vs. 6 pieces fiasco we used this stuff to spray paint doors, make signs, you name it.

Oh the wonderful world of retail!

1 Comment

Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, humor, products

Time to Cry Tuesday – Camp Trunks and Badger Tickets

For the past 13 years I have packed 22 camp trunks and duffles. When the kids were young, this was a process that started weeks in advance. I was old school and insisted upon sewing all the name tapes. Clothing and linens lined the living room with stacks of plastic boxes filled with quarters, phone cards (no cell service there), bug spray, bandaids… and every item that I could think of to keep them prepared. (still not sure what the thumbtacks were for)

The ritual of buying toiletries, packing them in plastic shoe boxes and having a ‘family mall day’ to buy new sneakers, socks and whatever else they needed, was part of the June frenzy that parenting spawns.

This year I have one kid heading back up to the Adirondacks for his 11th summer, his 4th as a counselor. The familiar comment, ‘the trucks go out on Monday’ that used to elicit a slight sense of panic deep in my soul was now answered with, ‘hey, maybe we should take them out of the attic’. And that comment was on Friday.

Family mall day yielded one item, a new pair of crocs. No new socks or sneakers were purchased; we have finally learned that 8 weeks at summer camp ruins them both and new ones should be bought at the end of the summer.

My boy has been a counselor of young kids for 3 years and can fold better than I can at this point. He has moved out of a dorm and into an apartment and packed to come home from Wisconsin on his own for the past 2 years. My role in this was more about tradition than real need. And the chance to share an activity that we both knew was probably going to be the last. Bittersweet, indeed.

This morning, that trunk and duffle – packed in under 2 hours – sat in the front hallway and the biggest excitement of the day was his waking at 8:15 to get online for the lottery for Badger season football tickets.

June is a whole different month than it was when they were little!

Leave a comment

Filed under camp, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Prehistoric Daughter

Being a family of women who are not known for our love of shopping, Jana and I try to do little things along the way to entertain ourselves.

As we were walking through Century 21 (the discount store, not the realtor for those who were confused last week), we came across a rack of fur jackets and dresses. As I was snapping away, my dear, sweet, thoughtful daughter uttered the words every blog mother dreams of, “Do you want me to try this on so you can get a shot of it?”

Being the coy blogger and considerate mother that I am, I asked, “Do you mind if I do a post on this?” Her response? “When I offer to do something like this it is understood that you want to blog about it.”

Damn I love that kid.

We have always held to the idea that women are slaves to fashion and will wear just about anything that the fashion gods tell them is chic. This dress was no exception, until Jana tried it on. She said, “Hey, I get why people would want to wear this. It is soft and warm.”

This style has a certain prehistoric charm to it, don’t you think?

1 Comment

Filed under absurdities, fashion, Jana

Time to Cry Tuesday – Sometimes You Get it Right

This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining my dear friends at their wedding. This being a second marriage for both of them, it was a very different celebration.

The room was filled with friends and family, as most weddings are. But the difference in this room was that many of us have shared our lives for the past 20 some odd years. We have raised children, grieved parents, nursed each other when sick, celebrated joys and held each other up in sorrow. The love in that room was almost overwhelming.

We are a community. In the true sense of the word. There was a moment on the dance floor when all our close friends were dancing in a circle around this couple. I looked around at the faces of my friends and thought, this is one of those moments. The ones we remember for a lifetime. A very moving moment indeed.

These two people in the center of this celebration were joined together as a mature couple (ok, grown-ups might be a better word, we are all a little adolescent in our behavior). As the groom stated so eloquently in his vows, he felt so very lucky to be marrying his best friend. With that foundation they are sure to live a happy life together.

Sometimes you get it right. They surely have.

And hey, when else have we ever done the Horah to Satisfaction? Great party for a great couple.

With all the love in my heart – and flashbacks of a scarier time in your lives that have bound us eternally – I wish my dear friends much health and happiness. Love you guys.


Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays