Category Archives: stress

Wine and Wisdom

photo 2

Friday night could not come fast enough this week, and with it came a lovely bottle of Ramsay Pinot Noir. This bottle was quite delicious. I highly recommend it.

As if drinking a nice bottle of wine over dinner on a rainy night with my husband and son was not pure heaven enough, this label topped it all off. For those reading on a mobile, here is what it says:

Even though I know how to use a Smartphone, I’d still rather go dancing than watch television, and I find nothing more satisfying than singing with my friends next to a fire. We are here so briefly that missing a single opportunity to connect with people seems a crime. That’s why we drink wine – it softens the hardness of the day and loosens our tongues so that we may confide in a friend, share the day’s events with a spouse, or sparkle with a lover over a romantic dinner. That is why we are alive – to be together.

Thanks Ramsay… great way to end the week!

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Filed under stress, wine, work

Time to Cry Tuesday – Coping

Air travel in the year 2011… it’s a crap shoot. Weather. Fees. Lack of customer service. Delays. It all makes leaving the basement a little bit harder, but worth it. And honestly, I do sort of live for the little bag of animal crackers.

It seems once things start to go wrong, they do so in a really big way. The more you bitch the worse it gets… the harder you pull the tighter it gets.

Like the man at the counter who asked the woman, “why did the later flight to LGA leave before us?” AND, he was nasty about it.

My answer? “Because it did.”

Really? I mean sir with the white hair and the white sweater at JetBlue gate 14  at PBI last night… did you really think that poor woman needed to be tortured by the likes of you?

Weather makes planes late. Period.

And when it does, it can do so with a vengeance. Here is my tale:

3 hour delay, 1 hour on runway, the worst turbulence – which is not an issue for me but others… yikes, circled JFK for 1 hour, (pilot talked of low fuel – why do they do that exactly?), diverted to Newark – oops no runway, circled some more, diverted to Dulles, circled some more (um about that low fuel comment?), turbulent landing (remind me why I am now in DC, again), hour and a half on ground IN hot cranky plane in DC, turbulent take-off, turbulent landing and finally landed at JFK around 2AM . Not bad for a 4PM flight from PBI. Oh and of course an hour for the bags to come out… on the wrong carousel.

And what did I learn? Basically, when it starts to go wrong you just have to roll with it. Coping makes it less unbearable – panic makes it worse and bitching just makes you… well, a bitch.

Yes, it is uncomfortable, yes it is an inconvenience, and for many it is traumatic.

And then its over.


Filed under stress, travel

Time to Cry Tuesday – Say a little prayer


Ok, grab a tissue now because this one brought my whole family to tears.

High School sports. High stakes in the lives of young athletes who dedicate themselves to being the best they can be in order to play their game of choice in college. They switch schools, travel endlessly and make any sacrifice asked of them in order to realize their dream. They never quit and they never say die.

However, the tricky thing about sports is how in a split second the game can change. Not the game, but the GAME. The whole ball of wax sometimes hinges on a moment in time. This weekend we witnessed one such moment. Our boy (not our genetic one, but the one we choose) came down wrong on his ankle and was carried off the basketball court. In those minutes after the injury the shock, fear and anger was so thick you could cut it with a knife. And that was me, can you imagine how he and his real parents felt.

I have written about this young man before when his team won the state championship. (I recommend that you click that last link as his story is a great one – don’t worry, I will wait).

I am happy to report that with any luck the injury is hopefully only a sprain. But the pain in the heart runs way deeper with the realization that you just never know. I am a fatalist. And a coper. And that is fine when I am dealing with my own stuff, but when it comes to one of the kids – not so much. When you see a young person work so hard for something you want to see them succeed. And yes, the coping piece is a big lesson, but not today, k?

He is a trooper. Right after the ER visit he was sitting at the dinner table pounding cupcakes and cracking jokes, trying his best to suck it up when we all knew how hard this was for him. BTW, We were quite impressed with his skill of eating a cupcake whole in one bite. (oh to be 16!)

So, on this Time to Cry Tuesday, I want all of you out there who have ever had a dream – whatever your religious persuasion (and even you atheists) – say a little prayer for our guy to get back on that court again soon and play his heart out…

before he drives his mother absolutely crazy.

(had to use this picture again because I simply love it. The one on the right is my son)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under games, sports, stress, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Shopping ; (





No, for real, I am a Jewish girl that simply loathes everything about shopping. Of course sometimes it cannot be avoided. Like the day of a special event, for instance. I am famous for going out around noon before a party and looking for something to wear. Not just shoes, or pantyhose, the whole outfit. Yesterday was no different.

I started at a local boutique in hopes of not having to venture to the dreaded mall on a Saturday. I walked in, tried to act nonchalant and then there she was; the ‘Personal Attention Saleswoman’. Now, I know this is the basic reason why many women shop in this kind of store. I walked in and the PAS was on me in a second. “Can I help you? What are you looking for? What kind of event? Might I suggest…” yadayadayada, to the point where I am ready to scratch my own eyes out. Yes, you guessed it.



Personal Assistance.

I feel bad because she really was lovely. But, she was wearing both a blouse and jeans that were 2 sizes too small for her. Her cleavage was actually screaming at me as she adjusted the top I tried on. Oh, sweetheart, BACK OFF. I seriously don’t do the adjustment thing. Did she not know about my personal space issue?

The thing is, I have lived in this body for a long time. I am fully aware of what works and what doesn’t. So PLEASE, stop telling me how great this will look on me when I already know it is a ‘no can do outfit.’ Ok, so one armload of nothing looks good on me, this is all to expensive, no I will not try these on with 6 inch stiletto heels, I do not dress like a cheap hooker kind of exercise and I was in the dressing room, sweating, trying to figure out how I could make a beeline for the door ASAP.

Out of that place and on to the mall where I started to freak out almost immediately. There must have been some sort of Disney event going on and at least 60% of the people in the mall were wearing mouse-ka-ears. No joke. First I passed an old women with a walker, then a baby in a stroller, then an entire family wearing these things. Proudly! Gary has called me Amy Mouse for years after seeing pictures of me as a young girl. Ok, maybe I was a little mouse-like. I was convinced that perhaps no one was actually wearing these ears, but in fact, I had finally snapped and was hallucinating.

At one point I was in a dressing room trying to get into one of those tops that has the drapey overthing with an attached tank top and I was stuck in it like a straight jacket. (hey, if the straight jacket fits…) I was fearful that I would never get out of that thing and was a minute away from calling for assistance.

You will be happy to find out that after what seemed like many hours I did come up with a skirt I loved and made it work with existing wardrobe items.

Now if I can only get rid of this recurring dream about Mickey Mouse in stiletto heels.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under body image, products, stress

Technological Flu


(no this is not a picture of my desk, but it was tempting)

Today was some day. I am pretty sure all the technology in my office got together while I was in the bathroom or making coffee and plotted against me. First, my email account decided to completely stop sending emails. Oh, it would receive just fine, but not a single message would go out. Luckily I am a lunatic with many email addresses, but this was the main one. Wait, was I being censored or just paranoid? Or both?

Then, of course, the blackberry decided to wig out because I changed the password on the email account in lieu of kicking the CPU (that rarely works).

When I plugged the digital camera into the USB port it opened the scanner software instead of the image download utility. Why? To mess me up of course!

For the last few days my large format printer has had a low ink blinking light on one of its eight color cartridges (does it really need light magenta to print? give me a break with the 8 colors!) Could this have been a signal to the other equipment to start acting up? What? This sounds delusional to you?

Of course today was an insanely busy work day, when else would all of this stuff happen? 

On my bulletin board over my desk sits a quote,

“When the mechanical-technological things in our life break down, it is not a personal attack on us. It is just the nature of the mechanical-material world”

Lovely. I feel much better, thanks. Makes half a lost day seem ok now (not!)


Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, stress, technology, work

Time to Cry Tuesday – Success

Before I begin this post I must point out Jana’s comment on yesterday’s hamster post. “You forgot to mention how after she died we kept her in a shoebox in the outside refrigerator for over a month before we got a chance to bury her.” Yes, we did actually freeze the dead hamster in the garage freezer in a box that was clearly marked. From what we can remember the ground was too frozen to bury her so we ‘stored’ her in our little makeshift morgue… next to the frozen waffles. Ok, maybe a bit quirky, I will admit that. (see below on raising non psycho kids)

silosuccess-mugThese crazy economic times have made so many people re-evaluate the meaning of success. Honestly, if I hear one more person bring up this topic I will be tempted to poke them in the eye. So I would fully understand your disgust if you don’t want to read my 2 cents here (or should I say my 1.25 cents with the state of the market).

Nowadays, flat is the new up (thank you to my financial friends who brought this to my attention). Poor is the new rich. So how do we begin to reconcile the true meaning of success when everywhere we hear stories of people who have worked their whole lives, lived prudently and saved only to find themselves nowhere near the comfort level of security that they imagined. Or worse.

Let me redefine success. 

Today’s definition of success is the ability to keep one step ahead. To continue to plug away and make it work. To love what you do, or at least not hate it, even if it is not as financially lucrative as it once was. To think creatively of new ways to make your life full instead of filling your life. To be truly successful is to take stock in what works in your life and be grateful for that . As my Nana used to say, to look at those below you instead of those above, for there are many more in worse shape.

To have raised healthy productive children (translation: kids who are not psychos in spite of our child-rearing techniques). To maintain a marriage not only in the good times, but in the tough ones (translation: to not kill one’s spouse with a butter knife in their sleep). To be a good friend to those in need and know how to lean when you need the help (translation: know who will be available to drive you to the emergency room – thanks again Rik).

In short, the doom and gloom could kill you way faster than the actual situation can.

So lighten up everyone. Panic never helped the situation. 

How do you define success? (Tip: net worth comments will be scoffed at here)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under carreers, current events, stress, Time to Cry Tuesdays, work

Top Ten Most Stressful Days in Your Life

Ok, here is a challenge. Take a moment and think of the top 10 most stressful days in your life. (I am pretty sure I am just coming off one of them). Perhaps even write them down. (come on, don’t be a baby, do it!)

Take a good hard look at those acute times when you were pretty sure the top of your head was going to blow off. You know the ones, where you are not sure which will help you more, large quantities of chocolate or alcohol.

Or both.

Now look at that list, remember (in detail) how those days felt. Your day is looking better already, right?

The photo above actually hangs over my (ancient) Chambers stove (circa 1939). My mom bought me this a while back and we could laugh about it but we don’t have time. Most days, anyway.

Here’s the thing about stress. Sometimes it is just the day to day stuff that starts you going. Until you get that wham, bang, smack in the back of the head big stuff that makes you realize how ridiculous the daily stuff is. Until, of course, it is quiet for awhile.

My point (2 glasses of wine ramble, can you tell?). Well, my point is that life can really be hard. So when it is not, STOP BITCHING and smell whatever it is that you like to smell and have as much fun as you possibly can because you friggin’ deserve it.

As my dear friend Dave says, everybody gets their turn. And when your turn is over, take a deep breath and have a blast.

Comments please. Maybe a most stressful day contest? (I prefer to lose this one, myself).

Now, pass the wine please!

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Filed under humor, stress