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Carine’s Blog

  • Got a Question?

    Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014

    So You've Got a Question?

    I haven't done a "Things You Didn't Know" blog in a while and since I couldn't really think of much to write about this week-here it is!

    But first, I'd be remiss to not do my yearly "Birthday and Anniversary" run-down:
    We just celebrated our 33rd Anniversary.  Our son Adam is not only turning the BIG 30 but he and Sam are having their 4th anniversary!  Plus this will be their first year as parents. (Sam's very first Mother's Day!).  Our daughter Sarah is turning 32 and her husband will be 33.  Followed by my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, my dad, our youngest nephew and the above sister-in-law's anniversary rounding out the month.

    Now for the questions.  I'll answer them and would love you to copy/paste it and answer them in the comments!
    1-What's my favorite color? Black. I'm not Goth, but black is classy, sassy and easily be for casual or dressing up.
    2-What's my favorite pass time? Being with my family, friends and doing something as simple as taking a long walk in the wash. Never know what you find! I shared the photos of everything from birds' nests in cacti to oddly shaped hot air balloons.
    3-Do I miss having a beach? Yes. I love the smell of the water; love the relaxing atmosphere and just reading on the sand. On the flip of that though-I have more than enough sand here, I'm very relaxed about 80% of the time and I do have a pool/waterpark at my complete disposal.
    4-Where is your favorite destination for a vacation? Caribbean, hands down.
    5-If you could have a "coffee" date with anyone who would it be? Not sure, several people come to mind! Imagine interviewing FDR or JFK? I've spoken with Teddy K. and while a great speaker he was a tad self-involved for my taste.
    6-Do you ever look back and wonder if you took the "right" road? No. While there have been many challenges with all aspects of life, I do like where I am and more importantly who I am. A different road would have changed all of what I love about life.
    7-Favorite breakfast? I love having whole wheat toast with chunky peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey. My second favorite is hot 9-grain cereal with berries on the side.
    8-Taking a cue from Patricia Davis who wrote a blog to her younger self that was picked up all over the country, I guess I'd tell myself that I shouldn't allow people's perception of my being a "goody two shoes" to reach for the stars instead of passing on events that would have been amazing to witness.

    That's all I'm able to think about-what about you?

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  • Creepy Desert Crawlies

    Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014

    Creepy Crawlies

    My apologies to our grandson Dylan, 7, who just loves bugs.  If he finds one-he does what he thinks is saving their lives.  This means that IF he somehow finds an earthworm here in the hot desert-he removes it from the dirt and puts it in the sun to "dry up and get his vitamin D".  

    Don't you love kids?

    Anyway, this week's blog is NOT about saving bugs.  Nope, not even a little bit.  I'm incredibly allergic to spiders.  Therefore our youngest, Adam has unfortunately gotten this rather horrible gene.  A couple of months back, both Steve and I got "bit" by some spider.  Steve took a Benadryl and the itching stopped and the "red" went away by that evening.

    I, on the other hand, had 5 bites that swelled up, turned beet red and then had streaks shooting out in every direction.  It killed pain wise.  I had an epidural the next morning and the doctor asked about my arm.  After I told him about my prior afternoon, he told me bluntly, "I'm not comfortable with this-promise me you will either go immediately to urgent care or to your GP."

    When I got to the GP-the PA proceeded to give me a shot in the rear of an antibiotic, then a written prescription and told me to get more ice on it and stay "put" for the day.  Good thing I had that epidural in the shoulder of that arm.  It was quite the fun few days for me.

    We have a pest control service for just this reason AND because we live in a desert where scorpions are literally everywhere.

     Back to the latest creepy crawly event.  We were out with our friends for breakfast and we were discussing that even with our services, glue boxes and such that with the return of our 85+ degree days we had seen a few dead scorpions and what we were doing to protect ourselves.

    I shared that Steve was refusing to wear the slippers I bought him because they "make my feet sweat". Our friend Al pointed out that sweaty feet were better than stung feet.  Steve said "we've only had the couple of dead ones, I'm not worried."

    That phrase came back to haunt him on Sunday night.  Yep, he was checking out the guest bathroom to be sure the grandkids didn't make a mess of the new faucet he installed and next thing-yelling at 11:15!

    I got right onto the internet and found the steps to treatment.  Got a bleach soaked cotton ball and taped it on for 5 minutes (kill the outside venom and stop it from spreading further), wash with soap and water, gave him both Benadryl and Naprosyn, elevated the foot and applied ice packs in 10 minute intervals.

    Thankfully Steve was already on Keflex for some mole removals.  His foot was both in pain and numb, said it felt as if he stepped on a nail.  Next morning it was the same so we went to immediate care.  The attending PA told him that all the right steps had been done and he should just keep them up for a day or two.

    We also called the pest control people.  It was time for our quarterly service.  Probably the reason that for the first time in our 16 months here that this was the first live critter that invaded the house.

    He used my car at work the next day-as driving a stick shift was just not in the proverbial cards.

    Once things settled down I asked him if he had learned anything important from this experience?

    His answer?  "I guess I should always wear something on my feet".  And then my ever-lovin' husband still left his slippers untouched in the closet.


    0 Replies
  • Thinking it Over

    Posted on Friday, April 4, 2014

    Thinking it Over

    Now that the jet lag is gone and despite new muscle relaxers and yet another epidural, I'm thinking clearer.  So I know would like to share some quotes from my grandsons:

    While in New York, as mentioned, we were privileged to be part of the previews guests at the 9/11 Memorial museum-there were many family members of the survivors there.  

    Aidan, age 6, who is a very sensitive soul, was quite upset to see people hugging and crying near the large display of small photos of those we lost.  

    He asked about why the pictures were there and why those people were so sad?  Sarah explained that they missed the people they loved who had died in the event.  He asked, "all of them died?"

    Sarah re-confirmed that yes-all of them had passed on.  Aidan continued to observe all the photos and people and then asked this poignant question, "Mommy, why would someone do something so bad?"

    Mom's answer was perfect, "That's a very good question.  I don't really have an answer.  There really is no reason for anyone hurting so many people.  But it happened and we have to do what we can to both remember them and learn from what happened."

    On a lighter side-Dylan, 7, wanted to play in the yard and grandpa was tired to going around to the outside of the house to rescue the ball he was kicking allover creation.  So he told Dyl that he was going to have to go inside because he was afraid that an owl was going to swoop down and get Lucky.  

    Unfortunately for grandpa, his eldest grandson spent quite a bit of time learning about birds at the New York Natural Museum of History.   When told the "owl story", Dyl said, "Grandpa I know you're just trying to make me go in the house because it's daytime and owls are nocturnal.  That means they come out at night."

    Gotta love kids!

    Our youngest grandson, Jackson, is 8 months old.  He's got quite the sense of humor.  About a month ago he realized that he could use a diaper or towel to start a rousing (and very long) game of peek-a-boo with all of us.  He's also doing the "turtle" crawl.  Seems he's taking after his auntie Sarah and hates the feel of the floors on his knees.
    Pretty soon we'll be running after him everywhere!  He's also very good at calling his dad.  He's recognizing people and voices.

    One more thing to tell you all while I'm "thinking it over"-I post on Friday's for the most part and today is a very special Friday.  You see its April 4th and that means today is our 33th wedding anniversary!

    I want my husband, Steve, to know that I love him more now than when he proposed almost 34 years ago.  He's my best friend, my confidant, truly my soul mate.  Thank God for him and the life we have.

    I'm especially grateful since he's shown great patience and extra love since my near fatal accident upon moving out to Arizona.

    5 Replies
  • Loved NYC-Except for the Cold!

    Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014

    I’m baaccckkkk!

     I’m also winging it today!  Since we landed in Phoenix late Saturday I’ve been playing a very long game of “catch up“.

     As usual, our daughter Sarah had so many activities planned that it was a very good thing that Manhattan is a 24/7 kind of place.

     It is also FREEZING COLD!  My 15 year old leather coat was on almost the entire week.  I say almost because I did take it off when we were either in our room or I was taking a shower.  


     We had multiple adventures-I’m not sure I remember them all!  I’m telling you Sarah didn’t leave much time for breathing!  Our first adventure happened when we took a cab to our first dinner place.  Sarah had a Groupon for a pizza place in Little Italy.  We weren’t thinking-probably too hungry! We needed reservations. Who knew that Sky Harbor didn’t even have an open ubiquitous Starbuck’s at 5 a.m.????  We wound up buying bags of  Chex mix on the plane for our breakfast and lunch.  Really.

     We also got ripped off by the cabbie.  Sarah immediately reported him and stopped the charge.  The restaurant was tiny and the reception finally caved and gave us a table for 30 minutes because she felt so bad about our being on a plane with the boys and having the bad experience with our transportation.

     Great meal.  Then Sarah had us walking in the dark and freezing cold so the boys could have dessert at the famed “Milk and Cookies” in Chelsea.  Any idea how far a walk like that is???  I couldn’t eat a thing but was glad to get the exercise.  The boys-not so much.  After dessert we walked clear back to our hotel near the new twin towers/memorial.

     Total walking for the day?  Over 6 miles.

     Next day we went to the James Beard award winning Sarabeth’s for brunch.  We walked.  Then we walked to the pier for our water taxi tour around the Statue of Liberty.  We went from there to do the Twin Towers memorial and museum and off to do dinner at the Shake Shack.  Which was thankfully around the corner from our first hotel.

     Next morning we packed up, went around the corner and had a “bagel” breakfast and then left for our next hotel-Sarah’s timeshare across the city.

     This was St. Patrick’s day so we did some indoor things I can’t remember.  I’m sure we used the subway though.  We got to see Grand Central Station and did a really fun tour called “The Ride“! Aidan was the hit of that tour.

     Tuesday we took the subway to the Natural Museum of Natural History.  We found a breakfast place.  After 5-1/2 hours of walking and pure amazement at this fantastic place we took the subway to Time Square and walked to our show, “Aladdin“.  It was fun to watch the boys sit at the edge of their seats!

     We walked home.  Sarah totaled that day’s walking at 10 miles.

     Wednesday it wasn’t only cold-it poured.  We did Chelsea Market and had dinner delivered to the room.  Thursday we did a lot more places and walking!  Our last day was Friday-we had scheduled a walking Chocolate tour and had breakfast in Chelsea Market at a place that owned its own dairy and made it’s own yogurt and cheeses.  Obviously I was a bit out the loop on this one, but the coffee was excellent and they had great breads that they “borrowed” from Amy’s Breads in the same area.  The last tour was fun and then we walked to Guy Fieri’s for dinner.

     I know I’m missing a heck of a lot-but trust me when I say we did more than I ever imagined any 4 people could do of this great and wonderful city!

     My love and thanks to Sarah for including me-I only hope that this blog did the trip and my fun time justice!

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  • Have You Ever Wondered Why?

    Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014

    Have You Ever Wondered Why?

    This past week we finally broke a 70 day dry streak here in the middle of our desert.  I know-disgusting to everyone around the country who has been living under way too much snow, sleet and cold, yet here we were wondering about the rain.

    But have no fear-we're okay.  No one was hurt during this downpour and we only lost a couple of saguaros' out in the wash.

    One of the things I wonder about is this:  (Applies to those of us with 4-footed children who can't use a litter box)
    Why do dogs have to find the most perfect spot in the yard before relieving themselves?

    I've been the proud parent of 4 dogs throughout my life and they all seem to look at the rain and still take forever to find the right plot of ground!

    Our little terrier growing up, our first Lucky, Sunshine and now our teeny tiny Lucky all hate to just go!

    Now if it were me-I'd look at the patio cover, feel the rain being blown all over me and just squat.  Lucky?  First off-she sits at the door.  She won't dream of going out without me.  Then she feels the wind and water and runs behind the patio furniture.   Now really-I see her and she sees me, what good is lying there on the cold pavers in the "give up" position?  This is followed by endless moaning and sniffing of the ground.  Maybe it feels longer because we ARE out in the wet and cold, but either way-I swear I could do a day's worth of laundry before she makes up her mind as to exactly the right paver or bit of rocks she thinks are worthy of her waste.

    And if I go near the door-it's as if she's been shot out of a cannon as she hightails it into the house, leaving me in the cold!

    I'm also sure that while I'm doing my best to convince her to make herself more comfortable that Pepper's staring at her from behind the couch and laughing at being able to do his business in the comfort and privacy of the master walk-in closet.

    While I'm on the subject of the weather and wondering-I have to let you all in on a bit of news:  I'm going to be in the Big Apple for a week.  For one week I will leave the comfort of what the weather channel says should be 80 degree temps here in AZ for the highs of 45 back east.

    Yes, I'm going with our daughter Sarah and my older grandsons Dylan and Aidan.  It was a planned trip for them-I'm a last minute replacement.  We'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day there.  Sarah wants to take them to Central Park Zoo and a ferry ride around the Statue of Liberty.  I'm not sure if she's actually read the same weather channel reports I have-but not being fond of cold weather in any form, she's going to have a hard time convincing me that these are places that sound like a plan this time of the year.

    It's another part of my "Did you ever wonder?" list.
    I'm not at all sure I'll post another blog until the 28th-as I said, I'm in for this last minute and outside of my leather coat and a pair of ear muffs, I never take a vacation in a location that deliberately has temps of under 75 degrees.

    Wish us luck.  We should have a blast, except for the temps that will have me looking like Gumby.  Brrrrr.

    4 Replies
  • What a Week!

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014

    What a Week

    I feel a bit ragged.  It's no wonder. Let's face it-what has happened in the last couple of weeks would make the strongest person a bit tired.

    Besides the obvious of having that second accident and nearly getting blown up I also had to see a couple of doctors, have tests and of course, no week is complete without adding an infection to the mix.  

    That wouldn't have been the end-of-the-world, but my new doctor gave me an anti-biotic that's seems to be way worse than what it's trying to eradicate from my body.  Let's just say that from the first pill until the last my diet has been tea and toast.

    I'm posting this a tad early too.  Why?  I usually put the blog out for your hopeful enjoyment on Friday mornings-unfortunately, our little guy, Jackson, will be having surgery.  The day will start out incredibly early (I was given a 5 a.m. call) and it will probably run very late into the day.  

    Sam, ever brave-is I'm sure more than nervous about this event.  Poor Jackson had a bit of a "dimple" in the wrong place and therefore had to wait to have his circumcision and the removal of said dimple done until he hit 6 months.  Evidently that's the magic age for letting a little baby have anesthesia.

    If there's one thing we can be happy about is that Jackson has NO idea what he's in for and will hopefully not be in much pain when he wakes up from his forced nap.  He's such a happy and wonderful little man that we don't want this to change his view on doctors for the next few months.

    When I went with Adam for the 6 month shots-that nurse was so deft and fast with the 4 shots that you couldn't help but be impressed!  Still, poor guy could hardly wait until he was let go and put into his daddy's arms.

    On an up note-it's fun to watch this new father-son bond.  Jackson is far from fussy but if he gets upset, Adam has a special song that calms him down right away.  So does grandpa, but that's not the point.  Adam told me that when Sam's on her way home from work and he resents being in the back seat when mom's in the front-she calls her ever-lovin' and as soon as Jackson hears his voice and the song-away go the early evening fusses.

    This blog is a bit of a mish mash-can't be helped.  Written early, written while sick, written while busy and most of all, written while worried.

    Until next week-enjoy your Oscar party (should you have one), enjoy the first week of March and let's all hope that the month brings lots of improvements on all levels for everyone.

    2 Replies