I am officially on “summer vacation” and promised my fans that I would blog every day. It was exactly at this time last year that I started this whole blogging thing. But in fairness, I thought it was only right that I posted one more time before I start the summer camp reporting. In May and in honor of Mother’s day, you met my Mom. Now meet the other person responsible for my creation. . .my Dad.
This photo was taken on Father’s Day at my cousin Joey’s wedding (double click on the photo, then double click again to make it bigger). You may think that having to get all dressed up and attend a formal affair made my Dad feel jipped out of a full Dad’s Day celebration, but trust me, we made up for it. My Dad is already sporting an end-of-the-summer tan. My Mom calls him the human tea bag. He just steps out in the sun, and bam, instant tan. Me on the other hand, being wiser than my past days of Sun In and baby oil, love the look and feel of a summer glow, but try to be a bit more cautious now. Sunscreen on my face at all times. The rest of me, well let’s just say everything looks better with a little color. And after a full 10 days on vacation, I plan to have a fierce tan too.
The other beauty in the photo is my cousin Susie. She is younger and wiser. My family used to always say that she was the practical one, and under most circumstances, would be the one to look after me. Apparently, I needed a lot of looking after back in those days of Sun In and baby oil. Um hello, why didn’t anyone, especially my younger and wiser cousin, inform me that continued spraying of this concoction of hydrogen peroxide and who knows what else, would only turn my hair a horrendous shade of orange? My monthly trips to the salon for glazes and toner (to keep my warmth just the perfect tone) prove that I am the much wiser one now. Sorry to say though, as much as I tell people we are catching up in age, I am still older. The color applied to my roots to cover a few strays (rhymes with) proves this every month too.
Anywho, back to dear old Dad. My friends love my Dad and think he is “hot.” Actually at this wedding, he was asked to dance by a very young and pretty guest. We had to leave the wedding early so missed this occurence. But he called me the next day to tell me he was hit on and was laughing at my Mom’s reaction. She immediatley thought this girl was a “hussy” and wanted to kick her. Got to love my Mom. She also explained to me who this young, pretty hussy was by describing her to me by the dress she was wearing. I had pointed her out earlier saying I liked it. Imagine having to put up with me and my Mom all these years? The man must be a Saint.
He was and always is the one who is there. He was the one who always came to my rescue when I ran out of gas in high school (don’t ask), that gave me this mane of hair, that used to give me extra money to pay my phone bills in college after I had already spent my allowance on shoes, that gave me my passion of foreign motors by teaching me how to drive in a BMW, that showed me golf is a four letter word by encouraging and teaching me how to play tennis, that drove me to a meeting in NH when I couldn’t think straight after my dog Griffin was killed, and that taught me to believe in heroes.
He is also the one that after all these years, and even though I am older and wiser, still comes to my house to stake my peonies, that is convinced that I am a gourmet chef, that goes to the nursery to look for the shrubs Mike and I saw and wanted for our yard, that still plays tennis with me and Mom every weekend even though he is clearly better than us, and that is on his way to my home right now to fix a water stain on the ceiling.
That is my Dad.
Filed under: Fierce
Yesterday was the official start to summer. I spent the weekend on the Cape doing some of my favorite things, went for a run, sat in the sun, played tennis, hosted a dinner party at our summer home, enjoyed a fun, belated Father’s Day breakfast at the Farm Cafe with my Mom and Dad and took some time to stop and smell (and snip) my peonies.
This year, we almost missed out on these beauties, but thanks to my Dad, we still have some left in the garden to enjoy. Due to all kinds of reasons, we got a late start this year opening up the house. Yes, I realize I blogged a couple of weeks back about this process, but failed to mention that some of the tasks were TBD (hey its my blog and my prerogative). And we missed an entire weekend here due to other family and friend commitments. So I asked my dear old Dad to swing by our house to stake my peonies before they became too top heavy and fell to the ground. Of course he obliged.
What I also failed to do was buy the stakes and ties he needed to do the proper staking. Sorry Dad. End result he and my Mom were at my house for over two and a half hours making due (they found old branches in my yard and cable ties in my garage). Parents are very resourceful aren’t they? And voila! My pink and white peonies made it another year.
Hey Dad – glad to have spent today with you and thanks for stopping to stake the peonies!
Last week I had just checked into my mid-town home away from home, when I ran into a very dear and special friend. . .by complete chance. We were college roommates for 3 years at Boston College. Our other friends and families nicknamed the two of us, Squirt & Flirt.
Ahhh, the good old days. She is a tall blond with a fierce figure, has a bubbly personality to match and a passion for the finer things in life. She drove a convertible Mustang in school, sported only designer duds and used to buy filet mignon at the grocery store to cook for us for dinner. Combine this somewhat southern girlie girl from Richmond with me, and well, let’s just say we had our fair share of fun.
Skip to last week. As I mentioned, I had just checked in and was enjoying the attention from the bellmen, now my pals. But wait, they were all friendly with another guest. And they knew her by name too. Who could this “intruder” be and more importantly, was she worthy? I turned around to see this stunner walking towards me and the first thing I noticed was the outfit (shocker). That day it was bloody hot in NYC. She had on the cutest white shift dress and black and white flip flops. Mind you, the dress was Gucci and the flips, Louis Vuitton. Wait a minute, I know this girl. As she approached, the biggest smile come over my face and I knew it was Steph. Hugs, kisses, a few “oh my Gods” and “you look sooooo good” happened next for about 5 minutes. The bellmen were amazed that we were college roomies and immediately started drawing all sorts of conclusions (some of course were dead on, some we will leave up to the imagination).
I hadn’t seen Stephanie in about 4 years. Last time she was in Boston we got together for dinner, but we have not been the best at keeping in touch. She lives in California and rarely gets back east. I visited her once in LA, but do not get out to the west coast that much anymore. And the last time we met up, she was telling me all about her neighbor who she had a slight crush on. Steph never had a slight crush. She fell fast and hard every time. Turns out this time, she met her Mr. Big. She married the neighbor last year in a very private ceremony at Parrot Cay.
So now a number of years later (will never tell you how many) the two of us are together again in the Big Apple. We were both in on business, but managed to find some quality time to catch up. It is so refreshing to see my friends happy and to realize that besides a few years, a couple of husbands, career responsibilities and a pair of new boobs, not much has changed since we were sashaying around the campus of BC.
Steph came with me the next day to an appointment, we had lunch at Pastis and then shared a taxi further downtown for our meetings. We hugged, kissed, said a few more “you look amazing and haven’t changed a bits,” and then said good bye. This time, I truly hope we make an effort to keep in touch and stay a part of each others lives.
The power of emails, cell phones and all those American Express miles can only help.
p.s. – she is almost two inches taller, so that made me Squirt and her, Flirt!
Filed under: Sanity
Once again my friend Diane’s timing is impeccable. Just to refresh your memories, Diane is my friend who is battling invasive breast cancer. I don’t think I meed to remind you how I feel about that word invasive.
Di regularly emails a bunch of her family and friends to update them on her progress, and I think to help her cope with the obstacles life decided to throw her. Today’s message was about being or doing something “normal.” And just today, I was actually singing (every now and then I break into song in my office about whatever crosses my mind) about everything that is NOT normal in my life. Professionally speaking of course, if it were personal, I would have already composed the Greatest Hits versions 1 – 39.
Di’s message is an important one that once again I wanted to share. I post this to continue to support and inspire her, and to remind me and you, to appreciate something normal.
p.s. – Di congrats on your last treatment!
It is with no sadness whatsoever that I compose this message announcing that I have received my final chemo treatment. Of course it has not gone quietly into the night and I have been feeling the pain just a bit more than usual. I know I was told the effects are cumulative, but I was still hoping to be magically better the minute my last treatment was over. Instead I felt ill most of Friday, fatigued on Saturday, had a fever with chills on Sunday, and excruciating bone pain most of the week. Oxycontin has become my closest and dearest friend these days. Sorry to all my human friends, but you just don’t make me feel as good as those little blue pills do right now. I do expect all my side effects to continue to diminish each day as I get closer to full recovery.
The results of my last Echocardiogram were very encouraging, up rom 35% to 45%. I will have another one on June 18th and if my heart function continues to improve and reaches 50% we will be able to proceed with the Herceptin treatment. No one on my medical team seems to doubt that this will happen so I am very optimistic. Of course continued use of Herceptin will require close monitoring of my heart, but Echos are pretty easy tests and very effective so I am happy to comply.
I have surgery scheduled for July 1st. This surgery will be to “clean up” the margins of my lumpectomy. When the first surgery was completed there were a couple of areas where the measurement between healthy cells and cancer cells was too close when examined by the pathologists. My surgeon’s goal is to widen these margins to an acceptable width. Although every surgery is serious, she will not be removing large sections of tissue this time. I am very optimistic that this will be successful. Once this surgery is behind me I will have all summer to recoop and hang with my boys and whatever friends haven’t fled town for the summer. I will be starting radiation treatment in the fall when the kids go back to school.
As some of you already know, my mother-in-law has been diagnosed with liver cancer. They have found it early, and we knew she was at a high risk for this because of her Hepatitis, but as you can imagine we are still in shock. My brother-in-law and my father-in-law continue their struggles with their own aggressive cancers as well. Each time we gather as a family we are reminded of how precious our moments together are. The kids are all doing well, but I worry about the coming year and the toll that all that awaits us is going to take on them. They can’t appreciate it now, but when they’re all older I know they’ll be stronger because they had their cousins to lean on and so much kindness and support from everyone around them.
I know I’ve said thank you to so many of you for your support of me, but I have to make a point to say thank you on behalf of my kids too. So many of you have given so much to them and by doing that have made their journey through this so much easier. You have made a lifelong friend of me and I will always be there for you. I have to say a special thank you to the director/owner of one of my boy’s preschool. Her and her staff made me the most amazing gift of a DVD of him at school. Since I haven’t been able to go to his classroom this year and even missed my teacher review they put together this dvd of him playing, dancing, learning and interacting with his friends at school. When you miss out on these things because of an illness to be given them back is a blessing that’s hard to describe. Again, I am amazed by the depth of love and support I have received. Thank you and God Bless you.
I have to sign-off so I can go take my boys to see Kung Fu Panda. May sound silly, but it’s been so long since I’ve been to the movies with my kids that I’m actually excited that I can do this for them. It almost feels like a normal day.
Have a great weekend. Go do something normal and be grateful J
Yes, I was one of the lovely ladies who wrangled their BFFs, dressed in true Carrie Bradshaw fashion and stepped out in heels to see the movie during its opening weekend. I am a fan and give it a two manicured thumbs up.
Girl power ruled and squashed Indiana Jones. I mean we love crystals and skulls, but usually adorned on our flip flops or on a McQueen head scarf. And finally a romantic comedy beat an action flick.
As girly girls, our pulse quickens with a different type of action. Give us catfights over swordfights, snakeskin shoes over angry snakes, hip restaurants over dark caves, fast cars over flying saucers, man-eaters over man-eating ants, and a fairy tale over an adventure. In other words, give us a great love story.
The thrill of the chase has an entirely different meaning for us. Scoring your favorite shoes at the Bergdorf’s sale, getting a rezzy at 10AK or the Waverly Inn, and reeling in the perfect guy; now that’s a catch!
The movie did not disappoint. It was full of great girly action. Fashion, gossip, sincerity, careers, feelings, shopping, fantasy, family, dining, design, cosmos, A list parties, life changing moments, getting older and love. Sounds like an extreme list, but with good judgment and priorities, it can be easily balanced.
SATC will allow you to be entertained and spend quality time with your girlfriends, who you have known longer than the time span between this Jones flick and the last (almost two decades). After the movie, go out for a cosmo or two and discuss and analyze it all: the fashion – what you craved and what you would not be caught dead in, the issues – the similarities and the differences, and most importantly the guys. The bad boys that made us crazy, the sweet ones our Moms loved, the ones that got away or the keepers that you love forever.
But the message of the movie is a lot more than all of the above. It is a page we should all tear out of Carrie’s latest book.
Make time for friends and love.