Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm Speechless...


FERRANTE Joseph A., 70, beloved husband of Barbara (Schmidt) died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at home. After a long illness, Joseph laid down his cross for a crown. Born in Brooklyn, NY the son of Carmine James and Antoinette Marie (Regalmuto) he lived in Bergenfield before moving to West Milford 4 years ago. Mr. Ferrante, a retired manager for I.B.M. Tarrytown, NY, was an Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Hewitt. Also surviving are two sons, James John and Ronald Henry and wife Theodora Ferrante, a daughter Stefanie Ann and husband Matthew Valenzano, a sister Catherine and husband John Buonocore, two grandchildren Alexis Marie and Christian Joseph Valenzano, a sister-in-law Ann Marie Schmidt and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Funeral Liturgy 10:30 AM Monday at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Hewitt. Interment St. Mary's Cemetery, Saddle Brook. Visiting at the Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road, West Milford Saturday 7-9 PM and Sunday 2-4 and 7-9

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Wow! I'm watching it on TV for the first time in YEARS! I had forgotten how young Sean Penn was, the clothes, the hair, the music...Billy Squire, Cheap Trick, the scalped Earth, Wind and Fire concert tickets! Although I was not yet in high school when this movie was released, it was still in the mainstream when I got there. Were we like this? Were we that crazy? Did stuff like this really go on? I don't remember anyone having pizza delivered in Mr. White's history class...hehehe.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Booger Horseshack

After a long day at the beach we arrived home to find one of our butterflies had hatched! It was enormous! I don't understand how such a big butterfly came out of such a small chrysalis! This morning we set him free.

Oh, Drew named it...Booger Horseshack. No, he hasn't been watching reruns of Welcome Back, Kotter...but here's to our winged friend...and Brooklyn!

What a Busy Weekend!

We've had such a busy weekend. We first started Friday night off with a block party which lasted until late in the evening. I just remember seeing the little kids running down the cull-d-sac with flashlights, chasing something.

Saturday we had friends visit for lunch on their way to their rented beach house in Emerald Isle. The kids had fun seeing each other and the grownups had a chance to chat and catch up. I later went to work and had some fun there too! After a sleepless night we headed to the beach to spend the day with said friends. I was a little apprehensive because the weather forecast predicted dangerous rip currents and very large waves, but I thought that the kids could at least skim board, right?

It was awesome! We were just about a 1/2 mile down the beach from where we stayed at the beginning of the summer. The waves were just fine, not too rough and the kids had a blast. There was a beautiful breeze which made sitting on the beach with Charlotte and Drew, while they dug in the sand, bearable. We played on the beach until 6:00! We then stayed for dinner and heavy hearted-ly headed home. The little kids were asleep by the time we reached the bridge of the ICW

It was so nice to end the summer where it all began...on EI with great company and a cold beer!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The school year has officially started for us! We are back to some resemblance of a routine, sort of. I think I found a carpool, the kids are's only the first week and there's not been any homework, yet. Today, they are engaged in community service projects throughout the city of New Bern. One is working in a nursing home and the other is planting trees and shrubs.

Next week the party will be over and it will be time to "buckle down" (I always hated that expression).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I Miss the Most...

...and this has nothing to do with Paul...I miss Patricia, my cleaning lady from Virginia!

Last Day of Summer V-A-C-A!

Wow! Where has the time gone? It seems like we were just winding down the school year last week, and now we are going back tomorrow! I am the mother of 2 middle- schoolers...YIKES! Am I supposed to feel older, more mature, more serious? FYI, I don't! I think I have a little PTSD from all of the running around that goes with the school year. Everything will start up again by the end of the, sports, clubs, etc, and now Drew will start "playing" soccer. I only have to last approximately 8 more weeks, right?!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last week my sister-in-law, author, former English teacher and all around wordsmith came across this Emily Dickinson poem and dedicated it to me on her blog. I think she may have been trying to get me to say that Paul will be home in the fall...PAUL WILL BE HOME IN THE FALL!! Woo-Hoo! Since I don't have an actual date, suffice it to say, I hope to get the best gift for my birthday in October.

"If You Were Coming in the Fall"

If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen's land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Morning at the Clinic

Today I had an appointment for a physical. No big deal, I figured that I'm a girl of a certain age and perhaps some baseline lab work should be done, biggie. Well, my assigned doctor is deployed. In lieu of an M.D., I saw the "team" P.A. (physicians assistant). Now, generally I never have a problem seeing a Nurse Practitioner, I feel that they are advance practice NURSES. They knew what they wanted to be and just furthered their training...they stayed on the nursing side of things and believe in healing and patient care.

The P.A. is a totally different animal, they do exactly what their job title states...assist physicians. They didn't want to go to med school or nursing school. They do not have to carry the big insurance policies and they are minimalists. Specifically, the Family Medicine P.A. Not really a specialty, the modern name of "general practice"...a little of this and a little of that. Let's be clear, "general practice" means NOT A SPECIALIST and not an interest or foothold in anything tangible like pediatrics or endocrinology.

Now, back to my appointment...I was immediately handed a questionnaire that I promptly filled out about my health history. I was escorted to a room by 2 young men, corpsmen, where I was weighed, vital signed and asked more personal questions regarding my health. (A little weird). Then, I was escorted to the exam room where I was told to have a seat and wait for the "doctor". Well, she couldn't have been much older than Abbie! She acted very young, hardly made eye contact and questioned me like I was an idiot. When I informed her that I was a nurse, she changed her tune a little and then told me about how she could never work in obstetrics because of her past experience during her training rotation. She even went as far to tell me that she made her obstetrician induce her labor early because of her fear of something bad happening, and admitted she was hysterical! (Very professional, yes?) Her doctor probably did it to be finished with her!

I had a skin tag removed under my arm. She told me it would be very painful, and then told me she had no tolerance for pain...huh? It was frozen off...again, no big deal. While I was waiting for the corpsmen to get the freezing agent, I overheard them talking in the hall...f bombs everywhere! When I said something about it, she shrugged and said, "that's corpsmen for you."...again, huh?

I did try to obtain a waiver to be seen by a private physican. I was told that I have to live 30 minutes or more away from the clinic. I live 29 minutes away, and no exceptions are allowed. Sigh.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are We Ready?

This has been the last week of "freedom" for my kids. School starts Wednesday for Abbie and Paul, so they are trying to eek out every last moment of summer vacation.

Here's my take on it...Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Home! Home! Home!

Yeah! We made it back to New Bern after traveling up and down the eastern seaboard for the last 10 days...I'm exhausted. We made excellent time with the new I-795 and avoided the little local 2 lane 17 South! I was thrilled, only 6 hours with a stop for lunch, gas and a quick grocery stop. We ran into a typical "severe" NC thunderstorm as we approached Craven County and I nearly had to pull over, but opted to press on and my big Triton V-8 agreed!

The caterpillars are still alive and have all climbed to the top of the butterfly house...they are HUGE...nearly 3 inches a piece! I expect to find then all in chrysalises by the morning.

We are nearly unpacked, a chicken is in the oven and I am sipping a glass of Riesling.

Back to "normal" tomorrow, right???

Monday, August 10, 2009

Winding Down...

Our "vacation" up north is in the home stretch, literally. Our week in New Jersey was a blast, to include the zoo, a day excursion to The Garden State Plaza, a day "down the shore" at Seaside Heights. (We only visit the boardwalk, not the beach.)We visited my husbands family in Bronxville, NY for a wedding shower...and the week culminated with the celebration of my parents 40th wedding anniversary (a couple of weeks early). They renewed their vows in Church and celebrated with a family dinner.

We are now on our way back to NC via Haymarket, VA. We will be here for a couple of days and head home on Wednesday. I need a day to get organized and ready for work this weekend and the beginning of school the following week for my older kids...where did the time go?

On a side note...I seem to have a traffic magnet on my car. Everywhere I go...traffic appears, either construction, shore, accidents, etc...WTF?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Jersey...

Here we are in NJ, the Garden State. I grew up here, so I'm always a little touchy when people poo-poo it. Yes, the Turnpike is stinky and the only part of the state that resembles a garden is the farm behind my sister-in-laws house. I love the malls, I love the fact that I can have authentic food of any culture at my fingertips and most of all, I love the proximity to The City...that's New York City.

Today we went into The City to visit the Bronx Zoo. We took the lower level of the GWB (George Washington Bridge) and went through what seemed like a thousand overpasses and tunnels and kids were amazed! I totally take for granted this common denominator that I grew up with. Charlotte loved seeing the skyline, and believe it or not...she enjoyed the Cross Bronx Expressway! Abbie asked why metal bars were on all of the apartment buildings and stores. My kids were definitely shown some cultures and ethnicity's that are not in New Bern, NC.

People were walking around with containers of fresh cut mango, empanada shops, the Italian section, Arthur Avenue, city buses, cabs, the pretzel vendors, "discount" handbag and movie vendors. The actual travelling to and from the zoo was more educational than the zoo! It was hot, crowded, stinky and not at all what I remembered from the last time I was there, maybe 10 years ago...I was a bit disappointed. All in all we still had a good time, I managed to walk off the extra desserts I have been eating while "on the road".

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spa Day...sort of.

Today I had the opportunity to get my hair cut at a salon that specializes in curly hair! Wow! I left the kids with my mother-in-law (love her), and headed to Tyson's Corner.

My stylist was named Enrique...curly hair specialist. After a good cut, some deep conditioning, a lesson on how to style and care for my new doo, and 6 months worth of hair product...I'm all set for the humidity of NC. For the first time in 2 years I left the salon looking somewhat normal and not like a 1980s Miss America contestant from the Bible Belt.

We're in VA!

Yeah! We made it to Virginia yesterday, late in the afternoon. I've decided that Sunday is the worst day to drive in the summertime. We were stopped in traffic at 3 different spots and lost an hour! When you have a 5 1/2 hour drive with 4 kids and the dog, adding an hour is like having a root canal without Novocaine!

Tomorrow morning we will be heading up to! One never appreciates tax free clothing until you have to pay tax on clothes...thank you NJ!