Monday, August 25, 2008

Pulaski, NY times a changn'

Most of my childhood summers were spent an hour North of Syracuse, right on the beach of Lake Ontario. The closest towns were a 15 minute drive to Sandy Creek or the longer 1/2 hour ride in to the booming metropolis of Pulaski. I still make it back there once a summer with my kids and was disappointed to find one of town's establishments had been taken over by a new owner and my favorite sign gone. It was a drop off place for can and bottle returns. For as long as I can remember, an ancient wooden sign hung outside, with the simple words Redemption Center. Driving by I would think to myself " So THAT is where one goes for forgiveness and finds redemption. Ahh if it were only that easy... " Well, Judy's Bottle Return is now sporting it's new name on a brand new sign. The redemption center and it's magical redeeming possibilities now, is forever lost to me. But my brother drew my attention to another new place. A hair salon called Dye and Curl Up. I think they made the right call by switching the order around. Curl Up and Dye might have been a little too off putting, though both versions leave me with the impression that an appointment should not be made lightly. They could have really gone for the whole kit and caboodle and named it Get Cut, Curl Up and Dye. But that would be just silly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From Buffalo with love

I've really enjoyed being back in my old haunting grounds...already having visited one of my favorite restaurants, Panos, I am looking forward to hitting Duffs for some of the BEST Buffalo hot wings on the planet. Five days into my 2 week traveling extravaganza I have stayed overnight at my Moms summer cottage, getting to visit with my brother and his girlfriend, and close friends of the family. Then we were off to my cousins fabulous wedding over the weekend and visited with my oldest cousin and his family.

Now staying with my in-laws in Buffalo I am looking forward to connecting with some old friends in the area and meeting up with one of my best friends and her family who chose to travel the same week to visit Niagara Falls. Maid of the Mist, here we come! It's one of those touristy things you never get around to doing when you live 20 min. away. So I'm looking forward to taking the kids and the fact that they will get to go with their best friends from home is all the better.

Who isn't watching the Olympics? The swimming relay race on Sunday night was incredible! The woman's gymnastics team was painful to watch as they just kept falling and stepping out of bounds. Though they appear to have it together tonight.And I don't understand it but it seems they are dropping softball from the Olympics. But they are keeping team handball? How is softball less of a serious sport than handball?

Well, stay tuned for tales from the redemption center...and a hair salon that you may never survive.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Late night visitors, dramatic exits and mindful driving...(A stream of thought post)

I'll be on the road visiting family and friends for the next couple of weeks. I will have little to no access to the internet during this time, so posts will be far and few between. Rest assured I will have lots to talk about in my return.

I had a couple of late night visitors last night. Two teenage boys got lost cutting through the woods, walking back from a friend's party late last night. Their cell phone had died and they had no idea on what street they had ended up. My neighbor had been less than helpful (they had rung their doorbell before mine). I couldn't let them inside to use the phone...and didn't want to hand them my cell phone...(bye bye cell phone). But I called their houses and left word of their situation to their parents and offered to call the police to help them where they needed to go. Sure enough the boys in blue showed up with one of the kid's brothers to take them home.

Ah, the memories it brought back of curfews and parties gone awry. Come to think of it, in High School James and I were the only ones with strict curfews...or had the earliest ones anyway. One of my most memorable exits of a party has to have been a cast party in Congers that my whole group of friends attended. James and I had the earlier curfew and left to go home. Driving at night, in an unfamiliar part of the county, I got into a terrible car accident that totaled my parents station wagon. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, the driver of the other vehicle got stitches in his leg and I got the worst of it, shattering the drivers side window with my head. What a dynamic exit! And for some reason, after, no one wanted to ride with me so much. Go figure.

And that leads me to another memory of friends (you know who you are) who would give me directions, "right" or "left" when I was driving at night leading me into dead ends and culda sacs. I would just blindly trust their directions and oh how they would laugh, when I discovered they had led me into a dead end. They got me every time. :)

My friend Mike and I were the worst drivers I knew back in the day. It wasn't that we drove badly, the mechanics of our driving were fine. I won't speak for Mike, but my difficulty was focusing on the task at hand. My mind would start to wander and I would be thinking about someone or a situation, instead of keeping my mind on the road. I was a bit of a day dreamer and it took me a number of years to achieve the appropriate mindfulness needed to become a good driver.

Though a bit of a speed demon I am no longer a hazard on the road. :) My 8 hour road trip upstate this weekend will hopefully prove that.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekend up date

Here is the update on project Morning Person. Well, except for last night, I am pleased to say that my experiment has been somewhat successful. I have gone to bed before midnight most nights this week. I have slept in however till 8 or so in the morning. Obviously, I have had a lot of sleep deprivation to catch up on. I need to push that back a bit, but so far, so good. I did cheat however, and tried Tylenol PM a couple of nights, which works pretty darn well.

I took the girls to a local amusement park this past Friday. We hadn't been to one in 3 years, so it was a real treat. Dana had to wear her sneakers with gell cushions to make the 48 inch requirement...And after the Boston Tea Party ride, (basically a Giant version of the flume that seats 20 people.) her shoes were soaked, but no matter. The three of us had an awesome day! Arriving at 11:00am, we walked the park back and forth for the next 8 hours or so, leaving at 7:45pm. I was in bed by 10:30 that night! A truly wonderful exhausting day.

This week is a tough one for me. It will be 2 years ago August 11th that Peter died. It is strange how different this year has been to last. Not really any easier, just different. I haven't been reliving the horror show day to day, though I wonder if the body does hold onto memories in some visceral sense, regardless of what our brain holds onto. I had been having a perfectly wonderful day on Saturday, when all of a sudden a dark cloud of doom descended. It came out of no where. I sat still for a moment trying to figure it out, when it hit me that 2 years ago to the day, almost to the hour, the doctors brought me in for the talk, confirming that Peter's condition was terminal. I wonder if the trauma and stress a body is put through lives on in us at a cellular level, a biological PTSD of sorts.

It is at this point my very good friend Eva would say. "Kirsten you think about things way too much." And she is right, in that the answer wouldn't really change how I am feeling or doing. What can I say, but that I am an intensely curious person.