And still

Yup, we are still sick. Although, I am sure that I would be feeling better had I not spend a couple of hours in the ER with Andrew very early this morning...more on that in a later blog.

Lucky Zachy has torn himself away from this germ infested home and spent a few nights with "Grum". Today he is heading to Chuckee Cheese. He will be home this evening, though I am sure he will wish that he stayed a bit longer.

I realize how much energy it takes to type now. Before a week of sickness is seemed to take no effort at all. Now, thinking and typing at the same time seem to take more energy than I can harness...

Till next time!



Really sick. Everyone except Andrew (which I think would be helpful, it might slow him down a bit).

So much for our vacation full of fun.

But I did get the camera to work...strange...


The beginning of the vacation...

Zach seems to be feeling better. After an afternoon of sleeping it looks like he may be well enough in the morning to go bowling. In fact, he felt well enough to concentrate for an hour or so while he and I put together a 300 piece puzzle of the United States.

While Zach was resting Andrew and I decided to head to McDonald's. Unfortunately, more than half way there I realized that I forgot my wallet (that means about 15 minutes on the road already). What made me realize I forgot my wallet, you may ask? The cop at the window asking for my license and registration...neither of which I had. He was less than impressed and left me with a nice ticket. Ugh! We turned around and grabbed my wallet and made another trek back to McDonald's.

I have to tell you, the West Ossipee McDonald's has got to be the MOST dysfunctional group of employees I have ever seen (this isn't my first dysfunctional experience). After waiting for an excruciating amount of time for FAST FOOD, the server was rude to me (imagine wanting a tray to carry your food to the table - the nerve), she got our order wrong, I watched the heating bulb above the french fries burst (thankfully AFTER we got our fries) and a few minutes later I watched and employee drop the scoop for the fries on the floor, pick it back up and use it to scoop some one's fries. All the while the employees are yelling back and forth at each other and ignoring customers.

Nonetheless, Andrew was completely oblivious to all of this and was just having a good time with his cheeseburger and fries (even though he wanted apples). It was great to hang with just him, just like "old times".

Before Andrew started kindergarten he had every Friday off. We would, oftentimes, go to a restaurant or go to his playgroup over in Manchester and eat with my brother Alex. Since September, he and I haven't been able to spend a whole lot of one on one time. It's just too bad Zachy had to get sick so we could :(

After our food we went to Ocean State Job Lots (the Ossipee version of, hmmm, well...a Christmas Tree Shop?). We got Zachy a nice fleece blanket and a book. Of course, Andrew had to get a book for himself too.

I am hoping to post pictures of our adventures this week but my camera seems to have bit the dust. I am so upset! The only thing you can see is black. A new camera is not in the budget right now.

I am going to believe that I will get one, know that it is going to happen and act like I already have it (hehehe). I may just walk around snapping black pictures and keep commenting on how beautiful they all are :)

I'm awful, hehehe


The only way I could get this was by sneaking it with the camera on my phone...it was worth whatever they will charge me. Although, he won't be too happy when he realizes it is on here.

My poor baby! He just looks so darned pitiful! I couldn't resist!

What a way to start the vacation...UPDATED

Poor Zachary is sick. He told me this morning he had a bellyache, he was lying on the couch all snuggled under his quilt. Every time I left the room and came back in he was passed out...he tells me he wasn't sleeping, but I know better :)

Unfortunately, this means we had to cancel our plans with Christian. They were all so disappointed! Hopefully Zachy will be better tomorrow so we can still go bowling.

On another note, we are famous - or, as famous as you can be from appearing in the local paper. Last week I was interviewed by Foster's Daily Democrat. They have been doing a series on Autism and wanted to talk to me about the progress Andrew has made in the past 3 years. How exciting!

You can view the article here: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/GJNEWS_01/87466763 The actual print of the paper has a picture of the family.

**Zachary's teacher sent me this link to an even better article with a picture: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008605107945


A couple of new books

I gave up on The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm not sure why, really. I was only a few pages in. Maybe the sheer volume of the book made me nervous, maybe that I was already confused after only a few pages. Either way, I set it down for a while hoping to get back to it soon.

Tuesday I hit the library and grabbed a couple other books that I have been wanting to read. A client had recommended The Glass Castle (see my list of books I have read to the right). It was a memoir, similar to Running With Scissors she said. While it too is a memoir of a dysfunctional childhood there was less humor because it all seemed too real.

Jeannette's (the author) mother is a free spirit, artist who refuses to get a paying job and believes that children should have few rules. Her father is an alcoholic who smokes 4 packs a day, steals money from the family, is incredibly brilliant but can't hold down a job from more than a few months. This leads Jeannette and her 3 siblings on a whirlwind journey across the US running from the "gastapo" and the mob (they are told), to find the cheapest shack to rent until the running starts all over again. Jeannette and her siblings spend their lives taking care of their parents and each other rather than living the free spirited childhood that their mother thought she was giving them.

I liked the book. It kept calling to me. I almost felt like I could hear the author telling the story - it was all so real.

Yesterday I finished Water for Elephants (again, see the list of books I have read to the right). I found this book on Amazon's recommendations for me. I knew nothing about it when I picked it up except that every time I logged into Amazon it was on the front page.

It was a, relatively, easy read - I finished in about 6 hours (while I was waiting until 4:30am for Kirby to come home from a night of poker with my brothers). It follows the life of a young man, unexpectedly orphaned, who, accidentally, hops a circus train during The Depression. He finds himself working the circus and taking care of the animals while falling in love with one of the performers.

It was interesting and informative (I learned a lot about how circuses were run, how their animals were treated, how their employees were treated). There were many heartbreaking moments when I realized that many of these instances (animal abuse and the like) are all too true for that time period (and perhaps even today). There were different pictures at many of the chapters of the book taken from different circus "museums".

I recommend both books, though maybe not to Nicki :)

February Vacation Here We Come!

What seems to be a rather sketchy school year comes to a pause for February Vacation. Although I feel that my children have had more than enough time off since November, the school department does not agree. Alas, February Vacation started at the end of the school day on Friday.

This past week I have been trying to figure out what to do with the kids all week...the busier we are the less irritated I get and the less likely I am to be begging for school to start again.

This Sunday we will attempt a sleepover with Christian (my nephew, Monica's son). He isn't big on sleepovers, actually, let me rephrase that, he gets really excited about sleepovers until the sleep part...it should be interesting (he promises there are not going to be any problems and I really want to believe him...I think Monica and I may be meeting in Alton around midnight). Zach has his hopes set high to do a 1000 piece puzzle with a ton of water and sky and a million little buildings that all look the same and Christian seems excited as well (Mom's hopes are a little more realistic and I will have other plans put in place for when their dream fizzles). Then, I figure we can do a ton of sledding (as long as the weather cooperates) to wear them out; hopefully that will help him go to sleep quickly. I think we will do english muffin pizzas for dinner and movies with popcorn in our PJs after that.

Monday, when we bring Christian home, we are meeting at Monica's for lunch then heading bowling with her and her kids and Sue. My kids love bowling (me not so much) and during the day they have some less expensive prices. Between the driving (about an hour each way) and 6 people bowling that takes up most of the day.

Tuesday morning we are going to go to the library. This time of year the kids don't get to go very often because of school. They love the library (and Andrew loves the librarian). Besides that, I already read the two books I took out on last Tuesday and I have added a bunch to my "to read" list.

Wednesday Zach is hoping to have a friend over (he only has 5 more minutes to finish his bedroom or he won't be able to). That evening he will get dropped with my mom for a "double sleepover" (Zach has always loved spending the night away from home).

On Thursday, while Zach is with my mom, Andrew and I are hoping to catch the VeggieTales movie in North Conway. We will see how that goes...Andrew, sitting still for 85 minutes....hmmmm. He has only been to a movie one other time and it was an adventure, which is why I am taking him alone. If we need to get up and leave we will, without worrying that another kid is sitting alone (or has to miss the rest of the movie).

Finally, Friday I am taking them to Chuckee Cheese with my mother and her husband. She was going to take Zach anyway, so I thought Andrew and I would tag along. Again, these situations can be very overwhelming for Andrew so it helps that if I need to leave Zach won't have to. It also helps my sanity knowing that I only have to really be with him.

Saturday will be a quiet day (maybe Kirby can take them snowmobiling) and Sunday I get away for a few hours for my Buddy Bear meeting.

I may not have many updates this week...I hope that we are busy enough that the kids fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows. I hope that the weather cooperates and they have a snow day free February vacation. And I hope that, come the end of the week, I am not broke :)


Two working parents and a disaster of a house!

I walked in the door at 10pm last night after a VERY long day. (I will admit that part of my long day was getting a massage...I really shouldn't complain all that much.)

I had walked Andrew to school in the morning (we are trying to wean him from the bus ride), went and got my massage, flew to pick up the boys from school, flew to Zachary's appt, flew back home just to fly back to work for 3 clients lasting until 9:30pm.

This is a relatively normal day. However, Kirby just went back to work after being out for about a month. I guess it was a blessing in disguise because when I came home last night I was amazed at what a disaster my house is. And this morning, of course, was no different.




You can see Andrew in the last picture, sitting happily in the middle of everything. AKA: the main culprit.

When we moved in here we established a rule: no toys downstairs. Zachary has a large bedroom of his own for his toys and Andrew has a playroom for all his things. The rule stayed in place for quite a while. Slowly but surely, one by one, the toys would make their way downstairs...If Andrew is watching a movie he needs the toy that goes along with that movie (Tommy Pickles for Rugrats, etc).

I realized this morning that while Kirby was home things worked a bit more smoothly. Of course, it was easier for him to have the kids clean up before they went to bed. Coming home after being at work all day the last thing you want to do is fight with the kids about cleaning up.

Ugh...time to get back into the routine of having two working parents. I think what I really need is a nap....


The breakfast that nobody would eat and the pedicure that nobody noticed....

Gosh, it has been a little while hasn't it? I guess there is a ton to catch up on! Let's see...

Since last I wrote, the children have had an additional 2 snow days! Ugh! The day before Valentine's Day and today. I think we are at 9...but I could be wrong. It feels like 20 some days and other days it just feels like it is beginning to become normal, routine, almost.

One day last week I got a pedicure. Nobody noticed (aside from another woman in the salon who shouted "look at those toes" in reference to my bright red polish for Valentine's Day). I think I will share it here in hopes for a few comments (who says you can't go fishing in the winter).


I realize more every day that when you become a mom you tend to get lost in the crowd. That is mostly okay because the attention should be on my children. That is ESPECIALLY okay after receiving a Valentine like this:


Now, in case you can't read that it says:

To mom love zach
I love my mom. She
is nice. She
is grate!
Happy Valentins day

Nobody told him to do that, he came up with it all on his own...ain't nothing better than that! ESPECIALLY when you make this for breakfast and you are told that "I'm not really hungry" by everyone in the house aside from the human vacuum (Andrew):


I have to tell you, making heart shaped pancakes is no easy feat - at least not for me. Thankfully, the kids had a two hour delay that morning so I didn't have to get up too early to make a breakfast that nobody would eat...

It was also 100% okay because every time that Andrew saw me he would say "I love you, Mommy. Happy Valentine's Day." What a sweetheart :)

I had 4 clients on Valentine's Day, 3 of which are single women. I decided that I would buy them roses since they were very unlikely to get them from anyone else that day. It certainly warmed my heart to warm theirs. What wonderful reactions from every single one of them. That was also a PERFECT Valentine's Day gift!

Being the week of LOVE, I suppose it was fitting to read a couple of lovey dovey books. Both PS, I Love You and Sam's Letters to Jennifer were added to my "have read" list...

I have mentioned before how much I love Nicki and how she and I seem to run parallel lives in many ways...books are not one of them.

I love her to death (I think I need to make that more than perfectly clear) but, man oh man, we have different tastes in books! Neither book is awful by any means but they are sappy and lovey and, well, I think you get the point.

PS, I Love You was recently made into a movie starring Hillary Swank. I think it is probably a wonderful "chick flick". Sam's Letters to Jennifer was sweet and beautiful and makes you believe that romance like that can actually happen (if you aren't as lucky as Jessi and already have that on a daily basis, hehehe).

Nicki told me recently that I read really "heavy" books and I think she is right. And I think that "light" books are okay for me, every once in a while, but I can't do too many at once. On to The Time Traveler's Wife...

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and that you get millions of compliments on your pedicures, that everyone eats your breakfasts, that you heart is warmed from warming someone else's and that you read whatever books make you happy - and lots of them!


An update on The Secret

I wanted to update you a bit on my happenings with The Secret. I have not continued reading the book - it still frustrates me every time I pick it up.

However, the first thing that I started to use The Secret for was to get 10 paying clients per week. There are many weeks when I have 10 clients but a number of them are trades or barters. I need to make some money!

So, I asked for it, I believed that I had it and I acted like I had it...

So far this week I have 9 paying clients scheduled. This does not include the 3 clients that have gift certificates and the 2 trades. That is a total of 14 clients. Holy cow! I can't remember the last time I had that many clients in one week, probably September.

So, Secret or not, I don't know. If I get one more client this week I am going to seriously have to think about it...

Zachary's Birthday - The Three Day Event!

What a weekend! Of course, Zachary's birthday was Friday (as you can see in my previous blog). Saturday he celebrated with the family. It was a great day!

Sue and Andrea were not able to make it. However, Andrea was kind enough to provide the cakes. What, you say, cakes - as in plural? Yes, cakes. There were two, one for Saturday and one for Sunday (his friend party). Andrea is the family cake decorator and she is amazing at it.

Back to Saturday, it was a beautiful day but there was snow predicted in the late afternoon/evening. Everyone showed up around 1 and the party was off and rolling.

We started with food and I was quickly told that it was time to move on to presents. Of course, what was I thinking?



And then to cake. Zachary shared his cake with Loren (whose birthday was January 29th, but we haven't celebrated with him yet).



Soon after it was time for "The Birthday Song". It is tradition in our family to play The Beatles Birthday Song every birthday. We dance and sing and get a little crazy.



And then we vegged and talked and some even slept (I guess the party wasn't that riveting).

Pig Pile on Uncle Steve




Alex thinks he's sexy...

I threw everyone out when the snow started. I told them they were welcome to stay the night and nobody took me up on that offer...I can't imagine why not...

Sunday was the friend party. Unfortunately, I don't have too many pictures of that party as most of the time my hands were covered with tie-dye.

Zach was allowed to invite three kids, all of whom showed up. We asked them to bring white t-shirts for tie dye and their snow things for sledding.

We tried to let the kids hang in the bedroom for a while until they got restless, then we would start the tie-dye. It didn't last long...soon we were all gathered around the kitchen table making t-shirts and making an even bigger mess (thankfully it came off the floors and the table - my hands are a different story).

After the shirts we did gifts. Zach's friends were great and they each really thought about what he would like - it was so nice! One boy got him a spy kit because he knew that Zachary loved that stuff. Another gave him some magnets because he brought some into school and Zachary had loved them. The last gave him $10 - it doesn't get much better than that!

Sledding and snowball fights and snowforts followed presents until we were all so cold we thought our hands would fall off.

Then it was back to the house for a Pirates of the Caribbean cake, ice cream and hot chocolate!

I am not going to post pictures of the other boys since I don't have permission from their families.





All in all he had a great weekend. I'm exhausted and it is taking quite a while to recover...

One year older. It amazes me every time I think about it! And in another month...I have a 6 year old again. Can't they just stay little forever?!


8 doesn't sound old, does it?

Happy Birthday to Zachary! At 1:15pm this afternoon, Zachary turned 8. Holy cannoli! Where has the time gone?

Surely, 8 is not old...but I have never felt older!! Heck, I am turning 30 this year and even that doesn't scare me. But the fact that I have an 8 year old - wow - that scares me!

Zach had a great birthday and it isn't over yet. We will celebrate with the family tomorrow and he will have a few friends over on Sunday. So be prepared for some major bloggage.

Some pictures from the event:





Zach and his gifts: a tackle box, a husky Webkinz named Husker and a folder to keep his many papers


Buy Shoes. Save Lives.

When you have a moment check out the following: http://www.canuvworms.blogspot.com/

This blog is written by a man living in Iraq, running a company called Buy Shoes. Save Lives.

These shoes (http://www.buyshoessavelives.com/) are traditional, handmade, Iraqi shoes called klash.

The most wonderful thing about these shoes is that for every pair you buy 50% goes to saving an Iraqi child in need of heart surgery. You can read more about the need for heart surgery in Iraqi children here: http://buyshoessavelives.com/cvd

The blog is an amazing experience alone...to hear the stories of the Iraqi people, the learn about their culture and their lives from someone other than CNN or FOX news...amazing!

What do you know about Iraq? What do you know about the people or cultures in Iraq? What I know is what I have heard from the media - war, famine, terrorists, Shiites, Muslims, Saddam...but none of it means much of anything to me.

To have the opportunity to learn about these things first hand must be an amazing experience. To share that with the world - that gives ME an amazing opportunity. I look forward to checking in on this blog daily and learning more about this amazing adventure!

You're running with WHAT?

Okay, Running with Scissors - it was just like a train wreck, no matter how horrifying, you couldn't stop looking! And horrifying it was! I started and finished in the same day...I couldn't put it down!

Half way through the book I called my mother. "Mom, have you read Running with Scissors", "Yup a couple years ago", "I just wanted to thank you for raising me in a relatively normal way".

You wouldn't believe it, but this book is true. It is a "memoir" of Augusten's "childhood". I say "childhood" because it certainly wasn't like any childhood I knew. Pedophiles, electroshock machines, children pooping in corners (and getting praised for it), no school but plenty of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, candy canes for breakfast and beer and pot for dinner.

Now I know that the majority of households LOOK normal on the outside...but these people couldn't even look normal if they tried. And, truly, in comparison to the Finches, there are few families that would be considered abnormal.

All this, the horror, the squirming, the obscenities....and I loved it! I am looking for more Burroughs books immediately. Although, I do have Thinking in Pictures and other reports of my life with autism. That will probably be my next one...ah, we will have to see.


Do you want to know the secret?

The secret is that this book is stupid. I can't do it anymore. The more I read the more irritated I get.

It is all well and good to think happy thoughts - heck it worked for Peter Pan - but we all have to grow up sometime.

My favorite part was something along the lines of this "if you keep thinking about bills, dreading bills, they are going to show up. You need to start imagining checks showing up. You can't allow yourself to think about not having enough money because then you are blocking money from coming to you."

Seriously?! I'm pretty sure that my cell bill is going to show up every month whether I think about it or not - I don't think that the guy at US Cellular is going to say "hmmm....some part of the universe is telling me not to send Erica her bill this month. Instead we are going to send her a check".

At this moment in time I cannot add it to my "Books I have read" list...it is just making me too angry.

I'm moving on to Running With Scissors. Nicki says it is "crazy". It can't be much crazier than wishing away your bills.


A little experiment

My uncle sent this to me today and I thought it was so neat:

Ok! How smart is your right foot?

Just try this very simple experiment. It is from an orthopedic surgeon.

This will boggle your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but, you can't. It's pre-programmed in your brain.

1. WITHOUT anyone watching you (they will think you're going NUTS) and while sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand.

Your foot will change directions. Go on try it again, but this time really concentrate.

There's nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you haven't done so already


Yankee Swap

I have decided that I hate The Secret....

It all started when I burned the eggs yesterday morning and Andrew stuck his fingers in the cornbread I was bringing. Who burns scrambled eggs? Well, not me. But yesterday, I did - even after I told "the Universe" I was going to have a wonderful day. And even after I burned the eggs I told the Universe it was okay, there would be no crying over burned eggs, we were still going to have a good day.

We did get to the Yankee Swap on time, which is HUGE for my family. Of course, that was not the Universe, that was me lying to them and telling them we had to be there at 10:30 when, in all actuality, we had to be there at 11. So, we were 30 minutes behind (per usual) and we got there right on time.

On the way there my little sister passed us, followed by her boyfriend. They were, of course, going 80+ on the highway and leave it to Kirby to prove just what our minivan with 3 kids in it could do. Argh! This is why I rarely ride the motorcycle with him anymore. He gets around young kids who act like jackasses and he feels the need to join right in and show them that, while he may be old, have 4 kids and a granddaughter, he is still "the coolest". Scares the crap out of me!


The speeders - Dana and Kolbe

We made it in one piece and without being pulled over. I had a talk with Andrew (nice words, no screaming, stay out of Aunt Jennie's things, etc, etc), did my survey of the house and we were off. Before we even got to the Swap part of the day Andrew had spilled an entire cup of Sprite on me, gotten into the spare room with a glass cabinet FULL of Beanie Babies (and nearly emptied it, I might add and when I say FULL I mean FULL - probably 1000+), and somehow gotten brownie on his butt and sat on my Aunt's floor...ugh! But it is still going to be a great day - right??????

At this point in time, my "good thoughts" and vibes out to the Universe were faltering. At one point in time I ended up in the bathroom using very stern words with Andrew and then I shot Kirby dirty looks for the next 30 minutes until he decided it was time to take Andrew from me.

We had a great lunch with more then enough food. There were plenty of compliments on my cornbread (I decided to cut out the piece with Andrew's fingerprints in it) and my family only got on my nerves a little bit :) I love them, but they try awful hard to irritate people.

My disgusting brothers - and there wasn't even any alcohol involved - they just act like this for fun.

Monica and Aunt Jen checking out all the food!

Dad - waiting for someone to bring him food, I'm sure

Present time! This is what Andrew had been waiting for from the very beginning. There were 22 people. I got number 22 (which is only second best to number 1) and Andrew got 20...which means he had to wait for 19 other people to open their gift and then decide if they are going to swap for something better. When Uncle Loren chose the gift that he wanted (two Harry Potter toys) it was nearly break down time. I just had to keep reminding him that once he opened his gift if he didn't like it he could take Uncle Loren's (and pray that nobody else decided to steal it from him).

Zachary opened his present and ended up with a 3 1/2 foot snowman...I prayed that someone would take it from him (but who in their right mind would take that thing home). Kirby got a DVD player which got swapped for something else which got swapped for a Yankee Candle. Tom got a Patriots picture that nobody even tried to take. Andrew ended up opening a woman's watch and bracelet set which he promptly traded with Uncle Loren for his Harry Potter toys. I don't remember what I opened...huh...can't remember for the life of me...but I traded it for the DVD player that had been taken from Kirby. Thankfully, Thanny (my 2 year old nephew) fell in love with the snowman and Zachary ended up with a bag of Red Sox's and Patriot's stuff with a wiffle ball and bat. After opening up presents trade is open to all - Zachary also ended up with a Bob the Builder Trash Can and a Harry Potter Magic Wand (Kolbe - Dana's boyfriend - decided that he would rather leave with nothing than those).

Look at those cutie boys!


Soon after I was just about fed up with keeping up with Andrew and telling Zachary to stop (jumping, swinging, yelling, running) so we decided it was time to go. It takes us just as long to get out of places as it does to get ready to go most times. After much urging and a few exasperated sighs we made our way out.

Andrew getting his socks on with help from Aunt Sandy

I think Aunt Jen was ready for us to go :)

Sue reminded me that we had to stop by the house on the way home to go through the books they are getting rid of (when we were kids we had a "library", essentially a playroom with three walls of shelves filled with books - they have decided to redo the room and get rid of most of the books). I left with a large box of books, some for the boys, some for me. Kirby left with a large box of computer components. Each of the boys left with ANOTHER toy (Dad and Sue have a "treasure chest" that the boys take a toy from each time they go).

We stopped at Hannaford and FINALLY made it home around 5:30 - just in time to make a quick dinner, watch the Patriots lose and get to bed. As far as the bed part, even after I told the Universe that Andrew was going to bed without any problems we fought for nearly an hour, he got a number of toys taken away (including his Harry Potter toys) and I gave up and made Kirby do it.

That darn Universe must be having a really hard time understanding me...I wonder if maybe s/he speaks Spanish...


Brothers (and sisters)

While checking out a friend's MySpace page the following song came on:

"Don't Give Up"
in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight,
taught to win
I never thought I could fail
no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face,
I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn
drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakes
ideas daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong
rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up

'got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing
moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong

I don't know what it is, but Peter Gabriel has a way of bringing me back. Many songs do this to me, but something about Peter Gabriel brings my to my brothers and I get all weepy.

I have to assume it has to do with my mother. She would get a new CD and it was all we would hear through the house for about 6 weeks.

It's funny, my sister and I talk about when she got George Michael's Faith which included "I Want Your Sex". She would never play it while we were in the house but we overheard it one day while we were outside...she must have tried to keep it hidden for a month or so - CRACK ME UP!

Anyway, I wonder if Peter Gabriel was the phase she was going through during the divorce. The other song that reminds me so much of them is this one:

"Solsbury Hill"
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
(I) just had to trust imagination

My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut"
Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery

My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."

(Back home.)
When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant

My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
they've come to take me home."

I can hear these songs any place any time and it brings me to my brothers. I love Peter Gabriel and not the Genisis Peter Gabriel or even the Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel but the one that brings me back to my brothers...

I'm not sure why it is just the boys and not my sisters. Of course there is music that reminds me of my sisters (In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel reminds me of my older sister because it was her wedding song as well as Joe Cocker's version on A Little Help From My Friends because we all danced to it at her wedding - most any Janet Jackson song reminds me of my younger sister, especially Control). But those are usually happy memories...memories that bring joy to me not the overwhelming sadness that I feel when I hear the ones that remind me of my brothers.

I love my brothers and I think that they were effected most by the divorce. Of course, the divorce started well over 13 years ago...we have all grown up, mostly gotten over it - they are adults now, grown men (Loren just turned 20 even and Alex is engaged to be married in 2009).

I think this is something I have to keep working on...keep writing about.


It's 7:30 am on a Sunday and I am awake. This is really not like me. I have somethings to do this morning before our trip to Portsmouth for the Annual Bickford Family Yankee Swap.

Keeping The Secret in mind, I have decided today is going to be a wonderful day - and it will!

We LOVE the Yankee Swap! Nearly 30 of us will gather today at my Aunt Jen's house and exchange some rather crazy gifts. Well, some will be crazy, others plain stupid but at least one will be wonderful.

My father's mother died when he was 13. None of us ever had the opportunity to meet her. So, every year at the Yankee Swap one of the gifts is her cross necklace. You get to keep the necklace for a year, wear it if you like, then you pass it along to someone else. The year that I was in school I got to have the necklace and I wore it most everyday.

It isn't anything spectacular. In fact, I have an allergy to some metals and get itchy with a rash if I wear anything too long and often that would happen to me when I wore it. But it is just nice to have something of hers.

It can get a little crazy at Aunt Jen's. Her house is small (well, small for 30 people) and it is NOT childproofed in any way, shape or form. Last year she had a bottle of fingernail polish sitting out and Andrew decided he would open it and dump it. The year before he knocked over a table. But this year - well, this year is going to be wonderful. He is going to be so well behaved. Mom will make a quick scan of the place before Andrew is released and move anything potentially dangerous or mess worthy. We will bring a favorite toy and a book or two and he will be an angel.

Keep your eyes out for my next post. I am going to bring the camera and I hope to get tons of great pictures of the fam.

Have a great day, I know I will!


Do you know The Secret?

The Secret claims that you control whatever happens in your life. Anything you want can be yours - all you have to do is ask for it. You want a million bucks? Ask for it, believe that you will get it and receive it. That simple.

I am in the middle of the book The Secret. I am working on the process of allowing the Universe to make all that I want happen.

My first goal is 10 clients each week. Starting this week I will have 10 clients each week. After the Universe makes this happen to me, then I will ask for a million bucks :)

In all actuality, the book really makes sense. It is all about your outlook on life. If you walk into a situation expecting it to be bad then it will be. But walking in with a good outlook, results are very different.

In order to change your life you have to first change your thinking. Today that is what I am working on.

Of course, this means being constantly aware of my thoughts and my feelings - which can be a tough process. I have to keep checking in with myself, "how you doin'..." (but you have to ask it like Joey Tribiani from Friends asks it - a bit of Italian, a bit of player).

It is a tougher read than I usually like. I like to not have to think a whole lot while I am reading...but, of course, this one is much more thought provoking.

I'll give you a full update in a later post...

I got "Thinking In Pictures" today, that will be another interesting one. I'm not sure if I will read that one right away, I think I might like a nice, easy read next.