These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Category: NaBloPoMo (page 1 of 11)

I’d Rather Have My Purse Stolen

How can there be so much ugly in the world? I’m trying to be positive. Really, I am. But it’s so incredibly infuriating to listen to the news (and who can avoid it, really?) about the latest shooting. We have become a vigilante society and it frightens me.

This latest story makes me sick to my stomach.

It’s a story about a woman in Texas who witnessed a purse snatching. She wasn’t even the victim here, but she sure took matters into her own hands. Apparently the alleged robber tried to get away and someone tackled him. He got up and started to run. It’s worth noting that he had dropped the purse in question. Then this woman pulled her weapon and shot him.

No regard for the other people and the high probability of her hitting any of them with a bullet.

No regard for the fact that this was none of her business.

No regard for anything but GUNS GUNS GUNS.

I am not anti-gun. But I am anti-vigilante. I believe in the right to defend yourself and your home. And I’m perfectly fine with hunters and individuals having guns with the proper credentials and training.

But what kind of world do we live in where people wholeheartedly embrace open carry? I’m sorry but I just can’t get behind it. I don’t buy into the notion that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

I don’t want to live in a military state where someone who is legally carrying a firearm might get the slightest bit agitated at me or someone near me and decide to unleash their anger and frustration in an explosion of bullets.

I’d rather have my purse stolen than live in a society that condones this kind of Yosemite Sam-like mentality.

Fear is at the root of all of this. Fear of the other guy. Fear of refugees. Fear of different color skin. Fear of those that wear turbans or burqas. Fear of those that have different traditions and customs. Fear of those that don’t say Merry Christmas. I’m so sick of it. All of it.

I don’t have a solution. What I’m sitting with now is sheer and utter desperation.

Playing Teacher

Both my girls love playing teacher. In fact, my older daughter who is now 11 still enjoys creating a classroom environment in her room.

Goodness knows they have enough stuffed animals and dolls to fill a real school.

Good memories 🙂






On This Day

You know that app on Facebook – “On This Day” – that shows you what was happening on that day in year’s past? Well, I love it. It’s reminding me of special memories and funny quotes. It also reminds me of how quickly time is passing.

10311773_10205706715090369_3750647813890276728_nToday’s “On This Day” memory featured some shots from my older daughter’s cheer banquet last year. It was such a fun evening and a great way for the girls to cap off a great cheer season.

1379589_10202802157998257_879308508_nThere was also a memory from two years ago, in 2013, when she was cheering on the football team in the post-season as they made their way to the Superbowl. I guess I didn’t realize how much cheer was a part of our lives for the two and a half years we lived in New Jersey. I admit I was skeptical at first, but she took to it immediately. And she was quite good. She never made the top of the pyramid because she was too tall, but she was an excellent base as she lifted her friends to the glory position.

My daughter misses her friends in New Jersey, but she’s finding her way here in Delaware. And thanks to social media and texting she keeps in touch with many of them.

For two seasons, cheer was her main focus. Now? It’s the theater. This is crunch week for her as she and the cast prepare for opening night this Friday and five subsequent shows this weekend. I can’t wait to write about her play this weekend. I’m so proud of all the late nights and memorizing and hard work she’s put in. She’s really given it her all – just like she did for cheer.

We’re Officially Adults

OK so my husband and I are in our forties. Which means by all definition, we are adults.

And yet we’ve only attended approximately one cocktail party in our lives. I know, right?

It was New Year’s Eve 1999 – an epic Millennial celebration. We were in our late twenties and kid-less so we were all wild and free. It wasn’t a keg party. It was a real, live adults-only party with hors d-oeuvres and wine and everything.

But seriously, how sad is that? Just one cocktail party. What the hell is that all about? Don’t people host cocktail parties anymore?  I mean, we’ve never hosted one, but still.

I want to get a cute little black dress, put on my high heels and sheer hose, spritz some fancy Victoria’s Secret perfume on my neck and wrist, mingle and make small talk, all while the sweet sounds of jazz great Wynton Marsalis fill the air.

Maybe my expectations are a tad bit high.

Am I living in a 1970s sitcom here with hopes of meeting George and Louise Jefferson at a soiree in their deluxe apartment in the sky? Or maybe harmlessly flirt with Gopher from the Love Boat on the Lido deck as Isaac hands me my martini?


Anyway, we recently moved to a new neighborhood and we’re still getting to know many of our neighbors.

In our mailbox a few days ago was a hand-delivered invitation to a drinks / appetizers gathering or as my 1970s brain read it: A COCKTAIL PARTY.

You guys, I am all over this.

Are my hopes just a wee bit high? Perhaps.

Will I wear a little black dress and smell like a Victoria’s Secret model? Hard to say.

It may be overkill. But you know what?

I feel like we’re real adults now. Isn’t that stupid? My husband was sort of blasé about it when he saw the invitation. I asked him if he wanted to go and he was all “yeah, whatever.”
He has no idea that we are SO going to this.

A Little Village

My mother used to decorate a Christmas village under our Christmas tree every year. It was quite elaborate. Lots of ceramic houses. A few wooden houses and some that were styrofoam. She would borrow stacks of books from my bookshelf and position them under a giant white bed sheet to create a mini-mountain for her skier figurines. And she’d use a small, vanity-size mirror to create a small ice skating rink. My sister and I would sometimes help her arrange the little people and the houses just so under the tree. Presents were always stacked on either side of the tree to make sure there was room. I loved this Christmas village 🙂


As if you couldn’t tell this is from the 1980s. Powder blue, crushed velvet couch; mauve curtains; blue floral print wallpaper; blue carpet. Love it!

Flash forward about 30 years to when I first discovered the Department 56 collection. We were visiting some friends – Jack and Michelle – whose wedding we’d recently attended. Michelle had a pretty sizable collection of Department 56 houses. I learned from her all the different styles you could collect: The Dickens Village, Christmas in the City, the New England Series, and so on. I was hooked. I had my favorites, but I didn’t limit myself to any one collection.

I decided then that I wanted to carry on the Christmas village tradition and start my own collection.

My first “house” was The Wedding Shop (second shelf from the bottom – second one from left). It was a gift from my parents for my and my husband’s first Christmas after we were married in 1999. From there, my collection steadily grew.

I was deliberate in the pieces I chose, carefully selecting only the ones I liked. I’m not one that goes for the showiness of the fanciest collectibles or even the ones that will fetch the most money years from now. I’d rather have pieces that mean something to me and my family.20151109_083722

This is my collection.

I’m thrilled this is the first year I’ve had the space to display all of them. Admittedly some pieces are Department 56, but others are from Jo-Ann Fabric. A few years ago they had a line of collectible Christmas houses that I really liked and that were a fraction of the cost of Department 56. From Jo-Ann’s I found:

A stone church – first shelf, far right. It reminds me a little of the Cathedrale de Notre Dame in Paris.

And on the second shelf there’s a dance studio, which I bought when my 11yo first started taking dance lessons; a Victorian house with a wrap-around porch that reminds me of the town where I grew up; and a log cabin house (dream home!)

For years, many of these pieces were packed away. Our homes never really offered a space that could accommodate them without it being too crowded. While it isn’t under our tree as my mother’s was, I’m thrilled we now have a space to devote to these little buildings that bring me and my daughters some smiles at Christmas.  The other night they helped me unpack them from the boxes, picking out their favorites and arranging them on the shelves.

I love carrying on old traditions while starting new ones.

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