Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from Dominican Academy, Plainville MA (sort of)

Halloween maybe 1986 or 1987. Martha was my roommate - love her Trivial Pursuit card costume! That was my 5th grade uniform. The waist is elastic. It still has the red and blue ball point pen markings in some of the squares that I drew in while drifting mentally away from class, as usual. Sr. Lourdette was my teacher. She was the best. I also have my 6th grade blue and red jumper. And a couple of jackets from cheerleading for the Plainville Packers and dancing for the Young Sophisticates dancing school. Dig the Polaroid film and the shiny Danskin tights. UGH!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Suck It Willliams Sonoma

I blogged about the outrageously priced Halloween cakes in the Williams Sonoma catalog. I know, I know, it's Williams Sonoma, it's supposed to be grossly overpriced, right? Now - I happen to love W-S. I ask for a gift card from there each Christmas. My husband used to sell them fine products that they promptly marked up so high you needed a fine linen embroidered hankie to wipe the blood off your nose.

They showcased three darling Halloween cakes from some bakery somewhere. the cakes were $89 or $99 dollars. And they were tiny! An 8" tall cake is not going to feed "8-10" unless your idea of a serving is a petit-four. That's their ghost cake in the photo.
I wrought my revenge, however, by stealing their concept and making my own ghost cakes yesterday for our Church School party. How easy was it?

I used left over fondant from the wedding cake I made. Rolled it out. Cut it into circles with a lid. Draped it over store bought minim-muffins and added two dabs of tube gel decorating icing. Phew! I'm beat. (Roll eyes here.) For my girls, who can not eat the muffins, I made GFCF rice treats and draped the fondant over them. Total cost? About $5 for 14 servings. Scary, huh?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who me?

A friend sent me this letter the other day. It seems that the tone, tenor and general insanity of this letter writer reminded my friend of someone.... I'm shocked, I tell you. I did not write this letter. I do now wonder if I have a long lost sister. Read it and have a good laugh.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I
appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or
Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa
dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in
tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary
Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how
crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and
secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you
haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can
already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few
minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my
husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the
human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen
quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's
monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating,
puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying
jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for
most women.

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just
crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the
reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful
I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always
maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words:
'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f------ kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny
middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing
happiness, is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned
above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless
you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy'
about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and
lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local
Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in
a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic
message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's
actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately,
there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my
maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your
Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending

And that's a promise I will keep. Always. . ..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Writing, Ranting, Reading


My book is coming along pretty well. I got feedback from my editor that didn't start with, "We've burned your contract. What were we thinking?" which was a relief.


I'm pretty annoyed with the soda/beverage industry. Have you seen the ridiculous ad against the Soda Tax - the angry Melina Kanakaredes looking model is with her child in the grocery store lamenting that they can't buy crappy junk food - BECAUSE OF THE TAX ON SODA. Lady, lay off the soda. Skip the Lucky Charms. Buy the broccoli.


Just finished A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I'm reaching childrens and young adult books these days. I find them more honest, less sappy, and frankly, more interesting than most of the books I've picked up in the last few months.

So what's new with you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I wrote a HuffPo for our Friend Who Died Last Month

My Friend With ALS. He Died Quickly.

I'd appreciate if you'd pop over and comment.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Feels Like a Skirt that's Just A Bit Too Tight, but Looks Nice.

A Parishioner in our Church is a staff writer for The National Catholic Register. He wrote a lovely article HERE about our family. It's beautifully done and I accept the kindness with open arms. At the same time, it feels a bit uncomfortable to me, as we are not perfect Catholics, nor do we want to be, frankly. We have our differences with the Church. And if our priests make us pray for the Yankees and the Giants one more time I might stand up and scream, "Is that holy water or Kool Aid!"

Mark and Kim Stagliano couldn’t have been happier. Posing with their three young daughters right after 14-year-old Mia and 13-year-old Gianna, the two oldest, made their first holy Communion together last year, they thanked God for the amazement of his grace.

“Having that picture in our house of the girls in their white dresses,” says Kim, “is visual proof they made their first holy Communion, and we’re able to walk together as a family to Communion on Sunday.” All three daughters have autism.

Before the Staglianos became parishioners at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull, Conn., Kim attended her nephew’s first holy Communion in Ohio, and she remembers thinking that Mia might not be able to make hers...

On the other hand... The title of my Kimoir is, "All I Can Handle. I'm No Mother Teresa." And I mean it. I am NO Mother Teresa. I'm not even Moms Mabley (look her up, she's even before my time.) I can be a rotten wife, a pathetically icky Mom and a snarky b*tch.

However, we have gotten back to Church since moving to the Godless heathen Northeast. And it's precisely because St. Theresa's staff and Parishioners were kind to, and welcomed, our three children.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Design Flaw

This is our microwave oven. It pulls down, like a stove. See those giant hooks? They latch the oven closed. If you are wearing a sweater, and you pull your cup of coffee out of the microwave, there is a good chance that you will snag your sweater on the latch hook, spill your coffee and swear in front of your children. Design flaw.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saving deets New Book By Brother of Boy with Autism: Saving Deets!

Zack Gonzalez is a 16 year old whose brother Ethan, aka "Deets" has autism. Countless siblings are dealing with the issues of having a brother or sister with autism. Few are able convey the gravity of that experience, their hope for some form of recovery, engage in charitable work and offer advice to families the way Zack has done so well in Saving Deets.

We have a signed copy for one lucky Age of Autism reader. Leave a comment HERE to enter. I hope you go to Zack's site HERE and order a copy, to support him.

From his site: Saving Deets! is Zack's first book. It is his family's journey with his autistic brother, Ethan, aka Deets, told through his eyes. The book covers, acceptance, recovery and making a difference

The book is filled with heart-filled stories and pictures from Zack & other hand-picked families. It is bold and controversial, yet soft and loving. It also includes helpful tips and information including different charts.

The book is $18.50 but exclusively sold for only $17.00 when purchased from & you get to choose which organization you would like to donate a potion of the proceeds to. The book can also be purchased at: Trafford Bookstore
& will soon be available World-Wide in all bookstores this November!

Friday, October 09, 2009

GM Flexible Earnings Card from HSBC GO TO HELL.

Hi - not a lot of time. Count your blessings. But I need to complain to you, to the Banks, to President Obama.

Each month, I pay my minimum plus $150 to a credit card with $3000 on it. (Try moving twice in twelve months with a job loss in the middle and see how much savings you have.) I pay my bills with online banking. I go in, click the payee, make the payment. Takes me five minutes. I haven't licked an envelope in years.

During a recent 31 day month, it seems that my payment arrived at the credit card company, HSBC, too early. So it was in the previous billing cycle. I got off kilter with them. They assumed my next payment was LATE. I have paid every month, the same amount. They can count nine payments this year.

My interest rate went from under 10% to 30%.

I called - they saw I had made every payment and then some. They agreed it was a function of the longer month and my having clicked SEND a day too early. They even removed the $29 late fee! The interest rate must remain for SIX MONTHS.

Because of this, I assume, my Bank of America loan, again, which I am dutifully paying off on time every month, closed down and renegged the credit. Fine by me, I had no intentions of using any credit. We're in paydown mode only. But I have made every payment on time with them - they docked me because of the other card.

This is insane. President Obama, you've offered too little as far as credit card reform and by giving the credit card companies a large window before they must toe the line, they are running AMOK.

Friday, October 02, 2009

You gotta have friends.

And boy do I ever. Mark and I took the kids to Cleveland for a funeral for our dear friend Jim Garibaldi. Jim died on Sunday am, perhaps of a heart attack. He had ALS. His funeral was a fine tribute to him as a loving husband, devoted father and all around success.

In order to attend the wake, I had to ask for help. So, who you gonna call? Michelle O'Neil of course. You know her blog don't you? DON'T YOU? My goodness, race on over to FULL SOUL AHEAD and start reading! She has a beautiful daughter named Riley who has Asperger's and who is doing so very well. And a darling pip of a son named Seth (I hope he liked the skeleton ball I bought him!) Her husband Todd is a dream. Truly.

She came to the hotel laden with goodies for my girls and wine for Mark and me - aaaaahhhhh. It's funny, I have family members with whom I would not entrust the girls for two hours and feel secure. With Michelle, I walked out the door knowing that all was well. No stress at all.

I hope you have friends on whom you can call when you need help. It's a learned skill, asking for help. Fortunately, practice makes perfect. And I've had plenty of practice.

Thank you, Michelle.