Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Cousin will be in the Olympics!

My cousin Linda is going to be in the Olympics! Okay, now that I have your attention, let me more clear. Linda will be one of the people carrying the Olympic Torch in the 2010 Olympics in Canada! Linda, a native New Yorker, moved to Calgary a while back to help out with her husband's family. Greg is a great guy and a native Canadian. I am so proud of her! This is such a cool thing to be involved in. She will be running in memory of her grandparents who also had Canadian roots. I admire her for many reason, she's beautiful, wicked smart, accomplished and has tons of spunk! On top of all that, she's my age (you know, um, 29?), and she has enough energy to not only run, but run with the Olympic Torch in Canada! And....Canada is WAY cold! If I walk out to get the mail, that's a lot. Although I do that in the cold and snow occasionally. Sometimes I even walk a little fast. Woo-hoo...go me! (not!)

Congratulations Linda - I am so proud of you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adopt Savannah and also Get a Free Signed Copy of Tales from a Dog Catcher

My friend Chantel is the animal control officer for the town of Plattekill in New York State. This is an area near New Paltz in the Orange/Ulster County area of New York. Chantel and I met in high school and also worked together at the police department featured in Tales from a Dog Catcher. (Perhaps the sequel will feature a few fun anecdotes about her - I have to see if she'd let me first because they are REALLY funny!). She also may be the owner of the oldest cat in recorded history! I think her cat may be close to 30 years old! Whatever that cat is eating, I'm going to start thinking about eating it too!

This is Savannah, she is a lovely boxer pit mix. She is spayed and ready to go. Savannah is very friendly but needs some extra TLC. She is currently staying in Orange County New York. If you would be interested in giving Savannah a home, you can contact Chantel at The Plattekill Anima shelter. Her number is 845-883-6557, drop me an email and I'll forward it on to her. Also...the person who gives Savannah a forever home will also get a free signed copy of Tales from a Dog Catcher!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Artist Richard Finnell

I've received compliments on the painting that I used as my background for this blog - and even though it is not my work I still feel like I've earned bragging rights! This is one of my favorite paintings by my Uncle Richard Finnell. The painting used as my banner was the view outside his home in Queens, New York for many years. I love it for many reasons, all of them a bit difficult to put into words but I'll try.
It seems lonely and comforting all at the same time. Having spent my earlier years in the Bronx, I know what it's like to live in a place that is rarely quiet and you end up getting so used to the ever present noise that you are sometimes suddenly stunned when it's truly quiet....like on a day when snow blankets a busy street and for a short while everything is still and peaceful. It's nostalgic as well...reminds me of sweeter, gentler times in a place that has changed so much since I've left.

Richard is a prolific artist and has painted scenes from places all over the world, sometimes by looking at a photo, sometimes by looking at the visions in his mind, and often as a commissioned piece of art requested by someone who will ask him to paint something that means a lot to them.

His work has been displayed in many places and if you are ever in Queens, you will likely see a lot of his work on the walls of local places in the Corona section of this borough. If you would like to contact Richard to purchase one of his prints or commission him to paint you a piece for your own collection you can click here and visit his site on Fine Art America.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New School Year, New Beginnings and my Role as a Mom

There's something about the waning weeks of summer that results in an unusual mix of depression and excitement. The thought of going back to work, especially so early in the morning, combined with the plethora of folders, papers to sign, notebooks to buy and other baggage that comes with two children also starting school at the same time, makes me think that perhaps that bottle of Corona in the fridge might be just what I need. However, hearing from colleagues, seeing the kids check the mailbox everyday to see if their schedules have arrived, the welcome back letter from school that I always wrinkle my nose up and groan about, but then read over and over - illustrates that this is certainly a time of year with a lot of mixed emotions.
My son will be in 10th grade and unfortunately for him, goes to the same school I work at. I know his friends, I have them in my classes, I know their older brothers and sisters, and his teachers....there is no end to the misery my poor son must go though knowing that even at school - there is no escape from the ominous Mommy! I try to stay out of it, after all my mother didn't watch everything I did in high school, (thank God for that), and I try to follow his lead. Mommy is no good to say hi to in hallway, but very good to borrow money from before lunch or afterschool for drink from vending machine. In 7th grade he once got up in front of his class to hug me on his birthday, and when his friends laughed he turned to them and said "What? I love my Mommy!" to which the entire class started yelling "We love our Mommy's too!" It was a great day - probably the last day something like that happened.
My daughter is a different story. So far, and of course this could change on a dime, I'm the BEST! I'm someone to go to for advice, kiss and hug hello and goodbye everyday even in front of an entire class of 12th graders who refer to her as "Baby Korpics"...I'm right up there with Hannah Montana and maybe even the Jonas Brothers. I don't think I'm as high up there as that dude from Twilight, (after the movie she turned to me and said "Mommy, that man is a work of art!"...was it wrong for me to agree?)
She will be starting 7th grade...will it end? Will I become the enemy soon? Who knows...either way it's normal for some disconnection to occur at this stage in order for them to find out who they are outside of their comfort zone. I think back to how I was with my own Mom, and pretty much I was connected to her hip, and would have stayed there had she not married the anti-christ when I was 12. After he was gone though, it went right back to where it was so many years ago except now I was 40, she was 61...and she was dying. She was still the BEST to me, I hung on her every word, took all of her advice and asked her thoughts on everything I could for as long as I could. So - maybe there's hope. Maybe my daughter will be my little girl forever just like I was for my Mom...and would still be today if I was lucky enough to have her here.

photo take by Felicia Hodges Publisher Tri-County WOMAN magazine. 2009