Thursday, June 28, 2012

#61 He Cares for My Snail

I felt it was high time I gave you an update on Snaily.  I have to admit, I was a little worried a few weeks back.  Snaily was laying on his side, on the bottom of the tank, and his insides looked like they were shriveling up.

Ok, I'm not a snail person.  Or a fish person.  I just like to look at them.  Therefore, I don't know the terminology for what part of his body the 'insides' are.

And I refuse to Google it.

In fact, I'm not even a true pet person so I don't really know how to communicate my feelings here.  I can only say that I felt a little sorry for Snaily, and hoped he hadn't kicked the bucket just yet.

Amazingly enough, a few days later, he was back to inching his way around the tank.

Here are the famous insides I was talking about.  When I thought he had died, the insides were a grayish color and looked the insides of a tree.

Boy, am I using great vocabulary here today!

I promise, these pictures were just taken this week.

I really hope my hubby didn't pull the old parent trick on me and buy a new snail and swap out old Snaily #6.

I don't think I could live with that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#60 He Makes Memory Music

Music has a mystical way of making memories spring up in the mind.  Have you ever heard a song and instantly been mentally transported to a previous time in your life?

Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Of course, there are the music world staples which cannot be counted as memory music.  "Mary Had a Little Lamb" might bring most to a Pre-K state of mind, and it could easily be disputed whether it actually reminds us of our Pre-K years or just of the association that the song has with toddlers.  Likewise, "The Wedding March" cannot count as a true memory song because as a society we associate "The Wedding March" with weddings.  The second the lone notes bring in the mighty chords of that familiar tune our minds instantly picture doors opening and the presentation of a huge white gown hiding a nervous bride.

That's association.  We associate toddlers with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and white brides and weddings with "The Wedding March" because that is what such songs are typically associated with.

Of course, there are always exceptions.

True memory music should be unique to you and your life encounters.  

I'll show you.

My entertainment growing up was always Christian or educational.


Hearing just a few verses from The Donut Man's song, "Jesus Showed us God's Love" instantly sends me back to around five or six-years-old in the doorway of my living room.  I'm instantly getting teary eyed at the verse:

"Jesus showed us God's love, when he carried that awful cross,
Tell me could you say what Jesus said if they did those mean things to you?
He said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,"

I hear, "Oh I wonder wonder, boo ba do oo who? Who wrote the book of love?" and I'm in sixth grade on my Tuesday night trip with my dad home from the Burlington Center Mall where I've just had a 9:00 pm violin lesson.  We've just picked up fries from Checkers and have the radio set to 98.1 WOGL.  We're listening to the oldies and I'm fascinated by all this music of the past.

I need only hear the didgeridoo in the song "Niki Nana" by Yanni and I'm sitting at my family kitchen table for dinner on any weeknight of my teen years.

It's eighth grade and the Backstreet Boys are big.  My friend, Amy, and I fantasize about particular members of the boy band while using their songs to relate with them.  When I hear, "I Want it That Way" or "Tell Me Why" I'm thinking about young love and heartache.

Louie Armstrong's "Blueberry Hill", and Sarah Vaughan singing "All of Me" puts me back to those awkward years in the middle of high school right after the Backstreet Boys phase.  It's the, 'he loves me, he loves me not' time of every girl's life.

Eminem's tunes and Busta Rhymes singing, "Busta, what it is right now," reminds me of when I first started my friendship with my hubby.  He was convinced that he could make me like the music he liked and I tried to for a while.  Yet now, it is a memory of the start of our friendship.

When I hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, any song off their "Be Glad" album, I'm at my job at Ward's Christian Bookstore where my school principal first introduced me to this CD by playing it every single time he worked.

I connected a lot of music to my time spent working at American Eagle Outfitters.  There was selected store music we had to play all day long.  The problem was that if you worked a full day's shift you heard the CD about two and half times.  Feist's "1234" is one of the songs that puts me back on the hardwood floors, standing and chatting, while folding t-shirts.

Michael Jackson shouting out, "So just leave me alone," puts me on the job merchandising for Fossil, Inc.   This was back when I set certain ring tones on my cellphone, and the Fossil office and all my supervisors were given this one.  I still shutter a bit when I hear this song.

I do have a particularly favorite memory song.  When I hear, Coldplay's Viva La Vida start:
"I used to rule the world, 
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone,
Sweep the streets I used to own..."

I'm reminded of my first year of marriage.  This was hubby's ringtone for his alarm clock in the morning.  So now, whenever I hear this song I'm instantly sent back to my first year of marriage and how wonderfully perfect it was.

Friday, June 22, 2012

#59 He Encourages Me

I've started a new blog.

Have no fear, I will not be discontinuing this blog.

Rather, I have started an alternate blog totally dedicated to my kitchen.  My goal is to make a different recipe everyday.  I know this is rather ambitious of me, especially since I can honestly (and without any shame) say I don't even cook dinner every single day in a typical week.

What can I say?  Crazy people have crazy dreams.  Mine is to be inspired enough each day to make something new, whether it be a whole dinner or simply a side dish or new dessert.  Something new to eat each day.

Visit The Orange Strainer to read on more about my crazy cooking endeavors.

So here's adieu to the cooking posts found somewhere that's green:

I just got extremely hungry all of a sudden.

See you at The Orange Strainer.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

#58 He is Moses, I am Aaron

I often tell my family that my hubby is Moses and I'm Aaron.  If you are familiar with the Biblical story of Moses and Aaron, pardon me while I digress for a moment.

Moses had been chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  Yet, despite this divine appointment he felt unable to speak in front of others.  Therefore, the Lord chose Moses' brother, Aaron, to be a mouthpiece for Moses.

While Lance isn't afraid to speak as Moses was, I often find myself communicating feelings of his that he would not choose to express on his own, specifically to my family members.  Whether it be out of convenience or due to his laid-back-go-with-the-flow nature, the energetic bug-eyed personality of myself refuses to let my hubby's feelings go unheard, especially with his best friend, my brother, Joel.

I've recently realized that as Lance and I are like Moses and Aaron, Joel and I are like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.  (I'm sure you are wondering the connection between these religious personalities and notorious westerners.  Stop wondering, there is no connection).  

First Day of School, 2002 (My senior year)

Joel became Lance's closest friend over the course of our five years dating.  When we first started dating, Joel was 11 and hated Lance.  

Yes, hated.

He would pester and follow us around, all simply for the point of being a nuisance.  In later years, I'd learn from Joel that deep down he was really just upset that this guy had shown up out of nowhere and taken his dear sister away from him.  

But somewhere in my growing relationship with my soon-to-be hubby, Joel grew up.  And he went from being an annoying brother to someone we both actually wanted to be around.  He  became someone my hubby and I could both call best friend.  

For me, he was someone whose personality meshed well with mine.  Someone who understood me, and even when he didn't understand me he still empathized with me.

Growing up, I had best friends and close friends like any typical child.  In high school, I had my circle of friends.  Yet, once I met my hubby the world shifted, a lot.  Some friends I lost, others got placed on the back burner, yet few in the end stayed true.   

Joel and Me, 2008

Joel became my Wyatt Earp during the first year I was married.  He had always been, I just didn't realize it.  For some time I had been feeling a little down on myself because I didn't have many friends.  I had "friends" but not friends like I'd once had before.  Lance was my best friend.  We would hang out with my brothers (but they were just brothers, right?) and that was pretty much it.  It had been fine in the beginning of our relationship, but I soon began to feel like there was something wrong with me for having my everything be only him.  (I now know better).

The first year we were married I worked as a merchandiser for Fossil, Inc.  It was an incredible job to have right out of college.  I set up displays in various Macy's stores and when I was done I went home.  

I went home a lot.  

My plan was to use the time I got home from work early to work on writing.  Yet, somehow every single time I came home I'd get a call from Joel asking to come over or go somewhere and I'd always cave in, decide I didn't really want to write that day anyway, and head over to be with him.

Looking back, I'm so much happier that I put time into us than into just me.

In the end of the movie, "Tombstone," Doc Holliday is dying of tuberculosis, yet, he is still running around with a gang of Earp's men to try and gain vengeance and defeat the gang that murdered Earp's brother.  One of Earp's men, Turkey Creek Jack Johnson (great name, right?) says to Doc after he has just hacked up a good amount of blood, "Why you doin' this, Doc?"

Doc answers, "Because Wyatt Earp is my friend,"

Turkey Creek says, "Well, hell, I've got lots of friends,"

Doc says, "....I don't."

I'm not so down on myself anymore feeling that I don't have friends.  Now I have  friends, but, truth be told, I don't have many Wyatt Earp friends.  There is an underlying bond to a Wyatt Earp friend.  Something that makes them a little higher than the rest.  Something that makes them worth giving anything for.

It's important in friendships to strive to be Doc Hollidays: friends willing to give up anything for their friends; but we also need to be Wyatt Earps: friends worth giving up anything for.  

Joel and Me, 2011

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#57 He Supports SONJ

My brother, Jonathan, is one of the most incredible people I know.  Every year he participates in the Special Olympics of New Jersey's summer events.  It is a weekend filled with a variety of competitions quite unlike that seen in most sports arenas across America.

Maybe it's because they all hold true to the following creed:
"Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."  ~Special Olympics NJ

It began on Friday, June 8th, with Opening Ceremonies held at The College of New Jersey.

This is what the football field looked like when we got there:

After a little waiting, it transformed to this:

To help you better understand what waiting in the stands (on one of the hottest evenings so far this summer) looked like, I have a progression of three photos:

I love my family.

So, after wasting a lot of disc space taking wacky photos, the fun soon began.  The athletes were led in by the Pipes and Drums of the NJ DOC and the Port Authority Police.

Who were then followed by streams of officers.

Over 2,000 athletes then filled the field grouped according to their county.  This group in neon yellow is my particular favorite.  My little cutie is near the end of the line.

Take a close look.  I think he may have heard me screaming for him.

I had to get a shot of this group though.  The girl to the bottom right depicts the attitude of every athlete who competes in the summer games.

Then the torch bearers came.

And the cauldron was lit.

As great as they are, these pictures can't truly convey the overall feeling of the weekend.

The Special Olympics gives us all a chance to be the best version of ourselves that we possibly can be.

At the Special Olympics you are surrounded by those who do this daily: the athletes.  While the world might label them "intellectually disabled", these children and adults are happier and kinder than anyone I've ever met who is labeled "normal".

During the two days I spent at the Special Olympics, I found myself waiting a little more patiently.  I walked a little prouder.  I smiled a little more frequently.  I cheered a little louder.  I hugged those whose names I didn't even know and was more pleased with life than anywhere I've ever been on earth.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

#56 He is Named Like One of Arthur's Knights

When hubby and I first started dating there were occasionally issues.

(Gasp, I know).

And occasionally my parents would step in by speaking to me privately about such problems.   They began one such trespass into the issue like this, "Jess, you know we like Lance, alot"....

Of course, there was no pause after Lance, and it came out, "Lancelot".

Thus ended the serious conversation that day.

This said, my parents recently treated my family with a trip to the NJ Renaissance Fair.  Having never been to any other Renaissance Fair in my life, I cannot compare it to anything.  I can only express my experience through pictures I took and comments to match accordingly.

This is the view we were greeted with upon entering.  (Don't worry, there was a lot more).

We then came upon the group "4 piece of 8" in the middle of an interesting performance.  Then, it started to pour so we had to seek cover by eating.

That's right, I said by eating.

We could not seek cover any other way.

This led to my relationship with this ginormous turkey leg.

And I 'et it all.

Just kidding.  My sister-in-law helped.  So did my lil' bro.

The rain stopped just in time for the turkey leg to find its way into the trashcan.  We headed over to watch glass be made into interesting things.

This is apparently how it happens:

My attention span was only so strong so I left the glass tent no more educated on how glass can be formed into shapes by fire and gazed upon these amateurs trying to shoot a bow and arrow.

I avoided calamity with a dangerous swamp.

Then I watched about five minutes of a peasant trial. (Either the guy holding the basket is on trial, or he will be soon for stealing that basket).

I saw Robin Hood chillin'.  It didn't look at all like he was robbing the rich to help the poor.  But, maybe I caught him on an off day...

A weird fellow was taunting people to throw tomatoes at him.

And apparently many people did.

 Enough said.

People  paid money to sword fight with one another.  This was probably the one thing I would have been willing to try, but not really because I think the mask thing would have made me feel claustrophobic.  

And I have an extreme fear of pointy objects.

That aside, it looked like loads of fun.

And before we called it a day, we watched two men ride out on horses to joust.  But once my little brother saw the horses he had enough.  So, we only saw men half dressed in armor riding on horses wearing dresses.

It's pretty fun to be taken back into another time period for a few hours.  The environment as a whole from people passing by, to the performers, to those selling their wares was entertaining, to say the least.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#55 He Plays 'Call of Duty'

This post is going to come back to bite me.  But I have to say it, I love that my hubby plays 'Call of Duty'.  

The first reason, and best one that I can come up with, is this:

That's right, that photo was completely unrehearsed and unprepared for.  As I considered posting it, I thought, "Maybe the world isn't ready for such a photo," (Especially considering that Joel's shirt is off).  Then, I reminded myself of the truth that candid camera tells.

Is the shirt off because he's hot from working out or from playing the game?

And look at the seriousness in both faces.  When hubby looks like that, he can't hear.  At all.  Not a word.  I could roll around the room doing cartwheels (no, actually I couldn't because I have zero upper body strength) or be ablaze with fire dashing back and forth in front of him and he wouldn't know I was there.

Even the photos they knew I was taking are priceless:

I think Joel is in physical pain here.

This is serious business, people.

But I do have another reason why I like my hubby playing 'Call of Duty'.

I get to have a little time to myself.  So much time that I sometimes think crazy things like:  "Gee, I wonder what all my heels would looks like spread out on my staircase,"

 Well, in case you were wondering that yourself...

 This is what it looks like:

Oh, didn't I mention my crazy shoe fetish?

You can say it, I have problems.  I know it because that's only my heels.

I wonder what I will think up next time 'Call of Duty' is on....