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Thursday, August 29, 2013

We are trotting.....not twerking......


I just can't watch this!!!  And, put that tongue back in your mouth girl!
 I swear, this twerking thing has me covering my eyes.
And, I'm not even all that prim and proper.
Scratch that....I'm not prim and proper at all.
Case in point.... as I type this, my bags are packed and sitting by the door.... I am ready to TROT OUT to Party Island for 5 days of doing things that are not prim .......and possibly not proper!
 NO TWERKING.....just a lot of.....um.....um......well......
THIS!


This year, as with many other years, we are leaving our responsibility-consumed life to just enjoy a little R&R (rock and roll....definitely not rest and relaxation!), kick up our heels and forget about the serious life on dry land.....
For the very first time, our children are joining us on PARTY ISLAND.....our adult children. 
Yes, it will be different (and hopefully FUN!) but we've got  a little remedy for that......after we return from our PARTY ISLAND excursion with our two adult children.....Carmen and I are  coming home for 24 hours  to repack, regroup and get ready to TROT off to a another locale  for another 5 days (at this lovely place) to catch a little R&R (yes, rest and relaxation!), visit some neighboring wineries, have some lovely lunches and dinners in a few of the awesome restaurants we have identified, enjoy some gorgeous scenery, stroll through some quaint little towns and reconnect just a little bit before meeting up with some family and friends to attend a wedding.....  

No twerking at any time.  


I'll tell you all about our twerk-free moments when I return........
Until then.....Caio!






Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Butt dialing and the woe of fat chicken breasts......


So, there I was in the grocery store, discussing the trials and tribulations of pounding chicken breasts with the another shopper when little did I know that my friend was giggling in my back pocket.....
A little while later.....my phone rang....
MY FRIEND:  So, what' the deal with you hating FAT chicken breasts?
ME:  Um.....what?  
MY FRIEND:  I heard that you only like thin chicken breasts these days.  You are so into THIN ever since you got thin!  You are against FAT chicken breasts now????
ME:  Um.....what?
MY FRIEND:  Yeah, I heard that you hate FAT chicken breasts. 
ME:  Okay.......um.....what the hell are you taking about?
MY FRIEND:  Well, this is what I heard. 



Isn't anything private anymore? 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

If you love Pittsburgh like I love Pittsburgh.....

BUT, if you are as sick and tired and at  the edge of mania due to traffic and construction issues as I am.....you'll love this little ditty from Pittsburgh Dad.....


Pittsburgh Dad Flips Out In Traffic.....

I gotta tell  you blog buddies, this summer's traffic woes have taken my anxiety level to a whole new level.....
As you can see.....I am not alone!  Pittsburgh Dad at least makes it sound funny.....

Yes, I still love my hometown--traffic and construction and all---but, I seriously question the choices made by the folks who make these decisions!  Like everything else, I am sure I don't quite understand the challenges they face but really.....taking down a major tunnel, having the detours one lane, closing down other major roads and having construction vehicles on every corner....it's a little much too understand.... 
 Yes, I know....Pittsburgh is an old city that's blessed with big mountains and rivers. So, our tunnels and roads and bridges need to be maintained.  I get it, I really do.....but.....geez.....
You know---back in the heyday of folks moving into the suburbs, great minds had to figure out ways to get people in and out of the city to go to work and do the business of living life.  So, those great minds put in narrow, windy roads and built tunnels and bridges to carry people to their destinations. It made perfect sense at the time and improved life and provided families with the opportunity to live in the new bustling suburbs--away from the steel mills that gave them jobs but polluted the entire city.
These great minds probably never even imagined how many millions and millions of cars and trucks and buses and bikes would be traveling those roads and tunnels and bridges over the decades.  Naturally, with all that wear and tear, these old roads and tunnels and bridges need to be fixed.   Add to that the already bulging traffic congestion because these roads were not designed for traffic in the 21st Century and you've got some pretty massive headaches. 
For me and millions other suburbanites, the only way to get to work is to get through the mountain and over the river.  Therein lies the problem.  On a typical day, it can be quite daunting.  My trip to work is 8.3 miles.  Google maps tells me that the trip should take about 17-22 minutes. (BTW--that 17-22 minute trip only happens in the middle of the night or early on a Sunday morning when there is no construction or closures!) When there is not construction and closures---my trip takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes on a week day.  Getting out of the Oakland section of town--where I work--into the city itself can be quite harrowing.  Add  that to the times when all of the students are moving into their dorms (like this past week!) and apartments around the Universities and it is harrowing on steroids! 
And, getting through the city to the bridge and to the tunnels is another test of endurance.  That's on a good day....
Close tunnels and roads that have major construction and thousands of students moving into the universities and all of a sudden---that 8.3 mile trip has been taking me over 2 hours.  Yes, you read that right--over 2 hours.  That's what this month has been like.
No wonder I have been thinking about food, martinis and wine.......

Just thought you'd want to know what's happening in my world......

Happy Saturday!!! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Saying good bye to summer with my spatula.....

Here we are.....face-to-face with the last week of August.
Yes, friends, next Friday is the very last Friday of August.
But we still have today....and...it's still August and it's FRIDAY!!!
SUMMER DON'T GO!!!!



Although the calendar does not say that summer is over, in the hearts and minds of all Americans.....it is over.  O-V-E-R.  OVER!  OOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEERRRRR!  
 Finito....
We've been conditioned from the time we were little tots that summer consists of June, July and August.
June you get out of school and August marks the end of  the lazy life you have come to know....we're heading back to school.
Now, if you are like me and work in academia, your internal calendar has always been like this.
The end of August means the beginning of mania....it's the place where our worlds collide.  We are trying to eek out the last drops of summer but the demands of gearing up for another school year is exhausting......making it hard to really enjoy the last lazy days of summer. 
Here is Judiland, it's a historic end-of-summer.  It marks the first time in 22 years when I haven't been getting at least one child ready to head off to school.   On one hand, I am happy for the reprieve....getting kids ready to go to school while also trying to get myself snuggled into another academic year was always pretty daunting.  On the other hand, it also means that our four years of empty nesting has come...temporarily, I suppose....to a close.
Add to that it's also the first summer in ions when we did not make our regular family trek to the beach and life feels a little topsy turvy.
Being that hindsight is 20-20---I now know that having these two things happen in the same season can have some negative effects on the psyche.   And, my energy level. 
Getting used to the comings and goings (and everything else) of a 22 year old new college grad can wear on even the most youthful of 54 year old mothers.   Add that to getting  used to dealing with the new college grad's father who has been having some issues with the comings and goings.....well, there are moments when I have a headache the size of  the state of Texas.  
So, last night, as I sipped my Thursday night martini, gazing at the August moon and feeling the warm summer night against my face, I decided that I needed a little therapy.....of the kitchen variety.   Some of my best thoughts come to me after a few sips of gin.....
So, I laid out my plan.......I am going to usher out August by spending some extra time this weekend and early next week in the kitchen whipping up some recipes that I have been wanting to try that scream SUMMER.......  
I know exactly how to self-sooth!  
And, I knew exactly which recipes I was going to tackle!
After my second martini, I was convinced you all wanted to do the same....
The second martini always makes me smarter.......

Two of those wanna-try recipes come from one of my favorite foodie blogs that I found recently....Food 52
They sound amazing and yummy and summery......don't they???

 Fresh Corn Cakes with Crab and Tomato Salad

Summer Tomato Tartines with Garlic Confit

And, of course, I always want to try something that comes from Proud Italian Cook's kitchen...
I have been thinking about this recipe since the day she posted it earlier in the month!!!
 
Grilled Kale Salad

And, here's another blog that I found my way to recently..Two Peas & Their Pod....and  I fell in love with the idea of this recipe....
Grilled Peach, Brie & Basil Sandwich
(I am not sure if Carmen would be up for this combo so I might just have to consider this a girls' night with a bottle of a crisp white wine dinner)


I can't think of a better way to savour these last days of  August than sipping some  lovely white wine and trying out some new recipes in my kitchen.......





 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Girlfriends and cocktails and cocktails with girlfriends.....

Which one are you in this picture????



Can you guess which one is me????

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Originally, the title of this post was "like a rolling stone".......

But, then I remembered the rest of those Bob Dylan lyrics and it didn't quite get my message across. 
What I really wanted to convey is that all is well.....life is rolling along.....it's just been a bit bumpy. 
Bumpy is not actually a bad thing, it's just an inconvenient thing. 
Just when I think I can lift my head to catch some air and then pull myself up and get on with what I need to get on with.....another bump in the road.  
Not bad bumps, just bumps. 
Bumps that sock it to me and leave me needing to regroup, refocus and return to the original path that I was desperately trying to navigate. 
I blame it all on the fact that I haven't had a proper vacation that allowed me to just relax and recharge...giving me to be able to figure out ways to walk around the bumps without feeling the bumpiness of the ride. 
So, here I am--- up against a brand new academic year in my work life and I am still trying desperately to hold to the non academic season. 
Plus....here in my personal life, it's the first academic year since 1991 when I haven't been getting at least one of my children ready for a new school year. 
I think that might be throwing me curve balls more than I may care to admit. 
So, that's what's happening here in Judiland.
I'm rolling along......not quite rockin' but definitely rolling...... 
Holding on to summer as best I can!!! 


 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weekend greetings........

From my pretty city....the home of the WINNING Pittsburgh Pirates......
Go BUCCOS! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stick out your tongue!

And get your tongue patch diet on! 
(click there to see what the hell I am talking about) 
 
Really??????

Okay, so.....I've already told you that I am a diet junkie.  When I hear a promo for a new diet, I am all ga-ga and ready to learn all about it.   With this addiction, you can imagine how many diets I've come in contact with.  But, I have to tell you....this one has to be one of the most bizarre ever.  Go ahead, click on the link above and you will see what I am talking about.
Maybe the tongue patch diet works.  Maybe it doesn't. 
Don't knock it till you try it.....right?
 Hell, I am sure when someone first talked about putting a silicone band on one's stomach to help with weight loss (a la the Lap Band), lots of  folks probably saw it as all out crazy. 
But......a patch on your tongue to promote pain and discomfort so you don't eat?
And......it's NOT LONG TERM?
Yeah, sounds all-out-crazy to me!
But, who am I to judge?
I am sure that cabbage soup diet I lived on for 3 weeks was pretty damn crazy in it's time....
(And, let me tell you---it WAS CRAZY......I hate cabbage!!!)


Before I knew what the tongue patch diet was, I heard the promo about a new diet that was going to be showcased on ABC's Nightline the other night.   Yes, Nightline is on at midnight and yes it was a work night.  But, geez, it was a new diet!  I  would gladly stay up for news on a new diet! 
So, I prepared myself for staying up late....on a Monday night no less!
I set up a little station of pillows on the couch, poured myself some really big glass of ice water, got myself all comfy and snuggled in and waited patiently for Nightline to come on. 
I dozed off a few times but when I heard the word "NEW DIET" come on the TV.....my sleepy haze broke and I was completely awake and ready to learn all about this new diet. 

So, the premise---as far as I can tell--is to make it hurt to eat. 
It is supposed to jump-start your diet so that you lose about 20 pounds by making it painful to eat solid foods so that you end up drinking shakes.
Of course, you will lose weight by only drinking shakes.  Well, unless you drink some pretty damn high calorie shakes....
And, I am sure you could eat other soft foods......like ice cream and fully loaded mashed potatoes....
Believe me, I know my way around soft foods.....after 6 years of Lap Banding, I am the expert on yummy soft foods....
Anyway....
Besides the fact that this 10 minute procedure costs $2000 and is only left on for one month, it  just doesn't feel right to me.  Call me crazy and a bit judgmental but really?  REALLY?
Perhaps this expert sums up what I am thinking....

"I think it's a barbaric procedure," said Dr. Rob Huizenga, a specialist in long-term weight-loss who spent 14 seasons as an expert on "The Biggest Loser."
"This is so primitive an approach," Huizenga said. "You could hire somebody to hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot you every time you eat. You could have somebody with a hammer hit you over the head every time you threaten to have something to eat." 


Time and time again, I have professed that I support everyone's choices when it comes to how they wish to improve their physical and emotional health and  strive to make their lives better.   So, once again, I want to drive that home---I do support diets and programs that are not life threatening.  Given that, I want to say that I am  NOT against the tongue patch diet.   Really, I am not.  
I just don't think it's for me.....I'd like to keep my tongue in tip-top shape....for all those other things I like to do with it......
 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scenes from life at a normal weight......


A visit to Old St. Patrick's on a beautiful Saturday!



I know that I probably sound like a broken record when I go on and on about my Lap Band love.
But, when I tell you that it changed my life.......it really did change my life. 
When I think back to the years that I suffered through obesity, sometimes I find myself close to tears at the thought I could have lived my life that way....forever. 
It wouldn't have been a bad life.  I would have still had people to love and people who loved me.
And, my heart and my soul would always be my heart and soul.  And, I am sure I would have still been happy and relatively content and able to enjoy my blessings.....
But, those other things....the things that make me smile, those things that put the icing on the cake of life....those are things that I would have missed. 
Things I would have missed that I wouldn't have even known that I was missing....
Take for instance this past weekend....
As I  told you, I have been staying with my father while my sister has been away.  In addition, Carmen's work and travel schedule has been intense--giving us little time (if any) to reconnect or enjoy each other's company.  Plus, both of us were experiencing a high level of stress--with work, traffic, travel and the regular everyday obligations, we were very very cranky.  It felt like last week was the real week from hell.  So, when a last minute opportunity to flee the confines of our schedules became available this past Saturday, we went into lightning speed mode and decided to make a day of it.   Although we would have loved to escape to a little B&B or fly away to a little secluded beach--with only 24 hours at our disposal....that wasn't going to happen.  And, with little time to do much planning, we had to figure it out quickly.   Thankfully, we love our city and had been wanting to try lunch at a highly applauded little restaurant tucked in Market Square.     And, we are always up for a trip to  The Strip District.....where Carmen can have his favorite Bloody Mary in the city, we can visit with some of our friends at Bella Notte (and I can have their wonderful Tequila Sunrise for breakfast) and chat with those special folks at Enrico Biscotti (their sweet polenta cakes are to die for!) then  we can peruse the little markets for cheeses and spices and other wonderful treats that we can't find anywhere else.
So, when I tell you that we had to pull ourselves together quickly---believe it!-- we had less than an hour to get dressed and get the hell on the road if we were going to take advantage of everything...before the clock struck midnight!  And, since we were anticipating a day of lots of walking on a sunny summer day---we had to make sure we were dressed for it!  And, of course, I had to make sure I was not only comfy but stylish.  Trust me, if this had happened 7 years ago.....this day would have not happenedWhy?  Because I would have been miserable....not having enough time to plan for an outfit that fit, knowing that my feet and legs and knees would be killing me if I was going to do all of that walking and last but not least--I would have not had the energy or the desire to be out in the heat for an entire day of walking....
The fact that this day DID HAPPEN on my 6th Bandiversary was bittersweet.  So, in thanksgiving, I decided to make a special pilgrimage to one of my favorite old churches--Old St. Patrick's (the link about this church is above, under the picture of me there).   The grounds and the church is very comforting and inspirational.   As an Irish Pittsburgh Catholic, I find a special peace and pride at this particular church and I take great joy in doing the Holy Stairs.....
But, I wasn't always able to do these stairs!
Interestingly, the very first time I went to St. Patrick's to do the stairs, I was a much thinner young woman--able to get up those stairs on my knees with no problem.   Then, when I returned many years later, I was in the throes of obesity---the voyage up those stairs was difficult and painful.  Although part of the reason for ascending the stairs on your knees is to evoke some discomfort to remind us of Christ's suffering, that particular discomfort was heartbreaking for me....and embarrassing.  My girlfriend and I went there during Holy Week that year when there were hundreds of other Catholics doing those steps---people of all ages.  It was clear to me....and many others....that I was too fat to be ascending the steps on my knees.  I was holding up the line and I am sure I did not look the least bit attractive.....
And, so, I never returned to do those steps. 
Until this past Saturday. 
On my 6th Bandiversary.    
My thankfulness for my beloved Lapband went to a brand new level....
 

 Losing the weight not only lifted the burden of those pounds on my body but it also lifted the burden of the weight that was crushing my spirit and taking away the things that I could only dream about.
Call it silly and very shallow but I love all things fashion and I getting dressed up and putting on hats and shoes and make up and jewelry.  I love little trips on the spur of the moment and doing nights on the town and hanging with my friends and having date nights and doing mother-daughter days out and visiting little towns and experiencing restaurants and going to little out-of -the-way places with my son and celebrating life in big and small ways and entertaining friends and family just because..........
Being able to do those things gives my life the joy that I craved.  Having the confidence to go out and enjoy things without worrying about how I looked or what other people thought,  knowing that I am not embarrassing my children or my husband by the fact that I suffering from poor self esteem and obesity and being able to go into my closet and find something to wear (and fits!) at a moment's notice.....priceless. 
 
And, being able to climb the Old St. Patrick's Stairs on my knees as part of my own spiritual journey.....absolutely beautiful...
The view from the top of Old St. Patrick's Stairs....



Monday, August 12, 2013

Well, good for them!

Hip-hip-horray and la-di-da and woo-hoo and all that jazz.......
Yeah, I know, I need a manicure.....!
I don't know why this type of headline ALWAYS makes me just a little bit cranky.
No, very cranky. 

I wonder what the people behind me in line thought when I grabbed this magazine, took a picture of it and then slammed it back in the holder.  

TAKE THAT PEOPLE MAGAZINE!  

No, I didn't buy it!!! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

SIX. 1-2-3-4-5-6.

On August 10, 2007, this girl went to the hospital........
I still can't BELIEVE I wore that outfit!
 ONE year later.....
No, I wasn't under house arrest! 
 TWO years later.....
Oh, I miss that beach!
 THREE years later.....
What a fun day this was! 
 FOUR years later.....
Seeing this picture makes me crave a  glass (or a bottle!) of wine! 
 FIVE years later......
Oh why do I torture myself with pictures of the beach?
 SIX years later.....
Here I am....yesterday in  Gerry's (my photographer) office!  Thank YOU Gerry!

 To all of my blog friends.....
To THANK YOU for being a big part of making these 6 years possible......I am sharing a few  new-to-me favorite recipes and menu tips that I know you will just love....because I SURE DO!!  

Spreading the love......

Recipe: Portobello Bruschetta with Rosemary A├»oli  

Now, let me tell you about this recipe.....it is TO DIE FOR.  Seriously TO.DIE.FOR.  I found this recipe when I was trying to recreate a dish that my daughter loves at a local restaurant.  Although this is not that particular dish, I am so thankful I decided to try it.  I made this about 2 weeks ago for a late dinner on the deck when we had some friends in town visitingIt was a HUGE HIT.  I served it with a simple salad and this very refreshing wine that our friends brought with them.  WOO HOO!  

Recipe:  Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto 

As a mad lover of basil and all things basil, one of my favorite things on this planet is fresh basil pesto.  In the summer, I grow lots of basil and I make tons of pesto. I schmear it on everything except cookies and cereal.   This year, I must have went pesto crazy! There I was in the kitchen getting ready for guests when I found myself low on basil and pine nuts.  Since pesto was going to be the main ingredient I needed to top the grilled chicken with, I was in a bit of a pickle.   As I was tearing through the fridge trying to see if I had a secret supply of basil somewhere, I spied a bag of baby spinach.  Then, I remembered a recipe from my early cooking days---a super yummy spinach basil walnut pesto that I thought was from Mike Kalina's Pittsburgh Cookbook.  Since I couldn't find the cookbook on my shelf, I hopped online to try and find it.  Instead of finding it, I found myself captivated by the salacious stories associated with his suicide so many years ago.....not a good thing when you have guests coming for dinner!  I had to pull myself away and find a similar recipe pronto! While doing my research, I found that it wasn't from Mike Kalina's cookbook!  It was from Dom Deluise's cookbook--Eat This, You Will Feel Better.  So, anyway....here's the recipe I ended up using. Thankfully, I had everything on hand!  In addition to how much you will adore it's fresh taste, you will also love it's brilliant green coloring!  The only thing I did different from the recipe was  to add some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.  I topped grilled boneless chicken breasts (that was marinated with this) with the pesto and sprinkled some feta cheese on top.  Everyone went gaga over it.  Or, maybe it was this before dinner drink that made them go gaga.  In any case....I recommend this recipe!  

 


Recipe: Summer Squash Casserole 
If you have never visited The Reluctant Entertainer, I highly recommend you do it NOW!
She posted this on her FB page yesterday and I promptly made it last night!  I whipped up this amazingly lovely and tastey side salad  to accompany this casserole and.... OMG.....yum!  
Did I say YUM????
Oh, and just in case you need to wash this down with something.....THIS WINE was amazing to pair this recipe with.... YUM AGAIN!

Recipe:  Jamaican Coconut Pie  (Bonefish Grille)
This, my friends, is the recipe you have been needing but you never knew how much.  Seriously, it's  decadently delicious!. Who knew that going Jamaican can be so mind blowing?  Hell, maybe it's the rum (did I mention there's a rum sauce on it?) but I feel like busting out Bob Marley tunes every time I eat this!  Listen, I am a coconut pie lover from way back.....waaaaay back.  Even though our family has a favorite coconut pie from a fabulous little bakery near our house.....this Jamaican Coconut Pie is of a whole different variety.  The fact that I--a non baker from way back-- can make it at home is a huge bonus!  I would never attempt to make the regular coconut cream pie that we love at home.  I don't do meringue. I might do the merengue but not meringue!   Anyway....this pie is the perfect ending to a perfect meal....especially in the summer.  But, it's good in the Winter too.  And, gee, it's great in the Spring.  Oh heck....it's spectacular in the Fall too.  What the hell?  Just make the damn pie!


Now, it's on to year SEVEN!    


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy 6th Blogaversary to Stories from the Road!



Let us eat CUPCAKE......
Six years ago today, I hit the BLOGOSPHERE with  STORIES FROM THE ROAD......
I opened my heart and my life to the great land of cyberspace.
And, in turn, you rode along as I meandered my way through the hills and valleys of a journey that brought with it over a 100 pound weight loss, a new appreciation for life and fashion and fun and so many more amazing moments and blessings that I can't even begin to enumerate them here.....
What started as a way to chronicle my weight loss surgery journey and a vehicle to keep me focused has turned into so much more.
SO MUCH MORE.
I am eternally grateful for the gifts that this blog has given me and I look forward to many more years of sharing my world with all of you.....right here on STORIES FROM THE ROAD.
Don't go anywhere!!!
There's so much more life to share.....


Oh, and let's not forget my first key strokes.....I guess I didn't have much to say....the picture must have said it all....










Thank you for the pleasure of your company......

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Who's on first?

Or, should I say......WHO IS IN FIRST PLACE?
PNC Park--Home of the FIRST PLACE Pittsburgh Pirates

PIRATE FEVER is sweeping my fair city---it's in every nook and cranny and alleyway.
Our Buccos have this entire city feeling the heat.
If you don't have PIRATE FEVER, there's something wrong with you......something very wrong.
You better get yourself checked out.....

Okay, okay, I know,  I'm not what you would call an avid sports fan.
However, let me tell you--I can throw a rocking game day feast and I  can and will party with the best sports fan. Plus, I can always sport my hometown team colors and assorted team paraphenalia when the occasion calls for it....
But, let me tell you--if there's any sport that I can actually follow and know the names of the players from the 60's to the present and even know the terminology....it's the PIRATES and BASEBALL.
The Roberto Clementes, the Mannie Sanguiens, the Bill Mazeroskis, the Willie Stargells, the Bob Princes....to name just a few guys from my youth....  See, I told you, I can name drop! 

My Uncle Sam was known as Sammy Pie until the day he died.....because of Pie Traynor.   History has it that my Uncle Sam was a legendary third baseman in his days of playing on  The Hill.  He was also a legendary number writer....thus his reason for not becoming a famous ball player.  
Baseball was our family sport.  We even played it!  
Well, the boys and the men played it....the girls and the women sat in the stands and cheered and referreed and booed and got into little disagreements.....
Every family reunion, every picnic and every graduation party at the park always erupted into a huge baseball game....with every age playing...even those uncles who were well into their 60's....never with pinch hitters...but sometimes with pinch runners. 

Oh, and, God forbid one of the cousins got married during baseball season....there better be a TV there. But, God save the soul of the cousin who planned a wedding during play off season or during the World Series......
So,  yeah, baseball has been at the center field of my life since I was old enough to walk.
PIRATE baseball was a family affair......
My parents dragged us to Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium ----PIRATE games were a ritual of our summers.  There are moments I can still smell the excitement of being there.....
One of my favorite images from Forbes Field....I always imagine one of those women was my mother!
 
The day they imploded Three River's Stadium....we were there to watch it!  Then, we had a party afterwards with a cake that had Three Rivers Stadium on it done up in Black and Gold icing.   Ah, good times! 

My mother always had St. Jude on top of our TV set when the PIRATES were on.  I can still see it sitting next to the rabbit ear antenna box on top of our portable TV in the corner of our living room....
My uncles always sported ear pieces from their transistor radios on game days.  Till this day....when I think of my Uncle Anthony....I picture him with that ear piece and holding his RCA transistor... 
As the years went on, PIRATE games were great dates.....to sit under the stars with a cute guy and to even know a thing or two about the game to impress said cute guy....well, that was damn priceless.
And, when Carmen and I had our first child--Vince--we could not wait to take him to a PIRATE game.  Somewhere there's a picture of Carmen, Vince and I...me with Vince in my arms... in one of those fancy luxury boxes at Three Rivers Stadium.....it's one of my favorite pictures.  Someday I will have to find it....

 Funny....my story about PIRATE baseball is not just mine.  
There are thousands and thousands of Pittsburghers who could tell these very same stories....maybe they would have different characters but they would all be the same--the PIRATES were as much a part of our lives and our treasured memories as Christmas Eves, First Communions and High School Graduations.....
The PIRATES stole our hearts, gave us something to believe in, gave us something to share and for those fleeting 9 innings.....our troubles were few. 

Yeah, the BUCS are going all the way......
ALL THE WAY THIS YEAR
(this one is for you Debbie Dean!)


I'll be back with more PIRATES BASEBALL soon......gotta go watch the game with my dad! 
BEAT 'EM BUCS!








Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WHY AM I NOT AT THE BEACH? And, other ponderances......

Instead, I'm dealing with long days at work, a hellish tunnel closure that causes major traffic trauma,  a little dog that won't quit barking at me and watching absurd TV programming (that I am slowly becoming addicted to!)  with a 93 year old character of a man....

I'm not sure which part of that is more ponderance-able. 
Is it...
Why is work so annoying in August?
Why did they close a major tunnel?
Why is Willy barking at me?
Why is my sister on a cruise?
Why does my other sister have shingles?
Why does my dad insist on watching absurd TV shows?
Why is the top of my foot black and blue and swollen all over? 
(could it be because the said 93 year old man placed his walker and all of his weight on it?)


Q: Why am I not at the beach?
 A:  Oh yeah, that's why!!!! 





Friday, August 2, 2013

Hey Tooth Fairy: how much does a tooth wiegh?




Because, you know, I am getting one (well, the half of the one that is left!) pulled today! 
I'm just wondering if I can adjust my weight loss ticker to reflect that loss.....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Now, this sounds like a plan......

We are always FABULOUS!!!