Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Full House Again

Oh what a week! A full house again. It's a nice to think about having everyone home, which give lots of warm feelings but oh what a lot of work. I have forgotten how much work it is to have a house full of people and how much work it is to care for all of them, all. In my house, every one wants to be catered to. Guess who is the caterer? Moi! So despite long hours of 'work', various other community activities I have a full line of 'home work' or chores to do when I get home.

I have to re-organize my days and hours, my time, to fit my new home work with everything else I have had on tap for the past months. Well of course since I am not really superwoman, I have to loose a few things, slow up on some and neglect others to get to the catering:
Ma, where is......?
Ma, I need and appointment for the........?
Ma, can you help me to......?
Ma, what's for dinner?
Ma, I'm hungry
Can we go shopping, I need.......?
AND I still have to ask:
Hey did you get the home work done?
Did you get to school on time?
What to add to the shopping list, and so on , and so on, and so on!

So all that to say, I've neglected to visit with my blogosphere friends this week. I haven't paid attention to my blog page and other attendant issues either. One good thing though is, I have re-ordered my time and tasks and will be back on track this week. I've also had some time to think about my blog and what to do with it. You know I've been looking at ways to improve the posts, the traffic, appeal etc. I plan to make some changes that will hopefully make it more fun, interesting and lively. Watch for the roll out!

Hopefully I will be able to follow my new work plan and I will get the blog re-work in the line up. I'll also stop by to visit and catch up with my friends and favorites and of course make some new acquaintances.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why do college students move....Part 2

So we made it back safely and managed to secure everything until such time. My arms, legs, shoulders and back is still reeling from all the activities. Despite all of the trauma and drama, I enjoyed the trip. I was too happy to see my baby and she was equally happy to see us. I am sure a part of that pleasure was that the 'movers' were there to rescue her from all of the grunt work of the move. It was great to get the hugs and kisses and squeezes that we exchanged. I forgot all of the ranting about having to do the move at that point. I also enjoyed the chatter of the folks around, the camaraderie of parents and students, lifting and hauling, the exchanges of summer plans and next get together, next semester relocation plans etc., etc. These were the last of the Mohican's to leave campus, it wasn't the masses so it was a bit less hectic sharing the stairs etc than usual. So that was good too.

I love being on the campus with the kids. There is something soothing and comforting to see the buzz and interaction among the students and the commiserations that sets my mind at ease from wondering how the kids are doing. It's a good feeling and one that I enjoy every time I visit, and believe me, I visit.

My one disappointment is that I didn't take my camera along on the trip. The scenery along the road was wonderful and the chaos on the campus grounds was equally interesting. There were so many, many great '1000 words' to share and I did not capture them in a portable way. I have to remember the camera next time. No new expenditures at this time, except for packing and moving supplies. So now that this event is behind us, for a couple of months anyway, who is ready to break with this tradition?

Do I hear some one out there in the blogosphere saying yeah, yeah, lets talk about this. There ought to be another way to end the year and begin the new year without the mass movement of stuffs on college campuses.

So lets talk about it.
Who of you are ready to break with this tradition?
What are your key areas of concern?
What do you see as a more sensible if not 'humane' way of making this transition?
Why do we have to do this anyway? Rationale, please!
What are your suggestions for this change or improvement?


Are you thinking that I am a worry wart and I should leave well enough alone?!

I don't like to make waves anymore than the next person, and I am not about breaking with tradition or conventions either. Change rattles me as much as the next guy but this is such a huge task that it begs the question. Why are we doing this or why do we continue to do this as we are/have?

Tell me please! I can take it! I'll be ready for the fall and the next number of years 'till the kids are done or until they don't invite me anymore!

Whaddaya say, eh?!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why do college students move every year


Well it's off again on the college road trip this week end. This is the pick up trip. I don't like this leg of the trip any better than the first leg to drop off. Well, I like this piece 'cuz my babies will be home again, even though it's for a short while. What I dislike is the packing, the cleaning, the hauling AND after driving 4 and 5 hours, I have 2 kids in the system, I have to haul, lift, pack and then gear up for a full house. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I will ever be tired of the full house. I am still not ready to let go yet, it's just the exhaustion of the on campus off campus exercise every year. Fortunately my schools have a different start and end schedule so I get a few weeks in between this exercise.

I am still puzzled as to why we go through this exercise, from scratch every year. I never understood or appreciated having to move out of my dorm at the end of the year eventhough I would return in a few weeks. Now after all those years and 5 years into my children's time in college, I still can't appreciate it.

I know that it is easier to clean and upgrade the space when it is empty. I know that programs are organized in cohorts and some other configurations that makes it more managable or ideal for the schools. It is also true that some kids like to move in with new friends or find a room they may like better etc, but can some of you experts in campus housing and planning come up with a way of minimizing this mass hauling exercise every year?
My legs will thank you. My back will thank you. My pocket book and my psyche will thank you.

I appreciate having the ability to store the stuff on the campus, well we were afforded this courtesy by one of the schools because we live so far away. Our other school, which is even further away doesn't offer this option. There are loads of facilities available with various offerings to haul and store for the summer. That's good! It's the mandatory hauling of the stuff out of the dorms that is the issue here! Yes, make the kids clean up, get rid of the excesses and thrash, pack up and secure their stuff so that floors etc can get cleaned but why do we have to move.

Do you know how may trips I've had to make up and down from the fourth or fifth floor? We've been lucky with the assignments you see. Yeah, yeah, you guessed it! There are no lifts, or elevators, or dumb waiters - unless you want to call us parents that - to get the things up or down. I really feel for some of these 'little kids' hauling all those big boxes, refrigerators and all their stuffs up and down the stairs.

What is the point really? To give a sense of beginning each year? Is this a motivating strategy to turn the page for the New Year? Is it the responsiblity for students belongings in their absence (not really 'cuz we store there) or is it just fueling a cottage industry?

Doing the back to school shopping, getting new decorations, fresh linens etc., is fine. After all we do that anyway with spring cleaning, summer refresher, fall set up and so on. We will still do those shopping junkets because we want to ensure the comfort of our chilidren while they are away from home. Believe me we will still spend too much as usual to get them settled in. Just don't make us move till we're done.

So my week-end will be spent working, plying the I-95 North and South, recuperating and reorganizing my family life. This Memorial Day weekend I will give thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and ask God to grant them eternal rest. For those of you who will share the highway with me this weekend, for the same reason, take heart the years go by fast. Stay fit and practice good body mechanics for those lifts. Be safe and enjoy the family. If anyone has found some solace or answer to this enigma, do share with me. I still have a few more years to go here, maybe I will be able to appreciate it.

My sincere gratitude to our men and women in uniform and wish all of you the very best.

Why do we forget important things sometimes?

Oh my goodness, this has been a very intense week at work. With all of the Influenza A, swine flu, H1N1, or call it what you will, excitement going on even my main work took a back seat. My life has also taken a back seat. When I get home I am so exhausted that I can barely get through the evening chores before I crash out. There were even milestones in my life that almost passed without acknowledgement. Fortunately, I disconnected on the way home today. Quess what, my special anniversary day is tomorrow and I didn't make plans or get ready for it. I can't believe I almost forgot?

Although I’ve written the dates so many times each day and see it all day on my computer screen, I didn’t even make the connection to the dates. The only thing I tried to connect was the number of calls, the symptoms, and the number of days of illness, absences, hospital visits and the results. So what was the keen interest in my days and of my data collection; to close or not to close, why or why not, the implication and the overall effect on every thing?

Well, I guess that is life in the big city right now. But it does take a toll on you! The stress, the anxiety to control the message and the energy, to be rational, factual, sincere and calm so that folks feel supported and heard is very challenging. I can’t wait until we get a grip on this thing and the whole thing subsides so that we can back into our organized chaos and begin to norm to this crises level. You know how we do!

Well anyway let me share with you that I will be celebrating an anniversary this weekend. I should have reckoned earlier this week or during the previous two weeks and made some decent plans. Well, thank God for another year! I will fill you in on how it turns out.

Do you also play that game to see who remembers the anniversary and who prepares for it? Be careful it could bite you!

Happy anniversary, Dear! What did you get me?!
Hmmmm, wait a minute, what should I get him? Do I have time to shop???

Uh oh it could get ugly….!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This is the AIDS Walk New York weekend. It is a very important and huge event in the City this weekend.
"AIDS Walk New York is a powerful and inspiring day in Central Park and on the streets of New York City. On May 17, 2009, we will honor those who continue to fight, embrace new allies, remember loved ones lost, and work to realize a future without AIDS." Kintera, Inc.

This is one weekend and event that I give as many hours of my time to every year. This year, unfortunately, I am really not up to the task. I still have not regained my strength or motivation to do much but I am going to try my best to participate. As you know I went back to work this week after my illness. I managed to make it through the week and what a hetcic week it was! I didn't get to ease slowly back into the swing of things, instead I was swinging like a banchee from day one, all through the week because we had so much going on there.

Any way I encourage everyone to log on to the website and make a donation. If you are in the City get down to Central Park and participate, it's not too late. You can also make donation to the cause even after this weekend. Fundraising for AIDS research and services is a work in progress and they need all the help they can get.

I always have such a wonderful time at the AIDS Walk New York. It's eletric; the crowds, the noise, the excitement, the colors, the teams, the donations, the music and performances and the giveaways. Wow, you should be there! You will be so tired at the end of the day but very happy to be a part of this event. It is truly the thing to do and the place to be on Sunday 5/17. Volunteers are always welcome!

You can go directly to the donations page to make a contribution at

Thank you very much! I hope to see you in Central Park on Sunday 5/17, rain or shine!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm Baaack!

I returned to work today after being absent with the flu for almost two weeks. I still don’t feel 100% yet but I’m ready to get back on the horse. Most of the aches and pains and other symptoms have gone but I am left with this horrible cough. I have this tickling high in my chest and as soon as I say more than 3 words, here comes the cough. My doc says it’s the vestiges of the flu. It’s viral and it will pass, give it time and take some cough medicine, he says.

I have some home remedies, honey and lime/lemon; you know the ones, and I am also taking Robitussin cough formula. I can see a slight improvement since Friday but I am not near better yet. So I guess the medicine for me to completely heal from this point on is time.

Doc recommended some other stuff for me to take but I opted to stay with the Robitussin. This is the household remedy for my family for years. It works well, the taste is easy and it is easy to find. The kids have taken it for as long as I can remember and they know to go for it after a few days of a lingering cough or cold. Of course they have graduated up to the adult formula now and it goes down just as easy as the kids formula.

Their tagline is "Robitussin has a formula that effectively relieve all of your cold symptoms - even mucus." "You can find a formula that is righ for you." This is true!

I had a good day at work today. The weather was good and folks were happy to see me back. I was happy to be back. Let's see how the rest of the week progress. I know one thing for sure is this; I know where I went wrong and I will tell you. Please take heed, ‘cuz it’s ugly. The things I failed to do or to do well are the same old things that we know to do but don’t. We take chances, we get careless, you know, we feel invincible, I got the flu shot so I'm safe, but watch out! Chop down!

So please remember this:

Wash your hands often. Keep a bottle of antibacterial stuff around and use it if you can’t wash.

Eat right!

Make sure you get your daily dose of fruit and veggies.

Take your vitamins and bump up your vitamin C.

Get plenty of exercise because it builds your immune system.

Get lots of fresh air. Let the fresh are in. My husband usually tells me to 'open the windows and exchange the air in the house. '

Try to eliminate as much stress from your life as you can.

Get plenty of rest. Really get plenty of rest – go to bed early, take a break and relax. Pamper your self a bit. And take time for yourself with friends.

I skipped most of these things over the last three months if not longer especially the rest and the exercise things and see where it got me!?

I am going to take my time to gear up to my usual level of activities and I will be getting my rest and exercise. After all I have a weight loss challenge to get to. I also hope to take time with friends and get to know you, my new friends better.

Thanks for all your well wishes. They certainly helped.

Have a great week!!!!

Be well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day


M magnanimous

O omnipotent

T tender

H honorable

E effervescent

R reverential

These may not be the usual words we hear or use when we talk about our Mothers, especially with our siblings. Some of these words are huge in terms of the usual usage and reference but I think they are befitting my Mom and I am sure yours too.

Mind you, she is not perfect, she is far from it. She makes us angry at times, talks about us too much and sometimes tires to micro-manage our lives. I know, through it all she means well and wants to make everything right and as near perfect for us as she can. Our joys, happiness and satisfaction are her joys and completeness. I never stay mad at her because deep down I understand where she is coming from.

You know something funny; as my children grow older, I see my Mom in me. What a prospect! My children may have a different view of me but like my Mom, I love them dearly!

So this is why I see Mom in those words:

Magnanimous – She is kind and fair, always encouraging us to do our best; reach for the stars; be better that she is. What a wonderful, sweet, kind lady with a beautiful smile and a warm heart.

You say, Omnipotent. Yeah she knows everything even before we fess up, and, she was not even around at the time. She can absorb all of the things we throw at her even the things she picks up by the way. And she loves us still, even before the shock wears off. I remember she told me I was pregnant with my second child before I even recognized it. Hmmm! I thought she was nuts at the time.

Yes, she is Tender. Even when she wanted to knock my block off for something I did or failed to do, even after her pleading. She forgives, even if its later, and that makes us feel better. Don’t get me wrong; what ever you store up, well, you will reap, lovingly, when the time is ‘right.’

Honorable – She stands tall, even though she is physically short. Her word is her bond and she pushes us to follow suite. She is a praying woman and never lets us forget, “from whence our help and strength comes.” She looses her identity and becomes “philly’s” Mother, and so you must be who she is and do her proud. She reminds us to be grateful, to be generous to be forgiving and to share and to always give thanks. You can count on her to keep you honest because she looks at you as if she can see right through you. She puts on a face that says hmmmm, “you’d better make it good".

Effervescent- That laughter, even if it is to make me laugh and refocus on the importance of the lesson at hand, she gets out a haughty laugh. She goes behind closed doors to grieve, frown or absorb the failings. It is important to her to show us strength and resolve because she always says it is important to stay in the fight. She will be up and about early in the morning to get things right; find the answers, solutions and would never miss, a “don’t worry it will be alright,” to comfort us.

Reverential – She is courteous, polite, welcoming, and flattering even if it is just to make you happy for the moment. She doesn’t always ‘bite her tongue’, and sometimes that gets us angry. When the time is right, or when she gets ready to deal with you, she breaks it down for us. It’s never always pretty but she will always add …”it’s because I love you.”

MOTHER, what a beautiful word! I have the bestest one in the whole world!

I thank God for her every day and every time she crosses my mind. I ask Him to continue to bless her and keep her here with us in good health, in love and in peace. I ask your kind prayers too!

Thanks Ma for everything!

A favorite song of mine is by The Intruders, "I’ll always love my Mama." It gives me such joy when I hear this song! Yeah, "you only get one, you only get one yeah"

Celebrate her everyday! No matter what because. She is love.

Here are a few verses of the lyrics from

Celebrate her everyday! No matter what because. She is love.

Here are a few verses of the lyrics from

I’ll always love my mama
She’s my favorite girl
You only get one; you only get one, yeah
I’ll always love my mama
She brought me in this world

Mmm, a mother’s love is so special
It’s something that can’t you can’t describe
It’s the kind of love that stays with you
Until the day you die

She taught me little things
Like saying `Hello` and `thank you, please`
While scrubbing those floors on her bended knees

Talking `bout mama
Oh, she’s one of a kind
Talking `bout mama
You’ve got your yours and I’ve got mine
Talking `bout mama
Oh, hey mama, hey mama, my heart belongs to you, oh, yeah.

Happy Mother’s day to all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

Oh yeah! I am feeling better, finally. What a terrible ride! Well, I feel about 70% right now. I took the last pill in the series so that should get me over the hump, I think. I also know that I am feeling better because I am reacting to the mess in the house.

You know those TV commercials when the mon gets sick. Everyone tries to cater to her but the house... Well the mess she recovers to is unbelievable so she falls out on the bed. Unbelievable because everyone seems so comfortable in it eventhough she works hard at keeping the place clean. No surprise here. I stumbled through the mess and even manage to ignore it all these days, but today! Hmmmmm, I have to do something. But wait. I have to wonder, if they seem so comfortable in the mess shouldn't I just leave them in it? Oh, but then I would have to find a place for me.

I don't think this house is too different from most others, not all. The lion share of the work ends up on my lap. Unless I sound the alarm it either sits where it lay or I get it done. I am not in a position to do much right now and I am a bit disgusted with the mess. I have to sound the alarm. Mind you, I did try to raise the issue earlier but no one was able to hear me. There was no yelling and kicking things around. So I can't begin to give you a recount of my flu episode yet. I have to get after this mess or I might have a relapse.

So here I go. Let me start with the bucket and the mop and then figure out what products to add and where to start cleaning. The competition is stiff here, it's an equal opportunity mess, all rooms, spaces and things are filthy.

I better get my gloves and mask too. I'll get the cleaning stuff together, bark some orders and chip in as much as I can to return the place to some semblance of order. I will throw in some guilt, you know what Sunday is, right?! That will get some speed to the job. Hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

I'm a cleaning and barking between the coughs for while!
Mom's baaack!!!! Kinda.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

out of commission by flu

I have been totally laid up for the last 5 days. This is the first time in that many days that I am able to as much as sit in front of the computer. As much as I wanted to check in with you guys, I couldnt get beyond the initial thought of getting on line. My eyes hurt and vision is wierd but I am beginning to feel better. I don't think I am out of the woods yet because I am very weak and still with the fever and headache. I am really pushing it here. So what's wrong?
Well I will tell you with a copy of a description directly from WebMD below. This is exactly what is going on with me. I was totally good for nothing during this time but starting to recover, I hope. I didn't get to the cough and sneezing part yet but my chest is starting to get stiff. It it really a horrible illness. I will give you the details later but here is some info for you.
Stay well!

Influenza - Symptoms

The symptoms of influenza (flu) appear suddenly and often include:
Fever of 100F to 104F, which can reach 106F when symptoms first develop. Fever is usually continuous, but it may come and go. Fever may be lower in older adults than in children and younger adults. When fever is high, other symptoms usually are more severe.
Body aches and muscle pain (often severe), commonly in the back, arms, or legs.
Pain when you move your eyes.
Fatigue, a general feeling of sickness (malaise), and loss of appetite.
A dry cough, runny nose, and dry or sore throat. You may not notice these during the first few days of the illness when other symptoms are more severe. As your fever goes away, these symptoms may become more evident.
Influenza usually does not cause symptoms in the stomach or intestines, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

For more information check out CDC flu site. It outlines the various types of flu and treatment and other very useful information.

For whatever its worth, I had a bout with the 'seasonal flu'. The symptoms were severe eventhough I had my flu shot!

Watch out guys, the bugs are out to get us!
There is a whole lot of good in frequent and proper handwashing. Cover coughs and 'achoos!'

Be well!