Ruby Tuesday II – Red, White and Blue Birthday

Today we started celebrating my mother’s 89th birthday a few days early!
When you are about to be 89, you deserve a multi-day celebration.
My sister, brother-in-law, mother, myself and friends Bobbie and Denny had a nice lunch at Via Marconi Smokehouse Tavern. This is a relatively new restaurant at Station Square on Church Rd, Lansdale, right near the Pennbrook Train station.  
The bar/pub area is very open, with lots of windows and natural light. Many TVs give you the opportunity to keep up with your favorite sport, and if you so like, there is a dart board! One of these visits I’m going to throw some darts!
This is the second time I have been here, and once again the food did not disappoint. I had your basic cheeseburger today. It was very good on a great roll. It came with a pickle and chips. I considered upgrading to their awesome sweet potato fries today, but stuck to the basics! 
All were in agreement that their sandwiches are HUGE. Bobbie, Mom and Larry all brought 1/2 of their sandwiches home. 
As if the sandwiches were not enough, Bobbie baked and decorated a cake for Mom! Bobbie has made several cakes for family functions and she never fails to outdo herself! This great patriotic themed cake was just perfect for Mom. A delicious yellow butter cake with yummy icing

Looking good for nine days short of 89!

Ruby Tuesday 2

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Happy Birthday Mom, and America too!


Today we celebrate the 87th birthday of my mother, Betty.  A quiet day for sure, as she does not like a big fuss.  I bought her red, white and blue flowers, and will make a dinner of ribs, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, and salad. For dessert we will have angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries, red, white and blue, in the spirit of Independence Day.

My mom is pretty amazing for 87.  Despite the pain she is in every day from a failing knee, she is still as active as it will allow.  She’s having the knee replaced on in just 2 weeks.  We are hoping that once she recovers, she will be able to be more active once again with her two bionic knees!

Today we also celebrate America’s birthday.  Living near Philadelphia, there are many events on this day, but not being a huge fan of big crowds and crazy traffic, we will stay out her in the ‘burbs.  Maybe, later some fireworks.  It all depends on the teenager’s mood today.  Will she feel like spending time with me, or choose her friends!  I have learned not to make too many plans or set my expectations for any particular day too high!  Ah, the life as the parent of a teen!
Thanks A-Latte for stopping by! Martha

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Happy Birthday, Tara
12 years ago today, was the single most important day of my life. It was the day I became a mother. I had known for sure since September when I had an amnio, that the baby was a girl, but I had a “gut” feeling from the very beginning. Just like the good girl she is, she arrived right on her due date.

I don’t think I have ever documented the events of that day…. Even though it was the most important day of my life, it was not the celebration that I had dreamed of. R. had been binging for days before and he really needed to be in a hospital bed himself to dry out. I look at pics of him that day, he has such dark circles under his eyes… not from lack of sleep for sure!

My mom was at work that day, and although I would have loved to have her there by my side she felt it needed to be our time as a couple together. She’s old school, and you didn’t have the whole family around you when you “birthed” babies back in her day!

There were times I felt like I was all alone that day, the nurses were more comforting to me than my own husband. R. would go out for a smoke break from time to time, and I’m not convinced that he did not leave the hospital campus at some point to get a drink. I think the nurses realized there was some tension!

I had been in labor most of the night, keeping that tidbit of news to myself. I had a OB appointment in the morning, and I had hoped we would get confirmation at that time that this was really it (I had two false starts due to dehydration, and spent a few hours each time hooked up to fluids). I swore I was not going to the hospital again until there was a body part hanging out!

The Dr. confirmed that I was indeed in labor, and I was so happy that my favorite OB, was at the hospital and would be the one to deliver my baby girl. We had been through a lot together, and it was important for me that he be the one. I had my stuff in the car, so we headed right to the hospital (I do believe there was some drama though because R. wanted to make some stops on the way – probably for a bottle of vodka and cigarettes), and arrived by about 10:30am.

My contractions didn’t speed up much, so I walked laps around the ward, and R. napped in the chair. It was supposed to be a really happy time for us as a couple, but I really really felt alone through it all! Eventually around 3:45pm, Dr. S broke my water, and then things took off. I had Tara naturally. The epidural video (and the needle) scared the daylights out of me. I remember the nurse telling me that I was positive for strep B, and R. thinking she said HERPES. He got rather upset, acting like he thought I had been “stepping out” on him…. believe me he was more than I could handle! In retrospect, I think HE might have thought he was going to be in BIG TROUBLE. The nurse had to actually show him my chart, so he would believe that she did not say the “H” word.

Once Dr. S broke my water (yeah for having a “crochet hook” stuck up your hoo ha), things speed up pretty quickly. I have to admit, during this part of labor and the pushing, that R. pulled himself together, was right by my side, and remembered what we learned in child birth classes. Tara made her appearance at 4:20pm. She was beautiful, her skin was smooth and she wasn’t all wrinkly like some babies. I guess she didn’t get to mushed coming out! I vaguely remember the cutting of the cord by R., holding my girl for the first time, and R. helping with the weighing and measuring.

I think I was in my regular room by 6pm. Mom stopped by for a bit on her way home from work, but the rest of the night it was just R., Tara and I. Tara was such a good baby, and we kept her in the room with us for the most part. I had choosen not to breast feed, I just knew that it would have caused me a great deal of stress. I need R. to be able to help me with something, and knew he could handle feeding her. (Note – Tara was the HEALTHIEST of all the babies in my new mom’s group, only having to be on antibiotics for an ear infection ONCE in her firs two years, and she was in daycare once she turned one – the rest were all breast feed, and SAHM)

R. slept in the chair in the room, continuing his “drying out”, hacking and gagging in the bathroom. There were times that I wished he would just go home, and leave me alone… he was stressing me much more than he was helping me, but her wasn’t really supposed to drive…..

I remember it being so cold and windy. March was certainly coming in like a lion. My room was on the front of the hospital near the flagpole, and the wind was blowing so hard, I could here the clanking of metal against metal all night long, for the ropes on the flag pole. Tara was born on a Tuesday,and because of the time of the day, I would not be released until Thursday. Wednesday night we had our ‘couples’ dinner – steak and lobster I believe, and R. parents came to visit. They were our only other visitors.

In retrospect, R. had isolated me from many of my friends, and when he was around, they preferred not to be. Even my family stayed away until we got home, all using the excuse that I needed that time to bond and rest! No balloons, no flowers, no fanfare.

Tara really was a good baby, of course we had our “moments”, and she didn’t like sleeping in her bassinet very much. She loved sleeping in her swinging bassinet or on mommy’s chest. I loved those times when she would just cuddle up against me! We were a team from the very beginning!!! Such a strong and special bond…. that is so strong until this day.

R. and I only stayed together until Tara was 8 months old. I could not handle the stress of an infant, working full time (pretty much supporting us on my own), and dealing with his drinking… but that’s a story for another post!

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My Birthday at Magic Kingdom – Part One

My birthday was this past Sunday. Yes, I share my birthday with our nation’s first president, George Washington, and no I was NOT named after his wife Martha. My mom liked the name, and for some reason my older sister Linda did not “look like a Martha” so the name was saved for me. Apparently, I looked like THIS as an infant.

Never really liked my name, but I disliked Marti even more. I never really had a nickname either until after I was married and my initials were “MAK”, so now many of my work friends call me Mac… so that totally has nothing to do with my birthday, except that my initials are MK, and we spent the day at Magic Kingdom also known as MK to Disney fans…..

I woke up not really feeling all that great on my birthday, the dogs’ (plural dogs) tummy issues has started on Saturday and I was up a few times during the night. I also think that the tummy issues were not only canine, but human as well, as my tummy wasn’t feeling all that lovely either. There was NO WAY that I was not going to MK for my day. I had been planning this since Disney announce the Free Admission on your birthday for this year, and I realized that my birthday was on a Sunday – woo hoo!

We didn’t get out of the house as early as I had hoped, but we didn’t do too bad, we were on our way a little before 8:00am. It takes a little less than an hour “door to door” to MK from our house, and the park opened at 9am.

This was taken at 8:37 by me when I was driving, so not the best photo!

We arrived at the park, and of course, we were parked at the far end of the row in Pluto 13…we never seem to get lucky enough to be on the end of the row near the tram stop.

I think by this time Tara was ticked off at me for something….. and she “threatened” to stay in the car while I went to the park and had fun ALONE on my birthday. I think she was having a problem with realizing that this was MY DAY. The one day of the year, that should be ALL ABOUT me. I don’t have to share the holiday with anyone. All ready my TOO HIGH EXPECTATIONS for the day were being dashed. Do you ever do that? Set expectations too high for things that you don’t TOTALLY have control over, and then get disappointed.

She did get out of the car, and walked to the tram, about 20 steps behind me, and proceeded to sit about 10 rows back from me on the tram. For the most part, I don’t worry about Tara not being right by my side at Disney, she has spent enough time there that she knows what to do and where to go, and through her stubborness, she still keeps me in sight.

We had to stop at the ticket window to get my “Birthday Fun Card”.

Since we have season passes, we didn’t need admission, so Disney gives you the choice of several things, the best I think being a gift card to use for merchandise during that day. The card is for one days admission which for adults is $75 (WOW…I am glad we have never had to pay that!) Once we had that, we headed to the monorail. Tara likes to take the resort loop, so we don’t have to stand in the long line getting on the express. Not so sure it really gets you there any faster, but my child does not like waiting in lines… While we were waiting to board, I realized that I did not have my camera. It was IN THE CAR. I had taken it out and taken a picture of something silly, and not put it back in my purse. Now spending a day at Disney without my camera… even my temporary point and shoot Canon camera… is terrifying to me. I am certain that I will miss the PERFECT picture or something, or see a RARE character. I could have bought a disposable, but I love my ZOOM too much. I already feel a little handicapped with the camera that I am using, which is a really capable camera for what it is!

I contemplated not going back, but decided I just could not do it. Tara was NOT HAPPY. I told her she could find a bench and wait for me, or she could ride the tram with me. We had the whole tram to ourselves, after all NO ONE leaves that park at 9:15am! She sat far away from me! We trekked to the car, and retreived the camera. I was oh so close to taking my gift card and heading to Downtown Disney… I knew I could spend it in World of Disney with no problem.

We repeated the process and finally were on the monorail into the park. She still was not talking to me when we entered the park.

Part 2.

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My Birthday at Magic Kindgom – Part 2

If you did not read Part 1 – go HERE.

So when last we left you, Tara (being very Tink like today) and I entered the park. It was almost two hours since we had left home. We walked through the emporium to get to the rest rooms, and as Tara entered, and I sat on the bench to REGROUP, I got a WHATEVER and the EYE ROLL. YEAH, Happy Birthday to me…. Tween attitude.

We saw the castle… wasn’t it nice of them to change the color of the turrets to violet for me? (Photoshopped!) That dad had the NERVE to put his daughter on his shoulders right in front of me… didn’t he know I was taking a picture? No big deal, I just always take a picture of the castle when ever we are in MK! It was pretty busy in that area, as there was a show going on.

It was decided that we would go to Tomorrowland first. Last time we were there, we barely left Tomorrowland, but Tara had not ridden Space Mtn, and I figured it was still early enough that the wait should not be long. First we stopped at Buzz Lightyear, with no wait, we walked right on. I love this ride, and I like to shoot the laser, and I generally get a decent score, and of course Tara gets upset. I really don’t try, but there is a high score target that I always seem to hit within the first minute of the ride, but I still don’t know where it is! So today, I was just turning the car… and she got upset with me because I was NOT playing. It was apparent that I was not going to win today!

She decided to pass on another ride, so we could head to Space Mtn. 30 minute wait, no problem. I was going to pull up a table and wait outside while she went on the ride. No, she wanted me to wait with her today… okay, I’ll just exit when she gets on! This is one place in Disney that I had never been. Tara has always ridden with friends or herself, and I never walked through the queue area. It went very quickly, but was very dark and warm… hard to tweet while walking in the dark. I think she was on the ride within about 20 minutes, and I had barely sat myself down in the disembarking area for her when she was done. Of course, she wanted to ride again. I said no problem, but I will wait outside this time. Again, not a great photo… but there really isn’t that much in the loading area to see.

I found a bench by the Speedway, and waited. Again, it’s my birthday, so I made all the cars PINK!

It didn’t take Tara long to come back again. She was now in a great mood. A couple roller coaster rides did the girl good. She loves rides like Space Mtn, Thunder Mtn, Expedition Everest, not so crazy about things with loops… but she had riddent the Rock N Roller coaster. I on the other hand am petrified of anything going that fast, that I am not in control of!

Now it was my turn to do what I wanted, and what I wanted was to go to Pixie Hollow, and see the Fairies…. Tinker Belle and friends. I’ve read since these character opportunity opened in October that the lines have been long… over 1 hour long! I normally would not stand in line for any character for that long, but I really wanted to add them to my collection. Tara was riding Goofy’s Barnstormer, while I waited in line. I guess the line for it was longer thatn 2 minutes, because she road only once. This is a ride that she road 10 times in a row (without getting off) in a rainstorm.

I was hungry, had not eaten, and thought a rice crispy treat would be good. I had not eaten up until this point! Tara wanted to look around… she was jealous that I had $75 to spend and she did not. She returned with a cute cup cake iced with blue, that the lady had wrapped nicely. However, this cupcake had so much icing that there was no way I was eating it while on line. We were in line for a good hour (I think a bit more) and I felt as if I were going to pass out from hunger. She also returned with the idea that she was going to get the monorail model type toy to go with the castle and the tree of life. Here is the cupcake a little worse for wear from holding it for almost and hour!

We finally got into see the fairies, after we were “shrunk” down to pixie size!

Tink – they call birthday’s arrival day… and I was SIX (add the numbers together!)


Once we were done with the fairies, we headed into the store. I was trying to find something to spend my money on…. Tara wanted the monorail, it was close to $70, but they were having GREAT SALES on many items including todays, so it was closer to $40. I also got a watch for $15 with purchase (good thing because I realized later that I had cracked the crystal the watch that I love so much $7.50 on sale at the Avenue after Christmas!)

Tara got the monorail. I made a deal that she had to carry the box the rest of the day, and that I get to spend the amount of the monorail from her fun card on her birthday on 3/4!

We then hopped on the train, and headed to Main Street to do some shopping. Like I said earlier, I was not feeling great, and it was pretty busy, and I was getting overwhelmed and agitated WAY too easy. I felt like I was a SIX year old, and was very HUNGRY and CRANKY by this point.

Part 3, shopping and lunch.

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Happy Birthday Robin

Today would have been my brother Robin’s 59th birthday. I still see him as the 18 year old big brother who I saw for the last time boarding a plane to go fight in the war in Viet Nam. He never came home, and I never saw him again. I only saw the casket that held his body. I was in the 5th grade when he was killed on March 9, 1969, and I still vividly remember the events of that day.

There have been so many things that have happened in my life, in the life of my family, that I wonder, what if Robin were here, what would he think, what would he do. What would he have done with his life after the war? Would our family have been different had he lived? He left a big whole in all of our hearts and our family.
I remember him having a kind heart, and being loved by everyone who knew him. He would have made a great uncle to my daughter, nieces, nephews and great nephews. He would have made a great husband and dad, that is if the war didn’t leave ugly emotional scars. The US did not treat our returning VietNam vets well, and many are still suffering.

Enjoy your day today Robin, with Dad and our grandparents! I miss you!

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