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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day, I am reposting Lola's Diner - Today's Post Is Dedicated To My Mother.
For those who are fortunate enough to have your Mother around this Mother's Day, give her an extra hug.

March 7, 2009. She would have been 79 today. She passed away 25 years ago. I was 22 at the time and I was devastated. It was completely unexpected and sudden.

My Mother was Italian. She was the youngest of 4 girls. Her Mother died during childbirth. The 4 girls were put in orphanages. My Mother was adopted and raised by a childless couple. Her father remarried and had another 2 girls and a boy. I believe it was in adulthood that the siblings reconnected and remained close. We always had holidays at what would have technically been my step-grandmother's house.

I am the oldest of 2 girls. My parents were married 11 years before they had me. My Mother was 36. She had 2 miscarriages prior. They were beginning to think they weren't going to have children. My sister was born 17 months later.

I was very close with my Mother. I would sit and watch her make spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes from the garden or clean huge fish that the neighbor boy brought over from his fishing trips with his Dad. I was always watching her when she cooked, no matter what it was. Whether it was simple fried pork chops, cube steaks, Sicilian steak, lasagna or bracciole. I was always there watching. I'm sure my love of cooking was cultivated in her kitchen.

I also am a perfectionist at ironing. Every day I watched my Mother iron my father's shirts and his handkerchieves after school while we watched Leave It To Beaver in the living room. I would always ask her why she bothered ironing the handkerchieves, especially considering they would get wadded up in my father's pants pockets right after he took them out of the drawer, but she insisted they had to be ironed. It was the 60's and that's just what wives did.

My Mother was my best friend and she was the Mom of our block. True, there were other stay at home moms on our block, but they didn't have the patience or compassion that my Mother had. Our house was the 'go to' house whenever any of the other kids on the block were having a bad day at home. Sometimes the kids would wait until late afternoon when my Mother would sit on the stoop, other times they were bold enough to ring the bell. My Mother always had a treat and a hug and a kind ear for all of them. I must admit that I was a bit jealous of the attention they got and I would always tell my Mother how she was being so taken advantage of because all they came for was the cupcakes, brownies or candy bars. Of course now I've come to realize that wasn't really true. Some of them just came for the hugs. For them, the treats were the icing on the cake. We had one neighbor with 5 kids and their Mom was always hollering at one or all of them for something. If I heard her hollering, I could count the minutes until one of their kids showed up at our door. Another neighbor had 7 children. Same thing. Yet another neighbor, the Mom started drinking beers at 10am and had her children clean house for her and get dinner ready while she sat back and watched her soaps. How did I know this? Because our friends always complained about the chores and if we ever tried to go to their house before their Mom let them out after chores, she would answer the door with a brewski in her hand.

Four years before my Mother passed away my sister and I threw our parents a 30th Wedding Anniversary Party. I rented out the local bar that had a hall that our relatives always used for occasions. I conspired with my Mother's sisters and her step-mother. Somehow I managed to cook all of the food at my mother's house on the sly. I made barbequed beef and took it to her step-mother's house and put it her their freezer. My sister and I purchased all the other necessary items and ordered salads from the deli store. One of my Aunts had sent them an invitation for a Wedding Anniversary for one of her sisters. My parents had no clue the party was for them. My mother even purchased a card and a gift. When they came to the hall and we all yelled "Surprise!" my poor mother turned around and walked out. Her sisters had to chase her down. She was embarrassed by all the fuss. After a few minutes she came back to the party and we all had a really great time. It was the first time I'd seen my Mother have more than 1 drink. If it's possible, she was even more sweet than usual. After the party my sister and I loaded up our cars with the leftovers and took them back to my parent's house. I sat up with my Mother for hours and she just talked and talked.

A few years later on New Year's Eve I didn't have any specific plans. I drove to my usual haunts and found nothing going on. I could have hung out anyway, but I kept thinking how my Mother was home alone. My Father had gone out to the bar he hung out at on Friday nights and my sister was out as well. After driving for awhile the guilt of her being home alone got to me and I stopped at PDQ (similar to 7 Eleven) and got a bottle of Cold Duck, a can of cheese spray and a box of Triscuits. I know it sounds funny, but hey, I was in my twenties! Besides, beggars can't be choosers when the only thing open was PDQ. My Mother and I drank the Cold Duck and had our cheese spray and Triscuits and rang in the New Year with Dick Clark. My Mother and I talked and laughed until my Father and my sister came home.

My Mother died suddenly the morning after my sister and I came back from a weekend in Madison. I'll never forget when my supervisor came up to me and said my Father had called and wanted me to go home right away. My sister was working with me at the time. I took my car and we drove home. Neither of us looked at each other. Tears streamed down our faces. Somehow, even though our Mother was never ill a day in her life, somehow we knew she was gone. When we pulled into our subdivision and saw the police squad in the driveway, we knew for certain. One of our friends drove us to the hospital, but she was gone before she left in the ambulance. A valve in her heart burst. Nothing could be done.

I don't remember what happened the rest of that day, other than I never slept. The next day our Father made us go with him to the funeral parlor. He told us that we had to go so we would know how to handle things when he passed. He was right of course, but that didn't make us feel any better about going there. When my Father did pass 6 years later I just went to the same funeral home and told them to just do it all up the same and I signed the papers. I really didn't need to go through that experience with my Mother to do that, but I think my Father had the idea that I was the oldest and that I had to know how to do that sort of thing. Surprisingly I did remember all the minutaie of the process, my sister of course did not. I don't think I slept for an entire week. I had never drank coffee before my Mother passed away, but I started drinking it after and I pretty much lived on it that entire week. My Mother had always said coffee was for grown-ups and had always looked down on youngsters drinking coffee. I guess with my Mother gone I suddenly felt like a grown-up. I still drink coffee to this day.

I think I cried the hardest the night of the funeral as people were getting into their cars and driving away from our house. I walked one of my friends to her car and it suddenly hit me that I never gave my Mother grandchildren. She so loved children and she often babysat for some of the other families on the block. Eventually I did have children, kind of late like she did. I'm hoping she's looking down from heaven and watching over her 2 beautiful grandchildren.

Lola's Diner

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lola's Victory Garden Contest Ends Friday!

Why haven't you joined us? Friday is the last day to enter Lola's Victory Garden Contest. As I post this we have 25 Prizes and 6 entrants. You do the math! At this point you are virtually guaranteed to win something!
So come on! What are you waiting for? It's easy peasy!
Why not get your entry in now?

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Please, I beg of you, don't let our son see this video. He has been campaigning since we moved out to the suburbs to get a dog. I love dogs, but I have three real sticking points keeping us from getting a dog. They are:
1. I had a dog when I first moved to Chicago. He was a Springer/Terrier mix. He was my only friend when I moved to Chicago, I knew no one here. When he got old and sick and I had to say goodbye, it was the hardest thing.
2. I love dogs, but I also love my leather furniture. We do have a cat, Sophie, and we got her declawed when we moved to the burbs because she had destroyed all the furniture at my previous house. (We tried scratching posts, but she liked the furniture better.) I also have not very fond memories of my puppy unzipping the sofa cushions and chewing up and spitting out the foam padding. (And yes, he really did do that, because to get him to stop, I sewed the zipper pulls to the fabric.)
3. I am the one that is home nearly all the time, so I know I will be stuck with caring for a dog, if we get one.
We have told our son that he can earn a dog with good, responsible behavior and that he has to read up about caring for and training dogs. He has yet to make an effort to do any of the required reading.

I think this video does have some wonderful points.

Now, if you showed Anastasia and I The Divinity of Dogs video and followed it up with Sarah McLachlan's ASPCA commercial, we would be in line right now at Animal Cruelty waiting for them to open.


Don't you dare tell our son!

Lola's Diner


Ok, so this morning I had a doctor's appointment at a new doctor. This was a hastily picked doctor and appointment because my I need forms filled out. Beggars can't be choosers, right? I could get in quickly with this doctor, so she was it.

I arrived promptly, 25 minutes before my scheduled time so that I could complete any necessary paperwork. I asked if they got the forms that were faxed to them, they said no, so I got on my cell phone and called the place that was to have faxed over forms and asked them to resend them. About 45 minutes later the staff bring me into an exam room and I again ask if they got the fax. The woman said no, they were out of paper. (WTH?) She said they were going to send someone out for paper, did I want to wait to see the doctor? Well, yeah, because what if she has questions about the forms? So I sat and waited in the waiting room for an HOUR, for paper.

I see the woman leave with petty cash to go to Walgreens to get paper. I see her return an hour later with the paper, then I overhear a conversation she had with the doctor.
Doctor: How much was the paper?
Staff member: $4.99.
Doctor: For how much paper?
Staff member: 400 sheets.
Doctor: Not 500?
Staff member: No.
Doctor: Walmart has 500 sheets for $2.99, why didn't you go to Walmart?
I'm thinking: Umm, hello? Remember me? I'm the patient, not very patiently waiting for an hour for paper and you have to chew out your staff because they aren't as cheap as you are?

When I finally got in to see the doctor, Anastasia calls, I can't answer, so I let it ring. I don't answer, so she calls AGAIN. I can't blame her because I SHOULD have already been home by the time she called.

So then the doctor tells me she can't fill out my forms now, she will fill them out and someone will call me after the weekend when they are ready to pick up. Who am I to complain at this point? I need those forms and I don't care whose arse I need to kiss to get them. So I said thank you very much and I'll look forward to that call, have a nice day, in my daughter's Mother's, pleasant as punch, sickening sweet, arse kissingest voice I can muster at this point.

What doctor's office runs out of fax paper and makes a patient wait for an hour, and then chews out staff in earshot of said patient???

Arghhhhh! It's a good thing I don't have a life and I didn't need to be somewhere.

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Are You Ready For Mother's Day? What Are Your Plans?

Don't you love the image I borrowed from Photobucket? Clearly, Mom is on the right, holding the hand of her little munchkin. And what is she doing with her other hand? Hmmm, is she holding up a cell phone to her ear? What do you think?

I booked a tee time at our local golf course for Sunday, for the 4 of us. Golf is free for women at this particular course on Mother's Day. The kids have really been jonesing to play a round of golf with Anastasia. Not so much with me, because they are determined I won't make it 9 holes because of my back problems. They are probably right. It's not like they've never played a round of golf before, they have had lessons and last year I signed them up to play golf all day on Tuesdays for the summer. The course teams them up with another couple of teens to make a foursome. Amazingly enough, they never killed each other.

In preparation for the Mother's Day golf tournament (and it is a tournament, because it's going to get very competitive between the 2 kids and Anastasia), our son watched this:

So what are your Mother's Day plans?

Lola's Diner

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lola's Diner Comment Contest Winner Again!

Lola's Diner won 5th Place in the Comment Contest in April!
If you recall, last month Lola's Diner won 6th Place in the Comment Contest in March.
I'm moving up! It's only a matter of time when I start winning some ca$h~
Considering I think I only left 1 comment, that's extremely lucky. Maybe I should hit the casino tomorrow?
Cash would have came in handy, but EC credits spend pretty good too.
Not familiar with Blognet Blog Awards?
Click on their banner and check it out.

Lola's Diner

Where Is Everyone`?

That isn't a smudge on your monitor after the last "e" in "Everyone". That's an accent. I thought I'd go all McCafe` on you. You know, those dumb commercials that say that you enjoy things more if you have an "`" on the end of things, like the McCafe`. So...I thought you might enjoy my blog post today more, with a "`" on the end. How am I doing so far?

For everyone who was jealous about my weekend purchases, don't worry, according to Anastasia I've been smote. (Actually she said smited, but there is no such word, past tense of smite is smote, who knew?) This morning my son went down to get something out of the dryer and found the basement floor wet and the sump pump overflowing and not running. Good times! I wake Anastasia up at 6:30am. Normally, normally...she gets up for work at 3pm. Yikes! Fortunately Anastasia is a cracker jack sump pump installer and the unit had a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately Lowe's no longer carries that brand/model. The refund desk cashier wanted to credit the purchase back to my now expired credit card from two and a half years ago. I don't think so. Three manager calls later she tells me she can only put the refund on that expired card and then the credit card company will send me a check. Ummm, no, my basement is flooded now, I need my money now so I can go buy a new unit elsewhere. Finally she calls the store manager who figured out how to do it. Trip to Ace Hardware for a larger and more expensive unit because it was the only unit with a lifetime warranty they had. Oh well, it was way cheaper than not having the warranty. Anyway, got home and Anastasia installed it in less than the time it took to get my refund! Yup, cracker jack sump pump installer!

So what's going on in the blogosphere? Everything is so quiet. Not that many people are putting up new post and not many commenting, even at other blogs. Did everyone else get a life but me???

Lola's Diner

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Doing The Happy Dance!

Friday I bugged out early to go check out laptops. Uncle Sam being very, very nice to me and sent my refund quite early. I did my research online and my intent was to go to Best Buy and check a few out in person, but I got sidetracked on the way. Several John Deere delivery trucks were mocking me on my route. (You remember my previous post,Lola's Diner - This And That.)

I drove past 3 as I took Route 30 to Route 45, so it couldn't have been the same truck. THREE! Ok, read more about it at Lola's Victory Garden - Something Red And Shiny!, but be sure to come back to finish reading here.

I got home and Anastasia asked what I bought. Ahh, errr, nothing. What do you mean nothing, I though you were getting your laptop? Not yet.

After sealing the deal on our purchase I dropped Anastasia and our son off at home and my daughter and I went in search of a graduation (8th grade) present for him and my laptop. We snagged the last of the item (can't say what it is, cause he's a snooper) that Kmart had in stock.

I know I had mentioned wanting an Mac, but they are just too expensive. Having to deal with the reality of my budget, there was no way I could afford one. We went to Best Buy (one of 2 trips to there on Saturday.) The first trip, I purchased my laptop - HP 16 inch screen, 2.0ghz, 3gb ram, 320gb hard drive and a 500gb portable hard drive for backups. Went home, got the wireless working, tried to install the ATT disc and the dvd drive made this horrible, awful grinding noise and wouldn't access the disk. Called Best Buy, they said bring it back, they'd give me a different one. Back to Best Buy. The Geek Squad dude had to check the drive (why would I lie?) and it didn't make that noise when he inserted a disk. Then he tried a different one, nothing. Then, finally he tried a different one and it made the noise. Quick exchange, come home, have dinner and start again. This time I didn't pay the bogus $60 to have them "optimize" the laptop and make the recovery disks. I thought, I'm not stupid, I can make those disks, I've done it before! I made the first disk, no problem. Tried to make the second one and I got an error message and it said to insert a new disk. I did this 5 times! I trashed 5 cd's! Then I called HP. Yes, it was almost midnight and I called anyway! I spent about a half hour on the phone. After telling them about the first laptop I brought home with the bad dvd drive and the problem trying to burn my own recovery disks, they ordered me recovery disks at no charge. Pretty cool. Time consuming, but cool. So I've been noodling around, downloaded Firefox and Entrebar, had to search from printer drivers because the disc from the newest printer we have just disappeared. Poof! Monday I'll probably start transferring my stuff from Anastasia's laptop. She can't wait!

Lola's Diner

Sunday Stealing - The 20 Firsts Meme

Sunday Stealing: The Twenty Firsts Meme

First Job:

First Real Job:
Cashier - Gas Station

First Favorite Politician:

First Car:
Pontiac Grandville

First Record/CD:
I used to buy 45rpm records at the grocery store. I recall purchasing a very collectible Beatles With Tony Sheridan single, all I remember is "My Bonnie" was on side 2. First album - probably "Saturday Night Fever", first 8-track tape - Fleetwood Mac "Rumours".

First Sport Played:

First Concert:

First Foreign Country Visited:
Still hoping to visit one.

First Favorite TV Show:
Leave It To Beaver

First Favorite Actor:
David Cassidy

First Favorite Actress:
Katherine Hepburn (still)

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend:

First Encounter with a Famous Person:
Bart Starr (former Green Bay Packer) and Terry Ann Meeuwsen (former 1973 Miss America). I think I met them at a 4-H event.

First Brush With Death:
I was 7 years old, missed the handle on our storm door and put my hand through the glass. Lots of stitches.

First House/Condo Owned:
Fixer upper house in Chicago.

First Film Seen:
In a movie theater - probably an Elvis Presley movie. My Mom always took us.

First Favorite Recording Artist:
Do I have to say? Argghhh! Donnie Osmond. How embarrassing!

First Favorite Radio Station:
WXRT Milwaukee

First Book I Remember Reading:
Cat In The Hat

First Meme You Answered on Your Blog:
8 Random Things About Me

Lola's Diner
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