Friday, August 29, 2008

Rootin Tootin Fun

This is now officially our new favorite ride. D and I went yesterday. Last week when our guests were here the boys went to the Angels game, so I told him I would take him before school started. A Mom and son day. We waited 40 minutes to go on but it was worth every minute. The ride is long and you just have so much fun. There are 5 different arcade games and it is much easier to hit targets than Buzz Lightyear's Astroblaster. He beat me the first time through. We went on a few other rides and then decided to wait another 30 minutes to go on again. Disney out did themselves... again. Make sure to add this to your trip if you are going to Florida or California!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visit with Friends

This week we had the pleasure of having our friends visit us. The guys grew up together and the girls met over 28 years ago when we were all dating. Over the years we have gone through so much together. The girls are even closer than the guys now. The kids are more like cousins than friends and they call the adults “aunt” and “uncle”.

When we moved to the west coast 5 years ago, I knew I would miss people but I guess I never knew how much. We would see each other for all of our birthdays, usually all holidays and many times in between. Email and phones are great, but they just can never take the place of being in person, sitting with someone, sharing a cup of tea and talking endlessly.

We packed so much into the 6 days they were here. We wanted to show them what we could of California and also to fit in as much time together. The kids enjoyed their time too. D was only 3 ½ when we moved, but he enjoyed Uncle ‘P’ so much and the boys too. The girls are 3 years apart, but you would never know it. They are like sisters, now they have to rely on texting again (which they do very well I may add).

Although I am so happy that they visited, I was so sad to say goodbye. This weekend has been very tearful. But…we will talk about the fun we had, the laughs, we will keep looking at the 300 pictures we took and hopefully that will lift up our hearts until we can be together again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Supply List

I can barely contain myself on the last day of school. I open the envelope, look at the report card and then take out the most fun piece of information...

The next year's supply list!!!!

This year my son's teacher did not include the list - just another item on the list of unpleasant experiences this year. Teacher's that really do not want to teach anymore really need to remove themselves from the classroom, but I digress....

I called my friend (her daughter has a different treacher) and she did have a copy of the required "list" - crisis averted.

I love the back to school shopping for supplies. I have always loved stationary stores. I can remember going into Ulbrich's and slowly walking up and down each aisle looking at the organized rows of supplies. My Mom was a teacher and going to the teacher supply store was even more fun. Art stores - same, same, same... I am not sure if it the organization that I enjoy, because I also love hardware stores, or just the ideas of potential projects and creativity that pop into my head when I see all of the items laid out before me.

I try to not buy any supplies until August. I usually buy them at Target, but sometimes I use excuses to check out all of the stores. New markers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils, glue - I just love all of it.

This year I am assuming that my son will be doing a lot of colored pencil work as each child has to bring in 4 boxes of colored pencils. His list is complete, but I am sure with a 2 1/2 more weeks to go I will have to make a few more trips down the supply aisles just in case we may actually need some other pen, marker or crayon that I do not already have on my supply shelves. My husband refers to my stash as MB's art supply store as it is...

I guess the first thing is to admit that there is a here goes

Hi, my name is Mary Beth and I am addicted to art and school supplies.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Remembering Heather...

I participated in a Bereavement workshop as part of my ongoing training in facilitating therapeutic fine art workshops. Laurie Zagon, founder of Art & Creativity for Healing feels that unless you have experienced the workshop, it is difficult to actually facilitate it for others.
We were to create a collage in a color that reminds us of the loved one using various shades of the color. We were also able to use images in this collage that reminded us of good times with the person. I have taken enough of these workshops to know even if you go into it thinking that you know what you are going to process, it does not always turn out that way. It is more beneficial to just let it go and see what comes up for you at that moment. I have lost many people - though none recently so I did not have anyone particular in mind. When I looked at the magazine that was placed in front of me, I knew who I was supposed to be remembering. My roommate from Parsons School of Design in New York City - Heather.....

I arrived from Buffalo, NY and she arrived from Overland Park, Kansas. The school put us together as roommates. As we unpacked our bags we had many of the same clothes from the Limited. We were both Gemini's, born 12 days apart. We were both in the Interior Design program. We lived together in the dorm the first year and then got an apartment in Astoria, Queens after that. We had mice - so we got a cat, he was grey and white and we named him Buckwheat, he was also great at munching on the roaches. Going for a "slice" of pizza was an almost everyday occurrence as well as late night runs to the newsstand for candy. When money was sent from home we would treat ourselves to the Magic Pan for crepes - we usually would split the fresh strawberry crepe for dessert. We would love to go to Balducci's - since it was near school for chicken with pesto or strawberry tarts. We were together for 3 years almost every day as we were in most of the same classes. Even when we would go home for breaks or summer and return it was like we had never left each other. We would laugh so hard at the silliest jokes. I really do not even remembering having an argument. Her Mom used to send her Coach Bags all of the time. I was more the Sportsac type.

After graduation I moved back to Upstate NY and got married and she stayed in NYC. She moved in with her boyfriend of many years, John. We stayed in touch and we would visit in NY or then would come up and visit us. They got married in 1986 on a yacht that cruised around Manhattan. On a visit a year or so later we saw Heather but John did not want to come and see us. We kept asking why and she just kept making strange excuses. She met us for dinner and dropped the bomb. "John and I have AIDS". I sat stunned. John was a sex addict. Although we all knew he had some peculiarities - I do not think anyone knew exactly to what extent. They were not sure exactly who he got it from and they think he passed it to Heather around the time of their wedding. John ignored his symptoms, so by the time they figured out what was wrong (it was the mid 80's) he had full blown AIDS. Heather was still HIV at that time. A few weeks later we got the call that he died at the age of 27.

Heather lived and worked right up to her death at age 31. My husband had thrown a surprise 30Th birthday party for me and Heather flew in , I am so thankful that she did because I think I only saw her once after that. It has been 15 1/2 years since she died and you would think that I had grieved her. But when I started this collage, tears ran down my face. It took me back to when I was so young and had such big dreams and goals. When it was my turn to share my collage, I could barely speak. They were both taken way too young. Thankfully now people with HIV and AIDS are living much longer. So here is my tribute to one of my best friends ever. I still miss her, but I know when we meet again we will "crack up" just like old times.


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