Another super groovy song by The Feeling, one of my favorites that I thought I would share with you. Enjoy! :)
I am not a funeral person. I have this problem of being overly emotional, I truly wear my heart on my sleeve, and my skin is so thin you can see through it. I cry at the drop of the hat and it makes me crazy. Even in situations when I am angry, I can often be brought to tears. It is a weakness that makes me crazy.
I have been to a total of four funerals in my life. The first one was when I was 16. It was for a teenage boy that I didn’t know, but a friend I was working with at the time wanted to stop in, so we did. It was a huge funeral, the church was so full it was standing room only when we arrived. We got there at the very end of the service, just when you are supposed to walk by the body and pay your last respects. We walked up, I remember glancing at the young person in the casket, feeling completely removed from the situation, and then we left. This funeral gave me a false sense of strength in dealing with future funerals.
The second funeral I attended was for my maternal grandmother. I want to say I was 18 or 19 at the time. I was dating Abe, so he accompanied me. When we got there, to the tiny little room, my grandmother, who I hadn’t seen in far too long, was seemingly sleeping in the ornate box surrounded by flowers. Reality suddenly hit me. This was real. This was family. My grandmother was gone. Went to pieces. Like, ridiculous sobbing, my embarrassment making it all worse. My parents were there, and my aunt and my little cousin who had to be 10 or 11 at the time. My aunt and cousin actually lived with my grandmother and knew her so much better than I ever had, were so much closer to her, and yet they were able to compose themselves and behave like normal, sad but functioning adults. Even my younger cousin.
My parents were not any comfort at all, I felt like my dad expected me to be tough and was disappointed in me, as usual. I didn’t care. I was embarrassed, but I was sad. Only one of my uncles was able to attend, and with a shortage of pallbearers, Abe was pulled in, happy to help, of course, but I remember being even more sad that not enough people were there to pay their respects. In all of my boo hooing, I realized that once you cry enough into a tissue, it becomes linty and crumby, leaving white residue all over the black clothing one traditionally wears to funerals. This added to my embarrassment, but I assumed it was a one time thing because I was young, it was my first “real” funeral, and I would be so much more mature by the time I went to my next one.
The third funeral I went to came many, many years later. Surely enough time for me to handle my emotions a bit better. I was 28 years old and it was for my paternal grandmother. This was the grandmother that used to come and get us for weekends at a time when we were younger, taking us to the movies, the zoo, visiting all of her many friends, etc. We spent a lot of time with her, and years later, she spent a lot of time with my kids, Matthew and Isabella.
On the day of her funeral, we drove up to the funeral home, but I could not make myself walk inside. I was crying in the car, I couldn’t bear to walk through the doors, see all of the crying faces, see my lifeless grandmother, be bowled over with the memories and the grief. We waited outside and decided we would just go to the small ceremony at the cemetery. We watched as they loaded her casket into the hearse, and then got in line behind the funeral procession, driving to her final resting spot. Once there, with the warm sun shining on us, and the cool breeze drying the tears, I was able to look at her beautiful coffin, white and covered in gorgeously painted pink roses and say my goodbye and be at peace.
My fourth and most recent funeral was yesterday. It was a rough one. The mother of one of my closest childhood friends. She was like a second mother to me, the “fun mom”. Anywhere we went with her, we had fun without even spending a penny. She had this amazing way of showing us the beauty in the small things, and her calm and loving nature was almost hypnotic. I was fortunate to see and spend time with her off and on for the last 26 years that her daughter and I have been friends. As much as I hate going to funerals, I knew I had to go to hers. Not only for her, but for her daughter, who had been like a sister to me all these years.
When I found out she had passed, I cried. A lot. And then I cried some more. I cried so much I had to take my foggy contacts out and just wear glasses. I had hoped that I would cry enough to be over the initial shock and sadness, so I could attend the service like a “real adult”. I wanted to be strong and supportive for my friend, for her daughters, for her mom.
Arriving at the funeral home, the same one my grandmother had been at years before, I instantly tensed up. Walking through the doors, surrounded by the deafening quiet, I was very uncomfortable. I saw familiar faces and I knew I should offer my condolences, but I couldn’t. Abe pulled me over to a couch and forced me to sit down, to breathe. I was focused on the large grandfather clock just a few feet from me, slowly ticking away, and almost amused at the real life metaphor of life’s temporary existence on Earth.
Finally it came time to find a seat, and so I chose one in the very back, both to avoid seeing the coffin as much as possible, and to have a quick escape if I began sobbing. I was terrified of falling to pieces and upsetting the family, who had enough to worry about. We sat in silence until I heard the familiar throat clearing of my dear friend in the hallway. I felt a tiny sense of relief, but also more fear and pressure to hold myself together. When she walked in, we made eye contact and I jumped up to hug her. We chatted and I told her how sorry I was, feeling pretty proud of how well I was doing. Then her sister walked up and took my breath away with her resemblance to her passed mother. Suddenly I couldn’t hear the words my friend was saying and instead I felt my eyes fill with tears as she showed me pictures of her mom. That quickly I had failed. I was so upset with myself. Here I am, supposed to be offering support to my friend, and instead, I am crying in front of her, before the service even started.
Needless to say, we kept our seats in the very back of the room, far from the grieving friends and family, where I could cry into my annoyingly disenigrating tissue. I really need to remember to bring a handkerchief to these things, the tissue crumbs are the worst.
The service was beautiful, and I was able to walk up to the coffin and say goodbye to my dearly beloved “fun mom” without breaking into the ugly cry. We followed the procession to the cemetery, as a final farewell, and then the day was over.
Death sucks. I mean, it just does. Are we ever really ready to say goodbye to our loved ones? As beautiful and wonderful as Heaven surely is, are we ever really ready to send our cherished friends and family to those gates?
I would like to formally request that none of my friends or family ever die, because I just don’t enjoy funerals or saying goodbye. No more death, no more sad, just happy, please and thank you very much.
I am a huge Graham Norton fan, if you aren’t familiar with him, well, make yourself familiar because he is awesome. Basically he is a talk show host in the UK, and his show can be found on BBC America here in the states. He has several guests on his show, and often a musical guest at the end. The production quality of the musical guests blows me away! Amazing sound, lighting, camera angles, I mean, really high quality, it pulls you in! He often has bands or singers that had you not been watching, you may have never had the pleasure of hearing.
One such band, for me, is The Feeling. I caught them at the end of one of his shows and they sang “Turn It Up”. LOVE that song!! Super catchy, upbeat, and just plain awesome. Not available on Spotify, BOO! But I found the music video, which I will share. I wish I had the video from the Graham Norton Show!! The lead singer is deliciously dramatic, it is very amusing. If you want to hunt, it’s from season 3, episode 8. :)
Meh to the video, it’s too dark for the melody, in my humble opinion, but I just adore the song. Through this one little song, I explored a lot more of their tracks and several of them have made it into my regular rotation, great for cleaning house to or just belting out the lyrics and dancing around with the babies! :)
Woo hoo! We got TWO Nerd Blocks at our house this month!! As you have heard me gripe before, the regular Nerd Block, while definitely awesome and highly loved by all the stinky boys in my family, does not have enough girly stuff!!! Like, we don’t need tampons or makeup or anything, but how about some awesome Disney Villains, or even women super heroes??! Just sayin’. It definitely seems geared towards the boys.
That said, when I saw that they were now offering Nerd Block Jr for Boys and Girls, I was excited to give it a try! Of course, I opted for the Girls version, and it had some super cool stuff inside! I have high hopes for this box, I hope it continues in it’s awesomeness! Take a look!
*Mega Blocks Moshi Monsters 73 Piece Katsuma estimated value $8.00
*Disney Pixar Brave Triplet Bear estimated value $10.00
*Funko My Little Pony Tin-Tastic Creative Activity Set estimate value $15.00
*My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Slap Band estimated value $5.00
*Mega Blocks Hello Kitty Series 2 Collectible Figure estimated value $3.00
Lot’s of awesome, right?! Admittedly, more for my girls than me, but so much fun and what a value! Nerd Block Jr, both for boys and girls is only $13.99 plus shipping! You can see by the estimated values, taken from Amazon.com searches, that the products value far exceeds the monthly subscription price! I am very happy with this month’s Nerd Block Jr for Girls and am definitely looking forward to more!
Wanna get your paws on your very own awesome Nerd Block Jr? CLICK HERE! You can choose between a Boys block or a Girls block, each catered especially for kids between ages 6-11 (and their parents, if they so choose….). Each box is filled with fun toys and collectibles from some pretty awesome brands like Disney, Nintendo, My Little Pony, Adventure Time, etc. Win/Win!
Hey, what do you know?! I’m gonna post my March review in March! Haha! Hey, dance competition season is upon us, you gotta give me some slack! ;)
Anyway, I just received two Nerd Block’s in the mail!! I shared with you in my last review that we added a Nerd Block Jr Girl’s subscription to our monthly routine, partly because we have two girls, mostly because I gripe that Nerd Block doesn’t have enough girly stuffs!!! Look for my separate review of our Nerd Block Jr Girls. (A tiny hint, it’s kind of awesome.)
Now, for this month’s loot!
*Nerd Block Exclusive Shirtpunch Darth Vader T-shirt estimated value $10.00
*Assassin’s Creed Edward Kenway Figure estimated value $17.00
*The Simpson’s 25th Anniversary Series One Collectible Mini Figure Greatest Guest Stars estimated value $5.00
*Star Trek Skele-Treks Painted Collectible Mini Figure estimated value $3.00
* The Legend of Zelda Mini Figure Collection estimated value $10.00
*Topps Wacky Packages Stickers Series 7 estimated value $2.00
A close up of the closed figures opened!
The pictures turned out darker than I would have liked, I promise brighter pictures next month!
Definitely some cool stuff this month! I know Abe will lurve the Dark Side shirt because, duh, Vader. Also, getting Link in the mystery package is totally awesomesauce. I have no clue who the Trek guy is. I was kinda excited about it, because they definitely have a sugar skull look to them, but was hoping for a recognizable character. Don’t hate on me, Trekkies! I’m sure this guy is wicked awesome, just not sure who he is and we are more Star Wars in this casa. The Simpsons Figure is none other than James Brown! Glad we got him over Hugh Hefner, because yuck, but I would have preferred a regular Simpsons character, if you ask me. You didn’t ask? Well, it’s my blog and I’m telling ya anyway. :)
Wanna get your paws on your very own awesome Nerd Block? CLICK HERE! They are only $19.99 each month plus shipping, and besides coming with a super groovy EXCLUSIVE t shirt each month, (that come in sizes from youth to plus sized adult!), you are also guaranteed 4-6 epic items for your nerdy little heart’s delight!
So, by now, I have usually shared my Citrus Lane monthly subscription box review with you all! I am sad to say that my box never arrived for February. :( The tracking showed that it was delivered, and yet, there is no box to show for it. Not entirely sure what happened, but I got a quick response from emailing the customer service team, and was told that I can expect a replacement box soon. Hopefully, it will arrive in the next few days, along with my March box, and I can share both reviews with you!
Time to share the awesomeness that was our February Nerd Block!
*Metroid Shirtpunch Nerd Block Exclusive T-Shirt
*Collectible E.T. Figurine
*The Smurfs Tag-Athon Collectible Game Figure
*Star Trek MiniMates 2 pack
*Power Rangers Mash-em’s Collectible Figure
*Playful Gorilla Presents The 80′s stickers (JEM!!!<3)
*Halo Action Clix Trading Figure Battle Pack
LOTS of collectible figures this month, with a definite 80′s vibe that I enjoyed. Nerd Block has just recently added the option to get a Nerd Block Jr, either with a boy theme or a girl theme. Now, I have definitely enjoyed our Nerd Blocks, but I can’t help but feel like they are heavily catering more to the fellas than the ladies. Sorry, the black Brony figure last month does not count as a girl toy. Had it been pink or rainbow colored, then hells yeah, I’m a happy girl! Not even any awesome Disney figures yet, mostly gamer or boy themed stuffs. For the girls that like that kinda thing, good for you and don’t be hatin’ on me cuz I like the stereotypical girly stuff! But it is for this reason that I added the Nerd Block for girls for March. Technically, it is supposed to be for ages 6-11, but come on, who are we kidding here? lol
Look for my March Nerd Block Review coming coon, along with my March Nerd Block Jr Girls Review! In the meantime, if you are interested in trying Nerd Block out for yourself, CLICK HERE!! Each Nerd Block is only $19.99 plus shipping, and comes with a t-shirt that you can get in a huge variety of sizes, from kids to plus size adults. It’s also easy to switch the size every single month if you like, so everyone in the family gets a turn at receiving a new, Nerd Block exclusive tee! The Jr boxes are only $13.99, and though they do not include a t-shirt, that leaves more room for awesome toys!
Music is a funny thing. It has the power to stir up powerful emotions, or to change the mood of the day entirely. Some people take music far too seriously, and others fail to see the magic that it can possess. My taste in music is hugely varied. I am extremely affected by music, and there are certain types of music, or even complete genres that can ruin an otherwise perfectly lovely disposition. I tend to prefer happy, dancey tunes, but being the huge dork that I am, I am also highly amused by the far lesser known melodies, often found hidden between more popular tracks.
Growing up in the 80′s, I had the luxury of watching classic re-runs of old shows like I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Monkees, etc. The funny thing about growing up watching these shows far removed from their original run, often decades later, is that as a young girl prone to crushes, I found myself giddy and swooning over the heart throbs of yesterday. David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, The Beatles, The Monkees, none were safe from my teeny bopper obsession.
I remember being completely smitten with The Monkees one summer, and borrowing all of their albums from our local library. I thought I knew all of their songs, I had no idea of the hidden gold on their lesser known albums. Now, The Monkees are not a popular group to admit enjoying, much less admit to obsessing over. A lot of their tracks are silly fun, and there is also a surprising mix of Michael Nesmith heavy songs that are very much folksy, rock and roll, twangy and definitely more than a little bit country. But, in the days of Madonna and MTV, I cherished every single note.
This post is growing awfully long for the fun little song I wanted to share.
Anyway, this song is one of the hidden gems, one I loved from the very moment I heard it. It told a story, it sounded different, there was a twist! I would play it on repeat over and over, play a few other songs, and then come back to it. It was funny! It had a message! I was always so incredibly excited to share it with someone, and equally crushed if they didn’t love it.
I won’t be crushed if you don’t love it, no worries. I shared it with my babies recently, and in all their lovely dorkiness, they loved it just as much as I do. That, or they sensed my love for the song and decided to play along so as not to hurt mama’s feelings! Haha!
Enjoy. Or not. But if you don’t, you are wrong. ;)
I should have known when I planned out every penny for the year that we would hit a speed bump. What’s that old saying? The sure fire way to make God laugh is to make plans? Something like that. I must be a favorite comedienne to the big guy. lol
So, we somehow avoided crazy repair charges on Abe’s car earlier this month, and soon after, my car started making an annoying squeaking sound. Turned out to be brakes. Got new brakes and an oil change, and then soon after, I notice a spot in the driveway from underneath my car. At first I assumed it was melting snow, we have an abundance of that here, but yesterday, I noticed it was alarmingly large, and upon closer inspection, it was most definitely not water.
Being the super good worrier that I am, I started thinking of all the worst case scenarios that could be causing my car to bleed in my driveway. A quick Google search had me scared enough to go inspect the puddle closer, so I grabbed a paper towel and sopped up what I could to get a good gauge on the color, consistency and smell (weird, I know) of the fluid.
There is a green print on the paper towel, so ignore that green color showing through the yuck.
Definitely a dark brown color, thin and watery, with a very faint smell of gasoline, mostly smelling like, gosh, I don’t know, car gunk? I snapped the picture and showed it to Abe, but was already pretty sure it was oil. Having just had the oil changed when we got the brakes fixed, we were hoping and praying that it was a super simple thing, like not tightening some doo dad enough, or whatever. The car was running fine, so it was our hopes that it wasn’t serious.
Now, again, being the full time worrier of the family, and taking my job very seriously, I refused to drive the car. Not even the super short drive to pick up Bella from school. It is a real fear of mine, having grown up driving an old 1974 Monte Carlo that broke down regularly, that my car will break down in the middle of the parent pick up line at school, and I’ll be trapped, no way out, blocking all the cars behind me and having no clue what to do. (I told you I take my worrying job very seriously!) So Abe volunteered to leave work early, pick up Bella, and take the car into the shop to see if it was in fact a quick and easy fix.
It never is quick and easy, is it? I mean, it never is for us. Always lots of fun little detours and usually lots of unexpected money.
It would appear that my car has a blown head gasket. Boo! We’re looking at repairs well over $1000, closer to $1500 or more and several days of mechanic labor, not to mention the fun of being a one car family in wicked cold temperatures, making walking to school kind of out as an option for the moment.
Yeah, so, I need to learn to quit making plans! Haha!
In all honesty, I complain, but I still know we have it good. We are so blessed, with our health, our safety, the roof over our heads, my amazing friends and family. It is a small, albeit expensive bump in the road, and definitely not something I had planned on, but I know we’ll get through it. Everything for a reason. Some reasons are more fun than others, but yeah, you get the idea. :)
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” Anais Nin
I came to a sudden realization this morning that I haven’t seen or spoken to my sister at all in over a year, my brother in over two years. My reaction wasn’t one of surprise or sadness, really just more matter of fact.
My family is, for lack of a better word, bizarre. On my mother’s side there is a lot of mental illness and addiction problems, and on my father’s side, more addiction and Latin stubbornness. My parents are both the more anti social ones of the bunch, and are happy to stay at home and gripe about the world around them. They are happy to have close family over, but never stray far from home themselves. I can count on one hand the number of times my mom has been to our new home, and on the same hand, I can count the number of times my dad has ever been to this home or our last one.
When my paternal grandmother was alive, she would have everyone gather together for parties and holidays. Everyone was welcome, everyone was family. Friends, neighbors, people she just met, all were welcome in her home and each one loved and respected the same. Her home was a happy one, filled with joy and love. When her husband, my grandfather died, the get togethers were designated to different homes, sometimes my parents, sometimes different uncles, but it was never the same. My parents complained when extra people showed up, if they weren’t immediate family, they had no business being there. I never understood this. As the years went by, the gatherings got smaller and smaller until it was just my parents and my siblings. The emptiness was sad, the holidays felt lonely.
As the years have passed, my parents have only become more and more alienated by their own petulance. With my brother still living at home with them, I can’t help but feel like their misanthropic tendencies have rubbed off on to him, and even my sister, who also lived with them for quite a bit longer than average.
My husband’s family is always together. As my mom once not so eloquently stated, “They throw a party every time someone farts.” Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, even just because. They are very tightly knit, something my grandmother strived for and something, while my mother may put on show to loathe, I can’t help but think she is secretly envious. Being crotchety is lonely work.
I miss my Grandma Ola and her ability to gather everyone together, grudges and work be damned. This is the woman who would make a friend for life by asking the stock person at the grocery store if they had any rocky road ice cream, her favorite flavor. They would point her in the direction and she would reply, “Oh no, I don’t need to buy any, just wondered if you had any. That’s my favorite.” Then somehow, this stock person would get invited over for dinner, or ice cream, or sweet tea, and just like that, they too were family.
I want my house to be like my Grandma Ola’s. I want everyone to feel welcome and at home. I want my friends to feel like family and to know that they are loved just as though they were. I hope as my children grow up and make friends and eventually date, (ack!), that their friends and dates feel equally comfortable in our home. All I want is love and happiness.
As we grow and become more of the people we are destined to be, sometimes it is without the people we grew up with. Our paths and circumstances take us all to different places, and it is in these times when our vision is refined and able to see surroundings for what they truly are. I am surrounded by my husband and my children and my furbabies in our wonderful new home. I have dear family and friends that I am fortunate to be blessed with and interact with on a regular basis. My siblings aren’t around, but they have their paths, and perhaps one day our paths will cross again. My door and heart are always open.