Thursday, September 30, 2010


On February 16, 1990 I stepped on a plane that took me to Houston for 6 weeks of training.  I had been married for 3 days, and had been furloughed from my previous flight attendant position with Braniff Airlines for 4 months.

I met some wonderful friends in Houston as we learned the configurations of different aircraft, memorized city codes and P.A. announcements, and "evacuated" from the simulator (among other things).  After training, I was sent to my new base, Newark, where I was on reserve for several months.  I shared a crash pad with several other girls - all on reserve like me.  We all became extremely close, and we were all thrilled to learn that we would not be wearing the old, ugly aubergine (eggplant colored) uniforms but would be the first class to graduate right into the new navy uniforms.  It sounds like a small thing - but those aubergine uniforms were UGLY!  I googled and searched and searched and googled to try to find an image of one of them to show you just how butt-ugly they were, but I couldn't find a single image.  Not one!  

I finally received my transfer to Denver, where I was also on reserve.  Denver was a great base with fabulous people - many of them (and from my training class as well) I am still in touch with today.  During my 5 years with Continental I was also based for a short while in Cleveland, and then back in Newark again.  I met many wonderful people and a few very special friends.  I treasure those friendships and those memories still.

Today is the last day of Continental Airlines.  Tomorrow, October 1st, marks the beginning of the NEW United Airlines.  As a former employee of Continental, and the spouse of a United Airlines employee I look forward to this new beginning.  Today's post is both goodbye to Continental and hello to the new (and improved) United.  Aloha.

**With many thanks to Susan M., another former CAL employee, Here is a photo of the butt-ugly aubergine uniform (which looked much worse in real life, more faded and gross looking)...followed by the vastly improved navy (which I wore)....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Superstitious much?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...when I was paid for working, and got vacation days and was skinny and young and cute...I was a flight attendant.  

I wore a St. Christopher necklace (the patron saint of travelers), and it became a habit to always wear it when I was flying.  Since it appeared to be working (I was never in an accident) I began wearing it all the time.

In my current job of domestic goddess, I still wear my St. Christopher.  In fact, I never take it off.  There is a kink in the chain and it could probably use a good cleaning, but my St. Christopher is always around my neck.

I drive a lot, you see.  Carpool, grocery store, Ballet, Taekwondo...I am in the car a lot.  Plus, we travel a lot.  On the rare occasions that I change necklaces, I get anxious about putting my St. Christopher back on!

Eventually, I began to wonder if the necklace was enough.  So several years ago I got a St. Christopher keychain.
Not that I am superstitious or anything...but...

Then there is Mr. Wonderful.  He IS superstitious.  Whenever he leaves on a trip, we have a ritual at the front door.  He stands in a certain spot, and I have to stand in a certain spot, and I have to say certain words...with a certain inflection and in a specific way.  Otherwise, it won't work.  If I deviate from his script in any way, we have to start over.  If the dog comes and stands next to us...we have to start over.  If the kids are in the room, they have to leave and we have to start over.  I'm telling you - this is a very, very specific ritual that must be done in a very, very specific way or "something bad might happen."

So I stand in my spot, and he stands in his spot, and I say what I am supposed to say in exactly the way I am supposed to say it.

Who am I to be skeptical or critical?  It seems to be working.

My daughter's ritual is to always say "Break a nail" backstage before going on, rather than the cliched "Break a leg."

Again, it seems to work.

So these are our family's superstititions...what are yours?  Do you avoid walking under ladders?  Are you afraid of black cats?  Do you throw salt over your shoulder?  Are they habits, or do you really believe they work?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Q and A with a 14 year old girl!

Happy Birthday!  Did you have a good birthday this year?
Yes Ma'am!  Well, my actual birthday was pretty much like every other day except for my friends Reilly and Mary attempting to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish!  My party last week was really fun though.  We decorated a cake and got high off of the sugar, we swam, and stayed up really late.  

Does being 14 feel any different than 13?
Not really, no.

What's your favorite subject in school this year?

Why do you like it?
It's interesting.  I'm learning about the 13 original colonies right now.

Have you read any good books lately?
Have I?  I read the Fellowship of the Rings...that's good....Mom, you should interview Gus.

No.  Put the cat down and talk to me.

Why do you think our house hasn't sold?
Because the dumbos don't know a good house when they see it.

What do you think we should do?
I think we should threaten people and make them buy it.  That, or put them under the Imperious Curse (from Harry Potter?) Ha Ha Ha.

Hmmm...maybe we'll just hold off on that for a bit.  Your brother's grounding is over this Friday.  What do you think he'll be doing this weekend with his newfound freedom?
Pshaw.  Fishing.

Are you happy to be back at The Florida Ballet?
Of course!

Why?  What's so special about training there?
Ummm.  Well, first of all I missed all my friends.  And also I learn a lot, and I think I've improved since I went back.  

What's your favorite class there?
Ballet or modern.  I like pilates too, but it's painful!

Well, thanks for answering my questions!
No problemo, yo!

Excuse me?
Ahem.  You're welcome.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

14 years ago, my baby girl was born.
She was beautiful, and inquisitive.
She slept through the night at two months old.
She smiled, and gurgled and was always happy...
She made us happy too.
She was silly and happy and babbled and laughed.
As she got older, she became more serious about some things.
and gymnastics...
and chocolate!

But she has always kept her silly, crazy. loving side easily accessible...
Because you just never know when someone will need to smile...
or need a hug...
My little girl has always been willing to try new things...

She is a good student...
who loves to play...

She is beautiful and kind and generous...
She is smart and talented and amazing...

She glows...
I love her smile and her freckles.
I love the sparkle in her eyes.

My baby girl is growing up into a beautiful young lady, and I am so proud of her.

She still makes everyone around her want to smile.
She makes us all incredibly happy.

She is smart, sweet, loving, kind, generous, happy, silly, goofy, imaginative, talented, lovely, effervescent, cheerful, determined, delightful, and amazing.

She is my daughter, and I love her so much.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Morning has broken

This morning I awoke to a faint light painting my ceiling with a pink and orange glow.

I tiptoed out, grabbed my camera (pausing on the way to start the coffeemaker, of course!) and walked outside.

The dock was wet with dew...

as I watched and listened to the world wake up.

A crab boat had just passed by on the other side of lake, and I heard the waves lapping at the pilings on the dock...

Off in the distance, I heard a rooster crowing triumphantly...


A neighbor's dog began barking...

(Hey neighbors - Wake up!  Let your dog out!)

The birds were all waking up...rustling and calling to each other...
Even (especially?) Buddy, our cockatiel...

"Hello, Buddy. Pretty Bird...Woo Hoo...."

As the sun rose, the sunbeams pierced the clouds...

as though God were saying, "WAKE UP WORLD!"

As I heard the prehistoric bellow of a heron, croaking impatiently...

and listened to the first stirrings of the morning...

I began thinking about that pot of coffee waiting for me inside the house.

Good morning!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Q and A with a teenage boy: AKA getting blood from a stone

How is school going this year?
I like all my classes.

Hmmm.  OK...well, WHAT EXACTLY do you like about school?  What is your favorite class?

Oookkkaaayyy.  Why?
It's fun.

Can you speak French?

Do you have a girlfriend?


Yes Ma'am

If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
I'm such a rebel.

Why do you wear your pants down low so your boxers show?  Especially since you know that it drives your poor mother crazy?
Because I'm cool.


Yes Ma'am

Why is your room such a mess?
Because I'm a teenage boy.

Yes Ma'am.


Mom, Guess what?  Michigan won.
When are you going to ask me better questions?

Like What?
About fish.


What about your fish?
They are amazing.

Ahem...isn't that supposed to be a TURTLE tank?  
It is.  With fish in it.  I have five.

What kind of fish are they?
Two baby bass, a baby brim, a catfish, and some other strange fish that I don't know what it is - but it is so cool.

What makes this strange fish so cool?
It just like chills.  It can stay vertical...isn't that cool?  He has a neat coloration.

So...what is the best thing about your family?
Are we almost done?

Lucy.  hahahahaha
Because she's nice and she loves me.

Well, fine then.  Let LUCY get up at 6:00 am and drive you school every morning!
She doesn't have opposable thumbs, Mom.

Mom, this is torture.  Are we done yet? more.
I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors and family, and to thank Mommie Dearest Strikes Again for giving me this chance to express my views and opinions of the world on this blog.
Bye Mom.

But...wait....I wasn't done.....


Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday

When you look back on your childhood, are there certain toys or games that you think of?  

This blog mentioned an old television show called Family Affair, and I immediately thought of my Mrs. Beasley doll.  I loved Mrs. Beasley.  I loved Buffy too - I wanted to be just like her, but especially to have her hair!

If you don't remember this show or Mrs. Beasley, then obviously you are just a mere child.  I'm sorry for you for not getting to experience Uncle Bill, and Jody and Cissy and Buffy and especially Mr. French.  Try googling it - it was great!

Anyway, then I started to remember some other favorite toys...
Like the Fisher Price little people.  My brothers and I played with these for hours.  We had the house, and the farm, and the van.

And then I remembered my scooter.
I loved my scooter, but I guess I wasn't very good at it because I fell off it and busted my chin open and had to get stitches.  Twice.

For some reason, after the second time that I fell off the scooter and my mom had to rush me to the doctor for stitches with blood gushing everywhere..the scooter disappeared.
One of my favorite toys ever was my Baby Tender Love doll.  Santa Claus brought her to me for Christmas one year and I was so thrilled!

Of course, a few days later I found the packaging in the trash and began to question why Santa would have thrown the packaging away.  And why there was any packaging at all if his elves had really made her.  But that's a story for another day...
Lite Brite was another favorite, especially for rainy days.  Although, I do remember my mother complaining about those little pegs getting everywhere!
Ah!  Chrissy and Velvet.  Arent they SO 1970's looking?  Especially Velvet with her little Jan Brady side curls.  They were special dolls with groovy hair that grew- if you pressed their belly button and pulled their hair it would grow.
...and Kiddle dolls!  They were tiny little dolls that came with perfume.  I had a whole collection of them.
And then there were Dawn dolls.  They were about 4 inches tall...kind of like miniature Barbies.  Again, they're pretty 70's looking, aren't they?

There was a huge assortment of these dolls, but I remember the Jessica doll the best...

She was the "stewardess" doll.  I really dig those false eyelashes, man!

Maybe that doll influenced my career choice years later?

I also loved my bike with the nifty banana seat, and the streamers on the handlebars...and a cute little white handlebar basket with flowers on it.  I clipped playing cards to the spokes of the wheels so it would make that cool "fwap,fwap,fwap" sound...

Mr. Wonderful's favorite toys were the "Defender Dan" machine gun...
and the "Mighty Matilda" aircraft carrier...

And, while not a toy, I feel that I should also give an honorable mention to this shampoo...

Because I loved it!
I used it all through middle school...and it really did smell terrific, too!

What toys do YOU remember from your childhood?

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