Thursday, November 27, 2008

This turkey is stuffed!

It's not even Thanksgiving yet and this turkey (me!) is stuffed. Any day that begins with a bowl of Frosted Flakes instead of my usual Fiber One has the makings of a bad diet day. Forget the fact that the diet has been pretty non-existent for some time now. Today was a little more over the top. And now I am filled to the top. It's past midnight and I'm headed for bed only to know I will get up tomorrow and eat EVEN MORE! So how did my day go so far astray? The Frosted Flakes got me started, followed by a banana, and a couple of chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies?! At breakfast?! Why yes. You see I am visiting my mother's house and she has left her world famous chocolate chip cookies for my enjoyment so pretty much I feel the need to have a few with each and every meal and snack. She's not here at the moment having left town for a pre-Thanksgiving gambling junket with my father. I'm here getting our Thanksgiving dinner ready for tomorrow. That would be the second thing has led me astray today. I discovered as I cooked that it is not turkey that anchors our family Thanksgiving meal but cream cheese. There's cream cheese in the grape salad, and in the jello salad, and even in the mashed potatoes. If you came to our house for Thanksgiving and had some sort of cream cheese aversion, you would be hard pressed to fill your plate because it seems to be a key ingredient in all our favorite dishes. So the BLT's (bites, licks, and tastes in WW jargon) have been adding up all day.
But the thing that really did me in was dinner with 'the gang". Visiting mom and dad's house means I am back to my old childhood friends so we got together over pizza and beer and cheesecake (more cream cheese!) and ate and ate and ate. We ate so much because we st around the table talking so long. So cookies and cooking and conversation were my downfall today.
And just for posterity's sake, I'll review the menu for tomorrow...

I'm updating with the post-Thanksgiving critique of the menu!
This was very good. I think it's just the act of cooking the bird breast side down and then flipping at the end that makes it so juicy. I don't know that you actually need the full stick of butter rubbed all over. Did decide that although I couldn't taste the bacon as a flavor, the layer of bacon kept the cheesecloth from sticking to the breast and pulling the skin off when the cheesecloth was removed - which would have been VERY sad! This was great! I didn't think the buttermilk sauce was worth the effort. I'll probably just use a can of cream of mushroom soup next year and save myself the time of preparing it and the trouble of having to buy buttermilk and figure out what to do with the rest of the half gallon! Family favorite - always good. Recipe calls for apples but we don't add those. We like the salty more than the sweet when it comes to stuffing. Another family favorite that alwasy turns out well.
cranberry jello mold
Yuck. I used cranberry jello and a can of the berries. It was not sweet enough for me. This was wonderful. Could have eaten the whole pan solo.
Sister Shubert's rolls
Why does anyone make rolls frm scratch anymore? These are delicious!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My daughter is smarter than me - really.

I had a realization tonight - Bookworm is smarter than me. She's not as street smart as me - thank goodness, she is still a teenager after all! But when it comes to mental gymnastics - she's got me beat.

The first clue was her high school coursework. The extent of my science in high school was "ISPS" or some other acronym that stood for Introduction to Physical Science for people who can't actually comprehend science. I took this class with most of the "back parking lot" crowd - the smokers and stoners. And then some biology and about half a year of anatomy (right up until they presented us with our dead cat to dissect and I had to drop the class). But Bookworm wrapped up physical science in the eighth grade, then biology in ninth, chemistry in tenth , and this year she is taking physics - huh?

The next clue was about a week or so ago when she was inducted into the National Honor Society. She'll get to wear the gold cord when she graduates next year. I wore gold too - an add-a-bead necklace - quite full I might add.

Then came the SAT's ....she bested my scores. I made National Merit Semi-Finalist which generated some scholarship offers so I am hoping that is still a possibility because I'm guessing this girl is going to college.

But finally, the nail in the coffin was tonight's public humiliation on Facebook. She beat my score on Word Challenge weeks ago so I have been trying and trying to better her and get back on top. I finally did it. And then I announced it to the world... or at least to my twenty FBFs (Facebook Friends). Since Bookworm is one of my FBFs she saw that status and immediately got back on the game and beat me again - by over a thousand points. Man, this girl is smart - how'd I do that ?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where the h*** is my fairy godmother?!

It was time for the ball (aka a big school fundraiser involving fancy dress and expensive tickets). This is the rundown of my preparations....

Several weeks before the ball....decide the ball is too expensive and I will not be going. Happen to receive (Absolutely free!)
beautiful pair of Ann Taylor kitten heel pointy toed shoes leftover at the end of the church bazaar. Despite the fact that they have been looked at and rejected by the masses, they truly are AWESOME shoes. Take them joyfully home and await occasion to wear them. (This is not the exact shoe - heel is too high but it is awfully close!)

Few weeks before the ball...receive from dear friend and her husband a ticket to the ball as a gift - yippee! Money remains tight so look for ball wear that is inexpensive or even better - free. Find sweet and flattering lilac colored dress at a loan locker on the Marine base but do notice a little stain on the bodice. Take dress home with plans to dry clean. Decide that with free ticket and free dress, I can splurge on a hair appointment - schedule last appointment for the day of the ball and request "style with extra shellac". At salon, while scheduling, explain to my regular stylist that I would like my hair to look like Kimber from Nip/Tuck in the season where she's still sleeping with the dad and maybe a few of his friends - not the season where she sleeps with the son and becomes a crack addict. With no other customers in the salon, stylists all crowd the computer, google Kimber, and agree her hair looks terrific. I exclaim how grateful I am that I was able to come in and have this conversation when no one was in the salon because I would be embarrassed being a mid-40's overweight, graying mother asking to look like Kimber if there were other customers around. God is good - all is well - I am Cinderella - except for the little stain I need to take care of.

Week before the ball... tell myself every day, "Girl, you better get that dress to the dry cleaners, time is sneaking up on you." Dress continues to hang in closet.

Day before ball... realize that the "same day service" is not really same day since you live on an island with a dry cleaners that is only a substation of the real dry cleaners. The dress cannot be professionally cleaned. No problem - go to grocery store and purchase Dryell home dry cleaning kit with stain remover. Attempt to remove stain - doesn't seem to be coming out - maybe it will "dry clean" out... no it won't. Resign self to wearing an old dress in the closet and go to bed.

Day of the ball....try on old dress in the closet. Realize that 15 pound weight gain will be an issue. All fifteen pounds are laying atop the bust and abdomen - dress is unseemly tight. The image that springs to mind is the characters in Tim Burton movies. Not the women who are all rail thin waif like creatures with long hair and gigantic eyes. No, the image is more the men,
the stick legged, pot bellied men who have rotund torsos and toothpick thin limbs. That's me - the apple shape defined. Muse that perhaps the stain of the sweet and flattering lilac dress could be covered up if I were to dye the dress the same color it is now but just a tad darker - more of a purple. Google "dying a dress" and read over and over again that it is not a good idea to dye a DRY CLEAN ONLY dress. Decide to do it anyway.

Better switch to real time here...

2:00 Search fabric and craft dept of Wal-Mart forever before discovering that Rit dye is kept on the other side of the store with the laundry products. This is the Murphy's Law of Wal-mart - whenever there is uncertainty, whatever you want will be on the other side of the mile long store.

2:30 Pick up kids from school and head for home to dye dress.

3:30 Dye dress. The easiest method, according to all the package instructions (which you may question my even reading since I am ignoring the warnings about dry clean only fabric anyways) - the best method is in the washing machine. Examine washing machine and think and think and think about it but decide there is no way to accomplish this in a front loader. Resolve to having to dye the dress in a big Rubbermaid bin. Reread instructions and worry about dye staining sink and Rubbermaid bin. Decide that Rubbermaid bin is fine to sacrifice, white enamel sink is not. So decide to dye the dress in the Rubbermaid bin on the counter top and then dump the dye in the woods in the backyard. Assume there is no EPA violation going on and make mental note to keep puppy from drinking fresh discarded dye water and from digging in that section of the woods for a few days. Begin dying, completely forgetting the many, many admonishments in the instruction pamphlet to wear rubber gloves...EEK! ...purple fingers. Frantically search for rubber gloves, end up with dye on counter, on fingers, and in sink. Clean as much as possible and proceed. Complete dye job and begin to have a little niggle of a worry about the brightness of the color on PARTS of the dress. Remember that dye instructions said, "Color will appear darker when wet." Heave dress into dryer, pray for miracle but have no idea which saint to implore.

4:00 Dry dress.

4:30 Remove dress from dryer. Yes, the stain is covered. BUT. The "but" is not good. The dress is a combination of two fabrics, one fabric that took the dye very well and is now a grape shade of purple and one fabric that apparently repelled all dye and remains lilac. The dress is ruined. Resign self to wearing un-ball-like attire to the ball and just hope that the fancy Kimber hair will draw everyone's attention upward and no one will even notice frumpy garb. Off to the salon, dropping Bookworm at her dance class right down the street.

5:00 Plop into stylist's chair and cock my head quizzically as he begins to prepare me for a shampoo and cut. Gently stop him and remind him that, today, I am here for a style. He gives me a blank expression and makes a move to continue to proceed to shampoo. Stop him again and say, I already washed my hair, it's clean and dry just like you asked for it to be ready to style. At this point see the other stylists exchange worried slash knowing glances with each other and the salon owner over the tops of their customers heads and in the mirrors. Salon owner promptly assumes her most cheerful voice and says, "Of course we remember, we told you to come with your hair clean and dry so that he could spend all his time styling." He still looks a little blank and the now perkiest of perky owner continues by suggesting appliances and products that he might want to gather to get started. As he is dazedly gathering, the other stylists are kind of whispering hints to him which they think I can't hear but I have my mother ears on which hear EVERYTHING. So there in the salon full of people I get to say, "You remember, we googled the pictures, I wanted my hair to look like Kimber from Nip/Tuck." and he is starting to remember but he needs to google again to see the picture and so he has to shout across the salon to the receptionist to pull back up that picture we googled of Kimber on Nip/Tuck. At this point, I don't so much see as I feel all the other patrons eyes burning into me as they assess me from their chairs. They don't actually snort and roll their eyes but the result is the same. After eyeing me up and down, they dismiss the idea that I will ever look anything like Kimber from Nip/Tuck and go back to their magazines, conversations resume. I. Am. So. Embarrassed! Not only am I a delusional middle aged house frau who thinks my stylist can make me look like Kimber but I am one that watches the equivalent of soft porn on TV in my spare time. Ugh. With the photo fresh in his mind, the stylist begins to curl but after just a few twirls of the curling iron, it is apparent that I have pushed him to his professional limit and another stylist comes over to assist. By assist, I mean she takes the iron from his hand and styles my hair for the next thirty minutes while he watches. This portion of my day actually has a very happy ending and my hair looks the best it ever has. It looks just like I imagined it and I am tickled pink. My stylist admits to me that he has not had to do that type of service in the year he has been at the salon and that he learned a lot from his co-worker and he is ready to try it on his own next time whenever I want a style at no charge. What a good guy! He was handsome to begin with but the humility - that makes me swoon. It's like all "Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams" kind of sexy! He just earned himself another chili pepper on rate my stylist dot com. I leave the salon quite pleased. And, I leave with a half hour to spare before Bookworm is done with dance class. I decide just for the heck of it to ... in to Belk and look at dresses. And I see a dress I love. I look all through the racks and see nothing else that catches my eye. I try on the one single dress that I have found and It. Is. Perfect! It looks like this except that it is a rusty red color and is sleeveless. And even better it is on sale.

6:30... get Bookworm from dance

7:00... arrive home and change from jeans into beautiful dress, hair is already done, add makeup.

7:30 ....arrive at the ball feeling like a princess and have a WONDERFUL night dancing with my girlfriends.

1:00am ....back home to transform back into real self. While in the shower, puppy eats shoes. Aah, yes, this is my real life! Who needs a fairy godmother, anyway?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The best laid plans...

I imagined Friday night sitting down at the computer and titling a post "Let the Blogging Begin!" and then I was going to finish up the half dozen posts I have in draft form waiting to be edited or spell-checked or linked or have a picture added. I thought because Ex-Marine has gone off for his annual hunting trip with his brothers, and I would be alone, that I would have all sorts of free time to blog, blog, blog. Except that alone for me still includes three children, a cat, a dog, and some fish so Ex-Marine being gone isn't really putting much of a dent in my workload. So here it is Saturday night with no blogging happening. What I did do the past twenty-four hours includes laundry (of course), lots of church functions - it's a big weekend at our parish, a childrens' community theater production, and lots of lolling about watching the puppy cam. Oh, and Freecell too - almost forgot my update - I'm at game 999575. Now I am off to bed to wrestle with my puppy who thinks that if the Ex-Marine isn't home, she ought to have his spot in the bed. Puppies sure are a lot cuter at 6 pounds than they are at 56 pounds! Hmm....I guess the same could be said about all the other family members too!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Comfort or show

On the Internet chat board that I visit, someone asked the question, "Is your house decorated for comfort or for show?" I answered there but that answer will scroll off in a matter of hours so I am also recording it here because my house that is a bit too comfortable for my taste now, will at some point be ready to show. And I'll be missing all this clutter - maybe.

"Is your house decorated for comfort or for show?"
Comfort...but I would like a little more show - some of these rooms are a little too well worn! The lab mix puppy is a little bit to blame with the chewing of anything she can get her teeth into - including baseboards and a nice little hole in the wall!

Then the sons, Tween and Youngest, share some blame since they like to play ball inside the house despite being told a thousand times to take the balls outside. And when I finally demand they stop throwing balls, they roll up socks and throw those. "Sock balls" I call 'em and they drive me crazy. They are everywhere - on top of the china hutch, under the tables, and in the corners.

Hubby, Ex-Marine, is a little to blame - he likes sports memorabilia - he calls them collectibles and I call them junk! He has Wheaties boxes from twenty years ago - with the Wheaties still inside. Or whatever you would call what used to be Wheaties twenty years ago - toxic dust? Not to mention his GI Joe collection - dust collectors every one!

Teenage daughter, Bookworm, shares a little blame with her cat and clothes and books. And of course my books, crafts, and junk contribute as well. So we are a bit too comfortable and I am ready for some show in my life!

Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron

I have never read anything by Nora Ephron before but I have enjoyed her work at the movie theater. That's really an understatement - some of her movies are on my "I will watch this movie again if it comes on no matter how many times I have watched it before" list. Those would include Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally. And just in case you're curious, the list also includes Non-Nora movies like Legally Blonde, all the Bourne movies, The Breakfast Club, and...enough, I digress, maybe I should write a post about movies!

I already had Nora's next book, I Feel Bad About My Neck in my TBR pile when I spotted Wallflower at the bookstore. The title just tickled me because it felt like ME. I read a quote recently by Camus ... "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." That one is me too. Some of us seem destined to wander around feeling just a little bit not connected to what's going on around us. To be in the midst of things but perhaps still not a part of things. Nora was told at some point that this personality trait made for a good reporter because they are more content to be the observer on the sidelines than the participant.

You've probably gathered by now that the book really isn't about sex at all! (And if you arrived here by googling orgy, I am sure you are sorely disappointed - get off my blog you pervert.)It's a collection of magazine articles that Nora wrote in the late 1960's. They are a fascinating peek into the culture of the times. I want to run away and read Ayn Rand and Jacqueline Susann and watch Love Story and Catch-22. I want to put on a mini-skirt, light up a cigarette, and settle in with Cosmopolitan and Helen Gurley-Brown. What a great read!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's Do Lunch

I'm flying. To the majority of the earthly population those words mean I am moving through the air. But to the ladies in my demographic..mid forties, computer savvy mothers...that means I've been visiting the Flylady. My sink may or may not be shiny but I have a few routines that are really working for me and I am so proud. I decided I needed to take a few minutes and blog it out. I need to put it down because my kids are just growing up so fast and before you know it I'm not going to be doing laundry for five, and cooking meals for five, and all the things times five that are such a challenge to me now. It will all be times four when Bookworm goes off to college and then times three when Tween is out in the world, and after Youngest heads off - it'll just be Ex-marine and I - times two. And I know that it will happen and I won't even notice it. It will be like weaning Youngest from nursing. I never realized that the last nursing was the LAST nursing - because you do and then you don't and you do some more and then you skip a few days and then you all of a sudden realize - you're done. It's over and you completely missed out on the last one.

So what routine has me all maudlin at the moment? Nothing as "aww" inducing as nursing, I'm blogging today about packing lunches. Lunches have been a fixture of my weekly routine for years ... about five years to be exact since Youngest joined his siblings at the Catholic school. Every week, I would pack all fifteen lunches for the kids. First step was taking orders, "What do you want in your lunch this week?" to each kid. Then off to the commissary to do the shopping. When the groceries get unloaded at home, the unpackers know that "lunch items" don't get put away but instead get lined up on the breakfast bar as a visual reminder of my chore to complete. This chore gets completed as soon as possible because otherwise, the boxes get opened and the snacks would start to disappear! I'm not as bad off as Philosopher Mom with her nine kids who has to hide her snacks in the trunk of her car but still - one shopping trip is enough! The lunches get packed and I line them up in five rows, three deep on a shelf in the pantry. They stand there all neat and orderly and I simply add the fresh/cold items and distribute them each morning. For years I had to line them up with Tween's lunches at the end of the line - in our three deep line up, he was number three. That was because he was the one most likely to say to himself, "I'll eat my Zebra Cake today and it won't bother me on Friday when I don't have one in my lunch." Hah! He'd dig through his bags and get out his treat and then when the day came that his lunch had no treat...cry, whine, cry, whine, fuss, fuss, fuss. Ohh, that drove me crazy! But he doesn't do that anymore - you see... he's growing up. On a side note, it is characteristic of Tween not to be able to figure out that he could simply have stolen the Zebra Cake from one of his siblings' lunches and then he would have been able to have his Zebra cake and eat it too.

The change that has me thinking the end of lunches is near is with Bookworm. She's a junior in high school and is GOOD AS GOLD. I am so lucky! But she recently traded in her big roomy Vera Bradley tote bag for a stylish little American Eagle purse. So the usual lunch just doesn't fit anymore. And she'd rather look cute carrying her purse than have her sandwich. So now I am making one less sandwich. She is still stuffing "the sides" into her purse - Chex Mix, Apple Jacks, Cosmic Brownies, and Gushers but the one healthy item - the sandwich on Sara Lee Heart Healthy Wheat bread - no more! And that's how it will go - bit by bit - until one more of our regular routines is over. They're growing up - aww.

Not a real greenie but...

Our little Cathlic school just finished up a fundraiser. Yawn - old news - anyone with a kid in Catholic school knows you are always either beginning, in the middle of, or wrapping up a fundrasier - they are non-stop. Our fall fundraiser was a wrapping paper slash knick-knack slash chocolate slash shipped meast slash you name it and it was in that catalog sale, I kid you not. Of all the items to choose from, I picked the one that I would buy even if it wasn't a fundraiser...a renewal for my Southern Living magazine. This is my kind of fundraising - buying something that I would have bought anyway but the school gets a little piece of the pie.

Friday was distribution day. The halls were filled with boxes and boxes of mercahndise...or so it appeared. Youngest came home with this good sized box. I took the picture with the Coke can as a point of reference for size. (Side note - I actually had fun looking around my house at all the things that I might use as a size reference...picture the same box with an Always maxi pad taped to the side...toilet humor - still funny even in my forties!)So with this universal size reference of the CocaCola can, you can see that this is a good sized box. It's the kind of box, you look at and say, "Oooh, that's a nice sized box, better not throw that nice sized box away. I'll need a box that size come Christmas."

So I really LOVE the box. But, what was in the box? It was the only thing that I ordered, my Southern Living magazine renewal. A slip of paper. A slip of paper that was maybe 5" x 8" x .0000001" - A SLIP OF PAPER! So I am not a real greenie..but even I know that is just wrong.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why I have no book review...

I'm down to game #999,799.

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz....

Oh what a relief it is!

I am so tired of the election. I am soooo glad that it is over. This will be one that I remember forever - not because of the barrier breaking candidates, Obama and Palin, but because it just felt like it WOULD. NEVER. END!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dog-mestic Violence

I have a secret; I was abused by my puppy. It was a training session gone awry. Our training history is NOT GOOD. We have enrolled in and started dog obedience school TWICE and dropped out both times - shame, shame, shame. It wasn't that she "flunked out" it was really that I flunked - I didn't have the time to practice the things we were taught. You see even though I am not the one who invited this dog to join our family, she is my dog. If I don't have the time to do it, and I don't (insert big whine here about family of five cooking, laundry, cleaning, carpooling, and full time job to boot)then it doesn't get done.

This episode began with me deciding to try to multi-task two things - exercise and dog walking. The grand plan was just to combine them, rather than the leisurely sniff and stroll we usually did each morning, we would pick up the pace and jog. Two birds, one stone, happy dog, happy mama - or so I thought. Out we went and with a deep breath I started to trot down the road. The dog trotted a few steps and we picked up the pace and it seemed to be going well and then - she lunged. The dog just leaped up on me and started biting my forearms. Well because it was 0 dark 30 and kind of chilly, I was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and a sweatshirt on top of that which meant the bites didn't hurt but I could feel the clamp and this was not a good thing. Lesson one at dog obedience school (which remember we took TWICE so this one is pretty thoroughly ingrained) is to IGNORE bad behavior. You are not to give the dog attention - even negative attention - because it can be reinforcing. I certainly did not want to reinforce my dog lunging up and biting me so I came to a stop and ignored the heck out of her as she repeatedly jumped up on me and tried to bite me. She did settle down and optimist that I am, I tried this again and again and again and then I finally gave up. I snapped her leash onto the nearest stationary object and just ran laps around my circular driveway until I was tired out. We went in, I ate my cereal, I skimmed the Gazette, I fed the kids, I made the lunches, I read blogs, I curled my hair, and then I went to get dressed. I took off that long sleeved t-shirt and in the mirror saw that my forearms from wrist to elbow were black and blue. Oh My Goodness! By that point in the day, the sun was up, it was warm and the uniform of the day around here is a sleeveless blouse but how could I possibly wear that? So I put on a thin but long sleeved shirt and sweated through the day. And every time the cuff inched up a little bit, I was careful to pull it back down. For the first time in my life, I had this glimmer of understanding of why women keep quiet. I've always been one of those, "If my husband ever hit me, I'd be out of there in an instant, how could you ever stay with someone who hurt you?" kind of girls. It's not that I was unsympathetic to women who had endured domestic violence, I just truly couldn't fathom how they could protect the abuser. Well, I have a little idea now. I did everything in my power to hide my bruises. I didn't want to hear from my well meaning friends what a bad dog I had and how something must be done. I love her and she really is a good dog.

That night Ex-Marine and I looked it up on the Internet and saw where when Labrador puppies (and we assume 7 month old lab mix puppies as well) get overexcited, they jump up and bite. So the exercise plan went out the window - it was just too exciting - woohoo! Who wold have thought? I'll give her a few more months to grow up some more and then - well padded - we'll try it again!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Soul's Day

We attended the All Soul’s Mass as a family. But we are a little short in the pew these days – Tween and Bookworm are frequently up at the altar serving. December 7th Youngest will serve his first Mass with his siblings. That will mean that Ex-Marine and I will be sitting in the pews alone – an empty nest already! It does make you feel old.
Listening to the names of the people who have passed away over the last year gave me time to think about death and aging. I knew some of the people but no one was a relative so I didn’t have to make the walk up the aisle to light a memorial candle. (That's always a relief because the polished concrete floors of our new church are S-L-I-C-K and I always worry about falling! At least in the communion line I have people in front of and behind me that might catch me if I started to go down - or I could take them all down with me and noone would be able to figure out that it was me who caused the dominos to tumble. All on my own, though, I'd be so nervous.) Our family is blessed in that both Ex-Marine’s parents and my parents are still alive and kicking. But they are not young; they are in their seventies – except for Granny, my MIL, the youngster still in her sixties. We even have one great grandparent, Granny’s mom, still healthy and a part of our lives in her eighties. My parents seem invincible. I can’t imagine them getting old or feeble. My dad is a worker bee – constantly in the yard. He is a gardener more than a “lawn ranger”. In fact, I think every year he finds another spot to plant so he will have increasingly less grass to mow! My mom is not as physically active as my father but she’s no slouch! She keeps house, shopping, cooking meals, takes care of all the grandparent duties of baby sitting and gift sending! And she is a socialite – playing cards and doing churchly women things.
But still, the list made me wonder if next year we will walk up the aisle to light a candle for someone we love. We are passing through these waves of life – marriages, babies, First Communions, and now, it seems, increasingly more – funerals. My friends are losing their parents and I wonder if my turn is coming. I’d like to skip my turn, thank you, I’ll just pass.