Friday, April 29, 2011

Our First Easter

This year, Erin & I attended our first Easter family event ever.

Jolene invited Erin & me up to her home so we could celebrate with her family. Erin & I went up Saturday afternoon to spend the night. We went to dinner & then off to Tarjay for a quick shop. Once back at Jolene's, Erin helped out by cleaning & swiffering. My girl loves to Swiffer! Relaxation was the order of the evening once we convinced Jolene to sit down. Erin watched Tangled with Jolene while I sat & read.

Sunday morning we got up & started to get the house ready. Once Jade & Emma got home, it was all we could do to keep the 3 girls calm & inside. If you can imagine, we convinced Erin & Jade to wear their dresses all day!

Jolene's family is amazing. Her parents & sister's family have taken to Erin like ducks to water. They are just so warm & welcoming. Before we all sat down to lunch, Jolene's dad (a/k/a Poppa) started with grace. I explained to Erin that their grace is different than ours so we needed to stand their quietly & say "amen" when it was over. I'm happy to say that Erin didn't fidget even once.

And then we went about our day - eating a lovely lunch, talking with each other & laughing. What a lovely day!

*** ARGH!!! Blogger isn't allowing me to post any of the pics I took!!!***


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Passover Seder for 3

When I was growing up, my parents hosted all of the religious holiday meals in our home.  Sad to say but we had the only kosher & observant home in our family.  I always loved knowing that as a family we would put together a nice holiday evening.  Passover was probably my favorite holiday since my mother allowed me to start helping with the preparations when I was about 8 years old.  She showed me how to make charoses, & to this day I have great memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my mother & grandmother while we all did our thing.

When David & I got married, it wasn't long after that my dad moved to California so we went to David's family for the religious holidays & my family for the secular holidays.  For some reason, his family only did the Passover Seder on the first night.  It's a tradition that continues to this day, & now that we have our own beautiful daughter, we decided to change things up a bit.

Erin & I went to our niece Deena's house for the first night.  Seder was definitely interesting.  This year, we decided that Erin needed to experience her own family Seder.  I set about preparing our dinner in the hopes I wouldn't poison anyone. 

I cooked the roast chicken with potatoes & onions, which by the way were totally yummilicious.  I decided that Erin needed to take an active part in the process.  Since I started making the charoses when I was 8 years old, I knew this would be a good time for her to start.  The thing here is that I spent days looking for a new recipe.  I'm highly allergic to walnuts so I needed something that wasn't the traditional Ashkenazi charoses.  After looking up a few recipes, I took a little from here & a little from there.

The Seder didn't go as easily as I had hoped.  However, we did have one.  Hopefully next year's Seder will go better.

Seder Plate

Simple salad using heirloom tomatoes & English cucumbers from the farmers' market we went to a few days earlier.

Walnut-free charoses - not bad at all

 Roast chicken

The table

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Local Farmers' Market

This morning Erin & I went to the local farmers' market with some of our friends.  We were so looking forward to a morning in the great outdoors - sunshine, friends, fresh fruit & veggies along with other yummy treats.  We couldn't ask for a better day!

I knew that we were meeting Shari & Myke with their daughter Chianna.  I don't know who was looking forward to it more - Erin & Chianna or Shari & me.  As we were getting ready to plan, Lori & Marc came over with Katie Starr & Ethan - better known as the DD.  The day couldn't get any better as far as all of the children were concerned.

Growing up on Long Island, my parents used to take my brother & me to the Farmers Market in Bethpage.   Oh, the memories! We used to go & my parents made sure that along with our purchases, we always got cannolis to enjoy while we were walking around.  And you couldn't find a better pickle anywhere on The Island! The highlight of the night for me was the carousel.  I can still see my mom & dad walking & talking & just enjoying themselves.

Needless to say, having these memories, I was thrilled when Shari mentioned a local farmers' market here! Of course, I should have thought better & realized that in FL, it was going to be outdoors.  I'd forgotten that I adore air conditioning & went along.  I'm so glad that I did.

Erin, Chianna, Katie Starr & Ethan loved walking around.  They got to see a few cows, a pot-bellied pig & some dog breeds they hadn't seen before.  Ethan was intent on finding some baby spinach.  (If only his buddy Erin would have some interest in a green vegetable!) 

There were booths with specialty oils, sauces, jams/preserves, breads, pastries, pastas & so much more! Seeing all of the vegetables & fruit that are grown locally was cool.  I couldn't believe the size of the red onions! 

See for yourself!

Getting ready to go shop!

Ah! Some nice cool mango juice!

Elsie looks happy

Mona the Pot-Bellied Pig

No honey is as good as when it's in the honeycomb

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Birthday Party, Bowling & Pizza

This month Erin's friend Samantha turns 8.  Her parents Seth & Linda invited a ton of people to a bowling party! What a great idea! Of course I knew that my friends Jan & Michelle would be there with Erin's buddy Lauren.  What I didn't realize was that Shari & Myke would be there with Chianna.  How cool is it that the kids got introduced to a great way to spend an afternoon?  Pizza & bowling?  Always a good time!

Must have these to go down the lane!

Look at the cool colors! No blah blue or red for these kids!

Face Painting is a must at birthday parties these days

She always goes for a blue design.  Go figure.

You have to have pizza when you go bowling!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

You don't know?

Searching for a job is hard.  Searching for the right job is even harder. 

So much has changed since I last looked for one that I feel like a fish out of water.  Let's face it.  I started working for First Uni*n in 1996 & never looked back.  I loved what I did there.  Right up until the H*lls Farg* merger. 

When last I searched for a job, you asked questions about salary, benefits, hours required, job duties, etc.  Now if you were just changing companies, all you really needed to ask about were the salary, the benefits & the hours.  The person interviewing you asked all of the questions & was really looking to see if your answers matched your resume.

Needless to say, there have been changes in the last 15 years.  Now you post your resume online & based upon key words &/or phrases, you may or may not match a job.  I've gotten about 5 or 6 phone calls for sales jobs.  I'm not selling insurance.  It isn't who am.  It isn't who I want to be. 

I've also had 2 interviews in the last month.  I thought both went well.  Apparently not.  I haven't gotten a call back letting me know either way.  It's hard.  I worked for the same company for 14 years & was let go because of a witch hunt.  How do you explain to a prospective employer that there was a witch hunt & they were looking to get rid of people who knew too much, were paid too highly (not me!) or who didn't fit their corporate image?  I've been honest about everything. 

Maybe it's because the only questions I've had have been about salary & benefits.  Both interviewers told me that they don't know the salary being offered.  It's handled through HR.  Really?  Don't people who go into an interview these days want to know what they'd be making?  If you are the manager of an office, why don't you know what the offered salary will be?  Aren't you the one who will be reviewing my work?  Recommending me for an increase? 

Do you realize how silly that sounds?  I mean.  After all, if your job is paying below a certain $$ amount, it may not be worth the interviewee's time.  One job I interviewed with was for a part-time position - 3 days a week.  If the office is closed for a federal holiday, there would be no pay.  Oh! And there are no benefits for a part-timer.  What would entice me to work for a company that doesn't pay me for the days that I'm scheduled to work but they're closed?  That means that for 10 days a year, I don't get paid.  That also means that for the 3 days I do work, if something happens to me healthwise, I can't call out sick but also won't be able to go to a dr visit because you're not offering me insurance.  I better be healthier than the proverbial horse everyone is always talking about!!

The other interview I went on seemed to go really well.  The interviewer was friendly & informative.  We seemed to hit it off well.

We'll see.  I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Birthday for a Starr!

Erin & her buddy Ethan
2 Lovely Grandmas

Silly Faces
The Birthday Girl & Her Lovely Mommy

Yummy Cake!
Gotta have birthday cake!

And, finally, The Birthday Girl!
Yesterday, Erin & I went to a birthday party.  Katie Starr is 6!! Watching this little girl grow up has been pure delight.  From a sweet, frightened baby to a social butterfly who knows what she wants.  From the innocence of being a baby to the child who gives more than she takes.  That is Katie Starr!!

While Erin played with her buddies in the bounce house or in the play area, I got to sit around & chat with some wonderful friends.  I took a ton of pics! Going through them after Erin & I got home allowed me to enjoy the party all over again!

It was a perfect day to celebrate a perfect Starr.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Referral Day via FaceBook

So much of life is on FaceB**k these days.  While FB was originally intended as a social networking outlet for college students, people of all ages have gotten hooked.  I'm one of those people.  It allows me to keep in touch with so many people from all different parts of my life.

In consideration of Erin's Referral Day & all of the people who took the journey with me, I posted 2 times about this special day.  Rather than go through a whole long post, I thought it would be neat to document it via my status updates & the comments from my friends.


Happy Referral Day to Erin & all of our Waiting Hearts!! I can't believe it's been 8 years since I first saw my girl's sweet face for the very first time.

Michelle Platts, Shari Maxwell McConahay, Lyssette Cowart and 3 others like this.

Vivian Kotler Masson Happy Referral Day!!!

Peggy Bond Hoole I'm remembering how very exciting that day after photo of the most beautiful children ever!!! Happy 8th referral day, Erin!

Lisa Ciasca Congrats and Happy Referral Day!

Tara Penick Happy Referral Day Hersh Family! Love the feelings and memories that come flooding back :)

Shari Maxwell McConahay Happy Referral Day!

Candy Ostrow Wow, Eight Years! Congratulations. Erin is such a sweet girl. Wishing you a wonderful day!

Kristina Edgerly Schultz Happy Referral Day! I hope you enjoy your walk down memory lane. :)

Susan McCloskey and haven't those 8 years gone by quickly fellow Waiting Hearts?

Shannon Chase Przelomski Happy Referral day Tammie- I always love hearing you tell your April Fool's Day Referral story ! :)
It was 8 years ago in just a few minutes that I got The Call. After waiting forever, my SW called me to tell me it was my turn. I was so angry that I yelled at her about being rude & not funny. Emily @ GWCA, thank you for calling back!

Gretchen Day Fricke, Margarita Mandoki McClain and 2 others like this.

Haydee Frost awww... I'm sure you were not the first!!! You were entitled to any outbursts possible... Congrats on that moment "anniversary"...

Stephanie Shields Ranly I had forgotten it was today! You brought back some good memories!

Gretchen Day Fricke What great memories! (and I remember you getting upset when they first!)

Angel Tallmage Maharrey Happy day!!!

Sherry Sevy What an amazing day it was.....happy referral day!
I tried to upload Erin's referral pics, but Bl*gger isn't allowing me to do so.  ARGH.