Airing Dirty Laundry

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Bittersweet Dilemma November 26, 2008

Filed under: family,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 3:41 pm

So remember a week ago, when I was all excited (and slightly stunned) about Vegas?

Well, a lot has happened since, and up until last night we weren’t even sure that we could go.

Mike’s aunt had what was thought to be a minor stroke, but has since escalated into a terminal situation.  Friday afternoon she was taken off of everything except for a morphine drip.  She’s a strong woman–she always has been–and she’s still hanging in there.  But we know it’s just a matter of time . . .whether it’s days, weeks, or hours.

All of this past weekend was spent waiting on the phone to ring.  We had it in our heads that we weren’t going to go to Vegas.  The package that we booked was non-refundable, but we both agreed that losing that money was, of course, the less important issue.  To be honest with you, I thought that she would pass quickly.  I never would have imagined that she could go this long.

Last night was our decision point.  We’re going to go.  We have every contingency in place to get back sooner than we had planned, which was around midnight on Saturday.  Mike’s aunt lives in New Jersey, so even if we can make it back to Pittsburgh, we’ll still have a 6 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. I printed out the details on every flight from Vegas that comes back to Pittsburgh, goes to Philadelphia, or into Newark.  I have details on rental car companies in Newark and Philly, train schedules, bus schedules, and even the phone numbers for cab companies.  There is no way that we’re not going to be there to pay our respects to Aunt Mary.

So as much as I love Las Vegas, I haven’t really had much of a chance to look forward to our trip, and even now, 4 hours before our plane leaves, we’re still nervous about the timing of everything.  It’s very surreal. Even though it’s finally sinking in that we’ll be in Vegas tonight, it’s a very bittersweet feeling.  Whether it happens while we’re gone or after we come back, at some point soon we’ll be saying our final goodbyes to Aunt Mary.


Spontaneous November 20, 2008

Filed under: travel,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 3:06 pm

Mike and I are going back to Vegas.


We booked our trip.

Sixteen HOURS ago.

It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.


The book meme–page 56 November 19, 2008

Filed under: books — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:19 am

Nessie tagged me for a book meme!
The rules are :

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST

My book is Web of Dreams by V.C. Andrews, and hot damn, I just blew right past page 56 while I was on the elliptical this morning!

“When she finally stepped out of her suite to attend the ball, I thought she looked stunning.”

As a standalone sentence . . .bor-ing.  I’m currently re-reading all of the V.C. Andrews books (since I read them WAY before I was mature enough to handle them!), and I have a general idea of what happens in the rest of this book.  And since this is the fifth book in the Casteel series but was written as a prequel, I know of the wicked goings-on that happen with Jillian (the “she” referenced in the sentence) and just how important her beauty is to her.

So now I’m passing this on to three fellow bloggers:


Keeping the Dream Alive

Mrs. Sour Britches

Jump in if you want to, and make sure to comment or link back to let me know you’re playing!


100 books in 2009 November 18, 2008

Filed under: books — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:53 am

I’m doing this challenge–read 100 books in 2009.  I’ll be updating my list HERE.   Want to do it too?  Go sign up and let me know you’re in!

I read a lot, although 2008 is the first year that I’ve kept track of just how much (thanks, goodreads!).  I should end up at about 150 books this year, although it irks me to read back over the list and see that there were only a few that I really loved, there were a lot that were entertaining, but there were some that were just a big time-suck.  So in 2009, I’m going more for QUALITY instead of just sheer QUANTITY.  I have to learn to put down a book I’m not interested in, to just walk away. 

Come join in on the fun with me!


Mike, you’ll be glad to know I saved $3.99 by NOT buying you an anniversary card November 13, 2008

Filed under: special occasions — airingdirtylaundry @ 5:30 am

Nine years ago today, I walked down the long long aisle of Heinz Chapel to you.  I smiled at some point, or at least I thought I did, but in all of the pictures I have that scared “deer caught in headlights” look. 


Like a lot of brides, I was nervous.  But my nerves were from being the center of attention, having hundreds of eyes all trained on me at one time.  The idea of getting married to you didn’t phase me at all.  But the process? I could have just skipped right on past that “walk down the aisle” part.  And of course our church had a loooooonnng aisle.


I remember that day like it was yesterday, yet it was almost a decade ago.  Was it a special day? OF COURSE.  But in some ways it was just a formality.  We had times together before that day that are special (although I could only come up with these pictures without tearing the whole house apart),


and we’ve made our memories together since. 


That day made it official.  Permanent.  But I like to think that I could show my commitment to you in a more meaningful way than throwing a big party (although we throw some ROCKIN’ parties!)


and buying a dress that I would wear for just hours.  You knew of that commitment well before that day, well before that day was even a thought in either of our heads.  And as time marches on, I promise to show you that commitment continually. 

A few weeks ago, when I made the comment to my sisters-in-law that you weren’t romantic, you took it as an insult.  I meant it as a compliment.  I don’t need the traditional perception of “romance.”  I don’t need poetry or flowers or fancy dinners or expensive chocolates (cheap chocolate is fine!).  I don’t need all of the “stuff”; I just need you.  I need you to be there when I wake up in the morning.  I need you to be the last thing I see when I close my eyes at night.  I need you to be able to know how I feel just by reading my expression.  You know when I need a hug, sometimes when even I don’t know that I need it.  That’s all the romance I need.

You call me your bride.  Even though it’s been nine years since we walked back down that aisle together.


And sometimes I do really feel as if we’re newlyweds, as if we’re just starting out.  Because I know that there’s so much more for us to experience.  There will be all kinds of good times, which I look forward to.  And there will be bad times along the way, I’m sure, as there always are.  But I don’t have that anxious fear of the bad that I would have if I were on my own.  Because I have you.  And the two of us together can get through anything–I think we’ve proved that over and over throughout the years.

So, on this day of our anniversary, I can’t help but to think that it’s really just like any other day.  And that’s a good thing.  A very good thing.


This is why . . . November 12, 2008

Filed under: da burgh — airingdirtylaundry @ 10:43 am

I love Pittsburgh.

PittGirl rocks!  My words can’t do this city justice.  Thankfully, hers can!


Weekend in review November 11, 2008

Filed under: family,friends,travel — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:22 pm

Friday night we drove to The Sticks to have a quick visit with my family en route to Harrisburg to see a friend.  At 9:30 that night we pulled into the driveway of the new place that my brother and his girlfriend and her little boy just moved into a month or so ago.  My Dad and his girlfriend were there, too, so it was nice to be able to visit with all of them in one fell swoop.  Alas, I took no pictures.  Oh well.

We only got to spend about an hour with them before going to my grandparent’s house to spend the night.  It was already 10:30 and although they typically stay up until 11:00 or so, I didn’t want to force them to stay up to wait for us.  Grandma can’t have company walk in the door without feeding them, so Mike and I had homemade chicken soup and chicken salad sandwiches for “dinner”.  I’m not sure if it was that we ate so late that kept me awake most of the night, or if it was Mike’s snoring, or the fear of rolling over and making the ancient bed squeak.  Maybe “all of the above” on that one.

We had a huge breakfast the next morning and spend time just talking and looking at old pictures.  I always feel like my trips home are rushed because of attempting to see everyone in such a short amount of time, so it was nice to have a relaxing morning with nowhere to go.

Mike and I left their house early Saturday afternoon to go to Harrisburg to see my friend Amy.  I’ve known Amy since third grade and she’s truly one of my best friends.  She and her husband moved to Harrisburg a little over a year ago, and this is the first time Mike and I made it out there to visit.  Plus, Amy had a baby this summer, an adorable little girl named Phoebe who we finally got to meet.  Amy is what I call a “natural-born mother”–she’s always been a nurturer, a “mother hen”.  Especially when I’d visit her in college and we’d go to some kickin’ parties and she would end up holding my hair back as I threw up after drinking too much (good times, those).  And it’s not like it happened just once.  Now THAT’S a true friend.  But despite always knowing that she’d make a good mother, and despite her parents running an after-school daycare while we were growing up, and despite seeing her work at other daycares over the years and eventually becoming a teacher, it blew my mind to see her with her own child.  Even though she’s always been surrounded by children, it was such a different experience to see her with HERS!  She and her husband are such good parents.  I have a feeling that it won’t be too long before I hear from her that baby #2 is in the works.

Feast your eyes on this precious little girl:

We took a tour of a local brewery that afternoon, which was mind-boggling (and got Mike interested in brewing his own beer again. Blech.) .  I was so interested in the tour part that I almost forgot that we could buy samplers of the different beers afterwards.  Almost.  I highly recommend the Dreamweaver Wheat, by the way, although if you don’t live in PA or a nearby state, don’t bother to look for it

Phoebe had a great time, even though this was her second trip to Troeg’s.


Beer-tasting is exhausting work, so we went out to dinner and chowed down on wings and cheeseburgers while Phoebe conked out in her carrier.  i was too busy stuffing my face to take any pictures.

We had a great time that night talking and catching up in what’s been going on in everyone’s lives,discussing politics, and being silly.

Sunday morning Jeff and Amy made bacon and pancakes (from scratch–no Bisquick for them). I was sad to have to leave them to head back to Pittsburgh, but Jeff had some studying to do (for his very last Master’s class!) and we needed to get back to watch the Steeler game.

Sometimes I dread going away for the weekend.  After working and running around all week, sometimes the last thing I want to go is spend a large portion of my time off in the car and/or away from home. But I looked forward to this particular trip for weeks and it seems like it just flew by too quickly.  I’m already looking forward to my next visit with them!


Laugh attack November 10, 2008

Filed under: What? Me cook? — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:46 pm

Mike (while eating zucchini bread that my grandmother sent home with us):  “This is so good!  Why don’t you make stuff like this?”

Me:  “That’s what grandmas are for.”

Mike: “Then we need to have a kid who then has a kid so that you start making zucchini bread.”


What’s on your shelf? November 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 5:20 pm

A lot of my Goodreads and blogging friends have been doing this, so I’m joining in.  Because I’m all about the bandwagon.  And lists. And anything having anything to do with books.

This is from the USA Today’s list of best-selling books over the past 15 years.

bold what you’ve read, italicize what you own, star** books on your “To Be Read” list!

1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling art by Mary GrandPre
2 Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution – Robert C. Atkins
3 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre**
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
8 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre

9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
10 Who Moved My Cheese? – Spencer Johnson
11 The South Beach Diet – Arthur Agatston
12 Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
13 Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
14 What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway

15 The Purpose-Driven Life – Rick Warren
16 The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
17 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
18 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
19 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – John Gray
20 The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
21 Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
22 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
23 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … And It’s All Small Stuff – Richard Carlson
24 The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

25 Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
26 Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
27 The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
28 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
29 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
30 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

31 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
32 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – Dr. Seuss
33 The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
34 Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
35 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
36 Body-for-Life – Bill Phillips, Michael D’Orso
37 New Moon – Stephenie Meyer
38 Night – Elie Wiesel, translations by Marion Wiesel and Stella Rodway

39 Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
40 The Greatest Generation – Tom Brokaw**
41 Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer
42 The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
43 Wicked – Gregory Maguire
44 Good to Great – Jim Collins**
45 Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer
46 Eragon – Christopher Paolini
47 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
48 Your Best Life Now – Joel Osteen
49 In the Kitchen With Rosie – Rosie Daley
50 Simple Abundance – Sarah Ban Breathnach
51 A Child Called It – Dave Pelzer**
52 A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
53 The Testament – John Grisham**
54 Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger
55 Deception Point – Dan Brown
56 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho**
57 Marley & Me – John Grogan
58 Dr. Atkins’ New Carbohydrate Gram Counter – Robert C. Atkins
59 Life of Pi – Yann Martel**
60 The Brethren – John Grisham
61 The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide – Arthur Agatston
62 The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town – John Grisham
63 For One More Day – Mitch Albom
64 The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
65 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
66 The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
67 What to Expect the First Year – Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway
68 Love You Forever – Robert Munsch, art by Sheila McGraw
69 Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
70 A Painted House – John Grisham**
71 The Rainmaker – John Grisham
72 Skipping Christmas – John Grisham**
73 Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
74 The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time – Mark Haddon**
75 Life Strategies – Phillip C. McGraw
76 Seabiscuit: An American Legend – Laura Hillenbrand
77 The Summons – John Grisham**
78 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt**
79 The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien**
80 The Runaway Jury – John Grisham
81 Goodnight Moon Board Book – Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
82 The Perfect Storm – Sebastian Junger**
83 Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson**
84 The Giver – Lois Lowry**
85 Embraced by the Light – Betty J. Eadie
86 The Chamber – John Grisham**
87 You: On A Diet – Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
88 The Prayer of Jabez – Bruce Wilkinson
89 Holes – Louis Sachar**
90 Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
91 The Shack – William P. Young**

92 The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
93 Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
94 A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
95 The Seat of the Soul – Gary Zukav
96 Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
97 The Partner – John Grisham**
98 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
99 Eldest: Inheritance, Book II – Christopher Paolini**
100 The Broker – John Grisham**
101 The Street Lawyer – John Grisham**
102 A Series of Unfortunate Events No. 1: The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket**
103 The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
104 Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer**
105 The King of Torts – John Grisham**
106 The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell**
107 The Horse Whisperer – Nicholas Evans
108 Hannibal – Thomas Harris
109 The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama**
110 Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
111 The Glass Castle: A Memoir – Jeannette Walls
112 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
113 The Last Juror – John Grisham**
114 The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson**
115 Left Behind – Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
116 America (The Book) – Jon Stewart and The Writers of The Daily Show**
117 The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
118 John Adams – David McCullough**
119 The Christmas Box – Richard Paul Evans
120 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares**
121 Sugar Busters! – H. Leighton Steward, Sam S. Andrews, Morrison C. Bethea, Luis A. Balart
122 Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
123 The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
124 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life – Don Piper, Cecil Murphey**
125 The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien**

126 1776 – David McCullough**
127 The Bridges of Madison County – Robert James Waller**
128 Where the Heart Is – Billie Letts
129 The Ultimate Weight Solution – Phillip C. McGraw
130 Protein Power – Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades
131 Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
132 Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer**
133 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides**
134 Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin**
135 You: The Owner’s Manual – Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
136 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List – Patricia Schultz
137 Self Matters – Phillip C. McGraw
138 She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
139 1984 – George Orwell
140 The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis**
141 The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
142 The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory**
143 The Zone – Barry Sears, Bill Lawren
144 The Pilot’s Wife – Anita Shreve
145 The Lost World – Michael Crichton
146 Atonement – Ian McEwan

147 He’s Just Not That Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
148 Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
149 The World Is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman
150 Cross – James Patterson


  • Yes, I know that I am the only person in the world that has not read the last Harry Potter book yet.  Whatev.
  • There’s a hell of a lot of diet/self-improvement-type books on this list.  I need to find me something to write a book about and sell a bezillion copies.
  • I’ve read 63 of these.  Not too shabby.
  • Holy Grisham, Batman!  If I had his money, I’d roll in it naked every day.  Think about that next time you touch the bills in your wallet.
  • Have a nice weekend, all.  I’m off to The Sticks (actually the Town-Next-to-The-Sticks) tonight to spend some quality time with my grandparents.  Actually, they want to talk to me about what to do with their money and paper and “stuff” when they die.  Joy.  But I’ve put them off for about 10 years now on this subject and they’re in their late 80s, so I guess we’d better have this conversation at some point.  Then on Saturday afternoon Mike and I are heading to Harrisburg to see one of my very best friends and her husband and will meet  their bea-U-ti-ful spawn, Phoebe, for the first time.   Can’t wait!

Anymore November 6, 2008

Filed under: blogging,life lessons,me being a whiney brat,random ramblings,secrets — airingdirtylaundry @ 6:09 pm

I don’t envy the “popular” bloggers.  If I was one of them, I think I’d eventually find myself in fear of the written word.  One hateful or overly-critical comment/email too many and I’d hightail it out of the blogosphere immediately.

As it is, I feel like I limit what I say write.  I would only write in specific detail about a friend if I had his or her permission to do so.  I mask the names of my family members to a certain extent.  I don’t write certain posts that are brewing in my head because I feel like I’d be sharing too much.  Things that maybe certain people would take offense to.  My original intention was to have this be a totally anonymous blog, but over time I added a link to it on my Goodreads profile.  And then my Facebook profile.  So now it’s not-so-anonymous and there’s a chance that if I bitch about someone in particular, one of my real-life friends may be able to figure out who that person is . . .and, well, my reason for this blog is not to start some snarky war where people’s feelings get hurt (whether intentional or not).

Today, I said “screw it.”  This is MY blog.  It’s for ME.  It’s ABOUT me.  My life.  And when something happens in MY LIFE that weighs on my mind for a week and I feel like I’m holding it in because I’m afraid of singling out one specific person . . . .screw it.

That’s when I have to remind myself that this is my journal, what will one day be my history.  And if something’s affecting me to the point that THIS THING is affecting me, I need to let it out.  So here goes.

Last week I played bunco with a fairly large group of people.  All women.  Some I know really well, some are just “casual friends”–we know each other’s names and can have a “Hi, how ya doin’?”-type conversation but don’t just call each other and chat.  When we were broken into groups, one of the women (a casual friend) said to a good friend of mine in front of two other people (I wasn’t in the group), “I guess she (meaning ME) isn’t pregnant anymore, since she’s drinking.”

We’ll call this casual friend Elaine.  I’d like to give Elaine the benefit of the doubt.  I’d like to think that maybe it somehow just slipped out of her mouth and she regretted it instantly.  But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that that wasn’t the case.

I’m a fairly laid-back person.  With so many things, I feel that I can forgive and forget and move on.  But I’ve been thinking about this for over a week now, so apparently I’m not moving on.

Earlier this week on my way home from work, I saw Elaine standing in a neighbor’s yard, about 15 feet from my car as I stopped at a stop sign.  I couldn’t meet her eyes.  I couldn’t even wave.  Tears welled up that I fought back, and I continued on my way.

What she said hurt me.  First of all, I had never told her that I was pregnant, so obviously I had never told her that I miscarried.  And it’s not as if she took me aside and said “I knew you were pregnant earlier this year, so something happened, and I want to make sure you’re doing OK and see if you wanted to talk to somebody about it.”  There was no compassion, no concern.  Instead, it was “I guess she’s not pregnant anymore.”  In front of a group of people.

I hide my struggle with fertility/miscarriage a lot.  I joke about it, my favorite defense mechanism after sleeping it off (which didn’t work in this case).  We named our kitten Forrest because that’s the boy name that Mike loved and I would never agree to it when we were discussing baby names.  So we named the cat Forrest the Cat, Not the Kid–Forrest the Cat for short.

But each day as I dutifully chart my BBT, each month when I get my period, I get a little bit . . .sadder.  I remember my disbelief at the positive pregnancy tests in April, and I want that disbelieving/hopeful/too-good-to-be-true feeling back.  That overwhelming sense of awe that two people can create another one.  That I could be a MOTHER.

I don’t need reminders from people I barely know that I’m not pregnant anymore.   If Elaine really wanted the scoop about my situation without asking me directly, she could have least waited until I wasn’t in same house as her to ask someone else.  And she could have done it a hell of a lot more delicately.  Does she really not understand that every morning when I take my temperature, I recognize that I’m not pregnant anymore?  Or when I called the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to discuss fertility medication, I was pretty aware that I wasn’t pregnant anymore?   Or as I flip the pages of the calendar, ever closer to what was my December 25th due date, that I think about not being pregnant anymore?


On a related note, I found out on Halloween that three of my neighbors are pregnant.  I guess there’s hope that there’s something in the water and it’s working it’s way up the street to me. . . .