The FBI Rejected Me ……

…… well, not me so much as my fingerprints.
And OF COURSE they did.

In order to be able to take care of Little Bit, to be alone with him, I had to take a CPR/AED/FA course, which I did.
I had to have a background check.
Which I did.
(I think I passed. Haven’t heard otherwise, but ya know ……!)
I had to send in copies of my driver’s license and insurance.
Which I did.

And I had to get fingerprinted.
Which I did.
Twice now.

Because the FBI didn’t like my fingerprints.
The Department of Family Protective Services thought they were fine.
Dopey FBI.

So this morning I drove across town to get re-takes. Hopefully we’ll know in two or three days if the second time’s the charm.

The woman who took them this morning said that she’s only seen one person have to do them three times.
I have no doubt that I could be the second.
But I’ll think good thoughts and stay positive.
Dumb FBI.

So I went to OSU’s Homecoming last weekend.
Here’s where I have to take a moment to tell you that our Homecoming is the biggest one in the world.
Which really means in the United States, since no other country does Homecoming.
A moment of silence please …… for you to feel the awe and wonder.
I know.
It’s pretty thrilling.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win the football game. Which is only a side note of the entire week.
Yes, week. Not just a Homecoming Weekend.
We have a Homecoming Week.
And it’s a pretty big deal.
If you went to school there.

Needless to say, I had a great time.
In spite of the game.
Here’s how much of a side note it is: it was SO FREAKIN’ HOT, that Vicki and I didn’t stay for the whole game.
No kidding. We were beyond melting.
She had to be in a wheelchair so we had to sit in a wheelchair section.
That was kind of redundant, wasn’t it?

Anyway, we left early.
We didn’t stay for the 4th quarter.
We didn’t stay for the 3rd quarter.
Ummmm …… we also didn’t stay for the second quarter.
OK, I’ll cough it up (gross!) …… we stayed for about 15 minutes.
I know.
I’m hanging my head in shame.

OK, I’m totally not doing that.
Because we were MELTING, people!!
So I pushed out of the oven of a stadium, and we headed out for the Student Union, where we thought we could sit and watch the game on a big screen.
Chilling in some AC.
But somewhere between the stadium and the Student Union …… we decided that, in addition to air conditioning …… we needed alcohol.
I think Vicki was so hot that she was beginning to get a bit insane. She said something about air conditioning and getting drunk.
And I did not argue.
Because you don’t ever argue with an insane person.
Right?

So we abandoned the idea of the Student Union …… just as we approached it …… and headed back the way we came …… toward Eskimo Joe’s.
If you’ve never heard of Eskimo Joe’s, then all I can say is …… I’m sorry.
It’s a pretty big deal.
It’s a MUCH bigger deal now than it was when we went to school there. It was a dark hole-in-the-wall back in the day.
Now …… not so much.
Commercialism, anyone?

Anyway, we pushed our way in …… or rather, I pushed our way in …… and we found a tight little corner to squeeze into and we had a couple of margaritas while we watched the game, and attempted to lower our body temperatures.
Right after I picked up our second margaritas, Vicki remembered that she had possession of the car keys.
Whoop!!!
So we downed the drinks (or, we may or may not have poured them into a plastic water bottle for a “go cup”) and then I pushed our way back to the stadium to find the car.
We returned to our very, very cool hotel and we finished watching the game in my room.
Well, not so much as finished it, as got totally fed up with it and shut it off.
It’s hard to be a Cowboy some years.

But we had fun and I got to spend some time with Son #3, so all in all …… a great Homecoming.
In spite of sweating buckets.
Of sweat.
Yuck.
Sorry.

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The crowd seems to grow every year!
See?  I told you it was a big deal!
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I don’t know where this kid got the balloon cowboy hat, but
it’s adorable!!!
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This is Vicki, being pushed by her husband.
Pushed in a good way.
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Sorority sisters.  I love the love.
:)
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I just like this …… I saw it in a store.
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This is Vicki’s family’s dog, Murphy.
He totally cracks me up.  He thinks he’s human.
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On Friday I’m heading back to NY.
Whooop!!!!
I’ll be seeing Hugh Jackman next week.
On Broadway.
In a play called, The River.
I know!!!!!

I have no idea what the play’s about.
I don’t do much research before I go see a play.
No. Strike that.
I don’t do any research before I go see a play.
I don’t want to get any pre-conceived notions …… or any opinions based on reviews.
I like to go in as a clean slate.
Which is pretty much what my brain seems to be much of the time these days.

So I’m looking forward to that.
Because …… hello!!! It’s HUGH!!!!

I saw him twice in “The Boy From Oz” back in 2004.
Back in my “before” life.
I wish I’d seen it another three or four times.
It, and he, was amazing.

I’ve also been working on a secret project.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I’ll tell you about it before long.
But not now.
Because it’s a SECRET!!!

So that’s all for now.
I may write a post about a totally frivolous lawsuit that came our way last week.
But not tonight.
I’m trying to enjoy a stress-free evening.
In spite of really wanting to fly to Alabama and slap a couple of people.
Breathe ……

Namaste, Peeps.
:)

Double Wow ……

…… I cried again.

But a good cry.
You guys blew me out of the water with all of the comments …… and support …… here and on FB.
I really didn’t know that more than a handful of people read this blog. I hoped that some widowed people had found me, but I figured it was only a few.
Wow ……

Thank you SO much for the comments.
Thank you for your very kind words.
Thank you for your anger.
And thank you for the love I felt.
Wow ……

A friend messaged me last night and let me know that I was not alone in receiving that kind of comment from that person.
I was sorry that she had endured that, but I was also glad that it wasn’t just me.
And then I felt sad.

I’m sad for the person who I thought was a friend. Not a close friend, but a friend anyway.
I’m sad that something is going on in her life that causes her to try to hurt people, and cloaking it in “God”.
God doesn’t need a cloak.

I’m sad for her.
All I can do is pray for her …… and ask you to do the same.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that …… from here on out.

Yesterday was a big theatre day for me.
And a busy day.

My friend J and I walked to our book club meeting. The hostess lives about an hour from us, over by the U.N.
I love walking here. No matter how many blocks/miles.
But I don’t enjoy the humidity.
Yes, you’d think I’d be used to humidity since I happen to spend most of my life in one of the most humid places on earth …… south Texas.
But in Texas, we don’t walk everywhere we go.
That would just be insane.

And it’s October for cryin’ out loud!! It’s supposed to feel like fall up here!
By the time we got to the apartment, we were both pretty drenched.
And not from rain.
Ugh.

But we had a great meeting and a really good discussion about the book.
And I learned that …… if I cram the reading of a book in a little over 24 hours …… I remember it well enough to join in the discussion …… and know what I’m talking about!!
Who’d a thunk?!

BTW, the book is The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman. It’s good. It’s weird. But good.

After that J and I decided to walk to the theatre to see if we could get tickets to see “The Country House”, with Blythe Danner.
And we did!!!
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It was very good.

We also walked past the library,
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and by Bryant Park, where they’re already putting up the skating rink!
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After the play I sat in Times Square, soaking up the people, the fun and the weirdness.
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Then I met my friend B at Carmine’s for dinner.
And a blood orange margarita.
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Yes, they were as good as they look.
Don’t be jealous.

After dinner we went to see “Pippin”. And I enjoyed it as much as the first time I saw it.
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And the really cool thing, for me, was that this lady was in it!
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I know you can’t really tell who that is, so I’ll tell you.
Cuz I’m nice like that.
It’s Lucie Arnaz.
You know, the daughter of Lucille Ball.

She happened to star in the very first Broadway show I saw …… “They’re Playing Our Song”.
And I LOVED that show. I still have the album.
And still listen to it.

After the play they held a Talk Back, which is when people from the show (producers, directors, actors, etc) hang out to discuss the show and answer questions. I love it when a Talk Back is included. The person who chatted with us was Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist of “Pippin”. Forty years ago.
Wow ……
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This theatre (Music Box Theatre) happens to be on a street with a ton of wonderful shows.
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I’m heading back to TX on Sunday, which is why I’ve seen so many shows this week. I try to cram them in when I’m getting ready to leave.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, but only for a week.
But I’ll be back in December …… I bought a one way ticket.
Double wow ……
:)

Wow ……

…… that’s all.
Just …… wow.

When last I left you, I had seen Sting in the Park.
Question: And yes, I know I could Google this, but what is his real name? Does it say “Sting” on his birth certificate, because if so …… bad parenting anyone?

Yesterday and today I read a book.
Seriously.
Book club is tomorrow afternoon.
Never let it be said that I don’t get things done …… when I want to.

I’ve also been to some barre classes and on some more walks through the Park.
Fall has not yet graced us with its presence, but it’ll be here soon. I hope.
The weather hasn’t been cold enough to turn the leaves yet, but I did happen upon two beautiful trees.
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Tonight I went to see this play:
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The cast changes every 6 weeks. Right now it stars Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy.
People who know me well, know that I have loved Carol Burnett since I was much younger than I am now. Much.
When I think of her, I think of home.
I think of growing up, watching her show every Saturday night, while my mom put rollers in my hair for church the next morning.
I have memories of high school, and college, and continuing to admire, respect and love her talent.

She came to Houston to do an evening of Q & A. Jim took me to see her. She showed a video that contained a lot of clips from her show. I found myself crying during that video. I’m not sure why, except for the memories it brought, and the feeling of home.
Jim died later that year.
Wow ……

So anyway, I loved watching her tonight.
I went to the stage door afterwards, mainly because I was walking that way and there was room for me right at the very front.
I hoped she would come out. And just the thought of her doing that, made me teary. I knew that if she walked through that door, only a few feet from me, I’d be blubbering all over her.
So it’s probably a good thing that she didn’t.
But Brian Dennehy did.
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Wow ……

And just in case you’re planning a trip up here between now and mid-February …… here’s the other casts coming up:
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Yep. Wow ……

Yesterday I awoke to find a text from a friend on my phone.
She wrote that she was very upset over a comment someone made on my FB wall.
I obviously hadn’t seen FB yet, so I opened up my computer and went to the site.
Wow ……

Something less than a firestorm had been unleashed.
By a “friend”.
All because I posted the night before that, as I was updating my children with pictures of a certain baby, I started missing Jim. A lot.
That’s it. That’s all I said.

Here’s what she said:
“With all my love and obeying the voice of the Lord. I want to tell you Janine your time of mourning is over. It is time to enjoy the life God gave you. It is time to renounce to self pity party. The Lord is not done with you jet. You got to finish the race but rejoicing on the Lord. This life is precious and temporary. Forgive yourself, forgive God! Jim is in Heaven with our Heavey Father and you know that you will reunite with him. God is more important than any person! It is time to put things in order. The word of God saysocevthe Lord your God above anything else, no your husband, no your children.
The Lord is your Husband!!!!”

She also quoted the verses from Ecclesiastes …… there’s a time for everything. Some of them say this: (I’m not quoting exactly, just giving highlights)
A time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance.

This “friend”, whose husband is very much alive, who has no idea what it is to grieve for the loss of half of your heart, for your future, for your children’s grief …… told me that my mourning is over.
Wow ……

And here I thought I was moving forward with my life, moving to a new place, enjoying the life I have, making the most of the days I have, etc.
I thought it seemed pretty evident that I am no longer “in mourning”.
Heck, I don’t even wear black that often …… even in New York!!

I have about 30 minutes of feeling sad and missing Jim, and I’m told it’s a pity party.
Wow ……

But do I still grieve? You bet.
Do I lay in bed and grieve and cry and spend a day in grief? I do not.
Not in a very long time.
Grieving and mourning are two different things, in my mind anyway.

Grief will always be with me, back in a corner of my mind, and my heart.
There will always be a thought, a word, a picture …… an event …… that will cause me to miss him …… and bring tears to my eyes.
Always.
And I’m ok with that.
I will never stop loving Jim.
Even if I’m blessed to have another love.
God came, and will continue to come, first in my life.
Jim was second.
The kids were third.
And we were all good with that.
Now the kids are second.
And will most likely remain second for a very long time.
And I’m good with that.

After the shock of reading that post, I briefly felt anger.
But then anger was replaced with something like pity.
I feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t experienced a love so deep, so strong, so …… forever.
I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they are the voice of God. That’s a lot of power to mis-use.
I can’t even fathom speaking for God.
Judging for God.
Wow ……

For those of you who read this blog …… and are widowed …… I pray that no one ever, EVER says those things to you.
You will grieve as long as you will grieve.
You will move forward at your own pace.
You will do things in your own time.
No one should judge you for how you grieve.
NO.
ONE.
Especially someone who has no idea.

Never let someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong.
Never let someone make you feel bad, or wrong, or crazy because of how you grieve.
Never.

But if that ever does happen, please know that you can come here.
You can email me, message me, call me.
I’ll be here.

You are not alone.
It will get easier.
Hope matters.
You will love life again.
Wow ……
:)

A Little Bit ……

…… of Little Bit.

I edited some pictures so he doesn’t have a face in them, which is very, very weird and ucky feeling.
But you’ll at least get to see most of him.

However, before I show off the cutest baby ever …… I have to show off someone else I saw today.

I was walking the Park, minding my own business, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the face of a singer, whose voice is so clear. (How’d you like that? I won’t continue. You’re welcome.)

This guy.
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Otherwise known as Sting.
I KNOW!!!!

He lives in a building next to mine, so I shouldn’t be shocked to have run into him, but this was a first.
I’m just surprised I knew who he was!

I can NOT believe how many sightings I’ve had in the last week! Especially when I’ve always been THE worst sighter in the history of sighting.
Really.

I forgot to mention that I saw Michael Moore yesterday.
Meh.
Easy to forget.

So anyway …… I have digressed.
Sting will make me do that.
:)

Back to Little Bit. I’m just going to upload a lot of pictures with no commentary, because there’s not much to say, except ….. “He is SO stinking cute!!!!!!!!”
Also, you will notice Daughter #2’s dog in some of the pictures. He’s very protective of Little Bit and wants to be where he is. Even if it’s on me.
Be prepared to be overcome with cuteness, even if it’s faceless.

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There you go.
More Little Bit.
And a little bit of Sting.

You’re more than welcome.
I hope you all had a good weekend.
:)

Little Bit ……

…… and Laws.

Since Ashley so kindly asked for more of Little Bit, I figured I should write a post about that. And him.

First of all, he’s still amazing. He made the flight to Oregon with nary a peep.
If you don’t count the diaper blow out on the way.
Which just makes me smile because I wonder how many of those nasty things I had to deal with over the past almost-(GULP!)- 30 years?
You know the ones …… everything slides right up the back, and/or out the leg holes.
So.
Much.
Fun.

We bought him a little tuxedo onesie to wear to the wedding today, so I’m hoping to get a really cute pic soon.

Now about those pics …… we are prohibited by law from publishing his name and his picture. Or anything else personal about him.
Thus …… no pictures since I left.

I’m hoping to figure out how to edit some newer ones so that I can post them.
Now, if I know you personally then I can show you pictures of this amazingly cute baby. But other than that, I’m sorry.
And really, it’s totally killing me to not be able to show you how ever-lovin’-cute he is!!!!!

There are a few other things that are required of me, other than not publishing pictures.
Today I went to a CPR/AED/FA class.
This is so that the foster system will trust me to stay with him, but only for up to 72 hours. After that, he gets snatched away and taken to people who’ve taken training to provide “respite” care.
Needless to say, Daughter #2 isn’t going anywhere more than 72 hours away.

OK, I just had to stop and squeal quite loudly.
That’s because D2 just sent me a pic of him in the tux/onesie.
I can NOT stand the cuteness!!!!

OK, where was I?
Ahh, yes ….. requirements to hang with foster kids.
The CPR course.

So I perused the internet to find just the right class.
And I did.
Or so I thought.
It was called FUN CPR!
Now you know me …… give me a choice between regular and fun, and I’m going to choose FUN every time.

So I walked to this office/Asian church/Asian funeral home and got there before 10:00. (The email said that the doors would be locked promptly at 10:00).
WHATEVER!!!
There were Asian people, dressed in black, coming and going and mostly meeting in one room for a service.
Then there were four of us who weren’t Asian, who were waiting for the FUN CPR class to start.
We waited for an hour. No word at all from the teacher. The receptionist said he’d never been that late and wasn’t it just too bad that she didn’t have his cell number?
REALLY?!!

One of the four found another teacher near by and called him. Surprise, surprise ….. his students had not shown up this morning. No, he wasn’t ours and we weren’t his, it was just plain serendipity.
So we walked over to his office and took the class. And he ended up being hilarious.
I passed.
:)

So far, my fingerprints and my background check have turned up nothing ……. in this country anyway. ;-p

I’ll see if I can edit some pics of him for you.

Until then, here are some pictures of Matthew Broderick and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in Harry Potter), Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham from the play last night.
I have to admit that the last several pictures were taken under the cover of darkness and sneakiness. But they were soooo close that I just HAD to!!!

And you’re welcome.

Hopefully one of you can come bail me out some day.
Wherever I end up.

:)

This is Stacey Keach, who was sitting a few seats from me at “You Can’t Take It With You” with James Earl Jones.
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This is Stockard Channing, though difficult to see clearly.
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Nathan Lane, who was so dang close!!
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It took me several minutes to recognize Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) because she’s lost a great deal of weight and was blonde in the show.
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Curtain call:  2nd from the right is F. Murray Abraham
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Rupert Grint — very patient and kind
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and goofy!

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Matthew Broderick …. also very kind and patent.
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Hello. My Name Is Janine ……

…… and I’m a Little Bit-aholic.

I’m going through withdrawal.
I kid you not.

I have told Daughter #2 that she has to send me at least one picture every 24 hours.
They’re my crack.

I start feeling restless and cranky when I don’t hear from her. It’s gotten so bad that when she sent me a picture this morning (from an airport because they’re on their way to Oregon …… actually they’ve landed safely by now), my eyes got all teary.
I miss that baby …… physically. When I see pictures of him I wish I could climb into them and grab him.
If anyone knows the secret to doing that, I’d make it worth your while to tell me.
Word.

But in between times of the DT’s, I’m loving being back in NY.
Barre class is still kicking my butt, but I’m very, very close to …… enjoying it.
I KNOW!!!

You know how some people love pain? I think it might kind of be like that.
I like feeling stronger, but I’m not really liking my muscles growing bigger. My calves are larger and very defined, as are my upper arms.
And since my muscles seem to be getting larger, I’m not losing any weight.
At all.
Not.
One.
Pound.
And that almost makes me hyperventilate.

I’m doing Barre for an hour every other day. Almost every day I walk at least 2 miles. Today I walked 2 miles and then biked 5 miles.
It’s getting depressing.
And infuriating.

It seems that at this stage of life, I have absolutely no control over how my body looks. I’ve always heard the horror stories of women and menopause and fat around the middle. But I never really paid that much attention because I seemed to stay fit enough playing tennis and walking.

But no more.
And I’m here to tell you that those horror stories are true.
Damn it.

Flaunt it while you got it …… all you Peeps under the age of 50.
Sigh ……

In other news, I saw a great Broadway show the other night. It’s called “You Can’t Take It With You”, and it stars James Earl Jones …… you know, the voice of Darth Vader?
It also stars Rose Byrne, who was the wealthy best friend-wanna be in “Bridesmaids”. She was cute.
Mark Linn-Baker, from the 80’s sitcom “Perfect Strangers” was also in it, as was Elizabeth Ashley, whom I hadn’t seen in anything in a long time.
It was hilarious and I’d definitely see it again.
That means I highly recommend it.
I also had this guy squeeze past me as he went to his seat on my row. He even said, “Excuse me.”
And the best part is …… I recognized him!!! And then I remembered his name!!! Ten bonus points for me because I rarely recognize celebrities. In fact, I spotted two that day!
Here’s a pic of Stacy Keach, who sat a few seats down:
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Tomorrow night I get to go see “It’s Only a Play” with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
I can NOT wait!!!
Here’s who else is in the cast:
F. Murray Abraham
Stockard Channing
Megan Mullally
Rupert Grint

WHOOP!!!!!

This is the hardest ticket to get right now. However, when you only want one, it’s a bit easier.

On Monday I went out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I’d been to the statue a few decades ago …… and up it. But this was my first time to visit Ellis Island and it was quite interesting.
We had beautiful weather, even if it was a bit blustery.
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This is Ellis Island, through the trees:
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A picture of a boat full of immigrants:
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This is a part of the wall that people wrote on while they waited to be seen by the doctors on Ellis:
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This is from the gift shop.  Because who wouldn’t want a Statue of Liberty bear?
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Or a tacky Barbie?
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Or, even better …… a Statue of Liberty monkey.  Because nothing says American patriotism like a monkey, right?
Sheesh.
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The entrance, that millions of immigrants entered upon landing on Ellis.
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Afterwards we went to lunch at one of the best barbecue places I’ve been to ….. in and out of Texas!
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It’s Hill Country Barbecue and it’s HUGE!!! Especially for NYC!! Most restaurants here barely fit 10 tables. But this looked like we stepped right into Texas when we walked through the door!

Today I decided to walk to the New York Historical Society Museum. It was another gorgeous day!!  I took pictures of a few churches and interesting buildings on the way.
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Looking into Central Park:
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I just thought this was a cool tree.  So I took a pic.
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And these Ugg booties made me think of Little Bit …. so I took pics and sent them to Daughter #2.
I didn’t buy them.  
I’m not entirely crazy.
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Although I can always go back.
:)

Have a great weekend, Peeps.
:)

And thank you to each and everyone of you who has joined Jim’s team and/or donated. It would be amazing to know that no other person will every die from an aortic dissection …… and that no family will be torn asunder because of that damn event.
I think it’s a great goal.

Once Again ……

…… T.A.N.W.

Please click on the link below to see what I’m talking about.
And if you can, please join the team and/or donate.

And if anyone has a spare box of Kleenex to toss my way, that would be great.
I haven’t stopped crying since I found out about this …… about an hour or so ago.

And thank you to everyone for honoring him …… and for remembering.
There are no words to describe how it feels to know he’s remembered.

http://heartwalk.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1089954&lis=1&kntae1089954=7FCD47D0AD5A4A1E9B7B35CD910FC5A7&team=6161924&tlteam=6076851