Wednesday, December 31, 2008


After posting "Forty One Candles" I received some comments from GC. The comments were very nice, and assured me that I had nothing to be embarrassed about; however, there was cause for suspicion as to if the comments were actually submitted by GC himself. Now, Queen of OVERTHINKING that I am, ultimately kicked into operation as Queen of EVERYTHING P.I (I mean, why not - Richie Howell was a P.I so it must just run in my blood... right??) And as most P.I's don't work alone (remember Charlie's Angels, Magnum etc) neither did I. I had myself one cracker jack team; (who the hell, says that? I really am in P.I. mode LOL) anyway, Michelle (she´s been sending me emails with her last name actually listed as )K, Jackie, Jessica, Kate and Rachel all attempted to help me figure out this mystery.
So this was the sitch...
1. I received a total of 3 comments that were all variations of the same comment, but they were left on 2 different posts and at 3 different times.
2. The first of the 3 comments was left by 85Dutchmen (just like his very first comment on the other blog;) and the other 2 were from Dutchmen85.
3. All 3 comments asked me to say Hi to JV and I had no idea who JV was.
So, I ask you; given these facts, would you have been suspicious? Well, anyone who actually knows me personally, must know that my stomach was in a knot the entire time we were trying to figure out this conundrum. It's not that I WANTED the comments to be left by GC (no offense GC;) it was just that I didn't want them to have been left by someone else; and after the whole experience with the BL, I was nervous. I mean I am just a woman who is pursuing her dream and I didn't understand why someone would feel the need to tamper with that. Well, after a few days of torturing myself; and everyone else around me - I decided to do something that I thought was impossible for 27 years; and I called GC (Oh, yes I did!) OK, now it's not just like I HAD his number - I was able to find it on Zaba Search. I felt like I was in high school again, when I dialed those numbers and I just kept telling myself that it was for MY greater good. It took all the strength that I had, but I did it. I left a message and said something like"Hi, this is Paige and we went to Tappan Zee high school together and I was hoping to talk to you because I think that you left a comment on my blog etc. etc." I know; I'm crazy - but as with any problem, the first step is admitting it.
Anyway, I was really proud of myslf for facing my fear and leavng the message. NOT because I wanted to talk to GC so badly after all these years (no offense GC;) but because I went far outside my comfort zone and did something that was scary to me in order to preserve what I'm trying to build with this blog.
A little over 24 hours later GC left me a message and told me to call him back; so I did. Again I was nervous as I dialed his number; not so much to talk to him, and admit that I'd written about my crush, but more so because I didn't want to find out that someone had tampered with "TBR." Ater saying hello, there was a momentary pause and then he asked "So what about this blog?" "OMG! He has no idea what I'm even calling about" I thought; but then he said that he was only kidding and that he knew all about it; and he couldn't have been nicer.
As it turns out, all 3 comments in question, were in fact submitted by him. Mystery solved - score one for Queen of EVERYTHING P.I.
GC and I had a very nice conversation. He's happily married (put your Aw's aside - because so AM I;) and he really wasn't looking for naked pictures of himself when he came across my blog; and since many of you asked - he may even supply me with some pix (clothed of course,) so stay tuned.
So what has this experience taught me (other than that I may have a future as a P.I. if this writing thing doesn't work out...)
1. Proceed with caution (especially when using people's names in my blog.)
2. Most times what you imagine is far worse that what actually is.
3. If something is important to you; NOTHING should stand in your way - including fear.
4. A little embarassment won't kill you; it will just make you stronger.
5. Friends are invaluable. (But this I already knew!)

I hope that these lessons will prove useful to you too as we head into 2009. If anyone can find comfort or assistance from the experiences that I share, then a little embarassment now and then it is all the more worth it to me.
I wish you all happiness, health and prosperity in the New Year.
Till next time...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When Ya Gotta Go...

DISCLAIMER: For some this just may be a little TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

After arriving at my in-laws, we were promptly fed copious amounts of food. Carne Asada, rice, beans, guacamole, tortillas and Diet Coke. I think that it is a commonly known fact that Coke in Mexico, tastes different than the Coke in the states; and by different I mean better. I don´t know if the syrup is sweeter or what exactly makes it better; but just like Domino´s - it just is. I had told Luis before we left for our trip that although I LOVE Mexican Coke (That doesn´t sound right - does it...) that I was not going to drink any because I am ONLY drinking Diet soda and one sip of the regular and I knew that I would be hooked. So imagine my surprise, my delight, to find that Diet Coke is ALSO much better in Mexico - YAHOO!! or should I say Arriba, Arriba, Arriba!! Which according to Luis is the Spanish equivalant to Yahoo! Hmm, and I always thought that when Speedy Gonzales said that; he was telling the other mice to go Up, Up Up! LOL.
So, as I was saying - The Diet Coke is DELICIOUS; and trust me when I say that I never thought that delicious was a word that I would use to describe a dietetic, carbonated beverage - but I must!

My in-laws have a very modest, very large, home. Well, basically I guess you could say that it is more like a compound. There is an enclosed patio at the entrance, a small living room, kitchen and 2 small bedrooms. The bathroom and shower are outside in the courtyard, but they are enclosed and the courtyard is also filled with various plants and trees. There are 4 apartments on the ground floor, each with its own shower and toliet at the back of the house and on the upper level of the house, there is a beautiful terrace, 4 more bedrooms and another living room and kitchen.
Typically we stay upstairs but as the apartments are currently vacant; we chose to stay in one of those instead. When given the choice it was a no brainer for me, because even though we rarely go to the bathroom in the middle of the night; it seems inevitable at my in-laws, and all of the bathrooms are downstairs.
When I saw our apartment I was thrilled with our decision and made a mental note of how MUCH easier it was going to be to go to the bathroom. I woke up in the middle of the night and I had to pee like a racehorse. (It must have been from all of the delicious Diet Coke.) I happily went to the door, anticipating how much quicker and easier I was going to make it to the bathroom and I was horrified to find that I could not unlock the door. I know (now) that it required some kind of twist and pull action; but with my legs crossed and the pressure building, I just couldn´t figure it out. So, in a moment of desperation I grabbed a cup and proceeded to pee; right there in our kitchen. As I am the Queen of CLUMSY, it took me quite a few attempts to get the cup in the right place; and about 4 pee and dumps (yes, I still LOVE the Diet Coke) and finally; I was done. I cleaned up the floor, cleaned out the sink, threw away the cup (I hope;) LOL, (No, I know that I threw away the cup;) and went back to bed sans pajama pants, which got slightly wet during the first few "attempts." A few hours later I threw on some shorts, successfully unlocked the door and went to the bathroom again. In 41 years, I have never been so thankful to unlock a door in my life. You would have thought that I was Geraldo Rivera opening up Capone´s vault and actually finding something in there.
Oh, why is it that I am willing to sacrifice my privacy and my dignity for the sake of this blog? Why do I repeatedly share my mishaps, and acts of utter stupidity with you? I guess, I am just trying to adhere to that old addage "write what you know."
Till next time...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vallarta Bound...

Advisory: No picures available at this time. Please check back for photos at a later date; sometime afterJanuary 3rd 2009.

We left Peoria at midnight on Friday night; destination - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Luis had napped a bit during the day and for several hours prior to our departure; so he was well prepared to drive through the night. Since I had been up since 410 am, it was well past my bed time but Luis understood that I was going to need to go to sleep pretty much as soon as we left the driveway; and I did.
We made it to Nogales (the border) by 330 am. I took the kids to the bathroom, and went back to sleep. By 730 we were in Hermosillo and in search of coffee. We stopped at Walmart (yes, Walmart) in Ciudad Obregon - to buy some Bolillo (hard rolls) for the Roast Beef and Turkey that we had packed in our cooler. We ate lunch, and drove on. We were making great time until we reached the fruit & vegetable inspection station, followed by the military checkpoint and concluding with a toll. The traffic was bumper to bumper.
At 430 I took my turn at driving so that Luis could get some rest. I kicked it up to 70MPH, and it felt like we were flying (God only knows what speed Luis had been driving. I really wasn´t paying attention, but let´s just say we don´t call him ¨The Snail¨ for nothing. And I did comment to him that Jackie would be proud of me; (Since she is the fastest friver I have ever driven with.) It felt like I was making some headway until we suddenly found ourselves once again, in stand still traffic. We sat long enough for it to turn from daylight, to dusk, to pitch black darknes. Approximately 1 hour wasted; waiting to pay a $1.80 toll. Oh my goodness - I would have gladly added $2.00 if not more on to the previous or next toll just to avoid this delay; but alas, the choice was not ours, and so we waited.
Now, one of the stipulations of me driving was that I would not have to drive at night. I am NOT the Queen of DRIVING IN THE DARK and I know this FOR CERTAIN; however, it had only been 2 hours into Luis´rest period, and I AM the Queen of FAIRNESS, so I put on my big girl panties and drove on through the darkness (without so much as a Xanax.)
We made it to Cualican at approximately 745 pm and promptly found a Domino´s pizza. I am personally NOT a fan of Domino´s in the states, but there is someting about Mexican Domino´s that hits the spot. Maybe it´s the different salsas that they give you (although in the states I never put salsa on pizza; nor do I particularly like spicy food) but regardless of what it is - it is GOOD!
Both of the previous times that we have driven to Vallarta, we spent the night in Los Mochis; which is about halfway between Peoria and Vallarta. However, in my opinion, there is only one decent hotel in Los Mochis and on our trip down last year, this "decent" hotel forgot to advise us upon check-in that there was not going to be any hot water for an undetermined amount of time. With this said, Luis wanted to by-pass Los Mochis and spend the night in Mazatlan, which is approximately 4 - 4 1/2 hours from there; and 6 hours to Vallarta.
At 845 when we finished at Domino´s Luis said that he thought that he could make it to Mazatlan (approximately 2 hours away) as long as I stayed up and talked to him. Now as much as I like to talk; I´m sure tht you´ll be surprised to know that this was not a promise that I felt I could make. #1 I was tired and #2 For as much as I DON´T sleep at home; the minute that I am in the car for more than an hour long trip, I seem to fall asleep. I mean can´t keep my eyes open, heavy, drooling SLEEP.
I told Luis that I didn´t feel like I could "PROMISE" not to fall asleep but he was still willing to give it a try. I think I said something to the effect of "Oh, I should be able to stay up for a while since we just ate¨ but I don´t think I made it more than 15 minutes before I was asleep. Maybe it was the stress of the night driving that I´d done. Maybe it was the fact that I was content, and happy and safe; or maybe I was just really, really tired. I woke up about half an hour later. I immediately asked Luis if he was OK and he said that he was. And, although I rarely eat candy (though I´d be hard pressed to pass up a piece from a Hershey´s Pot of Gold or anything better) I pulled out the Twix Java that I´d been toting around in my purse for over a week and devoured the whole thing. I thought that I seemed wide awake and I told Luis "after eating this sugar and caffeine, I should be able to stay awake for a while." But no sooner had I licked the caramel (that I don´t even like,) off of my fingers; I was snoozing away. I think I woke up just as we were approaching the Mazatlan exit. Luis said "OK, now I really need you to stay up and help me read the signs," but I swear I think I came down with a sudden case of narcolepsy because I was barely any help at all. I forced myself (after Luis had pleaded with me) to stay awake and we found our way to the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort which I had researched a few weeks before. We went in, got a room, showered and though I wouldn´t have thought it possible -I immediately fell asleep.
Saturday morning we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel restaurant, overlooking the ocean. Luis commented, ¨Now this is a hotel.¨ To which I said ¨This is how I used to travel when I was single,¨and he said ¨You mean before you went broke with me?¨ LOL, We both got a good laugh at that one; and we hit the road.
The drive from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta can only be descibed as exquisite. Winding mountains, canopies made of trees, ocean views, tropical flowers - it is just breathtaking and relaxing beyond compare. Luis kept commenting that the views were like something from a fairy tale, and I would have to agree.
We made it home by 530pm Vallarta time; and I can already say that I would definitely do the drive again. Any takers?
Till next time...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ask The Queen

It has been absolutely nuts at my house during the past few weeks (yes, even more so than usual.) About a week before Thanksgiving, Luis decided that he did in fact want to go home to Puerto Vallarta for Christmas. He traded shifts with a co-worker so that he would work a double on Thanksgiving, and then be free and clear to be gone for the holidays; and we have been scrambling ever since, to get ready for our trip. We're going to drive (approx 24 hours and 1,000 miles each way;) so we've had to do all types of upkeep on our minivan, go shopping for relatives and their various requests; in addition to going to 5 soccer practices a week (between the 3 kids,) attending 3-4 soccer games a week, celebrating Kelsie's 5th birthday on the 11th, Lyndzi's 7th birthday on the 18th, having their birthday party, Nicky's holiday show, Luis' holiday party, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, I thought I would challenge myself and see if I could actually manage to get a blog out in the midst of all else that I have been doing. I should have been packing 2 hours ago when I finished work, but hey - I HAVE PRIORITIES; and "The Bumpy Ride" is one of them.

So, in the interest of getting on with all that I have to do; I am going to challenge myself yet again, and I am attempting to keep this brief. (Smelling salts anyone - LOL)

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced the idea of trying my hand at an advice column. I've set up an email address, in case anyone wants to give me a try. Please send all questions to If for some reason you do not want your question published, that's fine with me; just let me know. OR if you want to wait for my response before you decide about letting me use your question / my answer,that's fine too. This is all new to me, so we can give it a try together; and hopefully it will bring about some GREATER GOOD for all of us.

Now, as if the advice column portion of the blog wasn't enough; I took a big leap and set up a group on Facebook, called The Bumpy Ride Fan Club (at the risk of sounding arrogant.) I described the club as a " A group for people who enjoy the blog "The Bumpy Ride" by Paige Ramos. Discuss the blog, Ask the Queen of EVERYTHING for advice, share ideas for the GREATER GOOD or just show your support while Paige Pursues her dream of becoming a published author." And I am SO excited to say that within less than an hour, I already have 5 members - YAY! So if you are on Facebook PLEASE join my group; AND tell / invite your "friends." OK, and now here's the biggest surprise of all - I actually invited Maks (DWTS) to join the group. I discussed it with Michelle (the New year is coming and she's still not legally) K and after hemmng and hawing I decided to invite him - What has come over me?? Heck, I'm a fan of his; so why shouldn't he be a fan of mine - "right?" she said squeamishly. And you thought the crush reading the blog was a big deal - just you wait...

So there you have it. This is basically just a little housekeeping before I go away. There is a little Internet place up the street from my mother in laws house, so I am planning on doing my weekly blog; if not more while I'm away - hey look at me , I'll be ON LOCATION; and I'll hopefully have plenty of stories to share.

In the meantime I do wish you all the happiest of holidays. I hope that you are able to squeeze in some moments to enjoy all that is wonderful at this time of year, and savor your memories as you are making them. As for me; I'm seriously thinking about adding Festivus as a holiday tradition; the airing of the grievances sounds like it's got my name ALL OVER IT.
Till next time...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Forty One Candles

Although I am not a fan of music on blogs; I am seriously considering adding my new theme song to "TBR" so that when you open it up, you'll hear "Oops I did it again," by Britney Spears - LOL. OK, OK, I'm totally NOT going to do that - but you get the picture. Maybe I should just consider changing that to the name of the blog - either that or I've got to check myself before I wreck myself. So you know this is a big one with an opener like that - right?

A couple of weeks a go I posted a blog about the lesson the dreaded, blogging lurker taught me (don't use people's names.) Well, I guess that I learned this lesson a little too late to save me from one of the most mortifying experiences of my life. Let's just say that if I get the hiccups, I now have a NEW, most embarrassing moment to think of.

Last Thursday night I arrived home and sat down at my computer, and much to my delight I found a comment waiting for my approval. You see ever since the unpleasant comments left a few weeks ago by the BL, I now have to approve the comments before they are published; sorry. Anyway, there was a comment on my blog that was entitled "what's in a name;" which ironically enough is the blog where I disclosed my real name and those of my family members. The comment was left by 85Dutchmen. Well, I graduated High School in 85 and our football team was called the Dutchmen; so I thought "Now this is getting interesting."
The comment said "I read post from July 07...I was mentioned in this post with Maks, and noticed you took a picture with him, but not with me. I guess I was only good from a far." GC

OK, now panic set in. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because if I had posted the picture of me and Maks (from "Dancing with the Stars",) then this comment had to be left by none other than the guy that I had a crush on throughout high school.
A "Crippling crush," to quote that particular blog. - Oh yes, I put it all out there for all the world to see (never imagining that they would.) No, I didn't hold back a a thing. I described to you, how the crush was so bad that I couldn't even say hello to him when I saw him in the hallway, because I just liked him THAT MUCH. I wrote that I was overwhelmed by my feelings for him; and now,the unthinkable has happened; HE has read the blog!

Oh at first I thought it was Big V playing a joke on me; but she has assured me that she has not; and I won't go into greater detail, but suffice it to say that I am PRETTY sure that it's him and not a prank. Well Michelle (...) K can tell you; I was freakin the _____ out. I was trembling, I was giddy, I was EMBARRASSED. It's as if he read my diary; and oh yah - I handed it right to him!! I mean never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that he would come across my blog - but HE did. I don't know if he was Googling himself or if someone else Googled him (like god forbid his wife,) but regardless of how; the bottom line is - HE READ IT; and that in a nutshell is the utter craziness that is my life. I haven't said this in a long while - but you know you're going to say it with me; "Who could make this stuff up?" I swear, I feel like Molly Ringwald in "Sixteen Candles" when she found out that her friend's brother paid to see her underwear. Or Andrew McCarthy in "St. Elmo's Fire" when Ally Sheedy found his box with all the pictures of her and realizes that he has been in love with her - OY, My life is a teeneage angst movie and I'm 41. Well, not when it happened anyway, so I guess I should cut myself some slack; but we all know that if I did, I wouldn't be the Queen of BERATING HERSELF; the Queen of BEATING HERSELF UP. Damn I could sell tickets to a boxing match just me against myself, LOL

My friend Jessica has been trying to convince me that I shouldn't feel humiliated but instead proud; because I probably made him feel so good when he read about how amazing I thought he was. I would LOVE to believe that this is true and make some lemonade out of my HUMONGOUS lemon; so perhaps he'll leave another comment and let me know.
In the meantime I'll take pleasure in knowing that this is just another unforgettable tale in the saga that is my life.
Till next time...

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Sign

Once again I would like to extol the virtues of Facebook:
1. If it were not for Facebook, I would not have reconnected with so many of my wonderful friends from back in the day; and for today in particular I am referring to my friends Jeff and Joyce (brother & sister;) who I met through my friend Judy; who I grew up with in the condos. I spent a lot of time at Jeff and Joyce's house my senior year of high school and I became close with their mom and dad as well as with them. We lost touch for many years, but, thanks to Facebook, we have all met up again AND when I spoke to Joyce for the first time in forever; she told me that her mom and dad had actually moved to Arizona a few years ago; and as it turns out, I only live about a half an hour from them.
Well, I promptly reconnected with their mom & dad and my kids and I met them for lunch on Saturday (Luis wasn't able to make it because he was getting my brakes fixed.) It was so amazing to see them. It felt like no time had gone by at all, even though it's probably been 18 year since I've seen them. I was so proud to have them meet my children and I felt privileged to have my children meet them.

2. If it were not for Facebook, my brother and I might not be getting along as well as we seem to be getting along right now. Typically our relationship is tenuous at best, but Facebook and reconnecting with all the condo alumni have given us some common ground and some very good laughs; and I am really thankful for that. So Saturday night,we were instant messaging each other on FB, and he writes "You know there's this invention; and it's called the phone." And 2 seconds later he called me. I think we were on the phone for about an hour just laughing and kidding around; and while we were talking he told me about this photo of him with ridiculous 80's rock band hair. I was familiar with the picture and encouraged him to post it on FB for a good laugh; and much to my surprise, he agreed and put it up. He then shared the picture that I have posted above. This is a picture of my beautiful, mother and Richie Howell. I decided that I was going to post this picture on my Facebook and I am so glad that I did, because the response has been overwhelming.
3. If it were not for Facebook, I would not have received the most wonderful , heartwarming comments from people who knew my mom when they were growing up; nor have shared their memories which have been so honest and touching. Anyone would be proud and delighted to be remembered the way that people remember my mom and it is a true testament to who she was.
With that said, these comments could not have come at a better time, because today is My mom's birthday. It would be easy for me to sink into a dark, sad place, but instead I choose to revel in everyone's praise of my mother and celebrate who she was. I even had a little chat with her, and OK; a good cry. I told her how much I missed her, and how I felt like I kept making mistakes and that I wanted to keep trying to be a better person; and then I asked her for a sign that she thought I was doing a good job because I needed to know that she was proud of me.

So when I got home, I checked my email and there was a message from Barbara (Jeff & Joyce's mom;) and part of what it said was "It was a JOY to spend the afternoon with you and your Wonderful children. Hopefully next time we can get to meet Luis. One thing I can tell you for sure is that your mother would be very PROUD of you and how you are raising your family." Oh my god; well I guess I got my sign. I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe that she could give me what I needed and asked for so quickly; but that's a mother for you - always looking to heal her child and make everything better for them. (Did you get chills; because I sure did.)
I am so grateful to everyone on Facebook who has commented on my mom's photo and I welcome all of your comments as well. If you ever get a chance to stop by my Facebook page, just take a look at the comments and you'll see for yourselves that everything I have portrayed my mom to be is 100% accurate and then some. My mom was a Great LADY with a presence that was undeniable. She was warm and kind and funny and cool - to quote most. I have made a commitment to myself to follow in her footsteps and honor her memory by emulating her example.
I am so grateful that Facebook has brought so many thoughtful, kind, souls back into my life.
I am ever so grateful to Barbara for being the vessel for my mom and for sharing her warmth and kindness with me and my children. And I am thankful for all of the friends who have tried to support me today and make sure that I was OK . Your love and compassion make me feel like the richest of women.
Please remember that life can be short and we need to make the most of it while we can; so don't sweat the small stuff and think about the greater good.
Till next time...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Rules

I have this fantasy about becoming a professional writer. I'm calling it a fantasy because other than writing this blog, I'm not doing anything to make it a reality just yet; but I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it is that I should be writing (besides "TBR".) Although I have always thought that I would write a book one day; I know that day is not today. No, a book seems like a very arduous task; one which I do not have the time or inclination to endeavor (at the moment;) so, I move on... And I've been thinking that for today I might be good at writing articles (from an observational humorist standpoint of course; ) or short stories (oh, OK, LONG, short stories;) or a column. Hmm, I can hear your brains whirling now - "What kind of column your highness?" OK, well, what kind of column would someone who is concerned about the greater good write? And of course the natural answer (at least to me,) is AN ADVICE COLUMN. (You all know how much I love to tell everyone what to do - HAHAHA just kidding.) So, OK, yah, I don't think that it's just that easy. I don't think that someone is standing around waiting to hand out jobs for advice columnists, nor do I think that just anyone should have an advice column; but yah I'll say it; I think I could. What a perfect combination of my writing skills (whatever they may be) and my social work/counselling background; and besides, I ALWAYS seem to know very well; what is best for everyone (but me.) I can help you with the biggest to smallest problem, dilemma or quandary; yet somehow I never seem to know what to make for dinner. Yup, I'm an advice giver; I'm a listener, OK, I'm a HUGE talker too; and I know it - but since I can't sign, how else would I give advice? Well, now I can write it too.
In my opinion there are several kinds of advice. There is advice that is given when someone asks a direct question, and then there is unsolicited advice (the kind I give ALL THE TIME on "TBR" ) like my tips on things that I think are for the greater good - and under this category, I would like to share "The Rules."

When I was in college my favorite professor would start off each semester by explaining "The Rules." 1. - Don't sweat the small stuff. 2. It's all small stuff.
And 3. If you can't flee and you can't fight; FLOW.

Well, the other day I came to share this advice with a good friend of mine and I realized that these were valuable rules for everyone and I felt compelled to incorporate it into today's blog. I often times have to remind myself to just flow and although I've been aware of the rules for more years than I would like to admit; it is very easy to forget them - but not anymore. I've turned over a new leaf - I want life to be more carefree even though we are constantly hustling and bustling. I want to hear the wind in the trees and savor each sip of coffee, because sad as it is to say; you never know when you are going to have done either for the last time.

And so today I offer you this challenge - follow these rules. Don't sweat the small stuff (and when you're thinking yah, Paige, that electric bill ain't such small stuff; ) move on to rule 2 - It's ALL small stuff. I have every confidence that anyone who reads this blog (myself included) is NOT going to wind up living in a cardboard box or eating dog food on the street - NONE of you would let that happen (even with today's terrible economy.) I KNOW that you would all do whatever it takes to protect yourself and the ones that you love and in doing so, you need to remember to remain calm, keep a level head and when you can't flee and you can't fight (because those always are options;) FLOW! I'm also going to add to those rules a side rule of my own; and that is PUNT! Yah, I like the punt - it's what you do when you're flying by the seat of your pants and making lemons out of lemonade and flowing which ever way the breeze takes you. Yes, punting brought mine and Michelle (...)K's families up to the Grand Canyon on Saturday and we (my family) had never been there before. It was a brief trip, but I'm glad that we went; not only because it really was beautiful in a very peaceful type of way but because now, I am free and clear to move out of Arizona with the satisfaction of knowing that I have seen the GC (since I lived in NY for 26 years and shamefully admit that I never saw the Statue of Liberty.) NOT that I'm planning on going anywhere at the moment;but hey, you NEVER know when I'm gonna feel the need to punt!

If you've never tried living by these rules before, and you decide to accept my challenge, I would LOVE to hear how it's working out for you. In the interest of trying my hand at the advice column gig, I wanted to establish an email address so that if anyone was in need of any advice and they wanted to give me a stab at it, they could email me - but as I must remind you I am not the Queen of the Internet, I have yet to figure out how to create a second email address on my account (OK stop laughing;) SO if anyone has some advice for ME on this matter, let me know and we can give it a whirl. Once I've got the email address I will post it, and you can email me your silliest, simplest, or most serious questions and I'll do my best to offer up some fabulous advice. OR this could go the way of the I'm taking requests segment, or the Ask Luis (Presidential election questions;) YOU decide and I'll just flow...
Till next time...