July 24, 2007

Favorite Vacation Spots 

I think this is what heaven might look like
I’m jumping right ahead to favorites this time because I have Chautauqua on my mind.
Hmmm, sounds like a song . . . oh, wait, no, I think that’s Georgia . . . well ANYWAY . .
Lake Chautauqua is in New York and is truly a heavenly place. And let me tell you why.

The town surrounding this beautiful lake is...


quaint, quiet, and lovely. And so are the people. And yes, they all - everyone I’ve ever met there - are really NICE (my favorite kind, as my friends and regular Blog readers know). It is actually a place where kids can ride around on their bikes till sundown and parents don’t have to worry about them, and that’s surely saying something these days.

I go there every June for the Chautauqua Writers Festival, but no sooner did I get back this year when my husband asked me where I wanted to go for our anniversary (24 years, but who’s counting?), it was an easy answer. I said, “Back to Chautauqua.” 

As we usually do when we planning a trip, we got online to look up Bed & Breakfast Inns (another of my favorites), which far as we’re concerned are the only places to stay (homey atmosphere, wonderful breakfasts, and yes, Nice people – always).

This area has so many places to stay that I’m sure you can find something even last minute. We chose the...

Maple Springs B&B because it’s right on the lake, and we had a wonderful stay. Owners, Paul and Rose were great hosts and always had lots of suggestions on where to go and what to do.

Another place I’d recommend is the Italian Fisherman in Bemis Point (right outside Chautauqua). In fact, that whole area makes a great vacation place – and only about two and half hours from Cleveland. (Check out Chautauqua Institute for all kinds of events throughout the summer season).

So if you’re still wondering where to go, before this summer is just a memory, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Chautauqua, New York (especially if you’re a boater, fisherman, arts lover, or just like being around nice people).

Okay, that’s my plug for this month… 

Some Thoughts on Marriage

So speaking of our anniversary, people often ask us how we have kept a marriage together all these years when so many other couples can’t.

Well, I have to say, first off, we got lucky. We happened to meet at the right time, if not exactly the right place (that’s a story for another time) and we were friends for some time before we got, let’s say, involved.

We have a lot of the same interests, like music, and going to new places, and bed & breakfasts, etc). But we also have separate interests. He likes golfing and, on occasion, gambling casinos. While I like books, and on occasional, women’s retreats (preferably for writers). So, of course neither of us have a problem with going away separately. Plus, it gives us more to talk about when we return (and of course, there’s the trust issue – absolutely essential for a strong marriage).

We also don’t agree on movies (he likes “Action and Comedies, I like films with a PLOT) and TV shows (I like Grey’s Anatomy, he LOVES Funniest Home Videos) and that’s why I often read or work when he watches TV, which is just as well because even when he falls asleep he STILL has the controller thingy in his hand, and when I try to remove it ever … so … gently … he wakes with a start and says, “Hey, I was watching that!”


Guess what I bought my wonderful TV CONTROL FREAK husband for our anniversary?


Yes, that’s right - a JUMBO REMOTE CONTROL that’s nearly as large as the TV itself! 

Now this is the way to a man’s heart, girls… 

Ugly Divorces are Bad for Your Health

And since we’re talking marriage, let me say a few words on divorce….

When there is no other choice left, and both parties determine they want to live separate lives, why does the process have to get so ugly? Okay, so they can’t live with each other. Fine. But how easy it would be on everybody (especially the kids) to simply admit that it’s not working out, say, “Okay, we gave it a good shot, so see ya later, have a nice life, GOODBYE.” End of discussion. Get on with your new life.

But no, instead many people feel it necessary to make their former partner—who they once vowed to love and cherish—absolutely miserable. I’ve seen it all too many times. And all that negative energy is so draining, and let’s face it, depressing. It all takes up so much precious time, and life. Not to mention the vast amount of money, high blood pressure, stress…

Why can’t we all just get along? And when we can’t at least be KIND to each another.

So girls, come on, just give the guy the darn remote control and be done with it… 

ANYWAY, Happy Anniversary to the man who takes such good care of me and his family, who supports everything I do and write about (even when it’s about him), who tells me he loves me—everyday—and who knows when to just use the smile-and-nod program and simply say, “Yes, Dear.”

Now that is one smart man J

Oh, and he cooks, too.

PS - Now before you women get all envious and such, I have to admit that it did take some training to get him to be the wonderful husband he is today, in fact, several years. And the cooking part? Well truth be told, that was basic self-preservation since I’m not exactly Betty Crocker (or even Aunt Jemima). Remind me to tell you about the time I set the kitchen on fire one day… 

Gee, For A Minute There I thought It Was Just Me... 

Sometimes when I read an article, or an issue comes up - often about parenting – and I feel like I’m terribly old-fashioned and that raising kids with certain morals, values, and respect for others is passé.

Then comes those times when my opinions are justified. And that there are still some parents out there who think like me. 

Here’s the story:

A few weeks ago, there was an article in the Plain Dealer – kind of a new twist on “local teens make good.” But this twist was plain horrifying by my—and apparently many parents’—standards. You see, it’s a story of 23-year-old triplet girls who are all excited (and so is “proud” mom, who always told the girls they could do anything they wanted) that they will be featured in an upcoming Playboy issue.

Jeff and I were sitting on our patio, and I had to read this one out loud to him.

The girls were realizing one of their life dreams! (Wait till you hear of the others). Ever since they were 15, their goal was to be featured in Playboy and “to be famous!”

In preparation for this wide-eyed career achievement, they all dyed their naturally brown hair a wonderful platinum, hussy shade (sorry, just can’t help myself) and each one decided to forgo a high school education (after all, an education is not the “big” requirement for Hefner). They also saw no need to get a job until they were 19 (how they lived, I can’t imagine as the article didn’t say anything about a struggling mom or dad trying hard to make ends meet to support their GROWN triplets).

Now wait - It gets better  . . .  The girls finally did get a job but that was only so they could buy themselves nice large breasts. So they became strippers and quickly made $40,000 in 45 days to pay for it (my, they must have been very good at their jobs).


They aim to live in the Playboy Mansion, and strive to be in the Centerfold (apparently just “being” in the magazine isn’t enough), and if that doesn’t pan out, their “back up plan” is to be strippers at an “upscale club in Las Vegas.”

I believe my whole neighborhood heard me scream . . .

(Okay, you regulars know what’s coming) . . .


To add insult to injury, one triplet is quoted as saying, “Every girl wants to be famous and every girl wants to be in Playboy.”

Excuse me, not MY girls!

As you can imagine, other mothers – and fathers - of girls were all over this story. So I was so relieved to read the letters to the editors from others who had the same reaction as I did, and that Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz echoed my thoughts that this should be used as a teaching lesson for parents to show their daughters that they are worth more than just their looks, bodies, etc.

I mean, come on, this is the Millennium for heavens’ sakes! An age when women have more opportunities than ever before to live fulfilling lives that involve more than just being someone’s fantasy girl (I mean, let’s face it, looks are fleeting, best have some brains to go along with those physical amenities)

I have to say, after the shock wore off, I found the story actually incredibly sad that these girls think that’s all they have to offer the world. These are indeed beautiful girls and I am sure they - although terribly naïve - are probably not unintelligent (just naive and gullible enough for others to lure them and take advantage of their misled Fame and Fortune dreams).

I sure hope someone, if not their parents, think a bit deeper about their life’s goal and try to direct them toward something that will benefit them when their looks decline…

I hate to see them on the same path that includes Britney, Paris, Nicole, and of course Lindsay Lohan, the saddest of all the stories because she is the biggest talent, I think, and I’m sure, the most intelligent and has (had) a really great future ahead of her.

It’s like I said about Anna Nicole a few Blogs back – there seems to be no good influences around them, and no one has their back, so to speak (they’re all too busy watching their own backs). Sorta makes you glad these days that you’re not “rich and famous.”

And Playboy Centerfolds…

A Cody Update

Okay, on a lighter note (see how I always strive to bring the conversation onto happy things J )

Our dog, Cody, has successfully integrated himself happily into our family. He’s already house broken, though he does tend to chew things up rather quickly. In fact, he’s in need of a new chew toy since he’s torn out the stuffing of all of them, so now I’m looking for one with MICHAEL VICK’s face on it (bet those would sell better than Harry Potter books right now).

And wasn’t I just saying a few Blogs back about how pets have a way of bringing such peace and love to our world and how we should be KIND TO ANIMALS?!!!

Okay that’s all I’ll say on THAT subject…for now, anyway.

Here’s a great Cody photo

 As you can see, he’s getting bigger, but I miss his floppy ears. While they are still a little floppy, they’re raising up a bit more now with his growth spurt. Jeff says his ears look like Yoda’s, but they remind me more like Sally Field’s habit in the Flying Nun (for those of you who actually recall that ’70s sitcom).. . .

And speaking of Sitcoms, with so many programs on TV these days (and so little to watch) I was thinking… why is it the so many shows these days are so stupid and mindless and so not entertaining when “back then” there were tons of equally silly, mindless shows that were wholly entertaining like the aforementioned Flying Nun, and My Favorite Martian, and Wonder Woman and Bewitched, and My Mother, the Car, oh, wait, no, that really was stupid…

Anyway, speaking of TV shows, a quick congrats to our own Cleveland native, Drew Carey, who is replacing Bob Barker on The Price is Right. Now that’s huge. He’s not just an old Cleveland boy comic anymore… 

More Favorites:

Friends and Sunsets 

And speaking of favorite things and places (remember up top, now pay attention), I just want to share a photo of one of the many beautiful sunsets we get here in Northeast Ohio and a photo of a couple good friends of ours, one night when we all took a walk (yes, we can actually walk to the beach where we live, we’re one of the lucky ones). 


Oh, and remember that inquiry into Eliot Ness’s Funeral I was going to get into, and the tie-in with my mother [See further down in May/June Entry?]

 Well, sorry, I’m out of time, so please stop back next time for the continuing saga of Blog Banter and “My Opinion” J 

And remember – if you can’t be happy, or rich and famous (which can be a good thing), or happily married, or have daughters who want to be in Playboy (again, a good thing, in my opinion), or have an innocent little animal in your life, at least be NICE. It really does feel good  

So till next time, put a photo of Michael Vick in front of your dog and tell him to “Get It!”

Good Dog…