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back on the pole tonight......

September 28, 2011

It has been far too long since I have been to my lovely pole class (darn off-season).  Well tonight I am headed back.  I am sure I will be sore and bruised after my first class back...but I will once again be so happy!

For those of you new to my blog....and you are questioning what I mean by the this.

Throughout my blog are scattered pictures of me on the pole....but I will post a few of them here in one spot...


....Hopefully I will have some new tricks up my sleeve (if I wore sleeves while on the pole)...and can post some of them this season!

The Neighborhood Lemonade Stand....

September 25, 2011

Yesterday as I was driving home from the grocery store, I came across a lemonade stand.  There had to be fifteen kids all holding up homemade signs while jumping and waving their hands.
I don't know about you, but I can remember having lemonade Kool Aide stands as a kid, thinking about all the money I would make as I sold each cup for ten cents....I usually made enough from the neighbors to buy myself a forty cent Slurpee from the local 7-11.  My children love having lemonade stands as well, and I am always appreciative of the strangers that stop and give my children a boost of "small business owner" pride!

Anyhow, of course I stopped, and the kids went wild!  I rolled down my car window and was told a cup of lemonade was fifty cents (that's inflation AND Canada for you) I opened my car ashtray and found a Loonie ($1.00 coin), I had about five kids eagerly standing around my car window.  I exchanged the dollar (fifty cents for the lemonade and fifty cents for a "tip"), and again the kids went nuts.

Now, I knew I was never going to drink the lemonade...but I stopped because that is what adults should do when kids sell lemonade on the street.  I was paying for the joy in their eyes because they finally had a customer.  However, I cannot deny that I didn't have thoughts about the yucky things that could be in the lemonade.

Did the kids pee in it?

Did someone pick their nose and then stir the lemonade with their finger? plan was to take the lemonade to my home, and dump it in the flower bed.  A win/win in my eyes.  The kids made a dollar, and I didn't drink urine and snot!

"DRINK IT"..."TAKE A SIP"...."TRY IT"....

The kids were not going to leave my car until I took a sip.....OH MY GOD, THEY WANT TO SEE ME DRINK THE PEE!  I was now sure that they had tainted the lemonade I just paid for, and they needed proof that someone (me) had fallen for their "innocent" lemonade stand trick.

I pretended to take a sip, and once again the kids went nuts.  Then I drove off holding the lemonade in that awkward way you carry your urine sample to the nurse at the doctor's office.


A Hockey Road Trip...Revisited!

September 24, 2011

The 2011-2012 Hockey Season has officially started...and here I sit, alone.  That's right, let the road trips begin.  I have decided to recycle a post I did last year...In fact, it was actually the second post I wrote for this blog.  (You can read the original post here).

When I first started writing my blog, I didn't use pictures.  I knew I wanted to remain anonymous...and posting family pictures was not an option.  When I stumbled upon the idea to place hockey masks over our faces (and later on stock photos from the internet), I discovered a way to get my words and thoughts across...with an accompanying visual.  Since this post originally did not have pictures, I decided it was time to add a few...Hockey Wife style.

The Road Trip...

When a husband travels for work it is called a "business trip".  When my husband travels for work it is called a "road trip".  Now forgive me, but I believe when you travel for fun, that too is called a "road trip"!

Currently my husband is on a three week "road trip".  I know, that is a long time to be on the road.  But before you start to worry about all those games he must have I want to tell you a few facts.  There was a 4 day stretch in downtown games, just practice in the mornings.  Now he is on a 4 day stretch in games, just practice in the mornings.  So what is a husband of two small children to do while away from his family for so long?  Well let's break it down...while we compare what his loving wife of two small children is also doing while at home.

Husband says his goodbyes and leaves to catch his flight...ahhh, peace and quiet!

    Wife puts dirty laundry in a basket to take downstairs.  Says goodbye to husband and tends to crying kids who don't want their father to leave.

    Husband lands at destination and takes a bus to his hotel.  There he heads up to his hotel room...probably turns on the television to the channel of his choice, lies down on the bed, catches a quick nap, wakes feeling refreshed....

    Wife gets oldest off to school, cleans breakfast dishes, does laundry, feeds youngest child lunch, cleans up dishes, a little more laundry, cleans house, mops tracked-in salt off wood floors, thinks about making beds (but since husband is gone, no one will know if they aren't made), picks up child from school, makes after-school snacks...

    Husband takes a long, hot, uninterrupted shower, dresses in peace, meets up in lobby to head to dinner.  Upon arriving at chosen restaurant..he is shown to his table, presented with a menu, his drink order is taken (numerous times), he orders his meal, it is prepared for him, it is served to him, while eating he is asked over and over again if there is anything else he would like, when finished his plate is be cleaned by someone else, he then has one last drink since he has had a tough travel day!  Upon arriving back at the hotel, he is asked if he wants to catch the last period of the game on TV in the hotel bar....why not, he has nothing else to do.  Husband then heads up to his hotel room, climbs in his large bed, sprawls out and goes to sleep.   

    MEANWHILE...Wife shovels snow, floods backyard rink, mops salt that was tracked in from the afternoon, makes dinner for kids, cleans up after kids, does dishes for the 3rd time that day, fights with kids to get in pajamas, reads stories to two kids in two different beds while also getting glasses of water, goes back and forth rubbing backs, tucking in and finding needed stuffed animals.

    Wife finally falls asleep after one last load of laundry, making sure her alarm is set so she can get up to repeat again in the morning.

    Now, multiply this by 21 (the number of days my husband is gone)....and then imagine how excited we are when Husband returns.  However, all I want is a night out without the kids.....and all he wants is a home cooked meal and a night in.  "I've been eating out for three weeks straight" he argues.

    The Nerve...

    September 18, 2011

    Dear Girl working behind the counter...

    Your fake eyelashes are horrible.  I am not sure if you know this, but all the customers are thinking the same thing, but no one has the nerve to tell you....

    You look like Tammy Faye Baker.  I assume you are too young to even know who she is, because if you would know that looking like her is not a compliment!

    Dear Sir at the laundromat...

    Pull up your pants.  I understand you are a larger man, and it is tough finding sweat pants to fit around your waist stomach, but I don't want to see your crack!  Nobody has the nerve to tell you that your ass is hanging out, but they do have the willingness to take a picture while you are not looking...

    Dear new babysitter...

    Thank you for coming over on such short notice.  I don't have the nerve to ask you this in person, that supposed to be a skirt?  I assume you know a skirt is supposed to cover the area below your waist and above your knees.  I know I am older, and I don't quite get fashion these days...but I would appreciate if you would wear a pair of shorts next time...
    Um...these do not count as shorts either!

    Kiss My Grits.....

    September 16, 2011

    **WARNING...This blog post consists of a topic that can be considered TOO MUCH INFORMATION!
    If you cannot handle a conversation about womanly topics...I suggest you click here!

                                          Let's talk about...

    What is it about men and the topic of menstruation?  You would think by the time a man is in his late '40s' and witnessed the birth of two children, that he would be a little bit more educated about a woman's "time of the month".

    If I must be frank with I received my monthly gift from Mother Nature....

    It has now been about twenty-three years since I first got my period, which after doing the math (12 x 23 =)  is 276 menstrual cycles...and I probably have another twenty years left...(12 x 20 = 240)!!!

    Tonight I made a comment to my husband telling him I got my period...

    "Ugh, I got my period today."

    "Didn't  you just have that?"

    "YES...I did just have "that".  Every twenty-five days I have "that" and I will have "that" every month for the next twenty years!" 

    I wonder what men would do if their nose bled every month.  How would they be in the days before the bleeding started, when they knew it was coming, but they didn't know exactly when it would actually start.  How would they be if they had nasal cramps before and during this monthly nose bleed.  Imagine if they had a golf-outing planned, and then realized their monthly nose bleed was due at the same time.

    I have to give my husband credit, as he really is not that freaked out by talk of menstruation...and he would be more than happy to go to the store to buy me a box of tampons.  However, I doubt he would be able to  answer the million dollar question when asked what brand of tampons I use.

    Mama needs a break...again!

    September 14, 2011

     It's time to bring back my post titled "MAMA NEEDS A BREAK"
    This was a post I did last can view the post by clicking here.  

    In the past two weeks, I have closed up our cottage and returned to Canada for the hockey season...moved into a new home, emptied all of our belongings from a storage unit we have had for the last two years, unpacked said items from storage into the above mentioned new house, enrolled two children into a new school...all while my husband has mostly been away at Rookie camp.  But who am I to complain...
    (if you read my last three posts, you will know that I don't complain at airports....but I never said I didn't complain about moving every hockey season!)

    THIS WEEK...

    I may have jumped to the conclusion that my children's sniffles were not caused by a small "back-to-school" cold...I assumed they were seasonal allergies and gave each child the recommended dose of Benadryl an hour before their bedtime. 
            SLEEP TIGHT!

    THIS WEEK...

    I caught my son drawing on his arm with markers.  For a split second I almost didn't stop him because it would have interrupted the peace and quiet.  It is funny how quiet kids get when they are being naughty!

    THIS WEEK...

    I told my daughter she could lie in bed and watch a TV show on her iPod...if she would read her brother his bedtime stories for the night...
    I stayed downstairs and ate a bowl of Cookie Crisp!

    Now it is your turn...have you needed a break this week? (or maybe you just need an idea to blog about)...Go ahead and grab this picture for your post!

    Hockey Wife Tales

    Be sure to leave a comment so I can read your posts...Maybe I won't feel like such a bad mom if I see that I am not the only one looking for a little break any place I can find one!

    Flying After 9/11...(Part Three)

    September 12, 2011

    (Part One)
    (Part Two)

    The first flight I worked after September 11th was  BOS-ORD-EKC-ORD-EKC-ORD...meaning I flew from Boston to Chicago, then worked a "double turn" from Chicago to Kansas City return to Chicago return to Kansas City and then end my day back in Chicago.  This was a long day of travel...and there were many new security measures that had been implemented, yet nobody complained!

    When I was training to be a flight attendant, we certainly learned about hijacking.  What we were told was to sit down, shut up and do as we were told.  Then when the plane landed in Cuba...or where ever the hijackers requested the pilots fly to....we would be rescued (or so we would hope to be rescued).  There was nothing in our training that told us how to notify the pilot that something was going on in the cabin...and to block the door.  Who would have ever thought the hijackers would fly the plane themselves?

    Anyhow, what I remember most about flying right after 9/11 is that people were patient, and they were polite.  People looked out for the strangers they were seated next to.  Nobody complained when they stood in a long line for security.  Everyone paid attention and listened to the safety demo .  Nobody complained when they were told there would not be a meal service on their flight.  People looked at the bigger picture...some things are just not worth getting upset over.

    I only worked two trips after 9/11.  I was known as a junior flight attendant...having been hired December 2000.  Since the airlines were cutting back flights and retiring airplanes....they no longer needed as many flight attendants.  I was placed on furlough by the end of September.  (Basically I was laid off, but maintained my benefits)...when the need for more flight attendants came, we would be called back by seniority.

    That fall I went to live with my boyfriend in the city he was coaching in.  The team hired me to work in the office, and I learned more about the business side of hockey than I care to know.  I also took the time to travel the world.  With my boyfriend's blessing, I backpacked alone through Ireland for ten days. I went to Paris to visit friends. I saw New Zealand, Italy, Germany and did my Christmas shopping in London.

    One night, when I was on boyfriend and I were talking about 9/11 and those we knew who had been killed.  I remember telling him that we are not guaranteed anything.  At that point, we had been dating almost five years and still we were not engaged.  Whenever the idea of marriage would come up, my boyfriend would say "We have all the time in the world."  Well guess what...we don't have all the time in the world!  The passengers on the planes? The people working in either tower? Those who lost their lives trying to save others?  What about their time?

    In the summer of 2002 I was called back to work...and I had a shiny ring on my finger!  There was new protocol aboard the planes for safety and security along with numerous Air Marshals gracing the cabin each flight.  Our hours flown each day got longer and our layovers got shorter.  Slowly the meals were returned to the flights, but were now being sold.  People forgot their manners and once again thought only of themselves, their schedule, and their growling stomachs.  It was a completely different job than before.

    I took a voluntary furlough in the summer of 2003, had a wedding and got pregnant...I was recalled September 2003 but opted to get a note from the doctor for my pregnancy.  I returned to flying for my second trimester but once again opted out of flying December 2003 until I gave birth the following Spring. I used my maternity leave (or what little I received) and resigned from United Airlines in the fall of 2004.

    To this day, I never complain about lines at the airport.  I never get upset over delayed flights (It is always better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground!) I always pay attention to the safety demo, I would never think of pressing the call button (OK, that is just a personal peeve from when I flew)....and I always gift my flight attendants with my tabloids that I have read during the flight!

    So forgive me if I sound "unpatriotic" this weekend.  But the memorials, television broadcasts, documentaries, panel discussions, photo opportunities are fine.....but if we are not going to act like we did right after 9/11...then it is all quite pointless.

    In a week there will be new headlines to replace old ones, and we will all go back to our usual routines.  My blog will once again be full of silly pictures with hockey masks and funny stories to go with them...But if we can take one thing with us from this anniversary and all of our "where I was when" blog would be to remember how we acted in the days after the attacks.  We patiently stood in line at the grocery store, we made a point to speak to our neighbors, and we were just a little bit nicer than we were on September 10, 2001.

    9/11...A Flight Attendant's Story (continued)

    September 11, 2011


    September 11, 2011

    I always slept with CNN Headline news on the television while on layovers.  I was awakened around 6:30 a.m. by the sound of my cell phone ringing.  I can remember passing the television and seeing the buildings on fire, but in my mind, I assumed it was just a replay of the 1993 fires in the same building.  I answered the phone to the sound of a very panicked father...

    "THANK GOD!"


    The conversation continued.  However, it turns out that for thirty minutes before we spoke, my father sat watching the news...when it was announced a United Airlines plane out of Boston had hit the building, the fear had set in.  My step-mother urged my father to just call me, but the fear that he would not be able to get ahold of me crippled him.  Once he did call, he knew I was safe.  

    From there, I called my boyfriend.  He was at the rink and had not seen the TV...when he came up to the office, everyone was in a panic wondering if we had spoken.  Since he had known that I had flown the night before,  he assured everyone I was fine. There was not a TV in the I talked to him on the phone as I watched the towers crumble.  I described what I was watching and what they were saying on the TV.  It all seems like a blur.  I just remember trying to visualize what it would have felt like to have been working on that flight.  Would I have put up a fight? Would I have tried to use my phone?  What would it physically have felt like to feel the plane speed up and head toward a building?  My mind was spinning.

    My mother was on an  airplane when it was announced that they would be diverted to Las Vegas.  As technology would allow, whispers among the crew and passengers grew until the news was spreading throughout her cabin.  My mother flagged down a flight attendant and told her she had a daughter who worked for United out of Boston...did she have any other news?  The flight attendant went to the cockpit, and when she returned told my mother it was only American Airline planes.  I am not sure if at that point that was the only information, or the flight attendant was saying this to my mother to keep her calm.  Once my mother was in the Las Vegas Airport...she heard the news of flight 175....her heart dropped.  It took a little bit, but she was able to call me and find out I was ok.  

    My phone rang off the hook that day....people checking up on me and fellow flight attendants letting me know who was on the plane.  Since I had a Boston number, my cell phone would repeatedly not connect...causing short term fears for some.  

    Since my aunt lived in LA...I decided to go stay at her home.  We didn't know how long until airplanes would start flying again, and I didn't want to sit in a hotel.  

    It was five days before the airports opened and planes began to leave.  I was asked if I was alright, and able to work the flight home to Boston.  I was willing and able.  However, not all flight attendants felt like they could.  The plane was full of United employees trying to get home and passengers that had been in Los Angeles five days longer than their original plans.  People were tired, emotional...but most of all...they were polite. But I will talk about that in a moment.

    I recall one passenger who was obviously Arab-American.  He wore a huge red, white and blue corsage on his lapel.  I felt like it was his way of letting people know he was just as American as everyone else.  My heart ached for him, as one flight attendant freaked out and was refusing to fly if he stayed on the plane.  I was disgusted by her discrimination, and would have been happy to leave her behind at the gate!  

    There was a flight attendant sitting in the jumpseat (the folding seat reserved for flight attendants)...he was almost catatonic.  As it turns out, fellow flight attendant had asked him to pick up one of her flights.  His schedule did not allow it, so he had to say no to her.  However, a few days later, his schedule had opened up and so he had sent her a message saying he would be happy to take her flight.  She never responded.  The flight number was 175.  

    When we arrived home, we were greeted by our Union with water, flowers, and snacks.  I just went home.    
    Again, I do not like the group grieving process!  

    There were seven Boston based flight attendants on flight 175.  Three of them were reserve flight attendants*.   
    *It is very possible that I could have been released from my ready reserve at the airport and been given flight 175 the next morning.  I would have called my boyfriend and been quite pleased knowing I would not be bothered with a phone call in the middle of the night.  I always loved knowing where I was going the day before my assignment!

    The evening before (on September 10), Boston had experienced fog.  A plane had landed, but it had to sit on the runway for a few extra moments.  This caused three flight attendants to not be "legal" to fly the next morning.  They were scheduled to fly on flight 175.  There are three people alive today because of fog and rules in the Flight Attendant contract.  There are three people who are not here today for the same reasons.

    I never really talk about it, but I often wonder what if it had been me?  In days after September 11, I viewed the images and video of people who lost loved ones crying, searching, and coming to terms with their losses.  I think about how my family would have reacted.  My sister would now be an only child.  My parents would have had to bury a daughter, my boyfriend (now husband) would have had to start a hockey season (his first as a head coach) while mourning the loss of his girlfriend.  I came close enough to the tragedy...yet at the same time I know stories of those who came within minutes of being in harm's way...which I could never begin to process.  

    Which brings me to today, the 10 year anniversary of September 11, 2001...and every anniversary leading up to it.  How much imagery is too much.  How many times do these families need to see the planes their loved ones were on hit the building or ground? The families of those in the buildings, do they need to see the flames and smoke pouring from the windows?  Do we really need to see The Today Show's replay of the broadcast of that day each year?.  What about the families of the responders that never came home.  How important is it that they see the buildings crumble with their loved ones in it?  This is just my opinion...maybe it is therapeutic for some.  I only can imagine the pain my family would have to relive each and every year.

    I am not saying that they should not recognize the day or have memorial services.  I just think ten years later, the horrific image of the man falling 110 stories to his death may not be as necessary.  We live in a society where we have such a need to constantly be visually stimulated, we have lost touch with the emotions that come with those images.

    What do you think?  Do we really need the graphic imagery to properly remember September 11, 2001?  If you had lost a loved one, would it be hard to view, or would you find it comforting?

    For me, I will be careful to avoid the media today...

    To Be Continued....Working after September 11, 2001.

    September 11, 2011...Too close for Comfort (Part One)

    September 10, 2011

    Lately I have read many blogs about September 11, 2001.  Some people have described where they were on that day.  Some people were near, some people were far away.  Some bloggers knew people who were  either  injured, lost their lives, or volunteered in the days after.  Other bloggers just remember watching it on television as it played out in front of our nation.

    I wasn't going to do one of these blog posts, but since this is the ten year anniversary of that horrible day, I thought I would share my story...and then tell you my thoughts on the non-stop coverage this anniversary is sure to bring.  I will say that my thoughts are my own, and I am not criticizing anyone who wants or needs to watch news coverage, television shows, documentaries, movies, etc.  This is my story...

    I was a United Airlines flight attendant, based out of Boston on September 11, 2001.


    Monday September 10, 2001

    I was a ready reserve that day...I dressed in my uniform and went to the airport at 4:00 pm.  I was required to sit in the crew room for the next four hours.  If I was not needed that day, I would be sent home and placed on reserve for that evening (where I would fill in for a missing flight attendant if needed).  How I hated ready reserve.  Since Boston was such a small domicile, there rarely was a need for an extra flight just felt like a waste of a day.

    Around 6:00 pm, I called the crew desk and begged asked for a flight.  Usually if you were nice, the crew desk would do their best to plug you in somewhere.

    "Please don't make me sit here all night...I want to fly!"

    "Hang tight, let's see what we can do."

    About an hour later, I was sent up to a gate to catch my flight.  The plane was a Boeing 757, and it was almost empty.  The flight attendants who were working all looked at me with a puzzled look...there was not a need for a fifth flight attendant that evening.  I didn't sure beat sitting in the crew lounge and being converted to wait by the phone all night for a morning flight!!

    I landed that evening and called my boyfriend (now husband)...I was in Los Angeles for the night.  I had just flown in on flight 176.  This was the last flight from BOS to LAX that evening....the following flight would leave in the morning...flight 175.  Flight 175 was the second plane to hit the Twin Towers.

    (To Be Continued...)

    I am Sorry....

    September 9, 2011

    Dear Cheryl of Time Warner Cable Customer Service....

    I am sorry you have to work at 7:30 in the morning.

    I am sorry you have to answer phone calls from angry people for a living.

    I am sorry you didn't get your morning coffee yet.

    I am sorry you didn't wake up on the right side of the bed.

    I am sorry you have a shitty attitude because I interrupted you when you obviously didn't understand what I was asking.

    I am sorry I rolled my eyes at you...but you earned each roll!

    I am sorry you are not used to people calling to ask for a balance due (so I could pay it) when you are probably used to people calling to get out of paying their bill....that must have been quite confusing for your brain to comprehend.


    Have a wonderful day!


    Hockey Wife Tales

    A Heavy Heart

    September 7, 2011

    As I was checking my usual blogs, I came across this article on texgermanadian's site.  My heart is heavy!

    There are numerous "Hockey Wife" bloggers out there.  We usually take our experiences (as a spouse of a hockey player) and try to put a humorous spin on the lives we live.  There are no words to describe the shock and sadness I feel for the families, spouses and children of those involved in this tragedy.  

    We interrupt this blog...

    September 5, 2011

    (No...I am not interrupting this blog for that!)   I am buried up to my eyelids in boxes! 
    If the stiff smell of cardboard is in the air, and the black stain of newsprint is on my must be September!  

    Let the 2011-2012 hockey season begin!