Where Is The Brick House?

“Where is the brick house?” asked fellow blogger,  Mark Bialczak, as he approached my home yesterday afternoon.  How can brickhousechick not live in a brick house, right?  I guess my symbolic brick exterior (which protects me from harm most of the time), will have to do.

Mark, who many of you know (and if not, get over to his blog now), his DWK (dear wife Karen) and their beloved dog, Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle stopped by for a visit on their way home from their lovely vacation at the Happy Cottage in Cape Cod.  We had originally hoped to meet at the Cape but our vacation schedules did not coincide.

Mr. B meets Mr. B –

As my readers know, I refer to my husband as Mr. B (brickhouse) when I divulge his dark secrets talk about him but I also refer to Mark as Mr. B.  The other Mr. B.  So it was fun to introduce the B’s to each other for the first time.

After letting Ellie B explore our yard a bit, we headed inside to our back porch to enjoy some snacks and beverages.  I made sure to get the other Mr. B shrimp with a lot of cocktail sauce since he was short-changed on the good stuff earlier in the week.  You can read about his disappointing cocktail sauce story, here.

We sat on our porch chatting away and watching Ellie B explore the interior of our home and then settle into a rather… comfortable pose.

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Please do not disturb…

Mark’s lovely wife, Karen was exactly that. Lovely!  She kept Ellie B (and Mark) in check and enjoyed a glass of wine, knowing her husband would be driving the 3 hours home.   That she was a good sport in agreeing to meet not one but two bloggers during her much anticipated vacation, tells you what kind of person she is.  (Great meeting you, Karen!)

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Mmm…dogs love shrimp too

As for Mark aka the the other Mr. B, I can tell you with all certainty that he is just as sweet, caring and charming in person as he is on his blog.  You can see by the sparkle in his eyes how much he appreciates and enjoys all aspects of his life and how much he looks forward to new adventures. He referred to many of the details I have written about on my blog and could make the connection to my stories after meeting Mr. B and I.  I love that he remembered the time Mr. B had a delivery of manure compost delivered to our driveway the day before guests arrived for my daughter’s graduation party.  Something I have not let my Mr. B ever forget!

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No need to show the other half of this picture…:)

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A little blurry, but worth posting

Thank you, the other Mr. B, for taking a bit of a detour from your trip back to the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, to come meet Mr. B and I.  It was our pleasure to welcome you into our humble brick-less house.

Have you met a fellow blogger lately?

She Put A Ring On It! Well Actually…Two.

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LSJayHandmade 2014

Say hello to my amiga and fellow blogger,  Linda at appletonavenue!  She’s the one who put a ring on it!

Linda has had her share of rough patches in her life and then some, but she is incredibly strong and is taking full control of the things she is able to control in her life.  I admire her perseverance and willingness  to try new things that will bring her joy.  Despite some physical limitations, she has an abundance of energy and endless creativity!   You may even find her doing ‘stand-up’ out there.

more.com

more.com

One of the many talents Linda has is custom jewelry making.  Check out her website:

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/bio/LSJayHandmade

I checked it out and loved her work because it is unique and funky, which are two qualities brickhousechick, looks for (in life). I ordered this ring from her site: 

LSJHandmade 2014

LSJHandmade 2014

Isn’t it cool?  Except that my sausage-like arthritic fingers needed a larger size than she had available, so she custom made MY VERY OWN GIGANTIC ONE! Woot! Woot!

Being the sweet brickhousechick that she is, she also sent me a second surprise ring, just because!  And, me being the space shot brickhousechick that I am, ended up putting the unopened package she sent me back in the mailbox, to be mailed.  Yea, that was last week when my brain fog was at its densest and I had to get the postman to come out and open the mailbox to retrieve my unopened package.

Check out some of her other pieces:

Crystal Clear Glass Wrapped in Red Wire LSJayHandmade 2014

Crystal Clear Glass Wrapped in Red Wire
LSJayHandmade 2014

Beautiful Turquoise Shard Ring LSJayHandmade 2014

Beautiful Turquoise Shard Ring
LSJayHandmade 2014

Blue & Pink Dangle Earrings LSJayHandmade 2014

Blue & Pink Dangle Earrings
LSJayHandmade 2014

Silver Diamond With Copper Disc Earrings LSJayHomemade 2014

Silver Diamond With Copper Disc Earrings
LSJayHandmade 2014

You see what I mean by funky?  And it makes me think of Spring (which I hear is coming soon to a theater near you.)

Got a graduation gift to get?  Mother’s Day gift?  Gift for yourself?  Head on over to Linda’s site and check out more of her reasonably priced unique pieces of art!  And make sure to check out her blog as well.

*Linda is NOT paying me for this advertisement, although it would be nice…JUST KIDDING!

I wanted to share her work with you because I really liked it – and because I may FORGET to do it in the future…(#brainfog).

 

The Swim to My 50s – Please HOLD OFF on playing the Academy music until I finish my speech!

Very Inspiring Blog Award Nominee

Nominated by, http://www.kimcarlisle.com from: Sanity Check

Being a new blogger, I am learning the ropes and figuring out how to navigate the world of wordpress.com.  There are things I have yet to figure out but I am getting the hang of it.

One thing I know for sure is that the fellow bloggers I am meeting, are wonderful.  Everyone is truly welcoming, encouraging, hilarious and inspiring.  I have learned so much from all of you and can only hope that I can make an impact on someone else’s life – be it a little chuckle in the middle of the day or night.

A warm thank you and shout out to my nominators (not to be confused with my terminators):  

1) Kim, from http://www.kimcarlisle.com whose blog name is, Sanity Check, nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  The irony is that we became instant blogging buddies after sharing information about our matching autoimmune disease we have both been “blessed” with.   After reading her blog about her three handsome sons and her very supportive husband, I was more than inspired.  Get to know Kim.  You will be glad you did.

2) Octavia02, from http://www.intothelightofthenightkitchen.wordpress.com, nominated me for the Liebster Award.   I immediately liked octavia02 because she seemed feisty like me!  She gets my humor and is a strong spiritual human being.  Visit her and learn how well she copes with life’s storms.

 The Rules for each award are different so I am going to break the rules a bit, combine them and make my own (can you tell I love to break rules?)  I sure hope the academy does not rescind and take my awards back!

My made-up rules (for real award rules just google them):

* Thank and link back to the blogger who has nominated you

* Nominate as many bloggers as you would like for the Award/s and list their blog sites

Notify nominees

*  Tell 5 things about you (I will be answering octavia02’s questions instead)

*  Make up your own award – if you wish 

*  Have yourself a gin and tonic (make sure it’s Hendrick’s Gin)

Disclaimer:

I want these nominees I am about to nominate to know that, if they feel pressed for time or hate rules as much as I do, that they are exempt from having to actually follow the rules.  I will, however, welcome gifts of the liquid kind, in lieu of following the rules.

The nominees deserve all types of real awards for their creativity, talent and inspiration.  In the absence of these deserving awards, I would like to nominate them with a very special award – I made up.  

This special award is called the, Brick House Award, given to a man or woman who is a 36-24-36, can likes to dance, is strong, resilient, knows how to please, makes me laugh, makes me cry and someone whose work I admire.  Feel free to  copy and paste this award logo so that others can get green with envy at your nomination. 🙂

The Brick House Award
The Brick House Award  

And the Brick House Award nominees are: 

http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/ – Jill is a sweetheart. She also has an autoimmune condition that she fights every day.  She is very talented, loves Bazooka bubble gum, does NOT eat glue and always makes sure to comment on my posts. 

http://susielindau.com/ – I am sure most of you know Susie.  She loves to throw blogging parties, she seems selfless, encourages other bloggers and has wonderful things to say.

http://andrawatkins.com/ – This Cootchie Mama looks great in tights/leg-ins, she also has the freshest buns of anyone I know. She is writing some great fictional stories.

http://pegoleg.com/ – I honestly have to massage my cheeks after reading her posts from laughing so much.  She is so witty and clever and deserved to Freshly Peg herself!

http://mrsugarbears.com/ – A newbie like me.  Has the most contagious beautiful smile ever and is always pointing out the positive things in life.

http://dontquotelily.com/ – A fellow Puerto Rican chica who is funny, tells it like it is and I believe does not really have an adorable white doggy but just liked the picture.

http://gremlinfoodmom.blogspot.com/ – A beautiful talented teacher/mom who has time to cook for her three sons and husband and even for me when I am not feeling well!  Her recipes are easy and so delicious.

http://www.lisaakramer.com/ – This is her new name and blog!  She is still a woman wielding words but just in a new location.  Also very talented and is a fellow Massachusetts blogger I hope to meet soon.

http://thewishfactor.wordpress.com/ – Also knows as the Guat.  She is hilarious, loves the word dude and is preparing to do a triathlon in a couple of months.  She is latina like me and I can relate to her family stories.

http://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/ – This is the first male Brick House Award nominee!  So witty, brilliant and makes me have “accidents” in my pants from  laughing so much.  His most recent blog post about hay fever, was right on and hilarious!

http://shesamaineiac.com/ – A very creative, talented blogger who can do all kinds of cool tricks on her blog.  She opened up my eyes to the spammers out there who follow our blogs.  Beware of Zombie Cats!

http://rasjacobson.com/ – I can relate to Renee because I too have mega frizzy hair!  I would like to steal her cans of hair product she is hoarding and I know where she lives.  She also looks fabulous in Lily Pulitzer.

http://gojulesgo.com/ – I am just one of her 4,000 + followers!  She can do it all!  Write, make people laugh and sing!  She has a beautiful voice and I hope she posts more videos of her singing.

http://thewineoclocknews.com/ – I love her blog name.  She is bright, humorous and is younger than me (darn).  She reminds us to embrace our ages and our bodies.

Make sure to check out these Brick Houses’ blogs.

Answers to Octavia02’s questions she asked me after nominating me:

1.  My favorite film?  I have a lot, but I am going to have to say, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, since I have seen it 10+ times and I still laugh as if it were the first time.    You could substitute Greek for Puerto Rican and it would be the exact same movie.

2.  Favorite quote?  “Hija eres, madre serás, lo que hiciste te haran.” A Spanish idiom my mom loved to quote.  Something about daughters becoming mothers and how what you do to your mother as a daughter, your daughter will do to you and your mother will in turn, be laughing at you the whole time.

3. What always makes me cry? Looking at old videos of the kids when they were babies.  It gets me every time.

4. What always makes me laugh?  Adorable squeezable chubby huggable babies.  Just the site of one makes me giggle uncontrollably.

5.  What was my best day? Of course, my wedding and the days my children were born are tops, but this day really stands out.  It was the day I let go of all of my anger and decided to forgive, instead.  The most freeing day of my life.

6.  What was my worst day?  The day I lost my father to cancer.

7.  Emotionally closer to my family or friends?  I am blessed to have both.  I am a very open person and tend to share my emotional and physical state with family and friends.  Could not do it without both.

8. What does “transcend” mean to me? It is my way of thinking and living.  I will not let negative things get to me and will do everything in my power and beyond…to overcome adversity.  Stubbornness, may be another way to describe it.

9. Jon Steward or Stephen Colbert?  Definitely Colbert.  He is brilliant and makes me snort while laughing.  He also looks like my brother-in-law.

10. If I could choose my last word, what would it be?  Thanks.

11. What single quality represents who I am?  Hmmmm…My ability to accept the cards I have been dealt and feel blessed for what I have.  Some might call it ignorance or denial. 🙂  

The Swim to My 50’s – Now, where was I?

I could not do it.  Since the Boston bombings, as I sat to write on my blog, no words would come to me.  Having lived, studied and worked in Boston for many years, I could not stop thinking about the horrible events.  Nothing I wanted to write seemed appropriate enough or worthy of a blog entry.  Everything felt so trivial in comparison to the mayhem in Boston.

How could I write about my silly experiences, stories or events?  It felt disrespectful and selfish discussing my insignificant little life, while so many were suffering.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis – AND?  At least I have all my limbs and extremities in tact.  Yes, I experience pain on a daily basis – SO?  It is nothing like the excruciating physical and emotional pain felt by the victims of the bombings.

I am going to turn 50 in September.  Really?  That’s my dilemma?

As the days passed and the suspects were still out there, I began to think about the want and longing we all felt  for some sort of normalcy.  We could not wait until the suspects were caught so that we could go back to our routines, as mundane as they may be, and to our little insignificant lives.

Psychologists were advising that parents continue their daily regular schedules with their children, in order to ease their anxiety. None of us could truly get the atrocity of the bombings out of our minds as we grieved for those affected, but we tried to resume our lives because – we had to.

Soon I realized that I had to move forward.  That, as trivial as my life is, it is nevertheless, my life.  Not unlike the lives of many out there.

You see, although major events in our lives can shape us into who we are, it is often the simple routines and experiences that bring us joy and that make us feel blessed.

We all have silly stories to tell and experiences to share.  We do not have to be famous, on a reality show or on the news to be relevant.  Our voices and opinions matter to us and to those who choose to listen.  We enjoy reading about other’s lives and opinions and learn to find the humor in the difficulties we face.

There are atrocities happening every day.  We cannot ignore them or avoid them, but we can show our strength by continuing to live our lives the best we can.

I look forward to sharing more of my silly insignificant stories (like how I got my thunder thighs) with you, on future posts! 🙂

The Swim to My 50s – My name is brickhousechick, and I am a blog-oholic

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Courtesy of clipartguide.com

How can this be?  Why me?

I cannot deny, that the warning signs indicating that I had somewhat of an addictive personality, were there.  I sort of suspected that it was not normal for me to order a case of Olde Cape Cod Poppyseed Dressing, after having night sweats and a panic attack at the thought of not having my next supply. 

Or, the fact that I hide chap stick (shh…) everywhere in my house and car so that when the uncontrollable shakes come over me, I have immediate access to my fix.

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I continued to ignore my loved ones’ warnings thinking that, contrary to what they believed, I did not have an addictive bone in me.

Consequently, against the advice of other blog-oholics, on that raw March evening (last month), I  took a bite of the -oh, so tempting – blogging apple.  I, brickhousechick,  waited until my family was out, locked myself in my room, closed the shades,  googled blogging sites, came across the WordPress world and, Wham-O!  I was hooked after my first post.

Nothing will ever top that first time.  The rush I felt writing my first post. Trying desperately to figure out what on earth a Widget was and how to add a picture to my Gravatar.  I get chills just thinking about it.

I soon discovered, sadly,  that one post was not enough.  I needed to experience a higher state of excitement.  I needed more.  I had to write more.  

I began sneaking around with my laptop any chance I could, reading other blogger’s posts, commenting on them and even pressing their Like buttons.  The thrill of almost getting caught, only increased my desire to do more.

I found myself staying home all day and night.  My husband was suspicious and expressed his concerns.  Why did I need to speak or socialize with real people when my virtual enabling blog-oholic friends, were always there for me?  They understood how I felt.  They got who I really was and they, did not judge me.

Well, the consequences of my new-found addiction began to show their ugly faces.  I had bags under my eyes from staying up all night coming up with ideas for my next post.  My neck was permanently curved in a severe osteoporosis – kind of way.  My fingers became stronger than an eagle’s talons, as I grasped my laptop for dear life unable to let go. It was time I got help.

Today, I am happy to announce, I was one hour and 35 seconds sober (blog-free) until I began writing this post, two hours ago. Please do not judge me.  Writing  is part of my recovery.  I am not perfect and just because it is 1:00 in the morning, does not mean I have fallen off the wagon.  It is  just a small set back.  I blame it on my husband actually, who had to travel this weekend and left me completely unsupervised in my bed, with my laptop.  

“Serenity Now”.  Tomorrow, is another day and everyday after that, is a gift.  A new beginning.  I pray for you, my fellow blog-oholics, that you may find peace and comfort in knowing that I am always here for you (especially in the middle of the night, when my husband is asleep).

I will sacrifice my recovery so that I may be available to help those who find themselves diving off the wagon and running for their laptops.  That, my friends, is the kind of blog-oholic I am.