Saturday, July 24, 2010


Joseph M. Corey, M.D.
May 18, 1933 - July 23, 2010

We love you, Dad.

Thank you all for you lovely words and wonderful help.
We're taking a week off, and will be back on Monday with our regularly scheduled programming.
Ellie, Jacquie and Beth

Friday, July 23, 2010

highs and lows

He came.

He saw.

He conquered.

It was a big day for my boy - the high dive had become our litmus test for his healing. And he passed with flying colors!
Yet, this was not the lead story in the land of Corey today, it's perhaps a story for another day. It was a day that needs to be processed and digested before I can think about writing it. I'm a bit traumatized. Dad had a health scare and it was intense, but word on the street is that all is well.
Now I must put a stop to the disturbing yet comforting corruption of my children in the next room.
But hey, if you're the praying type, throw a few my Dad's way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spoiled in Sedona

Have I mentioned that I was in Arizona recently?

From my previous posts you may think there are only hot, dusty ranches and fleabag motels. But you're wrong! Arizona has a lot going for it. And because so many of my newish in-laws live there, I'm going to embrace it.

So far my favorite place in Arizona is Sedona. It's gorgeous! And my husband's cousin and his wife just happened to have built an awesome house there last year, which they generously made available to us earlier this month.

My husband kept referring to the home as a cabin. Think rustic, right? Wrong! This is no "cabin." Upon arrival my oldest daughter kept saying, "This sure is nice for a cabin." And I had to keep correcting her. "This is no cabin, honey, it's a house. A house much, much nicer than our own!"

When you open the front door, you're greeted by this

It puts you right in that southwest mood, doesn't it?

Then you enter the living area to be greeted by this straight ahead

and this to the left

From here you're right next to the door that opens out to this amazing outdoor living area

The patio is fully covered, but open on all sides, and sports a giant outdoor fireplace and flat screen TV in addition to the amazing BBQ. Is there a better way to take in the famous red rocks and afternoon thunderstorms? I think not.

The house is really one amazing view after another. While sitting at the dining table this is the view to the east

and this is the view to the north.

This is what one is forced to look at while doing dishes in the kitchen.

I opted to do a lot of dishes.

And if you look out this window to the right, you can even make out the famous and much visited Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is lovely and built right into the rocks.

Let's take a closer look.

This cool photo was taken by joiwatani and posted on Virtual Tourist. Thanks, Jo!

My husband and his family used to attend Easter services here back in the '70s. Lovely isn't it?

Now if you want to actually leave the "cabin" and all it's gorgeous views, you're not more than 100 yards from a great trail head. A mountain trail from which you can see all matter of flora

and exotic wildlife

Ah, Sedona. What's not to love?

Scenes from a Summer

I'm telling you people, this July is the best one in memory.

I know I talk about summer all the time, but this one is just the best ever. It's hot and sunny every day. We live at the beach. Well, and on our deck. Food has been eaten, booze has been drunk, music has been enjoyed, sun has been soaked in.

But don't listen to me -- let the photos tell you . . .

The month started with My Girl Nancy's birthday at Watch Hill and progressed from there. Cheers, Nancy!

And cheers to you too, Ted.

What did I say last year about the music . . .

. . . and the people?

Aw, Dawnie-girl.

These two? Jill and Dave? With the lovely Kat Murphy? They are Short Timers. August 21st baby.

Warm sultry summer nights . . .

. . . and hot humid days make for a kicking tomato crop this year.

Pure lusciousness.

My friend Christine came down last weekend, and after a fabulous day at Ocean Beach, we had ourselves a little deck to-do. Christine's kids -- rotten as they are -- are wildly entertaining. This is Izzy . . .

. . . and Kenny . . .

. . . and Chris.

We really do make quite a team.

The beach? Oh, we've had some beach love this July. (In addition, of course, to I-TAM love).

And we keep running into lovely friends at Ocean Beach, including fabulous co-beach-loving Rachel. Thankfully our cooler was packed with plenty of cans of Miller High Life to share. And a bottle of rosé I did not share.

Mistah's decided to take photos of the world passing in front of Ledgie the rest of the summer. Do you find it interesting or unusual that he started the project the moment this young babe was in front of Ledgie? Yes, me too.

Dawnie gave us this L.L.Bean Picnic Knife for Christmas. It has a Bottle/Can Opener, Corkscrew, Cheese Knife and Flexible Spreader Blade. My two favorite things, from the packaging:

*The Flexible spreader blade easily manages your favorite spread and helps protect your bread.

*Tool is 9" long with spread blade extended, so you can reach the bottom of the jar and keep your knuckles clean.

You can keep your knuckles clean!

This is how I feel at the beach.

New London Light was not occupied, by ghosts or other inhabitants, as far as we could tell. It was simply, resplendently, reflecting the late afternoon sun, looking marvelous doing it.

Ah, July.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see all my sisters this weekend. All of them. In addition to about a half a million cousins.

I love July.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

soak 'em up

Before I became a parent, I was certain that my children would never, ever play with toy weapons.

How could they, while being raised by a peace loving, tree hugging, gun loathing, bleeding heart liberal such as myself?

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

This weekend we participated in the annual "Soak the Sensei" event at the bayside picnic hosted by our beloved Dojo. It's a chance for the kids to stalk and drench the adults whom they spend the other 364 days and 23 hours of each year addressing as "SIR!" and "MA'AM!"

After enjoying a gorgeously summerific lunch of burgers and dogs with pot luck sides (featuring my personal favorite: an entire table for chips alone), the kids geared up and followed their Sensei to the designated holding area to hear the simple rules:

no salt water, no spraying into eyes, and no shooting anyone outside of the boundaries of play.

And then they were set loose:

My boy was in his element, he could barely stand upright under the weight of all barrels filled, but that giant smile never left his face.

Check out my girl's game play:

Those orange markers on the grass are the boundary. My girl would watch and wait from the safey of the sidelines ....

then jump into the fray for a strategically planned strike before making a hasty retreat.

She and her cohorts stayed pretty dry until they turned on each other.

And then....

In the end, the thing I learn over and over again as a parent is that I should never say never. Who could have imagined that this tree loving, hippy hugging, happy hearted liberal was responsible for outfitting her kids with this most excellent arsenal? My only regret is not buying a family four pack. Bill and I are sitting ducks.

Monday, July 19, 2010


You know the old adage, if it seems to be too good to be true it probably is? Well, it's true. Make that too good, to be true.

Two weeks before our departure for our summer road trip to Arizona, we realized that we would be staying at neither of my husband's brother's homes. We needed a hotel, and fast. Seeing as there are five of us, and one of us has a pretty sweet nap schedule, a two-room suite was in order.

My husband's tried and true Flagstaff hotel was asking $259 a night for this setup, before taxes and all those other bullshit charges they throw in. We were staying for three nights. We needed new accommodations. I got right to work. I pride myself in being able to ferret out a good Internet deal. I enjoy the challenge, and feel triumphant when I score.

I found us a two-room, two-bathroom suite, with microwave and fridge, etc., each room with a queen bed. Perfect. We were dragging along the baby's bed with us anyway, so we'd just set her up with the older girls. The rate was a economical $99 per night, all fees included. Yahoo!

I knew it would not be luxurious, but the photos looked okay. And the rating on Expedia was 3.9

This wasn't the same room type, but still -- nice lighting, flat screen, big fridge, clean looking, fine.

And the lobby looked small, but modern and welcoming. (And look at those computers with free Internet access for blogging. Plus free wi-fi in the rooms!)
Plus daily hot breakfast was included, as well as a nightly social hour. Free beer and food? This is beginning to sound too good to be true!

I even kind-of liked the retro 50s look of "PJ's Historic Route 66 Cafe"

Wait? Route 66? This is where my you're-about-to-get-suckered alarm should have sounded, but didn't.
We arrived hot and tired on a Friday afternoon after a lovely stay in Sedona, in a kick ass house. We were dubious when we pulled in, this was a definite downgrade, but check-in went fine and they pointed us toward our suite.
It was not what we were hoping for. It was old, and cramped, and had that you-can-scrub-the-shit-out-of-this-place-all-day-long-and-it-would-still-be-dirty feel. The portable crib barely fit. There was absolutely no granite in the bathroom as on online photo had showed. The drapes were barely hanging on their rods. It was a dump!
My husband took matters into his own hands and went to see about a room switch. The rest of us made ourselves comfortable.
But not for long, we were moving to another room. A better room. Or so we thought.
It was just as dirty, and just as small, with more furniture, which made it feel all the more cramped. The walls, however, were painted cheery colors. And we were now on the second floor so would not hear people walking above us. Okay, so we were much closer to Route 66. But we were spent, and the baby needed to nap. We could always move again in the morning.
What we we didn't realize at the time was that right on the other side of 66 were train tracks! The passing trains were so close they rattled the windows. Every time. All through the night.
We turned up the air conditioner. We stayed all three nights. We even let the baby eat and play on the bed and floor, bathroom included.
What? It was already so dirty, what are a few pretzels and salt?

Okay, so I'm NOT mother of the year.

Or week.
But my kids don't hold it against me. Look how forgiving that 6 year old is about opening her birthday presents on that disgusting carpet in that fleabag motel!
Good sports, I tell you.
I was going to write a bad hotel reveiw last week upon my return, but the hotel employees were extremely nice, and it's probably good for the soul to stay in a dump every now and again, and this guy summed it up so perfectly, that I decided there was no need for me to re-state:
"Filthy! 50s Route 66 Dive."
Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon
11 Jul 2010
Totally misrepresented website. Nothing worked in our room. Very noisy with train and freeway traffic. We lost $75.00 worth of our food because the fridge in our room stopped working and the front desk did nothing. Not remodeled as stated--only a new comfortable bed and some fresh paint slapped on a crumbling building. Extremely overpriced for a dump.

Note. Our fridge worked okay, but the air conditioning busted. But they did come and help us. To the best of their abilities. Sigh. OH, and I found the hotel listed in the Bedbug Registry. I kid you not. But as far as I know we're all bedbug free.
The moral of the story is I'm a dumbass don't stay on Route 66, even if it sounds like a good deal.
Trust me, it's not.