Monthly Archives: November 2010

Fanny Doodle loves Sonny but doesn’t like Cher*

This blog gets regular hits from people searching for Fanny Doodles. Here’s some Fanny Doodle love for ya –

Fanny Doodle loves snowballs but hates snow.

Fanny Doodle loves noon but hates 12 o’clock.

Fanny Doodle loves to cook but doesn’t like the kitchen.

Fanny Doodle loves swimming but doesn’t like the water.

Fanny Doodle loves slippers but doesn’t like shoes.

Fanny Doodle loves lollipops but doesn’t like candy.

Fanny Doodle loves glitter but doesn’t like sparkles.

Fanny Doodle loves squirrels but doesn’t like chipmunks.

Fanny Doodle loves kittens but doesn’t like cats.

* Just to clarify, Fanny Doodle and I are NOT in agreement on Cher. I love Cher and always have.

Do you have any Fanny Doodles to share with the class?


Better Days

From the best of 2007 files . . .

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To My Brother

My brother Mike took his own life three years ago today. It’s hard to believe that it is already three years past. In a lot of ways it still feels fresh. It makes me sad that it is already three years. As time moves on we get further and further from when he was here. Lots of things keep happening in between the time that he left and now and I just wish sometimes I could make it stop.

For some reason it reminds me of a Native American story about dogs. Long ago people and animals all lived together and at one point God decided that it was time to separate them. God created a great chasm in the earth and started to put the people on one side and the animals on the other. All the while the space between them kept getting bigger and bigger. Just before the very moment when it would have been too great a distance to make it to the other side, dog jumped over to be with man. I can’t make that leap anymore. I lost my chance. I’m losing him and I’ve been losing him for three years now and it makes me so sad.

Here is what I wrote to read at his memorial service. I thought I’d share it with you now.

Dear Michael,

We were supposed to see you at our parent’s house for Thanksgiving. I’m angry that you couldn’t have just said that you didn’t want to come home. They would have been really upset and mad but it would have saved us from this new world of pain. Speaking as a parent myself, I can’t even begin to understand what it must feel like to lose your child. No matter how old they get they will also always be the tiny baby you held in your arms. All the planning, shopping, cleaning and hoping they did to get ready for your visit must feel like a cruel dirty trick now. You never dream that someone you love so much could do something so final and terrible to you. If you hadn’t gone and done this insane thing I know I probably would have been whining about the long ride out to Long Island and it makes me feel so petty and guilty now. Now I’d gladly take the four hour car trip and listening to everyone arguing over nothing to this bizzaro-world alternative. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 and I don’t have to tell you, the perspective from this end is a real kick in the ass.

Your full name is Michael Roy Peluso but you seemed to go by many names. In our family you were always Michael and Erica called you Michael. You and Erica visited us for Piper’s third birthday almost two years ago. The morning after you left I asked her if she liked having her Auntie Erica and Uncle Michael at our house. She turned and said to me, “I don’t call him Uncle Michael, I call him Uncle Mike!” To your friends, you were Mike, Peluso, Pelusi, Big P, Huge P and sometimes just P. I have always thought of you when I hear that Rentals’ song, “Friends of P.”

If you’re friends with P.
Well, then you’re friends with me
If you’re down with P.
Well, then you’re down with me

Having this happen at Thanksgiving has helped me to see that I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my life, my parents who love me and my health. I’m thankful that I’m able to recognize and appreciate all the love from friends and family that surrounds me. I don’t think that you knew how many people really loved you or maybe you did but didn’t trust it. I’m so very thankful for my husband Glenn. I almost lost him in February in a horrific car accident. He shattered his knee and has been working on his recovery ever since. He has leaned on me a lot throughout this past year and I tried my best to hold him up to support and comfort him. Now when I look to him for support and comfort and he opens his loving arms to me I know how truly lucky I am. I’m thankful for my beautiful daughter Piper. She teaches me to be patient and to appreciate life’s smallest joys. The Friday after Thanksgiving, the three of us took a little family trip to a nearby farm. We were chased around by a paranoid looking turkey. We saw some emus, llamas, turtles, some pigs and a peacock. Piper got to pet the fluffy bunnies and goats, feed a bottle to a baby lamb and have a pony ride. Her smile was eight miles wide the entire time. It beamed its glee right into our hearts that day. She doesn’t bother to stop for sadness when there is happiness all around her. I’m sorry that you won’t now get a chance to really know the funny, wonderful person she is becoming.

I’ve taken comfort from the many conversations I’ve had with your friends. Without fail they’ve told me how much they loved you and what a special person you were. Without fail they’ve told me that they were in regular (sometimes daily) contact with you. And without fail they’ve told me that they had no idea you were feeling this way. And if they had known, they would have dropped everything to be by your side in the deep dark hole you’d fallen into. Mike, they would have carried you out on their backs.

Our 90-year-old friend and neighbor Alice Potter passed away recently. She attended the same church in our town for over 50 years. I went to the 8:30 am service there the Sunday after you died. I felt she would have wanted me to go there. I walked from my house even though it was only 20-something degrees out. The church felt warm and welcoming once I passed through the heavy wooden doors. I didn’t know anyone there though everyone I made eye contact with wished me a smiling good morning. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t smiling. The service was good. I liked the hymns and the lesson about needing to stand up in the word of God. As I walked out the minister shook my hand and I introduced myself to her by saying that I was a friend of Alice’s. She seemed to remember me from the funeral. Then I just started telling her what had happened. She immediately put her giant arm around me and spoke gently to me. She told me that the moment you left this life God was there to welcome you and hold you in his arms. She prayed while I just cried and let myself sink deeper into her enormous shoulder. I’m not sure how you’d feel about me becoming a regular churchgoer though I have a feeling you wouldn’t like it. But since your action compels me to seek more meaning in my life, I really don’t care.

Mike, I’m angry with you. I’m angry with you for leaving me an only child. I’m angry with you for leaving our parents without their only son. I’m angry with you for leaving them with the final image of you dying in a hospital bed. I’m angry at you for leaving Erica behind with so much sadness. She really loves you and didn’t deserve this from you. I’m angry with you for leaving us with all these questions that we can never have answers to. And I’m angry with you for forever depriving me of the pleasure of making you laugh and of ever seeing your beautiful face again. Even with all this anger, I still love you and will miss you for the rest of my life. As you know, I have also struggled with depression and loneliness in my life. To me, it felt like being trapped in the very smallest room with an even smaller door. I hope that wherever you are now you’ve got the key in hand and you’re striding for the door headed for peace.



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Crisis at Skylandia

A texting excerpt from my recent trip to my parent’s house which Mr Awesome and I affectionately refer to as Skylandia. I noticed that the toilet in “our” bathroom was flushing slowly. I thought it was running after I flushed it so I tried jiggling and pushing down on the handle. I heard a funny noise and when I looked down I realized that water was just pouring out of the bowl. I quickly opened the tank and pulled up on the bulb and stopped the water. Later on I texted Mr Awesome to let him know about all the fun he was missing . . .

NOV 14 2010 10:11 PM

Crisis time!!! The toilet in the grey bathroom just overflowed  . . .

There is no caulk around the toilet or tub and the grout is shot so it went straight through the floor . . .

And poured down all over the kitchen counter.


My dad is convinced that the kids flushed something down the toilet. He also asked me if my cousin or I flushed a sanitary napkin down the toilet.

What, you’re NOT supposed to do that?

Oh what fun!!


He sees the water in the kitchen and starts screaming like he’s on fire and running up the stairs. Meanwhile both kids and my mom are up there trying to sleep.

Don’t you just wish you were here too??

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So it begins . . .

My Mom has cancer. She has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She’s had pain in her leg on and off for a while but it started to get much much worse about a month ago. She went to the Doctor who did an MRI and they found a large mass. It is pressing on the nerves in her leg and it is what is causing her pain. A biopsy said it was Lymphoma. When she first told me about the tumor that all I could think was, so it begins. Both of my parents have been very physically healthy up to this point. They are very lucky. I hope the luck isn’t going to run out now.

It really makes me sad that my brother is not here for her now. It also makes me mad that he is not here for me now either. She really misses him now and nothing I can do will ever fill her need. My dad is having to take on a lot at home now which is what he should be doing. My mom can’t really move too well because of her leg. He’s complained to me that she’s telling him what to do, down to the simplest detail. It’s just payback time as far as I can see. He’s been telling her what to do for the last 50+ years and now it’s her turn.

I’m going out there tomorrow and will be there when she starts her antibody treatment on Monday. I’m looking forward to meeting her doctor and I hope to have a chance to talk to her. My parents have a way of fudging up the facts. It’s a lot for them to take in at once. I imagine my mother is totally overwhelmed and my dad is not a good listener. This is ironic of course because he is a Psychotherapist. All I keep thinking about is if my mom ends up passing away before my dad I will probably have to kill him. I don’t know how I’ll deal with him all on my own.

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My Starbucks Name

I went to vote on Tuesday with my daughter and the ladies at the desk asked me my name. I gave them my last name which is very unique. They immediately recognized it and one of them said, “oh Marissa Bo”! I made the split second decision to let the mispronunciation slide. It’s negative energy. Then one of them couldn’t leave well enough alone and said, “Marissa is SUCH a pretty name.” Negative or not I wasn’t going to let that stand. Story of my frakking life.

On a related note I think I have to choose a Starbucks Name. I hardly go into Starbucks but it is not the only place these days that asks you your name so they can call you when your order is ready. I have dutifully given my real name all these years just to hear it butchered. It gets tiring. I just realized that I can control that particular situation by giving them a name they won’t mess up. I was in Panera Bread yesterday and remembered my new plan in time to give it to the associate. I tried to think of something and “Daffodil” popped into my head. The kid’s expression changed ever so slightly as he tried to figure out how to spell it. When I looked at my ticket later he had spelled it, “Dafadil”. At least they said it right when they announced it.

Any ideas for me Internets? Do you have a Starbucks Name?

Some Halloween Ideas for Next Year

I was waiting for my turn at the deli counter today and saw some Halloween wigs that were on sale. I’m getting lots of ideas for next year. What do you think?

The International Playboy

Oddly enough this wig looked very similar to another wig called the “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. I just can’t get enough of those fun loving mop-topped playboys.


The Ladies Man

This one may be mislabeled. Maybe they meant to call it “The Girlfriend of a Lesbian who looks like Justin Bieber” but they ran out of room.


The Cheap Date

Martha Stewart forgot to feature this one in her Halloween issue.



Halloween 2010

When we were carving our pumpkins we asked if Piper wanted to help me take the guts out. Her reply, “I’m not putting my hand in that stinkin’ pumpkin!”