Nancy Quill's Blog 
 
 

Let The Music Play!

Posted 5/24/2012 2:26:00 PM

 

It seems we've lost too many giants in the music industry lately. Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Dick Clark, Robin Gibb. These people were part of the fabric of our lives. You didn't have to be a fan in order to feel the impact of their contributions to music.

 

Whitney Houston had an extraordinary voice. She was as comfortable with the soft ballad as she was with a high energy belting style. Anyone who has tried knows that singing like Whitney is a challenge! Mariah, Beyonce, Christina and others since her have continued the Whitney legacy.

 

I didn't completely sign on to the disco scene, but there was something about Donna Summer. She had some great songs and “heaven knows”, I danced to so many of them. Her sultry rich voice was like no other.

 

I had been listening to Robin Gibb's music since I was in ...



Mom's Favorite Words

Posted 5/11/2012 2:05:00 PM

Happy Mother's Day! I hope you have something nice in the works whether you're a mom or plan to honor a mom. Often times it can be the simplest thing.

 

My Mother's Day has become a family tradition. I wouldn't have it any other way. First, I get to sleep in, there's a luxury right there! And then when it's time, my husband and son wake me up and bring me to the kitchen where a beautiful breakfast is waiting for me. Then I open my cards and open a few gifts. Later in the day, the rest of the family comes by for dinner. We always manage to grill out, rain or shine!

 

All of that is so very special to me, but I'll tell you the best part of the day is to hear these words from my son, “I love you, Mom”. No matter how ...



Facebook jealousy? Not me! Except..

Posted 4/26/2012 12:20:00 PM

 

Do you have Facebook Jealousy? Researchers recently discovered that for people who are already predetermined to exhibit jealousy, Facebook reinforces that behavior.

 

Psychologists found that Facebook is a prime place to reconnect with past relationships, and that could be a concern for anyone involved in a current relationship. Facebook friends can develop a sense of intimacy with each other, too, and that could feel threatening.

 

I've found that Facebook jealousy is not an issue for me, but here's what brings out the green in me: Friends posting pictures of their fun vacations and trips, especially when I haven't taken one in a while. You know, the smiling faces, the posts about getting on a plane and heading somewhere warm and exotic. The couple in their resort wear, raising their wine glasses toward the camera. Gets me every time.

 

OK, I guess I have Facebook jealousy..in a ...



Annette's Climb

Posted 4/1/2012 12:46:00 PM

Spring is here, the weather is getting warmer. This is also the time the charitable walks, runs and rides begin, benefiting many worthy causes. It feels so good to participate, knowing we can make a difference in the lives of so many. Let me offer this one, Annette's Climb. It's a climb to Mount Washington's Tuckerman Ravine and honors the memory of Annette Soares, who lost her life at the age of 39, a victim of domestic violence. The climb, held on April 28th this year, is symbolic of the struggle to break the cycle of domestic violence



Annette's Climb has taken place each spring to raise money for HAWC, WIT (women in transition) and other programs for women that have been physically abused. Since 2002, this event has supported HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change) and in recent years North Shore Community College’s 'Women in Transition’ program. These ...



Spring Break. Good For The Brain

Posted 3/24/2012 11:09:00 AM

What a week. It was spring break in our house. No I wasn't on vacation, but I felt like I was on one. Jarrod was home from college for his spring break, that in itself was worth a celebration. We made special dinners, sat outside on our deck and enjoyed the unusually warm March weather. We watched the buds appear on the trees and bushes. And we let our son put electrodes on our heads. WHAT??

Jarrod is a research assistant at his school's cognition and action lab. He asked his dad and me if we would like to participate in a sleep study. Being supportive parents, we agreed. It was quite an experience having to sleep with electrodes attached to different areas of the head and face. As part of the experiment we also were required to trace over various shapes as we looked at them in a mirror. ...



A Daughter's Rediscovery

Posted 3/11/2012 1:20:00 PM

 

I've been going through my mothers things over the last few weeks. She passed away almost a year ago and now my sister and I have the job of taking care of her house and all she accumulated in her many decades here on earth. It's funny how you think you know someone all your life, but then you realize that there was so much more to that person than you even remembered.

I knew my mother was a great cake decorator. However, looking through a photo album dedicated to her cakes, I saw just how talented she really was, with intricate detailing just like the pros. Mom liked to write poetry. I came across some poems she wrote as a young girl and they were beautifully written, like a poet of the highest esteem. Doris loved to paint, too. And as we went from room to room, we ...



This Recipe Deserves An Oscar

Posted 2/27/2012 12:27:00 PM

The Academy Awards have a special place in my heart. Why? Because Roger and I watched it on our second date. After our first date, I asked him if he wanted to come over and watch them with me. How forward of me, I know! I'm glad he accepted.

This was when the Oscars were televised at the end of March. I planned to serve chicken enchiladas, a special recipe that a friend suggested and assured me that Roger would instantly fall in love with me if I made it. I guess it worked. We've been together ever since!

So each year it's become a tradition. I make the chicken enchiladas and we watch the red carpet arrivals and then the Oscar ceremony. This year was no exception. Here's the recipe:

Dice a pound or so of chicken breast, sprinkle with chili powder, celery salt and cilantro and fry in ...



The Unexpected Unforgettable Grammys

Posted 2/15/2012 11:40:00 AM

I really enjoyed this year's Grammy awards. Previous years have been somewhat of a bore, but this year, the entertainment was stellar. And while the tragic news of Whitney Houston's sudden passing loomed large over the event, I thought the producers and the performers handled the issue rather well.

LL Cool J opened the show with a heartfelt prayer. He struck just the right balance of acknowledging the late singer while promising the audience that the show would carry on. And carry on it did with amazing moments. Like Bruno Mars, this guy can entertain! What a presence. And the long awaited return of Adele following throat surgery. She gave a powerful full voice performance of Rolling In The Deep, sounding better than ever. I can only imagine how she must have been feeling on stage!

Other artists, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Katy Perry brought their best to the ...



Don't Forget These Valentines!

Posted 2/10/2012 10:59:00 AM

Some of the TV sitcoms rolled out their Valentine's Day episodes this past week. I noticed the theme running through a few of them was this. So often, we take the little things we do each day for and with each other for granted. Isn't that ever true?

 

Is your relationship based on the amount of flowers given? The size of a box of chocolates? Or on a surprise getaway weekend to some exotic resort? It's so easy to get wrapped up in trying to find the perfect gift for that one day. But sometimes you have to stop and realize that the things you experience each day in a relationship are many times gifts themselves.

 

While they're not necessarily glamorous acts on their own, things like volunteering to take out the trash, agreeing to run to the store to get medicine or groceries, taking care of the kids ...



You've Got a Friend

Posted 1/30/2012 12:31:00 PM

Friendships can last a lifetime. Even when those friendships lay dormant, they can resurface quickly and unexpectedly. You find yourself picking up where you left off, making you wonder where all the time in between went.

 

When I was in college, I had a friend, Dave Binder. Dave would perform at our school's Rathskeller(we called it “The Rat”)on folk night. He would often ask me to come up onstage and join him for a song or two. It was one of those things where we just gelled when we sang, our voices blending in perfect harmony.

 

These days, Dave entertains all over the country and in the Caribbean. From time to time he performs a James Taylor tribute concert. He happened to be playing at Showcase Live over the weekend. So I decided to contact him and tell him we wanted to see his show. Well, one thing ...



The Evolving Mom

Posted 1/22/2012 2:20:00 PM

My son wants to become a Physician's Assistant.  I don't . So why am I looking up all the requirements to enter the program?  He's a young adult, he's already doing it on his own. Tell me, do you do this?  Take on your child's responsibilities as if they were you own?

 

There I was, the other day, surfing the Internet, looking up the best colleges, the prerequisites, the suggested career path, when it dawned on me.  Who actually was embarking on this journey, me or my son?  It's not as if he's 10 years old and in need of a little push. He's a college student, perfectly capable of planning his own future.  His father and I have already given him sound advice when he told us about becoming a PA .

 

Nonetheless, I took it upon myself to do some research, taking notes along the way, when it ...



New Beginnings!

Posted 1/3/2012 12:12:00 PM

Happy new year! I know it's just another date on the calendar, but I like to thing that when we start a new year, we can start anew in many ways. We can use he first of the year to create new beginnings. We can wipe the slate clean and start a new chapter in the story of our lives.

 

Perhaps you start eating healthier meals. Or you plan to exercise on a regular schedule. Maybe you want to take the time to relax more with a cup of tea and a good book. Or you would like to take a course at your local college or even a cooking class at the community center! How about planning that trip you've been wanting to take?

 

For me, the new year provides the opportunity to look within and see what I can do to be a better person. A ...



Your Call Is Important To Us. But Not While Driving!

Posted 12/29/2011 11:35:00 AM

Do you use your cell phone while you drive? I ask because the National Transportation Safety Board is calling on states to ban non emergency use of cell phones in the car. I have no problem with this. Here's why. Every single day, whether I'm on my way to work, or leaving, I see a driver doing something dangerous on the road. And if I have a chance to look in the drivers side window, more often than not, that person is chatting away on the phone.

 

It's not that seeing someone oblivious to their surroundings or or holding up traffic by driving slow is annoying, it's more serious than that. Many times, I've had to slam on my breaks because the offending driver was using the cell. In fact, just last week, Roger and I were at a mall, and someone talking on the phone pulled out in ...



Holiday Favorites And Then Some!

Posted 12/6/2011 11:48:00 AM

I'm sitting here in the Magic studio, sprinkling in some Christmas tunes.  And it got me thinking that there was a time when all you had to play were the old standards, like Bing Crosby's “White Christmas,” and Nat King Cole's “Christmas Song.”  Not anymore.  I'm playing all kinds of Christmas music, from Mannheim Steamroller to Mariah Carey to James Taylor.

 

There's a huge market for Christmas music. Popular artists are almost expected to put out an album of Christmas favorites.  And in some cases, they've created brand new standards.  I remember when Paul McCartney released “Wonderful Christmastime.”  That wasn't an arrangement of an old classic. It was a fresh song that we now expect to hear every holiday season.

 

Movies such as “Elf,” “The Grinch”(the Jim Carey version) and “The Polar Express” have brought us new Christmas songs to play. There have also been some great takes ...



The Best Time Of The Season

Posted 11/28/2011 10:59:00 AM

And just like that, it's the Christmas season! I've already noticed a few homes in my neighborhood have their lights and decorations on display. Yet, as I write this, it's 63 degrees! Then again, why not decorate now? Who knows what the weather will be like in the next few weeks? Take advantage of the mild weather to string your lights!

 

I love this part of the holiday season, it's still so new, with weeks ahead to look forward to. A few parties here and there, a trip or two to the mall. This is the part that feels the most relaxing. We'll put up our Christmas tree, and have a little egg nog while watching Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation. It's a tradition that we never miss.

 

Of course at some point, the stress factor will begin to creep in, like forgetting to buy a certain gift ...



Countdown To Thanksgiving

Posted 11/16/2011 10:57:00 AM

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I'm realizing I've got to get myself in gear! How are you about preparing for a big holiday? Are you organized and buy early with a well crafted list of things to do long before the big day? Or are you a last minute shopper, with your list tucked somewhere inside your head?

 

I think I'm somewhere in between. About two weeks before the event, I write up a preliminary list of things I need to get. Every time I go to the supermarket I look for a few things, most importantly, the turkey! And then a few days before the holiday, I realize I didn't get everything I need, so now I start running in and out of stores, scrambling to find my last minute items!

 

But when all is said and done, somehow, some way, it all gets done. So one of ...



Our Heroes Past and Present

Posted 11/9/2011 11:34:00 AM

On this Veteran's Day, I'll be thinking of the vets in my family. My brother, who served during the Vietnam era, and my father, who served during World War II. Dad arrived in Japan soon after the bombs had been dropped. In fact, he had a watch that still emitted radiation decades after he was there.

 

But I was lucky. My father came home. He told me so many amazing stories about his stay in the army, they were part of the father-daughter bedtime “tuck-in” ritual. Japan was also where he began a long and successful career in radio. He was the program manager for one of the armed forced radio outlets there. Thanks to the GI Bill, he was able to continue his career in broadcasting once he returned home.

 

I know Mom and Dad lost many friends in the war. In fact, my father lost his ...



When October Snows

Posted 11/3/2011 11:22:00 AM

What is it with the weather? Snow in October! While seeing a flake or two may not be that unusual this time of year, a full fledged snow storm with major accumulation seems to be! So it made me wonder what the coming winter would bring. We had a lot of nasty snow storms last winter, Do we really want to go through that again?

 

Looks like we may have no choice. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, we're gearing up for a winter of near normal temperatures. However, they are predicting above normal snowfall! NO! The National Weather Service says we have a moderate La Nina on the way, and according to meteorologists, that translates into cold and snow. Great. Looks like there's no getting out of it.

 

I know what you’re thinking. Nancy, it's winter and you live in New England, get over it. You're right, ...



The New Sunday Drivers

Posted 10/24/2011 11:55:00 AM

Why are we in such a rush? Seems like everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere these days, even on weekends when you'd think we might be dialed in to a slower pace.

 

This occurred to me last night as Roger and I were headed to the supermarket to pick up some dinner before watching the Amazing Race. And no, we weren't conducting our own amazing race! However, it appeared that everyone else around us was. I can't tell you how many times cars pulled out in front of us. It was Sunday night for crying out loud. How could anyone be that impatient?

 

I might add that our car was not creeping along. We actually had to put on the brakes because these people couldn't wait another few seconds for us to pass. It’s s not as if the traffic was heavy. There was no one ...



David Allan Boucher, The Best!

Posted 10/18/2011 11:20:00 AM

I am so happy that my friend and colleague David Allan Boucher was voted best radio personality in Boston by readers of Boston Magazine! Although I'm not surprised. David has become a legend as the host of Bedtime Magic.

 


Think about the countless romances that have begun while listening to David, the marriage proposals, prom nights, long lost love reunions, that have all occurred with Bedtime Magic on in the back ground. Rocking your baby to sleep, reading a good book, doing homework, these are just some of the activities listeners have been doing at night while listening to Magic over the last few decades.

 


But it's not just the ambiance of the music that makes Bedtime Magic what it is. It's David, THAT VOICE! He is truly your nighttime companion. That soft chuckle, those comforting words whispering in your ear, David Allan Boucher speaks to you, you ...



A Mother Learns To Grow

Posted 10/11/2011 1:28:00 PM

All of a sudden you look and they're grown. That's how it feels during the college years. Since Jarrod graduated from high school, I have been in sort of a limbo, not quite sure how, as a mother, I should relate to my son. Naturally, he has needed the help and guidance of his parents from time to time. Of course, we're always here for him. But quite honestly, it's hard to let go of the image that your child still a child.

 

However, I noticed recently that a change has occurred, not a terrible change, just a noticeable change. Jarrod is more comfortable taking charge now, making decisions without having to call up and deliberate with us every time. He has taken on responsibilities that I never thought he would. But then, why wouldn't he? He's 19 years old for crying out loud! Isn't that what we want ...



He Was The Real Big Apple

Posted 10/6/2011 10:43:00 AM

Steve Jobs has passed away. I'll admit I've been a PC person, but I can't help admiring the accomplishments of Steve and his team through these decades. He literally changed the world with Apple products. In fact, while at Disney World's Epcot Center this summer, we noticed that Jobs is acknowledged on the ride “Spaceship Earth”. There is a scene where his likeness is displayed showing him creating a computer in his garage.

 

My brother was a big Apple champion, in his opinion it was the best operating system by far. And he would upgrade every so often when the newest Mac became available. I know plenty of people with I-phones, I-Pads and I-Pods, who hasn't downloaded from I-Tunes?

 

Interestingly, his business model was inspired by the Beatles, the band that had their own “Apple” brand. Jobs was a huge fan. But what has impressed me more than ...



YAY Teams! We Have Great Ones.

Posted 9/30/2011 12:48:00 PM

Well, we got our “October Surprise” early. Handed to us on a silver platter. The Sox are out of the playoffs and done for the season. Terry Francona is finished as their manager. And to top it all off, we had to root for the Yankees during their end of season series with Tampa Bay, what crazy time warp were we just in? Let's not forget the Patriots recent loss to Buffalo, that threw us all for a loop. Let's hope that was just a fluke.

 

So all of this sports talk has made me realize how spoiled we've been to have had so many great teams in Boston. I guess our standards are pretty high. I mean look at the Bruins. They won the Stanley Cup. The Red Sox have given us a couple of recent World Series titles. The Patriots have been a powerhouse. Our Celtics have given ...



I'm Walking the Walk

Posted 9/23/2011 10:30:00 AM

I am on the move this weekend! Getting ready for the Walk To End Alzheimers this Sunday. I love being there every year. I can truly say that the volunteers and walkers are some of the nicest people you could ever meet.

 
 

 

 

And the same can be said for the folks at the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter. From James Wessler, president and CEO, to the tireless volunteers at their headquarters, there are no egos here, just a dedicated group of people working together on the ultimate goal, to take steps to end Alzheimer's disease.

 

 

I'm proud to be a voice for the Alzheimer's Association. So if you would like to join me and channel 5 meteorologist Harvey Leonard, come on down to Canal Park, right by the CambridgeSide Galleria this Sunday morning. Even if you aren't able to walk this year, you can ...


The Walk To End Alzheimer's

Posted 9/14/2011 12:00:00 AM

I'll bet you know someone with Alzheimer's disease. Perhaps it's a family member, a co-worker's family member or even a friend. Did you know Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.? And that it can strike people even in their 40's and 50's?

 

 

I knew someone who had Alzheimer's disease. My dad, Joe Quill, was diagnosed with the illness in his late 70's. I watched a man so full of life and brilliance fade away. It took a toll on our family and it devastated his friends who loved and respected him through the years.

 

 

Thanks to the Alzheimer's Association, great strides have been made in finding treatments and in getting closer to preventing the disease. But we're not done yet. And that is why I'm hosting the Greater Boston Walk To End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 25th, at Canal Park ...



Hey Irene, don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Posted 8/30/2011 12:00:00 AM

That was some tropical storm. I know, it wasn't a hurricane when it got here, but Irene still managed to wreak havoc. From flooding to downed trees and power lines, this storm had a punch of its own regardless of the down grade it received once it arrived in our area. There were a few nasty wind gusts that had me holding my breath until they passed!

 

 

How did you fare? We lost power for a while, a lot of branches, twigs and debris were thrown around our yard, and there is a huge tree limb in the back yard that is hanging by a thread. That will fall eventually, but I don't want to be near it when it does!

 

 

All in all, we survived the mayhem, others weren't so lucky. In fact right down the street, an enormous tree fell onto a house. That's ...



Eat Your Local Veggies!

Posted 8/22/2011 12:00:00 AM

This is the time of year when fresh, locally grown produce is in abundance. You've got corn, eggplant, summer and zucchini squashes, and my favorite, red, ripe tomatoes! There is nothing like a tomato straight from the garden or the farm. And the best part is, you don't have to do a lot to dress them up at the dinner table.

 

 

Here's one of my favorite ways to serve tomatoes in the summer. Just slice them and place them on a platter. Layer them with sliced mozzarella. Add some fresh basil leaves on top and them drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. You can sprinkle a tad of red wine vinegar if you want, and add salt and pepper to taste, but I find that the less you do, the better. Tomatoes this time of year hold their own!

 

 

So take advantage of the wonderful vegetables ...



You'll Go Ape Over This Summer Movie!

Posted 8/15/2011 12:00:00 PM

What do you do on a cloudy showery day in the summer? See a movie? Yes! And that's what we did this past Sunday. We headed to Patriot Place to see “Rise Of The Planet of the Apes”.

 

 

I wasn't sure what to expect, although I had heard that the movie received decent reviews. I always enjoyed the 1968 “Planet Of The Apes” with Charlton Heston. So I was anxious to see how this prequel to the original story would be told, especially now that we have embraced and perfected the art of computer generated effects.

 

 

I found this film fun, exciting and riveting. The special effects are brilliant and believable. Performances are well done, especially from Andy Serkis, who, along with that computer generation, brings to life the character of Caesar, a genetically enhanced ape. Serkis, if you recall, played Gollum in the Lord Of ...



My Supermarket Friends

Posted 8/2/2011 2:13:00 PM

Do you have supermarket friends? I do. These are people you only see when you're food shopping. Some are store employees, others are shoppers, like me. But I only seem to see them in the store , not anywhere else. Sometimes we just smile when we pass each other with our carriages, other times we stop to say hello.

I've known the young guy behind the seafood counter for several years now. We engage in small talk as he looks with extra care for a fresh piece of fish for me. You know, I realize that I don't even know his name, but I always enjoy speaking with him whenever he's working.

Then there's the retired firefighter who I see from time to time, toting his small basket of groceries, ready for the 12 items or less lane. He always asks how Jarrod is doing and marvels at how fast ...



Down Time Is a Must!

Posted 7/27/2011 12:00:00 AM

No matter how much you love your job, you always need some vacation time to recharge the batteries. Let's face it, many of us are going nonstop from the moment we wake up to the time we put our heads on the pillow at night. It seems to be the kind of society we live in, anything less, and we feel we're not doing our part. It comes as no surprise that we end up burning out a lot faster than we'd like. And if you didn't take a winter break, then by summer you may be really dragging.

 

 

Last week, Roger, Jarrod and I hopped a plane to Walt Disney World for a week of fun and relaxation. Now I know what you're thinking, how can one relax traipsing around theme parks all day? You're right, you can't do it all day long. So we made sure ...



No Harm In Trying

Posted 7/11/2011 12:09:00 PM

There are certain things I've convinced myself that I can't do, and I have never even tried doing them.  Like painting. Well, let me clarify. I took art lessons when I was young.  My mother was a fantastic artist, but I can honestly say her talent didn't rub off on me.  My early artwork left a lot to be desired.  So I assumed that if I couldn’t draw, then I couldn't paint the walls or trim of a house.  Consequently I have avoided dipping any brush in a bucket of paint for many years, happy to let my husband tackle that end of the home improvement spectrum.

   

This past weekend, I was at our cottage on the Cape with my sister, Barbara, and my son, Jarrod. The outside trim of the house has been in desperate need of painting.  Naturally, I quickly volunteered to scrape off the old paint ...



Talent , Career and Your Child's Success

Posted 6/27/2011 11:18:00 AM

You always want your children to have fulfilling lives, doing the things they enjoy and feel most passionate about. You also want to be sure they are realistic. My son Jarrod is a phenomenal musician. I try not to brag, but sometimes I just can't help myself! Over the weekend, Roger and I watched him play in the pit band for a musical. It was the first time for him. Usually he's onstage acting and singing or playing with this band. But he wanted to try this experience. After spending a brief few weeks studying the piano score, he played as if he'd done this countless times before. We were so proud.

Sometimes when I watch him play, hear him sing and listen to his compositions, I wonder if he has chosen the correct path studying biology in college. But I also realize that it is very difficult to make ...



It's Sum Sum Summertime!

Posted 6/21/2011 11:20:00 AM

Summer is officially here! As far as I'm concerned, it's the best time of the year. Where do I begin? Warm weather, the beach, no school (well, for working parents this can be a challenge, I admit), vacation time, ice cream, barbecues, fresh air, you get the picture. 

 

 

Even during the work week, there's nothing I love more than sitting out on the deck of my house and enjoying the early evening with a cold beverage. I love the sound of the birds singing, the warmth of the setting sun streaming through the trees. It's the best way to end a busy day. And it isn't something you get to do in the winter around here. 

 

 

So what's your summertime routine? Whatever you do, enjoy it, because before you know it, we'll be shoveling and shivering again! That just doesn't have the same appeal, does it?



Boston Should Be Proud

Posted 6/16/2011 12:05:00 PM

They did it! The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks and have brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston. It's been a long time coming. Thirty-nine years to be exact. And it's great to see generations of fans so excited. The crowds here in Boston were out in the streets celebrating, and a few here and there tried to tip a few vehicles over. But for the most part, they were pretty well behaved.

In Vancouver, however, the situation was far worse. A riot occurred with fires, fights, looting and plenty of property damage. Police had to use tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. Granted their team lost the championship, but why is it that some people become so destructive after a game? It can happen after a victory just as easily as a loss and I've never understood that. I don't see the need to light ...



Time to Re-boot

Posted 6/9/2011 11:23:00 AM

When do you know that it's time to slow down? For some, it's when things start slipping through the cracks. For others, it's when they start getting cranky with their loved ones, and still for others it's when they end up on their backs with a bad cold or virus or something even worse.

 

 

Stress is a serious issue in our mufti-tasking society. We are afraid to say “no”, we think we have to keep up with the people who seem to get everything done effortlessly, although I think that if we look deeper, those people are probably stressed out too. They just disguise it better.

 

 

I knew I had piled too much on my plate when I started yelling at the vehicles in front of me this morning. No matter what I did, I ran into slow moving traffic, even on the back roads. It didn't ...



Watches. Warnings and Real Tornadoes!

Posted 6/2/2011 10:34:00 AM

“Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore”. On second thought, it sure felt like our state was right in the middle of Tornado Alley! What a strange day Wednesday, June 1st was. Surely we've had tornado watches before, but usually we end up with a micro-burst or two which still can cause quite a bit of damage, but nothing like what central and western Massachusetts just experienced.

 

We were fortunate here in eastern Mass that the most we received from this series of “super-cell” thunderstorms were gusts of wind, lots of rain, thunder and lightning. nothing like a tornado! Still, I went outside yesterday afternoon after hearing that a tornado warning had been issued for my area, securing deck chairs, hanging plants and an umbrella, just in case. Jarrod and I went down to the lower level of our house when the first two storms passed over. ...



The Greatest Gift

Posted 5/25/2011 11:55:00 AM

Having just celebrated another birthday, it becomes even more evident to me that it's not the gifts that make the day special, it's the people you surround yourself with. This was my first birthday without my mother, and somehow, it seemed as if she was with me while I spent the evening with my husband, son and sister. We had a wonderful dinner, complete with a slice of cake that we all shared (2 spoonfuls each, less guilt that way!). I opened cards with heartfelt messages inside, and received lovely gifts from all. However earlier in the evening, I felt that pang, the kind you feel when your heart experiences loss. I missed my mother's presence, her laugh, her smile.

 

 

But it wasn't long before a sense of calm came over me. All of a sudden, a voice inside me said. “Don't worry, you're going to be all right.” It was my ...



The Son Returns!

Posted 5/16/2011 11:39:00 AM

I can't believe it, Jarrod is home from his first year at college. He made it through two semesters. Or as some of my friends have pointed out, I made it through two semesters!

It's wonderful to have him back. And believe me, I'm enjoying every moment. I love looking into his room and seeing signs of life. I love hearing his music playing. I especially love arriving home from work and just feeling his presence there.

I'm painfully aware, though, that there will be a time when he won't return home for the summer. He'll have his own life, his own apartment, take his own vacations, etc. So my goal is to savor the next several months that Jarrod spends with us. I'll be happy to make him some good home cooked meals and take him to the mall for some new clothes. If he needs more saline solution ...



Mom And The Little Things

Posted 5/5/2011 12:06:00 PM
Happy Mother's Day! Those are wonderful words to hear, and wonderful to say. I had the privilege of expressing my appreciation to my mother for many years. I'm grateful for that. Even though she is longer with us, I will continue to honor her on this Mother's Day.
 
Looking back, it's easy to remember how loving and giving she was. But it's all the little things my mother did that I'm thinking of right now. These are memories stored deep within me, but which surface from time to time. Points in time that remind me of the kind of person my mother was. For instance, if there was an overcooked or burned portion of a meal that she had made, she would take that portion for herself. One year, when I was very young, I had a project due at school, one of those dioramas in a shoebox. It ...


Willam and Kate Won Me Over!

Posted 4/29/2011 11:14:00 AM
The “Royal Wedding” has occurred, Prince William married his long time love, and from the looks of it, his best friend, Katherine Middleton. I was among the many that felt rather indifferent about the wedding. Mostly because, well, you remember, the marriage between William's mother and father didn't work out so well. In fact it was tragic. So when I woke up Friday morning and turned on the TV, I didn’t expect to be drawn in to the spectacle. But guess what? I was, and I think it was because I noticed that this couple, William and Kate, looked so relaxed and most importantly, so happy. Kate's gown was simple and yet elegant. Her hair and makeup were stunning, but not overstated. The kisses on the balcony at Buckingham Palace were beautiful and sincere. But what really won me over was a surprise moment hours after the ceremony, when the ...


What a Difference a Day Makes

Posted 4/25/2011 11:12:00 AM

Easter weekend has come and gone. I hope yours was wonderful. Sunday's weather couldn't have been better, especially since the day before was so dreary. Not to mention on Saturday our ice maker stopped working properly. I found out when I opened the freezer in the afternoon and saw that it was caked with ice! Water had poured from the ice maker into the freezer and froze solid. I just wanted to cry. We spent that afternoon and evening defrosting and chipping away at the ice. Of course most of the food had to be discarded, except for a few things , which we cooked up and had for dinner that evening. A unique smorgasbord to say the least!

But then came Easter Sunday, in all its warmth and sunshine. This was the day I thought would be the hardest, since it would be the first Easter without my mother. ...



When Spring Kicks In

Posted 4/18/2011 11:23:00 AM

Happy Spring! I know, it's still a little chilly outside, but there's something about this time of year that feels good. For me, spring doesn't really kick in until now, right around Patriots Day. At this point you have to figure the likelihood of snow is practically nil, the days are getting longer, the sky is brighter and the Red Sox are playing (OK, we can debate the particulars of that one, but that's for another blog!). We have the Boston Marathon, which brings a lot of excitement to our area. I'm seeing daffodils blooming, grass greening up, and new mulch being spread. We can shed our winter sweaters and coats, and start adding pastel colors to our wardrobes. I love a good spring thunderstorm, the sound of the birds singing in the morning and late afternoon, and the buds on the trees giving way to fresh, new, green leaves. ...



Don't Text and Dine

Posted 4/11/2011 11:38:00 AM

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the convenience of having a smart phone – I LOVE mine!! However, I am mindful about using it when my attention should be on something or someone else. The reason I bring this up is because on Saturday night, while my husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant at Legacy Place in Dedham, we noticed that the couple at the table next to us were barely paying attention to each other. Why? Because their heads were down almost the entire time they were at the table. They were both frantically texting away, oblivious to each other. In fact they could barely put their phones away. The guy tried to. He would place the phone on his belt clip. He would look straight ahead at his date, but when he saw that she was still busy texting, obviously preoccupied, he had no ...



Annette's Climb

Posted 4/4/2011 11:20:00 AM

When the weather gets warmer, the charitable walks, runs and rides begin, benefiting many worthy causes. It feels so good to participate, knowing we can make a difference in the lives of so many. Let me offer this one, it's a climb to Mount Washington's Tuckerman Ravine. It takes place each spring to raise money for HAWC, WIT (women in transition) and other programs for women that have been physically abused.  It's called Annette's Climb, in remembrance of Annette Soares, who lost her life at the age of 39, a victim of domestic violence. The climb, which will be held on April 30th this year, is symbolic of the struggle to break the cycle of domestic violence So if you're a hiker, you're in awe of the beautiful landscape of New Hampshire's White Mountains, or you simply would like to show your support for the programs that help those ...



My Guilty Pleasure

Posted 3/30/2011 10:44:00 AM

I guess we all have guilty pleasures. One of mine is watching the TV series “Housewives Of Orange County”. I'm trying to figure out exactly why I watch it. I'm drawn to it partly because I've visited Orange County on several occasions and it's a beautiful area of southern California. I don't know these women on the show, but I feel as if I do. I certainly don't live their lifestyle, although I think it would be fun for a day or two. But the sun is always shining in Orange County, the clothes look great, the food and drink is amazing and the housewives with their mostly long blonde hair and perfect makeup always look impeccable (this we know in normal life is virtually unachievable, especially if you have a bunch of kids running around your house). There is a lot of mischief and cat fighting on the show, ...



The Special People

Posted 3/25/2011 10:26:00 AM
There are times when we are lifted up by the people in our lives. It can come in the form of help or words of comfort or encouragement. It may arrive via a card, flowers, a phone call or a hug. In whatever way it is relayed, the bottom line is these actions shine a light on such people. They are the ones you know you can count on, the ones you know will help get you through the things that life throws your way. I say this because I recently lost my mother. It has been a difficult time, but the support I have received from certain individuals has made all the difference in coping with the loss. Friends, family, co-workers, former classmates, medical professionals and Magic listeners, they have all touched me in some way. For that I say, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You ...


Got Sunscreen?

Posted 3/3/2011 12:13:00 PM
We all love the sun, but too much of it can have consequences. I remember a few years back when Shonda Schilling, wife of baseball great Curt Schilling, was one of our Exceptional Women. At our awards luncheon, Shonda told her story of being diagnosed with stage two malignant melanoma and having to undergo invasive surgeries to remove skin cancer from her back, arms, legs and chest. She urged the audience to keep an eye on our skin and see a dermatologist. That was a number of years ago. Just last year, someone close to me discovered melanoma on her arm, and had it removed. Luckily, the melanoma was caught early. I say all this now, because I finally decided to take a trip to the dermatologist and have a full checkup. I grew up spending summers on the beach at the cape, and suffering through many a sunburn. These ...


And The Oscar Goes To..

Posted 2/25/2011 11:24:00 AM

I'll be watching the Academy Awards Sunday night, how about you? Not that I've seen most of the movies, because I think I’ve only seen one nominated film so far this year. I always end up seeing them after the fact. But that's not really the reason I watch the show. It's mostly because I like to see the actors and the various celebrities that show up. Not so much for the usual reason, to see what they're wearing. I like to watch to see how they behave. Granted the event isn't as loose as the Golden Globes(they serve champagne at that one), but it's still fun to watch. Yes, I've had fantasies of walking the red carpet in my designer gown, smiling at the flashing camera, all “glammed” up and ready for my close up. That, I'm afraid, will remain a fantasy. So Sunday night, I'll make a fun ...



Presidents, Vacations and Sales, Oh My

Posted 2/18/2011 1:06:00 PM

Here comes President's Day! What does that mean to you? Cherry Pie? Car shopping? Skiing? Light traffic? School Vacation? All of the above? President's Day was once called Washington's Birthday, in honor of George Washington, our first president. It was the first federal holiday that honored a US citizen. Washington's birthday is actually February 22nd. Incidentally, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is February 12th. So instead of celebrating two presidents' birthdays on two different days, it was decided to have one federal holiday that would honor the office of the presidency itself. These days we think more about the sale at the mall rather than the reason for the day. And sadly, not everyone gets the day off. But whatever you're doing this Monday holiday, perhaps take a moment to reflect on our nation's history, then check out that sale!



Music's Big Night

Posted 2/14/2011 12:03:00 PM

Did you watch the Grammy Awards on TV? It's the big event of the music industry. Sure there are a lot of music award shows these days, but as performer John Legend has indicated, there is nothing like receiving a Grammy. He says, it's the one award that becomes attached to an artist's name. You know, .”the Grammy winning (insert name here)”. Certainly John knows, he has won a number of them. The show itself is always a spectacle and each year you can expect a number of winners that come out of left field. The big winner last night, though, was a deserving Lady Antebellum, who won record and song of the year for “Need You Now”. Lady Gaga won a couple of Grammys , so did Michael Buble, Paul McCartney and Bruno Mars. The memorable performances for me came from Muse, Lady Gaga debuting her new song, “Born ...



Staying Positive

Posted 2/8/2011 11:59:00 AM

There is something to be said for the power of positive thinking. We all have times when we feel blue, perhaps discouraged or disappointed, invisible or misunderstood, either at work or at home. We've all had to deal with the brutal weather recently. Driving, shoveling, taking time off to take care of the kids on a snow day, it seems to go on and on. And you think, how can I get out of this funk? Well, if you can't hop on a plane to somewhere warm or head to the spa, there are some things you can do right here to make yourself feel a little bit better. You just have to allow yourself to indulge. Sometimes it's just sitting quietly with a cup of tea, or watching a favorite movie, or enjoying a piece of chocolate. Maybe it's reaching out to a good friend or a family member ...



The Best Neighbors

Posted 2/4/2011 10:59:00 AM
There's nothing like having great neighbors. I know it isn't always that way, I've heard all kinds of stories about neighbors that have difficulty with each other. On one side of our house, Roger and I have a set of neighbors, the other side of the house is woods, followed by an old graveyard. OK, maybe I'll count that as the quiet neighbors. But today I'm here to talk about the neighbors(the living ones) in the house that's next to us. We've known them for 19 years and have always had a wonderful relationship with them, getting together every once in a while for a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres or perhaps a dinner. We've helped each other out when one of us needed an extra hand in the yard. But yesterday afternoon, I realized just how special they are. I walked out of the house to do a bit of ...


Depressed? Not Me!

Posted 1/25/2011 11:30:00 AM
January 24th is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. Also called Blue Monday, it is the day that we should be feeling the most miserable, thanks to gloomy weather, financial debt leftover from the holidays, failed new year resolutions and just plain loneliness (and locally, I'll add the fact that the Patriots aren't playing in the Superbowl, now that's depressing!). This is all according to a British psychologist allegedly hired by a company called Sky Travel, to measure when people would be most likely to travel. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me. Could there be some truth to it? The weather in Boston has been pretty awful. Although if you ski, all this snow is possibly making you happy. The credit card bills are out and that's a not a pretty site, unless of course you didn't charge a thing in December which, in ...


Ch-ch-ch-changes

Posted 1/19/2011 12:26:00 PM
There are some big shifts happening in the entertainment industry. I'm not sure I like all of the changes, it makes me feel a bit out of sorts. There's comfort in the familiar. It all started with Larry King, when he decided to leave. That was the start of it all. And wouldn't you know he left just as my mom relented and got cable. She always liked Larry King when she was able to see him at our house or at the cottage on the cape. She refused to get cable all of these years in her own home, and then when she finally had it installed, goodbye Larry. I don't think Piers Morgan has quite the same appeal. Now, Simon Cowell is gone from Idol and that show will not be the same no matter what you say. Could it be better without him? Who knows? But I'm not ...


The Winter Break Ends

Posted 1/13/2011 10:51:00 AM

An entire winter break has come and gone, almost. This Sunday Jarrod goes back to college to begin his second semester after being home since December 18th. Once again, I'm going to miss him. It's been wonderful to have him home. In fact, my friend Debby, the mother of Jarrod's best friend, described the feeling of having her son home as luxurious. The more I thought about it, she was right. It was luxurious. When Jarrod first returned last month, I could sense that he needed to go through a re-entry process. After all, he had been out on his own for several months. But as we celebrated the holidays and as he reconnected with his high school friends, it was like he had never left. It felt so normal, the way it used to be before he became a college student. But now it's time to let him ...



Reality? Really!

Posted 1/4/2011 1:01:00 PM
Welcome to 2011, the holidays are over and it's back to reality. Which reminds me, reality TV shows are back in full force, like those housewives from (insert city here). Although I'll admit, my one vice is watching “The Housewives of Orange County”. This week, Paula Abdul's new vehicle, “Live to Dance” starts up. But honestly, don't you think we're overdoing it? I mean, every time a reality show comes around, there are numerous copycats or similar type shows that emerge and we end up going into overload. How many cooking, modeling. dancing and singing competitions do we need? We had “Jersey Shore” and then we had to have “Jerseylicious”! There were two cake decorating shows, that's right, one filmed in New Jersey. We followed Hugh Hefner's girlfriends around and then when they all left him, we had to follow Kendra around on her show while Hef brought in a ...


Looking Ahead

Posted 12/23/2010 1:54:00 PM
Just a quick note to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I can't believe we're at this point already. While I always hate to see the holiday season come to an end, I always feel as if the new year brings a promise of renewal, a chance to wipe the slate clean. For some it's a chance to start eating healthier, exercising, catching up on sleep. It's also an opportunity to start a new routine, take a class, read a book, start a project, visit friends or family you haven't seen in a while. For me, I often reflect on the things I'd like to change about myself, in order to become a better person. So there is plenty to do and think about over the next few months. Before you know it, it will be spring and the warm weather will be back. In the ...


Drive Safely!

Posted 12/17/2010 12:39:00 PM
We're getting down to the wire, the last week before Christmas. That means a lot of people are on the road, with their minds on a lot of other things besides driving. Have you noticed? It's scary out there, the speeding, the weaving in and out, the last minute lane changes. I've been cut off more times than I can count. And the impatience runs rampant. I guess some folks are anxious to get to that 50 percent off sale! I think it finally got to me last night while I was at a light in a very busy intersection, waiting to take a left. The pickup truck behind me wanted to go straight, so he kept honking his horn at me, clearly annoyed that I was in his way as I waited for a safe moment to turn. Keep in mind that traffic coming in the opposite direction wasn't ...


Those Classic Christmas Films

Posted 12/13/2010 1:36:00 PM
Do you have a stash of Christmas movies and shows that you like to watch during the holidays? We've started watching our collection. Some years we don't get to all of them, there's just not enough time! But I think we have all of the classics, from the many “Christmas Carols” to the “Grinch”(the TV version, not the movie). I love to turn the tree lights on, settle into the couch and put on one of our holiday selections. Do you have a favorite? One of my favorites is “A Christmas Carol” with George C Scott. In my opinion, his portrayal of Ebeneezer Scrooge is one of the best. We also love “A Christmas Story” with Ralphie(“You'll shoot your eye out kid!”). Then there's “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase. It's become a tradition to watch this one when we're decorating the tree. But there will always be a special place in my ...


Sentimental Lady

Posted 12/10/2010 11:03:00 AM

Do you become sentimental this time of year? I know I do. I felt it last night while visiting my mother in Raynham. This is the same house I grew up in, and it looks pretty much the same after all these years. The warm pine in the living room, the large bay window that overlooks the street, and the lighting remind me of my childhood. So there we were, talking in the living room, when all of a sudden, I had an overwhelming sense of melancholy. It wasn't so much a sadness, but a wish to transport myself back to a time long gone, for just a moment. Sitting there yesterday, I remembered the comfort and the love surrounding me in that home. And of course Christmas was always a magical time. I could just imagine the tree, the decorations and the lights. I could almost smell the baking ...



Sweating The Holiday Shopping

Posted 12/7/2010 10:52:00 AM

I've decided that it just wouldn't be Christmas without a little blood sweat and tears. Well, maybe just the sweat and tears part. But it never fails. I come up with the perfect gift idea, only to find that it's not in stock anymore or not the right color or not the right size. You know what I'm talking about, perhaps it's that sweater that you found just two days before, the one you should have bought when you first saw it. And now it's gone So now the hunt begins. You go to store after store looking for a replacement, maybe you decide to go online, order something else, and hope the gift will arrive in time. You worry, you stress. You want to just throw up your hands and say, “I give up”. But you don't because you are a holiday shopping warrior! You persevere, drive for miles, ...



The Tree Is Lit!

Posted 12/3/2010 11:44:00 AM
What an amazing evening last night! Thanks to everyone who came out to see the tree lighting on the Common. Mike Addams and I have always enjoyed hosting the festivities and this year was no exception. There was talent galore on that stage, including Patti Austin, Katherine McPhee, the Rockettes(how do they swing those legs in such perfect synchronicity?) and a group of young ladies to watch for in the future, the Varsity Girls(they're talented with loads of personality). And Officer McNulty, who led us in the sing-a -long, what a voice. Magnificent. Oh yes, Santa was there, too! You can't have a celebration like this without him! Of course, the highlight of the evening was the lighting of the huge tree donated each year by our friends from Nova Scotia. The fireworks made the illumination even more exciting. For me, the best part was looking out and seeing all ...


A Happy Customer

Posted 12/1/2010 11:16:00 AM

Sometimes you come across the nicest people where you might not expect to. For me, it was all in the last 24 hours, in 4 separate retail establishments. The first was at Lady Grace in Braintree. I've been there before, but lots of women shop there. However, I was greeted like an old friend, the women who work there were happy to see me, and that felt really nice. Next stop, South Shore Plaza. I went over to BCBGeneration to buy some leggings that had been on sale. When I got there, the leggings were back at full price. The salesperson, sensing my disappointment, decided to let me buy the leggings for the sale price after all. He didn't have to do that. He did, and I walked out one happy customer. From there, I met Roger outside of Nordstrom's, only to see that the the doors were locked. He ...



A Thanksgiving Thanks

Posted 11/24/2010 11:25:00 AM

Thanksgiving is upon us, so it's time to reflect on what I am most thankful for. Doing it reminds me that while many things can and do go wrong throughout the year, sometimes it's the people in our lives that sustain us. So on this holiday, here's what I'm thankful for. I have a wonderful family, a loving husband and son, the best sister anyone could wish for, a nephew who I am truly proud of, a fantastic mother, who at 92, is still here with us and I am so grateful for that. I have a sister -in-law and two nieces who live in the Midwest, and although we don't see them very often, they are always in our hearts. And there are the cousins and second cousins. We have remained close through the years, they are truly special. And friends? Boy do I have friends! Great, so unique, ...



The Countdown Begins

Posted 11/18/2010 12:46:00 PM
There's this thing my husband does when we are anticipating an upcoming event. It'll go something like this. He'll ask, “What were we doing 2 weeks and 3 days ago? That's right, we were on vacation. What is 2 weeks and 3 days from now? That's right, the day we take Jarrod to school”. That's an example. He's great with numbers, he can pluck dates out of thin air just like that. At least somebody in the family has this ability! Well, this time Roger asked me a similar question on November 17th, while we were having dinner. I can't count the weeks and days in my head, and forget about going back years. Give me a calendar, though, and I can go to town! So, he reminded me that 5 weeks and 3 days ago it was Columbus Day, 5 weeks and 3 days ahead would be Christmas ...


A Modest Hero

Posted 11/15/2010 11:54:00 AM
This past Veteran's Day made me think of the vets in my family. My brother, who served during the Vietnam era, and my father, who served during World War II in the Pacific. Dad arrived in Japan soon after the bombs had been dropped. In fact, he had a watch that still emitted radiation decades after he was there! He told me so many amazing stories about his stay in the army, they were part of the father-daughter bedtime “tuck-in” ritual. Japan was where he began a long and successful career in radio. He was the program manager for one of the armed forced radio outlets there. When he left the military he continued on as a radio personality, general manager, sales manager, news director, the list goes on and on! He did it all, and received many awards for his contributions to the industry and to his community. But ...


Thirsty? Try This!

Posted 11/8/2010 12:10:00 PM
What do you call this beverage? Soda? Tonic? Soft drink? Pop? Whatever you call it, it's an extremely sweet carbonated drink with very little nutritional value, if any. So if you like the sparkle but you don't like the empty calories, here's a suggestion. I've been concocting a beverage that satisfies my craving for soda-pop, but is a bit healthier. Here's what I do. I mix various juices with a flavored sparking water and, voila! I have an instant, delicious soft drink. A couple of hints, make sure you use 100% juice, and make sure the sparkling water is flavored but not sweetened. One of my favorites is mixing orange juice with cran-raspberry juice, then adding a splash of Polar vanilla-flavored sparking water. It's just sweet enough and tastes even better than soda. Go ahead, try it, come up with your own flavor variations. It's fun and a healthier way ...


Sweet!

Posted 11/5/2010 12:21:00 PM
How's the candy situation in your house? Do you still have bags leftover from Halloween? Are you raiding your kids' stash? We are now in what I call the sweets season, which starts at Halloween and ends at Easter. From now until then, it's non stop sugar. Just think, trick or treating brings in the first supply, then Thanksgiving with those cute little turkey shaped chocolates. By the way, the autumn Kisses you bought in October still count in November. But then comes the official holiday season, and there is no escaping the candy at this point. The Kisses turn red, green and silver. So you think you're done on New Year's Day, but take a walk down the supermarket's “seasonal aisle”. If you don't see the Valentine's Day goodies by January 2nd, then your supermarket has missed the boat! That's right, red and pink Kisses. Wait, there's more. Creeping ...


The Little Things

Posted 11/1/2010 11:55:00 AM

You hear this so often, that it's the little things in life that can be the most enjoyable. It rang true for me yesterday, as Roger and I sat in a booth at a place called Bart's in Amherst. It's an ice cream shop, coffee shop, sandwich shop and bakery all rolled into one. And they play great jazz music too! Earlier in the day we had walked around Northampton for a few hours, browsing through the shops and enjoying a nice autumn afternoon. As time went on, though, it started to get cold. I thought, we should go somewhere and warm up with a hot beverage. So we headed over to Amherst and made our way to Bart's. I ordered a hot chocolate topped with fresh, homemade whipped cream. From the very first sip, I decided that this was the most delicious hot chocolate I had tasted in a ...



Thank You For Being a Friend

Posted 10/28/2010 11:44:00 AM
I had a great time last night. I spent the evening with an amazing group of women. They are the moms of some of Jarrod's high school friends and classmates. We've known each other for quite a long time. We've volunteered together, we've watched many a concert and play, and we've done our share of chauffeuring. Now our kids are off at college. So we met to put together care packages for our sons and daughters. While that was the primary reason for getting together, truth is we needed to connect with each other again. It's been a strange couple of months for all of us, and I know that we have missed the activities that brought us together through the years: the musicals, the open houses, the fundraisers, the play dates. Then again, it's possible that we needed to see each other in order to come to terms with the fact that our ...


What Would You Do?

Posted 10/25/2010 11:14:00 AM
I have a question for you. When you are having dinner at a restaurant, how long do you stay at your table after you have finished dinner? I ask this because recently, Roger and I were having dinner at a restaurant at Patriot Place. When we were finished and had payed the bill, we noticed that there were a lot of people still waiting to be seated. So, our thought was to get up and bring our unfinished drinks to the bar area so that others could be seated. We felt good about this because we all know that there is nothing worse than waiting for a table and seeing customers sitting at a table well after they have paid the bill. I just think it's common courtesy to get up when you're finished, especially on a very busy evening. Which brings me to this past Saturday night, this time ...


If At First You Don't Succeed..

Posted 10/22/2010 11:12:00 AM

We have trouble my friends, with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for, yes, POOL. Not the kind that you sit by in the summer with a cold beverage in hand. I'm talking about the kind where you stand by a pool table with cue in hand. I'm talking about the game I attempted to play at Jillian's last night, and despite a very encouraging group of friends, I wasn't very good. OK, I got a few balls in the pocket, still, compared to everyone else, I had a lot to learn. But here's the thing, if you don't challenge yourself, you miss out on a lot. When I was younger, I had the opportunity to play touch football. Initially, I would say, “no thanks” and watch on the sidelines while everyone else played. I just never had a lot of confidence when it came ...



Tis the Season To Be Scary

Posted 10/18/2010 11:15:00 AM

Do you decorate the house for Halloween? This is the time that I like to get the fall decorations out. A few years ago I would go all out with a display in the front hall that included hay, gravestones, spider webs and other festive ghouls and goblins. I started doing this at Jarrod's request a number of years ago when he insisted that we have a Halloween themed entry. So we took a trip to I Party and picked up all kinds of fun stuff to make a scary graveyard, and when we were all done, it looked great! Some families really do it up with lighting, sound effects and fog machines. Some rival Hollywood special effects! Is that you? When you think about it, it's a bit morbid, but it couldn't be more fun. We won't have our “set designer” this year to help, he'll be off at ...



Weathering the Weather

Posted 10/15/2010 11:22:00 AM

What's up with the Nor'easter hype? I know that once in a while we get that “perfect storm” and that's cause for some attention. But last night while watching the TV news, I thought the end of the world was surely coming. Winds gusting to 40 mph and 1 to 2 inches of rain possible. Hey guys, this has happened before many times. In fact, there have been some winter storms that have brought gusts of up to 60 miles an hour! After all, this is New England, we're a hearty bunch, or so I thought. Granted, those who live on the ocean have a legitimate concern with beach erosion, and that is something to be taken seriously. But this morning when I saw a TV reporter doing a live shot form the Mass Turnpike about how slow the traffic was and how we should really take it easy on ...



Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Posted 10/12/2010 12:15:00 PM

Hope you had a nice Columbus day weekend, we certainly had decent weather. I'm pretty sure we did all of those autumn things I mentioned in a previous blog, and then some! Of course the highlight was having Jarrod home for a couple of days. He arrived Friday night, with laundry of course, on the David O'Leary express(yes, THAT David O'Leary from Magic106.7, our sons go to the same school!). We had a wonderful time having him home. It felt as if we had been transported back one year, although I doubt that feeling was mutual for Jarrod. His life has changed dramatically; new town, new room, new friends, new classes, new experiences, how can that not change you? So while I know he loved seeing us and being with us, I knew he was looking forward to getting back to this new life he is in the process of ...



He's Coming Home!

Posted 10/7/2010 11:13:00 AM

I can't believe it.. Jarrod is coming home for the first time since we dropped him of at school this past Labor Day. It's the longest he's ever been away from home. I know some would say that's not very long. There are some kids that go away to camp for the entire summer, or they're off at boarding school for months at a time. There are some college students that can't get back home until Thanksgiving. But for us, this has been a long stretch, and quite an adjustment. If you've been watching Cougar Town on TV, Courtney Cox's character, Jules, is struggling with the empty nest experience now that her son has left for college(only 20 minutes away!). I totally relate to what she's going through!

So now I wonder what it's going to be like to have him home for a few days. Is it going to ...



Ready For The Fall

Posted 10/4/2010 11:08:00 AM

Are you ready for Autumn? Do you like the change in the weather, the changing leaves, the crisp apples, the pumpkins and the Halloween displays that are beginning to crop up? I do, once I get over the fact that summer really is over! It takes a week or so to come to grips with that. But once that happens, I'm ready to embrace the fall season and all it has to offer. I love taking a drive up north to look at the foliage, perhaps stopping in Woodstock, Vermont, and then traveling over to Quechee Gorge and picking up some maple syrup to bring home. Sometimes we stop for breakfast at the Publick House in Sturbridge and then check out the Scarecrow contest entries that adorn their grounds every year. Even Home Depot looks so nice with all their pumpkins, gourds and colorful giant mums displayed in the garden ...



Don't Text and Drive, That's a No Brainer

Posted 9/29/2010 11:11:00 AM

So the new law that bans texting and driving goes into effect September 30th. Fine with me. Honestly, who ever thought you could text and drive at the same time? You can't. It's always useful to actually be looking at the road in front of you. And let's face it, this isn't the easiest area to drive around in anyway. Lots of stop and go traffic, a lot of red light runners, cars weaving in and out, why would anyone want to be looking down at the cell , PDA, or smart phone to type? It's scary driving out there! Whether or not the law can be enforced is another matter. But hopefully it will be a reminder to all of us that paying attention to the road is not bad idea! The answer to “what's for dinner tonight?” can wait.



A Heartfelt Thank You

Posted 9/27/2010 10:51:00 AM

A great big thank you to everyone who came out to Canal Park in Cambridge for the Greater Boston Memory Walk this past Sunday. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Perhaps it's because we had a lucky charm this year joining us, channel 5 chief meteorologist Harvey Leonard! Well, maybe it was just sheer luck that it was a sunny, pleasant morning. But it was still great having Harvey join us this year as we took steps to end Alzheimer's Disease. These walks are so important in helping to raise money that benefits the millions of Americans that suffer from Alzheimer's. It also helps families and caregivers plus, it funds the ongoing research into the cause of this disease which one day will lead to a cure. So if you walked at one of the walks throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire or if you made a personal donation, you ...



Sunday On My Mind

Posted 9/24/2010 1:20:00 PM

I am on the move this weekend! Getting ready for the Greater Boston memory Walk this Sunday. I love being there every year. I can truly say that the volunteers and walkers are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. And the same can be said for the folks at the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter. It's from the top down, from James Wessler, president and CEO, to the tireless volunteers at their headquarters. No egos here. Everyone working on the ultimate goal, to take steps to end Alzheimer's disease. I'm proud to be a voice for the Alzheimer's Association. So if you would like to join me and channel 5 meteorologist Harvey Leonard, come on down to Canal Park, right by the CambridgeSide Galleria this Sunday. The walk starts at 10am. I'll be looking for you!



A Very Important Sunday

Posted 9/22/2010 10:16:00 AM

Dear Magic friends,

In December 2000, my father lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The day he passed away was a sad one for our entire family, but I also remember the years preceding it. I witnessed the slow deterioration of a once vibrant, brilliant and witty man. To watch him slip away was devastating. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can take away one’s quality of life. I saw firsthand how it affected Dad and the toll it took on my mother, his primary caregiver.

That’s why I will be taking part in the Greater Boston Memory Walk On Sunday, September 26th at Canal Park in Cambridge, across from CambridgeSide Galleria, and I would love you to join me and walk with my team! Just go to http://memorywalk2010.kintera.org/manh/magicmovers to be a Magic Mover

Or make a donation at http://memorywalk2010.kintera.org/manh/nancyquill to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into prevention, ...



Reach For the Skype!

Posted 9/16/2010 12:26:00 PM

Do you have a camera on your computer,,and have you Skyped yet? Whoa, this is wild. Ok, maybe I'm behind the curve a bit, but last night was the first time Roger and I officially saw and spoke to our son, Jarrod, via Skype since he left for college. I can't begin to tell you how great it was to see him. He looked great, very clean shaven for 9:30 at night(a fresh shave just for us, I'm guessing) and he was very excited to tell us all about his classes, his new friends and his extracurricular activities. Well, I'm sure we didn't hear ALL of the extracurricular stories. But it really felt as if he was right there with us in the dining room. And it felt great to connect with him this way. One thing though, this is not a telephone. Anything you say or do can possibly ...



Let's Take a Walk

Posted 9/15/2010 12:18:00 PM
I bet you know someone who has been affected by Alzheimer's disease. Perhaps it is a family member, a friend or co-worker. I lost my dad to Alzheimer's and that is why I am once again participating in the Greater Boston Memory Walk, September 26th , at Canal Park at the CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge. I'm reaching out to you in the hope that you will walk with me on that day. By joining my team, together we can help raise the funds that are needed to help find a cure for this disease through ongoing research. The money that we raise on Sunday September 26th also helps to provide and enhance care and support for patients and their families. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that gradually robs a person of his or her ability to function. Thank goodness the Alzheimer's Association is here to help. But they ...


The Next Chapter

Posted 9/7/2010 11:21:00 AM

We moved Jarrod in to his dorm room on Sunday. The day had to come eventually, I've been kind of dreading this for a few years, knowing that once he left for college, things would never be the same. Not that it's a bad thing. We are so proud of him and all of his accomplishments. And we look forward to all that lies ahead for him. It's just that his daily presence will be missed..I can't help it..We loved having him around! He's been away from home before, so why should this be any different? Probably because this is the beginning of his journey toward self sufficiency, independence and serious adulthood. He'll rely less and less on mom and dad. Again, all good stuff, but I'll admit it, it's going to be hard not to be needed so much.

So the house is a little quieter and I'm already ...



Memory Walk is Coming!

Posted 8/30/2010 1:00:00 PM

Did you know that more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease? That's a staggering statistic. And I know firsthand the devastating impact this disease can have on a family. I lost my father to Alzheimer's disease almost a decade ago and I've missed him everyday since.

Alzheimer's disease isn't just about forgetting where you you put your keys or blanking out on a name once in a while. It's more than that. This disease has a physiological component that debilitates a person over time. But research is continuously unlocking the mystery behind this disease and finding new ways to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Plus, the great folks at the Alzheimer's association have countless resources that help patients, their caregivers and their families.

However we still need to find a way to end Alzheimer's. That's why I'll be walking in the Greater Boston Memory Walk, September 26th ...



Holding On To Summer

Posted 8/24/2010 11:10:00 AM
Day three of the rain and drizzle, I'm done. We needed the rain and we got it, so let's get back to summertime sunshine. After all, we don't have that many days left. I want to wear my summer whites, sandals and shorts, I want to slather on the sunscreen, I want to grill out some more. While I think I'm allowed to wear shorts and grill out after Labor Day, they tell me the summer whites should be shelved. Say it isn't so! I'm over reacting a bit because I know I only have a little less than two weeks before Jarrod heads off to college. That's really it.  If I could just prolong the summer a little bit more, that would be great, and Jarrod would still be at home. I know things won't be the same once he's at school. Nothing wrong with that, it's all part ...


Back To The Routine...Or Not

Posted 8/16/2010 12:08:00 PM
Here's an observation. Have you noticed that whenever you return from a vacation, you end up being busier than ever? All that r and r goes right out the window as soon as you start the whole routine again. Maybe it's because you have to make up for all that you didn't do while you were away. There's laundry to do, perhaps yard work, too. No food in the house? You have to go grocery shopping. All those e-mail and voice mail messages need a response. The kids resume play dates and lessons. At this point you long for another vacation to recover from the post vacation week. No fun. So here's the solution as far as I'm concerned. Your first week back from vacation, don't make any appointments or play dates (unless of course the kids are going to the house of someone else). The laundry can wait. Go ...

The One Where Nancy Heads to Hollywood

Posted 8/9/2010 12:39:00 PM
I'm back! A little jet-lagged, but it was all worth taking the trip out to sunny California. LA to be exact. Jarrod had never been to the West Coast, so we thought it would be fun to go there before he headed off to college this fall. We did a lot, and maybe packed too much into a week. But looking back, I'm glad we did all of it! Here are a few highlights, just in case you get out there any time soon: Mulholland Drive. Great views of the valley and city below, but beware, it's a winding road with peaks and valleys that can make you dizzy! Universal Studios. It has a different feel than the Orlando theme park, but it's just as fun. Warner Brothers Studio tour. Such rich history in this back lot tour. The Central Perk Coffee House set from Friends is still there. We ...

My Sweet Escape

Posted 7/26/2010 11:03:00 AM
Another amazing weekend – this time it was off to the Cape, the first time this summer! There's nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun, the sand between your toes and breathing in the salty air. It's downright therapeutic. Do you have a place that you like to visit, the kind that brings you peace of mind and relaxation? For me, it's our little family cottage on Cape Cod that sits on a sand dune and overlooks Cape Cod Bay. The cottage was originally a tiny shack that sat in the middle of the woods near my parents' home in Raynham. My dad had it brought to the Cape on a flat bed truck around 1960, and placed on top of the dune. From that moment on, and with the help of neighbors and friends, he would add to it; a deck here, a room there, a larger living ...

Weekends can be like mini vacations

Posted 7/19/2010 12:22:00 PM
What a weekend! It may have been hot, but it was great. Jarrod went on a camping trip to the White Mountains with his friends, so Roger and I decided to make our weekend like a mini vacation. It proves you don't need to travel to a far off destination in order to have some fun. So what did we do? Well, Friday evening we met up with some good friends and took in Toy Story 3. Now before you even raise your eyebrows at that, the reason we went is because we all have sons and daughters going off to college this fall. The premise of this latest Toy Story is that Andy, the owner of the toys, is getting ready to leave for college. The movie is just as enjoyable as the previous installments and the familiar voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the gang make the ...

That's no bee, it's a yellowjacket!

Posted 7/12/2010 11:29:00 AM
So it wasn't a bee that stung me last weekend, it was a yellow-jacket. And now the battle is on! We have a hive under our deck, and the little pests are taking over. Unfortunately, it's in a place that's hard to treat. Evidently, if you want to get rid of these darling creatures, you need to do it at dusk or at dawn while they are sleeping in the hive. You need to destroy the yellow-jackets AND pull down the hive if you want any peace. As you can imagine, who wants to go under a deck with very little light and start spraying? Not that my husband hasn't tried. In fact, Roger got up at the break of dawn this morning, covered himself from head to toe with clothing to protect himself, complete with a nylon stocking over his face. Yes, he looked ultra scary, and yes, I ...

A bee in my bonnet

Posted 7/6/2010 12:49:00 PM
A few things I learned over the long holiday weekend. The nationally televised 4th of July concert at the Hatch Shell doesn't translate as well when you're standing on the Esplanade waiting for the fireworks to begin. And bee stings hurt a lot!
I hope you enjoyed the wonderful 3 day weekend. The weather couldn't have been more spectacular for outdoor events. We decided to head into Boston to see the fireworks on the Charles and they were magnificent as usual. However one thing bothered me and perhaps it's been like this for a while. I just happened to notice it this time. I seem to remember that in years past, Once the Boston Pops played the 1812 Overture, they would go right into Stars and Stripes Forever, which would promptly be followed by the fireworks display. This year after the 1812 Overture, there was a long gap until the ...

4th of July weekend, time for some fun!

Posted 7/1/2010 1:26:00 PM
Fourth of July weekend..YES!! And the weather is good this year. That means barbecues and fireworks displays will go on without a hitch. And the beach will be amazing, just don't forget the sunscreen! I'm so looking forward to the three day weekend. There's nothing like that feeling you get on the Sunday night of a long weekend and knowing you have another day off to have some fun. So what's on your agenda? Lots to do in town. Boston is hosting Harborfest with all kinds of activities including, of course, the Boston Pops on the esplanade. The 1812 Overture still gives me goosebumps! I've always loved the excitement that the 4th of July brings. I remember when I was little, my family would attend the band concert and fireworks celebration on the banks of a beautiful pond in the center of Sandwich on the Cape. The community band would play ...

Those Summer Nights

Posted 6/28/2010 10:56:00 AM
Didn't we have a great summer weekend? I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy it. Roger and I always look forward to the summer nights that are warm and still. In fact we had dinner at Patriot Place on Saturday night. We were reminiscing about the times that we have been there when it's cold, spitting snow or rain and the wind is whipping. And you're trying to run from the parking lot to the theater, store or restaurant. No fun! They could probably use a parking garage or two there for wusses like me. But this past Saturday, there was no need for a parking garage. The night couldn't have been nicer. I loved being out in the fresh air and feeling the warm breeze. Yes, very romantic! As the song says, “Summer sun, something's begun, but uh – oh those summer nights”. Thank you Olivia and John. ...

What is he singing about?

Posted 6/22/2010 11:14:00 AM
Hi everyone! Hope this past father's day weekend was a good one for you. We managed to have a barbecue in between storms, so it was all good. No hail on the steak tips! I wanted to pass along part of an e-mail I received after last week's blog where I invited you to tell me what your favorite song was, the one you never tire of when you hear it. I received an e-mail from Ronald Clark, who says “hands down”, the most enduring song for him is What a Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers. Here's what Ronald had to say: “You hear the piano intro, your mood changes and you clear your throat to sing along. This in spite of the fact that Michael McDonald's vocal style is so... er... 'distinct' you don't know what the hell he's singing. So you make up your own lyrics and sing ...

A favorite song update

Posted 6/16/2010 11:49:00 AM
A little while ago, I blogged about songs that have en enduring quality. You know, those songs that no matter how many times you hear them, they still sound just as good as they did the first time you heard them. For me it's James Taylor's Fire and Rain. Well, not long after I wrote about that, I got an e-mail from Magic106.7 listener Michelle Cunningham. She told me that the song that she still loves after all these years is Belinda Carlisle's Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Here's what Michelle had to say about her choice: “When I hear it the song puts me in a good mood and cheers me up when I am in a bad mood”. You can't beat a song like that. And it shows how music has the power to move us in so many ways. Music can create a mood, bring back ...

The Very Long And Winding Road

Posted 6/10/2010 1:02:00 PM
How's your commute these days? Is it me or has traffic become worse? Sometimes there's just no rhyme or reason for the long delays. It can be a beautiful day and still traffic crawls along. Of course, just one accident can tie up the morning and afternoon drives for hours. Even solar slowdowns can keep traffic from moving. Not to mention rainy days and snowstorms. We all know what those can do! And while we're at it, what's up with the HOV lane on the expressway? I remember years ago when it first opened, the front page of the paper read, “Relief Is On The Way!” Well, that never happened. The Southeast Expressway is worse than ever. Probably because the HOV lane has to eventually merge with the other lanes further up the road creating a bottleneck! But you can't blame the people that design the roadways too much. Most ...

Graduation and then...

Posted 6/7/2010 11:05:00 AM
I'm exhausted, I admit it. Who thought my son's senior year in high school would be so exhausting..for me! All the college prep, applications, essays, making sure grades are kept up, etc.. But I see light at the end of the tunnel, finally. Jarrod graduated from high school yesterday, a very proud moment for us, I must say. That little boy who started his academic journey in preschool successfully made it to this moment. But let's face it, as parents, we have also gone through the years and years of schooling. How many projects have you worked on with your son and daughter? How many rehearsals, musical and theatrical productions have you watched? Or sporting events? How many lunches have you made? How many nights did you quiz your child before a big test? How many items that your child forgot to bring to school have you had to deliver ...

Going To The Chapel

Posted 6/2/2010 12:00:00 PM
It's June, one of my favorite months because the weather is usually pretty spectacular. No wonder most weddings occur this time of year. Do you know anyone planning on getting married this month? I'm sure by now everything is ironed out from the catering to the guest list to the music. Speaking of music, that's probably one of the more difficult parts about planning a wedding. And I'm thinking particularly about the music for the special dances. I get calls all the time asking what a good song would be for mother and son or father and daughter to dance to. You can always go for “Daddy's Little Girl” or “Sunrise Sunset”, but what if you had a song created especially for the wedding day? There's a company called T Carter Music and they specialize in writing original wedding music for the wedding couple's first dance and for the special ...

Burgers and a bit of history

Posted 5/28/2010 6:00:00 PM
I was thinking about what I would write about in this little blog. I decided it was the perfect time to wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and also to reflect on the day we are observing. Whether you're traveling to the beach, visiting friends, attending a wedding (there are a number of those going on this weekend), or if you're staying home, barbecuing, hosting a graduation party (that's on our agenda), this is a long weekend to enjoy! How often do you get one that serves up great weather? It's a nice way to “unofficially” begin the summer season! Of course Memorial Day is also a time to remember those we have lost. Did you know it was originally called Decoration Day? It was established to honor the soldiers of the Civil War. We have been honoring our fallen soldiers in some form or another since 1868. Eventually the name ...