Wreck it Raj

Sitting in the theater last night as I watched the credits roll, something gnawed at me. I liked the ending of Wreck-it Ralph, but I hated the last line. It’s the writer in me. I thought the actual final words were weak.The decision to spend the evening at the movies came after a week of persistent bugging from the kiddos. Didn’t hurt that Hannah had a Fandango gift card to offset the cost.
So when Hubs texted that he was almost home, I pressed send and the handy-dandy iPhone5 received the digital code for a paperless ticket to the land of make-belief.I love the concept of Wreck it Ralph. The idea that the characters inside video games are real and have feelings and actually live secret lives of drama and consequence once the lights go out in the arcade. I love how the movie spanned generations of games and technology and cameo’d my favorite hopping blast from the past… Q-Bert!!

From Andrew to Sandy… A Survivor’s Story


If you missed Part One of this story, take a moment to catch up and come back to read the eye-witness account of a hurricane survivor. Someone whom I love dearly…My hubs. Sun’s family weathered through 92’s Hurricane Andrew in Miami, and he’s here with us today to share what life was like, post storm days. 

Raj: Hi Bubs! Thanks for guest-blogging today in my Hurricane series. Let’s start with a visual question. What did you see immediately after the hurricane passed and you were able to get out of the garage? Was anything still in tact?  

Sun: Let me back up a bit. Continue reading

The Drop Off


Here’s hoping the lights won’t go out on our Tree House!!

Woke up yesterday with two yikes on my mind.

My parents are coming!

And…the yard is a leaf-covered mess!

Okay three…

I need to drop off the tree house Permit application.  

The third actually gives me more heart burn than the first two. Since hubs left for work already, I decide to vent to my brother-in-law who came in last night. Nothing like a heart to heart over a cup of early morning chai.

“Why is it so hard to be responsible?” This is how I start the conversation.

Arul nods his head and a smile spreads across his face. “I totally understand. There are things I just put off doing, but they’ll be right there nagging my mind. If you had any idea how many things go on in my mind at once…” Yeah, we have a bit in common.

“So what should I do? Should I just get a work out and rake the yard?”

Arul uses his arms and puts on his best big brother tone. “You just need to stop what you’re doing and F.Y.F.!”

“F.Y.F.? Explanation, please.” I’ve heard of F.Y.I.

“Face your fears.”   Continue reading

Foxy Friday Date-Night

Last Friday night, hubs and I dropped off one daughter at basketball practice and headed off to date night. We debated whether to see a movie or not. Threw around the idea of shooting pool at Dave and Busters. Even considered driving into Manhattan just to walk around Time Square. In the end, exhaustion helped us to make our decision. We decided to stay local, check out an eatery we have been eyeing for years and walk along the water. 

As we drove a few miles from our house to Oyster Bay, the bowl of soup I downed an hour ago seemed to have disappeared. “I’m starving!” Continue reading

Pink Boxing Gloves … 3 Years Later.

*[Last year, I wrote a little story about my Sister and her fight with breast cancer. Today’s her birthday, and we have a lot to celebrate! But first, a little flash back to give you a glimpse of how special this woman is to me!]

*Three Years Ago

The news of my little sister’s breast cancer shadows our household and I am still shaken. My faith lies speckled with doubt.  I can’t help but ask “Why?” and ask more than once.  

God never promised that the rain would only fall on certain days. On certain folks. Or only so hard. When it rains, we all get wet. Couldn’t see the end of the rainfall in those early days.

One of the most painful moments happens while driving down to see my sister for my cousin’s wedding. This will be the first time I see Sandi after her diagnosis, and only a couple of days after her first round of chemo. I’m so anxious, I lose sleep that whole last week. 

One of the hardest parts about writing something down is that in order to remember the details, you have to go back there. I’m not gonna lie. It’s not easy to go back there. I’ll be right back.

*** Continue reading

Moved… By Moments that Press the Pause in Me


The day my grandma passed away, almost six months ago, I read a Facebook status that said something like, “My boy is gone to heaven. And I only held him for a few minutes.” 

Friends of ours gave birth to their first-born son. Who took his last breath before they ever had a chance to enjoy him. 

My grandmother was in her 80’s. This child was one day old.


little Bumps Teach BIG Lessons

Shortly after I attained the golden apple of teenage years, my driver’s license, I got into my first accident. This was before cell phones, texting, and GPS. My best friend and I were arguing over which radio station to listen to. In those few  distracting seconds, I looked down to dial the music back to my favorite station and then BOOM! I rear-ended someone. And the windshield actually spider-webbed although it didn’t shatter.

The worst part was explaining to the Police Officer why I didn’t slow down when the car in front of me was clearly stopped. Actually worse still was facing my dad. He was relatively cool since there was an audience, but the moment everyone left, I listened to the mother of all lectures. And I still remember him throwing in, “And your mom says you’re so distant these days. She feels like you’re not talking to her much. And that hurts…both of us.”

And then the kicker: “Get in the driver’s seat. You’re driving home.” Continue reading

A Week of Storms… Tears for Colorado


Shout of to ALL who HELPED Build our Tree Castle Blog

It’s raining in New York.

All week, my life has played out like a perfect storm. Full of lightening, thunder, sunshine breaking through the clouds and even a rainbow. Unfortunately, when the rain stops, the thunder subsides, and the clouds roll back, the damage is still there. And clean up is hard. Sometimes impossible. 

Without going into great detail, this week I’ve dealt with family health care obstacles, paper work nightmares, countless hours on the phone with banks, my Blog Address expiring unexpectedly and a traffic ticket via those darn traffic light cameras. All when I went grocery shopping after the storm that wrecked Morgan Park in Glen Cove, the friendly Shop and Stop cashier rings up my bill. 

“That’ll be $66.66.”

Gulp. Just glad there are four sixes and not three.

The guy behind me in line said something like, “And I thought I was having a rough day.” Continue reading

Life Lessons From Under the Hood

Fight for the things in life worth holding on to…

Left my bat cave [the basement where I write] Saturday evening when hubby asked for a little help on the car. He’s been outside fixing, replacing, and tuning up the car since the sun rose for Monday’s inspection, the sticker that is technically 11 days overdue. We’re crossing our fingers and hoping we can get through another inspection without any big surprises.

Remember last year? “Sure Mrs. Paulus, your car will pass, after we replace all four wheels, the axle, the brakes, the engine, and that tiny little fuse that can only be reached after taking the entire car apart.”

“How many hours are we talking? What kind of loan should I take out? Will a kidney suffice?”

“The entire job, if we do it right, requires at least 52 hours of labor and yes, we do accept high functioning organs. But to be on the safe side, I’d plan for two.”

“Two thousand?”

“Two kidneys.” Mechanic with grease smeared across his forehead does not flinch. Laugh. Or wink. “Just in case.”

“For that,” I have a bright idea. “Don’t do it right. Just fix it enough to pass. I’m not looking to drive to Alaska. I just need to buy a little time, say a year, before I buy a new car. Work with me here. I’m not a doctor, but I think the last guy on ER that gave up both kidneys…Yeah, I don’t think that’ll work.”

“Well then, we can’t pass your car.”

Wahhhhh! Continue reading

My Easter Playlist

And you thought Christmas Carols were important? Personally, as much as I love a holiday jingle as much as the next person, songs that tell the story of Easter [the original one without the bunny—ftr], are the tunes that move me into this week and remind me daily why I live.

Let me back up a moment.

I’ve always loved music. From the time when I first laid on my stomach on my front porch, facing my radio almost daily after school in fifth grade and adjusted the antennae for maximum static reduction. Music has been almost as important as oxygen to me, and my iPod more dear to me than chocolate. Well, a close tie. Okay, we can have that debate another day.

I have a song associated with all my memories, especially the highlights, milestones, and low points in my life. Toni Braxton came in handy when some boy broke my heart and when you’re a teen, it feels like you can’t breathe when that happens. Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” embraced me when I started dreaming about my part in changing the world and making a difference. And the late Whitney Houston helped me through many a day when I asked, “How Will I know if he really loves me,” because I was one of those girls who was always falling in love, but never quite moving past the crush across the room phase.

So it only made sense that when I began to seriously pursue a faith that answered life’s deepest questions, certain songs helped me to understand the picture of a love that wouldn’t let me go. A God that loved me just the way I am. And Grace that offered to enter the darkest parts of me and tell me, it’s okay. I’m okay. We could get through this life. Together.

So instead of telling you why I love Easter or the story of my faith…I thought I’d take you on a short audible journey through the music that has gone past my ears and trickled into my heart. To tell me that I am Forgiven. Accepted. And Loved.

Enjoy! Continue reading