Tag Archives: random

Who Cares About Death?

21 Dec


Even for a fairly verbal person like myself, its hard for me to write down what I want to say today. Life, death, the cycle of life itself, it’s overwhelming and mystifying if you really stop to think about it, I mean, who knows for sure what happens after we die? Does our soul, our energy remain? If so does it eventually dissipate into the universe blending with all the other energy particles, gasses and matter? Is there some magical place called heaven we reside in and live the good life with out pain and suffering and no more lessons to learn? Is there nothing? I don’t know the answer to that, and quite frankly regardless of what any religion tell us, neither do you. Not for certain anyway. Belief and facts are not the same. The truth is, it’s not even important what lies after, because regardless of what happens after our hearts take its final beat, we can’t change it or stop it, or fight it. Death is certain to everyone, and what happens from there no one knows for sure. Religions obsess over it, people live their entire lives in fear of it, people fight and debate over it, but really what’s the point of all that when the outcome will be the same either way and nothing is going to change that? What matters is LIFE and how we spend our time here….the people we love, the kindness we grant others, the lessons we learn, and the wisdom we pass down. That we can change. That matters. That’s the whole point. My mother left this life 4 years ago today. I held her hand and watched the last bit of life flee her once bright eyes as she quietly made her exit. Where she is doesn’t matter. Death is not more important than life. Her time spent with the living mattered, and all that she taught me and gave me and showed me. I hope she is watching over me, and I want to believe I still feel her energy present now and again but truth is, that may be wishful thinking. Ive tried not to dwell or miss her in the last four years because to focus on the void her soul left rather than the life she lived, is in my opinion a sad sin. Her leaving made me realize the life I was living was being wasted on things not worthy and pursuits unimportant. Every second counts. Everything that we do counts. What we share counts. What we learn counts. The love we generate counts. That much is certain. Those things are real, and will carry forth long after we die. The afterlife is uncertain but the impact we have in this life is clear. So in memory of my mother carol, I’d like to encourage anyone still reading this, to go on and live that life of yours. Live with out fear, share what you know, open your heart to a little kindness and learn what you can and teach it to the next soul. That, I am certain, is real and has meaning.

RIP Carol, wherever you are. Thank you for all you’ve given me to give to my daughters and son as well.

Thank you for reading and please share with anyone who needs to remember to be Alive and present.

copyrite livelaughoveliquor 2015

photo is of my daughter Delilah, photo credit Sheila castellano if Red Barn Photography in hills borough NJ



What is the Meaning of Life?

29 Mar


I’m not sure if it was my mother’s death that prompted it, or perhaps being on the wrong side of 45, but I make no secret about that fact that I am experiencing a severe mid-life crisis.  It’s not just the fact that I am wearing powder blue eye shadow like its 1975, or that I bought a snappy little convertible Audi (red, of course) or that I have re-discovered the push up bra.  While those things are obvious (and pathetically cliché) in all seriousness,I have also found myself searching to live a more  thoughtful life.  As the mother of young children who is often tossed back and forth in a sea of banal household routines (lunches, laundry, drop off, pick up), sheer utter chaos (9pm Sunday night someone announces they need 17 egg-shaped, nut free, homemade sandwich cookies to contribute to snack tomorrow) and extreme forms of torture (ever step on a lego during a midnight bath room trip??), it is easy to reel in the years on auto pilot, doing but not seeing, acting but not feeling, living but not aware.  I’ve been making a true effort to absorb more of every thing around me, live vividly (thus the blue eyeshadow, perhaps?????) and really be thoughtful of what is happening instead of just being in robot survival mode.  Not easy, but I’m trying.

This week for spring break, my friend Sheila Castellano and I took a last-minute road trip to New Hampshire for a mini vacation. Five kids in tow, we decided to hit an indoor water park. The kids were thrilled, and we were stoked to see they served booze so we could enjoy an adult cocktail while the darlings splashed about. The day was exhausting.  4 flights of stairs up and down for the water slides, (helloooo, I’m 47 years old!) running here, running there,  swimming, jumping, following the little darlings everywhere with scarcely a time to enjoy a cocktail or the grotto like hot tub provided for adults. I’m not going to talk about how one kid almost broke a nose, or how one dropped a deuce in her swimsuit, or the other that had to be rescued by a life guard, but  I do want to share  a moment of clarity I  had, in an unlikely place.

The girls favorite part of the water park was the wave pool. Graded like a beach, every 10 minutes or so a horn would blast warning its occupants that the pool would simulate the breakers of the ocean. Pulling you in, spitting you out, back and forth, being tossed around, the girls would squeal with delight the minute the horn sounded, and run for the “shoreline”. I had just sat down after 8 or 9 consecutive trips up the stairs with an inner tube on my balanced on my head, my thighs were throbbing like jello.  I was about to order a glass of wine, when they scampered up to me, each grabbing a hand, begging me and dragging me towards the man-made shore.  I begrudgingly hauled myself up on my still shaky hamstrings, and hobbled in. The waves started and they each held on to my hand, jumping and howling with glee. As the intensity of the waves grew, we got drawn in deeper, and they clambered closer  to me, eventually climbing me like a water-logged tree trunk. One little strawberry blonde, slippery, meatball in each arm, they held on to me for dear life as we were tossed about  in water up to our shoulders.  My legs ached with the burn of 1000 stairmasters, while one of them grabbed my ponytail like the reigns of a horse, and the other dug her toes into my hipbone, as if it were a rung on the ladder of her own fleshy tree-house.  I was standing there praying for it to be over, when I remembered my promise to be more mindful. Instead of waiting out the torture, I stopped, took a deep breath and FELT what was happening. In my right arm, the little one moved in and grabbed my cheek, planting a wet kiss on me while laughing and squirming with delight.  At my left, the big one was yelling “More! More!” and was beaming the most genuine, delightful grin. They giggled and chuckled in my ear, and it was a moment of pure joy and childhood elation.  As I watched the girls in their delighted state of euphoria, a warmth spread inside of me. Like a  slow-moving wave, I felt my affection for them grow inside of me, and just for a moment life shifted into slow motion, and time stood still.  I saw them in all their innocent splendor, the joy they felt just “being”, and my love for them exploded. Something clicked and for the first time in my life I was AWARE of what unconditional love felt like. Just pure 100 percent love. Not love because you expect love back. Not love fuel by sex. Or money, or power, need, or reciprocation. Not a desire to fill a void left by my own childhood, or to make up for what I never had.  Just unfiltered love.  Not loved tinged by fear: fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, or mistrust, or of being alone or what is going to happen when it ends.  Genuine, unadulterated, 100 percent pure love. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved them, but that love was over shadowed by other emotions too – at their birth there was also wonder, fear of the unknown, worry about health etc.   Even though it runs in the background,   love get swallowed up by daily activities, and  is overshadowed by responsibility.  But at that  moment  love came shining thru in the foreground, and everything else stopped.  The ache in my hip. the pull of my hair, my weariness took a back seat. Warmth, and gratitude came rushing at me as the clock stopped ticking, stars smiled at me, and something spiritual tapped in. At that moment I was grateful for every choice I had made that led me to these children. And in the middle of the White Mountain Valley of New Hampshire, in a 2nd rate water park  at 47 years old, I felt blessed and God spoke to me and said, “This my dear, is the meaning of your life”.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to give up my Sephora addiction any time soon, but I can promise you this: I’m going to take more deep breaths, live a vivid life and just FEEL things more often. I hope you do too.

Thanks for reading and thank you to all that repost this on facebook or share the link with friends. xoxoxox

Copyright 2013 livelaughloveliquor

I’m Dreaming of a White (trash) Christmas……

12 Dec

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? How about a white trash Christmas? How about a lite Christmas?

Driving through a neighboring town, we happened to stumble upon this lil’ beauty, and figured it was just too good not to share.  Luckily we were on the way home from a Christmas party, so I had my camera with me…..a Christmas miracle, perhaps?

HO! HO! HO! Cheers my friends!

Thanks for stopping by!

Copyright Livelaughloveliquor

A Picture = 1,000 Words

7 Dec

I figured I’d jump on the “Wordless Wednesday” band wagon.  And honestly, this says it all……

Now if only they could read.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Thanks for stopping by!

*A special THANK YOU to my friend Heidi Burgener for the usage of the sign.

The Lipstick Larcenist Revealed! (an answer to the poll question!)

29 Sep

Thanks to all who voted in my poll regarding the “Lipstick Larcenist'”.  (If you missed it, click HERE. ) Sadly, she struck again while seated in a dark movie theater today, fetching my tube of “Mad for Mauve” out of my purse while I was consoling the other one, who was crying over the untimely death of Simba’s father Mustafa, during the Lion King. (Thanks, Disney. I am sure there will be a sleepless night filled with night terrors staring hyenas, wildebeest stampedes, and jungle fires in my immediate future.)

Anyway, this time I was crafty enough to snap a picture of the culprit, who in addition to her lips, adorned her neck, fingers and my trousers with said grease paint.  So, without further ado, The Maybelline Marauder is none other than………….

The Little One! Delilah!

Thanks for voting!

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

27 Sep

Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture? This is my favorite reading nook, in our foyer.

How about now? A little closer……..

See it now???? (Hint: It is not the fact that I have decorated for Halloween ridiculously early)

There is no denying it…….

BINGO! Someone got a hold of my lipstick while I was upstairs drying my hair thinking Hubs was watching them. In reality, Hubs was in his basement ‘man cave’ playing guitar thinking I was reigning over the little darlings.  The culprit decided to tickle her taste buds by gnawing on a grotesquely shaded tube of hot pink lipstick I used as a prop for an 80’s theme party we went to.  After artfully applying Avon’s ‘Fuchsia Fun’ lipstick to her tiny visage, she then titillated her palate with it, turning her teeth and gums a lovely shade of magenta.  As if that weren’t fun enough, she then decided to show her love and appreciation for various pieces of furniture by kissing them, leaving tiny pink lip prints in her wake.

I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t I get a picture of little Miss ‘Pinky Tuskadental’?  Well, I might have thought to do so if temporary insanity had not kicked me in the head, full throttle. At the time, however, I was busy avoiding cardiac arrest and screeching at top volume for Hubs to “Get the hell up here!!!”  Hubs got the dirty job of playing dental hygenist (a 15 minute ordeal of holding a 42 pound kicker down while shoving a toothbrush back and forth in her gaping crying pie hole). While I was busy silently cursing, crying and dancing on the edge  of a nervous breakdown.  Hubs tells me I was walking in circles muttering nonsense in regards to  promising my immortal soul to a pack of heathens if only I could get the lipstick off our (pre-children) cream color down filled sofa, but I have no memory of that.  So sorry folks, no pics of the pink encrusted cavity trap.

One of the very best jewels of wisdom my good friend Robyn Abramo once told me was this:  “Eventually everything is funny in retrospect.” It’s something I carry dear with me whenever I feel like I am getting ready for take off for flying over the cuckoo’s nest. It’s something I remembered when I came down stairs to make breakfast this morning, and found the one lip print left over from this weekend’s Lipstick Lollapalooza. And I have to admit, I laughed. Hope you did too.

As always, thank you for reading!And thank you doubly for those who share my link on facebook, twitter, etc. xoxoxoxo

You can find the answer to the poll HERE

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.

Two Teens, Two Tots, Two Tylenol, Two Shots!

15 Jun

“Oh man, I feel sorry for you”

“There goes early retirement….”

“What made you do THAT?”

“Built in babysitters?…..SWEET!”

“You guys are either midlife crisis-ing or just plain nuts”

These are several of the actual responses Hubs and I have gotten from people (often strangers) who find out we have raised two teenagers in addition to the two little ponytailed princesses we currently are shepherding through life.  I understand the surprise reaction, and realize that we are a bit of an oddity.  I also comprehend the natural curiosity that comes after the initial reaction, and time and time again, the very next thing that comes out of someones mouth is “So, whats it like having two different generations of kids under one roof? “

Before I answer that, let me give you the back story.  My son Ryan and Hubs’ daughter Kristin were both sweet little elementary school puppies when we met and married.  They were tender and fun, still young enough to be eager to please, but old enough to get themselves dressed and be responsible for homework, etc.  We did not consider having any more children as we enjoyed the freedom of being newlyweds madly in love with two great, somewhat independent kids to make a blended family just right.  We had no interest in adding to our family, and I was notorious for coming out with a “take my uterous….please”  jokes.  We traveled, had family outings, adventures and road trips together just the four of us, which was perfect.  We worked hard to give them the sense of family they had lacked in our previous marriages.  It was all good, until the kids started getting older, more distracted and less interested in doing things as the four musketeers.  It was sad for us, a period of mourning really, when they ceased to be excited about the trips we had planned, or the parties we were throwing.  We really enjoyed parenting, loved our kids to pieces, and once they hit puberty and became autonomous we turned the tide and decided it *might* be nice to have one more.  Several miscarriages and various forms of infertility treatments later, our lovely Darla (age 4) came along, and her sister Delilah (age 2) soon followed, thus the massive age difference in our children, and the beginning of ‘his, mine and ours.’

So whats it like?  Let me break down a few real life scenarios :

1. Bath Crayons are the Enemy:  In an attempt to promote a happy bath time, I invested in a set of easy-scrub bath crayons so the girls would be distracted coloring while I attend to the fight-inducing process of washing/rinsing hair.  This worked like a charm, until the teens, who were often not on speaking terms, realized they could use them to slander one another.  I realized the crayons weren’t so easy to scrub when I had to remove  “Ryan is a Turd” off the bathroom tile, followed by “Kristin smells like turds.”  Thus began the ban on bath crayons for the little ones.

2. Built in babysitters don’t do diapers:  When coming from a 1 hour 10 minute trip to Shoprite, I noticed there was a used diaper flung sloppily in the front yard.  Upon approach, it became clear this was a full-out ‘code brown’ left to ripen in the afternoon sun.  WTF?  Who left the diaper on the grass, and why?  I walked in the house to find my two-year old running around naked and proud, like the founding member of her own little nudist colony.  Upon inquiry, I discover that neither teen wanted to change the diaper, so they flipped a coin to divvy up the job.  One donned a rubber glove to remove it while the other manned the garden hose to water the poor baby’s butt crack down.  Generation gap, generation crap.  Teenage teamwork at it’s finest.

3. ABC blocks are a bad idea:  Seems like a great aide for teaching, right?  Yeah, we thought so too.  Which is why we bought the big 12-inch foam ones, and used them to build walls, houses, etc. and write words.  It worked GREAT until I was hosting a playdate and our guests walked into the family room with the blocks stacked 7 foot tall in two neat rows spelling ‘F-U-C-K Y-O-U’ and ‘E-A-T S-H-I-T’.  Try explaining that to the neighborhood busybody.

4. Water guns become weapons of mass destruction. The girls were given supersoakers by a well-meaning (clueless) relative who obviously didn’t understand that they were too little to even hold them, none the less pull the trigger.  The girls loss was the teens gain, as they were in the midst of yet another fight where neither was talking to the other.  When one got on the other’s nerves, he/she would shoot roughly 6 gallons of water at the other, as if she/he were a cat they were trying to train from jumping on the counter tops. This occurred indoors, of course.  The girls (and my furniture, knick knacks, artwork, etc) were often caught in the crossfire.  On the bright side, it cured them from the fear of rinsing their hair in the bath tub I spoke of earlier.

5. Kids really do say the darndest thing.  Did you know that Caillou is a ‘bald whiney asshole’ (pronounced, ‘ATH-hole, mind you)’ ??  Neither did my daughter’s preschool class, until she announced it with vigor, after hearing her big brother mutter it to her older sister.

6. Unsolicited advice is never good.  I will never forget the day after the little one was born, when the more naive, but bossy know it all teen called a family meeting.  The purpose of such meeting was to ‘suggest’ (demand) Hubs get a vasectomy, as said teen did not feel any more children was in our best interest because we really were ‘too old’.  When we snickered, she suggested castration, and by the way, I should really stop nursing before my boobs sag.  I wish I was kidding.

These are just a few of the ‘adventures’ that have occurred in our home as a result of our multi- generational family.  The teens both flew the nest earlier this year, each moving on to start their own lives.  One to college, the other to do some healing and live with her biological mom for the first time in 9 years. We miss them both, despite the shenanigans and outright fuckery (pardon my French) that occurred.  Sometimes I am even tempted to write ‘Hubs is a turd’ on the bathroom tile, just for old times sake, but I know it won’t make me miss them less.  All I can do is wait 10 years or so and hope for grandchildren so we can start the cycle over again.  This time it will be Darla and Lilah stealthily spelling out curse words with giant foam blocks, and the teens who will have to explain to their child’s preschool teacher why Barbie called Ken a ‘total dickhead’ during creative playtime.

And that, my friend is the circle of life! Pass the tequila!

Thanks for reading! And for keeping me motivated to write!

Edited by Annette Garkowski

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.