Monday, September 26, 2011

Children of the Corn

#134 Go through the Corn Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm ~ see if you can get out in 40 mins or less

DONE 9/18/11

First off, thank you Stephanie for getting us out of the maze alive!!  I will always follow you kiddo!

Thank you Raul, Nicole, Stephanie & Ryan for joining me on yet another celebration.  I love these times with you.  We always have fun!

Every year the Queens County Farm has a Corn Maize Maze.  And every year I say I'm going to go through it.  After this year, I doubt I'll even want to eat corn again!

Okay, that's not true.

I love corn!
I love corn on the cob, slathered in butter & salt!
I love cornbread!
I love popcorn!

And I probably will go through the corn maze again....but maybe not till next year!

To start, you are directed to pick a team flag.  Raul picks a red & yellow flag one that he declares represents his Spanish heritage.

Now it's time for the Stalk Talk.  We're informed that this years theme is baseball.  The cornfield is in the pattern of a ballfield.  To make it out alive, you have to follow these colored ribbons along the path.  Each color represents a part of the baseball field.

Located throughout the maze are nine mailboxes.  At each mailbox station you'll find a numbered piece to a puzzle & tape dispensers.  You collect the nine pieces to complete the map of the maze.  This shows you the way to get out alive.

After the Stalk Talk, your map gets stamped with the time you start your adventure into the maze.

Now the fun begins!

Time in - 2:53pm
Let's see if we can make it out in 40 minutes or less!

As you stroll thought the maze looking for the mailbox stations, there are announcements being made over these loudspeakers.  We're informed that the record on the day is nine minutes.  Apparently it took a team nine minutes to get out.  While Raul is quickly suspicious of this record, Nicole announces that we are going to beat it! 

Slowly we'll luck out & find a few mailboxes.  For the record, it's not neccessary to find all nine pieces!  It's more important to follow the colors of the ribbons.  Pay attention to what part of the field they represent & you can make it out alive!

White being the color you want to follow to the end!

We ended up finding eight of the nine pieces.  #1 was the missing piece we won't find.  Oh well.

We stumbled onto the exit under the leadership of Stephanie!   Thankfully she will get us out alive!!  It's pretty much at this point that we were ready to eat through the corn just to get out!!

Time out ~ 3:30pm
Done in 37 minutes!!!!  Yippee!!!!

Now that I am out alive, I can honestly say I had fun.  It was a bit of a challenge to find the mailboxes blindly....but we did pretty good.

And would I do it again?
Sure....just not any time too soon.
Maybe next month....or next year. 

So with 12 celebrations done, 28 remain.
I'm glad I did this blog mission.  It's turning out to be a great birthday gift to myself.  I don't think I would have appreciated this mission at 20 or 30.  I think at 40 I was ready for this challenge.  I'm definitely enjoying these celebrations. 

I can't wait for what's next......

Some pics on the day.......

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take me out to the ball game....

It started that night at the jewelry crazy friend Awilda & her cousin Denise will venture out from da Bronx to Queens to come see me.  I love my friends that are willing to travel to see me or meet me.

It's during this party that I will share my 40 things list & allow for changes & suggestions.  I love the changes.  In fact, I think Awilda & Denise know which events they want to join me for....which makes me want to do them soon!!!

And it's during this party that I know Awilda is scheming.....but we'll get to that a little later....

Denise explains she's a foodie...someone who loves to eat!  As am I which would explain why I already love this chick.  She suggests changing Sylvia's to Melba's for the chicken & waffles.  Done.  And she says I need to stay away from Havana for Cuban food.  It's a 'tourist trap'.  Done.

After finishing the bottle of Sweet Bitch, the jewelry show comes to an end.  I have my changed & updated list & tons of great memories. 

Fast forward a few days....Awilda sends me a text asking me if I'd like to go to a Mets game.  She remembered that I had go to a Mets game on my list.  What a sweetie, right?? 

So of course I say yes, I would love to go!!!

Then she texts that she has a fourth ticket & asks if there is someone special I'd like to bring....


I start to wonder. 
Is she looking to see if I'm seeing someone?
Is she asking for permission to set me up?
Does she have someone in mind already?
Did she have someone in mind from the night of the jewelry party?


So I take the leap.  I tell her there is no one special I'd like to bring.....then I jump right off the cliff...I ask her if she can set me up with someone.

Then the fear kicks in.
Panic attacks my heart.

Holy sheep!!!

Did I really do this?

Did I really ask her to set me up?

Haven't I learned enough this last year that my friends cannot find a decent guy for me?

Did I really throw myself out there?

Awilda texts back...'give me a few minutes'....

A few minutes?!?!?!?!

Are you nuts?!?!?!

In a few minutes I'm going to freak out.

In a few minutes I'm going to run screaming up & down my street.

In a few minutes my head is going to implode!!!

And then I hear it.  The text jingle on my cell phone indicating a new message has arrived.

It's Awilda.

One simply life changing message awaits me.

'It's all set'.

Holy sheep!!!

I did it.

I put myself out there.

I let it happen.

I did nothing to even delay it.

There's no backing out now.

'It's all set'.


Now I have a few days to let it all sink in.  I have the weekend to fret & make myself nuts about it.

Friday night I get a text from Awilda.  She is in Queens & wants to meet me to give me the Mets ticket.  We meet up for dinner at the Georgia Diner.  Great place!

During dinner she refuses to tell me anything about George.  She wants this to be a 'truly' blind date.  She'll only tell me that she thinks we'd hit it off.

Side note here....Awilda is truly a very thoughtful person.  Not only did she remember that I had the Mets game on my list, but she also noted that I want to learn to speak Spanish.  It's during this dinner that she give me a Spanish dictionary.   I love it!!!

Monday night arrives & I'm excited.  I'm looking forward to seeing my beloved NY Mets.  I'm looking forward to finally getting to CitiField.  And most of all, I'm looking forward to meeting George.

#82 go see the Mets at CitiField
Done!!  9/12/11

There's nothing like going to a baseball game.  The roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat, foul balls, homeruns, the smell of hot dogs, beer & pretzels....Oh yes, take me out to the ball game any time!

Our plan for tonight is for George & I to meet Awilda outside the Left Field gate.  I arrive first & find Awilda waving to get my attention.

I love this chick!  She's asombroso (amazing)!  She is there with a book under her arm.  It's for me.  She says she found it in a used bookstore & thought of me.  It's a 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking.  OMG!  I love it!  This is probably the most amazing gift ever!  She says she thought I'd like it...

No Awilda, I don't like it.....I love it!!!!  Seriously babe, this is the sweetest gift!  I love trying new things to cook.  And I love used books.  With this book I'll wonder what the owner before me cooked.  And did they share their food with friends as I plan to do???

Now we have to wait for George.
It turns out George is venturing out to Queens from New Jersey.  What a guy!  That's sweet.  Especially since he's coming straight from work. 

He arrives & we are quickly introduced.
First impression....he has gorgeous eyelashes & I love the way he hugged Awilda.  It's sweet.  Yup...this is going to be a good blind date.

We chat as we make our way to our seats.
Section 138, row 18.

I feel like a kid in a candy store without adult supervision.  I'm overwhelmed & impressed all at once with CitiField.  It's perfect.  There is plenty of food & shopping.  Oh & of course baseball!!

Having grown up in Queens about 10 minutes away from Shea Stadium, I grew up a Mets fan.  Shea was torn down so that CitiField could be built.  It's pretty much the same site as Shea, only a few feet away.  Odd.  But whatever.  It's awesome!

Tonight the Mets will host the Washington Nationals.  They will lose 3-2.  Don't ask me to give any details of the game.  I can't....well, other than the score.  I was busy with friends having a great time!!

#10 get set up on a blind date
Done!!  9/12/11

Let me explain why this one even made the list.   I date pretty often.  Mostly one or two dates per guy.  I haven't had a serious relationship in some time.  Maybe I'm too critical or too quick to lose interest.  Or maybe I'm just picking the wrong guys.

I've let friends introduce me to guys, but nothing's ever worked out. 

So until this night, I have never been on a true blind date.  I've never given up control to someone to set me up.  I've never trusted anyone....till now.

Awilda, thank you.  You were right about George.... 

Speaking of George, I know my friends are going to want to know about him....I'll say this much...he is truly a gentleman.  He made sure Awilda & I were taken care of all night.  And he walked me to my front door after driving me home! 

Guys, take's the little things that real women appreciate!  While flowers are nice, good manners mean a lot more!

George ended up calling me a few days later.  He was going to Florida to visit family & we are going to talk again about getting together.....

I now need to ask a favor....George's father suffered a stroke.  Please keep him in your prayers so that he gets better soon!  Thank you.

And with these two things checked off of the list, 11 celebrations are done; 29 remain.

A view from our seats -

A funny sign in the ladies room that made me laugh.  Ladies, I thought you'd like this one!

In honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 -

We spotted this in the parking lot by accident.  Apparently all the old bases from Shea are marked by plaques like this one -

For Meredith....

#159 Hostess a Stella & Dot party
Done!  8/21 & 9/2/11

When a friend calls me for help, I try to make myself available for them.  So when my friend Meredith asked me to help her with her new venture, I figured why not.  After all, it's a night to play with jewelry & of course make cupcakes!

So we set the first party for Sun, Aug 21st.

Meri will meet me for lunch the week before the party.  She gives me catalogs & flyers.  Plus she plays show & tell with a few pieces of jewelry that she is wearing.  And then out comes the gorgeous ring that I have to own.  The Soiree Trio ring.

Simply put it's gorgeous.  It's a stunning ring & I have to get it.  And dare I say it, this ring looks gorgeous on me!!


Later that night I'll start telling everyone about this jewelry party.  And through Facebook I'll post an event for the party & invite everyone.

Now I'll wait for responses.

Days before the party, I keep posting reminders on Facebook.  I keep sharing links to certain items that I think people would like.  Hopefully this will generate some interest.

The first party was on a Sunday afternoon.  Meri showed up as I was frosting cupcakes.  So while she came in & set up the jewelry I finished frosting the cupcakes.

Sadly, this party will see only four guests & get one sale.

While I'm thrilled Meri asked me to do this party, I feel like I let her down.

So we agree to hit the do over button & have another party.  The second time will be a Friday night party.

It's during this party I will discover a lovely new brand of wine, reconnect with an old friend fron high school, make a new friend & sadly, lose some friends on Facebook drama.

The wine - found purely by accident at my local liquor store.  I bought it solely based on the name & label....
Sweet Bitch.

Yup, that really is the name of the wine.
It's a lovely Shiraz made in Chile.
It will turn out to be the big hit of the night.

FYI...Sweet Bitch also puts out various reds & white wines.  I plan to try them all.

The old friend - Awilda.  I love this chick!  It's been over 20 years since we have seen each other, but I love this crazy chick like I saw her last week.  She has not changed a bit!  She is still amazing!

The new friend - Denise, Awilda's cousin.  I just met this chick & already I love her!  She is a sweetheart.  I can tell instantly she is someone I would love to be friends with for life.  Plus she is a cut from the same crazy cloth as Awilda, so I gotta love her! 

The lost friends - they don't deserve another moment of my time.....

Awilda & Denise are instantly into playing with the jewelry. 

I pop open the bottle of Sweet Bitch & it's party time!

It's during this party that we end up talking about my 40 things list.  I will share the list with them & allow for changes & suggestions.  I believe they are going to be some great changes.  I'm definitely looking forward to a few things now based on these changes.

Meri, thank you for convincing me to do the parties.  I had fun!

And thank you Trisha, Kathy & Denise for shopping!  I hope you enjoy your jewelry.

This makes celebration #9 done....31 more to go!

Stay tuned....more fun is on the way!!

The Bardot bracelets that look like a Slinky.
I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted the gold or silver, so I got both!
And of course the famous lemon cupcakes with fudge frosting...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ch ch ch ch changes....

'Time may change me, but I can't trace time'....

My 40 things missions blog has became quite the topic of conversation lately.  It seems I am encouraging people to start their own lists of celebrations.  Nicole is even talking about doing 11 things for her eleventh birthday.  I'm glad people are thinking of doing it.  Makes me glad I did it.

And here we are again...focused on my list of celebrations...

As stated in a previous blog entry, I'm learning to let go of control a lot more.  I'm learning to let things happen without stressing about the details.  And mostly I'm learning to have fun.  And for once I am enjoying a birthday!

After showing off my list to some friends at a recent Stella & Dot jewelry party, some changes have been made to the list.  My new friend/cousin to Awilda, Denise, gave me some great changes, as well as a few additions to the list.

See?  I'm letting go...learning to share control, not stressing over details...& having fun!!!

It's during this jewelry party that we'll kick back a bottle of Sweet Bitch Shiraz wine, I'll make a new friend, be thrilled to see an old friend & be glad to help a dear friend.

It's also during this time that my guests tonight will advise which of the celebrations on the list they want to join me for.  I'm looking forward to it.  I am excited about sharing these celebrations.

I'm thinking I might have to make this a yearly mission.  Maybe each year I can keep knocking things off the list.  This might grow to be a perpetual list...hmm...

So here is the list again with the changes & with the additions.
Feel free to leave more suggestions...the rules for this mission have changed.

1 - full body massage
2 - take a hike
3 - frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity in NYC
4 - Gravity Hill in Bedford, Pa
5 - learn to speak Spanish
6 - read 'War & Peace'
7 - get a tattoo
8 - take Salsa lessons
9 - take a cooking class
10 - get set up on a blind date
11 - hostess a tea party    DONE 5/22 & 5/28/11

12 - ride a Harley

13 - buy 40 different pairs of socks

14 - get a make over
15 - get 40 people together for a picnic in a park
16 - go whale watching
18 - cook a Thanksgiving dinner
19 - karaoke night w/some friends    DONE 5/20/11
20 - visit the gravesite of Billie Burke, Glenda from 'The Wizard of Oz' in Vallhalla, NY
21 - learn sign language
22 - paint my bedroom
23 - clean out the living room closet
24 - go to Niagara Falls
25 - Spend the day in Philadelphia
26 - go on a "spiritual Retreat"
27 - rodeo riding
28 - bungy jumping
29 - walk across the Brooklyn bridge
30 - go to the Statue of Liberty
31 - start a book club
32 - go skinny dipping
33 - go on a photo taking tour of Queens
35 - get a group of people to walk in the Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach
36 - write the next great American novel
37 - go to a movie every day for one week
38 - learn to knit
39 - go to a Zumba class
40 - go to a hot yoga session
41 - try the belly dancing class at the gym
42 - visit a state/city that you've always wanted to visit
43 - try pole-dancing
44 - chop down your own Christmas tree
45 - donate to a charity you never thought you would give money to
46 - volunteer at a soup kitchen
47 - volunteer at an animal shelter
48 - go Christmas Caroling
49 - horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park

50 - ice skating at Rockefeller Center
51 - make holiday cards & gifts for 2011
52 - trip to Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC
53 - go to Junior's for a slice of cheesecake
54 - volunteer at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
55 - go to Melba's in Harlem for chicken & waffles
56 - take a trip to the Long Island vineyards
57 - check out the Montauk lighthouse
58 - visit a cranberry bog
59 - go see a Broadway play
60 - visit Mark Twain's house in CT
61 - go to Atlantic City & lay down a $40 bet
62 - hot air balloon ride
63 - stock car racing
64 - white water rafting at the Delaware gap
65 - take a picture w/the Naked Cowboy in NYC
66 - go to Medievil Times
67 - go to a Murder Mystery Dinner
68 - go for good Cuban food in NYC
69 - go to the circus
70 - go to a football game
71 - go cayaking
72 - Fleet Week in NYC
73 - Circle Line cruise around NYC
74 - Hayden Planetarium laser show
75 - Hershey Park, PA
76 - visit a dude ranch
77 - take a photography class
78 - bike riding with Hippie Dave
79 - go on a vacation alone
80 - go to the beach looking for seashells with Hippie Dave
81 - Howe Caverns
82 - go see the Mets at Citifield
83 - rock wall climbing
84 - fly a kite
85 - archery w/Anthony
86 - go to the Halloween parade in the village
87 - go to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria
88 - go line dancing
89 - Governor's Island
90 - ride the Staten Island Ferry
91 - ride the Roosevelt Island tram
92 - go to a midnight movie show w/Tracy wearing your jammies   DONE 7/15/11
93 - go to the Noguchi Museum in LIC
94 - go to the King Manor Museum in Jamaica
95 - go to the Fisher Landau Center for Art in LIC
96 - go to the Sculpture Center in LIC
97 - go horseback riding
98 - ride a mechanical bull (Johnny Utah's in NYC)
99 - Mystic Aquarium, CT
100 - stop to see the sun rise and sun set on the same day
101 - go trick-or-treating with Nicole, Stephanie & Ryan
102 - plan a surprise party for someone
103 - ride the Cyclone & see the Freak Show in Coney Island
104 - midnight bowling
105 - plan a girls night out
106 - try a new hair color
107 - hostess a come as your favorite character/celebrity party
108 - go to the Museum of Sex in NYC
109 - be a nude model for an art class
110 - disco rollerskating
111 - go for pizza in all 5 boros; Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx & Staten Island
112 - tour the Brooklyn Brewery
113 - plant a garden
114 - get a drivers license
115 - go vegetarian for a week
116 - find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
117 - go to Adventureland   DONE 7/24/11 with #155
118 - sail in a rowboat on the lake in Central Park
119 - sail a toy boat on the pond in Central Park
120 - make a boat out of materials found in nature & see if it floats
121 - go to Five Guys for breakfast, lunch & dinner so you can say you had 15 guys in one day
122 - go on the ferris wheel in the Toys R Us in Times Square  DONE 8/20/11
123 - go to Alice's Tea Cup in NYC
124 - go to the Top of the Rock
125 - paint a realistic flower
126 - spend the day in NYC with the Iglesias' & O'Connors
127 - take a Hudson River cruise
128 - buy a telescope to see the stars
129 - bounce on a trampoline
130 - make a paper mache artwork
131 - go for a helocopter ride over NYC
132 - go to a concert
133 - get new clothes
134 - go through the Corn Maze at the Queens County Farm ~ see if you can get out in 40 minutes or less
135 - grow out your hair for Locks of Love
136 - go for breakfast at the Belmont Race Track
137 - go to Build A Bear    DONE 8/20/11
138 - go to a Cirque deSoleil show
139 - go see 'TheLion King' on Broadway
140 - go see a foreign language film
141 - Madame Tussaud's in NYC
142 - Magical Nights magic show & dinner in NYC
143 - take a jewelry making class
144 - go to Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC
145 - visit the Lous Armstrong house in Corona
146 - go see 'Blue Man Group' in NYC
147 - do a zip line run
148 - take Sara to White Castle
149 - have a party at Laser Bounce
150 - go to Ellen's Stardust diner in NYC   DONE 8/20/11
151 - go for banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery in NYC
152 - go to a tea house with Raul
153 - lose 40lbs
154 - take a pottery class
155 - plan a brunch at 3 Brothers   DONE 7/24/11
156 - hostess a Tupperware party
157 - go to Lucky Chang's in NYC
158 - go to Mudd Works in Great Neck & have a party there
159 - hostess a Stella & Dot jewelry party
160 - go for tea at the Plaza
161 - make some new friends
162 - find another job
163 - ride a subway line you've never been on