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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Driving in a Winter Lit-Up Wonderland!

Made a little video of some of the houses in our town. Marty has a friend lives in South Africa and has no idea what we're about, light-wise! So we put this little movie together tonight!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Awesome! Brillaint! Funny! I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You Want To Be A...WHAT???

My niece has decided she wants to be a Doula. OK, cool. (Insert Supportive Aunt here) She'll be great, I'm sure.

Wait, hang on. A...WHAT?

I had to read her Blog to even get a remote idea of what the hell-en-hiemer a Doula is. I even had to Google the d**n thing. Here is what good ol' Wikipedia says:

Doula is a word that has most closely become associated with a woman who provides non-medical support during labour and birth, and also the postpartum period. The term can also be used to describe other supportive roles for other life events such as abortion, death and more.

Gotcha. Right.

The things I learn. Never-ending.

However, it doesn't do me a whole hellofalotta lot of good....I'm passed the age and I'm spayed.

So yes, call me selfish but I need a massage! (My niece is a licensed masseuse and is awesome! Why must she live 2,000 miles away. Boo-hoo!)

It sure is a career you can take anywhere you go! But why the heck is it called "Doula?"

Whatsa'matter with Midwife? Now you say "Midwifery" and yes, I know what that is! A time-honored tradition, good work, almost holy work if you will.

Guess I'm an old fart but if you say "Doula" to me, I'm thinking it's

1) some kind of weird Celtic instrument (Insert Irish Accent here: "Sweet Mary and Joseph, tha' lad plays a mean Doula!")

2) a dish you cook in a sheep stomach (Insert Scots accent here: "Och, ta hell with haggis! Aye, na' gi' me a plat of Doula -- na tha's grand stuff!")


3) some kind of Greek Dance. (Insert drunken Tourist accent here: "Ouzo and Doula, ooh-pah!")

My niece's name begins with a "D" so yes, it kind of goes together. D_____ The Doula. Kind of like a kids' book title!

Oh, God.

I really need to stop hanging around Marty. My brain is warping....

She'll be great, I'm sure! Now, if I can only stop giggling.

Our Christmas Newsletter

This year we actually put a holiday newsletter together! Must have been the formal portrait taken by Tori Tedesco that helped me along!

Happy Holidays 2010!

What a year it’s been!
We welcomed a new grandson, Mason, just a few days ago (December 10th), who joins big brother Aidan; he‘ll be 3 in January 2011, a new great nephew Bryan Jr. (aka “Chopper") in May (a day after Mia's birthday) and new cat, Rufus The Wonder Cat, adopted from the Humane Society of Greater Akron in July.

Marty is now officially The Bionic Man, with his two new knees and “rack and pinion” steering in his back. January brought the rods and screws to fix a busted vertebrae in his back. February brought his 50th birthday and the end of his time at Wayne Homes. He rode in the Harmonie Hundred charity biking event in May, and raised more money for his second 150 mile ride for MS:“Pedal to the Point” in August. Two weeks later, he had his first knee replacement; then 7 weeks later he had his other knee done. His recovery has been amazing! In 2011, he plans to participate in both cycling events and more!

Mia has been volunteering at the Humane Society of Greater Akron and is learning a lot about dogs and cats and has become quite the advocate for Breed Fairness and Awareness. “Don’t Buy The Bull” etc. Through her activities, she met a wonderful pianist (Leo Spishak) and has been gigging with him, mostly at very swanky Senior Residences, where they challenge her knowledge of 40s and 50s Pop music. Her most unusual? A 60th anniversary party of a nun! She has completed 2 Half-Marathons this year (walking), Cleveland (her 5th time) and Akron. She’s tried to keep up with Marty on his bike.

This year was the first time, due to Marty’s being laid up, that Megan and Mia had to put up most of the pickles by themselves! Challenging! After all, they are called Pickle-MAN Pickles!

2010 brought some health concerns for our oldest dog, Jesse Ann but as of today, she’s doing pretty well. Winger (who will be 12 in March) is still going strong! Elke (aka Schmooby-Doo) is learning to pick up objects: books, papers, gloves, keys, spoons…. She is very bright and if we actually worked with her… the sky might be the limit!

Marty really wanted a black cat and since Mia had been working with cats at the HSGA, she had a few in mind. Marty picked out Rueben whom he re-named Rufus on the ride home. He is now “King of the Bat-Cave” in the basement and “the boys” hang out all the time. .Mia calls the cat “Rufus The Magnificent, Lord of the Universe.“ At the moment, Kitties Dink and Envy are still guests in one of our bedrooms as well.

And….We finally got a new fence in the backyard, long overdue; we’re thrilled to have it.

Next year will see us both riding bikes, walking (yes Marty can do that again) working on the house (does it ever stop?) and trying to stay healthy and happy. Mia would like to “up her game” and join Marty on at least one of his long rides. She’d also like to complete a full marathon next year or maybe do a mini-biathlon. Time and training will tell.

Marty would like to go back to work part-time. After 10 years in front of a computer screen he wants a change. He also plans to find some causes he can volunteer for. Painting and fixing up the Javelin are on the list, as is working in the extended garden he put in this past summer and of course PICKLES!

Here’s wishing that 2011 brings all of you happiness, health, prosperity and nothing but great things. We are blessed to know all of you and have you in our lives.

Have A Merry Christmas And A Very Happy New Year!

Marty and Mia Hess
And yes, we’re on Facebook! The world has come to an end, J

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Not About The Presents

(Photo by Tori Tedesco, taken at HSGA December 4, 2010)

Let me start by stating:


Honestly. Not going to lie.

But please, give me and the %*^&$@! Holiday Season a flippin' break, will you? I understand things are tight, if not desperate for a lot of people. But just because Junior isn't going to get his %*^&$@! iPad or Muffy isn't going to get her $150 designer ripped-up jeans, doesn't mean your Christmas (or whatever) is going to suck a holly wreath. Just because you are a zillion miles from home or you're divorced, widowed, have no family at all, no money, your mother hates you, you lost your job...the same goes. Quit your bitchin' and your Scrooge-ing and your Bah-Humbuggin'! I'm sick to death of it. So are a truck-load of other people. I guarantee you someone is much worse off than you are.

Shine the light. If you don't have a tree, get a branch. If you can, beg or buy a $2 string of lights and put it on your branch, door or window and be thankful you can breath, walk, talk, see, hear. Put a light in your window if you've got one (and I hope you do). Make someone smile by the lights. If all you have is your car, snag some tinsel and put it somewhere.

And all you Scrooges out there, the ones who HAVE a tree but aren't putting it up. (You know who you are!) Just do it.

Cheap or Free Things: Listen to some Holiday music. Even the sad ones. Put a penny in the Salvation Army pot if that's all you got. Smile to the clerk at every store or especially at the grocery store. Buy some cookie dough on sale and make cookies for someone, anyone. If you're working, have a %*^&$@! pot-luck party at work. Bless everyone you meet. Even if it's only in your insides.

The Kids. Take your kids caroling, trim your tree, help out as a family at a food bank or homeless shelter, help out at the Humane Society, buy toys for Toys For Tots. Have Junior get off his lazy %*^&$@! X-Box butt and shovel out Old Mrs. Neighbour's driveway. Bring her some of your dinner or invite her over for cookies. Tell your %*^&$@! spoiled brat of a daughter if she complains one more time and rolls her eyes, her share of Christmas stuff is going to pay for a sick dog's medical expenses at the shelter.

I'm sorry but even little kids do not need a sackful of stuff. It's the lights, the tree, the stockings, the music, the sharing. Plays games! A three, four year old can learn "Go Fish" and start to play Yahtzee or Sorry!

You want to give kid something? Spend a day with them.

You have no money? Offer your time to clean Mom's house, give Dad a back-rub, baby-sit your sister's bratty kids for an afternoon, clean out the dog pen, garage, attic, whatever. Get out your crayons or Sharpie or computer and make a Gift Certificate and honour it.

(By the Way, stockings are not just for kids!)

Get the gang on the car, put on some music and drive around looking at the lights. Everybody gets to pick a favorite. Is it a "display?" Is it "Inflate-a-world?" Have fun! That's just time and some gas.

Snow. Yes, it can be very annoying, especially if you have to shovel it, drive in it or walk in it. It'll be gone; it's just something you have to get through. It'll change. Leave early. Take your time. BTW, Clue Phone. You are not the only person who is annoyed.

The Big 411. Christmas, the Holidays (whatever) aren't about what everyone seems to think it is. It can be honouring old traditions or making new ones to honour. It's the celebration of The Light. The Light returning; the days beginning to get longer. The Light of God's Love, whatever your faith. The Light in your heart.

Be like The Grinch at the END of story:

"He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!"

Quit being a jerk. Don't make everybody else's holiday crummy by your attitude.

Let your heart be Merry and Bright and let it "grow three sizes" during this time of year!