I had in fact seen it coming, and tossed and turned the night before vacation, when Brad finally asked what the hell was the matter with me. "Why are we taking my mom to Puerto Rico again? She's prone to panic attacks, has to pee every 5 minutes and needs constant direction!" I worried. Brad laughed "oh yeah" he said remembering our last vacation 2 years earlier in the Gulf Shores- "good call" he said and rolled over to sleep. Why should he care? My mother only makes him neurotic when she makes me neurotic, and although usually guaranteed by the time she and I part ways, I actually believe that I have the patience of a Saint with her.
Speaking of saints, her ultimate goal is to be canonized- which is in fact possible. She is the most giving, selfless, and caring person I have ever met. She's the type of person that would build churches in Jamaica, volunteer in the orphanages of Lithuania, travel dirt roads on the backs of donkeys through war torn countries to visit the Dali Lama, and to kiss the hand of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the ghetto's of India- oh...yeah- I mean she is that person. Did I mention she was in the convent when she met my Father? Yes, she was actually a nun, and went through five years of discernment before finally opting for a more primal love- but I actually know for a fact that at this time, my father wastruly the most challenging case of despair I think she had ever come across and she has always been up for a good challenge.
So how, you might wonder is a woman so accomplished in fulfilling the needs of others so needy herself? Welcome to the Gemini paradox that is my mother. Her Sisters and brothers took care of her growing up, The convent took care of her when she was in her twenties, My Father took care of her until he died, and the community and church has been taking care of her since.
Oh, I mean...I have been overseeing the community and church taking care of her....ahhhh, the cross I bear.
We did take my mother to Puerto Rico...just as we had taken her with us to the Gulf Shores 2 years ago, and the same thing happened....panic attacks, tears, spending endless hours pacing up and down the beach and in and out of the house watching over her and my two small children. Puerto Rico...a new set of challenges which was a language barrier, heart palpitations, dry mouth, nausea, and the emergency room. I spent the last day of our vacation trying to convince the doctor that she would and could go home on a plane with me...we just needed Valium and a priest that speaks English.
Over the last year and a half our pug Salsa has single handedly destroyed our couch. If you have encountered a pug you know they're instinct to go straight to lap is unbreakable. That they are so gross they swing round to cute; their drooling and snorting makes it impossible to resist. I think our couch has even grown to love him. But no amount of cleaning, airing or fluffing resuscitates life into these poor cushions.
Combine that with a not so well constructed frame... and you've got a very uncomfortable place to land at the end of a long day.
Now I have to caveat that The Couch was a 3 year-old hand-me down; I was psyched, I thought this, is a "quality couch". It will last a super long time. When the frame started to tear away from itself, after 2 years of living with me. I questioned the quality of this particular brand and I became dubious of the perception of quality furniture suppliers.
A few months ago Adam & I started the "we need to buy a new couch" talk. A Salsa proof couch...A couch that will last. I started to read up on "How to buy a sofa". I think the most important thing I learned is that retail stores buy from different manufacturers and what I needed to know was which manufacturer made the best product...for us.
Right around the same time there were a few great blog entries at treehugger about How to Green Your Furniture Guide and then another about Sustainable Furniture Council. We had decided we wanted leather (Salsa proof and super durable) Leather opens up a whole other host of quality assurances because the beef industry is so...creepy. After months of research I felt super comfortable landing on American Leather as a manufacturer; they offer impeccable quality and they are doing their little bit. Then the process of choosing a model started.
Last night we went to the Rhode Island Design Center to check out a few of the models they had on the floor to find one similar to frame & cushion of the model I liked. They don't have every model on the floor - each couch is custom ordered. We had decided between two models and two leather choices. Bob - our AWESOME salesman was working up our paper work and finding the model I wanted somewhere in Southern New England so we walked around the showroom. We were excited about our choice and joked about hoping the couch could be something we could pass on to Emma or Grace. We met back up and Bob presented us with our options/pricing etc and shocked us with, Cardi's (which RIDC is a part of) is having a 20% sale on all sofas but ended this night. He didn't pressure us and didn't mention it prior because we were just starting the process but 20% off is a ton of money to discount. We discussed and settled on getting the one we sat in. This is it without the studs and a much yummier color.
I so happy to be done and what's best is that I feel super confident in our choice!
The Newport International Film Festival held their kick off event promoting their 11th annual festival this year which will begin June 3rd - June 8th 2008 in Newport RI.
Our own Teresa Conners is working the festival this year who has been working to publicize and promote the success of the event. The feature film for the kick off premiere was Young at Heart, which had everyone in the audience clamoring for more.
To our amazement, after the film concluded (which truly had left no one unaffected), out came the actual chorus ranging in ages 72- 89 to perform for the film's audience- and the best part about this "Chorus" is that they perform rock and roll covers from cool bands such as Cold Play, The Clash, Led Zeppelin and others. I'm not sure I closed my mouth for the entire 3.5 hours I was in the theatre watching the film and then the actual young@heart choir! I sat in my seat completely amazed and inspired by the film, and then throughout the performance my emotions got the better of me and I was out of my chair singing, dancing and clapping with the rest of audience. Great film, with all of the ingredients of a success including belly laughs, awe, inspiration, appreciation, sadness, grief, empathy, and joy...a must see!