Archive for the Family Category

To buy or not to buy name brands?

Posted in Family, Humor on October 15, 2009 by maryrestaino

Yes, I buy generic brands, sometimes.

I was in a grocery store yesterday, where a generic “Pop Tarts” were on sale for about a dollar or so less than real thing. Of course, being short on money I bought these for my daughter. My teenage daughter doesn’t have lunch period this year in high school, and also doesn’t eat breakfast. She takes two of the Pop Tarts to school every day.

“I told you not to buy these,” she said, rolling her eyes. “They taste like crap.” Meanwhile, my husband had one and said they taste fine. “He’ll eat anything,” my daughter argued.

I also plan to buy generic cereal more often. I bought three boxes of cereal at the store the other day, paying about $5 per box. My oldest son, 17, eats the stuff all of the time, because he is too lazy to make himself anything else. After two days, two of the three boxes were almost gone. Except the Cheerios. “ I told you, Mom, get Honey Nut Cheerios,” my daughter complained once again.

How important is it to have to have name brands? If each child closed their eyes and sampled the generic store brand next to the name brand, could they tell the difference?

I wonder, maybe I’ll try a taste test.


New family members

Posted in Family, Personal, Photos on October 2, 2009 by maryrestaino

This has been a great month for our family, as we have acquired two wonderful new pets.

The first of which is an adult female cat who answered a call from my children who were calling our other cat, Mickey. My daughter fed this cat and was surprised when it followed her home. We were saddened to learn that, upon taking it to a veterinarian; she is infected with feline aids. The vet cautioned us about keeping her as she would be at risk to pass on the virus to our other cats. I was fortunate enough to find a rescue group that were willing to pay for her spay and other medical care. It was eventually determined that she’d already been spayed. We are in the process of obtaining an outside shelter for her and will feed her separately, hopefully reducing the risk she will pass on the virus to the other healthy cats we have.

The other cat is a male kitten that we obtained two days ago. How he introduced himself is a heartwarming story. My son and I were outside Thursday morning, getting ready to go to the bus stop. I had my front door slightly open as I was going inside. This kitten, out of nowhere, that we’d never seen before, suddenly bolts from some bushes across the street, runs across the road, and tries to run right into the house! He put his head in the door, and I had to physically pull him back from going inside. We leave no water or food outside.

A woman I know, who does animal rescue, with 120 cats, offered to take him. She offered to pay for his medical care, she has a veterinarian that handles all of her rescued cats. Within two days, the kitten had been neutered and all received all necessary medical care. I left money to cover the bill, although she didn’t ask me to. My kids begged me to keep him, and I couldn’t see giving him to someone who already had too many animals. Here’s a picture of our new family member:


I was told by the animal rescue worker that often when the summer is over, or when people move, pets get tossed out like garbage. The population of feral and abandoned animals is especially high in Rocky Point and Mastic Beach, where I live.

Eventful week

Posted in blogging, Family, photography, Photos on September 10, 2009 by maryrestaino


First day of school, yesterday. My teens go today.

Below are pictures of sunrise, and one of the moon that is reluctant to give up the morning sky.




There’s a chill in the air, rain is predicted, currently 60 degrees


Posted in blogging, Family, photography, Photos on September 5, 2009 by maryrestaino


My son and I spent some time together this afternoon. We were spending time at the beach when this sailboat went by. Later, my son did some clowning around in the cardboard box our new dryer was delivered in.

Carnival goldfish beats the odds

Posted in blogging, Family, Humor, Photos on September 3, 2009 by maryrestaino


We never had much luck with goldfish. We set up a ten gallon tank, with a few goldfish, and they always died, one by one. We tried everything: taking samples of water to the pet store, buying chemicals that are recommended, not having too many in the tank at once, watching the amount we were feeding them. They always died anyway after a week or two.

Until my daughter brought home a goldfish she won at a carnival.

Of course, I was skeptical that this one would escape the clutches of the grim reaper. We got an ordinary plastic goldfish bowl and put him in. We got him a “companion” goldfish from the feeder tank at the pet store for 19 cents. With our track record, I wasn’t investing a lot of money.

The companion goldfish died after about two weeks, but the carnival goldfish is still going strong after almost 2 months. My daughter doesn’t even change the water in the bowl that often, about once a week or so.

I’m amazed.

Birthday fun

Posted in Family, Personal, Photos on August 16, 2009 by maryrestaino


Sometimes the best birthdays are the ones you share with close family and friends. I just opted for a birthday cake and ice cream. Here, my young son is waiting for a piece of cake.


Little hideaways

Posted in Family, Humor, Photos on August 15, 2009 by maryrestaino

My kids shared with me their hiding place when they want to eat their goodies undisturbed. They invited me to join in on the fun: