JJ’s in charge for the day! Your chance could be next week!

I’m home after 24 hours at the hospital. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers! My brother will be in the ICU for more than a week. He had to be operated on a second time yesterday morning. His new heart needed more support to work. We’re hoping for more progress Friday.

Originally you guys asked to talk about family cruising today, but you also voted yesterday to let JJ be in charge. So JJ you can use family cruising or another topic.

I’m going to be at the hospital a lot for the next week. I would love to use this as a chance for you guys to write the blogs for MOMania! Write them up, submit them and then we will choose the best ones to run next week. If you’ve had a burning topic you’ve been dying to throw out to the community, here is your big chance!

Try to limit your blogs to around 600 words. Try to look back to make sure we haven’t talked about it recently. Also I find a question headline helps get the conversation going. You can email your written blogs to ajcmomania@gmail.com.

I’ll try to use them all next week if we get some good ones — and I think we will!

44 comments Add your comment

Tiffany

June 26th, 2009
5:30 am

Theresa, we will continue to pray for your brother. I am sure that JJ will do a good job for you. I don’t know about any of you…but I am totally shocked by the passing of Michael Jackson yesterday! I grew up on his music, and more recently my daughter had taken a big interest in his music and all of his old videos. A teacher at her school had taught all the kids the thriller dance. She was constantly talking about learning to do the moonwalk! Also with the passing of Farrah Fawcett yesterday…wow, it seems like so much has happened!

But all the rest of the celebrities...

June 26th, 2009
7:38 am

…are breathing sighs of relief today since they pass away in “three’s” – RIP Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

JJ

June 26th, 2009
8:49 am

OMG first I’d like to thank the Academy for this dubious honor…….

OK, we can talk about cruising, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon. Let’s make it a Friday free for all, and keep it nice and clean, and make Theresa proud.

Also, lets keep Theresa’s family in our thoughts and in ya’ll’s prayers (ya’ll know I don’t pray)……

I LOVE cruising. I have only been on 2, once on a three day cruise to the Bahamas, and a 7 day cruise to Alaska. The Alaskan cruise was unbelievable, we were on a 5 star ship, Holland America. The service was impecable, and the food was fabulous. Alaska is simply georgous, although we only did the inside passage. We did get to see Glacier Bay and it was beyond words. They only allow two cruise ships in the Bay per week. It is pretty much untouched by Humans. Simply stunning!!!!

Jesse's Girl

June 26th, 2009
9:19 am

Ma ma se ma ma sa ma ma coo sa……

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
9:23 am

JJ… I know you are pitching in out of the goodness of your heart and hope you have fun being the queen bee today!

I will be brief…LOL and since I am not a southerner by birth….I had to learn this too:

y’all (yôl)
pron. Chiefly Southern U.S.
Variant of you-all.

JJ

June 26th, 2009
9:28 am

I won’t be able to do much today….I’m extremely busy…

JJ

June 26th, 2009
9:31 am

I also would like to add that I am very sadded by the unexpected loss of Michael Jackson. I pretty much grew up with him, as he is only a year older than me. I have always loved his music and he was a great contributor to today’s music. The music/entertainment world has suffered a tremendous loss.

With Farrah Fawcett, we knew it was coming, but Michael was so unexpected. And he was so young, as was Farrah.

RIP.

LM

June 26th, 2009
9:50 am

I have not been on a cruise, yet. My MIL&FIL have been on several, we have been invited to join them, however, I don’t get the off most people get. In fact they are leaving for their second Alaskan cruise and Alaskan/Cananda train ride this Sunday. They have been to Australia and many cruises throughtout the Gulf of Mexico.

We are thinking of doing a cruise when DH get’s back from Afghanistan. It would be my ideal of a better honeymoon then DH being in the hospital.

I agree MJ was an unexpected death, whereas Farrah’s was following a long and I am sure painful battle with cancer, but he has never come across has being in “good health” IMHO. I feel for the families and friends who are suffering their loss while the world watches and comments.

Jesse's Girl

June 26th, 2009
9:55 am

Thriller was the sole reason I was inspired to sing and perform. He died crazy as hell…but he remained a musical genius. Love him or hate him….his fabulous creations were the foundation for modern pop. Now that he is gone….I pray that his children will find some sense of normalcy. Good Lord, do not let them fall back into the Jackson fold. They need playgrounds, juice boxes, mud pies and Chick-Fil-A.

Becky

June 26th, 2009
10:14 am

Ed, Farrah and Michael, rest in peace..

I have only been on a very shrot cruise to the Bahamas, so I’ll just read what others have to say..

Joyce

June 26th, 2009
10:16 am

JG–I had the same thought about MJ’s kids being taken care of by his family. They did such a bang-up job with him, didn’t they?

catlady

June 26th, 2009
10:17 am

Obviously I am not really middle class…..

lakerat

June 26th, 2009
10:40 am

There was nothing like cruising the Varsity in a 1969 Chevy SS 396 – oh you mean another kind of cruising, like on a boat???

We have been on several cruises as a family – we started with the kids when they were 14 and 16, and they always had their own room. They learned real quick that they could order pizza at 2am and someone HAD to bring it to them, and all they had to do was tip them a couple of bucks. We sailed every night so once we met them for dinner at 8, they were on their own and could not get into any legal trouble (the ship patrol keeps them out of the casino).

We have been on Royal Carribbean, Carnival, Princess and Celebrity cruise lines. All about the same, though Celebrity tries to say they are a bit above the other 3. All in all, a very good value for the money, though the older ships can be a bit crowded, though they are well maintained. We always go “cheap” – i.e. – inside cabins – cause from the inside of my eyelids they all look the same, and miles upon miles of water all looks the same, too (for Alaska cruising, however, we will get a balcony since that passage is usually full of scenery).

Right now, through Cruises Only (1/800-cruises), Carnival offers a $149 per person 3 night cruise, AND you get $100 worth of on board extra for FREE (how they can do that, I do not know). That means you can pay for your required gratuity payments for free). You have to be flexible and ready to go on somewhat short notice. But, have fun!

Becky

June 26th, 2009
10:47 am

What do you mean catlady?

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
11:01 am

lakerat…you should be authoring this blog…LOL….great tips!

A former traveling neighbor and I were discussing hotels and he had the same thoughts ( as you) that when your eyes are closed …you are not worrying about the fancy shmanzy rooms…as long as you can get some sleep and feel safe.

I am all about value BUT some hotels have paper thin walls, postage stamp soap and towels you can see through. Give me a Hampton Inn and I will be content…but I do enjoy it when my clients book me in the ELEGANT rooms and I can pretend ( for a day or two) that I am upscale….NOT…hahaha!

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
1:12 pm

I am going on a cruise the week after next and I cannot wati! We have been on two already, both were Carnival and now we are doing Royal Carribean. Will be interesting to see the difference. I like the fact that you can see several different places without having to unpack. Also, you do not go hungry. It is a great value for the money. Most people either love them or hate them. I love them.

As for MJ’s passing, what a shock. I was early elementary school when Thriller came out. To this day, I still love all of his older music. The man clearly had issues, but he never even had a chance at a normal life. So talented, though. So very sad.

Jesse's Girl

June 26th, 2009
1:21 pm

Michael Jackson’s music reminds me of being carefree…waking up at noon and blasting my Sony tape player until the speakers cried uncle!

As for cruising…..we have yet to brave that adventure with the children. We are however foregoing our usual Hilton Head vacation for the cheaper Gulf Shores. From what I hear it has nicer beaches and a much less crowded atmosphere. I miss the beach…..I may not come back:)

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
1:27 pm

Gulf Shores beaches are way nicer than Hilton Head, I think. I have been to both.

DB

June 26th, 2009
1:46 pm

We had an outside cabin, but only a window, not a balcony — I just like to be able to wake up to sunshine, it’s a quirk of mine. We had connecting doors to the adjoining stateroom, so the girls and the adults could easily share bathrooms, mirrors, etc. as needed. We took the later dining room seating, at 8:30, because it gave us time to get back from our shore excursion, rest up a bit, take showers and get to dinner leisurely. There were many events that started at 10 pm, so we didn’t miss anything, and most productions had two showings, to accomodate both crowds. I loved waking up in a new country every day, that was so fascinating! I was a little afraid of motion sickness, since I haven’t have very good luck with smaller boats, but no problem at all — the only time we were even a little aware of the ship’s movement was one night when the winds were pretty strong — 35 knots — and even then, it was very, very subtle.

You can go broke on shore excursions — we enjoyed every single one, but if I did it again, I’d probably not schedule a shore excursion for every single port. We didn’t really have any “poking around” time, which is what I like to do when in a new country — just wandering around, getting a feel for things.

Gratuities can be paid ahead of time, but they do add up — for the week, it was recommended $69 a person, and we slipped a little extra in for our cabin attendant, who took very good care of us and four crowded, slightly messy teenagers.

On the RC ship, soft drinks were not free — tea, lemonade, water and coffee were free, as well as orange juice for breakfast — but Diet Cokes were $2 a can. You could buy a soft drink card, though, if you couldn’t make it a weeek — for 18 and over, it was $48 for the week, for unlimited drinks, and $28 for the 17 and under crowd.

Meals were wonderful, and I particularly loved breakfast — two kinds of pancakes, every breakfast meat you could want, lots of fruit, yogurt, cereal, breads, etc., etc. I was intrigued by the number of vegetarian dishes that were available, especially Indian and Asian dishes.

I generally stayed away from the pool on the “at sea” days, since it had a LOT of excited, happy kids. The adult-only pool area was nice and peaceful, but the music and the fun was at the other pool. :-) There was a waterpark just for the kids, too, but the noise level was pretty deafening.

DB

June 26th, 2009
1:51 pm

Re: Michael Jackson. I think it is a sad ending to an ultimately sad life. So much talent, wasted . . . Yes, he recharged and revitalized music in the 80’s. But the weirdness factor and constant rumors and accusations gradually chipped away and took the glow off his accomplishments. I had hoped that he would be able to have a successful comeback tour, because there was just too much talent there. But now, we’ll never know.

lynn

June 26th, 2009
2:02 pm

I’ve been on one cruise and was not so impressed. Hubby and I both got food poisoning from Cozumel and suffered driving back from Tampa in 100 degree weather. The price for the cruise was chump change compared to the $$ we spent on drinks, gratuity & duty free items to bring back. The best trip I’ve ever had was the 1.5 hour flight to Jamaica and staying in the all inclusive resort for a week. If it’s just you and your husband, this is the place to go and the best value for your money IMO.

lynn

June 26th, 2009
2:07 pm

And on MJ, other than Rockin Robin, I turned the station everytime he came on. For some reason he’s just always given me the creeps.

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
2:31 pm

If you don’t eat the food or drink the water in Mexico and you can afford to fly to your port (cheapo flights to Miami for us), than you would probably have a better experience! Our friend ended up having to go to the hospital in Cozumel, and we were not impressed. This is why we are going to the Bahama’s and Key West and not going back to Mexico. As far as spending money for drinks on the ship, get a soft drink card, sneak in mini bottles and you are all set! The trip to Jamaica sounds great too, though.

new mom

June 26th, 2009
2:44 pm

We have gone on two Disney cruises and loved each, our first was to the Carribean and second to the Mexican riveria. I would recommend that a first-time cruiser start with a shorter cruise, say 3 or 4 nights, to make sure you like it. Personally, our Mexican cruise was too long for me (7 nights) and showed me that I am happier with a short cruise, then maybe a few nights at the beach somewhere else. I think I get claustrophobic and a little bored after several nights and long for some freedom!

The Disney cruise was so much fun–and each time it was pre-kids. There are lots of adult-only areas, and adult-only pool, and so many activities for the little ones that they never felt ‘underfoot’. We are really looking forward to taking our girl(s) when they are a couple of years older! And I agree about the shore excursions, our favorite was in Puerta Vallarta, where we did the canopy tour (zip-line) through the rain forest. I still find it hard to believe I had the courage to go through with it.

I honestly don’t know how the cost of the Disney ships compares to the others, we have always used DVC points for our cruises. But I’m sure that they have plenty of deals right now, just like everyone else does. And unlimited soft drinks are included! This concludes my Disney cruise line commercial. ;)

catlady

June 26th, 2009
3:04 pm

Becky, because I have never been on a cruise. I make almost $80,000 a year, have my house and cars paid for, and I have never gone on a cruise. Obviously there is something I have missed about the allure of it. I just never realized that many people did it. I live a very plain life, I guess.

In fact, there are a number of things discussed on this blog that make me feel like one of the Plain People. Well, I am not going to go on TV and cry about it.

Isn’t it great that here in the United States we have so many opportunities? No wonder we are envied by many.

Anyone hear about how Teresa’s brother is doing this afternoon?

Denise

June 26th, 2009
3:18 pm

JG, the ladies in my family are heading to Gulf Shores next month! Let us know if there is something that MUST be done! :-)

I’m having a moment about Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and especially about Michael Jackson. They’ve made such big impacts on entertainment. Michael Jaskson will always be the King of Pop, changing the face of music and dance.

If you have anyone to tell you love them, do it today because we know not the day nor the hour.

Becky

June 26th, 2009
3:26 pm

catlady, I guess I’m still confused..Is it only middle class people that go on cruises? I know people that make high six figure salaries that go on cruises..

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
3:35 pm

..go on TV and cry about it? what in the world? anyway, my husband and I make a lot more than that combined and we enjoy cruises. If someone thinks they are too good for it, then they should stay home and stare at their tons of money. I for one, am going to go and have a ball!!

JJ

June 26th, 2009
3:46 pm

Well, if it weren’t for my mother, and her generosity, I wouldn’t be able to even THINK about a cruise, as a single parent.

However, there is a great website http://www.vactionstogo.com and they have a link to great prices on cruises.

I have cruised twice and LOVE it. But it is expensive, and we can only go about once every four years. We really want to go back to Alaska. No shore excusions this time, as we missed poking around the little towns we were in.

lynn

June 26th, 2009
3:49 pm

Yuki, same here, we make nearly 3 times that and although our house is not paid for, we still like an adventure every now & then. And as far as the drink card, we like to booz it up when on vacation and the card won’t cover those. At 6 bucks per drink x 2 people, we raked up quite a bill in 5 days.

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
3:54 pm

Lynn, trust me I get you on the drinking thing. The cruise lines know this and that is where they get you! But like I said, I know we shouldn’t but it’s very easy to sneak a little drinky drink in your suitcase if you are careful! Mix drinks in the cabin and off you go!

YUKI

June 26th, 2009
3:55 pm

….oh and if I could just keep my hubby out of the casino

jct

June 26th, 2009
3:56 pm

I love cruising. I hope to cruise sometime this winter. I like the longer cruises in January/February because you don’t have to deal with the spring break crowd. The longer the cruise, the less likely you have teenagers around. That is my preference. After having a balcony, it was not all that I thought it was supposed to be for an outside room. We now go for the inside room. We don’t spend much time in the room anyhow so why spend the money on an extra large room with extra amenties. I guess if we do an Alaskan cruise, I may do a balcony because there is so much more to see.

This has been a hard week in the entertainment industry. I hope the media can be respsectful to the family members who are left especially to the children. Farrah’s son has not chosen an easy road. MJ children have grown up under a very unique circumstances. I hope the children can find comfort during this time.

I thought it had to be a joke when I got the call about MJ last night. His music has been so pivotal to my life. First dances at school, first songs sang at talent shows, first tragic break ups all involved his music. His musical legacy shall endure…

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
4:01 pm

I believe ( some of you) you are missing catlady’s point….I admit I was confused with her 10:17 comment but am able to read between the lines:

She makes a good living alone and has a paid for car and house ( rare in today’s world) and she has never felt the urge to go on a cruise. I think she is trying to tell us that she feels she is an average middle class person but if all average middle class folks yearn to go on cruises then maybe she is not. She did not realize that most folks think a cruise is ALL THAT. I have never been on one ( as an adult) but am leaning towards trying it and have enjoyed the helpful comments today.

Here is one thing I do know, no matter how much or how little money folks make ( Yuki the keyword in your blog is “combined”) ….there are MANY out there who spend and live on plastic and IMHO catlady is one of few who has a house and car paid for…. hats off to her.

We have 2 cars that are paid for but they are NOT “keep up with the Joneses” cars. We have 8 years left on our mortgage ( we took a 15 year note and sucked it up…forgoing other luxuries) and I will be doing jumping jacks when we make the last payment. Maybe a mega cruise will be in order!

For those of use who are incredibly spoiled ( with high dual incomes) in metro Atlanta….MOST of the United States probably lives on a combined salary of less than $80,000 and that ( I think) is considered middle class….end of lecture…..LOL. I do see this all the time, when I travel and am grateful for my chance to enjoy so many things,

YUKI…catlady is not worried enough about her lack of interest in flashy things ( that others on some blogs seem to think are a necessity) to “go on TV and cry about it…” Does this help?

FYI…to many Atlantans, Hilton Head is ALL THAT but I agree ( with Yuki) that the beaches at Gulf Shores are lovely and the emerald green water is gorgeous!

lynn

June 26th, 2009
4:05 pm

Yuki, had we known we would have definately taken our own stash. While the guy was unloading our suitcases he saw we had a case of beer and told us to take it with us (after a nice tip) but without a cooler we just couldn’t keep them cold enough, not to mention I don’t care much for canned beer. And your so right about that darn casino……

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
4:07 pm

The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan and non-profit organization, reports that the middle class has conventionally come to mean families with incomes between $25,000 and $100,000 each year.

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
5:26 pm

One more thing….everyone has their “all that” mentality. For some it is sweet tea ( hard to believe that some Yankees can’t stand the stuff…LOL), for some it is kind of meat makes the best BBQ
( folks are fiercly loyal) for some it is a big boat and their lake or beach house, for some it is their religion, for some it is their fancy jewelry and for some it is their kids.

Many folks think living inside the perimeter of Atlanta is ALL THAT! My thoughts are that over 99% per cent of America lives OUTSIDE the perimeter of Atlanta and there are some pretty nice places that folks INSIDE the perimeter know nothing about!

When we lived in a little town in Texas, we lived in Birdland ( a 4 street neighborhood where all streets had birdnames). It was considered ALL THAT. HAHA…it was a wonderful neighborhood and the folks were genuine people but it was not really ALL THAT! We just thought so.

Catlady, I presume, is just a genuine plain folks person who may even stop at garage sales and probably makes a mean glass of sweet tea!

Have a great weekend everyone!

DB

June 26th, 2009
6:03 pm

Well, it was my first cruise — I wasn’t totally enchanted, because I really do enjoy the mountains, and it’s hard to go snow-skiing behind a cruiseliner. But it was fun to see what all the fuss was about. Since I wasn’t drinking on this sailing, I probably saved a ton of money. :-) I didn’t miss it *shrug*, but I know that cuttin’ up and cuttin’ loose is what makes a vacation sing for a lot of people. I wasn’t really on vacation, per se — I was an escort/chaperone/advisor for a group of Girl Scouts who were having their last hurrah. My daughter kept trying to coax me into going to the casino (!), but I knew better — one coin in the slot machine leads to another . . . and another . . . !

I don’t think my life would be unfulfilled if I never went on another cruise, but it was fun as a life experience. At least I know what people are talking about when they chat about cruising, now. :-)

motherjanegoose

June 26th, 2009
6:10 pm

DB…here is my one and only gambling story…I put about $2 ( total) into the nickel slots ( Las Vegas) and won $62. It was a hoot and the slot machine went wild. People were all looking at me like I really one something….right!

HB

June 26th, 2009
6:53 pm

I have to admit, I’ve never quite gotten the allure of cruising either — thought it kind of looked like a mall/hotel on water. An Alaskan cruise where I could see new and interesting landscapes might be nice or a European River where you make a lot of stops and pass by lovely old villages along the way could be great, but the tropical ones where much of the view is just water as far as the eye can see don’t interest me. I’d rather fly somewhere like Costa Rica where I can enjoy the both the beach/ocean and new landscapes (rain forest!) and maybe experience a little local culture too. I think I’d get antsy feeling like I was wasting precious vacation time on the ship. I do know many people who love cruising, though, so maybe I am missing out on something great.

JJ

June 27th, 2009
8:37 am

I live it up on vacation too. Isn’t that WHY we vacation? To relax and cut loose from our every day routine? I say enjoy> Enjoy life. Don’t live to work, work to live!!! I work hard a maintaining my work life and social life.

One steadfast rule we have while on vacation is we don’t eat at chain restaurants. I can do that at home. We like to seek out the local mom & pop places. I have met some of the most interesting people at these places, and you really get a feel of the place you are vsiting.

motherjanegoose

June 27th, 2009
8:45 am

JJ…I am with you on the mom and pop places…sometimes they are a riot. Maybe that would be a fun blog?
Has anyone heard from Theresa?

HB

June 27th, 2009
8:22 pm

I love local places too, from high-end, chef-owned restaurants to mom-and-pop casual spots to even specialty street vendors in some cities.

Jesse's Girl

June 27th, 2009
9:57 pm

Emmet is well and blessed as far as I know….but keep the prayers coming….