Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of the Year Fun

Thanks to Carly for this link

What Famous Person Do You Look Like?

My top 5 matches were:

Katie Holmes, Rene Zellweger, Madonna, Julliane Moore, Liv Tyler

There were about 3 or 4 more others that were there too.. but I can't think of who they were at the moment. You do have to register to get your results, but hey, it's free.

Have fun. It's a great way to flatter yourself, let me tell you.

And Happy New Years!

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Final Countdown...

As we reach the final hours of 2005, and the last few days of my "December posting binge", I've taken some time to reflect on the year and look ahead at the one to come.

I've decide to reflect on the past year in tomorrow's post, and focus on 2006 today. I've found that even after 5 years, having a 20 at the front of the year instead of a 19 still is foreign to me. It's such an abstract thing that I can't wrap my mind around it. It constantly amazes me. I have a "Wow, I can't believe we're in the 20's" kind of light bulb moment. I can see this for maybe 2000, and 2001..but c'mon now. I need to get over it already. I do often wonder what they'll call this decade. "Classic hits from the 80's, 90's and ....?" This stuff will keep you up in the middle of the night.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Back in Black

On my way up to the shower earlier (I love vacation) I noticed a gaggle of birds under my bird feeder. I stopped to watch a minute and went back to my desk. The boy got me a bunch of field guides for Christmas this year. One is Birds of New England, one is the National Audubon's Field Guide to New England, and I also got several quick reference guides. I was interested in knowing for sure a few of the birds that I've wondered about As I stood there, I noticed my bird feeder was empty. I went out to fill it, planning on taking a shower and then coming back to see what birds had come back to feed. After I came in, I was looking through the bird book, trying to determine if I have American Goldfinches or Pine Warbler's that visit (non-breeding winter plumage is hard to ID with) and out of the corner of my eye saw a flock of $#%@ pigeon's fly off in a huff. Wondering what sent them scattering (and secretly grateful) I discovered this under my feeder.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On the Third day of Christmas.....

Now that Christmas is over, I find myself reflecting on how it went this year. I should correct that, as Christmas is not over, the season has really just started..but the big day is over. Here are some observations:

Wrapping as I shopped was one of the best choices I ever made. It was nice to head into the last two weeks before hand and be able to answer "Yes." to all those who asked if I was ready, and had I finished shopping, and when answered yes, asked if I was done wrapping also. There is nothing fun about staying up until all hours wrapping on Christmas Eve. Forgetting what you bought and being just as surprised as the kids when the open the package is so much more fun.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Time Marches On

Eleven years ago, in the wee hours of daybreak, a small child entered this world into the scared and eager arms of his parents. I remember looking down upon his little head, and marveling at how this tiny little creature could possibly be mine. I was overwhelmed with the giant responsibility of caring for this baby boy, and scared to death that I would screw it all up. After all, what did *I* know about raising children?

I will be the first to admit. It was hard. Harder still was trying to find the balance between job, significant other, baby and day to day life. Eventually the job went. While that was a little better it was still hard. Being a young parent is very difficult. It's hard to take care of a child when you are barely done being one yourself. You lack the knowledge and experience that age brings.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Everyone needs a day off to recover.

Regular scheduled posting will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours... Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of Tums

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house....

Well, Ms. Thang has the stomach flu. She's been sick with it since Wednesday, although yesterday she was much better, so I'm not sure what happened. She woke up today and it was back in full force.

She feels crummy enough that we skipped going to Grammies house for lunch and gifts this year. You know someone feels bad when they give up getting presents.

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'll play my drum for Him...

(sorry it's dark, I took this photo yesterday after school, and this is as light as I can get it without ruining the picture)

I might have mentioned before that I am in a steel drum band. This is the drum that I play until I can save up enough and buy myself a shiny chrome one. It is a chromatic lead, and provides the melody to the songs we play. Out of all the drums that make up a steel drum band, the chromatic lead has the most notes, about 27.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Well done good and faithful servent...

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." II Timothy 4: 7

I have a quote that hangs above my craft area that reads, " I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday." (unknown). I have had it hanging there for a bunch of years now, and I read it on occasion, when I think to. But during the past few months, I have thought of it often. More so the past bunch of weeks, when I knew my time doing that hard thing was running short.

Today was my last day. The past four months have been the hardest four months of my school career. Juggling two different programs, and 15 different kids, along with various other factors made for many long hard days. 15 different kids isn't hard per say, except that 4 are autistic and 1 is mentally retarded and a good day with those boys is still worse than a bad day with most. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Singing by Candlelight

For four decades, a wonderful treasure has been hidden away in 2 tiny towns in the bottom corner of our state. For forty years there have been generations of families learning music from this fabulous lady pictured to the left. For forty years she has been threatening kids that if they didn't sing with the group, they were going to sing by themselves. And for forty years she has inspired children to play instruments, sing loudly and learn lines to plays that yes in fact they would be able to remember the night of the show.
On top of all that, she has taken on the huge task of teaching grown adults to play steel drums. If you've ever worked with grown adults, this is no easy feat. Adults get cranky and set in their ways. Learning new things is hard, unlike when you are a child and you just do it. She doesn't take no for an answer. She doesn't let you second guess yourself, and when she asks you to join her group that's already started, and you mention that you don't know if you could do it and catch up with the group she just looks at you and says, "So you'll be there Wednesday at 6:45?"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There is something to be said for silence and solitude. Sometimes I think I would miss the people, and the interaction.. but other times I think of how nice it would be just to be quiet and alone.

Today I have a headache. You might remember I had a headache last week. I think it's stress. I believe that is job related, and I am going to test that theory over vacation. Maybe I will start keeping track of my headaches and visit with my PCP. But I really think most of it's stress.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Naughty or Nice?

Today's blog is brought to you by 6 minutes left on the laptop battery, and a server that is still broken.

You Were Nice This Year!

You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list.
You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year.
Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good.
Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Things that suck...

Or, how I spent my holiday gift from my dad.

(the boy went and broke the server, so I can't access my photo's, therefore today you'll have to close your eyes and pretend there is a pretty Christmas photo here.)

Anyhow, where was I. Oh yes. Things that don't suck. Like my vacuum cleaner. We bought our vacuum cleaner about 5 years ago. Paid around $70 and picked it cuz it was light and cheap and we don't have many rugs so why not. Within the first 2 weeks the belt broke and I didn't realize, so I wasn't really cleaning my rugs. Since then, it's slowly gone downhill to the state that it is now in. It sounds like ... well.. like someone should take it out back and put it out of it's misery. It lets off a funky odor, and it sucks. Plain and simple. Actually it doesn't suck worth a damn and that's the problem. Even the little man gripes about having vacuuming as a chore cuz the stupid thing is just so horrible.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A few holiday letters

Dear family,
I am sorry that I grouched at you on the way home today. I was a little peeved (ok, so more than a little) at your Grammie and you can't seem to spend an hour and a half in the backseat without making me rue the day you were born.. so sometimes I get grouchy. I'm much better now, but I'm still mad at Grammie.

Dear chocolate colored baby alpaca yarn,
I love your squishy goodness. You are the nicest yarn I have ever worked with, and I can't wait to see you wrapped around my boys neck keeping him warm. I am sorry that you are half finished in my knitting basket, but I was dead tired by the time I was ready to turn the rest of you into a knit-able ball last night, and I just didn't have time today. I plan to ball you up tonight, and hopefully have you knitted up soon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Since we've no place to go....

It's a mess out there. First it snowed, then it sleeted, then freezing rain pinged off all the windows, then it poured, and now it's snowing again.

And all this means...another snow day! That makes one Friday that we will have been in school during December. I tell you, I could so get used to having Friday's off. Earlier in the year when the price of oil shot through the roof, we surmised that if we went an extra hour and a half a day, we could drop to a four day week and have Friday's off. Save some oil, enjoy a long weekend. I am so for that. Especially after the week I had.

So today, with no where to go and nothing pressing to do, I am enjoying a nice quiet day off. Cookies are baking in the oven, a scarf for the boy is being knitted, and working up rather quick I might add, and this whole mess should be done this afternoon and not mess with our weekend plans.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blessings to ya

An Irish Christmas Blessing
God grant you lightness in your step,
a smile on every face you meet,
Loved ones gathered at your hearth,
and at your door, good friends to greet
A holy hymn upon your lips,
a window candle burning bright,
And may the Good Lord bless your
Heart and come to dwell there
Christmas night.
Adapted from an Irish Christmas card by Kearas
*the boy took this photo of one of the pieces of my village.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The light after the storm

After the storm, comes the sun. After the darkness, comes the daylight... after a raging headache, comes the feeling of being a normal human being again. Today is a much better day.

I am sorry if my last posts were whiny and miserable. That is how I felt, and it showed everywhere. Not in the spirit of the season at all.

I took this photo Friday, after our big storm. I was out shoveling for the last time, and all of a sudden the sun came out. I love the sunlight glistening off the snow. I snapped this picture of my house because I loved the fresh untrodden snow look. And it just seemed so festive.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Today's post..brought to you by the number 7

There are seven more days until Christmas Break. Seven more days until we leave school for 11 glorious days off. Seven more days of doing that HARD THING that is slowly but surely sucking every little bit of life out of me. Seven more days. Which feels like an effing lifetime right now.

See, it's not really that many. Except that it is. Especially now. During this hard and hectic time of year. And I did mention that there is a full moon this week? And a snowstorm coming? And this headache that I've been fighting since yesterday, did I mention that?

So, with only seven more days to go, which is roughly 49 more hours (but who's counting, and didn't they mention 10-12 inches of snow Friday?).. the powers that be, or not to be, decided to mess with me. Because why leave well enough alone. After effing with me all damn year, why leave the last seven days alone, and let it end on a somewhat decent note. So today we got a notice at the end of the day..about a shuffle. They like to shuffle me. Apparently I am too efficient (which is something the boy has been telling me for 12 years now) and I do my job too well, and they need me to pile more on to the plate for these last seven days.

Because when I switch back to straight special ed, and boring things like, oh, helping kids learn how to read and figure out math, and learning states and capitals.... this group will miss me. And so for these last seven days working in the Autism program (and I love those boys don't even mistake me for one minute on that) they are going to make my afternoon hell. Because they do only get me half a day, and can't I do a whole day's worth of stuff in that time? Because that is what I've been doing since the end of August , so I really don't mind do I? And I am so good at it , and we do appreciate you. And oh, by the way, you're going to be taking on a boy for the next seven days by yourself.

Thanks for the goodbye, I won't miss you either.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Moon shines down....

Thursday is a full moon. Unless you work with kids, this probably doesn't mean much to you. When you combine it with the fact that we have 8 more days of school until vacation, it's a very pressing bit of information. I took this photo last month during the full moon. The moon shines across the way over my neighbor's house. He works with kids too. We don't care for the full moon much. Except that it's gorgeous around here.

On other fronts, my Christmas knitting is almost done, my baking is almost finished, and the festivities started this past weekend.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Do You Hear What I hear?

This is one of my favorite songs.. no matter who sings it. Kenny Rogers, Reeba, Vince Gill. Just love it.

Till the Season Comes Round Again

Come gather around at the table
In the spirit of family and friends
And we'll all join hands and remember this moment
Till The Season Comes 'Round Again

Lets all try and smile for the picture
And we'll hold it as long as we can
May it carry us through, should we ever get lonely
Till The Season Comes 'Round Again

One night, holy and bright
Shining with love from our hearts
By a warm fire, lets lift our hands high
And be thankful we're here, till this time next year

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's a wrap

Or actually, it's a scarf. I knit this for my favorite sister in law for Christmas. I used this pattern for the Irish Hiking Scarf, and Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the Fisherman color. Considering I started it last month, I should've been done a lot sooner than yesterday. But you know how it goes, other things come up, etc. etc. I apologize for such a crappy photo, but it was the best I could get.

I plan on making this hat to match, in the same yarn. She wears a grey wool coat to work, so the plan was to give her a nice hat/scarf set she could wear with it in the winter.

This was my first cable project. I don't know what kept me from starting cables sooner, they really are easy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I'm dreaming....

Remember what the gate looked like early this morning?? Here it is, over a foot of snow later.

It was quite a storm. I shovel in shifts.. so instead of shoveling over a foot of snow at once, I go out usually 3 times and shovel so that I'm only doing 4-5 inches at a time. Much easier on my back. The last time I went out before it stopped snowing it was coming down so hard you couldn't see. I finished shoveling in half an hour, and when I went back to the driveway to come into the barn, I measured 2 new inches of snow on the driveway I had just cleared. That's impressive.

Let it snow..Let it snow....

There is nothing more glorious than a snow day that falls on Friday. Well, almost nothing.

The snow is coming down at a pretty good rate, and they are calling for a foot to fall by 3pm. Looks like we'll have our white Christmas this year.

I hope you enjoyed my silly little poems. As promised, here is the "recipe" if you'd like to write some of your own. Kids really get into this, and we have a bunch of different holiday poem recipes that we are using at school. I thought it would be fun to just pick one and see how many different versions I could come up with.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Holiday Poetry pt. 4

Presents piled under the tree
Fresh bread, warm and chewy
Loved ones voices on the phone
Foods that bring back memories
Soft sweaters and new books

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Holiday Poetry pt. 3

Houses decorated with festive greens
Meatballs simmering on the stove
Children laughing and giggling
Chocolate fudge, vanilla eggnog
Holding hands in quiet prayer

The photo is of my dining room. Notice the window... it's snowing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holiday Poetry pt.2

Children's eyes aglow with wonder
Pine and Cinnamon mix in the air
  Churchbells ringing, Choirs singing
Ooey Gooey Cookies
Bows and paper, tape and tinsel

Monday, December 05, 2005

Holiday Poetry pt.1

OK, so we are doing holiday poetry at school. I decided for each day this week (no, M-Thur) I will post a different version of the same type of poem. Your job is to try and figure out the recipe for the poem. (which I will post on Friday.)

The photo is of my outside lights. We have lights inside on the porch too, but you can't really see them. I'll post those on a different day. Next year we are replacing that fence (same, just not falling apart, and white) so ignore the fact that it looks like it should be in a Halloween photo and not a Christmas one. OK, here's the poem.

Twinkling Lights that look like stars
Cookies baking in the oven
Bells ringing out carols
Sticky sweet candy canes
Festive paper, smooth and shiny

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Oh the weather outside is frightful

There's something a little sad about Sunday. Friday is exciting, because it is the end of the week and the start of the weekend. Saturday is exciting because it is full of possibilities and a whole day off to do whatever and stay up late. Sunday is the end. No matter what you do on Sunday, having to go back to work tomorrow always looms over you like a dark cloud. (Well, I have a dark cloud that looms over me anyhow but that's a post for another day.)

So here we are. Sunday. About to start another week. BUT.. we only have 14 more school days until Christmas break. 

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I Believe in Santa Claus

After a long day, I've apparently watched too many Christmas specials. ABC Family has a fabulous 25 Days of Christmas line up, and I'm currently watching The Year Without a Santa Claus (which has my favorite songs, "I'm Mr. Icicle, I'm Mr. 10 below..lalala) and enjoying every sappy minute of it. I tell you, it's not Christmas without these old shows.

I did score my very favorite movie today on DVD however, during my shopping travels (all the shopping is finished except the boys gifts for me, and that's on him.. hooray!). Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas on DVD, and it's the original 1977 version, not the edited one that started showing in the early 80's and is the one I have on VHS. I'm just tickled, but the boy says it was on his list of things to get me, so I feel a little bad about that.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Deck the halls and falalalala

Holiday Checklist:

1. Deck the halls (outside): Done.
I've since given up on my plan to run lights and pine garland up the posts and across the entrance, due to not having an exterior light on the outside of the house. The boy says we can do it over the summer, but I dunno. I think I've moved past this idea.

2. Deck the halls (inside): Done. Oh wait. I have to switch my village over from fall to winter. I have a Dept. 56 village (Season's Bay which allows you to change the accessories to match the seasons, not the house) that Dept. 56 decided to retire right as it was about to get to big for my allotted spaces. Perfect.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Farewell to Fall

Yes, I know that fall doesn't officially end until Dec. 21st but my brain officially puts it to rest on December 1st. The leaves have all fallen off and been raked up several times, the trees are barren and snow has already fallen. I took this photo last Saturday. The pumpkins used to live on my front door step, and they were awaiting a trip to the pit to become target practice for the boy and his friend across the street. They were good pumpkins, but frozen pumpkins make for bad pies.

Reach Out