Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Little Word

My goal for this past year was to pause. To spend more time enjoying life. Just being instead of doing all the time. I wanted to spend more time out in the yard during the warm weather. Paint. Draw. Nap. Slow down and just be. I feel like I started out the year with good intentions, and then my plan quickly fell to the way side. This was a CRAZY year, and I knew that going in, which was part of the reason for my word. I intended to follow Ali's advice and focus on the word, do something at least once a month related to my word.. and I did not.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things I've Done This Week

1. Knitting. Knitting is very therapeutic, especially when you knit small things that work up quickly. I have made (since Christmas).. a headband for myself for when my hair's up, a little hat for my niece (who will be born on the 21st) and one bootee. I will finish that second bootee tomorrow, and work on finishing the baby sweater that I've also been working on. I needed some small projects that weren't that sweater. I have a slew of other projects planned including a few more sweaters, a blanket or two and a bunny. Yes, I am planning on spoiling this baby, why do you ask?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Say What?

Once a year we come to the city for a hockey game. This year we left a litle too early. We met my youngest brother at a local sports bar while we had some time to kill. The wild part of baby brother bought me a beer.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Cake Is A Lie!!

When you handed me this recipe for a cake that you took out of a video game, I might have thought you had gone a little too far off the deep end. I read the ingredients, silently rolled my eyes and put the recipe into the "recipes to try out" folder. I was hoping that by the time your birthday rolled around you would have forgotten all about it. After all, who wants a cake with 7 egg whites, 3/4 cup of butter melted, a boxed cake mix, 2 cups of flour and 3 cans of frosting? I had a small heart attack just reading the nutritional information on the page you printed. He must be crazy I thought.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The light of the Christmas star to you

The warmth of home and hearth to you

The cheer and good will of friends to you

The hope of childlike heart to you

The joy of a thousand angels to you

The love of the Son and God's peace to you

~Irish Blessing

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

In Which We Find A List

Franklin wrote a lovely list on his blog about things he finds pleasant in winter, and I was inspired to come up with my own list of things I find pleasant in winter, because there must be a few right?

1. Warm and cozy sweaters. The thicker and warmer the better. They have to be soft however. As I age I am developing some sensory issues and find that I am drawn to soft clothes near my skin.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bring Back The Light

It appears, that it has finally stopped snowing. It started Friday afternoon and has snowed straight through until about 5 minutes ago. I think at my house we got lucky, and it stayed too cold for the snow to be anything but light and fluffy. I am grateful to not have wet heavy snow on the weak power infrastructures. I heard a nasty rumor about more snow on Wednesday, but I am ignoring it. I haven't been able to get out and run since last Monday due to bad roads and I'm chomping at the bit. I think that unless we have horrible winds tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to brave the badly plowed roads and have a go at it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Song For Your Heart....

I'm sitting here by the light of the Christmas tree watching the town plow the road out in front of my house. I have the next 2 weeks off of school, tomorrow all my brothers are coming over to celebrate Christmas and I finished the sweater-coat for my little neighbor today while watching Harry Potter with Ms. Thang (long overdue if you're a regular reader, I know). I should be happy, but I have this heavy sadness that is just weighing me down lately like a boulder. It's not depression, it's just life. My grandmother is dying. Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of my nephew's death. My SIL lost her grandmother this week and won't be coming tomorrow, and my brother is brokenhearted over having to send her to NY without him as he had to stay and take a final for his Master's course. I haven't spoken to my mom since August except for 5 minutes the other day, and I'm not ready yet. I'm still very upset, which I didn't realize until she called and I am ashamed to say I was glad that after 5 minutes I was entering a dead zone and had to let her go (she called my cell). I feel like my list of "suck" is just so long right now.. I could go on and on, but really, do you want to hear about it all? Me either. So instead I'll leave you with the song that is playing on my iTunes. It started right as I was about to type up this post, and now I can't see for the tears... and I'm going to go to bed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not Such A Bad Day After All

I got out of bed when the phone rang this morning at 5:30 to let me know we had no school. I had though delay for sure, so was pleasantly surprised to find out the whole day was mine. I had a plan. I was going to finish the sweater for my neighbor. I was going to clean my kitchen. I was going to bake snicker doodles with my daughter, and I was going to knit little wreath ornaments for our family gathering on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stick A Fork In Me...

I'm done. There comes a time when you have to look at yourself and your situation, and make decisions that may or may not make you happy. I reached such a place today. I am tired and defeated. It's Christmas, and I should be happy. My shopping is done. My gifts are wrapped. My house is warm and festive. I'm almost done my baking, and I've managed to fit in a sweater for my favorite 4 year old neighbor that is one sleeve away from done. My house is one room (well, let's pretend The Boy's batcave doesn't exist, that's his issue.. and we won't even think about what a disaster our barn is) away from being cleaned top to bottom.

I don't feel so happy though. I feel tired, and stressed out. I am grouchy and miserable to be around at home. My son is pushing all my buttons and my normally rational self is reacting instead of ignoring. I am tired of yelling. I am tired of asking for things to get done and being ignored. I am tired of feeling like a miserable bitch. I am just plain exhausted.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Day After

As of this afternoon 307,000 residences in my state are still without power. 3 out of 4 of my brothers have no power (the fourth is in the big city where it was just a few degrees warmer and didn't freeze), my grandfather in the next state down has no power, but has gone to stay with my aunt downstairs who has a gas stove, and my in-laws all have no power. My MIL and FIL have gone to a hotel because my FIL is recovering from knee replacement surgery and his therapy machine needs power to work. My brother S found out from the power company tonight that his power should be back Thursday. They packed up and have gone into the city to stay with friends in the duration. The HS where he works is being used as a shelter and they already called off school Monday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Town Said... Let There Be Light

You really don't appreciate what you have, until you don't have it. I woke up around 2:30am having to use the bathroom. I rolled over to see what time it was, and the alarm was dark. The weird thing was... there was a light shining into my bedroom. At 2:30 am you aren't too smart, and it took me a few minutes of looking out windows and confirming that the street lights were all out too... to realize the power was out. The Police Department lives behind us to the back, and they have a generator for their outside lights. Which was helpful in my not only using the bathroom, but getting my watch to the window to find out it was only 2:30 am.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Weather Outside is Frightful....

Out in my corner of the world, we are in the throes of a rather nasty ice storm. It started this morning as rain, and around 5am the temperature started falling and the rain started freezing. It has continued to do so all day. We've got a good half inch of ice coating the land, and a long night ahead of us.

To say that I am not secretly hoping for a snow day tomorrow would get me kicked off of Santa's nice list, but seriously, I'm a little worried. They are talking about long term power outages, at least through the weekend, which would kick my arse in the getting ready for Uncle Christmas department. Oh, and because we had to remove our old, rusted wood stove (it came with our house, if you read old blog posts you can not only see photos of it but read posts about it) we would have no heat. We all know how I feel about that.

So I'm blogging to let you know that if you don't hear from me for a while, I'll be hunkered down in some blankets knitting. If you're so inclined... think good thoughts for a power filled snow day. I really need a day off.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh Christmas Trees.. Oh Christmas Trees


A. 1 hour, give or take a few minutes.

Q: How long does it take your house to heat back up after you've run out of oil while everyone was off at school?

A. $150.

Q: What is the emergency delivery charge issued by the oil company to come out on an unscheduled delivery day?
(FYI, you can put diesel into your oil tank in a pinch. We will get our scheduled delivery of oil tomorrow).

Monday, December 08, 2008

All the Creature's Were Sleeping......

Want to hear a funny story? We did laundry on Wednesday like we always do, and I noticed that one of my hand knit socks I wore last week didn't end up in my pile of laundry to put away. I checked the washer/dryer and thought.. well it probably didn't make it into the wash and I'll get it back on Sunday when we do laundry again. So yesterday we did the wash, and nothing. I was a bit grumpy because really... those socks took a long time to knit up and I wanted to wear them this week with my blue sweater.

Today I put on a winter white sweater and wine colored pants. Just a few minutes ago I went for my stash of dark chocolate M&M's and as I reached up for the bag on the top shelf, something about my left "chest" area of my sweater looked funny. Kind of square and padded. WTF? I thought. I pulled my sweater up, and there was my sock! I think it was on the side of my sweater all day, and when I put my coat on to come home it moved and that's how I noticed it. HAHAHA. I'm happy to have it back though.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In Which We Find.... Sunday

5 things I am happy about today, in no particular order:

1. Fudge. I found this recipe for fudge on eleventy billion years ago, and have made it every Christmas since(without nuts, thank you). I made it today so that I can freeze it until our holiday party with my brothers later this month. My mom always made fudge when I was growing up at Christmas, and as I was stirring for 5 minutes today while I watched it bubble and do it's thing I realized that *I* only make it at Christmas time. It's not that I don't like it, cuz baby this is some good fudge. It's just in my brain, fudge is for Christmas. (In case anyone is wondering, I haven't spoken to her since the day she left in August. Just as well I suppose.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I Am Not Fine

People have the most annoying habit of being flip when someone asks them how they are. I am as guilty of this as the next person, and I will readily admit it. Isn't it easier to just say, "I'm fine, how are you?" Or, "Good, how are you?" when someone asks you how you are. Isn't it better than getting into a long discussion about how the person is, or how you are for that matter? When you ask, "How are you?" are you really wanting an answer, or are you just being polite? I find myself somewhere between those two ends. Sometimes when I ask I really do want to know, and other times I am just being polite.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Poor Kid

So last week Ms. Thang didn't feel so hot. Her nose was runny, she was sneezy and on Thursday her throat started to hurt. We looked at it (and by we I mean The Boy did) and she had post nasal drip and it was red and irritated but that was it. Friday it hurt and she felt lousy and Saturday I could hear that her throat hurt. She had the "my throat kills" sound to her voice, and she couldn't really eat. I had The Boy look in the morning, and it was a little swollen and red, and by dinner when she couldn't swallow I had him look again. He looked in and blurted out, "Oh My God!" (headsmackhere) I asked to see, and he said I didn't need his flashlight to just have a look.

My babies tonsils were so swollen you couldn't see the dangly thing in the back of her throat. We decided she need to get to the Dr. NOW and The Boy took her to the ER. They were in and out in 15 minutes. The doctor didn't even do a strep swab.. he felt her swollen glands, looked down her throat and said, "Well, we don't even need to test this one! She's got strep, here's a prescription lets not waste anyone's time." What a trouper she is. Today I looked down her throat, and for the first time it's starting to look better. It's still red and swollen, but compared to Saturday she's come a long way.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Welcome To December

Somehow, in the midst of crazy and busy and OMG how did Thanksgiving get here.. I'm quite on top of my game this year. I was thinking of what I need to do between now and 3 weeks from this past Saturday when all my brothers will descend on my house for our annual "Uncle Christmas" celebration, and I'm doing pretty good.

My Christmas cards are made, and all but 3 will be going out in the morning. (I am short one address, and I was short two cards. So much for not actually counting and just making 32 cards). I am tickled with how they came out this year. I used to make my own cards, and then the last two years were crazy and I didn't. I always vow to make them over summer break, and never do. So this year I decided I was doing it, and made the time. I did them in parts so that it wasn't so much work all at once and then got to it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is It Really The End of November?!?!?!

Well, hello there. How have you been? I can't even begin to believe that Thanksgiving is this week and December next and soon it will be Christmas. Where the hell did this year get to? In the spirit of randomness.. I give you some things in no particular order.

1. I logged into my email tonight when I got home and discovered while I was gone my son invited me to be his friend on Facebook. Woah, hold on here.. since when did HE belong to Facebook? Instead of asking him, as he's gone to bed early.. I checked his page and turns out he just joined tonight. I'm not sure how I feel about that but I was amused to see his thing-a-ma-bob-updater says he was talking to his girl friend. Who is this young man that I hardly know anymore?

Friday, November 14, 2008

One of Those Days

Yesterday wasn't that great of a day. There is a situation going on at school that is taxing my very being, I teetered on the brink of a migraine all day long, and to top it off I had to go to a National Jr. Honor Society Induction Ceremony. Typically you'd think I'd be happy to go to to such a an event. Proud of my son who, without much effort on his part, is an exceptional student worthy of such great honors. Typically you'd be right. Except for one tiny detail.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Things You Never Knew You Needed, pt 1

So last year Carly did this thing on her blog where she posted finds from the mountain of catalouges that started showing up in her mail daily. I remember thinking, wow.. who gets that many catalouges? I realize now that I have no time to flip through them and they are piling up in my magazine/catalouge basket.. that I DO! So, in the spirit of not having anything worth blogging about.. I give you the first installment of things you never knew you needed. Today I received 3 catalouges in the mail. LLBean, Young Explorers and Bits and Pieces.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm Still Standing

I apologize for my lack of bloggy-ness as of late. It's been a vicious cycle of work, errands, running, chores, meetings, taxi-ing the kids around... lather, rinse, repeat. I really haven't had one thing work blogging about going on, until this weekend. This was a crazy busy weekend at my house. First we had my least favorite holiday on Friday. I think we had far more kids that normal trick-or-treating this year, and I didn't recognize about half of them. We had less teenagers and more really little kids, which was nice. My friend came over and we sat out on the step that leads to the porch and handed out candy and laughed and laughed and laughed. She stayed for dinner afterwards (I love my crockpot so much when the weather gets cold) and overall it was a nice night regardless.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Candy... or is that Jack-O'-Candy?

In the spirit of Eye Candy Friday... I give you the Keene Pumpkin Festival. We started going to Pumpkin Fest when Mr. Man was almost 2 years old. He was a bat for Halloween that year, and wore a costume my mom had made for one of my little brothers. It was kind of a blue/grey get up, and he was so damn cute. My SIL A was in college at Keene State that year, and we were all invited over to visit her Sorority House and the Pumpkin Festival. It was an enjoyable ride and we had a good time.By then it was on it's 6th year and had broken a few world records. I had never seen so many pumpkins in my life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So The Boy and I have been talking about doing something we haven't ever done this year at the holidays. Like go see The Boston Pops holiday show, or the Transiberian Orchestra's holiday show.. or did you know that How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical is playing in Boston this December? So I got online tonight to do a little searching, check tickets prices and show dates... and I think I need to go have a lie down. Did you know that "ok-ish" seats to see the Pops in Boston start at $92 a piece?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Photo Shoot

So, last year I got fed up with paying out the nose for crappy school quality photos and did them myself. They came out so well, that I decided from now on I'll just do them on my own. I am perfectly qualified as a mom, a photography lover and I used to work in a portrait studio. So I did Mr. Man's photos on Saturday afternoon, at his insistence when I wasn't keen on the light, but he rarely is in the mood for anything.. did Ms. Thang's Sunday mid-day, and then made him put on his shirt from the day before and did them both together. I love this photo of them together. Don't get me wrong, he's a pain and I took about 20 before I got a few that I was happy with, and this one was the best. I love that his eyes are open (he squints a lot) and they both have natural smiles on their faces.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus had a Compass

One of the things I love best about working with young children is the funny things they say in the most sincere way. Things that you know they honestly believe, and you have to fight back the laughter as to not upset them. Today was one of *those* kinds of days. The kind of day that you normally have off from school. The kind of day that reminds you of this fact every chance it gets. The kind of day that when it's over, you want to bury it in a cold drink and forget it every happened. And to top it all off, S had a funeral to attend today, and so I held down the fort with some back up help. Oh, and did I mention tomorrow is a full moon? In the midst of this most difficult kind of day, was something I will hold close to my heart for a long time. Something to pull out on the next difficult day and chuckle at and then put away again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Secret's

Last weekend I convinced The Boy to stop working for an hour and come out for a walk with me. I wanted to walk along my run route with my pedometer and take note of mile-markers. I wanted to know where the 3/4 mile marker was, where the 1 mile mark was, and where the 1.5 mile mark was. My goal is to run a 5K, and I run out to the marker, turn and run back. I walk 5 mins from my house, down to the trail and to the tree that starts my route, and I walk 5 minutes again at the end. I visually decided where the spot past 1.5 would be to get to 1.6 and that is my end goal. Right now I am running 2 miles at a stretch, and hope to be at 2.5 miles by Saturday. I'm not sure where that marker is, but figure it's about halfway between 1 and 1.5, and I know it takes me about 7 minutes to run 1/2 a mile right now (I'm not going for speed yet, just distance) so I'll plan accordingly.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's Begining To Look A Lot Like......

Christmas! In case you aren't in the know, one of the hottest spots on the web surrounding the big "shopping kick-off" which, in case you haven't been paying attention is quickly approaching, is Black Friday@ Seriously, go check it out. I have been reading this website for as long as I've been on the internets (we won't talk about how long that is), and seriously, I've saved a bunch of cash because of it. My favorite improvement that they've made over the past few years is the addition of the online Black Friday sales. I scored some great stuff last year for the kids for CHEAP. Stuff I wouldn't have bought otherwise (a Zune MP3 player for Mr. Man and a Nintendo DS for Ms. Thang). Granted, I stayed up LATE, but in my opinion, it was better than having to go out and drown in the mobs of shoppers.

Starting in August, the site becomes a buzz of people discussing what they think the hottest trends will be for the season, (check out the official's trend list here) and posting and discussing the state of the economy and dissecting each Black Friday ad as it gets posted. Some years it gets ugly and stores send Cease and Desist orders to have their ad taken down, but most stores appreciate the sales they get due to having their ad up and don't mind so much. Around Halloween, or early November, the ads start going up and the list making begins. I like that I can click on all the stores and compare. Some stores offer "online only" specials that you wouldn't otherwise know about ( did this last year and the year before if I remember right) and some store ads list what items from their Black Friday ad can be purchased online for the same low price.

With the economy being shaky and the price of everything being so high this year, I plan to start my Christmas shopping in the next week or so. I will do family gifts and stuff like that, but I always wait to watch the big sales before I start my shopping for the kids and the Boy. Doesn't everyone love a deal???

Sunday, October 05, 2008

An Afternoon At The Orchard

One of my most favorite things to do in the fall, is to go apple picking. We've gone every year for the last .. oh, I dunno 5 0r 6 and it just never gets old. A few years ago our favorite Orchard closed up shop and we've taken to going to one further up the road in the next town over. Due to the fact that the closest orchard closed, our new spot has become very busy and weekends are quite crowded. We were originally going to go on Friday but it was cold and windy and then it rained, so yesterday found us headed out after lunch. This year we got smart and borrowed our neighbors wagon so that we didn't have to lug a bushel of apples back to the car. When we first started picking apples we only picked Cortland's. I wasn't well versed in what kind of apples are good for eating or pies or what have you, and they were recommended so that was what we got. Last year we added Honey Crisp apples into the mix because they are so good for snacking on. This year we picked 1/2 a bushel of Cortland's and the other half bushel was mostly McIntosh, and the rest Honey Crisp.

Friday, October 03, 2008

In Which We Find... My 700th Post

So it's no secret that Mr. Man and I are having a hard time of it lately. Half the problem is we are both stubborn and cut from the same cloth. He has a very similar personality type as I do.. and therefore we but heads. A LOT. He is also a teenager and hormonal and in 8th grade which as I remember sucked a bunch, and I know that he spends all day being good and what have you and then needs to come home and just blow off some steam. I know this in my head. I have a hard time remembering it when he's being smarty-mouthed or talking back or just being a butt. I also have started to think that possibly he doesn't realize when he's being fresh and talking back all the time. He just says it how it is (wonder who he gets that from?!) and in his brain there's nothing wrong with that so I shouldn't get upset.

So anyhow, on Saturday of last week (the 27th) I went out for my run around 9am. I have given up running on the roads (my town was built in a lake bed and we are surrounded by hills everywhere) and have taken to running on the old railroad tracks. The tracks have been removed and it's now a recreational trail. I can to go MA in one direction (10 miles) or if I'm rambunctious I can to go Maine in the other. I run towards Maine (seriously, I don't ever plan on going further than Keene which is 10 miles if I ever get that far) because it's a more scenic route and the trail isn't as rocky and there aren't peoples dogs barking at my ankles. So I walked my 4 minutes down to the trail entrance at the end of my street behind the school, started down the track, and saw something up ahead. I stopped, because I don't run with my glasses on and it was kind of far away and I wasn't sure what it was. I've met foxes before and they generally scoot over the bank and into the woods, but this creature was coming at me. It was grey/black/white and reminded me of a small dog. With pointy up ears. And a bushy-kind of tail. It was chasing a chipmunk and I decided I didn't really want to mess with it so I turned around and headed the other way. Tuesday I tried to go down the track again, but when I got to the spot where I watched the coyote run into the woods, I got freaked out and turned around again.

Yesterday I asked Mr. Man to come with me on his bike. When I walk my 2 mile loop he always asks to come along and I always tell him no. I walk to unwind from life, I don't want company. I run because walking all the time is boring, I love the woods and don't mind if I have company or not. He agreed and we had a very pleasant half hour. He mentioned to me that probably the coyotes were always there, I just hadn't seen them. I told him that I am always aware of animals when I'm alone in the woods, and hunters now that it's fall...but it was the fact that I did see one. Besides, considering the remote nature of the trail I choose, and the fact that my cell doesn't get signal out there, I surmised that running with someone even on a bike is better than being alone. He loves the woods and I think this might be good for our relationship. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gonna Get Married...

I promise this will be the last of the wedding pictures. I have so many good pictures that it was hard to decide which ones to share up on my blog without boring you all (all 6 of ya's) to tears. I'm not a great fan of going to weddings as a rule, but we really had a good time this weekend, despite how crazy it was and how tired we were afterward. It was weird for me to watch my baby H get married. She was 13 when I met her, which is the same age as Mr. Man is right now (well, he's almost 14 but still). I've known her for almost half her life and have watched her grow up from a little girl into a lovely woman. She is the little sister that I never had, and I love her. She was the one who came and stayed with me at the end of my pregnancy with Ms. Thang, so that she could stay with Mr. Man while we went to the hospital.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And We're.....

Last Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day to be married on. The sun was shining, the air was warm but not hot, and the sky was sparkling blue. We spent Friday night in the city as we had to be at my MIL's house bright and early on Saturday morning. We had a day full of hair appointments and make up and H just wanted to spend the day with her maids getting ready for the big evening. Mr. Man and The Boy came along with us and it was a good thing because we ended up needing him to run people here and there and everywhere. I made arrangements for Ms. Thang to have her hair and makeup done.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Going To The Chapel....

I have far too many photos to blog one time, so tonight I'm going to give you the rehearsal. The wedding took place at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Manchester. It's a beautiful old church right in the heart of the city and we were informed it's only 97 feet from the back of the church to the front.. 125 if you start at the door. 97 feet of people watching your every move, your every step. 97 feet of eyes looking you up and down, and at the rehearsal I learned that I was going to lead the way up that isle. No sweat. Nothing I like more than being the center of attention (eyerolls).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Say What You Need To Say

I came here tonight intending to give you a recap of my weekend and share with you about my beautiful sister-in-law's wedding, but my heart is too heavy and sad to do justice to such a special occasion, so I will tell you all about it tomorrow or the next day. There was going to be a photo here of my children, all decked out in their wedding garb, and I was going to lament a little about how grown up they both are and how proud I am of both of them. Instead I will share with you a photo my son took from the Cathedral steps yesterday after the ceremony was over, right as the sun was starting to go down. I'd like to tell you that he took it because he was moved by the gorgeous image the sun created over the city, but he was really just taking a photo of the radio tower in the distance. He's a bit geeky in that way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quiet Reflections on a September Day

I had my outfit for today all planned out ahead of time. A long tan skirt, paired with a short sleeve brown top that I had ironed and hung on Sunday. Part of my "use your time better" plan for this year is to not be ironing in the morning when I should be in the shower, so that I can still get my morning walks in before school. So on Sunday, I plan out what I want to wear for the week, based on the week ahead forecast and accepting that sometimes things won't go as planned and I might need to adjust at the last minute. As I was getting dressed this morning I decided that I didn't want my tan skirt, I wanted black. I wanted black because some small part of my heart feels that black is the only respectable color to wear on this day. Black to honor all those who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones. Black to share in the sadness and pain and overwhelming darkness that crossed our great land that day. I paired it with a lightweight sage green sweater. Green, in about any shade, is my favorite color. I also consider green to be a color of hope. After a long, grey and dark winter, at that point where you think that you can't just go on one more minute.. the earth burst forward in lush green new life. Black for mourning. Green for Hope.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sugar and Spice.......

Just a quickie before bed... (giggles like a 12 year old at that)

My SIL went for her 20 week ultrasound today, and learned that she is carrying a wonderfully healthy little girl!!

I can't wait to tell Ms. Thang in the morning. She was so sad when Max died, and wants to have cousins so badly. She will be tickled to death that the baby is a girl. She has had a fantastic relationship with our little neighbor who is 4, since her birth.. so much so that she gets to 'babysit' quite often (when mom or dad are home and busy).

Continued good thoughts and prayers that the delivery will be smooth and uneventful. She is due in late January and they are still so worried and fearful that something tragic will go wrong again, even though they know in their brains that the odds are slim to none.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?!?

Random Complaints On a Tuesday:

1. It's dark now when I get up. I feel like it's too early to be dark when I get up. I still have been walking, but I'm having a hard time getting out of bed because, hello.. it's dark! The Old Farmer is predicting a cold and snowy winter and I can't tell you how happy that makes me (eyeroll). I am not ready. It's about time to start the fall cleaning and get all the windows sealed up and ready for winter. Secretly I am harboring hope of warm days until late October and I'm not ready to close up the house yet. Call me crazy, but it could happen.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Anyone else remember that song from back in the late 80's or early 90's called Summertime? I believe it was by Will Smith, back from his musical days. I don't know why, but for some reason I've had that song running through my brain for the past few days. Then there's the song of the same title by Kenny Chesney that I heard just the other day on the way home. All reminding me that summer just got here, just in time for it to be over.

I won't bore you with the details of the "summer that wasn't", nor how ironic it is that the nice weather has shown up just in time to go back to work. Cuz really, even I'm tired of it. Secretly I'm hoping that it stays warm until November, only for heating purposes.. but at the same time we picked apples on a hot day last year and the year before, and really, October isn't supposed to be hot.

Mr. Man has an assignment for Algebra (I love that he gets HS credits for this class in 8th grade) to create a poster about him. It has to to include a photo of him, and then stuff about him. He decided to borrow my little camera and go and try and take a photo of his favorite spot in town which is along a river that runs through the mill and behind the library and into the town pond. Actually, it runs out of the town pond and backwards through all that stuff I mentioned, but who's keeping score?

Anyhow, it was too dark for him to get a good picture of the river, and while I tried to tell him that.. I'm glad he went to try anyhow. He got this photo of the sun going down and the clouds, and I think it's just gorgeous. He was pretty impressd with it also and asked me to print it for his poster. We had an OK afternoon. It's a little better now that we are both back at school and not at each other's throats, but it's hard being the parent of a teenager.I'm trying hard to be more patient and less bitchy, but sometimes it's just hard. So. Damn. Hard.

Monday, September 01, 2008

An Old Fashioned Country Auction

On Saturday, a local auction house came to town to auction off the contents of an antique store over by the town library. The owner of the store, and his brother were antique collectors. They bought, and bought with the intent of selling, but never actually got around to the selling part. The building the antiques were stored in had 9 rooms. 9 rooms packed to the brim with stuff. Mostly chairs, and dressers and drop leaf tables. 60 or 70 drop leaf tables by my estimation, and that might be too low a number. Anyhow, the owner passed away at the beginning of the summer, and his 93 year old wife is settling her affairs. They have no children, and no heirs and so to the auction it all went.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sono triste.

I went to see Mama Mia with a group of my girlfriends that play in my steel drum group. OMG. I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time. Not only was the movie hysterical, we went to a small local theater, and the old lady sitting next to me was a HOOT! She laughed, and clapped, and she sang along with the songs, but quietly so no one heard her. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you go check it out. Don't go alone. Take your friends, or your mom, or your daughter.. but go. Laugh. Enjoy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Eye Candy Friday.....


Today finds the last day of summer vacation. Oh, I know you are saying, "But you don't go back to work until Monday." You are correct, but Saturday and Sunday are days off already, so technically today is the last day. The only plans I have for today, are to mow the lawn after lunch. Oh sure, I have a bunch of things I "should" do, but really... I probably won't.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In Which We Find An Introduction.......

Friday was one of those kind of days that doesn't really go how you want it to. Seemed like no matter what I had that needed doing, something else kept cropping up etc, etc. So around 2pm-ish... Ms. Thang and I decided it was time for Harry Potter 3. We've been re-watching all the movies in preparation for the new one (thanks for bumping it back to next year Warner Bros., bastards) before school starts next week. So anyhow.. I'm sitting in the chair, watching the movie and crocheting cupcake bottoms, and The Boy walks through the door. At 3pm. I quickly went through all the questions, "Are you OK?" "Did something happen?" "Are you sick?". He was fine, but had worked late a lot this week and decided to come home early.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let's Talk About Me....

Here's how you do it. Into the search bar on Flickr, enter the answer to the following 12 questions. Find your favorite photo on the first page only. Using this niffty gadget, make a mosaic( 3 colums, 4 rows). Post it to your blog.

*click to see it bigger*
1. first name: (Beth)
2. favorite food:( salad, many kinds)
3. What HS did you attend: (Lancers)
4. favorite color:( green)
5. who is your celebrity crush? (the last celebrity crush I had was a long time ago and was Ben Affleck)
6. favorite drink:(Corona)
7. dream vacation: (Tropical Island)
8. favorite desert: (strawberry shortcake)
9. what do you want to be when you grow up? ( teacher)
10. what do you love most in life?: (outdoors)
11. one word that describes you: (pretty (I asked dh for the answer to this LOL))
12. your flicker name: (just plain beth)

1. F/V Suzanne Beth, 2. simple salad : home, 3. camera robot Lancer..., 4. Nant Ffrancon and Glyder Fawr, Wales, 5. Ben Affleck, 6. Make Mine a Frosty One, 7. Farewell to Maui (for now), 8. strawberry shortcake, 9. the birth of a better Day, 10. The closed window, 11. Fresh Dinner, 12. specs

Friday, August 08, 2008

Let Them Eat... Cupcakes!

So in a nod to our new "wellness program" at school, which started last year so it isn't so new, I decided this year I'm going to make cupcakes for all my co-workers on their birthdays. I found a cute little pattern on Ravelry, and decided to give it a test run yesterday. I used regular worsted white yarn for the bottom, and some leftover organic cotton yarn for the top. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but left it up to the user to decide on what to do, so I like how the combo worked out. I sewed some beads on for sprinkles and stuffed it full with fiberfill. The sewing up part was a little fiddly, and took the longest amount of time.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Sunday of My Discontent

My brother S has come up with a theory likening summer vacation to a weekend. See, he works in Education also, and likewise has the summer off. June is like a Friday. Most of June is spent at school, working, with the promise of summer vacation looming on the horizon. Depending on how awful the winter is, depends on how late in June we are at school. Most of Friday is spent working, with the promise of the weekend ahead in just a few hours. While you can enjoy Friday as the start of the weekend, likely you are too tired to really enjoy Friday night. June is the same way. The last weeks of school kick your arse and leave you tattered and worn. The first week of summer vacation is usually spent recuperating from the prior three weeks. Not much of a vacation.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Families Are Challenging

Families Are Challenging... this is what my SIL said to me yesterday in her kitchen. My mother had just finished complaining to her about me. The thing of my mother is, she's not quiet. The conversation in the other room we were in.. had just come to a pause, and we all heard her loud and clear. The look of shock on my brother and The Boys face confirmed that what I was feeling at that exact moment was more than justified.

The thing is.. we were supposed to be at my brother's to celebrate her leaving. A stop by on the way back from the airport to commiserate and reflect on the past 2 weeks. We were half way to the Ham Radio outlet, where The Boy needed to buy a cable when my cell rang. "You'll never believe this," she said. "My flight has been cancelled." Nothing strikes fear into your heart more than those words, when you've just breathed your first sigh of relief in a week. Turns out it was weather related and she couldn't get a flight out until the morning. "That's OK, right?" she asked. I told her no, it wasn't. The Boy had coordinated efforts to get his radio tower for a month and it was happening in the morning. My brother picked her up, called me and begged me to still come over, and so we went.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some Mid Week Humor

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Monday, July 21, 2008

In Which We Unearth A Surprise.....

My garden has been doing fabulously this year. The plants are lush and green. There have been blooms all over the place. Bees are buzzing around pollinating plants and baby veggies were abound when we left for camping. I actually harvested a zucchini the day we left, because it grew so fast the last few days it was on the plant, I was worried it would be too big and bitter by the time we came home. I only planted one zucchini plant this year, due to space constraints, and then later read that you need to have two plants for cross pollination to get any decent kind of harvest. Well, I've had plenty of male blossoms, and unfertilized zukes, but there appears to be 2 more of those suckers out on my plant now, so I'm not too worried about it. I was going to try a new Zucchini-Orange bread recipe with it, but we're going to have it grilled with some summer squash to go along with a dinner this week, and we'll save the bread making for when it's not so stinking HOT!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stimulate This

I don't discuss politics on this blog, and I am not about to start now.. in the middle of an election year. I will say however that I wholeheartedly disagree with George Bush's Economic Stimulus plan. If the Federal Gov't really had THAT MUCH extra cash kicking around, I can think of about eleventy billion BETTER things they could've done with it, than to get people to buy more crap.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friends Are God's Apology For Relations

So Ms. Thang is turning 11 next Friday, and on Saturday (the 26th) various members of both of our families will get together to celebrate her birthday. A few years ago we declared that we were hosting family birthday parties until the age of 12, and while it caused some uproar with my MIL, I secretly am thrilled to death that I only have to suffer through 2 more of these craptacular occasions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Homeward Bound

Some Things I Learned While Camping (In no particular order):

1. No matter when we go camping, it will either rain or be cold. This time we got rain half of Monday, and cold nights. The Boy says it's his fault. Any time in his life he's ever been camping, it's rained. I think next time we will leave him home.

2. The only reason men (and boys) go camping, is to start fires. The bigger the fire, the happier the men-folk. In order to have a fire, you must have a large stick. The only purpose of the stick, is to poke the fire. The poking makes the fire bigger and therefore better. The fire is not there to provide you warmth, no matter what you may think. It's just there to entertain the men-folk.

Friday, July 11, 2008

In Which We Find a Much Needed Vacation

The ole' blog is going to be quiet for a bit. After a steel drum gig up north early tomorrow.. we will be taking off for a much needed family vacation. We're headed off to our favorite local campground where we will un-plug, un-wind and recharge. The weather looks pretty decent, with only a chance of rain on Monday. The first time we ever went was a wash (click here,), so I'll settle for one possibly rainy day.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hot Summer Streets

Whoah baby.... is it hot out there today. The heat index is 95, which pales in comparison to that REALLY HOT week we had before school got over, but it's still toasty! One of those days where the air quality is bad, and they've issued warnings and blah blah blah. I still managed to get in a 2 mile walk early this morning, and I'm doing things that maybe only crazy people do when it's hot.. but I'm not at that "too hot to move" stage yet. The sky is clouding up and I'd bet my money on some thunder storms later. I love summer thunder storms. The kids are off swimming, the gardens are looking a little wilty, and the dog is moping around drooling all over the floor. (sigh). I finished a book earlier and may even work on some knitting later. If it's too hot for yarn I'll probably take a book outside and sit under the trees at the table with a cold drink. I love summer vacation.

p.s. I cut those daisies from my garden. Aren't they gorgeous?

Monday, July 07, 2008

In Which We Find Some Knitting

I'm currently involved in a Knit-a-long for the Knit and Tonic Dream Swatch Head Wrap. (pdf, be warned!) I won this lovely yarn that is a mix of merino wool and silk. It's fingering weight, but I didn't feel like starting socks (my last pair isn't finished yet)... and I was dying to knit it NOW, so here we are. Besides, I wear my hair up a lot, especially at school. Nothing worse than your hair hanging in your face while you try to work. This yarn and pattern were a perfect marriage. The yarn brings out the long stitches beautifully, and the pattern allows long runs of each color instead of the smaller stripes socks would show.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just Another Random Sunday....

Few things:

1. My SIL is pregnant again, and I'm sooooooooo excited and happy for them. They have been through so much, and have been trying for so long to have a family. If you could keep them in your good thoughts over these next 7 months, we would all greatly appreciate it. I can't imagine the fear and anxiety she must be feeling along with the excitement and happiness. I have to say, I was worried enough for her after they lost my nephew Max, but she's been battling depression since her miscarriage last year and really has been struggling. Max's death was a freak accident, but to be safe they are going to take the baby early (I'm guessing 2 weeks?) and so he/she will be born sometime in the middle-ish of January. Just in time to need lots of hand-knit items.