Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To The Boy on His Birthday

As I type this...we are on a train headed to bring our son to MIT. On your birthday. I would've complained. I would've grumbled about how this was the second time in a week that we had to make this trip, and what a lousy way it was to spend my birthday. You scoped out where to have dinner while we wait for the 4 hour class to get over so we can take him back to your parents house. When I realized I forgot my memory stick for the camera in my laptop, I was thinking about how dumb I was and how I would miss out on photos from today. I was thinking about how I keep on doing this, and it's my own fault that I'm not going to have any photos of our adventures, or his first day of class at college. You informed me we would just buy a new card at North Station. That is the difference between you and I. I stress or worry or get upset. You shrug it off and go with the flow. You don't get upset, or angry often, and nothing much seems to phase you. You are the polar opposite of me. I think this is why our relationship has survived for so many years. You balance my crazy. You make me strive to be a better person. To not get so worked up about things. I love you. Happy birthday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Halls of Higher Academia

Sometime, back during later winter, Mr. Man applied to MIT to take a summer class. Among the programs they offer to HS students, is one called Junction. It starts in late June, and runs through early August. It involves a 2 hour class beginning at 5pm Monday-Thursday, followed by dinner 3x a week, and then a week long seminar after and ends at 9pm. He had to write an essay and fill out an application, and when he told me about it, I nonchalantly replied with an offhand, "Yup, that's great".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Tastes Better

I made the most amazing treat last night for the family. Since being diagnosed with food allergies, some of Ms. Thang's favorite treats have been off limits. On top of having the unfortunate soy allergy, she's also allergic to nuts. All nuts. A million kinds of candy either have nuts, or are "processed in a plant that also process tree nuts and peanuts." In real people terms, that means = off limits. She has been a trooper about the whole thing, especially after a run to the ER one night after eating some mac and cheese at a church function, but it makes me sad to see what she has to give up/avoid.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

15. A cat who loves me enough to follow me around the house, and keep me company when I'm sick.

16. The smile on my daughter's face as she reached over and received her Middle School diploma. 

17. Technology that lets me stay in touch with my husband when he's traveling for work.

18. Teenagers who still want to spend time with mom, even though their friends might not think it's cool.

19. When the one you love comes home after being away.

20. Starting to feel just a bit better after a week of being sick.

21. A quiet morning to putter about, and glimpse's of the sun.. promising to come out and dry the land.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Glimpse of Hope

Back in February, I posted about a yarn dyer who was creating a limited edition colorway in order to raise money for SHARE, in honor of a long time customer who's infant son Charlie had passed away. Having lost my nephew Max, this was something that hit close to my heart, and my wonderful Husband bought me two skeins of the special release colorway for Valentine's Day. I have used it to knit baby hats that are being donated to the local hospital. I thought it was a fitting tribute to use yarn that was raising money for families who have lost infants or pregnancies, to benefit babies.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

8. Making dinner together, and then cleaning up together after it's finished.

9. The gracious way Corey accepted a hard decision that wasn't made in his favor, and then admitted that he was sad and disappointed about it.

10. Neal is always flexible; he will go out of his way to run a simple errand after working all day, without complaining. If I call him after he's done with one more thing I forgot, he will graciously turn around and go back. No questions. No grumblings.

11.Warm sunny weather, and a chance to work out in the garden after school.

12. Running into friends at the supermarket. It makes doing a not-so-pleasant chore that much better. 

13. Warm and yummy oatmeal muffins and coffee on a grey and dreary morning.

14.That he has saved Every. Single. Thing. they have ever given him, from unidentifiable craft projects, to scribbled pictures from when they were 2. If it says "To Dad" or they handed it to him and said, "This is for you", he has it saved in a box.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, Already?

I'm not really sure how we got to be at Friday already, but yet, here we are. This past week has been insanely crazy, and I'm quite glad to see it over and done with. We only have two days left of school, and I can't really wrap my brain around another year ending. Where has the time gone? As part of our Everyday Math program, we have a number line that goes around our classroom, and it starts at -10 and goes to 180. (181 actually, we added a day to it). On day 1, we start an arrow that travels along the number line, ticking off how many days we have been in school. I can remember how excited we were to get to the first "double digit" day, and then we got to day 60 which was 1/3 of the way through the year, and then my favorite day.. 90. Everyone gets excited about day 100, but really.. day 90 is where it's at. Day 90 marks half way. Day 90 usually falls in late January when the world is cold, and dark, and grey, and winter has wrapped it's icy, depressive tendrils around my heart and I'm ready to hole up in my house and not come out again until spring. Day 90 marks hope that in due time, the sun will come back, the trees will turn green again, and eventually we will hit day 181 and the year will be over. It seems like it was so long ago... and just yesterday all at the same time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

1. This shrub, that blooms for 3 or 4 short weeks in June every summer. It came with our house and I love how pretty is, how it smells and that it draws butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. This year is it housing a birdhouse with a nest full of eggs. I have been sad thinking of the short bloom time, but instead I am embracing that we get more than just a single day.

2. Heartfelt "I'm Sorry"'s after a long day of grumbling and unhappiness. 

3. Two brave and wonderful children who are not afraid to ask for help when it's needed.

4. My job, when so many people in our school district have been laid off these past few weeks.

5. Warm sun on a day that was forecast to be cold and miserable.

6. A new co-worker who is graciously sharing gifts of plants from her garden to help mine to grow.

7. Warm, cozy socks and soft fleece pants at the end of a long and tiring  day.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One Thousand Gifts- The Beginning

The other day, I stumbled upon a blog where the author had written a post of things she was grateful for. She talked about how they were part of her 1,000 gifts list, and mentioned a book by the same name. I did a little research, and discovered not only the book, but the blog that author of the book keeps and read the first chapter of the book. I read how a friend challenged her to keep a list, taking however long it took, of 1,000 things she was thankful for. She began to do so, changed her life and wrote about the experience.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Around Memorial Day I started to get the itch to do a little redecorating. I had some spring inspired decor going on, and as spring was still in full swing, it would have been OK to leave it up, but I was tired of it. I was tired of cool days, and grey skies, and ready for sunny, hot summer. In my opinion, summer starts *IN* June, so decorating for summer during early June is perfectly acceptable. So I did. I don't live near the ocean. In fact, I live the furthest away from the ocean than I ever have in my entire life. It takes a couple hours to get there (if you live anywhere that isn't NH, I'm sorry. Our state is small), from clear on the other side of the state, which is where I am. That doesn't stop me from loving the ocean however.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Garden by the Back Fence

Two years ago we rebuilt the fence in the backyard, and I dug out a garden along side the back part of it between my yard and the neighbor next door. You can read about that sage here. Last year I decided to move my herb garden back there. The herb garden used to be in the front of the house, but over the past 10 years, the black walnut tree has grown much bigger and it's a lost shadier there than when I first planted it. I dug up my chives, and oregano, and then started over from scratch with new sage and thyme and some annual herbs. The plants loved being by the fence, as it gets a ton of sun for most of the day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

It's Never Easy at My House

Before: I had to clear all that junk out just to work.
We have a little joke around our house whenever we start a renovation project, that ultimately starts with The Boy™ announcing, "This won't take that long". None of the projects we've ever started, in the almost 10 years we have owned our house have gone as we had planned. They have all taken longer, been more involved, more costly, but in the end, they have far exceeded our expectations for our they would turn out. Take my craft room for example... and as I look through for a "finished" post, it occurs to me that I haven't posted about the finished room. I will get to that later this week.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Vintage Bottles

I never set out to collect vintage glass bottles, it just kind of happened that way. When we bought our house back at the end of August in 2011, we inherited the best kind of friends; the people who formally owned our house. They have kids our age, and are the nicest, most wonderful kind of people, and as young parents with a brand new home in a strange new town, they took us under their wing. We have been able to consult with them on unfinished projects, they have gifted us with items and photos that previously belonged in our house, and even helped build our back fence a few summers ago.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Pin It!

Ashley took this photo of a rock she decorated in my garden
Have you heard about Pinterest yet? Some clever person(s) created this website, that is essentially a virtual... I can't think of quite the word I want to use. Idea board? Story board? Scrapbook? I say scrapbook, because for years now, I have clipped photos out of magazines of things that caught my eye. It might be a house, or a garden, or a design element, a flower arrangement. Whatever. Once in a while, I take my clippings and I stick them into a cheap-o , ring-bound scrapbook that I bought 10 plus years ago at Wal-Mart. In fact, I'm on the hunt for a few new ones as my original one is full, but they don't seem to make them anymore. Anyhow, when I heard about Pinterest, I was hooked. Here, after all these years of browsing the internet and blog reading, was a way to save all the beautiful ideas that I come across, and then are lost forever.