Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday - To My Baby

The moment I saw you, I loved you.
More than life itself, I love you.
And I love you more and more each day.

Happy Birthday my precious precious girl.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Drop Off Pick Up

Today is a early release day, (school is out at 1 instead of 3 PM) made earlier by a doctor's appointment in Boston. I sent an email out yesterday to the little one's teacher:

My lovely will be picked up at 9:45. Yes that's right 45 minutes after the official start of school.

But the truth be told she has Chinese at 8 AM so really she will be at school 1 hour and 45 minutes before she has to make the trek with her sister and me into the big children's hospital in the city.

Yes, I know I could have arranged a playdate, so when the early release bell rings and I'm not there to get her, she would have a place to go. But today she'll get to meet her sister's doctors, see the pretty art work on the walls, and maybe if we make good time go out to lunch.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yes, We're still here...

Life is life these days. I am seriously considering putting a revolving door in the mudroom. And the icing on the cake is I'm sick. I know, moms aren't allowed to get sick. But this germ didn't read that rule. As of yesterday afternoon I seem to be winning the battle. And I'm seriously considering buying stock in whatever parent company makes Nyquil.

Seriously, that is a lot of serious consideration for one mom in one day. For being such a stern word, serious is pretty funny looking.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Question

Every year we have a party around this time. Oh how I wish it were an adult party, for my friends, but it's for the kids and they invite 6 of their friends. Fourteen -- for the house plus the parents that stay, and we are almost to the sardine state.

And each year as classroom buddies ebb and flow, the invite list changes. This year there is a new girl. I called the house. I invited the girl and the mom replied, "Do you know she is a twin?"

I answered back, "Yes, I had heard that." Her twin is not in any classes with my child.


Finally I add, "Please get back to me if your daughter can make it so we can make sure to have a pumpkin for her to carve and enough mini pumpkins for the pumpkin hunt."

Weeks pass, then this week I hear through the grape vine that they need our phone number, so I call. "Can your daughter come?"

"Yes she can. I'll drop her off before I take my other daughter back to college."

"Oh, I didn't know you had an older daughter."

"Yes, I have three; the twins and one in college."

She then has the whatever to ask, "Is the whole classroom invited?"

"No, our house is not that big, and each of my girls invite six friends."

Okay so I have a case of the guilts. Do I squeeze in one more? Really when chaos rules, what is one more...

But on the other hand, if one of my close in age daughters gets invited to a party I don't try to weasel an invite for the other. And there have been tears about who gets invited and who doesn't. "She's been to more parties than I have this year. Why can't I go too."

What I want to say is, "Sorry you had twins but... what..." Those of you who really don't know me and perhaps think I am always oh so nice and laid back, not quite. I don't like being bullied, especially when pumpkin carving is involved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I think I like stained glass because it is a lot like writing.

Tonight while I was cutting up the sky that surrounds the gulls, I was thinking about how much stained glass work is like writing.

Both start with a plan or at least a rough idea. Both have flexibility in plot and design. For writing the story takes over and the writer becomes the implementer of the pen. In glass the idea is there, but the color, the curve of the cut, and how it all fits together is a product of the process.

For both the first draft or cuts are rough, and only after rewriting and grinding away does the book and the stained glass creation come together. I think that is what I like about writing and stained glass, that something so rough and disjointed can come together and flow from one topic to texture to the next.

Kris -- do you recognize some of that glass...

Sometimes it's all pointy inside

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's up. It's down. It's back. It's forth.
Good, bad, in, out, day, night, asleep, awake, one, zero, winter, summer, hot, cold, happy, sad, birth and death.

Why is reflection more colorful than life itself?

It's all about tomorrow

All year I've been planning the meal for tomorrow, my husband's birthday. For the entire summer I horded the rhubarb harvest to ensure there was enough for his birthday pie. My stash hidden in the freezer under the leftover seeds. I have been eying the last of the venison steaks with visions of candlelight and wine. Soft music playing in the background and a relaxed meal at the table. Tomorrow night I know what we are having for dinner: venison, "old rotten potatoes", salad, and birthday rhubarb pie.

The only problem is I have to come up with something for tonight's dinner before then...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Call Me Stupid

I have this computer to set up for work. It's a high end hand me over. Tons of computing power, a monitor the rivals our TV and our neighbor's TV combined for size. Makes me feel a bit like Yurtle the Turtle.

In preparation of my new to me hardware I cleared off my desk, moved the laptop to the kitchen table (Yes, you're right. There are now two computers in the kitchen.), and dusted -- a miracle, but I digress.

This weekend the man and I took a stab at setting up the new digs: box in place, power plugged in, network, speakers, mouse, keyboard. It's all plug and play. Match the plug of one to the socket in the other and your up and running. And we would have been, except for the monitor. Call me stupid, but for an entire day I sat and looked the cabling from one and the connector on the other. They don't match. I even looked at the cabling for my old desktop; no go.

At first I thought, well maybe there is a hidden socket somewhere. Nope. Then I thought well maybe it's a universal or a morphing kind of socket and when the cable gets close it will just fit. No such luck. And then I thought I must be stupid. After all computers are constructed so anyone 5 to 95 can with a flick of the wrist get on the internet in 6 seconds flat. In fact there should be a game show where people race to assemble computer components striving towards the finishing line by accessing google. Ta-Da! But no.

Tail between my legs I emailed the new boss, "I seem to be missing a video cable..." Seven seconds later, (their six month old was tasked with putting their new system on the net, so it took him a bit longer), the email came back, "The cable is in the bag."

So I laid all the cables out. Attached all the ends I could to where ever they would go, and still the monitor is not talking with the computer. I went to bed... feeling stupid... Imagine me, a computer person can't get tab A into slot A. And I'm to do this for a living, again.

So this morning, quite early, feeling a bit beaten up before the official contract is signed, I decided to give it one more go, with a little help from my internet friends. Searching for the make and model of the computer, I found out there are no set video cards with this set up. When ordering the owner is asked, "How many monitors would you like with that computer?" When I got my first computer it came with a black and white seven inch screen, and I was happy. I think this puppy's last owner picked the number 2, and I'll tell you why. Because the video card has a DMS-59 connector which supports two bigger than my TV screens. Talk about Yurtle the Turtle and lording over all that you see.

I then searched for the make and model of the monitor. Yup it looks like an adapter is in order. Go figure. Trying to sound like I haven't been out of the computer work force for ten years, I sent out another email, "It looks like the box prefers DMS-59 and the monitor is putting out DVI. Is there an adapter that didn't make it over?"

I know the answer that will comeback, "No worries on that contract. I'll be over for the equipment right after the school drop off this morning."

Really, maybe I should listen to my kids and stick to making their lunches for a sense of total satisfaction.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mine Mine All Mine

Today, (excluding 4PM to 5PM), is all mine. Insert maniacal laugh here. There is joy coursing through my veins. Once the chitlins are out being educated I will be home alone. Now for a stay at home mom you would think that is no big deal. But for this stay at home mom, I'm not home all that often. I know it's my own doings. And most doings I embrace whole heartedly with reckless abandon. Still when a day of nothing appears, there is quiet joy. I can set up my work computer, read the white pages, confirm an upcoming meeting or two, practice the banjo, work on the stained glass, prepare for the upcoming Girl Scout meetings, and if there is still time -- clean the kitchen.

Yesterday I sat at my kitchen table and cleared up two to dos: a digital slide show and the parish calendar content. I sat down at 10AM and stood up at 4PM. Honestly I didn't think those projects were going to take all that much time. All the while I am gazing at Pleco who is using semaphore to tell me that her tank is well overdo for a cleaning. Typing away, I nod and say, "No worries, your next on the list."

And she was.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rocking Out!

How did the Catholic religion get such a bad rap? When did the whole worship thing crawl into a rut, left to die a thousand deaths -- years ago? And of course the sex abuse scandal didn't and hasn't done anything for worship-ship.

Yesterday I had the utmost pleasure to rock out with Ike and his band at the Catholic Middle School rally. Chris Padgett was the icing on the cake. He spoke about being broken, empty and lonely. And how these three attributes bring us all into sainthood.

Lisa had the youth take pieces of pictures and copied them onto larger papers. The resulting reassembled artwork, though not perfect, showed us all that in the imperfections there is uniqueness and beauty.

The rally climaxed with Adoration and Mass. Ike rocked us through it all.

This was not an event to be missed. It was worship at its most high.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What is it with the shower?

I get the best ideas while in the shower. The only problem is, I don't have anywhere to write them down...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hour by Hour

Today is one of those stuffed to the gill days. Friday folders, but before that swing by the church to gather the calendar info, meeting for the new job (it starts), swing by knitting, Girl Scout meeting, birthday sleepover, which will be a Halloween party for four. Maybe cut out a few more pieces of glass, if I am lucky.

Yesterday after dinner, I picked up the track star from school, took the middle one to her flute lesson, came home practiced my banjo, then flew off to ARISE. As I stepped through host's front door she said, "You are always so relaxed. How do you do it?" I laughed. Relaxed, no -- dressed relaxed -- read slobby here, yes.

Right in front of my desk, where I can't help but see it from my computer, is a picture of my mentor and dear dear friend, Marty Schrier. In the two short years I knew Marty she taught me a lot about slowing down and how not to suffer from craned neck syndrome. Marty did not survive her bout with cancer. Seeing her picture stands as a reminder to embrace life, and to love those around me. And if the little snap shot doesn't do the trick, a pastel potrait of her is hung to look over my shoulder while I work. I have Marty coming and going. How lucky can I be.

Today, right now -- it is snowing outside. Of course, it is outside... what am I thinking.

Tomorrow is the Catholic Middle School Rally at Xaverian High School. I get to chaperon. I can't wait. Despite the forecast of rain, or will it still be snow, it should be a rocking good time for these kids.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Evening is better.

With the laundry momentarily done, I started my next stained glass project. It is a picture of my middle one flying a kite on the beach. When it is finished, I'll either send it off to college with her, or hang it in our kitchen window.

Welcome to my morning

Picture a mother, dressed in her bathrobe and wool socks, sitting at the kitchen table, cutting last week's coupons. The phone rings. It's a call from the bus stop, a quarter mile away.

"Mom I left my SAT prep binder somewhere in the house and the bus is here."

Mother's pulse quickens. "And where would that binder be?"

"Upstairs in my room, in a white box. The bus is here."

Mother runs upstairs. "It's not here." Then mom remembers seeing a white box in the archeological dig called the dining room table. "Could it be downstairs?"

"Maybe, mom the bus is here."

"What do you want me to do?"

(No answer.)

"I have it, start walking home, I'll meet you and drive you to school."

"Mom, the bus is leaving, I have to go."

"But how and I going to get this to you at the school?" Remember mom is in her robe and socks.... not much else. And there are several thousand students at the high school. Mom is not going to walk the halls dressed like she is.

"I have to go."

"Start walking home."

Now yelling, "The bus just left, I'm walking."

Mother throws winter jacket over robe, yells to other children to get up, then storms out of the house to drive to bus stop. Of course daughter will be walking on the other side of the street, so a silent prayer for an easy pull off and crossing is put forth.

Sees daughter, beeps to daughter. Picks up daughter. Drives daughter to school. Praying for no accidents at home or on the road.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorry JFK, it's been one of those days

Ask not what mom will do for you, but what you can do for your mother.

I can't even type about how busy today has been. Yes, I went to my stained glass class from 10 to 12:30, but besides that I have been up and down, in and out of the car all day long. Tomorrow is no better. Neither the day after.

My husband has the habit of taking the day after a vacation off. Today was such a day. I left and he was watching movies. I came back and he was watching movies. Maybe one of these years I will take a true day of rest. No dropping off at school. No making lunches. No laundry. No running to tutoring. No leaving a check for a rally at the church, or picking up a library book. No cooking dinner, or picking up after dinner. No cross country pick up only to be informed that there is a pasta party -- and oh can I drive.

My newly nine year old is having a sleepover birthday celebration this Friday night. The house looks like a camping Halloween bomb has gone off. I need to clear enough space for a few sleeping bags. I'm tempted to just toss it all in the trash.

Truly I would fall over if anyone lifted a finger.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A question...

This weekend found us camping down at Nickerson State Park with my aunt and uncle. As usual, when we hiked past a can, or bottle, or flip top, I was quick to pick them up and stash them in my pocket or backpack; all for the church youth group or for Ronald McDonald's House. My Aunt commented, "Where would the church be without you?"

And the bigger question, "Where would I be without the church?" flashed into my mind.

It was a great weekend. Cool air. Fantastic family. Excellent eats.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Last night I ventured into the big town to delight in Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers playing at the Wang Theatre. What a night. Music laced with comedy. Comedy spilling over with phenomenal music. Dave Barry warmed up the crowd, interviewing Steve Martin on any topic at all as long as it was not relating to the banjo or to Steve Martin. The evening ended, according to Martin, after they played everything they knew, to the total delight of the two standing O, toe tapping crowd.

In an interview that was printed in the Metrowest Daily News on Sunday October 4, 2009, Martin was asked if he ever imagined he'd be playing professionally? He answered, "No. When I first started practicing, I'd be particularly frustrated. I would say, 'If I just stay with it, one day I'll have been playing 40 years.' And I think it's good advice to people who get frustrated with instruments: just play a little bit everyday and one day you'll be playing for 40 years and you'll be pretty good."

I wanna be a real banjo player when I grow up.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What's my fancy?

I'm coming to the home stretch on my stained glass crucifix and I'm anxious to line up another project.

What to do?

After class I had the idea of doing a maple sugaring motif that would hang in the kitchen window overlooking the sugar shack. Bright blue sky, dark tree trunks hung with shiny buckets, perhaps the shack in the background putting out steam from the boil, snow on the ground.

I also had the idea of doing a window of fall colors.

What to do? Something...

Being a person who doesn't like to waste anything, I think I will pull out all my small bits of glass and see what develops. The idea is there. It just has to be given the time to breathe.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

If it doesn't happen in the morning...

then it doesn't happen.

I am a morning person. As it is common for me to be up at 4 AM, some might call me a very very late night person, but AM is a sign of morning, and that is me.

But if tasks don't get done during the AM hours of the day, for me, chances are it's not going to get done. I move full steam ahead until right after lunch and then all slows down to get ready for the return of the cherubs, dinner and that which follows dinner.

Like today, I made chicken meatball and spinach soup, and chicken cutlets before breakfast. After wards I played taxi to my stars, then scooted off to stained glass class -- which goes until 12:30. On the way home I relieved Kris of her old stained glass supplies, then raced home to get ready for dinner and children.

And I sit here thinking, now what did I accomplish today?

Monday, October 05, 2009


We have had our go arounds this year with the children. Little things like sneaking, taking what is not theirs, fighting, tattling, communication stuff... situations that make me, their parent, crazy. But I have finally met my guru, and it happened this morning while I was on the treadmill.

While putting in my time the show Bill Cosby Himself was on and despite coming out in the 70s I could have sworn this man has been peeking in our windows. He knew exactly how shampoo got into the little one's eye, and quoted verbatim the "It's Mine" argument that took place two nights ago. Then he quoted me, saying it was his wife who had said it, spewing my entire rant about how I feel about children rolling their eyes.

How did he do it? Does this man have a time machine? Do I need better curtains or to search for bugging devices?

I need to contact the network with the hopes they will play that show every morning around 5 AM. It was the fastest and most enjoyable indoor jaunt I had had in a long time.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Home Is Where The Fish Is

Pleco gets a new home

We have a fish that has out grown its tank, a 20 gallon long. For months, he has had to swim backwards to turn his hulking eleven inch body around. Tail bent the poor baby sucked onto the side of the tank; keeping his home clean and his belly full. That is until today. From now on, Pleco will call a new 30 gallon long tank home. Given the extra fin room, I wonder how big he will grow.
Time will tell.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Full House; Full Day

We took the Girl Scouts to the Boy Scout Reservation today. It was a nice cool day for a walk in the woods. From Tippling I pointed out Big Blue and Mount Monadnock. The troop can't wait to climb both. One scout said, "We get to climb a real mountain." I can't wait to see her face at the summit.

Next week we will hike Purgatory Chasm. We'll pack a lunch and make a day of it.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late

for a very important date...

It's not even 6:45 and two are out the door already, and the next two must be up and out by 8... We have morning rush, to be followed by afternoon chaos.

Yesterday I was in and out of the house so much I contemplated a revolving door. Actually, the man had to bring dinner to the cross country meet, when I realized with its later start our lady runner would not have time go home, eat and then get to SAT prep. Thank God I had the presence of mind to make a pot roast yesterday. I'm hoping there are enough leftovers for tonight for we have flute, yard sale set up and cross country pick up to eat around.

Lunches are made. I even baked brownies... now to raise the rest of the troops.