Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two down... 178 to go...

No, I won't carry this theme for all 180 school days, but it is showing me in real time that time does indeed fly. Our long awaited for summer is a wash in memories. For me, all tied up in a once bright, but fading, orange hat.

We're into the school year two days, and so far, knock on my gray matter, all is going fine. Butcept the bus. They hate the bus, because we now share the bus route with a neighboring school and when my children get on the bus all the good seats are taken. Clearly demonstrating: One only knows happiness when one has something to complain about.

We had a calendar meeting today. The vote was 3 - 0 for color, ie the black and white photos just don't do the event justice. So, it is back out, tired feet pounding the sidewalks, looking for more funding. We are $2,400 short to print in color.

Truly this is a pounding the sidewalk kind of deal. While walking this evening I approached one business man I know, who was enjoying the cooling air. At least he gave me his company card and told me who to talk to in the morning. (I also hit up our eye dr. when we were in for a check up and new glasses this afternoon.)

Any companies out there care to sponsor one month in a World Youth Day calendar that will be made free to our sponsors and parishioners? The cost is $250.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One down; 179 to go

The first day of school is over. No missed buses. No lost lunch boxes. No missing forms that require my signature.

I spent my free time setting up a new knitting group with friends. We are a branch off of the Crafters for Christ group at our church, meeting Friday mornings (9:30) at Annie's Book Stop. The projects will be baby blankets and chemo caps.

I am very excited. All local knitters and crocheters are all welcome to come. Knit a group project or finish up something you have at home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More World Youth Day

We are putting together a calendar for the parish from WYD photos. Due to expense, and the fact we are giving the calendars out for free the photos have to be black and white. So I've been looking for photos that will work. I kind of like this one.

School starts tomorrow. Their bags are packed. They are ready to go.

One day and counting

school, school, school
it starts...

Already there are conflicts in the schedule. Already I've been on the phone giving heads up, and arranging for work arounds. I hope it is not a sign of what this school year is all about.

One more day to have fun... and then the party is over.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

To do lists

This summer the gardening took the far back seat on my to do list. Just short of taking the fence down and putting up a graze here sign, I gave into sharing my little fresh veggie spot with our wide hipped squatter. Still, there is work that needs to be done; like weeding.

So today while I was out there separating the weeds from the buffet favorites I noticed that a patch of thistle behind the shed had burst. The Goldfinches must be feasting as well. Because thistle grow big and take over the flower beds, I usually pull them as soon as they germinate. But these behind the shed got by me, and to the finches benefit and for us as well. For we enjoy their songs and seeing their flashes of yellow and black dipping across the sky.

There is good in all situations, even ground hogs. For if I had been on my usual schedule I would've pulled these thistle weeks ago.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Busy Busy Day

For days like today the only solution is to breathe in and breathe out, slowly. For those coming over to my house today, remember this family gravitates to the lived in, camped in, played in look; no house beautiful here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

About Me in Multiples of Five

Charity at All Things Hold Together tagged me to let you in on a few facts about me.

What was I doing ten years ago?
  • Easy: taking care of a new baby. Where has the time gone?

Five snacks I enjoy:
What food don't I enjoy? But here are five:
  • European yogurt with Bosky Dell Farm granola and maple syrup on it
  • A sushi lunch shared with my oldest
  • Eating ice cream right out of the container with the little ones
  • Sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows
  • Later around the same campfire sharing a flask with the man

Five things on my to do list today:
  • Think of something for dinner
  • Camp run
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to a band concert
  • Go to the bank, and post office (Maybe I can combine 4 and 5... timing)
  • Clean the house... right
  • Finish drying out the waterslide (oooppssss that's way more than five)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
  • Help my family financially
  • Take my entire family and our Youth Ministry Group to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid
  • Buy yarn with reckless abandon
  • Hire a gardener to help me with my weed patches
  • Build a solar shed and a real sugar shack

Five jobs I have had:
  • Mom
  • Veterinarian Assistant
  • Lab assistant teaching General Chemistry
  • Research Associate designing chemo therapeutic agents
  • Writer
  • oh and one more... Quality Assurance Engineer

Five bad habits: (only five?)
  • Can't seem to say no to anyone asking a favor -- Thus will over schedule to the breaking point
  • Email junkie
  • Junk food junkie -- especially when I'm over scheduled
  • Yelling too much when I get angry, and have been overeating... sense a spiral here...
  • Not the greatest communicator even when I'm yelling

Five places I have lived:
  • Brockton, MA
  • Champaign, IL
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Haddonfield, NJ
  • then back to MA again

Five people I would like to get to know better:
No Worries -- no obligation

Five random facts about me:
  • I love photography. I love taking pictures and I love looking at the photographs of other photographers like Kris and Bazphotogirl: two phenomenal photographers.
  • I love to knit, especially socks and someday I'll even knit a sweater.
  • I would kiss my girls all day long if given half a chance. They are my world.
  • I am a maple sugarmaker. And someday would like to work in a real sugar shack like Morse Farm.
  • I will soon be the proud owner of my very own leg lamp. The Christmas Story House Museum is having a phenomenal sale.
  • I love playing the banjo... at least attempting to make music with a banjo

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Better Late Than Never

That tenet holds true for so many periods in one's life. All day, I've wondered just what bloody pearl of wisdom could I pass on. Nothing... nothing came to mind. It was a typical day in the neighborhood. A beautiful day in the neighborhood. We played games, made friendship anklets and fed the fish. All that was missing was the red cardigan, and Henriette Pussycat.

Really, I shouldn't wait to blog until it's bedtime. Hopefully, I'll have better luck in the morning putting a few typed words across the internet. But lately I've tried to get in some productive (lucrative) writing in the wee hours. Oh to write something and get paid for it. Now that is a novel idea. Wished I had thought of it...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two Weeks

Actually less than two weeks and once again the fleet of yellow buses will be circling the town. Rounding up the children and setting their sights on all thoughts academia.

Where did the year go? I remember the start of the last school year -- like it was yesterday. Instead of putting them on the bus, I walked the girls to school and hung around to watch them file in with their classes. We'll do that again this year, and the next, and the next...

Where did the summer go? Australia and more... But it went by so fast.

Where does the time go? It flies. So make sure you live each moment to its fullest. Yeah, the old standard cliche, but it's so true.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008


"Save the can! Save the pull tab, books, papers, glass and plastics!" Some days I feel like a broker of recyclables. Save this for them, that will benefit those.

We all know that recycling is the right thing to do; a win win situation. For our family it is a way of life, and a means for servicing our community.

For starters, in our mud room we have a box of glass returnables, a bag for cans and plastic, a recycle bin for the curb pick up, a box for paper and a bag for books. In addition to our own plastic and can returnables, our church gets the returnables from neighbors and local used book store. (The church won't take glass, so we collect that and do our own run to the redemption center.) The money helps to fund programs for the youth ministry. The latest endeavor was to send 16 pilgrims to World Youth Day in Sydney Australia this past July.

This year, for community service, our Girl Scout troop will collect pull tops and turn them into the local Ronald McDonald House. So while we are counting returnables at church we will be pulling the tabs off the cans. We will also be collecting the coke bottle tops and cashing in the Coke Rewards for the school.

And I confess, that while walking my usual neighborhood block, I scout for the discarded can or two or three or... six. Seeing more than litter, but the nickel plus for the youth, and the pull tabs for those staying at Ronald McDonald House.

To our own paper waste, we add the paper recycling from the book store. This we separate into paper, and books. The paper goes into the paper recycling for cash bin at school while the books get separated into a pile for the school library, books to share with the school's neighboring assisted living community, and now the new Got Books container also at the school. And let's not forget the Box Tops for Education and the Campbell Soup labels that we cut and collect.

It's amazing just how many ways organizations can benefit from recycling. For once you turn down the path of brokering recyclable goods, you see other possibilities. Last month I obtained a huge stash of yarn for the Crafters for Christ. They knit baby blankets and chemo caps. And yesterday I collected yard salable items. A friend who is moving wanted to lighten her load, so we went over a filled our truck with her extras. The church yard sale is coming up.

Over and over we see that, one person's trash is another person's treasure.

Pearl Harbor

Yesterday, I learned my great Uncle was part of the Navy rescue and recovery crew at Pearl Harbor. He told me about diving to the sunken ships and listening for survivors tapping on the hulls. And of cutting holes in the hulls so the bodies would float to the surface.

I told him about going out to the USS Arizona Memorial, and what a moving experience it was. And now I compare the two settings: His smoky, blackened with destruction and mine a silent, bright sunny day, a white memorial, and drops of oil still rising to the surface.

When you wake up in the morning you just never know what you will learn in the course of the day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gas Wars

Down on Concord Street by the National Guard Armory in our fair town there is a gas price war going on. The Exxon/Mobil is clocking in with regular at 3.58 and the No Name just up the way is 3.57. So this all begs the question: If they are still making money why is the Exxon a stone's throw away from my Suburban still charging $3.85?

I haven't purchased gas at Mr. $3.85 since their prices got a boost for Fourth of July. I wonder if they noticed my disappearance or the nose snubbings I've offered every time I drive by their establishment, taking my business elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chin, Eyebrow, Back of the..., and now the...

corner of the eye.

So just how many assaults can one melon take?

The Numbers...
One day of camp
Two and a half hours in the ER
Three stitches
Four different rooms
Five xrays
Eighteen stickers
One hundred copays

It was a game of Risk -- baseball a la tennis ball and racket.
Featuring a wicked backhand and a head too close.

Just how much fun will the second day bring?

Nana and Grandpa we tried to get pick bandage to match the party dress.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My New Collection

Last night while knitting with a dear friend at the doggy emergency hospital we discussed leg lamps and it was decided that I would collect pictures of such from around the world. So here is the unveiling of my starting pool.

Goffstown, NH

In the Christmas Story House in Cleveland, OH.

Across the street from the Christmas Story House, at the gift shop. Cleveland, OH.

Cape Cod, MA

And to my dear friend who was poked and prodded late into the night, get well soon girl.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tell Me WHY?

Why do I try to say yes to everything and load up the schedule so there is no room to breathe?

Today we had skating from 11 to 11:50. The little one got new skates and we had to try them out. The skates are wonderful; thanks for asking.

Next was Proud 2 B Catholic. We were there from 12:15 till 2:38. The girls ate, and played on the inflatable fun structures. I spoke with a few people I knew, and then the girls put together a rosary. It was all fun, but we were up against a deadline for a birthday party. So there was the race to the party; we were a few minutes late, and then we would be back a Proud 2 B Catholic -- but I am tired. So we are home. In trying to squeeze it all in, a lot of it got squeezed out.

Lesson learned; hopefully.

Friday, August 08, 2008

These shoes were made for walking

Shoes... well not really, but my tevas.

I wear tevas from April into mid November. In the beginning and at the end, they are accented with funky hand knit wool socks. In the middle it's naked toes, currently sporting lime green toe polish.

This past weekend, while waiting for Mass at St. Lawrence parish in Goffstown, NH, as I glanced down at my feet, I thought about all the places those tevas had taken me this summer: Australia, Hawaii, Vermont, New Hampshire, so far...

As my first choice in foot ware, they have escorted me on many a walk and pilgrimage. Around town they are good for the usual 5 mile neighborhood stroll. In Australia they were up close and personal to the streets of Sydney. Never suffering a strap or velcro failure. Faithful and serving. In Hawaii they went from beach to church without missing a step. While in New England they are my camping choice, and even managed a 9 mile bike ride into town to get a picture of a leg lamp.

A pair of tevas last me 5 or more years. In the end it's always hard to let go, despite slick soles or softened noncommittal velcro. I still have my first pair of retired tevas in the closet, just in case I need them. Just in case the new pair doesn't work out. But that never happens.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Girls Night Out

What a blast we had last night -- girls night out. Truly Girls, as it was Girl Scout Night at the Brockton Rox. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home. But for all you baseball lovers, go to Campanelli Stadium and watch baseball up close and personal. I felt like I was at a super size me Field of Dreams. Where every seat is right next to the action.

Rox/Rocks won! and they had some awesome fireworks after the game.

Friday, August 01, 2008


This picture is from World Youth Day and has nothing to do with petootie. I just wanted to post it, because I like it. Of course, a person with a Free Hug sign could be enough to scare the petootie out of the average mom, on any average day -- but WYD was far from average. Still, I do remember a certain level of nervousness...

"You scared the petootie right out of me."

Just what exactly is petootie? I'll be darned if I know, but up until about 6 months, or so, ago give me a good fright or come screaming into the house with a deep cut across your head, and after the blood and guts had cleared, I'd be heard saying, "Well that scared the petootie right out of me." For a while there, if petootie had some weight associated with it, I would have been pencil thin, but no luck.

Over fourth of July, family, as only loving family can, tried to get me and my petootie with a huge styrofoam ball. One nephew faked an awesome trip, a real head slammer, while the other, equally as endearing, dropped this ball behind me, waiting for me to say, "Well that scared..." you get the picture. And there, bob's your uncle -- petootie. But nothing...

Well, for some reason, lately -- probably dementia, I have been forgetting all about petootie and being so frighten I lose mine. Spine tingling, near miss car accidents, rocks dropped on toes, a lantern bursting into flames only got a brief look up from my knitting and the comment, "I think there is a fire extinguisher right inside the camper door."

Yesterday bore another such experience. While blueberry picking the middle one came up to me and said, "I have a poking feeling on my chest."

"Really," I said, looking at her calmly standing before me wearing a light jacket and shirt, (shorts, and sneakers too... ) "Do you think we should take your jacket off and have a look."

"I can't."

I pondered her I can't just a second, when I realized that the zipper was stuck, and it wasn't that she didn't want to get the jacket off, but she couldn't. I put my can of blueberries down on the ground, offered the obvious instruction of, "Don't kick it." then yarning on the zipper, I peeled the jacket off her.

"Now it hurts by my belly button."

"Well let's get a look at your chest."

Shock flashed on her face when she realized that out in this public blueberry patch I was asking her to lift her shirt. She hesitated. I grab her shirt tail and gave it a quick lift skywards. Below her stomach and chest had been stung 5 times by a bee, who gave a parting assault to her shoulder before flying off.

Thankful she hadn't shown signs of being allergic to bees, I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing we were 45 minutes from the closest hospital, without traffic. Still, we were heading home. So I gathered up the rest of the children and as we walked to get our berries weighed, I asked, "Did it scare your petootie out of you?"

"No," was her response. "I didn't know what was going on."

Giving her a squeeze, and a kiss on her head, I replied, "Me neither." Maybe old age calmness is prevailing.