Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Remember

I remember our first time to Disney. Grandpa and Nana brought us all down. Lock, stock and barrel -- paid for in full. WOW! Four years later, I still can't believe it. Rooms with the view in Animal Kingdom Lodge, special character meet and greets, a dinner time safari, a fireworks cruise, and tons more; all for our very lucky family.

And as I look back on the pictures, boy has time passed. For our little girl is not so little. Though given the chance, I am sure she would still share a secret with the mouse.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And many more...

Hope you had a great birthday, Nana. See you real soon.




(I'll be the one wearing Mickey ears....)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today is the day to set up for parish picnic sign up. I have signs to make. And if I think about it, I should make all the signs for the picnic as well. And do the ironing...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Take a Chance. Take a Chance. Take a Chance on Me.

While in the shower this morning, I was thinking about this post and about the new raffle our church Youth Ministry is holding. Multiple New England Patriots prizes with first being two tickets to watch the game (from great seats) on Halloween. Imagine dressing up in costume and going trick or treating at the game! Sounds like fun to me...

Running a YM program takes money. Even more money when the goal is to send a contingent to Madrid for World Youth Day in August 2011. Crazy amounts of money, but we get out there pushing and peddling our next greatest and best raffle or craze.

Here is the scoop:
One ticket for $5; three for $10.
The drawing is October 24th. First prize is the tickets mentioned above. Second is a Patriots Monopoly game; third a Patriots fleece blanket. And 4th a Patriots baseball hat.

The title of this entry, Take a Chance on Me, is oh so right on. As I am going to WYD 2011, and not as a chaperon. I'm going as a normal run of the mill participant who kind of glossed over the word YOUTH. Silly woman; but so looking forward to the experience.

And why? A person has to step back and take the time to become renewed in their passion, their faith. For it they don't, they run the risk of burn out. I just happen to be taking the HUGE step; to Madrid.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parish Yard Sale

Today is the parish yard sale. The St. George hall is jammed floor to rafters with stuff, treasures, must haves. All priced to sell and awaiting new ownership. Doors open at 8 AM. Two dollar bags go on sale early afternoon till close at 3 PM.

I'm not working the sale. I'm on the docket for the clean out. Starting at 2:30 all that is left is put out side with a free sign. "Bring your muscles," was our fearless leaders last request to me as I left yesterday's late night pricing session.

This past Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the troops have been at the parish hall taking donations. It's fun. It's exciting. It's a treasure hunt of sorts. For each night as I leave the house I vow not bring anything home. I nod in agreement with my husband that the house is full, and we need for nothing. And still every night... a few of other people's cast offs trickle home.

This year, for the little ones, two Disney purses, along with two Disney watches were hot buys. Both watches not working until new batteries were inserted. Two little rubber turkeys, a la Thanksgiving style jumped into my box. They called to me. "Take me to your aunt and uncle." For the past umteen years I have somehow somewhere found a turkey something or other offering for these special relatives. Usually a pretty tureen or bowl; this year a pair of rubber beauties. Won't they be surprised.

The husband is not overlooked either. Last year's birthday present of a Civil War board game, for a quarter, was a great find. This year, some juggling balls, two CDs (Andy Williams Christmas), and two Disney mugs were the tribute offering for putting up with my repeated evenings out.

The teen is tougher to scout for. She doesn't need or want nicknacks and do dads. So far her take this year is three canisters of 35 mm film. She has a photo class, so we will donate the film to the cause. And there is the snow board that I have been eying. A few years ago I did find a very nice little black dress that is a stunner.

For me, the finds are usually something we truly don't need; antique glass items. Ever since I was small I have loved glass... probably why I enjoy stained glass now. This year's big find is pictured above. It probably isn't a complete set, but I loved it just the same.

I know I have mentioned on this blog, probably a year ago, that my grandparents used to work their parish yard sale every year. My grandfather would take on the job of polishing all the silver that came in. Nana would handle the clothes and nicknacks. And when we visited post sale their expansive living room would be crowded to standing room only with yard sale finds. Treasures carefully packed in boxes marked with our names. I remember the excitement of diving into my box. Wondering what greatness did Nana and Grandpa find for me this year? Lucky us.

Now I wonder if they left each day for the presale set up vowing not to bring another thing home. Acknowledging that their house and our houses were full. Only to return each night, smiling over their conquests, and dying to share the bounty, rubber turkeys and all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Over 20,000 served!

Thanks for visiting my blog! Amazing 20,000 hits. Of course that is over years, but it certainly is nice to have company.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Looking for a good book?

Looking for a deal? How about both?

Now on you can buy my book, Forever Yours, and get a 15% discount when you enter the coupon code FALLREAD305.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Six times over the past two weeks someone from EBSCO TELESERVIC (caller id truncates) has called this house. Twice I have answered to deny their request to speak with my husband. "Sorry you can't speak with him."

Truly if he doesn't know you, he won't speak to you. Especially when we "let the machine answer" and the caller doesn't leave a message. And you can tell it is a computer dialing from the wait time before someone actually starts talking on the other end. I hate computer generated calls almost as much as a dislike those recorded calls from politicians.

At first I was ticked off. For it is every night around 6 PM, last night it was 6:03, they call. But now, I am interested to see just how many times they will call. Our caller id counter goes up to 99...

This should be interesting.

I did look them up on the web, and they are a real telemarketing service offering everything from newsletters, brand awareness studies, bill collection, market awareness studies, etc... So, if their business with us were real you would think they would leave a message. Regardless, without leaving a message their issue will not get addressed.

BTW: We are on the DO NOT CALL list. As are these people who filed this complaint.

Postscript: They called again tonight at 6:36 PM. Here is what other people are saying about EBSCO. I'm not alone.

Monday, September 20, 2010

There and Back Again

Cooking outside, lighting a match for the first time, (same goes for a fire and camp stove), heating water for dishes, sleeping in tents without a pillow, sitting by the fire, listening to ghost stories and young voices singing right up until quiet hours. Midnight runs to the latrine, texting at 3:30 AM for a drink of water, flashlights flickering before dawn, sharpening a knife, whittling a stick, seeing your breath at night, going for a walk, painting tshirts, playing Marco Polo in a dark tent, and hide and seek.

And at home, laundry, sorting equipment, laundry, SAT prep, airing out sleeping bags, and laundry.

Now the prep for the parish picnic needs to be kicked into high gear. All the supplies need to be gathered, activities need to be checked, caterer talked to "Are we all set?", table set up finalized, the foodlist made and bought.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Prize

This weekend is the prize due to all the planning. hunting and gathering: Camping with the Girl Scouts. I am so looking forward to watching the scouts rule the site. For the chaperons are there only to insure they don't torch the place while testing out their fire starting prowess.

Like my own children, I love to watch these individuals grow and change. I love it when they take on responsibility and prove it to themselves that they can succeed -- rain or shine. They will be cooking, cleaning, providing lessons for each other, and mapping out games and activities. Both young and old scouts, taking charge and offering support.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A day in the shack

Actually, only a couple of hours in the shack, but I am almost finished with the cutting. The pileated woodpecker is all that is left... well the nuthatch beak as well and then some squaring off, but then I will be ready to foil.

So on my to do list for today was clean the bathrooms, get dinner ready early, laundry... and as of right now, nothing got done. I better head off to make dinner.

I feel like I have roped a calf.

You know how the rodeo cowboys rope the calf then stand up giving the all set sign? That's me, and camping prep. DONE! Oh wait, I have to pack the dish soap, but other than that and putting the fire wood in a plastic bin -- DONE!

Yesterday the middle one was asking, "What are you doing Friday in the morning, after your doctor's appt?" My answer, "Packing the car for camping?" Her advice followed. Why don't you get the camping stuff ready then? Why is everything ready now?

My answer, "Because if I am missing something I would like to know about it now rather than 15 minutes before we have to leave." Granted, I am sure we will be missing something, but the big ticket items, like the pot to cook dinner in... I know it is out and ready to be packed. And the camp stove and fuel... found in the garage, tested (Perfect working order.) and out to be packed. Not forgetting the fuel funnel.

DONE. Now the anticipation of the fun can begin.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Granola and Fire Starters Before Breakfast

It was another early morning jam session making fire starters and granola for the Girl Scout camping trip. All the while I worked I kept thinking, "The scouts should be doing this." And it's true. They should have been, but... they weren't.

On the surface going camping seems like an easy task. Pack a few clothes. Set a menu. Gather a few games and activities. Viola -- camping. But no...

Camping is gathering an entire kitchen of supplies. (Don't forget the three dish pans, can opener and hot pads. Not to mention the dish clothes and dish towels.) Doing the food shopping. Making sure there is fuel for cooking, wood or otherwise. Don't forget the first aid kit, and bug spray.

I am a bit stressed. Can you tell?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Whirling Dervish

My life feels like a whirling dervish. Is that how you spell dervish? Anyway -- regardless -- that is how my life feels. Crazy. Squeezing in this. Making room for that. Carving out meeting time.

I feel like a duck. All calm on the surface; paddling like crazy underneath.

I woke up extra early this morning. As soon as the brain switched on the marque to do list flashed to attention. How was I going to get it all done? I know... make dinner before breakfast. So I did. Meatloaf and mash potatoes are cooking and soon to be all set and ready for reheating for dinner later today. Another train wreck missed; Thank God. I'll add Brussels sprouts and we'll call it a feast.

Now to tackle the rest of today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let the busy week begin

I feel like I should be at starting block awaiting the gun. This week is going to be a mad dash for the finish. Appointments, engagements, meetings, Girl Scout camping prep, deliverables... all with my name on them. Really I should learn to delegate better. I do try...

The parish calendar is now creeping onto my plate. Of course, there is an plea in the bulletin for help... but right now there are two of us. And less of me, than my friend beating the bushes looking for sponsorship. We need to sign on at least 13 businesses to cover the cost of the printing. Where one is in "for the cover" to the tune of $1,000.

Other patrons get a piece of the action for one month at $250 and a half month for $125. Sponsorship gets you a very nice ad on that month's page. Any interest?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beware of the Irritable Woman at the Keyboard

I think it is just pre religious ed. jitters, but I am not in the best of spirits. I keep looking at the clock and wondering just when 6 PM and then 7:30 PM will roll around.

Tonight will go fine. I know it will, but still I am nervous.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

King Richard's Faire

A chicken in any other feathers is still a chicken.

Pay the gargoyle and she'll move. I think I prefer her still.

Talk about spinning on your head.

One of the best things about being a parent is watching the world through the eyes of your children. Fun through the eyes of a child is twice the fun and a world of memories.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stained Glass Today

So close, but yet so far. Since this window will hang at the Shack, a stain glass friend suggested I put a "little shack" in the window by the door. I might, but it will be the last thing I do as far as the cutting and fitting goes for this piece. It would be a cute touch, but those little pieces... we'll see.

I figure just a few more sessions and all the glass will be cut and shaped to fit. Then the foiling will begin. Of course, I've saved the toughest pieces for last. So we will see how and when I finish. Though it is nice to see it coming together.

Hiked Yesterday; Hike Today?

Today is an open book with no real plot. How can that be? Our lives are so scheduled. You would think each block on the calendar is blackened with to dos, but not today. What to do? Go for an early morning walk for sure. Stop by knitting, run to the party store. But after...

On yesterday's hike we ventured into parts of the Boy Scout reservation that we had never visited before. Still we didn't stumble across the old homestead. So maybe today we will go back and try again. The girls found plenty of salamanders to keep up their hiking motivation. Maybe there was enough to taking them back today.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hiking Today

The girls have the rest of the week off, so we will head towards our favorite neighborhood mini mountain and take a hike. It's so nice to do out in the woods. We hunt for treasures: salamanders, salamander eggs, animal tracks, furry animal sightings, and relax. Usually on these outings I bring my camera, but so far, on all our treks this year, I have left it home. Maybe I'll take it today...

And maybe tomorrow we'll take that bike ride I've been threatening.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Religious Ed.

Classes start this Sunday. And I find I am almost giddy with excitement; but I suspect -- in comparison with my students, I may be alone in my enthusiasm. God I hope this enthusiasm is contagious.

How appropriate that the Jewish New Year is right around the time of our first class. Of course, Rosh Hashanah is this week, and our class isn't until Sunday -- but it is close. So as we start our new year of classes we will discuss New Year's and what this whole concept of celebrating the new year is all about.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The One That Didn't Get Away

The fisher-ladies were at it again this weekend. Hauling in some pretty stout large mouth bass. It was a fast, fun-filled weekend. Full of the VT State Fair, kayaking, and walking.

This was our first trip to the fair. The girls enjoyed the rides, of course. Where I had a great time visiting the agricultural side. Learning all about making maple cream, and maple sugar candies, as well as trapping and seeing all the beautiful 4H projects.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Somebody Come And Play

Somebody come and play today.

Colors of Kindness

I am fairly sure I found my element in glass. Yesterday, sweat pouring off me, I started cutting out the pieces that will spell out KINDNESS in the lower boarder. Since I started this project I have wondered just what are the colors of kindness. Sorting through my scraps I discovered it is made up of all colors, with a lot of green.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Somebody had babies

Arriving home from school this scorching hot afternoon we were greeted by two voles stumbling about on our walkway. My littlest one scooped them up with a net, placed them in a bucket and gave them water. While watching them she noted, "Hey, the voles have little bugs on them."

They can stay for a drink, and then they have to go.

Dennis and the Miracle

I stopped blogging for the month of August to keep the reading focus on Peaks for Parkinsons. I stopped, but this family didn't stop and Dennis and the Miracle are one of those times worth mentioning.

The first week of August, we had gone camping up at Lake Elmore State Park in Vermont. Actually most of this family was camping, while the runner was a Green Mountain Running Camp at Lydonville State College. The thinking was if you make the trip up there to drop off the camper, you might as well stay instead of driving back and forth; but I digress.

Despite receiving over three and a half inches of rain, it was a great camping trip with fishing, walking, swimming, and a lot of Cribbage. Good stuff... The trip over, the Rig and trailer packed, the runner picked up, we were on our way home, just over the Massachusetts boarder, when the trailer experienced a blow out.

Right after the pop, I said, "Can't be..." but it was. The man pulled over to the side of the road. The flat was on the traffic side, of course. A huge and complete blow out through the side of the tire. Both of us out of the car, we were clearing camping equipment away from the jack stands and jack when voice came out of no where.

"Do you need help?"

I turned to see a huge man with a military emblem sewn on his shirt standing next to me. Really where did this guy come from? My answer, "Let me ask my husband?"

"Oh, you're not alone?", replied the stranger. Did he think I was a woman alone on the side of this highway? Were the kids safe in the car? What were this man's intentions?

Nervous, I asked the husband, "Do we need help?"

Poking his head out of the back of the Rig, he looked at me and then answered the stranger, "We might." And we did. For we had made the mistake of thinking the lug wrench that fit the car tires, also handled the trailer. It didn't. And when this became apparent, Denise -- the stranger, returned to his vehicle which was parked on the side of the road ahead of ours, and brought back the correct tool.

As my husband and I changed the tire, Dennis stood 20 feet down the road, waving drivers away from us. Putting himself in dangers path, for us, strangers.

Fifteen minutes, that is all it took for us to stop, change the flat, thank a Samaritan, and be back on our way. Fifteen minutes, but that isn't the miracle.

The miracle came after wards, when we were getting the tire replaced. Our mechanic suggested we change the other tire. The tread looked fine. Why change it, was me first thought. But when my husband took the tire off the trailer, he noticed it had 3 bubbles on the inside wall. We could have easily had two blow out...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

One Day Down

There are changes in this town. Changes that take a core patience to sort through and see how everything settles. Like the new two mile bussing rule. All children less than 2 miles from school are not eligible for transportation. In other words their parents must get them to school -- by some means. We are only slightly effected. For safety -- we were bussed to the elementary school. But for the past couple of years, the bus was so unreliable, I would walk with my students. So the change does not impact us much... we used the bus twice last year, when I couldn't make the pick up.

But there are many families in this town that now must walk their child the close to two miles to school. Young children -- second graders, kindergartens walking on busy roads with no sidewalks or crossing guards.

The town is getting around this by saying, "The students are not walkers; just not eligible for transportation." Parents are up in arms. Saying the $500,000 saved in the school budget with this crazy new plan pales in comparison to the pending law suit as soon as a child is injured or killed on the way to school. I figure as soon as this happens, D.S.S. will be called and the parents arrested for child endangerment.

And our new elementary school principal is saying that students cannot be on school property before 8:55. So what happens when they walk faster one day? Actually she has opened a fifteen minute window for all school arrivals: 8:55 AM to 9:10 AM. And all parents that are to pick up their children at the end of the day are to meet them in the library. That would be a feat, as with the reduced bussing maybe 350 plus out of 500 students are now walkers. So that would be 700 people or more, students parents and siblings, crammed into a space that holds maybe 50 standing comfortably around tables. And let's not forget those backpacks...

Yesterday I waited in the lobby, as I have done for the past 12 years. And when my daughter filed out she said, "I need to meet you in the library." I told her there was no more room, and there wasn't. Parents crammed the space. So much so, no one else -- no students, could enter.

Today is day 2 of the new school year. The temperatures are a scorching 95 plus, with hope for cooler conditions around Friday. Let's just hope there is hope for our schools as well.