31 December, 2009

Peace for the New Year

This year seems to have gone by with incredible speed. It has brought changes in my life that I never could have imagined on the last day of 2008. I have felt a depth of despair deeper than I have ever known, and the joy of accomplishing the impossible beyond what I ever thought I could do. I have learned more about myself in these past 12 months than I have in the past 35 years. I want to tell my family thank you, for without them I would not be where I am. I want to tell my friends thank you, for teaching my the true meaning of friendship. I have taken alot of first steps this year, and each one gives me the courage to take another. And I want to thank the people who have not given me what I asked for. Sometimes when you don't get what you thought you wanted( or needed), you realize that there are many doors open, and all you need to do is walk through, because at that point, it can't hurt.Happy New Year, everyone!~ And Happy Birthday to my sister, Sarah! Love you!

27 December, 2009

Deck the halls...

Frozen fog on the mountain behind my house
I filled my feeders that morning, the chickadees were happy!

Hunter, deep in baseball lore

a small sampling of my favorite people

picking just the right tree, it was Very Cold that day!

So we're at that mid-point of the holidays.( Anyone who says they're over at Christmas does not know my family!) Two days of Christmas around here, always the big gift -opening on Eve, to the tune of about 32 people, and a Nana who insists on buys lots of ( admittedly wonderful) gifts for everyone. Of course, there is nothing that you can get for her. I really prefer the next morning at our house, jusat the small thing we got for each other, but chosen with great care, because if you're only going to get/make a few things, they had better be good. I do like to give pictures out as gifts, all year I'll chase the little kids around with my camera, set to black and white. There is always one that jumps out at me. Lots of baking this year as well. As I was in school right up to the week before, there wasen't much room in my head for holiday stuff. This was actually one of the more low stress holidays for me. I just realized that whatever I did would be enough. Christmas cards? Not this year. sewing projects? only two pairs of jammie pants for my boys. The list of what I wanted to do was a bit more involved than what I really got done. That's alright. Too many Christmases have been spent with tears and yelling, frayed nerves and tight shoulders from trying to "do it all", and still be happy. If there are people out there who can do it all, more power to them. I am not one. Oh, I suppose if I didn't have a job, and homework, and kids who play JV basketball, and ice skate, then sure I could. But in real life, not so much. I've learned that it is really okay to cut myself a little slack. It took a looong time to sink in, but now its lodged in my brain, and there it will stay. As far as I am concerned, there is no bad time to get gifts, so if my handmade dolls do not get to my sisters till February, that's fine. In fact, it might be just the thing to perk up their day. That always works for me.

21 December, 2009

Tap,Tap. Is this thing on?

I wonder if anyone reads this at all. Not that it matters. I just like to do it for myself, I guess. I figure that I've spent sooo much time reading other blogs, that it seemed natural to have my own. I know that I would not be the person I am without those wonderful women sharing their words, thoughts, photos, ideas, and even heartbreaks. Some I still read every day( Soulemama, anyone?), and some when the mood strikes( mad organica is often inspiring). Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives, personal dramas, the little things that threaten to overwhelm us. These friends, as they really are to me, help me to remember that there is more to it than that.So, this was not the direction I meant to take with this post, it was meant to be more of a "End of term, getting ready for Xmas, I found an awesome new CD( Sarah Jarozs), type of thing. Of course, as I have two pairs of Christmas jammie pants to get made this week, and last minute wrapping and getting-ready-to-ship-to-Florida, I guess that I ought to get off the computer.
Everyone have a wonderful holiday!!!

** one last thing~ if these links don't work, just type the names into your search engine, its worth it!

06 December, 2009

Tis the season...

Well, I am meant to be writing a six page paper for my Tuesday class, and a 5 page paper for my Thursday class. But instead here I am, trying to get in the spirit of the season just a little. These are my neighbors lights, ours went up today. I keep forgetting its almost Xmas, there's so much I still need to do. But only 2 weeks left till term ends! I am more than overdue for a break. But the snow we got yesterday helped, if only it will stick around now...

14 November, 2009


Today I am giving myself permission to just be. To bake a cake instead of reading another chapter. To work on the afghan I am making for my grandmother instead of writing the essay due on Tuesday.To ( gasp!) Take .A .Nap. I have been so involved in school stuff, work stuff, home stuff, sports stuff, kid stuff. I seriously think I'm losing it, just a little. The boys say I'm never happy anymore. I do believe they're right. Oh no. That is not how I meant for this to be. I thought I could handle "everything" without getting bitchy, or even just too bogged down to enjoy right now. But it's raining( pouring, actually). And the kids are off at practice( basketball this time). So the house is quiet, and the laundry's mostly done. I am going to bake that cake, and later, with my friends, and family, I will eat it too.

How about you? Have you given yourself permission to let things go, a little bit?

07 November, 2009

Rummage Sale!

copper recipe box~ .25!
this was great, a big bag full of vintage calender towels for $1.00

beautiful doilies...

Pyrex! and Tupperware! ~ $3.00!

.sigh. I love this rummage sale. So much great stuff, all for mere pennies. ( quarters ,actually, but whatever)I went with Fischer, whose early morning plans to go hunting with his uncle were scuttled, but he'll make it out there this afternoon. There was a line out the door before it started, and once you got in, it was wall to wall people. Even after an hour, it was still full. But the church that holds it makes thousands of dollars every year. That's a good thing, especially these days. It was a good break from school and house work, but now its back to it.

06 November, 2009

In the thick of it all...

That's how it is these days. I am so so grateful for all that I have( a warm house, good food, healthy children, wonderful hubby), but at the same time, feel so overwhelmed by everything that I need to do, with not enough time to do it all. Classwork, housework, kid stuff, work work, more work work, and people not paying us when they ought to. ( this is a recurring theme.) As hard as I try, sometimes its all too much. I'm not always sure where the strength to go on comes from. I am really glad it does though, no matter what. But on a brighter note, Rummage Sale! Tomorrow! My favorite one of the year.And, going to my Sister's house! in two weeks! SOO can't wait for that. So I will leave you with a pretty picture, and the promise of more this weekend.( from the Rummage Sale!, and maybe a hike if I can squeeze it in.)

25 October, 2009

Sunday in the woods...

Just a few pictures today, not too many words. Glad to get out with Fischer( and Taylor!), they don't spend enough time in the woods.After all the rain yesterday, it was fabulous to see the sun. Here's to Fall!

21 October, 2009

I'm late, I'm late, said the White Rabbit

My package for the Vintage Swap is going out today! Don't worry, I didn't forget!( I hate when Real Life gets in the way of my plans). Here's a sneak peek. Cheers!

17 October, 2009

It occured to me...

that thirty or so years ago, my mother could be doing the very things I am right now, making applesauce, watering plants, and listening to Phoebe Snow albums (ALBUMS!), while trying to keep the fire going in the woodstove, all on a Saturday. My grandmother gave me her record player last week, and my dad had given me all his and Mom's old albums ages ago. ( except for the Beatles and the Bill Cosby ones, of course those have vanished. My favorite ones, natch.)Funny how these things just pop into your head.

24 September, 2009

up for air...

Alot of my time these days seems to be at things like this... and less at things like this.
That's alright. I don't really spend much time watching butterflies, you should understand. But things are so very,very busy here, that the time to do something like that is quite rare. I love watching the boys play soccer( the picture is from last nights game, they won 6-1!) , and I am very glad to be back in school, although the exam I have tomorrow is a nerve-wracking proposition! I need to do well so very much, and this is my first real test of how that will work out. But in addition to all that( and housework, my job, my other job, and what else? oh yes, sleep!) I am really enjoying the changing of the seasons. The color is really showing up now, but the days are still warm, the nights just right for a good nights sleep. All over the place, I see signs of Fall. But I'm glad summer's not ready to leave just yet.
Also, as if all I've got going on is not enough, I've joined the vintage swap that Heather at Shivaya Naturals is hosting. ( I hope these links work out, linking is not my strong suit) I've never done one before, but it seemed too much fun to pass up! I'm sure I'll get a chance to enjoy what my partner sends, once term is out. Not too much time for crafting right now, but it will be there.

26 August, 2009

time marches on...

Back to school again. For the first time in nine years, I have not driven to the elementary school. Both kids are at the high school now. How does the time go so quickly, and yet drag at the same time? As I left the parking lot this morning, Fischer had already met up with a friend of his, and he didn't even notice when I drove away. I am glad about that;at least he's not nervous, much. But it struck me as I was leaving, that both my kids are having a very different experience than I did, at that school. Junior high was my own personal hell on earth. As I can look back now, twenty four years later, I see that much of it was more or less my own doing, I was painfully insecure. Too afraid to even talk to upperclassmen! Can you imagine? I didn't know then, that nobody is going to talk to you if you're afraid of your own shadow. Not being involved didn't help either. But there again, I never felt that I would be "good enough" at anything, so I never did anything. A self fullfilling prophecy, I suppose. But a part of it, as well, had to do with my parents getting divorced right around that time. Sometimes it takes me a loooong time to figure things out( go ahead and say, Sarah: DUH!). But in thinking, and hoping that Fischer has a good time in school, made me realize that they are NOT going to have the same experience I did. Kind of makes me want to go do it over. With what I know now, of course.

15 August, 2009

they're all gone..

So the house is all mine this afternoon. The boys are at my Dad's, and Craig had to work in town today. So what does one do with all this (most appreciated) peace and quiet? Whatever one wants. For me, it is more a list of things I am not doing, including driving anywhere, as I have been to town at least two( and sometimes three) times a day, for the last three weeks. I am however, getting my laundry caught up( and being exceedingly jealous of my sister's clothesline!), eating lunch in peace, and enjoying the TV being OFF. I also managed to clean out the fridge( how does it get so gross?), organize my desk, and make a tie-dye T-shirt, from a kit I got at a yard sale. The boys got the same ones for Xmas last year, and I was so glad to find one for me!
I had written a grouchy post the other day, mostly grumbling about the other members of my household. Not all of it, as I must mention that last weekend I was at Sarah's, and we had a wonderful time, going to lunch ( potato and cheddar soup! roast beef in a spinach wrap! I love that we love the same things, and so can share lunch), and finding great bargins( and presents!) at the second-hand shop next to the cafe. So I decided that the bad-mood post had to go. And it went. I don't need to remember those days, y'know. But today is a good day, with a walk with Gretchen to look forward to later( hopefully the mosqutioes will disappear!), and maybe popcorn after.
The pictures are just random bits of niceness from my summer, at the lake, or Sarah's( one of my favorite places to be.)

31 July, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

Not too many words today, its raining again and that seems to make me feel quiet. Just a few shots today of my favorite people,my sister Sarah at our dad's for Fathers Day,my other sister Arrow and her family, who were a wonderful birthday gift this year, although I didn't end up getting any pictures of her, so her sweet boys(and mine) will suffice, the boys at the Lake, Craig at baseball, Gretchen and I at the Lake House for dinner . I miss my sisters, I don't see them often enough. But next weekend, I will be at Sarah's! Yay!

19 July, 2009

Getting Ready

I had something to say, when I sat down here. But in the time it took to load this picture, it seems to have deserted me. Perhaps its too early, especially on a Sunday. Perhaps its because I haven't had any tea yet. But the boys are at Nana's, and Craig is still sleeping. So that means the house is utterly quiet, except for the birds outside. There is nothing like the quiet of a house first thing in the morning,before anyone else is awake.Before Sportscenter is turned on, or the phone starts ringing. Sometimes even the fans in the windows are too noisy. And the fact that I spent yesterday cleaning the house ( even on such a beautiful day as yesterday was! I know, I know. but it had to be done.), means that I feel better this morning. I even cleaned under my bed. That is akin to cleaning your kitchen cupboards. Even though nobody can see it, you feel better knowing its done. And, you just want to leave the doors open, to admire your work. ( Does anyone else do that?) A little rearranging also took place, and some getting rid of stuff that just didn't quite work anymore. So now, today I will be outside. I will go far a walk with my friend, Gretchen, whom I have not seen in over a week, since she's been in Maine. And maybe I will go out back, this afternoon, once the boys are home, and lie down on a quilt and do a little bit of nothing. But it really won't be nothing. There are clouds to look at, birds to listen to, and my gardens to wander through, wondering why the deer show no interest in the weeds growing around the edges, instead of the peas, the tomatoes, and the black eyed Susans I grew from seed this Spring. To admire the huge patch of pumpkins, and to lament that the cucumbers are doing so very poorly. I really wanted bread and butter pickles this year. I've been so busy this week, what with work, kids, and finally, getting registered for college classes this Fall. I've been very nervous about getting one particular class before it filled up, and now that that's done, I am now nervous about getting a good enough grade to be accepted into the Nursing program next year.
But today, the sun is out. My house is clean. I have nothing to do but the aforementioned walk, and lying around. That will be enough for today.

12 July, 2009

Summer Sunday

Some scenes from our day...... the annual car show in town, flea market, and all-around nice day. Finally, some sunshine!

11 July, 2009

at the edge of the diving board

I feel like I did when I stood on the edge of Second Dock, at the pool I swam in when I was growing up. It was so far above the dark green water, and everyone who jumped( I was never confident enough to actually dive), would stand there for that moment, trying to gauge how deep it would be, how cold, if they could touch the bottom. Right now I feel like that. Everything that I have become used to in my life, since I got married 16 years ago, is changing. I had my sons, and stayed home to raise them during their younger years. As they got older, I began to work with my husband, something all of our friends said they themselves could never do( " He /She would drive me crazy!). But now. Now I am standing on the edge of the diving board. Craig and I are still good, after all these years, and all we have been through. This last year has been, without a doubt, the most difficult. What with sales dropping off, but never with bills getting lower, the decision to go back to school, and get my degree in Nursing has been made. I am beyond nervous. At first, I was excited. To be honest, I still am. But now its tinged around the edges with fear. What if I don't get the classes I need? It's so late to be registering. What if , despite my best efforts, I don't get the grades I need?The A&P was always my downfall. Will I be able to continue to give my boys what they need? Fischer is worried I'll be too busy for him. Other concerns as well, that I really don't have a name for. Just a general feeling of unease. I never imagined that I would be doing anything like this at my age.My sisters, and my mom, dad, grandma, aunts, are all so thrilled for me. I know that this is the right thing to do, to show my children how important it is to get the college education. That it dosen't matter how old you are, to try to improve yourself. I want them to be proud of me, as I am proud of their accomplishments.
Perhaps, once I have actually registered for classes, I will feel better. I'm worried that, as its so late in the summer, I will find that the classes I need are filled. That is my biggest fear. It feels like hurry up and wait.
Ona better note, one of our customers showed up a few minutes ago with WORK! Of course, he'd not brought his checkbook, par for the course. But this is going to take a great deal of the pressure off the rest of my worries, for who dosen't worry about money? We'll get through this, we've managed every other challenge so far. The truth is , that you really don't know what you can do until you're faced with the most difficult of challenges. They are different for everyone, but you don't forget the lessons that they teach you.