Friday, December 26, 2008

Season Stories

In no particular order:

Meeting a friend at Paneras for breakfast, waiting, camera on shoulder, a man walks up to me and states that they have been waiting for a photographer to come take their picture. What they did not expect was for me to turn around and say Ok, gather together, let's do it! What started as a casual comment turned into a 20 minute conversation with the invitation to join them for breakfast for they meet there every morning. What a wonderful thing to have a gathering place!

Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA rocks! After work Christmas eve, eve at Laura's, drinking, laughing, smoking, carrying on like good bad girls. A heartfelt exchange of bracelets that we have worn, each one speaking of the other. The best time and best gifts, gifts of self.

Delivering for Santa's Helpers Anonymous, all 4 of us. What an incredibly organized system! After we had loaded our Expedition, I took a shopping cart back to where the action was taking place, loading, maps, food, presents, etc. and I could not help but cry, witnessing the jolly (for everyone was!) helpers who had been there since who knows when in the morning handing out the boxes. All the volunteers who were there to deliver, the good cheer that went from one person to another. And the woman, who when we dropped off her packages, hugged each one of us, and told us Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Hearing my daugher sing Breath of Heaven always leaves me a mess.

The last minute shopping due to school, which practically gave me a breakdown, and the letter that stated I made the Dean's list with a 4.0 which made it completely worthwhile.

The smell of wonderful goodies from my youngest who works so well in the kitchen.

Shopping with my youngest who is a child after my own heart, get in, get what you want, get out. Laughing, making spectacles of ourselves, in the moment with each other, feeling our groove together and my heart warm.

Coming home from Christmas Eve service to discover that Gus, the old hound, ate my gift. A box of 28 chocolates from John & Kira's. Need I say more? I swore that if he did not die from ingesting that amount of chocolate, I was going to kill him. He ate through the UPS shipping box and the chocolate box and did not enjoy a single chocolate, just scarfed them down in a second or two I'm sure, then spent the evening pacing, drinking, and going outside. He then slept all day on Christmas, the shithead.
The art gallery in my living room on Christmas Day, supplied by my Uncle, the incredible photographer and photoshop manipulator, each of uschoosing what we wanted, but also the fact that what we chose was what Auntie had actually chosen for each one of us. The knowledge of family.

My daughters who believe in the birth of Jesus and the wonder it brings yet still leave cookies and milk for Santa.

The gathering of various family units that happen when you both come from two divorced parents and the joy that exists in each.

And just like that, it was over. We will not be together for New Year's this year. I will miss my girls, one is an adult and wants her own parties, traditions as it should be and one will be visiting her best friend who moved to California. It is a trip that she has been waiting for since the move in September. My Handsome Prince and I will host a small party with co-workers of his from that side of the bridge, Peach will join us and so will Mom. Peach and I will try the water on New Years Eve and New Years Day, because we can. She would like to make a banner like mine, so I will provide the supplies for banners again. I don't know if I will make a new one or not for I feel I am still working on seeking. We'll see.

Lucinda Williams plays in the cd player while I blog, knit, and pick up and drink a Dogfish Head, the girls are playing together, and the Smaj is messing with all the electronics like a boy does. Oh, and the dogs are all alive.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


They keep me in line most of the time. I'm making my list to do massive shopping Thursday. I'm going to the shore to do it, visiting some of my favorites in Lewes and of course a couple outlet stores in Rehoboth. With school, there has been no crafting, no shopping, no decorating, no baking. It will all come after tomorrow, after my last exam. A challenging stressful semester. I revisited my birthday list and have only achieved maybe half of what I set to do. I'm okay with that. I'll just make another this birthday. My education has taken priority over all the items on the list, and it shows. I achieved a 197 out of 200 on my math final. I'm hoping to achieve greatness on my others as well.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


A bit late, but heartfelt non the less

A clean scan for the SMaj just two days before Thanksgiving.

The bond of sisterhood

My Three Rockin' friends who never fail to bring laughter to the occasion.

Uncle Pat and da boys

Sisters who open the sisterhood to their cousin

Reuinting with an old friend after 25 years

Young girls who put up with me

cold water

the abililty to jump

Oh there is so much more to be thankful for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Franti Friday

It's Franti Friday on my public radio station, WTMD, Towson. I plan on tuning in. Wednesday night he was playing in DC at the 9:30 Club. Li'l Sis, her hubby, My Handsome Prince, Peach and me all went to hear and see him. We were all loose and feeling the groove. Peach and I road with Li'l Sis and E, with MHP meeting us as he was at the shore. We were late, typical for some (teehee), but deciding to get our Mexican on beforehand made us even later. Still, laughing, eating tacos picante, talking about brown chicken/brown cow and #86, I get a text "Where you @?" MHP was apparently hanging outside with Michael Franti while he played soccer with fans with breaks for push ups, pumping himself up for the performance. Oh yeah.

The opening act was a group by the name of Soliliquists of Sound, a hip hop, rap, group that was waaaay out there. Not someone I would have chosen to see but actually quite fun. Cherine Anderson followed for just a couple songs, then....the man himself. He opened with "Hello, hello" and right away the crowd was singing along. The man was on fire all night, never stopped, played for 2 1/2 hours straight. Michael Franti puts on a show! I tried to get a photo of hands in the air for that was the position of the crowd most of the time. Crowds are just as much fun sometimes as the act and this crowd did not disappoint from the prom queens in front of us, the sweaty shirtless guy next to us, the 4 or 5 year old child on his father's shoulder holding a perpetual peace sign with his fingers, and the guys who Cherine chose to dance with her. It was totally different from the Jazz Fest performance but totally made me love Michael Franti even more.

This morning while listening to the radio, I texted my sister that he was on, now, live. "Where are you?" she says. Close to Towson I respond. "You know we are welcome to go to the station". We discuss do we go or do we not, and in a matter of seconds decide yes, the only thing holding us back is fear, yet the worst that could happen is we would not see him. So I called the station "Can we come in and meet Michael Franti?" Their response "Oh, I'm sorry, he's not here today, it's a prerecorded session." They never said no. Hmmmmmm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cookie Thursday

My sister has cookie wednesday. Her status on Facebook yesterday was "Rachel is it's cookie wednesday, I wonder if MF wants one." For me it's cookie Thursday. It seems to be a day when I can take a breath. Sometimes on Thursdays I go to lunch with a friend, sometimes I have coffee with my neighbor, and most times I make cookies right before I go to work. Today was snickerdoodles. Do you want one?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Week in List Form

Math exam tomorrow
Spanish essay due Thursday
Observation report due Saturday
Throw in regular, daily homework and reading
Work tonight
School tomorrow
Work Thursday
Emma on Friday
Window treatments on Friday
Girls clean on Saturday
Church on Sunday
Paint on Sunday
Wash, rinse, repeat

Oh, but guess what I am doing tomorrow night?

Nothing will ever match the jazz fest performance but no matter, just the opportunity to see him again. I'm going with my favorite concert goers plus a new one. We'll see what the evening brings.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Shoes

My BFFL put on some new shoes. Shortly before she left this morning, we were dancing around the kitchen to this song.

The original plan for the weekend at the shore was just Audrey and I, homework, walking the dogs, painting her bedroom. I planned on a bit of crafting and playing house. I had invited my BFFL but never heard whether she was actually coming until after Audrey and I hit the road. Her visit is just what we both needed. This is what we did:

Bonded playing rockband

Found symbolism in many things, past and present

We went thrifting where Audrey and Laura found their common interest, vintage, crazy clothes, Audrey finding an 80's colorful jacket and Laura a cheerleading outfit.

We went to the beach, where Laura totally indulged and participated in my pledge to get into the water every time I am here. She was lucky enough to have not gone commando.

The water was cold and cleansing and wonderful. We received laughs and smiles from observers and luckily did not get arrested for public nudity when we stripped down as discretely as possible in the parking lot.

There are advantages to having a car full of crap, sheets to dry off with and extra clothes to change into even if they are sweaty or extremely large.

Peach and Twink, kindred spirits. The first time my daughters saw her crossing the parking lot from the back, they both said, "She looks like you Mom". We stayed up late everynight, we quoted movies, talked music, watched Superbad, played rockband with Audrey who kicked our asses and laughed. We were in the moment. When she left this morning, she cried a bit. I'm missing her already. We will be back to work, crossing paths at the Y, and I'll probably be calling soon for a massage. This wednesday we will go together to see Michael Franti, now that will be a party.

Audrey and I are sitting here watching Hook, her favorite movie when she was about 4. I thanked her for sharing our weekend with Laura. She laughed and said, "She's just like my friends." We will pack up shortly. It's always a bit difficult to leave but I always know I can come back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Slowing Down

It's raining today. I've had 4 cups of coffee and still am managing to maintain a calm. The house is finally warming up with the fire in the wood stove. I have one dog sleeping beside me, the other on the couch in the living room (I'm so glad I purchased a slipcover for him to sleep on). I'm listening to a combination of Mike Doughty, Michael Franti (who else?), Joan Osborne, Nickle Creek, Delta Spirit, and Josh Ritter, all sort of acoustic, calming with the exception of you know who. I'm studying for a test in Exercise Science. I will probably bake something to continue that warming, calming feel. I will read a chapter in Buddhism for Mothers book. Ebb and flow as the coolest person I know says. It feels good.


My neighbor is moving. I met her through a rug hooking email list. She lived on the other side of the county. Remember children, do as I say, not as I do. We met in neutral territory, looking for wool or hooking. Eventually we trusted one another to meet in our homes. When the time came to look for a new home, I aided, and found not one, but two of their homes over the past 5 years or so. She currently lives two houses away. There was a time when we had coffee together 3 or 4 times a week. Creativity always a binding force in our relationship. We haven't quite addressed our break up. I love her, will miss her when she leaves and will cry. The neighborhood won't be the same. Of course, I think she would feel that way if I were the first to leave.

Every morning for about 3 weeks, I sent my BFFL an email video. It was a challenge and a joy to come up with something she would like. This was her favorite, I think. Comedy or music was the theme, although an occasional inspirational video slipped through.

Through facebook, two classmates contacted me and asked to be my friend. I don't know who they are. I went looking for some I did and only found the girl who bullied me through junior high and high school. I wanted to ask her if she still hated me. I did not ask her to be my friend, instead I just sent her a message that stated she still looked the same. She never responded

I found an old beau who lives, of all places, on the eastern shore. Laughter and memories have arisen through email.

I communicate with my children and their friends. Sometimes it just works that way. Nothing beats face to face but sometimes you need to make adjustments, get with the times. Compromise on both sides.

I taught myself to knit after my auntie taught me to cast on.

I'm taking a college course on line.

I furnished the shore house through Freecycle, mostly.

Let's not forget the fantastic music, the venues, and the many tickets I buy.

And yes, I waste lots of time.

Isn't it awesome?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Decision

I got a new phone. Do I download Michael Franti ringtone or go with the Mission Impossible I've had for every phone I've owned? Right now Michael Franti is calling my name. Might be because I'm going to see him a week from today.

This is the song I want.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Resurrecting a Theme

All kinds of themes show up in blogs. A year or two ago Corners of My Home was a theme. Many, many years ago when my Aunt Nell was selling her home, she asked the grandchildren what they might want out of her home. If I could find the essay that one of the granddaughters wrote, I would ask permission to post. It spoke of the corners of her home and love and memories there.

Here is a corner of my home, my refrigerator. Everyone knows I collect magnets. Some tacky, some pretty, some inspirational, some just a carryout business. Elvis is up there and so are my girls. What started as a cheap souveneir that I would get myself while away has turned into a cheap gift that people bring me when they go away. My sister just brought back a set of magnets in spanish. I love them! I am anything but organized in my home but my magnets are all pretty well organized and spaced. One evening my sisters in law were laughing about them. The next morning they were all over the place, upside down, sideways, total chaos. We all had a laugh. Everyone once in a while (like today) I clean the front of the fridge, wipe the magnets, and rearrange them. There are memories associated with them, such as the magnet from Blackwater Falls when we were newlyweds, the one from my daughter when she went to Honduras, the one from the Tower of Terror, Jazz Fest, our annual trip to Cape Henlopen, individual trips, family trips and so on and so one.

We have discussions constantly on what will go with us, what will we trash, what will we store for the girls, what we will give away. We only have 12 years in this house but that is enough. Of course my magnets will go with me but it won't be the same. Somehow it will be different. That's ok, we'll build from there.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This is the current state of my kitchen. We had two separate epidosodes of water damage to our rustic pine floor, one from the water line to the refrigerator, one from the toilet. The damage was surveyed and we received an estimate to replace the floor. Decisions. After some thought, we opted to do the work ourselves, and put the money into the counter, paint and floor. Last night we spent the evening pulling up the pine boards.

I was speaking with a friend at church yesterday. We are both at a point at our lives where we need to make some decisions. It's not easy and requires stepping out of our comfort zone. Another friend confided in me the decision to leave her husband. My decisions are not nearly as monumental as that but yet they affect my days, my time, my life.
  • I have decided to step back from my job a bit, working only two nights a week
  • I have decided to take only one, maybe two classes next semester instead of my usual three.
  • I have decided to work on the house to prepare it for market in the spring, with the intent of looking for an apartment for the last year here in Carroll County
  • I have decided to live at the shore house for the summer

Not major decisions but they feel good, feel right.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Lovely Day

" I know it's gonna be -A lovely day - lovely day lovely day lovely day lovely day"

Me and bino, we are happy

I had a lovely day yestday. Lately, I guess I had forgotten the simple things. It started in the hot tub, I witnessed a spider killing its meal. A small, minute detail in the huge world around me is what thrilled me. In that frame of mind, I noticed the simple things that make me happy

  • crafting, new projects on the horizon and old projects that still excite me

  • a budding guitarist showing me a bend, a slide, and something else I don't remeber what it was called

  • building a tent out of a blanket and some chairs

  • Working out for myself (I now covet my sisters eliptical and her rowing machine)

  • Inspiration in the form of books, spiritual, crafty and a novel

  • New music, Delta Spirit

  • My silly, completely focused, witty, fun youngest child

  • a movie with MHP

"Just one look at you and I know it's gonna be a lovely day."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Medusa Style

Sunday morning, annual camping weekend, after a full day of rain, My Handsome Prince, puttering around in the camper, making coffee. I sit up in bed. He says "Don't move!" Of course, it is morning, and cold, so I don't. He grabs the camera. "I just have to capture this, it's too good!"

Monday morning, on the phone with my little sister, relaying the hair game story. She was at a party Saturday night, big, big hair, someone touches it "It's not a wig! It's real!" Laughter and luck, for we have husbands who not only tolerate our hair game but appreciate it. We married well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beauty in the Mundane

I think the Shutter Sisters posted a theme recently of finding beauty in the mundane. Usually, I'm pretty good at this. Right now, I suck. I am having difficulty finding beauty in the mundane. I am struggling with school, speed reading, memorizing, not learning, except math (thank you Diane). You know those comcast commercials? If only it really worked instead of just feeling like you are in hyperdrive. I finished writing a half assed abstract today, am planning my time at work to include reading a chapter - taking notes, and staying up late to do same. Tomorrow morning will be another chapter, another subject. I have five papers due this week and an exam all in the same subject, and no, contrary to popular belief, I have not procrastinated. This online exercise science class is killing me. Tons of reading, a quiz every week, plus a website to peruse and a discussion board to contribute to. I feel like I have to know it all so consequently try to memorize rather than learn. The real killer is that I would love this class in lecture style. Live and learn.

So needing some comfort, I am baking cookies. I will win the heart of my daughter who will come home to dinner ready and warm cookies and then I will go to work. The cookies will not help my weight issue but they will warm my heart, taste good, and make me feel like a good Mom.

The act of baking cookies - beautiful.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Big Day

My Father celebrated his 71st birthday by a sleepless night, worrying about taking a pill with a swallow of water, because his gift to himself was a total knee replacement in the morning. Actually, he says its Medicaire's gift to him. I spent maybe 5 minutes with him before they took him to prep him for surgery, assuring us it would be less than an hour then we would be able to see him. More than an hour and a half later, my sister, her son, and our minister and friend Rick were escorted in. Each of us had the day scheduled so a quick prayer was said, kisses and hugs all around and promises of calls and visits. Rachel had a son to pick up from pre-school, Rick had another visit, and I had to pick up the catering trays for...

The promotion ceremony for Sergeant Major, aka My Handsome Prince. His promotion finally, finally, finally came through and so we had a shindig. There are only 10 Sergeant Major positions in the state of Maryland and now my man is one of them. It's quite an accomplishment. Words were said, orders read, and I had the privaledge of ripping off one patch and placing on another (ahh, the magic of velcro!).
A big day. A good day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Monday my sister called, she was about to lose it. Today was my day. We spoke briefly yesterday, me talking about the pain in my neck, she grinding her teeth, both agreeing there is something wrong with us. Again the phrase, somethings gotta give, but what? I gave up 3 cycle classes a week and it's not enough. This morning, arriving at work to teach my last morning cycle class, no one shows and I lose my car keys. I could feel the tears welling in the back of my eyes, my throat tight, bemoaning my karma. I walked out and there on the front counter of the YMCA were my keys. That's when I realized my karma was excellent! No one showed for class so I could, of all things, go to the dump to get rid of the countertop that's been in the back of my truck for several days. I lost my keys but someone found them. I had two tests today and while these things didn't improve my ability to excel, my mood was certainly lifted (but I still do not like my math lab and will not repeat on the world wide web what I say about it every Wednesday). I have made my post for my online class and will write my spanish speech while watching a movie with the Sergeant Major. I'm starting to catch up rather than back track. See? Karma.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's Not the Grade, it's the Learning

I received my first poor grade, a C. It just about killed me, the overachiever I am. I studied hard, too. But, I studied wrong. Now I know. And that is what it is about. It's about learning, learning the material, learning how to adapt to each instructor, each class, learning how to balance work, school, home. It is early this morning and I my morning will be spent watching an instructional DVD on polynomials, not the most interesting subject, but I want to understand. I will then read a magazine article in Spanish, not something I am very capable of, but I want to understand. I will go to work, go to school, drive with Audrey. Then I have to decide, yoga, paint, knit or more homework. Because that will be the end of my day, so full, so short.
Don't you just love my new countertop? My old one was black laminate. I just caress my hand down this one.
BTW, I got a C in....Exercise Science of all things.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Week In List Form

  • I admit it. I have become a fan of facebook. So much so that I've slacked in blogging. It's blogging in one sentence.
  • Teaching my youngest how to drive, both of us with white nuckles. I'm a nervous wreck and she is doing well. It's the post trauma from the accident. I'm working on my anxiety constantly.
  • Took my first exams, scored a 90 on algebra and unknown in Exercise Science. That one scared ths s**t out of me. Now I'm not so scared.
  • Tasted honest to goodness West Virginia moonshine. Let's just say it burns.
  • Picked up the crochet hook again against my Mother's wishes - but she picked up the knitting needles, so we are even
  • Watched the Presidential debate with other democratic women, and of course MHP. We ranged in age from 20 to 90 but all with similar views
  • No comprendo espanol, nada
  • Attended an awesome new fitness possibility - a barefoot, freedance, mind, body, flow kind of thing. Way fun.

And so it goes. The new week has begun. We are redoing our kitchen. Tomorrow new countertop is being put in and we will buy new flooring. Paint has been chosen. The first of many, many projects to get our house ready for the market, if and when the market improves. We are constantly thinking of the move even though it is at least one year, if not two, away. My friend and neighbor will move soon, Audrey's best friend moved, so it seems right to think about it. But I know a change gonna come yes it will.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning to Drive

Look who is learning to drive!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When I grow up

Don't you just love Michele Schocked? Mine is scheduled is yours?

Fiesta, Fiesta, Fiesta!

We went out last night to hear to hear some music. The four of us, my sister, her husband, My Handsome Prince and I. We started at their house. Audrey was hanging with her cousins and we were all riding together. We went to a great little restaurant, if you can even call it that. Mexican and Salvadoran food. Mmmmm. We had quite the variety and shared it all. The only thing missing was a margarita.

We went to the Sonar to see The Almighty Senators, The Hold Steady, and The Pretenders. I was primarily interested in seeing The Hold Steady, as I've been listening to their latest cd, but knew Chrissy Hynde would rock. The Almighty Senators were off the wall, with strange lyrics and a zappa-esque sound. Chrissy Hynde was just as expected. Her voice still amazing. The crowd loved her. It was packed, packed, packed. They sang, danced, yelled requests and she loved it all. The Hold Steady was good but...the sound was terrible. You could not hear any vocals above the instruments. They were last, we were tired so we did not stay. My sister decided that Hold Steady was wishfull thinking, the guy couldn't hold still to save his life!
It was a wonderful evening. We laughed all evening, making stupid jokes and rhyming. They are such fun to go out with.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Time Away

Several weeks ago, I mentioned to My Handsome Prince that we take off work for our anniversary and head to the shore. He was all for it. Our anniversary fell on a weekend. Guess what happened. He took off the week prior and I took off the week after. Hmmm, something went amiss. We still went to the shore, all 4 of us, for the weekend despite Hannah's impending strike. I think she hit our inland residence harder than the shore residence. This is what we did:

We secured our residence

We swam at night in the rain, in the buff (or at least I did, nobody wanted to join me)

We ate twizzlers (okay, me again)

We watched endless movies on tv

We painted Audrey's room

We went to The Clayton to see The Dark Knight
And then the sun came up and we went to the beach

And then they left me. Both girls had to go to school, MHP had to go back to work, and I was playing hookey.

While they were gone, I played house, a guest in my house had totally rearranged my kitchen cabinets much to my irritation. I did homework, by the pool, at the beach.

The town and beach were empty.

I went for late night walks with the dog. And I met my friend, Annette, for Happy Hour at Mangos.

My week came to an end, I reuinited with my family for a few hours and then went our separate ways again. Audrey and I, responding to the call, again. Me painting for the Children's Home in Catonsville, Audrey working with her Youth group, washing cars, demolishing walls, and holding a yard sale. We finished the weekend together with the annual concert on the lawn in Lansdowne with the Nitty Gritty Church Band.

My family was there, Dad, Mom, Sister and family, Auntie, my kids. A great way to end time away.

Monday, September 15, 2008


At the end of my school day today, I stopped by Mary's classroom. Mary was my Health and Wellness teacher last semester. No matter how frazzled I was, she was always in the room with a smile, a deep breath, patience, confindence, and calm. Today was no different. When asked how I was, I responded with a smile and a sigh "Overwhelmed". She observed in our short time together that I am always like that at the beginning, and so is she. She said to me, less is more. How true, how true.

I'm overwhelmed with my classes, especially math lab, not math class. I went so far as to tell the instructor I did NOT like this class. I am totally overwhelmed with Spanish, wondering if I will ever speak the language. I am overwhelmed with my online class, Exercise Science, a big mistake to take online, a class in which I could use classroom interaction. And I'm overwhelmed with what direction to take with my education. I'm already re-thinking it. I guess I'm a typical college freshman.

I'm overwhelmed with my job, not enjoying what I do anymore and wondering why. I'm overwhelmed with my house and eliminating 12 years of crap, I'm overwhelmed with my knitting because I thought after 90 rows I was near the end, but no, just changing shape and knitting another 96. I'm overwhelmed with my body that has packed on 9lbs. since the accident and just does not move the way I want.

Tomorrow is a busy day, teaching in the morning, homework all afternoon, then work in the evening. Somewhere in there, dinner needs to be made, laundry needs to be done, and dogs need time outside. I viewed a lovely little spot outside, on a porch swing, that has been neglected all summer. That is my homework spot. Dinner is easy, leftover fresh corn, black beans, fresh salsa, and tortillas. I won't try to do everything and be accepting of what I can do.

Less is more, less is more.

Last week while at the shore, I made a mental list of things that make me happy. So, back to listmaking I go, revisiting the birthday list, revising it, revisitng other lists, revising, and reading Keri Smith, Living Out Loud.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Last Days of Summer, First Days of School

New book bag made by best friend
corner of front flower bed
washing her car
waiting for the bus

a walk near a field

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Last Days of Summer

Last night, My Handsome Prince and I watched Elizabethtown. While not a great movie, two things I found relative. One was family, quirky, different, in-laws, yet family. The other was the way each of the main characters captured moments. One captured last looks, the other pretended to have a camera and take a picture. Moment captured today, Robin, on our walk, thunder booming, demonstrating the way to avoid getting struck by lightening, down on her toes, duck and cover position, but heels up. The last days of summer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Days of Summer

For almost a mile before the Monkton entrance to the NCR trail, the cars are parked, some legally, and some illegally. The police are out ticketing, people are walking with their tubes, bikes, coolers, small children, and dogs. In a grassy sloped area we meet, close to 50 people to float down the Gunpowder river. There are big tubes, small boats, a pool float, snow tubes, tubes too small for an adult, and a tube for a cooler. I boasted about my bigger and better tube to my sister and then gave it to my daugher who took Apple floating. My tube was the one that was too small for an adult. Pilates has never been so good to know. The water was cold but not unbearable, at least at first. It seemed an endless task to gather everyone in the water to float, somewhat, together. I was quite bitter at first. My expectations high with my family home, , PMS rearing its ugly head, a sugar and caffeine rush, the girls complaining, My Handsome Prince not inflating our tubes, running late and my bigger tube turning into a smaller tube. Could it get any worse? But, floating has a peaceful influence, even with the water full of people. Laughter has a healing touch. Even losing our car key to the river at the end did not disrupte my calmed attitude. Yes, we lost our key, but the random kindness of strangers got us into the truck where I just happened to have another key that I would not ordinarily have. Karma. We ended the float at my sisters house, good food, good beer, good fellowship. A surprise visit by my Auntie, an expected visit with my father, another surprise visit by my mother, and chatting with old friends and making new. Ahhh, the last days of summer.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last Days of Summer

School starts on Tuesday for Audrey and a week later for Emma and me. I dread the end of these days. I love the feeling of summer days, the relaxed schedule, the house on the shore, and yes, the heat. It's been a good summer. I am looking forward to seeing my family again, having them around more, well, Audrey. Emma is half moved into her new apartment and My Handsome Prince will continue to share his time between two locations. I'm good with that. I have plans to go to the shore as often as possible, september is a wonderful time at the beach. So, yes the lazy days end but fall is all about new schedules, new beginnings, more so than January 1st. Tonight I am meeting my sister, her husband and my husband in Annapolis to see The Wood Brothers. My Handsome Prince will go back to the shore to move Em's last belongings to her apartment. Tomorrow night is possibly another concert, Daniella Cotton and Theresa Anderson. Saturday is the third annual Floatilla down the Gunpowder river at which my family will accompany me for the first time. I am cramming things in, I'd to make it to the Bodyworks exhibit which ends September 1. So I toast to the end of summer and the new beginnings fall brings, cin, cin!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today I came home and all I wanted was a good, long nap. The dogs barked, I did not get it.

Sometimes when you do something out of your ordinary realm of activities it wears you down. Our trips to Hopkins always do it to me. Let me start by revealing the good news of another 3 months. No change of activity in the lungs, a slight growth in the leg, looking benign in nature, nothing to worry about for 3 months. Yes! All is good.

But, our day started a bit worrisome. A week ago Friday, My Handsome Prince and I were swimming in our pool. And just like that, he thought he broke something in his leg, a connection, the prosthesis, not sure, but movement was almost impossible. He didn't sleep, I didn't sleep. We were supposed to attend a picnic but were preparing ourselves for a trip to Baltimore from the shore. I found some crutches, he found some meds, and a happy medium was found. He spent the week on crutches, everyday feeling a little bit better. We were on pins and needles concerning todays visist, not because of cancer, but reconstructive surgery was definitely not on our agenda. And now it is definitely not. No answer for the pain he felt, but his leg was looked at microscopically. His Dr. asked "Are you going to wean yourself off the crutches?" They got thrown in the back of the pick up.

I think all the stress from the week, worrying about my man, 16 people (including us) at our shore home, the fact that I procrastinated registering for Fall classes until Monday, had me exhausted and needing a nap.

Tomorrow is a new day. My plans? Pilates, cycle, a walk with my puppy, some easy gardening, some laundry, some stitching, a movie, guessed it, a nap.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Dress

I just finished this dress in time to go to lunch with some friends today. I love the bodice detail but next time I will add the piping.
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