Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to the New Year.

Happy New Year! Last night was actually pretty fun. Theresa came over , we exchanged gifts, did a puzzle, and we cut out and baked sugar cookies, then decorated them. The boys had an amazing time of it. She went home for dinner and to avoid the crazy drivers that can and do appear as the night wears on. As a family, we watched some movies together, had some snacks, and just enjoyed a quiet evening. Both of the boys wanted to stay awake for the ball drop at midnight, and as I did last year, I let them try. Brendan took an hour nap at about 6:30, which helped him a lot. Justin got sleepy at about 9:30, and started asked me every ten minutes if it was midnight yet. Shortly after ten, he fell asleep. Bren was raring to go as midnight approached, and even tried to help Will and I wake his brother to watch the ball drop in NYC. No go, so Justin slept through it. My four year old cheered, and danced, and helped me ring our bell and shout 'Happy New Year' out of the door! It was truly a night that reminds me of how lucky and blessed I am. Today, I wanted to reflect on a few things that have happened this year. In February/March, the bank started foreclosure proceedings on our old house. We tried so very hard to make it work a a rental, but the money wasn't there. Then, we put it on the market, where it sat for almost a year, constant lowering of the price was no use at all. The city it was located in was a bad area, with high taxes, poor school system, and little in the way of employment opportunities. It wasn't as bad as that when we moved in. Crap happens. Finally in August, the bank foreclosed, and put the place up for auction. It was sad, but it was also a relief. We were no longer responsible for the property or the building. I don't think as of January it was sold yet, so the bank still owns it. I hope that in time, someone perfect for that place moves into it. We had a lot of good memories there, and I'll never forget bringing both my babies home to that house. In June, we took the plunge on something we've been wanting to do for years, though we never had the time or more importantly the space back in the city. We ordered four, fluffy little chicks online. They arrived mid-month, only about two days old. If you had asked me years ago if I ever wanted chickens as pets, I'd have laughed at you. But the moment I heard my girls peeping from inside that box, I was beyond sold. It isn't hard to care for them, just tedious and tricky in the snow. I do it with love, and they are so funny to watch too! Barbie Q did a belly flop in the snow entirely by accident yesterday, and I was laughing watching her try to figure out just what had landed her there. Fresh eggs everyday is quite an awesome kickback too. :D If you think store bought eggs are good, they taste so much better when you control what feed the chickens get, when the birds free-range and are loved. I'm entirely serious. Come visit and I will cook you one, just so you can see! At the end of August, Justin had his first day of Kindergarten. It's only half day, but it is five days a week. Putting him on the bus that first day made me realize how much he has grown. He's six now, and I cannot figure out how time has flown by so fast. Seeing him learn how to read, and write, and hearing about his accomplishments from the teachers has really been a treat this year. He gets frustrated easily, but in time he will adjust. Daycare was a lot slower paced for him. Brendan is slowly coming out of his shell. He can be very shy, and clingy at times, but in the past few months he's getting better. He isn't potty-trained yet. At four he's showing little interest, and I'm getting impatient. I have to keep telling myself he will not spend his whole life in diapers and that it will come in time. Other than those things, life goes on. I'm planning my garden already, and want to build a bed on the side of the house to try my hand at pumpkins again. Even as I type, the garlic I planted in the spring that I thought had died, is up. Life can brew even in the dredges of winter. :D It's a good sign, I hope. I am not making resolutions this year. I merely make a promise that at every chance given, I will do my best to make my life, and the world around me a better place. A smile, kind word, a dollar or two chipped in if someone is short. Little things add up. With any luck 2013 will be our best year yet!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Barefoot Gardening is back in style!

Welcome to Mach. It's been 70 degrees or more pretty much all week. So much warmer than it's suppossed to be.

This weather has found me doing a lot of prep work. Everyday I go outside with the boys, I weed a bit, turn the soil, add top soil, egg shells for calcium, start seeds in peat pots. So far I have 2 pea plants started, 2 sunflowers, 1 Spinach, and I just spotted the first squash coming up. Checking the pot told me that one is Spaghetti Squash! Fingers crossed I get some. :) I did 4 plants each ( well 2 seeds in each of 2 pots) of zucchini, summer squash, and spaghetti.

Yesterday I planted roma tomatoes, broccoli, and more beans and peas. It's almost to the point where I can direct sow things. Last frost threat is suppossed to be in mid April, but with this weather it could already be ok to plant them.

I wore flip flops outside today while I spread and mixed some topsoil in, but I kicked them off pretty fast. There's just something about that connection to the soil that is good for the soul.

Justin and Bren are in on it too, the sunflowers are theirs, and we also started Columbine and Lavendar flowers together. Last night we picked up the new raised beds I've wanted since last year. One was even on clearance!

I have to be good and save room for the plant sale at the end of May. I want to buy at least a couple of tomato plants, maybe an eggplant and some hot peppers.

I'm not a prepper, as in one who prepares for the end of the world, or harsh situations, but I do like learning skills like crochet/knitting/gardening which could be handy in those times. :)

Also, I gained 12 pounds over winter. Twelve. What the heck did I do? I broke my own rules and didn't do the right things. You have to take responsibility and not put blame on other things.
To start to fix this, I bought a bike. It came today, unassembled. Once I put it all together, 30 minutes in the morning, evening, or both will be in order. I am determined to lose all of that if not more, by the end of September when I go back to the doctor.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seeing the world with new eyes.

All around us, spring is twisting itself from the cold confines of the ground or the tombs of tree buds. I have a broccoli plant, a spinach plant, and a handful of tiny turnips that were planted too late in the season to harvest last fall, but they haven't died! The boys and I started seeds a bit over a week ago, and we have sprouts in our peat pots already. Surely part of that is due to being inside a warm house at night, but still. It is a comfort, though we're getting a snow storm this evening that may dump a few inches on us. Though given the temps will be in the 40-50 degree range in the next week, it won't stick around nor serve any purpose save for watering all the things that need it.

Spring is time to turn over new leaves in your own life too. For the past year or two, I've been noticing little issues with my vision. I'd have day where I'd wake up blurry/seeing slight doubles of things, and stay like that all day. I thought it was allergies at first, until I realized there was no correlation with the seasons whatsoever.

In the past six months or so, it's happened a few more times, and I've also been noticing my left eye felt especially tired/like there was something weighing on it. So, once Justin's registration said he required a vision screening signed by a physician, I figured we'd save ourselves the trouble and both go to the eye doctor to save time.

He hopped right up into the chairs to take the different tests the nurse, then the doctor did. He actually had quite a bit of trouble with some of the color blind tests, but it was his first time and some of the numbers were tricky, like 78. They weren't really concerned yet, and he'll be retested next year. otherwise his eyes were perfect.

Then it was my turn. They took pictures of my eyes, did the puff of air thing, and Justin sat and watched, and got to see the pictures which he loved!
Then the doctor came in to do his part of the tests, and I explained my issues. We did the test. I can make out most if not all of the letters, and the line tests, etc. He does one line of letters and I try really hard, and think I got them. Then, he switched the lenses over my eyes.


I could see so much better! I saw in the line we'd just done that I had said something was a C but it was in fact an O. Not a big deal right?

He said that although my vision is basically 20/20, my left eye has an astigmatism which is making things blurry/ghost letters etc. The odd feeling of something in or weighing on my eye is likely eye strain for it trying to keep up with my healthier right eye.

What bugs me the most is, the way I've been seeing things and reading them for years has been almost like a page in a dusty book. That quick change of the lens in front of my eyes was like someone blowing most of that dust off. I've been living like this for perhaps longer than the two years I've really had the stronger symptoms, because I can't remember it being as clear as it was right then. SO, then the inevitable happened. All of a sudden, we were going to the front to pick out frames......for my new glasses.

I'm only suppossed to be using them for reading, driving, etc. I am noticing that it makes a difference with more things than that though. Details I took for granted and at face value are just a bit sharper.

They were ordered Monday at the office, and the next day they were ready. Nothing special. The left lense is the important one. I think the right is barely anything at all rx wise. However- Monacles have regrettably gone out of style, so both my eyes get covered. :P

As I settle into being in my thirties, changes are happening. Slow but sure. Overall I think I'm pretty happy with them, though I haven't had them an entire day quite yet. They are Bebe's and quite modern in their design. Kind of weird that one of the most fashionable things I own is prescription eyewear!

Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm not saying there will never be rain.
Just remember to dance in it when it happens.

Tomorrow is Will's birthday. As an unexpected gift, it seems someone actually wants to view the old house in Woony. It's been on the market since June if not before, so this is pretty big. I really hope they make an offer, and that the bank approves it.

It is suppossed to snow tomorrow, which kind of sucks. Not complaining as we haven't had much snow at all this year, I just wish it could have waited a day or two.
I'm not sure if we will go out and celebrate it, if the weather is too cruddy getting my brother to babysit is going to be out. On the other hand if it's not that bad, we can. Baking a cake for him tonight, and we'll wrap his gifts since he won't be home.

It would help if he told me what he wanted to do. He's not the going out type, so dinner or a movie is about all we'll end up doing. I tried to do a birthday dinner party last year, but so many people opted out at the last minute it's kind of not something I'll do again for a while. So small works.

Today we went for a walk and just enjoyed the day. Wish it was a bit warmer, but heck this is amazing for February, I'll take it! I need to shed about 5-10 pounds before spring, and walking is really my best bet.

Next week I get to start the ball rolling on the kindergarten stuff for Justin. I'll be calling the school, an eye doctor, and likely school administration. For someone who doesn't like to call people on the phone much, it's going to be a nutty week.

I could really use a night out, so we'll have to see if there's a way to work that out. Life is frustrating, but at least right now it's doing well to distract me from moping too much.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skip this if you don't want to go to a Pity party.

I find myself wondering lately what might be a universal question, or at least one that strikes many at different parts of their lives. Now that winter is here and instead of long walks to parks to play with my kids or to run errands, I'm sitting here, staring at a computer screen off and on during the day, reminded of how much life is passing me by now.

Who am I, who have I become?

I used to know (or at least think I knew)who I was. Lately, I'm struggling to find myself.

In a world where I used to have friends calling on the phone, making plans with me, getting together all the time, there is now almost entirely silence. The only close friend I had that has had children, well, we made mistakes she essentially screwed me over and erased me from her life.

What have I done to make everyone turn away from me, to disregard me as anyone worthy spending time with? It hurts, and since this is a personal blog, I don't care if anyone gets hurt by seeing what I am feeling. It might not apply to you, after all.

I had children. I am in a loving relationship with my husband. I love them with all of my heart. They are currently about 90% of my social circle. My parents come and visit at least once or twice a month which helps, but it's not the same as friends. I have one friend bless her, who does what she can to visit about every other month. She's a great treasure, and I can only hope she knows it.
I do understand that this sort of thing happens, but it doesn't mean I was at all prepared for it. You never are, because you think- well sure some people might drift away, but these are my friends, these are people who have stuck by me for years, surely we can get over this bump in the road? I believed it too. But it seems like it happened despite my fierce hope that I could fight to keep my friends, that we wouldn't grow apart. We did.

We became different people somehow. I guess I've changed even if I hadn't felt it. I had kids and a family; many of them are not having children at all, and maybe they can't relate to me the same way and no longer know how to do so?

I'm not blameless, and don't think for a minute I'm trying to be. But I feel like I tried to spend time with my friends, I made an effort to show them I did care, very much.

I'm making changes in my life this year because I simply have to. Justin is starting kindergarten and I will need to drive. I wonder if not having a car for so long played a role back then. I wish it didn't, after all I was the first one to dig deep for gas money for those who made the effort, but I guess it was too much of a hassle in time. When I do get my liscence and a vehicle, it won't make a terrible lot of difference socially, as the calls and emails simply no longer come. I'm also left slightly bitter. Does anyone deserve me at my best if they stayed away or turned their backs when I am at my worst, in need of friendship? The answer is not as easy as I used to think.

My mom used to cry when we were growing up. I remember her doing it silently in a corner, hoping we didn't notice, that we didn't see. I didn't understand then. I worry now that I am finally beginning to see just what sort of sacrifices are made when you make a life changing decision. Having children, moving a great distance, taking a job in an entirely new field, confessing a secret that shatters perceptions others have had of you. I'm not crying much yet, but to say I haven't been sad is a lie. Or else I'd not be writing this.

All of these and more can make people you thought cared about you, that you thought for certain would always be there, drop off as if there was an aura of 'friend-repellant' surrounding you. It sucks, and even though you try to keep your head up and say you don't need people like that in your life, it hurts. Cuts deep enough to leave scars in your soul that don't heal. Because yes, you don't need people in your life who aren't supportive, who don't value you and what you are.
But if that leaves you with big empty holes in your being, pain goes right on through and into your heart.

For the precious few who still make time for me and care to listen, this is not for you. There are still some who try. I'm sure that there will be people I talk to in the future who I may make connections with. But starting over hardly seems like something anyone deserves. I'm 30 now, and meeting new people is not something I handle very well. I have anxieties now, I do not deal well with sudden changes. I feel like a recluse.
Mom is my job and most of my life right now, as it should be. I'm happy being that, do not get me wrong. I'd change nothing. Sometimes though, I ache for a coffee date, a weekend lunch, or to see a show with a few friends. A shopping trip without having to corrall two little boys when they spend too long in the toy section, or being rushed out by Will.
Then I feel guilty for even that want. Sigh.

There's nothing that will come of this aside from getting my thoughts out where no one is terribly likely to read them. I guess it's a stress excercise, an airing of frustrations. Like burning a scathing letter you write yourself or someone else rather than sending it. Because once it's out you're suppossed to feel better.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Same path, different journey.

I go for long walks a lot, and often Brendan and I take the same path every week. We go about 2 miles from the house to Dunkin Donuts- I get a coffee, and Bren and I each have a donut. Then we usually head to CVS to pick up a needed item or two (today tp and baby wipes), and he usually gets something that costs about a buck there-usually a lollipop. Then home. Once in a while we have a picnic in a park or walk to the farmer's market instead, but this is our usual trip.

You would think a once a week trip like this would get boring. Same streets, same houses and landmarks, same direction. But no, that's not the case at all. Each trip is different somehow, colored by people and the little things that change. Once, a customer at dunkin bought Bren a second donut just because of how well behaved and quiet he was. Another time, we chatted with a nice lady from Florida who had gotten turned around on a walk she was taking- we showed her the right way and since it was the way we were going, we all walked together. I still remember the bright blue sunhat and cheery smile.
Once, we watched a whole family of swans begin their morning on Wenscott Reservoir. We saw a hawk once, and an oriole!
It's always fun to see how the flowers in front of everyone's houses change throughout the growing season. You get the idea.

Today was no exception. We got about halfway there, when I heard a friendly "Hello." I turned and it was a woman in an SUV that had just pulled out of her house. "I've seen you walking a lot, and I was wondering if you needed a ride or something?" I told her no, but thank you so much. "Oh alright, just checking. If you ever do I live right here." She pointed to the house behind her. I thanked her again. I walk for my excercise and Bren likes the exploring we do too, so it wasn't needed. But how nice was it for her to offer! I think I might have just met a neighbor who doesn't even live near me. :) I smiled for the rest of the walk!
Then, a garbage truck passed us, and the guys hanging on the back waved and smiled at us. I always smile and say thank you when I see our own garbage men, they have a tough, dirty job, and I feel they are underappreciated. Then, they stopped traffic so they could turn down a little sidestreet- which the guy did backwards! Wicked impressive, sir. :P At Dunkin Bren didn't want to eat his donut, he wanted his pop and was grumpy. One of the girls in back kept talking to him about his donut, then she came out and cut it up for him. She made him smile and he finally ate almost all of it. That extra moment of kindness, of a good attitude, that stuff really makes people sit up and take notice. It makes me want to treat people better, and pay forward the good karma. Sounds kind of lame and candy-coated, but if we all took the time to do something nice for one person each day that we might not know personally, what a different world it could be.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Make Our Own Fun Here...

For many reasons, I spend a lot of time alone. I don't have many friends that live close and don't have many if any friends with kids. It makes me feel bad sometimes that it's just Justin and Brendan, but it leaves us to often make up our own stuff to do each day. Justin's not really old enough to handle the miles I like to walk and that we'd need to walk to get anyplace with stuff to do, so I usually reserve those trips for when he is at school. Friday Bren and I walked to a park and had lunch near a store I wanted to visit, which turned out to be closed for another two hours......way to update your website for the summer guys. Ugh. I did however go alone the next day and get some nice stuff there- and the walk was anything but a waste as Brendan and I got to explore and have lunch someplace new.
I got a yarn called Kathmandu DK in a blue-grey tweed that has wool, alpaca, and cashmere in it......oooh squishy!

Ahem, anyhow.

This weekend, we decided to do something we haven't done at this place yet, and never in the urban heck that Woonsocket was. Will came home from work and set up the tent in the backyard. Friday night, Will took the boys outside and started the firepit. I made marshmellows and smores and we had a nice time. Then I got the boys into their pajamas, and Will took them outside with their gear for a night of camping. The tent says it sleeps four, but we know they mean if you like sleeping like a sardine. So I opted out of that. Gave them room and someone was in the house if one of the boys got 'homesick'. They watched a movie together and got to have a boy's night out.
I got to stay in- which I spent obsessively cleaning the house- sweeping, dishes, laundry, toy pick up. Then I did some crafty stuff until I was sleepy. I think I missed them and the routine of tucking them in.
They got up bright and early at about 6 and came in the house, thankfully I was woken up about 7. I made everyone breakfast, it was nice.
I took off for my walk at 10, and enjoyed the fresh air. I like studying the world around me as I walk, it brings me zen, it always does no matter where I am headed. I had a lovely time chatting with the owner of the yarn store, and another customer, and got a coffee. Good outing. I came home just in time for lunch.

We hung around the house for the day. I decided I'd camp out with the boys for Saturday night. Give Will a break, which he used to go to dinner with friends of his. I packed up everything for us to go out, and we settled in. It was a lot of fun, the boys are young and thankfully easy to please for now. I brought the laptop out so we could watch a movie- Tangled was free on Netflix, so we went with that. We chatted a bit, and snuggled together until they started to fall asleep. I watched another movie once they did, then brought the laptop back in the house and got settled back in the tent myself. Took forever to fall asleep. It's the little things we take for granted. It's LOUD at night. During the day the insects are much quieter, at night, it's like they have a concert! Whether you like it or not, you have a front row ticket and no ear plugs.

Anyhow, shortly after midnight, it started to sprinkle. It did off and on all night, nothing too bad, but I kept waking up. Finally at 6 it started again and got steadier, so I gathered up everything in a couple of trips, and we finished our campout on the couches inside. It was fun, all in all. :)

Main point is, doing special stuff with the kids doesn't have to cost a fortune. They won't remember the money you have spent anyhow. Just letting them know you love them and want to do things with them brings a smile to their faces, and to mine.

I also spent the weekend battling the squirrel, or whatever it is that's taken a shine to my tomatoes. I've had to throw about 6 or 7 of them into our brand new compost bin now, there were a couple I managed to save. It's so frustrating, because I've been working hard on this garden and the tomatoes are all looking good, then, just when they start to ripen, I find big bites of them gone. Little jerk.......I need to grab mothballs next time we head out to the store. Someone said that deters them. I am also using homemade repellent, but with the rain it's been less than effective. I found one ripening and picked it so it could finish inside- so there, fuzzy vandal!

Anyhow, all else is going well for now, crafting is another zen focus for me. I think I am almost ready to check off learning to knit from my 40 by 40 list, as well as the garden, even with my little 'friend' helping. So that's encouraging!

Starting to really plan Justin's birthday, he'll be five in just about three weeks or so now. Hard to believe how things have changed so fast, how much he's grown. Brendan will be three a month later. Sometimes, I wish it could all slow down a bit. Life never seemed to pass this fast before I hit my 20's. Sigh.

But yeah, we like to make our own fun a lot, and when we do the bigger stuff it seems all the more special. Maybe we'll have enough for a fun trip next year. I'd love to take the boys mining/gem hunting. They both love rocks and digging in the dirt.

Every thing we do, no matter how small is an adventure.