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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

40 By 40 List. (Sort of Like a Bucket List)

A friend of mine inspired myself and others by making a 30 before 30 list. I turned 30 this month, so I decided to give myself a list for the next decade. Posted this on Facebook, but I wanted it up here too. The more places I see it, the more I am motivated? Anyhow, it might be modified soon, but here it is ( anything with an asterisk is something I'm close to completing.

40 Before 40 -My List


1. Earn My Liscence and get my own car

2. Learn to Knit * :)

3. See Mount Rushmore

4. See Niagra Falls

5. Travel to Australia

6. Travel to Greece

7. Take a Photography class & own a professional camera

8. Weigh 155 lbs at some point (same weight as Senior Year HS- currently 10-15 lbs off)

9. Work in a Food Pantry/Kitchen

10. Be able to do 5-10 Pull ups/build arm strength

11. Have a Successful veggie garden (might do this year)*

12. Get something published

13. Sing in front of a large group

14. Make use of my crockpot once a week

15. Read the entire C.S. Lewis Narnia series, and the Amber series

16. Go horseback riding again

17. Adopt or foster a child in need

18. Raise Chickens-for eggs and manure- not meat

19. Plan and get my dragon tatoos

20. Adopt a rescue dog or cat (or two, or both)

21. Be able to afford replacing all the carpet in my parent's house with hardwood floor.

22. Card & Spin fleece into yarn

23. Go on a Road Trip with Theresa, Lauren D., and whoever else wants to go. (open invite)

24. Decorate a cake on commission

25. Invest in a vacation home on the beach somewhere

26. Meet someone famous or influencial

27. Go salt water fishing

28. Own a skein or two of Wollmeise yarn

29. Own a 1981 Chevy Camaro

30. Raise my boys to be respectful, kind, independant, intelligent men

31. Learn to become a Doula or a midwife and assist in births

32. Do a community service project every year

33. Go rural camping again

34. Speak French, Spanish and perhaps another language fluently

35. Visit Montana

36. Ghost Hunt

37. Chase a tornado

38. Watch the sunrise at least once a week*

39. Work on a farm

40. Make a quilt by hand

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thoughts dancing on the sunlight.

A few months ago, I saw her picture on a friend's facebook page. Little girl, five years old. Her eyes were so blue, so happy. Her hair was spun from dark blonde sunshine. It was her birthday if I remember right. Everything about her seemed to radiate love and sweetness, and I had never met her. Leah.
I went to school with her aunt, and we weren't close or anything, but when pictures come up on my newsfeed, especially of other people's kids, I look and smile. I post pictures of my own little boys. I went about my business, as we often do.

Then, I heard the news. Soon after her birthday, she started feeling ill, had headaches. She went to the doctor and they mentioned it. The little girl wasn't acting right. The doctor was concerned, and ordered tests.
No one wanted to hear the news, one of the worst words anyone can utter, especially when it comes to a child. Cancer. Brain tumor.
When I heard about it, immediately my heart sank to my toes. There is hope for recovery, there always is. But even so, to imagine everything that precious little girl had to go through broke my heart. I watched my own boys run and play, and sent all the love I could from where I was. What her parents had to be feeling was simply......unimaginable.

They started treatments pretty quickly, the best doctors in the area. She started to improve. Hope swelled. But........cancer is a demon and an unpredictable one at that. Roller coaster rides ensued, ups and downs. She lost her hair from the treatments, grew pale and thin. But she still fought, was still brave. People who didn't even know her learned of her story, came to the fundraisers held for her. Bought little bracelets with her name on it to support her care. People supported the family too, making meals, keeping an eye on her brother, offering comfort when and however they could. But what can you do, what can you say? No parent should ever have to go through this, no child. You just wish for things to be ok, even if you worry that they can't be, and never will be again. I scoured facebook daily for updates, each time hoping for good news.

Recently, things took a turn for the worst. Everything they did just wasn't helping. I can't imagine how that must have felt.
Her new diagnosis was something very few people managed to survive. I cannot remember the exact name, and cannot find it, or else I'd share. I've suddenly misplaced my heart,it's dropped so low.

I've still been reading everyday. Hoping to hear good things. But, today....

Today at about 4:30 AM, Leah gave up her fight with cancer and passed away, with her mom and dad by her side. Even more of her family had been around earlier in the evening, hugs and kisses, I love you's. She died knowing hopefully just how many people loved her. I don't even know what to say, or how to say it right now. I barely knew anything about her, and my heart was touched. Her parents and brother, my heart goes out to them today. There are no words that can express how sorry I am for their loss. I look at my boys and wonder how I'd ever be able to go through such a thing. I hug them a little tighter.

How unfair life is sometimes, to take a beautiful soul away. To have it be a child so young. I know she's not in pain now, not weak, not sick. That's a comfort I guess. I'll keep the family in my thoughts, my heart, my silent prayers. Today is a difficult day, and it will be a long time before they will be anything less than that.

Leah, wherever you are, if there really is a place you go to after life here, I hope you are there in the clouds, dancing on the sunlight, blue eyes shining, wearing the brightest pink ballerina costume ever created. We all love you down here, kid.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The way I grow (plants)

Here's the thing. I garden barefoot. Usually barehanded too, unless I'm working with something more than soil.
I like the connection I have with nature when I do this. Feet and hands touch the Earth, it gives me a feeling of an almost bond with the plants. I know, silly, right. Here's something easier to understand. It creates some zen, some peace in my mind.

I started container gardening first, at my last house. It was in the city, and the house had gardens and beds, but they were taken over by mass amounts of poison ivy, weeds, yew bush stumps, and rocks, amongst which were spaced tulips and roses. I got poison ivy every single time I tried to do more than trim it back ( and sometimes even then), so I contented myself with just keeping it neat enough that we could function. There was thankfully, a lot of blacktop in the back yard, so the kids had somewhere to ride bikes and play with their pool. Needless to say though, we spent a lot of time at parks and playgrounds.

Anyhow, the very first things I planted there were a few pots I kept on the kitchen roof. It was flat, and there was a window that was right there, so it was easy to care for the plants, water them, etc. And, less pests could get at them than if they were on the ground. I started with peppers, carrots, and spinach. The spinach grew wonderfully, but I waited too long to harvest it, so it died. Oops.
Carrots did well, though the conatiner wasn't big enough, the biggest one was just under 4 inches. The few I ate were yummy, but I overcrowded them so there was so many they don't last long out of the ground/pot. I decided carrots were not meant for containers, unless it is a HUGE one. The peppers did well enough given the pot was too small. I got 2-3 two inch peppers, which I used in a dip.
The next year, I thought I'd try again. I did squash, pickling cucumber, and I inherited about 6 little better boy tomato plants from a friend's mom. She'd bought a whole 9 pack but didn't need more than a couple for the topsy turvy thing.
I put the tomatoes two to a pot, thought I had big enough ones, but now I know better. Cucumber was the only thing I got that year- two that were about the size of a really large grape. Tomatoes and squash both flowered (squash even gave me a couple of starting fruit, but they died shortly after forming. So, not a good year.

I was not discouraged. This year, we moved. To a house with a yard and garden the likes of which I've never had before. I didn't have time or a chance to plot out and execute a true veggie garden. So, I started seeds and the ones that grew large enough went right in my new front garden, where there was room. I have cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, beans, and yes I have tomatoes. Four large plants-(two of which have some little tomatoes on them), one medium whom is called Lazarus because he literally rose from the dead- well I thought the plant was dead and almost gave up on it. I also have a bunch of little cherry tomatoes that are doing so-so, and about 6-8 small to medium ones in a big container.

Things are going much better this year. I have a few tomatoes, I have a zucchini, I have plants I thought for sure would die, but so far only two of four cauliflower have not made it. I've also just transplanted some sweet peas, and two sunflowers, one of which I think might not make it.

I'm still learning, I make a ton of mistakes. I planted a tomato that needed more sun and space early in the season in back of the three who get bigger and produce later. It's not getting enough sun, so the 3-4 fruits on it, might be all that I get if they even ripen fully. Beans and peas like shade, and I tried to keep them in the sun. I did very little soil prep. Etc.

I will be ready next year. I'm planning on picking up a couple of boards, and cutting them into 4-5 foot lengths and building two raised beds. The front garden will be filled in with flowers where there are not already flowers.

I can tell you for sure though, I'll still be gardening barefoot, and when I can, barehanded. The feeling of dirt and grass between my toes brings me back to childhood. I'm still young for now, but sometimes I like feeling like a kid again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Outlook on life.

Hey there non-existant followers. (Lol maybe that will change someday)

I just wanted to give you a short update on things. Justin is now on a nasal spray and amox to try to lessen the fluid in his ears. We're due back at the ENT the end of June to see if anything has changed. If not, we'll be discussing surgery to put tubes in. I'm hoping this doctor ( who is absolutely awesome with kids by the way) will allow us to wait until after his birthday. Good news is, since he missed the cut off date, kindergarten won't be until next fall, so he might miss a few days of preschool/daycare, but that's it. I just want my little guy to feel better and be able to hear us. He's come a long way this year since starting daycare two days a week. Wants to learn so much!

Now me. I saw the OB tuesday about the pelvic/backdoor pain. He thinks it's not related to my female parts, and that I should see a GI. Mentioned words like Chron's, IBS, etc. But said since I didn't have most of the typical symptoms it's either not that or we caught it very early on.
It's oddly ironic that my health problems started after I started losing weight and trying to eat and be healthier. Something seriously wrong with that!
So I'll be asking for a referral or scans from my regular doctor when I see her in August. If I have a problem sooner than that, I'll expedite it, but we've got a ton going on. My stuff takes a backburner when and if it can.

I've been trying hard to get more walking in when the weather and allergies cooperate. Yesterday Bren and I got dropped off at Dunkin for breakfast and we walked back home the long way, stopping at a park on the reservoir near us. There was a lovely little sand beach and we sat for about ten minutes, just enjoying the rest and the day. Then we headed home. I'd say about 3 miles or more, the straight way home is 2.
We'll be heading that way again this afternoon, except we'll be walking there, not getting driven, so at least 4-5 miles. There's a Farmer's Market there I'm hoping to check out. My legs will hate me, but it's the best excercise I've found for me. I get bored with things indoors/routines etc. I like the outdoors, you always see something or someone different on the journey. Brendan and I get a lot of bonding time too, which is something hard to get sometimes.

Listing the old house finally this month. Our upstairs tenants did not work out well, and they are moving out this week. We're hoping the right buyer comes along now and takes it. Then the bank will have to approve it. Because of the market- we own a house that we owe more on than the new house we just bought. The old house is in need of repairs, plenty of them, and it isn't worth anywhere near what we still owe. So much for a working real-estate system. Anyhow, we're hoping to sell it fast, since we won't be getting new tenants. We weren't making enough to cover anything anyhow, when we did get both rents. Sigh.

My crochet is going well, working on a special outfit set for twin girls due at the end of summer. They are coming out better than I expected. I need to get back to projects for me/my kids though, I have the drive to make sweaters for the fall if I find the time.

I'm going to be 30 in less than a month. That's kind of exciting/terrifying I guess. I certainly don't feel like I've been around that long. I certainly don't feel different. Not to gripe either, but I don't think my husband will plan anything special. :P

All in all, depite all the crap this year has given us, I feel pretty good. This new place and new town has given me a sense of 'home', something I can't remember ever having at any other place we've lived. The kids have no issues sharing a room for now, and they adore having a yard and place to ride their bikes. It's small, needs a lot of work, a lot more maintenance for the yard and gardens. But it's home and is worth the trials and tribulations.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Still Here

I'm back. I wasn't really gone, just for no good reason I haven't felt like blogging. However, with the new addition of more outlets for my creativity, and seeing a few friends beginning blogs of their own or rekindling the dormant ones, I'm feeling inspired.

Working on my garden, and lots of new projects. It's what you do when you can neither be lucky enough to have many friends who live close or have the time to hang out socially, and when you have kids/limited transport to visit people.

I've learned to be cautious in whom I trust. I had the world pulled out from under me recently (and still am) by someone I have known since I was a toddler. She became my tenant, and all I will say on it is- we both expected the other one to do things that did not happen. I expected the person to pay rent regualrly and in full, and they expected when they refused/were unable that we wouldn't have to evict. Sigh. Don't rent to friends, it ends the friendship more often than not, and people get hurt. I cannot believe that over 25 years of friendship is over. The worst of it is, it's not over yet. Sigh. I love the family, but truth is, we can't afford this and it's not the first problem either.
This is just hurtful and you feel guilty even though you did what you had to do to protect your own life and family.

Hmmn, on to pretty things. My garden is going well. Got some plants from a community plant sale a few weeks ago and those are in, along with what I managed to start from seeds. Maybe soon I'll have some zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cauliflower? I also have some pepper plants to get in. Here is hoping something comes of it. :)

My boys are great, growing so very much and by the day! I can't beleive Justin will be five this year and Brendan will turn three. Part of me longs for another baby someday, while another part is just so content with what we have. Our boys are pretty well behaved and have good manners, too. Justin is going to an ENT on Wednesday to discuss our options. Most likely he will need tubes to improve his hearing. Brendan's pulminary/reflux issues seem to have fixed themselves, which is comforting. We have bills a plenty already.

I'm going in the morning to my OB for a routine check but also to discuss the pelvic/bowel pain I've been having lately. My reg. doc thinks Endometriosis, but the test haven't shown it. The only 100% sure way to know I think will be surgery, either a biopsy or exploratory. Not really thinking I will opt for that, unless I have to. Nervous, but this doctor is amazing, and I'm hoping some answer or idea comes from it.

My crafting is going well. Been using a lot of what I had stashed away at the moment, to try and save money and use up yarn so I don't pack-rat it. :) I just made myself a shawl and am working on a very special baby gift for twin girls.

Will and I are still doing fine and going strong. I'm lucky to have him, and he's lucky to have me. We rarely fight, and lately when we do it's been about our tenant issues, not anything at home. We're out of options and need to sell that house as a short sale now. It will be better for us to not have that additional debt to give us a reason to bicker. All in all, things are going alright at the moment, and I'm hopeful they continue to improve.

I'll be trying to blog a bit more often, not because anyone reads this, but because it reminds me that I have a place to just write what I feel and read it later.

See ya soon I hope.