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