Thursday, December 31, 2009
1. Realized my family is a dynamic that is quite convoluted, but damn wonderful when you get through all the crapola on the surface.
2. I met several unique and talented people through Chesterfield Arts this year. It has awakened the creative side of my brain and inspired me to try new avenues (and get back to things I enjoyed doing years ago).
3. Becoming unemployed was a mixed blessing. I no longer feel the choke hold of the corporate office on every interaction/conversation. Albeit economically, it was a jolt, I used this opportunity to re-evaluate my consumer/spending habits. Just stunned at how much piddly expenditures you "throw your hard eared $$ on" when you have a steady income. Society sure wants you to swipe that card at every opportunity, which, I really haven't done in the past year.
4. Expanding on the career portion, I forgot what a gerbil cage I was in the past decade... wow, poof! Hello world!! It is quite different being out the child care world. I do miss the unbridled hugs/kisses/tackles that enveloped me on a daily basis & miss watching the kids grow into their own personalities. I think that part of me shall live forever, because that is who I am.
5. My son turned 18 this year... milestone for me! I can honestly tell people I have raised my son! Senior year of HS is zooming past. He is really active in theater at school (starred as a pirate in Peter Pan, also did some technical flying in that show, this Fall he starred as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol", he is also directing a one-act play, the Stage manager for "Thorougly Modern Millie" and cadet teaching a Theater I class this semester), not sure where the other academics will fall into place, but he made a 3.2 GPA so far. Sheesh! I am actually going to miss this pandemonium!
6. Since the local radio stations are succumbing to Big Brother-type conglomerates (or disappearing off the airwaves completely), I was seeking an outlet to keep a pulse on new artists, world music and any collaborations my favorite musicians have in the making. I used the music feature on our TV from our cable provider & dabbled a bit on Yahoo/MSN/Pandora etc. I discovered BBC radio and have enjoyed this so much. Completely varied format from the states, where artists talk about MUSIC not the LABEL they are under contract. I am also investigating music at the library before I purchase (a downloaded track) to make sure I can listen to it over & over and not tire of it quickly.
7. This e-book thing is not my cup of tea. I downloaded a couple of books via the library to get the experience. I can read a blog, newsletter, article on a computer screen, but there is something personal about holding a physical text copy. I will not be on the bandwagon & will support my local bookseller (shout out to Subterranean Books in UCity!) until I am no longer to read the print on a page.
8. Teaching my parents the ropes of a cell phone & internet has been a treat. The cell phone has come in handy with all the medical stuff we have had as a family & we were able to keep in touch waiting to hear results of surgeries/procedures. Let me see, at last count we had 7 medical issues this year. As late as it is tonight, I pray we have no more for another decade!!
9.She was not trained to be, however, our dog, Chloe, has become a support dog for my brother. This is the year she grew up (she is now 3) and has perfected some of her commands. She watches for him dutifully by the front window in the family room, notifies us when he wakes up (or will help do just that if we mention it) and corrals him to his room & stays with him until he falls asleep. Who knew?!?
10. I intend to make the best of the upcoming year & decade. I am entering my mid-40's and plan to make these next 3 + decades something I can look back on proudly. I am going to take better care of both my physical body & spirit as I did about 20 years ago. I want to be active like my grandmother had been up until the past 6 years (she is 97 & still gardening/cooking but I know her light is fading, just being selfish to want to keep her around longer than she is willing). I need to let her know that she has been a role model for me in a way she will take to heart.
So, year of adventure, disappointment, discovery and loss, I bid thee farewell. I have taken to heart the cards I've been dealt & played those that I could in good faith.
Here's to a new year of hope & wonder. Please shine a little love on us this year....
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
- Dr. Seuss
Saturday, November 14, 2009
As a theater parent, I have been helping behind the scenes with costumes & other incidentals. I've had a chance to see glimpses of the show emerge into its final stages. My son has shown so much leadership with this production. He's embraced the cast & crew (and chastised them as well and has steered the team into the right direction. Who knew I would ever enjoy spending evenings & weekends with teenagers?!!
Way to go Marquette Theatre Company.... keeping up the reputation of professionalism in performance!
Break a leg..... love you all!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This would be a welcome addition to the family.
*dispense/remind medication for each family member
*laundry start to finish
His name (why a he? mm, because I would make him adorable) would be Adonis! ;)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Every child left with a big smile on their face that reminded me why I got into education!
I posed the question to several families, perhaps it was rhetorical, maybe not...
Funny how we encourage our children to get into art projects... "go on, try it", we tell them. However as adults, we shy away from this area. Why is that?!
Guess people were too busy with all their adult business to consider creativity!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I am entering a chapter in my life that is quite foreign to me. Aging, medically bound parents, a brother with special needs that doesn't comprehend the challenges they are facing & reacts with his own series of issues.
Then, my son is getting closer to high school graduation, applications & letters piled up in our mailbox daily, postcards from XYZ University touting statistics on glossy cardstock, it's all approaching at once. (** I'll be glad once the decision is final... the mail carrier has been getting quite a work out)
I am trying to "get" where my parents are mentally with this whole aging process. My father seems to be fighting all his medical battles rather well, although I hear his heavy sighs every so often. Mom is all emotion about the issues she faces. I do wish she took more interest in the life around her & be less of a recluse. She is content with library books & listening to music/watching TV. I encourage them to go out on a "date"somewhere, but reasons come up to stay home.
I wish they they would go out, learn something new... keep their minds alive with new ideas, people, etc.
I enjoy the place our home has become. Not just the physical improvements/decorating of the building, but the "feel" of the house. It seems to be a smoother run system of chores/duties & the ambience is tranquil (compared to walking in after working a 10 hour day with a list of grievances & duties to attend to within the next 3 hours if I was to get any sleep).
Granted, financially, this unemployment was a blow. However, as a family, it allowed us to re-evalute what our priorities are. I felt really guilty intially, thinking that all the health issues were being kept at bay because I was not able to get off work to help with ???. I got over it eventually & channeled the energy to become the family health/medical/household manager.
Putting things in order helps me get my mental chaos in check. Just uncertain how the cards we've been dealt will be played out in the end.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Gotta work on curbing that!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I am all about the peer bonding thing! I thrived in it every summer when I was a camp counselor. But there does lie a certain responsibility which needs to be upheld. As a single parent, I get the "best" of both worlds. I have fumed enough, put my thoughts & consequences in writing....
He's home, safe (pissed off at me, no doubt). Here comes one of those great tests of parenting 101...
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Prior to the reveal of the officer positions, the theater teacher/director had mentioned that the person who was elected by one vote. She went on to speak of the power of one voice, one person, one chance. So, that part alone got me thinking how my son had taken a chance, put himself out there to be judged by his peers (something I NEVER would have done @ his age, I liked my anonymity then). I reflected on the passion and energy he had in composing his speech late into the evenings, the diligence he took with his campaign posters (never recall such nice writing). Today, he brought 2 trays of brownies for his theater group of friends & wished his competitors a "happy president's day"...cute gesture.
So, here we are, the big moment. Each current officer has a bag of items to welcome the new inductee. The current president revealed that it was one of Gabe's competitors & I had a small sinking feeling in my heart, but only to be welled up with tears of pride to see him rise to his feet to give her a standing ovation. He was honestly thrilled that she got the position. She was crying out of disbelief & joy that she got the nomination. His friends give him hugs and offer kind words, knowing he really wanted the position, but he never gave anyone the impression he was upset. Gabe gave me that knowing wink from across the room & the tears came streaming down. This was my boy, now I see the man he will become. A good hearted man who gives it his all, regardless of status.
He ended up with some other notable recognitions; the only underclassman (not a senior) to accumulate over 50points for the International Thespian Society and the 2009 most promising Technical Theater Award as a Junior.
I believe in the power of one!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
What is your current obsession?
Knitting, I just re-learned it after many years. Love it!
What are you wearing now?
My comfy worn out cotton shorts that I refuse to surrender & a jazz festival t-shirt from volunteering. Looks like I won't be acquiring any more since they are on "hiatus", 8 years was a good run, though.
Do you nap a lot?
I do catch myself finding napping opportunities every so often. If I nap too long, my whole internal clock is out of whack can't get to sleep at a decent hour.
What is under your bed?
A rug that’s actually supposed to be in the middle of the room. No matter how often I move it back, it inches slowly, day by day, on its own back underneath the bed.
Hopefully, the match to a tennis shoe that my dog ran off with about 20 minutes ago. Also several dust bunnies have reconvened for their weekly reunion.
What would you like to learn to do?
Teach my dog to channel her energy on an agility course, I enjoy watching the championships on Animal Planet, and I think Chloe does, too.
What’s for dinner?
We had buffalo chicken wings, zucchini spears & rice. Bananas Foster with ice cream for dessert.
What was the last thing you bought?
lemons, cheese & french bread.
What is your favorite weather?
Today was a fine example, upper 70's & sunny. Tonight we had some thunderstorms, which seem hypnotic to me.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
With the gang of girls in Boston! I am outnumbered here!
What is your most challenging goal right now?
Deciding on the priority of full time employment versus part time work. Family needs have come into the forefront the past 5 months and I now realize that I've neglected that responsibility more than I can explain. I know the answer is right in front of me, I just feel the need to over analyze the concept!
Why do you blog?
I initially started to share pictures, then I enjoyed posting thoughts and personal observations for others to share
what would you like to have in your hands right now?
A cup of chai latte or something to drink.
What do you want but can’t have right this second?
A massage (preferably by an attractive, unattached, virile male who has a few hours to spare)
What languages can you speak?
English, Spanish & Lithuanian (it's a lot of work but I can get by)
What language(s) do you want to be able to speak?
Something lyrical like French or Italian
What's one thing you're looking forward to?
An upcoming theater banquet that will determine if my son was elected as President of the theatre company and if he will be a cappie for the next school year. These things have taken over all dinner conversations. The anticipation is growing weary!
What websites do you visit constantly during the day?
CNN,Two Peas in a Bucket, Blogger, bank, Facebook and BBC radio
If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life who would it be?
Dave Koz, I swear he is working on the soundtrack to my life!
If you had all the time in the world, what would you do with it?
Good stuff! Help people, be creative, and travel while doing the aforementioned.
What is your favorite time period?
When you are unplugged from technology, what activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy reading and spending time with my son. I've determined that if we are playing a card game, chess, mancala or some other non mechanical activity, I am able to catch up on what is important in his life at the moment. I relish the positive relationship I have with him. I recall a time when I couldn't answer things like his favorite color, biggest fear, favorite subject etc. That was an eye opener for me.
I am tagging: Ana, Lynn, Vanessa
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
On a recent trip to the library, I encountered a book on colorstrology--- the concept is that you find your birth date & it will reveal your "color" and describe your traits.
Step 1. Locate birthday; Jan 27 (easy enough) Hmm... the page is polignac (purplish hue), I like purple(coincidence?) The opposite page is lavender... oh, a mere 24 hours!
Step 2. Read character traits: adorable, interesting, and unusual . Okay, so a lot of people qualify for those traits (check other dates in book to see how often those come up, several).Okay, close. I would have chosen "giving, quirky, and curious" but that's just me talkin' here...
Step 3. Passage excerpt "There is something about you that people just love. It may be your innocence (translated as naive) or your unusual perception of life that keeps people enamored (that's a stretch). You have a strong sense of what is right and wrong, you care deeply about humanity. Friends are important to you, so be sure to surround yourself with the right people." Uh, okay. Pretty accurate. Skeptic says.... "read on".
Step 4. Locate other family members birth dates. Colors are relatively compatible with each person. Characteristics are mostly accurate (my mother's was WAY off in my opinion). My son's & brother's seemed to be the most accurate. We even tried the dog's... it was dead on!
So, I guess some of these -ology books may have some entertainment value. I certainly wouldn't live my life by this stuff.
My son says, "Mom, hate to burst your bubble here. We just studied this stuff in Psych & the traits and characteristics are worked so generically that people can find similarities in most of the stuff out there". Well....yeah! Like those people that reportedly can speak to the deceased, just watch the way they talk to the loved one, it is such a scam!!!
(looks & tastes good but isn't nutritious)
and call it a day!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
* The grass may be greener on the other side, but it still needs to be fertilized, cut, reseeded.
* Looking into your child's eyes can make everything right again, even if just for a moment.
* Always, trust yourself first, no matter how close you are to someone, you never really know what they are capable of doing.
* A broken heart hurts like hell, but you do come out stronger on the other side of the pain.
* Blood is thicker than water.
* This, too, shall pass. It may not be the outcome you wanted, but you learn something from the experience.
* True friends ask how you are, and actually listen for your answer.
* Remember to keep a sense of humor, especially in respect to yourself.
* Going out to a museum, dinner, event alone allows you to meet interesting people. At first it seems awkward, but knowing all the amazing people I have met by doing this, it was worth the risk.
* Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing that scares you every day". You will be surprised by the results.
* You never get tired of reading a GOOD book.
* There are REAL moments in your adult life where you actually say, "I am becoming just like my mother". (remember... humor!)
*Parenting is difficult, frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming, and worth every damn second!
* Be honest & consistent with your kids, they can see right though you!
* Beware of tunnel vision as an adult. Look at your surroundings. Some of the most beautiful and important stuff is on the fringe of your periphery.
These were several of the thoughts that were swarming my brain last night. Perhaps it was because I was looking at my son all dressed up for Prom, coming to the realization that he will be graduating high school next year.
Just wanting to put them down in a tangible form for future reference...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A little knitting philosophy taken from a tote bag I saw..
I have two needles.
Do the math.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Is it starting to rain?
Did the check bounce?
Are we out of coffee?
Is this going to hurt?
Could you lose your job?
Did the glass break?
Was the baggage misrouted?
Will this go on my record?
Are you missing much money?
Was anyone injured?
Is the traffic heavy?
Do I have to remove my clothes?
Will it leave a scar?
Must you go?
Will this be in the papers?
Is my time up already?
Are we seeing the understudy?
Will it affect my eyesight?
Did all the books burn?
Are you still smoking?
Is the bone broken?
Will I have to put him to sleep?
Was the car totaled?
Am I responsible for these charges?
Are you contagious?
Will we have to wait long?
Is the runway icy?
Was the gun loaded?
Could this cause side effects?
Do you know who betrayed you?
Is the wound infected?
Are we lost?
Can it get any worse?
Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
When I initially became an educator, I was ready to take on the world. I was young, passionate, resourceful and naive. I was assigned children who were diagnosed with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders only to have them become exemplary students within a few months time. Believing in the children & their capabilities was the first step.
Mr. Esquith was able to demonstrate what a wonderful experience education can be. In his writings he tells tales of co-workers who feel his classroom is an exercise in chaos. Oh, if only I could work in the same facility as him & tap into that energy & dedication!
Rereading his books has begun to re-ignite my passion for education again. My adult brain had been cluttered with legalese, licensing regulations, policies and procedures that were "conventiently applicable" in prior employment venues. With that melee aside, I will now replace it with the inspirational words of educational professionals that demonstrate the passion that I once did to create a future society of caring, well-educated citizens of the world.
Peace to you, Rafe!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
She & I have gone through so many milestones together; crushes, rejection, teenage drama (not staged), college years (ooh, more un-staged drama), weddings, births, raising children (I actually managed the preschool that her children attended for a few years). This was comforting knowing that despite the lack of constant contact that we thrived in the younger years, we are able to maintain a friendship with less frequent contact (thanks in most part to adult responsibities and hectic schedules of our kids). We have recently begun recalling silly high school memories since our kids are in that age range (mine son is finishing his Junior year, her oldest is a Freshman & her youngest is starting middle school next year).
I cannot even fathom what 40 + years will have us sharing... I look at the list above and feel a tad overwhelmed with the list. The circle of life, I suppose.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Anyway... I have not been inspired in a creative sense for quite a while. I have a plethora of various craft supplies that I have considered putting up for bids on eBay. I miss the joy that my handiwork gave me, mostly when I made things for others to enjoy. I sternly reprimanded myself (geez, I can be a real bitch!) and made a promise that within 6 weeks I would make 1 project per week or off to eBay we go.
In an effort to get some mileage out of my stash, I created a couple of ribbon organizers, much like the ones sold at craft stores for $15 +.
- shoeboxes with lids
- eyelet punch
- dowel rod
- Xacto knife
- ribbon mess!
Here's how the final product turned out:
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
~Alfred E. Neuman
With "TAX DAY" less than a month away, I felt compelled to complete filing my taxes. Paranoid as I am, I need to review the paper copy although I complete the FREE online version. Amazed that my son was much more expedient than I & has received his return. Ah, the exuberance of youth!
Happy filing everyone!
Monday, March 9, 2009
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The world returns to it's vibrant color palate of bright green, yellow, purple, pink and blue from that drab grey that enveloped us for 4 months.
There are many new projects with the arrival of spring, looking forward to the challenge.
**The title is deliberately misspelled (A poorly titled bulletin board I will NEVER forget, we laughed for a week)
Sounds delicious... always need new ideas for the versatile chicken!! Can't wait to make it.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Then the calls began, his approach was brash, cold and seemingly unsuccessful. I shake my head quietly and see where things are going wrong.
This guy must have a reputation around town as he can't seem to get past the receptionist via telephone. The guy's boss shows up to compare notes on his progress & he has an impressive list (probably 40 +) of who he has contacted but no action on follow ups. He talks about problems but doesn't come up with solutions...it is evident that this company is hurting.
Shall I step over & introduce myself?? HA!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I think I've found a passion within me to wake early for a vigorous walk, coffee at the local coffee shop (my one indulgence) and work within my community to make it a better place. Laying around just isn't my style. I 've used this opportunity to have exeriences that (hopefully) enrich my life as well as re-connect with my family. I enjoy the stories shared by my parents, learning things about them that amaze me.
LIfe in the slower lane isn't so bad after all. Not a place I plan to linger, but I plan to enjoy the commute from this viewpoint while it presents itself.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Today's thought: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams"
I have been doing that for the past few weeks since becoming unemployed (YAY! I'm a statistic).
Although financially I am down in the dumps (makes you re-prioritize what is important to you), I couldn't feel more alive! So many possibilites are out there.
I have had opportunities to participate in meeting and activities I haven't been able to in over 10 years because of the nature of my (former) work. Meeting and reconnecting with people and learning new things about myself (or not so new, just laying dormant while I used my mind/body for working in a corporate environment).
I am energized, happy and enjoy taking on new adventures each day. And now... the adventure of dry laundry awaits.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It is so entertaining to read these unusual terms. The English language is such a jumble of origins and some of the slang of years ago is so much more challenging than all the techno-speak & IM stuff of today.
I guess I must be a "quidnunc"(an inquisitive person; always seeking for news)!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Excerpt from If--- Questions for the Soul by Evelyn McFarlane
One experience was watching the events unfold on September 11th. I recall watching people jumping from the towers, watching the carnage on the streets & feeling useless! It was VERY uncomfortable to watch (and you never really got away from it, as it encompassed all media). I felt naive in my understanding of world politics and religion, not being able to comprehend how a country could concoct such an act upon others.
I cannot say that I am much wiser. I do make attempts to "go beyond the headlines" with current events to understand more of the world that I reside.
I am still naive in many ways, maybe too trustworthy of people. I wish I had the ability to judge a person's true character so I don't invest time & energy on them if they become inconsequential.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never, ever the same.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Not that parenting can ever be learned from a book or some wise statement (Lord knows I've tried!:)), but there are some pearls of wisdom out there of some survivors. This wisdom I accept willingly, not out of desperation (yet) but out of the puzzlement that has become my son.
The suggestion of having pictures of your teen around the house to comfort you when it was okay to be seen near you is a strategy I have recently implemented. My home (and a bit of my heart) seems to echo in his increasing physical absence. During the holidays, I found myself feeling melancholy; missing his wit,exuberance & engineering.
I have resolved to make the remaining family events when we are together to be those that will bring a smile to our hearts.
Teenagers require a sense of humor, but also a healthy dose of love and understanding in an unobtrusive way. Not sure if my kid understands that I know this, but now he does.