Monday, August 30, 2010


Moments....sweet memories of these beautiful children going off to school. 2 are in high school? How could this be? It seems like just yesterday we were walking them to Montessori in the jog stroller....I walked home crying after dropping them off. I cried. I worried how they would do it without they would enjoy it....would it be warm and nurturing?

Biff and I watched them get on the bus together...Grace in second grade...T.J. new to the bus in first grade. We've seen all of these transitions ...some they make together...looking out for each other. Some they handle on their own. They are good kids. They are sweet kids with kind and compassionate hearts.They make friends easily. They have good heads on their shoulders. They know they have to.make good choices to do well as they maneuver these new challenges...I pray they will. I trust them. I love them more than I ever could have known....all of my years deeming of being a mom...I had no idea how intense this love would be. I want what's best for them..
They'll have to figure some of that out on their own...individually ...with the knowledge, example and smarts of their own...and make their own's the only way. I want to save them from that pain and any setbacks...but they must experience some in order to grow and become more experienced....all with their own mistakes,successes and failures ....just like I did....I hope that they'll feel safer knowing they have a soft place to fall..because Biff and I will always be here for them.


beach night before school tomorrow.....

A lovely night after some back to school organizing at home.
Grace spent lots of time reviewing her clothing options for the first day while T.J., the freshman to be took some time trying to list the books he read over the summer.
I had my own errands to run for e-bay and back to school preparations. No matter how calm the atmosphere, there always seems to be an underlying angst in the air....not a bad angst...just high energy with an edge.

It's no matter how much we enjoy school, it's that feeling of a new start, change of routine and work after a more than relaxing summer.

I'd love to post a photo of this quiet ending to our wonderful summer. It's peaceful with only scattered groups of people here for Monday night barbeques and a few sailors and swimmers. T.J. has home off in the distance on the sail boat. He had an old friend with him today. They both had a summer's worth of catching up to do...and much to discuss about the upcoming school year. Upcoming was an understatement. By the time they got stuck out on the sound with no wind, towed back to shore by the the boat taken care of, grabbed a bite to eat at the snack was time to get back home and into the shower! The school bus would be outside in less than less than 12 hours! Grace and Biff made it down just in time to help with the boat and have some last minute fun and wrap up what was left of a beautiful day.

That all sounds too perfect...doesn't it? That was the good stuff because I 'm just to tired to mention some of the drama throughout the day!!! Everything's better at the beach! Let me live in the dream!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Here I am writing my blog from my cell phone! What a world! For as long as I can remember, I have written in journals or written stories. The first story I ever put down on paper was for my mom. I was 6 or 7...I only know this because I can recognize my lovely attempt at Catholic School handwriting..and my spelling was a bit iffy...even though I excelled at 2nd grade spelling bees.

My stories back then were on index cards with my own illustrations. My story was of my hometown.

My story was written in pencil...with lots of eraser smudging.

Here I am today writing some tidbits on my cell....what a crazy world!

On the other hand, my battery seems to be fading. I don't know if this will be a common practice
But it is amazing to be able to write when the spirit is cool. My markers still make nevertheless happy. My cross pen writes well. A sharpened pencil is awesome too. For now...I'm on my Droid!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

o.k. more grateful moment!

I just saw that some more comments were posted that I never knew about.  You know how people say that we never know how the kind things we do or say may make a difference......they do!  Thank you.

I really do think we each make a difference in other people's lives everyday.  Truly make a difference. Just by the simplest things.  I know I still remember some of the kindest faces and words spoken...from strangers....God's little angels he puts in our life to keep us on track!  Hopefully we can all make a difference by the little things.  The simple things.  Keep it simple.  Quiet goodness makes a difference.  If we take the time to notice the the simple things.
Just sayin'.

YIKES!   just saw this photo and thought we should all take a moment to enjoy every moment of summer!  Just sayin'.

Some simple joys being back home after an awesome summer......

Daisy and Fitzy.

Waking up and seeing Daisy sleeping on her bed next to ours.

Jinx the black cat.

Having Jinx walk on my back when he's particularly affectionate or wants to go out or have his food dish filled.

Happy the cat...who is now missing and we are so sad.

Sitting in our peaceful, shabby chic, living room with the large picture window...enjoying the view.
Driving up our driveway.

Walking the dogs down the hill at night.

This computer since my little Barbie style Pink computer had the famous "L" problem.

Time in our yard....even mowing our lawn....being grateful for the little quirks of our house.

Our family together and home with Biff....even though he was with us on the cape for lots of our time there.

Our dining room that pleasures me.

Walking the dogs for long walks and having friends from town beep and wave as they go by.

Our little beach with our beach friends and beach/sailing talk.

Our neighbors exchanging hello's and chatting.

Friends riding bikes past our house with a wave and a shout hello.

Griff falling asleep while I'm writing my blog late at night.......a good time to say good night.

Thanks for stopping by!  I missed my blog.....who knows if anyone else did.....I'm still grateful that I have my blog!  It's a comfy place for me.  Whoever you may be who does pop in to read....I'm grateful for you too! Really grateful. Just sayin'. Thanks.

Facebook to Blog to E-bay store.....and now I've learned a new dimension of the cyberworld.  I've heard about's something that I've heard and seen apps for....podcasts.  Go figure.  StarTrek was not my world.  The ugly stretch suits and ears turned me off.  Actually, there little starship gave me a little claustrophobia.  There computer board seemed so dull.  The show had so little color. I could go on and on. It was surreal.

Now I'm living it. Facebook, Blogs, E-bay store.....podcasts? I thought the word cubical a.k.a "cube" was forward.  That was like The Jetsons.  

While waiting for  T.J. at his friend's house , I chatted with his mom.  She has a Podcast!  I was thrilled and "WOW!" was the only word that came to me.  I said, " I have a blog but a podcast....that's cool!"  "What's a podcast?"  "Where does one find a podcast?"  "Why do you have a podcast"  "What do you put on your podcast?"

Katie told me that she writes and illustrates childrens' books!  My dream!  I was thrilled to know someone who was successful at my dream....a dream that I that overwhelmed me.....she really did it....many times!  I wanted to know more....but there was no time.  Places to go...people to see....specifically, Jackson Brown!

Before I drove off, she explained how to get to her podcast.....she encouraged me....she explained....she instructed.....whatever.....all I heard was Charlie Brown's teacher......."Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah....."  I came home.   I asked Grace for help. She only knew about i-tunes.  I remembered....bit by bit it came to me....i-tunes....podcasts....Brain Burps by Katie Davis.  Children's books.  Adorable.  Fun illustrations.

More to learn!  Crazy.  

E-bay.  Today.  One Ralph Lauren Handbag.  One pair of Banana Republic Nantucket Red pants.  One shirt.  One A.T.T. Push Button Phone.  One April Cornell Handbag.  Random!   Wacky!  SOLD!  More to list.  More to do.  

Life comes first.  Family.  Mowing the lawn!  Laundry.  Find those vacuum bags that no one in the universe seems to carry.  Grace's new backpack for school.....called 6 stores within a thirty mile radius. Maybe eight stores.  Online doesn't count...that would be two of us searching at different google hits.

A school backpack is a big commitment.  The right one makes all of the difference.  Like a husband.  Like a wife. You don't want to just grab any backpack....or any husband. If you find yourself with the wrong one, it could be one thing after another.  Little glitches along the path of life.  It could be uncomfortable...the backpack....or the wrong husband.  It could feel too tight or not enough space.....the back pack or the husband.  It has to fit just right.  It has to be comfortable.  It has to be flexible. It has to be unique.  It has to have aor different days. It has to have endurance to get through the tough times....the backpack and the husband.  It has to have room to has to grow with needs to be needs to have lots of pockets to deal with different aspects of your life.....most of all, everything should feel right.  It's just something you know....No one can find it for you....Others may have an idea of what you like....the backpack and the husband.....when you know, you know.....just like everyone says.  Grace just knew. She has a good head on her shoulders and she wants the right backpack on her back.  She had lots of choices. She knew the right backpack to that would fit just right.  I hope she's learned that from my example....for the backpack and someday.....a long time from now.....the husband.

After checking out many possibilities.....she just knew the right one.  She would not settle for any old backpack.  She's a girl who knows what she wants! I called the store to make sure it was wild goose chase for Grace.  I made sure they would hold it for Grace to pick up.  She just knew it was right.  She found just the right one.  She took her dad to pick it up at the store today.  He approved.  He knows what's good for his daughter.

By the way, T.J. found just the right backpack....perfect for him.  He knew.  Just like that!  He and I were out for some T.J. back to school clothes. We came upon quite a few choices.  After checking them out, trying them on for size and fit, he knew it was the one.  Look.  Fit.  Size. Style.  Flexibility. Dimensions.  Not quite so much drama.  He knew.  He just knew.  I hope he's learned that from Biff's example for the backpack and someday.......a long time from now........the wife!  

Friday, August 27, 2010

If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans....I think that's how the saying goes.  Since we've been home from the cape that's how our lives have been.  As we say, quoting Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

We arrived home Saturday night. Sunday we never got the boat back down to the beach. It was pretty windy and rainy.  Lightning and sailboat masts don't play well together. We took care of things around the home that we had been away from....the animals we missed....and the cozy of a dark day.  It was a great day to make our transition.

Monday I can't remember.  It was seeing their friends and loving their home and back to school shopping for some wardrobe basics and school supplies. Whoosh....a blur.

Tuesday I can't remember.  It was busy.  Oh! I had my doctor's appointment, got home and took Grace and T.J. to their doctor's appointment.  We began our trip to the store for an errand when Grace realized it was time for her hair appointment.  Later, we tried to go to IKEA as a family Kara, Grace's good friend that we love.  IKEA was closed when we arrived at the doors.  People were standing at the doors....stunned and confused.  We were among them.  We began our drive home.  Grace was begging for another stop to take care of another back to school purchase.  No. No. No.  We couldn't handle it.

Then, we accomplished the famous annual sneaker purchase.  I was releived to have Biff with me for multiple consultations.

Since we had planned to have one of IKEA's famous hot dog and drink followed by the frozen yogurt, we were starving.  We stopped to have dinner at the diner.  Quite a stretch from our little IKEA plans. BUT our kids had sneakers.  We all had lots of laughs in the car going and coming and sitting in the diner.

Wednesday Biff had a quick overnight to Boston.  After that, I can't remember what happened. We had more to accomplish in our home.  We had lots of errands.

Wednesday I can't remember but I do have a vague memory of cooking a pretty nice dinner for T.J., Grace and I.

Thursday I can barely remember.  Grace, T.J. and I got the sailboat down to the beach and got the mast in and set in place.....Grace and T.J. were charming together.....but, they got the job done.  I did get to walk the dogs at the beach with a friend and her happy dog. Biff arrived home.We had a nice dinner. We went to say goodbye to a family friend who was leaving for college.  We spent time with the family but not the college freshman to be.....even his mom and dad were surprised by the change of plans.  They had hoped for their first son to be home for a "family dinner" and a little goodbye gathering.  The freshman to be was visiting friends who were off to other schools.  We had a delightful time and left messages on the white board.

Friday I can barely remember.  A whirlwind.  T.J. had high school orientation while Grace volunteered as a sophomore giving tours to the incoming freshman.  I delivered kids in different directions and began my plans for dinner at the beach on this gorgeous day with not a cloud in the blue sky.  Biff called my cell phone.  He was excited to be on his way home and reminded me of the concert tickets he suprised me with last weekend.  Surprised again, I forgot all about the concert.  Jackson Browne.  Dinner at the beach was not an option. Beach was not an option.

I do remember mailing lots of littlemarymixup e-bay store this week.  Biff had 2 pair of wonderful needlepoint shoes in his car....since the cape.  Since he had them, Biff mailed them out for me.  No sooner were they in the mail to California when I found that the wrong pair of needlepoint shoes were on their way cross country!  oops.

We have planned all summer to go with our cape friends to a local quarry that they've turned into a wonderful action packed adventure venue.  At 6 p.m. tonight, we made the decision to do it another time.  Our good friends invited us back to the cape for the weekend!  T.J. made other plans with some summer friends who are only here for another week.  Grace would love to go.  Biff and I would love to go.

Tonight, on the way to Jackson Browne, we realized our planning must come to a halt.  We need to just be.  One more time to the cape is so enticing.  I mowed the front lawn this week....I ran out of gas half way through.  I filled the tank.  I brought it home......I still have to mow the rest.  We have life to catch up on.  Even if it's just the back yard.  And the laundry. And the dogs getting brushed..  I did wash them.  They smell lovely but they have bed head.  

Our vacuum has no bags....has anyone seen Eureka OX bags....mail them to us please....we can't track them down.  Lots of sand on the kitchen floor.   Dog fur.  We're sliding down a slippery slope......planning doesn't seem to be the answer....plans change.

Can we ever catch up on life?  Should we try.  Should we be like the family who sold everything, left their jobs and busy-ness, packed up 100 things and moved to Portland, they could live in close proximity to their new jobs, ride bikes to work and live with less and have more........Biff and I thought about that tonight as we drove home listening to Jackson Browne sing, "oh won't you stay just a little bit longer.....please, please, please say you'll stay"

we have to stay.  our plans will change before we find our 100 things.

Seinfeld- Jerry and George NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH of our favorite seinfeld quotes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

E-bay! Wow...I'm having a great time.  I barely have time to get all of these fun items listed.  The fun has only just begun!  The learning curve is great for me....mailing out has been a big deal for me with my post office karma....but considering what an integral part of an e-bay biz it is...I guess I have no choice.  My mom is laughing at me from above.  Oh, how she would love to be doing this with me. Not the computer end but the SHOPPING end and even the post office end.

I love the customers.  They have been a delight and I marvel at the shipping destinations.  Some Limoges to Beverly Hills, some Limoges to Poland?  Who can figure.  I love it and I love the communication with the customers.  Each customer has there own story and there own style.  Some are generic e-bay people with no communication and I sometimes wonder how well their purchase was received!  The fun bit for me is that I can have my "store".  My very own store.  Selling things that I enjoy.  I wish I could do that Bewitched thing and wiggle my nose and list all of the goodies that I have arranged to sell.  I've even had to call in Biff.  

The kids love the business.  They enjoy hearing how high customers will go on their bids.  While we were on the cape, eight of us  watched a bidding war over some vintage sneakers, pre-owned in great condition....go figure.   All of the kids were appalled when I turned down an offer from a customer to buy the sneakers "buy it now"....just 12 hours after I posted the listing.  The kids told me that I would be sorry. They thought I should go with the rather large sum of money offered.  I explained my reasoning.  It's been a great learning experience for us all. 

We all waited and watched as the bids moved slowly at first.  In the last few days, the numbers seemed to change little by little and then KABOOM the bidding wars began.  That was great fun.  Who knew?  We were all amazed to see this bidding frenzy over sneakers.  Maybe the Furla Handbag...maybe the Tiffany Bracelet....maybe the "New With Tags" Lilly Pulitzer Dress......but sneakers?  From the 80's? There's something for everyone out there.

I'm a little slow on these photos lately since I'm using our desktop computer....note the capitals!  My dear old friend will be so pleased to see that I'm doing my best to work on my typing with CAPITALS.  Typing is still a challenge.  The kids still think I'm a slowpoke and lost in cyberspace when it comes to some of the basics....but all of this is new to me since last Halloween. 

 I've come a long way.  It's funny because now that e-bay is a part of our lives, they see that my efforts at learning something new....from facebook to blog to e-bay and paypal has been great for all of us.  They even enjoy giving me ideas. They have suggestions about pricing and what to sell.  Now that's learning.  They have a real respect since it is happening right in front of them.  

Grace and T.J. may come with me to the Post Office but they still choose to sit in the car if I have a few things to ship.  I have a large hot pink quilted bag with lime green piping....very large....o.k, gigantic hot pink quilted bag with lime green..... I carry all of my outgoing packages into the Post Office with this bag.  It's perfect.  I have tape and markers and tissue and ribbons....just in case.  I like to make the packages look pretty.  

Grace and T.J. seem to feel that the pink bag screams out...."Hey! over here!  Look at the crazy lady crossing the street in the center of our town!"  At these moments I laugh.  I'm sure as teenagers they feel that all of the traffic on our Main Street will come to a halt while people whisper to each other that I am the mom of T.J. and Grace! 

 I laugh.  I also mention that I could be singing at the top of my lungs and dancing across the street and many folks wouldn't even notice....just because they are busy doing their life....
getting the lettuce out of their teeth, 
checking to see if their zippers are pulled tight,
trying not to trip on the sidewalk, 
diving head first into the car to keep their dogs' from eating the groceries,
looking in store windows to see if the walking has helped trim the body down, 
carrying a tantrumming toddler out of a store because I wouldn't buy a lollipop, 
figuring out how to fix a jog stroller flat tire in order to get 2 small children back home, 
going from store to store looking for their wallet, 
wiping their babies' noses so no one thinks they have cooties
returning late library books. 

I know this because those are some of the things I've had to take care of ....and that's all in an average day.... they don't believe me.  They beg me not to sing and dance.  I'd love to....but my packages are heavy.  So, I lug them inside....solo.  That's o.k.  The postal workers behind the counter always smile when they see me. That's more than T.J. and Grace do in public now that they're full fledged teens!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


can you believe it?  in the middle of back to school shopping i find myself on the way to IKEA!

We have notebooks, pens, pencils and we need to help T.J. and some of his attempt to bring order to his overstuffed room!  He has cleaned out.  He has given he sees an opportunity for order by shelving.  Not a bad idea.  He knows what he likes.  So do I....some kids with semi - clean rooms.  Anything that helps keep STUFF off the floor is just fine and dandy with me.

We are turning it into a shopping excursion with family and friends.  Even a snack!  Frozen Yogurt.  IKEA has some good material for order.  Not great, sturdy furneiture...we don't like particle board....bad for the planet and chessy for our home.  In order to keep our planet healthy, we have found the family hand me down furniture program a wonderful opportunity to recycle quality!  Then, everyone is happy!!

Brought mom to IKEA right after her first hip surgery only to find that there is only one way to get in or out.....the store spirals around and around for miles!  Great place to bring a mom in her 70s for her first outing!  We laughed so hard we almost....well, you know that ending.  We laugh alot in stores.  We have had laughter in stores for generations.  T.J. and Biff litereally RAN ouat of IKEA last time!  TOO MUCH STORE A.D.D! They ran out the emergency door just to find peace and remove themselves from the chaos!

We expect the same to occur within the next 2 hours.....see ya.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome home..... kind of.


On our last day on the cape, Biff and I had some time alone on the beach.  In between reading our books....Biff reading "The Box" and I was reading "The Glass Castle."


Biff, once again has the greatest book for him.  detailed, specific, left brain, informative, intelligent, filled with little know facts that he'll be happy to share with his wonderful engineer geek customers.....not that there's anything wrong with that!  We have geek in us as well!  Biff has a charming geek side....I love that too....just as long as he doesn't share all of the boring details with me!


On the other hand, I was reading my book, The Glass Castle, which I had already read a few years ago.  No, I didn't remember any details.  I remembered tidbits.  I'm easy to please.  The incredible story of all of the family craziness and chaos had me whirling through the chapters. As usual, I am spellbound by the personalities of the characters in this horrific true story.  I am amazed and astounded that the woman who wrote the story is able to live a "normal" life after surviving her childhood.

In between the pages of our books, the rising tides and the boats on parade, Biff and I took a minute....and I mean a minute.....maybe less.  I said, "Biff...."  He looked up from The Box.  I questioned, "Did you leave our house. at home, in good shape?" ....."Uh.  I was going to mention was I busy.  I thought I'd get so much more done....." I had that feeling.


We can only hope for the best!  I tried.  I left the house in pretty good order.  I cleaned.  I tossed.  I mopped. I even washed and brushed the dogs!  Ever hopeful, I said, "The kitchen?"....."Nope...not that either."  Oh well. That's when I wish I had my Samantha Stevens Superpowers!  In Bewitched, she just had to wiggle her nose.  Not so simple here.....I try....I'm not perfect..... It's o.k.  But I wanted to be perfect! As Biff always reminds me..."If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans!"  Ha Ha. Ha.  Thankfully, I married a great guy with a sense of humor.  He knows I'm not perfect and he loves me anyway!! Now that's more important to me than the perfectly vacuumed rug!


I tried.  While everyone thinks that I was away lounging leisurely and quietly hedonistic, I was actually in training.  In training for a marathon....I think NOT.  I was in training to live with out being an a.d.d. homemaker.  Homemaker.  That makes me laugh.  I can make a home.  Our house is a home.  Just not the perfectly kept home.

In my defense, I can't help the flying dog fur of our goldens, Fitzy.  Daisy is eight with allergies....she sneezes occasionally.  I try.  I do the dishes.  I wash the floor.  I vacuum.  I do all of the right stuff.....just not like the people who really know how to get the job done.  On the cape, I realized while getting out my cereal.....I get out the bowl, I get out the milk, I pour the milk, I put the milk back in the fridge, I get the spoon, i get a banana, I get a knife, I cut the banana, I put the knife in the dishwasher.......on and on.

At home, there's the pivot problem.  Fridge is on one side of the kitchen....sink on the other....utensils in the drawer on a third side....that's lots of pivoting...all for the sake of one cereal.  That doesn't even include feeding others in my family.  The dogs requires more than pivoting....the cat too.....probably more that sixteen steps for each animal.  Isn't that confusing for someone who is reading a paperback for the second time around?  Just sayin'.

Biff and I chatted about what had to be done at home.  Then we went back to our books.  We were happy to drop it.  We were happy in our beach chairs.  We were happy being together.  We were happy that we each had a good book.

I came home with the usual notes to self while watching Kit in action.....laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, order and's day one and a half......I'm still trying.   I do try......and then....I get distracted.....gotta go...Biff and the kids are looking at pics in the other room on the other computer.........distracted, me?   ya think?



The above pics make me think that there are others out there in the world who aren't the perfect becky home eckys either!

Endless Summers!

What a wonderful summer! We were on The Cape for most of it! With our friends. We've been friends for a long time now.  Since Grace and Camden's first baby swim class. That's where we met.  At the pool with our babies. New moms and new babies....the babies were seven months old...the moms were thirty somethings.  Kit was my first friend with a baby in my new stay at home mom life.

Who knew that first meet would be one that the moms would laugh about forever.  It seems that Kit was making note of the fact that i seemed so "together" as a new mom.  Color coordinated with my bouncing baby her navy polka dot lined stroller and accessorized with her big baby bonnet for sun protection and sweet swimsuit....I felt pulled together with our fun summer attire but not so pulled together emotionally!

New to the stay at home life with a new baby, husband's new job, new home and far from "home"....home being anywhere near family.  It was exciting for Biff and I to move to our new home and life to start our own family.  Just not so exciting to leave all of the family and friends in my support system as a new mom. Moving was a bigger deal with a baby.

At first my new found friends were soap opera stars who I remembered from college days.  I sat amidst the boxes while Grace napped.  My mom would say, "you meet your friends when your kids get to school."  Well, that seemed an eternity. Grace was bright but not ready for reading, writing and arithmetic.  So, when Kit wrote down her address and phone number for me, it was as though I had met my first friend on the kindergarten playground!  I went home with my scrap of paper in hand and showed Biff....I had a new friend! Maybe.

Back in those days, my friends were in little pockets of my mind....hometown friends, family friends, grammar school friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends and city friends.  Kit was a new friend.  Very new.

Once again, it seems what "Amazing Grace" told me was true.  I met many of my friends when our kids went to school...we met Kit and Camden at baby swim class!  Then again at Gymboree!  Yes, we had to be friends once we were singing to a little "gymbo the clown" going up and would be too embarrassing to share that with outsiders!  We moved on to baby music classes. we were in the same kooky playgroup, we had our second babies within a month of each other. our toddlers went to the same pre-school.  We had similar interests.  We enjoyed our jog strollers and hikes.  We both had great husbands.  Our babies became friends.  We grew our friendship over the years just as our kids learned to treasure their first friends. And the rest is history.

Here are some summer pics.....

There's not much more to say. Seeing some our summer pics is just a tidbit of the goodness that we've experienced.  We are all thrilled that we could have so much fun as a group.  The kids, the adults, the kids and the adults and all mixed up.  All of the kids really know each other, through the teenage ups and downs and hot buttons and hilarity,for good and for bad.  That's a gift.  Every friendship is a gift.  Our friends, new and old, all mixed together or one on one are a gift!  It's something I marvel at everyday.  I'm just grateful, very grateful....for our endless summers.

Oh! Did I mention that just as we sat down on the beach....Kit's husband called to say, "Hey, did you hear that they had shark sightings off of Chatham today?"  Well, we were at The National Seashore beyond Chatham....and what IF, as only a mom can think....there is that one recalcitrant shark....who doesn't stay with the others....and .....well, we didn't want to alarm the kids....we had plenty of alarm for all of us.  We noted that a shark would probably go for the surfers first.  We stayed at the breakers and not too far beyond.....because we're moms and we always have to think....JUST IN CASE scenarios.  WHAT IF?  COULD IT HAPPEN?  and all of the other mom thoughts that run through my head like a ticker tape on the stock exchange!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

birthdays i can remember....

pictures of me running with my o1der brothers. i wore a fancy 1itt1e party dress.  i think i got a tricyc1e.

5 yrs.
westhampton at the 1itt1e beach c1ub...1itt1e gir1s in dresses...boys in 1itt1e shorts sets.  cake, ice cream, musica1 chairs and a parade made up of the 6 guests and the birthday gir1!

backyard with 3 friends and someone's kitten. hippie g1asses. party dresses and party shoes worn by a11.
a1so a choco1ate cake on nantucket made by mrs. devereaux, a fami1y friend...who made me fee1 specia1.
a1so a cake with spark1ers when my grandparents took us out to a restaurant to dinner that week. that's when he to1d me that any good birthday shou1d 1ast a week! i be1ieved him!


pancake house with 2 friends. i was thri11ed and so were they.

10 years

on cape cod with fai1y and friends.
beach, dinner out.

11 years

the sound of music at jones beach outdoor music...guy 1ombardo (o1d schoo1) sang happy birthday to me after the show in the me1ody tent..and i got his autograph...very exciting.

12 years

a b1ock party..giant town event. i got to take friends

13 years

cape cod and maine.

14 years

we were in ire1and. dub1in. fami1y. friends. music. dinner by the sea. i wou1d not eat 1obster and my brothers tortured me about that.

15 years
dinner out at a 1oca1 restaurant with my fami1y and friends.

16 years

circ1e 1ine ferry around manhattan with my very good friend and mom. then to howard johnson's for dinner with my aunt kate.

17 years

cape cod

18 years

cape cod with fami1y...1ots of fami1y. i had my first taste of beer.

19 years

cape cod with mom and co11ege friends and their parents

20 years

cape cod...smae as before.

21 years

southampton, n.y. with 1ots of fami1y and friends at our 1itt1e house and then to herb mccarthy's and the driver's seat...1andmarks.

22 years

southampton with mom and 1ots of co11ege friends for  dinner...1ater out dancing.

27 years

surprise party in new york city.

28 years

at someone e1se's wedding...bad date.

30 years

westhampton beach with an entemann's cake on the beach...hard to 1ight cand1es! fun and presents.

biff took off work on our first married birthday....he surprised me and we drove out to the beach in westhampton!  he has taken my birthday off ever since.  on his work schedu1e, his boss reads each year,"nationa1 ho1iday, 1iz birthday"...that's how it shou1d be, shou1dn't it?, we ca11 it our vacation in a bott1e we share the day with grace and t.j.  we go to the beach, have ice cream cones, ride on the carouse1, go to the penny candy store....sometimes we surprise the kids with 1itt1e year i remember it was boogie boards for a11 of us!

since biff and then grace and then t.j., birthdays have gotten better and better because they're not just for me!  thanks to my mom...she taught me that birthdays were to share!  that's the best part.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

my birthday! it's something i've enjoyed since i was born. i'm o1der now. i'm o1der than the photo above, that's for sure.  in my heart, i sti11 fee1 a11 of the birthday gir1 fee1ings that i had as a 1itt1e gir1!  i sti11 1ike the hats, the streamers, the hats, the cake and ice cream. i 1ove the beach.  i'm a summer gir1 who 1oves each season, but summer shines in my heart.  it's sunshine and ocean waves and beach and fami1y and friends.  it just doesn't get better than that!  this phot above may date me....just a bit...b1ack and white is an indicator! i don't fee1 dated.  i fee1 young.  i fee1 a bit weathered, 1ike the beautifu1 weathered shing1es on a cape cod home. not the run down shing1ed house...the sa1t has weathered the shing1es enough to be turning co1or.  that's o.k. with me.  those shing1es have been through 1ots of different weather. the hot sun, the rainy days, the ga1e winds, the ocean sa1t....and sti11, they reman beautifu1.  they stand proud.

that's kind of how i fee1 as i age.  it's a gift.  as i've 1ived through the joys, adventures, cha11enges,1ove, 1oss and 1earning ....i've grown.  i've grown to appreciate more. sometimes when the wind is whipping my hair and the ran is hitting hard, it's more determination that's needed.  just when it seems too much or too trying or out of contro1,  it ca1ms s1ow1y, the fog 1ifts, the waves stop crashing....and b1ue skies appear.  the b1ue skies may be behind big white f1uff and at first on1y the rays appear...that gives way to hope.  that opens up possibi1ities. it's a11 new and fresh and the out1ook is different. that's how 1ife has been. i am gratefu1.

i am gratefu1 to have weathered some of the storms a1ong the way.  granted, i have a1ways had she1ter through the most difficu1t.  i have been b1essed with the she1ter of many friends and fami1y.  there is warmth and comfort there.  sometimes it seems as though the storms have touse1ed my hair or soaked my feet or pounded torrentia1 rains.....sti11, the rainbow fo11ows after the worst of them. many of the storms have he1ped me to find a new way to move on.  others 1eave me soaked to the core yet ab1e to1augh.  whatever the weather, those storms, those ports or she1ter have a11owed me time to grow.  i a1ways come away gratefu1.  that's a gift.  gratefu1 is the biggest gift...gratefu1 can change a day.  gratefu1 can change our 1ives. i'm gratefu1.  especia11y on my birthday!

birthdays are days we enjoy. we ce1ebrate.  not just for us...we ce1ebrate to share.  i'm gratefu1 that my mom made birthdays so specia1.  she created traditions. she 1oved to give.  she 1oved to share and surprise. she 1oved to wrap gifts. she 1oved the cake.  she 1oved sharing the joy. i miss her at a11 of our birthdays. i miss her voice on the phone.  i miss her handwriting on her thoughtfu11y se1ected birthday cards..."1ove, mom" in script..swir1y script.  no one has ever written my name 1ike one can ever say "1ove, mom"...but, she's here.  she's been in our conversations a11 week.  she's been in my dreams.  she has been with us a11. she made us a11 fee1 specia1.  i'm gratefu1! rea11y gratefu1.

tonight, we were at a concert.  john mayer.  we took grace and 3 friends. on the way home, the c1ock ticked. then, from the back of the car i heard, "happy birthday mom!"....i said thanks! grace and her friends and biff began singing!  "happy birthday to you!" as we dropped off each gir1, i shouted out the car window..."happy birthday!" have a fun day on my birthday tomorrow!  i 1ove to share the fun of my birthdays~so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


how cou1d it be august a1ready? summer is the greatest season. i think it's because there's more time for fun with our kids.  it's easy to motivate teens to go to the beach, go sai1ing, go to a barbeque.....than it is to say, do homework, do that project for history c1ass or hurry off to a practice. just a11owing them some extra s1eep time in the morning removes some of the dai1y mom nagging....not that i just seems that way....there's just more mom "fo11ow up" needed during the schoo1 year.

biff has been down in new york on business. sunday night he had to pick up his associate from hong kong at the airport. we spent the day at the beach...seeing 1ots of our friends that we've missed whi1e we've been on the cape. biff had to 1eave at 7 to get to the airport. monday we had some of our errands and rea1 1ife "stuff" to do.....grace is c1eaning out her room from the inside out....need more hefty bags....need some desk organizationa1 stuff.....t.j. has to work on his boat....1ong story....good story.  we have to get some other projects done before we go back to the cape. 1ast night, we met friends for dinner down at the beach....we haven't seen them for most of the summer.  biff was sti11 in the city for business.  even in that way, summer makes his absence a bit easier when we have more activities fi11ing in the time he's away.  t.j. s1ept over at their house.  grace was g1ad to have a 1ow key night at home....with me. amazing stuff...grace wanted to keep c1eaning her room so, i did e-bay!

he just ca11ed this afternoon to say he's on his way up to the airport with tony, his chinese associate.  biff has been doing business with tony for 12 years now. biff has had more than 15 trips to china.  tony has been to the states about 5 times. we've never gone as a fami1y to china. today, we fina11y get to meet tony....1ive action as the kids used to say!

in summer....time just f1ies by.....why? oops....we have to go to meet tony and biff.  where? at a starbucks near west farms ma11 in connecticut!  how american of us! i'11 bet the kids are wearing po1o or abercrombie!  me? it's summer so it must be 1i11y!