Friday, October 29, 2010

who's sweeter than Daisy?

nestled together

Boo and. Daisy.


safe and sound

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Out and about

What fun it is to have dogs.  We love all of our animals, but dogs get us out and about!  My mom always used to say, "You never know who you'll meet when you're out and about."  It's true...especially with our dogs.  We walk our dogs in the woods, in town, on the beach, along the road near our home and anywhere that gives us pleasure. 

Somehow, with dogs, people are open to saying hello.  They stop us to ask their names.  They shout out from their passing car,"THOSE DOGS ARE BEAUTIFUL!" They pull over to the side of the road to ask their ages.  Once in awhile, we'll meet a dog kook who has a litany of information to share....the proper leash, having 2 dogs, Golden Retriever history, their dog's issues whether they be food related, allergic reactions, social anxiety...whatever!  

You never know who you'll meet or what tid bits (of information since sometimes it seems to be an unspoken rule not to offer their doggie a treat...without asking since they (the doggie) may be dieting, on a strict food plan or like Fitzy, the dog may want to follow us home for more treats!

You never know what friends you'll meet.  We have dog friends. Friends who love our dogs. Friends who like to meet for dog playdates and other dog friends who walk on the same schedule. Kids who live nearby who are entertained by our dogs. 

We met a dog friend of the two legged variety while shopping one night.  Like long lost friends, we chatted about our dogs and their latest adventures. We used to meet Lucy, the German Shepherd, in early morning as we meandered along the trails in the woods. They moved last spring and now they're no longer on the same route.  They had big news. They  adopted a new dog and named it Ricky. Get it? Lucy and Ricky! Gotta love dog people.  Really, with dogs, you have to have a sense of humor.


Thanks to Fitzy's frequent getaways to their house, we were grateful that they were of the nice dog people variety.  It was like the call of the wild  when it came to Fitz and the love of that family....really the delicious trash stored at their back door....but Fitzy, ever the actress could show affection to gain love rather than a scolding. Lucy seemed to be thrilled to have company arrive on the scene.  Lucy's owner was understanding and always gave a call to let us know Fitz's whereabouts.  Some days, we would see Fitzy escorted home in luxury in the back seat of a blue Volvo about nice dog friends.


Today, as we approached the woods, a lovely woman stopped her car for a moment to pet the dogs.  She was loving their gentle nature. She had no food in her car so Fitz was on her best behavior!She told me about their family days with German Shepherds.  

This morning we met Cay, a lovely woman of 76 years who was delighted to take a moment to stop her car, pet the dogs and chat.  She loved their gentle nature. She had no food in her car so Fitz was on her best behavior. She had just had a piano lesson.  She said she wants to keep trying new things in life.
She talked about her age.  At 76, she wanted to stay active and attempting some of the things that she never had the opportunity to do in her life.

As she pet the dogs, we laughed at their delight. She asked about their age and their names amd their personalities. She was such a lovely lady with a calm, sweet voice that the dogs sat quietly as she spoke.  We talked about our town. She has lived here for almost 50 years. Cay talked about her late husband, her 5 children, her life growing up and some of her travels. She told me about her lunches with her kindergarten friends that still get together for lunch once a month. They call themselves "the lunch bunch,"  

We may have chatted for 15 minutes, maybe a little more. I was just out to get in our walk...just the dogs and I....out for exercise, fresh air and some time in the woods enjoying the beauty of the fall colors.
I got much more than that.  I met a lovely woman of another generation who was interesting and interested.  She had a different perspective at her age.  She was with it. She had the confidence and strength of a woman who had rich experiences in her life.  It was a pleasure to spend time with someone who has lived and seen so much. 

Cay changed my day. She opened my eyes. She shared. She smiled. She laughed. She told some stories about her life and family. 

We said our goodbyes as it began to rain. Daisy, Fitzy and I walked into the woods. I was filled with a new perspective of a woman of my mom's generation. She changed my day. It's wonderful to step out of our own world once in awhile and hear about someone elses.  As mom said, "You never know who you'll meet when you're out and about." Thanks to our dogs, we meet lots of nice folks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Indian summer day for the dogs

Fall...Indian summer in Connecticut

Today in Connecticut

Fall walking

Indian summer day for the dogs

Today in Connecticut

Fall...Indian summer in Connecticut


Halloween.  Buy candy. Check. Why do I do that to myself? Every year it's the same.  Candy. I'm out shopping in mid October. I see the Halloween displays everywhere. I am absolutely horrified that these stores are beginning holidays earlier and earlier. I don't remember when I first saw Halloween in the stores this year. Who knows? When we were on the cape? Not so crazy.  Yet, somewhere in that mid October moment I think.....better get it now. 

Why. I know that before the end of the week I will dip in....just for a treat.  I don't even keep this kind of stuff in the house.  So, if I buy it early I know to hide it.  But isn't that ironic....I am the one hiding it.  Yup.  I hide it well. I also remember where it is....within moments I'm crinkling the bag and opening it even if it takes teeth.  I'm not proud.  By this point, I have to have it. I'm like Fitzy.  I would scale tall buildings to get to it.  I may not invade neighbors' barbeques like Fitzy but I get at that candy. Did I mention that I buy the kind that I like but would never justify buying otherwise.

Well, this year the plan was right on target. Candy. Check. Hide. Forgot where....very unusual.  How have I come up with it now?  The week before Halloween?  I put all of the candy, still in grocery bags, in the garage.

I was outside the other day with the doggies. Fitzy is now on a very long training leash.  Hah? Training? Surely we jest.  I was organizing (don't laugh...I need encouragement, not mockery!) some of our garage obstacle course.  While in up to my elbows, I turned when I heard a rustling of plastic.  

I dropped my Rubbermaid tub.  I ran. It was Fitzy, snoot first in the tub filled with Halloween goodies. I pulled her back. I scolded her.  "NO," I barked. "LEAVE IT!" 

The good news.  Fitz didn't get to all of it.  There was more for me.  I didn't have to rip the bag open with my teeth! Oh....I did have a few Hershey's kisses....and took one out for later.  

Political speak

This political speak makes me laugh...this has absolutely nothing to do with the my political opinions, likes or bias. This is fabulous political speak. I fills my love of linguistics and semantics. It's fun to close your eyes and just hear the words on there own.  We laugh out loud when this ad comes on...the whole family's worth it!

By the way,  I think this is a clever tool for discussing politics, communication, lying by ommission with gets everyone thinking.  This debate has given our family many opportunities for learning!!!


"Fear not those who argue but dodge" -Marie von Ebner Eschenbach

This made me laugh...especially while we are living through so many political debates these days.
In Connecticut, there is and advertisement that speaks to us. In this case, it is audio playing from a debate of the 2 candidates just days earlier. I have to share. Not because of my political views, but the reality of all sounds the same at this pre-election time of year. Pay no attention to Republican vs. Democrat, Woman vs. man or the issues. Just hear what I hear at the end of every voting season.....this ad says it all...generic political speak that we all must endure!

Monday, October 25, 2010

dog days in the fall

fall days

looking out our window

learning new things everyday

I finally figure out how to upload pics from my phone to my blog. That will be fun for me...maybe you too. It can keep the blog current with his and pieces of Ralph life. Now that's what I call progress. Let's remember that one year ago I had very little computer savvy. This is leaps and bounds for littlemarymixup. Now I can go to sleep....saith some of the nestled all.snug in Daisy's to our bed. Sleep is good...I forget that sometimes. Good night and God Bless you as we say every night.

Daisy and Boo...bedtime.

life at home

Monday Moments

It's a beautiful morning on the Connecticut shoreline! Grace has sauntered up the stairs of her rumbling yellow schoolbus, Daisy and Fitzgerald have had their moment outside. Jinx has gone trotting off to collect more chipmunks.....he's been stacking them up like cord wood ever since the new Kitty,Webster a.k.a. Webby a.k.a. Thomas a.k.a. Boo, arrived on the scene.

Where's T.J.? I've just dropped him off at his orthodontist appointment. Now I can breathe. I woke up in time to start the morning dancing of our stars. I've successfully woken Grace, made lunch X 2, walked the dogs, woke up T.J....all timed just right to get T.J. to his appointment! We were in the car and on our way when I became aware that I was still wearing my soft cotton pajamas with a hefty sweatshirt to top off my ensemble. T.J. was the first to take note of my attire. He quietly suggested that I wait in the carand perhaps even listen to my book on tape. That kid's gonna do well someday. He offered his suggestion along with a mini-benefit statement to seal tbe deal. He's a teen, so I embarrass him on a daily basis!

T.J. strolled out of the office and pleaded for breakfast on the go now that he had been freed from the prodding and poking of dental tools. We went for some Sinking Donuts drive-thru. Finally, I had my coffee, T.J. got to school with his late pass from the orthodontist and I got home to start MY day. Just a minute, I have to feed the dogs. Oh...then I have to giveaway them a good long walk and then it will be my turn. Wait! First I have to change out of my pajamas.


Happy Anniversary Jane and Jim! Biff's mom and dad are celebrating their 50 something anniversary today! I'm grateful for their loving marriage. After all, Biff must have learned.from them. Biff the love of my life. And we've only shared 18 years goes by quickly when you're in love. We're not perfect. Either is life. There are life's ups and downs and in btweens to deal with. We do it together in marriage and as partners. Life is better with Biff!

MOM. Today would be my mom's 86th birthday. We all talked about Gramma today. We have great memories. I felt as if she was near while we were up in Boston. So many memories of times spent with mom when she visited our little family! Memories to be treasured. She feels like my own angel...but I wish that she could be right here with us...sharing our breakfasts, beach days and laughter. I miss that..everyday...I would love to hear her voice.

She called me "Punkin"....and "littlemarymixup" as she gave me that look with her sparkling blue eyes. She called Grace and T.J. sweetheart and honey and rascals...and once, she called them " naughty"...a word they had never known...they were almost 3 and 4.....oh how they laughed at her funny word.  She surrendered and laughed along with them.  She loved them so.  They felt that love.  They could recognize her nonjudgemental, accepting way. She loved them like matter what.  They could feel that love and they were sure of her love.  It was safe, warm and comfortable.

There's no one in the world like a mom. That love goes deep. The bother goes deep and the laughs, stories and memories go deep! I am grateful for the times we had. We had a special relationship. A mother daughter team who shared lots of good times and good friends.  My mom.  I miss her everyday. If she were here today, I would have bought her a Pepperidge Farm vanilla layer cake!  I would have told her that I baked it myself! We would have laughed til we cried...and after our hysterics, we would explain our long story. 

I'm laughing with mom now! Thanks mom for making birthdays so fun. Love your mom.  Say "I loveyou" often!  If your mom's not here anymore, share stories with your kids...and your friends who loved her..or didn't ever get to meet her. Those moms of ours made us who we are.  Treasure the goodness and let go of the other stuff. Savor the love and cherish the time together.  Now it's just a seems so real...and then....I wake up. She's not here. So we have to let her live on....through us, our children, through stories and memories.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Boston. Boston. Boston. We love it here. It was home for a few years. Funny how a place becomes your home...slowly. It takes awhile to make a place our own. We were excited to move a new family...making our own way.

Both of us,Biff and I, are loyal to our family. We truly love our family...all of our family...with pokes and pinches and peccadilloes and all...we love each one...with quirky bits and funny folks, family is where we come from. Family made us who we are...our place in our family......our individual relationships with each one in the family, the parenting style, the nature and nurture, love, guidance and support of our family helped to create us....for better or for worse......through thick and through thin...good, bad and ugly moments.....we love our family. They came as a part of our package. We were literally delivered to our very own family.

So here we are....just south of Boston...visiting. This is the place we chose to start to grow our own family. We may be a part of a whole.....with a variety of personalities, partnerships, personal styles, beliefs and even baggage..a wonderful mix of love is what we take from them all venture off on our own.

This is where our family became US. Just us. We were away from family, in proximity but not in our hearts. We became our own unit. We had each other. We built our universe. We learned on our own. We were stronger because of our time here. It was our time to be who we would a family.....of three,  then four.

We liked us together. We had become who we our own family. We learned what we wanted for us. We created the family for ourselves that was the right fit for us...for the family we were growing. We knew what what parenting styles and couple queues we would take from our families on our own trip and other bits we were sure to leave behind. We had our family support and love. We found our footing. We stumbled and ran and tripped and swam. We were committed to keep working on what worked for our own family.

It was our turn to be just us...growing into a family. With love and laughter and lots of fun.
Now we're back to visit again. We're with our friends who were learning right alongside us. We we were finding our own way. We had challenges and growth as a parents........deeply in love...despite the chaos of our new babies and our life far from family.

Now, our babies are 14 and 15. We're. Still finding our way. We thank God for our commitment to each other and our family. Our kids have no idea of the sweet memories of newness and fear and joy. They see it as a fun place to visit...with treasured friends who lived through those times with us.....those everyday days....every step of the way.

This place was our home...still, our roots are deep. This is where we began. This is where we learned to be our own family for ourselves. It made us stronger. We became us. We are us most of all. That is a gift. I'm grateful.

Biff and I had been the road distance too great for a family event. No time too short to get there...for whatever event. We loved that life. We loved our family had proved we would be the ones to be there. We were both the kind of family who showed up. We loved our family ...we would do anything to be there for them.

Though we were a longer distance from extended family...when we started out here, we were with them in our hearts and phone calls and memorieswith love...for all of them. After those years, it became clear that it was our learn about being here for us. It's special to visit where we began.  Precious memories and places make it all so clear.  We were here for that time to learn how to be us.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Are we there yet questions

Here we are in Massachusetts....near Boston.  Back in the beautiful town Biff and I chose to live back when we our baby Grace was just 4 months new!  We're visiting our friends...lifelong friends for Grace and T.J! These were our "new friends" who have become "old friends" over the last 15 years.  Go figure.

We're up again to go to a Boston College football game.  Fall and football and friends.  A wonderful weekend.  Preparing to get here was quite an effort.  Since last week, Grace and T.J. have been asking what time we're leaving, what day we're leaving...Saturday? Friday? Which car?  Can we take our bikes? Can we get there in time to meet them at their bus?  Don't you think we should leave school early on Friday....they get out at 2:10?  How much earlier could it be?  Did you call and figure out when we're going?  Who is going to the game?  What time is the game?

We were working out all of the schedules of 2 families.  I just had a few things to figure out and get together before heading out.  After some consideration, it seemed to be best if Biff left ahead of me....with the kids. Ahhhhhh. Taking a little time for yourself?  That's nice. Biff agreed.  I would travel solo in order to get a couple last minute things done.

Schedules?  Biff would need to travel Monday.... in the Boston area.  Car number 1.  The rest of our family had to get back for school.   Car 2. Biff worked on Friday. I had some E-bay work to do.....go to the post office..... call and text the dog and kitty sitter.... find the bulb (no small feat!) for and change the dead light bulb outside the front door.....return the vacuum bags and vacuum belt that I had made a special trip to the vacuum man for.....only to find out that it was all the wrong size the wrong size and get the right size ( big deal you say?  ha! I challenge you!)......go to the mailing store and make copies  and find the store has closed. No. Not closed. CLOSED for good.  Return books at the library. Return 4 books on tape, after filling all of the c.d.s in the proper slots and find one disc missing so take one book on tape back home Get out some books on tape for the ride.  Feed the dogs...... Walk the dogs..... Put on the dogs' peaceful music, "Through a Dog's Ear"...pick up my bike at T.J.'s friend's house (don't ask).....go to pharmacy....get gas for my car....all while Biff had already attached the bikes to the back of my car......turn on lights at the house.....clean the 2 loads of laundry while doing the run around.....pack.....pick up....and.......oh, just taking a little time for myself.


Biff and I recalled our dear friend saying, way back when, when we asked what life was like after the second baby......she looked at us, looked at her hands and said, " You know, it's kind of like seeing a hang nail one day and getting to it a week later."  I guess that's just parenthood.  It's always somethin'.

Grace had a busy week. She had one thing on her mind....well, several things on her mind....mostly relating to the return of her Blackberry that had been taken as a punishment, facebook, our plans to leave for Boston, pasta for dinners, homework (in that order) and the words I heard every morning and every afternoon, " I really want to get my hair cut this week!"  "What do you think?"  "MOM, come quick!" ....I run like my hair's on fire.......Grace points to the computer screen .....Don't you think my hair would look good like this?"  As we hurry off to the hair salon for the much discussed hair surrender, Grace says, "I hope I like my hair cut"....."I know I won't like my hair cut!"  What?  What? What do you mean, "I know I'm not going to like my hair cut?"  What are you thinking.  Why would you think that? I say this as we pull into the parking lot of the hair salon within minutes of her scheduled appointment. Huh? Why would you think that? You always get great hair cuts. "I know, but I just know that I won't like first."  Huh.  "Oh," I say as though I understand what this child of mine is talking about. 

The car is still running in front of the upscale hair salon. I said, "Well, the nice thing is that your hair grows fast even if you really don't like it." NO!  That's not it.  It's just that I want this much off....she gestures and folds back her locks.  A major decision. Oh.  Calmly, I mention that maybe it would be a good idea to have that very long 15 year old styled hair cut in increments. It could be a shock to the system that our Grace just can't handle.  Simply put, she could freak out.  

This is why I suggest the gradual chop.  I know this girl.  I have some flashbacks from a couple of teen hair drama myself.  A girl and her pony tail are not easily separated.  It's like an old friend. Very long pony tails swinging and bobbing and flailing and twisted up into one of those fluffed and twirled, spun and swirled, poked and pulled through a colorful rubber twisty is like an Olympic sport ...... only to be entered by a girl of 15.  The training of this sport called pony tailing is intuitive for any girl in her teen years. It's new....something hair cool that we didn't have "back in the day"....we had long straight pony twirl, spin, flop and swish. Of course, I always had a ribbon.  Ribbons are too tightly wrapped these days.  Too contrived.  BUT a ribbon is considered in perfectly good taste when sporting team colors while playing a sport....preferably a running sport so the pony tail can swing and swish from side to side.  

So, after my teenage girl turns to me and tells me that she knows what she wants and lets me know that it's not may hair, it's her hair...she can get it cut how she wants.....she knows what she likes....we walk into the hair salon and let it be known that we/she has arrived.  After consulting and discussing and looking and reiterating, I attempt to put in my 2 cents....after all, I am the one more ways than one. If this takes a bad I speak, my "child" looks at me, rolls her eyes that tell me she doesn't need me to explain for her.  So true.  Except, I was hoping to explain, selfishly, because I knew that we (Grace, Biff, T.J. and I) would be living with that hair cut....and hearing about that hair cut everyday until ......forever.

AND what about me?  I'm still having flashbacks from my 14 year old hair cut that created havoc for the whole Memorial Day weekend....and the time I let my mother ( a retail executive, not a hair stylist....not even a seamstress with decent scissors!) cut my hair one Sunday night....I begged.  I didn't want to wait for a hair appointment at Best & Co.  I wanted it cut right then and there and /__/ '/'/'/chop, chop, slide up, chop, chop, slide up.....oh let me even this out..../////chop////'''''////chop, slide...TEARS...BURSTING TEARS AND SOBS....and that was just my mother....I hadn't even begun to acknowledge the horror!  My oldest brother heard the noise and commotion from his room.  He walked out to us, standing on heaps of honey colored hair, by the hall mirror.  Yikes.  He said, "You better let her take the day off from school tomorrow....that's rough." and walked back into his room....for peace, I imagine. 


That's just the tip of the iceberg! There's lots more but the post traumatic stress might kick in if I keep going.Just let me say, that last example.....was the reason that my hair was pulled back for the rest of the school was out of necessity since half of my hair was to my ear and the other side was almost shoulder length.  For years, my mom pleaded her case, " You wouldn't wait for the appointment.  Those scissors were no good!"

I left the salon.  Whatever would be would be.  Whatever was ours to see.Que seraah, serahhhh! I said a prayer.  O.K., I said lots of prayers. Then, the phone call.  It was time for the unveiling.  I arrived at the salon.  I opened the door.  Grace looked at me.  Her hair looked beautiful.  She appeared a bit subdued....especially for someone who had just been pampered.  Snip, snip here.  Snip, snip there...and a couple of la di das.  After I offered my compliments and effusive comments, I asked how she liked it.  She mumbled that she liked it.  

Later, it came out.  It was a great hair cut.  Grace was happy.  She liked it.  It was what she wanted.  BUT, she was bothered.  She was upset.  She was frustrated.  She was hysterical.  Huh?  Yup.  Welcome to my world.  Grace felt that I should not have "butted in" about her hair cut....after all, she is 15 years old.  She knows how to talk to her hair dresser.  She knew what she wanted.  It was her hair.  Actually, it was her life.  I was treating her like she was in second grade.  Didn't I know how stupid it made her feel.........................  .........................

Huh.  Had she forgotten that she asked me to come in with her.  Had she forgotten how unsure she was....until moments before we walked in the door.  Had she forgotten that the last thing she said, when I asked her why she was expecting not to like her cut......"I don't like takes me awhile to get used to things."

Me too.  I have a teenager.  Actually, I have two teenagers.  Thankfully, T.J. just lets me buzz his head....

Oh, by the does Biff.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things happen

Wow! Things happen when you share ideas with others!  I mentioned to a writer and photographer in town that it would be cool to connect with other bloggers to share information and ideas.  He works at the library.  I suggested the group meeting in the library. Two weeks later, I am officially a member of a group of bloggers.  The writer/photographer made the group happen. It's almost a year since my blogging began.  Although my time management has been littlemarymixup E-bay store, my blog is one of the greatest undertakings I've ever experienced. 

Besides the creative outlet and computer learning curve from a woman who barely used e-mail to someone who is less intimidated and somewhat savvy. Enjoying the creative opportunities, communication and connections have been the most encouraging.  Throughout the last year I have met new people.  Other bloggers, followers, some old friends who really know my mix ups and share similar stories, long distance friends who like to stay updated and long distance family members who we love and miss.  

Some followers of the blog have been so encouraging when I had doubts, friends laughed along with me when mix ups happened, some friends with teens felt my pain and they were right there on the roller coaster with me!  Bloggers have shared some blog tips and fear of follower issues!

 I will admit that has been one of my biggest struggles along the blogging way. It's really just my ego.   Followers.  I haven't had much of an official following. Do I write for me or followers?  Me.  People throughout my life have consistently said, "You oughta right a book!" So, blogging fits the bill. 

 Not all choose to "follow" formally as in sign in as a regular reader. They come in all ages. Some of the kids' friends are my biggest followers! Some of my friends can't even figure out how to follow! Some friends and family say they have no interest or time. Some choose not to follow because they choose anonymity which seems ironic since I'm the one sharing my real life thoughts and feelings. 

 The reader shares nothing unless there's a desire to comment.  It's funny.  Even friends have said they were "afraid" to read it because they were concerned that they were "creeping on my life," as our kids say!  I have no secrets.  I do tell real life.  My life.  I don't write details if it's about someone else's feelings or issues.  These are just times of my life that I share along the way... whether it's on my blog, on the beach or chatting in Starbucks.  

To me, it's all just stories.  Or rantings.  Or ramblings. It's not the cure for cancer or trade secrets.  I believe if more people shared (with limits) in this life, everyone would be alot healthier....just because they know they're not alone.

 Whatever happens in life, one thing is certain, we all have to deal with change, loss, challenges....emotional and physical, hurts, sickness, family, friends and stuff!  It's sharing that keeps us from feeling overburdened or overwhelmed.  So that's me.  Not everyone cares to share.

I've been sharing since kindergarten....especially stories.  Miss Murphy, my kindergarten teacher, called it early on.  On my report card she wrote, "Liz likes show and tell and sharing.  Liz likes to dramatize stories."  Yup. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clean House.....

Biff is off on business tonight. Kids went to bed.  I'm catching up on some e-mail, e-bay and even a little tacky television.  Reality T.V. show? Yup. I'm watching a "Clean House" episode on T.J.'s Xbox! Good motivator! After seeing a show like this, I have no problem blowing through the house and decluttering some more.  It's never enough. Never.  There's always more on it's way in the door!

Always. Even now, tossing, tossing, tossing.  The kids think I have a hefty bag attached to my hand!  

It was so much easier when we used to sing the Barney song...clean up, clean up....da da dada da da. It was such a happy little song for all of us. I admit that back then I thought that I could be nominated as mother of the year! Just to show our kids how "fun" it was to pick up toys.  I think that faded over the years....not just mother of the year but the enthusiastic picker uppers....and they're teens now!

Just the other day, Grace and I were chatting and she said, "You'd think we'd be so good at organizing after going to Montessori!" and "hmmmm?"  That's when I blurted out,"Maybe if I had gone to Montessori too things would have been different!"  

That night, the kids had some friends over before the football game. We had pizza.  We had some juice drinks. We had lots of laughter.  We had 2 dogs. We had 2 kitties. We had one fish quiet in his room. We had Biff and I and our kids and their friends together in the kitchen.....eating pizza, telling stories, laughing and joking. We were sorry to have to leave for the was a joy to be with such fresh faced, cute, funny, smart, hysterical, sarcastic, sweet, friends of our 2 teens.  Our house isn't perfect all of the time....maybe none of the time. 

It's clean.  It's just hard for me to promise soap opera perfection. It's o.k., we can always blame it on the dogs.  "We have 2 goldens!" we say to worn people.  Those with homes of perfection don't usually have dogs that are the ever loving, large shedding pooches. 

We're a little suspicious of those really big neat freaks.....don't they have anywhere to go?  Don't they have friends?  Why do they have so much time on their hands. Just kidding. Really, I'm in awe of them.

Our house isn't perfect, it's lovely...just not the shiny. sparkling variety! But with a giant jar of Crayola crayons on the kitchen table and plenty of paper, no one really cared!  

The house might have a few paw prints on a rainy day...but it's our home.  We love having fun with friends here.  I think that's what matters.  Fill the house with friends and no one cares about our antiques or sterling silver dinnerware. Our friends are happy with our fine china or paper plates....that's why we're friends!

Organization and decluttering is our challenge.  Who knows why. A friend once told me that it's because I'm an artist and artsy, not perfect. True. I'm forever grateful to that friend!

We still have some kids' art in the kitchen.  We still tack up happy notes on the fridge. I have a framed mother's day list that Grace made one mother's day morning....

"SPasiel list

1. get tray, 
    put on
2. make breckfast tray.
3. make coffie, put it on tray too
4. put a vase No watter!
    and put fake flower
5. bring it to mom
MOM do not forget! mom MOMmommommommom mom mom mom"

I have it near the kitchen sink....just so I remember this sweetness when she "forgets" to take the dishes out of the dishwasher. We're a very long way from our Barney days! And Montessori. 

We still have a junk drawer and by God, T.J. found something he needed in it tonight....Praise the Lord in the heavens above! Even T.J. had to laugh.

It's home. By the way, I turned off that show....those people were too messy! I feel so good, I may not have to clean! Oh wait, the dishwasher is finishing up now....I just might have to empty it before bed....maybe I'll give Grace the day off....after reading her sweet thoughtful note, I feel the love....even if, at 15, she's not too sure about that love......

Oh well, we love our family....and that makes it a great home.  I'm grateful. Thanks for making me wake up and smell the flowers....even if it was a "vase with no watter!" with "put fake flower".....that's home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Books I'd like to read

books,blogs and biz


I love to read. Always have. I love the library. Biff and I have always had "bookstore dates " W.we've enjoyed bookstores as a family since we had new babies baby backpacks ...L.L.Bean style....with toddling toddlers....precocious preschoolers ....growing grammar school readers who were proud to make their own selections...middle school mumblers with minds of their own. .and now,high school students starving for a good read that doesn't include the classics. For now,that feels like work.

Sadly today, kids have so little time for pleasure reading. Thankfully,we are blessed with eager readers. OUR storytime was anytime.Bedtime was the best. Now that Grace and T.J. are older, I'm thankful for the nights we gave in to read another another.....and sometimes another book. Reading was our treasured time when we talked and shared.

Since they were babies, we had the b?ath,,bottle, book, bed routine to look forward to every night...literally like clockwork. It was a special time for all of us. Cozy time too. Actually,
very early on our routine was bath,boob,book,bed! Grace and T.J. wore their feetie pajamas ...they called them "bootie suities"...not using the bootie word as some do these days...not to suggest the derrière ...but the feet!

I think if I came home from shopping today with bootie suities for both teens, they would fill the house with laughter and without a doubt,run upstairs to get right into the soft and cozy pajamas!!!

Bedtime isn't the same these days...Grace and T.J. are up late...probably later than we realize...they play music while reading,they skim through magazines..Grace,her fashion teen magazines or People magazine and T.J. flips through Popular Mechanics or Popular Science or Mad's a long way from our bootie suitie nights but it's still so nice that the routine goes on. We talk about reading together again...we like the idea....we know how nice it can be....journal biggest challenge may be the selection of the book now that we ha e 2 teens with their own opinions!

Blogs are a whole different story. They still tease me for "blahhhhging" as they say. They question my E-bay biz took...taking up sooooooooo much time on the computer...that's allllllll I do, they say. Then they say,"Mom, why don't you get w "real job?"

That's when I gently remind them that I do have a real job! Amazed to be let in on some huge secret, they chant in unison,What job? You didn't tell us that you had a job!!!!

They ask what it is! I just look at them and laugh..! They really. Have no idea

That this mom thing IS a job! Oh well, I guess that's because I make it look SO easy! LOL!!!!!!!

much time on the computer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

blogggggggg.....via my phone...always changing

i miss my blog consistency.....i really enjoyed it. even without the millions of was something  i enjoyed.  i hope to be able to find better balance. my ebay biz keeps me running. the whole family is learning.  grace and tj give me business advice. biff shares my enthusiasm.

i miss my blogtime. perhaps my planning needs some fine tuning....or just tuning.  maybe it is too blahhhhhgggggy for readers.i think i am over that. it is all learning. it has been good for me to have my own place. something with a touch of creativity.

i had big write everyday. i did that. until summer. with the barbie pink computer troubles and spotty internet on the cape.

we have had a year filled with slow economy, concussion,flooding and some material loss....tighter budgets and testing teens....and we are still here.  we are grateful.  for our spirit and health and health of our family and friends. we keep learning again and again that stuff is just stuff. our forever family and friends keep us grateful and keep our sense of humor in tact.

i write honestly here. i have no secrets. secrets keep us guarded and uptight. who really
cares? usually the folks with the secrets....funny.


  i will keep it up.
maybe my style will change.....who knows? i like it here in blogland. i still like to tell stories.....since miss murphy:s kindergarten class. i wonder if my style has changed since way back in my show and tell stories?  if i want to be really honest.....probably not.

Monday, October 4, 2010

cartwheels heaven

katie's funeral was today. sad for us .....yet a celebration of her life and her spirit. many tears were shed today, lots of stories and much laughter.  it was a wonderful thing to hear words and little snippets from katie's friends. everyone has their own private memories of the goodness she shared...til the end. she touched us all with her sweet smile and her kindness and caring.

what a joy to hear those realize how profound one beautiful girl's effect on so many can be. only 26...and she changed many other people's her too short time on this earth.

we will miss her more than words can say. she will still be here in each of our hearts.....
as i go to sleep tonight, i say prayers for her loving family and friends....and dream of katie popping in to heaven where she meets so many family members who have gone before her....her grandparents and even my mom....they'll welcome her to their world....and invite her to sing at the piano or play my dreams of katie and her awesome the music is paying,irish songs at the piano are sung, katie will be right ther in the mix....doing cartwheels heaven.