Monday, January 31, 2011

Claire's Snowman

My niece just texted this photo to me. She built this enormous snowman on Sunday. We chatted on facebook tonight. I asked her to post her snowman on facebook.

My niece is 26. I love her spirit. I always have. She has always been a gift in my life. My niece Claire taught me to get outside of myself.....when I was in my twenties......and relatively self involved.

Claire changed me. She was the first person in my family who was younger than me. She showed me the world....through the sweet innocence of a child. Her world changed mine.

Children have that kind of power! They have power they are unaware is magnificent power. Love. Sweet. Gentle. Pure. With no expectations. More of a gift! Unaware of their power, they smile at us or tell us a story...and we are captured by them....and their world.

Now Claire is in her twenties. I'm delighted to see her spirit as I know it. Sweet. I'm tickled that she texted her snowman to me. Did I ever tell you that she texts me a photo of her Christmas tree every year? After it's decorated. I love her spirit! And I love my connection with my twenty something niece ......she is a gift in my life.

Here we go again.....

More milk. Again. Snow. Lots more snow. Lots and lots more snow. It's o.k. with me. I love it...still. I love that it snows and it slows us down. We all need to be slowed dowan from time to time...if we don't slow down for ourselves, it seems something beyomd our control helps is to slow down. Weather, feeling under the weather, a car won't start or a repairman takes forever to arrive.... that's my signal. Slow down.signals. Not everyone sees them because of life's busyness. Sometimes there are su tle signs. Do you look for them? Do you notice? Slow down. Look at things differently today. Look for signs from above. Be aware of people's they sound familiar...have you heard them before? Is there something you've heard again and again.....but you haven't listened. Shhhhhhh. Quiet. Stop. Look. Listen. Take time to slow down and be still. Still enough. See what happens. Slow down.

Oh my goodness....this has been a crazy winter. I love it! We have had so many snow days and early dismissals and 90 minute delays, I'm hoping our children will be out of school by 4th of July!

More snow to the early morning hours! Grace and T.J. have not had a full week of school since before Christmas vacation. Crazy. Yet, I love it.

Again, I will say this......I love winter and snow and snow long as I don't have to go to work and wear pantyhose! That's that. If women's rights and all of that I am woman hear me roar stuff were truly serious, they would toss pantyhose out the window. A friend of mine from my Brooks Brothers days used to say that if we were at war with another country, we should just have their soldiers have to wear pantyhose for a day......we could end war.

Lots to say. Lots to do. Lots to think about.

Yet, lately, I have felt sad about my blog. My writing is not as frequent. I love to write. I have so much to tell. Still, it is just for me.....but then, it's not. It happens. I write. I write. I write. It's hard to have so much to say and so little time to sit down at the computer. Especially, when the computer has died. Yes...died. A few weeks ago.

I love to tell stories about the stuff that happens in I see it. Thankfully, I have friends who share my sense of humor. I get feedback. I makes me happy to share and know that others understand or share some of my quirky perspective.

Not here. Nope. No comments. No growing followers. I don't even know if there are readers! Still, I waste my time thinking of whether or not to stop. Then, I stop...and think....this is MINE. I have been doing this since October 2009. That's a long time for me. I was more religious for the first year. THen I had computer issues. Camera issues. Phone issues. Camera issues again. Computer issues again. Phone issues again. And I go on and on and on.

Still, I wonder. Then...I think. It's fun for me. Sometimes it feels like pressure when I have some techo troubles. Or life pressures. It's hard to do everything and feel like it'sbeing done well. But then, I remind myself about what I say to our kids.....Just do your best. You don't have to be THE best but you can always give it your best. Perfect is impossible. Perfect is really no fun.

So, I write. Even if no one reads. Even if friends don't read. Even if some of my own family members don't check it out. Really. It's o.k. I like to write. I always have.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Pink will make it okay...won't it? With a lime green pinstripe. You know, something subtle. Flashy just wouldn't work for a mimivan mama on the go. Speaking of go.... I have been going and doing all week...for the birthday girl. Sweet 16. Our baby! Tonight the festivities begin .....again.

Plowed out by a pro

Back hoe Bob does it again!

Minivan Mama!

Car in shop....birthday frenzy....lots of sweet 16 friends for food and fun.....what's a mom to do? Rent a snazzy minivan! Oxymoron....I think so. Yet, I'm practically on line to get one for me! Come on! I can fit, dogs, cats, skis, ebay, groceries, beach toys, friends, babies, arts and crafts, gardening supplies........and much more. Look at the room in this thing! I'm drivimg a school bus.....and I'm loving it! Who EVER will believe me? Who? AND I'm not even kidding! It's awesome! Uh oh.....there goes the neighborhood. Do you think they have them in piink?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pink Sky at Night

Wow. What a sunset! Even with all of the snow it's nice to see the days getting longer. I have my markers...Grace's birthday, Claire's birthday in February, Biff's mom's birthday in February......then spring!

The Fire of Love

Please note : Biff sitting under the fire extinguisher. We stopped into Starbucks for some time together. Anything for romance. Even if just a moment. We have fun together....even in Starbucks....not the most intimate....but the moments are special....just being together is good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time for the big dig!

What an event....Back Hoe Bob sent his son first. He wrestled and pulled that car with his big truck and...... nope. Another neighbor had been here with his Golden Retriever earlier. He stopped back to check on me. Bastille, nothing. He had asked another friend to stop by with his 4 wheel drive. Tugged and tugged with Back Hoe Bob's son. Nope. We had some very determined folks working on my little mix up.
#1 son left and would come back.
#Neighbor offered suggestions and had to go.
# Neighbor's friend finally threw in the towel.
# Biff arrived
# My friend stopped after driving Grace a favor

Thinking Outside of the Box

After AAA sent a truck that would not be able to tow me, I had to think fast or leave the car until Spring. I called Biff en route from Massachusetts. We both had the same idea....Back Hoe Bob!

Simplify my life?

"Simplify Your Life," was the CD playing in the car when my car came to a halt. I began spinning my wheels....literally. Was this simplifying? I think not.

Life's a Ditch

As I sat waiting for the AAA Towo Truck to arrive I realized the irony of my situation. There I was with 2 Golden Retrievers in the back seat of my car waiting for their walk at our local farm. Waiting for AAA, waiting for my friend to arrive with her English Springer Spaniel who had run off and couldn't be lured into the car, waiting for my phone to ring with Grace desperate to pick her up immediately followed by T.J. with his same request a different time.

The initial plan was to take the dogs to the beach where they could run off leash. When my friend's dog was lolligagging about the Connecticut countryside, we decided to delay our puppy playdate by 15 minutes. As I drove to the beach, after dropping my outgiing e-bay packages down at the mailbox for our letter carrier to collect, stamping some mail, hustling the dogs into the car, breathing a sigh of relief for getting all of the bumbling, fumbling treasures on their way, I began my drive ti the beach. My friend called. She was exhausted from her game of hide and seek/tag.

That was when we considered taking care of ourselves first by stopping for a quiet moment ar Starbucks...and then considering where to take the dogs for a shorter walk.

Then, ever the loyal dog owner, I suggested a shorter walk at the farm followed by a Starbucks moment. Agreed.

Moments later, I was at the farm taking in the peaceful surroundings. I paused to enjoy the snow covered hills and decided to venture out to the community garden via the dirt road covered with snow and some ice. There were tire tracks from earlier visitors so I barreled over the ice and snow to get up to our usual parking spot. I rolled right along until I couldn't roll any further. That's when I decided to click into reverse and back down the driveway to park. Sailing right along, I was surprised when the car slid off to the side into deeper snow and ice.


Stopped to surprise a birthday boy thatki we've known since our Boston living. Grace was just 6 months old when she began her friendship with baby Camden at baby swim class. Our families share so much of the joy in each others ' lives. We treasure the connection and family like fun......birthday celebrations, kid milestones, school events, summer living, skiing and we love and respect what we have together. So genuine. Truly caring for each others' family. Kids respect kids and grownups respect grown ups. All of the kids have fun relationships and respect t for the grownups. All of the grownups care and love all of the kids.

Lots of fun and a great visit!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Stopped to surprise a birthday boy thatki we've known since our Boston living. Grace was just 6 months old when she began her friendship with baby Camden at baby swim class. Our families share so much of the joy in each others ' lives. We treasure the connection and family like fun......birthday celebrations, kid milestones, school events, summer living, skiing and we love and respect what we have together. So genuine. Truly caring for each others' family. Kids respect kids and grownups respect grown ups. All of the kids have fun relationships and respect t for the grownups. All of the grownups care and love all of the kids.

Lots of fun and a great visit!

Monday, January 17, 2011

While taking this photo at the Boston Public Garden, I stepped back to get a better shot, lost my footing in a two foot snowbank, and .......landed my derrière deep in the snowbank, Ugg covered feet up in the air! Kat and I laughed 'til we cried. Grace rolled her eyes.

A Whale of a Time

Vineyard Vines is one of Grace'sl favorite stores...this a beach girl. Her 16th birthday is at the end of the everywhere we go in Boston, she has lots of birthday hints and suggestions!

Grace and Kat

Shop 'til they drop in Boston!


More fun!

Who Are You?

Boston. Kat and Grace met me in Anthropology, one of my favorite stores that inspires my creativity. A few years ago, I went into another Anthropology store with my twenty something, traditional, classic, conservative, ultra-prep niece.... as we looked around and I pointed out some beautiful bohemian, yet with classic lines and rich colors....that's when Claire said, "Who ARE you?"

All Claire has ever known is the prepster, classic, traditional, conservative, tailored aunt who loves happy colors. In Anthropology, she was baffled by me and my groovy side, the artsy me!

While checking many of the splendid colors, styles, textures in the creatively coordinated displays, I was awestruck by something that glistened on the table. I sipped my Starbucks venti coffee and took it all in....that's when I dropped my Starbucks venti coffee cup, the lid popped off and the Starbucks venti coffee was in a puddle at my feet! Kat and I giggled....and my Grace looked at me. Kat and I had that nervous laughter. Grace had a look of horror on her face! With her eyes, Grace shouted, "Who are you?"....just before she bee lined it to another area of the store!

Who am I? Still someone who mixes it up! Still creative. Still traditional. Still conservative with a twist. Still open to new things. Still trying new things. Still seeing beauty in everyday people, places and things in nature and art. Still me.

Do you mix it up and are you open to beauty outside of your box? "Who are you?" Do you know?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Kay's here with Grace tonight for a sleepover. They had a nice boy over to watch a movie too. Things are changing. I love how they talk so honestly and laugh all together. I gave them the family room and I enjoyed some time in the living room
Grace, Kat and I stayed up for Saturday Night Live. We chatted and had some fun. Kate and Grace rolled into a tumble trying to get the other's blackberry.
Even sleepovers have changed since cell phones have arrived. These kids do make me laugh.

Oh Happy Day!

Saturday out and about in the woods... deep in the snow. Good workout for all of us.


What a day! Cold, crisp and blue skies.

Tromping through the snowdrifts....

Absolutely beautiful in the sunshine...Daisy and Fitzy were like sled dogs!


Grace was off to the city today with Biff's sister Cee. T.J. left with Biff yesterday for a Navy Lacrosse camp for the weekend.

I stayed home to be here for Grace this weekend.

After I walked the dogs through the snowdrifts in the woods, they leapt and bunny hopped and jumped and too....we were all exhausted.

After a cup of coffee and some quiet time to think....... of the many choices available to me, with a day all to my own....I decided to make a huge commitment. This may be hard to believe but I chose to stay home to clean and scrub and mop and scour and do laundry and vacuum.

Did you faint? Yup. It's still me. Just a cleaner, fluffier me. Oh sure, there were so many more glamorous choices out there today. So tempting!

But no. I had the house to myself. Different than any other day, I had no calls from school, no visits to the gym or the grocery store. No calls from friends to walk the dogs. No need to shop....we have too much stuff.

With that in mind, I had a dream...a flash of inspiration...a moment of truth....a badge of courage...I cleaned for 4 hours!

I am exhausted. Our house is back to liveable. Until we're all here again...then it will be moments...just moments and the kitchen table will have mail and the foyer will have backpacks, the bathrooms will run out of toilet paper, shoes strewn all over at the back door.

It will feel like home. I love our family even though we're not perfect. I love our family BECAUSE we're not perfect!


This is the tree that came into our home as a little lesson for Grace and T.J...since they didn't come with me an Biff to cut down our tree. It was bare amd rather bedraggled and pathetic at first glance. It was the perfect remedy for our crabby and resistant Grinch-like, moody teens that day! They snapped right out of that when we showed them the real tree. They were just like little elves from that moment on. I painted and dressed and bedazzled that tree with sparkled and tinseled and sequined and glittered an glistened that tree. Just as our children sprang back into the spirit of Christmas , this tree sprang to life and gave us all peace and thw ability to laugh at our less than charming side. The tree gave us calm where there may have been a storm. There was abundant beauty in thi tree's simplicity. It has been a peaceful reminder. We have all found it to be calming with the little white lights, different from our colorful traditional tree trimmed with special ornaments, reminders of family and friends and Christmas' past. What a gift this Christmas season has been. The traditional tree has been down for awhile.....this tree is still still sparkles. Do we have to take it down? Maybe later. Not today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Get Out of My Life

"Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cberyl to rhe mall?" Great book...even if it wasn't a good book, the name is wonderful! Although we have no Cheryls in our life, we could insert many otber names....and the story is the same. Teenagers ups and downs and changes in plans and likes and dislikes and love and hate and highs and lows and chatter and sulking and sharing and secrets........


Our kitties love to live in the lap of luxury...always finding a new spot with a color that's quite flattering.

Cozy kitty

Napping by my side on the couch..I realized Boo was asleep under my magazine! This is one cute kitten!

Kitty Boo

Mail call!

Big snow has the mailbox post propped up in the snow plowed heaps roadside!

Snowplow sets me free!

Backhoe Bob came by this morning at 7a.m.
It's been since Tuesday night that I've been home...and it was kind of nice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

T.J. and Grace making a leap over the heap of snow left by the snowplow last night.

I laughed when I heard them working this out.....Grace shouted to me,"Oh no, look at this!" Then they had a little discussion. I heard Grace's voice,"T.J., you go first..." That made me laugh. They always make me laugh!

The wheels on the bus......

90 minute delay....we finally get a real snowstorm in Connecticut with 2 plus feet of snow. The schools were closed yesterday. Today while other schools are still closed, our schools are open. A 90 minute delay was disappointing considering they've had early dismissals from school with NO snow on the ground. I admit that i was hoping for another snowday. Now that Grace and T.J. have gotten on the bus. I admit that I breathed a sigh of relief ....since now I can get more done. I have lots to do.

Me...the mini-snowplow! Just enough to let the kids get out for their bus to school!

Oh my achin' back...and arms...and legs...and neck. And I rhought I was in pretty good shape? One and a half hours and the path down thw driveway was done. Now how do I get out?

Good Morning!

Daisy and Fitz checking out the snow....from the inside.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow day for real

Daisy and Fitzgerald are looking out the window at the they were up to their ears in the white fluffy stuff...literally! We couldn't open the door this morning....this is the snow day of my dreams.

Ooh ooh ooh looking out my back door!

Snow day like we wish for!