Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It was time

Alana has been growing out her hair to donate to Locks of Love for a while now. It has become more difficult to manage as it has gotten longer because it is so coarse and thick. The decision was made to have it cut off during her vacation so that she could start the New Year with her new look. Wow! Quite the change. Her short hair is so nice and shiny now. No more tangles and knots. Okay, so it's a little shorter than she originally wanted to have it cut, but that's just going to grow out. She was more concerned that he "puffed up" her hair when he styled it. Guess I should have waited on the pictures until it had flattened out.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The best

My surprise gift for Christmas this year was from Alana. Her dad took her shopping at the scrapbook store for supplies and then offered up a lot of his pictures that he had in his office. She also collected a few other pictures from a close family friend. Alana spent days making me a special album that had quite the diverse mixture of pictures. This gift really touched my heart. My favorite gift hands down.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So Here We Are

We never know whether or not my folks are going to be able to make it to visit with us until the last minute. Everything depends upon how Mom is feeling at that time. Today we lucked out. Not only is she having a great day, but they are going to stay and visit for at least a couple of days.
Alana picks out matching jammies for the three of us every year. We aren't always able to get the group shot, but here we are.
Happy Holidays to everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

By Request

I had mentioned that I have an ornament collection that my mom passed on to me. They were given to her by my uncle over 30 years ago. They are each made out of an egg that a woman crafted into an ornament. Cassandra asked me to post some pictures. Not the best of pictures, but this might give you an idea as to the work involved. I have about a dozen of these eggs, but this photographed a little bit better. it's a shame that you can't really see the detail work of how she cut out pictures from old Christmas cards or the painting involved to make some of the scenes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One More...ABC Tag Lift

Lifted this one from Donna.

A= Attached or Single: Sort of semi-detached
B= Best Friend: Betty and Jan
C= Cake or Pie: Pie
D= Day of Choice: Saturday
E= Essential Item: Hearing aides
F= Flavor of Ice cream: Chocolate chip
G= Gummy Bears or Worms: Neither
H= Hometown: Auburn, MA
I= Indulgence: chocolate
J= January or July: July.
K= Kids: Alana
L= Last movie I saw at a theater: Bolt
M= Musician: George Winston
N= Number of Siblings: 3
O= Oranges or Apples: both
P= Phobias or Fears: snakes
Q= Quote: Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
R= Reason to Smile: My kid makes me smile...usually
S= Season: Summer
T= Tag: anybody who wants to play
U= Unknown fact: I train in Tae Kwon Do, but sparring makes me want to heave.
V= Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals: Oppressor (that sounds bad, but I'm not vegetarian)
W= Worst habit: wasting time
X= Xray or Ultrasound: I've had both. Neither is a biggie.
Y= Your favorite food: carbs in any form
Z= Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Another blog lift

Tis the Season to be NICE! Here is another get to know you post that was lfted from Patti

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real

3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as I can get my butt in gear

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year's

5. Do you like eggnog? A little bit

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Tressie's (kind of like Barbie, but with hair that grows) beauty shop, or my first camera

7. Hardest person to buy for? parents

8. Easiest person to buy for? Alana
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received ? A fireproof box

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Mr Magoo's A Christmas Carol

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I can get my butt in gear

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so, but...maybe

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Orange from my stocking

16. Lights on the tree? Yes

17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol Of The Bells

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home in the morning and visiting in the evening

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? I think so

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One one Christmas Eve the rest in the morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Too busy

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have handmade ornaments that are made out of eggs that have been passed on to me from my mom

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib, potatoes, corn....

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Under Armour

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? noone

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? everyone

Friday, December 12, 2008


We made our traditional trip to Yankee Candle to visit with Santa this week. He was not in his full Santa suit because he was working in his shop when we got there. He was telling Alana about his dog that he has at the North Pole. It seems that "Sleigh bell" is his golden retriever who helps the elves gather toys and gifts for the big night. I would have recommended a Samoyed, but then again, I am biased.

It begins

We got hit with our first nuisance storm yesterday. Freezing rain, sleet, and ice. Quite the mess and yet rather beautiful with the ice covering the trees. I didn't get out and get any decent pictures because it had turned to freezing rain by the time I could go out. We were lucky. Only lost our power during the night. I hate getting ready in the morning without power. Need that nice, hot shower. Other surrounding towns are still out of power and have trees down all over the place. Towns are making requests that people just stay off their roads and give the emergency crews a chance to get things cleared up and back to order.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Concert

Alana reminded me that I had not blogged about her band concert from Tuesday night. Considering that these kids picked up these instruments for the first time two months ago, I was pretty impressed with how well they did. I was surprised when she did not chose chorus this year. She had always enjoyed it in the past. After the concert she said that maybe she'll get back into it. In the meantime, she is rather enthusiastic about her flute.

My first blog lift

OK, so I lifted this from Patti who lifted it from Lin ! Here's what you're supposed to do...delete my answers, type in your answers TYPE ONLY 1 WORD...IT'S HARDER THAN YOU THINK!!!
1. Where is your cell phone? charger
2. Your significant other? not
3. Your hair? blonde
4. Your mother? varies
5. Your father? strong
6. Your favorite thing? pictures
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? dietcoke
9. Your dream goal? retirement
10. The room you're in? myroom
11. Your fear? snakes
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? alive
13. Where were you last night? TKD
14. What you're not? glamorous
15. Whats for breakfast? bagel
16. One of your wish list items? sleep
17. Where did you grow up? Auburn
18. The last thing you did? nap
19.What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? two
21. Your pet? five
22. Your computer? Dell
23. Your life? variable
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Your car? van
27. Something you're not wearing? hat
28. Favorite Store? scrapbook
29. Your summer? short
30. Your favorite color? varies
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? unknown
33. Who will/would re-post this? noone
1. Hawaii
2. nap
3. scrapbook
4. read
1. Betty
2. Jan
3. brother
4. Jean
1. Chocolate
2. Pasta
3. Beef
4. Chinese
1. Hawaii
2. Disney
3. bed
4. crop
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My new favorite thing

I am totally in love with Under Amour. I want every article of clothing that they make. This year the cold has been bothering me more than it usually does (and it isn't even cold yet). I'm even cold when I get to our Tae Kwon Do training center and on some nights still cold during most of the class. I guess I am just getting old and frail. :) This year I discovered Under Armour and there is no going back. I have different shirts to wear under my training uniform and others for "every day". Hey, I might not look that dressy, but I am toasty.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

The beginning of a new tradition. Alana carved the turkey this year. Did a fairly good job with it also. Her grandfather is the master of all turkey carvers, but he missed this year (my folks stayed home). So, it was a small and quiet holiday. I actually prefer that. After the ton of food was consumed I cranked up the pellet stove for my after-the-feast-nap. Alana went out with her dad to have a smaller sized bonfire in the yard. We seem to be having a few of those lately. I was too warm and lazy to get up and get some pictures. Guess I could cheat and post some pictures from previous fires, but that would give me bad blog karma. Tonight we're going to hang out and watch a movie or two. Tomorrow morning brings the early sparring class, so no late night for me tonight.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Break-A-Thon 2008

Around this time every year our Tae Kwon Do center has our annual fund raiser to support Warm The Children. It is a local charity that has 100% of its donations go towards buying winter clothes for kids. Everyone raises some pledge money as either a set amount, or per board broken. Several local lumber companies donate the wood and people volunteer to cut the pieces. This year it looks like we raised about $7,000. We broke a whole lot of boards. Alana broke about 50 boards. I'm just going to brag that I broke two held together with my side kick. Not too bad for an ol' lady.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Honor Of Veterans

There's one special group of veterans who is close to my heart. These are the men who served on the USS Bennett with my dad. You won't find a tighter group of guys. They served during some pretty intense action, but you won't hear about it from them. During their reunions they are busy laughing and telling stories. When everyone else heads off, and the guys are alone, they will talk amongst themselves. I never knew much about the time Dad served in the Navy until a few years ago. Around that time I convinced Dad to let me put his old pictures and newspapers in a book so they would be protected. It became quite the project. I ended up trying to put together his ship's history to go along with the pictures. This is how I came to learn about their time in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. During this time I was also honored to get to attend my first reunion with my dad. Meeting his shipmates was quite the experience. So every year at Veterans' Day I say a special prayer for each of them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogger Probs

Don't know what's up with my home computer right now, but it won't let me anywhere near my account access or Google in general. So here I am at work doing nonwork stuff. Now that I have a blog it's irritating me that I can't get into my account at home. Hopefully I can have my computer smart friend take a look at it this weekend. Until then I'll just have to keep on lurking. :(

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Charlie Brown

The other night I was having some lazy time, so Alana and I sacked out on the couch and I did some channel surfing. She thought I was nuts when I jumped up to grab my phone and call my mom. You see, she is the biggest Charlie Brown fan on earth and they were just starting two of the Peanuts shows. I have very distinct memories of my mom laughing her head off while watching these shows. It made me kind of sad to think that my daughter has been growing up with no idea as to who the Peanuts gang is. So although we are over 90 miles apart, it was kind of nice to think that Mom and I were watching Charlie Brown again while my daughter was being introduced to our tradition.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Every so often my folks will come up for a few days and camp in our yard. They do it often enough that they now have a makeshift fire circle so that they can have their campfire.
It doesn't matter what time of year it is, or whether it is warm/cold or dry/wet. I think it's one of the things dad likes best about visiting. It lets out his inner pyromaniac. Mom enjoys the flames, but Dad is the real firebug. He stayed up rather late the other night enjoying the "country quiet" and alone time. It kind of gives them both a little break. Dad doesn't have to feel like he needs to watch over Mom every minute, and Mom can relax and not be under watch. It also gives Alana and I a bit of a chance to visit without the craziness of the holidays or other things going on. So, as long as the RV is still rolling (and it's 18 years old) my folks plan to do a little camping out in our woods.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soxtober is done

I love my Red Sox. No doubt about it. Having them lose in the seventh game of a best of seven series is almost painful. It's a little less painful because I didn't spend a boatload of money to see them go down in flames. So, I give myself one day of mourning and then face the fact that summer is gone, the season is over, and wait for spring training.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Corn Maze

There is a local farm that does a corn maze every year. This is the first time that we've managed to get to do it before they closed it and mow it down. What a great day. A little on the cool side, but that was good because we started to warm up once we got going.
The maze is so large that even though there were a lot of people there, you did not feel crowded. There is a map that leads you to hidden clues in the maze. Can't say that the map was all that helpful, but we didn't use it all the time. You can go fast or slow. There is no time limit.
We went with our friend, Jason. He's one of our buddies from Tae Kwon Do who is usually up for a last minute adventure. Each of us took turns leading the group. I think the best technique is just to run around like a crazy person. You are assigned a number and a flag so that they can keep track of who is in the maze. They also built an observation post so that you can stand up there and look out over the maze. Such a perfect New England fall day.
Alana is already making plans to go again next year. The theme of the maze changes every year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big and Little

This is Alana's second year participating in the local Big Brother-Big Sister program. She has been blessed by being matched with the best "big" on earth. Ji is from Korea and will be graduating this spring. The girls have plans to have visits at college after Ji settles in. What an amazing role model she is. She is in the honors program, on swim team, on crew, speaks three languages fluently, plays the flute, is a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is an amazingly caring young lady. Can you tell that I've really taken a shine to her? Her mom is here for a few days for Parents' Weekend. Can you imagine, flying in from Korea for only a few days? Today we spent the day together shopping and eating out. What a lovely lady. So here's a picture of the three of them when we dropped Ji and her mom off.

Music in the air

Alana has started taking flute lessons at school. So far she is being pretty good about practicing. Sometimes I think she enjoys cleaning it the most. I took the flute for years as a kid and remember hardly anything. My role is to be the audience and applaud.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can you hear me now

AT&T and I are just not having a good relationship right now. Sure their stores are more than willing to sell their phones but if anything goes wrong with them you have to deal with a tech on an 800 number. You begin by having to go through their security checks. Sorry, the contract is not under my name but this is my phone. A couple of "checking with my supervisor" later and they finally realize that a) this really is my phone and b) I am hearing impaired and this is the phone I need to speak to you on. This leads to c) no, I do not have another phone right here that I can call you back on so that you can system check the one I am one. Plan goes to I will get the information from inside my phone and the tech will call me back on that phone. Sounds easy enough. No return phone call. My screen is totally black except for a few vertical white lines and some white smudges on the lower right corner. Can't read my address book. Can't read or send text. Okay, I'm done venting. I'll let them deal with the man with a really bad attitude who owns the contract.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Time

Alana and her dad did the traditional picking of the pumpkin together. It has to be of a somewhat decent size and the perfect shape. Next on the agenda is to pick the design from the cheat book for making jack-o-lanterns. Actually it's a kind of cool system. You pick out the design, pin it on the pumpkin, and cut it out with the little saws. Hopefully it will survive the somewhat warmer weather that we have been having.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life Changing

There aren't a lot of things that come along that I would describe as having unexpectedly really changed my life. Sure, there's the whole getting married, having a kid, getting a career thing, but I guess I am referring to changing how you interact with life.
Having been seriously hearing impaired my entire life and never treated correctly until I was an adult, I have a deep appreciation of what hearing aides can do for you on a daily basis. My audiologist will always laugh when I upgrade because I have such enthusiasm for the new quality of sound. That level of enthusiasm took a giant leap this year when I was fitted for the new digital Blue Tooth compatible hearing aides. People with normal hearing can never understand what it is like to only hear out of slices on each side of your head. These babies synchronize so that it is like having surround sound inside your head. So amazing. Having never been able to hear well on any phone, these now stream my cell phone directly into my hearing aides. So totally amazing! Being so profoundly hearing impaired, I have never had any kind of sound system. Kind of a waste if you know what I mean. Now I have an Ipod that I can connect to the streamer. Just so amazing!
I know, all you people with normal hearing just don't get it, but I do!
Hmmm, maybe I should get off my butt and scrap it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 problem!

Another long day. An over-tired kid. Finally everything has settled down and check in on Alana before I head off to bed.

What you can't see is the cat at the bottom of the bed. One more will probably sneak in during the night. How no one gets crushed is beyond me. They all love the kid because she is a heat generator.

Closing the camp

Last weekend we did the seasonal closing of my parents' camp. I always seem to want to put this off because it is the reality slap that summer is totally gone. Along with the loss of summer is the wake up call that I didn't get everything done that I was supposed paint. It seems like whenever I was out there, painting just was not on my list of things to do.
That's my dad on the roof. He usually tries to get out there before me to get most of the work done. This year I actually got to clear the roof before he did.
Draining all the pipes is the cold and wet part that I have usually gotten to wimp out of.
Our friend, Travis came with us and helped my dad out (as much as anyone can help Dad). Travis has an edge because he is studying plumbing and my dad has taken a shine to him.
So, another summer is gone. The camp is closed up. All that is left to do is a couple of trips out there to rake the laves and keep the gutters cleared. All too soon I will be making the trip to rake the roof after the snow.

So I begin

So I begin the challenge of being a blogger. See, it all began with a visit to Patti's. She innocently introduced me to the world of blogging. I casually started following a few blogs. That progressed to linking to other blogs. lately I have been feeling rather left out. Help me out here, people with some advice as to how to be a creative, interesting, fun blogger.