Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toby



1996-2010

I haven't updated my blog in forever, but here I am sharing. We lost our Toby The Cat the day after Christmas. I was able to keep him home (he hated the car and the vet more than anything) wrapped in his favorite blanket on my lap by the pellet stove. In a house with two other cats and two dogs, it feels rather empty without him.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We Are Purple

Promotion test today. I seriously do not test well. Started off with blanking on my terminology, but recovered well enough to move along. Moved along to forms where they messed with my head by asking for them out of order. Lucky for me the master instructor corrected this before it totally threw me out of whack. I did manage to get some air for my flying kicks, but was on my toes too much during sparring. Guess I tossed the male person a little harder than he cared for during take downs. Alana usually doesn't stress during testing, but today it was board breaking that did her in. Just lost her focus. Ofcourse, I was the one with the ice pack on my hand. What on earth possessed me to do a right handed break? I never use my right hand. So now we are at our last belt at the intermediate level. Beginning our internship and teaching will be around the corner.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Celebrity All Stars Softball





Last night the local police department had a charity softball game against some retired players from the Patriots or Red Sox. Always a fun game to go to. My favorite this year was seeing Bill "Spaceman" Lee who pitched for the Red Sox in the '70's. The man is crazy funny. Yes, those are work boots that he was playing in. There were some pretty decent plays by both sides and some good ol' goofing around. The son of one of the cops got to be catcher for the All Stars team. If I knew how to play I would have been out there on the field. As it was, I was happy just to sit along the foul line.






Sunday, July 11, 2010

Futures At Fenway 2010

Yesterday we made the trip to Boston for the annual Futures game at Fenway. Brought along our buddies Kris and Jason for a day of double header baseball fun. Arrived at the park as the first game was getting started. The best seats yet. So close to homeplate you could hear the umpire bark. Other than the fact that it was hotter than all get-out and Lowell Spinners were losing, it looked to be a fun day.
Sure, there had been some reports of possible thundershowers, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We became focused on what to eat. I love Fenway Park, but the food stinks. Had the mandatory hot dog and settled in.
One of the Jamestown Jammers proposed to his girlfriend on camera between innings. The crowd went wild...
and then the rain began....



*sigh* Sure wish I was able to make the game in Toronto.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Patti envy

After reading Patti's blog post about her new, hot sunglasses, I said to myself (see, Patti, I do that too) "self, you should share your new, pretty stuff".
Some of you may be unaware of my like of nontraditional pretty things. I believe I have done a post in the past about my new, sparkly gear.

After having my ribs broken...twice in six months, my physician became rather more insistent that I wear some type of rib protection while sparring. Something about healing slower as you age, early risk of osteoporosis, blah, blah, blah. The master black belt instructor took him more seriously.
My sparring nights now had me wearing the bulky, cumbersome, not so pretty tae kwon do chest/rib protector. I was bubble boy. I adjusted.

Time came to order new gear to supply the dojang. The big boss has become more serious about raising the bar for protective gear. Head gear with face shields are now being worn by some...and I have new, pretty gear. *sigh* If it only came in sparkly purple.





Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alana's Day

Alana's birthday is July 6th. Unfortunately, this year her birthday was the same day as my mother's funeral service. We had celebrated a few days early with the family cookout, but being off my game, I never took my camera off of my desk. What is up with that? I am known for being the obnoxious person who is always taking pictures.
The morning of the 6th Alana got dressed nicely to show respect for her grandmother. Hair out of her face; wore a skirt. Not one complaint during the early morning 90 mile trip to her grandparents' town for Mass. Was perfect in church and brought up the gifts.

Burial was 90 miles away at the National Cemetery. The day was now heating up to record breaking temperatures with heavy humidity. There are not enough thanks for a working air conditioner. Things were starting to catch up with my birthday girl. She plugged into her iPod, pulled the hair back, and dozed a little during this leg of the journey.
More perfect behavior at the cemetery. She helped pass out drinks to the family so that noone would get fluid low during the day.
Afterwards we bowed out of visiting with everyone so that we could begin the 170 mile return trip home and try to have a few minutes for Alana to have her birthday dinner. She was back into her "real" clothes and cooling off at the Outback over a huckleberry iced tea.



Friday, July 2, 2010

If I had known

If I had known that this would be the last picture, I would have brought my real camera rather than my cellphone. I would have fixed her hair. I would have done her nails (I always tried to have them look nice for her). I would have smuggled Coco in to see her along with the substitute that Alana got for her. I would have brought her pretty wrap that she liked. There are other pictures. Many of them over the years. Truth is, I guess there are never enough.
Mom



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mom






















December 18, 1926-June 26, 2010


We miss you already.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

These yummy treats are made at a local candy kitchen. They are only available during the few short weeks of strawberry season. The picture does not do them justice. They are huge! The strawberries alone are the best you will ever have. It is a sugar fix that will send you soaring with their special dark chocolate dip.
Seems rather unfair that they aren't around for Mother's Day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Best Mom

For the last few weeks I have been keeping an eye on this nest. The Robin mom built it well hidden in the branches of my crabapple tree right in front of my deck.Normally I would have done some pruning of this tree by now, but I didn't want to disturb the birds. This mom has ridden out a few hairy storms lately. She hunkers down over her eggs/babies so that you can barely see her bill over the edge of the nest. From there she has kept a leery eye on the comings and goings around her. Today I tried to get a decent picture of the babies. That will teach me. I got dive bombed by the mom. No second chance for a better shot.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ortho Begins

The day has finally arrived. Alana had her brackets put on and ortho has begun. She's worn some removable appliances before to tilt some teeth, but now we have to do the real deal in order to correct her bite. Yes, she has a beautiful smile, but if we don't correct the bite she is going to start chipping some teeth. Luckily she loves the staff at the orthodontist's office. She would not be so tolerant if I was doing the work. Now the battle begins on getting her to take care of them correctly.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Crazy Storm

Late Wednesday night we got hit with a whopper thunderstorm. Heavy rain and amazing wind. The word tornado has been thrown around, but not confirmed. I didn't get many pictures because I actually followed the state of emergency instructions to stay off the roads. Our house and my office did not get any damage, but others around were not so fortunate. Huge trees were toppled and power lines were down everywhere.
Luckily, there were no serious injuries. Three days later and some people are just getting their power back on. Power, phone, and cable trucks are everywhere. These crews have put in some lengthy shifts along with local emergency services workers.















After things
calmed down I worried about the birds who had built nests near the house.Can you imagine riding out such a night? Well, the nests have survived and the birds are around. I haven't been able to get any decent pictures of them because they don't seem too crazy about me being anywhere near them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls' Weekend

Just got in from spending a long weekend with my buddy and her daughter. Alana and I met Jan and Jaime to celebrate Jaime's 13th birthday. These girls ran me into the ground. While the younger ones spent some times doing the godawful rides, Jan made me shop. Yes, I dress like a bag woman. I will admit it. So, whenever we get together she usually manages to get me to buy something. Well...skinny capri pants and girl top. Totally not used to wearing such fitted clothes. The manperson gave it the thumbs up when he saw the new clothes. Did some shopping for Alana also. She needed some new stuff too. Water park. Amusement park. Shopping. Eating. So good.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers' Day

Ah, such a great day today. Slept in. Went to my buddy, Betty's house for breakfast with her family. Alana picked out this for me without any help from Daddy. Guess she is aware of my love of scrap related magazines. She was with me one day when I had looked at this and put it back. You know, the whole budget and don't need it thing. Afternoon nap. Steak and asparagus dinner. A little scrapbook circle journal work after that. Just a little knitting. I think this is how all Sundays should be.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Project Done

Ahhhh! I just love that feeling of finishing a project. Being the Queen of Unfinished Projects, it is particularly sweet when I have it finished ahead of schedule. This is an afghan that I knit for a friend who is due with her first baby in July. I tend not to make baby sized stuff because they outgrown them so quickly, so this is closer to a crib/young child size. I found the pattern on http://www.free-knitpatterns.com/ and just loved it. Now, onward to other things.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some Serious Training

Monday night we had a special training class which I ended up having to sit out since my ribs aren't quite well yet. I hadn't brought my camera because we had some visiting black belts and a guest instructor, so I wasn't all that comfortable with the idea. I did get a few interesting, poor quality pictures on my phone. Here is our buddy, Jason doing some serious training. Okay, maybe even a higher ranking belt can have some problems concentrating when an attractive female is attacking him. Keri, however, seemed to be more focused.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Something New


Apparently this is the time of year when i get going into my knitting again. Watching a baseball game or waiting for Alana during her dance class is when you will see me pull out one of my projects and let my knitting flow.
When I am at one of the CT crop get togethers I will usually at some point have a yarn talk with Lin and/or Ramona. They are my enablers. They will gladly point me in the direction of yarn websites to check out.
For quite a while I have been avoiding the largest yarn store in New England. It is seriously too close to me. Well, I caved to my weakness and went. The good news is that I was so overwhelmed that I was able to contain myself to just the project I was about to start.
It was while on this little field trip that I came upon square needles. Who would have thought. Being somewhat of a craft gadget person, I decided to try them out. Love them! oh sure, I've since read mixed reviews about them, but I do love the way they feel in my hands.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Baby Canon

I Love my Canon Rebel. It is one of my favorite things, hands down. Although I haven't gotten around to learning how to use the camera to it's maximum capacity, that doesn't dampen my enthusiasm. Yet there are times when I don't want to risk taking it somewhere with me, or it is a bit too bulky and heavy. So, the search began for my next addition to my photographic possessions.
Looking for a smaller, lighter camera was tough because I had become spoiled by the fancy options on my Rebel. I didn't want to trade off the fun stuff, but I didn't want to go too big. Forget about asking other people their opinion. It was all over the place as to what other people were using. I narrowed down the choices and then searched for a great buy.
Here it is. The Canon PowerShot SX120IS. A little bit bigger in size than I wanted, but with quite a few special stuff for playing. Now I just have to get used to the change.




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Moving Up



The verdict is in, hard shoes time it is. Personally, I love the soft shoes or ghillies. They are just so pretty. Okay, I also love the poodle socks. Alana has been chomping at the bit to start with the hard shoes. It's the whole noise thing. So, off I go in search of Irish shoes for a Vietnamese foot.

Invasion


Sorry about the misleading title
. Yes, we are safe and secure here. The invasion is more of one involving vampires, werewolves, and young love.
Alana trades books with a few of the other girls at school. This week she came home with THE book. She was done with Twilight by the end of the week and begging me to get her the next book. This was quickly followed by convincing her dad to watch both the movies with her. Ah, yes! It's all about the young love.
If you ask me, that Edward is way to scrawny and Jacob totally rocks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Goodbye Winter


It has been a strange winter indeed. Didn't have much of a chance to really get out and enjoy any snow. Ended with the last week hitting temperatures up to 70. Yes, a strange winter it was.
So here we are looking at spring. The mild weather we just had has eliminated a lot of the snow from the yard. My bulbs are starting to push through the ground along the protected side of the house. Maybe I can look at moving the shovels to the basement.
Well, maybe not yet. Just to be safe.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Celtic Heels


I will start out this post by stating that I am very much a rookie photographer. Yes, I am lucky enough to have a great camera, but have been rather lazy about really learning how to use it well. Trying to learn how to use it while in the audience during a no flash performance was probably not the best decision. I should keep that in mind for next year.
The lady to the left (yes, the one who has crutches at her feet) is Alana's dance instructor. Cara is an amazing woman. Positive, energetic, and a wonderful role model. You can tell that all of her dance students adore her.
With her is her mother, Joan. Her dance company is from New York and she and some of the members make the trip out here to perform at the Saint Patrick's show every year. The dances are also very lucky to have Joan available at their classes frequently.
Last year Alana and I were in the audience watching this production. This year she was so excited to be a part of it.
Now she has her eye on getting her "hard" shoes. As much as she loves her Gillies (soft shoes), there is something to be said for all that tapping.












Sunday, March 7, 2010

CT Crop #8

It's tough to try to get everyone's schedules to coordinate, so there is always someone missing from a crop. This is such a fun day to spend together that I hate that anyone misses out on it. All of these women are such talented and wonderful people. Laughing, talking, eating, shopping...and maybe actually some scrapping.
Nora (AKA The Enabler) so very kindly loaded a game onto my phone so that now I have yet another obsessive-compulsive behavior to add to the list. I wasn't going to point out that this is the same woman who introduced us to Webkins.
Nancy and April finally arrived safely. We were beginning to worry about them, but I was successful in stalking Nancy. See, be careful about giving out cell phone numbers to people!
Lin and I contemplated knitting rather than scrapping, but we ended up sticking to the program.
Donna shared her excellent plan for highlighting a month in a single LO. I may need to lift this one.
Ramona does not have a poker face when it comes to calling out the chair thief. Don't cross the city girl.
As usual, I get home from a crop and catch my second wind. So here I am typing away when I should have been sleeping hours ago. Oh well, it is always worth it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Has Arrived


Mother nature has a strange sense of humor. Just as I was getting used to the idea that this would be the winter of no snow, we get hit with a couple of back-to-back storms. Wet, heavy, nasty snow. Not the stuff that is good for playing in. More like the stuff the takes down trees and
power lines. We were only without power for about 24 hours and were lucky that the temperatures didn't fall that low. My Rose of Sharon hedge took a beating along with my lilacs. Guess I'll have to wait and see how they bounce back after the snow is gone. The trees that were toppled along the road will have to wait until the melt also, but those will definitely be goners.