Saturday, November 30, 2013


We had a wonderful visit to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving.

I am thankful
...for family, especially
...for good food
...for FaceTime so we can be "with" family even if we aren't "with" them
...for being able to travel and enjoy it
...for being able to knit and chill
...for beaches and rocks and shells
...for turkey hats
...and, yes, Dunkin Donuts.

fantastic turkey and stuffing!

snow en route

smallest french fries in the land. more than 12 served.

mmmm donut

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What brings me JOY

I read Momastery the other day. That blog often makes me thoughtful. Today's post was about finding the joy in life for yourself, what makes YOU happy, how our children want US to be HAPPY, not thinner, not with more stuff, not with a bigger house. How they want their parents to be happy.

It was hard for me, for a long time, to know what brought me joy. I kind of forgot. It's especially hard, I find, when your children are very little, and you work, and you stay home, and you have so MUCH on your plate. I don't suppose my plate has less now, but it's different, and with the kids being a little older, I am able to disengage from things they can do on their own (like grabbing a snack, entertaining themselves, putting their own dishes in the dishwasher).

Now I have a lot that brings me joy. And man, I see it on my kids faces when we are laughing together, or doing something silly, or just enjoying a walk. It's not like those moments are all day long, but they are there, and I try to be more me with them as they get older. I sometimes realize I am a lot more fun around my 19 year old niece - she is like a friend, which is entirely appropriate. But she sees the person that I am more than my kids do - I am more a taskmaster with them, which, again, is entirely appropriate.

Anyway, it's nice to feel like I'm doing this part kind of right - enjoying stuff, having my own joy (with some guilt, but that is fading!), and enjoying time with them, too. WITH them.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Lots going on around here. It's the end of soccer (read: tournaments), leaf blowing, our little ginko tree dropping its yellow leaves, snuggling in, etc, etc. Just some pictures to browse mid-November. Up next, girl scout camping!

crime scene

Tate at work with me

celebrating Kit's birthday

sunspot beagle


Sunday, November 17, 2013


My grandmom. She just turned 95. Ninety-five! She was born in 1918 - imagine all the things one sees in 95 years on this planet. She's seen more than her share of heartache, losing two sisters at a young age. She moved halfway through her high school senior year to a new town, a small town where everyone had grown up together. She lived in a parsonage with her dad, the Methodist Minister, and her mom and sisters, in the Depression, giving food to strangers at their back door. She married the love of her life, only when he had enough money in the bank to start them off on the right foot. He was part of the Manhattan project, unbeknownst to him, so unable to physically fight for his country during World War II, which caused him great angst, but her, I'm sure, happiness to have him here. She had two beautiful children, a full life of friends and family, a lake house. More heartache followed - losing her son at age 19, her mom and her husband all within three years. She moved close to us, which was great - Brett and I would spend the night at her house and at my other grandmom's house - we were lucky to know, really know, our grandmoms. 

She's made a big life for herself near us - lives alone, is a Life Master at bridge and plays 4 days a week at the Senior Center (where she still drives herself). She did years of Senior university studies. She goes once or more a month to a horse racing place "for the lunch." She surfs the web, she's on Facebook. She has crafted her way through her life and given me, I know, my love and skill of crafts. She's well versed at it all - needlepoint, sewing, cross stitch (amazing cross stitch!), paint, everything! 

She is, by far, the youngest 95 year old I've ever met. She's younger than a lot of people I know that are far younger than her. She's timeless. She is LIVING life, and is still going strong.

I love my Grandmom. What fun, celebrating 95!!

Tate loves her GG, but also wanted to position herself as close to the cupcakes as she could.

All here except for my beautiful niece, who showed up on Facetime on the iPad. My grandmom said, "what a beautiful picture of Cassidy!" and then my niece started talking...very funny!

it's the BIG ONE!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pensacola Beach

We had our annual retreat for work - a group we manage - and as usual, it was in a nice location! This year was Pensacola Beach. The weather was gorgeous, and the view from our balcony perfect. The executives worked for a day and a half, and then we had some dinners out, and ended the weekend with a trip to the National Naval Aviation Museum, with just about the best docent I've ever had. He gave us a private tour for 2.5 hours and knew everything about everything. In a good way.

This is such a fun group of people, ready for adventure, kind people. It's always a good time. It's a great perk of my job to be the "hostess" and figure out where and when we see things.

We rented another Dugger van this year - a 13 seater so we could all go together places. David was the chauffeur, and was highly complimented on his driving. One spouse, Jeanne, and I thought we should try and get some money by offering people rides to the airport...

Our view

Maguire's Irish Pub - they have an estimated $1 million in dollar bills stapled to their ceilings


Pier about a block away from our hotel - Jeanne and I took a walk on Saturday


On and off my needles

'Tis the season! I'm trying to crank out some quick knits/crochets, and think about what else I need to make. I already have one Christmas present done (for a teacher), and am about to start another for my niece. Plus a few other little things...

I am also making Toasty - hand warmers. Forgot to get a picture, but it's literally a 2" tube right now, nothing exciting. Love the yarn though, it is some I got at Rhinebeck. So soft, blues and greens and flecks of creams and golds.

Oh, these! A house full of turkey heads!

This will soon be a headband.

A cowl.

Coffee sweaters (my own design). These are so gratifying - quickly done!

The whole lot

 I have a few other things brewing in my head. Tara and I are dedicated to getting together once a week to knock some of these things out for the holidays - just an hour or two, dedicated time to get personal projects worked on. We may have to make one of our afternoons a Marshmallow afternoon in December!