Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Through the Darkness

I am burning some midnight oil tonight!

Well maybe not really.  Its only 9 pm. But it feels much later seeing as I am up at 4:30 to get Greg off to the airport.

I might just have to rethink the whole merlot/arting thing. Last Tuesday, the family went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Greg and I shared a nice bottle of Merlot. Upon getting home, I went directly to bed. I don't think it will serve up the conditions I need to paint deep into the night. Looks like I am going to have to find my inspiration elsewhere!

So anyway, our anniversary.. we had dinner. Sitting next to us was this cute gay couple who you could tell were on a first date. Anyway, the conversation at our table wandered from topic to topic, as any leisurely discourse should, and Greg began telling about a time he was out to eat and ended up with Bone Marrow as his meal. Connor asked how you eat that. Greg begins to discuss it in gross detail. Shudder. So to wrap things up and not linger much longer on the subject, I pipe in, rather loud and direct, "Son, You take the bone and you suck on it!" and then I made a sucky sound. The gay guys struggled to keep their composure. But did ok.

Greg also brought home a delightful bouquet of flowers. It featured Irisis that where just on the verge of blooming.

Speaking of flowers... Here is a funny story. I generally do my shopping at a particular store. One of the cashiers, Antonio, has taken a shine to me.  He is from Cuba. He is an older gentleman. His English isn't perfect. But he runs a public access show about Cuban music and local music scene and he also teaches a Spanish language emersion course. Anyway, he is a sweet old character and I tend to choose his line if he is working and I am not in a great hurry. A few weeks ago, after a congenial exchange, I left the store........ with flowers in my hand.


So the rest of the week played out as per the usual. On Saturday, Connor went off to play practice in the morning and then went to a cast party that night. This is part of the school campus:

Willow spent the whole of the day with Matt and his family. When they didn't know what to have for dinner she riffled through the cupboards and whipped them up a nice fried rice.

It is  historically odd, but becoming rather commonplace, that both of the kids are gone more often and, more over, at the some time. Both beginning to live truly independent and external lives.

With both of the kids out for the night, Greg and I enjoyed some sushi and he was asleep by 8:00. All of the travelling (And he has barely begun his journeys) had left him wiped out and he really needed to fully recharge his batteries before he begins the next stretch.

Here is fun news. An old friend, Aimee, and her family are coming out to enjoy a weekend this fall. I think it will be my birthday weekend!

P.S. Karen! Yes. That was a picture of the free tea drop sample you shared with me. I received 2 teas in a cute little wood box and the tea was extremely flavorful. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Taking the Plunge

 (I have recorded this here if you prefer to listen. The two  are similar but not identical)

Deep Breaths. Cool breeze blows through open windows. The sound of wet tires amplify the noise on the road down the street. Tea in one hand, pen in the other.

The time is here!! It took longer than expected. I think because I have been so ready for it arrive. Years ago I began the first of many attempts to organize and structure my day efficiently. Over time I have tried different systems/styles/structures; falling in and out of habit as we contended with our ever changing and not yet settled lives. In some regards, living in Germany should have provided me with ample time to attend to my arts, but some of us were drowning in the void (Not to mention the sensory overload that happens when trying to absorb a new language and culture). But now. Yes. Now. It is time.

Today...well technically "yesterday" as I am only today sitting at the computer as opposed to a notebook... Anyway, today is the first real day of school (real day meaning... kids get on bus in the am and return on the bus in the Pm) since Willow was in Jr. High. It has been 6 years of oddball schedules and driving and at least one kid schooling at home at least part time if not full time.

Holy shit! This has been a long time coming and boy am I set to tackle! Hut Hut Hike!

I've planned my days to maximize the amount of time I will be dedicating to writing and other personal projects. But mostly writing. And by writing I don't necessarily mean this blog. Its not SNOT but it is a good place to start (And I know my Auntie is itching for an update).Oh and by way of explanation, Snot is the working title of a novel I have started and is going to be a focus of my time. at least that is my intention.

Greg will be out of town much of the next couple months. That means I get to put some milage on the truck!

I may use my evenings to paint. It is fall after all. I have already smelled chimney smoke hanging on the evening air. The trees have begun their transition. Long nights of Merlot, oil paint and moody melancholy music are nearly upon us.

We have been sprucing up the joint. We redirected the run off from the roof in an attempt to suppress what we suspect is some underground erosion that maybe shifting the pool.  We also have been adding some weed suppression.

I love our yard.

Inside, Greg helped my put up some shelves which will house digital photo frames.

 I have only just begun going through all the files. I have so far come across some funny family videos which I put up on Youtube. When Willow saw them she said she wanted to recreate one. So there may be some of that coming.

I have taken the Embrel shots for two weeks now and just took my third injection. Im not sure what to think at this point. I am having injection site reactions but these should stop happening after a month or so of use. Wait and see. The injection itself is not really painful. And really neither is the reaction. At least not compared to the shingles shot. Anyway, The effects of the meds.. I can feel them working though my system. When they reach a joint that has been effected, it sort of makes it flare. But rather than the whole region being aggravated, its deep in the joint. And the pain is more "nervy". Then it moves further out to the next joint and does its weird work there. I suppose that I am moving a little easier down the stairs first thing in the morning. This medication can take a little while to show its effectiveness. Wait and See. What I have found effective is a recent addition by my Naturalpathic Dr. She suggested I use "My Community" It is a mushroom blend. It really strengthens the immune system and has elevated my level of energy. Hail the Plant Allies! 

Connor has been busy learning his parts for the schools Fall Play.

Last week there were several freshman orientation evens and a few days of settling into the school. They really do ease the freshman into the high school here and then it looks like they really strive to provide a security net of relationships. Anyway, I will go on about my observations of the schools in a future post.

Lets get cooking, shall we?! Willow started up in her culinary arts program. She will do great in it. At work she has changed positions and is now in the Deli. Cutting and chopping all the live long day. Its more work but she likes being busy more than being at a register waiting for a customer or dealing with them in general. Plus its a buck an hour more. Her relationship with Matt seems stable and healthy. She is exactly where I would want my 16 year old daughter to be. Well... with the exception of her not yet wanting to start driving. But hey, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

I am going to wrap this up here. I still have to type this up!

Well that sums up what I had to say yesterday. Checking my email this morning I was reminded that it is Greg and my anniversary. (Thank you Auntie!)

Happy 19th Anniversary!
Oh!The Adventures!
The Life!
Onward to 20 and beyond!
Love you!

P.S.  Here are some pictures from the day of the Festival of Fools. This is a French holiday which is celebrated in the summer. Its the event Quazimoto wants to go to... or does drop in on. I don't remember which. Anyway... 

 Believe it or not these ladies were making French Fries.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The time had come



The weight is gone.. and so is the grey. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mountains, Music and Memories

Shit it is August already? July was an eventful month.
Company came from Germany and a stay-cation ensued. Good Times. Swimming, museums, concerts, History tours and the like.  A lot of other stuff happened too.

If you want to hear more about it..  listen here: Mountains Music and Memories
(I am still getting my bearings with the podcast thing so this doesn't have music in the background this time. It is simply a voice drifting, literally, out of the darkness.)

I didn't capture all the excitement or the details of our travels and adventures in the podcast. Such as: Willow and I walking 2.5 miles through a torrential downpour in Saratoga springs.. it had been raining all day and looked like it was clearing up. The storms here are amazing and come in fast. Anyways, This meant no pollen in the air and after a long day of driving, well, it seemed like a good idea. Anyway, we were going to go to a concert. ( SilverSun Pickups, A band that Willow has loved since the family received a mix cd one Christmas many moons ago.). Cars spraying us with water. A guy who looked like Sloth from the goonies stopping to offer a ride. (Shudder) It was a good concert but we caught a cab back to the hotel. We effectively drove around all of Lake Champlain, through the green and Adirondack mountains, to go to the concert than swing back  up to Canada to pick up Cora before coming home.

I also didn't mention our trip to the indoor waterpark at J's Peak. Vermont has several ski resorts. Jays Peak is about a 1.5  hour drive to the far North East Corner of the state just at the Canadian border. It was a nice scenic drive and a good time playing in the water was had by all.

I am going to leave this here for now.
Time to switch gears.
Stop looking backwards and start looking forward!

Anyway, here are a few  Pictures from Coras Stay

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thats a Wrap.. aka .. Its Summertime!

Summer is officially here and we are all dancing.

(We deserve too!)

If I think of everything that has happened in the last 6 months it is sort of overwhelming.   
- We bought a house in a weekend. 
- Moved overseas. 
- Bought two new cars and will have our old one shipped to us soon.
- Started new schools or new jobs.
- Suffered through two months of the flu.
- Established new doctors.
- Set up new accounts.
- Had the hot water heater break during the middle of the deepest snow storm.
- Saw Willow through some rather severe depression and anxiety. She is doing much better these days. Shes gotten involved in volunteering with the Burlington art center, Special Olympics, and the Autistic kids at school. She has made a good little committee of friends at the youth group from First Methodist, has grown some friendships from school..on the bus that live close!! And now she has a boyfriend who she met through youth group.
- Willow is greatly looking forward to her year next year. when she will be taking the culinary arts technical training and a few fun and easy academic courses
- There were two graduations: Greg with his Masters, and Connor from 8th grade. (Not to mention 3 other graduations in the extended family. Congratulations guys!!)
For so many years you get used to the idea 
of these little ones 
always being around and then..
 They grow up

Then there is the exploring, learning, downloading and processing our new environment. 
- There was a week in Nevada. 
- Willow and I drove to NH and adopted Rosie who is slow, sweet and often scared. 
- We adopted a sly cunning cat who touched our lives deeply but who wasn't suited to the comforts of home. 
- Then there was the adoption of another cat who came to us bloody and bruised and required some definite care and nursing. He has since proven to be a loyal companion. And he is a gentleman/cat. I once saw actually use the toilet. 
- Then there was my arthritis diagnosis, subsequent medications which mean I  can't drink, body wide hive reaction that I thought at first was shingles, a return to pain and inflammation when I stopped the meds . All that fun was followed by allergies and asthma that have kept me locked inside for more than the last month because passing even an open window takes my breath away. Its called the green mountains for a reason and I ground to a halt as all this regional grass keeps me locked up .  I am greatly looking forward to a time when my arthritis and allergies are both well managed. There won't be any stopping me once the pain is down and my energy rebounds. 
-  I learned how to start and maintain a spa
- I am learning how to keep a pool
- Willow and I went on a weekend road trip. Saw Silversun pickups and went to Canada to get her friend from Germany who is here with us for a few weeks. (Ill blog all about it when we send her home)
- Found out how useful a snow blower is. 
- Found out how useful a Riding Mower is.
- Established with a hematologist that Greg's iron levels are not something to fear or contend with. Whew!
- Connor participated in a ski program.
- Connor spent a weekend in Washington DC and came back even taller. 

- Connor took an overnight field trip to a Dude Ranch in Upstate New York. 
- A few weekends ago Connor had auditions for the High Schools Fall Theater production of Josephs technicolor coat. He was cast as a guard and Ishmaelite.  Not huge parts but perfect for an incoming Freshman without any formal music or dance training. I mentioned to him that Theater on Ice might be a great thing for him to look into.

Are you exhausted by looking at this list? I am! And I am sure that that isn't even the extent of it. But we made it. And,God Willing, we wont see a period of such extreme transition again. 

Something New! I know some people *coughs Greg* don't have the time to read but they can incorporate listening into their routine a bit easier. So I have decided tto make a podcast where I will audio record these in the future. (*Pst..Happy Birthday!!*)  This is the podcast home for future reference

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whats new Pussycat?

Nevada was good. Busy. Came home and fell down. Metaphorically that is. The medical drs here are great and we now know that I don't have Fibromyalgia. It official. I actually have an inherited form of spinal arthritis. My dr told me I need to swim. And then when my neck fuses together I can use a snorkel. I laughed. She wasn't joking. Regardless of how bad that sounds, I am now going down the path of pain management through medication, diet and physical therapy and I am starting to feel better than I have in 20 years. 

In other news..  Connors School musical performance is tomorrow. He auditioned for a solo but is a little bummed that he didn't get it. The end of next week he is off to a Dude Ranch in New York overnight for his class graduation trip. Then he is home for the weekend and then off to Washington DC. The next week is 8th grade graduation. The following weekend he has auditions for the High School Fall Play (Josephs Technicolor Dreamcoat) with some workshops between now and then. Assuming that he gets a role, his freshman fall semester is already booked solid. He thinks he is tired now! Its just about time for him to really get his hustle on. 

Willow is doing good. After we got back from seeing my mom she broke up with her long distance boyfriend. She was a bit down about it but she got through all of that quite alright. She is going to a youth group leadership Conference with the Methodist Church this weekend. So I am digging through the camping gear and taking stock. Get her set and also see what we need to start exploring the glory that surrounds us. As the summer schedule starts filling up, Im scrambling to see when we can make it happen.

There are 27 parks and beaches in Burlington alone to explore. I managed to check one out this past weekend.

We continue to spot DaBella (Willows cat that escaped when we were gone) around the yard. In the meantime, we now nursing a stray 2 year old musky tom cat, whom we have named  Toby Jack (TJ).  He is rather beat up and covered in wounds from fighting some feral cats who's territory he was dumped in (Given his extremely social nature and desire to be in the house, we are assuming his previous owners abandoned him).

He is quite content lounging and recovering. He will be a good interactive member of the family (Unlike Dabella) However, Dabella has been very helpful in keeping the  bunnies away and I am happy she is sticking around and lurking in the shadows.

Where is Greg passing the free time he has on his hands since he graduated last weekend?

You will find him going around in circles on his riding mower.


Rosie is as sweet as ever. She is feeling less nervous now but she she sort of freaked out when she saw a plane high in the sky. Silly dog.

Well as of just now, our pool is open. It has some chemical processes to go through before we can hop in, but soon. In the meantime.. there is weeding to be done!! (And dinner to cook, and errands to run and.. well.. so it goes!) 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Smelling the flowers

I had a daydream that I would wake up at 5 am this morning. My intention was to write in that quiet sweet spot that happens and hour before waking anyone. Sitting in the front room, watching the sun rise, sipping on tea and tapping away at the keys. Unfortunately, however,  I did not set my alarm and instead find myself scraping out words here and there, between this and that, as the day rambles on. This is the view from my window.

It turns out that we really have not "lost" DaBella. She has been sighted numerous times in and around our property. But it has become clear that she has decided to live next to us; not with us. At least not yet. Maybe eventually her wild untamed heart will warm up to us and the promise of domestic bliss but, until then, she will live under the porch and find fresh food daily in the barn.

Big News from the Weekend... Greg has finished his MBA! What an accomplishment especially when you consider all that has happened from the time he started and now. How many moves? How many challenges? And still he finished and did so with a 3.8 GPA. Congrats! We are supper proud of him!

After being  around all my Artsy Family during our trip, as well as getting a bump of creative inspiration from the time spent with friends, I was moved to break out the paints and finally begin to use my "art/sewing" space. It was a good way to regain my balance, fend off the shakes and recover from an intense flair up after our trip. 

 I still have work to do on it.. quite a bit probably.. but its not a bad start.