Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Carving, grinding and falling down

January is in full gear. This weekend Willow took a dance class and quite enjoyed it. And despite the day of much needed recovery she wants to go back. I will be happily signing her up for more.

Connor celebrated his 15th birthday with a great little group of friends.

First they went ice skating.  

I got on the ice and made it around a few times myself. Thank goodness no video clips exists of me wildly flaying around.

Greg fell on his knee and ended up keeping me company in the players box.

After that, there were movies, nachos and cake at home. 

I have been busily bustling around in the background. As part of my development as a writer and generally putting myself out there, I have made myself an official website: 

The blog part doesn't have a link to email like this blog does so I will post here when it gets updated. Take a look and feel free to offer constructive criticism.

Tonight starts the Moth Storytelling. I will have more to say about that later.

I am going to end this here for now. It is finals week and so the kids schedules are not normal and already I have to think about getting on the road to pick them up.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

This one is for you!

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

I hope this letter reaches you on a bright sunny and warm winter day. We are not getting many of those here but the temperatures are on the rise. Our run of - degree days has passed (for now) and we are hovering at about 36 degrees. There is speculation that tomorrow or Thursday we may even hit 50 degrees. I may need to break out the sundress .. if it is sunny that is. However, I suspect we will be hit with rain. And then the temperatures drop and we will have an ice storm or two. While I do enjoy the crisp white beauty and being nicely bundled up, I think the winters here will help me appreciate the spring even more than I typically have. Well… After we make it through the mud season. I have given up on trying to keep the floors spic and span for the time being.

We have loved getting your letters. They put a smile on all our faces. I am sorry that I have been so terrible at writing back. Now that our first year here is over, I do plan to be better about it. It takes a lot to move and settle in and I am glad we are through all of that!

The Holiday break was relatively uneventful. We curled up in the house and rested and played. Enjoyed our White Christmas. Thank heavens we have a snowblower for managing the driveway. I started with a shovel and quickly felt it in my rotator cuff.

After I write this, finish up some desk work, and spend some time working on building my “Professional” website I will be off to wrap up a few loose ends on this weekends birthday party for Connor. He and four friends will be going ice skating then they will have nachos and watch movies. I will be giving him your card then. (Speaking of gifts, The kids say thank you for the beautiful crosses. I will send a picture of them soon!)

Connor is back to his play rehearsals for an end of March performance. He will be adding some comic relief to “Death.”  

Skating and theater are his biggest passions. I could see him having a career doing theater on ice. It does exist and it would be a pretty perfect fit for him. He just doesn’t know it yet. Grooving to music is also something he enjoys so I am working on setting him up with figure skating lessons. Fingers crossed.

Willow is doing well. This weekend she will be trying a dance class out. And then next week she and I are taking a Moth Style storytelling class. I don’t really know what moth style is. We will find out. I must admit that I am a bit nervous.  Here is the description of the class:

What’s your story? In this six-week class, learn and practice the art of live, first-person, Moth-style storytelling. Learn how to structure, edit, and perform your own story with a master storyteller and Moth producer and share your work at a live Story Slam on a date to be determined. A class field trip to the Moth Story Slam in Burlington takes place on Tuesday, February 13.

We will see how that goes.

I am going to cut this off here and redirect my attention to the chores. I will post again soon!  Love you!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cold Snaps break eventually..

Holy Cow! Here we are on the precipice of a New Year?!

We made it through 2017, Mother Truckers!

(I originally wrote a word other than "truckers" but seeing as even my grandparents read this I am subject to temper some of my wording... Keep it respectful and all...)

2017 made a valent attempt of kicking our aa... ahem. But we faced it all in strong fashion.

Anyway, 2018 is starting out with a deep sigh of relief. We are planted, settled and have taken root. Finally.  And now we will flourish.

I started lifting again. Just the other day. I had forgotten how energizing it is and while I knew I enjoyed it, I had also forgotten how much. Ima get swole this year! (translation: Im beefing up this year for the sheer love and joy of it.)


The temps have been chilly. The sort of cold that you can get frostbite in 15 minutes. Gotta love layers! We are keeping warm (And frostbite free)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Taking it at a slow pace

Hello faithful reader,

Have you been thinking about me? Isn't there an old wives tale about itchy eyes meaning someone is thinking about You? I'm not sure but my eye  twitched spastically for 4 days straight last week. Either someone is thinking of me really hard or it could be medication induced ms. Lets hope not. I'm sure there may be a little less dramatic reason and i am monitoring the situation.

One early Saturday morning I was up with the sun and intent on doing some yard work in preparation for winter. I got a lot done but it came at a price. Namely a painfully itchy blistry weepy rash covering half my arm and eventually spread aroung my waist and thighs. The dr. took a culture and told me it was shingles. It was not. She had read the results wrong. It's has since been determined that it was likely caused by poison parsnip (yes there is such a thing). It's been a little over a month now and the areas are mending but still occasionally uncomfortable.

Having this skin stuff has kept me from swimming. Which sucks. The scale was finally moving in the right direction. Not now.. but I will get back to it in due course.

Connor had a great fall theater run. Production week was long but rewarding. He did great and is adapting to high school perfectly. Auditions for springs small student run  plays are near the beginning of Dec. Also with a little medication .. He no longer has migraines, no longer complains of lights (although sounds still get to him).

Willow .. well.. she plugging along. She tired of the drama of her "peers". They suck and it wears her thin. Senioritis had already kicked in as well. We take it day by day.

Greg has been mostly home since my last post. He started to take a cholesterol meds. They did something to his mood. He switched to a new one and it's not doing anything weird (As I proof-read through this I realize that so much of it is about health stuff. Gosh I'm turning into a little old lady!)

In other news the holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving.. We have not had been to a family style thanksgiving in what feels like many many years. This year Willows boyfriends grandparents have invited us to the family gathering. I'm making my butternut squash soup.

Our Yuletide celebration  is going to be geared toward health and well being. We are adding a few keypeices the home gym and scheduling a few fun (although relativly local) family trips in the spring.

Speaking of Spring.. Willow is graduating. Holy Cow! I mean I knew it but the fact of ceremony etc just dawned on me. Anyway..

On it goes..

One foot in front of the other.

Isn't that right mom?
(She had both knees replaced Monday. God bless her!)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Whats in a number?

I am sitting here on the eve of my 44th.


Its interesting. It doesn't feel old. Especially now that I am properly medicated. I touched my toes yesterday! That seems like an odd statement but I had gotten so stiff over the last few years that even 2 months ago my finger tips hung inches from the ground. The new meds have made quite an improvement. Im not saying I am completely ache free but my feet are not curled into immobile claws in the morning when I wake up and I can manage the stairs normally when I traverse them. It is fantastic and I feel like I have a new lease on life.

44 is shaping up to be a great year and it is arriving in grand style. Thursday, under the light of a full moon, Greg and I will take in the first Blackhawks game of the season. And then my old high school friend Aimee and her family will be by for the weekend. Auspicious beginning to be sure. 

In other news? The kids are recovering from some bug. Tobi has turned into a big game hunter. Greg and I have been visiting some trails with Rosie. Life is beautiful and good. (Except I dropped my phone and I had some allergic reaction but those are the breaks.) Photos are here


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.