Monday, September 29, 2014

2 day pass

it was a weekend rich in kodak moments.

i took miss bit to her riding lesson on friday.
it was a glorious early fall night that admittedly felt more like summer.
after a tour of the bustling farm with my camera at the ready,
i settled in on the deck during the golden hour to watch my girl with admiral.
i had a book in hand.
 i never cracked it.
there was more magic in my purview than on any page.
 i chatted with the friendly ladies of lakeside.
the lol is a group of farm regulars and riders of various abilities.
they were celebrating the end of the season and, apparently, my lily.
they commented on her accomplished serpentine and her strong post.
i didn't confess my unfamiliarity with their terms, but instead that this was only her second lesson.
they were envious and impressed.
after her lesson, the instructor called lily a natural.
she used descriptives like comfortable and intuitive.
my girl was beaming to be told so.
saturday the boys left for football.
t. bone is a natural on this field.
they lost, but not for any lack of contribution (body or heart) on his part.
he took an advil and then went to play football with friends for the rest of the afternoon.
oh to be young.
i felt both young and old to be going out on saturday.
we had our first bowling night and that made me feel old.
bowling is something middle agers do.
i know i know.
we went to a pre party and a post party too.
now that made me feel young.
we have new partners and had much fun.
and we bowled well too.
sunday lily and i went to church.
it was just the two of us because t. bone's class was cancelled last minute.
 so we let the boys sleep in.
the sermon spoke of free will.
and the powerful words: yes and no.
it was especially timely.
the message resonated with me.
miss bit almost feinted right before communion.
it was scary to see her so anxious and white as a ghost.
even in that state, she tried nobly not to make a scene.
a little fresh air, water and a pep talk and she got the spring back in her steps.
the pink in her cheeks too.
i sent her to sunday school and then went back into the sanctuary.
i lit a candle at the precise minute of my mom's passing six years ago.
it was a special moment.
but i decided right then and there that the rest of the day would be light not weighty.
jess, lily and i made a trip to the fruit farm to pick apples.
we enjoyed the sweet sunshine and the varietals some more tart than sweet.
and even though the rules said no sampling,
we had to taste to know just what we were picking.
how could we know that jess liked the fuji, lil preferred the macintosh and i was fond of the courtlands?
we may have enough apples to get us through the winter.
unless miss bit remembers that she wants to bring some for admiral.
and all his friends.
we quick stopped at the pet store to feed the tortoises and have a few words with the birds.
then jess and i stepped out for a tributary cocktail before coming home for dinner.
it was a simple family meal.
i gave a toast, we reminisced a little, but kept the mood cheery.
and it just felt like the perfect day of honoring my mom, the beauty and significance of the day, the gifts of life, friendship and family.
it's peculiar how grief and joy can be parallel parts of the same story.
it astounds me how our woes and blessings are often threaded together to make one rich and priceless tapestry.
there are days it all depends on the lens through which i see the world-
on what i invite or say yes to..
on what i deny or say no to.
and then there are others where it feels like i have no choice at all.
not a semblance of free will.
this day i chose to wear my rosy glasses.
 i chose to feel grace for what was, gratitude for what is and appreciation for what will be.
and it felt right.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

This Week in an Instagram

1. She tells him, "I'll miss you, but don't you miss me."
2. Old photos.  This relic circa 1987.
3. #17 with Grandpa before the game.
4. It's a good thing we aren't in a draught.
5. Admiral is admirable.  Everyone on the farm loves this steady eddie.
6. Fans in the stands.  Cousins too.
7. Potsticker perfection.
8. Then.  Circa 1974.
9. Now. 2014.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Rose.  She has been back in this state for almost a year only I first saw her last Sunday.  Just knowing that she's nearby...that I can see extremely comforting.  That being said, we have plans to get together again real soon.

Carmelized squash.  It's hard to believe it's good for me when it's roasted with a little dark brown sugar. Hmmm...maybe it's not.

Indian summer.  Weeks worth.

Tackling projects.  Looming ones.

A short week.

The kids had off yesterday for Rosh Hashanah so Coach and I took off too.  We went out for breakfast at the diner.  Then we did a little of this and a little of that.  Coach and I squeezed in a fast few miles.  And now it's already Friday.

A date with my son last night.  We curled up in my bed to watch a new show.  The show was pretty good and an hour with just him...great.

Cooking with Miss Bit.  She and I made pot stickers yesterday to accompany our favorite stir fry. At first she balked when she saw me add mushrooms to the mixture, but that didn't stop her from being the first one to sample our new recipe, and to declare it "awesome."  That gives weight to the idea that if you get kids involved in the kitchen, they will be more daring, open minded eaters.

Homeland Season 3 arrived in the mail today.

So did this little nugget of a book.

Unsent letters.

Refusing to pet the sweaty stuff.

My cousin Carol received good news times 2 in the past week.

Friday night on the farm.

Monday, September 22, 2014

We're All Just Walking Each Other Home

Yesterday would have been my Mom's 66th birthday.  In one week, she'll be gone from my life for six years.  The longer she's gone doesn't make grasping the reality of her absence any more fathomable.  Last week I devoted a good amount of time to going through the last of her boxes. Boxes she had packed full over the years with memories and artifacts.  Pieces of our life as a family. I looked at and spent time with everything.  I cried some, but mostly I smiled and laughed.  She was a great Mom, and my brother and I were pretty great and grateful kids.  It felt pleasing to know she must have known that.  I felt joy that she died knowing that she was loved and that she made us feel loved. Of course, the not so subtle reminder in this is to love, hug and tell the ones important to you that they are.  Today.  Tomorrow.  The next day too.

Also take the time to write letters.  Letter writing has become a lost art, but it doesn't have to be.  It shouldn't be.  There were so many memories captured in the letters I sent my Mom when we were apart.  Recollections I had forgotten, and flashbacks still there burning bright.  Feelings expressed. When you read someone's letter, you hear their voice.  It summons forth a surprisingly strong connection.  It's powerful.  I read a poem Mr. K. wrote for me about my love of his bunny, Fanny.  I hadn't heard his voice since I was a young girl of 10 or 11, but I hadn't forgotten its tone, tenor or cadence.  Likewise, I found a letter Mrs. K. wrote my Mom.  Her kind, lilting voice came back to me, and for a minute I was her sidekick again...following her from bird feeder to bird feeder and then straight into her kitchen for a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a play date with Fanny.  Letters capture much more than our words.  They capture a piece of us - our stories - that live on after we have left.

Pictures too.  They are so much more than images.  They are feelings.  They embody emotions, perceptions and attitudes.  The other day I found an old picture of the Humboldt Avenue compound. That yard was its own magical world.  I stopped there on a bit of a whim yesterday with the Kirkpatrick's voices still ringing in my head.  I was driving by on my way home from communing with Kathy's Gals.  The property is weathered and unkempt now.  Forbidding and foreboding.  No Trespassing and Beware of Dogs signs line the ramshackle gate.  There is no more koi pond, or iris lined, cobblestone walk  This is no longer a welcoming happy place.  I couldn't even see any of the houses buried they were in a sea of bramble and brier.  In the time it took me to take a couple pictures from the safety of the sidewalk, someone saw me allright.  He approached my car arms flailing and anger apparent.  I still cannot believe I didn't have the sudden sense to speed away.  I sat there stunned and allowed this character to engage me.  Luckily, I had the wherewithal to lock my door and censor my words.  Things have really changed at our old river compound leaving me all the more appreciative for that little nugget of a photo to remind me of what we once had there.

All and all, yesterday was a good one.  Church and Father Tim were certain elixirs of the day, and time with friends and family who knew, cared for and still care for my Mom a much needed lifeline. That's another little tidbit: ask for and receive comfort.  Cradle the outstretched hand, accept the Kleenex, say thank you for the coffee and the scone, listen the the stories, toast togetherness, celebrate the connections that bind you to others and honor them for who they were, who they are and whatever richness they bring to your life today. We all just want to matter.  And to live a good life.  A meaningful life.  I assert that a good life is a meaningful life.  I attempt no definition of the word meaningful either.  There are likely 101.  Who am I kidding...there are infinite answers, but the one truth is that we need people no matter what or how long our life's journey is.  While we are here, there are countless paths we travel, but we all arrive in the same place one day.  It's nice not to arrive alone.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2 day pass

i really needed this weekend.
it was a busy, emotional week.
yes, i'm even allowing myself to use that dreaded "b" word i so abhor.
so when friday eve rolled around, i was ever grateful for girl time on the patio with jess.
it was a beautiful late summer day that turned into a beautiful end of summer night.
the wind picked up and darkness fell, and still we sat.
the kids spent all of saturday with their cousins.
i always wanted cousin friends.
all my cousins are much younger and live in different states so we have only recently developed friendships.
ted and tim, and lily and heidi have so much fun together.
i love that they have the kind of bonds - strong and steady - i believe they will carry throughout their lives.
it was a wistful last of summer day.
we are so precariously betwixt and between...
opening and then closing windows as the breeze warms and cools, smelling petrichor as a midday rain falls and also soups simmering on the stove for lunch, watching football and watering the last of the summer plants, which soon will be replaced by heartier mums.
we headed to the high school to watch ted's team play under the lights.
grandma and grandpa joined us to cheer on the knights who we thought were the victors apparent.
sadly the outcome was not in their favor.
ted played almost the entire game so after some pizza, he was toast.
today is my mom's birthday.
she would be 66.
despite the grey day and the somber occasion, my heart was not as heavy as i expected.
i arrived at church early, lit my candles and had my moment.
when friends arrived, i had already dried my eyes and said my peace.
my focus had already shifted from who i have lost, to what i have gained.
mass was another buoy, and father tim's words always wise and comforting.
we filed out of our pew and into a booth for breakfast.
6 years ago to the day we were all toasting my mom on her 60th - her last birthday.
i was bolstered up by our time together as well as the sun breaking through the cloud cover.
i came home to a yard full of boys playing football.
miss bit was away at a birthday party.
i was very present in the preparation of tonight's family dinner -
it was in my mom's honor, after all.
the menu was an homage to her too:
pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered corn, carmelized squash, cottage cheese and warm chocolate bread pudding topped with cold haggen dazs ice cream.
my brother and sil joined us.
we shared stories around the table proving that even though she is not here, she is with us.
godspeed and goodnight.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

The few beautiful Indian summer days that we are enjoying.  Fall fell fast here, and even I - self-proclaimed and celebrated fall enthusiast - wasn't welcoming.

I made my first batch of stock of the season just as the chill left the air, but we're soup lovers no matter the weather.

Squash made this week's menu as well.  Spaghetti.  Top with a dollop of sauce and a grind of Parmesan and you don't even know you aren't eating noodles.

I went a tad out of my way to stop at an apple stand.  The honeycrisps I came home with are way better than any candy.

We are planning our annual fall Door County weekend.  I thought it might not materialize this year, but that seems to have changed.  Beyond grateful for our trips to the peninsula I have loved all my life.

Taking care of the tough stuff.  About a month ago I started sorting through the last remaining boxes of my Mom's mementos.  My Mom has been gone for almost 6 years.  I've thought about these boxes, on average, 6 times a week.  The obvious reason I put off delving into them was that trips down memory lane can be painful especially when one is not ready.  The less evident consequence of going through the last of the boxes was that then there would be no more boxes to go more memories to more answers to unanswered questions to unveil. There was a little patience in my procrastination...a little holding out hope.  I devoted much of Tuesday to making piles and then making my way through the piles.  I read every letter, card, progress report, baby book, and I looked at every picture, lock of hair, sorority pin and art project.  It was a good day filled with more laughter than tears, and more gratitude than I ever thought possible given the situation.  I learned something that lifted my heart too.  I learned that I was never shy about expressing my appreciation for my Mom to my Mom.  In just about every card and letter, I told her that I was lucky to have her, and the gratitude I had for her filled me with even more thanks that, indeed, she knew it. It was really a beautiful thing.

The next day my heart was heavier as I sat with the unanswered questions, the untold stories and the unidentified objects.  I had to resist the urge to call her so she could fill in the missing pieces the way I knew she would.  She was the glue.  I'm grateful I still have time to ask of and listen to other pivotal people in my life before they take their stories and memories with them.

POVs.  All of this reminded me of being privy to an exchange that my Dad and Aunt had a few weeks ago. They were reminiscing about olden days.  Golden days.  I remembered some of the times they were reliving because I was either there or had heard the stories, but I tried to hear them anew and simply through their perspective. These words from The Sheltering Sky came to mind:

Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.

Paul Bowles is right: it all seems limitless.  Seems being the operative world here.  The positive takeaway from the loss of my Mom 6 years ago is that now I profoundly grasp life's finality. The well is bounded.  Our days are numbered.  Life is terminable.  Because I understand this truth, I get up to see the sun rise and I write letter after letter to my children and I try always to tell the people I love that I love them. I never stop seeking beauty or trying to be better than the person I was the day before.  The world doesn't always dazzle and often I'm worse not better, but I don't give up because the world is a beautiful place and life is too short.

Sunday I will go to church with some friends to celebrate mass and my Mom who would be celebrating 66 that day.  She'll be with us in spirit - strong and sparkling - as she once was in flesh.  Our hearts all more spacious for the love of her.

Monday, September 15, 2014

2 day pass

all I wanted to do friday after a very full week was nothing.
nada, nil, zilch.
but miss bit had her first riding lesson so we headed north to the farm in the cold dreary rain.
all she wanted to do was ride a horse.
and ride she did after short lessons on brushing and saddling up.
she and admiral were fast friends, even though he was slow and easy.
i made friends with winston, the overly friendly barn cat, and some free range chickens.
after her lesson, she made friends with every other horse on the farm.
she is a bit of a horse whisperer my equine loving little lady.
you see, while she went to the bathroom, i tried sweet talking the horses in the barn.
stall by stall they ignored me.
they averted their molten chocolate eyes uninterested.
but when miss bit returned to make her rounds stall by stall, each and every horse came to the gate for some sugar.
sweet talkin' not candy cubes.
it was really something quite humbling to witness the connection between girl and horse.
between horse and girl.
i woke up saturday morning rested and restored.
it was a perfect fall day.
crisp and cool football weather welcomed us.
t. bone played a tough defensive game.
the team lost in the final few seconds, but oh well.
lily went with grandma and grandpa for a 24 hour whirlwind including a fall festival, fireworks and a trail ride.
i think the last time my dad rode a horse was when i was about my daughter's age.
coach, t. bone and i opted out of a party in lieu of a chill saturday night.
we carried out our favorite steak tacos and settled in to watch mud.
mud was the goonies of the bayou and good, the mexican was great.
t. bone is now a three taco guy.
when did that happen? i wonder?
sunday afternoon we gathered at my bro and sil's
 for a bbq and a lucky packer victory.
it was a great family night at the end of a full weekend.
 it all ended too soon.
sunday night is still something of a shock to our systems this time of year.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Meditation.  Even if my cats find my stillness a challenge.  They rub on me, try to sit on my lap and purr in my face.

The concept of response versus reaction.  I'm working toward being more mindful of not only what I say and do, but also how I feel.

The recent changes in my relationship with my Dad.  We have always been close, but something has shifted and now I feel that our relationship is more authentic.

A belated birthday lunch with Candace.  I really cherish our friendship and feel so lucky to have her in my life because she is the real deal.  Real and true.

Lily has adjusted seamlessly to middle school.  She is up earlier every morning and enthusiastic about her day.  She is organized and on top of things too.  Last night I noticed that she was completing a task her reading teacher had not yet assigned.  When I asked her about it she told me, "Well, it's written on the board." That's my girl!

I had the opportunity to visit all of her teachers last night and I know she is in good hands.  The fifth grade team is absolutely stellar...not a weak link in the lot of them.

T. Bone is weathering a rather tough week thanks to a sore mouth as he preps for braces round II, a nagging cold and very little free time because of football. Ice cream, cold meds and hopes for a good game tomorrow are helping.

Quesadilla cheese.  It melts perfectly and is so so creamy.

The boys survived a trip to the vet.  It was their first in 3 years.  They each gained 2 pounds and now they are on a diet.  I tried to tell Dr. Frank that they are just big boned. They both also had a case of the stink eye.  Apparently, there is no known treatment for that.

Miss Bit had her first riding lesson today.  She was a little looking forward to this all day.  Heck, all week!  It was even more than she had hoped for.  I took like 500 pictures so stay tuned.  Oh and she'll be riding until December so I apologize in advance for the 5000 more I've yet to take.

And she is more excited for swimming too now that she found out a friend has joined the club.  Amen to that!

Fall theatre line ups at area high schools.  Miss Bit and I love to spend a Sunday afternoon at a show.

We survived the first full week.  The boys are out celebrating and strategizing over pizza and beverages with the football team.  Miss Bit and I are cozy at home with our girl's choice supreme pizza with extra onions. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Reading Rob Lowe's Love Life, which is a bit like deja vu after reading his first memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. I'm not liking it or him quite as much the second time around.

Wondering if 9/11 will come and go without an attack on U.S. soil. The last couple years, the date was somber in memoriam, but this year the fear and worry have returned front and center.

Noticing during my walk last week that some of the trees along the parkway have started to change colors.  The maples are always the first to start the seasonal transition, and I both love them and hate them for that.  It is such a slippery slope.

Watching Orange is the New Black.  I watched almost the whole season during one pity party of a day, but now I am much less obsessed. Also The Great Food Truck Race which is good for the whole family.  We recently saw and loved The Hundred Foot Journey. This summer movie season didn't offer much.  I'm anticipating numerous fall releases.

Listening to 80s pop radio.  I turned it on accidentally and then couldn't turn it off because every song is like a boomerang to a specific memory in my teenage past.  Jack and Diane used to be Jack and Kristin...I fantasized that John Mellencamp wrote the little ditty just for us.  Everybody Wants to Rule The World takes me back to Sara's garage where we would spend days and nights hanging out the Betties and the Buddies.  Lucky Star comes on and I'm in Utah. I'm on my Grandma's couch in the middle of a sleepless summer night.  I found MTV and I was addicted.

Eating the first apples that taste like anything since last fall and sautéed baby broccoli that tastes so much tastier than steamed regular broccoli.  I'm in a bit of a rut in the kitchen.  I'm burnt out by Wednesday because I've basically been a short order cook all summer, and with T. Bone's football appetite I could be feeding him full time.  I think packing school lunches put me over the brink. I'm gearing up for fall fare like soups and stews though.  I love that kind of cooking.  Groceries have gotten so expensive and shopping has become such a chore.  I have 5 stores on my rotation, and now I am serious about adding a small-town butcher too.  The meat we bought from him on a recent stop was so fresh and good.  It has forever soured me on grocery store meat, which is basically rotten by the time we buy it.

Drinking coffee, water and wine.  Tis' the season to substitute a mug off tea for my second cup of coffee.

Dreaming about having all the answers so I could stop waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.  Even a few of the answers would be welcome.  Helpful.  Liberating.

Feeling jittery and anxious.  Change does that to me even when I look forward to what is in the pipeline.  It's just the way I'm wired, but I'm working on that.

Wanting peace.  Inner, world.  I want to keep the peace, make peace and be at peace.

Wearing flip flops on my feet and a braid in my hair for as long as I can.

Hoping that I can stick to this meditation plan, which right now is to sit for 5 minutes a day.  I keep telling myself that I can do almost anything for 5 minutes, but it's getting harder not easier.  I think it's because I feel like I'm not making progress fast enough even while I know that is counterintuitive to the whole exercise.  Today I had a sneeze attack in the middle and that ended it for me.

Thinking that the very pursuit of happiness is the origin of our unhappiness because we seek satisfaction at the expense of the goodness right before us.  And also about enough.  Is it possible?  What does it even mean?

Enjoying the sound of the rain falling outside my open windows, the solitude of an almost empty house, sleeping with the windows open and a cool breeze on my bare skin, more time to myself in the mornings, being present in ordinary moments and tasks throughout the day.

Loving this piece by Dani Shapiro, this Meghan Trainor song, and this 5 minutes of latenight t.v.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2 day pass

this weekend was:
2 days off after 4 days on.
off, but not lazy.
rather full.
full of goodness like friday happy hour on the patio
and football saturday.
a first game victory for t. bone, and 2 quarters as quarterback.
followed by 18 holes of golf with uncle b. bone and
 a bat mitzvah celebration with friends.
my brother joined us for a brat fry saturday evening.
the starters were homemade salsa 2 ways and backgammon.
the finisher was brownies hot out of the oven...
and lots of laughs over burnt cork twin mustaches and you tube videos.
we met grandpa at the ballpark to cheer on our brewers sunday afternoon.
the game was a bit disappointing, but we enjoyed the beautiful day, company and concessions.
we all came down with a bit of the sunday blues as the day faded.
the days are getting shorter and the mornings and evenings not just cool, but chilly.
we're adjusting to back to school and the onset of fall.
or trying to.

Monday, September 8, 2014

On My Mind Monday

Many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment.

Ekhart Tolle

I finally finished 10% Happier.  The third time was a charm, and I ended up finding some value in Harris' journey to find more peace of mind.  I am intrigued to learn more about meditation from more credible practicers...more practiced pratitioners if you will.  Today was only day two for me.  I was looking forward to starting my day and week sitting, but I had an even more difficult time keeping my thoughts from roaming than the first time.  Five minutes felt like two though so I am hopeful that this is something that I can incorporate with great benefit into my daily routine.  Being mindfully is of utmost importance to me even as I struggle to do so continuously, and I have hope that meditation will be an outlet to help me better be. here. now. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...
Beginnings and endings.  This week marked the end of a pretty sweet summer and the beginning of the new school year.  Some of us were ready and some of us not just quite yet. T. Bone told my Dad that he just needed one more month.  I can relate to his sentiment even if I fall more in the ready camp.
I was wide awake at 4:30 a.m. on the first day of school.  Perhaps, I didn't have the jitters, but I did have a monkey of a mind.  I decided to head to the lake to watch the sunrise.  It's another entry on my list of 45, and it was a mostly clear morning.  The timing seemed serendipitous as I like to honor beginnings and endings.  The first day of school is both and a biggie.
I was the only one at the beach for long enough to feel my smallness and aloneness in the great expanse of this world.  I'm not talking about insignificance or loneliness here, but rather brevity and solitude.  It was peaceful and I have to say it...a little bit holy.  Divine.
I didn't cry, but I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.  I'll let these pictures serve as evidence of what a show I saw.  Hopefully, they'll inspire you to get up before the sun some morning and watch her come up over the horizon because believe you iphone does little justice to what I experienced with my own two eyes. There is something absolutely humbling about witnessing the creation of a brand new day.

I had to abandon my pierside perch before the sun was high in the sky so I could make a special breakfast and see off my new 5th and 8th graders.  This is a year of starting and ending points for my two.  It is her first year of middle school and she is all OMG!  It's his last year, and he is all ho hum.  I am pretty confident that the photographs below adequately portray said emotions, or lack thereof.  About the crepes though...he was ecstatic.

I'd forgotten how fast the school day goes, and also how I almost never get as much done as I hope and plan.  All that matters is that I got to the important things like library, walk and pedicure.  They both had stellar days and were in conversational moods when I picked them up.  Teddy had football practice, and Lily and I had plans to head to the beach for our annual after the first day of school swim.  Aunt Jess joined us even though neither of us was able to get very far in to the 58 degree freezing expanse.  Oh how I wanted to though.  Miss Bit finally summoned the fortitude.  She ran in, dove under, came up shrieking and ran out shivering.  It was even too cold for her and that is saying something.  I was both proud and envious that she took the plunge.

It struck me how evenfall is noticeably earlier every day, how the water is palpably colder every week, and how the waves have reclaimed more of the shore in the days since I'd last visited this spot of ours.  We are perched on the very cusp of fall.  I cannot shake this feeling that I want to stop time right here...right now...with so much goodness in our purview.  Seeing as how that is not possible, I will just commit to continuing to show up with an open mind, open eyes and an open heart.  I will gratefully be. here. now. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

2 day pass

after a week of much togetherness, coach and i enjoyed friday to ourselves.
we traveled north to port washington
where we walked along the water, shopped a little and had a nice dockside lunch.
the rainy forecast was errant...
it was a bright and breezy day.

lil returned from her waterpark birthday party
and the three of us went for happy hour at a local biergarten.
it was very family friendly -
there were more kids and dogs than beer drinkers.
we enjoyed sitting beneath the tall trees and beside the river at this quaint spot.
and also a couple games of spot it, and a giant pretzel too.

saturday this beauty had a back to school salon visit.
all the swimming this summer had taken a toll on her locks.
she's just happy that her hair is still long.

 we did some shopping at our favorite east side shops
to stock up on sciortino's rolls, glorioso's pizza fixings and whole foods homemade tortilla chips.
the chips accompanied miss bit's guacamole and my choriqueso, which we took to a badger party that eve.
we made sandwiches for the beach the next day on the rolls.
our neighbor declared his turkey sandwich a-m-a-z-i-n-g and wanted me to give his mom the recipe.
that is the second of ted's friends to say such a thing.
we woke to a sky of haze on sunday morning and worried that it wasn't the kind of day that screamed beach.
but a little fog and a few clouds do not deter this crew so we headed north to the sheboygan lake michigan shore.
the beach looked otherworldly ensconced in low lying clouds.
the grey blue sky melted into the grey blue water in the most magical of ways.
the water was numbingly freezing, but before too long we were all declaring it r-e-f-r-e-s-h-i-n-g!
we stayed long enough for the fog to lift, the sky to brighten and then the fog to return.

after all that swimming, we worked up quite an appetite.
while the dough rose for pizzas and the fire smoldered for smores, we chilled on the patio.
coach spotted this arachnid (spider just does not do him justice) in a beautiful web, peanut spotted a wee toad and i spotted a very fearless hummingbird moth.
our neighbors stopped by to get their son, and stayed until monday morning.
now they want to invest in coach's pizza palace.

today we woke to rain.
a few sprinkles cannot keep teddy off the course - he and a friend are golfing as i type.
miss bit is worrying about what she will wear to school tomorrow and when i will get off the computer so she can get on.
it will be a relaxing day spent close to home.
at the end of it, we will enjoy the last family dinner of the summer:
strawberry cream crepes for them and chicken marsala for us.
we'll say goodbye to summer vacation a tad begrudgingly, and hello to a new school year with a hint of excitement.
it's been real.
it's been fun.
it's been real fun.