Saturday, November 28, 2015

To Read or Not to Read

"It occurred to her then that life was conical in shape, the past broadening beyond the sharp point of the lived moment.  The more life you had, the more the base expanded, so that the wounds and treasons that were nearly imperceptible when they happened stretched like tiny dots on a balloon slowly blowing up.  A speck on the slender child grows into gross deformity in the adult, inescapable, ragged at the edges."

~ Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies

To be human is to be flawed.  That's why I instantly felt drawn to Lotto and Mathilde, who were more alike than different at the end of the day and equally fractured.  This is not just a story about marriage.  The questions I was left with as I closed the book had to do with character and existence.  Destiny and passion too.

At first I felt like I was reading The Unfortunates again, so similar were the quirky characters and their life dreams.  It made me think of something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about in Big Magic.  She talked about a novel she wanted to write set in the Amazon the idea for which she never shared with anyone.  In the long stretch of time she cultivated the idea although not to fruition, she met with Ann Patchett who had almost the very same idea.  The idea later became Patchett's acclaimed work State of Wonder.  Gilbert went on to write Eat, Love, Pray, and mused on this not as uncanny coincidence, but rather the life force of the story seeking a host, a teller.  The right teller.  She concedes that ideas have their very own energy, which they plant as inspiration in the heads and hearts of storytellers.  It is, at least, an interesting premise.

The quote above is interesting too.  I think as children it is our innocence that makes us resilient.  As we age and endure and wisen to ourselves, we realize the myriad of ways our scars and wounds shape us.  It is at times overwhelming, but also liberating. 

 Fates and Furies is a good read.  So read it.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

It is the day after Thanksgiving.  Yesterday started out stellar: coffee, books, cat cuddles and parade watching with my best girl, a walk with my guy even though it was soggy, and delicious turkey dinner over the river and through the woods with family.  But something was off with me...for me, and it wasn't just missing my Mom or her zucchini casserole.  While I didn't feel downright sad, I didn't feel very sociable either.  Some holidays...some days...are like this and it's best to move on.

Early mornings.  I was the first to rise this morning.  I curled up on the couch to finish Fates and Furies.  Mathilde is a textbook emotional vampire...the kind of character I love to hate. Then I started a couple new books while I waited for the rest of my family to wake.  All day I've returned when I've had a few free minutes to read a story or chapter.

A lazy day.  It's been cold and grey.  Still is.  Perfect for reading and writing and snuggling and snoozing.

Bindi won.  Finally watched the last episode today. What a class act she is for such a young woman.

Mike for taking Lily shopping today on dreaded Black Friday.  She was in the market for a new lap top.  While I'm not sure she really needs one, she's been saving her dog sitting earnings to buy one, and it was a goal we were proud to watch her patiently, proudly achieve.

Teddy has a standing shoveling job for our neighbor.  She called after her interaction with him the other day to thank us for raising such a kind young man.  She just wanted to tell us how respectful and fair he was. 

Hardworking, responsible children.

Loving too.  Lily penned the most thoughtful letter to us detailing why she is so grateful for her family.  

A little Christmas spirit today.  Frasier fir candle, egg nog latte, a wee shopping.  The extent of my shopping was a stop at Pier One for my favorite Li Bien ornaments and Trader Joe's for boxwood wreaths.  The ornament I wanted for Lily was already in short supply and I got the last two wreaths.  

My uncle is on the road to recovery after extensive heart surgery.

My aunt invited me and Lily over tomorrow to bake cookies since we don't exactly have a baker's kitchen right now.  I'm not sure we'll be able to take her up on the offer, but I very much appreciated her thoughtfulness.

Lily tried and liked Brussels sprouts the other night.  She asked to try them and then she asked for more.

Monday, November 23, 2015

two day pass

the weekend felt long.
i think it might have something to do with our very first snowfall.
waking up to a world whitewashed saturday slowed time.
the kids were happy.
i was most content too curled up with a good book, a strong coffee and a couple cats.
this weekend i started fates and furies.
i liked it right away, but it's not the kind of book i can slip into and out of effortlessly.
that is to say i didn't read as much as i schemed.
i had visions of holing up in flannels all weekend long.
but duty calls, and it turns out as much as i love to spend time with my books,
i much prefer the company of my real life children.
friday was pizza and movie night.
lily and i cued up the age of adeline while ted went to see bond with friends.
she cried all the way through already grasping at the tender age of 11 that to never grow old would mean living through too many losses.
sunday we all enjoyed the mockingjay even if i might have rathered a viewing of love the coopers.
when i offered to forfeit my ticket to ted's friend, both the kids seemed sincerely disappointed.
saturday i hung out with ted in my basement kitchen.
he played video games and enjoyed having an audience while i realized it is possible to boil noodles in the micowave.
noodles for homemade mac & cheese, which the kids have been craving and the tuna casserole i've been dreaming about.
i also cranked out a batch of banana muffins and a spinach pie.
lil came home from softball practice and a swim date, ted left for open gym and jess came for dinner.
we ordered in.
coach came home from hunting sunday afternoon very happy for a shower.
we watched the packers win before turning in early for bed.
this is a short holiday week.
there's a chill in the air that feels festive and a hint of charged excitement too.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Change.  It's good.  Good and hard.  Although, it was swift and sudden and easy to decide to chop off all my hair.  I haven't missed it.

Imitation.  It is the finest form of flattery.  This beaut envied my hair endlessly until I caved and made an appointment for her.  Now we're twinning.

Competition.  It's healthy.  Form and function.

Cupcakes as big as your head...

In celebration of Mike/Dad.  Celebrate everything...everyone!  Especially family.

Happy Birthday wishes.

Books.  There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for books.  Last week I especially loved Did You Ever Have A Family.  Did you ever read this?  If not, please do.

These two bundles of cuteness and unconditional love.

The soft heart she has for every small creature.

 Big creatures too.

She's back in the saddle.  She fell off her horse last week.  Luckily she only bruised her ego.

These flower girls: Lily and Daisy.  And her smile.  It melts my heart.  Her tears break my heart. She got into the car yesterday and lost it.  She declared it, "The worst day ever."  I couldn't argue with how sucky it was to lose a long-term project or to have to start over basically from scratch the night before it was due.  She was smiling again and headache-free before dinner.

November.  We've enjoyed a stretch of Indian summer days: soft breezes and shining sun.  No matter the time of day, to look up is to feel that surge of inspiration that is always waiting for a summons.

Beauty in barrenness. 

Mother Nature's expressive palette.

Skies that deliver messages.

A sun that continues to shine and warm even as the days grow shorter.

Feeling humbled by it all.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Diary of a New Kitchen - Part I

This remodel is a long long time coming.  A decade of dreaming.  We knew we wanted to gut the kitchen the day we moved in ten years ago.  But as other things like new furnaces, chimneys, windows, air conditioners happened we sort of learned to appreciate the antique aesthetics.  Then last November the double ovens blew.  They ceased to operate on the same day after a marathon weekend of roasting.  We bought a counter top oven and agreed to table the project until after the holidays.  January arrived and we started to meet with contractors and designers.  In the first ten months of the year while we obviously took our time finding the right fit, the rest of the appliances dropped like flies.  I've been making due with a skeleton crew.  Honestly, we've been more than making due, which is why we didn't feel pressured to speed the plow.  That is until it became clear what we wanted and who we wanted to work with.  That was roughly a month ago.  The kitchen won't be complete until after the first of the year, but already there has been much progress.

1 week before demo

Clocks will return.

Soffits will be removed.

In fact, everything will be taken out.

New appliances are on order.

The sink will finally be centered.

New windows are on order too.

Night before demo

It looks so sad and bare.

I'm not the least bit sad to get rid of this gold.

Or these built in ovens.

A new window that actually opens is one of the most coveted inclusions.

Goodbye formica and linoleum.

Day 1 of demo

It's a bare box.

The minute Ralph leaves, he comes out of hiding.

Day 2 of demo 

 Down to the studs.

 There were no surprises behind the walls.

Curious cats.

Last week

 Electrical, plumbing, heating and insulation were put in before the drywall was put up.  It was dusty, but much less so than I anticipated.


The walls were painted Durham beige.


 I made dinner in our makeshift basement kitchen.

Beef stew and garlic bread.

It's a little comical and irritating to have to go out the front door to the garage where the full-size refrigerator is, but it could be worse.  We could have to trudge through the snow.  It's a bit annoying and challenging to feel my way in the dark to my Keurig to make a pot of coffee, but turning on the fluorescents instantly blows a fuse.   I've learned not to run the microwave and the oven at the same time for the same reason, and to take a basket on my refrigerator pilgrimages.  We're adapting and maybe just enjoying the adventure a little bit.  And really I'm not cooking any less.  Between my crock pot, my panini press, the microwave, the oven and Mike's grill, we're still preparing delicious homemade meals most of the time.  Last night I even made an apple crisp so we're more than surviving.  Life is good and this kitchen is going to be so much appreciated.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I've stayed away from this space the past week not because I have been without words, but because I thought it better to keep them to myself.  I have felt quick to judge and condemn and also feeling judged and condemned.  Funny how what we reap is what we sow.  Often cliches are overused for good reason.  In retreating I did garner a few nuggets that I want to put down here lest I forget them. Make no mistake...I will forget them.


I think communicating via text and email is both brilliant and indicative of everything wrong with our society.  It's so smart when you just need to send someone a quick missive, but it lacks or misrepresents the nuances of tone and delivery.  It's near impossible to convey warmth so we don't even try.  And think of the language associated with electronic communication:  I'll shoot you a text, fire me a message, I'll ping you, tag him. It's borderline combative and at best all business, which is often appropriate, but more often not.  I got a text from someone this week that came out of the clear blue and was all business.  I haven't heard from this person in at least a year.  The text had no greeting.  I read it like a slap in the face.  Even though I waited for days to respond hoping that the sting would fade, it didn't.  When I finally responded, I was careful with my words, yet still not proud of my bristly reaction.  It would have been better not to respond at all, or to pick up the phone. God forbid.


Know that not everything is about you.  I think this individual is feeling a little frazzled right now hence the curt message.  Even the most enlightened among us are narcissistic, me focused beings.  (And I'm not saying I'm one of the enlightened ones). I didn't stop to think of her situation before I allowed myself to feel slighted even though I was well aware of why she might be spread thin.  I made it about me me me.  My ego.  My feelings.  


Talk and share.  Listen and validate.  Those people you have transparent, open communication with...the ones you can be honest with and comfortable being so almost always, recognize the beautiful gift it is to relate in such a way.  There are a dear few people in my life that I have this type of relationship with.  The basis of these unions is mutual trust and mutual respect.  When the trust and the respect aren't free flowing both ways, it's impossible to be vulnerable.  Without vulnerability, we aren't able to be open...we cannot grow in our relationship.  I don't have a lot of friends, yet I am rich in friendship.  Quality over quantity.


Trust your intuition.  It's almost never wrong.  If you feel something, it is true.  Go with it.


Go to church.  Just like exercise, I never regret it.  Father Tim's 3 things this week (and there are always 3) were largely responsible for my getting over myself long enough to cobble together this post.  His words of inspiration together with my own procrastination.


Don't procrastinate.  I should be...I promised myself I'd be cleaning out my closets right now.  It is a loathsome task and so I'm avoiding it despite the fact that it is long long overdue.  I'm here clearing out my head instead of cleaning out my stuff so there's that.


Accumulate less.  I have a friend who always gets rid of one thing when she acquires another.  She is my idol and not because she often gives her lovely discards to me.  Too much stuff is gross and suffocating. It feels good to get by with less.  It's my goal to surround myself with the things that I love and only them.


Sometimes all you need is a pizza (Homerun) and movie night (Jurassic World) mid-week to keep the blues at bay.  It rained all day yesterday.  All night too so I decided it was perfect to snuggle in all 6 of us gathered in the family room.  At first the resident teenager declined, but we were able to sway him.


Never give up on the teenagers.  Keep asking, hugging, listening, loving even when it seems that they want none of it...of us.


The universe isn't against you.  Just because you bought all new appliances except a washing machine and a dryer and now that 20 year old dryer is on the fritz, know it's coincidence not conspiracy.  Call the repair man and move on.


There are times we all need to put our heads in the sand.  It's OK to evoke the ignorance is bliss card now and again.  It's a sad world we live in when you feel like you need a shower to slough off the fear and loathing after watching the nightly news.

Monday, November 16, 2015

On My Mind Monday

"Funny how disasters can make you see what you could lose."

~Bill Clegg
Did You Ever Have A Family

Funny in the sense of true.  We so often take so much for granted. Then something happens to make us see clearly how much is at stake.  Usually it's something seismic. This was a quick, but striking read.  Lydia and June, the protagonists, are archaeologists who must delve into the past and make peace with it in order to move forward with a beautiful abundance of grace.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

two day pass

i love weekends.
it's no epiphany.
it's just the truth.
this past weekend certainly was no exception.
it held a just right mix of improve and structure.
i have accepted that i don't have much desire to make plans on friday nights.
friday nights are for decompressing and pizza.
quiet friday nights in make it all the more possible to wake early on saturday mornings.
saturday is the best day so it ought to be the longest.
mike and i picked out our slab and also our pendants first thing.
then we picked up the kids and headed out for breakfast.
i was impressed by how quickly they motivated and dressed.
eggs never tasted so good.
the boys tackled the yard while lily and i did a little shopping.
she needed breeches and gloves for riding.
i dropped her at pitching practice, and ted went to hang out with friends.
we grilled dinner, watched a movie and were in bed early again.
sunday started with church and then held the normal mix of chores, homework and football.
i met jess for dinner.
we met stella.
she's a 9 week old beagle pup who is cute even while she is peeing on a menu on the bar.
we shared a nice tempranillo and a sampling of pinchos the stand out of which were the brussel's sprout chips with lemon aioli and a short rib tagliatelle topped with manchengo that melted in our mouths.
we both were grateful we were able to experience the lion.
it was different than any show i have seen before.
it's still with me days after.
and, of course, now i'm already thinking of the weekend to come.

Monday, November 9, 2015

On My Mind Monday

I'll tell you something was once told to me about the way that we weather the storm.  It's not how long the rain falls or how hard the wind blows or how deep is the snow in the road, nor the balance we fake when we feel the ground shake and we think that our world will explode.  It's the help that we give, it's the love that we live, it's our pride and the friendships we form. It's the courage we show facing things we don't know, it's the way that we weather the storm.

~ Benjamin Scheuer

Jess and I saw the last performance of The Lion  last night.  Turns out it was the perfect way to end the weekend.  Scheuer is talented and genuine and he bears his soul for all to hear.  There were laughs and there were tears. Cookie Tin Banjo was a favorite of mine.  After the show, we stopped for a night cap even though it was a school night.  The experience was intense and raw, and we needed to wind down.  And it was a beautiful, fun evening  we weren't all too excited to see end.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Years are Minutes

What should I dream about?  she asks me every night as I turn out her light and turn to leave.  It's as if I'm the trusted keeper of the magic of the night. Although so often I'm caught off guard and my suggestions are uninspired or off the cuff. On good nights I might say Africa or Diana Nyad or Heaven.  

Do you actually dream about the people or places I suggest? I've asked. She has affirmed.  This confirmation nudges me to take my invitations on who or where to visit more thoughtfully.  I wonder how much longer she'll ask me this.  I wonder how many more nights she'll look to me with kaleidoscope eyes for a dream prompt.

Slowly and then all at once, they grow up, they go on.  It occurs to you one day that it's been awhile since you've visited playgrounds, kissed boo boos, or looked under beds and in closets for monsters or boogeymen.  Then one night you go to tuck them in and they're already fast asleep holding onto books you cannot believe they are already old enough to read.  

Day by day they need us less and less.  It's so subtle the stealth way childhood slowly slips away.  A mother's sudden realization is stark and sobering though.  I always thought there'd be one more bedtime story, another visit to Santa,  a few more pleas to have tea parties or rounds of hide and seek. We think we have so much time, and suddenly they are tall and wise and driving away as we stand in the driveway and wave while smiling and crying.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Facing fears. Last night Lily had a first swim meet of the season and she was all nerves.  When I told her she was signed up for the IM which includes a lap of the butterfly, I could tell that she was even more worried.  I let the coach know she had trepidation over that one stroke.  She told me that Lily is one of the best kids on the team and one of the only swimmers who could do it.  And she did.  She looked very comfortable too, and was beaming with pride when she finished.  Before we were even home, she was talking about next week's meet and hoping to compete in the IM again.

Going for it.  On the way to get my haircut this week, I decided to cut it all off.  Then before I could change my mind which I am want to do, my stylist cut off my pony tail.  I remained calm even when she cut it chin instead of shoulder-length.  I'm actually loving the new length.  It was time for a change.  I'm finally feeling comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone.

Being open.  I've been not open lately.  I didn't realize the extent of it until I felt myself absorbing instead of repelling.  I cannot say exactly what changed my mood either.  Too many variables were involved at once. I'm reminded of when my kids were first introduced to solids. I was so careful to expose them to one new food at a time so I would know what was the cause of any reaction.  Yea, well, I changed a bunch of things at the same time so I'm left with only hunches.  But maybe I don't need to know why I feel unencumbered emotionally, physically and spiritually...just that I do.

This Thich Nhat Hanh quote:

What happens in the present moment?  In the present moment, you are producing thought, speech, and action.  And they continue in the world.  Every thought you produce, , anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.  Action is called karma.  And that's your continuation.  When this body disintegrates, you continue on with your actions.  Like the cloud in the sky.  When the cloud is no longer in the sky, it hasn't died.  The cloud continued in other forms like rain or snow or ice.  Our nature is the nature of no birth and no death.  It is impossible for a cloud to pass from being to nonbeing.  And that is true with a beloved person. They have not died.  They have continued in many new forms and you can look deeply and recognize them in you and around you.

This book.  My overall takeaway from After This is that death does not change love.  It changes us and hopefully in ways that inspire us to live our best lives while we are here.

Hearing.  Lily came home today with hurt feelings and my heart was breaking for her.  She needed me to be a safe place.  To listen.  To hug.  To validate and understand.  The thing is...I do understand. It's hard being a girl even when you're a grown woman.


End of day.

Beginning of night.


 The last remaining leaves.

The end of the bouquet.

Feeling...ready for some family time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I'm almost finished with After This. Bidwell Smith's exploration of the question of where we go when we die is a weighty one.  A controversial one.  And for me it is a question that I don't need an exact answer to.  I have strong faith that our souls live on.  This strength comes down to the word faith for me.  Faith is not needing to know empirically or rationally or absolutely.  Faith is belief suspended. My proof lives within me. It is something I know by not knowing.


I feel at peace in my faith even as it exists in relation to my religious beliefs.  Religion and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. I can be religious and not spiritual.  I can be spiritual and not religious.  I am both, and I have found that they are rather compatible believe it or not.  The longer my religious and spiritual journeys are the less often I find myself asking questions like Why? or How? I'm a spiritual being having a human experience and that's the crux of what I need to know. 


My friend Rose said goodbye to her mother on Saturday.  She was with her when she took her last breath. I was on my couch reading After This and thinking of Rose.  I was thinking of her because I knew her Mom was near her end, but also because Rose took me to my first and only experience with a medium a little over 5 years ago. Incidentally, Rose visited a medium before the end of the day Saturday, and what she shared with me about that experience brought tears to my eyes. 


When Rose suggested the physic circle led by her friend, a medium, what feels like a lifetime ago, I was just a little apprehensive.  My trepidation attributable not to any preconceived notions about conjuring the dead, but that my Mom wouldn't come through...couldn't come through.  Before she died, I beseeched her to send me signs.  She said she would if she could.  We never agreed on a singular talisman.  I didn't want to limit the possibilities.  Within days, it became clear to me to pay attention to birds like the owl prone on a branch in the middle of the day watching me like a hawk as I hiked hurting over my loss and humbled that life goes on.  The truth is I'd had many signs in the months after her death so I didn't want to be greedy.  There was a circle complete with loved ones looking for comfort and connection.  Why shouldn't it be one of them?


My Mom was never a wallflower is why.  She came through with a couple of messages that brought me incredible happiness and healing.  She let me know that she would be at my brother's upcoming wedding, that she is with my children often and then she told me that she knows I miss her only Martina said it like this, "She KNOWS you miss her (alright already).  She hears you EVERY night."  I didn't see or hear my Mom that night, but I felt her.  I truly felt her.  Our reading was cut short when my friend's mother came through with a message for her.  What she said concerned me at the time, but gives me chills now knowing what I know.


I know what I know.  Knowing is a double-edged sword.  There is healing in knowing that our loved ones are with us, but it is hard to reconcile that they are so close and still so out of reach.  The thing is that they come closer when we open our minds, when we talk to them, ask of them, invite them.  I haven't been doing that lately.  That's going to change.


I had a dream of my Mom before waking the other early morning.  It woke me.  I was still in the dark for a minute or two replaying it in my head...committing it to memory.  It felt like much more than a dream.  I told myself that I needed to remember it when the day dawned.  I promised to figure out what it meant.  The only thing I remembered an hour later was my Mom telling me that it wasn't a dream, but then I knew that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Inventory

Reading I recently read and was very much inspired by  Life From Scratch. There are many recipes I'm anxious to try when I have a new and fully functional kitchen. I finally finished The Rocks this past week and all I can say is 'meh.'  The characters were poorly developed and unlikable, and the story had potential, but it never delivered.  I was bored and at times annoyed, but stuck with it.  I wanted to find out what the big secret was.  The climax never came.  It was all hype.  Do yourself a favor and skip this one.  There are too many other gems waiting to enlighten or at least entertain.  Now I'm reading After This: When Life is Over Where do we go? and I'm finding it to be the right book at the right time.  Bidwell Smith explores this question that so intrigues me with a mostly open mind.  Read this if you are open to life after death.

Wondering what I'll read next.  I've got a growing stack, but I haven't had much time to devote to it lately.  I've read 30 books so far this year, I only wish I had time to double that.

Noticing that a weight has been lifted.  I am making decisions and changes that have alluded me for much longer than I care to admit.  

Watching DWTS and rooting for Bindi, that ball of energy and positivity.  I have to admit that I'm usually repelled by Pollyannas, but I feel she is authentic and genuine, and my heart goes out to her for losing her father at such a young age.  I have tickets to see 
The Lion this week.  They were for tonight, but now I have a funeral.  I so want to see this show that I turned them in and paid 50% more to go at the very convenient time of 7:00 on Sunday night.  

Listening to music for the first time in awhile.  It's part of feeling lighter and inspired and open.  This morning it is Rickie Lee Jones and Simon and Garfunkel.  I thought about breaking out the Christmas tunes the other day, but it's been 70 degrees every day this week.  That just doesn't jive.  I'm getting out my Vince Guaraldi in honor of the Peanuts movie opening up this weekend.

Eating thoughtfully.  It's what has to happen when your kitchen is disassembled.  The frig is in the garage and our makeshift (yet rather functional) kitchen is in the basement.  I thought we'd have to eat out so much more, but we've been able to prepare most of our meals just a little more simply.  

Drinking coffee from my new Keurig with a new to me almond milk creamer I found.  I'm picky about what goes in my coffee.  This is healthy and it tastes delish!

Wanting nothing.  I feel satisfied and I'm embracing the spirit of 'enough.'  We need so much less than we have and we want so much more than we have.  It's not healthy.  And I'm not just referencing material things. We crave experiences, we covet characteristics, we yearn for more time, more sleep, more happiness, more more more.  What if we come from the place that we have all that we need?

Wearing summer clothes still and not complaining.  There'll be plenty of time for boots and sweaters and scarves.

Hoping the rain holds off until I get out for a walk soon. It's another grey Wednesday and that is what I love.  I don't, however, love getting caught in the rain.

Thinking about the thin veil between the living and the dead.  I experienced it when I went to a psychic circle about 5 years ago.  It was an amazing experience, but I haven't gone again.  I'm wondering if it's time.  I'm thinking this deserves a post of its own.

Enjoying the sublime fall we have had here in the midwest, curling up at the end of the day with Lily and the cats to snuggle and read, Jimmy Fallon's trick or treat candy pranks, forward motion and decision over indecision, and also trusting intuition.

Loving  showing up to write again, the word hiraeth and what it means, and this Anne Dillard quote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."  It's a reminder to make it all count.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

two day pass

the weekend was a long exhale after a frenetic week of illness and chaos.
it was the kind of week that had me questioning how much more we could take aloud and angry.
it was the kind of weekend that reminded me that there are always people to turn to and count on.
family and friends who show up where and when you most need them.
friday my brother and sil came bearing bags full of snacks and libations for happy hour.
it was so thoughtful and appreciated along with my sil's design advice.
it was the perfect send off for the week and segue into the weekend.
saturday i woke at the crack of dawn although it was hard to tell.
it was a dark and dismal scene.
perfect for a slow and lazy entry.
the sky spit all day long.
normally i see this and i smile, but i knew it would put a damper on trick or treat.
mike and i met our contractor and designer at a showroom first thing and made some more choices.
plumbing and lighting this time.
i don't see myself ever building a house for the record.  
jess came at my urging invitation to help get lily witched in the afternoon.
a little rain was not going to put a stop to her candy canvasing. 
for years many years ago, my mom was beside me on this day so it can be a rough one for me.
it's much less so with jess here.
ted decided not that he's too old for trick or treat, but that it was too wet.
he went to work out and hang out with friends.
completely age appropriate behavior.
we ordered chinese for dinner.
it was a takeout smorgasbord and food coma inducing. 
sunday i woke early again, but to an entirely different day.
it was bright and billowy...beautiful.
i may even like the lighter morning hour more than i miss the longer day.
the high point of the weekend for me was returning to mass on sunday.
it set the tone for the day.
my dad met us at home after church with his heavy duty leaf blower.
in an hour and half flat, our yard looked like a putting green.
it was a lifesaver.
he was a lifesaver.
we came together for sunday lunch before going our separate ways.
then we gathered again for sunday dinner: grilled tenderloin, roasted brussels sprouts and buttery garlic bread made for a simple, but satisfying meal.
the lessons for the weekend were as easy as: say 'yes,' say 'no', say 'i'm sorry' and say 'thank you.'
i said them all on repeat.