Monday, February 23, 2009


So have you ever felt dis connected? I have been feeling that way lately. Today I spent time with my Dad and saw a man who is different than the man who raised me. He is old and feeble. His mind is changed due to alcohol. He is no longer the provider and caregiver but the one who is being cared for and watched over. He is not the person who is in my mind's eye when I speak with him on the telephone. At times I have glimmers of what or who he used to be but then he goes on to repeat the story he just told me or perhaps even asks about his age. Dis connected. or Differently connected. I am not sure.

To be honest I have felt a sense of dis connection since I learned of the tragic death of my cousin Coley last week. I googled him because I needed more information and found his Myspace page . Coley was a young, talented jazz musician. I listened to his music and looked at his photos and even though I was looking at a virtual stranger I saw something in his face. Last night I looked at his MySpace page again and clicked over to his wife's page I guess I should call her a widow now. She is an accomplished Jazz singer. I listened to her music and looked at her photos. I read the messages left on both of these pages and was struck by the fact that this man was my second cousin yet I did not know him. After reading the messages and looking at the photos and listening to the music I realized how much I would have enjoyed knowing this young man. Even though I had never met Coley when I looked at his photo, one in particular I saw myself and my brother, my uncle, his uncle, my other cousins. I saw my family in his face. Just typing these words brings up so much emotion. He was part of me, my family yet I never knew him. Knowing how I am feeling about this tragedy I can only imagine how his family feels right now.
Dis connected.

As a child my mother's family was a huge part of my life. My brother and I were the youngest of the cousins. According to our age we fit more with the second cousins than with the first. Yet I always gravitated toward my older cousins. It was with them that I belonged. I remember many family get togethers. These were happy times when we were all connected. We were connected through our mothers and fathers. They were the Mellett clan. Strong and loyal. We were connected. Over time with the loss of one brother and sister at a time the connections changed. I don't want to say they weekend because I still feel so drawn to this clan but things change. In my mind I understand that large families don't always remain in touch and that lives are busy. I get that but even with that conscious understanding my heart aches for those connections. Maybe they would make me feel the way I felt when I was young and carefree maybe not.

I wept today; feeling dis connected, longing to hear my mother's voice- her wisdom- her advise on how I can re connect. I wept today wanting to wish away the tragedy that has struck Coley's family. It seems to me with every new death I experience I find I am less able to manage. I have had much experience with death since I was a very young child I should be able to manage it by now, yet I don't.

I know that emotional upheaval is temporary. I know that I am blessed to be connected to my children and to my husband. I wish that I didn't yearn for more than what I have. But perhaps that is only human nature?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February Vacation

Wow did February vacation go by quickly! I can't believe we are going back to school tomorrow. I think we are all ready to go back. That being said it is always so nice to linger each morning when we are on vacation and enjoy unscheduled time together. Having a week of leisure makes it challenging to return to the mindset so that we can get back into our routine. We really did have a restful vacation. N had a friend over a couple of days and that was enjoyable for him. n doesn't seem to have as much luck in the play date department but she and I spent some quality time together. I always enjoy being with her. I guess I am lucky in that I truly do enjoy spending vacations with my children. I know that this time is fleeting and that it is important to not only enjoy this time but savor every second.

So we spent one afternoon at our local bowling ally with the cousins. It was fun. I'm always amazed by the muscles that I use when I bowl. They always hurt the next day. Even with all that effort it turns out that I haven't an ounce of talent in the bowling arena. We spent another day playing board games. We played Life, Connect Four, Checkers, and Clue. It was so much fun! n was the big time winner in the game of Life. N enjoyed more bowling at a friends birthday party yesterday. Today we all had an 'at home' day I prepared a turkey dinner and worked on portfolios for school with n's help while N tried to finish the book Dear Mr. Henshaw. He does not like this book yet it is assigned so he has to finish reading it tonight. Sigh...he is a procrastinator like his mother.

Now I must go and supervise reading and bed time.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

1-3 are courtesy of Mar this week. we go!

1. Give me lemons and I'll make lemonade.

2. Whenever I read Kyra's posts over at This Mom I am inspired .

3. I wish I had enough money to make life easier, no simpler for me and mine.

4. Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chouriso was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious.

5. To live in this world you have to be resilient and have faith in yourself, in a greater power and in human nature.

6. Other than this one, This Mom is the last blog I commented on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a movie with the fam, tomorrow my plans include bringing the kids out to buy birthday gifts for friends and having seafood for lunch and Sunday, I want to see snow and cook a turkey dinner!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Impromptu Visit

Well we had an unexpected visitor last night. Auntie A was off island and was able to spend the evening last night as well as most of the day today before going off to do errands and spend tonight with a friend who lives nearby.

Auntie A is the cool, pretty, fun Auntie. She is what I used to be to my nephew long before I had my own children. She is also what my Mom was to all of her many nieces and nephews before she married and had her family.

N enjoys Auntie's visits but n loves them. She has fun hanging with the big girls even if it is just sitting at the table together swapping stories as the grown ups enjoy a glass of wine or two. That is how we spent last night and then after the children went to bed A and I stayed up talking until well after midnight. It was such an enjoyable evening.

Today we had a leisurely morning. I made pumpkin bread and coffee and then mid morning we had a late breakfast of bread, fruit and scrambled eggs. All the while we were talking about what we would do for the rest of the day. We decided on going out with our cameras to take photos. A and I have SLR's and n used my point and shoot digital. It was so much fun. I learned how to use my RAW option on my camera and then edit the photos. It's like having a dark room in the computer. Very Cool. We even drove down to the beach. It was sunny but very cold and windy! I have missed the beach. I really wanted to plop down on the sand and sit but it was too cold for that kind of activity. So we took lots of pictures and vowed to bring Auntie back to the beach on a warmer day so that we could really walk and take some more pictures.

So when we got home it was time to eat lunch. It was decided that toasted peanut butter sandwiches would be had by all. Yumm! Auntie and I thought a drizzle of honey would be a nice addition to the sandwiches. Well let me tell you it was delicious! but there was a hitch to the yummy lunch......about 15 minutes after we ate I started getting this strange feeling in my face. I ignored it at first but then my face got increasingly hot, tingly and a bit itchy. The feeling went from my cheeks down under my chin and to my neck. I looked in the mirror and it was apparent that I was having some kind of allergic reaction. Yuck! I have to say I was a bit distressed by the whole thing. I searched for adult benadryl but of coarse the only thing we had in the house was chewable grape kids benadryl. I took it. I had to. I was getting nervous. The medicine was gross!!! To top things off n was getting me a glass of water an ended up falling and hurting the point that she was crying on the floor. Sigh!

N went to play at his buddy's house down the street so n and I just hung out an rested.

A good day all in all. I wonder if I'm allergic to the honey. I hope it isn't the peanut butter. I have had both foods many times before. Very strange. Any thoughts?

That's all for now.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Reading for Fun

So things have been a bit crazy over the last several days. I received word from my Uncle that one of my second cousins was in the crash in Baltimore. Even though I didn't know this person or his immediate family well; the news sent me reeling. This young man was an accomplished musician and a joy to his family. I feel just awful for his parents who are now grieving the death of their son. I can't imagine what they are going through. I've found myself drawn to the news about this crash as well as the memorial sites that have been set up for my cousin. News like this tends to stop me in my tracks.

In an effort to remove myself from this mindset I started reading a book for run! I have little free time these days for reading for enjoyment. Now that I have a week off I intend to set a good example and show the children how much I enjoy recreational reading. So on Saturday I began reading The Friday Night Knitting Club.

I finished it last night at 12:30. What an awesome book. The characters were interesting and felt like friends by the end of the story. It was truly one of those books that I didn't want to end. The good news is that there is a sequel called Knit Two. I'm going to get it today and I'll let you know if it is as good as the first.

I'm hoping to get back to my daily writing practice this week. We'll see..


Thursday, February 12, 2009


So we're celebrating Valentine's day with the children at school today. They have been very excited. We've had themed materials out all week so that the children could create valentines for family and friends. They made beautiful watercolor paintings and then used glue and heart shaped cookie cutters to add glitter onto their cards. The children created beautiful collage art by cutting wallpaper samples in red and pink colorways. I'll try to take photos and post them here. You'll be so impressed by there creativity.

Yesterday I posted a picture of the wax print process that I use to create my cards. This is similar to what I used to create many of my Valentines. Maybe I'll set them up and take a quick photo to post. Anyway I hope the families appreciate the time and effort that went into creating each of the cards.

Happy Thursday.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wow! I have been so neglectful of my blog over the last week. I haven't even been keeping up with my blog reading. I guess I've just been very tired. The last weeks leading up to school vacation usually feel this way. Vacation always comes in the nick of time. This week we've had storms come through our area and we have been observing a waxing moon that will be full on Feb 9th. Anyone who teaches will confirm that these two things apart can influence mood and behavior in a class never mind when they happen together. So I'm tired. But it's OK because after next week we have a week off to rest and recharge for the next six week stretch.

I have some exciting news with regards to my Stand for Children work. Over the last year we have really been working on building our relationship with the local school department. Well the persistence has paid off as I have been invited to represent Stand on the Strategic Planning Committee that will be looking at our school district, researching best practices and deciding what needs to be improved so that we best meet the needs of all the children in our town. It means more meetings and work for me but I am so excited. I attended my first meeting last week and came home with a 5" thick binder and materials from the first meeting that I didn't attend and homework from this meeting. The group is thoughtful and positive and my first meeting left me feeling hopeful. The process is being facilitated by an outside company that has done this work in other school systems. I'll keep you updated.

So today I saw the strangest thing when I went over to visit with my Dad. Driving up his road, in a small cluster of trees, there was a flock of robins. There must have been at least 30 birds in this group of trees. It was very strange. I wish I had my camera so I could have documented what I saw. Any thoughts?

Well that's all for now.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl

Well it is a disappointment that the New England Patriots are not playing this year. It makes the Super Bowl rather irrelevant for me, yet I am watching anyway. Mainly I like to watch for the commercials. I have not picked a favorite yet but it is only 7:30 so I have time. What about the National Anthem sung by Jennifer Hudson. She has such a beautiful voice and I thought she was very poised as she sang. What a difficult year she has had. Tragedy touches everyone.

So in light of not having a team to root for tonight the kids wanted to know who we want to win. Well R and I both agree that we are hoping the Cardinals win. R wants them to win for Kurt Warner's sake, he's older, was bagging groceries before he played football and so what he beat the Patriots once in the super bowl. So What! He has a good story. I however want them to win for a completely different reason. As some of you who read this blog know, the cardinal was my Mum's favorite that's why I want them to win.

Now I'm going to return to watching the previously scheduled program....

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