Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Ark?

Well no we won't need an ark here at my house. I was thinking we might for a bit yesterday. The rain has all but stopped and the forecast is for clouds with a chance of showers. We ended up with more than 5" of rain during this last storm. A small amount compared to towns in R.I. where they had over 9" of rain dumped on them over the last two days. Such destruction water can cause. Across the state roads have closed, homes have been flooded and entire neighborhoods have been cut off from the rest of their towns due to this crazy weather. In my neck of the woods we are dry and save although the woods across the street from us and next to our driveway were flooded. The storm drain out in front of our house filled to capacity and flooded the road. Yesterday the town sent out a truck to investigate. Four town workers jumped out to look at the puddle, take pictures and assess the situation. R was home so he went down to see what they were doing. When he spoke to them they had no idea there were even storm drains on the street. They also thought the huge flood in our neighbors back yard was the 'run' off site. R gave them the facts. Yes we have storm drains that have needed to be cleaned out for months and the run off site was the 'pond' up the street. When he asked these four town workers what they were going to do about the flooded road they replied that they didn't know. So it took four people to figure that out? Very interesting. Thankfully with the end of the rain the flood waters have receded. We now have an ever growing pothole in front of our house as well as a crumbling burm in front of our mailbox. Nothing in comparison to the news reports of basements full of ever rising water that threatens to spill into first floor living spaces. I think we are very fortunate to live on a little hill where we can stay dry and safe.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays!

So it was a rainy day here by the ocean. The wind blew things around the deck and made quite a bit of noise throughout the morning. It would have been a great day for a nap, but I was able to maintain productivity throughout the day!
  • Ironing is complete
  • 7 conferences were written with my co teacher S
  • banking errand was accomplished
  • kitchen was cleaned
Not a bad days work. Now I feel like I could put my head down and fall asleep. I will resist the urge however as after just such a nap yesterday at about this same time I ended up with a bit of insomnia last night brought on by a case of indigestion When I awoke at 1:30am I tried turning on the TV but that didn't help especially with the cacophony of whistles, snorts and snores emanating from the other side of the bed. At 2 am I was comfortably settled on the old couch downstairs watching HGTV. I figure I fell back to sleep around 3am only to wake again at 6am when I heard R's alarm ring. It was good that today was Monday and I could stay inside and take things slow and easy.

So now I sit listening to the rain dance down the drain spout; the cars splash through the flooded road in front of my home; and my children work diligently on the homework they love to complain about. I could sit and loose myself in thought but my day is not done. Diner duty and nigh time rituals soon approach, but for now, this moment, I will just sit and listen.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

And So It Begins...

Well we met with the three real estate agents today. The day started at 9:30 and didn't come to a close until 2:00. It was exhausting. I was expecting resistance from my brother and did see a bit of what I expected, but not to the extent that I had anticipated. I had not expected my SIL to show up as I had been told that they were not getting along but she popped upstairs as the second presentation began with little J in tow. So annoying. She had nothing positive, constructive or helpful to say. As a matter of fact what she did say seemed to be focused on derailing the process and making sure that the agents knew exactly how bad of a condition the house is in. Supposedly the downstairs is in worse condition than the upstairs. Hard to believe considering the downstairs was completely stripped to studs and renovated 8 years ago. Infuriating. One pleasant result from the sale of Dad's home will be that I will not have to run into her any longer. There are few people that I dislike as much as I dislike her. That's another post all together.

Anyway the agents came in and shared their philosophies, their companies philosophies and their marketing strategies. The only agent who came on time was the last one. Prices thrown around ranged from 250K to 350K. We are leaning toward the last agent. She had a two pronged marketing approach that included some traditional marketing as well as a proactive marketing approach that relied heavily on technology. Before we sign with anyone we will be spending two weeks to clean out the yard and the house. The curb appeal will be the most important in my opinion so that people can envision putting up their own home on the property.

The entire day was exhausting. I just want the entire process to be over. I am a bit disappointed as I don't think we will get as much for the home as I originally thought, but what can we do.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care

So Teddy Kennedy must be looking down smiling now that health care reform is moving forward. I must say that while I totally agree that we need a better system I am woefully uninformed on what this bill actually means for our country. It worries me that this basic need is such a divisive topic for our country. Our elected officials have succumbed to heckling each other and spreading inaccurate information.... in the name of what? profit? big business? pharmaceutical companies? special interests? I guess it's all of the above. I have read comments on FB that equate this move to jumping the fence right over socialism to communism and making the reference to the fall of Russia due to funding programs that were unaffordable. I don't understand it. If Canada can have a health care system facilitated by their government why can't we? I will do more reading and become better informed and hopefully come back to this subject. One last thought.... why is it ok for us to be in wars in countries that do not want our help, spending billions of dollars and risking the lives of our military but it is not ok to provide health care for all of our citizens?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dreaming of a Better Way

Well it has been quite the week. Wednesday's breakdown was just the beginning. I have had more sensory memories and dreams not to mention another breakdown at my friend C's house! Crazy is how I'm feeling right about now....

Let me tell you more. This week I had two more very vivid sensory memories. The first was triggered by a smell. As I sat in my chair in the living room I got this waft of a familiar odor. At first I thought it was 'R's feet as he had just taken off his shoes. It wasn't the regular stinky foot smell however and there was something pleasingly familiar to this odor. Weird.... I know.... R went out but the odor remained. Then I looked down and noticed a pair of n's socks had been left on the floor. No surprise there but I surmised that the odor came from her socks. Now comes the gross part... Yes you guessed it I picked up the socks and wait...... yes I sniffed them! Well that was the scent that had been plaguing me all night. As I sniffed them I realized they smelled like the pads of a dog's foot. Yes I know, very strange! I had a flash again to my childhood, of my dog Sheba. That was the smell, it was her feet, well paws. I remember as a young girl torturing Sheba when she slept by tickling the fur that grew between the pads of her feet. I'd touch the fur and she would wiggle her feet. I would do this until she would wake up from her nap. Not a nice thing to do, but what did I know I was just a little kid! Upon further research at my friend C's house on Friday evening I confirmed the dog pad paw smell. (yes she has a dog and I couldn't help myself I sniffed her paw!) I am totally loosing it!!!!

So as I just said I spent the evening on Friday at C's house. It was fun. Just the girls. We talked, ate, ordered out and reminisced. I cried. Three times according to C! It all revolved around my Dad and my Mum. In the middle of the evening her 16 year old daughter called home to check in and for some reason that triggered a well of emotion. Once I regained my composure we talked a bit more about things. She was so kind saying how I seemed like I was handling things so well. (don't feel that way but....) She also made a great point that I think is at the crux of all these emotions.... Not only am I mourning the loss of my Dad and revisiting the loss of my Mom, but in a way I am mourning the loss of my childhood, maybe even my inner child..... It's just me now. I have to be self sufficient. There is no one out in this world who will love me in the same way that my parents did...ever. I know I am loved by my husband, children, co workers and friends but that love will always be different than the love I received from my parents. It just is the way of life. I think that the loss must be mourned.

You might think that with this new found perspective that perhaps some of the memories and dream would subside just a bit. Wrong! I was eating my lunch yesterday, plain greek yogurt with thawed frozen strawberries in juice, when I had a flash to my early teen years when Mum would make these little mini cheesecakes in Keebler graham cracker shells. It was like being there when the memory hit. It also reminded me of all the yummy cheesecakes and goodies that Dad would bring home from the Metroliner when he did that run for Amtrak. The food would have been tossed if he didn't take it home so..... It was a good memory.

Even in my dreams I can not get away. Last night I dreamed of Dad. I was trying to save him and it felt impossible. I had to get him onto a boat that I guess was going to take him someplace safe. I was on the boat but he wasn't and the boat sailed away before he got on-board. I yelled for them to stop but they didn't. In the next scene in this dream we were in a small cottage and he was very sick. Again I tried to help him but couldn't. At the end of this dream my godmother and my Aunt M appeared. They were sitting in another little white cottage on straight back kitchen type chairs next to each other. I hugged my godmother but my Aunt wouldn't hug me, so unlike her. I wonder what that was all about. I'm pretty sure I ended up crying in my dream as my eyes felt weepy when I awoke.

No wonder I'm so tired and run down and can't shake my mysterious upper respiratory illness. Even in my sleep I'm not resting. I know with time things will sort themselves out. I just wish it would happen sooner than later!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Break Down!

So just when you think you have everything under control you realize maybe you are wrong.

I had a mini emotional meltdown at school today. It was ok. Today was a professional day, no children and we were learning about the Nurtured Heart Approach. We were working on an exercise where we chose a word out of a basket "ME", "YOU", or "SUPERSTAR". Depending on the word chosen the individual held up a mirror (figuratively) and energized one of the group(YOU), themselves(ME) or had the entire group energize them with positive reflections of everyday innate goodness. It wasn't even my turn when I lost it. We were energizing my teaching partner 'S' and the tears came. I didn't break down and ball although I could have very easily. I brushed away the tears and then took my turn in the process. I picked the word ME and had to say something good about myself. It was hard and it took me a minute to compose myself. Finally I said "I am stronger than I know." Then all my friends/coworkers started reflecting positives towards me and the tears flowed. It was very powerful. You never know when the emotions will bubble right up to the top.

I am thankful to work with such caring individual. I am very fortunate and so grateful.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Workings of a Mind....

I guess my mind has been processing things without my knowledge or permission for that matter! I have been having CRAZY dreams and lots of sensory memories and remembrances over the last week.

So in one of my more recent dreams I found myself in the middle of a terribly windy rainy storm over at my parents home, my childhood home. I believe I was seeking shelter from the storm. When I went into the house it was dark and I could feel the wind shaking the house. Both of my parents were in my dream. They were each hunkered down in the living room. I believe they were both sleeping. Although I do have a slight memory of speaking to them in my dream. I am unclear of what our interactions were in this particular dream. I heard noise in one of the back bedrooms and there was a little boy who looked like my son N. I think the little boy was supposed to be my brother. I remember peaking into the room and it looked like the boy was surfing on the bed. Strange. Another odd thing about the dream was that the access to the attic was in the living room rather than in the back room. For some odd dreamy reason I picked the middle of this nasty storm to put up a ladder and check the attic. No idea why as I have always disliked that attic. At this point I remember that I could feel the house shaking violently. So much so that I was afraid. I was so afraid that I woke myself up from the dream. My heart was pounding!

My most recent dream took place last night. It was even more scary than the dream I just described. When I first woke from the dream the memory was very vivid. I should have taken the time to record my thoughts this morning but I didn't. Anyway the jist of the dream was that I was being chased by bad guys. I remember I wasn't alone. I seemed to be in charge of younger people, maybe children but I'm not sure. I certainly felt responsible for keeping the others safe. When the bad guys continued to chase me I became so afraid that I forced myself to wake up. Again my heart was pounding and I was truly frightened by this dream, so much so that I woke R. He had to hold my hand so that I could go back to sleep!

I was quite troubled by last night's dream as it is not the first 'chasing' dream that I have experienced lately. I did a little research and found the information quite fitting. This is just a bit of the information I found:
In general, chasing dreams signify some sort of anxiety, fear, or feeling of entrapment in daily life, such as a stressful job or unhappy marriage. Chasing dreams are literally "fight or flight" situations where you choose "flight." These dreams don't occur if you have faced and dealt with whatever it is you fear during waking hours.

I see this dream fitting more into the anxiety I have over selling Dad's home and settling all of his affairs. No stress in that process...nope not one bit!

On top of these dreams I've been having some interesting sensory experiences. 'n' and I were talking about makeup the other day and the various escapades she had gotten into when she was little including scooping out all of my brow teck wax and spreading it all over her face and the bathroom. I shared with her how I would take my Mum's lipsticks and twist them up into the cap. I then had the most vivid memory of this blush she used that was in a thick tube. I could picture it in my mind and I could smell the distinct fruity scent of this makeup. Such a great memory. Later in the weekend we were driving in the car and again the conversation was about make up and I had this memory of the Pond's cold cream that she used when I was small. I could almost feel the creamy texture of this cleansing cream. I am totally going to buy some next time I go to CVS. It's funny how your mind works. So continuing with the sensory experiences tonight we had a sirloin roast that was tied with butchers string, roasted potatoes, salad and corn. The meal completely took me back to Sunday dinners at my Mums. My brother and I used to bicker over the butchers string. We would chew on it and enjoy all the delicious bits of meat and garlic that would have coated the string in the cooking process. Wow what a blast from the past. I have had a lot of memories that involve the sense of smell and taste. Today I added the sense of hearing to the mix. n figured out how to access the messages from our comcast telephone service. The first message was one from Dad! It rocked her world a little bit to hear his voice but I think she was happy to have found this treasure. After Dad passed away I realized that I had erased all the old messages on our regular answering machine. I am so happy that I can dial into my message center and hear his voice. Such a gift.

Now if only my subconscious mind would take a break from processing for a couple of nights so I could get some much needed rest.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hoot, Hoot ...

Check out this amazing bird that is nesting at my school. I am in love. He is awe inspiring as he flies back and forth high above our playground. What it must feel like to soar so high above everything with the wing in his wings.

EXPRESS yourself!

Are you worried about the funding of education in Massachusetts? I am. Kids don't vote so the only people who can hold politicians and decision-makers accountable are you and me! We are the voice of the next generation.

Go here to express your concerns about education. We need the people on Beacon Hill to hear that education is a priority. Children are our future. They deserve the best education we can provide for them. Share your perspective on this subject. It is free. You don't have to be a member of Stand for Children to participate in this initiative. Please help us send a strong message.

Share the link with your networks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh my!

Lions and tigers and bears.......

oh no at my house it is

Laryngitis and headache and phlegm..... oh my!

So as is regular tradition for me I will be sick on my birthday! I started losing my voice Monday night. As of yesterday I'm pretty much down to a whisper. It is uncomfortable to talk and seems to take more energy to whisper than I remember. All I can think of is that this is what Dad went through for several months before his diagnosis and then until his death. I'm not the only one who is making that connection. Last night as N and I watched American Idol and I tried to talk about the performances he looked at me with his big worried eyes. I asked him what? He said he didn't want to say because it would make me sad. I pressed on and found out that he thought I sounded like Papa and that he just wanted me to get better. I reminded him that I just have laryngitis and that I get it every year. Papa had cancer. It was kind of sad.

Anyway I'm going to power through work today. I'll have to leave much of the talking to my teaching partner but at least I'll be there. No reading aloud or singing for me today! I think that we will be celebrating my birthday today at school. The tradition is that a cake is baked for the birthday person by our wonderful Office Manager P! So I can't call in today...... I must go and eat cake! Everything she makes is delicious! The past couple of years she has made me her version of a George Washington cake. It is a yummy white cake with raspberry filling and traditionally it is dusted with powdered sugar, although P adds a decedent buttery frosting instead. It is the last cake that I remember my Mum making me for my birthday so not only is it delicious but it has sentimental meaning to me as well. We'll see what today brings.

Well off to get another cup of coffee before getting everyone out the door.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Children ARE the Future!

So if children are our future(I believe they are) does it not make sense to invest in that future now by providing all children with the absolute best education? Preparing kids for life in the 21st century is not cheap and does not come easy. This said, even though we all know that children are the future and education is vital to that future; kids don't vote so..... It is up to the adults in our society to hold our political decision makers accountable for the promises they make around education.

Stand for Children organizes concerned citizens so that we can give children a voice in the political process that in many ways determines their future. In order to support our goal of excellent, quality education for all children we the members of Stand For Children, voted to focus on the following four planks:
  • No more lost ground: Prevent further cuts to essential school services.
  • Efficiencies and cost-savings: Encourage efficiencies and cost-savings strategies so more of our education dollars are available for direct support of student learning.
  • Long term funding: Develop adequate, equitable, and sustainable long-term funding solutions for education.
  • Innovation and investment to help all children succeed: Reduce persistent achievements gaps and help all children reach their potential.
I have been actively involved with this organization since the first week of n's first grade year of elementary school. I know they do very important work and am proud to join them as they stand up for all of our children.

Now we are working to create a virtual rally that supports education. An easy, free application has been created so that anyone can make a sign in support of education. These signs are going to be printed by Stand's Waltham office and then delivered to Beacon Hill. So if you are reading this go here to create your sign.


"I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way"

Monday, March 1, 2010


Well sorry for my less than polite post of yesterday. It was how I felt at a certain moment in time and it was cathartic to type those words. Do I still feel that way? Yes, but not in such a visceral way in this moment. That is a blessing.

So it is a messy weather day today. The kids had a late start for school that should have put me two hours behind but I chose to use that time wisely and was able to get some things done and crossed off my to do list. iron clothes, order oil, download iwork, transfer n's photos, plan meals for the week Not bad and the day is not even half over. Still to do would be finish ironing, wash floor in kitchen, make pizza dough, do state taxes, call brother to find out about dumpster, transfer school photos That list should bring me up to the time that N will be expected home from school. Once he gets home it will be all about the homework, teaching him how to create docs on iwork(we'll have to learn together), hearing about his day and then doing the same with n when she gets home.

It's looking to be a productive day and I am feeling optimistic despite the gray day outside.

I did dream about Dad again last night but can't remember the details. It seemed better than the last dream, at least that is the impression I have.

Well I'm off to continue my productive day.

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