Sunday, October 31, 2010

To Light A Candle

I light a candle.

I light the candle to honor.
I light the candle to remember.
I light the candle to forget.

I light the candle to brighten the darkness that is the grief.
I light the candle to lead by example.
I light the candle to dry the tears that I still shed.

I light a candle out of love.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On The Eve of Halloween

Well the children are very excited about this holiday!  They have costumes ready and dreams of heaps and heaps of candy!  I am ready for it to be over.  It has always been my least favorite holiday, but I think I'm going to shift my thinking a little bit and focus on a different aspect of Halloween.  I am going to do more research on the Gaelic harvest festival Samhain that takes place from Oct 31-Nov 1 and commemorates transitioning from the summer.  In old Irish the word 'Samhain' roughly translates to summer's end.  I am also going to make this time a time to remember those who have passed away.   In my own way I'll be honoring the Christian festival All Saints Day.   I have built an alter of sorts with photos and candles to honor the memories of our ancestors.  Maybe by changing my focus I'll be able  to tolerate the commercialism of popular Halloween.  I think this might be N's last year going out collecting candy, n has a couple more years before she is done.  I'm looking forward to doing my research and putting a new spin on this time of year for all of my family.

On Death

Death is nothing at all. I have only
slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we
were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name;
speak to me in the easy way you always
used. Wear no forced air of solemnity
or sorrow. Laugh at the little jokes we
enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me,
pray for me. Let my name be ever the
household word that it always was. Let
it be spoken without the ghost of shadow
in it. Life means all that it ever meant...
there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
I am waiting for you — somewhere near
just around the corner. All is well.
Quote from In Lieu of Flowers: A Conversation for the Living by Nancy Cobb

I read this in the comments section of a blog that I frequent.  With the coming of All Saints Day I thought I'd share this poignant piece by Nancy Cobb

Friday, October 29, 2010


Well today I travelled into the city to spend some special time with my God Mother.  I'm not sure if I have talked about her before.  She is a wonderful woman.  She will be 79 on her next birthday.  She was my Mum's best friend since high school.  She was the maid of honor at my parents wedding and is my God Mother.  When she was a young woman she was courted and proposed to but she chose to stay with her Mum, Ella and take care of her as she aged.  When I was a young girl Ella and Franny would make the long trek from the city down to our home a few times a year.  Back in those days Dunkin Donuts did not exist outside the city so it was a special treat when she brought two or three dozen boxes of donuts to the house.   Franny has always been a huge part of my life.  When I was a young girl Ella passed away.  Ever since then Franny has come to my parents home or my home since my Mum passed to spend the winter holidays.  I speak to her less often than I would like and I am going to try to change that.  Once a week would be ideal.   I wish I could convince her to move out of the city.  We spoke about it today as we visited but she is happy to be independent.   Her apartment  is a short drive from the market and a short walk to church.  It is the apartment she shared with her mother so many years ago.  It would be difficult for her to move away from all that she knows but I worry about her now that she is getting older.  Today we went out for lunch.  It was enjoyable to share a meal together and just chat.  It was a great way to begin the weekend.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's a Challenge!

So I'm always trying to find ways to save money, pinch pennies, conserve resources.  Well over at Crunchy Chicken there is a major challenge going on this winter.  This is the fourth year of the challenge and this year I have jumped in feet first!

It's pretty simple you make a pledge to lower your thermostat.  Even if you lower your thermostat by just a degree you will use less energy and reduce your carbon footprint.  What's better than that.  On top of doing what's better for the environment and your pocketbook when you sign up for the challenge over at Crunchy Chicken you will have a chance to win some great prizes.

So I've made the following pledge:  We have always kept our thermostat relatively low.  We are going to keep the main living level at 62 during the day and 58 at night.  The other levels will be set to 55 unless we plan to spend time on those levels and then we'll revert to the main living level temperature.  We'll turn the bedrooms up to 60 at night.  Sounds a bit complicated but I think we'll manage.  

Bring on the blankets, sweatshirts and throws.

The question is:  Will you accept the challenge?


Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...I see the darkness of a fall morning yet feel the warmth of what will be an 'Indian Summer kind of day.  The air is thick and wet. 

I am thinking...about how I would like to have one day to do whatever my heart desired.  No chores or responsibilities just simple pleasures all day long.  That would be bliss.

I am thankful life.  It can be hectic and unsettled at times but it is mine and it is good.

From the kitchen...there is but the warm glow of the light that shines through from the living room.  Lunches have been made, breakfasts eaten and coffee brewed.  The kitchen rests until the frenzy of the evening meal. 

I am wearing...half of my outfit for today...brown shirt and blue flowered pajama pants.  Let me tell you why.  I intensely dislike wrinkles!  Unless I am wearing my corduroys I wait until the last minute to put on my pants.  In my mind it diminished the wrinkles. 

I am creating...well not much lately :(  I will be busy soon creating cards and gifts for the winter holidays.  I would like to create more time for my art practice. 

I am do my best to be more positive at work and not feed into the negativity that seems to have snuck into my lovely little school.  I want to be the one who helps to lift up the mood.  We shall see. 

I am reading...Guardians of Ga'Hoole book 4 in the series.  It is a great series.  N and I are reading it together.  He is a book ahead of me and loves talking about what happens in the story.  

I am hoping...that R is able to find an inexpensive solution to the septic woes over at 40 Mayflower.   

I am hearing...the drone of the television.

Around the house...their  is too much clutter.  I enjoy watching the show Hoarders and it inspires me to let go of some of my stuff.  Maybe this weekend I'll get to that. 

One of my favorite drinking the first cup of coffee of the day.  It is always the best.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  online continuing ed tonight, professional day and writing conferences for tomorrow and definitely a  visit with my Godmother F on Friday hopefully and perhaps even a meeting with N's school. ere is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Join in with all the other women who share their daybooks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here We Go Again....

So Saturday, along with more fall catalogues and various bills and junk mail I received the pink letter from In-Med diagnostics.  Back to the imaging center I go next Monday.  I'll be having more images taken of my right breast as well as another ultrasound.  I spoke with the secretary today to set up another appointment and to confirm that they reviewed previous years images as the looked at the current images.  She assured me that they did review the previous films. According to the notes in the file they want to compare the size of the non consequential cysts they found last year to what they see this year.  After some reflection I wish I had asked what if the cysts have changed since last year?  Then what?  I suppose that is putting the cart before the horse so to speak.  I can tell you that I will be making next years appointment on Monday so that  I can schedule the appointment with a doctor so that they will take all the necessary images on the same day so that I don't have to wait and worry.  So stressful!  I try not to worry buy my mind always goes to the worst case scenario even though intellectually I know that things are most likely fine.  Next Monday can not come soon enough.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Fill In's! we go!

1. One of my strongest beliefs is that spirit lives on and that our loved ones who go before us are only separated from us by a gossamer thin veil and when we call on them they hear us an surround us with their love. This I know in my heart to be true.

2. The science teacher is now out on indefinite medical leave and this is absolutely huge!

3. The sky is cloudy with a threat of rain and wind and cold, so let's stay in all day, build a fire and rejoice in the life we have been given.

4. Friendship and love are comforting to me.

5. I always thought I'd be OK!

6. Camera in hand, kids in bed and then I went outside to look at the full moon.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ordering out, tomorrow my plans include planning a yummy dinner and Sunday, I want to enjoy snacks as we watch the Pats!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well a year ago today we found out the gravity of Dad's illness.  I've been thinking about this time last year a lot.  Remembering.  I was at BJ's today and saw the girl who used to know Dad's brand.  She even asked if I needed cigarettes today.  Had to tell her that I don't need them any more and why.   Funny that I was there today....Sometimes I still can't believe that Dad is gone.  I miss him so much.  It is hard to have no parents on this earth.  Some days I wish I could just call him up and hear his voice.  He was such a good listener.  I miss that, you know having the one person in the world that you could go to and say anything and know that it was OK.

Now the tears are coming.  Gotta go.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...I see the darkness of a fall evening and realize that the winter will be upon us before we are ready!

I am thinking...about how I enjoy sitting on the couch with N as he watches his show and I work on my computer.  Sitting quietly and happily together.  

I am thankful for...the family that sustains me; dear friends who constantly amaze me by their caring and love; a life that is fulfilling even when difficult and the warmth of a an old favorite throw! 

From the kitchen...glows warm light.  I wish something yummy was cooking in the oven.  This weekend I hope to make Nanny's homemade Irish bread.  I have not made this recipe in some time and I know it will make me feel close to my Mum.

I am wearing...brown pants and several layers of black on top.... black thin long sleeve tshirt, black short sleeve sweater and black with cream stitching detail vest.(it's kind of my uniform!)

I am creating...a peaceful home that sustains all of my family. 

I am try to enjoy every moment like it were my last because life is too short and unpredictable.

I am reading...Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

I am hoping...that N is able to manage if the science teacher returns to school and that I can help to make a positive change in that situation. 

I am hearing...the drone of the television.

Around the house...there is much to do as always!  Items to organize, mail to sort, cleaning to finish and family to love.  

One of my favorite things...other than relaxing with family is to enjoy artistic endeavors; especially photography.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  finish up curriculum updates and newsletters for school, visit with my Godmother F on Friday hopefully and perhaps even a meeting with N's school. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(to be uploaded late on the 20th due to blogger maintenance)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, Monday

So another Monday has reared it's ugly head!

The weekend was great.  N played with his friends and went to a scary haunted house.  n and I went out shopping on Saturday for supplies for her school project and went out to lunch.  We also went to check in on R over at Papa's house.  The progress made over the last week is quite uplifting.  We did find out however that in order to get a building permit we have to replace the septic! Not good news.  We were hoping to put that job on hold until we sold the property but everything happens for a reason.

This morning was difficult N is having serious anxiety around school and his science teacher.  He was upset.  It is almost more than I can bear.  Hopefully I will meet with the counselor and the housemaster this week to try and get to the bottom of this situation.  I'm not sure what they can do to change this teacher but heres hoping.

I'm excited as I have plans later today to see my old friend L for a meal and a walk.  It should be fun.

Hope you have a wonderful Monday.


Friday, October 15, 2010

I found the following quote over at a new blog that I am enjoying.  You can check it out here.   It reminds me of my Dad.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor, Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.  - Mark Twain

I think it is the ocean reference that brings Dad to mind.  As I reflect on this quote I wonder if he was disappointed by things he didn't do in his life.  What would he have put on his bucket list?  Did he have any regrets?  These were things we did  not talk of.  He was of a generation that didn't dwell on such matters, at least that is how it seemed.  Problems, regrets, sadness and troubles were all pushed aside or swept under the rug for no one to see.  Happy faces were put on and life went on whatever dreams or disappointments might be lingering.   



Well I sent my brother a birthday message yesterday.  Don't know if he received the message.  I hope he did but may never know.  Have not had any response.  I guess I need to let go for a while.

As for my second update...

Went to open house last night and met two of N's three teachers.  I liked them both.  I loved his ELA teacher.  His math teacher said we have met before, however I'm not sure where or when or how?  Hmmmm  The third teacher was not in attendance.  The housemaster and guidance counselor took her place for the night.  We didn't get much information about science but did hear about various programs and how anxious they are to have open communication and work to help all the children manage their time at school.  To that end I sent out an email to the counselor requesting a meeting to discuss what has been going on in the Science class.  She responded and forwarded the information to the housemaster so that he would be aware of what is happening.  I hope that this will be the impetus they need to create change in that class.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Well I have been feeling quite frustrated over the last couple of weeks.  My son has been struggling with the transition from 5th grade at our local middle school to the 6th grade at the same school.  I was not expecting such difficulty.  The teaching model in 6th grade follows a modified secondary schedule.  There is a different schedule for each day and much organization is needed in order to manage the schedule.  N isn't a big fan of school to start with but since the second week of school he has been dreading going to school each day.  Some mornings he is on the verge of tears.  It is breaking my heart.  I am happy that he has connected with two of his teachers.  The third teacher however leaves a LOT to be desired.  She was nice for the first couple of days but then started to show her true colors.  It seams that she has a short fuse, bad temper and very little patience for the children.  My son was even singled out by this teacher after asking if he should complete an assignment in pen or pencil.  His version of the story is that she threw up her hands and exclaimed(read yelled) that she was done!  Then she went on to say to the class "Someone answer P.......'s question!" referring to N by his last name.  Tonight I learned that she is going to be out of school for the rest of the week and there is a great deal of relief in my house.  N said that she is why he worries so much about school!  N also shared several other stories of things that have happened in class including the teacher hitting a boy's hands when he was cracking his knuckles, looking at another child and saying in an over exaggerated slow voice, "Am I talking slow enough for you now" because the child didn't understand the lesson not to mention the daily yelling when the kids ask her a question.   As an educator I find this type of behavior especially disturbing.  As a parent I am incensed that my child has been suffering on a daily basis because this teacher is allowed to spew her anger and negativity at 6th grade children.  I have already mentioned the problem to his other team teachers and to his guidance counselor.  I will be attending open house and will mention my concerns again.  I hope I can help to effect a change.  We'll see.

On top of all this I have been thinking about my brother a lot lately.  I wonder if he thinks about me?  He is turning 40 tomorrow.  I'll send him a e card but that is all I can do.  I don't have his address or his home phone.  Wouldn't want to risk talking to my SIL anyway.  I hope time will heal this wound.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Food for Though

The following is today's Daily Om article that I received in my email.  Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.  

October 11, 2010
Setting a Limit to Sit with Emotions
How Long

When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it.

Our emotions color our lives with varying palettes. Sometimes we feel a strong emotion in reaction to something that has happened, but emotions also visit us seemingly out of the blue, flooding us unexpectedly with joy or grief or melancholy. Like the weather, they come and go, influencing our mental state with their particular vibration. Sometimes a difficult emotion hangs around longer than we would like, and we begin to wonder when it will release its hold on us. This is often true of grief stemming from loss, for example, or lingering anger over a past event. 

Usually, if we allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully when they come up, they recede naturally, giving way to another and another. When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it. Emotions like despair and rage are powerful, and it is natural to want to hold them at bay. Certainly, we don’t want to let them take us over so that we say or do things we later regret. When we are facing this kind of situation, it can be helpful to ask the spirit, “How long do I need to sit with these emotions, how long do I need to feel these emotions before they can pass?” If you ask sincerely and wait, an answer will come. Setting a time limit on your engagement with that difficult emotion may be just the technique you need to face it fully. 

When you have a sense of how much time you need to spend, set a timer. Sit down and make yourself available to the emotion that has been nagging you. All you have to do is feel it. Avoid getting attached to it or rejecting it. Simply let it ebb and flow within you. Emotions are by their nature cyclical, so you can trust that just as one reaches its apex it will pass. Each time you sit with its presence without either repressing or acting out, you will find that that difficult emotion was the catalyst for much needed emotional healing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Struggling Just a Bit

Well the title of this post sums it up I guess.  I've found myself struggling a bit with my emotions.  In the past I have talked about how August is a bittersweet time for me as it seems to be the start of the remembering of the joyous and then sad events that took place in 2000/2001.  I was hoping that I would not have the same experience during these fall months, but it seems that the remembering is creeping it's way into my life in a very real way.  It was this time last year that the process with my Dad began and as much as I wish I were through the grief process and clearly on the other side... I am not.

Yesterday I had an interesting experience.  R was home and working over at Dads.  I went over after dropping n off at school and getting a few things done at home.  The task at hand was to determine the new layout of the house.  We measured and used 2x4's to give us a physical representation of where walls will be and I wrote everything down on my layout sheets.   We are truly reinventing my childhood home.  I love the idea of a new beautiful home in honor of my Mum and Dad but this process is so taxing.  I feel sad every time I leave the house.  After taking the measurements I went home.  As I drove home I came upon an older couple, whom I have seen many times before, walking on the main road.  This couple walks regularly and on their walks they each carry a large rosary.  They pray as they walk.  The first time I noticed this couple was around this time last year as I drove over to Dad's to visit with him.  I remember having a conversation with him about this couple and how I thought it was so interesting that they would pray the rosary as they walked together.  I remember him listening carefully to my thoughts although I don't recall what he thought about these religious walkers.  So yesterday I considered waiting at the end of my driveway so that I could tell this couple how special I think their practice is and how it touches me when I see them walking.  I didn't.  I talked myself out of it... saying to myself that it would be weird/stalker like for me to share my thoughts with these virtual strangers.  My day continued.  I planned out me errands in preparation for a get together that n was having that evening.  I had banking to do and considered going to the dollar store.  At the last minute I decided to check out the dollar store to see if I could find any more fun things for the party.  As I was looking at the Halloween display a woman nearly backs into me as she is picking out silk flowers.  She turned around and sure enough it was the wife of the religious walkers.  You could have knocked me over!  She looked into my eyes and said "Don't I know you?".  I shared with her that I thought we lived in the same neighborhood and that I thought I had graduated just a year before her daughter.  She smiled and then I went on to say that I often see her  and her husband walking and praying with their Rosaries and how inspirational I find their practice.  She was pleased that I shared my thoughts with her and we finished our conversation and went on our separate ways.  For whatever reason this exchange left me very emotional.  I drove to the grocery store with tears in my eyes.  I was able to complete my tasks and get home.  Still emotional I reached out to my dear friend 'C' and told her the story.  As always she had good advise for me and I felt so much better after talking to her.  I'm working hard to hold on to that better feeling and trying  to push away or work through the vulnerable sadness that seems to creep in every now and again.  I think writing it down helps.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away!

Well it's been raining all week.  I love rainy days when I can stay home and be cozy and productive.(or take a nap) However a rainy week makes for very long days at work with cooped up preschoolers!  Plus it is just plain depressing.   I think that the weather may be clearing up today and that we'll be able to get outside.  n is also hoping to have outdoor recess today.  When she goes outside for recess she gets to visit with her best buddies who are in different classes.  They will all be over my house tomorrow evening.  Originally we were planning a pizza/movie night but it has morphed into a halloween themed party.  They are too funny!  I think I'll get some donuts so we can do donuts on a string and maybe some mini pumpkins to decorate.  It should be fun.

This weekend is going to be very busy!  Friday is the get together, Saturday we have birthday shopping and a birthday party for n and Sunday we have plans for going to see the Guardians of Ga Hoole.  I'm grateful that we have Monday off!  One day to rest, yay.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Growing Up

So no one ever told me that being a Mom would be so hard!  Transition to 6th grade this year for N has been challenging.  Not being a huge fan in the first place; it doesn't take much to make the experience very unpleasant for all involved.  (including the supportive family at home)  Unfortunately when they split up the kids into the different 'houses' at his school his best buddies ended up together and he is in a different house.  That was the first strike against the year.  Second snafu turned out to be a veteran Science teacher who 'yells'  and singles kids out.  Third snafu was the day she singled N out for asking a simple question. The final straw.... a week out of school due to a nasty stomach virus.  Those things have led us to this moment in time.  Nervous stomachs, tears, anxiety, worry... enough to go around for all involved.  Last night I learned through big salty tears that he doesn't like getting older and growing up, it is hard.

Yes growing up is hard.  I wish I could make it easier but it is something everyone experiences.  Sigh!  Hopefully today will be a better day.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

What A Day

Well yesterday was quite the day!  I woke very early.   First at 4:30 and my mind immediately started racing.  I had thoughts of all the things that need to be completed over at Dad's house.  I contemplated getting up and perhaps going out to photograph the sunrise.  I almost got up but then decided that rising that early would make for a very long, tired day.  I rolled over and had to count backwards from 100 at least three times before I fell back to sleep.  Well I should have just gotten up because when I went back to sleep I had crazy dreams!  The dream that woke me up was about Mum and Dad.  It was not a good dream.  It ended with my Dad yelling at me, about what I don't know!  I'm sure it's just my subconscious mind trying to sort out everything that is going on over at the house.  It's been a lot to wrap my mind around.  The upstairs is completely taken apart and ready to have structural repairs made.  We are in the talking stages of re design.  The exterior looks like my childhood home but the inside is completely empty. It is a very strange process.  Anyway I ended up getting up at 7 am.  The start of a busy day.

n and I had plans to go out and get some things done.  First I had to go over and take some more photos of Dad's house in progress.

In this photo you can see where the old kitchen once stood, (under the window to the left) and also where the bathroom once stood(dark wall in center with window framing above) and where my Mum's bedroom began(white wall towards right side of photo).  There is quite a bit of water damage that we will be preparing over the next couple of weekends.  I think R is hoping to get most of it done today.  We shall see.  Yesterday they pulled up all the floor boards in and around the kitchen and bathroom.  That is where we will be replacing joists and installing new sub floor.  What a process.  I won't post those photos and most likely won't be going over to the house until those jobs are complete.  It just makes me too nervous to see the floor open.

So after spending an hour or so over at the house I came home and began to get ready to go out with miss n!  We went to a local beach to pick up soft beach sand for one of her homework assignments.  I had not been to this particular beach in least 9 years in fact.  It was a breathtaking sight to see the surf and sand and the long stretch of empty beach.  

We walked the beach for a short time.  I found 6 or 7 pieces of sea glass in one little spot on the beach.  I think we'll be visiting again today just to walk and comb the beach.  I may have found a new favorite spot to visit.  

After spending time at the beach we had to head out to the dollar tree store.  n is having a few friends over next Friday for pizza and a movie.  This simple get together has morphed into a 'Halloween themed Party'  We found some inexpensive decorations and I also found some supplies for school.  I've been watching both of the local dollar tree stores for wire whisks for use in the water table at school.   I struck gold yesterday!  The store had dozens of wire whisks and I picked up 6, enough for one water table.  Yay!  I guess it's the simple pleasures in life.  We also spent some time at Toys R Us and Gamestop to spend n and N's allowance money.  

Once we arrived home I had a burst of nervous energy.  I cleaned the living room and organized all the paperwork that finds it's way onto the coffee table in that room.  I also organized R's work area.  What a mess that area had become.  Now it's spic and span.  

Towards the end of the day we had to head back over to Dad's in order to help R unload the materials he had purchased at Home Depot for the repairs that need to be completed.  That was a lot of work!  After the physical labor I was happy to get a few nice shots.  


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