Sunday, February 28, 2010

Explicitly Speaking!

Being an orphan sucks

Missing my Dad sucks

Not knowing what to do sucks

Going through the grief process sucks

Having to clean out Dad's stuff sucks

Selling my childhood home sucks

Harboring haunting images in my head sucks

Missing our conversations sucks

Not finishing our book sucks

No grandparents for my kids sucks








Saturday, February 27, 2010

Working Through It

Well yesterday was an odd day for me. It was the first day I had at home alone in a long time. I didn't have anything I had to get done. I found it uncomfortable being by myself. This is so not me. Usually I like to have a little bit of time to myself, but it was a Friday and my typical routine for the last couple of years on Mondays and Fridays would be get the kids to school and then go and spend time with Dad. I didn't spend the entire day but a good chunk of the day. I guess I am still missing that and him for sure. I feel like I can't get out of my own way on days like this. I have regular chores that should be done, but I just don't feel like it and I tend to sabotage myself by hopping on the computer or getting on the phone. This only happens when I'm home without a specific task outside of the house to complete. On work days I'm fine. I get up do what has to be done and get on with my day. I feel frustrated with myself for being stuck on those other days. I was talking to a friend yesterday who had been the primary caregiver for her Dad prior to his death several years ago and she said it took her at least six months before she was able to get out of that 'stuck' place. Six months..... Some days it feels like it's been a lifetime since he died, then I think about the calendar and realize that on my birthday we will mark his three month anniversary. I have to say that I hate this.

I did have some enjoyment yesterday. I spent a couple of hours with a good friend whom I have not seen in some time. We used to hang out every Friday when the kids were little but once they started school and we both added more hours to work we stopped our Friday visits. Anyway it was great to just visit and talk. I need to more of that.

So my mind must have still been swirling last night as I had another dream about Dad. In this dream he had been lost and R and I had found him. He was younger in this dream, maybe as young as his late 30's. He had dark thicker hair. I was trimming his hair as I did for the past years. I was talking to him and it became clear that he didn't know me. I tried to give him clues but he still didn't know me. I had him turn and look at R. He didn't know either of us in this dream. Very sad. The dream transitioned to something else in my cousin M's house. We were working on her guest room in her basement. It was such a strange dream. I woke up from the dream and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep I got up as I didn't want to go back to the dream. I wonder if anyone has any insight into what this dream means. (A help me out here if you are reading....)


Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. A cup of tea reminds me of my Mum, my childhood and innocence.

2. Family makes a place feel like home.

3. Everything has its beauty when you are willing to let go of preconceived notions, open your eyes and look carefully without judgment.

4. Who loves the taste of strawberries? I do especially over angel food cake, vanilla ice cream or plain Greek yogurt. :)

5. Art makes me relax, forget my troubles and wish for a dedicated room in my home where I could go and escape into my art.

6. LOL I just noticed I forgot ________. sorry I've got nothing for this one

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a good nights sleep, tomorrow my plans include researching a family vacation and beginning the clean up process at Dads and Sunday, I want to relax with my family!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Strategic Planning

I'm not sure if I've talked much about the Strategic Planning Committee here but it is something that I have been involved with for over a year. It is a diverse group of individuals from various stakeholder groups who are working together to create a five year 'Strategic Plan' that will guide us as we move forward in our school system. I was invited by the Superintendent of our schools to participate as a representative of Stand for Children. It has been an interesting process facilitated by a paid professional group that works with school systems and businesses as they create such plans. Honestly I have been less than impressed with the facilitators. They are personable guys but it seems that they are not doing much. There is one parent on the committee who could run the entire show. He is well spoken and grasps what needs to be done and then gets things done. I signed onto the 'Possibilities' team from the beginning. We were tasked with looking for innovative, visionary models of education that could be applied in our town. We all did research but have been in agreement that our work has been frustrating and with little direction from the beginning. That is until yesterday. We spent the entire day working together to craft a first draft of goals based on our needs assessment and informed by the research we have done and decisions that have been made around what models we want to bring to our school system. (mainly 21st Century Schools) We came away from the meeting with the first draft of our goals. It felt good to have a product after so many months of going through this process. I think it gave all of us renewed enthusiasm to get us through the next phase of the process.

Last night we held the first of two 'Town Hall' meetings to share information about the Strategic Plan. We have almost 9,000 kids in our schools and have been spreading the word about this meeting for the last month. Fliers, phone calls, e-invites, face book, personal asks..... turnout was 35 people! Sadly I expected as much. One of our Assistant Superintendents was very disappointed with the turnout particularly considering the push for turnout. I think it is telling. There seems to be a general sense of complacency about our schools yet parents complain. I suppose it is human nature for people to complain and then sit back on their laurels and expect others to make improvements. Something else that most likely plays a role in all of this is the economic diversity in our community. Last night I learned that 39% of our students receive free and reduced lunch and are living in poverty. I was shocked! Those are the families we know about who avail themselves of the services provided by the town. I am certain that our numbers do not reflect all the families living in poverty in our community. I would guess that it is closer to 45% to 50% who are struggling with this issue. If people are struggling from week to week to feed their families, pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads it may be too much to ask them to become active in their greater school community. My question is where is the other 50% of families?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back to Reality!

Well it's the last official day of February vacation and we are all appropriately depressed at the thought of going back to school and work tomorrow. I have an extra day but will be going to an appointment and then bringing 'n' to her dentist appointment. Also have a conference call with the Strategic Planning group in the afternoon if I can sneak it into the schedule. Tuesday I'll be attending an all day working meeting with the Possibilities subgroup of the Strategic Planning group in order to begin to put together some goals and objectives for our strategic plan! Not sure what t expect but hopefully it will be a productive day especially where I had to get the day off of work to attend. Wednesday will bring school as well as a Town Hall meeting at a local intermediate school to inform parents about the strategic planning process. It's a night meeting so I'm not looking forward to it but will most likely attend. It's going to be a very busy week.

On another note 'n' and I were able to take a walk on the beach on Friday! It was so great to be back on the beach. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the rocks beneath my sneakers was soothing to my soul. Stress melts away from me when I am in the presence of the ocean.

The beach did look a bit different. All the sand that we had last summer has been either washed away or covered by thousands of small stones and rocks. The large beach stone that had been covered has also been revealed after a winter's worth of storms. We are hoping that over the next months the sand will wash back in so that we have a sandy beach for the upcoming summer season. I can't wait for the warmth of spring and summer. I have to say that this is the first winter ever where I have such a strong desire to see winter end and the warm weather begin.

Here are a few happy thoughts..... 5 days till the weekend, 6 weeks until a long Easter Weekend, 8 weeks until April Vacations, 14 weeks until my last day of school, 16 weeks until summer vacation for the kids!!!! Wow that makes it a bit better now doesn't it??


Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. Johnny Weir rocks the pink tassle!

2. Loving the action of the 2010 Olympics.

3. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was surpassed by the desire to become a beautiful blossom.

4. Live in the moment if you get an urge.

5. Having sweet dreams... dream of the angels, god bless and I love you.

6. What does it take to heal a broken heart?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Papa Gino's with the fam, tomorrow my plans include playing laundry catch up and Sunday, I want to relax before we go back to school and work after a great vacation!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Minds Eye

So some nights sleep eludes me. Last night was one such night. I felt tired but once I went to be my eyes were wide open and my mind started racing. 'N' was at a sleepover and I had 'R' bring the phone up when he came to bed, just in case. When I rolled over put in my earplugs in order to go to sleep I saw the phone on my night stand. I closed my eyes and the images came.

Does that ever happen to you? Just before you drift off to sleep do you see things? It's not a dream or a memory but somehow a combination of the two.

These images they come and sometimes I can will them away but other nights I know that they will not be suppressed by sheer will. It is on those nights that sleep does not come easy. Those are the nights that I roll back over, turn on HGTV or the Food TV to occupy my brain in the hopes that with enough random stimuli those images will leave me for a time.

This afternoon I thought about my experience last night. I was drawing with 'n' and the image I saw came to me so I decided to make an attempt to draw what wouldn't leave my sight. The image that darted me awake and took
me back all at once.
This is what I saw in my mind's eye.


Monday, February 15, 2010


So I'm sitting here nibbling on a piece of soft Italian bread spread with butter. As I prepared this little snack it reminded me of both my Dad and My Uncle L. When I was little I remember both of them taking soft white bread spreading it with butter, sprinkling it liberally with white sugar and creating a butter and sugar sandwich! I know, I know not healthy at all. My point of this post is how amazing it is that a sensory experience like making and eating buttered bread can evoke such specific vivid memories. I guess in the end it is the memories that remain.


Museum of Science

Well we had an interesting experience at the Museum yesterday. We arrived in Boston around 2:30 and there was soooo much traffic. I guess everyone had the same idea. 'No one will be at the museum on Valentine's Day!' When we finally got to the parking garage the sign said it was temporarily full so we drove down the street to a different parking garage. It was so far away that we decided to turn around and try the original garage. It was worth the time in the traffic as we found a spot fairly quickly. We got in line and were so pumped for the Harry Potter show. Well it turned out that the next available showing was at 7:15! What a bummer. We knew that none of us wanted to stay that long so we ended up purchasing our membership and walking around the museum. It was so crowded that there were lines to do anything interactive. We only stayed for a couple of hours.

After we left we decided to go to the South Shore Plaza to check out the lego store. It was fun. What a difference from our Independence Mall! The Lego Store was awesome! Floor to ceiling lego kits and the back wall was completely covered in drawers of bricks. I ended up picking up some pieces for school. I purchased an $8.00 cup of bricks. I went online to figure out how much I would have paid if I purchased the same pieces from and learned that I would have spent more than 50 bucks! I counted up the number of pieces and figured that I paid 2 cents per lego! Oh how I love a deal. Happy, happy, happy!

On the ride home we all decided that we were starving! We went to Red Robin. It was a yummy way to end the day.

Hope you all had a fun Valentine's day too.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


I think that I had forgotten how much I enjoy music. I used to have music playing constantly in my home but lately that has not been the case. I have needed the silence. I think I am ready to hear the music again.

Yesterday 'R' sent me a link to the following song. I can't remember the last time that I have come across an artist who really speaks to me.

Kina Grannis is a young songwriter with the most beautiful pure voice. She sings songs that belie her youth as they seem to come from an old soul. You should check out her page on YouTube. Some of her songs make me want to cry they are that beautiful. Other songs are lighter in nature and just as enjoyable.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Well now we are all on vacation! Well except for 'R' but he does have Monday off so that is nice. Vacation came just in time. I'm looking forward to relaxing, sleeping late and having that one extra cup of coffee in the morning in my pj's.

We don't have definite plans for most of the week. Sunday we'll be going to the Boston Museum of Science. The Harry Potter exhibit has been extended. I can't wait to check it out. I think I'm more excited than the kids. We've decided to become members. Just two visits into town will make it worth the money plus it supports the museum. We'll probably hit the movies. 'N' and I want to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief so we'll do our best to fit that in during the week. It won't be all fun and games however. I have a Stand for Children Strategy Team meeting Monday evening and another appointment on Thursday.

Also in the works are my plans for writing. I'm still working on the organization stage. If anyone knows of good resources for organizing such a writing project please share. I have also decided to include a section for the memories family members shared about my Mum several years ago. I have their written words saved in a keepsake box but I would like to get them into a document to preserve them for myself and my children.

Lot's to do and I still must make time to rest and recuperate from my nasty bug that continues to linger. Got a lot done today but fit in a nap from 1:30 to 3:30. I will remember to pace myself. On top of all of this I must also start the process of cleaning out and preparing my Dad's house to go on the market in March. Yikes. I feel behind already.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let It Snow

Wordle: snow
Had a restful Monday. Did one errand then came home and snoozed on the couch. Ironed for a couple of hours and then made latkes and roasted veggies for supper. Even with all that resting I was still tired by the end of the day so early to bed. Had a good night sleep and now the week begins again. It will be the week of the valentine at school. Lot's of red, pink, purple and hearts. The children love all the festivities. We do keep it as simple as we can. We'll be decorating bags today to use when the children deliver their valentines on Thursday. In our region of the country we are preparing for what looks to be a big snow storm on Wednesday. I wonder if we will have a snow day on Thursday. If so the valentines will have to wait until after vacation! Yay VACATION!!!!!

Have a great day.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Story

Do you have a story to tell? I think that everyone has a story. Think back to your childhood and to all the stories you heard over and over again. You know the stories that would make you roll your eyes. Those are the stories that I want to write down and preserve for my children and myself. Why you might ask.... Well I feel like I'm starting to forget those stories from my childhood. I am desperate not to forget them or the stories of my children's early childhood. So I have decided that I am going to write them all down. I have not decided yet if I will record them here on my blog or create another space for these stories or perhaps even purchase a beautiful journal where I can record my story the old fashioned way.... long hand. It will be an enormous undertaking to organize and complete. This is so important to me, especially now that I am the keeper of these stories. With the loss of my Dad I have no one who can refresh my memory for most of these stories. I'm on my own.... such a strange thought....

Friday, February 5, 2010

What a night!

So I'm not sure if I've mentioned this....but.... I've been sick since the end of December! I am so tired of being sick and tired! I went through a coarse of 10 days of antibiotics to treat bronchitis. Well guess what it didn't really work. I'm still coughing, not as much as before but certainly not completely better. Last night I stayed late at work to prepare for open house this weekend. I didn't feel terrible but I was tired and congested. By the end of the day I was starving. I got home about 6:30. I walked in and had lost my appetite. I had a generous piece of Irish soda bread and some seltzer water for diner. I fell asleep sitting up in the chair by 7:15. I woke myself up and decided I was going to bed at 8. That surprised everyone as I usually 'tuck' the kids into bed and N doesn't go to bed until 9. I just couldn't do it last night. I got 'n' into bed and as I was tucking her in I got the worst chills ever! I can't remember ever feeling like that in my life! I was literally shaking and shivering. It was all I could do to get into my PJ's and into bed with my heating pad. Lucky for me N was there ready to take care of me. He warmed up my rice eye pillows and covered me up with my bathrobe. I was sound asleep by 8:30 and slept through the night until my alarm went off at 6:30. Today has brought on more coughing, sniffles and sneezing fits! I can't wait to feel healthy so that I can work all week and then enjoy my days off rather than feel like I have to rest on those days so that I can make it through my work week. If anyone has any home remedies or ideas on how I can kick this nastiness please, please, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just Thinking...

So I've been looking through old photos. I'm hoping to have them all scanned at some point but for now I'm picking and choosing photos that are particularly special or meaningful. I've realized after posting some photos over at facebook that I was such a lucky child. I grew up with an extended family that showered each other with love. My brother and I are the youngest of the first cousins and our mother was the baby in her family and the beloved Aunt to many. I remember wonderful times at my Aunt's homes in West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Hyde Park and Marshfield. Family gatherings were always celebrations. I remember many hour long car rides to and from such events. I think one of the reasons I am enjoying this scanning project so much is that the photos bring back so many wonderful memories from my childhood. Not only did we travel north, but there were many times when family came to visit with us by the beach. So much fun. I wish that I could give these experiences to my own children. Unfortunately times are different. We create our own kinds of memories but it is nothing like what my mother created for us..... Just a different time I guess.


Sick Day

Well today I'm home with 'n'. She had an awful head cold with a headache and upset stomach. She never asks to stay home because she loves school so when she says she can't do it I know that she is sick. Even that being said I still question because I hate calling in sick. My work is very understanding but I know what a strain my absence puts on the entire staff. Sigh! My children and family have to be my first priority but me being me wants to please everyone. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. 'n' will rest today and I will too. I can also get some school stuff done at home.... newsletter, sorting of photos, valentines cards. It just might be a productive day.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Well today the kiddies are home. Both have dental appointments and I thought it best to just keep them home rather than run hither and yond to drop off, pick up, dismiss etc., etc.... This dental appointment will be the first in preparation for 'n' to get braces. All of her baby teeth are out so it is time as long as her adult teeth are cavity free we can proceed. I wish that the kids did not inherit their soft teeth from me. Sadly they did. No matter how often they brush or what they eat they seem to have cavities at least once a year. We have started to put sealants on their teeth to protect at least some of the surfaces. 'N' had teeth actually grow in with 'cavities'. They were actually anomalies in his teeth. Little holes in the sides of his molars. I think almost all of his molars came in that way. On top of hating that they have cavities it is a very expensive endeavor having them fixed. So that is the plan for the beginning of the day. After the dentist we will be returning cans. 'n' is going to bring the cash into school to donate to their Haiti fundraiser. Her school had a goal of raising $300.00 and they have already raised double that amount. After this job we may stop at our local GameStop so that N can trade in some old games. We'll see.

Hope everyone has a great Monday.

Related Posts with Thumbnails