Monday, August 31, 2009


My child is not a morning person, never has been, probably never will be. Therefore, the earlier morning school wake-up (middle school starts an hour early than grade school) has been difficult, to say the least. It usually results in several alarm clocks then the mom alarm clock yelling up the stairs for the boy to "get your butt out of bed". This works with very little success.
The other morning, after doing this, I checked in on Jman to see how his progress in waking up was going. He was folded in half like a Swiss Army knife, with his middle draped over the edge of the bed. When I asked him what are you doing, he snickered, "look, my butt is out of bed, isn't that what you wanted?".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the day

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

-Robert Frost

I'm in need of some more education, that's all I'm saying.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Day

Today was Jman's first day, which may not have seemed that long to him, but to me it was an eternity; which could be because I had so much nervous energy last night that I stayed up baking 6 dozen mini-cupcakes and then frosted them from scratch (my co-workers appreciated the results of my stress). It didn't help that Jman's new alarm clock, which was set for o'dark early, worked too well, waking up the entire household; well, almost the entire household, Jman was still asleep under the covers 10 minutes later when I stormed into his room to turn it off (disclaimer: I am a bear when awoken early in the morning, especially after a night of tossing and turning. I need(not want) my coffee to make myself civilized). After a short, terse discussion on alarm clock etiquette, Jman got out of bed and readied himself for school. He was still in good spirits, the fact that I made him his lunch cheered him considerably (I had been telling him for months that with him going into middle school he would have to make his own lunch since I would not be getting up that early).

I got home from work after him, so I had to interrupt his intense concentration on Lego ship building in order to get the details of his day. Me: "Did you switch your locker?: Him: "nope, I figured out if I stand to the side a little and stay on my tippy toes I can do it, I did it like 5 times today" ME: Any homework? Him: "No, but you have homework (referencing the oodles of paperwork that comes home the first week). He told me about the kids in his class that he already knew (luckily, they are ones whose parents I know, who are in scouts with him or were in his class last year), how they really did not do much during the day, and how everything seems like it will be ok. I am breathing a sigh of relief. Now, I know we'll have our trials and tribulations during the school year, since we always do, but I am a little more relaxed today.

Middle School here we come

The new school year begins tomorrow for Jman and he is headed to middle school. He has no worries about it, but I am a quivering mass of fears. Why? Well, we went for orientation yesterday, and Jman was given his locker, books, gym clothes etc. When we went to his locker, we found that his was the one on the top and he can't see the combination on it since it is too tall for him. It was almost comical as you looked down the line of students; it seemed as though cosmic forces were at work since many short kids were stretching to see their top locker combos while the tall kids were bending down to reach their low lockers. No switches were allowed for that day although it was mentioned they might be able to switch the lockers the first day of class.
Jman is so naive and innocent. When I mentioned to him that if he was lost he should ask a teacher not a student where a class was located, he wanted to know why. When I explained to him that sometimes upperclassman will send the new kids of the school to the wrong place (my day it was the pool on the third floor - no pool, no third floor), he didn't understand why someone would do that.
He is smaller and younger than many of the kids in his grade and I am afraid he will get picked on. The gym uniforms they have don't even come in a size that fits him. The shorts are extra loose, and I can picture him getting "pantsed" in gym class. Why am I imagining all these bad things, I do not know. It could be because Jman does not hide his emotions well. If he is upset, you will see it on his face. It often looks like he is ready to cry when he gets angry, and he has a great deal of difficulty controlling those emotions. I see it as a red cape waving in the wind for bullies to target.
In Jman's defense, he has a confidence when it comes to new situations that I never had. He thinks middle school will be fine, it'll just be school, which he does not enjoy, but it does not have any extra worries for him. His homeroom class is his art teacher, and he could not be happier about it. In fact, she is already talking about taking the students to the NY and Washington, D.C.

I just want to protect him, to have things run smoothly for him. I know that the teenage years bring angst and upheaval for children, but can't I protect him a little longer?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Most folks know me as a practical person, someone who is frugal, one who does not purchase things on a whim...but I have a weakness, it being cookbooks. I'm likely to buy a cookbook based on one recipe that intrigues me, with the thought that if the author was smart enough to include that recipe then there must be many more where that came from.
I have an entire wooden cabinet filled with cookbooks. In my defense, it is a small cabinet, about 3 1/2 feet tall, so it is not too full of cookbooks. I've got cookbooks on my counter top and even a "cookbook" I created. It is a photo album that I have placed copies of family recipes, recipes from friends and just ones from magazines and newspapers that have caught my attention over the years. The clear plastic protective layer prevents food splatters from destroying the recipe and it's binder format gives me the opportunity to add more sheets as needed. I even have my collection of the cooking magazine "La Cucina Italiana" on my counter top for quick and easy reference.
Yet, out of all those books, I barely open them once I get them. I use my "Joy of Cooking" most, and my homemade one next. I'm more likely to peruse several cooking websites I've come to love than to open my cookbooks. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't usually have the ingredients on hand for the recipe that catches my eye or I do not feel like spending the time to prep it for that night's dinner.
I've made a new resolution, that with each new cookbook (and the old ones as well) I need to take 1 recipe per week. This way, our dinners will be more varied (or our desserts, I have several dedicated to chocolate, cookies, etc) and I will have gotten my monies worth from them. I can plan ahead, so that the ingredients will on hand. In fact, I can even prep most of the meals on Sunday so that the hectic work week will not be quite so hectic.
Luckily, Jman cooks dinner once a week and he is not afraid to open my cookbooks, to choose something completely different every time. Some of the recipes he has picked have seemed odd, but all have come out deliciously. I guess I do know how to pick a cookbook, even if I don't use it myself!

Saturday, August 08, 2009


We've also done some hiking this summer. Even in 100 degree weather we still have been able to enjoy our selves.
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Plymouth Rock

We visited home in July and decided to take in some of the historical sites while we were there. One of them was Plymouth Rock. As you can see, it is smaller than most would think. In fact, the rock was not recognized as the landing point until years later. I think even the colonists back then realized what a tourist attraction could do for their local businesses.
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Reviewing the past 5 years

I just finished reading all my posts from the past 5 years, along with their comments. I noticed several consistent themes in my blog: I rant about work, cancer, hot weather; hubby is gone a lot and J's progress through the years. Several of you have stayed with me through the years, almost from the start. In fact, Envoy and Wally are my oldest "internet friends". :)

I'd like to add some more fun to this blog. How, I am not sure. I'd like my posts to be more positive as well. Just because I'm having a tough week you should not have to read my complaints, or at least they should be peppered with some humor and inspiration.

I'll have to think some more about it. For now I need to get ready for a new day: Hubby's gone again, temps are in the 100's, and have to rebudget based on the 2% raise I got rather than the 1o.7 % I was promised. ;)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A little prayer to give you strength

Saint Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
Dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.