Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was starting my Freshman year of High School.
I remember the night before my first day of 9th Grade. My nerves were quite unsettled because I was not only starting school in a new building, but in a new district as well. I didn’t know anyone walking in the door. And when I visited the building previously that week, I realized what a massive structure it really was. I had never attended school in anything that large in my life.
My new clothes for the new year were hanging in my closet as I lay in my bed tossing and turning, and I remember picking out in my mind exactly what I would wear, and my alternate plan should it rain. Sleep did not come easy that night, as I sat and wondered what the adventure of high school would be like.
It was an exciting time in my life, starting the closing era of secondary schooling. I didn’t know then all the changes I would go through. Like moving half way through my freshman year and finishing in another school 900 miles south. Only to move schools again for my Sophomore year…which ended up being the school that I’d graduate from. These later changes were all scary, but somehow the nervousness of all that change didn’t quite compare to that night just before my high school career got underway.
Tonight, I am here typing this blog…my oldest son sleeps in another room, hopefully without anxiety or nervousness…but I probably know better. He awaits the beginning of his high school career. I wonder just how nervous he is about it all and if he is really able to get any sleep…or if he is as nervous as I was many moons ago? I don’t want to go and peek in on him just incase he’s sleeping well…but I wonder??
I think he has a better advantage that I did going into high school…he’s attended the same “school” for 6 years…it is a Christian School, so it will all be the same friends (some new faces too), in the same building he’s been in for the past three years, as the middle school and high school share a building. Yet, it is going to be a whole different type of experience because there are added responsibilities, new opportunities, and unique challenges he’ll face. I’m excited for him…and I’m nervous for him. I can only imagine how he feels.
I sometimes look at him and wonder where all that time has gone. How I cried when I dropped him off in kindergarten, entrusting him to his teachers for better or for worse. How excited I was for him when he started Middle school and when he graduated middle school this past spring. It doesn’t seem that long ago…and here we are watching him start high school. I can’t imagine the feeling in 4 years when he graduates. I hope it doesn’t go too fast. I’d like to hold on to him a little longer, squeeze him a bit more.
Sentimental am I…watching time fly.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Oh yes my lovely friends, I am going to do a little “whine” tonight…and I’m completely out of the other stuff.
And out of cheese.
So sit back, brace yourself and perhaps just hear me out because you know I need an ear or an eye….or someone to cry a river to.
Sometimes it takes someone to literally SHOCK you to make you face reality.
It happened today.
And it happened to me.
But not just me.
My head’s still spinning.
Alright here’s the scoop..in the course of events…someone near and dear to my heart, someone I love beyond measure, flat out told me they didn’t like me today.
(Get over it you SAAAAP!)
I’d love to but I can’t.
Not only did they say this…they wrote it out to a friend in some not so nice words. And I found it. And that is when I got smacked upside the head…big time.
I realized that I have somehow failed in this lifetime. That somehow someone that used to admire and love me no longer does…and it slipped through my hands like sand, very slowly without me realizing.
And if it were anyone but one of my kids…I wouldn’t care.
Yeah…how’s that for a double smack???
So…a small intervention with myself and my wise and loving husband with the said child occurred and we’re going to work through it all. Apparently said kid doesn’t like dad either. We’re hoping it is a preteen phase…but not sure where it is coming from …or why…but we want to get to the root of the problem and make sure it doesn’t continue, forgiveness is found and said parents are once again liked by said child.
I guess I would like to say that this is just a minor bump in the road…but I know it is not. Said child has been sort of declining for over a year or so…and it has been very gradual. But as I got broadsided today…all of a sudden reality hit me…there’s more to this whole story and the not liking parents part is just smoke and mirrors.
And that means making sure a qualified person deals with all of this. I’d like to sit here and tell you that us parents could simply handle it…but I think from the “level” of some of the stuff I read…I am not sure I’m qualified nor is the wise and loving husband qualified to deal with this on our own. We’ll be sure to get someone else to navigate us thru this.
My heart is breaking. It’s one of my kids…so…now what do I do??
Can we say STRESS?????
Well…actually “whining” about it here has helped. Lord knows, I needed to somehow get it out of my system. Even if no one reads or comments…I’ve somehow put it out there…and was able to vent in a writer’s kind of way.
Send your prayers, good thoughts, good wishes and positive vibes our way. We are going to need all we can get.
This mom would love to cry…and fall apart and get all soppy on you…but I think the numbness hasn’t worn off from the day’s revelation.
And if you’re here . still reading…thank you.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
The art of cooking Italian food struck my fancy today. And why is this worthy of a blog? Simply because when it comes to cooking, I am not one to write home about the event. Usually, if I am cooking, we are praying (and I do mean literally) that it is edible by the time I am done
torching cooking it.
This is not to say I don’t enjoy the art of eating great food…because after all who doesn’t?
Well, on my grocery shopping trip today, I saw a picture of Manicotti on some poster advertising spaghetti sauce. And the advertising did its job and suckered me right in! It gave me the idea that Manicotti is something we rarely ever make and that it would make a great dish for dinner.
So off I went to get the supplies…and I just decided I would make it my way…since I was already in the grocery store and no recipe or list to shop from. I wasn’t exactly sure what people stuff in those manicotti shells…but decided I’ would figure it out as I shopped along. (From this last statement, you might begin to understand how stuff I make, has a zero to one chance of survival!!)
I have to say, I surprise myself some days. I brought all the ingredients home and made 3 or 4 or maybe 6 cheese Manicotti. You can find the recipe here.
It was relatively easy to make and didn’t take real long to put together, and I have to say it was one of the better dishes I have made in a long time. It was not only edible…it was great! I made 14 shells and it was gone in under 15 minutes flat. Now, keep in mind, I have 5 kids and a husband, and that worked out to two shells each…but it was really good stuff!
My husband picked up an Italian Merlot to go with the dinner. That really hit the spot. I don’t get to drink wine, but usually once or twice a year so it was a great treat.
I spent the remainder of the evening chatting with my friends and enjoying some more of that wine. I am sort of proud of myself that I made a successful dinner that we all enjoyed!!
I just wish I had left-overs for lunch tomorrow!!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
What is it about a good conversation that keeps you thinking back to it for days, weeks, or even months?
Is it the substance of the conversation or the depth of subject? Is it the humor and the laughter or the quietness and seriousness of the subject matter? Or does it all boil down to who’s having the conversation?
Shortly before leaving for college…I remember a conversation I had with one of my best friends about relationships. I was going through a relationship break up. Being my first major break up, I didn’t understand all the why’s and how’s and I needed some closure and I wasn’t finding any.
We were old enough to be out late, but not old enough partake in any form of wine…(or other alcoholic beverage), and so we went for one of our infamous drives. That’s what we did…we drove all around and talked and listened to music. Sometimes we had fun…sometimes we just sang…and sometimes we examined life thru the lenses of our then limited experiences.
I was too upset to be doing the driving…and I remember looking through my tears, out the passenger window, at all the stars on a dark, clear night. The numbers of tiny lights from billions of light years away were enumerable.
My friend had been a true friend…she listened, she empathized, she consoled…she told me what I needed to hear. And although that conversation took place 20 years ago at the end of this month…I will never forget what she said and how that helped me move on; not just from my relationship, but move on in life in general.
I think what struck me as most memorable was the candor and honesty of that conversation. It was a conversation that helped me see beyond the short-term woes of life at that moment and it helped me to look into what was then my future. It gave me hope that maybe there really was more to what I had encountered up to that point. Simply, it wasn’t the end of the world.
It’s been twenty years since that took place, and I can remember it as though it were yesterday. I think of it often…not because of why it happened…but because of the connection that deepened between two best friends. As I think back on other “memorable” conversations in my life…they all had something in common: a great friend, a little love, and a good dose of honesty…right from the heart. <3
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Currently, it is storming pretty good outside my window. Thunder is rumbling through the air while lightning displays its awesome streaks and bolts in the dark early morning sky.
I am not really sure what it is about storms in general that intrigue me. I remember as a very small child, being terrified of lightning and thunder wanting to always hide my head under a pillow.
Then a move to Florida, proved to be this child's nightmare, who had a fear of storms, because the intensity of the storms there are quite fierce in comparison to other parts of the country. However, it is in Florida I learned to appreciate a good storm.
I learned that storms hold emotional and physical power witnessed by the beauty of it during its tyrannical rage. It can captivate you through sound, sight, and if not protected from the elements, you can feel it rip past you as it moves through. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you watch it dance toward, over, and eventually away from you. All the while knowing the very force that entertains you can be the same force to devastate, diminish, and demolish you.
And somehow the fierceness and unpredictability of it lends to its beauty. Soft rumbles followed by loud claps, blinding flashes, and streaming winds. In captivation of its presence, your heart pounds, a lump forms in your throat…you stand still watching it in all its majesty while your inner child wants to run into the other room and hide from the very same that keeps you motionless to its demands.
And yet these very storms can be serious contenders, not to be reckoned with lightly. To undermine their capacity for destruction can lead to an untimely demise. They show no mercy and do not pick and choose. They take without asking…and can leave a path of destruction to remind us of their ability to change the course of our lives forever.
The mixture of beauty and destruction is unequivocally matched by other events in nature…and perhaps by other events in our lives We can think of things of beauty in nature…but do they hold the power and destruction that a powerful storm can possess? And we can think of destructive forces in life…yet they rarely hold the beauty or the presence of a storming sky.
I hope you enjoyed this stormy chat…please feel free to leave a comment below.
Monday, August 2, 2010
This weekend was supposed to be the weekend I traveled to Florida to meet up with my best friends and go to my 20 year class reunion. I was more than bummed when a trip I have been planning to take for over a year, did not materialize.
So, I chilled Saturday night with a glass of wine (or possibly two or three)…and I thought of all the traveling and seeing I’d love to do, after my kids leave home and my husband and I are empty nesters. We have a while before this happens…which gives us plenty of time to save our hard earned money and make plans!
Below, I’ve listed the places I really, really want to see and in the order I’d like to see them in. If you are wondering why there are no American destinations…I can explain and it is simple. See, growing up, my mom took us all over the US. It was really cool when my brother and I were the only two kids that not only lived in 5 or 6 different states, but got to take several weeks off of school each year so my mom could take us and show us this country. I love it here…but there is more I’d love to see. I’ve rarely been outside the United States for any reason other than a funeral and a business trip…and I want to experience a little more of the world on a little better terms!
So, why not join me for a mini-escape and see where my future destinations lie??
1) County Mayo, Ireland
I have a real desire to go to Ireland. Specifically, I have been told that my Grandfather’s side of the family is from County Mayo…and as the family genealogist, I have yet to prove this to be true. However, there are several reasons why I would love to go to Ireland and County Mayo in general.
The pictures of the cliffs and the sea are absolutely amazing. Yes, I do realize they get a lot of rain there, and that wouldn’t bother me. I would love to sample their Irish beer, (just so I could say I’d done it, I’m really not a beer person). I want to see the countryside of Ireland and of course, I’d like to see and tour a few Irish Castles or even if they offer to let people do this…let me stay overnight in one? I’d seriously pay for that experience!
2) Thousand Islands and Kingston, Ontario, Canada
As I’ve said, I am the genealogist in the family, and we definitely have family from these parts. I was chatting one time with an elderly lady in her 80’s from Thousand Islands area and we had a common ancestor we were researching. Anyway, she told me if I ever came to do research in Kingston, Ontario, I needed to make sure I visited this part of Canada because she said it was absolutely breath-taking. I’ve since googled it, mapped it and found out she was right! This one is a bit closer to home and probably somewhere I will visit for sure…just a matter of time I suppose! And look here, they have castles too!!
3.) France---somewhere on the Mediterranean
Alright so here’s the scoop. When I was in French classes in high school and college, I always thought I would love to travel to Marseilles, France to vacation. There are beaches, water, boats, etc., etc. And while I don’t doubt that it is absolutely beautiful there as in this picture… (and really all I have to go on are pictures at this point), it looks to be a rather crowded and popular destination. I would absolutely love something like this in a less crowded perhaps more secluded venue…
This is Carro, Martigues, France. I have absolutely no clue, without checking with a travel agent if this would be less crowded than Marseilles, but it looks just as beautiful and not so congested in the pictures I’ve scoured through. I’d also have to brush up on my French, because I haven’t had to speak it since my junior year in college and you know, that was a really, really long time ago. Perhaps by then, there will be another destination along the French Mediterranean that would be a better fit. I think I’ll have plenty of time to brush up on my French!
4.) Paradise Beach, Down Under
Oh if it hasn’t been a dream of mine, and especially one of my best friends to travel to Australia! Besides seeing Koala and Kangaroos and Platypus in the wild…I want to go to Paradise beach and here’s why… Oh yes and here’s another reason:
The beaches, the sun, the surf! Yeah, I so want to be there right now…I would love to be able to pull this off for sure!
5.) Newfoundland, Canada
I don’t know much about this place…but I think getting there would be half the fun…you know the ferry ride? Perhaps, I would visit Saint Johns or maybe go somewhere random like …oh say…Saint Pierre et Miquelon. I don’t know but from everyone I’ve spoken to that has been there…it is one beautiful place to visit in the summer…and of course I would want to go and explore!
I love the water, the beaches, the scenery, the possibilities of all these places. I guess if I had any more wine, I could think of a few more!! But I am all out for now…so help me out!
If you were able to go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d love for you to leave your answer in the comments section. Thanks for the chat and for coming along with me!