Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome Maui

Welcome home to our new kitty, Maui! Isn't he just too cute?
He has spent the last 4 days acclimating to his new family in our boys' tv room, which he has adored. We have gone up and visited him during the day, as he is rather fey, and today he "got" the whole house.

He had a great time exploring all the nooks and crannies in our house, loving especially, the cool wood floor of the dining room.

But here he is in the kitchen, on his way to this long alleyway that's been called the Cat's Alley for more than 30 years. Used to be a
big table built in back there, but now there are just two low shelves that are steps up to the window back there, and a convenient jumping place to get onto the counter there. He figured that out right quick!

It's not called the cats' Alley for nuthin'!!

Back in the dining room...the gate keeps the wee kids from banging the glass doors of the cabinets (one more year and I hope it can come down...taking it down each feast day and reinstalling it later is a pain in the butt, as it's screwed into the flooring....but Maui has no problems climbing the gate and seeing what's on the other side....

At 5 months, he's just wary enough to keep away from the littles and that's good all around...wonder how he'll feel in 8 weeks when our new puppy comes home ....
ah, well, it will make for some great photo-ops, right?!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In One Month...

Elisabeth in her Tom Brady shirt (go Pats!)... has gone from crawling to cruising, eating semi solid foods, and babbling up a storm. Unfortunately, sleeping throught the night is still not on her agenda...

And with Lee,

at age 3 has learned to ride a bike with training wheels, and become potty trained!! With less than a hand full of accidents. We've had bm's and peed in every potty of every place we know, but he's done it! It's all in when you are ready, I guess!

It's amazing how fast these littles are growing up! Lissa goes for her 9 month check up tomorrow....

I'm grabbing onto these images because I blink and they've grown another inch ...and wait till you see how tall Rob has grown this summer...phew! I can't keep up with it sometimes!

Monday, September 10, 2007

An Ode to Wally the Cat

You were one sweet natured boy
Came to the office one day
Abandoned by the one entrusted with your care
and fell...
into our hearts.
Never complaining about all the new babies
when they pulled your glorious striped tail.
Loved to be brushed
fur gleaming
belly rolling towards the ceiling
ahhhh bliss!
You loved Robbie and helped
all those first scarey nights
when home wasn't here yet
and the shadows were
bad things
You showed him
he was safe here
on his bed through the night
Patrol Cat
You are missed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


No, I am not in this picture. Now, why would I spend the hottest day of the summer (and feeling doubly hot since all this week it was in the 40's and 50's ) at the beach? Cool breezes, cold water, relaxing??? Heck no!

No, I spent the day, a full 10 hours, canning peaches. Last weekend we picked 75 pounds of peaches, and had thought I'd have time during the week to work on canning them, a bit each day. But it got so cold the ripening never happened ... until Friday night. Sooo, up and at 'em by 630 this a.m. and by 430 I had completed 20 quarts of peaches, AND 6 quart jars plus 4 pint jars of peach pie filling. It's a wonderful thing to open the pantry on Jan 1. and whip out a jar of peach pie filling and make a pie in moments (make crust, dump in filling, bake)...and from ingredients that we harvested ourselves!!

My feet are so tired and sore they have disowned me for the rest of the night, but I have such a feeling of accomplishment. Each time I walk into the kitchen, all those wonderful jars of fruit are winking back at me!

Next up; kolhrabi to blanch and freeze, and eggplant casserole to make and freeze.


AFTER we go to the beach!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Turning over the Turning of the Earthwheel

In her Beachtreasure blog ( Laume was talking about changes in her family, in the seasons, and the restless wind blowing through her spirit lately. Wow. Yes, at the risk of adding a meme here, I've had that restlessness in my head too, but tinged with sadness. It is always so hard to lose the daylight, and where once it was light, or at least dusky until almost 9 p.m. it is now dusking up around 7 p.m. and full dark between 730 and 740 or so. And the sun sets so much more south of where it did just a few months ago. In midsummer it beams it's last long rays from the center of my backyard, through the trees in my neighbors yard as it slowly slips past the horizon. Now it is setting behind another neighbors house. By midfall it will begin setting at the house 3 doors down from there and the last sun I see in winter is when it is perched on their roof, before it falls off and my yard darkens, between 330 and 4 p.m.

I'm not trying to give a lesson here, just noting that I'm working out in my head what has been, and what is coming.

It has been so cold here in New England this week that 1) I felt guilty for everyone else in the US that was roasting in 100 degree heat and 2) almost needing to turn the heat on. Okay, I'll admit it. I *did* turn the heat on, Wednesday morning. It was 52 degrees in my living room and all of us were shivering. Since it had been in the 40's at night all week, we needed a break from shivering! Um, isn't it still AUGUST we were all saying to anyone we met. Out came long jeans, sweatshirts, shirt jackets from our emergency camping stash. Elisabeth got some new polarfleece pants and shirts on clearance from LL Bean and they came in Tuesday and she wore them all week.

Today is Friday. It hit 90 humid degrees today, after being just about 70 yesterday. Tomorrow it could be near to 100. Go figure! Of couse I need to finish canning my peaches tomorrow....

And finally, when I took Rob to Princeton for a homeschool hike (a small town south of here, where there is an Audubon sanctuary we frequent), which is about 500 or so feet higher in elevation...and there were trees everywhere just "frosted"with color. Reds, a bit of yellow, a wee slice of orange...nearly every tree had at least a few colors near the top or a side branch...we've had a few tree' s locally begin to show early color, but this...this is crazy! We hit peak color around Columbus Day in October...but perhaps since our weather the last 2 weeks have been more October than August....perhaps we're finally in for a snowy winter!

So although the wheel turning on it's Autumnal axis is rather sad, as I so hate for Summer to go, there is much to look forward to, too. I'm reconciling myself to the shorter days, the cooler nights, and to accepting the beauty, the splendour of brilliant leaves against that painfully blue blue sky of Autumn, and the promise of winter snow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

On tonight's menu....

A DOUBLE RAINBOW! And although this next image doesn't show much of the double, I love the glowing arch of the main bow...
and the intense color! This rainbow show lasted less than 5 minutes and we just happened to catch it as it rained very hard, but the sun was shining brightly. As soon as the rain moved east, I happened to glance out the window at the right time and voila!

And tonight I saw one Persied (oh hell I know the spelling is wrong and I'm too tired to go and look it up) meteor.
I love these little miracles! No foreplanning, they just are what they are and if we're lucky enough to look up and see them...I guess it's the stop and smell the roses mentality, but we do so need to stop and sniff, or stop and look up...isn't the sky just so *amazing*???!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Cutey Crawlies!

THEN: Elisabeth aged 3 days, with big brother Rob, at our hotel in Chicago...
NOW: age 7.5 months and crawling!
It is truly amazing to me to watch a child, who just 7 months ago was a small bundle not even able to move more than arms and legs, grow by such leaps and bounds that she has become mobile. She is mostly up on her knees now, after just about 2 weeks of combo-crawling...knees to "g.i. joe" style via elbows and hips! This weekend we went camping. While she was hanging out in her pack n play she got up on her knees, and today got up on her feet. I gave her a wee bit of support, but she was so happy to be standing that she performed her silly head bobbing routine and promptly fell on her butt! Oh, she wants to walk so badly!

She is just so happy to be able to move around under her own power...there's no holding her back now!

Awesome sunset

The clouds, the was a magic moment. Good thing I keep my camera right by the door. Got the shot, and the garden bathed in this mystical, beautiful lighting, and then it was over.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Girl...a Brag Report

Taken at Old Orchard Beach, Maine at the end of June, our little girl has had some major milestones in the last 4 weeks. She began creeping and rolling to move about the room, sat when placed, fell over, and within a day learned how to sit herself up again!
This Monday, July 16, she turned 7 months old, on Tuesday she was really attempting creeping as a form of locomotion to reach for a toy she wanted, on Wednesday her adoption was finalized, and on Thursday she crawled for the first time!! She is one determined little girl.
Now she gets put on the floor and in a moment she has crawled-crept away! Into her older brothers' toys, grabbing at the couch...and thinking about trying to stand. Goddess help us, this girl wants to WALK !! NOW! And things around here will certainly become interesting once she does....

Friday, July 06, 2007

Campfire chairs...

I love this photo.

We went camping last weekend, and there is a chair for every one of us, even the baby! Her blue bouncy seat is there in the center, and we all gathered around the campfire each night. We were up at Old Orchard Beach, Maine; the campground is wonderful, very quiet and peaceful, and just a 15 minute walk to the ocean. Down on the "strip" there are shops full of tourist mementos, Americana kischy stuff, the expected beach togs...towels, chairs, tatami mats, flip flops. The smell of fried dough fights with the scent of frying clams, as the screams of the younglings being shaken, whirled or otherwise stirred on the various whirl-a-gigs and ferris wheels a the wee amusement park waft over all. A few steps beyond that and you're standing on fine white sand, soft and so smooth underfoot, while a freezing cold Atlantic ocean waves at you. The smells and sounds abate, and you are completely under the spell of green/blue waves, crying gulls, and laughing children.

What a weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Garden pix

New iris...
...6 year old rose...
..beautiful, feathery Astilbe, and "Apricot Ruffles" daylilly in foreground...
new extension of perennial bed beside the driveway...
and Idea I proudly stole from Laume's California garden...currently, statuary scares 3 year old KC, so this wee sprite is deeply nestled into the 2nd year hosta bed, and can only be seen from one KC's most earnest relief..."thank you my mommie for moving that scaaaaarie thing aways so KC won't have to see it anymore"!

Thursday, Last Day of the Heat Wave...

The dawn broke with the sky exactly this color, like everything was bathed in a quicksilver and pearl dust. It was so hot and ever so humid, which we ordinarily would expect, as it's summer, after all. But last week we nearly turned the heat on as it was in the upper 40's to low 50's each morning, and didn't warm much beyond that. To say we New Englanders are not yet acclimated to summer weather would be an understatement! But the light...oh goddess how I wish I could paint this!

The day passed with not terrible hot temperatures, but the humidity was terrible. It felt like one was breathing water. Yuck! We were all feeling draggy and drawn by suppertime, but we had a lovely dinner salad with vegetarian chicken that I quick-fried in olive oil and soy sauce, total yumminess. Decided to eat out on the deck for the first time this summer yay! I replaced boards there last week and painted it Monday when it was hot but not humid. Spent Tuesday getting the furniture out of the shed in the way back yard, rolling the glass-topped table carefully down the ramp, across the lawn, up through the bushes and up the steps to the deck. Today I got two basket planters of red, white, and blue petunia's from the grocery store of all places, but it was one less thing I needed to go, and I cannot go to the garden center and spend less than $100 at a shot.
After dinner, Lee and the boys headed up to the local playground, and I finished gathering things for camping this weekend. So much stuff for 2.5 days! The fun of a large-ish family, right? We might need a shoehorn to get everyone into the van but heck, we'll do it!
As I hung out my wash, noticed the clouds. The sun had set, the thunderstorms totally missed our area for a change (we've had a ton of Tstorms this spring, very unusual ) but we had these awesome clouds and the background clouds were all shades of pink...

with all these dark purple tones mixed in. And if I hadn't have been doing laundry, I would have missed the show completely!

Then, a short while ago, around 1030 pm, I went out to the cellar for the diaper wash and spied the nearly-full moon peering down amongst skudding clouds. I've been trying to play with settings on my digital camera as I know I'm not using it to it's full potential, and got this cool shot of the clouds breaking, frosted by moonglow, as She broke free of them for a moment.

It has been the best photo day I've ever had!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Gnomes have had at me!

It all started rather innocuously at the end of May. I had to buy flowers for the cemetary plots for Memorial Day. But of course, I over-bought and had to put them in my garden. But then there weren't enough and my garden looked dorky. Can't have a dorky garden now, can we?? But I'd promised I would not go crazy at the garden center this year. Okay I can buy a few more flats. And then I went there. And they had these GORGEOUS tuberous begonia's. And they offset my mom's planter so well. I've managed to keep this planter intact for the last 11 years since Dad told me to take all her plants home with me. But this year it looks...spectacular. And there were so many colors that I added some to the window box on the side of my shed, which really brightens up an otherwise dingy corner.

After purchasing 3 giant hanging plants for the porch by the back door, and more flats for the garden underneath, I decided I needed to go back to the garden center, where the owner starts to salivate when he sees my van pulling into the parking lot. I needed more potting soil. And how could I resist some perennials. Look! They have a gold edged Hosta. Ooooh, I've always wanted a giant leaved, gold edged hosta! Oh, and a reverse has white centers rather than green...and on it goes. Now I have added 5 planter boxes to go on the rail at the porch by the back door. They are between the hanging plants and the garden below, with some trailing ivy type plants to bridge downward, even as the airy plants below reach upwards...

Then I go to that big Orange Hardware Store. Yeah, I needed some eye bolts. Truly, I did. It wasn't my fault that there was an empty parking space in front of the Garden Center area.
Nu-uh. I don't know HOW that coreopsis got into the carriage, but I do remember putting in the giant purple iris, the pink and white margarites....

.....the sedum, the two catmints...oh there's more but I can't recall all of them just now. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I got so caught up with these wonderful perennial choices that I forgot the screw eyes and had to make a second trip. And there was a glorious pot of brown eyed susan's just begging to come home....

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Plot Thickens...

Here it is, the first Community Garden Plot we've had in over 20 years! Although I haven't gardened for veggies in all that time, other than the occasional planter of lettuce or tomato's, I've spent lots of time reading my "green bible"..the Rodale book of Gardening. Plus, my Aunt Nancy has gardened forever, and I used to help her in her garden when I was a teen; as my boys will tell you, that's about when dinosaurs roamed the earth....

Anyway, I chose to do raised beds...lots more work to prep the garden beds, but so worth it. The soil was pretty well tilled, so raking the dirt up wasn't horrendous. It took me 3 days to do all the beds in #13. Robbie helped me plant, as he had just finished a 2 session homeschooling class at our local Audubon sanctuary on veggie gardening; all the kids hoed, dug in manure from the sheep, and planted. I didn't make him hoe the beds up, but he was invaluable in planting most of the beds. This far, our raised beds have far fewer weeds than do our neighbors (brag, brag!). But when we were done planting, we had plenty of plants left over, but no more room in our 10X13 plot!

I noted that several of the plots were untilled, so I asked if I could have a 2nd plot...and after a week, I got one!

Plot 11 was originally going to be the "water depot" everyone threw their rocks into the space..erg! Yesterday I went up and started de-rocking and creating my beds. The boys really, really wanted watermelon and pumpkins, so I planted those in the center so they'd have room to spread.
With the plot comes a variety of veggies. With yesterdays fog/drizzle, I only had time for planting my leftover tomato's as well as the 2 flats that came with the plot...but here they are! Tomorrow, when the rain from TS Barry leaves New England, I hope to put in a bunch of peppers, some hot, some bell...I'll be canning for weeks and weeks and weeks....

Friday, May 25, 2007


You know how when you're in your 20's and you spend oh so much time pondering on life, fate, the future, the meaning of life? Oh I know, this is a group of topics that are first pondered when we hit those mid=teen years when we have so little control over things in our lives...

Usually we have time in our later years to do "Deep Thinking" and I was thinking the other day, as I hurried through one chore to get to the next one...I've not had enough time for deep thinking lately.

And it bugged me.

I love my life, my beloved Lee, my children....but I'm so busy being busy that I'm not spending time doing some Kirsty thinking. I know, I *know* my purpose here is to love raise and nurture my children and I'm giving 100% of me to that effort...but I think I am going to carve out some time to reflect.

To think about those big questions. I've made time to get house work done, diapers washed, meals cooked, and recently added "reading", "gardening" and a wee bit of "quilting"...all important ingredients in the recipe of life.

But if I don't add the most important ingredient, "thinking quietly" I don't think my recipe will compute. I don't think I will compute.

ah, well, I'm tired. So tired. Midnight is hard on me, and my cough syrup has taken it's toll...are we drunk on it or stoned? dunno, just so glad I'm not coughing...of course, I've not tried to lay down yet so I may be back.

be ware You may be subjected to another stoned on cough meds blog entry!

now, go somewhere and reflect!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

wierd things about me...

Laume posted on her blog beachtreasure about a meme where you post a bunch of things that are "wierd" about oneself. Hmmm. And what, if we are all individuals, is the true meaning of wierdness?

Like Laume, I often know who is on the other end of the phone when it rings.

I also will think "oh, I've not heard from so-and-so for awhile" and I'll either get a phone call, email, or snail mail within 24 hours from that so and so.

I like to change my hair color. Often. Sometimes 3 times in a two week period, like last week.

But I like the red/brown color it is just now so I'll keep it awhile. If only it would make my face as thin as the picture on the box...

I cry during sappy commercials. Even if I've seen them before.

I have had more kids join our family in my 40's than in my 20's, and two of those were infants!

I like to wear wool blend socks in the summer. Well, year round, really.

I sometimes forget that I'm nearly 50 and get shocked with my mirror's reflection when I walk past the front hall mirror.

I don't believe in using deodorant.

I howl at every full moon, from outside in my driveway. Loudly.

I gave up shaving my legs when I went through menopause. What's the point?

I prefer my spices to be alphabetized but my family makes fun of me when I do it so I only fix the cabinet once a year.

I like my life. Sometimes I complain, but not really loudly, and not for very long. Since so many people I know complain about every wee facet of their lives, I would love to consider *them* wierd, but I think it might must maybe be me!

I like ironing and weeding.

The end.

Happy Days....

Here's the younger set in the kitchen this very morning, all happy! Such a nice thing to have everyone having happy smiles on a Thursday morning. Of course, when we hear things like it's supposed to be in the upper 80's today, sunny and wonderful that could bring a smile to the most dour of faces! When you consider that we had a frost warning 2 nights ago and have been running the heat again...well, we'll hope that all that is behind us now! I spend some time in the garden yesterday, transplanting some Hosta to my side yard where a trencher dug up our crumbling gas line a few months ago. We lost some Spring plants as well as Hosta, so this fall we will replenish them and have a full garden once again. It felt good to have my hands in the dirt again. Tonight I go to an information meeting about our community garden plot. It's up on the hill bordering the last apple orchard that Johnny Appleseed, our native son, planted before he headed west. This is still a working orchard, purchased several years ago by our fair city to protect it from zealous developers. We've not had a garden plot for over 20 years, so it will be fun to have a garden for veggies once more. Our yard has 40 or so maple trees surrounding the property so we don't have enough light for veggies here. The one area that gets the most sun is about 4 foot square and has a rose bush, Black Eyed Susan, and Purple Coneflower (echanachea).

Wow, don't know how I got on the garden tangent, except the fruits of my labor yesterday are visable outside the window next to my computer and I was smiling to see how well they have transplanted and...oops there I go again!

Okay, back to my human children! This picture of Lissa was taken last week. She is starting to creep/scoot in her crib and playpen, and is rolling like a champion. I think I took this on her 5 month "birthday"...she hit 16 pounds this week so she's a very solid girl. I saw a little baby boy who was born 3 days after she was, and he is nearly the same size and much chubbier than she is, so I am not worried about her "supersize"!! I think it's so hard for me because KC was a preemie, and was 16 pounds when he was a year old (and we thought that was wonderful...well it was...for KC!). The impish smile is what I see every day when she wakes up, and keeps me going through the screaming dervish she becomes between 7 and 8 p.m. as she fights to keep awake for one more minute! Oh, she is a stubborn lass...and I'm glad of it as she will need to be a stubborn lass to succeed in this world!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today I...

spent the day re-organizing my adopted room. Since Lissa came home to us in December, I've been sleeping downstairs in my mother in law's room. Mum lives in Maine, but the room is hers, and we use it for a guest room, and storage etc. And Lissa and I have been sleeping downstairs here so that Lee and KC will be able to sleep through the night. After all, Lee has to go to work each day, and I'm so glad I don't have to go out of the house to do that, and KC...well, who want's a cranky . . 3 year old all day? So moving downstairs was easier for all 4 of us.

But this week Lissa began REALLY rolling over. She did it once at the beginning of April, front to back, and mid-April she went over back to front. Since then, nothing. Then yesterday she rolled over, I rolled her back and this went on for 20 minutes. She is so charmed by her mobility it's so awesome to see her grin and laugh with her accomplishment. This did, however, present the problem of her sleeping in bed with me, as she can wiggle down the side of the co-sleeper "box" and then roll into the middle of the bed. I'm such a sound sleeper once I'm out that I'm afraid I'd smush her, so there was nothing for it than I set up our crib.

Have you ever read "IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE"?? Great kids story about cascade effect ...and that kinda sums up this whole setting up the crib. It was upstairs in what will someday be Lissa's bedroom, all set up of course. So I had to take all the baby blankets off of it, move the 3 piles (different ages/seasons) of baby clothing that I've been meaning to pack/sort/or put away in the attic, and attempt to get the crib through the door. Get one side through, then the body...then..stuck at the other end. Drat! Rats!! Dammitall!!! Get side unstuck from doorjamb and only hit bruised knuckles once or twice, push crib back into room...yup, have to take it apart to get it downstairs. This takes about 20 minutes, not as bad as I remembered. Make 4 trips downstairs with assorted cribrails, sides, ends, mattress etc. Get sidetracked by a kid, lose an hour, go back to room to assemble the crib. Where the hell is my screwdriver? ? Spend 40 minutes looking for it, work with Rob on homeschooling project question, get KC a snack, check Lissa (napping), wake Lissa up accidentally while checking her, stop to feed her, go and run 2 errands, 2.5 hours later, back to work on crib...oh drat, that's right, lost my screwdriver...look at floor to ponder where I could have put it...there it is, right under the side rail of the crib, on the floor. PHew! Assemble crib. Look at where I can put it ..this room is crammed with furniture....

This engenders moving the double bed 3 times, putting all the winter clothing that was on top of the pine chest away so I could move that someplace, put away 2 sets of bedlinens in the drawer of the other chest, find homes for homeschooling supplies I don't use all that often, and FINALLY, I find the right spot for the crib (well, I knew where I wanted that to be all along), the bed, the 4 dining room chairs that have to be stored in here, the pine chest, the wee pine chest that has sewing supplies in it, the nightstand, the nightlight, AND I have made the bed as well! Now it is 230, I'm hot and tired, as it is almost 90 here with hight humidity, the kids are wild, and I had just 4.5 hours of sleep last night, and's time to cook dinner !! Lee skipped lunch at work today so she'll be extra hungry, what can I whip up fast fast fast, and still have a few minutes to sit and get off my tired mules?

Thank goodness for "fast" food vegetarian helpers. Morning Star Farms makes these "beef" strips (and chicken ones too) that you only need to lightly saute to prep. I had them on top of a light (doctored) pasta sauce and box spaghetti with the faux beef on top, a fresh salad, and all prepped in under 30 minutes! It was wonderful to carb up after moving all that furniture.

So now I'm heading off to enjoy my "new" room! Hopefully Lissa won't hate her crib forever, and I'll get used to not having her sweet self right next to me (sob)...and her wee cute turtle head popping up at 4 a.m. to laugh me awake for her bottle time! An adjustment for us both.

I've been a co-sleeping parent for 3 years now, this is so hard! Harder than moving all that furniture today...well, I'm stalling now, so I'm off!

Woodland Sprite

I have to tell you, the boys were horrified when I told them I'd posed their sister in the brook.
"IN THE BROOK??!!" they hollered, practically in unison!
"In the Brook?" Lee quieried right after the boys.
"Yup, in the brook" I replied with a smile.
No, her feet did not get wet, nor did her bottom, at least not from the brook! No, she was not sitting on a rock exactly. There is a large rock that had a lot of debris in it from our spring rains, and it made a lovely hummock to sit her upon, with a nice pair of sticks for her to lean back upon, just like the brook was waiting for her (and I'm certain it was!). KC had his picture taken here as well, when he was about 2 months old. Lissa is double that in this picture, and she was totally fascinated by the stick she is holding onto.... and then....

she saw the water running past her feet and this was her reaction! I will mention that the brook runs about 2 inches deep unless it is stormy....

Monday, May 07, 2007

The view from my window

Isn't this a wonderful thing to look at all Spring? The truly wonderful part of this garden is that my son Rob planted these tulips and daffodils over the past two autumns. He is 10!! I put in the Bleeding Heart and the Hosta from the backyard, but everything else is Rob's work. He pores over the catalogue from Breck's each summer, just plotting and planning where everything will go ... I..... I get to reap the benefits of his fascination with bulb planting.

It's been such a wierd spring too...first it was sunny, then the sun went away for about 15 days, and then it snowed, and sleeted, and finally, when it rained, it rained BUCKETS! So many people in the northeast were flooded out seriously, and had homes destroyed when the high tide, and wind driven waves took out their property that I'm not complaining at all about the mere 3 inches of water we had in our basement. And now 2 or 3 weeks later, and it's so dry out we're in fire danger alert! And we had a frost last night,and today it will hit 80, wihth 90's predicted for I say, strange.

But I have a beautiful garden, and a wonderful son who makes it happen for me!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Where did April go?

Elisabeth has done quite a lot of growing this month. She turned 4 months old this week. She weighed in at a whopping 15 pounds and she's grown 2 inches since her last visit 7 weeks! 26 inches tall already. She flipped from belly to back at the start of the month, and this week turned from back to belly, very intentionally. She's not repeated either feat, but I think she's just resting on her laurels for now, getting ready to surprise me and start walking at 6months or something like that! She's such a happy baby, and I'm glad I finally caught a picture of her laughing. Here I am with the clan at Easter. Robbie, in the middle, decreed that we all needed to dress we're all in blue and white, with the boys having a green stripe on their vests, Lissa having to wear pink pants coz that's the only color of pants I have for her, and everyone bundling up as best they could because it was 28 degrees Easter morning...One might expect that if Easter was in early March, but this was on April 8th! Spring is such a strange season in New England!

so, in order is: Kirsty holding Lissa, KC who is getting ready to blow one of those tooting things that we had leftover from someone's birthday party, Robbie, and Chet, who was very proud of his new Panama hat, but that he had to wear sideways because of this honking big earring he was wearing in his cartilige hole...and to be uniquely Chet!
tomorrow it will be in the 70's for the first time since...September or October. It will be so refreshing! Laundry on the clothes line! Diapers dried in the sun and not via Massachusetts Electric!! Hurray for warm weather at last at last!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Fergie

Here is my beloved, beloved Irish Setter, Fergie. He is such a good sport about things like Reindeer antlers and toddler hugs. And now he is in the hospital and things do not look good for him. I am waiting now to hear the results of his ultrasound, as he has an extremely enlarged spleen, which is indicative of cancer in 90% of older dogs. He is 9 1/2 years old, and although you may not tell from this picture, he is a very large Irish.

They usually run 60-65 pounds, and he is around 85-90 pounds. This winter he ran up to 92 pounds, but when he got sick two weeks ago and stopped eating, his weight went down to his summer weight of 85 (not the way for this to happen, by the way).

I'm so deeply saddened by the impending loss of my friend and companion. My eldest son is afficted with Asperger's Syndrome, or high-functioning Autism. One of the hallmarks for this is a lack of social reciprocity, including hugging and expressions of love. He really doesn;t like to be touched at all, and as I am a very huggy person, this was extremely difficult. Fergie filled that void for me, as well as being a friend to take walks at 5 a.m. and *like* it, protector of my kids outside, and protector of the house. Although Irish are not known for being "guard" dogs, he was super protective of his family.

The hardest part of being a pet owner is making this last and difficult decision...when will my friend die? Oh, I could do surgery, and chemo, but I'm just not willing to do that to him. I tried to keep two cats alive through extreme measures, and they suffered because I could not let go. I am determined to not do this to him, to give him the dignity and strength that he deserves from me. But, oh how I hate it.

Letting go, saying goodbye, and helping my kids deal with this loss ... so hard. Yet, it is an incredibly intense part of the circle of life. We all will die someday. Being a pagan somehow helps me feel better about this, that he and I are part of this same wheel. I knew his circle would be shorter than mine, but I do believe there is another side of life, after we draw our last breath here, we, our spirits/energies will pass on to another place. Fergie will go there before me, but I know when it is my turn to go there, he will be there, bounding up to me in that lovely Irish Setter way, fur-feathers flying, and that happy, joyful look upon his sweet face.

Blessed be, my beloved friend. Our time here was too short. But I needs must let your spirit free from your hurting body. I love you.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Finally we are all feeling better! It's been 3 weeks of crud, coughing, sneezing, red noses, coughing, plugged name it, someone in this big family has had it!!

Somehow, during our period of....being offline, ya, I like thinkin' of it like that, we were offline, and now we've reconnected! anyway...during our period of being offline, Spring came for a visit. St. Patties day was a huge bust, as we had a mega-big snowstorm (well the biggest one for us all year) and no one was feeling good, so we had to take all day to shovel the driveway...and our neighbor across the street came over with his snowblower to help out! What a great guy! I know you guys love your toys, and snowblowers are a pretty fun one to have...but it really saved the day for us. Still took the rest of the day to unbury the cars and the path to the shed for the trash runs, and shovel off the deck at the back door so we could get out there and down cellar to get to the washer.
Finally...after another week of cold weather after that big snowstorm, it warmed up and hit 60's for a few days...even yesterday it was mid-50's. They kept saying we were going to get snow last night, but surely they were dead wrong...I mean, c'mon! It was 56 at 6 p.m. yesterday. And at 8 when I let the dog out it was raining so hard! Then I let him out at 915 and it was snowing so hard....sheesh !
But it was all over before 5 a.m. when the dog asked to go out again, and was falling off the trees so much that it sounded like someone was walking all over the roof! We only got 3 inches of snow, and it was all melted by 930 when we left for church. Now that's a great spring snowstorm!
and's time for me to head off for bed.
I'm glad I Finally had some time for my blog! I miss blogging. It's like free therapy. I can bitch and whine and share happy stuff...just wait until you get my next blog, talk about news...but I can't just now because...
Finally, I'm done!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Youngers and stuff...

When you see these two munchins don't you just want to cuddle and hug them? Elisabeth has just discovered her fingers work! She's holding a soft rattle in the top picture, and as I was trying to take the photo, she was shaking it madly! She is in what we call "cell phone practice posture" .....
And here is KC giving his sister a hug. He was thrilled to be able to "hold" her, while he was showing off the hat that I made for him. His favorite color right now is orange, and the hat is even brighter in real life.
Yesterday Elisabeth turned 3's hard to believe that much time has gone by since she came to us...and one month from today, KC turns three! Oh my! My wee lad is growing up! He is fiercely independent, wanting to do everything by himself, but he's also such a good problem solver. Homeschooling him will be a blast...challenging for me, I'm sure, but he's got a thirsty mind like his oldest brother.

Friday, February 23, 2007

More snow!

This image is from last night when the snow began. It was supposed to be a dusting but we got about 5 inches overnight. Normally, we New Englanders would scoff at a mere 5 inches, but in this year without snow, it was an Event!

There are many things I like about snow. I like the symbolism inherent in the individuality of each snowflake, and how such a fragile, delicate thing, when joined by a billion of it's kind, can cause huge accidents, screw up airline travel, bury towns, and bring joy to school aged children everywhere.
I love the luminosity of snow. It's never truly dark out just after snowfall. The air has a pearlescent sheen, the ground and tree branches which just disappear into the dark of a winter night are transformed into delicate lacework.
I like that peculiar, particular smell of new snow. Nothing else smells just like that.
I love the silence. Before the plows start trundling by with their thunder and diesel humming, sparking up the roadsides, before most people work up the energy to dust off their vehicles, I like to go out and just listen. To nothing. Everything is muffled, calm, peaceful.

Even this morning, when I went out to look at the predawn beauty, the song of the cardinal and his mate were quieter, reverential. This world is so filled with beauty! You wouldn't think it to watch the 6 p.m. news, and I know there are bad things happening everywhere, but there are good things too, and snowbeauty is one of the good things.

Once the sun came up, and the blue stretched from horizon to horizon, people got on about their days, the birds flew about more purposefully (feed the belly, build the nests!) I knew I could get just a few more shots in before the heat and wind of the day stripped the last of the snow from the trees. This is the best of the lot, my beautiful birch tree.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Snow at last!

Above is a picture of the last remaining apple orchard that John Chapman, known as "Johnny Appleseed" planted in his birthplace of Leominster. This is the best of my winter pictures...of course with this milder than normal winter, I've not taken too many, but I love the reflection of the setting sun on the lightly crusted snow...and I get a sense that the orchard is waiting, dreaming of spring flowers, honey bees and apples to come.

And below is our intrepid shovel man! He HAD to "hewp shovl like Chet and Robbie" during our Valentine's Day storm.
And last but not least, a beaming Robbie, who was overjoyed that it finally snowed enough for him to take a few runs on his sled ... after he shoveled his share of the driveway.