There is an virus that has been traveling through the world creating havoc and loss and brought with it fear and pain. I won’t spend time here giving details about it because any one reading this should already know. There are articles and broadcasts bombarding us everyday and we have to choose what to do with this information. I have decided to do a number of things as I ride out this pandemic. You will read about some of them if you return for a visit and I am still here. Right now, I’m back and I’m still here.
I haven’t posted for a long, long, time. I think I lost my passion to share when I realized that so much of what is posted on the net is posted specifically for financial gain. I believe in the right to make money. I love dressing teddy bears for special occasions and selling them. I thought that doing so was a reasonable thing to do since I was already talking about things in my life that I find interesting. The problem is that the web, in general, is so “in your face” that I started to feel uncomfortable. I felt too small to be interesting so I stopped.
Now that I am home quarantining and it has been about eight weeks, I am doing what many of you are doing; reassessing the way that I live and use my time. This is one of the ironies of COVID-19, if you manage to stay healthy, you have time on your hands.
Oh, sure I have plenty to do but there also a lot of things that I cannot do since the state of Massachusetts is shut down. I have the same 24 hours that I used to have but I’m not using time to travel, run lots of errands and other things. I can use that time in another way and I have decided to use some of it to get back to blogging. I want to share stories about some of what I am doing because I can’t come see you and you might be wondering about me or just getting to know me- since you probably have some time right now too. Try to stay safe and healthy. That’s what I’m doing. Hello again but bye for now.
It has been a long time since I was here. I have no excuse but I do have a reason- I have a grandson who is turning one year old tomorrow, April 27, 2017!
I will not post a picture of him yet though he fills the pages of my Facebook account. Yep, he’s adorable and takes up a lot of my time- time that I willingly and gratefully give.
When my son and daughter were both infants, I remember being concerned that I wouldn’t have enough love to go around. I wasn’t long out of childhood myself and thank God I was wrong. My love expanded and continues to grow to this day. Now of course, I have a love for my grandson that is made up of emotion and lot’s of life experience.
He started life with deficits. There were lots of doctors telling my daughter and son-in-law that things were not right with this pregnancy. They said that the baby was very small and had very small limbs. The couple was frightened and so were my husband and I but they were determined to birth this baby and love it no matter what. Oh yeah, they also didn’t want to know the gender!
My son-in-law has a very demanding and public intensive job and I was asked to accompany my daughter to many appointments. I consider that experience a gift. We cried together, laughed together, and most importantly for us, we prayed together. Not prayers that we have a perfect baby, but prayers that we be able to be the best family ever for this baby and yes of course we’d be truly happy if there were no major abnormalities. We wanted the baby desperately despite it’s condition.
I can’t make this story any shorter but I can get to the point; last April my daughter was ordered into the hospital and the baby was delivered six weeks early. He was tiny at 3 pounds and several ounces but his little face was perfect! He stayed in the hospital for several weeks and his mom and dad suffered so during that time. My husband and I and our son-in-law’s parents worried too. We all went back and forth to the hospital and I spent many days and hours being a mommy to my daughter as she nurtured her son. I cannot explain the love we all shared and how spiritual it all felt but it was so.
The little boy is beautiful today and hitting all the markers the doctors put before him. His name is Kaleb. He is happy, healthy, and loved immensely. Happy birthday Kaleb! We thank God for you.
Our summer and fall have been full. We’ve had celebrations, funerals, job changes, illnesses, wellness, and life keeps on happening.
When my husband and I first began blogging we had some similar and some different ideas about content. He wanted to spend time sharing and teaching about photography. I wanted to spend time sharing about nature in the city and life in general. We both wanted to be able to offer various items that we produced for sale.
Time has passed and we are rethinking our site. If you have been following us we thank you. If you stumbled upon us, we will get better.
Give us a bit more time and we will begin the new year with content that will be fresh and keep you coming back for more.
What a year this has been and I am grateful for it!
I have spent a lot of time this year marveling in simple things. After having spent so much of my adult life attending to others due to their needs or my own, I have slowed down with purpose.
Several years ago I had breast cancer. After my diagnosis, my family and friends and I dealt with it as best we could. We learned what we could about the disease, we prayed and I took advantage of the medical miracles available to me.
I was very seriously ill and initially, very scared to die. I had surgery and chemotherapy and lost my hair. Nausea was a constant but I wasn’t like many of my breast cancer sisters who lose their appetite- I was hungry- a lot; but most food tasted awful and metallic. Non of this stopped me from eating it only postponed when I could eat. Surprisingly I did not gain weight during treatment. My husband used to tell me that maybe that helped me to survive. I wasn’t skeletal and my body had calories to sustain it while it did battle for me against the cancer.
Well this year is my eighth year of survival and I will tell you what I have learned: I learned that bad things happen to everyone including me but not especially me. I also learned that I fear how I am going to die but accept that I am going to die at some point- and so are you! I have also learned that my faith life is essential to me and an essential part of me. I didn’t become super human or super special because I had a brush with death but I am super appreciative that I am here today.
I spent this spring and summer working and playing hard. This fall I am slowing down, thinking about life, thanking God and thinking about you. I’m back and I missed you. Let’s get reacquainted!
Living in the moment sounds like a thoughtful way to live and a wonderful thing to do. When I am engaged in tasks or events that I want to be part of, I definitely want the moments to last and they seem to hold a special significance. So why is it that in so many things that I do, I simply want the time to go by?
For instance a visit to the dentist though significant, is usually unpleasant and seems to drag on an on. The payoff is clean teeth and a healthy smile but to get there I have to put up with scraping, digging, and other unpleasantness. Those are moments I just as soon forget.
Recently we had a major storm named “Nemo” that dumped large amounts of snow on Boston. Prior to the storm, I imagined how cozy it would be inside our house ( if the electricity held up) and how much I would enjoy the time with my family -none of us would be able to go anywhere once the storm really got going. In fact, our governor declared an emergency so no one could drive on the roads for a period of time.
I did savor those moments with family, watching it snow, eating great food and listening to good music. We were lucky because we had electricity, heat, food, and each other. After the storm, we went outside to shovel snow and walk through our neighborhood with a friend. We met neighbors we hadn’t met before and talked and generally had fun. I think that I learned that living in the moment is another way of saying “appreciate life now. ”
Well I did, and I do.
My friend here lives at the zoo and is doing fine too.
In the last two weeks we had a lot more snow, including a major snow storm that gave us about 24″ (~60 cm) of snow. Because temperatures kept increasing shortly after the snowfall, most of the snow disappeared almost immediately.
We still have several weeks of winter left, although the warmer temperatures make us wonder every time if we are done with winter yet.
The photos from a beach are from West Haven, CT. The light had such a special quality and beauty.
A day or two ago, I was thinking of things that I was grateful for. What’s funny about that idea is that it arose from experiencing something I was unhappy about and I was being ungrateful!
There I was in the middle of what has been a mild winter, and I was shoveling snow and feeling a few aches. I got over myself pretty quickly when I realized that I was alive and mobile and those are two things I am particularly grateful for.
Now, I admit that I am not always a ray of sunshine- though I try to remain hopeful about what this life has to offer. I also think that there are lots of blogs that you can spend time reading that will make you angry, upset, or downright miserable. I am not going to do that to you. When I want to make someone miserable I am woman enough to do so in person and live with the consequences.
So today I am leaving you this message of hope: yes it is winter, yes it is cold, no your problems are not solved and neither are mine but I am thankful for many things- including you….
My birthday is tomorrow and I am preparing to celebrate it with my family. This birthday, like the last few, means a lot to me because several years ago my life was almost cut short by breast cancer. I don’t say that for dramatic effect it is simply a fact of my past. I don’t take my life for granted, nor do I live in constant fear that it will end but this year I am even more contemplative because during the past few weeks a number of major events have occurred that affected the way that I look at my life even though the events are not about me.
In the U.S. we just came through an election that simply made people crazed. There was a lot of public anger and such unhappiness that no matter what side you were on it was unpleasant. I believe I heard a collective sigh of relief when it was over just so we wouldn’t have to hear the negativity in ads anymore! More recently there have been terrible crimes committed including a massive one impacting many very young children and their families and friends. All of this and Christmas is just a few days away.
I recently saw the movie about President Abraham Lincoln and surprised myself by being anxious about how it would end, despite knowing how it would end. I learned a lot from the movie and realize that the world continues to turn, seasons change, ideas change, people change. How I feel about those things matters only to me and those in my orbit. Maybe you. So, I am taking the events of the world in- knowing that I may have no control over them, processing them, feeling the sorrow when appropriate, and being grateful that I was born.
Here I am in the wee hours of the morning in bed, but awake. I was thinking about how busy I have been lately, how much I have accomplished, and how much more I have to do. I am not upset about the situation, in fact, I am grateful to have a life that is so full. I do not take any of this for granted. I was very ill a few years ago. With the love of my family and friends and the power of my spiritual life and modern medicine- I am here today.
Of course this is the modern world with many people and situations to complain about. We just completed an election here in the states that had many of us on edge and feeling negative. It is over now and somehow most of us survived it and are moving on as we always have.
I’m not writing today to say look at what I have overcome! Get over your issues! Believe me, as long as life goes on, as long as my life goes on, I remain supremely human with all of the complications that may entail. What I am saying is that this morning I woke up early, in the dark and felt peace and happiness for a period of time despite all that is happening in the world and I was happy and thought of you…
Those of us who attended talked about the ways in which we care for our hair. When we weren’t doing that, we ate tons of yummy food and had delicious drinks as well. The best part of the evening was a visit by a manicurist who did all of our nails. Kimba topped the evening off with adorable gift cartons filled with homemade lip gloss, chocolate lollipops, and a “Be Natural” candle.
Now I don’t want to brag, but I’m going to- that was my daughter who gave that great party! I did make a contribution to the awesomeness though, I made baked Mac & Cheese. Here’s the recipe:
For a 9×11 pan of mac & cheese you will need:
1 box of elbow or little shells pasta
4 oz yellow sharp cheddar cheese- shredded
4 0z mild cheddar or colby cheese- shredded
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
4oz canned skim milk& 4oz water for 8 oz total of milk
For seasoning use black pepper, garlic salt and any salt free herb mixture amounting to about 1 tbsp combined.
Cook the pasta and drain it. You can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium-low heat, add the flour and about a tsp of the spices. Stir and add about 1/4 of the milk, keep stirring to prevent lumps, add another 1/4 of the milk and about 1/2 of the cheese till the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened. Add the rest of the milk till smooth. Continuous stirring is important to prevent the sauce from burning. You can always add more milk if you think the sauce is too thick. Add in the rest of the spices and give it a good stir. Turn off the heat.
Pour the sauce into the pasta and stir it up covering all of the pasta then transfer to a baking dish. Pour the remaining cheese over the top of the dish and cook in a 350 degree oven until the cheese on top is melted and the dish is bubbly. This usually takes about 30 minutes. Enjoy!