Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Today I'm thankful for a little peace and quiet.  I love my husband.  I love my son.  I love all my friends and family.
But some times, some days, I just need them to all go away.  At least for a little bit.  I need time to not have to interact with the outside world.  Time to get lost in my own head, with my own thoughts.  Or lost in the thoughts of another, in a book or story.  Or mindlessly play puzzle games until I'm moving more on autopilot and anything and my mind drifts elsewhere.

I never realized how much "alone" time I got when I was working.  I got 20 to 30 minutes each way every morning and evening, well almost, to myself.  To listen to the radio or not.  To think my thoughts as I drove down the highway.  To prepare myself or unwind from dealing with people all day long.

You'd think I'd have plenty of that now that I'm home all day.  You'd be sadly mistaken.  My mornings are spent with my boys.  Getting Boo ready for school and out the door and spending a little quality time with just Gak and I until he's got to get ready for work.  Then either I've got to pick up a boy at lunch and we spend the afternoon together doing all kinds of things or I use the time to work on that whole finding a job thing, or errands and dealing with people in general.  There aren't many afternoons that I get a nice chunk of time to myself to just escape the world for a few.

Also, I haven't been getting up at the crack of dawn.  Gak has.  And therefore I stay asleep, or mostly asleep, in my warm, cozy bed trying to eek out a few moments of me time.

But, Wednesday nights, at least most Wednesday nights in theory, I get a couple of hours all to myself.  Boo is in bed around 7:30 or so.  Gak goes to Scott's house for gaming.  And I, get some blessedly quiet "alone" time.

So, pardon me while I take advantage of a sleeping boy and an "empty" apartment.  I don't know if I'm going to play with yarn or get lost in a book, probably both before the evening is done.

Peace to all and may you get the quiet you need.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moms and Authors

Well, I ended up crashing last night before I could write my post.  I was thinking about it all afternoon.  As I listened to my boy-o and his Amma playing I was thinking about how thankful I am that he gets to spend so much time with her.  I'm thankful for all the things my mom has done for me over the years, but it makes my heart sing to see the joy my boy and my mom bring each other.  And, it also makes me a little sad because he doesn't get that chance to be with his Nana.

This evening I'm really thankful for two people.  I'm thankful for my friend Steph.  She's been there a lot for me, especially the past several months.  Even if it's just someone to mutually gripe at and about the world with, that's been a wonderful boon.  But, through her, I have met an awesome and wonderful woman and author.  You see, she works with Lynda Gene Rymond.  She's an author and has two children's books published and several more in the pipeline.  We've been doing a monthly series this year of having women come in and talk about their careers and how they got there.  Steph asked Lynda Gene if she would come and she said yes.  And boy am I glad she did!  All three of our speakers have been quite different.  And really, they just keep getting better.  Lynda Gene had our girls rapt attention from the moment she started talking almost until the end.  She spoke to all of our hearts and souls, and I think many of the girls were hearing her on all levels.  I know she spoke to my heart, not just my head.
And following the Native tradition that is a part of her bloodline, she opened and closed her talk with a song.  I don't know about any of the girls, but I sure felt the power of it, it was quite tingly!  I doubt the girls realized the power she was invoking, but I felt it.

Anyhow, I'm so thankful to have met such a wonderful person who happens to be a fun author.  She's definitely someone I could hang with and go on fun adventures with.  There were three things that struck me tonight.  One, sometimes the universe will find a way to make you stop hiding your true talent.  Two, put everything you can into the cauldron of your imagination and let it bubble.  Three, "publishing a book is like letting a leaf go into the Grand Canyon, there is no thud".

Peace to all and may your talents shine through, your imagination bubble over and you release many leaves into the world.  And may you also have wonderful people to share it all with.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today I am thankful for socks.  Not just any socks.  Those of you who know me well know that I'd rather be barefoot if at all possible, or in my hiking boots if not.  Yeah, I know, opposite ends of the spectrum.  But, that's me!

Anyhow, today I'm thankful for hand made, warm, soft and snuggly socks.  I finished my first pair since January or so this evening.  I have them on right now.  They're not perfect, they're a little long and a little wide, but they're so soft and wonderful.  They'll be even nicer tomorrow in my boots hiking.  I love my hand made socks for hiking.  Thick enough to provide nice padding.  Thin enough to not be bulky and weird.  And since they're all at least 50% wool, they're nice and warm, even when wet and they wick moisture away well.  So, yes, I'm thankful for socks and the ability to make them.
No, you can't have them.  They won't fit (unless your feet happen to be about an inch or so longer than mine but not too much wider, then they'd fit you perfectly...).  That's the other awesome part about hand made socks.  Custom fit.

Yep, I have happy toes.

But, I'm off to bed because I've got a busy and early day tomorrow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Today was a good day. Even though the weather was a bit gray and cool, it was a good day to be outside.
Today I took some of my girls hiking at French Creek. Because of the iffy weather only 5 girls and Billy came. And there were 4 adults. (This is way more adults than required, but everyone there wanted to go for a hike.)
We probably did between 3 nad 4 miles today. Not a ton of climb, but enough to notice.
Sure, I personally would have rather gone out by myself on an orienteering trail (DVOA was in a different section of the park...), but I will take what I can get. I am thankful for any time I get to be outside and hiking. Even leading a group it does my soul good. And going to French Creek is almost like going home. I've done many, many trails there. The only park I've possibly been to more is Valley Forge because I lived on the edge.
So over all today I'm thankful for being outside.

Friday, November 15, 2013


I know, I know I didn't actually post a blog yesterday. On Facebook I said I was thankful that the leader meeting was short. And I still am. Those things can be LONG and boring. I guess it was a light news month or something. (We did get to try the new cookies replacing the failed Mango Cremes from last year. They're a citrus cranberry crisp and they are delicious. I see many accompanying my tea this winter....)

But today I am thankful for what I should have posted yesterday. I am so very thankful for Boo's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. M.
We got his first report card Wednesday and we had our first parent/teacher conference yesterday. (Unfortunately Gak couldn't make it because he was home with Billy who got sent home sick... this way neither of his parents had to leave work.)  Anyhow it was a very good report card and an awesome meeting with his teacher. She admitted she was a bit nervous after orientation that he was just going to shut down and withdraw, which would totally inhibit any learning. But he has surprised US all with how he is doing. He's growing by leaps and bounds with his knowledge and has only shut downand withdrawn a few times and then only briefly in the past month or two. He is much happier doing math than reading but loves his reading specialist Mrs. G. He also has made two friends and the three boys do well together. Boo will always remark if one or thr other was absent.

And I know a lot of it is Boo maturing and growing on his own. I know some of it is good parents. But I also know a huge part of it is the patience and skill of Mrs. M. I  so thankful for her and her dedication to her students.

Peace to all and may you have good teachers in your life. Or more good than not, we've all had the not ones now and again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Ok, so I was tired and forgot to post something last night after my Girl Scout meeting.  So, I posted a kinda silly one on Facebook this morning.  I said I was thankful for February being cold because there are so many awesome November birthdays on my calendar that it's probably my busiest birthday month.  Yeah, I know, kinda silly, but if you can't be silly sometimes it's not worth doing.  (And hey, if February wasn't cold and didn't have Valentine's day, I might not be writing this...)

Anyhow, today I am thankful for my bread machine.  That is because today I made my second loaf for the week already.  In the past month almost I think I've bought maybe 3 loaves of bread, and two because it was "buy one, get one free" and potato bread, which is a total splurge for me.  This means that while I may have gone through 5 or 6 pounds of bread flour, whole wheat flour and even some rye flour, I have cut way back on the cost of bread for my family.  Not to mention it just plain tastes better, makes the house smell awesome and I can pronounce all the ingredients that are in it!

So, I'm thankful for my bread machine to take the effort out of making dough for bread.  You see, I still bake the bread in the oven.  The loaf is shaped better and the crust has a way better texture.  But, I load up the bread machine and let it do all the heavy lifting for me.

Again, another somewhat silly thing to be thankful for, but not really.  It's not silly to be thankful for the little luxuries that make providing food that much more fun, enjoyable, healthy and cheap.

So, I'm heading to bed before I snitch another slice (I ate way, way too much over all today and my tummy is telling me so, but.... fresh bread!).

Peace to all and may you have a small luxury that makes life that much more enjoyable.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Today I can't help hut post a thanks to the men and women serving this country. I know I do that every Veterans Day, but that doesw make it any less true.

I know everyone says it today. And, until about 12 or 14 years ago I probably said it but, I'm not sure how much I meant it. For you see, I knew very few personally who were actively serving or who had. Or I should say that I realized who had. But now, knowing who I know and having the husband I have, I realize how much I toom them all for granted.

While I may be a lousy friend when it comes to email and the like there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder and worry about Steve while he is overseas. I worry and I hate the fact that he's there, but I know damn right well he's who needs to be there. His team and the locals are in good hands. I just wish they didn't have to be.

I hear a lot about sacrifice and bravery and honour today. But, really, these kids aren't brave, they're just dong what they think is right and protecting what they believe in. They'll have the luxury of bravery when they're done.

So here is to all past, present, and future who believe in this land enough to protect it. And here is to making sure everyone who comes home gets all the love and support and care and dignity that they need and deserve.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturdays and Birthdays

(By the way, this is post number 900! I'm pretty impressed actually....)

Anyhow I woke up this morning and I realized I never posted a thankful thing for yesterday.  So, yesterday I was thankful for Saturdays.  You see, Saturdays, at least during the school year, we've got a pretty good routine going on that involves a few chores and the chance to hang out with some of the "cousins".  And yesterday, that was exactly what we needed.
It actually turned out to be quite a full day.  We went to bowling and I got to hang out with Kat while Boo played with me a bit as well as Billy and Zoe.  Then, Billy went home with his dad and the rest of us went to the diner to have some brunch and then both Kat and I had to do laundry.  By the time the laundry was done it was 2:00.  The boy and I came home for a nap until Gak came home.  Then I had to run to the store and do something about dinner.  Talk about a full day!  But it was the good kind of full.

Today, well, today I think I have to be thankful for birthdays and happy celebrations.  Today was full of them!  We had lunch with mom and then back to the house for cake and ice cream to celebrate dad's birthday early, and mine even earlier.  Then, this evening we celebrated Bethany's birthday family style.  Her birthday is tomorrow and she'll be celebrating it with a "grown up" dinner out with her parents and close adults.
I think I have to be thankful that we have Bethany to celebrate her birthday.  I thought I posted about it, but I guess in the chaos of the end of the year, I didn't. You see, Scott and Tabitha gave her up for adoption when she was born 20 years ago now.  Scott had been trying to find her for quite some time, but gave up looking last fall.  Well, last December, right before Zoe's Christmas concert actually, Beth found Scott and Tabby.  It's been quite an adventurous year everyone getting to know each other and currently Beth is living with Scott.  So, I'm very thankful that Scott and Beth have been reunited, even if there's been a very steep learning curve for everyone involved.

So, as I head off to bed, I bid you peace and both time with friends on a regular basis as well as to celebrate the good things.

Friday, November 08, 2013


Today I think I'll be thankful for cookies. Home made cookies at that. Sure, in theory it was supposed to be a mom/son fun activity. And, mostly it was. At least Boo'll remember it that way. I'll remember it as an exercise in letting go and biting my tongue. That and making some pretty darn yummy cookies.

So, my boy-o likes to "make cookies".  So, I will admit that I used it as a bribe.  It doesn't really matter what for, but I wanted to ensure some extra good behavior today, so I bribed him with making cookies.  Double chocolate chip cookies at that.  ( Find the recipe here: )

Boo's behavior was what we wanted, so after lunch and some quiet play time it was time to make some cookies.  Yes, I will admit, I work math lessons in fractions into the deal.  I make him work for those cookies.  Partially, because it's a sneaky way to get math into him (even though he likes numbers way, way more than letters/reading right now...).  Partially, because it's about all the work I'll get out of him when it comes to making the cookies.  He runs and hides when I turn on the mixer.  He won't help measure the sticky stuff.  He likes to drive me nuts and play in the container of flour, but I think I finally convinced him to not use his fingers when doing this....  He's still very sloppy at measuring and doesn't understand the concept of holding measuring cups level.  And, when it comes to the actual work of putting cookies onto trays, he might do one or two, and then he's out the door.  Because it's too much like work.

So, more or less I make the cookies and he licks the beaters and eats the finished products.  Oh, and if icing or other decorating is involved, he'll gladly do that.

Which means that the whole thing becomes an exercise in me letting go of my control freak ways in the kitchen.  (Ask Gak, I learned very quickly that I can't be in the kitchen when he cooks... I'll just try and take over and all that does is make both of us cranky...)  And I have to just let certain things go.  And accept that I will be the one doing the lion's share of the work.  And remind myself that he's 5, with an appropriately short attention span and skill set.

But, we had fun.  We have some very delicious cookies.  And, hopefully, we've added a few more good and happy memories to the boy's memory banks, even if it might have given me a few more gray hairs.

So, I wish you all peace and fresh, home made cookies and all the lessons they can bring.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Today I think I have to be thankful for new and different.  You see, thanks to two moms from Boo's daycare who I've seen in passing for quite some time now, but finally spent time with at the pool on Sunday, I got drug to Zumba tonight.

(Boo and I went to the pool Sunday and just happened to run into two girls from his daycare who are younger than him, but he usually plays well with.)

Anyhow, I think the instructor was out to kill us.  According to the other moms the usual instructor isn't quite so high impact aerobic.  I had fun.  My hips are beginning to ache a bit from the stretching/moving.  I will be going back again.  Maybe not next week since I have leader meeting at 7, but I will go again.

I have a tendency to get into ruts and routines.  And, after 2 years of dealing with this chronic fatigue and other baloney I have to, have to, have to get back into some kind of workout routine.  I doubt I'll ever be able to go back to 5 days a week of something, but I have to do more than walk (fairly slowly) the almost two miles round trip to take Boo to school.  Yes, I'm way more active than I was, but I need to avoid becoming a couch slug again.  And the only way to do that is to keep moving.  (I'm not going to go into my fear of overdoing it without realizing it or what adding work eventually to my routine will do when I'm experiencing exhaustion chills more often again....)

So, I'm going to wrap up this completely rambling and barely held together post and say good night.

So, try something new and different.  You may just like it.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Today is a small but simple thing to be thankful for. Today, I'm thankful that even as tight as things are, I am still able to occasionally brighten someone else's day with a random little gift. Even something as simple as a spool of Hello Kitty ribbon to an unsuspecting friend in NYC because they don't have JoAnn's where she is.

You see, Miss Diva Deena surprised me back at the beginning of the year with some stitch markers she made. I was very touched by the gesture since I'd only met her a few months prior and had only interacted with her on G+. But, from that brief time and seeing her wonderful knit and crochet work appear in my stream and the fun conversations we all had, she quickly became one of my "Favorite Fiberatti".
I could hear her squeal of happiness all the way down here when she got it today. And that made me smile the biggest smile I could. It wasn't much. It was something small, but I know from personal experience how much the little things mean, the random "thinking of you" things that can brighten just about any day. So, I'm thankful that I was able to bring a little sunshine on a gray November day to a friend who's been having a rough go of it.
Just like many of my G+ friends have done for me over the last 7 months.
Peace to all and may you spread a little sunshine unexpectedly in peoples' lives, and may a little of it fall on you as well.

The Diva's year has been about as bad as mine, if not worse. You see, she's been jobless longer than I have. And although she's taken a few different positions they were all horrible and didn't last. This week she started a temporary gig and has a few leads on other, more permanent things doing what she wants. She's had a really rough go of it, but thankfully she's got Mr. A by her side. And all of us in Plus Land cheering her on. Just as she's done for many of us.

Oh, and she's a huge Hello Kitty fan. I'd seen several different HK ribbons at JoAnn's all summer long, and they always made me think of Miss Diva. But, they always seemed too expensive for their yardage. Someone had posted a picture of them on G+ recently and I found out that there are no JoAnn's near her. This made me pout, The Diva needs this ribbon!

Then it went on sale. So, I snapped it up.

And being the sneaky so-and-so I can be, I had kept her address from when she sent me my markers. I didn't even tell her it was coming.

So, I'm thankful both for being able to give a little sunshine and to have received lots of sunshine myself from friends who barely even know me.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I'm having a hard time with what to be thankful for today.  I know, it's election day, so I should say that I'm thankful for the right to vote, and thankful for all the hard working women and men who fought hard to get me that vote.  But, since I didn't actually vote (Gak did though, and took the boy-o), I'd feel a bit hypocritical saying that.  (It was only a very minor election.  But, still I should have made the effort, there were school board positions up for a vote and I'm not happy with some of their recent decisions...)

I could say I'm thankful for Boo having a day off from school, so that we could spend the afternoon together.  But, with the budget the way it is, we didn't do anything too exciting (except buying him a new coat since last year's is too short in the arms...).  And, quite frankly, I get lots of time with the boy-o these days so today didn't feel like anything special.  And Boo's still not dealing with the time shift well, crashing early despite our best efforts and rising at the crack of dawn.  (Which, of course leads to cranky boy who crashes early because he refuses to rest during the day even when he's a whiny, cranky piece of work who's too tired to stand in line at the store but insists he isn't tired. /sigh.)

So, maybe today I'll just be thankful for uneventful days.  Yes, that's it.  Today was more or less uneventful and not very special in the grand scheme of things.  Sure, it's quite special because we're all here and (mostly) healthy. (Gak went to bed early fighting a headache and Boo's had a cough sneaking up on us for the past few days and is sounding a bit soupy... and I'm feeling a bit gun-shy about him and a cough after December and January's adventures...)

So, on that note, I wish you peace and every day, uneventful days where you can catch your breath and relax a bit.

Monday, November 04, 2013


With the cold nights we've been having I'm very thankful for one my latest splurge purchases. I bought myself a hot water bottle after hearing several people rave about them last winter.
Add me to the fan club! It warms my bed to toasty warm right quick, has no wires or plugs, and stays warm for hours upon hours. Oh, and I made this awesome little cover (my own design) and it is even better! No more cold toes or achy muscles.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Y? Y not.

Today I'm thankful for the Y.  It gives me a great place to take a boy-o to burn off some extra energy.  And we've got access to a pool year round.  And I love to swim.  I really, really, really need to get into a routine of going to the pool and/or the fitness center again.  Ever since school started I just can't seem to figure out something that I like.

Today, I gave Boo a few choices of what he wanted to do.  He chose the pool.  Ok, fine by me.  (Mind you, even with keeping him up extra late last night he was still up at 5:30 EST thank you daylight savings....)  Low and behold, as we were walking down the hall to the family locker room, one of the little girls from his daycare calls to him.  So, not only did we get to have fun playing in the water, it turns out that two of the younger girls from daycare were there for a play date.  Oh, and the moms invited me to Zumba Thursday evening from 5:30 to 6:30.  That'll be a little rough on the boy with our normal schedule.... since I'll pick him up from daycare just to take him to the kids room at the Y (well, not quite but almost...).

Anyhow, we'll see what happens.

I still maintain that I don't like daylight savings time.  I stayed up late, had a hard time falling asleep, slept horribly and was still up at the crack of dawn.  So, it's been a tired day all the way around in this house.  And tired usually means cranky, and it did.  Oh well.  We've got a sound asleep boy and I'm about to go curl up with a book and crash.

Peace to all and may you have somewhere wonderful to go.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thankful November

I'm sure everyone has noticed, but it has been way, way too easy for me to focus on the negative this year.  As I have for the past few years, I plan on posting a small, thankful post every day.  I need to do this.  To remind myself of all the good things in my life this year; so I stop focusing on the negative.

Yes, I'm running a day behind, but that's nothing new around here.  And as with years past, I don't promise these will be long or involved and may only be a few words, but they will be something.

Yesterday, I was thankful for the contract agency that I've ended up falling in with.  I think I finally have someone (or a couple of someones actually) who are truly interested in helping me find a new job.  Sure, they may get rewarded monetarily for it, but whatever works.
I've neglected posting about this for a few weeks now.  Anyhow, long story short-ish, I applied for a position a few weeks ago.  It was a contract position, but there are advantages to that.  Anyhow, the contract contact got in touch with me.  The position wasn't open because they had extended their existing contractor but she was really interested in my resume and wanted to meet with me so I could learn more about the staffing company she works for and she could get to know me a bit more.  So, we met for coffee one morning and hit it off.  She's already found a couple of potential opportunities, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high yet.  But, I'm thankful for J and the fact that she's friendly and actually interested in helping me get a position that plays to my strengths.

Today, I'm thankful for my crafting ability.  Without the ability to turn bits and pieces into something I would have seriously gone even more insane than I have these past 7 months.  Suffice to say I've been playing with yarn a lot this year.  And I made Boo's Halloween costume.  (Yes, yes, I'll get a picture of the little Minion up soon.) And I made things for me.  I've even made things that have made my fiber friends go ooOOOOooo and think I'm talented.
It really is amazing how much you can think and create at the same time.

Anyhow, that's the start of my November.  Here's to a whole month of positive thoughts, no matter how small.