This week Tim, our youngest, is attending the American Legion’s Boys Nation at Marymount University. He was selected as one of the two Vermont delegates to attend on behalf of our state. It is a great honor and Tim of course is taking it all very seriously. I don’t need to say I am very proud of him. They campaigned and elected their federal officers which mirror the federal government including a President, Vice President and the like. We watched the elections which were streamed live and have been keeping up with the week’s activities. The group, consisting of 98 young men, have visited the monuments at Washington D.C., the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery. They will be visiting the Capitol where they will have the opportunity to meet their senators. They are even supposed to have the opportunity to meet the President.

Here is Tim’s Senate photo.

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It is our understanding that he is the Senate whip, for those of you familiar with House of Cards. Go Tim!

A good friend of the family brought to my attention that if Tim gets the opportunity to shake the President’s hand, I should be a good mom and save those photos. Another Boys Nation participant in 1963 who had the opportunity to shake JFK’s hand, walked into the Oval Office in his own right decades later. One never knows, does one?

If you would like to peek in on what is going on in Boys Nation, here is the link to their website.

We have all heard the stories and perhaps, sadly, even know of people who are forced to eat cat food or dog food because they cannot afford human food. But have you taken a stroll through your local pet food store lately? The food is not inexpensive and the ingredient lists read like menus from your local restaurant. Trying to raise awareness about the diets of humans and pets, one pet woman is pledging to eat only pet food for 30 days. Dorothy Hunter, the owner of Paws National Pet Emporium in Richmond, Washington believed that the products she sells folks for their pets are actually better than human’s processed foods, so much so that she’s going to eat that herself.

It started when she just grabbed a bag of treats off the shelf while she was working and gave them a taste. Stating that the treats were pretty good, she thought this was something she could do.

Watch and listen as this lady explains ….. She is journaling her diet every meal on You Tube.

 

 

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Today is both a sad day and a happy day. It is sad because it is the day, 13 years ago that we lost my dad suddenly. Life changed and there is forever an empty hole in our hearts. Tom and I often talk about how we wish he were here, commenting how he would have loved our Vermont house and friends. We often came to Vermont to vacation when I was little and perhaps my dad was responsible for planting the seed that grew into a life that I absolutely love.

His passing was sudden and unexpected. I would give anything to give him one more hug. Those of you that know me, know exactly how much his death affected me, as well as my whole family. I often wonder what he would say if he saw the boys now, practically grown men, but I am sure that he would be very proud to call them his grandsons.

Here are pictures of my dad with each of the little men, in age order. Miss you, love you, Daddy.

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Miss you, love you, Daddy.

Somehow, the universe has a way of helping ease the pain. The first little girl in our lives, my niece Emily, was born to my brother and sister-in-law on this day, six years ago. I’d like to think that she’s my dad’s way of sending us his love. Her beautiful big brown eyes are filled with love.

Happy Birthday Miss Emily!

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We’ve been busy around here. We had a high school graduation for our middle son. Tyler graduated last week and I couldn’t be prouder, despite feeling old. Hard to believe that time has flown by in the blink of an eye. Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating his graduation from kindergarten and had this great picture with his brothers

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and this past week, he graduated from high school and we have this picture with his brothers (same positioning by the way)

 

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Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant? ~ Henry David Thoreau

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels. I myself become the wounded person.  ~ Walt Whitman

Why is it that we are sometimes incredibly touched by the loss of a person that we never met. I am not referring to a celebrity or some other person commanding the media spotlight. Rather, a person I have never met or spoken to, but only knew vicariously through another. Perhaps, that incredible human connection, empathy, is all we need to feel the pain and loss of others in order to understand the blessings that we have in our own lives. Sometimes, it is a matter of putting your life into some sense of perspective and realizing that, if not for some finger of fate, the loss and pain could be yours.

Empathy is a quality that is one of the most important to instill in an individual. Sometimes, it is not necessary to say anything, just to listen. Sometimes in feeling another’s pain or loss, we can become a better person and be more grateful for our own experiences and we can offer support that words are sorely inadequate to convey. As you wander through your day, realize that we do not know another’s journey through life but if we did, maybe -just maybe — we would be more understanding and make the world, or at least our little corner of it, a much better place.

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We have a very empty house. My youngest son’s companion of more than twelve years left us very unexpectedly last week. Her departure has left us with a very large hole in our hearts. While she loved each and every one of us, she loved Tim the most, with her entire heart and soul — and he loved her back just exactly the same. Her death is very surreal and difficult for all of us to accept. We keep walking into the house or a room and looking for her. After all, for her whole life and a good chunk of ours, she was around. It took me a long while to decide whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to share our grief, our very, very personal sadness with the world. I was being selfish, because honestly I didn’t want to have to field all the “I’m sorrys” as heartfelt as they were, because they couldn’t help to make the sadness in our hearts go away. In thinking about it, long and hard, I realized that I was wrong. Jinx was a good dog – no, she was a great dog — and she deserves a proper eulogy. So here goes….

She came into our lives an energetic and adorable black lab puppy. She grew up with Tim and the two of them shared so many good times and so much snuggling and cuddling. He wanted desperately, as a tiny guy to have her be “his dog” and there is absolutely no question that she was. She loved him with every ounce of her being and he gave the same huge amount of love back to him.  If there could be such a thing as a “perfect” death, she had it. She died in his arms and his face was the last one she saw. Tom and I swear that she waited for him, although don’t get me wrong, we had no idea that she was going to die. She had been asleep on the couch in my office, as she usually was during a “work day” and he came home early from school because of testing, anxious to share a beautiful day by taking her for a swim which is something she adored. They never made the swim, in fact, they never made it out the door. She collapsed and died just a few minutes later, within minutes of his arrival home. She was a smart dog, she kept us on schedule for dinner (6 p.m. was the time she decided dinner should be served) and she was always quick to let us know what she wanted and what she didn’t. If she was being pesky and we thought she had to go out, she was quick to back up and lay down when we tried to open the door and let her out telling us we had gotten it wrong. She had Tom and I on a schedule, our lunch was always the time for her snack. She would patiently wait for us to finish eating and then “urge” us to get up and give her a well deserved (in her opinion of course) snack. She loved cucumber almost as much as meat and you couldn’t break out anything crunchy without her coming running from across the house to share it with you. If we left her outside too long, she would come and stand at the window in the living room, staring at us, until we let her back inside. I’m sure that if she could figure out how to open the door herself, she would have done that as well. She enjoyed trips to the transfer station or any outing in the car and she loved being boarded at Wundrland, she would go crazy, whining and crying, when we mentioned the name.  She loved all of us but would go absolutely crazy when Tim got home from a trip, especially last summer when he was gone for weeks at a time. She was my work buddy and lived for “let’s go to work” where she would promptly follow me into my office and take her place on the couch while I worked. She loved keeping the chipmunks that live around the house on the their toes and would run after the squeaking noise the second she heard it. She loved, loved, loved frisbee and swimming with Tim as well as anytime that she was able to snuggle up with him. She was very special to us and can never be replaced. In addition to the obvious, one of the things that always strikes me about death, is the words that will cease to be spoken. I remember when my dad died since that day, no one has every referred to me as “baby” or “my little girl”. Those words died along with my dad, never to be spoken again. Similarly, there are words that will never be uttered again in this house “jinxy dawg”,”let’s go to work”, “back up the truck” or “beep, beep, beep” when she used to try to go backwards around the coffee table. I hope that with these words and pictures, I have done her justice. We gave her a good home and she gave us a lifetime of love. What more can either of us ask for? Rest in peace, puppy dog — you deserve it.  

We have a very empty house. My youngest son’s companion of more than twelve years left us very unexpectedly last week. Her departure has left us with a very large hole in our hearts. While she loved each and every one of us, she loved Tim the most, with her entire heart and soul — and he loved her back just exactly the same. Her death is very surreal and difficult for all of us to accept. We keep walking into the house or a room and looking for her. After all, for her whole life and a good chunk of ours, she was around. It took me a long while to decide whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to share our grief, our very, very personal sadness with the world. I was being selfish, because honestly I didn’t want to have to field all the “I’m sorrys” as heartfelt as they were, because they couldn’t help to make the sadness in our hearts go away. In thinking about it, long and hard, I realized that I was wrong. Jinx was a good dog – no, she was a great dog — and she deserves a proper eulogy. So here goes….

She came into our lives an energetic and adorable black lab puppy. She grew up with Tim and the two of them shared so many good times and so much snuggling and cuddling. He wanted desperately, as a tiny guy to have her be “his dog” and there is absolutely no question that she was. She loved him with every ounce of her being and he gave the same huge amount of love back to him.  If there could be such a thing as a “perfect” death, she had it. She died in his arms and his face was the last one she saw. Tom and I swear that she waited for him, although don’t get me wrong, we had no idea that she was going to die. She had been asleep on the couch in my office, as she usually was during a “work day” and he came home early from school because of testing, anxious to share a beautiful day by taking her for a swim which is something she adored. They never made the swim, in fact, they never made it out the door. She collapsed and died just a few minutes later, within minutes of his arrival home. She was a smart dog, she kept us on schedule for dinner (6 p.m. was the time she decided dinner should be served) and she was always quick to let us know what she wanted and what she didn’t. If she was being pesky and we thought she had to go out, she was quick to back up and lay down when we tried to open the door and let her out telling us we had gotten it wrong. She had Tom and I on a schedule, our lunch was always the time for her snack. She would patiently wait for us to finish eating and then “urge” us to get up and give her a well deserved (in her opinion of course) snack. She loved cucumber almost as much as meat and you couldn’t break out anything crunchy without her coming running from across the house to share it with you. If we left her outside too long, she would come and stand at the window in the living room, staring at us, until we let her back inside. I’m sure that if she could figure out how to open the door herself, she would have done that as well. She enjoyed trips to the transfer station or any outing in the car and she loved being boarded at Wundrland, she would go crazy, whining and crying, when we mentioned the name.  She loved all of us but would go absolutely crazy when Tim got home from a trip, especially last summer when he was gone for weeks at a time. She was my work buddy and lived for “let’s go to work” where she would promptly follow me into my office and take her place on the couch while I worked. She loved keeping the chipmunks that live around the house on the their toes and would run after the squeaking noise the second she heard it. She loved, loved, loved frisbee and swimming with Tim as well as anytime that she was able to snuggle up with him. She was very special to us and can never be replaced. In addition to the obvious, one of the things that always strikes me about death, is the words that will cease to be spoken. I remember when my dad died since that day, no one has every referred to me as “baby” or “my little girl”. Those words died along with my dad, never to be spoken again. Similarly, there are words that will never be uttered again in this house “jinxy dawg”,”let’s go to work”, “back up the truck” or “beep, beep, beep” when she used to try to go backwards around the coffee table. I hope that with these words and pictures, I have done her justice. We gave her a good home and she gave us a lifetime of love. What more can either of us ask for? Rest in peace, puppy dog — you deserve it.  

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Today, we pick this kid up from college for the summer. I know, you are saying “he looks awfully young for college” but in my heart and mind, this is the kid that will be waiting for me later today, not the way-taller-than-me young man that will meet me with a hug and a smile at his dorm. So very hard to believe that his first year of college is already over — time marches on and damn if we can do anything to hold onto these kinds of moments even just a second longer.

 

 

Last night I undertook a new challenge. I made homemade pierogies. The other night we had chicken and mashed potatoes so I had some leftover mashed potatoes and decided that I should give this a try. I made my own pierogi dough which was amazingly quite simple. Then I took those leftover mashed potatoes, heated them a few minutes in the microwave and stirred in some grated cheddar cheese and seasoned them with salt, pepper and onion powder. I started the whole process at 4:15 and by 6:15 we were eating some pretty decent pierogies. I am sure that mine pale in comparison to those made by those with some Polish blood coursing through their veins but I am pretty satisfied with my first time outcome.

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Last night, we had the privilege of watching Tim being inducted into the National Honor Society. We are very proud of Tim and his successes. We joined the other very proud parents who were there to witness the candlelight induction ceremony. Here are some photos of last night’s ceremony.

 

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Tim with some of his fellow WES attendees posing for a photo.

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I remember the day vividly. The day that my life changed forever….in a wonderful way. I woke this morning 19 years ago to start a journey that will last a lifetime. My water broke at 6 a.m. and we were off on the journey of a lifetime. Later that evening, at 9:47, when he was good and ready, my first baby made his way into this world, making me a mom. It is so hard to believe that 19 years have passed since that day. The journey has flashed by but it has been a wonderful trip, full of laughter, smiles, hugs, tears and growing pains.  Looking at the young man he has become, a mom can be nothing but heart-bursting proud. Today is a hard birthday (for me) though since it will be the first time in his entire life, that I won’t be there to personally give him a birthday hug and kiss. (Mind you I got those in over the weekend). He will however, be in my thoughts the entire day – after all, how could he not be?

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All the planning and hard work on the part of the vocal students, their choral teacher and a lot of parent volunteers comes together this weekend for Mill River Union High School’s annual Bistro. Bistro is a series of performances by the school’s elite vocal ensembles consisting of two dinner performances and one luncheon performance at the Brandon Inn. Attendees are treated to the vocal entertainment of some great students during their three course meal. Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the ensembles perform a concert after dessert has concluded. This year’s theme is the “Lullaby of Broadway”.

Here are two of my favorite Bistro performers.

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Evilwife on the move

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http://tammyheff.wordpress.com
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