You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

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Happy to say that as I type this we are home in Vermont. It was nice to visit in NJ and we got a lot packed up and cleaned out, but I am pooped and very, very happy to be home.  After a hectic couple days, I am very happy to come home to the slower pace of our section of the world.

I am in NJ as I type this post. We are down here for a couple days to “pack out” our old house. Since we weren’t renting it at the time, and we already had a pretty much furnished house in Vermont, there wasn’t really a great rush to get things out of there. Now, however, the house will be rented soon and we need to compress our belongings.

It is amazing that rarely in Vermont during the past year, have I wished for something that was located in the house in NJ – although I must tell you that for the first few months I really did miss my waterbed. While we moved clothing and personal items of everyday use, there are plenty of things still here. Papers, pictures, bric-a-brac, kitchen wares, etc.

I spent the entire day today — and I do mean the entire day — sorting and packing. I started with the kitchen which was a good choice — easy to sort out glasses and plates and pantry items that remained. Harder was the cabinets that contained more sentimental things — baby utensils from the boys that were tucked in the back of a drawer — baby teeth along with notes from the boys stashed safely far from their reach.

The boys, who are inching up in a few weeks on 14 and 13 packed up boxes containing “scushy” bunny and hats we brought them back from London 6 years ago as well as Matchbox cars and other trinkets and treasures. Tyler still has his diapers — the cloth diapers that he used as a security blanket and slept with for all of about 4-5 years and occasionally longer than that when he fell ill and needed comfort.

I opened the Baby capsule that was stored in the attic from when our oldest son was born and sat there crying over the mementos of a day that changed our lives forever. Pacifiers that were a part of every day of our lives for so many years and brought comfort to the boys and quiet to us when one of them was fussy.

So many things that I really haven’t given a thought to in so many years smacked me in the face today. So many things to remind me of the years that have passed in this house, this tiny little house, that we called home. I remember when we told the boys that we were moving to Vermont and it actually sunk in that we wouldn’t simply be switching our lives by spending weeks in Vermont and weekends in NJ as we had done the opposite of for so many of their years. TJ our oldest son, who was so very in favor of the move, broke into tears and said that we couldn’t leave this place, our home– this place where he and his brothers grew up and knew as their comfort zone and their haven. We explained to them that “home” is not a place but a state of being and wherever we as a family were located would be “home”. As I sat here today packing up and sorting out memories, I realize that I could understand the boys feelings so many months ago. The building reeks of our lives and every little corner and cubby holds a story, a tale, a laugh or a cry. Those memories can no longer reside in these walls, they must now reside in our hearts as we leave this place, this place we once called home.

I swore up and down a few posts ago that I did not see the purpose in being a blogger and being on facebook and Im’ing and all that good stuff. This afternoon however I received an email that presented me with a true dilemma. I received a Facebook invite from one of my closest and dearest friends. To respond, I have to join Facebook (nice little trap that they put you in, don’t you think). If I don’t respond to the invitation I look uncaring and generally bad. To respond, I have to put a whole other online “world” if you will, together.

There are pluses – reconnect with some friends and relatives that I have lost touch with through the years and it does seem that EVERYONE is on there.

Minuses – I have all that much more to do. It is like having a digital calendar and a paper calendar and a pocket calendar, a desk calendar and a wall calendar. To keep things organized and accurate, you have to enter everything multiple times so it is on each calendar. With enough calendars, you will spend a whole lot of time entering the same information over and over again. UGH.

I am beginning to think that avoiding Facebook is becoming more and more difficult. I already received an invitation from an acquaintance and didn’t feel that badly about not responding to it, but this, a really close friend, is another story.

 

This is what the weather forecast looks like for this week…..I guess that winter is making a comeback.

Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Snow
Likely
Hi 34°F
Tonight

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 100%
Snow  

Lo 31°F

Thursday

Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 70%
Snow
Likely
Hi 32°F
Thursday
Night

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Chance
Snow
Lo 15°F
Friday

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Chance
Snow
Hi 24°F
Friday
Night

Slight Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Snow
Lo 13°F
Saturday

Mostly Cloudy
Mostly
Cloudy
Hi 30°F
Saturday
Night

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Chance
Snow
Lo 17°F
Sunday

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%

Today was a a whirlwind. The new cleaning woman came today. We decided to terminate the cleaning service that we hired before we lived here full-time. It was a tough decision but it is hard to work in the house with two or three people here cleaning and hard to clean with them since they have a script of cleaning that they perform and then they are off to the next place. We thought that the best decision for us since we are here full-time now is to hire a cleaning person that I would clean with, this way the cleaning twice a month could reflect what really needs to be done. For instance, today, we pulled apart the living room and vacuumed all the furniture, pulled it all out and cleaned behind and underneath each piece, as well as vacuuming down the curtains, window sills, etc. We worked together for 6 hours and got the entire house sparkling clean. It was exhausting but with a good end result. She walked out the door and I was onto making cookies for the 6th grade bake sale along with dinner for the gang since I was the PIC (parent in charge) tonight for Odyssey. Our youngest son, Tim is part of an Odyssey of the Mind team which is in the final countdown to States on March 7th. Needless to say, these kids (who are on mid winter break this week) are working 1-9 during the week and 9-9 on Saturdays. They are required to do all the work and figure out how to do all the work themselves. It is quite a challenge. Tim’s team is doing the Earth Trek problem. They have put a tremendous amount of time and work into their presentation. Fingers crossed for them on March 7th.

Now, exhausted, from a day that went, went, went, I am on an odyssey of my own….to find bed.

The sun is setting as I type this on the Sunday of President’s Day weekend. A different weekend than we envisioned, since we were supposed to be having way more company, but it has been a mellow and relaxing weekend. President’s Day is sort of the Wednesday or hump day of winter, all of the ski shops are having their clearing out sales and quite honestly now is the time to shop for shorts and tank tops. Hard to believe as I look out the window on the snow.

We just got back from a L’inner (lunch/dinner) at Applebee’s which was good and filling for everyone and a treat since we hit it just around the perfect time for no crowds.

It has been a while – since the fall actually that the boys’ school had their last dance. Tonight’s festivities are a semi formal (which is far different by their standards than by mine). Here are some pictures. Of course, Mom’s a pain in the butt and no one wanted to smile until I tormented them to death — what else are Moms for? I knew that Tyler’s smile was in there somewhere – I guess right there with his tonsils.

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The hat is one for the picture only… school rules – no hats allowed on inside the building – even during dances!

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Tim didn’t go the dance, he has another year to go before he’s in MRU. But he’s so darn cute, I couldn’t leave him out of the picture – taking.

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In preparation for Valentine’s Day and our holiday weekend company, I did some Valentine-y desserts of sorts.  Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate dipped rice krispie treats shaped into hearts.

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I can hear the sucking sounds from here. Tom has been sucked into the vortex that is Facebook. I, on the other hand, prefer to remain faceless in no space. I mean, quite honestly, how many of these things can one person do? Blog, tweet, link, space, face, chat, text, IM. If you try to do it all, what time do you actually have for a life? I have chosen to blog, link and I chat via IM. I am too old to text (omg, did I just say that????) and I am not a bird, so I choose not to tweet or be a twit. Whichever you prefer. My face shall remain faceless and my space shall be my own.

I can see that while all of these things do have merit, one cannot do it all and have anything worthwhile to say.  You can find me here and you are always welcome to stop by my little corner of cyberspace.

Window closed for lunch 12:30-2:30

That is the sign in the post office window. The window is closed for 2 hours each and every day that the post office is open so that the postmaster can go to lunch. Only one person works in the physical post office in our town and when she or he goes to lunch, the place is shut down. As it happens, this “lunch hour” (which is actually 2 hours) coincides with lunch hour for the rest of the working world. 

Today I scrambled down the hill in a bit of hurry to mail something express mail that had to be delivered by tomorrow. I knew that I had to get there before she left for lunch or it would be too late. As I was driving it occurred to me that such a thing would never happen in a larger community. In our town in NJ, the post office itself was manned by a staff of at least five (probably way more than that) and when one person took lunch there was still always a window or two open to satisfy your postal desires. No one would have stood for the post office to be closed during lunch (when most of us were scurrying around, not eating lunch but rather trying to squeeze about 3 hours worth of errands into an hour, if you were lucky). There would have been uprisings, and protests and letters to the editor and all that jazz. Nope, none of that here. The world moves at a slower and more deliberate pace.  The post office is closed for lunch each weekday for two hours and you had better deal with it — and people do, they schedule their drops offs and pick-ups around the post office’s lunch schedule and that is just the way it is done. And you know what, the earth still revolves….. amazing.

Today’s tea bag wisdom is pretty good:

Your greatness is not what you have, but what you give.


Tomorrow celebrates the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. In honor of the bicentennial of his birth, churches, schools and anyone with bells all across Vermont will be ringing their bells at 2:12 p.m. for ten minutes.  2:12 was chosen symbolizing the date of Lincoln’s birth since records of the time of his birth are apparently not available.

According to an article in the Times-Argus:

Coffin [a historian] said this week’s bell-ringing ceremonies are appropriate.

“Vermont is filled with bells that were in the belfries at the time of the Civil War,” he said, adding that those bells were rung to signal great Union Army victories and General Robert E. Lee’s surrender.

“The bells were tolled because of the devastating news that Lincoln had been killed. It just hit Vermonters like a shock,” he said of Lincoln’s death so soon after Lee’s surrender. “Vermont went from a state of jubilation at the war’s end to a state of mourning.

“Many Vermont communities held funerals for Lincoln, they called them funerals,” he said. “Eulogies were preached.”

Here are some facts about Lincoln from A. Lincoln Library:

  • He was the tallest president at 6′ 4″
  • He was the first president to have a beard
  • Lincoln had a dream about his own death one week prior to his assassination.

Some other facts:

  • Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent.
  • John Wilkes Booth’s older brother saved Lincoln’s son Robert’s life when he fell between a train and the platform.
  • He has no living heirs.

“Whatever you are, be a good one” — Abraham Lincoln

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