You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.

Here is something that you wouldn’t catch me doing in a million years. This is the Edgewalk at the CN Tower in Toronto. The walk itself is located at a spot that is higher than the very top of the Empire State Building. A little, no a lot, too high for me.

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We had a crazy thunderstorm the other night – it was pouring buckets with crazy wind. Afterward, as we were driving down the hill to go the Historical Society event, here was the view…..

 

 

They all are very different from each other and, still, so very much the same. When all are gone, our lives are very different than when they are all home. When even just one of them is away, the rhythm of the house is different, somehow off-kilter. Something is missing –someone teasing someone, someone’s loudness, someone’s quietness, someone’s insistence on arguing about everything. I think that the five of us have very familiar cadence, removing even one of us renders all of us out of equilibrium. Interesting that an odd number of us can seem so correct – so properly weighted. While they might not readily admit it,  even the other boys missed their brother, you could tell by their behavior.

When all of the boys are away, we have something different planned to do — there is something to look forward to, something to make the house not feel as empty. When just one or two of them are gone, we still tend to our normal routine, we are just “a man (or two) down” and that is really just not right. Same is true when Tom travels, we are off-balance, out of sorts. The routine is there …but it is somehow different — altered.

All of the boys are home as of today. Life has resumed its normal course…the rhythm of the house has returned this evening. As I type this, I can hear their banter and it is soothing. Life is good, life is as it should be.

When you have fresh strawberries and you have a baking commitment that requires something finger-food friendly, what do you do?

Strawberry scones!

Before they went into the oven…..

The end result.

And for those of you who would like chocolate……

This is my 1,000th post. Now before anyone thinks that I have been sitting around counting all these posts and keeping track (like I really have the time to do that) I need to tell you that WordPress.com, where my blog is hosted, kindly keeps count for me and as of late, has very prominently been telling me that I have been on the brink of 1,000. I started this blog in February 2008. Seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.

When I realized that it is the 1,000th time that I published a post I felt that it should not be some vapid rambling off the top of my head. There are plenty of those sitting in the folder marked unpublished posts – mostly my own need to rant and rave about something or someone without letting the world know about it. Occasionally, those unpublished posts are little glimpses of an idea that has yet to come to fruition, but mostly, it’s just ranting and raving. I try to present a more collected appearance to the outside world (yeah, right) so I do try to keep my ranting and raving for those who have no choice but to listen to me and you know who you are and I thank you for listening and loving me.

This blog has become an extension of me. I enjoy writing it as much as I hope people enjoy reading it. It started as a way to keep family updated on what happened to our family here in Vermont. Now looking back at various posts, it is a collection of words that define me. But perhaps in accord with the numerically appropriate famous saying  “A picture is worth a thousand words” this is really what defines me:

And you know what….. I’m good with that.

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Usually the simple things in life are the good things. Our nephews are visiting for a few days. Today involved quality time with my hubby. We worked in very comfy chairs at the Northshire Cafe while the boys were swimming in the Quarry. Ice Cream in the afternoon on a very hot Vermont day. Went to Friday Night Live – listened to one of the boys’ friends bands play then we escaped to a quiet cool place to read while they enjoyed an evening hanging out with friends.

Simple things. Shared with one of my favorite people.

This is what the first tomato from the garden (and from TJ’s biology project plants) looks like.

Isn’t it just beautiful???

While I had the camera out to take the picture of the tomato, I thought I’d take some pictures of the other things happening in the garden.

Tomatillo Flower

and a little tomatillo

Here’s okra flowering

and the little okra

It was a weekend full of jam. We picked raspberries, picked blueberries and grabbed strawberries at the farmer’s market. I made raspberry jam and mixed berry jam and blueberry jam.

Raspberries were picked at the bottom of the hill at Cole’s….that’s pretty much as close as we can get beside our own yard (and yes, we’re working on that).

This was how it looked crushed in the pot with low sugar pectin added….. I then added 4 cups of sugar (yes, that is the low sugar recipe) and brought it up to a boil. Jars were sterilized, filled, water bathed and then……

here is the finished product —yum. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you start to can for yourself. Store bought just doesn’t cut it — no matter how expensive or fancy it purports to be. There is nothing that beats local and handmade.

The mixed berry jam was a first since it is not often that you can find local fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all at the same time. It was definitely a hit…..delicious. I’ll be scouring around looking for more local strawberries in order to take advantage of the berry season.

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Dear Boys:

I know that being a teenager isn’t easy. Despite what you may think sometimes, I am young enough to remember what being a teenager was like, with all the ups and the downs. You are trying to find the person you are and struggling with your independence and most of the time, your father and I are viewed as the enemy. We won’t let you do this or that and we’re mean — or so you think.

Just remember that while you are struggling to fit comfortably into the man who you are becoming, I am struggling to learn to let go. It is just as hard for me as it is for you…in fact, it might be harder since I have known you longer than you remember me. You were quite literally a part of me for the better part of almost a year. From the moment that I found out you existed, I tried to protect you…from everything. I didn’t do certain things, I didn’t eat certain things, because they might have hurt you. When you were born my life changed… forever. There was no going back. For the better part of a decade you depended on me and your dad for pretty much everything. You were so happy to see us when we came home and gave me hugs that were as tight as your little arms could manage. If something frightened you or hurt you, you came running to me or your dad. You looked to us to protect you…be it from something real or just something that was very real to you. You couldn’t wait to tell me about this or that thing that happened and I couldn’t wait to hear every detail of your day.

Now, you roll your eyes because I am asking how your day was or who your friends are or what your plans for the weekend might be…it’s really just because I miss being the one that you want to share all that with and because I really want to know. I’m still interested in what you are doing, your hopes, your dreams. You shrug away when I try to give you a hug or a kiss. You mutter under your breath about “moms” and make me feel guilty for caring.

Sometimes I don’t think that you understand that this growing up thing is two-sided. It’s just as much about you learning to be your own person as it is for me to learn to let you go off into the world on your own. While it can be scary and frustrating for you sometimes….it’s scary and frustrating for me too.

Taking care of you and protecting you and being there for you is something that I have been doing for your entire life. You will never be too old to be my little boys. I want to see you have wonderful, full, loving lives and careers that you love.  I love you so much and you won’t even understand exactly how much that is until you have kids of your own. I love your friends since you chose them and they are a reflection of you.  I think you’re turning into wonderful men and I am very proud of you. Your friends, along with your brothers, are the foundation of your lives and I hope that you are able to build a warehouse full of memories with them, stories that will make you laugh so hard that you cry, just thinking of all the good times you’ve had together throughout your lifetime. Along the way, remember that my asking questions and wanting to know stuff is because I love you and sometimes I miss the little boys that you were and the fact that I was your world and you wanted to share every part of your day with me. It’s not always about being nosey or a pain in your butt (okay sometimes it is because after all that’s a parent’s job) but it’s really because I’m interested and I miss having you depend on me so much. It’s a whole new role for me too, being a mom of teenage boys, and I have to figure out where I belong and how I fit into that new role.

So please, try to remember, as you are wandering through the web of adolescence and rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath and believing that I am the biggest thorn in your side; there are two parts to the process, this growing-up thing, — yours and mine.

Love,

Mom

It is interesting how one’s perception on one’s self can change from day to day. There is definitely an emotional element to it. If you are happy and having a good time, chances are those glimpses in the mirror are met with a smile back and very little self-criticism. Other times, when something is nagging at you or you are not happy for whatever reason, the image that stares back at you in the mirror is often met with criticism and dislike.

Are we really all that different from one day to the next? Can the person who looked good in that outfit yesterday and met you with a smile in the mirror really be the person who thinks today that she is too….(insert your own derogatory adjective here)? Perhaps the only thing that changed between the two instances is the emotional state of the person doing the looking.

Our emotional state of mind is so critical to our happiness, our health  and the way that we present ourselves to the world. We are much harder on ourselves than any outside force can be.

Smile….be happy and laugh…. and you’ll be amazed at how much better you look to everyone….including yourself.

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Took some pictures in the garden this morning. Things are finally starting to take off and grow like crazy. We are harvesting small snow peas from plants on the patio, the tomatoes are doing well and the peppers are actually growing this year. Amazing. The funny thing is that the basil is not doing well, at all. Can’t figure out why, just doesn’t seem to want to grow. Anyone else having that problem or is it particular to my little piece of earth?

 

When the boys got home (on the one day that the five of us were together until close to the end of July) we inaugurated the fire pit which the boys noticed immediately upon pulling into the driveway. They put their newly polished fire making skills to work after TJ and Tyler’s bags were packed for their trips the next day and we all had dessert out by the fire.

Oh… and did I mention the laser pointer? We had a bit of Floyd-like laser show thrown in there as well.

Evilwife on the move

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© Happenings on the Hill,
http://tammyheff.wordpress.com
2012.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Evilwife and Happenings on the Hill (http://tammyheff.wordpres.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

There have to be 5 things even on a really bad day.

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