You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2013.

Today, we came across the sales brochure for our house from 2003. It was buried in the console of Tom’s old truck which has been off the road for a couple years. We just got it back on the road today and when he was cleaning it out, he came across this sales brochure.

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“Ideal Country Home”…..hmmmm ~ I’d say so, but then I think I’m a little prejudiced.

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It’s fun to look at the way it looked when we bought it…..and how different it looks today. Although a lot of that furniture in those pictures may still be here or was at least here for a pretty long time afterwards.

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I would differ with the “fenced yard” description though — this has two sections of fencing in front of the house and that does not qualify as a “fenced yard” in my humble opinion.

“Buy a Piece of Vermont”

  I guess we did done that, didn’t we?

Very happily I might add. 🙂

English: Illustrations ornament Heart (Coeur) ...

English: Illustrations ornament Heart (Coeur) in the colour of pink (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes it’s important to remember how lucky you are. Of course, when tragedy strikes, either close to home or close enough to your heart, we all take stock and remember to count off the things for which we are thankful. We shouldn’t need tragedy, our own or someone else’s, to remind us of our good fortune. No matter how down we might get, there is always, always, always something for which we are grateful. Some days and trust me, I have had them, it is simply that you are upright and breathing. Other days, it is something more intangible, like the golden bonds of a dear friendship. We don’t always realize that as we make our way through this life, we are not just navigating around and through and over hurdles and phases and good things. We are weaving our own web of people, places and things that have touched our lives. Through the years, I am very lucky to have spun some very precious webs of friendship, heart strings connecting hearts that aren’t located as physically close to each other as they once were — some are located hundreds of miles away. Those strings, though, they are precious and connect our past with our present and wind gently into our future.

This morning I was very fortunate to be reminded of those wonderful heart strings. A random text yesterday afternoon alerted me that my very, very dear friend was on the brink of a new chapter in her life. Her daughter-in-law and son were in labor with their first child and her first grandchild. Despite our distance, I was there with her in spirit and prayers that all went well and her new granddaughter would make a very normal entry into this world. Around 2:30 this morning my phone went off again to alert me to the fact that the little beauty had made her grand entrance along with a picture of the cutest little bundle of joy. I love that I have friends so dear to my heart that they would see fit to share such wonderful news almost instantaneously with me. It is a reminder of how blessed and lucky I am. Welcome to this world little Brooke! May you be blessed with a lifetime of wonderful friends to journey with you!

Congratulations to our dear friends Ellen and John! 

IMG_1331I know you will make as wonderful grandparents as you are parents and friends. 

 

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Today is my sister’s birthday. She is four years younger than I am and has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. She is my first and probably my dearest friend. While we might not have always seen eye to eye, particularly when she saw fit to carry the entire contents of my half of our room from the attic room that we shared to the basement of our two family home, effectively relocating me while I was not home, (I’ve let that go as you can see) as we have grown we have shared many wonderful memories that warm my heart. When we did share a room, there were our all night Monopoly games (with the board located on a table between our beds) and a double date here and there. Since we’ve had husbands and children of our own, I know she is always the one that I can commiserate with or cry to or complain to and she will always be there to listen.

As we raise our boys Tom and I have tried very hard to instill in them the idea that they will always have each other. They should always look out and take care of one another since we will one day no longer be around. I think often of how nice it is to hang out with my sister and how comfortable that relationship is. I hope that my boys enjoy the same relationship with their brothers as I do with my sister and my brother. It’s nice to know the comfort of having someone around that knows where you’re coming from because they were there too and know you as well as you know yourself.

Happy Birthday Donna! Love you!

 

Memorial Day is the traditional “start” of the summer season. Often celebrated by BBQs, picnics and trips to the beach if you live close enough to a beach. The town pool was definitely enjoying its opening weekend. When we moved to Vermont, Memorial Day didn’t have the same “start” of summer feel to it. Perhaps it was because things weren’t as warm here at the end of May. The pools don’t open, but the parks do.

This weekend, as I type this it is 41 degrees — hardly summer type weather. The forecast is calling for a high of 48 tomorrow, again not summer weather and then snow tomorrow night. Yes, you read that correctly, SNOW. The forecast for the higher elevations (where we are located) has vacillated between 2 inches, 5 inches and now it’s one inch. In any event, snow just don’t scream “summer”. For those who like skiing or snowboarding however, it might be excellent news, since Killington is still open for such activities.

I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

 

It was very foggy this morning on the hill. Most of it is gone by now…one of the perks of being up on the early side. The landscape recreates itself as the sun rises.

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Tonight, Tim had the honor of presenting a program for the Wallingford Historical Society on navigating Ancestry.com. He did a great job researching his own family tree in order to be able to explain to the audience at Town Hall the tips and tricks of researching your own genealogy. Yet another reason to be proud of my sons!

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P1090417Last night were inductions for the National Honor Society at the high school. I am very proud to say that my oldest son was among those that were inducted – yet another stop on the road of mom tears of pride in the final weeks of his senior year. While others on the stage may have reveled in the honor, for TJ it was particularly sweet moment, one that was a long time coming. That moment on that stage represented a lot of hard work on his behalf, a lot of learning how to advocate for himself and a lot of anxiety and stress.

Webster’s dictionary defines “tenacity” as the quality or state of being tenacious. “Tenacious” is defined as persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired. TJ exhibited those qualities many times over in his pursuit of membership in the NHS. You see, last year, he was invited to apply but declined membership despite the fact that almost all of his close friends and classmates were admitted. On appeal, he was told by the selection committee that he would have to work harder and demonstrate the qualities of character, leadership, scholarship and community service that were required for membership and if his grades were acceptable, he would be invited to apply again the following year. While I personally respectfully disagreed with the committee’s decision to deny his appeal last year, he took their words to heart and did something that I am proud to say, I don’t think I personally would have done. He got down in the trenches and worked along side his friends who were members of the NHS and attended and participated in almost every NHS activity that the chapter held. He got up early on a weekend morning to bake pies for food baskets, moved turkeys for the same food baskets, helped make the food baskets and spend a whole day driving around Rutland County to deliver them. He participated in their other fundraisers as well and did his best to prove that he was worthy to be considered among their ranks. This year, when the selection letters were sent, he received his letter. He applied once again for admission and once again, he was denied admission. He was devastated. He was simply told that he did not have a “majority” of the committee’s vote. Undaunted and once again showing character far better than his mother and beyond his years, he wrote the following letter to the committee respectfully asking them to reconsider his application.

To whom it may concern,

            Being aware that I have not been accepted into the National Honor Society this year, I, Thomas Heffernan, write this letter in hopes of presenting my case. Being denied acceptance the previous year, I have re-applied after a year of working hard to prove myself as deserving of admittance. I have worked fervently with the current NHS members and advisor to attend as many functions as possible, working around my part time job and numerous AP classes, in order to help the organization, as was asked of me when I was not accepted last year. The letter I received after being rejected suggested that I prove myself as deserving of acceptance, through furthering myself in the categories examined by the committee including:  leadership, service, and character. Working around my job and academics I have managed to, in my opinion, strengthen myself in these areas. In the area of service I continued membership in our school’s Key Club organization, as I have since sophomore year,  totalling over 15 hours of community service attributed to this group. In addition to this I attended numerous National Honor Society functions such as apple pie baking, the NHS fundraiser dance, food basket preparations and food basket delivery, and carnation assembly and delivery. I did this in an attempt to demonstrate my leadership, as I prompted other members who were not admitted to help at many functions, I provided my own free time in order to service the NHS, and I also feel that my working so closely with the National Honor Society after being rejected admission speaks highly of my character; specifically taking into account that I have spoken with many of the current senior members who have told me that they would not have the same level of respect towards the organization I hold had they not been admitted. Despite my rejection from the NHS last year I was able to get admissions to amazing schools such as Rochester Institute of Technology, Villanova, Northeastern University, Boston University, University of Vermont, and others; thus at this point my admission to the NHS holds no title for me to put on a college resumé, but would allow me one pleasure I would greatly appreciate which would be to walk with many of my close friends at graduation as a member of the same organization. I have worked extremely hard this year to put anything I may have done to offend the committee, or those who scored me, in my past, as I hope many are able to see, and to further myself as a person and be a paragon of the values of honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity I hold dear. Taking the advice I received from both Madame Sullivan and the committee to heart I put my best foot forward and gave myself up to display my worth to the National Honor Society and I truly hope that it allows me to be granted admission during my final year at Mill River High School. I appreciate that you have taken the time to re-review my application and give me a second chance to demonstrate what I have learned over the past year, I eagerly await your response.

                                                Sincerely,

Thomas J Heffernan

Tom and I have tried very hard to teach our boys to advocate for themselves and to respectfully push forward for what they believe they have earned and when they perceive they are not being treated fairly. Having a mother who is an attorney they understand that they will not always win, but they always must try. There are two sides to every story and sometimes the story someone is presented with is not an accurate portrayal of the true facts. I am very proud to say that when I read this letter, it brought tears to my eyes and I told my son that no matter the decision of the faceless committee that would decide his fate, to me and his father and to those who do truly know him, we are very proud and feel as if any rejection was the association’s loss. To give you an idea of what was going on at the time, this letter was written while he was in the midst of studying for four Advanced Placement exams. He met with the NHS advisor to review the reasons for being rejected and took that information to heart while writing this letter.

So, you see, while others on the stage last night were proud and happy as well they should be of this accomplishment in their high school career, for our son it was a hard fought battle where he learned more than the attributes of scholarship, leadership, service and character. He learned what it’s like to succeed and demonstrate that you are worthy against adversity. He has learned more than many of his fellow classmates because of this experience. The lessons learned and the experience will follow him throughout the years to come.

Congratulations TJ – we are so very, very proud of this accomplishment because we know how hard you worked for it and how much it truly means to you.

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It is so hard to believe that TJ will be graduating in a few weeks, making prom even more tear jerking. I warned him that this would be the first of many tear filled events for his mother over the coming weeks.

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To make a special day even better, it was a historic event in the Heffernan house. It marks the first and last time that all three boys attended the same prom. Here is Tyler and his date

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And last, but not least, Tim with prom date.

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Well, maybe a little more than a chill. The day after I packed away all the winter turtlenecks and heavy sweaters, the temperatures dipped into the low 30s and there were snow flurries flying around on the hill this morning. The temperatures last night dipped down low enough to have frost and freeze warnings.  Hard to believe that when we were at church on Sunday for the May crowing that it was a beautiful spring day and we saw our first finches at the feeders.

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Tim was invited to participate in a celebration honoring the parish members who received confirmation and communion. After mass the kids participated in the May crowning.
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The crowning was a little less than traditional, since Mary was already wearing a crown of sorts — a robin had nested at the top of the statute. So the flower crown was carefully placed in her hands instead.

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It was cold enough all day here to warrant the wood stove being cranked back up again. Amazing to think that in mid-May we are still keeping warm by the fire — with hot cocoa no less.P1090276

We had a great time listening to some beautiful music today at the All State Music Festival. It was a great performance.

Congratulations to all those students that were selected to participate.

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As we prepare to head up to Winooski to listen to Tim perform with his classmates in the All State Chorus, on this beautiful spring Friday afternoon, I thought I would share some of the photos from Bistro.

It has been a wonderful, musical year and I’m very, very proud of my vocalist. In the words of his brother — he has the voice of an angel.

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The entire group of performers taking a photo opportunity during rehearsal on Thursday afternoon.

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One very proud mama posing with her son……P1090140

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My (not so) little (anymore) men…….P1090156

 

There have been way too many days since we had rain. Things were very dry as evidenced by the numerous fire hazard warnings.P1090214Yesterday and last night we received some much needed rain. Too bad it cancelled the All State parade that everyone was looking forward to seeing.

This morning however, the flowers all stood with their rain drops showing.

Beautiful.

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