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Who would have guessed that this cute little bundle that came into our lives and completed our family 22 years ago today would turn into such an amazing young man.

Who would have guessed he would be our actor and our singer? That his voice would melt my heart every time I hear him sing, just like my heart melted the day he came into our lives.

So hard to believe that it has been 22 years and yet, so amazing to watch this little person become the man he is today. So proud of you, Tim, today and always.

You will always be my baby no matter how old you are today.

My birthday wish for you today and always:

May you live a long life full of gladness and health, with a pocket full of gold as the least of your wealth, may the dreams you hold dearest be the ones which come true, may the kindness you spread, keep returning back to you.

Possa tu essere sempre benedetto con tanto amore, risate e felicità per tutta la vita. Siamo molto, molto orgogliosi di te e ti amiamo moltissimo.

All my love,

Mom

Yesterday I had the pleasure of having a late lunch meeting with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while but needed some legal advice. Turns out, when I left our meeting, I realized that, unbeknown to her, I left that meeting with some advice of my own and a little shot in the arm that I didn’t realize I had needed. I had the pleasure of listening to her plans for a future endeavor and it made me realize that I needed to stop and smell the roses myself and find something to look forward to and make me smile and so very excited and passionate.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, especially when some of those days of late have been real doozers, packed with a lot of stress and not much feeling of accomplishment, and the resulting, ongoing to-do list growing ever longer despite it all. Plus, somewhere in the back of my mind, (probably due to graduation looming on the horizon), there has been this nagging, sad feeling that there’s not much to look forward to at this age, since the “exciting” part of life – the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations where you feel you can take on the world and the possibilities are endless, appear behind me as I stand here, more than halfway through the 50s with grown kids who will, in a few short months, be off to live their own lives and face all that possibility and excitement. Envious of what awaits them? Maybe a little. Struggling with the sadness, reality and finality of the empty nest in a few months when they graduate? Probably most likely.

But, during our conversation yesterday, listening to her thoughtfulness about her next steps and her excitement in what may lay ahead, I felt encouraged. I left that meeting with a little, much needed, additional spring in my step and some hope that there’s something exciting out there for me too.

And that, my friends, is an example of how one never knows how one human may touch another human’s soul and psyche without even realizing it. How what you say or what you do, may indirectly affect and ripple outward to others. So, let your words and your actions be kind, for you never know.

To my friend, thank you. ❤

One of the nice things about living where we do, up on a mountain, is that getting outdoors to play in the snow is not a project. It does not involve packing up the car, lugging your stuff across a parking lot, packing lunch and doing it all in reverse at the end of the day. Here, it involves putting on your snowshoes or cross country ski boots and walking out the door. We are blessed with beautiful woods and trails in our backyard, neighbors who share our love of the outdoors and their trails and the National Forest in our backyard.

This weekend, I put on snowshoes, took the dogs and walked through the woods for almost an hour, enjoying all that it had to offer on a beautiful, sunny winter day. I came back, did a few errands, put up sauce for dinner and then put on my cross country skis and did it again.

It was good to be outside and nice to know that I can enjoy the wonders of the winter right from my own backyard. Hope you are enjoying the wonders of winter!

I have nothing to say. I look at this page and I want to fill it with insightful, interesting, quirky words – words that will pour out of me and inspire those who glance upon it, but I have nothing to say.

I take a quick internal assessment. What do I have to share? What wisdom do I have to impart? I stop and realize that I am in a desert of sorts – I am no longer a mother of babies or young children, I’ve flown (by the seat of my pants, I might add) through being a parent of teens and I am no longer even a new empty nester, with college graduation looming on the horizon.

I’m a lawyer, but that’s boring to write about and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much there either, grazing over the decades, never really finding my niche. Someone else, (usually my husband), chimes in whenever anyone does socially casually ask for legal input; why do I need to bother – there are so many people out there who seem to know so much more than I do, what do I have to offer — so I sit nodding.

I’m a person who is searching, looking for something. The next chapter, the next part, the next something. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do, I just don’t feel like I’m accomplished at it – when so many friends are talking ending their careers to retire in a few years, I shake my head – no, wait, I haven’t even started mine!

I’ve read so much about finding your passion, re-igniting a hobby that was a favorite before kids, starting a new one or a different career, which begets yet another series of questions – what is it that I enjoy? Where is my passion?

I do a lot, I’m not going to lie. I chair my district’s school board, I participate in several of the board committees, I am a member of the local Rotary club, I work. It’s all good and I enjoy the time spent with the people with whom I share these various opportunities. But what do I do for me? What makes me happy? What makes me smile? Those are questions that only I can answer and sometimes I feel like the clock is winding down and I may never get an answer to those questions. I may never find my niche, my place, the thing that makes me happy and makes me smile for me.

Will I leave this world without much of a footprint upon it? No, that is not true. I will leave three – three wonderful, amazing, inspiring human beings who I hope will make the world a better place. They are my everything.

So, then I ask myself, is that it? Is that the reason I have been placed on this earth at this time – have I accomplished what I was set out to do? Am I now done; if so, why bother searching, there is nothing left to do, to give, to be?

Am I the only one with nothing to say?

Throwing the calendar to a new page, heck to a whole new calendar.

Happy 2019! The holidays have come and have gone. It’s hard to believe that the brief (too brief) time we all spent together is over, but it will hold a special, cherished place in my heart and my memories. To say it’s easy to see the boys leave and go back to school is not true, but the sadness lessens and is replaced with appreciation.

~Appreciation that we raised the boys to believe that the family is important enough to make the effort, time and plans to spend the Christmas holiday together

~Appreciation that we are able to be together and missing those that are no longer with us as we celebrate

~Appreciation that these moments in time are truly blessings and should be enjoyed to their fullest because life is precious.

~Appreciation that we are blessed with family and friends who choose to spend time with us and make us laugh and remember the things that we, by ourselves, may forget.

Often, the New Year is seen as a time to reflect upon what is wrong with each of us and what needs to be fixed – ie -lose weight, exercise more, drink less, stop smoking, whatever else might make up those “this is what’s wrong with me lists” we each make up in our heads as the calendar comes to a close.

Truly, New Year’s should be a time to take stock and reflect upon what is good with us, what is right in our world and what we are blessed with so we can walk into the new year filled with love, light, energy and good thoughts. There is so much negativity out there in the world, maybe a “reset” on our frame of mind would be a good way to start this new year.

I am taking part in a 52 week photo challenge. The first week’s prompt is to take a photo that describes who you are without showing your face. The prompt got me to thinking — who am I? What sums “me” up without showing my face? A provoking question to ask and I’ll have a week to think about it and post my photo describing myself to the group. I’m interested to see what I come up with, aren’t you?

Here on the hill we were the recipients of the most beautiful snowstorm that has come around these parts in a while. The snow was wet and heavy and clung to every surface and every single stalk, bough or branch, even the tiniest. It created an amazing winter wonderland, comparable only to the very tippy-top of the ski mountains where everything contains a frosty, magical white coating. 

Winter Wonderland 

I love snow. My feeling is that winter shouldn’t exist unless there is snow on the ground. No snow and we might as well be gardening and growing things. 

With every plus, however there is a minus. With all that breathtaking clingy snow, came downed trees, some bowing so heavily under the weight of the snow that they look as if they are bent in a deep curtesy, their gentle tops almost brushing the ground below. Some branches couldn’t support all that weight and broke off, tumbling to the ground below and in many instances taking electricity lines down with them. So, while we are living in a winter wonderland, we are doing it without electricity. 

How, might you ask then am I typing this and communicating electronically with all of you? The power of the generator, I tell you. I remember when we first bought this house, I thought a generator was not necessary, but I soon learned differently. You see, here on the hill, when the power goes out, it could be out for a while. And while candles and cooking over the open flame might sound romantic and very grounding, it is – but water, in the form of a hot shower, flushing toilets and that with which to cook and drink, doesn’t happen when you are on a well and lose power unless you have a generator. The winter is a little easier to deal with than the summer, especially if the gorgeous white stuff is outside, because you can fill a pot of snow and bring it in and melt it over the wood stove, but it doesn’t work as well, or at all for that fact, in the summer, when there is no fluffy white stuff outside your door. And for those without the power of the wood stove to heat your house, it can get mighty chilly mighty fast without electricity to heat the house. 

Today, when I picked up the mail, there was a small box addressed to me. I wasn’t expecting any packages so this was an unexpected treat. A longtime friend who just visited with us a couple weeks ago and designs her own wire-wrapped jewelry sent along a gift. When I saw the return address, I was excited. It was such a delight to open up the box and see this:

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Our friend Maria brought along her collection of polished stones and gems along with some of her jewelry when she visited us from Washington state a few weeks ago. I was fortunate enough to watch her make several pieces while she was here visiting and  amazed at how she can transform a simple stone and hair thin strands of silver into an elegant article of jewelry with such ease. In addition to setting the stones she buys at various rock shows and online, Maria also polishes her own stones from rocks she finds in her adventures.

While she was here, she did some hiking and exploring gathering some rocks as she was traveling about Vermont which she then shipped home (after all, who wants to lug around rocks in their luggage?).

This particular piece that she sent to me is made from piece of marble that Maria found at the Dorset quarry. She polished the rock, turning it into this beautiful stone that she sent along to me! It is such a thoughtful and unique thank you gift, and one that I will treasure.

Here is a picture of the rock she gathered for a “before and after” so you can also appreciate the work that went into the making of this gift.

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Photo credit: @mlanger

If you think this is beautiful, (which it is) you need to see her other pieces, each more lovely than the next. I would encourage you to go check out ML Jewelry Designs if you’d like to get one of her creations for your very own or as a gift (hint-hint the holidays are coming and obviously Maria ships!) or, for more of these before and after type pictures of rocks she has transformed and turned into jewelry, check out her twitter feed @mlanger.

Thank you Maria! 🙂

Fall is definitely in the air here in Vermont. The trees are showing what’s left of their yellow, orange and red selves. It’s definitely “putting by” season. We had a definite frost/freeze last night and it’s a good thing that I spent a few days gathering what was left in the garden. However, with the harvest coming the processing, the part that sounds good but is so time consuming. As I type this, celery leaves are drying in the dehydrator, second batch. The first batch of those and a jar of sun dried cherry tomatoes are already stored away. Basil has been pureed with olive oil and frozen into tablespoon size portions to mix in soups or pasta sauces. Potatoes are dug and in the shed, drying so they are easier to dust the dirt from before moving into the basement for storage. The onions, which were picked several weeks ago, are there too, now ready to put by in the basement for fall and winter usage.

A very pleasant surprise were the volunteer tomatillos that were growing in the garden. I was convinced that they would not be ready to harvest, but pleasantly surprised to gather a large basketful, weighing in close to 8 pounds. Some of them have already been roasted with said onions and peppers for a green salsa.

The voles commandeered most of the beet crop but I was able to gather a handful to enjoy. They don’t seem fond of the carrots, but I’m sure that their appetites will change as food becomes scarcer since I’ve harvested most everything else.

Dearest Tim,

Happy 21st birthday! It is both difficult for me to believe that 21 years have gone by since I first held you in my arms that Friday morning when you were born and welcomed you to this world and amazing to me that you have only been on this earth for 21 years. To say today that I am proud of you seems superfluous, you have heard those words slip from my lips many times over the past 21 years but you know they always come from the depths of my heart. It is far more appropriate to say that I am amazed by you. Amazed by how intelligent you are, how you seek and absorb knowledge like the rest of us breathe air – effortlessly like it’s second nature for you. Amazed by how kind, thoughtful and appreciative you are of everything and everyone – and how you are never too old or too cavalier to say so to me or anyone else that does something for you. Amazed by how you meld your roots with your wings. Everyday I am thankful that you are a part of my life and a part of our family.  If I could hug you and never let you go that would be so unfair to the rest of the world. I know that you are here to do extraordinary things and to touch so many more lives than just ours.

Sharing your love of Hafiz with me, gives me this to share with you today:

If What You Say Becomes Memorable

Most that is said is really like a distant echo.

Few minds are strong enough, free enough of prejudice and arrogance for the original thought to want to pass through.

The body is like a vase, a bell that can chime.

It does so to varying degrees in response to every experience and feeling.

The value of vases can differ, as you know, quite a bit.

How does heaven assign worth to our sounds?

It comes down to this:

If what you say or do becomes memorable to another in times of need,

an ally are you then considered by the gods. 

~~Tim, as you come upon this milestone — may you always be considered an ally by the gods.

All my love,

Mom

IMG_6816Home. A simple four letter word that is absolutely emotionally charged. Don’t believe me? Ask any parent of a college kid. “Home” is home, the house and family that you grew up with, the parents that worry about you and provide you with everything…or at least  did until you left for college.

Home is defined by Merriam Webster as:

1a one’s place of residence domicile 
b house 
2the social unit formed by a family living together 
3a a familiar or usual setting congenial environment; also the focus of one’s domestic attention 
b habitat 
4a a place of origin

I remember quite clearly when the my boys first returned home from college for a long weekend or break and referred to that place where they reside when they are not with me, as “home” as in “when I get home…..”. No. No. NO! You cannot call that “place” home. This is “home”. WE are “home”. Not some place with thrown together furnishings, decorated with beer cans, sorely in need of a good mom cleaning, a place that those other than college folk would find unworthy of being called a home. And yet there in lies the rub. “Home” is not so much a place as a state of mind.

Houses, apartments, condos, dorm rooms – these are all physical spaces that accommodate us and keep us out of the elements, provide a sleeping space and a place to store all our stuff. Home is where you are gathered with those that you care about, whom you care you about, those you support and those that support you – in short, a place where you feel safe, cared for and loved. A place you are happy to spend your time.

It took a while and a lot of fervent wrangling before this college mom came to the non-emotional realization that home means a lot of things to different people at different ages and stages, but boils down to those essentials – happiness, safety, friendship and love. For me, I am more than happy that my kids have found “homes” where they are surrounded by laughter, friendship, safety and love. I know that our home is the foundation of all that and will always hold a special place in their hearts.

IMG_7379The weather outside my window this first day of Spring is very un-spring like but pretty typical for this time of the year, looking back through blog posts from past vernal equinoxes. We won’t see many signs of spring coming up through the snow today, unless they are herculean daffodils or crocus – that are about 3 feet tall!

Anyhow, I came across this draft of a blog post from this time quite a few years ago and I thought I would share – if nothing else, it might make a smile cross your face and that would be a delightful addition to this spring day!

Here are some very zen thoughts for a Tuesday…well kinda zen but pretty funny. Not sure where I originally got these so I can’t give credit where credit is due. ~sorry about that but know you made me laugh.

  1. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
  2. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
  3. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.
  4. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
  5. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.
  6. If you ever feel you are worthless remember that you are full of expensive organs.
  7. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.
  8. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
  9. Always remember that you’re unique, just like everyone else…
  10. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  11. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  12. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  13. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  14. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  15. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  16. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
  17. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
  18. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
  19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.
  20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  21. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

1, 6 and 12 are my personal favorites, although the lawyer in me chuckled at 21.

Which are your favorites?

For the first time since I’ve been on the school board, I am running in a contested election. First let me explain that by “contested”. I in no way mean mud-slinging and nastiness, but rather that there is more than just one person (namely, me) running for the open seat. In fact, there are three of us running to fill the two open school board seats in our town. You have no idea how excited I was when I learned that not one, but two townsfolk submitted petitions to also run for school board. I was soooo excited that others were interested in joining the school board and working for our community’s kids. I could hardly contain my excitement that my pleas for folks to get involved seemed to be heeded. It was my husband who, after letting me enjoy my excitement for a bit, had to point out to me (gently, I might add) that this “wonderful news” I was blabbing about meant that I was now involved in a contested election for my own seat on the board. Talk about bursting one’s bubble. NOOOOO! But alas it is true. So, this will be my first contested election. Wish me luck. Here’s a throwback to that first election when I wished my dad could have been alive to see his little girl’s name on the ballot.

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 7.57.26 PM

 

Win or lose, please make sure that you get out to vote if you live in Vermont. Your fellow community members count on your support and it’s an amazing and important process, unique to the New England area and particularly Vermont.

 

 

Evilwife on the move

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