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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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For those of you that might be traveling to Vermont in next few days, I don’t want you to fret over mud season. I know that mud season in Vermont can be daunting, and vehicles can get stuck and things can get downright ugly. In fact, most Vermonters tend to use mud season to run away to anywhere that is not here just to avoid it. I know that around this time of year, you may worry about mud season. But, folks, seriously, there is no need to worry, we’ve got plenty of snow and ice to take care of it for you!

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_DSC0058I know that spring officially arrived just about a week ago, but there’s lots of snow on the ground, some really good skiing and snowmobiling and another 5-8 inches forecast for the weekend. So, no worries about mud here.

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We had a good day yesterday celebrating Tyler’s birthday. Breakfast at Sugar and Spice with our friend Gordon, Tim’s New England Music Festival concert and dinner in Manchester.
His girlfriend got him a great cake and we ended the night with that as dessert.

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Happy Birthday Tyler! It is so hard to believe that 18 years ago today, at this time, we were anxiously awaiting our new baby’s arrival. Tyler, who was in no particular hurry to enter the world (he should have been born on St. Patrick’s Day) arrived at 5 p.m. on March 22nd.

Before his arrival, I could not understand how a mother has enough love in her heart to love two little babies, but taking one look at that face and holding him for the first time in my arms, there was no doubt that I would love this guy (I can’t say “little” since he arrived at 10 pounds 12 ounces) with all of my heart and soul.

Time has flown by. It is so hard to believe that 17 years have passed between this picture
My beautiful picture

 

and this picture

IMG_2242He is and always has been very independent, caring and empathetic. 

Tyler has grown into a wonderful young man who makes his mom very proud. 

Happy 18th Birthday Tyler! I love you! 

On Tuesday, the grass was showing in spots and it was almost 50 degrees. What a difference a day (or two) can make around here. Starting Wednesday morning the snow started falling and continued until this morning. When it was all said and done, we had about 2 1/2 feet on the ground although it is windy as heck here so an exact measurement (assuming that I was going outside to measure) would be next to impossible. Let it suffice to say, it is a LOT of snow.

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There was a lot of shoveling out this morning.

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Believe it or not, those sap buckets are actually hanging off the top of our three foot fence and hold flower in warmer weather.

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The sunlight coming through the window in the late afternoon when I was cutting the tips off of the green beans for dinner caused me to grab the camera and take some pictures of things on the counter that my photography teacher would (hopefully) have been happy to see for a class assignment.

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As many of you know, I am an attorney. Today in the mail I received a letter from a business known as the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. Inc. advising me that I am a spectacular attorney and I have been chosen from their “rigorous selection process” to receive their “prestigious” Top 10 Attorney Award. The letter goes to tell me that this association has been in existence since 2013 (really?) with the primary goal of recognizing the top 10 family law lawyers in each state for their “hard work”. I am urged to return my acceptance by a specific date or my spot will be given to the first alternate. The second page entitled “Award Acceptance Form” contains spots for all the necessary information for me to receive my “prestigious” award including the spot where I can indicate how I want to pay the $250 Award Administration Fee to them for this honor. When I fork over $250, they will provide me with a plaque telling me how wonderful I am as a Top 10 Attorney.

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There are days when my self confidence may slip a little low, but  honestly, I don’t think I need to fork over $250 for a plaque to remind myself of how special I really am. Plus, it would help if they got my name correct. I haven’t been “Smith” since 1992 and I am not licensed in Vermont under that name at all. That, and the fact that a Google search doesn’t come up with any such organization on the first page of hits, is more than enough to make me say, thanks, but no thanks.

I think I’ll file this one where it belongs…..in the trash.

Dinner last night was homemade French Onion soup with homemade baguettes. It was delicious and well worth the effort of making it from scratch. While I was at it, I made some more sandwich rolls for lunches.

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Lunch rolls all ready for tomorrow.

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The onions, about 8 cups of them, thinly sliced sauteed for a nice long time to get a beautiful golden brown and form the base of the soup.

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The baguettes right from the oven. These were thinly sliced and popped into the toaster to crisp them up to use as the croutons. Of course, had I prepared better, I could have made the bread a day or two earlier and let the slices crisp up without the use of the toaster. Alas, I am not that prepared.

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The soup bowls are getting assembled and prepped for some broiling.

 

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The finished product …. was …. delicious.

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If nothing else, living where we live teaches one patience. When it snows, yes they plow the roads and yes, they do a wonderful job of it….but they do not have the city-it’s-gotta-be-done-now mentality. Usually the plowing comes toward the tail end of the storm, after all we have 2 guys plowing about 60 miles of roads and they do a fantastic job. Same as with ice, the hill will get sanded, but there have been a few of us that have gotten stuck or it took a few tries to get up the hill or we gave up and caught a ride with a neighbor. At the tail end of winter, frost heaves make an appearance and the roads have some wonderful whoop-dee-doos to contend with while driving. During mud season, which is fast approaching, no one goes anywhere too fast since our dirt road, like many others throughout New England, turns into a gloppy mess. Today is one of those days that teach you to be patient.

We woke to an internet problem, the DSL router was not working and the telephone company confirmed that they were experiencing a problem that left us disconnected. For a lot of people that is not a problem, after all we survived for decades without the technology that we take for granted now. But, when you work from home and your internet connection is necessary to do a day’s work, it can be a problem. So…this morning, we packed up our stuff and headed into town to Panera to get some work done while the internet problems are being resolved. I try really hard to find the up-side for my own mental health. Normally, Tom and I are working in our respective offices, in two different parts of the house. Today, we are seated across for each other, stealing a smile every now and again…it’s pretty nice.

Patience, it all teaches us that sometimes, we need to be a little patient.

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The veggie ends that I saved are growing nicely. The kitchen window sill is filled with lots of green things which is a welcome sight when you look out the window and realize that nothing green will be growing out there for quite a while yet.

Right now, I have about a dozen scallions in various stages of growth, a bunch of basil and a lovely bok choy. The other day, when I chopped up the last of a stalk of celery for some roasted cauliflower soup, I added that to the dish. I am anxious to see how that works.

While the leeks and scallions by far have the most roots, the bok choy, which has grown beautifully, is only just now starting to sprout a couple roots from its base. The basil is not showing any real root growth yet, but lots of leaves.

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Valentine’s Day has always been a somewhat strange holiday for Tom and I. He used to sell roses years ago so the whole holiday has a different taste for us. The holiday is quite a manufactured money maker and we have tried to instill in our boys that fact. There are 364 other days of the year to show the one you love how much you care and how special they are to you.

For years, we used to go out as a group and probably one of our best Valentine’s Day stories has nothing to do with us, per se. We had made reservations with a few other couples to go down to the Ironbound section of Newark for Portuguese food. Turns out that one of the couples had to cancel. While we were standing in the lobby of an extremely crowded restaurant waiting (we only had to wait 1/2 hour since we had reservations – weren’t we lucky?) a young couple came in and the guy walked up to the maitre d  and politely asked for a table for 2. At least they were kind enough not to laugh in his face when he said he didn’t have a reservation, instead they told him that he could be seated at 11:30 (yes, that’s p.m.) mind you, this was around 7 ish. Turns out, we happened to have an extra two seats, so we went up to them and asked if they’d like, they could sit at the end of our table (and we promised to leave them by themselves as much as possible considering we were all sitting at the same table). Turns out, they agreed. We bought them each a Valentine’s Day drink, wound up laughing and talking together for a good part of the evening. It was a very nice Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine’s Day has morphed through our relationship from the initial over-advertised guilt ridden day created by a card company with the expensive flowers and traditional dinner in a restaurant that was over crowded and overbooked through those days of group Valentine dinners with friends, to the occasional missed Valentine’s Day altogether when it managed to coincide with Tom’s snowmobile treks, to the take out Chinese dinner eaten in front of the fire on the floor. Tonight, the plan was that our youngest son and his girlfriend were cooking us dinner. They were going to then watch a movie and we were going to watch a show by the fire. Plans however, still change. A couple hours ago, I got a call from my oldest that he and a group of friends were driving down from school to go snowboarding and obviously to have dinner at home. While Tim and his girlfriend are still cooking us dinner, I am cooking sushi for the boys that are descending upon us any time now. It will be a different kind of Valentine’s Day once again — but a good one anytime you are surrounded by the ones that you love and who love you back.

One thing that has not changed through the years, the constant tradition, is the chocolate covered strawberries. Every year for as long as I can remember, I have made chocolate covered strawberries for all my men.

However you choose to celebrate or if you even celebrate at all…..Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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© Happenings on the Hill,
https://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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