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I think that the hardest part of not having kids at home is figuring out how to fill that daily void. For so many years, life revolved around kids’ schedules, kids’ school, in general kids’ lives that it’s hard to figure out me again. 

Since the boys are so close in age, friends used to kid that it seemed like I was pregnant for a very long time. Hard to remember they would say, when you weren’t pregnant. I understand what they meant now. Hard to remember when I wasn’t a mom. I love being a mom. I will always be a mom but now I have “me” time back so I need to dig deep and find my happy place. Things I enjoy doing that aren’t necessarily mom related. 

In this quest, I am trying different things seeing what sticks. One thing that has fallen by the wayside in recent times has been this blog which I started over a decade ago when we moved here. I enjoy writing and promised myself for the new year that I would try my best to post to it every day. 

Some days will be witty and well thought out, other days may be more stream if consciousness and I’m sure some will be purely because I have to write something, kind of like self imposed homework. Whatever the day’s inspiration may be, the overarching reason is that I enjoy it, I think I’m fairly decent at it and it makes me happy. Hopefully those reading it will enjoy it too. Since I also like taking pictures and feel I haven’t been doing enough of that either lately, you’ll see a neat photo to go along with the words I write. These were taken the other morning on my way back from my sunrise Rotary meeting. Everything was frosty and beautiful in the drive up the hill.

I am also starting an online Harvard open class course in my “spare” time. Maybe that will be another day’s post. 

Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks.

Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Just click “New Post,” and tell us why you’re here.

English: a bird nest Français : un nid d'oiseau

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My blog is hosted by WordPress. Every once in a while, they offer free blogging courses on a variety of topics. I decided that since I haven’t been as attentive to my blog as I would like of late, this would be a good “kick in the pants” as it were, to make me get back on track posting on a regular basis. The way it works is that every day you are given a prompt and should use it to the best of your ability to post to your blog. Some of the prompts may not be relevant to each and every blog, but you are supposed to extrapolate what can be relevant to you from the prompt and write about it. What appears above is today’s prompt — “Introduce Yourself to the World”

I thought that this prompt was particularly fitting for me considering that, with my youngest son having just turned 18 and heading off to college in the next few weeks and the nest, empty as it will be, looming closer, it is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately.

As many of you can relate, for the past 20 years I have been, first and foremost, a mom. It has been (and will continue to be) my most important job and the one that I will have until the day I draw my last breath. I am also an attorney and have been one of those for 27 years but I have no doubt I have put in way more hours as mom than I have or will as attorney despite the difference in actual years of practice. The mom job has been 24×7 since 9:48 p.m. on April 2nd, 20 years ago. In about three weeks I’ll get put on ‘stand-by’ status. No longer will I have to worry (as much) about the day-to-day mom things. All three boys will be off at school. So then, the question becomes, after all this time of being a mom front and center, who am I when they are all off becoming wonderful young adults embracing their new adventures in life? It is a question that I don’t quite know the answer to yet.

I started this blog when we moved up to Vermont from New Jersey in 2006 as a fun way to keep the family and friends in the know as to what and how the five of us were doing. It has grown, as I have, in the ensuing years and it will be fun to see how the blog will morph and change once again when I am officially an “empty nester”. I am hoping that I will be able to get back to posting more frequently.

While I don’t know exactly what this whole empty nest thing will bring, I stand on the threshold, both sad and excited, to see how things will change. I would enjoy hearing from any of you as to how to handled or planned to handle your own empty nest life.

While I enjoy taking pictures, one of my sons has an eye for it. He has “guest photographed” on my site a few times where he has gotten photo credit for his work from me. He has a gift and can compose things just right. My camera in his hands (which is nothing special) turns a ho-hum picture into something blog-worthy.

He just put up his own blog here at and I would ask that you check it out and give him your feedback. You can find him at


Independence day Fireworks over the Navasink R...

Independence day Fireworks over the Navasink River in Red Bank, NJ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a busy week. Tom and TJ are away and in addition to the house feeling a little off when one or more of us is gone, it is also considerably busier for me. I am the chauffeur, cook, laundry person and animal care giver. The days have been long but very busy and that is why this morning when I looked at the blog statistics, I realized that I crossed a big threshold. My blog has had over 100,000 views on it since its inception. Wow. Thank you!

English: Red heart clip art

English: Red heart clip art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To think that when I started it, it was just a way to vent and keep our families back in New Jersey aware of what was happening here. Now, it is so much more than that and I have had the true pleasure of meeting and conversing with so many people because of it. It is such a big part of my own life and I am very grateful that so many of you have made a regular part of yours.

From the bottom of my heart….thank you!

This blog post you are reading is from a blog called  Happenings on the Hill. If you are reading it anywhere else other than on, it has been stolen. Sorry to those that regularly read that I have to do this on my post, but I’m really getting angry that someone is stealing my content. I  really, really dislike the darkness that is the winter mornings. As I type this, it is just 7 a.m. and the sun is just barely coming up. Seriously, if you woke up now, without a clock, you would most likely dose back off, thinking it was way earlier than it was. While I am not a big fan of dark afternoons either, I can deal with those so much better than with the dark, pitch blackness that I now awaken to and will for the next several months on school days.

Sorry that I have been a slacker lately. I could blame it on a lot of things, some bad news that made me mopey for a few days, then the 4th of July holiday and a houseful of family and some pretty hot, hot weather. I didn’t realize that I was really that much of a slacker until an out-of-state friend of mine called to check in since they hadn’t seen a new post and were a bit concerned.

Everything is okay, I am happy to report and we are back (hopefully) to our regularly scheduled posting. Sorry for the interruption and pretty neat to know that if I should drop dead or something, someone might actually notice and let the authorities know before I become one of those ugly news stories – body found 6 months after death, poised over computer, stinking up the house. 🙂

The summer so far has definitely been boys, boys, boys – most days have been a houseful of them or in some way the day has revolved totally and completely around them. We took the boys to Great Escape one day last week since their cousin was staying with us for the week. It was a beautiful breezy day, we grabbed a couple of chaise lounges in the waterpark with a couple of iced coffees and our books, a nice calm day while the boys (what does one call a group of boys? a gaggle, a boodle?) wandered around the park and the waterpark enjoying themselves, returning to us only for the occasional “can I have?” question.

My sister and her boys (do you see a theme here?) came up for the holiday weekend. We spent a nice day at Plymouth State Park on the 4th of July, kayaking and generally playing around in the water and on the paddle boat my sister rented for the boys. It was fun and relaxing. We came home to news that my brother and his family (the girls in the family) were abandoning the heat wave of New Jersey for the heat wave of Vermont (we tease that he brought the weather with him, since it wasn’t that hot until he arrived) and the entire family went to see the fireworks for which my husband secured a primo spot.

The blog passed 25,000 hits today — I would have never imagined. Thanks!

Drumroll……………..Today marks the day that the blog hits surpass 20,000.  The site counter rolled past 20,000 hits or visits during the day today. Thanks! I would have never guessed that something I started a few years ago to chronicle our moving to Vermont and as a “therapeutic” outlet would have acquired such a following.  Were it not for the blog, there are some of you that I wouldn’t have befriended and that just would have been a shame.

It is snowing like it means it outside once again. There was a little respite last night but it started snowing again around 7 a.m. this morning and has been coming down ever since. We can hear the winds starting to come on, we are forecast for 55-65 mph winds – that should be loads of fun since the trees are weighted down with the heavy wet snow that fell over the past two days. There are already a lot of branches down here and there and our road, well let’s just say that I passed a car trying to come up the hill on my way down to the bus stop and then it had evidently backed all the way down the hill when I was driving back up, giving it what I thought was a second try. A neighbor I passed on the way advised me that it was at least the third time. Not much any of us can do to push her up the hill, but certainly happy to give her a ride. This is what I try to explain to my almost driving son – fancy cars are not meant for the winter up here. The little sports car she had was great, just not meant to drive through about 6 inches of snow and slush going uphill nonetheless.

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So, if you got a Kindle for Christmas and are wondering what to do with it, may I offer up a suggestion? Read my blog! Yes, I figured out how to put my blog online through Amazon and you can subscribe to the blog via Kindle. Pretty neat, huh? Makes me feel like I am somehow a little bit more important in this world. In any event it is a pretty neat thing.

IMG00132It’s interesting to watch how Mother Nature knows when its time. I swear that this weekend alone, the leaves on a lot of trees have started to turn. While the weather has been relatively warm during the day, we have had cool nights and chilly mornings – the telltale signs of autumn. Also last night, you could smell wood burning, evidently, someone in these parts felt it was cool enough to start a fire.

We have friends up this weekend. I also got to meet a friend. Ptcakes the author of Where Did the Time Go? blog and I met in person on Saturday morning after a couple unsuccessful previous attempts to meet. She and her family were up in our neck of the woods for a camping trip. We have read each other’s blogs quite regularly. Our lives at different points in time over the past year or so have taken on a parallel universe feel and we have often sympathized with and cheered each other. It is unusual to feel so connected to someone that I never even saw a picture of prior to Saturday, and yet, it is apparent that friendships can spring from common bonds that span distance. We had a great chat, shared some coffee and stories, filling in some of the blanks that our respective blog posts mentioned but didn’t necessarily completely explain.


We also went to the fair or for those of you not from around these parts, The Vermont State Fair in Rutland. Interesting how a bunch of kids that so wanted to go to the fair to go on rides could be so indecisive when they arrived but amazingly, when us moms and dads extracted ourselves from the picture, everything became a different world. We explored the various exhibits, did some great people watching and generally had a good time. The place was busy, but then it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Yesterday, we went raspberry picking at Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset with our friends, the Zummos  who were up for the weekend. Carolina raspberries are ripe and since I missed out earlier in the year, I promised myself that I would get out to pick berries for raspberry jam, which is our favorite.




home-daysiesvoteI love flowers and a Daysie would just be dandy. If you love me, vote for me. Vermont’s 7Days is having its annual Daisies Awards and one of the categories is your favorite blog (non-political). It’s an online vote and I would appreciate it. You can’t just vote for the blogs, though, there are other categories that you have to cast a ballot for in order for your vote to count.

Here’s the link  to the home page – just click on the Daysies Vote image and it will put you through to the balloting. Seven Days


This article caught my eye. Evidently the answer for one American family turned out to be on a billboard advertisement in Prague.

Smith-family-in-Czech-bil-001Photograph from

The family’s Christmas card photograph wound up on a billboard advertising delivery service for a grocery store in Prague. Imagine the surprise of the family friend who discovered familiar faces staring out at him from a local billboard when he was visiting. Evidently, the wife posted the picture to her blog and various social networking sites so friends and family could view the picture. It was found online somewhere by the person that put it on the billboard in Prague. He said that the picture looked “too perfect” to be real and assumed that it was computer generated. For the complete article to the story, click here.

So, for all we know, our christmas card photos from years past could be the latest advertising things in other parts of the world. Go Figure.

Evilwife on the move

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