Nature Trail – Take 1

Nature Trail – Take 1

Cook, Tristan, Alyssa and I hit the nature trail at her middle school on Sunday for a nice little hike.

We intend to hike it again, and maybe next time take a picnic lunch. There were some benches along the way…and camp fire pits (which didn’t seem entirely safe given we’re often in drought conditions, but…).

Alyssa was even kind enough to pose for a photo on our way out!

 

 

Fee…fye…pho? Yum!

So here it is. My very first bowl of Pho (pronounced “Fah” by the way; I was led to believe previously it was “Fee” or “Fo” but it is, in fact, neither – the waitress corrected me Monday evening at the restaurant).

I chose the shrimp variety. Very delish and will likely become a weekly staple here in South Carolina (did I mention we moved?)

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I like big books and I cannot lie…

My daughter repeatedly reminded me today that it is the one-month anniversary of our trip to Chicago for BookCon 2016.We had an awesome time. She asked for tickets last autumn, and I presented them to her on Christmas. She was beyond thrilled. She’s become quite the book aficionado and prefers to spend all of her money on books, books and more books.

Quite honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

After an amazing day in Chicago on Friday, May 13, we hit the convention center early Saturday morning to get in the longest line I’ve ever been in (that is not a joke) waiting for doors to open to the day’s BookCon event. Alyssa had mapped out exactly what authors she wanted to meet, the panels she wanted to attend, etc. She’s quite the planner. I told her the day was hers and I would do whatever she wanted to do during her time at the event. We had an amazing time and she scored lots of big books. (She’s becoming a hardcover collector.)

Yesterday, I drove her to a Barnes & Noble bookstore (the closest one is about an hour and 20 minutes from our house) so she could attend a creative writing workshop, get some book loot, and spend her babysitting earnings (from the day before – it burns holes in her pocket if she holds onto it for too long).

She bought a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I saw it Alyssaon the shelf and pointed it out to her and told her I would like to read that one too should she ever get it. But she sat it back down and proceeded to shop around the store for a good half hour. One of the beautiful things about her is that although she likes to spend money, she doesn’t make impulse buys. She figures out exactly what she wants before she chooses to spend her money on anything.

The little sweetie snuck up to the register when I wasn’t looking and bought Miss Pelegrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. She wanted to surprise me. Happy mama.

And…she picked up yet another bookmark. The slogan? “I like big books and I cannot lie.”

Too funny. Read on my little bookworm, read on.

I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

This daily prompt dates back several months, but I had hit “try another” umpteen times. It was time to commit.

Having survived a crushing divorce, I wholeheartedly believe in forgive and forget. Why, you ask?  Read on…

From Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

“…graced with the ability finally to forgive someone is just plain astonishing. You can’t have gotten from where you were – gripped by anxiety, tiny with fear – to come through to freedom, for God’s sake. To have been so lost that you felt abducted, to feeling found, returned, and set back on your feet.”

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Forgiving is important to free yourself; not necessarily someone else, but to free you.

Instructions for freedom

1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof, there is nothing between you and the Infinite; now, let go.
3. The day is ending, it’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. You’re being here is God’s response. Let go and watch the stars came out, on the inside and the outside.
5. With all your heart ask for Grace and let go.
6. With all your heart forgive him, forgive yourself and let him go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cold night, let go.
9. When the Karma of a relationship is done, only Love remains. It’s safe, let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go.. then, climb down and begin the rest of your life with great joy.

― from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat. Pray. Love.

From Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

“Forgive someone from your past. You don’t need to contact them. Forgiveness is more about you than them.”

Thaw me out Thursday

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Inspired by petitegirlsneedclothestoo.wordpress.com’s post, What I Want Wednesday, I decided to create my own alliteration and post (albeit three days late) Thaw Me Out Thursday.

While the scenery this past week was breathtaking, the roads were slippery,power lines were falling and it was a bit of a mess. We had rain, then ice, then snow on Tuesday morning which led to this beautiful winter wonderland you see above (and about a foot of snow).

To top it off, this was the first week of “split spring break” and my daughter’s space/science camp was canceled Tuesday due to the treacherous road conditions. I, fortunately, was able to work from home. Good thing. Because (a) I couldn’t get out of my driveway and (b) there was no way I was going to leave the house. So for a day or so, suffice it to say I resented everyone that went to Florida for spring break.

By Saturday, the temperature reached 59 degrees. Practically unheard of for this time of year in snowy, cold New York State. We rejoiced! And my daughter and I headed to a quaint, nearby ski resort town for some shopping and lunch. Consider me thawed! (For now.)

I can do it! All of the things!

It was 7:51 am. School/work departure time iIMG_0276s 8:00 am. I was finishing breakfast. My hair was still damp (it’s 10 degrees out). And, I still needed to take Tristan outside to do his thing. I told my daughter I had to do these three things, to which she replied, “Mom, it’s 7:51!” Don’t worry, I said. I can do it. I can do all of the things!

I have a friend who likes to joke about racing here and there, and doing this and that. You know, partaking in this hectic adventure we call life. Her phrase is “I hate everything. All. Of. The. Things.” She still cracks me up every time she says it.

So this morning, I turned to my daughter and I said, “I can do it. I can do all of the things.” (Yes, I did manage to do all three of those things in …ok, fine, we left at 8:02 today. So I did all of the things in 11 minutes. Not bad, right?)

At lunch hour, I came home to let Tristan out again (so as not to make him hold it for 9 + hours) and I rediscovered the note on the counter top (that I just got from my daughter Wednesday night, mind you). Tomorrow is Greek mythology party day in social studies. Please feel free to bring in a Greek dish so each student can sample it. Your child gets extra credit on the exam. “How about Greek yogurt?” I had asked the night before. Nope. She wants to take in a Greek salad. Dammit. PS – I also learned (also on Wednesday night) that she has two tests on Friday. AND there is a PTO meeting at 6:00 Thursday night. Pile it on, baby, pile it on. I can do it! I can do all of the things!

My friend sends me a recipe for Greek salad. Okay, doesn’t look too bad. Except the homemade dressing. Not doing that. I’m certain they sell red wine vinaigrette in a bottle. I can hit the grocery store after work, then go home, then make the PTO meeting at 6:00 and still be home by 7:00 to visit with my sister-in-law and show her what summer dresses I have that she can borrow. (She leaves for Florida tomorrow. It’s going to be zero for a high here on Saturday. Yes. Zero.)

I head back to work, reminding myself, I can do all of the things. As I’m pulling back into work, I realize I hadn’t eaten lunch. I pull a U-turn, and head to Subway.

Here is a recap on how things really went down. I texted my mom around 2:30. She was picking my daughter up at school so I asked if she minded checking the local grocery store deli for Greek salad. She did one better. She called and asked. Yep, they have it. $5.00/pound. Sounds great to me. I don’t care if it’s $10/pound. I’ll pay just about anything so I don’t have to make it.  Check it off the list!

On the way home, I did remember to stop and grab a bottle of cab for my SIL and I. We had some catching up to do. I made it home close to 5:30. My daughter promptly reminds me that she has two tests tomorrow and she really doesn’t want to go hang out at PTO tonight. Perfect, my sweet. I’d already secretly decided we weren’t going. Check it off the list!

So in the end, there was no homemade Greek salad and I didn’t make the PTO meeting. But my daughter and I had a lovely, quiet dinner in. And my SIl and I enjoyed each other’s company over a lovely bottle of Chilean cab (I did stop for that on the way home). And she felt like she hit the jackpot with the dresses she scored for her week in Florida.

I can certainly do some of the things. And do them well.

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Who I am. And why I’m here.

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post on your blog.

The who…I’m a mom to an 11 year old daughter and a 4-year-old great dane. By day, I work for a large B2B company as an Internal/External Communications Specialist. To put that in plain English, I do quite a bit of writing and editing (of the corporate type, of course).

And the why…By night, I just want to write. Free form. Creatively.

I’m deeply inspired by this response from Emily Austin when she was asked for the advice she’d give on writing a blog about parenting (from her interview with Cheri Lucas Rowlands; Emily writes the blog, The Waiting):

Here’s the thing: it is so incredibly worth it. Just write about your family. Write about the minutiae. Even if you think a post is going to be “boring,” write it: it’s your life and you and your kids will one day treasure that you took the time to record your history. These are your family’s stories and they are precious, even if it seems like you’re writing about the same milestones as everyone else. Just do it. Ask questions later.

So I think I’m going to take her advice. And just do it. Write, that is.