Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All Grown Up

If the "last day of daycare" post in September didn't make me sad enough....I got Will's pre-registration letter for kindergarten next year in the mail yesterday.  It's official:  he's a big kid and our world is gonna change come September.

The other day, he was filling up bags and toting them around the house, telling me that he was parking for college.  (What, are you trying to kill me??)   I didn't have the heart to tell him that he probably will have little use for ten stuffed animals and a blanket whilst in college.  I wish I'd gotten a picture.  (sniff)

These are the days that I want to capture forever.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Application Day!

I'm driving out to eastern MA today, to my company's Central Office.  Today, I will not be answering tenant calls or depositing checks.  Today, it's all about putting the applications together for my new site!!!  The better part of the day will be spent sorting attachments and brochures into envelopes, and running a hundred or so thru the postage meter.  Why is this exciting?  Because I wasn't sure that this day would ever come!  But yet it's here....after almost two years of waiting, it's here.  The newspaper ads have been placed, and the inquiries have started rolling in.  It's finally happening.  I'm already feeling busier than a one-armed paper hanger, and a little stressed to boot.  But do you know what?  It will be SO worth it, once I can move into my new office outside of the city, and I plan to retire from there.  :)

Friday, November 18, 2011


Summer 1997:  I had a temp job for a computer training company.  The job was in Framingham, MA, and was a long-term assignment for the better part of the summer as their front desk receptionist.  It was kind of a fun job, one that I had to dress nicely for every day.  This was a far cry from my college uniform of jeans and t-shirts!  I did rather well with the company assignment and they eventually asked me to cover their Boston office for a few days that summer as well.   I remember being excited, asking my mom about which decorative scarf I should wear with my black business suit, and taking the train to the city by myself.  Getting off with the hundreds of other "Boston Businesswomen" at South Station, most of them wearing sneakers with their sensible skirt-suits in order to make the walk.  I wasn't quite as smart and wound up with blisters...but who cares?  I was working in "the city" for a few days!  Walking up Atlantic Avenue, feeling stoked that I was part of the Working World, the Real World.

Fast forward to November, 2011.   I'm driving to Boston next Monday for an important business meeting for my new apartment complex.  I'll wear whatever's clean and in the closet on Monday, and you can bet the ensemble will include more sensible shoes.  I'll hurriedly drop off the kids at their morning destinations, fight morning traffic down the Mass Pike, pay a mortgage's worth to park in the garage and then drive back after the meeting.  Only now instead of feeling "stoked" I'll be mind-boggled with the amount of work there is to be done and viewing the trip home as a pain-in-the-ass. 

Funny what a difference fourteen years makes, no?  I miss that college "get up and go!" attitude.  Maybe I'll accessorize with a scarf to pay tribute to that girl, I miss her sometimes.  :)

Cheatin', Two-Timin'......Knitter?

What is it about having to do something that makes you rebel?  I am fairly close to finishing my Christmas knitting, and the fact that I "have to" finish this is causing me to ignore it.  Instead, I've been seduced by a red lace scarf for myself.  I wasn't even planning on using that just kind of happened.  Good thing knitting projects don't care if you're unfaithful.  They seem to understand that it's not a monogamous relationship.

Still, I've got three things on the needles that I am working on and three's my limit.  Any more than that and I start to feel frazzled.

The "have tos" aren't limited to knitting, either.  I've got an entire to-do list that I've been ignoring for some time now.  Though on Monday, I made a brake appt and a snow tire installation appt for my car, booked our hotel for my brother-in-law's wedding, and ordered a couple of Christmas gifts online.  So it can't be too bad!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"How do you measure....measure a year..."

A year ago, I was just starting the weight loss program at the local hospital.  It was a behavioral program versus a surgical track, focusing on nutrition, exercise and psychology.  I lost about 15 lbs during that time, and I was pretty proud of myself. 

Now, I've been away from the program for some time now.  I don't follow it perfectly, there's no such thing as "perfect."  As a working mom (meaning:  working out of the house every day, because EVERY mom works, and hard!)  with two little boys, a hubby in grad school and a voracious schedule, I eat a lot of meals quickly and on-the-go.  I don't always make the greatest choices, but I'm no longer a "finish everything on the plate" kind of girl.  When margaritas and chips n salsa presented themselves last weekend, I partook.  Because honestly, I get a margarita maybe twice a year. 

But anyway....let's do a little before and after. 

This was taken last year at the start of the program.  I was not at all thrilled to be having my picture taken.  In fact, I was more interested in taking pictures than being in them.

And the two photos that really hit home for me?  I was modeling a shawl last night that I had made so that I could post pics on my Ravelry page.

Front view:

Back view

From the back....WOW!!!  I love it!   Those pants are rather loose.

What a difference a year makes.  "Happy Anniversary" to me, for taking steps to add "years to your life and life to your years."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Working from Home

I've kind of been resisting the "thankful" posting every day this month, because I wasn't sure how much time I'd have to dedicate to posting.  Of course I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life, my family, friends, roof over our heads, continued employment in these uncertain economic times,  etc all the usual things.  But how about an unusual one once in a this case today.

Today I am thankful for sometimes being authorized to work from home.  It was close to seventy degrees this morning, the ides of November.  The slider door is open and I can feel the breeze.  (though the sunshine is dissipating)   I have the training videos that I must follow along to and take mini quizzes after each section.  This will take several hours and took more time than I expected due to setup issues.  But I'm perfectly happy, in my casual clothing and no makeup.  Lunch at my very own kitchen table, accompanied by the dog (of course, he adores leftover chicken of any kind)

Oh, and in between videos.....I'm blocking Christmas gifts.  Soaking doesn't require my attention, so while I participate in the video, the item is in the bathroom sink.  After the video, I lay out and pin the item to the foam boards.  The boys aren't home, so they aren't working together to comandeer my foam boards to build a play structure.  And I won't be frantically trying to do this on Christmas Eve, praying feverishly for it to dry faster than is actually possible so that I can wrap the items to put under the tree at 2am.  YES!!

In conclusion:  working from home once in a while, where the only noise is made by me.  Very thankful.  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

(Knit) Girl's Night!

When I mentioned at knitting the other night that I was going to Maine to visit a college girlfriend of mine, the invariable first question was "Oh, is she a knitter?"  Why yes, yes she is.  She is a knitter because I "turned" her, kind of like vampires in True Blood.  :)  She came over to the dark side last summer when I taught her how to purl (she already knew the knit stitch) and Damn!  The girl made scarves for her entire family, and is going to start her sixth pair of socks soon!  I created a that loves to go and look at yarn and talk patterns with me.  So this is obviously a win-win situation!

I made it up to Maine on Saturday afternoon, and we ventured to nearby Dover, NH for sushi and yarn shopping at her favorite local yarn store.  (LYS for those in the know)  The store's owner was very helpful and knowledgeable in their stuff, and I picked out some yarn that I will save up for to make myself a clapotis scarf.  (I'm an instant-gratification kind of girl when it comes to yarn, so this is huge for me!)  I figure if I'm going to spend like $80 for one project, it's got to be something that I will love and wear the hell out of!

On the way back to Maureen's apartment, we took a detour to Rochester, NH, where Brian and I lived for about a year while he was wrapping up his Naval career.  The area had changed so much, I barely recognized it!  Our old house had been sold again, and was being completely gutted.  Since no one was around, I pulled into the driveway and we were super-nosy, peering in the windows from the car.  It was so weird.  Twelve years is a really long time, no?  And nothing ever stays the same.

Later on, we met up with a good friend of Maureen's, for Mexican and Margaritas in Portland.  Mexican and sushi in one day?  Wow, that's awesome!  And then after dinner we proved the old ladies that we have become and watched Bridesmaids while knitting...her working on a baby dress and me a red lace scarf for myself.  I was shocked to see it was 1:00am when the movie was over and we hustled to bed.  The morning found us winding sock yarn from a big, messy tangle and then heading out to breakfast.  Then it was the drive back home.

What a perfect night away.  I came home to both boys excited to see me, and a cleaned-up house.  So now I feel recharged and ready to take on the (frantically busy) week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The 2011 Attack of Big Bertha

If you know me at all, you know that I'm a bugophobe.  Just one big bug is enough to give me a case of heebie jeebies so bad, it's practically paralyzing.  (And if they bring a few friends, it might as well be the Apocalypse.)    I'm not proud of this.  I'm not proud of the fact that a big ol' bug is enough to send me screaming in the other direction.  (no exaggeration.  Remember the big bug in my room above the bed in Moore Hall, Shannon??)

Anyway...back to not being proud of this fact.  Nothing terrifies me as much as a gigantic bug.  (Gigantic--bigger than a quarter)  It doesn't matter if it's harmless.  A bug, is a bug is a bug.  So imagine my dismay when I was home with the boys this morning and I headed into the bathroom, and there was a big centipede lookin' thing chillin' in my bathroom sink.  He (or she, doesn't matter) was bigger than the drain opening.  Once I glimpsed Big Bertha (yeah, I'm making it a she) I couldn't even WALK into the bathroom.  If Big Bertha had graced me with her presence whilst in the shower, I would have jumped out screaming, mid-shampoo.  I texted Hubby about the bug, and sent him a photo.  (I'm pretty sure this is one of the things that he just adores about me!)  He writes back to send Will in there with a magazine to kill it, and to flush it down the toilet.  Yeah Right.

I approach Will, and I explain to him about Mommy's ridiculous fear about bugs and ask him how he feels about killing Big Bertha.  He gives me a wary eye and says "Ok, I'll help."  This is the low I've sunk to....enlisting my five-year old to help dispose of a bug that I can't even go into the bathroom to see fully.  He suggests a big cup of very hot water.  I think....well, I could do that.  So we fill a coffee can with hot water, and I bring it into the bathroom.  When it comes time, though, I can't  bring myself to do it.  What if I just piss off this thing and it comes out to give me a piece of her mind?  Then I supplies!  Ooh Clorox Clean-up.  I go in there, trigger poised.  Aaah!  I spray and run, slamming the door behind me.  Will, "Is it dead, Mom?  Are you ok?"  Ten minutes go by.....and I check.  Bertha's busted.  Only now I can't bring myself to dispose of her.

So I've closed the door and left it for Brian to deal with.  Yes, I'm well aware that I'm a total wimp and you may judge if you must.  Will though, surprised me with a hug and an "I love you, Mom."  I'm a wimp, but a wimp with my family's love and support.  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Random List, #4,659 (I totally made that up.)

A random list today, of things that I miss.

1.  It's been a really long time since I listened to an album in its entirety.  I know, I'm dating myself just by calling it an ALBUM.  But seriously, I can remember getting excited for a band's new album, then getting it and listening to every track.  Sure, not everything on there was good stuff.  And sometimes, you had to give stuff a few listens in order to bond with it.  These days I just look over stuff in iTunes, and pick and choose songs.  Is it that there's no good "albums" out there or I just don't take the time to look anymore?

2.  The sound of a modem.  Now you just click and Boom!  Internet.  It's much more convenient this way, yes.  I didn't say that this list was going to make sense.

3.  A cellphone as a luxury and not a necessity.  Don't me wrong, I love my Smartphone and it's important to have a phone for emergencies and things.  Most of the time though, I feel like my phone and I are joined at the hip.  It makes one little "beep" (or birds tweeting in my case) and I'm grabbing for it to see who's texting/emailing me.  And if we leave our phone at home, well FORGET IT.  The day's just ruined.  I'm not trying to be sarcastic.  It's a case of our phones becoming part of us.

4.  Letters.  Letters are dead art form.  I can remember taking the time to write someone a letter, and feeling happy that I was putting something in their mailbox that would bring a smile to their face.  Or sometimes, a letter was a better way to take the time to say something difficult.  I'm also a big letter-keeper.  I have all of my husband's  letters from when he was on deployment when we were dating, and he has mine.  Yes, I'm aware of this thing called email.  But it's just not the same.

Other things that I find myself nostalgic for from time-to-time:  watching movies on VCRs.  OK Soda.  When the change under the floor mats in the car could buy half a tank of gas.  Going to a movie and getting popcorn too and still having change from your $10 bill.  Playing cards with my brother to pass the time.  Pictures that you had to send away to be developed.  I could go on and on.

What's some things that you miss from your formative years?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Which History Repeats Itself

Listening to the radio in the car this morning:  Barenaked Ladies "Celebrity."  Will, who usually adores BNL, starts screeching that he "hates this music and it hurts my ears, Mommy!"  And then he says it, and my world is turned upside-down.  "I want to listen to some Justin Bieber.  RIGHT NOW!"

Whoa.  First of all, Holy Demands, Batman!  I find I say this almost every day:  "Sometimes it's not about what you want but what other people want."  Mommy wants to listen to this, so we are going to listen to this.  Second of all.....Justin Bieber?????  Bieber Fever in my car?  I think not.  I ask where he's heard Justin Bieber and he says that *I* am the one that introduced him to the music stylings of "Baby...Baby."  Oh hell no.  I'm sure he heard about it at school or something.  Because I listen primarily to classic rock and alternative, with a little bit of pop.  Very little.  That is NOT music, kid.  I report the case of Bieber Fever to my husband a little later and he says "Wow.  Is it too late to trade him in?"  :)

Flashback to the early nineties.  I grew up classic rock.  My Dad is Classic Rock all the way.  WBCN (and the occasional WAAF) Led Zeppelin, Stones, Aerosmith, Doors.  This is what I grew up on.  Not to mention J. Geils, and one of my first concerts with my Dad is ZZ Top.  I remember his chagrin when groups like Milli Vanilli and Color Me Badd were on the airwaves on WZOU.  (now JAMN 94.5...which he would hate as well.)  Bringing home posters of the New Kids.  "UGH.  That's not music, Ginny."  And now that I am an adult, I can tell you that he was right.  (except for the New Kids on the Block.  That was just catchy.  And when they played nothing but "New Kids" on my senior cruise in college, you've never seen a bunch of college girls go crazy quite like that.)

You're welcome, Dad.  I'm thrilled to let you know, that payback is a bitch.  I just wasn't expecting the payback so soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011


It's finally happening!  The thing that I have looked forward to for so very, very long.  My new property is becoming a reality.  My return to senior housing.....where I've always felt that I belong. 

I did a PR event last Friday and met a lot of folks who are interested in applying to the new place.  I'm putting together an application packet and will be doing mailings, and reserving a hall for the housing lottery, and I'm loving every minute of it.  Of course, the transition time between my current job and my new job, well, it's going to be a busy, overwhelming and stressful November/December.  Add the holiday craziness to that and the daily life of Manager Mom, and I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed.  This is going to be a difficult, yet delicious chapter.  One that I welcome and will perservere.  With the silliness and support of friends, the patience and backbone  of my family and the clicking of my knitting needles, this will be great.  :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Festival Fantastic!

There are two events a year that I look forward to kind of like Christmas.  One is the tent sale at Webs every May, and the other is the Fiber Festival in November.  It would take something pretty serious to make me miss either one of these events.

A delightful time was had by all in my knitting group today.  (And my mom too, she's an honorary member)  it was the Second Annual New England Fiber Festival.  No, not THAT kind of fiber.  I'm talkin' yarn!  Well, yarn, roving, spindles, sheep shearing, and all the accessories that go with it!

It starts with a drive to W. Springfield MA, home of the Eastern States Exposition.  (aka The Big E, held every September.)  The Fiber Festival is held on part of the fairgrounds.  So they DO use those buildings during the year!  :)  There were alpacas to pet and purchase, buttons with funny sayings, piles of roving, patterns, spinning supplies, dyes and YARN!  More yarn than one could ever see in a day.  Everyone is browsing, chatting, and wearing their own handknits.  Some are knitting while walking, which is a skill that I just do not possess.  There are fabulous loaded baked potatoes, corn chowder and ice cream.  And just an afternoon with a gaggle of girlfriends, child-free and full of project possibility.

And now I'm back home, going through my treasures.  I got some more skeins for dyeing, some sparkly gray for a scarf for myself and some special treats for my Birthday Swap Partner.  I'm a little sad that it's all over.  But hey....only six months til Tent Sale Madness!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Nana's Favorite Chair

(Not exactly wordless today!)

While I was looking for a photo and eating my breakfast (I don't know how NOT to multi-task)  Will came into the room and said "Hey Mom, is that your blog??"  It's pretty cool that he recognizes stuff like that now.  When I told him what I was doing, he begged to pick the photo.  So here you go!  This is Will, circa.....2008?  I know, you'd think it was Sean if you didn't know better.  It's tough....we certainly have to label our photos around here.  Will's snuggled up tight in a blanket, probably somewhere between awake and asleep.  He loved blankets back then, and he still does today.  Even on a hot day he loves to snuggle in blankets and says "My favorite thing is soft, Mommy."

Anyway, this is Nana's favorite chair, a leather recliner in her living room.  I love that chair as well, probably for all the same reasons:  comfy, warm, good for knitting and TV.  Actually, everyone loves that chair.  If I thought that she wouldn't notice, I'd steal it.  (Just kidding.  I know she'd notice.  Right away!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Brian's singing Christmas carols in the kitchen the other morning.  Usually I give him a hard time about bringing them so early.  This year though, I was temporarily confused by what time of the year it is, exactly.  There was ten inches of snow (luckily it only accumulated about five inches) and it was coldcoldcold.  There is a chill in the air tonight outside, and the air smells like Christmas.  Fresh.  Cold.

Many people in Central MA are without power, and it's looking like it may be a few days before they get it, too.  No daycare for the past two days, and many schools closed.  Halloween was  pushed back because of a snow day!  How many times in your life can you say that?  We've been fortunate, with only losing the power for a few hours overnight.  And we've been fortunate to be able to offer a place for friends and family to warm up, shower, eat some hot food, etc.

Halloween was pretty understated this year.  Our town didn't postpone Trick-or-Treating, though most of the surrounding ones postponed until later in the week.  Some towns CANCELLED it.  (that's sad.)  We took our little Pirate boys to the local mall where there was an event going on.  Then, since Daddy had school, we stayed home and handed out candy to all the kids that came to our door.  Will enjoyed handing it out to all the kids, except when they were wearing scary masks.  Then it was "mommy, you do it!"

Sure hope for things to get back to normal soon.  If this is what Mother Nature has in store for the winter, it's going to be a long one.