Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Week Of Twenty-One Was Just So Much Fun

Happy Birthday and Good Morning Emily!

You are twenty-one and I am feeling it!

Look at your cornbread this morning Em.

Using our best china for a breakfast cornbread birthday cake.

Amy & Andrew wrapped her gifts the night before. I commented that I couldn't believe Emily is turning twenty-one. Amy, with a melancholy look on her face said, "Don't even talk about it." Hm, I guess we both feel a bit sad while we are feeling very happy for Emily.

Dinner with BFF ... R & K ... since the preschool days.

Amy completes lighting the candles on this Friendly's ice cream cake.

Oh, Emily is so very excited! She received the Bettsyville bag she had been eyeing for a while.

Reading her birthday card from K.

Her first every legal drink at The 99. A pinot griggio after showing her ID for the first time ever to a very nice, young waitress. Probably her age.

She asked me to order white wine with a "side of coke". Cracked me up! And then she would get the giggles each time my sister-in-law asked her about her drink or her ID. So very cute.

Like it Em? Not so much.

Bleh. Give me Pepsi!

A paddle ball and a glass of wine. Now there's a contrast for you!

Yes, Em?
"I'm going to be twenty-one soon."
Yes, you are.
Yes, Em?
"Next year I'm going to be twenty-two!"
Yes, Em. You are. But you know what? Let's just enjoy twenty-one for while. Okay?

Oh yeah, and The 99? They just really, really need to serve a better house pinot. Bleh.

Monday, November 30, 2009

December 2

Twenty-one! !!21!! ***21*** TWENTY-ONE Twenty. One. twowentywon!!!!! 2.1. 21

Happy Birthday Little Weasel, Princess Pea, Emmabeans, Miss Em, Hunny Bunny, Wheeze, Emmilyschmemily, Baby Girl.
You are funny, smart, clever, witty, pleasant and not.
You are hardworking, serious, loving, caring and kind.
You are joyful, happy, easy going.
You are a shopper.
You are loyal, a good friend.
You are bright and shiny.
You are that twinkling star, the moon, the sun on a cloudy day.
You are stubborn, mulish, moody and sometimes sullen.
You are energetic and lively and ready to go!
You are exciting, challenging, worthwhile.
You are a worrier, perfectionist, neatnik!
You are confident, poised, gracious.
You are a brunette, a blond, a bright pink and a red head.
You are layers of love, joy, wonder.
You are interesting, entertaining.
You are a quiet room.
You are chocolate pudding, thick and warm from the pan, creamy and rich and filling.
You are light and fluffy whipped cream topping, chocolate chip cookies and jelly sandwiches.

You are Emily.

Bangs driving you crazy? Me too!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Resistant To Change

Or Old Car vs New Car
Emily is often resistant to change ... or perhaps it's that she is a loyal human being. So it came as no surprise to me that she has this chagrined look on her face when I tell her,
"This is your last picture with the van. We are getting the new car today."
"Mom, no new car."
I explain that it is time. That the car is old and tired and worn out and it's going to cost a lot of money to repair it. You'll love the new car!
"No." huff, huff, stomp, stomp.
Go ahead, state your displeasure however you have to ... the new car is coming home whether or not you want it to.
Our 2001 Nissan Quest van still had Great Good Looks after one hundred and fifty thousand miles, a lot of song singing, road trips and errands and some body work after that old lady hit me not once, but twice: a decision had to be made ... put a years worth of car payments into the Quest? Or buy a new car?
She needed a transmission sensor, a transmission control box, left front CV joint, rear suspension, an engine knock sensor and an inspection sticker. It was time for an oil change and tire rotation. And that cement mixer sound? There was ...
No contest.
New car won.
Oh, is that you grinning Emily? Do you like our new car?

Shiny, new (to us) and blue!

I don't believe I have ever seen an engine compartment quite this clean. Very clean and oh-so-pretty!

Emily and Dave check out some of the dashboard features and of course, Emily is on the phone to BFF Kailey.

Me? I'm all moved in. The bulldog is on the dash. And I am grinning from ear-to-ear!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful On Thanksgiving Thursday

Thank you ...

...for the anticipation of a family gathering with good food. For great nieces and nephews and in-laws (well, okay, sometimes ...) who come to visit. And even those who don't.

Thank you ...

... for my new car, my warm cozy house, the lovely rural town I live in. For woods for walking and streams for enjoying and Mr. Baker and his WWII airplane (whatever it is).

Thank you ...

... for keeping Mark safe.

Thank you ...

... for the New Jersey gang and the love they share with everyone they meet. For cousins near. For cousins far. For family ties and family connections.

Thank you ...

... for Mackey, Bob and Mac. And their fur. And my vacuum.

Thank you ...

... for my sister Maryanne and my brother Barry. And although he hasn't spoken to any of us in many years, thank you for being who you used to be.

Thank you ...

... for Amy, (the love of my life) who right now, in her pj's is driving two pies down to The Salem Mission for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Thank you ...

... for Emily (the love of my life) who keeps me interested, entertained and honest in all things.

Thank you ...

... for this keyboard, this PC, this desk and this electricity because although it isn't green, it is useful and I use it.

Thank you ...

... for David. For being supportive and kind. For his hard work. For his energetic personality.

Thank you ...

... for my new car. (again) It has had me giddy and grinning for three days. And David, (again)who is washing it as I type.

Thank you ...

... for New England weather, the Pats, the Sox, the Celts and the Bruins, even though I think they are highly overpaid and overrated they make for lively conversation.

Thank you ...

... for Massachusetts politics which are never dull and boring but always make me yawn.

Thank you ...

... for those people who put others before themselves. Firefighters, police officers, EMTs, Paramedics, 911 Dispatchers. For they are the ones we can lean on when we need help and Fast!

Thank you ...

... for golf. (need I say more?)

Thank you ...

... for Barbara, Helen, Peggy, Tina, Ann, Bonnie. For Brian, Warren, Ron, Chief, Jim. For Andrew. For Judi. My real time friends. Who lift me up when I fall down. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you ...

... for Belle, Donna, Donna, Amanda, John, Kristen, Greg, Lori, Cathy, Mortimer, Dave, Guido, Sugar, and all the rest. You know who you are my FB friends, my blogging buddies. (Really, it isn't personal if I missed your name)

Thank you ...

... for turkeys, squash, peas and carrots. For gravy, stuffing, potatoes and corn. For an oven that bakes and a kitchen that I love to cook in.

Thank you ...

... for patriotism. Because without it we wouldn't be free. Thank you for all the men and women who serve this country every single day. Here and abroad. In government offices and on military installations. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Because even though I am sometimes quick to criticize, I know you are working for all of us.

Thank you ...

... for the greatest country in the world to live in. And for space exploration. Because maybe someday I'll be able to change my address to ' 1 Out Of This World Ave'. Or maybe Amy and Emily will.

Thank you ...

... for the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, desserts, prairies and wildlife. Oh, thank you for so much wonderful wildlife.

Thank you ...

... for Boston Common, The Public Gardens, Fanueil Hall. For Salisbury Beach, Plum Island and Rye, New Hampshire. For The Great State of Maine. For Revere Beach. The Mystic River Bridge. For Salem Willows and Independance Park. For Danvers and TJ Maxx.

Thank you ...

... for summer flowers of pink, white, yellow, orange, purple. For fall leaves and green, green grass. For breezes that gently rustle the leaves and wind that whips the waves into foam.

Thank you ...

... for cutting edge medical care and research not twenty minutes from home. For the parking garages and the ease of getting there.

Thank you ...

... for the not-so-great experiences that help me to grow as a person.

Thank you ...

... for everything good and everyone wonderful in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. Enjoy this day with your family, your friends, your co-workers. Make wonderful memories and share them with the generations to come.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why You Should Keep Your Kitty IN Instead Of Out. Lady.

You should keep your kitty in because he is beautiful.
Black. Sleek. Shiny. Fluffy. Green Eyed.
You should keep your kitty in because he will get
You should keep your kitty in because he will be
Eaten by a coyote. Or worse, a fisher cat.
You should keep your kitty in because he definitely
Upsets my indoor kitties when he stands
Wailing at my patio door.
You should keep your kitty in because I fear
The dog next door is going to
Break that chain one day.
You should keep your kitty in because he will or
Could get rabies.
You should keep your kitty in because it is
A dangerous world out there for
Sleek, shiny, fluffy, green eyed, black kitties.
You should keep your kitty in because if
You love him you want him snuggled
All warm and next to you at night as you sleep.
You should keep your kitty in because he
Is going to get into really big trouble
If he stalks, hunts, catches and kills another of my birds.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Patrick's Saturday Six on Sunday Afternoon

... because I haven't done this is a long time, I am trying to get back to blogging and spend less time on Face Book and because I saw two other blogging friends (Donna and Barbara) post this today as well.

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy! Patrick's Place : (yeah, I don't know how to change the name of the link)

1. What is the last thing you purchased for yourself, other than basics like groceries? I bought myself a nice leather bag just the other day! Before that? No guilty pleasure items ... just work clothes.

2. What is the last thing you purchased for someone else? Christmas gifts, so, uhm, can't say what or who!

3. If you were to win a lottery, what is the first charity you’d donate to? I wouldn't donate to a charity. I would organize a charity. I have a dream ...

4. If you won that lottery, what is the first “luxury” you’d buy for yourself? New teeth! Well, not dentures ... but I'd finish the project I've been working on ... right after the doctor finds a method for closing that darned hole in my jaw.

5. Take the quiz: Do You Put Yourself First or Last? Should not have bothered. I knew the answer. I also know I should change this.

You Put Yourself Last
You take everyone's needs seriously, except for your own. You mean to take care of yourself, but you're always the last one on the list.While it may be tempting to lend a helping hand every time you can, you're actually not helping people as much as you could be.You are simply not at your best. You're too frazzled to really be giving anyone 100%.Take a mental health day - or even a mental health hour - as soon as you can. It's time to start getting some balance in your life.

6. When is the last time you spent an entire weekend putting yourself first? Many years ago when I was single and had the time.

I remember about Patrick that his Saturday Six's tend to open my eyes. Maybe I'll try to get back there more often.

Emily: Early Years

Emily and Mom, December 1988 Mass General Hospital NICU. Imagine ... your baby is born at 8:20 in the evening and a scant twelve hours later she is in an ambulance on her way to Boston while you are left to wonder, 'will she be okay?' Never a shrinking violet, I was on the phone to husband, OB, pediatrician and my own mother ... until someone gave in and allowed me to leave the next morning on a day pass to go visit Emily.
I found her none-the-worse for ware, in fact, I found her in better health when I arrived, wheelchair bound ... and I enjoyed the chance to hold her and rock her

Home from the hospital, being held by our friend Paula, who after having been with us when Emily was born, announced that 'the best birth control ever for a single woman is to watch someone having a baby!'
March of 1989, Emily's Christening. Godmother Bonnie, Mom, Dad and Godfather Steven.
March of 1989 Emily is snuggled into the crook of Uncle Steven's arm.
Summer, 1989, just out of the bath.
August of 1989, eight months old. This picture shows her long, wild hair and reminds me of all the visitors we had through that revolving door ... OT, PT, nurses ...
Fall of 1990, Cole School playground. The little red building behind Dave and Emily is one of the town's historic one room school houses. Sadly, in 2009 it sits neglected and lonely.
March of 1991, in the back yard. My girls were always outdoor girls. I believed in the power and benefits of fresh air and joyful child's play.
March of 1991, ready for bed. But really ready for play.
March of 1991. She didn't make it up the slide that day ... but she did a couple of years later!
Feeding the ducks and geese in Danvers at the pond by the library. 1993
1993 Winter play. She could barely move, but she was out there enjoying the cold! Four years and three months old.
Spring 1994, a visit to Shortie the sheep at our neighbors house.
Fall of 1994. We started training for princess status early ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bits & Pieces

Someone is turning !!21!! this December and I've been sorting through pictures. Mind you, I haven't gotten any further back than 2003, but I am working on it!
Amy and Emily, Logan Airport December 2003 ... on our way to Ft. Myers!
Emily & Falstaff 2004 Brrr .... winter riding!
Go Celts! With cousin Christopher January 2005, Verizon Center, Manchester, NH.

First Special Olympics event ever. Track & Field. Spring, 2005.

With cousin Jamie, 2006.

On the beach in Manomet, Memorial Day weekend 2007.
Amy and Emily, Amesbury 2007.

Auntie Maryanne and Emily lean on the fire hydrant ... that the news van is parked in front of. NYC Spring 2008.

Topsfield Fair, Columbus Day weekend 2009. She can really toss a football!

Lots of reflection going on in my head as we approach age 21. From birth 'til now there has rarely been a dull or boring moment.

One of the best things about being Emily's Mom?
Experiencing life through her eyes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

I've nothing special to say, no new words to use, but I offer to those who have served, those who are serving and to those who will serve; May God Hold you close and may you experience gratefulness wherever you go.

My humble thanks to all of you, old and young, new and old, here or gone before. Without your willingness to serve your countrymen America would not be free.

I thank you for the many opportunities in my life that you helped to protect and keep intact.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Over On Face Book There's That ... and Here There's This

Our friend, Donna of 'Just Me' fame has posted a status on Face Book and asks us to do the same:

Let's see how many ppl can do this. Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what YOU are thankful for today.

Today I commented on myself that I am thankful for the Local Heroes Wall at our Walmart. It reminded me of the pictures I have of my dad in his Army uniform -- during WWII. (I really ought to scan and post some)

Anyway ... I could go on and on about how I haven't been here or over to your place to read or what-have-you, but you all know I just get here when I can and there when time allows and that I appreciate all of you always.

I just feel like complaining right now and telling you all the things I am ungrateful for. Is there such a thing as being ungrateful for, say, extra housework? extra tidying up? extra errands? extra grocery shopping? extra cooking? extra worrying about the people in your life? extra extra?

Typically I'm the easy going sort, but let a bee get in my bonnet or a hair across my butt and things go from bad to worse and then back to good again. Just spewing in this moment has lightened the load a bit and I haven't even written anything of interest or substance.

Folks, I'm tired. Worn out. Fed up. Finished. I cannot continue to do 'all of this' alone and I have run out of ways to be nice in the asking.

But then, D would tell me I don't ask. I just do. He might be right about that. I do just do.

I feel if the people one lives with love and respect you or have some common courtesy, they would do without having to be asked, told, cajoled, harassed, nagged, snipped at, into doing 'it'. After all, they live here for goodness sake. And they can see with their own eyes what needs doing. From the simple, taking the trash out and putting a new trash bag in ... to swishing a toilet ... it's me, me and me who get it done nearly every day. On the days I don't, well, I don't. Once in a while, someone will see the trash is overflowing and take the bag out of the barrel and put a new one in. But take the trash all the way out? Sure, in their own time. "How about now?" is what I'm thinking. The list goes on and on. Laundry. We'll start it, but we won't finish it. Vacuum? Mop a floor? Make a bed? Put something back where you took if from? Write a check?

While I'm moaning and groaning about this, I need to tell you that I recognize the folly of my ways. I do, do and do and even though often the rewards don't live up to my expectations, I continue to do, do and do. It is my own fault and I'm not sure how to fix it.

I rarely sit and enjoy an activity. Oh sure, I go to my FB page, I play some computer games, I sort through pics on the PC and I watch a few television shows a week. All the while, my head is spinning with the thoughts of what needs to be done, how much time I have to get it done and there is no real relaxation going on.

You see me sitting, but I'm not chillin'.

So, that's what I'm ungrateful for.

Catch me on a better day if you want to know what I'm grateful for.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let The Transition Work Begin

Sanibel Island, Christmas week 2003

Back when she was fourteen with long, naturally colored hair and braces on her teeth, I couldn't have imagined how quickly the years would go and how interesting they might be.

We are coming up on twenty-one! (What?!) and that means all those dreams I've been dreaming and all those worries I've been worrying are now right in front of me and the time has come to make some concrete plans, allow for some flow to them and get down to the business of bringing Emily into adulthood.

It's daunting.

I began the process of transition to adulthood back in junior year of high school when I approached the school about a part time, after school job. With a job coach. I was pleasantly surprised and mildly shocked when the school okay ed a vocational evaluation and a quickly timed meeting followed and that very afternoon the job facilitator found her a paying job at a local store, two hours, two afternoons a week with a job coach. She's been working ever since!

That job was a wonderful job at a local five and dime, now closed. But oh! She has a wonderful boss and a job coach match that clicked and it's been going forward since. The store closed one year after she began working there but her job coach mosied on over to the grocery store next door and Emily found herself gainfully employed pretty much before she was unemployed!

Same deal, two hours, two afternoons and she loves this job. She's been there over a year and a half now and has developed some co-worker friendships in-house. Which is where they will stay. But the in-house friendships does this mother's heart good. They remind me that there are still good people in the world and that my daughter is fortunate to be surrounded by folks who respect her, support her and like her.

Will her life always be this way? I like to think so. Ah, but I am more realistic than naive and so I tend to walk around with the feeling that a shoe is going to drop or the eggs aren't going to hold me. A small price to pay to see this wonderful young woman have a good, meaningful life.

Now we are facing one more year of school and then what? What will she do during the day? Continue where she currently works -- for two days, two hours? Will more hours be available? Will transportation miraculously appear? Who will her friends be in adult life? Where will she spend her off time? At home, alone? With Mom or Dad? Or will she go to a day program? A sheltered work shop? (shudder at that thought) Forty hours? Twenty hours? Health insurance?

As I mentioned, it's daunting. While the dream is to eventually find Emily living in an apartment with friends [and help] for the moment ...

I envision her living at home, with Mom & Dad, getting up in the morning and then going off to a day program, perhaps three days a week, and on the other two days working at her job. I envision transportation pulling into the driveway, but that's a dream that's not going to happen, so pull yourself together Mom and envision you and Dad doing the transportation piece.

Emily will be happy because she'll spend time with friends, learning new skills and fine tuning the ones she knows and we all will be healthy and ... living happily ever after.

Nope! Don't tell me no. I ain't gonna listen! Weekends will be filled much as they are now, with Friday night social group and Saturday morning sports and time at the gym when we can. Visits with cousins and aunts and friends and mall trips and phew ... I'm tired thinking of all we accomplish now and then I wonder, 'just how does one do this for ... ever?'

How do I make this happen? Right now I am attending a series of work shops put on by a local ARC program and I am busily calling day programs, post grad schools and day rehabs for visits to check them out and see what they have to offer. I have been talking to DDS to see what exactly they'll fund. Let me tell you, the answer there is usually 'We don't do that.' or 'There is no funding.' But I know better and don't want to hear there's no money, 'cause I know there is. I don't want to hear 'we don't do that' because I know you can if you want to and I know there are many ways to knit a sweater and we're probably using a similar pattern to others but our cables might be a bit thinner or maybe a bit more complex.

Relax, I'll help YOU figure out what she needs and we'll go from there. Team work. Team effort. Just the way it was when she was a toddler, a preschooler an elementary student and then middleschooler and highschooler.

It's all about the team and the people that will come together to help make her life meaningful.

I've already begun to worry about depression and how it will set in if she goes from five or six very active days out in the world to sitting home waiting for me to get home from work. That will not work and I won't allow it, but none the less, I worry about it. Will I be able to cut my hours back? Retire? Work evenings?

Will I be able to pull any of this off?

But more importantly than anything I've thought of or worried about ...

What will Emily want for herself?

June 2008 holding brand new cousin Jazmine.

Her license? A car? A house? A husband? A baby?

The one thing that Emily hasn't learned ... is that she really can't have it all. Not in the way you or I can. Or the way her sister or her cousins can.

But it seems to me there is a built in knowledge that what she can have, she can have differently.

And the rest? She aspires to it. All of it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Team Sport, Team Spirit, Team Player

October 4, 2009, Special Olympics Fall Soccer Assessment

I look at that photo and I see a very small team.

Emily's soccer team has morphed.

For the last few years there have been fifteen to sixteen players on her team and with the leaving of her 'old' coach and the entrance of her new coach and some changes in the number of players allowed to attend the games ... New Coach found himself in a bit of a dilemma.

Allow only twelve players to attend the games? Split the thirteen into two teams so all can attend?

He split the teams. The 'Tigers' are seven strong, the 'Wildcats' are six strong, but with any luck they'll be seven come the fall soccer finals.

In the meanwhile, New Coach has taken this motley crew of would be soccer stars and in three practises turned them into teams with spirit, heart, work ethic and had taught each of them how to be team players.

Amazing. I have watched Emily herself morph from the young woman who wants to play soccer, but not mess her hair, her nails or her clothing, up, at all, into a young woman who is beginning to understand what she is watching and is able to be where she needs to be on the field.

Today, I saw the girl who ducks when a ball heads her way, morph into the charge right at it player ... who was able to get her feet on the ball and do some dribbling!

With five on the field and only one sub available the team rotated through in four to five minute intervals with rest periods being roughly two to three minutes. Then it was back in to spell another player. They were all red-faced, sweaty, tired and hungry after just two games, but their spirit never lagged. The lost the first, won the second and thoroughly enjoyed their day.

As did I.

Thank you New Coach. I had no idea this young woman could find her playing skills. With positive feedback and some help from you, she and her teammates excelled today in ways the spectators hadn't seen before.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guido Reminded Me

That tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the move from AOL-J to here, Blogspot. Time flies when you're having fun and even sometimes when you aren't.

Guido went back to a year ago and posted from his archives and I think I am going to do the same thing with a twist. I'm going to post one entry from roughly the same time each year from the last five years.

And if you can get through the drivel that follows may the Lord Bless you and keep you in His Hands.

My first ever journal entry was on Tuesday, October 21, 2003. While I had posted that first entry and a couple of others here, I've since decided to remove those and leave the ones I want you to read. My old AOL journal on blogspot is private and I don't post to it now ... I pick and choose what I repost very carefully.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Anyone Who Has Lived With Cats Knows
A Cat Quiz for Humans
Your cat waits and meows at the front door when you arrive. Is it saying?
a) Welcome home, I missed you.
b) The phone rang twice while you were out.
c) Feed me, *NOW*.
d) So, I see you didn't bring me the mate I asked for.

Your pillow is history.Your cat meows at the door when you go out. Is it saying?
a) Please don't leave me here all alone.
b) Have a nice day.
c) But what if I get hungry while you out?
d) Kiss that new vase goodbye.

Your cat digs its claws in your leg. This is?
a) A sign of affection.
b) A demand to be fed now.
c) Have YOU had YOUR shots?
d) An attempt to 'fix' you like you 'fixed' him.

Your cat scratches at the door after being fed. Is it saying?
a) Lemme out - I need to fertilize the garden.
b) Wanna go out and play?
c) Wonder what they've got to eat next door?
d) Do I mark my territory outside, or inside?

When your cat stares at you, it means:
a) It is bored silly.
b) It's trying to understand how it's food grows in cans.
c) You are being sized-up for an attack.
d) Human mating habits are disgusting.

Your cat brings a dead mouse/bird into the house. This means:
a) A primal instinct is being displayed.
b) You're not feeding me enough.
c) It is showing a sign of affection by sharing.
d) It is demonstrating the fact that it knows how to kill; be forewarned!
e) All of the above.

Your cat sleeps with you; covering your face. This means:
a) It is showing you great affection.
b) It knows you are allergic to cats.
c) It has discovered the fine art of suffocation.
d) You should have let it out tonight.

Your cat displays signs it wants to mate with other cats in the neighborhood. You should:
a) Let it out immediately.
b) Try to switch it's interests to other things.
c) Put on heavy protective clothing if you are not planning to let it out.
d) If the other cat's owner is attractive, maybe you could double date?

Posted by Kathy at
11:51 AM
lifeseensideways said...
Ha, I loved this! I once adopted a stray cat ... my parents agreed they would look after it "for a few days" ... they had him for 14 years! Cat's have a knack of getting their own way whether or not the human concerned speaks cat!Kath
September 28, 2005 11:57 AM
globetrotter2u said...
That was adorable! (I'll bet I got all the answers right, too!)When we first brought Boris and Natasha into our household, I was a bit dubious about cats, having only had dogs. They definitely have their own distinct personalities, and as a Frenchman once said to me, "Les Chattes sont comme des femmes!"I laughed, cats are like women, in many ways!MAryanne
September 28, 2005 2:24 PM
b4i8clover said...
Marvelous quiz. Cats are superior to humans and are not afraid to remind us.Bon & Mal
September 28, 2005 2:39 PM
firestormkids04 said...
It's been a while since I've had a cat, but you never forget! Penny
September 28, 2005 2:48 PM
astaryth said...
Cats, gotta love 'em! I used to have a t-shirt that said "In Egypt cats were once worshipped as Gods, and cats have not forgotten!" and another that said "Dogs have Masters, Cats have Servents!"
September 28, 2005 9:29 PM
fitzzer said...
How true, how true! :)
October 4, 2005 9:49 AM

Comments left for my Friday, September 29, 2006 post and the interesting thing about these comments are the names of the writers ... Only two still write somewhat actively over here at blogspot, one has passed on and the others don't write anymore.
Posted by Kathy at 7:52 PM
siennastarr said...
Sorry, Linda.. wish I could help you, but I don't know who that might have been. If you find out let me know!HugsJackie
September 29, 2006 9:41 PM
siennastarr said...
Jackie <~~ DUH! As soon as I hit the save button, I realized that I wrote Linda instead of Kathy. Sorry. I don't know where my brain was at! Certainly not in my head where it belongs! lolPardon my faux paux Kathy!HugsJackie
September 29, 2006 9:43 PM
b4i8clover said...
Sorry, Kathy. We wish we could help, but never read the story ourselves. Good luck locating it.Hugs,Bonnie and Walt
September 30, 2006 3:58 AM
frankandmary said...
NO, I cannot help with that. I do remember when you first started reading my Francesco's Life, & left lovely comments.....;']
September 30, 2006 9:57 AM
gaboatman said...
KathyI wish I could help you out on this one, but I came on the scene a year later and have not run across the story or the journalist you are looking for. Sounds interesting, though. Sam
September 30, 2006 5:48 PM
luvmort said...
I never read that story, and it sounds like I would have remembered it. Sorry, dahling.

... yet another year has passed ...

Sunday, September 30, 2007
Driving north along the New Hampshire coast, I sense that I am with someone although I can't discern who it might be. A large person, taking up space on the bench seat in my nineteen year young Olds Delta 88, gray and loaded with the amenities of the times. This person is non threatening, so must be a friend?

The sun shines bright and makes the dark blue water of fall sparkle. There is a chill in the air and I feel content and happy. This is a trip to nowhere. A joy ride. An adventure. I sense all of it.

Suddenly the front end of my car drops down a bit and the hot topped road turns to beach sand, soft yet firm; it is wet and packed from the ocean waves. I apply the breaks quickly, turn off the engine and hop out of the car. There is a shell I must check out.

Falling to my knees in the cool sand of fall, the sounds of waves and gulls echoing in my ears, I see legs and hands extended toward the ground as if a person is bending down to me. I cannot see who it is, but I sense someone I know. I lift the shell, small, conch-like. Inside lives a sea creature. It opens up to look out at me. I wonder does it know me? Behind it a beautiful tropic fish swims. Yellow, blue, purple, black. I lift the shell toward the hands to show the fish to Amy. Amy! That's who's on the beach! I don't see her face but I know it is she. She reaches for the shell and the fish drops out onto the sand. I quickly scoop it into the shell and run to the waters edge. I must save the fish and get it back into the water quickly.

Climbing the lava ash cliffs of Rye Beach I come face to face with Trevor. There are white fluffy, down filled blankets everywhere with names on the pillows. My name is near the edge of the cliff and I fear if I lay down I will roll off into the sea. Trevor tells me to rest. He knows I am tired. I am so very tired. Instead I ask, "Why do you like my daughter so well?" He responds, "She limits me." I look confused. "She has rules." "To live by." "I never had that before."

Walking the small incline cut into the side of a large plateau above the sea, I am excited. The wedding will be soon and I will be on time. Trevor takes my hand and pulls me along the last few steps. The grass is thick, emerald green and there are golfers at each tee. Why are we on a golf course? Did he take me the wrong way? Walking between fairways I chat with the golfers and offer them tips. Confused still I speak with the superintendent and ask for directions to the wedding. I am quite sure I am not where I belong. I am directed back the way I came and told to go down those three stairs and through the door.

Where did Trevor go?

The grass feels good under my feet and I don't want to leave but I must make it on time to the wedding.

Down three steps, I turn the big brass nob on the weathered door. I step inside a room that is filled with plastic. Black plastic like that of yard waste bags. Looking to my right I see a wall in shades of brown and green checkerboard. Three steps rise to an open doorway. Slowly I climb those three steps and find myself peering into another plateau of beautifully cut lawn. Bright green and light.

I wake to find myself twisted in blankets, hot, sticky with sweat. The room is dark. The house is quiet.

Such are the dreams made of fever.

Posted by Kathy at
9:15 AM
mlraminiak said...
Wow! Psychedelic! Have fun trying to figure out what it all means...
September 30, 2007 10:41 AM
frankandmary said...
I label that a dream that could be converted into a short story(contest winner). ~Mary
September 30, 2007 6:45 PM
gdireneoe said...
KATH??!! I LOVVVVE this! EXCELLENT writing! LOVE. IT. ;) Smooches, C.
October 1, 2007 4:29 PM

Feeling better a year later ...

Friday, September 26, 2008
"I was afraid of you back then."
Last night Emily and I headed to our HipHopForFitnessAndFunClass, aka torture for your weary body ... but you'll laugh while you're at it. When we arrived my SIL Tina was sitting in the foyer area with two mothers, Chelle and Ellen, holding the baby, chatting. I overheard one say, "Kathy? Yeah, she can."

Approaching from where I've just changed my shoes, I say, "What can I do?" And Ellen says, "We were just talking about people who can be a bitch and I told them you can be." As if my SIL didn't know that! Well. Harumph. What brought this on? I just smiled, nodded and said, "Yeah, that's true. I can be." Since I had no idea the context of their conversation there wasn't much point in getting huffy or offended.

Ellen looks up and says, "Yeah, you can be. I remember when I used to be afraid of you!" "Afraid of me? Why?" "Back when I was Emily's speech therapist. I'm not anymore but I was then."

Okay then.

In the early years I would arrive at a IEP meeting about Emily terrified myself. The school didn't make it easy. What Emily was entitled to (no frills here) I had to beg for. Plead. Cajole. Argue. Cry. Stamp my feet and threaten professional advocacy service or worse ... an attorney. All with courtesy and calm demeanor.

Through it all, I believed Ellen was in my corner. Or rather, Emily's corner. I believe that today.

I've been through five special needs directors, nearly as many student/school liaisons, and six principals. Each time, you start all over. Again. So if I got bitchy, or pissed. Oh well. I never lost sight of why we were there. We were there for Emily. There were times when a cast of thousands would be sitting at a conference room table and I would arrive, sit down and pull out framed photos of Emily and line them up down the center of the table so that each person in attendance would also remember why we were meeting. The meetings were not about money or control or cream puff services. The meetings were about just how we could educate Emily as a team.

It so pissed (and still pisses) me off when team members couldn't focus long enough to accomplish a simple goal.

We moved on from the elementary schools and Ellen. She had a busy, sad and happy couple of years there through fifth and sixth grade. Her mother died. She married and was unable to conceive and started the adoption process. They bought a house. Sold a house. Traveled to China for their first baby. Then a second. Her best friend betrayed her and made life miserable for her at school. Finally they bought a house in a neighboring town and she took a job at the elementary school there. One day she told me she had to take a cut in pay and lose seniority (same school union but different town) but it was worth it to get away from the strife at school.

The consummate professional and one of Emily's school/student liaisons, Ellen never budged and inch more than school administrators allowed and she never ever let on the whys of services not provided, not allowed, not continued.

She never even let me know she thought I was a bitch. True professionalism.
In defense of me I'm going to repeat what I used to say to myself as I would head out to school for another tedious meeting with people I never ever intended to meet or befriend or work with. Period. I didn't even like most of them, but given a chance to meet them elsewhere? Maybe one or two.

I used to say, "If they groan when you walk into the room, you are doing your job." "If they roll their eyes when you speak, you are doing your job." "If they start to fidget when you are making a point, you are doing your job."

And that is how I got through many if not all of the meetings regarding Emily's education.
And that is why Emily is who she is today. It is why she can read. It is why she can print. It is why she is bright and smart and happy. Because I was a bitch.

Imagine that.

Why is it that everyone likes you when you agree with them, but as soon as you don't and you try to make your case ... you're a bitch. Why is that?

Me. A force to be reckoned with? Formidable? Scary? Not. At. All.

Why was Ellen afraid of me? I think I know why although I didn't ask her. Ellen knew that I knew what needed to be done. She knew I arrived to meetings prepared and completely knowledgeable about the topic we would be discussing. She knew she couldn't fool me and yet she tried. Under the direction of 'not enough money, personnel, time and crappy-assed principals' she did her job as liaison, as she was expected to. I understood and I never held it against her. In fact, I never thought she was a bitch.

I wonder now did she think I would attack her? I never raised my voice or pointed a finger or trembled with rage. That wouldn't be effective. I did use my words to the best of Emily's advantage ... and I wrote a thank you note after each meeting.

Today I feel no need to apologize to each and every one of the school/student liaisons. Or Ellen I never meant to make anyone feel afraid ... of me. Or anything I represented. But I did mean to make allof them tow the mark and educate Emily.

There's an old expression: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

And Emily is one fine pudding. She is rich chocolate with fluffy whipped cream on top. A pudding full of calories and sugar. A pudding to savor and enjoy each day of your life. That is my Emily.

And now ...

September 30, 2009

I realize I've been journaling or blogging for almost six years now ... and I have met some truly inspiring folks, some interesting folks, some funny folks and I have made many friends and aquaintences along the way. We've all lost a friend or two and more along the way... to death. To happenstance. To changes in life.

But me? I'm glad I've taken this journey with all of you ... those that have gone and those that have stayed and those that will join us.

Blogging, for me, has become another part of my life, another part of me.

Happy Anniversary all you AOL-J 'throw-aways'! We've made it through another year!