Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just The Weekend...

The weekend... rainy, yet pleasant.  Quiet, yet eventful. I was hoping to take a drive out of town to add more covered bridge photos to my collection, but it wasn't to be.  

Yesterday I took the girls to the movies to see "Invincible".  If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  It's based on the true life story of Vince Papale, a simple, bartender/lonely man who takes a dream of playing football and turns it into reality.  His life is in shambles, when his wife suddenly leaves him and he is flat broke.  His friends at the bar talk him into participating in an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles.    Yep, it's about football and sweaty, muddy men... what's not to like? LOL... Above all else though, it has heart.  Never thought my girls would like it.  I was wrong!

I also decided to shop for some new fall clothes for school!  For ME!  This was quite the treat, since I haven't bought myself new clothes in forever.  And it showed ~ okay, excuse me a moment.... *~HAPPY DANCE~*   I went down 2 pant sizes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YIPPIE for me!  Now I'm only more determined to keep pushing forward with this.  I'm tired of looking at old pictures wishing I still looked like that!  Okay, just had to share that excitement...

I am taking part in something fun... a journaling friend of mine makes beautiful jewelry, and she has decided to start a traveling necklace adventure.  Sort of on the same lines of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".  Only, obviously, it's a necklace!  She is mailing it out with a notebook to "sister" #1, and she will wear it for a week and write in the notebook about her week's adventures (if she so wishes), then she will send it on to sister #2, and so on and so on.  Then at the end it will travel back to it's talented creator and she will draw names to see who gets to keep it.  I'm looking forward to recieving and wearing it. Perhaps it will bring me luck!

In all honesty though, I have been feeling pretty lucky and blessed lately... I have many people in my life who care about me, love me, and touch my heart.  My family is healthy, happy and safe.  I have a job that I love and that allows me to always be the one to take care of my children. 

I am blessed with many friends as well.

May your week be full of smiles and happy memories!





Friday, August 25, 2006

The three day workshop for Math Trailblazers ended today. It was very informative and well presented. I’m looking even more forward to next week, to begin planning with the classroom teacher and getting our room ready.  I anticipate an eventful and memorable year!

And yet, I’m still not ready to let go of summer. Last night was so chilly I had to close the windows. On my way to the conference this morning, I actually turned the HEAT on… I’m not sure where the summer went, but I’m very sorry to see it go. The day did take a turn for the better, though, and as I write this, the sun is beaming through my open back door and windows, warming and lighting up the room. I will savor the warmth of late afternoons as the days get shorter and nights get cooler…

I’m also not ready to let go of my “little girl”… my baby. My Amanda. No, she’s not all grown up and getting married. She’s going to junior high. >DREAD<

If you knew what some of the junior high kids were doing, you’d understand my anxiety… Perhaps you do know, and could say a little prayer? :-s In all honesty, I DO have faith in my daughter and her ability to sort out the mumble jumble. There are some issues from her past that may be sneaking up to take a crack at her, but she is stronger than she knows, and I plan to remind her of that often. I hope she will be able to keep up with her school work and still do her sports and music. It seems like a lot to me, but I don’t want to discourage her from doing what she loves, just because I have fears. She knows that she can start out doing things one way, and that there is always room for change if the need arises.

Mailee is also starting at a new school, which is NOT high on her list of happy thoughts. She loves her old school (which also happens to be where I work, so in a sense, it’s also separating from ME), and spent two wonderful years with a close-nit looping class and a warm fuzzy teacher! It’s the only school she has ever known since preschool. Change is never easy for my Mai, and the bedtime stomach aches have started up again. Usually it just helps to sit with her a bit, sing a song, and re-emphasize the positives. I’m hoping that once a week or two goes by, she’ll be fine. Actually, I’m quite sure that will be the case because she will be with another wonderful teacher who will make the transition easier. (She was MY forth grade teacher as well a few DECADES ago!!)

So that’s it for now… I haven’t done a lot of personal posting lately about family “stuff”, so thought an update was due! Hope you all have a wonderful (WARM) weekend!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

"I Have Learned"

I've spent some time this afternoon learning about the young man that I am writing a tribute to on the fifth anniversary of 9/11...  I almost wish I had not signed up to do this, for the simple reason that I do not feel worthy of writing a tribute to a victim of this horrific act of hatred when I know nothing about this person.  I'm finding out, though, that by searching for understanding, one can usually gain a new perspective... and I have.

I will save much of my writing for the tribute entry, which I will write on September 11th.  For today though, I wish to share with you an essay I found on a website.  The essay is titled, "I Have Learned".  It was written by Mark Gregory Adams, shortly after the attacks.  It has many poignant thoughts which touched me deeply and I think it will touch you as well.  Make sure you read the author's note at the end, which is just as moving.

Here's the link:

If you yourself are interested in taking part in this tribute, please click the 2996 link in my About Me section.  It will take you where you need to go.  It is hoped that all victims of 9/11 will be given a tribute, and as of August 19th, there are 996 victims left to be assigned to a journaler/blogger. 


Excerpt from the author's note:


"I invite you to make a commitment to yourself and the world that you live in, by making a real effort at giving of yourself. Go spend quality time with someone you love, but have been neglecting. Go volunteer your time toward a cause that you believe in, but have never taken the time to actually commit to. I invite you to step outside of your comfort zone, make a concerted effort toward standing behind your convictions... and make a difference.

It will be noticed."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Save a Prayer...

               Every once in a while, you meet someone amazing....

      Meet Kim: Now open up and say............OUCH! lol lol lol



Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer's Chill

It can't REALLY be 54 degrees right now... wow.  What a chilly week this has been.  Summer is really winding down fast, and soon it will be time to go back to work.  I need to.  Like right now.  I'm finding it harder these days to get out and do things.  It's getting too cool to go to the pool.  The girls have had enough of the beach, and other outdoor activities.  I can only sit around so long, when my mind starts playing games and I find myself slipping into "nothing" mode.  Not a place I like to slip into, I must say.  I'm eager to get back into the classroom, in a whole new position with new challenges and projects to keep me productive. 

As much as I enjoy the short summer months, being home with my daughters and taking fun day trips and weekend getaways, I also enjoy the changes that come about this time of year.  The shutting off of the air conditioner and opening of the windows to let in the cool summer breeze...  the subtle changes of the colors in the trees... lighting my favorite fall candles!  (that's my favorite!)  I can FEEL the changes inside me, as I do with every season.  While I will continue to enjoy the end of summer, and soak up as much sun as I can before it ends, I will look forward to the changes that time brings.

I wanted to share this poem that I wrote last year at this time...

Summer's End

Summer's sun kissed cheeks

Fade to a milky glow

Moon shadows dance on trees

And silently wait for snow

Scented candles fill my breath

The lonely beaches mourn

For little feet to scatter 'round

For flowers to be born

Beautiful colors floating down

To waiting cherub hands

Summer's over it is true

But autumn has it's plans


Summer isn't quite over, I know, but right about now... I'm ready to turn a page.



Thursday, August 10, 2006

In sincere appreciation for all my friends...

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new
 world is born."    Anais Nin

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Standing Up and Brushing Off

Have you seen those new Jetta commercials?  I don't exactly know how new they are, but it seems I've only been seeing them for a couple says...  There's a few different ones ~ all starting out the same way, with friends riding along, unaware of any oncoming danger, chit chatting about their evening as they go ~  And all ending the same way.  As they're driving along, out of no where, they are pulverized by an oncoming vehicle... it's instant and violent... air bags inflate and glass smashes all around them.  Then the screen goes black.  In another instant, you see all the occupants of the vehicle standing beside the wrecked car, shaking their heads, unscathed, and counting their lucky stars.

I am always a bit stunned.  Even though I know what is coming!  I guess it's because I can relate to it in many ways.  I'll share one of those ways with you.

A few years back, we were driving home from my parents house.  They lived just minutes down the road from us at the time, and we usually visit them once a week for dinner.  They love spending time with their grandchildren, and it's been a tradition since they were born.  Every week they ask what day we are going... 

SO, It was spring, and the days were getting longer.  For this I will always be thankful for, as well as many other aspects of the evening.  We left my parents house a little earlier than usual, as the girls were younger than and if I recall correctly, they were acting up a bit and I felt they were tired and needed to get to bed early.

There is a very windy road that leads from one side of town to the other.  A very beautiful road, I might add, that has been recently declared "scenic" and given a cute little sign that says as much.  Our home happens to be right at the end of this road, and we were driving along, unknowingly... yes, you see where this is going.

We were on the one straight, flat section of the road that drops down a hill at the end... Out of nowhere, a car came,no FLEW, up over that hill going so fast that it was literally in the air.  I think I swore, a bit shocked, never having seen a car fly before (geesh!), and as it landed and swerved out of control at us, I knew we were in trouble.  I tried to move over, but there is a ledge that we would have gone over had I gotten too close.  With no time to think, I watched the oncoming, little blue car ram into our front driver side, and continue ramming us until it was out of sight.  I remember my girls screams and cries as we spun around and started to roll... It was all happening so fast, and yet it was also in slow motion.  I remember just feeling it happen, thinking so many thoughts... Mostly that we were going to roll over the ledge and into the trees below.  When we came to a stop, still on the road, we were upside down and the windows were all smashed out.  I sat there for a moment, unsure of what action to take at first, but also thankful that I could still hear both my girls cries.  Yes thankful.  I reached up (or was it down?) and felt the roof with my hands, trying to make sense of what was happening.  Immediately, I then knew that I had to get us out of there, and fast.  I had visions of the worst happening next that I don't even want to get into.

So I got my wits about me and unbuckled myself while telling the girls that it was ok, and that we had to get out.  I fell out of my seat and quickly got BACK upside down to manuever myself into the back to unbuckle M's booster seat and then A's seatbelt.  I could then see that they were fine, and I quickly crawled out of the broken window, turned myself around and helped them out as well...

We crawled out onto the street and saw that the other car had flipped over the edge and was resting upside down in a tree!  It was all so surreal.. and yet here we were, standing beside our upside down, totaled Tahoe (I recommend them HIGHLY!) just inches  away from the ledge, unscathed other than a few little cuts from crawling out over the shattered glass.  We quickly made our way over to the embankment where we were checked by the paramedics once they arrived. 

So this commercial obviously makes me think of this episode in our life.  It reminds me that even though it seemed that we were very unlucky that night, we were so very blessed.  So blessed to have come out of that unharmed, and able to shake our heads at the thought.  It was definitely a life changing moment.  For the girls, it taught them that driving at a high rate of speed is dangerous, don't drink and drive (oh yeah, the driver of the other car, who was also unhurt and extracted with the jaws of life, was arrested that night for DUI and driving his girlfriend's FATHER'S car with a suspended license!), and that mommy is really telling the truth about those seatbelts! 

....And I learned a few things, as well. 

And now that I'm at the end of this, I can't quite figure out the words to explain it to you.  Here's the simple version.

Standing up and brushing off can really feel good.

Count your blessings.

Be thankful for ALL things, good and bad... there is always a lesson there.

Sometimes when you think something has happened to you, it really may have been meant for someone else to experience and learn from (hoping that this young man learned his lesson and won't drink and drive again and kill someone.. this thought was given to me by a coworker at the time.)

And always wear a seatbelt...   but I knew that anyway.



Friday, August 4, 2006

Crossing Bridges

This is the Packard Hill Bridge, located in my home town just three minutes down the road.  Funny, I've lived here almost all of my life, and while I've driven over this bridge a few times (very few), I have never stopped to take in all it's beauty.  I'm not sure why, but lately I've been surprised by an inner desire to go there.  I've been thinking a lot about crossing bridges lately, and those thoughts have lead me to want to explore the covered bridges in both my surrounding area (astonishingly, there are many!) and throughout New England.  I knew there would be a few, but in New Hampshire alone there are 54!  Something tells me I won't get to them all... But this is a start.  The original structure was built between 1780 and 1790 for a Mr. Ichabod Packard to access his combined sawmill and gristmill on the south side of the Mascoma River from his house on the north side.  

The history of the covered bridges is interesting yes, and I will learn as I go.. but my real reason for wanting to find and capture these beautiful "characters", as I like to refer to them, runs a bit deeper than that. 

Some bridges were meant to be crossed.    While others were meant to be burned.

Even still, is the notion that some bridges are meant to simply be closely observed.  To just be visited when one is feeling unsure and has a restless heart.  The peace that washes over you, when you sit by this bridge along the river bank and feel the warm sun against your face, and smell the sweet scent of summer, is a timeless gift that will not go away.  Unless you let it.  And not letting it go away can be a challenge.  As life throws curves and fast balls it can be confusing at times whether or not to cross, burn or stay still and just let things be. 

But I'll come to understand eventually.