Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Angel Among Us

Kim,

You taught me how to laugh in the face of darkness.  To open my eyes and my heart to all that life has to offer.  You helped me to see the beauty around me for what it was, is and always will be:

a gift. 

The courage and strength and passion for life that you showed during times when so many of us would have surely crumbled, inspired me and will continue to inspire me always. 

Your smiles and humor and incredible character brought light to my own days.  All that you shared ~ your heart, your family and your love for those closest to you, often moved me to tears.

I will miss you, even as I carry you in my heart, walking steadier, seeing clearer, hearing louder and feeling more intensely all that life has to give.

Fly free, my friend.  You've earned your dazzling wings.  Fly free.

Love,

Michelle

Thursday, December 20, 2007

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on, 
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years 
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.  

 

(thanks, lj)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Comfort Food (weekend assignment #193)

Weekend Assignment #193: Share one of your favorite comfort foods. Because it's just about the time of year for them, isn't it? Getting chillier and with the cold comes the desire for warm food that makes you happy. Hello! Comfort food.

Extra credit: Well, a picture of your favorite comfort food would be nice, and might also make me hungry.

Ever since I can remember, my very favorite comfort food has been Creamed Chipped Beef...  I even went so far as to list it somewhere, on a recent survey or list of fours or something of that nature..  I got a lot of WTH is THAT'S?? So, seeing this weekend's assignment, I thought I'd share...

Whenever my birthday rolled around, mom would always ask me, "What do you want for your birthday dinner, Shelly?" (LOL @ Shelly...) And I would always answer, "Creamed Chipped Beef!"  Otherwise known as SOS (shit on a shingle), when served on toast.  I myself have always preferred it over potatoes.  It's very easy, very filling and extremely delicious, if you like that sort of thing....

It has also become a favorite of both my of my daughters..  Mailee especially.  She likes to help tear apart the dried beef while Amanda peels the potatoes and I make the creamy white sauce.  Sinfully good, I must say...

Thank you again, for your support and kind words. 

 

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pondering the Days Ahead

My daughter Amanda suggested to me that her little sister be informed that Santa Claus doesn't exist so that she will understand if there isn't a lot under the tree this year... 

That stung a little.

Their dad, of course, will make sure they get all they ask for from him.  He spoils them rotten, which is all he knows, and I understand that he needs to connect somehow.  I'm hoping he might save a little something for Santa to deliver, but can't seem to bring myself to ask.  My parents also, are finding all sorts of goodies and crossing off their lists item by item.  I AM thankful, don't get me wrong...  It doesn't matter to me who the gifts come from, considering the reason for celebrating really isn't about the gifts at all... But what child under a certain age gets that?  I just want them to wake up Christmas morning, their first Christmas without him here, and know the joy and surprise and excitement that they ~ and every child on earth, should know.

I remember reading a random journal a while back where the author was upset about someone "ranting and raving" because they didn't have enough money to make ends meet.  The person relaying the information was livid because it appeared this individual had more than enough, simply because she was able to have Internet access and other "luxuries".  My electricity, heat, phone and car payment are my first priorities (the amount of support I receive from him goes straight to my landlord the first of each month), and naturally, that takes care of my whooping $15 a month broadband service.  It IS a luxury, to be able to spend time online, having some sort of entertainment now that cable is out.  I would miss my friends here, if it were to become necessary to shut down for a time...  But if it happens, it happens.

After months of holding back due to my pride, and hope that I would be able to do this somewhat on my own, I finally gave in and applied for all sorts of assistance.  I am on the bottom of every possible waiting list there is, as we arenot in danger (today) of being homeless.  Well, yeah...  of course I am thankful for such a blessing, but I am so fearful of that possibility that my mind is playing around all sorts of scenarios and options surrounding the idea that I could ask him to come home.  I know that he would, even while it was HE who hired a lawyer because I wouldn't get my ass in gear fast enough for him and do it myself because I continue to ask, how can I do this?  And yet, how can I not?  He would move back home in a second.  Not because he loves me to no end and can't imagine his life without me, but because he feels deprived of certain needs being met...  Yes, that is what it all amounted to, when he attempted to work things out with me.  Not, 'hey hon, I really miss you and the girls...  I promise to try and be the husband you deserve..  I won't ignore you, degrade you, neglect you emotionally or brush away all your dreams, needs and doubts as stupid anymore... I will try to be around a little bit more, and be a little more attentive..  I will find ways to show you I care that have nothing to do with material things..."  It was all about missing me in a purely physical sense.  What I've learned, in the last few years or so of my life, is that someone can be there physically without ever even being there at all.  The opposite is quite true as well.  More so, in fact...

A friend of mine recently said to me that if I were to take him back that I should be more than willing to express my love for him, and find it impossible to imagine not spending the rest of my life with him.  I could do neither.  If I were to reconcile with him, it would be for reasons that have nothing to do with my personal hopes, dreams or desires.  It would be for financial reasons and for our girls to have their father home again.  They would continue to see him only rarely, as he would never be willing to change his work hours or days.  We would go back to being roommates, in a house that is not a home, but is merely a place to exist.  I would try to be happy, and would probably look happy most days.  But it would be no different than it was, and the reasons for asking him to leave in the first place would always linger in my heart, and the inevitable would eventually happen some day.  Would there be time left for me?  Would my daughters continue to feel as if their family was a lie?  Would they continue to question everything they know?

The answers to these questions are floating in my heart, because I already know. 

I needed to write tonight.  For myself..  For my mind's attempt to unscramble the fragments of a future that remains uncertain.  I am not writing for advice or pity or any other reason, really...  Just venting.  I DO have faith, that it will all work itself out somehow, and that my girls will have the magical, wondrous Christmas they should have.  I guess it's selfish of me, to want to be the one to give it to them.

Family Dollar, here I come...  ::soft smile:: 

Me

 

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Holiday Wish

                 From our hearts to yours....

             HAPPY....

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             (Thank you Amanda, for the use of your lovely, festive nail art!)

This is a very sentimental day for me, as I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to.  With the sweet scent of blueberry pie lingering in the air, soft, soothing melodies filling the room, and the warmth and comfort of family and friends filling my heart, how could I ever, even for a moment, question the purpose and meaning of my life? 

We're leaving soon to spend the day with my parents, as we usually do Thanksgiving Day.  We've been watching the Macy's Parade, baking and just enjoying each other's company.  All is good.  All is right.

I wish you all the love and joy and understanding that this holiday season brings, and for those that feel it less, or need a little something more to instill warmth in your hearts, I wish you peace.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank you for you.

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Birthday Bliss

                         

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
                                                                         -- Marcel Proust


Imagine my delight upon opening my virtual mailbox today... 

It isn't every day, that one's heart is touched in a way that melts the soul.  That the sun shines just a little warmer than it should and that the breeze smells just a little sweeter than it ought to mid-Autumn.

Nancy, what a dear and treasured friend, person and soul you are..  You find ways to make me smile EVERY day, and with this being my 38th birthday, and with you being you, my journal has been filled with the warmth of a house filled with love. THANK YOU FOR YOU.

And to those of you who stopped by on your way through, busy as you all must be this time of year, to wish me a happy day ~ THANK YOU!!  I'm looking forward to visiting all of you in the coming days and reading your journals as well.

To those who sent cards (both virtual and non) or took time to send a special note my way, I hope so much that you know how much your friendships all mean to me and how much you've helped me and lifted me up during some tough times as well as shared smiles with me in the good times.  My life is fuller ~  my BIRTHDAY brighter ~ with special gifts called friends.

Wishing you all warmth and peace and many reasons to give thanks, as Thanksgiving Day approaches ~ and always.

 

 

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank You

I know that there is some serious mud-slinging around these parts...  Not only have I been spared for the most part (::knocking wood::), it seems that I've been somehow blessed with the most caring, kindhearted and thoughtful readers in the land.  THANK YOU, for the most touching, (positive) thought provoking and heartfelt comments left in my previous entries.  I can't begin to tell you, how much all your words and support mean to me. 

Things have been a little better here the last few days.  A little complicated, but that's life for ya.  Mailee made it to camp this evening, and I was so happy to be able to hug her tight and wish her an exciting weekend, seeing the happiness in her smile and in her eyes (I'm still a little worried about that cough, though).  I'm already missing her, and can't wait to see her Sunday afternoon and to hear about her weekend.

I don't have much to share right now.  I mostly wanted to thank you all.  I haven't had a lot of time to visit journals, and I wanted to email each and every one of you to thank you personally, but my time online has been limited lately. 

I hope you all enjoy a peaceful and pleasant weekend!

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thank you Donna, for this beautiful tag!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Refocusing

Mailee came home from a weekend away with a barking cough and a touch of laryngitis.  Last night her cough was unyielding, and as I rested my head against her, I could hear her breathing, raspy and shallow...  Concerned that allowing her to go to school would not be in her best interest (nor in the best interest of her fellow classmates), I decided to have her stay home today.  She is leaving Friday, for three days of camp - Wacky November at Clara Barton, with her best friend.  It is a wonderful camp, designated for children with diabetes (her friend has type 1) and they are allowed to bring a friend for the Wacky weekends twice a year.  It's such a highlight for her.  I hope she'll be able to kick this bug before then. 

Of course, all day, with the exception of a couple coughs here and there and still being a little hoarse, she's been fine...  And now I'm feeling completely guilty for not being in class myself, knowing what a time our students have when one of us is out (not to mention how it is when we ARE both there).  Still, it's better to be safe than sorry.  Right?  ::sigh::

It's no secret that I've been feeling pretty out of sorts lately...  I'm struggling with many emotions, juggling and weighing decisions that need to be made - and soon, before I fall into a hole too deep to pull myself out of.  I'm having that old familiar need to withdraw.  If I'm to be completely honest with myself, I'm neglecting my life.  Sometimes, I even fear I am neglecting my family.  I was looking over a scrapbook that Mailee has been working on, and came upon some old photos of her and her sister when they were much younger...  For some reason, I just fell apart.  I can't even tell you why.

I attended church with a friend on Sunday...  It's the only first or second time I've been since June.  It wasn't the church I normally go to, but it was nice.  I enjoyed the music.  My friend had to take care of things in the nursery, so she left me sitting alone in the back row.  I didn't really feel as much of a connection as I always did in my church, but for some reason, I haven't been able to bring myself to get up and go on Sunday mornings.  The girls both bowed out of choir this year.  I miss hearing them sing in church.  Many of the "regular" families have left and it just doesn't feel the same anymore.  I guess that makes me sad in a way, so I haven't been going.  Maybe that's part of my problem...  But there's this other part of me that is content with feeling God's presence in my day to day and communicating with him on a more personal level.  For now, I'm okay with that.  I think He is, too.

That's it for me...   Hope all is well with everyone.  Thank you for all your comments and well wishes. 

Love Much,

Me

 

 

(taken from a "Scattered Pieces" post, Oct. 13, 2007  (formally known as "More Reflections") these words seem relevant to my emotional state as of late.)

 

My moods are carried by the wind these days it seems...  From one swirling gust to the next, I drift along on this (lonesome) journey.  Never quite knowing, yet knowing all too well and all too much.  My days are filled with swift turns and spiraling plunges, uplifting twists and downward falls.  There simply HAS to be a rhyme and reason to it all.  Some days, it seems so obvious and so very right.  It's in those other days roaming with uncertainty and those other nights stumbling in the dark that I feel so alone. 

And yet I am never alone, carrying all that I do in my heart. 

Friday, November 9, 2007

On All Fours... (don't even go there...)

My dear friend Nancy kindly tagged me to journal my "Four Things" list!  This is a fun meme ~ one that I've done before some odd months (or is it years?) ago, but since I didn't follow through on the interviews that were requested of me (and I do apologize to the few that were thoughtful - and daring - enough to ask!), I felt I had better shape up and kick myself out of this funk and do something fun. 

So here goes my not-so-fabulous fours (second edition):

Four Jobs I've Had


Waitress

Singer

Emergency Room admissions

Live-in nanny

Movies I can watch over and over
 
On Golden Pond
 
The Horse Whisperer
 
The Bridges of Madison County
 
Titanic

4 Places I have lived

Lebanon, NH

Enfield, NH

Beverly, MA

WEST  Lebanon, NH!

4 TV shows I love to watch


House

Grey's Anatomy

Desperate Housewives

Brothers and Sisters (probably because I have none and the idea of such a big family fascinates me!)

4 Places I’ve been to on vacation


Wildwood Crest, NJ

Niagara Falls

York, Maine

Disney World

4 Websites I visit daily

Can't think of even one that I visit daily...

4 Favorite Dishes

Any seafood dish

Turkey dinner at Thanksgiving

Mom's Christmas Eve Oyster Stew

Cream chipped beef on mashed potato

 

4 Places I’d rather be right now

Some place warm...

Overlooking some place peaceful

Completely content

In the arms of an angel.

 
4 People I’m tagging
 
You, you, you and YES EVEN YOU!!
 
 
Have a GREAT WEEKEND!!
      Chelle

Saturday, November 3, 2007

'Pretty good - for a young fella..'

Today we celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday.  For weeks my mom had been beside herself with thoughts of this gathering she had been planning, calling family and friends, organizing food and drink, and praying that the remnants of hurricane what's his name would spare us it's torrential downpour (it didn't).  Gramps knew only that the immediate family would be coming - mom, dad, myself and my girls.  He had no clue that most of the town would be coming to call, or that the great pig would be driven over after roasting all day at a neighbor's house. 

What a memorable event for all...  It isn't very often that you meet a man like my Grandpa.  He's a rock - with a heart of gold.  After losing his wife of what felt like a hundred years to Alzheimer's last year, I was almost sure he would succumb to depression as I watched his heart struggle to regain it's strength.  He also had to have surgeries - three of them, to be exact - to remove cancer from his face and eye.  Now, seeing how he has overcome so much, keeping his head held high and continuing to push through each day with determination and strength, I am myself overcome with love and pride for a man who has taught me much about living life to the fullest and finding beauty and comfort in things both large and small. 

When you ask him how he's doing, he will always answer the same way:  "Pretty good, for a young fella."  When you ask him what he did that day, the answer comes in a list that will shock you.  He tends a vegetable garden every year, does his own grocery shopping, cooking, housework and laundry (never using a dryer, but hanging his clothes out to dry and on a rack in the colder months), brings in wood for his wood stove, mows most of his 5 acres of land on his riding lawnmower, and just recently passed his driver's test, renewing his license for the next 5 years. 

Things my Grandpa taught me:

Never let your line sit at the bottom of the pond...  bring is up a bit and keep it tight enough to feel the fish bite.

Shut the damn light off.

Never say 'goodbye'.  Only 'good day' or 'good night'.

Walk your visitors out when they leave and wave as they drive away.

To cup my hands together and blow like a train whistle.

To support, love and accept your family when they are doing what makes them happy, even if you disagree.  And when they fall, be there to pick up the pieces.

Country music soothes the soul.

Never give up.

Family ~ is everything.

 

LOVE YOU GRAMPS!!   HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hello, It's Been a While..

 

 

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My daughter Amanda and I brought a picnic lunch out to Mill Bridge last Sunday.  I've posted a photo, as well as a drawing of this particular bridge in the past, but I have childhood (okay, 'teen'hood) connections with it and have no qualms about posting it again in a new season, for a new reason.  As you can see, the leaves have all but completed their life cycle year.  Oh, we still have a few colorful surprises around corners here and there, but for the most part ~ Fall has officially fallen.

While there's indeed a bit of a chill in the air, the sun shined bright most of the weekend, and the skies were a deep, inviting blue.  I'm afraid I've spent most of the last few days kept up inside, getting things done around the house and finishing up important tasks...  Like more papers that I have put aside and ignored for too long.

Reason being is, I've had a bit of a time lately, coming to terms myself with all that has transpired in the last nine months.  Which, if I look carefully enough, hasn't really been all that eventful with regards to the separation.  Other than the financial challenges, nothing really has changed for us.  That's how little time our family had together when he WAS here.  One day a month, if I'm not being clear enough..  It's been long enough now, that I honestly cannot picture in my mind what it would be like to have him here again.  When he does come, to pick up or drop off the kids, I am always ready for him to go.  Please do not think less of me...  I can't explain it.  I do not miss what we had, because there is nothing to miss, really.  And yet, the stresses of being a single parent, not loving my job as I once did (a whole new burden to carry), other family issues, bills piling up and still the guilt of letting go has had me more than a bit off balance emotionally.  I know, you thought I was sure.  I did, too...  A momentary lapse of reason, I'd like to call these last couple days.  I'm sure once again.  I was always sure, I just second guess myself more often than not.

I do not like or enjoy hurting people.  I do think of him, lying in his cot style bed separated only by a curtain in a tiny, shady apartment he shares with three other cooks from the restaurant where he works, tears in his eyes for the very first time (the man hates criers and always hated my tears ~ even yelled at me for them, but he now knows how it is to feel), missing his family and wondering why I changed the way I did...  And this thought keeps me awake some nights. 

I have weighed the options in my mind, searching the right's and the wrong's and the reasons.  I've thought about how easy it would be, to go back to just going through the motions each day.  Married yet alone, 'loved' but never feeling loved, wondering yet unable and unwilling to hope, losing myself again...  Wait, how and why would that be easy?  Because I did it for so long, and while I was never really happy, or truly in love with him, I was never UNhappy because I never allowed myself to be.  When those thoughts slipped into my mind, it swiftly pushed them away.  Now that I am allowing myself to feel again, and to open myself up to new hopes and dreams and possibilities, I am also opening myself up to more failure and loss and realities.  And that, my friends, can be frightening...

Those papers, the ones that needed adjustments and signatures...?  Well, they're finally done.  And my new life... Well, it's just beginning, and tonight I'm feeling good and right and sure about that once again.  And it feels good to know.

This life changing event has taken up more than enough of my journal space these last few months.  I feel it necessary, to record my thoughts and anxieties concerning this piece of my life's puzzle.  I do look forward to a time when I can focus on less strenuous things, like picnics under a scenic bridge and bright, sunny skies.  I know that now, I am able to find beauty and love and warmth in things that for far too long had been forgotten, and I love that I can live my life true to myself and to my heart again.  Wherever my heart takes me, I'm ready and willing to make the journey.  Crossing bridges and building new ones.  Because I can. 

How can I not?

Love to you all... and prayers for those who need them ~

Michelle

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One Way To Find Out There's A Monster Near You...

*(I've just been made aware that this site is asking for money.  I am so angry, because I just did it for free two days ago.  I apologize for linking to this site, but was also quite unaware that they would be asking for credit card.)

**(( THIS SITE HAS CHANGED!  The FREE Search can be found at www.familywatchdog.us/ ))

 

About once a year, I make it a point to visit a website that I think everyone should be aware of:  www.familywatchdog.com (DO NOT GO HERE, SEE ABOVE).  This site is dedicated to making anyone who is concerned for the well being and safety of children aware of sex offenders living in and around their neighborhood.  This site is VERY well constructed.  Simply tell them where you want to look, and you will be given a map of your area as well as surrounding areas with small "red houses" indicating the exact address of a convicted sex offender.  Click on a house, and you will see a very clear photo of the offender (perhaps more clear in some states than others) as well as a small, non-detailed description of the crime itself.  If you want to know, you can...

Some of you may be surprised at the number of predators close to home (although I HOPE and PRAY you find out otherwise!).  I know I was.  As a matter of fact, there was a new one listed, right here in my condominium complex.  THIS, just a few short days after a man who lives in the next building from me, whom I have watched drive by my home daily, and have made a point to make clear eye contact with, was finally convicted and sentenced to six years for crimes involving children over the internet

They live near my children's schools.  They live near the school I work at.  They live downthe road and in the next town.  They are everywhere.  Knowledge is power.  Have it.  Please.

I have been down this road, and it is not a road I would wish for anyone to travel. 

Please check out this site.  It NEVER hurts to know.  Be safe...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Upward Gust of Wind

This entry is a sequel of sorts to a private entry I made on a night when my heart was feeling weak and a bit caught up in a whirlwind.  I know many of you visit me there as well as in this space and I thank you for keeping up with all my ever changing moods and soul searchings.  I'm feeling the upward gust of a warm, comforting wind today, therefore my smiles are genuine and easy.

Life is filled to the brim with uncertainties and that fact is unchanging!  I suppose that uncertainty should be welcomed, for if we knew what tomorrow would bring, there would be very little purpose in striving to reach it.  I for one, trust myself more than I have in a long time.  I have reached a milestone in my search for truth in the mirror (see journal description) and I have made some very important decisions for myself that highly impact those people who live in my heart.

Even on the darker days, I remain hopeful.  On brighter days, hopeful still!  My children are coming to terms with the divorce and are thriving at school and in their general lives.  They smile FAR more often than not, and we are enjoying the excitement that this time of year brings.  I don't think there has been a damaging word between us ~ or between them ~ for weeks now!  And that is a major accomplishment!

So many blessings fill my life.  While many of life's challenges are out of my hands, I have come to know the difference between what I can and cannot change.  One thing that cannot and will not, is that my heart shall from now on be my guide. 

Where it might guide me has yet to be determined, but I will enjoy this beautiful ride for what it's worth.  Which ultimately, is everything.

 

Sunday, October 7, 2007

PHOTOS! (I REALLY need to go to bed...)

My last attempt to post photos really flipped out my journal, so here's my second... 

Thanks for bearing with me!

Imagine Me and You

(SORRY FOR THE PREVIOUS ALERT...  I was overexcited and clicked SAVE by mistake!)

 

Nancy and me...  October 6, 2007

What a fantastic weekend!  I know that many of you know Nancy or are readers of her fabulous journal NotionsofNancy.  I had the pleasure and the good fortune to MEET her yesterday!  It was her birthday, and she and her husband traveled all the way from home to spend a few quiet and peaceful days here in NH.  She visited me as well as another online friend.  We had the best time, as we knew we would...  From the moment she opened the door and we hugged each other tight with squeals of excitement, we were instant soul sisters!!  We spent a fun filled day along Squam Lake, spent some time visiting and photographing the beauty around us, and even enjoyed the hot tub at the B&B where they were staying!  I have so many photos, but will try to pick out just a few to share with you here, and then will use others to add some Fall color to my next few entries. 

Nancy, you are a blessing to me.  Thank you for all that we've shared up till now, and for all that we will continue to share as friends both online and off.  You made me laugh till my stomach hurt!  Thanks for climbing the covered brige wall with me and for the Mike's!!  Happy Birthday!

I LOVE YOU!!

 

Friday, September 28, 2007

Light vs Dark

I have empathized with fallen angels...

I am near spiritually full at this point in my life.  I have faith in God, in His love for me and in all that He promises me.  But there once was a time in my life, when I did not.

As a rebellious, heart-twisted teenager (LOOONG ago, I simply must add...), I dabbled in things I had no business dabbling in.  I wore clothes and pendants around my neck that loudly stated who I was and what I believed.  In fact, to most, I was downright frightening...

To this day, there are times, I must admit, that I am drawn to depths both dark and unknown.  I want to know.  I want to feel...  And I want someone to pull me back and save me from myself.

When I first saw the above graphic, I was mesmerized.  Which angel was I?  Could I be a little of both?  Is one more powerful? More enticing?  More fun?  More loved?

Sometimes, I wonder what good it does... Wondering.


"Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep." 

~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman

 

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Look Like WHO?!

 

The day I even REMOTELY resemble ANY of these women... :o/

Still fun, though...  Thanks, Chuck!

 

 

Monday, September 24, 2007

An Afterthought

I got busted big time for the deleted entry...  Not in a bad way, but I suppose with all I've been going through lately, and the dark places I have been and shared with you, it was only natural for some to be concerned.  While I appreciate that greatly, and give thanks from my heart for those that emailed me or sent peaceful thoughts my way, I regret worrying anyone needlessly. 

It wasn't so much that the entry needed to be deleted at all, really.  I have been compelled on occasion to delete, and it's something I have been working on.  But in this case it wasn't about me.  It was mainly about my daughter.

It started off with our fiasco yesterday at the ER (yet again.... we were just  there last week ~ now BOTH hands are under wraps!!).  She cut her hand with a steak knife and needed stitches.  I then went on and on about some things she's been dealing with both now and in the past.  I felt comfortable as I wrote, but then there came the afterthought...  The "maybe I shouldn't have said all that I did" afterthought.  I didn't disclose certain information, and yet I felt as though I had said more than I should have.  My daughter's privacy came into question, and that stopped my breath for a moment.  I'm extremely sensitive to their well being, as any mom would be.  Perhaps even more so due to past experiences.  Maybe I would have felt safer, had I written in my private journal, but alas, the words were out there, and I knew I would not sleep unless I put them to memory.  It was late, and it had been a long day, so I did not take time to explain.  I'm sorry if I had you all worried, my dear friends.  Thank you for caring and for letting me know.

Till next time...  ::WARM HUGS::

Saturday, September 22, 2007

From The Orchard

We visited Poverty Lane Orchard to pick apples today.  Friends invited us, and we had a great time despite the fact that my oldest daughter had to stay home...  There comes a time, in every mother/daughter relationship, when your cycles cross at just the right time and all hell breaks loose.  Not fun.  BUT, we did manage to forgive each other as the day wore on, and smiles were renewed.

Poverty Lane Orchard is very picturesque...  In fact, there is a movie from the early 80's, I believe, called "Ghost Story" and part of that movie was filmed in the orchard.  If my memory serves me well, the scene was that of a dream.  Where lovers meet, embrace and dance.  I think the woman was a ghost... hence the movie title.

Anyway, wanted to share some photos of our trip... I'm even sharing a pic of myself to show the marked improvement in the Bell's Palsy.  I am mostly still affected by what I feel, not so much by how I look.  My eye still doesn't blink (still playing pirate in the night...;o) ) and my lips and cheek still FEEL funny, but not nearly as obvious as it was even two weeks ago.   

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

 

Friday, September 21, 2007

Almost There...

"......You can never know who you are, till you let go of who you were.
 
The best of who you are, is what you are always becoming."
 
 
Thank you to Marc, who so generously shared these powerful words with me and so kindly gave me permission to pass them along. 
 
Events from the last couple of days have led me to a much more peaceful place.  One of understanding.... An epiphany of sorts.  Words that were spoken, feelings that were shared.  My own, dismissed as they've alway been...  BUT, I'm no longer crying.  I'm no longer alone.  I am firm in my belief that I have done and continue to do the right thing as I move forward.  I have never been surer.
 
I am holding the finished papers in my hand.  Ready to walk on, without looking back.  I deserve to be valued ~ as a human being.  As a woman.  I am worth more than what I have been. 
 
For now ~ for a while ~ it will be me and my girls.  I am not ready to "find someone."  It is not my desire to move in that direction  ~ now or anytime in the near future. I am happy where I am, right here, right now.  I am enjoying finding myself again.  I am enjoying this journey, and the path that I walk is one that I share with many of you.  For that, I am truly thankful.
 
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
 
Michelle
 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"The Path Unknown"

I guess the saying's true...  "One man's trash is another man's treasure..."

Went the dumpster and this is what I found ~ just waiting for me to take it home:

How completely relevent to my life right now.  No idea where the path will lead, whether or not to even take it... or who's hand to hold along the way...   If anyone's.

It's an A. Sheldon Pennoyer oil painting.  I can't seem to find it online, so I'm calling it "The Path Unknown." 

Blessings,

Chelle

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A "Fair" Amount of Photos

Each year, our entire third grade designs, creates and enters a project for the Junior Competition at the Tunbridge Fair in Vermont.  The theme this year was "Cows" and we constructed the world's very first (at least I think it is...) Cowousel! 

Sorry about the quality (or lack there of) of the photographs...  They placed our Cowousel directly in front of a window and it was a (thankfully) bright, sunny day.  This baby can spin (manually) and has a music box attached that had been painted to resemble a Holstein!  We won a blue (first prize) ribbon and found out the next day that we were also awarded "Best of Show," which was very unexpected!  The students were thrilled beyond belief!

Isn't he CUTE??  Well, in an E.T. sort of way...

There's been so much happening with me lately, and I am afraid I have neglected my journal reading/writing.  Please accept my apologies.  I have more to share, but I've been rather unproductive today due to the fact that the girls are both away for the weekend and while I miss them and will be so very happy to see them come evening, it feels GOOD to just "be," doing very little other than enjoying the peace and quiet, alone with my thoughts, my music and my writings.  Anyhow, I got off track...  While my day has BEEN unproductive, I really must get some things done then maybe I'll even get out of the house and go for a leisurely afternoon drive.

Enjoy your Sunday!

thank you to Dianna for the Sazzy tag

 

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And The Survey Says...

 Nancy sent this survey my way, and having taken the time to complete it, I thought for lack of a better thought to share, I'd share this instead!  I may even have done something similar ~ I know I've posted surveys in the past...  But just in case you've forgotten....  (feel free to play along!)

 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
       Nope, but my father thought my name would be very fitting for a boat he might own someday...  (but never did!)
 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
   Yesterday... But the night's young. 
 3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
That depends...  If I'm taking notes, my handwriting is messy, but when writing a letter to someone who is important to me, I take great care to make it look nice.  I do feel that my handwriting is rather unique, as I have my own way of forming certain letters.  (just don't tell my students!)
                                                          
 
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
    "turkey..not slimy though!"  DITTO!
 
 5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
     Yes, two beautiful daughters... and 2 cats!
 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
     Yes, but I'd have to have a lot of patience!> >>> 

 7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
    I try not to, but it happens ya know... geez!!
 

 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
       Far as I know!
 

 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
     Not on your LIFE!  I have a real fear of heights.
 
 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
      Granola

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?                Never!

 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
                   Completely depends on the day... 
 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
          Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough wins by a mile!
 
          14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT
PEOPLE?
      Eyes and smile 
 15. RED OR PINK?
       Pink, but red is very nice, too.

 16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU?
     My moods and self doubts.

 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE
 MOST?
   My nana 
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
   Just sending it back to Nancy, but would love to be linked to yours if you so choose to play along!

 19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
       Barefoot and jeans

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
     A small handful of sun chips while making my girl's lunches for school tomorrow! 

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
   The tellie is on...  Without a Trace.
 22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
         Purple

 23. FAVORITE SMELLS?

      Lilacs, honeydew partylite candles, my kitchen while dinner is cooking, freshly shampooed, wet hair
!
 24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
 My friend Candy.

 25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
 I love her!

 26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
ice-skating (if that counts)"   DItto! 

 27. HAIR COLOR?
       Ashe Blonde
 28. EYE COLOR?
       green
 29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
       yes, and I miss them since the Bell's...

 30. FAVORITE FOOD?
     Seafood, steak, creamed chip beef (don't laugh!)!
 31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
        happy endings (absolutely!)
 
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED
      The Messengers (speaking of scary!)

 33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
       Olive green tank top

 34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
        SUMMER!!!!!!

 35. HUGS OR KISSES? 
           Both, but if I had to choose, I'd pick hugs.

 36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
           Apple crisp with vanilla ice cream
 37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND
      I have no idea!
 
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
      Ditto
 39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
         "A Bend in the Road"  by Nickolas Sparks
 40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
          Scooby Doo 
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT?
     Last Comic Standing

42. FAVORITE SOUND?
New Age music, the wind rustling in the trees, thunder rolling in, the ocean, my children's voices and laughter
 
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
                Beatles
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Germany 
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I love to sing, but my voice hasn't aged well... 
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
              Lebanon, NH 

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
See above
 
 48. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?
A peaceful, happy existance... maybe falling in love someday for the very first time.
 



Monday, September 3, 2007

Saving Me

Does anyone out there know how one might go about saving their entire journal?  Is it even possible?  I've tossed an email editor Joe's way, but haven't heard back yet and I'm getting anxious.  If anyone can help me, please let me know by email.

Thanks so much! 

Michelle

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Interview

My dear friend Jackie from Hope Floats has grilled me good this time!  Thank you for some seriously thought provoking questions, Jackie!  I probably could have put more effort into answering them, but I am nursing a real nice head cold at the moment, and I'm about to drift into la la land...

1. For $20,000 would you go for 3 months without washing, brushing your teeth, and using deodorant? Assume you could not explain your reasons to anyone, and there would be no long-term effect on your career. (you are not choosing one, you would have to go without all three).

Okay, this one was hard for me... I am a very clean person and it would take an awful lot for me to even go one DAY without even one of these three things. Before I became an as close as I can possibly be to being a single parent, I would have said, "Not on your life, mister!"

Unfortunately, my financial situation is in no way good at the moment, and I would do almost anything in the world (well now, I DID say ALMOST...) to be financially comfortable right now. To not have to worry about it all the time. To not have this tangled web of confliction over so many aspects of my life because of it. Money does not buy happiness, but it sure as heck helps.  Yes, I would do it.  Consider yourself forewarned...

2. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Physically, I would most definitely say the face. Every part of it. A smile that warms me. Gentle, honest eyes. Soft, kissable lips. I am also drawn to a man with whiskers... even if it's five o'clock shadow.

More than physical, I am drawn straight to a man who is outgoing yet a little shy, confident yet humble and not the least bit arrogant or self centered. I notice a man who laughs a lot and enjoys the outdoors. Okay, I am going off on a bit of a tangent here... Sounds like an Eharmony profile... LOL

3. Do you have nightmares, or happy dreams, or are you a non dreamer?

As a child, I had the most horrifying dreams every night. They were frighteningly real and I would often wake up absolutely terrified.  It was very rare that my dreams would ever be sweet...

For years following a bad accident that my girls and I were in, I had reoccuring "accident" dreams for days at a time that had me waking in a cold sweat.

And last night I had a terrible dream... It involved the school where I work and terrorists, and that is all I'm going to say about that.

Not counting last night, my dreams are now almost always pleasant.   It is there that I find peace.

 

4. Do you believe there is a Heaven and a Hell?

Yes, I do... The answer to this question is so involved it would take an entire entry and a half to fully explain my beliefs and the reasons behind them.

5. Do you have a lot of friends, or do you consider yourself to be a loner?

I have many friends. Do I see them often? Not really... Do I socialize on a regular basis? Not hardly. Do I have people I can turn to, if I am in need of a shoulder or someone to share pieces of my life with? Absolutely. And I, in turn, am there for them as well.

I think that being an only child, I have learned over a lifetime to enjoy myself and I am very comfortable in my own company. I enjoy gatherings with close friends, but I often find that I would rather bow out and spend time alone. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Depends on the day, I guess. There have been times in my life, when I had many friends whom I considered family. Walking in and out of each other's homes without so much as a knock was accepted and even expected. I do miss this. I've withdrawn a lot in the last few years, from social interactions and closeness. By choice. But I miss it.


Now it is your turn!

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your journal with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! 

 

 

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Reflecting on "The Secret"

 

I've always been a firm believer in the whole "everything happens for a reason" way of thinking.  That what happens to us is meant to be and strategically planned out for us by God ahead of time. 

Now, I'm starting to wonder...

How much of our lives is truly in our own hands?  How much is actually within our control?  Are we simply destined to walk the path which is laid out before us with little or no say in the matter? 

Of course, there ARE things that happen to us that we have no control over..  Innocent children are abused for being children.  A careless individual negligently causes a devastating accident.  An illness or disease invades a body, no matter how diligently that person maintains a healthy lifestyle.  War rages on...

And yet, I do believe, wholeheartedly, that it is how we face our circumstances which defines who we are. 

Someone recently mentioned the book, "The Secret" to me.  It wasn't the first time I had been made aware of it, but I did, for the first time, look into it.  The idea behind "The Secret" greatly reflects what I am feeling now and how I so wish to continue living my life.

I'll share this piece of what I've read with you:

"The law of attraction (which is what the book itself is based on) means that everything that happens to you—good or bad—you attract to yourself.  It is as if you're placing an order. If you were at a restaurant and you ordered something, you fully expect it to come served that way. That's how the universe is. You're putting out orders—consciously and unconsciously. So if you say, 'I'll never have a great relationship,' or 'I'll never find happiness,' you just placed an order."

Most of what has been on my plate lately has been overcooked, chewy and downright unhealthy...

It's time to move on.

 

"When you wake up in the morning, try to see the big picture in your life.  Moments are what we have, and they should be treasured.  Lessons don't always come easy, but they open our eyes and with any luck put what is important, into perspective.  Chase the dream.  Know there's hope. Believe in miracles.  Even when "it" feels bad.  Life is oh so good."  

Thank you, Irene for sharing these words and for allowing me to share them!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunshine On My Shoulders...

Two entries in one day is a rarity for me.

But this has been a rare day, so here I am once again...

It's a beautiful day here...  Very cool, but the sun has shined through for the most part and the chill in the air has an autumn feel to it that I kind of like, quite honestly.

The girls were out of town most of the day.  Their dad took them back to school shopping.  Mailee had never been to the Holyoke Mall in Massachusetts, so that's where he agreed to take them.  Unfortunately, the stores they visited mostly had clothes meant for a child my older daughter's age, and they didn't have a Limited Too, so she came home with just two shirts, one pair of jeans and jean capris.  Well, I say 'just' but that is more than she left with this morning.  And I can't forget the bathing suit she bought for her Build A Bear....  At least she didn't buy another bear.  Of course, their dad would willingly walk the circumference of the earth on a rainy day for both of them, so he's offered to take them BACK out tomorrow for another day of out-of-town shopping.

Yeah, he's not sooo bad.  ;o)

I enjoyed the day, quietly here, not so quietly there...  Went to lunch with my mom, which was a very nice treat.  I hadn't been out to eat at all since my face froze (::rolling eyes::), and I was so giddy with the aspect of having a meal prepared for me!  I had french onion soup, and I didn't even wear it home when I was through.  

We had a nice dinner with mom AND dad (another rarity) last evening... did I share that already?  After last night's dinner and fireside chat (yummy sa'mores) mom and I sifted through some of her yard sale items that have been hanging out in the garage for too long.  She had a partial chinaware set - absolutely beautiful - that she was willing to part with so that I might try to sell all or part of it on Ebay.  It's Royal Doulton China,  The Chatham Collection.  I've searched for it online, but haven't had any luck.  I figure, if someone has a partial set already and is trying to complete it... Well, it's a long shot, I know.  It's very pretty, so I wouldn't be broken up to keep it myself.  This is what it looks like, if you or anyone you know is interested:

It's really very unique...  Each "set" of plates, cups, bowls and saucers seem to have their own story to tell.  No design is exactly alike.  Very pretty.

I also found a set of stoneware plates, bowls, mugs and cups and saucers that I'm keeping all to myself!  I cleaned out a couple of my kitchen cupboards and made the quick change.  Still using Grammy's china, though...  I've been using it ever since I first unwrapped it from the attic when I moved out on my own in 1988.  More sentimental value than anything else that I own.

So it's been a busy day!  I enjoyed the online chat in the Journals Cafe' with a few others.  That was so much fun!  Would have been even nicer if more could have made it, but I was thrilled to see some familiar faces as well as meet a few new journaling friends.  ::wink::

The girls were swiftly whisked away by my friend Angela for the evening...  She begged and begged me to come, but I'm just not feeling up to it.  She and her girls went blueberry picking and are making blueberry pancakes for dinner...  I know, what the bleep is wrong with me?  I'm just too tired for visiting tonight. 

Holy crap...  (sorry Nancy! hehe)  My mom just emailed me a page from ebay that has my chinaware listed for  $2,400!!  I don't know much about chinaware, but that's a lot of money in my book!I don't have the whole set, but I hope someone who WANTS the whole set but doesn't have it yet will see my listing...  Good heavens!

Okay, I'm starting to ramble here...  Sorry folks.  I think I'll be visiting here more often as time goes on.  Finding a need for a better outlet in my life these days.  This is a place I feel comfortable, and a lot of emotion comes pouring out of me here at times, but it's all good.  Feeling is good.  Life ~ is good.

Hope you all enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening!

 

After The Storm

Last week's storm brought some devastation to many folks in neighboring towns...  These photos were taken yesterday afternoon along the road to my parents house.  Thankfully, they themselves were spared the worst of it, and no one was injured, which was a miracle in itself.  Many homes were destroyed, as well as the camper in one of the images below.  Hundreds of trees were snapped in half or completely uprooted, power lines covered the roads and many were or are still without power.  It was a pretty emotional drive, and sure does bring to mind what many have to endure in the wake of a major storm.  This, my friends, is minor compared to some...

 

                        

                             

 

I've spent the last few days trying to clear my head and be free from the demons that lurk there..  There are issues that weigh heavily on my heart that are simply not for these pages, but I am finding my way, sifting through the fog and following instinct and trusting that I will be led to a more peaceful existence.  Looking back, I see how silly my "From The Mirror" entry was, and if I am to be completely honest with myself, my physical appearance really has very little to do with how I perceive myself.  I know that there is just so much more for me...  More than I have been allowing in, which just continues to eat away at me day after day after long and drawn out day.

I know I'll feel better, once I am back to work and feeling productive and purpose driven once again.  The Bell's continues it's journey through me, but I AM feeling some changes, and those changes have given me hope.  Perhaps that in itself is the message....

Change, hope, renewal...  and faith. 

I know God will bring me through this and all things... And that makes my heart smile.

Thank you for listening and for sharing this journey with me.  Thank you for bringing me along on yours.

Wishing you warmth and beauty ~ this day and always.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Storm

Going out on a limb here again, and attempting to post something new...  Right around 7pm this evening, an unexpected storm blew through.  The winds were crazy and rain so heavy the lights flicked on and off throughout.  We even had a TORNADO warning, which is ALMOST unheard of here...

After the storm, sunset filled my livingroom with rays of gold through the open window and back door, and as night set slowly set in the sky became a vision of beauty to behold...  Probably my most treasured gifts from nature's hand:

I didn't even dare touch this image in editing...  I would've surely ruined it.

Just another reminder, at how beautiful life is, how beautiful WE are, and how many blessings can follow even the most treacherous of storms.

And thank you all... For your words of support and for your kindnesses.  For your friendships and for your hugs.  Seen and unseen, I truly do feel you all by my side.  It helps, more than you'll ever know.  ::smile::

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From The Mirror

Sometimes, it feels as though my face is melting...  This has physical ramifications of course...  The constant "pull" from my "good side", weighing heavily on my skin, neck and shoulders, causes an almost ceaseless ache in my neck and head.  It's certainly not unbearable..  I am fully aware at how much real pain I could be in, had it been a stroke or God forbid, even worse.  I take Tylenol nightly to help me sleep, and the lubricant that I was prescribed to help soothe and protect my restless eye in the night has enabled me to forego tapping it shut, which was more of a nuisance than anything else. 

I'm finding, as the days go by and I am becoming used to this change in my physical appearance, that it's becoming easier for me to do the every day things, such as eat, drink, speak and so forth.  This helps me to keep the focus on the hope, that slowly but surely, I will return to normal.  I cannot allow myself to think that I might not.

It's the emotional ramifications of such an ordeal that are lasting in my mind...  The thoughts that spring forth that have no business invading my space.  If I didn't already have self esteem issues (which I did ~ many...)  I most definitely have them now. 

Feeling ugly on the outside is very damaging on the inside.  I have never felt attractive physically, especially growing up a chubby, four-eyed, brace-faced kid.  I was always the one not picked to dance and never had more than one or two boyfriends.  I always loved from afar, knowing that if I made an attempt at it, I would be flat out rejected as always.  These thoughts and self doubts followed me, and while I am pretty happy with myself on the inside ~ I do know that I am a good person and on my better days a good mom to my beautiful girls and I pride myself on those things ~ I am an utter wreck on the inside... And this just doesn't help matters any.

It's just hard to go out, you know?  I might not look so completely dreadful, when I'm not talking or smiling, but that's just not me!  When I meet someone on the street, I always smile and say hello.  I am usually very outgoing and eager to chat with the lady behind the cash register, or the waiter who might candidly take our dinner order at Applebee's...  But now, as soon as I open my mouth, I am immediately reminded of how awful I look by my reflection in their eyes.  They smile, and try to be polite, but I can see and feel their thoughts washing over their faces, and I just want to go home and hide in my room until this is all over.

I feel unlovable.  Untouchable.  Unkissable.  Unreachable.

Sometimes...

And then I sigh... That long, drawn out sigh, releasing those thoughts and doubts, and allow myself to look far beyond what I feel and what I see at this very moment.  My hopes for the future high and alive, and I vow not to let this bring me down. 

Thank you for allowing me to vent my aches and pains here today.  It is hard for me, to allow myself such a release.  I'm going to bury myself back in my newest read and fly away for a while. 

Wishing you all a peaceful day ~ free from worry, doubts and fears.

Chelle