Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show." Andrew Wyeth

I miss wintertime.

I miss the sledding hill, my Christmas tree, hot cocoa, "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV, sweaters, the Grinch, and wrapping gifts. I miss building snow forts, Christmas lights, cuddling up with my knitting, baking cookies, going to see Santa, snowflakes that shine like diamonds, and shopping for Christmas gifts.

I can't explain it. Something about this heat and high humidity makes me want to scream.

I remember the day this picture was taken. We had one of those fluffy white snowfalls that caused school to be called off. I woke up at 5:30 am and went out to shovel our driveway. When I was done, I stood looking at the snow clinging to the trees. All I could hear was the wind. The air felt cold and clean when I breathed it in. It was as if time was standing still while I was looking at the dazzling white snow. It was incredible.

I think I'll go start my list of presents to buy for Christmas. It is less than six months away, and it will probably take me that long to get everything ready. I can hear the laughter from those of you who know me well. Every year I strive for this Norman Rockwell Christmas, and I always come up short. But this is the year it's going to happen . . . I can feel it . . . if I start now . . . (goes off to inventory Christmas decorations in the basement . . . )

"Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved." Augusta E. Rundel

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Personal War Against the Japanese Beetle a/k/a Extreme Gardening a/k/a Better Living Through Chemistry

"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations."  David Friedman

. . . and those of us who think and act like small children.  

A year ago, my husband and I put in all new landscaping around our home.  We visited a consultant who chose plants that would be the right heights and would bloom in different colors from spring until late fall.  Plans were drawn to scale and massive amounts of money were spent on plants.  We tilled, we fertilized, we put in edging, we planted, we put down soaker hoses and buried our rain spouts and put in pop-up emitters.  We mulched, we watered, we weeded, and we were proud.  A few things bloomed that first year, and we were like proud first-time parents.  

This spring, we had to replace five plants that did not survive the winter.  I ran around trying to find just the right variety of sunray coreopsis and debated the different varieties of coral bells with the people at the plant nursery.  Soaker hoses have had to be reburied, new mulch put in, unending weeding done, new landscaping to start around the deck, watering during this year's drought, and still we were proud.  Everything was coming along.  

We were committed to having the best landscaping.  We didn't put down weed barrier because we were told it wasn't good for the plants.  We used only organic methods of gardening to be kind to the environment and keep the delicate balance of insects, flora and fauna.  

More and more weeds were coming in.  Thistles were taking over the flower beds on the south side of the house.  I picked out every one by hand.  Every night we watered.  We weeded and watered constantly.  And then one evening, I saw a green and copper colored beetle munching on the leaves of all four of my autumn magic chokeberry bushes.  Japanese beetles.  The only way to get rid of them is to kill the grubs in your lawn by applying powder to the lawn twice a year for three years.  The existing beetles will not kill the plants but will merely ruin the leaves.  

I searched the internet for an organic way to get rid of the existing beetles.  I found an article that said you should shake them off the leaves into a pail of soapy water which will kill them.  Then you should leave their little corpses in the pail to ward off any other beetles and also put soapy water on some of the plant leaves.  

So, I started collecting beetles.  I was watching three of them chew on a leaf one night, and something inside me snapped.  I grabbed the branch and started swearing "God damn sons of b**ches, you picked the wrong f***ing yard this time!" as I was drowning them in the pail of soapy water.  An elderly neighbor had been walking by just as I was doing this, and from the look on her face, she was quite startled.  I am now known as the Crazy Lady on the Corner and have no doubt been the subject of the elderly coffee gatherings every morning at the Food Court at Target.  

I am finished with this whole organic thing.  Those beetles are going down.  

Kumbaya and pass the chemicals.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crazy Fun

Anyone care to guess what kind of day I'm having???

Monday, July 21, 2008


"Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of Heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun."
"Romeo and Juliet", Act III, Scene II


Friday, July 18, 2008


"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I have a five-year-old son.

He is a cowboy.

He is a combination of Spiderman, Darth Vader and Jack Sparrow.

He dances in the outfield.

He possesses the most adventuresome spirit I have ever known. He meets life head-on. He celebrates every emotion he feels whenever he feels it. He has a passion for life that I have never seen before. He can light up a room with the twinkle in his eyes. He is simply a joy to be around.

I believe he was sent to me for a reason. He connects me with a part of myself that I have always tried to suppress - the part that wants to be bold and unafraid of failing. The part that can simply let go of every care and worry and just be alive.

But most of all, I believe he was sent to teach me that my heart is capable of holding more love than I had ever thought possible.

"A boy is Truth with dirt on it's face,
Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair,
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket"
Author Unknown

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is what I woke up to today. All I can do is put my head on my keyboard and cry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All You Need is Love

"Love is the answer, and you know that for sure." John Lennon

I have two partners in parenting my kids. My husband, of course, and then there is our cat, Gita.

Gita came to us from an animal shelter in a neighboring town. When I walked into the room filled with cats in metal cages, she meowed at me as I walked past. She stuck her paw out of the cage and was talking to me quite loudly as if to say, "Where have you been?"

When I checked the paperwork on her, I saw that a family had found her in their yard. She was skinny and had a red rash in front of her ears. She was easily spooked. They had small children and didn't want a pet. So, they brought her to the humane society. On the bottom of the paperwork they noted "This cat is really, really good with children."

I decided to bring my kids to the shelter to get acquainted with her before making a commitment. When the kids were running around the room, Gita rolled over on her back on the floor and started batting at their feet as they jumped around. This was the cat for us.

Gita loves everyone. She still has abandonment issues and often wakes me up at 3:30 am just to let me know that she still loves me. She's a cuddler. She will lick my son's hair when he is asleep - just like she's grooming one of her kittens. She has never bitten, scratched or hissed at any of us, and Heaven knows my kids have given her reason to.

This cat will wake me from a bad dream. She will lick my daughter's face if she is crying. She paces outside the front door to our house if the kids are gone for too long. She greets us at the door when we get home. At night she lays in the hallway where she can watch over everyone. She was meant to be with us.

I don't know what has happened to her in the past. Someone, somewhere must have loved her because she is one of the sweetest beings I have ever known. If someone threw her away, it was the best thing they ever did because they threw her our way. We are very fortunate to have found her.

We love you, Gita Girl!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


"In the summertime when the weather is high, you can reach right up and touch the sky" Mongo Jerry

"Have a drink, have a drive, go out and see what you can find"

I love this time of year. When I was growing up, my father was always sure to mention when all the trees and vegetation were "at their peak". It was something he seemed to celebrate. In this climate of sub-zero wind chills, the summer is indeed a gift.

So, today I want everyone to go outside, turn your faces to the sun and smile! We are right in the middle of summer, and I just noticed this morning that everything is at its peak.

In this world of constant change, it's comforting to know that, just like my memories, the summer always comes back to make me happy.

Now, go play in the sun!

"Life's for livin', yeah that's our philosophy"  

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today is the day!

"The greatest journey begins with a single step."  With that in mind, I decided to start this blog about knitting, motherhood, and my crazy life as a stay-at-home Mom to two wonderful kids (ages 8 and 5) and wife to an equally wonderful workahaulic.  

Hopefully, this blog will keep my family and friends updated on our lives.  They can check the blog at their leisure, and I won't be bugging them with massive e-mails about all the chaos that reigns in this household.  

Please bear with me as I learn to download pictures and navigate the various parts of this blog.  It is my usual MO to just jump head first into things and figure them out as I go.  It drives my husband crazy.  

Get ready - this should be fun!