Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fake spring is good enough for me!

This is what happened:  I saw a sign saying that the Garden show was coming up at my local grocery store.  Deciding I would just check it out while picking up a few odds and ends, I stumbled (literally) into this in the back room!

Outside it is still muddy, gray and brown and everything is dirty.  Aaaagh!  I am so tired of living in a colorless world!


And THIS...

And THIS...

Not to mention, THIS

None of which, for the capability of this blog, includes the fragrance of a multitude of flowers, the sound of rushing water, the warm, humid air or the tactile impression of boulders, moss and bark.

Honestly, I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, trying to regain my composure.  Because in that few minutes of standing in this environment that included everything but the Munchkins singing and birds flying about, I fully comprehended how utterly exhausted I am, how bone tired of the cold, the raw and the dirty, the snowplow at 4 AM, school snow days, filthy cars, and the hassle of heavy clothes and clompy boots.

I am happy to say that just around the corner peeks spring and I am daring to hope that once again my cute shoes will make their way out of the closet and the cats can sleep on the deck and my car can be cleaned and actually stay that way.

Oh, and just to be clear, I actually did say grocery store.  This place is so unbelievable, it's just a treasure.  It has a candy shop, a florist, a garden center, a bakery, fish shop, butcher shop, cheese shop, soup and salad bar, and store filled with all manner of wonderful, locally produced food.  There are something like 6 cashiers on hand at all times so you absolutely never have to wait in line--ever.  And for some obscure reason, the prices are completely reasonable.

Adams Fairacre Farms...otherwise known as my personal mental health clinic, I thank you.  And I salute your landscapers--they are miracle workers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here it is...

the lack of posts and the reason for that...

I am stumbling.  Lacking time and well, photographs, too.  Honestly, kind of depressed.

It's a grouchy, hung over, bad lookin' winter here in Upstate New York.  Everything is muddy, gray and brown.  'Cept my beautiful car, which is covered in white salt.  I'd wash it, but you know, five minutes later, same thing all over again.

My little kitty Webster got sick and we had to put him to sleep.  In all my pet owning years I somehow have managed to avoid having to euthanize an animal, so this was a first.  It was not a bad process and the vet was so very kind.  I miss the little weirdo, though. He's the one in the tuxedo in the post about my "family."

My husband had a near miss with a job, after being out of work for two years.  So the roller coaster ride was rather intense.  That was really hard.  I'm working on, seriously, minute-by-minute breathing and letting go of my fears.  I keep telling myself we are going to be ok and we will get through this, but still, I'm scared.  It takes a lot of energy to keep moving away from fear because it's like a rubber band that keeps snapping me back.  I don't know which is more exhausting, trying to stay out of fear or feeling it and being wiped out from that. 

I'd love to do something more creative.  I am very good at my parent advocate job.  It's nice to go to work and be happy to be there and feel like something I am doing is making a difference to a family, maybe not right away, but eventually setting a new direction that just might make things better. But I'd like to create beautiful things, express myself artistically.  Have some more animals and a nice garden.  These things are not impossible, just slightly out of reach. 

So as I grapple with these things, I am not writing on the blog.  Today, though, I thought maybe I should just say what's going on.  I am reading some EXCELLENT books about shame by Brene Brown.  They are helping me a lot to grow and accept myself, even the ugly, awful parts of me.  And believe me, I've got the petty, bitter, stupid stuff along with everything else. Because I know that the way most people perceive themselves is in a more positive light than they probably actually appear to others, I know I probably have a lot of other, shall we say, challenging traits that need softening. And then, because when I'm feeling down, I am harder on myself than is helpful and so I am probably a little shy on giving myself credit, too.  Stress has a way of really messing up how things are viewed by the stressee.

So, as I get more organized and get some focus, I'll be back.  Maybe even with a new camera, and some photographs that aren't black, brown and gray!   XOXOX

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Free Hugs in Sondrio, Italy

Ok, I just had to post this after seeing it!  It's worth watching the whole way's hoping it puts a smile on your face and inspires you to give a little hug to someone today, too!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Magic

Last week we went into New York to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Extravaganza.  I've seen it about 5 times now, but Ava is finally old enough to sit through it and enjoy it, so her Mom and I took her.

It's an easy walk from their home to the train which ends up in Grand Central Station.  I have to say, I just love Grand Central, from the blue sky and constellations painted on the ceiling to the people rushing about in the main lobby.  I think of all the people and all the life stories that have passed over that granite floor for so many years.
When you come in, they give you 3-D glasses, which are only used at the beginning of the show.  It's fun though, because it looks like Santa is flying right over your head in his sleigh.  Ava refused to take hers off for the rest of the performance. 
 Ava and her adorable little friend, Hailey and Hailey's Grandmother met us there.  Both of the girls were just enraptured!  Plus, are they not so cute?!

These are just a few pictures I was able to take without completely annoying the people around me.  The show includes a little of everything...Santa, the Nutcracker, ice skaters on a real ice rink, and at the end, the nativity story, complete with live sheep, camels and donkeys. 

They just do such an amazing job of everything from the special effects, lighting, dancing, story-telling and using the curtains and entire theatre. 

The children were spellbound. 

And to be honest, because I am SUCH a dork, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes because the sweet innocence of it is just so precious.  There are no bangity-bang rock music numbers, no scantily clad dancers wagging their rear ends around provocatively, just a magical program that never fails to bring the wonder of Christmas back to my old self, and the little children watching.  Looking at it, it's easy to see that there were hours and hours of practicing and rehearsing every little detail so that it comes off without a hitch.  For a $30 ticket, I tell you's absolutely worth it.

For me, the particular sweetness is mixed with the sorrow that when my own daughter and my other 2 kids were little, I had very few moments when I could just enjoy them. As a single parent, I was constantly worried about money, the car breaking down, and what to do if they were sick and I had to work, and what to do to get them, for five minutes, for Pete's sake, to stop squabbling with each other. So now with my granddaughter, I have a second chance and it's just a little bittersweet because of what I missed with my own kids. But maybe it's that way for most grandparents, because as any parent knows, it's really a tremendously important and consuming job to raise children. 
After the performance the girls looked over the balcony at the stunning Radio City theatre lobby.  Then we went to lunch and after that, they found a waterfall to throw coins in and make wishes.
(Not that Ava is a little ham or anything!)
I love that they are so serious about their wishing.  Ava stood there with her eyes closed concentrating on her wish for quite a while before throwing in her money.  What I wouldn't give to know what she is wishing for. 

Anyway, straight from Radio City to you, I hope your Thanksgiving is peaceful and filled with love and hope--and then on to the next holidays!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Visiting Vermont part 2

First of all, let me introduce you to the welcoming committee:

These lovely folks were all around on the roadways, waving and looking oh, so rustic and friendly.  During leaf season, it's all about the tourists and Vermonters who are ordinarily very independent and reserved go all out to welcome sundry sources of their annual income. 

I would have taken some shots of the leaves, but frankly, why not let the professionals do that rather hackneyed exploration.  I prefer to stick with the strange and heretofore little known aspects of Vermont.

To wit, the cows.  As everyone knows, Vermont is an agricultural state and is home to wonderful cheese, maple syrup and Ben and Jerry's famous ice cream.  You would think Vermonters would be overwhelmingly fat, but really they're not. 

 Here are some of the cows we saw:

Each of these cows was sponsored and designed by various organizations and artists.  Come on now, you have to admit they are pretty cute.  (Probably Mrs. Cow back at Shelburne Farms would disagree, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.)

On Saturday night, we went to Barnes and Noble in South Burlington, the biggest one I have ever seen.  As we sat and read, in trotted our own Congressman, the independent and eccentric Bernie Sanders.  He wandered around the store looking at books and a Lego reproduction of the White House, all unnoticed by anyone at all! This is one of the really great things about Vermont.  Everyone is so accessible there.  You can hop into an elevator and find yourself standing next to Senator Pat Leahy or go to Mirabelle's bakery and get a pastry with the mayor. 

I love Vermont.

Anyway, the last thing I want to mention is that parking is never a problem here:

You can always find some big ape to help you out. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visiting Vermont, part I

I went visiting Vermont recently because I return there for dental work from time to time. (Long story...)
While there were we went to Shelburne Farms, one of my most favorite places.  If you look on the right between the trees, you can see a little bit of the farm barn, which is spectacular.  The whole place looks like an English castle.  You can even stay there in the Inn which is sitting on Lake Champlain. I like this path which begins by walking through these oak trees.  Sometimes there is a farm wagon loaded with people that comes through and you have to get out of the way.
As we got to the end of the path, there were these hand carved totems, which I hadn't seen before.  Vermont is full of interesting artisans who do things like this.  I don't know why they have the body cavities, but I suspect that they "sing" on windy days. 

Nearer to the farm barn they had arranged hay bales and kids and adults were running around on them and playing in the maze.
Chickens were running about picking up morsels here and there.  I loved them running single file.
If you wonder about the time, just look up to the roof and see the clock!  Easy sneezy!

We went into the barn to visit the animals, one of my favorite things.  Here is Mrs. Cow (and she had her baby right next to her.)  The cows at Shelburne Farms are Brown Swiss and they are beautiful with their soft coats and long eyelashes.  It's fun to pet them because I don't ordinarily get that close to cows.  I spent quite a bit of time standing and petting her.  All the animals at Shelburne Farms are spit-shined and sparkly clean. 

Here is her adorable little baby, just a couple of days old.
And my personal favorite...the piglets.

 There were ten of these little freckle-faced ones and Mama outside doing her best to fill up so she could keep nursing them.
She really looks like a walking milk bar, doesn't she?

There were other animals there, donkeys, goats, llamas and sheep.  Bunnies in cages.   The whole farm deal.  Being there is the best medicine around for lowering blood pressure. 

After we left the animal area, we went to the bakery.  Right on the premises is the O Bread bakery.  We went in and heard the angels sing! 


There were loaves and loaves of their delicious artisan breads cooling on racks, and croissants, cookies and other goodies.  We kept buying more and more!

Hey! How did that goat get in there? He better not eat any of the bread! He can just stick with the hay and tin cans and leave the bakery goods to me!

All of this seems so very Vermonty, doesn't it?  Wait til my next post for the funnier parts of the visit.  Meanwhile, can someone keep an eye on this hungry looking goat?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Buddy

Hi All!  I'd like to introduce you to my buddy, Miz Beanwirth.  Cute, isn't she?  She's made out of socks that are cut up and sewn together, along with various items for her ah, wardrobe.  Then there is the acrylic paint she insists on using for lipstick.  I mean, like she needs any in the first place, right?  But no matter what, she is really all heart, as you probably noticed.  Anyway, she'll be hanging out in the spotlight for a while on my blog, so I thought I'd let ch'all know who you were lookin' at.  She's pleased to meet you, too!