Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

20 December 2010

On the second day . . .

. . . in New Hampshire,
Santa brought to me
some snow to cover the trees!

19 December 2010

Have a holly, jolly Christmas . . .

It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow,
But have a cup of cheer.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet.

-Johnny Marks
"Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas"

17 December 2010

Don't look too close

No time for music today.
School is out.
Winter clothes to be found.
Suitcases being packed.
Early flight to winter wonderland tomorrow.

And I am still in my pajamas.

15 December 2010

Star of wonder . . .

Star of light
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

"We Three Kings"
- Rev. John Henry Hopkins

14 December 2010

Hark! the herald angels sing . . .

"Glory to the new born King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th' angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new born King!"

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
-Charles Wesley

13 December 2010

But do you recall . . .

The most famous reindeer of all?

"Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"
-Johnny Marks

11 December 2010

The children were nestled . . .

All snug in their bed.
While visions of sugarplums (or cupcakes!)
Danced in their heads.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"
-Clement Clarke Moore

10 December 2010

And when the blue snowflakes start falling . . .

That’s when those blue memories start calling.
You’ll be doing alright with your Christmas of white,
But I’ll have a blue Christmas.

"Blue Christmas"
- Jay Johnson and Billy Hayes

09 December 2010

I really don't want much for Christmas . . .

Maybe just peace and while you're listening,
It couldn't hurt and might be nice,
If what the season brings could last beyond one silent night.

I really don't want much for Christmas.
No, hunger's high upon my wish list,
No fancy toys, please give instead
A roof above each homeless child's head.
It's all so grand and jolly.
We deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Yuletide carols and cozy fires,
But somewhere there's no rejoicing.

I really don't want much for Christmas.
You could lose hate, and I'd be blissful.
Make all the madness disappear,
That's it for what I wish.
No diamond-studded gifts.
I really don't want much this year, but love.

"I Really Don't Want Much for Christmas"
Chris Botti

08 December 2010

I really can’t stay (Baby, it’s cold outside) . . .

I’ve got to go ‘way (Baby, it’s cold outside)
The evening has been (I’ve been hopin’ that you’d drop in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hand, they’re just like ice)

"Baby It's Cold Outside"
Frank Loesser

***Yes, I was reminded of this song last night watching Glee. But it really is cold here - 31ºF/0ºC.  It has been cold all week!!!!!  Yes, I know it won't last, but I can't help but having a Brittany moment (Glee reference) by asking Santa to make it snow here before Christmas.  After all, he's magic!

07 December 2010

Christmas Eve will find me . . .

. . . Where the love light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.

"I'll Be Home For Christmas"
-Buck Ram, Kim Gannon and Walter Kent

06 December 2010

Jingle bells, jingle bells . . .

Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

"Jingle Bells"
James Lord Pierpont

***On a non- Christmas note (and a parent bragging note!), Hew's soccer team played their tournament this weekend.  In the championship game, Hew played goalie in the fourth quarter and in double overtime, and his team went on to win in sudden death.  I nearly had a heart attack every time the opposing team took a shot.  KK has her tournament next week so it will be another nerve wracking weekend coming up.

05 December 2010

Be near me, . .

Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children to thy tender care
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

"Away in a Manager"
Third Verse by Charles H. Gabriel

04 December 2010

Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap. . .

Let's go! Let's look at the show,
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.
(except we're not - we're in the middle of a soccer tournament this weekend and next weekend!)

"Sleigh Ride"
Mitchell Parish

03 December 2010

There must have been . . .

. . . some magic in that old silk hat they found.
For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around.

-Frosty the Snowman
Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson

02 December 2010

He sees you when you're sleeping . . .

. . . He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

*** A bit off the Christmas theme, but for those who have previously asked I am doing much better.  Unfortunately my second experience in the hospital was horribly negative.  My husband and I have walked away knowing that not only must you have someone to advocate on your behalf,  but you must make a scene to be heard.  We didn't do this and even though we warned doctors that I am hypersensitive to medication, they put me on a full dose while admitting they were unsure of a diagnosis.  I was not told of potential side affects, include psychiatric affects such as anxiety and paranoia, as well as physical side affects such as my blood pressure shooting sky high, shaking, and inability to sleep.  I was not given a follow up with a doctor, but thankfully on the advice of nurses had scheduled an appointment with an ENT, who immediately took me off the medication, and was able to diagnosis the reflux.  It took more then two weeks for the medication to fully leave my system.  The positive in all this is that my fear of being unhealthy and going back to the hospital has resulted in an 18 pound weight loss with a change in diet and increase in exercise.  Plus to calm my type A personality down, I started practicing yoga again after a two year hiatus.  A silver lining to an otherwise horrible experience.

01 December 2010

I'm Dreamin' . . . .

 . . . of a white Christmas.  Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the tree tops glisten.
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

-Irving Berlin

December 1, 2010

29 November 2010

Thanksgiving Week Florida Style

Anna Maria Island
Weekend of November 20, 2010
Pre-Thanksgiving Preparation

***Thanks for all the good thoughts.  I am doing much better and there have been some really great health and lifestyle changes that have come out of this little episode.

08 November 2010

07 October 2010

Vacation traded for Hospital Stay

Right now I should be throwing the last few items into my suitcase so we can dash to the airport and fly to Austria.  Instead I am on the couch recovering from a two day hospital stay.  Late Monday night, I had a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic I had been prescribed for a sinus infection.  My breathing was impaired and I passed out striking my head.  I was taken by ambulance to the hospital where my heart rate dropped to around thirty beats a minute.  I have been pumped full of meds, had more tests then I remember, and my arms look like pin cushions.   Thankfully the kids slept through the ambulance arrival and our neighbors stayed at the house until Hubby came back to wake the kids for school.  I am fine but I'll be visiting an allergist soon.  So no lovely autumn pictures from Austria and Northern Italy.  However considering the last few days, I am just happy to be sitting on the couch at home.

30 September 2010

Tut mir leid

Really, I'm not meaning to ignore this blog, but somehow life has out run me yet again.  We leave in a week for autumn break.  School is out for three days and we just tagged on a couple, alright FIVE extra days (and two weekends).  We land in Munich after a stop through Amsterdam.  One night in Munich to let the kids (and me) adjust.  Then it is five days in Innsbruck, five days in Sud Tirol Italy, and then back to Munich to catch a flight back to Hell.  Unless of course I refuse to leave.  Wonder how long I could stay without a visa or without getting caught . . .

17 September 2010

Pictures to Escape By

When foxes eat the last gold grape,
And the last white antelope is killed,

I shall stop fighting and escape
Into a little house I'll build.

But first I'll shrink to fairy size,
With a whisper no one understands,

Making blind moons of all your eyes,
And muddy roads of all your hands.

And you may grope for me in vain
In hollows under the mangrove root,

Or where, in apple-scented rain,
The silver wasp-nests hang like fruit

Escape written by Elinor Morton Wylie (1885 - 1928).

Pictures take July 2010 at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

15 September 2010

Say What You Need to Say

A  mother of two children who attend the same school as my kids died today.  She was diagnosised with cancer in June.  I didn't know her - our children are a few years apart, but it is a small school so news travels fast.  She was younger then I am.  Her two children are in middle school.  And the rumors are that she suffered.  So in memory of those who die too young, who leave behind children and a husband who still need them, please tell someone what they mean to you today.

****Wanted to put in picture here but my computer has a bug and I am working off of Hubby's which contains no photos.

09 September 2010

Saved by a Seedling

Today was going to be a whiny post.  Since coming back from the funeral a week ago, I've been out of sorts.  I had to withdraw from my German class at the university because they felt I would be missing too many days due to the funeral and trip to Austria.  I am trying to arrange private lessons with the money that was for the class, but so far no luck.  The kids are right back into school and activities.  Over the weekend, I either picked up a head cold or am having allergies.  During the day, I won't take any medication but at night I need to take something so I can clear my sinuses in order to sleep.  I wake up foggy and slow moving.  I spent yesterday cooking a meal to take to a friend's house as her father in law went in for surgery this week and died unexpectedly.  The funeral is tomorrow.  I am the executor of my grandfather's will and the list of items and accounts to be handled is never ending (if anyone is interested in 100+ acres and an old farm house in rural Maine - let me know).  And while autumn may be making limited appearances elsewhere, it's hot and sticky and moldy here.  Plus, yet again Florida has produced some wackado who makes international news for doing something utterly inane. 

So it was with this attitude I went for a run this morning.  I was pissed because I couldn't breathe due to allergies.  And I was pissed that while in Maine I could run 5-6 miles comfortably, but here due to the heat and inability to breathe it was only 3 miles.  And I was pissed that the air is so thick with moisture, it was the equivalent of running in a steam room.  And I hate Florida. 

Usually after running, I feel better, but today was an angry run and I was still feeling agitated after the run - wheezing, sore throat, nose running, sinus headache. I rounded the house expecting to see that the seeds I'd planted over the weekend had been eaten by the squirrels and instead I found these

Pictures are a bit fuzzy due to my camera's reaction to the humidity, but these are seedlings for green beans and wax beans that I planted on Saturday. I'm not saying I love Florida or this heat; given a lottery win or a job, I'd be out of this place faster then you can say Sunshine State. But for today, I'll be pleased with the fact that in just five days after putting a seed in the ground, I can grow a plant.

07 September 2010

A Few Clues

Where will this family be visiting in just a month? Well, the details are still being worked out, but I expect there will be . . .
Alpine Mountains

Autumn Treats including some Apfel Strudel

Of course, a castle, or two, or three . . .

We'll be singing "The Hills are Alive" from a Golden Rooftop  . . .

02 September 2010

Grandpa B

We shouldn't have expected your death to be easy as there was very little in your life that was easy.  You were born into a family that had little.  You quit school in the seventh grade to go to work until you were eighteen, and then you went to war.  Those years weren't talked about, but we all knew that your jobs had to do with the gathering of bodies.  Gram once let it slip that you still had nightmares and you would wake up yelling.  When you returned, you and Gram had your family - seven boys and a girl.  You farmed, you opened a little mechanic shop that eventually grew into a car dealership, and mostly in those early years you just tried to survive.  With your seventh grade education and Gram's high school diploma, you created a successful car dealership. While you eventually had other brands, you will always been known as SAAB dealer. Not only did you sell them, but the stories of your racing them on land and ice are still told.  As are the stories of your fast and wild "driving" on the back roads of Maine.

You gave up your old farm house to move into your in-laws farmhouse so that Gram could take care of her father.  That is the farm house of my childhood - where we hayed in the summer and gathered for Thanksgiving, too many of us to fit around the table.  Somewhere in there you bought some land on a lake and a small camp from somewhere else.  The story goes that you waited for the ice to freeze so you could drive across the ice and drag the camp to the land where it still sits today.  It was there that you and Gram had a good group friends in similar circumstances, and in the summer after work you had "cocktail hour" while the kids ran wild. Your great grand children still swim and fish at the camp. 

You weren't easy.  You were hard and didn't show affection.  You drank and when you lost your sixth son, Uncle Jimmy, in a car accident you became an alcoholic.  We thought the alcohol might have done you in when you crashed your car in the early 90s, instead you quit drinking.  The doctors wanted you to stop smoking also, but you said if you quit that too, you'd be so pure no one would know you.  It was when the great-grandchildren came along that you finally let yourself express the joy of your large family.

Grandpa B and KK

Grandpa B and Hew

When Gram died seventeen months ago, you knew you were in trouble.  Dementia had already begun its theft of your memory and Gram was who had kept you straight for so many years.  The memory of you saying good bye to Gram still makes me sob.  We too couldn't image you without Gram.  Since then, dementia has continued to rob you - you forgot that Gram had died and had to be retold.  You didn't recognize your grand-children and eventually your children.  By the end, you didn't even know who you were.  Your family cared for you until the last month.  By then, you'd become combative - wanting to fight you grandchild one night in confusion.  We softly laughed at the irony that the week your youngest great-grandchild was written up at pre-school for biting, you too were written up for hitting another patient at the nursing home.  You always were a fighter.

So when you died last week, we all couldn't help being a bit relieved.  You would have never wanted to live the way you had the last few months - scared, unknowing, and alone, even when you were surrounded by the large family you'd created.  I hope that you finally have the peace that you worked so hard for.

24 August 2010

Summer's End

As summer ends, the beach still calls for me to come and sit,

and mindlessly watch the sun set in pastel sky,

I'll search for shells 

and buried treasure.

While waves roll in,

each color will slip into inky night.

When I have come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
I'll buy a boat and sail away upon a summer sea;
And in a little lonely isle that's far and far from men,
In peace and praise I'll spend the days the Gods allow to me. . . .

. . . For when I come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
I fondly hope the best of life will yet remain to me;
And so I'll burn my foolish books and break my futile pen,
And seek a tranced and tranquil isle, that dreams eternally.
I'll turn my back on all the world, I'll bid my friends adieu;
Unto the blink I'll leave behind what gold I have to give;
And in a jewelled solitude I'll mould my life anew,
And nestling close to Nature's heart, I'll learn at last . . . to live.

-Beachcomber by Robert William Service

Anna Maria, Florida
August 2010