Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday October 12th

Our Mantel


Liv and Caleb on Mount Philo, moments before Caleb pinched Olivia

The pinch

8 am. Phil just took the kids off to school, then he's off to NY to close on the sale of the bakery and business property. Another major thing behind us, but he still has a lot of work to do in order to help the new owners get off to a good start.

Olivia found a Nintendo system on a free pile a few weeks ago. Phil hooked it up in the basement. It's an original Ninendo --- from the mid-80's we think. The only game in the house is Super Mario 2. We found Tetris and Pacman on ebay, so we'll be set for awhile!

I have a huge pile of paperwork to take care of for my new job at the land trust (Champlain Housing Trust). I'm already impressed with their organization --- the paperwork is so organized and formal--- it goes back to the "well-oiled machine" concept..... and me realizing how much that's important to me in the workplace. I'm looking forward to all of the new challenges that I'm going to face there.

It's nice to sit in my house alone and in silence.

I'm gearing up for the annual Chickie Campout at The Pit with Dot, Kitty, Nance, Leigh and Laurie. We go to Kitty's home in Hancock, which I believe is called The Pit because it's a money pit! It's this fabulous OLD (1700's!) house that she and her husband have been restoring for years. It's rustic and cozy, on many acres, along a river, nestled next to some hills. We cook soup, drink wine, tell stories, sit around the campfire, and then go to bed in Kitty's collection of vintage travel trailers that she has in the back yard! Laurie and I slept in "Herbie" last year -- a tiny domed trailer that Kitty restored to 1960's funk---shag, beads, etc. Fun!

It's a busy month. This weekend is empty of commitments, which is nice. Phil chainsawed the bushes in front of the house and now needs to yank out the stumps with the truck. In the meantime we put skulls on the stumps (Phil's idea---oh, how I love this man!) Our house is the haunted house of the neighborhood!

But, anyway, it's going to be chilly and rainy, so we'll just hang out, watch some movies (Princess Bride and My Big Fat Greek Wedding are on the way...), make some soup, drink too much coffee. Liv has a girl scout hike on Saturday. We'll try to get together with Doug and Jennifer sometime this weekend too. Oh, crap, and we have to nail down the Halloween costumes! Liv's going to be Medusa, so we need to find a dress and make her wig. Caleb's going to be a ghoul, so that's pretty straight forward. They're going to be with Eric for the following 2 weekends, so now is the time. Oh yeah, we also talked about making a big paper mache' bone to hang on the porch. I guess the weekend isn't that "free" afterall!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Wednesday night, the kids are in bed. Liv's reading, Caleb's drifting off. Liv landed a part in the Boys & Girls Club play (Mary Poppins), but was a little sad that she originally was given a lead part and was then demoted to "Constable/Marble/and some other guy." I'm confident that she'll survive the loss. She's also busy with Girl Scouts, planning their first campout for the year. Caleb's still keeping life pretty simple....playing with Legos, working on detailed drawings (mostly of some type of battle these days), and making new friends. He has a new buddy who lives down the street----a great little guy named Elijah. They (C, O, and E) all walked to school together yesterday, sans parents. It's a pretty big walk (8 blocks, I think?), but with crossing guards along the way..Caleb's birthday party, which actually happened a few weeks ago, was quite a fete. Pics show his actual bday, with the strawberry tart Phil made for him, his party cake, which was actually a mountain of ice cream sandwiches, the big relay race, and some random pics of his buddies.

My bash was on Saturday night, here at the house. It was a grand event! I'm lucky to have so many fun friends. The night was cool and bright. Friends brought deeeelicious food to share. The spirit was light and really lovely.Beth and Barb
The happy couple

Thursday, September 27, 2007

40 years, one day

It's Thursday the 27th, and the world seems to expect me to feel somehow different because I turned 40. Sad? No way. I like being here, joining this club of women who have arrived. I'm going to celebrate my self, finally accept my body (and those loving "Aunties" that Annie Lamott joyfully embraces!), gracefully look ahead to the next half and all the newness and wonder it will bring, and tenderly hold the memories of the past.

The time is flying but the season doesn't seem to be changing. It seems to be throwing a lot of us off a bit, as we're ready to pull ou
t our puffs, woolies, soup pots and fleeces. I know I'm ready to slow down after a whirlwind summer. I sat in Olivia's bedroom at the condo the other day, looked around at all of the mementos, and realized that she's now in her 4th room since June of 2006. Crazy. Time to slow down, focus on family, create new traditions, eat lentil soup, embrace stillness.

Olivia's world? She comes out of her bedroom in the morning a new girl every cute, so stylish in her 10 year old ways. Skirts over jeans, a funky belt around her waist, a pageboy hat. She loves her room and has created a great little clubhouse in her big closet. She has shelves filled with her treasures--photos, stuffed animals, seashells, a lamp, a small rug, pillows to fall back on. She spends her time reading voraciously, decorating, primping, and most of all, antagonizing Caleb!

Caleb? He's doing ok....I think he's still trying to figure out who he is and what he really likes to do with his time. He's in his new room and looks around and sees lots and lots of Legos, but wishes he had a little something "else" to do. What is that other thing? We're not sure. We want to show him that a trip to ToysRUs isn't the solution. Maybe a trip to the recycling tub for some toilet paper tubes and cardboard boxes will do the trick! He's been reading the "365 TV Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child" book every night and has earmarked a few projects, including the "Cereal Box City." Time to eat up the Peanut Butter Bumpers so he can get to work!

Life is good. We're blessed beyond measure. I have friends who are experiencing immeasurable grief as I write this; a client is dying as her parents sit, wait, and let go. Life is a challenge, every single day. The world really is big, and we are truly small. Today? I'm going to get my work done, call my guy, eat some apples. I'll go home to my family, sit, and smile, and celebrate being 40.