It’s that Time of the Year

I’m going to put the blame on my deer dear friend LeeAnn.    Usually I am very organized ready for [any] holiday that sits on the calendar.   I was just putting Halloween candy in my stash and here comes Thanksgiving.   I always keep a stash of Halloween candy – so don’t judge me.    I’m at Wegmans with banners hanging over my head ORDER NOW.  Order what?   A turkey to order but I have plenty of time.   I was still unpacking boxes in our garage when one of our neighbors approached me asking if I ever ordered a turkey from the Wine’ing Butcher.   Turkey? My mind wasn’t very clear because I was rummaging through boxes looking for a pair of garden gloves – which was urgent due to the amount of leaves blowing down from trees that really are not our trees they are trees that sit along the trail  directly behind our home.   Have you ever walked through Central Park in Autumn and found yourself in a huge pile of leaves?   This was the image I had from our courtyard size backyard.   Now you know why the garden gloves were urgent.   Not ordering a turkey.      I found my garden gloves.    And when I was finished raking and filling three large lawn bags from Costco……I made myself a cup of Caramel tea and looked at the Wine’ing Butchers website for turkeys.

I communicate with LeeAnn at least once a day.   We talk about what our agendas hold for the day or the week.  What’s for dinner.  How are the kids.  Hubbys.   Dogs.   Bloating.   Sinus pressure.  And how many packs of cookies I ate that week day.    LeeAnn has been working endlessly trying to make deadlines for her vintage business.   So because she needs to pass her latest creations by me for approval……I’m seeing more Christmas ornaments,  book page trees, wreaths, glitter, bling, white mantels and more!   I know when you have a business such as hers you’re always one step ahead of each season…..but I was not about to head out to the garage and go through large Rubbermaid bins holding every Christmas item I have ever owned.   It was the week before Thanksgiving and LeeAnn sent me three photos of her latest creations before she and her hubby would take them to the antique shop where her booth is.    I’m eating a huge chunk of Rosemary-Parmesan bread looking at each one of her handmade items.   I’m amazed at the detail LeeAnn puts into her creations.  After I finish my second third  half of the loaf of bread, I walked out to the garage (dang you LeeAnn!) and found the six large Rubbermaid bins.    The bins and I are having a stare down.   Thankfully, the garage door begins to go up and I see a black Honda moving in.   It’s Football Superstar.     I watch as he gets out of the car with his briefcase – his face slightly puzzled at what I’m doing standing in the garage alone staring at bins.    Phew.  I followed him inside and the subject quickly went to dinner and what happened to the Rosemary-Parmesan bread.

The following day I’m alone again in the garage staring at the bins.   I’m having a conversation quietly in my head. A friend who shared her Hungarian traditions with me reminded me of why I wait.  And I remember telling her that I have traditions for Christmas.  My mother’s tradition of putting the tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving.   My Italian heritage traditions and I’ve adopted my husband’s Scottish heritage traditions.   But I will not bring bins in the house until Black Friday.  I don’t shop Black Friday unless I go into the city to shop and I wasn’t going anywhere this year.   But those bins will not come in until Friday.    Oh, LeeAnn!

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I decided that bringing the bins in would only be for “inventory”.    Tuesday before Thanksgiving I ask College Daughter to help me drag a few bins in.   Without asking if I was going to start decorating for Christmas – she reads each bin marked “GLASS” or “SANTA COLLECTION”.  College Daughter disappears to her bedroom so she can begin applying for grad school.   And this is perfect because I have more alone time before Apple comes home from school.   I’m able to have another conversation in my head and eat a slice of double fudge chocolate cake.   [pray for me please]

I send LeeAnn a message letting her know what I’m doing.   With excitement she tells me to start placing “winter” decor around my home.   In a moment I’m back in Simple Dimple with music playing and a cup of tea.   But it’s not my shop it’s my home.  And I’m going to make it cozy for winter even if it’s 67 degrees.    Besides….we didn’t get our formal living room furniture yet and College Daughter is having her boyfriend over for dinner to celebrate his birthday.    I need to make the house cozy and inviting because all twenty-three year old young men notice that kind of stuff.

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By Wednesday afternoon I’m on my way to pick up the turkey.   I’m sitting in a mob of traffic because everyone decided to head to Dulles Airport before noon.   Obviously they didn’t listen to the travel report you’re to leave on Thanksgiving morning – 6 AM!   Obviously I didn’t listen either.     So because this makes total sense – I jump on the toll road and head to Hobby Lobby.    Because Apple Cheeks wants to begin collecting vintage Christmas villages.  Why not take what little time I have and see if HL has any great sales.  Which they did.  And which I did find my youngest daughter three reproductions of vintage houses.   And a few ornaments.  And a wreath.   And a bag of chocolate covered pretzels – for the trip to pick up the turkey.   For Thanksgiving.

I was ashamed of myself.   Not because I took the toll road to Hobby Lobby but because I ate a bag of chocolate covered pretzels in less than fifteen minutes.   [pray for me]        I managed to get everything needed for the Thanksgiving meal(s), Wednesday evening’s meal and Thursday’s Friendsgiving side dish.   I felt empowered!   Oh, yes come Black Friday my house is going to smell of pine with piped in Christmas music!   By Saturday morning my girls were asking me to lower the Christmas tunes (yeah, can you believe that one) because they couldn’t hear themselves think.   I didn’t know you needed to have complete quietness when you were eating a bowl of Reese’s Puffs.

Saturday I’m sharing with LeeAnn my accomplishments.    We’re having a chat while she’s working on an order of book page Christmas trees and I’m eating leftover chestnut stuffing.   Like any good “sister” would do for you she encourages me to do even more.  So Saturday evening before we said goodbye to College Daughter – we grabbed that last of the six bins.  The very last bin that sat in our garage holding a fragile crèche and stockings that will be placed above the mantel come Christmas eve.

So my inventory needs a few more items.   I’ve become so in awe with deer.  My inner child surfaces when I see them.   We have a few that pass by the Old Dominion/DC trails.  I’m very quiet while walking the pup hoping to see a passing momma and her babes.  And on a rare occasion we may have one pass through our yard.  Sadly, due to development in the urban/suburban areas they are being forced out of their habitat.  But knowing my heart skips when I see deer, I had no choice but to begin collecting deer.  And not by putting its head over my mantel but finding unique and pretty deer decor.  Sparkly deer.   White deer.  Deer on white throw pillows.   Vintage deer.  I’ll stop.  Not stop collecting deer…just stop naming the few I’ve snatched up while jumping on the toll road.

I’m not done with my Christmas chatter.   Oh, there will be more.   Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.   It was my mother’s favorite as well.   But Christmas is the most magical time of the year for me and my family.

Thank you LeeAnn for encouraging me to drive myself mad.  Which resulted in my weight gain [which means I’ll need to explain this to my doctor come January], my talent for eating an entire loaf of Rosemary-Parmesan bread and breaking a promise to my family that I wouldn’t eat the rest of the Godiva chocolates College Daughter’s boyfriend presented us Tuesday.  I did this last year too.    And that I still have it in me to find some of the best deals during this wonderful time of the year!   Thank you my friend!  I love you my sister!

 

To be continued….

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#enough

I have been wanting to post for some time now.  But my fingers stopped me from typing on the black keys that add the words coming from my tiny brain.  My tiny brain that holds so much.   So many words.   And those of you who know me personally – I have many words to share while in a conversation.    As careful as I may be on social media of what I share, care to share, my opinions or views – I have been collecting thoughts and words of others these past few months.  And one of these topics has been the sexual harassment slash sexual abuse slash celebrity outburst slash, slash, slash.

Allow me to begin with #metoo.    Though this hashtag was started out of support – I learned just last week that in some cases of rape or domestic violence and sexual harassment women are not wanting to have support via social media.   Women are wanting the physical support group where victims are face to face.  I was puzzled at first.    I was one of  many women who lived in a relationship of abuse.   It seems like a lifetime ago and it was.  It is such a good feeling having the relief of not having to relive pain and anger.   Why don’t I support via social media?   Because I don’t feel supporting with a hashtag is enough.  And I won’t post anything so personal on Facebook.      (okay so I basically use the internet to voice my thoughts and opinions)

If we are to heal from what society is  selling us – then why don’t we speak?   Why are we not raising our children to be kinder?   Why are we not guiding our children to be patient?    Respectful?    Selfless?     Our sons and daughters.   Instead of giving them opportunities to hashtag their way through their emotions – speak about it.  And support those who fight the struggle.   Because it’s real.

Another topic of conversation was with my friend Yvonne.   We talked about what my Middle Schooler has been sharing with me as she interacts with her peers in PE.   Apple finds it difficult to understand that kids who are “friends” can find it in their hearts to call one another “autistic”. I can only imagine what she was feeling as her peers behaved so wrongly.   Last year Apple was part of a “Buddy” program that partnered  fifth grade students with an ASD student from a neighboring program.  This hurt as she knows for some of the students she got to know last year – it’s a daily struggle.    As she cried in the car, my only wish was to wipe away all the painful visions and voices my daughter witnessed in PE.   As I shared with Yvonne, neither one of us needed to say a word.   I knew what her heart was feeling.   Protecting a young son in a society where we have lost civility.

As a mother spoke during a Holiday PTA meeting, she boasted on how lucky we are to live in such a perfect area.   We’re far from perfect.   But when the average income is three figures, and a neighboring suburbia has their landscaping “sprayed” green for aesthetics – my head begins to fill with the what is and what ifs.    Our perfect urban-suburban communities with their farm to table restaurants and NFL players giving our communities a touch of coolness (not really) having DC as our backyard with a new metro line coming – how could this not be the perfect area?

We may have greener lawns – but our grass isn’t any greener.    We still have homelessness.  But yet no one wants to see it.   Just three miles towards Dulles International Airport is a camp.   It’s hidden under the bypass.     You will see tents set up just as you pass through the Virginia Avenue tunnel into DC.

A single mother who I see each morning as we walk our kids to school opened up about what takes place during her night shift in the ER.    Suicide.  Overdoses.   The brokenness of humans.   Brokenness of society.    As an intake supervisor she begins to wonder if society has a chance to heal.  To redeem itself.   We talk more about our children.   It’s not a gloom and doom conversation – but it’s real.    I walked back to my home with our pup trying to think of a way to stop this whatever this is.   Enough.   Enough is enough.

It wasn’t until this afternoon as I waited for Apple to get out of school that I decided to write.   Actually it was directly after my phone conversation ended with a friend who lives in PA.

So as I sit here hitting the black keys on my laptop – my mind begins to re-play the latest conversations with some of the strongest women I know.  I’ve was given sight to their thoughts and views.   Strengths and weaknesses.     And they too say #enough .

 

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sleep number and menopause?!

I had the pleasure of spending time with some funny, wonderful ladies last week.  We enjoyed our time by the water as our kiddo’s enjoyed their time in the water or collecting pretty lake rocks.  Our topic; menopause and sleeping.   I can’t help but laugh as I type, so I’ll apologize for type-o’s now!

I’m the senior of this group.  At fifty-five thirty-five, no fifty-five.  Daina is fresh out of the forty bracket and Tanya is permitted to have her forty plus years of life.  Daina and I have more in common when it comes to the circle of life.  No, I mean the cycle of life.         We both know what hot flashes can and will create in the middle of the night.  Hot flashes create monsters.   Pillow becomes a sponge for the base of your neck and hairline.  Where you’re up changing nightshirts and mumbling because the night sweats woke you from a wonderful slumber.   I always feel sorry for bears who hibernate and are dragged out of their cozy dens by researchers trying to poke and probe them for their weight.   I would so become grizzly-like if someone woke me up just for my weight!   Daina not only experiences night sweats, she also gets leg cramps.  So basically….it’s as if Daina is running in her sleep.   Sweating and leg cramps.   Wonderful.   One thing we all agreed on was our ability to fall asleep like clock work.  Lights out.  Sleep.

I rarely get night sweats but apparently I’ve become “child-like” in my sleeping pattern.  Football Superstar has been poking me – like the grizzly bear and the researcher – to move over.  Move over?   I’m on my side of the bed!     This can’t be possible because I sleep like a baby.  I rarely flip over from side to side.  I am the hibernating bear.                   My husband tells me that I have been “flipping” from side to side.  And I’m sleeping on an angle.    I laughed because he must have surveyed my sleep pattern as he was reading at 1pm.     So  now I’m sleeping with one leg hanging out over the bed while the other is fully wrapped in the sheet.   I pull the entire sheet over to my side in such a coordinated way – he can’t figure out how I’m able to get a tightly tucked in flat sheet out from under this once football player who hasn’t lost much of his strength – well maybe a little.               As my adorable husband tells me this – I’m almost spitting my hazelnut coffee out into the morning air.  No way!    I have this Cirque Soleil image in my mind.   Tokyo-Girls-Collection-11AW-15-Cirque-du-Soleil-004

My gal pals begin to laugh to the point of hick-ups.  They’re trying to imagine – yet not imagine this.  There’s nothing but laughter.   I seriously have no idea that I’m sleeping in such a way.  I have no memory of my talent.   I give my friends a follow up on the sleeping conversation with my hubby.    A Sleep Number Bed!   There is no doubt in my mind – my husband did his research.   He consumer reported.  He researched local companies that supply these SNB’s, and he probably already went to the store to check them out just so he could come back to me and “sell” me on the idea.    He’s a professional.    Again, I have this vision.   What if…..what if I’m still Cirque Soleiling while I sleep on the Sleep Number Bed?!     Sleep-Number-Bed

Is it possible for my (one) leg to still have its freedom?

There’s quite a few questions I have for the Sleep Number Bed salesman before I agree to this not-so-new idea of my husbands.    I know he had this planned out for some time now.  Football Superstar is just so sweet and kind hearted he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by pointing out that I’ve become a monster in the middle of the night.  I prefer a Cirque Soleil performer thank you very much.

 

Regardless of what menopause has contributed to my cycle of life…..one thing I can count on and that is my ability to fall asleep.  Stay asleep (unless a monsterous night sweat surfaces) and share some of the funniest stories with my gals who know what it takes to be a great menopausal performer!

 

Until next time….

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namaste here with 3 fingers of wine

I don’t even know where to begin.   Summer.  (my love this season) Summer came and is walking jogging away from me [too] fast.    As we enjoyed our vacation, our mini road trips, my “girls-only” road trip and time poolside sipping sweet tea…..I’m also knee deep in boxes.  Boxes filled with donations.  Boxes filled with College Daughter’s donations.   Boxes that are currently waiting for our own household items to be packed and moved to yet – another location in the DC Metro area.

Rewind – two months.   Football Superstar has been gently asking me to make a decision where I would like to deeply “root” our family in NoVA.   He knows my passion for living near or on the water.   Olde Town Alexandria.   Rows of historic brick townhomes.   Admirals Row with its cobblestone roads.   Potomac.

Boston.  (London Calling post) Vonnie and her husband have been researching Boston.  On the water.   Historic section of single family homes and rows of townhomes.    Did I mention on the water.

Deep down inside my heart I knew we were not going to pack up yet-another moving truck  like a band of nomads and move out of this very busy, ever growing urban-suburban DC metro life.  After all.  We moved here for that very reason.  Real Estate.  Great schools and universities.    Growth.   And water?  Potomac.   Chesapeake.

Moving House.

College Daughter has one more year at VT.  Then she moves on to grad school.  Then four more years – but that location is to be determined.   Apple enters Middle School this year.  Time has passed in such a way I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  But in such great ways.  No regrets.  Nothing I would have done differently.    Well…. maybe…..to be on or next to the water.  (insert giggle)

 

Jump ahead – two months.   We’re having a family discussion on building a home.   Which type was hanging on thin thread.  Football Superstar wanted another single family home.  I adore and appreciate the simpleness of a townhouse.   And, yes, there are newer townhomes that have the unique design of my favs in Olde Town and downtown Manhattan.         Location?   Possibly the newest urban-suburban location at  One Loudoun.  My husband could walk to his office!      One of three  is crossed off my paper.  No more stacked condo living.   I never minded the condo/apartment lifestyle.     No grass to mow.  No snow to shovel.   Do we want another townhome?   There were so many questions, pros and cons but the biggest decision and most important….location, location, location!   A professional question at its best.

We decided to wait until after our last road trip to seriously begin looking at locations.      I wasn’t even home an hour and my  husband sent a text asking me to come look at a townhouse five minutes away from where we are located now.   Apple was thrilled!   I was confused.   Townhouse?   He’s leaning towards a townhouse?!     Another townhouse!  That meant – no large historic building in DC featuring a glorious four bedroom apartment with a knock-your-socks-off view. Who wouldn’t want that for a mere 1.7 million?!      (I was looking at that one)

I walked in the front door of this recently remodeled home and walked out.  Sold!  Well…I wanted it…so yes….please say it’s sold.   Unfortunately it’s not that easy – but my hubby made it pretty easy as easy goes for placing an offer on a home and working through home inspections, selling and HOA blah, blah, blah.

I called my friend Vonnie.  She literally just landed in Dulles International Airport after spending four weeks back home in UK.    That evening I was sitting in her beautiful townhouse kitchen sipping three fingers of wine with Water Crackers and smoked Gouda.  Three fingers of wine is what Vonnie poured as she tells me they are not moving to Boston – this year.   She’s giving it another year or two!   (phew)

Vonnie is happy to keep us here.  At least until they move up north.   I’m happy we are staying here too.   We moved from the kitchen to her inviting deck.   Still nursing my three fingers of wine.   I’m not going far.  Our neighborhoods will basically make us bookends.  I’ll be on the north end and she will be on the south.  It’s what holds our connecting communities together.   The awesome walking trails lined with magnolia bushes and tall decorative sea grass.   If you veer left off one trail it takes you directly to our favorite coffee cafe.    If you follow the trail it takes you to the Nature Center where Apple volunteers.   And if you meet in the middle…..you’re at one of our three community pools.    I’ve met so many wonderful people friends during my time walking these trails.  Why would I want to leave now?

Sarah&JT.   Lipi’s family&Lucky.  Beth& her crew.   The owner of Pugsly.   Chris&Bailey.     Desiree.   Amy.   Dana& Claire.  Lisa.  Amelia& her Murphy.   And not to forget the  nice tennis coaches who supplied pup with 62 tennis balls.

Football Superstar asked me if I was sure.   “Are you sure you want to stay here or would you want to keep searching – perhaps in your favorite Olde Town?”

Nah..I’m gonna stay here.

 

I’ve already started packing.

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what’s on your summer?

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I love LOVE summertime!    Even with the humidity that lingers around on those dog days there is always a refreshing jump in the water to cool my soul.

With a few schedule changes here and there – Apple and I started with our first girls road trip through Maryland.  We visited Hunting Lake in Maryland and the beach at Chesapeake.   Aftering picking up Football Superstar and the pup, my husbands request for Father’s Day was to keep it simple and quiet.   So that meant a nature hike through the Shenandoah only to find ourselves bitten by flies and other microscopic swarming bugs.   All in all….it was a great time!

Today as I sit on my deck, ice tea at hand, pup by my side a cool summer breeze continues to flutter my notes.  It’s moments like this – this exact feeling of summer that makes me fall in love with the season all over again.   My husband knows I would live outdoors if it were possible.   There is nothing like cooking outdoors, eating outdoors (minus the flies), entertaining outdoors and winding down the evening by relaxing with a glass of wine with the one you love.

I’m lucky today – temps are in the high 80’s with low humidity.   Tomorrow that will change.   But I will not leave my deck unattended!   There’s always evening after the sun settles behind the trees…..we can enjoy it all over again!

Friday, Apple and I decided to take out our beach cruisers and ride the Old Dominion/DC trails.   Her new hobby is photography, and no doubt she will find some very cool spots to photograph along the Potomac.

College Daughter plans to come home in a few weeks.  She’s eagerly working out a plan for after graduation from VT.    Meaning Grad School.  Working in the college town of Blacksburg can be quiet over the summer months.   Which she tells us isn’t a bad thing.   We are looking forward to her coming home……and no doubt she’s going to bring me more surprises.   That will be more large bins to store.

I’m trying to bottle up this season.   If you have followed my blog long enough – you are probably saying to yourself “she says this every summer”.    “She loves loves loves summer!”         I do!   I just can’t help myself!    And every summer when August rolls around I find myself not tiring of the season, not ready for school to begin (especially the thousand page list of school supplies, in which they never really use) and I certainly am never ready for Halloween items to be out in September when I’m just finishing up Labor Day and not ready for Thanksgiving/Christmas items to be out when I’m searching for Halloween costumes!

Oh, summer.

What’s on your summer?

 

 

 

 

when Comedy isn’t Funny anymore

This is not a political post rant.     But perhaps it very well could be due to the nature of my rant post.

During my monthly mom’s group – attendance was low.   End of school events as well as picture perfect weather led some of the women to more exciting things on Thursday afternoon.   Topics varied from school calendar changes (still wish King’s Dominion rule -ruled) to teachers permitting phones in classrooms (insert frown) to the Kathy Griffin disaster.

I’m not a Kathy Griffin fan, never was.  Maybe it’s because she is so loud.  Like some of the other women comedians that have that raw gruff mannerism and voices.  I love humor.  I’ve always found silliness to be the best comic.  (can you say Seinfeld)  I enjoy a good comedy – movie or TV show.  But lately for me I’ve found comic relief has lost it’s silly.  The “fun humor” has disappeared.    Comedy has lost its funny.

When I watched the news clip of Ms. Griffin, at first I wasn’t sure what she was holding in her hand…..what was it suppose to be.   Until I hit the rewind button on my remote.  What. Just. Happened?     This is not a Democratic or Republican response to what I witnessed.   It’s not a Independent or Libertarian response.   My response to what I watched – then read – then listened again via radio felt almost as if someone got it wrong.  Ms. Griffin was hacked.   She wouldn’t have gone there.    Holding a “decapitated” head of any President is wrong.  WRONG.    And please don’t remind me of what happened to Mr. Obama while he was in office…I remember quite well the nasty images.

As my group discussed this image that Mr. Trump’s young son apparently saw either on the news, social media…..   does it even matter how he saw it……     my question was/is to those who are throwing this out like a wet napkin…..    how and when did comedy become so angry and hateful.   Tearing people down has become the new comedy.  Yes, poking fun at people has been stand up comedy dating back to the 1900’s if not earlier.   But raw unfiltered anger and disgrace.   Violence.  Isn’t this the same lesson we are trying to teach our young children of tomorrow to not place upon others?     Does the word Bully ring a bell?     And let us not forget the gruesome images of the men having swords at their heads – the orange jump suits – the images.

Is this what is truly in their hearts?

But allow me to back up to [us] adults.   We have invited this style into our homes.  We applaud the humor that pokes and jabs and stabs.  The kind that may hurt.  Does hurt.   We forget that poking and jabbing a person as an adult may just be one too many pokes and jabs.   Words.   Vicious painful words.   Why have we invited this sense of humor into our lives?   When did we give permission to attack an innocent kid?  I may not agree with Mr. Trump.  I may not even care for the man.   But do I wish him dead?   Am I filling the same cup of ignorance and hatred that he may have filled, and served to those he hurt?   What about Ms. Griffin?   Am I drinking from her Kool-Aid dispenser.   God, I hope not.

No.  I’m not.

I was surrounded by Asian-Indian, Black, Caucasian, and a very proud Bostonian.   As we sat in silence thinking about what [we] adults permitted to brew in our bubbles…..our safe havens…..our lives…..one by one…..we began to cry silently.     I love my bubble.   My community.  My friends who support one another.   I have a pretty wonderful life.  I’m blessed.   And I’m happy.

Perhaps those who find their comic relief  to humiliate are finding their happiness in the dark depths.   And I feel very sad for them.     This isn’t a jab or poke at Ms. Griffin and Mr. Trump.    This is for all of us who find dark humor to be the new normal comic relief.

A very kind and wise Assistant Principal told a group of third graders;   “sticks and stones may break bones, but words do hurt…..they hurt inside your heart.”

And I’ll end here.

A new Season

A new season is upon us.  Though here in the DC Metro area we have been experiencing summer weather – and it’s not officially summertime.  When I begin to feel the surge of excitement for this new season I try to keep calendars organized and flowing in order not to miss out on anything with anyone at anytime.   Yet this organization makes summer pass by much too quickly.   For me.

Apple’s last day of school is June 9th.   From that date on we have exciting plans with friends and family.   Of course there will be some downtime, plenty of that for us to enjoy the local pools and community activities.   Visiting the zoo during the week is a great time for Apple to enjoy with her friends.   Apple is officially a Jr. Naturalist volunteering her time at our HOA community Nature Center.   Our youngest loves animals and I’ve been learning more about birds than I ever imagined.  (remember I’m not a bird fan)          But she is having a great time and enjoys giving mini-tours to visitors or the local kiddo’s who visit the center.   I’m still shivering knowing she feeds [non-venomous] snakes and talks softly to rescued white doves.

College Daughter will be staying at VT this summer working her previous job.  After making decisions on which direction to follow, she decided to stay in Blacksburg and take advantage of the time to move into a different apartment (again) and help her new roommate get settled in.    It’s refreshing for me knowing her roommate was a high school classmate – and I know her mother very well!    I’m preparing my home for more bins to come back home next month as well as shopping trips for her new apartment living.    And a trip to her favorite Asian grocery store- Lotte.   I’ll try not to slip on the wet floor in the fish market aisle.       Oh, yes.  It has happened.

During all this summer organization-calendar marking – excitement, Football Superstar and I sat down to discuss the options for vacation destinations.    My husband has this way of asking “where to this year” with a tone that twist “I’d like to go here again….”.     If you read my post “Unplugged”  (4/18), you already know my bear phobia.  My fear of nature’s Teddy Bear.   I can jump over a snake ….. but I can’t hurdle over a five foot bears head.      I fell head over heels for lake life living.  Everything about it.   Everything!   There’s even a beach!    I won’t find any sea glass or conche shells….but Apple started a pretty collection of river rock and smooth lake stones which look just as shiny and decorative in her glass vessel.   The pup can’t get enough lake life either.   And eventually there will be a partner-in-crime for Murphy to swim with, besides her humans.

This doesn’t mean we won’t take a visit to the Atlantic Ocean.    There’s nothing like salty air to breath in and sand between your toes.    But our hearts are following the fresh air to the lake.   I can not wait to hit the paddle board!  Um, well…I’m working on it.    Who knows….maybe my “realtor” will find us a nice get-away of our own!   Seeing he loves lake life so much.

PS….Yes, they sell Old Bay at the lake.   😉

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Summertime.   To be continued.

A Mother’s Day Thank You

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My mother at age 10.  Apple resembles her in this photo.

It has been five years since my mother passed away.    During her years in round-the-clock care, my conversations were limited with her.   Depending on the day, my visits were either gently telling my mother that I was not there to give her a pedicure.   Or take her to get her hair styled.   My mother always had beautiful manicured nails and her hair was never messy.  Unlike my mother – my hair is messy.

There were visits she would know exactly who I was.   My kids.   My husband.   But the majority of the time we were employees of the safe haven that was now her home.  Dementia was taking over her mind as Parkinson’s disease took over her frail body.    Recently I drove up to visit my father.  His home still feels as if my mother should walk out of the bathroom smelling of Clinic perfume.   And there are moments where I can smell her.   I hear her voice.   And I feel her hugs.

As a new mother – there is nothing like having your mother around to give support and her own motherly suggestions.   My oldest were in high school and my youngest was in Kindergarten when my mother passed away.      I think I had the mothering thing down pretty well.   But no doubt I would have been on the phone with her asking if one of the teens could be sent to Pennsylvania!   [insert a laugh]   I would have asked for her advice on career (change)  decisions and what to do with my messy hair.

I don’t have her to call or to ask what to do with my messy hair.   But I have a lot of suggestions and advice.  I have her experience and her motherly insight.  After all – she raised me.   I know her discipline and her facial expressions.  All of them!    My mother gave me the best tools that I could possibly ask for in raising children.  In being a woman.  In being a friend.   And those difficult decisions that come my way – I go back to her words of encouragement.

When I read other post or articles on women who lost their mothers – and they find it hard to celebrate Mother’s Day without their mother – I do understand the emptiness and sadness.     But I do have my mother with me.    She gave me the gift of life.   And so, I feel my mother in my heart, my soul, in the very core of who I am.     It took a lot of maturing for me to come to this stage in my life.   There were times my mother and I were two rams on a mountain going in for the hit.   But we came out even stronger.      As I experienced that mountain with my own teens – I felt her by my side.

I recently was given this quote from a friend.

“Mothers and Daughters are closest, when Daughters become Mothers”  ~unknown

Thank you to my mother.  

Happy Mother’s Day ~

Unplugged

It seems like whenever we take a vacation, my husband puts a plan in place and for the most part sticks to it.  That plan is to “unplug” from the rat race of work, commuter traffic and all that comes with living in a fast paced area.   As we planned our spring break/Easter vacation at Deep Creek Lake, we both made an agreement to unplug in order to get plugged in.   Plugged in.

Deep Creek Lake is filled with family fun yet peaceful tranquility.   I’ve never been a mountain girl – but I do love being by a body of water.   Preferably, the beach.   After our first trip to DCL -I was hooked like a fish! Several visits later – I’m still hooked.   Swim off your own private dock or enjoy alfresco dining from your deck – with a great view!

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My mind, body and soul was rejuvenated.  Football Superstar and I have already decided this lake, this hidden gem of a lakefront home, this perfect fit for our family including the pup, will be our mountain lake getaway.   Looking forward to our next visit.

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Simplicity.

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Football Superstar is known for his awesome roaring bonfires.  This happened every evening.   Warm sunny days.   Crisp cool evenings.

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A man and his dog.   I’m not sure who enjoyed the dock diving more….my hubby or Murphy!   This pup spent hours swimming, dock diving and running along the shore with Apple.

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Apple Cheeks agreed that lake life is fantastic!

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Before we settled into our beds for the evening, we made a cozy fire in one – of the two large stone fireplaces.   Apple and Murphy share a secret.   ❤

The talk of Maryland Black Bear roaming around put a shadow of doubt in my mind -perhaps this isn’t the place for us.  I mean, after all….we are not mountaineers….we’ve never owned a bear or bear-like critter.   Large dogs don’t actually count.   But the shadow quickly disappeared after realizing the people of Garret County, and many other connecting counties of Maryland live with the black bear residents most of their lives.   We spoke with some of the locals (just to pick their brain) while shopping for groceries or souvenirs to get their input.   All but one told us not to worry.   They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Sows (a not so sweet way of saying “momma bear”) may get defensive over her cubs, so give them space.  Absolutely!  Space…she can have the whole dang mountain!   And if you’re out hiking with the dog….they will run up a tree to avoid you.   Wait, I’ll run up the tree, or the bear?

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And then this happened while hiking.            Don’t panic…this is the only bear we found!

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And as requested….don’t wake me unless there’s a bear.  Ahh, the simple pleasure of taking a mid afternoon  nap lakeside.  And I NEVER nap!

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I don’t even have the words to describe Easter morning and the gorgeous sunrise that greeted us on the deck while having coffee.   It was exactly 6:10am.   The lake was quiet.  The lake was always quiet early mornings, but on this particular morning the lake was silenced.   No geese honking their morning songs.  No fish jumping out of the water.   No fishermen trolling past our dock.   Only the still quietness of Easter morning.

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As we officially welcomed and celebrated Spring at the lake, Apple found a new passion for the outdoors.  Photography.   I don’t think she put the camera down – maybe to eat – but honestly I think she was photographing as her daddy grilled, or chopped wood for the bonfire and maybe capturing the picture of her momma napping.

Apple captured beautiful photos of Swallow Falls…which I almost lost my cookies after reading the sign:  Hazzard: violent rapids, slippery rocks, underwater hydraulics have caused injuries and death.  Apple was glued to her daddy’s side.  I however enjoyed the rapid hazzard-like swift moving water from a distance with the pup.

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Hiking around Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls made me feel intimidated yet in awe.  The beauty that surrounded us (and many other hikers) was breathtaking.                                    And of course…we worked up an appetite!     As we drove back to our lakehouse from Swallow Falls State Park, we spotted so many deer.   We watched as they moved through the open fields or along a stream of water.   Among them were two fawns.   Watching the babes move swiftly beside their momma’s made my heart skip a beat.

I can’t think of a better vacation where we unplugged to plug in.  It was overdue for my husband.   And I can’t think of a better way to spend my vacation than to watch him plug into his family through plugging into nature.

Unplug.

http://www.deepcreek.com

https://dogfriendlydeepcreek.com

http://www.wispresort.com

Hatching the Decision Egg

While driving home from Costco this afternoon I was playing back the conversation in my mind – the one Football Superstar and I had over coffee this morning.     I’m laughing while driving on Rt. 7, heading south in full blown NoVA traffic.   No one notices my laughter because it’s like the Indy 500 to reach the next traffic light.   Every once in awhile I have an thought of what I didn’t purchase at Costco.   I’m fasting for Lent – it takes everything I have to walk past the Lindt chocolate sample booth.    Pirate Booty cheese puffs.   Okay, so Pirate Booty went in my oversized box to come home for our lake trip.   Give a girl a break.

6:00am.

Football Superstar:    “do you have any interest in returning to the classroom?”

Me:    “I haven’t given it much thought – but I do miss the special ed. program, if  I return to work outside of the home – I’ll look more at social services again.”   “why?”

Football Superstar:   “I think you should take a course in designing, or staging…you could -as you say “channel your inner Jolene Gaines” and enjoy doing what you love.”

Me:   “it’s Joanna Gaines….and what you’re saying is…. you wouldn’t need to pay a Stager for your listings?!  ( laughing because he called my favorite decorator Jolene)

Football Superstar:   “think about it….you could create your own schedule….other realtors would use your services…..you miss having your vintage business…..and I think it would be fun for you….and yes, (he snickers) I would have a “free” Stager.”

Me:    “I’ll give it some thought…..do you really think I should do it?…….geez, what if I only work for you for the rest of my Staging life!…..(I crack myself up) ……you realize you are asking me to make a decision…..and I’m skipping a meal which I can’t make any decisions during lunch time…..I have no chocolate in the house…..making decisions without chocolate for me is like asking Murphy to make a decision on which tennis ball she likes best.”

Football Superstar:   “just think about it…..you would be great at staging.”

decisions-and-impulsivity                                                                             Decisions.

I’ll sit on this staging egg.  See how it hatches.    But my husband who knows me so well is right about one thing – and that’s how much I miss having my shop.  If a particular someone is reading this (Gracie) you know that Joanna/Jolene Gaines stole my ideas!  I’m serious!   I watch Fixer Upper and I’m talking to Jojo and Chip – announcing to them that I did the exact funky-junky whitewashed table eight years ago!   The owner of a tea room purchased it for her kitchen!  Hey!….those candle sconces are table legs!  We had those!!!  You get the picture.  On a serious note – I adore the Gaines and their show is fun to watch.    She stole my cupcake idea as well.    [giggle]

  Though I continue to keep Simple Dimple‘s Facebook page and sale page up to date (as much as I can)  owning a full-time business in this area is very competitive and expensive.   My shop was located on my property when we lived in Pennsylvania.    It was the perfect location and super convenient for me, especially after Apple Cheeks was born.    For now, I’ll settle for being a vendor during seasonal events in historic areas of Virginia, DC’s summer market days and the occasional charity event.

Who knows what the egg will hatch out.  Or when it will hatch.    I’ll let you all know!

But before I turn into this >  Bride-of-Frankenstein-Bride-Screaming  I’m going to go eat a handful of pistachios.

14 more days until this >  70458e921d17c728271de30a1d33770a

Happy Spring!!