Where Have I Been?

I’ve been right here.

But I’ve also been here…

Niagra Falls was crazy-cool. It’s somewhere you hear about, but just haven’t gotten too. At least we hadn’t. But now we did.

I’ve also been here…

The observatory made me tear up. It was truly awe-inspiring. If you can go, do that. I highly recommend it.

I’ve been in my kitchen.
I’ve been in the car.
I’ve been in therapy.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to write about. I’d say I’m back, but I’ve been here.

Summer Carnage

The garden is weedy and leggy and the lettuce has bolted. Battered sneakers lay on the front steps, weathered from river walks.  Bathing suits are faded and thread bare from chlorine and salt water. My hair is dry – the texture of summer hay – designed by being out-of-doors more hours than in.

Phone messages are beckoning with blinking lights on the phone console and laundry is statically many loads short of done. Meal planning has digressed to the point that the term ‘meal planning’ cannot be used for what I am doing – which is rummaging through the freezer for appetizers and chicken wings overlooked by the last party. The to-do lists and projects remain undone. Unfortunately. Very unfortunately.

I pursue July & August like a gorgeous, popular best friend of whom I cannot get enough. Pretty and tan – I want all of her attention. I grab at the days desperately in an attempt to feed my addiction to the light, and heat, water, waves and blue skies. I both consume it and am consumed by it in a glorious paradox. Summer.

Even now, there are school forms to be filled out, appointments to be made, routines to be adhered too and activities require that I promptly get on the September merri-go-round.

Excuse me if I don’t comply. If there are sunny warm days that need my attention, I’ll have to reschedule.

September’s Summer only has 18 more days. Astronomical Autumn will occur on September 23.

If it’s good enough for the sun, moon & stars, it’s good enough for me.

“Summer ends, and Autumn comes,
and he who would have it
otherwise would have high tide always
and a full moon every night.”
~ Hal Borland

Nearly Normal

I toted Sean to an ‘unfamiliar to us’ playground. We gathered our things, exited the car and headed for the location.

As we walk through the gate and onto the splash pad, I instantly feel something is different. This is a completely foreign experience and I am not used to it.

Mom’s keep talking to each other, and no one turns around. Not one little kid stops in their tracks to watch us as we come through the gate. There is no undo attention. He simply joins the other kids.

No one pretends that they are not looking at us.

This is because it is the right season to be out of school. Not one person – never mind three – ask him ‘What, no school today?’ He is not a teenager, missing some class period, in the middle of the day. He has just the right skin color for no one to be concerned that he is at the park alone. He matches me perfectly and no one asks ‘is that your son’ or where I got him. He has all of his hair and no one gives him that pitiful looks reserved for children with cancer. He has just the right number of chromosomes and his behavior falls into pretty acceptable social norms.

So we blend.

It is incredibly strange. I don’t often realize the way that I steel myself for the situations I will find myself when I am in the company of several or all of my boys. I get it, and I don’t. Some days I have more tolerance for it and some days less. It’s always there, but during this experience, in it’s absence, I feel a hard time relaxing and settling into quiet oblivion.

It’s odd being nearly normal.

Ethan Goes Fast

I did say that 20 years seems to have gone fast…but not faster than this Lamborghini-ride-birthday-present Ethan received from my mom.

They went so fast. On a precarious part of the course, I looked away! He loved every minute of it.

CJPH6234Cool day for a really cool guy.

I need to thank Cloud 9 Exotics for a really great day…they threw in a couple of extra laps as a gift. Ethan has that effect on people :)

Sunday Scenes – Good Stuff

I like this exercise of reminding myself to take photos on Sunday’s and think about the really good things in life. Not all Sundays are perfect, and even that reminds me of how truly ‘good’ I have it.


Why? I don’t know. Found him here & took a picture.

I LOVE to bake a cake. Love it. If it is old-fashioned, requires sifting, ingredients at room temperature and the alternating of wet and dry additions – even better. I thoroughly enjoyed baking a cake this Sunday.

I did NOT enjoy pulling said cake with my hands out of the cake pan after it sat there 5 hours too long. It is being served in ‘hunks’ instead of slices. Oh well.

My favorite supplies for one of my favorite activities.

My favorite supplies for one of my favorite activities.

Mr. Cool

Mr. Cool

DSC06993 (1)

Somebody may have rec’d a 100-mile-an-hour ride in a Lamborghini for his 20th Birthday. THAT needs its own post.

DSC07037And any night that ends with a fire…safely burning in the firepit…is good.



Have you read it? Do you know about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I’ve read it and now I am putting into practice the wisdom of the magnificent Marie Kondo.

But, I did not always feel this way about Ms. Kondo. She wasn’t jiving with me. I didn’t feel her. The videos I watched on Youtube did not do her and her theories justice – or I just couldn’t ‘hear’ it yet. Then, some interesting things happened. First, although I was on the waiting list for her book at the library (36 of 52!) I found the book on the ‘It’s Your Lucky Day’ table. And it was indeed. Her written words found their way to my heart. Not coincidentally, I have also decided to engage in a particular type of therapy (the kind with a therapist) that has a lot to do with ‘unburdening’ parts of yourself.

People, if you don’t think things and clutter are all mixed up with the ‘things’ and ‘clutter’ inside of you…well, they are. This sister is more than ready to part with all the issues and stuff that rears it’s ugly head in both therapy and in the ‘Kondo’ing of my home.

So top to bottom, I am clearing out the crap. And it’s not all crap – but that doesn’t mean you have to own it. Some things are useful, some things seem sentimental, some things can still be used – none of that means you need to keep it.

“From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.”
Marie Kondo

Do not take anyone else’s word for how to sort your things with the KonMari Method – you really need to let her words sink into your psyche on their own. I thought I was good at this – not so much.

Her method is better. I have done my clothes, my dresser, closet, pantry, china closet, and most of the kitchen cabinets. I am doing the bathrooms, attic and linen closets.

Here are my beloved baking supplies. I don’t even think the first picture ‘looks’ that bad. I have assumed for a really long time that all was well in that cabinet. But, Ms. Kondo has you empty the entirety of the cabinet to assess what’s going on. I swear – I thought I had this.

Above, is my spice/cooking cabinet. I thought the same thing about that. Turns out I took a whole tash bag full of things out these cabinets. I found multiple items that were grotesquely expired. I found things I had three of and donated or gifted them to friends and family. I found things that I thought I would use someday – it just doesn’t happen and it is time to accept that. Because being ‘unburdened’ feels…well…like being unburdened.

This is a small example of Kondoing – and yes, I am using it as a verb – because it feels like a verb.

She explains that this ‘cleaning’ up time is an event. You should not have to do it forever. Those methods of slow, progessive decluttering only prolong an event that could be over & done with. She says ‘organizers’ are hoarders ~ gasp!

As an chronic organizer, I have to agree. So I quit.

I am over here, Kondoing. Even the books. Yes, even those. So far, no regrets. I feel lighter, I feel freer. I just know that this is step in the right direction for whatever is coming next.

Do you think that is from the cleaning or the therapy? Maybe they are one in the same :)

“All you need to do is take the time to sit down and examine each item you own, decide whether you want to keep or discard it, and then choose where to put what you keep.”

Sunday Scenes – Bye, Bye Boy Scout

Bright & early on Sunday morning, Gavin left for a six-week stint as a staff member at Boy Scout camp.

DSC06858 DSC06862People keep asking me if I am going to miss him. I suppose that I am. He is very helpful and keeps us all laughing, but I think camp is exactly where he should be and he is doing exactly what he wants to do be doing. I am more happy than sad!

Breakfast brought cooking lessons. I am trying very hard to work my way out of a job.

The results were stupendous.


Summertime is also an awesome time to learn new chores. I’ve got a list of things to teach Mikey & Sean – and just wait until Gavin gets home….

DSC06884 (1) DSC06886 DSC06885I am a gardener by no means. I have no talent for it and hardly enjoy it. But I dream of being good at it and enjoying it – so I keep trying. So far, the payoff is good.

Apparently, we also have a burgeoning comic book writer.

DSC06909 (1)Overall, these are my favorite scenes of any day, not just a Sunday. Keep ’em coming.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James