Sunday, June 30, 2013

Restoring My Faith in Major League Sports - When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Two recent events involving two of my favorite local sports teams have left me speechless. Mouth agape. I mean chin-hit-the-floor kinda reaction. I know what you're thinking? You? Speechless? Unbelievable!

But come on, hear me out now.

The first involves an incident that truly shocked everyone who heard about it. A young, talented, highly paid football player for the New England Patriots was arrested for...MURDER! So bizarre. He's accused of murdering, execution style, a close friend. Wow...just wow. (If that's how he treats friends, I bet his enemies must be quite relieved he's locked telling what he would have done to them.)

And then...the part that impressed me...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Backyard - Seeing the World Through Helen Keller's Eyes

Inspirational. Amazing. Extraordinary.
So many words to choose from to describe Helen Keller. A woman who changed the world, changed how the world looks at and treats the visually and hearing impaired. A woman who personified hope, strength and determination.

I've been a fan of Helen since I first heard her story when I was a young girl. I was mesmerized with her tale, her struggles, her triumphs.

Now as an adult I decided to re-visit her story. And come to understand her in a different light. From an adult perspective.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Me and Herb

Me and Herb Brooks celebrate our first meeting last year in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Luv my hockey!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just a Thought ... About Odd Thoughts ... And Cats

Okay. So I'm cleaning out the cat's litter box. Not my favorite chore. But now with our houseguest-cat in residence, the box is filling faster than usual.

Now, I know what you're thinking and you're right. I should have been keeping my mind on the difficult, important job at hand. But for some reason, I found my mind wandering. (Which happens more frequently as I've inched toward my golden years.)

Does this ever happen to you? You're hard at work at the task at hand and all of a sudden your thoughts are off in the stratosphere somewhere.

Back to me. And the cats. And the stinky, overloaded litter box.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Let The Madness Begin - Or How to Keep Grandma Sane

Youngest son has arrived. Belongings in a U-Haul trailer.
With a wife. Three kids. Two dogs. One cat.

Can you just see it?

Yup. Chaos.

At least for a little bit. I'm sure we'll get into a rhythm. A schedule, of sorts. An even keel. Hmmm...too optimistic?

So youngest son has completed his time in the Air Force. And we are so proud of him for serving his country so admirably.
We are also proud of the man, husband and daddy he has become.

He's home now, under my roof, in the home he grew up in, plotting out his next career move. And where he'll be setting down roots for his family.

In the meantime, his father and I have laid out the welcome mat and offered them refuge until they find their new home. IS a tight fit. My house is not what you'd call a mansion. Far from it. Matter of fact, much to hubby's chagrin, it was once described as a quaint cozy cottage. Somehow, we've managed to squeeze in 5 extra people and 3 extra pets in this tiny abode.

Luckily the warm weather is here. The great outdoors beckons us. Which makes the backyard the perfect place for the kids and pets to spend a lot of their time. And its this time of the year when there are many things going on - b-b-q's, backyard family gatherings, festivals, beach-days, picnics at the park. Events to keep everyone busy and out of the house.

The point is, we all have to stay active, organized and out of each other's way.

I already have something in mind for my own sanity and, as a by-product, my health - THE GYM. I joined last week. Better late than never, eh? ☺ It'll give me solitude time. And as a result, should help me to lose weight, tone up and de-stress my mind a bit. Keep me from becoming Grandma the Ogre. Not a bad idea, right?

Don't get me wrong - I love spending time with my family. I'm very excited to have my adorable grandkids around and look forward to seeing their smiling faces and hearing their giggles every day. (Full disclosure: the whines, the cries, the tantrums...not so much. They are a package deal after all.)
So bear with me. I may not be able to post as much. And when I do, they may be a bit incoherent and disjointed. Be gentle.
If you have any suggestions to help this Little House in the City run smoothly, or have been in my shoes, please share!

Okay. Got to get back to the craziness that is my life and home right now. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - A Star Wars Kind of Family

Not so secret: I'm a big (as in HUGE) fan of Star Wars. I've not so subtly brainwashed my family. They have no choice but to join me in my guilty pleasure.

Which led to shamelessly using my grandkids in my final project in a Photoshop course....enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Backyard - A Portrait of Gilbert Stuart

Growing up in Rhode Island, I never knew the local history included the great portraitist Gilbert Stuart. Who's that, you might ask? To me, his name is not well known. His work? That's another matter. Everyone has seen one of his portraits.
Look familiar?
I'm sure it does. How about this?
Yes, that's a Gilbert Stuart portrait on that piece of currency.
I'm not sure why I never knew the history of Mr. Stuart and his connection with my little state. But once I realized it, I had to rectify the situation and travel to Saunderstown to see his birthplace for myself.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rabbit Rabbit! Heralding the Arrival of June

So...I have this super girlfriend. On the first of each month she says "Rabbit Rabbit". And it must be said before you speak any other words. I think its a good luck thing. I had never heard of this tradition before. I've tried it. Hasn't garnered any luck for me at all. Maybe it only works for my friend? She is pretty lucky. Think I'll have to find some kind of good luck charm for me... rabbit's foot? lady bug? bamboo? Nope, tried them all. Nada. Nil. Zilch.

Oh well.

Ok. Here we are. The beginning of June.

Rabbit Rabbit.

On the job front:  Hubby is working. He's not crazy about his job but he's gotten a few other offers so he's keeping his options open.

As for me:  Nada. Nil. Zilch. Not for lack of trying. I'm still sending out a gazillion (or so it seems) applications and resumes. Had one interview that I thought went well, but apparently didn't as no job offer was forthcoming.

However....I'm beginning to wonder if the non-job status is fate stepping in. You see, my youngest son is leaving the military. This week. He and his wife and 3 children are heading north to regroup. And they'll now be stationed at my house. Yup, you heard that right. My little tiny cramped 50's ranch. With the postage stamp sized yard. Oh boy.

We've been going crazy trying to rearrange the place to accommodate 5 more people, 3 of which are under the age of 10, and 2 more dogs. Child proofing. Dog proofing. Making room. Emptying closets and bureaus. Installing a girl's sleigh bed (thank you to a very generous friend!) and multi-colored bunk beds for the boys (found at a bargain price on Craig's list). Setting up a second guest room in our finished basement (which meant closing up shop on our home gym downstairs-but I figure I'll get a workout just keeping up with the grandkids and dogs). Reconfiguring all the rooms of the house and the backyard.

Lists have become our new best friends. We check off each item as we move along at a rapid fire pace to get things in order prior to the big day. This weekend was the final preparations: yard sales to pick up some good used toys for the kids, yardwork and installation of new doors. All that's left is to fill up the cupboards and fridge with food for the homeless troops about to appear at our doorstep.

Actually, the renovations and changes we've made since we received this proclamation from young son have us thinking this might just work out okay...if only on a temporary basis. And with me not working, I can be here to oversee our new housemates and enjoy time with the grandchildren who I adore. My mood is always lifted when I'm with them. They're fun, and funny. They're sweet, and loving. Never a dull moment. And its summer and there's so much we can do that I couldn't do otherwise if I was bogged down with a job. The zoo. Parks. Museums. Festivals and fairs. The beach. Fishing (um, that one they can do with grandpa...just sayin'). Blowing bubbles. Taking care of grandma's butterfly garden. Working in grandpa's vegetable garden. Walking the dogs. Visiting family. Backyard b-b-q's. Or just laying on a blanket in the backyard and watching the clouds roll by. And at night, the constellations.

So many fun things!
And maybe, just's fate's way of filling my soul just when I need it most.

Or is it luck?  Rabbit...Rabbit........