Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hope your Halloween is just a teensy bit scary

Hooray for an unusually RELAXING Halloween Night.
Hurricane Sandy left town and our trick-or-treating night was postponed until Saturday.
No rushing around on a school night, trying to shove down dinner while we put on costumes and make-up, clean up from pumpkin carving, light pumpkins, gather flashlights and find coins for the Unicef boxes.
Trick-or-Treat should be on a Saturday every year.
A little bit frightening was helping to host the Red Cross Blood Drive at the church earlier today.  There were some technical difficulties setting up the computers, and we had donors waiting an hour or more.
Not really a treat for them, but it all worked out in the end.
The scariest thing that happened all day (besides the baked beans we ate for dinner) was not hearing from my two adventurers who went off in the canoe for a few hours without a cell phone.  I'm usually pretty good about staying calm, but what with Sandy and rising waters and all, I got a little antsy in the end.
No worries--our paddlers are on dry ground.
And we have a weekend jam-packed with fun ahead of us.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whoa back Sandy!

Sandy is on her way.
Mr. Dub is bummed.
He's away on business.  He seems to have a knack for being out of town when the big ones hit.
The Governor just declared a State of Emergency.
Everything in the yard that isn't nailed down has taken up residence in the garage.
All schools in the state have been canceled for tomorrow.
The laundry is clean (for now) and we're baking some monkey bread.
My Dad just called from 30 minutes south of here with his white flag waving high.
Mom is making split pea soup.
A true sign that the storm is imminent.
We have our water, our candles, matches, flashlights and batteries.
A friend was picking up some things at Walmart  She said the cart behind hers at the checkout had life jackets in it.  I'm hoping we won't need oars to keep the homestead upright.
Today it's exciting.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
(Hopefully nothing very newsworthy.)
In all seriousness, there will be many who are in a more direct path than we are, and I'm praying that Sandy gets tired before she hits the Northeast.  Fingers crossed that she's a weakling.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dressed up and ready for TREATS

We heard Hurricane Sandy's all dressed up and coming our way for some Halloween fun.
Last year Halloween got snowed out.
We didn't trick-or-treat until November 7th!
This year we decided to take advantage of some Halloween festivities being planned before Sandy's arrival.
We're down to two eager trick-or-treaters now, and they made
a VERY cute leaf pile
an impressive Indian Chief.

Friday, October 26, 2012


We gathered in the parking lot at church and shared a night of socializing and treats. Halloween in Massachusetts is usually a tricky proposal, but the weather tonight was perfect.
 Some very cute kids (and a few adults) came dressed for fun.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

UMass Homecoming: Boogie Wonderland

 Saturday was Homecoming for UMass. 
They lost the football game to Bowling Green State University,
but the show put on by the marching band was a winner!

  They marched, they played, they sang and danced.
 After the half-time show, we enjoyed seeing Enrique.
He works hard.
My friend Ellen took this video.
I'm especially partial to the blaring trumpets.
I love the effect of the shadows on the field.
If you don't want to watch three minutes of video, watch a bit at the one minute mark, and then at the two minute mark.  They have fun and we love it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Driving through Fall

We drove past one of my favorite spots again today.
How could we not stop?

new hat?

 My friend Ellen came with us to the UMass game today.  It was a fun day.  I saw this hat a few rows down, pointed it out and giggled.  Ellen said "Did someone get a new hat?" and then 
"How did I ever think I wouldn't find something to blog about EVERY.DAY?"  
Ellen was right.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here's a thought

I'm home.
I just sat through THREE HOURS of parent-teacher conferences.
Two students, fourteen teachers, in every subject.  Even gym.
(I liked it!)
I recognize that no matter how well kids are doing in school, making a connection with the teacher DOES make a difference.  A teacher who knows that parents are interested and care about what's happening in the classroom will help a child succeed.
Sadly for me, the teachers spend more waking time with my kids during the week than I do.
I care about what's happening to my kids during the seven hours they're not at home.
Here's my thought for the day:  Don't miss out on the chance to ask "How's it going at school?"
Don't forget to say thank you to a teacher.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Feats of Skill

Forget the tough mudder, you crazy athletes.
Today I'm running a series of obstacle-laden events that will require endurance, coordination and agility.
Be impressed.
So far:

I woke up at 5:20am without an alarm.
I'm going to attribute this to the fact that I said my prayers before I went to bed.
Sweet Mesquite was having her breakfast when I shuffled into the kitchen, and I still had time to make her lunch and wish her good luck on her exam today before I dropped her off at early morning seminary.
I'm much luckier when I remember to say my prayers.
I got back in time to make three separate pans of scrambled eggs.
One for the gal boarding the bus at 6:45am.
At 6:44 I sprinted across the front lawn in slippers (have you SEEN our front lawn?) to the mailbox to pass off the folder of music she left on the kitchen table.
The 7:20 departure doesn't like eggs.  For her, I toasted a bagel and dished up some peaches.  She was the most freaked out by the 4.0 earthquake that rumbled our world last night.  Our breakfast conversation hovered around fault lines and living in California.
I didn't feel it. (The earthquake) At the time of the quake, I was concentrating. In phone school. Last week I upgraded, and thanks to the class, feel almost as smart as my phone.
The second pan of eggs went to Yonder.  I packed him an extra large cooler with lunch.  He left early to spend the day splitting and hauling wood in Princeton.
Mr. Morning had the third round of eggs.  As soon as he gets on the bus, I'm off to have my annual exam.  I've canceled and rescheduled it three times already in 2012.  The stamina required to keep this one is over the top, people.  As I type, I'm multi-tasking at the kitchen stove.  My reward for enduring the exam will be a large pot of tapioca pudding.  I'm skipping breakfast and going right to dessert.
The double batch is almost done.
One batch for me, one batch for Mr. Dub.
Wednesday night is our new date night, since Yonder is back to drive kids to activities.
Tonight, though, he'll be snuggled up with his pudding while I'm out making some Relief Society Visits.
I love traipsing around to pop in on women.
Really.  It's sweeter than dessert.
Here's what I still have to look forward to:
(aside from the breezy johnny in the exam room)

-Shopping!  (for groceries, but still.  Shopping without kids is something, years in, that I still do not take for granted.  It's almost like winning the lottery.  Not that I've ever done that.)
-A High School Soccer game in sunny 60 degree weather. Score!
-Vacuuming.  I promised myself I'd get the main floor done today.  I know--hold your applause.
-Taxi driving.  Drop offs and pick ups at critical times all afternoon.

What can I say?  It's a glamorous life.  I excel at what I do.

I hope your Wednesday is equally filled and fulfilling.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

First there was the homecoming. THEN Homecoming.

 Homecoming is a great day
to live in small town America.
 Every where I looked the foliage was begging to be a back drop for photos.
 Are there many towns left who have parades with float competitions?  (Besides, you know, The Rose Parade...) Each class at the high school submits a float--this year's theme was Fairy-tales   The 2012 winner was the Sophomore's Cinderella.
We love collecting pockets full of treats.  The candy-throwers were overly-generous this year, or we just happened to stand in the (ahem) sweet spot along the route.

 Ahhh... welcome home.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday you two

For the longest time, to me they were "the babies."
My sister and I came first (twins!)
and nine years later came this dynamic duo.
Together, as children, they used to refer to each other as the single unit "BeckyBen."
You guys rock my world.

Friday, October 12, 2012

apples and cousins and hayrides (oh my!)

It's us again. 
I don't think we've ever waited until Columbus Day to pick apples.  What were we thinking?  This may be our new default apple day.
It was glorious. (And then some.)