Monday, November 20, 2017


This weekend was Recital weekend!  Willow took on a lot for the fall recital, as she was doing piano and voice lessons--she was part of the Tiny Trebles again (I think she is probably aging out of Tiny Trebles very very soon...)

Our weekend was dominated by the rehearsal and the recital. I had a few times of being a "stage mom" having to help her get into and out of costume and helping with props, etc.

Willow is actually very good at piano (although she suffers from practice-itis).  She played three songs and was a bit nervous (she did the typical nervous thing--she played her songs a bit faster than normal).

The singing group sang two songs -- one of which was "Let it Go" from Frozen...Willow visibly rolled her eyes (she had wanted to sing a song from Tangled instead, but was over ruled by the younger kids).  She definitely has a stage presence! 

Then--intermission--where I rushed back to the frenzy of nervous and harried people trying to put on a show....Willow and her fellow group singers were putting on a scene from Annie--with props and costume changes and SCENERY!

It was a big deal...and I was there to help with a costume change...and help her get her wig on...because by default, really...she was Annie...they had to learn lines, singing, blocking, handle props, etc. in ten weekly sessions (with some kids not always being there, etc....)  It was sloppy, Willow forgot one line (no one noticed) -- but, they pulled it off!  It was very cute as they sang "Its A Hard Knock Life!"  They did really well, she did very well!  (Maybe I can get her to do theater yet!)

Rehearsal the day before--getting costume on!  

New dress for recital and for the piano part...she was a bit nervous...also, she hates her hair up...but it needed to be up, so we could quickly get her in the wig!

She looks so different...and kinda like my mom when she was younger...

The curtain opens!  (I did not get many pictures, etc..cuz I was "helping")

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ripple Effects 2

"Do you ever feel dead inside?"  -- this is what she said to a teacher in the hallway.  Promptly got a call from a counselor.  For the second time that day, I had to explain that recently, my mother died (and both times I cried...hmm...I think mom would be happy about that...) and that she is a old soul, thinks deep thoughts, etc. 

She talked to the counselor.  Said she often wonders about death.  Wonders if anyone would miss her when she is gone.  She sounds like me when I was a girl.  I tell the counselor about a time when I put her to bed at 6 years of age--and she said "I love you mommy, and I will keep you in my heart, even after you are dead."  Yeah.  Like me. 

Counselor said that she called me her hero, that she is comfortable talking to me, etc.  Counselor said that we are doing fine, all the right things, they just wanted to let us know.  Counselor agrees it could also be the time of year and hormones as well as the recent death.


I talk with her.  It is all those things.  She misses grandma, she is worried about dying (and heck, she did not have to see her dying like I did---glad I made the decision not to have the children come those last few days).  I am sure the world we live in is not helping matters--to hear (even just in the background) about shootings and violence and hate...


In the morning, driving her to school.  I talk about how yes, I have been a bit down lately too...perhaps we need to look at the positives in our lives and be Thankful (it being close to Thanksgiving and all...)

We both put our best attitudes on---and face another day. 


Stray thoughts: 

  • she may be my Wednesday Adams  (although, I was always more gleeful in my embrace of the macabre, she is more like a weary-worrier...maybe more like Linus...)
  • she can be too empathetic
  • she bounces back well
  • time for some mom over drive
  • she is my reader and deep thinker
  • no advice needed, she is in therapy already (twice a month), a counseling group in school, we can reach out to hospice, etc.  We got this.
  • every so often, my kids remind me of myself
  • this holiday season may be tough

Monday, November 06, 2017

Ripple Effects

Sometimes I am driving home from work and I think that mom should have called me by now.  She had a way of calling at the most aggravating times sometimes, but I would often call her back when I was driving home from work.  She also usually left voice mail messages that always sounded like there was something urgent that she needed to talk about---and usually...there wasn't.  She could be the most annoying, frustrating, needy person...she could also be thoughtful and sweet and caring.  The finality of death is frustrating and annoying, making one long for one last fucking annoying call from someone.


Pictures and music and the time of year...well, time for the ghosts of the past to make their way in my memories...


Halloween is over and it was wonderfully fun...but went by so fast!  I was so happy that this year, for just a little over an hour...we all went Trick or Treating as a family!  It was nice and fun!

Michael put together a great costume this year--and Willow kinda went with a more understated costume this year.

With that...our favorite holiday is over...and we brace ourselves for the onslaught of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah....etc.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Busy doing that Thing called Life...

October is a busy month and we have been pretty much on the go for most of it---I cannot believe Halloween is almost upon us!!

I often think of things to write here, but find my time limited to do so...or I end up getting into a FB "discussion" about the current state of affairs of our is exhausting to have Real Life and then also have to deal with things I should not have to worry whether we are going to blowed up by some maniac.. (There was a time that I did not have to care so much about the daily affairs of our country...ah, yes...that was a mere, oh...what, 11 months ago?!!?)

So...I will be posting when I can...but at the moment...everyone is fine...everyone is happy...Chewy lost his wallet (again) and Michael stressed out but lived through his first midterms...Willow is having a Halloween I am burned out, but doing the best I can...


This morning's treat...

Willow the Cat!

Random enough for ya?!

Actual Cats!  (Kif and Delenn...they seem to like to do this a lot)

Thursday, September 28, 2017


A few nights ago...
                              She comes over to the edge of our bed (my side). She cannot sleep, she says...she always has troubles falling asleep at night, but for some reason the last few nights have been worse.  Finally, I ask in desperation, "Well, is it better for me to come to your room and sit with you, or just have you come in our bed?" She said "Please can I cuddle?".  

                              So, pushed to the far end of my bed, with an already immovable  asleep object on the other side (Hi there, Chewy!).  We laid down, and I held her close...and I brushed her hair with my hand.  She said "Will you promise me something?"  "Sure." "Please don't die until you are at least 100 years old, okay?!" It is late, she is beautiful and warm and so worried and mine.  I lie.  "Of course, hon.  I promise."   She falls asleep, as I lay there and wonder at life and everything.


This morning at the IEP meeting....

                              We are about to leave the productive and long meeting, he has already went into the car, waiting for us. One of the counselors asked if we heard the puppy story.  We had not.

                              This summer, he had the internship at the Rescue League.  He started there by shadowing the counselor (who volunteers there regularly).  At one point, the counselor was saying "Good girl!, etc." to a puppy while taking care of it.  Michael asked "Why are you talking to the puppy that way?  It doesn't understand human words!"  The counselor explained that especially shelter dogs do not get as much interaction as other dogs and this was a way for the dogs to receive some happiness.  Later on the day, when it was time to go, the counselor couldn't find him.  When he did, he found Michael in a room, sitting on the floor with three puppies climbing on him.  He was playing with them and saying "Good Girl!", then looking to make sure the appropriate gender of the next pup "Good...Boy!"

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today is my mom's birthday.  Normally, the scramble to some how find a time and place to celebrate, to coordinate (especially since my brother's birthday is also this month)...normally the "hassle" of this would come into play (at least a little).  Well.  There is year, starts the years of knowing that there are no more birthdays, at least with her here.

It was quieter this year..and made me feel a little guilty that daily life can sometimes make these celebrations seem just mandatory intrusions into our busy lives.  I will be more mindful of this, or at least I will try, when other such celebrations occur.

Today, my brother and sister in law and my nieces came by this morning.  We had a breakfast together and had pancakes and scambled eggs and fruit and carrot cake.  (No freckle...not enough people like that special egg concoction that our Grandma and Mom made...perhaps another time...)

We had a pleasant morning.  Then we each lit a memorial candle, remembering her.  Michael remembered going to the movies with her (we saw The Hobbit and a couple other ones); Willow remembered when we unexpectedly dropped by to see her and how she smiled; Chewy remembered one of the first times he met her...and she gave him a head of lettuce to take back to his home; my nieces remembered going to visit her; my brother remembered a childhood memory of spending en evening with her while our dad was out; my SIL remembered visiting her in her apartment and going out to lunches with her; and I remembered her picking out presents for everyone out of the Kimbles magazine.

Memories are important and I am glad we were able to share them.  Memories keep the person alive.  So.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


The School Year has begun!

Willow is in Fourth Grade--which is a big transition grade.  Lots of homework, lots less recess and free time--cursive and typing, math and was not fun the last go 'round...lets see how mom and Willow do this year...I will be cursing homework at some point...that is a given.

But, she likes her teacher, and she is liking the rest of the classwork.

She is still having issues with math.  I am trying to help her memorize the multiplication tables.  Last night, there was an actual tender moment with her and Michael, where she asked him if math ever got better.  He actually gave her good advice and pointed out that sometimes it gets easier when the concepts click, and it is hard when you cannot understand it--but you will get it.  It was a nice moment of brotherly love and advice.

First day of school picture--as usual, my daughter shows her true colors--Not A Morning Person!

Her new obsession is her Kindle...somewhere there is breakfast...
Michael ready to go, yep!

Ready to go to school!

Meanwhile, Michael is going to Mass Bay.  He likes his professors and classes so far.  The big issue is trying to get the transportation working correctly.  This is his last venture through the special education system, as his previous school is providing transitioning service, which includes helping him navigate time management, campus life, goal setting, etc.  Now he will be starting to figure out what are his goals for the next few years and how does he want to achieve them.  We have his last IEP meeting in October...and then, next year...we will be on our own to finding him any services he may need....
My doodles while I talked to his transition coordinator yesterday...

This is the first full week of school for both of them.  Hoping this school year not only brings challenges and growth, but some pride and happiness too!


This weekend was Recital weekend!  Willow took on a lot for the fall recital, as she was doing piano and voice lessons--she was part of the ...