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More Appreciation

Well, it's been almost four months exactly since my last post. And I have to say, I'm still appreciating everyone in my life and not taking things for granted (much).

It's been a (very) long four months. Quite a rollercoaster in fact. All in all though, things are good. And I've been keeping up with my New Year's resolution and letting people in my life (both RL and virtual) know how much I appreciate them.

So what's been going on in the last four months? Well, most importantly my mother is still alive. No one, including her physicians thought she would still be here for Easter. I'm so very glad she proved us all wrong. I don't get to see her nearly as much as I want to, but that's okay. Just knowing she's there is a good thing. I've only been able to speak with her a handful of times. Sometimes, she's surprised me and sounded like her old self. Though I know that's not always the case.

What else has been going on? Well I've continued moderating a forum with Jan of Arc http://jan-of-arc.livejournal.com/. She created a great site called http://www.random-fandom.net/. It is a multi-fandom site that has a review blog and a forum. So it's a community you can stay a part of no matter how many times you swap fandoms. That's been fun and has proved to be a good distraction for me when I've needed it.

Spring has come early here this year. I've been very happy about that.

This is the forsythia bush that's outside my kitchen window. I love the bright color, it always makes me smile.

I had wanted to try and get back to writing, but that's proven to be a bit difficult. Every time I felt some desire to write, something would come up that would just suck the interest out of me. Who knows what spring will bring.

Wishing everyone happiness and good health this Spring.

Appreciation

These last few months have been long and somewhat worrisome. At first, it was relatively easy to push the worries to the back of my mind; and go on with life as usual. I'm typically a very upbeat person with a positive outlook.

The past few weeks however, it has gotten harder and harder to do and to be that happy, upbeat person. One thing I've had opportunity to do over the past few weeks is to reflect. It's because of that, I have come to realize how much I have taken for granted. I think it's natural. Perhaps we all do it.

Mostly, I've come to realize I have taken my mother and all she has done for me for granted. Now, I'll let you know, we've never had one of those mother/daughter relationships where they claim to be each other's best friend; but we've had a good relationship since I was about 10. Now, especially since I've become a mother myself, I've come to be closer to her.

My mother's done big things and little things too that I've always taken for granted. She has always enjoyed shopping and would generously get my two young boys all the clothes they'd need every season. I've always appreciated that and know it's a huge help. She'd come with my father every Thanksgiving and Christmas and bring either a ham or a roast or something to contribute. Still always trying to take care of the kids, even though we're grown. More importantly, she'd always offer to help. One silly thing that I thought about as I missed her over the holidays is that she'd always insist on cutting/dicing the onions, because I always bitch about my eyes burning.
She'd never hesitate to get on the ground & play with the boys; and always searches for some small new toy for when we went to visit ~ just to make them happy. I call her most mornings to check in and catch up. It might be a five minute conversation or 35. I haven't spoken to her now in over a week. I took those daily chats for granted.

Every year since we've bought our house and moved out of the city, she's come down at Mother's Day to help me choose the right flowers and plant my garden. She may not be able to do that this year. Right now, I'll just be grateful if she'll be alive to call and ask about my garden; and be healthy enough to come and visit again for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I guess why I'm writing this besides the need to get it all off of my chest, is to say that I don't want to take anything for granted anymore. I don't want to take the people in my life, or the things that they do for granted anymore or the things that I am fortunate enough to have. It's safe to get this all out here; because not that many people will read this. And if someone actually does, it's safe because you really don't know me. So I'm not burdening anyone with my revelation, or vent (depending on how you look at it).

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I'm thinking that perhaps I'll adopt one this year. To appreciate everyone in my life and what they do and just as importantly, to let them know it. I hope anyone who just stumbles upon this will do the same.

Because it's Tuesday, October 18th

Because it's Tuesday, October 18th, I gave my 4 yo an ice cream sandwich after he finished his breakfast. He asks me for dessert every day after breakfast and I always say no. But today, he did a little dance with it and looked so cute, so I couldn't resist. So when I gave it to him, I told him that he was getting dessert only because it was Tuesday, October 18th; he couldn't have one every day.

Because it's Tuesday, October 18th, said 4 yo is laying down in his bed happily (at least I would be) napping. This doesn't happen often. I'm taking advantage of it.

Because it's Tuesday, October 18th, I'm actually going to take a stab at writing again. I've got a new ff idea that's inspiring me and I was going to hold of doing it. However, a good friend and a writer I respect, Jan of Arc http://jan-of-arc.livejournal.com/ suggested that I just start writing. Because once the muse is fired up again, the ideas for other stories will start to flow again too.

Because it's Tuesday, October 18th, and the weather has cooled off after our flirt with an indian summer earlier this month, I'm ready to give in that it's actually fall. The leaves are turning beautiful shades of yellows, oranges & reds. The photos below are from my yard.




All Good Things Come to an End



Montauk ~ Cousins



New Hampshire ~ Brothers

What a spectacular summer. Really & truly. It was great. We spent a lot of time on the road visiting with family and friends. Two 1/2 weeks away in July & 3 in August.

We got back Labor Day weekend, to a house that had seen some minor damage b/c of Hurricane Irene. Just a little bit of water in the house, not nearly as bad as other people, so I'm so thankful. But, after a 19 hour (straight) drive home from Florida, not what I wanted to find.

We were out in Montauk - such a great time with hubs family. I adore my nieces & nephews. 8 Kids ages 8 - 1 & 6 adults (for 2 days 8 adults) all in the same house. Talk about togetherness! However, it really didn't feel cramped.

We went to NH a couple of times and had a great time in the water. The lake was amazing.

We went to FL and had a great time visiting Disney again and family too. Were there during the hurricane. Who thought you'd need to go to FL to get away from a Hurricane? Go figure.

And so we're finally home. Meetings have started up in full swing for both schools. I felt like I stepped out of the pool and back into the routine. I would have enjoyed one more week of summer, of carefree times and of fun with the kids and our friends before getting back into the grind.

But... all good things come to an end. And so here's to new beginnings!

Why my hair is frizzy today...



Remember my little apple tree? The one I was so proud of planting? You can make it out by the red & green tag that's on it. It's lucky to still be in the ground after all of this rain. I couldn't get a closer picture, because the lawn was completely under water. One of the man hole covers in the street in front of my house was lifted from the force of the water. Ah, good times.




That shouldn't be there. Now there is a lake across the street, behind the other houses. I do live a 1/2 mile from the river. But I didn't realize that I bought lakefront or riverfront property.

So this is why my hair is frizzy. Thank god for my favorite baseball cap. Now no one will need to know.

Just call me Johnny Appleseed...

I am SO excited. I bought an apple tree. Honeycrisp, one of my favorite varieties. So it being mother's day weekend, I gardened. We planted the tree, 3 rosebushes and my veg garden. I'm growing cukes, spaghetti squash, peas, string beans, lettuce, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, tomato, 4 types of peppers. There's also garlic, strawberries, blueberries from last year. I can't wait for it to grow.



The boys were checking the tree this morning to see if any apples grew...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed

Red Bull may give you wings...

But it apparently it also gives you a lead foot too!

I haven't had caffinated beverages in 8 or so years. So when we took our recent drive to Florida, I found myself in need of a little of it to keep me awake and alert as I drove. The red bull picked me up almost instantly. Without any of the jitters I expected. And we finally made it!



Can you believe I saw a viking there?

FF Home Sweet Home Contest entry

There's a contest going on over at fanfiction.net called the Home Sweet Home Contest. It is to write a story involving the SVM characters in your home town. So, I decided to take the plunge.

Here's what I decided to write. Called A Lengendary Bet. I hope you'll enjoy it.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6856746/1/A_Legendary_Bet





Doing the Right Thing - chapter 1

A/N – This story was originally a one-shot that was created for the New Chapter contest called Not Your Average Commute on fanfiction.net. I had received feedback asking that this story continue and I had wanted to do so when I first started writing it, but I was stuck. I just couldn't make it happen. I got some really great feedback on my original entry from peppermintyrose that changed the way I was looking at the story. So with her feedback and encouragement I've retooled this first chapter and have it ready to go. Big, Big thanks to PMR for all of your help!

Also a nod to BathshebaRocks, who I found has a great one-shot called Do the Right Thing. It is a well-written entry for the Two Wrongs Make a Right Challenge last summer. Check it out! BR, thanks for the understanding with my new title!



Doing the Right Thing

It was a Wednesday like any other. I started my morning to the sound of my alarm blaring loudly at 6:30am. I managed to pull on my running gear, grab my iPod and head out the door to make my way into Riverside Park for my daily run. I know, it's not Central Park, but it's close to home, it's on the river and I love the breeze in the summer. And it's needed today. It's already warm.

Surprisingly, while I'm running I see Pam ahead of me. This can't be a good sign. She is a gym girl and she only runs when she's crazy stressed. I catch up to her and we're able to run together for a little bit.

"So spill; how was your date last night? Do you have plans for another?" Pam God love her was trying to play matchmaker. My date last night was a result of one of those matches and it will go down in the record books for one of the worst dates ever.

"I don't know that I'll be ever dating again after last night. It was god-awful, but we'll talk about that later. I'm worried about you. It's not often I see you running, especially at this hour."

"Yeah, 'you know who' has been pretty bitchy that I have had to take a few days to work on the L'Oreal shoot and has been making my life miserable. She doesn't have any public appearances scheduled until the weekend, yet she's acting like she can't figure out which pair of underwear to dress in if I'm not there. To top it off, I've been having trouble getting measurements for the talent for the shoot, so I'm worried about the clothes fitting. It's all been a nightmare."

Pam is one of my dearest friends. She's a wardrobe stylist and has been working for the past year with one well known female singer, whose diva tendencies have me amazed constantly. It's a great job for her career but I really wonder how Pam deals with all of the BS.

Four miles later after assurances to Pam that she will be brilliant and I'm back at home in my apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Eighty-Fifth between West End and Riverside to be exact. I've got the coffee brewing as I hop into the shower to get ready. I've got to hustle and get myself ready. As I am getting dressed, I check voicemail and the email that's already started to come in this morning on my blackberry. Shit. The proposal that was due Friday is now due by 2:00 today. A quick phone call into the office to get the team started on the edits and I'm running out the door. I'm not really dressed for running, I've got on my grey pencil skirt, my periwinkle silk halter top, my beautiful brushed steel 3.5 inch heels. The jacket I can't bear to put on yet. Kudos to Pam for making me buy this outfit. She's got great taste, and is responsible for some of my better wardrobe choices. Who am I kidding? She was responsible for most of my better wardrobe choices. And the discount she gets from most designer shops that she deals with makes it easier to be her life-sized Barbie.

I'm praying that it's still early enough that I can find a taxi or a car service without much problem. But as I head to West End I realize from looking at the traffic that a taxi is out of the question if I want to get downtown on time. I work for a marketing and communications firm in the village on 7th Ave just off of 14th Street. The subway it is.

God I hate taking the subway on days like today. If it's hot up here, it's absolutely disgusting down there. I trudge up to the entrance on 86th & Broadway and make the trek down into the soup. At least I don't have to wait long for a train to come, and by some miracle, I actually get a seat. God, I can't believe they changed the deadline on the proposal. I still wasn't satisfied with it yet. We would have to work quickly, but we could still get it done. I looked up when we were at 72nd Street and noticed a very pregnant woman get onto the train. I look around, and I can't believe that no one is offering to give up their seat to her. Not a single guy. They are all pretending that they don't see her. What assholes.

"Excuse me miss, would you like to sit here?" I ask. The relief on her face is evident.

"Thank you so much. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!"

"No problem." I stand up and we switch spots with her sitting down on the bench seat. She's got a maternity dress on with some flip-flops and is carrying the world's largest purse. I guess it must be practice for carrying a diaper bag.

"I tell you, it's so freaking hot down here, between the heat and having to stand, I thought I was going to die!" She says while mopping at a sheen of perspiration on her brow. I'm sure I have a small one too. They say these cars are supposed to be air conditioned, but they never seem to be.

"I can imagine. When are you due?" She seems friendly enough and it will help pass the time for the remainder of my stops, so I figure I'll keep chatting.

"Not for another three long weeks. I'm really anxious to get this little guy out, but I really need him to stay in there for a little longer."

"Oh." I can't think of anything else to contribute at this point. In fact, I start thinking again about the proposal.

"My husband is in Iraq, and they are letting him come home for the birth of our son. So I need this little guy to stay in for at least another two weeks so Tray can make it." Man, I couldn't imagine that.

"Wow, it must be hard having your husband so far away while you are pregnant."

"Yeah, but with Skype and email, he does get a chance to see how big I'm getting, and see the ultrasound photos. It's all I can hope for at this point. That and that he's safe."

I see that we're at 23rd street, so that means that my stop is coming up soon.

"You're in the home stretch at least!" I'm trying to be encouraging. She's not saying anything anymore, and she looks a little uncomfortable. Her face is red and pinched up.

As the train slides into the 18th street station I ask, "Hey, are you okay?"

"Oh, um I am just feeling lots of pressure all of a sudden. And some weird cramping. I'm sure it will pass soon."

As I watch her, the expression on her face doesn't seem to let up. She starts to stand up, and doubles over a little bit. Before I know it I hear a splash. Looking down, I see that her water has broken all over the floor of the subway car.
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I'm on Live Journal

So a few weeks back I created a LJ account and now I'm playing around with the page. Nothing too exciting yet, but I hope to post as often as I can. I've been writing a few stories over on ff.net and I think I might post them here as well.


After a warm spell last week, it's cold here again. I'm waiting a bit impatiently for the summer.



Well check out that beautiful sunset. How many more days until summer?