Saturday, December 31, 2011


There seems to be a theme running through my posts...lots about fun and relaxation, little about work. Oh well - it is Solstice Break. DB and I headed to the Cape for some R&R. This was the view out our balcony. Not too hard to take!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Well, a Christmas surprise! A little box tucked in my stocking... I am joyful - but of course, I am joyful anyway. This changes everything, and nothing since he is my Dearly Beloved with or without the ring! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Short Limp Down Memory Lane

So much for posting every week...a great idea not followed through. I think I will reminisce on the events of the past two months!

  • Work, work, work...
    • 'Nuff said!
  • We had a blizzard with four days of power outages...
    • The worse part was NO INTERNET!
    • I broke a bone in my foot and have worn an air cast for six weeks...
      • That's what happens when you wear 3 inch platforms that are TOO WIDE to school. You roll your ankle, fall down, and break your fifth metatarsil!
    • Halloween came and went ...
      • I was Malificent!
    • My mother broke two vertebrae in her back and had surgery...
      • Kyphoplasty - miracle surgery! She is much better now!
    • Thanksgiving came and went - a good time was had by those who were there...
      • Sister and bro in San Francisco
      • Baby to Maine
      • Black sheep brother...doing his own thing
      • home with the broken back - and it was her birthday, too. I brought her dinner.
      • Dearly Beloved and me...dined with Brother #2 and fam. Fabulous time!
    • My excellent pantry was done over...
      • Shelf Genie to the rescue! My kitchen is now perfectly organized!
    • My dining room ceiling was replaced...
      • And I am painting it tomorrow!
    • I am finishing up a massive project on articulation training and data collection at school...
      • A few more hours of work to go...
    • I have done absolutely no Christmas shopping, and it is December 10
      • There's always tomorrow!

    Friday, October 28, 2011


    What do too-wide shoes, too tall heels, and ankles that roll easily get you? A fall of epic proportions and a fractured fifth metatarsal. Wearing a stylish air cast for 8 weeks. Sigh... This could put a cramp in my style! Thankfully, there was no one present in my office to witness this debacle - unfortunately, that also meant I had to get to my car and get home myself. Being tough, as well as stubborn has its advantages!

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Last Day at the Beach

    Columbus Weekend at the beach! It was a magnificent weekend – truly appreciated after the deluge of rain we have had in the past weeks.  We relaxed, barbecued, walked the dog, and just relaxed together. I caught up on tons of reading and sleep. It was a perfect ending to an excellent summer.

    What would a weekend away be without a crazy story? I was fairly wired Sunday night – too much coffee too late in the day. It was about 1:30 in the morning; Dearly Beloved was asleep, and I was reading a book on my iPad, hoping I would fade off quickly. As I read, my eyes drifted out the window towards the illuminated street, when I saw the most peculiar thing - the tail end of what appeared to be a horse running up the street past the house, with a police car in hot pursuit. Five minutes later, there is a DONKEY running back down the street towards the beach with the police still tailing along behind! Not something you see around here... I called the police the next day to see if they caught the runner. They did, but all I could hear in the background was wild laughter - the poor cops who took the donkey in custody will probably never live it down!

    Monday, October 3, 2011


    Dearly Beloved and I (and Dixie) went to the local Home Show yesterday. I both love and despise home shows. I adore seeing the new products, decorative elements, and occasional pieces of funky jewelry that are on display. On the other hand, I dislike the crowds, and I would rather not talk to every seller who is demonstrating their wares and offering free gifts in exchange for my phone number.

    Yesterday’s show was excellent, though! I decided to go ahead with a project I had been lusting after for quite a while…Shelf Genie! The idea of having my kitchen cabinets perfectly organized, with every needed item available to me at the pull of a drawer excited me beyond words. I signed up for a consultation, and Jeff arrived promptly today at the appropriate time. He gave me several options for varying configurations of cabinets and drawers, with enough price point differences to make it intriguing.  Being a compete pushover for organization, I wanted to outfit every cabinet in my kitchen. Good sense and a finite budget prevailed though, and I opted for a double pantry, and one under-sink cabinet. I will post the finished work when we get there!

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011


    Telepractice business started back up tonight. Right now, I am working with three students from an island in the Pacific, with six more that I need to evaluate in the coming weeks. There is one SLP for all the schools on the island, and the population is very underserved. My students have some language, articulation, and social problems. Working with the students over Skype, using my company's software/games is very rewarding, and let's me work with students that I would never get to meet otherwise!

    Monday, September 26, 2011


    I worked four evenings during the past week at the skilled nursing facility (SNF) near my home, covering for a colleague who was on vacation. I haven't worked at rehab for a number of months, so it was great to be back in that setting. I was able to work with an 80 year old gentleman who wanted his meals upgraded to a more regular consistency. (He was having some swallowing problems previously, and had been eating more of a ground texture.) He was a joy to work with! He was able to demonstrate all his safe swallowing strategies: sit upright, cut food into small pieces, take small bites, and alternate bites of food with swallows of liquid. He tried hard not to talk while he was eating, another strategy. Over the four evenings that I saw him, he was able to have salads, hamburgers, meat, well-cooked vegetables, hard cookies and crunchier fruit without any distress. I upgraded his diet to "regular" at the end of the week. We healthy souls often take for granted the pleasure of eating whatever we want everyday. When this gentleman heard he would be able to have salads again, his face lit up like a child at Christmas! How lucky am I to get to do this work!

    Dixie the Dog

    Meet our new friend, Dixie! She is a lovely Golden Retriever mix that we rescued from Alabama. She was found by a kind soul and sent to Sunshine Golden Retrieval Rescue, where we had been approved to adopt a dog. She had such a winning personality, as the rescue group described her, and we decided that she was ours. She arrived on a large transport truck, and was quite happy to head home with us.

    It feels odd, yet right, to have a dog again after two years. I think that our late, great Bailey Dog would approve of our new addition!

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    The Married Couple

    No, not Dearly Beloved and me...not yet.... Dearly Beloved's son and his lovely fiance made it official today. We had a wonderful time. The ceremony was held beside a lake, and the reception was in a tent on the grounds of the resort.  It was very cool for an outdoor wedding, but once we all started eating and dancing, things warmed up quickly! They made a beautiful bride and groom, and we wish them every happiness!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Back to School

    Where did the past two weeks disappear to? We had such a lovely summer, and now it is fading. Back to school, back to a schedule, back to the regular life. I do love it, though! I am delighted to see my students, now a knowledge-filled grade older, and meet the new sixth graders, who look so little and young. Schedules are finally in place, groups have started, and the year begins! We have been having work done on our school roof for the entire summer. Unfortunately, it is still not finished! It gets pretty smelly from all the epoxy that is being used on the flat roof above my office. Hopefully it will be done soon.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Day Seventy - Richness

    Seventy days. I have accomplished many things during this time, most of which I didn't plan. I have rested and relaxed. I feel that I have recovered my health, even while I discovered a minor health condition. I have taken time to reflect on what I want my life to be in the next few years - prosperous, doing the work that I love, being with the love of my life while we travel and enjoy ourselves together. I have written this blog every day; sometimes it was challenging, and sometimes I didn't have much to say, but I have loved doing it. I have worked, vacationed,exercised, and taken time for myself.

    As I watch the white squirrels run back and forth across the top of my fence while they gather and prepare for the winter, I am gathering myself together in thought and in action. I am ready to get back into the busy flow of the rest of my year. I will work doing the job that I love in two or three different venues, but I will be more thoughtful about taking time for myself. I will continue to write in this blog weekly, and enjoy each day of the next forty-two weeks, until time rolls into The Seventy Days of next summer. A bientot!

    Day Sixty-nine - Receptive

    It is winding down. One more day. I am grateful for the time. I feel healthier, happy, and more relaxed. Nice lunch with a friend today, then off to the trainer for some warrior moves.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Day Sixty-seven - Rogue Hurricane

    The day after... The winds roared from 5 AM yesterday morning until 11 PM last night, blasting punishing gusts through the trees and against the windows and walls. I watched the Norwegian maple beside the house as the branches torqued and twisted in the wind until darkness fell.

    When I awoke this morning, the sun was bright and the winds were soft and tranquil. The beach looked like a new baby - the sand was soft and smoothe, and looked touched by a gentle hand. All the seaweed, rocks, broken shells and nastiness had washed out into the parking lot, leaving the beach pristine. The horseshoe crabs had a tough time of it. I saw some of them out by the street beyond the lot. As I walked along, little girl was collecting them, and arranging them into a funky collection. She was happy to have me take their picture.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Day Sixty-six - Rip-Roaring

    We are getting hammered with winds, 60 mph, with stronger gusts. It is pretty wild. DB and I went out early to take pictures, before the winds got too strong. It felt safe to be out then, but it is somewhat alarming now. We have power, and feel okay. We will see what happens as the day progresses. This is a very memorable way to spend my birthday!

    Day Sixty-five - Risky

    Had a very pleasant ride to the beach, early in the morning. NO ONE is heading towards the beach..., but there are miles of cars trying to head away, and over the bridge! Mom is rather delusional about the possible intensity of the storm. She does not see why I feel the need to move the porch furniture out of harm's way. We are a bit tense with each other. Thankfully, DB arrived later on diffuse us. Bridges are closed now - we are here to stay!

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Day Sixty-four - Refusal

    Hurricane Irene is coming...I tried to convince my mother that I should come get her, and take her home. She, of course, refuses. I am heading down in the morning to ride out the storm with her. Is this from where I get my stubbornness?

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Day Sixty-three - Relieved

    I had a lovely lunch with an old friend whom I haven't seen in a number of months. It was great to see each other and catch up on old times. She is a funny person, with some quirky manners. She had made a cake, which she promptly told me was not for us, but for a party she was attending that evening. She asked me to help her write a message. Off she went to a neighbor for some food coloring, and then we mixed up a nice blue color. She then became "The Cake Boss"... As I squeezed the blue frosting through a tiny hole in a ZipLoc bag, and swirled the letters across the cake, she offered critiques..."Please dot that 'i' - Are you going to cross the 't' - I don't think we have enough frosting to edge the whole cake..." She is a dear, and was happy with our results. The cake was a big success at her party.

    Another birthday note, my 40 year old cousin gave birth to twin sons today, after a challenging pregnancy and a long labor. Max Kelley and Spencer Christian have arrived, and both Mom and boys are happy and healthy! Congratulations and much love to you, Cousin!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Day Sixty-two - Riddance

    Vacation is fabulous...laundry, not so much! There was A LOT of laundry, but it is now clean, folded and put away! I have a list of things to accomplish before this delightful period of time ends in eight days, but today it just felt good to finish the laundry, and finish my book - so that is what I did!

    Day Sixty-one - Reference

    Last Sentence Combining class. Worked for about seven hours on the project, but I just have to finish some editing, and it is done!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Day Sixty - Return

    Traveled home today. Saw a crazy goose flying right beside us as we drove along. Mum seems better. I had a wonderful, relaxing week!

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Day Fifty-nine - Refined

    Cape Cod Times/Steve Heaslip

    Our final day of our beach vacation. The breeze sailed through the trees all day, and the whitecaps churned up as the surf pounded in. I sopped up all the wind and salt air that I could, to keep me going until I can get back here again. Mum is feeling better, and we decided to go out for an early dinner at a lovely, elegant restaurant a few towns over. Turned out it was a surprise, early-birthday dinner for me from my mother, and we had a wonderful time. I had salmon that had been poached in a chipotle pepper sauce, served with an avocado mash on top, and surrounded by a pool of crunchy gazpacho. It was fabulous! Mum arranged for a little cake with a candle for me, and I was delighted! To top it off, DB took us to an elegant inn down the street overlooking the water for an after-dinner drink. Again, I got to soak in the ocean breeze while wrapping my cashmere sweater around my little black dress as we sat on the open veranda watching the sun set. It was a divine evening!

    Day Fifty-eight - Ray

    It was a lovely day. The sun danced among the clouds, the west wind gently blew, the temperature was perfect, and I enjoyed my second to last day at the beach. It has been perfect - we rested, relaxed, made a great dinner, chatted. I did some writing, we shopped, and slept. We were very lazy, and it was delightful!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Day FIfty-six - Reprisal

    I think my little Karmic stew from Wednesday spilled over into today's vacation festivities. DB's car is acting up and has been brought to a local repair shop. My mother had wildly fluctuating blood pressure readings, and ended up in the local hospital emergency room. The car isn't fixed yet, but Mum is, I think. After four hours, many tests, and lots of discussion with medical people, the theory is her medication for her heart and high blood pressure needed to be adjusted. She has to follow up with her doctor to see if he agrees. I was just grateful that I was here with her, that DB was here with me, and that we had a good result to our day.

    Day Fifty-five- Reflecting

    What a joyous day! The nefarious aunt called this morning and cancelled her visit. This is frequent behavior; my mother will have cleaned the house, prepared lunch, and waited patiently, then the cancellation call comes. Mum was more low-key this time, and did not go to great effort. Good thing!

    I have thought long and hard about my reaction to this woman; some reflecting is in order to determine why I expend so much negative energy on this situation. Better to see people I do enjoy, and reflect on things I want to do, rather than focus on the long history of bad behavior that this woman brings to the party. Expending this amount of emotion on someone over whom I have no control does me no good. The only attitude I can change around here is mine!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Day Fifty-four - Reptilian

    My mother has a brother who has a wife who might be the single most annoying person on the planet. She is nosy, pushy, and toxic. She is probably where J.P. Rowling got the idea for the Dementors in Harry Potter  - your soul is gone in a heartbeat. You may get the idea that I do not enjoy being around her. She truly is the only person in my life about whom I feel this way. She called last night, and invited herself to the beach for the day tomorrow. On my vacation. I immediately had to revert to being a 12 year old, stomped my feet, and made a huge deal of how I didn't want her coming, how she ruins everything, how my mother never stands up to her, blahblahblah. DB thinks I am insane, but being the wonderful human being that he is, will whisk me away tomorrow to a place of fun and happiness!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Day Fifty-three - Rainfall

    Nothing like a day at the beach in the rain... DB took off early to head to a grill repair job that he promised he would do - a 90 minute drive each way - and I elected to stay at the cottage. Good choice on my part! I enjoyed my coffee, read my book, chatted with my mother, and just had a great time doing not much of anything! The rain poured down torrentially, accompanied by a fierce East wind that drove it through any open window in its path.  DB was soaked when he returned, but happy that he accomplished his task. We made a great dinner together ( reality, he did most of the cooking - I did most of the clean-up!), which we enjoyed. All in all, a lovely vacation day!

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Day Fifty-two - Roundabout

    In and out the roundabout... We did lots of traveling around rotaries last night and today. Dearly Beloved had a hard time getting going yesterday; we had several false starts - a forgotten suitcase being ONE of the reasons for returning home. DB was also mixing business with pleasure. He restores grills as a hobby, and we had two to drop off on the way to the beach. Thank the Universe  for GPS devices; it saves our relationship! There is something so comforting about hearing British Nuvi's voice droning, "In point two miles, enter roundabout, and take third exit..." Of course, when DB ignores her, and we hear, "RECALCULATING...", then there are two of us to gang up on him about his lack of directional attentiveness...

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Day Fifty-one - Rejuvenate

    Finally, a week away with DB - off to the beach for a little R & R, to which we have been looking forward, and greatly need! He has been working extremely hard for weeks, and needs some time away (and some time with me!) So, we will crash at Mum's cottage, and just enjoy ourselves. Can't wait!

    Day Fifty - Resurfacing

    The ceiling repair man came this morning to give me a price. I was hoping he could patch and repair the disaster, but, alas, the whole ceiling must be done! He did give me an excellent price to do the LR and DR, so I will have him do it. The final week of August will be spent emptying both rooms in preparation for the Big Repair. It will be wonderful to have a smooth, crack-free ceiling again!

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Day Forty-Nine - Recollections

    Had a wonderful lunch with an old friend that I haven't seen in TWELVE years! It was like we saw each other yesterday - we had a great time catching up on each others very interesting lives. Lots of things have changed for each of us in twelve years! The three hours went by in a flash. We are going to get together again very soon.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Day Forty-eight - Rugged

    I love to box. I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. Punching into the pads is an awesome feeling - I can feel my speed increasing over time, feel the muscles in my core engaging, feel my body shift weight as I jab from side to side. I am filled with power, and feel incredible every time I do it.

    Six weeks into training, and I see such incredible differences in my strength, skill and ability. I brought my tough-love trainer to tears today with the changes she sees in my body.  I love this!

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Day Forty-seven - Responsible

    I keep avoiding my list. I did get my student tested this morning, but I did not really accomplish much else. Everything I attempted to clean/organize/put away seemed to distract me into doing something else. In the end, I read few things online, picked up DB, and went out for a ride. Great dinner, great is vacation, after all!

    Day Forty-six - Rambling

    Rambling around today. Got tons of errands done, lots of weeding, organized photos, prepared for the evaluation I am doing with a student tomorrow, worked out a bit, and just enjoyed the day!

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Day Forty-five - Riches

    Went to a wedding shower for my wonderful stepson and his adorable fiance. Showers are not my favorite things - too much oohing and aahing for me. I am not a party-girl, and small talk does not come easily, but I put my best effort out there! The most stressful part of the whole situation for me was being with The Ex-Wife. Hmmm...narcissistic, opinionated, always-the-victim - her less than satisfactory life is of her own making, but she makes those around her pay for it. She was unhappy that the event was not catered. She thought it was tacky that they would open the gifts at the shower (What?!). She berated her future DiL about an invitation that was not received by a relative, but that she RSVP'd about anyway.... blahblahblah...

    DB dropped me off, and told me he would pick me up the second I called - I love him! I did not know a soul there except for the Ex and the bride, who was not there when I arrived. I found a seat, and started to chat with another woman who was there alone, and did not know anyone. We hit it off. I saw the Ex a few tables over; she ignored me. I made sure to say hello. LONG afternoon short - the bride arrived and had a lovely time. The groom arrived in time to help open gifts (and probably to be embarrassed by his mother). The Ex left right after the final gift was opened. She tried to ignore me again, but I was having none of that! I brightly bid her farewell, and told her I looked forward to seeing her at the wedding!

    I went home with my Dearly Beloved, so blessed in knowing that I create my own life and my own reality. I also create my own happiness - no one else is responsible for that. I am sad for those that don't get to figure that out in this lifetime; they miss out on so much richness!

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Day Forty-five - Resolute

    I felt like Chicken Little today with my personal sky falling in the form of a 5 x 8 foot chunk of plaster that crashed down lathe-laden ugliness leaving a nasty gaping hole in my living room ceiling, and a giant mess on the furniture, curtains and floor. I will admit, I had it coming. The leak in the ceiling happened in March of 2010...SIXTEEN MONTHS AGO following a huge Nor'easter that damaged my roof. I argued loud and long with the insurance company; all they were willing to cough up was $1000.00 to repair the roof ($4500 paid) and the ceiling ($2700...only price I have gotten so far). So I have ignored it, I guess hoping it would repair itself. Slowly, a crack started to sag a bit over time... and today, with a giant WHOOSH it came crashing down. I am grateful no family, friends, or me was sitting under it at the time.

    This was not a good plaster-clean up kind of day; it was 88 degrees and humid. But it had to be cleaned up, and now it is. Monday, I start calling ceiling repair companies....

    Day Forty-four - Reportedly

    Reportedly, I had many things to do today. I had a list. I prioritized the items. I had great plans to clean my office, to mulch the garden, to call several friends. I did none of these things. I spent two hours on the phone trying to teach my mother how to read her email on her iPad. This challenged every break-down-the-direction-until-she-understands skill that I possess. I pretended she was one of my students, and kept repeating and restating until she got it. Why is it easy to be patient with my students, but such work with my mother? Eventually, she was able to see the attached photos that she wanted, so we were both happy. In the office upstairs, I was distracted by the numerous pairs of shoes I had planned to sell on eBay, so I decided that taking pictures and posting the ads was the way to go. One pair sold in the first hour after posting! Beyond that I read and napped. Not a bad way to spend your first official day of vacation!

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Day Forty-three - Rushing

    It was a busy day filled with last minute projects - I wanted each student who was working on summer reading books with me to leave summer school with the book finished, and a written summary that they had developed to take with them. There was rushed reading and fast note-taking, but everyone did it! I feel each kid has a good understanding of their book, and a fairly decent understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary. I was quite spent at the end of it all. Got progress reports printed, collated, organized, and sent home.

    I was home about 15 minutes when there was a knock on the door - flowers for me!! My dear Sister-in-Law sent me a bouquet to thank me for my support through Mother's passing. Wow! They are beautiful, and so is she!!

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Day Forty-two - Rhythm and Blues

    Slightly out of rhythm today...end of summer school blues? Summer school, training session, shower gift purchase, progress reports. Hmmm...reframe.  One day left in summer school, the training session was excellent, the shower gift is purchased, and the progress reports are done. Got nothing to complain about!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Day Forty-one - Reports

    Last week of summer school...where did that go?! Attendance to tally, reports to write, final good-byes to students - some I will see in a few weeks, some I will not see again until next year. My summer school experience was great this year. Being in a good place myself, I really enjoyed both the students and my colleagues. There was no drama, no tension, and no disappointment. I feel inspired and motivated!

    Day Forty - Really

    Could be really difficult to be home all day with no car, but it turned out to be an opportunity to read, reflect, reframe and rest. Got the car back at 4. Really nice day!

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Day Thirty-nine - Richness

    After finishing a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, we drove east until we hit ocean, then meandered south towards home. The rural landscape filled with Holsteins, horses, goats and farm stands gave way to larger towns, outlet stores, and traffic. We took the coastal route, and had a late lunch on floating restaurant in Portland. Looking out over Casco Bay, we talked where we would like to live in the future, and what we hope that future will bring. We enjoy each other's company as much now as we did when we met seven years ago. Having time together after the intensity of the past few weeks was a gift.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011

    Day Thirty-eight - Retreat

    Away we go to a wonderful, decadent retreat!. Nothing like jumping in the car, hitting the road, and staying at a lovely, spacious hotel for the night. We had a great trip up, and we are now ensconced in our comfy room, with our giant bed, and all our techno-gadgets! Life is good!!

    Day Thirty-seven - Resourcefulness

    No car + Sentence Combining class = asking friends for help! My friend Sarah, who is leading the class picked me up at 7:15, and off we went! It was a smaller group today; Sarah had a few activities prepared for us (deconstructing/reconstructing sentences from famous authors), then there was plenty of time to continue work on our projects. Eight chapters done, twenty-three more to go, one month to complete it, and To Kill a Mockingbird will be finished! Grabbed a ride home with another friend, and settled in to complete laundry, get organized, and goof off!

    Called the friend who is working on my car at 5:15... the fan motor responsible for cooling the engine is broken. Another fan has been ordered, but will not arrive until Monday. More opportunities to do things at home! DB picked me up for dinner; salad and pizza at our favorite restaurant. We will take off for the beach for an overnight escape tomorrow. This time, we have a hotel reservation!

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Day Thirty-six - Relish

    Having a student realize why calling his teacher an idiot is a social disaster...Rewarding!
    Eating a wonderful lunch with colleagues after summer school....Delightful!
    Having the radiator hose blow up in your car in front of the personal trainer's studio...Synchronistic!
    Being approved to adopt a Golden Retriever from a rescue group...Priceless!

    ...It was a very good day!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Day Thirty-five - Ruh Roh!

    Student: Did you know that Ms. Doe isn't coming back in September?

    Me: Oh, that's too bad! I like Ms. Doe!

    Student: Yeah, it's because she got laid last year.

    Me (choking): you mean laid off? 

    Student: Laid, laid off...what's the difference...

    ...well, now I have to explain the difference, don't I....(sigh)