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.