Monday, October 31, 2011

The storm that just keeps on giving...

The snow began to fall Saturday...

Cut to today.  Trick or Treating cancelled until Friday.  Our town is old school, you trick or treat on Halloween, no changing the night.  Except this year.  Still half of our town is without power.  We have been blessed that we got our power back on Sunday... Yes just in time to watch the Steelers run circles around my boys.  What a train wreck... Speaking of train wrecks...

My MIL arrived today for an indefinite period of time.  She lives in western MA which was hit very hard in the storm.  No phone or power up there for who knows how long.  It has been quite the roller coaster of a ride since last week. She has had a very difficult time believing she was scammed and still I think wants to believe that her ship has come in.  She has been entering all kinds of 'sweepstakes'.  Spending over $100 a month on these bogus sweepstakes that you send in $5 here or $9.99 there.  They are the kind of 'contests' that take your information and bundle it with others and sell it to scammers.  She also 'invested' in this green company for a gas additive.  She was supposed to be getting $1000 a month after her initial $4800 investment...guess what? That one didn't pay off either and all it has left her with is a maxed out credit card.  We are doing a subtle intervention while she is here to get her out of this cloud she has been living in that she is going to win a million dollars from all these scams and schemes.  It is a sad situation for her, but she is a competent adult.  She is not and elderly person with dementia.  She has made her choices and now has to live with them.  For someone who will use a tea bag twice to save money, I just don't understand how she has literally thrown money away at these scams. Enough about that.

This is what I woke up to Sunday.  I didn't get out early enough to get those beautiful snow covered tree pictures.  The snow began to melt so quickly that my 9am the snow had melted off the trees. It took a little longer to melt off of my mums.
Looking at the top of this photo, it looks like a beautiful fall day with the leaves turning. Look at the bottom and it is any given January day in New England.
This is my favorite tree in my yard.  It is a maple and always has the most beautiful color this time of year.  It was short changed this year and most of the leaves were lost in the storm.

Trees and snow are great, but what I love most of all is the sight of a kid in a snow suit going out to enjoy great adventures in the snow.  It really brings me back.  I have great memories of many snow filled days followed by hot chocolate with tons of fluff plopped on it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat?

No power...
8" of snow...
The day before Halloween.
I have lived here all my life,
never snow like this before Halloween.
Luckily we have a gas stove,
perked some coffee this morning.
Will be listening to the Pat's game on the radio.
National Grid is saying it will be days
before we get power back.
Didn't we just do this not even 60 days ago?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coop Keepin' in the Rain and in the Snow

This week we got a lot of rain, cold and heavy rain.  We have been spoiled with good weather. 
The coop seems so far away in the cold rain(really it isn't but...)

 The girls just watch as I stand in the rain filling up their waterers...I think it is going to be a long winter doing this...good thing we have some time before the snow...

We are also on egg watch...we know with the days getting shorter our girls may not start laying just yet but they are 19 weeks old.  PC got the basket out for luck and wishful thinking...

Then just after the rain stopped...
We got our first snow on the coop and all over our Halloween decorations.

Big Bossy didn't know what to make of the dusting of white stuff...
Well Bossy, the weather man says we are getting 6" of the white stuff tomorrow...
The joys of New England weather.
Put a log on the fire, bake something good and I am making Pumpkin Soup.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

18 years in the business...

Ah, yes...anyone in my family would know exactly what I mean...18 years in the business.  My Uncle Dick(aka tricky Dicky) measured all things by how many years he had been "in the business".  Well my husband and I have been 18 years married hence in Tricky Dicky terms that equates to 18 years in the business. 

Our anniversary was this past Sunday.  When we were married our reception was at the Spencer Country Inn.  I just love it there.  It is chuck full of antiques and oddities like...

This stuffed squirrel.

I love the butter churn next to the dive helmet.

Every spot has something on it or in it.

My husband and I just loved it then and still now.  Every year my parents take us all(my boys and sister too) out for brunch. It is one of our traditions.  My boys especially love it.  You've heard of carb loading. Well this is the protein plate.  It belongs to my 9 year old and this is the only time he gets to eat like this.  I guess once a year won't kill him...

I love being reminded where we are and where we come from...

I was especially reminded of where we had come from when I saw this bride.
This was me, 18 years earlier, almost to the hour.
Where we have been...
Through a few jobs, few apartments, two boys, one dog, a big flock of chickens,
building a house, a good economy, a bad economy, the loss of loved ones, the birth of
loved ones, saying goodbye to not such great friends, making new friends,
becoming a part of a community that we really love being a part of,
and the continuation of beloved traditions.
Life has been good.
We have been blessed.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I barely have the words... the latest in the MIL saga

I am beside myself. You know those people that you try to help but regardless, they are, for lack of a better way of putting it, dumb as a box of rocks? Yes I am talking about my mother in law and before you think I am the worst daughter in law in the world, take a listen.

We got a call from my somewhat frantic sister in law she needed to speak with us... "Mom was ok physically, almost broke but"...was the garbled message we got. My husband called his sister. Well evidently my mother in law won a million dollars...wait for it...wait for it... Yes she won the million dollars that would be all hers after she finished wiring 10 payments of $2500.00 dollars to the mystery people who are out of the country!!!!! Well, after wiring a total of $25,000! Yes, $25,000 effing dollars out of the country she became a little concerned when her million dollar effing check didn't show the eff up today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even wrap my head around this. But...remember babes in MIL knows everything and this incident is no different, only now she is left with $6000 in her bank account, $800 a month income and $1200 bare minimum monthly expenses. The good times just keep rolling with her. It is a good thing she knows everything so she can figure her way out of this one.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Prove your love...AKA my houseplant philosophy

I know it may sound odd but periodically I buy house plants, only for them to meet their untimely end. I usually joke and say that if a plant wants to be my house plant, they need to prove their love and survive my neglect. Good thing I don't raise my children the same way.

There was serious carnage in my little green house that sits on my kitchen windowsill.  I put cacti in there.  It looks cute and can stand up to my neglect.

This is what came out of the death chamber greenhouse...(believe me, I'm not proud)

This is what went in...

Dead plants walking...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friends don't let friends blog buzzed...Volume 2

Good Evening Babes in Blog Land...Why the buzz? Why Volume 2? and why tonight?

It has been one hell of a week!  I broke a tooth, a perfectly good one that was just minding its' business until I tried having a 'healthy' snack and bit into an almond.

During my tooth repair I was being bombarded on my Blackberry from one major pain in my ass and a second fairly big pain in my ass!  I do not like to put a certain group of people in one category and forget about them.  I have tons of good friends who are stay at home moms that aren't crazy, but I am dealing with a few of them in one of the organizations I volunteer for and they are nothing short of freaking crazy.  I have one woman I am dealing with who was asked by a male committee member why an event cost $5.00 per person.  She responded with an effing 3 page dissertation and then sent a follow up email on the subject and was shocked when this man didn't respond! Really now? are we really surprised??  I know all you married woman in blog land put in your profiles how wonderful your husbands are, but I think we all know for the most part if they were faced with a 3 page email from this woman, his eyes would be glazed over by the second sentence.  It is just a lot of "wah wah er wi wer wa" you know the sound of the teacher on the Peanuts?  It is what it sounds like.  Now granted I have not proved this scientifically but I do think I am on to something.

Next up is the biotch who called me at home during the day when I was working.  Yes, it is hard to believe for some people that when I say I work from home full time that I ACTUALLY work. I told someone that I needed to go and get back to work and she said, "Yeah, go back to work, I'm just a stay at home mom and your job is so important." Well guess what boitch? It is cause it pays my freaking mortgage!

Next up...a friend request on Facebook. Yes, sounds innocent enough right? Well not if it is your ex-boyfriend from High School who among other things threatened to burn my house down back in the day!

(Now I realize I may be disclosing WAY too much info but it is my blog, my rules.  If you don't like to watch a train wreck, now is the time to look away.)  Well, he sends me a freaking friend request.  Now I dated him for 2 1/2 very difficult years and was finally able to break it off with him a few months in to my freshman year of college.  It is crazy, this was 25 years ago and in the past 3 hours since I got that tool's friend request I keep remembering first memory when I realized I was in an abusive relationship was on Christmas my senior year of high school.  I had been at his house all day and wanted to go home, his family was weird and his mother cooked the worst turkey.  Oh surprise, he didn't want me to go home so the crap starts outside in front of his house.  Me trying to leave, him stopping me.  Keep in mind I am 5'8" but he was 6'3". I finally got away from him and I started yelling at him.  I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I was yelling and swearing, swearing a lot.  The police came, there was a tussle with my boyfriend, his brothers and the police, yes memories for the scrapbook for sure.  When all was said and done and the police had the situation under control I just wanted to get out of there.  As I was leaving his father said to me,"Young lady, I can tolerate a lot of things but I can't tolerate swearing from a lady." You could have knocked me over with a feather... I should have ran, but that is not what a lot of women and young girls do who are in relationships that are abusive.  I heard from my boyfriend's family that he had a seizure disorder and that is why he would get violent, "he couldn't help it." The worse thing I could remember was he would squeeze my face.  Even the thought of it know makes me so angry now, something I had really forgotten about.
I was once dragged across a highway and often went (unwillingly)on suicide rides when he thought I was going to break up with him, he thought we should die together.  He was a coward and was just trying to use fear to keep me.

The night he called and said he was going to burn our house down, was the night he dragged me by my hair across a divided 4 lane road.  The police came, they took him in to custody and I had my mom's car and went home.  The phone range and my mother had picked up the phone since back in 1985, there were no cell phones and when our phone rang at 2am, everyone in the house knew it, she heard what he had said to me on the other line.  Obviously she called the police, the police were surprised since he apparently made that phone call as the one call he was allowed by the police!!  I wish I could say that was the end of our relationship but it wasn't.  It went on until I was strong enough, far enough away from him and felt safe that he wouldn't come after me.

There is a happy ending...though I did kiss a few more frogs, I have never been in another abusive relationship.  I am married to a great guy and have never looked back, at least until that friend request earlier this evening. I don't plan on looking back again and will say an extra prayer of thanks to whoever was looking down on me during those dark days.

I hope this wasn't a buzz kill for anyone, but I sure feel better!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

an honor...

As I have blogged about before, I am a scout mom (leader, committee member and cubmaster extraordinaire).  I spend many hours a week for our cub scouts and boy scouts. For the most part I enjoy it, but there is a ton of not so enjoyable stuff I have to deal with as well.  There is not much glory in it, only knowing that I have my hand in a program that has a direct impact on my boys and the boys in my community.

Today there was a little glory.  I took a photo of my youngest when he was helping the VFW retire flags before Memorial Day a couple years ago.  I LOVE this picture.  It is my face book profile from Memorial Day through the 4th of July.

There was a photo contest by our local scouting organization looking for photos of 'scouts in action'.  I submitted my photo and it was one of the top ten photos and it is now featured in our local scout store. I thought the crocs he was wearing and the silly bands(yes remember that craze) really dated the photo but that was one of the things that they liked.  They wanted the photos to show scouting through the years and this captured a time period.

They had an open house to honor the winners and unveil the photos this evening.  My scout and I went.  It was great to see my photo being recognized.  It was one of those, 'you like me, you really like me moments.'  You know when you think you are on to something but you aren't sure if others get it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

falling leaves and foraging chickens...

Fall has finally arrived in New England and our girls enjoyed foraging around in our yard.

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 10, 2011

are you ready for some football?

I am blessed with the best sister. She was given two tickets to yesterday's Patriots vs. Jets game and she took me!  It was a balmy 82 degrees at kick off, record setting temps for New England.  I wore my flip flops for tailgating. Our tailgating was minimal since it was just the two of us. We picked up grinders on the way...
Patriot Nation on the way to Gillette...

Yes a pathetic show of tailgating, 
but it was nice to just hang out with my sister 
and enjoy the nice weather.

Sports radio said to be to your seats 30 minutes early for a pre-game show 
not to be missed.
and ya know what? They were right!
Lord Stanley was in the house!
With our Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.
They christened the field with melted ice from The Garden.
It doesn't get much better than that.

Then it was time for football...
This is my sis with her Welker jersey, she is a huge Welker fan.
Pats fans can be so funny.  This guy with the foot on his head was hysterical!
 It was a great night and a great win! Go Pats!
I love that we have Patriots at the game, it reminds us of who and what we are 
being from New England.
Go Pats!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Something wicked this way comes...

What a picture to take on an October night...
I saw the fog rolling in and was so happy I had my camera with me.
Watch out for all things that go bump in the night.
Happy October!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

43 things I think about today...

1. I have always thought the date 10/4 was cool like, cop lingo.

2. I married a cop.

3. I was once stopped at the Canadian boarder with my friend.  Our birthdays are both 10/4.  When we were both asked our date of birth the agents at first looked like they didn't believe us.

4. When I was 15 I met the girl who was born to the woman my mom shared a room with in the hospital when we were born.

5. Buster Keeton was born today. He was a silent film star.

6. When I went to California when I was 9 we saw a silent film starring Buster Keeton. I thought it was kismet.

7. I didn't know the actual word for it was kismet till I was much older.

8. I married a man from a family of 6 kids, all born in October.

9. My husband was born on the same day as his sister 12 years apart.

10. I am not overly religious, but I believe it when children say they see Mary.

11. My grandfather died the day after my birthday when I turned 5.

12. I remember I got a Scobby Due projector and a cash register that year.

13. I wonder what my grandfather would think of me today.

14. I remember that I was 5 and my sister was 8 and we stayed out in the car during the wake for my grandfather. 

15. I remember after the wake writing a letter to my grandfather and truly believing that god would give him my letter.  The faith of a child can be so pure.

16. My family celebrates every one's birthdays.  We have a nice dinner, cake and presents.  It is with my aunts and uncles and cousins.  I know how lucky I am to have that.

17. I might rant and rave about my MIL but I do love her.  I just wish she would be a little nicer.

18. I always get the rose on the cake. ALWAYS!

19. I sometimes feel that my life is surreal working from home. I have struggled with that a lot.

20. I am starting to embrace my surreal life more than ever before.

21. I made very bad choices when I was a teenager. I am forever thankful that those choices didn't prevent me from making it to today.

22. When I was a teen, I colored my hair, spiked it, shaved half of my head.

23. You would NEVER know that if you met me today.

24. My kids don't know of my 'punk' days.

25. My punk days have caught up with me.

26. My son wants to dye his hair blue.

27. How do I say no?

28. I don't know what I was thinking when I titled this blog 43 things...

29. 43 things is a lot.

30. I wish I was better remembering anniversaries and birthdays.  I am terrible at that.

31. My favorite song is A Little Less Conversation.

32. I have learned that I don't always have to say yes.

33. I have said 'no' a lot in the past year and it has been a better year than most of the past years.

34. My 9 year old is playing the trumpet.

35. He is proud and I am too, though sometimes it sounds like there is a sick cow moaning from the same room where he is practicing.

36. I wonder where next year will take me.

37. I need a Barnes and Noble intervention.

38. Salted Carmel is my new passion.

39. I wish I could tap dance.

40. I need to get a little more Wimsey in my life.

41. I want to write a book. I need to schedule time every week to write.

42. I want to go to the median my friend went to but I don't really know why.  It really isn't my style.  I think I am more fascinated by the fact that I want to go then actually going.

43. Happy Birthday to me, I am the 43!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I hate to say it, but I told you so...

Busy, busy, busy weekend thankfully.
It is the busiest weekend to hit my little town.  Every year, the first Saturday in October our Main Street is closed and we have an Oktoberfest.  There is live music, all kinds of food and vendors(no booze which confuses some as it is called Oktoberfest) It rained a little but as always it was tons of fun.  I made pink cotton candy all day long to benefit our cub scout pack.  We took in $1700.  Not bad for an off and on rainy day.  On a nice day there are as many as 8,000 people who attend.  Again for our little town, that is pretty big.

So any way here is the run of the weekend with my mother in law.
Friday night I went to the theater to see Young Frankenstein.  It was the first show of my 5 show subscription that I have with two of my friends.  I was thinking "what luck" that I would be out Friday night when MIL was here.  My husband sent me a txt message while I was on my GNO. He said, "Mom locked her keys in the car." I responded "tehehehe" he didn't get it (btw it probably took my husband 1 hour to txt me those 7 words.  He isn't so much in the know about tehehehehe and the sort) I know I shouldn't have tehehehe'ed that but I was a bit nerved up for her arrival and weekend stay.

So come to find out that she locked her keys in her car in the town that my husband happens to work as a police officer in.  Does she call her son so he can have a cruiser go help her out??? No, she calls AAA and sits and waits for 2 hours. He told her to cancel AAA and he would have someone from the station go help her, but no she was going to wait for AAA.  You can lead a horse to water...

By the time I got home Friday night everyone is in bed.  By the way did I tell you my MIL sleeps until 9:00 in the morning? Whatever BUT if you are going to park someone in, you might want to leave your keys out.  Yup, she parked me in and I had to wake her up at 7am so I could get to Oktoberfest to help set up. Good times....

I needed to take a mid morning break from making cotton candy so my man and I left Oktoberfest to go and pick her up and bring her to the festivities.  When we got to our house she said she was wondering when we were going to be back for her(I had to bite my tongue since if we came back any earlier she could have still been in bed.  She said she thought she knew what school the festival was at and she was going to take a ride there(mind you she can't find her way out of a paper bag on a good day).  We again explained that Oktoberfest was on Main St, not at a school.  OK... so we are driving and there is a big sing that says, "Main St. Closed take alternate route".  "Hmmm" she says "Why is Main Street closed?" It just keeps getting better...

Sunday was my day.  I had a stack of Barnes and Noble gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.  I was going to my mother ship and I was not bringing my MIL.  My man and boys were going to get corn stalks to decorate outside and she was going with them.  When I got home, my 14 year old was playing Scrabble with my MIL.  My 14 year old is a good kid. He engages her in conversation and could be doing 50 million other things but, played Scrabble with her.  This is how it all went down...

I said, "Did you tell Nana about your trip to Block Island?"
He says, "Nana I went to Block Island last weekend."
Nana says nothing... now as illustrated above, she doesn't always get it so,
I said,"I don't think Nana heard you, speak up and speak clear."
He says again,"Nana I went to Block Island last weekend."
Nana says, "Oh I heard him but I was ignoring him just like he does to me. See you need to give him a taste of his own medicine." She says this like a total crotchety old bag and looking for some type of indication that I agree with her.  I turned away.  It was so mean what she did with such blatant nastiness. If I said one word, I would say a million and I wouldn't have been able to stop.

Now, my boy, yes the one who is 'freakin' 14' has his issues, as do all 14 year old boys.  I could make a list, a really long list but one thing I can say is that he doesn't ignore his Nana or others for that matter.  He is really social and even at 14 loves to chat so, ignoring people just isn't his style.

Now she is a guest in our home.  She has stayed with us for at least 18 weekends in the past year. She stayed with us last Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and after all of that, the biotch comes to my home and acts like that to her 14 year old grandson who really could have been doing a bunch of other things rather than sitting to play the game that his Nana loves to play.

I might sound harsh, but this has been an ongoing thing with her.  Sometimes I can take it and sometimes I can't. She pushed it a little too far this weekend for me.  This is our home and it is, with all it's warts, a happy one.  I really cherish my time and my weekends with my family and I am not going to let someone come here, stay with us and sprinkle their negative nastiness all over it.

(ahhh, I feel so much better getting that off my chest)