Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark


Where I live, I always have a great view of the night sky.

We have a low tree line, most of the buildings are two stories (or lower) and there is very little light pollution.  I love the night here. Dark.

The night usually starts out with a spectacular sunset.  Then the sky, like an overworked watercolor turns dark.  The stars and the moon start to appear as if on a dimmer switch in God's living room.

There is a new show every night.

Even on foggy or cloudy nights you can feel the vastness of the universe like a tremendous ocean that Earth is a little beach ball floating around in.

The morning sky brings a no less spectacular sunrise and lights the solid  and defined world. This is beautiful as well but leaves less to the imagination than the darkness of night.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coffee Kingdom

Like any good Irish-American girl I was raised as a tea drinker.  I love tea.

My first impulse when company comes is to turn the kettle on as I offer a cup to my guests. The lighting of the tea kettle is also the first step to any* crisis situation. Tea is my rock, my friend, my life companion.

I also love coffee. I love coffee in a more desperate, get this coursing through my veins kind of way.  This may sound like an addiction.  I admit to times of abuse but I have it under control presently. I limit myself to around 16 ounces a day.  I can get through the day without it.

If I do start to get twitchy there is always my tea, patient and kind, to make everything alright.

*birth, death, illness, car, school, family, work, home, friends, etc.

Monday, October 17, 2011


My family and I went to New York City last weekend.

We were overdue for a visit. 

We spent the first day circumnavigating the Borough of Queens in an attempt to visit all of my in-laws in one day. We lucked out with sunny and warm weather. It was great to see our country kids bonding with their city cousins on the playground.

The next day we went to the Met

That place is nuts. 

There is soooooo much to see.

We did our best to cram in as much viewing as we could.


I had been there many times before, but I had never taken my kids. It was like seeing it all new again. Due to the unseasonably warm weather we had the treat of going up to the roof garden, which has a beautiful view of Central Park and the city.

We headed back to my brother and sister-in-law's in time for the Patriots game.

Even though I love the Pat's, I didn't come all the way to NYC to sit and watch a regular season game when I can do that on any given Sunday on my couch at home.

So, I took the girl on a long (Sunday schedule plus construction) subway ride downtown.

We went to Zuccotti Park.

I figured we should check out the protest while we were in town. The best thing about that was having to get my thoughts together enough to explain to my almost ten-year-old what the people were protesting.

On our way back to the subway, we caught a glimpse of the setting sun reflecting off the new World Trade Center tower.

For a moment I thought of making a left turn and heading towards the memorial.  My head was already swirling from an overstimulating weekend and the second-hand smoke at the protest.  I knew I wasn't ready to go there.

I don't know if I ever will be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apples and Oranges

I heard a clip of Steve Jobs' now famous commencement speech on Fresh Air the other day.  His words  about doing what you love reminded me of a grocery clerk that I had met when I was a college student.

I was working at a grocery store for the summer. I was getting trained along with a bunch of other college and high school kids. The woman who was training us was probably in her late forties. I don't remember her name but she was very kind and patient with us. She showed us how to use the cash register and scanner. We watched a video on how to bag groceries and we were given instructions on how to enter coupons and food stamps.

At the end of our training she gave a short speech, wishing us luck and letting us know that she would be around if we needed any help. Then she ended the talk by telling us how much she loved her job.

She explained how she loved working with people and being a part of the community. She felt very lucky to be doing something that she loved and wished the same for all of us.

Her little talk didn't have anything to do with our training and seemed unlikely to have much effect on a bunch of kids that probably weren't going to be working at the store past Labor Day.

But, her words have always stuck with me in my pursuit to do what I love.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Eat Your Books


I do not have a hard time saying, "No" to my children.

I am a thrifty gal who comes from a long line of people who make do with what they have. "Redigo, Reuse, Redivius" has been our family's motto for centuries.  Loosely translated means, "You don't need that".

However, there are two expensive items that I always say, "Yes." to.

Vegetables and Books.

"May I have more broccoli?"  "Yes!"

"Can I get two books instead of one at the Book Fair?  Please?"  "Yes!"

I am a sucker every time and they know it. Thankfully, the library and their small stomachs keep us from going broke.