28 December 2010

2010 is almost over...

....and it has been so long since an update.

In that time, we found that the baby we are expecting is a healthy (thank you, God, and everyone who's prayed for us this past year) boy. And my days have been filled with fun stuff like professional development at school, sciatic nerve pain (literally: a pain in the as$) which seems to move side to side, a couple of my usual fall into winter calls for anti-biotics (strep, sinusitis, laryngitis, a couple of other 'itis'es....bambino is going to come out pre-disposed to needing super strength anitbiotics, sorry babe.)

I've also fallen back into my winter craftiness. Baking cookies, decorating sugar cookies, baking dog cookies, decorating dog cookies, making candy, burning skin off my knuckles (ouch...boiling sugar), and of course, crocheting.

This year, its baby blue items galore. So far I have:

1. discovered Ravelery.com, and wasted many hours looking at patterns

2. made a periwinkle blue elf hat, good only for photo ops

3. made matching periwinkle blue booties

4. worked on a sweater (needs button) and matching toque (looks more like a yamaulke right now)

5. gave up on...poncho to cover large belly, christmas table runner, beige thick scarf

Our big gift from each other to each other is a dSLR camera....we have over 600 pictures of the puggle at this point. Look for more this coming year. The well taken ones are from Dan. The not-so-great ones are mine. I may try the 365 pictures in 365 days project to force myself into playing with the camera and catching up to my husband's abilities.

24 October 2010

summer into fall

When I last wrote, I was anxiously looking forward to a new school year in a new role at a new school.
I kept wanting to write how fantastic it is, but wanted to wait for "the other shoe to drop". I historically end up in pretty miserable work situations...the kind that make me want to never see another Monday as long as I live, send me to doctors for stress-related illness, and cause many, many tears.
Somehow...the stars lined up just the right way...I was hired at a really great school this summer! I am doing the job I have been wishing for, teaching small groups of students who need reading support, and working typical teaching hours. The administration is great, and so far, very level-headed. The other teachers actually respect me. They are kind, encouraging, supportive, and cooperative. There is no junior high type gossiping. There is no tattling. There are no unreasonable and malicious rumors. I love it here!!!

So that is what brought me from summer into fall this year.
As the cool weather rolled in (I saw snowflakes Friday!) my favorite winter time passtime has made a come back, I am spending a LOT of time crocheting. This also has a lot to do with football and hockey. Thanks, Dan.

Hopefully my first big project will be done and posted this week....meanwhile, I will enjoy this Sunday afternoon and continue working on a mini-project while 'watching' football this evening. And look forward to work tomorrow.

18 August 2010


Change is a good thing. Change can make you feel better. hopeful. excited.

Change is a scary thing. Change can make you feel frightened. anxious. worried.

This is what the beginning of a new school year is about: new clothes, new haircuts, new teachers, maybe new buildings. And, this is the same for teachers as children.
This year, I will be a new teacher again. I am teaching in a new school, in a new city. I have a new role, teaching reading to students who most need it. I have a building full of new teachers to meet.

And I know how those kids are going to feel this year. As much as this change is a good thing --- a really, really good thing --- its scary to leave the comfort of the room I knew, the role
I knew, and most of all the kids I know. I had reached the point of knowing almost all the kids in the school. I knew parents, I knew the teachers' stories. Now, I am the new kid on the block again. I am so excited when I think of all the positives of this new adventure, but still I have those "new kid butterflies".

We'll all be OK. The butterflies will leave our bellies and help us fly to new, wonderful places, where we should be.
If you are bringing a child to school for the first time, or the first time just for this year, you can tell them that the teachers feel the same way. And mean it.

13 July 2010

cape cod geography...

I wish that I was still on vacation. I spent hours on the beaches of the cape. I also discussed the beaches a lot recently, and realize that they have been named with the mission to confuse the hell out of us on the mainland. Let alone those poor foreign visitors, like the busload full of elderly Russian female tourists who were dumped at Marconi at 5:30 on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

I think I have the lingo of the cape down. Let's Head Down the Cape--- this means traveling from anywhere to Cape Cod. You could be driving from Florida, all 19 hours straight north, but you are going Down the Cape, as is: "We are not excited for this car ride, but it will be worth it. We are going Down the Cape." Before we even go to the beaches, let's straighten out the regions. It took me a good 9 years to get this down.

Upper Cape: the part of the cape closest to the bridges. Bourne, Sandwich, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, Falmouth and Woods Hole (which are actually the lowest physical part of the cape). The Upper Cape brings me to the baffling Barnstable/Hyannis conundrum:
the county- Barnstable

the actual town- Barnstable
the city (within the town and county)- Hyannis (and Hyannisport)
and then there are several smaller "villages"/towns- Marstons Mills, Centerville, Craigville, and they are all also "Barnstable".

Mid Cape: this one actually makes sense, its the middle of the cap
e. part of Barnstable (the Hyannis part) Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich (sometimes but more often is considered Lower Cape). Harwich is actually "the five Harwiches" but they thought ahead to keep the name "Harwich" as part of each, as in Harwichport. They saved their confounding naming skills for their streets, but that's another post for another day.

Nugget, the beach puggle on Bank Street Beach, in Harwichport. There are rules concerning her time at the beaches in this town.

Lower Cape: Harwich (most often), Brewster, Orleans, sometimes Eastham and sometimes, the entire Outer Cape falls under the Lower Cape label.

Outer Cape: This is my favorite part of the cape, and the least busy, also the most expensive. There are no tacky areas to be found, actually there is no route 28 either. Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro (favorite town in the world so far), and Provincetown. I think this part of the cape now boasts 2 Dunks, thanks to the new one in Wellfleet.
It's also home to Seaman's Bank. <----- that's for you, Deb

OK? following so far? Now we visit the actual beaches. I am only talking about the Lower and Outer Cape, as those are the beaches that I frequent.

confusion #1: The National Seashore.
It's one beach. It's not six beaches. It's national but not all of it is available to everyone. There are 6 beaches that a National Seashore pass will gain you entrance to. There are several town managed beaches that require a separate sticker or fee. Then there is open space that you can explore, and 8 self-guided trails. And a museum. And a couple visitor centers. And a
n airport. All of this is considered National Seashore, a National Park. An interesting side note overheard on this stretch of beach: Since its national its federal. Since its federal, state laws don't apply. Also overheard: "It's no $100 fine for smoking green here. Its felony time." And, now you know, gangstah.

Marconi Beach, July. Walk far enough and you can have a whole stretch to yourself.

confusion #2: Nauset v. Nauset Light.
Nauset is in Orleans and Chatham. It is not National Seashore (separate fees). Nauset has an ORV trail. Nauset also has the coldest water anywhere. 58 degrees cold. Part of Nauset Beach is called North Beach, just to make things fun.
Nauset Light is part of the National Seashore (let's call it the seashore from now on) and is located in Eastham. It has a lighthouse called...duh...Nauset Light. I think that at one time Nauset Beach stretched all the way up to Nauset Light Beach.
nauset light
Nauset Light in early June....brrrr....brave soul.

confusion #3: Coast Guard v Coast Guard Road
Coast Guard Beach is in Eastham. It's part of the seashore. It has a shuttle. I have never been here. It has a shuttle.
Coast Guard Road Beach is in North Truro and is the most beautiful stretch of Cape Cod beach that I have ever seen. This is a town managed beach. It can be reached with a half mile or so walk from Head of the Meadow Beach, which is part of the seashore. More than half of the people on this beach at any given time will wonder what beach, exactly, they are on.

confusion #4: Head of the Meadow v Head of the Meadow
This is one beach divided into two. There is the National Seashore side to the left and the town side to the right. But, really its just the parking lot that is divided. Once on the beach, you can walk to either part so long as its not closed for plovers or terns nesting. Actually if you park in the National lot, you could walk down to any of the Truro town beaches according to the ranger station when I called a couple weeks ago.

So, now I am so looking forward to the coming weekend's escape to the seashore.

02 July 2010

twilight weddings

If you know me well, you know there is little in life that I enjoy discussing more than a wedding. You also know that I am obsessed like a 14 year old girl with everything and anything Twilight Saga. Yesterday I got to see Eclipse (so good) on the IMAX (so BIG!) at Providence Place Mall.

Before discussing the actual movie, let me quickly recap what the IMAX theater experience was like. It was the first time I had seen a movie on the giant screen, and wasn't sure what to expect. Neither was D. She was concerned about seeing every detail minus her glasses. As soon as we got there, she commented that not having them was clearly not an issue. What is difficult is trying to take it all in at once. We were about 7 rows back and in the center. Next time, we'll probably take it back a few more rows. The matinee was $12 and well worth the extra few bucks for the opportunity to see Edward's beautiful face at about 30 feet tall.

OK...so the movie. Was it as good as the book? not really...it never can be. Was it awesome? absolutely. The tent scene was as promised. The Jacob kiss- beautifully shot, but I just keep thinking he's so manipulative. (Clearly I am not Team Jacob. Sorry S.) The graduation party and the fights looked just as they did in my imagination. What I was expecting was just a little more of Bree Tanner, given her 200 page book and all. Though, it was details of that book that gave us the Riley scenes in the beginning. Poor Riley.

Now, let's talk about decapitation. It happens in this book. I remember being somewhat shocked the first time I came upon that. David Slade illustrated this in a really cool, sort of gross, but not disgusting way. The shattering noise fx were the best part of the vampire fights...something breaks, you hear this cool shattering sound instead of the goopy, bloody sound fx we usually hear when limbs go flying in movies. (How do I know this?) Edward's sparkly skin worked well in this movie, too. Something I wish for more of...Seth's character development, especially how he and Edward work so well together. Hopefully in Breaking Dawn....

Speaking of: My very favorite part of this movie is definitely the engagement scene (and can you imagine it as a rated R movie...ooooh!) and the final scene with the wedding planning. I found this online, and it just brought my daydreams of the Breaking Dawn wedding into even clearer detail. InStyle is already one of my favorite mags, but the fact that they have 10 designers envisioning Bella's wedding gown for me, well, that just elevates them. I think the Monique Lhulliher is my favorite, but there are a few cool designs in there. Christian Serriano is just fierce, you know he's in to the saga and this assignment. One of the sketches is just odd. See if you can tell which one baffles my mind. And, if you know anything about that designer....please let me know what I am missing!

Meanwhile, go see the movie. Buy the soundtrack (fantastic). I am off to download some more of Sia's songs....she is amazing.

26 June 2010

vicarious shopping....budget pains

Macys Fashion Director: "

I love this outfit - check it out!"

well, its not that I exactly love it, its that I love the idea of a $1000 Macy's gift card, so I could for-real shop. And, actually, given the items to work with, I think I did a pretty decent job on the above. The itty-bitty, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot bikini is great for its iconic status (and being bandeau for the most part. I am obsessed with bandeau bikinis since getting my first last year. No tan lines for whatever neckline shirt/dress you wear. greatness). The hat, despite bearing Jessica Simpson's name is pretty darn cute. And I covet a new (bigger) pair of seven's. Call them priced for the name, but they fit better than any other pair while making me look better than in any other pair. There is only one other pair of jeans I have ever owned that can compare....a 13 year old pair of A&F jeans that are so torn up, I really can't wear them. But they are so velvety soft and carry so many memories, I can't let them go.

Anyhow....cute marketing idea, Macy's. I had a lot of fun pretending I was a guest stylist on "How Do I Look?" while whiling away 20 useless minutes. And until the budgetary disaster is relieved, well, as D said: "We window shop. Oh Look how nice. I would love to buy it, but let's LOOK at it a while and pretend..."

ETA: Oh, If you click on the link above, you can vote for me. Or make your own weekend collection. There's the marketing part!

22 June 2010

fear of needles - conquered.

This past year gave me excessive opportunities to face my fear of needles: root canal, amniocentisis, countless blood draws, a third ear piercing set, and the long awaited tattoo...well, tattoos...no, singular tattoo.

Just about a year ago, I decided to go for it. Not sure what caused me to think I would do it, but thanking D for forcing me to go through with it. She all but dragged me into Sacred Harp tattoo in Salem for my first experience with the ink and needle. A xanax later, I was in the chair, cringing in fear and clutching D's hand as the needle first hit skin. Waiting for agony, it felt like...
well, like scratching a sunburn by accident when it itches. Not the most pleasant feeling I've known, but not the worst either.

Being a fan of pain meds to relieve unnecessary discomfort and knowing that complaining to doctors will do the trick (why suffer in silence? really? the good folks who make hydrocodone do so for a reason), I am very used to the 1 - 10 pain scale. migraine = 8 or 9, cramps = 7 or 8, blackout cramps = 9 or 10, rH negative shot = 5, tattoo = 2 or 3. see, not so bad.

But I digress. So last July the first tattoo was done in about 20 minutes time. I was quoted 45 - 60 minutes, but I was "a rock"...I didn't move or need a break, and it was done super-quick. I had pink angel wings and 3 little stars on my back.
original tattoo, july 2009


The stars were for the lost sister and brother who remained angels, and my 'other' mom Trish.

Fast forward to December. I had my own angel baby to forever remember and thought the best way to do this would be with an additional tattoo. I found this design and thought it perfect:
what was meant to be added

Back to Sacred Harp we went. When sketched out and applied, it was a mess. Symmetry is huge in tattooing and the lack of symmetry in the new design did not work. When all was said and done, I ended up with this:
tattoo part 2
Not so perfect. Pretty much pain free again, so that was good.

So, after weeks of stressing over how to make it perfect, hubby treated me to a "re-do" at Electric Angel in NH. The name of the shop sounded perfect. The photos of Laurie's work were incredible. My friend's own tattoo done there is absolutely breathtaking. So off we went.

Let me tell you, she did an awesome job, but OH. MY. GOD. pain! this ranked up there as a 6 or 7. Tears were trying to escape, and hubby couldn't stay in the room to watch the whole time.

Later, he took the bandage off and OH. MY. again. This tattoo bled! No blood before. I had one of my panic attacks upon seeing this picture while hubby cleaned it off for me.
holy bloody mess.

Anyhow, after cleaning and applying aquaphor...
well, it looked worse.

Few minutes later, and this is the final result.
angel wings and heart tattoo
total love.

I am already planning the next one! My foot is looking pretty boring and I have a sketch in my head ready to go.

So, do I offer any advice for those of you considering some ink?
1. have a CLEAR idea of what you want before you go. Find or draw it out.
2. take an advil before you go.
3. know that the more detailed the image, the larger it will need to be on your skin to maintain detail as you age.
4. know that you will not be able to get it in pool water, pond water, or ocean water for 10 days to 2 weeks. Plan around vacations to avoid missed fun.
5. if the tattoo artist suggests making it bigger, he/she's right. You will be glad you did!

21 June 2010

summer 2010

I have not bothered with this blog for a long time.
Actually, that is not entirely true at all.

I have not posted on this blog for a long time.

When last I actually posted one of the many rambles that I have typed, I was very excitedly looking forward to my first child's arrival. I was a happy pregnant lady.

Those of you who actually know me (which may be 3 of the maybe 4 people who've ever read this) probably know that 1 month after that fateful post, we lost our baby girl. Its been a hard few months. There have been silver linings that are still so tarnished they've yet to shine. And there have been posts that I typed, mostly for me, and kept to myself. So now, I am trying to actually step back into the world I was in last summer before everything went tipsy topsy and dropped me, and my heart, on my ass.

I missed writing. I love it. I would love an audience for my ramblings, but am happy to believe that you're out there. I love reading blogs and peaking in on other people's lives, and finding connections. Maybe you do too...and you will read on.

Anyhow, most of what was true about me last year remains true. Puggle - check. She is now elevated into even more "crazy lady and her spoiled crazy dog" status. There will be dog information on this blog. promise. Teacher - check. I am leaving my favorite class ever...there will be stories about my kiddos. Beach goer - check. I legitimately could happily spend the rest of my life lounging on beaches. I look forward to sharing that with you. Diner - check. Still love me some good foods. Shopper - check. well, sort of. Budgets blow. Twilight fan. Oh hell, yeah. Will share thoughts on Eclipse next week.

So stay tuned....the pricipessa is back, and she's got a lot of time on her hands this summer.

mini etsy