Tuesday, November 29, 2011

from holiday lights to dry heaving

I love this time of year.  From Thanksgiving right up until the New Year, I like the busyness, the sparkles the school programs.  The days spin along with their own agenda pushing us from one thing to the next. 

We went down the road to cut a Christmas tree, something our younger kids have yet to experience.  We walked about the tree farm until we all ended up in the same corner and decided we found the right tree, somewhat because it was the right size and somewhat because we were tired and the trees all started to look the same.

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That’s Ken and I giving each other the look of love, and Molly setting off on her high speed trek to find the right tree.  She runs everywhere, do you have a child like that?

Thanksgiving came and went.  I spent that morning with my head over the garbage can, something that is all too frequent and I really wish would stop.  But in just the nick of time I managed to get dressed and go to my sister’s house.  My brother was there whom I haven’t seen in 5 years and it made me cry.  Surely he thinks I am a freak with my dry heavy breath and wild look of black mascara tears. 

After that we went to Ken’s side.  We had a full day, in a very good way.  It was a much different Thanksgiving than in past years when we had a table full of airman who were unable to go home for the holiday.


This is my Irish mother in law. She likes to pick on me and I like to pick on her, so it works out nicely.  This would be an example of the face she would make if I asked her if she boozed it up before we arrived.

My oldest came and went.  We tried to fit a lot in while she was here, to include crafting marathons and sushi.  I miss her being close by.  She makes me laugh so much!

(This is where a picture of Hadley should be but after a recent Facebook incident of posting pictures that are unflattering without asking all us girls agreed to only post pictures with permission,though pictures of my mother in law are always okay.)

Henry turned five yesterday and is officially not a baby anymore.  He has hauled around a stuffed cat he named “Mama Kitty” for years.  She used to be vibrant and cute but now well... she smells a little tangy in a not so good way.

So we got him a kitten.  A real one that doesn’t take batteries.  I put her in a gift bag and Henry was pretty surprised.  I think I will remember his face my whole life.


I love the little kitten.  We named her Sally O’Malley, okay I named her Sally O’Malley because if we let Henry name her he would have said something like ChukkahBukkah or CheezyWeezy.  


Sally O’Malley and Mama Kitty.  One of these cats smells better than the other.

That’s all I gots for now.  It’s time for dinner- chicken soup with rice.  So I best be getting to the kitchen and doing some cooking while listening to holiday music of the big band swing variety.

Tootles, friends….

PS We saw the Muppet movie and it was good, it was the first movie in a very long time that our whole family could watch together without it being too loud or scary or full of fart jokes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

choo choo

Today is Saturday.  I woke this morning with supreme optimism…I will clean the entire house! I will haul the Christmas stuff from the barn! I will sew! I will bake bread!

Soon enough my people woke and stumbled downstairs and ate the eggs I cooked that were beyond overhard.  Then I swept the floor and Henry pouted about not being able to build a huge Lego set that is his brothers.

Then I was tired.

So I wonder am I really tired? Or is it just watching all the energy of my children that makes me tired? I will never match their mad skills of running full speed to be first outside or riding bikes up and down the driveway enough to equate the Tour de France.

Sometimes it’s hard to be a mother/wife in limbo.  It’s obvious what needs doing but what you really want to do is go to the candy shop on Main St and buy candy for a gingerbread house that you are determined to make this year but by Dec 23 you kind of realize that you won’t and all that glorious by the pound candy is sitting in the dark hutch drawer in your dining room. 

This is how I live my life, it can be the candy store, the fabric store, the craft store.  When I was first married I followed through on my projects 100% of the time.  I would save and purchase and create with such determination that it makes me nauseous to even think about it.  I remember looking at stale mothers who had kids with unmatched clothes and boogers and thinking with a shudder how that would never be me. 

But sometimes I feel like the train is pulling into the booger station and it’s my kids who are about to climb aboard.  Some days when I am buried under the proverbial mountain of laundry I open my eyes and see Henry wearing pants that are too short and tiny shirts that dig into his armpits. Poor Henry! How did this happen?!

There is a whole list of reasons why this happens, and the more I study my own list the more it makes me appreciate my kids.

Instead of joining a playgroup I would much rather join a group of mothers of large families… we could get really loud and try to top each others stories.  None of us would have manicures or even a decent haircut for that matter.  Many would be wearing clothes our teenagers didn’t want and we would all most definitely be wearing comfortable shoes.  We would tell our kids to go outside. They wouldn’t be whiny though, they wouldn’t squeal for snacks and they would climb trees way up high.  They would create games to play amongst themselves. They would build a fort with stuff from the woods and tie the pieces with proper knots made from vines. One of us mothers would have a pack of graham crackers in a purse made of faux leather that the kids would open and divvy up evenly.  They would break each cracker into four small rectangles perfectly because they had lots of practice doing that.

And I suppose that is why I love having a big family.  As much as my instinct is to have a clean house I would much rather have plenty of little armed hugs, even if they struggle to put their arms around your growing belly and wipe their nose on your shirt in the process.




Thursday, November 17, 2011

gingham is good for boys, too


Blogging about making stuff seems so far away.  Did I really do that?

Slowly I am finding routines I like and making stuff is creeping its way towards the top of the list.

I finished the boys curtains and set about decorating their room.  Though they are far apart in age it seems to work somehow.  It’s kind of an eclectic mix of airplane and cowboy with a couple sports oldies just for fun.

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The airplanes are hung from the ceiling with fishing line, and what you can’t see is the gouge I made in the plaster ceiling. (Note to self screws and anchors won’t really work in a plaster ceiling.)


On a whim I decided to make the curtains above the beds just valances as I wish I could say I trust my four year old not to play with regular panels and pull them over his head but he is four and often surprises me with his antics. 

I always forget how homey curtains make a room feel.  The kids rooms are easy for me to pick and choose what would look right…I struggle with the other rooms as it’s such a permanent decision, you know?  The investment of fabric and time only to wonder if you really like it.  I guess that’s called procrastination!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the farmer pilot

Last weekend I tagged along with my husband as he was to speak at a small Polish Veteran’s club in Massachusetts.  He will often speak on behalf of the Air Force or veterans  because I think he feels honored to do so.  This is why he is the grown up in our relationship and why I am always learning from him. 

The club was being dedicated to Capt John Ogonowski, a 9/11 pilot whose plane hit the first tower.  He left behind his wife and three daughters.  I knew all this beforehand but what I didn’t know was how I was about to change on that somewhat sunny and breezy Sunday afternoon.  Much like my husband he was a farmer who loved airplanes and joined the Air Force…his parents are quirky New England folk and his wife and daughters felt like instant friends.  He was no longer just a name on paper that I read a tragic story about.

This wasn’t a memorial service but a day for him and his family and friends.  They had taken a large rock from his farm and had it etched for the front of the building.  It was very pretty.  I sat amongst the crowd that was mostly Polish people and listened to their stories with their Boston-like accents.  They all knew John, from the diner, the post office, from grammar school. We stayed all day and ate food and heard stories and ate more food.  It was humbling.

I felt his void within his family and his land.  And these emotions can’t seem to leave my mind. 

The uplifting part of all this is getting to know his family and seeing their spirit for life and how much he still lives through them is really a beautiful thing.  And though I have never met him he has taught me so much about my own husband and that intense drive he has for the things he loves most.  Even if it’s the smell of silage or fresh cut hay.

Hopefully I haven’t depressed you all with my thoughts, even though it was an awful thing that should never have happened we should never stop learning from it.  And learning is always a good thing for everyone.

I realize this is a hard post to comment on…that’s okay.  I just felt compelled to write.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

an elephant kewpie may or may not be cute


The last two sales I went to kind of made me crazy.  I could have just sat there with my number high in the air the whole time.   The last few years of sales have changed me, they were of a different pace. 

Anyhow I sat and watched box lots of stuff with no bids until it was down to next to nothing and my arm would twitch and the yellow number card would boing into the air.  That is how I ended up with an elephant kewpie and lots of other old toys.  My youngest was with me, he is all about lincoln logs and I think I have built him a set in which he could now build us a full size house.  So I’m pondering not buying anymore, even when they are only a dollar and they have roof pieces that are SUPWER COOL, MOM. 

Since I last posted we have had 20” of snow, and been without power for a bit.  It’s a whole new life style and as long as the woodstove is full of fire the world is just fine. 

I hope your world is just fine, too!