Friday, October 28, 2011

National Smoke Out

November 17 is national smoke out day.  The health & wellness committee at working is sponsoring an event.  You can pledge to stop smoking, donate to the cancer society and if you don't smoke you can take an empathy pledge and for this we get to wear jeans to work that day.  It is difficult to give up smoking (though I don't know myself) and you should give up something difficult as well.  I'm giving up seconds. 

I take a second helping at dinner because it tastes good or because everyone else is still eating.  I'm not really hungry still.  I've been getting better at eating slowly - putting the fork down between bites and chewing my food.  Much easier said than done.  I'm no longer the first one done at dinner.  And that has helped.  But, no more second helpings. 

The nutritionist that leads our balance meetings at work is an inspiration.  She sees the good in everyone and every situation.  I have only met a few people like her in my life and I feel really blessed to know them.  As some of us struggle with health, weight, stress and a whole host of issues she cheers us on.  She's encouraging and sees our beauty even on days we don't see it ourselves.

I can be really critical of people.  Learned in part from my family.  I try to see the best in people - the beauty they possess.  I know everyone has at least one beautiful facet - we are all part of the divine.  Yet I often let the flawed facet that annoys me loom larger than the beauty.  What does that say about me?  What lesson do I need to learn from that cracked flaw that I perceive in others?  I often ponder that and hopefully learn and grow. 

I mentioned to a friend that I would like to be more of a person that sees the beauty first.  She laughed and said you want to be nice and give up seconds at the same time? 

What do you need to give up?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


My husband went to the area chief's meeting for the fire department last week.  If you don't send a member to the meeting your department hosts the next meeting.  TFD is hosting in December.  Because I often bring cookies to TFD for friends I've had since kindergarten my hubby volunteered me to make cookies.

One person asked if these cookies were any good.  Hubby said the room erupted in praise.  The chief of my former department said, " you live in the north west corner and you've never had Kim's cookies - you're really missing out."

Hubby was kinda proud.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Two Sides and letting go

There are always two sides (at least) to every story. I've really try hard to hear both sides.  I feel the truth for me lies somewhere in the middle or where the stories overlap. 

This spring bio opened a facebook account.  I blocked her from youngest.  Youngest has nightmares the few times bio calls.  Bio has only called 4 times since January when oldest left.  Youngest has been doing fantastic hearing less from bio.  On one level this saddens me deeply.  A child should not be better off having no contact with their mother.  But life isn't always like I think it should be.

Long story short bio is now unblocked and friends with youngest.  And instead of using it to communicate with her daughter they play games.  If I couldn't see my daughter I would do anything to keep and touch and know her.  But, hey that's me.  And I would work whatever I had to so I could see my child but again that's just me and I'm getting off track.

So oldest posts on her FB account that I blocked bio.  True.  But then she claims that I don't let the kids talk to her on the phone, that I hang up on her when she calls, that I don't pass on phone messages......   I have NEVER hung up on her (well once but that was before she moved and had nothing to do with her talking to the children) , I have never not passed on a message - there are none to pass on.  If her number comes up I don't pick up I let the answering machine get it.  I don't want to talk to her.  I have NEVER told the kids they can't call her.  They just don't think to do it on their own.  Out of sight out of mind. 

Heck at one point youngest said to her mother, "Are you ever going to visit I forget what you look like."  And her reply was - "I'll send you a picture."  The picture never came. 

So, before oldest's post and when bio became unblocked I was sitting in temple for a council of women.  And what came to me is that I need to let go.  I knew this already but I was having a hard time putting it into practice.  I want to protect my children.  But, they chose to be born to bio for some reason.  It is some lesson they must need to learn in this life.  I need to let that go.  Let her be friends on FB.  Truly let their relationship with bio be what it needs to be and that it is NOT a refection on me or my mothering.  And I let it go.  It had been a long time coming. 

And I feel so free. 

If oldest needs to believe whatever bio tells her that's her issue.   If she wants to believe that I am evil - that is her issue.  I know in my heart I did the best I knew how and that I loved her as a mother loves a daughter.  If that is not enough for her (or too much) that is her issue.  I am letting go of the attachment, the fear, the out come of everything but my own actions and reactions.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I've been on a soup kick all week.  We've had beef stew that son made, chicken noodle soup and a chicken, cheese and Brussels sprout soup out.  Today I'm experimenting with my version of minestrone soup.

olive oil
8 cups of chopped veggies
red onion
sweet potato
4 cloves of garlic sliced thin
fresh rosemary chopped
fresh thyme chopped
1 TBSP oregano
4 cups veggie stock
4 cups beef stock
1 can diced tomato with the juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chick peas drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
2 astragalus root pieces
salt and pepper
handful or two of tiny pasta

       Swirl olive oil in large pot to coat bottom.  When it is hot add 8 cups of veggies and cook stirring about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and herbs.  Cook another couple of minutes.  Add everything but the past and simmer.  10 minutes before serving add the pasta.


In the midst of paying bills a friend called.  She had a few stores she wanted to visit and a couple of tag sales to see.  Would I like to come along.  Give me an hour and it's a deal.  It was nice to get out with no kids and visit.  While I was getting ready to leave youngest asked, "What are we doing today?"  I'm going out with girlfriend. "What is her son doing?"  He's hanging with his Dad.   It is so frustrating that at 13 y/o my daughter has no social life and wants to be included in mine.

 And I'm at a loss of how to help her make friends.  I know her learning disabilities have hindered the process.  And the older it gets the worse it gets.  As youngsters kids could over look her social awkwardness but in middle school the gap has really increased.  And youngest just disconnects and doesn't care. This is good in a way because it doesn't bother her to have no real friends but, I see the long term consequences.

My girlfriend and I had a great morning and stopped for lunch before coming home.  I took son driving.  He has a few more hours left to practice before getting his license.  When we got home youngest was on the phone with bio.  Wohoo!  The woman remembered she has more kids.  First call since August.  She's supposedly sewing some clothes for youngest.  Asking her about her sizes and color preferences.  All I could her youngest saying is NO.  NO dresses, No skirts, No pink, No peach, No light colors - What is that - NO, NO, NO.  I like black and blue - dark colors. Ew NO!!   Well, if she actually finishes the project and mails it I will be surprised.  I'm sure she already bought the peach colored fabric.  Maybe this can be her long awaited birthday present.  It was only in April.  And the worse part is oldest is living there and can't tell bio that her sister is NOT a girlie girl at all.  Sad, she lived with her and never really saw her.

This morning I'm off to a breakfast date.  My girlfriend is in town briefly.  It's been since last winter when I saw her last.  Yeah!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mini Vacation

When you work only three days a week with one PTO day and perfect timing you can take a six day week end.  My kids were off for five of them.  The weather has been BEAUTIFUL!  Perfect October in New England.  Warm during the day, cool at night the crisp clean fall air with the smell of leaves in the air.  Orange, red and gold bursting forth on the hills.  Aaaah!!!

Friday I went for a five mile walk with my girlfriend.  Great exercise and an awesome visit.  I hit the grocery store and stopped for a visit with another friend as I delivered some soaps and potions. 

Saturday a group from work met early in the morning and hiked up to Hueblein tower.  I dropped son off at air soft and youngest and I had lunch at Passiflora tearoom.

This is the view from the hiking trail.
Sunday I took youngest to the garlic festival in Bethlehem.  Lots of yummy food and neat crafts.

Monday youngest and I headed to the bike trails.

Tuesday youngest and I headed to Kent falls for some hiking and a picnic.

And today youngest and I and a couple of Friends headed to White Memorial for some hiking and a picnic.  The chill is creeping in and the rain will soon be here but what a great week end off.

After hiking on Saturday son was through with us and decided to stay home and be a blob.  At sixteen who wants to hang out with your sister and step mom.  Oh well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I've been taking a class on shamanic dreaming with Susan Morgan.  There have been a few dreams in my life I really remember.  A fewer still that have impacted my life.  I've done the dream dictionary phase  and pretty much have ignored my dreams of late if I remember them at all.

What I've learned is stuff I knew at some level.  After all we all dream every night.  Our dreams are a way for our subconscious to work things out or speak to us if we only listen.  Susan lead us through a few journeys as we listened to the beating of the drum.  I was able to finally journey with the plants.  I had a wonderful visit with poke week.

I finally put a journal by my bed just to record dreams.  I have lots of journals filled with a whole mish mash of stuff - diary, dream journal and class notes.  It makes it really difficult to look things up later.  I've been really trying to make an effort to keep my journals and note books separate.  Especially now that I'm prepping for my advanced herbal class.

It really does help to write your dreams down before you get out of bed.  And what appears in my dream has a meaning for just me.  You could dream of the same thing and it would mean something entirely different.  You need to create your own dream dictionary. 

I'm enjoying my class, I'm enjoyed her book, and now I'm looking forward to navigating my life through my dreams.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where did September go?

September was a blip on the radar.  It was no sooner here and school started and it was gone.  October arrived with birthday's waiting and cards going out late.  Ooops!  I called my sister-in-love - the angel married to my dear brother - and she thinks the whole year blipped by.  Her birthday was Saturday.  Mine was Monday and she said my card was in the mail as well.

My brother took her and the kids to the Big E to see the circus and magic show.  He took her to dinner and didn't let her lift a finger.  He can be really sweet. 

I worked on my birthday.  The girls bought me an ice cream cake.  Yum!  I made my birthday dinner.  I love to cook so I don't mind.  Hubby cleaned up the dishes which was much more important. 
Glazed chicken, creamed spinach and bow tie pasta sauteed with sauerkraut.  And for dessert my self filled chocolate bundt cake.  I've had this as my birthday dessert since I was a kid.

Our nephew dropped by for cake and final hugs good bye.  He is off to work in Florida for the winter. 

And Sunday morning the boys went to rope rescue training while I slept in.  Next thing I know youngest is carrying in a tray - breakfast in bed.  Eggs and OJ.  Wohoo!  She was making her breakfast and thought I might like some as well.  I just love her!!!!