Saturday, September 29, 2012

Diva Tomboy

My little girl is now a freshman and things are changing.  For the past few years she has strived for everything boy like (in her eyes) hair, clothing, interests.  And after wearing dresses forever refused to even come near one.  This summer she started looking at jewelry and picked up some new bracelets and necklaces.  As much as she likes earrings she decided they hurt too much.

{ Earring story - bio pierced both the girls ears at home when they were infants.  Oldest was into the jewelry from a young age - youngest was not.  Youngest always wore kid safety earrings and at one point wanted them off.  Before bio moved away she insisted that youngest wear earrings and gave her a cheap pair of bows to wear.  They soon started bugging her and she kept pinching her ears.  I didn't realize how much they were bothering her until one night.  She woke me up to say her ears hurt.  She had pinched so much the backings were inside her earlobes.  I'm not sure who was in more pain her or me as I used the tweezers to retrieve the backings.  Since then she hasn't been able to wear any earrings and it's been almost four years.}

Last time we went for hair cuts she asked if she could have red highlights.  I know red is a very difficult color to look natural and to last for any length of time.  As I come from a long lineage of redheads for a while I tried to follow suit.  It cost a small fortune even though I loved the look.  I had Stephanie, our hair dresser explain what was involved, how often she would have to come back and how much it would cost.  I then explained on the way home what she could do to earn the money for her new look.  She decided against it.

Yesterday we headed to see Stephanie again. Something about going to get our hair done is like truth serum for youngest.  On the way there she explained that life was great but she wanted a boyfriend.  We spent the rest of the ride talking about what she expected and wanted from a boyfriend and what type of girlfriend she would be.  When I sat down in the chair to go first she asked if she could dye her hair.  A little expensive I said.  Well, we could get a box at the store (this is what bio does and can I tell you how much money I spent fixing oldest's day glow orange mistake).  Uh, no!!!!   Stephanie explained that it would cost more to fix the box dye job than having it done correctly.  I didn't have to mention bio and oldest and orange hair though I did gently remind her of it later.  I want to go blond she said.  Stephanie then said she definitely didn't want to get that out of a box.  How about a few highlights I suggested.  Stephanie piped in that she could frame her face and it would look great.  That worked for youngest and I made an appointment to go back in a couple weeks.

So, then we stopped at Ulta (the make up store) on the way back.  I had a coupon and they sell the shampoo that works great on youngest's hair.  As we walked around looking at eye make up because I wanted some fresh stuff for my outing tonight she saw a case that comes complete with lip, eye and face products.  Can I have this?  You want to wear make up I asked.  Yup.  So after asking a few questions and thinking about it (and seeing that it wasn't very pricey) and remembering that I was experimenting with make up at that age I bought it.  I got a thank you and an I love you out of the deal. 

Hubby is sleeping as it is the middle of his work week.  Son is off to help the recruiter clean his office or something.  I think we'll have a little spa day.  Some facials and foot rubs.  I'll paint her nails with the polish she talked me into last outing and I'll show her some basic make up tips.

Monday, September 24, 2012


And I'm not a pirate.  Because bio saw hubby this week and she now has someone home to make phone calls for her bio remembered she has more kids and called the house.  I should say oldest called the house and handed the phone to bio.  Son rolled his eyes and left for work.  Youngest talked to her mom.  She hung up in tears, hating school and us.

Bio promised to send youngest a present for her sixth grade promotion (never came) this year she promised to send her a gift card for her promotion from 8th grade.  It has never arrived.  She keeps telling her she hasn't sent it yet.  Yesterday she told her she sent it and hubby and I must have stole it. 

Youngest told her how bored she was here.  We had just arrived home from hiking. She also told her she hates school and can't take art.  She loved school on Friday.

Bio told her that she can't see her because of the court system.

Bio told her she could have a dog if she lived with her and that daddy & Kim are...... because we won't get a new dog.

I was out shopping with a girlfriend and came home to hubby a tad bit upset.

So..................  hubby started the ball rolling by asking youngest who gets the mail each day.  Me and son.  So, how could we steal it?  Have you ever not received your mail?  No.  Not to bash your mom but, does that make sense?

As he briefed me he was headed to the fire pit because youngest wanted a fire.  The two headed off to get it started and I surveyed what was for supper.  I then headed to the pit and in my best whining voice said, " daddy, I'm so bored you never take me hiking or to the go carts or on vacation or nothin'. "  Youngest smiled and said she wasn't bored.  Really, that's not what you told your mom.  "I'm just blowing smoke she says."

I checked your grades and you're doing awesome.  I also e-mailed your teacher to see if we can do anything about art for the spring.  And, you start the art club tomorrow. 

At dinner we explained once again why we are not getting a new dog.  Well, the reason hubby sticks with.  That if we had a dog we wouldn't be able to travel or go away for a full day without trying to find a sitter.  Do you like going on vacation?   The reasons we didn't mention as it that even though I like dogs I hate being a dog owner.  It was hubby's dog.  Sammy came with him, the four kids and the psychotic ex-wife.  I ended it up with most of the dog duties - feeding, letting out, nursing duties, etc.  The rest could say they own a dog.  Oh, and the tumbleweeds of fur that no one seemed to notice but me.  Sammy shed a new dog daily.  Sammy was a good dog and I do miss her but....I'm not ready for that type of commitment.

I asked if I needed to file a complaint with the post office.  After all her card was stolen.  She thought for a minute and said, "I get my Christmas presents and birthday cards."  Yes, and I would love nothing more than for you to get a gift from your mom.  It breaks my heart when she promises you things and doesn't deliver, I told her. 

Why does she say anything?  Congratulations over the phone would be enough.  Why say you'll send a gift and never do?  Then say we stole it.  Oh wait, because she stole her son's gift card from his grandmother.  MIL had sent one to oldest son for Christmas.  It never arrived.  She talked to the people at Walmart, they traced it and pulled up the video of the woman using it.  She had enough money to fly and see oldest graduate but can't send a card to youngest. 

And youngest is not stupid or quiet.  She questions her mother on everything and youngest forgets nothing.  It leaves bio scrambling for a new lie and youngest calls her on the carpet for it.

And the court thing - all bio has to do is come back to CT and file to have the restraining order lifted.  She has no intention of doing that.  It's much more convenient for bio to blame us for not visiting. 

And that is my vent for the day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Hubby arrived home in the wee hours of the morning from the airport.  Like 1230 or so.  I woke early and sipped coffee and enjoyed the quiet.  Son was soon up and ready to head out with his fellow marines for a day at Catamount and the zip lines.  Hubby woke and we were able to visit before youngest rolled out of bed at 1010.  She just looked at me and said, "I told you I'd sleep until 10."  Tough life she has.

I headed off to finish grocery shopping and hubby headed off to complete his errands.

For supper I pulled the bounty of our CSA delivery and started cooking.  I made acorn and butternut squash roasted in the oven and then mashed together with a touch of butter and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I sliced some onion and added kale to a big pot until it wilted.  I add barley, broth and a hint of cream and simmered it covered low until the barley absorbed all the yummy goodness.  And I rubbed a pork loin with my homemade Za'tar mix and roasted it.  The fat was crisp and brown and the meat was juicy.  And with the drippings a brown gravy.  The meat really didn't need gravy but, I never pass an opportunity to have some.  

Ah, what a way to welcome autumn.  Today the four of us are off for a hike.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Long Week

I woke Tuesday with a slight fever and went to work any way.  I had a meeting in the other building and when I came back to my office the wind and rain were so strong that what wasn't covered by my raincoat was soaked to the skin.  I finished up what I had to and went home crawled in bed and let hubby worry about dinner.

He left the next morning to see oldest graduate from AIT at Fort Leonard Wood as an MP.  He made it  in time to have lunch with her, bio and LHNB.  BIO and LHNB rode in one car and hubby and oldest in his so they had some one on one time.  When he arrived she ran across the parking lot, jumped in his arms with tears in her eyes. He said that was worth it.  They had the afternoon and graduation the next morning before she shipped out.  He's on his way home tonight.

Last night was open house at the high school and I had every intention of going but....  it was from 7 to 9.  I was sound asleep by 7:20.  I feel much better today.  Maybe it's the sleep or the chiropractor or maybe the spa appointment.  Nothing like a massage and pedicure to do the body good.  While I was there the receptionist told me to check my e-mails for a special offer through living social.  Yeah, a massage, facial and paraffin hand treatment for a few dollars more than I usually pay for a massage.  I could only buy one offer and one gift.  I'm thinking my diva tomboy might enjoy that stuffed in her stocking.

She came home from school yesterday and asked if she could join the art club.  She wasn't able to get into the intro to art class which she needs to take any art classes but the teacher told her about the art club.  I'm off on Mondays when she would need a ride so it works out perfectly.

High school is going great for her.  She's even made a few friends.  Wohoo!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Still in my pajamas

and it's early afternoon.   I really do plan to shower soon and start making supper.  There has been some illness in the family and I'm not sure if I have something or I'm  fighting not to have something or I'm just really tired.  And tired in more ways than I need a little sleep.

Youngest started with some sniffles when the weather turned.  She took my elderberry tincture (a new concoction) skipped her fire department meeting and snuggled in.  She was soon over it.  Son started and pushed himself.  When he felt really yucky he went to PT with the Marine recruiter for a few hours and wondered why he couldn't breath the rest of the week end.  I arrived home late last night from Vermont and hubby was taking him to the ER.  Acute bronchitis.  And much to his dismay I kept him home from school, made him tea and took his pulses (more about that in a minute).  Hubby has a sinus thing going on and falls somewhere between son and youngest on the self care spectrum. 

I got home last night exhausted.  I slept in yesterday morning and missed the hike.  If class wasn't so good I would have run back to the camper and curled up for a long nap.  So this morning I've been puttering and pampering myself.  Laundry is done, minutes typed for the fire district, elderberry syrup made and chicken soup in the works for dinner. 

Kate Gilday of Woodland Essences taught class this week end.  She is a gracious, hope filled, light filled woman.  She is a deep listener and a keeper of stories.  She taught about cancer and lyme.  She also taught about reading pulses.  Since class began in May we were supposed to be taking pulses and see what we could find.  Take notes and such.  I did some reading on the subject and could see differences in different people.  But Kate is amazing and she took time after class to show us the Aryvadic understanding of the pulse.  There are six pulse readings in each wrist. And when she was done and I had practiced it made sense.  I could feel all 12 pulses. WOW!!!

I received a heart warming report from a woman at class that taught felting to youngest at the WHC.  And then I mentioned to one of my classmates what a love her daughter is.  At the WHC her  6 y/o daughter was full of hugs and smiles for me.  She cuddled right up as her mom took a picture.  And I was told her daughter only did that with me. That made my heart smile.  M said she must have sensed the good mother in me.  She sent me a copy of the picture. 

I have time left to take at work and I'm hoping my boss will let me take an October vacation.  The kids have a few days.  Hubby's days off overlap with the kids.  It could be a fun fall family week.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ordered In before the hike

When our new governor was elected there was a big issue with the state workers and many people lost their jobs.  The state police which has a mandated minimum number of employees has been working below that for years now lost a few.  They called them back later but most had already found new jobs.  Other states quickly snatched up newly trained recruits and saved themselves a bundle.  I realize that some over time is more cost effective than hiring an employee - you save on pay and benefits.  But at what point is that no longer cost effective?  Hubby could work double shifts every day.  Heck, he could work 24/7 if he wanted to.  We are called daily to fill shifts.  He's worked two of his three days off and just turned down another shift.  At one point when everyone is burnt out and refuses to work they start ordering people in to fill the shifts.  Hubby was ordered in yesterday.  He has 20 years on the job and that means they had already worked their way through those with less seniority.  This is only the second time in ten years that he has been ordered in but, he as well as his co-workers have been told to expect it on a more frequent basis.

The call came in as we were leaving for our hike.  We had time to complete the 4.4 miles but we hustled the last hour.  I'm leading a hike for work in October and knowing the level some are at, the knee issues and that a few bring their young grandchildren I wanted to preplan the hike.  (Gosh I've been in the fire department too long)  We walked to the Indians caves along the tunxis trail.  It was a beautiful hike.  There are some really old trees along the trail and I stopped and blessed them.  The smells were amazing.  You could tell the change in the path blindfolded.  The pine forest, the hardwoods, the field of ferns.....Son is great at finding critters along the way.  We stopped to inspect spider webs, millipedes, a garter snake and birds. 

The trail brought us out on top of the caves.  Having been to the caves via a  shorter route in the past we headed back so hubby could be to work on time.  25 feet from the end of the trail youngest gave up.  She laid down a big rock to rest.  Son asked if she was dead could we leave her behind.  I told him yes but, he couldn't touch her.  He usually hates having his picture taken but, he was thrilled with this shot.
Gotta love brothers.  And son is so like mine it frightens me.  I then handed the camera to youngest for her view of the world.

Pretty cool!

Hubby went to work.  Son went to a party.  Youngest and I hung out at home. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The last of summer vacation

Tuesday the kids went back to school.  They were ready.  I was in no hurry.  This summer flew by.  It was jam packed with travel and activities. 

We ended the last week of vacation on an up note. The Monday prior youngest and I did a little girly shopping and hit the movies.  We saw The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It was sad and sweet.  And I never buy popcorn and treats but this time said what the heck.  We got the tub of popcorn and two soda combo.  And after paying more than I did for the two movie passes settled in to munch and watch.  A tub will feed a small third world country by the way.  Youngest was over the moon.  Tuesday hubby took her out and they hit the go carts and mini golf. Son is past the age of wanting to spend time with us and his little sister.

The week end youngest and I went to the 25th New England Women's Herbal Conference and hubby and son had their annual manly man week end.  The conference was amazing.  We had great weather. We arrived a little early and set up our tent in no time (a first try with just two of us).  We registered and bought our pick of t-shirts before having a picnic lunch.  Youngest had us first row for opening circle and it went from there.

And what a difference a year makes.  Last year youngest clung to me.  I had to eat with her and bring her back to the tent early and stay.  She didn't hang with any of the girls.  This year she did her own thing.  She made some friends and hung out during free time and night time activities.  Her clothing style is taking on a new twist - she cares.  But, it really is her own.  I love it.  I was able to spend Saturday afternoon on the porch talking with a new friend.  I would get glimpses of youngest and it warmed my heart. 

A labyrinth was set up this year.  And the path was lit at night by LED candle light.  I walked that and sat on the swings with a woman I don't see much of.  This was truly a recharging week end.

I took the first day of school off.  I took pictures much to my kids chagrin.  I made them breakfast which they really enjoyed. It is a streusel topped french toast.  You soak cinnamon bread with eggs and cream over night.  In the morning you make the streusel topping and bake it.  The house smelled amazing.  Dinner was chicken corn chowder and peanut butter cup brownies. 

I had breakfast with a girlfriend for her birthday.  I then puttered joyfully in the kitchen the rest of the day. I started by cleaning the fridge. Then I processed the corn; some of which became soup - the rest frozen for winter.  I blanched and shelled the edamame.  I fried the variety of peppers and froze for later use.  I turned the cabbage into a filling for pork pie later in the week.  I made the brownies - a gooey confection made with bittersweet chocolate so they were not too sweet baked in a muffin tin and topped with a peanut butter frosting. 

This week end we have NOTHING planned.  I'm a little stumped.  And hubby is home and has turned down overtime to see me.  It seems like forever.  Though we did go for a date night dinner before I left last week end.  It was youngest's idea.  Hubby and I were joking at dinner the night before that we had no meetings and could spend a little time together.  Youngest turned to her dad and said, "I can stay home alone.  You should take Kim out to dinner."  When hubby asked if she was trying to get rid of us she rolled her eyes and said, "no, I'm trying to get you to be romantic."  I love that kid.

Any way, a hike is in the works to enjoy the amazing weather.  And I am blessed that 5 of my co-workers have agreed to fill out intake forms.  I'll be reviewing, researching and making recomendations.