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Memorial Day Biking

This weekend, people take time to reflect on what Memorial day means to them. Or they sit by a pool, or maybe plunge their hands into dirt and plants. This weekend we did a bike trip. Like any outdoor activity, it’s a bit dodgy because you never know who the weather will turn out. This year was great for the northeast. WP_20140525_001
It was a great ride, from Washington Crossing PA to a town called Upper Black Eddy on the Delaware, about 30 miles north. Our plan was to bike up to the Inn, rest up a bit and then look around a bit. The weather was beautiful. We didn’t bank on hitting what seemed like a few thousand miles of gravel and a fairly untamed towpath. That put the brakes on, literally. The trip took much longer and was more grueling than I would have preferred. I don’t really like gruel or grueling things so the gravel was a bit of a nuisance. The views were still amazing, even through sweat smeared glasses.

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We finally arrived at the Inn, a wonderful historic place on the edge of town called the Indian Rock Inn. It was going on five o’clock and we were sweaty, hungry and tired. More than tired I think. WP_20140526_004
After stumbling in, mumbling my name and receiving a real actual key which opened the door. We took showers, had a nice dinner which probably was not appreciated, and were asleep by 9.30.
The next day after a good breakfast and about 11 hours of sleep we were ready to head back. Oh, and don’t forget the Motrin. That was a key ingredient at both dinner and breakfast.
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The trip back, thanks to some good planning and riding mostly on the much better maintained NJ side, went quickly. In no time, After lots of sweating and huffing and puffing, I was back in my own house on my couch with my kitties.
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I wonder sometimes what possesses me to do these things, when I could be sitting in my swinging bench under my pear tree with a book. I guess we all have to have a bit of insanity in our decision making.

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My daughter the actress

My youngest redhead, at the age of 7, says she wants to be an actress. She’s getting a pretty good start, I have to say. I should consider myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed one possible award winning performance, not even a week ago. It wasn’t her first and I am sure it won’t be the last. It was one of those moments during which I could barely contain my amusement (as well as a myriad of other emotions) as she ranted and raved. Quite loudly.

We were on the way to an appointment one evening, after a fun day at a friend’s house. Both girls were absorbed in their favorite activity, fighting. My little one decided it might be a good idea to smack her big sister with her car pillow. It didn’t really have the desired effect. After the inevitable warning, the pillow must have slipped out of her hands and onto her sisters head again, so it ended up in the front seat with me. I quickly was made aware of her disappointment Many of you may know that 7-year-old girls have the ability to reach a decibel level that melts glass.

After 5 minutes in the car, which seemed like 5 days with all of the shrieking, we arrived at our destination. My oldest wisely slipped out of the car and made herself scarce while I prepared to enter into battle. It took a good 10 minutes to pry my little one’s hands from the seat and get her out of the car. After that I locked the doors since she was attempting to sneak back in. Another 10 minutes at least passed with her clinging to the side of the car, action movie style, screaming to all the world that her poor pillow was slowly suffocating and would die if left unattended. I’m not very sure where she got this information, but she was adamant that the pillow not be harmed. I tried explaining that the pillow would be fine because there was enough air in the car for a pillow with no lungs. That didn’t sway her; she carried on for several more minutes as I tried to hide my amusement and embarrassment. People started watching, which I guess is good news for a budding actress.

Finally, I half convinced and half dragged her into the office, whereupon she took it upon herself to display all of the tactics she had picked up in her seven years to to make the next forty minutes extremely uncomfortable and quite loud (not melting glass level fortunately).

I breathed a sigh of relief when we left the office. The drive back was almost as bad since the pillow was still sharing the front seat, but there was a tender reunion once my daughter finally got it back.

Memories

Recently an old friend of mine sent me a message concerning our hometown. It seemed that she had gotten the chance to visit one of those mysterious places from our childhood that we held in awe. We all had them, be it a ‘haunted house’ or that old cemetery where you frequently dared one another to enter. In this case it was a building we called ‘The Guitar Factory’. I guess it had been at one time, although my mother told me it had been converted into artist’s studios. Since I knew enough artists along with my mom, that sort of put a damper on the romance. However, there was also a character to go along with it. An older man with a long gray beard who rode his bicycle through town. The poor gentleman was probably the nicest of fellows, and had to put up with our giggles. We called him Weird Beard and pretended that he lived in the guitar factory for some reason which probably made sense at age 8. Anyway, along with the astounding news of my friend’s visit to ‘The Guitar Factory’, she also sadly wrote that ‘Weird Beard’ had passed away. Her news awoke some memories of our old town which have probably been forgotten by many.

We lived in a quaint old town with quite a few characters. The kind who seem to inhabit towns small enough and old enough to have a strong personality. There was Walking Bob, Sunoco Tom, and Tiny, the village homeless lady who of course had grown up in a very wealthy family who live in the ‘Castle’. As children we never knew the stories of Sunoco Tom (who drove a huge old car with fins covered with gasoline brand decals) or Walking Bob, probably there were none, but the one about Tiny – well that was mysterious enough to capture anyone’s imagination. Word had it that her family was swindled out of all their money and she was left penniless. (I never knew if the story was really very truthful, but I like to believe it is) The Castle was actually a largish house on the outskirts of town which had since been divided into apartments. I have told my own daughters the story of Tiny, capturing their own imaginations too.

It seem to me that we all should be able to have known a place, our hometown or maybe a summer visit to our Grandparent’s, which contains mystery and romance. I don’t know if many of the kids growing up today have that. I know my own daughters don’t hear of anything like that in our own particular suburban jungle and that saddens me.

Tooth Fairy Wisdom

My 6-year-old recently lost her first two teeth. She has become quite an expert on the habits of the Tooth Fairy. I suggested she write a post, but she declined, so I suppose I’ll take a whack at it. I have included a few facts which I have learned.

First, the Tooth Fairy is undoubtedly a lady. I assume the job is just to delicate and requires a steady hand.

Second, I learned that her wings are very fragile and she has issues when it gets too cold. I wonder if there is a strong market for wing warmers? This little factoid I came to suspect after watching the latest Tinkerbell movie. But the experts reinforced my suspicions.

The third and very important thing to know about our favorite tooth hunter; she is so tiny that the heavy fancy bags sometimes used for the teeth are too heavy for her. She is a tiny little glowing fairy and can’t lift those heavy bags. So remember, parents, beware of gimmicks claiming to help the Tooth Fairy find those little teeth. I suggest a very light cotton drawstring, maybe a barbie purse or something similar might be useful.

I also learned that the good fairy must be pretty patient. My daughter, so proud of yanking her second tooth, (she was afraid she would swallow it like the first one) she brought it to school for a day before actually leaving it for the Tooth Fairy. She still made out well. The price for teeth has certainly gone up.

Bling Monday update

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Thursday and I’m just getting around to updating the general blog-o-spere about my Monday plans to sweep the blues away with clothes. It didn’t work. Why? Because it was cold and so my bed didn’t want me to leave it. Because it was being so clingy, I had to push the snooze button on my alarm and so I didn’t have time to get too bedazzled. I barely had time to shove some jeans on and warm boots before grabbing a random container of food from the fridge and racing to work. It was just fine however, the Monday blues were probably busy in someone else’s Monday.

Should I try for another Monday? Maybe I should accept that Monday is just Monday and keep the comfy jeans handy. I can always wear the ‘good’ boots.

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Blue Monday

My best friend always calls Monday ‘blue monday’ because she wears blue, in honor of the much mourned passing of the weekend.  Well actually, she now works on Sundays so I think it’s just gotten to be sort of a habit. 

Today, on the east coast, its chilly and rainy.  I guess it’s better to be like that on Monday than on the other days.  Most people dread that first day of the week so why not really have a messy monday with the rain, mud, and slush?  My blue Monday started with a 10 year old who somehow transformed from a funny little diva last night to a snarling bear-like creature who needs to hibernate a few more months. 

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On the way to work I meditated on my daughter’s mood and became as gloomy as the weather.  However, like always, the day is full of surprises and so far today has been quite pleasant, despite the rain.  I am ignoring the little nagging voice inside my head which tends to spout negativity.  It keeps telling me the day can still turn sour.  So I drowned it out with music.  It’s working very well.  The fact that it’s already lunch time is also cheering the day.  I have decided to take a leaf out of my friend’s book.  In honor of the much despised first day of the work week, I think I am going to try wearing something a little special.  Instead of celebrating the blueness of the day, I’ll just try to chase it away with color and bling.  It will take a few weeks to see a result of the experiment, but I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Who else out in blog world has a tried and true, or just a tried method for chasing Monday blues away?  (Chocolate and mocha cappuchinos definitely work.)

Saying Goodbye

The last few weeks have been full of good bye’s.  In fact this whole month has really.  My company has decided to outsource a whole lot of us worker bees so we all were told many months ago that “the end was near”  and so we planned, and waited, and waited.  The end kept getting postponed for various reasons, but finally the good byes started.  After having to say good-bye to many of my coworkers and friends, it’s now my turn.  Boy am I ready.  What I was not ready for was my last day.  I hate saying good-bye.  I cry during tissue commercials so I know this one is gonna be bad.  It’s also bad when someone else is.  it’s so contagious.  I really was thinking maybe I could skip out with out anyone noticing.

I keep thinking though that Facebook and other sites have made it so much easier to keep in contact with those coworkers who you really have a connection with.  No more of those awkward decisions about who should be the first one to call, now we an all keep in touch and see pictures and make jokes without having to really feel that separation.

I’m not a hugely social person, but I have made some very good friends at work, and I am  appreciative of the fact that I can stay in touch with them.

It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling.  I know there will be some tears, after 6 years of coming to the same leaky drafty mold filled office building.  I’ll definitely miss it.  Oh and I’ll miss the cafe too, with its bitter strong coffee and ever-changing prices.  I think I can survive the transition though and I will look forward to changing from an hour commute to a ten minute one.  I know it will take a while before I stop worrying about this place or wondering if the workload is getting lighter.

At last I can look forward to some much-needed relaxation…and cleaning.

This kids, however, are not going to enjoy this break as much as I am.  I’ll be able to bug them more about homework and buckle down on the chore chart, and don’t even mention the healthier food.  Hooray!