Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grateful to be me

Ever get the feeling that there's more out there that you are missing out on? There are days that I am plagued by this nagging thought and then there's the norm: living day to day not really thinking, feeling or caring what else is out there, just thankful that I have an ordinary life with two healthy children, one great husband, a quaint warm home, a garage of reliable vehicles, food on the table, and a steady job.

Yesterday as I was working there were several women who caught my eye because they looked so stylish and put-together. I felt pangs of envy. There I was in my 2nd-hand boring khakis, unflattering red polo shirt and an ugly black sweater that keeps the chill off. My make-up, which is applied very haphazardly most morning because I'm often racing the clock to ensure that the kids have all that they need for the day, was smudging. My hair was drooping and looking pretty drab. I try to make an concerted effort every day to accessorize myself and my mousy mop, but I just don't have the money, the flair or the time to make myself look like the cover of Vogue.

Yes I'm in a funk. Lately I've been eating like crazy, trying to fill some kind of void. My closet is full of clothes that I've owned for decades, nothing new or remotely tantalizing. In fact I've worn the same two pair of jeans for 3 years now and they are starting to wear so thin that I wonder if they'll hold up in the next wash. I don't like the way I look lately. All I want is for some fairy godmother to wave her magic wand over me and turn me into Cinderella Mom.

But here's the reality check: only I have that control. So today I made myself a promise: I will count my blessing before I get out of bed and remember how very lucky I am to be me, faults & all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Wish...

A dear friend of mine lead me to a website where the author posts an images then writes a prompt so visitors to her site will creatively compose a comment.

That day the dandelion was the image and the prompt was " Quick... make a wish!" So here was mine:

My wish is that my family stays forever connected and embraced by harmony, that my sons live happy successful lives enriched by deep rapports with those who lead them from temptation & negativity, that we grow to fully appreciate all of the things that we have without tainting our heart with envy, that we continue to live long healthy lives and offer support & kindness to those who need us, that we respect our world and all of it's inhabitant regardless of race color or creed, and finally that we put joy & peace above all else.

Here is the site: Check it out and get inspired!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Winter Blah Blah Blahs

Winter is fast approaching and with that comes the gripes & complaints about the weather. Bear in mind that I live in the North Country where the temperature often falls below freezing from now until April. If you don't like the weather here in the wintertime, you're gonna need to either renew your valium prescription or move to a new zip code. Face it, the weather here is often bitter cold, blustery & moderately snowy.

I work with the public and sometimes I wish I were deaf so I wouldn't have to hear people complaining about snow & the cold. In fact, I would be filthy rich if I had a nickel for every time someone complained about both! The forecast tomorrow is for cold temps and possible snow showers; nothing serious, but you'd think they were forecasting a freaking blizzard by the moans & groans I heard today.

So I say find something to enjoy about the winters instead of kvetching about the weather. There's plenty to do outdoors and in the snow: ice skating, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowball fights, dog sledding, x-country skiing, building snowmen and playing pond hockey! When I was a kid, we went ice skating on an outdoor rink, sledding at the country club and downhill skiing every Sunday at a local ski resort. We dug tunnels through the snow and had massive neighborhood snowball wars. Afterwards we'd always warm up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa topped off with tons of marshmallows!

If you don't enjoy being outdoors, go to the library, write letters (not emails), go to the movies, knit a scarf, go bowling, join a gym, go to an indoor pool or waterpark, play tennis, racquetball, volleyball, basketball, walleyball or even soccer. Do something to take your mind off how cold it is outdoors. And for godsakes, don't talk about the weather UNLESS you have something positive to say.

Lastly remember how fortunate we are here in the Northeast not to have weather related calamities like hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, twisters, heatwaves, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, or even avalanches. Meanwhile enjoy the world around you and give snow a chance!

p.s. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so I want you all to find something to be thankful for regarding the climate where you live then practice that everyday, especially when you're in the checkout line!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comfort & Joy

If you've ever fallen in love at first sight, you'll know what I'm talking about. Like Cupid's arrow piercing your heart, you are completely swept off your feet, utterly speechless and totally transfixed. You loose sleep, your mind races and you are literally obsessed with thoughts of this object of your affection. For me, it's happened twice, and both times I fell hard over a kitten.

Some of you probably think I'm absolutely wacko, but the rapport I had with my cat Chloe was like no other. She was truly unique and she touched my heart in a way no human ever had, until I had children that is. I remember seeing her for the first time and knowing instantly that she had to be mine. But Hubby had other plans. We already had a kitten and having another wasn't on his agenda. So we got in our cars and drove away, leaving her to fend for herself in the wild (okay... the barn) with her littermates. I couldn't stop thinking about her! So I pulled over about 1o minutes down the road and told Hubby that I was going back to get her. That was one of many times I got my stubborn little way when Hubby said otherwise, but he'll admit that I was right this time. Chloe cast an even bigger spell on him; he was absolutely gaa-gaa over her!

This past Labor Day weekend, when we stood over the hole in our backyard to bury her in, we both wept with tremendous grief. I couldn't bear to watch him toss the first shovelful of dirt on her lifeless body so I turned away for a moment, then helped Hubby gingerly prepare the site for the lilac bush & a pretty stone marker we chose as a memorial. For days we went about our daily routine in an oblivious stupor, racked with sadness over the loss of our "child". I'd come home from work hoping that I'd find her curled up on her favorite chair, only to find it empty. Then one day as I was sitting at the computer, I heard her bell! I felt my heart jump as I turned around to look for her. My eyes filled with tears and my heart grew heavy as I realized that one of the boys just accidently bumped the post we hung her collar on. That night as I lay in bed with my youngest, I sobbed in the darkness as beautiful memories of her scrolled in my mind.

Then one day I told my husband that I wanted to get the boys a kitten for Christmas. He knew what I really meant, though... that I want to get a kitten for ME so I could break the misery of grief I was being swallowed by. A few days later, Hubby asked me if we should get two kittens, to which I abruptly replied "NO WAY!" Then later that week, his parents also suggested that I look for a pair of sister for the boys. So I relented, and started thinking that two would be twice as better for my achey breaky heart.

Thus I began desperately seeking the purrfect puffballs for the boys. If I looked early enough, there was no doubt my Christmas plan would work. I had everything all laid out perfectly... how they would arrive on Christmas Day and be presented to the boys in their beautifully decorated boxes, a note attached from Santa explaining to them how Chloe helped him choose them, red ribbons carefully tied around their necks with name tags: Comfort & Joy.

Chloe had always provided the boys comfort in times of hurt & pain, and joy whenever she allowed them to hold her. Now Santa was going deliver what Chloe had always given them; something with tidings of comfort & joy. They just arrived about 9 weeks too early and their names were Pixie (Comfort) & Moxie (Joy). Now our house is again a very happy, joyful, comfortable, humble abode!
Merry Christmas boys .... Love ~ Chloe

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brothers & Sisters

Well it happened... My tummy fluttered with a million butterflies, my heart raced and my palms got sweaty. I fell in love! Once I looked at that gorgeous face, my mind was made up. I knew that if I waited, it would be too late. I had to act fast. So last week I made the first move, with my husband's blessing.

I never thought it would happen this soon. My heart has been hurting since August and I had prepared myself that I might never find another one who could touch my heart again. But I believe in love at first sight and when I first saw the ad and the picture, I was smitten.

As you might remember, I have been looking for kittens for the boys for Christmas. Well I scoured the internet, the want ads, & the local shelter. I sent e-mails to friends and spread the word at work & at school. Hubby thought I was crazy and truthfully I was... well more obsessed than crazy, but I had to find the perfect kitten by Christmas. And I was willing to travel as far as Pennsylvania, if I had to, to find her. Luckily I just had to cross the lake.

Last Thursday I called the shelter to make sure she hadn't gone home with someone else and was told that she was still looking for a family to love, in addition to her sister. I talked to the shelter manager for about an hour, explaining everything to her. She agreed to let me adopt these two 9-week old kittens although they had not yet been spayed. So the next day I went to sign the papers and meet these precious sisters face to face.

It was Halloween so I decided that we would surprise the boys after they came home from trick or treating. But things got a little mixed-up and the shelter couldn't release the kittens until the next day. When they finally did come home, I had to hide them from the boys in my bedroom until their friends went home. Now we hoped that we could pull off some kind of birthday surprise for them, instead of Halloween or Christmas. (Their birthdays fall on 10/29 & 11/21)

Well everything was working out perfectly UNTIL my youngest walked in on me. He saw one of the kittens scamper under the bed. I quickly escorted him back to his room where he & his buddy had all of his Halloween candy splayed across the floor. He kept asking me what "that" was... of course I lied and said "What was what? It was probably just a huge dust bunny." (I'm not the queen of clean, so it could be true!) Well he wasn't convinced and kept telling me it looked like an orange kitten. I buckled under the pressure and swore him to secrecy. For the next 3 hours we managed to keep it a secret from his older brother but somehow all of the friends got in on the ploy, too.

Eventually we unveiled the surprise to our oldest, not at all in the way that I had planned. Yet in the end, it never really mattered. The brothers finally have sisters! And the sisters love their new home, even if they each have to share a room with their brother. These two little girls have literally stolen our hearts and have made our sons laugh harder than I have heard them laugh in years. As for me and Hubby, we are in love all over again, just like we were when we took home our first fuzzy baby back in 1993.

MOXIE, the orange puffball that made my heart skip a beat!

PIXIE, the sweet frisky fraidy cat who loves to hide on the towel rack!

Pursue your dream

Pursue your dream
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.