Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 13, 2014

Camera Neglect

I was thinking that once the long weekend of Columbus Day arrived, things would slow down a bit and I’d be spending more time with my camera and the blogosphere. I’m not sure just why I was thinking that way! I have definitely started adjusting to the way of life as a teacher for now, but the amount of time I spend correcting, planning and organizing really hasn’t changed since I started this gig. I’m not spending any time on school work on this long weekend (thank goodness) but of course I find myself attending to the other parts of life that need my attention. So what do I mean by all this? It has been ages since I’ve lifted my Canon Rebel to my face! The last pictures on that screen are from that wonderful warm day in September that I posted about a month ago. And here it is autumn in New England. So much beauty around me, and what do I have to show for it photographically? Nada. Hoping to have the opportunity to change that, but it is already Monday of the long weekend. I will see how the day progresses and get back to you, okay?

In the meantime, let me say that it has definitely not been all work and no play if I’ve given you that impression! This past Thursday night was the annual “powderpuff” flag football game at my daughter’s high school. Sarah played hard – both offense and defense – but sadly, the senior girls were defeated. Camera-neglecting mama that I am, I have no photos of my football playing daughter. I found this picture, by Thomas Henry Photography, of the field that night:
10472829_780003408725105_1092457685122217191_o

Meghan came home from school to see her sister play, which I thought was really nice. All the more disappointing that the seniors lost though. Sarah had no school the next day (teacher professional development day) so the girls had time to hang out together while I went to work.

Meghan came with us when it was time for Sarah to head to dance class so she got to visit with her former dance teacher. We visited a local farmstand and picked up some of our favorite apples (macouns) and other treats. (all photos managed for the rest of this blog post are phone photos)
Macouns

Meghan’s visit was sadly brief. She had to return to school Saturday night because she had a ballroom competition that she was leaving for early Sunday morning. I made the most of my time with her and took her shopping for various supplies, plus a little “tradition” of hers and mine – after a visit to our local Kohl’s store we head to the near by Dunkin for an iced coffee. We laugh about the fact that it doesn’t seem possible for us to skip the Dunkin part of the trip no matter what.

After our shopping trip, we stopped back home to get everything she needed to bring back to school an pick up Sarah. We had a delicious late lunch or early dinner, depending on how you look at it, together at a Greek restaurant called Zorba’s in Worcester near Meghan’s school.

Meghan returned to school, a little adventure for me continued. A gathering of my gang of friends (I’ve mentioned this group many times on the blog) was happening at the Mendon Drive In for a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was surely a cold night for a drive in, but getting the chance to hang out with thse people is always worthwhile, no matter the circumstances. We ate junk food, watched the movie and enjoyed each other’s company. Some of my junk food:
Cheese fries

Yesterday was Meghan’s competition. She sent me some photos of her hair and makeup:
Pre-comp

Pre-comp2

The best picture she sent, however, was this one from after the competition:
Post comp
Use a bit of hair gel there?

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, I hope you are enjoying it. I leave you with this quote I found the other day, one with wonderful aspirations I think:
Quote

October 4, 2014

It was a great month!

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 8:55 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Four days of October have already passed as I sit to write this post, but I just couldn’t let September go by without creating a little memoir of it here on the blog. It was a beautiful, busy and wonderful month. Let me show you some of the great things I got to experience.

I’ll start by saying that the weather was, for the most part, outstanding. August left me desiring more sunshine and warmth, and I feel like September brought all the beauty and heat it could muster. It was my first month of teaching full time and I absolutely loved it – and still am loving it. I often brought papers home to sit outside on my deck and correct and enjoy the sun at the same time.

September is Big E time here in western Massachusetts. The Big E is a huge 6-state fair, and people come from all over to attend the 17 day event – 1,498,605 of them this year. I enjoyed some favorite things on my visit there this year:
Fried food
Fried food (this is a basket of tempura veggies)

Big margarita
A really big frozen margarita in a plastic mug with a handle for enjoying while strolling the fair

Oreo cows!
Oreo cows! Squeeeeeeee!

Belted gallway
I discovered that belted galloways (their “real” name…phffft!…not nearly as interesting as “oreo cow”) also come in other colors.

My sister, Sarah and I made a trip to the Cape to visit mom in September as well. We had one day of lovely weather. Warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a warm beverage at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans…
Hot Chocolate Sparrow Orleans MA
(my sister’s pic of her hot apple cider with caramel)

Smuggler's Beach South Yarmouth
…and watch the wind surfers at Smuggler’s beach (also Jennifer’s pic)

The weekend after we visited the Cape, Jennifer and I visited our dear friend Renae. Renae took us to lunch at a fabulous winery in New Hampshire called La Belle Winery. It was a gorgeous day and we sat outside.
Nice lunch
We enjoyed this wonderful cheese slate as an appetizer. That’s my yummy sangria in the background of the picture!

And then, at the very end of the month, something that I have been waiting for for a very long time finally happened!
New floor
My new tile kitchen floor was installed! The ugly, permanantly dirty nearly 20-year-old linoleum is finally gone!

A beautiful month – and so much to be thankful for and appreciative of. Life is good.

September 23, 2014

Katydid

Katydid

What if katydidn’t? ;-)

Katydid(2)

I’m still here y’all! Been too busy to spend much time at the computer as of late, but I’m still around. Hoping to catch up with you soon. I saw this cool katydid on my screen door tonight and decided to share it with you. See you soon! :-)

September 13, 2014

Summer’s Last Hurrah

The official first day of fall is ten days away. It might as well be here now. I think I felt it in my heart last weekend. Last Sunday was one of the last really summer-like days I think we will have around here for this year unless there is some big turn around in the forecast that Mama Nature hasn’t let us in on just yet. Knowing it was a day to be appreciated, I took that opportunity to do I-bet-you-know-what:

Enjoyed my lounge chair, soaked up the sun, read a book and appreciated a beautiful blue sky.
blue sky love

summer's last hurrah

The great harbinger of autumn for New England has arrived as well – The Eastern States Exposition, more commonly known as “The Big E”. I have plans to go with my family tomorrow, so hopefully I will have pictures of butter sculptures, wise-cracking animals and delicious bad-for-me food to share with you later in the week.

On my way out to Zumba this morning (had to be sure to exercise today when I am planning to stuff my face tomorrow, lol!), I spotted a couple of rogue morning glories doing their best, like me, to enjoy these waning days of warmth.
Pink glory

Blue glory

How is your September so far? Are you mourning summer’s end or ready to appreciate fall’s glory?

September 7, 2014

September Sigh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:42 am
Tags: , , , ,

September always feels like an ending to me. The end of summer. The end of my days of freedom. The end of hot weather that I love. The end of bright green freshness. The end of my garden. The end of rampantly blooming flowers.
Fading
The end of sitting on the beach in a bathing suit. And since last year, the end of having my whole family under one roof.

I know September can be a beautiful month. The weather can continue to be warm and lush, even if mornings sometimes start of with a chill. Delicious fresh apples and concord grapes come into season.
Ripe concords
My toes can still enjoy the fresh morning dew. But, in the back of my mind, I know that changes of the season are inevitable. For these reasons, September arrives for me with a bit of sadness in it.

*SIGH*
This September morning has me reflecting.
Reflection

There is so much good in my life right now. I really shouldn’t be sighing like this at all. I get up and go to work each morning with a big dopey grin on my face. I am absolutely loving my temporary position as 6th grade math teacher. I’m feeling good physically. Got my hair cut yesterday and that is always a mental boost. In fact, my hairdresser (who I’ve been with for over 20 years, wow!) called me “hot mama math teacher” as I got out of her chair. Brought another big dopey grin to my face.

Morning is breaking into what looks like could be a truly beautiful day.
Morning has broken
The oppressive humidity that has seized this region for the last few days has moved on and there is a new freshness in the air.

Maybe, just maybe, I could stop seeing September as an ending. Every ending brings another beginning, right?
Still here (mini dahlia)
Still trying – just like me!

August 29, 2014

Summer Toes

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 8:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Kathy over at Lake Superior Spirit did a blog post today about following your feet. I followed my feet over here to my computer to write a blog post this evening without really knowing what I wanted to write about. Then I saw that little comment icon lit up in the corner of my WordPress screen. I clicked and found Kathy had replied to my comment. Here is our little exchange:
Karma says:
August 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm
My feet directed me to get a pedicure today. I’m glad I acknowledged them! They often itch and whine and complain that I don’t take them to enough interesting places. I try to console them with a new pair of sandals. ;-)
Reply
Kathy says:
August 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm
How interesting, Karma! My mom and I were just talking about pedicures this past week. Neither of us have ever had one. Your feet must be VERY happy with you. You will have to tell them that next time they whine or complain. (Although after your summer vacation perhaps they will be complacent for a while…)
Reply
Karma says:
August 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm
It’s a nice treat for feet – you should let yours indulge themselves some time! :-)

Then I started thinking back over the summer. As I said, my feet do have a tendency to whine that they don’t get taken too many places, but then I as I scrolled through my Flickr photos, I realized perhaps Kathy was right – they did have a nice summer vacation.

They enjoyed lounging in my favorite chair:
Lounging

Taking in the morning sunshine:
Morning coffee

Exploring the backyard:
purple pedi

Visiting the beach during our camping trip:
Beach by the canal

Having a dip in the ocean in Maine:
Toes in the water

Touching a jellyfish:
IMG_1319

and then today, as we begin Labor Day weekend, the weekend that feels like the end of summer (though technically there are still 3 more summer weekends) these tootsies were treated to a professional pedicure:
Pedi

They got that new pair of sandals this week too.
New sandals
They really shouldn’t complain so much.

August 24, 2014

In a Blink

That’s how quickly my 66 days of summer went by. This final weekend really felt like the end of summer too.

On Saturday, day 65, we went to an annual beloved party with our wonderful gang of friends – Lobsterfest.
Lobster welcome

Lobster fun
Lobster toys

Lobster light
Lobster lights

Lobster dinner
and lobster dinner!

Plus lots of fun:
Volleyball

Pool time

Today, day 66, a day I’ve been dreading for a while now, was the day Meghan moved back to school.
Dorm stuff
All her stuff, ready to go, even though her mama is not ready for her to go.

Dorm building

The new spot
Meghan is in a dorm building this year with apartment style living. She has 5 roommates. They have 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, an eating area and a bathroom.

Three flights
Three flights of stairs to haul all that stuff up!

Back on campus
Her bedroom, with lots of organizing to do.

Even though it is an old building, I thought the windows kept it fairly bright and airy and not too closed in feeling. There’s a view out to the Worcester Hills in the distance from the dining area.
Looking out at the Worcester hills

I miss her already.

And thus ends the 66 days of summer. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my life, this favorite season of mine.

August 23, 2014

Stuff’s Getting Real

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:23 am
Tags: ,

Yesterday, day 64 of summer, I went to new teacher orientation! Much of the information wasn’t new to me since I have worked in this school for 9 years now, but it was interesting and helpful and good to refresh my memory on a lot of things. Monday will be a work day to really get down to the business of getting ready for the kids who will arrive on Tuesday.

I went out and bought some supplies for “my” classroom after I left school.
School supplies

These are just some things I thought I’d like to have to help make my own life a little easier. Thank you Ocean State Job Lot for carrying very reasonably priced school supplies!

Last evening, I got to spend some time visiting and relaxing with some very special people. I’m wishing now that I had remembered to take a group photo. The group was my former jazz class: our teacher, her mother (who always danced), dear friend Julie who I don’t see often enough, and me. We are promising each other we won’t wait so long in between getting together again. I’m going to do my best to hold us to that.

August 21, 2014

Changes!

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 4:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Days 62 and 63 of summer have brought some new things to my life. Yesterday, this was delivered to my home:
image

A new mattress may not seem like much of a change, but for me it is. I’ve slept on a waterbed since I was a teenager. I’ve gotten to a time in my life where that just didn’t seem to be what my body wanted any more. I slept very comfortably on this new bed last night and I’m looking forward to many more comfortable nights.

The next part of my day wasn’t a change, but I still wanted to mark the memory for how I spent this day of my summer.
image
Did some back-to-school shopping with Meghan. We shopped and had lunch together and I enjoyed her company. She moves back to school soon so it was really nice to have this time.

Today a most momentous and exciting change has occurred! Many of you who have been reading my blog for some time now know that I have been working as a paraprofessional in a local middle school for quite some time now. I’m certified as a teacher, and I thought I might get my big break as a teacher when a couple of social studies teachers at my school retired this spring. Alas, it was not to be. My principal called me up today and asked me to serve as the long term substitute teacher for a maternity leave at my school. I will be teaching 6th grade math for the first half of the school year! I am excited and nervous and thrilled all bundled into one. Where you’ll find me for the first 90 days of school:
image

I’ve got lots of preparation to do but I will have the wonderful support of a great staff of teachers to help me out! A new adventure indeed!

August 19, 2014

Summer is Slipping Away

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 2:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

ACK! Everywhere I turn, I find reminders that summer nearly over. I’m in the single digits of days left to enjoy in that carefree, summerlike way. Meghan moves back to college on Sunday, I return to work on Monday, Sarah begins her senior year of high school a week from tomorrow. As if I needed one more reminder, yesterday, day 60 of summer, we picked up the proofs for Sarah’s senior portraits.
Senior portraits
This is a sample of the 30 or so shots that I have to choose from.

Today, day 61 of summer, is a day of errands and chores, blah, blah, blah. Here have a pretty butterfly that I saw on my butterfly bush instead!
Tiger swallowtail

You didn’t want to see pictures of housework anyway, did you?

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