Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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
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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
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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?

August 18, 2014

Coming Home

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Day 58 of summer was that most bittersweet of days, the day to go home after vacation. I was up early and took pictures of the sun rising on what looked to be a beautiful day at the beach (of course!)
Sunrise between the islands

Sunrise at Hills Beach

Just me and the fishermen and the seagulls were awake at that hour. Shortly thereafter, the car was packed, the family piled in and we made our way back home.

The return home means chores to do – unpacking, laundry, mowing the lawn. Mowing the lawn, however, brought me a sweet surprise! While mowing under the various small trees and shrubs that surround my house, I saw a group of dark berries on the ground, and not those yucky weedy things I call “bird berries” because only birds like to eat them. I looked up and saw this:
Surprise find!
Black raspberries that I had not planted! I’m not sure where they came from – I grow red raspberries in my backyard. I’m sure birds must be responsible for the appearance of these vines, but I have no idea where they originated.

When I finished the lawn I went back with a bowl and happily picked a sweet treat.
Black raspberries

Yesterday, day 59 of summer, was the return to routine.
Meal planning and grocery shopping,
Meal planning

and back to blogging about my rapidly diminishing days of summer!
Blogging with a snack
(with a snack!)

The Maine Thing – part 3

Thursday, day 56 of summer, dawned sunny and windy after the storm the day before. The high tide in the wee hours of Thursday morning came up extremely high.
IMG_1313

It washed all the way up to the beach grass. You can see in this shot two of three kayaks that washed up along the beach. They didn’t get too far from their owners, but they were filled with mud. Our beach stuff was too.

IMG_1314

I’m surprised that tube didn’t float away somewhere. The blue plastic is a sun tent that we collapsed over our beach chairs. It did a decent job of keeping the chairs fairly dry, but the mud holding it all down was very heavy.

In addition to kayaks, I found other things washed in with the storm, like this jellyfish.
IMG_1319

There were spectacular waves for this area as well. The tides at this little inlet beach are usually extremely mild. Even at high tide the waves are normally just very gentle rolls. When I walked near Basket Island at low tide, I was shocked to find loud, crashing waves.
IMG_1320

Here’s a little video I took.

While I wasn’t able to get any close pictures of the resident blue heron, I was happy to once again find a snowy egret.
IMG_1334

Thursday was a good day for finds!

Friday, day 57 of summer, and our last full day in Maine, was “iffy” weather-wise. It was cloudy and cool as I took my last morning walk.
Cloudy cool morning

I normally like to spend my last vacation day basking on the beach all day, but the weather wasn’t cooperating, so I suggested to my family that we take another short jaunt out for a while, in hopes that maybe the clouds would clear and allow us some late afternoon beach time. We headed up to Scarborough. We scoured for treasures at the large Christmas Tree Shops and had lunch at the Sebago Brewing Company. I really enjoyed my seafood chowder and lobster BLT!
Sebago Brewing Company lunch

No visit to Scarborough is complete without a visit here
Famous Maine place
to buy candy and see Lenny the life-sized chocolate moose!
Lenny the life sized chocolate moose
Lenny is made from 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate!

At the end of the day, the girls and I carried out the end-of-vacation tradition: feeding the seagulls any leftover food we didn’t plan to take home.
IMG_1347

The birds gathered in large number quickly.
IMG_1353

Meghan had to check and make sure we weren’t giving away perfectly good potato chips!
IMG_1352

Quite the commotion was caused when a handful of chips was tossed out.
IMG_1354

And Meghan even got one brave soul to take food from her hand.
IMG_1360

Even though the weather was less than perfect, I cherished this time on vacation with my family. I know my years of having my whole family together for this week in the future are running low, so each passing year’s vacation becomes more precious.

August 17, 2014

The Maine Thing – part 2

Or… Bean & Smitty

On Tuesday, day 54 of summer, the fog came on little cat feet.
IMG_1302
The little islands off the shore of the beach completely disappeared in the fog bank.

I still went out for my morning walk, but it was with a bit of a chill as I made my way through the mist.
IMG_1305

And I dreamed about “if only…” as I walked.
I want it!

Deciding it wasn’t going to be beach-sitting weather that day, I suggested a trip to Freeport to the family, home of the famous L.L. Bean flagship store.
Big boot at LL Bean
Size 410 boot!

Clashing moose display
“The Final Charge” – two male moose reconstructed from the remains of a set of locked antlers.

I have no idea why this exists, but it does, and I of course took a picture.
Also from LL Bean

We enjoyed lunch and souvenir shopping and ice cream eating while in Freeport.

On Wednesday, day 55 of summer, most of New England, and I think other parts of the Northeast as well, were deluged by a huge rain storm. The rain started in the morning, not really letting up much throughout the day.
IMG_1308

That made Wednesday our day to enjoy some time at Smitty’s Cinema – a place we discovered a few years ago and have enjoyed going to ever since.

At Smitty’s you can enjoy pub style food, served by a waitress to your table in the theater, where you sit in comfortable high backed chairs.
Annual visit to Smitty's

My family’s choice of movie was “Guardians of the Galaxy”. I’m not a follower of Marvel but this was a fun movie and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The rain continued and the wind howled and thunder rumbled well into the night. I will show you the results of the storm in my next blog post.

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