Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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.

The Maine Thing – part 1

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer,Travel — Karma @ 3:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Days 51, 52 and 53 of summer were the beginning of my one week vacation to Hills Beach in Biddeford Maine. This was our 5th year returning to the little cottage on the beach known as “The Dollhouse”.
Path to cottage

After leaving the house bright and early Saturday morning, and successfully avoiding the worst of the highway traffic on our route north, we made our stops for supplies along the way. I’ve told you before about Yummies – this year was no exception for stopping at our favorite candy store. I also grabbed a pint of (expensive! $7!) wild Maine blueberries at a roadside stand.
Wild Maine blueberries
(didn’t think to take a picture until after helping myself to a few handfuls!)

We arrived at the cottage after doing our grocery shopping and unpacked the car. Low tide greeted us at the beach.
Low tide at Hills Beach

I was happy to spend the last hours of the day in a beach chair reading after the work for the day was done.
Ending of a long day

I found myself awake shortly after sunrise on Sunday morning with beautiful light streaming in my window.
IMG_1284

After starting to read a most appropriate book with my breakfast,
IMG_1288
I was off on my morning walk – my preferred way of starting each day on vacation.

The afternoon brought beach time with my family.
Enjoying my girls' company on the beach

On Monday morning’s walk, I brought the Canon along with me.
I found
IMG_1290
ducks enjoying the beach

IMG_1295
the closest (unfortunately) view I would have for the week of my friend the blue heron

IMG_1294
and that strange marker with fortune-telling graffiti on it once again. The last time I took a picture of this marker it said, “Life is a gift” – a message I definitely needed to hear at the time. I found it pretty cool that it seems to say “Everything adventurous” now at a time in my life when I am trying to find the next big adventure!

More to come in the Maine editions of the 66 Days of Summer.

August 8, 2014

Ready to Go

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:16 pm

Ready to go
Day 50 of summer – all packed up and ready to go in the morning.

I don’t think I will be writing any blog posts for the next week unless our wi-fi signal at the cottage in Maine is better this year, so have a great week and I will see you when I get back.

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