Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 26, 2016

Grateful Days

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:50 am
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I think this is the longest time I’ve ever gone without writing a blog post. I’m wondering if anyone still reads this space. If you do, thank you for having a look. Life has been busy and fun and active, and this Thanksgiving break has allowed me a moment to pause and think and appreciate, hence the title of my post.
New adventure in the horizon

The biggest change, as some of you may remember, is the new job I began this school year. I’m a 7th grade math and science teacher at a parochial school, and what an adventure it has been! Working for a private school is very different from what I’ve known of public school teaching, and as any job does, it certainly has its ups and downs. Overall it has been a very positive experience. There is much demand on my time, but now that I am finally teaching instead of being another teacher’s aide, I know I am doing what I was meant to do. If that is not a feeling of positive energy, I don’t know what is.

This fall has been filled with fun and adventure.

One frustrating adventure was the death of my iPhone 5 in September. One morning the screen simply refused to power on. I lost everything I had on that phone – photos were the saddest loss; I’ve come to like having those little reminders of where I’ve been and what I’ve done. The pictures that I’m sharing today are from my new phone.

Apple picking

Columbus Day weekend was sunny and warm. My sister and I went apple picking and found some side trips along the way. We headed up to an orchard a little bit north of the area we live in to pick my favorite type of apples, macouns. On our way to the orchard, we discovered the factory store to a local gourmet tea company was open.

Tea Guys

Tea Guys in South Deerfield MA makes a huge variety of different types of tea. We each had a sample freshly brewed and made some purchases.

Popovers

Then we found this little place for lunch with great soup and popovers – The Smithsonian Cafe and Chowderhouse Mmmmmmm popovers! A simple but delicious thing that I should try to make more often.

Apple bread

Apple bread was one of the results of this apple picking! So delicious and cinnamon-y!

Walk with Teddy 1

Teddy and I got out for a nice autumn walk.  I wanted to write up a post to share for Robin’s Walktober but of course that got away from me too.
I’m ashamed to say Teddy and I don’t get out nearly as often as I’d like to and as this great dog deserves. He misses his college girls nearly as much as I do, and I’m sure it would do him some good. My dear friend Sherry, who often motivated me to get out for walks, is going through a difficult time with her sweet dog Angel who had a stroke early this summer and has not yet regained full control of her limbs and is unable to stand unsupported. If you’d like to know more about Angel, she has a page on Facebook: Team Angel Mulloy

October also brought an additional visit to Cape Cod. My sister and I had been down to visit our mother in September as we usually do, to celebrate Jennifer’s birthday. My mother had been on a waiting list to get into a new apartment, and she suddenly got the call 3 weeks before it was available. It was time for action! Jennifer and I went and did our best to help with the cleaning and clearing out and packing that goes with moving to a new place. As Jennifer and I traveled back home, I had a little laugh:

Cranberry harvest

It was cranberry harvest time on the Cape and we were following this truck, getting pinged in the windshield by cranberries! Nothing harmful or too distracting, just a couple here and there, but enough to amuse me. It’s the little things sometimes!

During the last weekend of October, I had the pleasure of attending one of Meghan’s ballroom competitions. I traveled to Cranston RI for Brown University’s annual competition at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet

Mambo

Meghan and her partner Kate placed in mambo.

Happy dancer

Meghan hadn’t brought the beautiful green ballroom dress we got her for Christmas last year with her to this competition because she didn’t think she’d be able to dance this year to the style of dance that she could wear it for, due to a former partner choosing not to dance, but she brought along that pink dress just in case a need arose. As luck would have it, a former captain of the team came to the competition, and the last minute decision was made that he and Meghan would dance. I have less blurry photos from these dances, but none that show the joy that Meghan felt at getting to do this dance like this one does.

Early November brought a gathering of friends. The Halloween parties that I used to throw years ago, have evolved into an autumn dinner enjoyed with great friends. Somehow this is the only photo I managed to take of the evening:
Wine with dinner

I made a delicious ham and side dishes, and the girls came home and our whole crew of friends was present. I should have taken other shots to commemorate the occasion, but these things happen!

My most recent adventure was a day trip to Boston. Sarah had her Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project fall recital on the weekend before Thanksgiving. I drove out earlier in the day and took Sarah to eat and we visited the Prudential Center wandering and talking before she had to get ready for the show.
Boston with Sarah

I really enjoyed the show, especially the student-choreographed piece that she was in.
sarahcof
(photo credit to Jack Tan)

As many of you know, I mourn the loss of summer and the glory of hot weather and lazy days. Every now and then I let myself like fall, just a little! I find delight in small moments of beauty, like:

Mockingbird
a mockingbird landing on the deck and sticking around long enough for me to take a picture,

Sunrise
a pink sunrise on an easy weekend morning before we changed the clocks,

Bright November
sunshine filtering through a tree dressed in its autumn colors.

In addition of course, we’ve just celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. The girls are home for the long weekend and I’ve been enjoying their company. For all these wonderful times, I am grateful. I wish you joy and beauty and peace in the days to come. Maybe by Christmas break I will be able to share again!

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August 14, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee: Summer Catch Up Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:03 am
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As I sat here Sunday morning drinking my coffee and reading Robin’s coffee share, I thought to myself, as I have many times this summer, write a blog post! But where to begin? I’ve been quite the slacker blogger as of late, with no real reason why. I’ve been active and busy and enjoying myself, but no real reason why I couldn’t write a post. So “stealing” a little bit from Robin in the title of this post, but giving her all the credit I made a decision to write this morning. My phone is a great reminder of everything I’ve been up to this summer so I’m starting there, with a selection of photos from the phone to bring me up to speed a bit. I have more shots in my “big girl camera” from some of the places I’ve been this summer, but I’d like to edit them before I present them – so maybe I will get a couple more posts done before summer comes rushing to an end and I imagine I’ll have even less time to blog.

If we were having coffee (or tea or whatever is your preference), I might say to you, pour yourself a good sized cup and strap in! I’ll probably ramble on for quite a while! If we were sitting together on my deck (assuming the awful humidity of late has passed) the first thing you might notice is the state of my “garden”. I made a decision not to plant one this year and the spot it usually occupies next to the deck is rampant with weeds at the moment. It was a sad decision, but that area would require more TLC than I was willing to give it at this time to make it flourish. The soil is spent and diseased and seems to be a breeding ground for awful things like tomato horn worms. Instead I bought myself two tomato plants and put them in containers. It seemed like a good idea back in June…
Early tomatoes
… but as summer progressed, not so much. I’ve gotten a few small tomatoes, but many have rotted right on the vine. I miss my giant beefsteak tomatoes I used to grow.

If we were having coffee, I’d say it has been a busy summer but I like it that way. One of the first things I did was an overnight Pickity Place visit with Jennifer and Renae. That doesn’t quite sound right – what I mean is, we went to Pickity Place and then stayed overnight at Renae’s house for a “girls’ night in”. I have some beautiful photos from that Pickity visit on the other camera that I haven’t gotten to editing and posting yet, but I think they deserve another post. I do have this picture on my phone of the yummy blueberry sour cream coffee cake I made for our breakfast the next morning.
Blueberry sour cream coffee cake

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I did something a little unexpected this year. I made a last minute decision to drive to Cape Cod for 4th of July weekend. Anyone from Around Here might say, “what are you nuts?” Traffic to the Cape on any summer weekend is notoriously bad, as you have to travel over one of two bridges to get there and it is an extremely popular vacation destination in these parts. But a long holiday weekend stretched out before me, my daughters had their own plans and my husband was working, and my mother (who lives there as I think you know) had vacation time. So off I went. The beach was crowded but pleasantly warm and breezey and we enjoyed some time together just the two of us.
4th of July on the Cape

Mom and me

If we were having coffee, you might be surprised to hear that I ticked off a photography bucket list item. I see all of Mike’s gorgeous waterfall photography and have been wanting to give it a shot. I finally did. The girls and I took Teddy for a ride to find a small waterfall just a little west of here.
Exploration walk
It has been pretty dry all summer so the fall wasn’t flowing hard, but we went before the drought really set in to this area. Again I have more photos waiting for editing, but here is one from my phone:
Waterfall

If we were having coffee, you’d learn that I had only one visit to Maine this year and it felt a little odd to me. For the past few years my sister has very kindly invited me to join her family for a few days of her vacation to Peaks Island. I did join Jennifer for a few wonderfully sunny days…
Peaks beach

Sparkly ocean

…and beautiful sunsets.
Peaks sunset 1

Peaks sunset 2

The reason it felt odd to me was that normally, I’d be headed back to Maine a few weeks later for my own family vacation on Hills Beach. Last year, however, the cottage we have been renting there for several years was sold to a new owner. The new owners wanted to use the place themselves rather than rent it out. Can’t say that I blame them for if it was mine, I’d surely do the same, but that meant we had to find a new place to go. Unfortunately, as is the way of many private, quiet beaches in New England, small, affordably priced cottages directly on the beach are few and far between. Could we stay somewhere else not right on the beach for a reasonable price? Sure. But this is the way I’ve vacationed most of my life since I was a child and I admit being spoiled by having this ammenity for my vacation. It is our one big yearly indulgence. So I hunted around on VRBO (vacation rental by owner if you are not familiar with this website) and found a place in Truro, MA. Truro is on the outer part of Cape Cod, very close to the tip that is Provincetown, or as I like to call it “the end of the earth”.
North Truro beach view to Ptown

If we were having coffee, you may have guessed by now that yes there are lots of pictures from this vacation, both on my phone and on the other camera. With how I’ve gone on and on, I’m sure you’ll be fine with the fact that I will share those in another post. I took myself on several adventures on that trip.

Now I’m sure that I’ve completely talked your ear off by now – hopefully I gave you some time to get a word or two in edgewise – I’ve got to tell you one more thing. Back at the beginning of our visit, I said the days are coming quickly where I’ll have less time to blog. If you’ve been visiting with me regularly for the last few years, you’re thinking, oh that’s right, school will be beginning again very soon. And you’d be right. But this year, for the first time in 11 years, I will not be returning to the middle school that has been my place of employment as a paraprofessional. I’m sure you remember the times I’ve mentioned that I am a certified teacher and the things that I’ve done to try to make myself more employable. In a couple weeks I will begin my new adventure as a 7th grade math and science teacher at a small private parochial school. There will be pro’s and cons to this position, but I’m looking at it as a new chapter in my professional life. I was at a crossroads where a decision needed to be made – stay in the job I’ve been doing for the last 11 years knowing that my chance for promotion to classroom teacher may never come or step outside my comfort zone to a new place with new challenges.

New adventure in the horizon

I made the choice to make the change. It is exciting, daunting and anxiety-raising all rolled into one, but a big part of my journey to me!

Although I take my inspiration from Robin, this post’s originating idea comes from Part Time Monster #WeekendCoffeeShare

August 21, 2014

Changes!

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