Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 26, 2016

Grateful Days

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:50 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

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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October 26, 2014

Strolltober?

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 9:53 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m sliding in at the last moment to participate in Robin’s Walktober. Life’s busy pace really hasn’t slowed down but I am not complaining! But that is my reason for only having a “mini-stroll” to share with you rather than a nice meandering walk like I would prefer. In the middle of a busy but wonderful day yesterday, I took a few moments to enjoy some warm autumn sunshine and have a little stroll. These are iPhone photos that I’m using once again. (I can hear the Canon Rebel grumbling in the corner).

In the middle of many errands and preparations for a wonderful dinner with great friends at my house last night, I decided to stroll by our local pond and enjoy a breather of fresh air and sunshine.
Color and reflection

It was about 65 degrees yesterday and I took a few moments to appreciate that as I ambled the tiny beach.
Autumn pond

There is a pretty path that goes a little further into the trees surrounding the pond, but I knew I didn’t have the time to spare to walk it on this particular day. This is the entrance to it.
The path not taken

Instead I enjoyed the leaves and the light floating on the water…
Sunshine on the water

…and breathing deeply and remembering that life is good.
Sparkling water

Thank you Robin for once again hosting Walktober.

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?

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.

May 28, 2012

Feeling Accomplished and Tired!

Here we are at the end of a glorious 3-day weekend – (thank you service people who made it possible).  I made use of every moment and accomplished plenty in that time span.  Some of the accomplishments were enjoying time with friends and relaxing on my deck, but those are important too, right?

Memorial Day weekend is planting weekend for me.  It is always when I have the time to plant my veggie garden and generally have no more worry of a hard frost in this area.  Tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini make up this year’s patch.
IMG_8094
That took most of my day yesterday, a sunny day with the temperature around 90 degrees. I continued today (after mowing the lawn this morning before it reached into the 90’s again this afternoon) with my traditional row of marigold “sentinels” at the edge of the garden.
IMG_8095
You know, I was under the impression that the scent of marigolds was supposed to help repel critters who’d like to get their paws on what the garden has to give, but not two hours after I finished planting those marigolds did I find a chipmunk happily digging away and stuffing his cheeks right next to one of those marigolds! Curious, eh?

I also planted my herb bucket with basil and parsley after mercilessly hacking away about half of the chives that have a tendency to take over the whole bucket.
IMG_8096

I started filling some of my containers with annual flowers as well, but those don’t look too impressive yet, so I’ll save those for another day.

Another color of peony opened this weekend too:
peony1

While in one of those quiet moments relaxing and appreciating on my deck, I caught sight of a bird I’ve been wanting to photograph for a while now:
oriole1
This gentleman was fairly high up in my oak tree, so I wasn’t entirely sure at first that I was seeing a Baltimore oriole. But then he turned his backside toward me, and that made me sure I wasn’t just seeing a robin with a really dark head and a really bright chest!
oriole2

And so, dear readers, I’m quite tired as I type this late Monday evening, but it is a good kind of tired.  Memorial Day weekend was all that I could have asked for and I truly appreciated it.  How was your weekend?

March 11, 2012

Fly Like a…

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 7:43 pm
Tags: , , , ,

hawk1

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’

Into the future

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’

Into the future

I want to fly like an eagle

To the sea

Fly like an eagle

Let my spirit carry me

I want to fly like an eagle

Till I’m free

– Steve Miller

This isn’t an eagle, of course.  It’s a hawk: red-tailed, Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned, I’m not sure.  That classic song by the Steve Miller Band came to mind this afternoon while I watched this beautiful bird in the clear, blue sky.  Every time I see one of these gorgeous birds of prey, I’m drawn in.  I breathe deep, appreciate and try to imagine what it must be like to soar so freely above.

The days do keep slipping away, the future at our doorstep.  Have I become all I will ever be or does the future have more in store?

Some days, I really do want to be just like that bird, free to be whoever I want to be.  Free to explore, off into the blue.

hawk2

September 11, 2011

I don’t want to

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

IMG_6122
Everyone knows what today is.  Even if we didn’t realize at first what today is, the media won’t let us forget.  And I am not saying that we should forget.  Any American who was alive 10 years ago never will. We will always remember exactly where we were when we first heard the news.  But I don’t want to spend the day pulling the scab off a wound that is healing. 
IMG_6066
We all had family members that we wanted to be near as soon as possible.
IMG_6089
  We all had loved ones that we worried for.  We all eventually found out that someone we knew, (or worse, loved) or someone that a friend of a friend of a friend knew, lost their life that day. (For me it was my “crush” from freshman year of high school – he had been at work in one of the towers.)
IMG_6114
So no, I don’t want to spend the day in sadness remembering the horrible events of 10 years ago today. 
IMG_6098
I’d rather spend it in appreciation of who we are today, what we stand for today, and what is important today.
IMG_6004

May 30, 2011

Mama’s Bounty

A wise woman once said, “All weekends should be three-day weekends; then you’d have a day for running errands and chores, a day for socializing and a day to yourself to do whatever you want or nothing at all.”  I may be paraphrasing a bit, but the wise woman is my sister and I couldn’t agree more!  Thanks to the wonderful servicemen and women of this country who gave their lives for us, we are able to celebrate this three-day holiday weekend.  I got to thinking about all the things I am appreciative for this three-day weekend and thought I’d share my appreciation with you.

I am appreciative that I was able to get my veggie garden planted with a minimum of back pain.  I finished off that garden today by planting my little sentry row of critter-guarding marigolds:

 the marigold guard

I am appreciative of the warm weather that we have been granted after very wet spring.  It allowed me to continue my planting frenzy this weekend.  In addition to the veggies and marigolds, I planted all of my containers of flowers.  A sampling:

 hanging plants

(I can’t take credit for that top one – that was my mother’s day gift from hubby._

new guinea impatiens

New guinea impatiens in my whiskey barrel

I put the bee balm that I bought for the hummingbirds in the ground near the butterfly bushes and fuchsia, and I found a spot in one of my flower beds for the new columbine:

columbine

I am appreciative for my home, my family and my friends.  As I’ve enjoyed my yard, and having my hands in the dirt this weekend, I’ve taken a good look around.  As appreciative as I am that we are past the long, harsh winter that Mama Nature had us endure this year, I couldn’t help but feel she was making up for it with an absolute bounty of beauty this spring.  Remember all those wonderful lilacs I showed you?  Now in bountiful bloom I’m enjoying both my rhododendron and my irises; I don’t remember such huge displays last year:

overflowing rhododendron

bountiful irises

Looks like I’m also going to have plenty of rosebuds:

rose buds

and that the chipmunks are going to have plenty of strawberries:

strawberry buds

( Lord knows I never get any of them!  Really need to get around to moving these one of these years)

While they are not bountiful yet, the very first of my peonies opened too! 
first peony

So thank you Mama Nature, thank you fallen soldiers, and thank you blogging friends; you are all appreciated.

April 3, 2011

Getting Ready for the WordPress 5K

Did you get that email from WordPress about a week ago inviting you to participate in their World Wide 5k walk/run?  I’m planning to participate next Sunday, so Daphne, Teddy and I went exploring for our possible 5K route.  I noticed on a recent walk that my town had kindly added a map of trails in the woods near the powerlines where I walk.  I’d been pretty much following the same route since I discovered it last summer, so the map was of interest to me.  Studying it made my head spin, just a bit, as I tried to get my bearings.  These routes ending in the places the map claimed didn’t seem possible to me, so I had to see for myself.  Since I was exploring today and not sure what I would run into, Andre did not come along today (he’s still pouting over there refusing to look at me), but I had my cell phone and iPod (with newly downloaded pedometer!) in my pocket, so I have a few not-wonderful pics to share from our explorations.

I followed part of my usual trail as I began today, and had my eyes open for paint splotches marking the other trails.  One of the branches I took today was the “Cedar Swamp” trail.  Sprinkled all along the edges of this trail were these:
walk4

Anyone recognize it?

As I continued on my path, I had an encounter with a bird of prey that took my breath away in appreciation.  I have no picture to share, but I have reason to believe what I might have seen was a golden eagle.  It took off from a low branch of a tree about 20 feet in front of me, had a brown belly and brown wings, and appeared large enough that I’d have to hold it like a basketball.  I stood in full appreciation of the moment.

As I tried to see where the magnificent bird might have landed, a bit of an obstacle literally lay in our path:
walk2

Poor Teddy bonked his head on the branch pointing downward, but we all managed to scoot under the fallen tree and continue on our way.  I had unfortunately no more siting of the wonderful bird.  I took this picture of the direction I saw it fly in to try to help me remember our encounter:

walk3

The dogs and I continued our walk, they taking in all the new fresh smells, my appreciating a fine spring afternoon.  They got a little muddy and wet as several parts of our walk looked like this:
walk1

..but I in my boots, and they being dogs, we were unbothered by it.  Daphne and I tried a balancing act along that log while Teddy happily slogged through the middle.

As I came over a familiar hill near the last leg of my walk, a wonderful sound filled my ears.  A sound that really says springtime to me:

Turn the speakers up loud on your computer to hear them: peepers!!  How I love that sound.

According to the iPod pedometer, we walked 3.829 miles or 8,631 steps in a leisurely 91 minutes today.  A wonderful walk full of moments to appreciate – I’m looking forward to next Sunday very much.  Let’s hope weather and the moments are equally wonderful.

ETA: Clarification: WordPress didn’t send out an email about their 5K, I just realized!  I subscribe to the Daily Post blog just to keep ideas for my blog flowing and the news of the 5K was shared there.  My bad!  All the information you need to participate, if you are interested, is in that link.  Our friend Gerry and her duo are planning to participate and she has also made a couple posts about planning her route.