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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November 21, 2015

What I’ve been up to

For all the free time I’ve found on my hands since this school year began, I haven’t found myself in the blogosphere as much as I thought I would. I’ve been keeping myself busy in the days since I last updated (and I’ve been enjoying your blogs as well). Here’s a bit of how I’ve been passing the days.

In the middle of October, Sarah and I spent a great day together in Boston. Technically, it was “Family Weekend” at Wentworth but Sarah and I weren’t particularly interested in the events on campus, especially with a great city like Boston at your feet. My baby girl is becoming an expert at using Boston’s public transportation system, known locally as the “T” and she navigated us where we wanted to go. We visited Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market and the Prudential Center. Back on campus we did stop and “Build a Leopard” – kind of like “Build a Bear” only she made WIT’s mascot.
build a leopard

We enjoyed dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory – a first visit for both of us.
Cheesecake Factory

Halloween felt very different this year without either of my girls at home. My enthusiam for it has waned over the years, and now with no dance studio Halloween parties to attend or the kids trying to decide what they’ll be, it passed differently for me this year. I didn’t buy a pumpkin for jack-o-lanterns or candy to pass out for trick or treat (we’ve gotten fewer and fewer trick or treaters in this neighborhood in recent years anyway). I did dress up for school – the reactions of middle schoolers seeing their teachers dressed up is worth it. I picked through dance costumes and such and decided to go as a “Goth ballerina”:
Goth ballerina

That weekend of the 31st and Nov. 1st, my sister and I had a great weekend in Providence Rhode Island. We spent Saturday at a foodie museum on the Johnson and Wales campus, and then went shopping at Providence Place. Federal Hill in Providence is famous for being like Boston’s North End when it comes to restaurants, especially authentic Italian, so we treated ourselves to a great meal at a place called Pane E Vino
Bruschetta

Delish dinner

cannoli heaven

The next day we attended Meghan’s ballroom competition in Cranston and had a lot of fun!
ballroom1

ballroom4

As I think I’ve explained before, there aren’t enough guys to go around on the ballroom team, so Meghan sometimes dances lead as you see in the above photos. She also gets her chance to follow in some styles of dance:
ballroom2

ballroom3

We even got to take our dancer to lunch.
Lunch with Meg

It was a cool little place called the Elephant Room – a combination tea room and creperie.

November hasn’t been quite as exciting so far. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dreaded sycamore leaves, which I believe I have bitched about every year since I began this blog. Hmmm let me check. Ok looks like I started bitching in 2011, the second year of my blog, lol, and I was really crabby about them 2 years ago. This year I tried to be smart about them and take advantage of raking them up before any kind of precipitation bogged them down. Here’s a fraction of what I cleaned up.
getting after the leaves

A milestone passed recently as well. Do you remember this blog post from two years ago? In it I announced the beginning of what I am now calling my fitness journey. It’s a journey without final destination as far as I’m concerned. I’m continuing to see where it will take me. I’ve moved on from the things that I showed you in that post to weight lifting and yoga as my main forms of working out, and while I’m not following any sort of strict diet routine, I mostly “eat clean”. I’m happily and easily maintaining the weight I lost, I’m building new lean muscle and I’ve dropped from a size 8 to a size 2. I love shopping for new clothes! Here’s a pic of how I look today:
fitness journey
I’m not very good at posing for pictures, but this is good enough!

I am so much looking forward to next week! A nice short work week, my girls coming home Wednesday afternoon and Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday. It’s all good!

August 27, 2015

Empty Nest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 1:49 pm
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Empty nest

This is what my house feels like today. Yesterday, I dropped my younger daughter, Sarah, off at her new school year home at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Older daughter, Meghan, returned to her school on Sunday. I know I’m not “officially” an empty-nester, since my girls still technically live at home, but this is how it feels. Another piece of my heart is now beginning her adventure in the exciting capitol city of this state.

The dorm room

Fun, quirky, introverted, intelligent, caring, sweetheart Sarah in her dorm room.

With Wentworth leopard

A new chapter of my life begins. It’s a chapter I’ve never been ready for but knew was inevitable. How will I adjust and fill the pages of this chapter? My girls have been my focus for the last 20 years of my life, and while they will continue to be my first priority forever, my daily role as “mom” is now no longer. It is such a huge part of my identity – where do I go from here?

August 4, 2014

College Visit

Although I am continually trying to deny the fact that Sarah keeps insisting on growing up, our search for the right college for her continues. Today (day 46 of summer) we traveled into Boston on a beautifully sunny day. Despite missing a turn that Google maps told me to take, we arrived at Wentworth Institute of Technology without too much trouble.
Wentworth

The summer preview program was from 1-4pm, so we arrived in the city with plenty of time to walk around and find a good spot for lunch. And a good spot we did find! A little unassuming corner spot called Sweet Cheeks Q. It is a southern BBQ style place and the food was wonderful. Meghan and I both had the brisket sandwich.
Sweet Cheek BBQ

Sarah chose pulled pork, and both girls had that fabulous looking mug of mac n cheese as their side.
More good lunch

My delicious sweet tea was served in a mason jar.
Jar of tea

We returned to campus for an information session and tour. Sarah believes this school will definitely be one that she will apply to. I liked the fact that even though it is in the heart of the city, it still has a comfortable not-so-urban feel to it.
WIT
But Sarah isn’t really old enough to be applying to college yet, right? ūüėČ

April 7, 2012

Down by the banks of the river Charles

Our family spent the day in Boston yesterday, and I had the song that those lyrics come from playing through my head for most of the day.¬† Can you name the song without Googling it?¬† Think about it while you read my post.¬† I’ll include a YouTube video with the answer at the end.

Our original¬†purpose for yesterday’s visit was a campus tour of Boston University.¬† Expecting heavy traffic for our drive in, I roused my troops early from bed on that non-school day to give us plenty of time to work our way to the “T” station (how locals refer to the public train/subway system) just outside our state capital.¬† We arrived with surprising ease and little traffic, finding ourselves at our location, the BU admissions office with time to spare.
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I took the opportunity to look around at my exact location and, of course, take some pictures.

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Before arriving at BU, I hadn’t realized just how close to the Charles River the campus is.¬† I peeked around the corner from admissions to discover it right across busy Storrow Drive.¬† ( I thought I took a picture at this point to show you, but I didn’t find one. Hmmm… maybe I accidentally deleted? Or maybe I really didn’t take one)

One of my favorite spots in Boston is also within walking distance….

Can you guess the place I’m talking about before you scroll down….

I bet you¬†know…

IMG_7506

Yup, Fenway Park.  The boys will be back in town for the home opener this coming Friday.

After an unfortunately disappointing campus tour that left Meghan even more uncertain about her feelings about the school, we headed for lunch and another ride on the T, to the Boston Museum of Science.¬† This was Meghan’s request.

At the museum, I was taken in by the gorgeous views of the Charles River from the museum’s gigantic picture windows.
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View of the picture windows with the perpetual motion machine:

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We didn’t have the time or energy to get to all of the museum’s great exhibits (we missed the Omni theater, the planetarium and the butterfly garden), but we did stroll through the new live gecko area.

IMG_7514

Feeling rather tired after hours of walking (the tour, the museum, back and forth to the T) the four of us gathered to decide how to wind up our day.¬† Starting to feel a little hungry and facing the ride home, we decided to head for the famous Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market to find some dinner.¬† Tucked in an underground store in the marketplace we found a great little place called the Zuma Tex-Mex Grill.¬† Far from fancy, this restaurant had truly delicious food.¬† Hubby and I shared some of the best jalepeno poppers I’ve ever eaten.¬† I had a tender and flavorful fajita-style steak sandwich.¬† Hubby loved his burrito, and the girls were happy with their meals as well.

Exhausted and satisfied, we happily hopped on our last T ride of the day Рuncrowded with seats for all four of us- and made our way back to the T-station, followed by a 75-minute drive home from the station to dogs elated to see us.

Did you figure out the song without cheating?