Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 2, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:40 am
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As often happens to me as I do my best to keep up with all of you in the blogosphere, I got inspired for my own post by reading this post from Robin who was inspired by reading this post from Bo. Many beautiful thoughts can be found in both of these posts, and they got me thinking about my own changing rituals.

I titled this post “Hallowasn’t” because for the first time in a long time, Halloween was no big deal around here. It usually has been in some way or another whether it was big parties or murder mysteries or just enjoying the excitement of my daughters as they went out to trick or treat. I’ve written several posts about ways we’ve celebrated in the past. I did dress up for Halloween for school (sorry forgot to take a selfie for ya) and I did have a wonderful dinner with my friends last weekend which I alluded to in this post, but the real Halloween spirit was not here. Friends seemed too busy to want to put much thought into costumes for a party and my girls are far past trick or treating age. ONE trick-or-treater came to my door! As I told you in this post, my dance studio closed its doors this year. My dance teacher is one of the most Halloween spirited people I know. I missed the excitement of planning for several Halloween parties the week before Halloween at the studio. We did still get to have a little Halloween fun at the new studio, but of course it wasn’t quite the same.

I found this message posted on my mom’s fridge the last time I went to visit her.
It is true and a good one to remember. Doesn’t necessarily make accepting some of the changes easier though. I know this is the way of the world. If you’ve done your job as a parent well, you’ve created good people who go on to create their own good lives. Doesn’t mean I can’t miss enjoying the days like this:
Tiger baby

does it?
(Does anyone remember the PBS children’s show “The Big Comfy Couch“? It aired on PBS when my girls were little and they loved it. Meghan is dressed up as Lunette the Clown, the main character from the show. I made that costume and was quite proud of it!)

Life brings changes, and with those changes, changes in our rituals. Party and costume planning was always a big ritual for this family at this time of the year. It seems that ritual could be fading into the past.

Connecting with the people who mean the most to you is one ritual that I hope never fades. A few weeks ago, I once again got to go to visit dear friend Renae, and my sister and mother, and her close friend Katie joined us at a place that has become a new ritual – Pickity Place.
Toffee cheesecake w/strawberry sauce and whipped cream

My sister made a new friend of one of the Pickity kitties:
Kitty loves my sister

Last night I had the pleasure of a delicious dinner with some wonderful women: Sherry, Tracey and Sherry’s mom Carol (who is also Tracey’s mother-in-law). I was the only one who wasn’t “officially” family, but that’s okay, I’m close enough! We went to a local restaurant, La Cucina di Hampden House and enjoyed great food and drinks and each other’s company.
Espresso martini
espresso martini

Eggplant tower
eggplant tower appetizer

This occasion came up because our husbands were together playing poker and visiting in support of a man who has had some health issues recently and was joyed by the idea of spending time with the men he has known since they were boys. We ladies toasted each other and Carol even suggested that this dinner become a tradition. A new ritual, so-to-speak. I like that idea.

November 3, 2013

Zen Kitty

I’ve borrowed this photo, as well as this blog title, from a Facebook post of my sister’s. This kitty in a state of uber-peacefulness is a nice representative of a mostly awesome week around here.

It started last Saturday when my wonderful posse of long time friends arrived for a murder-mystery style Halloween party.
The theme of the mystery was “Murder at the Millenium” and each of us was supposed to be one outstanding character from each decade of the 20th century. There’s yours truly over there on the far right as “Scarlett Harlot” an actress from the 1930’s.

The directions that came with the party game suggested decorating with something made to look like a time machine. Meghan, a great fan of the BBC series “Dr. Who”, said we should make our time machine look like a T.A.R.D.I.S. (For the un-Whovian initiated, click here for more information) We decorated the front door like this:
so that each of our guests had to pass through the time machine to arrive at the party.

Our fabulous party was followed by a fabulous Red Sox World Series win on Wednesday night.

Our jack-o-lantern was carved, and I happily enjoyed the roasted pumpkin seeds:

Halloween blew in windy, wet and warm. Only a scant few trick-or-treaters came to my door. When it seemed the doorbell would no longer ring for the evening, I settled in to spend some time here:

Saturday arrived again and provided another thoroughly enjoyable day. My sister, our best friend Renae and I made another pilgrimage to our favorite New Hampshire lunch spot, Pickity Place. Pickity was the place where the photo of Zen Kitty was taken.
How’s that for bringing a post full circle?

Okay, I did say it was a mostly awesome week back at the beginning of the post. That seems to suggest there might be something that wasn’t so awesome. Before heading out with my sister for the day yesterday, I dropped my car off at our Ford dealership to have a dashboard warning light checked. The result? A hefty repair bill:

There’s always a sprinkle of bad in there to remind us how we need to appreciate the good!

October 31, 2012

Remains of the Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:19 pm
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Happy what’s-left-of-Halloween to you!  It is just after 8pm on Halloween as I am typing this post.  It was a last minute decision to write this post, as was my decision to carve this jack-o-lantern.  With my girls no longer of trick-or-treating age, the threat of Hurricane Sandy and our Murder Mystery party this past weekend, regular ol’Halloween kind of took a back seat around here.  I just bought candy for potential  trick-or-treaters  yesterday and then I remembered we had no pumpkin to carve and enjoy the roasted seeds.  I carved this fellow at 5pm this evening.  We’ve had a total of 3 trick-or-treaters tonight.

Because of this lack of creatures of the night ringing the doorbell, I’ll be eating far too much of this over the coming days:

Each time I walk through the kitchen, I am popping these in my mouth:


Perhaps a little better than all the candy, right?

Hurricane Sandy turned out not to be a Frankenstorm at all in these parts, for which I am extremely grateful. Our power stayed on the whole duration of the storm and we just had a rainy, windy day off from school.  Trying my best to send positive thoughts to those left in need by Sandy.

How did you weather storm my reader friends?  How was your Halloween?

October 28, 2012

Here we go again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:27 pm
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It is the weekend before Halloween and I am having a little deja vu.  Do you all remember what happened around here a year ago?  If you don’t, you can read about it here.  I’ve been pretty busy this week prepping for another party at my house.  And what has been making the news lately?  Yet another storm preparing to bear down on the northeast, Hurricane Sandy.

My very best wishes and thoughts for minimal damage and power outages are going out to all of us who find ourselves in Sandy’s path.  School has already been closed for tomorrow (Monday) around here, despite the fact that we aren’t supposed to feel Sandy’s impact until tomorrow afternoon.

The weather yesterday was just fine and our party was a success.  We took a little different tack than our traditional Halloween party and had a Murder Mystery Party.  Years ago we hosted one of these parties and had a lot of fun with it.  Our friends enthusiastically agreed to the idea, and we found a party kit that we could buy online and download.

Hubby and I cooked up a yummy dinner to serve our guests, and our guests did not disappoint with the way they took to their characters!  I emailed each of them their character’s name and description about two weeks before our party and here’s how they all showed up:

From left to right: Hubby as “Sam Chawpalot” the butcher, yours truly as “Shugga Ann Flower”, baker and, as it turned out, the murderess!, “Cougar Forrest” golf pro, “London Wilton” heiress, socialite and murder victim, “Rita Bookaday” local librarian, “Paul A. Tisshon” (kneeling) mayor, “Alby Stitchin” tailor,  “Alberta Newton” biology professor, “Kara Tinn” hairdresser, and “Dr. Doctor Dijon”, neurosurgeon.

We had a great time trying to solve the mystery ( none of us got it right!), laughing and sharing each others’ company.  There was even an impromptu singing of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen when one of the mini-games included in the mystery was the deciphering of lyrics.  The person who had these lyrics on their clue sheet barely got the words, “Is this the real life?” out of his mouth before the entire group of us started belting out the tune.

Our kids, along with a couple of boyfriends added to the mix, enjoyed a party of their own of the more traditional costume type:

Meghan, as a magician, is third from the left, and Sarah, as Pink Panther/Inspector Clouseau if on the far right.

Now is the time for “wait and see” – we shall wait and see just what Ms. Sandy has in store for us.  I have no idea when or if my power will go out, and whether I’ll have internet service over the next few days.  Stay safe everyone.

November 3, 2011

I’m Back!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:44 pm
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Hello!  I am back!  My cable & internet services were just restored about an hour ago.  I’ve got so much to blab about I barely know where to start.  First thing I should probably say is that I will definitely, finally get around to seeing all your photo hunts!  What bad timing this storm had.  I finished my hunt on Friday, went to my grad class on Saturday, hosted a party Saturday night, power went out Saturday night.  So I never got around to seeing all your hunts.  My plan: Get this story of what’s been up around here for the past few days posted, watch some cable tv tonight ( Behind the Seams with Tim Gunn is on tonight!) then spend tomorrow catching up in the blogosphere and writing my round-up of all the photo hunts.  Sound good?  Here’s how it all began.

I mentioned in my last post that we were bracing for a storm here in the northeast.  We just had no idea exactly how it was going to track or how much we were going to get.  I had been planning for our Halloween party that night.  I kept tabs on my email, watching for notes from friends saying they were going to stay home due to the weather predictions.  Shockingly, none of the invitees decided to “regret.”   While I was cooking and prepping that afternoon, this is what it looked like outside:

Not unusual to see snow in New England, but snow like this in October?  Practically unheard of.


“Do you believe this Mom?”

We continued with our decorating and food prep:


Our friends arrived and we had our party with the power out.  I took these pictures a short time before our power went out around 6pm.  Lots of candles, the radio with batteries on the local classic rock channel, and friends we’ve been friends with since the times when those songs were Top 40 hits – it was a really good party!

Unfortunately, by the time it was time to leave, travel conditions were not good.  Luckily everyone arrived home safely.  The next morning, everything was out- power, phones, cell service.    My yard looked like this:

That is the crazy-huge sycamore tree (that I regularly start complaining about around Thanksgiving due to the obnoxious amount of giant-sized leaves it drops)  in my front yard, still in full, green leaf.  The heavy, wet, snow dragged branches down to the ground.  We are quite lucky none of those laden branches fell on our house.

The view from my back deck:

My back yard is a wreck.  Luckily the snow is melting quickly, but we have LOTS of clean up to do.  As soon as we get our hands on a chainsaw, we have plenty of dragging and stacking to do.  Here’s a look around the yard a couple days later:

Looking at my house from the back yard.


Fence crushed by fallen trees.  Luckily, some limbs dragged into that area have so far prevented the dogs from taking a walk around the neighborhood.


A tree poking through the roof of my shed.


Paw print on the deck.

All in all, I consider myself one of the lucky ones in this storm.  As of this writing, there are still thousands in the area without power.  My power came back on Tuesday, and I had the ability to cook on my gas stove and take hot showers the whole time due to our gas hot water heater.  (I vow to never move to a house without natural gas!)  Here on Thursday night, my cable & internet services are restored.  I do believe in Karma afterall – maybe we got to be the lucky ones because Meghan and I were scared within inches of our lives in July. Early reports are saying the damage to this area is more severe and more widespread than June’s devastating tornado . Please send good thoughts toward Massachusetts and other parts of the northeast affected by this Freaky Freakin’ Snowstorm, to use Kanniduba‘s words, so that everyone will soon have all their power and services restored.


Contemplating the new look of their little part of the world

November 3, 2010

Are you tired of Halloween? No? Okay good!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 2:54 pm
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After almost a full month of blogging every day with my photography class, I felt a bit remiss that I hadn’t posted anything for the first two days of the month.  Kathy was talking yesterday about how sometimes we have the urge to blog even when we don’t have anything particular to say.  That’s how I’m feeling today.  While I was scrolling through my archives of pictures yesterday for another project, it occured to me that I hadn’t shared the girls’ Halloween costumes from the “week of Halloween” at the dance studio for which I had helped them come up with costumes.  Aha! Blog fodder!

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The camera has been restless for a few days.  I can hear it calling to me from its bag:

 “Karen, aren’t you going to take some pictures today?” 

 “Camera,” I reply, “you know I’d love to, but it is November!  November is not a particularly photogenic month in these parts.” 

“I know not of what you speak,” answers Camera,”It is dark in this bag and I would like out.  Now, let’s get going please.  Or else!”

“Or else what?” I challenge.

“Or else, you don’t want to know!” Camera mysteriously replies.

Camera is right, of course.  I think another photography adventure is in order – soon!

Did I ever tell you about the little adventure  involved in getting this photo for Scott Thomas’s “Hometown” assignment?

October 31, 2010

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:59 am
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In honor of today, I decided to share the fun I’ve had with Halloween over the years.  Hubby and I have thrown Halloween parties off and on for the last 20 years, starting a couple years before we were married.  We’ve always celebrated with a close group of friends; couples who’ve married and had children, whom we’ve remained friends with over the years.  These pictures are not inclusive of all the costumes we’ve worn over the years, but many of my favorites are included here.  The parties began when we were young 20-somethings and have grown to include our children as we are now all in our 40’s, and our children are friends with each other.  It is a pretty cool relationship, and fairly unusual I’m guessing,  for a core group of five couples (others have come and gone throughout the years) and it is a relationship I am happy and grateful to have.  On to the fun! (I’ve chosen to feature shots of my husband, myself, and my girls to  keep the picture load here to a reasonable size!)

Frankenstein’s monster & Bride of Frankenstein, 1991

Werewolf & Catwoman, 1992

Sally & Mr. Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1994

Fast forward 10 years (costumes from the years in between I’m not as crazy about).  2004 was a special year.  I think it was the first year we decided to include everyone’s children in our party invitation, and changed the dynamics from adults-only to a family oriented party.  It was also an awesome year for Red Sox fans!  Our party happened the day after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.  My husband (right) and a friend dressed appropriately for the celebration:

Hubby is a beat-down Yankee player, if it is difficult to make out in that shot.  My girls dressed as Dr. Suess’s Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat:

And I went as Madonna from the early years:

What do you think of me as a blond? LOL!

In 2005, we went with a family costume idea:

This is probably my favorite group costume ever!  We had fun shopping for and creating the costumes in order to be the members of the rock band, KISS, and our girls were introduced to some classic 70’s rock!

Our family became a famous TV family in 2007:

The Simpsons : Bart, Lisa, Marge (with a doll I fashioned to be Maggie) and Homer

In 2008, we didn’t throw our own party, but hubby and I were invited to the party of a friend from my dance classes.  It was an election year, and we dressed for it:

John McCain & Sarah Palin!  No political support implied here!  Just cute costumes – I’m wearing one of my husband’s old junior NRA shooting jackets.

Last year, we had another party and went with another group theme:

Were you able to figure this one out?  You might not if you are not a fan of a certain comedian.  We were the puppets of Jeff Dunham: Walter, Peanut, Jose Jalepeno on-a-stick, and Akmed the dead terrorist.  I couldn’t help but laugh anytime I saw Meghan in those eyebrows and mustache on her green face.  And yes, that’s me in the giant bobble-head skeleton suit.  (If you click the link for the puppets, you’ll see a picture of those characters)

This year, hubby and I were again invited to my dance class friend’s party, and we weren’t having a party of our own.  We decided to be Columbia and RiffRaff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show:

I’d love to hear about which of our costumes you liked best, as well as what some of your favorite past Halloween costumes were – links to your pics would be great!