Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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

September 7, 2015

August Dreaming

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:37 am
Tags: , , , ,

It is Labor Day here in the USA – a day to celebrate work by playing all day! For most people it is also the day that feels like the end of summer, even though that isn’t “official” for 16 more days. It has been a beautifully warm and sunny long weekend in the northeast, and I hope you’ve been enjoying whatever you’ve been up to. I’ve been taking my baby steps toward adjusting to both girls being off to college, reaching out to friends for help along the way.

Maine sunset
a memory of mine from August

Today is also the day to have a look back at August. At the end of July, I made the suggestion that we play along with I Heart Faces August photo challenge in the loosey-goosey style of the “When I Feel Like It” way.

As of this writing four bloggers posted pictures for the August photo hunt.

Mike over at Picture Day decided to do an approximately weekly look at August. He started off here, and added more here, here, and here Did I get them all Mike? I enjoyed following along with Mike’s thinking process and seeing the very creative results!

Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind did three posts on the challenge. The first one is blended with “Share Your World” questions, she continues in this post and finishes, with a little kick-start from her muse here. I always enjoy Carol’s photos from the other side of this country and from her travels all over the world, and these did not disappoint!

I was sure that Robin at Breezes at Dawn would find a unique way to present her August photo challenge. She created a beautiful post, showcasing her month here. Robin pointed out how this challenge ended up being a fun look back at the month for her and mused that maybe it could be fun to wrap up a month in a similar way from time to time. I like that idea too, but won’t be making any blog promises!

Sonali at Dreams Hope Destiny started out with a happy post here and continued with some more shots in this post giving us fun look at her part of the world.

In the spirit of reaching out, I extended the invitation to a couple bloggers who really seemed to want to participate in this challenge but perhaps ran out of time. If they happen to add posts today, I will happily add them to this wrap up.

I’m sure you’ve already seen my posts for this challenge, but if you missed any of them my three posts are here, here and here.

As we transition to the next season, I’m beginning my transition too. My heart is still heavy with ache for the two big pieces who are no longer here on a daily basis. I’m still thinking and sorting and trying things out and wish to maintain a presence here in the blogosphere – connecting with all of you is something I enjoy. I’ve been touched by your comments of support and hope to continue this sharing as I find my way.

July 21, 2015

Six Photos, Six Days, Day 6

Peaks Island Sunset

The people of the tiny fishing village came out to stare in wonder one evening at the strange occurance. Old-fashioned folks well versed in superstition were very familiar with phrases like, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor’s delight”. But what in the world was meant by “striped sun at set”? Should they take a bet?

Real story
After a month of what felt like non-stop activity, July rolled around and my days were suddenly much more free. Not to say I’ve been doing nothing, there’s still been enough to keep me busy, and that kept me from getting back to blogging sooner. A lovely respite arrived in the form of an invitation to visit my sister for a few days on her vacation on Peaks Island in Maine. I’ve been there before and shared it with you. It was a lovely two days of salt air breezes, walks around the island, relaxing on the quiet beach and taking photos like this gorgeous sunset.

And that nearly catches me up to where we are now. The annual camping trip happened about a week ago, and we have plans to head down to the Cape for a couple days soon. I’m afraid summer will pass by in a blur after that – Sarah’s 18th birthday and our vacation to Maine approach in August, and all too soon after that both my little birdies will fly off to college. Let me tell you, this mama bird is no where near ready for that.

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.

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.

July 21, 2014

Little Adventures

Yesterday, day 31 of summer, was one of those days weather-wise that you wish could go on forever. The sun shined, the temperature was a moderate 80°, a gentle breeze on the air.  A great day, I said to myself, to take the dogs for a walk.  I hadn’t done so in quite a while and figured the dogs would be more than happy to get out to our old path.

Out our driveway and up the street…

off we go

…around the corner and past the house with the goat…

past the goat

…plowing through the tall grass at the edge of the parking lot for the soccer fields…

plowing through

… and entering the preserved farm lands of (really and for true!) Old MacDonald.

Alton's way

We followed the path as though it hadn’t been months since we’d last been there…

the path

…and arrived at Daphne’s favorite stopping spot, the little brook…

Daphne's favorite spot

…that runs from a quiet swamp.

peek into swamp

Perhaps not too quiet: red-winged blackbirds and cicadas regularly call out from this place.

Black-eyed susans were in bloom every where I looked. The dogs must have been thinking, doesn’t she have enough pictures of those things? But they patiently waited for the sound of the shutter before moving along again.
black eyed susans

Although by the 4th or 5th time I stopped near bunches of them, Teddy was starting to push his nose into stems, sure that there must be something far more interesting that was getting all this attention.

Upon my return, my girls had an idea for another little adventure: frozen yogurt at one of the seemingly many new places that have popped up around here. Who was I to say no to a fabulous idea like this?
Fro-yo

July 15, 2014

Doldrumming

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 4:38 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Scattered thunderstorms. Flash flood and possible tornado watches. High humidity.

The dog days are definitely not over, but they seem to have arrived. I’m not one to complain about warm temperatures as you know. I do complain, however, about any kind of weather that keeps me inside. I told Robin this morning that I was wondering if you can have cabin fever in the summer. Bearyweather said for sure you can. Things aren’t as bad here as it sounds like it is in northern Minnesota right now, but I’m definitely getting antsy. My injured back (on the mend) and now the weather are conspiring I’m sure. Tomorrow’s forecast is no better.

Yesterday, day 25, I worked on and finished the project I referenced in my second to last post. I don’t think the person this project is for will find their way to this blog post, but to be on the safe side, I’ll wait to show it to you on a different day. Here’s where I spent most of the day yesterday:
Work space

My old-fashioned but still working scanner is on the end table just past my computer. Photo albums are scattered about the table, more than you can see in the shot. I’m quite happy with the results of the project and hope the recipient likes it just as much when I have the chance to present it.

Today, day 26, is an inside-y kind of day too. I went out and did some errands to at least get out of the house for a while, but now I’m back in, looking out at the rain.
IMG_1129

IMG_1131

As I said to Robin in my comment, I’m definitely looking for some adventuring. Planning to seek some out in the days to come, weather-permitting!

July 10, 2014

Three Weeks Already

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been out of school for 3 weeks already. This time of year passes much more quickly than the winter, don’t you think?

Sarah and I spent some time together today. She is having her senior portraits taken next week, so of course that meant a little shopping. After choosing a few things, we popped over to Panera Bread for lunch.

Panera lunch

I’ve been hoping that once the house renovations that we started last year get moving again, I might be able to get some new furniture. For the heck of it, Sarah and I popped into a furniture store to have a look around.
Trying out furniture

How is your summer so far?

July 9, 2014

A rare selfie….

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 5:45 pm
Tags: , ,

The highlight of day 20, a fresh haircut:

photo (4)

I love going to the salon. So nice to have someone take care of me for a little while!

July 2, 2014

Pool Party? Days 11 &12

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:25 am
Tags: , ,

Ah, my relationship with the pool in my backyard! It is wonderful to have, but also requires much time, work and money be poured into it – literally. The pool and I have had good times. The pool and I have had bad times. Then after all that TLC, the pool just decided to give up on us, one of many victims of a harsh winter in this area.

We ordered a new pool and it has finally been installed. I’ve been through far too many hot and difficult pool installations so I begged my husband to please pay someone else to do it this time around! On Monday and Tuesday, a crew of hard working guys got it done with much more efficiency than what hubby and I would likely have mustered.

Monday’s progress:
New pool construction

Tuesday:
pool

It continues to fill from our garden hose as I type this blog post.
Filling

12,000 gallons takes a bit of time. We couldn’t remember exactly how long it takes, so I shut it off at bed time last night and turned it back on this morning just to be sure it didn’t fill too high over night (although I don’t really think that would have been an issue with how slowly it seems to be going).

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