Thursday, December 27, 2012


My internet is so slow at the moment that I can't upload much for photos.  Sorry!  But our Christmas was fabulous.  The whole family was here and we had the nicest day, all together.  Good food, games, laughing, playing outside... and we got a visit from a little flying squirrel Christmas night!  Hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday too!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Wonderland

A nice heavy snowfall last night.  Eli stayed home sick, with the tail end of a cold.  Now we are cuddled up with mint tea and he's watching a funny, old Buster Keaton movie while I post.  He's laughing between sniffles.   Happy to have a day to spend with my big kid...Ira has Fridays off from school so he gets to be an only child pretty often, but not Eli.  We've had some good talks this morning, and we bundled up and trekked out to the mailbox with the last of the Christmas cards.  Feeling so blessed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pasghetti Western

 Spent yesterday on the set of what just might be the last scene in the children's Western Myra and Jim have been filming since Spring.  It's been a wonderfully fun experience for all the kids.  From horseback riding across the "Great Plains" to rustling sheep, we've had a great time.  Stay tuned for the premiere later this winter!  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sad, Sad, Sad.

I know we live in a safe place.  That doesn't matter.  Bad things can happen anywhere.  Arriving at school a couple days ago, we found out that the mom of two schoolmates had passed away in the night.  Just went to sleep with a headache and didn't wake up.  I think it never occurred to my boys that a mom could die.  And then today, hearing the news from Connecticut.  I just feel sick.  What to do?  Do you shut down your whole life and life in fear?  I certainly want to some days.  But that's not living.  Oh, oh, oh...I really have no words.  I'm just confused and sad and tired and wondering why things have to be so hard and horrible.  My babies are beautiful, wonderful, perfect, I love them more than life, I can't imagine what those parents must be feeling.  The overwhelming nightmare of it all makes me want to lock my doors, curl up with my bubs, and never let them out of my arms as long as they live.  I must have said 'I love you' to them a hundred times today.  Isn't it insane that no matter how hard you love someone, you can't protect them from bad things?  It's enough to drive a mother bonkers.  On Monday, I'll suggest that the school be locked during the day and visitors be buzzed in, even though we have always just walked right in and called "Yohoo, Tracy!  I'm looking for Amy, have you seen her?"  I hate to have to feel afraid, and ask for big city type security in our tiny, little town, but how can I feel otherwise, after this?  We must do SOMETHING.  I can't write coherently today.  This week has been misery.  Wishing for a better world.

More Holiday Shots

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's The Holiday Season...

 Nothing like the smell of a Christmas tree to put everything right!  Our tree was somewhat smaller than usual this year, to fit in our little apartment, and I was only able to find a very few of our old ornaments when I went hunting in storage, but the boys and I made and found plenty of new ones.  The kids had a glorious few days of sledding before the snow melted.   Give it another week or so and it'll be here to stay!
 Ira eyeballs our 32rd choice of Christmas tree.
 Eli gets ready to cut it down.
 Captain enjoys the festivities...
 ...Except when he has to wear the Santa hat.
"....And then Baby Jesus drove away in the monster truck.  The End."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Men At Work

Gotta love a man in uniform!  I'm very glad that my kids actually pick fun, halfway original things to be for Halloween, and that their costumes are relatively simple to put together.  Still, I was sewing until the last minute yesterday!  Ira's brown suit, I found at a consignment shop...but it was actually FROM the UPS uniform catalog, so it was pretty authentic, which delighted him, and Eli's was once a karate uniform which I altered and added to.  We had a great time going door to door around our little village.  The library gave out books which was awesome.  Eli, staying in character of course,  picked out a book on the Titanic.  Ira yelled out "UPS!" instead of "Trick-or-treat!" everywhere, and his delivery box got so heavy that I had to tote it for him in between houses.  He was especially happy to see a sign taped on one door that said "UPS and Fed Ex, please leave deliveries on back porch."  He made me take his picture next to it.  So, another Halloween come and gone, now we head toward the winter holidays, which will be here before you know it.  I can maybe last another week or two, and then I'm busting out the Christmas carols!  Hello November!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hudson's Annual Halloween Bash

A very fun night, as always.  Great band, great food, great people.  Now, with Hurricane Sandy setting in, I assume we'll lose power and I won't see you, Internet World, for a few to batten down the hatches and spend the rest of the blustery day with my little ones, enjoying an evening of board games by the wood stove.  Stay safe all, hope everyone weathers the Frankenstorm well!  And Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Car!

Excuse the dumb, narcissistic photo, I was taking this shot to sell those wool pants on e-bay, then moved to a location with a better background.  I later realized, "Hey!  It's kind of a picture of me and my new car!"  (And Jen trying to convince her dog to jump into her trunk.)  Even though I'm 35, this is really my "first car".  I've never had anything of my own in my whole life, cars were always Justin's thing.  I'm pretty proud of doing the entire buying-of-a-used-car myself, with no man to guide me through the process.

When my old car died a couple months ago, I took it to my mechanic for the millionth time.  He had warned me it was on it's last legs, and I had already socked a thousand bucks into various repairs over the summer.  Rust, gas tank issues, exhaust problems, brake work...When he refused to let me put any more money into this car (and the brakes quit), he gave me a few pointers on buying a used car.  He said that we can mostly fix stuff under the hood, but to look for something with absolutely NO RUST, because in Vermont, you can practically HEAR things rusting, it happens so fast.  I added my own criteria to the list - it had to be less than ten years old, had to have less than 150, 000 miles, had to be good in the snow, had to have room for three kids, a dog and sound equipment, had to get decent gas mileage, had to be CHEAP.  I assumed I'd buy another Honda or perhaps a Toyota.

As the month wore on and I borrowed car after car from friends and family while I hunted, it seemed impossible to find what I was looking for at a price I could afford.  I lost track of how many dealerships I went to, I started to open my mind to other types of cars.  Everybody that gave me advice had a favorite.  Rusty leaned towards Volkswagen, Myra loves her little Suzuki,  Dad was still gung-ho on Toyotas, Jen wanted me to get a Honda minivan, several other friends had good luck with the Ford Focus.  I started to get confused on WHAT to even shop for!  One of the cars I borrowed was my friend Jana's Subaru Outback.  Driving it for a couple weeks while she was in Germany, I was thinking: THIS is it!  The space, the way it handled, everything fit my needs.  It was like a minivan, without BEING a minivan!  So I started to add Subarus to my list of cars to look at.

 After one particularly grueling weekend of car shopping, I came home feeling completely downhearted.  There was NOTHING, it seemed, anywhere in New England that a single mom on welfare could afford.  Nothing safe and reliable anyhow.  Without much hope, that evening I browsed Craigslist, as I had been doing daily, and there it was, a car that looked too good to be true!  2004 Subaru Outback.  Zero rust.  140,000 miles. In Rutland.

Next day, I went and checked it out, got a gut feeling that the dude that owned the used car lot was a trustworthy guy...the fact that he apologetically excused himself to pick his five year old up from a birthday party and didn't want to be late, rather than push the sale, told me a lot.  All the other salesmen were like velcro and made me feel incredibly pressured.  I made an appointment at a garage nearby and had them look the car over.  It might need a new head gasket, they thought, but other than that, the mechanic's mouth hung open when I told him the price.  He said "Buy it.  Buy it QUICK."  So I did.  For far less than the asking price because I'd have to replace the head gasket in the near future...we took the repair cost off the price and it was a pretty sweet deal, if I do say so myself.  I guess I now join the ranks of Vermont women who drive Subaru Outbacks, the unofficial State Car.  But I get it.  It's the heated seats, baby, the heated seats.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Portraits

Catching the very last of the fall color, everybody's thinking of Christmas cards which makes good business for me!