Tag Archives: family life

If We Were Having Coffee…3/11/17

If we were having coffee…I would (quickly) welcome you in and slam the door right behind you. There is a fridge wind fighting to get in this morning and I am determined to keep him at bay. I feel as if the March Lion is doing battle with the March Lamb. We are expecting a snow storm on Tuesday here in southern New Jersey so I guess the Lion still has control at least till then. Personally, I’m more than ready for Spring!

Nevermind the weather. Come in. Sit down. I have coffee or tea or hot chocolate ready to warm your bones. You might notice that I am using my very cool  Friends “CENTRAL PERK” mug that Miss Dee gave me for my birthday this past December. As you can see, it’s very large so I only use it on the weekends when I have unlimited coffee time. There are lots of other cool mugs for you to choose from; two Marvel Avengers , a Hershey Park (the sweetest place on Earth), another from Disney World, or Miss Dee has a mug from her graduation that says “THE TASSEL WAS WORTH THE HASSEL.” I’m sure she wouldn’t mind sharing. Which ever you chose, I promise to fill it with something strong and hot!

If we were having coffee…I would start off by asking you how you’ve been. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to join the Coffee Share (in fact, it’s been so long that I didn’t realize that it changed hosts!) so I’m afraid I’m a bit behind. Is everything well in your world? Everyone healthy? Have you seen any good movies or read any good books?

Things around here have been chugging along. Nothing too extraordinary is happening. We are a bit excited because my niece, Anna, and D-Man’s stepsister, Regan, are both about to have babies so of course we are awaiting news on that. This is the second baby for Anna. Anyone who has been following this blog for a while might remember the shower Miss Dee and I threw for her when her first (Squish) was born two years ago. She and her guy will be welcoming another little boy to their family. We can’t wait to meet him.

Hubby’s step sister, Regan, is also having a little boy. This is the first for her and her husband. They live a few hours away, up in Hoboken so we don’t get to see them too often. Miss Dee and I attended her baby shower just last week over at my in-laws house. Personally, I find showers, as a whole, a bit of a snooze to attend and, (speaking as an introvert), terrifying  to be the subject of, but it’s always nice to wish the soon-to-be parents well and see all the cute things they receive. We a gave a gift card and books, of course. I make it my mission to start every child’s library with a few good stories.😊

In other news, Mr D and three of his friends are driving to Florida for their spring break next week. It’s a thirteen hour drive to where they are going in Daytona Beach and as a mom, I’ll admit, I’m a bit freaked out but they are a pretty responsible group of young men and they’ve planned it out well. The other moms and I have put together a “survival kit” containing snacks and sunblock and of course we will be expecting regular texts and calls while they are gone. If I was 21 again, I would see this as a great adventure too so I can’t fault them for wanting to go. Doesn’t mean I won’t worry though.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my friend Urszula and I went  out last night to see the movie Lion and I must say, if you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend a viewing. It was written by a man named Saroo Brierley and telle his life story. Brierley was born into a loving but poor family in India but was adopted by an Australian couple after he got lost as a child and ended up homeless on the streets of Calcutta. Twenty-five years later, he went back to India to try and find his family. Dev Patel plays the character, Saroo, as an adult and an amazing young man named Sunny plays the child Saroo. It was one of the best films I’ve seen in a while.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I certainly have enjoyed our drinks and conversation! I would also remind you to visit Nerd in the Brain so that you can enjoy the rest of the Coffee Share Posts. May the rest of your weekend be super-fantastic!  I hope you are able to surround yourself with the people and things you love the most.

If We Were Having Coffee…11/26/16

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If we were having coffee…I would start off by saying how much I have missed our chats! It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here and my posting and reading times have been limited. I hope that all is well in your part of the world and that my fellow Americans enjoyed their Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday. We had a wonderful dinner with family and all ate way too much turkey and pie! There is much to be thankful for around here. This morning,  I am thankful that I can finally sit for a few minutes and enjoy a warm beverage and a friendly visit.

If we were having coffee…I would start off by introducing you to my mother-in-law, the amazing MJ. She’s bunking with us temporarily after a losing battle with a boxed Christmas tree in her basement resulted in a broken hip. Long story. As a result,  our list of “things to be thankful for” now includes the doctors who skillfully added three screws to her bone to help it heal, the talented therapist who aided her at rehab, helping her regain her strength, and the fact that we have an extra room where she can continue to heal, exercise and get back to her former energetic self. Mostly, though we are thankful that the injury wasn’t much, much worse and that her overall good health has enabled her to bounce back quicker than the doctors anticipated.

Miss Dee and MJ enjoying Thanksgiving.

Miss Dee and MJ enjoying Thanksgiving.

If we were having coffee…I would share that our sweet Jack has recently developed feline diabetes. He had been sleeping a lot and drinking a lot of water over the past few weeks. It turns out he’d been losing a bit of weight as well. He is a big cat (17lbs) so at first the weight loss wasn’t noticeable, but I was sure there something was up so off to the vet we went. Now the D-man and I are learning all about giving minuscule insulin shots with a teeny-tiny little syringe. Jack has been very cooperative and since we started the shots a few days ago he has been more active and vocal so we’re feeling quite optimistic. We also discovered that an added bonus to having MJ here is that, because she is an insulin dependent diabetic herself, she has been able togive us lots of helpful tips.

Our handsome Jack.

Our handsome Jack.

If we were having coffee…I might remind you that this was the final work week for the fourth grade teacher that I’ve been helping this year. She is anxious to welcome her new baby hopefully in the next week or so.  Her replacement, a nice young woman transferred over from the middle school, came in all last week to get acquainted with the students and familiarize herself with the classroom.  It will be an adjustment for all of us and I’m hoping that certain students don’t try to take advantage of the new teacher. Wish us luck.😊

If we were having coffee… I would share that a few Thursday’s ago we had the 100 year old oak tree removed from our back yard. It was an all day project involving a truck with a cherry picker parked on our lawn, a noisy wood chipper parked in our drive, branches swinging from roaps and a group of hardworking guys wielding chainsaws. Needless to say, it was a very crazy day. Personally, I think the guy in the cherry picker, swinging  the chainsaw around was a little nuts but maybe that’s what it takes to do that job!

My sad, bare backyard. ☹️

My sad, bare backyard. ☹️

I guess that covers the highlights of my last few weeks, so if we were having coffee I would turn the floor over to you. What have you been up to?

The Weekend Coffee Share I’d brought to you each week courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster. Be sure to stop by  and check out the rest of the posts.

 

If We Were Having Coffee…11/6/16

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If we were having coffee…I would probably start off by apologizing to any visitors from outside the USA. Tuesday is Election Day and afterward the nonsense should stop (we hope). On behalf of all Americans, I am very sorry…

Moving on..

If we were having coffee…I would invite you in, offer you a seat, a cup of hot French roast (or tea or lemonade, what ever you prefer) and ask you how your week has been? Mine was better than expected considering that Monday was Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. I enjoy seeing the children in their costumes, handing out the treats, carving the Jack-o-lanterns, all that stuff. My only objection, speaking as someone who struggles to keep young people focused on learning each day, is that it happened to fall on a Monday this year. This doesn’t bode well for productivity on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly even Thursday, depending on the amount of candy consumed.

As it turned out, Monday was the only really challenging day. Thankfully our principle has this whole Halloween thing down to a science. We really only have to get through the morning and the lunch hour (wanna guess how loud it was in the cafeteria that day?) because after that the room moms and dads arrive with games and crafts and then the children put on their costumes and proceed outside to parade around the playground. Families are invited to come watch and by the time the parade is over, it is time for dismissal.

If we were having coffee…I would share that I noticed, both at the parade and with the trick-or-treaters later at my home, that the popular costume this year seemed to be the characters from the newest Star Wars movie, Rey especially. I would ask what popular or fun costumes you noticed? Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you have many trick-or-treaters? We went through about 10 bags of candy which is about normal around here. It’s quite a big event around here.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the rest of my week was pretty quiet. We are approaching the end of the first marking period so teachers are trying to finish up projects and gather grades. One of the fourth grade teachers I work with will be leaving on maternity leave at the end of this month and will not return till next year so she has been stressing a bit, feeling like she is not quite prepared to hand over her class to the substitute. I’ve been trying to help as much as I can and my knowing the children and the classroom routine will make things easier for the incoming teacher but there are still lesson plans to be made and schedules to be arranged. Fourth grade, in our school, team teaches, which means that one teacher does math and science and the other does  reading and language arts. The students switch classrooms through out the day. The teacher that is leaving, only teaches science and math so at least there is less subject matter to prepare and the other teacher will be on hand to help.

Our biggest classroom challenge this week came on Wednesday when we noticed that the thermostat was stuck on 88 degrees. Laura (the teacher) and I were red faced and sweating having already removed all articles of clothing that we could without raising eyebrows, when the maintiance man came to check on it. He told us that it was stuck and that he couldn’t get anyone to fix it till later in the week. Our school was built in the 1920s so you can imagine how well our heating system opperates anyway and even though the weather was quite cool and all the windows were open, we were still suffering. When you factor in that one woman in the class is eight months pregnant and the other in in the throes of menapause, it’s really lucky the the maintenance guy made it out of the room alive!

Anyway…if we were having coffee…I would probably  notice the time and even though we did gain an hour this weekend I find I have dawdled over my coffee far too long,  enjoying our visit and now am running behind as usual. I really should try to do something productive today. 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to visit the rest of the Coffee Share Posts brought to you each week by Diana at Part Time Monster. Have a great week!

Wedded Bliss

The invitation

The invitation

This Sunday my family and I were invited  to witness two amazing young people begin their lives as husband and wife. I will admit that I am a bit of a wedding junkie. They are by far my favorite social outings.  I think it’s because, barring any family drama, weddings are such incredibly happy events filled with promise and excitement. Plus I get to dance with my husband, always a treat. I would guess I’ve been to (attended or been part of) maybe fifty weddings in my lifetime but there was something special about this one, the ceremony especially, that made my heart extra happy, both for the couple and for those of us lucky enough to share in their special day.

Miss L, the bride, is a very dear friend of my son’s and has been a fixture in our home since grade school. She and Miss Dee played tennis together all through high school and her little sister attends third grade at the school where I work. We were all so excited when she and her young man Mr L, also a friend and classmate of  Mr D’s, became engaged last year and even more excited when we found that we were all invited to their wedding.

The Bride

The Bride

Sunday morning arrived dark and stormy thanks to hurricane Matthew, which had been dumping rain on us for two days but, miraculously, by afternoon the clouds had parted and the sky was a bright, clear blue. We arrived at the venue around four o’clock and discovered that, dispite the wet ground, the ceremony would be held on the wood lined brick patio around back. I was told by her grandmother that when the family arrived, the staff had been setting up inside but Miss L had nixed that insisting that the ceremony had to be outdoors. On my way to my seat, even as my heels sunk into the earth, I looked around at the green lawn, baskets of flowers and autumn foliage  and thought “Good call.” The setting made it all so much more perfect.

Turning in our seats as the music began we saw Mr L, who is now a new Marine, just finished his basic training walk up the stone path looking very handsome if a little nervous in his dress blues. He was accompanied by the minister. They were followed by his brother and six groomsmen, four of which were in uniform as well. As they took their place at the front, under a white pergola covered in climbing vines, the ladies entered. First came her little sister dressed in cream colored lace scattering  pink rose petals, then the bridesmaids in soft blush dresses each wearing a ring of flowers in their hair.

The wedding favors

The wedding favors

The music changed to Beethoven’s Cannon in D, my all time favorite wedding music, and we stood to watch Miss L enter accompanied by her mom on one side and her dad on the other.  All brides are beautiful, and she was no exception but it was so much more than that. Her gown, a simple off the shoulder ivory lace with a full ballgown skirt made up of yards and yards of tulle drifted around her and her mass of auburn curls tumbled beneath a veil crowned with pink and ivory flowers. She was breathtaking! A woodland princess about to marry her prince. I think what made her look so perfect, so magical, was that she stayed true to who she is, a very wholesome sweet girl without a lot of glitter and glitz.

And finally husband and wife

And finally husband and wife

I turned and caught sight of her groom and I couldn’t help but choke up. The look of absolute love on his face, his eyes glistening, seemed to caused quite a few sniffles among the guests. Since we were seated in the back row much of what the minister said during the ceremony was lost on the wind but watching those  two young people standing hand in hand against a backdrop of  green, gold and red trees, the lovely maidens on one side, the military men standing tall on the other and the sun glowing above us all, was enough to make my heart swell with happiness for them. When it came time for the vows and the rings, the bride and groom’s voices came across loud and clear and even though the breeze kept them from officially lighting the unity candle (they faked it for the photographer!) the ceremony was lovely. They kissed, we applauded and they danced back down the aisle ready to enjoy an evening of celebration as husband and wife.

On Monday morning the couple left for their honeymoon and in a few weeks they will pack up and move to South Carolina where Mr L is stationed. I’m going to miss having Miss L around all the time but I’m so happy for her and her new husband. When I first found out they were getting married I worried that they were so young and that they would be starting out their marriage so far from friends and family but after seeing them on Sunday and feeling all the love that surrounds them I’m convinced they’ll do fine.  This was just the start of an amazing journey that will last a lifetime, their lifetime.  I’m really glad I was there to see it all begin.

 

The Weekly Smile…Kittens!

This past Monday as I was standing on a ladder with my head deep in the branches of the nectarine tree I was trimming, I heard Hubby, (who was holding the ladder steady for me) mutter,”Oh my!”

At first I thought he was commenting on my mad pruning skills or perhaps the shape of my legs but when I followed his gaze I notice two little black furry faces peering up at us from the corner of the yard!

The neighbor next to us and the neighbor behind us each have six foot privacy fences. They come together in the back right hand corner of our yard but instead of intersecting, they form a 8 inch alley along the back between the two fences. The end of this alley opens into our yard and, apparently, a local kitty cat (we’ve been trying to find out if she has a home or not) decided this was a perfect place to have her babies.

I guess Momma was off foraging somewhere because a couple of her curious little kittens thought they would come and see what Hubby and I were up to. These two were all black with bright blue eyes and are obviously the rebels in the family.  Their third litter mate, a gray one, stayed way back in the shadows watching them. I could almost hear her admonishing them for their reckless behavior…

“You guys better not go out there.  Momma’s gonna be mad!” Anybody ever see the “Aristocats”? The grey kitty is definitely a Marie.

So now we have kittens in our yard.

My friend Donna, the lady in Virgina with the 17 cats, tells me that they look to be about 5 weeks old and should stop nursing soon. We have been giving them some food mixed with kitty formula a few times a day and have set up a comfy little apartment for them right outside their hidey hole. The two black ones are very social and will hang out and play but the grey on is still too shy.  Momma cat shows up each evening to feed them so I have been  putting some food out for her too but she won’t eat till I go back inside.

The plan is to keep feeding and socializing the kittens till they are old enough to be weaned.  Then we hope to trap the whole family so we can take them to the vet and find them homes.   I have a sneaky feeling we may end up keeping one of them. Not sure how Jack and Chrissy will feel about that but just look at these fur babies. They are just so stinkin’ cute!!!!

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See, I dare you not to smile. 😊

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of Trent’s World.  Stop by and check out the rest of the smiles and maybe share one of your own!

If We Were Having Coffee…8/13/16

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Hi! Welcome! Come on in out of the heat. As you can feel, here in NJ we are smack in the middle of a summer heat wave. Everytime I check my weather app it has that ominous red banner across the top – “ALERT! EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING!”  So….

If we were having coffee…(inside at the kitchen table with the ceiling fan on high), I would pour you a cup of strong French roast and ask you how your week has been? Have there been any exciting events in your world? Did you face some challenges or did the week just coast along quietly? If you were to ask me the same questions, I would tell you that my week turned out very different than I had expected, much less eventful but much more relaxing.

The plan had been for the four of us (hubby, myself and both kids), to go camping up in Pennsylvania with my Father-in-law, my brother-in-law and his family. Well, after tracking the weather up there which included the same nasty heat warning along with major storms, Miss Dee and I bailed. We are not good campers in the best of weather and since Miss Dee had a chance to go down the shore with a group of friends on Thursday (an outing she much preferred, especially since the weather here was much better), we decided to let the boys fly solo.

From a past camping trip...

From a past camping trip…

This summer camping trip to Worlds End State Park has been a tradition with the men in my husband’s family since he was a kid. Mr D started going when he was  about 5, so they tend to get along fine without we ladies. Miss Dee and I only consented to attend a few years ago after my FIL traded up from a tent to an air conditioned camper that sleeps 6 and has a full bathroom. You can see my idea of “roughing it” is less “rough” than most people’s! Even with these amenities, though, I can only stand about three days before I start craving the comforts of home and a few hours of alone time. As it turned out, this trip was a lot more adventurous than any of us originally intended.

 

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I knew something was awry when the phone rang Thursday afternoon and I saw D-man’s name on the caller ID. There is no cell service at the campground so his being somewhere else was telling in itself. The somewhere else turned out to be an urgent care clinic in one of the nearby towns. The group had taken advantage of a break in the rain to do some hiking and my FIL had miss stepped on some wet leaves and taken a fall. Luckily, he only suffered some minor injuries including a twisted ankle and some cuts on his head but they were about 3 miles into the hike so getting him back to the car with the heat closing in and the blood gushing (anyone who has ever had or seen a head wound knows how much they bleed) was a challenge. The fact that my 74 year old FIL is in better shape than most 30 year olds certainly helped in the matter. Eventually, they made it back to the car and over his protests drove my FIL to the nearest urgent care where the doctors took some X-rays to make sure he didn’t break anything and then patched up his cuts. All in all, it could have been much worse so we are pretty thankful for that.

Just to end the day on an equally “fun” note, a massive storm blew through later forcing them to spend the whole night huddled inside the camper trying to find ways to entertain themselves. When they woke up on Friday, my boys were more than ready to head home. Sometimes you just can’t catch a break!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the biggest adventure I had all week was having an entire day on Thursday, all to myself! I know some people won’t get the appeal,  but it’s a very rare thing for me and I was practically giddy with anticipation. I didn’t really do anything exciting, just odds and ends around here and a few quick errands,  but it was still a treat getting to choose what and when to eat meals and how to spend my time without having to consult or consider anyone but me! Ahh! Let’s hear it for the little things.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how totally floored I am over the fact that there is only about three weeks left in my summer vacation! My bucket list ain’t lookin as good as it did last year especially now that some  items like “camping” and “kayaking” have suffered a permanent hit. This week, I intend to post an update just to revaluate what is left and what I am most likely to accomplish in the next 23 days. This should be interesting….

I can see that it is getting on towards afternoon so I guess we should wrap up our little visit and get on with the day. This afternoon I will be busy with my volunteer gig at the charity thrift store downtown but tomorrow is up for grabs. Maybe I will be able to chip away some stuff on that bucket list! Wish me luck and thanks so much for stopping by!

The “Weekend Coffee Share” is brought to you courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster. Stop by and check it out!

An Abundance of Blueberries!


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This Sunday my family and I took a road trip to Hammonton, NJ – the blueberry capital of the world. If this little tidbit about Hammonton is news to you, don’t feel bad. I’ve lived in Jersey my whole life and I didn’t know till a few weeks ago! You can even Google it. Apparently, blueberries are very particular about the Ph levels in the soil and Hammonton’s proximity to the Pine Barrens gives the soil just the right quality to produce world class berries.  Who knew, right? Anyway, our excursion this weekend  was because the town was holding their annual blueberry festival, which Is now in its 30th year.

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We were invited to the festival by our friend Vinny, who is a native of Hammonton and whose father happens to be head of the chamber of commerce. He told us about how the town had suffered through a period of closed businesses and rundown neighborhoods but has been on the upswing recently. The blueberry festival is one of the  biggest event each year and draws an incredible number of people.

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Vinny, who my Hubby knows through his work, moonlights as a singer in a cover band called “Stealing Savanah.” Guess who was providing the entertainment at the festival? We’ve been to see the band many times at local bars, but this was Miss Dee’s first chance to catch their act.  They perform a wide range of songs from the 1980s up to today’s hits. She seemed to be impressed.

[Summer Bucket List item #23. Yay me!]

Vinny found a unique use for a traffic cone. Whatever it takes to be heard!

Vinny found a unique use for a traffic cone. Whatever it takes to be heard!

We arrived around noon and after securing a parking spot in a nearby field that some industrious owners had offered at $5 per car, we followed the sound of Vinnys voice to an outdoor stage on wheels topped with a yellow and white awning. There was another large tent beside it with about fifty picnic tables overflowing with people of all ages eating lunch and enjoying the music. There was all kinds of food for sale but we had packed a picnic lunch and after locating some other friends that we knew were in attendance, we settled in to eat and enjoy the music. The day was rather warm but there was enough of a breeze in the shade of the tent to keep it from being unbearable.

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After the band was  finished their set, and we’d said hello to Vinny, we went off to explore the many booths and tents offering up crafts and goodies of all sorts. There were a lot of blueberry items, naturally, both to eat and as decorations.  We even took a moment to check out the blueberry pie eating contest which looked messy and fun, and treated ourselves to some Italian water ice. Hubby saw some Philadelphia Eagles crafts that I had to talk him out of buying and Miss Dee almost bought her brother a marshmallow shooter as a housewarming present but reconsidered. There were tents with beautiful jewelry and fine glass pieces from nearby Weaton Village as well as doll clothes and face painting.

Wow, there are still Eagles items that my Hubby doesn't own!

Wow, there are still Eagles items that my Hubby doesn’t own!

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The festival ran from 11:00 to 4:00 and judging from the crowds, was an outstanding success. Vinny and his dad thanked us for coming and sent us on our way with an entire case of blueberries and a few different baked goods! What a great way to spend our Sunday afternoon. We will have to put it on our calendar for next year. In the meantime, does anyone have any good blueberry recipes?

 

If We Were Having Coffee…6/18/16

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If we were having coffee today I would tell you that for the last two weeks life has been crazy wild!  In fact, I’ve misplaced last weekend all together. I never managed a coffee post. I know that for sure, but the rest is a bit of a blur.

That being said, we would defintely need to do some catching up. There is a beautiful sunset heading our way so I would probably suggest we take our refreshments to the porch and then ask you to tell me what has been happening in your world. Have there been big events or small victories? Was it a landmark week or a laid back sabbatical? Fill me in!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my past few weeks have been filled with endings. There were some happy endings, a happy but hard ending, and sad ending as well.

I would tell you about the happy endings first. Hubby and I finished out our school years. (YAY!) Don’t get me wrong. I love my job and in September I will be more than ready to see the children’s smiling little faces again, but school wise, June is the horror story of  American public education. The children have already sent their brains on vacation and everyone in the building is out of patience. Enough said.

My “sad”ending was the passing of my dear friend Helen’s father. I’ve mentioned Helen before. She was my partner in crime from the 5th grade on and her parents were a big part of my childhood as well. His viewing was Tuesday evening and was overflowing with visitors paying their respect.

Helen’s dad would have celebrated his 94th birthday next month. He served as a photographer during WWII, married and raised three children, spent his 90th birthday celebration at a Phillies baseball game, his favorite place to be, surrounded by his friends and family. He had a great sense of humor and he could repair any car ever made. The night before his death, he was out to dinner with his family and enjoyed a wonderful meal. He retired to bed and passed away peacefully in his sleep. So while his death was obviously a sad event, his service also became a celebration of a full and happy life.  I guess that’s all any of us can ask for.

Finally, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that my “happy but hard” ending came in the form of Miss Dee’s high school graduation. While I am proud as peaches of her and all her amazing accomplishments, I’m also sad knowing that phase of her life is over. She is a bit sad as well, although I’m pretty certain that the endless graduation parties on her schedule will over come her sadness.

The graduation ceremony was very nice and the weather, although rainy all day, cleared just in time for it to be held outside. This is a better venue than the high school auditorium because each graduate can have more guests and also because they have the space to toss their hats in the air at the end of the program, a tradition around here.

Here is Miss Dee sharing a moment with her big brother…

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Aren’t they cute?

Well, if we were having coffee…that would bring us to yet another ending. Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to visit Diana at Part Time Monster so you can check out the rest of the “Weekend Coffee Share” posts.

The 2016 Summer Bucket List

It’s that time again….

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For the past ten years I have worked at a job that allows me to have the summers off. This is a treat, of course, but it can also seem daunting to someone like me, who thrives on routine. I found that instead of being productive with my time, I was wandering around half-doing a lot of stuff with no direction or plan. Last year I decided to try a little experiment and I called it my “Summer Bucket List” and you know what? It really worked! I wasn’t able to finish everything on the list but it did keep me motivated and focused and when September rolled around, I was able to see exactly what I did with my time off.

Naturally, I was ready to make another handy dandy bucket list this summer!*  Several of the items on my 2016 list are repeats from last summer, either because they were not accomplished last year or, they were so much fun, I wanted to do them again! Anything marked with a (c) is something that makes me a bit nervous or is something I tend to procrastinate about and will therefore be more of a challenge to accomplish. My last day of school this year is June 16th. This is also the date of Miss Dee’s graduation ceremony so that day is pretty much a wash but on June 17th I’ll be off and running! Wish me luck!

BEHOLD THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST!!

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals and dentist visits (c)
9. Go camping
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic weekend away with my Hubby
16. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)
19. Reorganize the upstairs closet
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors
24. Go dancing with my Hubby
25. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

*BTW It would be super awesome to have some company on this adventure so feel free to make your own list if you’re so inclined.

We can compare notes and cheer each other on! 😊

If We WereHaving Coffee…6/4/16

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If we were having coffee…I would welcome you in and offer you a chair. The pot is filled with piping hot French roast coffee but since the weather is a bit warm here in southern New Jersey, I would also offer iced tea or lemonade if you preferred. Yesterday, I purchased some yummy red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting so you could help yourself to those as well. Sorry, Hubby hasn’t done any baking since our Memorial Day barbecue last week so I don’t have any fresh baked goods to offer.

After we were settled in with our drinks and our snacks, I would ask you how your week has been. I would hope that you have been safe from some of the extreme weather that has been plaguing so many parts of the world. We have been lucky here but my brother, who lives just outside of Oklahoma City, has had a few tension filled days. Out there, he tells me, it’s just a part of life. I’ve also been praying for those effected by the massive amounts of rain in France which has caused deadly flash flooding. I read in the paper today that in Paris many of the works of art in the Louve had to be moved to higher ground for fear of water damage. It feels as if the world has gone a little crazy!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my week has been very busy and filled with both good and not so good moments. Work has been a bit challenging because the students’ brains have mostly checked out. The lunch room has become a circus and I’ve been having discussions like “Sometimes it is more important to be kind than to be right.” and “We have 11 days left of school and there is still a lot more learning left to do.”

I don’t really think anyone is listening. They’ve all forgotten the rules, their manners and all their multiplication tables as well. *sigh*

If we were having coffee…I might remind you that this was the week that Mr D’s lease for his off campus housing began. He is living, at the moment, with one foot in each camp. He has a bed, his TVand some personal things at the new house but all his clothing is still here. One of his roommates is completely moved in, one is half way, and the other won’t move in till September. This is good because it give me time to adjust. My Hubby saw the house for the first time this week and his first response once we were back in the car was “How much are they paying for this place?!?” I don’t think he was impressed.

If we were having coffee …I would tell you that my sister and I went to a family reunion this past Saturday. It was fun but also awkward. This reunion was for my father’s side of our family so  everyone there was an off spring of one of my paternal grandfathers six siblings. Linda and I were the only ones representing our branch so we were surrounded by many second and third cousins that we had never met. It’s a weird feeling to be in a room full of strangers that you also happen to be related to!

We met many cousins we had never known and heard some wonderful stories. The best part of the night came when we got to see a very old photo of my mom and her best friend Gertie when they were both just 16. Gertie was my dad’s first cousin. That is how my parents met. My mom would go to Gertie’s family parties with her and check out her good looking cousins! My father noticed!

If we were having coffee…I would ask you about how your parents first met and if you have seen photos of them when they were  dating? Isn’t it strange to think of our parents so young, before we were even a thought?

Well, I see the time is getting late and I am about ready to rest my weary bones, put on my pjs and curl up with a good book. I’ve started rereading the Harry Potter series, something I do every few years, and I’m just at the part where Harry and Hermione send Hagrid’s dragon off to live with Charlie Weasley!

Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share brought to you courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster.