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2018 Memorandum

2018 In Memorandum

This year has been a whirlwind year, filled with excitement and also heartbreak. It was filled with great memories and sprinkled with sad ones, with moments of gratitude in between. This year had moments that took my breath away and also moments that had me in tears. I guess you can say, 2018 has been a well-rounded year for me.

The year started off with Aurora turning 4 and celebrating with our neighbors and we had a small little party, just the few of us and we had a nice time. Aurora has grown a lot in the past year and never ceases to amaze me with her charm, her kindness and her wit. Here we are, just a few days from her 5th birthday and I am wondering where the past year has gone! Aurora has been my sidekick every single day and we have been on many adventures together. She’ll be starting Kindergarten next fall and I plan to make the most of every day with her until then, while we still have homeschool time together.

We had our first ever outdoor flower bed this year and the highlight of it was finding the two fossils in May. To touch something of nature and to know that more than likely we were the first ever humans to touch them is such an incredible, awe inspiring feeling. To touch something that may be millions of years old is to feel a magic of Nature that words simply can do no justice for. Hopefully we will be able to find so done that can some light on our fossils as to how old they just may be. I’m looking to add the Audubon Society Fossil book to our personal library since it was a handy book to borrow from our local library.

This year brought Aurora and I on many walks and outside adventures where we live, which led up to us trying our hand at raising monarchs to release. It was an endeavor that we have never tried, and we singlehandedly were successful at raising and releasing 44 monarchs! We learned a lot in the field and plan to raise more monarchs this year, along with growing our own milkweed. We plan to make a monarch calendar for purchase to help us find our monarch venture and to raise awareness for their plight. Monarchs are on the list to vote on to be put on the endangered list in the coming year and I would like to collect more I go for that. We shall also be tagging the monarchs we raise next year to track their migration progress.

September was a bit of a rough month for me with a sinus infection for a few weeks followed by a broken toe. The broken toe was my own clumsy fault because I got excited for monarch photo of and tripped over our door jam (a big huge rock brought home on a past venture) and while I sustained a broken toe that I suspect didn’t heal correctly, I got an awesome picture that will always remind me of that broken toe mishap.
I applied for a job at our local redemption center back in July and in October I finally started my 1st job since 2013. It was a bit of an adjustment for both Aurora and I, being that we have been together every moment since her birth, but we have adjusted well. While the future of my job remains unclear with corporate things going in, I am happy to have a job to help the environment and help me pay bills.

December brought the biggest blessing of the year-the birth of my grandson, Tristin on the 27th. I never thought that I could fall in love more with a baby other than my own and it brings tears to my eyes that the circle of life in my family continues. I have become a Nana (at the tender age of 46!) and my eldest has become a mother. I wish her all the best in the world for even though being a mother is tough, the rewards outweigh those hardships.

Unfortunately, there were sad times this year, having to say farewell to a few people I knew. Death is always a sad part of life, whether you know the person well or not. There were a few people that I knew that passed this year, as well as a special Facebook friend of mine, that could write prose to make the sunset cry. Like friendships, death happens and occurs in different ways. I am saddened by a couple of my friends who died at their own hands from narcotics. That always seems to be the hardest deaths to handle, knowing that the person could still be alive but isn’t because of a bad choice. Life is hard enough to deal with without having to battle addiction on top of it.

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Dinah Reid

Nicole Schelle

Wayne Pryce

Peggy Lawrence

Tony Manning

William C. Ross

As I look back on 2018 I realized how blessed I am to have you all in my life, both virtual and *shocker* real life, to be traveling on this big blue marble we call Earth, across this sea we call life. I have enjoyed sharing my ventures with you as well as sharing your ventures. I am thankful for the friendships that have been forged from my social media. I toast my champagne to you all, with best wishes for 2019. I look forward to creating and sharing more memories with you all. From my house to yours, peace, love and light be with you all!

“There are good ships and wood ships,
and ships that sail the seas.
The best ships are friend ships
And may they always be!”
-Celtic cheers

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Fare Thee Well, Tony Manning

 

It’s common for couples have a “song” they share together, something that signifies their feelings for each other. In my lifetime, there has been just one song with one guy and that was this song, with Tony Manning

I met Tony over a half a lifetime ago when we were both barely turned young adults, trying to discover our way in the world. At first sight of Tony’s calm blue eyes, his luminescant smile dappered with mischevious dimples, his make-a-girl-jealous shoulder length hair, and hearing his velvety voice, it was hard not to instantly like him. I was having some troubling times in my life that Tony and I spent many a late night talking on the phone conversations that always made me feel better. He was a good listener and very sympathetic with a kind heart to match.

Though our relationship was short lived, I fell fluttering butterfly in the stomach hard and cared very deeply for him. He was the first guy that the word “love” ever came to mind and though he broke my heart by getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, I never held any ill will towards him and wanted him to be happy. After we broke up, I vowed to never have a “song” with another again, for fear it would be tainted with bittersweet memories of what once was.

I hadn’t seen Tony since before I moved to the Adirondacks about 25 years ago and we both went our separate ways and lived our separate lives. Even if we never talked, he often crossed my mind as I would wonder how he was, if Life was treating him well, if he was happy. Often when I would think of him, those butterflies would retern and remind me how I felt for him.

Tony passed away on October 8th, and it’s only befitting that his heart gave out, being that he shared so much of it during his short 44 years here on Earth. Reading all of the heartfelt condolances and tributes on his Facebook page and his online obituary guestbook, it is clear just how much people loved Tony.

I shall miss Tony’s quirky Facebook posts and quick witted humor. I’ll miss teasing him about being Red Sox fan, being that I am a Yankees fan. Secretly, I hope the Red Sox make it to the world series this year because I know that would have made Tony ecstatic. The day after Tony passed away, the Red Sox stomped the Yankees 14-1 and clinched their playoff spot by beating them again the next night I’ll miss hearing Tony play drums, which he did so well. Most of all, I will miss his bright smile that could light up a room, and the kind heart behind that bright smile.

Tomorrow is the day that Tony’s friends and family will gather to say there final good-byes. Though I cannot be there in person, I shall be there in spirit, joining everyone in their grief of having to let go of such an awesome human. To Tony’s family, my deepest condolances to you, and to his friends and especially our mutual friends, I share your grief. If any of you happen to read this, please feel free to comment your favorite memories of Tony so that we may smile on such a somber day. Much love to you all.

Fare thee well, Tony Manning…whenever I listen to “I’ll Never Let You Go”, I will always be reminded of the special place that I hold in my heart with your name on it, and I shall smile, as I reminisce about the first guy I ever loved.

 

 

 

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Monarch Caterpillars: Rescue and Relocation

I had a different post in mind to write today, but this morning as I sat down to write, a more pressing matter presented itself. The town went by with their side mower thingy that they trim the sides of the road with. Personally, I don’t see the point of that, being that the greenery on the side of the road does not block the view of the road and it provides plants for wildlife like butterflies, and also, that money could go to fixing the crappy potholes everywhere! While I wouldn’t care about them cutting down the plants on the side of the road, there are milk weeds along some parts that I hate to see cut. Last year, just as Aurora and I found some monarch caterpillars on the side of the road, the town cut them down just a few days later and it really upset me. I vowed that I would help rescue them this year. When Aurora and I saw the mower drive by this morning, we hurried through our breakfast, grabbed our bug container and dashed out the door on a rescue mission.

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We braved 80 degree sun and hordes of man-eating bugs (the freakin deer flies were AWFUL) just to find a mere 2 caterpillars, 2 eggs, and a cocoon. At least, I hope it’s a cocoon and not a spider nest!


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I feel like our effort was futile, to only find 2 caterpillars, but at least we tried. We are going to go set the caterpillars free in the field that we have been frequenting, and we’re going to mark the plant we put them on so that we may visit for further observation. The cocoon and the eggs will be kept for further observation at home until they hatch and we set them free.

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The eggs are so miniscule that I almost missed them! I have never seen a butterfly egg before, so I’m excited to see these two hatch and witness the very first stage of monarch life, the 1st instar of their caterpillar stage. 

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The two caterpillars seem to be in the 2nd or 3rd instar phase of their growth, and they are tiny, about an 1/8 of an inch. They appear much bigger in my pics. They were both found on very young milkweed that had no blooms yet. As for the cocoon, I doubt it’s a monarch, being that it too was on a young milkweed that we hadn’t found any caterpillars on or any signs of the leaves being eaten like any had been there yet. It will be fun to see what emerges and like I said before, hopefully not spiders! I don’t think spiders would build an egg nest on a milkweed, but I’m not an expert on spiders. 

To see Aurora cry this morning with concern made me a proud Mama. She is already on the road to compassion for other living creatures and that makes me happy. On our walk to the milkweed this morning, I suggested to her that she could be a conservationist, being that she loves nature so much. She said an animal doctor and that would be awesome too! With her kind and caring nature for others, I think she will do well to have a career caring for others, be it humans or animals. I hope she keeps that compassion throughout her life, to think of others before her own self. 

I can’t wait to write my blog tomorrow that I was going to write today, because it’s something I have been waiting with bated breath for, for about two months now! I bid you all to have a great day, and if you know of milkweed on the side of the road that will be cut down, please follow our example and rescue the monarch caterpillars, because that is the only plant that they can survive on! 

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Early Bird gets the Video

 

I’ve never been much of an early bird! I’ve been awake for over a half an hour already, and it’s not even 5 yet! The party birds kindly woke me up so I shot them! I wait with bated breath to see my babyson in a couple hours, who turned 14 a few days ago. Now the question is, do I want to make coffee or try to catch a few more winks!

Pardon the shitty video but I was just trying to capture the noises since I can’t share just an audio. Hope you all have a fantastic day!

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Fare Thee well, Dinah

center-149x195-5736049 photo from Forune-Keough Funeral home website

It’s been a hot, sad weekend in my neck of the woods. It was in the paper Saturday that a dear old coworker of mine, Dinah had passed away on June 16. I worked with Dinah over a decade ago at at the local nursing home. Dinah was always so calm with a peaceful, inviting demeanor. She was perfect at being a social worker because she genuinely loved people, loved helping them and was easy to talk to.

One day, I played hookie from work to take my eldest daughter to the lake beach. I am not one to shirk my responsibilities when it comes to work, but it was a nice day and I wanted to make some memories. In truth, it’s the only day in my whole entire working history that I ever skipped. Dinah’s daughter was a lifeguard at the beach and when I saw her that day, I pleaded with her not to tell her mom that she saw me and she laughed and said “My mom would call that a mental health day and that everyone needs one now and then!” That statement made me like Dinah all the more, and I told her about my mental health day the next day at work.

After working at the nursing home, I had a job as night manager at Wilson Farms. I saw Dinah often at the store and it was always so pleasant to see her. One stormy day she came into the store out of breath and exclaimed, “I just got struck by lightening!” That caught me off guard and sounded the bells as I asked her if she needed help. She then went on to tell me that her car got struck at the stoplight right outside and it killed her car! Stalled it right where she sat and she had to push it into our driveway. A few weeks later she came in to tell me that insurance would not cover it because they consider it “an act of God” and I felt so bad about that, but so very thankful that she herself had not been struck.

It’s hotter than a donkey’s flaming fire balls in our area over the past few days. I shall be taking a mental health day to cool off with a few frosty beverages later, maybe even in the cold shower like I did yesterday. Yes, I DID actually take a cold brew into a cold shower yesterday afternoon, something I have never done! I’m not ashamed of that either, and I will gladly do it again today since it’s supposed to be even hotter. You see, Life is short, and our moments here are fleeting. We need to capture those moments, embrace the oddness of them and go with the flow! If that flow leads you to trying to cool off with a cold beverage in a cold shower because the 2 fans you have in the house can’t cool down the 88 degrees inside, so be it! Grab that cold beverage and go have a few mental health moments! I hope you all stay cool during this heat wave!

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Coffee time LIES

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LIES! LIES I TELL YOU! Coffee time happens much earlier in my household sometimes…and that was the first thing I said when I got this mug from the Dollar Tree the other day!

Also…it’s tea in my mug at the moment instead of coffee!

I hope today find you all live and well! There is a town wide garage sale in my neck of the woods today, and I’m hoping to score some free stuff later because that’s how I roll on an artist budget. I like to wait until a tag sale is done and people put their leftover wares on the side of the road for free instead of having to haul it back inside.

Call me cheapskate if you will, I call it being thrifty!

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The Coffee Dilemma

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If you are reading this at the moment, it means that the coffee won and I am up, anxiously awaiting for the sunrise. Hey, if the birds are going to be noisy at 5 am, then I might as well get up. I sit downstairs in my office in the dark, with the portable heater on to warm up the morning chill down here. I managed to sneak out of bed without my youngest waking (hey, I co-sleep, don’t judge!) and I almost feel odd that I am not sitting at the table, asking her to please stop banging for 10 minutes so I can get my blog done! I’ll take the impromptu quiet time, even if I still have cobwebs in my eyes. 

I had another blog post planned for today, inspiration courtesy of Karen Urbanski however, I muddled that attempt to try to draw out words that I feel best describe me. I was trying to doodle with my stylus on my LG Stylo 2 but the screen is small and I messed it up trying to zoom in and write. I had thought about just making a list form but that does not seem as though it would be conducive to my creativity. I shall not give up on that and will work on it throughout the rest of the day. I think it’s a neat little exercise, to try to put ourselves into words, and I found it to be a challenge. Of course, the very first word written down was sarcasm! And misspelled! OOPS! Hey, perfectionist is not on there!

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I toast my coffee to all of you on this early Wednesday morning and regret to inform you that there will be no illustration of the sunrise this morning, it’s just kinda blah. Some are better than others, and I am just thankful to have woken up this morning to see a blah sunrise. Every day above ground is a good one, no matter the trials and tribulations that others face. Someone, somewhere out there did not have the blessing to wake up this morning, though life goes on for others, so if you happen to be having a bad day, remember that; at least you woke up! Take a moment to close your eyes and be grateful, for whatever adventure the day may bring!