Monday, June 30, 2008

Good Afternoon Ms. Dickinson

I've been waiting for months to visit Amherst, MA - the home of aclaimed poetess, Emily Dickinson. It turned into one of those rich afternoons where my inner soul kept proclaiming, "I LOVE living here!!"

The old homestead is situated about 3 blocks from the heart of Amherst College. It's quaint, it's quiet, and the tour concludes with a poetry reading under a beautiful, old elm tree - part of the original estate.

My sweet husband took the kids so I could take the 45 min tour. He was late picking me up so I walked the 3/4 mile to the city cemetary and saw her grave.

It reminded me of our trip to Concord 2 years ago where this avid Humanities fan almost started doing flip-flops in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetary. I need to go back there again soon. Amherst wasn't Concord - but it was still uplifiting. It was soothing to be reminded of her words.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Thank you Ms. Dickinson...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Roaring Brook Falls

About an hour northeast is the delightfully quaint town of Cheshire, home to the 2nd largest waterfall in Connecticut - Roaring Brook Falls.

By lovely coincidence it's also 10 minutes away from our favorite steamed cheeseburger joint - Ted's Restaurant

The picture above just cannot do justice to this mouth-watering, sauteed onions, rich, fresh slab of mozzarella, homemade bread...

Anyway...we grabbed lunch and headed to the falls.

This place was next to impossible to find. If you decide to go, call me first and I'll give you better directions. It's at the end of the most residential street you can imagine - with no signs, no information - nothing to designate that you are approaching CT 2nd biggest waterfall. And apparently the people living on the street aren't very happy either when you find the park (probably explains the lack of signs).

The falls is about 1 mile up the trail. Beautiful trail! - and it was perfect, non-humidity weather. 2 little bridges, a few hills, and lots of walking sticks available for those young enthusiasts who are crazy about BIG sticks.

And as for the falls itself. Well....meh....not such a great view.

Yep - that's it. Buried beneath the trees, off that steep ridge. Not too impressive. But when you've already seen Connecticut's LARGEST waterfall the previous summer, it's hard to be amazed anymore.

Fortunately, we still had a really fun time. The hike was relaxingly pleasant. And we finished off another Connecticut summer afternoon with a stop at Cheshire's famous sweet Sweet Claude's...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The "Look"

It never fails.

Every time I leave the house with my 3 kids in tow (which is...every time I leave the house), I run into side glances, second takes, whispered comments "she has her hands full!" or looks of pure disdain.

Here's a near-perfect example of "The Look" -

Not only is the woman doing a double-take, but the people in the background are looking at us as well.

Do I look like I hate my life?

Do I look like a stressed, out-of-control mother?

Sure I'm a woman with a bad haircut and 15 pounds overweight - but is that really the problem here?

Apparently having more than 1 child in this area is a big deal because people look like they've never seen anything like that ANYWHERE in the world.

But I love my babies.

Sure I HATE the potty training.

But I love being a mom.

What would these people think if they knew I'm contemplating a 4th?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Greg's Thoughts These Days...

While reading some of the great demotivational sayings ( I came across one that reminded me of the current political attitude. I’ve had several discussions with friends about their dissatisfaction of the political candidates, and that it all boils down to the “lesser of two evils”. In fact, both sides of the spectrum often feel this way. Anyhoo, the saying went something like this:

One person may feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but that still doesn’t change the fact that you could be part of a positive flood (yes, I know it is an unintended twist to the cute poster). Most of us hate McCain because he is a Liberal scumbag posing as a Conservative (and he is failing miserably at this act). However, you will vote for him anyway because a vote for a 3rd party is a vote for Obama (who is the absolute best orator when describing exactly how he plans to screw over the US). That makes sense… how?

We don’t (or shouldn’t) vote against somebody, we vote for somebody. Like it or not, a vote for McCain is a vote for McCain. If the millions of Americans grew a spine and decided to vote for the best candidate instead of the better of only 2 candidates, maybe we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. And honestly, if it weren’t for Carter, we never would have had Reagan. Maybe Obama will bring about the next great conservative. We sure haven’t been able to find one on our own.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Big Guy Turns 5!

We held My Big Guy's birthday party last Saturday. It coincided with a massive heat wave that hit the tri-state area the same morning (i.e. Global Warming Scare!!, Global Warming Scare!! - because we all know weather NEVER gives us surprises).

But as you can see, the heat did nothing to dampen the spirits of my Big Guy. If you've ever met him - you'll understand when I say he's full of personality and opinions. I keep a word doc of my favorite Big Guy quotes so I can keep laughing. The best quote this month -

Greg: "If you kiss a girl frog she will turn into a princess and then you can marry her."

Big Guy: "I'm not marrying a frog!"

10 kids, 2 pools, lunch for all, clean up and presents - Greg and I were exhausted!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Watch Out!

Have you seen that latest $$ figure here??

All I'm saying is be cautious. Remember things like this.

Be hesitant.

Don't act out of scare tactics.

Don't assume all this money and change will make a spot of difference in our global warming trend.

And don't ever, ever believe buying a 'carbon credit' will do squat. Read GE's financial statements first and remember they own NBC - a very 'unbiased' journalism network that by sheer coincidence likes to host "green week".

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's The Little Things...

After many exhausting weeks of lifting boxes, putting beds together, sorting, cleaning - you get the idea - we are officially in our new home. One of the nice advantages of changing homes is discovering the little things that make it a place you love.

Here's my list of the 'little things' that make me happy.

#1 - Every morning I wake up to this outside my window. Wow! Reminds me of my darling Grandma (she loved Dogwood trees).

Here's an even better picture of it.

#2 - SPACE!! I have SPACE for my books. Hello dear Preston & Child! Louisa May, Llewellyn, Ms. Byatt and beloved Homer - how I've missed you.

#3 - See this? It's a hallway closet. Yep - a whole entire closet devoted to those many little coats, hats, gloves, scarfs and vaccum cleaner. Sigh! We've never had one before and it's lovely!

#4 - In my kitchen I have a BUILT IN garbage can AND AND AND a 2ND BUILT IN garbage can (or recycle bin - whichever you prefer). Luxury!

#5 - This tile may be hideously ugly - but it's the tile for my very own, never have had since kids...master bathroom!!...moment of silence...The downside is...well...take a look at the tile. But it's our own! Our very own!!

#6 - We have pets. I didn't know this house came with rabits, hunderds of chipmunks very own groundhog! Can you believe it? No more waiting on Puxatony Phil - we'll just look out our backyard window.

We call him Rocky. He makes an apperance almost every evening. He eats my weeds (yes!), looks cute and likes to burrow in the hole in our backyard.

#7 - Just look at this countertop. Not a single groove for flour to moulder away and turn to bleh. My bread making days are here again!

#8 - My amazing husband. Isn't he fabulous!? He put ALL our beds together. Lifted all the heavy boxes and most of the medium ones. He fixes shower spouts, curtains, blinds, fences, railings, dishwashers, tables, pictures, kids playsets, - the list is endless. I'm SO blessed to be married to this man. And I'm even more lucky that he can fix anything with his drill and tools.