musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “photography”

life and stuff

Thank you for reading or following my blog. Some of you have been with me since I started it when Toots was a baby.

Things have ramped up beyond the usual mayhem in the past year, and I have been pretty spotty in my posts. At this point, I am considering at least a semi-permanent breather if not completely ending the blog in this form.

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All three kids graduated this June: Mr. Cynic from High School, Captain Comic from Middle School, and Toots from Preschool. They are all starting big things in the fall and have activities all summer.  College, High School, and Kindergarten. It’s a big time for us all.

I still take pictures almost constantly, never did upgrade to a better camera. I am still seeking a publisher for my children’s novel, and working on a couple of new projects, though my time has been very full with the kids, life and stuff that my writing focus has fallen off for a while. I’ll get back to it, just a lot of focus on the spawn these days.

Who knows? I may post an occasional poem here from time to time. Or I may decide to reorient to more of a writing blog in general.   All I know is at some point, this became something that I felt obligated to do, then couldn’t keep it up as I would have liked to.

I still get out to appreciate nature:

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I’ve just lost the focus to regularly post, and don’t want to leave you all wondering why I stopped.

Thanks for keeping me company since May 2009. Much love to you all.

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flowers


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I have been experiencing technical difficulties with my old laptop. In the meantime, I have been taking a lot of pics of flowers blooming around my yard and outside Toots’s school via Instagram as I runaround in my day to day, as I am now back to, if a bit slower than I was before my accident in March.

For some reason, I was unable to crop out the Instagram stuff in my computer programs or in WordPress. One of these days, I will figure it out. 

Anyway, things down here in Virginia have been blooming madly and sweetly and it makes me happy to see.

Also we adopted another kitty. She is teeny tiny for a 7 month old, and about a third the size of Sasha. We are at the end of her med run and quarantine for kennel cough, but she still has a stuffy nose and sneezes. Toots keeps letting her out. Cecilia is ready to explore and make friends with Sasha, but we have to contain her just a bit more. She is full of spark.

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 I can’t wait until we can let her out of Toots’s room for good. 

poem in one shot

 

It’s dark today. And wet.
But the greens and roses glow like living ghosts
refusing to give in.
The day is brooding and nostalgic,
Makes me think of springs to come and so many
that are imprinted like film negatives, carried with me,
For all my days, gathering wrinkled currents.

The wet lovely petals shining on the pavement
Of Commonwealth Avenue;
The sense of hope of the road before me
And all that was to come has come.
Some of it has gone, but so little, really.

I am full, my heart sings to the ghosts of hope
And it springs eternal,
The roses, the new green leaves glow.

not exactly quiet

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately.

The obvious place to start is with my grief over the loss of our dear sweet Lucy. It was so sudden, I think I’ve only begun to process it. I am not in a complete fog, walking through molasses and crying at the drop of a hat now. I think it piggybacked our autumn loss of Babette, which was within a week of the loss of my mother’s last living sister, and I couldn’t make it to the funeral. I lost a couple weeks of normal, quieter in some ways. In the meantime, we have been busier than usual in others.

Wrestling season ended for Captain Comic, but not before the number of hours spent in gyms across the Bay Rivers District increased exponentially.
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I am proud of him for trying hard, and always being game for a tough 1st season in the sport. Next year, maybe he’ll win a match from time to time.

Mr Cynic and I have been traveling to colleges and auditions for their music departments and Scholars Competitions, etc. and to have a look around. That has been a couple of adventures in traveling to Boston and to western Virginia.  That has been a bit of roller coaster of pressure, comic mayhem, not so comic mayhem, seeing good friends and my niece, sleeping on sofas, floors,  random beds and hotel rooms. We crossed many bridges, literally and figuratively.

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In the meantime, he has been involved in the Bay Rivers District Choir, and auditioned and won a spot in the All-Virginia Choir! The performance for that is the same weekend as his birthday in Richmond, at the end of April.

Toots is forever Toots, and a spark in our lives, and she apparently has a preschool boyfriend. I told her teacher on Valentine’s Day, that when I asked her who she loves after writing the family valentines, she answered, “D—?” sheepishly, knowing she should have said at least one family member in the context of the conversation. It was adorable. She also has been wanting to invite him over for sleepovers for a couple of months now.  The teacher cracked up and then told me she is always trying to get them to sit with other friends or at recess to play with other friends, but the two of them are stuck like glue everyday. I asked Toots at one point what she likes about D– so much and she answered, “because he is kind.” I couldn’t be happier, honestly, that she has found a best friend who is kind regardless of gender.

She has also been getting into trouble a lot at home, but she is approaching five, seeking independence or when we are preoccupied, seeking attention by plugging the sink, flooding the bathroom and soaking herself from head to toe. Or by poking the bear: Captain Comic, by doing the exact things she knows will trigger a negative response from him. Kazoos and pennywhistles she earns for good behavior in preschool are a big tool of torture for the noise sensitive Aspie.

But she is still our girl and how could we ever stay mad at this:

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One day, I will remember to hold this smartphone horizontally while recording…

Meanwhile, in the writing department, I have started sending out queries to agents, and the rejections have started coming in. At least I’m starting at the top:

1st rejection

valentine

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Toots abandoned her Valentine necklaces before preschool.

Looks like I get to wear them today.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Be kind to those you love.

wrestling

I should have done this years ago. I recently threw Captain Comic into wrestling. It seems just what he needs.

I spend my days grabbing him from the middle school to tote him over to the high school, because as an 8th grader, he qualifies for JV team.

Yesterday evening, they had a clinic with the local shipbuilders apprentice school, so all these huge guys came in to show the kids some moves. It was later than the usual conditioning practices we’ve been doing, and they worked him harder, so he kind of faded, but I could tell he was enjoying it. Besides, one of his peers, below, was really cool about continuing to practice stuff with him, where a lot of the Varsity guys, while good with him, tend to let him fade too soon, when things get a little challenging for him, right when he needs a push the most.

That’s  Captain Comic in orange. Of course, being the Tigers, everything is orange in the gym.

During the apprentice school’s Wrestle-off (to find out who is the starting wrestler in each weight class) after the clinic, he hit his limit- tired, hungry, in a crowd, off-routine,  the high pitched whistle, and a baby started to cry in the stands, so I pulled him out, besides, I was already late to another thing and he needed to study for a Science test. On the way home, we chatted about  wrestling in general and the evening’s events.

Captain Comic: Mom, I just don’t think I’m that into exercise.
Me: Really? Because the sensory feed from it is so great for you, especially in wrestling. It seems the perfect fit for you.
Capt: (Frankengroan)
Me: Promise me you’ll stick it out, til you learn your way around it better through the season?
Capt.: Okay, JUST for the season. ….How long is the season?
Me: Til February.
Capt: FEBRUARY?! Holy Crap!
Me: Please, Buddy? Just give it a try.
Capt: (Frankengroan) Okay…

Besides the exercise, I see him transitioning to the high school better next year…having some familiarity with the building, some friends there to show him around a bit. He’ll be less intimidated than he is right now. The benefits of team building and personal accomplishment from the sport, and its discipline will be great for him, too.  I think he really missed Tae Kwan Do, too. Wrestling is more his style.

autumn haiku

Yellow leaf lays sun
on worn cabin porch step two
days windless mountains.

 

 

mayhem, good

Again, we have had a lot – a . LOT. – going on around here, so I will make this short and sweet and add a gallery of a few highlights via cell phone pics.

Last week, I threw Captain Comic into JV Wrestling at the high school. He is taking to it better than a fish to water, his enthusiasm fills me with pride and joy. He is still awkward and funny as he is learning, but he is challenging the toughest biggest guys repeatedly during these couple of pre-season conditioning weeks. Even the Varsity guys are proud of him. The coaches are great with him.

Thursday was Toots’s Pumpkin Farm Field Trip with her preschool class.

This weekend we went on a Fellowship Retreat up in the hills at Pocahontas State Park. It was beautiful, we canoed, roasted marshmallows and froze our tuckuses in the drafty cabins in summer weight sleeping bags. We saw Great Blue Herons, turtles, and a snake climbing a tree. The snake posed best for pictures. Toots was talking about going fishing endlessly from before the trip, and I kept responding that I didn’t know if that was going to happen, maybe someone would have a pole she could use. As it turns out, she found a young boy and his dad fishing at the docks when we went canoeing. The boy was about eight years old and very patiently showed her how to hook a worm and repeatedly dropped a line from the docks, for her to watch fish nibble at the worm. He even caught a sunny at one point, and let her hold it. She was in seventh heaven.

Sunday, we came back in time for the Wrestling Team photo shoot. I didn’t realize Captain Comic didn’t even know what a singlet was. 🙂 I love that there is a girl on their team.

I took all photos with a cellphone. It should be in order of Pumpkin Patch, Pocahontas State Park then Wrestling, but I think things got a little jumbled in the upload. For instance, the yellow leaf on the step of our cabin should be horizontal, not a vertical shot. Toots and Mr. Cynic are sleeping in the car on the ride home Sunday morning, we canoed on Satuday afternoon.

A friend from my fellowship took my boys out canoeing Saturday morning, and brought back a tale of a killer beaver, GNAWS, parodying JAWS that he said the three of them came up with and laughed about the whole time they were canoeing. Apparently he GNAWS trees to fall on campers…It’s funnier when they tell it.

We had a great weekend. I hope you did, too.

 

 

 

 

equinox mantis

Happy Equinox, Preying Mantis.  Your camouflage is beautiful for the new season, but it doesn’t work very well at dawn with the frame of the slider screen.

That is the corner of Captain Comic’s sleeve in the the house. He was fascinated. “What the heck IS that thing?”

I’ve been seeing preying mantii (is that how to pluralize them?) since springtime, and this is the first time one had brown. The others were all bright green. Do they change with the seasons? Do they change with age? Are some this way and some that? I have know idea, but prefer to keep it a mystery for the time being. Besides, I really need another cup of coffee.

connecticut

After picking up our old stuff in MA, we headed a little south to Connecticut, the state where both Honey and I grew up, though we met in Massachusetts many many many moons later. He was a city boy in New Haven. I grew up south of there in more suburban bucolia. We both grew up on Long Island Sound.

We visited his brother, sister, niece and the rest of their family, including the two adorable little boy cousins who are closest to Toots’s age, but are the next generation. Funny how these things work out, huh? Toots is definitely a second stage of life baby. Her oldest cousins of her generation on both sides are in their twenties. My brothers’ and my kids are spread out pretty evenly from 23 down to 4. But I’m getting lost in my thoughts here, so pictures! Alas, I only seemed to get shots of her little cousins at Honey’s niece’s place.

Again with the two camera loads into the gallery, one of these days I will figure out how to reorder. From the cell camera, we have the little New Haven cousins and Honey’s sister, who is about to have a third grandson!  We had a nice afternoon visit on their father’s birthday, and then we scooted down to my parents’ house where that pic of my brothers and me from 1975 sits out for everyone to view that incredible wardrobe. 🙂

In the mid-80s, my dad, a big tennis player, built a soft court in the backyard. It’s a little hard to keep it up now that he hasn’t played regularly  since his knees and serving shoulder have given up the game, and the berry brambles are taking over from the borders of the yard. Toots loved picking berries with Papa and me and on her own. Mostly the groundhog, deer and birds have eaten the easiest berries to reach.

We retrieved the boys, and visited with my brothers and their families. The younger cousins picked berries together and roamed the yard, and the older cousins talked bands and such. We ate and laughed and shared old misadventures from when we were growing up. Then we got back on the road home and Toots crossed her eyes, and the boys huddled in the back and we crossed the Delaware then Bertha crossed the 100K mark, and eventually we arrived home.

But the day before we got the boys back, my old friend, also named Cathy -we’ve known each other since second grade when one of us was drawing the other’s name in the back baseball field dirt of the school I had just moved to and the other said, hey how did you know my name, and we can’t remember who was which Cathy in that fateful meeting – took Honey, Toots and I and her son to the beach where we grew up.

It was high tide, and that beach has always been popular, but holy cow, not as crowded as that day. But the boats and the swings and the sand and the Sound were the same, though the pavillion has grown and they’ve put weird breakers up in front of it so it seems the pavillion has eaten up half the beach, but I still loved it.We still had a beautiful day, catching little fish in buckets and playing in the sand and chasing sea foam and shooing gulls from our snacks, and just hanging out.

While things change, some things never do, and my daughter played on my beach the same way I did, and some things, like the wind and the sea and the sand rolling into each other are constant, and can always be counted on, even as I move away and grow up and become two families and then one, always one, because these are the things that matter, which is why I didn’t really get pictures of when my family was all together, and I am grateful they are still where I grew up, even if I am too far for many visits.

And that is the end of our epic Summer 2012 East Coast journey north that was only five days, but was just packed. I have the boys back, and we’re revving up to school already, making preparations.

I hope your summer has been full of wide open spaces and adventures and long hazy days, beaches, blue sky, berries, big rains, lightning bugs and night peepers.

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