Tuesday, October 30, 2012

fall snapshots

 Waiting for the bus

This one is still feeding us incredibly yummy food.  She decided to whip up blueberry pancakes topped off with strawberries one morning.  I'm getting so spoiled.

 Storytime isn't just for kids, you know.

 And acorns are not just for squirels.  YUM!

 A frenzied apple picking trip.  Seriously, the entire population of the Eastern seaboard decided to go to the exact same orchard we did the exact same morning we did. It was like a Filene's basement sale, trying to pick apples.
Back to school even when school is not in session.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

shut up already!

I am not a confrontational kind of person.  I have always shied away from disagreements and often find myself patting things down when people are involved in a discussion.  I bite my tongue and keep comments to myself.  I like to think I'm keeping the negativity levels in this world down. However, I need to vent some frustration I have with particular people who are constantly harping on about my church and it's pastor.  But I really do not want to deal with the fallout that inevitably occurs when people talk religion.  Luckily, I have this blog, which is still fairly anonymous in my community so I can put it out there and still not have to confront the naysayers. 

I am Catholic.  I go to the church in my community.  It's not your run of the mill church.  In fact, in it's previous life it used to be a supermarket.  Yep. A supermarket.  And the pastor of the church is not exactly your typical pastor either. He is a colonel in the US Army. Not only that, but he doesn't have the best "bedside" manner.  That all being said, I am so sick and tired of people deriding my church and this priest just because they're not what is pretty or easy. Most of the time I just let people say what they're going to say and say nothing.  I have at times stated that the building does not define the church community, the people in it do.  What, do they think the first Catholics worshiped in Cathedrals?  Honestly, they were probably celebrating the Eucharist in caves back in the day. Just because you go to a "pretty" church does not make your church better than anyone else's.  So there.

And our priest?  Yes, he is sometimes rude and didactic but he's a person.  He's human.  Which means he has failings and quirks just like all the rest of us.  God doesn't ask us to love only people who are easy to deal with.  And sometimes, I think people who take the most issue with this guy, do so because he makes them feel uncomfortable.  He makes me feel uncomfortable.  He doesn't pat me on the head and say, "good girl, you go to church every week, and your kids know their prayers, and you deposit regular checks into the collection basket." No, he continually asks us, "what more can you do?"  "what more can you give?"  "how else can you serve?"  He insists that people observe all the facets of their faith, not just the ones that are easy and make you feel good. He does not shirk his responsibility to the laws of the Catholic faith.  And that pisses people off.  They want exceptions made for them.  They want him only to validate what it is they do do and not point out where they could be doing a better job. But too bad, so sad for you, because that is part of his job! If I were at a church were I was not constantly pushed to not just be a better Catholic, but to be a better parent, wife, sister, friend, daughter, human, I would start looking for another church. 

Why don't these people who never have anything good to say about this church and this priest just go to another church?  There are several nearby to choose from.  Just go there already and stop whining.  There. I said it. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

futilly looking for that silver lining

The adage "if it can go wrong, it will" has certainly held true around here lately.  It has been one of those weeks.  No, months.  Maybe even longer.  I've lost track of how long it's been a bit challenging around here. But the last couple days have really just been tragic.  As the cat threw up onto my living room rug this morning, I hollered up to the heavens, "enough already!"

Did I mention the dogs realized the batteries were dead on their collars before I did? Which means freedom was just a short jump over the five foot high fence away.  Oh yes, you betcha they took advantage of that fact.  And then no matter that I've replaced batteries in their collars for two years, I could not get the new batteries in properly.  I seriously worked on it for two days.  There really isn't a secret to it and I still don't know what I was doing wrong but after they got out yesterday morning and came home reeking of shit, I managed to finally get them to work.  A little too little too late but hopefully that's the end of that little bit hell raising.  At least now they're clean, right?

Oh, and I've been volunteering my time at the kids' school for several years now.  Yesterday I have an hour to get some work done for the stupid bookfair that raises money for the school and no one would let me use the frigging photo copiers.  Seriously, you people are here all day, I've got an hour, can you cut me some slack?  I was actually near tears when I was leaving the school.  Overreaction, most definitely, but that's where I'm at.

Between the moody tween girl, the stressed out tween boy, the always a handful dogs, and the possessed cat, I am ready to commit myself.  I tell myself to focus on the positive and "serenity now" but that's doing nothing for me at this point.  I am barely holding it together.  And it shows.  I went to bed last night at seven because I just needed to be done with the day.

The black cloud that's been hanging around seriously needs to move on.  I'm ready for some blue skies and better days. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

time well spent

Sam needed a haircut...BAD! His hair was curling all around his shirt collar and covered his ears and was looking exceptionally poofy. There just never seems to be a good time to bring him in and get it done. Not to mention the whole experience is usually so horrible, we both put it off as long as we possibly can. But the time had come. There was no more putting it off. Sam's hair demanded attention. We had an hour after lunch on Saturday so I just grabbed him and we took ourselves to the Supercuts.

Apparently everyone and their brother also had that exact same hour free and chose to bring themselves and all their relations in for haircuts. I steamed that we had a wait and wandered outside with Sam muttering under my breath about "not having time for this" and "why can't things just be easy for once." Sam took me by the hand and as we walked down the sidewalk he swung my arm. We stopped in front of a shop and looked in the window. Sam asked if we could go in and look at the stuffed animals. After wandering through that store a bit, we headed back outside and popped in and out of a couple more little shops.

The anticipated wait time was nearly up, so we strolled back to Supercuts and sat outside on a bench in the sun.  Sam chattered on about sports related triviality demanding nothing more from me than a little attention. Finally his name was called and we went back inside for his haircut.

Afterwards as we drove home, Sam all smiles and sucking on his lollipop and looking very handsome now that I could see his face again.  He caught me glancing at him and said, "Mom, I had so much fun just you and me.  Can we do that again sometime?"

I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to make meaningful memories with my kids, thinking it has to be Martha perfect in order for it to qualify.  I need to take a lesson from Sam and remember we don't need the perfect outing, we just need to be with each other. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

thank you

I'm not going to bother trying to play catch up or highlight all the many thoughts, events, ideas, photos that have occurred since last I visited here.  Just the thought of that makes me want to scrap this altogether.  And that's the thing, I don't want to scrap this here blog altogether.  I like my little space here.

Sadly my last post was all the way back in May.  May seems like it was another century at this point in time.  In May, all three of my kids were in Elementary school. Now, I have a middle schooler.  In May we had the whole glorious summer ahead of us.  Now, we are basking in the wonders of fall.  In May life was crazy busy chaotically hectic.  Now...life is still crazy busy chaotically hectic.  Ah well, not everything changes. 

This past year I've made more of an effort to embrace gratitude. And I don't mean remembering to say a polite thank you, although that is always a good idea to do.  I read an article in the Sunday paper reviewing a book I believe.  The point of the book was to inspire people to express gratitude to someone every day, or maybe week (can't quite remember...I blame old age).   I thought what a wonderful attitude.  To look for the little things we have to be grateful for and most importantly to make sure those responsible for those little things know how much we appreciate it.  Wouldn't the world be a happier place if more of us did that?

Well, I knew I don't have the sticktoittiveness to adhere to one a day, or even one a week.  I like to set that bar low, I guess.  But I bought a few boxes of thank you notes and when I thought to myself, "wasn't that nice of so and so..." I made a point to grab a card and scribble off a note.  My life hasn't changed dramatically but I have noticed a subtle shift in my attitude.  I see the good in people more and find myself believing that there is more good in the world than not.  And that makes me happier.  And happier is good.

You know what I've discovered?  Writing thank you notes is contagious.  I found this little note one morning shortly after school began from my now seven (!!??) year old.  In case you can't decipher it..."It has been a great summer.  Thank you Mom and Dad for this wonderful summer."  And that little note right there, had the power to change my whole day.  It still does now, several weeks later.

Give it a shot.  Try thanking someone you may not normally think to thank.  You may just turn their whole day around.