Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meatloaf on my Toes

Two posts today....sending out 2008 with a clatter.
My petulant, bluesy, irritated self of late got an abrupt wake-up call last night. In my flurry of activity to create a nice meal for New Year's Eve and Bob's welcome home from rehab, I was hurriedly finishing the clean-up, annoyed with Ms G because she had escaped into the dank and cobwebbed-filled basement, TIRED and anxious to get to bed. WHAM, as I went to put my cast iron dutch oven away, the cover slid and fell to the floor but not before the side of it bounced off the 3 smallest toes on my left foot! EEEEEEEEEEEK. Let's just say that cover has a new name, and the pain sent me dancing around the living room and brought Ms G up from the basement to see what was the matter. I quickly took arnica (an homeopathic trauma treatment which I could not live without), then reached in to the freezer for the first solid frozen object I could got it, a meatloaf I had formed and tucked away last week. I applied frozen meatloaf 10 minutes at a time for awhile and it worked just fine. This morning, thanks to arnica, as well, there is little swelling with minor pain and I will be able to work, albeit with a or two of the three purpled toes may be broken. Fun, fun but meatloaf saved the day!
Sure did shift my mind from the mundane issues I thought were causing the blues. Life has a way changing priorities right when it is needed.

Finding Peace in Piecing

The sewing machine sits ready, and I know a fairy princess who really needs pretty curtains for her new bedroom. Fairy princess curtains she will have!

I found these great Laura Ashley flannel sheets at Marshall's for very little. Creating curtains from these perfect sheets provide a very thrifty and warm option to trekking all the way to Hyannis where I may or may not have found what I was looking for, and the price would have been triple at least. More than once in my life, sewing pieces of fabric together has saved my soul from the depths of despair. There are many quilts around which are filled with threads of my sanity, and their beauty and warmth bring me such pleasure. One even cured cancer, that is my take anyway. Not that I am in deep despair now, but a little project will go a long way right now to cure the blues. And besides that, I love fairy princesses, too!
Bob comes home today, and he asked for apple pie. A beauty awaits him, along with a pot roast which cooked overnight in my new crockpot. There will be a celebration of his homecoming and a welcome to 2009 for LM, Bob and moi!
Have a safe, peaceful and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thank you to all who stop by my little corner of the world to read and/or leave me lovely messages. They are each little gifts and I am most appreciative.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Low Spot

'Twas nice to be back at work a full day yesterday. Life is much better for me when my regular schedule is in force.
Blues are hovering around my brain, and the search is on for a way to shoo them along. Dark days and nights, being alone a lot, and New Years Eve and all its foolish expectations looms. Remembering the thrill of last year when LM and I were on the road and in rolls into one hurdle to be jumped until January is officially underway next Monday. Meanwhile, I am gearing up to stay home by myself on Wed night, make curtains for granddaughter, Samantha, and go to bed early in preparation for a visit to see baby Teddy on Thursday. I'd like to be 1/2 mile away amidst the huge celebration of First Night in Chatham Village but I am not going alone. In years past, I volunteered at the event, and really had fun......but then there are memories in that event which tie in to my past, very abusive and tragically ended, relationship (2004). Ugh....I cannot seem to escape myself for even a minute this week. It will pass.

LM is really sick and hardly has a shred of himself to give, I do not expect it, Bob's homecoming from the nursing center is postponed until Wed and those two just need to be there for each other. LM hardly has the energy to talk on the phone and his flu/cold just has to work its way out. He is doing all he can to heal himself - getting rest, drinking fluids, etc. He has been calling me VERY often just to check in....sweet man. I am trying not to expose him to my blues, but I know he knows. Damn! He also has worries.... his son John has a court date on Monday to see if an event last summer will revoke his parole and put him back in jail for 18 months. LM has moved the earth to help John these last six months and he is finally regularly seeing a therapist, working full-time, has joind a YMCA basketball team and is generally being a good citizen. It is hard for these older teens to get a hold on life after being incarcerated for 1 year (he and a group of other teens drew graffiti on a church) with absolutely no rehabiliation and no safety net except LM. Monday tells the story. We feel that John's life will be ended if he goes back to jail next Monday. I fear it will break LM's heart.
It is typical for me to have the blues after such a flurry of activity and I need to ride it out, find distractions, feel the quiet and let it all pass through me....another of life's processes. I don't like it, though!
Time to get on the exercise bike...

Sunday, December 28, 2008


A very quiet, dark and foggy day. A time to continue resting from all the holiday festivities.
After a very slow morning, I drove over to visit Sara briefly and took her some ham salad I had made with the leftovers from Christmas. We discussed making curtains to provide privacy and warmth for Samantha's bedroom and on my way to see a movie, I stopped at Marshall's and found some wonderful fairy princess flannel sheets and will use them to make the curtains! They were on sale for 10. - a great deal. Nice to have a little project ahead, too.

I went to see "Milk" and it truly is a masterpiece. Sean Penn most certainly will be in top contention for an Oscar. It was very moving, having lived through that time, and it is a beautiful depiction of his work in the gay rights movement. What a brave man he was, and he truly was acting for the common good and not just for gay rights. After the tears dried, I made my way over to see LM who is even sicker today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better for him. He is not complaining, just laying low and drinking fluids.
A year ago today, LM and I were just launching our very memorable road trip to FL. We have been talking about those memories a lot this week. We both feel like we would love to be on the road again like that....hard to describe the joy and closeness we felt on that trip. Somewhere back in the archives here there are pictures and words but they really don't do it justice. Magic!

Meanwhile, Ms G had a traumatic day....she had made a nice nest in the unmade bed and her cruel mother decided to change the sheets......I am still being punished. She let out a huge yowl when I began moving her. An extra serving of treats is on the agenda tonight as I attempt to atone for my bad behavior.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Christmas Elf and Further Adventures of the Intrepid Ms. G.

Christmas Eve Day was very long for me. I left my house at 7:30 am and did not return until well after 10:30 pm, and by that time had driven well over 180 miles after working half the day. Little did I know that Ms G had received a visit from a very sweet elf, who planted handcarved wooden kitties all around my house for me to discover with delight upon my return home! The first one greeted me on the dining table.
The second in my bathroom
The third was perched on my Bose radio
A fourth on the shelf in the kitchen
and so on......that sweet little elf is the man I love!! He knows how much I love little surprises and he had such fun creating this fun for me.
The next morning, I was up very early to start the dinner, and each time I looked at those little kitties, I smiled and LM's desired effect was working.

Meanwhile, Ms G was resting up in her favorite spot on the bed (the electric blanket was still set on low).
Soon her boyfriend would arrive and have some last minute wrapping to do, which of course would involve paper, ribbons, and TAPE....her most favorite thing. Not sure if I have mentioned before, but she has a penchant for tape of any kind - anything crinkly with an adhesive - she will work for hours trying to open the drawer where I keep my roll of tape. Anyway, LM had a lot of help wrapping his gifts, and then we had to shoo her away as the help was way TOO involved!!

So, she adjourned to the living room to check out the table and I had to repeatedly shoo her off the table, as she was attempting to abscond with the napkin holders. She would wait until I was watching from the kitchen, hands in water or cooking, then make her move. This went on for quite awhile but ended when the first guests arrived. She was a bit thrown off by the number of people who invaded HER space and was not seen all day. I did catch LM laying on the floor beside the spot where she was hiding under the bed....he had to give her a little TLC. He loves that girl.

Before the first guests arrived we did present a gift bag which had arrived from Jason and Alison for Ms. G. She put on her best smug little look and said "I am not stooping to your level and rifle through that bag".....

That idea didn't last long, as she no doubt got a whiff of the catnip which was buried in the tissue. There was also a very cute stuffed squirrel with a pouch which opens to contain the catnip. That squirrel has been the hit of the season for her, and this morning at 5 am she galloped across my sleeping body to bring me said squirrel. Thanks, J & A! Even this hilarious Christmas card from LM had kitties on it, and contained a very beautiful message of love to me. There are some happy kitties here today!!.....just more silly cat stuff from the world of Ms G.

In other news.....Dad is doing well today, after sleeping through Christmas Day and having us a bit worried.....same old, same old in that department. Forgive my snideness here. He is just amazing.

On Christmas Day my toaster oven and my crockpot gave out, fortunately, not before they had done their job for me one more time. They have served me well and are important tools in my very small, but functional kitchen. Today I made my way to Hyannis to look for replacements and hit it just right at Macy's. Considering that there was nary a spot to park at the dreaded mall, I was very lucky to be in and out of the store in 15 minutes with a kind young man in tow who brought the large boxes out for me! Great service. The new things are home and in their respective places. I got a really nice Kitchen Aid Toaster/Convection oven which is quite attractive and working well already. Not the best picture, but my kitchen is so small that I cannot back up far enough to get a good shot!!After that little jaunt, I visited the ailing LM....he came down with a nasty cold just at the end of Christmas Day....and then we made a short trip to see Bob. Two more days, and counting, until Bob is back home. Kind of sad not to be with LM all weekend, but it is OK. It is giving me some extra rest which I really need and I may take myself to the movies tomorrow afternoon to see "Milk." I love Sean Penn and remember the story of Harvey Milk well. It will be 60 here tomorrow, I am also planning a walk.

All in all it was a nice Christmas. As always, though, I am left with the feeling that I just did not do as much as I would like, did not see everyone I wanted to, and guilt reigns. Hate that part of the holidays. I know it is self-imposed, nonetheless, the feelings lurk. I will be happy to meet Januray 1. There were opportunities to do different things with the usual people which was nice....dinner out with Sam and Trish, and my sweet visit with J & A on Christmas Eve. Lovely memories!
EEEEK......I got up a second ago and stepped on the squirrel....and Ms G is running around with her fur all blown up and acting like a wild critter. The barometer is falling, I think!! Life is never dull!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Unexpected Christmas

Several weeks ago, before baby Teddy was born, my daughter, Sara and I had planned to bring Christmas to Jason and Alison as a gift, figuring they would be way too busy to plan the usual beautiful Christmas they host. After the birth, and the injury to Alison's lower back, the new parents decided, wisely, to just stay at home by themselves on Christmas Day and rest, while enjoying their precious new baby.
That change prompted Sara and I to plan a dinner at my house. The original plan included about 8 people counting their little one, Samantha, and Richie's sister, Tammy, who lives with them and helps out with Samantha a lot. Sara offered to buy all the food and do some of the cooking, so our plan came together and found me preparing and cooking (and channeling Mum) almost all day yesterday. It really turned out nicely and at the last minute we had three extra people and lots of space shuffling, that gave LM one of the happiest days he has known in years. All three of his children were together for a Christmas celebration!!! It has been countless years.

I was a bit too tired to be doing all I did yesterday but it got done and everyone seemed to have a nice time. Little Samantha in her beautiful Christmas dress was so sweet and fun, and my wonderful LM helped me do the seemingly endless clean-up before we ventured over to see Bob, who is stuck at the rehab center until Monday. I really enjoyed the giving of the small gifts we gave and having our two families together. It was also a very beautiful warm and sunny day here, and I managed to take myself to the beach for a bit of meditation at mid-morning before everyone arrived. The ocean was a very clear deep blue and the wind was kicking up beautiful white spray. Breathing in that beauty was fuel to help me finish the cooking and serving.

Tomorow I will share Ms Graysea's Christmas activities (and some funny cat related surprises of LM's) but meanwhile here are some photos of our lovely day. LM and I were moved to tears at the happy feelings. We are very fortunate to have the family, the love and the richness they bring.
The table before the guests arrived:
Samantha, 21 months, and loving Christmas:
Kristi, Meaghan's boyfriend, Tyler, Kristi's Mom, Ellen (yes, we even had LM's first wife!), John with back to camers:On sofa, Tammy, Richie, Sara (my daughter), John (LM's son), Meaghan (LM's daughter), Ellen
Just about to serve dinner from my tiny kitchen, which I just love!Sara, Meaghan, Tyler (we were very honored to have Tyler with us as he is on leave from the Army. He has served two tours in Iraq and is going back to Iraq in January - Meaghan is joining the Army in January). John and Kristi lined up at the sideboard and shared a lot of laughs:
Kristi and her Mom, Ellen (Krisit got untold pleasure in passing out the little gifts she had accumulated for everyone throughout the past year):Clockwise from LM, John, moi, Meaghan and love in the center, just where he should be, as he is the heart of his family!

Daughter Sara, Samantha and Richie, a family who has worked hard to make it and I am very proud of them and all the obstacles they have overcome!Moi, washing dishes....LM was on the loose with my camera!A very tired Nana and her sweet Samantha:
MM & LM.......I need say nothing more except he is love and Christmas rolled in to one!Come back tomorrow for the Christmas adventures of Ms. G!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Tiny Christmas Visitor

Ms G and I are waking slowly here this morning, although, I have been out of bed since 5 am. I love early morning. Christmas day is quite balmy here and the sun is rising amidst the soft breezes. 3-Ginger Gingerbread is baking and filling the house with its delicious Christmasy aromas, shallots have been roasted to add to fresh green beans at dinner, and I am now sitting with Ms G to have a cup of tea before I make the dressing for the turkey, and then some hot fudge sauce to have with dessert. The turkey sits ready to go in at 9 am. The stillness is so peaceful and a gift. Later it will not be so quiet here as the house fills with family....not the usual family, but one brought together by the love that LM and I share. It will be a lovely day!

Christmas Eve Day saw me in quite a few different places, and they all brought their own delight. In the morning, I worked and it was festive (and most unproductive) as we shared holiday stories and laughs. My friend, Jeff, brought in his puppy, Windy and she created fun of her own!

At noon I was on the way to my first stop at Jason & Alison's. Baby Teddy was sleeping soundly in his glider and his poor parents were recovering from a sleepless night. Seems they have a night owl on their hands! We shared a little lunch and amazed ourselves at how quickly time could pass as we just gazed at Teddy's sweet face and exclaimed at every move he made.The very tired but happy Mommy, trying to wake Teddy. He is supposed to be nursed every two hours or so but today he just wanted to snooze.
By the Christmas tree with Nana before I headed to Hingham to see Dad.

Having no idea how I would find him, I approached Dad's little apartment with my heart jumping all over the place. I opened the door and there he was happily sitting in his chair awaiting my visit. He was full of questions about what everyone in the family was doing for the holiday, and we chatted for nearly two hours. I felt so relieved to see how he had improved. he was dressed in red and said he had been downstairs to the dining room for a very special lunch....they have their big meal of the day near noon. As I left he talked happily about the fact that he would see Sam, Trish, Nate and Danny on Christmas Day. I walked down to my car feeling so grateful and happy for this wonderful man, his resilience and loving nature.

Next stop for me was to meet Sam and Trish for dinner. When I arrived at their house, my nephew Nate was there and we caught up on his news while waiting for his parents to return from an errand. As I walked from the kitchen into the living room to enjoy their beautifully decorated tree, I heard quite a clatter, and after switching on a light, there was Bob, acting a little strangely. Upon close inspection, he was playing with a tiny live field mouse.....the cutest little mouse I have ever seen - light brown, a very white tummy, huge ears, and a very long tail. I called to Nate to come look, and nonchalantly Nate told me, "Oh yes, Bob's been playing with him for 8 hours" I got to watch the "play" and see Bob and little mouse go nose to nose with no hostility. It was amazing. By the time I got my camera, the cat and mouse games had adjourned to the heating vent and Bob was watching for his friend to emerge, once again. Several times before we left for dinner, the games moved back and forth across the living room, mouse scurying with tail in the air and Bob watching very carefully and calculating his next move.
Danny, Nate and Abby at disappointed that I did not get a picture of Sam and Trish!
Next we were off for a lovely dinner at Bia Bistro, hosted by my youngest brother, Sam. The company was lovely and it was so interesting to catch up on Danny and Abby's life. For a brief time I was transported to the excitement and energy of living in NYC through the words and presence of this delightful young couple. We share all too little time together. They both have interesting and demanding careers blooming, and shared their perspective on how the current economic times are affecting their lives and jobs - so far so good. Nate, Sam and Trish shared tales of the excitement they experienced recently at the Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas City. I love them all so much and it was warm and easy to share this evening with them. I think we are all very tired from worrying about and caring for Dad and also the economic times. We will endure, everything will be alright (Mum always said it would, didn't she?). Family is the greatest gift.
After a delicious meal of short ribs for me, it was nearly time to begin the 2 hour drive back to the Cape but not before me shared a single dessert of molten lava cake. A very special Christmas treat! The best treat of all, was just being with a few of my dear family, though.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Day

Waking up by listening to Community Radio this morning. It has been 2-3 weeks since I turned on my television and I just love it. Always when I arose, I would turn on the TV and it would run as background noise until I was ready to leave for work. Months ago, I decided, I could not stand the noise anymore and the repetitive stories about nothing, as commercial TV digs very deep to try to make news. I have always loved and supported our local radio station which is manned by local and very knowledgeable DJ's, and this morning, as I listen to WOMR I am being carried in to the joys of Christmas by the likes of Oscar Peterson and Diana Krall and now Dave Brubeck. The guest DJ this morning is Chevy Chase. He has a fantastic jazz collection.

Everything is in place and ready for tomorrow! It has been fun to do a little decorating, arrange the table and plan the meal which I will make in concert with daughter, Sara. This is the first time in living here for 5 years that I have entertained on a holiday and it feels good. Everything had to be done last night as today finds me working until noon, then hitting the road with a number of stops which will culminate in dinner with my brother, Sam and wife Trish, nephews Danny and Nate and Danny's girlfriend, Abby. We will be dining at Bia Bistro in Cohasset, a spot I have dreamed of trying! Along the way today I will visit Jason, Alison and TEDDY! After that, I will spend time with Dad, as he is not well enough to join us for dinner this evening. Dad's decline is bringing on some depression and some bizarre thinking. We have called in some help for him and he seems grateful, but for the first time in my life, yesterday, he told me he would not talk to me and literally hung up the phone!! Very sad but I am keeping my perspective on the fact that he is also passing through this season of losing Mum, her birth anniversary and the holidays, and that is not easy. The Christmases which Mum created for our family are an indelible part of all of us. The magic and excitement, the visitors and all the specialness she imbued into each moment, are at once beautiful and painful in the absence of their creator. Their was a large community beyond our family that was touched and brought delight by Mum's creativity in the kitchen. During the entire holiday season, no one who passed through our door left without a gift of beautiful food. I can still see all the Swedish tea rings lined up on the kitchen counter, beautiful yeast cakes, filled with fruit then decorated with frosting, nuts and cherries. They were handed out to the delight of every recipient.

May a peaceful spirit descend into your lives and your eyes and hearts be widened to take in and savor beauty and delight. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Joy

There are beautiful things in my everyday, but right now, nothing tops baby Teddy!!

It is a very busy time....winding up preparations for the dinner Sara and I will cook on Thursday, celebrating the joy of baby Teddy, and of Bob's recovery, the love of a wonderful man, my Dad's health, such a loving family, and being able to have a little family gathering.
I wish everyone a very beautiful Christmas or holiday celebration, and that we may have peace in our hearts if not in the entire world!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Around 6:45 last evening, LM and I arrived at the rehab center to visit with Bob. After seeing him in a very confused state on Saturday evening we were both very apprehensive about what we would find. LM had spent Sunday afternoon acquiring a cell phone for Bob so he would be able to stay in touch with us while he recovers. Bob's nurse had told us on Saturday that this mental confusion happens often in seniors after they have anesthesia....sometimes they recover, sometimes not. Oh, my that was a daunting bit of information. We were very encouraged to know his nurse was giving him special attention and would be on duty all day Sunday, too.

Last evening found Bob, just about back to normal mentally and we were both so elated. Bob is even aware now that he was suffering the confusion. it is on to restoring his physical strength. He is all set up with his new phone which I programmed with numbers while he and LM went over financial matters. Bob is such a dear man and exclaims often how nice everyone is to him there and how delicious the food tastes. I reminded him that it is because HE is so very nice to everyone, and so interested in those helping him to recover.

We had a lot of heavy rain yesterday afternoon and when we were driving to see Bob, the streets were quite flooded. Temps were in the 40's. When we came outside a little over an hour later, everything was frozen, including the car doors and windows, which we barely managed to get open, a bitter wind was blowing, and the driving was treacherous. Ah, New England!

Yesterday was really a nice day. LM and I had leisure time to sleep in awhile, catch our collective breaths, share a nice breakfast, play with Ms. G, and after LM left at 2 or so to get Bob's cell phone, I decorated 4 doz cookies and packaged them prettily for several friends at work, polished the silver, arranged linens and serving pieces, and other preparation for the little celebration we will have here on Christmas. It felt so good!! I think I have found a bit o' the spirit! I am really looking forward to collaborating on dinner with Sara! It is sad that Bob, and Jason and Alison will not be with us, but another day we will gather and be so grateful that they are all well!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Day with Kristi

Yesterday, Kristi and I made cookies from 7 am until 3:30 pm. I had made all the dough earlier in the week so we were all ready to roll out dough bright and early. Kristi, LM's firstborn, was the victim of a stroke at the age of 1 yr which left her aphasic, but she is one very sweet and talented 40 yr old now. I set things up so we could work side by side and she could do everything I was doing and it worked so well and she was a great learner.

Kristi also helped me by cleaning all the snow off my car, then she had some fun building a little snow bear in the crux of the cherry tree by my front door.....she has such a joyful spirit.

After we finished baking, and, by the way, Kristi and I cleaned as we cooked, and she did all the dishes for me. We really had fun, and she helped to distract me from my tears of grief over Mum. After we finished baking, we drove to Orleans to visit Snow's department store and see the beautiful Christmas train display and she found some ornaments for gifts. Then it was home for Kristi, and at long last, time alone for LM and I to reconnect. We had a nice dinner out and then visited Bob at the rehab center to which he was moved on Friday. Things are a little grim for him right now. Since he had the colonoscopy last week. he has become very confused and not able to talk very clearly. LM and I spent a scary 1.5 hrs with him last night. The beauty in this situation is the beautiful friendship the three of us share and that there is a wonderful male nurse there who was also a war hero and a pilot and he is helping Bob so much. He also explained a lot to LM and I. We feel a bit better, but as I type we are prearing to get back to be with Bob today.
Another storm is going on so we need to get out and about before it gets worse.
So much to do before Christmas Day but that will have to take care of itself, as being with loved ones in need is primary today.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mum - I miss you most at Christmas Time!

Just a few photos of Mum through the years.Above, Mum, Dad and me approx 1944. Taken on our farm. In the background is an old portable schoolhouse which Dad purchased from the City of Boston to re-use as a home for our many chicken. Looks like it was in the process of re-assembly. Dad: an early re-cycler! Mum sits in a wheelbarrow which had a long life on our farm.Mum and Dad in HS Senior portrait is on the mantle.

On the steps of St. Andrew's, the church in which we all grew up. I believe this is on the day of sister, Bebo's wedding in 1968, could have been my first wedding in 1962.
A Christmas Eve photo.
Christmas dinner 1965. Sam is tucked in to the picture just to Mum's right. El sits on Dad's lap. Sister Margaret and her then boyfriend, Roger at the back. Jason and Alison now have that beautiful china which is often used at their always lovely table.

Tearful day as I make cookies with Kristi....making mew memories through the tears. Why does the grief seem to deepen more with the years?

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19th

I tried all day today to write a post about my mother to commemorate her birthday and death day, but I have been unable to do it. Work was very frenetic today and offered a nice distraction from the heavy emotions I feel. So, I leave you with a photo from this morning at my favorite place. The sky was appropriately dramatic and beautiful. Tonight, a heavy snowstorm is raging outside my window, and my mind is racing with worry over the fact that Jason, Alison and baby Teddy are in a cold house without power, with no idea when it will be restored. Our power has flickered but not stayed off yet. They are 35 miles from me.

Hopefully tomorrow, with the beauty of new snow in the morning, I can post the photos and write more about Mum.

Today is also a very special day because my grandson, Marshall was born on my Mum's birthday! She was very honored to have a grandchild born on her day.
He is a very bright, funny, thoughtful and dear light in our lives. It really pains me to live so far from him and his older brother, Jared.

Marshall with his ingeniously wrapped birthday gift....a new large computer monitor.
Both boys are a fine tribute to their wonderful parents, Anne & David.

I need to sleep......

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winning in the Mud and Dirt

Last week while some of us were giving birth and most of us were very worried about our friend, Bob and my Dad, my brother, Sam (45), and his son, Nate (13) were competing in the Cyclocross National races in Kansas City, MO. Every Fall here they race in the NE area in an effort to qualify for Nationals. I believe this was the second year that they have qualified to go to Kansas City. Sam is my youngest brother (my daughter, Anne and Sam are exactly the same age!), and it is his wonderful wife, Trish who does the bulk of the caring for Dad's needs. Trish left to attend the Nationals, after setting a great plan in place to make sure Dad was well cared for in her absence.
Last year they raced there in a blizzard and ice storm.....cyclocross competitors LOVE the severe weather, mud, etc!!!! Crazy thing, don't ask.....
Well, today I am proud to present the results from our family perspective:
A quote from Trish:

"Nate was 2nd overall in his division, and interestingly, passed enough of the older racers who started before Nate's group that he would have placed 10th in the 15-17 age group if they had all started together. So he is feeling good about next year. He will have to move up to the 15-17 group next year, even though he will only be 14 and was a little bit afraid that he would not be able to be in the top 10 his first year in that group. Now he knows that he will be able to be competitive - probably not win any of them, but at least not spend his first year in that group way in the back!
Sam finished 5th again this year. Doesn't sound very exciting, but he was amazing and there were almost 100 racers in his division. He was SO thrilled. I have some great pictures that show just how happy he was. Everyone ran to him after he went through the finish line and were all excited and congratulating him etc. It was really great."

Sam, far left on the podium!!

Nate on the very muddy course.

Nate 4th from left on the podium!1st & 2nd place, Nate far right!!

I am so very proud of these two wonderful men in my family!

Speaking of wonderful men, LM, my dear sweet love, reports this morning that Bob is doing so well and now both kidneys, sans many huge stones, are functioning again. Today there is another hurdle as Bob has a colonoscopy to explore why he is having bowel failure! Right now we are very hopeful, prayerful and certain that it will be a healthier Chrstmas for Bob. Perhaps, Bob will be home by tomorrow night.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my Mum's birth and death day. Today I am purposefully reflective and doing things which would make her very happy, in an effort to lift myself over the grief of her loss which still walks with me everyday of my life.

I am rejoicing in the happiness of having a beautiful new grandchild to love, and happy to report the baby had a great day yesterday. Alison continues to face the coccyx pain, so healing thoughts go her way for ease this day.

Best of all the sun is shining and I am headed out the door early to get to the beach for a time of meditation and reflection before work!