A little joy to share with you!

A little joy to share with you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trumpets? Trumpets?

Have you ever experienced a band concert with no trumpets?  We had four measures in the middle of one piece that sounded kind of like.............................................................................  Ummmm... yup.  That's what it sounded like!  Then the trombones came back in with the counter-melody.  But what I want to know is, why did the audience clap for the invisible trumpets and stop clapping for the trombones???  I mean, c'mon!  Always clap for the trombones!  We're sensitive.  (Did you fall for that one?)

Hmmmm... band director #2 announced that I have enough sass to make up for our missing trombonist...  During the concert even.  Sass is good, right???  Must be 'cause trombones are full of it!  And when we have our full section back, we'll really whup those trumpets!  (Whup would be the musical term for "play a lot louder".  Trombones are also well know for whupping at "pp" signs...)

By the way, I love concerts!
I get to pretend to be a grown up!
Right down to my toes!
Well... almost!

And one more quick kidbit...
Apparently, the wait for pie was a *little* too long for kiddo #3...

Have a fun day!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I love it when the kiddos blurt out a bit of "mom-trivia" that makes me grin!  A few days ago, I was brushing my hair when kiddo #4 materialized behind me... "mom, you're beautiful."  I chuckled and said, "no, not really, but thanks!"  The youthful little eyes behind me got all big and wide.  The eleven-year-old-unbelievably-horrified look.  "No, Mommy!  You really ARE beautiful!"  Gotta love the world according to youngest kiddo's rose-colored glasses!  And, hey!  I am beautiful to my kiddo!  I'm happy :o)

And last night, oldest kiddo and I went for a late-evening drive.  With the sole purpose of Mickey-ing a buddie's car.  Oh, such a stealthy mission!  We parked a little past his house, were careful not to slam the car door, and worked under the cover of darkness.  As she hopped back in our car and we made our get-away, my kiddo laughed and blurted out, "I'm so glad you're my mom!  Not many parents would think it's ok to go out at night for something so fun!"  (Just for the record, Mickey is a bright pink antenae-topper.  Not the more sinister, Webster's definition of Mickey-ing something!)

Then there is kiddo #2, who is playing around with a new look.  Lots of black, funky sneakers, colorful hair, wild prints, homemade chain neclaces, bracelets, anklets.  Really a pretty cool look!  But it is tweaking a friend of hers who is horrified by all the black.  Kiddo 2 has been wishing for black lip stick.  She knows it will get tweaked buddy going!  And she thinks it is "cool."  (Or whatever today's word for cool is...)  So, while at the big-W-store, I picked up the darkest lipstick I could find for her.  Not quite black (might have to wait for Halloween), but dark enough to become mom-of-the-moment!

I'll enjoy being popular while I can!  Soon enough I'll be pestering them to do their homework.  Then my popularity might decline significantly...

Well... enough silly for today!  With the kiddos all off to school, it is time to get back on the work-wagon! 

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freshman orientation...

Yup... sassy kid is ready for freshie day!
She had a blast!  Today all the kiddos are gone.  The house is sooooo quiet!
Have a happy day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

40 continued...

I had a beautiful, sunny day for turning 40!  As evidenced by all the squinty-eyed photos...  Soooo... how does a sassy, goofy, dorky 40-year-old celebrate?  Ummm... about the same as any typical sunny, summer day!  Blueberry picking!  Oh!  My 15-year-old offered to chaperone me for my birthday.  She *swears* she meant chauffeur, but, hey!  Another year older, I'm sure I can get into a bit more trouble, too!  Actually... we got half-way to our intended picking spot & had to return for my purse.  Then, after all my triple-checking to make sure all the girls used the bathroom before we left, guess who had to pee in the woods?  Yup... maybe I need a chaperone more than a chauffeur...

Sooooo... when we finally got to the top of the mountain for a 2:00 picnic (ooops!), we discovered that the wild berries are gone.  Well... they're still hanging on the bushes.  But they have become "leather berries".  Or perhaps "blaisins".  Our dry summer seems to have hurried them through their life cycle.  Thank goodness for a beautiful view, nutty kids and a whole lot of laughter!  And a chaperone who liked the idea of another hour of driving curvy back roads.  (Hmmm... is there such a phenomenon as a 15-year-old kid who *doesn't* like the idea of extra driving time?)  Although, I wonder if she was having a little too much fun on some of those curves?  Maybe I should worry a little when we are headed down a steep, twisty hill and I hear "whoooooo!  Mom, this is like a roller coaster!"

By the time we arrived at blueberry fields #2, we had about 20 minutes of picking time.  And the kids wanted enough berries for pies.  Thank goodness they are old enough to actually *help* with the picking now.  We managed 5 lbs. of berries in that tiny window of time!

Then it was off to my parents' house for dinner with the family!  An evening full of laughter!  My favorite way to celebrate!  Oh!  Poor hubby kept trying to figure out what to do for my birthday.  He tried sending me to a quilt show.  Or to a fair.  Poor guy... foiled again!  I refused to go anywhere big and splashy.  I just wanted a sunny day filled with family and friends.  (Perhaps he put in the order for that gorgeous sunshine?  It was much appreciated!)

While we were playing a goofy card game (in which my brother-in-law and I completely whipped the competition), kiddo #3 decided that she was staying overnight and headed up the stairs for bed.  I love that the routines at Nana and Boppa's house are just as familiar as home!  My dad brushed her teeth, played the "over-jammie, peek-a-boo game", kissed Barney (the favorite toy) and the kiddo goodnight, and she settled right down for an impromptu overnight.  Which gave the rest of us a bit longer to visit.
And when we got home, this bright, happy sunflower was waiting on our porch!  I had no idea who it was from, until we found this little signature...
Yup... I've been Mickey-ed!  My buddy and I have a long history of swapping car decorations back and forth!  It's always such a silly surprise to find a new bit of humor on the side (or antenae) of the car!  This is the first time a plant has arrived wearing car decorations, though!  Oh, I laughed and laughed!

And to finish up a wonderful day, a teenaged buddy stopped in at 10:30 to say happy birthday.  (And to make sure his mom's Mickey arrived safely!)  The oldest two kiddos, teenage buddy and I sat around laughing and joking for nearly an hour!  And you know it is a good buddy when oldest kiddo comes downstairs in striped pajamas to visit! 

Oh!  It was a wonderful day!
Have a happy day! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


One of my best friends passed away last night.  She was my buddy and comrade in second trombone mischief.  I miss her...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A bit of randomness...

Youngest kiddo was thrilled to get home from Nana and Boppa's house and see her new backpack waiting for her!

My parents take the girls back-to-school shopping each year.  This is our families' pay-it-forward tradition.  When my sisters and I were small, my Nana took us back-to-school shopping.  Now my parents take our children.  Someday, I'll get to take grandchildren back-to-school shopping!  (Not anytime soon, by the way!)  I caught this photo of my dad walking with daughter #3 from JC Penneys to Fashion Bug.  You can't see it in the photo, but they were holding hands.  Big, tough, logger-guy out with his granddaughter headed into a totally girlie store... gotta love it!

The oldest two kiddos modeling matching outfits they found on our expedition!

This was a big year for Kiddo #3 (on the left).  She actually tried on clothes and had fun showing Nana and Boppa her "pretties".  She even joined in the imprompto runway show when we got home by modeling her new duds! 

And I have been *promising* to post a photo of our cute little house!  This is the view of our very favorite room... the front porch :o)

And, finally, oldest kiddo's favorite new shirt.  Hmmmm... what could she possible mean by that, I wonder???

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Music, Random Mickeying, and Colorful Backpacks!

A two-concert weekend... gotta love it!  Saturday's concert was short and sweet.  Maybe because we went so fast?  A few of those pieces went maybe twice as fast as I could play them.  One of my comrades suggested that perhaps the writer of "Amparito Roca" thought that trombones were related to piccolos?  Let's just say "vivace" on that one means "don't take a breath, you'll miss 8 measures..."  But, hey!  Any concert followed by chicken barbeque on a beautiful day sounds like fun to me!  (Even if I am about half way through Amparito when the rest of the band finishes...)

Today's concert was an hour and a half of pure hilarity!  Our goofy crew went with "Thing 1," "Thing 2," and "Thing 3," for our WAY special shirts for this concert.  Our director referred to his baton as his "remote control" at the beginning of the concert.  Near the end of the concert, his remote control lost control and wound up nearly in the trombone section.  Did he slip?  Certainly he wouldn't intentionally throw things at the trombones, right?  Right????  Or maybe it was just our turn with the remote!  Darn it!  When I tried to snag the remote, the baritones gave it back to our conductor.  Foiled again!  (I do not have good luck wresting the remote away from anybody around here, either!)

Oh!  And oldest kiddo and I spent much of the afternoon on random acts of Mickeying!
If you see any victims driving around, just smile!

And then... home to finish a couple more backpacks!  Here is kiddo 1 holding her backpack and kiddo 4's backpack!
Have an awesome, very happy day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tigers and cheetahs and chains, oh my!

Kiddo #2 finished her backpack!!!  She's a wild one, alright!
K2 added lots of hardware to her creation... chains, charms, rings...
Oh, what a fun & sassy kid!


My kiddos have been after me all summer... they need backpacks for school.  Now, we're not talking about normal kids needing normal backpacks...  I have sassy kids who prefer QUOTE... kick-butt-awesome-backpacks... END QUOTE.  Soooo... we can't just go BUY kick-butt backpacks.  (Can't you just picture me walking in and asking for a couple of those?)

When oldest kiddo started highschool, I offered to make her a bag.  She chose LOUD fabrics and quickly became known as the kid with the really cool bag.  Two years  later, she was *still* getting comments on that backpack.  But, alas, two years worth of heavy text books were taking a toll on the pack.  And... kiddos # 2 and #4 are both entering new schools this year.  Time for backpacks....

ANY GUESSES HOW LONG IT TAKES TO MAKE ONE OF THESE BUGGERS???  These aren't the little mini-packs like I carry.  These are the beasts of backpacks.  And we're making HOW MANY???  My feet were dragging a bit.  Enter helpful kids...  "Can WE make them?"  Yup... gotta recognize when it is time to surrender.  

Have I mentioned before that I have very patient parents?  (Good thing since they had to put up with me...)  Nana and Boppa offered to take the littler two kiddos for a couple of days so that the older girls and I could start working on those backpacks.

We are having a blast!!!  We started out with a trip to the awesome LOUD FABRIC store.  Then turned our livingroom into a whirlwind of cutting, ironing, sewing and LAUGHING!!!  Oh!  The stories these kids tell while working!  Poor hubby got home to a fabric-fiasco reaching from kitchen table to sewing machine... and kiddos that immediately said, "Mom!  Kick him out!  We're TALKING!"  (Apparently Dad is not privy to the latest girl-gossip...)

Oh!  If you read the "random dozen" post, I have to update the last time I laughed so hard I cried.  And I wasn't even tired and loopy yet!  We had a late dinner on the porch.  And the kids *did* allow Dad to join us for supper.  Dinner with two teens took on a whole new level of goofiness.  Wise cracks and highschool humor.  Rampant sarcasm and a comedy of innuendo.  Poor hubby finally had to give up on trying to control the ruckus and just laugh along with us!

Sooooo... today the sewing marathon continues.  Each of the kiddos formulated a plethora of ideas for decorating the packs as they worked last night.  So we'll be getting some colorful ribbons and chains today.  I can't wait to see these things!  Both kiddos' unique personalities sparkle through the choices they are making for their bags!  And we are working together on backpacks for the littler kiddos!  Soooo... I will not have to sit at the sewing machine for two solid weeks working on these kick-butt-awesome-backpacks!  Oh!  Life is good!

Have a wonderful day!         


Thursday, August 12, 2010

More trombone sass...

Oldest kiddo and I had a concert tonight, so, of course, we were on our best behavior.  C'mon!  Did you really fall for that one???  We have these great red shirts that we wear for the summer season with a charming logo and the name of our band.  But our conductor gets a *special* shirt identifying him as the DIRECTOR.  Now wait a second!  Everybody knows the trombones are WAY special!  I mean, we can sorta read music and everything!  Pretty good at tipping over music stands, bonking people with our slides and generally annoying anyone in close proximity to us.  So... we decided we needed special shirts, too.

At our last concert, we were...

Tonight's concert got maybe a little closer to accurate...

We have two concerts left.  Any good ideas?

And, Lucie... WE MISS YOU!!!!  Hope you have some especially snarky (your word!) suggestions for naming this goofy crew for upcoming concerts :o)  Love ya!!!

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Random Dozen...

Alright... I'm giving this a try.  Linda of  http://2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com/ posted a random dozen questions to blog about.  Dontcha just love that blog title???  I love starting my day with a cup of coffee, but the only time I indulge in a second cup is when I'm sharing one with a friend!  Soooo... I am finking out and not being very original today, but grab cup of joe and hang with me for a little bit! 

1. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?

Oh my gosh!  My funny bone is a tad ticklish!  Don't get me started...  Any time I'm tired I get a little loopy.  And loopy comes with that little bubble of laughter that fizzes right up from the belly and erupts into a peal of giggles that I can't stuff back into a polite grin.  I'm almost always loopy after 10 at night.  Sometimes after 8...  Ummm... it is not a good idea to serve as an Eucharistic Minister following an extended stretch of not sleeping well...  We are not really expected to giggle over the bread and wine.  Or laugh through the hymns...       

2. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it?

I would add it to the "summer incidentals fund"... a.k.a. my backpack.  The kids seem to think this is a magic bag.  "Mom!  We're near the icecream store!  You have your backpack with you!"  "Mom, can we get a movie?  You have your backpack with you!"   Today, I need to remember to take that backpack with me so that I can get some of that magic gas that keeps the kid-carrier running the roads of this little town...  So, I need to find three $10s....

3. Do you volunteer anywhere?

Nope.  Oh!  Wait!  I'm a youth group leader!  I hang out with a bunch of great teens, eat pizza, play games, chat for hours, laugh, work with a phenomenal group of pseudo-grown-ups (yeah... we have a chuckle every time the "grown ups" meet!), lead prayers, do a little planning, play more games, make cookies... and someone, somewhere decided to call me a volunteer!  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????  These kids keep me young and laughing!    

4. What is your favorite summertime veggie or fruit, and how do you eat it?

Blueberries.  Oh!  Or maybe... blueberries.  Yup.  Definitely blueberries.  Right off the bush on a sunny day with all my kiddos with me is the best way to eat them!  

5. Is your social sphere (circle of friends) small, medium or large?

Oh!  I am so lucky!  Gotta say large on this one!  I am blessed by friends I can talk with about anything, goofy friends, friends that walk with me, lots of friends who make me laugh, chat-over-a-cup-of-coffee friends, kid friends, grown-up friends, fun-to-run-into-them-once-a-year friends, Facebook friends, friends that play in band, friends from church, family friends....  Yup.  Very blessed by friends! 

6. When was the last time you attended a family or school reunion? How did that go?

Our family reunions are always a blast!  We get 20-30 of us together several times a year.  Most recently in Maine where we had a murder mystery for 15!  (among other fun stuff!)  The last really big family reunion, ya know... breaking 300 or so, was a couple years ago.  We're all related to my grammie, so... yeah!  We had a blast!

7. When you're feeling blue, what is the best way someone can cheer you up?

If you can make me laugh, you have my heart for life!  Gee... and it is so exceedingly *not* difficult to make me laugh... 

8. Have you taken a vacation this summer?

Yup.  But I prefer home.

9. What is the most unnecessary item you carry with you all the time?

I'm sure that backpack has something unneccessary in it.  But about the time I decide something is not neccessary and take it out, gall-darned if I don't need it the next day! 

10. What is the best summer flick you have seen so far?

I don't very often sit still long enough to watch a whole movie.  But a total surprise to me was Tooth Fairy!  It was hilarious all the way through! 

11. Describe a perfect summer day.

Oooooh!  The kids would sleep late!  Like at least 7:00.  Breakfast, coffee and blogging for a solid hour, uninterupted :o)  Then head out with hiking shoes and a picnic to pick blueberries with the kiddos.  Stop at the pool on the way home.  My husband would cook.  And since this is a fanatasy day, he would actually cook fish...  Throw in band practice and it sounds like a pretty amazing day! 

12. Please a share a favorite photo from the summer so far!

Oh, this is soooooo cheating!  This one's already been up on the blog... 

Well... pretty random.  But, heck!  So is life!  Have a happy day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just a guess...

I'm thinking that the trombone players are the goofballs of every band.  The conductor of band #2 asked last night, "does anyone have any questions?  Trombones, do you have any questions?"  Incredulous looks all around our row.  TROMBONES???  ASK QUESTIONS??? 

One of the guys piped up, "we are issuing no statements at this time."  Oh, yeah!  Trombone sass!  (Being very new to this band, I am practicing good behavior for a little while.  Probably a very little while...)

Yup... so glad to be a goofball :o)

Have a happy day!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Check this out!

A friend of mine just started blogging!  Check out Lori's blog at http://itsthelittlethings-lori.blogspot.com/  :o)  Isn't her blog name great???  I know I'm looking forward to reading more of her work!

Have a happy day!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A random collection of little happy things....

Hmmmmm....  A mouthpiece and the phone?  (I guess, technically, you could call them both mouthpieces...)  I spent much of yesterday morning on the phone.  I caught up with a good friend whom I haven't seen for a while.  It was such a joy to hear her voice!  She is going through a lot right now, though.  When the call ended, that familiar crushing feeling of wishing I could wave my arms, call in a miracle, and go to band practice with her crashed into me.  Bittersweet.  But wonderful to hear her voice.  (You can read some of Lucie's writing at http://greenbananascancerblog.blogspot.com/  Her work is beautiful.)

When I hung up the phone, we had a message.  FROM MY BEST COLLEGE BUDDY!!!!!  Oh my gosh!!!!  We hear from each other a few times a year.  Well, I hear from her.  Ummmm... can we say I write her a whole lot of letters?  But somehow they manage to be mostly in my head?  And when I actually do put pen to paper, I usually manage to write a long chatty letter, gather a bunch of photos, and.... ummmm.... neglect to actually *mail* the darned thing.  Naughty, naughty me....  Oh!  And I lost her e-mail address a couple of years ago when we had no internet.  So she couldn't even follow our family on Facebook or by this blog.  Ooooops.

We talked for a couple of hours.  Just as easily as if we were back in college.  What a blessing to have a friendship that just picks right back up where we left off a couple of years ago!  (Ooooops... haven't seen her in... ummmmm... seven years....)  It was also funny to realize that there are still so many parallels in our lives!  In a nutshell, our kiddos are all in school now (one of hers is in college!) and we are at "career crossroads."  Our lives are wonderful.  Everything for which we've always hoped.  And we are wondering, what's next???  With the brunt of kid-raising done, we both have a little time and a lot of creativity.  In a funny twist, we both decided to start writing!  (Well... not that she would believe that I am in the habit of writing....)

Hmmm... did I mention that we still have a lot in common?  And that we made a date to get together again?  Yup.  Hopefully October!  And... ummm... I will mail those darned letters and the five-and-a-half-pound stack of pictures....  Tomorrow.  Or sometime....  Or maybe today....

Soooo... the other mouthpiece!  I have a humongous trombone.  Oh!  It is a beauty!
But it is maybe closer in size to a tuba.  With a slide.  The mouthpiece is gigantic.  I can play a few songs in the upper register, then my lips resort to quivering like jello for the rest of the night.  Not usually a problem.  I happily play second part which means most of my music is comfortably in the middle range.  But I've joined a second band.  And wound up with several first parts.  Oh dang!  What was the conductor thinking???  I brought my saggy-lip dilema to a friend of mine who actually knows something about trombones.  (I just happily and rather naively enjoy playing the thing.)  He loaned me a mouthpiece to try.  A smaller-sized mouthpiece with a built-up shank (the part that plugs into the rest of the trombone).  Did I mention that this trombone is enormous???  It could eat a regular mouthpiece for breakfast.  And suck my lips in for snack right afterwards.  I didn't have high hopes for that upper register.  No pun intended.  Well... maybe a little bit...

Yesterday afternoon, I popped the new mouthpiece in and ran through Band #2's music.  An hour later, I realized that my lips were still going strong.  Unbelievable!  Yup.  I'll be investing in a new mouthpiece.  And an interesting bit of trivia... I looked down the throats of the two mouthpieces (mine and the loaner).  The loaner is *much* smaller.  I guess I don't have such a big mouth after all :o)

(If you know me, you might be chuckling at *that* conclusion...) 

A couple more happy bits.  Our garden produced the first peppers and tomatoes of the season!  Sorry... the big, plump pepper and cheery red tomatoes were very pretty.  But we ate them.  Without taking photos first.  I am a *very bad* gardener.  I throw some seeds or plants into the ground, then mostly ignore them.  So I am disproportionately happy when they actually grow and produce something wonderful!

And, speaking of old friends that go back 20+ (cough! cough!) years, my husband's best friend from highschool visited with his family a couple of days ago.  As always, we had a wonderful time!  And we must have been infants in highschool since we could not possibly be a day over 20 yet!  Certainly not pushing 40.  Ouch!

And Dave's wife, Lori, will be getting her blog address to me soon so that I can link to *her* writing!  (Lori....Hint!  Hint!  Dust off that blog and start writing!  I'm looking forward to following!)

Ah!  A good couple of days!
Have a happy day!



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Disney? Or a day of blueberry picking?

My husband and I took youngest kiddo to Disney last week.  Isn't Disney every kid's dream?  Not around our house.  I am soooooo glad to say that my sassy, independant kiddos have little desire to be sucked into one of America's biggest conglomerate businesses :o)  We visited for an afternoon.  That was plenty for all three of us!  I don't need chirpy music, constant parades and vacuous, cheery smiles to remind me that I'm happy.  Heck!  I only need to get up in the morning to have fun!  (Although a cup of coffee helps!)

Oh... not that Disney is all-bad.  We had a wonderful dinner with a friendly waiter and chef.  The chef came right out to talk with us about Shannon's allergies.  He made sure that the pasta was safe for her to eat.  What a treat!  This kiddo *almost never* gets to eat pasta in restaurants.  And there must be something to be said for all the wide smiles and piped in music.  Even in hour-and-a-half-long lines, the crowds waited patiently.  People smiled at each other.  And chatted. 

But, really, Disney is not my thing.  It's just so... fake.  I'll take good ole' New England any day.  We have blueberries.  And maple trees.  And cows.  And *home* :o)

Yup.  I'll take home.  No piped in music required for a good time.  We got back to a sunny, breezy, beautiful New England summer.  I did the responsible thing... and skipped unpacking and laundry to head out to the blueberry fields with the kids!  It was a day filled with laughter and very real smiles!  We picked 12.5 pounds of berries.  Well... we finished with that many.  Our blueberry bandit (daughter #3) filched berries from our buckets all afternoon!

Have a happy day!