Thursday, June 28, 2012

Clearly Not Much of a Blogger...

The last time I posted here was over a year ago. But like I wrote in an earlier post, I'm more a blogger-READER than a blogger myself. Still... it is fun to read things I've posted in the past. Just like I like to re-read journals. It's interesting to see where one "was" at a particular point in the past, and to remember that moment in time.

I see that last year I had posted alot about trying to pin down going back to school. It's so funny really. I remember doing the pros and cons of the different school offerings, and now my focus has changed so much. I still feel called to studying theology, of a sort....but my faith, the way I define it today, has done a 360. Now I'm actually considering a course of study in holistic theology, "interfaith" rather than any particular denominational flavor.... and I'm really psyched about this. I think it more aligns with where I am at this moment. Reading the old post makes me realize, however, how new these ideas are. I can't pinpoint when it all changed. But change it has. It has taken on a new life of its own and I'm excited by it.

It's summer now and I'm on vacation. I go back the day after the Fourth. Boy, I love being off all these days. I so needed the break. We have been really low-key. We spent the day out yesterday at the Aquarium and the little shops across the road. Oh, and the used book store!!! I came home with FORTY BOOKS!!! I was like a kid in a toy store. Boy, I love good used book stores. (Most of the books were non-fiction, of a theological/feminine bent. Surprise!!)

I also bought the boy all the Harry Potter books with the exception of The Order of the Phoenix. He was psyched too. I have bred a reader!!! YAY!!!!!

Our days have been spent playing outside, on the swings or in the front playing basketball, weeding the garden or just walking around exploring the yard. Sleeping late. Staying in our pajamas all day. Love it so much! Necessary for the soul.

Now it is almost 1 a.m. I must go to bed. I've been doing so by 10:30 most days, which is a plus, although there was the night I stayed up writing notes for the art lessons I am doing with the boy, and at some point, I heard this bird singing LOUD and I wasn't sure what it was---it seemed too loud for nighttime, and then I looked up and noticed that the window seemed highlighted somewhat, and I got up to look, and realized it was DAWN. It was nearly 5 a.m.... I had stayed up ALL NIGHT.... Now, in the past, I've stayed up really late surfing the Web, and I've stayed up really late reading, and/or watching TV, but all those times, I knew I was up late, I realized the hours passing. For some reason, this night, I had no recollection of all those hours, and it was dawn already and I hadn't slept yet, and wasn't even tired!

It was really weird. (I did end up falling asleep then, after putting everything away, and I slept til 9.)

Off to sleep now.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I can't believe I haven't posted since....JANUARY 28????? Are you kidding me? Well, I knew I wasn't much of a blogger, but really, 3 months?

The snow, all that snow that we thought wouldn't melt til June, has indeed melted. The magnolia tree bloomed beautifully and now most of the petals surround it on the ground. We planted lettuce today in the raised bed and 3 porch pots. I have been outside most of the day. I did yoga on the porch, then read the Mass readings to T. Then we gardened a while. I ate my lunch out here. I need to feed both boys now.... but I don't want to go in!!! It is so lovely to be out in the fresh air! In the sunlight! It is supposed to rain most of the next 4 days, and I don't want to give up this loveliness just yet to be back inside doing chores.

But really, I can't relinquish all responsibility, ha ha!!! I have had HOURS out here after all.... Duty calls. Blah.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow...snow...snow....and School....?

I can't find the thingy I need to upload pictures from my camera to my computer, otherwise I would have posted a few pics of the amazing SNOW. Yes, we have been hit with plenty of the white and fluffy stuff this January. No joke, there is at least 3 feet of snow around my house----and those parts where the snowblower tosses the snow----maybe more than that!

This morning, poor Max with his stubby self had the hardest time. I was laughing at him, which wasn't nice. But it couldn't be helped. I went through the garage to go get the mail and that was funny too. I had this crazy idea that I could walk easily to the street because the snow would be less deep on the driveway. Well, this was true, but that didn't mean it wasn't deep! It was way over the tops of my boots. Not knee deep, like the snow in the backyard, but nonetheless....not the 'walk in the park' I thought it was going to be. And I won't even comment on the amount of snow at the foot of the driveway from the plows!!

But my handy snowblower guys showed up around 3 p.m. and carved out paths for us. I did my part too: I shoveled a veeery narrow path on the back deck to the stairs. And I shoveled the stairs down to the ground. I did all this for Max, of course. He followed behind me ever so patiently as I opened up the path for him. It took me over an hour, as I had to do the snow in 3-4 phases, it was so deep! I had only done 1/2 the steps, and Max started down. My calls of "no Max, not yet! come back!" were not heeded and he ended up at the bottom in a snowdrift, snout first.

But he was unfazed by this, if a bit surprised. He loves the snow, but poor doggy isn't getting to have much fun since he can't run around in it because of its depth.

Was this blog post supposed to just be about snow? Well, I did title it as such.

In other news, my little guy has been creative and adventurous during these many snow days. He created a board game of his own on a large piece of Kraft paper. We played it once yesterday and then today we started to color it in with markers and crayons. It's looking good.

He and I put together of his Christmas Lego sets, and then today, he pulled out the Lego Education tub (finally---I say this because I had been lamenting that I bought it because he didn't seem interested in it and it was pricey).... He proceeded to build a contraption/car of sorts and hooked up the battery pack (so lucky that it called for 6 AA batteries and....would you believe, we had exactly 6 AA batteries left in the closet!).

Of course I've been working all these days. I discovered yesterday, much to my dismay, that a spreadsheet of edits I was supposed to have input into the chargemaster last summer had never been completed. I did approx 40 of 280 edits---and then totally forgot about the task. DOH! I can make 101 excuses or explanations, given what the summer was like at work this year...but really. There is NO excuse. It simply fell off the radar and no one asked about it, because I've never given anyone the reason to have to ask after work I'm supposed to be doing. And I never gave it a second thought.

So, despite my growing aversion to data entry, I was committed to finishing that project up today, 5 months late. Which I did, in about 3 hours. And then, because you know how I love to be able to cross things off my to-do list, esp things that have been on it for too long, I pulled out the spreadsheet of those blasted multipliers (another heavily-procrastinated data entry task....only 4 out of 7 pages done....last worked on in October). And I finished that sucker up too.

Maybe tomorrow I'll tackle the claim check spreadsheet for the Epic team. It would be lovely to finish it before someone asks me for it. And now that I've "said" that "out loud", watch me get an email tomorrow morning asking me if I've finished it yet.

On a different topic, after all the endless web-surfing of online religion/theology programs and courses and no definitive decision on which to apply to and start, I spontaneously signed up for a course on the University of Dayton site. Now, can it be called spontaneous if I've had that website on my Favorites button for over a year?

Anyway, this UD program is non-credit, so a fairly painless way of dipping my toe into the educational waters again. I signed up for Survey of Catholic Doctrine simply because it was one of the 5 prerequisites for a Certificate Program for lay ministry leadership. Will I end up applying for that program? Well, naturally I've vascillated. There is also one for adult formation, which kind of jives with the retreat ministry/RCIA stuff that I'm drawn to as well. That one only has a 3 week seminar as a prerequisite, BUT it's a cohort kind of program---you take classes in sequence, and the program starts up in January and July. You know that now I am kicking my own butt because I could have started it this month if I had thought about it, and now I have to wait til July. But my plan is to take a 3 week seminar in March called "Theological Reflection" instead of my original idea of doing Intro to Scripture (explanation below). And then in May I will take the prerequisite course for the program, and then start in July. It is 7 courses and looks very interesting and full. If I kept up with it, I'd be done summer 2012.

Did I mention because of my membership at St. Mary's, the courses only cost $40 a pop? Now, I know, it's non-credit. But still....It's stuff I don't know, so I am going to be learning alot.

Does this mean I've decided against pursuing a Masters? Actually, no. The reason I'm reluctant to start up a Masters program is because I'm still undecided which one, and because an MA is a huge financial commitment. Plus it will require a lot of discipline and study and writing papers.... I'm sort of out of that scholastic discipline, after all these years. I'm sure I could pick it up again in a heartbeat, but the discipline itself? So I was thinking the UD non-credit program would be a good place to start.

I am definitely going to go for an MA in theology. It's the concentration I'm unsure of. Pastoral Theology? Pastoral Ministry? Religious Ed? Adult Ed? Youth Ministry? All of the online programs I've perused offer one or more of these.

You know I really what to do a Divinity degree, but you can't really do those online so for now....

Here are some of them:

Fordham-----------either Pastoral Ministry or Youth/Adult ministry PRO
                               fully online                                                       PRO
                               Jesuit tradition                                                 cool factor
                               possibility of attending graduation (many years down the road) as it's fairly local
                               pricey as hell (like over $800 a credit) and that's not including books yet       CON

Loyola Chicago-----the courses sound really interesting: PRO
                               fully on-line                                     PRO
                               Jesuit tradition                                 Cool factor
                               could do a field trip to Chicago for graduation
                               less per credit than Fordham but not by very much       CON

(Loyola has a MA in Spirituality that I would give anything to be a part of----but it's not online. It's one of those programs that I'm Jonesing after, but know in my gut it is something I'd have had to do in another life. Oh well. Maybe in my retirement years!)

Catholic Distance University----------strictly a Theology degree        EH
                                                         fully online                               PRO
                                                         lots of electives                        PRO
                                                         some course are paper based    EH
                            is it a real school? I know JPII created it or endorsed it but it seems kind of weird
                                                         tuition is not as cheap as you'd think and they give no info re: books

Felician College     ------------------Religious Ed degree           PRO
                                                        fully online (this program)   PRO
                                          Felicians look like old-style Bernardines     RANDOM POINT
                                          almost as expensive as Fordham!!!    CON

Holy Angels Seminary  --------------has online programs but the website is spotty and I can't get a good
                                           handle on the programs; would be nice cuz it's local to take on-site classes if
                                           need be....but it seems really geared to men

St. Josephs of Maine ----------------Pastoral Theology degree   PRO
                                                         fully online                          PRO
                                                  I was able to check out the book requirements for the core courses---some are pricey but can get good rates at Amazon, the upside: they look interesting! (And who wouldn't want to own a concordance?)
                                                  tuition is REASONABLE          PRO PRO PRO
                                                  could do a field trip to Maine for graduation!

There were others. Steubenville had a great program...but you had to attend 3 week summer sessions 2 years in a row. Sounds wonderful, the whole "community building" aspect and all know, that's not happening. A couple of the other programs I was interested had residency requirements of some kind too. So the ones llisted above are all ones that have NO residency requirements. I was limited to that.

So..... I am leaning very very very heavily towards the St. Josephs. Even though it's not a prestigious and Jesuit university like Fordham or Loyola, I was realizing that I was getting hung up on that brand name business, if you can imagine! I mean, I went to Southern, what do I care? But I had this little weird gremlin in my head saying things like 'oh you can say you graduated with a theology degree from Loyola". As if that matters at all!!!

St. Josephs is a real honest to goodness brick-and-mortar school, that has a distance program like so many other colleges (Drexel, etc) are doing. So....that is good enough for me, no? And let's face it, it's a very real possibility that this endeavor will end up with me gaining an MA, and a whole lot of theological and religious and spiritual growth----but still be working my sorry butt of in my cubicle crunching numbers----can I justify spending over $1800 a course for my own spiritual enrichment, when I can do the same on a lesser scale at a non-Name school, esp given it may end up being solely for my own personal enrichment, if I'm unable to switch careers?

No, I really cannot.

Plus, like I said, the books look interesting, and the classes do too. The core courses themselves seem really holistic. I like that. And there'll be an Old Testament one, which is why I didn't sign up for the non-credit one, but instead decided to take the Theological Reflection one to get my writing muscles back in gear on, again, a quieter course.

You can apply and start at St. Josephs at any time, although each course starts on the 1st of the month.
So.... I have to get my act together on transcripts and what-not. That will take me some time, knowing me. And then your first 2 courses you take provisionally as part of the program. I was thinking I would take the 2 I was most interested in from the core courses, this way, if I change my mind, at least I got something out of what I was studying.

But will I change my mind? I think only financially would I, but the truth is, it's something I really want to do, and if I take it one course at a time (15 week courses), I can swing that, no? I'd hate to think I'd change my mind because it turned out that I couldn't handle the studies. In some way, I actually feel like I need to prove myself in that regard. The honor student in me is often embarassed by the fact that I didn't pursue higher studies beyond the teaching degree---and also by the fact that despite my high grades and college prep background, I really don't know much of anything at all.

(Side note to that: I really want to purchase this audio course on US History. I listened to a sample CD and it was great and so interesting, and I know so very little about History. BUT.... it costs almost $120. It is 15 CDs or something like that.... I have til Feb 27 to decide, then the price goes up).

Anyway, I feel really drawn to working in ministry in the very near future. I need to have some kind of background I believe. I know I can do volunteer lay ministry without a degree right now. But I want to do more than that----when the time comes, and my season of motherhood with a young child is over, when I'm able to devote myself to other things, I want to be ready to switch gears. I don't want to dabble. I don't want to wing it. I want to switch gears.

I ended up where I am today by default. Now I want to re-direct myself and have a vision. I definitely feel God working in me on this. I think the years spent studying will be a good prelude to the years I'll be able to devote to actual ministry work. And maybe I will end up going for a M.Div someday! Who knows. All I know is: the seed is planted, now I have to nourish it. And it will grow in years to come.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Aunt Dot....

Aunt Dot died.


Last summer, I tried to visit her when we were in Philadelpha, but she was traveling that weekend. So our paths didn't cross. I can't remember the last time I saw her. Maybe it was my wedding. So that's a long time.

You know what comes to mind? I had learned last year from Mommy, during our drive to Omega in June, that  we had a family "mystery" of sorts. That my great-grandmother (Aunt Dot's mother) had "disappeared" when Aunt Dot was just a child. No one ever knew where she went and no one ever found her. (I don't know how hard they looked---but one would think they would have tried hard to find her, no?)

This disturbed me to no end, that no one ever found her. That she just disappeared off the face of the earth. Did the police get involved? Was there ever a note? She never tried to contact any of her children again? I still can't get this out of my mind, to be honest. Did she start a new life? Did some tragedy befall her? Was there foul play?

And now that I've heard Aunt Dot has died, the first thing I think of is: NOW SHE KNOWS! Now she knows what happened to her mother!

RIP Aunt Dot. We'll miss you. Say hi to our Janice and our Leo and Aunt Kitty for me....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mid-January...Pondering the "Blog"....and it's Snowing Again!

I've decided that I'm not going to let my perfectionistic tendencies bring me down as it relates to this new blog. I created it because my old one seemed to be "about" those days that are long past---I wanted a new focus.

But I know in my heart that I'll never be one of those people who can somehow manage to blog daily with lovely pictures and prose and poems. I work full-time out of the home, I have a wicked commute each of those days, I am a single mom.... the hours I have to myself are very limited. I have not been a daily diarist (or journal-writer) since my teens---but those times when I do manage to sit down and journal, when I go back to read those writings now, I know that I was meeting myself where I needed to be. And that is good.

I don't know how other people do it, but I sure do love that they do. I truly LOVE reading blogs and getting inspired. I suppose...if I limited my blog-READING, that maybe I'd have more time for blog-WRITING. But that isn't what I want to do, really. The blog-READING speaks to me, and so, that time I give myself to delve into others' lovely things is a form of self-care for me.

I realize I've been reading blogs since the late 90's, although I don't think they were called blogs then (??). I just remember when I was Manager, and every once in a while, I would log onto this website called Becca-Town and read about this woman and her little son. Then around 2000, there was the blog a woman called Allura kept. She had just gotten a new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy---and oh, how we wanted one too! (But we ended up with our sweet Sheltie instead.)

Then I don't remember much else for a long while---til after the little man was born. And I discovered DOOCE. And FINSLIPPY. And those two, oh my LORD, but they kept me laughing, like peeing-in-your-pants laughing sometimes...

Then when I started the whole homeschooling tangent in his infancy, that's when I hit the mother-lode! I have, over time, trimmed down the list of blogs I regularly read---to only find new ones, ha ha!

Now I actually have blogs in categories on my favorite lists. I have "Check Every Day" for my all-time favorites, then I have a list of Craft blogs, and a list of Religion and Spirituality blogs. I have a category of blogs related to Minimalism (one can dream), and a category of blogs (and sites) related to Sustainability (an interest of mine). There is also Cooking and Nutrition (just because). And then everything else is in a list of Old Blogs and a list of New Blogs. Yeh, I know, those two categories are so revealing, ha ha!

Initially, if I find a blog via a rabbit trail from another place/blog and it looks interesting, I put it in a "Go Back and Check" list. Then, when I have time, I go check it and if it looks promising, I put it in the New Blogs list (or in one of the other categories).

Then when I'm in the mood to see "what's new" in the crafts or the cooking or whatever, I go to those lists. It's nice that way. The "Old" and "New" blog lists aren't too long ("too......") and I check those every couple of days.

I don't expect MY blog to end up on anyone's favorites list. Nor is that my intent. It's really just to have an online journal for myself, for those days when I feel inspired. In this season in my life right now, that's where it's at.

Here's something I wrote in my paper journal way back in January 2007:

...These last few weeks have made me realize I need to look at my motherhood as a vocation and live up to the ideals inherent in that. God gifted me with this precious little boy and I want to wake each morning ready to walk with him thru his day and go to bed each night knowing I gave all the love, wisdom, honor, attention and focus that he needed. A mighty goal. But God is in him just as much as any other person. I want to meet God in him.

And lest I sound too spiritual, the practical falls into that too. In meeting the challenges of my vocation, I need to begin anew attending to better routines and rhythms in our days and weeks...meals, exercise, prayer, sleep, good books, time with family and friends --- all in balance. It's my job to help him honor all the different facets of his life so that he can grow up in "tune"..."

So.. what that means is that I've been needing "to begin anew" for FIVE January's. Imagine. One can strive...

TRUST...means that we agree that God can write the script of our lives, instead of insisting on our own script. (from the Divine Mercy booklet).

Looks like the snow is peetering out a bit. Gonna go check it out. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Wishes for All

God Bless You
With the Peacefulness of Winter
The Sunshine of the brightest Spring of all
God Bless You
With the carefree Fun of Summer,
The Beauty of a multi-colored Fall…
God Bless You
With good friends who fill your seasons
With hours of warm companionship and cheer,
God Help You
Find the joy each day can offer
And bless you with a truly special year.

(In the original version, which I emailed to all my friends/family/coworkers, I had colored some of the words. So the Winter was in light blue (ice...), the Spring words, light green. Summer was red, and the Fall line, I did the words in brown, orange, and yellow. But I can't do all that here. Oh well...)

Happy New Year to you!

Friday, December 31, 2010

It’s New Year’s Eve. 2010 has just under 2 hours left to it. It’s funny, you know, because sometimes you think ‘oh it’s just another day’ and then, you know, it’s not, it’s not just any other day. It’s a threshold of sorts. It’s an ending, and a beginning. And I don’t think there really can be anyone out there who doesn’t feel a little pull to look back and recall----even if it’s just to say goodbye to “what was” in the ending year.

Many bloggers post reviews of the past year around this time. I have never done that and at first, when I considered doing it, I realized that I had no idea what I would write. I mean, I can tell you about December, November, etc…some of the summer. But ask me about last January, February---drawing a blank.

But then it occurred to me to pull out my appointment book and voila, it all comes back! So, without further ado:


I didn’t make it to Mass on New Year’s Day because I was ‘babysitting’ Cleo for Daddy, who was out on Long Island with a new friend. Luckily, he came home early and Timothy and I were able to head out to the Aguirres’. Maria and Santiago had decided to host a get-together. The Trovarellis, Pavias, and Mahars came. Santiago made empanadas (some in the shape of stars) and Maria (God bless her) was heaven-bent on making BISCOTTI of all things in her teeny-tiny kitchen. I was trying to grate clementines on a teeny tiny grater for orange peel and made a mental note to buy her a real lemon zester for her wedding anniversary. (I did buy it but procrastinated on mailing it to her---and it sits in my closet to this day! DUH!) Santiago played Colombian Christmas music and everybody danced around, some of us with maracas. Even the guys did. It was funny and if I’m not mistaken, I video-taped some of it, but we’ve never watched it. I should dig it out sometime.

The following weekend, we finally got together to celebrate Mommy’s belated birthday which was snowed out several times over in 2009. She wanted to go bowling, so there we all were, in our silly multi-colored shoes. This was the day we learned that Stuart could NOT bowl, not even if his life depended on it (although I have to admit, he really didn’t try---and didn’t seem to care). So he opted out of playing, but the rest of us did, and then we had dinner and went back to Mommy’s apartment for cake and gifts. This was the year I gave out the Buddha bowls, one to her (baby blue) and one to Sherri (black) to celebrate her graduation last month.

We had our first Epic presentation at the Trumbull Marriott. At first, I was really impressed, and then I remembered that I was equally impressed when I saw Meditech 6.0, and now I was wishing I could compare. But of course, I can’t. And they won’t.

Joanne G had her baby shower. Timothy was playing basketball with the rec league this month. Mason, Anthony, and Steven were on his team and their dads were coaches. They had a game every Sunday and they were very stressful, mainly because Earrol expected so much from Timothy on the court----I was just happy the child was out there. And he was running back and forth attempting to play, so what if he didn’t make any actual plays! It was his very first time playing the game after all. Unfortunately, he may have ruined the game for him, which is a bummer, because it’s the one sport I really understand and can play myself.


The final season of Lost started the first week of February. I had this reminder printed in jumbo capital letters in my book so that I wouldn’t forget. It was my Tuesday night pleasure for many weeks.

This month was also all about the Olympics. They played Olympic games at school, teaming up the kids in various grades. Tim’s team was New Zealand and their team color was white (easy!). He and I stayed up late watching the Opening Ceremonies: I so wanted him to see all the country flags and costumes. By this time, the big armoire was up in the living room and Earrol had bought us the flat screen, but the VCR wasn’t hooked up to record---I discovered this after we had sat there for quite a while waiting and waiting….the atlas spread out in front of us. Tim did get tired, but we made it til the end!

MARCH 2010

This month brought LEIGH-ANNE home. She drove up from Oklahoma with her husband and her two daughters, Ashley and Paige, as a high school graduation “gift” to Ashley. They spent a week in Connecticut, but I didn’t get to see her until Friday night, at Mommy’s. Sherri and Deanna came over too. When we got there, Leigh-Anne was making a rosary for Mommy from beads they had bought that day. (Turns out she makes jewelry and even has a website). Her daughters are both beautiful and friendly girls. Timothy was sick with strep, so he sat in a corner til Earrol came to get him and then I was able to stay a few hours longer to visit. When I left, for some reason I got sentimental/emotional, so I went back in and asked Leigh-Anne to walk me out to the car. I don’t know---I mean, I hadn’t seen her in 10 years, and I felt like I was saying goodbye for forever. It was weird how it affected me.

The month finished up on Palm Sunday, when Mommy, Timothy and I drove up to Southington to attend a Passion Play, which was beautiful and so worth the drive up! I will definitely go again, if they do it again. It was wonderful!!!

APRIL 2010

Holy Week. This year, I took Timothy with me for Holy Thursday Mass and he did great. He even got out of his seat to have his little feet washed. Father Bob washed them. (I did not have my feet washed. I never have. Maybe next year. I think you have to be in the mood). We didn’t make it to the other Triduum Masses, which was a bummer. Next year…

Baseball practice started the next week. Timothy’s team was the YANKEES!!! He was very pleased by this.

We finally managed to celebrate Monsignor’s birthday (belatedly---it’s really in March) at Patti’s. I created a spiritual bouquet of prayers for him that all the kids signed and we sang and had cake. He was pleased as punch.

Later in the month was Take Your Kids to Work Day. I spent the morning with Timothy’s group and we toured various departments and stations. We even went to the boiler room/plant, which I had never seen. It was an interesting day and I think he liked it. Afterwards, I drove with him to Palisades Mall where there was a LEGO STORE and we spent some money there and bought a few things you can’t get in regular stores (like build your own mini-figure and fill up a container of miscellaneous bricks). On the way home, we hit a huge tractor trailer accident right at the entrance of the Tappan Zee which forced us to sit in solid non-moving traffic for the longest time. Luckily we had eaten before we left the mall, had water to drink, and had Lego’s to build!

I rounded out the month by attending Medicare Boot Camp in Westbrook for the week. Sunday night, I booked a room at the hotel (so that I’d be there bright and early Monday morning for Registration). When I got there, I spontaneously called the spa to see if I could book a facial and was able to fit one in and then went to dinner afterwards. Decadent! I loved my room but I only had it the one night. The rest of the week, I commuted back and forth. I played hooky on Friday though because it was Race for Education and couldn’t miss that!

MAY 2010

May was all about baseball—baseball—baseball! The Coach-Pitch Yankees were on a winning streak. Timothy had some good games and then he hit a slump (although I don’t remember exactly when that happened). The games were exciting, however, because he had some really good players on his team, particularly two boys who I loved to watch play. One we dubbed “Little Jeter” and the other, Johnny, was the coach’s son. They were super players, and really in tune with each other. And they were only 8 year olds!!!

On Pentecost weekend, a woman named Alexis came and built me a raised bed in the backyard and filled it with compost. She also left me about a dozen seedlings in pots: 4 tomatoes, 2 kale, a few peppers, and an eggplant. I planted them, as well as some cucumber seeds, string beans, and lettuce. We shall see…..

On Pentecost Sunday, Timothy wore red to Mass like Father Tom asked us to (I couldn’t find anything red to wear). At church he said “Look how many people are wearing red”, like he totally forgot that this was deliberate! When the first hymn started, we saw a dove floating and twirling high above the altar, seemingly remote control or something. I was mesmerized (like a kid), you know, how are they doing that? Wondering the whole time. During the recessional, the dove again. So after Mass, Timothy and I walked up to the front and looked up just in time to see the dove disappearing into what appeared to be a square opening in the very peak of the ceiling. So I asked Dean K if there was a room up there or something (I couldn’t imagine there was, but what else could it be and how do you get up there?). He pointed to the choir loft all the way at the other end of the church, where I could then see a ladder and he said that the guy with the dove had climbed up the ladder and made his way along the rafters from one end of the church to the other…!

This month, Joanne celebrated her 50th Jubilee in Reading. I had been anticipating this Jubilee for years, asking her almost every year “it’s 2010, right? Your jubilee is 2010?”. So I wouldn’t forget. I was soooooooo sure I’d be at that jubilee too, you know? But as luck would have it, Joanne’s group has no less than two members who are on the General Council, and combine that with them being a big group anyway, and the 60th being a big group too, they were told they were limited with invites. So I couldn't be invited! (Now, neither were any of her nephew’s wives so…. I can't feel that bad). But seriously, what a bummer! In the end, I did put together a really cool gift “box” for her, with a lovely crocheted vest in beige and a book on St. Francis and Hershey Kisses in gold foil and a brand-new crisp $50 bill and a card telling her that Mass would be said for at St James on July 26 (her feastday---though I missed the Mass because I actually was in Reading that day--but I got to attend Mass there, and it was for her then too, and she did the readings. And Timothy and I sat up in the choir loft for it…he liked that!)

All this stuff was wrapped up in gold tissue paper and in and among the gold tissue paper and gifts I tossed gold jingle bells. And then I wrapped up the whole box with gold paper, attached the card (special 50th Jubilee card from the Catholic store) and carted that box on up to the Villa so that Sr. Carol Ann could personally deliver it on Jubilee Day!) I was very proud of that gift, and especially liked the idea that the whole ride from Stamford to Reading, it was jingling from the bells inside. (When Joanne called me about it, she had a chuckle over the bells!)

I am forgetting to mention one other thing, the thing that actually started out this month, and that was Mommy’s car accident on May 3. She rolled over and down the embankment around Round Hill Road that drizzly Monday morning. We did not find out for several hours---by the time she was able to call Deanna and Deanna was able to call me, I was stuck in traffic in Westport heading to work. I diverted to Stamford to find her still in the ER. She was lucky as all get out. Stayed in observation overnight---was considered trauma because her heart rate spiked. I said above that May was all about baseball, baseball, baseball----well, it was also about Mommy, Mommy, Mommy----and how we dodged a bullet that day. And what was going to happen next. And when was she going to go back to work. And all that….

JUNE 2010

Oh Lovely June. We had a First Grade field trip to Gulf Beach, walking there with the whole class and back. That was fun.

The weekend of the 12th, I finally got my ass to Omega! Mommy and I attended a weekend workshop with none other than MARIANNE WILLIAMSON!! It cost us a pretty penny, even with rooming together. But it was lovely. Marianne was very inspiring and I was really pleased that I managed to get Mommy to meet her in person. Omega was a lovely place, very rustic and natural. There was a beautiful meditation chapel that I only saw the last day we were there, but I sketched it before we left. There was also a lovely lake. It would have been nice to stay there longer; someday I’d like to go back.

The only trouble was I could get no cell phone coverage there, so every time I wanted to call home, I had to trudge across the campus to a payphone. Luckily I had purchased (providential?) a phone card before I left town. Earrol couldn’t understand why we didn’t have a phone in our room or couldn’t be reached. It was like he had no capability of imaging a retreat center vs a hotel. He actually asked if we had to wear robes (like we were at a monastery or something!). Crazy!!! (What was funny, though, was that on Sunday, there was a guy --- from another session --- walking around and he DID look like he was in Buddhist robes or something. I so wanted to take a picture of him but I didn’t have the nerve. I also saw a transvestite in the bookstore. Mommy didn’t though.)

Oh yeh, and I bought this lovely card in the gift shop. It had a color drawing of an Indian woman (like the kama sutra type, but not kama sutra). And inside was the saying “God circled this place on the map for you”. EXACTLY the message I needed to hear.

We rounded up baseball this month and had the last day of First Grade! I tried to get a good picture of Tim coming out at dismissal, expecting him to have a big grin/smile on his face, but he didn’t. He looked miserable. Come to find out, he was sick and was sick most of the rest of the weekend!!!

I was off the last week of June, to find “summer” with Timothy, his first week of vacation. Monday, we went to Chuck E Cheese and got his summer haircut (although not a buzz, as promised). Wednesday, we had a playdate at our house with Christopher M. And then later that day, Chris’s team played our team, the last game of the season, and Chris’ team WON, which meant they made the play-offs! Our team, which had been on a winning streak, having only lost one other game, was devastated!!! Thursday, we went to the Hartford Science Center with Deanna, Sami, and Mommy. On the way home, there was a major thunderstorm. It was so bad, I could barely see through the windshield, so I went off the nearest exit and pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex to wait it out. I wasn’t afraid, but I just couldn’t see. No sooner than 10 minutes later, the rain stopped, and all Timothy and I saw around us were RAINBOWS! It was the coolest thing ever!

Friday we went to XPect and bought every snack food Timothy desired for a summer "stash". Then we had pizza at 4 Brothers (in the restaurant), and ended up watching the sunset at Gulf Beach. Saturday, we hit the Farmer’s Market, picked up Cleo at the vet (as Papa and Nora were away on the BERMUDA CRUISE!), and then spent the afternoon at Jon J’s birthday party.

JULY 2010

We began July by attending our favorite 4th of July parade in Madison. We went early and had breakfast at the little diner, but before we did that, we scoped out a grassy shady spot on the side street for the parade and left our chairs and towels there. Then we went to R.J Julia’s and bought a new Ugli. Our spot got crowded, but it was a good spot nonetheless, as it was a hot day and we were in the shade. We booked out right after the last fire engine, as we do, to grab ice cream cones at Ashley’s. Then we came home and had grilled steak and fireworks with Earrol.

This month, Timothy and Christopher attended a Lego “class” in the afternoon for a week.

Timothy and I drove up to Old Lyme to spend the day with Joanne. Bill and Karen had rented a beach house for the week. It was right on the beach. Bill showed Timothy how to catch crabs in the shallow water between the eddy rocks, using just a washer, string, and clothespin. At first, we didn’t get any, and then lo and behold, he ended up with well over a dozen crabs! After we had caught that many in the bucket, we went down to the beach where Bill’s grandkids (who had since left) had dug a big round hole in the sand. Timothy poured all the crabs into the hole and we stood and watched as the crawled around sideways and backwards and over each other, and one by one, booked back into the water. Timothy laughed so hard!

Then we spent time at the house, watched a video, and played on the beach. It was a nice long fun day. (Now I want to rent a beach house there!)

The month rounded off with our trip to Pennsylvania. Timothy and I left early Friday morning, stopping at GH to get cash from the credit union and a roll of quarters from the cashiers office. Then we drove across the GW Bridge into New Jersey, where we stopped in Edison to tour Thomas Edison’s exhibit/lab. (We had just finished reading the Magic Treehouse book that talked about him, which is what gave us the idea). Then we headed to Pennsylvania. We made it to King of Prussia (after a Target break where we bought some Legos!). We ran across the street from our hotel to get water and pizza to hang out in our room, where we watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid on the Pay-per-View. We laughed so hard. Vicki and Earrol arrived several hours later.

The next day, we found out that it was supposed to be a record-breaking heat-wave in the city. So what to do? We decided to find an air-conditioned venue, and that ended up being the Camden Aquarium over the bridge in New Jersey. That was fun and interesting and Timothy liked it. We got some nice pictures of Tim and Earrol with the river and bridge as a backdrop. Then we headed to Lancaster.

While in Lancaster, we visited the Amish homestead, and went to Hershey, and missed being in a tornado by minutes (really). And then because we were stuck at our hotel because of the weather, we decided to head out in the only direction that was not under tornado watch, and that was York/Gettysburg. We visited the Boyd Bear factory and then headed back and had dinner. The next day we went to Kitchen Kettle Village, and got detoured on the way back to Philadephia, which was providential because we got to see many many Amish homes, and clotheslines full of Amish clothes, and lots of barefoot Amish kids on scooters, as a result.

Once in Phillie, we went to the Zoo. We decided to do this because we had learned there was a Lego exhibit there. Well, it turned out not to be an exhibit as much as it was a bunch of Lego animal ‘sculptures’ set in various random places throughout the zoo. Each one you encountered, you got a trading card of. And we didn’t get to see the giraffes because they had just had a baby born.

In the Zoo parking lot, we parted ways. Vicki and Earrol headed back to Connecticut, and Timothy and I headed to Reading. When we got there, we visited with Joanne and then relaxed in our lovely little ‘hotel-like’ room. Because the room had two twin beds, we opted to sleep on the floor. The next day, we visited Christelle and all the loveys at the Villa, and then Timothy and I walked through the cemetery, where I started to cry at Edward’s grave (as I always do) and then, after stopping at all the others, one by one, ended up in tears again at Irma’s. And then we headed home…


August was quiet. We spent an afternoon at the Jazwinski’s, and had Max A over our house another day. Grandma took Timothy to see a movie, and while they did that, I got to see Eat Pray Love, at last. I was one of only two people in the whole movie. Naturally, I cried.

We attended Peach Fest at Lyman Orchards with Earrol and Vicki and I brought home what proved to be delicious peach muffins. (The apple cider I got, I didn’t drink in time and ended up having to dump it out---but before I could do that, I left it in the sink overnight, thinking nothing of that, and when I got up the next morning, the bottle was empty. Which was strange and it didn’t hit me for a few minutes----it had EXPLODED. There was apple cider everywhere!)

Timothy and I went to Acton Animal Park up in Litchfield County, which was cool. We both got to pet a zebra there. Then we went to Lourdes and walked the Stations in the woods, which was cool too. We ate at a little restaurant in town and then had ice cream near a cornfield in Oxford.

We attended little Ethan’s christening on Aunt Nettie’s birthday, although we didn’t go to the Mass. We instead went to Mass at St. James. I was hoping against hope that Barbara would play “I Am The Bread of Life” (Aunt Nettie's all-time favorite) the way she had a few years in a row, but that didn’t happen this year, nor did Timothy and I get to bring up the gifts. Nonetheless, we marked her special day there, and then headed to Darien for lunch. Timothy made friends with Joanne’s 6 yr old nephew and the two of them sat head to head playing their DS games at the table.

I turned 44 this month, which was totally uneventful.


Timothy started second grade this month! His teacher is Miss Frampton, and he has two new kids in his class: a girl named Morgan, who’s Mom drives a car like Bumblebee from Tranformers, and a boy named Christian…yes, that Christian: from preschool!

This year, one day a week, Timothy goes home with Christopher M. And on another day, Papa picks him up. I do all the rest.

Also this year, I signed up again to do hot lunch, but it’s not like last year with the pizza. Pizza is on Thursday now. It’s quite the changeover, and so far I’m still learning this month. Whew!!

There was an Epic “job fair” at work, which was weird and ill-planned. And I panicked and lamented about that (Epic) for many days.

We went to the Guilford Fair with Daddy and Nora, and Timothy won a goldfish. I took many pictures of beautiful cows. (Speaking of cows, our first night in Lancaster, we left my car in the parking lot of a Denny’s while we went for dinner. When we came back, it was after dark and we pulled in. Earrol’s headlights hit what appeared to be tiny lights in the fields in back of Denny’s. When we got out of the car, it was none other than a herd of COWS in that field---hadn't been there before!)

At the end of the month, we went to Maker Faire in Queens with Earrol and Vicki. It was HOT AND HUMID and we were not prepared for that. For example, I left my barrette and scrunchy in the car, either of which I could have USED as my hair totally frizzed up and was driving me crazy. But we saw some cool exhibits and got some giveaways. And we saw the long-awaited Pepsi and Mentos “show” (the one Tim and I saw on You Tube). That was cool. And I had one of the best fresh fruit smoothies I’ve ever tasted that afternoon. I don’t know if it was because it was made well or because I was parched, but it was delicious.

We also went to the school Carnival that same night. Timothy went on a few rides with Christopher, and we stayed to watch the fireworks---only this time, because we got there so late, we stayed on the grounds to watch them, craning our necks up. At one point, something hit me and I bent down to pick it up, thinking it was a rock or something. It was a tiny black ball of what looked and smelled like gunpowder, clearly from the fireworks. Which was weird and unsettling and made me wonder what would have happened if someone had gotten that in the eye. (Note to self: don’t watch fireworks from that close ever again.)

The next day, Sunday, after Mass, Timothy and I went back to the carnival for about an hour. I bought $10 in tickets and he rode a couple of rides and went on the big slide, all by himself. I was amazed at how brave he was this year and I promised him that next year I’d buy him a wristband so he could go on as many rides as he wanted to, as many times as he wanted to. (I told him I hadn’t bought him one because I had no idea this year he’d be so brave). He asks me every once in a while “You’re going to buy me a wristband next year at the carnival, right?”, which I think is so cute.

It was at the end of this month that we had the big meeting with Dave W where the “news” was given that we are going to consolidate with the Yale System Business Office sometime in the near future. They wouldn’t tell us when yet. They said they’d give us more details after October 1. Suffice it to say, they told us just enough to freak everyone out and ruin the last week of the fiscal year. Go Yalies!!!


God help me, but I had Cleo for 5 days the end of September through October 2, while Daddy and Nora were in Florida. It was the worst 5 days ever. One night she kept me up whining and barking so badly that I actually picked up the phone, and left a ranting voicemail on Daddy’s phone just cuz I needed to vent.

Even before the Yale announcement, I had noticed a job posting at Milford Hospital that I applied for. I also applied for, count ‘em, THREE individual jobs at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. This was all back in September. And I didn’t hear from anyone, but I didn’t expect to. When have I ever? But lo and behold, St. Vincent’s called and I went for a job interview in HR at St. Vincent’s on October 12 for the Assistant Director of Admitting. I also ended up interviewing at Milford too. And at the IS Department at St. V’s as well. It was all very surreal.

Around this time, we finally had the meeting with Yale where details were discussed. The move will be June 2011. There will be a retention bonus for anyone who makes the move. If you don’t, there’ll be 2 months severance only. There was discussion over who is going up and who is not, and there was a lot of confusion. Then there was another meeting, and more details. Folders were handed out with details. I discovered that my insurance premiums will go up by like $200. Parking costs $25 a month. And so on.

Then there were more announcements. Cheryl was demoted to just Director of Admitting and Centralized Scheduling. Carmine was promoted to Associate Director. He was temporarily assigned to oversee the Accounts Receivable til we move to Yale. This was a big blow. Cheryl holed up in her office for a week or so til they finally moved her over to the hospital. The Monday after the Friday that they announced the demotion/promotion, Yale people started coming down on a regular basis, attending meetings, and basically taking charge of the ship. Surreal.

It was during this time that I found out that she was contemplating a Director position at St. V’s. So I told her about my interview for the Assistant D. Every other day, she changed her mind about whether she wanted to move or not, but that was because every other day, they did something crazy or mean or demeaning to her. We’re a sinking ship. Morale is very low. Everyone is running scared.

Timothy and I went to New Haven to attend Christopher H’s wild and crazy combined-with-his-sister’s birthday party. Timothy ran around with Christopher M (who we brought and carted home) and I sat in the yard with Karen J, snacking. Chris got his face painted like this crazy devilish creature (red) with horns (Timothy declined to be painted) and on the way home, insisted that instead of doing the McDonald’s drive-thru, that we go into the restaurant to get our food so that he could scare people. When we dropped him off at home, his little brother just stood in front of him staring into his face. Funny.

For Halloween, Timothy was Darth Vader, and the cutest Darth ever.


We started a tradition when school began, of taking Christopher M home with us on First Friday 1/2 days, and so we started November with just such a playdate. We celebrated Earrol’s 36th birthday at Red Lobster. (On the same day, I finally colored my gray hair!)

Timothy was sick for a whole week, the week before his birthday, but well enough by the weekend to attend the family party at Earrol’s. My plan was to let him play hooky on his actual birthday, which was a Monday, but because he had already missed a week of school, we curtailed that. Instead, we attended his Mass at St. James at 8:00 and then I brought him back to school. The next day, Mommy was at the ER with heart pains. She spent one night there. The day after that, we had our “field trip” to the System Business Office, where, at lunch time while we were queued up for the buffet food, Dave W said out loud “Oh Lucille, I’ve heard you’ve been helping out a lot lately, and I wanted to thank you”. It was an absurdly awkward thing to do, and I just smiled and said “thank you”, while my cheerleaders Ellie and Tim both chorused aloud comments to the effect of “we can’t manage without her” or whatever.

This all happened about a week or so after I had my meeting with Gene. I had written him a 5 (or was it 7?) page letter about my history with the dept, my value, and my feelings about Carmine’s promotion. Then I met with him the day Dave W had his "staff-without-managers-present" meeting. Both that meeting and the one with G were surreal. So many things have changed. G seemed surprised and shocked by my feelings. We discussed leadership vs management. I didn’t leave feeling good about the meeting. I kind of thought (and still think) that I kicked myself in my own ass with that stupid letter. I should have just let it alone.

We celebrated Timothy’s birthday with my side of the family a few weeks later. On Thanksgiving, Timothy and I got up early to go to 8 a.m. Mass. I presumed it would be sparsely attended and quiet and told Tim as we were dressing that it would be “short, like maybe 20 minutes or so…” Well. We walked into the narthex to find several of the hospitality committee there to greet us, which is not typical for a weekday Mass. Then we walked into the church itself, and there were so many people there! Everyone was smiling and nicely dressed, the choir was set up in the front, and all the priests concelebrated, with all the deacons in attendance! I was AMAZED! So… it was a longer Mass than expected, but oh what a lovely way to start the holiday! I had no idea this was how St. James did Thanksgiving Day Mass! It was like a well-kept secret! And now I know…!!!

Afterwards, because it was later than expected, we opted to skip breakfast at the diner and instead came home and caught the 2nd ½ of the Macy’s Parade, and then the beginning of the Dog Show. While we watched that, we created Timothy’s “grateful” tree and he wrote down things he was grateful for on several colored leaves. Then Earrol came, and the two of them went to Reynold’s while I stayed behind and made myself a little turkey breast for dinner. It was a lovely day.

The following Sunday, Timothy and I met Daddy and Nora (and Aunt Fran and Mark) at Bear and Grill for brunch.


I began December with a 6 hour job interview. I was put into an office, and throughout the course of the day, 12 people in total came in and out to interview me. It was a long tiring day and I had to answer the question “So, tell me a little bit about yourself” too many times. But I felt good about it all. And I know I looked good: I had a new suit on that several people complimented me on in the lobby, my hair had just been recently colored and cut, and I was wearing all my new Mary Kay makeup (compliments of my ‘session’ with Christine P a few days earlier).

We went to see a magician at Christopher M’s birthday party and then the movie “Tangled” for Hanna’s. Timothy had a field trip sans ME, but we both survived!

I got sick the weekend of Mommy’s and Nora’s parties ut was better in time for Christmas, which was lovely and low key. Timothy got lots of Lego’s from Santa Claus and we enjoyed vacation, which started with a BLIZZARD. We played in the snow several days in a row, went to see “Gullivers Travels” with the Jazwinski’s, had a playdate at Christopher M’s, and rang in New Year’s Eve with a London Broil and fireworks at midnight (which Timothy woke up for just a few minutes to see, on his way to the bathroom, ha ha!!!)

And just like that, another year ends. 2011 Begins. What will it bring? What joys, what sorrows, what gladness, what frustration?

Timothy will make his First Communion this year, 2011. And he will turn 9 (ack!!!). And I will turn 45. That freaks me out entirely. (Joanne will turn 70 this year, and another freaky fact, Deanna will turn 40. I have to admit, though, that it’s the 45 that has me flummoxed.)

Well, that and the move to Yale and the Epic build… So much unknown…

The meditation I was reading at midnight summed it up this way:

God’s calendar and schedule are not our own. We wait in faith. We follow as disciples. We rejoice in the way God’s will unfolds.

Our life is in God’s hands. Even if an enemy is to come while we are asleep and to sow weeds through our wheat, we will wait. We will let weeds and wheat grow together until the time of the harvest. Then we will gather the wheat into our barns, and burn the bundles of worthless weeds.

For God’s purpose rules in every circumstance. His greatness shines in the smallest details. The Lord overlooks nothing. And so, we throw off every temptation to fuss and fret, like the anxious Martha. We wait this night in contemplation with Mary at the feet of the Master.

Can I be true to the sentiment in this meditation? I have to at least attempt it. It’s the only thing I can do. It’s in God’s hands. And He overlooks nothing. Oh, to be able to throw off every temptation to fuss and fret, and wait in faith. Oh, to be able to rejoice in the way God’s will unfolds…

My prayer/wish this night is that I can hold on to this.