this morning

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(woolly bear caterpillar on the road)

Amanda came over for a few hours this morning.  She brought her dog Lloyd.  The three of us went on a nice walk together.

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The air was crisp and clean.  The kind of morning when you want to breath deep.

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my sister ~ my friend

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scenes from the neighborhood

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“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”
~Christina Rossetti

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“How beautifully leaves grow old.  
How full of light and color are their last days.”  ~John Burroughs

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My sister almost stepped on a lizard!

I was so thrilled and promptly took photos from every angle.

I looked it up when we got home and discovered it was a “Spotted Salamander” and Connecticut’s largest salamander.

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Just look at the spots!

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Maybe it was trying to find a little warmth on the road?  But the road is a very unsafe place to be, so I saved its little life by putting it in the leaves on the edge of the woods.

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heading back home

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I made pumpkin cookies this morning, too, from a 1972 Pennsylvania State Grange cookbook.

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If anyone knows Mrs. Robert Conaway tell her I used sunflowers seeds instead of nuts, and I also included one egg.  They were delicious.

 

sarah’s hair

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Everyone knows that one of the many job descriptions of “MOM” is “HAIR STYLIST” whether she wants to be or not, it’s inevitable.

As I look through the recent photos I have taken with my phone I see a theme developing.  It all started on Monday night when my young daughter/hair client came to me with a case of the grumps AND tangles.

“Get a brush, Sarah, and I’ll brush your hair nice and soft,” I said.

I brushed and brushed and she just loved it.  It was very relaxing to sit and have a super wonderful mom hair stylist gently brush her long hair.

I admired how pretty it was, clean and sweet smelling, with little waves and a variety of color, everything from blond to dark brown.

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I took a picture to show her how long it was getting.

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I held up the blondest piece and the brownest piece and took another photo.  I even called Rich over to look, “Rich, look how pretty Sarah’s hair is.”

We remember when she was a toddler and she was practically bald, it took years for her to get any length to speak of.  In fact, her siblings called her “Baldo” now and then.

Sarah went to bed that night feeling much better.

The next evening after school she walked over to me and raved,  “Moooooooom, Ariana came to school today with bluuuuuuuuuue hairrrrrrrrrrr.”  Sarah had been quite impressed by it.  I knew what was coming….sure enough, I found her five minutes later, digging through the crayons looking for her hair chalk that we bought a couple years ago.  “I found it!  Can you put blue and pink in my hair before school tomorrow?”

“Only if you pay me in a five minute hug, a happy smile, and a kiss on the cheek.”

(A good hair stylist ALWAYS prices her services accordingly.)

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Naturally I had to take a photo to show my youngest client her hair and to make sure it was just what she desired.  I only get paid if it’s done right.  “It needs a little more blue, please.”  I colored a few more streaks and off to school she went.

When she came back home, I noticed the pony tail was out and her hair was all over the place again.  She and her brothers grabbed a snack and then ran next door to play with the neighbors.

About 45 minutes later, the Dad next door came to the house with Caleb by his side and Sarah walking a few steps behind looking distressed, with her hand on her head.  They stopped to explain what had happened but Sarah kept going into the bathroom.  I noticed a long piece of hair in Brian’s hand.  “I was in the house when the boys came running to tell me that Sarah needed help. She was on the swing and her hair was caught in the chain.  I got her all untangled but……yeah, she has a little bald spot on the top of her head now.”  

Brian and Caleb left to go back next door and I reminded Caleb to come home in 10 minutes for dinner…………

Then I turned to go check on Sarah’s hair.  I may or may not have been laughing.  I encouraged her that it really wasn’t that bad and I knew just how to fix it so no one would know.   Soon she was happily playing on the kindle with her hair brushed back into a pony tail, with lots and lots of hair spray in front.

(As this was a true need, I didn’t request payment.)

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Here is a photo of Sarah’s bald spot before school this morning, right before her most talented hair stylist worked on it.

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And here is a photo of her happy smile afterwards; priceless.

snuggles

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I just have to laugh and keep going…..it’s been one of those super busy weeks with Rich away on a business trip since Sunday.  (He returns today).

My favorite part of the week thus far has been Tuesday night when everything was accomplished for the day but to tuck the children in bed.  I was sitting at the end of the couch under a blanket and along came Seth and then Sarah, one squeezed in on each side.  The three of us snuggled and they chatted to each other and to me.  I was so drowsy and their little gentle touches to my hair, my earrings (Seth likes to take them out and put them back in), their heads resting against my shoulders, and my arms around them, made me deliciously content and sleepy.

I delight in my children……all seven of them.

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cobwebs

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I went out the door this morning to sweep a little pile of cat puke off the porch and noticed how lovely it was what with the fog as thick as pea soup.

So I put the broom away, dusted off the camera, and ambled a bit.

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top-heavy sunflowers

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I didn’t know it yet but these cobwebs were a foreshadowing of things to come. . .

(namely, this blog post)

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And it came to pass. . . . . that nature was getting ready for halloween a month early.

S P I D E R   W E B S

It’s a good year to be a spider, a population explosion, lots of neighbors, no loneliness.

Perhaps a shortage of meals, however.

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perfect works of wonder

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And dew-bright webs festoon the grass 
In roadside fields at morning.  ~Elizabeth Akers

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spooky cat

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“I come to the garden alone….while the dew is still on the….cobwebs….”

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“Perhaps no structure made by a creature lower than man is so exquisitely perfect as the orb web of the spider.”  Anna Comstock

ordinary morning, I love you

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Exciting!

We have three black swallowtail chrysalises in our butterfly nursery and the first one emerged today and unfolded its wings.

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“I think this is how we’re supposed to be in the world
~present and in awe.”  Anne Lammott

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homemade rolls, warm from the oven

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There’s the pretty-pretty pinterest way (which I love)….and then there’s the “I took old bread down to the chickens and used the empty bag to gather the eggs” way.  (which I also love).

Happy Monday, friends.

You are loved. 🙂

It’s ordinary to love the beautiful,
but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.

an anomaly

I waited for two hours this morning while my vehicle was serviced; oil changed, tires rotated, a latch fixed, vacuumed, and washed.  I read a book the entire time so now…….I’m sick of reading and have some free time to….blog.  I have all kinds of lovely little stories to tell.

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Starting with our son Jacob, who is a college football player now.  He LOVES school, is keeping very busy, and is also keeping a pet fish alive in his dorm room.  He had several football games this weekend, one of which was shown live online.  Rich hooked his iPad up to the TV and we all sat and watched it, keeping our eyes peeled for number 88.  And I was thrilled when we finally saw him!  I just had leap off the couch to take a crappy picture.  ((It’s beautiful to me.)) Seth asked me to print it so he could hang it on the wall in his room.

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On Sunday, Seth had to be at the football field at 9:45 in the morning and Caleb had to be there for 2.  However, Rich was preaching and the game was away, so I had to take both of them with me, meaning Caleb was over 4 HOURS early for his game.  It was a hot autumn day, very dry.  Perfect “baking” weather.  Caleb was in the sun so long that by the time he had HIS game (at 2:30) he was much slower than usual.  In fact, our team did win, but most of the boys were a little “off” from overheating.  I took this picture just as Caleb was saying, “Dad, next time coach says I can’t get here too early.”  LOL

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MONDAY NIGHT football was on TV.  My children were in a clump on one part of the couch.

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While their dad gave me a foot rub on another part of it.  I love Monday night football!  🙂

(He was have a conversation with David about why David wasn’t waking up on time in the morning….Dave was blaming his alarm …….because it’s NEVER his fault, right?)

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I recently rediscovered this photo of me and the children (before Seth and Sarah were born).

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Sarah had her things all set up for playing with marbles but then she left for school and Sherlock the cat walked over and had a turn.

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Chickens enjoying leftover morning cereal and milk.

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why kids, why????

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I couldn’t stop myself from buying mums (and ornamental grass) for the garden.  I also put Rich’s old riding tractor from when he was little in the garden.  I found a “pretty plate” garden decoration, too, which includes a chartreuse luncheon plate (Fiesta!).  I did some weeding and Gentleman Gray the cat got some on his face while he watched.

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Last night, Rich and I watched the boys practice football.  I love watching them (kids and coaches) so much that I sometimes get tears in my eyes.  They have such fun out there.

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THIS MORNING……a brief quiet moment, trying to wake up, before I left for the car appointment.

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The FED EX truck came and dropped off two storage bins that we ordered from Costco.  My hope is to contain sports stuff (one for football, one for wrestling).  And so on.  Rich and the kids get to put them together later!!  (have fun, honey!)

Also, we recently had our side steps extended on the porch. (not painted yet)

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I went to a thrift store after the car appointment.  This was in the same plaza outside of a yoga studio.  Since I had finished my book I left it behind on the shelf.

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Well, after the thrift store shopping I was hungry so I cast my eyes about the plaza and only saw a Vietnamese place.  “No”, I thought.  But then……

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“Yes”, I decided.  And I sent a picture and a text to our family group chat.

“The menu makes me cautious.” said Ethan

“Hmmm, adventurous?” said my husband

“In my own very small way,” I agreed.

and then

“What is their compelling differentiating advantage that made this place stand out to you?”  asked Jacob.

“It was right next to the thrift store.” I replied.

“It had good reviews on YELP.” I continued.

“and I was able to read the menu on YELP.” I further explained

“Okay, so your unconscious need was food, and they revealed that to you by placing themselves in a convenient location where shoppers go.  Their feature is that they’re a sit-down restaurant, their advantage is that they’re close by, and the benefit is you will no longer be hungry and you’ll feel good about yourself for supporting a small business,” Jacob texted, “These are my thoughts as I leave my sales class.”

And then Rich replied:  “But if they were not near the thrift store no matter what they had on yelp or what their menu said they wouldn’t have had a chance.  Your Mom’s not a good business test case, Jake.  She would be an anomaly in a field of data points.  And absolutely special beautiful one–but still an anomaly.”

I laughed all the way home about being “an anomaly in a field of data points” as they continued to banter via text messaging.

I eventually texted, “I think everybody should just shut up.” but no one listened.

MY VIETNAMESE COLD CUTS SANDWICH WAS DELICIOUS!

It had pork belly on it.

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When I got home, I washed my thrift store purchases (mama and baby tiger) and put them in the girls’ room.

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And found my cat—can you believe it–in the same spot I left him….4 hours ago.

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snippets

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Dryer is humming.

Lights are on; it’s 5:30, very gloomy, and raining.

When cars go by they splash up rain off the road, a lovely sound.

I made chicken and dumplings for dinner.

Seth got mad at Sarah because she started to give him a candy and then took it back.

The coffee table is covered in books and toys.

I finished a book today, and started another.

Sarah acted so guilty as she walked by me that I asked her what she had in her hands.  It was a package of crackers, a package of fruit snacks, and a granola bar.  “I’ll drink some water after.”

Caleb watched numerous youtube videos of football clips when he got home from school.

Seth liked dinner for the second day in a row and gave me a hug.  “I’m on a roll this week,” I tease.  “You’ve been on a roll with me since I started eating your dinners,” he replies.

I tried calling Rich but he didn’t answer and then he called me back later to make sure everything was okay.  Practice is cancelled so he might take the boys for haircuts later.

I took David to the orthodontist this morning, and then drive-thru breakfast.

Then to high school—–HIGH SCHOOL!

I found a vintage fiesta teacup (no saucer) for 50 cents today.

I took a newly hatched butterfly outside.

Seth and Sarah are busy running a bath, for their stuffed animals.

This was after I said “no” to washing the cat.

They are calling it the Shower Pet Shop.  

There is a pile of shoes and backpacks by the door.

Mail on the counter.

I heard from Grace today, briefly; she had a quiz in math.

And Ethan got an “A” on a paper.  He had interviewed his Dad about being a Manager.

Rich says it’s his first college “A”.

I think Caleb fell asleep in his room.

I know David did.  I took his picture.

I normally don’t allow 5:30pm naps.

But today it just seems right.

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