Saturday, August 29, 2015

Writer's Workshop: Dishes

This week, I chose the prompt: 1. Write a blog post in exactly 12 lines.


One chore I never minded was washing the dishes.
In fact, even today, I find it somewhat relaxing.
It used to be a nice break from my homework, or something to do when I was bored.
Quiet and alone in the kitchen while others watched TV shows that I didn't care for.
There's something therapeutic to me about water.
And I may be somewhat of a clean freak.
I also have fond memories of helping my Nana wash dishes.
She would wash and I'd dry and put them away.
When I got older, we'd sometimes reverse roles.
On Sundays and holidays, the women would cram into her small pantry, cleaning after dinner.
Calming, therapeutic water -- full of many happy memories.
But don't get me wrong: I'm thankful for my dishwasher!


Mama’s Losin’ It

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Vacation Week

Last week, I took a much-needed vacation from work. Joshua, my mother, and I headed up north for a few days of fun in New Hampshire.


First stop was in the Loon Mountain area, where we visited the infamous Clark's Trading Post. We had to take the train ride, of course!


Then, we headed across the Kancamagus Highway to North Conway and our hotel.


On Monday, we went to Story Land, where we pretended to be pirates and played in a huge pumpkin. There were also several rides involved. Josh loved the roller coasters and the "Bamboo Chutes" water ride. It got hot in the afternoon, so we left and headed back to the hotel pool for a while. Josh was loving the entertainment guy, who had the kids diving for winning coins and playing other games for prizes. Josh was in the cannonball, flip flop, limbo, and "create something out of a piece of foil" contests. He didn't want to leave (especially since the guy was also playing good music), but enjoyed his dinner at the Muddy Moose later.



Tuesday was rainy. We ate at the Glen Junction restaurant for breakfast, and did a little bit of shopping at a cool toy store in town. Then it was back to our hotel, which just happened to be attached to a giant indoor water park. We had a blast in the water as it poured outside. Dinner that night was at my personal favorite, the Moat Mountain Brewery. Great food and beer!

We headed home on Wednesday, but planned to stop at Santa's Village for a few hours first.


A few hours turned into all day because we were having such a great time there. Fun rides, great activities, Christmas music (!), and a sweet water park. Josh was begging me to go back again soon.











That smile! :)  I think he had a good time. We actually never got to see Santa (the line was long) but Josh didn't mind, since he knew we would see him at the zoo in December. The reindeer and elves (and gingerbread) were a special treat, though!

We had a scenic ride home, which included mountains for miles and even a family of raccoons crossing the street. I just love New Hampshire; it's absolutely gorgeous.



We had a few more things planned for the rest of the week, including members' night at the Roger Williams Zoo. We finally got to see the new cheetahs, along with all of our other favorites.






A gorgeous sunset capped off the evening beautifully.


Friday was the Washington County Fair, where we rode the roller coaster about 147852 times (only slightly exaggerated) and then had to sit down for a while because little man was starting to feel sick. Normally, we walk around to see the animals and contest entries, maybe a tractor pull or two. Instead, we rested and watched Chris Caigle for a while (who put on an awesome show). I got my strawberry shortcake, so I was happy!


Josh was sick all day Saturday, but was (thankfully) feeling better by that evening. I think the excitement of the week was getting to him! I'm glad to report he was back swimming in Grandma's pool by Sunday. Such a great week, and just what the doctor ordered!

Linking up with Ruchira's Wordless Wednesday -- quite late and hardly wordless!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Baby, You're a Firework

I've been feeling a little down lately. While my Facebook and Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of people having fun in the Summer sun, I have been cooped up at work. But even when I am not at work, I often just want to stay in the house because it's just too darn hot out (and my child hates the heat even more than I do). My energy is drained, my asthma symptoms flare up, bugs bite me, there's no hockey to watch, friends are too busy with other activities ... I am definitely not Summer's biggest fan. I actually think I may have SAD (seasonal affective disorder), the Summer version, because for as long as I can remember I tend to be a bit depressed this time of year. And yes, I am absolutely allowed to complain now because I was in all my glory while we had several feet of snow this past Winter! :)

I am looking forward to my favorite season, Autumn, in a couple of months, followed by my second favorite, Winter. Harvest time activities, Halloween, Christmas, the perfect weather (even snow!) -- that is when I am happiest. However, I am trying to make an effort to be more in the present, as well as more grateful. So I've come up with a list of things that I enjoy about the Summer:
  1. Fireworks on the Fourth of July, even if I do have to wear headphones to tone down the sound.
  2. Swimming, in pools or at the beach.
  3. Being by the ocean, whether to just eat or spend the day at the beach or just sit and watch the boats go by.
  4. School vacation. Mom needs a break, too!
  5. Traveling. We don't get to go away every year, but we have something planned this year, and I'm really looking forward to it.
  6. Flip flops. Only thing better is bare feet!
  7. The State Fair. Always a good time.
  8. My birthday. One of these years, I am going to celebrate it right.
  9. Summer hockey league. So thankful for year-round ice rinks!
  10. Fresh fruits and vegetables. It's so easy to eat healthy during this time of year. Currently enjoying: watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Josh and I are pretty obsessed with the cukes!
  11. Bonus: thunderstorms. They've been a little scary lately, but they can also be exciting sometimes. And I've gotten some wicked cloud photos. As long as they don't damage me, my people, or any of my stuff, they are cool.
Here are some photos of one of my favorite summer activities, the Fourth of July fireworks.






What do you love about summer?

Linking up with Ruchira on this (not very wordless) Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Writer's Workshop: Photo Bomb

This week, I'm following the prompt, "5. Photographs can turn a house into a home. Share a photograph that is not on your wall, but should be…if you weren’t so lazy about actually putting it there."

When I read this prompt, I thought, now there's the story of my life! I take photographs all the time but rarely do anything with them, except maybe post them to Flickr or Instagram and possibly send them to others. If the photos are lucky, they may even make it to this blog and be seen by one or two readers. I keep telling Joshua that I am going to make some photo books, but that hasn't happened yet. I absolutely love taking photos, but the problem with taking as many as I do is that it's so time consuming to go through them all and do anything with them. Maybe it was easier back in the film days when we couldn't take 200 photos in a three hour span.

All those photos, and my poor walls are totally empty.

There are other things that I need to hang, as well: a growth chart for Joshua that I probably should put up before he stops growing, a few pieces of art that he made in school this year which I absolutely adore, two photos that I won recently, my state-fair-prize-winning photos that are sitting in boxes with ribbons attached. In fact, I have a whole closet full of potential wall decorations, but haven't had the time or energy to really do anything with them.

I need more hours in the day, and probably more sleep.

It also doesn't help that our current home is temporary -- an apartment to stay in until I can save up some money to buy a house. But that doesn't mean I can't make it more homey while we are here. So, I'm feeling a little motivated now (thanks, Mama Kat!). I think wall decorating needs to be my next big project.

For the sake of the prompt, I went through some photos online and chose a few I thought would look good on my walls.

Perhaps a cute collage with these two (Beluga whales are such hams!):


Maybe a more creative photo of Joshua:

[364/365] Happy Holidays

[251/365] My Sunshine

Or some owls in our newly-decorated, owl-themed bathroom (the boy loves his owls):



And some other of our favorite animals, for good measure:

[136/365] Hummingbird Central


It will take a little time and effort, but I am sure we'll be able to find the right photos to make our house feel like a home. Now, to buy some frames...

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: July

My blogging and photography have continued to take the back burner lately, but I am hoping to be able to re-prioritize that soon. I wish I had more hours in the day! Here's a catch-up featuring some of my favorite photos (so far) of July. All from my smartphone, but I'm hoping to get out with the D-SLR again very soon!

The mad scientist, telling me all about the meters. He's obsessed with the Magic School Bus books and shows right now (he loves science), and he's having a blast at his summer hockey camp.

All aboard! I brought the little man to see the ship his great-grandfather was stationed on during WWII, the USS Massachusetts. He had a blast (no pun intended!) exploring the ship and it was even more exciting for him knowing that Papa had been on it. Papa brought me and all the kids in our family here when we were young, so it was really special to be able to share this with my little guy. I'm so glad it's here so we can share our history.

Bunks! He didn't think they felt too bad.

Shamrocks on the USS Joseph P Kennedy, which is also stationed at Battleship Cove

Slightly alarming cloud above Walmart


The cool little guy I rescued from the pool

Chilling out on a hot day (my birthday!) at our friend's pool

Storm clouds and young cornstalks


Flying his plane at the beach

Lobster boy!

Watching planes and helicopters ride off into the sunset
Linking up with Ruchira for Wordless Wednesday