Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Will and Daddy build a wall

Until recently, there was an ugly little patch of dirt next to our garage where weeds grew- no, they thrived and flourished. It was some kind of Weed Nature Preserve with an impressive variety of species. This week, Will and Rick have been building a retaining wall.
Measure twice. Cut once. Right?
Tomorrow Rick is going to lay some sod. We are going to transplant some daylillies from the front yard. It will be a little slice of grassy tranquility in the alley. I will admire it every day as I pull my car into the garage.

"Everyone likes to be surrounded by beautiful things" - Martha Stewart

You speak the truth, Sister Martha!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Smileys are On a Roll!

Last weekend we went for a really nice bike ride at Three Creeks Park in Grove City. I hope we make a habit of this in the fall.
Will was all set with a trailor full of snacks and water bottles. Whew! Hard work watching those snacks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

T.S. Eliot had it all wrong

Forget April. September is the cruelest month.

I seldom wish for time to move more quickly, but boy am I ready to leave these past two weeks behind.

My friend Denise, who also seemed to be going through a rough time recently, sat down to write out all the things that were bothering her. I guess she was thinking that she would purge out all the negative energy- get it out of her mind- put it on paper and do away with it. But what she found is that instead of making her feel better, the exercise made her feel worse. So she flipped the page and started writing down things that made her feel happy (like the feeling of sunshine on your skin)and she immediately felt a weight lift. She probably doesn't even know that while she was telling me about her experience, I also felt a weight lift.

Then I saw a post on my friend Leah's blog about how the chaos of the world around us really focused her on the simple pleasures of her life- the "golden moments". The post was accompanied by gorgeous pictures of her children at play.

Okay, God, I hear you. Rather than apply my usual Southern Method of Coping ("Fiddle-ee-dee. I'll think about that tomorrow"), I will celebrate my abundant blessings. Pardon this sappy self indulgence, but this is, after all, my blog.

Five Things I Am Thankful For Always. No Matter How Mean and Red the World Seems.

ONE) A Charmed Childhood. How cliche is it to say that my mother is an amazing woman who raised my brother and me practically by herself while my father was at sea protecting ours and everyone else's family? Though my mother worries that I was too sheltered, what is wrong with looking back on a time when I was oblivious to tragedies like divorce, poverty, ignorance, hate, and neglect? There is plenty of time in life to witness those things.

TWO) Educational Opportunities. There has been more than one occasion in my life when I have looked around and wondered how I had managed to sneak in and mingle with such a gifted crowd of people. The first time was at Porter Gaud School in Charleston. My mother joked (though she wasn't laughing) that my high school education cost more than her college education. Now I'm sure that my friends get tired of hearing stories that start with, "Someone I went to high school with wrote a book" or "I was listening to NPR and they interviewed someone I knew in high school".

The next time it happened was at Harvard. Seriously, it blew my mind every day that I was really going to Harvard.

When I came to Ohio State for residency I studied anesthesia with some giants of the anesthesia world. I was fortunate to do cases with Dr. Jay Jacoby who went to Europe after WWII to learn about this new-fangled thing they were doing called 'intubation' from Sir Ivan Magill (we use an instrument called a Magill Forceps every day). I also studied with Dr. Joel Weaver, who has been training dentists in anesthesia since the 1970's and is widely recognized as the Yoda of the dental anesthesia world.

THREE) Travel. An upside of being in a Navy family was the opportunity to live in a lot of places. My dad was what is known as an East Coast Sailor. We did live in California when I was young, but we mostly lived up and down the east coast from Connecticut to Washington DC to Virginia Beach to Charleston. I have also lived in State College PA, Boston, Edinburgh Scotland, Iceland, and Ohio. The places I feel most at home are Charleston and Iceland- both are wild, naturally beautiful, exotic landscapes.

FOUR) A job I love. Honestly I look forward to going to work every morning. Sure there are tough days but most days are challenging and stimulating in a good way.

FIVE) A perfect child. You know how everyone thinks their child is perfect? (Sorry- that's a little inside joke).

It's impossible to continue to feel sorry for myself when I reflect on how lucky I am. I do recognize it and it keeps me afloat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Rod Stewart!

Rod Stewart is my right-hand man at work. He's smart, motivated, funny... and, as you might have guessed, a great singer. I call him the Autism Whisperer because he's great with all the kids, but especially good at calming the autistic kids and getting them to cooperate as much as possible. Happy Birthday Rodman!

P.S. How great is this Stampin'Up Sock Monkey stamp?

Monday, September 8, 2008

All Things Pumpkin

Hooray for Fall and All Things Pumpkin!
Hooray for crisp morning air and thinking about pulling out the sweaters!
Hooray for Crysanthemums and going to the farm for Apple Picking!
Hooray for Fall Foliage and the Pumpkin Show!
Hooray for Halloween decorations and Thanksgiving just around the corner!
These are a few of my favorite pumpkin treats:
pumpkin scented candles
pumpkin spice latte
pumpkin beer
pumpkin pie with homemade crust decorated with darling little leaf-shaped cutouts
I'm thinking of these things because my very favorite pumpkin treat is Godiva Pumpkin Truffles. Imagine little balls of pumpkin pie filling covered in Godiva milk chocolate. If you buy them in the Godiva store they are sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. Holy Moly! Today in Target I found an economical alternative to the truffles - Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses. I'm thinking of kiss cookies, maybe peanut butter or sugar cookies, topped with these pumpkin spice Kisses. I think I just drooled on my keyboard.