Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer days, drifting away...

As I walked into work today with a chill in the air, I realized I had forgotten to grab a jacket this morning on my way out. Then I stopped and thought, "A jacket!?!". To be honest, the thought had never even crossed my mind.  For the last couple weeks it's been almost 80 even before I had to be at work at 8 AM.  However, this morning I sadly realized that with this second morning of cool temperatures, apparently summer is over. Yes, cool nights make for easier sleeping but cool mornings serve only to remind me that summer in Rochester is an all-too-brief season. As if in a small town, "don't blink, or you might just miss it". 

So for today's Flashback Friday, I'm rewinding just a couple of short months back to my relaxing summer vacation in the 1000 Islands. I know, it's not much of a flashback, but it will help me prolong summer just a little longer, if only in my mind.

So here's a riveting (ha!) observation I would like to share with you that I journaled about recently while on my vacation in the 1000 Islands:

July 15, 2009

This place has a very predictable schedule of bugs and nuisances.  

The squirrels come early in the morning in search of any morsel you may have left out, dropped, or inadvertently made accessible the night before and reek havoc on your site.  They knock things over, poop on your tables and chairs, dig in your garbage and make their loud crashes, chatters, and bangs known in the wee hours of the morning.  It's impossible to ignore them.  Or sleep through them.

When you first get up and the dew is still fresh, the gnats are everywhere.  Large clouds of gnats hang in the air, tempting you to walk through them only to come out the other side with a parting gift in your eyes, teeth, and hair.  

The chipmunks come and steal what they can but they're so darn cute, you can't help but want them to visit.

Throughout the day it’s the seagulls.  They’re everywhere!  They come in (too closely, for my taste!) and steal anything they can get their grubby beaks on.  They’re LOUD, too.  I’m always chasing them away at nap time so they don’t wake Alex up.  Their territorial squawking is aggravating at best.  They’re pretty ballsy, too.  Not much scares them and they’ll walk right up under your nose to get at something.  

As dusk settles, the gnats make their appearance again.  Millions of them, everywhere.  Don’t breathe too deeply or you’ll be sorry.  They show up in all my pictures looking like fireflies.  They're insane to see.

As soon as the sun sets, however, they mysteriously disappear.  Then, peace and quiet.  The campers get quiet, the bugs get quiet.  It’s fantastic.  

And the best part?  The reason I love coming back here year after year?  No mosquitos.  I have yet to put on mosquito spray!  Nathaniel doesn’t have a single red welt left by their pesky bites.  I love it.  I’ll take the squirrels and chipmunks, the seagulls, even the gnats in exchange for not a single mosquito!!

And with views like these, who can blame us for loving it there?!?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happiness is...

Splish, splashing in the summer (or year round)!  There's something so innocent and joyful about watching my children splash in the water.  And they LOVE water!  Whether it's in the bath tub, Lake Ontario, the water table, our blow up pool, or random puddles of any shape or size - it doesn't matter.  I just love it!  And the squeals of laughter, intense emotion, and pure HAPPINESS it creates in my children makes my heart sing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've lost track...

I don't know if I'm supposed to be doing a Thinkbox Thursday (TBT) or a Flashback Friday (FF) so I'm starting off with a TBT. Not the typical kind though as I'm too lazy to get off my duff and pull a question from the thinkbox. Instead, I'm on my own personal thinkbox (similar to the soapboxes many of us have and get on from time to time, only mine is simply a semi-dull revelation that's dumping out of my overfull head at the moment).

Lately I've been overwhelmed by life. In a desperate attempt to fill my proverbial 5lb bag with 10 (or more accurately, 25) lbs of crap, I think I've developed a split in the seams. I'm spilling things out at an alarming rate.  Tasks, ideas, random thoughts, knowledge, responsibilities and expectations are falling out at a rapid pace. I pick a lot of the stuff back up and shove it back in the bag to be dealt with later, but some of these things are being forever lost and irrevocably forgotten. That's what happens I suppose when my brain gets full, my days get stretched to capacity, and the sand runs out in my hourglass.

I've realized lately that it's not just me trying to juggle and balance and accomplish more than the day allows time for - everyone has their STUFF.  The stuff that gets in the way of them being 100% where they are.  Stuff going on at home that's distracting at work, stuff going on in your mind or body that gets in the way of what you want or need to do.  I guess that's not an amazing revelation in and of itself.  What this makes me realize is that I really need to get a grip.  The difference between me and everyone else is not in how much stuff I have to cope with but in HOW I cope (or choose NOT to cope) with what's given me.  We all have our struggles to deal with and our crosses to bear.  But true character is developed in how we choose to handle these challenges in life.  I wish there were an easy fix or a sure fire trick to maneuvering life's tricky road with grace.  I guess that's what life is meant to teach us and why it is indeed a JOURNEY.  One on which I struggle and learn something every day.  I trip, I fall, I stumble and with the help of my friends and family, I pick up the stuff that falls out of my over full bag and sew up the seams in an effort to hold it all together so I can trudge along a little further.  

My 25 lbs of crap has me bogged down at times (and highly distractible) but I'm doing the best I can.  I honestly do not forget things or lose track of things on purpose.  In fact, it drives me nuts to be such an airhead.  So, please forgive me if I forget something important (something I promised you, a birthday or special milestone), throw me a bone if I don't get back to you in a timely manner (or forget to get back to you at all) and gently jog my memory if I have dropped the ball as I suffer from these inevitable moments of brain purge syndrome (BPS).   I ask that you simply remind me of where I was when my sentences trail off or ask again I have failed to answer a question.  And I, too, will do the same for you if/when needed.  Hey, it's only fair!

And because every post needs a picture and I could use beautiful flowers like this all year round, please enjoy my lilacs from this past Spring.  Ahhh, I can almost smell them now...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Restless Brain Syndrome

I am so glad it's the weekend!  And while I realize I'm sorely remiss on my (self-imposed) obligation to provide my reader(s) with semi-regular and somewhat predictably timed entertainment through my Thinkbox Thursday and Flashback Fridays, I just haven't been feeling it lately.  Don't worry (would you anyway?) I'm not giving it up already, just have to get back on the wagon (and perhaps get to sleep once in a while before 1 AM so my brain functions properly when I sit down to write).

As I sit here now, there are about 1,000 things bouncing around in my brain so I'm not even sure where to go with this post.  I'm rehashing the harried week, debriefing from the hectic day, and looking forward to the crazy weekend ahead.  I'm trying to plan out my time, while desperately wishing I had more of it.  Or perhaps just wishing it would go by a little slower.  

While my weary mind and body rests up and prepares to wow (?) you all next week, I thought I'd share some photos of a short jaunt my family took to the Zoo this week.  I played (legitimate) hooky from work and went with my son on a school field trip to our local zoo.  It's not the best zoo, but it's ours and it's the only one we have (which I suppose we're lucky just to HAVE ONE, period) so I won't complain too much. 

There's not a lot to TELL, necessarily.  We went, we saw, we did.  Nathaniel splashed in the water, climbed and ran around the playground(s), traveled onward always with the goal of seeing the polar bears in mind, threw a colossal (albeit short-lived) temper tantrum when we had to LEAVE the water fun, and searched and searched and searched for the Hippos.   Of course we never did FIND any Hippos as our zoo doesn't have any - ditto for the giraffes (none), lions (zip), and seals (nada).  I've heard speak of penguins at our zoo but have yet to see them the last three times I've been, so I think it's a myth.  It was a beautiful day for a trip though!  Thanks for letting me share some photos from our day!

Nate was showing me how to hop like a wallaby here...

Nate showing his attitude.  This is his "no!" stance, moments after he stomped his feet.  Look closely and you'll see his nose in the air and his eyes closed.  It's humorous but gets him nowhere every time.

I started singing "If I were King of the MOUN-TAIN!" (to the tune of King of the Forest from Wizard of Oz) and Nate copied me by singing "If I was King of the H-iiiILL!"  It was cute!!!

I love the look on Alex's face here.  He checked out this polar bear forever before he finally decided to touch it.  His face says "Please don't eat me!"