Updates and New Recipes. . .

Updates on the Boys. . .

The boys are back in Massachusetts in school. Sprat starts his student teaching this semester so look out Yanks you are about to get educated in History with a Southern accent. I hope his teachers and students will not be too hard on him about his Southern drawl. Big T has changed his major and seems to be enjoying his classes so far.

Sprat was going to have his birthday after we took them to school so we decided to celebrate before they went back. We had a nice dinner and we went to a baseball game.

Big T hates having his picture taken by me so he intentionally frowns and makes ugly faces. His Daddy used to do that too when he was younger and still does sometimes. Sprat of course was thrilled to be out having a nice steak.
Uncle C was nice enough to take us out to the ballgame and some hotdogs and hamburgers.

Updates on the Home Front. . .

We had a bumper crop of Figs this year and I could not eat them fast enough. Decided to try my hand and caning, it was not too daunting, and they turned out fabulous. Canned them in three different batches and I did small batches only three pint jars at a time but it worked out great. I used equal part figs and sugar and added one lemon sliced and cooked for two hours before putting them in jars. This recipe did not call for any pectin and I liked that. We also had a great crop of cantaloupe and they were delish.

These are my figs cooking for my preserves

Stay Tuned, Work is a Little Crazy. . ..

Stay tuned, I know it has been awhile since I last posted but work is a little crazy and sleep is about all I do. Trying to get back on track with my eating plan and my exercise plan. I am trying some new recipes that I will be sharing and some new exercises too. Funny thing happens when all you do is eat, sleep, and work; you gain weight. Yuck! Not only do you gain weight but you feel bad too.

If you have these problems stay tuned I am going to try and get a handle on it, maybe you would like to share your story.

Things I Learned in Boston. . .

Driving that fourteen hours is not easy

Driving fourteen hours in one day is not easy. It would most definitely be bad if you did not like the person you were trapped in the car with. Luckily I was trapped, I mean ridding with my hubby. He drives all the time for work so, he is a pretty good driver and does not tire of it quickly. I did pitch in for the last little bit of the drive home.

The Verve. . .

The Verve was the name of the hotel we stayed in this time. It was 80’s themed and it had some very cool 80’s memorabilia scattered throughout the hotel. There were old arcade games, an old phone booth, motorcycle, art, and 80’s music playing over the PA system in the hotel. There were a set of TV’s mounted to the wall playing 80’s commercials, these were hilarious. The Flintstones advertising Winston cigarettes, if you can believe that.

Pac Man, and yes it worked for .25 cent
My hubby playing Astroids in the lobby
this old telephone booth was in the lobby of the hotel too. It had the Terminator playing on the video screen.

Riding the T/ subway system in Boston is easy. . .

The hubbs and I rode the T into Boston one day while the boys were in class. Parking was easy but trying to buy that Charlie pass was a bear, especially if you do not know what your are doing. We were grateful to a very kind young man that helped us out. We were the country bumpkins come to the big city. Very proud of both the boys for mastering this mode of transportation, I am pretty sure I would not have been able to do it at their age. Once downtown Boston there was much to see. The architecture of the old buildings were beautiful. We walked down to the Aquarium and checked out the harbor.

My Devilishly handsome hubby
The infamous lobster roll, I have been waiting on this one since 2018

Now on to lacrosse. . .

We got to see two good games of lacrosse. They lost the first one but it was still a good game and they won the second game in high fashion. It was great watching this young team come together. I have high hopes that Big T will be off the injured list soon and hopefully get in the game. There are a few on the injured list and I hope they will be back and game ready soon also.

Sprat #55 pole white shirt
My motley crew
Sprat in #55 Burgundy. thankful for local parents to snap these pictures.
I think this one is my favorite of Sprat
Big T on the sidelines due to injury

Wrap up. . .

We had a wonderful time getting to meet the boys’ friends, teammates, and families. So thankful for the local parents taking care of the team. Heading back up for two more games and we hope to see Big T on that field. It would be fabulous to see brother D poles on that field.

How things Look from the Empty Nest. . .

Everyone keeps asking. . .

Everyone keeps asking how the Hubbs and I are doing with the empty nest. So far we are doing well. With technology as advanced as it is we talk or text with the boys sometimes daily. The first week or two Big T text me daily, several times a day in fact. I was worried a little bit about him being so far away but he has gotten very busy making friends and doing school work that it has been almost a week since he has text me anything. They both text and call the hubbs though to talk music or sports.

I did miss the boys this week. . .

I did miss the boys this week, it has been almost a week since I had a text from them other than I need money for clothes. Sprat has changed his major now three times and has landed in teaching, hence the clothes buying. Sprat sent me a picture of him dressed up going off to his first day of Middle School. LOL!! He looked very professional with his back pack slung over one shoulder. Have been asking Big T to send me a picture of him since we left him last month. Yes, it has been a month to the day that we left our babies in Massachusetts.

I had been bugging this kid for a picture for weeks, I needed proof of life. This is what he sends me.
Later he sends me this one, I told him I needed more than just his eyes and nose.

Not a lot has changed at the house. . .

Not a lot has changed at the house for the hubbs and I. We are both still working and hanging out. I have started walking more and the hubbs is fishing here and there. The boys rooms and bathroom has had a deep clean the likes of which nobody has ever seen and we have donated quite a few clothes. Have lost some momentum in the cleaning area, will be back at that soon though. Plan on painting their bathroom soon, excited about that.

Life for the empty nesters. . .

Life for the empty nesters is not all that different from when you have kids in the house. Clean up after meals is so much easier and my sink is not full of dishes when I get off work. Our grocery bill has gone way down since the boys left. The hubbs and I could live out of our garden with just the two of us. Sleep comes easier knowing they are not going to be baming in the doors at 1100 talking loudly and banging things around. The hubbs and I are early risers, we do still have Sweet Basil and she gets us up at 0500 every morning without fail. Getting up that early we tend to go to bed earlier too. I like that, it gives the hubby and I a chance to cuddle and the empty nest means snuggle and cuddle without interruptions and I have been chased around the house a few time by the hubbs.

Socially our activities have either been family or kids

Socially our activities have been geared to family or kids events. The hubbs and I were never that social before we had kids. The empty nest has given us a little bit of a social life. I saw a meme on the internet about going from Mother to Me again, I feel like that is what the empty nest is like. After all, it is not truly and “empty” nest my kids will always be welcome at my house any time. We have a get together planned this month with some of the hubbs old high school friends and I am looking forward to it. I hope I remember how to act and geeze I hope I have something to wear. It will be nice to visit and catch up with these guys and maybe make this a regular thing.

It Is Time to Open the Time Capsule. . .

Big T got to Open His Time Capsule this Weekend.

The Boys had their last hurrah at Grandma and Grandpa’s house this weekend before they head off to school next week. We celebrated Sprat’s birthday since his actual birthday will be while he is away at school and we celebrated Bit T’s graduation once again. The hubbs and I sealed a time capsule for each of the boys when they were about two years old and set the date they would open it as their high school graduation.

Big T and his Time Capsule, the hubby sitting beside him.

Celebration and Time with Family . . .

the boys with Grandma and Grandpa
Dad and I being Silly
Mom and I

Food, family, and fun was had by all. Mom got on my brother-in-law’s motorcycle. Now just to tell you, Mom just celebrated her 90th birthday this year and recently had hip replacement so the motorcycle thing was a big deal. Mom and Dad have always been willing to try new things and we reminisced about Dad riding my brother’s motorcycle years and years ago and going over the embankment in front of our house doing tricks. Growing up we all rode horses and I have seen both Mom and Dad thrown off horseback at one point or another. Luckily neither suffered devastating bodily injury.

How to Set Up Your Own Time Capsule. . .

We sealed each of the boys time capsules when they were about two years old. We enlisted family and friends to add things to the capsule. Sprat had an official Gerber time capsule, Big T had a make shift (mommy made) time capsule. A great time to set these up is at the child’s 1st or 2nd birthday, that way everyone is there and can add their items to the capsule. Below is a list of somethings we enclosed:

  • Pokeman cards
  • toys that were popular during that time
  • lists of what things cost at that time
  • sentimental family things
  • Special Coins: non circulated coin set from the year they were born
  • items they loved that first year of life
  • birthday cards from their first birthday
  • Sprat had some “Joe Camel” memorabilia since his great uncle worked for RJR and “Joe Camel” was no longer allowed to be used as advertisement.
  • Baby pictures, pictures from their first birthday
  • Both boys got one of their Granddaddy’s police patches and official police badge from his time of service.
  • Big T got a very special case knife from Grandma and Grandpa
  • there was a local publication that folks would put pictures of their grand kids in and Big T was in that and that was in his time capsule.

Conclusion. . .

Stay tuned we are packing both boys to go to school. More to come on how the hubbs and I will adjust to sorta empty nesting.

Road Trip with Big T for College Orientation. . .

Getting Ready. . .

We drove up to Massachusetts to visit the campus and so Big T could participate in orientation. Spent the night in Connecticut so we could get up the next morning and just have an hour to get to the school. The plan was to meet the coach and talk with the folks in financial aid all before orientation began.

Big T in the foyer of College Hall

Orientation. . .

The lacrosse coach is great, we really enjoyed talking with and hearing about his style of coaching and taking care of the players. I was very impressed by him and so was Big T. We had not met him before and had only heard about him through Sprat and Sprat thinks the world of him. Big T is looking forward to getting back on the field again. He did not play his senior year of high school due to the lack of care from the school with regard to COVID 19.

It was a stroke of luck that we were able to talk with financial aid, they found some more money for both boys to add to their already generous scholarships. It pays to go to orientation, in more ways than one. Even though Sprat has been attending this college for two years Big T had never been with us to campus, he always stayed home with the dog. This was his first glimpse of the campus and was able to see the dorm he will be in and meet a few teammates.

The College. . .

Big T cannot wait to get on campus. There is one freshman dorm and only one floor of boys and three floors of girls. Let that sink in for a bit, the boy/girl ratio of this freshman class. This is a small private college so no athletic scholarships but the boys both landed wonderful academic scholarships and I am so very proud of them. Sprat was awarded Academic All Conference two years in a row and we hope for a third.

Big T and I out side of College Hall on the balcony

The Trip Home. . .

We drove to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to the US Army Heritage and Education Center and War College for a visit. The helicopter and tank pictured below are visible from the highway and every time we have passed it my hubby says we need to go there and check that out. This trip, we planned for just that. There is a museum that chronicles the wars from Spanish American War to our current conflicts. Lots of hands on simulators and things in the museum. I tested the parachute simulator, it was pretty cool not as scary as I thought it would be. We sat inside a bunker that was being bombed and it was really LOUD. The trail around the facility has tanks, helicopters, memorials, bunkers and trenches. You cannot climb on the tanks and helicopters but we were allowed in the bunkers and trenches.

this tank is similar to the one that my father-in-law trained on when he was in the military. Check out the website for more information https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/

The hubbs and Big T checking out the bunker
The hubbs and Big T in the bunker

Conclusion. . .

We rounded out the day with a bite to eat and a trip to the store for supplies for the dorm. I love our road trips and I am looking forward to more this Fall and Spring to see my boys take the field together again. Stay tuned for more pictures of our road trips and tales of the garden and what we are cooking.

Love and the Empty Nest. . .

Since Big T has graduated high school several people have asked, how does it feel to be an empty nester? I was not quite sure how to respond to that since both boys will be back home. True, the hubbs and I will have a few months to ourselves but the boys will be back home. The one benefit of them going to school is our grocery bill will go down. The hubbs and I could live out of the garden with the occasional rice, couscous, or meat here and there.

What will we do . . .

When my sister asked what we were going to do now that we were empty nesters my husband said he was going to run around the house naked. LOL!! I guess things are going to get interesting at my house. The hubbs and I both still work, he is moving closer to retirement, so we will continue normal weekdays but lookout weekends. I would like to do some traveling, nothing out of the country but there are some places I would like to visit in the US. We both have talked about driving cross country, I could see us doing that. We are going to Massachusetts and I am looking forward to that.

Happy Graduation to Big T. . .

Big T and the Hubbs
Brothers

Stay tuned for what happens next in the empty nest. . .

High School Graduation, I am Not Ready!

According to my son graduation is no big deal. He is not impressed about graduation and does not see what all the fuss and muss is about. I explained to him that mothers celebrate all accomplishments. I reminded him that I celebrated the first time he went pee pee in the potty and then again when he went poo poo in the potty oh and then again when he could wipe his own backside. That grossed him out just a bit but, we did celebrate.

What else do we Mom’s celebrate???

Mom’s celebrate everything: first teeth, first time rolling over, first steps, first time sitting up right, first words, first solid food, first girlfriend or boyfriend, first date, first time they drive, all first days of school. We celebrated Kindergarten graduation, Fifth grade graduation, and Eighth grade graduation. I did think those were a little bit over the top but High School graduation is a big deal it is that first big step to independence and true adulthood. It is the spring board for that journey we call life. No, I am not going to recite Prince lyrics but really high school graduation to me is the beginning of it all.

Big T does not want to go to his graduation, he refused to go to the Community College graduation ceremony and he says he is going to his High School ceremony for me. I guess I am making him go, but deep in my heart, I believe he will regret it if he does not go. This has been an ordeal and we may all be miserable during it but we are going.

I took about 25 pictures and only 3 came out decent. This is one of them.

Good luck to all the parents out there, what ever battle they are facing. We all have our issues with our kids. I love mine but they know how to press my nerves so well. Love and prayers to you all.

No Longer Mother to High Schoolers. . .

Feeling a little old this week, not because of a birthday or anything, just because my youngest is graduating high school. I am now the mother of two college students and that makes me feel old. When the boys were both in school and i was no longer the mother of preschoolers (MOPS) I was sad. Today I am thrilled!! Big T will be joining his brother in Massachusetts this Fall.

Very Excited for Big T

Big T received an academic scholarship and will be going to Massachusetts to complete his Bachelor of Science in business management and minor in music and playing lacrosse with his brother. I am so excited for Big T, I must toot his horn just a bit. He will be receiving his high school diploma in a few weeks as well as an Associates degree in business management from the community college. He was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society at the community college. This boy has it going on!!

Travel Mama. . .

I can not begin to explain how very happy I am that I will get to see my boys playing lacrosse together again. The hubby and I have plans to go see them play in person this next year if we can get around this whole COVID mess. We had a major weekend planned right when this all hit in April of last year. The plan was to go to Massachusetts to see Sprat play at his home field and then drive to Maine to watch him play. I was so excited, I have never been to Maine before and I was looking forward to watching my son play college lacrosse. Knew I would enjoy the scenery on the drive from Boston to Maine and I could not wait to try the food, the food, can I say that again the food! Have yet to try a lobster roll and I want one! My fingers are crossed that we will be able to make the trip next year for a couple of games.

Lots of work ahead of Big T. . .

Big T has his work cut out for him. He wants to major in business and minor in music. I have shared how he taught himself how to play the Ukulele during the shut down. He has also taught himself how to play the bass and the piano. I know I am the mama but he really is quite good to be self taught. He does love his heavy metal but he has learned at least one hymn on the piano that is beautiful.

Graduation Ahead. . .

The hubby and I were just talking about all the things we have to get for Big T for his dorm room this year. I posted after Sprat’s second year all the stuff we bought and did not need so I feel like I have a good grasp on what we have to pick up but it is still a lot. The school has provided him with a lap top the last four years so that is something he will have to purchase. I learned from Sprat that we will not be purchasing a printer since the college gives the kids access to printers all over campus. We will have to purchase another fridge for Big T’s dorm. He will also need a new book bag, sheets, pillows, laundry bag, shower caddy, towels, and anything else I can think of.

Year in Review . . .

Review of our year 2020, what a doozie it was. Mom recovered, they got a new house and the boys have survived being on lock down for the pandemic.

2020, Let Us Look Back. . .

2020 was a whirl wind of ups and downs for our family. My mom recovering from hip replacement and she and Dad staying in an apartment while the basement of their home was being renovated for one level living. I say renovated I should say gutted and re-built because that is what really happened. My sister, her husband, and my brother worked tirelessly to get everything up to date and code. We moved them back home in November and we celebrated Thanksgiving in the newly renovated basement. Mom and Dad could not be happier in their house and familiar surroundings.

Sprat Came Home. . .

Sprat came home from College in Massachusetts early and his lacrosse season was cut short. A strong finish for the Sophomore year with Academic All Conference award. He continued his College courses from home remotely. He is heading back to Massachusetts in a week to start his Spring semester and fingers are crossed for a lacrosse season.

Family pictures over the Christmas break, this will be Sprat’s Jr year of College picture. Such a handsome devil.

Big T had a Banner Year . . .

Big T had his Junior year lacrosse cut short by the pandemic and he completed his Junior year of school from home. This Senior year has also been a remote year for Big T. We found out that if he completes his course work that he is on track to complete that he will not only have his high school diploma in May but he will also have an Associates degree in business administration from our Community College. We are very proud of him for this huge accomplishment. This is not only big for him but big for us, this will be a savings on his Bachelor’s degree and if he chooses to go for a Masters it will not take as long.

Big T, this will be his Senior portrait since I hated the ones that the school took. How hard is it really to get a decent picture of a kid???

Apparently it is harder than I thought to get that good picture I was hoping for.

The Hubby and I Survived. . .

Finally, the hubbs and I survived being shelter in place for the better part of 2020, with two boys teen and twenty, due to the fact the hubbs company sent him home and my office sent me home and we kept the kids home. Sprat was more angry about being at home than Big T, Big T is of course the hypochondriac of our group and was thrilled to learn he could complete school at home. Sprat was not so happy, he wanted to visit with his friends once he had returned home. We kept them on lock down to start with and then we gradually let them start going out with masks and only to certain places.

Love these goofy boys to the moon and back!!

Would not Have Survived without this Guy. .

Love this guy too! Do not know what I would do without this one.

This guy has been our rock through all of this mess. He has done the shopping, the cooking and even some of the cleaning. He cooks for me when I am working and cannot go up stairs to grab a bite and he brings it to me sometimes with a little special treat. (chocolate) Always making sure I have plenty of caffeine cold in the fridge and will even go out in the worst of weather if I need some.

Life, Home Schooling and the COVID19. . .

Life in the Pandemic. . .

We are sheltering in place, not because we have to, but because it is logical. When faced with the possibility of the spread of a virus like this one, it makes sense to limit contact with others. I am an introvert so, this is not as difficult as it sounds. The boys are having a little harder time with it all. They have gone out just to ride around and get some fresh air, I have threatened them within inches of their lives if they go anywhere to visit right now. They went out yesterday and Sprat took some pictures of two fields near our house and sent them to his “friend” in MA. The closest field to the friend is apparently a good little stretch in MA. I had to giggle just a little, the things we take for granted.

PE in the COVID 19. . .

The boys have both been out every day a couple times a day to throw and play wall ball (lacrosse). They are keeping their skills for the next season of Lax, whenever that might be. The hubbs has been practicing his gardening skills, he bought me some celery plants and has planted potatoes. We have radishes and peas to plant also. We have onions in the ground already from the winter.

Sprat in PE
Big T did not get a Lax picture so here it is.
PE in the COVID19 homeschool…
The big green orb is our composter for the garden. LOL!!
My Lax boys. . . love them to the moon and back.

Life does go on. . .

The hubbs is home until further notice, I am still working but from home. The boys are still doing school work and practicing their lacrosse skills. They are sometimes testing my patience. The one thing this “pandemic” has done is bring us all a little closer. Our family dinners around the table had sort of gone away, we all had somewhere to be but, with this virus none of us have anywhere to be but here. There is always a plan, nothing happens by chance, perhaps this is the message we should be taking away from all of this. Be home with your family, take care of your family, love your family.