Easter Break with the Boys in MA. . .

Spent Easter Break with the boys

Drove up to Massachusetts after working the night before, I slept most of the way. Stopped at the casino at the Mohegan Sun at the Poconos to spend the night. The hubbs and I have not been to a casino since before Big T was born, in fact, Big T came home with us from Vegas. Yep, found I was expecting again only a month after our visit to the City of Bright Lights. We had a blast and the hubbs is one luck devil, he won that night and the next morning at the slots of all things.

The hubbs eating breakfast after his big win

We Did steal the boys away for a quick visit

We saw two good lacrosse games while we were visiting and went to dinner and lunch the next day with the boys. I did have another lobster roll but nothing will ever compare to that first one. Enjoyed chocolate truffles from Chocolate Therapy, these were handmade chocolate truffles that were divine.

My boys at lunch

We headed out to Montpelier, VT. . .

We headed out to Montpelier, VT that afternoon to do a little sight seeing. Stayed at a very quaint little hotel in downtown Montpelier, we parked our car and walked everywhere. Montpelier is the capital of Vermont and is the smallest State capital of any of the US capitals. I loved this little town, I could most definitely live there if it were not so very cold in the winter.

The Capital building across from our hotel
Coming in to Montpelier, VT

We had a day to sight see before the next game.

We had a day to sight see before the next lacrosse game and we drove to Norwich, VT to visit the King Arthur Baking Company. If you like to cook and or bake this is the place to visit. I had the best time shopping and the hubbs did not mind to much. He has told everyone that the Governor of VT was standing outside when we left to shake my hand because I had boosted the local economy. Check out their website http://shop.kingarthurbaking.com there will be more about what I purchased later in another post so stay tuned.

Took a ride to the Morse family maple syrup farm and that was great too. Check out their website to learn more about maple syrup http://morsefarm.com. There is a difference between real maple syrup and some of those brands sold in the stores. Look for 100% maple syrup not maple flavored syrup. We learned that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Maple Syrup
Morse Family Farm Norwich, VT
The inner workings of the maple syrup farm

Last but not least we watched some good Lacrosse

We watched two good games of lacrosse this visit. Sadly, we lost both of them but the team played well. They are a young team and are just getting in their groove together. I see great things for this team in the next few years.

the line up to start the game
Big T in red and white facing off first play of the game against the #1 team in the conference. He won 3 face offs and we scored off one of those wins.
Big T
This is one of my favorite pictures of Sprat whispering words of wisdom in his opponents ear.
One of my favorites of Big T

Stay tuned for updates on our travels and recipes from King Arthur Flour company.

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.

Do You Take Time to Pamper Yourself?

Do you take time for your self?

Do you take time to take care of you? Are you getting enough sleep and eating a well balanced diet? I know that sounds like some kind of health guru or Public Service announcement. Those are big questions that need to be answered when thinking about your health. Moms all around the world just answered those questions with; I do not have time to take care of myself I am taking care of everyone else. Said those very words myself too many times to count. You must take care of yourself or there will not be a “you” to take care of everyone else.

Suggestions for taking time for you. . .

Start walking, get up a little earlier and go for a walk before the rest of your house gets up and moving. I started this way and it really did help me both mentally and physically. Now, I am no Jillian Michaels or Denise Austin but I do know what I did to help myself. It is very hard some days to find that motivation to get up early when you know you have not slept or that you will get no rest during the day. Always remember how good you felt the last time you walked or exercised and remember those benefits when trying to find that motivation. Some days you may just need to take a long relaxing bath, I highly recommend this one. Try a milk bath, it makes the best bubbles and is all natural no chemical additives. Use 1/2 cup powdered whole milk, 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup Epsom salt and add your favorite essential oils (lavender, rosemary, patchouli. . .) and soak for thirty minutes. This will make your skin so very soft and it is very relaxing.

Please remember that taking care of your self is not being selfish, self care is very important for those around you too. Mom’s take on the weight of the world whether it is in your family life or even your work life. The instinct of nurturing and helping is very strong and we want to help everyone. We must remember that we cannot help everyone and that we should not try to help at the detriment of ourselves. That is a hard one to swallow and definitely out of character of most.

My reason for changing and being selfish

One of my best friends through high school and college died suddenly of massive cardiac arrest. It has been a year this month that she went on to live with our heavenly father, I am still in disbelief that she is gone. I wish I had made that extra trip to see her and my other best friend from high school one last time instead of putting it off. Do not put off taking care of yourself, you should be your top priority. Last year I took stock of myself and decided, I am going to take better care of me. I want to see my boys graduate college and maybe get married one day and have children. In order for me to be there to see those great things I have to be in better health. My hubby will be retiring sometime in the next few years and I want to travel with him and see the world.

Stay tuned as I make changes to meet my goals, I will share recipes that are yummy and good for you. I do not eat anything that does not taste good, I am just trying to find the balance in taste and good for me. There will be updates on the boys too. Those 0600 practices have started and they are looking forward to a full lacrosse season.

This is my devilishly handsome hubby and myself at the Red Sox game a few years ago









New Found Time on My Hands, Time to Focus on Me!

Time to focus on my health. . .

New found time to focus on me, with the boys temporarily out of the house. The work schedule is still a little crazy but I am able to fit in some exercise and eating better. This empty nesting is kinda nice but, do not tell Sprat and Big T. Would not want to hurt their feelings. Do not get me wrong, I do miss those two goofballs every day. We text or talk by phone a couple times a week so I can stay up to date on things College.

Loving my exercise routine. . .

Loving my new exercise routine. On days I do not work I start out at the park at 0600 walking 3 miles. I started this before the pandemic but, decided to get serious about it after the lock down. Work became mentally exhausting and my early morning walks were my saving grace. I looked forward to the brisk mornings all by myself and the beautiful park. After my walk I do some Yoga to stretch and keep everything flexible, recently I have added some weight lifting. We have the equipment so why not put it to good use for me. Days that the sunrise is just breath taking, I take pictures to remember.

Beautiful Sunrise on one of my early morning walks
Foggy Sunrise one morning

Working on my diet too. . .

I am working on my diet while the boys are out of the house too. Sprat inspired this change, he has really been watching his diet over the last year and I decided I would too. After my walks I fix a fabulous smoothie; pineapple, cherries, coconut water, coconut flakes (unsweetened), fresh ginger, beets if I have any from the garden, and Vega protein powder. This is the best smoothie ever, no added sugar and all natural. I use fresh pineapple when I can find a good one and I add blue berries some days. The smoothie is breakfast, I eat small meals when I get hungry which is usually every three hours or so, I try not to eat after six in the evening. Cutting out sugary soda was a big effort and I am very proud to say I did it! Along with sugary soda went the daily caffeine, I do drink diet ginger ale and I will have a Dr Pepper every now and then but not like I was drinking them before the pandemic/lock down. The only other time I have gone without sodas (sugary caffeinated) was when I was pregnant with the boys. Something about being pregnant changed my taste buds and I could not drink soda at all.

A few recipes. . .

The hubbs has really out done himself with the garden this year. He managed to grow beets which I use in my smoothies, edamame that I eat by the handfuls, and a number of other tasty treats. He and I could eat out of the garden and only go to the grocery store for things like cheese and yogurt. We had zucchini coming out of our ears so I froze a good bit of it to use later and I froze multiple loaves of zucchini bread and casseroles too. One of my favorite salads is couscous, black bean, fresh mozzarella, chick peas, onion and balsamic vinegar. Made an edamame salad the other day that was really good. 1 1/2 cups edamame cooked, 1 can corn rinsed, 1 can black beans rinsed, small onion chopped, 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chipolte, 1 tsp ancho chili, juice of 1 lime and toss. Served this cold as meal for me could use as a side dish.

Fresh Edamame out of the garden and in the pot to cook.
Edamame salad

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. . .

Summer Excitement. . .

The boys are officially employed for the Summer. Yayyy!! I feel very accomplished. Add this to the lists of things Mom’s celebrate for their kids. Their first official day of work is this week and the hubbs and I will celebrate with the first quiet night/day at home by ourselves since the pandemic shut down and they both came home to stay!

It is the little things . . .

My post the other day was about all the things we Mom’s celebrate for our kids, this is another one of those. It is exciting to watch the boys out in the work force earning some money for themselves. I remember earning my first income, I remember the satisfaction of buying my own clothes and going out to eat with my friends and being able to pay for my own food. That is a little sappy but still very true. My hope for the boys is that they find that feeling of satisfaction of job well done, and let’s face it the money does not hurt.

Earning their own money. . .

It is important for the boys to have a paycheck so they can open their own IRA and start saving for their retirement. Yes, I said retirement. If you have read anything I post you know that I am a Dave Ramsey fan/follower. I do not want my kids to be in debt and I have preached Dave to them so much that neither of them have credit cards and I do not think they ever will. Thank you Dave Ramsey! Big T is majoring in business so he is all about earning and saving money and he knows about debt. Both boys save up their money for items they want to buy, bless poor Sprat he saved for almost a year to buy his own gaming computer. Sprat is trying to rebuild his savings so he will have money to spend at school this Fall.

Just another moment to Celebrate the Grad. . .

Dad and Big T
Brothers, teammates, and friends. . .

Big T’s graduation ceremony was great, I do believe it was the best I have attended. One of the teachers had created a story that included all the graduates names as characters. She told a Zombie story, which seemed fitting with the year the kiddos endured their Senior year. They surprised the kids with the gentleman that was the Principal their freshman year and who played an integral part in this STEM school getting off the ground and being so successful. These kids loved this guy and had so much respect for him and you knew it when he came on the stage. The other thing that was so cool about this graduation ceremony was they gave each graduate a framed $1 and they said they wanted to be the one to give them their first earned dollar. I am so glad that Big T did not attend a traditional high school, he would not be as prepared for college as he is if it were not for this school and these teachers.

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.