Sunday, May 1, 2011

Z is for ZEE End

 Z is a hard letter to use and I am just about out of gas for this challenge.  It has been zany and if I wasn't so zonked I would have come up with something more creative than this post.  In my zealous attempt to finish this final entry, I must zigzag around the letter Z and just say, ZEE END.

Y is for Yak

My dear friend, Mary is a very entertaining person.  She has a sense of humor that everybody loves.  Growing up, she had a million sayings that would roll out of her mouth and keep all of my friends laughing.  In a Russian accent she would say, "Good woman, strong like yak, bring home, pull many carts."  I know, it's not even a sentence but she would have us roaring.  I have said that line many times and every time I think of Mary and all her antics. She is always the life of the party.

X is for eXtraordinary

It is an extraordinary experience to grow up in a family of eight children.  I am fourth of eight; there is a span of  sixteen years between the eldest and youngest.  In the chaos of all those people, we learned many life skills.  Here is a list of some of my lessons from my childhood.

  1. I am not the center of the universe
  2. He who hesitates misses out on a lot of things
  3. Being a part of a family means there are many duties assigned
  4. I had to make my own way in the world
  5. I learned how to stand up for me
  6. My parents could not and would not bail me out of a mess I made
  7. I learned how to fight
  8. The world will not always agree with me
  9. Making mistakes is a part of life
  10. Family is important
  11. It is my responsibility to entertain me
  12. Anything I want, I can earn
  13. Education is essential
  14. It is not good to be on Mom's "list"
  15. Thanks God for all your blessings

W is for Where have I been

This past week has been crazy as I returned to work after my son's wedding.  I was dead tired.  It was a lovely time, one that will be treasured for always.  As in all things, it came to an end.  It has taken me a week to get back on track. 

I start a month of testing tomorrow at school and plan to plow my way through.  It will feel great when June 1st is here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

V is for Very Tired


This was an exhausting but wonderful weekend of wedding, wedding, wedding.  I am so tired!  There are only 27 more days until the next son gets married; this time in Seattle, Washington.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Tons of Family

My son and daughter in-law were married today.  It was very beautiful because it was their plan and their dream.  They were surrounded by their families and there was great joy in the room.

I am so happy for my son, Jack because he has found an intelligent, loving, sensitive woman.  When he looks at her, I can see that she fills his heart with love.  I know that Kristy will love him and persevere in the good and bad times.

We remembered Jack's dad today and I am sure that he was smiling down from heaven, happy with this union.  This is what he said he was sad about missing  but I wasn't sad today, for Rick was there in our hearts and in our memories.  He's alive in us and he was happy.

May their days be happy and their burdens few.
May learn to lean on each other to move swiftly to their goals.
May they cherish and love each other more than any other and
Keep the intimacy of their marriage sacred.

Love to both of you, Jack and Kristy!

Mom xxoo

Thursday, April 21, 2011

S is for Serenity

I hide away on the Algonkian; the trees and their leaves keep me from my neighbor's view. I sit on a chair feet up while reading a book or sitting and listening to the birds and water.  It is the soothing sound of water bubbling and babbling over the tiles into the blue water of the pool mesmerizes me and creates this oasis of tranquility.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

R is for Rudolph's Nose

I am cursed with Rudolph's nose.  It sounds like nothing but it is big to me.  My nose turns bright red whenever I cry; I find it most annoying.  Most people have normal noses; they cry tears come; they wipe them away. Not me, I have to announce to the world that my emotions are pouring out of me.  Instead of wearing my heart on my sleeve,  I wear my heart on my nose.

Q is for Queen of the Algonkian

I am the Queen of the Algonkian.  My niece, Romy Jane Magid came to visit four years ago when she was in the princess stage of life.  I was made Queen Jane and Uncle David was made King Davicus Maximus.  Romy Jane is a pistol.  She has a sharp wit and is drenched in drama.  The King and Queen of the Algonkian were very amused with the princess.  She entertained us for an entire week.

Princess Romy Jane  loved our pool and wanted to swim most of the time.  Her royal cousin, Mike was abused by her for most of the week.  We were all bossed around for that matter.  The princess prepared dinner for the king and queen and took pictures of us dining at the table she prepared.  The Royal Princess RomyJane slept on a bed prepared for her on the floor of Mike's room so that she could watch the Royal Shows as she fell asleep.

The Royal Princess Romy Jane ate a strict diet of chicken nuggets,cheese pizza, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, fries and green chips.  She turned her nose up to all other offerings.

Mike accompanied Princess Romy Jane to Chuck E Cheese where she used her tickets along with all of Mike's to buy royal jewels.  Pizza and water were on the menu.

Her mother, The Witch, came to take the Princess home to Long Island on the weekend. The Witch reported that she wanted to come again every summer and has almost every year.  When anyone in her family teases that they might come with her, she starts getting moody and tells them, "You can't come to Aunt Jane's; there isn't enough room!"  We are her little sanctuary and she doesn't like entertaining the idea of sharing that with anyone else.

Monday, April 18, 2011

P is for Patricia

Patty is my older and only sister.  I'm five years younger; it has been a rocky road that we have endured.  We shared a room and of course, I was the five year old slob who toys were kicked under my bed for being messy.  Patty sometimes used chalk to make a line on the wooden floorboards to delineated our halves of the room.  I was easily bossed around.  She dragged me by the hand to school, screaming at me to hurry up.  We lived a mile from school and it was a tough walk in winter.

Our relationship has changed over time.  Patty is the one who flew down to be with me after a devastating break-up with a boyfriend.  She is the one who bailed me when a friend's father messed up my taxes and and I was slapped with a bill. 

We are very different and yet sisters.  Life has given us bitter times to share; watching our mother die and our father suffer through dementia.  Last week she had a pre-op check of her heart and something was not right.  The surgery was canceled and she was seen by two cardiac doctors.  A stress test was scheduled, canceled and rescheduled.  I called Friday morning to find out the results.  I said, "Patricia how is your teeny tiny heart.  I've been worried.?"  "I'm fine." she said to my great relief.  I'm not ready to give up my sister with each day she is more precious to me. I'm hoping she'll be around for quite a few more years.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

O is for Over the Top

I met with a first grader the other day.  I'm a reading specialist and I have taken her a for a short intervention.  B had just returned from the playground when she walked into my room.  I could see the emotions on her face and asked what was wrong. She burst into tears and started complaining in a shrill voice about a villain in her class who would not allow her to join his club.  Her lip went down, her big tears streamed her face and she proceeded with mumblings and rantings.

I realized the reading lesson was over for the day.  I took my hand and put it above her head and told her the drama was up here.  She could talk about it calmly if she brought it down to here; a place closer to her elbow..  It was difficult for her to bring it down I suspect  because she is accustomed to being over the top and out of control.

The lesson of the day became "If it's to be, it's up to me,"  I read her a book about a shy boy who makes friends by being brave enough to ask other children to play.  B was engrossed and looking very serious as I read to her.  When I finished the book I explained the saying,  "B, you're the only one who can make B. happy.  If you want to be happy, it's up to you.

"If this boy says you can't be in the club; you know he's being a mean, bossy cow." I told her. She got hysterical laughing at the word, cow.  "Bossy cows boss everyone.  Do you like playing with bossy people?" I asked. She shook her head, no.  "Then when Villian Boy says you can't play, go look for someone else," I said.  The drama reared back up to over the top and I stopped her again.  B. who else can you play with?" I asked.  "Carina," she said. "She thinks he's annoying".

When Villain Boy, says you can't be in his club say, Oh, well, so sad, too bad, I don't want to play with bossy people and find Carina.  I had her repeat, if it's to be it's up to me and oh well, so sad, too bad and asked her if she liked playing with bossy people.  From a reading perspective this lesson was a total loss, however, it was a strong life lesson.

Yesterday, I went to get her for reading time; she was by her teacher outside her classroom.  I said, "B. what did you learn yesterday?"  "I'm the only one who can make B. happy and if it's to be, it's up to me." "Awesome!" I told her.  "Who likes to play with bossy people?" I asked.  She said, "No one."  "What do you say to people who don't want you to be in their club?" I asked.  She fumbled trying to remember,  "Oh well, so sad, too bad, I don't like playing with bossy people," we recited together.  "Mrs. Cox, I asked Carina and she said we could play together." she said smiling ear to ear.  "Okay, B, let's go read." I said.

Friday, April 15, 2011

N is for Northern Virginia

The first time I drove to the area was in 1981 for my interview to teach Catholic school.  My friend, Mike came with me.  I can't even remember exactly why he came.  However, I do remember the Beltway which was a pretty scary road for someone from Cortland, NY, home of  the Annual Cortland County Dairy Parade.  This event with  cows walking down Main Street and "Dairy Fairies" waving with cupped hands in formal gowns wearing long white arm length gloves sitting on hay bales on a hay wagon being pulled by a large tractor paints a picture for you of the shock this area gave me.

It was flat.  I didn't like flat.  I grew up on rolling hills, painted green with white and black spotted cows.  Northern Virginia is huge.  Those were the days of paper maps, written directions, and pay phones; we were roughing it. I got the job, taught school, met my husband and by then, it was too late to turn back

Thirty years have flown by.  The Beltway is bigger, scarier and cut up with construction everywhere.   My mom used to say that you can never go back.  She was right.  At a point in my life, I was presented with the opportunity to go back to New York. My life was in Northern Virginia; I didn't want to go back now it is my home.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

M is for Mom

I miss my mom; she died two years ago.  She was my best cheerleader, confidante, and friend.  We didn’t lose her suddenly.  She slipped away from us and disappeared before our eyes.  When I went to see her, she was there behind her beautiful blue eyes that held me tenderly since my birth.  Radiation took her hearing and sight by the end but she still was the lovely, gentle soul who raised eight of us.  She showed us the grace that had always been hers even at the end of her life. For a long time, I reached to call her to tell her something but caught myself.  Mom is in my heart and my memories.  I can close my eyes and hear her voice, see her hands, her freckly hands and arms, feel her soft touch. She gave me the best of her and pushed me to beyond my own expectations for myself and helped me believe in me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

L is for Lake

Ah lakes... I grew up on lakes.  Central New York is riddled with lakes. They have icy cold water that takes your breath away even at at the end of July.  The wind as soft as a whisper can make catpaws on still waters.  High winds make the waters churn with white caps and large waves.  There is something so soothing sitting and listening to the waves lap against the shore.

At my parents' house on Cayuga Lake high above the water, I sat with my mom listening to the sounds of the forest and in the distance always the sound of water.  Hummingbirds raced through the air and dive bombed our heads, angry that we were near their feeder, while we sat in chairs looking out at the sunset.  Mom would sit in her chair reading the paper or book with her glasses dipped low on her nose and of course, a cup of tea close by.  "Mom, it doesn't get any better than this," I'd say...

K is for Kindred Spirits

kindred spirit
Also, kindred soul .  An individual with the same beliefs, attitudes or feelings as oneself.

I have been so fortunate in my life to meet many kindred spirits along the way.  Each has been like a jewel.  I am awed by the instant sensation I have when I recognize a kindred spirit. Without a doubt, an instant friend for life is made.  I have often caught myself thinking that each of these friends knows the others, but it is only in my mind.  The surprise to me is that sometimes don't even like each other should their paths cross.  However, there is plenty of room in my heart and in my life for these treasured souls.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jane

J is for Jane.  Hi Jane, where's Tarzan?  If I had a dime for every time I heard that in my life I'd be rich, along with the other favorite, Jane the Pain.

I grew up truly hating my name.  Fun With Dick and Jane.  I knew no other Janes and I had a ton of friends whose names were Mary.  My little group of friends included; Mary, Mary, Mary, Terri, Jerri and Jane.

However, today I have embraced my name and have even come to like it.  What better name to have as a teacher than Jane to illustrate "silent E" to my emergent readers?

I was named after my mother's sister whom I never met (long story) and her cousin, Jane. These were two very dear people in my mother's life.

Names aside, I am very happy right now with the Jane that I have become.  Life has given me a fair shake at both joys and challenges.  I have been unsure of myself at times but right now in my life, I really like me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I is for Insomnia

My husband travels for work occasionally and every time he's gone I have such trouble falling asleep.  I find it to be annoying that I can't turn my brain off when he isn't here.  The time is now 1:46 a.m. and I am wide awake.  Well, actually, I'm dopey and staring a lot but can't seem to make my eyes close.

I came home sick from work yesterday and took a home remedy recommended by a friend and boy, was that a mistake.  After I took the remedy,  and foolishly waited I was feeling rather sick to look up this remedy on the computer. Now I know I should research anything that is a recommendation.  I have been feeling the effects of the remedy for hours.Yes, I'm a nut!

Friday, April 8, 2011

H is for How Did This Happen?

I went to a meeting today for work;  I was dreading going.  The last time I attended one of the required meetings, we were talked "at" for three hours.  I was pleasantly surprised to see many familiar faces.  As a matter of fact there were seven of us who had studied together for our masters degrees.  We shared pictures of family and got caught up; it had been 15 years since we graduated from the program to become reading specialists.

As my mind flashed back to those days, I saw those twenty-somethings turn into these forty-somethings before me.  Time is a fickle friend..  We had aged,wrinkled, and grayed. We had become wives, widows, divorcees, mothers, and grandmothers. How did this happen?  Where had the time gone? Cherish every minute for time slips by much too fast.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

G is for Guidebook

The Blog Guidebook  is a place I found great information to help me along my way in the blogging world.  I found myself lost when I first started and this was a terrific resource for me.

The Blog Guidebook offers great tips in addition to services for bloggers.  They include Blogging for newbies, Beginner Blogging Class videos, and some great Blog Tutorials which are listed below.  I have to recommend their site.  It has been invaluable to me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

F is for Flood

We averted a flood in our basement this morning.  Oh my, we have been through the flooding scene before but this is the first time that the alarm alerted us to the fact that it was dead and the water was rising in the well.  My husband noticed the buzzing this morning when he went down to make the coffee.  He came back up and told me and we went down together.  Everything looked fine but the hole is covered.  He left for work and I was left with my worries.

I was half way to school when I decided I should turn around and face the music or I might really regret it.  I dialed the plumber and got his wife who told me she thought he could come right over after dropping his daughter at school.  He arrived  ten minutes later and pronounced it dead.  A new sump pump installed $345, no flooding, priceless!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

E is for End

Ends can be both good and bad, happy and sad.  

People can be at their wits end, at the end of their rope, the end of their life, the end of a relationship, the end of a book, the end of their patience, the end of the road, end of the game.  I suppose many of the ends are a little scary.  I think that the good news is that when one gets to the end of whatever it is, it seems it may only get better.

Monday, April 4, 2011

D is for Dandelions

I saw my first dandelion of the season today.  When I was a little girl, I loved them.  I would try to find as many that had turned white and gone to seed as possible so that I could blow them in the wind. I loved seeing the wind take them up and away, silently they would drift away and I would never give them a second thought.

Fast forward to today and I was filled with dread.  I am a gardener and those beautiful little flowers are not on my hit parade.  I prefer Virginia Blue Bells, Lobelia and Morning Glory.  I suppose it is unfair that I have become fickle with this flower that once filled me with joy  However, just as a girl lets go of Barbies and baby dolls and moves on to bigger and better things so must I.

I was thinking today that I'll be getting my weed killer and my weed puller out this next weekend.  Their demise is on my list of things to do.  I am a traitor but I don't care; I have moved on.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Coffee

Coffee was not my first love; I am a tea drinker or at least I was.  My husband has converted me.  My husband makes the best coffee in the world. Recently he bought one of those coffee makers with the grinder right in it.  I didn't think it would make a difference but it really does taste better.  He has spoiled me but I like it very much.

My love of coffee developed as through our years of marriage.  Lately he has been bringing me coffee with breakfast in bed.  I suppose that heightens the appeal.  I am a very luck girl to have my coffee grinding man.

My mom used to always say that any meal she didn't cook tasted heavenly to her. She had eight children and did a lot of cooking.  Since she had to cook, it took away any of the joy it may have had before the children came along. It is sort of the same thing with the coffee.  I don't make it and I am served in my "Her Majesty" cup so really, how could I possibly complain.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Babies

Babies!  Babies are the best!  Four years ago, I became a grandmother.  I could never have anticipated how much I love being "Grandma Janie."  I was highly opposed to being called Grandma until I saw little Taylor Lily's face.  I now wear the title with pride and I am so grateful to be a young grandma.

My son and daughter in-law are expecting in November and we are thrilled for this next opportunity to have another grandchild.  I can't wait!

The sweetest part of being a grandparent is recapturing the feelings I had as a parent with my two little bundles of joy. The preciousness of holding the tiny hand and seeing the quivering chin and flailing arms.  It is the closest I will ever get to those memories of my own babies being in my arms again.  The thrill to me is bliss.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Algonkian

AlgonkianThe day I set my eyes on the  Algonkian was a day that felt like I was coming home.  We were in the market for a house.  I had seen many homes.  There wasn't much to see. The Algonkian was a different experience.   I went into The Algonkian and walked through the living room and dining room into the kitchen saw the light from the water in the pool reflected and shimmering on both the floors and ceilings.  I was awesome.  I thought, "This is the place for me." 

However, the price was out of our range and the market was slowing down to a crawl.  If we could sell ours we might be in a better negotiating position.  Our real estate agent told us that it was a little out of our range but if we waited and could be patient, anything could happen.

She called us two days later to say the sellers had dropped the price $45,000; we could afford it.  We made a plan and decided to go for it.  They accepted our contract even with the home inspection scheduled.  It would be ours; We were on cloud nine.

I had always dreamed of a house with a pool.  My favorite part of The Algonkian is that it is secluded.  The backyard abuts a common ground of forest.  There are houses with yards beyond the woods but they can't be seen in the summer.

My favorite thing about The Algonkian is sitting out in the morning sipping coffee with my husband, D and reading while the birds sing their songs to each other.  There's a woodpecker that can usually be heard.  In the background are the sounds of the gurgling spa waters that flow over the edge into the pool.  The sound of water is heavenly.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mind Musings

I have been blogging on The Hole in the Ceiling since January of this year.  It's the story of my life; I'm enjoying writing it.  As I have discovered the world of blogging, I have realized that having a type of "story blog" can be limiting; I needed a place to do other things besides write my story.  Here I am world, just getting started and ready to say HELLO!

Jane Anne