Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Spread kindness to one person a day Imagine the amount of happiness you would dispense in a lifetime

Sometimes the littlest things can make a good day even better!

Thanks to the police officer in Harrison today who directed us to an alternate route when leaving the Red Bulls game saving us at least twenty minutes of traffic!

Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to do something kind for someone else.  Spread the kindness!

Wrapped in a Hug

hug

Recently I bought a new sweater.  Well, new to me at least.  It was one of the purchases steals I got at  The Op Shop a few weeks ago. It is a dark gray, wrap-around cardigan.  It is long and warm and if I could wear it every day, I probably would!

It is kind of a long running joke in our family but Dave keeps our house pretty cold in the winter.  We have oil heat and after many expensive oil bills, instead of turning up the heat, we add extra layers.  The house is NEVER warmer than 65 degrees and that is “high” for us. During the day, when no one is home, it is at 55!!!! At night we kick it up to 60 and we bundle up under layers of blankets.  I sleep in socks and a hat!  The kids have grown to like it….although it is not uncommon to see Drew wearing his flannel robe over his clothes when he is in the house.  Sleeping in fleece pajamas, a sweatshirt over another long sleeved shirt with a hat and wooly socks doesn’t bode well in the romance department, but I guess after 21 years of marriage that honeymoon was over a long time ago!

Therefore warm sweaters are a must in our house.  I am wearing this particular new one for the second time this week. It is just so soft and snuggly, that when I wore it last week to school, I noticed I was getting a lot more hugs than often.  The hugs were lasting longer and at first I wondered why.  When one of my students told me how soft the sweater was she said she just couldn’t stop the hugs and I realized something.  The reason I love these big, snuggly sweaters…this one especially, is because it really does feel like I am wrapped up in a great big hug.

It may have only cost a few dollars at The Op Shop, but it is worth a lot more than that to me!

690

would anyone notice

Over the last few weeks, I have had a harder and harder time coming up with ideas to write about.  I started this blog with the intention of sharing kindness and while it is never “un”kind, it has gone off track a bit.  Some days I have absolutely no problem writing.  An idea comes to me during the day and I am set.  Other times, I see a quote or story that I know would be perfect to share.

The was one of those nights where I sat at the computer asking the kids or Dave to help me with an idea.  Dave asked me just how many days in a row I have written.  Today is the 325th day of the year so, since I write everyday, today is blog number 690.  That means, nearly 700 blogs about me, my life, the world around me….and I wondered….would anyone notice if I didn’t write one?  If I missed a day?  I do have “followers” (that always astounds me.,) and they aren’t even just my family!!  Over 200 of them.   Would they notice if I didn’t write one?  My sister and dad would.  A few friends might realize, but really, would it be a big deal?

I think at this point, I am writing more for myself, a diary of sorts perhaps? I get comments after every post so I know it is being read but on nights like tonight when I feel like what I am writing is such a bore, really, would it matter if I didn’t share?  For now, I will at least keep it up until the end of the year.  With only 42 more days to go, I can do it.  They might not be the most exciting stories to share, you might hear more about what I made for dinner, or why I like to shop locally, but I will write.  Even if I am only doing it for myself.

Shop Local

shop small

Living in a small town, and being a part of a family who owns a small business in that town, I have come to realize the importance of “shopping locally.”  November 29th is Small Business Saturday where people are encouraged to shop at small businesses.  Shopping small makes a big impact on your neighborhood. A few days ago, Dave and I were driving on Springfield Avenue, (the busiest road in town – still only a two lane road though,) and passed a sign that read, “fresh ravioli.”  I don’t know how I have lived around the corner from this place for all these years and never noticed it! Perhaps it was the new awning, I don’t know, but something caught my eye and we mentioned we should try it out. It is called Campy Ravioli and Dave went there today, got some ravioli and two kinds of sauce, marinara and Vodka.  A block away there is a tiny Italian deli, Di Pietro’s, that sells meatballs and fresh Italian bread so he stopped there as well. This was dinner tonight and Drew declared the raviolis were “as good as The Reservoir’s.”  The Reservoir is where we eat nearly once a week for our extended family’s dinner.  He was right…it has us wondering if maybe that’s where they get their raviolis from. Great prices, delicious food and we kept it local.  Not everyone who reads my blog can shop here in Maplewood of course, but think about seeking out a new place in your own town and try it out.  We were pleasantly surprised and will definitely be returning! Don’t just shop local on Small Business Saturday.  Do it often.  Without a doubt, local shop keepers are happy to have your business!

Read Aloud

read aloud

I am not sure when I stopped reading aloud to my boys.  Read aloud is my favorite part of the day at school. I read to my class every single day taking pride in the fact that those children are enraptured by my voice, my intonation and inflection when I read.  There are times when a day seem to be spiraling out of control.  When that happens, I grab a book and start reading.  No matter where the kids are in the room, they gather.  They listen, they calm, they relax.  They are focused on the story, focused on me.  I have reeled them back in!

I read to my boys every night when they were little.  Each of them had their favorite book that we read over and over again.  For DJ, it was Freight Train by Donald Crews.  I can still recite it from memory we read it so many times! For Drew it was Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.  It is still a favorite of mine to read to my Kindergarteners. Drew says he can still remember me bringing Knuffle Bunny Two to his Kindergarten Class the time I went in to surprise him for his birthday.

As my boys became readers themselves, we had a deal that for every book they read to me, I’d read one to them.  It worked for the longest time.  I don’t know when it stopped. I guess it just sort of slipped away, out of our nightly routine…we don’t even have a routine anymore.

Over the last few days, Drew and I have brought back the nightly tradition though and I realized just how much I missed it.  Drew has always been a struggling reader and when he was given an assignment to read, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, it actually brought him to his breaking point.  Last week, he had a complete meltdown while trying to read it.  He fell apart calling himself dumb and getting so frustrated that he couldn’t pull himself together.  My “teacher diagnosis” is that he can decode and he can comprehend, he just cannot do it at the same time.  When I was finally able to calm him down, I asked him if I could try to read him a chapter.  He let me, and we wound up reading the few chapters that were assigned for school.  I had never read the book so I had no prior knowledge of the beginning of the book and he was at chapter five.  He filled me in as we went along and I asked him questions throughout the chapters to see if he was comprehending it and he was.  The next night, he asked me if we could read together again.  Tonight will be our fourth night reading together and it has brought back his joy of reading again.

I know that I can’t read to him forever and I have already contacted his school and gotten him some audio services to help him follow along as he listens to the assigned books.  For now though…I will take advantage of these precious nights that he wants to read with me.  They probably won’t last much longer!

There’s a Hole

fixer upper

I can’t stop humming this old song from my childhood tonight.  You might know the lyrics from “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea. ” (Here is a link to the original song if you aren’t familiar with it…)

I have changed the words to suit our home tonight…

There’s a wall at the top of my stairs,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs
There’s wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a hole in the wall at the top of my stairs
There’s a hole in the wall  at the top of my stairs
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a pipe in the hole in the wall at the top of my stairs,
There’s a pipe in the hole in the wall at the top of my stairs,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a crack in the pipe in the hole in the wall at the top of my stairs,
There’s a crack in the pipe in the hole in the wall at the top of my stairs,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a plumber in the flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a plumber in the flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

There’s a hole in our checkbook from the plumber in the flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a hole in our checkbook from the plumber in the flood in the basement from the crack in the hole in the wall at the top of the stairs,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall,
There’s a wall at the top of my stairs.

So let’s,
write the check,
pay the plumber,
clean the flood,
fix the crack,
patch the hole
in the wall at the top of the stairs.

cause no one wants a hole in the wall at the top of the stairs!

Do They Know It’s Christmas

Thirty years ago, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” was released and instantly it became one of my favorite Christmas songs.  It was not  one of the typical happy joyful holiday song that I had always heard and loved.  Even to this day, every time I hear it I get tears in my eyes.  I can’t even sing the whole thing without getting choked up.  “Feed the World” the message was clear.

Today, thirty years later, a new version has been released.  This time, stressing the message, “Heal the World.”

All proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the Band Aid trust in the global fight against Ebola.

I know it might be a bit early for Christmas songs, but this one deserves to be played early.