What I did on my summer vacation?

“Travel is ninety percent anticipation and ten percent recollection.”  ~Edward Streeter

I am really affected by the time change.  Taking the red eye doesn’t help.  Arrived on a Thursday morning and immediately went to bed.  Thursday was a wash.  Cullinan’s know the routine and made family plans as to not disturb our rest.  So thoughtful.

Friday had the arrival of the Soule Family.  That brings the number to 15.  I have to say it is a bit overwhelming.  But in a good way.  Not the way my step mother-in-law feels.  More love and hugs and kisses.   And games.

I really can’t remember the weekend.  I know there was dinner plans and swimming and reading.  The Red Sox played a game or two.  I went for a walk and so did my sisters-in law.  But we didn’t go together and Sally actually runs.  So one of the highlights was watching my nieces and nephew and sister-in-law dancing to a dance game on the Wii.  It cracked me up.  There was mention of who was wearing the crown or was it the crayon?  I loved the competition for high score.  The whole family went to the pier for lunch.  Papa was feeding the seagulls.  Not the best plan as there was many.  Who wants to reenact the movie The Birds?

The Cullinans departed on Sunday.  Along with my brother-in-law Trip.  And my sister-in-law Marcy stayed until Monday.

We had some rain at the beginning of the week and Jamey and I decided to go candle-pin bowling.  Took Papa along with us to be our cheerleader.  Jamey won all three games but I didn’t lose by much.  Plus Papa was always rooting for me to have a comeback in the last frame.  A good time was had by all.  All that exercise required some lunch.  Where’s my soup?

Went into town to meet up with a friend.  Shopped the shops and enjoyed dinner @ the local bar Jacks.  Our friend Bob was unable to join us but we had a great time eating mussels and shrimp and fish tacos.

We took many drives around town and the beach.  Looking at the changes that have been made and the houses that have gone up for sale.

Drove to Falmouth to meet up with Jamey’s college buddy and his wife.  We enjoyed Andy’s famous fish dish and many laughs.  I tried to explain to Danielle that she didn’t need to keep her Dunkin Donuts receipts from 2008 I am not sure she believed me.

Jamey and I took some great boat rides.  There were many simple pleasures on those trips.

Time is moving to fast.

Jamey had another friend that was on vacation in a nearby town with his fiance.  They stopped by the house and we went to lunch and took them out on the boat.

The rest of the family returns.  It is so hard to feed a family of 15.  You need to start thinking about it at breakfast so you can go to the grocery and get all of the ingredients.  I have no idea how to help as my cooking skills are more in line with preparation.  I am somehow always the topic of conversation because of my food aversions.   I help with the clean up and any salad prep.

The kids are getting older and I enjoyed talking to them and sharing stories.  I also liked learning about their perspective on the world.  Holly and Jamey were given ipads from their school.  How cool is that?  I was envious.

It all went to fast and we didn’t want it to end.  Except for the fact I wanted to sleep in my own bed.  Twin beds are tough.

I know I am missing something.  But the quote said 10% was recollection.






I don’t know why this animal has appeared in my life in the past few weeks but here are the stories.

1. Watching Family Guy.  Porcupine walks up to a Pineapple and says “Hey good looking.  Where have you been all of my life?”  And then he dances and laughs.  I laughed so loud and then rewound it and played it for my husband.  And then rewound it again.  Makes me laugh thinking of it.

2. I was playing Taboo with my sister-in-law and nieces.  Word was Porcupine.  I had no idea how to describe it.  I said something like “Predators stay away from me.”  My sister-in-law guessed porcupine.  Not sure how.

3. Dinner with step mother-in-law, her daughter, sister-in-law, niece, nephew and husband.  Step mother-in-law told a story of all the wild life that has showed up around the house including a porcupine.  Then her daughter told us story of how her dog attacked a porcupine and the quills got stuck in his face.

I then told them the story of the porcupine meeting the pineapple and apparently I have been pronouncing Porcupine as Porkypine.  Everyone got a good laugh out of that.

I just wonder why this animal keeps showing up in my life?  Maybe it is so I can replay the Porcupine meeting the pineapple over in my head.  LOL!



true purpose

Your true purpose is whatever makes you feel the most joyful.  Try steering towards that.  (this is the first quote I wrote in my quote book and I didn’t write the author down)

This is a subject which comes up frequently for me.  I think of unemployment as an opportunity to change your path.  My career path has been retail however, I never saw this as my destination only a road on my journey.

What gives me great joy?  Lately it has been reading.  Watching the characters evolve, trying to figure out the twist or the ending before it is revealed to me.  But yesterday I realized how much I love reading magazines.  While on my vacation I had my mail placed on hold.  When the mail arrived I had 7 magazines waiting to be opened.  Delivered all at the same time.  I have a technique.  I start with a flip through pre-view.  Read what initially catches my eye and then put it aside.  Start the next one and so on.  When complete I start all over.  Reading feature stories and notes from the editor.  Tagging pages that have product or info I want to research more on the internet.  I also rip out pages to be placed in my inspiration book or for my vision board.  But then I do one more round to see if I missed anything and I put them aside to pass on to others.  I have always brought them into my job and placed them in my break room.  Knowing that several people will enjoy them and so I am doing my part in recycling.  I subscribe to 15 magazines.  From fashion, home decorating, cooking and household tips.  Much to learn and absorb.

Television also gives me great joy.  My husband and I have a few shows that we enjoy watching together.  We save them on the DVR and snuggle on the couch and discuss the shows during and after.  I have other shows I enjoy that my husband would rather watch paint dry then sit and watch them with me.  Similar to my feelings about sports.  I like shows that are inspiring and witty and make you think “How did someone come up with that?”  My range is vast.  Which allows me to connect with different audiences.

I love telling stories.  I saw a Seinfeld episode the other day that really said it all.  It was the “chinese restaurant” episode.  Elaine, Jerry and George are waiting to be seated.  Elaine is so hungry and Jerry dares her to go over to a table and grab an egg roll off a table and start eating it.  This would be the best story to tell people.  Every time you eat chinese food with someone  you would want to share the story of the time the lady came over to your table and took an egg roll and just started eating it.  Not asking.  Not saying a word. Just picking it up and shoving it in her mouth.  I just laugh out loud thinking of it.  I always have a story.  I don’t know if I am open to receiving it or I just like to share the story more.

“Everybody has a story.  And there is something to be shared from every experience.”  ~Oprah

So what is my purpose?  I have no idea.  I guess it all comes down to liking a good story or sharing a good tip.  Being a word spreader.


Two is a crowd

I just returned from my summer vacation with my in-laws.  I love my family but the constant invasion of my thoughts and space left my mind cluttered and exhausted.  I treasure solitude.  Time that is inhabited only by me.

I learned a lot about myself this week.  Being able to do whatever I want whenever I want is not the norm.  When you are a parent you have to be constantly aware of what you do and who it will affect.  This may be one of the reasons why I never wanted kids.  I was surrounded by children ranging in age from 9-19 and their parents.  The need for constant answers and entertainment was overwhelming.  One would walk away and another would enter.  If I came down for breakfast after 9 am my greeting was “Good Afternoon.”  Really?   I was the last one to go to bed every night.  By hours.  My mind had difficulty shutting down and I needed this time alone.

So what works for me may not work for you but here are some suggestions to have those sacred minutes.

Create little islands of solitude in your daily life.  Surprise and delight yourself.  Take your lunch outside.  Take a bath.  Put on your favorite song and sing or dance to it.  Enjoy your own company.  Step away from all of the distractions and just do something you want to do for you.

Be on the look out for nooks of time.  Don’t try to fill them with chores.  These are your stolen moments.  Enjoy them!

When it comes to solitude, two is a crowd.

simple pleasures

“When times are tough, the way out is in actively noticing new things. The essence of happiness is that feeling of engagement with the world and with other people.”  Ellen Langer

Let us not miss our lives as they are happening.

Look outward- Take a walk and wait for little flashes of discovery in the world.  I call these moments simple pleasures or momentary joys.

The beautiful sunset, the comfort of your warm bed, a text from a friend, a rainbow, the first cup of coffee, a clear star filled night, a full moon, or a rose in bloom.  Whatever your life holds today take a snapshot and remember how you felt in that moment.  Say to yourself…I will enjoy this moment, just as it is.  I will live in this moment, just as it is.

I like to keep a journal of these simple pleasures and remember what I was feeling when they happened.  The simple things can bring much happiness.  We enjoy the simple things for what they are, but for also what they evoke: people we have loved, times of peace and contentment, or the promise the future holds.