The world slowly rights itself, again…

600 people came together and breathed a collective breath of forgiveness and sadness on Thursday.  Tears were audible throughout the church and young men slouched with their uneasiness of being put in an adult situation, but for all of us-we wouldn’t be anywhere else.  Christopher’s step-mother stood up in front of all of us and asked us to forgive their grandson and pray for him. That was not their grandson, she said.  The boys, who lost their bestfriend, believed for sure that Josh was not mad at the brother who ended his young life so how could they be mad.  As all of the kids gathered back at the school there seemed to be a lightness surrounding all of us.  And for once, it didn’t feel so topsy-turvy.  I talked to one of my favorite kids for about 2o minutes, hugged a number of them as they checked in with me, met the girlfriend of one of the boys, laughed with some parents, and left at the end of the high school’s day to spend the end of the day with Ella in her kindergarten class.

Her teacher said it best as I set my sunglasses down on the table and Ella’s eyes sparkled with happiness at the surprise of me in the room-“No better place to be at the end of a day like you have had.” And as I wrapped Ella in my arms, I knew she was right.

The kids are alright.

Wow-thanks for all the kind words, and calls. All of you make this easier and remind me how lucky I am. I am not sure when I will be done writing about this, but it will come I know it thanks for hanging with me. It really has hit me harder than I ever imagined.
We had a fairly normal Sunday, though. Even got outside to play in the snow. And really-just a great day. About 20 minutes of Photo Booth fun. We laughed the whole time, but this one caused tears to stream down my face.


Still gets me going when I look at it. So funny.

School day sucked most righteously. I was just antsy all day. Wishing I was at the high school, but the staff didn’t need or want me there. I just wanted to eye-ball those kids, see if they were okay. I got an email from a parent that said a couple of the boys were going to stop by after school to see if I was okay. So funny. They arrived, I fed them, they stayed for 2 hours. They could have stayed longer, but their parents had already waited an hour to take them home. What awesome parents! All I can think is that I am so lucky to be a part of their world. They shared some of the best stories with me about Josh-I know him better now then I ever did before. The parents said the best part was hearing them laugh from out in the hall. I felt utterly drained after, but blessed. I will always carry those boys in my heart for the rest of my life. They have earned a place there.
Wake on Wednesday, Funeral on Thursday.

Friends and Neighbors…

Well, I must admit I have been quite the debbie downer as of late. As I read over my last post, especially, it feels very raw and sensational. I am still really pissed. And even more so as it was released today that the older brother stabbed them all to death and then set the house on fire. Why? Because he wanted to take a year off from school and backpack in Europe and they didn’t want him too. He was not getting his way.
Here is a link to a report featuring 50 of our kids holding a memorial for Josh.

The kids walked from Town Hall to his home. I saw their faces and it must just be heartwrenching to try and understand. Too much…too, too much. But please get angry at the part about Josh’s Myspace Page. That awful reporter-so not necessary.

But the one thing I know about this community is that there will be an incredible amount of caring, support, and love going around to those who are hurting and scared. I have heard stories of people being lifted up by this community in their greatness moments of need. I think the only hard part is it is the community that needs the lifting right now. Tomorrow morning we are opening up the school for families to come and eat food and try to start healing. I know I starting crying the minute I pulled into the parking lot. It will be good for kids to get in there before Monday, as we have been on vacation this week.

So here is the good stuff. I called the doctor twice today because it was the third day of vomitrosious Molly. THREE days of eating or drinking anything and it coming back up. She was skinny before…I can count her ribs. I think I remember my niece, Kater going through something like this last year…baby I send you hugs retroactive. This is awful. So finally they gave me a prescription for a suppository to stop the nausea and vomiting. The only problem being it was just me and the girls. I called the baby-sitter, not home. Called the Rad Randalls, not home…finally called some new friends who are both ER nurses at Lovely York Hospital. Dan, the man, was home and said his mom just arrived and he would be happy to go pick up the prescription for us. Really, the man. I almost cried. Not only that he gave out free medical advice and even said he would pick up her zythromax for us at the hospital tonight for her ear infection and drop it off on his way home in the morning. Gasp-cry-huge EXHALE. And guess what?! the suppository is working. She ate half a piece of flat bread before bed…Inhaled actually and promptly fell asleep. That is like a 5 course meal for her. So even if she pukes…she has kept some of it because it has been an hour since she fell asleep. Excuse my french, but fuck yeah!

So here are some happy things to leave you with…
1. Ella beat me like a gazillion times at Uno today and totally rubbed it in all sassy-like. That’s my girl.
2. Ella and I made kick-ass Inspiration Soup from Moosewoods Broccoli Forest. Spinach, Artichoke, Mushrooms, Potatoes…in an amazing broth…food for the soul. Or at least my soul.
3. This picture
4. My maineman puts up with my craziness and loves me like a champ. Even when I yell at him for no reason.
5. I can watch Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in Annie a gazillion times and never get tired of it. Carol Burnett is a goddess. And with that I will leave you—Enjoy! And thanks to all who called and commented. We know we are loved here. And back to happier times.

Hanging on here…

Our vacation has gone around a scary hairpin turn, hit the guardrail and is now teetering on the edge of a cliff. Steve and I keep moving toward the back of the car to keep it from going over.

Molly had a couple episodes last night so I was getting a couple extra zzzzzzzzzs this morning. I received two phone calls from my vice-principal from 7-8:30. Never a good sign.
And it wasn’t…she was calling about this

I need to swear, and I need to sleep. I need to curl up in a ball on my bed and I need to run away from all of this madness. And all I can think about besides my puking kids, is what happened to Josh-what was going on before this horrible thing happened. He was good friends with these guys
I have talked with a couple of their parents. Everyone is in shock and the worse part is that no one knows what happened. I am going into school tomorrow.

As for Molly-I miss her. I miss her laugh, her running, her nudge-y-ness, her voice, and the brightness in her eyes. This is the worse sickness this house has seen. And her little body looks even “littler” laying on the couch. She has not moved. Except for when I move her. And her visit to the drs. where she was diagnosed with an ear infection, as well.

I am just thankful this is vacation…but I want a take back.


I thought of starting off this post with a scene from the Young Ones, episode Sick. But because of a lack of clips I will just remind you that was a hysterical show. Our vacation has taken a scary hair pin turn and crashed into the guardrail. Since midnight last night we have had a very sick Moo Cow on our hands. So sad, so so sad. This sickness has caused to cancel our awesome sledding party planned for tomorrow. We all cried a bit, threw a couple “this is so stupid” fits and then moved on. The nurse said there is no telling how long Molly is contagious now so in the interest of preserving public health we will pull the plug. WAHHHH! (insert Lucy cry here)

In an effort to make Ella feel better and to maybe keep her healthy she and I ran away for the afternoon. She and I went out for lunch and then painted a little a pottery.

We had a delicious lunch at Pepperland in South Berwick which included some cutthroat games of hangman and tictactoe.

at pepperland

And then on to the Naked Plate in Dover for some paint your own pottery. I have only once in my life been to one of these places. I took a little girl I was babysitting. Let me say that going with Ella was a lot of fun. And I quote, “I never knew pottery could be so fun?!?!” She made something for herself and a birthday present for Molly.

Can you tell who this is for?

at naked plate

Back home she and Steve did a little sledding and I nursed Molly some more. Everyone think good thoughts for a speedy recovery, specifically TONIGHT!

Did I mention I am on vacation?

Here I am in full vacation mode. Sweatshirt-glass of red wine-great tv-no thoughts about waking up for work. Sigh-so happy. So what have we been up to up here in Maine? Good stuff. Steve and I had our day away. It was much needed and wonderful. Newburyport, MA is an odd place. In the words of my Maineman, “it’s like Newburyport’s mom drank while it was in her womb.” Just a little off-a little odd. We left the kids with the Randalls-the Rad Randalls. OH Randalls-where would we be without you? Steve and I stopped in Portsmouth for a stop at an Art Show I had heard about at Nahcotta. Some neat stuff, but nothing I LOVED. And then had some chowder and a beer at the Stockpot (Yum!) before heading down good ol’ 95. Our Inn was great. Cozy and very New England.
Garrison Inn
So the first weirdness was that we were the ONLY people walking on the sidewalks. But yet EVERY place we walked by was PACKED. No one outside. But anyway. Our dinner! WOW fabulous.
10 Center St.
The restaurant was packed and after sitting at the bar for a drink we wished we had just stayed at the bar. Our table was in this loud function room, but we settled in with our waiter, who was supposed to be a busboy, Dan and had an incredible meal. So we were skippy darn happy for a nice clip back to the Inn. We stopped in the tavern at the Inn to hear music before bed, but again, ODD. It was this great brick walled space with furniture from a chinese food restaurant. Could be cozy New England bar, but it wasn’t. Odd. But we didn’t let this dampen our spirits.
The next day after a yummy breakfast and a leisurely read of the Globe we trolled up the coast back home. GREAT trip.

Sunday we bought a new couch for upstairs and did some re-arranging.
the new setup
part 2

I am loving the new space upstairs. We have contained the record situation and I enjoyed sitting up there tonight with cozy, snoozy kittys all around me. And John-if you come to visit we have a nice pull out couch for you. Much better than the RV and I think Futon you have slept on in past visits. The girls extremely enjoyed the box the couch came in-always the way.
Giggled for a half hour straight and then asked to go to bed because they were tired. Huh?
fun with a box

I worked with my new bias tape maker today. I wasn’t very good at it, but it sure was fun.
This is the edge for the blanket I am making.
my bias tape maker

So that is all for now. Not sunny and warm, but it is still vacation. And we will take it.

It’s just another day with love, and flowers, and 100s of other things

A great Valentine’s day in Maine. Everyone enjoyed their shirts. Probably not as much as I did seeing them all in them, but Ella wore it without a fight so that is a good sign. She told me that she even told 4 people at school that her mom made her shirt for her. We are already planning where we can sew racing stripes on Steve’s clothes-please someone tell us when we have gone over the top here. 🙂

I was a big winner today. I got the most beautiful dozen roses at school when I arrived this morning. And then an email that informed me that my sweet, thoughtful husband had posted a special valentine podcast on Groovepool just for me. It is chock full of love songs and sweet sentiments. I love it. Makes me happy and gives me good driving and sewing tunes.

While I was at work soaking up my Valentine love, my other thirds were at the Primary school enjoying Ella’s 100 day celebration. In honor of the day and the holiday, for the past ten years our little school has had each classroom collect 100 of one item for the local food pantry. There is a presentation at the school and it is a feel good moment for all involved.
100th day
Ella’s class had a mac and cheese mountain
macaroni mountain
Nice work kids
Nice Work
Nice glasses, El
With her glasses
Molly thinks it is good

I got home and made some Yummy flourless chocolate cakes
And we had a fantastic dinner of steak and mushrooms! Good family valentine’s day. The girls even convinced Steve to join their High School Musical band.
hsm band
Rock and Roll!
the trio

One more day until vacation. Looking forward to some time at home. But this weekend Steve and I are heading south to Newburyport for a night away. Kids are going to the Randalls and we are going to the Garrison Inn. Also trying a new place for dinner, Ten Center Street. I am very much excited about the prospect of some grown up time and sleeping in. Yes siree Bobby!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my awesome family and friends. We love all of you! Thanks for making our lives so much better. You know who you are!

More shirts…

Here is Ella’s shirt.

ella's shirt

And here is Steve’s

steve's shirt

I love, love, love how Ella’s shirt turned out. I added the embroidery and am loving that bit. Steve’s is fun. It is a lighting bolt…can you tell? A lightening bolt to my heart. Rrrrroar!