Martha Thinks

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Passages, passages

My annual sign for the first day of school. Oh how wicked this mother comes. I do love it though. And now the kids just humor me with a photo. They don't even fight me about it anymore. One birdy has already flown, next in line is a senior in high school with 6 AP courses, a job and playing tuba in the high school band. My little guy is in his last year of elementary school with soccer and hip hop lessons. I think the most important job I have this year is to keep plenty of food on the table...and the stove...and in the backpacks...'cause we are going to be like ships in the night in this house!!!
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Catching one last wave

In the truly lazy days during the last week before school started, we had a very impromptu Lego "Bionicle" pizza party that lucky for me (and my laundry pile) lasted for hours...

One day we headed to the beach to catch some good pre-Hurricane Irene waves...and tried not to miss "the brother at college" too much.

and soak in the lingering, warm hours left of summer which included this question asked MANY times "can I have a soda, mom?" (because I have told him that once school starts the soda that he shouldn't have anyway--but manages to get me to say yes to...will definitely not be an option). Never met a kid who loves Sunkist soda so much.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Beautiful Beantown

When I was their age, I would have been thrilled to be on a boat. Any boat. I still remember taking my first flight at age 18 to DisneyWorld and taking the ferry over to the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney had me at that ferry ride over the Seven Seas Lagoon. It played all of that happy music and there in the distance was the Cinderella castle. That never gets old for me. But I digress...

They were kinda of impressed. But they noticed the snack bar right away and kept trying to go back downstairs. Priorities, I guess.

I can't say enough about how pretty a day it was today. It was a little windy - as in the boys' pizzas practically blew off of the outdoor dining table, but humidity was practically zero and after the summer we've had, I really appreciated that! Boston has worked so hard to have a beautiful waterfront and it has achieved that and more. When you see it from the water, with all the pleasure boats, sailboats, water taxis and whale watches, it is so vibrant and alive.

One of the specialty boat rides is called "Codzilla" and is a 40 minute high speed boat ride that will get you soaking wet! Carter had not planned to ride on it, but when we got off the water taxi it was 5 minutes from departure and he really wanted to do it. He ended up meeting us in the Aquarium and his shirt was so wet I had to buy him another one from the gift shop.

Wherever we were today, the timing worked out perfectly. Just one of those days, I guess. The water taxis were always there, I was so impressed by the Aquarium I bought a membership and so I didn't have to wait in line at all. I got discounts in the cafe and gift shop. I was a pretty happy gal.
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A Day at the Aquarium

Perhaps it has been two years or longer since I have been to the New England Aquarium. This is the last week and a half before school starts and as is my tradition, I crank out all sorts of fun stuff that we never got around to. Ha ha, you could call it forced-fun, but hey, while the weather is good, why not? So there will be an outing a day.

Today, Carter, Ronan and his friend Matthew headed out to the Aquarium. I highly recommend driving to the Charlestown Navy Yard, parking in the lot and taking the water taxi that drops you right at the front door of the Aquarium. At $1.70 a boat ride, it is a BEAUTIFUL way to see the Boston Waterfront. Here the boys are at a new "Sharks and Rays" hands on exhibit where you can pet them in a shallow tank. Everyone is supposed to use "indoor" voices, but as you can imagine on a fully packed summer afternoon, it was not that quiet!

I love how dark it is in there. And blue. Love that.

Penguins waiting to be fed, not so patiently, making all sorts of noise. Reminds me of a couple of kids I was with today...
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Makes a Mother Proud

The annual R.M.H.S. Band car wash fundraiser on this very warm Saturday. God love these kids and putting their time in on a day when they probably would all rather be at the beach or grabbing a last day at the amusement park.

But in good humor all, they sprayed and soaped up and dried off many cars. Some kind souls walked up and just gave a donation without the car wash. And the local Meineke where they let us use a side lot, donated $150.00 to the band. Thanks for that!

And then there's this. Well this trend was started a couple of years ago and my son is a bit of a ham and jumped right in. There is a swimsuit underneath...I am just saying.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Illinois Calling

So we went out for his last meal at home in a while before he left in the morning for college - Chili's at his request!

We fed him well and all tried to not get too maudlin about the whole situation. It's a good thing after all. Just because we all won't see each other every day it's not the end of the world right? Sigh.

As adults we see the big picture. We know that maybe they will stay friends with their high school buddies (I did!) and maybe they will make closer friends with college buddies. We know that they won't think about us that much because they will have many other good things to distract them. We know that we will not be there for every achievement or able to help them over every hurdle. And most of all we know we will miss them more than they will miss us.

So from the school bus to the airplane, the wing and the wheel, off he goes to the next journey. All I hope for is that he makes many friends and that his bed is comfortable! Gosh, now I really do need a tissue.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Hurrah

Brady had said that he would like to have a college-send-off party before he left and so we granted permission and of course, I love any excuse to make my yard look like a Mexican cantina! Sweet! He avoids sentimentality at all costs so while he was at work I took the opportunity to make the food table a little shrine ; )

This is the chilled out period right after dusk but just before 8pm, which is when his party started. He had to work until 7pm...his last day of work before he leaves for Illinois...and so we did all of the prep work, food, etc. I made 5 chocolate trifles. That's right - 5! He said everyone wanted "a lot" and we always run out, so we whipped cream, stirred pudding and baked chocolate cakes all night long last night and today put them all together. They made it through 2 1/2 giant bowls of trifle. The others I am sure I can find a good home for!

You won't need it, dear son, but good luck in your new adventure so far away from home!!!

Best buddies. Stay forever young. These are the days to remember. The best is yet to come. Your mothers and fathers love you. Somebody hand me a tissue.
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The time of their lives

I remember these pictures of me and my friends on almost the same summer night 30 (plus) years ago. I remember the feeling of being on the brink of something really cool. In my case, I was the one who stayed and commuted to school (mistake) and felt pretty bad about waving goodbye to everyone as they headed off to Vermont, Indiana and Washington, D.C.

These last few precious nights of the summer between high school graduation and college. Going from being the on the top of the heap where all is certain - into the great unknown. But how exciting!

So take these hours on this perfect of summer nights and keep your promises to stay in touch with each other.

Seriously? Smiling? Seriously, great.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

raspberries and chocolate chips

11 a.m. breakfast. Still sorta on beach time. The teenagers slept all morning on vacation, which made Ronan and momma very antsy. We only had one car until dad came up on Wednesday night, so it was either leave them in the house to be totally lazy or wait for them to rouse and drag their behinds to the beach.

Anyway...back at home...this waffle maker owes me nada. It is stupendous. I think we paid $100 bucks at Williams-Sonoma but let me tell you it was worth every single penny. You can't make a mistake. It whistles when it's hot enough and it whistles when the waffle is ready. This morning I just threw out combo suggestions from what I had around. Raspberries and chocolate chips for two of them, plain choco chips for...well, I'll just say it...Brady. He's not a big "take chances on food" kind of kid.

But as we countdown to the August 17th college departure date, I for one cherish these unrushed mornings where the boys can just goof off and relax over waffles, even if breakfast smushes over to lunchtime.
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Butterfly Bush

Merely two years ago, we planted these grasses and butterfly bushes. They were in small quart size pots, I kid you not!! Obviously I'd love to give my gardening skills all the credit, but more credit goes to putting them in exactly the right spot where they pretty much get screaming sun all day. Where the direct sun sends me ducking for cover under an awning or parasol, these guys absolutely love it.

I do water almost every day...but still. Crazy!
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kennebunkport Summer

We always try to remember the cottages and how many years we have rented a cottage by the sea for a week. We try and count them all up. A couple of times we went for two weeks but never were able to rent the same cottage for two weeks in a row, so we would have to pack up and move down the street to the next place.

This is St. Ann's church in Kennebunkport. Just so pretty, so Maine. One of the reasons we see license plates from Texas, Minnesota, Maryland and Quebec. It's just that pretty and like homing pigeons we find ourselves returning year after year.

For the first time we ate at Mabel's Lobster Claw on Ocean Ave. I think the picture speaks for itself ; ) I had an iced tea and a Bloody Mary. That's right. Two drinks. Vacation. Who's gonna stop me? The iced tea was just straight up. I mean, I'm not that wild.

Afterwards we headed back to the beach to play a little game of paddle ball - just stretching out a lovely summer afternoon.
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He's Gettin' Ready

One foot out the door, counting down the days until college life begins as an engineering student at the University of Illinois. Life is humming along at such a rate that right now I don't even have time to look back, ponder, ruminate or be bummed out. That's ok. It's all good.
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Breakfast of Champions

One will save your life, one will take it away. LOL. Well, Carter went and picked $16.00 worth of fresh blueberries and honestly it was like tasting a blueberry for the first time. They really tasted like the earth and the sun and sweet and delicious. I made endless blueberry pancakes and a blueberry cobbler and then froze the rest for when it gets cold and we have none!
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