Panera and Night Class


Joe is taking a class at a local community college.  It meets on Monday evenings from 6:45 to 8:45.  P.M.  In the evening.  At night.  Now, that wouldn’t be such a big deal but I am a morning person.  My best time to get things done is between 5 am and noon.  After that, I begin to fade and on most nights I am ready for my jammies by 7:00 pm.  So, while a one time a week evening class is aces for a 15 (almost 16 year old), for a 50 something mom it sucks.

Since the college is 1/2 hour away, his dad and I take turns bringing him and tonight it is my turn.  I decided that instead of spending two hours wandering aimlessly around Target, I would bring the laptop and hit Panera’s.  Usually when I go to Panera’s it is to eat lunch and then leave.  I’m not one to linger.  But tonight I joined the ranks of those folks I used to watch.  You know the ones.  They sit near the fireplace with some food or a cup of coffee and type away on their laptop.  They always seem so busy and I wonder what they’re working on.  A book?  An update to their spy dosier? An important project that is due the next day for work?

I secretly listen to the two women with their teenage daughters sitting in the booth across from me.  One’s daughter has been accepted to quite a few colleges – Georgetown being one of them.  Sometimes I don’t even hear the words, just the pleasant, calming singsong of their voices.

I’m the only one typing away on my laptop and I wonder if anyone looks at me and wonders what I wonder when I see people like me.  I’m just typing a blog post folks.  Move along…nothing to see here.

When You Donate to St. Baldrick’s (apologies to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie)

When you donate to St. Baldrick’s,
you’ll get a good feeling inside.
When you get a good feeling inside,
you’ll want to share it with others.
When you share that good feeling with others,
you’ll want to do more.
When you want to do more,
you’ll volunteer to help at an event.
When you help at an event,
you’ll see how much fun everyone is having.
When you see how much fun everyone is having,
you’ll want to join the club.
When you join the club,
you’ll volunteer to get your head shaved.
When you get your head shaved,
you’ll be raising money to fight childhood cancer.
And when you raise money to fight childhood cancer,
you’ll be donating to St. Baldrick’s.

Please click here to donate.  On behalf of children everywhere who are fighting or who have fought cancer, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Sausage Day

ImageToday was sausage day at my brother’s house.  This has become a yearly event where the deer that have been taken and butchered are then ground down and made into sausage and burgers.  This year, it was five deer and 150 lbs of meat.  There are a few people involved and it’s an assembly line process.  The cubed meat is ground, mixed with pork or beef fat and then spices are added.  After that, it’s made into patties or stuffed into pig intestine casing and then sealed in plastic, divided up and stored in the freezer for the year.  The meat makes it’s appearance at bar-b-ques all summer long.


Oh I forgot to tell you. It’s delicious.

Sausage making day is a day of fun and family.  It’s a day that I love being a part of.  I give thanks that we are able to harvest these deer and make food that will feed our families for a year or more.  Some may see it as barbaric or feel sorry for the deer.  It is a worse fate for the deer to starve to death or be hit by a vehicle.  We have more deer in our area than we know what to do with.  No part of these animals goes to waste.


This week, when people at work ask what I did this weekend, I can’t wait to whip out these pictures and tell the story.  Only a few people get it, understand why we do this.  Some don’t want to know where their food comes from – they’d rather go to a grocery store and pick up a plastic wrapped styrofoam package of meat.  That’s okay for them, but I would rather know that the meat in my freezer lived a life where it roamed the woods, ate naturally, was taken quickly and that the folks who processed it will be the ones who eat it.


Stay-at-home moms: you don’t owe the world an explanation


I say, God bless you SAHMs! I was a SAHM for a year and it was one of the, if not THE, toughest things I have ever done. I love my boy with all my heart but I went just about crazy being with him 24/7 and I’m not afraid to admit it. Don’t EVER feel you have to explain why you stay (work) at home. It’s no one’s business and if they question why you do it, they will never, ever understand.

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

To stay-at-home moms:

Once, several months ago, I wrote this post about you. It was a simple expression of gratitude for stay-at-home moms, particularly my wife.

It got some attention. It was viewed around three million times in two days, in fact.

Truth be told, I never intended to be an official spokesman for SAHMS across the nation. You do not require my services, nor am I equipped to provide them. Plenty of you can eloquently defend your vocation, and because you have experience in the arena, you can do so more richly and convincingly than I ever could.

I’m just a guy who loves his wife and appreciates the sacrifices she makes for the family. That’s really the entirety of my insight into this subject.

So it’s with appropriate hesitancy that I offer just one suggestion to all of you.

Here it is: don’t pay any attention to people like this.

In fact…

View original 1,018 more words

Kitchen Window


My kitchen window looks out on my backyard now covered in a foot of snow.  The scene outside changes but the window pretty much stays the same.  Every item on the sill has a story.  The brass lady at the top came from my husband’s family.  We have no idea how old it is but are pretty sure it was a bell that sat on the table and was wrung when a servant was needed.  The clapper underneath her pretty skirts is her feet.

The grapevine wreath in the middle is a decoration I made over 20 years ago.  I used to have a Christmas tea and would invite girlfriends and my sisters over for tea, complete with little sandwiches, scones, and little desserts.  It was fun, yummy and decadent.  This was one of the gifts I gave to everyone one year. 

The peppers are cayenne peppers that we grew in our garden this year and decided to dry.  Four months later they’re about ready to crush and add to the pepper jar.  Nothing like a good shake on the pasta.

The bottom sill holds a flat, smooth rock, a small cup with an egg and feather, and a bluish tinted bottle with more feathers.  The rock was found by my son many moons ago and given to me as a gift.  A reminder that gifts don’t have to be expensive or bought to make the heart sing.

The small cup is a hand me down from my family, I don’t know where it came from but it is very dainty and lovely.  When our friend Jenna gave us a dozen eggs from her chickens at Cold Antler Farm, one of the eggs had a feather stuck to it, and one of them was blue.  I blew the egg out, rinsed it and found it fit very nicely in that cup.  Adding the feather made it look a bit jaunty.

The blue bottle was bought by my son at McCartee’s Barn in Salem, NY.  The feathers inside it came from turkeys at Jenna’s farm.  These are both reminders to me that we will someday have our farm, hopefully towards that area of the state.

The curtains around the window were made by me using two pillow shams that came with a comforter.  The comforter is a curtain for our sliding glass door.

I find comfort and memories from these items.  Do you have anything like this in your home?

In a Moment


In a moment,

Someone dies

Someone is born

You smile and make someone happy

One word is spoken,

and a life changes forever

Snow falls

Snow melts

A taste of food is savored

A hurtful word is spoken

A wrong is righted

An eye blinks

A tear falls

An idea is formed

Love is spread

Love is spread

Love is spread

St. Baldrick’s



In March of 2014, for the 5th year in a row, my husband and I will be participating in St. Baldrick’s which is a foundation that raises money to fight childhood cancer.  One of their main fundraisers is people raising money and then having their head shaved.  In the past, I have helped my hubby raise funds but last year I decided to be a shavee and I will be a shavee again this year.

When I told people what I was doing their reactions ranged from, “You are so brave!” to “I could never do that” to “Seriously?!” My answers were, “Not really, but thanks”, “Sure you could!”, “Seriously.”  It’s only hair, it grows back. My husband has been letting his hair and mustache grow since last March.  When he brushes his very curly hair out it’s like the 80′s all over again.

I have a child who is chronically, seriously ill (not with cancer) so I know a bit about the worry and stress these parents are going through.  I can’t imagine hearing a dr tell me my child has cancer.  Having my head shaved to raise money to fight this horrible disease is easy-peasy.  As my hubby likes to tell people, “I’m not a 5k’er, I’m not a 3k’r.  But I can sit my ass on a barstool and drink beer while getting my head shaved.”  Last year we raised almost $2,000 and I’m shooting for at least that this year.

This year I am doing it in honor of two Facebook friends and in memory of Delaney Brown, a little girl who I didn’t know personally, but whose story touched my heart.  So if you can, go to our page on St. Baldrick’s website (we are Team Hoff) and donate a few bucks or join us as a shavee – the more the merrier!