Apple Season is Upon Us!

So summer has come and gone with the speed of sun and light yet again this year. Summer is truly my favorite time of year. I adore the sun and the long days. This year was especially amazing. I spent a week back “home” on Cape Cod as we do every year, but this year my Mom and Gram were too sick to come. I was lucky to find solace and tons of smiles in the happiness of my college roommate and her family who happened to be only a few miles away also for the week. I never had any sisters, but if I did, I would want them to be just like these girls. I truly counted myself lucky to spend this time with this family. They came all the way from FL.  We chased fireflies, went to a brewery in the early morning, played glow tag in the sprinklers of a golf course at night, and hung out at my childhood pond. It was amazing. It was one of those times in your life where everything slows down and becomes ok for just a little while.

Now fall is upon us, I am waiting for the leaves to change and for the smell of a fire in a fireplace off in the distance to waft by as I walk home one night. I am not nearly patient enough though, I had to go apple picking with the kids. It is my favorite fall activity. The kids and I go up to Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA.  We go there so my Mom can come. While there are hills, there are also flat areas where she can walk easily. And my gosh it is gorgeous. There is a mini corn maze, the best cider donuts ever and chickens, sheep, and goats to feed. All in addition to apple picking.

 

1239409_10151910181482922_1566549289_n

1236474_10151910182737922_1334653442_n

 

The best part of picking apples is all the amazing apples that we come home with. I adore apple pie and apple crisp. This year we discovered Fortune apples. I have had some bad luck recently and so Bear and I decided to pick some fortune apples, hoping that it might bring us some good fortune. We ate one immediately. It was delicious!! We picked a ton of them. That night I made apple pie. It came out amazing. I am now a HUGE fan of fortune apples. They were perfectly crisp and just a little sweet. They didn’t break down and get all squishy, but they aren’t hard either. They are just right.

The one thing I hate about making apple based food products is peeling and coring them. I hate that round coring devil with a passion. There have been years where I had bruises on the palms of my hands from it.  Until I found an “Apple peeler/corer” This thing is a-h-h-mazing!!! It gets suctioned onto my counter next to my sink on the first day of fall and doesn’t leave until after Christmas. I think everyone needs one!! It will cut your baking prep time in half!!! Seriously, get one. Thank me later!

peelercorerNow…. go make yourself some pie!

pie

 

Advertisements

Progress

As mothers we watch our children grow and change. We ohh and ahhh over every tiny little change and progression. The loss of teeth are posted of Facebook with gap toothed grin photos as all our friends post about how big our kids are getting. Every birthday comes and goes as a mother silently (or sometimes more loudly) sniffles about the years that have gone by. For me watching the progression of my kids learning their letters, to struggling with letter sounds, to reading, and now chapter books was amazing. I am confounded by it. I took a photo of Punk in her *very messy* room with big headphones on reading a chapter book and realized how much like me she was. And I was proud.

IMG_1576

Rarely do we ever stop to look at our own progression. Today I had that moment. Several years ago, I was sitting on the floor sorting Christmas decorations. Goalie was sitting across the room. I stood up and my knee buckled under me with a horrible smushing noise. Goalie heard it across the room above the noise of the TV. I crumpled to the floor. Several trips to the doctor told me that I would need surgery. But since Goalie lived 2 hours away at the time, Nana was not in a position to help, I had 2 young kids who where not self sufficient at all and I had a job that would not give me the time off, surgery was NOT an option for me at that time. So I lived in a brace for a while. Then for several years I just dealt with the pain. I did as much as I could. I pushed thru. It hurt, but it was my only option. I managed to do Rockin Mad 5 mile… I nearly died, I came in DFL, seriously.. but I was not going to let my knee stop me. Life continued and so would I.

Finally I got the chance to have the surgery I needed. It was called a lateral release. I was warned that when most people have “knee surgery” it is for a meniscus tear and that heals much easier than what I had, so don’t listen to those people when they say recovery is fast. My recovery would be long. I had no idea how long. I started last spring. I had MONTHS of rehab. I still have massive swelling after standing or walking for a long time. I still get very sore. I still have to ice a lot. Worst of all, I can’t wear awesome heels. I miss my 5″ heels like you would not believe. At 5’10” to start I always felt amazing in a pair of awesome heels.

Recently I have gone back to the gym. I have been walking on the treadmill. I started out at 2.5 speed and 1 incline and no running for 20 min. I would be lucky to hit 150 calories. Then today THIS happened. I saw progression in myself for once…. and I am proud. I am on the couch with ice, but I am proud!

IMG_1745

My Wishes for them

IMG_1436

Since I am divorced, I only get the joy of ringing in the new year with Punk and Bear every other year. Last year we went into Boston for the parade and fireworks with friends for some chilly wholesome fun. I loved it. This year it was just Goalie and I. So adult fun it was… Off to the House of Blues to see the Amazing Royal Crowns and Mighty Mighty Bosstones in the Hometown Throwdown. It was something I started going to way back in High School. In 1997/1998 I saw them at the Worcester Centrum with Bim Skala Bim, Dropkick Murphy’s, Letters To Cleo and the Bosstones. This year the Amazing Royal Crowns were back with the Bosstones. It was a dream The only thing missing was the old venue, dirty, dingy, stale beer smelling basement of the Middle East. But I understand and appreciate WHY the venue was moved. For once, there was no scrounging for tickets. I didn’t have to sit by my computer and pray that I got two, because scalpers would scoop them up and resell them for 10x the value. (and yes, I generally had a team of people doing the same thing. We always got tickets one way or another). But it shouldn’t be that way, and I can appreciate the dedication to the fans, and the band not wanting that to happen, so a much bigger venue was a good answer and the House of Blues did a great job.

One  of my traditional requirements for a Bosstones show, no matter how old I get or how bad my knee is (one year it was REALLY bad), is that I MUST be in the front row. Goalie knows this and respects it. In the last break when everyone runs for the bar, we run for the stage. We get crushed, mushed, smushed, beer spilled all over us. It doesn’t matter, it is all part of the experience to be that close to see Ben Carr dance and Dickey Barrett sing.

IMG_1440

 

So as I am being slammed around, blissfully happy I realize something, a wish for my children. I wish for them to be this happy, no matter what it may be. Whether it is seeing a band, or a sports team, playing a game or falling in love. I also wish for them to have my support like my mother supported me in music. She was never a fan of ska. But she never questioned it. When I said I was going to a show, no matter what it was, she just said, “Have fun and be safe.” I know she worried. But she pretended to be happy for me. When I came home all excited, I would wake her up to let her know I was home and safe and tell her a quick run down of the night, even though I am sure she just wanted to go back to sleep because I could surely tell her in the morning. But she listened every time, even if she had to work early the next morning. She never complained when I called really late to play her that one song she might know over the phone, even though she couldn’t tell what it was because it was too loud and vibrating so bad.

This year my Mom asked my what I wanted for Christmas. There wasn’t much on my list. I wanted family time. I have to share my time, so I like to make the most of what I have. I like to hear the giggles, the belly laughs. So this year, she got us season passes to a local indoor water park. My wish for us as a family this year, is memories. I am going to work really hard to make sure everyone is happy and we have an epic year.

PS…. have I mentioned that I can finally say that we are getting married THIS YEAR!?!??!

IMG_1475

Don’t Blink!

Don’t blink. Did you blink? I did, and now the summer is gone. I always start the summer off with sky high dreams of what we will do. Summer never fails to be an adventure for us. It speeds by in the blink of an eye and before I know it, I am writing their names on folders, pencil cases and notebooks. Having split custody makes summers difficult. I lose about 30% of time with the kids, plus some vacations. So I try to make the times that I do have them more special.

We started this summer with a BANG! My fiance of 2 years and boyfriend of 5 years (YES it is Goalie), moved in. It was a 75 mile move. Well worth the wait. Punk excelled at gymnastics camp and Bear rocked golf camp (4 weeks each). Plus we spend a week on the Cape. This year was extra special. Every year Nana rents us a house/condo. This year Bear, Punk, Nana (my Mom) and Gram (my Grandmother) all stayed in the same house together. This will be the last year that happens as there are some changes going on. While there Bear went to sleep-over camp at CCSC, Punk hit up the day camp. I think this place is Heaven on Earth. I went here as a kid, and I loved every moment. One of my counselors Lindsay Mead eventually wrote this in the Huffington Post about CCSC. She hit the nail on the head. Grab your tissues. In the evenings/afternoons Punk and I bond. We go to the pool or we hit up the trampolines where she did her first ever unassisted back handspring!! We visit, childhood friends of mine, who even after all these years, are closer than ever. We play mini golf and for 7 days, nothing is ever wrong. Bear shoots a BB gun while Punk goes for the bows and arrows at camp, they swim in a pool and the ocean and take nature hikes before  playing countless games of tennis. And then when we returned home Bear’s baseball team won 1st place in the Jimmy Fund 9 year old All Star tournament. I am one proud mama.

So tonight, as I sit here labeling things with their name and planning out their lunches, I think back on the amazing memories I have been a part of this summer. I think I am the rare mother, who hates to watch her children go back to school. Not only are they children, progeny, kids, siblings, they are my best friends.

But the fall brings some excitement also, weddings, baby showers, birthdays and back to school. Best of all Dr. Who will return! Apple picking is always a favorite of mine. I know no matter what is around the corner, it is an adventure we will take together.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.