Monday, September 29, 2008



We decided on Friday that we weren't going to cook dinner. Just too lazy, let's say.

It's about 6:45 p.m., and we're driving to the area of our town with all the restaurants. The girl is in the backseat (in her carseat, duh), starting to get the droopy eyes. She usually goes to bed about 8, and it's starting to get dark early around here now. So she was thinking it was about time to start snoozing. Being verrrryyy quiet back there.

We get to the bottom of the exit ramp, and I ask the hubby where he wants to go.

Then comes the hemming and hawwing and complaining. Whine, whine whine. First it's "I don't want to go there, we may as well have gone to the PIZZA place if we're going to go there." Then it's "Well, I WANTED to go to (x) place, but YOU don't want to so...." and on and on with the complaining, instead of being productive and helping me find a place that we actually CAN eat.

So I tell him if he doesn't have anything positive to say, then shush. I'll find a place on my own.

So when he opens his mouth with another rude, whiny comment after, I say "negative". I'm just kindly reminding him to look on the bright side, right? So here comes another complaint.





And here comes a tiny little tired voice from the backseat-


Needless to say, we cracked up. I gave her high-fives and "Allllll right! Stick with your Mumma, girl!" And she says,

"Allllll right!"

What a little copycat.

I <3 her. With my whole heart.

Dear Babushka: I Miss You. A Lot.

Painting Copyright Herb Rauh Watercolors-


Yesterday would have been your 79th birthday.

I'm not quite sure what to say or how to feel about this, so I guess I will just spill my guts and hope it makes sense. Even if it doesn't, I'm sure you'll understand what I mean. I'm sure you can feel what I mean, even if you can't read it here.

It's been almost four years since you left us, and a lot has happened. I graduated college. Mitch, Eva, Elizabeth, Bobby and Miles have all graduated high school- I know you'd be proud of each one of us. I finally figured out what I'm doing with my life (at least for now) and got a good job at Dartmouth. Mitch has moved into a trade at which he excels and is living out on his own with a roommate, and Bobby and Miles have both blossomed into AMAZING musicians (of course, they were already on that road when you were here) and wonderful people. Our family is full of love and greatness, in so many incarnations. Will and I had a baby, but you know this by now. I'm sure of it, because you were the one to let me know she was a girl with your spider hints all through my pregnancy. I'm sure you knew I would think it was more than just a coincidence, them following me everywhere. I'm sure you knew I would be curious and look it up, and you also knew what I'd find- a wealth of information about how spiders represent female energy, fertility and being pregnant. I'm sure you knew I would connect this with you and your passing, and would then be on the lookout for more clues that it was really you there, watching over me and my little baby. I know this because YOU are much of the reason I have always believed in, and been fascinated by, the unseen- spirits (like Mrs. North, with the salt-and-pepper hair), the energy that connects us all, and those other mysteries we have yet to discover in a scientific way. Most people think it's ridiculous superstition, but you didn't, and neither do I. This is just one of the many ways we were bonded.

You knew I would suspect your influence through the spiders and would be convinced by what I found... And of course would then connect it with reading Charlotte's Web with you when I was three. You always loved to read. I can still picture you, laying on the old red leather couch in Epping with Wickfield at your side, glasses (with only one arm, of course) on your nose, and a smile on your face.

Once I read all that about the spiders,
I resolved that if *it* was a girl, we would give her a name that related to spiders. And we found out a week later that she was. Her name, Ilyana Arana Shayla (the two middle names meaning Spider Fairy) will always remind me that no matter how long you're gone, you will always be there to keep an eye on us.

Hush painted a picture for Ilyana from a passage of Charlotte's Web that I chose- it hangs in her room now. It's all about growing up and going out into the world as an individual, leaving the "web", so to speak. This is the passage:

"Good-bye!" they called. "Good-bye, good-bye!"
At last one little spider took time enough to stop and talk to Wilbur before making its balloon.
"We're leaving here on a warm updraft. This is our moment for setting forth. We are aeronauts and we are going out into the world to make webs for ourselves."
"But where?" asked Wilbur.
"Wherever the wind takes us. High, low. Near, far. East, west. North, south. We take to the breeze, we go as we please." (p. 179-180), Charlotte's Web, E.B. White

I chose this one partially because I think it will be very fitting for her to take with her when she grows up- it reminds me that we all have to move on someday, we all have to grow up. And as Moms, we all have to let go someday and let our little ones be their own people. But it also reminded me of you. You were so strong-willed and independent. You were never afraid to take flight, to jump in, to stand up for what you believed in, even if it was hard to do, even if it was on your own. You were a forward-thinker, a political activist, and a kid at heart. You had more evergy than us grandkids most days, and you were always ready for a game of Monopoly or a late night jaunt to the lake. You were always ready to take us sledding- even at midnight on New Years'.

"Babushka" means "old woman" in Russian- you taught me that. In fact you had a book about the name- I'm not sure where it disappeared to. Sometimes I wonder if you chose that name as a joke, because you were really anything but that. It was great to have you as a grandmother, because I think we connected with you in ways that most people never can with theirs. You always supported and helped us with our crazy notions, as long as they weren't dangerous... Or if they were, you would at least make them less so. Like swimming all the way across the lake (but you made them bring floaties, so nobody would drown)- or playing on the cliffs in the sand pits (we just couldn't go alone, in case anything happened). Sometimes you were so much like a kid, it caused (minor) problems. Nothing too bad, but you did like to gossip! I think I got that from you, too... It's not that we like the drama, we just want to be in the know about everything, and we have our opinions, which are hard (*ahem*) to keep to ourselves. In the end, though, even your gossip was a gesture of love- you were always trying to help us make the best choices for ourselves.

You were there for me through a couple of tough times. Things that most people would be far too embarrassed about; they would have keeled over had their grandparents found out. But you weren't any old grandma. You listened and didn't judge me when I was having a tough time, you just gave me your best real-life advice and hoped that it would help. You didn't pretend you had all the answers, either. I liked that as a teenager. I felt like you would be honest with me, even if it hurt.

I don't know exactly what made our connection special- whether it be because we lived together when I was young (you making me breakfast, driving me to school, taking me and Mitchie to the penny candy store or Mickey-D's, you chasing me around the table acting out the "Three Little Pigs", you singing the "Macaroni" song or inviting all my little friends over to act out a "play" together); or because you were always willing to run here, there and everywhere to pick us up, to come to our shows and concerts, to take us to the beach or the lake or the Nubble; or because you were always just so cool and immature (in a good way) getting excited about the holidays, decorating, family events, letting me bring my friends to sleepovers at your house, making everything into a game, always having the energy to say "yes", teaching us endless annoying car songs- but instead of being driven crazy when we would not stop singing them, you'd strike up another round... Whatever it was, it has stuck with me.

I've had precious few dreams of you since you passed. I don't know if this is because I can't really deal with your death, but I assume it is. I have sort of just brushed my feelings about it away, put it into the category of those things that "can't-be-changed" and forced myself to move on from something that I don't know how to face. How do I pass you on? How do I teach Ilyana those lessons that are so vital to who I am that I learned from you? How do I tell her that even though we do all have to grow up (like the little spiders in Charlotte's Web), that doesn't mean we always have to BE grown-ups? How do I pass on to her those superstitions that some find silly, but help me to know that there are things in the world that are yet to be unraveled, mysteries we may not understand but are true nonetheless?

The one dream that I do remember that you were in has burned an imprint on my brain. It had nothing to do with you- in fact in the dream I was with someone else, searching for something. But I looked up and there you were, standing at the edge of the field we were in in your long red flannel nightgown, next to a fence, waving at me. As if to say, "I'm still here." As if to say "I'll be waiting." As if to say "I am watching, and I still love you."

Once again, maybe I'm silly and too superstitious. Could be. But I believed it was you, checking in with me. Still do, even.

This is my way of waving back. I love you, Bushka. Christmas isn't the same without you and your boisterous voice and crazy antics. This is just my way of saying:

Dear Babushka, I miss you. A lot.

We all do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mr. Quizzy-McQuizz... This One's Pretty Good Though!

I like to take these quizzes sometimes, but I usually wouldn't post them here... However, I liked the way this one was set up, and it seems a little more believable than most others. If you find it interesting, you should take it and let me know what you are :) Just outta boredom, or curiosity, or whatever!

Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...

NFPS - The Guru

Nature, Foreground, Big Picture, and Shape

You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on what's in front of you (the foreground) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the shapes around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to deal directly with whatever comes your way without dealing with speculating possibilities or outcomes you can't control. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You prefer a structured environment within which to live and you like things to be predictable.

The Perception Personality Types:

Take The Perception Personality Image Test at HelloQuizzy

It does sound a bit like me... Hrmmm.... :D

1. Making Bendy's costume/ taking her trick-or-treating and maybe camping are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in October.

2. Sometimes I forget Ilyana is only 16 1/2 months old... she acts so much bigger!

3. We're starting to fix our credit! and that's why there is a saying, "never say never"!

4. When I'm down, I get quiet and cry to myself... I know, pathetic. But then I convince myself that everything will work out in the end. Ultimately, I'm an optimist.

5. At work, at my desk, on the computer is where you'll find me most often.

6. A rainy day is good for crafts with Bendy, blogging(!) and watching movies (or reading, depending on which has my attention at the moment).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to making some yummy dinner and doing chores (woo!) as well as maybe catching up on ANTM, tomorrow my plans include going to the thrift store to search for pieces of the costume puzzle! (possibly watching more ANTM, cuz I probably won't finish tonight) and Sunday, I want to do whatever I feel like!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #4- Great Things About Fall

(1) First would have to be the sights- the
leaves up here in New England are amazing!
That's why we get so many "leaf-peepers"...
as we call them.

(2) The smell... The air is so fresh and crisp,
it puts me in a fantastic mood and makes
me feel like I can accomplish anything!

(3) Going apple picking- especially this
year with the Bendy! We went last weekend,
I have a whole post about it coming up if I
could only remember to bring my cam to
upload pics one of these days!

(4) Camping for the last time (or the first, if
you haven't managed to get out there yet!)

(5) Weather that allows you to wear whatever
you feel like- shorts or pants, short or long
sleeves... You can even bust out those comfy
old sweaters!

(6) Comfort food! Time for chili, beef stew,
apple pie and crisp, and baking cookies :)

(7) Pumpkin carving/ painting/ decorating
in any way you please. Maybe I'm a kid
at heart, but I really do like it!

(8) Halloween! I love costumes (although I
pretty much never have any special plans for the
holiday, so I have no reason to wear them now
that I'm much too old for trick-or-treat) and
seeing the kids out in them. I love the
getting together of the community, and the
fake spookiness is always great too! I've always
been fascinated by such things as witches, ghosts,
and werewolves!

(9) Excuses to eat candy... duh!

(10) The first cozy fire in the house all year.
(At my mom's, in my case, since I don't have
a fireplace.)

(11) Thanksgiving is great too- you get to
see family and pig out on everyone's best
dishes all night! Plus you can have more
than one dessert... And then lay around
and let it turn to fat on you, blaming
it on the tryptophan. (Which, by the way,
I saw on mythbusters or something and
they proved does not make you feel
tired unless eaten by itself. So so much
for that one!)

(12) Starting Christmas shopping. I'll
take any excuse to shop! I don't love the
*spending money* part, but buying
people things is sooo much fun!

(13) It's not winter... yet!

Hrmm... I notice many of my 13 have to do with food. Am I a glutton, or is fall just a great time to eat?

Friday, September 19, 2008

**Friday Fill-Ins #4**

1. There is no need for any more accidents! (not that there ever WAS a need...)

2. Where in the heck did the summertime go?

3. Go to the beach once and get burned is all I managed to do. (none of the other things I really wanted to do, like go to the lake up the road from us, go camping, go hiking....)

4. Prospects for fall are looking good, though.

5. Savor the moment! is the message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility are hard to come by in these days.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to chores and relaxation- maybe going to the park?, tomorrow my plans include going to West Leb and trying to convince Willis it would be a good day for apple picking... and Sunday, I want to get some more chores done and enjoy our visit with Will's Dad and Kristin!

Rewind to August- Mornings with the Bend!

Mornings with Bendy are never dull. I took some photos in August (the 27th for the brown outfit pictures, the 29th for the purple and white, in case you were wondering) that I forgot to post because they were on the wrong camera. Doh! Here they are now. Hope you like em! :)

Gimme the cam!

What, you don't trust me not to break it?!?!

Fine. I'll just go trot around in my fancy outfit. :P

I think I was explaining something to her, and Will snapped a few shots of us...

Can you tell I'm not awake? My eyes have this totally zoned look. lol.

Is it possible that you might know just how much I love you?

This is probably my favorite from that morning. Look at the innocence. The cute little hands. Sleepy seed eyes. I love it all <3

When all else fails... Just lay down and forget about it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesdays #4- Caught in the Act!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Portrait of a Tantrum

I don't know that any more words are needed here.

Dada to the rescue <3

Still Alive...

I have to apologize for being bloggy-absent lately. In the past week and a half, two members of my family have had horrific accidents of an unusual nature. Suffice it to say that blogging has been just about my last priority since it all started. I've spent more time worrying, traveling, talking on the phone and worrying some more to really think of taking pics for the next blog or beginning to write its content.

I am freaked out and unsure. In both cases, they are lucky to be alive. My mom jokes that things happen in threes, but after these two... I'm ready to twist Illy up in bubble-wrap and have everyone in the family wear helmets. At least for the next week or so.

I've been shaken up a bit, but I'll be back, I swear. I'm brewing up some ideas for the fall right now. Look forward to bendy pics with a homemade costume of hidden significance :) And apple picking. Pumpkin carving. Leaping in leaves, sweaters and colors and rosy cheeks. I love the fall... toodles!
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This work by Jaden Brulotte is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.