Golden Nugget From My Sixth Grade Teacher

My K-8 years happened in five different schools. My happiest year was sixth grade.

I went to public school kindergarten, Catholic school first, second and some of third, public school remainder of third, fourth and fifth and back to Catholic school in sixth.

Sixth grade at St. Mary's meant I could travel public transit to and from school with my older sisters who went to the neighboring St, Mary's High School. I felt like I belonged. I was no longer bullied. I felt loved. I had the most loving teacher ever, Mrs. Allen. Her daughter, a nun. was the principal.

Today I remembered  a golden nugget she taught me.

Mrs. Allen gave each of us a circular card with 'tu it'  written in the middle.

She then told us that we may never ever in our lives tell anyone, "When I get around to it." for she had given us a round tu it.

Geesh. I remembered that today right after overwhelm. 

The memory made me happy and I got the basement cleaned in between pick ups.

Loving thoughts to you Mrs. Allen on earth or in heaven.


"Oh Dear God I am so overwhelmed." On my one day off, I have said that in my head many times.

I said it:

When I looked at the paper pile I needed to sort through.

When an email made me feel like I wasn't doing enough.

When my puppy chewed my wallet to bits.

When I was figuring out kids' schedules.

When I looked at the house projects that have yet to be done that REALLY need to be done.

When a teen of mine got snarly and I got snarlier back.

 "Dear God I am so overwhelmed."

While doing the dishes after my snarly 'not so loving mommy moment" , I prayed again. This time was different. This time I asked, "Show me where I am messing up God. Overwhelm is not yours or my plan."

I played with it a bit.

Exited the
World where
Help is
Everywhere when you
Lovingly embrace

I am heading back into the real world where help is everywhere and I lovingly embrace miracles.

Snarly and snarlier  shared a laugh.

It just happened.

I don't remember the last time I breastfed each of my children.
Yet I remember each of them at my breast, their schedules and quirks. Each child has a beautiful story.

I don't remember the last time I changed a diaper.
Yet I remember the squirts, the wiggles, and the songs I sang.

 I don't remember the last time I wiped a butt leaning forward on the toilet.
Yet I remember the thought, "Will I be doing this forever?"

I don't remember that last time I read a story to my children.
Yet I remember the absolute joy of being together in  a book in my bed.

I don't remember the last time I had to be outside when my kids waited for the bus.
Yet I remember the fun games, fighting over who gets to  hold  my coffee cup to keep their hands warm and our neighbors who waited with us.

I don't remember the last time I had to drive my eldest anywhere. Yet I remember having to lug two sleepy kids to pick him up.

It just happened.

Senior year seems to be all about celebrating endings. My first senior night is coming up. My son and I will be honored for his last football game in high school.

It is a beautiful ceremony.

Yet I somehow wish this was another 'just happened' .

"Just happened"  feels more natural.

Monday's Course of Miracles

Forgiveness is the only gift I give, because it is the only gift I want. And everything I give I give myself. ACIM

Forgive yourself for everything you perceived as wrong, bad or not enough.  It is all perfect. Let it go just like the trees are letting go of their leaves. Letting go in forgiveness equals beauty.


Today marks his 88th. His numbers added up equal my daughter's age. They share the same birthday. I remember when Elise turned 8 and He turned 80. Naturally she did the math from that day forward, until he died.

Today I pulled Elise out of school to have a take out Chinese food  picnic at the beach to celebrate her Sweet 16. We had so much fun. I was joyous and enjoying my amazing daughter , the yummy food and the  breathtaking view. My heart was so full there was no room for anything else but Her.

Then while sinking her teeth into orange chicken, she said, "Today is  Pa's 88th birthday."

I paused, glanced at the sea, looked at the amazing young woman (my daughter) beside me  and said, " It sure is and he loved Chinese food too."

Happy Birthday Daddy! I Love You!

Sixteen years ago.

Sixteen years ago today, after a two week stay in the hospital 'they' weren't sure if I would deliver a healthy, alive baby. They prepared us for the worst.

How blessed am I?
On October 16th, 1997, against all odds, Elise arrived. I am so lucky. This gal rocks.

Monday's A Course In Miracles

The Holy Spirit Speaks Through Me Today.

The Holy Spirit needs my voice today, that all the world may listen to Your Voice, and hear Your Voice through me, for I would use no words but Yours, and have no thoughts which are apart from Yours, for Yours are true. ACIM.

What a day.



The Guest House by Rumi. My favorite

The Guest House

This being human is a guesthouse
Everyday a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness
some momentary awareness comes
from an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
of all of it's furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

The love of a puppy

Jackson came to us as a surprise as  and the best gift ever.  He has changed our lives and has added so much love.

Thanks Jackson.
We love you!

One Breath

I just finished Pema Chodorn's book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.  It was great and her message was both profound and simple, just like life.

She challenges her readers to make three commitments:
         1. Do no harm.
          2. Help others
          3. Accept life exactly as it is at this very moment.


What resonated most with me as I read her words was the gentleness. She calls us to be gentle with ourselves when we mess up. I am notoriously hard on myself. Being kind and loving to myself in my thoughts has always been a struggle. If I commit to something or someone and fall short, I spend way too much of my precious time beating myself up. Pema's words encouraged me to simply recognize the shortcoming, breathe and leap again in commitment. In that breath there is no room for guilt or shame or self incrimination. AMEN!

Recognize. Breathe in. Breathe out. Commit again. Don't get into the story.

I can do that.

Mom said there would be days like this.

Mom said there would be days like this.

Water poured onto the floor from the dishwasher.

Water leaked in dribbles from the washing machine.

My puppy nipped and went backwards from our training.

My home was at 58 degrees so I turned on the heat. It didn't kick in.

I hit the reset button and only two rooms got warm.

Mom said there would be days like this.

So glad there is God.

Judgement vs. Loving

The other night I overheard another parent talking about me. It was a negative rant. It was dark.Nobody knew I was sitting in a nearby car waiting to pick up my child. Nobody saw the tears rolling down my face.

After the tears came the' back at ya' thoughts.

Then came the praying and the journaling and the knowing.

I am just as guilty. OUCH!

I have made judgments about other parents. I have voiced these judgments to others. What if they heard me?  What if I made some hard working uber loving  mother cry?

That was a hard pill to swallow.

Since that night I have been paying close attention to how I judge myself and others. Interestingly enough I have caught myself saying to myself exactly what that parent said about me! I have also caught myself judging moms, dads and everyone.

Now when I hear the words that the mom in the parking lot spoke about me run through my head, I take a deep breath and say to myself, "You are an awesome mom Virginia."

Now when I catch myself judging anyone in my head, I don't say it out loud. I do what my mom taught me, I send a prayer of love.

Thank you lovely woman who made me cry. You taught me a great lesson.

Don't judge. Love instead.

Where Did the Time Go?

In the wee hours of the night I hear this, "Mom I think I am going to throw up."

I leap out of bed and head into the bathroom knowing exactly which child is in distress. His throw up voice is distinct and full of fear. He has always hated the throw up bug. Nobody likes it, but this child of mine has a deep aversion to vomit.

In my semi sleep state I enter the bathroom and all I feel is shock. My distressed child is six feet tall and 180 pounds. I know this. I see him everyday. Yet, shock waves run through me.

I comfort and do what I know this child needs when the throw up bug visits. Yet he is so big and I am so small in comparison.

It all works and I send him into bed with a bucket by his side and do all of the mommy love things.

I go back to bed and think, remember and never go back to sleep.

Where did the time go?

I remember Barney, the dinosaurs, the trucks, and Star Wars.

I think of the hard work he took on to be a better athlete all on his own.

I wonder if I did enough.

I try to imagine a day without hugging him. And I cry a bit.

I vow to hug him even more.

Next  year he will be in college.

Where did the time go?

A Course of Miracles

As I have mentioned before, each morning I read, meditate and write using the Course of Miracles as my guide.

Today's lesson:

A happy outcome to all things is sure. ACIM

What a comforting truth.

A promise is a promise

A  promise is a promise.

I promised myself I would write a blog everyday in October.  As a single mom of three very busy kids, the promises I make to myself often get put on the back burner.

I make excuses.

I am done with the excuses.

Is this the best piece of writing I have ever created? Absolutely NOT.  It just may be the WORST

Yet I made a promise to ME.

I am in the half century mark. Promises to me finally feel significant.

Make a promise to yourself. Laugh at the excuses. Notice the perceived barriers. Be kind to yourself

 Do it anyways.


The paradox of cleaning

I got hit with the cleaning bug. Not your run of the mill, 'clean because company is coming over' or  'clean counters make me feel in control' type of cleaning bug. I got hit with the 'I want my home to look different and feel different' cleaning bug.

I moved furniture. The living room is now the dining room and vice versa. I wiped down and vacuumed up some pretty scary dirt and found some interesting objects behind and underneath said furniture. I didn't give myself enough time and the new arrangement is yet to be finished.

Thus three plus hours of cleaning and rearranging has made my house a total wreck. Add three teenagers and a puppy to said wreck and the paradox of cleaning makes me chuckle.

Cleaning is no different than life. Taking care of the unseen places of my home is synonymous to taking care of the  corners of my soul. They both require work. The beginnings of such an undertaking appear to be a backwards step. Three hours of cleaning 'should' not equal utter chaos. Yet it does and thus it 'should'. It will never be totally done. Even in the chaos, I feel lighter.


  Every week my daughter and I hit the library. We are both voracious  readers and between what we have ordered and what we find, our bag is loaded. We love books.

Here is where we differ. She delves into her favorite book and is off to the land of reading. I, on the other hand, examine my goodies, peruse a few pages of each and decide which world of words to delve into first.

Tonight she dove in and I perused as we waited for Sean's practice to end.

I came across a great quote in the first pages of one of my books and thus  chose this one to delve into first.

The book, Mirror Mirror Off the Wall, How I learned to love my body by not looking at it for a year, by Kjerstein Gruys  starts with this quote:

A year from now you will wish you started today. Karen Lamb.

Imagine a year of not looking in the mirror?

I'll tell you more after I read it.

Until then, whatever you want to do or be START TODAY!


Moving From Disappointment to Gratitude

There seems to be a false notion that a spiritual person rarely suffers from disappointment or anger or sadness. The problem with such a belief is that when you do strive for a more spiritual existence negative feelings that show up are viewed as bad and thus stuffed down.

I am a perfect example of such wacky thinking. Recently I suffered from what I perceived as an enormous let down. My children's father and his family were planning a vacation. I saw it as my first opportunity in years to take a mini vacation for myself.  I started saving whatever I could and began plotting and planning the 'Great Single Momma Escape". My escape crashed into pieces when I realized one of my children would be staying behind because of a play off game.

I cried.
I yelled.
I cried some more.
I complained.
I felt sorry for myself.
I complained some more.
I got mad at myself for feeling so angry and hurt and disappointed.
I got mad at myself some more.
I put on the martyr jacket and became grouchy and short tempered.

It was quite the few weeks and I grew tired of my self inflicted drama. So I stopped, put my butt down and prayed. Then I wrote it all out in brutal honesty and gave myself permission to feel those not so pretty feelings. I carefully chose one person to share my hurt. I chose the person who would empathize but not pity. It felt so great to allow myself to feel without the self- judgment and blame.

I was disappointed. Period. My trip was not going to happen. Period. Instead of  staying disappointed I tried to capture what I wanted from this trip. I wanted an escape from the 24/7 parenting. I wanted to feel carefree. I wanted time where all that mattered was me.

My next question was how could I feel that without the great single momma escape?  I tried to remember times I felt carefree, far away from the 24/7 parenting where all that mattered was me. That was the feeling I was trying to capture. I didn't need five days sans kiddos to get that. I could do it now. I could do a little bit of it every week even everyday.

So  I started running different beaches in Southern Maine. I am giving myself a few hours to hike different trails with my puppy. I am going to start biking again. The money I saved is now marked as 'Mini Single Momma Escapes'.

The disappointment has vanished. I am having a blast planning my mini  escapes.

I am now so excited to have this one child home alone with me for a few days. Next year he will be in college. What a gift it will be to have this time with just him.

                                           The view from my latest Single Momma Escape

                                                                I am so blessed

Fifty vs Thirteen.

Turning fifty years old is loaded with expectations. It hit me about three years ago when birthday cards were signed, ' Soon you'll be fifty." The comments baffled me.  I became even more perplexed when people would realize my age and  respond, "I can't believe you're almost fifty."


The real kicker came  practically as soon as I blew out my candles on my 49th birthday cake.  " What are you going to do for your fiftieth?" When I shrugged, the response was always, "You have to do SOMETHING."

So I guess in some way I became conditioned in believing something would shift once I turned fifty. I am now on my fourth day of being fifty years old and guess what? I look the same, feel the same and act the same as I did five days ago.

The only thing that has changed is that people are no longer commenting on 'almost' being fifty or telling me that I have to do SOMETHING for my fiftieth. Phew!

I am however having a hard time wrapping my head around my baby being a teenager. Yes my best birthday present ever is now thirteen years old. That I wasn't ready for.