About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Feeling Better

Monday night's phantom pain led to an extremely frustrating Tuesday. Thanks to copious amounts of coffee, I managed to get through Circle Time and virtual craft class. After Timmy was done with his classes I started my meetings and projects for the day. By the time the sun went down I was ready for bed.

Even though I was tired, I took advantage of the beautiful weather by going for a long bike ride with Robby and Timmy. We also hunted for leaves for a future rubbing project and played on the swing set. I purposely left my phone inside when we went out for "recess."  I am learning that it is as important for me to disconnect as it is for the kids.

 After a good night sleep, I'm feeling better and more human today. It is amazing how a few hours of solid sleep can completely change my mood and perspective. My to-do list is no shorter, but I am feeling ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Phantom Pain Returns

Phantom pain decided to pay a visit last night. As is usual to its arrival, I had no warning or idea that my night was going to be miserable. Around 3 AM I woke up with the sadistic stinging in my limb, heralding the arrival of my unwelcome midnight visitor.

I tossed and turned for the rest of the night, desperate to find a position that would provide relief. I was moderately successful for 30-45 minutes at a time, but the pain always returned. Needless to say, I was miserable and this morning I am dragging.

I suspect that it will be a multiple cups of coffee morning to keep me going. I didn't sleep well, and our schedule is packed. I wish I could take a nap, but with both kiddos virtually schooling, it just isn't possible. Instead I will rely upon caffeine and adrenaline to keep me moving.

Have I mentioned how much I hate phantom pain?

Monday, October 19, 2020


 After another stressful and chaotic week, I took the opportunity to unplug and completely decompress over the weekend. Our weather was gorgeous. The air was crisp and it smelled like autumn. The boys and I went for several long bike rides through the neighborhood, played in the yard and just enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. We didn't really do anything exciting, but sometimes not being productive is perfect.

Being outside this weekend was good for my soul. I think I have been so hyper focused on work and school that I have forgotten to relax and enjoy the moment. This week, I am going to add mandatory recess to our day. We all need to spend more time relaxing and playing outside, especially before the weather begins to turn. 

I suspect that a little outdoor recreation will benefit all of us.


Friday, October 16, 2020


 Yesterday was an exciting one in the Chenoweth Virtual School. Timmy, learning about early colonial life, discovered making butter. He was absolutely amazed that a little bit of a cream in a jar will transform into butter when shaken. I made bread with dinner and we all gobbled up his "magic butter" as we ate. He smiled from ear-to-ear as he watched us enjoy his creation.

After discovering that butter is something that can be made, Hamlet declared that we are never buying butter again. He must have meant what he said, because when I was busy on a conference call he emptied all of the butter into our trash can. I discovered his efforts when I was cooking dinner and opened the lid of the trash can to throw away some scraps. Laying right on top were 15 sticks of butter, removed from their boxes and discarded. 

Obviously, I rescued the butter. (It wasn't soiled and was laying on top of some old papers, so I'm not worried about contamination.) I appreciate Timmy's enthusiasm, but he doesn't understand the cost value of buying butter over churning his own. 

It's safe to say that we will be making butter again.

Thursday, October 15, 2020


As I hoped, my niece and nephew had a successful first day at their new schools.  All three became lost, disoriented and confused. But all three managed to get through the day, arrived back home with smiles on their faces and stories of new friends. I know that going to a new school is difficult. I am so proud of all of them!

Today is a return to virtual learning for everybody. The cousins return to the physical classroom next Monday. They are scheduled for in-person learning every Monday and Wednesday, or until the pandemic risk changes. Timmy and Robby will continue virtual learning for the entire year, although I'm optimistic that I will be able to enroll Timmy for in-person activities this Spring. Time will tell.

Timmy and I are (slowly) finding our groove with virtual learning. He no longer cries or complains when it is time for class. He is starting to thoroughly enjoy Circle Time, although the hour still fills me with angst as I am never quite sure what will pop out of his mouth.

Earlier this week he was learning about the sh blend. His teacher asked every student to come up with a word with the sh sound, and then use the word in a sentence. Timmy, very proud of himself, immediately leaned over to me and said, "shoe starts with the sh sound." 

Unfortunately, either another classmate had the same idea or overheard him. She was called on before Timmy, and used the word shoe. I saw the wash of disappointment and the wheels immediately started turning as he tried to think of a new word. True to our luck, his teacher called on him next.

Without much thought, Timmy said, "Shithead starts with sh. Sometimes my brober calls me a little shithead." I had to walk to the kitchen to keep from laughing. 

Virtual schooling is hectic, frustrating and exhausting. But it also has moments where all I can do is smile and move on.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

 This is a big day in my Mom's house. Today my niece and nephew embark on their first in-person day at their new public schools. It's scary going to a new school, but I know that they are up for the challenge. Compared to the restrictive private school that they have attended, public school is going to be full of amazing opportunities and experiences.  

I wish I was there this morning, to watch them get ready and to try to quell last minute nerves. Unfortunately they will have to settle with a cheerleader from a distance, rooting them on and waiting to hear an update as soon as they get home. Until I get to talk to them later this afternoon, I am sure I will continue to be a bundle of nervous energy for them.

While the cousins are embarking on a new adventure, Robby and Timmy will continue with our typical school schedule. Robby has a history lecture course that monopolizes most of his morning. Timmy will be occupied with circle time, crafts and his various worksheet assignments. I will be busy trying to juggle everybody's activities as well as my own responsibilities. These past few weeks have been, without a doubt, the most hectic of my life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tuesday Fun

 After at least a week of struggling, last night I finally slept soundly. I feel refreshed and ready to take on the world this morning. It's amazing how a few solid hours of rest can absolutely transform my perspective on the day! The weather is dreary and the air is heavy with fog, but I feel happy and optimistic. 

Today will be busy, so I'm glad I was able to sleep. Timmy has three Zoom classes, two of which involve a craft. He is becoming increasingly independent with his classes but he still requires assistance for many of the crafts. He thoroughly enjoys his crafts though, so the fact that he doesn't complain or resist makes the time go quickly.

Tuesdays are the only day of the week that Robby has open on his schedule. He has no appointments, activities or classes scheduled. Instead of being pulled away by extracurricular endeavors, Tuesdays are typically spent getting caught up (and sometimes ahead) on all of his schoolwork. He will be nearly as busy as Timmy, although I doubt he will be as chipper and excited about the activities.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Tree Fun

Our weather was beautiful on Saturday! The bright blue skies and crisp air were perfect for our tree tagging adventure. This was our first year tagging a Christmas tree, but I think it is safe to say it won't be our last. We all had a great time.

It was so nice to just get out of the house and do something fun as a family. Ever since the pandemic our family adventures have been severely limited. All of our traditional autumnal adventures have either been cancelled or hold an exposure risk that we are not willing to accept. It was fun to get out of the house, unplug, and just have fun.

After strolling through the vast tree farm for nearly 90 minutes, we finally selected our perfect tree. It is large, probably close to 9 feet, and features full branches without bald spots. We applied our sold labels, decorated it to help stake our claim, and began to anticipate returning next month to bring it home. 

Yesterday our weather was not nearly as pleasant. The remnants of a tropical storm blew through our area, bringing winds and heavy rain. I took the opportunity to knock out some work projects and to clean the house. I'm hoping that I set the stage for a reduced stress week. 

Fingers crossed it is a good week!



Friday, October 09, 2020


 I have not been so happy for a weekend in a long time. Although I had a great time visiting my Mom, I can't help but think that the time away contributed to the chaos I felt this week. Typically I spend Sunday cooking, cleaning, working and prepping for the week ahead. I didn't do that last weekend, and this week I felt like I was constantly in motion and being pulled like Gumby. I'm hoping that this weekend I will be able to reset, to reorganize and to reset for a fantastic week.

Tomorrow we are heading to the Christmas tree farm to tag our tree. We have never tagged a tree before, but the boys and I are looking forward to it. Saturday the weather is going to be gorgeous, and it will be nice just being outside and having fun. It feels like it has been a long time since we have had a family adventure!

With all of our traditional autumnal adventures sidelined because of Covid, it is fun to try something completely new. According to the tree farm web site, we are supposed to decorate our tree in the field to lay claim on it. Tonight Timmy, Robby and I are going to make birdseed ornaments and perhaps even string popcorn. Who knows, maybe we'll even watch Grinch and/ or Polar Express as we create.

The weather is supposed to be crummy on Sunday. The remnants of another hurricane are coming through our area, bringing more rain. While I'm not looking forward to the rain, at least I won't have a weather temptation away from planning and prepping.

Thursday, October 08, 2020


 I feel vindicated. Unlike Tuesday's virtual schooling disaster, I feel like yesterday was a fantastic day. Timmy and I not only completed our assignments without a battle, but we thoroughly enjoyed the activities. We were laughing and learning, a refreshing change after the tears that followed Tuesday's assignments.

While Timmy and I were working at the kitchen table, Robby was diligently completing his assignments in his bedroom. Everything was smooth, and I'm so proud of both of them. If we can keep this flow, I will be a happy Momom!

I'm feeling better today. Partly because of the schoolwork success, but primarily because I had a great night sleep. Stress and anxiety have kept me from sleeping for the past few days. It felt great to finally stay asleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020


Yesterday was not my best day as a virtual school Mom. Already feeling stressed and on edge, I recognized myself unraveling as the day continued. I am hoping for a better day today because, in all honesty, yesterday I failed.

Unfortunately my schedule is busy again today. Between work, Circle Time and chauffeuring to and from guitar lessons, I won't have a true break until I go to bed. As I am running myself ragged trying to keep on top of two students, my own work and the household, I find myself feeling increasingly resentful towards Scott's nightly bike ride. 

 Logically, I know that he is simply trying to become healthy and I have been supporting him on this venture. We (I) have completely changed our diet to avoid salt and to increase potassium. Our snacks have changed, and I am cooking more from scratch to avoid the salt traps of take-out. But when I see him hop onto his bike and take off up the driveway while I'm still at the table working or in the kitchen cooking or cleaning, I become jealous and resentful. What I would give for the luxury of just a few minutes by myself to ride around the neighborhood!

I continue to hope that, as the school year progresses, we will find our groove and more time will open up. I know I need to take better care of myself. Unfortunately, right now self-care has become a luxury that is out of reach because of time. 


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Covid Anxiety

Although we had originally planned to return home on Sunday, we decided to go ahead and stay at my Mom's house for another night. Timmy was excited about experiencing Circle Time with Tiffany. While she wasn't nearly as entertained by the activities, Timmy was delighted to have his Tiffy next to him during class.

After Circle Time Robby logged onto the computer to meet with his math tutor. While he was working on his math, Timmy and I packed up the car to head back to Virginia. As soon as tutoring was over the boys and I piled into the SUV and headed back home. I wish we could have stayed longer, but school activities and assignments necessitated our return.

I'm always sad when I leave my Mom's house. Leaving during the pandemic has been especially bittersweet. I know that, while it is safe to travel now, that our opportunities could change in a moment's notice. If Covid numbers start rising around or or around me, I will again be tightly tethered in place. 

Instead of worrying and feeling sad, this morning I'm trying to focus on the positive. At least we were able to visit last weekend. I don't know what the numbers are going to do in the future, but we had a fantastic time together. Focusing on the fun instead of the worrying has gone a long way in calming my pandemic anxiety.

Monday, October 05, 2020

No Doughnut for Us

 We had a great weekend visiting with my Mom. Robby and Timmy were particularly excited to hang out with Tiffany. Although we didn't do anything grand, the kids had fun playing around the house and riding their bikes and scooters up and down the road. Sometimes, time with family is all that is needed to heal and regroup.

Although we avoided going out on adventures, a trip to the doughnut shop on Saturday night turned into an memory. It was around 8 pm when the kids asked if we could pick up doughnuts in anticipation of game night. Never one to say no to a doughnut, I grabbed my keys and we headed towards the 24 hour doughnut shop.

As we expected, the lobby was empty when we arrived. (A sight which I found pleasing because I like to avoid crowds during a pandemic.) Masked and ready to order, we were all taken aback when the clerk was not wearing face protection. It took me a few minutes to formulate my thoughts, but before I paid I inquired about her lack of a face covering.

She smugly smiled and said, "My boss says masks are optional and a choice. He says they aren't necessary for employees so we don't have to wear them." She began to put the tape on our box when I made my decision.

I remained even toned, but I said, "We've changed our minds. I don't feel safe being served doughnuts by somebody who is unmasked during an active pandemic.  Shame on your boss for promoting infection terrorism." 

I turned around, and we walked out. My niece, who turned back as we were leaving, said she saw the clerk throw the doughnuts down before rolling her eyes and storming to the back room. It was so socially irresponsible for a doughnut business to ignore mask regulations. Shame on them! I won't be back to Maple Doughnuts in Etters. If they actively disregard mask protocols, I can't help but wander what other regulations they ignore.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Heading North

 After Robby is done with his extracurricular classes this afternoon we are heading to Pennsylvania. It has been a month since we've visited with my mom, and I think that we could all use a change of scenery and schedule. Robby has been busy planning out his time with Tiffany. Although my nephews won't be there, the pair will still have a great time together.

Ever since he found out we will be going to see Nana Timmy has been preparing. His bag has been packed several times, stuffed with a menagerie of animals and toys. He has also been sending her messages through his heart with the hopes of receiving his favorite treats. Thankfully he has cued me in on his secret heart messages, so I'm fairly confident that Nana has received his requests.

Scott is staying here, surely happy for a few days of solitude and quiet even if he hasn't admitted it. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my Mom and relaxing a bit. The transition to school has been difficult for everybody and we all need a break!

Thursday, October 01, 2020


 Between virtual schooling, work and life in general, I feel like I'm running on fumes and holding onto my sanity with a thin thread. I turn on the news and it feels like the world is spiraling out of control. The country seems to have evolved into a pit of chaos and anger. I'm busy and frazzled at home, but compared to society, it is my happy place. 

For the next few days I am going to focus on resetting. I'm turning off the news and tuning on movies. With only 85 days until Christmas, perhaps we'll resurrect the Polar Express and Grinch to kick off my news fast. I'm not sure about anybody else, but Timmy is sure to be delighted.  

I wish I could unplug completely, but work requires that I stay connected and active on social media. My goodness that little world has become nasty. I try to scroll past the political posts, but after awhile the images and the vitriol seek into my mind. 

The pandemic would be so much easier to navigate if everybody was kind.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Debate Trainwreck

Robby was encouraged to watch the Presidential Debate by his history teacher. He is a smart kid who is pretty plugged into the issues, so I agreed to allow him to watch. In order to set expectations, we spent our dinner talking about debate rules and the role of each candidate and the moderator. Needless to say, that was a wasted conversation!

Last night we grabbed a cupcake (our special television watching treat) and settled onto the couch to watch the debate. Robby was expecting to see the orderly exchange of ideas and ideologies. What he ended up seeing was little more than a playground scuffle. It was a disgrace.

When the debate was over, neither Robby nor I spoke for several minutes. We both just sat on the couch, silently staring at the television trying to comprehend what we just witnessed. Robby was the first to break the silence. "Well, that was a loud train wreck."

Yep, it was. An absolute train wreck. Last night was the textbook example of what happens when rules are disregarded. Louder does not equate smarter and insults do not indicate a stronger vocabulary. Those are the takeaways from Robby's first Presidential debate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


Yesterday we returned to our normal virtual schooling schedule. Unfortunately Timmy fell a few days behind when he was sick, so we pushed to get back on track. I'm hoping that he will be all caught up by the end of today, but it won't be without frustrations from both parties.

Our new school schedule involves virtual circle time three times a week. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Timmy logs onto the computer and meets with both his teacher and classmates for stories, calendar work and other gentle curriculum objectives. It feels like every time he participates in circle time something goes amiss, so I do have to admit I worry about his teacher's perceptions of our family.

Yesterday Charlie Cat jumped up on the table during Timmy's Zoom session. Per feline habit, Charlie started to aggressively rub against the side of the laptop in a quest for attention. I shooed him away, but not before he made an appearance on camera.  Timmy's teacher asked, "Timmy, is that your cat we see on your camera?"  Without missing a beat, Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yes. His name is Charlie. He is my cat. Sometimes he is a real pain in the ass."

Oh dear. Right after that the teacher made use of the master mute button. After that, Timmy just ended up putting a stuffed turtle on his head as he watched the rest of his lesson. Hopefully we will get through today's circle time without another "honest" observation or misstep. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Return to our Schedule

Our weekend was quiet and uneventful, which is exactly what we all needed. With both Scott and Timmy ill, last week was hectic and stressful. I'm so glad that everybody is feeling better. After some much needed rest, I think we are all ready to tackle the week ahead.

I spent most of yesterday in the kitchen, prepping meals to store in our freezer. I made over 100 meatballs, three full lasagnas and about 50 stuffed shells. Our freezer is full and now I have easy meals ready to go on those busy work nights. I was tuckered out by the time I was finished, but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.

Now that everybody is feeling better we are back to our "normal" school day chaos. Timmy missed a few days of classwork last week, so we need to double our efforts to get back on track. Hopefully he will cooperate and the missed time won't spark another protest attempt. I feel like we just found our school time groove and I would hate if he regressed back to the "I hate school" mentality. 

Wish us luck!

Friday, September 25, 2020


After several long and tense nights, last night Timmy finally slept soundly through the night. Although I woke several times to check his fever, I was able to rest. Life feels so much better after a good night sleep!

This morning Scott is feeling well enough to resume his Zoom teaching from his basement office. Because he will be downstairs and not running around a large school building, his body should be able to rest more than it would on a pre-Covid school day. Hopefully he won't overdo it and he will continue to feel better over the coming days. 

Timmy's fever is now significantly diminished with his Tylenol and he is showing more energy and interest in eating. I think he is on the mend, although he will probably be a couple of days behind Scott's recovery. 

 Whatever the two of them came down with, I don't think it was Covid. This is a huge relief!  Hopefully they can continue to heal and rest of the weekend, and next week we can return to normal.

Thursday, September 24, 2020


 I wish I had something exciting or even fun to share. Instead, all I did yesterday was nurse Timmy and Scott, tackle mountains of vomit infested laundry and work. With two people down for the count, it was both busy and tense for Robby and me.

Both boys continue to have fevers and aches. Although the vomiting seems to have passed, neither have an appetite. At this point, I am continuing to push fluids over food in an attempt to keep them all hydrated and more comfortable. I'm hoping that they improve today, but time will tell.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Yesterday afternoon Scott came up from his basement office and went straight to bed. His color was ashen and his movements were slow. He quickly developed a fever, extreme chills which were followed by intense periods of sweating. I did my best to keep him comfortable while maintaining as much of a distance as possible. 

Unfortunately, Timmy started to vomit in the middle of the night. I stripped his bed, cleaned him up and tucked him into the air mattress I was using. I slept (or tried to sleep) on a blanket on the floor next to him. He is feverish and not feeling well this morning.

In the era of Covid, fevers become terrifying with possibility. Fingers crossed that everybody turns the corner quickly and that trips to the doctor are not necessary.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


 Even though I spent much of Sunday prepping and working, Monday morning I quickly became frazzled and discombobulated. Scott went to work (he has to go into the school one day a week for socially distanced meetings etc.), leaving me to wrangle the boys into the beginning of the school week on my own. It feels like, no matter how much I try to plan and organize, time is in short supply on Monday morning.

By the time I was logging Timmy into his first Circle Time class I was in desperate need of another cup of coffee. I was looking forward to 35 minutes of relative quiet and caffeine while he was busy with his classmates and teacher. Scrolling through my calendar and taking mental stock of my meetings and tasks for the day, I knew that I needed to regroup while I had the opportunity.

Of course, with my little Hamlet, my plans rarely unfold as anticipated. He was excited about his class and eager to interact with his teacher and classmates. He was serious and attentive as his teacher greeted each student. Finally, it was his turn.  "Good morning Timmy. How are you today?" 

He straightened up, looked directly into the camera and very sweetly replied, "Good morning. My butt hole is itchy." 

I chocked and almost spit my coffee across the kitchen table. Somehow, I underestimated the embarrassment that could be incurred through Zoom.


Monday, September 21, 2020


 We had a spooktacularly wonderful weekend. With the weather cooling, our house is quickly beginning to transform into a haunted house. Both Timmy and Robby adore all things Halloween. The brothers have been having a blast decorating and planning our haunted space for this year.

Friday afternoon we kicked off our weekend with a trip to our local pumpkin patch. Our CSA included 100 pounds of pumpkins, which were available for picking before the farm opened to the public. It was so much fun to return to a pre-Covid seasonal activity. Even though we were socially distanced and wearing masks, the familiarity of the outing was surprisingly comforting. 

Saturday was spent decorating both inside and out. We managed to unpack and place the contents of three boxes of Halloween decorations. With at least five more boxes to go, I was overwhelmed with the sheer amount that we have acquired. At this point, I suspect our haunted decorations significantly outnumber our Christmas decorations. From skeletons and ghosts to monsters and witches, our haunted house will have a lot of everything spooky!

Sunday was laid back and quiet. I was able to work for several hours through the afternoon, allowing me to get ahead on some projects. It is always nice to kick off a new work week ahead of the game. 

Friday, September 18, 2020


I'm so glad that we were able to spend time earlier this week outside playing and riding our bikes. The weather was so gorgeous and it felt fantastic being in the fresh cool air. I love autumn! There is something invigorating about chillier temperatures and colorful falling leaves.

Unfortunately our good weather was short lived. Yesterday the remnants of the hurricane flew into our area, leaving us with torrential downpours and windy conditions. Rain, leaves and nuts were all falling at impressive rates. The rest of the weekend weather is forecast to be equally as miserable. It looks like we'll be camping out and playing inside (again) this weekend.

Hopefully the rain will break long enough for us to go to the pumpkin patch tonight. I joined the strawberry and pumpkin CSA last Spring through our local farm. Each week we received 10 pounds of strawberries when they were in season. Our plan also includes 100 pounds of pumpkins, which are ready for harvesting.

In order to comply with social distancing, the farm has opened appointment slots for pumpkin picking. Because we are in the CSA, we were provided the first slots. Rain or shine, we are heading to the pumpkin patch to claim our 100 pounds of pumpkins. 

I'm really looking forward to a quasi-traditional outing during these unconventional times!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Missing Our Places

 Much like the movie Groundhog Day, my life is becoming predictable and rather mundane. Social distancing, school and work obligations are keeping us at home. My goodness I miss our adventures! 

Yesterday was our first cool day of the season. I wish that I could have piled the kids into the car for an impromptu trip to our Animal Park. Instead, I knew I had to create something fun to do at home. Even though we are all busy, I knew that everybody would benefit from unplugging for a few hours.

In the end, we opted for a long bike ride through the neighborhood and a cake picnic by our swing set. It was nice to be in the fresh, cool air and sunshine. The kids seemed just as happy as they would have been at the Animal Park, so maybe I'm the only one who is missing our usual romps.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Story Time!

 Yesterday was busy. Between my work and assisting with schoolwork, I was moving from the time I woke up until late in the evening. The boys are starting to fall into a groove with school, but they still need oversight and assistance. Timmy, although he has stopped crying and fighting whenever I pull out the books, still requires direct instruction. 

Although it means that I don't have a lot of free time, I don't mind helping Timmy. His classwork is fun and I love being part of his unlocking the magic of words and learning. Every day he is making new discoveries. He is excited to learn and it is amazing to be part of it. Since he has stopped crying our class time has been smooth and enjoyable. Fingers crossed it keeps moving in this direction!

Yesterday Timmy participated in a virtual Zoom class with his peers. He was initially very shy but quickly warmed up and began to interact. I was proud that he attentively listened to his teacher read a story and then he carefully followed her directions to make an apple craft. 

While he was in his class I was able to sit back and watch him from the kitchen, allowing him some independence and the opportunity to learn with his classmates. I think that his virtual class experiences will increase over the next few weeks. As far as I see it, the virtual classes are a win-win for both of us. He is able to learn with peers while I'm afforded the luxury of time to work on other projects. 



Tuesday, September 15, 2020


The weather is beginning to turn. The leaves are starting to gain some color and a few are even dropping.  I love this time of year, but it does not come without peril. Our driveway looks like it has been blanketed in hickory nuts. The squirrels love it, but I feel like I am one step away from a nasty fall.

Last October I fell in our yard and I limped for nearly six weeks. When I step on an uneven object, like a nut or rock, my ankle doesn't naturally accommodate. Instead, I am pitched off balance which, unfortunately, often results in a tumble.  Unfortunately, I haven't met an active amputee who has not fallen. It seems par for the course when you use a prosthesis.

I hate falling. Not only is it physically uncomfortable, but many times the emotional injury is more long lasting. Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than falling because of my prosthesis!

I am not keen on another injury, so this year I'm being a little more proactive about our nutty situation. I've added sweeping all pathways to the chore wheel because I don't want to take any chances. Every season has its own dangers, and in the autumn, mine are nuts.

Monday, September 14, 2020


I am frequently contacted by new amputees, or soon-to-be amputees, in search of information and mentoring. I'm always happy to lend and ear and my experience, mainly because I have never forgotten how alone and lost I felt after my amputation. When somebody emails me or sends a message looking for support, I do my best to answer immediately because I know how hard it is to make the first outreach.

Last week I was contacted by a new amputee through Instagram. I answered her initial query, prompting her to immediately write back with more questions. I spent at least three hours over two days exchanging messages and offering support. Initially nothing felt odd or seemed amiss.Slowly the blips on my radar started to increase in strength and frequency.

After the fourth request for a "stump photo," I was convinced that I had been pulled into a rouse. Why somebody would fake an amputation I will probably never understand. I don't know if it the thrill of pretending or the conquest of obtaining a limb photo that motivates these individuals. I do know that I feel scammed every single time I fall for their ploys. 

I spent the majority of Friday night angry at myself. I invest my time and my heart every single time I connect with a new amputee. I took time away from my kids and my other responsibilities because I wanted to help. I didn't deserve to be scammed by a faker.

Friday, September 11, 2020

 Today is September 11.

Yesterday my niece called me to help her on a school project. She needed to interview people who were alive during the September 11, 2001 attacks to glean their insights and stories. I was flabbergasted that an event that remains so vivid in my memories has become the topic for a school history project. How has so much time passed since that horrible day?

Like everybody else my age and older, I will never forget the events of September 11. That day shaped and transformed all of us. I remember feeling overwhelmed, frightened and vulnerable. As time passed and more information emerged, I remember feeling both patriotic and angry. I did my best to convey my experiences to my niece, but I am certain that I will never find the words to recreate such a pivotal event in my life. 

When Robby was born I struggled with how I was going to educate him about September 11 without causing undo fear and anxiety. After some thought, I decided it was best to focus on the humanity and the heroes that emerged during the tragedy. When he was a few months old, I strapped him to my chest and we baked cookies to deliver to our local fire department.

As Robby grew older, I began to reveal more about the significance of September 11. Timmy has joined our tradition, and now baking cookies for the firehouse is an annual event. Both boys know about the planes and the deaths. But they also know about the heroes and the helpers. More than feeling fear and anger, I hope that they will always demonstrate gratitude on this anniversary.

Robby is now 14 years old, and yesterday we baked our 15th batch of September 11 cookies. As he was mixing the dough, I again was struck by the passage of time. My goodness, where has the time gone?

Thursday, September 10, 2020


Another day and more rain. Ugh! I'm so tired of the dreary weather. The glimpses of sunshine over the weekend teased my senses, leaving me more frustrated as the skies have greyed over the past few days. Social distancing, which stinks under the best circumstances, has been made considerably more difficult when we haven't been able to play outside.

Timmy has spent his afternoons zooming around the house on his scooter and push bike. He zips around so quickly that I constantly find myself jumping to hug the wall to avoid a collision. Despite our warnings to slow down and to be careful, he is a little daredevil. So far he has avoided injury. We are knocking on wood that this trend continues because, as I tell him on a daily basis, this is a lousy time to end up in the emergency room.

I am feeling increasingly frustrated about the pandemic and those who are disregarding the precautions. Sometimes it feels like we are alone in our concerns. Every time I see my friends post photos of themselves out with large groups of friends with nobody wearing a mask I feel like screaming. There is little doubt about it, I need to reset my perspective if I'm going to maintain my sanity. 

I just wish I knew where to begin.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Virtual classes

 It didn't take long for the relaxation vibes of the long weekend to dissipate. Although there weren't any tears yesterday, the return to school was stressful for all of us. I feel like we are making progress towards establishing a comfortable schedule, but it is certainly slower than I would like. I really miss the normalcy of a predictable schedule.

Yesterday Timmy had his first virtual class. He was timid in front of the camera, a response I found surprising considering his outgoing personality. Hopefully he will warm-up to his teachers and his classmates as he becomes more comfortable with the platform.

Today Robby resumes his enrichment classes and he couldn't be more excited. I'm so glad that he will be reunited with his friends. Today's class is still virtual (his in-person instruction resumes on Friday). Even though he will be reunited virtually, I know that he will thoroughly enjoy every moment.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

New Normal?

 Despite my abhorrence for all things Labor Day, we ended up having a pleasant weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, allowing us to finally spend time outside. Scott and I tackled the yard work while the boys rode bikes, played through the yard and began to decorate for Halloween. After being holed up for the past two weeks because of rain, the sunshine felt liberating!

Today we are back to the school routine. Robby is thrilled that his enrichment classes begin this week. So far they are meeting in person (fewer than 10 people with masks and appropriate distancing) and, fingers crossed, they will continue with face-to-face sessions. He has missed his friends and I know that he is anxious to see everybody again. 

This pandemic has impacted so many aspects of our lives, but it has hit relationships the hardest. I am accustomed to conducting much of my life virtually, but there are elements of human interactions that just cannot be conveyed through a video call. Teen friendships rank high on this list. 

Please continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and be smart about following all protocols. I feel like a new normal is within reach, but it will be pulled back if the Covid numbers spike again. I want my kids to be able to hang out with the friends, but I worry that it isn't going to happen this school year. Mask up, and be safe!

Friday, September 04, 2020

Labor Day

I'm feeling victorious this morning. Timmy and I survived an entire week of virtual school without tears. It wasn't easy, and the lack of tears does not mean that we weren't frustrated. But we are taking the absence of a meltdown as a success. 

I've always hated Labor Day, and this year is no exception. I always found it difficult to feel celebratory when the end of summer arrived. Even though I'm saddened to mark the end of summer, this year the end of the season feels more inconsequential. 

School already started, so Labor Day no longer heralds academia. Because of social distancing, I feel like we never had the opportunity to fully embrace the adventures of summer. I feel sad that we seemingly lost a season, but I am looking forward to the changes of autumn. 

I'm hoping that the world normalizes in the months ahead. I'm starting to feel worn down by the isolation and the stress. We all have missed out on so much- please wear a mask!

Thursday, September 03, 2020


 Yesterday was uneventful. It felt like just about every other day during social distancing. With the exception of my very clean floors, everything was quiet and rather boring.  

The boys are all settling into their school routines. Scott goes downstairs to his makeshift classroom every morning. With the exception of a brief visit during lunchtime, we don't see him until the end of the school day. With him sequestered in a separate part of the house, it is easy to forget that he is still home. 

Robby and Timmy are both adjusting to their schoolwork. Timmy hasn't cried at all this week, which is a monumental improvement over last week's disastrous start to school. We are both figuring out way through our new roles as teacher and student. In retrospect,  I was naive to hope that we would not experience growing pains.

While I was working, teaching, cooking and running around the house, Homer kept on task with my floors. This little robot is amazing. I'm a little embarrassed by how much joy this has brought to my rather mundane life. I never would have envisioned that I would become giddy over a vacuum!

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Robot Love

 Yesterday I broke down and bought myself a new toy. Of course, I justified my purchase because it is really an appliance that will be used to clean the house. Despite my efforts to rationalize, I know in my heart that it is a toy. But I have to tell you, I love my new robot vacuum!

I unboxed my new robot with an enthusiasm that matched Timmy on Christmas morning. I couldn't wait to plug him in, get him charged up and put him to work. After a few hours Homer, my new vacuum, was charged and ready to go. I pushed the button and he happily chirped to life.

Homer spent the next 90 minutes meandering through the front half of the house, picking up dirt while mapping his route. (He is an obedient multi-tasker!) We all watched with amazement as he went about his task. With no sass and no backtalk when doing his chores, my heart skipped a beat. 

I think I'm in love!

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Winding Down

 Yesterday began week two of kindergarten and 9th grade. Unlike last week, we did not have any tears! I can't say that the kids were elated with all of their schoolwork, but I'm taking the lack of meltdowns and hysterics as a win.  

My taking the time to prep over the weekend made a huge difference in my stress level. I know that the kids feed off of my anxiety, so when I feel calm and in control, they tend to have smoother transitions. Hopefully we can continue these feel-good learning vibes through the rest of the week.

The weather has been abysmal, which is beginning to impact everybody's mood. We haven't been able to go outside to play in more than a week. Hamlet is (literally) bouncing off the walls with all of his excess energy. I have started to clear the a path throughout the house so that he can zoom around on his scooter and push bike. My goodness he has a lot of energy!

I think we have one more day with the rain and grey skies before we will see the sun again. As much as it saddens me, I'm accepting that pool season has come to an end. It is hard to believe that today is the first day of September. With social distancing and our summer plans wrecked, it feels like we were robbed of some summertime happiness.  We did the best we could under the circumstances, and I know that there is no use in dwelling on the past. I guess I'll just look forward to having twice as many adventures next summer!

When the rain finally stops, I suspect it will be time to drain the pool and pack it up for the year. Who knows, maybe next year it will be replaced with a larger (and more permanent) structure?  Fingers crossed I can work some pool magic over the next few months.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Relaxing and Prepping

Friday evening the remnants of the hurricane blew into our area, providing constant downpours and strong winds throughout much of the weekend. Although I missed the sunshine, I didn't really mind the excuse for hibernating. Last week was rough, and I was relieved for the respite to regroup and relax.

Saturday was spent doing nothing of great importance. I had ambitions to spend the day cleaning and working. Despite my plans, I ended up watching Netflix on the couch while the boys quietly played by themselves. I think we were all in need of some quiet time.

Yesterday I finally made progress towards my weekend goals. I cleaned our bedroom and continued to rearrange the furniture. I'm not happy yet, but we are definitely making progress. I feel like we are playing furniture Tetris. I keep moving large pieces of furniture in hopes of finding a functional and pleasing new flow to the home. I'll get there eventually, assuming that my moving men don't revolt first.

When the furniture was moved and the house was put back together I went to work in the kitchen. In an effort to diminish my stress, I spent several hours prepping and cooking for the upcoming week. When I was done cooking I was able to squeeze in a few hours of work, trying to get ahead so that my schedule. Hopefully my efforts will result in less stress and more energy as the week progresses.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Rough Day

 Yesterday was not our best day for virtual schooling. The optimism I felt in the morning quickly waned as I was being pulled in a dozen different directions. By lunchtime I was frayed, which was probably not the best time to start another lesson with Timmy. He was also tired and cranky from a morning of classwork and activities. Simply put, together we were a recipe for disaster.

We clashed and, before I knew it, we were both close to tears. We took a time-out to relax and regroup, and we decided it was best to put the books aside for the rest of the day. After all, school should not make you cry on the third day. 

With the desk cleared, we repaired our day by playing and making up stories. After our meltdown, it was great to hear his giggles and see his smile again. I know that we will eventually get the hang of our new school day normal, but this transition is rough!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Settling In

 We are halfway through our first week of school and I am definitely seeing a glimmer of hope. Yesterday I only broke down in tears once, which means that I cut my crying ratio in half! I feel like we are finally figuring out a system. Although I'm sure it will take awhile to completely settle in, I feel better knowing that we are coming up with a routine. Hopefully today will see even less frustration and more learning. 

Timmy is starting to adjust to school and is excited about learning. Robby, a seasoned pro, has stepped into high school with a confidence that leaves me in awe. I am so incredibly proud of him! I know that the high school curriculum is harder and more time consuming, but he hasn't complained. So far he is embracing the content and working diligently (and independently) through his courses. 

School and work have been all-consuming this week, leaving little time for fun or recreation. Today I am vowing to get outside for a little while. After so much concentration, I think we all need a break and fresh air. The storms are rolling through our area later this weekend, so today may be our last opportunity to play outside for awhile.

 Who knows, maybe we'll even hop into the pool!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

School Days

 Our first day of school can be summed up with one word: stressful. As much as I prepared and tried to organize for success, everything quickly fell apart and went wonky. I felt discombobulated and frazzled all day as I tried to juggle all of my roles. 

I feel like I was moving from the moment I woke up until late into the night. Between my job(s), trying to teach Timmy and support Robby academically and managing the daily household responsibilities, I felt overwhelmed and out of my element. I tried to remain upbeat and optimistic, but inside I wanted to pull out my hear and bang my head through a glass wall.

Timmy was excited to begin school but, as the lessons continued, his interest waned. Much of his boredom was due to my scattered attention. It was hard to redirect his attention and I became more frustrated than I care to admit at his lack of focus. I'm not too proud to admit that, on more than one occasion, I ended up crying in the bathroom.

Last night I worked on our calendar and our schedule. Going forward, I'm going to try to carve out a dedicated time for school each day. Hopefully having a stricter schedule and routine will help both of us. I am juggling a lot of roles, but I can't multitask when he is actively engaged in his academics. Perhaps I need to model focus before I can expect it from him.

Robby tackled his freshman year like a seasoned pro. He began to work as soon as he woke up and never complained. He is excited about his classes, although it does seem that German may be more work than he anticipated. Nevertheless, he is excited to learn the language and is determined to put in the work. 

Hopefully day will be better!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

New School Year

 Today we are back in Virginia and ready to tackle the school year.  Although classes began yesterday, today the real learning will begin. Yesterday was busy with pretests, signing honor codes and producing getting to know you videos. With all of the bookkeeping completed, today we will dive into the curriculum.  

Needless to say, I'm already feeling overwhelmed. I look at the totality of everything that both Robby and Timmy need to learn and I begin to fret. I'm doing my best to keep it day by day because if I delve too deep I fear I might drown. 

Somehow, I will figure out how to cyber school both boys while working full time. I'm not sure how, but I will figure it out. Wish us luck as we embark on this new school year adventure!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Laser Show

 We had a wonderful quick getaway to visit my Mom. Robby and Timmy were able to play with their cousins and visit with Nana. I was able to get work done, sleep in and relax. As the school year begins to wind up, this was exactly what I needed to recenter and to prepare for the impending chaos. 

Friday night I did take Robby and Tiffany to the drive-in to experience a laser show. We had never attended a laser show and went without expectations. It turns out that it was quite entertaining and a great way to spend a summer evening. If a laser show comes to your area, I would recommend attending. It was well worth it!

Most of our time was spent playing outside and around the house. We really didn't do anything terribly exciting, but the kids were full of giggles and laughter. It was a fantastic way to end summer! Today we are heading home and getting all of our notebooks and supplies in order. Tomorrow, we start class.


Friday, August 21, 2020

School Days

 I find it unfathomable that I have a rising freshman and kindergarten students. It feels like just last year I was hiding in the bushes, peeking into the windows of Robby's classroom to make sure that he was okay. Now he is preparing for high school! 

I think about the fact that Robby is entering high school and my anxiety goes into overdrive.  Academically, he is ready. But emotionally, I am not. I know that the next four years will move quickly and the thought of him leaving for college fills me with grief and angst. He is just an awesome young man, but sometimes I miss my sweet little kid Koopa.  

As Robby embarks on his high school career, Timmy is just starting his. Kindergarten starts on Monday and he is very excited. His books arrived yesterday and he opened the box with the enthusiasm of Christmas morning.  I hope that he is always so excited to learn!

Because of his autoimmune issues and the schools opting for virtual learning only, we have decided to enroll him in the same cyber school as Robby. It just made sense to be working off the same platform for both kids. Eventually he will go to a more traditional setting, but this is not a normal year. 

Today we are headed to Pennsylvania to enjoy one last hurrah before the academic year begins. I know that Robby is eager to hang out with his cousins, and Timmy misses his Nana. When we return on Sunday, we will be in the school year mind frame.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bad Leg Day

Yesterday felt like a struggle from the moment I woke up. For some reason my leg was not comfortable. I tried readjusting numerous times but my efforts failed to improve the fit. After a few hours I finally just surrendered to the discomfort for the day, tallied it up as "one of those things" and took some ibuprofen. 

I was functional and able to walk, but my steps were labored and unnatural. Walking was exhausting, zapping me of energy and discouraging me from my daily activities. I was frustrated that I wasn't comfortable and that I could not pinpoint the reason. I hate bad leg days!

Little makes me feel more handicapped than not being able to play and keep up with the boys. Timmy desperately wanted to play outside, but I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep up with him. After a lot of begging and pleading I finally agreed to try to ride my bike. He understood that our ride may be shortened because of my pain, but I wanted to give it a try.

I was delighted, and surprised, to discover that my prosthetic issues were not nearly as relevant when I was pedaling. Once I realized that I could ride without pain we took off through the neighborhood, exploring and talking to every dog and person we encountered. 

My leg is fitting better this morning, so apparently my diagnosis of "one of those things" was accurate. I feel normal again and, although I'm cautious, I don't anticipate any more issues. Here's to a good leg day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Fish On

We have a few days until the new virtual school year begins. Instead of fretting and worrying I decided to put my anxiety to the side and concentrate on having fun with the boys. If the next few weeks are as hectic as I fear, I want to have as much fun as possible while I still can!

Early afternoon I put my computer down and Scott and I found the fishing poles and tackle. I pulled some hotdogs out of the freezer, told the boys to get their shoes on and directed them to meet us in the car. Both complained until they saw Scott walking out the door with the fishing poles. It was amazing how quickly both Robby and Timmy can move when they are motivated.

Timmy was the only one to catch a fish. He was delighted and squealed as he reeled in his catch. I let him do it by himself but stood close in case he needed help. It turns out that his fish was about the size of a goldfish so it didn't put up much of a struggle. Actually, I'm not sure how such a tiny little fish could get hooked. 

Robby didn't catch any fish, but he did snag a snapping turtle. Thankfully the hook did not set and we were able to save our pole and line. He spent the rest of the afternoon watching and feeding his new snapping turtle buddy. (It turns out that a snapping turtle can eat a hotdog in one gulp.)

We had a great time fishing at our little local lake. The dock was secluded, which eliminated my Covid fears as well as our need to mask up. It was great just being outside, doing something together away from our yard. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 I'm trying to remain calm about the upcoming school year, but in reality I'm in a full blown panic. I'm so worried about managing my work responsibilities and virtual schooling tasks on a daily basis. I look at the totality of responsibilities and I just feel completely lost and overwhelmed. I'm know that we will, eventually, settle into a routine and that I will make it all work. At least, that is my hope!

I've spent the past week getting ready for the new school year. Timmy's learning corner has been prepared. His supplies have been purchased and we are just waiting for his books to arrive. All 32 pounds of them! Yikes. (I have to admit when I read the weight on the shipping confirmation, my anxiety was set into a tailspin.)

I'm mainly worried about supporting Timmy's academic endeavors because I know that kindergarten will require a huge time investment from me. Although Robby's academics are considerably harder, I have confidence that he can navigate much of his syllabus by himself. That isn't to say that I won't be involved, but I certainly won't need to be as task-oriented and hands-on as I will be with Timmy.  

I wish I could be excited about the upcoming school year. I want to view it as an adventure and something that will be both engaging and fun. Unfortunately, I'm just plain terrified.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Busy Weekend

 My goodness, what a busy weekend. My plans of relaxing and unwinding somehow imploded and I ended moving and working nonstop. I was extremely productive which definitely helped to offset my exhaustion. 

 Saturday morning Scott and I went to a local farmer's market and ended up coming home with 50 pounds of tomatoes and 25 pounds of green beans. I already had 50 pounds of tomatoes from my Mom's neighbor, bringing the total to a whopping one hundred pounds! Undeterred by the task, I brought my saucer up from the garage and got to work. 

It took me nearly four hours to run all one hundred pounds of tomatoes through the saucer. By the time the last tomato was pushed through the machine I had every electric cooking pot going to reduce and thicken the sauce. The appliances were strategically positioned throughout the house to avoid throwing a fuse, forcing me to move constantly to stir and check on the progress.  

While the sauce was reducing, I sat on the couch and began to snap the beans. I started a movie on Netflix and, by the time I was finally at the bottom of my bean box, the movie had just ended. It was kind of nice to sit and watch a movie, but my hands were tired and cramped from the beans.

Saturday night was spent processing the sauce through my water canner. One hundred pounds of potatoes reduced down to 19 quarts of sauce. While the jars were processing I blanched, shocked and froze the beans. By the time I was ready for bed I was exhausted!

I planned on relaxing all day Sunday, but somehow I ended up rearranging all of the furniture upstairs and cleaning. I packed up all of Timmy's trains because he has outgrown them.  He loved his trains and they served him well, but he is growing up. I was proud of myself for not crying! 

Gone are the large and clumsy plastic toys. I know that packing up the trains is a milestone in his development, but I don't want to think about it because it will make me cry. Instead, I am choosing to utilize my favorite coping mechanism: avoidance.

I had to move a lot of furniture, but with all of the newly reclaimed space I was able to establish a dedicated video-conferencing corner for work. I created a school area for Timmy and arranged Robby's notebooks in a convenient location. I was exhausted but satisfied with my accomplishment.

Friday, August 14, 2020


 After a fun-filled getaway to my Mom's house, we are now back in VA. It is always hard to leave, but I know it won't take long to get resettled at home. School (cyber) starts again in a few weeks and we have a lot to do before the curriculum opens.  

Today will be laid back as everybody settles back in Virginia. I have a lot of laundry to catch up on, and the house is in desperate need of a cleaning. I suspect that both boys will be busy playing with their computers and various toys. As much as they like visiting Nana and their cousins, it is always nice to be home again.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Heading Home

 All good things must come to an end, including our :quarication." Spending time with my Mom for the past week and a half has been wonderful and exactly what my soul needed to rejuvenate before cyber school begins. Robby and Timmy loved playing with their cousins. Although our adventures were more limited this year, I know that they made strong memories to last.

Yesterday was a day full of appointments and back to school prep. While my Mom took my youngest nephew to the dentist, Tiffany and Jacob went to meet with their new guidance counselors. They both came home elated with their new schedules and a palpable enthusiasm for their new school adventure. 

In the evening I took the Crew to the mall (socially distanced) to buy some new school clothes. Thankfully they all love the styles and colors at Hollister (a store that is apparently catered to the modern teen). It certainly made shopping easy!  Three full shopping bags later, their school clothes shopping was complete.  

To finish off our quarication, I held an epic game night with the Cousin Crew. We stayed up late playing various card, trivia and truth or dare games. Eventually I lost steam and went to bed, but by looking at the house this morning the Crew pulled an all-nighter. All of the chip bags are empty, water glasses are all over the house and the living room is a mess.  

After everybody restores my Mom's house to its pre-visit state, I'll be packing up and heading home. Leaving is always sad, but I also know it is time to get back to reality.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Chill Day

 After an exciting night hunting ghosts, most of the kids slept into the early afternoon. Robby was up early because he had his RPG WWII class, an activity that he will wake up from even the deepest sleep to attend. Timmy was also up early because he didn't go on the ghost hunt and, as he told me, it was a happy day to wake up early. 

In the afternoon I helped my niece and nephews work through the welcome video packets from their new schools. They are switching to public school this year and it is safe to say that their nerves are on high alert. I know that they will do great, but I'm also trying to do everything I can to ease their concerns and to make this an exciting transition. Change is hard, but it is especially difficult when you are a teenager.  

After a relatively lazy day at home, the evening was spent with water guns, water balloons and the slip n' slide. I love hearing the laughter through the air as they play. Timmy was especially excited to play with his cousins in water. In his mind, his cousins and water play create the perfect combination for fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ghost Hunters

While Timmy spent his afternoon gleefully washing Nana's car, I took the older cousins to the bowling alley. Timmy was invited to come bowl with the Crew but, once he saw the hose and a bucket of suds, he was excited to stay home and get wet. It took him nearly three hours, but part of my Mom's car is now sparkling clean. He loves playing in water!

When the sun went down and Timmy went to bed the big cousins hopped into my car and we headed out on another adventure. This time we went ghost hunting. Last year we went on a ghost tour, this year I thought it would be fun to up the ante by using the equipment to try to track down  and communicate with the paranormal. 

I wish I had filmed the kids' reactions when they learned that they were going to use the equipment that the "real" ghost hunters use. Dedicated viewers of all of the paranormal hunting shows, they definitely knew more about the various detectors, scanners and communicators than me. I probably should have brushed up on the technology before our adventure, but I didn't really get to use the equipment. My role was more of a supporter, which was fine with me.

They had a blast running through the abandoned haunted Civil War field hospital, eagerly following the beeps and lights from their detectors. I'm an admitted cynic but I did my best to keep my skepticism at bay as the kids enthusiasm grew exponentially with each detection. The kids were completely convinced that ghosts were present and were dedicated to their task of communication. I was impressed with their teamwork as they worked together to try to coax the ghosts into interactions. Even though I'm sure that there is a more logical explanation, I was a tad freaked out when random words were heard through our "spirit box" when the kids started to try to talk to a ghost. 

Hearing the voice and having a quasi conversation was, without a doubt, the highlight of their night. I just thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. I love that a bunch of teenagers still want to hang out with their old Aunt!