We find ourseleves these days working through some challenges.  Ones of the two and a half year old sort.  I know it is all normal and that it is just a phase, but sometimes I feel so conflicted and frustrated.  I find myself struggling to balance out my initial reactions and what my brain and heart tell me to do and say.  And those three things do not always jive.  Claire got her first bee sting the other day.  On her head.  She swelled a little at the site and was quite a trooper.  I also got one on my shoulder.  Mike had the hives open and apparently what used to be a perfectly safe watching distance is no longer.  I suppose they have stuff to protect in there, which is fine by me.

Last weekend was Bele Chere in Asheville, a giant street festival that I used to attend and have decided in recent years can tend towards too hot and crowded for me.  I guess I'm getting old and codgery.  But this weekend was also the year anniversary of the fire that claimed the life of one of Mike's coworkers, a captain at the Asheville Fire Dept., so there were some memorial events going on.  Claire and I rode the shuttle bus into town so that we wouldn't have to fight festival traffic, and we hung out for a couple hours, taking in the scenes, eating huge soft pretzels, and watching Mike play with the FD pipes and drum band.  I think the highlight for her was her first bus ride.

We had a visit from a dear friend this weekend as well, and spent some time out at the firefighter camp for a new building dedication for Captain Bowen.

Sunday morning we slowly readied ourselves for the drive up to New Jersey and didn't hit the road until early afternoon.  Now we're up at Mike's folks' place, calling it home for the next week or so and getting in some good visiting and exploring.  The plan is to relax, eat yummy food, visit with good friends, host a little gathering, take a train to Philly, visit Howell Farm and maybe a couple others, possibly go to the beach, the aquarium.... Perhaps a Phillies game for papa.  We'll see.  For now, on with the visiting.


  1. i did, and still do, a lot of 2-breaths-before-responding.... :) hugs

    1. That is exactly what I find the most helpful, to stop and center myself before responding. I've been reading a pretty good book about conscious discipline and such and the author points out that whatever your focus is on, you get more of.... And that if you are upset, your focus is surely on what is bothering you and not on the solution. I find it is much easier to feel calm and centered if I am proceeding with the desired outcome in mind, and not what is frustrating me. Though that's another one of her points, that others cannot make you angry, frustrated, whatever.... Without your permission. I feel like of course that all makes sense, it's just the matter of retraining myself, so to speak. I appreciate your kind words-


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