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September 27, 2016

I did the Jimmy Fund walk on Sunday with 31 of my co-workers.

It was a gorgeous September day; sunny and about 65.  Perfect weather.




Our team raised nearly $22,000.  The Walk as a whole had a goal of just over $8 million to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

To say it was a humbling day is a gross understatement.  It was an amazing day on every level.


If you care to donate to the Jimmy Fund, you can do so using any of these links; they all send the money directly to the Jimmy Fund, who then uses

Jimmy Fund itself:

My team’s fundraising page:

My personal fundraising page:



September 22, 2016

Today is officially the first day of autumn, but the fact is we’ve been easing into it for the past couple of weeks.  The nights are getting a little cooler, the sun is slanting in that September way.

Fall soccer started last week.


The butterflies are stopping by the front yard on their way south.


Last night I took down the summer front-door decoration and put up the autumn one.



September 19, 2016

Alistair likes to read well enough, but he doesn’t like to try new authors or stories unless someone he knows recommends them to him.  If he was left to his own devices he’d just re-read the books on his shelves over and over in an endless loop.

In my opinion this is a side effect of the loss of bookstores.  One of the best parts about a bookstore, to me, is wandering around and picking up whatever book catches my eye.  I read the blurb and I might buy it, or I might add it to my to-read list, or I might put it down and never give it a second thought.  I have found many many MANY much-loved books that way.  But with the demise of most local bookstores, and even most chain bookstores, that experience has fallen by the wayside.

Sometime last spring Alistair learned that Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series is from Massachusetts.  I was thrilled to be able to tell him that not only does he still live in Massachusetts, but he owns a bookstore here.  We found the location, discovered it was about 40 miles from us, and I issued him a challenge:  If he read four books by different authors between the end of the school year and August 31, we could take a trip down there.

And he did.  And so we went on Saturday.


An Unlikely Story is a gorgeous old building, inside and out.  The main floor has a cafe in addition to the bookstore, and the second floor is their event space.


I am happy to say that we spent a happy hour wandering around the bookstore, and the boys both found new-to-them authors and books to explore.  I did, too.


September 16, 2016

Today marks the end of their first full week of school this year.

Alistair has settled right in to his routine.  Larson is still getting used to the schedule – last year he had three half-days of preschool, so five full days of school is a pretty big transition.  There has been a big improvement from Monday morning to this morning, and I expect things to only go more smoothly from here.

The biggest obstacle in the mornings is my own doing, I’m sorry to say.  I need to get a little better about doing some of the lunch prep the night before.  Not making sandwiches, per se, but just parceling out the snacks into single serve containers will save me a bunch of time each morning.  They both take two servings of fruit a day each, and I usually take at least one fruit or vegetable, too, so cutting all that stuff adds up.

Hoping for a reasonably low-key weekend.  Whatever your plans are, I hope you enjoy the weekend!



September 13, 2016

After thinking about the bullet journal thing for several weeks, I finally broke down and started keeping one.

Oh, I haven’t abandoned any of the tools I mentioned in that post.  I’ve just started another.

I got a free pocket-sized bound notebook at a conference last year, so that’s what I’m using. I am into the fourth week, and the contents and intentions of the thing have changed quite a bit in the short time since I started.

At the beginning it was a complete duplicate of my Remember the Milk list, along with the dinner menu for each day (about which I was inspired by skinnytaste), and things I wanted to do for myself – like exercise and “me time”.  Me Time is defined in my head as, things I enjoy doing recreationally, like reading or knitting or watching bad tv shows. Things I do to keep morale up, you know? I also track cash spending, because that’s the spending that happens by accident, and I want to start keeping an eye on where my discretionary cash goes.  Also a sentence or two about the day.  Not quite a “dear diary” section, just an overview of things. “First day of school”, and “Alistair has a new loose tooth”.  Etc.

Then I realized that I was doing the RTM things regardless of whether they were in my journal, and they didn’t really need to be tracked twice, so I trimmed my journal to-do down.

I’ve also settled into a one-page-per-day format.

So the top of every page looks like this:



My dentist appointment is the first item on the daily to-do list, which obviously also includes appointments (no cavities, I’m happy to report).  I fill out the other things as they happen, what I did for exercise, whether I was able to find time to meditate (I just started, that’s a post for another day), whether I spent any cash and what I did for myself.  I fill in the weather at the end of the day when I’m writing my daily note.

On the back few pages I keep my beloved lists, one double-side page each: Television shows I want to binge-watch, Movie night movies, Places that might be fun family daytrips, Long-term house projects, Books I want to read, and yarn requirements for patterns on my short list.

As I said it is a pocket-sized notebook, and I thought for sure it was going to be too small, but I actually think it’s just right.  I think this one will definitely get me through the end of 2016, so I will have plenty of time to decide if I need a different size.



September 9, 2016

Not to be outdone, Larson started kindergarten on Wednesday.


And so now, at last, my two boys are in the same school, on the same schedule.


Until next year, when Alistair goes to middle school.  But for now I plan to enjoy every moment of this year. Hopefully they will do the same.


September 6, 2016

Saturday morning we headed to the western part of Massachusetts.  I’ve been through there plenty of times, but have never really spent any time out there.

Our destination was Mount Greylock, the highest point in the state, and the fictional site of Ilvermorny.

Despite worrisome forecasts about the hurricane Hermine heading our way, it was a gorgeous sunny late summer day.

There is all manner of hiking trails in the park, including the Appalachian Trail, but you can drive all the way to the top, so that’s what we did.




(Hiking at least a segment of the Appalachian Trail is on my bucket list, but alas, another time)


We spent the night at a motel nearby where the boys were able to have what is probably their last outdoor swim of the summer, and then headed home on Sunday.