Tuesday, October 31, 2006
When I hear Gaelic, I feel so at peace, like I'm where I should be. When the Gaelic comes to me in song, I feel transported across the ocean to a home I have never been too, but one that I know I need to go.
So since today is Halloween and we are going to carve our pumpkins in a little bit, I thought I'd share with you all the history to why we carve pumpkins on All Hallows Day.
The Jack-O'-Lantern was brought to North America by Irish immigrants. According to the legend, Jack was a mean, miserly drunk. Jack was smart enough, however, to entice the Devil into climbing an apple tree so he could help himself to the juicy apples near its top.
As soon as the Devil climbed the tree, Jack cut a sign of the cross into the tree, thus preventing the Devil from climbing down again. Jack then extracted promise from the Devil that he would never try to take Jack's soul.
When Jack died, he tried to get into Heaven but he was turned away because he had been such a mean drunk during his lifetime. Jack then went to the gates of Hell, looking for a place where he could spend all eternity. True to his word, the Devil refused him entry.
Jack asked the Devil where he was to supposed to go now. The answer he received was, “Back where you came from!” Since it was a dark night and Jack had a long journey ahead of him, the Devil gave Jack a lit coal from the fires of Hell.
Jack took the coal and put it inside a turnip, which he was carrying at the time. He used this unusual lantern to help him find his way.
Ever since that day, poor Jack has been doomed to roam the Earth, searching in vain for a place to rest.
Children in Ireland carved potatoes and turnips to make lanterns to be used on Hallowe'en night. When large numbers of Irish immigrants settled in America as a result of the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1850), they started using pumpkins for this purpose and so our familiar Hallowe'en tradition of the Jack-O'-Lantern came into existence.
So there you have it!!!!! Now when you see a carved pumpkin, you'll think of poor Jack who wanders aimlessly, being neither accepted at the gates of heaven or hell.
and here she is in color....
Pretty cool, huh? We took these while she was jumping on the trampoline. The Witches dress is a costure I altered for her many years ago, it is a 1940s Vintage Black cocktail dress....paired with funky stockings and a spooky hat, my little Witch really seems like she is flying through the air!!!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
at Flickr and just had to share it, as when Emma Sage saw it she just laughed and laughed.
We have to carve our pumpkins tonight. We sadly missed last night at my Dads with Uncle Mikey and Aunt Patti, as we were without power for four hours yesterday, and my pile of wet laundry needed tending to as soon as the power came back on.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Let me tell you, this was a very exciting game. Both teams played awesomely and the stick work and passing was amazing.
Greta's cousin Erica was awarded the MVP!
Here are a few pictures of the day. [again, I don't have a good camera these days, so this was the best quality I could master of the event]
Greta is in the second row, 2nd from the left,,,,her cousin Erica is in the second row, 1st from the right.
Final Score.....Voorhees 3 ~ Warren Hills 2
[a very intense game.....very intense]
and look what greated us as we got home.......a beautiful rainbow!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Well, Emma Sage just adores dance, and she also adores her cousin Fiona, so that is whom she chose to join her at dance.
This dance class and dance school [Broadway Bound] is truly an amazing place for Little Miss to be dancing at......the teacher is wonderful and all the little girls in the class [there are 9 dancers in this class] are sweet, friendly and so very nice to my little girl.
Emma Sage is in heaven with the beautiful wooden floors [the last two years dance class was held in a nursery school, on a small carpeted area, with no bars or mirrors] fully mirrored room and dance bars for ballet, plus this class combines ballet and tap [and Emma Sage just loves to tap, tap, tap, tap].
Here is a group shot.....I don't have a good camera these days, and missed Emma Sage looking forward.....Fiona is on the bottom left with Emma Sage sitting right next to her. Arn't these little dancers adorable?
Guess who is a Daisy Girl Scout?
Yup,,,,Little Miss Emma Sage!
We had our first meeting today [8 girls in the troup]......and guess who is a co-leader?
Yup.......you guessed it,,,,ME!
Funny story, I was not planning on being a leader [just not enough spare time] but told the director of our council that I would be at every meeting [just incase they need something] and the next thing I know, I'm 'co-leader' with another Mother [Cheryl] who also had no intentions of being a leader [but when no one will take the responsibility of a troop....and you want your daughter to be a Girl Scout, you step up to the plate and pitch in]
What a wonderful day. Emma Sage had a blast and all the little girls are wonderful. As you can see by the smile on her face.....being a Daisy Girl Scout suits my little girl wonderfully.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
There is one little girl that Emma Sage adores. Her name is Devony and Emma Sage loves to play with her.
Two little swingers.....Emma Sage and Devony
My little swinger........I just get lost looking into Emma Sage's eyes.
Kelsy, Connor, Fiona and Gabriel at the BuddyWalk
Greta and Gabriel........ah, cousins, sweet, sweet cousins.
Otto hanging around at the walk.....
Doing the L*I*M*B*O
How low can you go.....
We had a funeral for Nona and she is buried in the back gardens, and Otto made a little cross planter box to put flowers in it for Emma Sage.
Emma Sage has been saying, "My Nana died........My Nona died, I"m so sad."
So what is a Momma to do......
Emma Sage has a new kitty.
She named it 'LOVELY'.
Last night Greta was telling Emma Sage that 'Lovely' was not a girl but in fact a boy.
"No, she a girl" Emma Sage replies...
"No, Emma Sage, Lovely is a boy, see look he has a penis" says Greta
To that Emma Sage replies....
"That's not a penis, that's just her tail!" lol!!!
Lovely is a boy, but once he is fixed, it won't matter if Emma Sage thinks 'he is a she'!!! All that that kitty will know is love, lots and lots of LOVE!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
This is one of my favorite pictures that I took at our local Buddy Walk on Saturday. I don't have a good camera anymore, so this was a hit-or-miss moment....and I'm so excited that it was a 'hit'. This is Emma Sage and her friend Lindsy [who is such a sweet-heart] and Lindsy's dog Velvet! We actually had met up with Lindsay and her family at our first National Down syndrome Congress Convention in Minnesota in 2004!
I have more to share, but alas....my pillow is calling my name!
Over the coarse of the last three and a-half weeks, so many thoughts and memories have flooded my mind. A whirl-wind of emotions.
I tried to think of one word to describe my Mother. There are so, so many words that could be used to describe her spirit and beautiful aura. My mother was beautiful, both inside and out. She was the most nurturing and giving person I have ever met......and she inspired me to always be and do my best.
As family and friends traveled from across the oceans and across the many miles of her home in America....the word Welcoming came to mind.
As we sat at the Memorial Service given in her honour at the Hunterdon Medical Center last week,,,,,,a room filled to standing room only, and a very crowed Standing room only. From the CEO of the hospital to the staff of housekeeping....every person there knew and loved my Mothers spirit.....her Welcoming nature and ways.
Welcome. The Claudaugh door knocker on my own front door was a gift to me from my Mother....her way of transfering her Welcoming Soul to my home....a reminder that the door is always open for family and friends.
The sign above my porch door, a gift to me from my Mother, is craved with the words "Enter With a Happy Heart"...........another reminder of the Welcoming Spirit of my Mother.
My whole life was filled with family and friends in our home......everyone Welcomed.....everyone made to feel comfortable....to belong.
Friends of mine growing up, would always comment on the joy and friendship that radiated from the woman and men gathered at the kitchen table...while my Mother made tea and offered treats.
If a person had no place to go for the holidays [many of the workers my Mother knew from her daily rounds at the hospital, delivering and picking up the linen....my Mother knew and cared about every person that work at that hospital over the last 27 years]........if they had no place to go....they were Welcomed in her home or our homes. There was always room and fellowship available and offered to others.....Everyone was always WELCOMED.
At the visitation for my Mother.....many, many women came up to me and echoed the same thing.....
"Your Mother had lots of friends.....BUT she was MY BEST FRIEND"........
and I would smile, because I knew exactly what they meant.....my Mother was a dear friend to many and she was also MY BEST FRIEND too!
Yesterday I had breakfast with my Mother. I had to drop Greta off early for the PSATs and I grabbed a coffee and muffin and headed to the graveyard. It was a beautiful morning...so clear and crisp....the leaves of the trees in full color. It was comforting to sit there in the early morning........a place that may seem sad to others, but to me....it is one of the most WELCOMING places, as my Mother is laid to rest there.....and she was the most WELCOMING person I have ever known.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
is an inner city, New York story, of two impoverished boys, one of whom is developmentally disabled, and the bond of love they have for each other. This bond, forged in their youth by their mother, and made under lifes most desperate circumstances, is unwavering even in the face of adversity. In the present, one brother, trying to get free of oppressing debt, falls prey to ruthless men, setting in motion life-threatening events that test their greater-than-blood bond. This leads to a decision that only an epiphany, and courage, can overcome. My Brother is coming soon to a theater near you (January/February), and debuted July 22nd as the closing night film at the HBO-sponsored American Black Film Festival, where it won both the Audience Award for Best Picture, and the Founder's Award for Acheivement in Independent Cinema.
My Brother just made its New York premiere October 6th, 2006, at the Harlem International Film Festival , sweeping the Awards, winning the Audience Award for Best Picture, Best Actor (Nashawn Kearse) and Best Actress (Vanessa Williams).
My Brother was written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Anthony Lover, and stars Vanessa Williams, Tatum O'Neal, Nashawn Kearse , Christopher Scott, Rodney Henry, Donovan Jennings, and Fredro Starr. My Brother was produced by Gregory Segal, Gingi Rochelle and Leslie Ann Fouche, and executive produced by Michael Malagiero. The director of photography was John Sawyer. My Brother was produced by Liberty Artists in association with Angel Baby Entertainment, and produced out of Liberty Studios, the oldest continually-running movie studio in New York City. Check out the website, and make sure to check out the trailer and behind-the-scenes documentary. It is nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress at the festival.
[Above information from the 'My Space' site of My Brother]
I encourage all of you to request that this movie be brought to a big screen near you, so than everybody gets a chance to see this independant film. I have signed up to be able to order the DVD as soon as it is released.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
What a perfect theme for me to reflect on and try to find an image and thoughts to share after the events of the last few weeks. Our family has experienced many facets of 'LIFE' in a very short period of time.
My image is this.....
The oldest member of our immediate family and the youngest. This is my Mamie and Gabriel. Mamie was 87 on September 16th and Gabriel entered our World on October 2nd.
My mantra is this, "Life is a Blessing" and I have tried to live my whole life with this belief.
As a child, I was blessed to be allowed to be a child. Nurtured and loved. To learn, explore and dream.
As a Mother, this mantra has become even more dear to me, as having a new life growing inside your womb and under your heart, brings the blessing front and center to your whole being.
When pregnant with my last child ~ the blessing of life became so dear, because I knew this would most likely be my last journey of carrying and birthing a precious new life.
Soft markers for Down syndrome made the Mantra even more poignant for me, as I met some people on this newest [but slightly different] pregnancy journey who didn't share the same view of the Mantra that I did, that "Life is a Blessing" and tried to deliver fear and judgment towards the new life deep inside my womb.
"Down syndrome?" they would say. "Your NOT going to have this baby, are you?" were some of the comments I heard.
But joyfully ~ those who did not view life as a blessing were few and I was able to move foreword from their harsh comments with more resolve and appreciation for life.
Five years have passed since the birth of my last little life blessing, and one of the saddest moments in my life has occurred. My own Beloved Mother has passed from her Earthly bounds.....My Mother was the one who cherished me, carried me and birthed me into this world and loved me unconditionaly. She gave me life. My Mother truly believed that "Life is a blessing" and raised my siblings and I to embrace life and live it to the fullest.
A circle, of birth and death......and LIFE is what we celebrate in-between.
"Life is a Blessing......a glorious and precious blessing"
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Missing my Mom so very much this evening.....made a montage with one of her favorite songs.....
My cousin Karen in Ireland shared this poem with me. She said it reminds her of Philly. I so wish there was not an ocean that seperated us.....as the comfort of all of you here was so wonderful and we miss you all dearly.
by Katherine Tynan Hinkson
I am the pillars of the house;
The keystone of the arch am I.
Take me away, and roof and wall
Would fall to ruin me utterly.
I am the fire upon the hearth,
I am the light of the good sun,
I am the heat that warms the earth,
Which else were colder than a stone.
At me the children warm their hands;
I am their light of love alive.
Without me cold the hearthstone stands,
Nor could the precious children thrive.
I am the twist that holds together
The children in its sacred ring,
Their knot of love, from whose close tether
No lost child goes a-wandering.
I am the house from floor to roof,
I deck the walls, the board I spread;
I spin the curtains, warp and woof,
And shake the down to be their bed.
I am their wall against all danger,
Their door against the wind and snow,
Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger,
Take me not till the children grow!
But anyway......here are my two current full rows [my dream is to someday have three rows]
and the most wonderful thing about my images making it onto EXPLORE is that is gentle way for the world to see the Normalacy of Life with Down syndrome!!!
Since my Mothers passing, Emma Sage has been my shadow.....she doesn't want to let her Momma out of her sight, so this was a big seperation for her tonight.
Katrina and her friends are so [beyond high school] these days and headed into New York City for a show. She went to the last three Homecomings and what is a Momma to do.....if she doesn't want to go to the dance, I can't force her.
Here are a few pictures [which might not be up for long, since Greta hasn't seen them and she might ask me to take them down. lol!]
All four of these girls are outstanding athletes......
Greta and one of her bestfriends, Kristin.
Greta and Me.........I didn't realize how horrible I look these days,,,,but the last two weeks of little sleep, lots of stress and too many tears, does not make for beautiful complections........but I am so happy to watch my little girl grow up and head off to a magical evening with her school mates.
"Excuse Me, Please"......and then proceeds to put her hand in her coat pocket and says....
"My cell phone is ringing"
She takes out her pretend cell phone [her hand], flips her close hand 'OPEN' and puts her open hand to her ear.
"Hello" she says
"Oh, Lovely, how are you?"
"Oh honey, you miss me?" Emma Sage continues.....
"OK, Lovely, don't cry, I be home after the game."
"Bye" and she flips her hand back closed and tucks it in her pocket and goes back to playing with Nate.
Nate's grandma and I just stand there and laugh!
**Lovely is one of Emma Sage's kitty's**
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
and let me tell you, it is fun!
Here are more pictures from our family reunion last Saturday.
Heading to the stream
The hunt is on......these are sharks teeth that are from prehistoric times when this area of New Jersey was under the sea.
Emma Sage hunting with her plastic spoon.....she actually found some!
Fiona getting caught by a bush......too cute!
The long walk home.....Emma Sage catching a ride on her Uncle Mikey's shoulders.
My cousin Sam asked how many sharks teeth did Otto and Andy [my cousin and Sam's brother] find at Mamies Reunion.
Well, the two of them were out hunting long after the rest of us headed back to the house for dessert.
Here is their find...........
Actually, I subscribe to only three magazines. Marth Stewart. I love Martha Stewart and have had every issue and just recently just recycled them, using her online site for searching for things in the past that I read about and want to recall. My Mother has given me my subscriptions for Martha as my Birthday present for so many years now. It saddens me greatly to realize that my monthly gift will soon come to an end. Of coarse I'll subscribe myself, but my Momma just loved giving this subscription as a gift.
We subscribe to National Geographic.
I used to subscribe to Mothering, but I just now read my sisters copy when she is done with hers.
But the whole point of this ramble is WonderTime.
I just adore this publication. It is so 'me' and filled with so many incredible ideas and parenting thoughts.
Here is a link to a fun create and play printables for October. Emma Sage just adores cutting [yes, I am so afraid that one of these days she will cut her long braids] but I remind her daily "Don't cut your hair" and she always tells me "No Mom, I no Cut my Hair". I also remember to keep the scissors up high and out of sight. [Yes, I don't trust her! lol!]
Anyway....if you are thinking about an idea for a gift from someone, I would suggest a subscription to WonderTime [that is if you have children.......if not, Martha Stewart is a perfect gift subscription [and it would make my Momma happy to know that others are following in her footsteps of giving a gift that gives you something special each month of the year!]
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Pleasure's the only noble end
To which all human powers should tend;
And virtue gives her heavenly lore,
But to make pleasure please us more!
Wisdom and she were both design'd
To make the senses more refined,
That man might revel free from cloying,
Then most a sage, when most enjoying!
- Thomas Moore
I just adore this photograph of Little Miss.........I took this on Saturday at the reunion. She climbed right up in to the window seat and told me that she 'I love this seat'....'Can I have one at home?'.......which got me thinking of where in our small home I could build a bookcase and window seat for Emma Sage to climb up in and read her books. Ah, sweet child of mine, I too would love a window seat to join you in and sit for hours reading together.