Getting my feet wet

Hello anyone who is still out there…..  I haven’t blogged in ages and am not sure if I might begin again.  I feel like I’ve kind of lost my voice and I am also thinking about how much I want to share with the great big world out there.  SO this is just a little toe poking in the water… seeing if I want to dive back in.


~ Lora

Posted in about me | 3 Comments

Over rated and under rated

This month celebrated a holiday fraught with expectations and disappointments. Of course I am talking about Valentines Day. When I was young and single, I would dream of a perfect date hitting all the right notes… candle lit ambiance, a thoughtful gift, good food and of course very handsome company. Sometimes reality is better than day dreams.  Just not in the way you expected it to be.

We do and don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We don’t go out on the day, but I usually try to make a special meal, we give each other gifts ( I received my favorite perfume, Summer Hill by Crabtree and Evelyn this year after some judicious hints), and we always give each other mushy cards. Now some argue that cards and all the rest of it is just a ploy by savvy marketers to get us to drop five bucks on a piece of nicely decorated paper. I guess they’re right, but if you don’t have a special occasion, it is highly unlikely that mushy cards will be given (especially by the guy). So valuing the written word as I do, (even when composed by some stranger at Hallmark) I am glad to get the card in whatever manner I can.

This year we were particularly unsentimental, in that we celebrated two days late. Due to some minor crises’ in our family, colds and and serious sleep deprivation, we proclaimed February 16 as Valentines Day. Plus… candy is 50% off by then. Win win for the dutchies.

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While the pictures look pretty (sort of), I can assure you that the meal went downhill after the scrumptious salad was eaten. I didn’t realize soon enough, that while I left the steak grilling outside on the BBQ a rather large fire ensued. So it was hard to determine how long to cook them after I put the fire out. OK… so they were dry. The kids wanted to sample the wine and that resulted in shouts of disgust and running to the kitchen sink to rinse out their mouths. The potatoes were good… Hassleback Potatoes. I will share the recipe some day. Anyway, Valentines dinner, in spite of the pretensions of tablecloth and using the “good” dishes was comfortingly familiar.

Once Annika figured out what was going on on this day, she had to share in the fun, busily making cards for every member of the family. As the time drew nigh, the pictures were more hastily colored. Big disappointments were averted by the other kids quickly making cards for her.




In the end though, seeing the kids laughing, hugging Annika as she was so pleased to hand out her cards, made it a special day for us. Romantic, no, but a night filled with love, yes!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

~ Lora

Posted in celebrations, cooking, family, happiness, holiday, kids, relationships | Leave a comment

Time on your own

Annika started Pre-K in September which means she attends school two mornings a week. This is just a small introduction to school but a nice way to get ready for the next school year when she will go three full days a week. School has been great for Eliza (2) as well. At first she would say ” Pick Annika up?” after Annika had been gone for an hour. Her best friend had left her and she wasn’t sure what to do. It’s been fun to watch her lately though, as she plays happily with all her “babies” on her own. She doesn’t need her older sister to suggest to her what they should play. I overhear her talking to her dolls, and watch her trotting back and forth with blankets and play food, setting up her pretend home in the living room.


Children benefit from time away from their siblings. It gives them a chance to develop their own skills, their own imaginative play. I see a different side of my children when they are on their own, especially when they are young and learning how to play.  It also gives them a chance to interact exclusively with you.  I’ve been enjoying my two mornings a week with Eliza.  It reminds me to make a bigger effort to spend individual time with all my kids.

~ Lora

Posted in child's play, family, kids, play, relationships | 4 Comments


Finally winter has arrived in NJ. We were all excited to see the first snow of the season on Saturday, after a really long fall. We had sixteen inches of snow, which was plenty, especially when it comes to cleaning up the walks and driveway! I thought I had better share the excitement before it all melts. We have warm temps right now and the piles are shrinking before our eyes!

Sunday dawned with a view that was a wonder of weird sculptures and drifts.





There is nothing like blue sky and sunshine after a storm.


Snow means all kinds of new fun to be had.






I’m so glad we had a least one big snowfall this winter.  Here’s hoping for a little more!

~ Lora

Posted in child's play, nature, outdoor fun, play, seasons | 1 Comment


How do you start again when you’ve neglected something for so long? And not I’m not talking about exercising! Ha… that never began so I can’t start that over.
Of course I’m talking about this blog. I’ve neglected it terribly. It’s been four months since I posted anything… that is the longest time off I’ve ever taken. This wasn’t planned, just life (aka three kids in soccer, new school year, and then Christmas) interrupted. Well, I want to get back into blogging. I’ve had lots of thoughts about a myriad of topics rattling around my brain. SO… Here’s hoping 2016 brings a little more commitment to this little blog of mine.


Our five kids, growing up so quickly! Front to back, Eliza, Annika, Katrina, Taylor, Jeremy

~ Lora

Posted in family, seasons, Uncategorized | 2 Comments




Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a naturally early riser. Which makes it even more impressive that I was able to capture some beautiful pictures of a sunrise on our vacation in Northern Ontario. It was the last day of our vacation and I got up at the shockingly early hour of 6 am. When I went outside, I saw the sun beginning to peak out over the lake so I quickly grabbed my camera and now I share that beauty with you – unedited and unfiltered.

















Sorry for the overload of pictures! I couldn’t decide which one I like the best.  Which one do you like?  I numbered the pictures… leave me a comment and tell me which one you like the best.🙂

~ Lora

Posted in nature, photography, vacation | 8 Comments

Sunshine after the storm

Last evening a quick storm blew through breaking the stifling, muggy heat. It was before sundown and once it passed by the sun broke through the dark clouds and shone so warm and dazzling, I grabbed the camera, slipped on my gardening crocs and dashed outside to take some pictures. In ten minutes I raced around our yard trying to capture and freeze into memory the awesome beauty of the moment.  Little moments like these need to be appreciated, don’t you think?  What gives you a thrill to see?

So here is an unplanned wet tour of our yard as it was last night.

In the front of our house:




And less dramatic, swinging around along the side of our house:


Walking past the perennial garden:



To the woods:




And back to the patio:



Hope you enjoyed the impromptu tour. 🙂

~ Lora

Posted in garden, happiness, nature, plants, Uncategorized | 8 Comments