Wednesday, September 30, 2015


What do kids do when they are in school and come down with a serious illness?  How can a high school student take the time necessary to recover and heal when he or she must be worried about missing classes and accumulating hours and hours of make up work?  Do they return to school before they’re ready, risking their own well being and that of others?   

Grace would have missed the past week and a half of high school.  She has never ever been so sick, not even when she had the flu.  After five days of a fever ranging from 100 to 103, a cough, ear ache, sore throat, chills, and horrible fatigue, three doctors visits, and a trip to the walk in clinic, we finally received a diagnosis of pneumonia.  Pneumonia.  

This is not something she is bouncing back from easily.  She is fighting hard to get better.  She does a lesson and takes a nap.  She showers and gets dressed and takes a nap.  She has several days left of antibiotics but thankfully she is off the cough medicine with codeine.  Every time I see her face pale, or her eyes close, I am so grateful that we can attend doctors appointments without getting excused absences.  She can sleep at will, rising at 8:30 am if she wants, napping at noon and after putting in some time for lessons, go to bed at her normal time of 10:30pm.  The can do her lessons when she is able and not have the worry about make up work, grades and missed exams.

All normal activity has been on hold while she is sick.  Unfortunately Lilah does not enjoy staying home alone so she has schlepped back and forth to the doctor.  She had to cancel riding lessons because I could not leave Grace home alone as sick as she was.  Piano was cancelled as were two babysitting jobs.  Friends could not come to visit on their normal day and both girls missed a horse show they were very excited about because I was home alone the weekend it was held.  Lilah filled her days with baking, blogging, Facetiming, reading and photography.  Grace slept.  

She gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.  Today a doctor told us to expect a 2 - 3 month recover time and susceptibility to relapse if she is exposed to a virus.  It pains me to see my child so weak when normally she is so strong.  I am thankful this was bacterial, that she responded to antibiotics, and that she will recover.   Day by day she will recover. She will get well.  

Lilah finally got a lesson in this week on JJ.  Grace watched from her rocking chair.

Normally we only listen to audiobooks in the car but this week we began this one at home.  

Lilah took lots of pictures.  We went on a quick trip around the neighborhood so she could shoot on location.

Lilah worked in her confirmation journal while we listened to coverage of the Pope's visit.

I snapped a few pictures of my girl.

Lilah planned her Halloween costume.

She designed a new button for her blog since we share the email and she was tired of her blog being signed with my name.

Monday, September 28, 2015

15 part II

One wonderful thing about keeping a blog is you can scroll through the history and see what is important to your family at any given time.  This year it is very clear to see our main interest is horses and horseback riding.  We have ridden at multiple farms, watched thoroughbreds run, and held our breath as jumpers cleared rails.  The pictures tell our story.  

Not too long ago one of our family hobbies was shelling.  We fell away from it a bit, partly because what do you do with all the shells you collect?  There are only so many glass jars one can fill.  But we love the thrill of searching for that rare find.  Shelling is calming, peaceful, introspective and brings you into harmony with nature.  When Grace asked if we could go shelling on her birthday, a warm 80 degree Sunday, we said of course.  

Shelling is part of who we are as a family and I have to make sure that our time together is not so full of mundane things that we lose this interest.  I think it may be time for a fall shelling day trip.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


About an hour from us is Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY home to the American Gold Cup,  held September 11-13th.  To celebrate Grace’s 15th birthday, we spent the day there as observers, mesmerized by the horses, their riders, and what both were able to do.  

When you are a student of something, whether it is music or sport, there is something magical about watching someone execute the elements that you are working you butt off to learn with style and grace.  Over and over I heard things like “he was on the wrong lead” or “look at the half halt”.  We saw jumping and cantering and galloping like we have never seen before.  We saw celebrities and olympians and national champions from countries all over the world.  

It was an incredible experience and I hope to attend future events at this farm.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a family day and celebrate my girl's special day!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Riding Update

We had an interesting summer with riding.  We left our first barn back in May.  We tried a barn just 10 minutes from us and while there were things we loved about it, ultimately it was not the right style and philosophy for the girls and they both found a place where they can grow as riders and find true pleasure in riding.  

However, joining a new farm in summer is tricky because summer camps run for weeks and take away from lesson time.  Add our travel on top of that and there were weeks we did not ride at all.  Now that we are back on a schedule, riding two days a week, the girls want to get back to jumping and Grace wants to participate in shows again.  It has been a year since her last show and she is more than eager to compete.  They have made their goals known and are digging their heals in and doing the hard work to get back into jumping form.

The farm is a place I never feel stress.  I can sit and take in the quiet of what I call Connecticut Country, which is laughable compared to the real country in other places in the USA.  I can hear the cicadas hum and watch the daddy long legs creep by, the dogs roll in grass and the horses graze.  I can exhale deeply and forget about the stresses of my daily life.   There is a part of me that would l-o-v-e to be on a horse and take lessons, but this is not my time.  Someday perhaps, but not now.  

For now it is about them and their relationship with the farm, the trainer and their horses. Soon I will be sitting in a rocking chair with my heavy sweater and cup of tea and I will be very happy.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Photography began as a hobby and is turning into a half credit or more for the girls.  Hours have been spent photographing, learning PicMonkey, a subscription photo editing website, learning to print at a local photography shop, downloading and completing fair entry applications, and preparing the matting for the photos that were selected.  

The beauty of being home is that we have time to visit the shop and talk to the knowledgeable staff about what we are doing and seek out their advice.  They spent an hour in the shop this week receiving a lesson on the Olympus and Sony mirrorless cameras with wifi connectivity and special editing capabilities.   The very best part is that the staff does not speak to them like children.  They do not dumb down information or assume because the are teens they are not capable of comprehending complicated information.  They are treated as fellow photographers.  

The result is that they see the world through the eye of a photographer, which is something I credit Instagram for.  For my girls, photography and Instagram is not about followers.  Their personal accounts are private and have far fewer followers than their peers who attend school.  They each have a public account, Grace for her photography, and Lilah for her crafting, but we don’t allow "selfies" except on occasion and they truly want to showcase the beauty in the world around them.  I find it fascinating.  

Photography is interest led.  I will do what I can to support them by finding free classes online, taking them to the store and on photography walks.  I will help them with the organization that is required for a fair entry and the transportation to get pictures where they need to be according to deadlines.  But for the most part, this is their thing.  It  is a possible career option and I hope they learn as much possible and have the courage and determination it would take to create a career in the arts.


Related Posts with Thumbnails