MATTIE MIRACLE VIRTUAL WALK WAS AN $110,000 SUCCESS!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.


As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter



The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: www.mattiemiracle.com and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

October 15, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2004. Mattie was two year's old and he was sitting with me in the college center of the George Washington University. Several of my students were involved with a Halloween event for under privileged children, and they invited me and Mattie to attend. One of the wonderful items they gave to all the children attending were free books. Even Mattie got to participate, and he picked out a Franklin book. Franklin is a character, who happens to be a turtle. Mattie loved watching Franklin on TV, so he was intrigued to read a Franklin story, so much so, that he couldn't wait until we got home. So right there and then we opened the book and started reading.

Quote of the day: They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. ~ William Penn

As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.

Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries



When Mattie was battling cancer, a new waterfront center (National Harbor) was under construction in Maryland. I heard of National Harbor, and I even passed it along the highway. But not until today did I have the chance to see it in person and walk around and explore. National Harbor is a 300-acre, mixed-used development that includes five hotels, thousands of residential units, tree-lined promenades with scores of shops and offices, two marinas and much more. I also hear that at the end of this year, 80 Tanger outlet stores are going to be built there. So by 2012, this place will be hopping.

What encouraged us to visit the Center was my friend and colleague, Nancy. Nancy was in town for a leadership meeting and each time she comes to town, we make a point to visit and catch up with each other. Since Nancy's meeting was at the National Harbor, it was a great excuse to visit the area.


When we drove into the complex, we were greeted by The Beckoning.... an 85’ contemporary sculpture created by Albert Palley. It is definitely a unique and interesting introduction to the space.
I loved this particular space! Visitors to National Harbor who arrive by water are greeted by the sight of the great giant struggling to escape earthly bounds depicted in Seward Johnson’s evocative sculpture "The Awakening." Children loved climbing all over this sculpture as well as digging and playing in the sand.

Here is a close up of the Awakening. I just love how it literally looks like a man has been buried in the sand and literally we can see a head, arm, hand, leg, and a foot! It just makes you feel like you are at the beach and helps you reflect on being by the water.

We had a nice lunch together, sitting right by a window overlooking this sight. Nancy is a faithful blog reader, and we communicate on a weekly basis. So we are aware of the activities in each other's lives. Nonetheless, seeing each other and connecting in person is very special. After lunch, Peter snapped a picture of us by the Potomac River.

Right next to the water, was this great turtle bench. In honor of Mattie, Nancy and I sat on a turtle. Something Mattie would have most definitely done! We ended the visit, with Nancy giving Peter and I a few gifts. I now have a blue guardian angel to watch over me, which will always remind me of my own angel.

October 14, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2004. We took Mattie that weekend to a fall festival where he got to pick pumpkins, go on hayrides, and slide down incredibly long slides. As you can see here, Mattie wasn't always thrilled with my picture taking, but he put up with me. When we took Mattie to his first fall festival, I wasn't sure if he would like it at all since they were usually crowded and noisy. For the most part he wasn't wild about the noise or the people, but he did love the slides and rides! Mattie was a cautious child, and yet he also had an adventuresome side, and if Peter was willing to sign up to go with him on slides and roller coasters, then he was happy to tag right along and experience the thrill with him.


Quote of the day: We owe respect to the living. To the dead we owe only truth. ~ Voltaire

As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.

Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries


My dad sent me tonight's quote in August. When I received the quote I thought it was interesting, but I wasn't ready to post it yet. Some times quotes intrigue me but they don't always speak to me or capture the feelings I am after on a particular day. So now two months later, as I came across this quote, it seemed appropriate. In many ways, this is a complex quote. Because if we owe respect to the living and truth to the dead, then does that mean while respecting the living we aren't forthcoming with the truth? Naturally some times when we care about others and love them, it is hard to tell them the truth. The truth can lead to hurt feelings, miscommunications, and at times distance between people. So respect and truth are powerful words and really not always easy to embrace together.

I would tend to think that many of us believe we should "respect" the memory of a loved one who has died. In many ways, I feel that Voltaire's quote is being operationalized in Mattie's blog. The blog has detailed the life of a little boy while he was alive, and now that he is dead. It covers pages and pages of Mattie's bravery and heartache as he fought cancer, and in the process I have a feeling my readers (whether you knew Mattie or not) grew to love and respect him. Now in Mattie's death, the respect most likely remains, but the lessons learned each day are not necessarily depicting respect as much as truth. The truth about the brilliance of a little boy who was the center of his parent's universe and naturally the truth associated with the pain of such a loss. The blog is about respect and the truth, and I appreciate so many of you who visit it daily to listen to the stories, to the ups and downs, and to continue on in this journey with us. If that doesn't speak volumes about the respect and admiration we all have for Mattie, I am not sure what else does.

Peter let me know that in total he picked up 7 pennies from the ground today. He just found them while walking! As my faithful readers know, Mattie loved collecting pennies and basically all loose change in general. My parents started a "penny fairy" tradition with Mattie. They would leave pennies lying around the house and when Mattie would find them, my parents would tell Mattie that he was visited by the penny fairy. Mattie loved the penny fairy. So naturally whenever Peter and I come across a penny now, our first thoughts are of Mattie. Perhaps for us, Mattie is now our penny fairy, and sending us messages through the copper colored coins we find. Either case, the messages were strong and loud for Peter today, and the fact that he found seven pennies, one for each of Mattie's years on this earth, seems symbolic.

Tonight, our complex is shutting off the electricity for five hours. The beauty of where we live is we NEVER have power outages. Ever! Or at least not during the 15 years we have lived here. So when they shut the system off once a year to do maintanence and other checks, I learn to deal with it. However, knowing we have to be without electricity is an adjustment, especially when it involves my computer.

October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2002. Mattie was only six months old. Mattie wasn't interested in crawling at ALL. He actually wanted to walk and run right from the beginning. He preferred standing and did not like floor time regardless of what was on the floor to stimulate and engage him. Peter's parents sent Mattie a pumpkin place mat that year, and as you can see in this picture he was holding onto it while I was doing something in the kitchen. Mattie was a social fellow and if I was in a different room in our home from him, he wasn't happy about it. So I usually landed up bringing Mattie room to room with me. From this picture, you can clearly see where I was standing. Mattie's eyes were like beacons, they always tracked in my direction.

Quote of the day:  The best things in life are appreciated most after they have been lost. ~ Roy L. Smith

As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.

Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries


We are back to having non-stop rain in DC. My favorite! It seems like we have had more rain in the last several months than we have had in an entire year! Despite the rain and the lack of motivation, I did go to zumba today. I haven't done an organized exercise class in years. I mean years, maybe since college. I was apprehensive to start one for many reasons, but when I found out I knew the teacher, that inspired me to attend. Though I do not live in the city where the class is offered, it is ironic how many of the people in the class I indirectly know because of Mattie and his schools.

Some of my loyal readers may recall that at the first zumba class a woman came up to me and gave me a hug. Though I did not know her, she knew me. She is a faithful blog reader and wanted to thank me for my writings and to let me know she thinks of me each day. That was a lovely introduction to the class, and it made me feel that I in essence belonged there. It is some times hard to be surrounded by moms, and yet not be a mom myself. However, in this group, because they don't know me as "Mattie's mom," I can be Vicki, the person. After class today, many of the women were going out to lunch together. My new friend invited me to join them. My first internal reaction was to say no to the invitation, but that wasn't what came out of my mouth. I instead said yes. I am sure to my readers, hearing that someone asked me out to lunch and to join their group doesn't sound earth shattering. But from my perspective it is. It is because most of my social circles have dwindled. I no longer have the school events, the soccer games, and working at the University to introduce me to new people and to develop friends. Instead, my days are more quiet and independent. I am usually working on Foundation efforts, but again this can be isolating.

So to be asked out to lunch and included was a special gift today. It is funny how a simple gesture from some one can make a big difference to the recipient.

The rest of the day I spent focused on Foundation items and then later in the day I went to visit Mary (Ann's mom). Mary has a neurological disease that at times makes it impossible for her to communicate verbally. Unlike my past two visits, Mary was able to say a few things to me today. She knew about my trip to Cape Cod and asked me about that, she also let me know that she missed me. While visiting with Mary, I also saw Catherine. Catherine is a resident at the facility and she wanted me to know that she misses my company too and wanted to know if I would come and visit her after my time with Mary. As Karen, my lifetime friend, says to me all the time, my best friends typically are those in their 80s. This age group relates to me. I am not sure exactly why, but I do think being raised in a multigenerational household greatly influenced my preferences, values, and outlook on life.  

October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2004. Mattie was two and a half years old and during that time he was enrolled in a Montessori preschool in Washington, DC. As a fall field trip, the school took the kids to a pumpkin patch. For many reasons, I always went along on ALL field trips. As Mattie was in the patch, I snapped a picture of him. He and I both loved our trip to the farm that day, and ironically being in a pumpkin patch was a first for both of us that day. I must admit without Mattie in my life, I do forget that we are in the month of October and that Halloween is fast approaching. In a way Mattie was a compass for Peter and I. I paid more attention to the season, holidays, and so many other things when he was alive. Now so many of these things do not have the same meaning, or matter at all.

Quote of the day: Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see. ~ Helen Keller

As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.

Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries


Though the picture above of Mattie dressed in his rain coat and picking a pumpkin looks happy, there was a lot going on under the surface that Fall that was less than pleasant. Mattie's first preschool experience was a disaster. This is not just a mother's perspective it was the reality of the situation. The director of Mattie's preschool disliked him intensely and each day after school was over, she would call me into her office and berate me about all the things he did wrong and why he did not fit in with the other children and her program. One day of this kind of brain washing for any parent would have been bad enough, but I lived with this three days a week for one month straight. This director was bold enough to tell me that Mattie needed to learn consequences for his biting of other people (of which she too was a recipient), and that we should consider washing his mouth out with soap as a punishment after each biting infraction. Fortunately she checked in with me before doing this because she wanted to know what my clinical perspective was on this. Besides the fact that I was LIVID at even the suggestion, I kept my cool and talked with her about the child development research out there about using such punishments. Two and a half year old children are NOT purposefully being "BAD." After all, Mattie did not come to school each day with the intention of biting the director (I may have wanted to, but he certainly didn't)! There is always a reason for a toddler acting out and what I have found is you get more from your children when we as parents do not provide such harsh punishments and negative feedback. Needless to say, after one month of this nightmare, Mattie never went back to that school. He spent that year home with me full time. Mattie and I were used to spending time together, so that wasn't an adjustment for me. But I was saddened that he lost out on having a social experience that year.

As you may imagine after this horrible preschool experience (of which I am sparing you most of the details), I was very hesitant to enroll Mattie in another preschool. Well that is until I found out about Resurrection Children's Center (RCC). RCC takes the admission process seriously and through tours and playdates this helps to determine if the school will be a good match for families. It was during Mattie's school playdate (which all the kids had to do prior to being accepted to the school), I met Margaret. Mattie instantly took to Margaret and the whole tone of her classroom. In addition, I too gravitated to Margaret and for the first time, she was a teacher who seemed to embrace and accept Mattie for his curious, high energy, and emotionally sensitive self. It is funny how an environment can alter how a person feels about one's self and in essence potentially change the course of one's future!!! RCC provided such a nurturing environment for Mattie and within two years time, he became stronger and more self confident. His time at RCC was able to erase the pain experienced in his first preschool. Not just pain that Mattie internalized, but pain that I had to endure as a parent.

Unlike our weekend, today was pouring and damp in DC. Somehow this weather clouded our whole day. My kitchen is filled now with about 50 clam shells which we took home from the beach. In fact, last night we tried to clean out the shells by putting them in the dishwasher. Naturally we had spot cleaned them and took as much sand out as possible before loading them into the machine. But mid-cycle, I removed all 50 shells from the dish washer, because our whole house was beginning to smell like the ocean and seaweed. So instead I cleaned each shell with bleach by hand. The shells look beautiful and I am contemplating doing something with them! But I learned my lesson..... clam shells do NOT go into a dishwasher well!

Over dinner tonight, Peter and I chatted about Mattie and how he may have been our greatest teacher. Or as Peter puts it, Mattie forced us to be better people! All summer long, despite the heat, we ate dinner on our deck. Tonight was our first dinner back at our dining room table. Some how as Peter was talking about Mattie, I looked over to the seat where Mattie used to be at meal times. It just seems hard to understand how we went from raising Mattie from a baby into a school aged child to now, in which we are childless. Some days I wonder why God selected certain children and their parents to experience the horrors of cancer. There really is no good explanation to me, and certainly one that I will ever accept as it relates to my Mattie.

October 11, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 -- Mattie died 109 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2005. Though Peter is a huge baseball fan, this was not something that Mattie gravitated to. As you can see here, Mattie had his own way of holding a bat and played with the ball on his own terms. In fact, balls did not fascinate Mattie for the most part. With that said, he had a huge ball collection, because Mattie liked examining the shape, texture, and the color of balls. He loved to sort them and to see which ones would float in water or bounce higher. He was my budding scientist, as I always told him.

Quote of the day: The pain passes, but the beauty remains. ~ Pierre Auguste Renoir


As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.

Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries

I find it ironic that we have been on the Cape for the past five days, and each day we were there, the weather was glorious. By each afternoon, the temperatures were up into the 70s and even 80s. However, last night as we were packing things up, it became windy. This morning on the Cape it was overcast and in the 60s. A big difference from the summer like weather we had been enjoying. In some ways the change in weather was symbolic to us that our vacation was ending and it was time to return home. We drove for close to 9 hours today and along our journey we saw about 10 wild turkeys and 5 deer, all along the side of the highways! Peter and I are exhausted from the commute and unpacking, so I will leave you with a few pictures of our journey home.

As we were leaving the driveway of the house we rented, I snapped a picture so you could see the road the house was off of. Notice there is NOTHING around and there are no street lights at all. In fact, the entire town of Truro has NO stop lights.

Down the road from the house, trees were beginning to change. Somehow I hadn't noticed this breath taking color display the previous mornings, but this morning it caught my eye.

This is another road in Truro! Get the picture..... it is remote. Yet once you get used to being isolated and secluded, it actually becomes a very special feeling. A feeling where you can simply enjoy the fresh air, the trees around you, and the wonderful signs of nature that exist all around you.

While driving in Massachusetts, near Fall River, I saw a sign with big lettering that said MATTIE. I couldn't believe what I saw at first, and therefore I did not say anything to Peter. But when I saw this second large sign, I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture of it. I am used to getting Mattie signs and signals from Nature, but I will accept BIG bill boards too! Clearly Mattie is a VW dealer in Fall River, MA, however, for today, on the 109th week of Mattie's death, this sign seemed to remind me of Mattie's whimsical nature.

As we drove over the George Washington Bridge, I snapped a picture and we gave a virtual hello to my lifetime friend Karen (who lives and teaches in NYC). She emailed me to tell me she was waving as we were crossing over the bridge!

One of the final pictures I took was of the NYC sky line. Even though we were driving and the picture came out a bit blurry, it still captures the sea of buildings that form the landscape of down town Manhattan. Peter and I are settling back to our DC lives. We clearly are NOT surrounded by trees, we do not have access to the ocean or the bay like we did in Truro, and as I am writing tonight's blog I do not hear any coyotes howling. The ONLY thing I hear is street traffic. However to some extent these are very soothing sounds to a city mouse like myself.

October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2005. Mattie decided to create tunnels out of his chairs and to also put blue tape on our wooden floors to represent a street. Needless to say with Mattie around things always had multiple purposes and could be used to represent different things. His chairs could be a tunnel one minute and a boat the next. Our living spaces were always filled with Mattie items and his creations.

Quote of the day: Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley


As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.


Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries


Each morning, I wake up and look outside and here is what I see off in the distance.... A cute little white house. Not the typical White House I am used to in Washington, DC. This white house however is famous too because it belonged to the well known American artist, Edward Hopper. Peter and I can see why this setting would inspire Hopper and his creativity. He captured nature in a very inspiring and timeless way.

 
We found this picture of Hopper sitting in the side yard of his house with his wife in the background. This photo came from a Hopper book that we found in the house we are staying in. Peter photographed this picture for you so you could see we are talking about the same house.
Despite the mornings being cool, we do have breakfast outside on the house's deck. From the deck, off in the distance, we can see this view. What you are seeing is Provincetown. The tall tower that looks like a needle structure is Pilgrim Monument (which I show a close up picture of further down in tonight's posting). At night, it is pitch black around us, however, when I look out the window, I see Provincetown sparkling and twinkling with lights!

 
The Cape is shaped like an arm making a muscle. Provincetown is the fist, Chatham is at the elbow and Sandwich is at the shoulder. We visited Sandwich and Chatham yesterday and today we visited the fist, Provincetown.
Provincetown is hard to describe other than artsy. As we walked down the main street, you can see traditional architecture and then well other more funky things like this "soap therapy" shop! I couldn't resist taking a photo of this because I couldn't do it justice with words alone.
Here are some of the other more beautiful buildings with quaint Victorian architecture that we saw. The irony is the upper Cape feels more remote and unpopulated in comparison to the lower Cape. Well that is until you visit Provincetown. Provincetown is consistently busy and people are walking about eating and shopping.
In my second picture tonight (above) I mentioned Pilgrim's Monument. Here is a close up of it. This monument is Provincetown's symbol, not unlike we associate the Empire State building with NYC. This tower is 252 feet tall. The cornerstone was laid in 1907 and the completed tower was dedicated by President William Howard Taft in 1910. The monument commemorates the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims on November 21, 1620.
Along our journey we had lunch on the water at a restaurant called the Lobster Pot. Naturally you can imagine based on the name of this restaurant, what I ate for lunch!
After lunch we went to the Natural Seashore and walked on a portion of it called Race Point. When we spoke to the park ranger she told us the trail we were going to follow was three miles total round trip. She was off by three miles. We walked instead six miles through sand and dunes. We got our exercise and saw amazing natural sights. Walking through sand however is challenging so in many ways it feels like we walked much more than 6 miles. However, with me was water bottles, my blackberry (naturally), my camera, and my pedometer!

 
Along the trail were beautiful flowers. How they survive in such sandy terrain is beyond me. But here is a rose hip in bloom.
As my readers know, I am fascinated by Great Blue Herons. As we were walking, I spotted this wonderful bird in the distance, and caught him hanging out in the marsh awaiting to spot food.
In the distance we could see a lighthouse. So we walked through the marsh. This was a first for me. It felt like I was walking in a cater.
At the end of our marsh walk was the Race Point Lighthouse. So this is the fourth lighthouse I have visited in five days! What I am not showing you is that right next to the lighthouse are two houses. Both of which can be rented out! The only catch is you have to walk three miles to get to this secluded vacation spot. I DON'T think so!!!
Right next to the lighthouse is this wonderful beach. I learned that Race Point got its name from the Atlantic Ocean currents coming around the point of the Cape that creates a "race." Or as you can see fast moving water, or the currents! Many fisherman were on the beach capturing fish from these currents.
One would think the six mile walk would have been enough, but we decided to have one last visit to Ryder's Beach. This beach is located on the Bay. What I want to show you is the Bay is VERY calm and you can walk out into it several hundred feet. Peter demonstrated this to me!!!! If the water wasn't freezing, I would have ventured out with him.
After walking out several hundred feet, and the water was up a little passed Peter's knees, Peter stepped upon a sand bar.
On the sand bar, Peter began skipping stones. I captured him in his pitching stance from several hundred feet away!


As Peter was walking back to shore, he picked up a large crab in the water. You can see it in his right hand. You can also see that a seagull was intrigued by the crab and wanted to grab it right out of Peter's hand.
Viola..... I introduce you to the crab Peter picked up. Don't worry, this fellow was returned to the water safely after I saw it.
Each night as the sun goes down, we go outside on the house's deck and see this incredible sunset over the Bay. This will be missed tomorrow night. We are driving back to DC on Tuesday morning and as I am writing this blog tonight, there is a full moon outside. With this moon, we are hearing incredible howling. Yes from coyotes. Another first for me!

October 9, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in January of 2005. When Mattie was a baby and a toddler he absolutely HATED water. Trying to get him clean was a feat! However, in his preschool years, he loved the feel of water, the sound of water, and basically he craved water play. In this picture you can see there was no water in the tub. That was because after an hour in it, his skin was SO water logged, I decided it was enough and I drained the tub. However, Mattie still did not want to get out of the tub, and wanted to continue playing with his toys (and mind you for each bath time, he picked out different toys to throw into the water). He even turned the water right back on, as you can see from the picture the water was coming right out of the spout. If you knew Mattie well, then you knew from his facial expression that he was testing me. It was a meeting of the wills and minds here, and the question was who was going to win. With Mattie I learned to pick my battles, and this bath time play wasn't something important in the bigger scheme of things to get upset about.

Quote of the day: Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell. ~ Emily Dickinson


As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)

For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.


Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries


Peter and I had another full day on the Cape. This morning we drove down the arm of the Cape from Truro to Sandwich. I am learning that the Cape is actually huge and driving from one part to another (like we did today) can take over an hour!

Peter's parents live in Boston and we decided to meet each other half way at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Barbara, Peter's mom, knows I love glass and am a glass collector. Before Mattie was born, I was an avid collector of antique glass shoes and hats. I have HUNDREDS of each, but once Mattie was born I had to box many of them and put them in storage. Nonetheless, I admire handmade glass of all kinds and it was special to be able to learn about how glass was made in the 1800s on Cape Cod. Again, like yesterday's posting, I will tell you about our day through pictures.  

In 1875, Boston entrepreneur and glassmaker Deming Jarves built a glass factory in the town of Sandwich. Jarves, who had inherited a sizable legacy ($25,000) from his father just two years earlier, was familiar with Sandwich through hunting and fishing trips he had made to the area and he believed the location would be advantageous for glass production. He was correct! Over the 62 years the factory of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company manufactured an amazing variety of blown, mold-blown and pressed glass; glass destined to be prized and sought after by future generations for whom the word "Sandwich" would mean much more than a tasty lunchtime confection. As we entered the museum, we were greeted by Lauren, the gaffer (or chief glass blower). Lauren created literally right before our eyes an amazing marbleized drinking glass. It took her 45 minutes and about 40 of us were watching her mesmerized as she entertained us through this delicate and beautiful work of art.


Here is a close up of Lauren working the hot molten glass. In the background was Alex, her assistant. We learned that it takes seven years to become a certified glass blower. Lauren is in her fifth year of training.















This museum was a real treasure filled with room after room of all sorts of glass. I particularly loved this room which displayed beautiful colored pieces using natural light!
I could not resist taking a picture of this butterfly glass lamp shade. As my readers know, butterflies remind me of Mattie!
Cup plates (THE FIRST TEA CUP!) are small plates, generally about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, once used to hold the tea cup while tea was being cooled in the saucer. The custom of drinking tea from the saucer became popular in England in the 18th century and may have resulted from the discomfort of drinking hot tea from handle less, oriental-form cups. By the 1820s and 1830s cups with handles were in common use, yet the custom of pouring tea from cup to saucer remained popular in America. The use of cup plates in America became unfashionable by about 1850, with the last documented use occurring in the early 1860s.

These are Witch Balls. A Witch Ball hung indoors. It is a simple hollow glass sphere made in a variety of colors. It was believed that witches were attracted to the beautiful colors. Once inside they became confused and unable to escape, lending protection and good energy to the household. Sometimes these balls were filled with either herbs, intended to ward off evil, or string. According to English tradition, the visiting spirit would become entangled in the string preventing it from escaping or it would become too involved in pulling out the string thus keeping the household safe.

After the museum exhibit, I took a picture of Peter with his parents (Barbara and Don) in front of the museum.


















We ate lunch with Peter's parents in Sandwich, MA. at the Dan'l Webster Inn. It was a charming place and I had an unforgettable sandwich. Typically I do not rave about sandwiches, but this was no ordinary grilled chicken sandwich. The chicken was served on a pumpkin roll that had a wonderful sweet potato spread on it. On top of the sandwich was fresh spinach and fresh chopped apples. It seemed like a real New England treat!

After saying our good-byes to Peter's parents, we headed on a drive to Chatham. We saw the town and also this wonderful Chatham Lighthouse. My second lighthouse in two days!
Though Chatham's lighthouse was lovely, I absolutely fell in love with Nauset Light today. It was a real cutie that flashes both red and white lights every 7 seconds!  

On our way back into Truro, I just couldn't resist taking a picture of this house and sharing this crazy Halloween display with you. Notice in addition to all the props, I actually got the owner (in blue) outside fixing her displays. I would love to see what this place looks like at night since during the day it is absolutely overwhelming.

At the end of the day we visited Ryder's Beach on Cape Cod Bay. This beach is minutes away from where we are staying. I was hesitant to visit the Bay, since I prefer the ocean. But the Bay did not disappoint!

Peter was wading through the Bay collecting clam shells. Lots of them!


As we were walking to our car, we saw this amazing sight. NO these are NOT birds! There were HUNDREDS of dragonflies flying around in the dunes. It was an incredible and unusual sight. A sight which made us pause and think about Mattie!


Here is how prolific the Bay shore line was.... we collected 24 clam shells within minutes! Peter sorted and displayed the shells, not unlike Mattie would have done for me. Mattie is with us in spirit!