Sunday, July 31, 2005

Silly Sports Stuff No One Cares About But Me

Like any addict knows, you get your fix however you can. My drug of choice? Semi-pro football. My husband's friend - Number 50 - was my in. I didn't expect to like it, mostly agreeing because Number 50 is all the talk on the team and my daughter has a huge crush on him. That and he's a sweetheart of a guy. But like it I did and now I have to weasel my way to another game without my husband thinking it's me who has a crush on Number 50.

Tuesdays fix...Patriot's Training Camp.

Seriously, I must have a screw loose. I worried, worried more than is strictly acceptable that the Red Sox would do some super secret trading with Bill Mueller and that Richard Seymour will be a big jerky holdout with the Pats.

And then I read Vanity Fair and found myself not hating Martha Stewart quite as much as I used to. And hating the War in Iraq even more.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Show and Tell Friday

The front porch for Badger and Blackbird...
except that I don't have a front porch. There is some debate in this house as to which side of the house should be referred to as the front and which side is the back. But seeing as this is my website I'll give you my version...
These are the front stairs. VERY newly constructed - note the price tag still on the wood. Not for the show and tell but for the hockey cookout. For all the work that man has done around here we kept forgeting about the front stairs as we rarely use them and only see them from that side of the house. The side of the house which faces the path to the pond. This will all change shortly as these were meant to be temporary. Yesterday, I was sitting on these steps and realized that a miniature porch might be just what I need out here. The view is not spectacular, as there is someone's house directly across from mine - but it's very quiet on this side - no swingset, no driveway, no chatty when I don't feel like chatting neighbors.

This, on the other hand, my husband and most other people refer to as the front door (even though it's on the side of the house) . This is the what you'd see as you drive included. I noticed when I was downloading these that in the very top right corner my Christmas wreath is still up...we've passed the halfway point, only five months to's staying.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Finally, it's nice enough to open the windows and not melt into a frosty the snowman puddle on the kitchen floor. The newly polyurethaned kitchen floor I might add. *See tip Number 642 for "How to make peace with your wife after neglecting to help her get ready for big camping trip".

The downside to open windows...they guy working on the house next door has a nail gun *bam, bam, bam* like machine gun fire and apparently he's a huge country music fan. Hurray for Brooks and Dunne. or not.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nozy Neighbor

The kids are better but still we're taking it easy - with an early matinee of Jaws. For whatever reason my kids are not at all bothered by a killer shark but whine like babies at nighttime after watching the cartoon Scooby Doo.

I'm spending part of today just being nozy. I'm snooping through all of your blogrolls, well not all of them because, let's just face it, I don't have THAT much time on my hands - but it's keeping me busy and therefore sane between foolish household chores like laundry and fish tank cleaning.

In my travels I've noticed that I've been removed from someone's blogroll. Hmmm. I'm curious...was I too offensive or not offensive enough? Was I too dull? Not enough posts? Was she as sick of the blue background as I am? Ah, well, I don't really care that I'm gone - but I do wonder why.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Okay, so no lightening strike. Only now it's puking.
The children are both sick, fevery and achey and they are BOTH napping. I might be struck down by lightening in just a minute or two....but holy thank god for the quiet.

We just watched 'Are we There Yet?' If you haven't seen it - don't bother. Blech.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Well, the weekend that almost wasn't is a memory. A fairly good one actually.

I've come to realize something...

Being alone in the middle of the woods with your kids is kind of scary. Scared of bears and moose and such? Not so much. It was the sound of ATV's riding past our driveway and a large barking dog, well after dark, that kind of freaked me out. We are far off the beaten path, a mile from our nearest neighbor. If we head down this road in the other direction there is no one for miles and miles. No one with good intentions would come up our driveway at night and sound travels far and is very deceiving in this type of quiet. It's really kind of eerie. A friend of ours came out to visit on Saturday. He said he would've come up to check on us Thursday night if he knew we were here. I would've positively (and quietly so the kids won't notice) freaked if I heard some one pull up the driveway and come walking down the path to our site.

My son is in love with birds of prey, at least for now. There's an owl that lives on the property and the boy talks to him every night. We spent Thursday night post-campfire in the tent while my boy read to us from a Raptor book. I was reading this same book on Friday when my daughter fell asleep on my shoulder, something she hasn't done in years. I miss that.

There were deer flies galore, attacking us whenever we decided to do something silly, like breathe. Funnily enough they weren't at spot my parent's cabin is, just where we plan on building ours. Which is naturally where we set up camp. It was horrible and after night one we were sleeping in the cabin.

My stepfather bestowed my son with a gift last time they were in Maine. His old bb gun. It's used under the strictest of adult supervision. The look on his face when he hits the target is priceless. My boy fancies himself as a survival guide trainee. He dreams of trapping birds and hunting and fishing and living off the prey he catches. He designs lean-tos and cabins and wants to hear about the ways you can collect rainwater and such. I'm sure he will be hunting with his grandfather and cousins in a few years. He listens to stories of moose and deer and partridge with a unshakeable grin on his face and eyes like saucers.
I enjoy the woods but not like my boy. He's asked to spend the summers up there once our cabin is done. My daughter loves it too, but after four days was ready for home and all it entails. Me too. Hello? No internet for an entire summer? No netflix? I'm having the D.T.s already.

While I was gone I missed birthdays and totally horrible injuries and orthodontics, *fingers crossed* good luck and lazy summer days, a dog that *cough*fell*cough* into the ocean and a visit from a travelling friend.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If you have nothing nice to say....

Maybe I shouldn't complain about the husband. Maybe I should. Whatever. The car's almost packed and I just had one last wish before I go....

Head over here to wish Lisa a VERY Happy Birthday. All she wants is comments. That's it. I guess I'll have to return the Ipod. ;)
So, I ususally reserve this blog for happy rainbow filled thoughts.

Not today.

When I say "I'm taking the kids to Maine for four days and we're going to tent it". Maybe, JUST MAYBE I could've married someone who didn't nod their heads with a little smirk.

And lord knows I love going camping with these two but the prep work is just Buddy, I'm taking the kids away for four days could you just offer to bring the tent upstairs or empty out the cooler or ask if I need anything done. Instead of asking for me to do yet one MORE errand before I try to leave today.

There was laundry to be done, a quick trip to the grocery store and so much crap to pack. This is after I gave the girlie a bath and read her two books and put her to bed. The Red Sox weren't even on last night, what else could keep him glued to a chair with not so much as lifting a finger? Who knows. He was waiting for me to look all overwhelmed and ask for help. Not that I'm stubborn but ... well, wait - of course it's that I'm stubborn, I didn't ask. So maybe his smirk was justified because I'm not sure I'm going. There's still so much to be done and I have ZERO motivation to do it with. Well, not zero. My motivation is a.) how disappointed my son will be when I pick him up from his sleepover only to tell him we're not going and b.)to prove my husband wrong. a & b simply do not look like they will make for an enjoyable, positive attitude filled time away.

* update: I just took the dog out and checked my car. My mistake. He put the tent and a hachet in the back.

On a more lighthearted note:

This is an Interactive Internet Question Game. I got it from Blackbird.

This is how it's played:

1. If you want to play, leave a comment below saying so.
2. I'll post five unique questions to the comments section of this post.
3. You answer them in your blog.
4. In your post, you include this explanation and an offer to interview others.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are my questions from Blackbird:


1. You can live in Siberia or the Bayou...choose. The bayou. Because even with the fear of alligators, mosquito hatred, hillbilly fears and no love of swamp water it still seems better than Siberia.

2. Would you rather be a tall, thin, blonde runway model or a Nobel Prize winner? Throwing caution to the wind I'd have to say the model. You can learn "smart".

3. You can change one thing about your appearance, without surgery...what would you change? I'd have to say my weight. So cliche and yet it's always a work in progress.

4. Do you like the circus? Except for the clowns and the guilty feeling I get when I clap for the 'balancing on a ball' elephants - yes.

5. What time do you go to bed at night? Ususally midnight.

If you leave me a comment be forewarned that I may not be back here until Sunday night at the earliest.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Go Me!!

I am the Grand Prize Winner over at MommaK's blogroll game today. *pats self on back*

So now at least my being late for work because I just HAD to finish it - totally worth it.
I have been convinced that camping in Maine, in a tent, is a good plan for a long weekend. Hey, listen, I never said I was smart. And couple 'not so smart' with 'very little backbone' and you've

My husband is staying at home. See? See how foolish I am? Well, someone's got to watch the dogs.

Must go pack, will return later...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Well, this was the weekend of the hockey team cookout. It turned out kind of small (25 guests) and totally managable. We spent the bulk of the time at the pond watching the kids swim and a few suckers, um, dads paddleboat a slew of kids around. They have named it Camp *Insert our Last Name Here* . I always get a kick out of kids who cannot get over the fact that we live here year round, with swimming and fishing and canoeing and ice skating and such. Kids sometimes wake me up to what I know but tend to forget. We really do have it good.

The new Harry Potter came in the mail yesterday. I won't start it for awhile, a few months at least. She takes a long time to write these damn things so I feel like, why rush out to read it, you just have to wait longer for the next book.

I've got my ticket for Opening Night of the Patriot's Season. I cannot believe I'm going. I only had to sell ONE of my kids to afford the ticket and if they win another Super Bowl I still have a spare to sell for next year's home opener.

Well, off to the library for the summer reading program check in. We're up to the Free Mini-Golf passes. Which is what my son has been aiming for. I have a feeling we won't get much further.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A few days ago MommaK asked how we'd fare in a crisis.

The last 'emergency type' crisis I could remember was a few years ago when my daughter fell down some granite steps and needs some stitches on her forehead. I, surprisingly, handled it with little fanfare and that was that.

Maybe it was karma, not having a crisis for so long tempted the crisis gods, or something because yesterday a mini crisis ensued.

Vet appointments. Both dogs at the same time, something I swore I'd never do again after last year. I have a over the snout collar for the lab as he tends to pull and he gets really excited at the vet's. He must sense their love of animals because he can't get enough of the place.

Anyway...the over the snout collar broke and he bolted. Down the hill and right into forty mile an hour traffic. He made it across amid the screech of brakes and then in a panic looked back up at me, 100 feet behind him up a hill in front of the vet clinic and he decides to come back. Eyes on me, right back into traffic.

He makes it between the cars to the yellow line, cars traveling in different directions and then panics and heads back across to where he was. He got hit. Thankfully, not badly. But in the midst of this chaos (me standing in one spot afraid to call his name because he might try to cross, again/the kids coming around the building with Fred in tow crying/the girl who hit Baxter stopping to apologize and cry/the vet tech from the office sprinting down the hill and after Baxter who has decided that running parallel to the busy road is a better idea than trying to cross it/the girl next door at the bank who took off running with the vet tech) I somehow cleared my thoughts and did what had to be done.

I told the girl in the car not to worry, he ran away and will be okay (a guess but I didn't want to deal with her tears), I hugged my kids quickly, reassured them and brought Fred inside for safekeeping, piled the kids into the car and took off down the road in search of my pup. I drove and drove, around parking lots and cul-de-sacs and finally found them. The vet tech, leading Baxter on a leash about a mile and a half from the accident. My dog was bleeding from some wounds around his eye and his lid was all droopy and nasty. He didn't seem to be limping but he's a strange dog who once ran around for TWO hours after cutting his leg almost to the bone on a reciprocating saw blade, so I wasn't sure.

They spent alot of time at the vet checking him out and scratching him. Not one sign of injury. Only some cuts.

So, the crisis? Not so bad. But my Fred is suffering from heart disease they think. I cried when I got home. I love these two canines. Love them ridiculously.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm sure you're all dying to know. Um, yeah right. Just laziness. Blog laziness. oooh, downloading pictures, fighting the firefox battle (STILL.), typing. All too tough for me, at least this past week.

I am in the purge phase of my house cleaning bulemia. Stuff is going out by the bagful. It feels good this whole 'throw it all away' feeling. Which is surprising because I'm cluttery by nature. I have stuff. Too much stuff. Stuff I usually keep for no good reason. My dad's dad was a packrat and it seems I have inherited the gene.

This past weekend I took the kids to Newport, Rhode Island for the kite festival. Free parking (a rareity) and NO admission cost were a bonus. We packed a cooler and a blanket, not sure what to expect. The park is located on a point in Newport and is literally steps away from the ocean which usually amounts to a near constant breeze. Why do I say usually? One guess. C'mon guys, it's me what else could it be but a complete lack of wind for an exceedingly long time. At a kite festival. Where hundreds of kites were strewn all over the ground for the better part of the day.

The wind picked up after awhile and the kites were out in full force. I have basically no pictures of this picture perfect activity because, kids, I was busy failing miserably at kite flying 101. It was hot. 85 and sunny. I didn't know we could bring our own kites so I sprang for a diamondy unicorn deal and began the hellacious TOSSTHEKITEPULLTHESTRINGRUNDAMMITRUNKEEPTHESTRINGTIGHT experience that ended almost every time in a 10 second flight and then a crash and burn. The one time I finally got the kite a good 80 feet up I hand over the string to the girlie. She's thrilled. I'm watching the kite to make sure it doesn't tangle with all of the others up there. Others I would have to sell my car to replace they are so damn fancy.

Kite I can't afford to ruin

I see the kite soaring away. Wow, I'm thinking it's going up pretty damn fast. I look down to see the spool of string bouncing along through the field with my kids chasing after it. She let it go. It crashed on a tent set up by a Kite School. Thank god it was staffed by a giant as he was the one who untangled 100 feet of string from a nearby bunch of trees for us.

Hurray for kites. And hurray for free beach balls. They played with these things until they nearly passed out from heatstroke.


Hurray for free parking (WTF??? How lucky can I be??!?!) at a little beach and free seaglass. Thank you psychos who throw your beer bottles into the ocean. I found BLUE.

I'd post a pic of the seaglass but y'know I'm feeling a bit more of the blog laziness come over me. On the other hand I'm off to put away laundry. At 11:00 pm. My husband is going to keel over and die from lack of dust in the house. How will he find the clean clothes if they are not in laundry baskets? And clean dishes are usually kept in the dishwasher, no?

Not today, my friends, not today. Next week maybe, but not today.


Why is it that when I don't want to post it's okay but when you guys don't post I'm all disappointed???

Be back later....

Friday, July 08, 2005

Okay, so I was *this* close to paying the forty bucks to Mozilla. But right now I'm a heckuva lot closer to shelling out $800.00 for my 4runner. Hey- silly charcoal fuel vapor catcher and broken rear seat belt - YOU BOTH SUCK!
I am this close to paying $39.95 for Firefox phone support. Apparently, the firefox thing crashed and I've lost all of my bookmarks and passwords rememberers. I've tried the fixes on the website and nothing doing.

Today's rainy day schedule:

Homemade pizza for lunch
Try to convince husband to go get Toyota from garage tomorrow instead of tonight so that I might avoid the unpleasant task of getting dressed and leaving the house.
Roast a chicken
Mash some potatoes
Steam some carrots
Watch a movie

Well, it's eleven o'clock and I'm off to task number one....
Those people in London must have been and probably still are terrified. I cannot even imagine.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Maybe the tank is cursed?

So, last week - or whenever I posted that 'Rest in Peace' picture of two fish?

At that point only one of those two fish had died.

My sons fish turned belly up today. And my son, whose fish always croaks, was pleased because we had this fish for a really long time. Two months. Maybe.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Live what?

Maybe I'm out of the loop a little bit, but this Live8 thing....huh?

I completely and totally missed it.

I'm probably better off because sanctimonious, politically correct, sunglasses all the time Bono makes me angry.

You want pictures? I got pictures.

What you don't want to see

Another 'what you don't want to see'

I took these pictures of some lights we saw on the dashboard as we were leaving the New Hampshire rest area. That bottom one there, that one's my favorite. It means Total System Failure of the Skid Control Feature. It's just what you want to see when you're towing a camper. Nothing like a little vehicular panic to start off the trip.

Thankfully, it was nothing serious. Although, I can think of better ways to spend $70.00.

Camping is fun but it's work. Everything takes longer. Making beds, cooking, cleaning, all of it. Still, for whatever reason, this kind of lazy girl enjoys it.

The Dining Room
We sprang for a picnic table on Friday. Such luxury.

The kitchen and entertainment center
My son is a firebug at heart. At dawn he rises and gets dressed and heads out to get the fire going. He saw this campfire design in a outdoor survival book he has and decided to build it. He insists that every dinner be cooked over the fire and mostly I comply. It's a little more work, hell, it's a lot more work. But he's right, somehow it just tastes better.

Friday's weather was grey and overcast with some occasional mist. We stayed at the camp clearing and burning brush piles. Saturday was just about weather perfection. We decided to check out Perham's store and one of their quarries. The map said the quarry was a 15-20 minute hike through the woods. The map lied. It would have been 15-20 minutes if it was flat ground. They failed to mention that it was up. Up a mountain. A Maine mountain, not a snow capped Rocky but still.

Almost There

Harvard Mine

Lots of different rocks loaded our pockets and much to the delight of my husband, the lunch cooler. Garnets and Feldspar, Smoky Quartz and Tourmaline. The trip downhill only took 15-20 minutes, maybe that's what the map meant.

We drove off the beaten path. Literally. Dirt roads with names like Darnit. Actually, that one was asphalt. We found a house for sale out in the middle of nowhere. It is newly built, small, but beautiful. The builder came by and offered us a tour. We declined but didn't tell him that before he pulled up we had looked in all of the windows and taken a picture out on the back deck, me pretending it was my own.

Wishful Thinking

We also tried to canoe this weekend. A valiant effort. First problem, I cannot lift the heavy old canoe on top of the Toyota. Second, my husband made an error in the tie the canoe to the trailer process and it fell off the trailer 3/4 of the way to the pond, breaking one of the handles off the canoe and the license plate off the trailer. Third, the entry to the pond has become very overgrown with brush. Fourth, trying to push through the brush my husband broke the paddle part of the canoe paddle right off. Fifth, the tie down strap he was counting on for the ride back broke during problem #2.

Dragging the Canoe
Here he is dragging the canoe back uphill to the trailer.

The Pond in Maine
Here's the pond.

The drive home was uneventful, we stopped for lobster rolls and the kids changed into jammies. Seven deer were spotted and we listened to "The Trouble with Miss Switch" almost the entire way. We are still recuperating. I spent yesterday on the couch with my book club choice of the month, Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. It wasn't bad but I had just read Family Tree by Carol Cadwalladr and they had some erie similarities. Almost word for word in some cases. All in all, even though Family Tree was the plagerizer I enjoyed it more.

Today will be spent getting ready for tomorrow. The first day back to work for me and the first day for the kids at their once a week Kid's College place. Granted, it's also my last day of work for the week, but I find it taxing nonetheless. *sigh*