Monday, December 22, 2008

Hi all,

My pictures for the holiday tour will be up later today!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Facebook. I just don't get you.

Okay. So I only log onto facebook once a month or so. Just to see what's going on over there and because I always think that maybe, just maybe this will be the time I figure out why people like it so much.

I just went through and tried to go through some of those pending requests...pillow fight, lil green patch...I quit after about five.

What's with all this sending stuff? Snowballs and iPods and scrapbooking shit? It's just imaginary stuff right? Like not real at all, right?

And pokes and super pokes and whatever the hell else. Good karma and 3D puppies?

What am I missing? Anything? Nothing? The entire point?

Enlighten me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What's been going on...the photo edition - while I lay a big fat smooch on my new computer with the built in card reader

Baseball is done. Possibly forever. He enjoyed hanging at the ballfield, learning the game. But he didn't love it. He's got a few coaches willing to take him on in the spring if he changes his mind. My best memory? Seeing the third base coach give him signals in his first game. Signals that he didn't know to look for. The guy started out with the 'steal signal' - a bunch of moves that ends in a two handed motion. My boy probably thought the guy had an itch or something - he looked away. The coach then starts with the double handed over the head wave. Ignored. And he keeps waving and waving. No response from my boy. He resorts to jumping in the air, continuing with the two armed wave. Nada. Priceless.

The best part? He ended up being the fastest kid on his team and after he would either get hit with a pitch or get a base on balls (because he never, ever did get a hit) the only thing he really COULD do was steal.

Here are the bunnies I didn't want to paint over in my daughter's bedroom. Her walls were the lightest purpley blue...I loved that color. And it's a good thing too because I can still see shades of it underneath the crapola paint that I used.

I thought I had taken a bunch of photos of her new bedroom but apparently not. So here's her new Build a Bear - Merrilee on her new quilt with a smidge of one of the new wall colors behind her.
We bobbed for apples at her birthday party. This was the thing she wanted to do most of all. Totally old school and it resulted in a room full of laughing squealing girls. Awesomeness.

That takes us through October....I've got to see what else is in this file...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Excellent. The longest day of the week is now done and DONE. Between work, school, my daughters 3 after school/evening activities that post-sign up were all scheduled for the same night, work again and an 8 p.m. hockey all makes for a long day.

And we're five days late (and counting) for the big Christmas tree purchase. Although I'm pretty sure I'm the only one daughter's only mentioned it once, in passing.

My son invited me to be his guest for a day of crafts and a luncheon at his school. Flattered, although I'm not sure who else he would've asked, I accepted. He's in 6th grade so I can't imagine there'll be many more days like this....

And then he brought home the registration form.

The adults don't get to participate in the craft making like he thought. We're there to run the tables. Each teacher is asking for craft item donations and the whole group of teachers is asking for snacks, paper products, punch, etc.

And the luncheon? $6.00 a plate.

And the cost per child? Which includes the spaghetti lunch and the crafts and snack that we've provided most of the ingredients for? $9.00.

Is this crazy or is it just me?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Okay, well, I have to say the new computer lets me FLY through the internet, just as god intended.

It also, unlike my last computer, enables me to play the Sims and ALL of the Sims related expansion packs courtesy of my pal Mig.

So, if you've been looking for a blog post and are disappointed? Blame her.

But I do have something....

Here we go...

Here are the Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you - So, Lisa, consider yourself linked....

2. Post the rules on your blog

3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself

4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs - Not tagging.

5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. 6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up

Random Facts:
1. I used to be a sore loser. Horrible, I was truly horrible. Like throw the cards down and walk away horrible. Or make it so the other person knows that I'm feeding them cards and making mistakes on purpose ensuring that I'm going to lose and it's going to be by a large margin. Only child, anyone?

2. I just learned the definition of which zone was "their zone" and which zone was "our zone" during a hockey game. Dudes, I've been watching hockey and listening to hockey talk for thirty weeks a year for the past four years. You'd of thought I would've picked up on this by now, but no. Our zone has OUR goalie in it. How could I not have figured that out? (Rhetorical question, no "Because you're an idiot!" answers allowed)

3. I cannot remember the different jumps for chinese jump rope and had to google it for my daughter. And a question, if any of you are chinese, is that really how you play jump rope? And was that question offensive?

4. I am convinced that the disappearance of honeybees is directly related to cell phones.

5. I love maps. Oh, and globes too. But mostly maps.

6. I brush my teeth really hard and all my new toothbrushes look like hell after about a week.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So, my new computer is all built and is on it's way home to me.

Is it sad that I'm hoping it gets here prior to Thanksgiving so I have four days to load and play the Sims? And that I'm already thinking of how I can skip my housewiferly duties to get in more time to blog/upload pictures/play?

Merry Christmas to me.

In other news, report cards came out last week. My son, as I sort of knew would happen, made High Honors. My girl, had perfectly fine grades too. In all honesty, they weren't GREAT grades but they were good and her effort is top notch as is her attitude.

I'm thanking god I don't pay out for grades as my boy would be getting a huge payday these days. My thing is, how not to make my girl feel like she's being punished for getting less than a top notch report card if she just doesn't GET something that's being taught but she's trying? It seems like a can of worms. Plus she's at the age where she's not getting letter grades like A or B but rather 'at grade level standards' or 'approaching grade level standards' - things like that. Ugh.

So instead we go out to dinner, this term the boy chose the restaurant and next term the girlie will choose. My son got to order his choice off the menu (which, generally, we don't do because he's eleven and 70 pounds and there's not a lot of room for restaurant sized grown up portions on a frame that size) and my daughter got to pick an appetizer and all was right in the world.

A prime example of how my daughter attempts to answer a reading comprehension question -

The story is about a talking wolf and it takes place at noon.

One of the questions asks if the wolf was hungry. Which, naturally, she answered yes to even though there was no talk of food in the story.


Here's what she told me: Noontime is LUNCHTIME. Plus he's a wolf and they're always hungry.

How do I argue with that?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm not sure how many of you brave the Black Friday crowds. Usually, it's been a tradition at my in-laws that after dinner we peruse the fliers and while they all just look and 'ooh and aw' over the deals to be had - I make my game plan for the next day.

This year, however, I sort of got a jump on it.

There is no disposable income this year, no picking up something that I think the kids might like. At least as far as my son is concerned. We had the 'if you ask for expensive gifts you get far fewer things to open' discussion yesterday. Again.

My daughter, on the other hand, has a Christmas list with 63 things on it. Some she'll get for sure (this book, for instance) other things will never cross our doorstep. Strangely enough, she put down a few random things that have been in the back of my mind for her that I thought she'd enjoy - a pink bean bag chair? a small sewing machine? A stage for her puppet shows?

I've always thought that my son is more like me, that I understand where he's coming from more than I do my daughter. I think I might be wrong.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things I am enjoying that I can't show you photos of because I don't have a card reader on my antique laptop:

I just found a brand new Nok Hockey game at a local consignment shop for less than half the regular price. Score! Merry Christmas son.

Embroidery hoops that look like frames. I found these at a yard sale last year and I've been holding on to them thinking I'd come up with a use for them sooner or later. I'm working on a few things for my daughter's room and these are perfect.

Wall decals from the dollar store. They just peel off and they're flowery and adorable and perfect for a little section of wall in my girl's room.

Four cords of split, seasoned firewood. We've yet to use a drop of heating oil this year and I'm hoping it'll be December before we turn the furnace on. Granted, some mornings there's a bit of a chill in here but we don't have much time to lounge around and if we do? Fleece blankets for everyone. Snuggly.

This fall I've come down with a sick addiction to The Hills. Lauren, Audrina (steer clear of Justin!), Whitney, them all. Except Spencer. Dear god, could anyone be more of an asshole?

I just watched the movie Hard Candy last night and when I saw the little FearNet logo in the bottom of the screen I got worried because I don't usually enjoy scary movies or anything that keeps you 'on the edge of your seat'. But I like Ellen Page (from Juno) and I figured I could just shut it off if I got all stressed out. Well, I have to say...definitely not for the squeamish but I totally liked it.

Two and a half weeks until we get our Christmas tree!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

1. Political show - I used to love the Daily Show. Okay, I still love the Daily Show but The Colbert Report has totally grown on me.

2. Picnic food - Fruit. The first time we get our hands on fresh strawberries and blueberries? Yum.

3. Mixed drink - In a bar? Margarita. At home? Grape vodka & lemonade or Stoli vanilla & diet coke.

4. U.S. President - John Adams.

5. Kind of student to teach - Egads. Jen had the perfect answer. None. I have zero patience for teaching anyone anything.

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did - I read and do some embroidery. I wish I could knit better than I do, but I struggle with mistakes...when I make them I can't fix them and I get frustrated waiting for help.

7. Sports commentator - Don & Remy are definitely number one. Then there's Al Michaels and I'm partial to Gil Santos too.

8. Sport to watch on TV - You must mean sports, as in plural. I love a good football game or baseball game. I'll be honest though, I only watch baseball if the Sox are playing and I only watch basketball occasionally. These days? Hockey is winning out. Bruins hockey to be exact. After watching my son's game go from skittish first steps and puck chasing to smooth crossovers and quick wrist shots it's a joy to sit down and watch a game with him.

9. Animal to have as a pet - A dog. *sigh* We're not ready to jump back into pet ownership yet. We dogsat a few weeks ago for my sister in law and it was great having a dog around. Except that the dog we watched was a seven year old, well behaved golden retriever and not a lunatic labrador puppy or a super cute french bulldog that maybe your husband doesn't really want.

10. Halloween costume you have worn - A fisherman.

11. Kind of dessert - Pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

12. Comic strip - The Far Side.

13. Style or make of footwear - Summer? Flip flops and slip on sneakers. Winter? Clogs and regular sneakers.

14. Ice cream flavor - Chocolate peanut butter cup. I"m keeping this one, Jen.

15. College or university president - Um, I'm neither.

16. Internet news source - Sadly, It's my home page.

17. Vacation spot - The beach. Thankfully, they're close by.

18. Wine - No thanks, instant headache. Plus I just can't get over the fact that it doesn't TASTE good.

19. Way to waste time instead of working - Interneting.

20. Student excuse for late work - I can't even remember.

21. Reality show - At this point, it's pretty much down to watching Survivor OnDemand. Oh. And this one probably doesn't count because it's hardly reality but I'm throwing it in here anyway...The Hills. Believe me, I KNOW how bad it is. But I cannot stop. And sometimes the Bachelor(ette) shows too. If I remember they're on.

22. Jewelry on a man - I really like gold chains and link braclets. Oh and those magnet, Q-Ray bracelets are pretty awesome too. ACK! Puh-leeze. A wedding band and maybe a watch.

23. Pizza topping - Sausage & mushroom or pepper & onion.

24. Children’s movie - Hmmm, I'd probably have to say Mary Poppins.

25. Celebrity you wish would retire - I wouldn't mind never seeing Jim Carrey in a comedy again. I'm not a huge fan of Denzel Washington or Julia Roberts either.

That's all I've got. Consider yourself tagged if you'd like.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I have to say, I'm not a fan of autumn. Maybe I used to like it but now it just seems like a stop gap between summer and winter. Once it's too cold to swim in the pond? We look forward to skating on it. Until then, we've got soccer.

I tend not to talk to many people at the soccer fields where my girl plays rec league soccer. I listen to them talk to each other but I'm not much of a joiner. Her team is undefeated, mostly due to two superstar little boys that play virtually the entire game and score eighty percent of the goals.

Although the coach's son did tell my daughter that his dad said the best three players on the team are 1. His son, 2. Another boy, M and 3. My girl - she was tickled pink but I'm not at all into the coach confiding in his kid about who's good and who's not plus it's blatently obvious because these kids get WAY too much playing time, my daughter included.

But apparently, rumors are swirling about our team - that we've been sneaking another player on the field and playing with an extra kid out there and stomping all over the competition. Last week we played a team that's coached by my daughter's dome soccer coach. The parents were falling all over themselves to make sure we could hear them complaining about us. And then, when we won, the parents on OUR team were falling all over themselves to make sure they were heard congratulating themselves (the kids were still on the field) about beating the other undefeated team with the super loud coach and wasn't it good that the super loud coach finally lost while our super quiet coach got another win.

The whole time I'm thinking, dudes - our coach kind of sucks. Do you not see him short shifting your kids so that mine (and his) can play more? Have you heard him congratulating a kid on a goal and then telling the kid that he didn't even see it? Did you go to the practice that the kids just stood there for twenty minutes while he explained to three kids how to do one drill (and yes, I did too time it - I'm used to hockey and my husband used to ask me how long the kids were waiting in line during his practices)? He doesn't sub the kids, doesn't tell them to pass and rarely tells them where to play. Plus I have to deprogram my daughter before her dome games so she doesn't pull the same moves during her indoor that her rec coach praises her for (Take it all the way, C! Just GO!)

I know, I know. Knocking the volunteer coach is bad form. Mostly, I'm stunned about these parents who are so worried about getting a win in U8 soccer. I mean, it's an eight week, rec league soccer program. If they get this worked up at soccer they'd probably couldn't handle the excitement of youth hockey.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm totally contemplating a new blog address. I've hated this one since I typed it in to blogger over four years ago and soon found out I was stuck with it. I'll stick with Blogger, lord knows if I had to type in wordpress or typepad after my name I may never come back. blog name....hmmmm.

I'm done with the voting. I went before nine a.m. and the small town thing works just fine for me...I know the ladies checking my address, no one uses photo ID and seeing myself as the 296th person in my precinct to vote? For a town the size of mine? Already a heck of a turnout.

The best thing about tomorrow? No more goddamned "I'm John McCain/Barack Obama/whoever and I approved this message".

Second best thing about tomorrow? Hopefully living in income tax free Massachusetts while I smoke a joint at the dog track.

I kid.

They'll never get rid of the income tax.

I have no great words of wisdom about the election. I am so NOT inspired by Obama, I find him lackluster, inexperienced and Democrats by nature are a little too spendy but I'm even more frightened of what might happen if more conservative supreme court justices are sworn in or if Sarah Palin would have to make even one, small policy decision. And more tax breaks for big corporations? It just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah.

Maybe Mig's son will run in a few years.

Monday, October 20, 2008

That game last night? I won't dwell but that Garza guy certainly can pitch. The Sox had their chances and didn't or, actually, couldn't capitalize so home they go.

At least now I can go to bed before one a.m. this week.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We are dogsitting and apparently I have short term memory loss. On Saturday night we were watching the game with some friends and our charge comes wandering in the room. I was totally thrown for a curve and actually said "Ah, there's a dog!" before I remembered that she was supposed to be there.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There was an ammunition related lockdown at the local high school this week and our book club just read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Timely subject and I'm sure the whole incident was discussed but I wouldn't know because I ditched book club with another girl to go out to dinner and browse/shop.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In a related story, I now have all the party favors/junk needed for my daughter's birthday/halloween party. And considering that I don't have to make a trip out to the store to get all of this stuff and can instead go to soccer/hockey/drama/work without stressing about when and how I'm going to get to a store before Friday? Ditching was definitely the Idea of the Month.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My son needed a huge favor from me for school today. Well, huge in his eyes. Last night at nine p.m. he came downstairs and told me that his math quiz? The one where she checks your notebooks and your grade is based on how many papers you've kept? ed. note: STUPID.

The one that the entire class is totally unprepared for? Is Monday and he's only missing three sheets which can be printed from the textbook website. ed. note: because his mother checked the Math Class Policy Sheet and seeing nothing about keeping homework assignments threw, like four hundred sheets away since school has started and he has no idea how lucky he is that he only needs three math sheets at this point. Oh, and the teacher CANNOT BELIEVE that no one is prepared for this as she has told the kids twice that the information in on that damned policy sheet. Math teacher lady - you are WRONG.

Okay. But now it's nine p.m. and our main computer is dead and our laptop is outdated and has zero printer software installed. So, seeing as he's holding a straight A+ average at this point (braggy, brag, brag)and is stressed out because this could bring the whole thing crashing down around him I had a brief conversation with him about using his agenda book to jot notes down about things like this (not just copy homework assignments) and then told him I'd take him to my office before school and we'd print out the sheets for his binder. Ed. note: Also he's been promised his own full rack of ribs for dinner if he continues with the good great grades and he was probably more freaked out about losing the chance to cover his hands and face with barbeque sauce than anything.

But. He has to do one favor for me in return. One favor of my choosing. Hmmmm.......

Friday, October 17, 2008

And they live to see another day

Well, THAT was some kinda Red Sox game, that's for sure. Y'know it's so easy to lose faith in a team that's down by seven runs - I mean really, we had switched the channel for about forty minutes and I made a stab at guessing the score:

7-2 is what I said. Nope, it was 7-0. We laughed and agreed I gave the Sox far too much credit. My husband, bone tired, said three more outs and he was going to bed. Then he calls Pedroia's base hit and Papi's homerun before they were even at bat. All of a sudden - it's a game again. Papelbon looked spot on for the top of the eighth and then my husband calls JD Drew's homer. Blah, blah, blah - more hits, some thanks going out to BJ Upton and the Sox are heading back to Tampa.

The thing about being a Red Sox fan? You can tell yourself it's over, attempt to take a flying leap from the bandwagon, even, to save yourself the mental anguish of watching them get shut out at home. But really, they're down by seven and the minute Lowrie hits the ball you believe that they're coming back to win. In fact, you never really doubted that they were only fooling yourself - or trying to.

For those of you that could care less about the Red Sox:

Um, I got nothin'.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rally hat? Check. Piles of clean clothes? Check.

I wish I could say that I'm not superstitious but lord knows, that's far FAR from the truth.

Last year, it was my dedication to laundry and a popsicle stick that won the World Series for crying out loud.

But this year? The famed Citgo sign catching fire the night before the last Fenway game of the ALCS?

What do you think....a good omen? or have we now fallen victim to a new curse?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aw, guys are awesome. One post and I feel like all "welcome back!".

The girlie's room? Is Pixie Dust Pink and Hobnail Green. Entirely too frou-frou for my taste but she'd had my choice of color on her walls for eight years now and it was time for an upgrade.

And speaking of eight years, my baby is eight years old - as of yesterday. We made our annual pilgrimage to Build a Bear or as my son called it Engineer an Elephant, because that's what she came home with. A big elephant named Marilee dressed in a pink sweatsuit.

She had her choice of dinner and because I am never going to win Parent of the Year - she had an ice cream sandwich instead of cake (for shame! In my defense, I worked all day and had to be back out of the house for a meeting at 5:45 p.m.) and best of all? No birthday candles. I put a tea light (cinnamon scented, even) on top of the ice cream sandwich.

There weren't any photos so I'm hoping I can hypnotize her later into THINKING she had a cake with honest-to-god candles. This will be a birthday that haunts me at Sunday family dinners in the future when my kids come to visit me.

I plan on having our families over for the usual cake and ice cream celebration in a few days so she won't be permanently traumatized. Or she will be but it will be for entirely different reasons.

Like those earrings I got her. I broke my personal 'must be 13' rule and got her ears pierced. Six long weeks she waited. She cleaned them, turned them and counted the days until her birthday when I told her she could take them out and put in a new pair. Which we did without a problem on Monday. She wore new earrings all day and took them out at bedtime.

And that brings us to Tuesday and a whole 'nother story. Her other birthday present? Getting her earrings poked back through half healed earring holes. I mean, it was one freaking night. How could they have almost closed up? And then, after school? We went to check on the earrings she wore and they were kind of, like, stuck in there. The holes had tried to close up with her earrings in. Yeouch.

So my poor babe, all excited for some new sparkly goods, is now half freaked out because we didn't know what to do...put earrings in to try to keep the holes open or leave them out so she's not wearing permanent earrings for the next thirty years. Verdict? They're in.

I hope she likes little flower earrings when she's closing in on forty.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And look at me, with the posting.

I know no one wants to hear about the reasons for the absolute lack of posting but too bad. I'm kidding, there's little more to it then the fact that in my list of priorities for the past few weeks posting here falls way short. WAY short. I've still been reading y'all though.

And I use the y'all lightly as I'm sure visitors here are few and far between by now.

Plus my real computer, the one that wasn't built in the early nineties? It died. Basically it was all "Blue Screen? Fuck the blue screen. You've seen the blue screen about forty times this year and did NOTHING so from now on I'm all black screen and how 'bout I throw in this Primary Hard Drive Failure message for your reading pleasure?"

So there's that.

I was in the market for a new computer anyway but I was hoping to hold off until Christmas. Which, I still will but now I have to listen to my son's daily whine about the lack of Runescapability on the forty pound, seven minute battery life laptop. Such is life, my boy.

I spent the weekend painting my daughter's room. A word of advice...

If you head to Lowe's to buy paint, pull up short and get thee to a Benjamin Moore dealer. Or even Home Depot. The Lowe's paint? It sucks.

It sets up too fast, covers like shit and drips like crazy. I thought it was my lack of painting expertise causing the whole paint suckiness. I tend to be a little hyper-critical of my skills (skillz?) and I was painting kind of late at night due to some last minute wall patching by my husband (before he took the kids to Maine for the weekend he patched a few holes and ran out the door mumbling to me about closet door removal, sanding and priming) and a few late starting Sox games.

Long story short, husband comes home - notes the flaws, naturally, and proceeds to 'show me how it's done'. Which, he wields a paint brush with far more confidence than I do and he really does nice work, thinks tape is for wimps and works much faster than I ever could. And what does he say halfway through the second coat on his two walls? "This paint sucks."

And that finishes up our expert review on Valspar paint.

And truly, my husband isn't really all that critcal of my work - he knows better as he'd rather have me paint than have me watch him paint. I'm a backseat painter.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We thought we had escaped.

Little League.

First there's t-ball, then minor league and then majors. At age 12 it's your last year in majors, you automatically make a team, whether you've played before or not. Some of the kids are pitching sixty miles an hour at this point...which is frightening to a seventy pound boy up to bat for the first time.

My son has never wanted any part of baseball. Sure, he'll play catch in the yard and he loves a good whiffle ball game. But an honest to god baseball game? He's never even been interested.

And for that we've been thankful - by the time hockey season ends were all sportsed out.

But this year?

Two Words.

Fall Ball.

A month or so ago two of his friends start waxing poetic about this league they're in and convince him he HAS to play. I've sort of knocked baseball before to him but if the kid wants to try it...he's trying it.

He scrimmaged another team from town last night and had to stop and laugh on his way to the plate because his entire team and half of the other team was standing at the dugout fence chanting his name. I give him a lot of credit - most of his team is on the all-stars or has played in the majors for a few years and all of them have at least played a few seasons of ball. It can't be easy to go out and learn to play a game these kids have been playing for years. He's not one to put himself out there too easily so I have to say, I'm a little impressed...

And so, for the next five Saturdays I'll be spending five or so hours at the ballfield. And one hour at the soccer field and some weeks there'll be another two hours at the rink.

Which, now that I've just typed that out I'm mourning the loss of half my weekend. Like walkin' in the rain and the snow when there's no place to go...the things we do for love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Food Meme that's going around

1. How do you like your eggs?
Not very, I eat maybe one or two scrambled eggs a year. Once in awhile I'll have an egg cooked, I don't even know what's it's called - over HARD, maybe? That way I can be sure that nasty yolk is cooked within an inch of its life and I can just cut it out and salt & pepper the white.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Tea: Instant Iced only.

Coffee: Oh gawd, not in your life. I don't even like coffee ice cream. Or coffee milk. Or coffee scented anything. Even mocha flavors are too coffeeish for me.

3. Favorite breakfast food:

French toast (yes, I realize there's egg involved), bacon and homefries.

4. Peanut butter:
Chunky is my favorite but no one else in the house eats it. So I'm stuck with creamy but I love it on pancakes and french toast.

This is a gross one but I love peanut butter on an english muffin, with butter and cottage cheese with chives.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Rice vinegar, olive oil and some shakes of whatever spice fits my mood.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke.

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Pepper and onion.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Pork loin roasted in my cast iron pan, steamed carrots, whipped potatoes. Or lasagna.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Not really.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
Sirloin steak reminds me of my dad - it was his favorite. Oh and if one of my kids wants milk to drink while they're eating popcorn I always think of him - his parents made him drink milk when they had popcorn and it scarred him for life.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
I couldn't do brains, hearts, kidneys - things like that. Although my husband said that moose heart - cooked correctly - is delicious. Maybe if I didn't know what it was...

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Even in restaurants, much to the dismay of my grandmother.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Oh sure, cheese, carrots, string beans, mayonnaise.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Rum Raisin ice cream

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
fruit--locally grown white peaches and blueberries.
vegetable--corn on the cob.

18. Favorite junk food:
popcorn with butter and salt or is this supposed to be real junk candy bars? How about plain M & M's mixed in with the popcorn, then?

19. Favorite between meal snack:
popcorn with butter and salt

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
I never EVER used to touch leftovers. Even from my own plate. But I've gotten over that.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
fruit, salad, weight watchers soup, light popcorn and whatever else uses up the points

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
chinese food and popcorn with real butter and salt. Sodium overdose anyone?

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Sad, but I don't really know.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Absolutely. Thanks to Fairly Odd Mother I've been making liberal use of the lemondade/grape vodka mixture. It's also excellent in slush form, just make your lemonade a little more concentrated so it doesn't get watered down.

25. Red or White Wine?
Neither. No coffee, tea, wine or even beer. It's official...I'm seven.

26. Favorite dessert?
Probably strawberry shortcake. This summer I grilled pineapples coated with a mix of butter and cinnamon/sugar and served them warm over vanilla ice cream. Yum.

27. The perfect nightcap?
Drink? Like an after-dinner before bed type of thing? Does Powerade Zero count? Water? If it has to be alcohol related I guess I'd go with Bailey's on the rocks. Which I've done precisely twice in my life.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Last Few Weeks

The pond definitely gets quieter during the last few weeks of August. It's generally pretty quiet anyway - unless you get some unruly people teeing golf balls of their neighbor's dock. Especially when the first shot is more like a line drive and smashes a beer bottle sitting innocently in its path. Not that I have any personal knowledge of this. Moving on.

She's a cautious diver but she's a diver nonetheless.
The pond is one of the great equalizers in their relationship. It's one of the spots where they get along much more than they bicker. There are races (where the boy has learned the fine art of counting super fast during his sister's headstart), handstand contests and frog catching expeditions. Truly, I know I'm blessed to live here.

If I ever post here about moving to anywhere that is more than thirty minutes to the ocean...slap me. And quite frankly, thirty minutes is about twenty eight minutes too long.
South Shore Beach, Little Compton, Rhode Island. Voted the best. beach. ever. by my children.
Boogie Boardable waves, skim boardable skim, rock jetty walls to explore, crabs to hunt and soft white sand. Perfection.

The view (a partially smokey one) of our campsite at Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. The campground was virtually empty - leaving my kids free reign to run wild through thirty or so campsites all around us. It's a beautiful park, tons of trails, letter boxes - it was six miles from the main gate to our campsite - truly a HUGE place. Huge. Much like the mosquito population. I've never quite experienced mosquitos swarming us like they did - literally there would be ten to fifteen mosquitos around me and the camp stove as I cooked - disgusting. My poor girl had the welts to prove it.

The lake was beautiful but a mite bit c-c-c-cold. Still, it was refreshing and blessedly mosquito free. There was some sort of naturey pond exploration class one morning and my two little cherubs were waiting at the gate for the volunteer girl. They were the only ones to show up for the class and spent every minute they could catching diving beetles, butterflies and frogs. Later, the same girl took them on a survival hike while I did laundry and washed dishes (oh the fun of camping - where menial tasks take three times as long!). They built a shelter and learned four different ways to build a fire.

What does a mom do when she takes her kids camping and wakes up to a rainy morning? She packs the kids up, throws her mandated 'wait until you're thirteen' rule out the window and gets her daughter's ears pierced.

And here, the first day of school. I got the usual canned smile shot of the girl. And then I asked her how she really felt about school starting.

Here's my son's answer to the same question.

Summer vacation. I thought eleven weeks was going to be too long. Turns out it wasn't nearly long enough.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Opinion Piece

Y'know seeing as I usually wear Carmex and not lipstick am I to be considered a pitbull? And seeing as I'm sure to hear that joke (?) forty million times I'm going on record as saying I was sick of it before I heard her speech tonight, because they said that same exact quote this morning on Good Morning America. Recycled quips? Yawn.

I tend not to get at all overly involved in presidential politics, I'm not part of the electoral college or anything...
Tonight was the first and only part of the conventions that I plan to watch. I will try to catch a debate but truth be told, at this point, I'm not thrilled with either candidate.

But Sarah Palin has kind of captured my attention. And god bless John McCain for picking someone who can at least be the subject of controversy and conversation. I mean, his campaign folks didn't know that the daughter's boyfriend had a facebook/myspace page that said he doesn't want kids? Seriously? That's awesome.

I thought her speech started out fairly well tonight. No distracting dangle earrings so that was good. She spoke first as a mother and honestly, I didn't want it to pander to my emotions but it did and congratulations speech worked. So there was that.

But then, with the whole let's drill and provide our own oil and gas so we can not be dependent on foreign suppliers and I know northern Alaska and we've got plenty? She also said something about how Alaska turned down federal funding for a bridge to nowhere and that if they were going to build a bridge they'd build it the Alaskans would do it themselves. Hello, Ms. Palin but good luck funding roadway construction projects (honest work not fake bridges) without the help of the federal government. (And seeing as my husband's company was banned from bidding on projects that received any federal funding dollars? I can tell you first hand that pretty much nixed public roadwork for them. And rightly so.)

I didn't see Obama's speech, and I suppose it doesn't matter because either way I want to say I'm also sick of those verbal jabs against the opponent. Community organizer, again & again? Oh and hey - maybe Obama didn't use the word victory (except while alluding to his campaign) in his speech about the war because the war has no foreseeable "victory" in sight.

In one remark she commented about Obama not authoring any laws or decisions or something. Which to me, would effectively add more government? Right? Well then a few sentences later she states that Obama wanting more government is a bad, bad thing for us all. Which is it? More laws/regulation/decisions = more government and not enacting them should be a plus. (on the other hand, maybe he IS lazy and indecisive) so thanks for that contradiction.

But then I sort of find myself wanting to like her, even though I don't agree with half of the things she represents. I like the total outsider vibe she's got going for her. And the mom thing, I can't deny it. She seems pretty human and down to earth. Or at least the p.r. people have me snowed into thinking that.

In the back of my mind though, there are a few sticking points:

I'm so glad that if my seventeen year old daughter got pregnant that she at least has a choice as to how she'd want to proceed. And marriage? I can't imagine encouraging it.

Drilling in Alaska? If she's not into wasteful spending I don't quite grasp that. Is the end result worth the impact? A relative minuscule amount of oil seems like the biggest wasteful spending pork barrel type of thing that could be imagined.

She's apparently in favor of aerial hunting of wolves so there will be more moose. Now, I'm not sure if Alaska needs more moose or if the hunting lobby in Maine wants more moose but that's not the point. Aerial hunting is just not sporting or really even effective population control. Think of all the airplane fuel and oil you could save if you hunted them the old fashioned way, on foot. Not that she believes that humans have really impacted global warming or anything, though.

I sort of tuned out the whole worship McCain portion of the speech, like she's going to say anything bad or surprising - plus I wanted to iron the kid's clothes for school tomorrow.

So that's it. My report on the speech. I'm thinking that you sort of have to view her as president. I mean, McCain's mom is still kicking around but I wonder if 76 is just too old. I lean towards hell yes he's too old. And she'll be there, ready to replace him. Scary but at least it's got me kind of interested too.

Which is more than I can say for Obama and Biden.

Updated to add: GMA's fact checking crew was reporting this morning that Palin was totally for the federal funds for the bridge either while she was running for governor or prior to that (while she was mayor, I'm assuming) and then, when she was governor she came out against the project. But only AFTER the offer for the federal funds was taken away and was no longer an option. It's all about the spin, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Well. I'm back. Back from camping, back to work, back to school, back to hockey, back to soccer, back to CUH-RAZEY.

The camping trip? A huge success, a huge tiring success. But well worth the effort. Mostly. Pictures? Why, certainly. But not now...Now I'm unable to access the photos to computer thing *cough*atwork*cough*.

Schoolish related things? School shopping? I don't really go school shopping...I pick up a few shirts here and there, some jeans during Old Navy's SEVEN DOLLAR JEAN SALE (and yes, that merited the All Cap Typing Clause), school suppies when the mood strikes me...but mostly the kids are set for awhile.

The boy wanted seventy five dollar sneakers in the worst way. Since last year he's been on the kick for these foolishly expensive shoes.

I told him that even though he only wears sneakers and one pair will generally last him until April or May there was NO WAY I was going to shell out that kind of dough for Jordan's. He gets forty bucks towards his sneakers from us. He can spend it all, spend less (hello, Starburys from Steve & Barry's - TEN Dollars a pair! And actually decent looking!) or kick in the balance if he still wanted the Jordan's. So, last spring he took thirty five dollars, put it in an envelope and wrote "shoes" on it.

A few weeks ago I took him for his sneakers. We shopped around and ended up at Foot Locker, which I won't link to because the store? Smelled like a foot locker. Actually, more like a new plasticy/vinyl smell. Still, disgusting.

But the boy bought the coveted shoes and all was right with the world.

And then he bought himself a boat, but more on that later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hey, new look for the blogger dashboard. Which means I haven't posted or even TRIED to post since August 14th when, apparently, is when they updated it.

Big doings on the lake hundred swimmers, some lifeguards, two scuba divers (that pond is deep, yo) - the end of summer triathlon. The last of the triathletes has just swum by... this year's viewing was made all that much more pleasurable by the fact that my husband cooked french toast and sausage for breakfast and brought it down to the pond.

We're packing up the car and heading to New Hampshire for fourish days. Enjoy your week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Husband: Hey, we saw groundhog at the tennis courts the other day.

Me: A big groundhog? Like a Puxatawney Phil groundhog?

Girlie: Well, maybe not a groundhog....Maybe it was a quahog!


FedEx phone guy: So, you're shipping from zip code 21356?

Me: Nope, *gives correct zip code*

FedEx guy: Darn it, I thought I had Massachusetts memorized?

Me: You have to memorize the zip codes?!?!

Him: Yeah, we're supposed to know the whole country but...

Me - interupting: What?! Hey, I hope FedEx is paying you well over there, Rainman.

Him: I'm totally lying to you.

Me: Ack! You totally had me!


Husband's Work Friend: So they wanted me to work with P. at the job site but I turned them down. I told them that the last time P. has put in a hard day's work the Dead Sea had just gotten sick.


Husband's Work Friend as he gets off the phone with his ex wife - to my husband: Don't ever have an Ex.

Me: Oh, he'll never have an ex but he may have a widow.


The FedEx guy just called me back and asked me to bring up the website. So I click around and watch it start loading.

Him: Sorry to do this to you, I know you're busy with the phones and whatnot.

Me: That's okay but I hope you've got awhile. I'm on dial-up.

Him: HUGE pause, then - Um, oh. Okay.

Me: Gotcha.

Him: AHHHHH! Payback for the zipcodes! Well played.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I wish I had tales to tell but seriously? We've been just around. Not spectacularly busy but I just haven't gotten around to posting.

However I am completely and totally exhausted.

A word to the wise....if you decide to place multiple holds at the library - all at the same time- for, say, Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica and Big Love - be prepared to watch a helluva lot of tv after your kids are in bed. Why I can't just return them unwatched I don't know. But I've been up far too late every night for the past two weeks.

Like two a.m. too late.

Other accomplishments?

I am this close to being a tennis pro on the Wii.

I've started thinking about embroidery and knitting again.

Made reservations to take the kids camping for a few days in New Hampshire.

I bought glue sticks and pencils for back-to-school.

I made this shrimp the other night and it was a huge hit.

*yawn* Three more episodes of Big Love and I'm home free!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fenway, from Yawkey way. For five extra dollars I parked on Yawkey Way, a stone's throw from the gate. You can almost see my car from here. I'll tell you, that was - quite possibly - the BEST five bucks I've ever spent. Five minutes from the car to our seats. And traffic? ZERO. Also, no sweaty T ride with five thousand other Sox fans trying to get out of Dodge. Lesson: if you're going to pay thirty dollars to park? Pay thirty five. And Jacoby sure does look like he put on a few pounds, doesn't he?

We were there early enough to get in some batting practice. The Angels' right fielder, whose name I won't even bother to look up because I could care less? Ass. He'd field ball after ball and end up with three or four. Then, he'd pretend like he was going to throw one up to the kids in the stands and he'd turn and throw it in. Nice. Still though, the park is beautiful. And my girl?
She was fabulous. FAB. U. LUSS. Really, I know I said I wasn't all that thrilled to be taking her but she surprised me in the best way possible. We bought some chick hats on the way in (baby blue for her, lavender for me) to celebrate the lack of boys. And while she yelled "Right here, Right here!" and held out her glove at BP I scanned the park for our section/seats. Here's the view. The only trouble? Once you sit here there ain't no going back to right field. Well, maybe there's some going back but I'll be pouty and mad the whole way.

Gratuitous Mike Lowell shot for Dawn.

First Fenway Frank. She spent the better part of three innings tracking the cotton candy man and taking inventory of his supply. There were probably five thousand people between him, with his two bags of cotton candy left, and us and she's trying to get his attention - worried that he'll sell out before he gets to us. Which, of course, he did. And when he came back up in the stands with his fresh supply, she nearly jumped out of her seat. And then she got a bag...had three bites...and decided that she didn't really like it. And contrary to all previous girlie ball game behavior? She didn't ask for another thing and then sat back and enjoyed the evening.

Ciao, Manny. Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. Not that I didn't love me some Manny Ramierez...but pre-Dodgers trade? Insufferable. Hearing some of the things that his Red Sox teammates were saying though? Interesting. Like the fact that he showed up at ball games late and was benched (even though we might have been told it was a hamstring ) and the fact that he recently moved his locker from the back of the clubhouse (outside the reaches of the press) to the area with the rest of the team - insuring he'd have an audience for his sound bites.

Anyway, we saw his last game in a Sox uniform and like many of his recent appearances...yawn.

The Sox lost...and they lost big. And much like the last time I went, which strangely enough was two years ago to the very day, the score matters so little when you're there, doing the wave and singing some Neil Diamond.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My boss, whose awesomeness knows no bounds, asked me if I would be interested in a couple of Red Sox tickets for tomorrow night's game. For free.

He has a meeting and blah, blah, traffic, blah, blah, stress, blah blah, parking...I wish I knew what else he said because I totally stopped listening when he said FREE Sox Tickets.

I call my husband on the way home and said "hey, I know YOUR boss is in Federal Prison and can't really give you much but MY boss isn't in jail and he totally gave me two tickets to the Sox game"

And he was glad but he's not that glad (comfort of his own home, NESN HD and all of that) and immediately offered up his ticket to my girlie. Who, I'll be honest, I'm kind of not all that excited to take. I foresee many trips to the bathroom and lengthy explanations about the number of visits to the concession stand that my wallet can handle.

But, maybe she'll surprise me - we shall see. She loves hockey games, cheers like a crazy girl and sings all the songs. Baseball's a little slower, okay - A LOT slower but I'm thinking some Fenway magic might just rub off on her.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So, my sister-in-law's new digs - it's a restaurant that she helped launch. She's a chef and worked her mojo to get things off on the right foot.

Did we go? No.

Why? Long story and it involves lots of favoritism and unhealthy thoughts about how my husband just doesn't rank well in his family's dysfunctional tree - which, on the whole, is actually a good thing, even though it does sting.

We stayed home and had breakfast for dinner, which the kids love and I? Convinced myself that french toast and bacon was every bit as good as mahi-mahi with grilled pineapple and coconut rum sauce.

It almost worked.

Which, I just hit publish and realized that I sound like there's some regret there. There isn't. Am I a mite bitter about how the whole pre-dinner thing went down? Yes, especially in light of how this has been going on for years.

But do I really wish I had been out to dinner with the in-laws instead of serving up an impromptu breakfast in my own kitchen with my three favorite people? Not really.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Driving Me Bananas

Tone Deaf OfficeMate Singing Along to the Easy Listening Station at Work - check

Vacation Bible School Brainwash of Youngest Child- check

Sandwich Crumbs on the Just Cleaned Kitchen Counter - check

Tornado Warnings - check

On the bright side the family and I get a complimentary dinner tonight at my SIL's new digs - hopefully I'll remember the camera.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jon & Kate + 8? Love it or hate it?

A few months ago, I turned it on...and quickly turned it off. I have trouble watching people show off their worst side. And Kate's worst side? Yowza. I was fairly certain Jon's backbone was no longer in place.

I've seen a few episodes since then, some more painful to watch than others. And really, with cameras on you all the time - how could they NOT catch a sarcastic remark or a frustrated moment? Who am I to judge? I mean between honest to god frustration and editing I can't imagine how a t.v. show about my own life would play out.

Still though I saw some links the other day, that there was some behind the scenes controversy going on and blah, blah, blah. I check out the link and find that there will probably not be any happy, extended family cookouts in their near future.

So apparently, I have trouble watching someone make an ass of themselves on t.v. but if they choose to air their dirty laundry on the internet? I have no trouble at all reading about it.

The blog is written by the sister of Jon & Kate's sister-in-law and oftentimes babysitter, Jodi. Obviously, you can't believe everything you read or, apparently, see but again - Yowza.

Monday, July 21, 2008

So, yeah, the seas were a little rough on Sunday. And it's a good time, watching adult after adult get mowed down by waves as they crash onto the shore. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the waves - because it couldn't have anything to do with the beverage consumption. Could it?Funny how keeping your arms out of the water seems to make you think that 64 degree oceans are actually not all that cold. Putting your arms in, it freezes you dead, right on the spot.

The only time my husband has had four bathing suit clad girls hanging off of his arms. Even if you combined all of their ages (27) they'd still be too young for him.

The only thing about spending all day Sunday at the beach? By Monday night you're already wishing it were Friday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So I've not been around much. Scratch that, I've been around - READING just not posting. I mean, really, would you rather read half hearted drivel, which is all my empty little head can produce these days or whole hearted drivel? Drivel that takes weeks to make it from my brain to the keyboard?

And yes, there is a difference and my apologies but you won't be reading it here tonight.

I've just been sort of hanging out. Enjoying summer. There's a lot of swimming and floating around the pond this summer. My girl learned to dive, um, she was in a play at camp and she bought herself a keyboard. The boy's had some sleepovers, gone to a PawSox game and is a mix of insufferable pre-teen and totally goofy, fun, snuggly kid. We had our first real get-together of the summer over here last weekend with some friends we haven't seen in far too long. Took the kids to see my friend's husband's band play an outdoor concert the other night. Good stuff.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a sizzlah, as we say up here, or at least as the weathermen say - I go more for 'wicked hot'. Fairly Odd Mother has piqued my interest with this grape vodka + lemonade beverage she mentioned so I'm thinking that might make it on the agenda. And fresh corn on the cob. And cucumbers with olive oil & rice vinegar.

Sunday, we're off to Humarock for the day - returning in time for a swim in the lake, pajamas and then I've got a date with my favorite girl to watch that new High School Musical show.

That's about it. Mundane and yet, why would I want it any other way?

Monday, July 07, 2008

In which I post about work, trying not to reveal too much - which probably makes it kind of 'who caresish'

Ah, Monday.

1. I've been the only official employee in my office for the past four to five months. There are voluteers who come in sporadically (read: one volunteer comes in, while I'm here, twice a week) otherwise, the work load is mine. Mostly, it's okay - I'm not qualified to fill the shoes of the girl who left so I'm not doing the technical, field work stuff - it's just that being the only one here? Sometimes, it grates....

2. One of the newer volunteers who visits the office even less frequently, well he visited a site in town - actually, he was on the neighboring property - and told us he spied a major violation on the site and we issued a cease and desist (stop work order) - delivered by the police department. All official like.

3. Same volunteer visited the site the next day and found that, whoops - he was mistaken - that the nice folks hadn't done any new work and everything appears to be just ship-shape.

4. Person on the receiving end of the complaint is nutty, called the office - voice quavering and holding back tears. Her husband is also nutty, having been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon into a police station sometime last year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Seems like every time I sit down to post I get a severe case of ADD and find exactly forty gagillion other things that need doing.

That and I can't think of a single thing to say.

Monday was on the stinky side. There were enough things that I was able to provide my friend with a numbered list. (1. Pissed off wasp that I hit, but didn't kill, in my office...etc.) Tuesday, of course, was better.

This past weekend, damned fine. We set up the Taj Majal in the yard and the girlie and I camped out while the boys wasted an hour and a half watching 10,000 BC. We drank our hot chocolate outside the next morning and by seven thirty a.m. we were swimming and washing our hair with biodegradable shampoo in the lake.

Dough boys were cooked over the fire, the most simple recipe but seriously? It kicks the ass of the inferior s'more. Which, really isn't even a challenge because s'mores? Suck.

The Way Better than S'mores Campfire Snack

refrigerated crescent rolls
melted butter
cinnamon & sugar mix

Unroll the dough, tear off a triangle and then tear that in half. You can cook a whole one but there's only eight in a can and eight divided by four people only equals two each, which isn't enough for my kids. Or me. Anyway, wrap them around the stick, kind of in a spiral, and toast over the fire. They should be golden brown and will slide right off the stick when they're cooked through. Dip them in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar. Heaven.

We spent Sunday floating in the pond and cooking out and making smoothies.

A mighty fine weekend, if I do say so myself.

Hey, maybe I'll update those amazon links in my sidebar...I mean, it's only been six months or so.

That stupid orange raccoon? Prophetically named Soon 2B Forgotten? At least I know just how much follow-through I lack. I lasted precisely one and one half days on that stupid race. Still don't even know how it logged miles, found no websites worth reading and generally just hated the whole thing. Still, though...cute raccoon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Love it or Hate it?

Tootsie Pops
Bear Grylls
Mt. Everest/Arctic books
Flannel Sheets
Flip Flops that flip flop quietly
Blueberries by the handful
Almost burnt marshmallows

The term 'barista'. Try coffee pourer.
Comcast - why so many fewer channels than FiOS? Why?
Thinking I'm going to trip over the dog & find it's just my son's black shirt thrown onto the floor

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So the printer works as a card reader...who knew?

This was our vacation destination last week, my parent's cabin in the middle of our little slice of the Maine woods. Our 31 acres is surrounded by thousands of uninhabited acres of more, um, woods. Uninhabited by people, I should say, there's plenty of wildlife. There is a neighbor, about a mile before you get to our land and after us? No one. And no, that's not plywood in that upper window, it's a giant shade because the sun shines in there and it's so bright at five a.m. that you will want to poke your eyes out. And you'll want to cover your ears because the kids think it's high noon.

The kids are actually panning for gold, which...good luck. What they did find is feldspar, tourmaline, rose quartz and some other ?-ite of which I cannot remember the name, except that it's purple. And purty.

The lean-to. Totally constructed by the kids. Well, mostly the boy - the girl was mainly the stick carrier. They built the frame and then the boy lashed it with strips of bark he had whittled himself. Then they found the Y branches for supports...and covered the whole thing with leafy branches. It held up all week, even through the downpours...he is insanely proud of this.

On the third day we ended up driving the thirty five minutes to the localest mall and movie theater. My girl convinced the boy that he needed a boat ride. They both convinced me that they needed new books (the girl) and new sneakers (the boy). I convinced both of them that the rain pouring down on the roof of the mall meant we should see a movie and it should NOT be Kung Fu Panda but instead, Prince Caspian.

When we left the movie theater he said "The sun! The sun's finally out! Now if it could just STAY sunny for a few more hours." Which it did. He forgot to wish for the rain to stop.
One of the highlights of a trip to Maine? Weaponry. Slingshots, BB Guns, Soft Air Rifles and Cap Guns. Also, my stepfather made roll-cap firecrackers with a needle and thread, some caps and some electrical tape which was lesson enough until my mom reminded him of the flaming match shooter you can make with a jimmied clothes pin. Worthwhile skills for any eleven year old boy to know.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Monday Morning

We've returned to the land of cell phones, internet, cable and running water.

And with the exception of that last one, I could honestly say that I could easily spend the summer up there. Actually, even without the running water I could spend the summer there.

I'd show you pictures but the USB cable has disappeared in my absence. What I wish had disappeared in my absence? The three baskets of folded laundry I left for my husband to put away. Maybe I can work some magic with the memory card and the reader on the printer, of course that still won't get my husband on the laundry bandwagon...

Basically, we spent a LOT of time this past week dodging thunderstorms and rain. We rockhounded, we started a puzzle and upon seeing that it was impossible to finish (f'ing roof) - we left it for my mom, we read and read and read. We saw some wild turkeys, saved a stranded turtle and swatted many a mosquito. I learned how to start the generator so that the marine batteries would charge and I would be able to watch the big Celtics/Lakers game - the biggest of games on the littlest of televisions - it's a camper tv, nine inches at best. Still though, what a drubbing of the Lakers - shooting threes and fouling with two minutes left of the game - LOVE it!

We also, usually, have cell phone coverage. Unless, say, a huge thunderstorm moves through and lightening strikes the tower that sits at the top of a local mountain. Then you're totally out of luck. And then, when you drive twenty five minutes to get a signal? Fifteen missed calls from a worried husband. He should've been putting laundry away instead of spending so much time on the telephone, at least that's what I told him...

Monday, June 16, 2008

A quick post, as I'm seeing flashes of lightening from my window...

The childrens are out of school and we're heading to Maine for a few days. Like four daysish. The weather is supposed to be thoroughly mediocre but I've packed some games, books and puzzles to keep us busy. And if we get a little stir crazy the movie theater is a short forty minute drive away. Well, maybe thirty five.

The boy has some grand plans to start a lean-to, the girl has three cap guns and 750 caps packed and I am thinking it will be nice to just 'be' for a few days.

Either that or I'll be tearing my hair out while I listen to the two of them bicker non-stop for four days.

Wish me luck...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Totally on the Bandwagon.

First off, thank you guys for all of your comments. It's a tough adjustment to make. We got Baxter two days after we moved into our house and I found out I was pregnant with my son the same week. There's a lot of memories tied in with him. A lot of old habits to slowly forget. I appreciate the thoughts, thank you.

I took down his picture, replacing it with something that won't make me sigh and walk away from the computer...I needed to post too, move that last one down the page a bit so it's not staring me in the face...

I'll admit it. Between the late 1980's and about eight weeks ago...I wasn't much for watching the Celtics. I'd catch their highlights on the news (if you can call them "high"lights) but I hadn't seen a full game in years.

My mom was a big basketball fan, loving the Celtics from way back. I used to watch alot in the days of Bird and Parrish, Johnson and Ainge. Y'know back when they were world champions and the rivalry between the Celts and the Lakers was red hot.

Well, it's a slippery slope my friends.

It all began with Atlanta. Sure the Celtics could beat them. And they did, stringing my nerves out to the very last game.

And Cleveland? King James? Who? Actually, I sort of like LeBron but another seven games and down to the wire again.

Detroit? Not so much with the liking. The guy with the face mask and whoever else? Peh.

And now we're in Los Angeles and we're up three games to one. I've got no love for Kobe, none. Obviously, though if you believe what the national media have to say - I'm the only person alive who feels this way. Damn, they fawn all over this guy. All that malarkey about him "trusting his teammates" and "he won't let the Lakers lose"? Puh-leeze. He may be everyone's Prince Charming but the Celtics are the Cinderella Story this year.

Last night's come back? Phenomenal. A lesson in perserverance. Paul Pierce hugging Ray Allen - And anyone else who got within reach of those gigantically long arms of his? And Ray Allen? Puts on some magic sleeve and ends that damned shooting slump of his. PJ Brown - one of the oldest players in the NBA and he's out there and he's rebounding like a crazy fella. Eddie House - the short guy with the great 3 point shot. Rondo, Perkins & Powe - what a success story this kid is - his mom would have been proud. Posey and oh yeah, Garnett. Like I could forget Kevin - his mug is all over the place these days.

They've got a few days off before they go after the last win of the series. And it's about killing me to have to wait. All I have to say's good to be loving the sports here in Boston right about now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

He was a good ole dog.

I've been away for a few days....well, not away from home or work or the computer even. But posting wise? I've got excuses-a-plenty. Too hot (pre A/C), too cold (post A/C installation), working (when has that stopped me?), too lazy, too busy. And excuses they may be but honestly, they've all been true at one time or another this past week.

Yesterday's reason? Emotionally exhausted.

The dog. My dog. Baxter.

Back in March he was given one to four months to live, the tumor inoperable. A sad day, to be sure but after the first week or so, I just kept steadfastly giving him his medication and quietly monitoring him - not totally pretending nothing was wrong but seeing as how the dog was just REALLY hungry and REALLY thirsty - not too worried either.

But Monday, he was panting and didn't really drink his usual five bowls of water that night. And Tuesday? He didn't get up when I came home from work. He could and did get up a few minutes later but I noticed his absence at the door. And Tuesday night? The benadryl apparently stopped working and his mast cell tumor, which releases histamines and itches like crazy? Well it itched like crazy and he just about licked it open.

Wednesday morning, his back leg was giving out on him as soon as he stepped on the kitchen floor. He could walk but if he tried to turn or adjust his position? It would give way. And he couldn't sit (the tumor was on his rear).

The call to the vet was the single hardest thing I've had to do in a long while.

We made an appointment for later in the day, before the kids came home from school. I went to work and spent three hours distractedly flitting from task to task. My husband was supposed to meet me at one thirty. I came home at noon, to spend some time.

I cooked his favorite meal...four hardboiled eggs. As a bonus I covered the eggs with a ton of cheese, another favorite. I took him down to the lake for a swim. Of course on the walk down the hill? He's fine and I'm all thinking I could maybe postpone the whole thing, second guessing myself to the end. He slipped on the stairs into the lake though and I started to cry. Started to cry? Not really, more like I cried again.

We took him to the vet and he died quietly, with his head in my lap, he was still wet from the swim.

Remember when he ate the whole bag of Tastefully Simple stuff?

Or got hit by a car at the veterinarian's?

It will be a long time until I'm done missing him.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ah, Monday. Two weeks of school remain and then we’re in for a whopping eleven week summer vacation.

Hold me.

Okay, well don’t because I’d be all stiff and awkward. But come on over, have a drink with me and we’ll watch the kids swim and laugh while we commiserate a bit, would you?

Yesterday I found out that my boy? My super-cute little hockey playing straight A student. Apparently, he’s found himself to be the target of a schoolyard bully.

Of course, naturally he’s not the type of bully that all of the other kids rally against, making him powerless. This one is the head of the popular, football playing clique. (Already with this football/jock shit, it’s fifth grade for crying out loud.) The one that no one dares to speak against, lest they be blacklisted too.

He’s from one of those families. Well known in town because the mom is involved in everything, the family owns a local business, and they’re super into the sports, the whole family. Mostly no one ever says a word against them and maybe they’re not even a bad sort, I don’t run in those circles so I only know what I hear from others.

I do know, however, that he’s making my boy pretty damn miserable. There’s a big group of boys in their class. They all hung out together for most of this year, my boy and a few others being a bit on the outside of it all - which I felt was fine, these aren’t the type of kids that I really want my son hanging with anyway…in class, forced comradeship? Okay. Sleeping over and hanging out on a rainy Saturday? Nah.

Well, this kid has decided to ostracize my boy from the group. Now, I’m sure all the other ‘on the fringe’ kids are thanking god that he didn’t choose them to pick on but that’s not making things too much easier for us.

And today, all of my son’s friend’s classes are fieldtripping – leaving my boy on his own at recess and lunch. He was kind of freaked out about what he was supposed to do all by himself and worried about not being able to fall under this kid’s radar the entire time. So I told him I’d pick him up early.

Mistake? I don’t freaking know. I’d like to think it’s not, there’s ten days of school left, a long summer break, where hopefully this kid will outgrow his meatheaded behavior. (“Only a 66.6 % chance we’ll be in the same group next year” is what my son said to me last night at bedtime).

We talked about confronting him, different things he could say – he wasn’t really having any of it. He was worried that if he says something and tries to walk away that this kid will follow him. My husband told him to stand his ground, then. Which made me cringe a little bit, even though I tend to agree. Lord knows my son can hold his own, just ask my nephew.

If it were September, the beginning of the school year, I wouldn’t have even entertained this half day thing. The whole bully thing would have to be dealt with. But now, with summer so close…I feel like, maybe it would be best just to let it all play out quietly until the end of the year. I know that’s what my son wants, he told me that he doesn’t want me talking to his teacher and that he can handle it, which of course, remains to be seen.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I wish I could say I had a relaxing and wonderful weekend at home. I could, I suppose, but it would be a complete and total lie and then how would you all ever trust me again?

Having a sore throat from Friday night right up until Monday evening? Way to kill the weekend plans. And not sleeping because everytime you drift off your throat kind of relaxes and you feel like your choking to death on goop? Not at all relaxing. Or wonderful.

But I'm on the road to recovery...with the help of internet researched type of sore throat cure:

warm water, honey & cayenne pepper. Gargle and then gargle some more. Strangely, it didn't even taste that bad. More imporantly, it worked.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, thank you guys for all of the birthday wishes...really - y'all are the best.

The. best.

This morning I was busy spending gift cards (Wii Fit!) and my children's meager inheiritance (New patio umbrella! Milk! Gas!).

I thought about taking the kiddos camping this weekend but when you wait until the Friday before Memorial Day weekend to check on available campsites? You'll be camping on a dirt patch next to the dump station.

Plus I would have made a trip there this morning (to pick a site), come home, gone back this evening to set up a tent and possibly sleep there - only to come home tomorrow because of a birthday party obligation - and then back on Saturday night. And my husband? Working all day on Saturday and fishing all day on Sunday - so I would've been flying solo. Not usually a big deal but I just didn't feeeel like getting it all together. Plus all the gas.

I'd rather mulch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thurty sevin

Okay, I've just spent part of my birthday in my office crying.

And it's not because I didn't get a Wii Fit. It was Tito, he put me over the edge.

Go here and read this. And watch the video.

You don't have to love baseball to appreciate it.

Birthday plans? Work all day, help the kids with homework, make the beds, soak my daughter's very infected toenail and massage the goo out of it, dinner (which I am totally NOT cooking) and back to work for a meeting. Jealous?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

0 - The number of hits given up by Jon Lester last night.

5.4 - The number of gallons twenty dollars will get you around here.

17 - The number of minutes left in my work day.

7 - The number of days the customer service people asked me to wait before calling the cable company AGAIN about our bill.

6 - The possible number of A's on my son's progress report.

6 - The number of A's on his progress report.

7 -Times I've asked for a DVR for my birthday.

426 - Times I've asked for a screen door in the past sixish years.

37 - Age I'll be on my birthday.

1 - Number of Days until my birthday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Man Meme

Okay, I saw this first at blackbird's and then over at jen's....

A poll, from Esquire magazine.

Since he just had his fortieth birthday I figured I'd give it a go.

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. — Depends on the subject matter - ask him about pipe layout or construction? yes. Girl drama advice for my daughter when she comes home crying? A bit more wordy.

2. Tell if someone is lying. — Yes, and I'm the one usually giving people the benefit of the doubt...

3. Take a photo. — He can, but not well.

4. Score a baseball game. — Not sure...he watches enough of it so he SHOULD be able to...

5. Name a book that matters. — No.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. — Music? Not his thing.

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. — Absolutely, I'm more of the griller, anyway.

8. Not monopolize the conversation. — He doesn't have a chance.

9. Write a letter. — Can he write a letter? Yes. Would he? Probably not.

10. Buy a suit. — Again, he can and would if he had to. Last suit he bought? 1996.

11. Swim three different strokes. — No, but he can swim across the lake...

12. Show respect without being a suck-up. — For sure. A suck-up is one thing my husband is not.

13. Throw a punch. — No doubt.

14. Chop down a tree. — Yes, it's part of the job description when you own 31 acres of woods in Maine and use a woodstove to heat your home. Plus it might be a part of his actual job description...

15. Calculate square footage. — Absolutely.

16. Tie a bow tie. — Not correctly.

17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well. — No, actually, he can't.

18. Speak a foreign language. — Nope.

19. Approach a woman out of his league. — Not sure when this would come in handy but he's fairly comfortable around anyone.

20. Sew a button. — I’ll ask him -He could, but he wouldn't be happy.

21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer. — Xenophobic? Probably not. Insulting soccer? Quite possibly.

22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn’t have to ask after it. — *grin*

23. Be loyal. — Yes.

24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. — Yes, sadly I can't say the same for myself.

25. Drive an eight penny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it. — Um, yes.

26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat. — Yes, and he catches dinner almost weekly in the summer. Fresh striped bass is good for the soul.

27. Play gin with an old guy. — Okay, I'll say that his dad would be considered an old, yes.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped. — No, he could care less, I'm sure.

30. Feign interest. — See #29...if someone were explaining he'd try not to be rude. If it were me talking about dinner? Different story.

31. Make a bed. — He can and does. Although, not the way I'd like it.

32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick.'d go like this: *wrinkled nose* "yuck".

33. Hit a jump shot in pool. — No, but he's better at pool than I expect him to be.

34. Dress a wound. — He handled most of the recent knee injury himself (doctor's visits, dressing changes, etc) and handled it well.

35. Jump-start a car. Change a flat tire. Change the oil. — All three, without a problem.

36. Make three different bets at a craps table. — No, he's never learned how to play.

37. Shuffle a deck of cards. — Yep.

38. Tell a joke. — He's not much of a joke teller.

39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack. — He's not here to ask so I'll go with a big maybe.

40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. — Yes, and sometimes loud enough for EVERYONE to hear.

41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear. — I'm assuming these aren't questions about his voice decibel level - but yes, he can order all by himself.

43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help.
Of course.

44. Ask for help.– He can. But he hates to.

45. Break another man’s grip on his wrist. — I would assume so.

46. Tell a woman’s dress size. — No.

47. Recite one poem from memory. — No.

48. Remove a stain. — I don't believe he's ever tried.

49. Say no. — With ease. Unless it's my 87 year old neighbor asking....

50. Fry an egg sunny-side up. — Yep, good egg cooker.

51. Build a campfire. — In the rain, even.

52. Step into a job no one wants to do. — Yes.

53. Sometimes, kick some ass. — Not lately, but he could. And would.

54. Break up a fight. — He could and might, depending on the circumstances.

55. Point to the north at any time. — Hmmm, I'll have to ask.

56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person. — Not in his life. He might even ask "what's a playlist?"

57. Explain what a light-year is. — Maybe a half-baked explanation...maybe.

58. Avoid boredom. — Rarely is this guy bored.

59. Write a thank-you note. — have yet to see it happen.

60. Be brand loyal to at least one product. — yes, toothpaste.

61. Cook bacon. — yes and thank god because I hate to.

62. Hold a baby. — He sure can.

63. Deliver a eulogy. — I don't think he could make it through.

64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. — I'm not going out on a limb to say that he's got no idea...

65-67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably. — yes and yes. the jump shot? not so much.

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. — Yes.

69. Tie a knot. — I'm sure he can, but not 176 different variations...

70. Shake hands. — He does.

71. Iron a shirt. — yes, not the best job but hey - he irons.

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. — Nope, that's my gig.

73. Caress a woman’s neck. — He can.

74. Know some birds. — There are people who don't know birds? Like Robins and Cardinals?

75. Negotiate a better price. — I'd say not really, it's something he hates doing.

Does he come off like a knuckle-dragger, with all this no reading, sports watching, fish catching, wine-hating type of stuff? Well, watch what you say...he throws a mean left hook.