Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Check This Out

I happened to notice - on the Comcast news site - a thing about taxes. I've been concerned about how much taxes they are taking out of my check. Not that they're taking too much.....but that they might be taking too little. We all know that Obama signed a "stimulus" bill that would add a small amount of money back into everyone's weekly paycheck. The thought process apparently being that if they give you one big stimulus check like they did last year, you'd either put it in savings or pay a bill with it. Which wouldn't really stimulate the economy. By giving you a little each week, you are more apt to spend it. (They're not as stupid as they look down there in Washington, DC). I was concerned when I got my first paycheck after this change was made and noticed they were taking TWO dollars from my weekly paycheck for Federal Taxes. I called HR and she assured me it was okay cause hey.......they cut taxes. NO THEY DID NOT!!! They did NOT......I repeat....NOT.....cut taxes. You are still going to pay the same amount as you did before.......only instead of paying it every week and maybe getting a smidge back in April.....you will pay it ALL in April!. So anyway, on this Comcast site, they had a Tax Calculator from the IRS that helps you figure out if they're taking out enough taxes. I used the calculator and found out we are grossly underpaying our taxes and will owe $1200 to the Federal Government in April! The calculator advised that we take an additional $60 per paycheck out so we can come out even in April. Try it out.......see what your tax bill will be.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here's what happens when you buy a canoe......

Rain! Yep....weeks and weeks and weeks of rain. We got the canoe sometime end of April, early May. We took it out the day we got it even though it was overcast and crappy cause we wanted to try it out. We took it out one day after that. And that's it. Every single weekend since then it's been raining/overcast/thundershowers/crappy. Yesterday was a beautiful day......but I worked in the morning.....and we brought my old Auntie Izzy to visit my Mom in the afternoon......and we went out last night. Stuff always gets in the way of our intended canoeing. So we thought maybe today we could go out. I went out early this morning to grocery shop......and it's crappy out. (Don't you like my professional weather-words? Crappy IS SO a weather word!) Overcast and misting.........not canoe weather. Sadly....weather reports for the week are just the same. Crappy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Computers are EVIL!

For the past two weeks I have been office-hopping. Sounds like a fun schoolyard game, doesn't it? Well.......guess what.......not so much! They are building us a new office right here in town......3 minutes from my house. Fantastic, right? However, in order to build the new office, they placed a "portable office" ....aka trailer.....on the future parking lot of the new office and we've been working out of that all winter. Now they're ready to rip up and re-do the parking lot, so of course the trailer had to go. Hence the office hopping. My company has 5 other district offices. They range from 4 miles from my house to 22 miles from my house. And I have been assigned to work in all of them. It's been fun to go to the other offices and meet people I've only talked to on the phone and see how the other offices are run. But being in a different office means different user names and passwords for every single program I work in on the computer. AND...it means that I have to make sure I'm logged into the right office or it can cause mayhem in our accounting system. So each time I went to a different office, I had to call Internet Servies and make sure they had me set up right.....that my printers were set up...and that all my passwords worked. You'd think that would be easy for I.S. guys right? How about an hour this morning??? An hour of finagling and fixing and calling I.S. back and asking them to change something. And then I had problems all day. Very frustrating to try to service a customer and then ask them to wait while I call I.S. to help me. Today was the third office I've been in. I had similar problems at all three offices. I have tried to head them off at the pass for Monday and ask them to set me up ahead of time for the office (my fourth) that I will be working in. I can guarantee my forethought will not ease the transition. The new office opens Mid-July. I don't even want to be there for the fiasco that's going to ensue when we try to get the whole office up and running correctly. Maybe I should go on vacation that week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emily is a Silly Girl

I hadn't seen my grand-baby in about three weeks with all that was going on. Today my daughter was going to babysit her, so I went and "crashed" so I could visit both Emily and Jamie at the same time. Emily moves so fast it's hard to get photos! But here are a couple:
And with the ever-present ball in her hand:
I also had to take a video of her "dance" which I thought was just hilarious. In the middle she is "singing" the "C is for Cookie" song from Sesame Street. I apologize that she stopped and I kept videotaping, but I didn't know how to cut off the end.
video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Little Parental Bragging

Jamie has been named to the All-Star team for her Independent Women's Football League!! She will be heading to Austin, Texas in July to play in the game. Wow!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Very Special Dad

My Dad is definitely a "Dad"....not a "Father". He's the person I could always rely on when I was a little girl. He never yelled.....but had my respect nevertheless. I never wanted to do anything to upset or disappoint him because I loved him so much. 49 years later....and I still feel the same way about my Dad. He's a most remarkable father. He played with us when we were kids, and still seems to enjoy our company as adults. He taught me how to laugh and tease and have fun.
He also taught me good values and a no-nonsense attitude toward life and people. He taught me how special family is and how important it is to treat them well.
Most importanly....he loves my Mom so much. They've known each other since they were both 14. They've been married for 51 years. And he still looks at her like she's the most special person on earth.
His love for her and for me and my brothers and sister is our stability. I know for a fact I wouldn't be the person I am today without my Dad's guidance and love.
I love you Dad. Forever and always. Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Noah Crawls

Time to put up a happier post. Our Grandson Noah is almost 9 months old and as cute as a button. His Mom Wendy and Noah:

Grampy reads Noah a story:

And Noah crawling! Which he's been doing for a month now.

video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bar Harbor - Day 2

Thursday in Bar Harbor was a gorgeous day. The sky was as blue as can be and it was warm.....70 degrees at least.
Our B and B served us a fantastic breakfast. Homemade muffins, blueberry pancakes and an egg/cheese baked thing. They also give you a nice blueberry compote for dessert.
Our first stop of the day was "Sand Beach". It's the only beach in Bar Harbor that has sand. Every other beach has a rocky coastline. We took off our shoes and stuck our feet in the water and boy! Was it cold!! My feet ached just walking on the wet beach sand!
From Sand Beach we walked about 3/4 mile along a seaside path to "Thunder Hole". This rock formation is such that when waves hit it, it sound like thunder. However, you have to time it correctly ....you need to be there when the tide is coming in......and we were there at low tide so we didn't get the full effect. The original plan was to walk another 3/4 mile to Otter Point. When I figured out that we would then have to walk 1 1/2 miles back to our starting point, I opted to walk back from Thunder Hole and drive to Otter Point! There were no Otters at Otter Point. Strangely enough, there are no Porcupines on Porcupine Island (off the Bar Harbor Coast), no Cranberries on Cranberry Island, and no Swans on Swan Island. What are people thinking??
From Otter Point we drove up into Acadia National Park and stopped at restaurant called Jordan Pond. This is the only restaurant in the park and has been there over 100 years. Their claim to fame is their popovers. When we got there, they offered us indoor or outdoor seating. Of course it was so beautiful out we chose to eat outside.
To our surprise, there were tables right out on the lawn, facing the Pond and the Mountains. (The mountains are affectionately called "The Bubbles" by the natives.....Hubby and I thought they should be called "The Boobs".) We were served the most deliciously warm ginormous popovers with butter and strawberry jam. It was a surreal experience and one I would recommend to anyone going to Acadia Park.
After that we drove up Cadillac Mountain. This mountain is the highest peak on the East Maine coast and boasts the fact that if you are standing on the top in the morning, you are the first person in the United States to see the sunrise. It was gorgeous.
By the time we returned to our B and B it was around 8pm and we decided to go to Southwest Harbor to Thurston's Lobster Pound.....a place recommended to us by someone else at the B and B. It was about 1/2 hour away...through spooky, eerie fog....and when we go there they were closing! At 9 pm on a Thursday night! We had forgotten that in Maine, they roll up the sidewalks early.
After searching around for another place, we ended out at Geddy's again. Since it has a bar, it stays open late. I definitely was not going to have seafood there again, so we got a pizza! I'm pretty sure it's against my religion to have pizza instead of seafood while visiting the Maine coast!
We returned to our B and B exhausted and sunburned .....but very, very happy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're BA-ACK! Bar Harbor Day 1

Whew! Our vacation is already over! Time sure does fly when you're having fun. We left last Wednesday for our 5 days in Bar Harbor, Maine. Actually, if you want to say it right - like the Maine-iacs do.....it's Bah Habbah.
We packed so much into our days that I think I need to blog about one day at a time. Otherwise my post will be waaaaaaaaay too long. And you want pictures, right?
We left about 9am on Wednesday. Beautiful sunny day. So cool to know we were off on a vacation while everyone else was working. And five lovely days in front of us to look forward to.
We stopped in Augusta, Maine for breakfast. It was actually almost lunchtime by the time we got there. I am wise to the ways of our travels now though and had some oatmeal before we left the house. A hungry Karen is NOT a happy Karen.
The place was a little hole-in-the-wall, which I hope we all know is the best kind of place. A big, full country breakfast for cheap. However, they did not take a debit card. Cash only. So they let us leave.....can you believe that?.....and go to the bank down the street for some cash. Hubby offered to leave me as collateral but the waitress said that wasn't neccessary. Seriously, how much could they get for me on the open market?
We landed in Bar Harbor about 2:30 pm. Our B and B's check-in time was 4pm, so we drove "downtown" and parked and walked around a bit. It's a quaint little town with shops and artist's galleries and lots of places to eat.
We found a lovely little park that turned out to be the part of the "Ocean Path". This was such a lovely little path all along the ocean and the harbor that we walked it every day we were there.
The path had gorgeous beach roses all along the edge. They smell divine. An added extra bonus for us was that in Maine the lilacs were still blooming. So even though they were all gone in our area, we got to smell them again for another week.
We could sit on the edge of the path with the Harbor behind us. Don't we look like tourists?

When it was finally after 4pm we went and checked into our B and B. I can't say enough about how wonderful this place was. We got there just as they were serving afternoon "tea". Every day from 4-6:30 they had homemade cookies and cakes, ice tea, cold water or hot tea or coffee. It was just one of the many amenities. They had coffee and tea available at all hours. They had free bottled water and soda. Internet, DVD's to play in your room, etc. And the best thing was, they made us feel so comfortable and welcome. I didn't feel at all weird about going into the kitchen and making myself some tea or stealing left-over piece of cake for Hubby.

We had our coffee on the rocking chairs on the porch every morning and even had breakfast out there on our last day there.

After "tea" we went back downtown and browsed around and ended out at a place called "Geddy's" for dinner. I picked it out of the book because it seemed cheap inexpensive. I learned that cheap isn't always best because they were really a pizza place and had arguably they worst seafood I've ever tasted. I vowed to go to a "real" Lobstah Shack for dinner on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bye-Bye!

Hubby and I are off to Bar Harbor first thing Wednesday morning. We are soooooooo ready for a vacation and some quiet time together. We won't be back until Sunday night! We'll take lots of pictures and I'll tell you all about it.......IF we decide to come back.......we may stay there forever........