Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rain, rain.............

So for the second weekend in a row we have the remnants of a hurricane messing up our weekend. I guess it's pretty nasty to complain about it considering there are people who actually were in the path of the hurricanes and no longer have houses........but......... Dammit....I wanted a nice weekend! Is that so much to ask? We had nothing planned today.......nothing! Which means it would have been a great day for canoeing, or hiking, or going to the beach or the mountains. Instead, I am sitting inside doing housework and laundry. Alright....I'm not actually doing any of that yet. I am blogging. But I intend to do those things. Soon. AND....I feel bad because my sons' weekend plans are ruined. I gave each son two tickets to a ball game for their birthdays, including a ticket to the All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Buffet. Then the game became a double-header....they added in fireworks AND!!!! one of the ace pitchers for the Red Sox has been on the DL and was scheduled to pitch at one of these games for his rehab. And now, the game is going to be rained out. Nice birthday gift I gave them, huh? So......Rain, Rain Go Away.......and don't come back for a helluva long time!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Questions in My Head

Some questions I've been contemplating in my head: 1. Why does the UPS guy have to be so weird and wear short-shorts when he has very hairy legs? 2. How come no one noticed that I colored my hair last night? Should I have just left it with the big stripe of gray down the middle? 3. How come everyone shows up at the office the minute I leave for lunch.....no matter what time I go? 4. Where has Big Papi been all season? The Red Sox could have used his ability to hit home runs in the bottom of the ninth. 5. Why do a lot of people think they are the only ones in the world? It's not about YOU PEOPLE! 6. How come when I go grocery shopping the "12 Items or Less" line is snaking around the store....yet when I get to the cashier there's no one behind me? 7. Why is the weather picture-perfect on Monday through Friday, but two weekends in a row we are besieged by the remnants of hurricanes? 8. Am I tempting fate by planning a weekend away on Columbus Day weekend? 9. What am I supposed to watch on TV now between the end of the summer shows and the beginning of the fall shows? 10. What am I going to eat when I go home for lunch??

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some Time with Noah

Noah is almost a year old! He's just about 11 months, and a bundle of energy if I ever saw one. Hubby's kids came for dinner yesterday. Noah had a wonderful time playing piano with his Mom. A beautiful picture of him cuddling up to his Daddy.
And Uncle Kenny trying to give him some walking lessons!
video

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'll Tell You Where to Go!

I work for a company that tells people where to go. And I love it! Seriously, I work for AAA and part of our job is to map out destinations for people so they can drive there without getting lost. And it's amazing the array of people we have that come in. There are the ones who aren't leaving until next January and would like their Routing to be done NOW......so they can plan.....and book hotels........think they're already packed???? There are the ones who are leaving to drive from New England to Texas this afternoon. "Have you booked any hotels? " I ask. "We're going to 'wing it'" is the answer. There are those who've been to Florida every winter for the past 20 years, yet still need the Routing. AND they know how they want to go. "Straight down 95, but take me around Baltimore and DC and for Gosh sake, don't make me go straight through Richmond." And there are those that have no idea where they want to go. "I just want to get away......where do you recommend?" Today a gentleman came in wanting to go see some Moose. I mapped him a trip to Moosehead Lake, Maine. Then he says, "And I want to see the penguins up there too". Huh? Penguins in Maine. I looked askance at his wife.....she just shrugged. "I don't think there are any penguins in Maine," I say to him. "The funny looking ones," he says. I actually had to Google "penguins in Maine" to figure out that he was looking for Puffins! I routed him over to Bar Harbor and told him to take the whale watching/puffin watching cruise. Overall, it's fun to tell people where to go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taking a Picture of a Two-Year Old

I couldn't resist posting this series of photos from Emily's second birthday party. They were trying to get a "family photo". Not bad for a first attempt but a little bit blurry. Not even ready!!!!
Who told Emily to say cheese?
Damn....should not have given her that cracker before taking the photo.
Let's make her laugh so she'll look cute in the picture.
Getting a little restless.
Let me OUTTA HERE!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Birthday Bash

On a blistering hot and humid Sunday afternoon, we celebreted Emily's 2nd birthday. The theme for the day was "Barney" and "Elmo". Emily's Grandmother, Kara's mother, made the Barney cake. Emily chose to enjoy her cake in her own unique way: video Emily and her cousin Lilly figured out a way to enjoy her new Crazy Coop together.
Emily held onto that balloon for a long time before she finally let it go up into the trees.
She enjoyed every minute of her birthday party.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MMMMMMM.......

Dairy Queen's Flavor of the Month is "Girl Scout Cookie". Since Jamie and I were Girl Scouts, we figured it was our duty to try a Tagalong Blizzard. We had ours with chocolate soft-serve ice cream. I'm sure the Thin Mint Blizzard is just as good.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shame

Grill #2 has been stolen. Steal one grill ........ shame on you. Give you the opportunity to steal a second grill.......shame on me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Bliss

One thing I have to say about Hubby.....he sure knows how to make up for it when he screws up. I've been having trouble keeping up with things at the house now that I'm working full-time. It's against my religion to go grocery shopping on the weekends, so I asked (and Hubby offered) to go shopping for me while I was at work Saturday morning. Except he forgot. Apparently, a "hunny-do" list is going to have to be posted on the white board. So I came home from work about 1pm and our cupboards were bare. Really bare. I was not a happy camper. I gave Hubby the long-suffering "fine....I guess I'LL go" but he would have none of that. We had already been planning on going down to Peabody Saturday night to go dancing, so he offered for us to go to Gloucester and Rockport for the afternoon since we were going down that way anyway. Magic words. The ocean. Hmmmm.....let's see. Groceries and laundry vs. the ocean and dancing. Which would you pick? We took a different route on our way to Gloucester this time and it was very pleasant. It was a gorgeous 75-80 degree day, no humidity. Perfect for the beach. We walked along the beautiful waterfront of Gloucester's Inner Harbor. Is anyone familiar with the Old Man of the Sea Statue? It's dedicated to all the fisherman who lost their lives in the ocean outside Gloucester. Along the side of the beautiful waterfront is a path that leads to Stage Fort Park. We climbed up on the rocks and watched the boats.
From Gloucester we drove a little further on to Rockport. This town is a bit more of a tourist attraction. The main attraction is Bearskin Neck, a narrow street that leads to a point overlooking the ocean. There are shops and art galleries of all kinds lining both sides of the street.
There is a lovely beach there. We went out and stuck our feet in the water.
After leaving Rockport we set out to find someplace good to eat. We found the Windward Grille in Essex, MA, just outside Gloucester. I had some very delicious scallops. We changed into nice clothes afterwards in the bathroom so we could go on to our evening's activity.
We love a band called Classmates. They play music from the 60's and 70's. Most often we go see them at a place called Capones. They have a restaurant there - which we did not need considering we were stuffed with seafood - a bar and dance floor.
We had a great time dancing for a couple of hours. I know we're not the best dancers in the world but it really is interesting to watch the other dancers. One of my favorite couples was the guy who jogged in place for literally the whole song. He was dancing with the woman who was apparently doing step aerobics. And the favorite single person was the elderly lady - probably 70ish - who was wearing a black mini-skirt, black hose and heels, a black t-shirt with POW-MIA on the front, and a headband (circa 1964) around her white, curly permed hair. She danced by herself in the corner and appeared to be having a wonderful time.
So Hubby is off the hook. He more than made up for his not shopping. Maybe I should forget the Hunny-do list and see where he takes me next weekend?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I always think a movie is going to be as good as the book it was based on, and I'm always wrong. Even when the movie is pretty good, when you have to compare it to the book, the movie always suffers by comparison.
Case in point: My Sister's Keeper The book by Jodi Picoult was very, very good. I read it before I knew of Picoult's penchant for shocking endings so I was hugely suprised and shocked at the end. The movie completely changed the ending.
Actually, the entire book was different. The premise of the book was that the younger sister, Anna, was born and bred to be a genetic match for her sister Kate, who had leukemia. Anna spent her life donating blood, bone marrow, etc. to her sister until, at the age of eleven, she is asked to donate her kidney. At this point, Anna rebels and goes to a lawyer to gain "medical emancipation" from her parents.
The book mostly dwelled on Anna's court case and the turmoil it causes in the family to have one sister denying the other a life-giving donation, as well as the stress it causes the whole family when parents take sides one sister against the other.
The movie focused on Kate's struggle with death and the family's reaction to her impending demise. The movie seemed to strive to be more romantic, more mellow, less controversial, more heart-tugging.
Both the movie and the book were compelling, but they were completely different. And as usual, I went in with the expectation that they'd be more or less the same, even though I'd been told that the ending was different.
Did you read the book and see the movie? How did you feel about the differences?
And PS......doesn't the father in the movie, Jason Patric,
look like a young Warren Beatty??

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Adventurers

Hubby and I have realized that one of our favorite things to do is go on an "adventure". Meaning go someplace we've never been......see something we've never seen.......drive the road less traveled and see where it takes us. We've been up to the York Beach and Ogunquit area of Maine many times, but we always go up Route 1 and always go walk along the Marginal Way. Which is beautiful, and I'm sure we'll do it again, but we wanted to do something different today. We've passed the sign many times for Cape Neddick and the Nubble Lighthouse, but never gone there. Today we did. Instead of taking good old Route 1, we got off route 95 at exit 1 and followed Route 103. Before we got to Cape Neddick, we stumbled onto the Hartley Mason Reservation. It had big gates in front and looked like a park, so we parked the car and went in. It turned out to be a lovely park with a couple of monuments, but it led down to a neat little beach. There were dozens of families there, playing in the sand and jumping in the water. We stuck our feet in.........COLD! Along the cliffs there was a walking path, and with no concept of where it led or how far it was, we followed it. It was rough in places with lots of ups and downs and stone stairs. The beach got further and further away. When we came to the end of the path, we found some beautiful homes.
From the Reservation we continued driving north until we found Cape Neddick and the Nubble Lighthouse. The picture below is not just fuzzy.....it was foggy out. (surprise!)
Then it got even foggier:
And finally it cleared and we got a good picture of the lighthouse. It's still a working lighthouse.....as a matter of fact the foghorn was going off.....but it's all automated now. We don't know if someone lives in that little house.....but we'd volunteer!
Despite it being chilly, damp and foggy, we had a nice visit at the lighthouse. There was a seafood shack right there that sold ice-cream, so naturally, we indulged.
We decided to continue north and see how much further we could get on the shore road. And we stumbled upon our second surprise of the day. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Hubby couldn't resist going inside. There were some beautiful paintings inside but I thought some of the most interesting things were the sculptures on the lawn:
And the incredibly beautiful pink lily flowers in the pond: Finally, on the way home we stopped at Chauncey Creek. Jamie had recommended the place to us more than once and we finally made it there. It's a lobster shack with outdoor seating along a creek. We enjoyed a breadbowl full of fish chowder and shared an order of coconut shrimp and french fries. And it always tastes better outside in the sea air.
We headed home happy, stuffed full of food and with our spirits revived by the ocean. And of course, looking forward to our next adventure.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Faith in People Has Taken a Hit

Daughter Jamie came over for a visit today. We had a great time chatting away about everything that's been happening in our lives the past few weeks. We hadn't had too much time to visit recently. After a while, we decided to go outside and grill our dinner. When we got to the backyard, we discovered that someone had stolen our chairs and grill. When we bought them last year, Hubby made a bet with me that they wouldn't last the summer. We live in a condo in ....shall we say....not the very best neighborhood in town. But.....Hubby was wrong. They lasted all summer long. And in the fall, someone in our condo building took them from outside and put them down in the little storage room next to the laundry room. I pulled them out again this year, but we've only grilled once or twice because the weather is so bad. Imagine......two $8 plastic chairs and a little Webber charcoal grill that my brother got us for Christmas. Total worth less than $50. Hubby went over to Kmart and bought another cheap little grill, and Jamie and I pulled my folding lawn chairs from the trunk of the car (where they live year-round). We still had our BBQ. But it makes me sad that someone would just come in and take something like that. They probably didn't even use it. They probably just destroyed it for fun. Now our little BBQ grill has to go in the storage room every time we use it and our chairs have to go back in the trunk. And my faith in people has been tarnished.