Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Novel is Finished

I've been working on writing a novel for the past year and a half. I finished writing the story a few months ago and I've spent the last couple months re-reading it, fixing inconsistencies and re-writing awkwardly written parts. The name of the novel will be "Little Boy Lost". It's about an up-and-coming young executive and his wife who are traveling cross-country due to his transfer from the east coast to the west coast. They are driving in two cars, taking turns with their two year old son. At a rest stop two hours from their new home, they inadvertently leave their son, each parent thinking the other one has him. A young, poor local woman finds him and decides to keep him. Now that I have it done, I have to decide what to do with it. The advice I've been given is to find an agent. Naturally, I have no idea how to do that. Someone told me to go to Barnes and Noble and get a book called, "Writer's Market" which will give me all kinds of information about how to get a book published as well as the names and addresses of agents. When I looked online I found a website named "Writer's Market" and it seems to be the same thing. You have to pay to join, but it seems like it will be worth it since it's interactive and updated daily. Does anyone know anything about publishing a book? Anyone have any experience? I'd love to get into a dialogue with anyone who can help me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Cross stitch

Time for me to start a new cross-stitch. I really should have started one in January, but I'd just finished a new baby cross-stitch for my grand-daughter that took me about a year.

So I decided I wanted to do a "Family Tree", since I was remarried in June 2006 and I now have a new family. I was really looking for a pattern that looked like an actual tree, and I found a couple but they weren't very attractive and were limited in the number of names I could put on. I wanted a pattern where I could take the cross-stitch down and add names of grandchildren as they came along. So I found this pattern, which is very pretty and will give me the flexibility I want.

The center reads "Our family quilt grows more precious with every union, every birth and every special occasion." The squares and diamonds all have flowers in them, and the edges are where you can add the names and dates. I'm looking forward to working on this cross-stitch. I'm sure it'll be a year before I get it done. Just for fun, I'm going to keep track of how many hours I spend on it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Planning Montreal

My daughter plays Women's Football. This is her fourth year, and every year Hubby and I have really enjoyed going to watch her games. They usually range from New England to New York and during the playoffs they might go further than that. This year they're going to Montreal and hubby and I have decided to go there to watch her.'s a really good excuse to do some traveling. Usually we "go away" twice a year....once in June for my birthday and once in October for Hubby's. It started out with him planning my birthday adventure and me planning his. Now that we're married, I tend to plan them both....not because I'm the wife and he's the husband but because I love to plan things and he really doesn't. As a matter of fact, I get almost as much enjoyment out of planning it as I do out of the actual trip. Between now and then, I'll spend hours online looking up Bed and Breakfasts, Restaurants and Attractions. We do like staying in a Bed and Breakfast as opposed to a hotel/motel. We just find it so much cozier and we love the interaction with other guests and the hospitality of the owners. Not all the places we've stayed have turned out to be gems, but most of the time we're quite delighted with our choice. I've already found the place we're going to stay in Montreal. It wasn't easy despite the fact that there are many, many B and B's in that city. I have two top criteria for a being a private bathroom and the other being a full gourmet breakfast. It seemed like lots of the places in Montreal had shared bathrooms, and the ones that didn't had bathrooms 'ensuite'. I had to look up what that meant. Turns out it means the toilet and tub are IN the room...not adjoining, but IN. I didn't like the idea of that either. But this place we're staying has a private bathroom and a full breakfast. None of this namby pamby 'Continental Breakfast' crap for us. I'm pretty excited about going. I've never been there, never been out of the country even! I know I'm going to love it. But there's more planning to do between now and mid-April.

Monday, March 24, 2008


My Mom and Dad really enjoyed the time they spent with their Great-Granddaughter this Easter. She's 7 months old and such a delight! Great-Grandpa danced with her, and Great-Grandma rocked her to sleep when she was all tuckered out!
Easter at my Mom and Dad's was a wonderful time. It's so much fun to be together with all the family. We had a yummy dinner and spent the afternoon visiting.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hoppy Easter

Hoppy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pre-Easter Prep

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. When I was a kid our family were practicing Catholics so Easter was a very special time for us. On Good Friday there was no school (we went to Catholic School) but according to our tradition, in the afternoon from noon to 3pm we had to be silent, since that was the time when Jesus was on the cross. I'm not sure if it wasn't an idea my mother came up with to have some peace and quiet for three hours! We did everything we could to communicate without making a sound - wrote each other notes or tried to lip read - so we kind of had some fun with it, which I'm sure was not the point! Back then, Easter Sunday was the day for getting dressed up in brand new spring clothes - dresses with little taffeta skirts, sometimes homemade by my mother or grandmother, spring coats, little white gloves, patent leather shoes, new tights and perhaps a little patent leather purse to match the shoes. And of course, the new "Easter bonnet". We had a big Easter Dinner and would then visit with the grandmothers where all our aunts and uncles and cousins also congregated. After we'd been there long enough to show off our new duds, we had to go change into "play clothes" so as not to ruin our new "church clothes". Things have changed of course - haven't they changed with everything? Our focus isn't on church anymore and some of us have shed the "church clothes" personna, but our family still celebrates with a big meal. (of course...we're factors into every occasion!) This year we're having two dinners. Tonight Tag's kids are coming over and I'm serving the tradition dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes with raisin sauce, pineapple and vegetables. Then tomorrow we're going to my Mom and Dad's where we'll have basically the same dinner. All my brothers and sisters will be there as well as nieces and nephews, all my kids and my grand-daughter. Not everyone will be dressed, but I'll wear my Spring skirt (even though it's not a brand new outfit). The weather here hasn't been "Easterish" - cold with very high winds - but once inside my parent's snug little house we'll feel the joy and contentment of being in the bosom of the family. That's what the holidays are all about.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Camp is Coming!

My Art Room...notice the nifty gimp rack hubby made me on the far left on top picture
One of the kids having a good time making a mess on bottom picture.

I've said before how much I love my summer camp job. For the past 2 years, I've avoided getting a full-year job so I dont' have to give up my camp job! Realistically, the only job I could get would be in a school system, and I'm working on that. So tomorrow is the first day of spring, although you wouldn't know it by looking out at the weather (cold and snowy/rainy) and that can only mean one thing.....only three more months until camp starts! Hurray! I got an email yesterday from my camp director asking me to sit in on interviews for new camp staff. The director and his assistant have been working on camp stuff all winter....brochures, programs, materials, new workshops, etc. It's unbelievable how much work goes into making camp run smoothly. Soon I'll be making my list of materials I need to order. I'm the Arts and Crafts director and I'm always looking for new and intersesting things for the kids to do, so if you have any great ideas, let me know!

Top Ten Most Favorite Art Activities at Camp:
1. Gimp
2. Making bracelets from embroidery floss
3. Craft sticks
4. Beads you iron to make shapes
5. Spin Art
6. Clay
7. Model wooden cars (which we then race)
8. Model Rockets (which we then launch)
9. Making Potholders
10. Painting

Monday, March 17, 2008


ANOTHER day as a gym teacher sub!! 'nuff said!! Places I'd like to visit or have enjoyed visiting: 1. San Francisco 2. Canada 3. Nantucket 4. Vermont 5. Washington DC 6. Paris 7. China 8. Hawaii 9. Aruba 10. Travel by car cross-country to see everything.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spend Money to Save Money

You've got to spend money to save money...isn't that true? It's a concept wives try to get across to their husbands all the time. "But honey, if I didn't spend $40 on that pair of shoes, I wouldn't have saved the 30%". Right? I can understand how husbands would be confused on that one. But this week we really did spend money to save money. My hubby has dozens of video tapes from when his kids were little. Birthday parties, Christmas, T-Ball Games...and some just of the kids goofing around and singing etc. We wanted to convert them to DVD, both to preserve them but also so he could upload them onto the computer and edit them. Our DIL's father has a friend who does this, so we started sending the tapes to $25 a pop. We sent about five or six before a friend my hubby works with pointed out a machine at Walmart that can transfer tapes to DVD. The machine cost $100. So we bought it, and in one day my hubby has converted four tapes.....and already paid for the machine. Even including the $20 it cost us to buy blank DVDs and cases, it's already been worth it. I like that kind of savings.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Uh oh....I didn't blog yesterday OR make a list....maybe if I make two lists today? Yesterday turned out to be weird. It was a babysitting day for me, which I love. Usually I'm there until 11 or so but yesterday I ended out staying until 3. My Dear Daughter in Law has a low-blood-pressure problem. It got really bad while she was pregnant, and she had one 'episode" since she had the baby. She just passes out. Her blood pressure dips so low she just faints. After the one episode a few months ago, the doctor put her on HIGH salt diet and in addition gave her salt pills and told her to eat salty foods. Now, I have had high blood pressure since I was a teenager and have always had to do the opposite, which is the case with most people. Anyway....she fainted on Tuesday night and called the doctor, stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, then tried to go to work Friday but was in danger of passing out so called her dad to come get her. (obviously, she can't drive). Her dad took her to his house to rest and I stayed with the baby. When DIL finishes nursing she'll be able to take a medication to raise her blood pressure, but until then she just has to stick with the salt and lots and lots of water. So I got to spend a lot of time with Emily yesterday....I'll make her accomplishments my first list: 1. She sits up very well and even can lean forward, to the side and to the back and only occasionally fall over. 2. She can put her feet in her mouth ..... a real accomplishment for most of us! 3. She repeats the sounds you make to her...if you cough, she coughs...if you screech, she screeches....the first steps in learning language. 4. She can log-roll all over the room, flipping over and over ...going both ways. 5. She can pick up her little pieces of cereal with her finger and thumb....a very important developemental milestone. 6. She can do pushups....on her belly she lifts her whole body so only her toes are touching. 7. Yesterday, she ALMOST got into the crawl position. She'd do her pushup and get ONE knee under her. The one time she got the second knee under, she did a forward roll. It's so much fun for me to see her do all these things. I've taken care of babies all my life and never get sick of watching them grow and develop and figure out how to do things for themselves. Okay, a second list....a second list......I'm so bad at things to'll have to wait for another day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not Again!

Another day subbing for a gym teacher....I don't even want to talk about it! My list for today: My Favorite Foods - in order 1. Fried Chicken - my hubby makes the very best 2. Prime Rib 3. Popcorn 4. Mashed Potatoes 5. Chocolate cake with Chocolate Frosting 6. Cap'n Crunch Cereal 7. French Toast - my hubby makes the very best 8. Chicken Marsala 9. Chinese Food - all the appetizers 10. French Onion Soup Notice how all the stuff I like is so good for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Physical Education

I was a PE teacher at the middle school today. I have to say, those kids don't do much "physical" during Physical Education. The class period is 50 minutes long. They go to the locker room and change. They come up and jog around the gym for 2 minutes (literally - it's timed on the clock). Then the teachers take attendance. They spend a good 10-15 minutes organizing the kids. I don't know if it's because I was subbing.....apparently I am incapable of having the kids in my class play some sort of game....because the other two gym teachers (male) put all THREE classes together. We had approximately 80 kids. In one gym. So sorting them out for relay races went something like this; (This can be my list for the day) 1. All boys on one sideline and all girls on the other. (shuffle, shuffle, shuffle as they decided if they're boys or girls) 2. Count off to eight. First the boys...then the girls. I offered during one class to count off the girls while the other teacher counted off the thank you. 3. All the #1 boys come stand in this spot....wait while they get the #2 boys stand on this spot....wait again....(you get the picture). Now the same with the girls. All the way up to the #8's. 4. Now the first person in each line count the number of kids in their line. If the numbers weren't even....(how in the world could they NOT be? Kids forget their numbers) the teacher had to rearrange teams so they'd be even. 5. Arrange yourself in line boy, girl, boy, girl. (Again wait while they figure out their gender) 6. Now half of each team should go stand on the other end of the gym and re-form your line so you're facing your we can do a relay. 7. Recount and make sure the teams are even. 8. We are ready to play. BUT WAIT - we are organized to play but not ready yet. Because now the teacher has to spend at least 5-7 minutes explaining what he wants them to do. The first relay is..... 1. Walk backwards to the mid-court line (2 minute explanation on the difference between walking backward and running backward.) 2. Jump rope 10x on the line (2 minute explanation on how to jump rope as well as how NOT to trip over the rope as you are holding it in your hand while walking backward) 3. Walk heel-to-toe to your team-mate and pass the jumprope. (2-3 minute explanation on walking heel-to-toe....good practice for being on COPS) Now we are ready to play. The relay runs about 5 minutes for all kids to get through it. However, since a relay is defined as TAKING TURNS .....most kids are really just standing there waiting while one kid on the team walks and jumps for all of 30 seconds. So far each child has jogged for 2 minutes at the beginning of class and run the relay for 30 seconds. They do a second relay, with all the attendant info. Now each child has run another 30 seconds. Altogether, each child expended 3 minutes of exercise and now it's time to back to the locker room and change. 3 minutes out of a 50 minute period. I think we should call it "Stand and Do Nothing Education".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Today was a long babysitting day for me. Usually I just babysit half a day but Kara had a workshop so I babysat all day. What a pleasure! Emily is just such a doll and so funny to be with. She's now sitting up totally unaided, and she "log-rolls" all over the living room. She's finding her voice and is delighting herself by screaming at the top of her lungs. We screamed back and forth to each other today and she thought that was hilarious. Her mom got her these little crunchy things to eat....they look like cereal but they kind of melt when they go in her mouth. She's practicing picking them up and sometimes she gets them in the palm of her hand and folds her fingers over them and then can't find them. She did that today, so I pried it out of her palm and put it back on the tray for her to try again. This time she decided she'd just lean down and eat it directly off the tray, but it happened to align with her nose, and it was wet, so it stuck to her nose! She couldn't figure out what I thought was so funny! My List for Today: My Most/Least Favorite Jobs: (In order) Least Favorite: 1. Kindercare Daycare Center - a child warehouse if I ever saw one 2. Walmart - after working the evening shift, you weren't allowed to go until the store was "clean" enough - totally at the manager's discretion. 3. Survey Taker at the Mall - trying to drag unsuspecting people into the office to do a survey by lying to them about how long it would take. 4. Summer Camp counselor for Little Sprouts - the program was run on a college campus by the college sports child care experience and the campus had nothing for the kids to do. Most Favorite: 1. Arts and Crafts Director at Camp Hadar: doing crafts with kids ages 4-14, plus swimming, boating, playing games.....need I say more? 2. Director of my own Daycare - I loved, loved, loved taking care of kids. 3. Director of Palmer school kindergarten/preschool - I loved, loved, loved teaching kids. 4. Beach Attendant at the town beach - sit in the sun and occasionally get up to get passes from people entering the park.

Monday, March 10, 2008

All for $1.25

My stepson, Kenny, stayed with us for about a month a while ago, and some of his mail still comes to our house. Yesterday I received a letter addressed to him emblazoned on the front with "Violation Warning". I was kind of afraid to open it, but when I did it was from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority FAST LANE Toll Violation Processing Center. It seems he went through the Fast Lane Tollbooth without having a Fast Pass transponder on his car.....which means he did not pay the toll. So in order to retrieve their $1.25, they sent this notice which consisted of two pieces of paper with a photograph of his license plate, a return envelope, and directions on how to send in your $1.25 via check or credit card. Uh I'm going to put my credit card number on anything to do with the Massachusetts Government. I put a dollar bill and a quarter in the envelope and sent it on its way. I hope they use the money wisely. My List For Today: The Things That Happened on the Canoe Trip from Hell. 1. We got to our campsite and it was basically a wide spot on the side of the outhouse and one spigot for water in the middle of the 'campground'. 2. I forgot the tent poles and had to drive 45 minutes back the way we came and spend $75 on a new tent. 3. After being sternly warned by the 'campground' owners when we checked in that it was a 'family campground' and I'd better keep my teenagers under control, a dozen tents were erected on the site next to ours with a bunch of 20-somethings who partied all night long. 4. When we went down to the river for a swim, there was a couple bathing nude right beside the dock. She was in the process of 'soaping him up'. 5. The first day of our two day trip we woke up to rain so we put all our belongings in my car and locked it in the parking lot and took my brother's truck to the canoe rental place where we would begin our trip, canoeing back to the campsite to stay a second night and canoe a second day. It rained (ie. poured) the entire day. 6. As we were finally approaching the campsite at the end of the first day, a huge streak of lightening exploded in the field beside us. 7. Upon leaving the canoe and desperate for dry clothes, I realized the keys to my car, where all our belongings were staying nice and dry, were in my brother's truck at the canoe rental place several miles up the road. We stood in the rain for an hour waiting for the shuttle to come take my brother to his truck. 8. We quickly decided we were NOT staying a second day, so took the soggy mess that was our tent and sleeping bags and stuffed them all into the back of the truck. THE ONE GOOD THING THAT HAPPENED: On the way home we stopped at the "Pig House"....also known as a fantastic ribs place....and had dinner in the nice cozy restaurant.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

What I Love About Sundays

1. We can snuggle in bed as long as we want. 2. The day is usually free for us to do whatever we want. 3. All the chores and houswork were done on Saturday. 4. My hubby makes me the best French Toast breakfasts. 5. If it's sunny out we often go to the beach. 6. In the summer we have the time for a BBQ with real old-fashioned charcoal grill. 7. If it's raining or snowing there's no guilt in staying in our jammies all day. 8. The Sunday newspaper and a cup of tea. 9. Watching a movie in the middle of the afternoon. 10. Napping.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My List

I've been challenged to write every single day in my blog for the month of March. Well, I already screwed that up, but I'll join anyway in the theme which is "Lists". My list is "Things That Drive Me Crazy": (In no particular order) 1. People who don't know the meaning of the sign in front of my condo that says "Do Not Block the Intersection", and then we can't get out of our own driveway. 2.Parents at the high school teaching their kids irresponsbility by bringing them everything they forgot in the morning....books, projects, notebooks, lunch, lunch money, sports clothes, etc etc etc. 3. Going out for a nice meal in a restaurant and being seated near the screaming child from hell. 4. Tenants in my building who do not move their cars when it snows, especially the people right beside me so then my spot doesn't get plowed and I have to walk on mounds of snow for the rest of the winter. 5. People who park in my reserved space at the condo and then take the very polite note I leave on their windshield and throw it on the ground. 6. Feeling like I'm bothering a salesperson in a store by asking them a question. 7. Going someplace to scrapbooking or ceramics or anywhere with a bunch of women, and they spend the whole night complaining about their husbands. Wow...I thought I could come up with at least ten things, but I think that might be it! If you have a list, send it to me in my comments page or email it to me. I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I subbed for a "Health" teacher today at the high school. My biggest fear was that I'd be teaching sex ed, but apparently that's not what Health teachers teach nowadays. This class was about recycling and protecting the environment. Hmmmm..not sure how that relates to health. Part of the class was watching a taped show of Oprah...her "Green" show where she told everyone how to become "greener". (I guess the goal is to look like Kermit). She had all kinds of statistics about how many trees you can save if everyone used just ONE less paper napkin per day, and how one of the worst things you can do is take the paper receipt at the ATM machine...they are littering our earth. So it was pretty ironic when I had to hand each student in the class no less than TEN handouts, photocopies printed on paper, regarding how you can save the earth by using less paper. I wonder how many trees were killed today?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Winter in Maine

For some reason, our favorite time of year to go to the beach is winter. We love the stillness, the emptiness of the beach, the lack of other people! Yesterday we took a ride up to one of our favorite places, Ogunquit, Maine. Going over the Piscataqua River Bridge into Maine from New Hampshire is one of my favorite things. It's hard to get a good picture of the bridge while in the car and driving at 70 miles per hour! We went to Ogunquit Beach, which is a very long, flat beach. Unfortunately it was incredibly windy and so cold we couldn't stay on the beach for long. We then drove over to Perkin's Cove, which in the summer is a busy little behive of shops and restaurants, including a "penny" candy store. But of course, at this time of the year, it was all closed up.

It didn't matter to us though, we still loved being there. On the way back we stopped at Bob's Clam Shack in Kittery, Maine and shared a fried scallop plate with french fries and onion rings and soda fountain root beer. mmmmmmmmm! It was a beautiful afternoon and so wonderful to spend time together.