Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Monday was a very productive day for me at home and then Tuesday and Today I visited. Tuesday I went up to see my mom. I love visiting her during the day because it's just the two of us and we get to chat, chat, chat about everything under the sun. Today my DIL had a girl's, my mom, my daughter Jamie and my sister Chris. And of course, baby Emily was there too! We had a nice lunch that everyone contributed to and then had a good time chatting all afternoon. Of course Emily was the center of attention and we had a lot of good laughs over her cuteness. Unbelievably she is pulling herself up and standing ..... she will be nine months on Saturday! Her dad walked at nine months and I wouldn't be at all surprised if she did the same. She is starting to get a tiny bit shy with some people. I got her up from her nap and she was stunned to see all the people sitting around the table and cried at first. But she got over it quickly and entertained us for the rest of the afternoon. Later on, Tag and I had to stop in to pick something up and she cried when Tag talked to her. Poor Pepere! We decided we'll have to go over and babysit soon so Pepere can get reacquainted with Emily.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vacation Monday

Wow! I am so awesome! I got so much done today I even surprised myself. 1. Cleaned my closet....a bunch of stuff for the trash, a bunch more for Salvation Army. 2. Cleaned my armoire....exhanged winter clothes for summer. Not a smart move since it's been raining and COLD all day today! 3. Cleaned my bathroom....needed it so bad. 4. Wrote SIX query letters, addressed them, made my SASEs and they are ready to send out tomorrow. 5. Worked on the DVD for my dad. 6. Did some cross-stitch. Tonight son #2 is coming over with his girlfriend for dinner...Pasta Primavera is on the menu....thank you Kraft Food and Family magazine. Tomorrow I am visiting with my mom. Wow!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vacation Week

This week coming up is Vacation week in New Hampshire. I haven't got any grand plans for vacation but I do have a few things I'd like to accomplish: 1. Have son #2 over for supper.....which is already planned for tomorrow night so I can probably check that off my list. 2. Clean out my closet which includes cleaning out books and old clothes. 3. Switching all my winter clothes for summer clothes in my armoire. 4. Visiting with my mom, my sister, my daughter and my daughter-in-law. 5. Writing and sending out at least 6 query letters to agents for my book. 6. Working on/finishing the DVDs for my dad. 7. Scrubbing my bathroom. 8. Washing the kitchen floor. 9. Getting lots done on my cross-stitch. Just writing this stuff down gives me more of an incentive to actually get it done. I'll check the list on Friday and let you know how well I did!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Reality TV

So...what's going on with my reality TV Shows? Beauty and the Geek - They're down to four or five teams now. Thankfully, all the really bitchy girls are gone and now the ones who are really transforming for the better are still there. They're keeping it a secret as to how they're going to end it. In the past, they've had viewers vote and they've had the other contestants vote. Each time, I thought people were pretty good about picking the team that deserved it the most. This year it sounds like they might have a final challenge for the winners, which I don't really like. The most tranformed team might not win that way. This week they had a "reprise", which I hate. We're already watching it and we remember what happened, we dont' need to see it again. The one thing they did do however, was go back and do a geek makeover on one guy who was eliminated before he could get his makeover. It was the most unbelievable make-over I've ever seen - you wouldn't even know it was the same guy. Just for that, it was worth watching. Survivor - What the hell is happening there???? Two weeks in a row, the strongest guy who has the best chance of winning challenges was eliminated by being outwitted by the rest of the tribe. AND each of those guys had hidden immunity idols they could have played and didn't! Just goes to show that the "outwit" part of the motto is just as important as they "outlast" and "outplay". American Idol - Again, what the hell is happening here??? They're down to the final five and half of the ones still there don't belong there. There's no question the two Davids belong there, and Syesha has grown on me. But Jason? and Brooke?????? C'mon! There are people who were voted off weeks ago who should still be there rather than those two. If one of those guys wins, I'll never watch the show again. Okay....I've said that before with other reality shows when an undeserving person I don't really mean it. But c'mon people! Smarten up!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gas in Montreal

We filled up our car to the brim before we left Salem (NH) on Friday morning. We figured it would take about a full tank of gas to get to Montreal. The price in Salem on that morning was about $3.25. As we drove further and further north, the price got higher and higher. Right before the border but still in Vermont it was about $3.68. The first gas station we saw after entering Montreal was an Esso station and the price was advertised at $1.27!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes! I was practically jumping up and down in the car, so excited to see such a great price and vowing that we would fill the car to the brim before leaving Canada. When we got to our B and B we asked our host Ken why the cost of gas was so cheap. "Cheap?" he says in astonishment. When I tell him we saw gas for $1.27, he says "That is for one LITER!" There are FIVE liters in a gallon! You do the math.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Wow! What a trip! We had a great time in Montreal. We left early Friday morning and made some stops along the way in Vermont to break up the drive. Our first stop was the Ndakinn Abenaki Indian Museum and Touring Center in Montpelier, Vt. First off, my apologies to all the Vermonters for saying that their Capitol is the ugliest place I've ever seen. Considering that Vermont is so beautiful, you'd think they'd do something about their Capitol City. Unfortunately, the museum was something of a joke. Just goes to show how you can make anything look really nice with a good website. The "museum" was one tiny room with about 3 pairs of mocassins and a couple of walking sticks. It took us ten minutes to see the whole thing and that included the gift shop! I should have known something was up when I found out it was free to get in. The best part of the place was the fake pond in the corner made out of an old bathtub! We continued on to Burlington, Vt. which is a wonderful place. It's right on Lake Champlain and is just bustling with activity. We had a scrumptious lunch at a little cafe. The food was all homemade and delicious. Then we walked around the downtown a bit. It's all little shops and cobblestone streets. The place was packed because it was an absolutely beautiful day. There were lots of restaurants open with sidewalk tables and some buskers singing and playing instruments. We went into Frog Hollow which is an art gallery where many different artists contribute. There's painters and photographers as well as wood artisans and potters, etc. We stayed in Burlington for a few hours and then were on our way. We continued up and finally made it to the Canadian Border. I've never been out of the country so I was a bit intimidated by the border crossing, but we breezed through with a few questions after showing our IDs and Birth Certificates. After we got across there were miles and miles of open land with real working farms. We finally got across the bridge and into Montreal. It's a bustling city and reminded me a bit of Boston with new building and old buildings standing side by side. There were hundreds and probably thousands of people walking the sidewalks and every street was lined with shops and restaurants. Every restaurant had outdoor tables which were full of people. We found our B and B on a tiny sidestreet lined on both sides with cars and just enough room down the center for one car. Our B and B was literally a tiny house owned by our host Ken. He turned out to be a wonderful man, filled with stories and information about Montreal. He welcomed us and showed us to our room, which was perfect. We talked with him for a while and he advised us that Old Montreal was fun to go to at night so we headed there. There was no question that we were NOT taking our car, so our choices were to walk or take the Metro. We decided to walk so we could see the sights. We walked through Le Parc LaFontaine right at the end of the street and walked about 45 minutes to get to Old Montreal. The walk was all downhill and we decided right then and there to take the Metro back! We got down to the waterfront which was a bit disappointing because you couldn't really get near the river. We found Old Montreal though and it was a lot of fun. All open with brick streets and tons of restaurants, shops and people. All the restaurants had outdoor seating and it was a warm and beautiful night so we walked around checking all the menus. Most places were kind of pricey, but we found one that was reasonable and got a table outside. The atmosphere was wonderful and we had a nice meal. It was funny to try to order in French. The waitress caught on right away and answered us in English! Tag got a crepe filled with ham and cheese....which I've never had before. I only have had crepes with fruit in them. After our dinner we walked around a bit and looked at the sights, then took the Metro home. Saturday we got up and Ken fixed us a most delicious breakfast! He started out with the most delicious croissant I've ever tasted with some papaya. Then we got a bowl filled with yogurt, strawberries and maple syrup. THEN we got an omelet with peppers and onions over some asparagus! He also made us a fruit smoothie. We sat cozily in his kitchen while he prepared our breakfast and chatted with us about the differences between the USA and Canada. After breakfast we walked back down to Old Montreal and went to Notre Dame. The place was so beautiful I was speechless and, I have to admit, it made me cry. There are no words to decribe it....even the pictures (at right) don't do it justice. We spent over an hour inside looking at all the beautiful wood carvings, ornate pictures and sculptures and the beautiful statues and stained glass windows. There's also a separate chapel that was unbelievably gorgeous as well. Afterwards, we tried to find the underground shopping mall that's supposed to be part of the Metro but we couldn't find it and finally got tired of walking. We took the Metro home, and on the way stopped at Frite Alors! Tag's son Kenny had told him to try "poutine" which is french fries covered with cheese curds and smothered in gravy. Apparently it's quite the treat in Montreal because there were several Frite Alors! They seem to be the Canadian McDonalds. Tag loved the dish. I don't care for gravy, so I ordered plain french fries, which took the girl a long time to understand! We finally headed out to the reason for our trip to Montreal, which was Jamie's football game. The field turned out to be a high school field with no bleachers for the visitors. We had chairs but couldn't see if we were sitting down, so we walked up and down the length of the field for the whole game. My poor tired feet! Unfortunately, the Manchester Freedom lost by two points. Both teams were going out to party together afterwards though! Saturday night we took Ken's advice and went down to Duluth Street which had dozens of restaurants. We found one called Au Vieux Duluth We had a very delicious meal there. I had filet mignon and shrimp. Tag had Souvlaka. It was funny to be eating while the TVs were showing the Bruins vs. Canadiens playoff hockey game. The entire restaurant would erupt in cheers every time Canada scored. I was too afraid to cheer when the Bruins scored....Canadians take their hockey very seriously! Sunday morning Ken made us another delicious breakfast. We had the croissant and the strawberries with yogurt again but this time he made us a delicious dish of toasted french bread with ham and cheese and tomatoes over it baked in the oven. Mmmm! Then we walked to the Mont Royal plateau area where we bought some bread in a bakery (I felt very Parisian!) and Tag found some old books and records in a couple of the shops. It was time for us to go and we felt like we were leaving an old friend. We told Ken we'd love to come back to Montreal and if we did we'd definitely come stay with him again. Some interesting observations: 1. There were hundreds and thousands of bicyclists. It's the best way to get around in the crowded city. 2. The streets all have parking along the sides, so Montrealers are professional parallel parkers. Every single car was less than an INCH from the curb. 3. There are so many pedestrians, everyone seems very respectful of yellow one ran through the reds and almost all stopped at the yellows. 4. There were many pandhandlers....some tried to get money by washing your windshield while you stopped at a light or held the door open for you at the metro. One person stopped Tag and said "You look like a man who might like to buy some pot!" 5. The streets are lined with tiny apartment buildings and condos. Most are painted bright colors and all have patios or porches for every apartment. 6. There were hundreds of people enjoying the park. There were always kids making music....not from boom boxes but making their own with guitars and drums. Our host told us the park is enjoyable in the summer because the women walk around without tops. 7. There is a bike path that leads all over the city. You'd best stay off it if you don't want to get run over. 8. Everyone is laid back and in no rush to get anywhere. If you can stop and visit with friends and have a glass of wine, that's what you do. 9. The women were all better dressed than Americans. They looked nice even in jeans, with pretty tops and sexy shoes. No question we'll go back again some day. We both enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We're off!

We're getting up early tomorrow and we'll be off to Montreal! I'll tell you all about it on Monday!

Cars - Part Two

Did I mention how much I hate cars? Yesterday was the whole saga about my Hubby's car going to the garage. So he's driving my car home from work and I get a call and he says, "So my car is working okay now, right?" First of all, Hubby calls me as he's leaving work, which he'd already done, and then does not usually call me while he's on the road.....unless there's a problem. When I ask him what's up, he says he just drove my car into the mechanic's garage. He thinks the brakes locked because he stepped on the brake and the car swerved to the left and he couldn't straighten it out. He was less than a mile from the garage so he just drove it right in there. Wonderful. I go pick him up, we leave my car there with a key and a note for the mechanic. I was really worried about it being fixed today because we are leaving early tomorrow for our trip to Montreal. So once again, I was without a car for the day. I didn't get called to sub so at least there wasn't that problem of me getting to and from work. Things to be mad about: 1. It wasn't the brakes, which we knew were going to need to be fixed soon - it was some other thing (that's the technical term..."some other thing") which is bad because now we have to pay for that AND pay for brakes very soon. 2. I wasted a whole day in the house with no wheels when I had errands to do to get ready for our trip. 3. It's going to cost us $$$. Things to be happy about: 1. The mechanic was able to fix it today. 2. I didn't get called to work so I didn't have to walk home again. 3. It happened less than a mile from the garage and not on the highway or on the way to Montreal. 4. We happen to have extra money right now after our house refinancing so it's not going to break the bank. 5. Shaw's is right next door so I was able to walk over and get myself a yummy salad bar for lunch. Hmmm....5 good vs. 3 bad. Should I be happy then that it happened. NO!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Gee....aren't cars fun? Not so much when they have to be repaired. Hubby's muffler fell off as he was driving down the highway Monday. Always a pleasant experience. His garage said they could fix it today. Notice I say HIS garage. I don't want to have anything to do with garages....or cars....except to drive them. We had to drop the car off last night so the garage could have it for the day. That means Hubby had to take my car to work, since he works about 40 minutes away. I work right in town, so the plan was that I would ask someone to give me a ride home. I am a substitute teacher and don't know where I'll be working but I have one person at each the high school and the junior high who I know live nearby and can give me a ride. Unfortunately, my ride contact at the junior high was absent, which meant I had to WALK. The horror!!! It's at least 100 miles.....okay, maybe 50....would you believe about 2? Thank God it was an absolutely gorgeous day and it was a pleasure to be outside. Of course, I was a gym teacher sub (AGAIN!) and had spent the whole day outside playing Capture the Flag (sometimes life is just so tough, huh?) so between that and the walking I have a nice little sunburn. Nothing too unpleasant. Just some nice pinkness. Hubby hasnt' worked overtime for two weeks, but since he's taking Friday off for our big trip to Montreal they needed him to work overtime tonight.....which means he would have been home after the garage closed.....which means I had to WALK to the garage!! Another mile!! The happy news only cost $100 including labor.....the bad news is....I asked him to let us know if he thought more work needed to be done before inspection in June. Let's just say I shouldn't have asked.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day

April 15th.....Tax Day. I've never had to worry about it before. I always do my taxes the minute all my w2's come in because I always got a refund. This year we were pretty disappointed that we have to pay! Something to do with them changing Hubby's w4 to married so they take out less money. I thought he would have had to sign something to change? or maybe it happened automatically because we filed married/jointly last year. Whatever the reason, instead of having a nice chunk of money we have to pay out $231, which isn't a huge amount in the big scheme of things, but geez....I'd rather be getting that amount back instead of paying it out. Now they've got this big economic recovery thing going where we're supposed to get a free check from the government. Someone sent me a chart that shows when you'll get your check based on your social security number. Looks like we won't get ours until fall. Damn.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dentist/Obnoxious 8th graders

OH MY GOD HOW I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST!!!! I really really do. I honestly would rather go to the gyno than the dentist. It's uncomfortable, inconvenient and makes you feel so crappy. But you gotta do it, right? I suppose I'd rather go than have all my teeth fall out or worse, have them ripped out and put dentures in their place. But still......... Of course today was the most terrible horrible no-good very bad day ever. I subbed for 8th grade and it was nothing short of torture. The kids were rude, obnoxious and I sincerely wanted to slap a couple of them. They picked the wrong day to be like that because the anticipation of going to the dentist put me in a mood that did not involve being patient. For the first time I actually referred not one, not two, but three students to the dean's office for discipline. One was texting on her cell phone. Seriously, if you're going to do that try not to be so obvious with your head down and your hands in your lap, and if you ARE going to be obvious, at least keep your ear open for the teacher's footsteps so you can shove the damn thing under your thigh before she catches you. Another kid was a PITA from the moment he walked in the door, was never in his seat, then said he wanted to go to the bathroom. When I said no...because if you dont' do work you don't get priveliges (that doesn't look right no matter how I try to spell it) he threw what I can only call a tantrum and decided he had to go SO BAD he would leave the room and damn the consequences. The third kid asked if she could go to her locker to get an assignment and came back with something very obviously in her pocket. She proceeded to sit down near her friend and pull an IPod from her pocket. When I told her to give it to me, she said she had every right to have it in her pocket as long as it wasn't on. I told her to give it to me anyway, and she brought it over....SHUTTING IT OFF as she came. I DID NOT JUST FALL OFF THE TURNIP TRUCK! Anyway....I digress.....I went to the dentist right after work. We had begun all kinds of work last year and stopped because I ran out of insurance. It took me until now to make an appointment. When I went today we reviewed what needed to be done. I had one cavity upper left, which he filled today. (I keep biting the inside of my that just the novicaine or did he do something weird so now my teeth don't fit into my mouth????) Then we dicussed the rest of the work, which involves getting three crowns right beside each other in the bottom right. He wants me to do them all at once since they'll be more consistent and fit better if they're done together. The nice lady at the desk said MY SHARE (after insurance) would be $1500-$1800. Goodbye savings account.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Going To Hell

Alright, it's been decided. I am going to hell. I lied to a nun. My father's sister is a Roman Catholic nun. Sr. Marcelle is a sweet little old woman, about 82 years old and about 4 feet 8 inches tall. She has that quiet demeanor that nuns seem to have, and lovely skin. She's also a bit of a hmmm....dare I say it? PITA I I'll be burning in hell for even longer. But it can't be helped. Here's the story: In October, we had a 50th Anniverary party for my parents. My brothers and sister and I decided to make it small since that's what my parents wanted. We were having just us, our spouses and our children. Then my father caught wind of it, and said if we were doing something he'd like it if his brother Bob, who lives in Arizona, could come. That opened the door for inviting all my parents' brothers and sisters. Sadly, due to lots of deaths, there weren't that many to invite. One of them was Sr. Marcelle. I sent an invitation to her convent in Connecticut. Now, usually she'll finagle a ride from my cousin Paul, who is a priest in Worcester. But the party was on a Sunday and Paul, as you can imagine, was busy. So I get a call from Sr. Marcelle. "I'd love to come, but Paul won't be able to take me. Could I ask Sr. Theresa to drive me? Would she be able to come to the party too?" Snide comment in my head..."She can drive you but she'll have to wait in the sure to crack a window." Of course I said yes, so now we were adding two more meals to the dinner. Ten minutes later comes the second call. "I asked Sr. Theresa and she said she'd love to drive me. But she's 84 years old you know, and it's a long drive. So she asked if Sr. Margaret could come too so they can share the driving." Three nuns now! How many more are there in that convent??? Naturally, it was yes again. So the three nuns came to the party. The kicker is.....Bob didn't. So now, it's my father's 70th birthday in May. It just so happens his brother Bob is coming for a visit. On the Saturday he's here, my Dad thought it would be nice to have us over so we could see our Uncle Bob. Pot luck. No fuss. I suggested to my Mom that I bring a cake for my Dad's birthday and since it's the day before Mother's Day, we'll celebrate that too. And today Sr. Marcelle called me. "Are you having a party for your father?" I had only a few seconds to answer without sounding like I was lying. I calculated how much trouble I'd be in with my parents if I said yes....because then it would turn into a fiasco and I knew my father would hate that. So I lied. "Oh no, no party." "Really?" she says. "It IS his 70th birthday you know. If there's going to be a party I'll make the effort to be there. I'm his Godmother you know. I held him over the baptismal font 70 years ago." "Nope, Auntie. No party. I'm sure my mother will take him to dinner or something." "Okay then" she says. I hurriedly called my parents and filled them in and managed to tell them the scoope about three seconds before their phone beeped and it was Sr. Marcelle calling them. She was double-checking with my mother that there was no party. I hope God forgives me for lying to a nun. Let me just add that my Dad thanked me PROFUSELY for lying ......which means he'll be right beside me in hell.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Time for me to rant a bit. Despite the name of my blog, I haven't done an awful lot of that. I have two things today: 1. Why oh WHY do people feel the need to constantly complain???? As a subsitute teacher, I get to spend some time in the teacher's room....during the teacher's "prep" period when I have nowhere else to go. I just spent an hour and a half listening to three teachers complain about the school, the administration, the pay, the kids name it, they complained about it. The teacher's room is small and slightly really have no choice but to listen. Problem is......I DIDN'T WANT TO!! 2. How can a school district in a large town have such horrible technology??? (alright...I know I'm complaining like those teachers were, but I'm not doing it OUT LOUD). I'm in a class where the students need to use laptops to type their papers. We have a system called COWS (I wish I could remember what the acronym stands for). *** Hubby reminded me it stands for Computers on Wheels....duh! ***It is a rolling cart with about 20 laptops that get plugged in to a central location and are charged after each use. Only about 14 work, and of those 14, about 4 have missing keys!! Missing keys???? Have you ever had a keyboard where the keys fall off???? The Tech problem in this school is so big it's not even funny. I could go on and on.....but just because I don't want to annoy you....I won't.

Reality Television

Okay, I have to admit that I love Reality Television. I think most people either hate it or love it. I don't love them all....I would never watch Project Runway or Big Brother. But I do like some of them: Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Idol, Beauty and the Geek, and sometimes Jon and Kate Plus 8. Survivor - Thank God Eliza got voted off. I really can't stand her! She so deserved to be voted out. After seeing the fake immunity idol she tried to play it anyway without even making an attempt to cover her ass by doing some wheeling and dealing. What a dope. I'm kind of disappointed that some seriously good players got voted out so early...Yao Man and Johnny Fairplay for example. I think they would have made the game more interesting. There are still some good players left. Ozzy of course. Everyone loves James but I haven't seen him do much of anything this season. Eric is turning into quite the "playa". But the real interesting character is Cirie. Watch out for her. American Idol - I guess I'm not too good about picking them. I chose Ramielle and Michael Johns at the beginning and they're both out. Sometimes I am dead on with what Simon says and sometimes we're total opposites. Of the ones who are left, I think the two Davids have a chance. I'd like to see the two blondes, Kristy and Brooke, leave soon. I was sorry to see Chickeze go. Beauty and the Geek - I'm not sure how many people watch this show but it is just hilarious! Ten beautiful but dumb girls and ten super-smart but geeky guys and they pair them up and try to get them to teach each other something. It's actually one of the more socially redeeming shows. Not as much fighting and back-stabbing and more helping each other out. I was so seriously ready for Joe to go until this week's episode where he finally became "human". I'm not sure if I want him to actually win, but it's nice to see people grow. The Amazing Race - It's not on right now, but it's probably my favorite show. It's the show I'd love to go on if only I had a partner who would go with me! I love that they get to go to so many foreign countries. Anyone want to go with me? Jon and Kate Plus 8 - I just started watching this and the jury's still out. I'm not sure if I like it or not. I like the kids, but the Mom drives me crazy. But it's like watching a car upsets you but you just can't look away. Since I was a preschool teacher for 25 years, I could give her all kinds of good advice about how to handle a bunch of kids.....but she didn't ask me!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gorgeous Spring Day!!

What a beautiful day today. It's our "Spring Tease". It's 70 degrees and breezy out. I took my 8 month old grand-daughter (see slide show on the right) out in her stroller and we both just loved it. She especially liked when the breeze blew on her face. I opened all the windows in my condo before I left, and opened the windows at Emily's house too. Of course, she thought the curtains waving in the wind were great...had to tie them up over the curtain rod! My daughter-in-law and I both agreed that we shouldn't jinx things by putting snow shovels or boots away. My boots will literally stay out until I start digging out my bathing suit. You may laugh, but snow in April or even May is not unusual in New England! I'm so tempted to barbecue outside tonight but that might be pushing it a little. We'd probably be out there in our winter coats by this evening. Still............ The temperature is supposed to be back down to the 50's tomorrow. Oh least I got one day wearing my Berkenstocks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Signs of Spring in New Hampshire

According to the calendar Spring has arrived. But in NH, we don't need no stinkin' calendar.....we know it's Spring when we see these signs: 1. Mud, mud, mud 2. Potholes a car could disappear into 3. The smell of bark mulch 4. Rain one day, snow the next 5. Kids wearing shorts and flip flops to school 6. Kids riding bikes 7. Crocus coming up 8. People with their car windows open 9. The sound of motorcycles 10. Flooding

Sunday, April 6, 2008

All Day Breakfast

Sunday is our "day off"....the day we set aside for doing something for ourselves and not doing any errands or chores. Sometimes we plan a little day trip, sometimes it's nothing more than staying home all day and relaxing, reading the paper and puttering. This Sunday we decided to go to our favorite breakfast place, "Parker's Maple Barn". It's in Mason, NH. We found the place several years ago when we were browsing online for good places to go on one of our weekends. At the time, my husband was living about 20 minutes from it so it wasn't a bad drive to go for breakfast. Now that we're married and hubby is living here in Salem, NH with me, the drive is an hour. All right, I know driving an hour for breakast is ridiculous, but the food and atmosphere are really good! March and April are the months when the Maple Sugar Barn is in operation. They give a little tour and you can see how maple syrup is made. We've only seen this process about a half-dozen times, but we figured we'd go and see it's really just a good excuse to go to Parker's for breakfast. Since Sunday is our day of rest, we stayed in bed until about 9:30 and didn't head out for breakfast until 10:30. Should I just call it brunch now? As we were walking out the door I threw a quick "You remember how to get there, right?" out to my hubby. He hesitated. We both know now that was the moment when we should have gone back inside and gotten the map. But no......we didn't. Of course we forgot exactly how to get there, so we drove the long, long way round. Once we finally knew where we were and knew it was about a 1/2 hour until we go there, I called Parker's.....which I admit I have on speed-dial.....and asked to have my name put on their waiting list. They said no, they don't do reservations. HUH??? I KNOW I've done it before, lest why would their name be on my speed dial?? After arguing a bit, I relented. Then I asked how long the wait was. An hour to an hour and a half!!!!!! I agree it's crazy to wait an hour and a half to be seated for breakfast but....1. Parker's is in the middle of nowhere and driving to any other restaurant would have taken just as much time and 2. The food at Parker's is just so delicous I didn't want to go anywhere else. So we kept going. And I apologize to my sweet hubby for the slight hissy fit I had in the car. Put it down to low blood sugar. We got to the restaurant at 12, put our name in, went to visit the Maple Syrup Shack.....and they had an "Outpost" there that sold coffee and DONUTS!! One maple flavored donut later, I was happy enough to wait the hour until our table was available. We feasted on ham and pinapple stuffed french toast, blueberry belgian waffle with whipped cream, home fries, sausage, and a side order of beans. Hubby surreptitiously poured half a bottle of syrup in his coffee. It was delicious and, we decided, well worth the wait. On the way home we stopped at Camp Runels, which is the Girl Scout camp I remember going to as a child. We've passed by the sign many times and I always say we should stop in there so I can reminisce. It was fun, although confusing because of course it was nothing like how I remember it ....dare I admit it must have been 35-40 years ago when I went there? Unfortunately we drove right past the signs that said "No Trespassing - Private Property" and were stopped by a guy in a pick-up truck and reprimanded for being there. When I gave him my "Oh I'm so sorry, we didn't know, I used to be a Girl Scout here and just wanted to see the place again", he not only let us stay but gave us permission to go up the hill and look in some of the cabins. We finally got home about 4pm. Five and a half hours for breakfast isn't bad, huh?

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Cell Phone - Part Two

So I come home with my new cell phone and put in all my numbers and change the picture on the front, etc. Cool. I had spoken with Daughter Jamie about donating the old phone, so I went online and found an organization that recycles cell phones and donates the proceeds to breast cancer research. mom is a breast cancer survivor (8 months since diagnosis) so it'll be nice for me to support that cause. I decide I should go in and take out all my personal info....I don't want the person who gets the phone to have access to all my numbers. As I'm doing it, I realize the phone still works. I had specifically asked the saleslady when I bought the new phone if....when she activated the new phone...the old phone would be de-activated. She assured me it would be. Apparently not, cause I could make an outgoing call on it. I call "customer service" and when I tell the woman that both phones are activated, she tells me, "that's impossible". uh huh. I'm sitting here with a phone in each hand and I'm able to use both. She transfers me to "technical support". I was a little frightened when the tech guy seemed to be stumped at first. Was I the first person in the history of the world who this ever happened to???? He decided that the saleslady had made an error when she activated my phone. She's supposed to ask me to turn off my old phone, and because she didn't somehow something got crossed (his words, not mine) and both phones work. He instructed me to shut off my old phone, and dial a number on my new phone to activate it again. It worked. Ahhh...the wonders of modern technology. But it still doesn't answer my concern about why a salesperson is clueless and why people, in general, are so incompetent. Can't anyone do their job correctly without me having to go behind them and fix things? I still like my new red phone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Cell Phone

I got a letter in the mail saying I was eligible for a new cell phone. My two-year agreement was running out and I understand this is the cell phone company's way of getting you to come in and re-up. That's fine. My daughter Jamie and I had gotten our cell phones at the same time so I talked to her and she said she had gotten the same letter and had already been there and had gotten a nice phone. It was $50 and you get a $50 rebate, so essentially it was free. She told me to get the "red" one. So I went to the cell phone store today and told the lady I was eligible for a new phone....that I wanted a PHONE...not a camera, Ipod, Bluetooth, or the ability to go online. She brings me over to a $200 phone with Bluetooth, etc. Listen hunny, I say, I want to CALL people. That's it. So she comes back with a phone and it's RED!'s the one my daughter told me about, I say to her. Is it $50? She says yes, $50 and a $50 rebate. Wonderful. Here is the phone I'd like to buy because, I tell her, I don't really want to pay for a phone, I like that it will be free. She goes out back and comes back with the phone, as well as a case, an earpiece and a car charger. "For the money, you get those additional things for free." Cool, I think, already deciding who I'll give this stuff away to since I won't use it. She rings me all up and says, "That'll be $99.99". Huh? What do you mean? I ask. I thought it was $50? She says yes, It's $50 after the rebate. No, no, no........You said it's $50 AND a rebate of $50. Hmmmmmm she says, gazing at the screen. I can give it to you for $50 without all the accessories. Fine by me. I didn't want the accessories. While she's waiting for the transaction to go through she's showing me how it has "VCAST" free for a month. I can go online, and play games in the doctor's waiting room so I won't be bored, she says. I don't want VCAST, but it's my responsibility to call customer service within a month and tell them to take it off or they will start charging me $15/month. I finally leave the store with my RED cell phone. I'm happy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another Lovely Beach Day

I wish I knew what it was about the beach that makes us love it so much. Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. When I got up the first thing I thought of was "It's much too nice a day to stay indoors, we should go somewhere". Lucky for me, hubby feels the same way. The obvious place for both of us is the beach. Maybe it's because it was one of the first dates we went on. It went like this:

Hubby and I met online, talked for a few months and then met in person at a club his brother's band was playing at. We went out to eat once more after that. The following week was one of those gorgeous weeks in March when you are positive spring has arrived.....65 degrees and sunny. I instantly thought of the beach. There's a place in Seabrook, NH called Brown's that has the best seafood anywhere, and I decided I had a hankering to go there. I called and they assured me they were open, so I called my new BF and told him I'd like to take him somewhere but wanted to surprise him. I never found out until years later that I scared the Bejeesus out of him. He wasn't sure if he was being kidnapped. Despite that, he agreed to go. By Friday night however, the weather had turned again, as it is prone to do in New England and the temperature was about 10 degrees. But it was too late....I already had Brown's and the beach on my mind and we were going anyway. So I called BF and told him to dress warmly....which scared him even more....and we went. He loved Brown's, we walked out onto the beach anyway and kissed under the moonlight. And so it began.

We ended out getting married at the beach. For TWO MONTHS before the wedding it poured out. I was thinking of building an Ark. Our wedding location was flooded two weeks before the wedding. The day before the wedding we sat outside at my daughter's football game in the pouring rain with the wind whipping the umbrella from our hands, and all I could think of was....We are having an outdoor wedding in 24 hours. The day of the wedding dawned brilliantly sunny and warm. It was still very windy, but it was the most gorgeous beach day ever. Just goes to show that SOMEONE up there approved of our marriage!