Monday, January 31, 2011

In Memory of Christa McAuliffe

It's been 25 years, folks. 25 years since Christa McAuliffe gave up her life as an ordinary teacher to go into space as the world's first Teacher in Space. Most of us remember where we were when disaster struck; just as we remember, if we're old enough, where we were when JFK was shot, or when the Twin Towers were hit. I was doing home daycare at the time. I had been watching every day for the launch, which was delayed over and over again. The morning it finally did launch, I didn't turn on the TV. One of the parents coming in to drop off their child told me of the disaster. I turned on the TV and watched, with a horrified nation, for the rest of the day and for days to come. Christa worked hard for her spot on the Challenger. We were proud as a nation, and as New Hampshire citizens, that one of our own was picked to make history. Christa fulfilled her duties with enthusiasm, turning a whole generation of children on to science. Hubby and I took our niece Laura and our daughter Jamie to see the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH this weekend. It was unbelievable to see the photos and memorabilia of this time in history. Christa's passing was a sad day in the history of the space program. I thank her and her family for giving her life for our nation. I touch the future. I teach.

No teacher has ever been better prepared to teach a lesson.

I have a vision of the world as a global village, a world without boundaries.

Imagine a history teacher making history.

Reach for it, you know. Go push yourself as far as you can.

What are we doing here? We're reaching for the stars.

May your future be limited only by your dreams!

Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just give me my bras!

I'm usually all about shopping online. It's fast, it's easy and I don't have to waste time driving from store to store to find what I want. So it's time for new bras and I went to my online bra store For a long time, I had the style number and size of the bra I liked and that I knew fit me, so I'd just order a few every few months. A while ago, they discontinued that style, and I've been trying to find another style I like ever since. I went on the site, only to see that they'd redone the whole site and anyone who had an account would have to re-apply for an account all over again. sighhhhh........ I chose a couple of new styles to try. The site was incredibly slow (as in, go off and browse other sites while waiting for the site to load). The bras went into my shopping cart, and I went to the billing page and re-entered all my info. And here came the glitch. I always have my billing address, and then I have a separate shipping address because I send packages to my work address. And no matter what I did, it kept telling me that my shipping address was "already in use". Finally, I gave up and called. The woman couldn't have been nicer. I told her their website was being agonizingly slow and she said their IT dept. was already on it. I told her what was happening with my order.....namely that it wouldn't let me put in my shipping address......and she offered to take my order over the phone. She was fast and efficient. She offered to waive my shipping fee because of the problems I'd had, and somehow, on top of that, the bras themselves were about $8 less than I thought they would be! minute later she called me back....laughing....asking me for the shipping address she forget to get from me in her efficiency.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The weather....the weather....the weather

The weather......seriously? Is this what we're getting all crazy about now? Is it snowing? Is it gonna snow? What time is the snow gonna start? Will we have school/work tomorrow? Can you believe how cold it is? I almost couldn't breath coming out of the house today. My eyeballs were frozen. Will it be this cold tomorrow? Will it snow tomorrow? This happens every year! We live in New England! Yes, it will snow today! Yes, it will snow tomorrow! Yes, school will be cancelled! Yes, it's cold!! Any other questions? Oh, and by the's snowing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When did I become my grandmother?

When discussing things at work lately, we find ourselves more and more lamenting upon the demise of civilization as we know it. These are the phrases that have been coming out of our mouths: (seriously) * These kids think the world owes them a living. * If I behaved like that in public, my mother woulda given me the backhander. * Do you think she speaks to her mother in that tone of voice? * In my day................ * What do you mean she's just a baby? When I was her age, I had three kids and a full-time job. * The world is going to hell in a handbasket. * Kids have no respect anymore. * Did you see that outfit? She's gonna catch her death of cold......or an STD! * I'm not gonna make it to the age of 60 without killing someone. My colleague and I are not that old. Has the world changed so much?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Whatever Happened to "Hardy New Englanders"?

Tomorrow it is predicted that we'll get less than 6 inches of snow. And some schools already cancelled tonight! Seriously? 6 inches is not a snowstorm by any stretch of the imagination. I live in New Hampshire, and I consider 6 inches a dusting. Cancelling school the night before is ludicrous, considering the weather reports are WRONG half the time! takes away from the fun of waking up in the morning and finding out you don't have to get up. Way back when I was a kid, you listened at 6am for the fire horn in the center of town to go off. That meant no school. When my kids were little, we huddled around the radio, listening as they announced the towns, in alphabetical order, that cancelled school. Heaven forbid you should turn on the radio just as they were announcing the "T"s (we lived in Salem) because then you had to wait for the alphabet to come around again. Nowadays, the schools either send out a reverse phone call, a massive text, or put it on a scroll at the bottom of the television. Kinda takes the anticipation out of it. I'm amazed at how many people panic when there's snow. A person in my office was furious that we hadn't closed the office. Sure, we only had one customer all day, but we all got to work safely and all got home why shouldn't we be open? My favorite thing, though, is the panic that sets in over food. Everyone must go out and buy milk, bread and eggs (The French Toast Panic) as if they won't have food again for months. It's the 21st century people! There are plows and sanding trucks, and most of the time, we can go out in the streets the very next day. You won't starve! It's New England in winter and it snows. Get over it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bedroom Floor Remodel

After much planning and strategizing, our bedroom floor remodel is complete. Our bedroom still had the industrial blue indoor/outdoor carpeting that was probably put down when the building was put up. It was filthy, fraying and had been thrown up upon (by the cat). Needless to say, it was quite disgusting. A few "before" photos: Also time for a new mattress, yes?
Check out the lovely frayed edges:
Since our condo is so small, the living room took the brunt of the furniture. It got a LOT worse than this!
I did all the cleaning out and taking out of knick-knacks, clothes, etc on my half-day on Friday afternoon.
Hubby did all the demo while I was at work on Saturday morning. Yeah Hubby!
I was cheerful throughout the whole process!
Hubby (aka the Nutty Professor) in his little studio, which took the rest of the brunt of the mess during this process. I have to give him kudos for using the chop saw when he really didn't want to.
The laminate flooring goes down like a dream. So easy! We actually had the whole floor put down on Saturday afternoon. Then, of course, you have the corners and molding and edging, etc which took us another whole day. We took a break on Saturday night and went to the local Marriott. On Sunday we finished up and got everything put back together.
Oreo likes our new mattress.
And there it is.....all spanking brand new and cleaner than it'll ever be again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

All you Lurkers......Confess!

I just found out from Backpacking Dad's blog that today is National Delurking Day. For those who don't know, "Lurking" is reading someone's blog but never, ever leaving a comment, so that you have no idea that people have been reading it. It's kind of a creepy feeling. I'd like to Guilt-trip any readers out there who have been lurking on my blog to leave me a comment, just so I know you're there. If you're not there, don't leave a comment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Hampshire is Amazing

It's hilarious to me to read stories of the states down South who have a heart attack when a couple inches of snow falls on the ground. They just don't know what to do! But New Hampshire does! Yesterday was our first major snowstorm of the season, (you can't even count the mere 6-8 inches we got last week) and as usual, New Hampshire comes through. Schools were out for ONE day.....and most businesses were open for the afternoon. Today it's back in business for everyone - after a snowstorm that dumped 15-23 inches on the area. My little snowmen were happy to be inside during the storm.....thank God the snow is on the outside of the window. My car was covered....this photo is the day after the storm.
Nothing like a beautiful blue-sky day after a big storm.
And life goes on.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sometimes it's easier than you think

Hubby and I have accomplished Step One of our bedroom rehabilitation project. We've purchased a new mattress. Hubby and I were both pretty apprehensive about going out to make this purchase. It's not the's the ignorance. Neither one of us knows the first thing about buying a mattress. So I went to the two best sources of information.....the internet and my friends. The internet yielded a couple of ideas. One was to make sure the salesperson knows that we're both "side-sleepers" and that I'm a tosser-and-turner. The other idea was to ask about a warranty. Friends and family had other ideas....the most prominent being do NOT go to a store that has the word Mattress in it. Apparently, according to them, a mattress brand name you buy at one store might not be the same quality as a mattress brand name bought at another store. And the "discounted" mattresses are not as quality as the others, because they make them cheaper to keep the price down. So that eliminated Mattress Giant, Mattress Discounters, Mattress Warehouse, and Sleepy's (the Mattress Professionals). We can't stand the commercials for Bob's Furniture or Bernie and Phyl' that left us with Jordan's Furniture. We were both worried about the "hard sell" and went in determined to resist it. The first thing when we walked into the store, they handed us each a hot chocolate chip cookie and a free cup of coffee. Damn....the hard sell was going to be hard to resist! But there was no hard sell. We went into the Sleep Lab, where all the salespeople were wearing white lab coats (which I thought was hilarious). We started walking around, lying on different mattresses and testing them. A couple of different salespeople asked if we needed help, but when we said we were there just to browse, they left us alone. Finally, we were narrowing down our search and we let a salelady help us. She really took her time, let us compare and gave us the essentials on each mattress. We really picked out the mattress we liked best by feel. We got a 10 year warranty, free delivery, and a 60 days "comfort guarantee" which means that we can sleep on it for 60 days and if we don't like it, we can return it. I fear that's going to be the easiest part of our project.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Here We Go Again!

We got so much satisfaction from doing our living room project that I've decided it's time to do the same in our bedroom. The plan is to put down a wood floor in the bedroom the same way we did in our living room. At the same time, we need a new mattress. So.........we'll pull up the old rug, stay the night in a hotel, and put down the wood floor the next day. We'll throw away our old mattress and have a new one delivered after the floor is finished. Sounds good so far, right? This weekend we'll go mattress shopping (something about which we know NOTHING!) and also buy our wood floor. No big decisions this time, we're going with the same floor as in the living room. Next Friday I have a 1/2 day from work, so I'll spend the afternoon clearing out everything I possibly can from the bedroom. Saturday we'll start ripping up the rug. This part we are definitely NOT looking forward to. It's the hardest part of the project. And on Sunday, we'll start laying down the new floor. Son Nick said we could borrow the chop-saw again. This time Hubby and I are going to try and do it on our own. I hate to ask my son to come out and spend another whole day working on our house. If we're lucky, the floor will be finished on Sunday and we'll have Monday (Martin Luther King Day, and a day off from work) to finish the details and put all the furniture back. That's the plan....let's hope we can stick to it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 1.1.11

Once again, Hubby has managed to make my day special by taking me to the beach for a second day this weekend! Let the temperature in New Hampshire get over 40 degrees in the winter, and Hubby and I both think Beach! Today we drove up to the Marginal Way, a one-mile walkway along the ocean in Ogunquit, Maine. Even though we just had a major snowstorm, we didn't expect it to be as slushy and snowy as it was. As if someone was going to come along and shovel it! That didn't stop us though. It was low tide, so we got down onto the beach and walked along. Hubby put his hand into the water.....COLD! He'll never join the Polar Bear Club! The thing to do nowadays seems to be to build a rock tower and see how long it'll stay standing. We built ours......... And when we came back two hours later it was still there!! Ha ha! We'll check next time we go up there.
When we got down to Ogunquit Beach, it was amusing to see a snowman built on the beach sand:
We did find out, however, that we are not the only ones who love the beach in the winter. The parking lots were full....we had to stalk someone to get a space, and look at all the people on the beach.
It does look odd to see everyone standing and walking with winter coats, rather than sitting in lawn chairs in bathing suits.
We came back home via Route 1, where we stopped at Bob's Clam Shack in Kittery for our second seafood dinner in two days, then mosey'd over to the Kittery Trading Post and got me some new clogs.
And excellent beginning to what I hope will be an excellent year. Happy New Year everyone!