Saturday, September 26, 2009


Remember these girls. Identical triplet daughters of a woman i work with. I won't say much more, to protect their privacy, but the odds of this happening are estimated to be 1 in 200 million. Whoa.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Are You Ready for Some SOCCER!?"

Sam had his very first soccer session Saturday morning. Five more sessions to go. This is the first year for a developmental league for children this young (4-5). The goal, basically, is to get them to understand the basics to soccer and with some luck, take the magnet out of the soccer ball that draws them ALL TO IT AT ALL TIMES! That's always funny to watch. If they can at least figure out what direction they are to go in, that's a BONUS!

I think Sam did relatively good. Some children lost interest and/or got restless. Sam had a few minutes of that, but basically stuck to it. He also had a few moments of PUSHING other kids to get to the ball, even kids on his 'team.' Not that he can differentiate quite yet. But we did explain to him that there is no pushing others. I told him to pretend that he didn't have arms for soccer. Legs and feet only. I think that'll help. As long as he doesn't start KICKING other kids to get to the ball.

Sam received his very own size 1 soccer ball and 'pinny' vest which can turn inside out to either put him on the black or white team. Ron coincidentally found a pristine pair of soccer cleats at the Salvation Army about 3 weeks before i found about this league. They are a touch too big normally, but once the shin guard and soccer sock are on him, they fit great! My friend Christa from Wegmans was kind enough to lend me her daughter Hannah's (who is now 11) shinguards and socks for when she played at this age.
He plays again today and then for a couple more Saturday and Sundays. We'll see how he likes it overall. Now that the weather is cooling off, it will be fun to go outside on our side lawn, or even up at one of the parks, and practice some dribbling skills. i think Sam's into it, so far, from what i can 'feel.'

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good Bye, Dear Friend.

Our beloved red Ford Escort wagon is NO MORE. Gone. Kaput. End of an era.

I'm sad about it, but whatdyagonnado?? The estimated costs to fix her more than doubled her Kelly Blue book value. The airbag problem was NOT related to the recall, so that would have been outta pocket. And the acceleration issue was all computer related, which really adds up and needs to be fixed to run everything else in the car. Ho hum. She died in NJ, where she still sits waiting for a proper 'burial.' That will probably mean joining fellow unfortunate cohorts in a junk heap, and with any luck, we'll get a little something for her time in our lives. I have a lot of good memories in that car. My parents gave her to me for $1 when Mom was no longer able to drive due to her eyesight. She gave it to me with 40K miles on it and i put another 80K on. She served us well. I hope that the dealership where she died is good enough to put some personals in a USPS box and send them back to me. I have a cool beaded snowflake that hung from the mirror. I have a THIRTY YEAR OLD "Rodney Reindeer" from Hallmark that not only sat on the dash of this car, but every car Mom drove since i was in third grade. There's a pretty cool all-in-one tool in the glove box (i actually put it in there cuz it had an ice pick tool on it, just in case i needed to puncture a window if i got submerged in a lake!). There might be a portable CD player under the passenger seat. There's a bra i never wore and meant to take back to Walmart in the back seat (not even an sexy one, dangit). There's a myriad of stale Goldfish crackers strewn about. A good set of jumper cables. NO, I don't want them to mail ALL THIS STUFF. Just the bead thing and Rodney.

Sigh. We'll miss you, Red.

I'm looking to create another work of art in stickers on the 'new' caravan. Kathryn, i need a classy Maine one. Another from VT would be nice. Keeping my eye out.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Labor Day weekend was spent on the beach in Wildwood, NJ with my college roomie Katie, her wonderful husband Dave and their three children Keller (6) and twins Maya and Charlie (5). Ron was unable to come with us, unfortunately, due to his work schedule (but i think he quite enjoyed the quiet time at home - at least part of it). I brought my friend Natalie along, warning her what she was in-store for with 5 crazy kids running amok. She was game!

The weekend started out on an unfortunate and somewhat inconvenient note: our 12 yr old Ford Escort wagon died. Turns out there were two separate issues involved: a faulty airbag (which had been blinking for 5 days beforehand, and had a recall in 2003 that i inadvertantly ignored (!)) and an acceleration issue (step on the gas and go slower!). Made it to a Sunoco station and lucked out in having Dave pick us all up on his way - the timing in that respect was great. We were also lucky in that out of the 6+ hr drive, we cr@pped out only 20 min from the beach house.

So the next morning all of us minus Natalie and Thom (they wanted some alone time together - hehe) went to move the wagon only to discover intense smoking and a foul stench waft about in the front seat. Definitely not driveable. So we called a tow truck and moved her to a {Chevy?!!?] dealership to only sit thru the weekend because everything was closed! I stayed through Tuesday to get it moved once again to a Ford dealer, where it still sits as we type this.But enough of my car woes - onto the FUN! Once the car was planned to just sit somewhere, i was able to free my mind of that and focus on the intentions of the trip - FUN IN THE SUN! We went to the pool, went to the beach (twice) and went to the boardwalk, the nine of us. Sam had a great time, and I even lugged the Pack-n-Play to the beach thinking Thom was DEFINITELY going to zonk, which he never did. He had many visitors come see him in his 'beach-hut.' The kids all dug in the sand and made sand castle cities and Sam and I found lots of shells. A body surfer even brought to us a giant conch, with the little guy still inside. We tossed it back.

To Katie and Dave, thank you emmensely for your help, generosity, understanding, and opportunity to let my family spend some time with yours at the beach! To Natalie - you were my wingman and i love you for it. Always...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Photo Du Jour

Dansville Balloon Festival - "Glow"

This Labor Day Weekend, Dansville, NY hosts its 28th Annual NYS Festival of Balloons. Hot air balloons, that is. I've always wanted to go to one of these things (Lewiston, ME has one every year as well) and have never gotten around to it.

Well, despite our plans to go to the beach with Katie's family the REST of this weekend, we were able to partake in the first balloon activity for the weekend, the Thursday Night "Balloon Glow." Starting at 8pm, 10 balloons showed off their stuff by inflating (tethered, no rides this night) and then "glowing" in the night sky with the bursts of hot air. I always thought helium might be used in hot air balloons (naive of me?), but in chatting briefly with one of the guys holding a rope, he said its only hot air (hot air is lighter than cool air, thus the FLOATING of the balloon into the sky).

We were able to walk right in among all the balloons, to see how they are inflated, balanced by people holding ropes, etc. Both boys really enjoyed it. I was loving watching Thom, for a good 25 minutes, sitting completely still and taking it all in! Sam was even invited into one of the baskets, to see how it felt and where he'd be standing for a ride. He loved it. He said he wanted to go up in one some day. They do offer rides throughout the weekend. Each ride averages 2-3 hours for $200. I think that might be worth it some day! (I wonder if that is PER PERSON?)... What a fun, eye-candy filled night.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Family Vay-Cay in Maine

I may be a month late in posting this, but i'm already doing better than i did LAST summer in NEVER getting around to posting a blog with pics. Tsk tsk on me. And last year's pics ROCKED!

This year, our family and Dad spent a week on Lake Arrowhead in Maine with my cousin Kathie, her hubs John, and children Tia (12) and Tanner (8) at the beginning of August. As many, if not most of you know, this is an annual gathering, though none of us have labeled it a 'family reunion.' Maybe cuz in my mind, a family reunion dictates that there are so many people one has to wear a nametag. Not in this gang.

Our week was rather 'uneventful' in that we didn't run around the state doing all sorts of touristy, expensive things. We mostly hung around camp doing a lot of swimming (i fit in three mornings of a 'polar swim,' as cushy as it was), fishing and biking. All of us helped in doing about 6 jigsaw puzzles out on the porch (not all at once!). Also, i think we had a campfire every night, and Ron fired up his mad chef skills in cooking two full blown meals via campfire! Yum! This is my idea of a perfect vacation! The weather was the best Maine's had all season. Ron and I did drive around a little to visit some folks that we (mostly Ron) have befriended and/or knew from college.

On the very last full day before we left, all NINE of us (including Thom snoozing on my back) went blueberry picking, a FIRST for eight of us (can you guess which one had already done it before?*) - - we had a BLAST. Sam was especially into it and i was so impressed with how he never filled his container with green ones or mushy ones - only GREAT BIG BLUE ONES! That's my son! He loves his blueberries.

I look forward to this week together every year, and every year, i daydream about going back to the lake for weeks after we've left. It's my dream that SOMEDAY we can own a family cottage on SOME LAKE, SOMEWHERE... that would be nice (except for the yearly taxes).

[* Dad has picked blueberries before, at least once right here in Big Flats, NY!]