Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
So, I called my mom while I headed home to see if she wanted to spend a little time in Szot Park today. The conversation went like this:
Me-I was wondering if you wanted to go to Szot Park, walk around & take pictures today since the boys aren't home.
Mom-Oh, your father just got home (from doing his errands) and I don't know what he wants to do yet. Oh, I'm sorry.
Me-Its OK, I just thought it was a nice day and you were talking about it the other day. Maybe we can do it the weekend after the 4th.
Mom-Sure, that sounds really great. Yeah, lets do it then.
So, after chatting about a few other things the conversation ended. About a 1/2 hour later after I had gotten home, the phone rings. Its my mom with conversation #2:
Mom-OK, I'm ready
Mom-To go to the park for pictures (in a very excited voice)
Me-You said no and I'm home working on my blog (yesterdays entry)
Mom-Oh, OK (in a very disappointed voice)
Me-Hey, you said no earlier
So, after we hung up, I sat there starring at the computer screen. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and thought to myself, ugh! I picked up the phone and called her back. And that's how conversation #3 started:
Me-Yeah, give me 20 minutes to finish up and I'll be over to pick you up
Mom-Oh, OK (now back in the original excited voice)
So, after the back-and-forth of yes, no, yes, we headed off to a small park in our hometown to walk around and take pictures. I'd like to share with you some of the photo's I captured.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Our usual birthday party grub is pizza and cake. Hey, its simple and everyone loves both so we can't go wrong. Once-in-awhile we throw in a BBQ, but its much easier after work to pick up a cake and a party size pizza.
This party's cake theme was, get what you want! We found a delicious bakery that makes to-die-for cakes. I wanted a lemon cake, but I knew Jeff wouldn't eat it (since "fruit doesn't belong in a cake") so I had a brain storm, let everyone pick out their own slice and everyone will be happy.
The only hard part is the bakery doesn't have a to-go menu of all the cakes and they give a VERY brief list of flavors on their website, so everyone gave a brief description of what they wanted (except my dad, even before I could finish asking him what kind he wanted he said peanut butter & chocolate....ok, he is a man who knows what he wants!).
My mouth waters just looking at the collage of cake slices below. The cookie monster cupcake was for my niece, then starting in the front going clock-wise is double chocolate (my FIL couldn't finish it, he let my niece help him), peanut butter & chocolate, lemon, raspberry, carrot cake & then 3 more peanut butter & chocolate. Next time I'm at the bakery, I will take a picture of the display case. They have so may flavors to choose from, its amazing!
As soon as my niece, Ally, noticed her cupcake, she was ready to dive in. She never made it to the actual cupcake part, but how she loved that blue frosting. At one point, she looked like she had clown make-up on she smushed her face so far into the surgery-goodness.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
So, I love the smell of a soft rain in the summer. The type of rain storm where the birds are still outside chirping away or bouncing from puddle to puddle. The kind where there is no threat of thunder storms or sever weather. Its the kind where the smell catches your senses and it just brings you to your favorite outdoor spot. I mean, its so invigorating it makes you stop, close your eyes and you automatically take a deep breath and your imagination runs wild.
The scent is so specific, I couldn't even find a candle at Yankee Candle to capture the it.
I know sunny days and smiles go hand and hand during the summer, but there is also something about a summer shower that does wonders to someones day.
Today at work, I walked into a room where the windows were open and the smell just took me away for a spilt second and it was wonderful. If I could add an eleventh thing I love about summer, it would be the smell of a summer rain shower.
— Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street
— Dalia Sofer, author of The Septembers of Shiraz
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Between each museum stop we also did some shopping. They have the cutest and quaintest little shops in that area. They have shops ranging from serious witch supplies for potions all the way down to souvenir shops for the area.
Also, while we were walking around I noticed a store front offering tarot, psychic, crystal ball, aura and many other readings. I looked at my mom and said, since I'm here there isn't a better place to get a reading done. I never had an official reading done and of course no idea what kind I had wanted. So, over the next few hours I had decided to go with a tarot reading. After searching for a shop that had a "reader' in for the day, I found a cute little shop called Angelica of the Angels and signed myself up.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Superman The Movie
The Muppet Movie
Bee Gees with " Love you Inside Out "
Blondie with " Heart of Glass "
Popular TV Programmes
All My Children
Price Is Right
Little House on the Prairie
The Love Boat
Mork and Mindy
And 29 years ago today, my parents welcomed a little girl weighing 6lbs 7 ounces at 1:05am. That baby girl was me! Happy Birthday to everyone who shares the same bday too!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The roadway leading to our site.
I was a little worried since the sites at the begging of our journey into the park were so close to the road. It wasn't much room for relaxing or moving around. But as we approached our area, it was perfect. We had plenty of room to fit our car, tent and canopy to go over the eating area. And, if we had anyone with us (in a tent) there would have been plenty of room for their stuff too. This is the site we will keep in mind for future outings.
We survived each other and the area. The weather cooperated. Mother nature gave us cool days with sunshine and brisk evening, but we were prepared. It was a lovely time with my husband and I can't wait to do it again!
Friday, June 20, 2008
The whole event was so carefree, inspiring to those who want to tell their stories, honest and funny. The tour was to promote his new book, A Wolf at the Table. During the talk, Augusten spoke about his relationship with his parents, but mostly about his father. He had explained that he wasn't even planning on writing about his father and just keeping a few chapters about him in Running With Scissors. After his father died & he had inherited his diaries and paperwork, it was then decided he would write about him. He explained that this memoir was hard to write since he had to remove his humorous defence mechanism to write such a truthful novel about his experiences with his father.
I wish I had asked the question, but Augusten never mentioned how his father came to be such a neglectful, mentally abusive father. Maybe Augusten will never find out, but maybe a glimpse into his fathers past (more then he spoke about) could help figure out why. I know there is no excuse for his father (or anyone) being such a "devil" of a parent, but at least there could be some revelation as to why.
The one thing that really stuck with me from the entire experience was his answer to a question regarding how he dealt with all the issues in his past. His stated that bad things happen to people and you cannot truly heal from that experience. Heal is a TV term to make things all warm and fuzzy. A person will have a hole inside of them that can become very large, but eventually it stops growing and it becomes enclosed with bravery. That hole is still there, but you are able to move on. He says he is like a piece of swiss cheese, but he can still love, shop and and continue to live.
Augusten mentioned he is working on another book, another memoir. I'm assuming the timeline for this memoir will be after his novel Dry, but he really didn't say. So, we'll have to see! Also his brother wrote a memoir regarding his life with asperger's syndrome. That book is "Look Me In The Eye' by John Elder.
If you ever get the chance to see Augusten speak, I would recommend that you do. After his talk, reading and answer & question session, we were able to have our book signed by him. As I handed him my book and I told him what a wonderful thing he did that night, he never stopped looking into my eyes. He made a connection with me (just like he did everyone else) and it made me feel like he honestly appreciated that each and every one of use came out to hear him speak. He never looked away even as he signed my book. Amazing!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
- Fresh Strawberries
- Longer Days
- Smell of fresh cut grass
- Sitting Outside
- Homegrown Tomato's
- Corn from the local farmers
- Ice Cream
- Bike Riding
- Warm sunshine
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I can't wait to have fresh tomato's from the garden. We already have some flowers on the plants which is a good sign. Quick story-my FIL went out an bought our plants without me this year since we were at my cousins wedding in May and he couldn't wait for me any longer. So, the night of the wedding he lets me know he bought the plants and he had set them out in the garden where he would like us to plant them. Great! Then his next sentence was to inform me he bought the plants from Ocean State (which is a discounted store for rejected items from other stores) and he really isn't sure they are actually tomato plants. Oh geez! I said hopefully soon they will be showing signs that they are indeed tomato plants and finally they are! Phew!
We also are trying cucumbers from seedlings this year. Hopefully they will turn out better then my carrots from last year (OK Sarah, stop laughing). I have to report that my carrots did not grow any longer then 2 inches long, but they were fat so at least I has something! The first carrot I picked (early so I can check the progress) was so small and petite that my niece thought it was for her toy bunny. Nice, huh? So, we'll see if cucumbers work better for us this year!
Now onto my strange phenomenon near my swing in the back yard. I notice an occurrence of mushrooms popping up every time it rains. The next day after a heavy rain, I have dozens of mushrooms mixed in with my mulch! I have no idea why! I pluck them from the ground, then they keep coming back in different locations.
This book is about a women, Mary Roach, who researched the countless ways a human cadaver is used with the notion the person requested their body used for scientific purposes after they die. The range is amazing. The author did bring up a good point that you may request one thing but truly it is up to the people who are left to carry it all out to actually follow through since they have to feel comfortable with what they are doing for you.
Mary researched all things a cadaver could participate in as long as the person requests there body to be used for science research. The topics she touches upon are plastic surgery research, anatomy research, human decay samples, human crash test dummies, plane crash passengers, military testing, religious theories, organ donation, possibility of head transplants, cannibalism & cadaver compost bin possibilities.
Yes, the book could be morbid at times but the author has a way about her style that makes it interesting. She loves her work and it shows. She goes after questions we all want to know, but are afraid to ask in disrespect to the person who is lying in front of you. The author made me laugh out load at times with her corky sense of humor with such an odd subject. Its definitely something to consider reading if you are interested in this type of thing. I wouldn't recommend it as a light hearted summer read though.
I know she got me thinking about what I would like to request my family to do with me after I am no longer here. But hopefully that is a long, long time from now and who knows what other possibilities there will be out there to chose from!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
*Maybe chocolate chip cookies?*
Monday, June 16, 2008
Grandpa has seen many things in his 82 years, but nothing as significant as being part of WWII. He was in the Navy and on a ship heading to Pearl Harbor during the infamous attack. Luckily they were called off the last minute.
He married his childhood sweat heart and remained happily married for almost 50 years, until diabetes caused her kidneys to shut down which claimed her life. But in those wonderful years, he became a father to two boys (my dad and Uncle David) and then became the proud grandpa to 3 granddaughters who absolutely adore him.
There is so much to say about this wonderful man, but I will be here for days telling you about countless stories. Everything he has been apart of has made him the great man he is today.
Happy Birthday to my best friend and may there be many, many more!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Jeff and I headed to the airport after we left work early. We did the airport routine; parked car at airport parking, took shuttle, checked luggage, made it through security and then waited for our flight. Our flight wasn't bad except for a little turbulence towards the end, but nothing too major.
After we got our baggage we proceeded outside to wait for the rental car shuttle. So far, so good. We get our rental car and drove out of the parking garage. Before we go any further, let me explain that usually I am the navigator and Jeff usually drives. Well, this trip I was the driver and Jeff was the navigator (he had received 4 stitches in his hand on Thursday from a metal mis-hap at work, so his hand was still too sensitive to drive) and this just messed with our whole travel routine. I think our GPS knew this and decided to act up while we got lost getting out of the car rental place (the car rental place is not at the airport, so it makes things difficult).
Eventually, the GPS woke up and started to work and so we were able to get on the correct path. We were riding around the airport looking for familiar routes or signs letting us know where to go, and no such luck. We were at the hands of the GPS Gods. I was worried this was going to be the start of a bumpy trip.
After we arrived at grandpa's all the worries that this would be a bad trip just melted away. He was waiting outside for us. We sat on the front stoop for about an hour in the nice breeze just chatting, catching up and making plans for Saturday. It was a good end to a busy day.
It was decided that grandpa wanted to go visit my aunt & uncle (his SIL & BIL) since he hasn't seen them for some time. We made it to their house for a nice relaxing lunch time visit. We passed the time catching up with stories that are just too long for email between us. Its was a wonderful time. A few hours later grandpa decided it was time to head back to his house. So we said our goodbyes until next time.
After we returned to grandpa's Jeff helped his with a few tasks around the house that he just couldn't do. Not a problem! Then it was time to go out to supper. We decided to go to our regular spot, Sibeals. We like to go since they have KENO. Its the perfect appetizer before supper. I hate to report that everyone won something except for grandpa. Oh well, there's always next time!
After cake it was back to sitting outside on the front stoop sharing stories and memories. Grandpa likes to talk about his childhood, the time he dated my grandmother, his days working in the printing office in DC, his retired years and any other memory he wants to share. And every story he wants to tell, I'm right there listening (even if I've heard the story many times).
This wasn't our plane, but I didn't want to post the ugly brown plane we had!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I've been visiting him on this combo weekend for over 10 years now and I'm not about to stop. Besides, I wouldn't hear the end of it. Grandpa may be turning 82 years old on Monday, but don't mess with his routines. No sir!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
a. Type your one-word answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into mosaic maker.
2. What is your favorite food? Chocolate
3. What high school did you go to? Holyoke High
4. What is your favorite color? Purple
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Wentworth Miller
6. Favorite drink? Kahlua & Milk
7. Dream vacation? Ireland
8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream Cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Debt Free
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One Word to describe you. Loving
12. Your flickr name. princessmagggie
Where my mosaic photo's came from on Flickr- 1. Amanda Style 2. Hot Chocolate 3. Holyoke High School 4. Purple Rose 5. Wentworth Miller 6. Kahlua & Milk 7. Let there be light 8. Big Ole Ice Cream Cake 9. Debt Free 10. Snowmen Family 11. LoveXOXO 12. Princess Painting
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
*sorry for the heart-attacks for those who thought you missed fathers day
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I thought about our new plain a& didn't like the idea of our first time out camping to be with Zack. Don't get me wrong, but I didn't want the first time assembling a new tent (which would probably be a tense moment) and most likely figuring out we left important items at home since we hadn't camped before. I don't want it to be a bad experience and turn Zack against the whole idea 100% since he really isn't up for it in the first place. So, I brought up the idea we should camp out a few times before we get him just to work out the kinks and get a knack for the whole camping thing.
So, tonight Jeff and I headed to Walmart to stock up on camping supplies. We bought everything from a tent (a 6 person, 2 room tent) to camp fire starters. I think we are all set now to actually live out in the wilderness with all the stuff we bought, but hey....its better to be prepared then not! Right?!?!
Our new tent
After we checked out, Jeff made a interesting point. The register asked if the purchaser was over the age 16 for our shovel. Of course we are, but we found that odd. Then when the cashier scanned the propane tanks, nothing, no questions on age, just a beep and the price displayed. Jeff found this very disturbing that there is an age check on a camping shovel, but not propane tanks. I guess more under age kids get hurt with a shovel then propane, who knows!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The Smoking Gun, Backstage Pass
Some of them are pretty wild and some you wonder if they know they can have a little pampering, like Mandy Moore. But, hey she doesn't seem to be a diva and I guess she really isn't, so good for her. Check it out for yourself!
Monday, June 2, 2008
At first John just wanted to go around the block. We rode out of our driveway and started to head down the street and all of a sudden I hear, naaaaa lets go to the reservoir. Yeah! We both ran inside to change into our official bike riding clothes. Then he placed the bikes onto his neat-o rack on his truck and then we were off. You might be asking, where is your husband? Well, he was home trying to make it to the next level on Call of Duty.
Our bikes on the neat-o rack
Anyways, we arrived at the reservoir and the entrance way was lined with cars. I guess everyone else had the same idea, either to walk or ride in this beautiful area. In no time the bikes were on the ground and we were riding on the pathway around the water.
I didn't realize how much I missed being in that area. The sights, smells and peacefulness. Its hard to describe the smells that had awaken my senses right then and there while riding, but its a mix of pine, dirt and the woods. Those scents mixed together just mean happiness for me. It must be why I love the outdoors so much.
Ok, back on subject, we "felt the burn" in our muscles on the first incline around the reservoir. Yeah it wasn't long into our ride that we had, but we were out there having fun and getting exercise (no pain, no gain...huh?). We really enjoyed our ride watching the families walking or biking, spotting the wildlife (turtles, baby geese, a hawk and chipmunks). I hope we can fit another ride in this weekend, even if its just once around like the other day. Oh how I love the warm weather!
Turtles Sunning Themselves