Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Once Upon a Time Wednesday....

Once upon a time Wednesday is about things from the past. There are many stories in my head that I want to share with my girls. The trip to Ellis Island, thank you very much Liberty Mutual, this summer made me realize that I had to get these stories documented. History is extremely important and fun! So if you want to join along, please link up on the bottom and share a little piece of your history with the rest of us!

Once upon a time when life was simpler and I was around 11, 12, 13?, we played Kick the Can practically every night in our summer neighborhood in Ogunquit. We lived on a dead end, rocky, dirt road that was a hill. While our parents were, wait, I have no idea what our parents were doing because we were outside playing. We didn't really give them much of a thought. Anyway, there was always a bunch of kids and we had a perfect stump in our yard from where we kicked the can. Our (wall-less)outdoor shower was jail. We ran around everyone's house and hid and giggled and strategized.

One night, my friend Melissa and I were hiding behind the Armstrong's house (they were not home) and we were getting bored/silly waiting for our chance to rescue the prisoners. We started doing handstands against the house and cracked a window. That is how sturdy these "houses/cottages" were. The force from our feet hitting the house, cracked the window. We just about peed ourselves from horror and laughing. We vowed never to tell anyone and we didn't for a long time. The house was sold and remodeled before my sister ratted us out about 15 years later. That was probably the worst thing I have ever done that I kept secret of for so long. (Please read that as I was such a goody goody that breaking a window and not telling was a huge thing for me.)

One other time, we had a rousing game going with tons of kids and this girl, I think her name was Sarah (she was visiting someone), kicked the can and missed and kicked the stump and broke her toe. I think we moved the can from the stump after that mishap.

We also had great games of Capture the Flag on a field at the bottom of the hill. It was just a fun place to be in the summer. I barely remember watching tv there. Of course our tv was about 12 inches with antenna ears on top.

Feel free to chime in with what you parents were up to while your kids were running amuck around the neighborhood, Mom. I also have a feeling my sister will chime in on this one......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Past Year....

Warning: Not my usual funny, sarcastic post.....

I would like to say that in the last year (since the proverbial shit hit the fan), I have become more independent and self sufficient. This, I realize, would be wrong to say because even when I was married, I was independent and extremely self sufficient. I owned my own tools and had no problem drilling holes, hanging pictures, and mowing the lawn. I could fire up the grill and cook a mean steak. I could pump my own gas and take my car to get the oil changed. I got the girls to school, to sports, to music and to dance. I took them away for weekends to visit friends out of town. I kept the house clean, fed the dog and did the laundry.

I was a one woman show.

So being separated hasn't changed things all that much. I still do all those things, but without the anger and resentment that 'someone' is not helping me.

My family living in the same town has been indispensable. They help and don't ask for anything in return. They actually offer to do things without me asking. They have helped me move 2 times in the last year, they have provided hugs and shoulders to cry on, they have always been there for me and the girls. They are the best damn family anyone could wish for.

I have to believe that there is someone out there for me that can break through my hardened, independent exterior and see the real me, who is a little bit unsure of things, lives life to the fullest and has a lot of love left to give.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami

Check out other cities here!

This week I took Little Dude (I babysit him) to a store that has ducks in a pond that you can feed. The bread was more interesting to Little Dude than the ducks and the tractors were extremely enthralling to him. Actually, the tractor looked really cool when it reflected in the duck pond....

They were decked out for fall with scarecrows and pumpkins!

Have a super week everyone!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday Fragments (Saturday Edition)

Mommy's Idea

Friday Fragments are the brain storm of Mrs. 4444s, aka "spider woman".

*Reason number 459 of why housework can be dangerous...
I walked out into the living room in the dark the other night to retrieve my reading glasses that were on the floor (ok don't judge, at least I knew where they were) and fell over the vacuum cleaner. I vacuumed and didn't put the damn thing away and am now paying for it with a sweet bruise on my ass.

*Who knew $89 could make me so happy? Thank goodness for the Christmas Tree Shops because you can buy cute furniture (and a bunch of other stuff) pretty cheap. I put this little kitchen island together the other night and I AM LOVING IT! Cute, right?

*Here is a picture of my kitchen. We had a heck of a time getting in this table because it was bigger than the door jam. That is until my brother cut off the bottom piece of wood which allowed it to sail through the door! Yippee! I can have company for dinner now! Any takers?

*I am training little dude in digging so someday he can build me a garage. At the beginning of the video he is thinking everything is a worm because one surprised him when he was digging.

*Happy Weekend! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now That's Entertainment!

Some think my kids are spoiled or I am crazy because I drive them to and from school. They took the bus early on in elementary school because it was fun to be in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt. The novelty wore off and thankfully I am able to drive them both ways.

After yesterday, it became very clear to me the benefit of my kids not taking the bus.

The entertainment.

I picked up K, B and cousin J from school and because it was the last official day of summer, I took them to Dairy Queen. It takes a good 10-15 minutes to get to DQ which gave us plenty of time to chat and for me to listen. Here is just some of the conversation that I could jot down while driving (I mean, safely pulled over on the side of the road, Mom).

J "What did you do at swimming last night?"
B "I swam."

J "Where's your phone? Mine is plugged in all nice in my bedroom."
B "It's under my leg where it is nice and warm."

J "My phone is better than your phone."
B "Is not. Mine is very cool, but needs to be upgraded."
J "Touch screen phones are the only cool ones."
Me "Um, J, I don't have a touch screen, but I do have a crackberry."
J "Iphones are cool. We have 3, but it costs too much to change our plan over to use them."
K "Well sell them then."
J "No, we just keep them in a drawer."

J "My dad picked up a hitchhiker in North Conway once."

B "I had a grapefruit tic tac today for breast cancer."
me "What?"
B "It was pink. The teachers were passing them out."

J "I don't like girls touching me."
Me "Wait a few years."

B "I need to shave my legs."

J or B "Remember when DQ burned down because it got hit by a car?"
"It didn't get hit by a car, it just burned."
"They don't serve hot food there so it won't burn again."

Next time I should record or video this because it is really funny how they switch from one topic to another. Crazy kids. At least I evened off the calories from my Blizzard with the exercise I got from laughing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Once Upon a Time Wednesday....

Once upon a time Wednesday is about things from the past. There are many stories in my head that I want to share with my girls. The trip to Ellis Island, thank you very much Liberty Mutual, this summer made me realize that I had to get these stories documented. History is extremely important and fun! So if you want to join along, please link up on the bottom and share a little piece of your history with the rest of us!

Along with my parents owning a summer house in Ogunquit, ME, my grandparents lived in Meredith, NH right on Lake Winnipesaukee. Yeah, spoiled, I know. It's funny how you don't truly appreciate it then, but what I would do to have either of those houses now.

Anyway, my brother was down this weekend and we were reminiscing about stuff and the bat story came up. Love the bat story and it will be forever imprinted in my mind like a photograph. There were lots of bats in the woods and sometimes they would fly down the fireplace into the house. I remember when I was really young, adults screaming and my grandmother knifing a bat like it was a serial killer. Maybe this is why I don't like scary movies?

Anyway, one summer, my brother and I went and visited the lake house for a weekend. He and I were in adjoining bedrooms and my grandparents were at the other end of the house. I heard something like a bird and woke up and ran and got my brother. (We were in HS or college at this point) He probably yelled a few expletives at me and told me to leave, but I made him get up. We went into the living room and realized that said bird was a bat. I don't think we went in to wake up my grandparents, but the picture I have in my mind is them standing there in nightgown and boxers with wife beater t-shirt with broom and knife in hand. My grandmother had some sort of head covering on and was yelling at me to put one on because (evidently) bats like blond hair.

The bat ended up dieing (being bludgeoned) in one of the bedrooms and tossed outside. I wish I had a photo to share with you and to hang up on my wall. The best way to describe my grandparents that night is think of the American Gothic Farmer's picture and imagine them

in their nightclothes,

with headgear,

and a bat hanging from the pitchfork.

Want to play? Leave me a comment with a link to your blog o'memories!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's On Tv?

While many of you were watching Carol Brady sashaying across the dance floor, I was laughing my ass off watching CBS. My mom loves, loves, loves Dancing with the Stars. She eagerly awaits the new season to see who is dancing, she knows the professional dancers by name and talks about them like they have Sunday supper with us every week. I have been known to watch, but usually get frustrated by the over dramatization of the "players".

Then again, I am not really into too many reality shows. B loves anything that has to do with Kate Gosselin and the other multiples shows (there are a lot!) and K loves Kat VonD. I love the Deadliest Catch, but even that has become way more dramatic than it needs to be. You would think fishing boats on the Bering Sea would be dramatic enough.

My favorite shows have to do with the standard 1/2 hour time slot where I can just laugh. No police shows, detective shows, or serious solving something shows. When I get the time to watch tv, I just like to laugh. This brings me to last night. Whatever one thinks of Charlie Sheen in real life, it should not carry over to Two and a Half Men. It is just a funny, perhaps not politically correct, but funny show. Thankfully the girls were asleep and I didn't wake them up from my cackling.

I am usually hesitant about the new shows, but watched Mike and Molly after 2 1/2 men.

Gut. Busting. Laughter.

Yup, so funny. Love it. Mike and Molly meet at Overeaters Anonymous. Mike is a cop who has a hysterical skinny partner and Molly is a 4th grade teacher who has a dis-functional skinny sister. The one liners were flying. For example, Molly is on the eliptical in her living room while her mom and sister are gushing over a chocolate cake. They offer her a bite and she says, "What do you think I'm doing on this machine? Making butter?"

Now I have 2 nights I can get excited about tv-wise. Mondays and Wednesdays. The Middle was my favorite new show of last year. Then there is Modern Family and Cougar Town. 2 nights of laughing. Just what everyone needs in this world, a little bit of laughter.

Maybe by the end of the fall, I will have abs like "the Situation" from laughing so hard and get asked to dance on Dancing with the Stars. Um, yeah, now that should have made you laugh!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea

Fridays come up so quickly in blog world, but seem to take forever to get here in the real world. What's that all about? If you want to spew some of the thoughts from your mind or read others, go check out Mrs. 4444s. You'll be happy you did.

*So one of the interesting things I have learned from wedding photography is how men are suppose to button their blazers. This, surprisingly enough, is an issue because some guys like them unbuttoned, some all buttoned, some just whine that they have a suit jacket on..... What one groom had been taught from his dad, has stuck in my mind. Say there are 3 buttons on the jacket. Starting at the top button and working your way down, say, "Always, Sometimes, Never". Always button your top button (when standing), Sometimes your second button and never the 3rd button. I thought this tidbit was ingenious when I first heard it.

*The girls and I jam to music in the morning. It helps us to start our day HAPPY. We sometimes have Michael Jackson mornings or sometimes we have whatever is the latest we have bought off itunes. It's fun and makes mornings so much smoother!

*It's funny at 43 how I can still feel intimidated. I took little dude to music class this week for the first time. I felt that the other moms had been doing this for years and knew all the songs and had no problem dancing around the rooms with scarves, etc. I laughed at myself when I realized that I was self-concious. I have no problem standing up and speaking to a crowd of people, but I was having a problem dancing around with a scarf. Guess I'll have to practice in the mornings when I am jamming to Michael Jackson.

*I went to a playground this week with a friend of mine who adopted a 3 year old a few weeks ago from Russia. Listening to her talk and hearing some of the things she was worrying about, it reminded me of some of the same things my sister was worrying about with a newborn. How much to feed them, when to sleep, what to do, language etc... New moms are new moms whatever the age!

*I was invited to the Grand Opening of the new Oshkosh B'Gosh store at the South Shore Mall next week. I am very excited to go! I loved the little pink and white Oshkosh striped overalls that the girls used to wear. Now I get to check out the latest fashions for little dude and his new sister and my new niece, R! Maybe they could make a pair of pink/white striped overalls in my size!?

*Have a great fall weekend!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Once Upon a Time Wednesday....

Once upon a time Wednesday is about things from the past. There are many stories in my head that I want to share with my girls. The trip to Ellis Island, thank you very much Liberty Mutual, this summer made me realize that I had to get these stories documented. History is extremely important and fun! So if you want to join along, please link up on the bottom and share a little piece of your history with the rest of us!

Once upon a time......
My family had a summer house in Ogunquit, Maine. That is where I spent all my summers from junior high through college. I have many, many stories about Ogunquit, but in honor of Labor Day Weekend just passing, that will be today's subject.

We were friends with all the lifeguards on Ogunquit Beach, especially the ones at the second lifeguard stand because that is where the neighborhood sat every day. We thought the lifeguards had some sort of secret power to make something monumental happen every Labor Day Weekend. We thought they wanted the weekend off before they went back to college.

One year a nurse shark swam right into where everyone was swimming, one year a big storm, and one year the threat of a tsunami. The loud speaker on the beach announced that there was a "big wave" spotted by a fisherman and it was headed our way. Everyone had to EVACUATE the beach. I have added a picture to show you that there is a bridge to get to the beach. One lane, each way.

Luckily, we lived within walking distance and once we found everyone, we headed with the masses over the bridge trying not to panic. One of my friend's was on crutches and I remember telling her to "hurry up!" Nice right? At least I didn't ditch her and run. We decided to go to her house because she had a view of the beach and the ocean. If a big wave was coming, we wanted to see it!

We climbed up to their 3rd floor screened in porch, ate M&Ms and waited. (Yes, I know, you are surprised that M&Ms made it into this story, well they did. I was an addict way back when. It's truly surprising I still have my own teeth.) The moms had cheese and crackers and wine. We waited for awhile, but nothing happened. We went down to the beach hours later and there were big waves crashing, but no "big wave".

Since that day, we have had many discussions about this wave. If indeed, there had been a tsunami, we would have been dead. And we would have watched it coming right at us. We all are grateful that this is just one of our funny Ogunquit stories and did not turn into a tragedy.

The lifeguards did succeed in getting this day off. I seriously think they had magic powers.

I would love for you to play along, I just have to figure out how to put that cool linky thing on the bottom. I'll work on that for next week. Leave me a comment if you do it today! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sundays in My City (whoops it's Monday)

Unknown Mami

This weekend was VERY busy, so forgive me for putting Sundays in My City on Monday. Sunday, Monday, they rhyme, I'm sure Unknown Mami won't mind too much. To see sights from all over the world check out the others who play along!

There is a house in town that is causing a lot of commotion because of it's color. I tried to grab a shot while I drove by. If you make it bigger, you might notice the back of the gallery is white, and the house to the right of the picture is shingled. White and shingled are popular features on Cape Cod. Evidently the people that own this gallery/house wanted to move it and the town said no, so they retaliated by painting it yellow and green. I laugh every time I drive by. It's the best 3 year old temper tantrum I have ever seen!

Am I lucky to live here or what?

This was an early morning at the Fish Pier and the water was just sparkling.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea

This week seemed to go by quicker than most weeks. Which means I didn't blog a lot, which means I have lots of random thoughts for today's post. Check out other's randomness here.

*It's funny how September came and the weather instantly turned cooler with no humidity. Don't tell anyone, but September is the best month on the Cape.

*With September comes the first day of school. 2 middle schoolers with excitement and anxiety equals an interesting time taking that first day of school photo. My girls are at least trained to know that they can't get out of it, but they haven't mastered the idea of the quicker you smile, the quicker you can get in the car.

B was ready and smiling...

While K was annoyed and stomping her feet..

Can't you feel the love?

Phew, got one!

*I have a bus stop in my front yard for the elementary school. It is funny to listen to the kids and their parents in the morning. Maybe they don't realize that my windows are wide open and I am an eavesdropper by trade.

*My sister and the baby are doing well!

*I have been toying with the idea of starting a Wednesday post titled..."Once Upon a Time Wednesdays". I feel I need a place to put older stories from when I was little so I can record them, share them with the girls and have them forever. So, hopefully I will start this coming Wednesday since I just outed my idea to you. I will have up a linky thing if you would like to join along!

*And a special shout out to my Uncle Dick who reads my blogs religiously. I don't get to see him that often, but I know he is up to date with what's going on in our lives down here on the Cape! Love you :)

*Have a great weekend! I have 2 weddings to shoot and a potential trip off Cape to visit 2 of my roommates from college for lunch!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Hurricane That Wasn't

Hurricane Earl was heading toward the North East,
They shouted, "This one's going to be a BEAST!"
Some used plywood to board up their store,

Some went crazy and used tape galore!

The hurricane flags were flying from every mast,
Stories surfaced of hurricanes of the past.

The news reporters were here and in their glory,

Not just one... they ALL had to get a hold on the story.

The fishing boats were moved from their pier,

To a much safer harbor, where the wind wouldn't cause fear.

The theory was that anything could happen over night,
Category 1 or 2 where everything could take flight.
Or maybe, just maybe it would stay off shore,
And really be a lot of hype, and just a snore.

We awoke to see what might have been uprooted,
The strength of the non-storm might have been disputed,
But as I looked outside to see in the early dawn,
I noticed all of 3 twigs had fallen on my lawn.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea
4 quick fragmented thoughts to keep you busy on a Friday....

1. Mrs. 4444's actually called ME this morning to make sure I was all ready for the big storm. How sweet is that???

2. I got pulled over yesterday because my license registration had expired in July. At least it was July of this year. Plus it wasn't my fault, it was Matt's. The car's in his name.

3. A man came to look at the leak in my roof an hour before the hurricane is about to begin and tells me the leaking in my ceiling is because of mice in my attic.

It is their pee that is causing the leak.

I am so amazed that mice know how to save up all their pee until it rains buckets.

4. And the best news of the week is that my sister and her husband had a beautiful little girl yesterday and that they are all doing fine. I can tell you this auntie and baby girl's cousins are extremely proud and excited!

Go by Mrs. 4444's place to check out other fragmented writers! And BE SAFE if you are in Earl's path!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

As hurricane Earl careens toward the Eastern seaboard, their is a slight hum going around town. This is the same hum that you can feel before a Nor'Easter (big snow storm). It's the hum of excited anticipation. I am not sure if this happens in other parts of the country, but I think New Englanders actually like the anticipation of a good storm. It's exciting. It's something to talk about. It's an excuse to hunker down, eat junk food by candlelight and listen to the wind blow around.

My experiences with hurricanes are both memorable.

Gloria hit in the fall of 1985. I was enjoying my freshman year at Bates College in Maine. We had a big window in our room and had to tape it up with duct tape. The upperclassmen in my dorm, got a keg or 2, put it in the basement and had a hurricane party for the dorm. We stayed up all night and once the wind started to die down, I convinced the only freshman I knew with a car to take 5 of us to my summer house in Ogunquit (about 1 1/2 hours away) to make sure it was ok. My house was fine, but some of the hotels on the water didn't fare so well. We watched the sun rise near Nubble Light in York and it was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Bob hit in August of 1991. By this point, I was living on Cape Cod. Most of my friends were fishermen with trucks and boats. Matt and his brother spent the night on their boat tucked into a small inlet. They did this by choice, they felt that they could protect their livelihood by being with it and willing it to survive the storm. They did and it did. The thing I remember most is driving around town early the next morning and surveying the damage. The smell in the air was incredible. It was an overwhelming smell of fresh wood. Unfortunately, it was because so many trees fell and chainsaws were clearing them out of the streets. I had never seen so many trees uprooted from the ground. There were boats on beaches, flooding so much that houses were moved off their foundations and green leaves everywhere. That was the year that fall came early without even changing color.

So now we wait and stayed glued to the Weather Channel. I have to chuckle every time they show the 7 day forecast because it shows rain and wind for Friday and Saturday. Yeah, just a little rain and wind. I certainly don't wish for hurricanes or bad storms, but I do like the buzz beforehand. I hit the grocery store yesterday to grab an extra water, a loaf of bread, chocolate chips(definitely need brownies for a storm!) and some cold cuts. I was there before the big rush that will probably be later today and definitely tomorrow morning, if indeed Earl decides to vacation on Cape Cod. A friend of mine said D size batteries had already been sold out by yesterday afternoon and by tonight there won't be a flashlight within 20 miles.

I will be sure to have my camera charged and ready to go for when the sun shines the next day as if nothing had happened.