Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Heartbreak, Round 2
Today we found out we will not be able to get a puppy from the litter born on May 29. There were 10 puppies, but only 2 of them were females, and there were three people on the list before us. We really want to hold out for a female, so it's back to the drawing board. Will we ever get another dog? I see the "summer of the dog" fading away, even though it's only a couple of days away from June.

Oh well. I suppose we'll REALLY appreciate our puppy when we finally get her. I've been acutely aware for a while that sometimes you just have to sit back and stop trying so hard, and, as my friend JoAnn used to say, let the universe take care of things. We all just miss our companion so much! This will be a good lesson in patience, and I'm sure it will all be worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario ( is about an hour-and-a-half from here. It's a great day trip that we've been taking for at least the last five years during the Memorial Day weekend. Just a hop-and-a-skip from Niagara Falls, Ontario, it is well worth the trip (I prefer it to the tacky and overcrowded Niagara Falls). In NOTL, you feel like you are stepping into a quaint European town. When we go in late May it is usually not as beautiful as when everything is in full bloom in the summer, but attractive nevertheless and a heck of a lot less crowded!

Some great things about NOTL:

Another good thing that I can't attest to: The Shaw Festival...we've never gone but many make the trip with the festival as their destination.

But...bring a lot of money! The cost of lunch and shopping can be expensive (at lunch, Mark's beer cost $8!), and a good t-shirt will run you at least $20-$25. The cost is made worse by the weak American dollar (or the strong Canadian dollar) - as of 5/26/07 the exchange was only .04 on a the American dollar.

Ayez l'amusement (Have fun)!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Star Wars!

Wow! It's the 30-year anniversary of the release of Star Wars! I can still remember standing in line as a 13-year old in my hometown of Massena, New York, to go to the movie everybody was talking about. I wasn't too hyped-up about it - it didn't look too interesting to me, but, to this day, I don't think a movie has had the same lasting impact/impression as the first Star Wars movie (then know simply as "Star Wars," now know as "Episode IV: A New Hope"). I had such a crush on Mark Hamill - here's my favorite image of him from that movie.

A couple of years ago when, I think it was, the second of the new movies (prequels) came out, we were sitting in the theatre and the excitement was building - we've been a Star Wars family from way back - when my daughter turned to a total stranger (an older man, and seemingly as excited as we were) and said, "My mom married my dad because his name is Mark, just like Mark Hamill." Embarrassing, but probably true! Now that all the movies are in place, I can definitely say I like the "last" three (Episodes IV, V and VI) better than the "first" three (Episodes I, II, and III). What the earlier movies lacked in technology, they made up for in heart. And visa verse.

It must have been the 20th Anniversary when they re-released the first Star Wars back into the theatres with some updated/upgraded scenes. I remember the day vividly, the day must have been Cameron's 5th birthday, an amazing February day when it was 70 degrees in Western New York. My sister and her sons came from Watertown for the day, and Annalisse was probably just over 2 years old. It was her first movie in a theatre, and she thought she was there to see "The Wizard of Oz" (or: Wizza Wause, as she called it - she was hooked on that movie). Of course, once The Wizard of Oz did not appear on the screen she wanted nothing to do with the movie. Still, I was able to experience some of the magic again, for a little while!

Ahhhhhh, Summer!

Finally, something resembling summer has arrived. This weekend, the long Memorial Day weekend, marks the unofficial start of my favorite season. I absolutely love the warm weather, and absolutely hate working in the summer. I blame that on my father, who never made me work while I was a teenager. The warm nights, the cool mornings, the birds, the breeze, the summer food - all of it!! At least I only work 1/2 days on Fridays (my job has "summer hours").

This summer's schedule is revolving around when/if we get our puppy. Scheduled to be born next week, we're hoping, if all goes well, we'll be bringing her home around July 25 - still enough time to enjoy the warm weather and all the fun stuff that goes along with having a puppy. The kids schedules - that's another story. Every year it's like a giant puzzle between planning summer camp, child care, my vacation time, and other activities.

This year the kids will once again be going to 4-H Camp Brisol for two weeks (not consecutively) in July (During which Mark and I go out to a different restaurant every night - it's a vacation for us, too! We rush home from work, get changed, and off we go!). The main goal for summer childcare - to get the kids off the computer, away from the TV, and out of the house.

The view from May 25: the summer stretches out ahead of us...with nothing but sunny days (and a great thunderstorm or two, or three) and hanging out on the porch in sight...!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Greatest Invention in the World - EVER!

Music has always been a big part of my life. It is able to evoke long buried memories, much like certain smells can, and I have always dreamed of having all my favorite music, "the music of my life" in one place. Along the way I thought it would be cool if you could go on the Internet and order a CD of all your favorite songs, and I looked into that several years ago. While someone had actually thought of it, it cost quite a bit to order such a CD. Then, and I think you know where I'm going with this, my friend Sue turned me onto the iPod. I think Sue got one of the first off the assembly line (when they were made just for Apple computers) and she would rave about how I needed to get one (she knew me well and knew how I loved "my music.").

I put her off for a little while, until the PC version of the iPod came out, and I think I got one of those first models off the assembly line (judging from the size of my iPod in relation to later models - it's a bit of a monster). So, in a nutshell, I now have the "songs of my life" (over 1,000, which is actually a small number in comparison to others, I know) all in one place, and it has changed my life. There is nothing like a great walk or a long car ride with your favorite music! Awesome! (I also convinced a co-worker she needed to get one...she says it has also changed her life.) What an invention!

(A great side benefit - my kids are also now turned onto the power of music through their iPods, especially my son, who has never really has much interest in music. His iPod now contains a lot of stuff off my list - 70s classics and such [not to mention all his videos...].)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Puppy Dreams

For those of you who know us, you know we lost our beloved Golden Retriever, Casey at 2 3/4 years old in April after she ate 2-16 oz. bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. A counter surfer from way back, she got into the chocolate during the brief hour-and-a-half we had left the house on a Saturday morning. We truly feel like we have lost a family member, and think about (and talk about, and miss) her every day.

We are "on the list" for a new golden pup to be born in late May, and are hoping all arrive safely, and that there will be a girl in the litter for us. Her mom is expecting 10 puppies, so the odds seem pretty good. We are so looking forward to our life getting "back to normal" once the puppy arrives. Her name will be Clover (officially: Clover Do-Over).

I recently read an article about what the the type of dog a person/family chooses says about them: In particular, with the outgoing and friendly Golden, the dog gives the person who might otherwise be shy a chance (excuse?) to meet people with whom they might not otherwise engage, or stop to chat with on those summer (fall, winter, and spring) strolls around the neighborhood. Who can resist a Golden, right? So friendly, and in our case, trustworthy. I don't think Casey would ever have done anything out of character. We trusted her implicitly.
The part about why certain people choose certain dogs is so true! I never thought I would be a dog person, but I (we) so enjoyed making new acquaintances, and getting to know people on our daily walks. Since Casey's been gone, I no longer feel part of the club. BUT, I hope to renew my membership in it with Clover!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


For a really long time, we've been collecting Annalisse-isms. That is, things that our daughter, Annalisse has said that make absolutely no sense or are mixed up in a very funny way. A couple of classics:

  • Hey! Look at that Red Jay (cardinal/bird)!
  • I'm going to ruin the world! (rule the world)
  • This summer I'm going to sleep in early every day.
  • When tattled on by her brother for picking her butt...her reply: I try not to!
  • Jugs Judy (the TV judge)
  • At the airport gate in Pittsburgh: Look Mom! Those people are going to King Kong! (Hong Kong)
  • At the Nazareth College Bookstore: Let's go into the Nazareth gift shop!
  • Referring to "The Soup's" Kick-Ass Clip of the Week: Cameron, it's the *bleep* Ass Clip of the Week ~ ooops, wrong word bleeped....

And from Sunday School...

  • It was ordered by King Harold (vs. King Herrod).
  • Jesus had 12 impossals.
  • Jesus went to Duruselem (Jerusalem).

The Fabulous Baker Blog

The comings, goings, and musings of Mark, Judy, Cameron and Annalisse (and their old cat Bailey) Baker of Fairport, New York, a quaint suburban community on the outskirts of Rochester, New York. Welcome friends and family!