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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Third (now, Second) Greatest Invention Ever

The Third Greatest Invention Ever is, in my opinion, Fat-free Half & Half. In fact, I think it's so great that I'm going to bump the Tide-to-Go stick from the second spot (the iPod remains, and will forever be, THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER). Fat-free Half & Half is so good that you can even cook with it. I've made mashed potatoes, homemade mac-n-cheese, and chocolate mousse to name just a few possibilities.

My morning routine always includes a 20-oz cup of flavored Green Mountain Coffee (I don't love it for the caffeine - I try to get mostly decaf). Ironically, I really really dislike the taste of regular coffee, but love any variety of flavored coffee. In fact, the place I go every morning generally has up 6 or more flavors of GMC available in addition to the "regular" coffee. But, I digress...

So, in case you're keeping track, Fat-free Half & Half is the new "#2" on Judy's list of Greatest Inventions EVER.

Doubled in Size and Not So Calm Anymore

We took Jasper to the vet last week and he has doubled in size, topping out at 16 pounds (up 8 pounds since we picked him up on June 20), and he is not so calm any more. One of his favorite things to do on our walks is to jump up and try to get the (full) poop bag. One day I may let him get the "prize" he so seems to desire. I keep telling him he's a Poodle in a Golden's body.

We got Jasper a little pool and are trying to get him used to it. He is a water dog, after all!

We have been meeting so many canine friends around the Village. Among them: Cooper, a very bulky 4-month old Chocolate Lab; Toby and Bo, two yellow labs on our street,; Murphy and Mulligan (6-month old Goldens); Lily and Sunny (also Goldens); and Casey's old buddy, Scooter, a 3-year old Flat Coat Retriever. Every night on our walks it's a frenzy of leapy and playing bitey-face. His favorite friend, hands down, is Sheba, a long-haired Calico cat, who through her regal bearing and no-nonsense approach, is the undisputed Queen of the Street.

P.S. How in the world did it get to be July 31?!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

As heard in Friendly's today at lunch...

Cameron, talking about going to church (which is "very boring"): I don't know why I have to go to church. I was confirmed so now I'm an adult and I should be able to make my own decisions."

Steven: If you're an adult how come you just ordered a burger off the kid's menu?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Don't Drink & Drive (a lawn mower)

When I was in my late teens and still living in Massena, my friend Sue and I used to fantasize about taking a trip to Rochester (where my boyfriend, now husband, lived) on a riding lawn mower. Okay, "fantasize" is not quite the right word, maybe "joked about it" is better. Anyway, it's a good thing we didn't, or we could have ended up like this guy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Car Cruz Nights

Every Tuesday on the Canal Fairport has Car Cruz Nights, where all the old men come out with their fancy cars and guard them to be sure no one touches them (obviously, there are less cars out on nights when the weather threatens rain). Anyway, we like to go down and take a walk around with the pup. It's a great chance to see people we know, not to mention the smoothie factor. This time it took us at least an hour to get through the crowd because of Jasper's irresistible cuteness.

A couple of times each summer a great local group of teens performs at the event. They are called "It's My Party", and they are three young girls who sing classic "girl group" songs from the '50s and '60s. Always a big draw, they are a lot of fun to watch and very entertaining. I would encourage you to catch them if you can. They'll be at Car Cruz Night a couple more times (August 7 & August 28) this summer. They'll also be at the Thursday night Gazebo concert (Kennelly Park) next Thursday, August 2.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off to Camp They Go!

We just dropped the kids off for their second week of camp. It was a little hard convincing Annalisse to go again this week because she had really hoped one of her friends could come along. But that didn't work out, and after the first week, when she saw how many campers had brought friends, she got a little pouty. She didn't want to admit that, in spite of the fact that she would not be there with a friend, she really likes to go. This time around it looked like she had a cabin full of girls around her age, so I'm hoping she hooks up with one (or some) of them. Hey wait! Who the heck am I talking about here? Of course she'll hook up with one (or some) of them! Cameron ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY would not acknowledge our leaving with a hug, kiss...NOTHIN'.

On another note, on Friday morning we went to see the new Harry Potter movie at the IMAX theatre. That was really fun, and we'll probably do that for the next two movies. Then, Friday night, we had every intention of going to Borders to get the new HP-7 book (although we had not reserved one), but I've never been much of a line-waiter, so we went to the store around 9:30pm, but left within an hour. I went out the next morning and got a copy at Wegmans, along with our morning bagels and donuts. We are looking forward to the CD release so we can listen to it as a family when we travel. We do so enjoy Harry!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cute for Cute's Sake

Sometimes you just have to acknowledge cute for cute's sake. Here's a dose of Vitamin J to start your day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A sigh of relief - but lingering anxiety

A couple of weeks ago, on the heels of the tragic accident that took the life of five young Fairport teens, came a report that a woman in the Village was the victim of a failed abduction attempt. Supposedly, three men followed her as she was walking along the street, and tried to drag her into a black van, but left the scene when someone drove by and yelled that they were going to call 911. The foiled abductors were described as three African-American males. During a very sensitive time, I think a lot of us were a little freaked out about the report (especially someone like me who is always a little anxious about the kids even walking back and forth to school; Fairport is safe, but you never know).

Anyway, as the days went by we and did not hear any more about this situation (except for the media was asking the witness to contact police), I began to think that maybe it was a hoax. Especially since the description of the males seemed very stereotypical and racist. I told Mark on a walk last night that I was going to talk to the next Village police officer I saw to determine what became of the case.

Well, today on the news it was announced that the young woman involved was arrested for falsely reporting a crime. What a relief - but a good reminder that we should never take our "safe" town for granted, and should continue to keep a close watch on our children. There are crazy (and evil) people out there...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Well, do you have to go, or don't you?!

Why is it that when Jasper starts to whimper to go out in the middle of the night, when I get there he is laying on his back against the farthest wall of his crate and won't budge. So, I have to stoop down, reach in, and haul him out to go out? Wasn't it his idea to wake me up? Quit messin' with me!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Will (not) Work for Food

Today to avoid vacuuming I sold the task to the highest bidder for $5 ($2.50 for upstairs, $2.50 for downstairs). Annalisse took the bait, but, of course, gave up after only finishing the downstairs (the dust dinosaur army was growing). These kids! They want to be paid for everything. Cameron wanted to be paid for hanging out with the dog all day. At dinner (one of the rare ones I've cooked these days), I protested, saying, "I clean the house, and cook dinner and no one ever pays me." Annalisse, not missing a beat, said, incredulously, "Why would they? This food is terrible!" That just about sums up the fact that:
  1. I'm a self-admitted bad cook and I hate to cook, and
  2. I love to eat out!

Still, you need to consider the source - this comment came from the picky eater who wants Kraft Mac-n-Cheese or canned ravioli every meal, and thinks last week's meals at 4-H Camp was the best food she's ever eaten (ditto for her brother - he gained two pounds at camp!!!).

Separated at Birth?

Have you ever heard of Knut, the orphaned polar bear cub that has been around the news, including in National Geographic and Vanity Fair (he shared the cover with Leonardo DiCaprio for the Green Earth issue a couple of months ago)? Well, we think Jasper looks like Knut...can you see why? If not for Jasper's longer ears, they could be brothers!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Conclusion of Week 1 of Eating Out

The kids come home from camp today, thus concluding Week 1 of Eating Out. Well, it wasn't a banner week for dining...a combination of house and pet expenses cut our restaurant options way back, but we did manage to eat out a couple of times. Some highlights:
  • Monday night: Out to Mom Shiao's (Mark's mother - rhymes with "cow") for my favorite Chinese pork dish (followed by a raspberry/pina colada smoothie from Fairport Village Coffee).
  • Tuesday night: burgers on the grill followed by another smoothie run at FVC.
  • Wednesday night: yummy pulled pork and jambalaya at The Beale Street Cafe.
  • Thursday night: a walk over to Donnelly's for great pub food.
  • Friday: before picking up the kids this afternoon, we're going out to one of my favorite lunch places in Rochester - The Open Face Sandwich Eatery. There is nothing like their pickled ginger carrots - I know it sounds a little weird, but I'm hooked!!

The week was still good, even without the food fest. We mostly just enjoyed leisurely walks at night with the dog, and chatting with neighbors and friends we met along the way.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So bored without his playmates

Jasper seems to be a little bored without his brother and sister around to play with him all day (not that they played a lot - he seems to sleep a lot of the day or hang out on the couch with them). A charming side note - housebreaking is going okay, but I caught him eating his poop in the kitchen this morning. I'm sure it won't harm him, but GROSS!

This weekend we go up north for my nephew, Andrew's, high school graduation party. We'll be dropping Jasper off at a kennel in Central Square on the way, where he'll get a chance to see his "original mom," Janis the breeder. She will not believe how much he's grown!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Commence the week of eating (a.k.a. Week 1: 4-H Camp Bristol)

We dropped the kids off for their first week of camp today at 2pm. They could not wait to get there-Annalisse has been wound up and excited for at least 4 days now. I expect I will get a letter from A., but I'm sure no such luck from Cameron. I don't take it personally anymore...last year I even bought him "camp" stationery where it was preprinted with statements like "Today at camp we ____________" (fill in the blank). He still didn't write!

Tonight we're not doing anything very exciting for the 1st night of eating out - just going over to Lindburger's in Penfield for a good juicy burger and some crispy sweet potato fries.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

This time it's goodbye for good

Well, we did it. We put Bailey to sleep this morning. She was in pretty bad shape over this past week, so it was definitely time to let go. We're back down to one pet again, but that one is enough for now. We will surely miss her, but it will be "as she was," not as she has been the last six months. Who knows? Another cat or kitten may choose us in the months to come.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Whose bed is it, anyway?

I think we have one of the laziest, er, calm dogs in the Universe. Except for the burst of energy he has at 5:30am (he's sleeping around 8 hours a night, which is AWESOME), he mostly cuddles and snoozes all day.