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Thursday, February 28, 2008

What will you do with your extra day?

Unless you are calendar-challenged you know tomorrow is February 29, the extra calendar day that results in a "leap year." If you are dying to find out why we have an extra day every four years, you can read that here. So what are you going to do with your extra day this year? If you're like me (and most of the world), you'll be working, as usual, or going to school. Don't you think we should get the day off to do all the things we never have time to do?

About the only special thing people associate with leap year is Sadie Hawkins Day. February 29 is supposedly the day when it's okay for a girl to ask a guy out (or to marry her). Good luck with that!!

I think it would be really cool to have a leap year birthday. That, actually, would be even better than being a Libra. No, I mean it. I'm not kidding.

Make your extra day count!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Looks like its been demoted

See, I told you. Niagara Falls is "A Wonder of the World." Oh well, it's something.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We're off to see the Wonder

Tomorrow the kids and I are heading to Niagara Falls (Canada) for a winter break overnight at the Americana Resort, which features an indoor waterpark. I like to tell people how cool it is to live just over an hour from one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but it turns out I've been wrong all these years and Niagara Falls isn't one of the Seven Wonders. And that's not all. Apparently there are Seven New Wonders that were announced recently.

It turns out Niagara Falls is merely one of the Seven Forgotten Wonders of the World. What??!! In fact, there are several categories of Seven Wonders of the World such as Ancient World Wonders, Wonders of the Medieval Mind, Natural Wonders, Underwater Wonders, Wonders of the Modern World, and Forgotten Wonders of the Medieval Mind. Who knew?

Oh well, think of us among all the tacky attractions, overpriced souvenirs, and terrible food at Niagara Falls tomorrow. But more importantly, imagine us overlooking the Falls, and the majesty and awe of experiencing one of the Seven Forgotten Wonders of the World in all its frozen glory!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There's a New (wallpaper) Sheriff in Town

Very soon I will realize one of my home decorating dreams as the wallpaper in our bedroom, Annalisse's bedroom, the upstairs hallway, the dining room and the living room comes tumbling down (well, maybe tumbling is not the right word to describe the removal of wallpaper; "dripping down" or "peeling down" might be better). Jeff, the wallpaper guy, took one look at our job and declared, "I'm not afraid of this wallpaper - I've taken down worse."

You could almost see him with a holster on his waist - one side holding the paper tiger, the other holding a scaper - spurs on his paint-stained sneakers, and the theme to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" playing in the background (you know the one...). It was all I could take to not scream out "YOU'RE HIRED!" Sure, it's going to cost a lot of money, but Mark and I are resolved that we will never get out of debt, and it's worth it to rid ourselves of the once popular '80s wallpaper plaguing our house (I might add I'm more enthusiastic about this project than Mark is. But he was more enthusiastic about REFINISHING THE ENTIRE HOUSE'S HARDWOOD FLOORS ALL AT ONCE - WHICH RESULTED IN PACKING UP EVERYTHING WE OWNED LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER WE HAD MOVED IN AND MOVING OUT FOR A WEEK).

In March, Jeff will conquer the upstairs, and in July, the downstairs. We'll be sure to take some before and after pictures, although I'm sure it will not do justice to just how outdated, dingy and ugly the wallpaper really is.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, 15 Year Old!

My "baby" is 15 today. Arriving almost three weeks early (he was due on 3/9/93 - which, I'm sure you will agree, would be a very cool birthdate), he surprised me by being a boy, for I was absolutely sure I was having a girl (to be named Claire). Back then, you could find out the gender of the baby just as now you can now, but we chose not to. So, after a hard days work (I arrived at the hospital at 9am, and he was born at 5pm), we welcomed our sweet little boy and named him Cameron. His name was not as common 15 years ago as it is now, and the comments on his name ranged from "People will call him Ronnie" (my mother-in-law) to my old aunt calling him Camera.

Milestones like this always make me take a nostalgic look back. Cameron has lost three grandpas and other relatives since he was born; he's gained a sister (which I'm sure, to this day, he wishes had not come along) and a new cousin; we've moved two times; and we lost our two original "children," Bailey and Pru (we always told him he was actually our "third" child).

Cameron has always been a little guy. This year he has shot up in height (he's always travelled along the 5-10th percentile, which is not very alarming since Mark did too) and is now taller than me and on his way to his dad's height. He finally weighs enough to sit in the front seat of the car (tipping the scales at 88 pounds). We used to joke that he would be the only 17 year old still sitting in the back seat of the car. Buying clothes is a real challenge, especially pants, because he's getting taller but is skinny as a stick.

Time flies - which can be good but also a little sad. In three short years Cameron will be heading off to college, and we all know how quickly time passes after that. So enjoy your day, Cam!

Friday, February 15, 2008

And the winners are...

Today we drew slips for Cameron's People to People Raffle. The lucky winners are:

Quilt: Ken & Lena Cooke
Spaghetti Dinner: Sue England
Cookie Break (we decided to draw three names since this one is so easy to prepare): Mary & Jim Nicoll, Brian Edwards, and Robin Conner

Thanks to all our family and friends who supported Cameron's trip. We hope you enjoy your prizes!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

In celebration of LOVE, Happy Valentine's Day to you! I know this particular "holiday" polarizes opinion and sometimes gets a bad wrap (just another commercial moneymaker), but I really like it. To me it's a time to take a minute to share a greeting card (that can express the sentiment you feel but may not have expressed in a while because things can get pretty routine after 20 years), and enjoy a meal out with that special person or your special family. I must say that I am glad we're past the elementary school years when I had to write out (or, later, get them to sit down and write out) dozens of valentine's for the kids classmates.

I've always thought that people who have Valentine's Day as a birthday (Happy Birthday Droop, Otto and Colleen), or get married on this day are pretty cool. To lovers (and those who love and are loved) everywhere, have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why I Love the British

I think it's a widely held belief that the British are more refined than the Americans are. That's why I love to read a headline like this on one of the several British websites I check for news each day (Hello!, Mirror, and The Daily Mail). The stuff that's reported on these websites can be downright bizarre! Why do I read British news every day? Isn't it obvious? If I ever get the chance to take a quick leap across the pond I want to be "in the know" from the minute I step off the plane. But really, who knows why I read them? Escapism, I suppose. Now bugger off!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mercy, me!

We are currently pet sitting for my mother-in-law's cat, Mercy, while she's in Denver for a long weekend. It's sort of a "test run," and if all goes well we'll have Mercy for the month of April when Mom goes to Turkey to visit Amanada, Dave and Jackson.

Mercy is a very cute, small, and skittish tortoise shell tabby, and for the first two days of her visit we did not see her at all. We have her set up in the finished part of the basement since we don't want to further freak her out with the big overwhelming dog. Yesterday afternoon I started to really become alarmed because I could not find her all day, and she had also not touched her food or used her litter box. Did she crawl up into the furnace? Did she slip into the sewer pipe? Was she somehow crushed by one of the boxes in the basement? Clearly my anxiety about harm befalling one of my children has now extended to a relative stranger of a cat (time to get help?!). But, she ended up making an appearance yesterday evening and spent some quality time getting loving from me and Cameron (under familiar conditions she's a very needed kitty who spends most of her time on Mom's lap). It's Cameron's job to tend to Mercy's needs during her stay at our house. When she comes to stay for a month in April, he will be cat sitting to earn money for his trip.

Having Mercy around is a good trial run for us if we consider getting another cat in the future. Since Bailey left us in July, it's actually been nice just having one pet, although I do dream of a long haired gray kitten (the ones with the yellow eyes). Mark, however, has proclaimed, in his most threatening bravado voice, NO MORE PETS! I'll let him think he's in charge of that for a little while longer...

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Day of Catch-Up (Ketchup?)

Whew! Today I took a day off work to do a lot of running around and catch-up on chores around the house. Among the exciting things planned for this bonus weekend day:
  • Meet with the tax guy at 9:30 to do our taxes. We're holding our breath and hoping for the best.
  • Register Jasper with the town so they stop will sending me those threatening letters.
  • Go to the mall to shop around for new cellular plans. We want to get Cameron a phone for his 15th birthday (on Feb. 18), but want to see if we can info on rates from different vendors. We may end up staying with AT&T, but it's been a while since we checked out plans. (I don't have to worry about Cameron finding out that he may be getting a phone. He never reads the blog.)
  • Take Cameron to the doctor at 2:00 because apparently he fell on his shoulder during ski club on Tuesday night, and has been very sore and can't raise his left arm very far. I did not hear this from him (the "falling during ski club" part). If he hadn't mentioned it to Mark I would still be wondering why his shoulder hurt all of a sudden. This is a kid of very few words. Let's just say that did not work to his advantage this week when we got his report card and there were a couple of "surprises" there (and not the good kind).
  • Put the lighted garland away from the mantle. I know, I know. But it's so nice to have those lights on during these cold winter evenings.
  • Do a couple of loads of laundry.

There is low probability that I will get a nap today. Oh well, there's always tomorrow (and Sunday). This evening it will be off for a fish fry at The Landing in the Village, which has the greatest beer-battered fish fry around!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

Today is the first anniversary of my sister Mary's 50th birthday. Happy birthday, Sissy! And remember: no matter how old I get, I'll always be YOUNGER than you!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

There's a Superbowl For Everyone

Mark gets really annoyed when I ask such questions as "When is the Superbowl, anyway?" or, "Who's in the Superbowl this year?" Superbowl Sunday is, for me, is just like any other day. But for those who really enjoy it, there's superbowl fun for everyone, even Jasper. We have watched what has probably amounted to several hours of Animal Planet's Puppybowl today, and it's really funny because Jasper watches it and gets really worked up, and starts barking a the dogs on the screen. I'm sure tomorrow I won't be able to avoid hearing who won the "real" Superbowl...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

He'd better not see his shadow. I'm not kidding.

Today marks my favorite day of the year. Christmas? Well, you already know my thoughts on that. Thanksgiving? Good food but nothing to write home about. Easter? A bright and sunny Sunday, but it's back to work the next day. But Groundhogs Day - there's nothing like it. For all of us "glass half full" kind of people, this day marks the beginning of the end of winter. I've always made a big deal about Groundhog's Day, and this year is no different. Because it falls on a Saturday, we'll be celebrating at work on Monday with a summer picnic complete with picnic foods and a picnic basket. Usually I ask everyone to dress in either yellow (sun), brown (groundhog), or grey (clouds). I'm not insisting on that this year, though. Just knowing it will be sunny and warm again soon is enough!

Update: That furry oversized chipmunk saw his shadow again this year. Curses!