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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Girl Time

I'm almost 45 and I had my first pedicure yesterday. Obviously, a late bloomer when it comes to doing that extra stuff for myself. My sister, Mary is a very girly-girl, and Annalisse will admit that sometimes she wishes she had Mary for a mother because Mary loves shopping, make-up, jewelry and perfume. I missed that critical stage during my development when girls learn how to put on makeup and generally dress stylishly.

So, Annalisse and I headed out to Head-to-Toe Essentials, parked ourselves in a massage chair for an hour, and came out with shiny toes and soft feet. Yes, it was worth it, and yes, I'd do it again!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seasonal Bookends

How can it be that it's Labor Day weekend already? I feel a little cheated out of summer seeing how rainy and often chilly it's been since May. But, summer is summer, and I'm bummed it's almost over. But, there's still a lot to look forward to, like:

  • The Gate's Backyard Movie Night is tonight

  • We have blissfully nothing planned for Sunday and Monday of this long weekend

  • The kids go back to school next Thursday (HURRAY!)

And I am REALLY GOING TO GET THAT WEEDING DONE THIS WEEKEND (notice a theme here...). In fact, I've hired Cameron to do most of it!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Many of Me?

Every once in a while I come across a web gadget that's really cool. Yesterday an article in the paper called How Many of Me? caught my eye. Just enter your first and last names and it will tell you how many people in the U.S. share your name. If you're dying to know, there are 720 people in the U.S. with the name "Judy Baker." That number is slightly higher for those named "Judith Baker" (774). That was a little surprising because it seems likely that "Judy" would be the more common name. Annalisse, with her mildly unusual first name, has 3 or fewer doppelgangers in the U.S. (but, surprisingly, 1,525 have the exact spelling of her first name - the name has many variations).

How the heck do they do that? Finally, a good use for all that cenus data! Isn't the Internet cool?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cam's Bonus Vacation

Cameron is dancing around singing "Happy Birthday to Me" as his sister leaves for four days of music camp this morning. What could be a better way to celebrate the winding down of summer than having four more days of peace and quiet, not to mention he just found out yesterday that he doesn't go back to school THIS Thursday, but NEXT Thursday. Woo hoo!

His week without his sister does come with the caveat that he actually has to interact with humans and take the dog out once in a while. The house is stocked with snacks in anticipation of his chums' (I should use that word more...) visits and, of course, the other chores I'll dream up to "keep him busy" this week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blog Lite for a Friday Night

This fluffy non-substantial blog entry is brought to you by: A Non-Eventful Week. Non-eventful, however, is not exactly the same as boring. The week started out with the usual workday yada yada, but things really started getting interesting on Wednesday night (technically, Thursday morning), when I woke up and, um, had a stomach bug (the kind that results with stuff hurling out of your mouth and into the toilet). As a result, I was laid low on Thursday, barely able to get off the couch, and definitely not able to eat anything (that's one way to lose weight...this morning is the first time I dared step on the scale in MONTHS).

I had originally planned to take the kids to Seabreeze for the day, but that plan had to be scrapped and put aside until today. So today we, and a zillion other people, headed to the park for the last hurrah of summer (it didn't help that it was 90 degrees).

Tomorrow morning we're heading up to Letchworth State Park at 8am for an early morning breakfast with Mark's cousin, Sue, and her family. Then Mark (and possibly me, I haven't decided yet) are heading to the Village for the Fairport Music and Food Festival. I may just take a nap...

It's blog entries like these that make me wonder if I should do a blog...does anyone care? Of course you do! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

And now a rambling long-awaited account of our girls weekend:

We had a great time at 1,000 Acres Ranch! It was a beautiful setting with the Hudson River running along one side of the ranch (a great way to great the morning from my balcony) and a mountain on the other side. The year was 1986 (probably the last time it was painted and the carpets were replaced), and we stepped into a time warp that was a cross between Dirty Dancing ("nobody puts baby in a corner") and the Wedding Crashers (we were the crashers). Most of the people were from the New York City area and New Jersey, and they all seemed to know each other. It turns out that most of the 200 visitors to the Ranch that week have come back year after year and have developed lasting friendships that go on long after the pool is closed for the season. The 1,000 Acre Ranch lives up to its name of being family friendly - boy, were there a lot of kids around, including in the bar at 11pm.

Enough about the setting, and onto the girls. Everyone was really happy to be together for a change of scenery and a bit of escape from our day-to-day lives. The ranch had various activities (talent show and bonfire on the beach on Friday night, and country line dancing lessons on Saturday night), including a great horseback ride through the woods. Meals were included, and of course, there was beer involved. Sue and I got into the martinis on Saturday night and the bed hasn't spun that way for me in a long time!

Poor Gina, she didn't feel well all weekend. She was battling a cold and fever, but was a real trouper. Kathy was not able to join us as tragically, her sister passed away on Friday, the day we left for our adventure. She was in our thoughts all weekend, though, and we hope she'll join us next year. That left just the five of us, including Heather and Lorie, and we had a lot of laughs. On Saturday, we took a ride to Lake George, which was about 20 minutes away from the ranch, where we spent the afterenoon and had lunch. We all got temporary tattoos with the Chinese character for "friendship." I tried to rub mine off before work today but it's not budging!

So, until next year, it's back to the real world until we can escape again!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ride 'Em, Cowgirl

My pal Sue is en route from Virginia for our annual girl's weekend - the one weekend (Friday night, really) a year that I actually drink a little beer (and eat a lot of snacks). This year we're heading to 1,000 Acres Ranch outside of Lake George. There will be six of us, and Sue is the only holdout for riding a horse (she claims it's because someone needs to take the picture; I told her that's what the shirtless ranch hands are for). We'll have to see how it goes...I'm sure it will be fun...I hope there aren't too many families with young children around...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New (Fur) Faces in the Neighborhood

There are a couple of new (fur) faces around the neighborhood. First is Scout (on the left, with his brother, Tim, and Jasper), a 12-week old Golden Retriever who is very very afraid of Jasper (they call him "The Turtle" when Jasper tries to play with him because he rolls on his back and forms into a ball). Next, is Maize (obviously, on the right!), a 10-week old English Shepard - very cute and also very scared of Jasper. Soon they will both tower over him and we'll see who's afraid of whom...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

These Colors DO Run

Remember, right after 9/11, when a picture of the flag with the words, These Colors Don't Run, was the war cry for this crazy war we now find ourselves in? Well, here's a picture of the flag flying off our front porch and, unfortunately, these colors DO run. Our nylon flag is a casualty of the very rainy summer. I guess they don't make flags the way they used to.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home, Safe and Sound

Cam got home from his adventure last night around 6pm. It was a tearful reunion for all the families, but probably more for the mothers than anyone else! He was happy to see us, and actually had a lot to say about his trip. I think all the days seemed to blend together because he lost track of time, and thought it was Thursday! He said he wasn't tired so we went out to dinner, then headed home to unpack. He bought us a really nice piece of Venetian glass, and an "evil eye" bracelet for his sister.

We're so happy he's home, and I think he's ready for a couple of days (weeks?) of just hanging around the house after his intense 20 days.


Later today I'll be putting pictures up on the blog's slide show...check back!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Birds Come Back to the Nest

Yesterday, Annalisse returned from a rainy weekend camping in Alexandria Bay. Tired and in need of a good shower, she had a great time! It's just two more days until our other bird flies back. Cam should be home from his adventure around 5pm on Wednesday. It will be 11pm "Paris time" so I'm sure he'll be really exhausted after a long day of travel (and a busy but exciting 2 1/2 weeks on the road). We heard from a couple of families that the kids, in general, are ready to come home. They've had a wonderful time but it is really difficult to pack up and move every day, in addition to the long bus rides they've endured. We can't wait until he gets home!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to my nephew Anthony (a.k.a. Tony)! Have a great rest of the week vacation with your crazy, um, I mean, "fun" family.

(On second thought, maybe you shouldn't have accepted your aunt's invitation to be her friend on Facebook...)

Safe Travels, Ufuk and Hayat!

Yesterday our Turkish friends, Ufuk and Hayat, left Rochester for Washington, DC, for the last stop on their journey home to Ankara. We will miss them and wish them safe travels and a great year at school.