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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sensitive Speller

I'm one of those people that is a little sensitive about the use of the English language. One of my pet peeves is when people spell things weird in advertising or signage. In particular, today why did I need to drive by:
  • The Kountry Kitchen

And have lunch at:

  • The Koffee Kove
It makes my skin crawl! Not kool or klever. But that's just me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't Leave the North Country Without One!

I'll be traveling up north tomorrow for Monday graduate fairs, and when I get there (or somewhere along the way) I will have to stop for a Jrecks sub. Only people who have experienced the oily goodness of a Jrecks sub can attest to the ingredients being the perfect combination of meat, cheese, lettuce, and dressings all cradled in a manageably soft sub roll (what is it with these sub shops in Rochester [and elsewhere]? Do they think my mouth opens to the size of a grapefruit? How am I supposed to eat the gigantic hard crusted subs they all have??). Ask anyone from Northern New York - I challenge you to find someone who has left that area who does not obsess about stopping for a Jrecks sub when they "go home." If you feel like going to a Jrecks and impersonating me, here's what you say as you move through the line:

"1/2 ham and provolone cheese on white, mayonnaise-Russian-and-oil, everything but pickles, hot peppers, and shakers."

Of course, with every magical moment there comes not-so-magical moments about an hour later. We call it "Jrecks Revenge," and let's just say you should keep an eye out for the nearest restroom after you enjoy your sub.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Annalisse Learned in School

Last night Annalisse told us what causes a stomach ache: stomach asses. Another Annalisse-ism is born.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hanging with the Cousins

Last night we had a chance to spend some quality time with Jackson. It was only about two hours, and he slept for half of it, but it was still fun. It reminded me of the demands of a baby, especially since we were relative strangers (no pun intended) and I wasn't sure if he was hungry, tired or just plain upset about being in a strange setting. After a fussy dinner of mashed bananas and avocados, we high-tailed it out for a walk in the stroller as a distraction. We made our way down the street and he was asleep by the fourth house. That sort of put an end to our plans of introducing him to the baby ice cream cone (vanilla custard) at Moonlight Creamery. He headed back to Popo's about 7:30pm, a very tired boy - it's got to be tough still struggling with the seven-hour time difference. The "big kids" loved taking care of him and fussing over him, and we will miss him when he's gone!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Introducing Jackson!

Here's a picture of our nephew, Jackson, who is almost 8 months old. We met him for the first time this weekend. He is so sweet and very jolly. Wasn't he worth the wait?!

Jasper and Mercy Recreate Famous Painting

Yesterday, Jasper and Mercy recreated Michangelo's famous painting, God Giving Life to Adam, as seen on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I'm not sure which one is playing "God" and which is "Adam." It's about time we got an updated version.






No Nap Weekend

What a crazy weekend! We started the marathon on Friday (which was also our 21st wedding anniversary - and they said it would never last.. Who said?!). Our activities are probably best conveyed through bullet points:

Friday: Work, anniversary lunch, shopping for ingredients for a couple of salads and supplies for a picnic at our house on Saturday, dog walk, and pick up relatives arriving from Turkey at 10:20pm. Bedtime at 11:30.

Saturday: Up early, go to the market, make salads, clean, greet visitors, have fun at picnic, clean up, go to Okoberfest with neighbors, walk dog, collapse into bed.

Sunday: Up early again, go to church by 7:45am to set up coffee hour, take dog to field, go to dim sum at noon, go to the People to People reunion meeting at 2pm, go shoe shopping, walk down to McCardles for a light dinner.

You'll notice that the last two days were missing the prime ingredient that makes for a successful Baker weekend experience. I'll give you a hint: it starts with an "N" and I'll be starting out the week tired without it. Maybe I'll be able to sleep at work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If we're mulching, it must be summer!

With blatant disregard for the fact that fall arrives next week, a couple of weeks ago we ordered mulch for our beds and gardens. I know it's late, but somehow the summer passed us by and we finally got around to working on the yard a little more (beyond the incessant weeding caused by a lot of rain this summer). My other goal for this year's yard was to outline the beds with field stones. We were lucky to connect with a lady at the dog field who just happened to be getting rid of a lot of stones (she was reconfiguring the gardens around her yard), so after a couple of trips to her place we are almost done! Between the fresh mulch and the big rocks everything looks really nice and very tidy. We still have a lot to do in the back yard, including the herb garden, but at least the front is done. I find a beautiful lawn really satisfying. I must be an adult now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Conversation after School

My daily call at work around 2:30pm:

Cam: "I'm home"

Mom: "How was school?"

Cam: "Good"

Mom: "What did you do?"

Cam: "Stuff."

Mom: "Do you have homework?"

Cam: "A little."

Mom: "Okay, I'll talk to you later."

A (young) man of few words...

Countdown to Jackson

On Friday we'll finally meet our new cousin, Jackson, as he returns to the states for a three-week visit. We'll only see him for a week before he jets off to California for a visit with his relatives there, but we're looking forward to spending time with him and doting on him a little. Amazingly, he's almost 9 months old already. Mom, who's spending the year with him in Turkey, keeps us up-to-date on his progress and unabiding cuteness, so, while he'll be meeting us for the first time, it seems like we know him already. What a well-travelled kid!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

With Far-Away Dreams of Summer

There's nothing like the first full week of school to make you feel frantic and exhausted. We went from leisurely mornings and lazy days to:

Time to get up! Get dressed! C'mon, get moving! What's for breakfast? Are you buying or bringing? It's too cold to wear that! Brush your teeth! Do you have all your stuff? One out the door by 6:40am. Did you take the dog out? Feed the cat! Okay, let's finish reading that chapter! Pick up your breakfast dishes! Second one out the door by 7:15am. Having them make their beds in the morning has become an unrealistic fantasy.

Welcome to packed days from 6am until I collapse on the couch to watch a little TV at 8:30pm (168 channels and NOTHING ON)! Now, we'll march like zombies through the school year with dreams of next summer.
...What, you got into the play? And you have to be there until 5 each day, then do your homework, then go to choir practice? Urghhh...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Vacuum, meet the reason we need a new vacuum

Last night we got around to getting a new vacuum cleaner. We ended up with a Dyson DC14 which was a little on the pricey side but, based on Baker Blog reader feedback, worth it. We haven't had a chance to give the whole house the once-over, but the picture at the right is the result of vacuuming the dining room alone. Of course, Jasper came running when he heard the vacuum cleaner hoping to get a vacuum massage.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fourth Avenue Hootenanny

Last night under balmy late-summer skies, we had our Fourth Avenue picnic. It wasn't a hootenanny with singing or anything (but don't you love that word?), but there was definitely a positive vibe as neighbors enjoyed each other's company (not to mention each other's culinary treasures and baked goods). The party started about 6pm with the closing of the streets, and the kids were out of control (in a good way) riding their bikes and running wild up and down the street and through the lawns. After we cleaned up, we headed to the Nune's for a patio bonfire. Admittedly, all that was missing was an acoustic guitar and a rousing medley of Beatles songs. And so we say goodbye to summer for another year.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

It's finally here!! The first day of school! The kids are easing in with just two days this week, but that's enough to whip Annalisse into a frenzy of excitement, and to get Cameron to "sorta" act like he's interested in going back to school. It's off to the high school for Cameron (10th grade - he left in the dark at around 6:30am), and this year Annalisse will "rule the school" as an eighth grader.

So off they go - it will be June before we know it! The dog will sure be bored with them gone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Drowing in a Sea of Dog Hair

You can't say we weren't warned. When we decided to get a Golden Retriever (and decided to get a SECOND Golden Retriever), everyone talked about the never ending piles of dog hair we'd have have to clean up. But, I didn't think I'd ever be obsessing about the possibility that some day I would actually win the war on dog hair - and I don't think I ever will - but, I am trying a couple of strategies to cut down on the white and gold tumbleweeds that dominate my rugs and hardwood floors:
  • We broke down and bought the Furminator. People claim it's a miracle "cure," but I suppose it's only as good as the amount times you're willing to furminate, which takes time and additional raking of the yard to gather up all the wayward fur. Luckily, Jasper loves to be furminated.
  • We vacuum the dog...and he loves it! Whenever I break out the vacuum cleaner he comes from wherever he is in the house and follows me around until I take one of the hoses and give him the once over.
  • I'm considering buying a vacuum cleaner that's rated #1 for managing pet hair. The bad news is my upright has died, my old canister vacuum cleaner is left with just one wheel and the hose/attachments, and I really need to vacuum. So, I went to Sears yesterday to get the lowdown on new vacuum cleaners and was directed to one of the Dyson models. I've since done some Internet research on vacuums for pet fur and the Dyson seems to be the brand everyone's talking about. However, at $400, I think we'll get an estimate on fixing our upright first.
Since most of the house is covered in hardwood floors, we'll have to explore our options in the war on dog hair. In the meantime, I'll just keep sweeping my hands along the floors to pick up the piles that form minutes after I put the vacuum away.