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Friday, October 31, 2008

The Ghost of John McCain

Presenting Cameron (with his friend Dylan) in his Halloween costume. There's just no good way to do a ghost.

Two Degrees of Kevin Bacon

I found out from a neighbor today that I'm two degrees from Kevin Bacon. Our across-the-street neighbor, Julia Nunes, who is making a name for herself musically, opened for the Bacon Brothers Band this summer. Whew, that is close!

Preview to Halloween

This is just a sampling of what the Village of Fairport has to look forward to as they greet trick-or-treaters tonight. The other half of the Baker duo is apparently going with the classic white-sheet ghost look, all pulled together with Mark's flag tie. I think we're going with the "Ghost of John McCain" theme on that one. More pictures later!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ready for Halloween

Annalisse put a lot of pressure on for me to kick the Halloween decorations up a notch this year. She looks around at the houses of our Fourth Ave. neighbors (and beyond) and is embarrassed by our meager decorating efforts. So, I invested in some of that crazy webbing, a giant spider, and a fake pumpkin this year, and VIOLA! A creepy house for Friday's fright fest!

You never get too old for this!

Yesterday we took our annual trip to Powers Farm Market to get some pumpkins. While it was just Annalisse and I (Mark was doing yard work for the scant few hours of sunshine before the rain started again, and Cam had friends over), I am reminded how great Powers is. Of course there are the giant tee-pees decorated with lit carved pumpkins, but there are also all the really cute animals. This year it looks like they added a couple of huge rabbits and little deer to their collection of donkeys, sheep, goats and strangely colored chickens (pink, yellow, purple...). Then, when you make it inside the market you are tempted by all those great fall treats: cookies, apples, donuts, cider, etc.
Here's a little melancholy for your Monday: the older I get the more I realize that the years are marked by a series of traditions and milestones that make the already quick passing of time even more obvious. And so, another yearly fall tradition is over, and it's onto November.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Well that was interesting...

Another "interesting" week of travel - and the revelation that Cameron is an aethist (Mema: he'll e-mail you about this directly). Apparently it's been weighing on his mind for a while and he called me at work, worried about my reaction, which was: I'm not surprised. Cameron has always been a black-and-white, in-the-box thinker, so I 've suspected for a while he's had some trouble with the concept of God and the lack of proof that surrounds most religion. So, we had a conversation about what his decision means as we go forward ("ground rules") with regard to the religious things we do as a family, such as Christmas and Easter. I also explained to him that being part of a church is not always just about religion - it's also about being part of a community that provides support and sometimes a social outlet. He agreed that he would accompany us to church once a month for this reason - we'll let him choose the day.

Lastly, I told him we loved him no matter what his beliefs, and I asked him to keep his mind and heart open to the possibility in the future that he might be touched by something that makes him believe in God, and he agreed he would. What I believe: I don't think all is lost at the tender, questioning and exploratory age of 15.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Raised from the dead

An amazing thing happened today! My technical friend was able to resurrect my laptop and restore it to factory condition. Some people have priceless skills. Who wouldn't want to marry a computer technician, or a plumber, or an electrician or a car mechanic...?!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crazy Week

I don't think I've gone a whole week without blogging since the Baker Blog was up and running. It's been a crazy week of catch up, travel, and birthdays!

The week started with home and work catch up from our weekend in Vermont, and I was out a a Buffalo area overnight for Grad Fairs Wednesday and Thursday. The joke around here is that every time I go out of town one of the kids (or the dog) gets sick. It looked like clear sailing by Wednesday night when there were no colds, fever, or other illness in sight. Then, on Thursday morning Annalisse called early to say she had a stomach ache and didn't want to go to school. A parent lesson learned early on is if you can get them to go to school they'll most likely be fine once they get there. That works most of the time, but not this time...by 11am Mark got the call and had to go pick her up. She had a stomach bug and a low grade fever. So, of course my anxiety levels started to rise, and I hit the road for home at 1:15pm to get home by 3. I swear they all sit around and decide who's turn it is to be sick!

Yesterday we celebrated Mark's birthday. He came by my work for lunch, and in the evening we went out to Phillips European for fancy desserts and coffee. Tonight we're going out to dinner to celebrate with our awesome neighbors, Morey and Ann. If my laptop was up and running you would have been treated to some pictures, but, alas, it's still whacked out. A techie friend was able to get our documents and iTunes music off it, and he's going to see if he can work his magic to resuscitate the hard drive. Keep your fingers crossed - I hate working on the clunky Dell desktop we have, and it does not have the capability to read my camera, and the disk does not work, and...

So, it's off to dinner. The weekends are too short!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leaf Peep O-Rama

We returned from a great trip to Vermont at around 2pm today. Every year it seems like there is never not enough time to "do everything," especially since we continue to discover new things to do, but still want to do the stuff we've loved in the past. This year, though, we had to forgo some of the old favorites such as the Stowe Village, Sugarbush Resort, the Trapp Family Lodge and the Vermont Country Store in Weston to make way for the Bennington Potters North store in Burlington, the Stowe Arts and Crafts Festival, a trip to Springfield (I cannot believe there were no signs of the Simpson Movie premier that happened last year there - in fact, it was the dumpiest town I've ever seen in Vermont) a trip to Quechee and the gorge, plus a host of new restaurants. The crowds were a little overwhelming at times, and next year we are considering going around Veteran's Day for our Fall escape (even though we'll miss the Fall colors).

We did finally tour Hildene this year, which was really awesome. It's one of the few historic homes I've ever gone into that has all of the original furnishings and decorations. Some of the decor has been freshened up (Robert Todd Lincoln's granddaughter, the last of the Lincoln family - there are no more descendants, lived there until her death in 1975, when the Hildene Society took it over). And yes, it most likely is haunted. The tour host said that he has heard distant piano music when he's been in the house, but that's about it.

For the leaf-peepers: the colors were amazing. We had two beautiful warm days with clear blue skies and there is no way a camera could do justice to the dazzling colors and the contrast of the leaves to the sky. So, the sight of the mountains in full color will just have to remain a wonderful memory!!

NOTE: When we returned from VT I was greeted with the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH on my laptop and now I'm back working on our 2001 Dell Dimension, which is very slow and unreliable. I'll post pictures from Vermont when I can!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We LoVERMONT!

Today we head off to Vermont for our once-yearly sanity-restoring trip to the Green Mountain State. We'll take off after the kids get out of school for the Rutland-Killington area, and will travel up and down and all around the state for a couple of days before heading home on Monday. A must see this trip: Hildene, Robert Todd Lincoln's home in Manchester (we missed it last year when it was closed for the season - we visited on Veteran's Day weekend in November). It's also a great chance to get some Christmas shopping done (BLASTED! I said it!). See you on Monday (or maybe you'll get a blog from the road!).

On a sadder note, today we say goodbye to Mom as she heads back to Turkey until June 30. We will miss her!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Libra Queens

Last night my Libra friends, JoAnn (September 30) and Meg (October 1), came over for our annual Libra dinner. Now I don't need to tell you again that Libras reign over all other astrological signs, if you've read the Baker Blog long enough you know that already. We've been celebrating our Libra birthdays religiously for over 15 years, and it's been great to come together (at least) once a year to take stock of our lives - we've seen a lot of ups and downs!

It was the perfect way to usher in my big day (today), which I must admit is a little less exciting this year as I turn 45. Where did the years go? I have a feeling I'm not going to feel really comfortable getting older.

The bright side (Libras always see the bright side): we're heading to Vermont for the long Columbus Day weekend as an excuse to celebrate my birthday. Long Live Libra!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's a small town after all

It's articles like this that remind why I could never live in my hometown, Massena. Perhaps they should be a little more concerned with their crime rates, crystal meth addictions, gambling and unemployment. Hey wait! Yoga can help alleviate the stress those things can cause!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Two Teenagers at Home

Today Annalisse is FINALLY 13 (after acting 13 since she was 10 - that was a long time coming!). I remember when she was born I couldn't believe I had two kids in diapers (I never really pictured myself with little cherubs all around), and now I can't believe I have TWO teenagers. I'd better strap in, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Like any Libra, she faced October 5th with great anticipation, and reminded all those around her in the days leading up to her big day (she has learned from the Master). She opened her presents from us after church: a couple of long necklaces from her brothers (Cam and Jasper), and a pair of skinny jeans and a hair straightener (don't ask) from Mark and I. Aunt Lena took her for a make-up lesson yesterday at a nearby salon/spa (someone has to teach her that stuff!), and she's been saving birthday money for a pair of Ugg Boots. The celebration later in the day will include dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with Grandma Pat and Grandma Jeanne (Mema). Happy Happy Birthday, 'Lisse!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Newest Musical Obession

Thanks to Sue for turning me onto "Flight of the Conchords." Now I can't get any work done and I have to look for stuff on the Internet all night when I'm home. The two guys in the "group," Bret and Jermaine, have a show on HBO, which is a problem since I don't have HBO. Here are a couple of gems so you can get hooked:

Now you have a problem, too.