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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Star Wars as told by someone who's never seen it

You know how much of a Star Wars geek I am, don't you? Well, not everyone has actually seen Star Wars (I know! I can't believe it either). So, if you've never seen it, you'd better watch this.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy 4707! The year of the Ox

Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Ox. Among attributes of those born under this sign:
  • The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work, and

  • a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things.
    They are dependable, calm, and modest

  • and unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint
With Mom half a world away in Turkey, we'll probably not really do anything special for Chinese New Year this year. We usually celebrate every year with a trip to Shanghai Restaurant in Henrietta for the special Dragon Dance and awesome food. When Annalisse was little she used to wear her chi-pow, the traditional Chinese dress, but now she's grown out of all of them. Looks like we need to make another trip to Chinatown!!

A special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ken today. 39th, again?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lazy Sunday

After a another busy week, the day is all mine (ours) after church this morning (and you know what that means: A NAP!). It would be a great day to take the dog to the field, but it's been too cold to do that since around Christmas (poor boy! - we would probably get up there and half way through it would be so cold on his paws that we'd have to carry him down as he would refuse to walk - and that's not happening at 60 lbs.).

The Pride & Prejudice tea was a lot of fun and it was great to get together with several of my book club pals, with a couple extra Darcy aficionados to spare. This will be one of those blog posts with not a lot to share, except that the day is stretching out before me like a long highway. Unfortunately, the car drives down that highway at top speed and soon it will be Monday again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where were you when history was made?

I suppose that's one of the questions we'll ask each other years from now when we remember this momentous day. It was such a moving, exciting day! The country feels very united and hopeful (there's that word again) as we focus on moving forward to repair the damage caused by our former leader and his secretive minions for the last eight years.

So when someone asks me, "Where were you when history was made?," the answer will not be a really exciting one (at the College in a large meeting room in front of a big projection screen), but we sure could feel the moment in our hearts and will remember it forever!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Afternoon Tea, ala Marie

Next weekend I'm going to have my 3rd Annual Pride & Prejudice Party/English Tea. Always trying to find ways to make the winter pass as painlessly as possible, I figured mid-January is as good a time as any to watch a four-hour movie starring Colin Firth. So, for the last couple of years I've invited like-minded friends over for a marathon viewing of P&P, breaking mid-way for a traditional English Tea.

Here's where the "Marie" from the title comes in. Mark's grandmother, Marie Versprille, was an amazing woman with many distinctive traits (some more distinctive than others...like never being afraid to voice her opinion, which made for some really funny family situations). One her main "quirks" she passed onto me and others in the family (whether or not they were related by blood), was the desire to have everything in her home and at mealtime "just so." Always a tasteful decorator of her home, she passed those gifts onto her children. When you dined at Gram's there was never the use of paper plates, and every meal featured table settings, linens, and whatever tchotchkes were in season. Always at the center of the table, there was a very small bible, which I'm proud to say sits on my bookshelves today. About the only exception to the rule about Gram's "table" was if we had a picnic, but even that was exempt if the actual meal occurred inside (real plates) vs. outside (paper plates).

Gram's legacy continues to this day. At family parties there's a little pressure (not a lot, and it's always for the best) to emulate Gram's entertaining practices, right down to the fact that you would never put a container of "something" on the table...it would always go into a small dish (i.e. grated cheese, and sometimes condiments). And using paper plates? Done so very sparingly. If you do use paper plates, they match the theme of the event and tie all the colors together. Even last weekend, when we were in a furnished mountain chateau, Lena and I agreed that we would not use the paper plates we had brought, and would do our best to put out a nice dinner setting, even if there were mismatched forks, knives, plates and cups. We had a good laugh over that.

So, as I approach my tea party next weekend, I ask WWMD - What Would Marie Do? Well, she'd probably like it that I'm using my maternal grandmothers china tea cups upon a lace tablecloth, complete with the sugar and cream in a matching set, fancy spoons, a candle centerpiece, and some traditional English Tea treats. I know it sounds silly, but it does give us a moment to pause and enjoy the finer things, one of many lessons our amazing Gram taught us!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Perfect Job

Finally, I've found the perfect job for me. This would make me very happy. Extraordinarily, staggeringly happy. (Don't think so? See previous blog entry).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Questions that come to mind when it's really cold out

Today, when it's 6 degrees out, I ponder...
  • Why do teenagers (well, one of my teenagers) still refuse to wear a winter coat? Not to mention leaving for school with shorts on a couple of times a week?

  • Why did I used to think it was cool to walk to school with my hair wet?

  • Why did we used to skate until we couldn't feel our toes?

  • What's so good about sledding when you just have to walk back up the hill?

  • Why do I still hate winter when the rest of my family now loves to ski?

  • How many days until Groundhogs Day? (19)

  • Why didn't I get an automatic car starter?

  • Why didn't I move to a warmer climate before I put down roots?

  • When can I move to a warmer climate?

  • Why isn't my new office at work connected to the rest of the campus by the (heated) tunnel system? (It goes everywhere else!)

  • How long before I can brave the cold to go to a different building to get a cup of "Jamaican Me Crazy" coffee?
All things to think about as I brave the cold today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ski Bum Weekend

We're back from our ski weekend at Holiday Valley. What a nice place!! It was a little more like I would envision a ski resort with fairly nice common areas, a fireplace, and cushy chairs (a slight problem...the fireplace and cushy chairs were in different locations). We stayed in a quaint little chateau on Stone Mountain, and on the winding way up there (good thing we had 4-wheel drive) there was a huge herd of deer (picture at right). I don't think I've ever seen so many deer in one place. Ellicottville was such a cute ski town (with very little parking)! We all commented that we could not believe we were still in New York State. We felt a little like we were in - dare I say it? - Vermont. And only two hours away!

It was a perfect snowy weekend for skiing, and everyone was really exhausted by Saturday night. It was only the fourth time Mark had skied, and he fell quite a lot (which is fine...he's learning...). That made for a very sore Sunday for him that has carried over into Monday. Now it's time to pack it all up again in preparation for the kid's ski clubs this week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hump Day, at Last!

Today is finally hump day for what is becoming a very long and busy week. It seems every night after work/school there's something going on, and especially for Cameron, who's been going non-stop since going back to school. He's involved in the robotics club so they have meetings until 6:45pm Mondays and Thursdays (and every Saturday from 9am-4pm until mid-March), and on Tuesdays he's gone from 6:30am to at least 9:30pm to ski club (and, in the case of last night, he had to take a shower and do his homework when he got home). Annalisse has play practice until 5pm every day, choir on Wednesday nights, and on Thursday she also has ski club.

I long for the lazy days of the break. On Monday morning the dog looked really confused as everyone was heading this way and that, trying to get out the door to school and work. I could almost hear him thinking: Hey! What's going on? Why aren't we staying in our PJs and lounging on the couch all day? Actually, he probably likes the fact that we're all back into our routine so he can get back to his very important work of sleeping on the bed all day and tormenting the cat.

On Friday we head to Holiday Valley in Ellicottville for a ski weekend that my sister-in-law, Lena, coordinated. We're looking forward to visiting a new place and Mark and the kids are excited to ski there. If you can't find me just look for the person sitting in the comfortable chair (or at one of the few available tables) reading a book and drinking (flavored!) coffee with everyone's crap piled up around her. I've got my stack of books and magazines ready to go!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two More Days : (

Cam is at robotics.
Annalisse is skiing.
Mark is running around with the dog.
Me, I'm just bemoaning that there is only two more days of vacation left.

Where did it go?