Saturday, March 28, 2009

Queen, Witch, Mother - Triple Threat

Last night was the first night of Annalisse's spring play at Johanna Perrin Middle School. What a great night! As in past years the spring play, a time travel story called From Zero to Hero, is an original production written by English teacher Chris Burruto. This year, Annalisse had three parts: the (pregnant) Queen/Witch (the same person but very different characters), and the mother of one of the main characters in the present day. She hasn't felt well all week, but she pulled it together for the play. This morning she woke up with a fever so she's laying REALLY low today so she can play her parts tonight. She's a real trooper, and the show will go on!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coffee Bean Dreams

I know that I've talked about my dreams of managing a tropical island, and, more recently, buying a quaint English village, but my REAL dream (and anyone who knows me can attest to this) is owing a specialty coffee shop. Yesterday, I discovered my coffee shop location is back on the market. DANG! Too soon!

The location is a stand alone "barn" in Pittsford's Schoen Place/Northfield Commons (see picture at left). Northfield Commons at Schoen Place is a cute little shopping area in the upscale town of Pittsford (a suburb of Rochester), and the building features a lot of open space and a fireplace at the far end. There is plenty of parking and a lot of small shops there (think: bored husband while wife shops...). The working name for my shop is JuJu Beans (credit to Elizabeth), and my ideas for the shop include:
  • Featuring a locally roasted coffee, most likely Canaltown Roasters (because they make my favorite flavor: Jamican Me Crazy Decaf). There would also be the usual selection of lattes, espresso, cappucino, frozen drinks, etc.
  • Superior baked goods - that's one of my major beefs about coffeehouses in Rochester. It's tough to find anything beyond mediocre muffins, bagels and the usual desserts. I would interview several bakers and choose the best one.
  • Great specials - coupons, discount nights, punch cards and lots of marketing
  • A children's corner - for Mommy mornings so they can hang together while the kids play
  • A spotlight on local artists - which would change monthly, including a meet the artist night
  • basic lunch offerings in the form of speciality wraps, paninis, sandwiches, soups and salads
  • Live music - occasionally during the week, weekend mornings (something classic), and weekend evenings
  • Bookclubs - we will host book clubs and offer them a free airpot of coffee for meeting at the shop
  • Mark the Barista - the plan is for Mark to leave his job and manage the shop while I stay at my full-time job for benefits and to plan for the kid's least until the shop takes off. He knows he will need to undergo extensive training (barista and otherwise).
  • Game night and open mic night
  • My dog hanging in the corner - that's part of the dream!

What do you think? Now, if only I would win the lottery...have $100,000 fall from the sky...inherit a bundle from an unknown relative...

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Thanks to all who supported the kids for Fairport Crew's Row for Community! This year, including an estimate for rowers that need to row their piece at practice this week, the kids rowed, 1,477,205 meters or 916 miles. That would be the same as rowing from Buffalo to Atlanta, GA! The kids were tired but happy they made it through the hour!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome to spring, with frosting on top!

Finally, spring...with frosting on top: today we woke up to a fresh coat of snow. UUURRRGGGHHH!

Happy birthday to Mom/Meema on her first-day-of-spring birthday as she celebrates half way across the world. Have a wonderful day, Mom!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Consolation Prize

If I can't get the job on the island off Australia, I guess maybe I'll buy my own English village as a consolation prize. It would be a dream come true, as long as there's a quaint coffeehouse nearby (that serves decaf flavored coffee)!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Quick Trip up North

This weekend we took a quick trip up to Massena to visit relatives. I really hate to shortchange the folks up there with our time, but theses days it's harder and harder to get away because of weekend commitments. So, we headed up after crew practice on Saturday and got there in time to take my mother out to dinner. I must say, the restaurants up there are really good. We ate at An Italian Affair, and it's one of our favorites (along with Violi's and Hebert's Steak Ranch), took a quick trip to the mall to check out the sales at Hackett's, and then headed to the DQ for a chocolate dipped cone.

In our 24 hour whirlwind tour we also managed to stop by and see my Aunt, have breakfast with my cousin Jean, and take a trip TO ANOTHER COUNTRY (okay, just Canada) to visit relatives there. It always amazes me that we can drive 10 miles and be in a different culture where people speak another language and eat different foods. When I take the time to think about it, it's pretty cool, actually.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Humans are Dead

We spent a lot of the weekend at Cameron's Robotics competition at RIT. Sadly, the team didn't do so well, but the kids looked like they had A LOT of fun. It's always a little surreal seeing Cam do the "Cotton-eyed Joe" dance knowing what we do about his reserved personality! We had a great weekend of company also as Sue's mom (my second mother; actually, she's tied for second with my mother-in-law Jeanne) came down to see her granddaughter, Lauren, compete. I like to remind Cameron that he was petrified of robots as a little kid.

In other weekend news...

After Ma Bell left we got to work preparing the living and dining rooms for our painting project in late April (we'll be having the stairs, front entryway, living room and dining room painted). Before Jeff can paint, though, the wallpaper had to come down (there's that dastardly wallpaper again!), so Mark and I decided to try to save some $$ on the project and take it down ourselves. We were assisted by our angelic neighbor, Morey, and worked on the living room (only taking a break for dinner) for about six hours. Now, the paper is down (in the living room), and this week we'll work on the dining room. It actually was not very hard at all (thanks to Diff), and I have a feeling we'll proceed through the remaining rooms at a brisk pace to get that Godforsaken paper down. After the paper is down but before the painting begins, we'll be having moulding installed in the living room and dining room. It should be nice. Of course, there will be pictures!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Original Blue Hair

Last night we dyed Cameron's hair BLUE to get ready for his big robotics competition at RIT this weekend. His team (Fairport FIRST) is called "Blue Lightning," hence the blue hair theme. It looks...interesting. I had to bleach it before we put the color on, but his hair is so thick the bleach barely penetrated it. When bleached, he looked merely "sun-kissed." I'm secretly hoping the blue will wash out in a week or two, but the bleached part will have to grow out. Time for a haircut...

Good luck, Fairport FIRST!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Bossy Coxswain

Last week Annalisse started her first experience with Fairport Crew (rowing sport club) when she began winter training. She's really excited about the "working out" part, but also about the actual crew activities. Because she's very petite, her friend Mo had suggested she join the team in hopes of being the coxswain (pronounced: coxsin). The role of a coxswain is to:

  • Keep the boat and rowers safe at all times by properly steering the boat (according to the river or regatta rules and safety for the crew), whose role within the team is to:
  • Be in command of the boat
  • Coach the crew when the coach is not present
  • Provide motivation and encouragement to the crew
  • To provide feedback on the crew performance both in and out the races
  • Make any necessary tactical decisions
  • Organise and direct the crew at all times, including when putting the boat away etc.
  • Be responsible for the vessel; in the event of a collision, the coxswain is accountable under maritime law as 'Master of the vessel' (although the stroke may be sometimes the captain of the boat)

Wow! Sounds important, doesn't it? One of the character traits necessary for a coxswain is to have a loud voice and be bossy. Annalisse was born for this role!!

As part of the fundraising efforts for the team, there will be a "Row for Community" fundraiser on Saturday, March 21, where you can sponsor Annalisse during her designated rowing "slot." This event, in it's 5th year, has made Fairport Crew the single largest donator to the Perinton Food Shelf. If you would like to sponsor Annalisse (suggested plege: $10, but it can be any amount) you can do so online at Donations are tax deductible. Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey R.I.P.

Another connection to my childhood was severed yesterday when Paul Harvey passed away at the age of 90. Every time I heard Paul Harvey (and I went out of my way to hear him on the 8:30am and noon news), I was transported back to Nonnie's red-and-white tiled kitchen, focused on the radio on a shelf in the corner near the front window, over the table that held all of Nonnie's African violet plants. Paul Harvey was the background music of my childhood years and represents many good memories for me.

Carrying on the habit of listening to him as an adult, my kids also liked to tune into Paul Harvey (when we say his name we always say PaulHarvey, like it's one word). Many a time in the car we would wait with rapt attention to hear the end of "The Rest of The Story," and would try to guess who he, or his son, Paul Harvey, Jr. was talking about before the story was finished. His voice and style transcended generations, and I always said to Mark that when Paul Harvey was gone, that would be the end of an era. So, R.I.P. Paul Harvey, we will miss listening to you, and you've taken a piece of each of us with you.