Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wanted: Escape

Boy, do I feel like I need a change of scenery. March is a cruel, long, cold, dark, teasingly exasperating month, and I've had enough. I definitely feel like I need a little escape sans la familia, if you know what I'm saying.

I'm a little concerned about my attitude these days. I'm cranky, impatient, hypersensitive to criticism, non-sympathetic, critical, and just about any other negative adjective you can pack into one sentence. I DO NOT LIKE THIS ABOUT MYSELF, and I really feel like I need a break from the routine of work and home. I think I may be having a little bit of a mid-life crisis (of course, women get them but we don't buy cars and boats), and I feel restless and dissatisfied with many aspects of my life. In other words, is this all there is?

(Don't tell me about all the good things [kids, spouse, job, home, dog], of course I know about that and am appreciative every day; but HEY, can't everybody have a little pity party once in a while? We aren't all happy all the time...)

LUCKILY, I will get a little break from the routine next week with my trip to Washington, DC for my professional conference. I have a little secret: I love being by myself in a hotel. I love everything about it: the big bed, the crisp sheets, the TV all to myself. I am quite content with peace and quiet.

The best part is, mid-way through my stay I really begin to miss my family. When I get home I'm ready to deal with the piles of clothes, dishes, lights being left on, taking the dog out, etc. etc. ETC., refreshed anew.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Little Eye Candy

I just realized that my last several posts didn't have any (fun) pictures accompanying them, so here's a little eye candy to brighten up your Monday night.

The Baker's Honda Two-Fer. I submitted this picture for a Honda contest
to win an iPad 2. Wish us luck!

My 18 year old as a sweet little tyke.

Some things never change.

Mema/Popo with Jackson during Annalisse's visit to VA during Feb. break.

Annalisse and sweet Amelie!

The sideways grip technique.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lazy Sunday

As I combat my guilt for not going to church this morning, I cherish the quiet moments that come with sleeping in a little and having a real breakfast of bacon and blueberry pancakes. After all, I deserve to sleep in a little today, especially after I needed to go out at 3am to pick Cam up from his Washington, DC trip for the robotics competition (getting home at 3:30am).

It feels so good to not have a lot planned today beyond taking Jasper to the field for a run (we have got to get that extra weight off), and going out to dinner with Grandma Pat. Rare are these days! (I may even get a nap in!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fairport's Newest Resident

On Sunday night Fairport welcomed it's newest North Country transplant: my niece, Nicole. Nic moved to the Rochester area from outside of Richmond, Virginia, where she had lived with a friend since last August. It turns out that even the awesomely warm weather of Virginia could not keep her from missing her boyfriend, Patrick, and the longing to be a little closer to home.

So, Nic decided Rochester, which is where Patrick is living, was a good compromise for the next stage of her life, and we couldn't be happier! She's now just a couple of miles away from us, and Annalisse and I, in particular, are really glad she can be part of our day-to-day lives. Annalisse is already planning shopping trips and hang time with her.

Nic left behind her banking job, and she has two interviews lined up for this week. One was today, and she thought it went well, and the other is on Thursday. A great start!!

So, welcome, Nic! Just wait until you see what life in Fairport has in store for you!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Regarding Japan

Sometimes you can judge how busy I am by the number of blog posts I manage to write in a week. By that measure, it's been a very busy week.

But, I just wanted to write a little about how sad and troubled I am about what the people of Japan are going through right now, following their devastating 9.0 earthquake, which caused a horrific tsunami, which resulted in extensive damage and a meltdown of several nuclear power plants. What those poor people have had to deal with, what they have lost, and the uncertain future they face is very upsetting to think about. It is really a cause for pause for all of us, as we complain about about a long, cold, snowy winter that's been followed by a dark, damp, frigid spring. We should all just retreat into our war, dry, radiation-free homes (this must be the day to describe things in "threes") and count our blessings.

We have heard from some how this, and other such environmental disasters, are proof of God's dissatisfaction with (wo)mankind, causing him to unleash His wrath upon us. We have heard from others of the uplifting stories arising from this and other disasters. My take is: you can't control Mother Nature. You can build on fault lines and tempt fate, but the truth is earthquakes and tsunamis have been occurring for millions of years as the living Earth continues to constantly change. Such natural phenomenon have only been an issue since humans have been around, and tried in vain to control the land and sea.

Still, so, so sad for the people of Japan...and very troubling times in the world right now, with all the wars and natural disasters. I wonder if every generation worries that the world will not survive for their children and grandchildren just as I certainly do right now.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Info None of Us Needed

I saw this article on North Country Now about how youths choose the same brand of "smokes" as adults, with menthol being their top choice. Articles like this, even though the real point is that the cigarette companies marketing to youths is working, bother me very much, and that's probably because I abhor "all things smoking." With two parents who smoked (and later both quit), my memories of being closed in the car with the windows up (during frosty winters) and not being able to breathe made me decide very early in life that I would never smoke (anything - legal or illegal), and I never have.

If I accomplish any one thing with my kids, I hope it will be that they will never smoke. I've talked about the disgust and dangers of smoking with them since they were very small, and am hoping those efforts work. Yuck.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Teenage Crush

It's a fact. Every young girl has a teenage crush. The fantasy object of my affection was Parker Stevenson, the co-star (with Shaun Cassidy, the object of many other teenage girls' affection, but never mine) on the Hardy Boys, the late '70s Sunday night adventure/detective show on ABC.

(How the heck do I remember that? I can't even remember what I did last weekend.)

Oh, how many days and nights I spent fantasizing about those piercing blue eyes and that perfectly coiffed hair, and that preppy, clean cut face (and body). I must admit, I look at pictures of PS now, 35+ years later, and still feel those heartstrings-a-stiring! Of course, every generation has its Parker Stevenson, or David Cassidy, or Scott Baio, or Leonardo DiCaprio. Behold: Justin Beiber!

I will most likely stick to fantasizing about the Parker Stevenson circa 1977 since he didn't fare too well after that. He married the obnoxious Kirstie Alley (who is a disaster), could hardly get a job except for the first season of Baywatch, lost most of his hair, and when his marriage broke up, sued KA for spousal support. MAN UP!

Due to the power of Netflix I can now stream the Hardy Boys directly to my computer and watch Parker Stevenson anytime I want. I can, but will I?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Year of "Lasts"

I've written about this along the way, but this is definitely a year of "lasts" as the parent of a senior in high school. It seems like every activity we took for granted over Cam's high school years is happening with heightened nostalgia this year.

This past weekend was Cam's "last" Robotics competition at RIT. While they still have the DC competition near the end of March, I think back to two years ago when Ma Bell visited for the weekend with Tim and Lisa to bring Lauren, her granddaughter, to attend the competition. I wrote about that weekend here. These are bittersweet memories for me since her passing in December.

This year's "lasts" also includes other things happening around the high school. A great example is the FHS musical we attended last night that featured many of the kids we have been seeing in plays for years, and who have travelled all the grades with Cam. Of course, I'm not alone as all us parents lament how quickly time has flown.

As Cam's high school career winds down (three months left), there will be a bunch more "lasts" along the way that will culminate with his graduation party. While he's not crazy about the idea of a graduation party, to me it represents a chance for all of us, family and friends, to spend a little time with him before he moves on, and congratulate him on a "job well done." (We hope. Senioritis has kicked in full-force and I'm just praying he puts forth enough effort to pass his courses!!)

The graduation party is THE major milestone that should not, in my opinion, be discarded because, as a cave-dwelling creature (which he's been most of this year, his bedroom being the center of his technological universe) he just doesn't "want to have one." Its meaning is bigger, and it's something that I probably need more than he does - although he always ends up having a ton of fun in spite of himself. It reminds me of when we went to have his senior picture taken, and the photographer said, "Just remember: this day is about one person and one person only: your mother. And after that, it will be about your wife." That's sort of the way it is with the graduation party!

Just don't make me watch Toy Story 3 again. I couldn't even take it the first time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life on the Hamster Wheel

I must lament once again that the month of March, and life in general these days, is much like being on a hamster wheel. Every night we're running the kids in opposite directions for crew. Work is busy and it seems I have at least one night program each week. There is the regular household management stuff to be done (although, I must confess, we missed Wednesday laundry day and will have super huge piles tomorrow). And the weekends, forget it.

When I'm 80 and sitting on my lanai in St. Augustine I'll probably look back on these days as the best days of my life, but for now I sure could use a do-nothing day.