Showing posts from November, 2011

How Long Until the Christmas Holiday Break?

So here we are on the Sunday night after a nice mini-break since last Wednesday. As if I need to repeat this: I LOVE BEING ON VACATION. Whether it's a staycation or an awaycation, it's just awesome to hang at home or, in the case of the "real" vacation, experience new things and new places.

Cam was home on his quarter break, having wrapped up his first term at RIT. That was fast!! His grades were pretty good, except for one "C" in a 4-credit course that brought his average down. I stressed to him again how important it is that he "does well" to keep his scholarship and be on track for grad school (which he has indicated he plans to do), but I still think he's got some maturing to do...he needs to work on more homework/less fun stuff. I'm not against the fun stuff, but he needs to give his schoolwork the attention it demands. Okay, I'm all done lecturing!! That being said, it was great having him home and he was pretty pleasant for his …

Things to be Thankful For - 2011

I would be remiss if I didn't pause to recognize the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. There are so many blessings. Of course, I'm thankful everyday (although, to be honest, I'm thankful some days more than others), but Thanksgiving is especially great because it's a no-pressure holiday with amazing food (special thanks to Grandma Pat, who is making our awesome meal today), and is a great time to be thankful for:

Family and friends, near and farReconnecting with old friends this yearOur jobs - in these dire economic times Mark and I have managed to thrive in our jobs. I'm hoping I can say the same thing next Thanksgiving since Mark's company merger happens on December 1 and there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding that transition.Good healthTwo healthy, happy (most of the time) kids who make us very proudOur sweet pup, Jasper, who brings a lot of golden happiness to our livesOur home - a refuge from the crazy day-to-day stuff (especially nice n…

School Picture Bonanza!

Boy, did we get a bargain with Annalisse's school pictures this year.

I always get the least expensive (cheapest!) photo package for school pictures because it's basically a crapshoot. When they're good, they're usually great, but when they're "bad" they can be very, very bad indeed. So, if by chance they turn out pretty well I can always order more.
This year, we ordered Annalisse's 11th grade pictures on picture day in early September and they didn't come, and they didn't come. Then, a couple of weeks ago Annalisse was notified that her picture was lost so she needed to retake them. We received the new pictures today (which turned out great!), and were surprised that somehow we ended up with the jumbo pack: 8 X 10s, 5 X 7s, 3 X 5s, 2 X 3s, wallets, magnets, two key chains and a CD.


That's a whole lotta Annalisse. What am I going to do with all these pictures? We don't even have this many relatives. Maybe decora…


I spent a lazy Sunday (at last!) cleaning out some closets and drawers and came across two pieces of "vintage"clothing left over from my teenhood. Over the years I've never been able to part with these two things: my Massena Red Raiders hoodie (complete with the now non-PC Indian Head) and a down vest I got for Christmas when I was maybe 13 or so (purchased, I'm sure at Levine's Department Store, where my Aunt worked and where all my clothes came from). It seems these two items are some of the last remnants of a life live "long ago."

I don't fit into the hoodie anymore, and Annalisse hardly fits into it either. I do, however, fit into the down vest, although I never really wore it when I got it, or the years following...I'm not sure I ever saw the point to a coat without arms and still don't, even though down vests are still in fashion. Maybe it's a badge of honor to have two pieces of clothing that are over 30 years old! Or the memories…

City Driving Anxiety

Here I sit in a Marriott in Tarrytown, NY waiting to spend tomorrow as an exhibitor at the New York State Art Teacher's Conference. I drove here this afternoon after spending most of the day at the New York Graduate Admissions Professionals meeting at Syracuse University. I can already feel my blood pressure rising as I consider the commute north after tomorrow's long day.

The exit for Tarrytown/my hotel was literally right off the exit from the Tappan Zee Bridge, about 10-15 miles away from NYC. I can tell you I could never live in a place like this, not with all this crazy traffic. As I was coming into the area and the traffic was picking up, it was bad but NOT AS BAD as it was in the outbound traffic lane, which I will be in tomorrow at 4pm. Not ideal. I looked at alternate routes out of the city from here and there are some, but everyone goes the same way for around 13 miles at the start of the route out.

After heading out romorrow afternoon I'll be driving to Bingham…

A Night to Remember

Yesterday afternoon (on 11-11-11) I loaded up the car with four 16-year-old girls (a.k.a "L.A.M.P": Leighanna, Annalisse, Mo & Paige) and headed to Buffalo for the Mat Kearney concert, Annalisse's birthday present from us (the birthday celebrations just go on and on, don't they?). In case you've never heard of Mat Kearney, he's an indie folk/rock artist, and all four girls are huge fans.

The kids were so excited for the concert! We got to Buffalo around 5:30pm, found parking, and walked to a nearby TGIFriday's for dinner (their choice...). The doors opened at 7pm so we stood in line for a little bit, then entered the Town Ballroom, a cozy music hall resplendent in black walls and a mosh pit surrounded by different levels for standing. Not a seat in sight. (I must confess the idea of standing for over four hours caused a little panic for my 48-year-old self, wondering how my back and legs would be survive the night.) Like a true mom I collected all th…

You'll Never Find a Recipe Here

As a blogger (that's debatable), other blogs tend to catch my eye. God knows there are enough of them out there, and there are quite a few I follow myself. UNTIL, the blogger starts posting recipes on a regular basis. That's when I "unbookmark" them and move on.

As a person who does not really like to cook, I can't really see the attraction in all the foodie stuff out there these days: TV shows (networks), magazines, Internet sites, and entire sections of bookstores devoted to cooking. Sure, I like to eat great (fancy) food, but I learned early on how the chef (or book pictures) lull you into a sense of "I could do that," only to find out it takes more chopping, mixing and stirring than I have the patience for. That being said, I can certainly appreciate the experience of eating such creations MADE BY OTHERS.

My promise to you, good or bad: You will never find a recipe on the Baker Blog. You'll have to go to one of the other 10,000 foodie blogs for…

Weekend Unscripted

Finally, a weekend where we didn't have every moment planned, just the way a weekend should be. It all started on Friday night after I took Annalisse to work and Mark had an after-work gathering (from which he didn't get home until after 8pm). Can you say "laying on the couch wrapped in a fluffy blanket, watching TV with my pup by my side"?! Rare are these nights!

Saturday was another winner, sleeping in and staying in my sweats all day, with just a brief jaunt to take Jasper to the field, followed by a nap (and finishing my book for tomorrow night's bookclub). Mark was off with Scott catching perch all day on Lake Ontario. Once he got home (Annalisse was once again at work) I decided to take a shower around 6pm to look presentable (a relative term) so we could go to Donnelly's for a burger.

This morning, it was up for church then raking a gazillion leaves (and they're not all down yet) on what turned out to be an incredibly warm, beautiful late fall day…

A question that needs to be asked

My question is: why does Cam get to go to Vermont this weekend, when I haven't been to my favorite place on Earth for three years? He never even liked to go to Vermont. Not fair! Maybe I can get Annalisse to look at colleges in the Green Mountain State...?

(Cam is headed to UVM for a debate today, and returning Sunday. He likes to rub it in.)


Another Halloween come and gone. This year was so much fun!

I often espouse how wonderful it is to live in the Village of Fairport - a little like living in Mayberry - but Halloween is especially fun around our neighborhood. Everyone seems to really get into it. People decorate, and my neighbors go out of their way to set up fun activities for the kids.

This year, with my niece Nic and her boyfriend Patrick living nearby, we had extra excitement. It turns out Patrick LOVES scaring kids on Halloween. So, decked out in our old gorilla mask and hairy hand gloves, he sat in a dark corner of the porch ready to "roooaaaarrrr" at the teens after hey received their candy treat. (The rule was no scaring the really little kids.) You should have seen how some of the kids jumped and screamed. One girls screamed long and loud. Annalisse thinks she might have even cried. It was cruel, but hilarious!! Who doesn't love to get scared?

It was a beautiful night and perfect conditions for …