Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter!

Happy Easter to our family and friends, near and far! Easter is early this year so we are not treated to a warm, sunny day - but at least it's not raining or snowing!!

Our day started with a big breakfast, followed by Easter service at church. Grandma Pat is coming for ham dinner around 3, and other than that we don't have much planned. Maybe a movie tonight, but tomorrow, I have a glorious day off (vacation day - the College is not closed...) during which we are going to take a trip to the mall to buy yet another fancy dress that will only be worn once - this time the senior ball (no date in sight...).

Cam won't be joining us for dinner as he is working today from 11am-9pm, so he won't have much of an Easter celebration. We took him to dinner on Friday night and he was super chatty, which is nice. We always have to enjoy that sort of thing while it lasts.

Blessings to all for a wonderful Easter and a renewed spirit!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I just need to say this out loud

Tonight I filed FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the kids for the fall.

Both kids. College. Empty nest. Big bills. This is huge.

There was a time after Annalisse was born that I realized, much to my amazement, that I had "two kids in diapers." I never pegged myself as much of an Earth mother, but here I was with two kids under three. Weird.

Filing the FAFSAs brought back similar feelings of bewilderment. Here I am on the verge of having two kids in college in the fall. Aside from the financial feelings of terror - trying to minimize loans, managing housing and meal plans - come the feelings: CRAP! I have two kids in college. What's next? Weddings? Grandchildren? HOLY HOLY CRAP. 

Two kids in diapers, two kids in college. For those of you who have known me for a long time, just let that sink in for a moment.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I've Got the Music In Me

Tonight in the car on the way to pick up Annalisse from work, ELO's Living Thing came on the radio. I was swept back to my bedroom on Roosevelt Street by this song that reminded me so much of my teen years when I would listen to the radio all night long. To think of that now is amazing, seeing I am the type of person who has to have absolute quiet when I sleep. Looking back I know now that I really wasn't sleeping very soundly in those days with my favorite songs seeping into my subconcious all night long. I remember waking up many times a night savoring one song or another on Chez 106 out of Ottawa or CHOM out of Montreal. It think I may have talked in the past about the Canadian influences on music as I was growing up, and once in a while at work I will listen to Q107 out of Toronto, which plays all that great Canadian rock that I grew up with.

As an aside, one aggravating aspect of growing up in the 70s was that most music (not listened to on the radio) came in the form of 8-track tapes (cassette tapes did not really become popular until a little later when they overtook the 8-track, which was in turn overtaken by CDs, which was taken over by .mp3s...but I digress). "8-tracks," as they were called, had the annoying habit of "changing tracks" mid-song where the song would fade, you'd hear a loud "click-click," and the song would fade back in and resume. Two standouts come to mind: Going to California by Led Zepplin (on their untitled fourth album) and Vienna by Billy Joel (from The Stanger); both awesome songs forever burned into my mind with a "click-click" in the middle that I still anticipate to this day every time I hear them.

So, yes, the music is in me, even if I wasn't fully awake to hear it and even if it's remembered fondly in the form of old technology.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We made it! It's the first day of spring, but...
  • It's still freaking cold out
  • There's no break from the wintery mix in sight
  • It's been a tough week juggling driver's ed, school and work schedules
  • Mark doesn't get home until really late on Friday night and we have to leave at 6am on Saturday for Mercyhurst's accepted student program (overnight), so that adds another level of stress
So, even though it's one of my fave days of the year, this week has been a little h*llish. Next week promises to be the same, BUT the week after that shows a little more promise as our round of much-needed house projects start.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to our awesome Mom and grandma, Jeanne Shiao! Love from the Bakers and we hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Touch of Irish

The table is set
Tonight we have our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that meal, which is kind of weird because, growing up Italian, I never ever ate such a thing. For us, St. Patrick's day held no special meaning or foods assigned; probably the closest I got was when I came of drinking age and celebrated in the "customary" way. I remember one very hazy St. Patty's Day when Sue and I went to a beerblast at a Potsdam fraternity and thenwent to McDonalds for McWater afterward. Very hazy, indeed.

I think, in spite of all the Italian in my DNA, there must be a trace of Irish somewhere on the Canadian side, but I can't confirm it. According to info I found online (the amazing Internet!!!), my grandfather's family came to Canada from France in the 1600's, and I can't find very much about my grandmother's family. I've asked a couple of my Canadian relatives if we are at all Irish, and they "think so" but don't really know for sure. I just can't figure out where my reddish hair and green eyes come from when everyone else in my family has brown hair and brown eyes. The mailman (Joe Rayome?!) perhaps?!

So tonight we'll be joined by Nic, Patrick, Maggie Harrison, Lukas and Ben for our yearly boiled feast. Nic is also going to try her hand at making mojitos (hey, parts of them are green!) so it all has the making of a yummy and fun dinner.


Monday, March 11, 2013


My God, I love daylight savings time.

After an awesome weather weekend it was great to come home from work and go for brisque walk with Annalisse and Jasper while it was still light out. I am alive again! I didn't even let the fact that it was dark out when I walked J this morning, followed by a dentist appointment first thing (I need my first crown [...wait for the queen joke...] which I am not happy about for a myriad of reasons), and a Monday to boot (which trumps all other unpleasantness) stand in the way of my joy.

I like to joke that when the time changes every November, I stay on daylight savings time. It's sorta true seeing I'm usually ready for bed by 7:30 or 8pm during "slow time (fall back)." I am a morning person through and through and am so happy to welcome the "longer days" back.

Next thing you know I'll probably see a robin. Now that, that, will probably throw me over the proverbial spring edge. Bring it! Only 11 more days!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Checking In

On Friday I took off from work to take a quick trip up north to visit my Mom. Unfortunately, she's now in a nursing home since her health is such that my sister, Carol, cannot provide the level of care that she now needs, including oxygen 24 hours a day. She's at what I would consider the "better" nursing home in Massena (there are only two), and the place is pleasant enough (and does not smell bad) but it's still hard to see her among those who can no longer care for themselves. By the time I left on Friday night the natives were definitely getting restless with a lot of yelling and moaning all around. The girls on the floor were running around like crazy trying to manage all the patients, but you could tell it was getting a little hairy.

Of course, my mother was a little confused about why I was there since I'm not part of the context of her daily life, and I just suddenly appeared one afternoon. Still, we had a nice visit. I brought my iPad which I had loaded with old pictures so we spent some time looking at those, which she thoroughly enjoyed, even though, given her previous hobby of all things photographic, she could not figure out how the pictures got on the space-aged device, and what about the film? And how much did it cost to print them? It was pretty interesting trying to explain digital photography to her and I'm pretty sure she didn't get the gist of what I was saying.

I left yesterday morning, among a bit more confusion, with a promise to return soon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scattered to the Wind

After a week all at home, the Bakers are scattering again. Today Cam heads back to RIT to begin his final quarter for the year, and Mark hits the road for his job (although he'll be home on Thursday night, weather willing). This may be the last time for  a while that he'll be home on a Thursday night (vs. Friday night) as he's about to start a big project.

So, it will be just the two Baker girls and pup. A glimpse into the week to come will surely bring simple meals at dinner, walking Jasper in my sweatpants (which I can really only do maybe for another week until the time changes and it's light out in the evening again), and heading upstairs to watch TV (in front of the space heater) until bedtime, which will probably come around 9pm. It's so quiet with the boys gone!