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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sad day on Fourth Avenue

Today we said goodbye to our wonderful, kind neighbor, Elaine B., who passed away suddenly on Christmas day after suffering a devastating stroke on Christmas Eve. We are in shock. Her family, friends and the neighbors on our street are reeling from the sudden loss of Elaine. There is much talk of "if I knew that would be the the last time I saw her/spoke with her...," and much remembering of her sparkly personality and kindness to all. Sometimes it seems like we are so focused on those who are chronically ill or whose health is in decline due to advanced age or a lingering medical condition that we forget others can be "snatched" from us without notice.

We are all so sad...the street will not be the same without her. RIP, Elaine. You will be missed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Calm, quiet Christmas
morning
Of course, you are probably expecting a Christmas update from the Bakers...? Here it is!

First of all, it was wonderful to be off for 10 days starting last Tuesday. On Tuesday evening we hosted NAGAP friends Dave and Leo who were up from Florida visiting friends who live in Rochester, and that was delightful with delicious desserts from Pittsford Dairy (another indication that is going to be tough eating week (month) for my calories). A visit from them kicked the holiday off right. Also that night we played host to the sweet kitten my coworker Tonya was giving her family on Christmas day. What fun that was! He was so sweet, and we think Jasper really liked having him around...he was very curious and gentle. He's now happily settled into his new home with the new name of "Nicky" - I'm thinking that might be short for St. Nicolas?

On Christmas morning, I got up early to make Grammie Versprille's apple kuchen for breakfast at Lena and Ken's house, where we were joined by Nara and Jim. But, before that was the ever-exciting opening of presents at the Bakerhaus. I just love the serenity and special feeling about Christmas morning, with the gentle lighting from the tree and the fire going. We had a nice morning of opening presents, with a couple of surprises, before getting ready to head out for breakfast.

For Christmas, I was showered with my beloved Yankee Candles (I like the ones that smell like baking), and a FitBit to track my steps, etc, along with a spa gift certificate to the DelMonte, among other great things. I super excited to surprise Mark with a Fairport Brewing Company Mug Club membership for 2014-2014, and Orvis stuff. Cam, of course, got his new iPhone around Thanksgiving, but also received some nice dress up clothes and cologne under the tree. Annalisse got new boots, and a new iHome, along with some spending $$ for her trip to Florida the day after Christmas (with the Meritts).

After breakfast it was home to get snacks and dinner ready for Grandma Pat, Nicole and Patrick's celebration at our house. Everyone came around 2pm and we had a very nice time chatting, eating snacks and opening presents until we sat down to an early dinner. By 6pm we were all wiped out, but it was a "good tired!"

Another Christmas has come and gone. While it was a tough year in many ways, there have been many blessings. I have found that during the tough times you really have to focus on the fact that good times are just around the corner, we just have to be patient. I continue to be so thankful for my wonderful family and friends, they are certainly "gift" enough this, and every, Christmas!!

Silly boy
Lap dog 
Three kids
The Bakers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vacation Mish-Mash

Hurray! Vacation time is here. The year is wrapping up, and while I may need to do a little work over the break, I'm (mostly) free from the commitments of the working world, at least for a little while!

It's been sort of a disappointing week for Cam. He had a couple of unexpectedly lower grades this term, but still maintains an overall GPA of 2.9 in his program. My thinking about his grades has truly shifted from "he's not studying enough" to "wow, he's in a really hard program." Still, he was visibly upset about his first C-; apparently he thought he had in the "low Bs" in that class. I think he's feeling under a lot of pressure lately, and it didn't help that he got his first speeding ticket today on his way home from seeing Shaina in Oswego. I have warmed him many times about speeding, but nothing drives "mother's point" home better than the terror and panic of seeing the flashing lights behind you, doing 75 in a 55. Lesson learned. Very upset...us, and him. He's been a little down so I'm hoping the coming holiday will cheer him up!

Annalisse is spending her break watching crime dramas and waiting for her grades to come in. Only one grade is outstanding and she currently has a...wait for it...3.7 GPA for the fall term!! She really knocked it out of the ballpark. If her next grade is a "B" she'll probably end up with around a 3.6. Amazing for her first term at SU!!

We have a friend's kitten for a couple of days. He's a super cute little tabby/tiger (7 weeks old) who will be her daughter's present on Christmas morning. I really miss having a kitten/cat around. He looks just like Bailey when she was a kitten all those years ago.

Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve, and the day will find me shopping for Christmas dinner (spiral ham, I'm thinking) and picking up last minute stocking stuffers. In the early evening we'll go to church, then over to Aunt Mary and Uncle Pete's for the annual Christmas Eve party. As always, the holiday excitement is building...and of course I'm given over to being excited in spite of myself!

Merry (almost) Christmas, Friends, far and near!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Final Stretch

The new year is just around the corner, and sometimes I wonder how I will get everything done in time to wrap up the "old year." Things are super crazy at work and I have some major things to accomplish by Christmas break (since I will also be out for the first three weeks [or so] of January for my surgery), there is still a little shopping to be done, and, of course, I need to fit in a nap or two on the weekends! I also need to finish my bookclub book by January 5 (My Antonia - slow going).

Adding to the anxiety is waiting for the kid's grades to come in from the fall term, and hoping they did well (we ask for "B"s or better). It is nice, though, that Annalisse is finished with her first term at Syracuse and can really enjoy her break, which will include a trip to Florida with Alex's family between Christmas and New Year's. LUCKY! Cam has two more finals and will be home on Tuesday. His break will include having to check in (and serve) for jury duty. Once home, he doesn't return to school until January 25, although I expect he may hang at his apartment once in a while during the break, especially if he's having a party!

So, deep breath, it will all get done!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Advent - Waiting

Baker Tree '14
Although I complain about Christmas, it's probably more about how quickly the years are passing (and all the work that comes with decorating and un-decorating the house), and the expense of it all. Ironically, that's also what I love about Christmas. Go figure. WOMEN!

We broke with tradition a little and bought a tree from the Boy Scouts this year. Yesterday, was so cold, dark and rainy that I was not in the mood to tromp through icy mud to find a tree, and be chilled to the bone for the rest of the day. So, since my window of "getting all this done" is so short we decided to go a couple of blocks to the Village and get a pre-cut. It's pretty nice, but I expect we'll have more need dropping since it was probably cut a while ago.

It remains a little weird to do all this without the kids home. It reminds so much of the years when it was just Mark, the cats, and I except now it's Mark, me and Jasper decorating (but mostly me!). Every year it seems I gain more decorations (and stuff), and I really only put out a a small portion of it. It reminds me of all the stuff we went through at my Mother's and how it all adds up from year to year. I'm a bit of a minimalist, but I can certainly appreciate those whose homes are really "decked" in every corner and every surface space. For me, though, less is more.

I think I'm in a different place with these weeks leading up to Christmas than I was a year ago. I think having faced one of life's greatest threats this year has made me feel Advent in a deeper, more meaningful, more grateful way. I hate to be cliche but this year has really been a wake up call in so many ways. With the bad, though, came so many blessings that make this year's preparations even more special.

On Friday, Annalisse will be home from her first semester at SU, and her brother will be home the week after that. Then the house will be bustling again!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

With Us

First Cousins
I'm pretty sure Mom, Dad, Auntie, Uncle Duff, Uncle Joe and Nonnie (and everybody else!) were with us during Mary's 2nd Annual Harvest dinner on Saturday afternoon. It's the first time in many years that all the Greco cousins (and great cousins) have been together. We were almost at 100% with the first and second cousins with the exception of Anthony who couldn't make it from North Carolina, and Joey, who remains a little disconnected from the family. It was a wonderful day - great food and tons of laughs.

Second Cousins
Mary and Larry really have a special home, a warm and inviting place to gather and relax. There was even an impromptu jam by the "Family Three," the '70s era cousin girl-group who introduced a whole new generation to classic hits like "Pass the Sugar," "Jingle Bells" (Partridge Family style), and their original Martin Street chart-buster "The Nonnie Song."

Today, the Bakers parted ways again as Annalisse headed back to Syracuse for her last two weeks (better get studying for those finals!) and Cam went back to RIT. It won't be long before the nest is full again!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

Another turkey bingefest is upon us. Did I mention Thanksgiving dinner is a favorite of mine? I can never get enough. WAIT - yes I can, by the second day of leftovers. But still...

It's so wonderful to have the kids home for Thanksgiving break. The weather has been a little nerve wracking for travel, but everyone is safe and sound and where they need to be. It's so wonderful to see the kid's relationship now that they are older; they are really good friends.

This has been a year of ups and downs, and still another hurdle with a hysterectomy scheduled for right after the new year (preventative - related to the BRCA1 gene...let's hope there are no surprises), but I'm feeling really upbeat, despite the early high stress of spring and losing Mom in August. So here I sit, preparations underway for a delicious dinner, hanging with the kids and watching "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Who could ask for more? Thankful!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Attic Treasures

Because the Bakers never stay home...

We journeyed to Massena on Saturday to help out with the clean out of Mom's house. Mark and I were assigned to clean out "the attic," which is really nothing more than a very small crawlspace off the bedroom. For years the attic has been a source of curiosity for me...I remember years ago that there was a lot of stuff from our childhoods in there. I was anxious to get digging, and my main goal was to try to find my mother's wedding dress, which I believed to be in there.

The house itself is in quite a chaotic state. Most of the furniture is gone, and what is left is an overwhelming amount of junk - tchotchke. I think I've spoken of this before, but my mother had a tendency toward hoarding and buying cheap, tacky stuff for years, and after my dad passed away it seemed to get exponentially worse. Now, we have to figure out what to do with all the knick knacks and other useless stuff. It's hard to believe so many figurines, gadgets, and kitchen do-dads could fit into a 900 square foot house. 

But I digress. Back to the attic.

We dove in, or, rather, I should say that Mark dove in, and started pulling stuff out. I am not lying when I say that at least 1/3 of the attics contents were plastic bags in plastic bags in plastic bags. The other 1/3 was comforters, bedsheets and table cloths. There was also an overwhelming amount of Christmas stuff. I think what must have happened is that each year, instead of burrowing into the attic to get the Christmas decorations, my mother just bought more. Seriously. It was amazing. Also among the "treasures" was every birthday, anniversary and Christmas card she ever received. WHY WHY WHY?! I know, I know....living through the Depression and all that jazz.

But, the attic did yield some amazing treasures as well. Mark, in the quick succession of pushing and handing stuff out of the small opening, passed on a garbage back with what looked to be yet another blanket/comforter. I stuck my hand in and felt...velvet! It was the dress! How excited was I? It's just beautiful and in great condition - still bright and holding together very well! We also found several Yankee playbooks and tickets from Dad's trips to watch his favorite team play - including the World Series against the Red Sox in the 1960 and a trip to "The Price is Right" in New York City, - Dad's diploma, tons of very old pictures, our christening gowns, bags and bags of baby clothes, and various childhood mementos. It was really fun seeing what we could discover next. 

It was a dirty job, and quite laborious, but I'm glad we did it. It was amazing how much was stuffed into that small space. 

Things with the house are winding down, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I'm not sure if I'll get back up there before we put it on the market. I anticipate it will take a while to sell as it needs a lot of  repair work, and the interior needs a major update, having last been renovated in something like 1978 (and it shows!). Massena is so economically depressed and there are tons of houses for sale, so we'll just have to hope for the best. So many memories...I hope the house can find a nice family to take care of it and give it life again.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Race

Yesterday was Annalisse's first race with the SU women's rowing team. It was a great first showing! She's still not officially on the team, so she was a little anxious about the race, which was really more of a scrimmage with two other teams: University of Buffalo and Cornell (Northeastern was originally scheduled to race but did not come).

She raced the first two out of three races, and her boat came in second in each race, right after SU's varsity boat, beating both UB and Cornell in both races. She was pleased with the results, and I think it will go a long way toward boosting her confidence. Nice job, 'Lisse!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

I'd like to deck those halls, alright.

Well, it's November 3 and I've held off stating how annoying it is that we are all now turning to Christmas preparations. I swear every January I'm so glad it's over and I have a good stretch without Christmas, during which I enjoy that Christmas is over. And every year it comes up just as quickly, if not more quickly, than the year before.

COULD IT HAVE TO DO WITH ME GETTING OLD(er)?

Yes, probably. But, I feel like Christmas is constantly stalking me in my rearview mirror.

Nonetheless, yesterday I ordered our (picture) Christmas cards. What is wrong with me? The calendar turns November and the pressure is on. So annoying. I even found myself looking at cute, twinkly, different colored lights in Target yesterday, and was seriously tempted to buy them. Talk about being at war with myself. Jeez.

Always looking for the silver lining: we're just three weeks away from a long Thanksgiving weekend, and then just a month after that I'll have a week off! YAY! ~Now that, I can't wait for!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween!

You would think that now that my kids are grown I wouldn't get so excited about Halloween, but every year I'm just as excited as the year before! It's just tons of fun in the Village with all the kids and their parents (our friends!) coming by. This morning I was recalling how special it was two years ago when the Irish kids were stranded here because of Hurricane Sandy in NYC (disappointing for them, fun for us), and they all came over to our house and raided the "dress up" box to find something to wear to go trick-or-treating. Then, they all gathered back here for snacks and one of them sat down at the piano and they all began to sing. Crazy Americans! Wonderful memories!

Anyway, tonight we will take up our perch on the porch and greet the little ghouls and goblins (and princesses and pirates) that come up the steps. Stay safe, all!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Crew Kids


I think most of the fall travel on the weekends is winding down. Yesterday we ran the roads again to Saratoga for the "The Head of the Fish," on what turned out to be an extraordinarily beautiful day for racing. Cam made out pretty well, coming in 5th out of 22 boats. He was disappointed, though, as he was so close to a bronze medal (3rd place). Still, a respectable showing. He's gotten a lot of time on the water this season, so it's been worth it to go to his races/regattas. With the exception of a race against the University of Rochester next weekend, just the spring season remains until he finishes his time with RIT crew. 

As an aside: It's official ~ Cam is continuing on with his Master's degree in Bioinformatics at RIT, starting in the fall. It should take him about a year and a half to complete. We're glad he's taking that route.

In other crew kid news: Annalisse, who has been on the development team at SU, with the prospect of one coxswain being cut at the end of the fall term, has had her time on the team extended through the winter season. The other coxswain she was competing against has also had her time extended. That's part good news and part bad news. The good news: she's still on the team (and received SU sweats and a hoodie as part of the team), the bad news: she's still "trying out," which is unsettling for her. Some of her friends did end up getting cut from the team, so we're trying to encourage her by letting her know it's significant that they didn't cut her ~ she still has a chance to prove herself. 

We stopped by Syracuse to have dinner with her on the way back from Saratoga, which was nice. It continues to be awesome to have her so close and to the east of us, which is a direction we travel much more than going west (toward Buffalo). Just about every day I thank my lucky stars that she ended up at Syracuse rather than Buff State. I know now she would not have been happy there. Bullet dodged.

Today is an at home day hanging with pup, with a little running around, but nothing major. It feels great!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Spice-O-Rama


Don't you think America has gone a little overboard with Pumpkin Spice this-and-that? Wow, am I sick of pumpkin spice.

Here are the 29 super ridiculous pumpkin spice products. I'm thinking I could totally do without PS pringles, burgers (YUCK) and jerky. But the PS vodka and pasta sauce sound interesting. I'm not sure I want Jasper walking around smelling like a big spicy pumpkin, however.

Last week I went to Trader Joe's and picked up pumpkin spice bagels and PS cream cheese spread. They are seriously delish. I noticed Trader Joe's really embraces the whole pumpkin spice thing, and somehow the stuff they offer actually appeals to me. Maybe it's just because I love Trader Joe's.

But, if you really want to Pumpkin Spice Your Life, check out some of these unique items...

25,000+ and counting!!

In case you missed it, somewhere in the last week or two 
the Fabulous B@ker Blog hit 25,000 visits. 


Keep on readin' B@ker Blog-iverse!!

Weird Chance Encounters

This is the last of my catch-up blogs from the last month...

The last three weeks have been a little weird in terms of chance meetings with people who are in places I didn't expect them to be. Several such chance meetings that have happened to me recently are:
  • Running into my Rochester higher ed colleague and pal Joe C. at the top of Whiteface Mountain.
  • Seeing my NAGAP colleague Katie B., who recently moved to the Rochester area from DC, at the Fairport Oktoberfest.
  • After chatting with Katie about her new job at RIT and finding out that her new boss is someone I have heard a lot about (good things!) for many years but never met, then meeting said boss at Fairport Brewing Company not 10 minutes later. We both acknowledged that we knew a lot about each other despite never having met!
  • Running into Annalisse's first Mercyhurst roommate, Sarah (who is from Ohio) at the Head of the Genesee Regatta since both Cam and her boyfriend are rowers and she had traveled from Erie for the day to cheer him on.
Seriously, what are the chances of me running into these random people in these unexpected ways? It definitely felt a little serendipitous!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Road Trippin' to Chicago

Wonderful friends, wonderful times!
I've written several times on the blog about how much I enjoy visiting Chicago (here, here and here). Not that I've been there a ton of times - last weekend was just my fourth - but I knew after my last trip I really wanted to return and make sure Mark was with me. In other words, I wanted to visit Chicago for pleasure, not business!!

So, when I mentioned to my friend, Joanne (who lives in Chicago) that we really wanted to come for a visit, she suggested we come the weekend of the Chicago Marathon (Sunday, October 12) when my other friend Kristen would also be visiting to take part. So, off I went hunting for an affordable hotel so we could stay right downtown and really take advantage of some of the hot spots. We ended up staying at the Talbott Hotel, a nice, old boutique hotel on Delaware Avenue, two blocks from Michigan Avenue ("The Miracle Mile").

We drove the 10 hours to Chicago on Thursday, October 9; because of the high price of accommodations, we really couldn't afford to fly as well. The trip was a straight shot along Lake Erie then Lake Michigan through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana and, while an easy route, was a super boring drive. While in Chicago we enjoyed spending time with Joanne and her husband, Jimmy (and super cute pup, Heffy and old cat [20 years!] Tony Buttafuoco), staying the first night in their lovely home. Being lifelong Chicagoans, Joanne and Jimmy know the places to eat and things to see in Chicago, and were wonderful city hosts. We did a ton of walking (10 miles on Sunday alone!) and site seeing, and ate wonderful food. On Sunday, Kristen ran the Chicago Marathon in 4:41, which was a new PR by (2 minutes) for her. We were so happy for her - I really admire her endurance!!  It was also so much fun spending time and catching up with Kristen and her husband, Ken, and with Joanne and Jimmy - they are all such special friends!! The weekend weather was warm and beautiful, and the city, with the Chicago River running through it, is very lovely, especially at night.

On Monday morning, we were back on the road at 5am (Central time, 6am Eastern time), headed for home and to pick up our freshly groomed pup.   There are things we would have liked to do this trip, but, regrettably they did not work out. We wanted to attend a taping of one of our favorite NPR news shows,Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, but they were not taping on Thursday night. Also, we would have liked to go a Second City Show, but tickets were sold out for the three nights we were there, as were tickets to tour the submarine at the Museum of Science and Industry. Sooooo, you know what that means...we have to go back!!

Libra Birthdays Roundup!

The blog catch up continues...here's the Libra birthday roundup!

The first weekend in October my "baby" turned 19! Unbelievable! It is so nice having her so close as we were able to attend Cam's regatta in the morning on October 4 (Nic's 30th birthday!!), jumped in the car, drive to Syracuse, pick her up, come back to Rochester and catch Cam's second race in the afternoon. Whew! No wonder I'm feeling so tired with all the running around we do!

After Cam's race, we went out to dinner for Nic's birthday, which Carol and Paul had come for as well. On Sunday the 5th, Annalisse's BIG DAY, we got up, had a nice birthday breakfast, took our annual trip to Power's Farm Market to check out the pumpkins and teepees, went grocery shopping, and headed back to Syracuse. Before drop off we went to Pastabilities in Syracuse, which has an amazing "spice hot tomato oil" sauce which is awesome with bread or on pasta. Alex was able to join us for most of the weekend's festivities, which obviously Annalisse enjoyed very much. He's a very nice young man, and we also enjoy spending time with him.

On Monday, I went out to dinner with pals Meg and JoAnn for our 23rd Annual Libra Dinner (we are special and we know it!). This year we went to Tony D's which was okay...not great for all the hype it gets.

Wednesday the 8th was my BIG DAY, which was not too exciting as I had to work all day, and when Mark and I got home we were really focused on doing laundry and getting packed for Chicago the next day (see Chicago blog post!). We went to our fave Fairport village restaurant, Donnelly's, with Nic and Patrick, and Mark got me 1 1/2 half dozen roses, some of which were pink - as a joke, since he knows I'm not all into the pink=cancer thing. Still, they were quite beautiful, despite being pink!!

And on Friday the 17th, we celebrated Mark's birthday. Again, we just sort of rushed home, had dinner at Donnelly's, stopped into Fairport Brewing for an Apollo 8 (it was a beautiful night...we spent time sitting outside next to one of their firepits). We got to bed early as Mark was to hit the road early on Saturday to catch Cam's race in Boston at the Head of the Charles. Attending the HOTC was on Mark's bucket list, so he was very excited to go. Cam was also very excited to have the opportunity to wrap up his RIT crew career at this world famous race. His boat (the Men's 4) came in 38 out of 44 ~ which I'm sure he was fine with seeing RIT's team is a "club team" (not Division I, II or III), and they were competing against some of the best teams in the country. Mark actually drove there and home in the same day, getting back around 11pm last night. Crazy person.

Also on Saturday, Mary and Larry (and Drew) picked up Annalisse on their way through the Syracuse area as we were headed to the Book of Mormon at 2pm. I guess you could say that seeing the BOM, while not exactly on my bucket list, was something I've wanted to do for several years. It was very funny, irreverent, insulting, and full of heart.

Today, we take Annalisse back to Syracuse. But the fun is not over yet...next weekend we are on the road again to Cam's race in Saratoga at the "Head of the Fish." I'm thinking by now the car could drive itself up and down the NYS thruway!!!

So happy together! 

Hey 30!
Libra birthday buddies
I believe!

Back in the blogging saddle - Girl's Weekend 2014

I'm back!

Okay, where was I...? Oh yes! Girl's Weekend!!

Girl's Weekend
The last weekend in September, Sue, Lorie, Gina, Heather and I embarked on our 11th annual girls weekend, this year to Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics (Miracle on Ice, anyone?).

Just an aside before we get started: How can it be that I grew up  1 1/2 hours from Lake Placid and DID NOT go to the 1980 Winter Olympics??!!

We stayed at the Golden Arrow Resort, which was the perfect place to stay - right on main street near the shops and restaurants, overlooking Mirror Lake. Our suite opened up to a patio with furniture, where we spent quiet time just chatting and enjoying the view. Our friend, Clare, could not make it to girl's weekend, so Laurie ingeniously created a stuffed "Clare" who seemed to get into tons of trouble all weekend (hanging out in the bar...so drunk she needed to be carried home, flirting with the guy in the room next door). As usual, there was tons of laughter!

The Lake Placid area was sooooo beautiful the last weekend in September. We walked a lot, took a gondola ride up to "Little Whiteface," drove up Whiteface mountain (and hiked/climbed rocks the last 1/5 of a mile up - check my post about meeting people in random places), and stopped in for a little nostalgia at The North Pole/Santa's Workshop. We all reminisced about visiting Santa's Workshop during our childhood, EXCEPT for Sue, who apparently, despite her family's spending so much time in the Adirondacks, NEVER got inside the gate of the North Pole. Well, that explains a lot. I suppose it's nothing years of therapy can't undo.

All agreed that Lake Placid was an ideal location for Girl's weekend, especially in the fall. It was breathtakingly beautiful and appropriately quaint. Another wonderful weekend spent with my girls!



























Monday, October 6, 2014

I hate/love fall

Sorry for no posts. Honestly, I've been super busy traveling (and working late) for work and pleasure, and have not had much leisure time (read: sit around and update the blog) for the last several weeks. I both love and hate that about the fall.

This morning is no exception, and I'm not sure I'll get a chance to post in the evening, but be assured, when I do, you'll hear about:

  • Girl's weekend in Lake Placid
  • Fairport Oktoberfest
  • October birthdays
  • Our trip to Chicago
  • Recent random encounters

Whew! That's going to be a long one! Check back!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No more signs?

Do you remember this post, where I talked about how, after my father passed away, I began to associate the "blowing out" of street lights with him because, frequently right after his death, when I was walking the dog or driving down the street a street light would go out at the precise moment I passed it? In fact, the day "Nana" passed away Annalisse texted me to say a light on campus had blown out just as she was walking by it, and she said hello to Grandpa and Nana (and felt a bit of comfort in that).

Well, just an update to say this hasn't happened to me in a while. I especially wondered if I would notice it more after my mother passed away, but it's been almost a month and NOTHING. Strange, huh? I'm thinking she's keeping him so busy "up there" that he doesn't have any more time to send me signs. Either way, I'm glad they're together again, but miss those comforting signs just a little.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Magical Twenty-Seven

Happy Anniversary to us! Twenty-Seven Years. Hard to believe!!!

As I've stated on the blog before, it's weird and wild and exciting to think we've been married for 27 years, but sad, too, missing all our family members who have left us. I think back to when my parents had a 25 year anniversary celebration and they seemed so old then! And just to blow your mind a little more, Mark and I started dating when I was 18...and we all know how old I am now! There have been ups and downs (and really high ups and really low downs), but here we are alone again, with no one to keep us company but the dog!

We will be celebrating our special day with dinner out at Mr. Dominics in Fairport.Then, on Sunday, Nicole and I will head to Syracuse, pick up Sissy, and go to look for bridesmaids dresses. In the meantime, today is a celebration of US!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Hibernation mode...shutdown in progress...

Sweatpants after work, bed at 9. It's happening.

Last week: 80 degrees and sunny. This week 50 degrees, windy and cloudy. Noooo!!!

As with the last couple of years, last week I traversed 700 miles in three days covering the North Country grad fairs. That gets old quick. Anyway, it was great to see my colleagues again, and I had fun catching up over a glass of wine (or two).

The kids' semesters are in full swing. The fun novelty of SU has worn off and Annalisse is trying to juggle all her commitments between school work, the expectation of volunteering for her major, and crew. This past weekend she tried out for the SU improv team, and, although she advanced to the second audition (10 out of 40 kids advanced), she did not make the final cut. I'm sure she's very disappointed about that...that was the ONE thing she truly wanted to do in college. Oh well, I'm sure there's a silver lining in this lesson for her. I am a little relieved she did not make it (although I would have loved it if she did) since I am concerned she is already getting a little worn out ~ and it's only week three!!!

We didn't hear much from Cam last week, but I think he's also a little worn out getting up at 4:45am for crew practice every morning, then facing a full day of classes. I made him sauce-n-balls and pumpkin bars for dinner yesterday, so he and his roommates enjoyed that.

So, I (and my plants) are already missing the warm, sunny days. God help me get through another winter!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fairport State of Mind


This weekend was the epitome of everything that is awesome about Fairport. There are many days when I'm amazed that we are able to live in such a wonderful town. Here's why.

Friday the weather forecast called for hot and humid weather, WHICH I LOVE (right, Aunt Sher?), so I told Mark to hurry home so we could walk to Donnelly's for dinner before it got too crazy there. Well, he did, but it was CRAZY, so we decided to go to the Blue Cactus, where, despite their being chronically understaffed, I had a delicious mojito. Y-U-M. After dinner we headed back home, took Pup for a quick walked, called Nic and Patrick and invited them to meet us at Fairport Brewing Company for some outdoor-live-music-patio-fun. FBC has an amazing thing going this summer, with live music every weekend, food trucks, fire pits on the patio, and generally just a fun '80s beer blast vibe.
Friday night at FBC
It was the place to be on a wonderful, late summer night where we saw tons of people we knew, and the age demographic skewed toward folks our age. FUN FUN FUN. It was one of those nights you wanted to go on and on, it was so beautiful out and the company was great.

On Saturday morning there was sporadic rain leading up to the 3 o'clock set up time for our street picnic. Luckily, though, the weather cleared and we had a very pleasant evening that was not too warm and not too cold - just right! Again, another fun time spent with our awesome neighbors and some great food. There was a face painter, balloon toss, and bike parade for the kids (with prizes!). The kids are always really thrilled to have free reign of the street since we block it off from 4-9pm. After clean up, we all headed over to the Ebenhoch's for some fellowship around the fire pit. Just magical. 

I often marvel at how blessed we are to live in such a great community. I'm so glad our kids were able to spend their formative years here - I know they will look back and recall their almost charmed/old fashioned childhood living in the Village of Fairport. This weekend offered absolutely the best of what our street, and Village, has to offer!