Saturday, March 29, 2014

Getting through six months of winter

Well, friends, we are going on six months of dark skies, snow, sleet, rain, and freezing temperatures. It's certainly getting harder to tolerate this never ending winter, and it's really contributing to a general crankiness and malaise, and I know I'm not alone in this. Add to this a "not great" week, and not a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to, and you've got full blown Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Life is a bit of a grind sometimes, isn't it?

On the bright side, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League has three great shows (among all the shows scheduled) coming this fall: Book of Mormon (MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat andRogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Those of us of a certain age (and gender) will certainly remember the 1965 Cinderella TV special:

My sister, Mary, is particularly obsessed with  R & H's Cinderella at the moment. Also, at last year's Tony Awards they performed this number (the play is currently on Broadway). You have got to watch the amazing costume changes in this clip:

Love, love, love it! So many great memories of watching this as a child, and I can't wait to see it live.

So, hopefully, this weather will turn the corner and we can GET ON WITH IT.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Grand Vermont Irony

If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE Vermont, although I cannot say that we've gone there for at least five years - WAY TOO LONG. So that's why it's so ironic that Cam is there right now, skiing and enjoying all the things I love about The Green Mountain State.

I can remember when both kids, but in particular Cam, would hem, haw, complain and pout about our yearly trip, usually in October when the state is at its most beautiful. I'm anxious to hear his opinion as an adult, especially spending time there with his "special someone," and the fact that she has family there and spends a fair amount of time there.

It's simply NOT FAIR.  These kids!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


A very happy birthday shout out to our wonderful mother, Jeanne/Mema/Popo today! Isn't she lucky to have a birthday that falls on the first day of spring?! 

Sending our love across the miles!

Mom and Lena

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Good Riddance!

Just think! Today is the last day of winter. Tomorrow (also Mother Shiao's birthday!) the skies will clear and the sun will come out (just like on the opening of the "The Simpsons"). Tulips will bloom. Birds will chirp. Bunnies will hop!

Winter has overstayed its welcome and we are kicking its butt out of town. All happening tomorrow. Get ready!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

All is quiet, once again

Well, another weekend has passed, and Annalisse is back at school (booo!). I think she had a pretty good week off characterized by total boredom alternately mixed with total fun and excitement. One thing I can tell you: there was no studying going on; and with mid-terms coming up this week...oh well. What can you do? There's only so much nagging I can tolerate (coming from me, that is), and I get sick of doing that all the time.

Things really ramped up on the weekend bookends. Last weekend Annalisse went to Alex's "Track (team) Ball" at SUNY Oswego, and we also had our Beer Club get together. This month's theme was really fun: we did March Madness "brackets" where we taste tested eight beers. Ours came in second - SO CLOSE!

The week between the weekends was nothing to write home about, except the Wednesday blizzard that resulted in Rochester (and my work!) shutting down for the day. We did end up getting a ton of snow, so it was probably for the best.

On Friday Alex came home for his spring break and he and Annalisse went to the Downstage show at the high school. She really enjoyed to introducing him to all of her friends. Then, on Saturday morning, we went to Buffalo State College ("Buff State") to check that out as a transfer possibility. Annalisse has already been accepted into their Dietetics program (which is a very good one), so we went to take a look. It's definitely more urban (and of course, quite large), and very different than either Naz or Mercyhurst (or even SU), but she was okay with it. We are still waiting to hear from SU, and hopefully that will come soon (good or bad) so we can wrap this up and make a decision. This process totally feels the same as going through the freshman admission process in that we rush home to check the mail every day. 

On Saturday night we had our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner. This I know for sure: you either like cb&c, or you don't. The kids were really good sports about it and didn't complain "too much," and we got to meet Cam's new girl, Shaina, for the first time. It was also the first time Nic & Patrick had met either Alex or Shaina, and we were pretty strong on the embarrassment factor so we'll have to see what the "newbies" are made of. Can they take it?!

All in all, a wonderful weekend with the kids and family in general. How sweet it is!
Cam and Shaina
Alex and Ani at the Track Ball 
Mark and the big plate of corned beef 
Nic and Patrick and the wearing 'o the green

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snow Day '14

What a crazy winter. What a crazy March.

I am home for Naz's first snow day in I-can't-remember-when. Exciting stuff. EXCEPT THERE'S A FREAKIN' BLIZZARD COMING. C'mon! Give me spring!

How will I spend my bonus day? Well, Annalisse is home on break so there's that. Plus, I started watching "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix, so I suppose I could put a dent in that. Oh, yeah - and a nap; don't forget about the nap. (HEY! Did you know Monday was National Nap day? Unfortunately, I did not get to celebrate it.) Oh, and I'll probably have to cook dinner since it will be too treacherous to go out. DANG. I was on a roll there.

I'm also thinking a quick trip to Wegmans may be in order to get the fixins' for the corned beef and cabbage dinner this weekend (then I won't have to go Thursday [since I'm pretty busy all day] or Friday [when there's a chance the corned beef might be sold out]). At Cam's request (he's bringing his new girl!) I'm also making Hungarian cabbage noodles. Buttery goodness. Who knew he loved those? Annalisse and Alex, and Nic and Patrick will also be coming so it should be a good time. A great dinner followed by a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity.

So, I'm pretty psyched that I get a mid-week break. HEY! I just found something positive to say about winter! Don't get used to it.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weekday Introvert

It's finally Saturday and the house is buzzing once again after a quiet week. Mark is home from Denver, Annalisse is home for spring break, and there is one happy dog bounding around the house. Big kid will be home for break next week.

When Mark is gone to Denver for work and it's just me and puppy at home in the evening, it's pretty pathetic, boring stuff. Our after-work schedule goes a little something like this:

  • Come home between 5-5:30pm
  • Take Jasper down the street ("The world is his toilet.")
  • Come home, catch up on all the important (celebrity!) news and blogs I read
  • Figure out what I'm having for dinner (eggs and toast? pancakes? bagel? spaghetti and sauce?)
  • Watch a little TV before taking puppy out again around 7 (Silver lining: I can walk him in my PJs because it has gotten dark so early - until now. Looks like I'll have to actually put jeans/real pants on with the daylight getting longer.)
  • After a quick walk, head upstairs to my "cave" and watch some more TV or a show on my iPad
  • Between 9-9:30pm: head to bed to read a little before falling (quickly) asleep
Wow, seeing it laid out that way sure makes me a look a little hermit-ish. Morey likes to comment, "I saw the lights have been out pretty early all week over there." ~ so true, Morey. So true.

Tonight we "spring forward" for this year's daylight savings time. I am so looking forward to more light in the evenings and increasingly warm temperatures. I can't even tell you. Who's with me?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Take me back to sunny Virginny

Sue, Judy and Sanny
Fun in the (cold) Sun
Well, we're back from our trip to Virginia. Nine hours...long day of driving.

We travelled to visit Mom Shiao in Northern VA, followed by a quick trip four hours to the south to see Sue, Ken and cousin San in Roanoke. Even though it was a lot of time in the car, it was a great trip. The weather wasn't super warm*, but it was very sunny and, although not in the 50s or anything, guaranteed to be warmer than Rochester. No question!

It's always super fun to visit the DC area ~ there is always so much to do AND SO MANY GREAT PLACES TO EAT! We weren't there very long (just one full day on Thursday), but enjoyed spending time with Mom and also got to see Jackson and Amelie for bit. 

On Friday morning we were back on the road after breakfast heading to Salem/Roanoke to visit the the Englands. We got there just after 2pm, and went out for a late lunch before heading back to Sue and Ken's to chill for a while. On Saturday, we went to our favorite coffee shop, Cups, stopped by Black Dog Salvage (always worth the trip), and went downtown to visit the Orvis shop and some other boutique stores. Then we went back to Sue and Ken's to meet up with Ken who had tennis and his band practice until 1pm.

After a quick lunch we took a road trip an hour north to check out Jefferson's summer home, Poplar Forest, but, alas, we got there too late to tour as it was closing in 1/2 hour. As a result, we just browsed the gift shop for a bit and chatted with the clerk, who was kind enough to give us some info about the site. Pretty cool. I love the history of that whole area. 

After Poplar Forest, we drove to Bedford VA to see the National D-Day memorial, but that was also closed for the day. Finally, we headed to a cute little restaurant, The Millstone Tea Room, which was basically in the middle of nowhere on a country road, but had really great food. It was buttermilk fried chicken all around, except for Ken who had the salmon. YUM. Once again, the food on this leg of the journey was amazing, as always. I don't dare step on the scale.

Finally, this morning we got up bright and early (5am) with the goal of hitting the road for home by 5:30. We were close...we were on our way by 5:45 and, after a stop at our fave Rt. 15 travel place, The Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, got to Henrietta at 3pm to pick up Cam for dinner and Jasper from boarding (boy did he smell and look good after a bath and a haircut/groom).

Tomorrow, Mark goes to Denver for the week, and it will be just me and pup...eating toast and eggs for dinner, the gastro-delights of the last five days only a sweet memory!

*The South's challenging winter continues with another winter storm warning for the DC area and central PA tonight/tomorrow. They have totally got to be out of snow days by now.