Sunday, September 27, 2015

Indian Summer - Report from the Porch

It continues to be an amazing fall! The plants have all gone inside from the porch (since the mornings are so dark and cold), and have been replaced by big, bright mums. I can't yet bear to bring the furniture in, we probably have three (or more) good weeks of porch sitting before we give in to the cold forces of late October.

The Baker kids had a great week this week. As a follow up to last week's post, Annalisse called Sunday night SOBBING. I thought something bad had happened, but it was the opposite...she and two others had made the improv team and she was overwhelmed with happiness. This will be a real boost for her confidence, which she has sometimes been lacking in her college experiences (little fish, big pond stuff). She had been wanting to get back into improv and has missed it these last two years. We are soooo happy for her. We also learned that, as a result of joining Zamboni Revolution, she also became part of "Float Your Boat," a sketch comedy group at SU. Another funny thing: on Wednesday TV channel 10 came into her classroom, doing a piece on the new Nutrition Assessment, Consultation and Education (ACE) in the Falk College. When the crew asked "who wants to be on TV," the teacher immediately pointed at Annalisse. Ha! I guess they know her. We've been looking for the piece to air but I'm not sure it made the "cut" with all the Pope news this week.

The other Baker kid also had a good week. He received confirmation that he will be supervising the grape DNA research of five (?) undergrads next semester, and he also successfully defended his master's thesis proposal (while sick, unfortunately), so a lot of good news coming from him as well. We hope to be able to attend his thesis defense in the spring, then it will be out on the job market for him!!!

Another person who had a wonderful end to the week is my niece, Nicole. Several weeks ago a position came open at her bank, and, after trying to decide if she was qualified enough, applied and quickly got an interview. Then came a second interview, and on Friday she found out she got the position! It is a salaried management role with a generous boost in her pay, and it will give her great experience! Her future in banking is very bright, and we are all very proud of her!! :)

Yesterday, Mark and I  spent the day in Syracuse at Parent's Weekend. We left home fairly early to arrive in time for the Falk College brunch and break out session with the Nutrition Department. On the way there I noticed on Facebook that a high school friend whom I had not seen in many years was also there with his son, who is a freshmen. We made plans to meet up, and even before we formally arranged to meet we ran into him, his wife and his son at the Falk gathering. How I do love these happy surprise meetings!!! It was great chatting and catching up, and we spent a little more time talking with them at the pep rally before the football game.

At noon, we headed over to the Carrier Dome for the game, and, while a super fun atmosphere, I think I've said before: I don't get football. That being said, the people watching was phenomenal, and, another unexpected surprise, another high school friends was on the jumbotron presenting something on behalf of Tops Supermarket, which was a game sponsor. YOU GO, MCHS CLASS OF '81!

After dinner we headed back to Rochester and took pup for a nice walk. I was wiped out, but Mark decided to go down to Fairport Brewing for a cold one. I hunkered down in bed and watched "Philomena," which was a very good movie and I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet, relaxing evening.

Sadly, the beautiful weather and fun stuff this weekend will have to carry me through the extremely busy week coming up.... :(

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Twenty-Eight ~ and other stuff!

Another year has passed...28 years married (plus, remember: I want credit for the six years we dated...). It goes sooooo very fast!

Yesterday, our anniversary, was very, very reminiscent of the actual day of our wedding. It also fell on a Saturday, and it was rainy. It was also a very busy day that started with a quick trip to Syracuse to deliver some mail, groceries and a visit with Jasper to his sister (or "sisser" as we like to call her). We got to A's place around 10am, unloaded the goods, and headed out for a walk where she had arranged for some of her friends to meet her most favorite person (dog) in the whole world. After a stop at one of the dorms, we headed up to the Quad (getting really warm out already...), and were greeted by tents, a bouncy house, tailgating and the wonderful, entertaining SU pep band playing on the steps of Hendricks Chapel. What a fun vibe the school had! It even made me want to go to a football game when we return to campus next weekend for a day of Parent's Weekend activities.

You heard that right: I WANT TO GO TO A FOOTBALL GAME. It just seemed fun. A confession if I haven't said it already: I don't understand football. So, I expect there will be a good deal of people watching occupying my time.

We left A around noon to head back to Rochester. By this time puppy was very hot - it's hard when you have a thick fur coat in 85 degree weather, not to mention he, once again, needs to lose 10 pounds. Of course, he slept all the way home and for most of the day. That was a lot of activity for him, but he was so happy!

After we left, A ate some lunch and headed back to campus for the improv workshops for Zamboni Revolution, which she is trying out for again this year, not having made the team (but making the final cut) last year - a huge disappointment for her. As of this writing, she once again made the cut and final decision on team members will be sent out via email tonight. FINGER CROSSED. Very nerve wracking! Stay tuned!

The rest of our anniversary celebrations found us enjoying the super funny and entertaining Spamalot  (based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail) at Geva, followed by dinner at Ox and Stone. Mark and I shared Paella, which was DELISH. When we got home we walked pup down the street and found that the street picnic (which got rained out last Saturday, so it was moved to this Saturday, during which it also rained - BLAH!) was winding down, and those remaining moved the party to my across-the-street neighbors porch where we drank wine and chatted into the night. Our street continues to be simply awesome.

Not much news from Cam this week, except I read on Twitter that he dropped his phone and has a crack in the glass. I wonder if he'll ever actually tell me that. He texted this week that he is pretty excited about the possibility of supervising five undergrad Bioinformatics majors this spring on a project mapping genome types of grapes. (The link provides an idea of this type of work. ) Here is another link to this work. Pretty interesting stuff!! He's been very busy with his classes, but also with meetings in the department and student emails related to the two labs he oversees.

Fall is definitely in the air, but I'm not ready to bring the plants in and store the porch furniture just yet. I expect we'll still have 2-3 weeks of pretty good weather which might find me on the porch watching all the bird politics in the tree next to me. Until then...

Improv Update: I got a call at around 9am Sunday night, Annalisse on the other end of the phone - sobbing. I thought the worst. Thank goodness they were tears of joy as she made the SU improv team. So happy! Not being able to do this for a couple of years has been very hard for her. We are looking forward to seeing many shows in the coming year!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A summer of sunshine, one day of rain

It rained today. Hard. And it was pretty cold out.

All because it was the day of the annual Fourth Ave Street Picnic. Can you believe it?! Looks like the kids will have to wait a week to have fun riding their bikes up and down the street, and the neighbors will have to wait for the communal picnic and the wine - oh, the wine! Also, there will be no bonfire today. 

Sadness. And a little extra sadness because we can't make the rescheduled date of next Saturday as it will be our 28th anniversary and we have tickets to see Spamalot at Geva. Dang it all! Have fun Fourth Ave'ers. Think sunshine!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Nary a free moment

Hello! (Aunt Sher...)

I'm back. No excuses for the long time between posts, mostly a lethal combination of busy-ness and laziness. BUT, the good news is I've been getting a jump on my fall reading for book club, so there's that...!

Obviously, we have a lot of catching up to do! The kids are settled at school ~ Cam is in his third week of classes, Annalisse: her second. They are knee deep into classwork and other obligations. For Annalisse, her part-time job is taking up a bit of time. For Cam: he's just plain busy with coursework and the two labs he teaches on Fridays (apparently one of the kids called him "professor" - HA!). I sure would like to be a fly on the wall of one of his labs to see how he is doing. The students (officially: Teaching Assistants) who teach these labs are given very little training. Other than the occasional text, I don't really hear from him. Last night we took a big pan of mac-n-cheese over to the house he rents with five (or is it four?) other guys and I have to say I did have a moment of concern. I am a little worried that the "distractions" of living with a bunch of guys may affect his focus this year. COME HELL OR HIGH WATER he will be done in May. No more school!

Needless to say, with the kids both gone we are hyper-focused on Jasper. Endless love!

Things to look forward to: In the next couple of weeks Annalisse will be trying out for SU's improv group, Zamboni Revolution, again (please send good thoughts her way...she almost made it last year and got cut in the final 10), and we will be celebrating our 28th Anniversary (September 19) by going to Geva to see Spamalot, and, of course, dinner out somewhere!!

Until then...