September 30, 2006

Walking In the Fall

Whatever else you might say about Massachusetts, one thing that is seldom mentioned is the natural beauty of the area. People who grew up here don't think it's anything special because it isn't dramatic enough. Suffice it to say that they have never been to the midwest or they wouldn't make such rash statements.

Today was a beautiful day - cool, sunny - just the day for a long walk. We took one of our longer routes today. It's 6 miles total (at times it seems like it's up hill both ways). I took my treo and grabbed a bunch of pictures. Sadly I'm not even a good photographer - these were of the point, shoot, pray variety. I can't tell what they look like on the tiny screen of the treo, I can only really see them when I get them on my computer.

The first pictures come at the halfway point. Up til then, I was looking around and taking in the changing leaves and fall flowers. This is from about 1/4 of the way up the side of a long hill. (Yes these are all thumbnails, click to enlarge)

At the top of the hill is a view in the opposite direction of the other picture.

Back at the bottom of the hill is a field. In the first picture you can see just a bit of it - looks like a lawn from up higher. This is surrounded by hills and more trees (yes we live in a forest). Because of the sun in the background, the picture fades out a bit - gives it a soft quality.

This next one, I obviously didn't account for the sunlight, but I think it turned out kinda cool. I was trying to get a picture of the gorgeous purple flowers. It was someone's yard and I didn't want to trespass, so I stood on the road to take the picture.

There are wildflowers growing all over the sides of the road. At one particular spot (the first of the next 4 pictures), there is a short rock wall and then a stream behind that. The stream is mostly overgrown and can't really be seen very well, but it sounds lovely as you walk next to it. Along with the varying colors of leaves everywhere, the next several pictures are those of wildflowers, planted flowers, and some lovely leaves.

The last is one of the roads near our house. The trees aren't fully turning color yet, but they're starting.

All in all a lovely day for a walk.

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September 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Contagion!

Yes, the stump of the Bad Example Family Tree is another year older today. Because Grau was kind enough to let everyone know, I just had to get the boy some nice presents.

First we have something every Packer Fan is required to wear all season long, your very own cheesehead hat.


Not only that, but we have to wrap up that beverage of choice in something to keep it from spilling during those exciting Hail Mary passes...


Sadly, the Packers have no Cheerleaders, which means I can't send any your way, but you have Ktreva so I don't think you'll miss them.

Next we have a little something to keep you warm all winter, a few barrels of Jack to put in the basement.


Not to mention - this dandy accessory for the kilt


We're nearly done, but I do have one last thing. For the next time you decide to let your moustache get hideously long...


Have a great birthday little stump.

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September 25, 2006

Family Day

Today is Family Day and Tammi has requested family stories to celebrate the day.

My kids are now grown and living out on their own, but one thing we always did when they were growing up, was to sit down together for dinner. Well, sometimes my husband didn't make it home in time if he was working late, but at the very least, it was the kids and I having a meal at the same time, at the dinner table in the kitchen.

Just as my son started 7th grade, we moved from one town to another - much better place and bigger house. This meant we often had one of his best friends at our house for the weekend as they now lived 30 miles apart. (they would trade off - so half the time, my son would be down there for the weekend)

One day, after numerous weekends at our house, D (friend of young son) said to me, "do you always eat dinner together?". I looked at him in surprise because I had never expected that question. I said "yes, always"... it never occured to me to do things any other way. He said, "we only have dinner together when we do a family get together".

Now there are a couple of things to note here. First of all, I am not a short order cook. I make a meal, everyone eats the meal. If you don't like the meal... that's too bad, cause I don't do special orders. Plus I want all the mess in one room. Once kids start taking food to their rooms, things get messy very fast, then I have to go clean up the mess and the attendant bugs.

Secondly, D's extended family had frequent get togethers. They are a close knit group even though they are several hours apart. This means they have meals together, it just isn't every night.

I did find it amusing. I guess he figured everyone should be able to nuke their own food and head off in different directions unless it was a special occasion. But since we never even owned a microwave until we moved to the then "new house", I wasn't in the habit of using it for anything other than warming leftovers. Therefore I didn't have the right kind of food for individual "heat and eat".

There weren't ever had any profound discussions around the table that I remember. We probably should have done, but most of the time it was pretty much general conversation - except for my son who was busy eating and didn't have much to say. I don't know that having a daily family meal influenced either of my kids in the matter of substance abuse (which seems to be the point of the officially designated family day). At least until they got to college age, it was my one good chance to catch a glimpse of them during the course of a day, otherwise they would have holed up in their rooms and I'd never even see them.

If they ever have kids, I wonder if they will do the "family meal".

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September 22, 2006

He Must Be Distracted

Could it be the Fire Ants? Or maybe the Straight White Guy is simply chagrined over his most recent downfall while playing pool.

Whatever the case, I am shocked... shocked I tell you... that Eric missed these wondrous happenings in the world.

Court says $32,000 is too much to fondle bosom

not to mention...

Couples line up for passion in a car on stilts

Eric, my man, we look to you to keep us informed of these things happening in our world! It's a tough job, but someone has to do it, who better than you with your Marine training to get the job done.

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September 17, 2006

Dinner With Tammi

This evening I headed out to Boston for dinner. Tammi is in town and she was able to sneak away from all the show hoopla to spend a couple of hours eating and talking.

Yes it's true, if you go read her post, she told me she wasn't going to drag her blue jeans along with her this time... so I figured I should wear my decent black pants and a presentable top, which I did. Only to see her walk off the elevator in her jeans. Ha - that'll teach me - always call before getting dressed. :-)

One of the other ladies she works with joined us for dinner. She's a very nice person. We all had no trouble chatting away like mad while we took what seemed like the grand tour to find a CVS, because Tammi needed thumb tacks. We did find them (Yay), then walked back to the hotel so we could find the restaurant where we had decided to eat.

I also got to go see what she sells now as they had things all set up for tomorrow. It's all very fun stuff. I bet they have a blast selling it.

All in all, a lovely evening. I'm glad we had a chance to get together. Boston is a great city. Not the size of Chicago, but it has it's own character and I like it very much. Now all I have to do is figure out how to drive around in the city. It's full of one way streets, not to mention it's not completely a grid... which confuses me no end. But I did (after missing it the first time and having to drive way the hell around the Commons) find the parking garage I was looking for, I'm not up for street parking quite yet. It's all in the practice. Tammi will have to come back again so we can do some site seeing together, not to mention North end restaurants.

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September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Harvey

It's my blog daddy Harvey's birthday. He has requested something BLUE. I'm quite happy to oblige and make it a lovely blue day for him.

First the Blue Card from American Express so he can spend money.


Next we have a pretty new blue car.


Then we have the Blue Man Group for his entertainment


And last of all we have lovely lady in blue


Happy Birthday Harvey!

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September 05, 2006

That About Sums It Up

Yahoo News managed to put Katie Couric exactly where she belongs. Here's a portion of my Yahoo screen... Notice the category...

Quite right. It certainly can't be classified as news. On a side note I heard Katie doing a promo commercial for her show. She said she wants people to feel educated after they watch... Apparently disseminating information is no longer the job of the news anchor, now Katie wants to be a teacher. Gee, I think I'll pass unless she can teach me how to be cute, perky, and earn $6 million a year. Then I might be interested in learning something from her. (as this seems to be her major accomplishment in life, it's the only thing I'd say she was qualified to teach)

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September 01, 2006

Summer's End

Well, it's Labor Day weekend. Hope everyone has some nice kick back and relax stuff planned. Tonight darling daughter comes to town. She has to wait until after work to fly out, so we're picking her up at the airport at midnight. (which is fine with me, but beloved husband will be beat)

If we aren't being poured upon by Ernesto tomorrow, we hope to get down to Boston and do the sights. I know she'll want to hit Newbury Street (THE shopping street in downtown Boston). We'll wing the rest. If the weather isn't bad, we may try for a harbor tour or we may just do the walking tour and find a great restaurant down there (not hard at all - Boston is littered with excellent restaurants).

Sunday will be wait and see. But it should be fun. Everyone enjoy your weekend.

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