Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is what pops up most nights around 10pm on my computer.  My 85 year old gramma has a web-camera and so each night before she goes to bed she calls to say hello and to see what I've been up to -- it's a portion of the night that I've been calling "Gram-chat".  Sometimes there are guests on "gram-chat" like my aunts or cousins, my parents, or her sister, but most nights it's gram and Uncle Scott.  She is a big proponent of the web-camera and told me that she thinks it would be ideal for "those people who are in lonely hearts clubs" so they could see who they were chatting with without having to meet them in person. Gotta love the techno-gramma!

Monday, August 16, 2010

ten events

Since Carrie has been posting I thought I should probably chime in with a list of random things so it appears that I'm attempting to help her keep this thing going. So here are ten things that have happened to me lately - not that they're totally interesting but they probably fit well with this blog. Ahem....

1. After talking about it for months I finally bought an itouch. In fact I'm using it right now (it made the font look way big and I don't know how to change it). I am digging it although it hasn't quite made me more organized as I forgot to turn it on the other day and so I missed an appointment. I don't think it's fair to blame the itouch.

2. I hung out with my husband Neil and husband-in-law Lalit in lovely Worcester. During my time there and also in Boston with Carrie, I was called "honey" a bunch of times but not in the real sweet "I think you rock" way, it was in the "look lady I got stuff to do so get a move on" way. It made me feel like someone's Granny.

3. Some of you know this already but I'm going to repeat it because it's pretty classic kbw. I was talking to my Mom about the challenges I'm having with the glass panes on the porch windows I'm refinishing. During our conversation I said "yeah I'm sure when I'm 70 I'll have some cracks in me too.". My Mom replied "watch it!". I think you can figure out how old she's going to be on her next birthday.

4. I had to bury a dead bird today. The poor little thing was in my front yard. A friend thought it might have hit a windshield but I prefer to think it was having a happy morning flying or sitting in my tree when it had a sudden massive heart attack and didn't know what happened. Its now buried under a different tree surrounded by leafy things and some flowers. It was my first bird burial.

Have given up trying to do this with the itouch - back to my regular ol' computer.  Maybe I'm just not suited for this crazy maddening digital world?!  

5.  I went and saw The Girl Who Played With Fire, second in the Larssen triology about a kick ass, intelligent but sometimes violent woman named Lisbeth Salander.  I like to think of her as Joan Jett in her younger days especially because of a certain connection I feel with Ms. Jett.  It was a tough movie to see - just as the book was challenging but I'm really glad I saw it.  I went with my movie buds Michael Johnson and Karen Hellekson (notice the Scandinavian names - I'd like to note that I have some Swedish heritage as well).  We've made a pact to see the third one together.  I hope people see the Swedish versions before the Hollywood version(s).

6.  Returning to the Worcester / Boston trip - Neil and Lalit and I met up with Carrie in the North End for yet another summer Italian Festival.  I believe it was the Madonna dela Cava celebration.  We did see images of a Madonna but no real actual cave.  There were a lot of things to purchase including a variety of Italian dishes (such as giant rice balls - hmmm), Celtics and Boston Red Sox gear as well as some 'fashion' purses.  There was a lovely variety of 80s disco playing (I thought some nice Italian gay man or woman had something to do with the music) which Neil and I of course, had to dance to [the comma splice goes out to all my grammatically correct friends who are cringing right now].  Please note, we'd yet to have any Prosecco (not sure how to spell it but I know how to find it).  We all had a lovely Italian meal at a Trattoria and then they had gelato at another little lovely Italian place.  I had a very yummy Penne Arrabbiata which was not only addictive but spicy as well.  Remember the previous note about feeling old?  Well, I was happy to have had Tums to help me get through the night but I was genuinely uncomfortable - I truly believe my stomach was on fire. Please note the picture is not an actual foto of what I really consumed but it looks very similar - the big slices of chili peppers are missing.

7.  I have almost all of my syllabi finished for the semester however as is my tendency, I am refusing to give into getting rid of my lovely random yet busy summer routine.  Thus while my health and wellness course syllabus remains unfinished and the books and notes for it are on my kitchen table ready to go, I'm in my living room on-line.  Clearly I'm running out of things to write about and am feeling slightly guilty about not working but it is after 8:30 at night....  tomorrow is laundry day (which I usually try to get started at 6am) so that's yet another reason to just cool it.  I think I'm going to have a very busy but fun semester and am actually ahead of where I usually am at this time.  Hmmm, have I rationalized not working enough here?

8.  My garden is growing quite well.  The acorn squash are taking over - I'm afraid I'm going to start to have dreams where they knock down my fence and slowly grow over to the house.  One morning I'll wake up and while still sleepy will open my back door and vines will pop up and strangle me as the flowers suddenly burst into mini-acorn squashes.  Soon the house will be taken over.  Maybe this really could be a nice B-grade horror movie.  It seems like a promising 'next project'.  I found this image when looking for something to put here (my camera is permanently busted so I can't provide actual images of what I'm writing about).  I wonder what sort of info. is in the book, DVD, VHS, slide show, filmstrip, picture book, monograph, etc. That accompanies this image?  I think I'll just leave myself to wondering instead of finding out [beep = sound that recording makes when its time to turn the film strip].

9.  According to my Wii fit, yesterday I was 23 in Wii years, the day before I was 27 and today I was 40.  I then changed the batteries in the Wii board thing one stands on and I was suddenly 25 in Wii years.  I wonder if I can use this information to change the age on my driver's license.

10.  I thought I had something pithy to write here but alas, I'm out of ideas.  I was lucky to escape the electrical misadventure that Carrie previously posted about.  I hung out with our pal Jordan in Boothbay Harbor ME while she was staring at fire trucks and the Wongs.  Its been absolutely beautiful here in little ol' Farmington ME although the air is a bit more fall like at night.  I suspect my veggies will all need to be harvested next week when I'm in Portland for the fun-filled-action-packed Veterans for Peace convention.  I hope its enjoyable and that my side project of researching the organization goes well too.  The students working with me are a bit nervous but they'll be fine - plus there's no guarantee they'll get to actually interview anyone which should take some pressure off.  I've got over 100 on-line surveys done so far but I really need more.  Hopefully the research goddesses and gods will look favorably upon us and it'll be a mad-capped adventure.

thanks for following our little blog.... more to come, I'm sure.

I just leaned over to shut off the fan in the window behind my head but there is no fan, just an open window. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Well, that's one way to meet the neighbors!

So I was working from home, was getting ready to take out the trash and heard a loud crash outside near the house -- which I thought could quite possibly be my air conditioner falling out of the window - probably impossible but I worry about it nonetheless.  It was actually a piece of the neighbor's dead tree falling on the power lines to my house ripping the line to the meter from the house and dragging the power lines across the road - notice how it also fell right across the trash.

One of the neighbors called 911 -- it took the police about 30 minutes and another call to the non-emergency  number to arrive (apparently it was shift change time), I called the power company who told me they would put in an order but the lines to the house weren't their responsibility -- even if they were live wires -- they showed up after about 90 minutes.  By the end we had the police fire department, phone, power and cable companies all represented along with various neighbors who came out to watch the drama -- I live in a pretty uneventful neighborhood.  The most amusing was young girl (maybe 10 or 11) wearing pink pants, a pink shirt with a picture of Nerds the candy and a pink fedora.  She was assessing the situation and giving updates to anyone new who came out.  She also took it upon herself to write thank you notes (and took them around for us to sign) to give to the police and firefighters who were there which I thought was very thoughtful of her. 

In the end they had to turn off the power until the landlords could get an electrician to hook the lines back up to the house.  I packed up the freezer and fridge and headed to a friends to be cool for the night and to have power to do my hair int he morning - and at the very least I had to save my opened jam! 

When I got back this morning the power was on - although it looks more like a temporary fix (which may or may not be legal) rather than a permanent one.  You can decide for yourself from the pictures below.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jammin' Friday

Since I had berries from last weekend's adventure in Maine, I decided to make jam.  I've never made jam but thought that 10:30 on a Friday night seemed like a good time to do so - it was cool, I had the supplies, so why not.  As of this morning it looked okay -- I have no idea how it might taste or whether or not it set up right -- I've decided to wait until tonight to open one to test it out.

The ingredients for my Triple Berry Jam:
2 1/2 c. crushe strawberries
1 1/2 c. crushed raspberries
1 c. crushed blackberries
7 c. sugar
1 box powdered pectin

I should have took pictures along the way, but I didn't so you just get the final product -- 4oz. jars of jam 20 in all -- anyone want some jam?!