30 April 2007

Hints of Summer

New England is the number one consumer of ice cream in the nation. I found that fascinating because most of the stands are only open in the summer! I remember the first year we moved here (In January) and went into a sub shop that also advertised ice cream. They had the cutest sign on the ice cream counter:
Closed for the Season: Reason? It's Freezin'!
Even the chain ice cream stands like Dairy Queen shut their doors for the winter. It is common knowledge, afterall, that if you are open year round you are not a "real" ice cream stand...
Growing up in the Midwest the top of the line ice cream was that which came from Dairy Queen, or Baskin Robbins. Some of the best New England stands are attached to dairy farms. Two of my absolute favorites are Kimballs Farm out in Jaffrey (and MA), and the Wright place out on the coast. It is the richest, creamiest ice cream around.
The lingo varies from place to place as well. Out west if you order a milk shake you get a thick ice cream flavored with chocolate strawberry or vanilla. If you order a milk shake in New England you will a concoction made mostly of milk and flavoring. I learned quickly that if I wanted a "milk shake" and was in New England I should order a frappe.
Sizing is also a big point of contention. The chain stores have set standards for small, medium, and large. It is not uncommon for us to have ice cream instead of a meal here. You need to be really hungry and be in an air conditioned room if you order a large! My father made that mistake once. He ordered a large at the Wright Place on a CONE!! He had tongue cramps before he was even half way through! Luckily we were in an air conditioned place so the melting did not overwhelm as much as it could have! To explain, a "large" cone has five large (think almost double a standard) scoops and stands almost a foot tall. I generally order a Quarter Kiddie which has just one (think heaping half pint) scoop. If you want two flavors you have to get a Half Kiddie which is like a heaping pint.
This week was the big Grand Opening week. Most of the stands around are now open for the summer. The mid-westerner in me won out and we christened the season with a Blizzard at Dairy Queen. While I wouldn't be boasting about that in local company, we were in heaven! It lived up to all the hype!

28 April 2007

Birds of Paradise

The Discovery Channel has a great series running now called Planet Earth. It has some spectacular footage from all over the world. One of our favorites was the bit on the birds of paradise. They really know how to strut their stuff :)

27 April 2007

Quiz me!

In the meantime, you can test your Stargate knowledge! I got Jack's B-day wrong, and had help from DH on how Daniel did not "die", Other than that I ranked as Ascended Being.


Nova Scotia

Canader, eh? I have heard many stories about Nova Scotia and it's beauty. The Bay of Fundi, the lighthouses, and great Canadian beaches. Halifax is supposed to be quite the little city, too. Cape Breton is our tour destination. Not to mention the hottest way to get there! A high speed Cat that travels between Maine and Nova Scotia. It travels at highway speed (to clarify- my speed on the highway...) but is smooth as silk. We will take the Porsche up to zip around in. We are having it shipped out in June. Now that we have a garage it has been evicted from my folks garage. We traveled a great deal last year and got quite burnt out. This year we have just this trip planned and it feels good. I am excited to see a new place, and even more excited that I don't have to get on an airplane to get there!

26 April 2007

Sail away.

A has really enjoyed putting together his new garage. We got some tool benches for him, and a nice cupboard to hide his toys in, and even a chute to easily get pellets into the basement. But he wanted more...style? pizzazz? flash? Blue, it needed more blue. So he picked out his color, and painted it all by himself! Usually, I have been the primary painter in the family. I thought for sure he would use a Bronco Blue, but he ended up with more of an tropical ocean blue. It makes me want to paint little fishies on it, or maybe a sail boat since he uses the garage as a relaxing getaway...

25 April 2007

Best Bumper Sticker

A saw this bumper sticker the other day. Very clever.

23 April 2007

Home Safe

Update on A's Mom. They were scheduled to fly back from AZ this week. Two or three weeks ago her back starting hurting her. She scheduled an appt. in Tucson, but the doc did not see her until Monday last week. By that time she was in agonizing pain, and her legs had begun to give out on her causing her to fall unexpectedly. The docs out there said they did not know what it was, they didn't have time to do a workup on her, and she better get home ASAP! So they changed their flights and flew back on Thursday. We knew that would be a long day. A's oldest sister K and her husband picked them up at the airport and took them home. It took everyone to get her in the house after the long day of traveling. It is a long trip if you feel well... By the time A and I got over there on Friday morning she was already being loaded into an ambulance to go to the hospital. You could tell she was in agony. Off to the hospital we went. They gave her morphine for the pain and scheduled her for an MRI. We did not know when any of that would happen. A's oldest sister and her husband came to the hospital so we took A's Dad out for a break and some lunch. We spent the day at the hospital. They did determine that she had developed Degenerative Disk Disorder, probably from her radiation treatments last fall. However, they do not know what is causing her to fall, or what is causing the level of pain that she has. The good news is there is no evidence, at this time, that the cancer has spread. Today they are seeing a nuerologist for more testing. She is at the hospital for a few more days at least, but then she will likely move to a long term care facility for physical therapy. She cannot go home while she is falling, because there is no way to get her up easily. A's 78 year old Dad just can't do it. At least she is safe here at home in NH.

First Swim

We are finally having a break in the weather. It is a stark contrast of last week's snow, and rain. The crocuses are blooming, the daisies are coming up, and the trees have begun to bud. That means Po's favorite season is over. Now he begins the grueling task of staying cool, and we begin eviction proceedings as he will smell like "swamp dog" for months to come. For some reason he does not like to swim in our pond, but he loves the source pond at the top of the hill. Sunday was his first swim. It didn't look all that appealing to me, as there was a fine layer of scuzz on the top of the water, but in he went anyway! In between laps he gets out to roll in the dirt of course.

For more fun with floods, here are some pics of the road that we take Po up for his walks, or what's left of it anyway. They have filled in the major sink holes, and places where rivers of water carved paths in roads, but there are still several closed roads (including this one), and many repairs to do. But you get the idea. 101 in Wilton is still closed from the mud slide. We have enjoyed learning some of the alternate back roads, though.

18 April 2007

Finally! Full Moon

A long time ago, in a land far far away, Alaska two summers ago to be exact, I found a great pattern for a quilt. Granted I had never quilted before, but I did take sewing lessons in high school, and I could work a pretty mean cross stitch. So I bought the pattern.
The next year I got a new sewing machine. It was a computerized Singer machine that would also do embroidery. I thought I might be able to use it for logos on business shirts, jackets etc. The machine never worked well. I tore it apart and put it back together more times than I can count. I spent hours on tech support trying to fix it. They sent me parts a few times to try to fix it...
In the meantime, I wanted to do my project, plus I had curtains to make, and a dozen little repair jobs lined up. So I dragged my old reliable out. A functional and simple little Bernina that A ran over with his truck when we lived in Texas Creek, CO.
My sister-in-law S is an incredible quilter, and sewer. She has beautiful wall quilts, comforters, curtains, bags surrounding her. She had to build a room onto her house to fit her quilting machine. It is the size of a queen sized quilt. Well, she agreed to teach me how to quilt, and get me started. She gave up a Sunday this winter and came to my house to show me. We had a great time tracing, cutting, etc. She brought her machine for that day and we got the background done, and I was well on my way... I tried to limp through working on the quilt with my not-quite-working machine, but by then it was breaking my thread every six inches or so, and beeping at me (which also stops the machine) even more than that. Last month I gave up and sent the machine back to them. I thought they would fix it and send it back but they sent me a brand new one that I received on Tuesday! Talk about service.
Anyway, I finally finished the quilt. Less than four hours on the new machine was all it took. Some of the early stitches are a little rough, and you can definately tell what I did with the new machine vs. the old, but I am proud of it. I did the color scheme to match my bedroom colors.

17 April 2007


Here are some lovely shots from our property. The big yellow back-hoe contains our friendly neighborhood road agent who has been attempting to build a dam at the end of what used to be our lower driveway for the last couple of hours. Last year water breached the banks of the pond and carved a little river down the drive to the culvert. This year the water washed away the side of the pond and continued down to wash out the driveway and the river of water is then washing down (and regretably washing away!) my street. Water was up over our little bridge for a little bit, but the water has receded. Cross my fingers that one doesn't wash out. We just re-built it last summer.

State of Emergency-NH

This storm has been a real doozy. First snow on top of the snow we had, then freezing rain, then driving pouring rain for a day and a half, and now we are back to snow. The roads and rivers have paid the toll. More than half of the roads have washed away, have a river going over or through them, or a mudslide has overtaken them. Several bridges did not survive, although the new bridge in Temple did the road on either side has been swept away. It will be weeks before they get to the bridge on Route 45 that takes us to Greenfield. State Rte. 101, which is the biggest East/West road in the state has multiple breeches, including a big mud slide on the Wilton/Milford line (right on our way to the store of course!) Should be fun doing deliveries for the next few weeks. Of course, Murphy's Law, we do more deliveries now than any other time of year. I have pretty much stayed holed up in the house during the storm, except for a 15 minute ride to go get milk yesterday. Usually it is a 5 minute jaunt, with the driveway at the dairy being the most challenging. Yesterday we had to go down through Wilton, because both roads through town were closed or river-like. Went through one spot where the water was flowing about two to three feet on top of the road. Thank goodness for a 4WD.
Here are some good clips of the storm. One a slideshow from our local news station, and another is a short vid of the Souhegan River in Milford (town next to the one our store is in) from the local paper. I think photo number 22 (from first link) says it all, "One way to fill your pool."


"One way to fill your pool."

16 April 2007

April Showers

It just keeps getting better! By noon yesterday we had about four inches of snow, with big fat beautiful flakes. By four in the afternoon you could hear the distinct plink plink plink of the freezing rain on the skylights, and windows. By eight at night it was a pounding rain. In the night I would wake up out of the fog of my dreams to the sound of driving rain. I could envision our basement filling with water as I slept. Upon waking, to the sound of a plow truck trying to chip at the slushy remains, and the still pounding rain, I looked out to see our stream up over it's banks (again), and wondered why A's fire pager hadn't gone off yet. About fifteen minutes later A was toned out (paged) for trees fallen on wires. About two minutes later another tone went out, then another, and another. A had a full day at work today, but like many of the other volunteers, he is putting the town first. That is what you do with a small town and an all volunteer force. Many of the calls are for washed out roads, and fallen wires. They tend to run out of cones, but they will do their best to mark the sink holes, and divert around flooded roads. A bridge has gone out at this point in our neighboring town, and just about every road has a river flowing over it somewhere. Our street is a low flow with only an inch or two of water flowing down it. The pond has not jumped it's side bank yet, but the lower driveway is currently under water. Seems like deja vu. Didn't we do this last year? The wind has picked up, and the rain is now driving sideways now. Heavy rain will last through today, and taper off to a mere rainstorm for tomorrow and Wednesday. A is fine, all bundled up in his bunker gear. All the same I think I'll stay inside today!

15 April 2007

Lazy Sunday

We are bogged down in a Nor'Easter today. It is a lovely storm that should last until Wednesday or so. I am hoping for mostly snow, but this afternoon it keeps switching over to freezing rain (Blech!) We did the Firefighter breakfast this morning. Most everyone showed up, even some old members. I think we got some good shots. It looks like the background with flames is the front-runner. Half of us like the shish kabobs as the front pic with a group shot on the back, and the other half like the group shot as the cover with the fireman's prayer on the back. We will have a vote at the next meeting.
A and Zo have been lounging around as best they can today. A has been putting in long hours at the store. Early buy for fuel has been extremely busy. Today is his one day to relax... Here is a fun activity that I tried today. Fun little quip, and it doesn't take long:

2. click on "maps"

3. click on "get directions"

4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)

5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)

6. scroll down to step #23

14 April 2007

Get in the Gate

First off, last night was awesome. The mythology of Stargate was a great primer for those who hadn't watched the show much, and was a nice walk down memory lane for those of us who have watched it. The Quest p. II was the winner. Darryl the dragon, Teal'c had some good one liner's, and Sam popping Ba'al in the nose were some of the highlights. It seemed that Vala and Cam bonded a bit, too. Adria is such a good "bad guy". She is so pretty and delicate, but such a $itch! Atlantis was good. It was great to have Jack back. Some of his great lines (who knows if they were scripted or ad-libbed) were "Oh Beckett, huh, I feel so much better.", and "Plan F, you mean? As in we're all..." Rodney was great as usual. I am going to miss Dr. Weir.

They also announced sign-up for the Get in the Gate:

13 April 2007

Paraskavedekatriaphobia- Not Me!

A.k.a.- Fear of Friday the 13th. According to Wikipedia, "It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do." There are a couple of countries who hold this irreverence for Tuesday the 13th.
People all over the world seem to have an aversion to the number 13. People often will not live on the thirteenth floor, or stay in room 13. Going beyond that many proprietors will skip the numbers completely, going from floor 12 to 14 to put themselves and their guests at ease. I am not into creepy movies but Thirteen Ghosts with Tony Shaloub was pretty traumatic, not to mention the Friday the 13th movies (Not that I ever watched any of those!).
Well, there is no fear of this day this time around, no paraskavedekatriaphobia. Because…

On the contrary, this is a day I have been looking forward to since last October! That was when I last saw new eps of Stargate on Skiffy! (Those little incidents on YouTube don’t count- they were fuzzy and really pretty small…) Today, we get the second half of Season 3 and 10 premieres. The only bittersweet is that it is SG-1’s last premiere anything as this is their last half season. But, today we have a little party to kick off this half of the season! There is a mythology behind the Stargate special beforehand. I can’t wait! We are having a mini-party tonight!
Enjoy the gates!
Funny side note- in 2029- on Friday the 13th Apophis will come closest to Earth in his travels. Apophis the asteroid- not the Goa’uld. But still, makes you wonder…

12 April 2007

Cover me!

I have been designated as the cookbook cover designer. Although I think the decision had more to do with the fact that I own a digital camera, photo software, and a computer than my artistic ability. It has been fun and frustrating. I come up with a lovely idea, work really hard on it, then everyone says "Oh it's Great! But..." Then before you know it, it has morphed into this ugly little blob that leaves all wondering what they thought was so great about it in the first place. Then they brainstorm, and come up with a whole new idea for me and the cycle begins again. Alas, here are my latest to be put under the microscope on Sunday. Also, on Sunday we are getting everyone together AGAIN, because they didn't like the first round of pics that were taken. I won't even go there...

11 April 2007

Go Joe! ** Atlantis SPOILER**

I thought about leaving a spoiler space, but every person on earth I know who watches SGA already knows that Beckett bites it in the second half of Season 3.
A large group was put together to "Save" him. The Save Carson Beckett group had all the bases covered. We wrote letters, of course, but the big coup was at the Stargate convention in Vancouver where Joe Mallozzi (Thoughts and Tirades) agreed with SCB'ers that if they got their campaign on ET or Access Hollywood he would bring him back. The SCB'ers were all over the Canadian news at the convention, then they got their banner on the Today Show. So, Mr. Mallozzi agreed to bring Carson back for at least two episodes in Season 4, with a possible third, and his return will leave the door open for Season 5.
See GateWorld for more details. Yay Carson!

Is Wanting better than Having?

DH always says wanting is better than having. My loving mother seems to be of the mind that unless something is in your hand it does not count! I am torn. Is having an "X" better than simply wanting one?
Having a car if you live in a rural area, for example, seems far superior to having none. But does the same apply if you simply want a better/bigger/faster etc. car? The car I have now is fine. But it sure would be nice to have a GPS system to more easily find my way around. My current car does not have an i-pod port. Maybe I should trade it in on one that does? I have to step back, at this point, and appreciate that in 'wanting' a person can enjoy the idea of a car (or whatever) without the added pressures, and responsibilities. What will the neighbors think if I come home with a new car every year? We don't live in a "keep up with the Jones" town, so what repercussions would come from buying a top of the line or premium brand car? You worry about some lunatic ramming into your car with a cart in the parking lot... Then there is the money issue. I really enjoy not paying a large chunk of my salary each month to a car payment. Insurance is a whole new level of money bleed. My old car costs over $600, what on earth would they charge me for a new one??? But I digress...
Could the wanting is better than having theory apply to non-tangible goods as well? Or does the opposing viewpoint then make more sense? Having an education is definitely better than not having one. Having the ability to walk is definitely better than not... I went to the eye doctor yesterday and found that I could not have laser eye surgery. The simple fact that I had radial keratotamy fifteen years ago knocked me out of the running for that. Having the ability to see is definitely better than not, but wanting to do so without glasses or contacts is definitely not better than being able to.
At the end of the day I guess I am just grateful that we are healthy, happy, and together. The rest is just icing on the top!

08 April 2007

Peep Show - HAPPY EASTER!!!

My goal for today was to do as little as possible. I sent A off to Maine to go skiing at Sunday River with his sister Ka, Ra, their daughter Li, and her boyfriend. See what happens when you leave me unattended! Happy Easter!

07 April 2007

We just got back from our little trip. We went down to CT yesterday. Da (Pa's boyfriend) and A's second oldest sister Pa's friends had a surprise 50th birthday party for Pa. She was completely surprised. It helps that her actual b-day isn't for a few weeks... The cast of characters made for a good and entertaining evening. Pa's oldest Ab came in from NY. To keep the secret of the party she had told her mom that she was taking the day off and going on a weekend cruise. She was happy to see her there. Ab is loving NYC. Her son Pe even made it. Not without drama, of course, but he did show up. His Uncle worries about him. We also got to meet a lot of Pa's friends. It is always nice to put a face with the names you hear in stories. One of the hosts was quite quirky. He was hurrying around straightening things on the tables, putting chairs back in their place if someone had moved it out of position, and keep an eye on your drink if you set it down. He would scoop up anything that looked out of place. There were a few people leaning on the back of a couch at one point. Having hardwood floors, the couch would occasionally slide a bit. He kept coming over to push it back in place. He was following my b-i-l Ra around. Ra sat in a chair that had a shelf above it. Mr. tight pants came running over and moved the chair out about 6 inches with Ra in it! He said that he was concerned that Ra would knock something off the shelf. At another point someone asked Ra to dim the lights a bit, and in the process of doing it he tipped an egg (decorative not edible) off of a little egg tree. It didn't break, but the host was there immediately with a disapproving look. Then Ra was asked to turn up the music where people were dancing. Mr. tight pants host was there in 2.3 seconds to turn it back down. Odd thing is they host parties all the time! His wife was delightful. She made it a point to talk with everyone, and had a good time herself, while serving dishes and other hostess duties. I was talking with my niece Na when one lady took an interest in me. She was quite concerned that I did not dance. She approached me at least five times with reasons I should join the dancing- which ironically she was not participating in. She finally grabbed me by the arm and told me I had to at least sit in the room where the dancing took place. I guess she saw her job as a recruiter. I later found that she even went up to A to report my dancing deficiency and lack of participation. I think she had a bit too much sauce. There were lots of great goodies to choose from. Our niece works for the company that catered. Pork with a slaw on top- simple and delicious, and salmon with lox, a cheese tray with too many to name yummy cheeses. Little meatballs that were to die for. One of the standouts was Cajun shrimp. Of course there were tons of desserts. A had a decadent pastry with vanilla and chocolate cream fillings, on a flour less chocolate cake and draped in fudge! At about One a.m. Mr. tight pants decided it was time for everyone to leave so he took Da aside and asked him to subtly give us laggers the boot. So Da in his robust style came in and announced to everyone that Mr. tight pants wants us out, so get your coats!

We stayed in a so-so hotel in Old Saybrook. A had to get up early to drive back to NH and work at the store. At least the hotel was walking distance to Dunkies for morning java. A was nice enough to let me stay down for the day, and come back to NH with my s-i-l and her husband. A's oldest sister Ka and her DH, Pa, and Da, Da's brother and I went to see a house under construction that Pa&Da are looking at buying if/when they sell their current homes.

We then went to brunch at Mohegan Sun, one of the casinos in CT. I am not a gambler, but enjoyed some of the artwork they had and a great salt water fish tank wall with a tunnel going beneath. We went into a couple of stores, then Pa, Da, and Ka proceeded to lose on the slots. Ra, Da's brother, and I determined that we were the winners since we did not play. It is like a toned down, much calmer and quieter Vegas, but the smoke was stifling. Very ornately decorated though. They had the enormous building quartered off and themed by season.

We left Po at home with a ham bone. We figured he could work that for at least a day, so he would not miss us (or be hungry...) Great time. Looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow.

06 April 2007

Boys and their toys.

With this being our first (store) holiday of the year- I thought we would have a leisurely morning sipping coffee and making plans for a little trip we are taking soon. A was very driven though. He "had" to get out and clear the driveways first thing. I think he just wanted to play in his bobcat. He goes back and forth between looks of serious concentration and childlike glee. We have talked of trading the bobcat in on a more practical little farm tractor but I am not sure he would have quite as good of a time with it. Enjoy every moment.
Happy Good Friday- I hope you have today or a long weekend to rest and enjoy time with your families!
**Remember- Stargate SG-1 marathon tonight on Skiffy- It is the first half of the season, the second half kicks off next Friday:):):)**

05 April 2007


Gone is the serenity of the morning. The dog may still be enjoying his day in the snow, but the honeymoon is over for me! Our town is supposed to plow our driveways. Generally a very good thing, especially when it is such wet, heavy snow! As I was out breaking my back shoveling the snow off the walkways this morning, the lovely plow driver buzzed our house. He looked like a drunk guy swerving around the road! Not a very good drunk, though, as he only managed to "swerve" about five feet into both of our driveways! Frat-a-ratta-ratta! Good thing we have a bobcat. Too bad A is at the store all week, and the only one good enough to navigate through the muddy field. Good thing we have four wheel drive!

April Fool's

Our weather is a little off this year. Fall never happened (just summer then Indian summer), and winter was about two months late. So when we woke up to an April Fool's storm outside it made sense that it's timing was a little off too! It was a beautiful sight to wake up to a landscape blanketed with fresh snow.

I love the quiet that comes with this heavy wet spring snow. I took Po out for a walk and could hear the faint trickle of the stream in the background of calm. Of course, being a Malamute Po is in heaven. This is the perfect depth for him, not too deep but no ground to be found. He went out and immediately started making doggie snow angels. Of course, gato diablo was right out there with us. Crazy cat/dog that he is.

I appreciate that we have seasons in New England. I was feeling that we did not get a fair winter this year, so it is kind of nice to have this fresh whitewash outside ;)

04 April 2007

Stargate SG1 'Theme Song'

Sung by Joe Mallozzi (Thoughts and Tirades) and Paul Mullie- This vid is probably for a more avid fan of the show. Hilarious to me! Friday Skiffy is running a Stargate SG-1 marathon with eps from the first half of the season. Last half season starts Friday April 13!
Thursday the 12th they are having a marathon of the first half of season 3 Stargate Atlantis. Sadly, it is during the day! The first second half show will air right after SG-1 on the Friday the 13th.

03 April 2007

House of Mirrors

I have often been accused of being fashion challenged. For example, I think socks go perfectly fine with tevas or sandals. I had a full length mirror in my old closet so that I could scrutinize my outfit and make sure I didn't look like I got dressed in the dark. Nothing fancy, just the cheapie mirror with the balsa wood frame. It wasn't like anyone else was going to see it. In the new bedroom there is no room in my closet for a mirror. So I thought I should upgrade a bit. I found an all glass mirror with beveled edges at the evil place (aka Walbarf). It cost about twice what the "cheapie" mirror did. Well, here is how it turned out. First is a pic of the old "cheapie" mirror. The second two show the new mirror close up and half way across the room. It is self-explanatory, sad really. At least it is harder to see my socks when the bottom half is so compressed!!!