Sunday, January 14, 2018

KE in NH, CT, & NY

My oldest, Michaela, is 19.  


She was home for the winter break and hung out with us for a while and that is always fun.  Andrea and Scotty LOVE her and think she pretty much god's gift to our family ...and in some ways she is.  :)

I'm kinda three steps behind where I should be at any given moment in life ....of course there are occasions where I really step up my mom-game and prepare in advance for something...  I'm getting better!  Anyways, sweet Michaela had the joy of being the first one ...and I'm confident it was meant to be this way.  

She's figured things out on her own, signed herself up for things, harassed me to not forget deadlines, and covered for me when I did.  She has pretty much done what she needed to do to get to where she is and for that she is awesome!

Well, she has survived her first year and a half at RIT and thanks to her AP high school credits and a BAE systems internship she managed to secure because she signed herself up for a Women in Technology program in high school ...she is ahead of the game and started early on her first co-op job of college!!!  At Datto.  I have no idea what that is...  They deal with data.  On a computer.  My knowledge of data pretty much tops out at access databases!

Paul and her are now able to have conversations about ...ummm, see I can't even think of fancy computer words to insert here.  Let's just say that the computer science major and mechanical engineer have lots of conversations about lots of computer stuff.  I work in a forest so I just listen and nod.

Since she isn't going to classes, just working this semester Michaela has found herself an apartment, signed the lease, paid a deposit and is now living with random strangers in Rochester, NY.  It just got real.  

See, when your oldest kid is at college with other college kids you still think of them as a kid ...after all they are still running the halls throwing bouncy balls at each other and chasing each other spraying grape soda.  They are for all intents and purposes... giant, stupid kids living unsupervised.

Now she has a job.  She will go to work. Go grocery shopping, shovel her own walkway, check her own tire pressure, and hopefully make her own lunch to take to work...  :) AND pay her own college bills next Fall when she returns to RIT for classes.  WHOO HOOO because $5000 a month is getting pretty tiring.

What was also very weird was watching her drive away when she left.  She was headed to Connecticut to a hotel on a "business trip"...  then to New York to start work this week.  She took her stuff, loaded the car, and left in the car we took her to elementary school in.  


Good job KE.  You are kicking butt at this life thing.  We only harass you so you keep going...  :) xoxo

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Well, now I see why I stopped writing Denmark and Germany I could write about the weird and interesting things I was experiencing and here in New Hampshire life has become pretty normal ...but as I type that I realize that maybe my normal has changed...  I am, after all, from California.  (kinda) 

Which, had I been a good little writer when we first got to New Hampshire I might find more things that are weird and interesting, but now they are "normal".  Like a Jug Handle.  Oh look though...  I thought I might have written about that a long time ago ...and SEE HERE ...seems I didn't have much to write about then either.

Okay, well, enough about NOT having enough to write about.  How boring is that.

Okay.  Saturday.

Saturday I bought crickets.  I had a million errands to run.  I literally went to nine different stores doing the dreaded "after-Christmas-returns"...  UGH.  While returning guinea pig treats ...because we had to put down Buttercup, our last, little guinea pig.     Side Note: Talk about a tough day.  We are screwed when it comes time to lose a cat or a dog.  Our family was devastated to lose Buttercup, including me at the vet holding little Buttercup with her sad squeaks.  The worst part was making the choice to put her down and being the one involved.  She was almost 8 years old, which is like 104 in people years.  She became paralyzed and then stopped eating.  Super sad.  We miss you Buttercup!

Anyways just occurred to me that buying crickets might seem weird.  (Which again justifies my prior thought that my "normal" has drastically changed since moving here.)  We have a crested gecko named Squishy.  Squishy likes to eat crickets.  So I have to buy crickets.  Live ones.  Which at first it was really hard to feed a live animal to another live animal, but we've adjusted.  New normal...  seems to be a theme here. **sigh......

SO.  I buy 15 live crickets in the middle of my return-o-palooza, but then I realize that it's too cold to leave the crickets in the car to continue to returning things... and going home is NOT an option.  I can't stop.  My new 32 hour work week has me totally booked Monday through Friday ...and I can only keep track of receipts for so long. 

SO.  I have to take this bag of crickets into every store for the rest of my day.  Which, honestly, I've done before (new normal), but the bag was always small enough to put into my purse.  This bag was huge!!  ...aaaaaaaannndddd thinking about it now, I guess I could have just let some air out of the bag, but that didn't occur to me at the time.

I "had" to hide the big bag in my coat.  So I walked around stores and stood in lines holding a big, fat, air and cricket filled bag in the side of my coat.  It looked like I was stealing things.  One man at Lowes asked me if there was anything I wanted to buy and looked at my coat and I figured out that he thought I was a horrible shoplifter so I said, "oh, it's just crickets" and pulled the bag out.  He didn't say anything.  You're welcome Squishy.

Well.  That was a lot about nothing.  Isn't that like Seinfield?  I hate that show.  Mostly because of Jerry's voice.  It's ridiculously annoying.  Almost worse than a British accent....  or maybe worse?  I'm not sure.  Maybe someone should make a sitcom about my life...  for reals. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It's not a new years resolution.

I promise that it's NOT a New Year's Resolution to start writing here again.  I am well aware of my inability to keep up with life much less create new goals!  Maybe my New Year's Resolution can be to vacuum every day for reals, not just program the Rocky the Roomba every night and call it a day.

Happy got me a fancy, cordless vacuum for Christmas and it literally propels me around the house, my arm is tired from "holding it back".  Anyways, I'm not sure at what point a vacuum fell into the "Christmas gift category", but it did ...oh well, what can I say, I'm 40.  This is my life!  Today I walked around barefoot without dog hair sticking to me and I was happy.  Turns out a cordless vacuum makes me happy.  Know what doesn't make me happy? ...spelling vacuum.  It's a stupid word.

Anyways, I miss my family.  That is why I've decided to write again.  Thanks Grandma...  :)  ...or Bruce and Ingrid.... maybe a combination of you both. :)

Well.  That said...  I literally have nothing exciting to write.  Aside from accusing a Verizon call center employee from sitting around with his finger up his nose today, I've had a pretty normal day.  It was -11F so my nose hairs froze on the way to the bus stop, I wore snow pants to work all day (because I work in  barn), and to end my day a big middle finger to the state of New Hampshire I bought popsicles for the afterschool club to eat as a "snack" as they sledded into the below zero temperatures of the dark night.  It's funny to "hear" kids, but not really see them....  :)

The kicker is.... my kids think this cold is normal!!  Andrea bangs on the frozen mini-van door as if it's a normal occurrence in life and Scott has yet to wear a coat to school... Two days ago we had a COLD DAY ...not a "snow" day, but a "cold" day ...a day in which it is SO cold that school buses can't start and frostbite will kill small children in a matter of minutes.   ...and my son is at the bus stop....  In. A. Sweatshirt.  Really?!  I think his brain froze a couple winters ago...

Ok.  Sappy alert.  My life has taken me to an awesome place where I have an amazing group of friends.  My kids are being successful-ish, my house is warm, and I work in "barn/forest" full of kind, compassionate people who would do anything for me.   My husband literally just handed me a bowl of Doritos as I sit by the fire.  If *needed* a gallon of milk tomorrow, which is going to be the biggest snow/cold storm ever, I know I would have 15+ people willing to bring it to me ...and that's cool.  This is what I hope for for my own kids.

...Oh, in my defense the Verizon guy deserved it.  The conclusion of my three hours worth of phone calls ended with me having to get a letter from my bank stating that they will pay Verizon $32.00.  What?!  So they have banned my credit card and Michaela doesn't have a working phone....  LONG story, but I'm right; everyone else is wrong.

Pictures really don't show the cold.  Trust that it is seriously cold!!! xo

Friday, May 20, 2016

My real Mothers Day

Ever wonder what an entire gallon of milk looks like on the floor?  This happened as we were sitting down to dinner... If you spill this much milk you are totally allowed to cry over it!  

...and I guess it wasn't so much of a spill as it was an explosion and then a "glug, glug, glug" as it flowed out of the broken plastic container while we all watched in silence.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Green Day. :)

I have tagged out of a lot of things, but I hold onto a few holiday traditions no matter what ...and Green Day is one of them.  My only concern on St. Patrick's Day is that we eat green food.

We had green pancakes, kiwi, spinach and green peas ...and Sprite a green bottle.  All kinda gross together if you think about it, but oh well.  :)

Child Labor... My gift on Mother's Day.

Happy Mothers Day to ME!  My day started off at Scotty's football game at 8am...  Football is obviously run by a man.  Soccer on the other hand is literally run by a few moms so we of course did not have soccer games today!  Yay!! ...not that I hate sports, but sometimes it's just painful to sit through, especially when your kid's football team is losing 36 to 6 and the other coach is being a punk... like a full on "should be punched in the face punk".  That bugs me.  A lot.

Football wasn't that bad; Happy brought me a chair and a blanket and super hot coffee so I didn't freeze and we sat with friends and laughed off the patheticness of our team.  :)

Michaela and Sierra took Andrea to her football game later in the morning.  Andrea was being grouchy about going so I thought if her sisters took her it would be more fun.  Nope.  Apparently she stood there the entire game ...wearing the coaches coat and informing everyone that she doesn't want to play football anymore.  For Andrea, I think we can pretty much cross off any sports that require running. 

Anyways, back to my magical day.  My kids were nice.  My husband was nice.  I saw some of my nice friends.  Pretty good day ...until I heard the chainsaw.

Who chainsaws things on Mother's Day?  

My husband of course.  I'm not quite sure why "operation clean the yard" started, but I guess in the end I'm glad it did because stuff got done and it was easier to convince the children to all help since it was MY special day.  As I was explaining to Michaela how to dig a hole she got out her phone and reminded me that last Mothers Day was a "work day" too ...seems she saved a picture.  :) 

Of course last year I do see that I am working on my special day.... Hmmmmm....

This year I worked much less...mostly I meandered around the yard telling people what to do and making sure the chainsaw was kept under control.  :)

Sierra was being difficult so we stuck her in the air for a while ...but we could still hear her so it really didn't solve our main problem...

Do you see the joy in their little faces?  Awwww....

You can't see Andrea's joyous face because she snuck back inside every chance she could. 

Yay for Mom Day!  :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Easter Hunt and Hike!

Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Hike!
- yes I realize this is old, but my blog is going to go backwards for a while...

I have no idea why I am slightly obsessed with Easter. I think it has to do with the fun, bright colored eggs ...and I've realized I like hiding things for people to find.  :)

Anyways, I've started an "event" at Beaver Brook where we hide eggs on a trail and the kids hike along and find them.  It's actually a super awesome idea if I do say so myself!!

I started it because regular egg hunts stress me out.  First of all you HAVE to be there on time.  A minute late and you've missed the start ...and you are left with a crying child.  Besides you aren't really "hunting" for anything, you are literally running around and just grabbing ...and having to often fight off psychotic parents to get any eggs. I hate psychotic parents a lot.

Anyways, MY awesome egg hunt is an ongoing hunt where eggs are rehidden along the trail for two hours straight no stressful start time! ...and no psychotic parents to fight off...for the most part.  :)

The first year we did it was sort of a fiasco.  I had 70 kids sign up so I planned for 150 and the following happened.  I am just copying and pasting it from the email I sent a long time ago.  :)

----  Easter 2014.
Well.  That was fun.   : )

I am in awe of what happened today.  I still can't believe it!  It's my estimate that the Wildflower Trail probably saw around 500 kids today all their accompanying grown ups.

The egg hunt went exactly as planned for the first half hour, keeping in mind that I actually started at 12:30 with the thought of, "Well, I'll get these few people done and moving through" ...but people just kept coming!

By 1:20 we had gone through all 1412 eggs, (ten eggs a kid)  ...and re-stuffing with the extra ~1200 pieces of candy was going slower than anticipated.  We removed bunny pictures to lower the number of eggs to eight per kid and eventually we just started putting candy out sans the egg. Everything was gone by 2:00 and I had an hour to go and the place was still packed.

The Beaver (my husband) had already been sent to the store for more candy so we waited....   Kids played tag, ran through the gardens, poked at the compost, played with frisbees, looked for bugs, and dug holes with sticks.  We entertained with puppets and had live entertainment by yours truly: hokey pokey, Easter jokes, the wave, sing alongs, simon says... at one point I had everyone look at the clouds to see what they could see.  Everyone was happy and there was still not a piece of candy in all of Beaver Brook. 

As I talked with the 100+ people in line I learned that our egg hunt had made it ALL OVER the internet and that the Beaver Brook emails had been forwarded and forwarded and then forwarded again... turns out preschool and daycares had been busy advertising for us!

The Beaver finally returned at 2:30 with ~2500 more pieces which we quickly threw all over the trail and the last of the line was able to make it through by 2:55!  We only had a handful of candy left.

Today was controlled chaos at it's finest.  I saw only smiles and heard only positive comments. Everyone was so encouraging!  For many it was their first time to Beaver Brook mission accomplished!  

Out of curiosity I just googled  "egg hunt new hampshire"  and ALL of these sites had Beaver Brook's event listed and most had omitted the RSVP portion of it!  HA!!  :)

That is what I sent to "Beaver Brook" after our first hunt to explain the day since it was just my family and some friends running the entire thing because I thought it sounded like a fun idea.

It was obviously popular so I upped our egg count to 3000 and we were ready this year... Or so I thought!!  :) Actually, the day went well, but with a lot more restuffing than I anticipated!  

This is my favorite picture...

It's of my brother in laws entire family plus some random friends who offered to help ...they are stuffing eggs ...which they did for 90 minutes straight... While I popped my panicked head in every now and then to confirm the were stuffing as fast as possible.

Some of them would leave to go re-hide or collect empties.  They pretty much saved my butt, because even with my 3000 stuffed eggs we were struggling to keep up with the crowds.  We had 1000 people hike that small trail in just two hours.  Insane.  Luckily we had opened the whole barn and had crafts going on and the bird museum opened... It turned into a huge day and tons of fun for everyone.  ...but it would have been a MASSIVE fiasco without my family and friends!!

After Easter I bought another 1000 so we are ready for next year.  :) 

PS.  Both hunts were free and I was pretty bent on keeping it that way, but even without a specific cost people donated over $600 each year.  See.  People are nice.  :)


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