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BecksBlog
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Sunday 7//16
Topic: Vacation 2006
Sunday 7//16
 On Sunday we drove around looking at more places from our past.Took Phil to Skips in Merrimac for burgers & their one of a kind curly fries & then around to places from her past also. Such as the house she grew up in & raised her kids in which is in Bradford across the bridge from Haverhill & was built by her Father & Grandfather sometime fairly close to the turn of the last century. During this we stopped at a drug store to pick up nail polish & nail clippers for Phil. I got 2 new things which I think are really cool but which I'd never tried before. One was a tide stain stick which fixed my cream colored shirt which I'd gotten cheeseburger juices all over at Skips. The stuff actually worked! Even though it says it won't always work on grease the stains disappeared. The other thing I got which I really liked was a can of Neutrogena cooling spray sunblock. I was skeptical because I didn't see how it could work but it works really well! More on that later though. After we finished at the store we went to Carters for ice cream- Theres a beautiful view there back towards Haverhill no one but Phil & I were impressed with the view however. The kids were impressed with the homemade ice cream though! Then we went back to Phil's place & I did her nails for her & fixed a split nail for her. At 6 we went back to the room to meet up with cousin J & his girlfriend for pizza. We went up to their apartment & they told us about their trip up to New Hampshire the day before & about climbing mt Tecumphseh {I think thats how you spell it} then we looked at pictures of family & places they've been on their computer & we went through the picture album we brought with us. During all this I also got a bunch of laundry done... We had a great day all together.


Posted by Becky at 2:11 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:13 PM EDT
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Saturday July 15
Topic: Vacation 2006
   
 Saturday we were at a loss as to what to do. I have a terrible aversion to going to overcrowded places so Hampton beach or Boston were both out of the question for Saturday & Sunday. But the day loomed before us HOT, Muggy & possibly...boring? On vacation? Not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned- bored = rest after all- but my high energy bunch wasn't having any of that! We ended up going to Chunkys for the afternoon. Chunkys is a movie theatre but not a normal one. I wish these were more common in my area! Chunkys has 2 screens & tickets are relatively cheap. it cost 18 bucks for all 4 of us to see Pirates of the Carribean 2 & then we ordered our dinner. Which is served to you at long tables which you roll up to on chairs made out of Lincoln Navigator seats on wheels. The seats have an armrest & recline back for comfort.For an appetizer we had 'wizzard of Ozzarella sticks' for an appetizer. mr6 had a beef frank hot dog of course & Miss 10 had Spongebob macaroni & cheese, I had french onion soup & a 'Pirates of the Caribean cheese quesadillia' & Miss 16 had a 'Roman wrap' which amounted to chicken ceasar salad in a wrap. When Miss 10 was a baby & we lived up here the ex & I used to go to Chunkys & their food has certainly improved since then! Pirates 2 was excelent of course! & it was was both 10 & 6's first big screen experience that they're old enough to rememeber so that will be a good memory for them!
After that we went back to the room & relaxed a little & then walked the 4 or 5 blocks to Phil's apartment building. I've always loved walking around Downtown Haverhill, all the brick buildings & while it's not all stores like Newburyport, there's enough store windows to look in to keep you interested, The kids were scandalized at first to be walking in the city but I think they liked it pretty well once we were out there. (walking home a few hours later - at like 9pm, they were not so enthused!) 

Posted by Becky at 2:23 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:03 PM EDT
Memes for vacation
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense

Over the past 5 days I've been doing 5 in depth questions, I got them from somebody's blog which I read quite steadily over a few months, but when my computer crashed 2 crashes ago I lost the url to the site & can't remember it for the life of me, Whoever you are, thank you for the meme, it's a challengeing one & if anyone does take it from me, please link me so I can read your responses, I split it up so I could post 1 piece a day for 5 days while I'm away on Vacation!!
3. If you could have dinner with five people from history, living or dead, who would they be? What about five fictional characters? or 5 present day famous people alive now. What would you serve at each dinner?
Historical:
Timothy Leary
Madame Voisin
Thomas Jefferson
John Greenleaf Whittier
Martha Washington
I'd have to have simple food for Mrs Washington, Jefferson & Whittier, the others would just have to deal! Probably Some sort of stew & my fresh, homemade bread & salad.

Fictional:
Claire Fraser of the Outlander series
Gandalf
Harry Potter
Tally from Scott Westerfield's Uglies trilogy
Jack Sparrow
Shish Kebab, rice pilaf & salad.

Present Day:
Stephen King
Sarah Bird
Douglas Coupland
Johnny Depp (ok, yeah, I don't want to talk to him!)
Demi Moore
Lasagna, more Fresh, homemade bread & Salad of course. Man, 3 out of 5 are writers! I'm so out of it!

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006 11:23 PM EDT
Friday, July 14, 2006
Friday July 14
Topic: Vacation 2006

So we left Weymouth & headed north towards Haverhill via Boston. While we were packing our stuff my mother & I debated the proper time to leave if you want to get through Boston on a weekday without sitting for an hour or so in traffic. She was of the opinion that leaving around 10 am was good. I belive its better to wait a little later anywhere from 10 til 230 or so- even later when its not a weekend or a Friday. However I was proven wrong by 2 things- a breakdown on the southeast expressway complete with Mass Statie in full uniform, cute butt & car with the lights running {mr 6 is especially impressed with the police car lights here! 'they don't just go round & round like at home Mom' he says.} & the fact of the I-90 tunnel being closed due to a ceiling tile falling on a woman who was riding to Logan with her husband to get his brother at the airport. The tunnel is closed indefinetley now. Thats screwing up traffic all over Mass! & so we were in traffic for about an hour just getting through Boston!
We arrived at my grandmothers apartment in Haverhill in the early afternoon & visited with her for awhile- My bottomless kids got hungry & so we went out to get some lunch. Original plan was to go to Ari's for subs but they were so crowded that I just drove through the parking lot.Then we went to Papa Ginos & had subs there instead. When we were through eating we drove around looking at places from our pasts. Hale Hospital where 16 was born, Anna Jaques Hospital where Miss 10 was born. Whittiers Birthplace where we lived during both events. (mr6 was born in VA & we drive past his hospital a lot more) We got some groceries both for Phil {My Grandmother} & us. Took Phils groceries to her & waited for it to be after 530 when my cousin J gets home from work. The apartment building he lives in has a guest suite. well- more like a room- a hotel room. Which they rent out for a nominal charge- Phil had set it up with J to rent for us at her expense for the first 4 days at least. (usualy we just stay with her for free but she's been in the hospital lately & doesn't feel up to having us there) I'm paying for annother 2 days to bring us up to our visit
with Ann.
 So we went to meet J & check out our temporary digs. Closet space, Big bathroom,a view of the river & the new bridge & a big comfy bed. Then we went to dinner at my favorite Chineese resturant- Oriental Gardens.That was good but we all over-ate. Then back to Phils & then to the room. Off to sleep- Mr 6 on the couch in the picture. he especially likes this spot because when he hears a train passing over the bridge to the left of the window he can sit up & watch it go by. Today was also mr 6/7's actual birthday! We will be celebrating when we get home instead though.

Posted by Becky at 2:26 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:00 PM EDT
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Thirteen things about my 7 year old in honor of his birthday July 14
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1 He's bright & cheerful nearly all the time.
2 He's goofy like only a 6-7 year old boy can be.
3 He has a strong sense of humor.
4 When he was born my ex went on for about an hour about the size of his balls (not unusual in newborn boys I understand- it was just really funny at the time)
5 He was born less than 6 hours after I started having contractions & he hurt a LOT
6 He was really impressed with the garden last year
7 He loves to watch tv but will sit & listen when I read to him
8 He's quite smart. When his sister was learning to read & he was just 3 he would be guessing at the words she had trouble with
9 He started walking at 8 months & I don't mean cruising, holding onto things, flat out walking no holding on
10 He liked more foods at 1 than he does at 6 or 7
11 He is very much the man of the house, if something needs fixing he hitches his pants up & digs right in.
12 He's almost always dirty, I recently walked him to the bathroom insisting he needed a bath or shower, he commented, 'gee mom, can't I just run my head under the sink like I usually do?' (I was wondering what that smell was)
13 He can run very fast

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday July 12
Topic: Vacation 2006

Wednesday we went to one of my favorite places to visit in Massachusetts.  It's a country store in Mansfield Mass, I've been going there since I was about 13 or so. A friend of my Grandmother's told her about it & my Mother , Grandmother & I set off to explore it & just kept going back, they have beautiful home furnishings, little  decorations, placemats, clocks, knick knacks, kitchen wares etc. The kids love the place too, which might seem a little odd but the first time we went there it was just the 4 of us, we were on our way home to VA & I wanted to do something more, the trip had been fun but didn't feel finished, at that point, while I had enough money to go on vacation I did not have much else, we were living in our ancient trailer & had very little which was nice or fun, (this was 2002 & we have come an amazingly long way since then)  The kids got a big kick out of pretending that different rooms in the place were their houses & really enjoyed the place, this time I was able to get some stuff for my new house, mostly little things like a new sign for my kitchen & new canisters since my old canisters gaskets were wearing out!  One big draw for the kids is the player pianos....

 There are toys too, mr 7 got a pirates hook & a rubber fish which when you squeezed it the eyes bulged out with tiny fish inside. Miss 16 didn't get much here but likes to check things out & dream about her future - or something! they also all seem to enjoy the candy counter (took this picture off their website- hope it's ok to do so....) We walked around there for quite awhile. Then we hung around at my mother's house for awhile. When it was time to go out to dinner, on the way we checked out an upscale shopping area which was built where one of my first jobs was{building #19 as a casheir} We checked out Kohls which I was dissapointed in since they were way too expensive- worse yet they were acting as if the prices were actualy great! after driving around debating where to eat we had dinner out- both my mother & my grandmother prefer to go out to dinner than to worry about cooking & cleaning up afterwards! The country store & the day before in Plymouth are the only things we did with my mother, but she's low energy & we wear her out, I sometimes wonder if I should be insulted by her comment that she's happy to see us come & happier to see us go! 

We ended up going to the Ground Round I had french onion soup which I'd been craving lately. After dinner we went back to my mothers & hung out with her until bedtime. This included serious discussion of what to do about the air bed which was leaking air badly. We haven't been able to find the second {& probably the third, fourth & fifth} hole in the air mattress, which we have to locate in order to patch.So night 2 I took the fold out couch & Miss 16 got the mattress! She wasn't too happy about it. But when I made the deal we agreed that we'd swap back the next day & she was ok with that. While checking my email I found that Ann wasn't going to be available for as many days as expected -leaving us with 2 days which are unplanned. Jen though, my cousin, emailed & said she would be available so we could get together & see each others kids! {I hadn't seen her oldest since she was a couple of weeks old & have never seen her younger child!} I was really looking forward to seeing her again!

 

This is a picture of my cannisters & my pathetic (2) sign collection, in my kitchen after we got home. I still haven't done anything with the walls in this place, just don't have the money for paint or paper yet...sigh... 

 


Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Wednesday July 12
Topic: Vacation 2006


You can't really see him but Mr 6 is in the white mess at the front of the picture on the punctured air mattress {thank you Miss 10 & Company!} Miss 10 herself is on the floor between the airbed & the foldout couch & of course thats Miss 16 on the couch {she's going to be pissed about this picture!} I made my bed on the airbed after 6 found & my mother & I patched hole #1} then in the night I found myself on the floor! aparently there is at the very least a hole #2 & maybe more than that! so I went & got the cushions from the couch & attempted to sleep perched on 2 little loveseat cushions!

The weather was inauspicious to say the least- gray, muggy & threatening rain. worse yet I'd discovered the night before that mr6 had packed 1 toy & 1 book for the whole trip! when questioned as to why he did that he shrugged & said 'It's ok Mom, I'll just watch tv!' This is all well & good but its based on the assumption that everyone is as wired as we are for satellite tv & internet etc. But my Mother is not. She lives close enough to Boston & Providence RI {everythings so close to everything else up here} that she doesn't actually have to subscribe to cable or a satelite provider to get about 15 tv channels through the air & none of these have all day cartoons which is what he's accustomed to.. So Wednesday we first went to Independence mall in Kingston to pick up a few early birthday gifts to give him something to do with himself in the evenings. Everyone was very impressed with Borders books & spent part of their $50. each allotment for mementoes for the vacation
Then we had Lunch at the Lobster Hut in Plymouth where they make the best Lobster Bisque I've ever had the privilege to enjoy & the lobster rolls aren't bad either! we ate outside of course & Mr 6, hot dog in hand, was right at the edge of the railing watching the boats coming in & leaving. Miss 10 after demolishing a lobster roll joined him & we had a peaceful lunch Miss 16, my mother & I that is. My mother is a low energy person so she went back to the car & rested & we took a walk on the stone pier beside the resturant. Its probably half a mile long out into the water but we didn't make it all the way to the end because walking on the rocks with the large spaces between them was painful to my hips! these trips always point up to me just how out of shape I am! At least we arent going to water country this year! all those steps up to the waterslides are rough!
After sitting on the stone pier & discussing the probabillity of a shark showing up. (while we were doing so Miss 10 immediately moved from the edge of the pier to middle of the pier.) we walked back to the car, We also saw a school of fish swimming along the base of the pier & under the bridge - that was really cool. We went back to my mothers & at that time I acquiesced to The kids request to go to the beach. Yes it was raining,cold & gray. They wanted to go, we went.We started at the 'Dungeons' aka as Ft Revere. We walked around there for awhile & tried to get Miss 16 to tell us the ghost story about the lady in black which is about Ft Revere,but she wouldn't do it because she didn't feel like it.{typical 16} Then they went swimming in the ocean in the rain I went in to wade in my shorts & managed to get soaked any way! after an hour or so in the water we dragged the kids out of the water bodily 16 & I leaned on the lifeguard station & the kids dug in the sand. After it started to rain heavily I got them back in the car & We then drove around trying to decide where to eat 16 was feeling buffalo wings which we often get at Applebees but I insist that we try not to go anywhere that we could go in Virginia while we are up in Mass... so we went to eat at the 99 which was great as usual. At the 99 I was reminded of how when I was pregnant with each kid early in the pregnancy I'd have really strong cravings for some food- always something specific - In 16's case it was salt & vinegar potato chips & peppermint patties. In 10's it was the 99's loaded nacho appetizer platter! I dragged the ex to the 99 at least weekly to get those. Then with mr 6 it was sliced up mushrooms, onions & peppers fried up & provolone cheese melted all over it. The kids all like hearing about the past if it concerns them & much discussion ensued as to what this meant in regard to their personality
  Since the 99's kids meals come with dessert for free 16 & I made a new rule that if they get desert we get desert, so we tried mochachino cheesecake which we loved!
Back to my mother's for a long un-comfortable night because it was hot & my mother doesn't use a/c.

Posted by Becky at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 9:58 PM EDT
Memes for vacation
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
Over the past 5 days I'm doing 5 in depth questions, I got them from somebody's blog which I read quite steadily over a few months, but when my computer crashed 2 crashes ago I lost the url to the site & can't remember it for the life of me, Whoever you are, thank you for the meme, it's a challengeing one & if anyone does take it from me, please link me so I can read your responses, I split it up so I could post 1 piece a day for 5 days while I'm away on Vacation!!

2. Pretend you won the lottery. It's a huge amount, although not sickeningly huge. After you've given away your chunk to charity, paid off all your bills, set up savings/trust funds for kids and self and given money to deserving family and friends, you're left with $5 million, which you must use to build a house. Where would it be? What would it look like? Tell me how you'd furnish it and then describe your first party there.

My House would be on the site of a rental home I used to live in with my ex, The house would be behind where the rental house is situated, the original house there is old, leaky & poorly situated to take advantage of the view, behind the current house the hill the house is built on slopes down steeply & I would build into the hill, from the street the house would look like a modest 2 story log cabin house, there would be a porch/deck running the entire perimeter of the house & there would be a third level built into the ground with garage space & an efficiency apartment for guests behind the garage. the entire back of the house facing down the hill towards a stunning view of Floyd's own Buffalo Mountain, would be all huge windows. The first floor would be open concept with the living room running the entire right half of the house, there would be a large central chimney with multiple fireplaces built into it, behind the chimney adjoining the living room would be the dining area & the kitchen would be on the back right half of the house, the front right would have 2 of my kids bedrooms woth full bath. upstairs my bedroom would be the entire right side above the living room but only about half of the room would be a walled bedroom the back half, (facing down the hill) would be an open room with all my books, a hammock, papasan chair & other comfy places to sit & read. The floor would not come all the way to the glass wall, this area would overlook the living room & dining room & have a spiral staircase down to the living/dining room area.
at the front of the upstairs would be the master bath & a second bathroom for my oldest & her room would take up the left part of the upstairs with a similar open area to see the view & see what is going on in the rest of the house. We'd have a pool, jacuzzi etc, below the house & off to the right would be a horse area with a big barn & above the barn more efficiency apartments for friends to come & stay & for the person I'd hire to keep the horses for me. The furnishings would be comfortable & fairly casual. though I would want a large dining room set, lots of space for lots of guests. The entertainment center would be state of the art & have speakers in every room & a full setup so that what is on the main tv in the main room is available (also with option for independent viewing of other things) in every room in the house.
The whole house would have passive solar, sustainable water, generators etc. I'd build in a lot of extras for self sufficiency in a bad weather, end of the world sort of situation. I'd want to heat with pellet stoves or some other recyclable option for the heating source (the rental house there had a wood stove & it was there I learned that heating with wood is a LOT of work!)I think I'm spending a lot more than 5 million here!
I don't think I'd have a single party at my house, I'd rather have all my friends & family come & visit seperately so I could really see them individualy & get to show them all the really wonderful things around my area.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006 11:34 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
In Depth Memes,
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
Over the next 5 days I'm going to do 5 in depth questions, I got them from somebody's blog which I read quite steadily over a few months, but when my computer crashed 2 crashes ago I lost the url to the site & can't remember it for the life of me, Whoever you are, thank you for the meme, it's a challengeing one & if anyone does take it from me, please link me so I can read your responses, I split it up so I could post 1 piece a day for 5 days while I'm away on Vacation!! 1. Pretend you're stranded on a desert island. You already have shelter, water, batteries, an abundant food supply that doesn't revolve around coconuts and even a cabana boy/girl to minister to your, erm, needs. However, you need some intellectual entertainment. Give me your top five desert island: books, movies, albums (NOT compilations of your own making) and tell why these make the cut. Books: 1. The Outlander series, because I've only read them once & I belive you've got to read a book at least 2 times before you truly know it, 2. Complete Works of Shakespeare I truly intend to read it again someday! 3. The Clan of the Cavebear series, I've read all but the last book but it's been so long since I read the first that I'd have to re-read them all to truly 'get' the most recent book in the series. 4. Linda Goodmans Star Signs, There's enough in there to keep me pondering for 20 years! 5. The Complete works of Judith Merkle Riley, just plain my favorite author. writes about the 14 & 1500's & has a great flavoring of the occult, humor & just general bawdyness which I love. (yes, I cheated by giving series of books & complete works, but I'm a reader, if it was only 5 actual books I'd be very unpleasant after about 10 days.) Movies 1.The Lord of the Rings Trillogy. Well, of course. 2.At Close Range. My all time favorite movie, Christopher Walken is a god! 3.Dogma. A hilarious look at the whole religion thing. 4.Gone With the Wind. Learned to love it at my Grandmother's knee. .Braveheart. "Freedom!!" Albums 1.Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes. I could listen to the cd that introduced me to Tori forever!(but wait, what about Alanis Morisette's Jagged little pill?) 2.Audioslave, Out of Exile. not a song I skip on this one, (or on Godsmack's The other side, maybe that one would be better!) 3.Smashing Pumpkins, Rotten Apples/Greatest Hits. Annother one where there's not a song I skip. (But I'd have a lot of trouble leaving my Soundgarden's A sides behind...) 4.Greatful Dead, American Beauty. An all time classic. (But then, so's the Beatles Yellow Submarine or Seargent Peppers!- is the Dead really more important to me than the Beatles?) 5.Guns & Roses, Use your Illusion 2. Many great songs, (no, maybe it should be Rush's greatest hits, or Alice in Chains'5 cd's/albums is just too few!-just give me my computer hard drive, with all my music on it & no one will get hurt!)

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 2:36 PM EDT
Monday, July 10, 2006
Day 1 of Vacation, Not even on Vacation & Already Something to Write About!
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Photograph by Nickelback
Topic: Vacation 2006

Ok, so on Monday the 10th I was ready to go on vacation, the car was packed, the house was (relatively) clean we were all set.

 But I had to do 1 more day of work, I had every intention of pulling a full day of work, I'm not good at this, especially since we started the new computer system, I hate it, it makes me look stupid because it takes so long to load everything that they think I don't know what I'm doing. I have to apologize constantly because I'm sitting there looking at a hourglass & wondering if the computer is going to actualy do what I want it to! On top of that just lately customers have been really HORRIBLE. Very impatient, hateful & actually mean to me, personally. (This is unusual, I've talked to plenty of angry customers over the 5 years I've worked there & most have made it a point to say to me that they're not mad at me, just the company I work for. I admit, over the years I've rolled my eyes when they said that, taking it to be a rather trite aphorism- I've now seen enough of the people who are stupid, rude or miserable enough to take their anger out on the person on the other end of the phone {me} in Juvenile, unpleasant ways that I'll take the other kind any day.) I'm not the only one experiencing this, in discussing it with my co-workers we're in agreement that in the last 3-6 months 3 out of 5 customers we talk to have an attitude from the moment you answer the phone. I've left before due to really bad calls where people we're name calling etc. I get upset & too stressed to deal effectively with what I have to deal with in the course of a day & have to leave, but I was determined that because this was my last day before vacation that I was going to be as nice as possible & let everything just 'roll off me like water off a ducks ass' a saying I was taught on my first solo day on the phone & have tried to keep in mind for the whole time I have worked there.

The day was fairly uneventful for the first half of the day, at lunch though I called home & found miss 16 in tears, there was a mess in the living room & dining room & no one felt they should have to help her clean it up. The kids just were'nt listening to her at all. So I spent 1/2 my lunch trying to calm her down, get them all to pick up their messes & keep people from punching each other (not easy over the phone) I seriously considered asking to go home then because I couldn't stand the idea that everyone was fighting & I was pretty angry that the little ones were'nt listening to her since she's my babysitter. I threatened through miss 16 that if the house wasn't clean when I got home we I'd cancel the vacation & we'd all stay home & I'd run the house like a boot camp.  About an hour & a half back from lunch I had to go to the bathroom so after finishing my call I logged out & went there, walking to the bathroom I remembered that I'd had a funny feeling in my dress, it's one with a light chiffon like layer over a tighter black under dress, & the under piece had felt funny before lunch but I was so concerned with the kids on the phone that I never thought to check it while in the bathroom earlier. as soon as I walked in the bathroom I turned around to check the back of the dress in the mirror & nearly fell on the floor. the black under dress had split its back seam from about 2 inches above the hem up to my waist! I had bought this dress at tax time in 2004 & had not been able to wear it untill just recently as the not eating sugar has resulted in some weight loss which was fairly effortless (except for the effort expended in not eating sugar- no mean feat - I'm addicted) Aparently though, I did not lose ENOUGH weight to make this dress work for me!

 I nearly died of embarrassment, Mind you I felt the underpiece shifting in an odd way BEFORE lunch & then promptly forgot about it during lunch while I was pacing around the breakroom yelling at kids on the phone, eating & going back from the breakroom to my desk to read untill my lunch was over! I slunk back to my desk & got the button down shirt I keep in the desk drawer for when the A/C is cranked too high & tied it around my waist. then I went to find my boss. when I (finnaly) found him he insisted on telling me about how we were going to be moving desks & that I needed to take my stuff home & bring it back when I get back from vacation & he'll save me a good desk. By this point we'd walked back to his desk & so I told him, he put his head down on the desk laughing & then said 'you know, when I agreed to a supervisory position no one ever told me that I'd have to deal with things like this! So what do you need to do? Go home?'  I said, 'well I could wear this shirt around my waist all day but...' he jumped right in with 'uh, I think I'd be too uncomfortable for that' I agreed & left quickly. ( there's no question of changing & coming back to work, it was nearly 6 pm & I drive nearly 30 miles each way!


Posted by Becky at 9:00 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2006 11:07 PM EDT
Saturday, July 8, 2006
Three Down, 2 more to Go!
Now Playing: Hate Me by Blue October.
Topic: Rambling on
I'm referring to Days I have left to work before we leave, I'm pretty exhausted from working on a day I usually work in order to make up for missing Thursday next week as I'll already be in Mass on Thursday.
Well, I cheated really, I was supposed to work 5 10 hour days in a row & yesterday I went home sick halfway through the day, yes, I was sick, sick of the verbal abuse which is heaped upon me my people who are way too involved with their televisions! Sick of trying & trying to deal with a computer program which is cumbersome, confusing & just generally inconvenient & sick of dealing with a supervisor who doesn't really care & just wants to get out of there as much as I do! (no, really I had diarrhea, no one needs to know that I have diarrhea every day because I'm lactose intolerant & drink a slim fast type milkshake (I say type- it's from a health food store, much better than slim fast) every morning & I don't always choose to notice the diarrhea.
So I played hooky & went looking for some clothes at goodwill again, they had a bunch more than last time but none of them fit me (& there were no dresses, I prefer dresses in the summer) I went to the bookstore & overspent bigtime. It all started with being in the childrens section & seeing a display of books for travel, as in maps & word seeks & puzzles etc. so I picked up one for each of the little ones, 16 sulks if I get them something & don't bring her anything so I got her a book by her current favorite author (Scott Westerfield- I read his latest trilogy at her insistence & found it pretty entertaining-) & of course, I can't just get books for the kids, Mom needs something too! so I got a replacement for a book I've read to rags (& because it's in rags I haven't read it in probably 10 years either- so I'm looking forward to reading it again.)it is Linda Goodmans Star Signs, & a new book by Douglas Coupland who I read religiously, if he has a new book I read it, I don't always like it (I thought Generation X, his alleged masterpiece- was boring & Girlfriend in a Coma which was panned is my favorite by him- so far! Eleanor Rigby Looks pretty good!) But I always read his books.
I'm picking up interference here, people are screaming at one another that 1 is 'kicking my toes' how you kick only the toes I can't imagine, the dog is barking loudly from the front yard too... Oh my, I'm more deaf than I thought; he said she was 'taking my toast!' Life if rough when you have only a 2 slot toaster! I can already tell that there's going to be a lot of yelling in a few minutes when I announce that everyone has to sleep in their own bed tonight & that no one is sleeping on the couch. I'm a mean, mean Mom. Just because I want a nights peace to watch the news in where no one is saying 'aren't you done yet?, Can't we watch something instead of the news?'
I expect this to be the last entry before we go on Vacation. (other than the memes I've pre-posted for next week while we're away)& I hope anyone & everyone reading this has as much fun as I hope to between now & July 26th when we get home!

Posted by Becky at 10:22 PM EDT
Thursday, July 6, 2006
And a good time was had by all...
Now Playing: What I got by Sublime
Happy belated Independence Day. Hope everyone's went off as seamlessly as ours did. The kids slept later than I did & then came in my room & we talked until everyone was hungry & then made those pilsbury cinnamon rolls that come in a can with the orange flavored icing, I had bought 2 cans because everyone always fights about who gets the most & there was finaly enough for everyone. (always a nice thing when you've got more than 1 kid) I assembled my new grill, now, I knew it was a table top grill but it was really very small & I was a little worried that shish kebabs for 6 would not fit but at that point, what could I do? I'd picked the grill I'd picked & I had no other options! Then I weed whacked the yard, Chrissie had mowed it recently but the ride on mower just doesn't do much on the edges, & there are a lot of edges, around the house, around the driveway & the path & the parking spot, around all the trees & the shed. it was a hot job & after downing a quart of water in one long gulp, (miss 10 was scandalized at that, she had brought it to me & when I finished drinking the entire cup I handed it back to her & said 'would you get me another?') the weed whacking took me to the garden & I whacked all the paths to keep the weeds from encroaching on my plants,

but of course, they were already starting so then I spent annother hour or so weeding & staking my green beans & peas, I ran out of stakes & string before I finished with the tomatoes, during one of my many breaks I was talking to 16 (Who mostly sat under a tree & watched me work but did go get me things from the shed & the house when I needed them.) & I realized that the trees are close enough that I could string the hammock I've had for nearly 10 years between them so that was my next project when I'd done all I could in the hot sun of the garden. Then both girls & I skewered all the meat & veggies for the shish kabobs. It's rare that I can get them to do anything together with out 16 being deliberately mean to her sister but I guess for the holiday they were being nice, to me at least, because there's nothing I like better than when they are nice to each other. Chrissie & Kevin were scheduled to come but we weren't sure when & we were texting back & forth during this time, the night before, on my way home from work I had gone into town & gotten more meat & some other things I'd forgotten to get the last time I was at the store, including marshmallows & the store was sold out, they had the mini marshmallows like you use for hot chocolate but no big ones for toasting. Mr 6's favorite part is the marshmallows, he likes them toasted & untoasted so after having the store manager, who happened to be roaming the asiles picking up things people had left in random places & returning them to their correct places, check in the back & under all the registers for any forgotten bags of marshmallows I got mr 6 a bag of the little ones. When I told Chrissie about it she said they could pick up some regular ones on their way up & they did, along with a watermelon, more fireworks & macaroni & potato salad. I started the grill a little later than planned but Chris & Kevin were later than expected & it pretty much all worked out right, I'd just started 5 or 6 skewers on the grill when they rolled up. We played Balderdash, talked & tried our best to delay the kids with the fireworks burning, at dusk I let them light some sparklers & morning glories & Chrissie & Kevin lit a few of the fireworks Kevin had brought, as it actualy really got dark enough to start lighting stuff up a big thunderstorm rolled in, with heavy winds, lightning & thunder right over head & pouring rain. after the lightning & thunder had passed over the kids all ran around in it & got soaking wet. then about an hour later it had passed completely & it was full dark with a wet ground, we lit more fireworks, sparklers etc. much to the dog's annoyance, she didn't care for them at all & barked at them & tried to bite them constantly, actualy really funny to watch!
We didn't even come close to using them all up before people started getting overwrought & yelling & whining, by 1030 Chrissie & I had shut it down & everyone but Miss 16 & I were in bed relaxing, 16 & I watched a movie together(Terminal Velocity- If I hadn't dvr'd it for free during a hbo free preview weekend I would've been annoyed because it was not a very good movie!) & so to bed at 1 am, with 16 complaining all the way that I never do anything with her & won't I stay up a little longer, I'm afraid I couldn't do it though & anyway we'd spent the majority of the day together.
Today, for something to do, when the little ones came in my room this morning we looked at our picture album from the last vacation in Massachusetts, this reminded me that I had 5-6 disposable cameras still full of film we'd shot on various holidays & trips over the last year that I still hadn't developed & I knew both my mother & grandmother wanted pictures, I'm afraid the camera in the cell phone has pretty much taken over my life when it comes to picture taking. That's ok in a lot of ways, I love my online Photo album but my grandmother doesn't do internet or email or any of it. so I have to have hard copies & I have a printer but have been too cheap to spring for ink, also, the pictures thru a regular printer, I know, would not be that good looking. So we took a trip, not to C'burg though, I'm looking at 5 10 hour days in a row starting tommorow, before we leave on our trip & the last thing I wanted to do was go to C'burg! If I'd thought it through we should have gone to Radford because we could've stopped at my Brother-in-law's house & dropped off his son's birthday present, but I didn't think about that early enough & so, instead we drove in the opposite direction to Galax & went to walmart there & had 1 hour photos done of all 6 cameras. We picked up toothbrush travel holders & a bunch of little things like that which we'd forgotten, 16 insisted her bag she carried her school books in most of last year was inadequate to carry a couple of books, a sketch pad & other entertainments to Mass in. So we picked up a Backpack for her with the understanding that it will be her new, for school, backpack too. & miss 10 insisted her bikinis were mismatched & she can't find the top to one, the bottom to annother & the bathing suit is too old. (walmart had bathing suits on clearance for 7 bucks) & mr 6 was pleased to find his favorite Thomas book which he read to shreds a couple of years ago, on the book racks so everyone was happy even me, I got a cd which one of my original favorite bands, Def Leppard, put out which is all remakes of songs they love, I only knew 4 or 5 of the songs but at least one (the one getting airplay) is one of my all time favorite songs by the original artist so I 'had' to have it. Back home & I've been trying to get myself & the little one's clothes packed for the vacation, not an easy task since I found mr6 had not bothered to bring any of his dirty clothes out of his closet for a couple of weeks! I keept telling him to bring out his dirty clothes every time I started a wash & he'd just keep picking up whatever was on the floor & leaving the stuff in the closet alone. I didn't realize it until I went in there to get more clothes out of his drawers for the packing & his drawers were empty, funny, I had been wondering why he kept wearing the same few outfits over & over, with boys though, that sort of thing isn't unusual I'm told, they get a liking for a certain shirt or pair of pants & you have to peel it off them, they'll wear it until it falls off of them or you can smell them 15 yards away! So I got on here while the clothes were drying & now have to fold all the laundry & pack. Packing though, that's always fun, the excitement of knowing you'll be somewhere new when you wear the clothes again is such fun!


Posted by Becky at 9:47 PM EDT
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Annother Busy Day & not a thing acomplished!
Now Playing: One Thing by Finger Eleven

I'm not going to pretend I did anything of great importance today, I would have liked to but then I'm a boring person in general & I'm boring enough to say at least I acomplished most of what I set out for myself. We went Raspberry picking, though that was Friday night really. We had Raspberries for desert last night & for breakfast this morning & now they're gone, while I know we could probably go back Tuesday or Wednesday I feel better leaving them because I know I'm not the only one who uses that berry spot. (I'm not counting the bears though)Today we all slept late & then we went to town to run errands, get the rest of the stuff we need for the 4th & after much debate ate lunch out & did not spend money on videos. When we got home we jumped right in to a project I've been gathering stuff to use for 2 years, we all made stepping stones, the cement mix turned out to be enough to make 6 instead of 4 & we actualy had 2 extra molds, either I bought 2 extras & for got I did it or when I bought 1 it had annother 2 molds stuck inside of it- that's what I think happened because I ended up with 3 circle molds. we had a lot of fun with it although both mr6 & miss16 lost interest pretty quickly in arranging broken pieces of pottery & glass in mosaic designs but Miss 10 & I stuck it out to the end & my hands are killing me from scraping the cement stuff into the molds, I broke what little fingernails I had off my right hand (& I don't really have any to spare, I'm a biter anyway & this took them down even lower!)I admit no one said I had to use my hands but it works so much better than a stick or a spoon or scoop to get the stuff out.

Then I messed around online for awhile & made dinner & went out to the garden to weed a little, I had rescued a bunch of Plants on clearance at the local garden center including some extra tomatoes & some garlic, but then It poured all day I couldn't get them planted on Wednesday after I bought them so they had to wait til today to be planted & they suffered pretty badly, I hope they're going to come back, especialy the garlic but there's no telling at this point. Stranger things have happened, I had my garden last year & never saw a potato, I didn't get in early enough to plant them & never gave it much thought, this year I had the area plowed & then tilled, (It's the same area the previous owner had a garden in some of the years they were here.)While raking up raised beds I came across potatoes sprouting on their own, out of actual potatoes, no one knows how they got there, where they were last year or why they appeared nearly in a row I had half raked 1 day & finished on annother day. but they're there, today I found one lying on the ground, little tiny potatoes below the plant no bigger than the tip of a baby's finger. With someone else's dog here things get dug up & messed with all the time so I didn't think too much of it, I just replanted the stalk & hope to see at least 2 or 3 of the potatoes beginning at the bottom of that stalk this fall! Then we had some frisbee throwing, dishes were done, cleaned up a little, both myself & the house, whole hours passed while I was in the tub reading a co-worker's borrowed book. I know I shouldn't do it but I do it all the time, if I've got time to read at home & a book interesting enough to read I find the bathroom is about the only place there's enough peace to do so!

Posted by Becky at 11:56 PM EDT
Friday, June 30, 2006
What we're doing
Now Playing: 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins
Topic: Rambling on

Tonight we went raspberry picking, I would have liked to take a few pictures but the slope the berries are on is so steep I wouldn't chance my car keys or my camera phone near it! The kids however, well that's another story! We picked as many as we could safely reach, Mr 6 suggested we bring a rope back & lower him on it, I pointed out that if we had to drag him back the prickers on the berry vines would be a little painful to be dragged over & he concurred, he always is more agreeable if I act like I would let him carry out his ideas except for what ever I think of as a snag. Until this year I wouldn't let anyone but miss 16 go near the berry bushes, due to the steep slope & the fact that 16's friend who lives about a mile away told us a few years ago that bears had been seen there multiple times & that right in the middle of the berry bushes is a hole it's a large hole & has gotten larger in the 9 years we've been going there, a couple of times we've seen animal carcasses outside of the hole, mostly just deer & squirrel pieces but anything that's taking down deer is something I don't want to meet, due to that & the possibility of snakes we are always sure to talk very loudly while we're there. Came home & sat down & 5 hours later I'm still here (I had a whole entry all written & the computer crashed)
It could be worse, I could have to work on the 4th of July, I'm off for once, out of the 6 paid holidays I get I usually work at least 3 of them, it all depends on what day the holiday is & if your regular schedule has you off that day or not. I'm off & fully intend to have as much fun as possible with 3 kids one of whom is usually sulking about something & when she's not she's on the phone! We're going to have Shish Kebabs (recipe to follow) & Rice Pilaf for dinner on the 4th & light sparklers & morning glories & have a bonfire with all the sticks & branches which have come down over the year (last bonfire= last 4th of July)I'm seriously considering not going to the town fireworks event, every year but last year we've been in Mass for the 4th & I nearly died of embarrassment last year when miss 10 said (loudly, I might add) 'is that it? that's all we get?' last year when the fireworks display was over. Of course, in her recent memory we've been in Mass either watching the Boston Fireworks from Hull or in the city of Haverhill right near where they shoot them off. either way they're bigger & longer & she was quite disappointed, I understand why but she didn't need to be so loud about it!
In other news We're in the throes of the Vacation planning, we leave a week from Monday & we're, as always trying to plan what to do while we're there, of course there's the really important things like seeing the family & friends, but we always do things while we're there, I try not to drive the kids nuts with going from place to historical place (historical in MY life at least!) & we've got a sort of tradition of going to a museum or historical site with my mother, we've done Plimouth Plantation & the Mayflower, The Boston Childrens Museum & the Museum of Science, (my favorite as a kid & Mr 6's too, but of course he barely remembers the first 2, he was 3 & 4 those years)This year the plan is for us to go to the salem witch museum & we're Thinking about a trip to the ">Salem Witch Museum & maybe going to the White Mountains of New Hampshire ">The White Mountains of New Hampshire with ">Ann
Who I can't wait to see!
When discussing this with the kids on Wednesday during our patio lunch I heard all the favorites from other years, ">Quincy Market & Both Hampton Beach Hampton Beach NH & ">Nantasket Beach Mass. Mr 6 suggested a repeat visit to ">Edaville RR for another day out with Thomas. His sisters loudly vetoed this idea & I can't say I disagree with them, it was fun to see his excitement when he was 5. Now it seems, since he'll be 7 on the 14th that he'd be about ready to give up the Thomas thing.
(I suppose it's better than the alternate Spiderman & Batman obsession he's developing- at least less violent- but those are more understandable to me, as a generation x'er I can remember back when the only channels we had came from the antenna & those few were not always showing what we wanted to watch. A cartoon was a cartoon even if it was Spiderman & the 60's live action Batman show while campy by todays standards was actually pretty entertaining! I can totally get behind Spidey & the Caped crusader to this day!)
We'll see how the whole trip turns out, usually I waste reams of paper (recycled from work, 1 side full of work stuff) writing out itineraries for us. Then when we go other than a loose guide of where we wanted to go we don't follow it at all. This year I'm just listing places & people to visit & not really putting down when, the only guideline is my Grandmother's first & my Mother's last. in between those the whole trip is an empty page!


So here it is, the best Shish Kabob recipe in the universe, my ex used to try to improve upon it but it can't be done!
the night before you want to serve them mix:
1 & 1/2 cups of white wine,
1 & 1/2 cups of cooking oil,
4 cloves of garlic chopped, (remember the bigger the chunks the milder the flavor, also I really do use more garlic but my family likes garlic a lot)
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 t pepper.
then add:
1 & 1/2 pounds of cube steak, or cut a good thick steak into 1 & 1/2 inch cubes.
cover & marinate until ready to assemble,
while the regular method with all the stuff you're cooking all shoved onto the skewer in alternating pieces looks really nice everything cooks better if you make meat skewers & vegetable skewers. This is just my personal opinion though.
Grille the meat with mushrooms, onion chunks, green peppers & cherry tomatoes over what ever kind of grill you have until meat is done to taste & veggies are tasty. I've always served this with rice pilaf & a salad.

Posted by Becky at 11:28 PM EDT
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Pictures Which did not Make it into the Last Post!

Posted by Becky at 1:15 AM EDT

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