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BecksBlog
Monday, July 24, 2006
Monday July 24
Topic: Vacation 2006
I always try to take the kids somewhere educational/interesting on our trips to MA.We have been to the Boston Childrens museum- Plymouth Plantation, & the Mayflower in other years. & The Boston Museum of Science on our most recent vacation 2 years ago. We were going to check out the Salem Witch museum. But it would have meant driving back up to Salem on the day before going back to VA & of course I didn't want to do that! My mother was not interested in going & I had thought she was so right after we had arrived on the 11 & discovered that she didn't want to acompany us 16 & I began tossing ideas around as to where we should go. The N.E. Aquarium was the hands down fav

orite! I was especialy exited to see an Imax film since the last time I'd seen one I was pregnant with Miss 10! However on Monday We picked the wrong day to take the subway but the right day to go to the Aquarium! It was beastly hot & the Boston subway system is not even remotely air conditioned! You are pushing it to even hope for an air conditioned train! I also had forgotten how much fun it is to go to the aquarium via subway especialy since this was a week after the airport tunnel ceiling panel collapsed. Coming from the South Sh

ore we took a redline train to Boston & then changed to the orange line a t Downtown Crossing & then, after 1 stop on the orange line to the blue line each stop required a wait of about 15 minutes in a Hot dark tunnel. Normal operations were disrupted due to the airport tunnel closing & unintelligible voices were saying that the blue line trains were not 'mmpph mmpph'it turned out that the trains were not running past the Airport which is a co uple of stops past the Aquarium where we were getting off the train- so no big deal but upsetting when we could'nt understand what they were saying.
  So off we went, the harbour seals were great- I now know more than I ever wanted to know about jellyfish! & the big tank in the center is still my favorite part! The kids enjoyed it 16 most of all I think 10 finaly got her souvenier t shirt there too! After se eing everything & some things twice We then faced a predicament- it was 430 pm we had to either get right on a train to go back to the south shore or we had to stay in Town for about 2 or more hours. My money was getting shorter & so were everyone's tempers. 16, while opinionated on some subjects is useless wh
en I actually want her input. So I finaly decided to just get on the train, we stood on the redline train all the way to the stop before the one where the car was parked. It was fun though, took me back in time & it was amusing watching the kids learning how to keep their balance, I didn't even realize I knew how to do that! It comes back naturaly though, you just do it when you're on a subway!
  Back to my Mother's we packed the car next & miss 16 proved herself to be a master packer! Mostly because she was motivated to bring home a small computer my Uncle was letting her have & my mother's old monitor which she replaced this year with a whole new setup after her hard drive crashed. Then we had dinner- can't remember where- I'm writing this all nearly a month later now! & I slept for a few hours & we drove back to VA left around 10 or so & arrived Wednesday afternoon. Home Sweet Home.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:48 PM EDT
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sunday July 22,
Topic: Vacation 2006

We were supposed to get a fairly early start leaving Anns to go back to my mothers & meet up with my uncle who I have not seen in nearly 10 years. But I had developed a cold & was hacking, coughing & generaly not sleeping too well- & the kids were up late playing video games- their internal clocks are set to night owl- I try at home to get up by 10 am on non work days & am still usually the first one up! By 930 though I had to get up & get them up the re-packing of the car was hanging over my head & so I rousted every one in my family & insisted they come help at the car packing. Once this was done we said our goodbyes to Ann & family headed back to my mothers place.
The Sunday midday drive thru Boston was minimalized by taking 95 for a change of scencery I hadn't been on that road in nearly 10 years. I especially enjoy the part on the way into Boston where you are on rte 1 I remember my father telling us about all the really cool signs that were there & I also remember a few which are no longer there.
We arrived at my Mother's house around 1:30 or so & We waited for my uncle to appear. He lives on an Island & we were supposed to go to dinner. So we thought he'd show up around 4 or 5. at 6 we started to wonder where he was. By 7 my mother decided to call his cell phone. she got voice mail. She left a message & we gave him annother 1/2 hour & went to dinner at the 99 again, which the kids were happy with, my mother & I were mostly just a little worried. The next day my mother got an email from my uncle apologizing for not being able to get in touch. aparently there was a storm which took out phones etc he said he was emaling from work because he had no services at home still. The reason he didn't show up was that he just moved there & didn't have his island resident status ironed out & couldn't get a space on the ferry!He did state in his email though that we're welcome to come visit him next year on the island. I'm excited- I've barely even been to Cape Cod & have never been to the islands at all. The only Island I've been on ever is Swans Island Maine.& only for a day!

<< What Miss 16 did on her summer vacation << 


Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:46 PM EDT
Friday, July 21, 2006
Saturday 7/21
Topic: Vacation 2006
 The original plan was for us to go to the beach on Saturday but it was cool, rainy & just wasn't beach weather. So after getting washes going & after a relaxing morning. we went to the mall. The mall at Portsmouth is huge & we only went through half of it- had a pretty nice lunch though! Then a quick stop at BJ'S On the way in we got caught in a large downpour & so we dripped through the store. Ann feeds 5 + her stepson part of the time & she spends a ton to keep them fed- even at BJs! I was impressed & a little scared for my future with my younger kids!   I spend at least $150. every 2 weeks as it is - 10 & 7 are practically bottomless worse yet- they don't actually eat a lot at 1 time they eat often instead! Ann cooked out on the grille for us all 3 nights & refused most offers of help. I think, after not having to go to work my favorite thing about being on vacation was not having to cook! It's funny how little I want to cook considering how much time I spent cooking as a teenager & young adult. Now I only want to cook about 3 or 4 times a month & thats even decreased in the summer! a tomato or cucumber, tuna fish or a bowl of microwaved frozen spinach is all I really want in the summer.I have to give Ann credit. While I could feed 12 & have done so before I'm so obsessive that I'd have made a menu & bought all the food which could be frozen a month in advance & probably would have enough food for 3 extra meals! Ann made fast delicious food with only as much forethought as we had in the store buying the food!
After getting back to Anns & puting her groceries away we had annother great dinner & then hung out just talking etc.


Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:44 PM EDT
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Friday July 20
Topic: Vacation 2006
Ann lives in New Hampshire near the Maine border. also near North Berwick where my Fathers fishing club has/had their camp. I wanted to check & see if it was still there or had been sold & knocked down to make room for condos!So after breakfast we went there. I had forgotten the zen of the NH highway system in which you get on a numbered road & follow it miles & miles just trusting that you're still on the right road & maybe every 15-20 miles if you are lucky you might see a road sign with the road's # on it to confirm that you're on the right road! You just have to trust. I trusted a little too much & ended up on the wrong road. So we had to back track to get to North Berwick - we came in through Sanford which was where we used to go to get groceries when I used to go there for weekends with friends. So I got to drive back roads I hadn't been on in 10 years & was not at all sure I could actualy find my way along. I found it just fine though & the cabin looks just the same from the road- In the picture its barely visible- but its still there & still in some use.
My Mother & I aren't in touch with the fishing club guys at all any more & I didn't want to trespass so the kids & I went to the river down the road to see if the area was more built up than before or not. It wasn't, but a problem I had been upset about years ago has been resolved near this river a bunch of ATVs & Dirt bikes had been riding around in there beside the river & tearing the woods up. They have fenced it off & put up a sign saying its off limits to motor vehicles but open to pedestrians. The kids were surprised that the water was so brownish red- it is the iron content in the water- here in VA the water is brownish green or full mud brown depending on how recently it has rained! we got out & looked around & took pictures. After we were done with that we went to Kittery & checked out a few of the outlet stores, craft stores & of course the Trading Post- We checked out the gifty stuff but I didn't want to check out the camping supplies since we're not going to get to go camping this year- I'm sulking about it.
At K.t.p I also don't go to the lower level because thats where they keep the fly tying supplies & I have already spent entire lifetimes down there many times over, waiting for my Father & Brother. Though The Trading Post is not exactly chock full of stuff I want & need I don't go to Maine without stopping it's family tradition. After Kittery it was getting late & I didn't want to keep Ann's family waiting for dinner- I should have known they're more laid back about meal times than that! & a good thing too because I had not really thought about what day it was. There I was heading to the NH lakes region on a Friday night in the summer! The map book I had with me was woefully inadequate to say the least. It had roads listed which were not where they were shown & quite a few which I knew to exsist were not on the map! I suppose that for a dollar at Walmart you can't ask for much! But to find an underused road in the right general direction would have been lovely. As it was it was stop & go the whole way. Friday night at Ann's was uneventful & pleasant. We hung out, checked email & she showed me this website of really cool plus size clothes called: Torrid check it out if you're larger than a size 12.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:38 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Thursday July 19
Topic: Vacation 2006




First thing in the morning we packed the car & went to Phils & said goodbye to her. Then we went to my cousin Jens house. It was really cool getting to see her & really sit down & talk with her for the first time in years- 10 years at least!

  We visited with Jen & her kids for a few hours. Her husband is a cop in the small town they live in & he stopped in to say hi too. Their kids were adorable & so funny to watch. the older,their girl, is 4. the younger is a boy & he's going on 2.He looks just like his dad & as for their 4 year old while she's got lighter hair than her mom did, there were cert ain characteristics that reminded me of the 4 year old Jen {we're 5 months apart in age & especially as preschoolers spent a LOT of time together} my -older than her's- kids were really enjoying playing with the kids they played a lot of hide & seek & it was funny watching 10 helping the 2 year old up the stairs outside & in. When I figured Jen had probably had enough of the decibel levels our kids were playing at I said we'd get going. Jen asked if we had plans for lunch suggested we go out together. We went to a place in NH which was on our way to Anns house & on her way to her parents house where she had to go feed their cats. The resturant we went to with Jen was not spectacular. The food was mediocre at best & the service was just short of rude. The company was excelent though & I'm really hoping Jen & her husband will take me up on my invitation to come for a visit sometime soon.

  Then on to Ann's house. I was supposed to b ring steak tips from Haverhill Beef but totaly spaced on it until we were way too far away to do anything about it! So not long after we arrived Ann & I went to the local store to get steak tips & for me to get the kids something for their breakfast- they're all constantly hungry. Ann pointed out that she had food for breakfast but I know how they are & sure enough, next morning they ate food she had & the pop tart bars too! We had a great time visiting & reminiscing about old times- Ann works early in the morning so we packed it in early. The kids bunked in the living room & I had Anns 3 season room all to myself.


Posted by Becky at 10:30 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:34 PM EDT
Wednesday July 19th
Topic: Vacation 2006


We had a couple of choices to make on taking a train to Boston, We could've gotten up fairly early & taken a train at 8:45 am. Or a train which left Haverhill at 10:23. We're not morning people as a general rule & while on vacation we've been getting very bad about staying up late & getting up even later. So the 10:23 was the obvious choice especialy since the earlier train is considered a commuter train & I try not to inflict The kids on comuters! J's apartment is close enough to the train station that we were able to walk over & the train had already arrived from Boston & was finishing up with the discharging of passengers when we got up to the platform. Much to Mr7's dismay the train was getting ready to pull out of the station- Not to leave but to turn around. He thought it was leaving without us & got very upset. I explained about the train needing to switch tracks & he was ok with that. We waited a few minutes & it came back we got on & rode to Boston. The ride in was ok-Not so much graffitti as when I was a teen & went back & forth north shore to south often- I used to entertain myself by reading graffiti back then.
I rode on the train with Mr 7 the Thomas fan, he looked at railroad tracks & ocasional other trains on the trip. I blogged via the phone to my semi private blog & tried to point out areas of interest but a lot of buildings have been taken down to make room for ne w ones. So many of my 'points of interest' {random to say the least} were not there. 7 still is young enough to get excited by things like large bodies of water though, so all was not lost! While thinking about this I remembered taking a trip to Maine with my Father & Brother when I was 16 & Ben was twelve & my Father verbally mourning our young childhoods- reminiscing about how when we were younger he'd point out cows, interesting signs etc. along the way. but that now {back in 1986} we were not impressed & often didn't even hear him due to our walkmans. As my kids age I'm begining to understand how he felt. I'm also struck by the differenc es & similarities in what we point out. Growing up in rural Virginia my kids would think I had lost it if I pointed out a cow to them! In the reverse aspect I do n't recall anyone ever pointing out the city of Boston to me as we drive through like I do to 10 & 7! & they're always impressed too! The other things which were or are pointed out are in Virginia stunning views, in Mass stunning houses- That was more my grandmother & uncle who pointed those out to me,
 Immediately after getting off the train I was informed of the need for a bathroom by everyone. After repeating Phils oft heard mantra 'there are no bathrooms in North Station' a few times I found no one was buying it so I asked & found there IS a bathroom there now {I knew there was one there during the renovations back in the 9 0's.- this one's not in the same place though} after waiting in lin e for an interminable amount of time & being line jumped by some grandmother from Wisconsin *ugh* we were releived & found ourselves at the sports shop. 16 & I got Bruins shirts which was part of the plan. 10 & 7 got pencils & a stuffed bear.Then we were off! Arguing about where to go first & if we were walking or taking a subway,

After everyone insisted they were starving to death we decided to walk over to Quincy Market first & have brunch- not a fair name since we had all had breakfast before we left on the train. But my kids didn't feel like they had had enough to eat at breakfast & so we walked over to get something to eat. 7 had the obligatory hot dog. 16 had 'chicken sinatra' 10 had a greek salad & I had a bowl of lobster bisque. 16 has a tradition of getting a strawberry shortcake concoction from Carol Ann Bakery. The little ones & I had chocolate chip cookies from The Boston Chipyard. Then we looked around at a bunch of stuff for a few hours. As usual, always entertaining, amusing & annoying because there's so many nice things & I never have enough to get everything I want.  I decided to go over to Harvard Square so we took the T over there & we checked out the Harvard Coop though my mother had said that it wasn't t he same since Barnes & Noble took it over! It wasn't bad but then it had to have been at least 14 years since I'd been there at all- & since the last time I was there was on a double date with my ex & friends I was a little distracted. Even 16 had never been there at all & had no point of reference & so we liked it fine. 16 is interested in Pshycology & on the way up to MA I was telling her about reading Sybil when I was 13 or 14 (I've said before I was precoious)& she was interested in reading it so was looking for it, we had to go up 3 flights to the Pshycology books department at the Coop but they did have it! After checking out books & getting a Harvard t-shirt so I don't look out of place on college sports day at work. (I used to go with my grandmother to Harvard football games from the age of 8 or 9 onward through my teenage years & that's the complete voluntary exposure to football I've ever had!) We went on the subway to Downtown Crossing & walked up to the Common - by mutual agreement we did not walk over to the Swan Boats {16 & I both read Steven K ing's Cell this year & the

begining is set near the Swan Boats so we're just a little shy of that area!} We sat on the grass & talked then we walked back to Quincy Mkt. & did more shopping & then went to dinner. The dinner was ok. Not as great as I would have hoped but perfectly acceptable in spite of it being served by an anorexic who looked visibly pained at serving food to us! We then hurried back to North Station to get the 6:55 train back to Haverhill. Once there we did laundry & got our stuff packed up to go & said our goodbyes to Cousin J.

Posted by Becky at 9:07 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:28 PM EDT
Monday, July 17, 2006
Monday 7/17
Topic: Vacation 2006


After basting ourselves with sunblock we went swimming at Hampton beach for the day. They had forecast a 94 degree day & they weren't kidding! Hampton always has the coldest water & today was no exception. Miss 16 had been freaking out the night before because the news showed footage of a shark which showed up at a beach on Cape Cod on Sunday. I told her the oft repeated & quite true adage that sharks like warm water & won't show up in colder waters & Hampton is cold! Phil has told me how when she'd take her kids to Rockland to visit her in-laws they would always spend a few days at Nantasket beach & her MIL would be embarrassed sitting on the beach because Phil & her kids would often be the only ones in the water because the water was so cold & people would remark on their being in the water. Phil says the cold water at Hampton & Salisbury inured them to cold water & that Hull didn't feel so cold!The water was that cold Monday & Miss 16 relaxed about the sharks after feeling the water. After an hour & a half of swimming mr 7 was shivering so badly he couldn't speak to protest when I said it was time to take a break from swimming. His sisters were not too pleased with him or I when I said everybody out. They perked up however when I said we would go across the street & shop. 7 was less impressed but cheered up when he discovered there were arcades - he's a skee ball fanatic!
We checked out t-shirts, bumper stickers, rock posters & shells both natural & formed into weird shapes such as turtles & old fashioned ladies with big skirts. We spent a fortune at 16's & my favorite store- The Cow's Ass which is a leather store- 16 got a wallet there which she keeps taking out & smelling! I got a couple of celtic symbols with different meanings I got the one for 'Love' a few years ago this year I got 'new life' & 'wisdom' 16 got one for her & one for her boyfriend. We shopped for about an hour & then got boogie boards & headed back to the beach where the waves were huge due to the first hurricaine of the season out at sea.
I forgot to mention that we also had fried dough & fresh lemonade during our first break from swimming. When we went back to the water they immediately began surfing with the boogie boards & had a great time riding some of the biggest waves I've ever seen outside of a winter storm & I've lived year round at the beach twice. After annother 2 hours or so mr7 was cold again & so we went back & checked out the rest of the stores. After going through them we went back to swim 1 last time & ended up swimming for 3 hours more! When we were all ready to leave we went to dinner at a place called the Sylvan st Grill. I had been there before once & wanted to try it again. The little ones liked it because the kid's meals came with deserts- Lois & I liked that to because it gave us the option to have desert too- we shared a slice of triple layer chocolate cake & it was excelent. As was the whole meal- I just can't remember what we had! (mr 7 had a hot dog though)

 

 

 

 

 

No pictures please, she's too crabby!


Posted by Becky at 2:17 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:26 PM EDT
Tuesday July 18
Topic: Vacation 2006
Because we were so busy at the beach on Monday I designated Tuesday as a quiet day. we spent the morning with Phil visiting & helping her go through some boxes of craft stuff to eliminate some things she says she won't use anymore {which means we got some new craft stuff & some cool halloween decorations!} Then we went to get lunch at Ari's & got subs- they were too crowded to eat in at though so I drove around while the kids ate & parked at the stadium park & while I ate 10 & 7 played on the playground & 16 complained. About what, I don't remember but bitching was done! Then we went around to the back of the stadium & walked down to the rivers edge. The girls stayed on the steps with me but 7 got right into the mud & would have gone in the water if I hadn't stopped him. (this is the Merrimack river, a river I used to watch from my great-grandmother's apartment & pass time counting the dead fish floating by! no way is my kid setting a finger in it!)
After annother drive over backroads which I've loved for years we went to Phils & brought her out to go to Markeys for lobster, steamers & as a change from the hot dogs mr7 had a cheeseburger! After we took a ride thru Salisbury to see the summer place Phil's grandparents built.

Posted by Becky at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 10:23 PM EDT
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
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
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
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

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