Friday, October 31, 2008

October 21, 2008 Happy Halloween!

Since Dad got home so late last night we decided to wait until this morning to carve pumpkins. We were a little slow getting moving but once we did we were on a roll. Danny picked a wolf pattern for Daddy to carve, Em chose a funny dinosaur, and I, a cat. They came out pretty cute, can't wait to see what they look like tonight!

We finished up the pumpkins and since we needed to go to Walmart in Wareham anyway thought we'd stop in at Spirit Auto and see what was going on. When we arrived the car was no where to be seen. Mike and I went in and found the car in their one stall garage. Apparently the alternator came in and was replaced so they sent it across the street for an oil change and the technician over there found a rust hole in the oil pan so they were waiting for that part to come in. The promised it would be ready Saturday morning. We stopped at Sandwich Pizza on the way home then declared it nap time. Dan and Mike fell asleep nearly immediately, I tried but failed and decided instead to go for a run. I came home, took a quick shower and woke Mike and Dan up to get ready for trick or treating. Dan excitedly suited up and thought he looked great. If you can't tell he's Leonardo the teenage mutant ninja turtle. Since it was Mike & Laurie's men's night we made our way up there with our supplies then went back out to do some treating. We have maybe 10 houses in our neighborhood that participate which is just about perfect...not too much, not too little. Dan made sure to tell everybody that if they needed anything he'd be there to help. Pretty cute.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008 Happy Birthday Marley, Emily's car, Halloween

Another day begins and I woke wondering if we'd pick up Em's car today...I'm not holding my breath. Dan and I took Em to work, then to our Thursday playdate at the Oak Ridge Playground. We met Marcial, Ana and Tony there, we haven't seen them in a long time and it was good to catch up. Ana and Danny are the same age and the last time Danny saw Tony he couldn't talk. Dan was very excited when he found out that now he could and wanted to play hide and seek with Dan. He's gotten so big! Marcial is a hospitalist at Cape Cod Hospital, and just a sweet affectionate guy. It's always a treat to catch up with him! At noon we headed home for lunch and then off to pick up Em at work again. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store. Em's direct deposit hasn't started yet so I taught her how to make a deposit to both a checking and savings account with one check. Then we shopped for the making of pizza tonight. Last weekend seemed like too far away from Halloween to carve the pumpkins but we forgot to take into account that I was working Monday and Tuesday night, had school on Wednesday night and Thursday was Survivor, as well as Mikey working late to try to avoid working on Friday. Dan and Marley both needed a walk so we picked up Laurie and did our loop around Cove, Aritsan, Shore drive into the woods back to our house. When we arrived home, Dan asked if we could clean the pumpkins and I said sure. I'd lured Laurie into the house with a cup of tea, but promptly put her to work. Thanks for the help Laurie!
Spirit Auto finally called at 5:30pm to tell us the part never arrived today and they expect it tomorrow, we've heard that before. At this point I'm glad Mike will be able to come with us to pick it up. If something fishy is going on he'll flush it out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008 Emmy's car, GED, and Sociology

It's Wednesday and we were supposed to pick up Em's car today. Emily is still not feeling well but has to work. We're planning to pick it up after work, but on the way in she said " Will it make it easier if I don't go to pick up the car with you" at which time I said "absolutely!" She gave me permission to pick it up without her. Although this will make life significantly easier for me, I worry that I've pushed her over the edge and she's completely overwhelmed with all that happened in the last few weeks. Dan and I dropped her off at work and immediately went to the registry in Falmouth for what I expected to be a long wait. I was pleasantly surprised when my number was called before I'd even removed it from the machine. To my surprise I had all the necessary paperwork and marveled how the registry has changed since my youth when 3 hour waits and missing paperwork were the norm. Five minutes later we left with Em's registration and headed home to wait for the phone to ring. At 1:30 Dan and I went to pick up Emmy from work and since we still hadn't heard took her directly to 4C's to fill out the GED application that they only take on Wednesdays. Orientation will be Thursday November 13th from 4:00 - 5:30 and the test will be on Tuesday November 18th and Thursday November 20th from 4:00-8:30. Since hopefully she'll be driving herself around by then I showed her where to park and where the classroom for the test was. We left there a little after 3pm and since we still hadn't heard anything about the car decided to call. Russ answered and said they'd found that the alternator was bad and expected the part to come in mid-morning Thursday. We went home and enjoyed a quiet afternoon before it was time to go to school. By the comments my professor has made I've concluded he's a democrat and since Obama's 30 minute info-mercial was due to air at 8pm I wasn't surprised when he let those of us who had already taken test 2, go at 7:30. On the way out he gave us our scores. I smuggly waited for my name to be called sure I had scored no less then an A+ on this exam. I was sadly mistaken and scored only a B. I could find only a couple of things he considered errors and am beginning to question his grading policy. I intend to talk to him next week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008 Sick and Title

Mike and Em both woke up this morning with sore throats, at which time we concluded they both have Dan's cold. Dan is feeling significantly better and is attempting to expend all the energy he's stored up in the last few days. Em didn't need to be at work so we spent most of the morning sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. The dealer we used doesn't keep his titles in house, and the Title was due to arrive sometime this morning. We were hoping it would be early, so we could run up to Needham to have the insurance started then back to the registry, then finally back to the dealer to pick the car up. But the phone didn't ring until nearly 1:30 so the kids climbed into the van for the ride to Wareham, Em and I signed all the necessary papers and left there 10 minutes later with the title and RMV-1 form in hand. Eric is supposed to come by tonight to stamp the form and initiate the insurance. Dan and I will take a ride to the registry tomorrow before we pick Em up from work to register the car, then it's just a matter of picking her up and coming home so Laurie can give us a ride over to pick up the car. I'm glad it's almost done, and we can move on to her actually passing the road test. Dan had a good time painting his turtle shell, we hadn't taken shrinkage into account but Dan's happy with it anyway. We're running a little behind in Halloween preparation but with Mike, Em and I all home on Friday I'm sure we can get everything done!

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008 Dr. Bowers,

I had an appointment with Doc. Bowers, who is our Primary. I had a small unhealed dot on my back that he said should be removed and rather then go to see a surgeon I opted to have him do it in office. No big deal. It seems strange to me that someone can do something painful to you and for you not to feel it. He numbed the spot and I watched him cut into my skin, knowing it should hurt. Then I watched him take a scalding hot instrument and not only touch it to the open wound but rub it. I could see the smoke and smell the flesh, but felt nothing...absolutely bizarre. As I sit and type this I'd never know that anything was amiss back there.

October 29, 2008 Update - Dr. Bowers just called to say the biopsy was negative. Hurray, guess I don't have to swear off the sun just yet! Florida here I come!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008 Happy Birthday Jonathan !

We spent early Sunday morning just hanging around. A quick moving but strong storm moved through on Saturday night so although it was warm, the morning was overcast and damp. We were all invited to Green Briar nature center for their annual Volunteer Brunch, so Dan, Mike and I went over there for 11:30. The spread of food was amazing. Lots of vegetable salads, raw fruit, and an incredible tomato and aspargus casserole that was to die for. I was in heaven. We walked down to the dock and spied the swans through a beautiful red maple tree, and I wished I'd brought my camera. Our terrificly calmed morning gave way to a chaotic afternoon. Since we had men's night we were respondisble for providing the GAK for the days 1pm Patriots game. Well, we
were at the grocery store shopping for the ingredients at 12:15, the picks still needed to be put into the computer, and when we arrived home found out that our next door neighbor needed help with his dock and another neighbor's tree and telephone pole caught on fire the night before and wanted to borrow one of our generators which was strategically hidden deep within the shed. Mike started the GAK while I did the picks, then he went to help our next door neighbor with the dock while I finished the GAK, then we both retrieved the generator from the shed. He was headed up the road with GAK in hand at 1:10pm.

Em and I went next door to see Mr. Remsen who is also our insurance agent who quoted us a price of $1911.00 for insurance for Emily. We made a plan to meet him here on Tuesday night, but we're hoping that we can pick up the paper work from the dealer early Tuesday morning, take a run up to Needham to have the insurance started, then come back down to the registry and finally take delivery of the car Tuesday afternoon, before I have to be to work at 5. High hopes, Wednesday afternoon is probably more likely.

Since Sunday was Jonathan's 5th Birthday (Happy Birthday Jonathan!) the kids and I hopped in the car for the ride to Little Compton RI. We arrived early but Alyssa, Megan, Jami and Jonathan were gracious hosts and taught us all about chickens. It was great to be able to spend time with just them, I don't know any of them nearly as well as I should. They truly are a great bunch! Dan, Em and I learned about both the baby chicks in the basement and the full grown chickens out back. I'm in love and will try even harder to talk Mike into a small flock in the spring!

Jonathan's party was great. Kristin is a fabulous cook and it's always a pleasure to feast there. We had a great time catching up with everybody, and seeing how to kids have grown. It takes only a short time for some very major changes. My nephew Zachary was just a boy the last time I saw him, now he's well on his way to becoming a man. I think that fact alone makes Emily like to antagonize him even more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 25, 2008 Halloween,Emmy's new car, and Mike's gallery.

Dan and I spent the better half of Thursday working on his turtle shell for his Halloween costume. He's going to be Leonardo from the Teenaged Mutant Ninja turtles and since Halloween is just over a week away we knew we had to get moving. The grocery store was giving away Red Sox balloons (since their season is now over) so we decided it would be the perfect mold for his turtle shell. Dan had a great time playing in the flour and water glue!
Friday we were scheduled to feed the animals at Green Briar but on our way there we got a text from Buzz and the girls asking us if we'd join them at the playground since it was such a nice morning. Last night was our first frost so I found it hard to believe, but we thought we'd give it a try and sure enough the morning was bright, beautiful, and warm. We played with the girls until it was time for them to go (Seneca had to be to school at noon) and Dan and I went off to feed the animals. We got home and Dan refused lunch, very uncommon for him. He layed on the couch and nearly fell asleep. I felt his head and sure enough a fever. He's spent lots of time with the Harmon girls this week and they all have runny noses. so I wasn't surprised.
Mike and I spent the afternoon getting ready for men's night then I took Marley for a walk while the guys rested. We had a small group for men's night, just Mike and Laurie and Richard. I'm not sure where everybody else was but we had tons of ham and scalloped potatoes left over. The night ended early and we tucked Dan into bed after a dose of Tylenol. Em, Mike and I stayed up to watch Ocean's 11, then went off to bed shortly after.
We woke up this morning and Dan immediately said "feel my head". He was nice and
cool and he seemed to be back to normal. He woke me around 2am to give him another dose of Tylenol, so I wasn't sure he was cured, but glad that he seemed better. I went for a run and did my 3.5 mile loop in 42 minutes, 5 minutes less then the last time I timed it. As I was getting back I decided to get the mail from the day before and found that our Disney tickets had arrived, Hurray!
We decided we'd head over to Wareham and try Leo's luncherama for breakfast then go check out that Ford Contour before Emily had to be to work at 12:45pm. Breakfast was good, typical diner food, Dan didn't eat and was suddenly looking under the weather again. While eating I got a call from Russ at Spirit Auto letting us know the car was ready. "Well good!" I told him "We'll be there in half an hour." We arrived just as the Contour was being finished. Mike immediately popped the hood, climbed under each side, checked the trunk, and found the source of a couple of leaks. He and Em climbed in to take it for a test drive. Mike drove it out, but Emmy drove it back. Mike declared it a decent buy, settled on a price of $3300, Em said it was the one she wanted and signed the papers. We arrived at 11:45am and left with the papers signed at 12:20.

We took Emmy to work then went over to Color Obsession which is a high end art gallery in South Cape Village that caters to New Seabury. Gail took 17 of Mike's pieces to display and sell. He's been working with a glass blower named Dave McDermott and a master furniture builder Paul Noyse who both have work in this gallery. The three of them are getting ready to collaborate on a piece. He's excited and I'm very proud of him for following his passion!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008 Walking and more grown up things for Emily

We awoke on Sunday morning to a beautiful cool fall day. We had breakfast and since nobody had to be anywhere until 2:30 I asked Mike and the kids to join me on a walk. They all agreed and we decided we'd check out the trail of tears off of Rt 149 in Barnstable, a 10 minute drive from our house. It was a nice path through the woods, Dan placed his arrows when we came to a new path. Marley found a ball and had Emily throw it for the duration of the walk. We were in the woods for nearly an hour before making our way back to the van. The ride home was filled with the sounds of "I found another tick" and we promptly frontlined Sampson who made it through the entire summer without needing it. In all we removed over 50 ticks between the 4 of us! Dan and I worked on wrapping his friend Justin's birthday present and making him a card for his 2:30 party, at which Dan had a great time. I went to work and enjoyed the quiet but efficient company of my Assistant Manager, as predicted we were done with hours to spare.
Monday morning we took Emily to work, then did some grocery shopping for the week, and came home and did laundry. It was a perfect fall day, with a brisk north wind. I dried our sheets on the line in 30 minutes and happily dried 4 loads in one day. I think that's a record! Dan, Marley and i took a walk down Cove Rd, to Shore Drive then through the woods home. It's a 40 minute walk and Dan really enjoys it. Monday night I worked as well, and again were done with only minor things left to do at 7:30. My Assitant Manager and I are now fighting for customers just to keep busy! My how the pendulum has swung!
Tuesday Dan and I took Em to work again and since it was another nice day and all the laundry was done we decided we'd spend some time at the playground. We pulled in and found the Harmon's there. Buzz and I had a chance to catch up while the kids played. We had lunch at the playground then since Dan's been nagging me to go we went over to the Cape Cod Children's museum play for a little while before having to pick Emmy up at work at 2pm. I spoke to James at Citizen's bank when I was there on Monday about opening a checking account for Emily so she'll have a debit card. I've gone back and forth about whether I wanted her to have one and ultimately decided I'd rather help her navigate money management and banking under my supervision before she's old enough to do it on her own. So after work we went down to talk to James who set Emily up with her own Checking account under our account. The stipulations are that she will have $50 direct deposited into her checking account every week and all the rest will be direct deposited into her savings account. As it stands Mike and I are the only ones with access to online banking on all the accounts so I'm pretty confident it's a good way to start. She excitedly ordered In the Wild checks until she saw the price. Hey kid....this is real life now!
Wednesday was another busy day, Dan, Em and I all went to the Sandwich Library for Mr. Parson's storytime, then headed to Wareham to follow up with a recommendation from one of the Saturn dealership salesmen about Spirit Auto in Buzzards Bay. We pulled into the parking lot. The man Russ, who we were told to speak with, promptly met us in the parking lot. We told him what we were looking for and he directed us to a 1998 Ford Contour 84K miles, $2900. And somehow it felt right.....He said he hadn't looked at it yet, but was due to go in tomorrow and would give us a call. Em's calling it hers, hopefully we'll all go check it out Friday afternoon after she gets off work. On the way home, we decided we'd go take a ride to 4C's. I had to schedule another math assessment test to try and bring up my grade by 12 points to avoid a remedial math course, and since we were there I thought we'd check with the GED office about scheduling Emily's test. Everybody was very nice, and it was amazing how anti public, pro home school everybody was. Em will take the GED test next month and if she passes it could start college as early as this coming spring. I'm so excited for her, and wished that college had been an option for me at her age. I think I could have done well in the community college live at home setting.
I'm excited to report that I'm confident that I aced my Sociology test tonight. I was confident about the first test too, but completely studied the wrong information and came away with only a C+ (I cried) this time I'm confident I gave him what he was looking for....I'll find out in a week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008 More used car shopping...

We got a late start this morning, but eventually made it out the door. Mike finished installing his new exhaust system and was confident his truck would pass inspection, which it did. Since we were out that way we browsed some used car lots on Willow street in Yarmouth and found a Mazda truck Mike said might be ok. Unfortunately nobody was in the office so we'll try calling on Monday. We made a quick stop at a pizza shop then took Em to work for 12:45. Mike, Dan and I made a quick trip to the grocery store for dinner supplies then came home. Mike decided he was going to take a nap. Dan and I opted to take Marley for a walk in the woods. We had a great time, I love walking in the woods in the fall. And both Marley and Dan got out some pent up energy. A win/win for all involved!

I went to work, this could be a long story, but I'll shorten it. Basically I walked in a little before 5pm. The assistant manager (AM) was there who I love to work with, but nobody said anything about me giving notice, until a few minutes after 5 when the AM checked the red book and asked what was going on. I stated that I gave notice. What I hadn't known was that my Brazilian Friend's (BF) last day of work was tonight. AM noted that she didn't think the Manager had seen my note and suggested I let her know later on. At this point I'm pretty sure I'm not quitting. If my BF is leaving, then I'm staying. She and I worked together throughout the night. I had lead headset (the one you can talk through, the other you can only hear) so I was pretty much tied to the service area. My BF was then respondsible for things like sweeping and mopping. I did my job, and was getting ready to work on the sandwich board when I noticed my BF pouring water into the bakery case. We were low on donuts so she'd moved them to one side. Before I knew it she was standing barefoot in a pond behind the counter. I've never seen anything like it. I took a picture. At that moment the phone rang, My BF answered, yelled for a few minutes in Portuguese and then handed the phone to me saying the Manager wanted to talk to me. My BF and the Manager are good friends. I said Hello and she said you wanted to talk to me?
I spilled my guts told her that as of right now my BF was barefoot behind the counter in a puddle with three other unfinished projects going on. She said it was unacceptable and asked to talk to her. My BF sounds like she's yelling when she's having a normal conversation and I wanted to avoid a controntation with so much work left to do so I asked my Manager to hold off until later on. She and I worked the rest of the night until 9:45pm when the phone rang again. I was taking the garbage out but I could hear yelling coming from inside. I did the rest of my work, happily said good bye and promptly left. She it goes! So I still have a job and actually can't wait for work tomorrow.....I predict we'll be done early!

October 17, 2008 Used car shopping and Bye Bye Dunkin

I booked Disney! We have three flights round trip, and since I was doing it I ordered tickets for Dan and I for Disney. We decided that with 10 days of passes we didn't need the park hopper feature and saved ourselves a $100. The tickets should arrive by the end of the month. We're very excited, but Dan keeps asking when we're's going to be a long few months!!!

Today's Friday and Mike's home and on a mission to replace his exhaust system. I am on a mission of my own. To find Emily a trustworthy car in the $2500 range which is what she's saved along with a $1500 start on insurance/fees/etc. She goes for her drivers road test on election day, November 4th and is thrilled that Gogie will be driving up since neither of our vehicles qualify for the road test. There must be an emergency brake between the two seats in case the testing administrator needs to stop the car. I can't wait for her to be able to drive herself back and forth to work. Ever since she's switch to cashiering sometimes Dan and I wait for an hour for her to be done. The time has definitely come. We checked several dealerships and it seems they all run the same way. They sell off their older trade ins to used car lots so most of them don't have anything in stock under $5000. We checked a couple of used car lots and found a couple, but either they were too old or had high milage. We'll try a place in Buzzards Bay tomorrow that one of the salesmen recommended. We got home around 2pm, had something to eat and relaxed until it was time for work.

I'm scheduled to work with my Brazilian (read, not-so) friend tonight and tomorrow. I don't have a good feeling.
10 O'clock follow up. Tonight went as expected, although I decided that rather then kill myself to get us both out on time I'd see what she does when left to her own devices. Namely, me not cleaning up after her. I arrived 10 minutes early as usual. I like to get there early, see what's going on, get a jump start if I need to without dealing with customers. Seems the other employees think then when I walk through the door I'm on. Laurie promptly collected her tips, counted them out and left! Celia started yelling for me to get her a toasted bagel, I pointed to the clock and told her I wasn't punched in yet. She yelled that I was on, I yelled that I wasn't. And so the night began.
I did what I always do. I took out all the trash in the store, including outside. Swept and mopped the entire store. Cleaned and stocked the Sandwich station, did all the dishes, cleaned the ovens, cleaned out the donut case, emptied and cleaned all the ice coffee urns, and waited on customers. She had to clean two dairy cleaners which normally take her 3 hours (me 30 minutes) and stock and clean the drive thru station. That's it. When I left at 10, because I had to pick Emily up at a football game, she still hadn't finished one of the creamers, and her station was trashed. I didn't feel bad about leaving. As I was finishing the paper work, temps, and donut and bagel throwaways, etc. I added a note for Camilla (the manager) that I was giving my two week notice. Enough is enough, I started working to get out of the house, socialize, gain a sense of accomplishment and make some money. With only two of those goals being met, it's just not worth it....I wonder what I'll do next!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16, 2008 Playground & Disney plans

Dan and I enjoyed a nice quiet morning hanging out at the playground with Jen and the girls. I knitted, Jen and I caught up and Dan and his friends played on the equipment then made they're way over to their favorite hill and started constructing "houses" from the lumber lying around.

The sword that Danny and Daddy built.

On an exciting note, I started committing to our
Disney trip and in another window as I type lays 3 plane tickets to Florida just waiting for Mike's inspection before I hit the "Buy" button. As it stands we'll be gone for two weeks Tuesday February 24 - Tuesday March 10. Flights are $209 per person. 10 day park hopper passes will cost Em and I $287 each. Originally this trip was going to be for Dan and I alone. I took Emmy to Disney when she was 5 and thought it was the perfect age so I've been telling Dan for years that we'd go when he was 5. But now that Emily has a job she's decided she wants to go and pay her own way. With free tent at Mom's campground, and a free flight that leaves her responsible for park passes and food. Pretty good deal, and I'll be willing to bet the only people sleeping in the tent will be Danny and I. Your highness will be holed up in the camper!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008 Dr. Mann & Corn Maze

Another busy day here at the Gould cottage. Emily had to be to work for 8:45, I had a 9:30 appt with Dr. Mann (ENT)and then we were due to meet the homeschoolers at Sauchuk Farm in Plympton at 11:30. On top of that we thought since we were up that way we might check out Daddy's new office in Taunton if we had time.
Dan and I dropped Emmy off at work then headed into Falmouth for my appointment. Dan decided in route that he wanted to be Leonardo from the Teenage mutant ninja turtles for Halloween, and since we had a few minutes we thought we'd run into Walmart to see if they had a green sweat suit. They did and while we were there I optimistically grabbed a pair of size 10 jeans and a couple of medium long sleeved T-shirts, since my wardrobe is down to one pair of holey jeans, one pair of stained jeans and too many over sized short sleeve shirts. We made it to Dr. Mann's office right on time and was promptly invited into one of the exam rooms. Dr. Mann was very nice. My lyme test came back negative. My VNG came back abnormal. The way he described it is that the test results suggest that there is either a leison growing inside my left ear or within my brain. I promptly pointed out that he MRI was negative and he concurred. At which point I asked if I had something growing in my ear. I'm not sure he ever answered that question but suggested that my new diagnosis was Meneiere's disease....well duh, the first doctor I saw back in RI said that's what it was 9 years ago! Anyway, he said before starting medication he wanted me to cut out as much salt as possible from my diet. SALT ! In the last 5 or so years I've given up nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, meat, dairy and wheat, and the only thing that made the last three of those bareable was the salt. I cried right there in his chair. I'm a realist, things happen, bad or good and it's just what it is, it's meant to be. However that's before I was asked to give up salt. I'm sad, I feel like I've lost a friend and now wonder if eating is even worth doing, with everything tasting so blah. Irrational I know, and tomorrow I'll pick myself up and move on, but today I mourn. I hope Dr. Mann is wrong. Maybe I'd rather have a lesion. Ok...not really...
I left there thinking about all the favorite things I'm eating now that I'll have to avoid. Namely fake buttered popcorn and anyting marinated in vinegar.
We made it up to Plympton a little after 11am and without enough time to visit Dad we went directly to the corn maze, had a quick lunch then explored the farm. They had a cool pit filled with corn for the kids to play in like a sandbox, and cow train, and hayride to a pick your own pumpkin patch and of course the maze it self with sheets of paper called passports as clues to find your way. Marie was there with 4 of her boys. We met her and her family at the foraging field trip, so it was nice to see a friendly face. There were homeschooler from all over at this event since it was off
Cape. She and I started the maze together and our boys immediately took off into the maze. Dan thought he was such a big boy hanging out with all of them and since Marie's boys promised to look after him I let him go. Talk about an over protective Mom. Marie and I got lost....alot. Finally we found a number, consulted our passports and found our way to the first bridge. It was a beautiful view and she and I had fun taking each others pictures from up there.....boys? What boys? Since we could no longer hear the cherubs and it'd been a while we decided we'd go back to the start and enter the maze through the exit to head them off when they got to the end. We exited the maze then reenterd the exit which brought us to the second bridge. We could hear the boys but quickly lost their sound. We decided they were probalby already out and decided to go out ourselves. We found the two littlest boys petting and feeding the pygmy goats. Dan and Brenden did a great job of taking care of one another.
We found the rest of the boys, and some other homeschooling Mom's and talked while the kids played. Eventually most of the kids were out and one of the Corn Cops started up the ATV and started giving cow train rides. The kids had a blast. After that we climbed aboard the hayride. Marie opted out of this adventure and I willingly kept my eye on her boys. They each picked a miniature pumpkin to take home, we boarded our ride and made our way back. A quick look at the clock told me I needed to call Emily and tell her we'd be late. We left Plympton at 2:15 and made it to Mahoney's at 3:30. There's just no good way to get from the Bourne Bridge to East Falmouth. We came home and tag teamed the chores and before we knew it we were all relaxing. I threw a couple of racks of beef ribs in the oven, then went to class. Since tonight was the debate our professor thought our time was better spent watching that and let us leave early. I've been craving fresh Autumn olive berries all afternoon and decided on the way home I'd hit the playground in the dark to harvest some. I'm addicted to these things, they'll have to do if I can't have popcorn. And remember those size 10 jeans? They fit!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008 Graeme Base

The homeschoolers were invited to meet the childrens author and illustrator Graeme Base. We didn't own any of his books but always like to meet such creative people and since he was going to be at the Sandwich library, we thought all the better. We took Emily to work then headed over there and made it just in time for the start. Turns out he's an extremely talented story teller as well as artist and Dan was enthralled with him. He read his book called Enigma which is a story he wrote based on his son's relationship with his grandfather. During the reading Dan raised his hand to ask a question. Graeme stopped reading and patiently asked Dan what he wanted to ask. Dan said "Can I borrow that book when your done with it?" Which immediately raised giggles from the crowd. He can be quite charming when he wants to be. We decided to buy the book and Graeme signed his name along with a picture of a rabbit that he just whipped up. There is a video of the signing to the left if your interested. It has a safe in the back of the book which you have to unlock using three keys. Dan couldn't wait to unlock the safe to see the code. I'm sure we'll spend a substantial amount of time tonight deciphering pages. Maybe I can get Mikey to do it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008 King Richard's Faire and Dennis the Manatee

Dennis didn't make it... :-(
I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. As we watched news footage yesterday morning and calculated the approximate time of arrival of Dennis at Sea World, I commented that the sheer weight of the animal out of the water must put an unbelieveable strain on it's organs. I'm no expert, just a 38 year student in the law of gravity. Even thought it breathes air, it's meant to be in the sea. Are you going to tell me the experts didn't take that into account? Either way I can't help but think that he might have been better off right here swimming around and enjoying Sesuit harbor and the attention from the locals before he succumbed to the cold. Do we as humans have the right to interfere with natures anomalies? Even if we can, should we? I'm not so sure.

We met Mom at the King Richard's Faire at 10:30am when the gates opened and were suddenly transported back in time. I was not expecting what I saw on the other side of the gates. Women were dressed in tight corsets with their breasts propped up so high that when they looked down their chins rested on them. Men wore varying outfits that ranged from pirates to knights in shining armour. Some were mere peasants others royalty. The stranger the better. For the first time ever Dan was truly unsettled with the environment around him. Normally outspoken he was unusually shy and nervous. Emily was attacked (her word, not mine) by a vendor who wasted no time in adorning her with horns, Mom was with her at the time and indulged the seller. They were passed around throughout the day. Dan really liked the Siberian tiger cubs and the tiger show. Some of those cats are unbelieveable huge.
It was a little unnerving sitting so close toHercules a 900lbs eating

machine controlled only by a small chain.
The company that owns and breeds these animals is based out of South Carolina and offers VIP trips.

Dan was very excited to become a pirate, learned the special pirate salute and all the rules! He also had a chance to shoot a bow and arrow at a target. He became a knight by hitting a moving target later in the day. We watched the first jousting tournament but made the mistake of thinking we were going to have lunch afterwards along with everyone else who attended. Next year we will know. I was hoping to dress up but I felt significantly unsure with the choices, options and what I wanted to be I never committed to anything. Em and I are both going to work on a costume to wear next year.
Something with a corset I think! All in all a fun day. It was great to spend some time with Mom even though we lost her frequently, the place is of manageable size and lost was a relative term. Mike the kids and I stopped at Michael's craft store on the way home for the materials to finish the stained glass window then went to see if we could find the Dunkin Donut baking facility. I know it's on Kendrick Rd which is basically a road running through an industrial park but without the exact address we were unable to find it. I worked again last night with my Brazilian friend. She's so slow it's like working by myself, which I'd rather do. Did I ever think I'd call my early days at Dunkin the good old days? I didn't, but they were!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008 Autumn olives, and stained glass

We've had a string of absolutely perfect early fall days. The air is crisp, but the sun still close enough to warm the day up nicely.
Since the foraging field trip I've been in a frenzy trying to harvest as many autumn olive berries as I can before they pass for the season. So far I've boiled down 5 cups of berries and frozen them. Originally I was going to make fruit leather, but realized after making the mash that I didn't have any honey or stivia, so to keep them I decided that freezing was the way to go until I'm ready to dehydrate them. This morning on my way to taking Emily to work I saw this amazing sized Autumn olive bush loaded with berries, so after dropping Emily off I harvested what turned out to be 12 cups more. Dan and I really like eating the berries as they are and since I haven't tried the leather I didn't want to commit to any more of that, and unsure about the recipe for jam/jelly, I decided the best thing to do for now was to freeze the berries whole. After spending an hour de-berrying loads of branches I now have 2 quart sized bags, and 5 sandwich sized bags full of berries ready to go. Dan effectively managed to avoid berry stripping and decided he'd rather play with the dollhouse in the tent. We're getting very excited about our two week trip to Disney World in February and since we'll be camping in Fort Wilderness with Mom, Mo, Fran and Gary we thought we'd air out the tents and make sure they were in good shape.
Since our Autumn olive hunt took us to Hyannis yesterday we decided to stop in at AC Moore. A dangerous place for both Emmy and I. Emmy has taken up knitting, and really likes making scarves from the fringy yarn. She bought 10 skeins of varying colors while we were there. While scouting around I found this absolutely beautiful (well at least I thought so) Homespun yarn and after asking both kids if they wanted something made from it, and both saying no, I decided I'd make something for myself. I chose this poncho for my most of the time winter coat, since it usually never gets really really cold here. The color is lemonade. I can't wait till it's finished...I've never knitted for myself before! http://%20 While we were at AC Moore I made my way over to the faux stained glass window section. I've been looking at this one particular pattern for a long time and just was never sure if I really wanted to start what looked like a really big project. I astarted collecting all the stuff needed to complete it and before I knew it found my arms filled with everything necessary. I decided to bite the bullet, and proceeded to check out. As we headed home I was eager to get the kids fed so I could see what the project would entail. Turns out not nearly as much as I was expecting, and by last night had one of the kitchens storm windows complete. Our kitchen windows face our neighbors kitchen sliders and although we really like our neighbors I think we'd both feel a little better with more privacy. The stained glass was the perfect solution and we all agree it looks great! I had a chance to work on the second one this afternoon after breakfast at John's capeside dinner and a walk on the canal to the Jetty with Mike and Dan, but I ran out of materials! I think a trip to Hyannis might be in order on Tuesday, since tomorrow we're finally going to the King Richard's faire! Anybody want to meet us there???