Sunday, August 19, 2012


Yesterday was the big family reunion on hubby's side.  The weather turned out beautiful.  His mom was thrilled because her goal was to at the very least get all of her mother's 10 grandchildren together.  That happened. Grandma who is really a great great grandma (but thinks that makes her sound old - like who cares at age 92) has four girls, 10 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.  A good number of the greats were there.  There was more than enough food.  This was the first I've met his cousin who now lives in London with his wife and two adorable little girls.  This was the first time most of the family met his wife and girls.  The girls are 9 and 6.  This is the entire crew that assembled.  I had suggested one of the out-laws take the picture and we settled on a girlfriend of one of the grandkids.

Friday, August 17, 2012


We were gone on vacation for a week.  I came home did laundry and homework and prepped to leave again when my three days at work were through.  I was in Vermont for class all week end.  It was a good week end.  We were there early enough to stop for a nice lunch, we set the camper up in no time flat (we're trained well now) and just before the rain came, classes were good.  And we were out early on Sunday and stopped at the Baker's Supply Company for dinner.  Monday I did more laundry and grocery shopped.  I spent the evening in good company honoring Hecate - the Goddess of the crossroads.

I was rather relieved when I realized son needed to be dropped off on Tuesday at the fire academy and hubby would still be working.  That meant I needed to take him and I would need to take time off from work.  So after leaving him at the academy I came home and typed the minutes from the fire district board meeting and distributed them, finished laundry, filled in school medical forms in triplicate for each kid and took youngest up to the high school to find her locker and fill in with supplies.  And then I took a nap before making dinner. 

This week end we have hubby's family reunion, a 150th anniversary fire department parade (son will be there too with the academy) and son's graduation from the academy.  Next week end youngest and I are off to the women's herbal conference.  The boys will have manly man week end.  This involves steak, army navy stores, guns and Hooters.  Then school starts.

What a whirlwind summer.  I'm not fully grounded yet.  I'm working on it. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This N That

Happy 35th Birthday to Eye Candy!  Just had to say that.

Son has completed MEPS and been sworn in.  He reports to boot camp 7/8/13.  He's not to happy this week.  Hubby grounded him.  Curfew is 11 PM by our standards and state law.  He's been just squeaking in.  The other night he came in 10 minutes late.  Hubby took all driving privileges away except to and from work.  Next week he's off to the fire academy again.

Rolled in from vacation - cleaned, laundered and prepped for the week.  Three long days at work (12 hours with commute) plus board of directors meeting for the fire department.  Friday morning I leave once again for Vermont and my herbal studies.  Homework is done.  Lots of reading for this class; urinary tract and cardiovascular system.

What a perfect week to come back from vacation.  Our company is hosting their semi annual food show at the casino.  Most of my clients are there so the phone lines are quiet.  Most of the office is there so the office is quiet.  I've managed to get a lot done.

When son was trying to reach bio to sign paperwork for the military we went through all the phone numbers we had and they'd all been disconnected.  He eventually got her number through his grandmother.  Less than a month later and that phone is shut off.  She sent a facebook message to youngest with the newest number.  Let's see, the last three messages you sent went unanswered, she never has any posts maybe you'd think that's not the best way to contact your daughter.  Here's a novel idea - call her.  You have talked to her once since Christmas and that's because son reached out to you to sign papers.  And youngest's comment about still not receiving the gift you promised - "I wish she would stop telling me things she doesn't mean. I think she just doesn't care."

A week from Saturday is the big family reunion.  MIL is SO EXCITED!  She has put a lot of time and energy into it.  It kinda makes me sad that hubby really doesn't want to go.  He's annoyed he has to take time off from work and is worried he won't be home in time to march in the fireman's parade.  I can guarantee we will be.  It's their 150th anniversary and hubby is not going to miss that. 

Monday, August 6, 2012


I'm back. We spent a week in Island Falls, ME.  When I told people it was in the middle of no where I didn't realize how right I was.  It was a little farther out than I would like to be for more than a week. 

We started our trip in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  We had breakfast in Freeport and visited LL Bean before heading north for another three hours. We bought son a new pair of hiking boots which turned out to be very much needed. The resort was beautiful.  The suite was done in knotty pine that gave it a cabin feel.  We settled in and headed to the local grocery store for breakfast and lunch supplies.  The big (and only) grocery store in town is also the liquor store and hardware store.  I could buy any alcohol I could think of but could not buy orange juice except in a frozen concentrate. 

Sunday we visited the Lumberman's Museum.  It was very interesting.  After having a picnic lunch there we headed to Baxter State Park and bought a season pass.  We decided on a small hiking trail as the weather turned out to be nice.

Monday after making the mistake of following the GPS which wanted to bring us in the west entrance via logging roads that has been closed for years we finally made it to the south entrance and visitors center.  This brought us to Dacey pond and and a hike to Little and Big Niagara Falls.  It was a pretty hike and not to strenuous.  Whoever named the falls have never been to Niagara but that is another story.

Tuesday we headed back to the North entrance and tried our hand at some "real" hiking.  We headed to south branch pond and one of its peaks.  It was a two mile hike straight up.  OK it seemed like it was straight up with everyone trying to keep son in sight.  He's 17 y/o and runs six miles for fun - not an easy task keeping up.  We went from 1200 feet to 2600 feet.  The view was beautiful. 

Wednesday we headed into the big city - Houlton.  We started at the historical museum.  It is housed in an old Victorian that also has the chamber of commerce office.  We had to wait for it to be opened - didn't realize we needed an appointment.  Lee and his wife Sandy were there in no time and gave us a tour.  Lee is retired USPS and has an obvious love for the town and its history.  He made the museum a real high point of the trip.  We then hit the Houlton Dairy for ice cream and their famous awful awful (really that is the name).  It is a milk shake with a scoop of soft serve on top.  I had an awful awful hard top (hard ice cream).  They make all of their own ice cream from the local dairy. 

Thursday we headed to the Katahdin Iron Works.  We stopped in Milo at the cemetery first.  They have a beautiful veterans memorial.  Stones for each branch of the service.  Plaques for every war.  It was very nicely done.  Heartbreaking as well.  The iron furnaces have not been burning for over a century but you can still smell it.  Amazing.

Friday the girls rented kayaks and the boys a canoe.  We toured the south branch pond.  I wish I had brought my camera with me but I was afraid to get it wet.  I'm not sure a picture would do justice to the view of the mountains surrounding the lake.  After a picnic lunch we hiked the nature trail.  It ends with an overlook of the pond.  Stunning.

Saturday we made the return trip stopping once again in Freeport.  We did a little more shopping and had lunch at Jameson Tavern.  I must say it is some of the best clam chowder I've ever had.  A stop at the New Hampshire state liquor store and we were home. 

It was a great trip.  The kids enjoyed it.  Two of the nights the kids wanted to just hang at the resort so hubby and I had dinner dates to ourselves and brought take out home for the kids.  And take out was not from a chain but Craig's down the street.