Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Lot About A Little

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." I'm not sure who said that, but ain't it the truth. Life has certainly been happening to me this year. Here are a few random thoughts about the year 2010.

The human body can endure a lot of self-inflicted abuse like stress, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, and too little sleep. It eventually catches up with you. Get out from in front of the computer (after you finish reading this, or course) and stretch, each some fresh fruits or veggies, take a walk, breathe deeply. You'll be glad you did.

You can spend a ridiculous amount of money going to the top of the tallest building in North America and stepping out into a box that looks like you are standing in mid-air. But your child will have more fun sitting in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago learning about acoustics. Yes, in this lobby you can sit in chairs across the lobby (say 100 yards at least) from each other, talk in a low volume voice, and carry on a conversation with the person across they way from you. At no charge, no less.

For all my gambling friends, I have a new pool for you to join. You see, every time Kilowatt goes out of town, something weird happens. Last weekend was the best one yet - he left on Friday night. At 2AM Saturday morning a drunk driver hit a utility pole down the road, and out goes the power. When the power goes out, we have all these things that beep. Loudly. I finally manage to doze off around 4AM. At 4:30, the power comes back on. Cue the beeps. Oh well, at least I should sleep well on Saturday night, right?

Saturday night arrives -- Diva and I are watching a movie when we hear a roaring sound. Since we live in the flight path for the airport, I thought it was just a really big plane. But it didn't get any closer, and the house started shaking. Yes, it was an earthquake. Now NH doesn't get many earthquakes, so what are the chances that the first one I've felt in the 25 years I've lived here would happen while Kilowatt is out of town? Yep, good gambling odds for the house.

So what's next? We've had floods and windstorms. I'm thinking meteors.... Would you like a warning the next time he goes out of town?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Live, from New Hampshire, it's Wild!

I have returned! Yes, I survived yet another semester of doctoral study. I'll have a nice update post someday, maybe. But in the meantime our local paper has had news that I just had to share...

Only in New Hampshire...:
Today, a 'teenaged' moose caused one of the largest high schools in the state to be on a semi-lock down. Yep, teen moose have the same problem as teen humans - the raging hormones make them think in a less than rational manner.

But this isn't all the 'wild' news of the week. Just two days ago we had a similar incident a bit farther south - but this time it was a bear. Since I had two 'teenaged' bears wander through my yard earlier this year (and take down my bird feeder) I can certainly understand why we might not want to have kids near them.

This is why I love this state!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Girl!

Diva has been on a Destination Imagination team since 2nd grade, so yesterday was her 5th competition. For the last three years (since they entered the competitive level) her team has just missed progressing to the state tournament. We've dried our fair share of tears each year as the winners are announced, and twice our team has finished 3rd when only two teams move forward.
This year they picked the most popular challenge, which is both good and bad. Good because with nine teams competing in their division, the top three are moving forward. Bad because the odds weren't quite as good this year as last year with a smaller field.

When two very impressive teams took 4th & 5th place, we were a bit worried. Did we finish out of the top 5? Then came the floor drumroll - and Diva's team once again took 3rd - which this time earned them a trip to the state tournament!

This photo says it all:

Friday, March 12, 2010

O Time, Time, wherefore art thou time?

Something has been stolen from my house. The clever thief snuck in and took it while I was surfing the Internet or something. Because it cannot possibly already be the middle of March, and it can't be Friday yet.

This week was my spring break - no classes to prep for, no 3 hour commutes, just time to catch up on everything I've fallen behind on since December. Last Saturday morning I joyously prepared my to do list for the week, knowing I'd get to mark a lot off of it. Yes, by the time break was over I'd be savoring the feeling of accomplishment that comes with seeing all those items with lines through them. I had 15 items on that list - and 9 days to get them done.

Granted, three of them involved writing 15 page papers. Another is a 40 hour statistics exercise. So these aren't necessarily simple items. But surely at least a couple will get crossed off....

And now it's Friday. Tonight Diva has ice practice for 2 hours. Tomorrow is the Destination Imagination marathon (no, it's not that kind of marathon, it's the kind where you arrive for your kid's activity at 7AM and don't get to leave until 8PM). Sunday chalk us up for 5 hours at the rink. So what's done now is pretty much what's going to get done.

I have two items crossed off my list, but one of them, laundry, has made a mysterious reappearance. That thief who took my time left behind dirty clothes. And to add insult to injury, this weekend we lose an hour - yep - while springing forward 1AM - 2AM just disappears....

So if you see that time thief - stop him - and get my time back. Spring break can't already be over!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Add these to your shopping list....

Things have been quite crazy around here, and I just haven't been able to find time to blog. Until this weekend, when things screeched to a crashing halt. It all started with a really ugly weather forecast Thursday night. High winds, driving rain -- not exactly normal for New England in February. A foot of snow would be normal... Because it was school vacation week, Diva and I were up late watching the Olympics when the storm started. As the first of many 50+ mph wind gusts came through, it occurred to me that perhaps sitting in our family room with windows on three sides and big trees nearby might not be the best idea. So we moved into the main part of the house to read.

A little before midnight I heard the first crash. A peak out the windows showed something might be on fire, but it was hard to tell. The wind was blowing so hard it sounded like the siding was being pulled off the house - we later discovered it was our empty recycling bin that had been pushed about 10 feet, sideways, and into the side of the house. Then came the big flash of light, followed by a loud crash, and darkness.

Kilowatt grabbed an industrial strength flashlight (where does he buy this stuff?) and stepped out onto the front porch. Lying across the middle of the street were the power lines that service our house. I dutifully called to report the downed power lines blocking the roadway. We tried to get some sleep with the constant wind gusts. At 3AM the chainsaws started - turns out there was also a tree blocking the road that the flashlight couldn't quite illuminate. Here's the view the next morning:

The trees took out our power lines, and our cable too. We have a generator, so losing the cable (broadband Internet access) was actually worse than losing electricity! At lunch we headed out in search of warm food and free WiFi. We noticed a lot of trees uprooted just like this one in our neighbor's yard:

After this, I realized I need to add a few items to my shopping list for winter weather survival:
1) Generac generator - no electricity - make your own
2) 5 gallon gas cans - because you have to have something to run that generator
3) Weber grill - because that generator won't run a stove or microwave AND your furnace.
4) Poland Springs bottled water - unless you are lucky enough to be on city water (we are!)
5) Smartphone - so when your cable goes out, you can still get news from Twitter
6) Small TV set, DVD player, and DVD's - so you can respond to "Mom, I'm bored..."

At the moment, cable is back, and we are running on hour 70 of so of generator power. But here's the view outside my front door:

So maybe we won't hit hour 80!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Pause to Bring You This Commercial Message

This week I've enjoyed watching the posts over at that social networking site where all my friends who live a bit south of here are discussing the panic that has set in as they are preparing for 2-4 inches of snow in Southern IL, KY and TN. One friend is hoping to get enough snow to build a 1 inch snowman, another just wants enough to make snow angels. All have visited the grocery store to stock up on supplies. My dear friend Hula has described the scenario beautifully here.

Meanwhile, here in NH Kilowatt's cousin is just settling in to the NH way of life. She described her Christmas gifts, and most of them involved wool or other heavy materials.

In Northern IL, my brother is tiring of shoveling his driveway by hand as another 8 inches of snow is forecast.

All this leads me to present this commercial message designed to assist you in your shopping for winter related items, detailing the brands I just couldn't live without during our long NH winters.

1. John Deere - you may recall my new best friend from last year. Keeps the driveways clean.
2. Subaru Forester- It may not be sporty, but it loves the snow.
3. LL Bean - outerwear (coats, hats, boots, gloves) - need I say more?
4. Cuddl Duds - think layers, lots of them, that still allow you to move
5. Eucerin - hand creme for serious dry hands (works on feet too)
6. Teavana - because we all need something warm to drink, and not just in the morning.
7. Kleenex - I really don't have to explain this, do I?
8. Ricola - See #7
9. Polartec - soft, fuzzy fleece with a great story (Malden Mills)
and, last but not least....
10. Southwest Airlines - nonstop service to Orlando. So what if it is only 50 degrees there - that's swimming weather!