Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baby Computer Geek

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but Duncan is quickly developing some computer skills I didn't possess until my 30's and early 40's. He already points and clicks like a pro; more recently, he has enjoyed looking at my pictures in iPhoto.  On this particular day, he figured out how to rotate pictures and laughed like a hyena as he turned people sideways and upside down.

Dutchess County Fair

I had wanted to go to the Dutchess County Fair for quite some time...roughly, since 1987, but it had never worked out for a variety of reasons, many of them involving Jamie's lack of interest. Then, in August, Jamie decided to take Duncan on a weekday that I was doing tutor training. I was disappointed but understood the folly of going on the last Saturday of the fair. Much to my glee, Duncan and Jamie didn't get to see everything they wanted to in one day, so off we went to the last Saturday of the Dutchess County Fair. It was a blast! How could anyone not want to go? It started as a rainy day, but we stuck it out and were rewarded for our perseverance. We took in a marionette show, watched adults dressed in animal costumes high dive, and witnessed dock diving dogs going for the long jump in a large pool of water. We ate junk food, visited newborn cows, and enjoyed Gary the Silent Clown. Mind you, these are all the things Duncan and Jamie had already done at the fair...We didn't get to a single animal or food display, but we did ride $20 worth of Duncan-sized rides. It was a great day and a perfect way to end the summer.  Next year, we might even visit the goats!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Theresa, Jamie, and Duncan Take a Ride (on Thomas)

A Day Out With Thomas

I expected A Day Out With Thomas to involve long lines and people dedicated to relieving me of the contents of my wallet, and in that respect, it did deliver.  All in all, though, it was a good time. Duncan loves trains and welcomes any excuse to go for a ride; the fact that this one was pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine was an added bonus. We went for a ride, ate some food that was bad for us, saw Sir Topham Hat, did some Thomas related artwork, and bought Thomas souvenirs. Duncan enjoyed the day thoroughly.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Three, two, one, BLAST OFF!

No, it's not a rocket; it's not a missile; it's my newest brainchild. Some colleagues and I have started a blog devoted to young adult literature. Our primary goal is to share the great books we read (and some that are not necessarily so great). Check it out! If you like it, think about subscribing. See what's on our bedside tables at Chicks with Picks.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hill-Stead Museum

If you only have 90 minutes to see a Monet, head to Farmington, CT, to visit Hill-Stead Museum. Hill-Stead was originally built by Alfred and Ada Pope and their daughter Theodate. Theodate first fell in love with Farmington when she attended Miss Porter's school. After her graduation, she convinced her parents to purchase the property, and she helped to design the house, the outbuildings, and the garden. A survivor of the Lusitania,
Theodate became one of the earliest female architects in the United States, she later designed the buildings of Avon Old Farms School, which she founded and oversaw from 1922 to 1946.

Alfred Pope was an avid art collector. On a trip to Europe, he picked early works by then-unknown artists, such as Monet, Manet, Degas, and Whistler. Those paintings remain part of the estate and displayed throughout the historic, Colonial Revival home. The estate was later taken over by their daughter Theodate and her husband John Wallace Riddle.

Jamie and I visited Hill-Stead primarily to see the art work, which is indeed stunning. The house tour, however, was one of the best and most interest we have seen. Hill-Stead was designed as a working farm, and miles of walking trails remain part of the estate. Unfortunately, the ground was a bit wet the day we visited, and we didn't get to hike much, but we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the pond, a man made structure designed as a water hazard for Alfred Pope's 6 hole golf course. We also enjoyed the sunken garden, complete with pergola, summer house, and sundial.

Finish your trip to Farmington with lunch at The Grist Mill Restaurant, overlooking the Farmington River. Dare to have dessert; you did walk the grounds after all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Today was off. All in all, it was a day of discontentment. Duncan whined a lot, I had fantasy plans to do a lot of things I didn't get to do, and I spent a lot of time doing things I didn't so much care about. I'm already wishing for a day to myself, in the house, to get some things done. At this point, I'd need at least two days; one to clean and one to catch up on everything else. Here's the lowdown.

Things I Had to Do:

grocery shopping
futile trip to auto parts store for wipers; they were closed
3 loads of laundry
at least two sinks full of dishes
pay Duncan's preschool tuition
drop off car at North East Muffler for yet more work
dinner (pork chops, macaroni and cheese, kale with pine nuts and raisins)
restock Duncan's emergency clothes for school

Things I Wanted to Do but Didn't:

walk 3 miles
write some of the blog entries queued up in my Stickies
finish Patricia Cornwell book
bake zucchini muffins
drop off Karl's vegetables
clean out masses of catalogs
order Jamie's birthday present
pick out cheesecake recipe for Jamie's birthday
pick apples and blueberries at Ellsworth

Things I Wound Up Doing That I Hadn't Planned to Get Done (or, YAY ME!):

grated and froze 2 zucchini for later use in muffins
made and froze 1 batch of pesto (first of the season, believe it or not)
pruned moldy leaves from squash, hopefully to let new leaves grow
counted the butternut squash (3! Woot!)
planted new crop of peas and beans
made enough macaroni and cheese to freeze 2 more meals

I'm tired. It was definitely a day of labor. Thankfully, I had tomorrow morning's OSHA presentation about blood borne pathogens to look forward to...and swiss chard again tomorrow. Good-bye summer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three Blind Mice

I live in the country so I expect some mice now and then. It's part of the charm. We've been relatively lucky here in this house. We sometimes hear them in the walls, and we know they're around, but we haven't seen any actually IN our apartment. There have definitely been mice in the basement, and there was an infestation in the downstairs apartment last year. I know we've been pretty lucky in the vermin department. But here's the thing. Every mouse we have actually encountered has been the victim of some bizarre mouse mishap. We could have our own TV show...something like Cops...about our mice. Bad boys, bad boys...whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

The first was last winter when a small mouse wedged himself into the hole under our front door between the foundation and the basement. Jamie found him frozen solid and had to wait until he thawed to remove him. The second was the infamous mouse in the air conditioner vent in the CRV this summer, who died, got wet and slimy, and had to be removed with our barbecue tongs (after chewing up the iPod adapter, a pack of Kleenex, and the air conditioner filter). Tonight, I went to the basement to dry the load of laundry I washed last night. As I fished out the laundry from the washer, I discovered the laundry was moving. Then I discovered the laundry was squeaking; I screamed like a girl, dropped the wet clothes on the basement floor, and went upstairs to announce to an unconcerned Jamie that there was a live mouse in the washer. Jamie caught the soaking wet, shaking, and probably hungry mouse in a flower pot, and he and Duncan released him in the woods, where he walked around in disoriented circles.

And then we went to the faculty party. A day in the life...