Sunday, September 30, 2007

North Conway

Good Morning

It's a crisp and chilly morning (49 degrees F last time I looked) but the sun is out and the birds and other assorted critters are chirping up a storm out there. I went out on the deck to have my coffee but a major case of chattering teeth and goosebumps got me back inside.

Yesterday was a really nice day here and Eric and I went up to North Conway to check out what Mother Nature was doing up there. I called him earlier in the day to see if I could stop by on my way back from the mountains to drop off a few things and he asked if I could just pick him up on my way up north and he would go along for the ride. We decided to make a sight seeing/shopping trip out of it since there is an Outlet Mall in North Conway. His girlfriend Jessie has a birthday coming up in a few weeks so it sounded like a good idea to have him with me to give me some ideas on what to get her.
I picked him up around noon and we had a very good time. I really enjoy the one on one time I have with each of my kids because that's when I really find out what's going on with them, what they are thinking about, what plans they are making, and all this is done without prying. We've always had an open and communicative relationship and they always feel comfortable discussing things with me. I think because I listen and I am supportive without being intrusive, they just open up. Eric is the quiet one, thoughtful, a bit pensive. He's not one for small talk but once you get him interested in something, he's full of ideas and opinions. We talked about everything from baseball and football to purchasing a home. (I may have a buyer when I am ready to sell my house.) It is so rewarding to see that my baby boy is thinking and talking like a grown up, which is a good thing since he is almost 25. :-)
I was a little disappointed that the foliage up there wasn't more advanced but we did stop in Tamworth at Chocorua Lake and I took a few photos. I might go up to Lake Winnipesaukee in another week or so. I am sure the colors will be much brighter by then.
We stopped at the Outlet Mall and it was pretty crowded but I found a place to park right off. I am not sure how many stores they have there but we walked around for about an hour and a half and I know we probably only saw half of them. I ended up blowing most of my money at the Yankee Candle shop but I got some really good deals. I picked up a birthday gift for Rose while I was there and since Jessie loves decorating for the holidays and other events I got her a really cute ceramic candle holder for Halloween. It had ghosts and scarecrows and pumpkins all around it and Eric thinks she will love it. It was only $15 so I also got her a seasonal candle to go with it. We then stopped at a bookstore and I found a book that I am sure Rose will enjoy so I was very lucky to be able to get all of that done. The only birthday gift left is Eric's and I have all month to pick that up.
Eric couldn't find anything he liked for Jessie but he enjoyed shopping for himself. (Another thing I didn't know about my son.) He really liked the Bass factory outlet and picked up a couple of fleece pullovers and 2 sweatshirts for work. Everything was 40% off and since he has a $200 clothing allowance at work, he will be reimbursed and still have money leftover to pick up some pants.
We stopped for dinner on the way home and Eric convinced me to try some calamari, which I swore I would never eat. It wasn't bad. I think what I ate were the rings or the suction cups as Eric called them, but I drew the line at eating the tentacles.
The rest of dinner was pretty good and we left there pretty full. I dropped him off at his apartment and then started for home myself.

Along the way I was thinking about dropping by Sara's place which is only 10 minutes away from where Eric lives. I was about to give her a call when my phone started ringing. It was a bit weird seeing my own phone number come up on the caller ID. I didn't know the dog could actually dial the phone. Sara was there visiting and was wondering where I was. I told her I was at her house wondering the same thing. LOL
I was about 45 minutes away but she agreed to stick around so I went on home. She stayed a couple of hours and we had a nice visit. It was pretty much a perfect day.

I've added a few pictures from yesterday's adventure including one at the lake where an old guy was actually going for his daily swim. Mind you it was only about 60 degrees when we were there but he says he goes in every day until the end of October and he finds it very invigorating. Yeah ok...well that's one word to describe it. LOL I personally think he's crazy. You can tell the leaves are just starting to change and it will be absolutely gorgeous in another week or two.

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's F R I D A Y !!!

Good Morning. Happy Friday to you!

It sure feels good not having to go to work today. My week has been exceptionally long and I surely am looking forward to not having to deal with the BS for a few days. It's been a week since I did the physical inventory and one seems to see that we have over 400 units that have to be shipped by the end of October and we have very few parts to build with. I don't understand how they run their stock room or how the planners and purchasers have managed to keep their jobs but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that no parts means no builds and eventually that will mean no business. We have 7 people in our department alone with little or nothing to do. Yet, my manager seems to be turning a blind eye to that. One girl who sits in the corner of the room keeps a paperback book on her work bench and has done quite a bit of reading the last few weeks. Another does word search puzzles to pass the time. I've started taking walks through the building just to kill some time. It all makes no sense to me. We keep hearing about all this work we have but I've yet to see it.
Yesterday the CEO provided a BBQ lunch for us all to celebrate a huge contract that they got with the Marine Corps. We had burgers and dogs, mac salad, cole slaw, Italian sausages, chicken and all the fixins. They also had strawberry shortcake and chocolate cake for dessert. The food was really good and we took our sweet time eating and relaxing afterwards. No one was in any hurry to get back to work, that's for sure. The benefit from all that was the rest of the afternoon went by a bit better because we were all hyped up from the sugar.

I did my grocery shopping after work so I could just get it out of the way. I have to get the dog's nails clipped this morning and then I am going to visit my parents. This afternoon I am going to the hospital to visit my friend Elaine who has been there since Sunday. She has been having a lot of dizziness and says the room keeps spinning out of control, so badly that she is nauseous and can't stand up or walk without losing her balance. She's been diagnosed with Meniere's disease which is an abnormality of the inner ear with symptoms similar to vertigo. She had a bad fall a few years ago and broke a small bone in her inner ear which the doctors feel is the root of all of her problems. She was able to walk with a walker for 65 paces yesterday but they aren't going to let her go home until she can get up and walk unassisted and without all of the dizziness. The medications she is on make her a bit loopy too so I don't think they are going to want her to be home alone.

I was watching the news last night and they showed some photos of the foliage way up in Northern New Hampshire. Looks really nice up there! I am thinking I should take a drive either Saturday or Sunday and have a look for myself. The weather is supposed to be better tomorrow so I'm going to put the word out and see if I can get someone to come along with me. If not, I will go alone. I have no problems with that.

Monday I have someone coming to clean my furnace. I purposely made the appointment for early in the morning so I won't be tied to the house all day and I can take off and go after he is done. I also have to get over to my son's apartment sometime this weekend and drop off some mail and things that belong to him.

In my preparations for winter, I had the oil changed in my car and all of the fluids changed and/or topped off. I also had my septic tank sumped out last week. I have a tank full of heating oil and I have 500 additional gallons paid for and on reserve. So I am pretty much good to go for winter. Now all I need is to pay my taxes in December. Then I will be totally broke. :-(

We had heavy rain and severe thunderstorms all through the night but the sun is trying to break through the clouds right now. It may shape up to be a nice day afterall.

One of the biggest county fairs is going on this weekend in Deerfield, NH. The fairgrounds are about 12 miles from my house and there's usually a lot of traffic around Deerfield and my town. I am sure it's going to be a mad house around here all weekend especially since the weather is going to co-operate. I will be staying as far away from the fairgrounds as humanly possible since I really have no desire to be stuck in traffic and I am not a huge fan of the enormous crowds.

It's time to jump in the shower and get my butt in gear. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This and That

Boy am I glad to have a couple of days off from work. Even with my added computer duties, I am bored out of my mind. Thursday morning I took it upon myself to do a complete physical inventory of all the parts we have on the line. I was very thorough. I collected every wire and screw and counted them all by hand, no scales involved. Which wasn't so bad because we really didn't have that much on the line to begin with. How could we since we are all doing something other than what we are supposed to do? The reason for our lack of parts is mostly because we finished our government contract and we don't have another set in stone just yet to begin working on. I have heard all sorts of rumors but nothing with a signature on it and without that, no one is going to issue parts. Makes sense. We also have a few small orders floating around that we work on sporadicly but again, nothing for the future so material control isn't going to give us parts if there isn't an order to ship it against. It's ridiculous, really. The company is losing tons of money with all these people out of work. Some have been temporarily transferred to other departments but there are a lot of departments in my building who are in the same boat we are in. Anyway, I finished the inventory by lunch time and then got started on the scrap. I collected everyone's scrap from their work stations, separated it, bagged it then logged it. By the end of the day I turned it into my bosses office so she can turn it in and get replacement parts. That should keep a few people busy for maybe an hour or so.

I decided to put in for a vacation day and get some things done around the house that I have been putting off. One thing is to get my furnace cleaned before winter sets in. The other thing I need done is to have my septic tank cleaned out. I made an appointment for the furnace for October 1st and hopefully on Monday I can get a hold of the septic dude and get him to come on the same day. I will also see about getting the dog's nails done that afternoon. I have almost 100 hours of vacation time to use and I think I have 50 hours of sick time on the books too. May as well make use of some of it.

I got up this morning and it was gloomy and rainy outside so I went back to bed. When I woke up a couple hours later, the sun was shining and it was getting warm. I made some coffee and read a magazine for awhile, then watched Survivor OnDemand. I had the show on Thursday evening but got a phone call just as it started so I ended up missing most of it. I think it's going to be an interesting show this season, in China. I like James, the Gravedigger, and John Robert, the poker player. Of course they both are strong and have leadership qualities...which usually means the targets will be on their backs.

The leaves are starting to change around here and every time the wind blows, it looks like it is raining yellow, brown and red. Parts of my back yard are covered in leaves while other sections are still showing signs of green grass. Acorns are ALL over the place. Definitely an abundant supply for the squirrels and chipmunks this winter and believe me, they have been gathering as much as they can carry. I've seen a lot of activity around the back yard the last week or so. That usually means we will be in for a rough winter. We shall see.

I bought all the ingredients to bake bread so I think I will go get busy doing that. It's easy but time consuming so I can get the dough made and while it is going through the rising process, I can get my housework done. Maybe. The Red Sox don't play until tonight and I am not into college football so there shouldn't be a whole lot to distract me. But when it comes to housework, I am easily distracted.

Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Busy Busy Weekend

It's been a very busy weekend and I am exhausted. I am looking forward to my bed tonight, no doubt about that!

The family and I had a blast Friday night at Crystal's going away party. There were 15 of us in all and Crystal was very happy that we all were there. She's nervous, as expected, but anxious to get the ball rolling. There was plenty of chinese food to go around and pretty fruity drinks were had by all. I know there is a group photo on someone's camera and as soon as I get a copy of one I will post it. For now, here are a few shots that I took.

Crystal's sister Shana, my nephew Sean, my brother Henry, my dad, Jacqueline and my brother Dave, my son Eric

my daughter Sara, my mom, Crystal, Crystal's other grandmother, Crystal's stepfather Al and Crystal's mother Robin


After the party I went over to see Paul. He was going to go to the party but ended up staying on the job site late to finish up since it was going to rain on Saturday and he wouldn't be able to work. He left this morning for Albany, NY on another job and will be gone for most of the week. :-( Gotta make hay while the sun shines. It will soon be winter which is a very slow season for him work wise, so may as well take the work while he can get it.

I went to Maine on Saturday. Good company, good food, I had a lot of fun. It's always good to see my other family up there. Rick and Blossom always make me feel like I am at home. I'm not considered company anymore. :-) Dinner was fantastic. Rick made his delicious spaghetti sauce and we had pasta and garlic bread, and Pup Pup made a huge pot of chili which was very yummy. Tweetie, Pup, Gene and Nikki were there and Mazz stopped by for a quick visit. There were a few other friends of Ricks and some family members also popped in for dinner and a visit. We stayed up late drinking and talking, (and laughing a LOT).

I got home today around 2pm and did my laundry, made some dinner and I am pretty much ready to hit the sheets. A very busy and FUN weekend.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trying to catch up

It's been awhile, I know, and I haven't been super busy this week but I also haven't had a lot to talk about. Not much happening this side of the country, except the weather has been a little weird. Last weekend we were enjoying (matter of opinion of course) 95 degree weather with humidity and today is barely made it to 70 and was windy and cool. Saturday was the worst, 95 at least and very humid. I pretty much stayed inside all day since I wasn't feeling all that great anyway. Nothing I can point my finger on, just feeling lazy, tired, just under the weather I guess. I was in bed by 8pm and was up before 5am Sunday morning. I made breakfast since I hadn't eaten dinner the night before and I was pretty hungry, and watched Brokeback Mountain on HBO. I popped into chat Sunday morning to listen to someone's Inspirational Stream, (y'all can guess who)and after watching everyone go into shock, enjoyed the music and everyone's company for a bit.

I did some cleaning and roasted a chicken in the afternoon while switching between the baseball and football games. That was pretty much my day, had dinner around 5, finished reading my book, and watched TV.

The week hasn't been any more exciting. We had rain all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but it cleared up today. Cool tough, but good for sleeping. Work has picked up just a little bit and I've been able to keep busy doing my job and helping Sue with a lot of the data entry. My manager is impressed and has ordered another computer so Sue doesn't have to share hers with me. Hopefully in a week or so I will have my own computer set up on the production floor. Just one more step to a promotion I am thinking. :-)

Friday night is my niece's going away party. As you may know, Crystal has joined the Navy and is leaving for boot camp on September 18th. She's very excited and I think this will be a really good adventure for her. She wanted to go to college but decided that joining the Navy would be a good way to get a college education and see the world a bit all at the expense of Uncle Sam. The Navy is probably the safest for her right now with Iraq going on and all because she won't be allowed on a sub and the Navy is patrolling the seaports and not immediately involved in combat. Anyway, the party is being held at a Chinese food restaurant near my brother's house and it promises to be a good time. I plan on having my share of Mai Tai's. :-) I will con one of my kids into taking pics...since I really suck at it.

I have been invited to Maine to see the Mainiacs on Saturday. I am seriously thinking about going. It's always a good time, that's for sure.

OK I am heading for the sofa. Hope you are all enjoying the week so far.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm baaaack!

Howdy Howdy. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. The weather sure was great on the East Coast, that's for sure. Hot and sunny during the day and cool at night. Just perfect in my book and so far this week has been pretty much the same.

My trip to Jersey was good. The drive went pretty well until I got to New York City. Of course I tried my best to get there before rush hour traffic but I should have left home an hour or so earlier because everyone seemed to have the same plan and I got stuck in traffic several times along the route, particularly in the Providence, Rhode Island and New Haven, Connecticut areas. I also missed a turn somewhere on the highway in the NYC area and ended up going over 4 of the 5 Borough bridges which were also quite congested. That wonderful screw up added another hour to my travel time. I did figure out on my return trip what I did wrong and made the trip home in 5 hours instead of 6.5. I won't make that mistake again, I can assure you. I thought driving in Boston was bad but getting through the NYC area is pure HELL. I didn't even venture off the highway and go into the city. That would be insanity. Even staying on the highway I went past the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The only place I didn't get a view of was Harlem, which I am really all set with.

I've been to Jersey before but not this part of Jersey. My friend lives in Elizabeth which is right across the the Goethals Bridge. Once I made it out of Manhattan, I was at his apartment building in less that 15 minutes. I could have kissed the New Jersey soil but I really had to use the bathroom. I had already been on the phone and told him to open the door and clear a path cos emptying my bladder was my number 1 priority. We could hug and all that fun stuff after I went pee. :-)

After a tour of the apartment, we sat down and talked for hours. I hadn't seen Kenny in quite a few years and had never met his room mate, Ron, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Kenny is a friend from school and he's lived in and around NYC for over 25 years. He's done all kinds of interesting artsy things like acting in several small stage productions and he's played in a couple of rock bands, he's worked in a museum, waited tables and worked in a deli. He also helped an ex girlfriend get started on her freelance sculpting and painting career by introducing her to some key people and setting her up in Central Park sketching, painting and displaying her art for sale.
Before we knew it, it was after 8pm and we were all getting hungry. Kenny got started on his delicious homemade mac and cheese and Ron kept me company by showing me a photo album filled with his family's pictures and photos of his vacation last winter in Mexico.
After dinner it was really warm in the apartment so Kenny and I went for a walk around town. I was ever so grateful since I am not a fan of the heat. They have a small 2 bedroom apartment and the heat from the kitchen really warmed up the entire place. By the time we got back it was almost midnight and had cooled off quite a bit.
Ron was kind enough to give up his bed for the weekend and he had already made up the futon in the living room and was just about asleep by the time we got back. I headed off to bed myself...but of course I was in a strange place with lots of city noises and I had a hard time falling asleep. I think it was well after 2am by the time my eyes closed.

We were up around 8 and Ron headed off to work. Kenny wanted to take me down to the open air market before it got too hot so off we went. It was crowded but a lot of fun and wow soooo much food. We bought all kinds of veggies for a salad for Saturday night's dinner and had fresh bagels and cream cheese at a little bakery for breakfast. I also bought a fresh loaf of bread. It was right out of the oven and still pretty hot. Oh Lord it smelled sooooo good. We went back to the car and loaded it up, then took a walk to the park down by the river. He's used to walking everywhere and riding the trains and subways. I am used to sitting my fat ass in my car and driving everywhere. I have to admit, it wasn't long before my legs were ready to fall off. I would never survive in the city.

Saturday afternoon we watched the New York Yankees baseball game on television. (Yuck) LOL OK I love baseball but I am a Red Sox fan and Red Sox fans HATE the Yankees. It was very difficult sitting through that and watching the Yankees win and listening to Kenny brag about how wonderful they are compared to the Red Sox. We will see who wins the World Series next month and I will bet it won't be the Yankees!

Saturday night we made up the salad and Ron brought home steaks and grilled them for dinner. They were delicious, and I have to admit, I was liking the thought of two men doing all the cooking for me. I definitely was Queen for the weekend.

Sunday Kenny and I went back to the park by the river because they were having a Riverfest type of thing and a free concert going on that afternoon. There were a couple of local bands set to play and several booths were set up selling crafts and food and some of the local businesses were promoting their services. Definitely a party atmosphere and we stayed most of the afternoon walking around and listening to the music. There's nothing like really good cheap entertainment. Before going home, we met Ron and his friend Gina and her 2 girls for pizza. Gina said I looked like I was ready to drop. I have to admit, I was exhausted but I had a blast.

Monday morning I had a quick breakfast and hit the road by 11am. I got detailed written directions out of the city without having to go through Staten Island and I was grateful for that. The drive home was actually quite uneventful but I was really happy to see my exit. I was more happy to see my puppy, who greeted me with lots of kisses when I walked in the door. (Eric was sweet enough to come over every day and feed him and take him out for a walk.) I got home around 4pm, took a shower and got the laundry started. I slept like a baby Monday night and hated to get up Tuesday (and today for that matter) to go to work. I hope to get to bed earlier tonight so I can catch up on my sleep.

Oh and while I was gone, someone took a baseball bat to my mailbox. There is a nice dent on the side and I had to bend part of the door back into shape so the door would stay closed. My dad bought me this mailbox last Christmas after my old one was beaten to a pulp by another bat. A few years ago I had to replace my original mailbox because someone hit it with their car and destroyed it. I don't know which is worse...the mailbox vandals or the egg throwers. Either way, it ends up costing me money. If I ever catch one of those little so and so's...I will use their bats on their own heads.

Ok Time to make some dinnah!

Have a good evening, everyone and enjoy the wonderful weather!