Friday, May 28, 2010

Island Time

Here's how things work around here.

We have days on end of Nothing Much Going On, followed by Holy Cow How Are We Ever Gonna Get It All Done.

Yesterday began two days of the latter.

We survived yesterday. In fact, we capped it off with an impromptu margarita celebration last night.
(Highly recommend.)

In a few short hours, I am headed back to the Deep Dark Woods, where there is (/are)
  • No Electricity
  • No Running Water
  • An Outhouse
  • Mosquitoes
  • Blackflies
  • Deerflies
  • Bears
  • Coyotes
  • Moose
  • The Blair Witch
(Trying to forget I mentioned that last one. It really adds another dimension to those "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom" in the middle of the night outhouse runs. )

I've heard that this is the best mosquito repellant there is.
I'm going to try it out.
I'll let you know.


These are my rules for the next few days:

This is one of the reasons I need a vacation:


I drove the truck, the trailer, and the boat down to the ferry yesterday.
Nobody was injured or maimed.

(I chickened out in the end, and got one of the guys to actually put it on the ferry. The spare tire was ON the trailer, and if I hit the rails on the ramp, I would pop a tire. Then what?)

Tammy found the whole thing infinitely funny. She's still laughing this morning.

But all this running around, and planning, and braving wild animals gets us here:


And here...

Which means we get to do this...

So it's all good.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, please send somebody to look for my rotting corpse, which will undoubtedly have been eaten by bears. And mosquitoes. Or The Blair Witch.
And will likely be located near the outhouse.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This is my favorite house.

It is not my house. I have no idea who owns it, only that it belongs to an elderly couple.
They were an elderly couple 14 years ago, when I lived in this county and would occasionally drive past their immaculately maintained house.

Their grass is always mowed. Perfectly.

The house is never in need of a coat of paint.

It is always clean. Once I saw Him, outside, working on a tractor. Even the tools were neatly lined up.
I almost cried my little OCD heart out.

The house sits on a corner. As you turn the corner, you can see the back.



I've never seen it any other way. Immaculate.

But gets better.

Across the street from this house is a field. I can only assume they own the field as well, because he mows that, too.
Of course, he may just be mowing the field because he wants to.

Between his house and the field, there is this:

There used to be a birdbath in the middle there...


I could fill a photo album with the pictures I've taken of this house over the years.
I'm sure they think I'm a Stalker.
I'm sure I'm the only person who parks in the middle of the street to take pictures of their house and yard.
I can only hope they're flattered.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food Porn

Marissa can't come to the phone right now because she is busy playing with dough.


She is rolling out the dough, covering it with good things like olive oil, tons of garlic, basil, and shrimp...

She's doing one after another, covering the countertops with these little gems...

And baking them one by one...

They're being eaten by the omnivorous munchkins who live here as fast as she can bake them.


You can remind her of their calorie content tomorrow when she is moaning that her pants are too tight.
But I don't recommend doing that in person. She bites.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Deep Dark Woods

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, it was dark anyway.

Smack dab in the middle of our Spring Break, The Big Guy conned me into going to Camp.

There were long and winding roads.

There were woods and trees.

There were hills and dales.

This is more road than there is on the whole of our island.

I can't tell you how much I miss the woods. And driving. Faster than 25mph.
And being the only car on the road for 4 days. Four days!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Movin' On Up

That's it. I'm moving to mexico, and sneaking back in the USA.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

We are firm believers in Giving To Others, and we make sure our kids share our belief system.

The majority of people in this world are more than happy that we feel, and act, this way.
They would be termed 'recipients'.

To that end, today, though we try to reserve Sundays for Family Time, The Big Guy volunteered his day to put special rubber strips on the new spiling which supports The! New! Hoist! which is sustaining serious damage from a visiting boat.
That the Town had to spend money to prevent further damage caused by an outside entity is a Bone Of Serious Contention around here. In true Island Fashion, there was misinformation, and some sneaky underhanded doings.
Don't give me that look; it happens in your town, too. You just aren't as aware of it. There are only 38 of us here. We see and hear everything.

In an effort to avoid confrontation, the Town spent taxpayer's money on special rubber strips which are meant to absorb the damage; they can be replaced far more easily and cheaply than the spiling.
If this works, and avoids confrontation, and keeps everybody happy (yeah, that's gonna happen), it was money well spent!

For those of you who don't understand the full import of The! New! Hoist!, I refer you to this story, in which I vow to have a hoist.

And I now vow to protect The! Hoist!.

The kicker is: I have yet to have had occasion to use The Hoist.
I was away during the bulk of the inclement weather dealing with my Mom's brief illness (if you can call it that), and subsequent death, and the winter was a fairly mild one.
Not that there needs to be inclement weather to use The Hoist. We could use it every day, I suppose.

I stand behind the need for The Hoist. Nothing has changed.

And so it was that The Big Guy spent the day bolting rubber to the side of the spiling with 52 lag bolts. Now boats will slide effortlessly up and down the pole with the tide, instead of scraping away at the wood, splintering the spiling.

And because No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, when the job was completed and The Big Guy was putting his tools away, he dropped a wrench overboard.
He hates to lose his tools. It's a throwback to his construction/SeaBee days.

So he looked around the boat for something to use to fish the wrench back up. He found, of all things, the magnetic funeral flag from Ma's funeral. (It had been inadvertently left on our windshield after the service. We drove all the way back to Maine before we noticed it.
Why is it on the boat?
I couldn't say.)

He took the magnet from that flag, and fished the wrench up from the bottom.

And in true Louie Vazza fashion, the magnet wasn't strong enough to get it to the surface! It took four attempts to get it aboard!

We laughed our butts off at that at dinner.
Everybody who knows Louie will get a kick out of that.
Good old Luigi.

Thank You, my husband, for giving up your Sunday to Give Unto Others yet again.
Your reward will be waiting for you in Heaven, I guess, because you aren't getting squat down here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kids and Serial Killers

We interrupt our regular programming because my computer is holding my pictures hostage and we are still in the negotiating stage.

I tried to bribe it with chocolate and wine. It's not budging.
I would have totally caved.

Until I can come up with The Magic Word to get iphoto to release my pictures of camp, I will share my day with you. Which actually started yesterday.

I 've done something to my back. What I did, I don't know, but it hurts to move. But not moving is not an option, so I continue with my regular crazy routine.
Yesterday that routine included a wholesale order for The Bakery. A full day in the kitchen (which I love!).
When all the items were baked, frosted, and drying/cooling, I hit the shower.
Let's just say there was flour....

I was in that shower for about an hour. That hot water felt amazing on my sore back and numb, at least I'm pretty sure it felt amazing on my numb leg.
And then there was loud, insistent banging on the bathroom door.
There was a kid out there, yelling. Insistently. Loudly. Persistently.
Thing Two.
I can't make out what he's saying. And I'm in the shower.
I lean out of the tub for the doorknob. The door is locked. I've been 'visited', more than once, by neighbors. My bathroom is waaaay to close to the front door.
I've learned over the years, if it isn't midnight...lock the bathroom door.

I couldn't reach the door. I step one foot out of the shower. Nekkid.
Can'! Got it!

And I drop to the floor in agony. Nekkid.
Stretching really far distances with a back injury after being on your feet all day...not recommended. Trust me.

I did get the stupid door open. Water is running out of the tub. I move into a hunched-over-the-toilet position. I may have been crying.
Thing Two, for his part, is completely unfazed, and is jabbering a mile a minute.
I focus all my concentration on the words coming out of his mouth:

"Thetoiletupstairsoverflowedandthere'swatereverywhereandIdidn'tdoanythingbutIcan'tmakeitstopand whyareyouonthefloor"

Wait, WHAT?
Is there water running right now?

"Yeah. I need a towel."
He grabs ONE towel, and runs away. Leaving me to die.
(Never mind that there's a closet full of towels upstairs in that bathroom.)

I ate the better part of a bottle of Aleeve. (Just kidding. It was 6.)
I crawled to the couch.

And I forgot all about upstairs. The kids had relocated to the backyard.
When they came in a bit later, Thing Two asked me how I fixed the toilet.

Uh-oh. That's what the funny noise was. I looked over at the stairs.
Where water was trickling down...

I called The Big Guy.
"Your son has been at it again. Bring a snake this time."

We've decided that he is to wear a toilet snake coiled on his belt loop, a la Indiana Jones.
It's the Town's Plumbing's only hope.

* * * * * * *

I woke up this morning feeling like a new woman. I didn't even remember that my back was broken until The Big Guy asked how I was.

"So, How are you?"

I don't answer because there is no speaking allowed before coffee. He is well aware of the rules.

"Hello??? How's your back today?"

My back? Whatsamatter with my ba....oh yeah. Huh. Doesn't hurt. Look, I can walk and everything!

fmmalddewwwooo, I mumble on the way to the Keurig.

"Oh, that's good."

He leaves, because he knows the futility of attempting conversation until cup #3 or 4.

I have Bakery stuff to do this morning. Wrapping and Labeling. Which I do while sucking down coffee.
I'm down to a couple of pages of labels. Need to print more.
No problem. I pull up the program, and the finished template which I've saved in no less than four places.
Except it's gone.
I'll spare you the drama, and the language, but I was so mad I was inventing words.
And I spent way too much of the morning fighting with my computer to spit up the file I wanted.
Suddenly, it was nearly 11:00. Post Office time. Eeek.

The Big Guy has the truck. I have to take the 4-wheeler. No problem.
I go out to the garage, which smells really, really bad right now for some reason, and climb on the bike (4-wheeler).
I must back out of the garage. It's sort of a tight fit. I'm paying very close attention to the left rear tire, making sure to clear the door (he hates it when I don't clear the door...)
A murderer smacks me across the back of the head with a two by four,
or maybe a baseball bat!
Freakin' serial killers!
My back just got better fergod'ssake!

Wait...I'm in a weird position on the bike. I'm...pinned...over the handlebars.
Why is there a serial killer in my smelly garage, anyway?
Something's ON me. What the...

It's the garage door.
Some fool left the garage door half closed.
And some other fool backed herself into it.

So now I'm pinned to the bike by the garage door. I sort of can't breathe.

Wait a minute. We don't have an automatic garage door.
I reach up by my head, and shove the door up.
My head hurts.

But my back feels awesome!

p.s. I found the file(s). All four of them. Minutes after I downloaded another template and re-made the label.
'Sokay. I like the new one better.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Take that!

These may well be my most comfortable pair of shoes.


Not counting my pink fluffy flip flop slippers, of course.

I wear them everywhere.
I wear them to walk up and down the ramp to get the mail.
The mailman (who is a minister, and not really a gambling man) is taking bets on when I'll fall off the dock and into the water. He's giving points for the height of my fall.

But you know how it is in comfortable shoes, ones you wear all the time: they become part of your feet, and you don't fall. (much)

So when we went camping these last few weekends, I just stuck my feet into these shoes, and off we went.

Oh, I brought the rubber fishing boots. I brought the hiking boots. I brought flip flops (my choice of run-to-the-outhouse shoes; they can be brought home and washed in the machine...with bleach!)
But these were the only shoes I wore the whole time.

And The Big Guy, and both kids, made fun of me unmercifully.

But they're getting hot, what with that closed up toe and all.
And Maine is showing signs of spring, so you know summer is right around the corner.
These shoes will not do, at all.

So I found these.


And I'm not taking them off 'til the snow flies.

Friday, May 7, 2010


That's me in a nutshell.

I tend to do things in a 'sink or swim' fashion; Go Big Or Go Home!

So when we went on Spring Break, we took three vacations in one.
The planning required was phenomenal. The result was worth it.

When we left that Friday night, my son had both his front teeth.
When we returned a day shy of two weeks later, they were both gone.
He's following in my footsteps. Go Big Or Go Home!


We hit the Museum of Science first, because it's full of The Awesome.

Rainy day + Spring Break + Boston (major tourist destination) + Museum of Science = HELL.
Any other time, it rocks.

But we were prepared. The trick is to go in defensive mode. And take pictures of the kids so you'll have them to give the cops when you lose your kids in the throngs of tourists.
Ask me how I know to do this.
Also: the only way this shot of Thing One could have been better is if she'd just eaten an oreo.
You're welcome.

Actually, they did pretty well staying together.

Below is the Math Room. We could live there.
Fibonacci numbers, that's all I'm sayin'.

There is tons of coolness in the Math Room.
Papa has an engineering background.(We had a hard time getting him out of this room!) Uncle Mario, too. The Big Guy will tinker with, and can fix anything, so he has it in his blood. I started college as an Electrical Engineering major, and switched to health care (the draw of the physics in then-new technology called Helical CT scan and MRI was too strong). At least one of these kids, if not two, seem headed down that path.
It's pre-determined.


patterns and probability

We don't know how she finds anything in that black hole of a bag.

This was a fun exhibit, until she realized she was face to face with a snake.
She thought it was a gerbil/hamster/mouse display. Turns out that was lunch.

Speaking of lunch...
This is what you get when you send Uncle M to the store for some chicken for soup.


"I'm sorry, were there no other parts available. or are you trying to make a statement here?"

Some things are just not meant to be food.
This soup, however. Yum. Like, wow, yum.

Monday was Patriot's Day, which is a holiday in Massachusetts. It's also the day of the Boston Marathon.
Every year I say 'I will NOT be at that end of the state on marathon day', and every year I am there.
Traffic. Road closures. And people. Lots of people.

We decided the only thing to do was have a sleepover. A Big Family Sleepover.

There was the chicken soup, made from feet. gag.
There was tripe. I think there are four of us in the family who eat tripe.
Thing Two tried it this year. We do not disclose what it actually is. He tasted. He chewed. He swallowed.
He was not amused. None of the kids know what it is; we wanted them to like or dislike it on its own merit, and not be prejudiced by its, er, humble origin. Not one of them like it.
Haha- more for me!

Stephen makes the best tripe, and I'm going to bribe him to do it with me so I can document it.

Kissy went a little nuts with the chicken feet, and entertained the kids with them.
That's Rockin' Red, there, on the chicken toenails.

I have no pictures of:
1. the sleepover
2. the full-out turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including pumpkin pie (oh, yum)
3. the fabulous tripe
4. Movie Night, starring my favorite movie ever, 'Superbad', which Stephen and Kissy had not yet seen. (They still haven't. They missed half of it because I was screaming laughing during the movie. I am a ten year old boy at heart, and think this movie is a riot.)
4. the spider that attacked me- inside my nightgown (Not. Funny. Still traumatized.)

I lack photographic evidence of these events because I lost the use of my left hand.

This is what my hand normally looks like:
(This picture is actually recent, like, post-canoeing. Canoeing is hard on the manicure.)
And this is what it looks like 3 hours after a fat cat bites it, giving me a whopping infection:
ouch. Didn't I used to have knuckles??
Hate. That. Cat.

Remember this the next time you see somebody letting a dog share your food , or lick your kids' face.
Dogs can eat things we can't. The bacteria in their spit is why.

Despite the pain and immobility, we managed to finish these:


My Mother was well-loved.

This kid, who likes to climb into things, found himself over his head when he got caught in a pushcart.
I never laughed so hard!
He was not amused.

Next up: Part 2 of vacation- Me, at Camp!
Alternate Title: Help I'm Lost In The Woods With Two Kids.