Friday, July 27, 2007

"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!"

So goes the old Pennsylvania Dutch saying! Yesterday was that kind of day! I decided to head south to Rhode Island to visit Little Compton. Since Brockton, MA was on the way, I decided to visit Melrose Cemetery, where my grandfather is buried. I stopped in CVS, went to the cemetery for a short visit, then hit the road again. About 15 minutes and 20 miles later, I realized that I didn't have my cell phone. I had tried to call Bird earlier so I know it was with me when I left the hotel. I was frantic as Little Compton is quite remote and I really didn't want to drive out to the middle of nowhere without my cell phone for insurance. I have a habit of setting the phone in my lap sometimes when I drive, so I must have done that, forgotten it was there then dropped it when I got out of the car. I went back to the cemetery where I parked and my phone wasn't there, so I headed to CVS. No one had turned the phone in there either. Since I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a new phone, I figured that I better do it then as I was in desperate need of my phone for a variety of reasons. I went to the mall in Brockton and the Verizon stand had closed so I headed to the Best Buy at the mall. I found a phone I could deal with and the sales clerk couldn't enter my info into the computer because my account was from another area. So off I went to the next town to try to find the Verizon store that was there. I was able to get a phone that was basically the upgrade to my current one. I called home and Bird answered and said, "I see you found your phone!" When I asked him how he knew I had lost it, he told me that the lady who found it called "home" and told him that it would be in the CVS, which is apparently where I had dropped it. Apparently the woman who had my phone at CVS went to lunch and didn't tell the sales person. Damn! I went back and picked up the phone and plan on going to a Verizon store and having all the data transferred from the old one to the new one. If only I had thought to call home from a payphone first.

The bummer is that I wasted about 3 hours of time and didn't get to do all that I wanted in RI. If only I had called home from a payphone first, then I would have saved a lot of time! I did manage to drive down to Little Compton. The drive completely relaxed me because I passed rivers and coves that were filled with sailboats! I love seeing the water. I also found the little historic family graveyard I was looking for. The Richmond family burial ground is on the grounds of a farm. It is a small burying ground and one of my immigrant ancestors, Edward Richmond, who died in 1691 is buried there. Someone from the Little Compton Historical Society had given me directions or I never would have found it!

The entire graveyard is only about 25 by 25 feet!

Here is Edward Richmond's stone:

To add to my delight--when driving back, I passed a hydrangea farm! I absolutely love hydrangeas! This place had rows and rows of them!

I drove through Fall River on my way back to Providence then picked up DH at the airport in Providence. We headed back to Boston, parked in the Back Bay then headed to Starbucks. We took our coffee to the park then went on a stroll through the Commonds and some surrounding areas.

Today I had my appointment at True Jeans. This is a mail order company that specialized in fitting jeans. They carry all types of premium denim and they like to have fit testers so that they can find the jeans that best fit certain figure types. They have you fill out a questionaire about your figure type and preferences and they take your measurements. The fitter then pulled several types of jeans and kept data about how they fit. It was the first time in my life that I have ever found perfect fitting jeans. The girl knew her stuff! She said that most of the people they get are those with curvier figures who traditionally have trouble getting jeans to fit well. Since I got 15% off, I bought 2 pairs: The Kasil brand trouser jeans, which are fabulous dressy jeans; and the Worn brand flares which are a little more casual. I also liked the Pine IV jeans which had some interesting details, but I decided to hold off on those. I have to hem both pairs and Julie gave me a sheet with instructions for keeping the original hem.

DH and I then spent the day exploring some of the quaint fishing towns on the North Shore--Gloucester, Rockport and Old Marlblehead. We spent a lot of time walking around Rockport and had lunch there.

Tonight we got carry out Chinese from the Szechuan place behind the hotel. I turns out that the restaurant is in a historic mansion that was originally built in the 1600's!

I'll post some photos tomorrow!

I can't leave without sharing my Bushism of the Day:
"I was raised in the West. The West of Texas. It's pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington, D.C., is close to California." -George W. Bush, in Los Angeles as quoted by the Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2000

Kitty Cam:
From the archives--Kitty Love!

The twins spend some quality time together!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the road again!

Today--I'm heading for Rhode Island--the Ocean State! It's not really surrounded by ocean--just the southern part is--but there are bays and rivers and water everywhere! It is truly a beautiful state. The other thing that I love is that there are hydrangeas growing everywhere! You see hedges of them around homes and wild ones along the roadside. Gorgeous!

I decided to wear another Nanette Lepore top--one of my favorite ones--and my new denim skirt that I picked up at Marshalls before I left home:

I will head south and stop in Bristol to visit an old graveyard--then I will head down the eastern penninsula to Little Compton which is just slightly north of Sakonnet Point. This town is very remote. It was originally part of Plymouth Colony before Rhode Island was a state. Elizabeth Alden, daughter of Mayflower passenger John Alden, and her husband William Pabodie (Peabody) were some of the original settlers here when a number of Plymouth residents moved southwest to form new settlements. They are direct ancestors of mine and they along with a number of their family members are buried at the town commons.

DH lands in Providence at 6:35 so I will pick him up then we will head back to Boston!

More later!

Bushism of the day:
"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet." --George W. Bush, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

Kitty Cam:
From the archives--Mokey knows how to keep cool on a hot day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mini tour!

I wanted to share the photos of my little walk yesterday. Boston is known as "America's Walking City" and it really is very friendly to pedestrians. The city park and the Commons are always busy--folks sunbathing, reading, making music and so on! It is busy but not stressful. The park is about 2 blocks wide by 4 blocks in length. It isn't remote and you can walk through it at any time and feel completely safe. I can't help but think how delightful it would be to work in this city and walk through the park on the way home. It would totally destress a person!

I left the NEHGS library and headed the two blocks on Newbury Street to the City Park. Along the way, I passed this:

Fortunately, they were closed!

Next is the City Park:

The swan boats were put away for the night! This particular walk was straight across the center of the park and over the foot bridge.

Once through the park, there is a street then you come to Boston Commons.

People were starting to gather for Shakespeare in the Park. The play this summer is "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Through those trees is a playground with a water mister and the frog pond which is a large wading pool for the little ones!

Below you can see the far corner of the Commons where you can look up the hill and see the State House!

Directly across the street is the Old Park Church which is undergoing some restoration.

Next to Park Church is the Grannery Burying Ground. This is one of my favorite places. I was bummed out to see that the gate was locked. I will have to go back before I leave. This is truly hallowed ground. The signs on the gate tell you some of the notable gravesites.

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Robert Paine, Ben Franklin's Parents, the victims of the Boston Massacre and Mother Goose! It boggles my mind to see this place tucked between the church and another city building.
Here are a couple more shots of the Burying Ground:

The tall marker you see is that of John Hancock.

I turned back and walked along Boylston which runs along the edge of the Commons and the park.

I was standing next to another old Burying Ground when I took that photo. It is right at the corner of the Commons.

As I walked along the side of the park, I was thinking of the words to the old Stephen Foster song:
"Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like . . . "

They are almost on every corner and I've been to all of them!
This one is on Beacon Street across from the Commons and the park and one block down from this Boston landmark:

As I headed back to Newbury Street, I passed by Commonwealth Street which runs parallel to it. I stopped to take a photo of one of the spectacular row houses there.

This street is fabulous. It has a park that runs down the middle of it and it is lined with huge, multimillion dollar historic homes that are just the picture of elegance along with turn of the century apartment buildings with roof top decks.

I didn't get to see much today. I pretty much spent the day from noon until 8:30 p.m. in the library. My eyes are going nuts after reading microfilms of 300 year old wills and the like!

Tomorrow I will do some exploring in Rhode Island then pick up DH at the airport in Providence.

I can't leave without my regular features:

Bushism of the day:
"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children." --George W. Bush, second presidential debate, Oct. 11, 2000

Oh my!

Kitty Cam:
This one is from Ems who is annoyed that Mokey would rather cuddle with KC than her!

The Gods are smiling!

Greetings from New England! I think I have these trips down now. While I love staying right in downtown Boston, I find that the affordable hotel rooms are just too small and I don't like having to depend on restaurants for meals. I am staying in the Extended Stay Deluxe Suites in Woburn which is about 13 miles north of Boston. I stayed here last year for about half the price of a really basic room in the city. I have a full kitchen and a sitting area. I tend to eat small meals frequently so I bring some fresh produce, good coffee and make a stop at the local Whole Foods and I'm pretty much good for the week. I brought an insulated lunch box so that I can pack a lunch to take with me whereever I'm going for the day. Here is my little "home away from home:"

Notice the knitting bag on the couch! I've done absolutely no knitting! I spent yesterday at the NEHGS library then walked around a little (pictures in a later post). My research spawned more research so I spent the evening online.

I got here a little before midnight Monday night as I didn't leave home until 4:00 p.m. Friends think I'm nuts to leave so late, but I rather like it. First of all, I'm well rested and I get all the loose ends taken care of at home without rushing. Secondly, there is absolutely no traffic! None! Those of us from the DC/Baltimore area appreciate that more than you can possibly know! it was just a relaxing uneventful drive with a couple of potty stops on the Jersey turnpike and a gas stop on the Mass Pike. One long playlist on the old ipod kept me happy the whole way! It was chilly and rainy and I feared that the week would be that way as well.

The Gods were smiling! Tuesday I slept in a little since I ended up not going to bed until almost 2 a.m. and when I got up it was sunny. Secondly, it was a good hair day! Since I was going to the Back Bay, I decided that I shouldn't be a total slob so I put on one of my favorite little Nanette Lepore tops:

If you've never been to the Back Bay area in Boston, you need to understand slobbery is just not appropriate as Newbury Street is the place for would be fashionistas! Here's a small sampling of what you will find within a few blocks: Chanel, Georgio Armani, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Max Azria, Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs, Nanette Lepore, Cartier, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, and the list goes on! Then there are the cosmetic places like Mac, Bliss, Kiehl's etc. along with the sidewalk cafes. All of these shops are in elegant brownstones. It is a shopper's dream--assuming, of course, that the shopper is loaded!
I love to look and would bring a sketch book if it wasn't in such poor taste to do so! Some things are just committed to my memory and sketched later -- like the stunning little jacket in the window of Valentino that I saw last year!

Typically I have to park under the Commons and walk a few blocks, but once again the Gods were smiling as I found a spot on Newbury Street 3 doors down from the library right in front of:

If you can't see it--the pink awning says "Nanette Lepore." Those who know me, know that I simply love her clothes and I have a bit of a collection thanks to Ebay. All the shops are having their summer sales this time of year and last year I did some major damage in Nanette Lepore where I got 2 skirts, a jacket and a top. I decided I would go in. I had fun looking and resisted the urge to buy. I did find out that they are opening a shop in MD! Currently there are only 5 Nanette Lepore boutiques worldwide!

Here's a little glimpse of Newbury Street:

The Gods continued to smile! Check out the sky!

That photo is not enhanced! The sky was really that blue! I've never seen a sky that blue in the middle of a big city! The temperature was pleasant and there was a breeze!

Research was fairly productive but the library closed at 5 yesterday so I walked throught the park , the Commons and the Esplanade. I will post a little photo tour this evening.

Bushism of the Day:
"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." --George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000

WoW! Maybe that's part of the problem!

Kitty cam:
This is how Greg is spending HIS summer vacation:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ready to go!

Bushism of the day
"We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans." --George W. Bush, Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000

I spent the day cleaning and doing laundry and for the first time since I can remember--I've gotten all my housework done before I go away! Last year, I was washing floors the day I left.

I've decided that I will definitely take along the One Skein Wonder by Stephanie Japel . I have this lovely skein of Malabrigo that my secret pal gave me. It's called Paris Night and it has black, dark blue and purple--though the color variations are very subtle.

I had originally thought that I would use this for a scarf, but it really is perfect for the One Skein Wonder.

I hope to leave tomorrow around 1:00. I want to watch Homicide at 11:00 a.m. and I will record the episodes for the rest of the week. All I have to do is pack. That doesn't take long since my laundry is all done. I'm less likely to forget stuff if I pack before I leave. I'm going to knit a bit then go to bed.

Kitty Cam:
Mikey is always fascinated when I clean floors--whether mopping or vaccuuming! He gets on a kitchen stool and watches rather intently!

He still has his bald spot on his little arm!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

On the road again--almost!

So I leave for Boston on Monday which means this weekend will basically consist of preparing for my trip. There's actually not THAT much preparation for the actual trip--it's more like doing stuff around the house so that my family can survive! I like to leave a clean house when I go away so that I don't come home to a disaster area. Since Bird is working most of the time, there's a limit to the amount of destruction he can cause! I figure that I'll leave an empty dishwasher--of course I'll come home to a full one: clean floors etc.; plenty of frozen food items and a crapload of kitty food. Of course my main worry is that Mikey gets his shots and I know that Bird can only give him one a day. DH will be at home until Thursday afternoon when he flies into Providence to meet me. Providence is one of my favorite cities. If it had better public transportation it would be worth considering as a retirement city. It has everything else--It's in a blue state, it has world class colleges and universities, arts and culture; historical significance and it's surrounded by water! That's just about everything I desire lacking only in good public transportation. Of course Boston pretty much meets all my criteria! I actually feel like I belong there when I go!

I may take a small knitting project for a break from Fifi. My secret pal had given me a lovely almost black skein of Malabrigo which is begging to be made into the One Skein Wonder, so I'm thinking I may just do that!

I have to vaccuum and clean floors. What fun! I will leave you with my Bushism of the day!
"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." --George W. Bush, Nov. 2, 2000

Kitty Cam:

Bar found DH's junk pile! Perhaps he's trying to be incognito!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A lot to learn!

Bushism of the day:
"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." --George W. Bush, Jan. 3, 2000

So today I attended the first day of a two day conference! It was really fantastic! Trouble is that I had to leave a little early. I was in the middle of a session about brain anatomy and how it relates to the way kids learn. It sounds technical and dull, but the presenter was incredibly dynamic and the subject was really interesting! What blew me away is the research about neurogenesis--the building of new brain cells. It was originally thought that one could not grow new brain cells. Recently it's been discovered that brain cells can be regenerated in two sections of the brain. What causes the brain cells to grow? Physical exercise! Interestingly, I had recently read a study that found that seniors who exercise regularly reduce their chances of getting Alzheimers by about 60%. There was much more to the session and there were a lot of implications as to how this knowledge can be used in the classroom. Therefore, isn't it ironic that school systems everywhere are reducing instruction in phys. ed. and music--subjects which have been proven to boost learning--to make more time for test preparation? I won't bore you with another rant on this topic. It's what happens when politicians stick their noses in the classrooms of America.

While we're on the topic of education--heres a ***BONUS***
Bushism of the day!
"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" --George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

I guess that explains a lot!

No knitting news today!

Kitty Cam:

It's a "Greg in the Box!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still unraveled!

Thanks for the tips on centering my photos. I had already tried to move them with the arrows but there basically seems to be a flaw in the system that doesn't allow this when using Safari, my browser of choice. It does work in Firefox so I have now added that to my repertoire of web browsers! You know us Mac folks--we'd rather fight than switch! It's been another busy day, so I will leave you with my regular blog features.

Bushism of the day:

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 18, 2000

Kitty Cam:

Greg distracts me while I dress in the morning! I can't resist giving him a belly rub!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm becoming unraveled!

In honor of the fact that we are more than halfway through W's second term and thus in the home stretch ,so to speak, I have decided to add a new feature to my blog--A daily Bushism. After researching online, I have discovered that there will be more than enough material! Heck the website with quips from the year 2000 alone will keep me in laughs for a couple of months!
My apologies to any conservative readers. Honestly, I would be surprised if there are any!

So here goes:

Bushism of the day:
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

Okay! I confess! I've been procrastinating finishing up Fifi. I've been playing on Ravelry. I guess that means that I have to upload a crapload of photos to Flickr. I'm a bit frustrated with the way my photos are being cropped and not centered on the Ravelry site. I think I will have to try again using Firefox.

Plus I had to work a half day today. I know, I know. We teachers have it so easy with summers off. I might remind people that when we have summers off of work, we also have summers off of pay--so a lush vacation it is not! The problem with work is that I have to get up much earlier than my preferred time. I've actually been pretty good this summer as I've been getting up around 9:30 every morning and going to bed by 1:30 or 2:00. This may change as I've been known to end up staying up to 3 or 4 a.m. and sleeping until 11, but I've been trying to not do that so that the shock to my system isn't so great when school starts back.

Maddy is coming to visit tomorrow and I hope I get to see her! Last time she was here, she and Bird had this pic done in one of those booths at the mall! It's one of my favorite pictures. I like the way it is made to look like a sketch! It sure beats those little strips we used to get!

It sure beats the fraternity pic I posted on Memorial Day! There's hope!

So I'm debating whether or not to knit up Coachella when I finish Fifi. I need to do the Red Carpet Convertible, but Coachella seems like such a quick little knit and it's all stockinette which will go mega fast! Maybe I'll throw it in my bag for my trip to New England next week! Nothing like sitting in the Boston City Park and knitting! The setting is beautiful!

That's it for now! I need to get up early again!

Kitty Cam:

Bar seems to think he's royalty! What a life!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kitties Kitties Everywhere!

I have only knit a couple of rows on Fifi this week. I need to get crackin'! Meanwhile, here's some major Kitty Cam action!

Mikey looks like a patchwork quilt after his doctor's appointment yesterday. They shaved the inside of a hind leg, his neck and an arm in an attempt to draw blood! Apparently it takes about 6 months to grow back, so at least they won't have to do it again anytime soon.

Fortunately both patches are on the same side so I guess his photos will all be taken from the other side!

Meanwhile Greg kept trying to get on my lap to look at the computer as I was typing:

I got up and when I came back he was looking at another website:

Can you see it?

Cat toys dot com! WoW! I better hide the credit cards! At least I'll know who's responsible for any unauthorized charges!