Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Memories Are Slipping

I had the most brilliant idea for a blog idea tonight while I was on the phone with my Mom and even discussed it in detail with her. After hanging up the phone and eating dinner I can now no longer remember my exciting blog idea. I called Mom back, she is at a complete loss as well. Her motherly advice is "Now SJ, don't loose sleep over this. I will call you at 3 a.m. when I remember what it is". What would I do without my Mom who will loose sleep for me and call me with our forgotten blog topic in the wee hours of the night!

Enjoy ~SJ

SJ Cuts The Cable!

Yesterday was a monumental day for me on many fronts. One of the largest steps forward for me was my cancellation of my cable TV service. Now I am still going to use Time Warner Cable for my phone and internet connection, just not TV. I can live with no cable, but don't take my internet away! Canceling the cable has been an idea that I have been tossing around for several weeks now. I hardly ever watch it, and spend most of my free time reading or surfing the internet. When I do want to watch something on my amazingly large TV complete with surround sound I simply pop in one of the DVD's that I got in the mail from Netflix, watch one of the shows I downloaded from iTunes, or stream a show off from the internet. Ahh, the convinces of modern technology!

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where are they coming from?

Ok, so I know I have written about this before, but my stats on Stat Counter are confusing me! Apparently I have gotten over 100 hits from some ifo Apple Store site. All of these people have come in and read my article on my experience at the Apple Store. I have scoured the website and can't find how people are finding me. If anyone know how or where people are finding me I would love to know. Just another one of the great blogging mysteries!

Jeepers, Creepers Where'd You Get Them


I fell asleep humming Lous Armstrong's "Jeepers Creepers" song listening to the peepers outside. To me, one of the first real signs that we are headed out of winter and into summer is the arrival of peepers at night. Between the light sounds of rain falling, the refreshing scent of fresh air coming in through the window, and the peepers, I had a wonderful nights sleep.

On a side note, ""Jeepers Creepers" is a popular 1938 song and jazz standard. The music was written by Harry Warren and the lyrics by Johnny Mercer, for the movie Going Places. It was premiered by Louis Armstrong, and has since been covered by dozens of other artists". (wikipedia)

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great New Tunes!

A friend of the Music Man's suggested that I check out a website called Pandora Music. Turns out it is my new favorite website. Here is a quote from the website:

The Music Genome Project

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Since we started back in 2000, we've carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.

It has been quite an adventure, you could say a little crazy - but now that we've created this extraordinary collection of music analysis, we think we can help be your guide as you explore your favorite parts of the music universe.

It truly is amazing! I plugged in a few of my favorite artists and within seconds I was listening to all sorts of new bands as well as a few old favorites. It is like listening to the my iTunes library on shuffle, but with music that I haven't even heard yet.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Remember Me? Blogging Book Tag!

As I mentioned in an earlier post there has been a little game of book blogger tag. Beth won a book from Book Babie and passed it on to me. Well, the book sat on my night stand for a few weeks, and I took advantage of my vacation to finish it.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella was a wonderful way to escape from my own world into the exciting and at times confusing world of someone with amnesia. The choices that we make in life to get ahead, and the lives that we chose to live our well laid out my Kinsella, and she is on my must read list for the rest of the summer.

In the fashion and blogging, I am passing this book on to another fellow blogger, Rach. I am sure that she will enjoy it as well. I have included the following directions along with our blog addresses:

Congratulations! You are the proud recipient of a well traveled book from a line of bloggers. You have been selected to read the book and pass it on to another fellow blogger. Once you have finished reading the book, please post a blog about it, including links back to the previous readers. Also, please post a comment on the previous readers blogs so that they can see how far the book has traveled!

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One More Bit of News

Ok, I know I have blogged a lot today, but I got a little behind on vacation. In my lack of email checking, I just discovered tonight the following email from my graduate professor in regards to my portfolio:

Hi! You passed!

Those two words sum it all up, I passed, and now I am officially finished with my graduate degree! What a relief! Anyone have any hobby suggestions for me?

Enjoy ~SJ

The Joy's of Vacation

I will have to admit that after getting caught up on all of the RVB blogs, it seems that we have all had very exciting and refreshing vacations, with maybe a little too much to blog about. Can't wait until we all get back to work when I won't have so many exciting blogs to read and stay caught up on. See you Monday!

Enjoy ~SJ

New Hit!

You've got to love Stat Counter! I got a new hit from a new country (or maybe it was Beth on vacation in Chile)! No matter what, it is always nice to see people reading from all across the world.

Enjoy ~SJ

Ice Out - For Real!

After spending an amazing week at the ocean in Massachusetts, the ice has gone out at Worthley Pond. I'm not sure what day it happened, but the view always amazes me for the first few weeks after ice out. Yesterday was no exception!

Enjoy ~SJ


Gas prices have reached an all new outrageous high! Over $80 for about 22 gallons of gas! All the more reason to ride the scooter when I can.

Enjoy ~SJ

Spring Inspiration

After an afternoon of raking with the Music Man, I went around and took a few pictures of the spring bloom. It is amazing how quickly the seasons change!

Enjoy ~SJ

My Feet

SJ's feet on vacation in the ocean at Humarock. It was chilly, but worth the picture.

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mike's Pastry

A trip into Boston's North End is never complete without a trip to Mike's for a cannoli or two. Mike's Pastry is the landmark pastry shop of the North End, and I have frequented it many times in my years of living in Boston. My Mom would always get excited when she would see me get off the bus from Boston with the trademark white and blue box, tied of course by hand with blue and white string.

On a trip into the city the Music Man and I met a dear friend for dinner in the North End finished off with a trip to Mike's. We were so full after our amazing dinner of seafood and pasta that the cannoli's are still sitting in the fridge awaiting consumption. I think I had enough calories yesterday just from standing in line at Mike's awaiting my turn at the large glass case, drooling over the overwhleming number of choices. In the end I got the ol' standby, some chocolate covered cannoli's, and some regular cannoli's, as well as a new treat, apple cinnamon puff pastries as recommended by the Mike's employee.

Enjoy (I know that I will!) ~SJ

Monday, April 21, 2008

CSI: Humarock, Special Felines Unit

So the Great Paper Mystery has had yet another hit! Only this time in another resort community. It seems that the Toilet Paper Shredder seems to enjoy shredding toilet paper during the night, while The Feeders are asleep. The list of suspects is getting shorter, and with the CSI Humarock team coming in this afternoon to do some feline claw analysis this case should be cracked by high tide.

Enjoy ~SJ

Apple Store!

Yesterday was my first experience with a real live Apple Store! Being an avid Mac user for several years (I kicked the PC habit a few years back for the stability and cool i-family of tools), I felt as though I had died and gone to heaven when I walked into the store! The first amazing "toy" that caught my eye was the new MacBook Air, which has been advertised that it can fit inside a manilla envelope. Well I think that you can fit that laptop in there along with several important documents, that's how thin it is!

The Music Man and I were at the Apple Store not for myself (although Santa should start taking notes), we were there to get a "tricked out" black MacBook so the Music Man can record his gigs and stuff. After over an hour of endless questions on out end, and wonderfully interesting questions on our personal shoppers end (yes, you can sign up for a time and have a personal shopper help you with your purchase!) the Music Man walked out of the store the proud new owner of his own Mac! It was an exciting moment! The best news that our personal shopper V told us is that an Apple Store will be opening in Maine within the next few months!

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I think the title of this sums up how wonderful I am feeling! I'm on vacation, doing some cat/house sitting in a wonderful little ocean community in Massachusetts. Only one saying comes to mind "Life is good"! The Music Man, Stanley, Phoebe and I all arrived last night after what seemed to be the longest day of school ever. Upon arriving the Music Man agreed (after we ran up over the dune and onto the beach) that we really were in paradise, and was thrilled that I convinced him to come down after school, and not Saturday morning. Phoebe had a very lovely drive down, and slept most of the time in her carrier. Stanley on the other paw, even with his new and larger accommodations still didn't enjoy himself all that much, what you have to go through to enjoy a little paradise ever now and then.

I thought that we were going to be "un-connected" all week, but I just discovered that we can pick up someones unlocked wireless signal. Thank the internet god, what would I do if I had no internet for a week! The Music Man is rationing my internet time, since it is vacation and there is a little slice of paradise waiting for us just outside the door!

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, April 18, 2008

He's Too Fat!

The Music Man just called to inform me why Stanley doesn't like his cat carrier so much, he is just too fat to fit in it. Maybe this explains why he hates getting in it so much, and why he fights so much to get out of it. So, the Music Man being the new cat lover that he is, went out and purchased Stanley a new, larger cat carrier. Now I feel like one of those parents who has to go out and buy the oversized car seats because their child is obese! I guess my "little" orange boy is going on a diet, anyone know of a great gym for cats?

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Conant Lake

So while on my first scooter ride of the season I went for a little drive past Conant farm to take in the views of the newest swimming hole in Canton, Conant Lake.

After enjoying the views I scooted over to D.U. to get my one gallon of gas for the scooter. I went all out for my little hot rod and got the high grade gas! At over 100 miles per gallon I can really splurge!

Enjoy ~SJ

Ice Out!

Here is the view from the Outlet at Worthley Pond!

Just kidding! Here is the real view.

Enjoy ~SJ

Done! Check!

So, if you know me at all I live by to-do lists. I even have a nifty little program on my mac called check off which allows me to make electronic to-do lists and check them off as I finish them. I like this little program so much that many of my students are now using it.

Well, one of the biggest most hugest to do items just got checked off my to-do list, my graduate portfolio! (Insert large scream for joy and jumping up and down here). Yup, it is official, I am done with my graduate degree. Now all I have to do is put the CD of my portfolio in the mail tomorrow. Oh, and then apply for the PhD program, maybe I will become a professional student.

Today truly has been a successful day!

Enjoy ~SJ


So, if you know me at all, you know that I always have multiple to-do lists. I get a small thrill out of checking things off from it. I even have a wonderful little program on my Mac called check off that allows me to make lists of things to do. Lately though I have not been so good with my to-do lists and things are getting forgotten. Maybe it is time for a new system. Anyone out there have any other great little programs for making to-do lists that I could try?

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What would go first?

What would go first the T.V. or the computer? This question came up during the morning chit chat in the school's office. The secretary defiantly was going for getting rid of the computer first! I gripped the desk white knuckled and said "Anything but the laptop! Take my T.V., but don't even think about taking the laptop!" I'm sure that you all feel the same way.

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home Stretch

This week marks the home stretch for me in so many different ways. First off it is FINALLY the week before April vacation. Because of how the first of April fell we had to do a 8 week stretch between February and April vacation, instead of the traditional 7 weeks. I am glad that I had a conversation about this last week with a fellow math teacher so that he could explain to me why it seemed so much longer than normally. The second home stretch that I am on is in regards to my masters degree program. Only a few more tasks to check off on the shrinking to-do list and I will be able to mail my portfolio off to my professor to get graded. If all goes well I will have my masters degree in middle school mathematics in a few more weeks (yes people really do want to study this!) This might help explain to all of my regular readers why I have been a little sparse with postings lately, too many hours logged typing rational statements and finding student work samples.

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Here in Maine we are all about the bargain, and if you want to be able to call yourself a true "Mainer" you are a regular Marden's shopper. The Music Man and I go to our local Marden's at least once a week to look for the latest great deal. You never know what you are going to find at Madren's, everything from mattress to super glue, and everything in between. It is the store you go to without looking for something specific, but you always leave with something that you knew you just couldn't live without.

Well, the Music Man and I were talking about summer plans and what we wanted to accomplish. Amongst many other things (more on this later), we decided to challenge ourselves with the "Tour de Marden's". The rules of the Tour de Marden's are simpe: visit every Marden's in Maine during the summer. We added to the challenge by requiring ourselves to purchase at least one item from each store for under $10. We were both very excited about this challenge until we just learned that there are Marden's up in The County, and Calais! So, we shortened the challenge (in the name of Mother Nature and saving on gas) to the following towns:
Ellsworth, Brewer, Waterville, Lewiston, Grey, Sanford, Bidderford, Portland, and Rumford. We both think this is a doable challenge, and may extend it to all of the stores in future summers if we ever have the desire to drive for endless hours "up north".

As the Marden's motto goes "I should have bought it when I saw it at Marden's". I will keep you posted on how we do with this challenge, and what little treasures we find at all of them.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blogging Book Tag

I ran into two of my favorite RVB-ers today, Beth and Rach! I saw Beth this morning in the office at the middle school, she dropped by to put the book she was passing onto me in my mailbox. I saw Rach on my way out the door at the end of an inspirational day. Rach and I shared a few chuckles about our most recent blogs, lack of good music on the radio, and a future RVB-er get together.

The reason why Beth dropped by the middle school was to pass on a book that she had won from another fellow blogger, bookbabie. Bookbabie did a review of a book she had just finished and offered a copy to be raffled off to anyone who commented to the blog (now that's a way to get people comment!) Well as luck would have it Beth won the raffle! She read it on a recent trip, and has now passed it onto to me. I will reserve my review of the book for once I have finished it, although after the first few chapters I can see why people are passing it on for others to read - I can't put it down!

Well, this whole blogging book passing has inspired me. Beth wrote in the front of the book her name, address, and blog address. Then she wrote my name! When I pass it on I am going to write my blog address as well as the lucky recipient (Rach). Then I decided that I am going to post back to the original owner of the book, bookbabie, as well as Beth. I am also going to include a note in the book to keep it going, as well as asking the new reader to comment back to all of the previous owners. What a fun little game of blogging book tag! If it all goes well I might just have to start it again with another must-read book!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Birthday Meatloaf

I made one of my favorite dinners last night, meatloaf, and it reminded me of one of the funniest memories I have of my mother in the kitchen.

One afternoon my Mom and I watched Martha Stewart (a.k.a. Miss Martha) and she was making our favorite "comfort food", meat loaf. In classic Miss Martha style it wasn't just regular meatloaf, but a birthday "cake" meatloaf! To do this she made two round meatloaves in cake pans, frosted them with mashed potatoes, put corn between the two layers, and decorated the top so that it looked like a carrot cake. It was truly a work of art and my Mom and I were inspired.

Here is the recipe from Miss Martha's website:

Birthday Meatloaf "Cake"

Serves 10 to 12

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks (about 1/2 cup), finely chopped
  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely grated (about 1/2 cup), peels reserved for decorating
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery; cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.
  2. Add beef, carrot, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, oats, ground mustard, salt, and pepper to bowl with vegetable mixture; mix thoroughly with your hands.
  3. Gently press into prepared pans. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; carefully remove with a spatula, and transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Tent with foil.
  4. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small pan. Add reserved carrot peels; cook until tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Place 1 meat loaf on platter; spread 1 cup warm mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons peas. Top with remaining meat loaf. Frost top and sides with 3 cups mashed potatoes. Fill piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (such as Ateco No. 825) with remaining mashed potatoes. Pipe borders around cake. Using tip of a 1/4-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco No. 10), punch out circles from carrot peels. Decorate cake with carrot circles and remaining peas. Serve immediately.

Since it was around both of our birthdays we decided to make one of these birthday meatloaves. We followed Miss Martha's directions to the T. We decided that we would trump Miss Martha's meatloaf by putting it on one of the many cake stands that I own (this was the beginning of the end!) We had not thought about the fact that meatloaf is naturally juicy, and if it was placed on a cake stand the juices would have no place to go other than the counter and then the floor. As we started to attempt to "frost" the cake the juices began to run. Gretal, Moms daschund, was of course underfoot and began to lick the running juices. The meatloaf was crumbling everywhere and was getting more and more difficult to "frost". At this point we were laughing hysterically, and I said "Mom, just imagine, there are disastrous meatloaf birthday cakes all across the country right now!"

Well, I can never make meatloaf without remembering this hysterical kitchen moment with my Mom. Oh, the birthday cake was amazing, even though it did not look at beautiful as Miss Martha's.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why didn't I think of this.....

Ok, this is right up there with the many foolish cat accessories that I'm glad Stanley and Phoebe don't know about: heated cat beds, filtered kitty water gourmet cat treats!

Enjoy ~SJ

Motherly Advice

My Mom gave me the following advice before my St. Patty's Day Patty:

Enjoy ~SJ

Enjoy ~SJ

Phoebe Goes Mac!

After living at the Shamrock for over a month Phoebe has shown her computer operating system choice.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pro-Choice For Light Bulbs

This morning on my way into the Front Porch Cafe I saw a car with the following bumper sticker:

I am pro-choice for light bulbs!

When did light bulbs raise to the same level as abortion, George W Bush, sexual preferences, or The Red Sox? These are all things that people proudly display on the back of their car to to show their support, but seriously folks, are light bulbs on the same level?

I wish I knew where I could purchase a sticker like this, so that I to could proudly display my use of these funny looking light bulbs!

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Theory Of The Missing Socks

I remember one time my cousin Jen, now the mother of 5 boys, told me her theory on missing socks. She felt that when a sock went missing in your dryer it got reincarnated as a coat hanger. Her theory has always stuck with me, and every time I find that I have a sock missing, inevitably one of my favorite dress socks, I seem to find another coat hanger. The coat hanger is always one of those metal wire ones, the kind that leave hanger bumps in your shirts and rust stains on your favorite white shirt. So really, when a sock goes missing, you are not only loosing a sock, but you are also gaining another headache of a bad coat hanger.

Enjoy ~SJ


Well Phoebe now has her own website - how tech savvy for only being 3 months old. She hopes to teach her Big Brother later on how to make his own.

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Uncle Henry's Poem

In Maine Uncle Henry does not refer to a beloved relative, but rather a weekly classified ad publication. It is a weekly newsprint book that comes out on Thursday's and is available at the local gas station and convince store. For many Mainers Uncle Henry's is the only way to buy and sell cars, boats, trucks, and odd items around the house.

In this weeks edition on the first page Hamilton Marine had a whole page ad with the following description:

Fish Baskets
Commercial quality.
Great for bait,

This little ad is a classic example of Uncle Henry's and how concise the ads can be.

Enjoy ~SJ

Even Lobsters Nap!

The other day when I was in the grocery store with Mi Prima we walked by the lobster tank to check out the sushi. All the lobsters were moving around enjoying their day and doing lobster like things, except for this one. At first glance I thought he had moved beyond our world, and then noticed that he was just taking a nap. I thought it was just too funny and that I just had to share it with my readers!

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Google Foolin'

Google tried to pull a good April Fool's Day joke. I logged into my gmail account today to do a quick morning check of my email and discovered yet another wonderful google gadget - Google Custom Time! According to the website this new gadget allows you to send emails from the past, in other words you can send an email today, but you can set the date so that it was sent from the past. The catch is that Google will only allow you to send ten of these emails a year. Ahh Google you are funny!

Enjoy ~SJ