Monday, June 30, 2008

Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!

My Mother goes to an auction every Sunday. She jokes that it is like going to church, and is currently working on a piece about the auction that she is going to ghost write on my blog. This past Sunday I traveled up to Burnham (A.K.A. "The Sticks") to join her at the "Church of Houston Brooks". You never know what you are going to find there that you just didn't know you couldn't live without. Here is one such item that unfortunately went over my $25 limit. Oh how I was just saying the other day that my house will not be complete until I have a pink elephant ride! It sold for over $450!

Enjoy ~SJ

Attack Cat

The big and "fur"ocious Stanley ready to attack and kill (Q-tips that is).

The "Other" SJ's Blogging Brilliance

On a wild trip through the black holes of the internet a few months back I discovered another SJ. As you may know she and I have been enjoying reading one another's blogs, as well as discovering the similarities between one another. Today she posted a wonderful little blogging assignment, that inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

I am...
A strong willed independent woman, who cherishes my friends, family and cats.

I want....
Do you want the short list or the long list? A never ending supply of wonderful books to read, all the cool technology gadgets, and all the money that I want to give to all sorts of great organizations and causes, to earn my Ph.D

I have
An amazing life, an amazing family, amazing friends, a great guy in my life, the best cats, a wonderful job, and my dream house.

I wish...
That every day I could get through all of my "to-do" list, that every week had a three day weekend, and that my house cleaned itself.

I hate...
Olives, slow internet, bad windshield wipers.

I fear...
That my computer will take over my life! No just kidding, honestly I fear drowning.

I hear...
The Music Man talking on the phone with family, frogs chirping, thoughts running in my mind.

I search...
Google and Wikipedia all the time for instant gratification for the answers to the questions that I need/want to know. (Thanks SJ!)

I wonder...
Why you all want to read my answers to these questions, what ever happened to Amelia Earhart, when will I get my very own iPhone, will I ever sell my car and get a Yaris?

I regret...
Not returning phone calls in a more timely manner, being a poor speller, not backing up my laptop and loosing all of my pictures (including Aimil's graduation pictures).

I love...
My great life, my family, friends, cats, taking pictures of my feet, and my positive outlook on life

I ache...
From all of the strawberry and pea picking that I have been doing over the last few days.

I always...
Have my laptop and camera with me and carry more "just in case" stuff in my backpack than I really need.

I usually...
Talk to my mother daily, have a book with me, can be reached by phone, wear contacts

I am not...
Going to regret things in life, or going to eat chicken feet

I dance...
Only when I am drunk

I sing...
In the car when I'm alone

I never....
Want to know life without the supportive network of friends and family that I have.

I rarely...
Misplace objects (even though my cell phone voicemail message says I must have lost my phone), go a day without checking my email, talking to my Mom.

I cry....
Oh let's not go there again..... life is getting better!

I am not always
Going to remember the words to a song but I can remember all sorts of other things.

I lose...

I'm confused...
For short periods of time until I can think it through

I miss...
The Simmons Gals, take-out food delivery, Sterling

I need...
Time to myself everyday to "re-charge" the batteries, a few bits of ice cream every day, more time in the day, and more sleep

I should...
Follow Miss Martha's house cleaning advice - my switch plates are being neglected.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Full Day Of Summer

Today has been a jammed packed day of exciting summertime activities. Since it is the beginning of strawberry season the Music Man and I went to Stevenson's Strawberries in Wayne and picked our own berries. The whole concept of pick your own (PYO) fruit or vegetables is really ingenious. The farmer plants their crops, tends the crops, and then people pay to come and pick them! The farmer doesn't have to pay to have them picked, makes money, and people flock to come and take the wonderful crops away. It is a win win situation for all parties involved.

We picked over thirty pound of berries. After fixing and freezing most of them, I concocted a strawberry limeade. Here is the recipe:
5 TBS of fresh lime juice
1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 cup of water

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix until they are smooth. If you want you can add some sugar to sweeten it.

After the big strawberry project, the Music Man and I went for a little canoe trip to the narrows and back. It was wonderful to be on Worthely just before dusk. The mist was rising off from the mountains and it was still humid out, with a slight breeze.

Enjoy ~SJ

SJ's Sporty Wheels - FOR SALE

So I have decided to sell my sporty set of four wheels. I have it listed in Uncle Henry's and on Craigslist, no nibbles yet, so I decided to post it on my blog too. I know, shameless.

Sporty 2004 Subaru WRX. 65,000 miles. Many performance extras. The car has been regularly serviced, and absolutely no mechanical problems have been encountered. Will transport to you for an additional cost. Please contact if you have any further questions, or would like to see more pictures. $17,500

Standard Features

* All-wheel drive

* 2.0L DOHC Intercooled Turbo Engine
* Sport-tuned Front Wide Track Suspension
* Air conditioning

* Aluminum-alloy Pedal Covers

* AM/FM Cassette with In-Dash 6-CD Changer

* Cruise Control

* WRX Embroidered Floor Mats
* Momo Brand Leather-Wrap Steering Wheel
* Heated Performance Design Front Seats
* Power Door Locks

* Heated Power Exterior Mirrors

* Power Windows

* Remote Keyless Entry

Performance Accessories

* Subaru Performance Tuning Exhaust System

* STI Rear Spoiler

* Grill Craft Mesh Grill Inserts

* Charge Speed Carbon Fiber Hood Scoop

* Prodrive Shift Knowb

* Center Armrest Extension

* Sparco Hood Pins

* Molded Urethane Rally Mud Flaps

This Is For You Meg-O

My childhood best friend, her husband, and I all drive Honda Metropolitan scooters. This fall we drove them from Bangor to Bar Harbor and back. After having a nice lunch in Bar Harbor we went for a little scenic ride around Mount Desert Island. At one of the many scenic vistas we parked the scooters and enjoyed the view. We wanted to have our picture taken with the scooters, but no one came along to snap the photo for us. So instead I took a picture of the scooters enjoying the scenic vista, I think it is much funnier than having us in the picture.
Since this ride we have been toying with making a "scooter gang" and calling ourselves Heck's Angles. I think that the New Yorker this morning is mocking us.

If we only drove Vespas.....

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, June 26, 2008

100 Tidbits - Revised

So I have been informed that some of my tidbits don't count since since - so here is a revision.

50) Half way there

50) I lived in a tent for a while summer, and yes it rained often

100) One hundred is a big number

100) I am really into Erin McKeown lately - if you haven't listened to her you must check her out!

Enjoy ~SJ


The Music Man and I went for a little hike this afternoon behind his house. He promised panoramic views and scenic vistas, I thought that couch and reading and napping sounded like a better idea. I put my book down, put on my hiking boots and brought the camera. After about 20 minutes, and some really steep sections where I kept asking myself "Is this really worth it?"we got to the top. I think it was worth it, what do you think?

This one is for you Weather Boy!

Enjoy! ~SJ

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ever wondered what superhero you are? Well take the quiz and find out, report back if you want to.

Enjoy ~SJ

Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Monday, June 23, 2008

My 100 Tidbits

Amity challenged me to come up with my list of 100 things about me today. I have been working away at it all day, and I think I have come up with some interesting stuff.

100 Things

1) I am an only child
2) I have never lived in an apartment
3) I have a degree in science but I teach math
4) I am a Far Side fan
5) I am an avid reader
6) I love to sail small boats
7) I like technology "toys"
8) I have a weak point for candy
9) I like to read my comics online every morning
10) If given my choice, I would go barefoot all the time
11) I do not have a green thumb, but I try hard
12) My Dad and I share the same birthday
13) I like to travel
14) My favorite dinner is homemade mac & cheese and carrot sticks
15) I failed my first drivers test
16) I talk to my Mom almost every day on the phone
17) I like to play cribbage
18) I don't like to play cribbage online
19) I am left handed
20) When I was little I wanted to be a dolphin trainer
21) Or a professional chef
22) Or a mathematician
23) I don't think I'm very artistic
24) I like to take pictures
25) I'm 1/4 of the way through, and I like math!
26) I am SCUBA certified
27) I don't like mushrooms
28) My favorite color is red
29) I like popcorn Jelly Belly jelly beans
30) I have never been to Europe
31) I am a bad speller
32) I prefer canoes to kayaks
33) My family is one of the most important things to me
34) I like roller coasters
35) If I could I would adopt every cat I could
36) I prefer summer to winter
37) I was a thumb sucker when I was little
38) I played in the high school marching band
39) I'm not squeamish around spiders
40) I am squeamish around birds
41) I used to collect Pez dispensers
42) I'm good at putting stuff together
43) I have always been a Beatles fan
44) I was born the day John Lennon was shot
45) If I could I would eat popcorn every day for dinner
46) I don't know what chemiosmotic phosphorylation means - it has something to do with cells maybe
47) I was class president in high school
48) I like coffee milk
49) I don't like orange juice
50) Half way there!
51) I played with Legos when I was little
52) I didn't go to a co-ed college
53) I like to go to work, most days
54) I lost my last baby tooth when I was in high school
55) I worked at the New England Aquarium in college
56) This is starting to get hard....
57) I like to cook
58) My favorite vacation spot is my front porch with a good book
59) I don't have cable
60) But don't take my internet away!
61) I prefer a good pencil over a pen
62) I work in the same school that I went to
63) I never thought I would work there
64) My favorite fruit is strawberries
65) I like my handwriting
66) I have no blood sisters, but I have some great friends who are like sisters!
67) I don't know how to play chess
68) I have always wanted to swim with dolphins
69) I am really good at tying knots
70) I am really good at folding t-shirts
71) I don't like to fold my laundry
72) I don't read the newspaper
73) When I drive to work I listen to NPR
74) A perfect day for me is loafing around reading
75) I like taking classes
76) I had a pet rock when I was little
77) This has taken me all day to come up with!
78) I nicknamed myself SJ
79) I like to take pictures of my feet
80) My Mom was my girl scout leader when I was little
81) I never had a Barbie doll, and I'm proud of it
82) I check my email constantly, sometimes too much!
83) I know that latin names for many species of algae
84) I once lived on a sailboat for over four months
85) My father is the most brilliant person I know
86) My mother is the most hilarious person I know
87) I have always wanted to live on an island
88) I still get my left and right mixed up
89) I love to drive
90) I don't dance very well
91) I wish I could speak cat
92) I don't like scary movies
93) I sometimes think that Mother Nature is out to get me
94) When I was little, my grandmother and I shared a bedroom for the summer.
95) I like to sleep with the windows open
96) I eat too much garlic
97) Sometimes I delete my voice mail without listening to it
98) I have a thing for bags
99) I wish that I didn't need a land line
100) One hundred is a big number!

I dare you, give it a try if you haven't yet.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Time

Summer is the perfect season to lounge around and read all day long, and I have been taking advantage of it. For me, a perfect summer day includes waking up late, making coffee, and reading in different locations around the house. This summer has been perfect so far when it comes to reading. I have moved past Sophie Kinsella for the moment. A few days ago a read a biography on Houdini, Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini. Currently I am reading The Zookeepers Wife which I heard about on NPR a few months back. It is true story about a woman who lives in Warsaw during WWII and she and her husband run a zoo. In the end they protect over 300 Jewish people in and around the zoo.

Time for the second cup of coffee and the new reading location.

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blogging Doldrum

I have been sitting around all morning trying to come up with something interesting to blog about. It seems that the more I think about it, the farther and farther away from a topic I get. It's not that I haven't been doing anything, it just seems that what I have been up to just isn't "blogable", thus I'm in a blogging doldrum. (When all else fails, and you don't have anything to blog about, make up new blogging terms)

Blogable: A topic, or event that is interesting enough that you want to share it with the internet.
Blogging Doldrum: When you are lacking a blogable topic or event

Enough rambeling from me, here is a little info that I found on doldrums during my morning Wiki search:
"The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage. The Doldrums (often capitalized when referring to the geographic region) is an area of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. The low pressure is caused by the heat at the equator, which makes the air rise and travel north and south high in the atmosphere, until it subsides again in the horse latitudes. Some of that air returns to the Doldrums through the trade winds. This process can lead to light or variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of heavy squalls, thunderstorms and hurricanes. This region is also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, or are light and shifting. Because of the unpredictable weather patterns, the Doldrums became notorious with sailors because this region's periods of deadly calm could trap boats for days or weeks on end as they waited for enough wind to power their sails.

In colloquial usage, "being in the doldrums" refers to being in a state of listlessness, despondency, inactivity, stagnation, or a slump."

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Vacation!

Summer vacation is officially in full swing starting today. So what did SJ do with her completely free day? Swim? Sleep? Read? Surf the internet? Talk on the phone? Cook? Go to school you fools! I'm still trying to get my new classroom all straightened out and ready for summer school, which starts in a few weeks. When I got home from that, I went onto the internet and searched for materials for summer school. No need to fear my regular readers, I did enjoy some summer like activities. The Music Man and I went for a little bike ride, started planning a hike for maybe tomorrow, and of course I read. I hope to ease out of work mode over the next few days, and start to think more like Calvin.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today was the last official day of school for the teachers of my school district. All the classes are done for the year, our rooms are packed, and our grades are entered. This is always a bittersweet time of year for me.
Confession 1: I am already looking forward to next school year, and have started to make a list of things that I want to work on over the summer to be ready for next year.

Summer is always a great time to get caught up on the always mounting list of books that I want to read. I tend to spend part of my day down on the dock reading, napping, and swimming. Really it is a rough life.
Confession 2: You may have read that I posed a summer challenge for myself: to swim ever day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Well, I have been waiting to tell you, my avid reader, I have failed at my swim challenge. I made it about three days in, and then got busy and forgot. There is always next year, right?!

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, June 16, 2008


After a successful day at school the Music Man and I were blessed with two encounters with Mother Nature.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Celtics Pride!

With the Boston Celtics poised to potentially win the NBA playoffs Boston is a sea of green! Even the famous Hilltop Steakhouse cows are showing off their Celtics pride!

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, June 13, 2008


The scooter has officially traveled over 1000 miles! I went on a "long" trip around Worthley Pond and up and around Weld Lake. On the way back through Carthage, at the "Welcome to Carthage" sign the scooter rolled over 1000 miles. I was hoping it might have happened at a more scenic place, such as the top of hill looking out over Weld Lake. But then again, it is a rather unique "welcome" sign, complete with a huge blade from a saw mill!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Internet Black Hole

I just read about yet another black hole of time on the internet on the blog Reflecting. If you have a few extra hours to pass check it out and create your own Picasso inspired art!

Also, if you fee like turning any of your photo's in Warhol inspired art check out Warholizer!

Enjoy ~SJ

Tax Refund, Ziggy, And A Tank Of Gas

I just got my economic stimulus check in the mail last week, I have been driving the scooter around to save on gas, and this is today's Ziggy comic. Does anyone else think this is all just getting out of hand?

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hi blogging world, this...

Hi blogging world, this is SJ. I just found out about this amazing new website that helps you remember all sorts of fun things, you must check out to learn more about it. listen

Powered by Jott

I sent that top part from my cell phone through jott. Ahh.....the wonders of technology!

Monday, June 9, 2008


So you can just label me as one giant nerd right now. My big excitement of the day was listening and watching as Steve Job made big announcements about new Apple releases at the Keynote presentation of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). I pulled out all of the stops this afternoon and listened to a rather bad live feed of the keynote, while reading Twitter updates on Twitter, as well MacRumors. (Are you deciding just how big of a nerd to label me as yet? If not you should be!) I was hoping for some big announcement in regards to a new computer, maybe even a tablet, or something so new no one had even thought it up yet. Most the the announcements had to do with the iPhone. An 8-gigabyte one is going to be available for under $200. Very exciting if you are an AT&T customer, but for me the US Cellular user, not so exciting.

Here is a shot that someone uploaded and titled "The Nerd Herd". Oh well, at least I now know that there are bigger nerds out there than me.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thank You Mother Nature!

Well it seems that Mother Nature and I are on better terms now. She blessed us all with a beautiful summer weekend, with high temperatures above 90! I spent a lot of my weekend down by the water swimming, reading, and visiting with the neighbors. I also went on a rather large scooter ride, traveling over 60 miles, not bad for less than half a gallon of gas! While enjoying the summer like weather, I kept reminding myself that this is the pay off for all those afternoons shoveling the never ending mounds of snow. Thank you Mother Nature for rewarding the Mainer's with a perfect weekend, after our very long winter.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another SJ!

So I have stumbled upon another SJ in the blogosphere! She seems just a little too much like me: we read the same girly books, she has some crazy girl adventures, we have the same name and blog pen name, and the best thing, she photographs her feet! This must be just a few of the genetic markers of all SJ's of the world. To the left are her feet.

Enjoy ~SJ

Grow Little Plants Grow!

The tomato plants are in their new home!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

International Year Of The What?

According to my daily news feed, it is the international year of the potato! Now I know that according to the Chinese it is the year of the rat. Here is what I read about the international year of the potato:

How to Celebrate the International Year of the Potato

This is a featured article. Click here for more information.

"As wheat and rice prices surge, the humble potato is being rediscovered as a nutritious crop that could cheaply feed an increasingly hungry world."[1]

The United Nations declared that 2008 is the International Year of the Potato. The celebration of the International Year of the Potato (IYP) is intended to raise awareness of the importance of the potato, as well as agriculture in general, in addressing issues of global concern, including hunger, poverty and threats to the environment. This article provides some ways for you to join in the celebration of the humble spud.

[edit] Steps

  1. Learn about the reasons why the potato is an important food crop. The humble potato is being rediscovered as a potentially very useful food crop that can be easily grown in many parts of the world as a source of nutritious food. The benefits of potatoes include:

    • Global nature - they have been transported all around the world and are grown almost everywhere
    • Ability to feed the hungry - the potato is able to produce more nutritious food per area of land and in harsher environments than any other major food crop, and "up to 85 percent of the plant is edible human food, compared to around 50% in cereals".[2]
    • Nutritious - potatoes are good for you. They are rich in carbohydrates which provide long-term energy and they have the highest protein content for the root and tuber family, "with an amino-acid pattern that is well matched to human requirements".[3]
    • Increasing future demand - there is an increasing trend in eating potatoes around the world, indicating that potatoes will become more and more important as a substantial food crop.
  2. Learn about the different varieties of potatoes. There are many varieties of potatoes and different potatoes are suitable for different uses. There are potatoes suitable for baking, roasting, boiling, mashing, steaming and frying. Ask at your local potato distributor for information on the best types of potato for your cooking needs.
  3. Learn about the nutrition benefits of the potato. Potatoes have received a lot of bad press from those insisting that potatoes make dieters fat but this bad rap is undeserved. Potatoes are low in fat; it is what you put on a potato can make it fattening but by itself, potatoes are not a fattening food and can easily satisfy hunger cravings quickly in small portion. Potatoes contain many micronutrients, including vitamin C, iron, B1. B3, B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. In addition, potatoes contain valuable dietary fibre and antioxidants to help prevent age-related diseases.[4]

  4. Note the effects of cooking styles on potato nutrition. The method that you use for cooking potatoes impacts on the nutrition level of the potato.

    • Boiling causes a big loss of vitamin C, especially for peeled potatoes
    • Frying potatoes and making French fries/chips reduces the mineral and ascorbic acid content and causes the potato to absorb a lot of fat
    • Baking causes a higher loss of vitamin C than boiling but retains other vitamins and minerals.[5]
  5. Make some potato recipes at home. Get cooking! Almost everyone loves the potato in some form or other and you can put your culinary skills to use cooking potatoes at home. Look for potato recipes on wikiHow and share some of your favourite ones with family and friends.
  6. Grow your own potatoes. Potatoes are really easy to grow and children can also join in the fun of planting them and watching them grow. For more details on growing potatoes for yourself, see our article Plant Potatoes.

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, June 2, 2008

Great Tip!

After my "It's A Sad Day" blog the River Valley Bloggers have left me some great advise. Of course all of this advice is for before the hard drive crashes! Rach pointed me towards a pretty fun new blog called Indexed that I added to my Google Reader. Thought I would share the fitting Venn Diagram from it.

Enjoy ~SJ


Today I put out the humming bird feeder, and while I was making the food I got thinking about my Grandmother. When I was growing up, my Grandmother spent her summers with us at our cottage on Worthley Pond. We always had humming bird feeders around the property, and stored the extra food in the refrigerator. One night my Grandmother got up to get a drink, and without knowing drank the humming bird food. The next morning she commented on how sweet the soda was that she drank during the night. We asked her to show us what she drank, and when she showed us the humming bird food we told her "Well at least you will hum all summer long!"

Thank Grammy, I can never see a hummingbird or feeder without thinking of you.

Enjoy ~SJ

Living To 100!

I just found this great link to a website where you can answer all sorts of questions and find out how old you are going to live. Now these aren't questions like "what is your favorite color". These are questions that truly are inquiring about how you live your life (including how often you poop and floss!). After answering all of the questions I found out that I am going to live until I am 96, and if I want to live longer I need to exercise more and take an aspirin daily. If you want to find out how long you are going to live, or how to improve your lifestyle click here!

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Cat's New Toys

The cat's have two new great toys, and they were both very expensive. The first one is the box from my new bike helmet. The second is a clove of garlic. So not only will they be safe if they fall off from a bike, but they will also ward off vampires. Glad to know that the "kids" don't need expensive toys.

Enjoy ~SJ

It's A Sad Day

Thank goodness for Apple Care! My MacBook won't start up, so it is being sent out for repairs. I can only hope that they can rescue my files off from it. Word to the wise, back up your computer!

Enjoy ~SJ