Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Stanley decided to dress up as his idol today for Halloween, Morris the Cat. Here is what wikipedia has to say about Morris "Morris the Cat (voiced by John Erwin of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) is the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials. A large red tabby tom, he is "the world's most finicky cat", and prefers only 9Lives brand, making this preference clear by means of humorously sardonic voice-over comments when offered other brands. Every can of 9Lives features Morris's "signature".

Well Stanley isn't as picky as Morris, but he sure can pack away the cat food!

Happy Halloween! Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, October 30, 2008

E Is For....


Ok, so maybe this is not what you were expecting for the letter E, but here is the story. A few weeks ago my little cousin Sadie Jane (a.k.a. SJ II, or Mini SJ) had her first birthday. A few years back one of my aunts started to make bath towels that look like different characters. There has been a Lamb Chop, Bob the Builder, and maybe a Dora. Well, Mini SJ got an Elmo since he is her favorite character. When she opened the towel Elmo she didn't know what to do, and didn't want to put it on since she has a thing about items going over her head. So being the nice big cousin that I am (and having a secret desire to always be Elmo), I put the bath towel on. Mini SJ imediatly got excited and thought that I was Elmo! I got lots of hugs and kisses and I think she wanted me to sing Elmo songs, unfortunatly for her I don't know any. I took the Elmo towel off and tried to get her to put it on, this lead to crying on her end, so I went back to talking with another relative. To the right is one of my favorite pictures of her that I took months ago, she is just too cute!

Enjoy ~SJ

Elephant Jumping on Trampoline

I found this today and just had to share, turn up the volume and get ready to laugh!

Enjoy ~SJ

What Does Your Favorite Candy Say About You? Quiz!

What Your Love of Jelly Beans Says About You

You are a generous and open minded person. You love many things and many people.

You are silly, colorful, and unpredictable. The only thing that's sure about you is that you're having fun.

There are many sides to your personality. Once people thinks they know you, you surprised them with something new.

You tend to be a bit experimental with your lifestyle. You are not judgmental, and you always keep an open mind.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mother Nature I *Bleep * Bleep* You!

On my drive home for school (early) I was enjoying watching some of the last leaves fall off the trees until I noticed snow! Yes folks, you read it right, snow! I think that Mother Nature was just trying to remind us of her powerful control she holds over us as well as the fact that real snow is just around the corner. I guess it is time to dig out the hat and mittens, clean up the yard for the winter, and find the sweaters.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote Apple Party

I found this on my desk a few days ago. Wish it was real, then I could spend tons of money on a new wardrobe since I am running for V.P.!

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, October 27, 2008

D Is For....


My Dad and I might just share a few things in common other than a few genes. When I was growing up I always joked that even though I was an only child I always had my Dad to play with. You cold always find to two of us playing with some sort of new toy, building something on the table, or plotting new ways to make things work. I share my Dad's passion for building things and making them work.

When I was little we spent hours building with Legos, origami, rockets, boats, and even kites. We have built kayaks, two string kites, little Lego houses, tiny rockets and huge rockets. We even once built a moon mask out of paper mache.

Growing up we spent our summers sailing. We started with a 16 foot Venture Catamaran, this is by far my favorite boat and I am still a little sad that my Dad sold it without me knowing. Once I got too big to sail the Venture and I was ready for my own boat we spent an exciting afternoon negotiating for my very own Snark.

Although I loved the freedom of my own boat, I still missed sailing with my Dad, so we upgraded the Venture for an 18 foot Hobie Cat. Of course, like true boat enthusiasts we kept the Venture, Snark and the new Hobie Cat, much to My Mother's frustration. The new Hobie Cat meant that we could now race through New England on the weekends. Since my Dad and I are both on the lighter side, and had plenty of time to practice we were one of the teams to beat for a few summers. It didn't help that my Dad is an amazing rigger and knew all the tricks on how to make our boat the fastest. Well, times changed, and we stopped racing after a few summers. It is still a very fond memory of mine.

There are many more sailing stories that I can and will tell (like the time I fell off the boat when I was just a toddler!), but I am going to save them for another blog.

Enjoy ~SJ

Oh Poncho.... make me laugh!

Just had to share some of his most recent antics!

Enjoy ~SJ

Google Reader, RSS Feeds and iGoogle

I am working with a group of teachers in the area brainstorming litercay and technology together. Last week we got together for the day and had the opportunity to work on lots of internet projects that I have been wanting to work the kinks out of. For many people in the group blogs and Google accounts were new to them. After our day of working together I told them that I would write on our group blog how to set up several useful tools with their new Google accounts. Below is what I wrote for them, I thought I would share with my dedicated blog followers in case there was something new for them.

Once you catch the blog bug you will start finding a vast number of blogs that you want to follow. There are a vast number of well written and useful technology education blogs that I try to follow on a regular basis (links to follow later).

Now that we all have Google accounts with gmail and blogger access we can use another Google product to help us keep track of our blogs. Google Reader allows you to subscribe to the blogs that you are interested in following and saves you checking all of the blog links for new postings. Whenever there is a new post on one of the blogs that you follow it gets fed into your Google Reader. Basically what Google Reader does is goes out to the blogs you tell it to and checks on a regular basis multiple times a day to see if there are any new posts. It is kind of like an email inbox for the internet. Your email all feeds into one place and you already check that on a regular basis, Google Reader allows many of the websites that you read on the internet be fed into an inbox.

You may have noticed that once you registered for your Google account you could make a new page for yourself called iGoogle. iGoogle is a page that you can customize with everything from news, your gmail, daily comics, games, and Google Reader. Below is a small screen shot of part of my iGoogle page.

Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to set up your iGoogle page.

1) Go to
2) In the upper right hand corner click on iGoogle
3) In the new screen click on Sign In in the upper right hand corner
3) The next screen will ask you for your username and password

Now you are at your own iGoogle page which you can personalize. In order to personalize this page click on the "Add Stuff" link. On the next page you will be able to select different mini applications, or gadgets that you might find useful or fun. In order to add any gadget to your reader simply click on the "Add It Now" link below the gadget. This page is where you can find the Google Reader gadget by searching for "Google Reader".

Once you have the Google Reader gadget and all the other gadgets that you are interested in having on your iGoogle page click on "Back to iGoogle home" in the upper left hand corner. You will notice now that you iGoogle page has a new look. Congratulations, you now have set up your own personalized iGoogle page! If you like it, you may want to change your internet homepage to it.

Ok, so you have a google account, you have a personalized iGoogle page, and Google Reader can be found on your iGoogle page. Now it is time to add blogs to your Google Reader. Start by visiting Right now your Google Reader is empty, in order to add subscriptions, or blogs that you want to follow, click on "Add Subscription" in the left hand column. In the new box that pops up paste the link that you want to follow, for instance you might want to add

Last part of the Google Reader lesson, RSS Feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Many websites that update themselves on a regular basis have an RSS feed. Like Google Reader, an RSS feed saves you the time of checking the website for updates and can feed it into your Google Reader. The image to the left is the universal RSS feed logo. Whenever you see this image on a website it means that you can feed the updates into your Google Reader. When you find a website that you like and it has the RSS logo click on it. On the next page you can choose to either feed the RSS updates to your iGoogle page or your Google Reader, the choice is yours.

If you have any questions, or my directions weren't clear enough, please post a comment and I will try to help you through the process.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Funny or Die?

Now I know that there has been a lot of humor and laughs mixed in with this presidential election. There have been lots of wonderful clips and cartoons that I could share with you, but this is as presidential as I am going to get.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ant Farm!

You may remember that I placed an order for the ants for my ant farm a month or so back. Last week the ants for my ant farm arrived. This has been a much anticipated package, many of my students were asking on a daily basis when the ants would arrive. Here is a picture of what was inside the package.Included in the package were not only the live ants, but also a light, magnifying glass, activity/fact book, membership card and a poster. The light is a definitely a great addition to the farm since it helps us see the tunnels in more detail inside.An interesting fact that I learned about ants is that the majority of ants are females. Ant colonies only have a few males that are kept around for reproducing. So, the ants that came in the mail for me are all females! Pretty cool, huh?!
Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Since A Coconut Is Not A Mammal

As a morning coffee drinker I like a little artificial sweetener and a little milk product. In my attempt to be more healthy I switched to soy milk in my coffee instead of cream. It was a big change at first, but I am doing fine with the whole thing now.

This morning as the Music Man was fixing us both a cup of coffee I heard him yell: We are out of milk!

SJ: Is there anything we can substitute?

Sounds of rummaging through the cupboards

Music Man: What about coconut milk?

SJ: There isn't any actual milk in coconut milk, right? Since a coconut is not a mammal, it does not produce milk, right?

Music Man: How about black?

I drank the black coffee while adding soy milk to the mental list of things to pick up at the grocery store later on in the day. This little exchange this morning got me to thinking about coconuts and milk. If I follow my rational for why a coconut can not produce milk (lack of being a mammal), doesn't that also mean that the soy milk that I drink is not really milk since it too is not a mammal. So why be discriminate against coconut "milk" when I drink soy "milk"? Google to the rescue, where is what I found.

"Coconut milk is made by simmering equal parts water and shredded coconut meat, then squeezing and straining the thick liquid remaining. (Not to be confused with the liquid in the coconut, called coconut juice or coconut cream, which uses the same prepartion as coconut milk but a proportion of 4 parts coconut to 1 part water.) Coconut milk (nahm gkati) is the base of most Thai curries. Unsweetened coconut cream is made in the same manner as coconut milk, only the ratio is one part water (or milk for a richer product) to four parts coconut. Do not confuse sweetened cream of coconut (used for desserts and mixed drinks) with unsweetened coconut milk or cream." (Kitchen Dictionary)

"Delicious, convenient and incredibly good for you, soy milk may well become your favorite drink. Made from soy beans (no cows involved), soy milk is often used in place of dairy milk as a refreshing drink, over breakfast cereal and in coffee. For cooking, soy milk lends a boost of creamy great taste and extra nutrition to baked goods, casseroles and more. Plus, soy milk is the secret ingredient in the world’s greatest smoothies!

Soy milk has long been a popular choice for people who are lactose intolerant or prefer to avoid animal products. But ever since Silk brought the creamy pleasure of soy milk to the mainstream, everybody’s riding the wave. After all, you don’t need a special reason to indulge in great taste.

Soy milk is loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain peak health. It also provides special nutrients called isoflavones that scientists believe may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and provide other important health benefits.

What Are Soy Beans?

To really understand soy milk, you need to understand the source – soy beans. Soy beans are a high protein bean originally grown in China. Considered a complete protein, they contain all 8 essential amino acids. Low in saturated fat (bad fat), high in polyunsaturated fat (good fat) and cholesterol free, soy beans may be the world’s perfect food.

Acre for acre, soy can feed more people than practically any other food, and this efficient use of land is just one of the reasons why it’s environmentally friendly. Soy beans are used for much more than soy milk. They’re used in all kinds of foods and even in some unexpected items like crayons." (Silk Soy Milk)

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, October 17, 2008

Remember When Craft Fair

Remember When is gearing up for another season of craft fairs. We will be at two shows this year, see details below. Remember When uses items from bygone days. They have been painted with primitive paints, decorated with bittersweet,red berries,boughs and homespun bows. A few of the items are sap buckets, snowshoes, pack baskets, skiis, and sleds from primitive times to the 40s and 50s. Below are the details about the two fairs. For more info please feel free to contact me.

24th Annual Christmas Craft Show Augusta Armory
179 Western Ave. Route 202, I-95 Exit 109 (Old Exit 30),
(across from Burger King) Augusta, Me. 04330
October 25 & 26
Show Hours: Saturday & Sunday 10-4 PM

32nd Annual Leavitt Area High School Craft Fair
Saturday Nov. 8
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Lower Street, Turner

Enjoy ~SJ

Less Than Five Star Customer Service Life Is Good

A few days ago I sent Life Is Good customer service a suggestion about a shirt idea. Here is what I sent them (I'm saving you clicking back through my blog).

Dear Jake (a.k.a. Life Is Good),

I have been an a Life Is Good fan for over 10 years, and have been an avid collector of your shirts. I have been very excited watching the growth of your company, and think that you have been very creative in your expansions.

With that said, I would like to see the motorcycle logo on a woman's shirt. I am an avid motorcycle rider, and use the new Jake key chain for my bike key. I think it is a dramatic oversight on your part by not printing this shirt for woman. Is this something that you are looking into?

Attached you will find a picture of my bike and key chain.

Thank you

P.S. My life would be good if I could have one of these shirts for me!

Here is the reply that I got back this morning:


Thank you for taking the time to email us. We don’t have any immediate plans to add this to the women’s line but you never know what the future may hold.

Have a great day


Life is good

I will have to admit, after my extensive blog posting earlier this week on customer service I would have to say that Life Is Good is not living up to what I had expected from them.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, October 16, 2008

C Is For....


I know that you all know I am a appreciator of the feline kind. Through my life I have almost always had a cat in my home. These felines have always held a special place in my heart, one of the most special ones is Sterling Silver.

My Mother rescued Sterling from a pet store after multiple visits. They met each other prior to My Mother's back surgery when My Father would take her on short drives to get her mind off the pain. Sterling made sure that when My Mother was in the store she played it up extra how cute and tiny she was. Since Sterling was the runt of the litter she was an exceptionally tiny kitten. So small in fact, she needed to step to get in and out of the litter box.

Sterling was a loyal cat, who would rearrange her busy day when you were sick to lay in bed with you. She always greeted you at the door when you came home, and was always polite around visitors. Sterling was known for her "voice", and used it often. On one occasion a telemarketer thought Sterlings "talking" in the background was my baby crying!

Sterling had a silvery colored coat, thus the name, complete with double paws, huge ears and eyes, and no tail. My Mother and I always joked that she was too busy making sure that she got nice fur, ears, eyes and paws, that she forgot to get in line for a tail! Tail or no tail, Sterling is still a purrfect cat in my book.

My Mother and I always joked about Sterlings extensive "life" outside of our home. After September 11 we decided that Sterling had become Jewish "to be show her acceptance of diversity". This fictious story extended to the observation that the "Shalom bus would pick her up to go to Temple on a weekly basis". The stories went on and on..... the never ending creativity.

Sterling started out as a childhood cat, and then once My Mother started going to Florida for the winters, she become my first pet as an adult.

She enjoyed spending her summer days chasing the ducks up the stream and the chimpmunks along the rock wall. In the winters she found a sunny spot in the house to take long cat naps.

Like all cats Sterling got old, and after 14 years of being my loyal cat it was time to say goodbye. I burried her behind the house in an area that she enjoyed spending her summer afternoons. Her grave is marked with a small pile of stones and a marker reading "In memory of a faithful friend and companion".

Enjoy ~SJ

Jazz Up October with an Evening of Big Band Music

Swing into fall with an evening of big band jazz. On October 19, Opus One Big Band will bring their sizzling sound to the brand new building of Hope Baptist Church, located on Route 202, Manchester, starting at 6pm.
Opus One will perform an array of classic swing tunes by such legendary jazz giants as Woody Herman, George Gershwin, and Thelonious Monk. The band features a full complement of saxophones, trumpets, and trombones, and a swinging rhythm section, under the expert direction of Dale Perkins.
The concert is free (donations appreciated) and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Come and see the new home of Hope Baptist Church while tapping along to the classic big band sound. Mark your calendar today for October 19, 6pm at Hope Baptist Church, Route 202, Manchester, for a swinging evening with the Opus One big band. For more information, email
Come see The Music Man play some big band!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Real Life Flair?!

I have become a Facebook addict, and besides connecting with friends I like the application Flair. Now in case you are not familiar with Flair basically it allows you to collect and give virtual pins. These pins allow you to show off your interests, hobbies, and humor. Sorry to all of my friends if I have Flair-spammed you, the flair made me think of you at the time - feel honored.

Today I was reading a Blogger Buddies blog Que Sara Sara! (a.k.a. The "Other" SJ). SJ is away on a vacation, and since she is such a thoughtful blogger, she brought in guest bloggers while she is away. Today The "Other" SJ had Brandy from It's like I'm...mmmagic!" post. Brandy talked at length about Girl Scout badges and how it is too bad that we don't have adult badges (she called them flair).

Brandy's thoughts about adult Girl Scout badges got me to thinking about what sort of badges I have earned. Here is the short list:

  • Master whoopie pie maker
  • Middle school field hockey coach
  • Proud ownder of two precious cats
  • Can drive a standard
  • Can set up a tent in less than ten minutes

What sort of adult Girl Scout badges have you earned?

Enjoy ~SJ

"Tracfone is fleecing the elderly!" or SJ's Encounters With Customer Service

Ok, so the title of blog might be a little stretched, but I did make this statement today. My Mother has been visiting over the last few days and has been telling me how unhappy she has been with her Tracfone service. It isn't necessarily the reception part that she has been unhappy with, but rather a service that she signed up that did not end up being followed through with. Long and short is since Tracfone is a pre-paid service she signed up for an automatic addition of minutes every month. Since signing up with the service she has not been credited for the additional minutes, but of course Tracfone has charged her debit card. So I told her that I would call Tracfone and cancel her service as well as get her a credit for her non-credited minutes.

After a lengthy conversation with several different Tracfone reps, I was able to get her the money credited back to her account, but they were not very happy to do this. The funniest part of my whole encounter with the Tracfone reps is that their phonelines were so poor it was hard to hear and understand them, do you see the irony there? Also, I informed them that I thought they were "fleecing the elderly, and not the sheep kind of fleece!". Ok, so maybe My Mother is not offically an elderly person, but she is retired doesn't that count for something? Moral of the story, don't get a Tracfone, nor should you try to talk with their customer reps.

After my Tracfone experience My Mother and I went to Eddie Bauer to return my backpack. It has torn along the seam and since Eddie Bauer has a 100% guarentee just like L.L.Bean I decided to take it back. Now, this is the second time that I have taken back this bag due to the same problem. The first time they took the bag back, no questions asked, and gave me a brand new one. Since this is the second time that the bag had torn along the seem I thought it was time to get more than just the same bag.

Once arriving at Eddie Bauer I went up to a sales person and expalined my situation. She poiletly asked me what I wanted them to do for this horrible inconcience. Long and short of it, she gave me all of my money back in the form of a gift card so that I can pick out another bag on their website. Now this is an example of a 5-Star business, the complete antithesis of the previously mentioned business.

Now onto my third encounter with customer service of the day. After Eddie Bauer My Mother and I met my Step-Father for dinner at Red Robbin. This was our first time visiting the "World Famous Gouermet Burger Makers". I was impressed with the variety of choices, but was able to narrow it down to just one. When our food arrived My Mother discovered one bite into her burger that it was cold. We polietly informed our waitress, and she wisked the cool burger away. Moments later the manager came rushing over offering a salad while she waited for a new burger as well as checking how the rest of our food was. Within minutes a new and hot burger arrived for My Mother. Again, very impressive compared to the first customer service encounter of the day.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life Is Good Customer Service

Dear Jake (a.k.a. Life Is Good),

I have been an a Life Is Good fan for over 10 years, and have been an avid collector of your shirts. I have been very excited watching the growth of your company, and think that you have been very creative in your expansions.

With that said, I would like to see the motorcycle logo on a woman's shirt. I am an avid motorcycle rider, and use the new Jake key chain for my bike key. I think it is a dramatic oversight on your part by not printing this shirt for woman. Is this something that you are looking into?

Attached you will find a picture of my bike and key chain.

Thank you

P.S. My life would be good if I could have one of these shirts for me!

Here is a picture of the logo that I want.

Enjoy ~SJ

Another Exciting Quiz!

It has been a few weeks since my last installment of an exciting internet quiz. This time I have found, "What Comic Character Are You?"(I know, you have always been wondering).

My results is......

Ironically I have always been a Snoopy fan. When I was a newborn my Father brought me a little Snoopy stuffed animal. Apparently I enjoyed this little Snoopy and he went everywhere with me. One day while we were all in the car, My Mom checked in on me and noticed that Snoopy's little felt nose was missing! My parents still aren't sure where his nose ended up, but they guessed that I ate it.

So, what comic character are you?

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day To-Do List

For me Columbus Day has traditionally been a day to "get things done around the house". Today, since My Mom and the Music Man were both at my house, the to-do list seemed longer than in years bast.

  • Take in the dock
  • Put the canoe away
  • Put the Sunfish away for the season
  • Put plastic shrink-wrap on the windows
  • Put plastic on the back doors
  • Clean the cat box
  • Make apple sauce
  • Make yogurt
Amazingly, the to-do list got completely done! Just another overachieving successful day in the world of SJ.

Enjoy ~SJ

Please Don't Feed The Animals

This Close To Home comic reminded me of an adventure that My Mom and I had at the beach.

One day while I was visiting My Mom in Florida we decided to spend the afternoon enjoying the sun and surf on Clearwater Beach in Clearwater, Florida. Now this beach that My Mom and I went to required us to trek about 1/4 of a mile across the "Sahara", really it was just that far from the parking lot across the sand to the water. We settled in on a nice part of the beach not too close to anyone. Before going to the beach My Mom and I stopped at Albertson's Grocery Store to get sandwiches. These were not just any sandwich, they were h u g e, with wonderful toppings. Not long after settleing on the sand I decided to start in on my sandwich. Now I'm sure you can guess where this is going. Moments into unwrapping my sandwich I was swarmped by seagulls. I think that they sent out an all points bulliten to the surrounding five miles that there was an unwrapped sandwich being eaten. The birds were bombing me for my precious sandwich. Eventaully I jut gave up and let the birds have the sandwich. This is when the little German ladies beside me yelled at me for feeding the birds! Yea right, like I was trying to feed the birds, I was just trying to enjoy my sandwich on the beach, so much for that.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, October 9, 2008

While The Feeders Away....

.... the cats will kill. Well, I have to admit that Phoebe and Stanley have gotten the message that they need to work for their crunchies. They have really stepped up to their responsibilities of being house cats and have started to rid the house of mice. It's that time of year where mice think they should move into peoples homes, and without a good cat around you may get overrun with these little gray pests. Phoebe and Stanley have been working as a team to rid our house of mice, Stanley catches them but leaves the dirty work of killing them to his little sister Phoebe.

Enjoy ~SJ

B Is For....


Last summer I traveled to Wichita, Kansas to attend the National Speech and Debate competition. At first I was not looking forward to the trip to Kansas because I didn't really think that there would be a lot to do in Wichita, boy was I wrong. In the ten days that we were there we found plenty to keep the high school kids and adults entertained with! One of my favorite activities was visiting the Pedestrian Bridge and Keeper of the Plains. The bridge and statue are located along the Arkansas river and are a awe inspiring architectural and artistic sight. The restoration project cost over $20 million dollars and was completed months before my travel there in the early summer of 2007.

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Best Deal Around.... For Miles!

Friday evening I found myself at the Dixfield House of Pizza enjoying a sandwich and reading the Lewiston Sun Journal. I was tired of reading about the countries current financial disaster, so I flipped to the local section hoping to read about anything but the economy. While reading the back page I came across the following article:

, Friday, October 3, 2008

BURNHAM - It's mid-afternoon Wednesday and Mike Hall of Burnham has just finished filling up his truck with regular unleaded gasoline at Patterson's Store.

A few minutes ago the price at the store's single pump was $3.39 a gallon - among the top 10 cheapest in the state. Now, just before he filled up, the price was lowered another 12 cents, to $3.27. According to the Web site, Patterson's had the second cheapest gas price in Maine at that point. The average price in Maine that day was $3.52, according to the Web site.

"I think it's great," Hall said. "I fill up my wife's car here too. It's convenient. I definitely try to fill up here even though I work in Fairfield."

In fact, Patterson's has consistently been among the low-price leaders in Maine. But for Brian Kenney, owner of the store, he never pays much attention to how his prices stack up against others.

He just wants to treat his core customers right. Those are mostly Burnham residents, who he welcomes by name as they open the store door.

"It's not something I base my price on - to be the cheapest," Kenney said. "I have a margin I work on."

Kenney declined to discuss any specific numbers, but said he makes enough off his single pump station (one pump is gasoline, another is diesel) to keep prices at a low price he's comfortable with. He has a 4,000-gallon tank and averages 10,000 gallons of fuel during three drop-offs a week.

"That's pretty good for a little store," Kenney said. "My customers know I normally am one of the cheapest around. My locals are the ones that motivate me" to have good prices.

The store, at 4 Pond Road off North Horseback Road, is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. It's been in Kenney's family since 1933, though the store had been around in one form or another for about 200 years, he said. His mother owns the historic building while he owns the store business.

"The store has quite a bit of history to it and I'd like to keep it in the family," Kenney said.

Dion Rossignol, Kenney's niece, manages the store during the first half of the day and has seen long lines of cars at the gas pump. Most days the store will attract 100 or more cars at the single pump, but some days it's been more than 200.

"It brings people here," she said, and she sees many regular customers from nearby towns such as Unity and Clinton. "It's hard to get (fuel) deliveries some days" because of the line of cars.

Based on what he's seen, Kenney thinks that gas prices will continue to drop.

"Hopefully it stabilizes around the $3 mark," he said. "The ups and downs of this business is crazy.""

Today I went and visited my Mom, who just happens to live less than three miles from Patterson's General Store. Since I was so close I decided that I just had to stop by to fill up on the inexpensive gas. Now Patterson's is a typical rural Maine convenience store, complete with deviled eggs on the counter and a bulletin board where people can advertise items for sale or services to be offered. I filled up my tank, at $3.10/gallon, and went inside to introduce myself. Oh yeah, that's another perk of rural Maine convenience stores, they know everyone in town. The woman at the counter was happy to hear that I had read the newspaper article and came in because of it. I informed her that I write a blog and wanted to stop by to get the "scoop" on what I had read about in the newspaper so that I could report to my fellow readers. She was also glad to meet me since she knew both my Mother and my Step Father, and to hear that I was going to write more about the little store.There's nothing like rural Maine!

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Is For....

Last weekend I was in the driveway at the Shamrock picking up the yard for the coming winter. I noticed a small oak tree growing out of my retaining wall and decided that it needed to be removed before it caused damage. Upon pulling it out I noticed that the acorn that the tree sprouted from was still attached to the trunk and roots. This unique view of Mother Natures miracles inspired me to begin my ABC blog.

Enjoy ~SJ

ABC Blog

Since I am a teacher and a professional student, I function best when I have an assignment. When I started this blog I thought of it as an assignment to write about things that I thought were funny or inspired me. Sometimes I find blogging difficult because I don't have a direction, basically assignments, until now. A few months ago I came up with the idea of doing an ABC blog, here are the requirements:

1) Take an original photograph that you took that captures each of the 26 letters in the alphabet.
2) Post this photograph on the blog and write about how it captures the letter.
3) Post a new letter on a weekly basis.

Feel free to join in if you want!

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, October 4, 2008

SJ's Day At The Beach

I spent part of my afternoon today enjoying the sun and surf at Old Orchard Beach. OOB is a spot in Maine that I spent quality time with my parents, as well as my extended family. When I was younger my grandmother would rent a cottage in Ocean Park, just down the street from OOB. One of my first blogs was about a family outing to the movie theater while we were staying in Ocean Park. Not only did this afternoon at OOB inspire me to change my self portrait on my blog, but I also feel as though I capture a few unique images at the ocean.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Refreshing....

On some of my more exhausting days at school, sometimes I take a few moments to myself to just look out my window. I have to admit that teaching in rural Maine can be very difficult at times, but the view is usually beautiful. My middle school is nestled next to a small mountain and is surrounded by woods, complete with nature trails. I have looked out my window and seen everything from the local dog, wild turkeys, deer, moose, and once even a pony. This is the view out my back door today. Even through the mist, it was refreshing.

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Right On Track

When I originally started blogging back during the "Endless Winter Of Snow", I set the goal for myself to blog at least five times a week. I have been a little nervous over the past few months that I have not been reaching my "quota" of interesting (or not so interesting) blogable topics. After some quick math I have discovered that I am right on track, well actually I am ahead of my goal. Phew, didn't want to let down my faithful readers!

Enjoy ~SJ

Update From Mt. Laundry

A few months back I blogged about my inability to keep my laundry folded. Since the beginning of the school year I have been working really hard at staying on top of the mountain of laundry. I would like to go on record, that this is all going well for me, for now. Also, if you are every looking to get SJ a gift, here is one that she would really like to have!

Enjoy ~SJ


Recently I got to together with a group of dear friends that I traveled to China with. We were able to travel throughout China for almost a month thanks to a Fulbright Hayes scholarship. It was an amazing trip filled with many wonders and adventures.

During our most recent dinner together we celebrated the Moon Festival, complete with mooncakes. Here is what has to say about the festivities.

"The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) falls on September 14th in the year 2008. What is the Moon festival? Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient times, to
a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival. Today, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Not to mention mooncakes. While baked goods are a common feature at most Chinese celebrations, mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival."

It was a great dinner, and I would have to say that mooncakes are very yummy!

Enjoy ~SJ