Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hermit Hut

While looking through my iPhoto collection trying to come up with next weeks ABC blog for the letter "J" (tougher than it may seem) I cam across my Hermit Island pictures. Then I remembered, I have never blogged about The Hermit Hut!

When the Music Man and I go to Hermit Island we tend to walk/hike around a lot. The island has many well maintained trials that crisscross the island. One day we decided that we were going to walk the perimeter of the island. Along the way we came across several little beaches nestled in between the woods. On one of these beaches we discovered the Hermit Hut. This hut is built up against a rock face from items that have washed up on shore. It is a welcoming little hut, complete with benches inside. I decided that it might be good luck to leave a Hermit Island treasure on the hut in hopes of pleasing the Hermit Island Gods to allow us to come back to this little piece of paradise again.

SJ's offering (the rock) to the Hermit Island God's in hopes of a good reservation next year.

SJ being "artsy" with her shot from inside the hut.

Well we wrote the reservation request letter today, let's hope that my offering at the Hermit Hut helps us get the times that we requested!

Enjoy ~SJ

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Below is a picture of what I would really like for Christmas this year (I found it from one of my favorite comic strips Close To Home). But would it be possible to change the cockroach calendar to an ant or sea-monkey calendar. And instead of shuffleboard facts maybe my new pastime bowling?


PS: I have been very good this year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nearest Book Play Along Followup!

A few people played along with my little nearest book game. The book that I quoted was "Under The Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes. Thought I might let you know in case you were waiting on the edge of your seat for the answer. I loved the book and was inspired to move to Italy where I got grow my own olives for olive oil and enjoy great wine and cheese all of the time.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tracfone Fleecing Update!

Nothing bothers me more than poor customer service. As you may remember I blogged about the poor customer service that I encountered when trying to help my very non-elderly Mother with her tracfone. While on the phone with customer service I told them that I planned on blogging about the poor service and warning everyone not to get one. Well I followed through on my statement and thanks to Stats Counter I can see how popular that blog was. From my "Recent Keyword Activity" page I can see that people have searched for tracfones and the elderly three times and landed on my site. You just have to love stastitics!

Enjoy ~SJ

A New Feet Shot!

Whenever I go someplace new or different I take a picture of my feet there. When my computer crashed over the winter I lost a lot of my pictures, especially my feet on the beach in Humarock. While I was there for Thanksgiving I went down to the beach to get a few new shots. The tide was coming in and almost high and due to this there was all this great foam. The Music Man suggested that if I were fast enough I could get a picture of my feet in the cold ocean foam. SJ, who will do anything for a great new feet picture decided that she was fast enough. I managed to get the picture, but I had to scurry backwards up a rocky incline to get away from the next wave in time. Let's just say that I needed to change my socks once we left the beach. What I will do for my faithful blog readers since I know they love my feet pictures!

I Is For.....

Ice!I took this picture several years ago before I owned a digital camera. Mi Prima and I decided to spend a day slipping and sliding around on the ice on the pond. It was a unique year since the pond was frozen and the ice was safe, but we had no snow. In one of my very first blog posts I told the story of how I came to take this picture. I know that I could just put a link in and some of you might click back to that early blog, but I will paste it below to make your life a little easier.

One winter day Mi Prima and I were sitting in my house looking out at the pond. She looked at me and said "You know, I don't know what the inside of an ice fishing shack looks like. Do you?" To be honest, here were two girls born and brought up in Maine and neither one of us had been inside an ice fishing shack. So what else were we to do? We got all bundled up and went for an adventure!

We knocked on the first ice fishing shack that we
came to, and the two men inside greeted us. After explaining to them that we just wanted to see the inside of an ice fishing shack they invited us in and explained all about the shack. After their detailed explanation, and filled with all of the knowledge about ice fishing shacks that two girls need we went off to take some pictures.

As I sit here in my kitchen looking out on the pond and blogging about the ice on the pond I have to report that the freezing process started overnight. The little cove that I live in has ice all the way around the edge. Only a few more weeks of open water. Maybe we will have another few weeks of frozen pond and no snow so that Mi Prima and I can go exploring and playing again.

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, November 28, 2008


It's another Skywatch Friday. Since we drove home from the Cape today most of the sky I saw was from the car window. I have always loved this new bridge in Boston.

Enjoy ~SJ

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Thankful List

It is that time of year when you get to reflect on the things in life that you are thankful for. I decided to try to keep myself to the top 5 things I am thankful for. Here it goes, in no particular order:

1) The amazing family and friends that I had to help me through the horrible year that I have had.
2) Heated seats.
3) Summer, a time where I can recharge my batteries.
4) Books
5) That I have a job that I love to do.

Ok, I forgot to add this when I originally posted it. There need to be 6 things I am thankful for.
6) My blog and all of the amazing connects that have been made because of it.

Happy Thanksgiving, and remember to take stock in the things that you are thankful for.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Dreaming Of A White Thanksgiving

So this is the view that I woke up to today......

How beautiful I know. I always find it so eerie when there is snow on the ground but the pond is not frozen over yet. It made me hum to myself all morning "I'm dreaming of a white Thanksgiving". I might not be the version that you are accustomed to, but here in the woods of Maine you never know when you are going to have a white Thanksgiving. Just one more thing to be thankful for.

Then for added excitement I had recess duty (yes, we went to school and no we did not have an extra hour to get ourselves there). To keep the snow on the ground and not flying through the air the other woman on duty and I decided to get the kids to build snowmen. It is amazing how entertained by snow 8th graders can still be. Here is my beautiful work of art (yes, those are pencil arms).

And then I just read today's Garfield comic, I think that it might just be mocking us all.

Nearest BookBook Play Along

You know how I love little internet games and quizzes, well I just found this on Facebook and thought I would share here rather than there.

Nearest Book

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in your blog or here in the comments.

"What neither Signor Martini nor Alfiero realizes is that the Poles let us know when something is not right."

Can you identify the book? Answer in tomorrows blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just Makes You Smile!

There is this blog called Improv Everywhere. The basic premises of this blog is that a group of people go out into the world and follow through with an improv idea. Their most recent improv event was welcoming back total strangers in an airport. The video of this just made me smile. (On a side note Mi Prima and I thought this would be a fun idea, unfortunately the Portland Jet Port is small, and chances are we might actually know the person getting off the plane).

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday White Album

If I were to pick a soundtrack of my youth The White Album would be it. My childhood best friends, sisters of musician parents, had the complete Beatles collection on original record. Our favorite album hands down was the White Album. When my peers were listening to New Kids On The Block and MC Hammer, I knew all the words to all of the songs on The White Album. The White Album was one of the first cd's that I imported into my mp3 collection, and always lives on my iPod and iTunes libraries. Little Piggies was always a favorite, I usually skip the first track Back In The U.S.S.R. (never been a favorite, although maybe I will give it a try again). And Good Night has always been a relaxing song to drift to sleep to (I have even been known to hum it to myself to help relax myself for sleep).

Apparently The White Album celebrated its 40 birthday last week. "Happy Birthday To You!"

A little trivia about SJ, I was born on the same day that John Lennon was shot, maybe this explains my lifelong love for the Beatles.

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, November 22, 2008

H Is For....


I am fortunate to have family who has a beautiful home on the ocean in Massachusetts. One of the most unique things about Humarock is that they community celebrates the 4th of July on the 3rd of July. There are fireworks and bon fires, and people for miles around. The fireworks are always impressive, as are the bon fires. Since the beach curves you can look down the beach and watch the fireworks through the heat of the bonfires, this makes for a very unique image. My Uncle's house is a perfect spot to watch the festivities from (including all of the poilice arrests). In just a few more days I get to return to this little slice of paradise for Thanksgiving. I am hoping to be able to go back around the New Year for the annual Polar Bear Dip.

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am new to Skywatch, but from my understanding the rules are post a picture that includes the sky and then enter your website at Skywatch. Join in if you want!

Enjoy ~SJ

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Space Grease Monkey

My mornings start with NPR and coffee in the car on the way to work. I enjoy my commute since I get caught up on the latest news while not having to deal with traffic jams and road rage (advantage of rural Maine). This morning I heard about a news story that just cracked me up all day long.

So there were these two astronauts (pause for laughter) who were in outer space working on their space shuttle. The arm that moves to adjust the solar panel needed its regular greasing. While the two astronauts were outside greasing the solar panel arm it is discovered that the grease gun accidentally released some grease inside the bag, as well as on the glove of the astronaut. While they were trying to clean the glove a bag gets loose and goes floating off into space.

I'm not joking folks, this is the type of important news that NPR is covering now that the elections are over. Now I'm one for a space story every now and then, and I can also understand that sometimes people need a break from all of that "serious" news, but a fly away bag gets this much attention. Once I got home today, after hearing about the story two more times while in the car at various times during the day, I decided to Google the story. Well, who knew that a little loose grease in space and a fly away bag would be so popular! You can watch a movie of it, hear a press conference from NASA discussing the events and see numerous pictures. In the picture to the left you can see the bag floating away. This story is not only being covered by NPR but the BBC and CNN are covering it too!

Here is a little list I found on CNN of other items that have been lost by astronauts while working in space:

-- During a September 2006 spacewalk, astronaut Joe Tanner, accidentally released a bolt, spring and washer. -- During a July 2006 spacewalk, astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael Fossum lost a 14-inch spatula while testing a method to repair the space shuttle. -- During a December 1998 spacewalk, a thermal cover and two tools escaped from astronaut Jerry Ross.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, November 16, 2008

G Is For....


I happen to be blessed with not one, but two living grandmothers. Since they live nearby I have gotten to spend a lot of time with them over the years. When I was in pre-school I spent my afternoons with them. My Paternal Grandmother and I would spend our afternoons going for walks and making apple pies. She worked as a crossing guard so I would go and help her, and was known on occasion to dress up in her uniform. My Maternal Grandmother and I spent our afternoons working in her store and going to the library. Her store not only sold candy (this might be the root of my love for candy), but also pizza and sandwiches (this might be the root of my love for provolone cheese), and tropical fish. My favorite part about the store was feeding the goldfish.

Enjoy ~SJ

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Play Along....

Debra from Reflecting posted this list of 100 things on her website. I thought it seemed like fun and would inspire a few new blog topics.

All you have to do is bold the things you have done. I am also going to italicize the things I want to do.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (orchestras, quartets, and solo)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (I am going this spring with the 8th grade class)
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (Four months long, I need to blog about that!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (I am SCUBA certified, and once I saw a sea horse!)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater (Sadly no, but it was on the list of things to go this summer)
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China (And threw up on it too, not everyone can say that)
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (My doctoral residency will be bring me to DC some time soon, it is on the list of places to go).
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (Broken/fractured nose three times!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (Speeding motorcycle nope, motorcycle yes)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Fish counts, right?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Makes Me Smile

I decided a few days ago that I was going to create my very own blog award. Part to spread around some wonderful blogs that I read, and also in part because I have always wondered where these "blog awards" come from. Here are the criteria for the award:

1) Provides entertainment for their readers
2) Blogs about various topics
3) Makes me smile and laugh to yourself when I read their posts and inspires me to write more.
4) Some of the winners you know in real life, while others you only know through the blog-o-sphere

I SJ bestow this brand new blog award to (insert drum roll here)

There Is Always Someone Cooler Than You
Beth's Stories
Que Sara Sara
and my latest new blog find: It's Like I'm.....mmmagic!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Palin sorts clothes to see what belongs to the RNC

The favorite punchline to jokes over the last few months is faced with an unusual task, Gene Johnson sums it up best.

"WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spent part of the weekend going through her clothing to determine what belongs to the Republican Party after it spent $150,000-plus on a wardrobe for the vice presidential nominee, according to Palin's father.

Palin and John McCain's campaign faced a storm of criticism over the tens of thousands of dollars spent at such high-end stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to dress the nominee. Republican National Committee lawyers are still trying to determine exactly what clothing was bought for Palin, what was returned and what has become of the rest.

Palin's father, Chuck Heath, said his daughter spent the day Saturday trying to figure out what belongs to the RNC.

"She was just frantically ... trying to sort stuff out," Heath said. "That's the problem, you know, the kids lose underwear, and everything has to be accounted for.

"Nothing goes right back to normal," he said."

What is her saying about the underwear, she misplaced it? Wave goodbye to the expensive wardrobe Palin, I wish that my closet had such problems....

Enjoy ~SJ

Dear Regular Readers

Dear Regular Readers,

I am sorry for my lack of blogging lately. I have been swamped with too many things to list between school and my life. I hope to be back on the regular blog writing rotation early next week and have righted the canoe. Until then...

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, November 9, 2008

F is for.....


The Music Man and I have been entertained by a frog that has been living at his house all summer. It has lived all around the house, wood pile, behind hubcaps, on a rock, in the tomato garden, and currently in the sump pump hole! We have been trying to fish him out all day with no luck. We are getting worried about his lack of food in this little hole and if we aren't able to get him out soon I might take a trip to the local pet store to find out what to feed "pet" frogs.

This Just In, Frog Update: (I blogged about the Frog days ago but forgot to push post). The Frog has since been removed from the sump pump hole. This is after I went out and purchased Repto-Min (a floating reptile "pet" food). Froggy did not eat the Repto-Min which thus caused even more stress for the Music Man and I (we couldn't bare the thought of our like guy dying on us). Yesterday the Music Man managed to get Froggy into a container and we placed him outside. After about 30 minutes I went and checked on him, good news, he was not in the spot where we put him. I can only hope that he finds a nice muddy spot to go and hibernate in, and does not come back into the basement.

Enjoy ~SJ

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bloging Mad Lib

I love finding blog topic inspiration from other bloggers. Today I found this great little blog mad lib from Debra (Reflecting) who found it from Friday Fill-Ins. I thought it was fun, feel free to participate.

1. My blueprint for success includes be busy and set goals.
2. Dark chocolate Hershey kiss (thanks Music Man) was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is whatever is living in my medicine cabinet today.
4. Coffee and a close friend (or cat) can be good therapy.
5. I'd like to tell you about chemiosmotic phosphorylation.
6. My drive is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with my Mom, tomorrow my plans include a craft fair and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Twilight Bandwagon

I joined the Twilight bandwagon. Last weekend the Music Man and I went to Perkins Music House to stock up on his musical needs. Since the visit to the music store can be a long one, I tend to take a long a book (to be honest, I take a book almost everywhere I go not just to the music store). On the drive over I realized that I forgot to bring my current book (Redwall, Brian Jacques). We stopped at Mr. Paperback to pick up a new read for me and this is when I decided to start reading Twlight since most of my female students are raving about it. After making it through the first 300 pages I was wondering what all the hype was about, then I read the last 200 pages - I get it now. If you want a fun, differnt, can't put it down quick read, join the Twlight bandwagon.

Enjoy ~SJ

Perfection Reflection

When the pond is this perfect in the morning it makes it hard to go to work.

Enjoy ~SJ

Tuesday, November 4, 2008