Friday, June 20, 2014

Walking with the Natives

Sometimes, during breaks and lunches, I walk outside in work town.  Since I only like to go outside between May and September,  I have to fit all my walking into those months.

Work town is a bit different from swim town.  Not really a tourist area.  Although it does have the only basilica in Maine.

However, I still get asked for directions.  As I walked between the mills one day this week, a woman in a very small car accompanied by a very large white dog, pulled up and asked if I knew how to get to a certain doctor's office.  The medical center is a few blocks up the street, but I took a guess and asked if she wanted the dermatologist office, since it is in the actual mill.  I was right.  I directed her around to the front of the building.

Two days later, as I walked down the sidewalk, a very large old station wagon pulled a u turn and pulled up next to me to ask where a certain address on the street was.

Apparently I just look like the kind of person who is not lost and gives good directions.

  I know my office address o the street, and that's about it. But then she asked where the dermatologist office was.

I pointed across the street and told her the building number.

Clearly, the dermatologist needs to give better directions to their new patients.

I'm thinking of charging the dermatologist a fee.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Walking with the Tourists

It finally dawned on me a couple of weeks ago, now that it has stopped with the continual rain and fog (which I will undoubtedly jinx by having mentioned it here), that I could walk while Jupiter is in swim practice.  Outside, and not on the treadmill.  Not only do I not have to sit on the pool deck during practice, I am encouraged to leave the building.  What a difference a year makes.

So I've been walking down a country road in swim town.  It's a touristy town.

Twice in two weeks, I have seen cars stop in the middle of the road to photograph the herd of Dutch Belted cows.  I used to call them Oreo cows, but Jupiter and I recently read a Patricia MacLachlan book which featured a herd of Dutch belted cows, so now I know the proper name for the breed.  I amuse myself by trying to count the cows in the herd.  I consistently come up with a number between 19 and 21.

Last week a car stopped in the middle of the road to ask me how to get to a particular hotel with a name of Native American origin.  It took me a few tries to determine the destination, and while I could tell them the inn was in the village, I was completely unable to tell them if the road we were on would GO to the village, since my hour time limit only brings me past the cow herd to the hayfield and back.

Since tomorrow is Friday, it's likely that the photographers may be the direction seekers as well.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Time flies!

So, fourth grade will be done in a few more days.  Thank you, never ending winter.

Though I'm not really ready for fourth grade to be done.  Or third grade, for that matter.  Or for one short school year left before middle school.

I feel like I blinked and missed the last 9 years.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Saga of the Oatmeal

I've mentioned before, I know, that Jupiter eats oatmeal for breakfast in the morning.
Every morning.
Exactly the same.
Ha**aford Natures Choice Organic Maple and Brown Sugar.
With milk on top.  (apparently milk in CT is different than milk in Maine, because on vacation she refused the oatmeal on the grounds that the milk was different).

I suspect that over the past 6 years Jupiter has consumed more of this particular oatmeal than any other living being.

Maybe I should actually put the store name in this post; and they could send me a bunch of the $2 Natures Place coupons.  Boy, do I get excited when I see those anywhere.

Last week Mimi called me and asked if I had anymore of the oatmeal packets because she was all out and the store in our town was out of stock. I had one last box in my cupboard; and on Friday went to the store in the town where I work to get some more. 

They were all out too.

I started calling friends to have them check their local H Supermarkets.  No dice.

Yesterday I posted on the H Supermarket Fcebk page to ask them if they were planning to get this oatmeal in stock anytime soon as it is the only thing my daughter will eat for breakfast and I can't substitue for brand or flavor.  I did not post that my daughter is 8 years old, and for the love of heaven, school starts this week and this is NOT THE TIME TO MESS WITH HER ROUTINE.  We NEED this oatmeal!!! We have anxiety and eczema and attitude already; messing with the breakfast is just a guarantee for disaster. I did post that if they could find me a store anywhere in Southern Maine that had the product in their inventory, I would happily drive there to get it.

I had to email my sister from work today to have her see if H Supermarket responded to my post.

The reply indicated that one of the Portland stores had some in stock.  It also indicated that Jupiter has excellent taste in breakfast foods. If they only knew.

(After she answered me, my sister went out to check the H Supermarket in her town.  None.)

I called Mimi since they were out and about; having fun before the first day of school (countdown: 12 hours).

Mimi got the last box in the Portland store. Mimi made them call the stock people to check the back room in case they had more. All the H Supermarket people think we're crazy people now.

Supposedly they're supposed to get more tomorrow.  I'm not hopeful.  But if you're the Natures Place Supplier and you're reading this:  Please send more oatmeal to Maine.  Fast.

I wonder if I started mixing the oatmeal packets together gradually like you're supposed to do with cat food when you switch brands, if that would work. 

Special thanks to everyone who particpated in the great oatmeal search of August, 2012!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

NYC 2012

So we went to New York for two days.  Well, technically we went to a hotel in southern Connecticut and took the Metro North train into the city two days in a row. Which works if you're from Maine and buying train tickets and riding trains is part of the educational value novelty of being on vacation. And just outside of New Haven is as close to New York City as you care to drive, thank you very much.
Jupiter wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  She prefers to experience her learning; and not just read about it.  Hard to say no to that interest; even if I had to get the washing machine repaired the same week.

I can see why people want to live in New York.  There's SO MUCH.  But I get overloaded after about a day and a half.  Or possibly just exhausted; hard to say which. 

Day one we were supposed to go to both museums.  We arrived at Grand Central Station (which requires a couple few hours of its own to properly experience; apart from arriving and departing) midmorning and grabbed the Times Square subway shuttle to get to a different uptown subway train.  We weren't sure which train to take and the subway guy in the booth didn't have a subway map.  Really?  The transit cop looked it up on his Iphone though.  Then we went down to the platform and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited.  No train.  So finally we decided to cut our losses and started walking.  I figured it wasn't that far to Central Park; and then walking from the park would be fun; if hot.

The bike rental people on the edge of the park are in your face aggressive.  But once we get in the park it's pleasant.  We get to the museum just after noon.  It's mobbed.  I suspect it always is.  We looked at some of the animal and prehistoric exhibits.  There are no mummies (Jupiter was hoping to see one).  We get hungry and have to break for lunch at the cafeteria at the museum.  I am horrified that I have to pay $21 for two slices of pizza, two juice pouches, and lousy parfaits.

By then it's almost 3pm and we decide to go to the Art Museum the next day because it's open late on Fridays; so we will have more time to spend there.  I've heard it's really big. So we try to find our way out of the museum; get lost; and land in the solar system and earthquake exhibits for awhile before we find our way out.  So instead of heading accross the park to the art museum; we head south through the park because Lina also wants to go to FAO Schwarz.  She's 8 years old; she wants to go buy candy.  We also get a creative art sketch diary for Jupiter; Matroyshka measuring cups for me, and an NYC Memory game.  On the way back to Grand Central; we stop at the American Girl doll store so Jupiter can buy an outfit for her American Girl Target Our Generation Doll ( far as I know; she still thinks they're real AG dolls.  Since she colored the hair of one of them green and purple; it's a good thing they're not real).  Then we have to eat at Grand Central Station; which is marginally less expensive than the meal at the museum.

We ride the CIA train back to CT.  It was really a metro north train; but was the silent train that never announced the destination or any of the stations it stopped at; much less the next station it would stop at.  I was therefore obligated to ask other passengers where we were when the train stopped at our station; because the train also stopped way at the end of the platform where there was no sinage.  We made it off the train; all was well.

Friday we went back and started the day by walking over to the UN.  You  may not bring beverages into the UN complex.  Then we rode the subway downtown to ride the Staten Island Ferry and take advantage of a free cruise past the Statue of Liberty.  Then Jupiter wanted to take the bus back uptown; so we had to get new MetroCards (at the subway station; because we couldn't get them at the bus kiosk); then run the metro cards through the machine at the bus kiosk to get a receipt to be presented upon demand to the bus police.  Which happened about halfway through the long bus ride and one girls cell phone conversation about the end of her summer internship and a wedding. After the bus we walked several blocks accross town to quite possibly the hugest museum in the world.
And bought tickets.  And went in.
And got lost. 
My brain couldn't get around the scope of either how much amazing stuff there was; and how old much of the amazing stuff was. 
We saw some Ancient Greek art; then we found our way to the medieval art and saw lots of armor (displayed on horse statues).  I spent more time looking at the museum map and trying to figure out where we were than looking at art.  We thought we might be lost in the museum for ever and in the decorative arts section Jupiter picked out which beds she wanted to sleep on.  Then I was thirsty; so we stopped in the American Wing in which we found ourselves for a bottle of water and a cookie.  Then we finally found the ancient Egypt section.
Where they did have an actual mummy.  Jupiter was pleased.
 The docent (how cool a job in how cool a place) tells Jupiter she can't touch the sculpture (a huge sarcoughagus; maybe) she's walking around and touching.  Only visually impaired visitors are invited to touch the sculpture. I think (but don't share) that sensory seekers should also be allowed to gently touch the sculpture.
 We never got to see any paintings. 
Fortunately when we were in the gift shop; I heard a mother telling her sons that they couldn't leave the museum yet; because they hadn't seen any paintings.  The sons were dismayed until they learned she was kidding.  Sort of.  The father informed me that all they had seen were the sections devoted to armor and ancient Egypt. 
Outside we go around the corner to the Ancient Playground in Central Park.  Jupiter finally got some swinging and spinning sensory input.
Then we rode in a cab back to 42nd St.  I sat in the middle; and could see out the windshield.  EEEK.  Forget taxis.  Give me a nice sedate subway ride any day.  Although I guess it was good training to force my car accross lanes of traffic and through toll booth lines on the way home. 
The train back to CT has automated station announcements, which is good. It's also a local train after Stamford; which is slow.  We get back late late late.  Fortunately the next day, we don't have to get up early.
Now we're home.  I've unpacked and done the dirty laundry (washer is fixed) and unpacked the few goodies I was allowed to get at I*EA New Haven.  Which I found out is only 20 minutes from the hotel and has a restaurant where I got meals for both of us for $7.  Next trip; we're eating at the I*EA.
Vacation is more than half over.  
Darn it.

Photography by Jupiter NYC 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012


We had ice cream for dinner tonight.  Dairy Queen drive through. 
No worries; we don't do that on a regular basis.  Or even a yearly basis. 
However, someone is not a fan of hot weather. 
At least there was calcium.