Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Better Today

Yesterday, the shuttle bus I was riding to work hit a woman and killed her. It was pretty much the most horrifying thing I've ever witnessed/been through.

I don't really want to go into detail, to be honest. My coworkers and family heard about it, asked me about it, and I answered their questions. The police have my statement. I think that once their investigation closes, they will find that it was simply a tragic accident. Our bus had a green light, the woman, who actually used to work at the same hospital as me, just stepped in front of the bus. Maybe she was distracted, maybe she had headphones on, maybe the "walk" light on the crossing signal was faulty and lit, I don't know.

What I do know is this - be careful out there. Pay attention. Look both ways when you cross the street, even if you have the light. Drive carefully - don't run red lights or blast out of an intersection as soon as the light turns green. More than anything else, be grateful you're alive, grateful for every day that you're given. Life is short, and can end so abruptly. Even if you're tired, stressed, sad or angry, be glad you're here. That's all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas from the Ground Up

My parents house come the first week in December is a Christmas the best possible way. My mother has amassed an impressive amount of Christmas "things" over the years: dishtowels, santas, angels, a full willow tree nativity set (which I love and envy!), dozens of ornaments from trips with my dad, a set of Christmas dishes, several Christmas cross stitch pictures that replace the nautical ones that normally hang on our walls, etc. It's a holiday wonderland without being too much - I know it probably sounds like too much, but it's all tasteful and lovely.

When it comes to decorating, I do try to copy my mom to a certain degree, I won't lie. I tend to like the same colors she does when it comes to paint, prefer hardwood to carpet, don't like fussy curtains or fussy throw rugs, don't like too much clutter. I think I add a little "travel flair" to our apartment with my relics from Africa, the small things we collected in Costa Rica and Jamaica, and a few things inherited from relatives here and there, including pictures from Aruba that are painted on butterfly wings that are backed with newspaper dated from the early 40's. Naturally when it comes to the holidays, I want to have a winter wonderland too, but with a little twist of Allison...but I have not spent the last 18 years or so collecting Christmas what to do?

Decorating is a lot of work, I have discovered, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have loved every second of it, every finger stabbed with a pin sewing a tree skirt, blisters from my circle punch for garland-making, every burn I've sustained from the glue gun. I'm started to slowly transform each room. Jam mocked me at first, but upon the official hanging of the first garland, he said "Wow. Looks good! I like it!" I am not quite finished with all the decor, but I think everything is going to come together nicely, and that excites me. I'll have to share some pics later!

As for the tree, that was a hilarious escapade. I wanted a live tree because that's what I'm used to, it's what I grew up with, and there's a nursery about 1 minute away from our apartment selling trees. I arrived there at 4:58 on a Monday night, with about two minutes to run around the lot and find a tree. Jamaal had said "don't get anything huge." I chose a modest-sized tree, only slightly taller than me (or so it seemed), paid for it, and was sent out with the "tree boy" to get it onto/into my Subaru. "It's my first day" the tree boy said. "It's my first tree" I replied. "What to we do?" asked tree boy. "I could just shove it in the back," he observed, "I have the same car, and I know I could fit this tree in the back of my Forester." "Uhhhhhh. I guess that'd be ok" was my stupid reply. Five minutes later, I'm driving home with the tailgate open, the hazards flashing, and a piece of fir tree stabbing me in the neck. Luckily the drive was short. I had been irritated by my husband's lack of enthusiasm for a Christmas tree, so I bitterly dragged the tree to the door by myself. It was light, and carrying it wasn't an issue. The truly large proportions of the tree did not hit me until I tried to drag it through our narrow back door and winding staircase. The tree was, basically, too fat. I turned it trunk first and yanked, squeezed it through the door and up the stairs into our living room. All traces of annoyance that had been on Jam's face (probably annoyed that I was so bitchy about the tree) were replaced by sheer amusement. "I'm so sorry!" I said, "I had NO IDEA how huge this tree would be once taken out of the tree lot and put in our home. Ohmygod. Sorry!!!!" I think Jamaal found the situation pretty funny. He was a great help when it came time to put the tree in my Target-purchased stand, which now seemed comically small. We managed though - we got the thing upright and even, and had to "straighten and redo" the whole stand process only one time. Our tilted apartment floors made everything a tiny bit of a challenge, but in what seemed like a short time, our tree was ready for the lights I had so lovingly picked out and purchased.

As for the lights, remember those berry lights I loved? The LED ones? Yeah, when we got to Target, there
was one box left. I bought those and some round lights, both in soft white, thinking "they'll match, and next year, I'll buy the berry ones for the tree, and use the plain rounds to decorate something else." I bought three boxes, thinking that there'd be plenty of yardage for our tree. Ha ha stupid. The three strands covered about half the tree. Not to be deterred, I arranged to get a ride home from work from my sister the following night so we could stop at the Target at South Bay for a more extensive search. She found two boxes of soft white led round lights. How she did this, I have NO idea, because all I could find were blue and pink. She's a rockstar. Thinking that five strands would seal the deal, I rushed home to complete the tree. I was short AGAIN. UGH. The following Thursday I went to two Targets, in Hanover and Abington, in search of more lights (because these were LED and a specific brand seemingly only sold at Target, I was trying to match what I had....if I weren't so frickin' type A, I would've gone to Home Depot, bought the first strand of soft white lights I saw, and called it a day). Anyways, my lights were gone. Totally gone. I finally dug out my old twinkle lights from my college dorm days, threw them on the tree, and was DONE. Actually, it doesn't look half bad:

Now that the ornaments are on it, and the rest of the house is in the Christmas spirit, it actually looks quite lovely. The family came over yesterday, and they all gave it their stamp of approval. I love how we went from fiasco to success :-) I love how I managed to create my own little Christmas explosion. Next up: decorations!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Isn't it kind of amazing when you an encounter an adult that will not take responsibility for his/her actions?

I work with a doctor. I'm in Boston, but she's at least a thousand miles away. She couldn't make a meeting and had her assistant try and set up a way for us to get in touch. I told her and her admin that it REALLY might not work and worse comes to worse, call my cell and I'll put her on speaker. The meeting comes. No calls. No emails. We have no way to get in touch with her, because I gave her MY cell and had no contact # for her office  (though this is my fault entirely, I should've asked for one...but to be fair, I was emailing her from the airport the whole time...still though, that bit is my fault). This morning I come in to find an email forwarded to me from my boss, and scroll down to find this whole big exchange about all the ways the other doc and her admin tried to get in touch with me and how my phone went right to voicemail (we had terrible reception in the conference room and NO INTERNET) and how the doc had a webcam and was ready to participate but she couldn't and she's *soooo* upset because there were things she had to say, etc, etc, etc, blah damn.

The thing is, it's not like she had to be at this meeting - there's not consequence for her not being there, and we weren't even able to discuss the things she had on the agenda, we need to schedule another call for that. My point is, why wouldn't you say "I guess we had technical difficulties and I wasn't able to join the call despite trying - can we schedule a call to catch up?" But no, it's "Allison's phone went right to voicemail and I tried to get in touch but SHE was unavailable. Now I don't know the status of my project.

Really? Grow up. Take some responsibility for your own sh*t. Ugh.

Pandora "Peaceful Christmas" *switching on*

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rage! Rage!

I wrote a rage work post....
Rage at the stats people, rage at my former boss, rage at the microwave hogs.
Rage, rage, and moRE RAAAGE.

Then I turned on Pandora's "Peaceful Christmas" station.....

And I kinda got over it.

Except the microwave rage...that's still there....don't hog it for five minutes, take your food out, eat it in front of the microwave, then decide it's not warm enough just as I'm about to warm up my leftovers. UNCOOL.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

32. Go to the Top of a Lighthouse

As we climbed to the top I said "Wait! I think this is on my 101 things to do in 1,001 days list!"

It was! I can't believe I actually completed a task on this list without any planning, completely last-minute on the fly. Love it!

Negril Lighthouse, Negril, Jamaica

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

I landed in Orlando

Figured out the rental cars, picked some subcompact thing, programmed the GPS and set out...

As I curved around an on-ramp and saw a marshy area with palms and egrets and looked out to the flat land beyond the highway, all I could think was "Kenya."

Could I be any crazier? Something somewhere every day reminds me of Africa... I suppose this is good in a way...I'm not forgetting it, it's always on my mind. Ha. I am sure everyone is sick of me talking about it too...but it's like malaria, it gets in your blood and it never never really goes away. Ever.

I wonder when I'm going back? I hope I don't have to wait too is really really lovely and wonderful.

In other news, I'm swimming with the dolphins tomorrow....which is nothing like anything I did in Africa, so for a while, I might shut up about it and just talk dolphins!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving II

aka leftover night has left me filled....
with serious over-eating/food regret.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Come Ye Thankful People Come!

Come, ye thankful people, come,

Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Working Here

I can be super-immune sometimes when it comes to illness and death - immune as in my office mate and I talk about the terrible cases we've reviewed that day, or say things like "if it was me, I'd stop treatment, go to Hawai'i with my morphine and OD on the beach." or "if it were a choice between mastectomy/prostatectomy/whatever-ectomy  or death, I'd give up the breasts/prostate/whatever." We talk about "end of life care" on a regular basis here, we debate the ethics of continuing to treat a patient's cancer when there's no chance of survival, whether it's giving a patient false hope to enroll them on a clinical trial that may not work. I see sick people every day, sick babies, bald little kids, girls my age getting chemo for breast cancer, grannies who should be at home gardening being wheeled through the sucks, but I feel immune most of the time. People see ads for the pediatric cancer charity run by my hospital and say "how do you do it?" I tell them "I'm not treating these kids, I'm not a parent to these kids. I see them in the halls and elevators and in the cafeteria and all I think is "there's some sick kids here to get better." My interactions are brief and rarely personal. I've become unphased by blood, vomit, hearing people vomit, body fluids, visible tumors, graft versus host disease, etc.

There is, however, one thing I will never get over - seeing one of our patients go down...."go down" as in just drop, wherever they were standing. It's scary, scarier to me than the people who are so sick they come here by ambulance. I mean, if you are going down, you want it to be here - the guy I just saw, middle-aged, bald, probably once a big guy but now reduced by chemo, whose knees just seem to give out right from under him - he's going to be fine. He had three construction workers, two security guards, at least three oncologists, and three or four nurses surrounding him, an admin running with an IV pole towards him as well as a couple Boston policeman who happened to be working a detail nearby. They obviously called a code because as I stepped into the elevator, another doctor was running out. It the great shuffle of people, he was actually trying to get up and into a wheelchair by himself. Obviously he's just having a lousy day, and we see people having crappy reactions to their treatment ALL THE TIME. Despite that I'm still worried about him as I sit here at my desk. Because we're an outpatient facility, having patients drop where they stand is not the norm, and I think it is a reminder of how sick most of the people really are. The brave faces they put on for us while they're here are amazing.

I guess the point of my post is that seeing all this is a reason to be thankful - it's fitting, given Thanksgiving is tomorrow, that I come up with something for which I am thankful, and that is, without a doubt, my health and the health of my husbando and family and friends. We're so lucky to be well this Thanksgiving, to be able to gather together and share a meal, watch the Pats game, take a snooze after dinner and probably play an exhausting game of Cranium because Auntie Jayne looks forward to it all year - for all those great and small things I love or love to hate about the holiday, I am grateful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not blogging tonight!
Pie phase I/III done.

Monday, November 22, 2010

That damn bike!

I got on. I rode it for 12 miles.
I feel BADASS!!!!
Well, right now I feel badass.
Tomorrow, I think I'll be filled with slight regret as I pay for my overzealousness with very sore muscles!

For a laugh:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Night

This weekend ran me ragged. Ugh.
It included lots of cleaning, rehabbing the old fish tank, framing and hanging seven pictures, doing five loads of laundry (not alone! I helped Jam by requesting Dunkin Donuts and complaining!), an mini emotional breakdown, and eating at least two meals out.

Needless to say, I am glad:

I survived the weekend (and I owe you a phone call EE)
I feel like I accomplished things
Our exercise bike is coming tomorrow so I can stop feeling so gross
It is a short work week
The PATRIOTS beat the COLTS. YEEEEhhhhhhaaaaWWWWWW

I regret:

Eating about two pounds of gummy frogs. My parents had the wedding leftovers and gave them to me. YUM!!!!....oh wait, a wad of gummy candy in my tum. booooooo.

I am apprehensive of:

Being in charge of three pies for Thanksgiving
My first Thanksgiving away from home(!)

I am looking forward to:

Making the three Thanksgiving pies
Trying something new (traveling to the in-laws) for Turkey Day!! I know I have won the "good daughter-in-law prize" already for bringing dessert. No need to dwell on the fact that I am the only daughter in law, lol!
The end of Thanksgiving, which to me marks the beginning of "advent" if you will - the magic of the Christmas season, both "secular" and not. We skipped church today but I made Jam promise we'd be there for all the Advent Sundays, I find them so lovely.

Things I'm really worried about:

Getting overwhelmed. I got a second (though very very part time) job this weekend and am looking forward to learning some new things (it's in a flower shop), but I'm mildly worried that I won't get to enjoy the holidays as much because I'll be stressed. Here's to not letting that happen and enjoying every moment, surrounded by family and FRIENDS.

And here's to a good night. Phew.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Road Rage

*in my fantasy world*

Somewhere in a large parking lot, the supermarket, perhaps, or Wal-Mart.

I am pushing a cart, very zen.

Suddenly, I see a familiar car.

I stop, and pull something from my oversized bag.

"Volvo, 22H Y54?! Remember me? Subaru Forester? You blatantly cut me off by taking a left in front of me as I was taking a right from Quincy Ave to Faxon Park Road? Then you even MORE blatantly gave me the finger for no apparent reason?!!! Remember?? Well, I have really been hoping we'd meet again....."

Friday, November 19, 2010


Was asked to participate is someone's annual review.
I work pretty far away from this person and do not see this person....ever, basically, but we have contact via phone and email. And just to cover my ass, the person does not work in the same place as me, not even the same state, and that's about all I'll tell you about that....

I usually ace review writing, especially since Jamaal taught me this concept he learned in MBA school:
pet, kick, pet. It works wonders! Basically you do this: "Jim, we love having you as a part of our team. It's a shame your work is so substandard when compared to the rest of our employees. We love you so much though, and we want to give you another chance, so go out there and do something other than playing Angry Birds on your iPhone all day!"

I use the method all the time. People don't even realize you're scolding them half the time. Usually they just nod like a bobblehead. Too bad I have to send this review via email and can't see it happen in person.

Actually, the employee in question is, overall, an excellent one. But there are, uh, issues. I had to list this person's strengths and weaknesses. Here's what the review looked like:

Strengths: conscientious, attentive to detail, quick when responding to requests, dependable, accurate
Weaknesses: trouble multitasking, has to catch up after many sick days this year, hurt by odd data-processing mechanisms at office (though this is out of employee's control)

What I really wanted to write:

Strengths: perfectionist ad nauseum, able to write sinister email that sends people running to me for help, able to make someone switch their job because of negative interactions, able to make psychotic flow chart
Weaknesses: EXTREME PARANOIA, time-wasting due to perfectionism....and trouble multitasking.

but even the "pet kick pet" method wouldn't have softened the blow of "paranoia" lol.

Sometimes I wonder if I have "enemies" at the office and if my enemies had to partake in my review, what would they write?

I think it would be something like this:
Strengths: talking, typing, being someone's b*tch, multitasking (for real, I work 3 jobs here, 1 full time, 2 part time lol), calming people the f*ck down, monitoring the bathroom (long story) and bringing in holiday baked goods
Weaknesses: occasional bouts of extreme lassitude, eats at desk, tries to please everyone and often fails, messy desk, kills house plants, kills pet fish, prints too many personal documents on printer, goes to Tuesday meetings for the free breakfast......, I think I'll stop myself there...and reread what I wrote about that employee. Yikes! Self-criticism was hard enough to take, I can't imagine getting it from thousands of miles away. Lesson learned.

Seriously though, I wonder if someone at work can't stand me? If so, then I wonder why? I wonder what all my annoying work habits might be? None of my coworkers read this blog (I don't think...maybe they do in secret!) sadly, so I'll probably just continue to bug the hell out of everyone for years to come, lol. I wonder if other people on the project see me as a weak link in the chain. Uh, probably not, I work fairly hard..still though, this review thing has me wondering how others see my work and my role. Hmmmm. Something to think about for the weekend I guess!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unintended Exchange

I arrived home tonight with a big bag of goods from the Paper Source.
I finally bought some archival-quality, rustic, and perfectly shaded paper to back the Audubon prints - and I found some re-positionable glue dots to go with them.

I bought this:

Thinking "a mistletoe kit! It will look adorable hanging from the archway between the living and dining rooms! How charming! I will be able to trick people into kissing in our house! yay!"

And these, thinking "cards that are mittens! They're a blank slate too! I will embellish them in an adorable nordic pattern with glue and glitter and tuck them into the ornament swap packages I'm sending out!!"

I casually browsed through the holiday displays before getting in line. I did cut myself off when I saw this:

I still think it's a little early for wreath-time....

As I waited in line, I looked at kits containing these two things:

And wondered how the snowflakes would look hanging amidst the mistletoe (glittered, of course) and whether I could fashion a leafy branch out of paper upon which to hang those cheerful red cardinals. Lost in my thoughts, I actually let the cashier overcharge me for the flat paper, which I didn't even realize until I was on the T.

I was at home when I realized that I had left a bag behind at the Paper Source, containing a tupperware with left over Shepherd's pie and a pair of Old Navy flats that are not expensive, but are adorable and have only been worn twice. TWICE.


Not that I think they won't be there when I go to the store tomorrow to fetch my grimy bag of leftovers and cute shoes....but still....


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diet and Exercise

yeah, I know they're practically swear words (to me at least), but my alumnae e-zine put out this article today, and I found myself nodding along with huge sections of it...and then found myself saying "aw CRAP, that's me!"

This was particularly striking:
On cravings
There are two versions of women—the well-rested version and the not-well-rested version. When you’re not rested is when you make your worst food choices. Making sure you have protein and fat, and not just sweets and carbs, will ensure that you won’t crave more sweets and carbs

Balls. I'm not rested. And I totally make bad food choices. I know I need protein and "good" fat. Instead, I boil like, half a pound of spaghetti. Why? Cause it's fast, easy, and it tastes delicious. I'm back to drinking a lot of soda, cause the bubbles feel so good ("it feels so good when it hits your lips" lol). I'm sluggish. I'm getting out of shape. Even worse, I'm LAZY as sh*t. I kid you not. I come home and do an occasional free weight routine or some Jillian Michaels, but now that it's dark, I'm happy to throw on my PJ's and knit in front of my Netflix Instant Watch Queue. Terrible. 

While I do like a lot of what the article says, I'm not about to go crazy vegan or anything. I might take a look at some of the steps Dr. Laura recommends, like mixing whole wheat and white flour when cooking (though not in the Thanksgiving pies!) and trying to find healthier snacks and appetizing lunch options (today's lunch: spaghetti, because I didn't make my usual turkey BLT. Dang carbs). 

Jam and I also invested in a folding exercise bike. We both agree that the likelihood of us exercising outside now that I get home after dark is rather limited (this is the part where I'd argue a dog would come in handy, I'd have to go out to walk him/her...but our lease prohibits four legged friends at this point. boo). I'm determined to be a little slimmer by 2011 and above all, I'd really like to feel a bit more energized. 

I know for me, it's not just diet. Like today - I slept in on purpose because I'm too lazy to get up at 6:20. I slept until 6:45, which means I have about 25 minutes to get ready and leave the house. I did shower (woohoo) but I did not: iron my clothes, style my hair, or put on makeup, except for spf 50 moisturizer. Do my coworkers care about this? Definitely, definitely NOT. Do I care? Mmmnnn not really...until I use the ladies room and see my reflection and I look like a mess! WTF did I leave the house looking so busted? I ironed everything yesterday and did my hair and felt I feel gross. Trust me, I don't have self-esteem issues, I have presentation issues. Why don't I put the effort in? It's the whole vicious "I'm tired, I eat crap, I don't exercise cycle" rearing its ugly head. Definitely time for a little change. Time to bust out the clarisonic and blast my skin, iron my clothes with a real iron, and leave the house with a little spring in my step. I could definitely use it.

Do you ever feel like you need to push the "life" reset button and change things up??

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I drove my husband to Target to buy new socks. No, not because he *needed* them, but because we're too lazy to do laundry and all of his socks are dirty. That's kind of the state we're in right now...and I liken myself to a junior Martha Stewart - ha, as if!!!!

I did, however, replace my commuter coat today for an amazing price. Small victories, right?!


Confession: We've been married for nearly 6 weeks and we haven't written a single thank you note.


Many would scoff at this - heck, if someone else told me they hadn't written their notes six weeks after their wedding, I'd laugh at them too. I'd be like "dude, relax, you *just* got married like, a second ago." Heck, it took my friend over two years to write a thank you to me. I'm not sure why, and actually, I was pretty damn confused when I got it in the mail a few months ago, but I still appreciated the gesture.

Why am I so uptight about it?

Of course part of it is because I'm so frickin' type A. Another huge piece of it is the fact that I finished my shower thank you's the day after the shower.....thereby setting myself up for internal wedding thank you fail unless I brought the notes on the honeymoon...because I had them...and customized stamps from zazzle to match. SICK.

I guess that's one thing that's on my list for this week. Along with ordering a compact exercise bike from Amazon, so I can stop feeling like "fat piles of fatness." Jam gets upset when I say this, but I actually stole the saying from a weddingbee board post because I thought it was so funny. The post itself turned creepy rather fast, because you had all these people coming out the woodwork who were like "I'm 5'10'' and weigh 115 but I'd really like to be down another 5 lbs" Sh*t, I ran away from there as fast as I could. I was like "Honey, I am 5'6'', weigh a fair amount more than you but could crush you with my THIGH." And I wasn't thinking that in an "I'm upset about my weight" type way, more like a "who would survive longer if we got lost on a trek through the Amazonian rainforest?? oh right, ME!" ha ha ha.

Seriously though, getting some of these "life" tasks in order are really going to help me out. I know I'm not getting enough exercise because I'm feeling sluggish and my clothes are tight (ha ha not pregnant, for the last time everyone...coworkers specifically....) and I'm tiiiiired all the time, even though I sleep like, forever. Getting the thank you's done will be one of the last wedding things I have to do (cleaning and preserving wedding dress, getting shoes cleaned and dyed, and sending out special bridesmaid thank yous round out the list of "remaining 5 wedding things to do."

Why am I hell-bent on getting life in order? Well, I think it might make things a little nicer. Less flippage. Like, I won't be doing the dishes one night and realize that we don't "have enough money for 'things.'" Maybe I'll get a better night's sleep and not be all procrastination and sloth at work. Maybe my pants will stop cutting off the circulation to my head. I dunno, maybe everything will be the same...hmmm except I would really like it if my pants weren't so tight.

In happy news, I think I have wrangled holiday crafting for the first time EVER! I think I'll actually be able to knit/craft everything and have it delivered/wrapped/given on time! This is a huge advance compared to holidays past, lol. I mean, I still owe EE the gay quilt, that's only four years overdue, but for this Christmas, I think I have it handled. Some of it is dumb socks - I am making some gift socks and they are already moving quickly and coming out quite nicely if I do say so myself:
- but I'd like to say it's less luck and more organized planning. Or maybe it's just the lack of wedding crap. Oh I don't know. I guess I should stop rambling so I can finish up my work for today and go home to craft. Ornament swap pals came out today and I'm ready to get started! YAY!

Aw crap....I have those thank you's though.....argh!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Post

Oh noes! I failed "NaBloPoMo" by completely failing to post on Saturday.
I actually totally forgot.
Here are some photo highlights of the weekend to compensate (instead of my ranting!!):

Jamaal is excited about riding on the Kancamagus

The "Sister Wives" lol. Not really, but my sister calls Jam "my brother from another mother of another color" It's special

Should we put this on the Christmas card? *cackles*

Bridge/River off the Kanc

North Conway Five and Dime (we were shopped out so I snapped this from the car)

 Back through the White Mountain National Forest via RT 302

That explains the "falling rock" sign...

The road stretches out before us. 

302 took us by the beautiful Mount Washington Hotel 


Pausing with the sis for a photo op

Getting closer to Littleton  - I'm not sure we've ever made it there in the daylight!

Downtown Littleton - crapass picture, it's really lovely in person


Gummy eggs - these are an inside for gummy brains and gummy teeth? that's just impressive

The glory!

Even Jam had to indulge when he saw the "old school Halloween candy" (bull's eyes, boston baked beans, etc)

Jawbreaker on a stick....insane

So needless to say I can barely button my pants for the gluttony of the weekend....can't  believe tomorrow's Monday and I ate all my candy from Chutters in less than 24 hours!!

Friday, November 12, 2010


We are in the great state of New Hampshire for the weekend!

What's in store??

Driving through the White Mountains on the "Kanc"

Outlet shopping, tax-free!!

Lunch at the Muddy Moose

Drive from North Conway to Littleton, through White Mountain National Forest

Visit to the world's longest candy counter....

Needless to say, there's plenty to be excited about...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I was baking again tonight.

I should've been packing for our weekend away in NH or working on the two things I have due at work tomorrow, but I couldn't resist. Finally, a captive audience greater than two stuck with my baked goods! Glorious!

I began with chocolate cookies - easy and straightforward, and ended with pumpkin bread.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I think I love it because it combines a glorious mix of spices and taste better with time. Perfection.

We received a box of spices from Penzey's as a shower gift. Inside was a small bag with a round nut-looking thing inside. The label said "whole nutmeg." I didn't know if it had to be peeled or chopped or what. Google saved the day - I learned I could grate as needed with my microplane. I love how the inside looks! It also smells amazing when grated.

I make a big mess in our small kitchen whenever I cook. I also cook off my ipod, which you can see on the counter.

I especially love pumpkin bread because you add cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger on top of the dry ingredients. They contrast each other in a way I find quite lovely :)

Love my stand mixer!! Look at it go!

Baking also gives me a chance to use all my little baking tools that I've accrued over the last few a mini snowman rubber spatula!

Naturally type-A me loves what happens AFTER baking - the restoration of kitchen to sparkling clean!! Ugh, note our horrid green floors!

Well the oven timer calls - seriously, try the pumpkin bread some day. It makes three decent sized loaves, taste better the day after it's made, pleases a crowd,'s totally worth it!

Night night interwebs!