Friday, August 31, 2007

5 things I learned from my nephew

Yesterday I got the chance to hang with Jackson, for the entire day. Alone. Me and him. I think we're fully buds now. Seriously, I would hang out with this kid for fun - he is hilarious.

1. Life's too short to focus on one thing for too long. You gotta mix it up. A lot.

2. When in doubt, laugh.

3. Naps = Good.

4. Water tastes better coming from the dog dish. (Sorry, S + L)

5. When nothing else seems to make you happy, throw in a movie. It fixes everything.

Have a fun-filled weekend, all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Turkey Stuffing Stir Fry

OK...Before you dismiss this recipe because of the name, give it a chance! We had this at one of our Cooking Club meetings and it is yummy and easy.

Turkey Stuffing Stir Fry

1 pound turkey cutlets
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/3 cup green onion, sliced
1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups Bread Cubes (I usually just buy a loaf of french bread and cube it up)

Cut turkey in to 1/4" strips
Saute turkey until cooked and set aside
Boil broth in same fry pan
Add celery, onions and seasonings - cook 2 minutes
Add turkey
Stir in bread cubes until liquid is absorbed

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What on earth?

Do you ever look in the mirror and say, "ick" out loud? Honestly, right before bed I bent over the sink to spit out the toothpaste and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I was horrified at what I was looking at.

I feel like I've gotten a little off track lately. It happens. Sometimes you don't realize it until your ugly mug is staring back at you. I've been eating crap and haven't gone for a run in some time. We've been eating out way too much & not sleeping under the stars enough.

Since Adam and I met, we've taken on adventuring like it's our job. Rarely a weekend goes by that we're not miles away from home in the woods or on a river. I guess I should say "had" gone by. It's been over a month since one of our weekend adventures. Entirely too long. Sometimes life just catches up with you and before you know it you're in a rut. I don't like it. Not one bit. I miss our life and it's time to get it back.

I don't want to see a fox in a cage, I want to happen upon one while I'm walking in the woods.

I'm bored. It's time to get back out there.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Yesterday, Adam and I took a little trip to the Squam Lakes Science Center ( This is a place I've wanted to visit, well - revisit for quite some time. Let me briefly explain my first "visit."

When we were kids, for a short time my dad lived across the street from the Science Center. On one of our every-other-weekend visits, he decided to take us across the street. But the place was closed. Not sure if we were even supposed to be there - I'm going with not - but dad has never been one to follow the rules. Actually, he is one to always follow the rules, so this was a little uncharacteristic of him. Another shocking thing? He wanted to do something even remotely involved with "nature." So, we kids rolled with it.

Off the four of us went - Dad, Scott, Marc and me. We couldn't have been very old at this point - maybe we were still all under 10? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I will never forget what transpired as we walked the trails of the Science Center.

We came across the deer enclosure. "Wow, that one really wants to get out..." one of us, maybe all of us said at one point. There was a young buck with little nubs for horns, ramming the chain link fence that housed the deer. He meant business. He so did not want to be there. So, we watched for a few minutes and then continued on with our walk through the trails.

Eventually, we started making our way home, walking down the long paved driveway of the Science Center - when we heard it - the pounding of hooves on the pavement. We all looked back, and wouldn't you know it? That buck was comin' at us. "Run, kids!," my dad yelled to us.

Run we did. But not without looking back and watching this buck bump our dad in the butt the entire way down the driveway. I laugh out loud every time I recall this story. It ended up being a whole scene. Police were called and dispatched to capture the rogue deer. "Lettuce, throw it some lettuce..." that's what we were told to give the deer to keep it around. I think he was eventually captured and returned to the Center. Sad, actually.

Which is what I left feeling after our visit yesterday. A little bit. Don't get me wrong, the animals that call the Science Center home are obviously well cared for. Their habitats are as close to what they would live in if they were in the wild. But, damn. Some of them just didn't seem to dig their digs.

I point to a couple of things when I say this. As we approached the red fox exhibit, I noticed one of the foxes pacing back and forth on the far end of the exhibit away from us - so wanting to be on the other side of that fence. I sat there and watched him/her looking longingly. Who knows? Maybe there was just a tasty looking rabbit on the other side that only the fox could see and he wanted to grab it and come right back in. But I doubt it.

Then we moved onto the bobcat enclosure where there was a woman dangling her backpack back and forth as one of the bobcats tried to go after it like a cat would a string. This woman with her four or so unruly kids and husband no doubt drove one of those cars in the parking lot with red plates (Mass). As the woman dangled her backpack, her kids were screaming at it and making faces. Well the bobcat's buddy didn't like this too much and came out of the den attacking the glass. Full on wanting to grab onto those kids and make a meal of them. The Mass family acted so shocked that the cats would do this - they had gasps of horror. Well, what the hell people? This is a wild animal. The cat just acted out what I was thinking.

There's no doubt in my mind that the fine folks at the Science Center are doing good work. But I can't shake the image of that fox. So obviously still wild and unable to be.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Up for Sainthood

If you are a dog lover, you should definitely click on this link and watch the video in Bernie's newest post:

This woman is tireless and will have no trouble getting into heaven.

Bikini Jeannie

I've been friends with Jeannie since college and although she lives in Philly, she's still one of my closest friends.

We have random text message conversations out of punctuation marks that go a little something like this:

J: ?
A: !
J: ,
A: ?
J: .

Jeans and I are pretty much opposites...she's freakin' smart. I mean, Maggie smart. UNH was a breeze for her and then she immediately went to Temple, got her Masters and is a Speech Pathologist in a school district in a Philly suburb. Oh and on top of the brains, she's gorgeous...Scott calls her "Bikini Jeannie" - at one point we were talking about doing a whitewater rafting trip and Scott mentioned that the only way he'd get back in a raft with me would be if Bikini Jeannie came along.

She still goes out every weekend...Spends her summers, "down the shore" in her Jersey shore house that she shares with like 50 other girls so they can all afford the dang place. Something I just don't get. BUT, I do get some really great stories after said weekends. I get random things from her on my phone...This weekend she was in some costume contest thing down there and I received a picture of her in a girl scout uniform. When she called last night I asked if she completed the uniform with cookies...Of course she did. She was handing out Samoas in the bar.

Anyway, she called last night while running some errands...We ended up talking longer than usual and it was just nice.

My point to this seemingly pointless post: Sometimes, it's good to take a little time out during the week and have a good conversation about nothing with a good friend. It's good for the soul to hear about the crazy things your opposite friend from Philly may be up to.

We always end our conversations like this...One of us will get sick of being on the phone, or just run out of things to say...Sometimes it's only after two minutes:

A: I'm done with you.
J: I was done with you first.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Last week I did something I've only done once, maybe twice before in all of my 31 years. I bought a Powerball ticket. Heck, there hasn't been a winner since June, the jackpot is ginormous. Some one's gotta win - why not me? Ever since I bought that ticket, I've randomly thought of things I'd do with the money.

First of all, if you're reading this and you're family - you are golden if I win. That's #1, you'll never have to worry about the benjamins again.

Next, I would buy a pimped out RV and do the cross country trip I've always wanted to do. I'd pack up my two boys and we'd take our time - OK, we might go sorta quickly through the Midwest, but once we hit 'rado we'd slow the pace. And we'd make our way back home through Canada. Spending a good chunk of time in B.C.

We'd take a little break in between trips, but then it would be off to Norway. I read an article in some travel magazine about Norway while waiting for my oil to get changed a few weeks ago and I've had this urge to go there ever since.

That's another thing...If I was Powerball rich, I would *never* take my car to get the oil changed again. I'd hire someone to do it. It's one of those things that I HATE doing. They always find something else you need done, and I never know if I *really* need it or if they're just trying to make a buck off my ignorance.

And, I'd quit my job. That's right, I said it - I would. I love my boss and the good work she does, but I wouldn't 'work for the man' anymore. I'd quit my job, take a few grant writing courses and make some money for some causes I believe in. I'd be a freelance grant writer. Heck, maybe I'd write grants to my own Foundation and either approve them or not. That could be fun.

So, that's what I've been able to come up with so far. I wouldn't buy a fancy car, I like my car. I would probably buy a house, but not a horrendous McMansion, it would be a small log cabin on some acres.

Damn that Powerball, it's got me dreaming!

What would you do with the $$?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bump in the Night

"Did you hear that?" big tough Adam said at about 2:30 this morning.

Yeah, I heard it, I was already awake. It's funny, a night last week I heard this same noise and pretty much convinced myself, that in the morning I was going to go out to the porch and find a big huge mess. I envisioned the hummingbird feeder destroyed and our recycling strewn across the lawn. But the next morning I woke up, went outside and found - nothing. Yeah, that's right - I thought it was a bear.

It's a weird noise, a banging, sort of rustling and it's enough to creep you the heck out. Especially, out here in the woods.

"We should have one of our phones in here," I said to Tough-y. He had already gotten up, closed and locked our bedroom doors and the window. And was sitting there with a look on his face that I hadn't even seen when he was up against a class V rapid. We had already been sitting up in bed, light on for about ten minutes. No noise.

"OK, yeah," he said - you're right. "I'll go." Ah, my knight in shining armor.

He went out to the living room, grabbed a phone and a piece of apple pie from the fridge - because that's going to keep the scary things away, I guess. And, all was well.

Yeah, we slept with a light on for the rest of the night.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


It's been a long week, ya'll (that was for you, Lon).

Beginning on Sunday with Dad and Chia's joint birthday party, there's been a whole lotta socializing going on in my world. Late nights. So many late nights.

Actually, the late nights began on Saturday evening - after some paddling, we had some friends over to our house for a bbq that went into the wee hours. It was nice having people over, we decided we need to do that more often.

Loni and I had a ladies night on Tuesday, taking in a Brandi Carlile and Indigo Girls show. I can't say enough about Brandi. Get her stuff...You won't regret it. Incredible. The Indigo Girls - eh - maybe it's just hard to follow Brandi, I'm not sure. But I wasn't feeling it. They were good, but not Brandi good. Needless to say there was some good people watching ops at that show. Enough said.

Last night I fulfilled a promise I made to Chia eons ago, taking her out on her 21st birthday. It ended up being more low-key than I was hoping it would be for her...But it was still a good time.

And today, I'm tired...two back-to-back nights of staying up way beyond my bedtime. I'm only writing this post because it's distracting me from the loads of work I have piling up on my desk, that I can't seem to muster the brain power to tackle. But, I must.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I'd like to introduce the newest member of our family, Woody...He decided to join us this morning and as much as we like having him here - we think it's time he went back to his birdie friends.

It's hard reasoning with a bird...I've tried, "Birdie, go outside, it's time for you to go..."; "Fly away birdie..."; "Your Mommy misses you, time to go see her..." Now he's got a name, Woody - I figure he's been here long enough - he deserves one.

Instead of flying back outside - since his arrival this morning I have removed the air conditioner from the loft and opened up the top window - he's decided he's going to peck his way out.

In addition to now having the loft window wide open - I have the front door open and some of Woody's cousins are joining us. As much as I'd like to have a party - I have a lot of work to do.

Any suggestions about how to get him to go? I'm open, and so are all of my windows.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Toe Stomper

Adam and I had the good fortune of being able to catch an Alison Krauss & Union Station show last night. It was so good that when I logged onto the computer this morning, the first thing I did was go to their website and see where they were playing tonight.

These guys have been playing together as a band for 16 years now. And man, did the audience benefit from that and the obvious love these folks have for each other. You just don't get the kind of performance that we did from these manufactured groups popping up today. There were no egos on that stage, just a bunch of people enjoying each other and what they are doing.

At one point, the entire band - with the exception of dobro genius, Jerry Douglas - left the stage and Jerry played a few solos. You can bet I'm going to itunes and downloading a few tracks of his today. He told a funny story behind the first tune, "Little Ro Ro" - was inspired by Jerry's son's high school friend who aspired to be a hip hop star, although his name was Pierre Michaelson...He knew he had to change his name to try to make it in the biz and Jerry was there when the teen decided on Little Ro Ro.

The only bad thing I can say about the show is that it was one of those venues that you can't just get up and dance...but man did we bust out some serious toe stompin'! Catch 'em if they come to a city near you. For serious.

Monday, August 6, 2007

No electricity = No bunny pasta

Being a parent, a good parent, requires some serious self-sacrificing (I know, duh). My brothers and their wives are *incredible* parents. I knew that before this weekend, but I had no idea just how tough it is. I am humbled.

"Amy, we get to have bunny pasta!" Avery proclaimed pointing at the box of Annie's mac & cheese, as we hung out in the kitchen soon after I arrived. That was all she could talk about, so excited about the bunny pasta. Who doesn't love Annie's? I was just as excited as Avery was about our menu for supper.

After going through the schedule as they were getting ready to head to the wedding, Jen and Marc kindly let me off the hook by saying that it didn't matter if the girls had their baths - thank God - because I honestly couldn't figure out how I was going to juggle both for bath time.

With the 'rents on their way to the wedding, the girls and I headed outside for some swinging, some popsicle eating under a tree and some swimming in the kiddie pool. Eventually it was nap time and Avery and Nora went to sleep like champs. Phew, I thought, I can clean up the kitchen from lunch. Not too soon after I was done cleaning up, I sat down on the couch and they started.

Thunder that sounded like it was right next door and hail, yikes, I have never seen hail like this before. The storms were intense, so intense that poof - they took the electricity with them as they passed through. No worries, I thought to myself, we'll get power back in a jiff. Not so.

Avery woke up not too long after the power went out. And we played inside while waiting for Nora to wake up.

Still no power.

Eventually Nora woke up and it was supper time.

No power.

"Is it time for bunny pasta, Amy? Avery asked.

Dang it, I thought to myself.

"We're going to have to come up with something else, Avery, we don't have power to cook the pasta."

Nora, who isn't quite able to express what she wants to say verbally yet, had this to say about no bunny pasta for supper:

Although we were all disappointed about not being able to have some Annie's, we improvised..."Avery, what do you feel like having for supper?" I asked. "Turkey? Do you like turkey? How about cottage cheese? Does Nora like cottage cheese?" Bingo - yep she sure does. So, our supper was deli turkey meat (which Nora did not like, at least not that day), cold pasta and sauce I found in the fridge (which Nora does like!), cottage cheese, grapes and some milk (of course!).

With the thunderstorms behind us, we headed back outside and played until the bugs drove us inside & it was time for bed anyway. At one point, I looked at Avery, and she had a mosquito on the corner of one of her eyes, which I *gently* swiped away...Loni, don't come after me.

The next morning, Avery woke up looking like she went three rounds with George Foreman:

We spent Sunday hanging out by the pool and enjoying the beautiful day with the entire Maine Rowe family. I left exhausted and happy that I got to spend so much time with my nieces, with a new appreciation for what Marc, Jen, Scott and Loni are going through right now. The life that I lead is so different from theirs. I'm glad that I get to spend some time in theirs now and then. Both of my brothers and their wives have created beautiful, loving, happy families.

As Marc said to Avery when she asked why Adam and I were still in the pool messing around, seeing who could make the biggest splash...while everyone else was out getting ready for lunch, "Avery, they're still kids - they'll get out eventually."

I'm happy being in the pool, atleast for now.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A girl, her dog and two kids under the age of 3

This is going to be an interesting weekend.

Jen and Marc, for some unknown reason think it's a good idea to leave Avery and Nora in my care while they attend a wedding on Saturday.

I'm guessing the girls are on some sort of schedule, that will be completely thrown out the window as soon as their Subi leaves the driveway (I kid, I kid).

All I can say is that there will be a) swimming b) swinging on the fancy swing set c) running in the grass (yes, I will do a tick check on their noggins when we come inside, Marc) d) fun in general.

It's gonna be interesting, full report (with pictures, if approved by their parentals) on Monday.

Good times!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

How dare you.

I try to keep things light and fun on this here blog, but I heard something this morning on the news that I just have to vent about.

In the wake of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, I was reminded of something that really gets under my skin about the mainstream media. Following the story about this tragedy, the anchor closed by saying, "what an awful tragedy, but we realize it could have been much worse."

Oh yeah?

And how about the mother at home listening to that news report that lost her son to the collapse? Do you think she feels that it "could have been much worse?" Or the husband that lost his wife? Nah. They just lost their entire world's, so for them, no it could not have been much worse.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ode to a Deer Fly

I'm going to get fat
I have you to thank for that,
deer fly.

Why do you torture,
this girl and her dog?

You and your friends,
you swarm us and bite us.

You're making us crazy.

My morning walk,
my sanctuary.

Not anymore,
now it's war.
the wisdom's in the trees, not the glass windows - j.j.