Happy Birthday Big Bro!

Today my big brother turns the big 2-7!! What a lifetime of great memories! Happy Birthday JB!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Love you,
Your little sis


Only in Movies?

Sometimes I think that little ridiculous things only happen in movies, until they happen to me.

For example, I was waiting on a package from an online purchase and USPS attempted to deliver it on Monday. The slip they left me gave me the option to sign it and indicate where to leave it, to wait, or to go pick it up at the post office which closes at 5pm (big help). Reluctantly I signed the slip and wrote "back door" and hoped for the best. I came home yesterday from work and the slip was gone, but there was no package. Hmmm. Why would he take the slip and not leave the package? I asked my neighbors if they had seen it, but they said "no."

I said, "Maybe he didn't leave it because it was raining." But Mike assured me that he's received packages before in a bag when it's raining, so that didn't exactly boost my confidence. So I went back into my apartment and played the what if/where is it game with Andrew on the phone. (Poor guy, it was his suggestion to sign the slip rather than go pick it up, so I made sure to let him know that I may or may not be blaming him on the inside for this situation.) Well, at this point there was nothing I could do since the post office was closed, I didn't have a slip, I didn't have a tracking number, and trying to guess was creating more tension.

Well today I came home early from work (yay for half days before holidays!) and came through the front door--we have a mail slot in our front door--but there was no mail. Hoping that the mail hadn't come yet, but lacking confidence that this was true, I went to check the back door just in case. And feeling the emotions of a toddler on Christmas morning seeing their presents for the first time, I saw a cute little box on the back step. "That's sure a funny sized box for what I ordered," I thought, but picked it up nonetheless. "Tim Douethesy...Who is that? What? Wrong address. Wrong sender." UPS had left the package for my neighbor at my door!! What are the odds, this has NEVER happened before and they gets lots of packages at the apartment next door. I wish I could have watched the whole situation unfold. My expressions went from surprised, to hopeful, to crushed all in an instance. (A bit dramatic, huh? It's just a package.)

I walked next door, placed the package on their door step and went back inside. Confident that the mailman hadn't come yet, I opened my blinds so that I could see when he walked up the street and continued on with my afternoon. Again, like a child, when I saw him walk up the street I jumped up so I could talk to him and find out what happened with my package. Not wanting to seem as pathetic as I was, I waited for him to leave the package. I had left a note for him on the front door telling him I was home to accept it, but he went straight for the back door. Thinking that I had given him enough time to get to the front door, I went down to open it, right at the second he was knocking and almost gave him a heart attack--poor old guy. What a lame-o--I looked like I was waiting in the foyer for him all afternoon! Well he did have my package, he explained the route a parcel has to take between the carrier and post office for re-attempting delivery, and went on his merry way. But not before my rude neighbor (recent conclusion, I hadn't met her before today) walked up to us and asked "Can I help you with something?" after she saw us talking and pointing to the back doors as I was explaining where UPS and FedEx leave packages. Was that rude to mention the competition to him? It's no secret that they deliver too. Anyway, this girl wasn't very nice. And that was that.

So, the moral of the story: Always trust USPS.


Winter Vests= Great Invention

There are many many great things about winter and there is no doubt that I will address lots of them over the next few months on here. Today, we'll start with just one: Layering.

Layering is a tool that is supposed to be used to ensure warmth outside while providing comfort indoors through removable layers that can be shed to prevent sweating to death. Unfortunately, I abuse the art of layering to fuel my tendency to be lazy and unkempt. For example, today, I tried on a collared button-up dress shirt under a v-neck sweater. Deciding that the outfit didn't match and the Mr. Rogers' impersonation was less than attractive, I decided not to wear it. Well, rather than starting over, I just put a vest on top of it, zipped it up and pretended the mismatching button-up wasn't under there. So, yes, I'm wearing a horribly ugly outfit right now, but I'm masking it with a vest so my co-workers are completely oblivious to the disaster lurking beneath.

Note to you southerners who hate-on turtlenecks and vests, we need them up here:)
So when I say "vest" stop picturing the teacher vest and start picturing the winter vest:


Need A Pick-Me-Up?

I realize the content of my recent blogs have been shallow, but let's face it, my life has been pretty uneventful lately. I just work, read, watch the Today Show, and hang out indoors trying to stay warm. The least I can do is entertain you a little. Let these warm your hearts and put smiles on your faces:)

A website that I find funny: Despair.com You can't take them too seriously or you'll find them erroneous or offensive.


Straight No Chaser

I'm definitely not the trendiest person I know, so forgive me if this is 'so last year for you', but my favorite radio station (which has been playing non-stop Christmas music for weeks now!!--a little much) plays this song daily and I think it's a lot of fun. I found it online today and there is a neat history behind it too. I know one thing to ask for this Christmas: their cd! Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas (The Africa bit is my favorite!!)
Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

The Fun History

Hear clips of each song on the new CD

Other great songs they've done, on YouTube:
Toto's Africa
Carol of the Bells
Silent Night
90s TV Sitcom Medley
90s Teen Sensation Medley
National Anthem for the Cubs
The National Anthem in Studio


What Keeps You Up At Night?

It used to be simple things that kept me up at night, like being too cold, a stiff neck, the sounds of my heating pipes....well not any longer. It's now the fear of death that keeps me awake. Tonight I found a disgusting creepy bug less than a foot away from my bed on the wall!! I feel so uncomfortable in my own apartment. I frantically look at the walls and floors all the time now. Apparently its a harmless House Centipede, but I don't care. It is so gross and creepy. I thought winter was supposed to kill bugs, apparently it just lures them all inside so they don't freeze to death.
(This picture doesn't do justice on the scale. The body was over an inch long and the hairlike legs made it look HUGE--3 inches long at least!)

Naturally, I saw the bug and flipped out. I was supposed to be leaving in 20 minutes for a womens' dessert night with church, but I knew there was no way I was leaving the apartment without that sucker being removed. If left it until later to be dealt with, it would undoubtedly be gone when I got home and I would spend the next 3 weeks panicked about which shoe it was in or where in my bed it was hiding. So, what did I do but immediately walk out the door to my neighbor, Mike's. Mike is the heat guy--he's used to me stopping by on an every other day basis. Well, tonight Mike was not home. I don't know why he feels the liberty to go to class and have a life outside of being my heat monitor, but he does. Well, I don't know my downstairs neighbor (Andy) very well, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I marched right down and said, "Can you kill a bug in my apartment?" He said sure and began looking for something to kill it will. He struggled to find something so I quickly volunteered the junk mail in our hallway for all of the previous tenants from what seems like the past 2o years.

Now you may think that beggars can't be choosers, oh, but I was picky. I made sure to let him know that a missed attempt would not be okay and that he needed to be confident that he could get him on the first try. (Who was I kidding? I wasn't going to do any better of a job than he could. In fact, I didn't even have the guts to try. I was terrified. He was all I had). I wasn't sure if that creepy bug was fast or if it could fly. He assured me that it was a Silverfish and he had seen one in his apartment downstairs earlier this week. Great. We have an infestation. Well he creamed that little guy with two swift blows and I thanked him. I didn't even require that he clean the guts off the wall. I was certain that I could handle that, but later found out that even with rubber gloves on I was so freaked out by this foreign bug that I had to psyche myself up just to clean the guts off. Anyway, about 10 minutes later I heard Mike come home and wanted to let him know that I would appreciate a little heat and to let him know that our apartment building is being taken over by alien bugs.

To my surprise Andy was sitting in there with Mike and said, "I already told him about the Silverfish." And Mike said, "I just turned the heat on."

Playing it cool I said, "Oh ok, I was just checking on the heat. Also, I looked it up and it's not a Silverfish, but a House Centipede." They didn't believe me so they wanted to see proof on my google image search (I took a picture but it turned out blurry. I was really nervous the flash was going to scare the bug, but apparently they aren't camera shy. He didn't even flinch). We agreed that it was a House Centipede and Mike turned and saw the remains. "You killed it?!" he exclaimed.

"Yea, we did. I thought you might have opted for the humane method." Mike then proceeded to explain how easy it is to catch a bug with a glass. "You put the glass over the bug on the wall and then slide a piece of paper behind it and let it outside." Sounds logical, but it's not gonna happen. Andy then chimed in and said, "I'd like to see you try that method when you get bats in your apartment." What? Are you kidding me? What next? Luckily, Andy had bats in his previous, not current apartment, but nevertheless, I've got something new to worry about at night: bats flying down my damperless chimney. They'll enjoy the company of the rocks and leaves that currently come down my chimney.

Anyway, the moral of the story is if you want to get rid of bugs, you ask Andy; if you want to warm your apartment, you ask Mike; and if you want a useless waste of space, you just come by my apartment, I'll be here standing on the couch next to the fireplace hiding from the mice, worrying about the centipedes, waiting to swat a bat, and eating Sun chips.


The Doctor Says...

Andrew had a doctors appointment yesterday and was very fascinated by the doctor's BMI chart on the back of the door. Since I'm on a "health" kick with my posts, I thought I would share.


貧窮, φτώχεια, povertà, pobreza, yoksulluk, pauvreté


It doesn't matter how you say it or how you spell it, it affects us all, worldwide.

Poverty is such a heartbreaking issue and something I work with daily. It's a tragedy sweeping the globe and a pandemic that I have grown to feel tremendous compassion for.

I saw a link to this poem-like statement on a friend's blog, I found it to be very touching, enlightening, and revealing: Being Poor

I also received a pdf from a doctor I work with of a document just published on health issues from a public health perspective--viewing health not only as being sick or having a disease, but relating social, environmental, occupational, etc. factors into overall well-being. There are some really interesting and encouraging case studies all over the U.S. of helping those in need in our neighboring communities: Social Determinants of Health.


A Salute to Veterans Day

This is an incredibly touching tradition by our Canadian neighbors, and war allies, to their fallen soldiers (two 3-minute clips from NBC Nightly News):

Canadians Honor the Journey of their Fallen Soldiers Families' on the Highway of Heroes

A Mom's Journey on the Highway of Heroes


Always an Adventure

Roadside Attraction Road Trip 2008.
It's always an adventure with us!

Andrew came into town this past weekend and we had no agenda or plans. Well, as is the tradition for our visits we can not manage to remain stationary for too long, so we quickly go from dormancy, to racing the clock and the sun.

Destination: Plymouth Rock.

Andrew decided that he had never been this close to Plymouth Rock, this close to Thanksgiving before. It was clearly a pilgrimage that we should embark upon. "Fair enough," I agreed, "But let's at least spice up the journey a bit." I've been researching and found a website that maps all the quirky roadside attractions per state and thought we should see what Rhode Island and Massachusetts had to offer. [Note: I didn't quite comprehend that our noon departure was setting us up for failure and pitting us against the sun. It's mid-November and in Southern New England the sun will completely set by 4:45 PM. Saturday was no exception.]

We set out after noon for lunch at my favorite Woonsocket hot spot, The Cakery, but of course, we had to stop at our first roadside attraction on the way: The Historic Modern Diner, "America's First Diner"

We found a giant mural with my beloved Gerber daisy

And then an incredibly unique convenience store. Pawtucket has quite the sites to offer.

We forged on toward Woonsocket passing two more roadside attractions on our way.
The giant coffee cup.

And of course, a giant milk bottle (currently vacant).

We made it to lunch at the Cakery. One reviewer described it as their version of the Cheers bar in Woonsocket, they are totally right. It's great. It's run by sisters and their mother. The food is amazing, the desserts are incredible, the atmosphere is fantastic, the hospitality is fabulous, it's painted really girlie with pink and brown, they make wedding cakes--it's basically the quintessential coffee shop/bakery/cakery/sandwich shop of any girl's dreams. Full of a fajita roll up, broccoli quiche, and marbled chocolate cake, we venture onward.

Next site: Giant Paul Bunyan wooden statue

And, surprise, another milk jug, this one still functioning though, as an ice cream shop, but closed for the season. Sad.

Then we arrived in Plymouth! We saw Plymouth Rock, the "Oldest Tourist Attraction in America" and the Mayflower II. Let's just say the "rock" is less than impressive. It's a big cracked rock, set in a sand pit, lowered in the ground, and caged in like a wild lion.

The Mayflower II

This is the transition when the fun trip turned ugly. The sun set, we didn't get to see Plimouth Plantation (the pilgrim re-enactment) and we still had 6 more stops to make, many of which didn't have addresses just cardinal directions in their town...but we were bound and determined.

Mattapoisett's giant sea horse (It's hard to portray the scale in this picture, but it's huge! You can see the tree top in the lower left)

And the day wouldn't have been complete without a third milk bottle. [I realize the picture is terrible, but when you're in the middle of a rural, residential neighborhood, after shedding blood and tears to find it, you turn on your bright headlights and make the best of it.] What you can't see is that there is a cow on top of the milk bottle--they love their dairy in Dartmouth.

Interestingly, only a few blocks away is another giant structure, an ice cream pint. What are the odds that two crazy people would build these so close together? Maybe the same crazy person built both. My theory is that the two neighborhoods have a rivalry about which ice cream stand to go to, and if kids go to the wrong one after school they get beat up by the other kids...but we can't know that for sure because I made the whole thing up.

And lastly, is that a McDonald's with a train car going through it? Funny you ask...yes, yes it is.


Mom comes to town

So my mom came to town last weekend we had a blast doing all the fall and New England activities we could think of!

Downtown Providence--We visited the mall and hung out around town

East Side--We drove around Providence looking at the sights and colored leaves

The Big Apple--We went to an apple orchard in Wrentham, Massachusetts

We went on a horse drawn hay ride at the orchard and attempted to drink cider and eat donuts during the ride!

We didn't hug any trees, but we did hug some giant pumpkins at the apple orchard

Downtown Boston--We walked around the city a bit and then got dinner on the North End

We celebrated fall in Providence

We saw paddle boats that looked like swans.

Roger Williams Park--We played at the park

We watched lots of families with kids at the park feeding the ducks

And we watched the World Series at a pub in downtown Providence


Life Without Cable

I don't care what our culture says, living without cable isn't so bad. There is always plenty to do.
Case in point: (Becka, Emy & Andrew)