Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

I figured what I wrote on Facebook this morning will work just fine for a brief post about being thankful:

It is nice to wake up to so many posts of gratitude and good wishes. Allow me to add to them and to wish all of you a happy, peaceful, delicious day (that includes a Steelers victory) and to express my thankfulness for my family, friends, a roof over my head, food on the table, coffee, a job, and a song in my heart (as well as the Steelers, Pens, Pirates, Penn State, and Pitt).
Here is hoping that each of you can find something to be thankful for. 
Gobble, gobble!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This and that (including a bus story)

I just cannot seem to come up with a coherent blog post. It is just easier to post pictures, tell a story, or do a bulleted list. Here goes my bulleted list (and why is it that blogger thinks that "bulleted" is not a word?)

  • Last week when I got on the bus, I sat down next to a guy. Said guy had a can of something between his legs. My first guess was beer, particularly since he reeked of alcohol, but then I decided it could have been one of those canned energy drinks. When he turned towards the window (and away from me) to take a sip, that was a pretty good indication he was drinking a brew. Upon further review, I confirmed it. Miller Ice, I believe. As my bus driver friend said, "As long as the bus driver is not drinking, you are golden."
  • After my third trip to my mechanic in five months, I told him that, no offense, I hoped that I would not see him until January 2015, when my next inspection is due. I don't even want to add up what I spent on the car in 2013, which also includes my inspection repairs in January 2013. Pretty sure it all adds up to a year's worth of (low) car payments. You read it here first: I will never buy another GM (I have a 2007 Saturn Vue).
  • I sang in my church choir's cabaret night a week and a half ago. For about a minute, I was back in high school, when all the world was my stage. It felt pretty good, and reminded me of how much I missed it. For most of the song, I really feel as if I knocked it out of the park. I was pitchy in a few places, but I am trying not to let that diminish what I did. Next year I plan to tap dance. I am serious. And, if you stop by again, I am actually going to put the video up.
  • I found out one of my (young) coworkers has the same birthday as me. I asked her what year she was born. She replied, "1989." Which means when she was born, I was a freshman at college. Sigh.
  • My kid does not like school. And that is putting it nicely. I have no idea what to do about this; she loved it the first five years (K at a different school and 1-4 in this school). I think a big part of it is homework. Most nights, the kid has 1-1.5 hours of HW. Some nights, it is 2 hours. This past weekend was the first one in over 2.5 months of school that she had no HW. That is right; she gets HW every single weekend. Sigh.
  • But I went with my kid's class on their field trip to RiverQuest. I had a great time. The kids got to launch things in the water, retrieve them, and then study organisms from the water under microscopes and macroscopes. Well worth the day I took off. And best of all, when one of the educators on the boat asked the students what their teacher's name was (meaning their science teacher), they replied, "Ms. (my last name)." They still think of me as their/a teacher!
  • Still quite sure the Steelers will not make the playoffs and will probably have a losing season. But maybe, just maybe, they can end up at .500. Stranger things have happened. Just glad I made it to a game this year (and a winning one at that). Unfortunately, I don't think the Pens are Cup bound this year, but I feel just as sure that they will be in the playoffs.
And how are you doing?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Water and sun

I thought I would post some pics from a quick trip to Erie I took with the kid and my mom in August. I can never take or have enough pictures of the water and the sun.
This is the kid in the water.
The water was really cold, which I thought it might not be as bad since it was just past mid August. But that did not stop the kid from swimming. Me? I made it to thigh deep water and chickened out.

This is a shot of Lake Erie from Presque Isle.

The sunset near the Bicentennial Tower
Just after the sun was setting near the Bicentennial Tower
My mom and kid in front of the Bicentennial Tower
One of the coolest thing about the Bicentennial Tower was there were hundreds, maybe even thousands, of bricks engraved with people's names, scattered along the walkway that you see in the photo above as well as in and around the Tower building. After we came back down from the top of the tower, we got ice cream. And I was sitting there eating, I happened to notice a brick with the names of a family whose kids go to my kid's school. Small world, I say.

A couple of pics from the top of the Bicentennial Tower

I really enjoyed our time at the Thomas Ridge Environmental Center (TREC).

Thomas Ridge Environmental Center

The kid and I trekked up the many flights of stairs to see the view from the top of the tower.

This is the view from the top of the tower.

You can make out the roller coaster in the pics above. J and I went on that coaster, when the three of us made a brief stop at Waldameer Park. I can tell you that that coaster was the scariest one I have been on in my adult life. We were up so high and going so fast. I was practically freaking out as we soared over Lake Erie.

Some shots of the inside of the TREC
There was a lot of informational and education displays at the TREC. Well worth the hour or so we spent there. Wish we had had more time.

Picture of map of Presque Isle

All in all, the three of us had a great time. It was a short trip; we were there less than 48 hours, but it was nice escape. I look forward to next summer, when I will actually have more than a couple of vacation days earned (knock on wood that I don't need to take them for anything before then) so we can take a much-needed and deserved family vacation.