sarahmichelef: (Default)
Last week C said to me, offhandedly, "we're going berry picking on Sunday if you want to come" and I said sure, thinking you know... an hour, maybe two, bring some berries home, and then later we could go play minigolf like TRex had decided we needed to for Father's day.  (Because Froggy does, you see.)


I forgot who we were going with. C had said that they were picking at 11 so I called her to find out the details at about 10. She said, "We're leaving in 15 minutes." I asked, "Where in the hell are we going that it's going to take 45 minutes to get there?" The answer, it turned out, was Coulter Farms in Lockport. Rather than her trying to give us directions, we decided just to meet at their house and follow them.  The plan was that B was going to meet all of us there having gotten there on his bike (the long way... because it may be far but it's not 60 miles from here to Lockport!)  It ended up being us, C&B and the kids, 2 sets of their friends (4 parents & 3 kids) and B's sister and her husband. We picked (and ate) oodles of strawberries and sugar snap peas, and ate nearly as many as we picked I think (like you do). And then we rode the tractor to another set of fields and picked and ate some more. All told I think we were at the farm for 2 or 2 1/2 hours.


berry girls

And then it was decided that we needed lunch, so we followed C again, this time to
Brickyard BBQ
in Lewiston, were fortunately there was seating on the patio because the five kids who were there were going a little crazy running around. We were there until about 3:30... TRex fell asleep in the car on the way home and M and I took advantage of the chance to get some major trimming of trees and shrubs done (including him up on the garage roof cutting back the neighbor's maple tree that was serving as an ant superhighway). And then we had salads for dinner, which included both strawberries and sugar snap peas. Of course.

sarahmichelef: (Default)
Our neighborhood was built in the late 1940s and early 1950s - our house dates to 1950. Like lots of post-war development, there are a handful of types of homes in the neighborhood. It’s not as bad as the street that TRex’s daycare was on - take a walk down Tudor Road using Street View and see what I mean - but there are a LOT of houses that look very similar to each other up here, too.

Thoughts on the houses in our 'hood, and the ways in which they have been expanded )
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Our perennials are confuuuuuuuused.  They didn't get the memo that the low tonight is in the single digits and it's not supposed to break freezing until Wednesday of this week; they're starting to come up.  I have seen shoots of crocus and daffodil - and it's not just old plantings, or the ones that tried to come up a second time this fall, either - some ones that are coming up are bulbs that I put in new this year.  The garlic that is anchoring our vegetable garden hasn't started, though.  Hopefully they will weather what remains of the winter all right.

(Speaking of - can anybody believe that Daylight Savings Time starts NEXT WEEK?)
sarahmichelef: (Default)
For those who aren't on FB or Twitter:  Thanks to everyone who has checked in on us - we and (as far as we know right now) everyone we know were not directly affected by the plane crash in Clarence.  There haven't been any all-campus e-mails so I don't think anyone from the Canisius community was on board.  I learned this morning that the cantor of one of the local Temples was on the plane, so the larger Jewish community has been impacted, and my friend Whitney lives just down the street but not close enough to be hurt or even evacuated - just really shaken up.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Went out for a night on the town yesterday with Corey & Shasti (hi, S, you found me on facebook first but I found you here first!)... Sea Bar for dinner (I had udon noodle soup and tempura shrimp and one of Shasti's rolls, though I can't remember which kind - it involved smoked salmon), chow chocolat for dessert (I am still fantasizing about the jasmine tea chocolate), and then to the opening of the new Burchfield Penney Art Center which is a gorgeous space and included a fascinating mix of people... I saw Sister Pat (the nun in charge of the service learning program at Canisius), a guy in full-body Carhartt coveralls, ladies in their finest furs, and art students with pencilled-on handlebar moustaches, and every possible permutation of person in between.  I think we all needed the decompression.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
M and I are extremely committed to having TRex educated in the public school system.  We both came from public school systems of varying quality and we think that pulling the "best" kids (however you want to define "best") out of the public schools isn't going to improve the situation.  As long as her school is a safe space, she will learn, and we will bring our considerable intellectual resources to bear should the school be unable to teach her the things that we feel she and her classmates need to know.  (I'm definitely not opposed to the idea of dragging my own rear into an elementary school classroom for a special lesson should there be need/interest.)  And as we navigate the process of getting her into the public school system here, I am quickly learning in great detail the myriad ways that the public school system is stacked against those who are less well-off right from the get-go.
Read more... )
Coming soon: What factors do we weigh most?  Which of the charter schools provide busing?  How do you prep your four year old for an IQ test?  And other musings as we get to them...
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
Today is International Wear a Dress Day, according to A Dress A Day (curse you, siriel, for reminding me of the existence of that blog!)  Not being one to flaunt such a mandate, I have on a lovely blue-print faux-wrap dress (the one in this picture) and my tall boots have made their seasonal debut.  I love how it's not possible to NOT strut in these boots - so much fun.  They are sorely in need of a polishing, though.  I'll have to get on that.

The remains of Ike blew through here between about 8 last night and 10 this morning.  We lost power for about 5 hours and there are some small branches down around, but it wasn't anything major.  TRex woke up around midnight and was scared because her night light wasn't on, so we put the lantern (which has a night light on it) in her room.  When we woke again (5:40ish... ugh... though we weren't out of bed for real until 6:20), the power was back on.

The weather did make for our most interesting two-block trek from the train station to preschool yet, though.  My kid, like most preschoolers, has exactly two speeds: pokey (as her teacher last year called her) and running.  I don't know, maybe she's worse than most four-year-olds (or almost four year olds) in that regard - M has the exact same two speeds, and he isn't four years old.  Add in wind and rain and you have a recipe for not getting ANYWHERE very fast.  Our commute was further delayed (or, more accurately, had already been delayed) by the fact that there is some construction going on on the train tracks way down at the downtown end of the line.  (For those playing along at home, the subway in Buffalo has only one line, which runs from HSBC arena to UB South campus.)  So the trains are running only about half as often as they usually do during rush hour (every 12 minutes instead of every 7).  by the time the train arrived at University Station, there were as many people on the platform as would fit on a normal train.  Only, in a fit of reasonable-ness, the NFTA has made the wise decision to run double-length trains!  (Normally they run two cars; both trains that I've taken today have had four cars.)  So rather than scrambling for seats for any of us, we had three seats together!

Dude, it's 4 pm.  Where did my day go?  Eesh.
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
... however I don't think the weather's going to cooperate.
See? )
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I feel like our car has been through a Subaru rite of passage today:  First time a bike carrier got strapped to the back.  I was unable to get both of our bikes on there, so I just took mine to the shop.  Bike Shop Guy tried to convince me that I could buy a new bike comparable to mine (Huffy cruiser, bought ... six years ago or so) for what it will cost to get mine running.  I told him I don't care about the cosmetic rust, I just want it to go.  Guess what, I will owe them under $65 when I pick it up in a couple of days and the CHEAPEST bike on the Target website is $100.  So somebody needs to stop looking down his nose at my Target bike.  ;^)

The worthwhileness of investing in fixing up the bikes was confirmed when it cost me $50.53 to fill up the tank of the car.  Here's hoping that tank will last us a while!  I am kicking myself because I forgot the milk coupon that I had, so I couldn't hit Tops on this trip.  I will go either tomorrow when I go out to transport TRex to or from school, whichever half I do tomorrow, or if it's rainy when pickup time comes, we'll stop tonight, as there's a Tops right by the train station.

Also, this took some talent and made getting TRex to school this morning something of an adventure.
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
"They" started warning us sometime yesterday about a high wind warning with a front that was supposed to be coming through around 4 this morning.  Sure enough, right at 4, I heard it kicking up like crazy.  It was gusting so hard that I actually felt our sturdy brick house shift a bit.  It was gusting hard enough that our bedroom door kept opening and closing a bit, and I was having trouble sleeping because I was keeping an ear out for TRex, in case the racket woke her up (it didn't).  Drifted back off about 5... As we were getting ready for the day, I looked out the window and saw the pine in the neighbor's easement bowing big-time.  Thought to myself, "That thing ain't gonna last the day.

I was right.  Sometime between 10:45 and 10:50 this morning, it fell, completely blocking the street and mostly blocking our driveway.  (I could have gotten out if I'd really really needed to but it would have involved making use of hour high ground clearance and AWD.)  The city came and pushed it out of the street within an hour, but they put it smack across another neighbor's driveway - I THINK she was at work so she'll be able to park on the street (or down the block at her mom's house) but if she had been home, she would have been seriously trapped.  As of last time I looked out the window, they hadn't done a thing about actually removing it.

Other fun notes:
When we went to the grocery store this morning, one of the traffic lights had fallen - it had probably been a while, because there was no evidence of it anywhere.  Another was attached by one wire, kind of spinning in the wind.  As I was attempting to get TRex out of the cart (my angle is all wrong, she's too tall, her boots get stuck and I bloody give up), the wind caught her and started moving the whole operation - because, unbeknownst to me, I was standing on a sheet of ice.  Yay.  As I was trying to get into the car after I'd put the cart away, the wind caught me and I slid... because, again, I was on a sheet of ice.  There was no way I was going to be able to stop myself, except I grabbed on to the rearview mirror as I went by.  When we went by the same traffic light after picking M up at the train this evening and the light that had been hanging by a thread was gone, too.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Schmap!  A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail on Flickr saying that a picture that I took of TRex had been short-listed for inclusion in the Schmap! Buffalo Guide.  If you go to their entry for the Buffalo Bisons, you will see her chugging around the bases at Dunn Tire Park.  :^D
sarahmichelef: (Default)
We walked to Canada this weekend.  No, seriously.  Parked on the American side and walked across the Rainbow Bridge.  Waaaaaay a better option than hassling with the drive and the finding parking on the Canadian side.  We also learned that attempting to cross into Canada with NO ID WHATSOEVER will earn you a nice meeting with the nice Canadian policemen at the border.  (No, we were not the ones who earned this meeting... we all had our passports & birth certificate and were merrily waved through.)

I have concluded that any "damage" done by the princess bed is far outweighed by the football and toy leaf blower that were also a part of the third birthday festivities.

Oh crap, it's already October.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
It's become more and more obvious to me over the past several years that I simply adore the transitional seasons.  The first day that you drive around with the windows down, the first day when you walk out in the morning and can feel that little bite in the air.  THAT morning was this morning... it was 53 degrees when we left the house, just cool enough to want a light jacket, and the air felt ... clean.

As I drove downtown to take TRex to school, there was a CRAZY cloudbank over the lake and the river (to the south and to the west).  I suppose I will eventually get used to the strange weather patterns that the lake causes, but it hasn't happened yet.

And so my mind moves to fall things.  We're going to take some or all of the coleus out of TRex's garden and pot it.  I REALLY want to get the compost pile at least constructed this fall - I have a mental plan for it but need to buy the lumber and hardware and secure the loan of a circular saw (I'm quite certain SOMEONE in the Barony will have one that they'll be willing to let me use for a weekend).  Though the idea of just using a big trash can with a locking lid, at least until we have more garden, is sounding better and better, so maybe we'll just do that.  Instant gratification and all that.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
It has been dry, dry, dry here all summer.  Our grass is brown and miserable - the gardens are happy, but only because of dliigent watering instigated by TRex (because what toddler DOESN'T love to water?).  When we've had rain, it's been a bit here, a bit there.  We are strongly resistant to watering the lawn because it's such a waste of water - so we've probably only given it a good soaking 3 or 4 times over the last 2 months.  A couple of more localized ones when we did double-duty with kid entertainment and watering.

Today, though, it's RAINING.  Not drizzling, not the odd thunderstorm that puts on a big show but doesn't drop much in the way of precip.  It's been at LEAST drizzling all day, with a couple of periods of good, hard rain thrown in for good measure.  The lawns will be happy.  And maybe some of the Japanese beetles will drown for good measure.

In other news, but not enough to warrant its own post, it takes for bloody EVER to iron 11 yards of 60" fabric.  Just sayin'.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Long weekend, no post.
  • Swapped one husband/daddy for two parents/grandparents (mine).  Daddy changes more diapers than grandparents do.  Also knows where to put dishes away, gets up with the kiddo on alternate mornings, and snuggles me.
  • Failed in our attempt to get wings for the parents (Duff's was too busy on Saturday night and closed (or at least not answering their phone) today), ended up at Don Pablo's and at home, respectively.
  • Got grandparenty portraits taken with the kiddo.  Are v. cute.
  • Acquired 3 camp chairs for six bucks each at Linens & Things.  Yay.
  • Attempted to go to a free concert at Crystal Beach on Sunday late afternoon/evening but the weather was craptacular.  Well, at that point it was just veryvery windy and chilly.  So we taught TRex how to roll down hills and let her dig on the sand for a bit before heading out to try to find a less cold/windy spot to have our picnic.  We ended up at the picnic tables by the (closed) concession stand at Old Fort Erie where we had our dinner and went for a walk before it started to rain in earnest.  True to form, the Canadians didn't care to see our identification, but the Americans did.  (Though they didn't balk at my expired passport - must do something about that.)
  • Today, we went to the zoo where TRex got to feed a giraffe a zwieback cracker.  In fact, when we got there and I asked her what she wanted to see first, she said "the daffes!  I feed the daffe a cracker!"  She'd seen this before, but not done it, but I would have thought that it was long enough ago that she wouldn't remember, and I certainly didn't say anything to her about it.  Her brain is a scary, scary place.
  • Then we went to the playground, which she left WILLINGLY.  That was just weird.  She decided, after I warned her that we were going home when the bells played (it's right next to a church), that it was time to go home.  *boggle*
  • Tomorrow, parents leave at oh-hell-yes-they-ordered-a-cab-o-clock and I have to teach.  But before then (read: tonight) I have to get my stuff together for leaving in the morning (backpack, purse, gym bag, kid's library books and CDs that have to go back), take a shower, decide what I'm wearing tomorrow (based on what doesn't need ironing), and crash.
  • ETA: I am a total flake.  On Sunday we also all had brunch with [personal profile] belmikey which was lovely as always.
sarahmichelef: (mad)
You and your law can, as far as I'm concerned, suck it.
Snow on the ground: roughly 6", 3-6" more expected by 2 pm today.
The Beast: drive pin lost, leaking oil.
Snow shovel: crappy.
Shoulders: sore, as always.
Knee: busted, not useful for lifting.
M got the driveway sorta cleared despite the not-fully-functional snowblower.  Despite that, it took me 3 tries with the car in low to get up the driveway after dropping TRex off at daycare.  I will be calling Sears about the snowblower in a bit - we have discovered that warranty repairs are available if you bring the product in to the store.  Ha.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  They're funny.  I will have a very civilized discussion with them about why that's just not possible.

Feh.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
This probably hasn't made national news (although the case was on America's Most Wanted a while back), but this week Buffalo area law enforcement officials made an arrest in a string of rapes & murders - going back all the way to 1981.  The accused has been known as the "bike path rapist" because the first murder and one last spring both took place on the Ellicott Creek Bike Path.  Possibly more - I'm a bit hazy on the details.  They're reporting that Sanchez's DNA is a 100% match in several of the cases.  It's very much a BTK-type situation (though way, WAY less twisted) of "Oh, he was such a nice guy, I can't believe he'd be the one to do such a thing."

Anyway, I have two observations/thoughts:
  1. The first murder victim was UB student Linda Yalem.  She was murdered while out running on the bike path, and for the last 17 years there's been the Linda Yalem Safety Run to promote public safety for runners & walkers.  Assuming that Sanchez is, in fact, the man who raped and murdered her, he has some serious cojones.  Why?  Because in 1996, he ran in the memorial race.  Again, that's assuming that he is, in fact, the guilty party.  Which brings me to #2.
  2. WBFO is of course doing a lot of coverage of this.  And today they were interviewing people in the UB community, many of whom were saying things to the effect of "Oh, I'm so relieved.  I'll feel so much safer going out walking now."  Well, pardon me, but I do not have 100% faith in our criminal justice system.  I'm not unconvinced that they've caught the guilty party, but remember: innocent until proven guilty.  Mistakes do get made.  And all cynicism about the system aside, just because one person has been caught doesn't mean that there aren't other potential attackers out there.  The world is not a safe place.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Let's see...
Sex and the City )

Taylor's on Today right now... the stupid first single is growing on me. And T is cute.

One advantage of Buffalo )

There was something else I was going to post about, but I don't remember what it was.

Our favorite hobby )

National Spelling Bee on tv tonight! In hi-def! I foresee flipping between that and the Sabres/Hurricanes game.

our other hobby )

Have I mentioned that I'm old? I have what I believe to be arthritis in my left freaking index finger (my paternal grandmother and my dad's sister both got arthritis pretty young). And today the 2 Advil I took with breakfast aren't really doing much beyond taking the edge off.

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