Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh deer!

I really need to start carrying a camera with me whenever I leave the house. I see the strangest things here. There are a lot of Amish people in the area and it took awhile for me to get used to being parked next to a horse and buggy in the Wal-mart parking lot, or pulling up to a red light and seeing a horse in the lane next to me. A couple of weeks ago, as I was driving to the post office, I saw a man walking down one of the busiest streets here with a snake draped over his shoulders. And it was a huge snake too! But what happened today beats all. I pulled up to a red light, and looked at the car in front of me. There, from on top of the car were two black, beady eyes staring at me. As my gaze moved from those eyes to the owner of the eyes, I was surprised to see it was a deer! Someone had strapped a deer onto the hood of their car and it was sitting right in front of me! I grabbed my cell phone and tried to snap a picture, but it didn't turn out so well. Stupid camera phone!

As I sat there waiting for the light to change, I couldn't help but think of the yummy meat that deer would provide. My dad's family is really big into hunting and growing up we ate deer, moose and elk meat all the time. I don't think I had a real beef steak until I was well into my teens! Then my mind wandered from the deliciousness in front of me to the number of times I would come home to dead animals in our backyard. I remember on numerous occasions coming home and seeing dead geese laying out on our picnic table. A little startling to say the least. And then, there was the day when I came home and there was a dead deer tied up in the branches of one of our trees, just waiting to be gutted (or whatever they do to deer) and made into the various cuts that would be our meat for the winter.

As the light turned green and the car with the deer turned away from me, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of homesickness and a desire for a good, thick venison stake. Maybe if I had followed the car, they would have shared...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A beautiful day

Today is an absolutely beautiful day in Northern New York. It is probably one of the nicest days we've had all year! It feels like a typical June day...except it's the end of September! I have all my windows open and there is a subtle breeze of fresh air wafting through my apartment. Because I know that winter is just around the corner (and I hear that in Northern New York, the winters are brutal!), I wanted to get out and enjoy the day. I walked down to the Black River with my camera to capture this beautiful day. The leaves are just starting to turn colours and in a couple of weeks, I will go back to the river and take pictures of them in all their autumn splendor. But for now, I will enjoy the last of the summer days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Farmer's Market

The town I live in may not have a lot to offer from it's little corner of Northern New York, but it has one heck of a farmer's market! Every Wednesday, I walk the 2 miles round trip to the market and take in all the fresh produce, flowers and baked products. I love seeing all the colours, especially this time of year, when the pumpkins are being sold. I have decided that nothing beats a tomato fresh from someone's garden. Fresh produce is so much better than the stuff in the grocery stores! I don't have a garden, so I think of the market as my own personal garden, but I don't have to do any of the work (except walk there). And the prices at the! I can buy all my fresh produce for the week for under $7.00. I can't do that at a grocery store! I don't know what I am going to do when the market ends in a couple of weeks. I guess it's back to plain old grocery store produce. Yuck!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cream Cheese Festival

Yesterday I went to the Cream Cheese Festival in Lowville, NY with my friends Julie and Katie. Lowville is home to a Kraft Plant and is the world's largest producer of cream cheese. Surprisingly, the only cream cheese at the festival was the world's largest cheese cake. But, despite the lack of cream cheese, there were many other things for us to enjoy. I had maple cotton candy for the first time, and I am pretty sure I am in love! I don't know what it is about maple, but I love it. And I will eat anything if it has maple in it. I am pretty sure that when babies are born in Canada, they are injected with a syringe full of maple syrup!

The world's largest cheese cake, sliced up and being served.

Yes, that is a purple dog.

Maple Cotton Candy!! YUMMY!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh Baby!

Today I went to visit my friends, J and T. T gave birth to a baby girl and I was so excited to meet E! She is adorable, as most newborn babies are. It is so amazing to see how small new babies are. I always forget that part. E slept most of the time I was there, and she fit quite nicely into the crook of my arm. She is a snuggle bug! J and T are so proud of their baby and I can tell already that they are going to be amazing parents. Congratulations J and T!

Thanks, Hun!

I've noticed a trend here in Northern New York and I am not happy with it. Everytime I buy anything, the cashier says "Thanks, Hun!" It happens all the time, but today in Wal-Mart I hit the breaking point. My cashier was no more than 17 years old. As I paid for my purchases, she hands me my reciept and says "Thanks, Hun!" Ummm....excuse me? Who are you calling "Hun"? Seriously. I think it is disrespectful. So, to all you cashiers out there, just give me my change and my reciept; don't give me a pet name. Thanks, HUN!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The difficult life of a military wife

Many people ask me what the hardest thing is about being a military wife. I am sure they are expecting answers such as "It is hard to have him deployed"; or "Never knowing when he is going to call"; "The long hours he works sometimes" or even "Having my heart gripped with fear everytime he says: 'I won't be able to call for a few days'". But none of these come close to the most difficult thing I have had to endure as a military wife: memorizing Husband's Social Security number. In the army (and I would assume all branches of the military), everything is done by Social Security numbers (for my Canadian readers, it's the same as a Social Insurance Number). I cannot, for the life of me, memorize his Social!! But, wait it gets better, I can't memorize my Social either! This presents quite a problem in the military world. One of the first questions I get ask when ever I have to do anything army related is "What's your husband's social", and then there is a long pause as I dig through my purse, trying to find the piece of paper I wrote the numbers on just in case they ask for them (which the ALWAYS do), as the military person I am dealing with looks on, probably wondering why I don't have it memorized. It's not that I can't memorize things; I still remember my university ID number and I have been graduated for 6 years! I can remember my PIN numbers; and in most cases my credit card numbers. I have my Social Insurance Number down pat (Thanks, in part, to having to write it on every single student loan I ever applied for). I can still rattle off most of the phone numbers I've ever had. But, for some unknown reason, I cannot memorize two Social Security numbers! Maybe, on the subconsious level it is my way of holding on to being a Canadian. Maybe, in some way, memorizing two Social Security numbers would mean I was letting go of who I truly am: A doughnut eating, maple loving, hockey watching Canadian. Or, maybe, just maybe, my brain is too full of numbers to put anymore in there. Whatever the reason, the end result is the same: I will forever be digging into my purse looking for the numbers as the person who asked for them looks at me like I am an idiot.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Won't you be my neighbour?

Last night I had to call to the police because my neighbours were too loud. For the past two nights, they had been partying. Loud music, loud cars, loud people. On friday night, I decided not to do anything about the noise, because it was the first time it happened. After things finally quieted down at 3:30AM, I decided that the next time it happened, I would call the police and complain. Last night it happened again. So, I called to complain. About 45 minutes after my call, the police showed up. Thankfully, after the police left, so did the partiers and the loudness. The bedroom is at the front of the house, so I was privileged to hear the conversations of the guests as they left. My two favourite conversations of the night: (Both have been edited to leave out all the swear words, otherwise the conversations would be MUCH longer!)

Conversation #1
(Sound of someone falling)
Girl: (laughing) He just did a face plant!
Guy: (laughing) Dude, get up! Dude!
Girl: He's not getting up. Do you think he is hurt?
Guy: He just did a faceplant on the sidewalk. That's gotta hurt! He's not getting up. Let's just leave him. (Still laughing)
Girl: We can't just leave him! Let's carry him.
Guy: Whatever! (Groans, and I can only assume they pick him up, sound of someone falling again)
Girl: We made him do another face plant! Let's just drag him! (sounds of talking get quieter as they move down the street!)

There was no body lying face down on my sidewalk, so I hope they took him with them.

Conversation #2
1st guy: Dude, I think I am going to puke.
2nd guy: you're drunk.
1st guy: (starts throwing up right outside my window!!)
2nd guy: Dude, that's sick. You drink too much!
1st guy: One more heave, dude and I am done (throws up again)
2nd guy: Dude let's go
1st guy: Dude, I'm too drunk to drive. I'm gonna walk.

I guess at least the guy was smart enough not to drink and drive. But it looks like drinking and puking was another matter!

Our next apartment will have a bedroom at the back of the house! Anf hopefully elderly people for neighbours!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How do you frame skin?

National Public Radio. I love it! I enjoy listening to the political discussions and hearing both sides of the debate. I enjoy the human interest stories I hear. I love listening to A Prairie Home Companion! Sometimes, though, I hear things that make me shake my head, or, as my sister Mandy says, make me throw up a little in my mouth. Take, for example, the story I heard today coming back from the grocery store. A tattoo artist is putting one of his works of art on display at an art show in Shanghai. It is a tattoo of the Virgin Mary on a man's back. Pretty normal right? Well, apparently, the scene on the man's back has been sold for $215, 000. The purchaser will remove the tattoo after the man dies. The story ended with this quote from the tattooed man: "If the project finishes the way it should, and the skin will be removed and properly framed, then I will exist forever, at least a part of me will, and I find that concept more exciting than morbid." Ummm...I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Read the whole story and see pictures here:


Because I am new to this side of the blogging world, and because I am a bit technologically challenged, it took me a bit to figure out how to post pictures here. I think I have it figured out now. (And it only took 4 attempts!)Here is a picture of the kitchen chairs. Only 3 will fit around the table. Our apartment is perfect for two people, but is what some might call "cozy". So the fourth chair stays in our spare room. Besides, now that I think about it, I am not sure I tightened the screws enough on the fourth chair, and it's probably better that no one sit on it until someone stronger than I (stronger than me?) can tighten it! By the way, I know that theses two pictures are pretty much the same, but I uploaded the wrong one and have no idea how to delete it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I have kitchen chairs!

For those of you who have been following my "epic" (as my friend Mardi called it) search for kitchen chairs, I am pleased to announce that the search is officially over! I recieved beautiful chairs from JC Penney a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to put them together. When I got to the last chair, I discovered that one of the chairs was missing a small piece of metal that is needed to screw the leg to the chair. I started to laugh! It figures! I was beginning to wonder if I would EVER get chairs. I put in a quick call to JC Penney's customer service and told them the problem. I was told that they would send out another leg. Today a package arrived. Inside was not one, but TWO legs for my chairs! And both had the missing metal piece. I quickly (ish) put the chair together and volia! I have kitchen chairs! My life is now complete!

It's official!

After months of talking about it, I have finally started a blog! The main reason I haven't started one yet is because I couldn't think of a name. My dear friends, Alicia and Jon, mocked this name when I first mentioned it, but I love it. And despite the mocking, I hereby christen this blog "The Samples Sampler". Let the mocking begin!