Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going Back in Time

Joe and I met at RIT in 1993. He was a computer science major and I was having trouble with my programming class (I didn't have a clue what I was doing), so he offered to help. Our 13th wedding anniversary was October 10, 2011 (just this past Monday). We took the day off and ended up back at RIT,  to buy tickets to the men's hockey game on 10/15.

Less than a week later, we were back on campus, to see a lecture of one of my childhood celebrity crushes; Michael J. Fox. It was a great lecture - he was so amazing to listen to and so inspirational. I was absolutely in love with him after seeing Back to the Future, as a pre-teen, in 1985. I watched him on Family Ties and on Spin City and was thrilled to be able to see him speak today. What's even more special is that Joe now does work that supports the Fox Foundation and he even mentioned it in his lecture today; discussing bio-markers and the sharing of information among different companies to continue making progress. This sharing of information is something that Joe is personally involved in.

This weekend was parents' weekend at RIT. The third annual RIT hockey game at the Blue Cross Arena was tonight. RIT played St. Lawerence in front of a sold out crowd (10,500) of RIT students, alumni, parents and many others who follow the team. It was a pretty evenly matched game. The first period ended in a 1-1 tie and the second one ended in a 3-3 tie. With eight minutes left in the game, RIT got a 5 minute penalty. At that time, they was behind 5-4. With nine seconds left, RIT scored to tie the game and sent it to overtime! RIT then scored the game winning goal 14 seconds into overtime. It was one of the best RIT games I have ever seen. We were celebrating as if we had just won the national championship (or beat Elmira - it was always fun to beat Elmira).

Today was filled with great trips down memory lane and a great sense of RIT pride. I am proud to be an RIT alum, even if going back to campus makes me feel a little old. Thank you Michael J. Fox for being who you are (and being one of my childhood crushes) and doing what you do. I think I might just have to have a Back to the Future movie marathon very soon.

Happiness Is...Going Back in Time

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Never Giving Up

It's been awhile since I've written a blog entry, but I just couldn't come up with anything that I wanted to write about. While pulling into the garage today after work, I thought it was a great opportunity to chat about one of my summer activities and how it parallels to what I saw in my own garden today.

Over the summer, I joined a Learn to Run program. Running is not something I enjoy (and still don't), but I know it's a necessary evil. The program started off with a 35 minute walk, with the next session having us run for 30 seconds at a time, six times (with walking in-between), in those 35 minutes. We gradually kept increasing our running, while decreasing our walking. By the end of the 12 week program, we were running for 3 miles. It was a great program and taught me a valuable lesson - never give up. I will admit, I didn't run every minute I was supposed to on the group runs, but I didn't skip any of my homework days either. It was so easy to stop running, and occasionally I did, but in the end, I finished the program. At the end of the 12 weeks, I ran a 5K and beat my time from my 5K run last year.

I decided to join the fall running program, to continue my progress. I even signed up for another 5K and beat my time from 3 weeks earlier by almost 2 minutes. I'm happy to say, I ran the entire 5K, which was a first for me. My new favorite saying is "I don't stop when I'm tired, I stop when I'm done."

Now I need to explain how this parallels with my garden. In the spring, we moved a few plants from the back of the house to the front, by the driveway. One of them was my iris. I knew there was a chance that it wasn't going to take the transplant well this year and probably wouldn't flower. Well, just like I thought (and everyone else told me), it didn't flower in spring or summer. However, when I drove up today, on October 4, it had blossomed! My iris didn't give up either!

Happiness Is...Never Giving Up

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Storm Watching

As a kid, I remember sitting out on our front (screened in) porch a lot during the summer. When we were younger, we would even sometimes spend the night out there (my brother and I and sometimes my Dad). One of my favorite things to do out on the porch though was watch and listen to the storms. I loved being out there when it was pouring down rain. It was always great to know that I was safe inside, yet still able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the thunder and rain storms.

As an adult, I would always drag Snickers and even sometimes Joe out to our front porch to watch the rain. We would eventually head inside, usually because the rain was starting to get to us (Snickers hates the rain). I’d always thought about maybe getting a screened in porch or something so I could watch the action from inside. I got my wish this summer when we decided to build a sunroom on top of our deck. We moved into our house in February 2010 and by the time summer came around, realized just how hot this west facing, dark brown deck gets. Our thermometer read a high temperature of 116 degrees this summer. So, any time after about 11 AM during the summer, the deck was practically useless. We decided we could make better use of this space by building a sunroom on it. That way, we can sit our here (maybe not on those extremely hot days) and still feel like we’re outside. It was also the perfect opportunity to be able to watch storms from the safety of the indoors (we confirmed that it’s safe to be out here during thunderstorms but we’ll still take heed as necessary). We signed the contract, but since the company was so booked, we didn’t get it built until the end of August. I’m sitting in the sunroom as I type this, one day after the carpet and furniture has been put into it and I’m looking forward to watching many storms here.

Gotta go – the sky is turning pink and I am starting to hear rain on the roof!

Happiness Is... watching and listening to a storm from our new sunroom

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Yard

As we approach fall and start to prep the yard for the coming months, I think back to this past spring, which was my first spring in this house. I so enjoyed being surprised by each and every blossoming plant. We moved into this house in February and the seller said how beautiful it is in spring. I had no idea that I would enjoy it as much as I have. From the lilacs, to the lilies, to the daisies and peony, each one was a wonderful and beautiful surprise. I'm not much of a gardener, so I didn't always know what was going to blossom on each plant, but I believe that made it more fun.

One of my more memorable surprises was sitting on my deck and suddenly smelling lilacs and then realizing that the bushes in front of my deck were lilac bushes! My all time favorite surprise, however, was, after seeing all of the beautiful lilies that had blossomed in front of the garage (yellow, red and pink), that the finale was saved for last. During the last week of June, my last lily, in front of my living room, blossomed. It was a star gazer lily - my favorite flower. I was so happy to have this particular flower in my yard, that I think I did a little dance. I know I could have planted it on my own, but the fact that it was already here made it even more amazing.

I now have a diagram of all of the plants in my yard, thanks to my Mom. She went around the yard, when they were visiting for Memorial Day, and wrote everything down for me (luckily the star gazer just said 'lily' so I didn't know what kind of lily it was going to be) :). I was actually offered this same thing from the sellers. They said they would mail it to me once they unpacked it. They never did, but I'm very glad they didn't, since I wouldn't have been able to experience the surprises during their blooming. I'm glad to now have a record of it though, for the coming years. Thanks Mom!

As we approach the seemingly never ending Rochester winter, I will look back at the pictures of my yard (I tried to take at least one of every flower) and look forward to another spring full of surprises. Thanks Mother Nature (and of course the prior owners for putting all of this beautiful landscaping in)!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Two Desserts

I created this blog today and had trouble coming up with a name. Joe said "how can you write a blog if you can't even think of a name for it?" Then I was thinking about what makes me happy and that inspired me. A few things happened today that helped me with ideas for my first post.

Happiness is... asking Snickers if she wants to go to PetSmart. The very mention of this store causes her to start prancing around and she'll begin to whine if we don't 'move it along and get going.' She is such a happy dog when she knows she's coming with us somewhere. We have to be careful when we use this store's name in normal conversation around her. If we catch ourselves, we'll say PetSm... and trail off with the last part of the name so she doesn't understand it.

After PetSmart, we took Snickers to the canal in the village of Pittsford since we had promised Snickers ice cream. I got a vanilla cone and Joe got a vanilla dish with caramel. Both are 'Doodle Friendly' so we can share them with her. I always try to hold my cone and ask her to 'lick it nicely' which usually means I have to pull it away before she devours the entire thing. Well, today, she got a huge bite - all of the ice cream that was left on the top of the cone and THE ENTIRE CONE! I wasn't too happy, but it was pretty funny. Shortly afterward, we walked around to the back, where there were more shops, and I saw a new cupcake bakery. I thought, I am going to get a dessert that's all mine. I went inside and ordered a single vanilla cupcake. I took it outside, and ate it in front of Snickers and didn't share any with her.

Happiness is... getting two desserts because your dog ate the first one.