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It is a beautiful, almost spring day. It was about 50 degrees, the sun was shining, it was warm. A great day to grab some sun and be outside. So…what’s wrong with this picture, you ask?

Something here just doesn’t belong. Maybe it’s this….

Or this….

Or maybe even this…..

On our hill here in Vermont spring seems a little far away these days……………


for the other shoe to drop. Sunday night and yesterday, oldest son was sick with a fever and horrific cough. He is better today – no fever – so he will be off to school. We never have just one of us get sick (I guess that is the beauty of family – we share in the misery equally) so it’s just a matter of time waiting to see who is next. I am willing to bet money that I get it just in time for the back to back dinners we have this weekend. For Friday’s Pasta Dinner I have to make two trays of ziti and a tray of meatballs as well as a dessert. For Saturday’s dinner, there’s dessert again.

There’s only a handful of us cooking for the fundraising dinner on Friday, so no opportunities to back out. I have to guard against getting this for Friday. Look for me, I’ll be packing the Lysol in a double holster.

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“Beware the Ides of March” – a most famous line of literature taken from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It recounts the warning given by the seer to Julius Caesar, warning him. The Roman Emperor was murdered on March 15 in the year 44 B.C.


Ha! who calls?

Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry ‘Caesar!’ Speak; Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Beware the ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Set him before me; let me see his face.

Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

What say’st thou to me now? speak once again.

Beware the ides of March.

He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act I, Scene II

“Ides” is a Latin word for “middle” and refers to the 15th of the months of March, May, July and October. In the other months, Ides is the 13th of the month. The Ides of March is celebrated every year in Rome by a Toga Run through the streets of Rome, where Julius Caesar was killed. Julius Caesar’s assasins, Brutus and Cassius. Both later take their own lives…..guilt?

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The weekend was busy, but fun. Today was a rainy, slushy, snowy day – a good day to bake. Cinnamon buns and bread along with a chicken sausage jambalaya for dinner. We enjoyed a visit from Tom’s cousin from Ohio who was in for business. We had a weekend without the boys who were at camp in New Hampshire and seemed to have a great time.

There was a get together at Sal’s for Tom French. Well attended, nice to see so many familiar faces. Got to meet (finally) Tom’s sisters Sue and Debbie who I have been emailing with for weeks now. News is looking up and hopefully the new rehabilitation facility will be the medicine that he needs to return to us. We missed our chance to visit him because that was the day he was transferred to Salem. Glad to know that we were unable to see him for a good reason.

The snow, well, the snow is still here. I think it will be at least April before it is gone, and by the looks of the front of the house, could even be May.

Hope Pi Day was a good day.

Today is Pi Day, the day that is the celebration of the mathematical constant pi ∏. March 14 or 3.14 celebrates the irrational number 3.1415926 (taken only to its 7th decimal place). Some interesting facts:

  • The world’s leading technological college, Massachusetts Institute of Technology releases its admissions for its incoming class on 3/14 at 1:59 p.m.
  • Today is also the birth of Albert Einstein.
  • The number ∏ forms the basis of numerous contests to see how many digits of pi a person can memorize – the number pi is an irrational number meaning that it has an infinity of digits.
  • A computer in Tokyo holds the record for calculating out the digits of pi – it calculated out 206,158,430,000
  • If you used a code that exchanged numbers for letters, Pi would contain the entire Bible, the complete works of Shakespeare if you looked at enough of the digits of Pi.

People celebrate Pi Day in a variety of ways…..eating pie and making pie are usually tops on the list. Walking in circles is another, albeit a little more odd.

However you celebrate, perhaps eating pie while walking in circles…..enjoy!

Well, I did it. I finally caved and joined Facebook. While I could live vicariously through Tom as it pertained to friends and family – I just couldn’t hold out any longer after the boys were allowed to join. Mom nosey-ness overruled my steadfast refusal to join another social media thing. Much like many of the other things in my life that I just couldn’t imagine doing without kids, this is one of them. In my logic, I am on Twitter, I have this blog and I also have a job (okay – many different little jobs which actually pay for me to use my time on the computer) so I didn’t see the need for one… more… thing. I guess that I was wrong.

Kids, they’ll get you to do the darndest things.

It’s not particularly cold out today, temperature-wise. It is however, quite raw and cold and very, very windy. There are a couple quite sizable trees that have met their maker today. The wind is whipping and it is raw.  A good day to curl up by a fire with a book or knitting. A good day to stay put. I hear that it is raining around us and the weather says that not only are we going to get rain, but we are going to get sleet and freezing rain – ah, one of the benefits of living at altitude. We get the privilege of dealing with about an inch of frozen stuff, of indeterminable source by tomorrow morning. Dig out the ice scrapers folks, it seems that winter is making another comeback…but wait, we still have about two feet of snow on the ground.

After a day of writing donation request letters, we were surrounded last night by even more letters, except these were the varsity kind. It was the Winter Sports Awards Ceremony at the boys’ school. Our oldest, TJ was on the varsity snowboard team which is quite the honor being a freshman. Vermont is one of only two states in the country that even has varsity snowboarding as a sport. Since he was on the Varsity team he was of course entitled to receive his varsity letter. Big deal to a high school kid and of course bigger deal to the parents of a high school kid who were pretty darn proud. So where, you may ask, did this whole Varsity Letter thing come from?

The history of the Varsity letter supposedly began with (can you guess?) Harvard. In 1865 its baseball team started sewing an old English letter “H” onto grey flannel shirts. The team wore the shirts for games. and if a player was especially good at an important game or scored a significant amount of points, they were permitted to keep the shirt. About ten years later, the Harvard football team began incorporating the “H” letter on their uniforms.

It was quite the nice change from the letter writing I had been doing all day. Then I jetted out of there for the youngest one’s final rock climbing competition. His middle school team came in third place for the season.

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I recently read about a New York City chef who began crafting cheese from his wife’s breast milk following the birth of their child. Where to begin? First, what a publicity stunt for his restaurant. In the past few days, the news has been replete with coverage of this from local foodie blogs to the BBC. There is some talk that he has been serving this cheese at his restaurant which is clearly not possible, at least legally, since breast milk would not be approved by the health department – I know that we are talking about New York City, but still, I seriously doubt that the powers that be would permit such a thing. He claimed that he made it for he and his wife’s own consumption and then made it for some family members and friends at their request.

Second, having made cheese (not from breast milk, mind you) I know that it requires a whole lot of milk to produce a small amount of cheese. Delicious, homemade cheese, but still a lot of milk. Also having nursed my own children I am familiar with the amount of breast milk output from the average person. Yes, you can pump and store, which is where he claims to have gotten his milk (excess breast milk) but still, that is a whole lot of breast milk to be producing cheese for yourself, your family and friends. Does this poor chef have a wife or a milk producing machine? The poor child, is the poor thing’s milk supply being squeezed out for 15 minutes of fame for chef dad?

The whole thing doesn’t sit well with me, not even going into the whole contention of people who would go “ewwww, breast milk?” and have issues with it because the milk comes from a human as opposed to a cow, ewe or goat. I think it is an up and coming chef’s attempt to gain his 15 minutes of fame and promote his own restaurant. Knowing the way that people are, I just bet that the phone is ringing off the hook there right now.

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Coming back from Odyssey States is a relief for the kids. They won and while they have work to do, their schedule is open for a breather. For the parents and the coaches however, our work begins. There was a mandatory meeting for the coaches last night and one of the coach/parents and I met this morning to review and pull apart what we did last year and plan this year’s fundraising. Letters, letters and more letters. The pen is mightier than the sword and all that jazz. I absolutely suck at soliciting people in person for money. A salesperson is so not a career choice for me. I would starve to death. I however, don’t mind crafting a letter and filling out forms for donations until my fingers fall off – which by the looks of the work ahead of us, they just might.

Today was filled with filing out donation requests, seeking information about whom to contact about donations at various entities and doing letters and envelopes. Perhaps I should take on the job of grant writer. Seems that what I have been doing isn’t a far cry off.

We need to raise $6000 in order for the kids to attend the worlds. It will come, slowly I am sure in dimes and dollars, but these are the times everyone wishes someone knew a kind spirit that had spare cash to just send in one fell swoop. Alas, that is the stuff of movies and this is reality… I go to write more letters.

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I hate waking up in the dark. I just cannot wake myself up, despite a lot of coffee, it just somehow feels wrong. Consequently, this makes it difficult to be “chipper” and wake up the rest of the house. “Yes, I’m an idiot wandering around in the dark, you should arise from your nice warm bed and join me”.

I know people that are disturbed when it’s about 4:30 in the morning during the summer and the sun is shining especially when it shines directly into our bedroom window. I don’t. I wold rather wake up super-early to sun than wake up later in the darkness. Luckily, days are getting longer once again and the sun is just about rising when I get up in the morning to wake up the boys for school. Morning daylight is a good thing.

It’s a beautiful spring-like day here on the hill. Looking outside our window, though, you wouldn’t believe that the grass is probably starting to grow in Rutland. Here are pictures taken this morning of the snow around the house. The huge chunk of ice that was hanging about 4 feet off the roof came off while we were away and the warm weather here yesterday probably shrunk this already by about 6 inches.

I am thinking that maybe we’ll still have this snow in May. Maybe…who knows.

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