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Tomorrow is the Odyssey of the Mind Dessert Party and Silent Auction. It is the big and (we thought) last fundraiser before we go to Michigan. Everyone is making lots of desserts – I did vanilla pudding parfaits with crushed oreo layers and chocolate covered strawberries as well as a giant fresh fruit salad. The problem with all of this is that I have boys….hungry teenage boys, and friends and that means double everything so something survives!


Tomorrow is International Pay It Forward Day. It is a day where everyone is asked to do one random act of kindness for someone, anyone.

To explain about the concept, here is an excerpt from

There is tremendous power and positive energy in giving – it is a shame that not enough people have experienced it to the fullest. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 16 countries around the world participating in the day.

So why Pay it Forward?

  • To encourage all of us to embrace the incredible power of giving.
  • To show each other that we care and that there is love, hope and magic all around us.
  • To know that we may be only one person in this world, but to one person, at one time, we are the world.

Make a difference and experience the true power of giving. Thank you for your support. Together we can change the world – one good deed at a time!

According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that performing acts of kindness actual increase your happiness. People feel good when they are doing good, even if it is a small gesture.

Why is being generous such a mood-booster? While hard-and-fast answers are elusive, the main reason is that it gives people a strong sense they’re doing something that matters. “There are a lot of positive social consequences to being kind—other people appreciate you, they’re grateful and they might reciprocate,” Stanford University psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says. All of these responses, she adds, are likely to make your happiness cup run over.

This concept of doing good for others in order to improve your own happiness is also a theme in the book I am currently reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. According to Gretchen one of the realizations she came upon in her research is that “one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.”

Here are some simple things we can do to pay it forward tomorrow…try one on and see how you feel.

  • Smile at a total stranger
  • Wave
  • Put money in someone’s parking meter that’s about to run out.
  • Pay the toll for the car behind yours
  • Call someone just to say hello and see how their day is going
  • Send flowers for no reason.
  • Give a thank you note to a crossing guard or bus driver.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee or dessert.
  • Bake cookies and take them to a neighbor.
  • Visit an elderly neighbor “just because”.
  • Leave a book that you love for someone else to enjoy on a bus or train.
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Leave an extra tip for a waitperson
  • Say please and thank you and mean it!
  • Share an umbrella with someone who doesn’t have one

What other ideas do you have to make someone else’s day a little better?

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The blog passed 25,000 hits today — I would have never imagined. Thanks!

Snow it did yesterday, last night and still continuing today. Looks like January instead of a few days shy of May. Here are pictures taken this morning.

Last, but not least, here’s the tulips from yesterday’s post.

I am not a complainer. Okay, I try not to be a complainer. The way I figure it no one really listens when you complain anyway. So, when I sit down at the computer and pull up the weather forecast and see this, I just have to sit back and take it as it comes. So what if I just put away all the boots, gloves, hats, mittens and winter jackets. (Mind you this is so probably why it is snowing right now) I don’t think that Mother Nature is keeping track of my household chores.



315 PM EDT TUE APR 27 2010








Mind you, we are so much closer to the 2000 feet rather than the 800 feet that there should be one of those “You Are Here” arrows pointing to that part of the forecast. So, go to sleep tonight with a dusting on the ground and who knows, could be more than a foot of snow on the ground tomorrow morning. C’est la vie. Maybe the boys will have a snow day.

Here’s a picture from Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a picture from this afternoon:

Same tulips two days difference -wonder what they will look like tomorrow?

Photo:University of Delaware Library

Elizabeth Post, the granddaughter-in-law of Miss Etiquette herself, Emily Post passed away this weekend at the age of 89 a few days shy of her 90th birthday on May 7th. Elizabeth took over the Emily Post Institute (where I have routinely threatened to send my sons on more than one occasion) after Emily Post passed away. Elizabeth ran the Institute from 1960 to 1995 when her daughter-in-law Peggy Post took over the reins and Elizabeth retired.

There are a couple things that caught my eye when I read about Ms. Post’s passing. First she was a New Jersey native, and even was born in the town I grew up in – Englewood. She also moved to Vermont (her grandchildren called her “Mud” -fitting for a Vermonter) and lived in Waterbury, Vermont. She wintered in Naples, Florida which is where she was when she passed away.

The Emily Post Institute is located also here in Vermont – in Burlington. (See boys not that far a drive to get to that etiquette camp I keep threatening about).

Elizabeth did several re-writes to the Emily Post book on Etiquette and also published several Post books in her own right.

Manners, etiquette these are the things which some people these days seem to know nothing of. Rest in peace, Ms. Post.

Things have been crazy. In addition to work and the other mom-erly duties the Odyssey parents have been working on the final leg of our fundraising. We are having a MayDay Dessert Party and Silent Auction at WES this Saturday. The previous weeks have been canvassing for donations of items to auction and now, it is a matter of cataloging them, making signs and advertising. Baking will come later in the week. If you live in the area and don’t have any other way of celebrating MayDay, you should come and check out all our hard, hard work. I must admit, that it came in drips and drabs, but the collection is pretty cool – there are Lake Champlain cruise tickets, wine and cheese baskets, theater tickets, attraction tickets and lots of really cool potential Mother’s Day gifts in the mix. All the proceeds will go to help the Odyssey kids get to Michigan at the end of May. If nothing else, the list of desserts we are preparing is pretty darn impressive and should be quite tasty!

It is the end of what was a really nice weekend and it wasn’t just because we were child-less (although that was really nice too). The boys are back from their camporee and Tim was elected to Order of the Arrow so after he endures his Ordeal, that will make all three boys that are in the Order. Pretty neat. It was a beautiful weekend here, the rain that was supposed to come today has held off until either later tonight or tomorrow. We were able to get some yardwork chores done this morning and this afternoon in between me taking pictures – gosh I LOVE my camera.

Spring has definitely sprung, although it’s still not warm enough during the day to extract the honey. The hives are stacked up in the potting shed, we are just waiting for a nice warm day.

Tom found this nest in the barn and Momma bird let me actually take some pictures.

We dropped Tom’s mother off at the train station in Bellows Falls Saturday and then took a drive over to Keene. While we were there we discovered a great Thai restaurant on Main Street and enjoyed a delicious late lunch which was a real treat.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day – a day set aside to inspire awareness of our planet and its environment. The holiday was founded 40 years ago by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in. It has blossomed into a world-wide celebration of Mother Earth and everything environmental – from global warming to gardening.

According to here are some fun Earth Day facts:

  • After Halloween and Christmas, Earth Day is the third largest holiday celebrated in elementary schools
  • It is the largest secular modern holiday in the entire world, celebrated in 175 countries every year.
  • The highlight of the annual Earth Day Ceremony at the United Nations is the ringing of the Peace Bell. It was made from coins given by school children in Japan to further peace on the planet. is asking everyone to drop by their site and contribute an Act of Green. They are looking to acquire a Billion Acts of Green. Stop by and submit your act of green.

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If you don’t have anything in particular planned for Sunday May 2nd at 11 a.m. Eastern time, I have a suggestion.

The New York Times is putting together what they are calling ” A Timely Global Mosaic – Created by All of Us”. They are asking everyone and anyone (amateur or professional – child or adult) to take a picture at exactly 11 a.m. on that Sunday and submit the picture online. The pictures submitted from all around the world at 15:00 U.T.C. (which is 11 a.m. Eastern time) will be compiled online into a gigantic frozen moment in time.

If nothing else, it seems like a pretty neat idea and a chance to be a part of something interesting. The article explaining the concept and the different categories can be found here.

Everyone is permitted to only submit one picture so the thought that goes into the picture is what counts. What would you photograph if you were capturing a moment in time? Where will you be on May 2nd at 11 a.m. Eastern Time?

The general categories are:

  • Religion
  • Play
  • Nature and environment
  • Family
  • Work
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Money and the Economy
  • Community
  • Social Issues

Photographs which should be the highest quality you have can be submitted to

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Here’s lunch. Leftovers transformed into something that tasted quite yummy. I must admit that I think my strength in cooking is the ability to throw a whole bunch of stuff together into something edible. While I follow recipes just fine, grabbing things from the fridge and turning them into a meal is a whole lot more fun. Brings out the mad scientist in me I guess.

Thai inspired rice

Leftover chicken cut up into chunks (about 1 cup)

Leftover jasmine rice (about 3 cups)

3 scallions chopped finely

2 T. chili garlic sauce

2 t. fish sauce

1 c. cilantro chopped finely

1/2 c. basil, chopped the same way

1 c. snow peas sliced into vertical strips

2 T. soy sauce

Juice of one lime

I sauted the chicken with the garlic sauce for a few minutes while I chopped up everything else. Add the rice and the remainder of the ingredients. Mix well, heat for about 5 minutes and serve. This made 3 generous servings – Lunch for the two of us and lunch for tomorrow. 🙂

Yesterday and today I went for a walk in the morning after the boys left for school. I am trying to get back into a routine now that you can escape outdoors without freezing or looking like the StayPuff Marshmallow Man. Both days I walked two miles. Both days I walked on the major road, not down a side street. Both days exactly one car passed me during my entire walk. Pretty stark contrast to New Jersey where one car could pass me before I left our driveway and jeez, walking two miles would have encountered probably 50+ vehicles, easily. The only thing that I might pass 50 or more of on my walk might be these:

And they move a whole lot slower than cars.

The difference is even more apparent on the heels of our recent visit to New Jersey where there seemed to be cars and people everywhere. This is much better and much calmer. 🙂 Not to mention, a whole lot less dangerous. I’ve grown up around NJ drivers, they are not for the faint of heart.

Evilwife on the move

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