Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Off to Boston!!

Next week I head to Boston and I'm gettin excited about it. Not as excited as with DC and NYC cause that was with my Oldest but this is for Microsoft so that's pretty cool.

I'm going to Tech Ed! MS has a conference every year and it's a pretty big deal and there's lots to see and all kinds of freebies and new stuff to look at. This is the first year I've gotten to go and I'm going with a colleage that I've known for a long time and so I think it'll be fun. 6 days in Boston though could get a bit on the longish side. I think I'll be ready to come home on about day 4.

They have all kinds of seminars and there'll be booths set up for checking out the new stuff, they give lots of stuff away like bags and shirts and software, there are parties to go to and I hope there are lots of places to learn stuff and not just sales booths. I don't know if Bill Gates is going to speak, sometimes he does but I don't see him anywhere on the schedule this time so I'll be dissapointed but at least I'm not expecting him.

My colleague isn't the type to go out and do a whole lot but I'm hoping to talk him into some site seeing. If not, I'll go by myself. And I hope there's at least one free night so I can go to the movies. I think I want to see Da Vinci Code. The book was awesome!

I've never been to Boston except to land and drive to another town and then to catch a flight out. I know we get to go to Fenway Park because that's where the big Thursday Night Party is that they'll have. I'm not sure what the other extra curricular activities are though. I guess I should start trying to get it all planned out. I still have to see which seminars I'm going to attend. I haven't had time to look at that yet.

Freezer Flub!

Well we had a little freezer incident yesterday. It might've not been such an impact if I didn't have almost a whole hog and a bunch of ice cream in there.

Last Oct we bought a pig, along with 3 other families, they he stayed at my cousin's place and we fed them out for slaughter. About 2 months ago we took them in for processing and we each got the equivalent of a whole hog.

Sunday I went to the grocery store and bought a few items and that included ice cream. I stored it all in my big, upright, deep freeze.

Yesterday I get everyone up and off to Grandma's and I head to work. The Mr beat me home and when he got there the alarm on the freezer was sounding. At some point during the morning's rush to get everyone out the door a child, and I don't know which one, got into the freezer and didn't get the door shut all the way. Apparently an ice cream box had shifted it's position and blocked the closing of the door. So it's not like the child left the door open intentionally but they just didn't realize that the door never shut all the way. 15 hours later we have mostly thawed meat and extremely thawed ice cream. Yay me.

So we get most of the mess cleaned up and I start calling family and friends. Want some meat that you have to cook in the next 2 days? My cousin told me to bring her some of it and she'd just cook it for me and then I can freeze it, like the sausage. My mom volunteered to cook the hams and ribs for me today as well. Then my cousin calls her Granny and her Granny said that as long as the sausage was still very cold then you could refreeze it. I'm not so sure about that but we'll see.

So, today when I get home I'll make some sausage patties and fry them up and freeze them. I'll brown some sausage for putting on pizzas and mixing with scrambled eggs. I'll cook some pork chops for supper. And eat the ribs my mom is cooking for me.

I had hoped my pig would last me further into the year but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. At least it won't all go to waste!

Wow! I didn't realize how long it's been!

Well I guess time really DOES fly when you're having fun. Or when you're working yourself to death.. same difference. Or not.

So let me get all caught up.

I planted a garden! It's not a farm size garden or anything but since this is the first one I've ever planted I thought I'd stick with the basics. First thing is to till up the garden spot. Let me start by saying that is easier said than done. Tilling up ground that's never been tilled before and obviously doesn't WANT to be tilled up is hard work. I thought I was going to just stiffen up and not be able to move for 3 days afterward! But, after much toil and determination the garden was tilled and ready to be planted. Not so fast there buckaroo you have to make your rows first. So, OK, I put up some stakes and ran some strings so my rows would resemble rows and not a slinky snake and made rows. Then I planted, with the help of Mom and Baby Girl. We planted corn, okra, beans, watermelon, canteloupe, tomatoes (3 different kinds), cucumber, carrots, parsley, dill, jalepenos, squash and a few flowers. Everything is coming up, I've got squash that should be ready to pick in a few days, tomatoes on the vine, the melon plants have blumes and so do the cucumbers. My cousin has a garden and her's is way bushier and more healthy looking but she planted before I did so hopefully mine will catch up. Or at least yield more than just leaves.

New York and DC!! Yep, that's where I was last week. I may have written about it before but Oldest is in 7th grade and eligible for an annual trip that a few of the middle school teachers plan every year. They usually go to DC but this time they added NYC to the agenda. 8 adults and 51 (yes that's a 5 and a 1 .. in that order) kids. We had the best time! We saw the monuments, churches, tombs, landmarks, and everything else you could cram into 4 days spread over 2 major US cities. I love NYC. I wouldn't live there for all the Keith Urban's in Australia but I sure do love to visit there. The hustle and bustle is really a cool thing to watch. I could probably sit in the park or on a busy sidewalk and just watch all the people go by. Everybody seems to be in a hurry to get someplace and there are so many places to get to.

If you've never traveled with a group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders you are just plain missing out. Those kids had such a good time. They did really well at not fighting and fussing too. I think the adults whined more than the kids! We were hot and tired and sticky and feet hurt and hot....... and tired. But we took a gazillion pictures and laughed at the craziest things. We looked for celebrities but they hide out too well. We did see Rupert from the Helo Deli. If you've ever watched David Letterman then you know who Rupert is. He was sitting outside the deli and he was wearing a Texas Longhorns shirt! We thought that was perfect! So we all had a pic made with him. I'm sure he was glad to see our bus pull away from the curb, that poor man.

The highlights of my trip include: Old Glory, the originally US Flag at the American History museum. It was cool to see how they restored it and took care of it. The Tomb of the unknown Soldier. We watched them change the guard at the tomb and watched how the soldier guards it with his 21 steps, face the tomb for 21 seconds and then make another 21 steps. It was very poignant. Vietnam War Memorial Wall. I've been there before but we were there ON Memorial Day! Nothing can compare with something like that. There were crowds of people there paying their respects, bagpipes playing, taps on the trumpet, speeches and all kinds of military personnel. That was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

In NYC I guess my highlight would be having out pic taken in Times Square. It was night and the photographer did an awesome job of catching all the signs lit up behind us. It looks really good.

My oldest enjoyed the trip, he hung out with friends and I tried not to smother him. I think I did a good job. I think his fav thing was the NBC Studios tour. He thought that was pretty cool. And the Empire State Building. He was pretty nervous about looking down.

In a couple of years it'll be Youngest Boy's turn to go and I can't wait. The teachers that organize this thing are a blast to be around. We sing and play music on the bus and watch movies and the leader of the group picks on everyone. Nobody is immuned and he has a nickname for all the kids that just shows how much he pays attention to them. I hope he continues this tradition for many years to come.