Latitude 17N

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jen Turns Fifty

My sister Jen is turning fifty
On this twenty-second day
She was born in sixty-one
Out the door she went to play

She broke her finger playing once
And bandaged it to mend
And on the mend it was at last
'Til Elsie broke it again

Her tooth was chipped one winter day
From a ride on a Radio Flyer
But she played on throughout the day
'Fore she never was a crier

Although her life's not always perfect
Her life was pretty cool
She didn't get arrested
Or kicked out of high school

Now she got married, twice in fact
And I will live to tell
Her second man's a finer match
Than the first which was her hell

But we won't dwell on all of that
Its brought her up to here
The finest mother, sister, and wife
For that we'll give a cheer

Now she met Mr. Morrison
One sunny summer day
And on a date they went at last
And now he's here to stay

He moved her up to Winni
A banker became she
And then she had a baby
Named Jackie, oh the glee

And soon another came along
A little baby boy
And Jacin was a baseball player
That gave them all some joy

Now my sister loves her coffee
And I'll attest to that
She drinks it whether hot or cold
It doesn't make her fat

She doesn't live up by the lake
In NH anymore
Now she's "down the bayou"
With Mardi Gras galore

Her first year was a rough one
'Til she got herself a job
She worked by making greasy fries
But they thought she was a snob

Those ladies weren't always nice
But Jen, she stood her ground
And finally those lunch ladies
A friend in her they found

But now she's moved away from that
She teaches special kids
Some of them are very nice
But goodbye some she bids

She likes the heat and likes the sun
And likes to read her books
And once she took a class
Tutorial on Nooks

We've had a lot of laughs
And boy we like to talk
We live a million miles apart
But still we go on walks

But only if she's got the time
A second job has she
She cleans the adult locker room
Of a health club, don't you see

She cleans the sinks and toilets
And hoses out the showers
She polishes the chrome
Her boss, she never glowers

At fifty she will never be
A lady who is old
'Cause fifty's the new thirty
Or so I have been told

Happy fiftieth birthday Jen
You are forever young
Love, Dani :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And finally into Holladay, UT...

So on Saturday we started the last leg of the trip. We left Mariann's around 9 and got some coffee and breakfast before heading up to I-80. We decided to go the northern route to bypass some of the great Rockies. It was a smart choice. We went up into Fort Collins and then headed over the northern mountains. Pulling a trailer put a lot of stress on the car so we had to go a little slower but it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. We stopped for lunch at Subway and used the last of our gift cards--thanks Mom!--and finished up our trip around 5 or 6. Our apartment is ok. The great thing about it is that it is in a nice neighborhood and the owner is on site most days of the week because they are remodeling the units. He is a nice guy and cares about the place so it is cared for but kind of old and outdated. We can walk to a lot of things. Julian's school is within a half mile and across the street from the library where he can go after school if he wants or needs to. Before you get there, we have a drug store, corner market called 'The Store too' which is a little higher priced but has great produce. I decided to shop at Walmart for most things but I will be buying my produce from that store. It is all very fresh. There is a pizza shop and Chinese restaurant and several other little eateries. There are some other little shops there and within another half mile of Julian's school we have a movie theater and several other shops and a McDonalds with an outdoor Redbox! Another half mile down the street there is a really nice big fitness center that we will join later on once I find a job. The scenery here is beautiful. We are literally surrounded by mountains. Yesterday on our travels we saw a big moose on the side of the highway. That was really cool to see. Jaime took us to the farmers market which is amazing...full of crafts and food and produce. Next order of business is finding a job. I have applied to 11 positions so far and have several more on my list before scouring the ads again for more. Keep your fingers crossed!

Second leg of the tour...

So the second leg of our tour started around 9pm on Tuesday night. We had stopped for dinner with the group at a local eatery that was right on the water. It was a really neat place but I can't recall the name at the moment. The menu is on a chalkboard and you stand in line to order. Then you get seated after you help yourself to drinks and when you leave you just go up and tell them what you had and they ring it up. It was my turn to drive as we headed out. The roads out of Oak Island, NC are not heavily traveled at night. It was kind of creepy to say the least. Jaime was sleeping so he could drive into the night and Julian was sacked out in the back. You know what its like being alone traveling in a car on strange roads? Everything looks creepy. I had the radio turned down and at one point I passed a house with two people sitting out on their porch. It was close to 10 or 11 o'clock at this point and they were just sitting, looking at the scenery--which was me--with blank looks on their faces. I felt like I was in a movie. Then, shortly after that, out of nowhere something was in front of me and I ran it over. It was black and white but bigger than a skunk--plus it didn't stink. When I look back the only image I have to compare it to is a hyena...although I really don't think it was one. I don't know what it was but I wasn't stopping either. There would have been nothing I could really freaked me out. LOL. Then, as we got further out onto the highway, I had to get gas and have Jaime take over the wheel. At this point it was about 1am. We stopped at a little "truck stop" in the middle of deliverance country. I got out of the car to use the bathroom and got whistled at twice on my way in by a group of skanky men. Jaime was standing right there pumping the gas. I had to use the nasty bathroom which was disgusting and when I came out I bought some water and the guy at the counter couldn't wipe the freaky grin off his face. I swear I was the first woman to ever set foot in that door. So, off we went for a few more hours. We drove with me trying to sleep which was impossible. We stopped at a rest stop and slept in the car until dawn. After that, we had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant--one of my faves on road trips--and set back out on the road. We traveled through Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and finally into Oklahoma. We found a nice Best Western to stay the night in OKC. We were exhausted and needed a good night sleep before heading over to Sayre to see Lance and Sandy and family and the Morenos. This hotel was very comfortable and I slept well. We stopped to pick up our trailer and headed over to Sayre. We arrived there late morning and stopped to see Lance and Sandy at their new store. They were both very busy so we stopped to see Jaime's parents and then headed over to Lance's to go through our stuff and start packing up the trailer. It was great to see everyone. Julian briefly saw some of his cousins who are growing up fast. And the Acklin girls are so adorable. After a dinner of pizza, we slept in Mercedes' new zebra room. It is painted purple with zebra accents. Her choice. She is such a little diva. We headed out at around 7am. We went up through Texas, into New Mexico where we entered our new time zone--Mountain--and finally into Colorado. We stopped to see Emily real quick before heading over to Mariann's house. She lives in Arvada in a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood. Her house is for sale and looked like a magazine. Julian had a great time playing with the kids and getting out some energy. We ate dinner with them and spent the night. It was great to see them and I'm hoping that since we are closer we can see more of each other.

No longer at latitude 17N...

Well we are no longer at latitude 17N nor have we been for a very long time. I am not sure if I will start a new blog or continue to use this one. Our trip out to Holladay, UT was eventful...we left on a Friday afternoon and traveled through NYC around 6 or 7pm. We went over the George Washington bridge which was a hairy experience. We stopped for the night at a cheap hotel in Fredericksburg, VA. We traveled the rest of the way to NC--our first destination point--in heavy traffic. We got off and on the highway several times before realizing that the traffic is not going away and just dealt with it until we got to NC. We arrived at Chris and Andrea's rented condo in mid-afternoon. The condo was right across the street from the beach...a very nice beach that was not very heavily used. The sand was fine and white and the water was like a bath. Very warm and, after the first day, pretty calm. The first full day we were there Julian got stung by a jellyfish. It didn't take him long to get back in the water though. Later in the same day a little boy in our "group" got stung as well...and then another person later in the afternoon. We spent every day on the beach soaking up the sun and playing in the water. I spent hours in the water just floating around. Julian spent hours floating in the shallow pools made by the tide. At times he truly looked like he was a dead body that had washed up on shore. At night Chris and Andrea had friends also staying in the condos that would come by and hang out. It was very relaxing and fun to spend time as a family doing something fun for once. On Tuesday night we headed back out onto the highways and byways of the U.S...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Portsmouth Swim Meet

Julian had his first swim meet of the season today. He place first in all his events! He was awarded a little rubber ducky for each win. An unconventional prize but fun just the same. In the pictures: First he is nearing the end of his freestyle race. Next, he is finishing his breast stroke...he is in the EST cap at the far end of the pool. In picture three he is again in the EST cap making a nice butterfly stroke. And, the fourth picture shows him in the middle of a backstroke. He had a great day!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Julian's Catfish Catch!

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend was spent up at camp on Iona Lake in Albany NH. Julian had his first real successful fishing experience. He caught several sunfish and perch before landing a good sized catfish. He was so excited about his catch. It was a very exciting moment for him. We wish that we had not thrown it back in but we were nice and let him free back into the depths of the lake. He fished a lot that weekend until he got his line stuck in a tree on our last day there. Several attempts to get it down were unsuccessful and we eventually had to cut the line.

Our weather was cooler than I had hoped but not cold. We were able to sit and enjoy the sun for a few hours each day but only the kids ventured out into the water. We kayaked and read and ate lobster and steamers supplied by my parents. On Sunday we headed out on the Kanc for a hike. We decided to do the east ledges of the Hedgehog Mtn trail. We were all staggered in getting to our destination at which point my sister and 6 year old Brennan and my father headed back home. The rest of us, my mother, Sean, Molly, Julian, and I, headed out to finish the Hedgehog Mtn loop. It was a perfect day for a hike with weather in the 70s , and a bit breezy at times which kept the insects at bay. The entire trail was lined with lady slippers and the kids saw a toad and a natural see-saw. All in all the weekend was a big success. We look forward to spending more time at camp this summer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Here are a few pictures of Julian from our snowboarding trip on Monday. We went with the McCowns to Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, NH. It was a perfect day for skiing. It was like a spring ski day...which is perfect for me! The day set my cold back a few days from recovering but it was worth it. Julian is a great snowboarder and I learned that I am NOT a great snowboarder. I am still sore from that day...I am sore in places that I didn't know I could be sore! It was fun though. The McCowns had a great day too. Brennan and Molly had lessons and Julie and Sean skied alone and with Julian and I.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Misc pictures for Jaime

Here are some up-to-date pictures of Julian. I have not been updating my blog lately as you can see but I will try to be better at doing that. Now that I have figured out how to download pictures from my camera to my mother's old computer, it should be easier for me to post updates. Will write more on another day because I have laundry and other stuff to do tonight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Haunted Overload

Today I brought Julian and his friend Tim over to the Coppal Farm to view the Haunted Overload. Haunted Overload was started by Eric Lowther at his home in Exeter. A couple of years ago his haunt outgrew his property and he moved it over to the Coppal Farm in Lee, NH. This is the most impressive Halloween displays that I have ever seen. During the day people are allowed to walk through the display without the full effect to get an idea of whether or not they can handle the real deal. At night they have fog machines, scary lighting, live monsters jumping out and of course no Halloween haunt would be complete without the scary sound effects. We are hoping to go over next weekend for the scary walk through. Anyone in the seacoast area should make a trip over to see this impressive display. Others can view virtually at