Apr 232014
 

Last Friday I told you about how my site crashed while I was in San Diego last year and that I lost a years worth of posts (heavy sigh).  One of the posts that I lost during that mishap was a post that Chris had written about taking the train to & from work.  He works in Boston and takes the train in and out of the city every day because it’s cheaper and much easier than driving.  I still had the email with the post that he sent me last year, so I wanted to share his post again because I thought it was really good.

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Hello Masshole Mommy readers!  This is Chris here again for another guest post. I recently started to take the train to work instead of having to deal with a one hour commute in traffic. I have to say that I’ve put down my foot and decided that from now on I will only take a job that is a 15 minute walk or less from the train station.

I LOVE taking the train because I love to read. I am now reading 2-3 books a month and relaxing on the train ride while all those other people are stuck in traffic

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That being said, I have some tips on things that I have learned since I became a trainy (not tranny - get your mind out of the gutter). Continue reading »

Apr 152014
 

Earlier this year, I told you how my husband, Chris, decided that he wanted to run for the Finance Committee in our little town.  The Finance Committee takes care of all matters involving the finances and financial procedures in town & since Chris is an accountant, he thought the Finance Committee would be a good way for him to get started in town politics.

If you missed it, you can read about his first step in the process here.  A couple of weeks ago, he took his second step in the process of running for the position when he participated in a public forum in which he got the opportunity to introduce himself to the voters and state why he’d be a good candidate for the job (you can watch a video of his speech here).

The week following his speech, he had a blurb written about him in the local town newspaper:

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Finally on April 5th, it was election day.  He and I both went to our local high school to cast our votes. Continue reading »

Apr 092014
 

In case you didn’t know this, my husband Chris is a retired Air Force veteran.  He retired after having served for 20 years in October of 2013. It was suggested to Chris, by one of his brothers, that he write down his experience going from Air Force life into the “real” world.  And here is what he had to say:
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The transition from military life to civilian life after 20 years in the military can be a strange and weird experience for most military personnel.  Here are a few things that I learned  throughout my own personal process.

I joined the military right after high school and was in for 20 years as a Firefighter in the United States Air force.  Along the way I received my bachelor’s degree in Accounting and knew that I wanted to work in the business world when I got out of the military.  When I went from active duty to being a reservist, I went to work for a private software company as an Accountant.

With the military, you have be very sharply dressed at all times because your supervisors and coworkers will look you over every morning and you know when there will be a uniform inspection. If we were caught being poorly dressed, we were punished by having to do push-ups.  That was not so in my civilian job.  No one really cared what I wore and in fact, when I showed up wearing a shirt and tie  on my first day of work there,  I was told to lose the tie and wear a t-shirt the following day.  The culture of the software company where I worked was very laid back and their way of thinking was basically to let us wear what ever made us feel comfortable.  Of course, that was an easy adjustment to make.  Plus, it cut about 10 minutes from my morning ritual when I went from polishing my boots to just wearing sneakers every day. Continue reading »

Apr 062014
 

It may have been 40 degrees out a couple of weekends ago, but to us, it was a great day to head to the zoo.  We have memberships to two local zoos and one of them is reciprocal with the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, MA, so we took a ride over there.  The zoo is only about 20 minutes from my house and it’s quite possibly the smallest zoo of all time, but they have a nice playground, so that kind of makes it worth going.

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Continue reading »

Mar 302014
 

Whenever I make plans to go out with friends, Chris and the boys have a “man party” without me.  This particular time, I was going out for dinner, so that left Chris to cook something for the boys.  He told me he had the perfect thing to make for them.

This:

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Brinner (breakfast for dinner)!! He found the picture on some website (the Chive maybe?) and  I of course, told him to take pictures so I could see how it turned out. Continue reading »

Mar 272014
 

Earlier this year, I told you how my husband, Chris, decided that he wanted to run for the Finance Committee in our little town.  The Finance Committee takes care of all matters involving the finances and financial procedures in town & since Chris is an accountant, he thought the Finance Committee would be a good way for him to get started in town politics.

If you missed it, you can read about his first step in the process here.  Last week, he took his second step in the process of running for the position – he participated in a public forum in which he got the opportunity to introduce himself to the voters and state why he’d be a good candidate for the job. The forum was open to all candidates running for positions in the April town election (selectmen positions, school committee, finance committee, etc).

The thing is, my husband is very quiet and shy, so even though he didn’t admit it, I know he was nervous to get up and speak in front of a crowd. Especially since we really had no idea how many other candidates were going to show up and how big the audience would be. Continue reading »

Mar 252014
 

Chris and I recently went on a little adventure to Connecticut.  Although the plans we originally had for the day didn’t work out as planned, we ended up stumbling across this interesting place called Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center in Middletown, CT.

Let’s face it, it’s hard not to stop when you see this as you’re driving by:

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And have a look at how the building is “decorated”.
Continue reading »

Mar 242014
 

While Chris and I were in Connecticut recently, we stopped in at Louis’ Lunch, which is the birthplace of the hamburger.  We both love a good burger and couldn’t resist making a pit stop there.

This is what they have on their website:

The beginnings of the hamburger sandwich as we all know it today was really quite simple. One day in 1900, a gentleman hurriedly walked into Louis’ Lunch and told proprietor Louis Lassen he was in a rush and wanted something he could eat on the run. In an instant, Louis placed his own blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast and sent the gentleman on his way. And so, the most recognizable American sandwich was born.

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As you can see, this place is extremely small and it was packed.  There were a few tables in there with few being the key word.   We were able to take  a few pictures of the process, but it wasn’t easy, trust me.  We were getting bumped left and right because there was barely any room to move in there. Continue reading »

Mar 222014
 

Sometimes people ask me what some of  my go-to inexpensive activities to do with my kids are.   Visiting the Bass Pro shop in Foxboro is high up on the list.  My boys could spend hours in that place (actually they have).

Bass Pro Shops/Outdoor World, Foxborough, Massachusetts

While you’ll find a huge selection of outdoor gear, Bass Pro Shops stores are also part museum, art gallery, antique store, aquarium, education, conservation and entertainment center.  Using more than 3,500 area artifacts, antiques, pictures, mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of New England’s hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies.

The store is huge.

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We went there a few weeks ago and the first thing we did when we were there was to grab a snack.   On the second floor of the store, there is a snack bar which has ice cream, fudge, coffee, pretzels, nachos and things like that.  The boys got some ice cream while Chris & I split a chunk of fudge. Continue reading »

Mar 192014
 

Ok, so maybe it’s not world famous, but it is mighty tasty.

Have I mentioned that Chris and I are addicted to Mexican food?  We’ve both always loved it, but when we were in Old Town San Diego last April and had a taste of the most amazing Mexican food that either one of us has ever tried, we just can’t seem to get enough.

We were at a local Mexican restaurant not too long ago and got table-side guacamole (which is where they come make it fresh at your table) and we watched carefully as the guac was made so that we could replicate the recipe at home.  And that’s just what we did.  Now Chris makes guac for us at home all the time!

Here’s what goes into it:

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Continue reading »

Mar 132014
 

It’s called the Marshfield Hills General Store.

Steve Carell and his family spend their summers in the town of Marshfield, Massachusetts (on the south shore), which is about 25 miles south of Boston.  In 2009, he bought the store to save a piece of Americana.

Carell told the Boston Globe in an email: “This is much more of an emotional investment than a business one….I saw an opportunity to help to preserve a little piece of history. I also felt that places like the Marshfield Hills General Store represent a gathering place, and give people a sense of community. These spots are growing more and more scarce. I hope to keep this particular one alive and well.”

Located in the heart of Marshfield Hills Village on Boston’s South Shore, “The General” has been the epicenter for this historic neighborhood for over 150 years. In 2009, actors Steve and Nancy Carell, both Massachusetts natives, bought the property and restored this treasured landmark to its original glory and stocked it for its 21st Century clientele. Step inside and experience quintessential New England charm.

The-Marshfield-Hills-General-Store1 Continue reading »

Mar 112014
 

We recently took a trip into the Museum of Science in Boston with the boys.  It’s one of their favorite places to go because of all the hands-on learning they get to do there.  They think they’re playing, but they’re really learning at the same time!

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There are three floors of exhibits, so it’s usually a jam packed day whenever we go there.

museum-of-science-boston-exhibit-halls Continue reading »

Mar 102014
 

Fourth Cliff Family Recreation Area is a 56-acre seaside resort located in Humarock on Massachusetts’ South Shore.  It is operated by Hanscom Air Force Base as a military recreation area & it’s open to anyone with a valid military ID including active duty, reservists, Department of Defense employees, retirees and authorized family members.  In case you didn’t know this, Chris is an Air Force retiree.  He retired last year after serving 20 years as a fire fighter for the USAF.

Anyhow, we only live about 30 minutes from Fourth Cliff and had a night without the kids, so we decided to check it out.  Fourth Cliff is a relatively small reservation and it’s not easy to get reservations to stay there.  They only have 17 cottages, four efficiencies, 11 RV camper sites and four tenting areas. It’s right on the beach, so reservations go quick.

Since we had never been there before, we weren’t sure what to expect.  We plugged the address into Lance and were a little put off when we got there.

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Continue reading »

Mar 092014
 

Last weekend Chris surprised me with tickets to a show called Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at a small community theater called The Curtain Call Theater in Braintree, MA.  I had never heard of this show before (and neither had he), but after reading the description of the show, I was excited to see it.  I was even more excited to check out the theater, though.  I had never been there and honestly some of the best shows I’ve ever seen have been put on at small, local theaters like this.

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? features husband and wife George and Martha in a night of dangerous fun and games. A stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years.  When the play opened in Broadway over 50 years ago, Newsweek rightly foresaw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as “a brilliantly original work of art—an excoriating theatrical experience, surging with shocks of recognition and dramatic fire [that] will be igniting Broadway for some time to come.”  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won a 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Continue reading »

Mar 062014
 

Yesterday you read all about our adventures in bones and taxidemied animals and as promised, I am going to show you a few of the pictures I took the in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

From their website:

Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery

This renovated gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones in both rough and cut examples, including a 1,600-pound amethyst geode from Brazil. Exhibits highlight new research and offer a broad overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its continuing evolution. Visitors can touch rock and mineral specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system. Uncover mysteries of our planet’s origins revealed in ancient meteorites and terrestrial rock containing some of the oldest minerals on Earth, zircon crystals that have survived intact for 4.3 billion years!

Here is the 1,600 pound amethyse geode:

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Continue reading »

Mar 052014
 

Last weekend, Chris & I took the boys the The Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, THAT Harvard) because of a friends recommendation.  I am so glad we listened because the museum was amazing and my boys LOVED it.

The museum was sort of split into two sections.  One was filled with fossils & taxidermied animals. The other was the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery, which has thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones on display.  Today, I am going to show you the pictures I took of the fossil & animal galleries.  Why?  Because I took SO many pictures that I didn’t want to overwhelm you all in one post.

We got there right when the museum opened and walked right into the EVOLUTION exhibit as soon as we got there, so we spent a while examining the fossils on display!

EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical, and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. View animals and plants that sparked Darwin’s theory, dramatic displays of diversity within species, and computer simulations that demonstrate how natural selection acts.

See a model of the 375-million-year-old fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseae (see image below)—a fossil fish dubbed the “missing link” between fish and land animals—discovered in 2004 by a team of scientists in northern Canada.

EVOLUTION offers a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing evolution research at Harvard, from exciting new discoveries about human origins, to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin’s finches.

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Continue reading »

Feb 242014
 

If you read my Christmas recap post, you may recall that my nine year old got this awesome book from his uncle for Christmas.  I may or may not have been more excited about it than he was and I couldn’t wait to dig and do some of these experiments with the boys.  My goal is to complete all of them by the end of the year.  We did completed Frankenstein’s Hand and The Bottomless Pit already and today I am going to tell you about our third experiment: Egg in a Bottle.

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I like the experiments in this book because they are all relatively simple with detailed instructions. Continue reading »

Feb 192014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets for snow tubing and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

My boys absolutely love playing in the snow and one of their favorite winter activities is snow tubing.  When we had the chance to go snow tubing at Loon Mountain recently, we were all super excited.   Usually, I just “supervise” while the kids go tubing, but this time – I actually went, too!

The Tubing center was marked and easy to find.

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Inside, we signed waivers, were given lift passes to attach to our coats and grabbed some tubes.   Continue reading »

Feb 182014
 

We’ve had quite a bit of snow this winter one of the things the kids really enjoy doing when we have snow is to go sledding. While we were in Lincoln, NH recently, we drove past a nice looking hill and decided to stop and sled for a little while. I’m glad we stopped because the boys (all three of them) had so much fun.

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Continue reading »

Feb 172014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Ice Castle and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When I heard there was an ice castle up at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH this year, I have to admit that I was intrigued.  An ice castle? How was that even possible?  So I did what anyone else would do when they want more information about something – I Googled it.  I found their website and here’s what it said:

Ice Castle Imagine the wonder of walking through the center of massive glacier-like solid pillars of ice, combined with tunnels, archways and caves. And all of it is built simply out of ice. Truly this will be an experience unlike any other on entire East Coast.

I knew that it was something I needed to check out and last weekend, my family took a drive up to see it for ourselves.   If you’re familiar with Loon Mountain at all, the ice castle is set up over by the Adventure Center.  If you’re unfamiliar, the Adventure Center is where you can zip line (year round), sign up for Snow Shoe tours and a rock wall is set up inside, but it’s only open seasonally.  If you are heading up to see the ice castle and aren’t sure where to go once you get there, don’t worry – it’s very clearly marked.

We were staying at the Mountain Club on Loon, which is the resort at the base of the mountain, so we walked over to the ice castle and this is what we saw was we as we walked up to it.

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Continue reading »