Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yesterday, while watching Season Four of Boston Legal, one of the cases involved a high school student who shredded a standardized test in protest of the American educational system–one that focuses heavily on passing standardized tests, which often leads to individuals being test smart, but not intellectual, inquisitive, imaginative learners.  During part of the episode, they were giving some facts about how little Americans know about basic geography.  It was appalling!  And even more embarrassing, was the fact that I have to admit, I’m HORRIBLE at geography.  I wish I knew more geography.  I ALWAYS felt stupid playing Trivial Pursuit and hoping that I didn’t have to answer a geography question.

Well, this morning I decided that I could reverse my ignorance.  Just because I’m out of school doesn’t mean I can’t stop learning.  With having the Internet, it’s almost a sin not to learn something new everyday.  Before, if one wanted to learn anything, a trip to the library was involved, and once there you had to use a card catalog and search the shelves, and then make notes on note cards  since a lot of reference books could not be checked out.  Today we are lucky enough to have Google and in an instant, you have more information than you know what to do with.

So I decided to start with the United States.  Yep, I admit I even have difficulty knowing about all of our states.  Wyoming?  Where’s that?  Montana?  Louisiana?  Virginia?  Sure, I know the easy ones–Wisconsin (because I lived there!), Massachusetts (because I live here now!), California, Texas, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire.  So now I want to know more.

I chose Maine as the first state to “discover.”

Here’s some stuff I learned…

  • The capital of Maine is Augusta (it used to be Portland, but then it was changed in order to make the capital more centrally located)
  • Maine is the ONLY state to have a name which is one syllable long
  • The largest exports of Maine are blueberries (which probably everyone knew) AND toothpicks (who would’ve known!)
  • It is called The Pine Tree State–approximately 90% of Maine is forested
  • There are approximately 5,000 miles of shoreline in Maine
  • Maine is the largest of the New England states, about the size of the five others combined (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont)
  • The population of Maine is about 1.3 million
  • Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous U.S. (meaning excluding Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Maine became the 23rd state in 1820
  • Acadia National Park is the only national park in New England
  • 98% of people who live in Maine are Caucausian
  • 5% of people who live in Maine speak French–the highest percentage in the nation
  • Portland is the most populous city in Maine with 65,000 residents
  • Four U.S. navy ships have been named USS Maine
  • Maine is the only state in the 48 contiguous states to border one other state–New Hampshire
  • Maine has 62 lighthouses, of which 50 are in use
  • The state animal is the moose
  • The state tree is the Eastern White Pine
  • Famous Mainers include: Patrick Dempsey (actor), Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean (clothing maker and retailer), Milton Bradley (board game inventor), Liv Tyler (actress), Stephen King (writer),  Harriet Beecher Stowe (abolitionist and writer)

**Information from Wikipedia–Maine

I found it pretty interesting to learn about one of the states.  Of course, I only know an inkling of all the information that is available, but I feel better even knowing a little bit more.

Kimm and I are thinking about taking a mini-vacation up to Maine in early fall.  In fact, when I went to the library today (!) I picked up a few travel guides for the area and can’t wait to look through them.

Even though it was another scorcher, I made chili for dinner!  I’m crazy sometimes I think.  But it sure did taste awful good.  Sometimes you just have a hankering 🙂

Relaxing for the night.  Ahh…. just the sound of the fan blowing.

I hope you had fun learning a little bit about Maine.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm  Comments (1)  

New Shoes!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It was INCREDIBLY hot again today.  To the point that I felt lethargic.  Like I could hardly move.  I was crabby.  I was tired.  It was AWFUL.

Kimm and I escaped the hot house and headed up to the mall.  I have been meaning to get a couple of new pair of sneakers for work.  I have bought new ones approximately every year.  I could really tell that my feet were needing new shoes.  They start to ache a lot!  It’s amazing how much support new shoes give you.  Since my feet support my entire body weight about 13 hours at a time, three days a week, I don’t mind spending the money.  Even though I hate to see it go so fast!

Amazingly, I was able to find two pairs that I liked AND that fit right (usually I have problems with the heel being too loose) within the first few pairs of sneakers I tried on.  And strangely enough this is yet another different brand of shoe.  I just go with what I like and with what feels comfortable.

It will be fun to wear them to work.  Not that I am looking forward to going to work!

Both sneakers are New Balance.







You like?

Kimm was pretty lucky at the mall as well.  She found two t-shirts, a pair of jeans, and a pair of brown cargo pants that she absolutely loved.  They look great on her.  She did a little fashion show for me when we got home.  We are funny like that 🙂

It was so hot today, that Madeline resorted to her old trick of hanging out in the bathroom sink…I now present the FIRST sink shot from the new house 🙂


What a CUTIE!

We had a wonderful, no-fuss meal when we got home from shopping.  Garden fresh tomato slices with salt and pepper, lettuce, American Cheese (and mayo for me) on fresh Italian bread we picked up at the store.  I was LOVING it.

We may have picked up some ice cream to have tonight!

I’ve heard a rumor that the temp may go down into the 80s tomorrow.  BIG SMILE.  Even 10 degrees cooler would make a huge difference.

Can’t wait for coffee and banana bread in the morning.  Night all.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment