Monday, October 30, 2006


You'll notice, if you're a regular reader to my blog, that I haven't mentioned wededing plans or my weight loss lately. That's because there's been little to no movement on either front. I did, however, get several pictures shrunk in filesize so that I may share them with my adoring audience (that's you). I'll post them tonight if I get a chance.


Another Terrific Weekend

Despite the wild weather we had, Bear and I had another fabulous weekend. Friday night we went to Bangor. This isn't always a productive adventure, but this time it was - we went to the bank, paid the cellphone bill, added a texting plan onto his phone and got his phone repaired, ate dinner at Pizza Hut's Italian Bistro (it's like Pizza Hut and Olive Garden had a baby), bought an exercise bike and got groceries! It was a busy evening, to say the least.
The exercise bike was a good deal. Under $200 for a recumbant and included in the price was a "no sweat" guarantee that says if anything is wrong with it, we get a new one for free. We even get to keep the old one! So for example, if the heart rate meter dies but the bike still works, we get a new bike but can keep the old one. I think that's a deal! We can renew the plan every year, to, so all we have to pay is the $18 a year. I am SO going to get my money's worth out of this thing! My goal is 20 minutes a day, but if I do it five days a week, I'll be satisfied. I did 20 minutes on Sunday but didn't get my heart rate above 100 until the very very end of the workout. I will have to push myself harder, I think. My resting heart rate is 52, which is a little below average. I don't even know what I want my heart rate to be for maximum fat burning efficiency. Do you?
I went to a chiropracter this weekend, too. It was the first of several visits. I hadn't been since high school, and the pain in my neck, back and hips was getting difficult to handle. Poor Bear had to listen to me complain daily. He strongly encouraged me to go back, so I did.
I'd forgotten how much I LOVE to get cracked.
He cracked and popped me several times, once having to stand me up to get enough force to pop the vertebrae back to their proper positions. It felt like Heaven. Getting 'adjusted' as they call it releases endorphins into your system - basically, you feel as good as you do post-orgasm without any of the mess. I go back on Thursday and I can't wait. My neck especially feels much better already.

Other than that, Bear and I just lazed around the house all day. I graded papers (first quarter ended Friday), we watched some movies (Hotel Rawanda and The Haunting), napped for three hours, cooked great food, and spent a considerable amount of time cuddling. I'd say it was perfect... wouldn't you?


Friday, October 27, 2006

Ode to Bear (thanks Clare)

I read a blog daily called "Three Beautiful Thing" by a woman in England that blogs each day about three beautiful things she saw or experienced. It's a wonderful, positive way to look at life, and so I thought I'd try it in the hopes that she realizes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Because my blog is called "Caring for Bear," it seemed natural to write three beautiful things about him. Here goes:

1. He packs my breakfast and lunch every day, including the chocolate I say I don't want, but secretly do. He even breaks into the Halloween stash if he has to to make sure that my chocolate craving is satisfied.

2. When we crawl into bed each night, he turns his back to me, an silent request to spoon him. He pays me back by letting me keep my cold feet on his warm ones. When I roll over later that night, he rolls too - and we switch positions, one of us holding the other all night long.

3. The way he looks when he plays video games - eyes intent, tongue sticking out whenever he attempts a tricky manouver, and a leg kicking the floor whenever he dies. It's too cute!


Moose x2

This could have been the moose I saw yesterday. I wouldn't normally post about the same thing twice, but this moose deserves a few inches of blog space. I was driving home in Bear's car (mine is in the garage with a host of illnesses), and I saw a moose in the ditch of the oncoming lane (my left). I came to a complete stop as I'm supposed to and because it looked like he wanted to talk into the road. I was right - he walked out of the ditch and into the middle of the road, still dripping water from his chin. He stopped when he got to the dividing line in the highway, front legs in my lane, back legs in the other lane. Moose Alley is a lonely stretch of road, so there weren't any other cars around. It was just me and the moose. He didn't appear to be in any kind of rush to move and I was, so I beeped my horn at him. He turned his head and looked at me, contemplating whether it was worth it to stomp Bear's car (and me) into the pavement. Note to self: Do NOT Honk at Moose! He turned 180 degrees and faced the ditch again. Silently this time I encouraged the moose to move. He didn't. He took two steps, turned around again and walked two steps back. This continuted for FIVE MINUTES until finally, another car appeared on the road behind me. When it got close enough the moose slowly stepped off the road, disappearing into the trees. I drove the rest of the way home thankful that the moose hadn't taken my honking personally. I have my camera with me today, so if I see any more, I will take pitcures to post.


Thursday, October 26, 2006


I drive to work every morning on a stretch of road affectionately known as "Moose Alley." The reason for this is because the road I drive on has more moose/vehicle accidents than any other road in Maine (or it seems to, anyway). All year, however, I haven't seen a single moose. I have seen a ton of crows and a single dead deer, but that's it. Every day someone asks me, "Didja see a moose?" After nine weeks, it is just annoying. "No," I sigh. "No moose yet."
Well yesterday I saw my first moose! I was passing a fallow potato field and saw a dark blur in the middle of it. At 6:30 in the morning, it is still quite dark and moose are a very deep brown. At first I thought it was a horse, but after a moment I realized it was a MOOSE! Thankfully it was about fifty feet away from the road and standing still, so I didn't have to worry about hitting it.
A few facts:
  • Moose can weigh over 1,000 pounds (that's like NINE deer put together)
  • Their antlers (racks) can measure six feet across
  • Adult males can stand six feet tall at the shoulder
  • My car is only up to my shoulder
  • I drive a Ford Escort Wagon - a small car
  • An impact with an adult moose has a 60-80% chance of killing me.
So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to tell people about the moose I saw AND that it wasn't in the road. It pretty much made my day. So I continued my commute, a smile on my face. About five miles later, I came around a corner in the road and SLAMMED on my breakes - there was another moose! I don't know how big the first one was, but this one was HUGE. He was going in the same direction I was, trotting in the soft shoulder of the other lane. Once I got stopped and could breathe again, I followed him for about 100 yards until he turned left down a gravel road. He turned and looked at me once, and kept on his path. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The first moose made me happy, the second one just scared the crap out of me. I was uber careful the rest of the drive to work, convinced that every dark patch near the road was another moose. Thankfully, there were only the two and I didn't hit either one.

It makes me wonder - how often do close calls happen?


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


As many of you know, I switched to Bogger Beta a few weeks ago. I admit it was a selfish change... I did it so that other bloggers I enjoy reading could comment on my blog. They had Beta, so I had to have it. Imagine my disappointment when after all this time I still had no comments! I was very sad. However this morning when I logged on, it said I had three unmoderated comments I had to look at. There they were! Three lovely comments, all waiting for me. Yess! I feel SO much better now. Of course I have no idea how long they were stitting there. I will make sure to check that often now that I know it's there. Blogger Beta is great, but I'm still learning all about it.

Moving on to what I intended to post today. Last night I was getting ready for bed as usual. I was in the bathroom, going through the nightly ritual of brushing my teeth, taking my contacts out, and tweezing stray eyebrow hairs. I hadn't done that last task in a while, so I got out my magnifying mirror and went to work. Naturally I have something of a unibrow which means that constant maintenance is a must. After I finished I pointed the mirror at different sections of my face looking for blemishes of any kind. My nose, forehead and cheeks all checked out fine. I have a freckle under my ear that grows a single black hair, and I nabbed that one, too. Feeling much better and much more attractive, I gave the mirror a final pan accross my neck below my chin. What I saw there was nothing less than horrific. I had beard hairs!! Not just one or two stragglers, either. I have two disinct patches of long thin hairs under my chin on either side of my esophogas. I am MORTIFIED. How long have these hairs been there? When did they multiply? Has Bear seen them? Have my students?? UGH! I felt this wash of ugliness crash over me. I tweezed what I could, furiously plucking any hair I could get a hold of. This was an incredibly painful process as anyone who tweezes a new area can imagine. I know that these hairs will come back, though, and I don't know what to do. I should mention, too, that this comes on the heels of Bear mentioning (again) that he is not a fan of the hairs that grow below my belly button. I Veet them off, but they have to be a certain length for the hair removal cream to be effective. I believe the word he used was - well, it doesn't matter what it was, but it was not a nice word. He did later apologize for using such a word to describe a body part. Good man. Only now I'm convinced that I am some modern-day Sasquatch that is an anomoly in the civilized world! HELP!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Anniversary Ideas

Bear and I are trying to figure out what we want to do for our one-year anniversary. It seems like we've been together so much longer than that, but we did indeed meet last November 17. As we are on a tight budget, we opted not to buy each other gifts. Christmas is coming right up after that anyway so I can spoil him then. I think what we are going to do is spend a weekend on the coast. I'm not sure what area we will end up in (Portland, Old Orchard, and Boothbay Harbor are all places we've brought up in discussion) or what we are going to do, but I'm certain it will be an amazing time filled with romance and joy. The last eleven months have been, so why should this be any different? If you can reccomend a place to visit, leave a comment! I'd love to hear what you think.

I was getting ready for work this morning, and wandered into the livingroom to look for my shoes. Bear was sitting on the couch, one boot on, the other in his hand, a stumped and wonderous look on his face. "What?" I asked him.
"I just realized that for the first time in months, we have absolutely no plans for the weekend," he replied. "I don't remeber the last time that's happened. I don't have to work, we aren't going North, we aren't going South... nothing."
I looked at him with an expression mirroring his. "Wow," I sad. "What should we do?"

Any ideas? A free weekend is a true gem for us and our busy over-packed schedules. I almost want to stay home and do nothing, since I know that the Christmas craziness is going to start soon. Or we could work on one of the myriad home-improvement projects that are still on the list. The chimney's done - check. Repainted the ceiling? Nope. Painted the office? Nope. Ripped up the kitchen carpet? Only one small section. *sigh* Maybe I know what we're doing this weekend after all...


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The ladies in the front office mentioned they had noticed I've lost weight. I'm on cloud nine! I didn't think ANYONE had noticed that I've lost 12-14 pounds (depending on the day). But they HAVE and they SAID something! Yesssssssssssssssssssssss! This makes me feel another huge surge of willpower to get the rest of the weight off. How awesome will I feel if I have to have my slightly-too-tight wedding dress taken IN? I have to go chortle with delight some more... later!



I read in the paper this week that a man died in a car accident Saturday night. He took a wide curve in the road too fast, lost control, and went off the road. His car flipped several times, ejecting him from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but there was further information about this man - he had been married just over twenty-four hours. Married Friday, dead Saturday. Is there a more horrible story out there? I can't even imagine what his bride (I don't even think she got to wife status yet) must be feeling. I can't imagine what a wreck I'd be... my mind doesn't want to contemplate it.

Also this week, a man who I know by association died of complications from cystic fibrosis. He was a band mate of my cousin's... he was only 36. They were working on putting out their new album this spring and were scheduled to play in Florida next month. I wonder what will happen now. His myspace page already has comments from people expressing their grief. How tragic.

Finally, there have been a slew of people I know getting diagnosed with cancer, and they are all young (my age). Two English teachers I know have daughters diagnosed with lymphoma. I know people who are having suspicious moles removed that are still in high school!

The more I read and hear about people, the more worried I am that Bear and I won't get the hoped-for fifty years together. With his family history, I think I will be lucky to get twenty. It's just so unfair! Why can't the bad things like cancer, accidents and unfortunate circumstances happen to people who cheat on their taxes, hurt children and animals or cut in line at the grocery store? Why does all the bad stuff have to happen to the people who least deserve it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Speaking of Name Change...

I wrote in my last post about what my name will be when I'm married (Kinne). I wasn't analyzing what I wrote; rather, I was caught up in one of the fits and spurts of giddiness and excitement that every bride succumbs to occasionally. It interests me now when I am in a more logical mood that I "said" that. Until yesterday (apparently) I hadn't decided if I was going to take Bear's name.

Okay. I was young once - I admit it. And being young, I couldn't wait to change my last name. It's boring, people inevitably ask if I'm related to Marilyn (my last name if you missed it is Monroe). These days the occasional asshole student changes the vowel to "Manroe." Those were the days I went home fuming about ignorant children... as I bleached my facial hair and ironed a skirt to wear the next day. So why not change my name and be happy with it?

Well for starters, I'm the only one of my father's four biological children that has his last name. He has two sons and two daughters. He wasn't married to my brothers' mom, so they got her last name and my sister had a hyphenated name and she dropped the Monroe off of it. So that leaves me. If I don't keep my name what will happen to the Monroe name??
Not to mention that all of my teacher books and private posessions have Monroe written in them. It's who I'm known as in the teacher/college world. I'm Ms. Monroe. How can I just leave that behind? Do I leave Monroe in the books, or cross it out and write Kinne instead?
That may seem like a stupid reason to change a name, but I'm not reasonable when it comes to aspects of me. You know how in families some children are more like one side than the other? My mother's maiden name is Vinal. I'm MUCH more Monroe than Vinal. I'm my father's daughter, as my mother so frequently tells me. If my name becomes Kinne, who am I then?

I read an essay by Anna Quindlen about her decision not to change her name. She didn't do it out of some feminist reason, but because (like me) she felt that her name was part of who she was, and she didn't want to lose it. She did admit, however, that there were some problems as a result of her decision. For example, her children and husband "shared the umbrella of a name," and that left her out in the rain a lot. she said that teachers, nurses and other professionals were always calling her by the wrong name. That makes me think. If I don't take Kinne, does that make me Mrs. Monroe? Mrs. Monroe is my mother, NOT me! I can't keep Miss, though, so do I use Ms (Mizz)? Arg! So frustrating.

I have family members that have gone both ways. Most of the women take their husband's last name, erasing the written connection to the families of their childhood, and moving under the umbrella of their husbands'. A few, like my cousin Carly, have kept their last name and used it as their childrens' middle names. But she and her husband are in business together.... doesn't that confuse customers? I don't know.

In the end, I guess I decided to take Paul's name not to dishonor my family, but to honor his. both of his parents are passed and he is a Junior. Family name is important to him. He is the last of his family, the only boy; I have brothers (they just don't have the same last name). My family would never say that I am dishonoring them by taking Bear's name. As time goes by, I guess I am hearing them more. Bear and I are going to be sharing a life, a future; I like to think we'll be sharing the same umbrella, too.


Monday, October 16, 2006


Only 257 days until I become Mrs. Kinne! I can't even believe how fast the time is flying by. If you want more details about us or our wedding plans, visit our wedding website:,Jr.

Let me know what you think!



I finally broke that two week weight plateau. I got on the scale Sunday morning and weighed in at 176.2. Yes! I ate like a pig Saturday, too. Bear and I went to Kittery with my parents and then to Freeport. We weren't shopping for anything in particular, and I ended up only buying one small thing for my brother and his wife for Christmas, but we had a ton of fun. Kittery Trading Post is HUGE! They had lots of great bear stuff that Bear liked. Their clothes were way overpriced, but Southern Maine is a different economic climate than the rest of the state, so I don't the the yuppies from Portland even noticed. My parents took us out to breakfast at The Railroad Cafe, a little place in Richmond. It was good food, but filled me up fast. I had bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and cinammon raisin toast. Yum! For lunch we went to Friendly's in Kittery. Not fancy food, but hot fast and cheap (my three requirements). I had a honey mustard chicken burger (to know me is to know that I LOVE honey mustard). For dessert (my FAVORITE part of any meal) we went to the Ben and Jerry's Ics Cream store right next to L.L. Bean. I had a small scoop of Phish Food. My stomach was in revolt by the time I was half way through it, but it was so worth it. Of course, then my parents and Bear had to stand around for fifteen minutes while I was in the bathroom, trying not to stink the other ladies out. I took a Lactaid before eating, but I don't think it's strong enough to handle ice cream. Ugh. Man I miss the days when I could eat whatever I wanted and have no problems.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I was doing so well! I lost twelve pounds. Yeay me! I think it went to my head a little, because I haven't budged in two weeks. I am right around 178 every day. One morning I was 177.6, and that was terrific, but I haven't seen it since. Arg!
Why am I sabotaging myself? I had Pepsi every night with dinner last week, and I baked three batches of cookies, too. I haven't done my yoga DVD or even taken a walk in two weeks. It's like I decided that 178 was enough loss. IT ISN'T!! I asked Bear if we could go for a walk tonight, and he said we could try. The thing is, by the time we get home we are both so exhausted, it's hard to want to get up and move around. But we must be able to muster a stoll around the block, right? How hard can that be? I don't have to make dinner tonight (his turn), so I should have a tiny bit more energy than usual.

We are in the midst of wedding planning. I need to call party rental vendors for price lists. I'm hoping to have a place booked and deposit down by the end of the month. I don't want our wedding date to be booked! We need to rent tents, tables, chairs, porta-potties and possibly a dance floor. Bear and I got sticker shock when we saw the photographers rates, so we are hoping to get a budget set up soon. The photographer is a friend of my mom's so we are getting the "not-quite-family" discount, but still. I love her and she takes awesome photos, but DAMN is she expensive! She did tell my mom that we don't have to get a package if we don't want to, which is nice. Her packages range from $1480 to $4000!
Mom wants me to figure out what flowers I want in my boquet. Tables are going to have white chrysanthemums in red & blue vases, but I want red, white and blue flowers in my boquet. What are some good, cheap flowers in those colors? I think roses are overdone and overpriced, so those are out. Daisies, lillies, any type of wildflower are all acceptable. Suggestions, anyone?

I'm monitoring detention tonight (ugh). Three kids are staring at me, not even pretending to get work done. *sigh* Why does detention punish me??


Monday, October 09, 2006


I just switched to Blogger Beta. I made some changes to my blog and I think it looks nice, even if I do say so myself. Let me know what you think!


Playing Favorites

This is probably my favorite photo of Bear and me. It was taken about a month and a half after we started dating, and was the first weekend I'd spent at his place. I don't think it could have been a better weekend; the weather, the company... everything was perfect.
Little did I know that awesome weekends were going to become a staple of our relationship. Since this photo was taken, we have been to Bar Harbor, California, camping in the woods and bumming around home. We've spent weekends working on household chores and projects, weekends running errands, weekends catching up on laundry, dishes, and each other. We've visited relatives, hid from neighbors, spent entire days curled around each other and a few alone, doing our own thing. Every single weekend has been perfect. Every Monday we return to work missing the other more than we thought we would. We text messages like, "thanks for another awesome weekend, Baby" and "only five more days until we can spend the day together again". I wish I had photos of all of our perfect weekends, like I do of the first one. I wish I could spread out the happiness on the floor, creating a giant collage of us-ness.
Then I'd have dozens of favorite photos like this one.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ripping off the band-aid

So a blogger that I read daily ( says that removing a toxic friend from your life is a lot like ripping off a band-aid. It hurts at first, but at least you're done. I have to admit I'm still in the hurting phase, but at least my mind is clear now, and I can look ahead with a smile instead of a furrowed brow.

The last few months with this friend that I've ripped off of my life have been very painful. You know how some people cut themselves, because as bad as it feels, it is at the same time relieving other pains they feel? That's what I did with T. I used to listen to her tell me about the things she was doing, the places she was going, the stuff she just bought or that was bought for her. I lived on these tidbits of information, totally ignoring the fact that every single one of them made me feel bad about ME. She may never have done this on purpose, but the effect is the same. When she became engaged, I should have been happy, and I was on one level. But on another I knew that my time of being special was over. The time of her asking me about my plans without one-upping me with her own was over. But like a masochist, I read her blogs, found her name on the knot and, pouring over the details she'd written, agonizing over what she hadn't. The groomsmen lists are filled out, but only the maid of honor on her side. Is she afraid to put up names because she knows that mine won't be on there? WILL it be on there? What is she registering for? Are they going to have a DJ? What will their song be? I was drawn to everything she posted, fully expecting to be hurt by what was there. And I was - every time. I might not have been cutting my skin, but the feeling was the same.

So why bring it up? Because I'm hoping to be done that. I'm hoping that like the band-aid, that part of my life is over. I don't want to visit her blogs or web pages any more, I'm not going to see if she's commented on my blog (I know she's read it). I'm just going to move on. Maybe I can stop feeling bad about my own life and wedding if I stop comparing them with hers. I'm not sure how long it will take the toxic friend to work her way out of my system, but at least I've taken the first step to recovery by tearing the band-aid off.

Thanks Sue.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An afterthought

If you read my last blog, you're up to date on the drama. I was making dinner and playing back the conversation in my head, and I realized something - she thinks I chose red and blue as my colors because they were colors that SHE wanted years ago. It couldn't be further from the truth! Here are the real reasons I am picking country apple and Navy blue as my wedding colors:

1. Bear and I couldn't agree on what colors the groomsmen's shirts should be. I knew I wanted country apple (a dark red), but Bear didn't want green, yellow, or orange in any shade. When I mentioned blue, he agreed, as long as it was dark blue. That was in March.

2. Tablecloths, napkins, paper plates and decorations will be available that time of year in those colors. I am getting married Fourth of July weekend, after all. And to be completely honest - being able to buy cheap decorations and paper products will be a sizeable portion of our budget. I can buy those cheaper at Wal Mart than I can in diferent colors at a wedding supply store.

So there you have it, the real reasons I am having red and blue colors at my wedding. I wasn't copying anyone or stealing anyone's ideas, I was making practical choices I thought everyone could live with. I'd even forgotten that T had chosen those colors in the first place. And in my defense, T wasn't engaged or even planning on getting married when Bear and I picked our colors. We weren't thinking about her at all.


Mushroom cloud

That's what the conversation I just had looked like. A nuclear explosion.
So my best friend Beatrice and I had the conversation that's been heading our way for weeks. She was very courageous and started the conversation, giving me a list of all of the things she's been thinking about lately. The rundown: She feels that every time we talk she leaves upset or crying. That getting married which should have brought us closer, has actually caused a rift in our relationship. That is true. Then it was my turn, and I told her that she had no idea how much it hurt that she is getting married on a day that I can't be there, that I need her as a friend more than she needs me as friend (a fact I was reminded of when she couldn't commit to me being a bridesmaid). I told her that whether she intended to or not, every time she talked about a $1,000 dress or the swanky reception hall she booked, it made me feel like I was ... less... in some way. That it made me feel less like the princess every woman should feel like before her wedding. That's why I haven't been calling her as much.
Bea replied that it was never her intention, that what I'm doing is unique to Bear and me, etc. I told her that I'd read her blog and that I know, I just know, that her other wedding color is going to be red. She started yelling at that point, saying "You've known for five years that I've always wanted to get married on the fourth of July and have red white and blue as my wedding colors! That was my idea first! You KNOW that's what I wanted to do. When you first told me what you're colors were going to be I was so hurt..."
I interrupted her, saying, "Let me finish! I'm not saying I have property rights to red white and blue. But to be fair, when I chose those colors, you were NOT engaged and had JUST told me that you were going to break up with Rambo because you couldn't see yourself with him, he was just wrong for you, you didn't know what you were still doing with him and you were going to break up with him as soon as you got back from Vegas!" (You noticed she wasn't going to miss the cool vacation, didn't you?) And what I said was true - she really was going to break up with him after their trip. They went ring shopping while they were in Vegas, and were engaged about a month later. Who does that? She screams, "I'm not discussing this with you! It hurts you to talk to me, it hurts me to talk to you, so we're done!" And hung up the phone. I HATE when people hang up on me, and she knows that.

So I guess she's right - we're done.
Terrilyn Dawn Lebel, you are no longer my friend. When you grow up and get rid of your imaginary tiara, you can call me. Until then, don't call, write, or otherwise contact me. You are a toxic friend, and I'm done letting you poison me.

Oh, and PS - you're out of the wedding, not getting invited, and you can KISS MY ASS! I'm KEEPING the red, white and blue colors, too. :-D

Oh, and PPS - You're right, I didn't call you on your birthday. I was busy. Not to mention I gave you your birthday presents a MONTH AGO! Isn't that enough?