Sunday, July 31, 2011

A New-ish, clean Bathroom....AHHHH

One of the least attractive things about our new house was the bathroom.   The tile in the tub was all moldy, the wallpaper was yuck, the medicine cabinet was an old, rusty, metal one.  And the floor was 1970's orange linoleum, ripped near the sink.

I already showed you the new wallpaper, medicine cabinet, and newly grouted tub tiles.  Here for your viewing pleasure is the newly tiled bathroom floor.

BEFORE

AFTER


Thanks to my brother John and his wife Ruth for the free floor tiles.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Or Not......

Yesterday I rhapsodized about my Aunt Izzy, who at the age of 84 is hauling rocks in from the woods and creating her beautiful garden.

Today I found out was 84 can really be like.  

A Sweet Little Old Lady fell in our office today.   She's 81 years old.  She had her little cane, and some great big rubber soled shoes.  She simply turned from the counter, stumbled, and fell across the room.

We all saw it happening, we all gasped, but of course, no one could get to her quickly enough to grab her.

She fell forward, and I thought she hit her head on the doorjamb.   I rushed over, calling over my shoulder for a co-worker to dial 911.

The poor sweet lady was laying flat on her back, moaning.   I asked if she'd hit her head, and she said no.  (Thank God).   But she hit her shoulder and couldn't move her arm.

We spent the next hour with EMT's and medics.  They gave her morphine so they could move her arm, got her onto a gurney and carted her away.

The whole time, she kept kicking herself (figuratively) for being so clumsy.   "I'm so independent", she said more than once.   I'm sure she was concerned about how this was going to effect her ability to live alone and take care of herself.

My heart broke for her.  She was so helpless, lying there.  I gave her what comfort I could, but she was understandably very distraught.   Unfortunately, we probably won't get to find out how she made out. 

I hope she's okay.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

When I'm 84.......

We went to visit my sweet old Aunty Izzy tonight.   I've mentioned her before.  She lives around the corner from us and we've kind of become her surrogate family......even though we really are family.   What I mean is....Aunty Izzy has no siblings, no living children and no grandchildren.   She is actually my father's sister-in-law, and my father's brother passed away 25 years ago.  

So we kind of adopted her.....or she adopted us.   Either way, we stay in touch with her, help her out when she'll let us, and invite her to all our  holidays and family functions.

We went over to her place tonight to pick up a few pieces of furniture she had for us.   And she showed us her garden.

Singlehandedly, behind her elderly housing unit, she created the most magnificent garden I've ever seen.  It stretches on forever and is filled with all kind of plants.   In between are little walkways, birdbaths, cute little signs and a wishing well.   And surrounding the entire thing is a rock wall.   That she built.  All by herself.  Every single rock dug up from the ground and hauled in from the woods behind her building.

And in the front of the building....the same thing.  Only these rocks she had to haul from the back all the way to the front! 

I'm amazed that at her age ....84.....she has the energy and stamina to make such lovely surroundings for herself.   My hats off to her.   And I hope I can follow in her footsteps.

Shaping Up

It's been such a pleasure for Hubby and I to make our new house into a home.   Hubby felt like we were "home" when we put the refrigerator magnets up on the fridge!
I feel like we've settled in now that our living room finally looks homey, with new curtains and photos on the wall:


And even Oreo has found his favorite places to relax:


I had to find something new to do with my "knick-knacks".  I'm not a knick-knack person, but I do have a few pieces that have sentimental value......penguins that people have given me.  And four angels, one each representing my Mom, my Memere, my Aunt Terry and my Mother-in-Law.


It's sort of an old-fashioned style shelf, but I'm sort of an old-fashioned kind of girl.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Americana

Finally, Hubby and I spent some time doing fun summer things.   The house was pretty much eating up all our time, in our zeal to start doing things to fix it up so quickly.

After three weeks of non-stop cleaning, organizing, fixing, re-arranging, tearing down, putting up......we realized we still need to take time to enjoy life or summer will slide right by us.

So...besides our lovely canoe day, Hubby and I spent yesterday having a cook-out/pool party at my brother's house.

And it was everything a summer day should be.   It was hot (sultry) out.   My brother had just put up a new pool (with a tiny bit of help from us).  We sat by the pool, then jumped in, then sat some more, then jumped in some more.

And my brother, who's a fabulous grill-cook, made us some steak tips, chicken and sausages on the grill.  There was corn on the cob, potato and macaroni salads, and potato chips.  

After letting that digest, we had a round of watermelon.   Then topped it all off with chocolate ganache cake and strawberry/rhubarb pie.  

We chatted and visited until dark, then headed home relaxed, cooled-off, full of food, and happy.

Perfect summer day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Tropical Heat Wave

Along with the rest of the country, New Hampshire is experiencing a tropical heat wave.  I suppose it wasn't the best time to move out of our air-conditioned condo into a house that has air-conditioning in the bedroom only.

Don't get me wrong....I'm SO happy we made the move and I LOVE the new house.   But heat and me don't get along.

I have vacation days I need to use up before September, and since Hubby and I have been a bit busy and haven't made it to a lake or pond to go canoeing, we both took today off for that reason.

Now, usually, when we plan a day off to do something outside, somehow it always ends out raining.   But on this day, we had hot, steamy, sultry weather.   I even wondered if it would be too hot to canoe.

We went and picked up "The Canoodle"  (its official name) at my brother's house, where it's been living the past three years while we had a condo with no place to put it.   And we took it to a lake that Hubby passes by on his way home from work.

It's called Lake Mascuppic, in Dracut, MA.   As soon was we got there, we thought how nice it was.....there was a nice breeze and the lake was amenable to swimming.

We spent the next 3 hours swimming, canoeing, and relaxing.  It's always more fun to do something like this when you know that everyone else is working!    It certainly helped us beat the heat.   And now The Canoodle has a special place in our own backyard.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Library time

Hubby and I both enjoy the library very much.  I'm a cheap son-of-a-gun, and wouldn't be caught dead paying full price to buy a book.   Usually, I see in the newspaper that a favorite author has a new title out, and I go online and reserve it at the library.

Hubby loves to use the library for everything,......DVD's, CD's and of course, all kinds of books.   We usually visit the library every week or so.

Last night, our library was having a children's show put on by Author Jeff Nathan, who wrote "There's a Bear in my Shoe."    It promised to be a silly, fun-loving evening of song and crazy poetry.

We took Emily, who will be four on August 4th, to see the show.  We knew she'd enjoy it, because she's had a sense of humor, especially for slapstick comedy, since she was a baby.

We got there about 15 minutes early, and had the joy and privilege of helping her pick out her first library books.   I explained carefully about "borrowing" and she was perfectly fine with the idea that she would have to bring the books back.  

She used Pepere's library card.   We asked about her getting her own card, and the library lady said, "When she is four."    So hopefully, in two weeks, we can take Emily back to return her books, get her her first library card, and start a long tradition of visiting the Library.

By the way......she LOVED the silly show!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wallpapering

Wallpapering seems to have gone out of fashion lately.   But the blandness of our bathroom, with beige tiles in the shower area and halfway up the wall, called for a little bit of something besides paint.   I'm not really imaginative with sponge-painting and stuff like that, so I decided to go the wallpaper route.

They really didn't have too much to offer at Lowe's, and I really had to think about where else wallpaper is available.  There's a small store near our house called White St. Paint and Paper, so I headed there.

Here I found the old-fashioned wallpaper store, with big books of samples you could peruse through.  Since I was only wallpapering a small area, I chose to buy a double-roll right off the rack.   It cost me $6.

Here's a glimpse of what the bathroom walls looked like after I pulled down the atrocious wallpaper they already had there.




The crookedness of the walls created a challenge.   No, this is not an optical illusion above the door.  There was almost an inch difference from one side of the doorjamb to the other.


The finished product. 




Of course, I can see every single little mistake, bump, bubble, etc.  But hopefully, overall, it looks better than it did before.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza on the Grill

I saw this Pizza on the Grill on the blog of my friend, Joan.   At first I was skeptical, then figured why  not give it a try?   

So here's how it went.

Gotta do a little prep work first.

Sautee the chunks of chicken:

 
Slice the tomatoes thin.
Joan makes her own dough in her breadmaker, using olive oil rather than regular oil, but I couldn't do that and still cook the pizza while it was still light out, so I bought pizza dough at the supermarket.
You'll also need some crushed garlic, sliced black olives, alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese, feta cheese and some organo.


You can mix the parmesan cheese and garlic into the dough.  I didn't think that would work very well with pre-made dough, so I chose to put the parmesan and garlic on afterwards. Then you  want to roll out the pizza dough, spray some Pam on a piece of tinfoil and put it on the grill.   I figured out that I should have made two to four smaller pizzas insead of one large one.   It wasn't easy to move the dough on and off the grill.   The Pam spray was genius, however, as the dough didn't stick to the tinfoil at all.



Let the dough cook in the closed grill until the underside is light brown.   Relax with a cool beverage.....it always makes the food taste better.

When the underside is light brown, take the dough off the grill, paint it with olive oil and flip the dough over.   It wasn't until I was putting the Alfredo sauce on that I realized that I had forgotten to flip the dough over!!   You are supposed to do that so the other side will cook.   Oops.   Too late.  Have to soldier on.   Add your sauce, chicken, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and garlic.

Cook with the cover down for as long as it takes to brown the bottom of the dough.   In my case, because I forgot to flip it, I let it go a bit longer and the dough was pretty dark.  I like it like that, but thought Hubby might object.

Despite how it looks, it was absolutely delicious!


I asked Hubby for some "constructive criticism" and he said he wouldn't change a thing!  He thinks I should "forget to flip it" next time too!   This will certainly not be the last time I make this recipe!!


Ice Cream for Supper

When my kids were young, every Sunday they'd play soccer.   Since the teams were divided by age groups, my three kids were often on three different teams, which meant that they'd play in three different games.  This entailed sitting all afternoon on Sundays watching soccer games.

 Which, don't get me wrong, was one of the best times of my life.   There's nothing like sitting in a lawn chair on a sunny summer afternoon, chatting with other parents and watching your children have fun.  

However, it took a lot of time, and was a good excuse to not make dinner.   Instead, we'd have ice cream for supper.   Almost every Sunday night during the summer.  Thus started the tradition of "Ice Cream for Supper Sundays".

Now Hubby and I moved into this new house, and one of the more exciting elements is that its within walking distance of this place:


Yes, our favorite ice cream place.  They have the most delicious flavors.....my favorite is usually "Moose Tracks".   

Last night, Hubby and I walked over to have "Sunday Night Ice Cream for Supper".    We've resisted taking advantage of the close proximity because, let's face it, Ice Cream for Supper every Sunday night is not good at our age.

But once in a while, it's good for a treat, right?

"Totally Turtle" for me this time.

"Maine Black Bear" for Hubby.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rhododendron State Park

Hubby and I visited Rhododendron State Park in Fitzwilliam, NH today.   Last time, we went in late May since that is when the local rhododendrons bloom, only to find out that these are a different species that bloom in mid-July.   So today was the day.    I thought the story was best told with more pictures and a few words.


When you enter, you walk through a long "tunnel" of giant rhododendron plants.







You could totally hear the sound of bees buzzing constantly.

This is a panoramic shot.




There was other interesting nature there that had nothing to do with rhododendrons.


Another fun adventure for Karen and Tag.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Cookout

Hubby and I were absolutely delighted to have most of our combined kids over for a cookout.   The most fun for me was to have both our grandchildren together to play at the same time.

Emily and Noah loved the bubbles


My son and his wife gave us their old swingset since they got a new one, so the kids got to play on that.

Hubby took this absolutely awesome photo of Noah in motion.


They insisted on sitting side by side for supper.


And the big treat of the evening was getting to see, sit on, and touch Don's new motorcycle.


This is Noah and Emily's rendition of playing baseball.

video

And this is just about the funniest "argument" I've ever heard.  No one seemed to know what they were arguing about....including, I suspect, Noah and Emily.  The camera starts shaking towards the end when my husband is cracking up while filming.

video


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jessica and Kyle's Wedding

Yesterday was my niece Jessica's wedding.   Some family photos:

Sister-in-law Ruth, niece Laura and brother John


Brother Steve and his wife Angie

Son Nick and fiancee Kelly

Emily with me (Memere)

Emily with Great-grampy (my Dad)


Parents of the Bride....my sister Chris and husband Lloyd

Son Doug and his wife Kara

Daughter Jamie and her boyfriend Don

The Bride and Groom, Jessica and Kyle


Brother Steve, me, Dad, sister Chris and brother John

Flower Girl Emily being at her most demure

Emily in Motion

She's beautiful, isn't she?