Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm A Dinosaur

After Saturday night's storm, we were happy to go to The Java Room on Sunday morning, where Hubby had a gig scheduled to play piano for a Jazz Brunch.  

We laughed on the way at the sight of LINES of cars snaking out of Dunkin' Donut parking lots.  Literally 20 or 30 cards in the drive-thru line.   Seriously?  You are that desperate for coffee that you'd sit in this hours-long line?  Although, to give people credit, if they had no power, they probably had nothing else to do.

When we got to the Java Room, it was packed full with more people than we've ever seen there.   There was a long line from the counter out the door.   These people were willing to wait in a long line high-priced coffee.

Inside, most of the tables were taken.  But I found a nice spot to sit with my Sunday newspaper.  I always spend the two hours that Hubby plays piano relaxing and reading the paper.

As I was reading, I became aware that there was much table-moving and jockeying for position.  A gentleman came over and asked to share my table.  I looked over and saw several vacant tables.  And that's when I realized that most of the crowd had come for the internet connections.   Every table had multiple laptops on them, and people were jockeying for plugs to plug in their beloved devices.

While I sat calmly reading my old-fashioned, real paper paper.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snowstorm

So it seems as if the dusting of snow we got on Thursday night was just a precursor of things to come.   We were hit last night with our first Nor'easter of the season.   The snow was extremely wet and extremely heavy.  

Sadly, most of our trees are now on the ground in the backyard, in pieces.

The trees formed a wonderful coccoon in the summertime.  Our yard was shady almost all day.   It breaks my heart to see the destruction.

And to add insult to injury:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My First Sewing Project

Now that I finally got the sewing room up and running, I figured it was time to make a project.  The living room is kind of blah - brown paneled walls, beige rug, off-white curtains - so I figured it could use a splash of pizazz.   So I covered my boring beige pillows:

Made some matching table runners

And Hubby had the idea to insert fabric in some coasters that are made to put photographs in.  

It's nice to have a little color in the room.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let it snow????

Who thought I'd be posting a photo like this so soon?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scrapping and card-making

One of the things I've missed tremendously is scrapbooking.   I started about 15 years ago when scrapbooking wasn't really heard of around New England.   A woman who moved here from the mid-west, where scrapbooking was rampant, opened a store in our town.   She did so because she missed it and scrapbooking hadn't been heard of in these parts.

I started out with a 40th anniversary book for my parents.   My sister and brothers and sister-in-law helped out, and I was hooked.

I've made books for my two sons.   My daughter has lots of pages we made together for her Girl Scout and Softball adventures.  But I've never made a book for my daughter that includes her birthdays and graduation, etc, like I made for my sons.

Now that I have a craft room, I fully intend to make her a book.   And just to jump-start my interest, my friend Kay invited the girls from work over to scrap and stamp.   Kay makes beautiful stamped cards.   She offered to let us use all her stamps, punches, etc. and she'd teach us some techniques.  She has a room all set up in her basement with more materials than you'd ever want.

So last night we went to Kay's, had some dinner, a few glasses of wine, and had a ball cutting, creating and pasting.   I made a stamped card, and a page for Jamie's book.

Now I just have to take that enthusiasm and transfer it to my craft room and keep on working on that book.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No party instead

Our New England Patriots had a "bye" week this week.   A perfect opportunity to invite the family over for a belated birthday celebration for Hubby and his son Kenny.     We had Kenny, his partner Matthew, Hubby's daughter Wendy and her husband Allen, and our grandson Noah.   We also invited my kids, and Nick and Kelly came.  We didn't immediately realize it was Kelly's birthday this Thursday, so we included her in our horrendous version of "Happy Birthday", but we'll have to send her a card later this week.

Hubby made some delicious spinach lasagna, and some eggplant parmesan, and I made home-made mac and cheese for the first time.   Finishing it off was apple cheesecake and yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting.

Hubby got a chance to play with Noah.

Reading him "A Very Hungry Caterpillar"

and blowing bubbles.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We interrupt this rain for a Sunshine break!

Our New England Fall weather has sadly consisted of rain, rain, and ....oh yes, rain.   Usually I can roll with it, but for some reason this time the rain has made me grumpy, grouchy and frankly, no fun to be around.  

This Saturday I did not have to work.  Which will not be the case for the next FOUR  - yes, count 'em - four Saturdays.

The sun came out, and that, coupled with a non-working Saturday, was a good enough reason to take a day off from chores, housework and renovating and spend the day at the beach.

Hubby took me first to Route 1A in Rye, where there's a beautiful walkway along the ocean.   He found what is probably the last beach rose of summer - ahhhhhh, love the smell!  And I made a little rock formation to commemorate our visit.

Then we headed on down to North Hampton beach.   It was low tide.  I couldn't resist taking of my shoes and enjoying the surf.

Gotta love the "castaway" look.

Dark clouds rolled in and created a dramatic sky.  It wasn't raining though, so we headed to Newburyport.

We walked the boardwalk and checked out the Junk Barn.   As we got into the car, the raindrops began to fall.   

Who cares?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Partying with Friends

Every month, my girlfriends and I get togethet to eat and talk.   These are all ladies I did Girl Scouts with for years.  Now that we no longer have girls in scouts, we don't want to lose touch.  Thus the monthly dinners began.  This month was Carol's birthday.   It was a biggie (I won't post which one but it starts with a 7 and ends in an 0.)

Carol's a beautiful lady, inside and out.   We love her so much and have so much fun with her.   I hope I have her love of life when I get to be her age!

Happy Birthday, Carol!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Strides 2011

Today was our fourth time joining in the Making Strides Walkathon to combat Breast Cancer.

The first year, we walked with my Mom, in celebration of her overcoming breast cancer.   By the following year, my Mom was too sick to walk, so a few hardy souls walked for her.   And the next year, we were walking in her memory.   

Our team:
 My Mom's friend Claire, my Dad, my Hubby, my niece Jessica, Me, my daughter Jamie, Jessica's husband Kyle, my niece Samantha, my nephew Marc, my sister Chris and Marc's girlfriend Courtney.

My Dad and my Hubby - they enjoy each other's company.

Everyone says I'm looking more and more like my Dad.

My nephew Marc had his appendix taken out on Tuesday night, and insisted on walking.   "Grandma was in much worse shape, and she walked,"  he said.

Lots of people took the opporunity to get silly.

The crowd was pretty impressive.

My Dad did a great job.  It was a 3-mile walk.  He's been walking every day and has lost about 40 pounds.

It was a beautiful day to walk.   It was a little bit emotional, but mostly we enjoyed the great weather and the company of family.

Our little team raised over $1100.  We did it in memory of my Mom.   May she rest in peace, in heaven with her sisters - she's flying with the angels now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finally! It's done.....sorta

Today I hung the last picture, put down the rug, and my craft room is open for business.

I'm so pleased with the overall look of the place.  I think it's a place where I can be comfortable.  I surrounded myself with things I like.

The hand-stenciled bureau was given to me by Aunt Izzy.

I already started to scrapbook even before the room was finished.   The collage on the wall is one I did and gave to Hubby to commemorate our traveling adventures.

My brand-new sewing machine, that I haven't even had a chance to try out yet!  I'm anxious to do so!!

Just got this rug today off Craigslist.  The woman said her mother hand-made this rug in the 1950's.   I loved the colors and the ambiance it lends to the room.

This is the reason I have to say "sorta" when I said the room was finished.  I put these shelves in the closet, but now I want some louvered doors.  There are two closets, so brand new ones would be about $100.  I'm keeping my eye out on Craigslist for some used ones.

Some of the cross-stitch I made over the years.  The one on the right is the "Serenity Prayer" cross-stitched by my paternal grandmother.

I'm so happy my room is done.  Now I have someplace to go and putter, create and enjoy.  It was a joy to re-do the room.  What a feeling of accomplishment!

Let the Sunshine drive the Grumpies away

It's amazing to me how much the weather affects people, including me.   We've had some pretty rainy weather this month in New England.  And yesterday, it finally got to me.

I know it wasn't just the weather, but it certainly was a contributing factor.   I was grumpy.  I was grumbly, and I didn't want to be cajoled out of it.   I was wallowing in my grumpiness.

Waking up today to see sunshine and a bright blue sky has already improved my attitude.  I have to work a 1/2 day today, which usually makes me grumpy.   But I'll whip through that time, and then Hubby and I have the rest of the day with no plans.

Tomorrow includes the Making Strides Against Cancer walkathon and a birthday dinner for Hubby at my brother's house while we watch the Patriots game.  

Sounds like I have nothing left to be grumpy about.

Monday, October 10, 2011

9-day week

Since we've bought our house, we've realized how very precious our weekends are.   In the past, two days off was fine - it took me all of an hour to clean the whole condo.  Most of the time, I could knock off cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping during my 1/2 day off during the week, leaving the whole weekend for fun.

Now we own a  house.   And as everyone told us, there is ALWAYS something to do.  Always some sort of chores around the house to keep us busy.   We've tried really hard to make sure we make time for fun on the weekend, but as they say, you gotta make hay while the sun shines.  So on this beautiful Columbus Day weekend, we worked our asses off.

Now Hubby has come up with an ingenious solution.   The 9-day week.   Most major companies don't like hearing about cutting the work-week to four days.   With the 9-day week, we'd keep our usual 5 days of work.  And we could also continue to have two weekend days for chores.  

BUT - we'd also have two more days for fun!   Our new week would be:  Sunday (chores), Funday, (fun)  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (work), Playday (fun) Saturday. (chores).

What do you think?  Are you in???

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You Gotta Love Tammi!

When Hubby gave me a GPS for Christmas last year, I was a bit.......surprised.   After all, I work for AAA.   Giving people directions is our business.  And I work in the Auto Travel department, so I make our famous "Trip Tiks" every day.

The GPS he gave me is a Tom-Tom, and since she has a female voice, we call her Tammi.   Tammi is fairly patient with us, although when we don't follow her directions, she can get kind of insistent.  "In 500 yards, go left.   Left!  I SAID left!   Dammit.  Now turn the damn car around and go where I told you!"

I've found out that there is a time and place for both Trip Tiks and GPS's.   I like having the Trip Tik, with all the directions mapped out, the time it will take to get there, etc.   But there are certain instances when a GPS comes in handy.

Case in point:    Today we drove down to Boston to visit my stepson.   We've been there before and, each time, we've gotten lost.    I carefully made out a map, checked it, examined it, and printed out a large map of the "problem area" where we've taken a wrong turn before.

And we got there no problem.   However, I made the rookie mistake of assuming we could get back out of Boston the same way we'd gotten in.   I should have dredged up the memory of taking Son #2 into Boston for his college orientation.   We followed the directions in the college hand-book on how to get in.   There were no directions on how to get out, and we ASSumed we could just follow the directions in reverse.

No, no, NO!   Boston is a maze of one-way streets, alleys, 5 or 6-way intersections, and multiple lane roads.   Without precise instructions, you are guaranteed to get lost.  And on that college trip, it took us 3 HOURS to find our way back to the highway for home.

Once again today, we tried to return the way we'd come in, and we quickly realized we weren't going the way we wanted.  Turns out the street we were on became a one-way street halfway through, and dumped us onto another street.

We immediatley pulled over, fired up Tammi, and she directed us quickly back onto the road we belonged on.  It was fast, simple and accurate. 

A belated thanks to Hubby for the wonderful Christmas gift.   It's come in handy more than once.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh my Aching Back!

It started on Tuesday with the vacuuming up of the water in the basement.   You know that semi-bent-over position you need to maintain to use a shop-vac?   

And then, because I hated to waste a day off just vacuuming the basement every hour or so, I decided to paint the floor of my craft room.  Which I've been wanting to do for some time.   And it came out nice.   But still........same bent-over position.

Then comes today.  It's absolutely gorgeous out today.   75 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky.  Probably the last warm weekend of the year.  So I figured it would be the perfect day to scrub the front porch floor and stairs, and put some sealant on it for the winter.

Same bent-over position.

Hopefully, it'll all be worthwhile later on when Hubby treats me to this:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Topsfield Fair

Hubby and I played hooky today and went to the Topsfield Fair.  We certainly picked the right day, as yesterday the weather was so bad they closed the fair early, and today was bright and sunny.

This little guy looks like our cat, Oreo.

Hubby would make a great cartoon character.

We got a lesson in spinning.  Now Hubby wants an alpaca farm, along with some sheep and some angora rabbits, so we can make our own yarn.

The BMX Bike show was pretty darn exciting.

Hubby and I

 Shy little calf.

My son Nick and his new Bride Kelly love Alpalcas

Hubby makes a new friend

Here's how you make an iron pointy thing.

More friends for Hubby

A winning flower display

Hubby could win a prize for his photography

These chicks are just minutes old

Hats, anyone?

Hubby and I were much too chicken to go on any of the rides

We saw Robinson's Racing Pigs, racing ducks, a comedy cooking show, all sorts of farm animals, every kind of food, games, a 1665 lb pumpkin, tons of other fruits and veggies, and we ate stuffed cabbage, cheese fries, fried dough and kettle corn.     I call that a really, really good time.