Friday, February 28, 2014

Fairy Village

My granddaughter Emily is growing so quickly!   She's 6 1/2 years old and full of the love of life.   She is smart, funny, beautiful and creative.   What more can I say?

She learned about making a diorama in a shoe box, and with the help of her Nana, started making a "Fairy Village" with any kind of box she could get her hands whatever scraps, bits and pieces and doo-dads she could find.  

Last time we went to her house, her Fairy Village was spread out all over her bedroom floor.  She took us on a tour of the village, explaining what each little Fairy house was for, and telling us all about Fairies.   It was enchanting!

This time when we visited Emily's Mom had decreed that the Fairy Village needed to be moved for cleaning purposes, so all the little Fairy houses were being stored inside the big wooden house that Pepere and I had helped her paint a couple of years ago.

Emily just loves her Fairy Village!

She explained what each little piece was for

There was even a Fairy Garden

And of course the outside had to be decorated as well.

I think her addiction to Fairies began with the Tooth Fairy.   She's at the adorable stage in her life where she's lost her front teeth!

She laughs about it....."I can't even say 'Thairies'!

And her joie de vivre shows through.   I was trying to take a picture of her very sparkly pink room:

You gotta love her!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kill the Crankies!

I've been a tad cranky this past week.  I think most people have been, which doesn't help the situation.  Crankiness breeds more crankiness.   It's been a tough winter, and I've been dragging ass both mentally and physically.  

And then, like a gift from heaven, they were predicting warm weather and sunshine for Saturday.   I didn't believe it of course.  Why would I?  Those weather guys get it wrong at least half the time.

But lo and behold, I woke up Saturday morning to bright sunshine coming through the blinds. And when I checked the thermometer it said 41 degrees outside!   At 8:30 am!

But.....I had things to do.   I wanted to finish sewing the pillows I was making for my daughter.  I am working on renovating the walls in our hallway.   I needed to get to Home Cheapo for some more supplies.   And of course, there was a nice big pile of laundry to do.

So I set about doing my tasks........for about an hour.   And then I couldn't stand it.  What was I, crazy?  This day was a gift and I was being an idiot for not accepting it.   So I informed Hubby that within another hour, we were going out. I didn't know where, but we were not staying inside.

Naturally, we ended out at the beach.  Our favorite place no matter what time of year.   We went to Salisbury Reservation where we were married.  (The scene of the crime, as Hubby likes to call it.)  The entrance driveway was lined with cars because apparently people were trying to see a Snowy Owl.  We continued on to the parking lot and it was packed!!   There was only one wide lane plowed so there weren't many parking spaces, but we grabbed one and were on our way.

There were some crazy people flying what I can only describe as parachutes with snowboards attached to them.   In the water.   Crazy, but fun to watch.

We walked on the beach for a ways and it was glorious!!! Sunny, windy and beautiful.  The ocean feeds my soul, and calms me.  And spending time with my Hubby does the same.

We got back in the car and drove up the coast, finally getting as far as Ordione Point.  We got out to walk there and laughed our way through as we stepped in deep pockets of snow up to our knees.  We stood on a stone wall and watched the waves hit the rocks, and then walked along the wall to get back.

I rode home with bare feet, as my boots and socks were soaked from sinking into the wet snow.  But it was well worth it.   The crankiness has been driven out of me.....for the time being.   They are predicting another blast of polar air this week. But  I'll try to let the memory of our Saturday Beach Day linger to keep me calm.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Living in New England, I am no stranger to snow.   Some years we make out pretty well and have a nice mild winter.  Not so much this year.

By this time in the winter......Mid-February.........everyone is just about at wit's end with the snow.  This year has been particularly trying with many small snow storms.  I wonder if it wouldn't be better to have one giant snowstorm and get it over with?   It seems like every other day we are facing slippery roads and hours of shoveling.

Even the hardiest snow-lovers have had enough.  I don't usually mind the can be fun after all.   But most people just want the winter to be over by  now.  We have people coming into the office now just saying, "Please find me someplace warm to go."   And I had someone ask for the "Poor Man's Getaway"...... a local hotel with an indoor pool and a game room to go and spend the weekend with his wife and kids. I want to bet they're going to pretend they're lying on a beach somewhere.

So what are we to do?   Unfortunately, for all the griping we do, there's not much we can do about it.  Mother Nature has a mind of her own and we can't change a thing.   We just have to believe that a few weeks from now, we'll be watching all that snow melt.   We're actually hearing that we might have some warmer weather.....40 degrees!....this weekend.  

In the meantime we can at least admire the beauty of the new snow on a bright but cold sunny morning.

Our backyard tree that gives us beautiful shade in the summer is covered with snow.

Three gigantic Christmas trees!

Our picnic tables...and where's the fire pit?  So much for a winter campfire!

Guess we didn't really need that fence

Gigantic icicle on our front porch

View out my front window....check out the snow piles at the end of the walkway

The sun peeking through the tree out front.   A couple hours later the clouds rolled in and we had another 3 inches of snow

Our shrubs have disappeared

The house does look beautiful in its winter snow coat

It's been tough to keep the driveway shoveled.  Those piles on the ends of the driveway are now to high for me to throw the snow over.

Haven't seen this much snow in a long time

I guess it does make for beautiful pictures!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Happy Valentine's Day Adventure

Our Valentine tradition has continued on.  Hubby knows how much I love penguins, and how much I enjoy the Aquarium, so again this year we took the day off and headed into Boston.

We usually take the train, and did so again this year.  The only difference is we didn't want to miss our Friday Night Cafe, so we drove to Ayer and took the train from there.  That way the car was there when we got back, and it was an easy 10 minute drive to the Cafe.

We learned our lesson from several years ago, and I made darn sure it wasn't school vacation week.  Luckily, Valentine's Day fell on the Friday before.   When we got to the Aquarium, they did have the big tents up outside in anticipation of the throngs of people who will be visiting in the next two weeks.

We had our usual wonderful time watching the penguins, then making our way around to the other exhibits in the Aquarium.  Something that's fairly new is being able to "pat" the Rays and small Sharks.   That's fun!  And Hubby enjoyed his freakish seahorses that look like plants.

It was kind of interesting to see that there were many couples there enjoying Valentine's Day.  I thought I was the only one who thinks the Aquarium is romantic!

Lucky for us, son Kenny gave us a very nice gift card to Legal Seafoods, which is right across the street from the Aquarium.  (Hubby had a hard time with the weirdness of eating fish right after we admired all the fish.......but  he got over it!)    We enjoyed a very nice dinner, then headed back to North Station to get the train back to Ayer.

Our night at the Cafe was loads of fun, as always.   It was filled with Love Songs as most people got into the spirit of the day.   Hubby sang me a new love song he wrote just for me!   Sailor's Valentine.  It was wonderful!  He's such a romantic!

All in all, a very romantic, sweet and fun Valentine's Day.  Just what was needed in the middle of this long and endless Winter!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why Not Valentine's Day

There are those who say Valentine's Day is a waste of time, that it's a made-up holiday for the greeting card companies, and that those who are really in love do not need a special day to profess it, that they should declare their love every day.'s not fair to those who don't have a special someone to share it with.

To all this I say.........Pshaw!

First of all,  ALL holidays are made up!   And sure, the greeting card companies and corporate greed has something to do with it.  But holidays were originally started so people could have some fun.  

Bored during the winter months and need something fun to look forward to?  Ta Da! Valentine's Day!

Hubby and I love each other every day of the year, and we show it.  But it's so cool to have a special day in the middle of the long, cold winter to look forward to.   Anticipation is great.   It's kept me in a state of glee for the past week, during snowstorm after snowstorm to know that Hubby and I are taking the day off for Valentine's Day and we're going out to spend some time together.  What else are we going to celebrate in the middle of winter?  Groundhog Day?

And your Valentine's Day doesn't have to cost a fortune.   Do something you love doing together.  For us, it means the Aquarium in Boston  (with library passes) and dinner across the street at Legal Seafoods (gift card from son Kenny!)    The most expensive thing for us for the day is the cost of taking the train.  (Just an added bonus to our day.....the journey is half the fun.)

Have no one to share it with so you don't get to celebrate?   Well not everyone gets to celebrate every holiday.  I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day (although I do lift a pint on Bastille Day ) and I don't celebrate Hannukah (even though I am an honorary Jew) or Kwanzaa.   But I don't resent those who do.   I'm glad everyone has something special to celebrate.

So if you have that special someone - celebrate it!   Enjoy the day no matter what.  And if you can't celebrate it, President's Day is coming up soon!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Feeling A Bit Out of Place

Hubby and I like dancing.  We have one particular band we go see when we can.  It's a 60's and 70's band so they play the music that's just right for us.  

We hadn't been out to dance for a long time, and thoughts of Valentine's Day always make me think of dancing with my Hubby.  So we looked up the band and saw that they weren't playing in one of their usual places.  All their gigs are now at a place called the ICC -  I think it stands for Italian Community Club or something of that nature.   It was on the South Shore, but we've gone that far to see this band before so we thought "Why not?"

We decided we'd begin the night at our local Chinese Restaurant.   We hadn't been there in a long time either.  When we walked in I was surprised to see that the place had been "remodeled".  Unfortunately, I think it was not remodeled for the better.   Instead of all booths, they now had booths lined against the walls and tables in the middle.  We were seated at a table.  Right away, I felt uncomfortable.  The other tables were filled with families and large groups.  They were loud - adults talking across from table to table and kids running around.   Hardly the romantic atmosphere I expected.  The food and service were excellent, but I felt out of place.

We then drove all the way to the South Shore.   We found the place okay, but couldn't find the door to get in!   It turns out it's a member's only club and you have to ring a buzzer to enter.   We finally got in, only to be asked to "sign in" since we were not members and only there to see the band.  (At least there was no cover charge.)   And as we walked in, I felt like I was entering another world....maybe in the 1970's.

First of all, everyone was smoking.  When's the last time you went to a place where people were smoking indoors?  There was a bar, a small room with about a dozen tables facing where the band had set up, and another room with pool tables and dart boards. It was definitely a member's club.  Everyone seemed to know everyone else.   People were table hopping, flirting with each other, etc.  And at 8:30, everyone was already buzzed.    We definitely did not belong there.  Our first thought was to leave immediately, but we'd come all this way and the band was about to play.

So we sat at the bar to listen to the band.  Right away on the first song people got up to dance.....but it was scary!  Very much dirty dancing - they all traded partners on the dance floor constantly as the song continued on.   Finally on the third song or so, we got up to dance.   It was not very enjoyable, as I was constantly aware of the dirty dancing going on all around me.   Later on, when Hubby told me one of the guys was behind me dirty dancing towards me (but not up against me Thank GOD!)  it freaked me out.   We didn't even stay for the first set.

Finally, on the way home, we decided to go to Friendly's as a consolation for our aborted evening.   There's not a Friendly's in our town any more, so we went to the one the next town over to our South.   It was only 10 o'clock, but when we went in the place was filled with teenagers.   Once again, for the third time that night, we felt out of place!!

What a couple of old fogeys.  I guess we should have stayed home and watched the Olympics.