Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm glad Christmas is over. I got some very cool presents, but it was a sad, sad day. I sobbed like I haven't sobbed in a long time. More than once. I'm all teary just thinking about it. Enough of that.

My most favorite present is my baseball, signed by the 2007 Red Sox. I've been wondering what makes this year so special. I've always liked the Red Sox, but was most of the time a fair-weather fan. Occasionally when they were doing well, I'd get sucked in. Like in 1978, 1986, and 2003. Each time, my hopes were dashed. Dashed! After the fiasco of 2003, I swore I'd never get sucked in by them again. Even in 2004, I never got sucked in until the ALCS. Of course, I thought for sure they'd stuck it to me again, but they rallied and won the next 8 games and so became champions. It was nice. We were all happy. But I didn't feel vested in them, as I got sucked in so late in the season.

This time was different. First, in April, we bought a mattress that could be free if the Sox won the WS. I even spent more than I would have on the slim possibility that they would win and the mattress would be free. Three days after we bought the mattress, the Sox were in first place in the AL East. Then in August, I started watching games. I saw them hit four home runs in a row in a repeat game from April; I saw Buchholz' no-hitter (but went to bed before the end, not realizing it - I watched the whole thing the next day); I saw walk-off home runs from David Ortiz. It was very thrilling. Well, we all know what happened in the post-season. So this year is different from 2004 and every other year, because I got sucked in and my faith was rewarded (to steal a title from a dvd) this time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh this cracks me up. I elfed Lowell, Beckett, Papelbon and Francona. It's so goofy I almost can't watch. But I have to: Red Sox Elves.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This is a picture of my dog Java. She's wearing a T-shirt of mine from when I was a little kid. You notice it says "Boston Patriots," something they haven't been called in like 36 years. It's fitting that my Boston is a Boston fan.
There are only two main things left to do in our construction: replace the boiler and paint the house. The first is being done today. The second, I don't know when. It seems to me that it's too cold to paint outside these days and the fresh 4 inches of snow doesn't help things, either. Although the snow does make everything look very Christmas-like.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm really trying to get into the spirit. I've been playing Christmas music, especially my father's favorite: Handel's Messiah. I put up our Christmas tree and decorations. We put the wreaths up on the house and put the candles in the windows. But the pain is still there. I guess it always will be there. I do love Christmas decorations, especially white lights. They help me think back fondly on old Christmases and my Dad and remember how safe and warm and loved I felt.

Here's an awesome website for Red Sox info and she has an online Red Sox advent calendar, too! I look forward to clicking on it every day: Center Field.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I guess a higher education is not necessary to read this blog. Supposedly this website scans your blog and determines how educated one needs to be in order to read it. I'm OK with this, because I think I write pretty well. I've been told so, anyway.

I wonder if I use words such as supercilious, penultimate, quagmire and xenophobia if it'll change my rating.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wow. I guess I failed in a big way to update my blog every day. Oh, well. I made a valiant effort. The pressures of hosting my first Thanksgiving at my house overwhelmed me. The good news is that our Thanksgiving was great! Everyone brought something which was so helpful; my mother stayed here and she and Robert and I worked as a well-oiled-cooking-machine! We did a great job. I think everyone liked it and it's a good thing that Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, because I sure was tired.

And for the first Thanksgiving without my father - sometimes I still can't get my mind around the fact that he's gone and will never come back - it was a pretty good one. I think he would have liked it.

Here are some pictures.
Me, Robert and my Mom in the background. She's making gravy and Robert and I have just dissected the turkey:

This is the table:

Here's Robert and his Mom:

And Angie and her parents:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wahoo! Mike Lowell has agreed to a 3-year deal and is staying with the Red Sox. That is totally awesome!

Here's the article

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last night we went out to The Melting Pot to celebrate my birthday. The actual day is Wednesday, but we thought that going out for a big meal the night before Thanksgiving was not a great idea. So we opted to go out on Saturday. It was awesome! I love fondue and this was very very good. Not as great as the fondues my parents used to make for us back when we used to ski, but almost.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I can't forget to write in my bloggybloggington today. This blogging every day is pretty difficult. It's hard to think of something to write about.

My town, which charges exorbitant real estate taxes and yet provides no services in return, thereby requiring us to bring our garbage to the dump, has recently instituted a new set of "dump rules". These include a 30-minute time limit; a limit on the number of trips per day, and a no-picking rule. It's kinda crazy that a town would have to do this, but apparently people hanging out at the dump all day is a problem in our sleepy little town. This story made it all the way to the New York Times which was pretty embarrassing. I only hope it wasn't a question on Wait wait don't tell me. That would be really embarrassing!

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is a picture I took last January, after a particularly nasty ice storm. The sun coming through the ice enveloping the trees was really pretty. I think we lost power for three days. It got really cold in the house - everything was down to about 37 degrees inside. It took a full 24 hours to heat the house back to warm.

I'm not sure why I chose to post that particular picture, except I've just been shopping for Advent calendars and with Thanksgiving coming up, I'm looking forward to the holidays. I bought one for us, and also for Sarah, Steven and Elizabeth - but mostly for Elizabeth. I think she is old enough to get a kick out of opening up a little door every day on the countdown to Christmas. So thinking about the holidays naturally has me thinking of winter and this picture is what came to mind. I was kind of hoping for a little bit of snow this morning, but it didn't happen. I wasn't hoping for an accumulation, just a bit of snow in the air.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Next week we are having a whole bunch of people over for Thanksgiving. I've never hosted a dinner party, never mind a Thanksgiving. I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll be OK because my Mom is going to help me. She's an expert.

The painters were supposed to come today, but didn't show up. And I don't think it was because of the rain, as there's plenty to do inside as well as outside.

My fireplace doors are in and they look gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Work at my house is winding down. Just a few things left to do. I always said that it would be Thanksgiving by the time they were done. Little did I know... But it's because I added stuff on to the job, not because they are slow.

My opportunities for using the torch now are getting fewer and fewer. It's just too cold. Or I'm too old to sit in the cold. Whichever it is, I just don't want to.

So that's about it for today. I'm bummed that Beckett didn't win the Cy Young award, but what can you do?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm updating early, because today we're flying home! Hooray! I get to see my dogs and cat today. I can't wait. I want to snuggle with Java. She is so funny. The other day, Robert told me, she was barking at a boston terrier slipper that the cat had been playing with and left on her sunbeam blanket. She was mad because it was taking up room on her blanket in the sunbeam and she wanted to lie there. What a silly goose!

This place in Florida reminds me so much of my father. I'd lie in bed and think of him leaving in the morning to go get the paper, or some bagels. I'd look over to his chair and see the book I got him for Christmas a few years ago. This is the home that my parents have owned the longest - because they sold our childhood home in 2001 - and I have the most memories of him from the longest time ago attached here. Plus the memories of that horrible week in February.

Anyway, enough ruminating on that. I'm looking forward to coming home, seeing the dogs, and hearing that Dustin Pedroia was named AL Rookie of the Year. *Fingers crossed*

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My mom has a pastel drawing of my dad hanging in her house. It was drawn when my dad was 5 or 6 years old. The expression on Elizabeth's face is the same as my Dad's in that drawing - especially the eyes. It's amazing how sometimes when you look at her, you see him shrunk down.
This has been a very trying week. My mother is now grating on my last nerve and I just can't wait to get home. I keep being reminded of my dad and the days surrounding his death. It's just not fun. I think this is my last ever trip to SW Florida. If I could, I'd leave today.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This is a picture of my Mom and Robert in the hot tub.

Today was kind of fun. We woke up late, had breakfast and then hot-tubbed it until early afternoon. Then my Mom went in for a nap, and Robert and I went to Target to pick up a few things. Nothing major.

I've alluded to my free mattress on more than one occasion. Robert and I bought a new mattress back in April because 1) we wanted to get a new one eventually and 2) the store was having a contest and said if the Red Sox won the World Series this year, the mattress would be free. So we decided that we should probably buy during the contest period just in case. I had a nagging feeling that this year might be a good year for them. Of course, I think that every year, and have since 1978. But this time I was right! Something like three days after we purchased it, the Sox made it to first place in their division and never left all season. They totally rock.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I just picked Robert up at the airport. I'm happy he's here. And I'm happy to be coming home on Monday. It's late so that's it for today. I was going to write about my free mattress, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I feel like I need to pepper this blog with photos, especially because there's not much to write about. This is a photo of the front yard I found on my Mom's computer. It's very foggy. I thought it was kind of pretty.

This morning my Mom and I went to the Coach store and she bought me a new bag for my birthday, which is coming up. It's totally awesome.

As nice as it is here, I wish I were home in NH with my dogs and cat. I miss them. Oh and I miss my husband, too, of course. LOL. ;) He's coming down tomorrow. I can't wait. Then we're flying home Monday afternoon. I can't wait for that either.

I miss Martha, too. And Angie. And Katie. And watching Red Sox games. And my Father. And my glass and torch. And the birds in my backyard. And my free mattress. And The People's Court. And my bathtub. And my email. And Sarah and Elizabeth.

I'm lucky to have so much to miss.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This is my new stoop. I've wanted a granite stoop for a long time - well, maybe about a year now. It got put in on Monday, after I left for Florida, so this picture is the only time I've seen it. Last night I had a nightmare about the stoop, if you can believe it. It's hard to describe the stoop of my nightmare, except to say that it was made from molded plastic, resembled a hollow tree stump with a large root, and would have tripped the first person to step on it. I was in agony. But Robert sent me the picture from his cellphone this morning to ease my concerns and luckily it's nothing like the stoop of my bad dream.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How cute is she?
Here I am in Florida. I thought it would be hard to come back to this house, but it really wasn't. What was hard was flying into Ft. Myers at nighttime; seeing the lights of the houses below; and remembering old times. Like the time when we flew in at around 10:00 p.m. and my father was so happy that we were all together he blasted his then-favorite song "Run Around". I just thought of him the whole time we were landing and how happy he'd be when we'd come down to visit. That was the hard part.

The flight was OK. I read a very nice little book called The Alchemist on the way. It's one of those spiritual - inspirational - follow-your-bliss kind of books. Perfect for the flight down.

Oh and the Red Sox signed Curt Schilling for another year. I guess I'm OK with that, all politics aside.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm off to Florida. I'll update later.

This counts as a blog entry, btw.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The extra hour we got today was used well by me in sleep mode. It was delicious to sleep in today. I think we slept until 8:30 (9:30 on the body-clock). Now I have a bazillion things to do today before going to Florida tomorrow. I know it will be difficult to face going into that house but it's something we all have to get over.

My father would have been happy that I'm going down to Florida to help my mom. I remember two years ago when I went down after she had knee surgery. He was happy that I was there to cook for him and keep him company. I remember making him some chili - which he loved. I was going to make him some the week I came down to take care of them in February, but he ended up being in the hospital so I couldn't.

I know things are going to be OK around here while I'm gone. They won't fall apart just because I'm in Florida and not here. My brain knows that, but still....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It is a most disgusting day. High winds and heavy rains and almost freezing temperatures make me want to hunker down. Did I? Nooooo..... We went to Costco because we needed 15 lbs of pasta and a half-gallon of olive oil. LOL. It was crowded and noisy and not much fun. The one great thing about Costco is that we get Barney's medicine for $63.00 and at the pharmacy in town here it's $80.00. It's a huge savings.

After Costco we went to Chili's for a late lunch - early dinner thing and now we're home. Our house is pretty cozy. I'm going to go wrap myself in a blankie and sit in front of the TV with Java on my lap and just chill.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm going to update here early today because Sarah's coming over this evening. She's a little fussy and demanding so I need to have the place cleaned up and ready for her. Otherwise she's likely to tell me that my house needs "a good scrubbing". She's done that before. She marries neat-nick men who do all the cleaning at her house, but I remember her bedroom from when she was a kid. Ick.

The other day Keith put up the kitchen pendant lamps. They are really pretty and go with the knobs really well. Here's a picture:

And our new mantel was installed last week. It's a completely different color than our kitchen cabinets. The cabinet wood is the sample on top. It's like the mantel is natural cherry with no stain at all. I'm not sure what's going to happen with this, but hopefully it'll get fixed to match.

The outside of the house is almost all finished. They are working on the back and soon will only have one little area to work on, besides the places they intentionally left off to accommodate the air conditioning.

So that's about it for today. I have to go ready the guest bedroom for our arriving dignitary. :D

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November is National Blog Posting Month and the challenge is to post to your blog every day for thirty days. I'm going to try it. I'm not sure if I'll do it.

I saw a red-tailed hawk near my driveway this afternoon. I scared it away when I went to shut the gate so I could let Barney outside. Wow. In the past month we've seen a sharp-shinned hawk make a kill, heard a barred owl in the back yard and now a red-tail. It is pretty cool to live in the woods. I love to just stare out the window at the birds on my feeders, and I especially love it when there's a new bird to identify.

I made another knob today. Now that I'm in the home stretch of doing all the knobs over I don't want to make knob after knob. I'm sick of knobs. I'm on a wine-stopper kick right now. I want to make one for each of my contractors as a small token of my appreciation (in addition to the many many green paper tokens of my appreciation). They aren't bead wearers I'm sure, so a wine stopper is about as neutral as I can make.

I'd better save something to write about tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh and how selfish and cheesy was A-Rod's announcement - during game 4 of the World Series - of his decision to waive the rest of his contract? Like he needed to announce it then. He couldn't wait until the Series was over. What a grandstanding little prima donna he is. And I'm giving a big shout-out to the Red Sox fans who were chanting "Don't sign A-Rod" last night behind Theo Epstein as he was being interviewed.
I'm waking up tired but very very happy today. The Red Sox are World Series Champions! I'm sad the season is over, but glad it ended this way. Oh and if you're looking for a cool present for me for Christmas, get me a creepy Papelbon puppet.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My mother and father gave me a bird feeder for Christmas last year, and we just got to putting it up this afternoon. We couldn't resist making it match our big house, just for laughs. Robert is so funny. This was totally his idea.

Here's what the front of it looks like. LOL.

We'll keep it on there until the house is finished.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I have a stove!

I made spaghetti!


And I made these awesome knobs with my new knob shaper from Amy. I'm so in love with this shape. I just wish she had come out with it a teensy bit earlier.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

There is not much action around here these days. We attempted to have our stove hooked up to the new huge propane bomb next to my garage, but the stove lacked a regulator. Our awesome plumber Artie noticed this like 10 days ago but we were assured by the evil Fletcher's woman that it was there, just hidden under some metal thing. So when the propane man (really a minion of the evil Fletcher's woman) came to hook it up, no gas would come out. So we're still stoveless, sadly.

Arthur the electrician came to hook up some stuff in the new bathroom, so now our tub has bubbles. I haven't seen it in action yet, but I could hear it all the way downstairs. That thing is supersonic.

I am focusing on making focal beads for the show on the 13th. I'm having fun with them and I'm not missing making sets these days. Amy brought over some very cool new shapes and I've been fooling around with them. It's always best to have new and exciting things to inspire you.

Oh and go Red Sox!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I've always wanted to name my house. It's kind of a pretentious thing to do, but I think it's cool. Up the street from us is "Impromptu Farm" and over in Dunstable there is "Sunnyfield," for example. Sadly, I've never been able to come up with a name I liked. Of course, Robert couldn't care less about naming our house until we started re-siding it. He's now calling it "Tyvekistan." We will have this look for a couple more weeks while we wait for the new windows to come in. We are also going to put in air conditioning. New windows and air conditioning were on my "wish list" but it makes sense to do them now while the siding is off. I was planning to do them next year or so but I can see that it will save time and labor to do it all at once.

The yard is still highly wooded, but you can see how the trees that surrounded the house are gone and how much of a difference it makes in terms of sun and light on the house. And it makes such a difference when it rains! The other night it rained and everything was dry by the next afternoon. Before it would take two to three days for things to dry out.

It's starting to look like fall around here. This is my crabapple tree which now has full sun for many hours a day. The berries are red and very ripe.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The work inside is winding down...way down. Wednesday the maids came and cleaned the dust up and then for the rest of the day I was blissfully alone. As much as I like chatting with the workers, it was so nice to be by myself for the afternoon. I have a head cold and wasn't feeling too well, so I took a leisurely bath, and then laid down on my own bed for the first time in 2 1/2 months! It was heavenly. The rest of the day I spent in my pj's and relaxed. Ahhhhhh....

Last night we went to see "wait wait don't tell me" in Manchester. We originally wanted to go while we were in Chicago, but it was the night we went out to dinner with my Boston Terrier friends and they also had a guest-host, so we opted not to go, figuring they'd come to NH sometime in the next few years. Who knew it would be so quickly? Anyway, it was a thousand laughs and neat to see it in person. I can't wait to listen to it on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I got a new bench today from Kevin the tree man. I felt bad about it but what are you going to do. He's coming back to do a little more work, so that will help go to pay his granite bill.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I bought this awesome bench less than a year ago. It was installed the weekend I went to Snow Farm back in October. Ironically enough, it has come to an end as I am about to leave for Snow Farm this year. :(

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time for more pictures! The kitchen is pretty much done; there are just a few small things to do to wrap it up.

This is the view from the cellar stairs.

This is the view from the window in the opposite corner:

My new washer and dryer. Yay! :D

The vanity in the downstairs bathroom.

This is the cabinet across from the washer & dryer:
This is the view from the dining room into the kitchen:
This is the view of the whole kitchen from the living room door:
These are the knobs I'm making for the kitchen:
The knobs are based on these pendant lights:

In a few days I'll take and put up pictures of the bathroom upstairs. It's spectacular.

The people who did the work ( Phillips-Martin Group ) were awesome. I have only good things to say about them and their work. And the subs they used were terrific, too. They did the work for the project in this article. Not really to my tastes, but fabulous work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

They are chopping down all my trees today and I'm so sad.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yesterday was the 17th, or the 7-month anniversary of my Father's death. On every other 17th since February, I was well aware of the date and its significance. Yesterday was the first 17th that I didn't think of the fact that it was an anniversary, until my mother brought it up after dinner. It's not that I didn't think of my father, because I do every day. I just hadn't thought of the anniversary. Which I think is a good thing. Maybe next month I'll go through the whole day without thinking about it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Day 63 and counting. The hardwood floor in the kitchen is being installed today, and the painters are painting the dining room. We fixed our first breakfast in the kitchen today - bagels and cream cheese and coffee. It was nice not to have to go out. Having water in the kitchen is also a big plus. I've started to put a few things away, and it's challenging to put it away in a semi-organized way. I have to think about it. Hopefully I've put things where they would logically go but if not, I can always re-arrange. My appliances are being delivered on Friday, and as luck would have it I'm going away for the weekend. I so want to be here instead.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

No pictures today, but there have been some improvements to blog about - we have water in the kitchen and in the upstairs bathtub. Now, it's not hot yet, but at least it's wet! The tile is in the upstairs bathroom and the entryway. It looks very pretty.

But there are some concerns as well. When the contractors were replacing the windows, they noticed that the house was not wrapped. The clapboards are up against the plywood, with no moisture barrier inbetween. That, combined with the gazillion trees we have, has led to the house being extremely moist and even rotting in some places. So now we're having the house wrapped ($$$) and resided ($$$). Oh and today they found termites! Ah, the joy of home-ownership. Luckily it seems to be confined to one area and it was cleaned up nicely. The exterminator is coming on Friday.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We got our granite on Friday. It's gorgeous. Here's the island with the sink:

This is the stove area:

Another island/sink view:

And the fireplace. We chose a darker granite, because I thought using the light here would be too much.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The kitchen is still in sort of the same state; but more cabinets are up, along with the crown molding. The bathroom upstairs now has a bathtub and soon will have the tile. We had to go pick out more tile for the entryway as the original that we had chosen was discontinued. Unfortunately, I brought the wrong camera upstairs so the photos of the kitchen and bath will have to wait. The camera I brought is the one I use for closeups of my beads, so instead of showing you the kitchen, I'm going to show you my knobs.

Since the stuff got moved out of the garage on Monday, I've been able to do a little work and start on my knob project. I'm making the knobs for this renovation. I picked out funky light fixtures and I'm making knobs to "go with" them. I'm not "matching" them, rather "going with" them.

Here are the knobs in the downstairs powder room. The lighting glass is a fritted light with topaz and black. I needed only 5 knobs for this room so I started here.

And a close up:

And here's the style I'm making for the laundry room. No cool lighting fixtures in there, so I could make what I wanted. I need 12 for this room.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Time for more kitchen pictures, to show the progress so far. We have cabinets! They are beautiful.

This first picture corresponds to the first picture I posted on the July 13th entry. We are looking at the brick wall (now covered up) and the sliding glass door (replaced).

This next picture corresponds to the second picture I posted on July 13. We are looking at the newly expanded dining room entryway on the left, and the doorway to the side door and garage door and the laundry room. You can see the new island where the sink and the dishwasher will be and straight ahead along the wall will be the new fridge and new oven and microwave.

This next picture is the same area as the 3rd picture on July 13, but it shows a different angle. On the left where there was bare wall is now a coat closet and folding area for laundry and across from that are my washer & dryer with actual cabinets above them! I had that stupid shelf system from the previous owner of the house there before. Yay, cabinets!

This next one shows the bathroom upstairs. We have walls!

And here's the shower:

And the vanity:

We are also taking the opportunity to change some of the windows, to let in more light. This house can be so dark, especially on a rainy day. Here's the new dining room window from the inside:

And from the outside:

And here is a picture of the old living room windows. This is a picture of the opposite side of the room, but the window placement was the same. Small windows before:

Big window after!:

And here's why I haven't been making beads. Last week it was the cabinets; this week it's the bathtub:

Obviously, things aren't finished, but they are coming along nicely. We're pretty pleased with the progress so far.