Monday, November 30, 2009

I made it! I posted every day in November. I hope that I'll post more often now that I'm in the habit.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We try to go for a couple of walks a day. It's about 2 pm and the sun is getting low in the sky so we're heading out. Robert and Bobby are ready.

My street looks pretty and rural but it's actually really busy. I feel like I take my life in my hands when I walk along it. Cars don't slow down when they pass us even though they should. It makes me nervous.

A lovely stone wall borders our neighbor's property. I wish we had one.

Some fun berries that I tried my macro out on.

Soon enough we turn onto the side street, which is a cul-de-sac and very quiet. Bobby has just seen the German Shepherd Dog that we call "DangerMax" so he's very excited.

Coming around the cul-de-sac, we are in the sunshine! It feels good.

The sun is out as we make our way home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well I don't have a picture because I didn't bring my camera, but we just spent a wonderful evening at my sister Sarah's house with our extended family. Cousins who I haven't seen in years and years were there. It was really nice. My best friend from grammar school was there. The last time we were gathered like that was for a funeral. I'm just happy that we gathered just to be together for once.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The dishes are done, the leftovers are doled out and the house is quiet again. Here are some photos from yesterday's festivities.

Mom and the turkey:

Me pouring the water:

My wonderful parents-in-law. Today is my father-in-law's birthday! Happy Birthday!!:

My Mother-in-law, Elizabeth, Martha, Stephen & Robert:

Sarah caught snitching from the dish:

We love you anyway!

Angie and Elizabeth:

Elizabeth making monster faces:

Martha and Elizabeth:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This morning dawned foggy and cool. We took Bobby for his walk and came home and had homemade pumpkin bread (made with fresh pumpkin puree) and coffee. We washed and prepared the turkey and then stuffed it with the stuffing we made yesterday. Now it's sitting on the porch, relaxing and waiting to be put into the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mom is here and making stuffing. Yesterday I made the potatoes using the recipe I posted, along with a sweet potato casserole. Robert made the cranberry sauce this morning. So after this afternoon, all that's left is the turkey itself, stuffing it and when it's cooked making the gravy. Martha is bringing some veggie sides and Mrs. Gaimari is bringing the pies.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Once again we're hosting Thanksgiving at our house. It's a nice tradition, started the same year that my Dad died. It was nice to have a new tradition so that doing the same old thing wouldn't be as painful. My mother is coming over tomorrow and she'll spend a couple of nights. It's good that she comes over because she knows how to do all this stuff and what order it has to be done in. Today I'm making the do-ahead potatoes, a recipe I got from my mother-in-law. I told my husband this recipe is why I married him. They are so good and so easy because you can make them a couple days before and refrigerate them until the day you heat them up and eat them. The flavors get to know each other better while it's refrigerated. Yum.

8-10 Medium Potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese
1 tsp garlic or onion salt
butter & paprika

Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or so
Serves 6 to 8

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain. Have sour cream and cream cheese at room temperature. Beat them until well-blended. Add cut potatoes gradually, while beating (potatoes should still be hot). Season with garlic/onion salt. Put in 2-quart casserole. Refrigerate for a couple days. Dot with butter and paprika (optional). Bake at 350 until hot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The internet at our house still isn't fixed completely. We have it, but are unable to have TV in the kitchen as well. They're coming again tomorrow to check things over.

This weekend was my birthday. The whole family went to the Bedford Village Inn for dinner. It was really nice. We had our own private room. It was a very pleasant evening.

Here's a gratuitous picture of Bobby and how he likes to share my chair. There's not much room, but he squeezes himself in. He was sound asleep and snoring when Robert took the picture.

Here is the coolest set of mittens ever. They were made by my friend Becky. They have a thumb and a finger as well as the other place you put your other three fingers. These will be great for walking Bobby when the weather gets cold!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have no internet at my house. The technician came this morning and found that the problem is with the cable at the street, not a problem in my house. So I brought my netbook to my mother-in-law's and father-in-law's house to make this post. I can't ruin my perfect record of posting every day in November.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Today we bought the two big wreaths for the house and the bead cottage. The owner of the Grain & Hardware store where we bought them was nice enough to deliver them. Now that I don't have the BMW, huge things don't fit into either of our little cars. We hung them up and I think they make the house look so festive. I think I've posted a picture every year. Here is today's:

I used to not decorate for the holidays, but now I like to. I especially love candles in the window and the wreaths lit up. I think it makes the house look so cozy. I also love driving around at night and seeing other people's decorations. It's fun to ooh and aah at the nice ones and trash the tacky ones.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today the fresh local turkey we ordered for Thanksgiving is being "processed." So thank you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Off we go for a girls' day out to the yarn store!

"Buckle up Elizabeth," says Grammie

We stopped for lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse, Elizabeth's favorite restaurant. After lunch, we did the "tour" of the restaurant to look at all the different animals.

The yarn store is way out in the country. It took us a whole hour to get there, but Elizabeth passed the time by falling asleep. There was a nice feeder out front that this nuthatch was busy visiting.

This is the Wool Room in Antrim. Very sweet looking. I found some wool to knit hats for sailors on ships in the Navy. That way I can knit to my hearts content and I don't have to find people to give them to, the Ships Project will do it for me! If you are a knitter and have a second, check out that link. It seems like a worthy cause to knit for.

Auntie Ellen had to spoil little Elizabeth and let her pick a new friend. She also got a new book about how wool goes from sheep to sweater. Fun!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18. Nothing to talk about. Trying to squeeze anything I can out of my brain to put down onto this blog.

This year I've decided that I'm going to try to stave off the seasonal blues I get every winter. I've started taking 2000 iu of vitamin D. I don't know if it helps SAD or not, but many Americans are deficient in that vitamin, so I guess it'll do me some good in some way. I also purchased an alarm clock that wakes you up with light. It is supposed to mimic the sunrise and help you get up with more energy. I also spend 3o or so minutes using a light box. That is supposed to help with energy levels as well. I hope doing these things will help me not be such a sluggard and hermit this winter.

This plus my daily walking routine should help.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The internet is being very annoying today. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Robert spent much of the morning on the phone with the cable and network people. It's very frustrating because although it's fixed, sometimes it still doesn't work. And there was no obvious problem that was corrected in order to make it fixed. It's like we jiggled a wire and it's working again.

Today we're meeting with the attorney to finally close my father's estate. It never should have gone on this long; there was no reason for the delay. I'll be glad when it's over and that part of it is done.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today I'm going to blog about Kiva is a website that connects people from around the world: lenders and low-income entrepreneurs, in order to help alleviate poverty. I think they call it micro-finance. The way it works is pretty cool: you log on and get to choose someone to lend money to. The minimum loan is $25.00 - not a huge sum - but it can be life-changing for the borrower. The borrower then pays back the loan and you get Kiva credit, which you can then turn around into another loan for another borrower. I've made 8 loans so far, from an initial $100 loan. Only one of my loans partially defaulted. It's too bad and it is a risk, but I can afford to lose it more than the recipient can. I just made my 9th loan, loaning another $25.00 to a woman who is a seller of souvenirs in Mongolia. She will pay it back over time and then I'll re-loan it to another woman. And so on.

In these difficult economic times, it's hard to send money so far away when so many in our area are needy, but if you have some time and want to check it out, cruise over to and see if a budding entrepreneur there piques your interest.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Two years ago I posted this picture of Elizabeth on my blog. It struck me how much her face looks like a pastel drawing of my Dad from when he was a little kid. I finally got around to taking a picture of the drawing, so here are the two for comparison:

I think they have the same eyes.
It's another cold, rainy, icky day here in November in New Hampshire. I'm making a beef stew, though, and the house smells great. It's definitely a stew or soup day. I would like to go for a walk, but it's so awful out. I guess I might just stay inside.

We worked a little on the basement today. It's being remodeled after Thanksgiving so we need to remove everything in it. This involves a lot of craft supplies that are no longer used, so I'm picking through them and we'll give them away on freecycle or craigslist or something. They're too good to wind up at the dump in the swap shop, because if no one takes them they get thrown away. It's better to give them away to someone who may be able to use them.

Here is what I look like on a typical evening watching TV. Every animal is on me or my chair.

This is where they congregate when I'm not available:

Friday, November 13, 2009

November isn't even halfway over yet and I'm running out of things to write about. This is not good.

I guess I could confess that I'm a web shopping junkie. Over the last week we've had packages arrive from,, QVC, Etsy,, etc. It's a great way to do your Christmas shopping. Plus it's fun to get packages in the mail or delivered by UPS.

On Sunday I'm having my covenant group from the UU Church over for our meeting. This will be the first time we've met at my house. Robert will have to help me move the furniture to accommodate 10 people. And I have a lot of straightening to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This morning on the way to breakfast we saw a coyote run across the road. It was a lot bigger than I would have expected it to be. I'm glad I don't let my cat out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another dog post

When I decided to foster again after the Ste. Genevieve incident, I chose Bobby without having looked at him. I was on the phone with the foster coordinator and she gave me a choice between Sherlock and Bobby. Both would be easy fosters she said. I chose Bobby because of his name. Since it's the same as my husband's, I figured it was a good sign.

Then I looked at his picture. I thought "Uh oh. Is this even a Boston Terrier?" I was a little nervous. And then we picked him up and I thought "UH OH." Robert said "I feel very misled." He is very tall for a Boston and we were freaked out by his appearance. Except for his markings, he looks nothing like he should look if he is a Boston.

Since then, we've been speculating over whether he's a mix and if so, what he's mixed with. Some said Pit Bull, some said Boxer and some said he's not a mix at all. His rescuer in Missouri and her vet both say he's purebred, just poorly bred. They said they're seeing more and more non-standard Bostons like that due to indiscriminate breeding by puppymillers and backyard breeders. I kind of didn't believe them.

When I announced that we had adopted Bobby, my friend Mona sent me a picture of her dog Gracie, who died in 2000. Gracie was purebred AKC Boston Terrier with papers. She said she had been hoping that we'd adopt Bobby because he looks so much like her Gracie did.

Isn't it amazing? They're almost twins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Summer Camp memories

Today I had a little trip down memory lane that made me think of summer camp. I drove to Deering, NH, about an hour away from my house, to do a home visit for a potential adopter of a dog. I went to summer camp in Deering, so that got me remembering. Then on my way home, I drove through Bennington, and I drove right by the entrance to another camp I went to. So that got me to really remembering!

Quanset Sailing Camp on Cape Cod was the first camp I went to. I was 10 and it was the summer of 1974. I had an awful time there for the most part. I was less mature than girls my own age and I was also very very shy and always had the feeling that people didn't like me, so this was a bad mix. I remember one incident that happened when peoples' things in my bunk house started to go missing. I wasn't missing anything, and of course, my bunkmates suspected me so they locked me out of the bunkhouse and went through the stuff in my trunk. They laughed at my undershirts. It was so traumatic that I remember it to this day.

I don't want to say that it was all awful, but a lot of it was. I did learn swear words. I also found out what a tick is, which I hadn't known up until that point. We saw movies every Friday. I remember seeing "Brian's Song" "Bless the Beasts and Children" and "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" there. We did learn to sail, but I've forgotten how now. These were the boats that we learned on.

I did get to ride horses there and that was fun. The camp closed in 1976.

The next summer I went to Sutherland's Riding Camp in Deering. I googled it but was unable to find any pictures or references to it. This was my favorite camp of the three. It was horse-intensive. I went for two weeks and each week we were "given" a horse and a pony to take care of for that whole week. We were primarily responsible for the well-being of those animals, and had to feed them every morning and evening, muck stalls, brush them, etc. The ponies were across the street and weren't for riding, just for caring-for. The horse we were responsible for was the horse we rode for instruction. I just loved being there. My sisters hated it and one of them even left early, she hated it that much.

The next summer - 1976 - I wanted to go back to Sutherland's, but my parents didn't want to send me there; I think because my sisters hated it. So instead, my sisters and I went to Winamac in Bennington. Like I said, I drove by the entrance today, marked by a tiny sign still. The driveway looked unmaintained, so as much as I wanted to drive down it, I did not. This was not a good experience either, as the maturity gap between kids my age and me was by now even greater than when I was 10. I was 12 and the other girls were shaving their legs, talking about smoking and boys and I was still in the horse-crazed preadolescent phase. It scared me and I was extremely uncomfortable there. I hated my bunk house so much, I moved into my sister's bunk with kids 2 years younger than me.

The camp closed a few years ago after the death of the owner. There is a facebook page devoted to it as well as a memorial website at I don't have too many memories of it but I do remember a beautiful appaloosa names Mantis, spending the Bicentennial 4th of July in downtown Greenfield, NH, and sleeping on the top of Pack Monadnock on the ground.

That's it for my camp experiences. The next 3 summers, my family rented a house at the beach for a month instead of us kids going away. Those days were much more fun.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Please don't look at this picture of me. Look at the sweet puppy curled up at my side. How can a dog that is so big make himself so small? Small enough to share space with me on a chair! This is him in a tranquil moment. He's such an angel.

But not every moment is as tranquil:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

My mom bought Java this pretty pink sweater. She loves it. She's always cold and this is very snuggly and warm for her. I had to fix the neck of it, though, as it was too tight around her stocky neck and it really restricted her movement. I took a pair of scissors to it - good thing it's polar fleece - and made a few cuts in the neck. Now it makes her look like the center of a daisy! So cute. She wore the sweater today on our walk.

We are officially the geekiest dog owners in the world, or technically, I am. I bought this stroller so that Java could come with us on our walks. We have been trying to walk Bobby twice a day. The walk we have been going on is about 3/4 of a mile with lots of hills. There's no way that Java would walk that far, so she has been missing out on the fun. Now we can bring her in the stroller, take her out and let her walk for a little while and then when she gets tired and stops walking, she can ride in comfort.

Today was beautiful -- almost 70 degrees -- so we took a longer walk than usual and brought Java in the stroller for the first time. She actually had a good time looking out at the scenery. While we were out we saw some people with a human baby in a stroller and they waved to us. I felt kind of like an imposter, but Java liked it and it's something that will come in handy for her.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Back in late September, we had another wildlife encounter in our yard. This time it was 3 whitetail deer. We assume it was a mother and her two offspring, as one was bigger than the other two. They stopped under the apple trees in the side yard, but didn't partake. Here's the best shot we could get of them as they bounded away through the woods.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Once we picked up Bobby at the transport, I stopped making beads. I was reluctant to because he doesn't really like going into the crate and I didn't trust him enough to leave him free in the house with Java and Gary. So instead of locking him up and going to go make beads, I'd stay in the house on the internet or playing with him. Now that he goes to daycare a couple times a week, I can feel free to make beads - or not - on those days. So it's a bonus both ways: he gets socialization and playtime with other dogs and I get time to make beads or to spend with Java alone.

This week he went to daycare 3 times. On Wednesday when I picked him up, the owner said "Let me know how he sleeps tonight". Apparently he played and played and played and was still playing even when it was time to stop. He didn't quit. She took some pictures but she said they were too blurry because he was moving too fast. He came home and slept, woke up to eat, and then went back to sleep for the night. A tired dog is a good dog.

He's at daycare today as well. I didn't make beads today, but we will be going out tonight for a few hours so hopefully Bobby will be nice and tired and sleep well while we are gone.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's a grey day here in NH. It's cold and it's spitting rain on occasion. The rain is so cold it's almost sleet. There's a hard core to the raindrop that hurts when it hits you. It makes me think of the awesome time that Robert and I had a couple weekends ago in Disney World. It was warm and sunny and really perfect weather.

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are animals surrounding the hotel, so you can see giraffes, zebra, storks from your room. In the morning there was a very noisy bird that woke us up. It sounded like a car alarm.

We were there from Thursday to Monday, so we went to all the parks and did lots of pin buying and pin trading. That's one of the funnest things to do there is trade pins with the cast members. Plus, being the collector that I am, I really love collecting pins from each visit.

We went to see Cirque du Soleil which was fantastic, and we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

I can't wait to go back.