Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Focus on the Positives

Well, today's photo really should have been of my bumper as it lay on the ground, almost separated from my car, but I didn't have time to get that shot.  Sigh.

Here's the whole story.  One of my museums was being decorated for the holidays by a local garden club.  So when I pulled into the museum parking lot, there were cars everywhere.  Those old ladies must have each taken their own car, every single one of them.  I find a spot that I think I can squeeze into, but there's a downed tree branch to the left of it.  You can all see where this is going, right?

I should have thrown the car in park, hopped out, moved the tree branch, and parked the car properly.  Of course I should have.  But I was running late and was impatient and I didn't.  Instead, I pulled in, hooked the bigger-than-I-thought tree branch under my bumper, realized it, and as I backed up, the branch caught the underside and ripped the bumper off.  Double sigh.

Luckily, one of the volunteers at the museum knew a good body shop nearby, I was able to pop the bumper on enough to drive down there, and the shop ended up doing the work for free since it was under an hour and didn't require much new hardware (only a few bumper clips).  If you're ever in Ipswich and need body work, Bob's Auto Body is excellent!

Anyways, the above photo shows some of the lovely seasonal decorations that the garden club put up in the house, beneath a portrait of one of the gentlemen who lived in the house in the 19th century.  It helps that I have this kind of stuff to look at after a bad morning!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Boy and A Bike

Gah, I cannot stand the cuteness.  Today's photo is a bit of a cheat, as my mother actually snapped it this afternoon & sent it along to me.  This is Thing 2 astride the (slightly-too-small) tricycle that I gave his big brother for Christmas five years ago.  So freaking cute.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion! (turn to the left)

So I consider myself squarely in the middle of the fashion scale (assuming there is a scale).  In my mind, one end of that scale is wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts everywhere (instead of just to the farmstand like I did on Sunday.  Kidding!  It was really stripey pajama pants, a college t-shirt, and a slim white fleece zip-up).  The other end is the haute couture level, which (again in my mind) involves really uncomfortable heels and lots of striding around in fancy cities like New York, Paris, and London.

I'm, well, somewhere in the middle.  If I can get away with assembling just a few cute outfits and alternating them all week, I will.  Since I work at three different jobs (on non-consecutive days of the week), I can actually pull this off most weeks.  Outfit #1 for Monday & Tuesday, outfit #2 for Wednesday through Friday, and outfit #3 for the weekend might contain elements of either weekday outfit.  Because it's usually only my husband who sees me every day of the week and he lets me be as scrubby as I want.

On the other hand, I like taking time to assemble those outfits and I usually luuurve the end product, which is the other reason I'll wear one outfit two to three days in a row.  Like my ensemble in the photo above (you knew I'd get there eventually, right?).  It was my Plan C on Thanksgiving (when Plan A and B's zippers wouldn't zip, the bastards), but I ended up loving it.  Green shirt dress (popped collar optional*), black belt, black leggings.  Simple, but able to dress up or down.

For example, I went barefoot with it on Thanksgiving (since I was at my own house all day).  Added a sparkly belt, silver bracelets, and knee-high boots to head out on Saturday night.  Played it more respectable today at work with the plain black leather belt and just a watch.  And if I wear it to Justin's Army holiday party next Saturday, planning to dress it up with said sparkly belt, dangly earrings, and pointy heels.  Love the versatility.

*I am not such a big fan of the super-prepster popped collar, usually seen on polo-shirted frat boys.  However, I think a popped collar on a woman, particularly on a button-down shirt, is much more Katherine Hepburn or Doris Day than douchey-prep.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here We Go!

Now that our lovely Thanksgiving is over and we're (almost) done with our leftovers, we've moved on to Christmas!  We even watched Elf and enjoyed cinnamon-spiced hot cider on Thursday night.

I haven't broken out all of the Christmas boxes yet, but I did pull out our stockings, some garland, some fake poinsettia blooms, and a bow for our front door wreath.  On Saturday (after hosting Thanksgiving brunch for my high school friends & their significant others & offspring), we headed over to Wagon Wheel Farmstand to participate in Small Business Saturday.  All we had to do was spend $25 and charge it on my American Express card and AmEx would give me a $25 credit on my account.

We spent around $91.  ;)  But, it was all things we were going to get anyways, it was supporting one of our favorite local farmstands, and it was really only $66 after the credit.  We're going to go back for our Christmas tree later, but this time around, we got the small tree above for the porch, two little trees for either side of the fireplace, a 12" front door wreath, and a small wreath (really a candle ring) with some juniper berries and pinecones for the kitchen door.  Then, we went back today to get a 14" wreath for the garden shed door and a new pot for our Christmas cactus, which has outgrown its old pot.  Whew!

I popped a bow we already had on the front door wreath and we tucked the porch tree into a big basket, then adorned it with starfish from the existing porch  decor.  I love it.  Welcome, Christmas 2011!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taste the History

A rare night out tonight at our old standard, People's Republik in Cambridge.  Loving this pint glass from Mayflower Brewing.  I first noticed it because I'm a historian, but it's also apt since I've been frequenting (does once every six months these days count as frequenting?) this bar for over a decade.  Kind of hope I always will.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big/Little Boys

Uncle Justin playing Batman with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Who says little boys grow up?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

May I present the first turkey we've ever cooked in this house?  Obviously, there were many Thanksgivings hosted here in the forty-six years my grandparents lived here, but this was our first.

Justin did a great job with this lovely 20lb. bird and with a few exceptions (there always are), everything else went smoothly, too!  We squeezed a dozen people into our small dining room and enjoyed a nice feast.  The one (big) downer was that my sister had to stay home with a high temperature and nausea.  Her husband and sons came and we checked on her via phone throughout the day while she rested, but obviously we wish she could have been here with us.

I asked my father to say grace and he was good enough to do so.  He talked about being thankful for having both my family of origin and Justin's family of origin gathered together for the holiday.  He also asked us to remember my sister, who would have much preferred being with us instead of being home in bed.  And he gave thanks that we could celebrate this Thanksgiving with Justin, unlike last year when he was thousands of miles away.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grey Majesty

I had to work this morning, visiting a school to talk to some young students about the Native American history of the area.  It was a fun program, but a rainy, messy day, so I was happy to be done for the week around 11am.  I hurried out of the building to my car, but stopped for a quick shot of this lovely church.  Even grey stone on a grey day can sometimes seem to glow.  Love it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Interesting Only to Me

I know, I know.  With all of the home improvement stuff, it's like Hodoeporicon is turning into a shelter blog.  Don't worry - that's not the case, but I do seem to spend many of my days doing things to spruce up the house.  When we moved in, my grandparents' 1934 Cape was in pretty good shape, but certain things needed repairing or replacing.  And of course, we had to assert our own style, which has done wonders for making the house feel like our home and not just the place I visited every week when I was growing up.

Because we both love to cook, I moved the kitchen table out of the kitchen months ago, and moved the fridge back in from the pantry to create a better work triangle.  We were using an older wooden kitchen island (that needs some sanding and refinishing work), but bought a new kitchen cart a few weeks ago.  It arrived, we finished assembling it on Sunday, and here it is!

(And yes, that awesomely crazy linoleum is next on the list.  We have four boxes of IKEA's Tundra laminate flooring (in "antique") chilling under our dresser to be installed in the calmer days after Thanksgiving.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Grammy Grams

Happy birthday to my very lovely mother, shown here unwrapping gifts with the assistance of her youngest grandchild.  Love you, Mum!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Classy Wheels

The amazing MG we saw at the gas station this morning. I've always loved that classic combination of British racing green and camel leather. Sigh.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


After a trip to IKEA today, we came home with these curtains, shown above in our dining room.  This is the room that will eventually have birch tree wallpaper on one wall and grey walls on the other three.  Right now, I think it seems a bit busy with the new curtains and the old stripey wallpaper, but that will change!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The House Smelled Amazing

The beginnings of a Guinness chocolate cake, to be graced with Baileys frosting for our dinner party tonight!  The goal was really these Irish carbomb cupcakes (which I made for St. Pat's last year), but we couldn't find the cupcake pan.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Scuttlebutt

So after a late night at the museum, I got up around 6:15 this morning and headed down to Hartford with the curator of one of my museums.  We were attending the second day of the 2011 New England Museum Association conference.  The workshops I attended were interesting (the view above is of people listening to a great period wallpaper reproducer), but the best part, as usual, was the gossip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Always Exciting

A glimpse into the scintillating world of the museum professional tonight.  Above is a shot of my dinner, which I ate in the museum kitchen around 6pm.  I went in late (which gave me a lovely morning at home with the hubby and the puppy) and babysat one of our lectures until about 10pm.  I'm exhausted now, but home in bed.  Up tomorrow at 6am for a museum conference in Hartford!  I tell ya, the excitement never ends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monkeys in the House

We hosted these cute monkeys for dinner tonight.  Hectic, as it always is, but wonderful.  I made them pose for this photo with one foot out the door.  Auntie and Uncle love you, Things 1 and 2!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mellow Yellow

Look - color! I'm exhausted after a 13+ hour workday, but I have just enough energy to post this shot of the pantry. That's two coats of "Moonlight" on there and no more tape, i.e. almost done! A few more touch-ups remain, but doesn't it look good?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Want to Paint It . . . Not Black

We're painting our kitchen and pantry!  It's been a multi-day project, but the actual color went on the walls today.  Last Sunday, I removed the wallpaper.  During the week, Justin scraped, sanded, spackled, etc.  He primed the kitchen on Friday while I spackled, removed the last of the wallpaper paste, and taped the trim in the pantry.  Justin then put the first coat of primer on the pantry on Saturday before our friends came over for dinner.

This morning, I put the second coat of primer on the pantry while he had the no-VOC paint mixed at ACE.  Then, we finally got to put the first coat of Benjamin Moore's "Moonlight" on the walls!  Very satisfying to actually see color on the walls after all that prep.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Water Break

This morning saw us up much earlier than usual for a weekend morning, but for a good reason!  Our oldest nephew (Thing 1 here on the blog) had his last town soccer game for the season.  So we rose before 8am, made a Dunkin' Donuts run, and shivered through almost two hours of adorable kindergarteners sort of chasing the ball around the field (at my old middle school).  We also received hugs and kisses from the short one, which made it all worth it.

Into the Woods

So last week, I ordered ten of these beauties from a great shop on Etsy called Oh Little Rabbit.  I've been wanting cloth napkins for awhile and wanted to make sure to have enough for hosting Thanksgiving, as well.  And they came today!  I love them and once we paint the dining room walls grey and put up this wallpaper on an accent wall, they will be even more perfect.

On a related note, we were wandering around Target a couple of months ago and en route to the home goods department, paused for a second in the jewelry department.  I half-heartedly tried on a few necklaces, then turned to Justin and said, "I think I'm just at a place in my life where I'd honestly rather adorn my house than myself."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holiday Cheer

I know, it's too soon for Christmas decorations!  I'm a big fan of waiting until the end of November in order to give Thankgiving its due.  However, one of my museums has an annual tree and wreath festival and drop-off for the event has begun.  I think I walked past this tree a half dozen times today.  Ah well, I love Christmas, so I don't mind too much.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Solar Flaring

I had a very busy day at work, but yeah, this garden is where I spent part of my morning.  Can't argue with that!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Tonight was one of those evenings.  I was tired all day and begged off an after-hours work party.  Justin wasn't feeling well.  We ordered pizza and watched some TV, then I played more than a few rounds of my new-ish addiction, old school Tetris.  I thought I might snap a picture of our wallpaper-less kitchen walls for you today, but gotta be real.  This is what I really did tonight.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Go Patriots!

What a big boy Thing 1 is turning out to be!  This is him in his daddy's Patriots hat, which almost fits.  He'll be just 6 in February.  Yikes!  I love this little/big guy.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Fall Sunday in the 'Burbs

A nice, quiet Sunday today.  After sleeping late (and a bit restlessly due to the time change), we enjoyed a nice breakfast of bacon, eggs scrambled in bacon grease, pumpkin pancakes (using a great Trader Joe's mix), coffee, and orange juice.

Then, Justin was off outside to rake the front yard (photo above) and I got down to work inside.  I stripped the wallpaper in our kitchen and future pantry (now breakfast nook) and we're hoping to start scraping and priming this week.  If all goes well, pale yellow paint will go up on the walls next Sunday!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Bring Back Strident Feminism!

So today I was meant* to be going to an APW Book Club meet-up.  The Boston group was meeting in a nearby town at 1pm, as groups all over the world (well, the Western, First World bits anyhow) were meeting in their respective towns at the same time.  It's a truly awesome thing, both for the participants, the observers, and the person behind it all, Meg at APW.

And this time, I was going to be a participant!  I bought the book (How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran) a couple of months ago, read it all in a weekend, and love it!  I had plans to bring stinky cheese and crackers!  Alas, this morning I both chickened out on going, just a little bit, and realized I had work that needed doing in Portsmouth.

BUT.  The book is truly amazing and you should read it.  Male, female, whatever - it's brilliant and funny and heartwarming and provocative.  Go read it now.  And since I didn't get to go to the book club meet-up, come back and tell me what you think.

*Side note: I really love how having spent time in Scotland over the last decade has infused my speech with the occasional Briticism.  :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Downton Abbey

Thanks to the recommendations of both Holly and Jenna, I put Downton Abbey on our Netflix queue and we started watching the first season tonight.  Well, started and finished watching the first season, that is.  This English period drama (soap opera, as Justin said) set on the eve of WWI is really, really well done.  I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why Wait?

I usually wait until the end of the day to post my photo, in case something better comes along.  However, I like this photo of my route into work on Mondays and Wednesdays (through a state forest) and figured I'd just share it now!

Also - since I'm posting a photo a day anyways, I signed up for NaBloPoMo.  Nice to be doing it again, as I haven't done it since 2007.  I did fine back then, but still, let's hope a photo a day is easier than a prosy post a day!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ridiculous Dog

I love this dog, but man, is she ridiculous.  This is how I left her this morning, snug, but a little sad because her auntie and uncle (my sister and bro-in-law) had just left.  Apparently, this is how she stayed for much of the morning, with the exception of the time she barked at the Vietnam Vets picking up our clothing donation - for five straight minutes . . . from the comfort of her bed.  Sigh.  I love having Justin home so I can hear this shit firsthand.