Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blue Light

Finally, we've got some snow!  This is the view out of the first floor bathroom window around 5pm.  We're supposed to get between 5 and 9 inches more overnight and into tomorrow.  Fingers crossed for the first actual snow day of the winter!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Puppy in the Sun

Aww.  Miss Sadie enjoying the noontime sun in the first floor bathroom, on a hooked rug that my great-great-uncle made.  Kind of cool, I think.

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Home Organizing

And another two photo day!  Jeez, if I keep this up, by the end, I'll be closer to 730 photos than to 365.

Anyways, I stopped at Home Goods on the way home from work tonight and picked up some items we needed . . . and some I just wanted.  I got some large baskets for the upstairs hall closet to hold cleaning supplies & toilet paper, a divided tray basket for my skivvies, three large baskets for the downstairs bathroom (that didn't fit in their intended space), a small canvas print for the dining room, and that awesome yellow trash pail above.

We also made an IKEA stop on the way to NYC on Saturday and so came home with a Tarnby rug, some Prant boxes (like the ones we already had on our pantry shelves), some plant pots, and two Rationell waste/recycling bins with sliding tracks.  The plan was to put them both, or at least one, under the kitchen sink, but alas - they didn't fit.  Justin thinks he can fit them into another cabinet, though, so I was free to reorganize the area under the sink.

I didn't take a "before" photo under there, but it had gotten a bit messy.  There were some overlapping cleaning products, an extra dish drying rack, and a shelf that held some stuff but also got in the way.  So we cleaned everything out (first photo above), removed the shelf, swept out the space, then reorganized it all.  The yellow pail, which we're going to use for compost/food scraps, took center stage!  We swapped out the old Prant boxes from the pantry (and replaced them with the baskets that hadn't worked in the bathroom - huzzah!) and filled them up with cleaning products.  Then, I tucked some fish gravel behind the compost pail, plopped the trash bags to the left, and settled the watering can & a box of plant stuff to the right.

Ta-da!  It's not amazing, I know, but it's neat, clean, and pretty organized, I think.  I'll take it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New York, New York

Home from New York tonight!  Had a lovely time with old friends, husband, and an old friend's new man.  The photo from Saturday is an outtake from some photos we posted on Facebook from Cannibal.  Best friend's new boyfriend is the chef there, so we ate very, very well.

Sunday's photo is the view of the Empire State building from her roof deck.  It was windy and gorgeous up there this afternoon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

NYC in the A.M.

Our bags are packed and we're (sort of) ready to go!  Off to New York in the morning for an overnight with two of my best friends and one of their boyfriends.  Expect photos this weekend from Manhattan!

Oh, and yes, that is really & truly the wallpaper in our master bedroom (for now).  My mother picked it out when she was 14 years old and no one has changed it yet.  Gee, thanks, Mum.  Just kidding - I love her and hope she & my dad enjoy celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary on the Cape this weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Major House Project of 2012 - Done!

(Well, except for the thresholds and the quarter round molding - if we decide to install any).  

Someone's tired after his week of working on the kitchen floor.  I'd like to note that while I make him do some silly things for the blog, this pose was his idea, not mine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Midday progress on the kitchen floor.  Finally!  Go, Justin, go.  :)

UPDATE:  And now . . . the kitchen floor this evening!  Still need to trim a bit from the bottom of the exterior door in order to get that last board in place, but we are 99% done!  What would I do without that lovely man o' mine?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kitchen Floor Update

 The kitchen floor as of 3:25pm, when Justin (the circular saw guy) had to leave for class.  It is not going as well as we had hoped.  Oh, home renovation . . . you tricky minx!

UPDATE:  The photo below shows where we were at bedtime.  It's actually more impressive that it looks compared to the other photo, because we had to remove all we'd done earlier & start again.  Annoying, but as you can probably even see from the photos, starting over gave us some nice, cleaner cuts by the door frame & possibly even a fresh outlook on the project.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Best Laid Plans . . .

Well, we tried.  We had a nice morning at the lake with my parents & the monkeys (while big sis slept in).  Then we headed home, ate some lunch, and attempted to start laying the kitchen floor.  But we got stuck up on problem after problem and finally hit a temporarily (on a holiday with no hardware stores open) insurmountable one this evening.  Sigh.  We'll resume the battle tomorrow and hopefully I can have a progress shot for you.

In the meantime, here's a cute pic of the puppy sleeping on the way home from NH.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unnecessary Drama

Today's picture is from one of the things that helped calm us on way back from NY today.  We stopped on the way back in New London, my college town, and enjoyed a lunch and a sampler at Flying Goose Brew Pub, a place I've been going for about 12 years now.  It was lovely.  :)  Now, here's why we needed it.

If you are ever in Cambridge, NY, stay at the Cambridge Hotel with extreme caution.  We were awakened last night at 2:30 am by drunken staff members yelling & blasting music in the hotel bar.  It was so loud that I could hear every word to every song from our second floor room at the other end of the hotel.  The ruckus didn't end until around 3:15am and we actually had to go downstairs to ask them to stop/leave after getting no answer on the phone from the night manager.  A really crappy end to a nice day at Cold Antler Farm.

Since we ended up getting basically no sleep, we refused to sign our final bill for the night and asked them to comp us the room (a completely reasonable request by most hotel standards).  We had enjoyed a nice dinner in the restaurant and had no problem paying for that part of the bill, but thought that asking us to pay for a horribly interrupted night's sleep (interrupted by the hotel's own fucking staff) was too much to ask.  The girl at the front desk said she did not have the power to do so and would check with the manager.  She said they would let us know.  You can see where this is going . . .

As of tonight, there's an authorization for the room and dining charges on our bank account with no notification or attempt to resolve the issue.  Considering they have my contact information and did not attempt to contact us, this is completely beyond what I expected.  They'll be hearing more from us tomorrow and we may find that the room charge is never actually completed.  But buyer definitely beware.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Spent the day today in upstate NY at Cold Antler Farm. We met Jenna, the farm's owner, toured the farm, and learned how to make beer & sausage at home. The pic above is of Jenna & her pony Jasper. We had a good time and are staying at the Cambridge Hotel tonight. Looking forward to exploring a bit of Cambridge tomorrow before heading back east!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Empty & Waiting

This is how we left our kitchen this morning - cleared of the stove, refrigerator, island, trash can, recycling bin, and dog's food & water bowls.  On Monday, when we get home from our weekend in upstate NY, the flooring is going down - finally!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Necessary Diversion

I was supposed to go to a workshop on Canadian history & genealogy tonight.  It's a topic of interest to me because my great-grandparents were Canadian immigrants & I wrote my college thesis on my ancestor's migration from Scotland to Canada.

So I left work right at 5, drove the 45 minutes home, continued two exits south, and got off on the right road for the National Archives building.  All the while, though, I was a little sleepy & much less excited about the workshop than I should have been.  After I went the wrong way off the exit & had to turn around, I was pretty much done for the evening.  I called Justin to say "Should I go to this thing?  I just don't know."  His response?  "If you need someone to tell you it's ok not to go, I'm your man."

So home I went - to see him for a few minutes before he left to teach a class, then to enjoy time on the couch in my pjs, reading blogs & learning how to build raised beds for our planned garden this spring.  I love history & all, but this seemed a much better use of my evening!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flowers from My Valentine!

Above is the lovely bouquet Justin got me for Valentine's Day this year.  He actually bought them on Monday (Trader Joe's, man.  Is there anything they don't do well?) and sneakily hid them in plain sight on my desk in the guest room.  He was thinking that I would either wander in at some point & catch sight of them or just see them when I sat down to work at my desk on Tuesday.

In the end, I was showing my mum the new office-y arrangement that we did a few weeks ago & let out a (small) cry of surprise when I saw them.  Then, I called him upstairs & smooched him.

P.S.  We didn't do cards or non-perishable gifts this year, as we're going away this weekend to upstate New York for this awesomeness.

P.P.S.  Taking photos of our dining room always reminds me how much I still love our table & pendant light.  And of how much awesomer the room will look once the walls look more like this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Simple Pleasures

I got home from a Board meeting last night a little after 9:30 and wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed with a laptop, a puppy, and a husband.  And because I'm a lucky girl, I could!  After a couple of hours of blog surfing, though, I was way too sleepy to actually post my photo of the scene.  Here it is today, though.

After a nice breakfast & visit with my parents & Thing 2 this morning, we took a few minutes to start planning our new laminate kitchen floor.  You might remember that we bought the flooring back in November?  Well, this Monday we have the day off for President's Day and we might finally get to this project.  In preparation, we had a fun time laying one box of planks out on the floor to see which direction we wanted them to go.

We also found out from my mum that the insanely-patterned linoleum we're covering up is original to the house.  As in, has been there since 1934!  I'm glad we're not ripping up, but just using it as the new sub floor.  Now, let's keep our fingers crossed that we can actually get this done on Monday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Boys!

My handsome nephews turned 4 and 6 this week and today was their big party.  I have some photos from the playspace where the party was, but they are pretty blurry, taken as the little guys shot by.  So instead I'm borrowing two photos from my sister of their reactions to our gifts.  A book on dragons and Harry Potter wands.  I think they liked them.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Buh.  Today's photo is like the polar opposite of exciting.  I worked all day today (was up before 7am - boooo) at a pretty neat symposium.  However, my phone was nowhere near me for most of the day and therefore, no photos were taken.  

So, here's my pantry.  It's the first thing I saw while wandering around the house looking for something to photograph.  I guess it's somewhat topical though because we're hoping to throw a coat of stain on the right-hand shelves tomorrow to make them match the left-hand shelves?  Well, I promise to do better tomorrow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

As I've said before on my museum blog, sometimes this is museum work, too.  The ingredients for oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip cookies for a symposium tomorrow in Portsmouth.  My job is not half bad.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Daylight

You guys, the photo above was taken at 5:15 when I was locking up the side door of the museum.  5:15!  Just a month ago, it would have been full dark at that time.  We really have not had a hard winter to complain about, but still, it's so nice to stop & notice the increased daylight.  Spring - we'll see you eventually!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Dream(y) Home

Do you ever have those nights when you come home from work and nothing particularly special happens, but you can't help thinking, "gee, it's nice to live in this house?"  Justin had class tonight, so when I got home from work, I:
  • checked the mail on the way in
  • greeted the dog
  • changed into comfy pjs
  • washed the dishes while drinking a glass of red wine & listening to music 
  • made supper & ate it while reading blogs & playing "Words with Friends"
  • got a text from Justin that he was out of class & heading home
  • sat on the couch to read more blogs, then popped up to take my photo of the day
And what I photographed was a sweet little vignette on top of one of our bookcases.  I framed the shot and thought, "old books, plants, bookcase, awesome little globe bookends . . . this is totally the house I always thought I'd have when I grew up!"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

4 Whole Years!

A very happy birthday wish to my darling Thing 2 today as he turns four years old!  His uncle and I got to see him both at breakfast (where he got this balloon and special birthday ice cream!) and at dinner at Chuck E. Cheese's.  After that, we went to his house for cupcakes and a new plasma car!  Not a bad way to turn four, little man.  We love you.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Selected Stigmata

I've got tattoos on the brain lately, which you can see by the image files on my laptop above.  That hasn't happened in over a decade.  The last time a tattoo needle touched my skin, I was 19 and a freshman in college.  That session lead to my least favorite tattoo (a hot rod on my left hip), for which I've been pondering a cover-up for the better part of five years.  I'd show you a picture of it, but I'd rather wait for a "before & after" once I get the cover-up work done.

On the other side of the regret/love tattoo coin, below is the Scottish thistle I got on my lower back when I was 18 and still love just as fiercely today.  I see it a bit less now, though, since I made the old-lady switch to longer shirts and one-piece bathing suits.

And then there's the tattoo-yet-to-be.  I always wanted a third, but never knew what I wanted.  Justin's always wanted one, but never knew what to get.  We've been talking lately about getting matching ones, perhaps for our second wedding anniversary in June.  Below is the design we're punting around for an inner-wrist tattoo.  It's our first initials ("JS") in Old English runes.  I'm very much in love with it right now, but we'll continue to ponder for the moment.  I took a full year to contemplate the thistle tattoo and just a few months for the hot rod tattoo.  It pays to be patient.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Not Yet Football Fans

The monkeys spent the first half of the Superbowl watching a movie in the guest room. Then they put themselves to bed (until it was time to go at halftime, that is).

Glide Along

OK, there's no excuse for how blurry this shot is, except that I took it while standing on ice skates and trying to also hang onto my gloves.  Went ice skating for a bit tonight at the frog pond with some friends, then out in Southie for a couple of beers.  

A crowded, but nice way to spend an evening, especially one where the husband is in NH for army drill.  I get him back tomorrow for Superbowl Sunday, though!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Growing Up

Just cannot believe that my little baby boys will be 4 and 6 next week!  Here they are tonight playing a Star Wars game on the wii and looking far too large for their auntie's taste.  Oh, how they grow!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

RIP RMS Titanic

Is it 2012 or 1912 around here?!? :)   I'm prepping today for my April vacation program on the sinking of the Titanic. This year is the centennial, so there's lots of great material available, like these reproduction NY Times I bought. I know it's 100 years later, but the raw confusion & sorrow that even made it onto the pages of the Times have put me near tears a few times.

Transformation Tech

After a busy morning at one museum, I attended a workshop this afternoon at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.  The panelists talked about how their museums use technology to further museum education, whether through blogging, Twitter, or interactive iPods in the gallery.  Both museums are much bigger than any that I work at, but the panel discussion gave me lots of ideas for using tech (both high and low) in my museums.

Plus, we got to take a gallery tour of PEM's newest exhibit, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art.  The exhibit is really compelling and provocative.  The "whale skeleton" above is from the final gallery and is made entirely of white lawn chairs.  !!!  I have some more thoughts on the exhibit, but will try to share them another time when it's not already 12:28 of the next day.

On a related note, guess who got home at 6 (left Salem at 4:45 - stupid traffic!), ate dinner with her sick husband, and then passed out on the couch from 7:15-11:45?  Yup, this girl!  Given that I got 9 hours of sleep combined over the last two nights, I guess I really needed it.  Now, back to bed!