Saturday, March 31, 2012

Another Two in One!

This one's all about the boys . . .

Our beloved Mr. Segundus and his fiancĂ©, who needs his own cool nickname.  Out to dinner with them last night in Kittery, ME at the Black Birch.  So lovely to catch up - we live an hour apart & I miss them all the time.

This one I did not take myself, nor am I even in this house.  Total photo cheat.  These are a few of my college boys, celebrating a 30th birthday tonight.  Justin and I couldn't make it, but we did get a sung invitation over voicemail, this photo, and a couple of drunk texts.  Same sentiment as above - don't see these boyos often enough and miss them all the time.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Simple Is as Simple Does

Nothing complicated tonight.  I'm in need of comfort and this big glass of red wine & snuggly pjs are helping.  Also - trying out a new, scriptier version of the tattoo.  And scene.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Step by Step

I'm noticing more & more how little improvements around the house can make me happy.  Don't get me wrong - the big stuff is great.  The wood laminate floors made a huge difference in here and this kitchen is getting butcher block countertops & a dishwasher ASAP.

In the meantime, though, we've added cup hooks to the underside of the cupboard to hang our matching, most-used coffee mugs, moved the dish rack to the larger swath of countertop on the right of the sink, and bought an oregano plant for the windowsill (with seeds for basil & chives soon to be started).  And these little things make me smile every time I walk in there!

Oh, and so does the fact that it was still vaguely light out the kitchen window when I was washing dishes around 6pm.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Blog is a Kindergartner

Image Source

Happy birthday, Hodoeporicon!  Today, you turn 6 and I'm proud of you.  OK, enough with the weird personification of the blog.  At any rate, I forgot to mention earlier that today is my 6-year blogging anniversary.  I haven't made a real effort to acknowledge it every year - see here & here for the times I did notice and here for my very first post.  Still, it's pretty cool to think back to that 24-year old girl who sat down at her computer on March 27th, 2006 and jumped in.

Oh, and in a funny coincidence, A Practical Wedding turned 4 today!  I feel like Meg and I (see how I tossed my little old self in there with the awesome force that is Meg Keene) are crazy ladies talking about our cats, or imaginary kids.

A Burst of Yaller

Yeah, I don't know why I said yellow like that.  That's totally how I said it when I saw these yellow tulips at Trader Joe's this morning, too.  I almost bought Irish daffodils, but decided on the tulips instead.  Justin said, "the Dutch in me agrees."

We still have these forsythia branches on the dining room table, and these yellow & orange guys on my living room end table, but I just had to have these tulips.  So a home was made for them on my bedside table.  Which means I'll only see them for a couple of minutes a day (as I turn out the light), but whatever.  I heart them.

I also just moved this 19th century print of Edinburgh (my 29th birthday gift from Justin) over the bedside table and now I realize it needs to move down a couple of inches.  Regardless, though, I'm digging the bright, fresh flowers paired with the brown frame & sepia print.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hillwalking

Since today was kind of a stressful, chilly, blah day, today's photo is a total cheat.  This is from yesterday, when we took the pup on a 2¾ mile walk/hike.  We walked down our street & up a long side street, then cut back through the woods & hills.  

This is the view from the hill closest to our house, down through the trees to the reservoir on our street.  Love being able to see more with no leaves on the trees (though eagerly awaiting new leaves, too).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sundays are for Scheming

I think what I was going for in the title was that I often do a lot of plotting & planning for stuff on weekends.  Like yesterday, when Justin and I hung out in the little area behind the hammock and planned out a woodland garden (with lilies-of-the-valley! and ferns! and hostas! and forsythia or lilacs or blueberry bushes or hydrangeas! still not sure on that last one.).

And today, when I sharpie-d a black tattoo on my wrist to test it out.  You may remember from this tattoo post that we were considering this design:
It's our first initials (JS) in Old English runes.  We liked it, but Justin wasn't as sold as I was and we both like the idea of three characters instead.  So, mine would be this:
 His initials (JMF).  And his would be this:
 My initials (SAF).  We're still going to test & ponder them for awhile (the aim is to get them for our 2nd wedding anniversary in June), but so far, these are definitely the winners.  What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My New Favorite Spot

So you've seen the inside of the hammock here and here.  Finally, here's the outside!  It's one of those nylon travel hammocks that hippies always seem to be hanging in on college campuses.  We hung it just last weekend, but I've owned it for about 6 years.  Never found a good place to put it, though, so it was super exciting to actually use it this week.

We placed it between two pine trees that my grandparents smuggled home from PEI as seedlings in coffee cans more than 30 years ago.  I love that.  And I love this shot of it, accompanied by two daffodils that have decided to grow wherever they damn well please.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Any Port in a Storm? Too Punny?

The wall of port & sherry at the New Hampshire Liquor Store at the Portsmouth traffic circle.  I was buying a small bottle of port for us and a big bottle of sherry for a dinner party (which we ended up not being able to go to because Justin felt crappy).  Let me tell you - I felt super fancy standing in front of the "port and sherry" section of the packie.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Swingin' Suburbs

And tonight's view. Pretty much the same idea, but a 'gansett bock instead of mason jar wine. See that splotch of red on the right? That's one of the neighbor's two barns. The other one is prettier, but can't quite capture it from my perch in the hammock right now. First world problem?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Hangin'

Can't argue with that view on March 21st. From left to right: white wine in a mason jar, kindle, snack on top of kindle case. Orange thing at bottom = hammock I am currently in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Commutes & Cocktails

Had a busy day today up at good old State U.  Met a friend (Mr. Segundus) for a brief, unplanned hug & a chat, spoke at a history grad student brown bag lunch, then got gelato & chatted with another friend/fellow presenter in the sun.  A lovely day, but with the 2+ hour commute, unexpectedly tiring.  It took every ounce of willpower not to jump into the hammock when I pulled in the driveway.

But, like a good little Do Bee, I'm working away now.  Well, working away on the porch with a cranberry vodka tonic, so . . .

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Boy & His Dog (5 Years On)

Let me tell you - I love this Darth Maul right here.  After I took the picture, he came over to see it & said, "Wow.  I look really cool."

Also - after 6 years of living with the boy Star Wars-ing, Lego-ing, etc. around the house, that old dog has nerves of steel.  Either that, or he can't see/hear Thing 1 anymore.

(The post title references a post I wrote in December of 2006, featuring these two knuckleheads)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Unseasonably Awesome

So how about this unseasonable weather?  How great is a 70+ degree day in March?  And how much better is a whole bunch of them?

We had a pretty good weekend here at the house.  We were both home and had no obligations*, which is rare.  Sleeping in was accomplished on both days, as were a number of lazy meals on the newly-revamped porch.  We managed to do various projects around the yard & house (including putting up a hammock, which I will post pics of soon).  The puppy accompanied us on a 6 mile walk/hike on Saturday and a 2¼ mile walk today.  And, as mentioned last night, we also went out to a yummy dinner at The Haven.

Today, we managed the hat trick of having all three meals on the porch & all three were accompanied by appropriate cocktails.  So, a three-fer of photos today (sorry they're not all photographed from the same angle).  Enjoy.

Breakfast: pumpkin pancakes with warm maple syrup and coffee with Bailey's. 

Late lunch: Lean Cuisine meals with chicken & pasta and cranberry cocktails (Justin - gin, tonic, cranberry juice, splash of lemon juice; me - vodka, tonic, cranberry juice, splash of lemon juice)

Dinner - a sauteed mix of quinoa, black beans, egg, tomato, garlic, onion & carrot and Sam Adams Boston Lager and Alpine Spring

*except for a couple of hours of work for one of my museums and submitting our taxes!  But we got all that done in addition to the pleasurable things.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Right Nation, Wrong Country

To celebrate St. Pats (that's the cool, offhand way of saying St. Patrick's Day here in Boston), Justin and I betook ourselves to a Scottish bar called The Haven.  Huh?  I know, but our friends weren't around to Irish it up this weekend and we just wanted to get out to enjoy a nice dinner and some beers.

I've been eyeing up this place for awhile - naturally, since it's a Scottish bar.  And we were not disappointed.  Great food, great beer, and awesome "hipster Scottish" (yes, I just made that up) decor like the antler chandelier above.  Oh, and old school chairs.  As in, formerly used at a school.  But when I pointed them out to Justin, he thought I was saying "old-school chairs," which also works.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Multiple Brides

That's a lot of brides!  Or rather, the same bride about thirty-two times.  I did a postcard mailing to New England wedding photographers today at work and here are my neat little piles of wedding postcards.  And yes, those are my shoes & scarf on the right.  I had to stand on the table to get a reasonably straight-on shot.  Not an atypical day in my strange museum work world!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yellow Blooms

Behold my blooming forsythia!  Spring has indeed sprung.  Well, since the forsythia was forced to bloom, maybe not quite yet.

We actually don't have any forsythia (try saying that three times fast) in our yard, but my sister's yard does.  We were over there on Tuesday and my dad had brought some branches inside to force.  I saw them and went "aww, I wish we had forsythia."  My mum pulled them out of the vase and pushed them into Justin's hands, while asking my dad over her shoulder if he could cut some more to replace them.  I gots good parents.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thank You, Bacchus

It's been one of those days.  This very large glass of wine is completely necessary.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another One for the List

Yet another benefit of working from home.  In today's lovely, sunny, completely unseasonable weather, I was able to work from the bistro table on the porch, with a sleeping puppy at my feet.  You'll get no arguments from me about my luck today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Space!

OK, not a new space at all, but a newly configured one. After a very lazy day yesterday (I didn't even end up showering or walking the dog), I was super productive today!  I still slept in, but once I was up, I:
  • let the pup outside to enjoy the warm backyard
  • showered (and even shaved my legs)
  • made oatmeal & coffee for breakfast, then cleaned the bistro table on the porch so I could eat out there
  • walked the dog 1½ miles (what a lovely sunny day!)
  • wrote my monthly report for tomorrow night's Board meeting, from the Adirondack chair on the porch
  • did two loads of laundry
  • played around with a few arrangements for the gallery wall in the dining room, then decided to hold off until I've painted two of the new frames
And when Justin got home from drill, I was stitching together the three cushions that came with our storage bench on the porch to make one cushion that fits the entire length of the bench. They were sliding around too much on their own, and the stitching seems to be working better. I bought some red burlap last week and am planning to cover the whole long cushion in that, as well (it's just folded & tucked around the cushion in the photos here).

Next, while Justin was relaxing a bit, I moved everything off the porch, swept the floor, and laid down the sisal rug that our new jute rug had displaced from the living room. Then, on a whim, I called him out to help & we completely rearranged the porch furniture.

We moved the Adirondack chair to the right corner, the bench under the garage window, the woven trunk of potting supplies next to the bench, the shoes underneath the front jalousie windows, and the evergreen tree outside. We also folded up the bistro set (since we don't use it everyday) and leaned it against the back wall. And then we promptly unfolded the set & ate dinner out there! The top photo is how it looked set up for dinner and the bottom two are earlier shots of the whole porch.

The changes were't anything major, but they made the space feel so much roomier - both in size and in homeyness. Plus, I made a neat discovery as I was setting the table up for dinner - the bench works as more seating for the table! They used to be on opposite sides of the porch so we never realized it, but they work perfectly together. As you can see in the top photo, we just used the table, one chair, and the bench for dinner. I got "the booth," as Justin said. Hooray for new/refreshed outdoor spaces!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

No Place Like Home . . .

Between work, errands, and random commitments (like the Pub Night at one of my museums last night and the University of Edinburgh info session on Thursday), it's been a busy week!  Justin has drill this weekend, but I have absolutely nothing scheduled today or tomorrow.  It's pure bliss.

I got up around 10:30, let the dog out, made coffee & cereal, and am now hanging out on the couch in my pjs. I won't be so lazy all day - the dog wants a walk & I have some projects around the house to get to - but it's awfully nice for now.

The photo above is the very couch I'm sitting on now, but more importantly, our new living room rug!  We got it at the New Haven IKEA a few weeks ago and I just put it down on Wednesday night.  Apparently, because it's a thick, nubbly jute, it can leave a pattern impressed into your wood floors (or so the internet tells us).  Eeek!  We got a anti-slip rug underlay when we bought it, but I wanted more insurance, so I bought a big piece of felt this week and cut it to fit underneath.  We love the rug and so does the puppy (also pictured above).

Friday, March 09, 2012

Tucked In

Writing this while snuggled into bed, it's easy to personify these two gundalows in the back channel of the Piscataqua all tucked in for the winter.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

UE at the BPL

I went to an information session tonight at the Boston Public Library, for applicants and "offer holders" (a.k.a. accepted students in fancy British talk) of the University of Edinburgh.

Now.  I am not either one of these things, yet.  But I contacted the guy from the International Office because I just wanted to go and he said it was fine.  I felt a bit of a fraud, but didn't really care.

It was an interesting presentation and afterwards, I ended up cornering one of the alumni they had there to answer questions.  She was a lovely girl from just outside London who'd done her masters in history at UE and I peppered her with questions, poor girl.  She was very patient, though, and we chatted until the library staff had taken away all the snacks.

I snapped this photo of the staircase of the gorgeous McKim Building on the way out the door.  I'm glad I went, even though I won't be even thinking of applying for a postgraduate program for a couple of years yet.  But it's coming (I hope).  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Mingling with Genius

Oh yeah, that's totally Anne Bradstreet's house that I casually drove by today.  Yeah, THAT Anne Bradstreet.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spring Colors

The kitchen windowsill this morning.  My three aloes, a cactus, various seed packets & pots, and a few orange daisy heads that snapped off stems in yesterday's bouquet.  It makes me happy to see the plants growing & stretching in the sun in this spot.  The aloes are outgrowing their pots, actually.  Those basil & chive seeds in the packets on the left will be taking over this spot once I have time to re-pot the aloes.  Don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about?  Never knew I'd ever have such a green thumb.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Flowery

Are Justin and I two peas in a pod or what?  Look what we brought home from separate grocery shopping trips.  Lots of flowers in the house now!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Breaking In

Had a work meeting today up in York, ME.  Not the most fun thing to drive over two hours for work on a Sunday, but the meeting went pretty well and the view of the sea at Lobster Cove (I was a bit early and went out that way to turn around) was kind of worth it.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Boys

Uncle reading to his nephews this evening.  Poor Thing 2 has been having a lot of nosebleeds lately, but this was the calm post-nosebleed & just before bed.  You can't really see Thing 2's face, but I love the smiles you can just see on Justin and Thing 1's faces.  I love my boys.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Snowy Respite

Well, it's definitely not as bad as last winter, but we got enough snow to cancel a lot of school systems . . . and the museum where I work on Thursdays!  They close based on the local school closings, so I got a text from my boss this morning at 7:16.  "Snow day!," she said, "I'm going to spend the day in my pjs, knitting.  Stay warm."

After texting her back, I went right back to sleep.  I was particularly glad of this snow day, because I'd woken up around 3am with combined back pain, nausea, and congestion.  And then basically had a half-awake panic attack over not being able to lie comfortably and get back to sleep.  Justin comforted me and dosed me with nighttime (a.k.a. sleep-inducing) cold medicine.  I was eventually able to fall back asleep, but was planning on going to work late if the snow didn't save me.

So I slept late, then we had oatmeal & coffee in bed, puttered around the house some, and walked the dog over a mile down the road in the drifting snow.  Now I'm home hanging out while Justin tutors a student.  Not a bad Thursday.