Monday, April 30, 2012

Sepia Colored Glasses

Goodbye, little old phone.  I loved you well.  And you look super cute in this sepia toned photo taken on my husband's HTC Rezound.

But guess who's the proud owner of her own damn HTC Rezound?  I agonized over this decision for the last month or so (Rezound?  Nexus?  iPhone 4S?), but finally decided on this one.  I did the upgrade tonight (and when the hell did Verizon start charging a $30 upgrade fee?) and the phone should be here by Thursday.

Are you looking forward to future awesome photos?  I sure am!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Run Around Like Crazy!

Auntie & Uncle babysat the monkeys today and while we did other fun things (went to see this movie and ate at one of the last of these), it was the running around the backyard like crazy people that may have been the most fun of all.  Just take a look at that photo and this video to see what I mean.

video

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Staining!

This is how we spent the afternoon - staining the wood for our new raised veggie beds with water-protecting stain.  They look a little silly all out in the front yard, but I got a kick out of it.  Next up - constructing the beds!

Modern History

This photo is actually yesterday's, but we went out for dinner in Boston with friends and got home too late to post.  I took this while putting up flyers around Portsmouth for an event one of my museums is hosting.  

Ever since I moved to Portsmouth in 2007 (and subsequently moved away in 2010), I've wanted to get a shot of this laundromat.  I just love the hand-painted letters and the mid-century style amidst all of Portsmouth's earlier architectural history.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Green Places

Can you guess where I was today?  Justin's guess was Home Depot, but nope.  This is the scene in front of the Market Basket near my work, where I stopped in to pick up some lunch.  

Market Basket, man.  I love how freaking old-school they are.  So old-school . . . they sell messes of shrubs right out front.  I don't know why this makes them super old-school, but it makes sense to me, so shush.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the Little Places

I worked from home today - my poison ivy and tick bite aren't getting any better and I felt crappy.  I have an appointment with the doc on Friday morning to see if I need antibiotics.  I went up to the shade garden at one point and lo and behold - found this little violet plant growing in the roots of a tree!  A nice little surprise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fringe Benefits

Another drive up to York, ME this evening for work.  Man, was I glad to pull into my own driveway at 10:30pm.  However, views like the one above really help make it more palatable.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Arrived home from work, worked out for a half-hour on the wii fit, then took the pup for walk in the dripping, green world out there.  The sun flickered in & out of the clouds as it set and the little peeper frogs set up a racket in the marshy bits of the reservoir.  A nice way to wind down from the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Going Short (Again)

I got my hairs cut!  Justin has his first Officer Candidate School drill this weekend and needed his monthly Army-short haircut.  So we went to Supercuts while out shopping and I decided to get mine cut, too.  I think my last haircut was in September or October, so this was long due.  I usually go shorter for summer and as warm as it was yesterday and Friday, it felt really nice to have my hair off my neck & shoulders.

I think having short hair makes me look a lot younger, but now that I've join the 30+ club, I'm ok with that.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Great Indoors

This afternoon/evening, I de-sodded & tilled a 4' x 17' garden bed (for our future shade garden). When I came inside, I showered, removed a tick from my back, and treated that, my earlier-in-the-week tick bite, and my poison ivy with the appropriate creams. No more great outdoors tonight - time for a beer inside on the couch.

(Side note: those are my new $10 garden clogs, picked up at Target today along with two outdoor pillows & four acrylic outdoor glasses.  I think I need to start a new blog series called "you know you're old when . . . ")

Friday, April 20, 2012

Puppy Author

Look who got freaked out by the noise of chicken sauteeing on the stove and took refuge in my seat on the porch?  I love how she looks like she's about to write her own blog post on my laptop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Respite

Busy day at work today, but this is what happened when I got home.  There are a lot of things going on I wish I could change right now (I have poison ivy AND a tick bite at the moment, plus a lot of more important stuff that is happening to people I love, so I'm not going to talk about it).  Moments like these, though, remind me that it's a pretty good life after all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Majesty Amidst the Mundane

Here's my desk at work this evening.  Pretty normal stuff - a lamp, coffee cup, keyboard, desk calendar - but look!  The book from this post got a bigger, older buddy.  Yup, the little lady on the left is 334 years old (born in 1678) and the big guy on the right is 413 years old (born in 1599).  

This is why I do what I do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Fling

The image above shows where Justin & I enjoyed lunch (butternut squash soup & grilled cheese sandwiches) today.  Man, I'm going to have a hard time going back to the museum on Tuesdays in a couple of weeks.

While we're here, do you notice how green & lovely the grass looks in this little nook of the yard?  Part of it is thanks to Mother Nature and part is thanks to the three hours of raking we did on Sunday.  For comparison, here's what it looked like on April 5th, just twelve days ago!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Not Marathon Monday Around Here . . .

Not when you live in either Lexington or Concord, that is.  Today's photo features Things 1 and 2 enjoying some slush at the Lexington parade.  A very warm day out there, but a good time was had by all.

Pipe band, take us out!

video

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Before

So I've been plotting & planning to build a deck on the back of our house for over a year now.  Yet, last weekend, my sneaky husband managed to convince me that a patio would be:
  1. easier
  2. cheaper
  3. quicker
  4. and less maintenance
And since he's probably right on all counts (and volunteered to do most of the digging), I acquiesced.  However, I did insist on getting all the particulars my way to make up for it.

So we're planning a herringbone brick rectangular patio out back here, with a fieldstone retaining wall to the right of the back steps.  If you click on the photo, you can see that he's already started some digging where the retaining wall will be.  The man's got a lot of digging to do, as the finished patio will be level with the left corner, by the single window.

We're also going to add white latticework to the foundation around the windows, since grey concrete is not my idea of a lovely setting.  I'll try to grow some vines up the lattice and failing that, just pop some plant pots onto it with s-hooks (like here).  There's some wood-tone (but composite, so no maintenance) lattice planned for the back of the garage on the far right.  Oh, and more lattice will be made into a screen to hide the air conditioning unit by the basement door (this explains all the lattice we bought yesterday, right?).

We actually started on some of this today, so I wanted to post the "before" shot now.  Look out for progress photos and a final "after" at some point this summer!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Probably Not Advisable

I don't think this is how you're supposed to get latticework home from Home Depot.  Oh well, we took back roads home and it worked for us!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cocktail Hour

The scene in our little future shade garden tonight around 6pm.  I got home early from a busy but productive workday to watch the Red Sox make their own luck on Friday the 13th & trounce the (Devil) Rays.  

Then, we retired to the hammock and that red netting chair, accompanied by a tray of appetizers, two beers, and a puppy.  We added a dog tie-out to our set-up out there, then enjoyed an hour or so of lounging, eating, and chatting.  Not a bad Friday evening by any measure.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Old South Church at Night

I presented on a panel at a workshop tonight at Boston Public Library.  As I was walking back to my car (found a metered spot on Dartmouth - score!), I was struck by this amazing window on the side of Old South Church].  Just gorgeous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Comparison

I'm sorry, poor little old phone, but your time is really coming up.  You served me well for a year and a half, but as soon as I get my new smartphone in a few weeks, your butt is hitting the curb.  
I mean, look at the difference in image quality here.  Photo #1 - taken by my old phone of the tulips on the dining room table yesterday afternoon.  Photo #2 (biggified to show more awesome details) - taken by Justin's new phone of the same scene this morning.  There's just no comparison.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jumble

A jumble of different photos to represent today.  Most are self-evident, but will pop back and do some identification soon.

UPDATED WITH IDS:
  • Thing 2 measuring stuff at breakfast at Friendly's (the nice waitress we know gave him a small measuring tape to play with and play he did)
  • A puppy walk in the sunshine
  • A handsome hubby, as seen from the hammock
  • My "office" for the day
  • The patio project begins!  (Justin sweet-talked me into a patio instead of a deck - more details soon)
  • This puppy needs a patio to lie on, apparently
  • Our Easter tulips - they had started bending towards the two windows and I rotated them to try to straighten them up)
  • A Scotch deviled egg from this place.  Yes, that tastes as good as it sounds!

Monday, April 09, 2012

My Time Will Come


So Justin has a new smartphone and I am craaazy jealous over here.  I keep stealing it, which is probably getting on his last nerve, given that he's only had the phone since Friday.  But neither one of us has ever had a smartphone, so it's super exciting.  The apps!  The 8.0 megapixel camera!  That posts directly to Blogger!  It's all too much.

I took this photo tonight in our living room using his phone's camera, on a "vintage" setting.  I love it.  I'm up for a phone upgrade in 3 weeks and I'm eyeing either the Rezound or the iPhone 4S.  Either way, you can expect the quality of my daily photos to drastically increase in early May.  In the meantime, keep poor Justin & his purloined phone in your thoughts.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter . . .

from two of the silliest boys on the block.  I have some cute ones of them hunting Easter eggs around the house & in the yard, but I loved this one of them crammed into the coffee table ottoman the best.  Hope you had a nice day - filled with family, food, and faith.

Oh, and today marks six months - the halfway point - of my project 365.  So far, so good!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Prep!

Aww, who's the little nerd who set her Easter table the night before?  I am!

Friday, April 06, 2012

It's the Little Things

More little changes/improvements around the house.  The pantry window area has had some updates recently and I thought I'd show it off with a before & after shot.  I haven't done B&As with most of the work we've done, because I think it would be a little disrespectful to my grandparents.  I didn't love everything they picked out for the house, but they did it with love for this house that they lived in for 40+ years and I certainly didn't consider it a horrible "before."

Anyways, here is the pantry window back in October.  Cornice above the window, random star lights across the window (these were all my doing), torn pull-down shade, a small print to the left, a calendar to the right, a chair for my purse, and the old wallpaper (white with tiny pink tulips).

Now, here's the after, taken this afternoon.  No more cornice or star lights, pleated shade, two cork boards to the left to mirror the calendar to the right, a gorgeous bench with sheepskin underneath, and our lovely yellow paint on the walls.
Most of this stuff took place gradually, over the course of a few months. We painted the kitchen & pantry back in November, I left the cornice and star lights off after we had to remove them for painting, I put up the cork boards a couple of weeks ago, and the bench just went there today. It matches our dining room table and we use it when we have more than 4 people at dinner. That happens maybe once a month, though, and it was crowding up our tiny dining room in the meantime. So this will be its home most of the time! More small changes, but I love them.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Ta-Da!

Here's the new metal bistro set - in its full, daylit glory (as opposed to last night's lantern-lit shot)!  This photo was taken this morning at 8:30, just before I hopped in the car & headed to work.  As you can see from the above photo, this little corner of our yard gets a lovely flood of morning sun this time of year.

Here's a different angle and a wider shot of the whole area, including the hammock & our cars in the driveway beyond.  We're actually hoping to cultivate some blueberry bushes here, along with decorative shrubs like lilacs & hydrangeas and some partial-shade plants like hostas, ferns, lily-of-the-valley, etc.

The idea is to plant the shrubbery (heehee) around the border between the trees to create some privacy, as this spot is right next to both the street & our neighbor's driveway.  Then, we'll till and prepare a 3-4 foot wide bed inside the shrubs for the smaller stuff.  Then, we'll spritz on some bug spray, light a lantern or two, and enjoy some dinners out here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Evening Meal

So, the crazy lady in me decided to drive back to IKEA directly from work this evening and pick up the metal bistro set I'd been eyeing yesterday (but couldn't fit in the car).  And then put together the table (the chairs were already assembled) and set the whole thing up out by the hammock/future shade garden.  And then try to take a picture of it in the pitch black.  Silly.  

Anyways, there is part of it up there - these chairs in yellow and this table in grey (which looks black).  Plan to spray paint the table yellow to match the chairs, though.  I'll try to get a picture of the set in actual daylight tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Yet another perk of working from home - being able to nip off to IKEA on a weekday & avoid the crowds.  We headed down to our local store this morning after breakfast, were home in time for lunch, and then I worked from afternoon into evening, as per usual.  Perfect!

At any rate, the scene above is what greeted us at the top of the escalator - the very outdoor furniture set I've been drooling over for almost a year!  We plopped down to check it out, wrote down the warehouse location numbers, and were off through the showroom & marketplace (where we snagged this, this, and this on the way by).  Then, it was into the warehouse to sit on more outdoor furniture and make a final decision.

We ended up bringing the following pieces home (and yes, they all fit in my little Saturn because I am a flat-pack-box-tetris-master):
For those of you keeping score at home, all of that acacia wood outdoor furniture, plus the little things we picked up in the marketplace, rang in at well under $1K.  Try buying all of that at West Elm or Pottery Barn for less than double the price!

Of course, it all looks this at the moment.  And we don't have immediate plans to start assembly, because it's all going on this deck:

Oh wait, there's no deck there yet.  Well, I guess that's next on the list.

*this was the one thing we hadn't planned to buy.  The plan was to bring home two chaise lounges, which would have been cheaper overall.  But, Justin said he loved the sectional and he does not use that word about objects lightly.  When he says it, I listen.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Day in the Life

See, this is one of the reasons I love working in museums so much.  I love maps and globes and old books.  And in the course of a normal day, I was trying to answer a research question for a local high school teacher and just had to take a look at some artifacts in this room.  Tough life.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Planning the Planting

In the last few weeks, I've become oddly obsessed with gardening.  This is new for me.  I've just recently become a pretty good houseplant mama (a baker's dozen at the moment & nobody dead yet!).  I've never tackled the outdoor stuff, though, so I'm a bit nervous.

But you can't succeed, or fail, unless you start.  So I marked up our Google calendar last night, scheduling garden tasks each weekend until about mid-May.  One of the first, scheduled for this Saturday, is building two raised beds for the southwest corner of the house.  They will house our veggie garden (a new experiment, to supplement our CSA at Marini Farms).

We're planning to make them 3x8' (using this tutorial) and orient them perpendicular to the house.  They'll get great afternoon sun over here and that black dot at the bottom of the siding is the spigot, so watering them should be a breeze.  We may also get a rain barrel and put it underneath one of the two drain spouts nearby.

I went out today after we walked the dog and measured how far out from the house the beds will be.  Our back garage is down the slope to the right, so we wanted to make sure cars can get around the beds if they need to.  Should be all set, but I marked the ends of the beds with cement blocks just for reference.  I know it doesn't look like much now, but this spot should be pretty green & productive come summer!