Monday, February 28, 2011

Post Party Post

Did you watch The Oscars last night?
Hubs and I managed to see almost all of the nominated movies this year which I think is a first. We missed Winter Bone and in fact I'd never heard of it until the awards rolled around.
And we skipped 127 hours because watching someone 'trapped' for that length of time would make me hyperventilate.

But we did watch the show last night and here are my thoughts in no particular order-

1. Natalie Portman is stunning.

2. Reese Witherspoon =adorable.
She looked a little bit like a Barbie Doll but in a good way.

3. I enjoyed the opening number...
they spoofed the nominated movies in a very clever way.

4. The hosts were eh.

5. But Anne Hathaway looks amazing in absolutely everything she wears.

How does she breathe in this one?

6. Some of the winners should just say thanks and move along Melissa Leo.
I loved her in The Fighter but dropping the big bad word in her acceptance speech at the Oscars was eww.

7. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis presented an award together.

I loved her dress but had no clue what all their banter was about.
I think I might be old.

8. Who knew Zachary Levi could sing?

9. Gwynneth Paltrow has really grown on me this year.

10. My pick for Best Picture was Best Picture...
if you haven't seen The King's Speech you should.

So, did you watch?
Did you have a favorite dress?
A least favorite dress?

Hollywood is so full of themselves sometimes I can hardly stand it.
But I enjoy going to the movies and I thought there were some really wonderful films last year.

And I do love beautiful clothes.

And its a rainy Monday morning here...
since I did my weekend recap yesterday what else is there to talk about today?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pre-Oscar Party Post

Answer me this...
why are the weekends so ding dang short?
This one seemed to positively fly.

Although hubs said last weekend that he was through painting and wanted to hire out the rest of the work, guess what he did yesterday?

He painted.

Yay hubs!
Like I said, if he weren't so good at it and didn't work for cheap I might consider hiring someone, but until then he's my guy.
Saturday he spent the day painting daughter1's bedroom.

Technically daughter1 has her own apartment and bedroom several states away but that's neither here nor there.
This is her room when she's home and we chose a color called Khaki.

(Insert sound of daughter1 shrieking here)

She has never been a khaki kind of girl...

Guess what color she would have chosen?

We want warm neutrals in the bedrooms and her room
gets a lot of sun so it can handle a darker tone on the walls.
It turned out beautifully and I'd post a picture except we don't have the furniture put back.
We decided we're buying new for her room.
It's time.
I look at the sweet wicker dresser that has been in one daughter or the others bedroom since 1990 and its a little bit hard to let it go.
Until I inspect it more closely, and then I realize its past time.
Daughter1 would agree.

In other weekend news we went to a fun dinner party on Saturday evening where the main course was raclette.

Oh yum!
Have you ever had raclette?

It's a bit similar to a fondue party in that everyone cooks their own meal.
Instead of dipping into a pot you place your cheese under a special cooker that looks something like this one which is from Williams Sonoma-

The photo is from their website.
Can I do that?
I hope so.
If it helps, I love the store!

Anyway, once your cheese has melted into gooey deliciousness you scrape it off the dish and onto your plate which is covered in potatoes, vegetables, onions, pickles, and dried meats like salamis and sausages.
If you like cheese this meal will make you deliriously happy.

Raclette originated with the Swiss and you see Raclette restaurants dotted around many of the Swiss and French alpine towns and villages.
The traditional set up looks more like this-

The last time I had raclette it was eaten here-
in France...

Saturday night it was eaten in a NJ suburb but it was still a whole lotta fun.

Speaking of fun...
I brought dessert to the party so while hubs was painting yesterday I was baking.

I'd seen both recipes in recent issues of Southern Living and both are keepers.
And here it is, a brand new week and I'm already off on food tangents.

C'est la vie.

I must end this post tres rapidment as the Oscars are on and I need to see the clothes and the hair and the craziness that is Hollywood.

Hope your weekend was filled with food and family and fun too~

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five things on Friday

It's Friday and I was out on the town last night which means I'm too tired to get creative and am going with a list of all the swirly thoughts that are in my head this morning.

Well, not all of them.

You're welcome.

1. I was out on the town last night.
Did I already say that?
By 'out on the town' I mean I was back in NYC.
I was in a restaurant though, not a nightclub,
but that's pretty much what 'out on the town' means if we're talking about me.

Hubs had a dinner with some work colleagues and originally it was going to be just the work people but then spouses and significant others were added to the mix so I was included.

We met at his office and trekked back into the city for a fabulous meal at a wonderful Indian restaurant called Tamarind.
We used to eat Indian food at least once a week when we lived in the UK.
Sadly there is no Indian food in our little NJ town.

Do you like Indian food?
When I ask people that question they usually have a yes or no response.
There's not a lot of middle ground on this one.

I love it and so do my girls and the hubs.
I like spicy but not nuclear.
Daughter1 is the same.
Daughter2 prefers hers more on the mild side.
Then there is hubs-
it's hard to make something too hot for my hubs.
He orders spicy with a side of chopped green chilies.
Owners of Indian restaurants seem to admire and appreciate this.

2. I see why NYC commuters are 'cranky'.

The traffic.
Holy moly!

We were chugging right along but as we approached the Lincoln Tunnel things began to slow.

And bottleneck.

And annoy.

About a mile from the tunnel our GPS informed us we would arrive at our destination at 6:08.
It was currently 5:56.
I thought, 'Wow-we're going to be so early.'


The Lincoln Tunnel is a mile and a half long.
At 6:48 we were still not thru the tunnel.

We were finally parked and walking into the restaurant about fifteen minutes prior to our 7:30 reservation.
I cannot imagine making the commute in and out of the city
Yet...several million people do...
and we should not wonder that it sometimes makes them 'cranky'.

3. It's raining here today.
Rain isn't snow.
But rain has to go somewhere and we are praying the gutters are defrosted enough to accommodate all the rain in the forecast.
There will also be winds.
High gale force winds.
What is a gale force anyway?

4. I'm going out to lunch today.
It's been World Cultures Week here as far as meals are concerned.
Have I talked about anything besides eating out on my blog this week?
I think not.

5. The lovely but not so sweet smelling pup will be having a bath while I'm out.
The back yard is covered in snow but she's found something to get into that is most definitely not snow.

And on that pleasant note I will end this post.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It was Grand

I spent yesterday with some friends in NYC.
We had plans to take the walking tour of Grand Central Terminal, plans which of course included a nice lunch out.
FYI- most of my plans include lunch out.

I'm thankful to have friends who don't mind driving into the city.
I could do it if pressed and I'd be fine I think up until we hit the squeeze play at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel which, in a split second, requires the exact correct proportion of patience and aggression.

The weather cooperated as much as we could hope for in February and although it was a ridiculous 20 something degrees when we headed out the sun was shining brightly and that makes all the difference in a day.

If you're in NYC I recommend the tour.
It's a self guided audio tour and the cost is $5 for adults which has to be one of the most reasonable things to do in all of NYC. The building itself is beautiful and full of so many wonderful bits of history, architecture and of course, food.

Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913 by shipping and railroad hotshot Cornelius Vanderbilt (not by himself, of course). The Vanderbilt symbol was the acorn and the oak leaf and you see both of those incorporated into different pieces throughout the building.

The terminal was nearly demolished back in the late sixties when rail travel became less popular and hundreds of homeless folks began making their home inside this ginormous building. Thankfully the terminal was saved, primarily thru the efforts of The Landmark Preservation Commission with a little help along the way from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Today it is positively hopping with over 700,000 people passing thru its doors every single day.

New York is just full of people, people.

The main terminal area with its massive ceiling and beautiful staircases is definitely worth a look. Windows dominate the room and are interesting...they're double sided and actually have walkways between the two panes of glass.

These chandeliers were almost tossed until someone had the bright idea to have them cleaned and it was discovered they were not brass but solid nickel topped with gold.


The staircases are marble and were designed to resemble the staircases in the Paris Opera House. Here we are standing on one trying to take a picture, and no of course we did not annoy any travelers who were trying to make their way in and out of the building.

Some of these ladies read my blog (hi girls!) and we're learning as much history and trivia as we can for the day we all end up together in Cash Cab.
Have you seen the show?
So fun!

Anyway, let's talk about something important.

Like food.

And celebrities.

Grand Central has five restaurants and lounges, a 'food court' and about fifty shops.

There is an absolutely fantastic food market in the station and we may have gotten slightly off track (Ha) when we walked by all the amazing cheeses and other goodies. The chandelier in the market is made to look like an olive tree but uses lights in place of olives.

A walk thru the food court is part of the tour and it's fun to see how they've incorporated pieces from old trains to give you the sense of sitting in a dining car while you're eating.
We didn't eat here but instead had a lovely lunch in one of the nicer restaurants that overlooks the main terminal -Charlie Palmers Metrazur.

What made this particular venue even better was the moment we discovered Larry David was sitting only about four tables from ours.
We spent much of the meal attempting to subtly take his picture.
I think you can probably imagine how subtle a table full of women can be when they spy someone famous but seriously, if those pesky people at the tables between us would have just taken the hint and scooched over I could have had a nice photo.

Instead I have this-

That's him, or rather part of his head and shoulder, in the back right. For those who don't know, Larry David is the co-creator of Seinfeld and also has his own show on HBO called Curb Your Enthusiasm.
As he got up to leave a few of us may have decided we needed to go to the restroom at that exact moment. We all came face to face as he exited the men's room but something about taking a picture in that moment just didn't feel right so I put the camera away.

Besides, we had other celebs to stalk see so we needed to move on.
An event happened to be taking place in the terminal that afternoon, an Oscar tribute of sorts. You could have your picture taken with this year's Best Actor Oscar statuette.
We weren't really interested in doing that but we'd learned earlier in the day that Whoopi Goldberg was going to be there so we hung around for a look.

At first we couldn't see much more than the top of her head but we arrived at a good time because before long she was escorted out...right in front of us-

Naturally I was fumbling with my camera and she stopped and said, 'Did you get it?' Unexpectedly gracious I thought.
Why is it so much fun to see someone famous?
I can't explain just is.

After all the excitement it was time to head home... back to the 'burbs and the snow and the pulling dinner out of the freezer because you neglected to do so in the morning...back to your regularly scheduled programming.

A day in the city did make for an awfully nice and much needed commercial break though, for these very real (but way more fun) housewives of NJ.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conveniently its the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 15

Welcome to this week's edition of Wednesday Hodgepodge.
Link your post at the bottom of this one and then add the button or a link back here to your own blog so the party goers can find us.
Here we go-

1. Did you know there is a national day of pretty much everything in the universe? Feb 23rd happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?

My answer is long and it will inconvenience you to read it but you should read it anyway-

Two weekends ago hubs and I purchased a floor lamp in a mall just over half an hour from our house. We got it all the way home and knew right away it was wrong for the space. Why don't I carry pictures of my house on my phone? Hubs wants to know the answer to that too. Anyway, I had to return it and and the box was heavy and awkward and that much too long and that much too wide so I couldn't carry it under my arm. I lugged it thru the parking lot and down a set of stairs and then pushed it thru the mall for what felt like miles. Upon arriving at the shop I realized I didn't have the card we'd used to pay so I had to call hubs who was not answering his mobile. This meant I had to phone him at work to get the card number but for some reason I had his UK office number in my phone instead of his NJ office. Why??? Who knows? Maybe its because I'm so organized and on top of things.

Anyway, I phoned Daughter1 who didn't answer and then phoned Daughter2 who had to hang up and look in her phone and in the end it didn't matter because when I finally dialed hubs office he of course he was in a meeting and wasn't answering. The saleslady proceeded to give me a store credit but just as she finished entering all the info and swiping a gift card hubs got one of my fifteen messages and called me back. His first words were-'Are you okay?' I think my inconvenience was showing. At this point the very nice sales lady tore up the store credit and put it on our card as we originally wanted and alls well that ends well, right?

2. When a room in your house needs painting, who does the job?

We've used professional painters here and there thru the years but few are the perfectionist type that my hubs is...which explains why he is my painter of choice. Sadly he does not enjoy painting.

Maybe he should not be so good at it.

3. Are you friends with your cousins?

I think of them with much fondness but I've really never lived close enough to any of my cousins for us to be the kind of friends who hang out and do things together. I have happy memories of earlier days and times spent with cousins on my grandparents Colorado farm.

This picture is screaming for a caption, don't you think?

I'm the one on the right wearing red tennis shoes and a pout and that's my baby sister, front and center. My brother is behind me and the other two boys are honest to goodness cousins. The two men in the photo are my Grandpa the farmer and one of my uncles. Not sure why he has his shirt unbuttoned but maybe it was hot? Or maybe he was cool? Ha.

This past year one of my cousins 'found me' on facebook and I've loved catching up on her life and her sibling's lives too. We've all been so spread out as adults but it would be fun to have a family get together and reconnect everyone. In this sense facebook has been a blessing.

4. Do you use an alarm clock-if yes, is it an actual alarm, music or something else?

Yes and its set to music. Although I'm pretty much always awake by 5 or 6 we still set an alarm. The paranoid side of me knows the day I don't will be the day I sleep til noon.

5. What do you put ketchup on?

Not much. I like it combined with brown sugar on top of meatloaf. Sometimes I'll dunk a fry in ketchup, but not always. And of course fries are on the do not indulge list so that doesn't happen often. I'll eat a hamburger with ketchup on it but I don't put ketchup on mine if given the choice. Here is something people find odd...when I was a girl my sisters and I used to put ketchup on white rice. Was that odd? I guess maybe it was.

6. What smells make you nostalgic?

Lots of them but the first ones that come to mind are the smells I associate with summer camp. I can be walking thru the woods, smell a fire burning, or catch the salty Chesapeake Bay on a breeze and I am taken back to the days I spent as camper and counselor in a quiet Maryland town. Those scents conjure up some of the happiest memories I have of my growing up years ( I wrote about them here).

7. Did you hear about the high school English teacher recently suspended for some things she wrote on her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-if you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you a 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students there? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss....

I think much of what she is saying is true but I'm not sure a blog is the place to put that out there, anonymously or not. If she were my child's teacher I'd be upset, even if she's not talking about my kid. I've been a teacher and I know it's often a frustrating job. Still, I want my children's teachers to think they can make a difference in spite of everything. Parents hold the master key but good teachers can certainly unlock doors that make a difference in a child's life...a difference that might not be seen or felt until years later. I want my children's teachers to believe that.

I am friends with some my daughter's former teachers on fb and a few even read my blog. That makes me happy. Two of these ladies rank right up there in the 'favorites' category as far as my girls are concerned and I've enjoyed connecting with them in a new way. When I taught school Mark Zukerberg was still more than a few years away from attending Harvard and creating facebook so friending/un-friending/ignoring wasn't an issue.

Ranting on a blog about your workplace, any workplace, is risky in my opinion.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I've used up more than my share of words today so I'm going with this-
I'd like to see American Idol drop the group night. It gives me a headache.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This week's questions plus a bunch of other semi-related nonsense

Who else hates it when they mistakenly hit publish instead of save while creating posts in Blogger? I do that about once a week and its super annoying.

Hubs and I went to see the film Unknown yesterday and I've decided that should I have any run-ins with foreign or domestic intelligence agencies I'd like to have Liam Neeson watching my back. It was intense. And if you need someone to drive you a fair distance in reverse he's your guy.

While I'm on the subject of intelligence agencies, last week I had my fingerprints and FBI background check done as part of the process for obtaining my sub certificate in this state. I haven't been fingerprinted since I worked back in the 90's and may I just say the procedure is much improved. First of all-no ink. You just lay your fingertips on the computer screen and voila, your prints are captured.

When I was last fingerprinted, many moons ago in another state, I had to actually go into the police station to have them done. While I was mid-fingerprint, with ink I might add, a criminal was brought into the station house and began creating quite the ruckus. Technically he hadn't been labeled 'criminal' at that point, but he behaved like one. Anyway, the officer taking my prints informed me he'd be right back, that his assistance was needed with the ruckus, and in the meantime he would need to lock me in the fingerprinting room until they managed to get the 'alleged perpetrator' under control.

They definitely could have used Liam Neesen.
Just sayin'-

And now, here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge....see you back here tomorrow to link answers.

1. Did you know there is a National Day of pretty much everything in the universe? February 23 happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?

2. When a room in your house needs painting who does the job?

3. Are you friends with your cousins?

4. Do you use an alarm clock? If yes-is it an actual alarm, music, or something else?

5. What do you put ketchup on?

6. What smells make you nostalgic?

7. Have you heard about the high school English teacher recently suspended as a result of some things she wrote in her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-If you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students on fb? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss...

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sorry Charlie...

So how are you celebrating the birthdays of two American presidents?
We celebrated by painting our guest room this weekend.
You need to remember that on this blog when I use the pronoun 'we' in reference to home maintenance chores 99% of the time I'm referring to hubs.

I cheered him on though.
And stayed out of the way.


My preferred method of staying out of the way is to leave town when he paints.
Truthfully I think this is his preferred method too because I just can't help but check up on him and offer food and drinks and cleanup assistance.
I also like to chatter and he likes to focus and it's possible he finds my chatter distracting.
Not in a good way either.

Hubs is an excellent painter.
He doesn't enjoy the job but he's super particular and also super neat.
The same cannot be said of some of the professional painters we've used in the past and fyi-hubs is not a professional painter, he just plays one at home.
'We' painted the guest room a Benjamin Moore color called Ladyfinger.
We already have this color in our hallways and sun room and I really like it...
subtle, warm and very livable.

I had been looking for a 'Poppy painting' ever since we moved into this house and I finally found one while visiting my mom a while back.

It's a little hard to tell from this stellar photo but the colors do match the bedding we have in this room.
When I see poppies I think of our back garden in the UK and the amazing poppies that bloomed there every year.

Makes me happy...

Makes her happy too.

We still need to sort out the night stands and lighting and hang a mirror and blah blah a room ever completely finished?

In other exciting Presidential Birthday Weekend celebrating, I continued my attempts at preparing healthy lower fat meals.
Raise your hand if you're tired of eating the same old thing?
If you're not eating beef or pasta and your hubs doesn't like the smell of fish cooked indoors then you're pretty much eating a whole lotta chicken and a whole lotta salads.
Chicken is okay and I love salads but even I'm getting a little bit tired of them.
We both like seafood and I can't wait until the snow melts enough for us to get back to grilling. We use the grill when its cold but we draw the line at buried under snow.

Guess what?
It's snowing.

I'm in complete denial though so we won't talk about that.
Except to say we had just begun to melt a teensy tiny bit and only two days ago I commented to hubs that this was the first weekend we could actually see some grass on the golf course and some wood on the deck.

Oh bother.

While I'm on the exciting topic of seafood (yes, I was) has anyone else noticed how much the contents of a can of tuna have shrunk?
A few years ago I'm pretty sure you could make more than two sandwiches from one can and now there is barely enough for one.
The cans look the same but the contents are definitely less than they used to be.


This is what happens when you're cooped up in the house too much during a too long too snowy winter.
You notice stuff like how much tuna is not packed into a can.
And then you share that observation with the world wide web.
Who gets my post title?

Actually our weekend was not dull...only the recap is.
It feels good to have another room painted and I love the way fresh paint makes a room look like new...only three more rooms to go!
Hubs will be super excited to read that.

It's February.
It's frigid and windy and's s-n-o-w-i-n-g.
It's pretty...

But it's not spring.

If George were here today he wouldn't be chopping down a cherry tree because he'd have to hike thru feet of snow to get to it and then he'd have to figure out which tree was the cherry because they all look remarkably alike dressed in white.

I cannot tell a lie.
I am ready for spring.

The nineties are so last century

After posting the video yesterday of the Today show circa 1994 and thinking a lot about Katie Couric's hairdo I thought it would be fun to see what we were doing in 1994. I mean if we weren't on the internet how in the world were we filling up all those many minutes in our day?

1994 was the year Seinfeld first aired,
the year OJ Simpson drove a White Bronco,
and the year Sheryl Crow had the #1 song-

So what was going on with my little family way back when?
For starters, we moved that year.

We started out the year living in NJ and ended the year living in Maryland.

You're impressed with our landscaping, aren't you?
Actually, it was a brand new house and we did landscape once we were settled.
We did a good job too.
And by 'we' you know I mean the hubs, right?
Except for my crazy impatiens.

I can grow some impatiens y'all.
And no this is not 1994 but that bed was full of impatiens like this every year once we moved in.

Judging from our photos I guess not a lot happened between January and May of 1994 or if it did we didn't take pictures.
Daughter1 was a sweet kindergartner and before we moved out of NJ we had a birthday party with her friends she is with her bestest buddy back in the day-

And here they are today...

Life is sometimes oh so funny.

I was reminded of a few things as I looked thru our photos.
For one, daughter1's birthday was at least a month long.
Apparently turning six was a big deal in our house that year...

Here are daughters 1 and 2 with #1 cousin in between.

Which brings me to something else I remembered about 1994...
Do you see that stinker on the end wearing the cute blue dress and the cheeky grin?

Yeah, her.

Well back in '94 let's just say there were more than a few days I questioned whether or not I'd survive to tell the tale of her toddlerhood.
Positively too adorable for words but oh my word-the mischief and the hijinks and the have no fear that child brought into our everyday life...

And the laughter...

Can't forget the laughter.

Of course I know what you're really interested in is whether or not I had a hairdo that rocked like Katie's and I'm happy to report that I did not.

But I had some hair, didn't I?
This is hubs and I (on the right) in Aruba with our 'teammates'.
We were there for a work thing and had to do a photo scavenger hunt around the island..

Oh hubs.
Rest assured some things never change.

You should know we totally dominated that scavenger hunt which is why we were awarded those awesome trophies you see in the picture.
My competitive side was fully engaged back in 1994.

How about hubs mustache?
Holy moly.
I'll get back to that in a minute.

First let's discuss this picture which was taken the day of my sister in laws December wedding.

1. My hair! There's alot of it!

2. Shoulder pads. Oh dear.

3. Now I remember...hubs is a red head.

4. And he hadn't gotten wise to the mustache yet.

5. Daughter1 is on the right...six years old and looking appropriately serious to attend her very first wedding.

6. Daughter2 is on the left... four years old and fresh as a daisy after a 12 hour car ride the day before.

7. A car ride in which she managed to vomit every hour on the hour all the way from Northern NJ to Tennessee. Good times!

8. Some things are etched in your brain without a photograph.

9. Little girls in matching dresses make my heart go mush.

10. Dear 1994-I think I left my waistline there.
Could you return it please?

Shortly after this picture was taken hubs shaved that mustache right off.
We were at my moms for Christmas and when he
walked into the room with his naked upper lip both little girls burst into tears.

He had to dress a Barbie doll so they'd forgive him.

We'd been together approximately 14 years at that point and I'd never seen him without it.
He looked younger.
Much younger.
Better actually.

Thus concludes the year that was.
Now...where were you in 1994?
Because we know for sure you weren't wasting time on the internet.

edited to say I'm linking this post to Flashback Friday over at Mylestones today...
hop over and read some of her fabulous writing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I cannot tell a lie...its time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 14

So glad you joined the fun today!
Add a link to your post at the bottom of mine and do be sure to visit your neighbors.

1. Your favorite chocolate treat?

Such a hard question right off the bat...I am going to say German Chocolate cake which combines my love of chocolate with my love of coconut.

2. What more than anything else makes you feel loved?

Being treated with kindness and respect. Having my strengths acknowledged and encouraged and my weaknesses forgiven.

3. Cherries or blueberries?

Why are the food questions so hard for me?

I love them both and I eat a lot of blueberries. I have them on my cereal almost every morning. And I love blueberry pancakes except hold the pancake and just give me the blueberries. Sadly pancakes aren't on my diet. It seems like we get blueberries practically year round now but we don't get fresh cherries very often. I'm picturing a bowl of fresh cherries eaten outside on a sunny day and I like that picture. And dried cherries are my newest obsession so I think I'm going to say cherries.

4. What is the one trait you most want the leader of your country to posses?

Integrity-I want that person to have a moral core. I can disagree with a leader's politics yet be supportive if I feel like they are a man/woman of integrity. I have no respect for those who bend whichever way the political wind blows.

5. Are you a saver or a spender?

Here's the thing-it's hard to be a spender when you are paying university tuition. Unless of course you count buying an education as 'spending'. Here's the other thing-it's hard to be a saver when you are paying university tuition. Unless you count putting all your pennies in the bank to pay for your children's education as 'saving'. I'm kidding. Kind of. When kids go off to uni it's like someone turns on the money tap and forgets to turn it off.

I think we have a good balance between saving and spending. We plan for the future, we don't make large impulse purchases and we live within our means so overall we're a good team in this department.

6. If you gave a party for all of your friends would they already know each other?

No. There would be some overlap, kind of like that 6 degrees of separation thing, but when you've moved around as much as we have your friends are scattered far and wide. Paths cross more often than you might imagine so some of our friends know some of our friends but essentially a party with all of our friends in one place would mean lots of strangers together. Lots of really fun strangers. Sounds fantastic...we'd like to host that party!

7. Are you interested in antiques?

Yes. I like traditional furniture mixed with a few carefully chosen antiques. I would not want a house filled with only antiques but I love the way they add character and depth to a room. We have several pieces that I love but I suppose our grandfather clock is my favorite.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I think you all know I sometimes struggle with all things technical, ahem, and I'm wondering if you've seen this? My daughter showed it to me when she was home. It's a clip of the then hosts of the Today show discussing 'What is the internet?" during a commercial break. Hard to believe it was only 1994.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

But first...a story

I'm posting this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge questions at the bottom of this post but before I do that I thought I'd share a little story. I know you are interested in every detail of my life so here is a little peek into something my kids will have zero trouble picturing.

I had an errand to run yesterday and as usual I let the dog out into the backyard before I left the house. Now, it might be 70+ degrees where you live but in my little corner of the world we still can't see the grass. Yesterday it got up into the 40's so the snow that has been frozen solid in our backyard since before Christmas is softening a bit...enough so that if you step on it now you fall thru to solid ground.
Well, almost.

And when you fall thru you are up to your kneecaps in snow but hey, it's a step in the right direction so we'll take it.

This is Daughter1 looking adorable last week in front of the nasty pile of snow plowed all the way up to the fence.
You can't see the fence because its behind that nasty pile of snow.
I dislike dirty snow and when I say snow mountain this is what I mean.
Up until yesterday this snow mountain was frozen so solid it felt like granite.

Anyway, I had my car running in the driveway and I called the dog but once she discovered that she was no longer slipping and sliding across the yard she decided to run all the way around to the far side of the house where I can't see her unless I walk around there too.
I was not dressed appropriately for traipsing thru deep snow so I just continued calling and calling and she pretended not to hear me and remained on the other side of the yard.

I was annoyed.
Did I need to say that?

We have a door in our garage that leads to the backyard so I stepped thru that door to see if I could coax her inside when all of a sudden a huge gust of wind came out of nowhere and slammed the door shut.
The door that is locked from inside the garage.

On the surface this is not a big deal.
I'm just in the backyard and my keys are in my car right over there.

On the other side of the fence.

The fence with five+ feet of snow piled high on either side.

Any other season of the year I'd just open the fence gate and let myself back out onto the driveway but in February 2011 those gates aren't going anywhere.

Oh bother.

I was left with no choice but to climb up onto the mountain of snow on the backside of the fence and then ever so gracefully hoist myself over the fence and onto the mountain of snow on the front side of the fence and then down onto the driveway.

And the reason I know the snow is no longer frozen as solid as a sheet of granite is because when I stepped onto the mountain I sunk all the way down to my thigh in the lovely white stuff.

While wearing dress pants.

And heels.

Spring cannot get here soon enough people!

Now onto this week's Hodgepodge questions....
I'll see you back here tomorrow (Wednesday) to share our answers via McLinky.

1. Your favorite chocolate treat?

2. What more than anything else makes you feel loved?

3. Cherries or blueberries?

4. What is the one trait you most want the leader of your country to posess?

5. Are you a saver or a spender?

6. If you gave a party for all of your friends would they already know each other?

7. Are you interested in antiques?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Your love is like a red red rose

...or a dozen sunny yellow roses if you're me. Hubs brought these home on Friday afternoon~

I have always loved yellow roses and these really started to open up over the weekend. I don't think there is anything else quite like fresh flowers to make me smile when I enter a room and see them in all their glory.

We awoke this morning to a sky that, in keeping with today's theme, was pretty in pink....

Hubs is heading out of town this afternoon (shocking I know) but he was home all morning so I made him his favorite oatmeal for's all about the 'heart' on Valentine's Day, right? I like Ina Garten's Sunday Morning Oatmeal recipe because she adds bananas and golden raisins and my favorite, dried cherries, to the pot. So delicious! I use skim milk and omit the
salt and the maple syrup...with all that fruit you just need a pinch of brown sugar on top and you're good.

We had one of those weekends that just sort of unfolds and we enjoyed relaxing and doing a little bit of shopping for the house. We still need a few bits and pieces for the bedrooms so we hit some nice shops and antique stores over the weekend and came home with a pretty chair and ottoman for Daughter2's bedroom and an antique table for our upstairs hallway. Now to find the right accessories to display and of course the chair will need a small table and lamp to go with and then of course we need to update the paint and isn't this the way it goes with a house? You tick one item off the home improvement list and three more appear to take its place.

We were in a nice mall on Saturday so we ended up having a Valentine lunch at Legal Seafood. So yummy! I had a Caesar salad topped with lobster and a glass of champagne because what is Valentine's Day without champagne? And no, champagne is not my normal lunchtime drink but we were pretending this was dinner. Hubs ordered a dozen oysters as a starter and the presentation was nice. I took a picture with my phone but for some reason when I put pics from my phone onto my computer they look blurry. This surprises you I know.

We had take out Italian food last night and watched the Grammys. Well, actually we flipped back and forth between channels because when the Grammys got too weird or felt the need to break for a commercial every 3 minutes we flipped over to the Baftas which are like the British Oscars. Needless to say we saw a lot of the Baftas. Seriously, the advertising during the Grammys was ridiculous. And who else thought Lady Gaga=total ripoff of Madonna's Express Yourself? One thing is for sure...Martina McBride-Miranda Lambert-Lady music fans should feel proud today.

So, how are you celebrating the day? Who out there is baking something wonderful? And by wonderful I don't mean oatmeal. I mean, it was good and all but let's be honest and state for the record that oatmeal isn't chocolate cake.

I think I'll go admire my roses now.

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Like Peas and Carrots

Daughter1 has been home for a few days and we are relaxing right now in the office. We needed to recover from our day which included breakfast out at a favorite local spot, shopping, Starbucks and finally pedicures. I thought it would be fun to write a joint post. She is not sure if that will actually be fun but she will humor me because I'm her mama and she loves me and I just bought her a super cute skirt and top and dress and had pink polish applied to her toenails.

Since it's the 10th day of the month we thought we'd make a list of ten things we've loved about the past few days together... well I thought of this and she is going along with it. My thoughts are in purple and her thoughts are in green...

1. She smiles a lot. She has a beautiful smile.
She hugs me a lot. A lot a lot.

2. I like going to bed knowing my daughter is just down the hall.
I like watching my parents fall asleep on the couch....
just knowing they're in the house is enough for me.

3. We have talked and giggled and discussed The Bachelor in minute detail.
I liked my parents not so subtle marriage advice given while we all watched The Bachelor together.

4. I like the fact that my daughter is finishing off the chocolate cake we had left over from the Super Bowl so I don't have to do the job myself.
I like finishing off my mom's chocolate cake left over from the Super Bowl.

5. I loved sitting side by side in pedicure chairs.
I loved feeling ridiculous with my mom as we made a run for the car in our flip flops in 25 degree weather.

6. We both agree it is worth it to have nice feet.

7. She tried not to roll her eyes when I couldn't remember the computer shortcuts she has shown me at least three or thirty times.
I helped my mom figure out her Google Address book and translated an email written in French for my dad and I didn't roll my eyes once.

8. We've lingered over breakfasts, lunches, and dinners eaten out.
I love being treated to breakfast, lunch, and dinner out.

9. We talk.
The joy that comes from a long talk with a 20-something daughter cannot be overstated.
Long talks with my mom make my heart happy.

10. A house feels more like a home when there's a daughter in it.
There's no place like home.